Dark Matter Review: “Episode One”

photo credit: syfy.com

photo credit: syfy.com

Here’s my first review of Dark Matter starting with the season one premiere “Episode One.” Please note that this isn’t a recap of what happens. I’m assuming that you’ve already seen the episode. There are spoilers in this review.

I’ll be honest. With the exception of Defiance, I haven’t really watched anything on Syfy Channel since Stargate Atlantis ended (and to be really honest, I don’t actually remember how it ended so maybe I quit watching it earlier than that…) So I was excited when I heard about Dark Matter since it sounded like the stuff I used to watch on Syfy (when it was still called Sci-fi). And as a bonus, the show was created by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, who both wrote for the Stargate franchise. The premise is interesting as well: these people wake up on a ship with no memory . While watching the first episode, I really think Dark Matter has potential once it gets past a few problems. The series premiere wasn’t action-packed but it still held my interest and left me wanting to know more.

The biggest problem with the series so far is simply that the characters are undeveloped. You could boil down each one to a simply phrase (or TVTrope if you’re into that sort of thing): The Nice Guy, The Angry Guy, The Quiet One, The Spunky Kid, etc etc… These are stock characters and those are no fun at all. Stock characters are predictable and don’t change. There’s no point in following the story of a character that does not change. As we continue into the series, I’m sure they’ll all get fleshed out more and begin to show the quirks in their personalities. I just wish we could have seen more of it in the first episode. On the bright side, however, reducing each character to one personality aspect made it easy to distinguish each one, which is important at the beginning of any story.

Despite the problem with each character individually, it was very interesting to watch them all interact with each other. Even though they didn’t remember anything, they didn’t really argue or bicker too much. One would assume that different ways of thinking would lead to each person trying to assert dominance over the others and during the situations. But generally they had no problem pulling together and deferring to Two/Portia. They worked together instinctually. It’s a little strange at first how smoothly they just click with each other, but it all makes sense with the reveal at the end. They are a crew that works together. It just so happens that they’re a crew of dangerous murderers who work as contract killers. How exciting!

I was wondering how long the series would draw out the mystery of their identities, but I was pleasantly surprised by the end reveal. (I had pegged them for being prisoners on a transport and worried that that was too Farscape-esque.) Once the audience got to see the reveal, the character interactions suddenly made more sense.

And that big reveal raised a lot of questions too. Questions that will make the audience hopefully want to tune in for more answers. I definitely want to see how the knowledge affects them even though they still don’t remember any of it. Will they change their ways or revert back to normal? Will this cause conflict between them? And I’m especially interested in One/Jace (the “Nice Guy” as I like to call him). He doesn’t seem like a killer at all, making him all the more fascinating and mysterious.

Like I said, this show has potential. The pilot didn’t have huge explosions or overdramatic villains, and that is perfectly okay. But it did have the important revelation at the end to keep the audience hooked. So overall, it was a pretty good episode.

Semi-Corrupted Data Files

  • I don’t know if time will allow me to write regular reviews for Dark Matter every week, but I’m gonna try!
  • One concern I have is that Five looks like she raided the wardrobe of Kaylee from Firefly. Was that intentional? Was it necessary? We’ll see as the show continues.
  • Don’t really have much to say about The Android and the planet’s inhabitants yet. But I like them all at least.
  • Any predictions on what’s behind the locked door Three/Marcus couldn’t get into?
  • Do you think the crew actually turns into lizard people like the rumors say? Because that would actually be baller. 😀

So what did you think? Like it or hate it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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