By Chancellor Agard
July 18, 2018 at 09:00 AM EDT

The first official trailer for History’s new UFO series Project Blue Book has arrived, and EW has an exclusive look.

Executive-produced by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future) and inspired by a real-life U.S. Air Force program, the 1950s-set series follows astronomer J. Allen Hynek (Game of Thrones’ Aidan Gillen) and Capt. Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey) as they investigate UFOs, discover the government is hiding something, and transform from skeptics to believers in the process. But don’t be fooled by the shot of Hynek and Quinn gazing at a mysterious creature in a tank in the trailer, because this is show is not about aliens.

“This is not a little green men show. This is more of a government conspiracy show with a great sci-fi twist — and also a character piece,” showrunner Sean Jablonski tells EW. “Everything we see is and is not what it is. We’re not gonna take the position, certainly not early on, that little green men are running around and it’s just a question of finding them. The creature that you see in that tank is to them what they think it is, and yet it’s not.”

Adds Gillen, “Some things are explained in a logical, scientific manner, and some things can’t be. That’s the way it was for [the real] Hynek.”

Eduardo Araquel/HISTORY

After leaving Game of Thrones, Gillen decided to take on the role of Hynek because it was a complete 180 from the manipulative and cynical Littlefinger. “I liked the idea of going from playing a conniving character to a quite warm, honest [one],” he says. Although the two shows also look very different — high-budget fantasy epic vs. Cold War-era conspiracy thriller — Gillen notes that they do have something in common: “I don’t see [Project Blue Book] as a gritty, down-to-earth drama at all. It’s full of dreams, as was Game of Thrones.”

Ahead of its premiere this winter on History, Project Blue Book will hold a panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, July 21, at 6:45 p.m. in Room 6A. The panel will feature Gillen, Malarkey, fellow cast members Laura Mennell and Neal McDonough, Jablonski, David O’Leary (creator/writer/executive producer), and Jackie Levine (executive producer).

Watch the trailer for Project Blue Book above.

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