Dark Matter Episodes

Season

1

Episode

1

Episode One

We open on a ship floating through deep space. Inside, the spaceship looks like the Nostromo from Alien, but with more flattering lighting. Sparks fly and steam hisses, and a robot voice announces that "life support is at 15%."

A handsome guy emerges, frightened and confused, from his sleeping pod. He runs through the ship, apparently looking for information. A gorgeous, tough-looking woman emerges from her pod, finds the guy looking at the ship's computer, smacks him across the face and kicks his butt (a good entrance!). She pushes him out of the way like he’s a pile of old newspapers and presses a button to restore life support. A gritty-looking guy appears, holding two flashlights and demanding: "Who are you?!" Everybody agrees that nobody knows who they are. Many of us can relate to this, but these characters actually don't know their own names.

More residents wake up in their sleeping pods: a sleek-looking bald guy, a super-buff guy with a goatee and a teenager who is probably subversive because she has turquoise hair. Nobody knows his or her identity or how he or she ended up in outer space. The gritty dude finds a corridor that leads them to the main part of the ship ... and the tough woman says that "systems were down and we were venting atmosphere. I was able to get back online and restore the ship's auto-repair protocol." She doesn't know how she knew how to do that, she just did. The handsome guy proclaims that they will be named by the order in which they woke up. He is One, Tough Woman is Two, Gritty Dude is Three, Bald Man is Four, Turquoise-Haired Teenager is Five, and Super-Buff Man is Six.

The group surmises that they are the crew on a transport vessel doing a long range haul and their ship encountered technical difficulties ... although this does not explain their lack of memory. Three opens a crate in which there are a bunch of firearms. Two tells everybody to pair off and explore the ship.

Two and Five head to the main computer room, hoping to fix the system. Three and Six find the cockpit. Elsewhere, One wonders why Two was able to remember how to use the ship computer when he couldn't. He also wonders how long they were in their sleeping pods (Days? Months? Years?). He points out that their entire memories weren't erased, otherwise he wouldn't be able to know what a pod was, or a year, or even have language abilities. Four leads them to what appears to be training room ... or a torture chamber. There, he shows off some serious sword-fighting abilities.

In another room, Three finds a pod containing a sleeping woman, who soon opens her scary, Stepford Wife-like eyes. Meanwhile, Two is working on the computer when it initiates "some kind of security protocol." We cut back to the formerly sleeping woman robotically beating the holy hell out of Three and Six. Six communicates to Two that they're under attack. One arrives and tries to get the blonde woman from behind but she swats him across the room. Four tries to use his fancy sword moves on her but she dodges his attacks while also looking like she’s dancing in a Janet Jackson music video circa 1989. Two figures out that the woman must be part of the ship's "security protocol" ... and de-activates her!

Two reveals that the formerly sleeping woman is an android whose "biosynthetic physiology" is similar to that of the ship's outer hull. Two is smart. Three wants to lock The Android away, but Two says that she's de-programmed her security command and re-booted her so that she is no longer a threat to the gang, and could prove useful. She apparently has a neural link to the ship's mainframe, allowing her to repair the ship and potentially its computer's memory.

The group wakes The Android up and asks why she attacked them, although she has no memory of this. Two asks her to establish a neural link with the main ship and access any data about the identities of those on board. The Android says that no such data exists. Two says that it's impossible that the ship erased all of the data accidentally ... somebody must have deleted the information intentionally!

Two orders The Android to run a full diagnostic and restore all computer systems. The Android has become surprisingly agreeable since her re-boot. She informs Two that the ship is emitting a distress signal.

In the ship's infirmary, Five pieces together a gadget with what appears to be enormous skill while Six looks for something to treat his headache (wouldn't you have one?). Five freaks Six out by randomly announcing that "headaches can be caused by blood vessel abnormalities, or brain tumors." When he asks how she knows that, she responds: "I don't know. I just do." She continues to spout off lots of information about tumors, blood cells, and which arteries to slash in order to kill a person, proving that, at some point, she had interests that went far beyond listening to Le Tigre and dyeing her hair to bug her parents. She makes the unidentified gadget work.

In the main cabin of the ship, Four finds a box hidden behind one of the locker walls. Its outside bears a pattern similar to that of the carpet of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining, so it must be ominous and important.

The Android discovers that the ship was hit by a meteorite, causing a fair amount of damage to the ship and its computer systems ... which explains why they'd been on life support. As an alarm goes off, The Android reveals that another vessel is heading right for them ... and has launched missiles that will hit them in 60 seconds. The Android over-taxes the ship's engines and the crew loses gravity, but they evade the attack. The Android uncovers the ship's original destination: it is headed towards an inhabited world. Everybody is freaked out.

Four tries to figure out what’s going on with his mysterious box, which seems like a puzzle (the last thing the ship needs is a visit from Pinhead and the Cenobites, so hopefully he'll be careful). Five tells Six that, while unconscious, she had a vision of a big, dark, metal door that "they" always keep locked because of dark secrets. Concurrently, Three finds a door that looks suspiciously like the one in her vision, which he tries to blast open with a huge gun. It doesn’t open but he gets hurled against a wall. Whenever men act arrogantly on this ship, they get their butts kicked.

In his bed, One finds a necklace with a distinctive pendant. Two stops by to summon him to the cockpit for their descent into orbit. The sexual tension between them smolders. "I suggest you wear pants," she says, looking at his boxer briefs with a combination of attraction and disdain. Shaming as flirtation device! Take notes.

One, Three, Four and Six take the ship's shuttle to what appears to be an impoverished factory town. Our voyagers raise their guns in response to a pack of villagers with weapons, who want to know if "Rothgar" sent them. It is challenging to be in these situations when you know nothing about yourself! One suggests that everyone lower their weapons and go for drinks.

One notices that one of the women of the planet wears a necklace that matches the one he found in his bed. Three lies that their ship was invaded and raided and they found this planet in desperation. The residents mine terrium (the futuristic equivalent of oil) and they kindly offer to help the crew restock their ship, but tell them that they better get away as soon as possible. It seems that the evil Ferrous Corporation hit a terrium goldmine nearby and wants to inhabit their planet. The miners expect that the corporation is going to send "The Raza," a gang of assassins, to kill everybody as part of a hostile takeover. According to legend, these killers might be giant half-man/half-reptiles, but they don't know because nobody has lived to tell about an encounter with them.

The apparent leader of the miners says that they gathered their money and sent Rothgar away for enough arms to equip everybody to fight The Raza. One suspects that he and his fellow amnesiacs are the suppliers, as the girl with the necklace tells One that Rothgar gave it to her when he left, telling her that, when the suppliers arrived, the same necklace would identify them as allies.

Back on the ship, Five tries to fix one of the damaged consoles. She tells Two that she had a dream that she was walking her brother back to the palace where people murdered her father and then came for her. Instead of murdering them, she carved out their eyes and left them for her bitchy stepmother to find. What's even weirder is she claims that the dream wasn't hers, but somebody else's.

The crew debates about whether to help the miners or sell the weapons for quick cash. Two puts it to a vote. The vote is split, so Two decides to put half the crates aside for selling, and bring the rest to the miners. A good compromise.

The Android discovers the identities of everybody on the crew, except for Five: They are all vicious criminals with histories of murder, theft, kidnapping, you name it. Two tells everybody that The Raza is not the name of a team of assassin aliens but of the ship itself. They are not there to help the miners, but to kill them!

Admittedly, it's a little disappointing that we're not going to see giant lizards, but the moral quandary presented by this scenario is arguably even more exciting.