“Aliens.”

The television show that launched a thousand internet memes has arrived, in its totality, encased in a gigantic plastic sarcophagus, as if delivered by the Space Gods (praise their name!) themselves. Six seasons. 82 episodes. A whopping 23 discs. And more conjecture and wild speculation than you can stick your glowing, elongated finger at.

Spawned from a miniseries special in 2009, Ancient Aliens found enough traction with the History audience to stay afloat for five years. Episodes tackle the world’s craziest mysteries, from cattle mutilation to mysterious Mayan rituals (you’re going to hear a lot about the Mayans in this series) to the Bermuda Triangle and beyond, the producers behind the show have gone out of their way to tie all manner of historical weirdness to…aliens. Yes, aliens, little visitors zipping around on their UFOs, dropping great amounts of knowledge and monuments on the our puny home planet, pausing here and there, of course, to surgically remove the anus from a beef steer.

So how are aliens tied to these strange occurrences? Well, you’re just going to have watch the series now aren’t you? Seriously, watch it if any of this tomfoolery grabs you because I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a TV show with as much work behind it. It truly is a sight to behold; 80+ episodes that run 40+ minutes, all tracing even the most esoteric of worldly unknowns to extraterrestrial influence. These guys work hard for it and the sheer volume of content that they produce (regardless of your thoughts towards its scientific value) is staggering. Now, this isn’t all Stonehenge and the Pyramids. Our intrepid UFO investigators (that’s a real title, by the way) dig deep into our species’ history to discover possible alien connections. The aforementioned Mayans get a lot of play (thanks to their copious paintings depicting some manner of heavenly beings blasting down divine knowledge), but, really, not ancient group of people is off-limits to the thin man’s gentle probe. Even the Judeo-Christian tradition is infiltrated by alien interference; I’d be semi-offended if I wasn’t so nonplussed by all of it.

While there’s some entertainment value here, sure, it’s purely of the “I can’t wait to see what they’ve cooked up for this episode” variety. The experts are, er, extremely colorful in their own right — but to their credit they hold on to their beliefs with extreme prejudice. No one can overshadow the immortal, wildly-coiffed Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, consulting producer, noted alien expert and the universal face of the show. And trust me: if you only know him from his “aliens” meme, you are missing the total picture.

This massive set brings the episodes in their standard 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen / Dolby 2.0 Stereo glory. For extras, you’ll get some unaired footage, which, again, astounds me; they had too much material?!

THE VERDICT
As amusement? Not Guilty for sure. As rigorous, persuasive academic research? I’ll get back to you…

 

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