The History Channel’s new Original Series dives into the mythological construct behind the UFO community’s most sacred Holy Grail and the man behind Project Blue Book.
Mythology is a device that has become all too familiar in today’s most popular and serialized genre-themed original programming. A fan favorite Chris Carter’s X-Files is often credited with charting the means by which dramas could prove more compelling by injecting a story arc that seemingly worked to corroborate or connect the individual themes of the general format often leading to a bigger, end-of-season, payoff. The tradition was pushed to the limits on Lost and has since been a viable component in contemporary storytelling.
Today “real life” mythologies and conspiracy theories have woven their way into some of the popular arcs, as audiences become more fascinated with true-crime stories and the veil is being drawn back on history’s most fanciful stories. The History Channel’s Original Series Project Blue Book dives into the shrouded background of the Air Force’s most clandestine agency devoted to the 1940s growing paranoia as the public looked to the stars and started wonder if the threat was going to come from a communist threat or an alien invasion!
Just the Facts
Starring Aiden Gillen (Game of Thrones) as astrophysicists Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Project Blue Book sets up the backstory for the origins of Hynek’s contribution to the Air Force report that tracked many of the hundreds, in not thousands, of unexplained UFO sightings that were prevalent during the 1940s. Much of the hysteria that was permeating the culture during the era was often blamed on the idea of the growing communist threat, add on top of that Hollywood’s growing fascination with flying saucers, alien invasions and the B-movie monster of the week.
Insisting on dampening the public’s paranoia, General James Harding (played by Neal McDonough of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Paramount Network’s Yellowstone) enlists Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey) to come up with debunking or establish “alternate facts” to this flying saucer craze. Quinn is tasked with recruiting Hynek to the cause and use the professor’s expertise to understand a recent incident involving a pilot’s interaction with an Unidentified Flying Object. Unknown to the two men there are shadow agents following their every step.
A period piece, Project Blue Book looks stylish and is benefits from expressing its narrative from a historical perspective, interjecting true-life cases into its story development. The project itself has been often shrouded in mystery and the fact that when the real Hynek was brought in he was himself a skeptic, but by the time her turned in his final report had changed his mind, the series feels like a predecessor to the afore mentioned X-Files though it still has a long way to go. That series benefitted from the chemistry of its two leads, that is still something that is developing.
Project Blue Book airs on the History Channel. Check your local listings.