Department of Special Research

Department of Special Research

The Department of Special Research (DSR) is a fictional government agency from the American television series Alias. The DSR is introduced in the first season episode The Prophecy.

The DSR is a division of the National Security Agency. Created during World War II, the DSR investigated the interest of Nazi Germany in the occult. After the war an executive order expanded the mandate of the DSR to include investigation into a myriad of "fringe sciences"(e.g. parapsychology, remote viewing). Nothing further is known of the DSR's activities until the events of season 1.

Doctor Carson Evans headed the team that investigated Sydney Bristow following the discovery of a Rambaldi manuscript which, on its 47th page, has a picture of a woman resembling Sydney and identified as "The Chosen One." The page contains a prophecy which states in part that the woman pictured "will render the greatest power unto utter desolation." The DSR administered a series of tests, including verifying that she has three physical anomalies mentioned by Rambaldi. With Sydney apparently confirmed as Rambaldi's Chosen One, the DSR took Sydney into custody. Aided by Jack Bristow, Eric Weiss and Michael Vaughn, Sydney escaped and traveled to Italy. Another part of the prophecy states that the woman pictured "without pretense, will have had her effect, never having seen the beauty of my sky behind Mt. Subasio." Sydney climbed Mt. Subasio, thus apparently disproving that it refers to her (although this was later revealed to be untrue, as "my sky" meant something entirely different).

In season 3, it was revealed that the DSR has a top secret storage facility in Nevada called Project Black Hole. It is also revealed that former Joint FBI-CIA Task Force director FBI Assistant Director Kendall oversaw this division and was not part of the FBI at all. Marcus Dixon visited Project Black Hole in the episode "Taken" as a pretext to facilitate Sydney's entry into the complex to steal a Rambaldi artifact.

In season 4, Arvin Sloane visited the DSR to research Rambaldi materials in an effort to discern the plans of the man impersonating him ("Arvin Clone"). Later in the series, Project Black Hole was the target of a break-in orchestrated by Elena Derevko to obtain the artifacts she needed to implement her endgame, a genocidal "cleansing" predicted by Rambaldi known as Il Diluvio ("The Flood"). The DSR sent a team to Sovogda, Russia, the site of Elena's endgame, but they were slaughtered by the infected.

The final mention of the DSR comes in season 5, when its facility is burgled yet again, this time off-screen by Renée Rienne, who stole a cryonic case which she believed contained her father but in fact held Doctor Aldo Desantis.


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