First of all, my lowered rating has everything to do with this particular release and NOT the TV show "Ancient Aliens." As the History Channel has veered away from classic historical content to shows with more entertainment pizzazz, "Ancient Aliens" has always seemed like a good fit to bridge this gap. Tales of mysterious and unexplained phenomenon, folklore and legend, and intergalactic speculation cross all international boundaries and are an inherent part of ancient history and cultural iconography. And as this documentary series began in its first season, it did a good job acknowledging the various interpretations of alien myths across the globe. Sometimes, over the years, the topics have gotten a bit thin and/or repetitive--but overall, this speculative entertainment has produced many an intriguing episode.
I'm not exactly sure, however, what the market is for this particular release. It has four episodes, has no special features, and runs about 3 hours and 46 minutes in total. It does have English and Spanish subtitle options.
Explanation of Rating:
(1) In a curious decision, the packaging (and I'm holding a copy in my hand) doesn't even bother to acknowledge which four episodes are included in the set. As a potential buyer, I think that History and A&E Distribution owe its fans and viewers this information. I don't want to make a blind purchase. What if I buy the set and find out that my least favorite episodes are included? What if I own a couple of complete season sets and don't want to duplicate episodes? Tough luck, I guess. Seriously, if you were in a physical store holding this item, you'd have no idea of its contents. They are listed here, but they need to be on the packaging!
(2) I know all pricing is subject to change, but the suggested non-sale price tag on these four episodes is $20. $5 a piece for a show in constant reruns seems a bit steep. My guess is that they might roll out future "Best of" compilations as well. If you're a fan of the show, I might suggest shopping for the best price on full seasons for a better value per episode.
The included episodes are actually the season premieres from the first four seasons:
The Evidence (Season One): As the title would suggest, the show charts physical clues across history and cultures that suggest the visitation of an alien life source.
Mysterious Places (Season Two): Again the title says it all. A look at places around the globe that are generally associated with unexplainable phenomena.
Aliens and the Old West (Season Three): Examines various stories set in the American Old West including the Aurora Incident.
The Mayan Conspiracy (Season Four): A fascinating topic that ties one of our most advanced early civilizations with alien influence. KGHarris, 8/12.