When "Unsolved Mysteries" originally aired on TV, I would look forward to it every week. And as good as the segments were on unsolved crimes and lost loves, it should come as no surprise that I especially relished the segments on ghosts, miraculous events and UFOs. I still catch the re-broadcasts on the Lifetime network when I can. Now paranormal junkies like me can watch all our favorite segments compiled on DVDs.
The packaging of popular TV shows into "complete seasons" on DVD is becoming common. Fortunately, the producers did not package "Unsolved Mysteries" episodes this way, as compilations of the show as it was aired. Instead, they wisely are packaging them by category in three boxed sets: Ghosts, UFOs and Miracles.
"Unsolved Mysteries" was a groundbreaking show when it first aired. It wasn't quite a reality show and wasn't quite a documentary, but found great entertainment value somewhere in-between. The stories were real, but recreated with actors. Yet the real people involved were often interviewed. This made for compelling television. The show was so well produced that the story segments retain their appeal on these DVDs.
To its credit, "Unsolved Mysteries" always approached its paranormal segments with open-minded skepticism. They did not present a ghost story or UFO encounter as being facts; they were presented as claimed experiences that were unexplained. In addition to interviewing the people involved in the experiences, the producers always sought out parapsychologists, ufologists and other researchers, as well as skeptics to present the "scientific" viewpoint.
This balanced presentation served the show well and gave it a feeling of believability.
The content on the DVDs is great. Each boxed set contains four DVDs of outstanding stories. The Ghosts set offers 34 segments, including such cases as The Queen Mary
, Highway Vision, Resurrection Mary, Gettysburg Ghosts and more.
The UFOs set has 26 segments, including the Allagash Abductions, Roswell, the Phoenix Lights, Crop Circles and more.
The Miracles set features 33 segments, including The Miracle of Lourdes, the Power of Prayer, angel encounters, miraculous healing and more.
Other boxed sets are planned for 2005, including Psychics, Bizarre Murders, and Legends.
As well done as "Unsolved Mysteries" was, I wonder if it would have been as successful without Robert Stack as its host. With that great voice and often wearing his trademark trenchcoat, Stack brought a seriousness and a gravity to the show, which was especially important for the paranormal segments. When presenting these segments, his attitude was always serious yet questioning. After showing the viewers some truly remarkable and unexplained events, his wrap-up invariably had the tone of: this is incredible... I don't know if it's true or not... but it's sure worth looking at.
These DVDs are well worth looking at.