PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal (TV Series 1996–2000) Poster

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Legendary PSI Factor
Tom Reves4 July 2010
This one of the most fascinating TV series I have ever seen. I remember watching the series on TV when I was a small child. At that time, the series seemed scary and I actually believed these stories were true.

Now, when I grew up and watched all the series all over again, I could judge those series with more reason. So, I saw a lot of factual errors. Factuals errors occur not in the actual part which thought to be fictional but in ordinary things.

But I have to admit that the screenplays are written in clever and absorbing way, and that helps to keep viewers interested in this project even after the year when it was closed. Not to mention a great bunch of actors who added sincerity to the series. Their professionalism made these series genuine.

All in all, PSI factor will always remain the classical science fiction TV series, which inspired other great project. So its influence is undoubtedly immense.
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P.S.I Factor in Iran
triology20076 August 2008
I live in Iran and I must say I've never been so "obsessed" with a T.V show / movie as I was with P.S.I Factor.I bought the original DVDs after the series on T.V were over.Actually I would go into some sort of depression if I just missed one episode! In Iran it was continuous and very well dubbed. The voices in the dubbed Persian version were surprisingly identical to the ones I heard in the original show! My favorite character in the series is definitely Colin Fox (as Dr.Anton Hendricks). I don't know why but every time I saw his face or heard his voice, his patience and the way he treats other people, I get a feeling like I wanna be like him! Our neighbor looks like him (I can't tell them apart!!) and every time I come face to face with him, I'd like to tell him how much I love him, but I don't! Cos it's stupid "I love you because you look like my favorite actor in my favorite T.V show?" come on! Anyway, It's too bad that the series were of a remarkably low quality, if not terrible.It was obviously a low budget show, but in my mind no movie and no T.V show EVER produced can beat it! Other movies, no matter how interesting and well built they are, are DOOMED, YES DOOMED TO be forgotten! But this one just kept me wondering if all those interesting stories actually happened in the real world? I used to read a lot of books about paranormal events, so I know for a fact that some of the stories were true (Like that of human combustion), or moving plants, which are believable, but I wonder if the reason they offered in the series to explain those events were scientific or came straight from the mind of the script writer? To me it sounds to be the second case! The stories in season 1 were quite believable, but as the series went forward, I could sense a lot of fiction coming into the show.Some of the fictional episodes were really interesting, like the one in which Anton Hendricks goes missing in an arch and his wife gets back possessed with a demon.Some episodes were frightening and full of tension like "Bad Dreams" or the episodes in which Connor Doyle was killed and a fake one was back in the fourth season! I don't like the way the series ends, they could have done much more to develop the characters.I'd really embrace an American version of P.S.I Factor, if you will, but with the same Canadian actors and actresses! Special effects could have been much better. Anyway, I still watch P.S.I Factor and I enjoy it! Oh and I'm really happy that I know English so good that I can understand over 95% of the conversations! Please produce the 5th season too!!!! :)
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Conner Doyle, Out!
jetbatt8 August 2004
I have never understood why this show never "made it" with the masses as X-Files did. Being a fan of both shows, I always thought Psi-Factor was the better of the two. I even loved the time slot of 11pm CST on Saturday night. My wife and I always looked forward to watching it. It originally started out as one 1-hour episode with two different case files, essentially, a 2-for-1 episode each week. There were a few minor tweaks in storyline and characters throughout its run of four(?) seasons. But overall, a very interesting and rewarding show to say the least. I was disappointed when the show was cancelled, and now I can hardly wait until the DVD Box sets are released.
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Great entertainment, don't miss it
Honey-1426 April 1999
This is the best 'Sci-Fi' and 'paranormal' T.V series to have hit the screens. It deals with all paranormal activity and explores more themes than the regular X-Files. The special effects are great, so don't miss it.
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Still alive in spirit!
Pegapus25 March 2001
Psi Factor rode a rough road in its 4 years as a series. Conceived as a series based on the purportedly real organization of the OSIR, the stories were supposedly inspired by real life incidents investigated by the organization.

