Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction (TV Series 1997–2002) Poster

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another great show cancelled too soon
dtucker8616 July 2002
Watching the stories on this wonderful show was like eating potato chips, you couldn't stop at just one. What fun, its like you got to play detective in finding which of the stories was fact or not. Some of the most outlandish ones turned out to be true! There was one I remembered. It was about a man who wrote a novel called Futility about the sinking of a great ship called the Titan that hits an iceburg in the North Atlantic. There is terrible loss of life because there are not enough lifeboats. The only thing was this book was written in 1898 14 years before the Titanic was even built. This actually was a true story. They cancelled this show too soon and I really miss it.
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Purely excellent
Op_Prime16 June 2000
Beyond Belief is a great show. It has a mood similar to Unsolved Mysteries, with a touch of Twilight Zone. Jonathan Frakes makes a great host. I was surprised to see this show on tv so recently since it was off the air for more than a year at least, or at least it seemed that way. It's fun to guess which stories are fact and which are fiction. You would be surprised which are real.
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above-average show
pete-2929 May 2000
This is one of my favorite shows on television. The concept is excellent. The production has a similar feeling to "X-files" and "Unsolved Mysteries", but is also in the tradition of "Ripley's Believe It or Not", "Twilight Zone", and other old shows that delved into the weird and wonderful.

I also enjoy guessing whether the stories are fact or fiction. The show invites the viewer to participate and give their belief system a workout.
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spikelovesbuffy200217 July 2002
MAN this show can totally FREAK you out after watching this show i am scared to death They know how to really play with your mind if you see something that you think is totally not true it maybe true i think everyone should watch this show its sooo scary!
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Not Exactly Award Winning Material But Fun to Watch
steve-57519 July 2002
"Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction" has to be one of the coolest concepts for a series. Each episode has five fascinating stories are narrated or played out and you have to guess which ones are real and which ones are made up. At the end of each episode, it is revealed which ones are true and which are fiction. The stories run the gamut: some are scary, some touching, some just outright stupid. All of them have some element of unbelievability and make you say to yourself "There is no way in the world that this actually happened". While the acting may not be great and some of the stories may be corny, this show is still always fun to watch. The show's appeal is not really based on the acting, it is more based more on imagination and suspense.

Johnathan Frakes is unbelievably as the host. At the beginning of every episode, he'll show some kind of drawing or model which is not actually as it appears. After every story, he will come up with a pun which pertains to the story. For instance after a story in which a guy hitched a ride with a dead person, he said "Is this story true or are our writers just taking you for a ride?".

