This ran back in 1974-75, starring Darren MacGavin as lone wolf reporter Carl Kolchak on the trail of assorted science
fiction and supernatural style intruders who were on the loose in Chicago's mean streets, ritzy penthouses and sepulchral
towers. Kolchak carries on in the tradition of both the investigative reporter and the hardbitten private eye of film noir,
whose quest for the truth leads him to much bigger and often badder things. Still, he has time to wisecrack and catch the
tail end of a ball game, occasionally grabbing a headline or time with the boys in the precinct backroom. Also, there were
some great character actors on the roles (Simon Oakland, Keenan Wynn). As is standard with this sort of genre, no one seems
to ask why so much bizarreness seems to be happening in the vicinity of one character, but then again, those who
open their eyes are the ones who most often see the truth.
"History is a lie."
That tag line starts each episode of this 1996-97 television
series. The premise of Dark Skies is that aliens are attempting to take over the Earth and that the history of the
world since the late 1940s is really a facade. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, the Northeast Blackout of 1965, the assassinations
of various public figures, you name it, they're all part of the coverup. The series follows John Loengard (Eric Close)
on the trail of the truth, sometimes opposed by super-secret government organization Majestic 12, sometimes working with them
to fight the invaders. Along the way, we encounter personages such as Robert Kennedy, Howard Hughes, Carl Sagan, the
Beatles, and that perennial of conspiracy theory, the Warren Commission.
I'm going out
on a bit of limb by adding Dark Skies to Movies for MRAs. For one thing, the scripts are sometimes weak; despite
Majestic's uber security regime, their base is easily infiltrated by the usual filmic clichés. And the historical personages
sometimes do not pay off. 1960s icons such as Jim Morrison and Dr. Tim Leary are written as walking clichés. And yet...
...Dark Skies does tell us that "history is a lie." Well, recent history at least. The
fraud that we've seen subvert men in the era paralleling the series' era. OK, the single season covered the 1960s before it
was cancelled. It was supposed to go through to the turn of the 21st century. But what we see is enough to make us question
things as they stand today. Does it make sense to uphold a system which is being subverted by those hostile to the interests
of men? Does it not make more sense to organize resistance? Dark Skies' Majestic 12 does know the truth while
the majority go about their lives as if sleepwalking. Yeah, it's your typical sinister government organization, but then again,
it's also a male warband organized to fight for true civilization.
I'll note there is
a sort of a father-son relationship between Majestic's patriarchal leader, Frank Bach (J. T. Walsh) and Loengard. Loengard
himself is abandoned by his erstwhile wife Kimberly (Megan Ward) to follow primal female instincts which the aliens
can satisfy. The episode "To Prey in Darkness" starts with a scene of male alienation, played against a soundtrack of
"Eve of Destruction," truly powerful stuff. It involves Dorothy Kilgallen, a hard drinking but elegant dame out of film noir
if there ever was one (and old timers will remember Kilgallen and her evening gowns from What's My Line ). It's one
of the better episodes and brings us back to that year of 1965 right before everything disintegrated.
today "they" appear to be in control, but Dark Skies implies that as long as one seeks the truth, one will be free.
The series does come down to a quest of sorts. You have a choice: live within the delusion of normalcy. Or live a real
life, fighting for freedom.