'Project Blue Book' Season 1 Episode 4 will see General Harding spearheading the highly secretive 'Operation Paperclip'
He is a war veteran with many medals to his name, but he is possibly up to something that could bring shame to all his honor
Every story needs a villain, and 'Project Blue Book' has found its ideal villain in Neal McDonough's character, General James Harding. Starring alongside Aidan Gillen as Dr. J Allen Hynek, Michael Malarkey as Captain Quinn, Laura Mennell as Mimi Hynek, and Ksenia Solo as Susie Miller, General Harding is the stark representation of everything that went wrong with Project Blue Book.
Based on the real-life General Harding, who served as squadron commander for a 400-person unit at Lackland Air Force Base and as an A-1 Skyraider combat squadron commander, the character in the Robert Zemeckis-produced show has been painted in a much darker shade.
Since the initiation of the project, Harding was tasked with keeping all the findings of the project confidential. It was up to him to make sure whatever truth was discovered by Hynek and Quinn during their investigation on the existence of otherworldly lives, not reach the common masses.
It is a known fact the government kept Hynek's files on UFOs classified for several decades, and this very act of maintaining secrecy was spearheaded by Harding. It is difficult to say where Harding's true loyalty lies. It is quite clear the man was only following orders to make sure his command is precisely executed by Quinn, but at the same time, there are secrets he holds dearer than his job.
This is what Episode 4, titled 'Operation Paperclip', will highlight. Based on the true incident where some Nazis were called to America to help build aircraft far more advanced technologically at the time, the episode is set to throw light on a very dubious side of Harding.
During one of his interviews with the Delta Optimist, McDonough said: "For me, what’s interesting is you’re not sure whether Harding is a good guy or a bad guy, but what you do know is that he is a patriot and he’s trying to do his job the best he can. It’s great to play that guy and as the series progresses, you realize that there is an agenda, but that Harding is a good guy, but he has a job to do and not many people are willing to do that work to get a job done and Harding was.”
However, Episode 4 sees Harding indulging in things that are not really expected out of a war veteran. We already know Operation Paperclip was probably one of America's greatest conspiracies. In order to keep American ammunition safe from the hands of the Soviet Union, almost 1600 German scientist were assigned the task of equipping the U.S. military with advanced weaponry.
Their intellect was considered priceless for the project but at the same time, there were hidden truths that were never disclosed about the project. Surprisingly enough, or rather, unfortunately, we are set to find Harding right at the center of this very operation. But which side is he on? Is he pairing up with the Germans to create some of the deadliest weapons in the world?
We will find out when the show returns to the History Channel Tuesday, January 29, at 9 pm.