In its first year, the series used a docudrama format, with two 1/2 hour stories a week. They gave the major facts of a case, and the investigators were mostly there to present the story, and not to be active participants. In a lot of ways, while it was interesting, it was not necessary compelling. In two separate episodes, however, they used a single episode format, and the stories presented offered a great more promise than the rest of the episodes that season.

In order to keep the series alive, the producers changed the format for the second season, killing off a major character in the first season finale, and introduced two new character in the first episode of second season. The new characters were Matt Praeger (Matt Frewer) and Michael Kelly (Michael Moriarty)--one, a flippant criminologist with a background in mechanical engineering, and the other, a conspiracy theorist.

Matt Praeger took over the "A" team of the OSIR: the characters who survived the cast culling from first season: Peter Axon (Barclay Hope); Lindsay Donner (Nancy Ann Sakovich); Anton Hendricks (Colin Fox) and a myriad of secondary characters: Claire Davidson (Soo Garay); Lennox Q. Cooper (Peter Blais); Ray Donahue (Peter MacNeill) and Frank Elsinger (Nigel Bennett).

While the series survived through three additional seasons, more changes were instituted, including fourth season characters going missing, the introduction in fourth season of Mia Stone (Joanne Vannicola) and more intimate storylines [with less investigating team members].

The most disturbing change for many fans was the killing off on first season character, Connor Doyle. Many fans were extremely upset at the character's demise, making him very sorely missed for the rest of the show's run. Producers tried to make up for the loss several times, but logistics prevented them from bringing back Paul Miller until near the end of fourth season, where an episode entitled "Regeneration" brought him back to bring some closure to his character's demise.

Overall, the series had some promise, and while it didn't live up to its full potential, there were some promising episodes, and characters that were interesting and full of energy.
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This show has come a long way...
vivideye8 June 1999
Since our local station airs Psi-Factor immediately following The X-Files, my acquaintance with this unique Canadian show was inevitable. In the first season, the episodes were split into two separate segments of twenty or so minutes each, and the characters, investigative team members for the O.S.I.R. (Office of Scientific Investigation and Research), did little more than run around muttering techno-babble over their instrumentation. In other words, there wasn't much plot or character development.

By the second season, the format changed to a straight hour with one storyline, which improved things considerably; in my opinion, a show that deals with complex--not to mention, paranormal!--situations such as the ones showcased on Psi-Factor should be at least an hour long! The addition of Matt Frewer to the cast was also a big plus. His familiarity with the sci-fi genre made his settling-in time short and smooth while the character he plays, the off-beat, rebellious Case Manager Matt Praeger, injected some much needed fun and energy into what was a sometimes dour and uptight team. An X-Files-esque conspiracy began to develop as well, hinting at the possibility that perhaps those at the top of the O.S.I.R. echelon weren't simply running a legitimate scientific organization in earnest search of tangible proof of paranormal phenomena, but instead, with sinister governmental and corporate ties, shunt the flow of truth into confidential channels just when Matt and the rest of the team are getting close to something big. Which is where Michael Moriarty enters the picture: as the drunken, chain-smoking conspiracy fanatic with connections, Michael Kelly. He does an excellent job, and adds yet more depth to the show.

Not only do the relatively well-known Frewer and Moriarty shine, Colin Fox as the grandfatherly yet suave Professor Anton Hendricks, Barclay Hope as the protocol-obsessed and rather dishy physicist Peter Axon, Nancy Anne Sakovich as the modelesque, hacking genius, and Soo Garay as a somewhat necrophilic Dr. Claire Davison all give exceptional performances. Secondary characters such as mysterious good guy Case Manager Curtis Rollins (Maurice Dean Wint), dark man at the top Frank Elsinger (Nigel Bennett), and lovable goofball Lennox "L.Q." Cooper (Peter Blais) the team's cryptozoologist, always lend their own unique flavour to each episode they appear in.

With the third season came better effects, even more character development (as well as friction!), and higher quality scripts--which included some more in-depth explorations of the dubious string-pulling up top.

