Solving History with Olly Steeds

Common Sense Media says

Charismatic host follows footsteps from the past.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series promotes cultural awareness, as the host’s travels introduce him to people of many different ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds, and he respectfully ingratiates himself to them and takes part in many of their rituals and traditions.

Positive role models

Steeds and his crew are always respectful toward the indigenous people they meet during their travels.


Some of the cultural rituals that Steeds witnesses include animal sacrifice. Cameras are averted for the actual killings, but the animal’s body is shown twitching and bleeding immediately afterward, and later as it’s skinned and dismembered for the meat. In some segments, Steeds participates in traditions like eating a goat’s testicles.

Not applicable

Occasional instances of “s--t” are bleeped. Rare use of words like “hellish."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Wine and other alcoholic beverages are sometimes consumed during traditional meals.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series includes scenes of traditions and rituals (like mummification and animal sacrifice) that may be confusing or upsetting to kids and tweens with little knowledge of other cultures. Although the act itself isn’t shown when animals are killed, the bloody body is, so sensitive viewers of all ages may have trouble with this content when it arises. But for older tweens, teens, and adults, the show offers a fascinating journey through history and an intriguing glimpse at people and places that rarely make the front page.

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What's the story?

In SOLVING HISTORY WITH OLLY STEEDS, independent journalist/adventurer Oliver \"Olly\" Steeds crisscrosses the globe hoping to unravel some of history’s most intriguing unsolved mysteries. Using centuries-old folklore, modern archaeological evidence, and high-tech computer graphics, the ever-curious Steeds pieces together clues to attempt to locate elusive finds like lost Nazi treasures, the Ark of the Covenant, and the mythical city of Atlantis.

Is it any good?


If you’re striking out on a treasure hunt -- even a virtual one -- a lot rides on the appeal of your guide, and Steeds’ enthusiasm, knowledge, and passion for his work makes the journey a real treat for viewers. He leaves no stone unturned in his quest for the truth, and his travels take him all over the world and introduce him to an array of people from little-known cultures. In other words, there’s no shortage of educational content here.

But don’t be misled by the show’s title. Steeds rarely uncovers any definitive evidence to put historical mysteries to bed -- though he does make some new discoveries and interpret existing clues to pose intriguing theories. For teens and adults, Solving History is an exciting, Indiana Jones-like tour of history, but the heady material and potential for confusing and sometimes violent cultural practices ensures that it’s not for young kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about cultural diversity in the media. Do you think TV shows and movies give an accurate portrayal of lesser-known cultures and religions? Are certain shows or types of shows better or worse than others about treating differences respectfully?

  • Have you ever noticed any stereotyping in the shows you watch? If so, when? Is stereotyping any less problematic when it’s delivered by a representative of the group being singled out? Why or why not?

  • What historical mysteries would you like to see solved? What knowledge do you have of them? How would scientists and researchers work together to get answers?

TV details

Cast:Oliver Steeds
Network:Discovery Channel
TV rating:NR

This review of Solving History with Olly Steeds was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 3 year old Written byYeleana February 17, 2010

This show is for all ages specially for kids with Open mind

I love it. Comming from Russia it teaches me history I don't know, keep it up. Doing a Great job
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byHonsvik January 27, 2010

need a new camera stratagy

We like the show and are interested. However the camera angles and quick movement, sudden jolts and zooming in and out is so distracting it's hard to watch the program. It gives us a headache.


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