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Series / Dark Matter (2015)

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Three: [guns trained at One and Two] Who are you?
One and Two: [simultaneously] I don't know.
Two: Who are you?
Three: I got no idea.

Dark Matter is a Canadian science fiction series based on the Dark Horse comic of the same name. The show was filmed in Toronto and premiered in June 2015 on Space Channel in Canada and SyFy in the U.S. It was created by former Stargate writers and executive producers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, who also act as two of the show's executive producers.

At some point in the distant future the crew of the spaceship Raza is awakened from stasis with no memories of who they are or how they got on board. Facing threats at every turn, they have to work together to survive a voyage charged with vengeance, betrayal and hidden secrets.

The show was cancelled on September 1, 2017, the week after the season three finale aired. However, there is a strong fan campaign for the series to be picked up by another network which appears to be having an effect on having the series renewed for a fourth season.


This series provides examples of the following:

  • Absent Aliens: There are wild rumors that the Corps work with alien enforcers for their deniable dirty work, but the rumors are proven wrong later in the episode where they are introduced. "The Dwarf Star Conspiracy" reveals that aliens do exist, and are behind the Dwarf Star corporation — the thing that possessed Three in "Going Out Fighting" was one of them, and they're using Dwarf Star to create host bodies that can contain them without breaking down. They come from an alternate universe which is dying, and want to take over this one.
  • Action Girl:
    • Two is extremely good at hand-to-hand combat, routinely demolishing multiple opponents at the same time. Dialogue implies that, in the informal rankings amongst the crew of who would win in any fight, she is at the top of the list.
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    • Second-season cast member Nyx qualifies as well, showing herself to be extremely adept at armed and unarmed combat due to her precognitive abilities helping her counter her opponent's attacks.
  • Actually a Doombot: The General uses Expendable Clones to go out in the field, while his real body remains safe somewhere else. The GA take advantage of this as well.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Sort of. Mallozzi and Mullie originally designed it as a TV concept, then decided to retrofit it into a comic book, which covers the first two episodes of the show. Later, they were given the opportunity to expand it into a TV show, like it was originally meant to be.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Aside from her tech wizardry, crawling through ducts seems to be Five's primary skill.
  • The Alcatraz: The GA runs a prison called Hyperion-8 which is located on an airless moon. No one has ever escaped from it. It takes the crew of the ''Raza'' two episodes to pull it off.
  • Alien Invasion: Season 3 ends with the aliens manipulating the crew into destroying the Ferrous shipyards by overloading the Blink Drive, tearing a rift into their universe so their ships can pass through into the main one.
  • All Asians Know Martial Arts: Four almost immediately finds out that he can expertly use a katana and is proficient in unarmed martial arts. It is eventually revealed that he is from a Feudal Future culture based on Japan, where he was trained as the heir to the throne. Two, in her first appearance, easily puts One on his back with her unarmed combat skills.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The name of the crew's handler, Tabor Calchek, is revealed in supplementary materials and interviews, but isn't mentioned in the show proper until several episodes after his first appearance.
    • Several important details regarding the Season 1 finale are revealed only on the showrunner's blog.
  • Alternate Universe: Thanks to a glitch with the Blink Drive in "Stuff to Steal, People to Kill", the Raza ends up in an alternate universe where the crew never had their memories wiped. Fortunately, the Raza of that universe has the parts they need to get back. Unfortunately, the crew of that universe (minus Corso) hitches a ride back to the main one, bent on getting revenge on the main crew for screwing up their lives.
  • Amnesiac Hero: The entire crew of the ship, who have lost all memories regarding their own histories. They retain their base personalities, instincts and muscle-memory skills, but nothing about their identities.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance:
    • The crew learns at the end of the first episode that they are a team of wanted criminals whose crimes range from piracy and smuggling to mass murder. One, Two, and Six rebel against this past, while Four detaches from it and Three embraces it. Five is the only one who is still unsure about her history, as she alone has no criminal record.
    • In general, Three has no problem when he learns about his criminal past, but he is shocked to discover that he cared enough for one person to keep her in stasis so she would be able to survive the incurable disease she was suffering from.
    • "I've Seen the Other Side of You" shows Two, Three, and Four as they were before the memory wipe thanks to a backup brain scan temporarily resetting them to shortly before it happened. They're portrayed them as borderline sociopaths who have no problem selling Five and the other unknown-to-them passengers into slavery just to get rid of them and make a quick buck. After things are returned to normal and the Android offers to restore their memories without suppressing their current ones, they decide against it since they don't want those negative personality traits. Four, however, saves his imprint and eventually uses it to restore his memories to help him retake the throne, becoming as ruthless as he once was.
  • And I Must Scream: When the Android is hacked, she's fully aware of her unwilling acts but unable to stop them. Later Five and Sarah send a signal through the neural link to the hacker which leaves his mind stuck in a wholly empty and featureless space. He screams at finding himself in it.
  • And Show It to You: Two threatens to cut out their handler's heart in "Episode Six", in retaliation for not informing them that the salvage job in the previous episode was a plague ship.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse:
    • In "Episode 5", the crew is contacted by their handler, who insists they do another job after botching the contract on the miners. As they can't afford to alienate a potential ally, they take the job. It goes sour and they end up ditching the guy, anyway.
    • In "Episode 10", the Mikkei Combine forces the crew into a job in exchange for their continued protection. Two is reluctant to take it given the previous incident, but One gets her to play along.
    • In "Kill Them All", Shaddick orders Five to have the Android reveal everything she knows, or she'll be shot. However, Five instead orders the Android to kill her and every other GA officer there.
    • In "Wish I'd Spaced You When I Had The Chance", Kierken tries to convince Three to tell him the truth about Iriden 3 in exchange for a clean slate for Five. Three lies that he was the only one involved.
    • In "Sometimes In Life You Don't Get to Choose", Ryo asks the Zairon warship's officers to swear fealty. The one who refuses is immediately killed, and the others threatened with the same if they also refuse.
  • Anyone Can Die: I'm sorry, did you think Derrick Moss AKA "One" was the main character? Well, the first episode of season two would like to very violently disabuse you of that notion.
