Synopsis: Dr. J. Allen Hynek is recruited by a secret UFO investigation involving the US Airforce.
Review: Project Blue Book is a science fiction drama series based on true events and aired on The History Channel in the USA earlier in the year. Here in the UK. The series is due to premiere later tonight but is available to download now on Sky Q.
Set in the 1950s the series takes documented UFO sightings and tells the story of how they were investigated back in the day by a Government that wanted to cover things up in order to prevent a national panic. To this end, Airforce General Valentine leans on Captain Michael Quinn and scientist Dr. Hynek to investigate and come up with a logical explanation for UFO sightings. But there seems to be a bigger conspiracy at work.
This first episode introduces us to the key players and retells the story of an Airforce pilot claiming to have engaged a UFO in a dogfight and barely escaped with his sanity. In order to investigate General Valentine orders, Captain Quinn, to persuade scientist, Dr. Hynek, to consult on the investigation in order to produce a logical explanation for public consumption.
As the episode develops Dr. Hynek runs the numbers based on the pilots damaged plane, the pilot’s report of events and the song ‘How High The Moon’, which was playing on the local radio at the time of the engagement. Captain Quinn wants to follow orders and close the case as soon as possible, but Hynek is pushing to try and really prove or disprove the events happened so that the explanation they give is not too easy to pick holes in. To that end, he asks Quinn to take him up in a plane and emulate the pilot’s flight maneuvers.
Elsewhere, Hynek’s wife meets a woman called Susie Miller in a department store and befriends her, but Susie is also watching Hynek’s family and the Doctor’s movements very closely.
Aidan Gillen is perfect casting as the logical Dr. Hynek and completely immerses himself into the part, which makes him a very believable scientist to us viewers. The chemistry between Gillen and Michael Malarkey’s Captain Michael Quinn is almost immediate.
This is most likely to be compulsive viewing for me on Wednesday evenings as the weeks roll by.
I loved the attention to detail with regards to all the period 1950s fashions and the cars and technologies that were available back in the day. I also loved how Dr. Hynek’s son was reading Flash Gordon comics and how a copy of the comic turned up in the scene that introduces Hynek to the viewers.
The storytelling is really well executed in this episode and it goes without saying that the pilot claiming to have engaged aliens was not likely to survive the episode given how determined the Government was to keep actual UFO sightings under wraps and pass them off as weather balloons.
I loved the early indications of a conspiracy and look forward to seeing how it all develops as the series moves forward. Especially given that it has already been picked up for a second season.
- Incidental Music9.4