Dark Matter: I’ve Seen the Other Side of You – Reboot (Review)

 Dark Matter - Season 2

Last week the crew of the Raza (sans One) escaped from the prison with a few new “friends.”  This episode of Dark Matter “I’ve seen the Other Side of You” opens  with Five hiding and then being found by a hostile Four.  Pointing a gun at the youngest Raza crew member,  he announces, “I’ve found her.” Rather than a flashback, this sequence is the result of a “reboot” of  the three Raza members’ brains.

The Elephant in the Spaceship:

Before heading into the storyline proper, so to speak, let us look a a glaring omission. When the neural scan is performed, three brain “backups” are found. Two’s, Three’s and Four’s.  This tracks perfectly as Six is: A) In cryogenic sleep and B) One is not there.

However…

At no time, once the previous brain scan is “reloaded,” do any of the three crew members mention One or Six. (Although they would have referred to them by their real names as this scan was loaded prior to Five wiping everyone’s memory.)

Granted, the three were fairly busy; hunting down Five, re-capturing the other three “passengers” on board and trying to establish a neural link to the ships operating system.

But…

Not once did any of the “rebooted” Raza crew mention their other crew mates.  (This could be down to their previous “self centered” personalities but really?  No one ever questioned what happened to the rest of their little mercenary team.)

(If anyone has an explanation to this apparent faux pas please leave a comment below.)

Back to the storyline.

On board the ship the three newest members of the team are made aware of how little they are trusted and The Android tries unsuccessfully to uplink with the ship. Two sets the ship’s computer to look for neural links  for The Android.  Soon after the computer accesses the medical files of the ship.

The Android shuts down for a system reboot and diagnostic service to repair the damage done by the prison.  Not long after the shutdown, Four and Three suffer from debilitating headaches. Both men cry out in pain and collapse.  Five tries to wake them and call Two but all three are unresponsive.

Five gets Arax. Nyx and the intern out and asks for their help. Arax, turns out to be a mole, shades of Six here, who contacts the wealthy woman who is eager to retrieve her asset, and he sets things in motion.

The three crew members awake with no recollection of where 14 months of their time has gone and who any other new Raza occupants  are.  Two encounters Five and she not only fails to recognize her but threatens to blow off her head.   When Two learns that Five knows about the nanites, her tension levels escalate alarmingly.

“I’ve Seen the Other Side of You” is, again, primarily about Five.  The youngest crew member has lost her “Pike Bishop” persona and reverted to form; sort of. In her conversation with The Android program, she refers to the other three Raza team as “her crew.” There is still a lot more to be learned about Five, her thought process and role in this series.

This episode of Dark Matter focussed on the narrowed down playing field of crew members. Six is out of commission, One is presumed dead (We still believe that the Jace Corso murder is a ruse.) and the new “members” may not last very long at all.

“I’ve Seen the Other Side of You” Uses the reloaded brain scan to return our intrepid heroes to their previous state of being.  This served a dual purpose, it reminds us how truly self centered and unpleasant these mercenaries were and  it allows them the conscious choice to become better versions of themselves…again.

An interesting point about Five: She only becomes deadly when “weaponed up.” In season one with a gun she was pretty aggressive. In this season she used The Android as the ultimate weapon and afterward used the gun Anders repaired to shoot first and ask questions later. In this episode she becomes a kid again when her friends “turn.”  Her confidence level drops, as does her violence level, and she reverts to persuasion.

It works.

Five does influence the former versions of the crew.  She gets to Three, with  her remembrance of the doomed Sarah and she manages to almost get Two changed.  It seems that the stress connected with  linking with the ship contributed to the change.

Two does work out what happened to their memories and what caused the lost time.  The brain scans were done because the three did not trust The Android. (Once again there is no mention of the other crew members.)

Five works out that the scan has not obliterated the more recent memories of  Two, Three and Four.  She has the memories of all three and she plans to upload them via her own neural link.

The three passengers  get into a firefight with Three and Four.  Two, who is still linking with the ship,  steps in and stops the gunplay.  She notices that Five is still interfering with the ship’s record and sends Three and Four down to kill her.

Five is struggling to finish her memory upload and Two has set the ship’s computer to decrypt the program.  The Android helps by suggesting that Five use Two’s memories against her.  Focusing on a time when she felt the most vulnerable, Five overpowers  Two who is helpless in the memory.

Five beats Two into submission but stops before it gets too far. “I’m done playing the frightened little girl,” Five says but she stops before finishing Two off.  She also says the title line “I’ve seen the other side of you and I want my friend back.”  She talks Two into severing the link and the three crew members collapse.

