First and foremost, History Channel's "Ancient Aliens" is an entertainment program and if you have an interest in the topic (whether or not you believe it), it can be a fun show. Just look at the episode titles if you are on the fence about how seriously you want to take this as science or history. Aliens really can't be responsible for everything that has ever happened on Earth, can they? 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. However, the more we progress--the theories and/or premises behind the show have become a little thinner, a little more hit or miss. I suppose that was to be expected as the program has already delved into the biggest, most well known, and most supported mysteries in earlier seasons. Thus, later seasons (while always entertaining) have had their equal share of fascinating speculation intertwined with engaging historical insights AND with episodes of eye-rolling lunacy.
And I think that is exactly how I might describe Season Four's new episodes. But let's face the honest truth. If you are shopping for Season Four of "Ancient Aliens," I don't think you need much convincing about whether you like the program or not. For my money, these episodes (although still somewhat hit or miss) have a stronger overall impact than Season Three where some of the topics were pretty funny. The show still has some repetition in principle themes. Here, again, we see focus drawn to the Mayans, the pyramids, to Doomsday, to time travel and to various cover-up theories. All of these topics have been well covered in alien mythology for years and by this show in general. They try to take different angles, but it doesn't change the fact that you've probably sat through similar programming in the past!
The ten episodes presented of Season Four are spread across two Blu-ray discs with no bonus features for approximately 7 hours and 20 minutes of programming. I'm not sure what happened because by my count, Season Four actually has several more episodes that were delayed until later this year for broadcast but were originally counted among Season Four titles (among them are Secrets of the Pyramids, Aliens and Cover-Ups, Aliens and Electricity, the Einstein Factor, and Destination Orion). It seems they are slated to return to TV in December. There are English and Spanish subtitle options available as well.
These are the included episodes: (1) The Mayan Conspiracy, (2) The Doomsday Prophecies, (3) The Greys, (4) Aliens and Mega-Disasters, (5) The NASA Connection, (6) Mystery of Puma Punku, (7) Aliens and Bigfoot, (8) The Da Vinci Conspiracy, (9) The Time Travelers, and (10) Aliens and Dinosaurs.
Personally, I could live the rest of my life without any more speculation of Da Vinci and I've grown weary of the Mayan topic. But the Greys and Puma Punku episodes caught my interest, while Mega-disasters and Bigfoot were silly enough and amusing. Again, as entertainment, "Ancient Aliens" continues to work. As science and/or history--I'll leave how effective it meets these criteria for you. KGHarris, 10/12.