Case Number 20201: Small Claims Court


History Channel // 2010 // 470 Minutes // Rated PG
Reviewed by Judge Kent Dixon (Retired) // November 27th, 2010

The Charge

Did ancient aliens help shape our history?

The Case

When he was filming Close Encounters of the Third Kind in the late '70s, director Steven Spielberg was convinced aliens existed and firmly believed we were not the only intelligent life in our universe. Spielberg now wonders, if aliens exist at all and visit us as many believers claim, where is the evidence? I completely agree with his perspective. While I don't outright deny the existence of alien life on other planets, if they visited New Mexico in the summer of 1947 or even far earlier in our history, why haven't they made themselves more clearly known to us?

That's where Ancient Aliens comes in, providing what true believers seem to suggest is, if not proof of past aliens visitations, certainly strong evidence that seems to indicate our ancestors were helped by more advanced technology and intelligence. Beginning as a 2009 standalone documentary -- "Ancient Aliens: Chariots, Gods & Beyond" -- that focused on the research and books of Erich von Däniken, Ancient Aliens quickly expanded into a five-episode season that aired during the spring of 2010. The original documentary and the entire first season are included in this release, spread over three discs:

Disc One
* "The Evidence"
* "The Visitors"

Disc Two
* "The Mission"
* "Closer Encounters"

Disc Three
* "The Return"
* "Ancient Aliens: Chariots, Gods, and Beyond" (Bonus)

If you're a skeptic, Ancient Aliens will likely annoy and make you roll your eyes, as experts throughout the series work to tip the scales of proof in favor of extraterrestrial influence. The series in no way draws a final conclusion, but rather provides alleged concrete evidence that suggests we are not alone. From Stonehenge, Easter Island, and the mysterious lines in the desert of Nazca, Peru, to ancient cave drawings, hieroglyphics, and wonders such as the Egyptian pyramids, our history is marked with mysterious places and records that seem to defy explanation. While clearly a believer in the role of alien influence in our past, even author Erich von Däniken admits much of his research ends in more unanswered questions, rather than concrete proof. The series offers the same.

Is it not possible that our ancestors were perhaps not smarter than us, but relied more on skill, intelligence, and ingenuity to accomplish these seemingly impossible tasks? For example, while modern architects can't seem to unlock the mystery of the pyramids construction, isn't it possible our ancestors used techniques and skills lost to us over time? Whatever your personal beliefs, Ancient Aliens: Season One offers some interesting perspectives on what may continue to be one of man's great unanswered questions.

Ancient Aliens comes to Blu-ray with a solid 1080p video presentation that is clear, crisp, and colorful throughout. Sadly, the DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio falls far short of the image, anchoring the sound in the front of the room, when it would have clearly benefitted from a more dynamic mix. The only bonus feature is the aforementioned original documentary.

When all is said and done, if they had the technology and intelligence to make contact with us in the first place, why haven't these aliens kept in touch and continued to help us, or wiped us out entirely? Perhaps it's simply finding the human race to be neither of great interest nor a great threat.

The Verdict

Not guilty.

Review content copyright © 2010 Kent Dixon; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 80

Perp Profile
Studio: History Channel
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (English)

* English

Running Time: 470 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Rated PG

Distinguishing Marks
* Bonus Episode

* IMDb

* Official Site