Project Blue Book (TV series)

Project Blue Book is an American historical drama television series that premiered on History on January 8, 2019.[1] The main role of Dr. J. Allen Hynek is played by Aidan Gillen, and the first season consisted of ten episodes.[2][3] The series is based on the real-life Project Blue Book, a series of studies on unidentified flying objects conducted by the United States Air Force. On February 10, 2019, History renewed the series for a 10-episode second season which premiered on January 21, 2020.[4][5]

Project Blue Book
Genre
Created byDavid O'Leary
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Production location(s)Vancouver, British Columbia
Running time42–44 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original networkHistory
Original releaseJanuary 8, 2019 –
present
External links
Official website

PremiseEdit

The series revolves around the real-life Project Blue Book, a secret series of investigations into supposed UFO encounters and unexplained phenomena undertaken by the United States Air Force with skeptical astrophysics professor—and eventual ufologist—Dr. J. Allen Hynek in the 1950’s and 1960’s.[2][3] With his partner, Air Force veteran Captain Michael Quinn, they investigate sightings across the U.S., and Dr. Hynek discovers that not everything can be explained by science.

Cast and charactersEdit

MainEdit

  • Aidan Gillen as Dr. J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer, astrophysicist, professor and UFOlogist working on Project Blue Book.[2] Skeptical about the existence of alien life and UFO’s in the beginning, Hynek attempts to explain the cases using his analytical and scientific mind.
  • Michael Malarkey as Captain Michael Quinn, a decorated veteran who served with the United States Air Force as a pilot during World War II, and working with Dr. Hynek on Project Blue Book.[6] The character is inspired by USAF Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, the first director of the real-life Project Blue Book.
  • Laura Mennell as Mimi Hynek, Allen Hynek's wife.[7]
  • Ksenia Solo as Susie Miller, a friend and neighbour of Mimi Hynek, also a KGB agent.[8]
  • Michael Harney as General Hugh Valentine, a high-ranking military official, and founder of Project Blue Book.[8] The character is inspired by USAF Major General Charles P. Cabell, the founder of the real-life Project Blue Book.
  • Neal McDonough as General James Harding, a high-ranking military official and a co-founder of Project Blue Book.[9] The character is inspired by USAF Brigadier General William Garland, a member of General Charles P. Cabell staff during the time period of the real-life Project Blue Book.

Recurring/GuestEdit

  • Robert John Burke as William Fairchild, United States Secretary of Defense.[10]
  • Ian Tracey as "The Fixer" a.k.a. "The Man in the Hat" (later revealed to be one of the Men In Black), a mysterious man who follows Dr. Hynek.
  • Matt O'Leary as Lieutenant Henry Fuller, a USAF pilot whom Hynek and Quinn meet on their first case. (Episodes 1-5)
  • Nicholas Holmes as Joel Hynek, Mimi and Allen's son.
  • Currie Graham as Susie’s Associate, also a KGB agent. (Episodes 1-9)
  • Jill Morrison as Faye, a member of the Air Force and Captain Quinn's secretary at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
  • Michael Imperioli as Edward Rizzuto, an American/Russian double agent.

Historical FiguresEdit

  • Adam Greydon Reid as Donald Keyhoe, an American writer and UFO researcher. Keyhoe was widely regarded as the leader in the field of UFOlogy in the 1950’s and early to mid-1960’s, appearing in the episode entitled "Operation Paperclip".
  • Thomas Kretschmann as Wernher Von Braun, a German-American aerospace engineer. Von Braun was the leading figure in the development of rocket technology in Nazi Germany, before coming to the U.S. to manage the American manned space program, appearing in "Operation Paperclip".
  • Bob Gunton as President Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States, appearing in "The Washington Merry-Go Round".[11]
  • Caspar Phillipson as Senator John F. Kennedy, appearing in Season 2.[12]

EpisodesEdit

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
110January 8, 2019 (2019-01-08)March 12, 2019 (2019-03-12)
210January 21, 2020 (2020-01-21)March 24, 2020 (2020-03-24)

Season 1 (2019)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
11"The Fuller Dogfight"Robert StrombergDavid O'LearyJanuary 8, 2019 (2019-01-08)2.27[13]
In 1952, Dr J. Allen Hynek joins Project Blue Book, an investigation into UFOs conducted by the US Air Force, working with Captain Michael Quinn to investigate what happened after a pilot, Henry Fuller, claims to have gotten into a dogfight with an alien craft in Fargo. The two travel to Fargo to talk to Fuller and to look at Fuller's plane. Meanwhile, Allen's wife, Mimi, makes a new friend while out shopping, Susie Miller. The two initially conclude that Fuller saw a weather balloon, though Hynek begins to doubt the veracity of this solution. Quinn takes Hynek up to prove him wrong and to recreate Fuller's flight, which ends in the two of them crashing in a field, where Hynek sees a mysterious figure who disappears. Hynek has a troubling conversation with Fuller in the hospital. Later, while heading home, he's followed by a mysterious black car, which he then follows to an abandoned fairground, which appears to be hiding some sort of secret facility. Susie appears to be following the Hyneks, while Fuller is forcibly taken from the hospital.
22"The Flatwoods Monster"Robert StrombergSean JablonskiJanuary 15, 2019 (2019-01-15)1.88[14]
33"The Lubbock Lights"Pete TravisHarley PeytonJanuary 22, 2019 (2019-01-22)1.95[15]
44"Operation Paperclip"Pete TravisDavid O'Leary & Thania St. JohnJanuary 29, 2019 (2019-01-29)1.71[16]
55"Foo Fighters"Norma BaileyDavid O'Leary & Emily BrochinFebruary 5, 2019 (2019-02-05)1.39[17]
66"The Green Fireballs"Norma BaileyHarley PeytonFebruary 12, 2019 (2019-02-12)1.66[18]
77"The Scoutmaster"Thomas CarterAaron Rapke & Stewart KayeFebruary 19, 2019 (2019-02-19)1.31[19]
88"War Games"Thomas CarterThania St. JohnFebruary 26, 2019 (2019-02-26)1.45[20]
99"Abduction"Alex GravesSean JablonskiMarch 5, 2019 (2019-03-05)1.51[21]
1010"The Washington Merry-Go Round"Alex GravesDavid O'LearyMarch 12, 2019 (2019-03-12)1.55[22]

