‘This episode of In Search of… comes out swinging with one of the big hitters of the cryptid brigade, the elusive Sasquatch or Bigfoot.
When I was 13, I was totally convinced bigfoot was real. I’d even gone hunting for him myself in California, Oregon and Washington. Naive times they were.
A few things stand out in this episode. The first is, to hear the narration, discovery of an actual bigfoot specimen at the time of the episode is imminent. After listening to this, I’m sure we’ll have bigfoot in captivity by no later than 1987. By the year 2000, children won’t even remember a time when bigfoot was thought to be just a myth!
The second is how weirdly put together In Search of… is. I’ve previously commented on their use of flaring shots of the sun, but in this one they make extensive use of “bigfoot cam” – shaky, hand-held footage from the supposed point of view of a bigfoot walking through the forest while grunting noises are overlaid. There are some strange shot choices, too. Why did they interview the old man sitting down in his car while parked by the side of the road? Did they have to run him to ground to get the interview?
Nimoy gets out of the studio this week and appears standing in a city with plenty of city noises in the background. Since he’s apparently not mic’ed up he has to talk loudly to rise about the city soundscape. It makes for a jarring transition back to voice over work.
I also suspect there’s not that much budget for In Search of… They didn’t show the famous Patterson-Gimlin film, just referenced it while showing the infamous frame 352.
A good portion of the episode deals with the “photograph” or “kill” debate amongst bigfoot hunters. Will the only acceptable proof of bigfoot be a corpse? (My take on this one: Yes. Dead bigfoot or it didn’t happen.)
Another takeaway from this episode – You’d have to be a genius anatomist to fake these big footprints. They couldn’t possibly be a hoax.
Oh, and don’t forget the coelacanth! Coelacanth is real therefore bigfoot is real, too. Right?
139 episodes to go.
In Search of… Bigfoot first aired on April 28, 1977.