Contains mild spoilers!



I realize Dark Skies 25th Anniversary is due for another 5 months, in September, but since I also rewatched this in March, I thought I could combine the celebration and the rewatch. At least I can say I probably am the first the write about their 25th Anniversary! 😊


Indeed, this year it’s 25 years, September 21st 1996, since Eric Close, Megan Ward and J.T. Walsh starred in Dark Skies! Perhaps not known to every Dark Skies fan but J.T. Walsh died, not long after the series ended, in 1998! It is an NBC production which began in the same month as The Pretender and Profiler, all 3 shows aired on the same night. This happened because NBC had a plan, a good plan in my opinion, In 1996 Dark Skies was part of a Trilogy short lived sci-fi/action block with shows like Profiler and The Pretender. When Dark Skies was cancelled after one season, NBC tried it two more times to add another series, first Sleepwalkers, but it also was cancelled very soon. Later on they tried it again with The Others but this also was not a success and with season 1999/2000 NBC cancelled all three and axed the trilogy block. Although “the block” didn’t become a success, I thought it was ahead of its time, later it also has been done by the Sci-fi channel (later Syfy channel) with Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Battlestar Galactica, if I remember correctly!


You don’t have to be a genius to understand that Dark Skies was created upon of the success of The X-Files. Where The X-files’ story arcs about the Alien storyline was only about 8 episodes a season, Dark Skies story-arc consisted of every episode of the season, not one filler episode. In that respect alone this series a forerunner on today’s television. Of course Babylon 5 and to a lesser extent Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, were the real forerunners of story-arc telling.

Dark Skies was created by Brent V. Friedman & Bryce Zabel, they had a bible for the show, they hoped for 5 seasons, like Babylon 5, a plan for the whole series. Each season would get a season title, again, like Babylon 5! The first season would cover the period 1961-1969 with the title: “Official Denial”. The second season, “Progenitor”, would cover 1970 to 1976. Season 3, “Cloak of Fear”, 1977 to 1986, season 4, “New World Order” would cover 1987 to 1999. The fifth and final season ,"Stroke of Midnight", would break from the decade-spanning format to encompass the apocalyptic final conflict against the invaders, taking place from 2000 to 2001. (Wiki)


The Cast:

Eric Close already had a number of projects as an actor before this, like Santa Barbara, McKenna and Sisters but I saw him for the first time in Dark Skies and the cancellation of Dark Skies certainly did not end Eric Close’s career! I think Without a Trace and Nashville were his biggest projects since Dark Skies but he’s done a lot of other TV projects too. But when I check his IMDb page, I see he currently isn’t working on a TV or movie project as an actor or director, his last project is from 2019.


Megan Ward also is a busy woman, before Dark Skies her biggest projects were Class of 96, Winnetka Road and Party of Five. With rewatching Dark Skies, I really like Megan Ward’s acting skills and of course she is very beautiful! It bumps me out that I have seen so little of her since Dark Skies, at least not consciously because she kept herself quite busy also after Dark Skies. From 2007 till 2010 she belonged to the cast of General Hospital, which currently still runs. In 2018 and 2020 she also had a role in here as a different character.


J.T. Walsh already was a seasoned actor when he joined Dark Skies back in 1996. He started acting in 1979! A few of his credits are: Spencer: For Hire, Backdraft, A few Good Men, Sniper, The X-files. As I said earlier, he died at age 54 shortly after Dark Skies was cancelled. For some reason Conor O’Farrell did not belong to the main cast, but he was almost in every episode. A great actor, seen him in a lot of TV series over the years. The episodes in Without A Trace still come to mind, he played a very disturbing character, made you feel very uneasy as a viewer but he did it brilliantly.


Last one I want to mention of course is Jeri Lynn Ryan who plays Juliet Stewart, who of course also played Seven of Nine in Star Trek: Voyager. Although it may seem that Dark Skies is her debut on TV, this is certainly not the case! Her first role was in Who’s the Boss in 1991. She still is a very busy woman, currently she is on Star Trek: Picard, again playing the character Seven of Nine.

As said earlier, Dark Skies was ahead of its time in terms of story-arc telling, only a few shows went before them. I for one love story-arc shows, these kinds of shows have a big rewatch value, much more so than the TV shows which are episodic in nature. Simply because there usually is no growth of the characters, everything stays status quo all through each season. Sure I watch episodic TV, but, with some exceptions, those shows I only watch one time and I don’t feel the need to rewatch it. For me the exceptions are the original Star Trek, TNG and also The Orville, although I hope this will evolve a bit more also in the next season(s), even though I know this is not the intent of the creator Seth MacFarlane.


What makes Dark Skies unique is that was the plan, to start in the 60s and from there, each season was about 10 years. The 5th and final season would be in our current time, by that time 2000-2001. Ronald D. Moore’s For All Mankind is also heading in that direction. Although I am not an American, it was still very interesting to see history play out in Dark Skies, although with a twist of course but it was fun to see those significant people on your TV screen.


For me there isn’t one episode that disappoints, some of course are (slightly) better, more interesting than other episodes but as I said, it is basically one big story. I cannot really pick a favorite out of those 19 episodes. I finished the rewatch in March 2021 and it amazes me that, although it’s my 4th or 5th (re)watch, I still forget things, so for instance, in the season finale events occur which I did not remember from previous viewings. As we get older it’s annoying we tend to become more forgetful, but with rewatching TV shows, being forgetful really can be a blessing!

Dark Skies – the Book:

One more thing, a Dark Skies fan/Author Matthew Kresal, wrote a book about this special little TV show. If you are interested you can purchase this here: Obverse Books/Dark Skies. Co creator Bryce Zabel calls it: ‘It’s the perfect complement to the series itself.‘ I’ve read it myself, thought it was a very interesting read, some things that really surprised me and a lot of things I didn’t know or didn’t realize before I read it. If you are a fan of the show, I recommend it!


Final Word:

Really would have liked the story to be played out over 5 seasons, It would be like a “book” you could rewatch every couple of years with a beginning, a middle and an end. Like with Babylon 5 and Star Trek: DS9. We only have the one season and that’s a shame of course, but it still is very good TV, it needs to be on the shelf of every SCI-FI fan out there.

Add comment


There are no comments yet.