    • And in his next appearance, Jace Corso (played by the same actor as One) was unceremoniously killed by Two. Just in case you thought he was supposed to replace One as the White Male Lead.
    • Two new characters join the Raza crew after their prison break in the beginning of season 2: a black woman whose skillset is basically a copy of Two's, and a white man with a skillset that would be a useful addition to the crew (he's a medic and the crew doesn't have one yet) and a personality tailor-made to replace the recently killed One. Guess who gets killed off a few episodes later in a way that leaves the rest of the crew to just shrug him off as having bailed on them?
      • This trend was successful in making the audience worry about Three during the several times he was injured or threatened throughout the rest of the season.
    • Season 3 opens with the reveal that Misaki's assassination of Nyx was successful. She appears in the premiere but only as a mental image.
  • Artificial Gravity: The ship is equipped with this, but unlike most examples of this trope the artificial gravity can be overcome by extreme maneuvers.
  • Artificial Human: Two, which is noted to be highly illegal.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Two and Nyx, as the latter reveals she has intelligence that can aid their prison escape.
    Two: "What do you want in return?"
    Nyx: "Your extra pillow and a hug goodbye; what do you think?"
  • Attack Drone: A security drone attacks Anders and Three in "Being Better is So Much Harder". It wounds Anders, forcing him to rely on Three.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: In "Sometimes in Life You Don't Get to Choose", Four convinces his half-brother to step down as Emperor and cede the throne to him. Four repays this by having him killed along with the Empress.
  • Bait-and-Switch: "One Last Card to Play" opens with a genius one. Two and Three are shown among the prisoners on a transport ship who seem to rescue a woman and take the ship over. But then they flush those prisoners into space and kill the woman and it turns out they're the alternate reality versions of Portia and Marcus in this universe to cause trouble.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Two spends the first few episodes wearing a short shirt that exposes a few inches of her midriff. Over time this is covered up; she starts wearing undergarments beneath the short shirt so that her skin is no longer exposed.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: In "We Voted Not to Space You", Kierken and his GA troops are in a face-off with Two and Three, with Four as Kierken's hostage. Kierken tries to press that advantage, pointing out that they might hit Four if they start a shootout. Three replies that Four is probably okay with that, and knowing what his people will do to him if he's brought back as a prisoner, Four readily confirms it.
  • BFG: Early on Three arms himself with an enormous energy weapon that is almost as big as he is. Once the ship's vault is opened in "Episode Seven", he immediately claims the biggest gun in the stash inside, a large sniper rifle.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Just when our heroes are cornered and about to be killed in the fusion power plant building in "Episode Two", Two shows up with two Mikkei Combine cruisers in orbit, making Ferrous Corp. call their troops back and eventually leave as the colony is now under the other corporation's jurisdiction.
  • The Big Guy: Six is the largest and most physically intimidating member of the crew, but his friendly demeanor softens him somewhat. When the crew begin to turn on each other towards the end of the season, they figure that he would be the one most difficult to physically overpower.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • The Raza is rumored to be a ruthless alien race, before we find out it's really a ship of brutal mercenaries. However, "raza" means "race" in Spanish, so that could be why people guessed this.
    • The name Raza can also refer to the Latin phrase "tabula rasa", which means blank slate. Which the whole crew are because their memories were wiped to a blank slate.
    • At the end of "Sometimes in Life You Don't Get to Choose," Four issues a command to have his brother, stepmother and their guards killed by saying "Korose", which can translate to "Kill them" in Japanese.
  • Blackmail: After he finds out that One isn't the real Jace Corso, Three decides to blackmail him for his support in all votes instead of telling the others. It lasts an episode before One gets tired of it and refuses to play along further, though Three doesn't reveal his hand. One is forced to reveal the truth in "Episode Eight", as Four also found out and he's not the blackmail type.
  • Blind Jump:
    • Defied in the pilot. The risks are so great that even with missiles seconds away from hitting them, the crew will not risk doing this.
    • In "It Doesn't Have to Be Like This", doing this with the Blink Drive can transport an object to a "null space" between dimensions, a pocket of space that will contain the object temporarily until it collapses back onto itself, unless the Blink Drive is used again with actual coordinates. It helps that they were trying to jump an entire station without having adequately prepared the technology.
  • Bloodless Carnage: When Four uses his sword there is blood on it, but not blood spurting from wounds as there would be in Real Life.
  • Bookends: Nyx started and ended the second season in a catfight.
    • Also, the second season began and ended with the crew suffering a major loss (One and Nyx) while in dire straits and not knowing about it until later on.
  • Bottle Episode: Several episodes are set all within the Raza and nowhere else.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted during the fire fight in "Episode Two". One and Three run out of ammo for their rifles and have to switch to their sidearms for the reminder of the battle.
  • Brain Uploading: A copy of Sarah's mind has been saved in the ship's computer after she died in Season 1. This comes into play in Season 3.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In "Episode Four", Five complains that she couldn't buy welding goggles due to the crew having to bail from the station. In "Episode Nine", she finally got a pair.
    • In "Going Out Fighting", Android steals Five's mug of hot chocolate. In "Sometimes In Life You Don't Get to Choose", she's having another.
  • Call-Back:
    • In "Episode Two", Two leaves rest of the team stranded on the planet, only to come back with Mikkei ships in tow. In "Episode Twelve", the team leaves Two in the Dwarf Star facility, only to regroup and come back to rescue her.
    • In season one, Bubba can fire off one or two shots before its battery is depleted. In the first episode of season two, Anders tells Six he fixed it, and Five uses it to clear her way of escape in the next episode.
    • In "We Were Family", Three is called Titch by his old mentor, revealing that it was him whose memories Five was stuck in back in "Episode Six".
    • In "We Should Have Seen That Coming", Four gives Milo a knife so he can commit suicide after being handed back to the Seers. In "Sometimes In Life You Don't Get to Choose", Seers leader Hansmeed shows the knife to Nyx in order to turn her against Four.
