So there are shows out there dealing with monsters, prehistoric weapons, and conspiracies from throughout the past century and beyond. It was only a matter of time before the mysteries of our past, and even some from our present, were dissected one by one in order to try and figure out what great secrets they held for us. A&E and the History Channel have gotten together in order to release yet another series that will try and get people interested in the history of the world that has molded society into exactly what it is today. Through the eyes of experts and even skeptics; we can now look at the great mysteries that stand before us in books and before our very eyes in hopes that their grand schemes can be deciphered to see if there are true meanings or perhaps nothing more than simple fairy tales.
MysteryQuest is done very much in the exact same way that MonsterQuest is presented to us. Only this time we are given the mysteries of the world instead of the monsters lurking about. Each episode presents us with a particular mystery of the current world or from history and takes us through its history and tries to figure out whether it is true or not. Now considering some of these mysteries have gone on unsolved for hundreds of years, we can’t really think they’re going to be solved in an hour-long episode. No, that never happens of course but viewers are presented with plenty of evidence either for or against the mystery so that we all can come up with our own conclusion.
Season one of MysteryQuest comes through in a very clear fashion which the creators must have learned from MonsterQuest as well. That was one series which didn’t start off very well but ended up getting better as time has gone on. Here we get great quality and a nice format from the very beginning. Each episode provides a decent and detailed background to each mystery before letting the experts sit down and give their thoughts on how much truth is actually there. One of the cool things is the scientific aspects that go into each case as well for therefore we don’t get simple knowledge or hearsay about things like Stonehenge and Atlantis.
I’m happy to say that this was a very pleasing debut for a series that touches on subjects many of us have often wondered about, but never actually took the time to sit down and do research on. Some of my favorites from this season alone are “Devil’s Island,” “The Amityville Horror,” and most of all “Jack The Ripper.” The horror junkie in me really loves a lot of these episodes because they touch on the scarier and more frightening side of history that often isn’t looked at in a very gleaming light. Another nice touch of MysteryQuest is that it isn’t afraid to show its failures when it comes to the research set forth on each trek. Sometimes research and expert knowledge comes through with some answers and even a clearer understanding of the subject matter at hand. Other times we’ll see an episode come to and end and appear to be even further away from an answer then when we started. Not being afraid to showcase its failures along with its successes is going to make sure this series continues on for quite a long time.
Hitler’s Escape The Devil’s Triangle San Francisco Slaughter The Lost City of Atlantis
Alien Cover Up The Rise of the Fourth Reich Devil’s Island
Jack The Ripper Stonehenge Return of the Amityville Horror
The episodes are shown in 1.33:1 Full Screen format and they come through looking just fine. There really isn’t much done, if any at all, in the transfer to DVD but all is good.
The episodes are heard in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound and much like when they aired on television; all is well here too. Every bit of the narration can be heard loud and clear while everything else gets enough attention in the simple stereo set-up.
Additional Footage – Some cut footage from almost every episode. Not sure why stuff like this wasn’t kept in because none of it is overly long and it’s all informative. (33:02)
So far I’m sold on this series and actually may end up liking it even more than I like MonsterQuest and that’s saying a lot because of my uncomfortable monster affliction. Shut up. My only hope is that they haven’t already jumped overboard here in putting forth so many big-time mysteries in just the first season alone. Stonehenge, Atlantis, the Bermuda Triangle, and Hitler’s Escape are four huge mysteries that are thrown together in season one and almost makes me wonder why they didn’t have fans wait in anticipation for those to come later on. I’ll keep faith though and hope season two is even half as enjoyable as this one because I may have found a new favorite series on the History Channel. Man, I never thought in high school that this would be one of my choice channels as my thirties rounded me in life.
A&E Home Video presents MysteryQuest: The Complete Season one. Starring: Stan Bernard (Narrator). Running time: 470 minutes on 3 discs. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: March 30, 2010. Available at Amazon.com