Monday, July 7, 2008

Truth or Scare: Wolfman

Discovery Kids - Original Air Date: 2001

This episode looks at the facts and science behind the tradition of werewolves.  The show  focuses on the case of Gilles Garnier, a 16th century "lycanthrope," though it also mentions the famous Mexican circus performers who resemble werewolves because of a rare genetic condition.  The program mentions several other historical werewolf cases, and looks for rational explanations.  Mental illness seems a likely culprit, though why people choose to believe themselves wolves rather than other animals remains unclear.  Ergot (rye fungus) poisoning producing hallucinations also seems a likely culprit, as does brain malfunction due to malnutrition.  In the end, the show shies away from any supernatural explanation of the cases.  No mention is made of modern werewolf or manwolf sightings.  (And there is no appearance, for once, by Uncanny Radio's own Linda Godfrey.  More's the pitty.)

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