Friday, March 25, 2016

Joseph Mallozzi: On Dark Matter

"Within the sci-fi genre there needs to be a balance.
Stargate was fun, but I don't see a lot of fun sci-fi.
Firefly was fun.
Darker sci-fi is beautiful and great but you look at guardians of the Galaxy--it was sci-fi fun.
Basically, what sets our show apart is that it's fun."
-Joseph Mallozzi, SciFi Now #107, p.44-

Writer/creator Joseph Mallozzi on his quest, along with Paul Mullie, for fun on the series Dark Matter (2015). He's in good company too regarding those ambitions. Dark Matter is clearly in step stylistically with the action adventure approach as aforementioned. And to be clear, when it brings in the comedic it never strives to be Farscape (1999-2003) insane or John Crichton crazy.

Indeed, science fiction fans looking for this style of science fiction may take heart.

For this writer, Dark Matter wasn't quite as much fun as I had hoped, but I'm also not as enamored or taken with science fiction that leans on humor in some of its darker moments. It takes me out of the experience a bit. Even still the series is a bit uneven tonally in spots in writing, performance and production, but only on occasion.

Interestingly this writer finds the female performances to be the strongest on the series. It's hard to deny the absolutely gorgeous Two, a.k.a. Portia Lin, played by former Canadian Idol singer turned actress Melissa O'Neil. Jodelle Ferland as Five, a.k.a. Das, once guest-starred in the episode Harmony for Stargate Atlantis (2004-2009) is another standout. And finally, Zoie Palmer (Lost Girl) as The Android is also one of the most interesting characters on the series learning and discovering her world in a Data-like fashion but still unique and from a feminine perspective. Clearly the writing and handling of the female characters remains the strongest for me on Dark Matter. It will be interesting to see these characters develop.

Despite a few quibbles, and with room to improve, Dark Matter still has its strong moments and I remain committed to strapping in for Season Two aboard the glorious vessel known as the Raza. Fun is fine, but let's hope Dark Matter gets a little more interesting.

For more on Dark Matter Season One check out an overview here.


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