  • Casual Interplanetary Travel: Even without FTL, the ships in the setting can travel quite fast at sub-light speeds. A distance of 7 light minutes note  can be covered in a matter of hours.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: In "Episode Ten", the mercenaries that the crew are forced to work with steal a shock stick from the security guards of the base that they are robbing, then later use that same shock stick to disable the Android. In the next episode, the shock stick is used again to disable the Android by a traitor within the crew.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The showrunners' favorite narrative device. Many plot threads are set up in the background long before they come into action.
    • The Transfer Transit service advertised in "Episode Four" is a major plot point in "Episode Eight". It's then used repeatedly throughout the series from then on.
    • The strange black keycard stolen by Five and analyzed by the Android in the beginning of the series turns out to be a part of Season 2's MacGuffin, the Blink Drive.
    • A literal case is the pistol Five discovers in "Episode Three", which gets used to great effect in "Episode Eleven".
    • The Zairon shuttle used to escape Hyperion-8 in "Kill 'Em All" comes back in "Sometimes In Life You Don't Get to Choose" as a part of Four's plan to regain the throne.
    • Alexander Rook's mysterious bedridden superior from "Episode Twelve" and the black goop Three is infected with in "Going Out Fighting" are parts of a terrifying Chekhov's Gun that is Dwarf Star Technologies in its entirety, and that one fires in "The Dwarf Star Conspiracy".
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: As the series progresses, the crew of the Raza become more and more prone to helping people in need instead of acting as the criminals that they are. By the end of the second season it's gotten to the point that they take it upon themselves to save the entire galaxy from all-out Corporate Warfare. Three lampshades this in the season 2 finale, to which Two promises him that they'll steal something once the job is done.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Four's ex Misaki is a deadly version.
  • Comic Sutra: Wendy the entertainment android is programmed with a wide array of sexual techniques, the names of which leave One much confused… and intrigued. This was cut from the British broadcast as not suitable for a pre-watershed time slot.
    One: I was actually about to lie down.
    Wendy: Excellent. Would you like me to join? I'm adept at a wide variety of contemporary erotic techniques: quasaring, the infinite moebius, dunking the cosmic donut…
    One: That's… I really shouldn't. [beat] Um, wait. What was that last one?
    • Three asks the same question of Wendy ([beat] "What was that last one?") in the midst of a Wendy-inflicted beat-down later in the same episode.
  • Consummate Liar: Three can come up with an entirely plausible cover story on the spot and sell it very convincingly.
  • Continuity Nod: In "Sometimes In Life You Don't Get to Choose", there's a green nutrition bar laying in front of Six on the mess hall table, a reference to his hoarding of those in season 1.
  • Convenient Replacement Character:
    • Adrian Maro, introduced in 3x03, is a replacement for Tabor Calchek, his former boss; his introductory spiel indicates Calchek's actor was unavailable for a continuing role aboard the Raza.
    • Solara Shockley, also introduced in 3x03 as Adrians bodyguard, seems to be one for Nyx Harper. After Nyx proved unpopular with the fanbase for perceived Character Shilling and Mary Sue qualities, yet also provided diversity during a heightened awareness of black actors and actresses in entertainment, the showrunners killed off Nyx and replaced her with another black actress playing a badass mercenary, only this time one whose introduction is so subdued and low-key it's as if the production team is screaming "This is normal! Don't notice this! Carry on!" to avoid a backlash.
  • Cool Starship: The protagonists' ship, the Raza. One Ferrous Corp officer said it would be a pity to be forced to destroy such a nice ship if the crew did not surrender, and a team of mercenaries considered gaining control of the Raza as an incentive to betray the crew.
  • Corporate Warfare: The multi-corps have their own warships and private armies to protect their assets. Some of them can be pretty big.
  • Crapsack World: The galaxy is not a nice place to hang around. The multi-corps have the run of the place, fielding their own private armies, the Space Police is compromised and interested only in keeping the balance between the multi-corps (and increasing their own budget), and La Résistance against this state of affairs is a bunch of terrorists who don't mind slaughtering thousands of civilians just to send a message. And that doesn't even get us started on the galactic criminal element, the Raza crew being only one of many.
  • Culture Chop Suey: Zairon is fairly consistent in being based on feudal Japan, except for the fact that the Empress once wears a cheongsam-like outfit (cheongsams are Chinese) with a headpiece that involves a paper fan hanging over her forehead acting as a veil and that the architecture of the imperial palace is distinctly that of a European castle.
  • Decadent Court: In the imperial court of Zairon, almost all the members of the imperial household seem to hate each other. Ultimately, when the Emperor banishes his second son so that his heir will not be seen as weak and having contest for the throne, the Emperor is murdered by his wife and the Crown Prince is framed. He is forced to go on the run, and the second son becomes Emperor himself.
  • Deceptively Human Robots: The Android looks exactly like a human woman, but any interaction with her will quickly tell you that she's not. As the season progresses she begins to assume more human-like traits, but worries that this might be due to a flaw in her programming. This turns out to be intentional: the Android was designed in the likeness of Two's longtime caretaker Dr. Shaw and had the emotional programming deliberately hidden in her firmware, and pre-memory wipe, Portia had Emily/Das try to access and activate it for some reason.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: In Hyperion 8, a fellow inmate tells Three that he can get out of working by injuring himself so he'll have to stay in medical to recover. Subverted when the inmate ends up put in the psych ward for Self-Harm and is subjected to electroshock therapy, so Three quickly writes that idea off. It's played straight later when they need to buy some time for Two to return and injure Four so the Zairon envoy can't take him right away, but this falls through when she insists on taking him despite his potential concussion.
  • Determined Homesteader: The settlers in the pilot are determined to stay on their planet even with the semi-mythic Raza coming to kill them. As their leader points out, people like them don't really have anywhere else to go, so they might as well stay and fight for their new home.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: After retaking the throne of Zairon, Four shows up at the corporate summit on Eos-7, causing GA Inspector Kierken to mention his disappointment at being unable to arrest a head of state.
  • Dissonant Serenity: The Android, who calmly announces that an approaching ship is likely not coming to help them, since it's firing missiles in their direction.
  • Divide and Conquer: Two points out that because of their power and resources, the only effective way of dealing with the multi-corps is to play them against each other.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Two orders the Android in no uncertain terms to not call her Portia, since she had discovered that "Portia Lin" was a dangerous criminal. She no longer wants to be that person.