All three are returned to normal and The Android reveals that they could restore the new memories now but it would cause them to revert to their old selves.  They decide not to download the old brain scans.

Five brings the crate to Three, that he opened while using his “old brain” and he finds Sarah’s necklace.  He also finds a round object that, when touched, turned blue.  It is a sub-space transponder and a signal has been sent out.

Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie continue to switch hit this season and shake the story and characters up.  Mullie, who wrote this episode, gave us a Five who may still be that kid inside, when it comes to her family;  which the Raza crew are, but she also has a rock hard core that will not bend, even as she battles herself.

So many questions… Is One really dead? How long will Six be out of commission?  And, more importantly, why did the three crew members, Two, Three and Four, believe that The Android could not be trusted 14 months  earlier?

(Note: The Android program always comes across as so humorless, as compared to the real Android, that she disturbs ever so slightly. Great work Zoie Palmer for  a range that includes delightfully quirky and scary.)

Dark Matter airs Fridays on SyFy and Space. Tune in and see where the Raza crew end up next.

CAST:

Guest Stars:  Melanie Liburd  –  Nyx and Mike Dopud  –   Arax Nero. 

Dark Matter: Welcome to Your New Home (Recap & Review)

 Dark Matter - Season 2

The Dark Matter season two opener; “Welcome to Your New Home,” starts with Two, Four and Three being told to strip down to their skivvies.  After being handed their all purpose prison outfits they move into the general population of the prison.

One and Five are in a separate room and Six comes in to reveal his true identity (Lieutenant Kal Varrick, Galactic Authority, Special Investigations Unit) and to explain what happened. Five feels betrayed and angry. She slaps Six and tells him to shut up. As the three argue, One’s attorney shows up and stops everything. He is to be released.

Six recommends that Portia (Two) be kept in isolation but lies about the reason. He neglects to mention the nanites.  One is placed in a hotel room and his lawyer suggests he get his old face back. He refuses and asks for the police files on his wife’s murder.

Three meets some old colleagues from his past and just as things get interesting, a female inmate shows up. Her name is Nyx  and she stops things from getting out of hand. Nyx takes over bullying Three and Two arrives to intervene. The two women fight and Nyx seems an even match for the enhanced Two.

The women are shot (stunned) and Three wakes in the infirmary.  Another inmate tells him that getting injured is the way to get special treatment. Two regains consciousness in solitary confinement.

The Android refuses to cooperate with the data technician and he threatens to take the information by force.  The robot then explains that her security measures will destroy everything.  (The Android still has that glitch. When told her personality matrix will also be destroyed she states that will be “regrettable.”)

One meets the temporary CEO of his dad’s (now his) company.  Darius, who was a personal friend of One’s father, is anxious to get the new owner back in the driver’s seat. One is not keen to start yet. He wants to investigate his wife’s murder. He seems intent on clearing    Marcus Boone and finding the real culprit. Derrick (One) tells Darius that he wants to question the only  witness to his wife’s murder.

Three thugs attempt to force Four to meet with their boss. He refuses and begins fighting. A riot ensues and the prison shuts it down with a sonic disabling device.

Lt. Anders (Jeff Teravainen) fixes the faulty weapon from the Raza. He tells Six that the trial that was being pushed for the other crew members has been postponed. Anders suggests that Six back off as it appears to be a big corporate battle. “Justice,” says Anders, “left the building a long time ago.” 

Two and Nyx meet in the “holo” yard. The two talk. Six goes back on board the Raza and finds part of his personnel file has a blocked  portion on it. He visits Five, whom he has been plying with gifts, and asks her to hack the classified part of his file.

He also tells Five her real name Emily Kolburn. She is 16 and both her parents are dead. Five ran away from an orphanage at age 12 and she is a survivor.

One learns that the witness he wanted to speak with was killed in bar fight.

Four goes to see prison  gang leader Arax Nero. Nero explains to Ryo that the warden wants the instigator of the riot handed over for punishment.  Arax reveals that there are two gangs in the prison and he tells Four about the sonic disabler and how the guards are made immune to the device.

Nero warns Four about trying to escape and threatens the diminished Raza crew.

Three is assigned to the prison laundry.

Six stops by to see One and tells him that Five will be okay; the charges are being dropped. The two men talk and Derrick reveals that something does not feel right.  He believes that Darius wants him out of the way. Six says he is being paranoid after spending too much time on the Raza.

