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The Watchman: In Search of Sasquatch, and Noah Hawley Thinks Pink

Some 40 Years after Sid and Marty Krofft’s BigfootandWildboy livened up the pajamas-and-Eggos Saturday mornings of our youth, the big, hairy beast is back on television—and, apparently, in the wild. Six-part Killing Bigfoot airs Saturday nights on Destination America, following a heavily-armed team of hunters—the Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organization—as they seek out Sasquatch in the deep south.

Bigfoot’s southern version is apparently more bad-ass than his western brethren of yore. “He’s a more aggressive, faster, sleeker animal than they see in the Pacific Northwest,” says executive producer Peter von Puttkamer, who has made a career out of Bigfoot-related programming, including 1998 film Sasquatch Odyssey.

Von Puttkamer says peculiar activity has been happening down south. “Pets have disappeared, farm animals have been hurt,” he says. “You hear a lot of sounds you’ve not heard before.”

And he thinks it may be, ya know, Bigfoot? “I have an open mind,” says von Puttkamer. “I’m also skeptical about things, but people are having experiences that haven’t been explained.”

Speaking of elusive figures, let’s go back to England in the ’60s, where Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd founding member, had a breakdown and disappeared from sight. He’s resurrected, in a way, as Marvel Comics drama Legion debuts on FX Feb. 8. Dan Stevens, whose Matthew Crawley character died an untimely death on DowntonAbbey so Stevens could take on projects such as Legion, stars along with Rachel Keller.

Keller plays Syd Barrett, an homage to Pink Floyd’s fragile genius. Keller knew little about Pink Floyd before taking on the role, but says digging into the band’s oeuvre “was almost as helpful as looking at the comic books” in terms of finding her character.

Creator Noah Hawley has cited Floyd masterpiece The Dark Side of the Moon, which explores mental illness, as an influence on the show. Keller played the album frequently in her trailer. “It became a backdrop for me for something to connect to, something that felt really peaceful,” says Keller. Her favorite Floyd song? The title track to the band’s Wish You Were Here.

Which may just be running through the Bigfoot hunters’ heads as they search for their evasive quarry.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.