SyFy, Kindly #RenewDarkMatter. While You're At It, #BringBackNyx
|Melanie Liburd as "Nyx Harper"|
I will gladly concede that Season 3 of SyFy's Canadian space drama Dark Matter was not their best work. But I don't give a shit. It wasn't a massive disappointment. To quote someone else, it "meandered" at times, like the writers were trying to do too much. But it certainly didn't warrant being canceled. Dark Matter introduced a really cool universe and a lot of entertaining characters.
Fans of D&D's Planescape: Torment will recall the infamous Riddle of Ravel, in which the ancient night hag asks, "What can change the nature of a man?" According to Dark Matter, it's memory loss.
In Season 1, we're introduced to six crew members who emerge from stasis with no idea of who they are. By the end of the very first episode, they recover records from their ship showing that they are a group of infamous, cold-blooded mercenaries currently assigned to wipe out a colony of unsuspecting miners.
Horrified by the discovery, they reject the pasts they can't remember and instead become heroes...sort of (they're not really good at it, but at least they try).
Over the course of three seasons, we're treated to occasional glimpses of who they used to be, and yes...the memory loss was a huge improvement for all of them. In fact, when one crew member does regain his memories, we see his life promptly devolve into a shitshow as his best-laid plans unravel and/or blow up in his face (sometimes literally).
Dark Matter is the first show in a very long time that I stay watching repeatedly (last one was Leverage). Literally...in the year since I discovered it, I've watched every episode over and over and over again. When the episodes run out, I just order some wings and go right back to the beginning.
So if SyFy can't or won't bring Dark Matter back, Netflix would be smart to nab it. It's an investment that would ensure the loyalty of their customers, because their decision-making of late has seriously made me wonder why I even bother.
Furthermore, I'm constantly rooting for Black women in sci-fi, supernatural, and fantasy stories. If Sonequa Martin-Green wasn't the lead in the new Star Trek, I would've just waited for it to drop on Netflix rather paying for CBS All Access. So in Season 2 of Dark Matter, the death of Nyx Harper was a huge blow to the series. It was like losing M'Lila on Xena, or Kendra on Buffy or Jaden on Nikita all over again.
Now, I get that actress Melanie Liburd accepted a role on a Netflix show we shall not name, but that show's been (rightly) canceled, so she's free again. And if the show is ever brought back, she needs to be brought back right along with it.
Another character who needs to return is Solara Shockley (Ayisha Issa). When Solara showed up in Season 3, I was (almost) willing to stop being furious about the death of Nyx. But then Solara was never really fleshed out and she left after only a few episodes. Sure, I'm glad she didn't die, but with the way she was handled, she might as well have been killed off.
Fans are understandably upset about the cancellation of Dark Matter, but we're also confused. We haven't really gotten an explanation as to why SyFy decided to ax it, so many of us are left wondering why you'd ax a great show, with a dedicated fandom and limitless potential.
Was there too much melanin?