  • Doomsday Device: The item the crew steals from Traugott Corp in "Episode Ten" is powerful enough to blow up an entire planet. The newscaster in the succeeding episode even calls it one.
  • The Dreaded: The Raza, dreaded enforcers employed by Ferrous Corp. Rumors make them out to be seven-foot tall half-human half-reptile aliens with skin that burns. It is stated no one has ever survived encountering them, and thus their true identity isn't known. They turn out to be the protagonists themselves; Raza is the name of their ship.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Memory flashbacks reveal that Six tried to kill himself after learning that he had been tricked into aiding a mass murder. However, his gun was empty from executing his comrades, and clicked empty when he pulled the trigger.
    • The android Anya kills herself by electrocution in anxiety over the fact that she's broadcasting her location with a subspace transponder, endangering her fellow rogue androids.
  • Driving Question: Who removed the crew's memories, and why stick them in Five's brain? If it was not supposed to get all of them, then who was the specific target? Two and Three, while discussing it, believe that Four, Five, and Six are likely innocent, as it would not benefit them in any apparent way to do it. That leaves Three, Two, and One. The season 1 finale reveals that it was Five and she was trying to save Six from being murdered by Two and Four. However, it remains unknown how their memories got put into her.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: In "Episode Eleven", the device the crew stole in the previous episode is activated. It destabilizes in short order, and the resulting chain reaction causes the planet's entire gravitational field to collapse. The end result is that Iriden 3 is rendered a lifeless ball of debris.
  • Easily Forgiven: In "Episode Three", Three and Four attempt to buck the group decision to save the Android by jumping to FTL. After they're foiled, Two lets it go because they meant well by it.
    • Surprisingly, Three averts this. He has yet to forgive Six for giving them up to the GA. He is also the only one pissed at Nyx for lying to them about her brother.
    • Subverted from the season 2 finale onward when Four reasserts himself as Ryo Ishida and becomes Emperor of Zairon, stealing the Blink Drive from the Raza and inadvertently getting Nyx killed by Misaki.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: When Two leaves the shuttle, One, Three and Six all turn around to check out her Sexy Walk admiringly. Four is the only one that doesn't partake. Two lampshades this the following episode, when she's walking away from One and without turning round tells him to stop staring at her ass.
  • Eternal English: Some six centuries in the future, English is basically the same. Possibly justified if mass media helped to preserve the continuity of the language.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Though they are all wanted criminals, Three is regarded by the crew as the most violent and least-moral among them.
    Three: I think he's a real scumbag.
    [The crew looks at him.]
    Three: What? I'm not allowed to have standards?
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The General and the Empress are never referred to by their given names, which aren't even revealed to the audience. Also, despite all her characterization, The Android.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Alternate Universe in "Stuff to Steal, People to Kill" has evil versions of Two, Three, and Four who retained their memories. Portia Lin and Marcus Boone are still raiders, while Ryo Ishida successfully took back his throne in a brutal coup. Jace Corso (the real one) is also part of the crew, as are Wexler and Tash. Six was killed before he could betray the crew, and Five wasn't around to help (it's not made clear why, though it's possible Marcus spaced her like he would have in the main universe).
  • Expendable Clone: Transfer Transit is a transit service which uses subspace Brain Uploading and cloning to create an identical copy of an individual at a given location. The clone spends three days there (any longer and Clone Degeneration sets in) then has their brain sent back while the clone is recycled. None of the hassle of stasis or FTL, all of the fun from the destination. If the clone dies, the user just wakes up early with no memory of what happened. Six uses this to track down an old acquaintance. In the process of tracking Six down, One's true face is finally shown. It's used fairly liberally from season 2 onward by all sides.
  • Fanservice: Wendy the entertainment android wears an outfit that's all vinyl and mesh. In-Universe, being attractive is part of her design. The same episode begins with Two casually talking with One while she's getting dressed after her bath.
  • Fantastic Drug: Shadow, a high-grade hallucinogenic compound used as a recreational drug.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Principality of Zairon (Four's place of origin) is basically Imperial Japan in space, with an emperor, samurai swords and Japanese clothes and naming conventions.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel:
    • As part of the setting, ships use a variation of the Warp drive method to travel at faster-than-light speeds, termed simply "FTL". It works by creating a distortion in space-time that moves faster than the speed of light, pulling the ship along with it. Going from one end of the galaxy to the other would take months, with refueling stops. Small shuttles are limited to sublight speeds only, but the Raza and larger ships have the technology.
    • "She's One of Them Now" introduces the Blink Drive, a device that can turn a regular FTL drive into a wormhole generator that can transport a ship anywhere in the galaxy in an instant. The keycard Five stole is the final piece of the prototype, and the crew manages to steal the rest of it. After an unexpected trip to an Alternate Universe, they manage to get it working.
  • Feudal Future: In the galaxy, some independent territories are monarchies. One of them, the Principality of Zairon, is relevant to the plot and ruled by an Emperor. Four is the heir to the throne and wanted for the assassination of the Emperor. Four's stepmother framed him for it to put her son on the throne, forcing Four to go on the run.
  • First-Episode Twist: The crew of the ship were ruthless criminals and enforcers for Ferrous Corp before having their memories erased. Their ship is named the Raza, which is known and feared for their mercenary work.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: The crew of the Raza have trouble adjusting to 21st century Earth, and except for the Android are pretty ignorant of contemporary life (Six even wonders if there are flush toilets). In particular the Android stands out due to her odd syntax. It takes almost no time until some kids follow them to the Marauder and find out they're not who they say.
  • Follow the Chaos: Discussed in "Wish I'd Spaced You When I Had The Chance", when the crew is planning to raid a GA base to rescue Three and Five. When Two wonders if Three and Five will know they're coming, Four points out that they'll likely deduce who's responsible for the explosions, shooting, and screaming. It ends up being unnecessary, anyway, since Three and Five have managed to avoid capture counter to their assumptions.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "Episode One", when the crew quarters are discovered we are shown Three and Four each sleeping in the middle of their bed. One, however, sleeps on one side of the bed, an advance clue to the fact that he is used to sleeping next to somebody.
