Courtesy: History Channel/A&E Home Video
For eons, man has looked to the stars and wondered if mankind is alone in the universe. For all of the fascination with the heavens that man has shown since the days of the Mayans and Egyptians and even the study of outer space (both the Mayans and Egyptians were expert astronomers), no firm evidence of intelligent life’s existence has been found. Or has it? That is the premise behind History Channel’s hit history-based series Ancient Aliens. The series, now in its tenth season, has provided dozens of intriguing theories arguing that intelligent beings have in fact visited Earth as far back as the stone age. Late this summer, History and A&E Home Video made another group of those theories available to audiences when they released Ancient Aliens: Season Seven on DVD and Blu-ray. The theories presented over the course of Season Seven are in themselves the central reason for audiences to check out this collection. Regardless of whether or not audiences are believers, want to believe, or skeptics, audiences in whole will find something to like about this season’s episodes. In regards to the season’s more extrinsic value, audiences will be happy to know that Season Seven has been released in two separate formats–DVD and Blu-ray. On the surface this might not seem like such an important element to discuss. But it actually is important in its own right in terms of ergonomics. That will be discussed later. And last but not least of note is the actual presentation of the episodes in the Blu-ray presentation. Audiences will be glad to know that they can actually stop either of the Blu-ray set’s discs and later come back to them without worrying about said discs restarting from the beginning. What’s more the Blu-ray presentation allows audiences to keep any of the season’s given episodes running and go through its menus at the same time. Whether or not History has allowed for this on DVD is admittedly not known to this critic as this critic has been honored with the Blu-ray presentation in place of the DVD presentation. Regardless, this addition is in itself one more important part of the whole of Season Seven that at least on Blu-ray every viewer will appreciate. Along with the noted aspects of the BD set’s packaging and the set’s featured episodes Ancient Aliens: Season Seven proves in whole to be a set that true believers will enjoy and appreciate just as much as the most hardline skeptics.
Late this summer, History Channel and A&E Home Video released the seventh season of History Channel’s hit history-based series Ancient Aliens on DVD and Blu-ray. For the sake of this review, the focus will be on the Blu-ray presentation of Season Seven. Now whether one is a true believer, wants to believe, or is the most hardline skeptic it can be argued that there is plenty to enjoy and appreciate about this season’s Blu-ray presentation beginning with the set’s featured episodes. Regardless of one’s beliefs about life on other planets or even the existence of alien life on Earth, it can be said of these episodes that they will have audiences of all types talking in one way or another. That is because of the theories presented across its twelve episodes. One of the most intriguing of those theories is that beings from other worlds used (and possibly still use today) caves as a means of interstellar transportation. It also purports that the giant crystals contained within other caves actually serve as an interstellar power source. One of the pieces of evidence used to support this seemingly interconnected drawings discovered in caves around the world. There are spiral drawings said to be representative of portals, and of beings said to be from other worlds even by people native to given regions today. It is even argued that within another ancient civilization, caves were not portals to the underworld (the world of the dead) but to the heavens. The episode takes viewers from caves in Africa to a cave in the Grand Canyon that allegedly depicts beings from other worlds, to a cave in the Himalayas where thousands of Hindus flock each year to the spot where they believe Shiva revealed the secrets of the universe and immortality to his wife among much more. Between those caves and others noted throughout this episode, the stories presented about each cave will definitely keep viewers engaged regardless of whether or not viewers believe. That is because for all of the theories espoused by the episode’s interviewees, the historical background of the theories in and of itself makes this episode an interesting part of the season’s whole. Information such as the Mayan belief of their people having to travel to the underworld in order to get to a certain other realm is fact rather than fiction. The Mayans actually did believe this. In regards to the Native American caves found in the Grand Canyon, the physical depictions left by the region’s former inhabitants are in fact real. And regardless of audiences’ beliefs, the discussions on said art are enough reason to watch this episode. Viewers don’t have to believe the sometimes outrageous theories about the caves’ use in interstellar travel. Even this critic is not necessarily a true believer. But the real history in which the theories are based is interesting enough to keep viewers engaged. It’s just one example of why the season’s episodes are so important to its overall viewing experience.
