We drifted into Syfy's Destination Truth through the “ghost door,” as it were, last fall. Seeing host Josh Gates do a few appealing guest spots on Ghost Hunters — which not coincidentally leads into Destination Truth on Wednesday nights — and some intriguing promos, led to an interest in the show, which more than lived up to expectations.
DT, now in the second-half of season three, is an intellectually fascinating, wildly enjoyable combination of travelogue and serious paranormal/crypto-zoological investigation. The show has excellent production and entertainment values, a capable and engaging team, cool gadgets, and the gloss of solid scientific method about it, as befitting Gates' academic background in archaeology at Tufts University.
The stalwart Gates, 32, is a tremendous host and adventure-team leader, very quick and clever, self-effacing but confident, and enviably competent at a number of outdoor skills including diving, climbing, trekking, and photography.
We have recently seen Massachusetts-native Gates and his road warriors explore and investigate the Great Wall of China, Masada in Israel, and leprechaun-central in rural Ireland, among other exotic locales including, um, New Jersey (with GH's Kris Williams guesting).
This week's show involves a haunted mining town in Chile, and a creature called the "taniwha" in New Zealand.
I talked recently with Josh Gates by phone before he lit out to shoot the forthcoming season four's adventures.
Eric Olsen – Your locations are an amazing tour of the world! How do you get into these unprecedented hot spots? How did you get into, for example, Bhutan for the Himalayas/yeti episode? How did you get into Chernobyl? What is your secret for getting into places no one else can go?
Josh Gates – Part of the answer isn’t that exciting: it’s just asking. One of the things we have going for the show is that we are a very small crew. The show is not made by a cast of hundreds, and that’s part of the charm of the show — we hope — that you really feel like you’re along for the ride on a real, organic, roughshod adventure.
Bhutan is a great example of that: it’s a very closed off country in the Himalayas and they really limit the number of tourists they let in per year. Filming there is a little bit tricky and I don’t think it would have been either logistically or economically viable if we’d been an enormous production.
Sometimes we surprise ourselves. I’m not sure any of us thought we could pull off an overnight stay in King Tut’s tomb! That the government of Egypt would allow us to go down there alone, but sometimes you just have to ask.