Project Blue Book season 2 will begin next week. However, since it’s been 9 months since season 1 ended, you might need a refresher. So let’s look back on everything that happened and look forward to what we can expect.
Project WHO Book?: A Beginner’s Guide to the Show
image via A&E Studios
Maybe you missed all of season 1 and you’re on the fence about binging it. If that’s the case, let’s talk about the basic details of the show. Airing on the History Channel, Project Blue Book is based on the real-life Air Force study of the same name. The study wasn’t the first the Air Force conducted; first there was Sign and then Grudge. Then came Blue Book.
The studies were meant to investigate reports of what they first called “anomalous” aircraft. The show is set in 1952, a year before Air Force Captain Edward J. Ruppelt invented the phrase “unidentified flying object.” J. Allen Hynek, an astrophysicist, worked with the Air Force from the beginning of the studies. However, on the show, they rewrite his involvement. Instead, the Air Force recruits Professor Hynek, played by Game of Thrones alum Aiden Gillen, to work on the Project, starting with Blue Book. His partner, Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey), is loosely based on Ruppelt.
Together, the two look into incidents based on actual cases. The generals overseeing the project, Harding (Neal McDonough) and Valentine (Michael Harney), are also based on real folks. Valentine is based on General Charles P. Cabell and Harding is based on General Nathan Twining. He famously wrote a memo in 1947 about “flying discs,” in which he said, “The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious.”
However, as with other shows that focus on government intrigue, the generals aren’t showing all their cards. If this reminds you of The X-Files, that’s a good analogue. Hynek and Quinn are like two Scullys, but one of the Scullys (Hynek) is looking for logical answers. The other, Quinn, just wants to close these cases.
A Look Back at Project Blue Book Season 1
Hynek in episode 4, “Operation Paperclip,” with what Wernher von Braun later said was a rhesus monkey, like haben Sie schon einen Affen gesehen, Wernher? (image via A&E Studios)
Over the course of the season, Hynek and Quinn travel around the country questioning purported witnesses to strange phenomena. Sometimes they even witness some weirdness themselves. Real historical sightings inspire the cases they tackle, although you likely haven’t heard of them.
The most well-known case that prompted an episode was the story of Barney and Betty Hill. The New Hampshire couple reported in 1961 that they had encountered a craft and then experienced missing time, among other disturbing events. While the show doesn’t duplicate their story completely, it forms the basis for episode 9, “Abduction.”
Throughout season 1, the Project Blue Book duo attempt to find rational explanations for the cases they work. However, it began to seem likely as the season drew closer to the end that there is something out there. Or at least someone wants them to think that. Hynek, in particular, made contact with a mysterious fellow (billed as “The Unseen”) who seemed to be a kind of proto-Man in Black.
At the same time, as the show takes place in the thick of the Cold War, there is an unsurprising paranoia about those Russians. They could be anywhere. Of course, we know that they’re actually right there. Hynek’s wife, Mimi (Laura Mennell), in particular, has attracted one. Russian agent Susie (Ksenia Solo) was supposed to get close to Mimi, so she could get close to Dr. Hynek’s work. Instead, she seems to have gotten really close to Mimi. (I mean, “Is she…you know…”)
What to Expect in Project Blue Book Season 2
image via A&E Studios
A lot of season 2 is still under wraps, just like that craft we saw in season 1. However, we do know a little bit about what’s to come. As I mentioned, most of the cases they covered last season were rather obscure, unless you’re a MUFON member. (Or you know what MUFON is.) This season, they’re taking on the most famous UFO story of all time. Episodes 1 and 2 of the new season are titled “The Roswell Incident,” parts 1 and 2. As the show takes place in the 50s, it will see Hynek and Quinn probing the case 6 years after the fact. As we see from the trailer, they’ll be entering Area 51. Wonder what they’ll find.
In addition, Mimi’s apparently going to be making a new friend. She might need one, because the trailer appears to indicate that Susie may be in danger. (Unless that’s another hooded blonde woman.) Anyway, Mimi’s going to be working with a civilian UFO group, so it looks like aliens are going to become the family business. But are they (and the truth) out there? We don’t know that yet, but hopefully, we’ll find out soon.
You can watch the trailer for Project Blue Book season 2 below; the new season airs on the History Channel starting January 21st, 2020.
Are you looking forward to season 2? What do you hope happens? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.
featured image via A&E Studios
Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. She now splits her time between the Appalachian wilds (of Alabama) and the considerably more refined streets of New York City. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf.