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Netflix Fix: DARK MATTER, Season 1

This science fiction show about a band of misfit mercenaries will remind you of shows you've seen before—no, not that one—but this kind of nostalgia can be a good thing.

Netflix Fix: DARK MATTER, Season 1

Title: Dark Matter, Season 1
Year: 2015
Fix: Action and Amnesia in Space

Netflix Summary:

After waking up aboard a derelict spaceship with no memories, the crew of the Raza investigates the mystery of their identities and destination.

FYA Summary:

A bunch of amnesiac mercenaries who find themselves stuck together on a spaceship under mysterious circumstances must figure out who they are, what happened to get them where they are, and how they can work together without someone ending up dead.

Familiar Faces:

This is one of those shows that—if you’ve ever seen a SyFy show—you’ll recognize a lot of people, even if you can’t quite remember where you recognize them from.

Anthony Lemke as Three

Anthony has a super familiar face, but the only thing I remember seeing him in in Lost Girl. The role he played on that show is similar to Three, who’s a smug, self-centered Han Solo type (i.e., a mercenary who hides a kind heart, albeit not very well at times). I frequently wanted to punch Three, and his decisions often went against the good of the group, but when that kind heart appeared, all was forgiven.

He was apparently also in a few episodes of Witches of East End as a character named Harrison Welles (not Harrison Wells), which makes me laugh.

Jodelle Ferland as Five

Although she’s had small parts in other shows and movies, the most memorable role I recall seeing Jodelle play is Bree in The Twilight Saga. Five is similarly young, naive and innocent, but has a bit more spunk to her personality. Plus, Five has some seriously fun hair.

Roger Cross as Six

I recognized Roger immediately, thanks in part to his long career playing the strong, stoic soldier/police officer/government agent/rebel leader/hired grunt. Six isn’t a total departure from the norm, but he does have a sweet big brother relationship with Five that proved he’s more than just a looming presence.

Zoie Palmer as The Android

Zoie does an amazing job at the (mostly) emotionless, (mostly) sense of humor-less android. She’s the straight man to the crew’s misfits, but she ends up fitting in nicely and becoming more than just someone/something that’s pure technology. I’ve seen her act—as a “normal” human—in other roles, and the fact that she can do both well shows that she has some impressive acting chops.

David Hewlett as Talbor Calchek

I adore David Hewlett, mostly for his role as the annoying and neurotic but brilliant Dr. Rodney McKay on Stargate: Atlantis. Talbor is a bit part, but David plays it well, and there are hints of McKay in his anxious, self-centered nature.

Torri Higginson as Commander Truffault

Commander Truffault is another bit part, but I was excited to see Torri, another face I missed from Stargate: Atlantis, on this show.

Ruby Rose as Wendy the Android

I’ve never seen Ruby in anything other than this show—I know, I’m behind on my Netflix Originals—but I would pretty much watch her in anything, regardless of her acting ability. The woman is gorgeous. And that makes her perfect for the role of a flawless companion android like Wendy.

Wil Wheaton as Alexander Rook

As much as I thank Wil for all he’s done for the nerd crowd … he’s really not that great of an actor. His characters never feel natural, and even when they’re supposed to be villainous, like Rook, they’re more of stereotypical, mustache twirling villain than one with any real gravitas, like Rook. Frequently, when I see him on screen, I just want to yell "Shut up, Wesley!"

Couch-Sharing Capability: Bring Your (Nerdy) Friends

If you know anyone who’s ever watched a show on SyFy (or its previous iteration, the SciFi Channel), send them an invite for a binge session, dress code: geek chic. Make sure to plan for a few tabletop gaming breaks and pauses for civil discussions on which captain is better: Kirk or Picard (or Sisko or Janeway or Archer or New Kirk …).

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Crack Open the Romulan Ale

You don’t need to watch every second of Dark Matter to know what’s going on, so it’s a great show to watch while you’re doing other things. (See two options, above.) I’m not sure it would be better with booze, however; it’s certainly not the best show ever, nor the most intellectual, but it’s nowhere near being the kind of show you need something alcoholic to muddle your way through.

Use of Your Netflix Subscription: Nearly Out of This World

Dark Matter is one of those shows that could have gone either way: too much cheese and/or melodrama would make for a slog of a watch, and too much “this is a serious vehicle for serious science fiction” might make it insufferable. Thankfully, the show mixes the silly and the serious well, and is a good one to watch if you’re someone like me who misses (terribly) shows like Stargate and Farscape.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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