A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this science-based docuseries covers some very spooky real-life unexplained phenomena and events. These stories are told using dramatizations that emphasize the intense and sometimes scary scenarios involved. As such, young kids will almost certainly be scared by the show's storytelling approach and content. For teens, the series provides an interesting, atmospheric look at classic conspiracies, supernatural occurrences, and alleged otherworldly interference.
What's the story?
Hosted by Fringe and Lord of the Rings star John Noble, DARK MATTERS: TWISTED BUT TRUE examines some of science's greatest unexplained mysteries and unnatural phenomena. Each story is told through narration, spookily-filmed reenactment clips, and interviews from scientists and historians who place the unusual tales within a more grounded context. Though the stories are occasionally left conspicuously open-ended, the show generally relies upon science to debunk these remarkable stories.
Is it any good?
TV has a long tradition of focusing on the unexplained, not just in the form of science fiction and The Twilight Zone, but in series such as In Search Of... and Unsolved Mysteries. Dark Matters is the latest iteration of this subgenre, and aided by the appropriately spooky hosting and voiceover work of John Noble, it manages to bring a somewhat fresh take to the format.
The stories may seem familiar to those who enjoy reading up on strange phenomena -- the Philadelphia Experiment, the whereabouts of Einstein's brain. Where Dark Matters sets itself apart is in how it tells those stories. Reenactments feature actors shot not only on real sets, but against distorted computer-generated backdrops; the effect is like watching old smeared photographs in motion. While younger kids will certainly be too confused and scared to appreciate the series, teens who enjoy sci-fi and other genre entertainment will get a big kick out of these (slightly) more real stories.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the show uses style and digital technology to create impact for the stories it tells. Did you notice any specific effects, and if so, how did they improve the show?
Are there any unexplained phenomena that you believe in? Why might you believe some phenomena but not others?
For kids who love science and sci-fi
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.