Lots of parallels between History’s new 1950s-set UFO drama series Project Blue Book and today. Both then, and now, there is a high level of mistrust in the government and in science, cast and creators agreed Thursday at TCA.
Presumably that’s some comfort to people living in Donald Trump’s America, who might otherwise think we are living in the worst of times, a TV critic suggested.
Created and written by David O’Leary, Project Blue Book chronicles the top-secret true U.S. Air Force-sponsored investigations into UFO-related phenomena, known as Project Blue Book. Aidan Gillen stars as Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a college professor recruited to spearhead a clandestine operation researching thousands of cases, many of which never were solved. Each episode draws from the actual files, blending UFO theories with authentic historical events from one of the most mysterious eras in U.S. history.
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“Blue Book was one of the original Fake News,” agreed EP/writer Sean Jablonski. People today like to think of the ’50s as “the good old days,” but the era brought us McCarthyism and a cold war with Russia.
One of the most dramatic lines from the trailer is one in which a general shouts, “The Russian have nothing to do with this!” actor Neal McDonough, who plays Gen. James Harding, pointed out. Which also struck TV critics the week after the disastrous Helsinki summit between President Trump and Vladimir Putin.
The government back then was working hard to make sure people did not find out about the investigation, lest it cause “massive problems in America and other countries,” added McDonough.
One prevailing theory at that time was that aliens were coming to visit our nuclear test sites because they were worried what we were up to, cast member Michael Malarkey said. Nuclear test sites are a hot button issue today too.
McDonough praised the show as one of few on the small screen that familiies can sit around and watch and then discuss.
“I have been in plenty of shows my kids aren’t going to be able to watch,” he said joking about “that great family show Justified?!”
Describing himself as a “devout Christian,” McDonough said the show “made me really think what if there was another plan.
“I look at the sky now and think differently after doing a show like this.”
One TV critic wondered how much of the series is based on the file and to what degree “you X-File-d it.”
Jablonski split the baby, saying so much of the real reports were “fascinating already,” but they also wanted to “make sure it’s wonderful drama.”
Creator David O’Leary suggested the universe is likely “teaming with life.”
Project Blue Book hails from A+E Studios and Compari Entertainment, a division of Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers.
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