Mystery Map – ITV Paranormal Series Review

After watching episode 1 of Mystery Map on ITV, even as a fan of mysteries and the paranormal, I have to say the show was very disappointing and in a number of ways.

Firstly the show manages to cover half a dozen or more ‘mysteries’ in less than an hour, often giving barely a few minutes coverage to some cases. I’d have found MM far more interesting and worthwhile if ITV had simply picked the two best stories and investigated them more in depth. The Rendlesham Forest UFO case in particular, clearly warranted more physical investigative work. If the UFO was just really a lighthouse, then recreate that scenario to prove the military were mistaken.

An earlier look at The Hampton Court Ghost CCTV video footage:

The problem is there was very little true detective work going on. It felt like the shows producers had just researched and read other teams earlier investigations online, then simply sent Ben and Julia to retrace their footsteps.

Co-host Julia Bradbury came across as the particularly cynical one, giving the impression she’d already seen all the evidence disproving the accounts before filming even began. Not giving viewers an opportunity to believe for a few minutes, even if they wanted to. If a story is so obviously fake right from the start, then why bother covering it at all? ITV may as well have gotten Professor Brian Cox to present the series, for all the open-mindedness that was shown. Though based on Episode 1 of Mystery Map, hiring the Prof would have totally blown the series small budget.

Finally, some of the mysteries which were based on anecdotal evidence were simply dismissed by more anecdotes and opinions, rather than solid facts. Sometimes the skeptics explanations end up more far fetched than the original paranormal account.

So overall, Mystery Map lacked any of the suspense and drama required to be a truly entertaining paranormal investigation. Plus from a purely informative point of view, most of the ‘mysteries’ never needed solving in the first place.

Episode 2 was basically more of the same, with the skeptic always getting the final word. At no time watching the show did I think a story would be concluded as best explainable by paranormal activity. You know each case will ultimately get dismissed in one way or another before the presenters even begin. For the kids sake, let’s be thankful Julia won’t be travelling to Lapland this December for a Mystery Map Christmas special.

On the positive side, I applaud ITV for at least bringing this genre of programming to prime-time British television. But for this type of show to work, you need one presenter who’s willing to open their mind and fight their corner for the believers. Even if they risk looking a bit daft. Granted many of the cases covered were pretty hard to stick up for, but others were just passed off way to easily.

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  2 comments for “Mystery Map – ITV Paranormal Series Review

  1. paula
    Wednesday 27 November, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    I was angry to see that Sir Simon Wellesley put the Hollinway Show down to mass hysteria.This is the same man who has been saying to ME sufferers that its ‘all in the mind’.We have been denied proper medical research over the years because of this man.

  2. Julie Baston
    Thursday 21 November, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    I agree with the previous comment, the show was extremely disappointing. Julia Bradbury is completely the wrong presenter for this series, she is very cynical, closed minded and appears to be out to disprove things before she’s even started the investigations. She has the wrong attitude for this programme.

    The spinning Egyptian Relic still poses questions for me – things just don’t quite add up. I’m not convinced that the tests carried out provide all the answers, the fact that it’s spinning just because of vibrations from outside traffic doesn’t solve the mystery for me. I’m sure there’s more to it than that. How can that statue be so different from the others that they also don’t move?

    With the Hampton Court ghost, it’s all very well to dismiss it out of hand and say it’s a prank, but we were not told what time this incident happened or how the ‘prankster’ would have got in, if there were not staff. There are still unanswered questions.

    With the Howden Moor Crash/loud crashing noise incident, how do we know that the witnesses who claimed they saw a flashing light/UFO and the witness who claimed it was a plane were both seeing the same object? If the UFO was travelling that fast, there could also have been a plane around at the same time.

    I disagree with Ben Shepherd who said that the truth doesn’t matter, the truth always matters in any situation.

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