This show has really come a long way! Take a look at an early episode of the X-Files, you're bound to be shocked by the vast difference in quality compared to episodes from the most recent few seasons. I believe we're seeing a similar progression with the fantastic--in every way--Psi-Factor. Way to go Dan Ackroyd and crew!
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better than X-Files
fxfs200017 February 2000
I like Psi Factor better than X-Files because it really happens. After you watch X-Files series, no matter how amazing or terrific it is, you'll end up saying: it's only movie. But, every time I watch Psi Factor... it opens up my mind that so many things, that I couldn't even imagine, exists. So, you think you already know and see everything... watch this series, you'll find out there is a lot more you don't know.
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started out great
MichaelM2411 April 2002
I was really amazed at how long this show lasted. Sure, it was only four seasons, but as a show that was constantly (unfairly) dismissed as a lame X-FILES wannabe, the fact it lasted as long as it did is pretty surprising. The first season remains my favorite, with the show's original pseudo-documentary approach to stories inspired by real-life cases investigated by the Office of Scientific Investigation and Research. With it's blue-tinted witness interview footage, documentary-like feel, and two story-per-episode structure, PSI FACTOR offered up some intriguing stories for those interested in the world of the paranormal and supernatural. Paul Miller and Maurice Dean Wint alternated as lead investigators Professors Connor Doyle and Curtis Rollins, respectively, though Doyle proved to be the most popular character of the show, despite his forced departure at the end of the first season. Rollins took a leave of absence midway through the season, but would return for the forth (and final) season. The lovely Nancy Anne Sakovich, Colin Fox, and Barclay Hope rounded out the team of investigators as specialists in a specific field.

The second season saw the inclusion of genre veteran Matt Frewer as Matt Praeger, a more skeptical character who was brought in by the O.S.I.R. as Doyle's replacement, and though he was okay, he still couldn't fully replace Doyle. His character's skepticism brought a feeling of "here we go again" to the show, having to sit through yet another character who doesn't believe in much. That was what was so refreshing about Doyle; he always had an open mind about things and believed in anything until the evidence (if there was any) proved otherwise. Despite the lacking of some elements Frewer's Praeger had in comparison to Doyle, the second season still came out pretty good, with many standout episodes, though the show lost the documentary feel many fans loved from the first season and took on a more straight forward storytelling approach, as fell as focusing the entire hour on one story.

With the third season, the show took a turn for the worst as it made the same mistake X-FILES made: things began to focus more and more on internal conflicts within the O.S.I.R., headed up by Nigel Bennet as Elsigner. It was a shame to see the show make such a change when it had been doing just fine telling entertaining stories about paranormal/supernatural investigation. Instead, characters began having hidden agendas and there was internal conspiracies among the O.S.I.R. high-ranking officials. Following Frewer's (rather interesting) departure, the forth season attempted a return to the feeling of the first two years. Even the blue-tinted interview segments return for one episode, and an attempt to wrap up the mystery surrounding Connor Doyle's departure was featured in one of the season's few best episodes. But by the time the forth season was over, the show was gone, and it was such a shame, because it started out great and ended as a hollow shell of its former self. Much like how it appears X-FILES will end.
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Great start, disappointing end
Samantha Alexander8 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This used to be one of my favorite TV shows when I was a kid so recently I decided to re-watch it. It was a huge surprise that there was actually a fourth season which they never aired on Bulgarian TV. Keep in mind that I'm not very critical when it comes to movies and television - I mostly look at the story and character development and not so much the actual acting. I do think though that the real power of PSI Factor was the 1st season and probably most of 2nd and 3rd, though the end of 3rd was a little sloppy. Since enough people already summarized what happens in each season I'll talk mostly about what really disappointed me in the 4th season. Maybe the original '2 stories per episode' format was a little monotonous but that's exactly what caught my eye back in the days - the scientific approach toward the paranormal events and the idea that there's probably a grain of truth somewhere in the scripted drama. As the show moved on it lost a lot of its spirit and there were too many episodes that made me wonder what the hell happened. Half of season 4 felt like a badly written and played comedy although there were few good episodes. But they never showed what happened with Frank Elsinger or Lindsay' boyfriend, Mark which was a big flaw. By the end it's almost only Lindsay and Peter investigating the cases, with Mia joining every now and then. I liked Mia but I have to agree with other people that her character wasn't developed almost at all. Also, I think they made a mistake by removing Connor Doyle at the end of season 1. Although Matt Frewer brought something fresh and new to the series, especially compared to Paul Miller's serious and somewhat straightforward character, I still liked Doyle a lot more. Praeger annoyed the hell out of me most of the time by almost becoming a protagonist and the way he left the show was real lame. Long story short - I enjoyed the personal stories and the conspiracies that came up but they overdid it at times. Still, I think PSI Factor was very good and enjoyable show with nice creepy tones.

