SyFy’s new show Dark Matter looks to be an intriguing investigation of heroes, villains, and the space in between. Originally intended for television, the story first appeared in comic book form (Dark Horse Comics, January-April 2012). I’m thrilled for the creators, Stargate writer alums Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, who get to tell the story in two different universes, including their intended format.
Dark Matter is the story of seven individuals (six humans and an android) who wake up on a spaceship with their memories wiped. They gradually discover their purpose, but do they have a choice in the matter? Can they defy orders? What happens if they do?
What I like about this premise is that we don’t have a preconceived notion of who’s “good” or who’s “bad”. There’s going to be a lot of grey area, which makes for a compelling, realistic drama. It’s one of the things I loved about Continuum, because while the audience may sympathize with one side or the other, neither side is truly good or bad.
This also allows for an open ending, depending on the character’s choices. Will they sacrifice themselves for the greater good, or will they flee? Will they seek out their own missions, or will they trust their superiors? Will they split up, or work together?
The team is comprised of six humans (four males and two females) and an android, but the characters don’t appear to be reliant on too many tropes. There’s a clueless male character played by Marc Bendavid, a kid played by Jodelle Ferland (yes, the girl from Silent Hill), an android played by British-Canadian Zoie Palmer, and one of my favorite actors on TV, Roger Cross (Travis from Continuum), playing a complex character of shadowy motives. Anthony Lemke will be playing the resident douchebag, Melissa O’Neil (a musical theatre actress) is the “Boss Lady”, and Alex Mallari, Jr., is a swordmaster — in space!
Marc Bendavid’s character being absolutely helpless when it comes to fighting and using tech is an interesting choice. It makes me wonder what he’s good at — diplomacy? Mediating? Is he a therapist? An artist? A historian? Who knows — but his placement on the ship is no accident (Or is it?).
I’m also interested in seeing how Melissa O’Neil’s musical theatre background will come into play. Will her fight scenes be fluid and graceful? Will she have dramatic flair? Her stage presence will be put to good use, I think. She does appear rather formidable.
Seeing the actors talk about their characters and watching clips of them in action, it’s easy to see Dark Matter could be a great new addition to the sci-fi genre. This Canadian-American production appears promising. With the creators and writers helming the show, I have high hopes it will be well done and well received. I’m excited to see an original story on screen, and grateful that SyFy is willing to take a chance on it.
Dark Matter premieres on SyFy June 12. Will you be watching?Image Credits: Syfy