Imagine that you’ve just woken up and found yourself on a spaceship. Alarms are going off and there’s a warning about life support failing. You’re dazed, confused and you notice another person on-board with you who you don’t know. After a brief fight with said person the alarms are cancelled and life support is restored, so that’s all good right? Well if it wasn’t for the fact that you have no idea who you are or how you got here you could be excused for having mixed feelings. Add to this that all the information on the ships database has been removed and you’re literally a needle in a haystack, with the lights turned out for good measure. Well that my friends is exactly what happened in the UK premiere of Dark Matter on the SyFy channel. I went into it knowing little, with only a 1 minute trailer to capture my interest, but by the end I was happy I’d taken the leap of faith.
I’ll try not to ruin it for you but I can’t guarantee this so if you don’t want to know the details you can stop… but I wouldn’t. The series is about 6 people who awaken on an unknown ship, they have no memory of how they came to be there or even their own names, so to make its simple they assign each other numbers to identify them based on who awoke first, #1-6. They spend some time exploring their current environment and fall upon an android, who when awoken starts to attack some of these people (Cryo-sleep, spaceships, androids attacking humans, very Aliens/Lost in Space-like I will admit). Although the people who awake have no memories of who they are, what they did before or what they are doing together on this ship, they somehow can remember how to do certain tasks; The skills they had are still in their minds. A perfect example of this is when One and Four find a training room, and Four picks up a pair of swords. One asks if he knows how to use them which leads to a rather fancy display of martial art skills which results in One simply saying “I’ll take that as a yes.” While they are trying to discover more about the situation they find themselves in, they discover a cargo of weapons, which leads to more questions rather than answers… Oh and and android which is woken up and starts to attack some of them before it’s shut down (see, Aliens/Lost in Space again)! Their investigation leads them to a planet where they encounter a human mining colony, where they learn that according to the people who live there, they are due to be in the middle of a war zone and are waiting for a shipment of weapons to help in defending themselves. Which does lead the six to more answers about themselves, but also a lot more questions. But the end of the episode is when the story really begins, as the android (who is now working for them) discovers a cache of data about the six strangers, which leads them to finding out who they are…..but I’m not telling you that! You will have to watch and find out.
Why to watch?
This series has started with action, drama, humor and spaceships and I don’t mind saying that’s right up my street. The cast are relatively unknowns and this means that you don’t associate anyone with a previous character. The script is original and the way that the characters gel together makes for good on screen chemistry which in turn helps keep it interesting. The CGI and effects are also at a good standard for a TV show, so all in we have the potential for a good series. Whether this is enough for it to last, only time will tell (remember what happened to Firefly). On Twitter, the SyFy channel said that Dark Matter was dark and mysterious, to which I’ll add weird but in a good way. After all too much normality is a little boring. I predict a few twists and turns to come and that’s fine with me too. Anything that keeps me guessing will also hold my attention. So if you like weird and dark with a hint mystery then this may be for you, but if it’s not… then it doesn’t matter.