You know that an old cliche that truth is stranger than fiction? The History Channel will attempt to test that theory with its latest series, Project Blue Book. Based on the 1952-1969 investigations into UFOs and unexplained phenomena, the new drama series takes a look at what kind of person is needed to find the truth, and the consequences it has on their lives.
The cast and crew came to New York Comic Con Saturday to talk UFOs, the government, and whether they are now believers. "I think it's highly unlikely that we're alone in the universe," said Aidan Gillen, who plays real-life figure Josef Allen Hynek, an astrophysicist asked to join the program, "The question is whether or not we'll ever communicate with something else."
Hynek partners with Captain Michael Quinn, played by Michael Malarky. Quinn is in charge of the program and is told by his superior (Neal McDonough) that he needs to do what it takes to make Hynek finds the answers they're looking for.
While the show will delve into the search for UFOs, it is also about how this project affects the lives of those involved. Producer David O'Leary wanted to tell the story of how "a clandestine organization can affect home life." Laura Mennell, who plays Hynek's wife Mimi, begins the show as a bit of an introvert, but according to Mennell, "Mimi will go into a journey of self-discovery as Project Blue Book makes its way into their family."
Speaking of family, that was an essential element to the cast as they prepared for the series. Hynek's sons, Joel and Paul, gave a lot of insight to Gillen and Mennell as to what their parents were like during that time. They also provided Gillen with something that covered the majority of his research. "The family photographs helped me do 50% of the work in getting into the character," he said.
At first, Hynek and Quinn do not get along. "They come from different disciplines, different worlds," he added. "Over time, when it's apparent they are looking for the same things, they develop respect for each other."
As for those UFOs and other unexplained phenomena? "That's where we go into the cover-ups — Roswell, things like that," said producer Steve Jablonsky. "There's a lot of things happening up in the sky, but there were mysteries down on the ground as well."
Even though this is a drama series, historical events are its foundation. Which makes us wonder what paranormal secrets from 2018 they'll document 50 years from now.
Project Blue Book premieres on the History Channel on Jan. 8, 2019.
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