Six disparate people wake on a spaceship, with no idea who they are or how they got there…
One of Syfy’s two Friday night summer series in the States, Dark Matter is based on the graphic novel by Stargate producers Paul Mullie and Joe Mallozi. Its 13 episode run is centred on the six amnesiacs (or are they?) and a helpful android whom they find on board the derelict craft. Giving themselves the perhaps uninspired names of 1 to 6, the sextet have to work out pretty much everything about themselves – not helped by the information that they discover at the end of the first episode which suggests that they may not be the nicest of people.
Perhaps not too surprisingly, we spend quite a lot of the show on board the ship, which is where the budget has clearly been spent. The characters start off somewhat clichéd, and the amount that you enjoy this series will depend entirely on whether you find them people that you would choose to spend time with – there’s a lot of twisting of alliances, with the series getting progressively darker as it goes on, and some surprising revelations. Certainly once you get into the back half of the season, the episodes feel tauter and more compelling.
There’s not a lot of extra material in the box set, although the short featurettes on each episode do shed a bit of light.
Verdict: Dark Matter is stronger than its opening would suggest, becoming a more intricate web with each episode. 7/10