So, if you are fascinated by unbelievable real-life stories like me, I would definitely recommend it. It is one of the few good shows that really keeps my interest.
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You decide!
Darth_Voorhees9 July 2000
This is one of the coolest shows ever.It has a bunch of stories and you decide if they happened or the are just written by the people at fox.Like the day before yesterdays show.About a family who suffers the death of there Uncle Harry.So when they had a party for all the family.They are making burgers on the grill.When it bursts in flames.After that they find out that the meat had been recalled.And that story really had happened.And there was one where a boys car breaks down and his toolman father came and helped.And that was fake got ya!!!.If you want to make your brain work with very scary stories watch beyond belief
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One of the scaries shows on TV
DunnDeeDaGreat4 July 2002
Beyond Belief is a show that really knows how to play with people's minds. Some of the stories that turn out to be true really mess with your head. The show has eerie music and nice of lot plot twists so if you've neevr seen the show check it out. I almost postive it'll run a chill down your spine.
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A cool, underappreciated program
Vince-53 June 2001
Since it was erratically scheduled on the Fox network, Beyond Belief never received much attention. I haven't seen it in quite a while; I don't know if it was canceled or if it's on hiatus, as it was previously, so I'll refer to it in the past tense. I enjoyed the show. James Brolin and Jonathan Frakes were great hosts, and the sleek, modernesque set was memorable. The acting usually ranged from awful to passable, although occasionally some really great performances were featured. I recall a story titled "Get Your Kicks at Motel 66," which featured the always-terrific Mary Woronov as the motel manager. She put on a great show, but she also made me realize how awful the other actors in the segment were! Still, despite a lot of mediocre performances and soap-opera style dialogue (typical of TV re-creations), I had a lot of fun trying to guess which stories were fact and which were fiction. If it's gone, that's very unfortunate. But...Fact: If it's coming back, I'll be the first in line for the guessing game!
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I absolutely love this show!
butters_thatsme26 March 2003
I hate how FOX keeps bringing this show back and then cancelling it. Sometimes you can get lucky and catch it on Sci-Fi, but still. This is an awesome show! The stories are some of the most fascinating and creepiest stories I have ever heard. FOX: PLEASE PUT THIS SHOW BACK ON AND LEAVE ON!!!!!!!!
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Engaging Show
cmamusic20 January 2003
Very interesting show! This show had some of the most bizarre tales you will ever hear, and the whole show kept the watcher guessing as to which of the episodes stories were true or false! It was not always predictible, there were many stories I thought false that were true! Fun premise, and the host made it a lot of fun with all his puns and Magician like delivery!
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Another wonderful show...gone...
crazypoohbear69_05012 July 2005
"Beyond Belief" was a wonderful show in which they would give you a number of stories and you would have to decide which was Fact and which was fiction. It wasn't as easy as it sounds. A lot of the stories were so outlandish you thought they had to be fake, but they would be the ones that were true. My friends and I would sit around the TV and put money on it. *sniff* I got a lot of money from that show. I hated to see it go so soon.

I will admit the acting was pretty bad, in a sort of "Mostly True Urban Legends" way. But if you're looking for Shakespeare you shouldn't watch the Sci-fi channel in the first place. User Rating 7/10
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Please bring Beyond Belief, Fact or fiction back!!
hlokittybyekitty25 October 2004
Hi!> I just wanted to let everyone know that beyond belief was the greatest show ever! I loved that show. Actually, my whole family liked it. Sometimes I watch re-runs they show on television. Is anyone trying to bring this great television show back to the air so all the fans can watch what they really want to see? I would love to see beyond belief fact or fiction back on the air. It just seems there are not any good shows on television anymore. And this was truly one of them! It is also a good family show. And there is no other show like this one! That is even more reason to bring it back! Thanks everyone for hearing what I had to say
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One of coolest show forever!!!
illguth9 August 2002
I think "Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction?" (In Germany it´s called "X-Factor - Das Unfassbare") is one of the best TV-shows forever. But it´s a pity that in Germany there were some stories which were shown only one time and then cut off. One of this stories (and one of the best) ist the story in which a young female student was found dead on the grave of a serial killer. She was killed by fright. But how get the knife trough her coat? Is this sory fact or fiction? Watch this cool show to find out.
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Boring and stupid
martin-scharrer29 March 2012
I saw some episodes of this series in German TV. Maybe it is the German translation or just the different culture, or that I'm a skeptic but I found it really bad.

The host Jonathan Frakes, which of course I new as Commander Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation, lost a lot of his credibility to me here. Basically directly after I saw his introduction for the first time. If I remember correctly, he just stated that he believed in the supernatural.

The stories shown were never interesting to me. Actually as soon they started to be interesting they were over. I was surprised that some people here said it is scary. OK, to be fair I might just have taken this show the wrong way. I thought it as entertainment, a little similar (really only a little) to "Outer Limits", which I loved. However, this shows takes itself serious! Something I could never do. Many stories which can be easily taken as coincidences or just as exaggerated are presented as "real mysteries".

