“Unsolved Mysteries” returns July 1 on Netflix with a slate of new episodes. The classic series, most memorably hosted by Robert Stack, aired (in different iterations) from 1987-2010 on NBC, CBS, Lifetime and Spike, using reenactments and interviews to document cold cases involving true crime and the paranormal. The new “Unsolved Mysteries,” brought to life …
“Unsolved Mysteries” returns July 1 on Netflix with a slate of new episodes.
The classic series, most memorably hosted by Robert Stack, aired (in different iterations) from 1987-2010 on NBC, CBS, Lifetime and Spike, using reenactments and interviews to document cold cases involving true crime and the paranormal.
The new “Unsolved Mysteries,” brought to life by original creators Terry Dunn Meurer and John Cosgrove, remains as compelling as ever — and, this time around, has an international flavor due to the global reach of Netflix.
Meurer spoke to The Post about reviving “Unsolved Mysteries” and the new elements added to the series.
What went into bringing the series back after 10 years?
It’s never been off the air and has been streaming on Amazon. But ever since [the original series] ended we wanted to come back. There are so many mysteries that remain unsolved. We had meetings with networks along the way but nothing felt like the right fit. Netflix is the perfect place — we can produce international stories and can also reach out to a worldwide audience to try and solve mysteries in different countries.
Was there a conscious decision not to use a host?
We talked about that for long time, even about using an unseen narrator, but we decided it was really tough to fill Robert Stack’s shoes. He was an iconic host for so many years. The other part of the equation was that we wanted this be in the documentary world, where the people whose mysteries these episodes involve are more present and more of the storytellers. In addition to interviewing family members and law enforcement, we go on location to get more of a sense of each case. We don’t try to come down on one point of view and try to create as balanced a story as we can.
How did you find the international cases featured on the series?
We have a team of researchers who target different countries. In the second six episodes premiering later this year there are two episodes shot internationally.
[There’s one episode in the first six revolving around a man in France, Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès, who murdered his wife, their four children and their two dogs, burying their bodies under a patio.]
Right now we’re tracking cases in Brazil. Our story producers work with people on the ground who handle language issues. We delivered the show to Netflix three months in advance due to the [dubbing] in so many languages since this will go out to hundreds of countries.
How do you mix and match your episodic content?
We always try to represent a wide array of mysteries — in the first six episodes we have the Berkshires UFO incident [from 1969] and also a ghost story. We try to put paranormal stories into the mix and on the old series we had scientific mysteries, treasure mysteries, money sitting in a bank looking for the person supposed to inherit it — that’s why we call it a mystery show rather than a true-crime series, though true crime is featured heavily. These are solvable cases — we’re probably not going to find the buried treasure or the UFO — but the premise of “Unsolved Mysteries” is that someone, somewhere knows the truth.