Season 2 (2020)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
111"The Roswell Incident - Part I"Deran SarafianDavid O'LearyJanuary 21, 2020 (2020-01-21)1.43[23]
122"The Roswell Incident - Part II"Deran SarafianSean JablonskiJanuary 28, 2020 (2020-01-28)1.34[24]
133"Area 51"Pete TravisAlec WellsFebruary 4, 2020 (2020-02-04)1.13[25]
144"Hopkinsville"Pete TravisHarley PeytonFebruary 11, 2020 (2020-02-11)1.40[26]
155"The Men in Black"Wendey StanzlerEmily BrochinFebruary 18, 2020 (2020-02-18)1.09[27]
166"Close Encounters"Wendey StanzlerLinda BurstynFebruary 25, 2020 (2020-02-25)1.19[28]
177"Curse of the Skinwalker"Norma BaileyHarley PeytonMarch 3, 2020 (2020-03-03)1.36[29]
188"What Lies Beneath"John ScottAlec WellsMarch 10, 2020 (2020-03-10)1.32[30]
199"Broken Arrow"Norma BaileyLinda BurstynMarch 17, 2020 (2020-03-17)1.34[31]
2010"Operation Mainbrace"Loni PeristereDavid O'LearyMarch 24, 2020 (2020-03-24)1.42[32]

ProductionEdit

The series was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It was co-produced by the History Channel and A&E Studios.[33] Filming on the second season began on July 15, 2019, and is expected to conclude on November 13, 2019.[34]

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an approval rating of 65% based on 17 reviews, with an average rating of 6.65/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Project Blue Book will likely intrigue fans of the paranormal with its loose adaptation of historically unexplained phenomena, but this buttoned-down series lacks the narrative verve to appeal beyond the true believers."[35] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 56 out of 100 based on 10 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[36]

Paranormal investigator and skeptic Robert Sheaffer, reviewing the first four episodes, points out numerous historical inaccuracies and "falsehoods," some of which he characterizes as "absurd." Concerned over misguiding viewers, he concludes that "...this program references real people by their real names, a real government program, and real incidents. It then mixes in absurd and invented details, while claiming that the show is based on real events."[37]

RatingsEdit

Season 1Edit

No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "The Fuller Dogfight" January 8, 2019 0.4 2.27[13] 0.4 1.61 0.8 3.88[38]
2 "The Flatwoods Monster" January 15, 2019 0.3 1.88[14] 0.4 1.82 0.7 3.70[39]
3 "The Lubbock Lights" January 22, 2019 0.4 1.95[15] 0.4 1.85 0.8 3.79[40]
4 "Operation Paperclip" January 29, 2019 0.3 1.71[16] 0.4 1.77 0.7 3.48[41]
5 "Foo Fighters" February 5, 2019 0.3 1.39[17] N/A N/A N/A N/A
6 "The Green Fireballs" February 12, 2019 0.3 1.66[18] 0.4 1.55 0.7 3.21[42]
7 "The Scoutmaster" February 19, 2019 0.3 1.31[19] 0.3 1.54 0.6 2.84[43]
8 "War Games" February 26, 2019 0.3 1.45[20] 0.3 1.39 0.6 2.84[44]
9 "Abduction" March 5, 2019 0.3 1.51[21] 0.3 1.27 0.6 2.78[45]
10 "The Washington Merry-Go Round" March 12, 2019 0.3 1.55[22] 0.3 1.32 0.6 2.87[46]

Season 2Edit

No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "The Roswell Incident - Part I" January 21, 2020 0.3 1.43[23] N/A 1.31 N/A 2.74[47]
2 "The Roswell Incident - Part II" January 28, 2020 0.2 1.34[24] N/A 1.18 N/A 2.53[48]
3 "Area 51" February 4, 2020 0.2 1.13[25] N/A 1.20 N/A 2.33[49]
4 "Hopkinsville" February 11, 2020 0.3 1.40[26] N/A N/A N/A N/A
5 "The Men in Black" February 18, 2020 0.2 1.09[27] N/A N/A N/A N/A
6 "Close Encounters" February 25, 2020 0.2 1.19[28] N/A 1.19 N/A 2.38[50]
7 "Curse of the Skinwalker" March 3, 2020 0.2 1.36[29] N/A 1.11 N/A 2.47[51]
8 "What Lies Beneath" March 10, 2020 0.2 1.32[30] N/A N/A N/A N/A
9 "Broken Arrow" March 17, 2020 0.2 1.34[31] N/A 1.08 N/A 2.42[52]
10 "Operation Mainbrace" March 24, 2020 0.2 1.42[32] TBD TBD TBD TBD

ReferencesEdit

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  4. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (February 10, 2019). "History Renews Project Blue Book, Sets Knightfall Season 2 Premiere Date". TVLine. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
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External linksEdit