I got to the end of series 3 of Dark Matter this week, and well, I guess the end of Dark Matter completely. Some stray thoughts, which I’m going to spoiler tag, because I think at least Ben hasn’t finished the show yet.
I really loved it. It had the unpretentious feel of Stargate that made that series so much fun to watch, mixed with an interesting and not over-explained space setting and great use of cliffhangers - I’d say Dark Matter has the strongest use of cliffhangers since the first series of Heroes (which, for all its faults, knew how to get you back for the next episode).
It wasn’t an overly safe show, either. Killing off One at the start of series 2 was a big move, and then following that up by taking out back-doors for his (or the actor’s at least) full return by killing off Corso and then the alternate reality Corso. Having Six betray the group was genuinely surprising, having him redeem himself with them a great continuation. The way the show was able to reposition Three after the death of One, from being the irritant thorn in the side of the ship’s conscience to a merc with a glimmer of humanity that he was trying to suppress, was impressive and made for a complex and wonderfully likeable character.
Adding to the crew in season 2 with Devon and Nyx threatened to be a bit Jonas-esque, Devon especially, but they managed to subvert that well - although Nyx’s death was a little awkward and telegraphed given that there was no reason for her to have stayed on the ship while the others went off. That Devon died without anyone knowing is a little heartbreaking and that’s impressive. (I also like that Devon and Nyx are named sort of in keeping with the crew’s number-names - Nyx as zero and Devon as seven. I hope that was intentional.
I liked that the show was able to mix in extra crew members in season 3, with Adrian and Solara, without it being too big a deal. That added to the mix well but didn’t stay too long or feel crowbarred in.
I do think the show was perhaps starting to go back to the well of the characters’ forgotten memories holding big revelations a little too much. By the end of the last series, they’re all about on their third revelation and the Android turning out to be based on Two’s creator/girlfriend was a little hackneyed. Plus, revealing Two was in a lesbian relationship plays in to the growing cliche of using bisexuality as coding for a female character being a bad ass, which I find a tad reductive.
I could have lived without Wil Wheaton as well. That guy bugs me.
And then that cliffhanger! Is Six dead? Guess so, but I wouldn’t say for definite. Two possessed by aliens (who stray perhaps a little close to the Goa’uld for writers who used to work on Stargate to get away with, but the Cthulhu-esque elements help there), Ryo looking as though he might reintegrate with the crew, an alien invasion!
Fuck SyFy for cancelling this without a conclusion.