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62 Reviews
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We are all Africans under the skin"
In this excellent BBC TV series Alice Roberts follows in the footsteps of our ancestors, who left Africa and ended up populating the whole world. The TV series is very enjoyable, and there is also an accompanying book which goes into much more detail on the scientific debates. I recommend both the DVD and the book. I first wrote this review in relation to book, but it...
Published on 3 May 2010 by P. Webster

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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, well done, but out of date on some parts
This is a well done production, but I was mindful that recent genetic findings contradict some parts. The Out of Africa view appears predominantly correct, but has been recently modified by evidence of interbreeding with archaic populations.

In May 2010 there was a paper showing that humans of European and Asian descent have between 1 and 4 per cent of our...
Published on 12 Jan 2011 by Viewer


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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 22 Aug 2010
By 
J. Rex - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Incredible Human Journey [DVD] (DVD)
Loved the prigrame when it was on tv, on dvd it was just as good!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Incredible Human Journey DVD, 15 April 2010
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Mrs. Valerie E. Adey "Val" (Nottinghamshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Incredible Human Journey [DVD] (DVD)
The Incredible Human Journey [DVD] [2009]

Brilliant DVD couldn't leave it alone from start to finish. So detailed and so easy to follow and understand.
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24 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overacted and lacking substance, 7 Nov 2009
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This review is from: The Incredible Human Journey [DVD] (DVD)
Save your money and buy a documentary that is actually worth spending five hours watching as you get about one hour's worth of interesting information you didn't already know and needed to know in this one.

Want the main points? That's easy: 1. Everyone in the world (including the Chinese who thought they didn't)but apart from some Africans for obvious reasons, descends from a group of around 200 who emerged from Africa by one possible route. 2. Reaching Australia was by sea and probably by accident even though sea levels were lower, attested in local folklore. 3. The first into America where along the west coast right down to the bottom of south America long before the corridor in the ice opened up. 4. Genetic info has been crucial to us gaining this knowledge.

In several episodes you go all round the houses with the mistakes only to arive once again at the genetic evidence that was of course known at the outset. I bought this for my partner and both she and I were very disappointed in it. You'll laugh yourself silly at the daft graphics, especially in the last episode with the mammoths leaping onto their backs like flipped coins! But worst of all is the presenter Dr Alice Roberts. How some reviewers can praise her is beyond me, although I don't necessarily think it is her fault that she is overacting so badly it is painful. Why didn't the director coach her? Better still why could they not have picked a less good-looking doctor with real personality who knows their stuff instead of this one who gives the impression of being a bimbo from a Nightsbridge coffee bar who is prone to doing an impression of a hyena on steroids whenever she is in front of the camera? Strangely enough, the voice overdubs are more subsdued ...

I was tempted to give an extra star for some nice camerawork but decided that in fact that was all the one star was for anyway. This documentary is about the worst we've ever seen. It is boring, unentertaining, the presenter is terrible and the information presented very sparse for the timescale involved. If you want a good documentary then go for Attenborough or Iain Stewart's 'Power of the Planet'.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More location than content, 11 Mar 2010
By 
A. Stone (Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Incredible Human Journey [DVD] (DVD)
The content could have been reduced to one programme and this series is more about the locations than giving information. Still, some of the locations are spectacular.
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12 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting series marred by presenter's giant EGO, 30 Aug 2009
This review is from: The Incredible Human Journey [DVD] (DVD)
Although the series content is both up to date and interesting, there is a lot of padding involving a me me me approach, which is both tiresome and a major waste of screen time that could be better spent giving more information or seeking the views of specialists. Dr Robert's practice of presenting sites and data without giving any credit to the men and women who have given their lives to the research of human origins is at best egotism , at worst plagierism.
This series is for those who know nothing about the subject. Professionals in the field, students or informed amateurs should steer well clear.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 16 May 2011
This review is from: The Incredible Human Journey [DVD] (DVD)
Really intresting , i watched on BBC and love to have my own copy of it and price is a very resonable
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14 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars useless, who is this for?, 26 Sep 2009
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This review is from: The Incredible Human Journey [DVD] (DVD)
10 minutes in and I'm wondering when the 1st piece of information is going to be presented... The same feeling lasted all the way through the programme and I sat there at the end feeling totally duped. What the hell was going on, just one pointless sequence after another where nothing new was said. Farcical.
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5 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Agog with indifference, 6 Dec 2009
This review is from: The Incredible Human Journey [DVD] (DVD)
This documentary manages 3 or 4 facts per episode, many of them unexplained (how do geneticists figure out that 10% of Europeans are descended from Europa) and is padded out with shots of Dr Alice on trains, planes and automobiles, usually with a mouth full of superlatives. The constant emoting quickly palls and quite why we have to travel to every site where ancestral human remains were found is never explained. The real scientific difficulty of assembling and dating the evidence is never addressed, presumably because Dr Alice imagines we will all be too thick to understand it. Shame, because the topic merits a thoughtful, In Out Time quality documentary, but this, folks, is not it.
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21 of 67 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but Dr Roberts begins to wear after a while, 5 July 2009
By 
D. F. Dodds "ddfo22" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Incredible Human Journey [DVD] (DVD)
I saw the series on BBC 2. I thought that it wasn't too bad; it was pretty informative and well photographed (though it resembled a travelogue on occasions).

