Article first published as DVD Review: In Search Of: The Complete Series on Blogcritics.
Visual Entertainment, Inc has rescued another classic show from the vaults and released In Search of: The Complete Series on DVD. The In Search of television series was a series broadcast weekly between the years of 1976 and 1982. Devoted to mysteries and phenomena, the series is actually one of my earliest television memories. For the majority of the time the show was on the air, Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy hosted the series. Twilight Zone writer and host Rod Serling presented the original three documentaries and was slated to narrate the upcoming series but, his death led to Nimoy getting the job. Leonard Nimoy kept the job until the series’ end in 1982.
In 1973, the whole thing got started with In Search of Ancient Astronauts. The special examined the theories in Erich von Däniken’s book Chariots of the Gods. Däniken’s theories have since become more popular and writers like the recently deceased Zecharia Sitchin have written a number of top selling books since. This effort was continued by In Search of Ancient Mysteries and The Outer Space Connection which also featured the narration of Rod Serling. Each of the three specials was a hit and the producers quickly moved to turn In Search of into a regular show.
With the popular Leonard Nimoy as the face of the TV show, the series conducted investigations into the controversial and paranormal. Sometimes the episodes covered mysterious historical events and personalities such as the story of Anna Anderson, the Lincoln Assassination, and the Jack the Ripper murders. The Jim Jones cult was addressed as well as missing persons, cities, and ships. At the beginning of each episode, a disclaimer about the nature of the evidence and theories to be presented was read.
“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.”
In Search Of: The Complete Series on DVD is a huge 21 disc collection. Though I was only provided with a short sampler, what I saw was a good transfer effort. The info-tainment format is certainly dated and appears to have been shot on film as some damage is evident. In case you missed it, a short-lived revival of the show, featuring Mitch Pileggi aired on the Sci-Fi Channel back in 2002 and is included in the collection. Of course the three original specials are also in the box.
Though some of the unsolved mysteries have since been better explained, it doesn’t diminish the level entertainment this huge collection provides. The topics are still entertaining and engrossing and the show’s style of interspersing ‘talking heads’ with sensationalistic video segments is still fairly gripping. The DVDs are presented in the original full screen format and only in the English language though Spanish subtitles are available. At over 3600 minutes, there is no better collection of alternative theories to such a huge variety of phenomena and the unexplained than In Search Of: The Complete Series.
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