Dark Skies (1996-1997)

I seem to have taken a liking to TV series that get killed after their first season, but maybe it’s just that I remember them more fondly than series that I once liked until they atrophied by stretching them out past their normal lifetime. Point in case are the X-Files, which was probably the major reason for Dark Skies taking off in the first place.

Imagine a series where the conspiracy isn’t just made up as the series goes along, but were there’s a plan from the start, a big concept. Everything is connected, everything makes sense. It’s like the alien conspiracy elements of the X-Files distilled down until nothing else remains and then mixed with a heavy dose of US history. We even had a Mulder (John Loengard) and a Smoking Man (Frank Bach), but not far into the series they left their templates behind and developed a character all of their own.

The strange relationship between those two was one fascinating aspect of the show, among many others, like the devastating effects that secrecy has on everyone involved, especially those that uphold the secrecy. Unlike the later, similar series Threshold, the usefulness and justification for secrecy is questioned much more thoroughly (even if at times in a rather subtle way) and shown to be the reason for the biggest failure of the conspiracy. Because of that Dark Skies was much more political than other, similar series, not just because of the inclusion of all that history stuff.

Again, not unlike the later Threshold, it gives some kind of closure in the last episode of the first season, but I really would have liked to see how everything played out. At least they made one excellent season.