There’s been a void in the sci-fi universe since the ending of Firefly nearly 15 years ago. Who would’ve thunk a mashup of two opposing genres resulting in a cowboy in space would have actually been successful? Cowboy Bebop anyone?
Getting a little tired of anime (hey, it happens), I fell upon Dark Matter on Netflix. It’s a bit more space punk than space cowboy, and it’s got nothing on Firefly, but I binged season 1 in one day so…
The show opens on the crew awakening from emergency pods aboard their ship. They have no idea who they are, where they are, or where they were headed. Not even knowing their names, they decide to refer to themselves by number in the order in which they woke up, One through Six, plus an android. Luckily, their skills and talents are still intact and they are able to ascertain pretty quickly what each of their roles on the ship are; however, the majority mostly function as muscle for the team. More specifically, all four men are the muscle and don’t seem to be much useful for anything else. The two women have more defined roles. “Two” knows everything about flying and comes out on top as the leader immediately. On top of that she can really kick some ass. “Five” has some skill with tech and maybe some medical knowledge, though that really never gets tested.
Their identities are not mystery for long as the android is able to pull profiles from the data system once the ship has been repaired. Most of the crew do not like what they learned and try to come to terms, either by attempting to right the wrongs of their former life or pretending like it never happened at all. The only mystery that remains is which of the crew stole their memories and why?
We see bits and pieces coming back as they discover their past or it comes back to haunt them in the form of enemies. Just when you think you’ve figured out one, some part of their past rears its ugly head and surprises you. The best part about this show is that it never got boring, though with only 13 episodes, there’s not much time for that.
In short, it’s a pale comparison to Firefly’s legacy, but there’s not much out there to fill that void. Give it a try and see how you like it.
Watch season 1 on Netflix or watch episodes on syfy channel’s website syfy.com. Season 2 has already begun so I’ve some catching up to do.