Another of this season’s more intriguing theories comes later in the season’s run in “Aliens and The Civil War.”. It speculates the role (if any) that beings from other worlds might or might not have had in the Civil War. It will definitely raise some viewers’ eyebrows regardless of said viewers’ beliefs. That is because at no point does it actually try to argue whether or not beings from other worlds played any role in America’s worst conflict. Rather it remains largely objective, spending more time speculating than actually saying yea or nay to the theory. It does however try to argue that there were beings that knew about the impending conflict. This is argued as it is alleged that Mormon founder Joseph Smith was visited not by an angel but by an alien from another world. It is theorized that said being warned Smith about the war, to which Smith responded by including the warning in what is known today as the Book of Mormon. There is also an intriguing theory presented about Lincoln that seems to purport that either he was a pre-cog or that he at least received an image of his future. According to the story a young Lincoln looked in the mirror one day and saw a much older, rougher vision of himself and in telling his wife Mary Todd Lincoln, she become somewhat unsettled herself. This story is tied in to this episode by theorizing that it was an image showing how he would look as a result of his efforts to maintain the union. It goes without saying that this is a bit of a stretch. But it makes for its own share of entertainment, regardless. And as with the season premiere its historical background (and that of the Joseph Smith story) is enough reason for viewers to give this episode and season in whole a chance regardless of their beliefs.
‘The Vanishings,” Season Seven’s penultimate episode is yet another intriguing episode and perhaps its most believable. It takes the mysterious disappearances of people throughout Earth’s history and regions and uses them as the basis for the argument that aliens have and are still playing a role in the lives of Earth’s inhabitants. And yes, it does include the standard stories of the Bermuda Triangle disappearances. There is a story of lights seen in the mountains of North Carolina and people searching for the lights mysteriously disappearing, never to be seen again. The story of the Mayans’ disappearance is also there. However in this case, audiences get a story that any viewer will admit is rather intriguing in itself. It claims that the Mayan calendar was not a countdown to doomsday (as we all know now) but a countdown of another sort. It is theorized here that the calendar was used to track when the Mayan people would return to the stars. Of course there’s no way that that could have been possible unless the calendar started much farther back in history than is believed to have started. That’s the only way that this theory could hold any amount of water being that the Mayans disappeared long before the calendar ended. And even when it did end, nothing happened good or bad. So to that extent, it is good to see here that the program didn’t take the all too common doomsday prophecy, which has since been debunked and tried to tie it in to alien attacks or some such. Though the presented argument is obviously just as unbelievable. That is unless the calendar is in fact much older than believed to be. Perhaps the single-most believable aspect of this episode is the argument that maybe, just maybe, the vanishing of certain ancient civilizations wasn’t accidental but intentional; a means to hide said civilizations’ technological advancements from the modern world. Considering the evils that the modern world has committed as a result of its own advances, one can’t blame any ancient civilization from hiding its advances if in fact they did have said advances. Some of these theories have more historical backing than others. Regardless of that backing or lack thereof, the episode in whole proves even more why it is another good example of the episodes’ importance to Ancient Aliens’ seventh season. It is hardly the last example of what makes this season’s episodes so integral to the season in whole. “The Alien Agenda,” “The Great Flood” and “Hidden Pyramids” are hardly believable. But they are still entertaining in their own right. Though, the historical backing behind “The Great Flood” makes for interesting viewing as it explains just some of the flood stories that are presented not just in the bible but in other cultures’ documents, too. Al things considered, the episodes featured in Ancient Aliens: Season Seven make for plenty of interesting material that is sure to keep viewers engaged from start to finish regardless of viewers’ beliefs about aliens. They are only one part of what makes Season Seven such an interesting watch, too. The set’s dual presentations and packaging therein is just as important to this season.
