They came, we saw, it conquered.
If you follow my twit-scapades @KrysJanae, you’ve probably seen an insurgence of posts and retweets and likes from my account regarding this show, which originally aired on SyFy. Joseph Mallozzi (@BaronDestructo) and producer Jay Firestone asked the fandom to write a letter to them on what the show mean to us, so I was inspired to share my thoughts on the cancelled show here on my blog.
Maybe some mild spoilers below, so continue if you dare? 😉
What is Dark Matter?
What happens when six strangers and an android wake up and start playing whodunnit? (Could have been the S1 tagline, right?)
The show has been highly-acclaimed and even regarded several times as this ‘generations’ Firefly, though I feel that this show was strong enough to stand on its own in spite of those criticisms. While there are some uncanny parallels to the aforementioned space-western, which could even be seen as a tasteful homage, Dark Matter takes its own spin on Galactic intrigue and takes us on a thrilling roller-coaster ride. Despite its success, it was cancelled. And the verse felt a shockwave of surprise and devastation stunned fans, much like myself. I was so upset to see news of the show’s cancellation this past month, and even though there was an epic battle with attempts to keep the candle burning for storyline closure, the unity of the RazaFam was simply astounding.
This originally aired on the SyFy network, but can now be binge watched to your heart’s desire (like I AM!) on Netflix as of 09/25/17.
Why did I love it so much?
It was multi-faceted. There’s action, drama, comedy, new and old ideas of time and space, and was oozing so much talent that brought some neat characters to life.
There were so many concepts at play that always seem to reel me in as a viewer. It twisted and turned them and evolved them into something wonderful. So you take a crew with amnesia, a diverse pool of individuals and watch as they grow as a family. See how they affect or are affected by current events or how they handle past-life drama coming to light in their unfolding mystery of self-discovery. Heck, even the simple concept of a wayward merc trying to discern right from wrong had it’s intriguing complexities when delivered on the show.
There were loads and loads of badass moments, from some stellar maneuvers to some really great guest stars (Wil Wheaton, Ruby Rose, or even the recurring Torri Higginson to name a few). But I can say that right from the get-go, I was inspired by “2”, aka Portia Lin, aka… well, I won’t spoil it for you. I am a sucker for strong female characters, whether they are leads or support or even one-offs, but Melissa O’Neil’s portrayal of 2 really hit home for me. This is not to say anyone else in the cast didn’t knock it out of the park, but for some reason, 2 just struck a chord that resounded throughout the three-season run, making me want to come back to find out more about her and the crew, and where their choices would take them.
That being said, each character had a great amount of depth and development to them, which was refreshing. You get to watch the youngest crew member 5 (Jodelle Ferland) grow up, peek into the softer side of 3 (Anthony Lemke), experience 6 (Roger Cross) as he makes some tough decisions, and 4 (Alex Mallari Jr.) really open up and let loose. Not to mention there’s more than meets the eye with Zoie Palmer’s Android! There were ups, downs and runarounds, and plenty of points throughout the show that made you wonder how the hell are they going to get out of this one? But they pick the ball up, and keep running with it.
TL;DR – Dark Matter is a fabulous piece of art.
What does Dark Matter mean to me?
I appreciate the message of empowering women. As I mentioned above as I gushed about Melissa O’Neil, Dark Matter actually has several badass women on and off of the Raza. Five and Android are spectacular, and throw in characters like Nyx, Solara, Misaki and who could forget Truffault? I certainly won’t. The women fought alongside the men just fine, and to me, that’s fantastic. KEEP IN MIND THIS IS NOT to discredit the men! I have thrown out #ThreeArmy so many times, I’m sure everyone knows the respect and admiration I have for Boone, and even characters like Anders and Wexler! 😉 Or how stinking cool is it for me to see a Filipino brotha on screen! Mad props, Alex! Mabuhay!
It drew me to space… I love sci-fi, but most of what I enjoy falls into what would be otherwise categorized as the fantasy-fi side of things. Space is something I’ve wanted to tackle as a writer but man, is it intimidating! In my opinion, Dark Matter is wonderfully written. Yes. There are a lot of political twists, roguish maneuvers (they’re space pirates/criminals, what do you expect?!) and spacey terminology, it was still fun and easy to follow without getting swallowed up in jargon that would otherwise make my head spin. (Nanites and Androids and Corporations, Oh My!) It’s not to say there isn’t some of that every once in a while, but it’s not overwhelming. Honestly, it’s just right. It had the perfect mix of several elements to keep me hooked.
It’s also made me even more determined to cosplay! Just need to muster up some more courage is all, but man-oh-man, I can’t wait to try my hand at 2 or 5 as I’ve mentioned on twitter. Then again, who’s to say I can’t crossplay? 😉
The interactions with showrunner Joseph Mallozzi and the cast: Melissa O’Neil, Anthony Lemke, Alex Mallari Jr., Jodelle Ferland, Roger Cross, Zoie Palmer, Jeff Teravainen, Ennis Esmer, et al., extremely enhanced the fan experience. We had the opportunity to live-tweet with them our reactions or share our thoughts on the show itself rendered the rewarding time of getting their input, feedback or witty comebacks that just made me feel that much closer to the Raza and its crew. Times I got liked, retweeted, or even a shout out–Roger answered a question I threw into Joe’s interview one time, or the ongoing bit with Ennis and his toothpick on Twitter–have made me squee with delight just being acknowledged in my little baby corner of the fandom… I gotta say, it’s still super awesome to see a social media platform give us the ability to connect!
A tremendous blessing was getting to follow along at Joseph Mallozzi’s blog. He let us catch a glimpse behind the scenes to see the tireless efforts put into the production. From snaps at table reads, bloopers reels, scripts, set design and concept art, was so fascinating, plus the passion for the show and its fans was present with every word written and every picture taken. It was such a treat getting online just to see what we had to look forward to for the upcoming episodes. I will truly miss seeing that. I highly recommend going through and reading some of his production logs! Good times, and great reads.
Needless to say, the kinship between the cast, crew, and fans has been both inspiring and amazing and I’ve had one heck of a time getting to know some fans on twitter. Sharing gifs, favorite show moments, or even simply chatting with them has cheered me up on some of the darkest days. RazaFam rocks.
All in all, I will miss this show. I’ve already sworn fealty to Mr. Mallozzi and the cast, dedicating my loyalty and fangirl-hood to them from here to the stars. They are amazing talent that won’t go forgotten, and I hope to one day meet one of the fabulous folks above at a convention or something, because I want to thank them for how much their talent, smiles, and dedication to this show impacted me as a viewer, writer, person and overall geek.
To those of you who have made it all the way down to the end here of my seemingly disjointed thoughts, or sometimes maybe grammatically incorrect rambling about this wonderful show, I thank you! I could probably go on and on… (maybe revisit this again after my next binge run?) … but seriously, thanks for being a great fandom, thanks for connecting with one another and being an uplifting community I’m proud to say I’m part of!
#RazaCrew #RazaFamily #WeAreTheRaza #WeCarryEachOther
Also, for old time’s sake #ThreeArmy 😉
For now, thank you for everything, and we hope to see you soar again soon, Raza.