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Dark Skies: The Declassified Complete Series (1996)

Eric Close , J.T. Walsh , Tobe Hooper  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Eric Close, J.T. Walsh, Megan Ward, Jeri Ryan
  • Directors: Tobe Hooper
  • Writers: Bryce Zabel, Brent V. Friedman
  • Producers: Bryce Zabel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: January 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 900 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00465I156
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,297 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

International pilot

Cast & creator commentaries

Signal To Noise: Uncovering Dark Skies

An intimate three-part look back with creators Bryce Zabel & Brent V. Friedman and stars, Eric Close & Megan Ward

The Dark Skies glossary

Bryce Zabel & Brent V. Friedman define the important terms of Dark Skies and UFO lore

Network promos

Original sales presentation

A never-before-seen proposal for season 2

And more!

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On July 2, 1947, a spacecraft of unknown origin crashed in the New Mexico desert outside Roswell Army Air Base. Four bodies, known as the Grays, were recovered. From that moment on, everything you think to be true about American history has been influenced by that event. On February 17, 1962, another event occurred, related to the first, but one that has, until now, been kept completely suppressed. You are being trusted with that secret.

In 1996, television audiences were introduced to John Loengard (Eric Close) and Kimberly Sayers (Megan Ward), two heroic freedom fighters charged with the unearthly task of protecting humanity against an alien infestation known as the Hive while showing us, through their own experiences and actions, the truth behind our own recent past. Call it alternative history or call it the unthinkable truth. Either way, call it Dark Skies.

The X-Files told us, "The truth is out there." Dark Skies, the ambitious and audacious NBC series that lasted just one season, warned us we couldn't handle the truth. It created an incredible alternate universe in which 20th-century history as we know it is reinterpreted through the framework of a conspiracy to cover up an alien invasion. Francis Powers? He wasn't spying on Russia. He was involved in an aerial dogfight with a UFO. The assassination of President Kennedy? The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show? The disappearance of three civil rights workers in Mississippi? The Vietnam War? Pollution? Each is revealed to be a pivotal event in the secret war being raged on members of the alien Hive who first arrived at Roswell. "They're here, they're hostile, and powerful people don't want you to know," as the Emmy-winning opening credit sequence informs us. But John Loengard (Eric Close), an idealistic congressional aide, stumbles onto the conspiracy, and together with his girlfriend Kim Sayers (Megan Ward) becomes embroiled in the alien-quashing campaign being waged by Majestic, "the most secret organization you've never heard of." John is one of those "the public has a right to know" kind of guys, but Captain Bach (the late, great J.T. Walsh) will stop at nothing to ensure that doesn't happen. Dark Skies has a more accessible mythology than The X-Files, and it's a kick to see such 1960s icons as Jim Morrison, Timothy Leary, and John Lennon figure (unwittingly or not) in the action. The series also benefits from its meticulous period re-creation (it's Mad Men for the Close Encounters set) and above-average special effects. For a short-lived series, this six-disc set includes an impressive lineup of bonus features that will thrill the show's devoted following, including an excellent three-part series retrospective featuring the show's creators, Bryce Zabel and Brent V. Friedman, as well as Close and Ward; the international version of the impressive feature-length pilot directed by Tobe Hooper; original NBC promos; the electronic press kit used to promote the show; and a what-might-have-been proposal for a second season. --Donald Liebenson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
305 of 319 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History Is A Lie November 6, 2010
I have been waiting since 1997 for this DVD set to be released. "Dark Skies" was a heavily promoted NBC television series about an alien invasion with the twist that it was set in the 1960s. The costumes, the cars... it felt like "Mad Men" with aliens. It used actors to portray real people in the episodes as characters: the Beatles, Jim Morrison, Carl Sagan, Colin Powell, Timothy Leary, Howard Hughes, Robert Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, and even Charles Manson -- all seen as being impacted or part of the invasion or battle against it.

The series was seen through the eyes of a Majestic-12 agent named John Loengard who, in just the first season, goes from being a naive congressional aide to a jaded government secret-keeper. He and his girlfriend Kimberly Sayers are involved with JFK's assassination and end up on the run, and that's just in the pilot.

The opening credits (which won the Emmy) begin with a voice-over that includes, "They're here...they're hostile... and powerful people don't want you to know. History is a lie." How's that for subversion, being on NBC, a mainstream TV network and all?

The acting was great -- both the leads Eric Close and Megan Ward as well as the late J.T. Walsh and even a pre Seven-of-Nine Jeri Ryan.

