When History Channel decided not to renew Project Blue Book for a third season, creator David O’Leary encouraged fans to spread the hashtag #SAVEBLUEBOOK across social media. Season 3 was already planned out and the cancellation came as a surprise to many people. German fan Carsten Krikorka quickly created the Save Project Blue Book petition. As of Memorial Day, it has garnered over 12,000 signatures and keeps ticking upwards. Every signature counts as studio execs do pay attention to petition numbers.
An article at MonstersandCritics helps explain why History declined another season (not about ratings but a paradigm shift). Creator David O’Leary said of the fan-created petition: “If we can get the kinds of numbers that go up into the 50,000-60,000 plus signatures, it becomes undeniable.” The biggest thing that all successful resurrections had was one thing —momentum. O’Leary said that it’s the continuation of the fans voicing their support, with the numbers of signatures growing, to see that there is a movement. Read the full article to understand why the show wasn’t picked up (not ratings, which were solid) and how we, the fans, can help get a third season. Please go to #SaveBlueBook Petition, sign and share. We can do this!
You can also help by keeping the hashtag #SaveBlueBook active across social media platforms, particularly Twitter and Instagram. Fans also participate in #FanArtFriday #PBBFanArt, using photomanips and actual artwork with the show’s characters, to demonstrate their passion for the series. David O’Leary posts a weekly compilation of that creative art each Friday on his Twitter https://twitter.com/davideoleary and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/davideoleary/ accounts.
Update March 2021: The #SaveBlueBook website is now live! Visit https://www.savebluebook.com/ for more details.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Last Updated: March 14, 2021
- How many seasons/episodes are there? There are currently two seasons; each comprised of 10 episodes. Each episode is 44 minutes long.
- Will there be a season 3? In May 2020, History Channel announced its decision to not go ahead with a season 3. Please see the #SaveBlueBook Campaign section above 🔼 for the reasons behind that decision, as well as the fan petition on how we can save the show. The producers are ‘shopping’ the show around so it is hopeful Project Blue Book will land on a streaming platform.
- Where can I watch the show? This depends on where you reside. While the US and Canada no longer can see the show on History Channel (even on Video on Demand), there are various pay platforms such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, YouTube, etc., where it may still be available for purchase. While you can find ‘free’ episodes on the internet (usually from sketchy sources), watching them deprives the series (and cast) of residuals, and puts you at risk of malware being downloaded on your device. You can always purchase season 1 on both DVD and Blu-Ray, and season 2 on DVD only. The season 2 DVD was released in June 2020 in both the US and Canada. Update March 2021: U.S. fans can stream both seasons for free (but with ads) on PeacockTV and IMDBtv (the latter also via Amazon Prime). Both platforms can usually be viewed via computer or smart TV.
- Why are there no ‘extras’ on the DVDs? We have no real detail, but Lionsgate (who puts out the DVDs) is not big on extras on TV DVDs. However, fans do get extras of a sort – the official SyFyWire podcasts https://www.syfy.com/tags/project-blue-book-the-official-podcast by Syfy’s Tara Bennett. There is a 20-25 minute podcast for each episode. Various cast members participated in these fanastic podcasts. There are also two bonus episodes – one from a convention and the other where fan questions are answered by cast members – so right there you have approximately ten hours of great listening.
- Who stars in Project Blue Book? The main cast is comprised of Aidan Gillen as Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Michael Malarkey as Captain Michael Quinn, Laura Mennell as Mimi Hynek, Ksenia Solo as Susie Miller, Neal McDonough as General James Harding, and Michael Harney as General Hugh Valentine. Recurring characters include Jill Morrison as Faye, Jerod Haynes as CIA Agent Daniel Banks, Sofia Milos as Daria, Ian Tracey as Unseen/Fixer/William, and Nicholas Holmes as Joel Hynek. You can find out more about the actors at https://www.imdb.com/.
- Where is the show filmed? The show was filmed in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The region is a massive film hub – it’s dubbed “Hollywood North” for a reason. British Columbia boasts beaches, rain forests, cities, and even deserts (“Roswell Incident”, for instance, was filmed in Kamloops, an arid region approximately 4 hours outside of Vancouver). Much of it is filmed in and around Vancouver, and in a studio where standing sets (the Hynek home, the Blue Book office, Quinn’s apartment) were built.
- When does the show take place? The series takes place in the 1950s, although cases flashback to 1947 (i.e., “The Roswell Incident”). You’ll see our heroes driving around in huge period piece cars with no seatbelts, dressing in smart suits and Fedoras. There’s not a single cellphone in sight as they had yet to be invented. War World II is over and by mid-season season 2, the Korean War had finally come to a conclusion. The Cold War was ramping up (hence, the horrified references by characters to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a couple who were found guilty of espionage and given the electric chair). The set decorators, props folk and costume department have taken incredible care to replicate this era in precise detail.
- Is Project Blue Book real? There was a real Project Blue Book. The project had a few names (Project Sign, Project Grudge, etc.) before it concluded as Project Blue Book. It was the United States Air Force name for a project that investigated UFO reports between 1947 and 1969. There are a lot of internet sites about it, but you can start at https://www.archives.gov/research/military/air-force/ufos. Meanwhile, the TV series is ‘based on’ and ‘inspired by.’ It is not a documentary series but uses the real cases as springboards for dramatized stories meant to entertain and inform. At the end of each episode, History Channel would air a short segment detailing the ‘real’ UFO case upon which the episode was based. Unfortunately, these segments are not on the DVDs, but you can easily research the cases online or at your library if they have a good UFO section. The Russian spy sub-plots seen in episodes are indicative of the Cold War paranoia which was rampant in the early 1950s after WWII ended.
