11 April 2002 | MichaelM24
started out great
I was really amazed at how long this show lasted. Sure, it was only four seasons, but as a show that was constantly (unfairly) dismissed as a lame X-FILES wannabe, the fact it lasted as long as it did is pretty surprising. The first season remains my favorite, with the show's original pseudo-documentary approach to stories inspired by real-life cases investigated by the Office of Scientific Investigation and Research. With it's blue-tinted witness interview footage, documentary-like feel, and two story-per-episode structure, PSI FACTOR offered up some intriguing stories for those interested in the world of the paranormal and supernatural. Paul Miller and Maurice Dean Wint alternated as lead investigators Professors Connor Doyle and Curtis Rollins, respectively, though Doyle proved to be the most popular character of the show, despite his forced departure at the end of the first season. Rollins took a leave of absence midway through the season, but would return for the forth (and final) season. The lovely Nancy Anne Sakovich, Colin Fox, and Barclay Hope rounded out the team of investigators as specialists in a specific field.
The second season saw the inclusion of genre veteran Matt Frewer as Matt Praeger, a more skeptical character who was brought in by the O.S.I.R. as Doyle's replacement, and though he was okay, he still couldn't fully replace Doyle. His character's skepticism brought a feeling of "here we go again" to the show, having to sit through yet another character who doesn't believe in much. That was what was so refreshing about Doyle; he always had an open mind about things and believed in anything until the evidence (if there was any) proved otherwise. Despite the lacking of some elements Frewer's Praeger had in comparison to Doyle, the second season still came out pretty good, with many standout episodes, though the show lost the documentary feel many fans loved from the first season and took on a more straight forward storytelling approach, as fell as focusing the entire hour on one story.
With the third season, the show took a turn for the worst as it made the same mistake X-FILES made: things began to focus more and more on internal conflicts within the O.S.I.R., headed up by Nigel Bennet as Elsigner. It was a shame to see the show make such a change when it had been doing just fine telling entertaining stories about paranormal/supernatural investigation. Instead, characters began having hidden agendas and there was internal conspiracies among the O.S.I.R. high-ranking officials. Following Frewer's (rather interesting) departure, the forth season attempted a return to the feeling of the first two years. Even the blue-tinted interview segments return for one episode, and an attempt to wrap up the mystery surrounding Connor Doyle's departure was featured in one of the season's few best episodes. But by the time the forth season was over, the show was gone, and it was such a shame, because it started out great and ended as a hollow shell of its former self. Much like how it appears X-FILES will end.