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.
Read History‘s synopsis of the show below:
Dr. J. Allen Hynek (Aidan Gillen), a brilliant yet underappreciated college professor, is recruited by the U.S. Air Force to spearhead a clandestine operation called Project Blue Book. Along with his partner, the debonair Air Force Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey), he is summoned to investigate UFO sightings around the country and use science to discover what really happened. However, when some encounters cannot be explained away and cases remain open, Hynek begins to suspect that he has been duped by the government into a larger conspiracy to cover up the truth. Set against the backdrop of the Cold War and rising Atomic Era, each episode will draw from the actual Project Blue Book case files, blending UFO theories with authentic historical events from one of the most mysterious eras in United States 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.
Project Blue Book is inspired by the personal experiences of Dr. J. Allen Hynek (Gillen), 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 series “delves into such themes as trust, instinct, real news vs. fake news and government cover-up,” according to History. “The series straddles the world of science and the exploration of the unknown.”
History’s website outlining the show even includes a map of UFO sightings that were taken seriously by the United States government. The description reads: “Mysterious lights. Sinister saucers. Alien abductions. Between 1947 to 1969, at the height of the Cold War, more than 12,000 UFO sightings were reported to Project Blue Book, a small, top-secret Air Force team. Their mission? To scientifically investigate the incidents and determine whether any posed a national security threat. Here are some of their most fascinating cases.”
Following his departure from Game of Thrones, Gillen told Entertainment Tonight that he is looking forward to the change in characters, from his cold and manipulative character Littlefinger to playing Dr. J. Allen Hynek on Project Blue Book.
“So many people saw Game of Thrones and a character that’s cold and manipulative,” he told Entertainment Tonight of his role as Littlefinger. “It’d be nice to be known, hopefully, for not as a scheming evildoer.”
Gillen continued: “When I read the first [script], I was intrigued. I thought, ‘I could do that.’ This guy obviously has to come across as really intelligent, but not a bore, and approachable and warm. Not only can I do that, but I haven’t done it for a while. I’ve played warm characters, but not many recently,” Gillen told Entertainment Tonight.
Tune in Tuesday, January 8 at 10/9c on the History channel for the series premiere of Project Blue Book.
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