The episodes that make up the body of Ancient Aliens’ seventh season are in themselves paramount to the season’s overall viewing experience. That has hopefully been clearly exemplified by this critic. That aspect having been noted, the set’s presentation on both DVD and Blu-ray is just as important to its success. Season Seven’s presentation on both DVD and Blu-ray shows that History kept all of its viewers in mind in sending it to store shelves. Regardless of which platform audiences choose, all viewers get the same content in both platforms. What makes the Blu-ray presentation even more impressive than the DVD presentation is its ergonomics. Season Seven’s DVD box set spreads its content across three discs in a standard size box thanks to smart packaging. However, the Blu-ray presentation presents the same amount of information on only two discs in a standard Blu-ray case. The Blu-ray case, as audiences know, is smaller both in height and width than a standard DVD case. This means it takes up far less room on a viewer’s DVD/Blu-ray rack than a DVD case. In other words, while neither DVD nor Blu-ray presents any more or less in its presentation, those that purchase the Blu-ray set will come out better because of the set’s ergonomics.
Interestingly enough there are some companies out there that are beginning to use Blu-ray boxes as the model for DVD boxes, too in essence making both boxes exactly the same ergonomically. The only thing that sets them apart is that one has the Blu-ray logo while the other sports the DVD logo. Of course History Channel and A&E Home Video didn’t take that route with its DVD presentation of Ancient Aliens Season Seven. Though, it would be easy to house three discs into one box of that size by simply using the standard plastic insert to hold one disc and place the first and third disc on the front and back inside the case. Maybe History and A&E Home Video will consider taking that route with its future DVD releases and start helping make it the standard and phasing out the all too bulky standard DVD boxes of every size. Getting back on topic…the ergonomic aspect of Ancient Aliens: Season Seven in its Blu-ray presentation and the season’s featured episodes makes this season just as fun for alien enthusiasts as for skeptics. It still is not the final element of this box set that makes it such an interesting watch either. The viewing options given to audiences with the season’s Blu-ray presentation round out the whole of the set.
Those that pick up Ancient Aliens: Season Seven in its Blu-ray will notice something very special about its overall viewing options beginning with its playback. The Blu-ray presentation allows audiences to stop either disc, and come back to it without worrying about the disc restarting from the beginning if they have to stop watching and come back to watch more at another point. Believe it or not, there are some Blu-ray discs out there that will in fact restart from the beginning of the disc even if viewers only opt to stop at a given point rather than stop the disc in whole. That can be really annoying. So that History and A&E Home video have made sure that doesn’t happen here deserves its own share of applause. On another level, they have also allowed Blu-ray viewers to actually toggle through each disc’s menu without having to stop an episode and then go to the disc’s menu. Instead, viewers can hit the “menu” button on their remotes to reveal a picture-in-picture sort of setup. The running episode is squeezed into a relatively acceptable sized box in the screen’s upper right hand corner while the menu options are presented in the screen’s left hand side and at the bottom. This multi-tasking option of sorts means that audiences don’t have to worry about missing out on anything should they decide they don’t want to switch episodes. They can go right back to the episode while it continues to run if they so choose. Or they can just go to another episode. It is a wonderful aspect in considering the set’s overall viewing experience. And again, not every studio out there offers this option in their Blu-ray presentations. Yes, there is a good number that do in fact do this. but there are just as many that don’t. Considering that, it makes this option another great addition to the set in whole that every viewer will appreciate regardless, again, of their belief about E.T.s. Together with all of the previously noted elements, all three elements together make Ancient Aliens: Season Seven a collection that every viewer will appreciate regardless of their belief (or lack thereof) in the existence of E.T.s.
History Channel’s seventh season of its hit history-based series Ancient Aliens is a collection that true believers and skeptics alike will appreciate and enjoy. Regardless of viewers’ belief in E.T.s the theories and historical backing behind each of its twelve episodes will keep viewers in whole engaged from beginning to end. The Blu-ray presentation’s ergonomic packaging adds even more reason for audiences to appreciate it verses its DVD presentation. The viewing options provided to audiences in the Blu-ray presentation round out the whole of the collection. All things considered Ancient Aliens: Season Seven proves in the end to be a piece that any viewer will appreciate regardless of their belief in otherworldly beings. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via History’s online store at http://www.shophistorystore.com/products/blu-ray/. More information on this and other seasons of Ancient Aliens is available online now along with the show’s latest news at:
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