Do you love Firefly? Do you love the Family of Choice trope? Do you love spaceships, thrillers, heists, diverse casts, badass gals, and moral complexity? If so, Dark Matter is the show for you! It airs on SyFy, so it’s not getting much traction in fandom, but it really, really should.
The basic premise is: six people wake up on a spaceship in the middle of the galaxy, and none of them can remember who they are or where they are. Instead of naming themselves, they number themselves in the order they woke up. The series follows them as they complete dangerous missions, discover who they are, and figure out who erased their memories. It’s meaty, fast-paced, and heart-warming, with a fantastic cast of characters.
There’s One, who looks like the most generic white guy ever, despite the actor being half-Moroccan. That said, he also fulfills the role of the generic good-guy lead. But even he has a surprising past and some pretty complex motivations.
There’s Two, a young woman with some brilliant skills and amazing physical prowess . She’s quickly climbing my list of favorite female characters for being absolutely awesome. From the get-go, Two takes on the mantle of leadership without being asked, and her pragmatic decision-making gets the gang out of a lot of tight spots. Two is aloof yet compassionate, clever and determined, loyal and level-headed. And she’s got one hell of a backstory.
There’s Three, who I didn’t admit I didn’t like at first, mostly because I kept thinking how much better he would have been if played by a woman. He’s kind of like the male Kara Thrace, only not as self-destructive. He is, however, brash, arrogant, rude, overbearing, and kind of a scoundrel. But, surprisingly, he grew on me! As we get to know Three better, we see that there’s more than meets the eye, and he develops into the kind of character that I actually love: jerk with a heart of gold.
There’s Four, who I think is the most difficult character to really get to know, despite being privy to his backstory before anyone else’s. This is likely to do with his personality, because Four makes aloof Two look like a gregarious socialite. He’s cold, detached, and ruthless, but he has his own code of honor that he follows religiously. His backstory is probably the most confusing in the context of futuristic sic-fi, but it works.
There’s Five, the character who seems the most out of place, since she’s an innocent young teenager among a group of worldly adults. Six is absolutely adorable (and her blue hair is to dye for! see what I did there?), and she’s exactly what you’d expect a sweet young girl to be. Except, she’s also a brilliant mechanic with a rough past. She’s the heart of the crew; she loves them all and wants them to be a family forever.
There’s Six, probably the nicest character after Five. He’s kind, caring, honorable, and doesn’t know how to silence his conscience. He struggles with his past life and takes on the role of elder brother to Five. Their relationship is an absolute pleasure to witness.
Last but not least, we have the Android, a machine hooked up to the spaceship the crew flies on, but who resembles a human woman. As the series progresses, the Android picks up more and more human traits, as she seemingly begins to develop genuine feelings for her human crew. In a brilliant performance by Lost Girl’s Zoie Palmer, the Android begins to convey subtle human emotions that slowly but surely make you fall in love with her.
The crew not only struggles to recall who they are and who erased their memories (and why), but they also struggle to trust each other. They struggle to navigate their lives without revealing their predicament to the people they know. They struggle to reconcile who they were with who they are now, and who they can be, without the weight of their memories. The crew’s dynamic as a whole is a pleasure to watch, but the characters’ individual relationships with one another are just as fascinating. Six and Five have a great sibling dynamic, but Two and Five have a special bond of their own, as the only girls on board. One and Three clash but ultimately stick together. Two and Three understand each other on a level the others don’t. And more and more and more!
It’s been renewed for a second season, airing in two months, so go watch it!