Two of the driving minds behind the Stargate television series, Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, and Lost Girl executive producer Jay Firestone unveil their latest project on Space this evening.
They show itself is wrapped in a mystery, with only the barest of plot details being revealed. And the show reflects that as well, shrouding its story and characters with layers of enigmas. Six people awake on a seemingly derelict ship with absolutely no memory of who they are, or what they are doing on the ship. They have a cargo full of weapons, and seem to be on course for a mining colony.
Naming themselves for the order they are woken, we are introduced to One (Marc Bendavid), Two (Melissa O’Neil), Three (Mind Reel’s pal Anthony Lemke), Four (Alex Mallari Jr.), Five (Jodelle Ferland), Six (Roger Cross) and the ship’s android (Zoie Palmer).
There were two things I loved right off the bat, the sets are amazing, they aren’t glossy and shiny, this ship, whatever it is (and there are shades of the Alien’s Nostromo and SGU’s Destiny), is worn, used and a physical character on the ship (almost no green screen use at all).
The second is the way the world is introduced. Usually you need a character to facilitate the introduction of the world to the viewer, to explain how things work, to explain the concepts, but, because none of them know who they are, the viewer is in the same boat, learning about the world the exist in, and what is going on the same time as the characters.
My initial feeling is that as long as they don’t rush their way through the mysteries, and there are more than one going on here (there’s a locked cargo door in the hold, that Five says is filled with secrets), then this one will be one to watch. It’s going to be a fine line to walk, as you have to give the viewers enough to keep them coming back, but not everything to ruin the mystery… And that is why I’m unsure of the revelation at the end of first part… Is it the truth? Is it a plant? Can the Android be trusted? Who is Five and what are these dreams she’s having?
We get time to learn a little bit about each of the character, O’Neil’s Two seems completely comfortable as the possible leader of the group, and Lemke’s Three is awesome to watch – embracing his inner merc. Cross’ Six, seems to have a big brother thing going with Ferland’s Five, who seems to be gifted in the engineering, and possibly medical, fields. Bendavid’s One seems to be the moral compass of the group, or at least trying to be, and Mallari’s Four it quiet and probably because of it, one of the most dangerous. And Palmer’s Android is tough, smart, and as wild a card as any of the other six characters.
There are rumors of aliens, a multi-corp who is interested in the mineral strike the mining colony (watch for guest appearances by Mind Reel friends Chloe Rose and Amanda Brugel) has found, and a freedom fighting unit struggling against the corporations…
The show is dark, moody, funny, evenly paced and like I said, as long as they can walk that fine line of mystery and revelation – this should be a fun ride…
Check out Dark Matter tonight on Space.
And check out our quick interview with two of the series stars, Melissa O’Neil and Anthony Lemke…