Back in the laundry, Three decides to injure himself.  Five hacks the blocked portion of Six’s file and Three ends up in the infirmary. The gorgeous nurse is gone and the old “clever” inmate is also missing.  He has been moved  to the psych ward for self harming. “Shock treatment,” the intern tells Three.

In solitary confinement, Nyx tells Two that the rushed trial is not normal procedure. Six confronts Anders about the GA decision to bomb Hyadium-12 and learns that the Lt. told him before he lost his memory. Six is angry that the GA murdered innocent people and it is a game changer for the undercover agent.

Again.

Four reveals the news about sonic disabler to his two shipmates. They believe that Two’s nanites will help her with the riot control device.  Three is upset that Two has made nice with Nyx. “Please tell me that you did not make friends with her. She’s mean.” (Perhaps the best line in the episode.)

Five is told she will be sent to a “group” home as they escort her to be transported, a woman arrives and stops the proceedings. She is Commander Shaddick (played by the brilliant Franka Potente) who informs Six that she is taking over the Raza case. 

The youngest crew member is now  not going to a group home and the promise of no criminal charges has been taken off the table.

Back at the motel room, One; Derrick Moss,  answers his door to find Jace there. “Long time no see,”  the criminal says as he draws a silenced pistol and shoots Derrick repeatedly. He appears to finish off the murder with a single shot to the head.

Cue audience shock.

Season two of Dark Matter continues to peel back layers and reveal more behind each character and the storyline.  Six is still a man upset by mass murder though. The Android is still delightfully irascible and unmoving in her loyalty to the Raza crew and her personality matrix.

Five is still the unknown factor here. Despite the new information revealed by Six there is a lot more here than meets the eye. This show continues to surprise and mystify. So much is going on here with the characters alone that even watching carefully does not reveal all the clues on offer.

(Prepare for another shocker next week. A real “We told you so” moment for one of the characters…)

Dark Matter - Season 2
Two, aka Portia (Melissa O’Neil

Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie are pulling no punches this season. Although…harking back to season one; at one point it seemed that Portia (Two) was murdered. (Shoved outside the ship while in space.) Could One’s murder be a ruse, something that the richer than rich magnate paid Jace to help him pull off? Only time and more episodes will tell. 

Kudos to Anthony Lemke for continuing to make Three the most interesting and amusing character on the show. Also hats off the Jodelle for bringing it as the “Artful Dodger” of the Raza.

Dark Matter airs Fridays on SyFy and the Canadian science fiction network Space.  Tune in and do not miss an episode.

 

CAST:

Guest Stars:  Melanie Liburd  –  Nyx and Mike Dopud  –   Arax Nero. 

Dark Matter: Season 2 Premiere – Slow Shocker (Preview)

 Dark Matter - Season 2

At long last Dark Matter is returning to our screens.  Co-creatorJoseph Mallozzi has kept his promise from last year’s interview with Mike’s Film Talk and kept the mystery burning bright.  The show’s season two premiere airs tomorrow; 1 July on SyFy and while it may be a tad slow, compared to last year.s finale it does manage to be pretty shocking.

Looking at the first two episodes, but not reviewing them yet (That would be spoiler city and very unpopular with everyone.) fans are in for a treat with season two.  The gang are all back and we learn more about their past lives.

Six is revealed to be a law enforcement official and the rest of the Raza crew are split into criminal and “not-criminal” quarters. Two, Three and Four are all placed in with the general populace while One and Five are in protected custody.

The Android is in a tech lab and proving to be a handful.

The first episode is slow, it is, after all, setting up this new predicament for the crew and it is a bit stationary compared to the fluidity of space.  This is prison and it entails rules, gangs and “fitting in.”

All the characters, with the exception of Six, are exactly as we remember them.  Three is irascible and quite comfortable in the stir.  Four and Two are equally at home in this prison environment.

More is  learned about the bombing, which so disturbed Six when he suffered from double memory loss.  There is a lot going on behind the scenes and it looks like a few more people may be joining the Raza crew.

Brit actress Melanie Liburd is Nyx; an inmate who appears to be a match for Two,  seems to be on board. Although things get off to a rocky start initially.  Gang leader Arax Nero, played by Mike Dopud, is also supportive after starting out on the wrong fool Nero and Nyx may be “on-side” but their   motives are a tad unclear at this point.  

There are a number of well known performers turning up in this season of Dark Matter.  Keep your eyes peeled for Franka Potente to make an appearance. The Run Lola Run and Creep actress (who was spectacular as the  hit-woman in The Bridge) shows up and knocks it out of the park.

