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Beyond Belief Fact Or Fiction

 Beyond Belief Fact Or Fiction
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Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction? (usually shortened to simply Beyond Belief) was an anthology TV show that ran for four seasons on FOX from the years 1997-2002. Each episode featured five short stories that involved unbelievable coincidences or the paranormal, and viewers were challenged to judge which were Inspired By real events and which were entirely fictional. The show was hosted by James Brolin for the first season and by Star Trek: The Next Generation alumnus Jonathan Frakes thereafter. Although some of the stories, even factual ones, were extremely far-fetched and the acting was incredibly cheesy at times, it remains a cult favorite and a great source of nostalgia for anyone who watched it during its original run.
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_Fact_or_Fiction
 Beyond Belief Fact Or Fiction / int_1565712c
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Dan Browned
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Dan Browned: One episode presents the "Bride-to-be steals wedding gown from corpse, dies from toxic embalming fluid soaking into her skin" story, an urban legend dating back over half a century, as fact. There was another one about a woman's mother disappearing from a hospital room. According to Snopes, its centuries-old, but again Beyond Belief presented it as "fact."
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Broken Aesop
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Broken Aesop: So the moral of "Couch Potato" is to...love your TV as if it were a real person?
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Getting Crap Past the Radar
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Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "For the Record", a man tells his girlfriend, "You're definitely a girl, I can vouch for that."
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The Other Darrin
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The Other Darrin: The show was originally hosted by James Brolin before Jonathan Frakes took over.
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Mugging the Monster
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Mugging the Monster: There was one story called "The Gathering" where a guy tries to rob a bunch of little old ladies playing cards... who turn out to be a coven of evil witches.
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KickTheDog
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Kick the Dog: Anyone who exhibits any meanness will surely get what's coming to them. In contrast, sympathetic protagonists usually receive a happy ending.
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Beethoven Was an Alien Spy
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Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Napoleon Bonaparte sat in The Hooded Chair before he lost at Waterloo.
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Urban Legends
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Urban Legends: A number of stories are based on popular urban legends, such as "killer in the backseat" and "the vanishing hitchhiker". The show shares several stories with Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, another compendium of urban legends.
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Very Loosely Based on a True Story
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Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The show's premise. When a story is revealed to be "true", we are seldom told anything more than something like "according to our research, yes, a similar event did happen," so frankly, any of the stories could be true given how liberal of a definition of "similar" they used. The host would sometimes provide some vague information as to the location or time period in which the event supposedly occurred, such as "in the New York area in the 1950s," but they often they didn't even bother with that, usually just stating something along the lines of "according to our research, yes, it happened" while providing no further information. The show would often cite author Robert Tralins as a reference for many of the FACT stories. One of the better segments, Titan, subverts this trope. The story was about a guy who wrote a book detailing the events of a ship called the Titan crashing and sinking due to an iceberg fourteen years before the actual Titanic sank. The actual book, which is available through Amazon, more or less is eerily similar to the events of Titanic.
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Pet the Dog
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Pet the Dog: "Mysterious Strangers" which has Frank and Jesse James helping out an old woman pay her mortgage. Also may double as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
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Shout-Out
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Shout Out: In one episode, a character is reading aloud from a Goosebumps book.
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 Beyond Belief Fact Or Fiction / int_56bbc9f0
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This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab. Hey, It's That Guy!
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Hey, It's That Guy!: David Kaye (who played Megatron twice and Optimus Prime twice) plays a husband in one story. Also Sara Paxton and Kirsten Prout made appearances before becoming young stars as children in two different stories. Dante Basco plays a ghost student in one episode. Lauren Lee Smith is in one segment (and another featured a guy who may or may not have been Gerald McCulloch). After Season 3, Don LaFontaine was replaced with Protoform X, who also appeared in the segment "The Cigar Box" as the ghost. Maggie O'Hara and Meghan Black also star in segments of their own. There was also one with Tony Dow. Seriously. Self-proclaimed "big minor celebrity" Rachel Reenstra appeared in one episode. Paul Gleason from The Breakfast Club and Die Hard had a role in one story called "Creepy Comics". Christopher Titus (who had his own show on FOX for a time) played the heir to a struggling ranch. Angus Scrimm(the Tall Man from Phantasm) played a misanthropic drunken gravedigger in "The Gravedigger's Nemesis". Jewel Staite acted for two as both of a pair of identical twins with Twin Telepathy.
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Blessed with Suck
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Blessed with Suck: There was one story about a guy who could kill people by painting their portrait. He tried to make it at least somewhat useful by only painting portraits of patrons who were either in great suffering or very near death. Until he learned his last subject was a perfectly healthy young woman who was depressed after her boyfriend left her, which he did not know. He then paints his own portrait and kills himself.
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Every Episode Ending
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Every Episode Ending: Jonathan Frakes always delivered a pun at the end of every story, which always related to the story's theme or content.
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KeepCirculatingTheTapes
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Keep Circulating the Tapes: The first season was released on DVD in August of 2007, but no other seasons have been released. The show does air on the Chiller Channel in the US but very sporadically.
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Downer Ending
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Downer Ending: A good many, such as "The Wrestler", "Blind Man's Dog", "Bon Voyage", etc.
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 Beyond Belief Fact Or Fiction / int_97c18497
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This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab. Hey, It's That Voice!
 Beyond Belief Fact Or Fiction / int_97c18497
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Maggie O'Hara and Meghan Black also star in segments of their own. There was also one with Tony Dow. Seriously.
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UnCancelled
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Un-Cancelled: Kind of; the show seemed to be canceled after the third season aired in 2000, only to be brought back out of nowhere in 2002.
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Early Installment Weirdness
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Early Installment Weirdness: A couple of the stories during the first season were simply narrated by the host like a campfire tale instead of being filmed for us to see ourselves. Perhaps this was due a lack of budget.
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Crazy-Prepared
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Crazy-Prepared: A security guard teaches himself to use telekinesis just in case of a robbery during "The Perfect Record", and it works.
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Gainax Ending
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Gainax Ending: "Town Of Remembrance", "Room 245", and "Anatole" spring to mind.
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Things That Go
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Things that Go Bump in the Night: In the "Kid in the Closet" episode, the bullying sibling of a child who is terrified of a monster in his closet lets himself get locked in the closet in order to show his friends what a baby his brother was being, and when they open it up, he was gone, leaving just a pile of clothes behind. It turned out to be a Fact. According to Word Of God from the man who collected the true stories though, in Real Life it turned out the child had escaped through a hidden panel and was found living in his friend's attic two weeks later.
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Twin Telepathy
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Twin Telepathy: A set of identical twins (both played by Jewel Staite) were able to sense the other's pain, and one was able to use this sense to save the other's life when she was in a serious car accident.
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Can't Get Away with Nuthin'
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Can't Get Away with Nuthin': The prisoner in "The Escape".
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Does This Remind You of Anything?
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One of the better segments, Titan, subverts this trope. The story was about a guy who wrote a book detailing the events of a ship called the Titan crashing and sinking due to an iceberg fourteen years before the actual Titanic sank. The actual book, which is available through Amazon, more or less is eerily similar to the events of Titanic.
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Beyond Belief Fact Or Fiction

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