The only mystery Judge Dawn Hunt solves at any museum is the location of the bathroom.
"Across the United States in the nation's most revered institutions our celebrated history is on display. Wondrous treasures from the past…bizarre relics. But behind every amazing artifact is another tale to be told. And a secret waiting to be revealed. These are the mysteries at the museum."
Facts of the Case
Mysteries at the Museum: Season One is a Travel Channel show and is comprised of twelve episodes they call volumes.
Each volume tackles six separate artifacts which averages out to about seven minutes per item. As such there's a definite lightness to the series. It's as though you're at a museum listening to a docent going on about an exhibit before moving on to the next in the tour.
The segments combine interviews, stock footage, recreations and photos to give a brief history of the item at hand. Tying it all together is narrator Jay Thomas (The Santa Clause 2), whose game show ready voice provides the tone for the series…the less than dramatic, yet still serious feel which is important to make the series work.
I'm guessing they were going for a continuation of the "Mysterious" angle but there're no episode descriptions anywhere, merely "Volume One" and so on. Thus so you know what you're getting I'm spoiling the episodes with brief descriptions of the artifacts presented.
As you watch Mysteries at the Museum: Season One you will soon recognize the recycling of footage, locations, and commentators. It's economical but I can't help wonder why all the artifacts from a certain museum, like the United States Air Force Museum, would be spread out over different episodes instead of having an episode devoted to all of them together. A quick glance through the items in each episode makes it clear they don't relate to each other and thus Thomas' narration is truly the only thing which ties them together and makes the episode cohesive.
But while it may not make sense to have the items spread out the way they are, it's educational fun nonetheless. You get a succinct history, a "mystery" which sometimes stretches the term, and just enough drama to keep it all interesting. Each episode is like a trip through your local museum but to the less-visited sections. And that's the series' charm: giving you insight into things you'd likely never know about otherwise.
The transfer is better than mere broadcast. There's a low level of noise throughout and at the blackest levels there was an occasional blue overlay. The audio is fine, a bit flat but you're not going to be watching this to test out your sound system.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Discovery Channel
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