This series presents information based in part on theory and conjecture. The producers’ purpose is to suggest some possible explanation, but not necessarily the only ones, to the mysteries we will examine.
So started every episode (so far as I know) of In Search of… Hoo boy, have they got that right! I wish all the crap on the cable networks these days included that honest, if ineffectual, disclaimer!
Ineffectual? Yes, because I heard it every week and basically disregarded it. Such is the power of television and editing that, in no way, was I ever in doubt of the honesty or sincerity of this show.
This is the first regular episode of In Search of… After three previous “specials” featuring Rod Serling, the series proper, with Leonard Nimoy, starts here with the investigation of whether plants can communicate. It seems a strange one to start off with. I would have lead with UFOs or Bigfoot.
The quality of the video is… poor. There’s no obvious restoration work lavished on this box set, but at least the original music (and presumably run length) has been restored.
Nimoy is an uncomfortable host, standing, at times, in ridiculously staged and uncomfortable-looking poses as he walks amongst large photographic stand-ups of In Search of… topics and an obligatory potted plant. His blue blazer, red turtle-neck sweater and grey Sans-a-Belt trousers scream 1970’s.
Uncomfortable he may seem on camera, but his oft-imitated In Search of… delivery is on-the-mark even in episode 1.
The unique visual style of In Search of… is here, too. The visit to the Denver Botanical Gardens is complete with the show’s trademark “looking up through trees at the sun” style.
Oh how I’ve missed this show!
As for the content… in a nutshell: plants might respond to people with “green thumbs.” People with green thumbs have more auras when photographed using Kirlian Photography than people with self-reported “brown thumbs.” Plants die when exposed to Acid Rock, but thrive and even bend towards the speakers when exposed to classical music.
My favorite part had to be when the researcher (who had spent 25 years studying the subject) tortured yogurt while other yogurt was connected to a polygraph! (and also torturing an In Search of… staffer.)
In short, the idea is this, a plant or yogurt (yes, yogurt, the stuff from the diary aisle) is attached to a polygraph and then a nearby human is cut with a scalpel. According to the results shown, the plant registers a reaction when the person is injured.
In the case of the yogurt, which was placed in a test tube, a nearby beaker of yogurt is subjected to antibiotics, killing them. As you might expect, nothing happens to the yogurt in the test tube. However, a second “experiment” has milk added to the beaker of yogurt. When that happens, the test tube of beaker reacts!
The “scientist” hypothesizes that when the beaker of yogurt gets fed, the test tube yogurt starts sympathetically craving food.
I wonder if the polygraph is any more reliable on plants than it is on people?
All-in-all, it was a blast from the past episode. Only 143 more to go!
In Search of… Other Voices first aired on April 17, 1977