The actors all continue to deliver in spades.  Even in this new setting they all maintain their characters and the paths they walk.  One crew member, however, shows a new side.  This surprising turn also shocks a little.

One slight word of complaint would be that there was not enough Zoie Palmer in the opening episode but that is rectified by episode two.  Before then the crew learn that there is much more going on their arrests and imprisonment.  A device must be found in order to stop a corporate war.

Dark Matter - Season 2
Zoie Palmer as The Android

Dark Matter airs Fridays on SyFy.  Tune in and be ready for a slow open but pay attention! If you have forgotten last season a lot of hints are hidden in plain sight in this show. Do not miss this season two open. In the mean time let your excitement build and watch this trailer. One more night…

CAST:

Dark Matter: Joseph Mallozzi Talks Season Finale and Season Two [UPDATE]

Dark Matter Season 1

[UPDATE] For those fans of Dark Matter who watched the season finale and read this interview afterward, the actor seen walking the “long slow walk” off the ship with Six (Roger Cross) is none other than Canadian actorJeff Teravainen who plays Galactic Authority Officer Lt. Anders in episode 8 and the final episode of the season. To all those who ventured guesses via social media thanks for playing.

On August 26, after watching the season one finale of Dark Matter, MikesFilmTalk (MFT) got to interview show runner, creator, and executive producer Joseph Mallozzi.

Dark Matter is the latest offering from the man whose name is synonymous with science fiction. The award winning writer/producer has been involved with all three Stargate shows, SG1, Atlantis and Universe.

Joseph and I have been direct messaging on Twitter since I began writing reviews and recaps of Dark Matter and the first thing I discovered when talking to him on the phone is that Mr. Mallozzi is one heck of a nice chap.

During our call, Joseph spoke of many things; not, however, ships and sails and sealing wax,  but the topics were varied.

Dark Matter Cast: Anthony Lemke is not like his character but in some  ways, he can be. When someone new shows up on set, it is Anthony who automatically  meets and greets the visitor.

Jodelle Ferland is the most experienced in terms of acting. Jodelle has been working since the ripe old age of 2 and now at 20, she has a total of 18 years in front of the camera.

Jodelle and Roger both lived near Joseph, as did many of the cast and crew,  and it made for a real feeling of family.

Roger Cross and Jodelle  Ferland used to watch The Walking Dead at Joseph’s place, along with his girlfriend, and he would make  milkshakes for the occasion.

Dark Matter - Season 1
Jodelle Ferland (Five) and Roger Cross (Six). “The Walking Dead Fans.”

Alex Mallari Jr came across as such as nice and open person in conversations after auditions that Joseph actually began to secretly root for him to play Four. Once he had been cast,  Alex also had to come in very early each day to have his tattoos  covered up before filming. He got up even earlier to work out every day.

Julie Benz (Star of Defiance, another SyFy Friday show) used to walk her dogs in the same park that Joseph walks his and they talked quite often. She is, Joseph says, “A very nice lady.”

None of the Dark Matter cast knew the ending until right before shooting on episode 1.13 began. Joseph took the entire group of actors aside and revealed “the reveal.”

Dark Matter Season Finale:

MFT:  Thank you so much for having a chat with me tonight. I’ve got to tell you I just finished watching the season finale and have one thing to say, “Wow!”

Joseph: Well, when I first envisioned this show, or conceived the show and had the initial concept,  I had two big moments in my mind that I wanted to hit.  Everything else sort of fell into place. Those two big moments were; the big reveal in the pilot where they find out  that they are murderers and mercenaries and the last sequence of the finale where the Galactic Authority sweeps in and you see all our familiar surroundings…The feeling of the ship was like a home away from home in many ways.  Not just for the characters but for the viewers as well and to see all these strangers come and take it (the ship) and to see everyone carted off and the last shot is the empty corridor and   Andy Mikita, the director of the episode, did a wonderful  job there.

MFT: Plus you get that moment of unreality where you see that Six is walking out. And you’re like “Oh no!”

Joseph: Right. Exactly.

MFT: The first thing I thought was, “Six?? He’s the grown up of the group. It can’t be him.”

Joseph: Well, I’ll just say, there’s more to the story there. It’s not as simple as…on the surface it looks like he’s just turned against them but there’s more there…A few hints that are in the episode and then if we get a season two…Well, we’ve already got a game plan and everything will be explained in the second season. And there will be a lot more questions.  If you thought season one’s finale was big, ooh you wait till you see the end of season two.

MFT: Jumping now to Five and the conversation that she had with Six – it seemed to me that everyone kept putting a gun in her hand over the last two episodes.

