Aliens in Alaska begins Monday, Feb. 15, on Discovery Plus. Our 49th state is a “hotbed” for UFO sightings, abductions and extraterrestrial encounters, according to Discovery Plus. The series checks in with “dog mushers, trappers and bush pilots,” according to executive producer Christine Shuler, as well as plenty of regular folks, and gets everyone’s accounts of alien encounters.
The hardy nature inherent to Alaskans gives their stories extra oomph, Shuler said. “Seeing their testimony, you realize you’re hearing from very stoic individuals who are not easily startled,” she said.
People are typically interviewed outside, giving Alaska something of a starring role in the series. Viewers will see “how vast and open and alienating the environment is,” Shuler said.
There are eight hour-long episodes. UFO believers and skeptics alike are welcome to tune in. “Forcing someone to become a convert is not fun,” said Shuler, who added that Aliens in Alaska is more about “giving viewers enough information to make their own decision.”
The Pentagon’s UFO unit is releasing a giant trove of information on alien encounters. That may give a bit of credence to those sharing their testimonies on Aliens in Alaska.
“It helps people who have had these oddball experiences feel less alone,” said Shuler.
On Tuesday, Feb. 16, Young Rock premieres on NBC. The comedy comes from Dwayne Johnson, and is about the different chapters in the life of the man once known as The Rock. The son of wrestler Rocky Johnson, Dwayne had pro wrestlers — Junkyard Dog, Andre the Giant —- in his life at an early age.
Young Rock has the family moving around to follow wrestling jobs, including to Hawaii and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Dwayne playing football at the University of Miami.
“He’s had so many different experiences,” said executive producer Jeff Chiang, who describes Johnson as “larger than life when he enters a room. He has a special energy to him.”
Johnson went to high school in Bethlehem. The pilot covers Johnson at 15, standing 6’ 2” and rocking a moustache. “His classmates thought he was a narc,” Chiang said, describing a “21 Jump Street scenario.”
Besides his teenage ’stache, viewers will see the extraordinary perseverance of Johnson as a child, Chiang shared. “The amount of times life throws him a curveball,” he said. “His life has been a series of highs and lows. You see where he is now, and you see how he got there.”
Young Rock shoots in Australia. Joseph Lee Anderson, Stacey Leilua and Adrian Groulx are in the cast alongside Johnson. Nahnatchka Khan executive produces.
“The story is deeply relatable,” Chiang said. “It’s about perseverance, it’s about love, it’s about finding the joys in life.”
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