I’ve heard that this is the last season for Monster Quest on the History Channel. There are efforts afoot to try and save the show but, I’m not going to add my voice to that. I’ve always had serious problems with MQ. It presents a distorted and poor quality view of scientific investigation.

I’ll concede that it is designed to be entertainment, not science. But, they DO mention their intent to use science in process. Science, frankly, doesn’t always make great TV – lots of waiting, rechecking, thinking… Not much action there. There have been a few interesting and decent episodes where they have concluded that there was no good evidence to support a “monster”. Far more have ended by concluding that “We didn’t find what we were looking for but [we didn’t prove animal x isn’t here so] we’ll keep on looking.” Not the best plan. A short investigation isn’t enough. I often wondered why they can’t let a group stay in one place for more than a few days. I supposed that gets prohibitively expensive.

I didn’t appreciate the rampant speculation, the drama, the repetition and the deceptive habit of interpreting the evidence in a very narrow, biased way. There were many times when I screamed “What the hell are you talking about? It’s so obvious!” at the TV. The concept started out good but the episodes were, frequently, rather silly. Too many casual viewers, like my 10 yr old, could spot the sloppiness in their inquiry and unjustified leaps of logic.

I would watch more cryptid shows. But, I would like a better quality program – one that tells me something new in an honest manner. As you might expect, I’d prefer a skeptical investigator. Too many of the people on MQ came with a clear agenda to find a critter. NOT, as it should have been, to figure out what is actually going on. That is what made it sad and seriously unscientific.

Update: Good writeup of reactions to the finale on the Gable film here.

11 thoughts on “End of Monster Quest

  1. Ahh, the History Channel. So much potential and so much crap. There are a couple good shows and a number of the other shows have some good episodes, but, yeah, keep your grains of salt handy. MQ is definitely is the latter category (at least as far as I could tell from the half a dozen or so episodes I’ve watched), sensationalized froth much of the time with some good bits here and there.

  2. I’d like to see a really good, well-produced show exploring the many various “cryptids” in a well-reasoned way that is not exploitative nor condescending. There’s a lot to be gained by taking the legends and exploring their roots. I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance that Bigfoot, Nessie, Chupacabras, or what-have-you actually exist, but I’m fascinated that nearly every human culture has felt the need to imagine such creatures.

  3. I watched the episode of Monster Quest last wednesday which seemed to be about the one hundreth featuring bigfoot. It also featured Dr. Jeff Meldrum yet again and enough equipment to find Osama Bin Ladin but, alas and alac, no bigfoot. Every time I see Dr. Meldrum I can’t believe what I am hearing and seeing and that he continues with his belief in bigfoot/sasquatch. He had part of his collection of print castings one of which looked like a footprint made by the Wallace clan. This particular hunt was looking for a family group of bigfeet in the Sierra Nevada mountains east of San Fransisco. They would probably have more fun if they took some Sierra Nevada Bigfoot ale along and, depending on how much they drank, see more bigfeet too.

    1. According to Bigfoot, um, experts, calling a group of them “bigfeet” is inaccurate. The plural of Bigfoot is supposed to be Bigfoot. And the plural of Sasquatch is not Sasquatches; it’s Sasquatch. (I’m not certain where that rule originated. But I can guess…)

      1. Oh noes! Thirty lashes for Gary B because that terminology has certainly been established in the scientific literature. Right? Oops.
        I guess that pegs us as amateur cryptozoologists for sure.

  4. Oops, my bad. I should have known that more than one bigfoot would be singularly plural. Maybe this is, as I susppect, the fact that bigfoot is just that and attached to a stick so as to make a good ‘impression’.

  5. It’s a rare episode I can make it through without falling asleep. I find the repetition of the show, and the disjointed nature of a given episode, to be very annoying. This isn’t per se an issue of content, it’s also why I can’t watch Mythbusters (well, one reason, the other being that the whole point of the show seems to be to blow things up, which isn’t that amusing 90% of the time).

    A show like this could be done right. And as proof, I offer up the Animal Planet show “River Monsters.” I’ve only seen one episode, the Kali River Monster, but it was leaps and bounds better than MQ. The fisherman/host did spend significant time at the location, including making two trips to bring back help and equipment. He did investigate the stories, in a slightly cloying way (of course the sources are weird old men with ancient folklore, like in a story) but still better than the typical MQ episode. And he actually found what he was looking for. Of course, he was chasing something that doesn’t fly in the face of known biology and ecology, so there is arguably that difference …

    1. Point taken. It never seems like they have enough to make a full hour show, they repeat so much over. I agree that more investigation into the stories would make it more interesting but that would take a greater effort than just packing tons of equipment and shipping out.

      Of course there is always Dale on a boat, Dale on a dive, Dale on a hiking trail. Boring.

  6. I like shows like Ancient Aliens on History Channel and MQ had promise when it first started yet was boring and without substance from the start.Then they just decided to do versions of giant animals like bad 70s flix lol.With giant pigs,rats,and more all which were just like what is this???I have enjoyed shows like Destination Truth and Fact or Fake I cant say I am sad to see MQ go.

  7. I always called this show, not monster quest but monster B.S. . Finding “Big Foot” or any other “monster” always ended the same way, zip, nada, zero proof, “ran out of time”, to dark etc… for entertainment value is had it at first but quickly died after the first episode.

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