Alice Roberts is an engaging presenter but I started to get a bit irritated by her none too subtle attempts to boost herself and to give the impression that she is a serious researcher in the field of human evolution and paleoanthropology.

She is billed in this series as a 'Medical Doctor and Anthropologist' while in previous outings on TV she has been billed as a 'Medical Doctor and Physiologist'- a bit of a difference!

On quite a few occasions in the series she claimed certain theories of human evolution and migration as her own(!)and on one occasion rather arrogantly dismissed the theories of a Chinese anthropologist (a real one) -saying something to the effect that SHE wasn't convinced.

Why the dishonesty? The story stands by itself without trying to imply that the presenter is a cross between Richard Leakey and Charles Darwin!

The stars of this show should be the men and women who have dedicated their careers to painstakingly piecing together the amazing facts of human evolution.

Don't insult the viewer's intelligence BBC!
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5 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Incredible Human Journey, 20 Mar 2011
By 
C. W. Bradbury (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Incredible Human Journey [DVD] (DVD)
We are all aware that as deep rooted and once widely accepted ideologies begin to crumble before the advance of science 'determined believers', often being those with a vested interest in the status quo; attempt to prop up those ideologies in various ways. This process can be seen throughout history, one example being the increasing oppression the Inquisition used to buttress the Catholic Church's failing grip on Medieval Europe; another is the social and propaganda pressures applied by the Soviet State on it's citizenry as the march of time demonstrated ever more clearly the failure of Marxist/Communist doctrine.

Since the defeat of Nazism in 1945, the 'liberal/socialist' ideal of racial equality has become the unchallengeable cornerstone of Western thought, underpinning most political programmes and innumerable individual careers. As the world changing revelations of Copernicus, Galileo and Charles Darwin in earlier times illustrate however; scientific discoveries have an annoying habit of discrediting the 'unchallengeable' beliefs/doctrines of previous generations, and the recent discoveries in human genetics made by Scott Williamson, Bruce Lahn, Eric Wang and Benjamin Voight are now doing to 'racial equality' doctrine what Darwin's Theory of Evolution did to Victorian Christianity.

To my mind, Dr Bruce Lahn's announcement on Friday 9'th September 2005 of the discovery of gene varient's ASPM & MCPH 1, which bless their bearers with 'bigger and smarter brains' is the most graphic example of this process. Far from aplauding this advance in scientific knowledge, a horrified media commentator said of this momentous discovery that it's:- "the moment the anti-racists and egalitarians have been dreading!" Why? Because the MCPH 1 gene indisputably originated amongst Europeans 'only' 225 generations (approx 6,000yrs) ago, and although now widespread amongst those of European descent, is still far rarer in non-Europeans and almost totally absent from the sub-Saharan African gene pool. Thus modern scientific research now incontrovertibly links intelligence levels to racial inheritance. You can verify the scientific detail on numerous websites such as Wikipedia, which contains a long and detailed article by Bruce Lahn himself.

The Western scientific/political 'elite' are now facing a crisis just as serious as failing orthodoxies in previous eras faced. Do they emulate the Spanish Inquisition, the Victorian Establishment, the Nazi Gestapo the Bolshevik KGB etc... and ignore/suppress such politically volatile knowledge in the interests of social stability, or do they admit the inaccuracy of their earlier doctrine but use the new knowledge for the benefit of humanity as a whole? One indication of our 'leaders' intentions on this matter seems to be the pressure recently brought to bear on James Watson, co-discoverer of the double helix structure of the DNA molecule in 1953, to 'retire' because he stated publicly that intelligence is genetically determined.

In my opinion, this production is largely a dumbed down politically/socially motivated attempt to prop up an increasingly outdated "We're all the same" ideology rather than admit/accept the existence of significant genetic differences between both individuals and races as revealed by the latest genetic research. Truth will out however, and the first mainstream programme on this still controversial subject in the British media I've seen so far is episode 2:Born Equal? of Andrew Marr's:- Darwin's Dangerous Idea [DVD]. Andrew Marr is a TV 'insider' whose egalitarian liberal/socialist credentials are impeccable; but in this episode he challenges modernday orthodoxy just as Charles Darwin himself did two centuries ago. Beginning with a 15/20min denounciation of Nazi eugenics; the programme introduces Bruce Lahn, explains his discoveries and then moves on to a Nazi concentration camp survivor Rabbi Joseph Eckstein who, having fled Europe for America following his liberation, later established Dor Yeshorim; a "charity dedicated to the erradication of genetic diseases within the Jewish community". In less than thirty years, this sensitively run but highly efficent organisation has all but erradicated Tay Sachs, a ghastly genetic disease which had previously been the curse of Brooklin's Jewish community for generations.

My personal opinion is that rather than launching forlorn attempts to discredit/disparage the scientific truth of genetic difference, we should emulate Rabbi Eckstein's far wiser policy. Accept the fact that there are differences; but use that knowledge to benefit those at present afflicted/disadvantaged by what are mere accidents of birth.
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The Incredible Human Journey [DVD]
The Incredible Human Journey [DVD] by Alice Roberts (DVD - 2009)
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