I'm biased, of course, because along with Brent V. Friedman, I created the series. I hope you'll give it a shot. It's really worth it, and the care that Shout! Factory has taken to make this DVD release perfect really shows. They've added an originally produced documentary, hours of audio commentaries, promotional videos, sales presentations, network promos and even a few Easter eggs that really drive home the conspiratorial nature of the series.
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121 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The series that out-X-Filed X-FILES December 2, 2010
I had given up hope that this series would ever be released on DVD. Unfortunately, at the time it first aired, I think a lot of people assumed it was a cheap attempt to cash in on the popularity of the then red-hot X-FILES, and so never even gave it a chance.

Trust me, those of you who have never seen the series, the producers really did their homework and incorporated all of the well-known lore and conspiracy theories regarding UFOs. Beginning with the Roswell, NM "saucer crash" in 1947 and working its way logically up to the early 1960s, the series ably matched established UFO history with actual recorded history to create a believable fictionalized chronology. You don't have to be a "believer" to enjoy this, but if you are you will truly appreciate the way this series "gets it right". Believers and non-believers alike will enjoy the many appearances by historical personalities in nearly every episode.

Another thing, X-FILES was all over the map with its conspiracies and paranormal phenomena, whereas DARK SKIES wisely concentrates exclusively on UFO lore and its attendant conspiracies. This makes the whole series much more coherent when viewed as a whole. The overall impression is that X-FILES, which I really enjoyed when it started, became a victim of its own success, with on-again/off-again subplots that ultimately never hung together. It's as if the producers, once the show went beyond their initial premise, were just throwing stuff against the wall to see what would stick.

DARK SKIES, on the other hand, despite its mere 18 episodes (plus the initial 2-hour pilot), really hangs together well in retrospect. It's too bad this couldn't have continued another season or two, to more fully flesh-out the concept, but what we got is quite satisfying in itself. I am looking forward to watching this again after far too long a wait.
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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the Dark Skies TV Series December 20, 2010
By Skip
I just got (not via Amazon) a review copy of the Dark Skies TV Series on DVD - and I highly recommend it for newcomers to the series such as myself who are interested in UFOs and Aliens, as well as fans who enjoyed the original series. The packaging is very simple and easy to access the six DVDs. The screen menus for choosing which episodes (there are multiple episodes on each DVD) are very simple and straightforward which I appreciate. The video is in the original 4:3 screen format rather than a widescreen screen format, however, the color and quality of the DVD video are extremely high -- it upscales to a stunning picture on my HDTV. There doesn't appear to be any subtitles, which may be important for some viewers. I am enjoying the series very much, it will be nice for the original fans to view the story without commercial interruptions. The box describes lots of bonus features which I haven't looked at yet ... they include: International Pilot; Cast & Creator Commentaries; Signal to Noise - Uncovering Dark Skies - a 3-part Look Back; The Dark Skies Glossary; Network Promos; Original Sales Presentation; and more. In summary, if you liked the X-files or the original series, you will probably like this. I also think the price Amazon is selling it for is quite reasonable. Enjoy.

Viewers also might enjoy Steve Spielberg's TV Series: Taken. Steven Spielberg Presents Taken
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, this epic series has been released. January 23, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Like many others that have reviewed this item, I have been waiting a long time for this to be released on DVD. Now, it's finally here!

Dark Skies was a series that only lasted one season about government cover-ups of various incidences related to the UFO/alien phenomenon. It aired on Saturdays at 8 PM on NBC, which was generally a time-slot for family-friendly programs and did not help Dark Skies' chances of staying on the air. Not only that, but it was endlessly (and unfairly) compared to The X-Files, which was very popular at the time.

Admittedly, while the two series had some things in common, they were really much more different than they were alike. While The X-Files had an overall alien conspiracy story-arc, it was also a show that dealt with ghosts, monsters, time travel, the occult, government conspiracies NOT related to aliens, etc. Dark Skies never focused on those things. It was also a 9 year journey of Agents Mulder and Scully searching for "the truth."

With Dark Skies, the series started out with both the main characters as well as the audience knowing EXACTLY what "the truth" was from the very beginning. Aliens were here, they were hostile, and powerful people didn't want us to know. It was a story that started in the 1960s and was initially planned to bring us up to the present, going through all sorts of well-known historical events (like the JFK assassination) and tying each and every one of them to a government conspiracy to keep the truth about alien visitations on this planet a secret.

It was very much a different show than The X-Files, and anyone who wrote off the show as just a cheap imitation should give it a second chance now that it is readily available on DVD at quite an affordable price.
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English subtitles?
Subtitles are expensive so including them would add to the cost.
Sep 21, 2011 by JD |  See all 5 posts
What TV series that was cancelled would you like to see continued?
May 14, 2012 by INDIAN PRINCESS |  See all 6 posts
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