And to the person who wrote the user review entitled "P.S.I Factor in Iran" - thanks for spoiling me in one sentence everything about Connor Doyle's appearance in season 4. *grumpy face* I enjoyed the episode despite that but still, your little spoiler killed half the pleasure. Think about it when you write your next review.
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Just one of the best shows!
Syl6 August 2001
I loved this show in the second season. I awoke in the middle of a Sunday night. My first episode was about the identical twins! Unlike other shows, this show spoke to me about the paranormal in our world. While I have had paranormal experiences, it is nice to have a show of our own for a change. Thanks and I wish there was more of the second season. The first season was quite boring but I think it's best season the second season with a great cast including Nigel Bennett as Frank Elsinger, Matt Frewer, Nancy Anne Sakovich as Lindsay, the wonderful Colin Fox as Dr. Anton, Barclay Hope as Peter, etc. The third season was tough because Frewer departed the show in a most unusual way and they added Joanne Vannicola as Dr. Mia Stone who never fully developed in the role. Matt's departure was hard because I think he was the glue that held the show together and made it better. The story lines became dull in the third season and Elsinger was also gone from the series as well with Anton in his role and we see less of Anton. They tried to recover but you just couldn't beat the second season. You just didn't want to miss a second of the middle season. Rare that a show would thrive in the middle rather than the beginning but PSI proved that there is a lot out there that we don't know about.
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Better than X Files
reneekittycat28 April 2004
I have seen every episode of this show and I love it. It was so very cool and sometimes scary and always interesting. It always left me wondering if the stuff they showed could possibly be real. I wish it was still on. One of my favorite episodes was one in which a man had been killed and his pet snakes tracked down the murderer and killed him. I was impressed that they would use an animal that most people would find repulsive and show that they could be very loyal. Another episode seemed to be about spontaneous combustion. Ordinary people were bursting into flame with little or no warning. I have always been curious about this phenomenon and I was surprised at the answer behind the burnings. This is only a few of the things I loved about the show. Renee
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Badly focused, but still somehow very entertaining
trancejeremy20 February 2011
Much like Dan Akroyd's career, this TV show is all over the place. And yet it remained an enjoyable TV show mostly to the efforts of the core actors.

It purports to tell the case files of the OSIR, a paranormal investigation group, In reality, even lower budget than Ghost Hunters (before they got a show). In the show, a modern, high budget world class organization with top class personnel and gadgets.

In Season 1, it was played fairly straight, with the OSIR team investigating two paranormal cases or events per show. It was perhaps a bit dry, but each case was interesting in its own right.

In Season 2, apparently to boost ratings, they brought in Matt Frewer (of Max Headroom fame) to replace Paul Miller. They also changed it to one investigation per hour. And the tone shifted from overall paranormal, to more something like the X-files - conspiracies and such (more corporate than government). In came Michael Moriarity, playing a conspiracy expert.

Season 3 scaled back the conspiracy stuff somewhat(and Moriarty's character) but still kept the same sort of focus in terms of what was being investigated. But the focus was also a lot on characterization. But in the season finale, they wrapped up the conspiracy stuff and brought back Michael Moriarty briefly.

