I didn’t buy for one second anything these experts presented about the possibility of aliens bringing forth various technologies centuries ago as the science experiments and some testimonials by certain scientists just don’t whole much weight with me. I do believe that there could be alien life out there for the sheer reason that the universe and solar system is so big and largely unexplored, but the theories presented in this first season of “Ancient Aliens” fails to prove anything and instead uses conjecture.
History | NR – 470 min. – $39.95 | Disc Release Date
Directed by: NA
Features: Pilot Episode
Number of Discs: 3
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080i/Widescreen 1.78
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): Region Free
THE MOVIE – 1.75/5
“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” – Cosmos, Carl Sagan
I have to admit that I’m a little miffed at how The History Channel could allow “Ancient Aliens” on its airwaves. The channel has changed course from historical elements to reality TV programming like “Ice Road Truckers” (which I find mindless yet harmless), “Pawn Stars”, “Top Gear” and “UFO Hunters”. They still manage to produce some quality programming (“The Presidents”, “Battle 360” and “Patton 360” are my favorites) but they are too few and far between.
In regards to “Ancient Aliens” in particular, I found it to be the most shameful of the bunch. First and foremost they do not present both sides of the argument. One of the best examples, which comes during the series first episode, centers on the Saqqara Bird and several so-called experts extrapolate that this wooden bird with its straight wings and tail fin was in fact the model of a winged glider… a glider that, with absolutely no evidence and merely leading questions, was given to the ancients by aliens. Here’s the problem and one that should’ve been provided on the show and that is they infer several things like a horizontal stabilizer which had to be put on in order to, via a large scale model, was able to fly. In order to cover for this issue they merely imply that there perhaps WAS a horizontal stabilizer that dissolved over time. Yeah… whatever.
It was at that point where the show took a nose dive and doing some research of my own about the show’s influence from author Erich von Daniken’s novel, ‘Chariots of the Gods’, was that Daniken often stretched the truth to fit his hypotheses’ and sometimes even outright lied. So upon learning that bit of info, what happened with the Saqqara Bird, in which several people have made a large scale model including Martin Gregorie (builder and flyer of free flight gliders) who postulated that the Saqqara Bird never flew and that the model made for an “excellent weather vane” and also stipulated it was probably a child’s toy.
That’s just one example of where the show descends into borderline insanity. Now, I want to make something perfectly clear: there should be a place for outside the lines thinking but when you invent things that were never there or manipulate the audience with leading questions I cannot endorse that kind of thinking at all.
In the end, I think I could’ve embraced “Ancient Aliens” if the show had the integrity to provide both sides of each claim rather than providing only believers who, in the case of only a couple, provide some “ifs” and “buts” yet still come back around to say the claims are very interesting and could be true than giving a counterpoint to the others.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.25/5
The 5 episode season one set comes on 3 Blu-ray discs inside an HD Keep Case (double the width of a standard case).
The only thing included is HISTORY Special: “Ancient Aliens: Chariots, Gods and Beyond” (68:58; HD) which served as the series’ pilot episode. This is really just more of the same giving a background on Erich von Daniken but leave out a few critical pieces of info, primarily that Daniken is a criminal convicted of fraud, tax evasion amongst other things, not to mention he has stolen many of his ideas from other authors, mainly H.P. Lovecraft.
VIDEO – 3/5
“Ancient Aliens” Season One is presented with a 1.78 aspect ratio and in 1080i high-definition. Since this is a documentary and unlike some of the HISTORY Channel’s other HD programming which is often comprised of CGI (like “World War II 360”) – although there is still some CGI –, this doesn’t lend itself to looking great since there’s on-camera interviews with stock footage and the like. So a lot of times the picture isn’t very crisp and in fact can be a tad dark, but I assume that’s how it was shot and then aired.
AUDIO – 3.25/5
The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track isn’t anything special but is there to allow dialogue to be heard cleanly enough. There’s not much else going on with the track outside of a score and maybe some sound effects but it’s still good enough for the material being presented.
OVERALL – 1.5/5
Overall, I didn’t buy for one second anything these experts presented about the possibility of aliens bringing forth various technologies centuries ago as the science experiments and some testimonials by certain scientists just don’t whole much weight with me. I do believe that there could be alien life out there for the sheer reason that the universe and solar system is so big and largely unexplored, but the theories presented in this first season of “Ancient Aliens” fails to prove anything and instead uses conjecture. One other point of criticism, and it’s a big one, is that they don’t have anyone on the other side to debunk some of the ideas which is the one thing that probably bugged me the most.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman