Project Blue Book Season 1 Episode 1 Review: The Fuller Dogfight

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I want to believe.

And so did people across America when the UFO frenzy hit its peak in the late 1940s and 50s.

There was so much interest in the possibility of alien life that the U.S. Air Force went to great efforts to try to debunk much of what people claimed they saw in the night sky via three projects starting in 1947, with the most famous being Project Blue Book.

Tall Hynek - Project Blue Book Season 1 Episode 1

Astrophysicist Dr. J Allen Hynek got recruited by the Air Force for all three projects, but while he at first relished in his role as the scientific debunker, his beliefs began to change when some of the cases he was investigating truly couldn't be explained.

History Channel's new 10-episode series delves into these real-life UFO cases, and on Project Blue Book Season 1 Episode 1, we start to see the shift in Hynek's opinion on UFOs and alien life.

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Hynek is teamed up with Air Force pilot Captain Michael Quinn at the urging of the not surprising villainous-leaning General Harding to prove to the American people that aliens and flying saucers don't exist.

(Aiden Gillen from Game of Thrones, Michael Malarkey from The Vampire Diaries and Neal McDonough of every awesome villainous character on TV and film including Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow? Yes please.)

A Man with a Mission - Project Blue Book Season 1 Episode 1

It doesn't matter if aliens and flying saucers do exist.

The government doesn't want them to, and it will do anything and everything to make sure everyone believes their company line.

The conspiracy mood is set almost immediately after Hynek joins Quinn to investigate a sighting by a fighter pilot who claimed he had a close encounter with an alien spacecraft (based on the real-life Gorman Dogfight case.)

Quinn: I'm sorry. UF-what?
Hynek: Unidentified Flying Objects. I'm simply condensing the terminology that you've been using, adding my own touch. There's a new science we're creating here. It needs its own terminology.

Hynek wants to look at every angle and explore every possibility. In his mind, he needs to be thorough and has no clue about the directive Quinn got.

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Fuller's explanation of how he was able to maneuver his plane the way he did was intriguing.

Why would the guy make up such an elaborate story?

And if it was a weather balloon, why didn't Fuller crash into it like Quinn did when he and Hynek tried to recreate the incident?

Hynek's curiosity is peaked but doesn't get a chance to explore further because Quinn shuts the case without Hynek's input.

Mimi Goes Shopping - Project Blue Book Season 1 Episode 1

And even if Hynek wanted to, he won't have access to Fuller anymore since the pilot went on a one-way trip to the looney bin thanks to Harding and friends.

The government is up to something, but isn't that what we expect even if Hynek isn't quite aware of it yet?

The fun will be tagging along with Hynek on his journey to the truth. And the truth is out there for him to discover!

He's already encountered one enigma with the Man in the Black Hat and his strange room of symbols and oddities.

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I imagine this is the guy who will put him on the right path in his investigations which will eventually put him in danger with Harding and the other Air Force bigwigs.

If they can make a fighter pilot disappear into the land of lunacy, erasing any existence of Hynek would be a piece of cake.

That brings us to the mystery of Susie. 

Mysterious Susie - Project Blue Book Season 1 Episode 1

It's odd that she's even around. She can't be part of the Man in the Black Hat's team because why would she make nice with Hynek's wife?

There's the possibility that she's some sort of reporter doing an undercover investigation to find out what's happening in the world of the Air Force and UFOs, but that seems too easy.

She wants something, and it's clear she's willing to do whatever she needs to get what she wants.

But the question remains as to whether she's friend or foe.

Harding: Is this professor bossing you around or something?
Quinn: No, sir.
Harding: Then stop indulging in his bullshit.

Project Blue Book already has me hooked, and I appreciate the real-life cases on which each episode is based. It gives viewers a thought-provoking authenticity to the story being told. 

Add in the stellar cast, and it's a win-win.

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Before I go, here's a piece of fun trivia which ties back to Hynek's change of attitude about UFOs:

The real J. Allen Hynek made a cameo appearance in Steven Spielberg's movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind (which can be seen on Netflix). He appears at the end of the film when the little aliens come out to take Roy to their ship.

And one more: Project Blue Book investigated over 12,000 UFO phenomena. Seven hundred and one (701!!) cases are still unsolved.

So what did you think of Project Blue Book?

Are you hooked?

What are your theories on Susie and the Man in the Black Hat?

Hit the comments and share your thoughts!

If you need to relive the intrigue, you can watch Project Blue Book online right here via TV Fanatic!

The Fuller Dogfight Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (7 Votes)

Lisa Babick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Project Blue Book Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Our nation is suffering from a form of mass hysteria right now. One we can't afford. Not with Russia breathing down our necks in a nuclear arms race on the brink of disaster.

Quinn

We don't even know what we're dealing with here. Let Hollywood be the distraction.

General Harding