If there’s one show I will never forgive the TV Gods for cancelling, it’s “Dark Skies”. Broadcast to a single season in 1996 as a challenge to “The X Files”, the show basically took every major conspiracy theory from Roswell onwards and put them into in a single alien conspiracy. Starring Eric Close and Megan Ward , the real star of the show was the legendary scenery chewing character actor J.T. Walsh, who played Captain Frank Bach, the head of the secretive Majestic 12 organisation tasked with fighting the aliens at whatever dubious moral cost it took. Later episodes saw a pre-Voyager Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) Play Juliet, their liaison with the Soviet version of Majestic.
What made the show work was the history twisting, and the populating of stories with real historical figures including Bobby Kennedy, George Bush senior, Truman, Kissinger, Hubert Humphrey, Ronald Reagan, Colin Powell, Norman Schwarzkopf, Charles Manson and The Beatles to name a few. Key events in history from the Kennedy assassination (the aliens did it) to Vietnam (started to allow MJ12 access to a huge military budget) to the shooting down of Gary Power’s U2 (he was chasing a UFO) are all touched on.
The show was cancelled as it failed to get significant viewers, which is a terrible pity as the creators of the show Brent V. Friedman and Bryce Zabel had the whole plot sketched out right up to 1999, with takes on everything from Watergate to the moon landing. The show assumed that its viewers knew something about modern American history, and it didn’t have an over abundance of moody pouting teenagers. No wonder it got cancelled.
Definitely one for the sci-fi/history nerds, it’s available on DVD.