Project Blue Book premieres on Tuesday, January 8 at 10/9c on the History channel, and is based on true, top-secret investigations into Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) conducted by the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1969.
Project Blue Book is inspired by the personal experiences of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a brilliant college professor recruited by the Air Force to spearhead research into UFO’s and related phenomena, with more than 700 cases and reported sightings remaining unsolved to this day. Each episode draws from the actual case files blending UFO theories with authentic historical events from one of the most mysterious eras in U.S. history.
The show features Aidan Gillen (known for his portrayal of Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish on Game of Thrones) and Michael Malarkey (Vampire Diaries, The Oath) as well as a slew of well-known supporting cast, including Neal McDonough, Michael Harney, Laura Mennell and Ksenia Solo.
Here’s what we know about the cast of Project Blue Book:
Aidan Gillen as Dr. J. Allen Hynek
Gillen plays Dr. Josef Allen Hynek, an astrophysicist who eventually takes up the profession of “Ufology. Although skeptical about the investigating UFO’s and potential alien life, his Air Force research projects remains as some of the most cited amongst those who study the mysteries of the skies.
Gillen is known for his portrayal of Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish on Game of Thrones, as well as Tommy Carcetti in the HBO series The Wire and Stuart Alan Jones in the Channel 4 series Queer as Folk.
Micheal Malarkey as Captain Michael Quinn
Malarkey portrays Captain Michael Quinn, a decorated WWII Air Force pilot who is tasked with running Project Blue Book. He is Hynek’s partner, who provides a different perspective for Hynek that involves more general instinct than an objective, scientific approach. The two often clash over their investigations, as Quinn relies more heavily on his gut-reactions rather than Hynek’s detached observations.
Malarkey is best known for this role as Enzo on the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, and recently wrapped shooting a role in Crackle’s upcoming drama series The Oath. He’s repped by Silver Lining Entertainment, Gersh and attorney Gregg Gellman.
Laura Mennell as Dr. Hynek’s Wife Mimi
Mennell plays Dr. Hynek’s wife Mimi, who forms a deep and dedicated friendship with a mysterious woman named Susie, although the friendship spawns some potentially dangerous consequences. In an interview with Brief Take, Mennell says that her character is drawn to her friend Susie because she is “so different from how Mimi sees herself,” and mentions that their friendship eventually takes a dark and mysterious turn.
Mennell currently co-stars opposite Ron Livingston in the Audience Network comedy series Loudermilk, from Peter Farrelly. She also has a recurring role on the third season of Amazon’s The Man In the High Castle.
Ksenia Solo as Mimi’s Mysterious Friend Susie
Solo plays as Mimi’s close friend Susie, who Mennell (see above) describes as a “glamorous, ideal woman of the 1950’s” who is fashionable, confident and carefree. As Mimi’s husband Hynek is pulled further and further into his work, Susie and Mimi form a closer bond, which takes the two on a dark and twisted adventure.
Solo is known for her roles Mackenzie “Kenzi” Malikov on Lost Girl and Natasha in the series Life Unexpected and Shay Davydov in Season 3 of Orphan Black. She was considered one of the “55 faces of the future” by Nylon Magazine’s Young Hollywood Issue in 2010.
Neal McDonough as General James Harding
McDonough is cast as General James Harding, a prominent government official who helped form Project Blue Book to manage the news regarding UFOs. According to ScreenRant, Hynek goes out of his way to work against the wishes of Harding, so the two may likely be at odds throughout the series.
McDonough is well-known for starring in a number of television series such as Suits, Arrow and The Flash.
Michael Harney as General Hugh Valentine
Harney portrays General Hugh Valentine, a cryptic and powerful USAF General who oversees General Harding’s new division and keeps a close eye on everything that transpires under Project Blue Book. Valentine and Harding both formed PBB to try to stay one step ahead of the media regarding extraterrestrial phenomena.
Harney is best known for starring on the SAG Award-winning Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black as Corrections Officer Sam Healy.
Up-and-coming screenwriter David O’Leary serves as co-executive producer for Project Blue Book, with legendary “Back to the Future” and “Forrest Gump” director Robert Zemeckis behind the scenes. The director’s chair will be occupied for the first two episodes by Robert Stromberg, director of movies such as “Maleficent,” “Avatar” and “Alice in Wonderland.” Sean Jablonski (Gypsy, Suits, Nip/Tuck) serves as showrunner, executive producer and writer.
Tune in Tuesday, January 8 at 10/9c on the History channel for the series premiere of Project Blue Book.