Back in the early ’90s, when Spawn and Youngblood ruled the comic book racks – when comic book racks actually existed – a little startup cable network called The Sci Fi Channel winked into existence. Those were heady days: a whole channel devoted to nothing but Science Fiction? Who cared that they never showed anything but reruns of Buck Rogers and The Bionic Woman!
But there were some original programs too, and the absolute diamond at the center of Sci Fi’s OG lineup was a show called Mysteries from Beyond the Other Dominion. My father, my brothers and I had a special place in our hearts for this show, all because of the host, Dr. Franklin Ruehl. Dr. Ruehl is a true nerd. Not a sanitized, focus-group-approved TV sitcom version of a nerd, but a Nerd-with-a-Capital-“N”-Nerd, a nerd to the core.
Mysteries from Beyond consisted of brief “news reports” narrated by Dr. Ruehl, on diverse subjects such as the possibility Martian astronauts visited the Ancient Egyptians, and the legendary curse of Rudolph Valentino’s cat’s eye ring. Dr. Ruehl never ceased to astound with his tales of the bizarre and the unexplained. To sample some of The Good Doctor’s forbidden knowledge, you can visit his Blogspot page, and a quick search on Youtube will turn up a treasure trove of Mysterious gems.
I think it’s great that “geek culture” is so prevalent today. It’s not just accepted by the mainstream, it *is* the mainstream. But Mysteries from Beyond the Other Dominion takes me back to a more innocent, less commercialized time, when getting your fix of Fantasy or Sci Fi meant playing Wizardy III on your wheezy, beige-colored IBM PC, or getting together with some fellow nerds for an evening of pencil-and-paper role playing games in your parents’ basement. Thanks, Dr. Ruehl, for keeping it real – one nerd to another. May the power of the cosmos be with you, too.