Case Number 18733: Small Claims Court


History Channel // 2009 // 564 Minutes // Rated
Reviewed by Judge Kent Dixon (Retired) // April 16th, 2010

The Charge

We will neither refute nor endorse these theories, merely present the evidence.

The Case

The consensus seems to be that we're on an inevitable course towards our impending and unavoidable doom; at least that's what the producers of History Channel's Nostradamus Effect would have us believe. In the show's premiere season, you'll find more foreboding and apocalyptic predictions than you can shake a stick at, ranging from the writings of Nostradamus, to clues supposedly hidden in the designs of Egypt's pyramids and hieroglyphs, Biblical texts, and other varied sources.

All 12 episodes of Nostradamus Effect: The Complete Season One are included with this release, spread across three discs as follows:

Disc One
* "The Third Anti-Christ?"
* "Da Vinci's Armageddon"
* "Extinction 2012"
* "Hitler's Blood Oath"

Disc Two
* "The Apocalypse Code"
* "Son of Nostradamus"
* "Secrets of the Seven Seals"
* "Fatima's Lost Prophecy"

Disc Three
* "Satan's Army"
* "Doomsday Hieroglyphs"
* "Armageddon Battle Plan"
* "Rapture"

Nostradamus Effect examines specific predictions and prophecies, often aligning them with contemporary events, but without leading viewers to a specific, pre-determined conclusion. There's no question that this series fares better in one-off, episode by episode viewing as there's a considerable weight of "we're in big trouble" that quickly builds after watching several episodes in a row.

Unlike MysteryQuest, another recent History Channel production that presents radically different subjects in each episode, each episode of Season One boils down to one of three essential themes: ancient church or Biblical predictions, predictions made by Nostradamus himself and how they relate to historical or contemporary events, and predictions made by ancient civilizations that seem to relate to events in our not-too-distant-future. With such a limited range of source material, the season quickly begins to feel familiar, and not in a good way. There's a fair amount of overlap here, which wouldn't matter as much if you watched one episode per week as they aired, but becomes a bit tiring when watched as a group. This factor makes it hard to recommend this set for repeat viewing or ownership, as once you've seen the season, there's really no reason to go back.

During the course of the season, one scientist comes right out and says what I'd been thinking all along: the danger of revisiting ancient prophesies and trying to apply them to current events is that we may be forcing corresponding contemporary events or historical figures into molds that they were never intended to fit. It seems that each generation goes through the same exercise and with 2012 looming on the horizon, it's now our turn to overanalyze. As many of the prophesied cataclysms, disasters, and world-ending events presented in Nostradamus Effect are well beyond our control, I'd recommend that we spend less time worrying and more time living, while trying to make personal changes where we can. But maybe that's just me.

The real strength of Nostradamus Effect lies in how each episode is pulled together with a mixture of reenactments, CG imagery, archival footage and other interesting elements. The overall presentation is relatively average on both the audio and video fronts, partly confined by its documentarian format, but also due to the varied nature of the source material used in each episode. The only extra feature on this release is something called "Strange Facts," which amounts to nothing more than some random text-only trivia about Nostradamus that adds little real value.

The Verdict

Guilty of saying "the end is nigh" a few too many times.

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

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 67

Perp Profile
Studio: History Channel
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

* None

Running Time: 564 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Trivia

* IMDb

* Official Site