I can’t remember a new science fiction series that showed a longer downhill slide from first to last episodes than Syfy’s Dark Matter.
It was love at first view for me when the series premiered. It had a number (literally) of interesting characters, snappy, often humorous dialog, and a mystery to solve. At last, I thought, a series that combines some of the things that made Firefly, Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis so watchable.
I was doomed to be disappointed.
Six people brought out of stasis in a spaceship with no knowledge of themselves or each other seemed like a great plot gimmick. It was, but the bits and pieces of the characters’ backgrounds were doled out so miserly in the ensuing dozen episodes that it was hard to care by the time anything significant was revealed. The group never really came together as a team, remaining highly suspicious of each other throughout the season.
Even so, this group of hardcore mercenaries rarely went anywhere. So much of the “action” took place inside the ship, it reminded me of the first two Deep Space Nine seasons before the station acquired the Defiant, and the station crew went out looking for trouble instead of passively waiting for trouble to come to the station.
The final two episodes of the season further degenerated into an extended “whodunit” with an unsatisfying conclusion. If Dark Matter is renewed by Syfy for a second season, that will just be another mystery to solve.