Science Explores Its Sinister Side On ‘Dark Matters: Twisted But True’

Posted Wednesday, August 10th, 2011 07:00 pm GMT -4 by

In an instance of art imitating life, the Science channel will examine what happens when scientific research goes too far in their new series ‘Dark Matters: Twisted but True.’

The series will be hosted by actor John Noble (‘Fringe’, ‘Lord of the Rings’) and will delve into the most unusual scientific research that has ever been conducted in history as well as expose some of history’s most bizarre experiments including attempts to cross breed humans and apes, zombie investigations and head transplantation studies. Noble said of the series, “The stories we share in ‘Dark Matters: Twisted but True’ are as outlandish as a great sci-fi script or as disturbing as a classic horror tale — the only difference is that they’re all true. The series offers a glimpse into the dark side of science, as well as human nature.”

The series will consist of 6 episodes and will focus on pivotal moments when brilliant minds face controversy or ethical crossroads while on the fringes of science. It will bring viewers through the unusual world of research gone so horribly wrong, but in some cases ultimately led to the technology and science that we use today. As Debbie Adler Myers (General Manager and Executive Vice President of SCIENCE) explains, “ ‘Dark Matters: Twisted but True’ offers a fascinating insight into moments of scientific history where individuals went to extreme measures to achieve a breakthrough.  It’s impossible to turn away from these true stories that you always assumed were just outlandish urban legends. This is real science — just the dark side of it, featuring brilliant minds who eventually took a dramatic turn.”

The series premiere will feature the shocking story of 1920s Soviet scientist, Dr. Ilya Ivanov, and how he attempted to build an invincible army by crossbreeding humans with apes to create a race of supersoldiers and thus attempting to start his own “planet of the apes.” Viewers will also be introduced to Morris Jessup, a self-identified UFO expert, who has attempted to expose what he believes to be a military cover-up involving experiments with invisibility (think of the movie ‘Philadelphia Experiment’). Finally, they touch on how inventor Thomas Edison conducted a number of unorthodox experiments in an attempt to meet the growing demand of electricity but instead it lead to a dark creation that remains infamous today.

‘Dark Matters: Twisted but True’ premieres Wednesday, August 31, at 10:00 PM (ET/PT) on the Science Channel and will run for 6 weeks. A description of each episode can be found below after the series promo video.

EPISODE SYNOPSIS
EPISODE 1: The Philadelphia Experiment, Ape-Man Army, Zapped to Death
Premieres Wednesday August 31, at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)

UFO expert Morris Jessup tested invisibility and teleportation after receiving an extraordinary letter stating that the U.S. Navy had experimented with this very concept before.  Would his investigation be the end of his career?

In the 1920s, Soviet scientist Dr. Ilya Ivanov began performing disturbing experiments to crossbreed humans with apes.  Could he create intelligent apes, or would his experiments result in horror?

In the early 20th century, a race was under way to increase America’s flow of electricity.  To that end, Thomas Edison conducted a number of unorthodox studies to meet this growing demand.  To his surprise and regret, however, these experiments would eventually lead to a dark creation that remains infamous today.

EPISODE 2: Unidentified Flying Nazis, I Have Einstein’s Brain, Killer Thoughts
Premieres Wednesday, September 7, at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)

A fireball streaks through the skies of Pennsylvania in 1965.  Could it be a UFO, or had the U.S. gotten hold of an outlandish piece of Nazi antigravity technology?

After Einstein’s death in 1955, Dr. Thomas Harvey, the man in charge of the autopsy, stole his brain. Does Einstein’s brain hold the key to where genius lies within its physical structure?

During the Cold War, with the world on the brink of nuclear destruction, Russian and American scientists engage in a top-secret psychic arms race.

EPISODE 3: Sexy Secret Agent, Full Body Transplant, Honey I Nuked the Planet
Premieres Wednesday, September 14, at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)

When a talk show host married a former model, he had no idea that she would reveal she was a brainwashed CIA secret agent.  Was she the subject of government mind control experiments, or is her troubled childhood to blame?