    • In "Episode Four", a DNA scan flags Six for immediate capture. Though Two writes it off as them being criminals, Six argues that the station must deal with such people regularly and that would not merit such specific attention. Two episodes later, it is revealed that Six was tricked into aiding the destruction of a space station with 10,000 civilians and is the only suspect identified for that mass murder.
    • In "Episode Six", Three tells Five that the happy farm childhood memory she wanted to stay in would eventually come to a violent end of some kind. In "We Were Family", it turns out that it did - and it was his childhood.
    • During one of Six's memories in "Episode Six", Arrakis Sadr is mentioned as the place The General has gone to coordinate the Insurrection's next campaign. Six uses this information in "Episode Eight" to pinpoint the station The General must be using to channel his supplies.
    • One has the strongest reaction upon learning that he is a part of a band of mercenaries, and he seems to specifically hate Three. Turns out that he isn't even one of them. He stole Jace Corso's face and infiltrated the team in order to kill Three for possibly killing his wife.
    • An image of Sarah in a white room appears in Five's mind in the Season 3 premiere. In "Welcome to the Revolution", it's revealed that a copy of Sarah's mind was saved in the ship's computer.
    • In "All the Time in the World" the Android meets an older version of Five during a time jump, who reveals cryptic references to future plot lines. Word of God is that all of them are planed to be featured during the run of the show. The list is out of order, and at least two of the things happen in Season 3.
      Android: Please tell me. What awaits us?
      Old Five: So much... Dwarf Star's conspiracy, the Double Deception, Kryden, Carina, The Accelerated, the Fall of the House of Ishida, the meeting with your creator, the Black Ships.
      Android: What does it all mean?
      Old Five: Not a happy ending for everyone, but a positive result for the rest of the Galaxy.
    • For the most of the series, Two is shown to be in charge of the Raza. "Built, Not Born" reveals why: she commandeered it and had the Android linked to the ship's systems.
  • Frameup: Ryo Ishida aka Four is wanted all over the galaxy for regicide and parricide, but the memories of the event seen by Five show that he was framed by his stepmother.
  • Gainaxing: Five's season 2 wardrobe doesn't appear to include a proper bra, a fact that is most obvious during her running scenes in "I've Seen the Other Side of You".
  • Gambit Pileup: The crew's incarceration on Hyperion 8 triggers one of these. Traugott Corp, Mikkei Combine, the Galactic Authority and at least two unknown parties all put plans in motion to either silence them, get them to talk or bust them out. And they all run into each other.
    • In the season 2 finale, "But First We Save The Galaxy", stopping the plot to destroy the Eos-7 space station during a corporate summit turns into this, involving Ferrous, the Raza crew and the Zairon delegation headed by Four.
  • Gamer Chicks: When stranded in the past, bored with the adult's socializing, Five goes upstairs and finds a 21st century gaming console, getting to level 8 despite never having played the game before. After they return from the past with the console as a farewell present, one of the last scenes of the episode is Five playing a game with Two and laughing as they try to outscore each other.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    • In "Episode Ten", they are sneaking aboard a Corp station for a heist, but do not have a cover identity for Five.
      "So how are we going to get her onto the station?"
      [Cut to shuttle arriving at station and crew coming aboard with large toolbox.]
    • In "Episode Twelve", they have dropped the Android onto a planet's surface in order to infiltrate and disable the defenses of a facility.
      Six: [The Android] has to do this quietly without drawing any attention to herself.
      [Cut to the Android barging into a locker room and kicking ass.]
  • Girl in a Box: Two of them appear in "Episode Seven".
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: "Wish I Could Believe You" has Six trapped in a Lotus Eatermachine designed to make him give up the secret location of the Independent Colonies' conference. He's first thrown off when all the text in the simulation is gibberish and he keeps blacking out only to wake up back in the infirmary. He also sees flashes of his suppressed memories. After the ones notice and correct for the first two, the memory flashes tip him off again and he deliberately derails the simulation to break out of it and turn the tables on his captors.
  • Good Parents: A member of the crew apparently had them. Five finds the recollection of the boy's childhood so idyllic that she would rather waste away in his memories than return to reality and live. Six points out that, some way or another, it is all going to go wrong because the person who had this childhood still wound up as a criminal on the ship. Five and Six believe the boy was One, but it could just as easily have been Three. It turns out it was Three, and they were good parents right up until some drifter they took in got drunk and killed them. The drifter then raised Three as a criminal.
  • Grand Theft Me: In "Hot Chocolate", the Android's body is taken over by a hacker so his employers can hijack the ship.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: After One has Wendy activated, the Android is very obviously envious of the enthusiasm the crew shows towards Wendy's capabilities. Five reassures the Android of her necessity, and she later decides to accept Wendy. Then Wendy shoots her.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Three ends up trapped in one thanks to a time-looping clock brought on board in "All the Time in the World" by Adrian Maro. Destroying it solves the problem, but in the process the Android ends up skipping into the future and seeing some disturbing things.
  • Guns Akimbo:
    • Three is introduced wielding two pistols, and frequently returns to the posture when he is not wielding his BFG.
    • Two and Six are comfortable with this gun stance and wield it as required by the circumstances.
    • In the season 3 premiere, Commander Truffaut employs two pistols as she helps defend the Raza from Ferrous troops.
  • Gun Nut: Three either went into stasis armed or located a gun right after awakening, and when he discovers that the cargo hold is full of military grade weapons he is like a kid in a candy store. He then chooses the biggest gun available as his personal weapon.
  • Has Two Mommies: The current technology is capable of allowing two people of the same sex to have a biological child by combining their DNA. Two and her lover Dr. Shaw had a daughter by this method.
  • Heal It with Fire: When Three is shot, he has Five cauterize the wound with a hot plate. While this works in the short term, he's still in pretty bad shape and has to be patched up at the ship to actually get better.
  • The Heart: In Season 3, Ryo gets his old mentor Teku to serve this role. Much to Misaki's chagrin.
  • Heroic Suicide: Milo kills himself rather than be used again by the Seers to further their aims.