Joseph: Yes, yes…

MFT: And she tells Six now I’m more like you and he says that ironically they’ve all be trying to be more like her and failing. To me, Five is the most mysterious member out of the entire crew, we know least about her out of everyone else on the ship. She is my favorite character, I refer to her as the “Artful Dodger,” she was the street kid who picked pockets to survive and I thought it was interesting that when she heard the recording her level of trust went right out the window. It shows just how fragile their relationships all are.

Joseph: I’m curious, Michael, as you watched the finale and you drew toward the end…Did you have any suspicions, a suspect?

MFT: I decided it was Five, especially after the tape (recording) and the reveal that she could do so much more than we ever suspected, like programming and so on, and that the dream, at the beginning of the episode, revealed that her experience with this bunch on the ship was pretty abysmal and  this caused her to wipe everyone’s memories so they could all start fresh. Am I miles away here?

Joseph: Not really, you are fairly close.  All the pieces are there to figure out. I said to the crew, the cast, just before we started filming on episode 13…We actually had 12 out of 13 episodes scripted before we went to film except for the last one. Even then. we kept  the reveal a secret except for the last day and I gathered the cast on the bridge like an Agatha Christie moment, “I’ve gathered you all here…” Which, incidentally, we ended up filming and that we’ll release as a  special feature.

Dark Matter - Season 1
Five, the memory wiper…

Joseph: I told the cast that the person who wiped their (character’s) memories may not be the one to worry about. She (Five) finds the recording,  she overhears Two and Four threatening someone and she confides in him and Six, who at this point becomes savvy about certain things has pieced it together and realizes that she is the one who wiped everyone’s  memories. Like the Android points out in Episode 3, the code was rushed because they had to get to the stasis pod, maybe that was not the original intent…And again this is something we’ll explore further down the road…But in all probability she was going to target certain memories and as a result of the accident,  or the rushed code,  wipes everyone’s, including her own. She asks Six, “Well why would I do this” and he says to protect someone. It’s clear now why she did it and who needed protecting.

MFT: Well, I’ve got to say that I love everything that you guys have done and for me everything clicks into place. Sorry, this is turning more into a fan-boy gush than a  Q&A.

Joseph: That’s all right I love it, I love feedback.

MFT: I mentioned, in my notes for the finale preview, that we finally meet Two’s Geppetto and he turns out to be an evil bugger strapped in a bed. It is not even Will Wheaton’s character as he is the tool, or instrument, of the bed-ridden man.

Joseph: This is another one of those moments where more questions arise. You know the man ask Alex, “How old is this body?” Alex replies “24,” so you see what happens. Indeed, what does happen? Why does  this individual need a body and his regular forms deteriorate so his team are working on developing a superior form which is why they created her (Rebecca/Two/Portia Lynn) and why they are working on another prototype. And the work is so secret that they cannot allow  her or the crew of the Raza to survive. If we do get a second season there will be more to come on that front.

Dark Matter - Season 1
Rebecca/Two the first prototype…

MFT: I love that whole part of that storyline. I mentioned  in my review that the first thing I thought of was the video game Mass Effect 2 with Miranda Lawson, the genetically enhanced “perfect” human character. I love the way the show gives nods and winks to other works in the genre.

Joseph: My influences for the show were varied. I mean I grew up being into comic books and anime, science fiction and television, film. We like to drop the occasional tributes throughout, and we used to do the same in “Stargate.”

MFT: I just love it. Going back to show and the actors, a lot of whom (my apologies to the cast here) I’d never heard of before the show, Zoie Palmer’s Android goes through the ultimate of almost sacrificing herself for Two, will she get a chance to do that again, but this time for more than just Two?

Joseph: Well, you know, Paul (Mullie) and I have convened an early writer’s room, we haven’t heard whether there will be a season two but we are fairly confident…We have the 13 episode game plan, we have the beginning, middle and the end. We have the major moments that we want to hit and we have 7 out of the 13 episodes outlined and we have some great stuff planned for all our crew, including the Android.

MFT: Speaking of other cast members, my first question for Alex Mallari Jr as Four, is did you channel your inner Caine. [Joseph laughs] You know, “Accused of a crime he did not commit, Caine is forced to flee his country…”

Joseph: It’s funny you know. That when we held auditions, I had to call several actors back, around 50 or so, and Alex was so honest and open that I ended up secretly rooting for him to get the part of Four.

Dark Matter - Season 1
Nice chap…Alex Mallari Jr, aka Four.

Joseph: He does a great job as do the entire cast.

