PSI Factor depicted a series of investigations into the paranormal conducted by the fictional Office of Scientific Investigation and Research, or OSIR. This Canadian-made series was often unfairly dismissed as “X-Files Light”, but that in no way does justice to a very entertaining program. The members of the OSIR’s various field teams went about their business in a much more convincing mock-scientific way than conspiracy kook Fox Mulder ever did, and that helped the audience suspend their disbelief. Each episode featured menaces either scientific or supernatural in very inventive ways that made the stories feel fresh even though the type of material presented was well-worn thanks to all the similar programs from previous decades. The first season featured two separate stories per episode, each one filling a half-hour time slot with commercials.
That inaugural season also featured a much more subdued and clinical approach, presaging the now-familiar “faux documentary” style of the countless paranormal research shows littered throughout the cable landscape. Beginning with Season Two, Matt “Max Headroom” Frewer came on board as the new lead and for the rest of the show’s run episodes featured just one full- length story plus there was more emphasis on inter-departmental conflicts and conspiracies being run by higher authorities.
PSI Factor did a better job than The X-Files of preventing the subplots from continuing just for the sake of continuing. Everything was much more tightly plotted, less meandering and much less repetitious than on the Fox Mulder soap opera, right on down to the unexpected twist in the series finale. Yes, this show had a REAL series finale, unlike The X-Files, which ended in lame anticlimax just so the greedy producers could try to continue beating the same dead horse of a story arc in feature films.
Added fun on PSI Factor was Dan Aykroyd opening and closing each episode with narration pushing the notion that viewers were witnessing stories from “the actual case files of the Office of Scientific Investigation and Research.”
Want to read about more Forgotten TV Treasures? Click here: https://glitternight.com/category/forgotten-television/
© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.