A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Using real science to explore and explain fantastic mysteries, the show places a strong value and emphasis on how science and engineering can be applied to investigate the unexplained.
Positive Role Models
The show frequently depicts the characters in its short vignettes as being of questionable mental capacity. However, the physicists and authors invited to speak about the mysteries provide a positive example for young viewers.
Violence & Scariness
The violence is confined to brief moments within the stories being told in each episode -- for example, a disgraced scientist committing suicide. Also occasional moments of gore without actual violence, such as a realistic human brain being lifted out of formaldehyde.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Depending on the episode, there could be dramatized characters smoking or drinking in a social way, rarely abusing the substances.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.