A Close Look at the Upcoming Steampunk Web Series "Crypto-Historians"
The upcoming web series "Crypto-Historians" does for cryptohistory what Indiana Jones did for archaeology. For those who don't know, cryptohistory is the study of supernatural or alien elements throughout history, and yes—it's a "real" field.
I say "real" in quotes because it's not exactly widely accepted.
The television show Ancient Aliens would fall under the category of cryptohistory. To put it in terms more people may understand:
I spent some time talking to Jimmy Diggs, who's the lead writer on the show. You may recognize his work on another show called Star Trek: Voyager? I know, it's a small show, so you may have never heard of it. He also wrote a few Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes.
Here's a picture of Jimmy:
As you can tell, he's pretty into this whole Steampunk thing. So what he decided to do for this show is to basically presuppose that many of the things that H.G. Wells wrote about were true, including the time machine, the martians, and more.
As a result, people from the past, present, and future have to team up to go back into the Victorian era to save Earth from catastrophe. Along the way, they'll meet a variety of historical figures, and generally get into trouble.
Check out the trailer they put together for it:
For a web series, the CG and effects are really impressive, though as I told Jimmy, the acting is a bit rough. He assured me that these aren't final scenes in the teaser, but just low-budget test shots, so I would expect the final versions to be much better.
Now, I'm a scholar, so when I heard about this show my very first reaction was, "Oh, no." I can count on one hand the number of television shows or movies that have accurately portrayed historical figures, so I didn't have a whole lot of faith in this one.
However, when I actually started reading the extensive (and I do mean extensive) notes on the Crypto-Historians website, I became more and more impressed. It bodes well for this show that I'm an H.G. Wells scholar, and I hardly found any issues with their treatment of Wells. Granted, I haven't read any of their scripts, but the articles on their website seem to be pretty much in proper order.
Overall, I was very impressed by what they have so far. They're going to be running a Kickstarter campaign soon, which means that they don't currently have any real funding. It's hard to imagine how they got all that work done without any funding, and it makes me wonder what they could accomplish with some real money under their belts.
Look at some of the great concept art on their website:
And there's plenty more where that came from, I assure you. When I looked through their work, I started to realize that this show wasn't just some folks who were half-assing it, trying to get some money and then figure things out later; this show is being put together by some really talented people who have the connections to make it happen.
I don't know when their Kickstarter campaign will begin, but Crypto-Historians is definitely worth keeping an eye on!