Drain The Oceans: Review

Skylar Long

The TV show by National Geographic, Drain the Oceans is a series of 45-minute episodes on various topics ranging from the incident that wiped out dinosaurs, to battleships from World Wars I and II to aircraft that crashed in the ocean. The TV show features sonar scanning of the seafloor and using the data to create 3D images and to look at shipwrecks under the waves in places where humans can’t dive safely. Or in some cases remove the layers of the earth to reveal the shipwrecks underneath. There are three seasons to the series. Each season is around ten episodes. The series can be found on the National Geographic Channel as well as on Disney+, Vudu, and Amazon Prime. Drain the Oceans tries to cover the historical background of the shipwreck, answer the question of how the wreck got there, and what happened to cause the ship or other vessels to sink. 

Also due to the fact that we didn’t witness the events to cause the shipwreck, we can only guess as to what actually happened. These guesses cause some inaccuracies in the historical background the show gives with each wreck. Others are caused by the fact that some of the information on these wrecks is either lost to time, using units that we don’t understand, or just not understandable in general. Even if we had first-hand accounts we don’t know everything that actually happened when the vessels sink because the witness may not know exactly what happened or what caused it.

Assessing how the individual wrecks sank and got to be where they are on the ocean floor is important, historically speaking, as it can point to different weapons being used at that time. It also answers the questions regarding how the wrecks sank, using what they found in sonar scans and images (if there are any). For example, some of the ships they covered from World War I were split in two. They showed scenes of the plans, or a CGI or computer-generated image plan demonstrating that there was possibly a  munitions store there; the opponent at the time may have managed to have a torpedo hit the munitions store causing the ship to explode. 

Continuing with Drain the Oceans figuring out what happened to caused the ship or other vessels to sink due to weaponry or other reasons. An example is after World War I ended the German warships were stationed in an allied secure port, yet the ships sank. The answer was that the German sailors that were on board scuttle their ships as one last rebellious act against the allies. This example and many others occurring within the show explain how the ships sank and in some cases how the sinking ship killed so many. 

However, there are occasional complaints from viewers regarding other parts of the TV show from historical accuracy as mentioned to the music in the background to how repetitive the show is. Due to the fact that some of the topics covered are still not completely documented, information is going to be slightly off and inaccurate. This inaccuracy could possibly cause problems and cause some to not continue watching the show. During the show, they do play background music which at times does get loud. Some people have complained that it was too loud and that it was hard to hear the narrator of the show. Others have complained that the show is repetitive; it is, but that is mainly because the show was originally made to be played on live television, which has commercial breaks. They wanted to make an easy place to have those commercials. 

All in all, the show Drain the Oceans, setting aside its repetitiveness and occasional historical inaccuracy is a good show for those interested in shipwrecks and the history that they are involved in. The show does cover interesting topics that are still relevant today and does make for an interesting watch for those who want to watch a documentary. However, for those who don’t want to commit to a TV series, National Geographic does have separate ones on the Titanic, Alcatraz, the Great Lakes, World War II, and a sunken Pirate City that are around the same length. 

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