When Dr. Robert White transplanted the head of a monkey onto the body of another, had he discovered a way to preserve humanity’s brightest minds?  Or was he exercising unnecessary animal cruelty?

In 1962 the United States exploded a 1.4 megaton H-bomb in space.  Was this detonation a necessary action taken during the Cold War, or one of mankind’s greatest mistakes that could lead to Armageddon?

EPISODE 4: It’s Alive!, Tripping with Uncle Sam, My Hand Is Killing Me
Premieres Wednesday September 21, at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)

At the beginning of the 19th century, an Italian scientist believes he has found a way to bring the dead back to life.  Could electricity be the God-given vital force of life?

In the late 90s, journalist Hank Albarelli believes he has found a connection between a French town gone insane and the apparent suicide of an American scientist.  Is madness contagious, or has Albarelli found himself in the middle of a government conspiracy?

In 1908, a German woman is attacked by the hand of the one who knows her best: her own.  Are we alone in our minds, or is there another, darker entity hidden deep within?

EPISODE 5: 21 Grams, Missing Cosmonauts, Sound of Death
Premieres Wednesday, September 28, at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)

When French scientist Vladimir Gavreau finds his laboratory flooded with a mysterious energy, his research takes a menacing new direction.  Had Gavreau invented a new weapon of mass destruction?

At the dawn of the age of space exploration, two radio buffs stumbled across a heart-stopping sound. Were the Soviets covering up a space mission gone terribly wrong?

Boston medic Dr. Duncan MacDougall sets out to scientifically prove the existence of the human soul by weighing a man at the moment of death.

EPISODE 6: Radio Waves of Death, How to Make a Zombie, Jekyll vs. Hyde
Premieres Wednesday, October 5, at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)

Death by deadly ray sounds like a scene from a science fiction movie.  However, the legendary Nikola Tesla claims to have created one in the early 20th century.  Some say an 800-mile area in Siberia was devastated during his radio-wave experiments, leaving very few survivors.  Could this be true?

Scientist Wade Davis was obsessed with cracking the zombie secrets.  After tracking down a man with his own death certificate, he believed he had uncovered the science to zombie legend.

After Dr. Horace Wells fails to invent anesthesia using laughing gas, he experiments with a new drug: chloroform.  Wells’ experiments would lead to horrific, devastating mistakes.

  • http://interweave-consulting.blogspot.com/ Nigel Seel

    You don’t think this might be a teensy bit over-sensationalised, do you :-)

    • http://twitter.com/janicekay_ Janice Cantano Kay

      A bit..but I do have a morbid curiousity and am interested in seeing how they treat the topics.

      • http://interweave-consulting.blogspot.com/ Nigel Seel

        There are so many ways you can do this. It’s easy to poke fun at historical research with the benefit of hindsight, or to contextualise work done in the past via present-day distorting spectacles. And then there is the ‘look at the wacky boffins’ style of dissing science as eccentric and elitist.

        I hope they don’t do any of those things … something like the way they do the Ignoble prizes would be a positive approach. Let’s hope for the best, anyway!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002230558918 Enrique Montoya

      what do you mean?

      • http://interweave-consulting.blogspot.com/ Nigel Seel

        Well, take the Meissner effect, where a magnet levitates over a superconductor. Scientifically this is extremely interesting, a quantum effect of electron-pairing in the superconductor atomic lattice (BCS theory). You *could* outline this in a TV show … or you could speculate that this is how alien flying saucers hover over our country – which I reckon would count as sensationalism …  :-)

  • http://twitter.com/uzi9mmauto Bruce Kalashnikov

    Boston medic Dr. Duncan MacDougall sets out to scientifically prove the
    existence of the human soul by weighing a man at the moment of death.
    Ive heard of this many years ago. I assure you we DO have souls I assure you. Its a rather interesting thing to see.

    • http://interweave-consulting.blogspot.com/ Nigel Seel

      Dr MacDougall’s work was later the subject of a widely-praised film: 21 Grams (the weight of a soul) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21_Grams.