MFT: Alex does come across as incredibly sincere on screen. I’ve sort of (rightly or wrongly) classed him as a sort of Jean-Claude Van Damme, a very fit chap, martial artist who wanted to act and is very good at it.

Joseph: He makes it look easy but Alex is the one, I mention it on the blog, who gets up at three in the morning to get his tattoos covered each day and then on top of that has to work out. It is amazing how many weapons he mastered for the first season.

MFT: I’ve got to ask, re: Two…Are there any other personalities in there, First there was Two, then Portia and now Rebecca…

Joseph: No. Those were just names, not personalities. Alex called her Rebecca and when she left she became Portia. It is interesting to note that the name she took for herself, she abandoned Rebecca for Portia and essentially she also abandons  Portia  to become Two.

MFT: I’ve just got to mention Will Wheaton’s character. I adore Wheaton anyway, since his days as Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and everything else he’s done. His Alex was so snotty as a villain and yet the second things get rough, he’s gone.  Alex points out that Rebecca has nothing wrong with her. There is no flaw, so essentially she is just naturally aggressive.

Joseph: Yes. [laughing]

MFT: Just out of curiosity, did you have an “alternate” ending set up? I know that you said this was your ending from day one, but did you have a “plan b” if things went a different direction? Or was it always going to be that situation where everyone was all out and “down for the count” at the end?

Joseph: Yes! I always approach each installment of each season like a book with a  definite beginning, middle and end. So basically as a result of what happens in the finale, season two heads off into a wild and very different direction. But it was always that way…I knew who the mole was going to be and one of the great things about the show was we had time to really develop the stories. Basically it allowed us to seed in little clues and hints along the way.  

Dark Matter - Season 1
Zoie Palmer as The Android

Joseph: You know it’s funny, I just saw, on the internet, where someone posted a photo from episode 3 where the Android is about to go out on her EVA and she turns to Two and Two says, “We can’t do this without you.” And Android says, Well, you can” and then turns around and leaves. I remember people going on line and saying what a weird inflection for her to say “you can.” And other people going “no, no, no, that was just the way the actress’s delivered the line.”  The entire first season was peppered with little clues and hints. One, I’ll leave with you, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the individual who flanks Six in the “slow walk” out at the end, you’ve seen before.

MFT: I thought he looked familiar! But to be honest, I was still too flummoxed at Six walking out while everyone else was carted out…I did think,  “Blimey he looks familiar” and the more I think about it, I seem to remember seeing him at the mining community, if I’m not mistaken.

Joseph: You are mistaken!

MFT: Darn! I’ll have to look this one up now [I’ve still not figured out where this chap was before, although I think it was at the General’s camp where Six went for revenge.] I’ve got to ask, was it One that Two and Four wanted to “off?”

Joseph: Well, all that will be revealed in season 2, it could have been One or it could have been Six…That will all be explored more in the next season. It is safe, though, to assume it is one of those two.

MFT: What was the biggest difference between working on Dark Matter and Stargate?

Joseph: Miles different. For a start I was playing in someone else’s sandbox essentially. In Dark Matter we got to tell our own stories, although we did to an extent in Stargate as well. There were differences in budget obviously and things were set up differently. Of course we were working on 13 episodes for Dark Matter versus 22 or 20 and in Stargate we had all the stories in advance and that was such a luxury.  In terms of our own show, everything was planned accordingly, Paul and I planned for each episode and we knew we weren’t going to run out of money at the end of the year.

The interview finished shortly after and Joseph revealed two things. One, he is a huge Stephen Chow fan (Shaolin Soccer) and he is pretty confident that Dark Matter will get the pick up for season two.

Sadly, it looks like the Time Zone God, or perhaps the Jet Lag Deity has sabotaged the Alex Mallari Jr. interview for now.  MikesFilmTalk will be covering Dark Matter, season two, if it is picked up and I have already put in requests to speak with Joelle Ferland and Anthony Lemke and Zoie Palmer and Alex and…

MikesFilmTalk would like to thank Joseph Mallozzi for taking time out of his busy evening for chatting about: Dark Matter, why Canadian TV has so many great shows out at the moment and a slew of other subjects that did not make into this interview.

Dark Matter - Season 1
Melissa O’Neil and Anthony Lemke, Two and Three…
Dark Matter - Season 1
Mark BenDavid aka One – opting not to kill Three…

Dark Matter: Season Finale (review)

Dark Matter - Season 1

Last week’s episode of Dark Matter saw an entire planet blown to pieces by the tech stolen by Wexler and the crew from the Raza. The episode also had Two coming back on board after being blown out of the air lock the previous week. Things in the verse are getting even more interesting and this week, Five dreams about what things were like when she was caught on board the Raza as a stowaway.