  • Hired Guns: In addition to their own military forces, the multi-corps also employ ruthless mercenaries as enforcers to clean up loose ends and trouble spots.
  • History Repeats:
    • Throughout the first two seasons harming Five appears to be the crews Berserk Button, most noticeably with Two, which seems to become a theme within the show. Five being slapped and then the person who slapped her is given a Karmic Death. Two straight up murders the Casino Manager in episode four for slapping Five. In episode eleven Tash slaps Five and ends up with Two snapping her neck. Also when Chief Inspector Shaddick - once again - slaps Five and holds a gun to her head the Android not only kills them all but takes her time with Shaddick. And in season 3, the mercenary Ash tries to choke Five and ends up lethally stuck in a wall after trying to dodge Two's and Three's gunfire.
    • In the second season, Nyx's brother Milo gives an ominous warning that another Raza crewmember is liable to betray them once again. Before the season ends, Four gets his memories back, returns to Zairon to become Emperor, then plots to steal the Blink Drive from the Raza so he can use it for his own troops.
  • Homosexual Reproduction: "My Final Gift to You" reveals that Two had a daughter with the woman she loved. The exact method isn't made clear, but the setting certainly has the tech to combine genetic material in such a fashion.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: In "Episode Ten", another mercenary group threatens to space Two if the crew doesn't give them the code to the vault. Three gives up the code, but they space her anyway.
  • Hufflepuff House: The League of Autonomous Worlds, which issues pronouncements every so often but never directly intervenes with the plot. Zairon is a member but its war with Pyr is considered an internal matter and the League is choosing not to interfere. They could force a ceasefire, but this would cost Zairon half its territory and Zairon desperately doesn't want that to happen.
  • Human Popsicle: The Seers' ship keeps people with predictive abilities on board this way.
  • Hyperspeed Escape: The crew resorts to jumping to FTL when somebody shoots missiles at them and their weapons are down.
  • Hypocrite: Two insists that the team can't keep any secrets from each other if they're going to work effectively as a unit. The Android then privately calls Two out on hiding her Healing Factor from the rest of the group.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Three calls Talbor a conniving, thieving, opportunist. The rest of the crew just stares at him, causing him to grumble "Yeah, yeah."
  • I Call It "Vera": Three likes to name his guns. His side arms are called Lulu and Pip, while his BFG is called Bubba. He doesn't name his knife, though; that would be psycho. His new sniper rifle in the seventh episode is named Raquel.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: During the first season, the episodes had no proper names but only numbers... just like the main characters. By the start of season 2, everybody's real names are known and the episodes also start getting actual names which are based on a specific phrase that a main character said in that particular episode.
  • Idiot Ball: The General is described as always using Transfer Transit clones to move around the galaxy while his real self stays hidden and away from the action. Except in episode 3x03, when he conveniently appears in person, allowing Six to blow his brains out, and his body is neither seen nor heard dissolving like Transfer Transit clones do.
  • I Know You Know I Know: "One More Card to Play" has the crew and their alternate selves plotting against each other to see who thought more moves ahead. The crew wins, on account of Five being a wild card the others hadn't accounted for.
  • I Lied: In "Episode Eleven", Two threatens to space the merc leader if he doesn't give her the altered code to the vault, promising to free him if he complies since she's a better person than he is. She spaces him anyway, just as he had done to her.
    Wexler: This isn't you!
    Two: After today, I don't know what I am.
  • Immortality Inducer: Traugott Corp tried to create one from extremely long-lived trees. Instead they created a virus which creates zombies. Two seems to get the intended effect when one of the zombies bites her, but this is later revealed to be a Red Herring: she's actually an Artificial Human with nanites that heal her wounds.
  • Improbable Weapon User: In "Wish I'd Spaced You When I Had The Chance", Five has been kidnapped and, through unknown circumstances, is trying to hold off her kidnappers with a spoon. One of them gets cocky and boasts that she couldn't possibly harm them with it. She stabs the thin end into his ear then gives him a beating before the others restrain her. They're impressed by her resourcefulness, though the one who got stabbed and beaten holds a grudge.
  • Inappropriate Hunger:
    • Five cheerfully mentions she's hungry after telling Two a rather horrifying dream that she had.
    • In a flashback in "Built, Not Born", Boone doesn't stop eating while Portia fights Jasper and Shrike right in front of him, including when they're literally on the table.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: When the warden of the Hyperion 8 realizes that the Raza crew have escaped, the first thing he does is take a sip from the drink in his hand.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted when the crew finds the corpse of a young boy hidden in the cargo hold, killed by a gunshot wound. He was a friend of Five, having stowed away on the ship with her. It can be assumed he bled to death after she was caught by Boone in her attempt to find medicine.
  • Infodump: Five gives one in "Episode Eight" about Transfer Transit. Justified, since she's reading it off the brochure.
  • Inhumanable Alien Rights: Artificial humans have no rights by Galactic Authority law, so they can be freely tortured.
  • In Medias Res:
    • "Episode Six" begins with a short action sequence in what appears to be a flashback to Four's past. Then the killer pulls down their hood and reveals it's Five. The episode later shows how this happened exactly: it was Five reliving Four's memories.
    • The technique is later used in several other episodes. We see a scene from the middle of the story absent any context; this leads to the first few minutes of the episode after the main title being a flashback to some hours prior to that first scene. The story then unites with the intro usually no later than the halfway point. Sometimes the viewer can fill in most of the blanks (2.5 "We Voted Not to Space You" teases with a scene of The Android sporting a human personality and style, an episode after this possibility was openly introduced). Sometimes not (2.3 "I've Seen the Other Side of You" teases Five running from Three and Four for unknown reasons; when Four catches her, he does not seem to know who she is, also for unknown reasons).
  • Insecurity System: The prison guards enter the blocks armed and carrying their key cards. Two thus easily knocks out and disarms one to get them. That's why real prison guards aren't allowed to do this.
  • Intangibility: Ash, the mercenary sent by Ryo Ishida in "All the Time in the World" has an implant which allows him to phase through solid matter. He ends up suffering a Tele-Frag when Two stuns him as he's trying to escape through a bulkhead, since he can't control the effect while unconscious.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • In season 2, as a result of their brief incarceration by the Galactic Authority, the entire galaxy knows about the crew's memory wipe.
