Review: Mission Selfie | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Review: Mission Selfie

TV critic Sam Reid reviews BBC 3's mini-series Mission Selfie, which follows YouTuber's Ben Brown and Steve Booker as they embark on photography challenges across the globe

When the BBC announced in November 2015 that BBC Three would be moving exclusively to the iPlayer in a bid to save the corporation £30 million, many wondered what direction the channel would take. In a world where anybody can upload to YouTube or stream live on Facebook, was another place for online content really needed? Over the past few years YouTube has expanded and what was once a place for people to upload videos they’d filmed on a webcam in their room is now full of online ‘influencers’ making, and even more importantly, being paid to produce content with ever-increasing budgets. With this in mind it’s not surprising that BBC Worldwide looked to YouTube when assembling a team for travel photography series Mission Selfie.

What was once a place for people to upload videos they’d filmed on a webcam in their room is now full of online ‘influencers’

Presented by travel vloggers Ben Brown and Steve Booker, the five-part mini series see the pair travel to El Hierro, Dubai, Berlin, Iceland and the Isle of Mull. Each episode ranges from thirteen to seventeen minutes, so they’re the perfect length for a cheeky revision break (if you have the willpower to only watch one episode at a time!). The series follows Ben and Steve as they embark on a set of photography challenges around the world. To add an extra layer to the challenges, they only have 48 hours in each place. I found that this was a nice touch as it meant that the images they managed to capture felt a bit more authentic than what we’re used to in normal photography documentaries, especially in the episodes that feature wildlife photography.

The series appeals to both photography and travel fans in equal parts. The amazing cinematography and the variety of places visited are enough to expand your wanderlust, while the technical side of the photography will inspire even the most seasoned instagrammer. My only minor issue with the series is the excessive use of ‘bro’ and ‘dude’ in the vocabulary of the presenters. I suppose this is a just a part of their personalities, which I otherwise found to be a highlight of the series, so I’m willing to look past it. In Mission Selfie, BBC Three offers content that is truly innovative and perfectly blends the world of short form online content with the budget and resources of mainstream TV, in a way that’s not been done before. Let’s hope that BBC Three continues to thrive as an online hub for quality, original content; and that other traditional media outlets take note.

 Watch Mission Selfie on BBC3 online now.


31st October 2016 at 1:30 pm

Images from

Official BBC website