As part of the WormHole Riders Team covering "Destination Truth" (DT WormHole page HERE), I wanted to post the pieces I write and that my team member for the page Holly Wilson makes as plain-text posts. Here is the first post from that page that serves as a summary of "DT" so far that I wrote (original story link):
It has been a long time coming, but with Season 5 hovering in the nearby future, here we are. To those not familiar with Destination Truth, here are the cliff notes on your crash course of this Original Syfy series.
Destination Truth began as a pitch on what to match up with Ghost Hunters on what was then the SciFi Channel in the late 2000's. Neil Mandt of Mandt Brothers Productions concocted the idea of DT, shot the pilot and presented it to the network. They were not a fan of the end product. MORE AFTER PAGE BREAK
But wait, you say - why is there a DT if they hated the pilot?! Well, the network liked the idea of a show that focused on monster hunting, for lack of a better term, but they wanted a different host or central person of interest on the show via a formal casting for the second try. It was then Neil remembered his old friend through a reality show he shot a few years prior.
Josh Gates, who was already an experienced traveler, was at first just as skeptical as the network about this television show. "I was overseas with a couple buddies of mine in Africa," Gates reminisced on a 2009 episode of DT Fan Radio on BlogTalkRadio. "I had planned this big trip to go climb Kilimanjaro…I’m in the middle of Tanzania and I get this email from Neil in Los Angeles that says 'come home, I have a great job opportunity for you.' I was like…it’s LA, people say things like that, right?"
To make a long story short, Gates came back from his Kilimanjaro climb where he avoided death, which he talks about in more detail in his book Memoirs of a Monster Hunter, and went to his casting interview in his dirty travel clothes with a full shaggy beard, via Neil's request. Due to his colorful history of travel and his educational background in not only science but acting, he was brought on for a DT do-over. Five seasons and five years later, as well as part of a new production company Ping Pong Productions, Gates is a staple of the Syfy Channel with not only DT, but his hosting duties for Ghost Hunters Live specials and his moderating gigs for Syfy panels at San Diego Comic Con.
Now we will get down to the main point - what is DT about? Essentially, Gates and his compact crew of under ten people travel the world, and as of Season Three due to fan feedback, within the United States, looking to shed light on mysteries plaguing locals of that region.
The cases Team Truth takes on range from cryptids, or really weird creatures that have not been proven to exist in science yet, to odd phenomena such as The Bermuda Triangle, and then there are the stand-by ghost investigations. Not to be confused with Ghost Hunters, DT does not respond to cases based on urgency of hauntings and a much more skeptical, scientific approach is taken on the show when compared to paranormal TV peers.
Above all, the two reasons the show is such an undeniable Syfy darling are due to the travel destinations featured and humor components, more often than not the product of Gates' witty sense of humor at the expense of his crew members or whacky locals. Again, potential new fans of DT should not mistake Gates poking fun at locals in an international place of origin as racism or making light of their culture.
"I think that those claims are unfair," Gates said in defense of the program during a 2009 press conference. "People sometimes look at other cultures around the world and…they get this idea that you can't have fun with or fool around with people in the developing nations or people in other cultures because it’s somehow insensitive."
"That’s always been really important to me is you have to have a respect for the cultures that you’re going to," Gates continues. "What you also find is that people all over the world have a great sense of humor."
Where has DT been? Team Truth has investigated in Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Siberia, Nepal, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Africa, and the list goes on. Some monumental cases they have taken part in have been investigating overnight in King Tut's Tomb, conducting the first underwater paranormal investigation of Truk Lagoon, and perhaps the most recognizable of all would be their shudder-inducing exploration of Chernobyl, where the entire city of Pripyat was cleared out after a fatal Nuclear incident in 1986 that still lays abandoned.
The biggest piece of evidence collected on DT to date has been what is described as a Yeti footprint from the Himalayas in the first episode of Season Two. Granted, the fact that the artifact now lays on display on line in a Disney ride waiting area should still not take away from the magnitude of how important the discovery was and still is for the show, and the field of cryptozoology.
Another likable quality about DT is that the show is completely interactive. The viewer gets to feel like they're on the ride, from the horrible rental vehicles to the medical mishaps and the chilling moments where something lurks in the woods, eliciting Josh's unofficial catchphrase "What the [censored] was that?!"
The viewer also feels like they are part of the journey because DT, much like Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures, displays all people working behind the scenes AKA the entire small team on the show and not just main investigators. Fan favorites within the crew of Team Truth have gained recognition to the point where it has lead to their own fandoms, or even leading to other TV projects. Jael de Pardo of Season Three has become a lead investigator on another Syfy show called Fact or Faked, and recently Erin Ryder of multiple seasons has announced she will be on NatGeo's Chasing UFO's, though she will still be appearing in upcoming Season Five.
What is the travel itinerary for Season Five, out on July 10th after an over year-long hiatus? Team Truth will present a UFO case from Kazakhstan, they will return to Romania to investigate a haunted forest in which a prior team member was hurled in the air via a mysterious force, as well as cases in Fiji, Vietnam and Tikal, among other locations.
If you want to gain more knowledge of DT and the host Josh Gates before July 10th, you can follow him on Twitter, visit the official Syfy site for Destination Truth, buy his aforementioned book Memoirs of a Monster Hunter, or visit the show's fan-run fan site where you can check out opportunities to get in touch with the show's cast and fellow fans known as Truthies. You can also check out Josh on Syfy's Insane or Inspired airing Friday nights.
Your WHR sherpas to the world of DT will be Amanda Rosenblatt @DTonSYFYfans and Holly Wilson @hwilson2009
WormHole Riders, run by Kenn - Original post HERE
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