Five remembers what the crew were like “pre-memory” wipe and (with the exception of Six and One) no one was  overly keen about  keeping her on the ship. Two states clearly she does not want a “child” on the ship and leaves the deciding vote up to Four (Rio she calls him) and he votes to allow Five to stay. “Welcome aboard little warrior,” he says, “Just don’t give me any cause to regret my decision.”

After her rather unenthusiastic welcome, Five puts a recording device under a table in the dining hall/room. It has remained there, uncollected and forgotten, until her dream and Five goes to collect it. On the recording, Two  and Four are talking about killing someone, “him” before they head to the mining colony and after they get out of stasis.

Meanwhile Calchek contacts the group and tells them Ferrous Corp has hired them for a job. A simple “snatch and grab” he says. A scientist has been kidnapped and is being held on a small “backwater planet.” In and out, he says.

It is a trap.

Two is the objective here. Alex (Will Wheaton) wants the engineered human back, he calls her Rebecca,  and the “scientist” forces the remaining Raza crew members to leave (after hosting a dinner for all those who arrived with Two and providing an explanation). The crew of the Raza now have to figure out how to get “Rebecca” back. The Android comes up with a plan and Five (who gets a gun shoved in her hand) stays on the ship.

Rebecca has been “disarmed” all her nanites shut down via dampeners which weakens her considerably. She is restrained and due to be studied. One scientist is particularly nasty as he had friends at the facility where she escaped. (Two killed  43 technicians and scientists while leaving and  some of the victims were friends of this snarky chap.) Later he tells Rebecca that  he is going to  “test your pain receptors,” as he starts up the electrical bone saw.

This first half of the season finale has The Android going above and beyond for her fellow Raza crew member much to the consternation of her computerized self. “Rebecca” tries to escape and Alex orders her destroyed. Android does a “Captain America” and walks off the back of the shuttle.

Android infiltrates the facility to turn off the dampeners. After a comic entrance, Six has just told the rest of the crew in the shuttle Android will silently enter the place and on screen the robot noisily dispatches the security guards she encounters. After the men have been neutralized, she moves to find the dampener. The controls are working on Android as well and she has to struggle to finish her task.

The robot actually goes to sacrifice herself for Two.  Androids willingness to “die”, is oddly human and, even with her flawed system, it is impressive and touching. When the program she created lectures her on leaving the ship, Android explains that  she is saving her friends. The program reminds Android that it is a machine. “A machine with friends,” Android replies.

After almost dying, or more accurately, ceasing to function, Android meets up with Rebecca in the dining hall of the facility where Two has reads  message left by Alex “Maybe next time.” The villain with the beard beat a hasty retreat when Two escaped before they could remove her brain.  Chillingly, but in a very satisfying way, Rebecca told the scientists in the room that she would kill them all and she does.

On the shuttle, the men are getting impatient. Three gets the line of the first half of the finale when he questions why Android has not blown anything up, “It’s not rocket science,” he says. Android shuts down the dampener and Rebecca gets out. The two then blow up the facility.

It has to be pointed out that the music in the first half of the season finale is more than perfect. A driving, mechanical beat of techno music that feels…right. After Two is back onboard the Raza we learn about who Rebecca was made for. A weak and apparently old man is on a hospital gurney and on life support. He asks Alex how old the body is that he occupies. “24,” replies Alex.

After ascertaining that the whole crew know what Rebecca is, the “old man” orders the entire crew to be killed. Before this order is given, back on the ship, there is a celebration and afterward Five listens to the recording again. At the very end of the first half, someone collects the crowd control taser and zaps the Android putting her out of commission

There are a number of things revealed here, one being that Will Wheaton’s character is more lackey than big bad and Five can program.  Of course the biggest reveal is that Two and Four were ready to kill a member of the Raza crew way back in episode one.

Dark Matter Season 1

The second half of the episode begins with the discovery that the Android has had her neural link removed and that someone else has control of the Raza.  A lot is revealed while the crew start losing members and trust flies out the airlock. Rather interestingly, the last two members who trust each other and team up against One are the two who voted to boot Five off the ship in her dream/memory at the beginning of the finale.

This is where we learn who wiped the crews’ memories (Five) and why (to save the person that Two and Four were going to kill). As pointed out by Android earlier, the code was crude and rushed and as Six points out, wiping everyone’s memory was not the intention, nor was it done to harm anyone. It was, Six says, done to save someone.

