Dark Matter

SF elements: space mercenaries

  1. season 1. 2015
  2. season 2. 2016
  3. season 3. 2017

2015 / DVD

13 × 45 min episodes

season 1 review

Six people wake up from stasis on an interstellar spaceship: all have lost their memories. Which one of them wiped all their minds? And why? They must work as a team to survive, but how can they do so when any one of them may be a traitor?

As the season progresses we learn more about the crew. Initially, it seems they are a gang of criminal mercenaries, ready to hire out to various Corporations to destroy inconvenient colonies, steal dangerous research, and more. But as we learn along with them more about their backgrounds, it becomes clear that this simplistic picture is far from the truth. Each of them has deeper secrets, and no-one is who they seem.

It’s a pity that the three “women” each have to be atypical in some particular way: the kid, the android, the [spoiler], whereas the men are all simply men with their own agendas. But, hey ho, at least there are women here.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m sure after all this time I would have given the android a name. Mind you, the crew are still calling each other by their waking-order numbers, which makes it complicated to remember who’s who. (Which one is “Four” again?) In fact, their strangely spacious spaceship, the Raza, is the only main character with a name!

Each episode has some good action, moves the arc along, and reveals more background. Sit back and enjoy some fun hijinks with mercenaries who are actually the only good guys around! And be prepared for a massive end-of-season cliffhanger.

Rating: 3.5
[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 26 October 2017

2016 / DVD

13 × 45 min episodes

season 2 review

Season 2 is better than season 1.

The still-nameless crew of the Raza are growing in complexity and individuality, and have stopped being stereotypes. The universe they live in is also growing in complexity, with corporations heading towards war, and Dwarf Star Technologies cropping up again. This makes for more interesting episode plots, and allows for the existence of a season arc.

This season has surprises, it has the remembrance of the past history from episode to episode (despite the series hook being that the characters don’t remember their past), and actions have consequences. Six’s shocking betrayal that led to the end of season 1 cliffhanger has surprising reasons and knock-on effects; the android gets a personality upgrade, but it doesn’t result in the changes we might expect. When the crew regain their old memories, when Two confronts the original Jace Corso (One’s doppleganger), when the crew visit a parallel universe, none of it plays out as we might expect. This all makes for a better season.

And be prepared for a massive end-of-season cliffhanger.

Rating: 3
[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 26 July 2018