The Great Escapists

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Great Escapists TV Poster Image
Silly, contrived reality show highlights STEM, competition.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series shows how two builders stranded on a deserted island work together to build different survival structures and inventions using what’s available to them. STEM principles, creativity, and problem-solving skills are major themes, and teamwork is also highlighted. 

Positive Role Models

The hosts are often at each other’s throats, but work together to problem solve and build things. Richard Hammond is British; Tory Bellici is American. 


There’s some arguing and humorous physical tussles between the hosts. Machines are used to catapult fruit and other items at each other. On occasion, structures fall and get destroyed. There’s fire and a big explosion, but no one gets hurt.  


The hosts find some big boxes of condoms, which are used to build things later. 


There’s some fictitious labels on boxes. The hosts sometimes make references to their own TV shows. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The hosts state that they hope to find gin among the random objects uncovered around the island. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Great Escapists features two hosts stranded on a remote Pacific island building machines designed to help them survive with found objects. It highlights the importance of creativity, and problem-solving using STEM principles, as well as the need to work with others to succeed. There’s some competitive tension between the hosts, which leads to them turning their self-made machines against each other, and to some physical tussles that are more humorous than angry. There’s some occasional references to gin and condoms. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJonjonson May 27, 2021

Fully enjoyed this at 41 years of age.

Definitely a show which could affectively help refine the intellectual accumen of most humans. Also, it is fun.
Adult Written byDanny Holland February 6, 2021

Enjoyable but it's very obviously scripted

It's entertaining but you'll probably hate it if you aren't a fan of Hammond,the show contains a lit of quips that parents or young teens will un... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byjahirmejia67 February 1, 2021

What's the story?

THE GREAT ESCAPISTS is an unscripted series starring Mythbuster’s Tory Bellici and The Grand Tours Richard Hammond trying to find ways to survive, and escape, a deserted island. After being stranded on a remote Pacific island after being shipwrecked, the two TV hosts must use what’s available to them to get fresh water, build shelter, find easier ways of moving heavy objects, and above all, find a way back to California. It’s not always easy, and they are sometimes at each other’s throats, but when they work together they’re able to figure out ways to solve their every day challenges, and hopefully make it home. 

Is it any good?

The contrived STEM-themed series mixes some silly, masculinity-driven theatrics with designing and building mechanical objects to demonstrate how creativity and a commitment to problem-solving can lead to important, and sometimes life-saving, inventions. From building cars to drag heavy items from one side of the island to another without straining themselves too much, to designing a steam engine that can help push a raft across the ocean, the two look for ways to survive, keep themselves busy, and to get off the island safely.

There are things folks will learn here and there, but much of the show is driven by the over-the-top (and somewhat forced) banter between the two men, who then fight each other using the machines they’ve made out of wood and other items. Meanwhile, a lot of the supposedly random objects they find on the island include hand held tools, netting, and other convenient items. It’s certainly not a survivalist show, but if you’re into building machines of all sorts, you might find The Great Escapists worth tuning into. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about some of the machines the hosts build on the island. What things do they use to build cars, lifts, and other things? Is it really feasible to create these things on a deserted island without specific tools and materials? 

  • The Great Escapists features lots of successful builds, but also shows some failures. What kind of things do the hosts learn when their plans go awry? Why don’t they give up? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality competitions

Themes & Topics

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