TV Smackdown

25 years ago, two big network series explored both alien visitations and UFO cover-ups: Fox’s The X-Files and NBC’s Dark Skies. With hindsight, how different were they?

THE LAST TIME UFOS AND ALIENS had the public’s attention as much as today was probably the mid-1990s. Back then on the small screen, still dominated by the “big networks” of American television (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC), a ufological showdown played out like a UFO smackdown in the fall of…

The Art of Disclosure

How might James Bond — the world’s most famous secret agent, and the star of one of cinema’s most venerable franchises — react to, and be changed by, actual UFO disclosure?

A SERIES OF WHITE DOTS MOVE ACROSS THE BLACK SCREEN, turning into the insides of a gun barrel. Now a well-dressed man, in a business suit or tuxedo, is walking along, the gun barrel moving to follow him, perhaps even to assassinate him. Suddenly, the man turns and fires his…

Dark Skies at 25

Twenty-five years ago, NBC’s landmark alternate history alien invasion series Dark Skies linked two of the most speculated events of the century together: the Roswell incident and the JFK assassination. And then life began to imitate art…

A rancher in a field is tending his sheep. Noticing an area they’re avoiding, he discovers strange debris scattered around it. He gathers it up, intending to alert authorities about a crash the next time he goes into town.

In a major city, a motorcade turns into a plaza. Towards…

Dark Skies at 25

A quarter-century after Dark Skies first aired, NBC’s landmark alternate history television series still has a lot to say about where ufology is today. Can we find our future by looking in the past?

These days ufological circles are on fire with debate about the “threat narrative” and the idea that the government continues to maintain unrelenting secrecy about the UFO topic even while feigning transparency with a handful of declassified videos and a too short government report.

Let’s roll the calendar back 25…

Matthew Kresal

Matthew Kresal is a writer, critic, and podcaster with many and varying interests. He is the author of Silver Archive: Dark Skies for Obverse Books.

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