In Search of...
Hosted by Leonard Nimoy
In Search of... - Leonard Nimoy hosted this quasi-documentary television show which
portrayed unusual natural phenomena and 'investigated' the paranormal.
Its style of interspersing 'talking heads' with sensationalistic video
segments may have been the forerunner of 'info-tainment.'
In Search of... is a documentary television series that was broadcast weekly from 1976 to 1982.
It was created after two successful one-hour TV documentaries, In Search of Ancient Astronauts in 1973 (based on the book Chariots of the Gods), and In Search of Ancient Mysteries in 1975, both with narration by Rod Serling who was the initial choice to host the series.
After the death of Serling, Leonard Nimoy was chosen to be the host of the spin-off series. The series conducted "investigations" into the controversial and paranormal (e.g., UFOs, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster).
Additionally, it featured episodes about mysterious historical events and personalities such as Anna Anderson/Grand Duchess Anastasia, the Lincoln Assassination, the Jack the Ripper murders, infamous cults (e.g. Jim Jones), and missing persons, cities, and ships (e.g., Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Hoffa, D. B. Cooper, the Mary Celeste, the Titanic, the lost Roanoke Colony).
Because the show often presented offbeat subjects and controversial theories, each episode's opening credits include a verbal disclaimer about the potentially conjecturable nature of the evidence and theories to be presented:
“This series presents information based in part on theory and conjecture. The producer's purpose is to suggest some possible explanations, but not necessarily the only ones, to the mysteries we will examine.”
The production values were fairly typical of the period, with the interviews, reenactments and scene footage all shot on film and usually voiced over by Nimoy. The style was often more expository than explanatory. The music was composed by Rinder and Lewis. A soundtrack album was released on AVI Records in 1977.
Nimoy's popularity among science fiction fans (due to his role in the Star Trek television series) won the show a following in fandom circles. Nimoy wrote an episode about the turbulent life of artist Vincent van Gogh. Nimoy had earlier played van Gogh's brother in a one-man show. Nimoy suggested that van Gogh suffered from epilepsy rather than insanity.
The show also spawned at least six spin-off books: In Search of Lost Civilizations, In Search of Extraterrestrials, In Search of Magic and Witchcraft, In Search of Strange Phenomena, In Search of Missing Persons, and In Search of Myths and Monsters with an additional book that collected the best segments from these existing volumes.
The In Search Of series aired during the early 1990s on the A&E Network. In the latter 1990s, the show aired on another of the A&E Television Networks' properties, The History Channel. The licensing agreement expired in the early 2000s, ending the show's run. A short-lived revival of the show, featuring Mitch Pileggi, aired on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2002.