In the last season, Season 4, Matt Frewer left the show after a few episodes and the focus changed back to more investigating stuff, not conspiracies. They also brought in a new investigator, a woman that is mostly forgettable. Dan Akroyd also pretty much stopped introducing each episode, instead using a generic one for every one.

So in a way, the show was sort of a trainwreck. Yet at the same time, it was worth watching thanks to the efforts of the core group of actors - Barclay Hope, Nancy Anne Sakovich, Colin Fox, plus the very lovely Soo Garay as a medical examiner and Peter Blais as a cryptozoologist in recurring roles.
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A Great Show!
Thor200021 April 2001
This show had a great idea in the beginning by describing paranormal mysteries from the researchers point of view. Sort of a brighter more technological X-Files, the series slowly degraded into conspiracies and confusion. Matt Frewer was a likeable enough actor as he nervously settled into the show, but as the series rotated around nothing but aliens and cover-ups and not enough ghost stories, it became boring. Nancy Anne Sakovich was a lovely presence on the show and a great actress. Barclay Hope and Colin Fox were both extras from the Friday The Thirteenth's repetoire of actors, but as more and more specialists joined, I couldn't keep up with them all even with the mysterious disappearances, abductions and ridiculous pseudo-science. It didn't need to go this far. Good-bye to a well-loved and unforgettable series.
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Childhood, right there!
Grzegorz Jankowski29 December 2017
I would wait for this to come up on Polish TV as a kid. I don't believe all of the seasons aired over here but boy was this my first sci-fi/horror themed show. I fell in love with the genre because of this. There is one episode that was so upsetting I ran to my mom to tell her how afraid I was to die at some point in my life. I was probably 6 or 7 at the time and still remember that feeling of anxiety. I'm 24 now and will rewatch the whole series again, I hope I will still like it as I did back then. Highly recommended!
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End is much better than beginning
John Smith5 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
At first I thought that this one would be boring. Two cases in one 45 minute movie were too much. Everything happened too fast and their methods were repetitive - polygraph, hypnosis and various detectors all the time. After several series everything improved. They used only one case in each movie and that allowed to to bring more details. Not bad actually. First chief Doyle was kinda boring guy and I enjoyed Praeger much better. Too bad that he left movie in such dumb way.

Seems like there was idea to continue with even more seasons because everything ended up so strange. It happens sometimes...

Conclusion: if you get over first boring series then it might be a pleasure to watch all other series.
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Poor Man's SciFi
notstudyinglaw19 April 2002
Reading the reviews, I have to wonder if I'm watching the same show! This show has such a cheap, low-budget feel, it is somewhat distracting.

The acting is almost uniformly bad. Characters make massive mood swings that look straight out of a bad acting class. Bad acting is, of course, something of a SciFi tradition. Perhaps they were going for a William Shatner feel? All the actors, particularly the men, have that I--AM--SUCH--A--SERIOUS--AC--TOR delivery, it is downright laughable. This is TV folks, second rate TV at that, not an old school Shakespeare production. They should leave the Olivier style posturing behind.

Part of what makes the acting so bad is the poor writing. Characters are often given no plot motivation whatsoever for turn-on-a-dime emotional outbursts or epiphanies. So without plot support, their reactions seem particularly bizarre.

The production values are also glaringly bad. One episode sticks out in particular: they were supposedly in Bermuda investigating the Triangle, but they were sooo obviously still in Canada. The shoreline looked like a lake, not even the sea. I used to live in Bermuda, so I could go into more detail, but anyone who's seen a postcard of the island would have been distracted by the odd setting. They could have tried just a little bit harder, or left out the more ridiculous scenes.

BUT, all that said, I still find myself tuning in. The show is entertaining, in that sort of B-movie way. And it is always funny to watch bad actors "emote."

Just to clarify, I am not an X-files fan, so I'm not bitter about the supposed rip-off factor. TV is derivative, I gave up expecting originality! Lack of originality is not the problem here, just lack of quality.

