The show features Kevin Schmidt as the intrepid Henry Griffin who has been sent to live with his uncle Bryan Bartlett (Martin Donovan) and his cousin Jasper Bartlett (Jordan Gavaris). Having been raised by his globe-trotting archeological parents, Henry has an affinity for history and the attractions of cultures from around the world. The show does a remarkable job intertwining the modern day travails of Henry, Jasper and their friend Maggie Winnock (Italia Ricci) with lessons and mysteries of both recent and ancient history.
The first season began with Henry investigating the suspicious death of his godfather only to discover a long lost treasure of the Civil War. Other fun adventures included a visit to the era of the Pony Express, a chance encounter with the Soviet spy satellite Sputnik 1, an unknown connection between John Dillinger and J. Edgar Hoover, a hypnotized assassin, entanglements with both the Hope Diamond and Houdini’s magic tricks, and the discovery that Vikings may have actually discovered America before Columbus. All of these amazing discoveries paralleled the daily struggles that Henry, Jasper and Maggie face in surviving high school, which included driving tests, SAT tests, pranksters and bullies. History serves as a wonderful teaching tool in both navigating high school and providing quests to inspire the inquiring minds of today’s youth.
As the first season concludes with the episode “Past, Presidents and Future,” surely Henry, Jasper and Maggie’s investigative skills will be tested yet again – and hopefully, Uncle Bryan wont be getting any more gray hair over their latest hair-raising adventure.
Be sure to tune in for Unnatural History’s first season climatic final episode on September 21, 2001 at 8/7c. on Cartoon Network.