First off, because this could be a major criticism otherwise, if viewers end up feeling duped, as a lot of folks did after the movie THE FOURTH KIND came out purporting to be a true story, a documentary even, and it was all phony, I should clarify that the new series from the History Channel, PROJECT BLUE BOOK, is fiction. Yes, it is based on the real Project Blue Book, which was the real program initiated by the Air Force to investigate UFOs beginning in 1952 and ending (officially) in 1970. The show is based on actual cases investigated during those eighteen years. The story, though, is at the minimum 75% hooey. Which isn’t to say that it’s not good hooey, entertaining hooey. It is, quite so. And anchored by solid performances by lead actors Aidan Gillen and Michael Malarkey, it works. I’m rather enjoying it.

As for the subplots, there’s the de rigueur creepy government spook in the shadows, wearing the prerequisite Man in Black fedora, and there’s the maybe-lesbian undercover foreign operative (Ksenia Solo) keeping an eye on, and puttin’ the moves on, Mimi (Laura Mennell), the wife of series lead Josef Hynek (Gillen).

It’s THE X-FILES if you got rid of skeptical agent Scully and replaced her with skeptical Captain Michael Quinn, and if it was based on actual reports. Well, actually some of the episodes of THE X-FILES *were* based on actual incidents, but not as directly as is this new series. If you liked the former you should dig PROJECT BLUE BOOK. And unlike with THE X-FILES, you don’t have to be familiar with tons of backstory to jump into it. (Mainly ‘cause we’re just three episodes in.) Unless you want to read through all the real reports from the real Project Blue Book, which were released due to the Freedom of Information Act (with all the names blacked-out), you’re good to go.