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Dark Matter drawing on Blake's 7?
dragonq
I've just watched the first one and a half episodes of this show, and I know from comments in the What are you Watching? thread that others have had the same sense of deja vu as I have. I admit I don't know much about the show, having just picked up on it by chance, but the parallels are so strong that I thought it might be worth starting a new thread to discuss this.

The other thing it resembles is obviously Firefly, but you can make the point that Firefly itself owed a lot to Blake's 7. Dark Matter, based on what I have seen is less original than either show, but I quite enjoyed what I saw of it, if only because I was having a lot of fun picking the similarities (I didn't finish the second episode because it was late and I needed to go to bed).

Seven criminals whose memories have been interfered with, on an abandoned damaged space ship...and you can go on from there. My guess is that number 1, the one with the conscience, is going to turn out to be a sort of Blake character who's been a freedom fighter. Anyway, just wanted to kick off a discussion; I would be curious to hear other reactions in more detail.
 
Space Chopper
I think I must be one of the very few Horizon members who watched episode 1, and wasn't particularly impressed, because of it's similarities to Blake's 7. Probably because Blake did it first and did it best, and, no disrespect to our much esteemed American members, there have been precious few American genre TV shows that I've felt match the quality of our own stuff- many of the tropes they use get formulaic and predictable. The current series of Dr Who is a case in point, as the BBC are making the show more appealing to international audiences, and giving it many tropes and themes that appear on American TV. Russell T Davies has said that he wanted to make the show more like Buffy to appeal to modern audiences, and it's gotten more so as it's progressed, which for me loses some of its' appeal and originality. B7 was a unique concept for its' day- a series wiith flawed characters that could be heroes, anti-heroes or villains, depending on your personal viewpoint or episodic circumstances, whose motives left you questioning them by the end of series 2. Since then, many series have tried the same thing and failed miserably, and the theme has been done to death now.

Dark Matter seemed to me to be too derivative as a result, and the stereotyping and tropes used had me eye-rolling as soon as I spotted them. The ship has a weapons room with lots of Katanas, ninja stars and other goodies, what a surprise that the oriental guy just happens to be a martial arts specialist. Why couldn't they make it the black guy or one of the white guys for a change? Why also does the ship's AI android have to be an attractive looking female that acts just like the actress was mimicking Data from Star Trek TNG? Even the alien planet was a chalk quarry and abandoned industrial complex! How B7 was that?!

I'm beginning to think that the proposed reboot of B7 we were promised has been abandoned, and it's been abandoned because they felt they could do their own version better, and Dark Matter is it. Because of that, I feel cheated as well as unimpressed, so I gave up after episode 1.
funkyimg.com/i/2y558.jpg
Vila: "I plan to live forever- or die trying..."
 
blencathra
I'm glad other people have noticed the resemblance. I watched the first episode and noticed the Blake's 7 vibe right away. Mind you, I think Dark Matter has cobbled together characters and concepts from other sci fi franchises as well, for example the beginning seemed to be a rendering of the beginning of Pitch Black. Then there are the characters, the girl seems to be River Tam from Firefly, the android is Seven of Nine from ST etc etc. Dark Matter doesn't have an original idea anywhere.
 
Space Chopper
I'm glad I'm not the only one!
funkyimg.com/i/2y558.jpg
Vila: "I plan to live forever- or die trying..."
 
blencathra
Grin Hee!

I'm in two minds as to whether to watch episode 2 or not. On the one hand I'm reluctant to add to their viewing figures, as I think this awful series should die as quickly as possible. But on the other hand I'm curious to know what scenes they are ripping off this week. From what I can gather it sounds like it is the "will Avon abandon them" bit mixed up with Jenna's "treachery" in Bounty. I can feel some eye rolling coming on!
 
meegat39
I've just watched episode 2. I'm quite enjoying it. I don't really see it as ripping off more of a tribute to B7. A Blake character is definitely emerging. BTW on a separate note there was reavers in the last episode of the 100. Ripping off Firefly?? Or recyling ideas??
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
 
dragonq
It is very derivative, but I have still enjoyed what I've seen enough to watch a bit longer. I haven't had a chance to watch more--school holidays have started and I'm fighting for the TV.

Do you know what I find most interesting? Regardless of whether our crew are guilty or framed, it's notable that none of them have been accused of being child molesters. You'd never get away with that, these days.
 
meegat39
dragonq wrote:

It is very derivative, but I have still enjoyed what I've seen enough to watch a bit longer. I haven't had a chance to watch more--school holidays have started and I'm fighting for the TV.

Do you know what I find most interesting? Regardless of whether our crew are guilty or framed, it's notable that none of them have been accused of being child molesters. You'd never get away with that, these days.


Yes I don't think they would risk the public's reaction.
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
 
dragonq
Sensitivities change, I agree. Of course, in Blake's7, the first episode was very much from Blake's point of view, so there was never any doubt that he was being framed. That would be harder in the scenario given here.

I must say half the amusement factor in this show for me is picking up the various borrowings and sf tropes. There does seem to be very little that hasn't been cannibalised from somewhere else. I've just been watching the second episode again, as I didn't make it all the way through the first time, and when the bad guys turned up in their Fed Guard helmets, I nearly cracked up. Also, there is no excuse, I repeat, NO EXCUSE for having people crawling through ducts on a space ship in this day and age. Not after Galaxy Quest. I suppose we'll have the spinning fan, next.
 
dragonq
I'm convinced that the android is Ellen de Generes in space, too.
 
meegat39
dragonq wrote:

I'm convinced that the android is Ellen de Generes in space, too.


