Is the criticism for Netflix’s Ancient Apocalypse fair?

By Louie Fecou
Published: November 15, 2022 (Last updated: March 9, 2023)
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Is the criticism for Netflix’s Ancient Apocalypse fair? We discuss the Netflix show, the alleged controversy, and Graham Hancock’s expertise. 

Netflix series Ancient Apocalypse follows author, presenter, and journalist Graham Hancock as he explores various different destinations across the world, looking for evidence that supports his theories on ancient civilizations existing long before the more established timeline of the Earth. The series has eight episodes and takes Graham everywhere from North America to an underground city in Turkey, but the show has garnered a fair share of criticism, with detractors finding many different ways to discredit the author, throwing shade at his theories. That leads us to ask the question, is the criticism for Ancient Apocalypse fair?

Why is there so much criticism for Ancient Apocalypse?

Graham Hancock has literally had decades of research and assumption behind his theories and has also managed to make it quite a lucrative business for himself too. With twelve books on the subject printed, and millions of copies sold worldwide, it is impossible to deny that people are genuinely interested in his investigations.

However, as with any subject that presents a diversion from the believed conventions of society, you are always going to get discourse. Hancock’s main assertion of civilizations that were more advanced than our own, existing at a time when that simply should not happen, goes against the recognized timeline of life on earth and the proof that science provides us seems irrefutable.

One of his main arguments recounts the capabilities of early man, and the sort of society they would be able to construct and maintain. Technically, the sort of locations that Hancock shows us, he uses as evidence to support his conjectures, but of course, there are other schools that will argue against his speculation.

READ: Will there be a season 2 of Ancient Apocalypse?

Let’s face it, Hancock’s notions go against the grain, and to accept them is an admission that the science we believe in is wrong. Nobody is going to discredit the science and learning accrued, based on the hypothesis of a writer, and the argument will never truly be won by either side. The subject is so divisive that criticism will always be leveled at this sort of discourse, in the same way we can’t argue about the supernatural, aliens, and Bigfoot.

Is Ancient Apocalypse based on facts?

Graham Hancock’s research has its conclusions based on facts, in the same way that Star Wars could be said to be based on facts too. We know space travel exists; we know there are planets out there, so based on that, we could surmise that somewhere out there, it’s good versus evil in a battle between Empires.

Hancock knows where to find ancient structures that seem to defy the timeline we recognize and manages to convince many people with his authoritative presentation too. In episode five of the series, he takes us to Göbekli Tepe, the oldest known megalith in the world, and poses the question, how could simple hunter-gatherers of the time build such a structure?

This is a theme that runs through a lot of his work, and it is hard to find an argument against this. However, this falls into a category of logic that is often leveled at such subjects. The burden of proof is put into the hands of the scientists that contest his views, they have to disprove his theories, and if they can’t, then he must be right. It is like skeptics who say ghosts don’t exist.

How do you disprove that to someone who believes they do and can show you a video of a glass falling from a kitchen counter to prove they do? This logic problem will always exist. If you believe his theories, then you will buy into the facts presented; if you do not buy what he is selling, you probably never will, and there are plenty of scientists out there who will have your back.

Why is Ancient Apocalypse so popular?

This series works first of all due to the pre-sold fanbase that Graham Hancock has, and the general curiosity of everyone else.

Let’s face it, the guy has sold millions of books on the subject, so of course, there is an audience for his views. For over 30 years now, Hancock has been peddling his wares everywhere, from books to radio shows, to the Joe Rogan podcast, so he has a massive presence and following even before the show has made it to Netflix.

On top of that, there will also be a demographic that may read the synopsis and be genuinely interested in what he has to say, and of course, there will be his detractors that will also be watching to see what they can pick apart. On top of that, casual viewers who enjoy documentaries will also tune in, so that’s a lot of groups checking in. As well as this, you cannot deny that the show itself has a nice budget and is presented with all the slickness of any other high-quality travel show you can mention.

The music is great, the cinematography impresses, and Hancock himself is convincing and honestly seems to have no doubt about the genuine authenticity of his own work. This show looks good and is engaging, so even if you are on the fence about the subject matter, it does look good, and it explores some unknown areas of the world often overlooked in other travel-based shows.

Is the criticism for Netflix’s Ancient Apocalypse fair?

Of course, the criticism of Netflix’s Ancient Apocalypse is fair. It would be impossible to say otherwise, as there are so many ways to find holes in the logic presented, and science and facts will always triumph.

However, perhaps if you are looking for science and history, then this show may not be for you. It would be like watching 28 Days Haunted and expecting a true crime drama. Ancient Apocalypse could be more science fiction than science fact, but at the end of the day, it is up to the viewer to make the choice for themselves. Nobody is forcing you to watch this, so criticize away if you like, but remember that is a two-way street, and remember what Winston Churchill said: “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

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