Season 9... and we're off!

By Jennifer Silverman, Series Producer
5 July 2011
Category: Behind the Scenes

The ninth season of History Detectives has started airing, and while that in itself is an accomplishment (one we owe to the continued support of our unquenchably curious audience) looking back over the season, I’m always amazed we get to the end.

Just in terms of numbers:

  • Cases solved: 27
  • States travelled : 29 (including our first trips to Hawaii and Idaho)
  • Field tapes shot: 423, equaling 282 of hours of footage (approximately)
  • Car rentals: 101
  • Flat tires: 2
  • Hotel rooms: 287
  • Hotel rooms without air-conditioning in 90+ degree temperatures: 5
  • Archive still images collected: 7765
  • Producers: 13
  • Associate Producers: 9
  • WWII veterans interviewed: 4 
  • Spanish Civil War veterans interviewed: 1
  • Most hours driven between locations in a snow storm: 6.5 (Kansas City, MO to Springfield, IL)
  • Most hours driven between locations in a heat wave: 5.5 (New Orleans, LA to West Point, MS)
  • Casino-Racetrack hotels stayed in: 2
  • Sled rides: 1 (that we know about - see below)
  • White House visits: 1
  • Emergency Room visits: 1 (an Associate Producer – stomach flu)

I wish I could say all of our work was accomplished with elegance and skill, but some situations made us sweat. 

Case in point, the threat of a government shutdown in April threw us into contingency plan overdrive. So much of our research depends on the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and the numerous kind librarians, archivists, researchers and academics from various government museums and agencies that help us week in and week out. The prospect of going Cold Turkey was grim.  

In addition, there was a shoot scheduled at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine, Florida on the Saturday AFTER the proposed shutdown. Thankfully, the National Park Service agreed to honor our permit, even if the government closed (little known fact about the NPS’s generosity: they told us they were also planning to honor the permits for scheduled weddings.)

And then there are the hours upon hours of investigative research that went into cases we just couldn’t solve: a hulking steam shovel in the Midwest that may (or may not) have been used to dig the Panama Canal, a piece of computer memory that may (or may not) have come from one of the first government computer.  Look for those stories (maybe) in season 10.

Regardless of the hiccups (and sometimes because of them), it’s been a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding season.  

Here’s hoping you think the same.

Jennifer Silverman
Series Producer
History Detectives 

P.S. And here's a real treat - intrepid detective Eduardo Pagan sledding. Enjoy!

Video:
On the Road: Eduardo goes sledding

History Detective Eduardo Pagan goes sledding. It's all part of the job.

 

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