At 10 p.m. ET on July 20, star of stage and screen Zachary Quinto will take on a new role: researcher. For the History Channel reboot of the 1970s paranormal investigation series In Search Of, Quinto will leave Hollywood behind to talk to experts in paranormal fields in an effort to find answers to some of the biggest questions in existence. In the first episode of the series, In Search Of, the host goes looking for proof of alien existence. So does Zachary Quinto believe in aliens?
Quinto's career has touched the otherwordly and supernatural. In his television roles on Heroes and American Horror Story, he's living in a world that only slightly resembles our own. And of course, he plays the half-Vulcan Professor Spock in current Star Trek film series — possibly one of the most famous aliens in all of popular culture. However, the first episode of In Search Of indicates that Zachary Quinto may not just play an alien on screen — he may also believe in them, or at least be open to the idea of aliens existing.
In an interview with Stephen Colbert to promote the series, Quinto stated his belief that "we would be foolhardy to think that we're the only intelligent life in the expanse of the universe and beyond ... there has to be some version of life beyond what we know and this planet."
Quinto claimed that some evidence from his time researching for In Search Of helped expand his opinion on what is possible when it comes to alien interference with human life. It's presented in the series to try and convince viewers that they may not be alone in the universe. Quinto explained that during the episode, the In Search Of team spoke to three separate people, none of whom were aware of each other in any way, who had eerily similar details in their stories about supposed alien encounters. While Quinto admitted that the consultants with a more scientific background on the show challenged his opinion on the anecdotal evidence, there was no conclusive evidence that suggested that it is impossible for aliens to exist, or that it is impossible that aliens have visited Earth at some point in the past.
The topic of alien intervention in human life was also a popular topic on the '70s version of the show, which was hosted by the man who originated Quinto's most famous role. Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock, hosted the 1977 episode of In Search Of, which explored specific historical "evidence" of aliens having been present on Earth or that it is possible that someone on Earth could communicate with extra-terrestrial life. The most notable difference between the 1977 In Search Of and the 2018 edition is that in the original, Nimoy hosted the show from a studio and other people handled the research and interview part of the program. Quinto, however, will be taking a hands-on approach to the show, visiting locations and speaking with experts relevant to the topic at hand.
While In Search Of won't be the show to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that aliens are real and have crossed paths with human life before, it's interesting to see an everyman like Quinto confront seemingly impossible phenomenon. He's an actor by trade, but he seems to be approaching the show not as an authority on the subject matter, but simply as an enthusiast with an interest in educating himself and others. Quinto may not definitively believe in the existence of aliens, but this hosting gig proves that he is at least willing to investigate those possibilities.