1/12/2010. Contributed by Rod MacDonald
Dark Skies: The Complete Series DVD boxset. pub: MediumRare Entertainment B003WL825O. 6 DVDs 892 minutes 18 episodes. Price: GBP39.99 (UK).
Some of you might remember ‘Dark Skies’. This TV series which first appeared on our screens in 1996 and you will be wondering why it has been re-released on DVD. It was reasonable enough TV drama to begin with but it rather lost its way and the proposed five seasons simply vanished into thin air. Probably bad script writing and an idea that just didn't take off cost the show its life but there were 19 episodes made so if you want to have another look then the DVD might just be for you.
There are two aspects to this drama. First of all you are taken through history from the 1940s through to the 60s but with a different slant. You see, this isn't the history you thought it was! It's the real history behind all the UFO cover-ups and political corruption of the time. Lots of famous characters from history appear in the series, including JFK, Edgar Hoover, President Johnson and all the rest.
Secondly, this is an alien infiltration story. The aliens have landed but even these aliens are not the real thing. The Greys are themselves infested with parasites, Ganglions to be precise, which control their every movement. Rather resembling squashed up undercooked hamburgers with tiny legs, these parasites get into body orifices and then to the brain. Not a pleasant experience.
Something similar was observed in the Canadian movie ‘Slithers’ and the concept is far from original. The ‘Puppet Masters’ comes to mind along with ‘The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers’. We've also heard about similar creatures in ‘Stargate’ and even episodes of ‘Star Trek’. The idea of being possessed is one which strikes fear into the hearts of many people but it can also be translated into the fear of mind altering politics were Communism, for example, transforms the minds of normal people to make them state-controlled zombie puppets.
This series tried to cash in on the success of ‘The X-Files’ but there was only room enough in town for one of them. ‘Dark Skies’ lost. Despite saying this, the series had many great moments and as far as TV Science Fiction is concerned it is way out in front of many.
The story begins in 1947, the magic date for all flying saucer lovers. None other than President Harry Truman, the guy who authorised the use of nuclear weapons for the first and only time in history, met aliens face on only to give them a good hiding once it was realised they did not have friendly intentions. From this date, the secret organisation called Majestic was formed to counteract the aliens and all their dirty deeds of infiltration.
Into this scenario introduce young couple John and Kim who have become aware of the aliens, a collective group named The Hive. The latter consists of humans with Ganglions inside them with an agenda to change human history to their own advantage. The couple try to thwart their movements and this takes them through all the notable incidents of the 60s we recognise from history. Planned seasons of the series intended to go through the 70s, 80s and so on but, of course, these were never made.
I was watching the five disc review copy but the real thing, much better packaged, which retails for about GBP40 has six discs containing all eighteen episodes plus the pilot. In all you get about 900 minutes of entertainment so in that respect it's not bad value for money and it's probably aimed at the Christmas market.
Watching the series again, I felt that the plots were overly contrived in order to fit into historical moments of the decade. It was also confusing because it became difficult to know who was who, whether or not Hive, Majestic or both. Nevertheless, the series was definitely entertaining and it probably deserves to be released again on DVD. Something to watch on dreary winter evenings or not.
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