First viewed : 2 September 1980
This was a fun series. Science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke "now in retreat in Sri Lanka" fronted a series, in Roald Dahl style, of half hour programmes exploring various unexplained phenomena from around the world. The memorable title sequence featured a striking crystal skull , supposedly of MesoAmerican origin though this has been seriously questioned .
After an introductory programme as a taster for the series , the episodes were thematically organised with Clarke covering UFO's , apemen, stone circles and so on. A final programme , the thirteenth episode wrapped things up and included items that couldn't be so neatly categorised. The items I remember were :
- A whole episode devoted to the Tunguska explosion of which I'd never previously heard
- The supposed sighting of long-necked dinosaurs in the Congo
- An ancient artefact from Baghdad that worked as a battery
- A supposed mermaid in Brighton Museum
Given the length of the episodes, the treatment of each subject was superficial in historical or scientific terms but it did its job in provoking thought on some of the more interesting mysteries of the planet and beyond. There were two subsequent series with Clarke, Arthur C C Clarke's World of Strange Powers in 1985 and Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious Universe in 1994 but these passed me by. He died in 2008 aged 90.