Dark Matter - Series Premier - 1.01
It's been a while since we had a decent attempt at sci-fi with actual spaceships - since Battlestar Galactica ended nothing has been noteworthy or really worth following. Dark Matter hopes to change that - a new SyFy production from the team behind the various Stargate installments and the first episode definitely manages to at least LOOK the part.
The crew of a derelict spacecraft suddenly awaken to find their minds wiped. With no idea of who they are and the only clues being the ship's cargo of weaponry it quickly becomes clear that they'll need to act fast to work out what they do next.
It's a pretty cool concept that offers lots in the way of intrigue but it has to be said that answers need to come reasonably quickly if we're going to remain interested. According to the makers, there is an overall five season plot all sketched out so that bodes well if the show manages to dodge the jaws of cancellation.
The cast seem likeable enough - maybe a little too generic - and while we as yet have no names for the characters their personalities are all coming through and demonstrating the usual tropes but there's plenty of time to subvert expectations over the coming season. We particularly like that Melissa O'Neil and Jodelle Ferland seem like pretty strong female characters and this makes up for the cardboard cutouts that seem to currently fill the male roles; the only exception to the rule being 24's Roger Cross.
It might be early days, but we quite like Dark Matter. Whether we actually stick around depends entirely on how the next few episodes find their feet - the omens are good, but we need this to break free of the run-of-the mill Stargate mediocrity and look to Battlestar Galactica for inspiration.