Destination: Truth [Syfy, Wednesday, 10 p.m.] returns for its third season and host Josh Gates, host/explorer/photographer and all round genial nice guy agreed to talk about the show’s premiere – and much, much more – with a number of journalists/bloggers from a unique cross-section of web sites ranging from travel writers to sci-fi bloggers. It turns out that, like his series, Gates is unique – and extremely personable.
Participants included: Ken Gold [Media Blvd], Steve Eramo [Sci Fi TV Talk], Monica Gorsky [Flash News], Jenna Bush [SciFi Wire], Trisha Miller [Travel Writers Exchange], Josh Bozeman [thebluesite.com], Kristen Allen [Singularity – Josh Gates fan site], Aaron Sagers [Tribune], and me.
While reality TV generally gets a thumbs down from me, Destination: Truth [Syfy, Wednesday, 10 p.m.] is not your average reality. Sure, they investigate legendary and mythological creatures, but they do so by actually traveling to the homes of these creatures – and the travel part of the series can a lot of fun and just as often, genuinely breathtaking. Take this week’s season three premiere, Haunted Forest/Alux [uh-loosh´] as an example.
It’s been a few weeks since I last posted something here. Frankly, I’ve been really busy playing an inordinate amount of Rock Band 2 and working on the upcoming EclipseMagazine.com book, “Tell Us Who You Are – The EclipseMagazine.com Interviews.” The book will be out in time for your Holiday shopping pleasure. Enough with the cheap plug, I was invited to attend Sci-Fi Channel’s 2nd annual Digital Press Tour last weekend. At first, I was a bit skeptical and didn’t particularly want to attend. I mean the shows they were promoting were pretty much all reality programming and Amanda Tapping’s new sci-fi show Sanctuary. So it wasn’t like I was actually visiting a set and I’m not a particular fan of reality television; I generally avoid them like the plague. The only reality show I watch on a semi-regular basis is American Idol. But I must say after this weekend, I’m going to be logging some serious time with all of Sci-Fi’s fall lineup – starting with Ghost Hunters and Sci-Fi’s newest game show The Chase.
Last weekend’s event was held in Denver Colorado at the historic Stanley Hotel. This hotel is rumored to be haunted and is the place that provided the inspiration for Steven King’s The Shining. He spent a few months in Room 217 writing the book and staring at ghosts. The Jack Nicolas film wasn’t shot here, but King’s TV Mini-Series was. It’s a weirdly old world hotel where walking in you can almost imagine that ghosts actually do make this place home. The place has this weird otherworldly vibe to it. When I was outside taking pictures (see the Gallery) it did feel freaky.
Josh Gates’ Destination: Truth opens its second season [Sci Fi, Wednesdays, 10/9C] by tackling two intriguing situations. First, Gates and his crew [pictured] travel to Queensland, Australia to investigate sightings of a creature called the Yowle [yow-lee] – a creature whose description is familiar to many different cultures, which have given the creature names like Sasquatch, Bigfoot and/or Yeti. The second investigation in the second season premiere concerns a haunted mosque in Malaysia.
In each case, Gates and his crew follow their tried and true protocol: journeying to the sight of their subjects; setting up their equipment, and then waiting and watching for something to happen.
On paper that sounds pretty dull, but when members of Gates’ team encounter stuff that shouldn’t be there – like the shredded trees in Queensland, or hear sounds that have no visible source in the Malaysian mosque – it does give the viewer a bit of a jolt.
Unfortunately, the screener Sci Fi sent out was a rough cut that didn’t have the final portion of the episode – the part where they got the results of their collected evidence, so I can’t really say how things play out [not that I’d give spoilers, though knowing the results might have slanted my review differently]. The documentary style of shooting does have the effect of drawing the viewer into this world, though.
While I’m not exactly a fan of reality TV, the two case studies offered here present a certain amount of potential evidence of the existence of something that may not be from the realm of current scientific thought, and it would be interesting to see whether that evidence did support the existence of the Yowle, or the Malaysian mosque ghost.