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In Search Of... is finally coming to DVD

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 29, 2012 04:37pm | Post a Comment
Leonard Nimoy - in Search OfBack in June I hipped readers to the fact that one of the greatest TV shows of all time, Get A Life, is finally getting a proper DVD release after previously only being afforded two four-episode volumes from Rhino Home Video. Well, another great, mostly-forgotten, cult show has recently been announced, and that's In Search Of..., which is scheduled to be released on 23 October by VEI (Visual Entertainment Inc).

In Search of... was a quasi-documentary TV series that ran in syndication from September, 1976 through March, 1982. It focused on the paranormal; ufological, supernatural, and cryptozoological subject matter -- but it also included episodes about real missing persons, historical events, cults, &c.

Each episode included the disclaimer,“This series presents information based in part on theory and conjecture. The producer's purpose is to suggest some possible explanations, but not necessarily the only ones, to the mysteries we will examine." Nonetheless, the "possible explanations" were often pretty absurd, which for me is part of the fun. In the 1990s, paranormal TV shows were often hosted like news shows, which is also fun.



Anyway, before In Search Of… launched as a TV series, there were three hour-long, made-for-TV specials; In Search of Ancient Astronauts (1973) and In Search of Ancient Mysteries, and The Outer Space Connection (both 1975). They were narrated by Rod Serling who was a logical choice for a narrator, having famously created and hosted the macabre anthology series The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery.

In Search Of... with Leonard Nimoy


Unfortunately, Serling died in 1975 so Leonard Nimoy (Mission: Impossible, "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins," and, of course, Star Trek) became the series’ host and was a natural replacement. The graininess and high contrast of the footage, the weird music composed by LA disco production team of Rinder and Lewis, and Nimoy’s authoritative narrative voice (and sometimes accompanying mustache) all exemplify the magical creepiness that characterizes my impression of the 1970s.




Before In Search Of…, CBS’s Somebody Knows (on radio in 1950) and Wanted (on TV in 1955) were both short-lived series that attempted to solve unsolved mysteries – specifically ones revolving around the commissions of various crimes. The syndicated series, One Step Beyond (1959-1961), was another predecessor. But although its producers claimed that the plots of the episodes were based on actual paranormal events, but the plots were thoroughly dramatized, making if feel more akin to shows like Outer Limits, Suspense and The Twilight Zone.

In Search of Complete Series
source: tvshowsondvd


It seems to me that the supernatural was rarely, if ever, addressed in documentary form before -- which might seem odd to a generation used to seeing psychics and mediums on daytime TV and ghosts and bigfeet being chased on “reality TV.” I pretty much think we can thank or blame In Search Of… for starting it all. If you’re a fan of Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World, Unsolved Mysteries, The Extraordinary, Encounters, Sightings, Probings, Ancient Mysteries, Creepy Canada, and the like, this is where it begins so mark your calendar.

*****

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Leonard Nimoy (1), Ufology (1), Pseudoscience (1), Cryptozoology (1), Paranormal Television (1), Ghosts (1), Ufos (1), Tv On Dvd (2)