Visual Entertainment, Inc has rescued another classic show from the vaults and released In Search of: The Complete Series on DVD. The In Search of television series was a series broadcast weekly from 1976 to 1982. Devoted to mysteries and phenomena, the series is actually one of my earliest television memories. For the majority of the time the show was on the air, Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy hosted the series. Twilight Zone writer and host Rod Serling presented the original three documentaries and was slated to narrate the upcoming series but, his death led to Nimoy getting the job, continuing with it until the series’ end in 1982.
The whole thing got started In 1973 with In Search of Ancient Astronauts. That TV special examined the theories in Erich von Däniken’s book Chariots of the Gods. Däniken’s theories have since become more popular, and writers like the recently deceased Zecharia Sitchin have written a number of top-selling books since. This effort was continued by In Search of Ancient Mysteries and The Outer Space Connection, which also featured Rod Serling’s narration. Each of the three specials was a hit, and the producers quickly moved to turn In Search of into a regular show.
The series conducted investigations into the controversial and paranormal. Sometimes the episodes covered mysterious historical events and personalities such as the story of Anna Anderson, the Lincoln Assassination, and the Jack the Ripper murders. The Jim Jones cult, missing persons, cities, and ships all were investigated Each episode began with a disclaimer about the nature of the evidence and theories to be presented.
“This series presents information based in part on theory and conjecture. The producer’s purpose is to suggest some possible explanations, but not necessarily the only ones, to the mysteries we will examine.”
In Search Of: The Complete Series on DVD is a huge 21-disc collection. Though I was only provided with a short sampler, what I saw was a good transfer effort. The info-tainment format is certainly dated and appears to have been shot on film as some damage is evident. In case you missed it, a short-lived revival of the show, featuring Mitch Pileggi aired on the Sci-Fi Channel back in 2002, and is included in the collection. Of course the three original specials are also in the box.
Though some of the unsolved mysteries have since been better explained, it doesn’t diminish the level entertainment this huge collection provides. The topics are still entertaining and engrossing and the show’s style of interspersing ‘talking heads’ with sensationalistic video segments is still fairly gripping. The DVDs are presented in the original full screen format and only in the English language though Spanish subtitles are available. At more than 600 minutes, there is no better collection of alternative theories to such a huge variety of phenomena and the unexplained than In Search Of: The Complete Series.