Review of 'Project Blue Book' 1.4

by Paul Levinson 10 months ago in tv review

Von Braun

Review of 'Project Blue Book' 1.4

This was an excellent episode (1.4) of the science-fiction that is Project Blue Book, lastnight (the best in the new series so far) in which the main character was Wernher von Braun.

The real von Braun—who seems like something out of science-fiction even aside from this episode—helped developed the Nazi's V-2 rocket, which almost knocked Britain out of the war (World War II), and indeed might have won the war for the Nazis. The U.S. smartly (most people think, including me) gave von Braun and more than a thousand German scientists a home in the U.S., and soon a mandate to get the U.S. out into space and catch up with the Soviet Union's Sputnik. Von Braun's work in Huntsville, Alabama got the U.S. off of this planet with the Explorer satellite. His development of the Saturn booster got us to the Moon.

The fictional von Braun in Project Blue Book is working on getting us off this planet, but via flying saucer, which, by the end of this episode, teleports or travels in time or (who knows what) to someplace else. Not only that, von Braun has some kind of extra-terrestrial in a big vat. Hynek and Quinn know about the vat, but not the flying saucer. General Harding knows about the saucer and (presumably) everything else. Quinn hates von Braun for his Nazi work, and thinks he's assembling a fleet of rockets in Huntsville to reign down terror on American cities and I guess win the war, after all. On this level, Project Blue Book feels a little like The Man in the High Castle.

Meanwhile, back home with Mrs. Hynek, she's threatened by one of the people Hynek earlier investigated, and saved by her blond friend, who we know now to be a Soviet spy. This part of Project Blue Book is more espionage fiction than science-fiction, based on the reality that von Braun was indeed instrumental, and in part responsible, for the U. S. catching up with the Soviets and beating them to the Moon.

As I've been saying, good fiction, and I'm looking forward to more.

tv review
Paul Levinson
Paul Levinson
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Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson's novels include The Silk Code (winner Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel of 1999) & The Plot To Save Socrates. His nonfiction including Fake News in Real Context has been translated into 15 languages. 

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