Two and Five find that the Android grabbed a patch from her attacker,  it looks as though it is from the soldiers who boarded the ship earlier (episode 11). The crew then search for any left over soldiers and Three gets the “line” of the second half as well. “Nobody messes with my robot.”  Two and three team up and she tries to thanks him for giving up the code when she was in the airlock. He messes up her “thank you.”

One and Four team up to search the ship and Four reveals he plans to go home and claim his throne. Six and Five are the last pairing and she tells Six that she feels part of the team. Six tells her that it is ironic as they have all been trying to be more like her and they failed, that in the end they can only be themselves.  Five responds that is not true that they are now family.

Five searches the vents and finds nothing. It is finally decided that there is no one else on the ship, the person who zapped Android and took her neural chip is one of the crew. Two realizes that the stun device that Wexler used on Android before is missing and only the Raza crew members know the code to the vault where the taser was kept.

Six recommends that they all stick together but Four goes to his room to train. Three gives One a vote of “no confidence” while talking to Two and he tells her that the man cannot be trusted. One goes to see Four and tells him who he really is and why he came on board as Jace Corso. He tells Four that it must be Three who is the culprit.

Five is convinced that it is Two who took out the Android. She believes that something happened to Two on the planet while Alex and his scientists had control of her. The crew meet in the dining hall to talk strategy and after Three and One have a go at one another, Four tells his shipmates that he will be in his room training. After drinking a glass of water, he passes out.

The next to go down is Six who is injected with something that knocks him out. Five is given a gun and locked in the bridge. Two and Three force One into his quarters and lock him in. One calls Five and asks her to get him out. Five meets the program that Android created to observe her and after learning that the computer generated version of the Android will recommend that the robot be put back to her factory settings, Five orders the program to delete itself.

Two and Three learn that Five has gotten out and the remaining crew members meet in a standoff situation. Two and Three have their guns trained on One, who has his gun on Three and Five has her gun trained on Two. The girl attempts to tell everyone that Two is behind all the problems because she came back from the planet different. Five insists that they, the scientists,  did something to Two.

In the meantime another  ship comes out of FTL and it is a Galactic Authority vessel. The cops have arrived. As the four Raza crew members face off,  the doors either end of the hallway close and two canisters are thrown in; emitting smoke. The four armed crew members crumple to the floor and Five tries to open the doors but passes out.

GA troops flood through the ship and before the end credits roll, the entire crew sans one are carried off by the authorities. The one crew member still standing, and walking behind the rest, is Six. Cue shock face.

The second half of the season finale was a proper whodunit.  Fingers were pointing to a number of suspects, between the crew, and for a long while it appeared that Five was behind the whole thing.  Six as the “mole” (or turncoat, or traitor…) was a complete shock, although if one watches the episode again there are clues…

It is interesting to note that after the episode where Five shot Cain, everyone seemed to be shoving a gun into the kid’s hand.  Just as interesting is the effect that recording had on Five and her trust levels. Admittedly, Two was not such a nice individual in the dream/memory and if Four (Rio?) had not voted positively, Five would have been history.

Rather interestingly, the trust that built up over the first season fell apart with the attack on Android and the family lose their cohesion.

This season finale had a brilliant reveal. Six was the traitor and the signs are there, although the money here at MikesFilmTalk was on Five as the one who sabotaged the Android, and a number of other things, but it was obviously Six. Kudos to Roger Cross whose facial expressions and dialogue hinted that he was the one who “gave up the crew” before the reveal.

Kudos to Anthony Lemke, Zoie Palmer, Jodelle Ferland, Mark Bendavid, Alex Mallari Jr., Roger Cross and Melissa O’Neil for bringing their respective characters to living breathing life, or in Palmer’s case mechanical life. Honorable mentions go to Pin star David Hewlett and guest star Ruby Rose as Wendy “dunking the cosmic donut” pleasure robot.

Dark Matter Season 1
“I just remember cooking and cleaning and dunking the cosmic donut.” – Wendy Episode 1.7.

Dark Matter ended on one heck of a cliff hanger and the ultimate reveal of the season and now all that remains is for SyFy to renew the series for another season, and another and another. MikesFilmTalk spoke with show runner/creator Joseph Mallozzi about the season finale and the show in general and that will be up shortly on the site. The Time Zone Deities have yet to work out Alex Mallari Jr.’s schedule but hopefully he will stop by for a chat as well.

Let MikesFilmTalk know what you thought of the season finale in the comment section below.