Sunday, June 12, 2011

UFOs get mentioned in MAD MEN

The restaurant sequence.

I had a curious thing happen over the winter, it happened while watching the episodic television drama MAD MEN. (Episode title THE GOOD NEWS)

At about the 12 minute mark the characters are having dinner in a small dimly lit restaurant, it features Don Draper and a women from California. As I watched I had the strangest sort of day dream, what if I was in that restaurant, sitting at the table with those fictional people. I wanted to ask these fake TV characters their views about the UFO phenomenon.

This episode takes place in 1965 and the world hadn't been quite as saturated on the topic. I sat there watching, and this narrative played out in my head. I would ask them questions in the hopes of getting some different perspective on this stuff.

This was really odd. I've watched a lot of movies and TV in my life, and that feeling of wanting to enter the fictional scene and ask questions simply doesn't happen. But it did that night, and it was decidedly unusual.

The next scene was them driving home from the restaurant. This is followed by a curious scene that takes place the next morning in the full light of day. Don Draper is seen painting the wall (in his underwear) at the women's house. She sits on the couch and they talk.

Then, at the 21:20 time count the women says something that gets my attention.

Women: "I've seen UFOs."

Don: "You saw a UFO?"

Woman: "Does that scare you? The idea of another civilization on another planet smart enough to find a way to get here."

Don: "It doesn't scare me, but the odds are against it."

Woman: "Well I saw something once, and I'm telling you, it knocked me sideways. I started thinking of everything I was sure was true, and how flimsy it all might be."

Don: "You don't need to see a UFO to know that. That's not a great way to think about things."
So, I had a curious thought where I projected my self into a TV drama. I wanted to ask the characters their views on UFOs, and within minutes I get their answer. I'm not sure what it means, but lemme tell you, it felt strange.

Note that the woman says: "I've seen UFOs" Plural!

Any UFO investigator would ask why has she seen more than one. The implication would be that she  might be an abductee?

The 1966 publication of John G. Fuller's The Interrupted Journey matches the time line of this episode. This was the story of Betty and Barny Hill's abduction account, the first such book in any popular form. The title of the episode, THE GOOD NEWS, is often used as a synonym for the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus.


Brizdaz (Darren) said...

Sounds like the movie "Pleasantville"
,where two 1990's teenagers find themselves in a 1950's sitcom,where their influence begins to profoundly change that complacent world.
Worth a view in my opinion.

Pleasantville Trailer:

Anonymous said...

Oh I remember that! I thought the story line would go somewhere, as this was the mid 1960s and the Hills abduction story had been published in Look Magazine in 1966.

When Don's father-in-law (Betty's father) died, after living a short while in their home; daughter Sally couldn't stand to be left alone at night. She wanted her light on and in one episode was found in her late grandpa's spare room.

I remember thinking wouldn't it be wild if they inferred something with ufo abductions was going on. But, nothing came of that.

I guess Madmen is finally coming back in the winter. Lots of hold ups with renegotiating contracts and such, according to actress Christina Hendricks (who plays sexy red-head Joan Holloway, the office manager).

~ Susan

Red Pill Junkie said...

That is peculiar indeed.

Trish said...

I remember that scene!

This sequence of synchro is astounding. We'd love to repost some of them - all of them??!

Mike Clelland! said...

Note that the woman says: "I've seen UFOs" Plural!

Any UFO investigator would ask why has she seen more than one? The question to pursue would be - is she an abductee?

Red Pill Junkie said...

>The question to pursue would be - is she an abductee?

Not necessarily. I'm not a fan of the show, but it's clear to me that the writers intend to portray the huge social differences between the world of the 1960s, and our 'modern' era of political correctness and sex equality.

In the case of this character and her allegations, it could be the writers were inspired by the many Contactee movements that would convene in deserts or mountains to send messages to the Space Brothers, utilizing weird contraptions like spiritually-charge batteries and metaphysical radio transmitters.

Something that still persists today, mind you.

Mike Clelland! said...

I suspect the script writers had no idea about the "plural" implications in that line. I'm not sure why that bit of dialog ended up in the episode, maybe because it is perfectly opposite of what Don Draper would be able to comprehend.

Anonymous said...

I was hoping for more from that scene - a C.E. or abduction claim by a character but nothing came of it.

I believe this part of Madmen was set around 1964-65ish when the cultural zeitgeist of America was beginning to dramatically change into the counter-culture movement.

The screenwriters may have discovered, in their research for the era, that in 1966 Look Magazine published a 2-part excerpt of John G. Fuller's book on the Barney and Betty Hill Abduction - 'The Interupted Journey', which quickly became a best seller.

People who claimed to have seen UFOs (aka flying saucers) weren't as easily mocked or dismissed as they tend to be today.

~ Susan