Well I actually thought she acted and sounded like Sheldon's girlfriend from The Big Bang Theory, but it's not her. But yeah, I see what you mean about Ellen de Generes ...
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
 
Spaceresearcher
Wow, here's a show that completely slipped by my radar but I'm glad I found it.

Created by the main authors of the Star Gate Universe series(my personal favorite of all the Star Gate series), this series features a crew of people who awake on a ship without any memory of who they are or why there on a starship. Slowly they discover what there good at and adventures begin.

This series has a lot of potential going by the first episode(with the exception of a cliched race which I will not spoil for you) and I'm looking forward to seeing how the crew develop(best of all I think I've seen about 2 of the actors in other series but otherwise all new actors I'd never even seen before, most refreshing).

This one will be interesting to discuss with B7 fans I'm sure (particularly symbols that recognise 'freedom in the face of oppression'(anyone get the feeling a rebellion could be brewing?).

It will be interesting to see how it pans out.(Oh and there's some bad ass women in this one for those who those who often discuss Cally and Jenna as if they didn't have big enough roles in our favourite series. Perhaps you'll find some joy with this crew(who don't really have any sexist angles as they have all lost there identity memory).

Enjoy and I look forward to discussing it.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Duplicate threads merged.
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
Spaceresearcher
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

Duplicate threads merged.


Many thanks SD.
 
Spaceresearcher
Interestingly there's another series called 'Killjoys' that looks interesting and already there's a versus war going on.
Check it out.
http://www.tv.com/shows/dark-matter/community/post/syfy-killjoys-dark-matter-which-is-better-143568886798/

I'll be checking out both series as I recognise a few very well known actors in Killjoys but also because it seems to take a different perspective and looks like fun.

So far, Dark Matter, is superb with my only main question being: "Is that a real fish tank in the background or a simulation for making that particular area of the ship(where they like to have meetings etc), more relaxing? A nice touch in any case and certainly makes the ship seem a touch more luxurious.

So far the characters seem to be interested in getting along except for one main protagonist only interested in himself character(hang on, I think I'm feeling B7 similarities here, my B7 meter is pinging).

Great to see more conflicting characters. It's something that always annoys me with Star Trek(how well everyone just get's along with only minor conflicts at best, it's just not normal). Dark Matter has certainly taken some key elements from B7, there is no doubt. Smile
 
Spaceresearcher
Wow, would very much like to discuss a cool idea seen in Episode 4 but will refrain until others have seen all the episodes first. (It involves clones, see that's not giving anything away).
 
Angry Angel
I'm enjoying Dark Matter - it is incredibly derivative, but it's having fun with it, and the mystery of each of the characters' pasts provides enough interest to keep watching.
 
http://lucyravenscar.blogspot.com/
peladon
meegat39 wrote:

I've just watched episode 2. I'm quite enjoying it. I don't really see it as ripping off more of a tribute to B7. A Blake character is definitely emerging. BTW on a separate note there was reavers in the last episode of the 100. Ripping off Firefly?? Or recyling ideas??


How are the two different? Recycling ideas might be different if it adds something totally new to the mix that meshes well I suppose, but generally its down to a lack of creativity and laziness.

Not seen this series but Ive always been wary of the idea of a remake of B7 because I dont think anyone who would want to do it could do it.Cool The new audio stuff (from what Ive heard) is proof of the point.
 
meegat39
peladon wrote:

meegat39 wrote:

I've just watched episode 2. I'm quite enjoying it. I don't really see it as ripping off more of a tribute to B7. A Blake character is definitely emerging. BTW on a separate note there was reavers in the last episode of the 100. Ripping off Firefly?? Or recyling ideas??


How are the two different? Recycling ideas might be different if it adds something totally new to the mix that meshes well I suppose, but generally its down to a lack of creativity and laziness.

Not seen this series but Ive always been wary of the idea of a remake of B7 because I dont think anyone who would want to do it could do it.Cool The new audio stuff (from what Ive heard) is proof of the point.


I see your point Peladon, however, I think that it's possible they included reavers as a nod to Firefly and the reavers here are not the same at all, so it's only the name which has been copied. On a separat note, they also crop up in The 100...

I don't see Dark Matter as any form of remake of B7 but there are loads of nods to it. It has similar concepts and characters and I think that's why I like it.
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
 
President Solvite
You could probably pick any concepts and say it is like B7..

Thing is any sci fi series will have some similarities with others...

Every Police show is the same IMO. Eg. Angry Detective usually with a drink or marriage problem.. (see Detectives on the Edge of a nervous Breakdown Spoof)

Having watched all the episodes so far I am quite enjoying it. Yes there is some 'B7' also I think nods to BSG, Buck Rogers, Star Wars and Dune...

B7 was hardly original, (Teleport like Trek, bad guys generally wearing black) look at all the dialogue Chis 'acquired'.. And B7 in itself was a Dirty Dozen/Robin Hood in Space. Hardly THAT original a concept. But point is it did what it did well, despite low budget and the pressure from having to deliver a comparable product to Star Wars.

Anyone who hasn't seen Dark Matter should watch it, also beyond episode 1. Its like someone dissing Blake's 7 because they can't get along with Blake and have only seen episode 1!... It gets even more interesting and watchable from 2 onwards.

Whilst I don't object putting B7 on a pedestal it is a mish-mash of ideas just repackaged into a slightly different form. Although it's immensely enjoyable!

I tend to ignore reviewers and form my own opinions on shows.. Dark Matter owes more to the aborted Firefly than B7 but that's something to be enjoyed than complained about IMHO.
 
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