« Writers Guild of America: The Great Debate | Main | Project Update: Poseidon, Blackbeard, Goldschmidt »

July 29, 2005

Dark Skies: Told You So

Word now that a Cal Tech astronomer has discovered a 10th planet -- one that, by the way, orbits the sun every 560 years.  About time, we'd say.  At the risk of immodesty, we told you so.

In the mid-90s, my good pal and sometimes writing partner Brent Friedman and I created a show for NBC called Dark Skies which, basically, tied in the UFO cover-up to the JFK assassination, and spun out 20 hours worth of episodes.  The subjects ran the gamut of sixties icons from Jim Morrison to Timothy Leary and spun them all through a filter of alien invasion.  You have to be bold when your pilot episode says that your main character got a piece of the Roswell wreckage to JFK who was planning to take it to the public in his second term, only to be stopped cold in Dallas.  No sense getting shy at that point, right?

DarkskyAnyway, knowing we were being canceled, in our last episode ("Bloodlines") broadcast in May of 1997, we went all out, telling a story that included a young Carl Sagan who'd been drafted by MJ-12 (our alien hunters) to act as an official UFO skeptic even as he was helping battle the alien invasion.  Sagan had discovered a new planet in our solar system -- one that traveled on an orbit around the sun every several hundred years.  (It may have been every several thousand years.  It's been a long time since that script was written.)

Anyway, in our final episode, set in 1967, we said that the new planet was coming on close approach to Earth around the time of our millennium and that the alien "Hive" would be making its major play for dominance around that time.  As I recall, knowing that  Ronald Reagan was an abduction target, we had MJ-12 take over the then California governor's Santa Barbara ranch.  They placed our lead, John Loengard (Eric Close), in his bed where he was taken aboard the Hive mothership in Reagan's place -- where he met his half-human hybird son -- who was destined to save mankind -- and was played by my son, Jonathan.  I know, you had to be there... but the network was thinking about next season's shows by this time, anyway.

Brent and I are happy to take credit (along with Zecharia Sitchin) for that extra planet, but we hope we missed the mark on the alien take-over part.  We hope, but we're not all that sure. 

By the way, Brent and I are working on another project about an impending apocalypse...


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Dark Skies: Told You So:


First of all, thank you for a fascinating series I really enjoyed although I only came in at the tail end of the German broadcast. I seem to recall that you wrote a series bible with an enormous page count. Any chance of the fans ever getting to see this? Also, can I do anything to increase the chances for a DVD release?

I would LOVE to see that essay when you dig it up. Eric is not only a talented actor and a very hard worker, but he's a terrific human being. His run of successes is much deserved!

What I liked about 'Dark Skies' was the imaginative ways it mixed fiction with history.

When I used to run "The Tubeworld Dynamic" online, the precursor to my Inner Toob blog, I ran an essay which detailed the perfect link between 'Dark Skies' and 'Now & Again'. (Yeah, it was because of the casting of Eric Close.)

Once I get back to NYC after vacation, I'll have to dig it out and find a way to send it along.

Post a comment