RogerBW's Blog

Dark Matter season 2 30 April 2017

2016 science fiction, 13 episodes. The motley crew of the Raza continues to try to stay alive, and maybe even do something worthwhile.

This series continues to be TV SF spackle. Some of the cast are out, and some new ones are in, but basically this is just another entry in the "people arguing in a spaceship" genre arguably started by Blake's 7 and certainly popularised by Firefly.

There are definite signs of the bones of the universe creaking here; someone's invented a "blink drive", which allows instantaneous travel anywhere (even accidentally to parallel universes), and is small enough to be carried in a pocket. This would seem to make spacecraft largely obsolete, but oh, there's only one of it, and even the inventor apparently hasn't thought of making another… sorry, guys, you don't put that sort of thing back in the box.

Wil Wheaton reprises his role as Towering Pillar of Smug, but fortunately only in one episode. Zoie Palmer as the ship's android, upgrading itself into humanity, continues to be the best thing about this show (I'm already a sucker for this kind of story and Palmer's always worth watching anyway); Kris Holden-Ried, another actor I first saw on Lost Girl, does a decent job in a recurring role as a space cop for the corrupt Galactic Authority, who's on the team's trail but may turn out to be unexpectedly honest.

It still looks cheap, it still tries too hard to have cool snappy dialogue without actually employing a writer who can do it, and a willingness to make permanent changes in the lives of major characters only just makes up for the uninspired nature of much of the action. The series ends with an old-school cliffhanger (lots of regulars potentially dead), and has been renewed for another season.

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