For people which have a tendency to take certain things serious which they shouldn't it maybe a cult series, but I found it dull, boring and stupid.
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"fact or fiction?you decide"
disdressed1218 October 2007
i stumbled across this collection by accident,and i'm really glad i's an anthology series,containing five separate short stories in one hour.each tale has too do with the unexplained.the tales themselves defy explanation,logic,and even reality.the twist is that of the five stories,some are based on actual events and some are merely made up to entertain the is not until the last segment is over that the host(James Brolin in season one)reveals which stories are true and which are made up.i like the idea of trying to separate fact from fiction.for me,this is a very compelling,well written series.each of the stories is less than 10 minutes long,yet gives you all the information you need.if you want something that'll send shivers down your spine,this is the series you've been waiting for. 10/10
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Underrated TV anthology
mahou_fancy_lala16 December 2004
I definitely loved this show. It was a mix of horror and comedy. Yes, the acting wasn't always the best, but get over it honestly. Most acting on TV is bad. In my opinion, the show got better when Brolin was replaced. At least the new host was better suited and had a wry sense of humor.

FOX treats their shows like crap, and change Beyond Belief's time slots way too often for any fan to keep up. And Sci-Fi needs to stop randomly airing episodes and have some consistency with their scheduling.

A DVD release would definitely make my day. But I doubt we'll see that happen anytime soon.
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Childhood memories
declanhdaiquiri9 January 2019
I have loved this programme since I watched it at around 9 years old. I have recently gone back and started watching it again and can say that my feelings toward the show haven't changed at all. I would definitely recommend this programme to any anthology loving people especially due to the resurgence of anthology shows in recent years, such as Black Mirror
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Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction is, without exaggeration...
thereseuphemiaabernathy31 August 2013 of the greatest TV shows ever made—and sadly, one of the most under-appreciated. Few series leave such an impact on viewers. Entertaining, exciting, varied, fun, memorable, freaky, chilling, eerie, funny, moving…it is all that and more, thanks to the five-stories-per- hour format.

Each segment illustrates a self-contained, usually very well-shot and - cast (with great, occasionally recognizable, but usually not "name" actors) tale of a potentially supernatural/paranormal, shocking, freakish, bizarre, incredibly coincidental, ironic, or outlandish event. The"game" or "test" is for you to ponder and evaluate the plausibility or likelihood of these stories; which were created by the show's writers, and which did they base upon phenomena that, according to interviews and research, supposedly have taken place in the past for real people?

The hosts (James Brolin in the half-length first season and the overwhelmingly fan-favored Jonathan Frakes during the remaining three) proffer some possible explanations, theories, and interpretations, then leave it up to you to make your guesses and check them at the end. The viewer does end up wishing that this were a 1.5-hour program so that the "true stories" behind the "facts" could be explored with more than a simple yes or no, or a couple scant details regarding the general location and time period. However, it is what it is, and what it is, is brilliant. It's my opinion that both hosts are wonderful, and create the proper spooky atmosphere—using illusions, props, creative set pieces, and cheeky jokes to introduce each segment and reveal the answers in the end. However, Frakes definitely does have the edge over Brolin, as he simply owned the show and fully made it his own. He's the one with whom you primarily associate it; his enthusiasm, mischievous grins, sly, witty remarks, amusing puns, more-elaborate set, and overall perfect attitude suited the series ideally, to a T. They struck gold in getting him for it, bringing that special touch.

Every one of the 255 individual stories contained within this one 45- episode series has something great to offer—its own characters (many to love, and many to love to hate!), unique setting, compelling themes… again, they are so memorable and so varied that it's tricky to sum them up. You WILL have favorites, and ones that haunt you, sticking with you even if you've seen them but once and can eventually only recall certain key details. There's just so much excellence to be had—frights, laughs, thrills, even tears. Few things can really compare with BB:FoF (those that can to some degree include Are You Afraid of the Dark?, the Goosebumps books and certain episodes, Tales From the Darkside, Tales From the Crypt, The Twilight Zone, Urban Legends, Night Visions, The Outer Limits, Unsolved Mysteries, and the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark trilogy—which has a number of directly corresponding stories.)

