Treasure Quest TV Poster Image

Treasure Quest



Deep sea exploration show emphasizes profit over history.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While exploration and the use of science are important elements of the show, the importance of the finds is almost always described in terms of monetary profit ("a billion dollars' worth of gold and silver") rather than their historical/educational signficance. The explorers do stay on the right side of the law, but the narrator mentions upfront that the crew members have been criticized as crass treasure hunters -- a criticism that goes unanswered. There also seems to be little, if any, concern about preserving the sites for archaeological purposes or reference to the fact that these were sites where human beings died.

Not applicable
Not applicable

There are no bleeps, but one word that sounded like "f--k" got slurred over at one point.


The crew's primary motive seems to be profit, with learning a side benefit.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this educational/reality show about oceangoing explorers/treasuer seekers, while interesting, is more focused on how much money can be made on the finds than on their historical significance. The featured company has been in trouble with the law over what they've recovered, and the line between what makes a recovery appropriate vs. inappropriate is a little on the blurry side. But there's no language, sex, or violence to worry about, and tweens who dream of treasure hunting may find it interesting.

Kids say

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What's the story?

TREASURE QUEST follows the adventures of Odyssey Marine Exploration, a company that uses advanced science and technology to find historical shipwrecks -- with the intent of recovering lost fortunes in old coins and other valuables. The process is difficult and often frustrating, as the crew members battle bad weather and even governments in their quest to find riches left behind long ago.

Is it any good?


Considering that the true reality of these expeditions is that they usually involve a lot of sitting around and waiting while looking at screens, the show does an excellent job of building suspense. Some of it is inherent -- such as when the boat is buzzed illegally by a French Navy plane, or when the crew tries to temporarily recover an elephant tusk even though bad weather makes it all but impossible.

But because the show doesn't gloss over the fact that there are also far more misses than hits in these searches, it can be a little slow at times. Still, ultimately, it's more interesting than not, although younger kids might get a little antsy during the hour-long episodes.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how TV's version of "reality" can be affected by things like narration and what footage producers choose to leave in and/or edit out. How does that change a show's messages and storylines? In the case of this particular show, how do you think it would be different if the narration focused more on the items being found and their historial significance, rather than what they're worth? Ultimately, does this show feel more like reality TV or an educational series? Why?

TV details

Cast:Rob Naughton
Network:Discovery Channel
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Treasure Quest was written by

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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; OK 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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Adult Written bypfavaro January 17, 2009

Biased review and horribly unfair.

I have followed the Odyssey Marine Exploration company for more than fifteen years. This review is complete nonsense. If the reviewer were to pay attention to the show, he or she would have learned that this company painstakingly preserves the sites they explore, has close relationships with the archeological community and is keenly interested in keeping a database of information a lot of which is shared with the scientific community at large. In trouble with the law? Check again and apologize before you get sued. Never in its history. Is the company interested in profit making. Yes. Is that a crime, because if so, let's take a look at the oil companies who are amongst the most profitable businesses on earth and who also make their living off the ocean floor.
Parent of a 18+ and 18+ year old Written bynjf11 January 14, 2009

Odyssey has not been in trouble with the law

I have followed the company for years. It is an extraordinary company that looks for gold while preserving artifacts and history that would otherwise lie at the bottom of the Ocean. Odyssey Marine Exploration Co. has not "been in trouble with the law over what they have found", and this false statement should be retracted.
Adult Written bytreasureguy January 14, 2009

Misleading review

The review that Common Sense has posted contains an unfounded smear against Odyssey Marine. Odyssey has NOT had "trouble with the law." There are other claimants to the very large treasure Odyssey found most recently, and the matter is being handled properly in the courts in a CIVIL case. Odyssey is doing things the right way. Spain illegally detained Odyssey's vessels and the vessels were released.


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