Dark Matter Season 3 Review

Eric Joseph

Reviewed by:
On June 7, 2017
Last modified:June 6, 2017


In a veritable wasteland populated by reality shows, Dark Matter continues to be my much appreciated oasis.

Dark Matter Season 3 Review

Two episodes were provided prior to broadcast.

Truth be told, it’s not very often that I get into a summer series. After intensely following scripted dramas throughout the other seasons of the year – be they for work or pleasure – I just feel like taking a break for a few months to enjoy other things, and maybe you can relate. Plus, you have to admit that having dozens of reality shows populating the airwaves for that time doesn’t make channel surfing all that enticing.

So, when a show called Dark Matter came around two years ago, I took a chance and found myself to be pleasantly surprised. And although it featured a half dozen people cruising around space in a ship, it quickly became apparent to me that this genre-bender was more than just another Star Trek clone.

At first, it was about six amnesiacs trying to regain their memories while enduring various trials by fire, but its second season is where it truly shined, generously building upon its own mythology by laying out a scenario that I can certainly see panning out; you know, a future where there are no flags, just corporations running everything. Plus, it didn’t hurt that the characters became more well-rounded, but none of us will probably stray from referring to them by their numbers.

While this year’s premiere didn’t blow me away in the same sense that season 2’s did by going “Prison Break in space” as it were, it succeeds in immediately dropping you back into this world, no apologies whatsoever. That said, I hope you’ve refreshed yourself recently because, as you can probably tell by what I’ve said, we pick up immediately following season 2’s cliffhanger. So, if you’re a new viewer, play some serious catch-up and then get back with us.

Amazingly, the stellar production design and musical score allow us to quickly re-acclimate (those long hiatuses are a real SOB, aren’t they?), but the first hour of the premiere, “Being Better Is So Much Harder,” didn’t quite grab me as much as I would’ve desired, if I’m to be entirely honest. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad by any means, but it conforms to the trope of having a group separated by disaster forced to be unsure whether their comrades survived, only to meet up before the credits roll.

By that, you can surmise the Raza crew is splintered, barring Four (Alex Mallari Jr.), and embark on their own little adventures before the big reunion. Actually, even though seeds are planted hinting that the corporate war the entire series has been leading up to may actually occur later this season, it’s the stuff involving the Ishida Empire that gripped me most. The evolution Mallari’s character has undergone has been most compelling and the fact that he gets to share scenes with Ellen Wong’s Misaki, who’s quickly becoming one of my favorites, makes it all the better. However, you’ll have to wait until the second hour of the premiere, titled “It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This,” to see a bit more of her, so I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

On that note, I’ll say that hour two is where things really pick up. While the first was a reassembling of the parts, this harnesses the many things that make the series great. Basically, the Raza crew must infiltrate a Zairon space station in order to reclaim the blink drive, but things go awry when Two (Melissa O’Neil), Three (Anthony Lemke) and Six (Roger Cross) go nowhere (literally). Put simply, scientists working at the behest of Four bungle their usage of said technology, thereby transporting everyone to an area of null space. As such, all involved must put their heads together in order to make it out alive.

While that’s going on, Five (Jodelle Ferland), whom I’ve had an affinity for from the start, thankfully takes on a more proactive role. I’m dancing around major spoilers here, but do brace yourself for some possibly significant changes to her as the show moves forward – in addition to a major revelation.

From what I can gather, the Raza versus Zairon will serve as the series’ backbone for the immediate future, with the gestating corporate war looming in the background. And seeing as how redemption continues to be a central theme, you can’t help but cross your fingers hoping that Four will find his way back to the team. But then again, that’s what we’re expecting, and this is a show that doesn’t always play it safe, lest we forget One’s shocking death a year ago.

So, even if you aren’t immediately enthralled, just stick with it because this is still the show you’ve come to love. For my money, Dark Matter is the sci-fi series that’s not to be missed this summer. Seriously, if you dig space travel, political intrigue and intense action with a little humor thrown in, you can’t go wrong.

Dark Matter Season 3 Review

In a veritable wasteland populated by reality shows, Dark Matter continues to be my much appreciated oasis.

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