Yesterday SyFy Channel (France) started not one but two new science fiction series on one evening. Okay, the first one (Defiance) is not really new but it is the start of a new season after a fairly long pause. The second one (Dark Matter) is entirely new though. At least here in France.
I was actually not entirely convinced, actually I was rather fed up, as far as Defiance goes. To me this is just another mindless and cheap soap opera with an apocalyptic sci-fi setting. The first episode really enforced this feeling. I mean, who the bloody hell did they get to write this script, the janitor or some fan boy? It was just so cheap! <spoliers ahead> Take for instance how Rafe McCawley after a bit of fumbling gets loose, goes on a killing spree and then just gets a total loss of all brain functions when seeing his daughter and, so predictably, walkes into an ambush and gets wasted. The rest of that episode was, most of the time equally brain dead. If it had had not been for the fact that me and my oldest son are sci-fi addicts we would not have bothered watching this show. As I wrote above, this is sci-fi soap opera for viewers that put their brains in idle before turning on the TV-set.
Usually SyFy, and most of the French channels for that matter, have a tendency to give at least two, sometimes more, episodes of the same show every evening. This time they apparently decided not to do that. Instead they launched two new shows in the same evening. I quite liked that because I have grown up with being able to watch one and only one episode of a single series per week. This “binge watching” the the French channels insist on is not something that I really like.
Anyway, Dark Matter. I have to say that I was quite positively surprised. I am quite looking forward to the next episode. The story was quite okay. I did like most of the characters with the exception of the gun freak. Apparently US TV/show makers believes that it is imperative to have some brain-dead idiot like that on every show. I am not sure if that speaks badly about the TV-show makers or their intended audience but I certainly could have been without those kind of guys once in a while.
It is a TV-show so one should of course not expect a vastly intelligent and deep story but it is quite okay. The setting and the FX is not bad, again for being a TV-of course. Most of the characters are bad-asses even though they do not seem to remember it. The only person for which the bad-assery seem to come entirely natural is the gun-freak who, unfortunately, seems to have the intelligence of a brick.
The pilot did, of course, leave a huge amount of loose ends and I have to say that I am quite eager to watch the next episode to see if this show manages to keep my interest.