But, hey, it is still fairly enjoyable.
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second season remote viewer episode
There was a second season remote viewer episode that comes to mind that was exceptionally well made. The episode revolved around a woman with esp who used it to contact a alien life force. In series with starships it gets expensive to reach out and explore new life forms but with PSI FACTOR they got creative and didn't need a big fancy space ship to do it with (or the sets that come with it). IN the series of episodes about this character there was total suspension of disbelief.
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I like film "Psi Factor" and I want to look it each day
agent_016 November 1998
It is pleasant to a history which in this film show also me it

would be desirable more to learn about"PSI FACTOR"
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It is pretty upset
heavenhall6 February 2003
It is the first time that I see PSI FACTOR. It seems what I see now from Macao Five Star channel is for the first season. It was really cool, especially those characters. In the first place, Paul Miller has leaved a deep impression on me, but I am quite upset because he died tonight! I don't know whether such a main role has some reason to die, or he has to die. Why? Without Pro. Connor Doyle PSI FACTOR seems to have lost something!
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They do their best to make the paranormal-babble make sense to the viewers.
GalaxyGa16 February 1999
It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that this series is trying hard to be a more skeptical competitor to "The X-Files." It doesn't have the political tension, the sexual tension, or the atmospheric tension, if you will, of "The X-Files," but it's got an amazingly good ensemble of actors, most of whom we've never heard of down here in the U.S.

Leading the people we _have_ heard of before is Matt Frewer, who ought to be considered the Actor-Saint [God?] of Latex (well, he and Andreas Katsulis, but I digress) for having done Max Headroom (no, kids, that's NOT cgi, there's a man under all that plastic). Frewer worked full-time filming Edison Carter, and then the fx people put 4 hours' worth of Max on him to shoot in front of bluescreen and then work that over in post. IMVHO, Frewer can do no wrong, even when he gets lame "Psi-Factor" scripts, he is still amazingly good.

The other person we have heard of before is Nigel Bennett, formerly "Lacroix" in "Forever Knight." His is an intermittent character, I've only seen 7 or 8 eps and he's made only one brief appearance, but it's so nice to see him without the vampire contacts and _with_ a day job (yeah, that was a vampire pun; I couldn't resist).

The other actors are just treasures; these folks really ought to migrate to L.A. and take a whack at the big time. Barclay Hope is a cute late-20's, early 30's dude with a too-short haircut who reminds me of Chris O'Donnell --but it's the kind of too-short haircut that makes physics and psychology look _cool_. Colin Fox as the senior researcher Anton has the requisite mature demeanor and speaks the dialogue he's been given without messing up the psychobabble, and in fact making the psi-babble seem to make sense, which is the essence of this series.

There are two actresses on the show; now, why can't I remember their names, besides their characters'? (oh--I'm watching Matt). They both have gads of talent just spilling out of each of them, other than having forgettable names. Claire the pathologist (Autopsy Queen a la' Scully) is beginning to have some kind of effect upon Frewer's character, Praeger, and I am reminded (positively) of some of the bits in "MIB" between the lady coroner and Agent Jay.

A real treat is the scenes at beginning and end, where Dan Ackroyd does the Robert Stack thing and tells us that these episodes are taken from case files of the Office of Scientific Investigation and Research (OSIR), a real agency that researches paranormal claims. I'm sure the case file research was never as exciting, or dramatic, as the stuff Praeger and team research every week. The essence is that the scriptwriters and actors do their very best to make the paranormal-babble make sense to the viewers, and while the writers may fall short every now and then, Frewer, Hope, Colin Fox, and the women do their best to overcome any shortcomings of the scripts.
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moiraine20029 April 2001
i enjoy this show and if it is on i will watch it, but sometimes i wonder if this stuff really happens. maybe I'm prejudiced by the x-files, but sometimes i find this show incredibly corny. most of the episodes are intelligent and well put together, but sometimes i find myself wondering what the heck is going on! usually though, it is very good and i would recommend it to anyone who loves the paranormal.
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