Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Roger Zemeckis is set to executive produce a new scripted series for the History Channel called “Blue Book,” which will depict the United States Air Force’s efforts to investigate UFO phenomena. Aidan Gillen, best known for his role as “Littlefinger” on "Game of Thrones" is set to star as astronomer and UFO expert Dr. J. Allen Hynek who was the chief science advisor for Project Blue Book.

What will be the approach of the series?

As of this writing, one can only speculate about the approach the series may take.

A straight retelling of the activities of Blue Book may make for stale television. The Air Force collected information on thousands of UFO incidents between 1952 and 1969. At the end of the project, Blue Book concluded that UFOs did not constitute a threat to national security, were not evidence of any technology more advanced than then known, and were likely not of extraterrestrial origin. Most of the incidents covered by Blue Book had readily understood explanations, with only a small number having been classified as “unexplained.”

The History Channel has become notorious for running UFO-themed programming. Shows such as “Ancient Aliens” take a somewhat uncritical view of the idea that unidentified flying objects are extraterrestrial in origin.

Thus, the potential for “Blue Book” to become “The X Files” with the principles wearing blue uniforms is genuine.

Who was Dr. J. Allen Hynek?

Dr. J. Allen Hynek is a fascinating figure in the history of the UFO phenomenon. He started his career as an Air Force consultant as a UFO skeptic and something of a debunker. During the 1950s and 1960s his opinions on the subject began to change, Once Project Blue Book was discontinued, Hynek started to openly dispute its findings.

He started his own UFO research organization, called the Center for UFO Studies. By the 1970s he had concluded that while the majority of UFO incidents had natural explanations, he admitted to the probability that some may be alien in origin.

Hynek developed the “close encounter” scale to classify UFO incidents. He also served as a consultant and appeared in a cameo in the Stephen Spielberg film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

The choice of Aidan Gillen to play Hynek is an interesting one.

Gillen is best known to world audiences as the nefarious and sleazy "Littlefinger" on the HBO series “Game of Thrones.” He will now play an intellectually curious scientist who was willing to think outside the box and endure the ridicule of his fellows in academia to examine the UFO phenomenon. A lot of people will likely tune into “Blue Book” because of his role in it.