This is an outstanding, very special show that has generated many terrific times and memories for me personally. Memories of waiting with eager anticipation to play along with each new episode on Fox every Friday night, watching alongside my mom and little brother in the living room…of reliving the absorbed memories again and again, helping friends and others to remember and re-watch stories they couldn't fully recall, after I discovered that they too had been fans…playing episodes in my friend's car on a trip via portable DVD player…keeping records as I played along, summing up every story as I went so that I'd have the entire show straight in my head…typing up my segment-finding key for the 12 discs once I'd purchased it…discovering that there'd been an entire fourth season I had not gotten to see on TV, finally owning it in English, and experiencing that magnificent, irretrievable sense of first-viewing joy and surprise.

I hadn't even known there was actually more for me to see. I wrote letters telling the producers how desperately I wished to see another season, how thrilled I'd be at the chance to audition to be in a story, how willing I was to write some myself…and, oh, how I DO wish there were more new episodes to get excited over! No reason not to pick this amazing show up for a renewed/revived Season 5 and/or 6! Just keep researching those unbelievable, fantastic stories—such things happen, and are reported quite frequently…make up some more, write/cast/film the things, et voilà! Best thing ever. I'm sure Frakes would resume hosting, and a great many talented actors—including his Star Trek brethren—would willingly contribute their acting skills. The show was a Canadian production, so there would likely be more Canadians game to act, too. ;) I had intended to reenact a few segments as a university film class project, but alas, didn't have enough time in the semester for such an awesome undertaking.

Well, to return to the original point…this entire series demands a high- quality English-language release, and it should certainly be available to steam. It's a shame that my (admittedly very well-put-together) DVD set had to be a bootlegger. The show must be remembered and celebrated as the television marvel it is. So find it whichever way you can, grab a blanket and some popcorn, kick back, and enjoy. Get into the mood. You won't regret it—unless you don't enjoy creepy, scary stuff, of course. In which case you might do yourself a favor to find a viewing buddy, or at least snug your best plush pal!)
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ShapeFanboy29 August 2019
It is a classic and who couldnt ressist jonathan frakes telling you that you are wrong.
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AMAZING SHOW! Deserves all the praise it gets and needs to come back!!
pkmntrainerelio16 June 2019
I first watched this show in 2009 and was quite hooked, unfortunately, once it was taken off the air, I forgot about it, until 2013, when I watched a handful of episodes on YouTube, I kept doing that until 2017, when I just felt I saw all the episodes. I decided to watch the show in full in October last year and every night I watched the show, I was so satisfied. This show honestly needs to come back.
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One of the best
nikifroelich11 June 2019
One of the best series ever produced,along with True Detective
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Strange Fiction and Truths
hellraiser714 January 2019
This is another one of my favorite unexplained phenomena documentary programs though also an honorable mention in favorite anthology shows, this show is also another under the radar gem that I feel has be a bit forgotten. The show is an interesting one as it's a bit on the variety side, what makes this show truly unique is how it can really pull the rug from under you or catch you off guard while retaining your interest.

It's somewhat of an anthology as we have a variety of tales some true some not, sort of like with the show "One Step Beyond" another forgotten gem. It's also sort of a game show, throughout our viewing we are constantly being challenged into guessing which stories are true or false. I honestly wasn't discouraged when I guessed wrong or saw that one story I enjoyed was fiction that was just part of the game and that's part of the point of the show, how sometimes the line between both fact and fiction can be a blur and how sometimes our perception we hold on the line between them isn't always what we think.

Just the way the stories we're told and enacted some of them are a stretch to believe and sometimes that feeling of scepticism is correct. But when we discover the stories are true, I'll admit it really blew me away and made the story even better because of that. Though even some of the fictional stories I enjoyed because even though they we're true they were fun all the same, and the way the story unfolds almost felt like they could have been.

