Synopsis: During World War II, Russia’s priceless Amber Chamber was taken apart and stolen by Nazis occupying St. Petersburg and, while it is believed the pieces are still hidden somewhere, nobody has found them. Host Josh Gates decides to take up the investigation, starting in Russia and following the train tracks that lead out of St. Petersburg toward Germany.
Expedition Unknown Episode Review: “The 8th Wonder of the World”
A review of the season 1 television episode that first aired January 22, 2015.
Russia and Germany are among the countries visited in this episode.
Good But Also a Little Bland
I have to confess, up until watching this episode last night, I had never even heard of the Amber Room. But, since I’m a big Indiana Jones and Hogan’s Heroes fan, the idea of Gates tracking down a priceless treasure stolen by the Nazis did intrigue me. And, for the most part, this episode didn’t disappoint.
I think the thing that really surprised me about this episode was the revelation that, nearly 7 decades after the war ended, there are still plenty of unexplored bunkers and caves throughout Europe where something like the Amber Chamber (and perhaps plenty of other missing treasures) could be hidden. And, in the case of this episode, the places he ended up sticking his nose into included a flooded out forest bunker and a recently-discovered silver mine.
The mine, in my opinion, had to be the most memorable part of this. The way it was crafted, using only the tools that would have been available in the 17th century when it was first dug, was fantastic. It was pleasing to look at but, at the same time, there was also a real element of danger considering it was as old as it was and, as Gates himself pointed out, not exactly up to code.
The one thing I was somewhat disappointed about when it came to this episode was his overall journey between locations was somewhat uneventful when compared to the first two episodes of this series. The highlight was him train across part of Europe. That just isn’t as thrilling as riding a motorcycle through a landmine-infested jungle or having spear-carrying natives greeting him as he is dropped off by a helicopter.
The train, admittedly, made some sense because he was trying to retrace the route the Nazis would have used. It just was kind of bland in comparison.
Overall, I did like this episode. But, mostly because traveling by train was somewhat dull compared to his normal modes of transportation, I don’t think it was as good as the first two that preceded it.
My Grade: B