US tv series (1978-1979). A Mark VIII Ltd Production/NBC. Executive producer Jack Webb; created Harold Jack Bloom; produced by Col. William T Coleman. Starring William Jordan as Major Jake Gatlin, Caskey Swaim as Sgt Harry Fisk, Aldine King as Libby Virdon, Edward Winter (season 2) as Capt Ben Ryan. Directors included Richard Quine, Dennis Donnelly, Robert Leeds, John Patterson, Rich Greer. Writers included Harold Jack Bloom, Donald L Gold, Robert Blees. Two seasons, 26 50-minute numbered episodes. Colour.
In terms of the size of viewing audience, this was the most successful US sf television series ever made. The premise is that USAF investigators, belonging to a special unit code-named Project Blue Book, each week look into a supposed UFO (i.e., flying-saucer) sighting. Some of the cases prove to be hoaxes, some misunderstandings of other phenomena; but most turn out to be genuine. Project UFO, which assumed the air of drama-documentary, was tabloid television at its most naked, aimed directly and cynically at a credible audience greedy for wonders. Given the overall similarity of the plot-lines, it is astonishing that two seasons were wrung from it. Executive producer Webb is remembered by older viewers as the gravel-voiced presenter of Dragnet. [PN]
see also: Paranoia.
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