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DVD Review

DVD cover

Dark Matter
Season One


Starring: Marc Bendavid, Melissa O'Neil, Anthony Lemke, Alex Mallari Jr, Jodelle Ferland, Roger Cross and Zoie Palmer
Distributor: RLJ Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 12 October 2015

Six humans awake on a spaceship with what appears to be selective amnesia. They are able to function, but none of them have any memories of who they are. To simplify matters they name themselves after the order they woke up, one to six. Eventually they are able to reactivate the ship's resident android, only to discover that she also has no memory of their past. The ship, meanwhile has been preprogrammed to fly to a nearby mining colony, where the crew start their slow journey of rediscovering themselves...

Dark Matter (2015. 13 eps x 43 mins) is a Canadian science fiction show created by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, based on an original comic. The thirteen episode first season is presented on a three DVD set. The show stars, Marc Bendavid (One), Melissa O'Neil (Two), Anthony Lemke (Three), Alex Mallari Jr. (Four), Jodelle Ferland (Five) and Roger R. Cross (Six) the crew is completed with the inclusion of Zoie Palmer as the Android.

The more I thought about it, collective amnesia aside, the more the show resembles a cross between Star Trek and Blake's 7. For the Trek influences we have the ship's android that, through some fault in her program, is starting to exhibit emotions. Apart from trying to find out who they are, the crew spend a lot of time fighting or avoiding the The Galactic Authority. Mercenaries for hire, they mostly work for corporations on a number of dubious missions. Over the course of the thirteen episodes their past is slowly revealed, which is just as well as they are necessarily quite generic characters at the start of the story.

Like much of Star Trek many, if not most, of the stories happen in and around their ship, the Raza. As a set it is impressive, giving the impression of a solid and tough fighting machine, existing on many levels. The largest single set appears to be the ship's vault, where weapons are stored as well as a number of containers even the crew cannot open.

Being a Canadian production and being from people who worked on Stargate and Stargate Atlantis, it not surprising that both David Hewlett and Torri Higginson make an appearance in a number of episodes. Also Will Wheaton appears, although I cannot say as whom, so as not to ruin one of the show's big reveals.

The discs have a lot of small extras related to each of the episode. Disc one has Android Fight (2 min, 15 sec), Raza Sets (1 min, 31 sec), VFX Raza (2 min, 51 sec), Jace Vs Jace (2 min, 56 sec) and Space Zombies (2 min, 01 sec).

Disc two contains Inside Five's Head (3 min, 21 sec), Wendy Fight (2 min, 17 sec), Transfer Transit (1 min, 52 sec) and Four’s Sword Work (2 min, 30 sec).

Disc Three has The Marauder Set (1 min, 57 sec), Fight Company (3 min, 56 sec), Will Wheaton (4 min, 08 sec) and The Mole Reveal (4 min, 46 sec).

By the end of the thirteenth episode the audience has accompanied the crew on a significant journey. Not all of the characters turn out to be who they thought they were and the last show ends on a real WTF moment. Word of advice: Do not watch the extras before you see the episodes. The show certainly got enough things right that I look forward to season two. Having built a solid base season two can only be better.


Charles Packer

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