Aliens and government conspiracies form the central premise of History Channel's Robert Zemeckis-produced show 'Project Blue Book'. The third episode sees the two themes merge and the result is the clash between faith and ideology.
Starring Aidan Gillen as Dr. J Allen Hynek and Michael Malarkey as Captain Michael Quinn, 'Project Blue Book' has been following the notorious involvement of the US Air Force in the alien invasion stories that had consumed America in the decades following World War II.
In the highly tense political climate of an era when America was facing its own enemy, McCarthyism, Hynek and Quinn had set out on a journey to find answers to questions that the world was not yet prepared to ask. The two were seen encountering several witnesses in the first two episodes and most of their stories were dismissed by Quinn to be the result of mere hysteria. However, a strange sighting in the third episode leaves him quite disturbed.
A man of law, Quinn does not believe in the need to tell stories or look into matters closely. To him, war matters because it can only have two outcomes — win or lose. When confronted with something as complicated and absurd as extraterrestrial life, Quinn would any day choose a faster escape route.
Working right next to him is Hynek, the man who would soon turn out to be one of the nations' most controversial figures. A university professor, Hynek himself began as a skeptic in the project but soon became the man who not only coined the phrase "unidentified flying objects (UFO)" but left open every possible interpretation for the strange events in the skies.
An academic who led a life of rigorous methods and strict discipline, Hynek, unlike Quinn, kept an open mind throughout the investigation. The third episode, rightly named 'The Lubbock Lights', is yet another instance where alien sightings led Quinn and Hynek to travel across the country.
The episode derives its name from the unusual formation of lights seen over the city of Lubbock, Texas, between August and September in 1951. In the third episode, the duo, for the first time, actually get to see what they have been hearing about for so long. Referring to Carl Hart, Jr's photograph of a V-shaped flashing light, Quinn and Hynek soon witness the group of lights which were being dismissed as plover birds by the academics at Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University). While it was expected that Quinn would probably keep his mouth shut about it, Hynek goes to question the Air Force about their decision of maintaining secrecy in the matter.
As Quinn and Hynek continue to tiptoe around each other's perception of the UFO, Hynek's wife, Mimi (played by Laura Mennell) and her friend Susie Miller (played by Ksenia Solo), seem to be developing a rather strange bond. Mimi, who comes across as nothing more than a wife or a mother, suddenly decides to take Susie to the Beatnik club. However, she is apologetic about it when Susie makes a move. Susie is clearly trying to dig out Hynek's secrets through Mimi but, for Mimi, it has so far been a much more personal experience.
'Project Blue Book' episode 3, rightly named 'The Lubbock Lights', is set to air on January 22, and, this time, Hynek and Quinn's differing beliefs will be put to test in the most unexpected manner.