Undercover History

Common Sense Media says

Experts weigh in on long-unsolved mysteries.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show offers an educational look at the scientific process of solving mysteries.

Violence

Some re-enactments of historical mysteries may include battles (with men carrying guns) or crashes, but injuries are usually implied rather than shown.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this documentary series presents evidence and supposition from all sides of some of history's most intriguing mysteries. Expert testimony combines with eyewitness accounts, video footage, and dramatic re-enactments to present various plausible answers to age-old queries. There's very little content that will raise eyebrows here other than a little violence (mostly implied) in war scenes, but the mysterious subject matter and dramatized scenes (though vague) may upset some kids.

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What's the story?

UNDERCOVER HISTORY presents an overview of the theories and supporting evidence that surround some of the most famous unsolved mysteries in history, from the death of Julius Caesar to the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. Each episode meshes expert and eyewitness opinions, dramatic re-enactments, and archival photos and video clips to build compelling cases from all sides of the mystery in question, encouraging viewers to weigh all the facts and decide for themselves which ones are the most believable. In the Amelia Earhart episode, for example, longtime researchers lay out the cases for their varied theories, which range from her running out of fuel and crashing into the ocean to a secretive plot by the U.S. government to use her landing on a Japanese-controlled island to monitor the happenings there during pre-WWII years. Experts discuss the physical and testimonial evidence that lead them to their separate theories, including eyewitness accounts of Earhart's arrival on an island in the Pacific Ocean to the recovery of metal some believe is wreckage from her plane.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

In general, impartial experts are brought in to support or refute selected clues to the given mystery; for the most part, there are no hard-and-fast answers to be found here. But compelling storytelling and fascinating puzzle work make Undercover History an intriguing choice for families with older tweens and teens.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how investigators gather and analyze evidence years after an event. What clues do they follow to uncover information? What kind of evidence do they find? How have recent technological advances helped these investigative efforts? What evidence would it take to put the mysteries to rest once and for all? Which historical mysteries would you like to know more about?

TV details

Network:National Geographic Channel
Genre:Educational
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Undercover History was written by

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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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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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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