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Series / Boundless (2022)

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Boundless (Spanish: Sin Límites) is a Spanish Historical Fiction series directed by Simon West and co-produced by RTVE and Amazon. It covers the events of the Magellan-Elcano expedition, which made the very first ever circumnavigation of the world in the 16th century.

In August 1519, 239 men in five ships depart from the Castilian port of Seville under the command of Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, heading to the other side of the world. Among them there is a roguish sailor named Juan Sebastián Elcano, who will soon leave note of his bravery in the history books.

It stars Rodrigo Santoro as Magellan, Álvaro Morte as Elcano and Sergio Peris-Mencheta as Juan de Cartagena.

The series, composed of six episodes, was released on June 17, 2022, as part of the 500th anniversary of the feat.

The series contains examples of:

  • Anachronism Stew: Magellan uses a spyglass, something that would not invented until a century later.
  • Artistic License – History: Enough for its own article.
  • Bold Explorer: Many characters qualify, some more than others, but especially Magellan.
  • Boxed Crook: Elcano, who is recruited from prison by Magellan only because the latter heard he is an excellent pilot.
  • Evil Colonialist: The Portuguese Empire doesn't come across as sympathetic in this work.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: In this series, Lapulapu and his people manage to sneak into Cebu and actually hold Magellan and company on weapon-point, retreating with a threat even although they were perfectly in position to butcher everybody.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: This version of Magellan is substantially nicer than he was in real life. More notably, the Battle of Mactan is portrayed as a conflict in which the Lapulapu and his people attacked first, making it look like an attempt to fight local bullies rather than a mere show of power.
  • Shout-Out: The series includes all the original plot points and signature scenes of the CGI movie Elcano & Magellan: The First Voyage Around the World, to an extent that goes obviously beyond the coincidential. This includes Elcano being a talented pilot rather than a bosun, him being pursued by debtors at the beginning of the film and having a Big Guy best friend, Magellan saving him from justice by recruiting him as a pilot yet humorously refusing to make him a captain, a Portuguese spy working for a stand-in of Alvaro da Costa being on board, people from the Philippines being portrayed as Maori rather than, well, Filipinos, Humabon being a funny fat guy, Magellan's death being represented with the exact same shot, Elcano getting chummy with a beautiful Filipina, Elcano and company stopping by a Portuguese city to steal food, and the Victoria facing a Portuguese ship before reaching Sanlúcar.
  • Token Minority: There is a free black crewman in the fleet. No chronicle records that any of Elcano's final crewmemembers was black, although presence of free blacks in expeditions was actually usual in the Spain of the period and it doesn't stand out of the realm of possibility in this case.
  • Wooden Ships and Iron Men: The series is set in the 16th century, in midst of the Iberian exploration of the world.