Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Looking Back At "Dark Skies"
Over at Mysterious Universe I take a look back at the 1990s UFO/conspiracy-themed show, Dark Skies. Here's how it starts:
It was 20 years ago that NBC unleashed a much talked about and still widely remembered UFO-themed show: Dark Skies. It was the brainchild of Brent V. Friedman and Bryce Zabel. The show was not destined to last, however. It ran for just 20 episodes, from September 1996 to May 1997. The show focused on the world of two people caught up in a Cold War-era conspiracy of extraterrestrial proportions: John Loengard and his girlfriend, Kim Sayers (played by Eric Close and Megan Ward). When I first heard news of the series, of the nature of the show, and of the man-woman team, I thought: “X-Files rip-off.” It turns out that it wasn’t. And I was pleasantly surprised, too.
In The X-Files the extraterrestrial angle was always shrouded in ambiguity: were we really being visited by aliens? Was the UFO phenomenon just a cover for highly-classified experiments of a genetic- and mind-control-nature undertaken by top secret, “black budget” programs? Or, was it a strange and secret mixture of both? While ambiguity in a show like The X-Files worked, for me the ambiguity went on way too long – which is why I stopped watching the show around 1998. It’s for the very same reason that I stopped watching Lost – I felt like the story was being written with no real idea of where it was heading. A runaway train with no driver in sight.