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In Search of...: Bishop Pike (1982)
Unusual episode looks at the controversial(and perhaps little known) case of Bishop Pike, who was a dedicated but troubled believer in the Catholic Church who found himself at odds with its beliefs and teachings, which he considered out-of-date in some ways. He was both promoted quickly, yet often ostracized as well. He was popular in the turbulent period of the 1960's, at did attract young people to the church, but he also had a troubled personal life, with a divorce, and later suicide of his son, whom he used a medium to try and contact. His strange death in the desert in 1969 ended his story, but his many books and ideas continue to exist.
Interesting bible based episode examines the book of Joshua, where Joshua, who inherited leadership of the Israelites from Moses after he died at the astounding age of 120, used his horn, and God's power, to break down the walls of a fortress that stood in their way, and threatened their existence. Recreates the time and place well, with decent model F/X showing the walls tumbling down. Not quite as compelling as other similar episodes, this still works well for the most part, and as always, presents the subject matter in a serious, matter-of-fact way. It is also stated at the end that this account is found only in the Book of Joshua, and nowhere else.
In Search of...: Eva Braun (1982)
Mystery Nazi Mistress
Effective historical based episode looks at the real life mistress, and later wife, of Nazi leader Adolph Hitler, and how such a seemingly innocent woman could have fallen in love with such an evil man. The last days of them in his bunker in April 1945 are stylishly recreated as a silent sequence, and if the account presented is in fact what really happened, or a possible cover-up to hide Eva's escape from the invading Allied forces(the Russians) Some believed Hitler may have escaped, but dental records disprove this, though Eva is still thought to have died with him, even if her dental records can't be verified. A most interesting episode, with a memorable closing sequence.
Science Fiction Or Possible Fact?
The dream of human space & time travel has been held by people for ages, and of course is the stuff of science fiction literature, films, and television. Famed novelist H.G. Wells is played by an actor in a fun recreation of his famous novel "The Time Machine", with imagery inspired by the popular 1960 film with Rod Taylor. Scientists are interviewed as well, who discuss both the reality of space travel, and its potential future and challenges, and the plausibility of time travel, and if it could ever be achieved, and the potential consequences as a result. Entertaining episode is presented in an interesting and stylish manner, creating a nice futuristic atmosphere.
In Search of...: The Missing Link (1982)
Creation Vs. Evolution
The age old debate of bible based creationism and scientific based evolution is examined in this episode, which looks at whether there is a missing link between apes and humans, or whether it is a mistaken theory. Both creationists and evolutionists are interviewed about what they believe and why, and as host Leonard Nimoy points out, the gulf between them may never be crossed, and that may in fact always be the case to an extent. Both sides make valid points, and so of course it is up to the viewer to decide for themselves what to believe. Other cases like human and dinosaur fossilized footprints being found together are looked at, but with a bit more skepticism.
In Search of...: The Human Aura (1982)
Inner Light Outward
The phenomena of the supposed human aura that envelops not just people, but all living things is examined here. One scientist claimed to have invented a device that enabled anyone to see an aura, and later a pair of goggles, but host Leonard Nimoy stated that he saw nothing unusual when he wore them. The scientist died without any heirs to carry it on, so the study is rather spotty, but some other scientists have tried to pick up his work, with mixed results. Though this subject is most inconclusive, it is true that some people do seem to shine more than others, and that anger or agitation can make an aura pulsate and glow noticeably. Interesting attempt to understand this concept.
In Search of...: Spirit Voices (1981)
Talking With The Dead
Intriguing episode focuses on the phenomena of spirit communication, whether it be unintentional(people who claim to hear footsteps where there was no one, or a woman getting a phone call from a deceased relative) or intentional, as a group of spiritualists use modern technology to try and contact various spirits, spending a lot of time in a spooky graveyard. Some voices or sounds may have been recorded, but it is still wide open to suggestion and interpretation. This segment is at times a bit silly to be honest, but does feature a most striking and haunting closing scene that works well, and ends this uneven outing with stylish aplomb.
In Search of...: Nostradamus (1981)
The familiar topic of Nostradamus, the famous doctor and quatrain writer/future predictor is finally taken on, with mostly interesting results. Nostradamus lived in a time where the church held dominance, and looked at any psychic or fortune-telling powers with suspicion, and possible trial and execution, so he had to be careful in writing his predictions as quatrains, though the trouble is that, as skeptics point out, the writings are so vague and unspecified that they have little meaning or credibility, and are open to wide interpretation, making them ultimately pointless, though his followers insist on their accuracy. His name lives on regardless...
In Search of...: Future Life (1981)
Living In The Future
Then-topical episode(1981) about what the future would hold for us all of course is unavoidably dated now, with certain predictions(like normal passenger space travel for instance...) sadly off the mark, though one interviewee hit the target: that computers would become a huge force in the lives of people, which is certainly true! Technology as well looks dated, but viewer must keep in mind that this was cutting-edge stuff back then, so some lenience in viewing is required. Certainly, such speculation now may look just as dated in 30 years, so all things are relative. Regardless, this episode is still an entertaining time capsule.
In Search of...: The Titanic (1981)
Doomed Luxury Liner
Then-topical episode deals with the tragic sinking of the luxury liner Titanic in the North Atlantic in April, 1912, and the circumstances that led to the disaster, and the consequences for those held responsible, since over 1500 lives were lost in the frigid waters, where there weren't enough lifeboats for everyone. The ship collided with an unseen iceberg, hitting it in the exact part of the ship where it was vulnerable. Interesting account here, but now sadly dated, since the experts interviewed were wrong, as the ship broke in two before sinking, since they believed that it was still whole. The blockbuster feature film "Titanic"(1997) illustrates this best...