I thought the reenactments or even just plain stories were well done and well-acted (ok, not every one of them but in reenactment segments it happens). Some of actors in them are ones you may have seen before, most notably sci-fi and horror alumni like Ashley Lawrence you know from the first two "Hellraiser" films, Grace Park from "Battlestar Galactica", and many more. In a way this sort of adds to the game show element as you constantly trying to spot the familiar faces much as anyone trying to find Waldo in the "Where's Waldo" books.

I even like the host, there were two of them and both I thought were good in their own way like James Brolin whom has a sort of calm subtlety to him. But to me it was Johnathan Frakes whom I thought was great he just has this energy and charisma. I even love it whenever there are these elaborate props involved in the host segments, much like with Hitchcock in "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" before each tale that correlate with it.

There are a lot of stories I like I'll just says three since there is a lot. Whether their true or not I won't say you'll just have to see them and find out for yourself.

1. Damsel: This one may seem like a tired cliché hence the title, but whose to say this can't happen. Ashley Lawrence as I mentioned before is in this one and is just fraking hot as usual. Like her character whom is sympathetic as she's a person looking for love and hasn't much luck, yeah, we've all been there; however as an old saying goes her luck is about to change.

2. Graffiti: It's a story that takes place in a time long gone, on a teenage trouble maker that could have a psychic ability he uses for evil and his connection with a message constantly scrawled, once we find out the meaning of that message at the end of the story, I'll admit it gave me a cold chill.

3. Dead Beat Dad: This one is on a person (played by Laura Haring from "Mulholland Drive") that either could be a guardian angel or have the power of suggestion delivering justice toward a cheating lowlife gambler. I just though it was a cool E.C. comic like tale seeing scum of society getting poetic justice.

Overall, if you're into the unexplained phenomena genre this is a show worth checking out. But remember, truth can be stranger than fiction.

Rating: 4 stars
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Beyond average - entertaining and appealing!
OllieSuave-00712 June 2017
This is an entertaining TV show, with the same level of suspense and thrills as "Sightings" and "Unsolved Mysteries." In each episode, five creepy stories are shown - topics ranging from unexplained deaths to the paranormal. You will have to guess with tale is fact and which one is fiction.

The episodes are well acted out, with stories that play with your detective mind and gets you trying to sort out if they are based on true events or not. The creepiness factor gives you an edge-of-your-seat experience. I also like how you could participate in the show and keep your own tally of guessing the "fact or fiction" factor of each story.

Again, an entertaining TV show - excellent and appealing.

Grade A
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James Brolin Or Jonathan Frakes.
AaronCapenBanner20 August 2013
Fun series that provides the viewer five paranormal-based segments per episode, in which the stories presented may be fact or fiction, and you have to figure out which choice is the right one based on logic and intuition. More often than not, I got it right! The first season(the only one on DVD) was hosted by actor James Brolin("The Car", "Capricorn One" & "The Amityville Horror") who did a reasonable job presenting the stories, but sometimes looked indifferent about the whole thing! Jonathan Frakes("Star Trek: The Next Generation") was brought in for the remaining three seasons, and clearly had fun doing it, so he is usually preferred by fans, though for some reason, his seasons are not yet on DVD, which is something I hope is rectified one day, seeing as how his time is the favorite.

Update: All four seasons are now available for streaming from Amazon Prime, though the last 3 seasons are still not on DVD!
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An Unconventional "Anthology" Series
tayz92301 August 2011
I think I would classify this show as an anthology in the vain of Tales from the Crypt and The Twilight Zone. It contains many stories that could easily appear on those shows and the fact that many are based on true stories makes the show all the most fascinating. And the fact that the show does not tell you if a story was based on a real event adds to the mystery of you trying to figure out for yourself, until the end where they reveal which were fact and which were fiction. I normally do not enjoy series that portray real events but this show entertained me a lot, most likely due to the mystery and the anthology feel of it all. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys anthology series, and for anyone who enjoys TV shows that portray real life events. I enjoyed it, and I know I want to watch it when it comes on TV again!
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