    • In "We Were Family" the rest of the crew finds out about the key that Five stole, which got all her friends killed and is being hunted by powerful Mega Corps, information that the audience has had for quite some time.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Four pulls one of these in "Episode Nine" when he disarms himself when surrounded, only to attack when the guards move in to restrain him.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: Lampshaded by Three in "Welcome to the Revolution" when the crew arrives at a suspiciously deserted colony.
    Three: Can we just skip ahead to the part where you come out of hiding and get the jump on us?
    Heavily armed locals appear
    Three: There, that's better.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Five doesn't trust Three, so she sneaked into his room in the third episode and took all the bullets out of his handguns. The audience can even tell the exact moment when he realizes that he should've noticed the weight difference.
  • I Want My Jetpack: In "Isn't That a Paradox?", Three complains about the lack of any aero-cars or hyperloops on 21st century Earth. Two points out that he never had access to such things in the first place, since they live on a starship and rarely frequent developed planets. He insists that he would at least like the option.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: An artificial human is fitted with a neural stimulation device by a Mikkei soldier to get information from him. It acts by causing him to feel the pain of, say, having his finger cut off, with no actual damage, so his nanites won't be triggered.
  • Jerkass: Three is rude and obnoxious to everyone on the ship. His personality hasn't changed much from when he had his memories, though he was more of an asshole then than he is now. When he caught Five as a stowaway, he actually tried to throw her out an airlock, claiming later he was just trying to scare her.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In "Episode Seven", it turns out that Three had a stasis container with his terminally ill lover in the Vault, in order to keep her alive until a cure is found. Sadly, she dies at the end of the episode, but Three has become a much kinder person for having known her, as he refuses to let One blame himself for indirectly causing her death.
  • Just a Machine: Boone says this regarding androids, but is called out by Sarah (who exists only as a sentient digital avatar) and later apologizes to the Android over it.
  • Kangaroo Court: Ryo's trial in "Sometimes In Life You Don't Get to Choose" occurs before one of these. He isn't given counsel or allowed to examine any of the evidence against him. The outcome is naturally not in doubt, though he doesn't help things by an attempt to kill his stepmother (who is both his accuser and one of the judges).
  • Kill and Replace: "The Dwarf Star Conspiracy" has the crew find a Dwarf Star facility containing copies of various key figures in galactic politics, who Dwarf Star planned to replace with copies loyal to them. Furthermore, they were going to be sent while hosts to alien lifeforms, as preparation for a full-scale invasion.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Zigzagged: In gunfights, energy weapons appear to be slow, clunky and prone to fast charge depletion, so in "Episode Two", apart from Bubba, which Three soon has to throw away after it is depleted, everyone else just uses kinetic guns. In space, however, both lasers and conventional rockets are used, as are energy shields. Then in season 2 it zigs back again when it's shown that Bubba's fast depletion problem was the result of a defective battery, not a design problem.
  • Knight Templar: Chief Inspector Shaddick of the Galactic Authority’s Serious Crimes Division will let nothing get in the way of her making a case against Traugott Corp. for the destruction of Iriden 3, going so far as putting a gun to Five's head to get access to the Android's memories.
  • La Résistance: "Episode Six" shows that there's a resistance movement against the corporate-controlled Galactic Authority. Six used to be a member, but killed his comrades after their leader tricked them into blowing up a space station with over 10,000 civilians.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The crew don't remember who they are, but have their language ability, personalities and skill sets otherwise intact. One lampshades this, stating that if their minds had been completely wiped then they wouldn't understand the concepts of stasis, space, or even any language. Truth in Television, as the brain stores and recalls biographical memory (recollections of past events) separately from procedural memory (learned skills) and it is entirely possible in amnesia cases to lose access to one but not the other.
    • Played with in "It Doesn't Have to Be Like This" when Five's overuse of the memory-probing device prompts the Android to selectively erase some of her memories in order to preserve her brain's capacity for long-term memory.
  • Leave No Survivors: The standard MO of the Raza. They are so good at leaving no witnesses, that the name has become associated with aliens and other such phenomena.
  • Little Stowaway: How Five and the dead boy wound up on the Raza. They were homeless pickpockets living with a group of other kids on a space station when Five lifted a valuable key from a criminal. The gang wiped out their friends and critically injured the boy T.J. looking for it. They stowed away on the Raza to escape but Five was caught and her friend bled out in the cargo hold.
  • Living Lie Detector: The Android has this ability, but needs to be in close proximity to the person.
  • Loss of Identity: The crew agree that they are not defined by their past actions, as they don't remember any of them. They decide to instead use their skills and equipment for what feels right to them as they are now without those memories.
  • Lost Common Knowledge:
    • When Wendy starts speaking, they wonder about her accent. One of them looks at the pad and says her accent is set to "something called 'Aussie'."
    • Two and Nyx seem to be unaware of the fact that Earth is now better known as Terra Prime.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine:
    • When they are trying to explore the memories buried in Five's subconscious, Five becomes stuck inside and the rest of the crew are unable to revive her. When he follows her in, Six discovers that she is choosing to stay inside a good memory rather than come back to reality. Luckily Six is able to bring her out of it.
    • In season 3, this is used to to talk with Sarah, Marcus Boone's former lover, whose mental pattern Five copied from her damaged stasis pod and uploaded into the ship's computer.
    • Ferrous Corp uses one of these to try to get the location of the headquarters of the Independent Colonies out of Six's head.
  • Made a Slave: Discussed casually when Two, Three and Four revert to their former personalities in "I've Seen the Other Side of You". Three proposes selling Five and the other "intruders" into slavery to a black market mining operation. In "Wish I'd Spaced You When I Had the Chance" one of her abductors also proposes doing this to Five, as she had stabbed him during her escape attempt.
  • Magical Defibrillator: The Android uses an electrical shock from her hand to restart Six's heart after it's stopped by a bigger shock.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: The second episode features the main characters (of whom there are seven, counting the Android) defending a mining settlement against corporate goons.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Ferrous Corp tries this with the mining colony, intending to make it look as if a fusion reactor malfunction wiped out the colony. They get foiled by the crew.
