Dark Matters: Twisted but True



Spooky science-based series explains and debunks.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.


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.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Depending on the episode, there could be dramatized characters smoking or drinking in a social way, rarely abusing the substances.

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Cast:John Noble
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Dark Matters: Twisted but True was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 2 year old Written byNK17 June 7, 2013

not for the faint of the heart

I love this show, it pulls out the disturbing reality, it is heavily criticized for graphic disturbing content, some of the episodes are also very unpleasant. I find it fun but some episodes are more boring than others.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byTheMarine August 20, 2014


I'm 13 and it scares me it tells you about crazy experiments that are scary. In one episode a mam kidnaped orphans and did cruel and painful experiments on them.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old July 3, 2013

Scary ,but AMAZING

This show has scary parts and stuff littler kids have in there nightmere's .The show is fantastic though and has educational purposes.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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