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To Veritas and Beyond

By Peter L. Hopkins

For Harvard students, the path to “veritas” is a matter of numbers. All that stands between a Harvard student and a degree is a few thousand hours of extracurricular activities, several hundred pages of papers, 32 classes-worth of passing grades and one $160,000 bequest to mother Harvard, paid in four easy installments. However, in the new ABC action-drama, “Veritas: The Quest,” the path to veritas follows no such simple script. The show chronicles the adventures of prep-school dropout Nikko Zond, who discovers that his father is not the university professor he has long claimed to be. Rather, he is the head of a secret organization called the Veritas Foundation, whose mission is to uncover the great mysteries of human civilization. Nikko joins his father as a member of the foundation and begins a weekly hour-long search for infinite truth. His journey takes him to the furthest reaches of the globe, bringing him into conflict with such formidable adversaries as a neo-Nazi organization that is planning the rise of the Fourth Reich. Quite frankly, FM is unimpressed. After careful consideration, however, it appears that certain parallels do exist between fact and fiction:

In episode 2 of “Veritas: The Quest,” the members of the Veritas Foundation venture to Antarctica in search of a “mysterious power source” that legend suggests possesses the power of God.

At Harvard, students venture to Antarctica-on-the-Charles in search of “world renowned professors” who believe themselves to possess the power of God.

“Veritas: The Quest” begins as Nikko’s archaeologist mother suddenly vanishes into an ancient tomb, putting Nikko under the control of his uncaring estranged father.

The quest for veritas at Harvard ends with not only one’s mother, but one’s father and perhaps even one’s extended family drowned in debt, forcing Harvard students into the care of investment banks and consulting firms.

A femme fatale tomb raider (who moonlights as a scientist by night) joins forces with the quest’s leader in search of an ancient crystal skull once owned by Hitler that can revolutionize molecular science.

A femme fatale English professor teams up with Harvard’s president in search of love, companionship and a larger office.

There are no dark depths that the men of the Veritas Foundation will not penetrate in search of veritas.

There is only one dark depth on Earth that the men of Harvard will not penetrate in search of verit-ass: Wellesley.

With a likely lifespan of four episodes, it’s highly improbable that veritas will ever be found on “Veritas: The Quest.”

After four years, Harvard students will most likely not find true veritas either but at least they’ll have a piece of paper that says they have.

—P.L. Hopkins

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