- Which of the characters on the TV show are real? Many of the characters are based upon real people. For legal reasons, some do not use real names or are amalgamations of several people. All are dramatized for entertainment purposes. The Hyneks (Allen, Mimi and Joel) are based on real people. In reality, the Hyneks had five children, but only one (Joel) made it to the series. Quinn is an amalgamations of several Blue Book directors (Ruppelt, Hardin, Gregory, Friend, Quintanilla). The writers used Ruppelt as their base character, but shortened Quintanilla to Quinn as the final name. He is perhaps the most ‘fictional’ character so there is more latitude toward creating a backstory for him. Generals Valentine and Harding were based upon Generals William Garland and Charles Cabell, respectively. Susie Miller, Unseen/Fixer/William, Daria, Agent Banks, and Faye are all fictional creations.
- Who are the creators of the show? David O’Leary is the creator/executive producer of Project Blue Book. Sean Jablonski is the showrunner. You can find out more about them at https://www.imdb.com/.
- What companies produced the series? A+E Studios, Compari Entertainment and History Channel. An excellent source of technical information on the show – who starred in it, wrote it, produced it, etc. – can be found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6632666/.
- Does the show have an official site? History Channel maintains a site at https://www.history.com/shows/project-blue-book. Canada’s site, which is a little different, is at https://www.history.ca/shows/project-blue-book/, and Japan has one at https://jp.history.com/project-blue-book/. Foreign countries tend to use Facebook pages to advertise the show (i.e., Epic Drama covers a segment of Europe) so you may need to Google for your respective area. History also has a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HistoryBlueBook/.
- Is there Project Blue Book merchandise? For the moment, History Channel is selling t-shirts, coffee mugs, iPhone cases, etc. for the show. It is unknown how long they will maintain that page/selling merchandise now that they are no longer airing the show. You can visit the link at https://www.historystore.com/collections/project-blue-book.
- Is there a soundtrack album for the show? Update (Jan 2021) There is now a virtual album available for download! You can find it Spotify, YouTubeMusic as well as Amazon. There are some compilations of the 1940s/50s style music on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5SEsHfZFBP66xLzUp95AF2 and an excellent playlist created by Michael Malarkey – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6ropkgAJSwbz6J8TXc2hce.
- How can I contact the cast or creative people? Many of the cast and crew are on social media (Instagram and Twitter). Alas, Aidan Gillen has no social media presence whatsoever except for fan-created social media platforms. Sometimes the cast/crew will interact with the fans, others use it as a platform simply to express themselves. Don’t feel slighted if they don’t respond to an Instagram post or a tweet as there are just one of them, and tens of thousands of us. There is a list of websites and social media platforms at the Coordinates section where you can follow them.
- What is #HyneQuinn? Where did the term originate? It’s a social media hashtag used on Twitter, Instagram, etc. It can be traced back to Michael Malarkey. He brought it up on the January 15, 2019 @SyFyWire podcast for “The Flatwoods Monster” (located at https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/project-blue-book-official-podcast-episode-2-michael-malarkey). “I actually said to Aidan one day, ‘cause our trailers are right next to each other. Hynek. Quinn. HyneQuinn, and you know, I’d had a couple of Heinekens at the time (laughs). Joking. But I was like ‘Hey, Aidan, our names together are … HyneQuinn’ and he’s like (adopts stern voice) ‘Don’t, don’t start with that.’ (everybody at podcast erupted in laughter). And thus the hashtag became ‘official.’ Fans use this hashtag to reference the Quinn-Hynek bond/friendship. There’s also #Mimsie, for the Mimi-Susie friendship. #PBBFanArt is used for Project Blue Book-related artwork posted to social media.
- Are there ‘Easter Eggs’ in the show? Yes, in fact there are three Easter Eggs related to Steven Spielberg, which you can find in seasons 1 and 2. In “Operation Mainbrace,” you can see a very famous Spielberg character. You might not catch it on your first watch of the episode, but pay sharp attention when you re-watch it. An article at DenofGeek (https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/project-blue-book-easter-egg-reference-guide/) references Easter Eggs to the real life cases and how the episodes line up to them.
- Why was Project Blue Book cancelled? We’ve never had an official press release, but various articles deduced it was a combination of History Channel dumping scripted show formats in favor of miniseries and well, the ‘docu’ series they show. It was also bad timing that COVID19 sprung up, making other studios/platforms leery of starting new productions, especially with so many shutdowns. As of March 2021, Project Blue Book still remains in limbo. Cast and crew would no doubt love to get back together for a season 3, but only time will tell if that occurs. Meanwhile, please sign the #SaveBlueBook petition and keep the show alive on social media, and ask streaming platforms such as Amazon, Netflix, Peacock, etc. to pick it up instead of yet another reboot of an old sitcom.
The following FAQ Questions contain spoilers to the season 2 finale. Read at your own risk.
- Will we see Susie again? From DenOfGeek interview: Others wanted to know about Susie, the Russian spy. The end of the season left her in a bit of a bind. A viewer asked, “Do you have a scenario to get Susie out of her fix?” Jablonski responded, “The short answer is ‘Yes.’”
- Will Unseen/Fixer/William return? ? From DenOfGeek interview: When asked if he will return, O’Leary responded: “Not only do I have a soft spot for the Unseen character and always have, Ian Tracey (the actor who portrays Unseen) is amazing.” Mirroring Jablonski’s earlier response, O’Leary then added, “the short answer is ‘Yes.’”
- Is Quinn dead (as seen at end of “Operation Mainbrace”)? No. Fans were in shock when they saw Quinn apparently blown up in the submarine. Creator David O’Leary allayed fans’ fears about this in the MonstersandCritics interview (linked above). “We’ll find Quinn, I know that,” O’Leary said confidently. “We have some clear ideas of what we want to do.”