  • Make Way for the New Villains: Ferrous Corp is the overarching villain for season 3. Come the finale, the aliens manipulate events so Ferrous has their secret shipyard destroyed in a Blink Drive overload, taking out their advantage while allowing the alien fleet a means to cross over from their universe.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Two, who alternates between flirting with One and then acting callous towards him.
  • Mega-Corp: The multi-corps are interstellar corporations with massive influence and resources, who don't hesitate to wipe out entire independent colonies if they feel like it.
  • Mental Space Travel: Transit Tech grows a clone with a three-day lifespan at your "destination" while you stay in stasis. When the clone reports back for "recycling" its memories are transmitted back to the original.
  • Mercy Kill: Four offers this to Two when she's infected with an incurable virus which will turn her into a Technically Living Zombie. She refuses, preferring to wait it out, and turns out to be fine.
  • Mexican Standoff: In the season 1 finale, One, Two, Three and Five get into one with each other, until Six locks them in and gasses them before turning them over to the GA.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Inverted in "Episode Six". When she is traversing her dreams, Five looks into a mirror to determine who she is meant to be in the dream, seeing their face instead of her own.
  • Missing Mom: Four was framed by his stepmother for the murder of his father. No mention is made of his mother though.
  • Mistaken for Gay: In "Episode Eight", One and Four have to follow Six through the Transit Tech service. The technician asks if they're a couple, to which One says no. Four asks if there's a discount then rolls with it when she says there is.
  • The Mole:
    • Turns out that Six betrayed the team to the Galactic Authority.
    • Arax Nero is working for the people who are after Five, which is why he facilitated the escape from Hyperion 8.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink:
    • One is the most vocal about them acting a moral course and virulently opposes returning to the criminal ways of their old lives.
    • Two is just as committed to changing her life as One is, but tempers it with pragmatism and the need to survive their immediate situations.
    • Three has no desire to change from being a mercenary-for-hire, and frequently proposes the most violent solutions to their problems and most selfishly profitable goals.
    • Four has the strongest sense of personal honor, but externally sides with Three, pointing out to the others that if it is ever in his interest (and honorable) to do so, he would simply take the ship for himself ( foreshadowing his theft of the Blink Drive in the season 2 finale).
    • Five is the most well-meaning and naive of the crew, unaccustomed to violence and hoping for a friendly solution to any problem.
    • Six is the most conflicted of the crew, unsure of how to reconcile his thoughts and desires with his history and his current status.
  • Mugging the Monster: In "We Voted Not to Space You", some thugs try to beat up the Android while she's undercover. They probably regretted the attempt once they woke up.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Misaki goes out of her way to kill Nyx, despite being ordered not to, out of jealousy because Ryo wants to marry Nyx.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When Six found out that he was unwittingly responsible for the death of 10,000 innocent people, it hit him so bad that he actually vomited his guts out right then and there.
  • My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: Wendy inadvertently helps Two understand how she really feels towards One.
  • Mysterious Waif: Five is the member of the crew with the oddest behavior and by the end of the pilot episode she's the only one of the crew whose true name and record remains unknown. It's eventually revealed she's a stowaway, though her real name and how she came to possess the memories of the crew are still a mystery in Season One. In Season Two, we learn her name is Emily Kolburn, and she's 16. Season 3 later reveals she has a long-lost sister.
  • Name Amnesia: The six original human Raza crew members have amnesia and have adopted numbers One through Six as their names. Most of them (except Five, the only one of the six who's not a wanted criminal) learn their names at the end of the first episode, but they continue using the numbers instead. Also, it turns out One is not actually Jace Corso; he doesn't learn his real name until later in the season.
  • The Nicknamer: Three keeps referring to his ship mates by snarky nicknames. Partially justified by the fact that nobody knows their real names.
  • Nintendo Hard: The video game played by Five and the boy in the time travel episode "Isn't That a Paradox", and later taken back by Five into the future, is apparently this. Despite the game shown being a mainstream console action RPG from the mid-2010s, which are generally designed to be impossible to lose even by casual gamers. (And the levels in this genre, if there are any at all, are changes in setting, not difficulty. Or if Character levels are meant, that's just a matter of time and grinding - there are no shortcuts, no matter how skilled a player is.) The dialogue makes it quite obvious the writer hasn't played video games since their own childhood in the 1980s.
    boy: "You're on level 8! I've had this game since Christmas and I only got as far as 5!"
  • Noble Fugitive: Four, aka Ryo Ishida was the crown prince of the Principality of Zairon, but now he is wanted for the assassination of his father the Emperor. Which was actually done by his stepmother.
  • No Body Left Behind: When an Expendable Clone dies the body disintegrates into a pile of dust.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: This is how One reacts to the Android trying out a bunch of new accents.
  • No Name Given: The Android "has no personal designation" and isn't given one.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The show is called "Dark Matter", but has nothing to do with the phlebotinum that scientists are currently trying to nail down in real life. It's a play on "gray matter" (a nickname for the human brain) going "dark" (losing memories) and the fact that it's a very cynical and dark "matter" (i.e. situation) the crew is in.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: The Blink Drive is a peculiar case. The reason why the bad guys are so desperate to get back the key that Five stole instead of simply making another is that they didn't develop the technology, they just stole the prototype, so they can't recreate it. And the last member of the team that created the Drive used a second copy to escape to the 21st century.
  • Notice This: After the introduction of disposable clones, whenever a major character dies the camera lingers on their dead body whether they're a clone or the real deal, just so the audience doesn't find a cutaway conspicuous.
    • This is subverted in season 3, when the General's body isn't shown after he's shot... But he has a large and conspicuous scar on his face that serves the same purpose.
  • No Warping Zone: The Eos-7 station is surrounded by a massive sphere of satellites that force ships out of FTL if they cross the boundary, leaving them at a distance of seven light-minutes from the station.
  • Nuke 'em:
    • In "Episode Ten", a Ferrous Corp warship fires a nuke at the Raza. It would have vaporized the ship, but Two had them close the distance so the warship would be in range of the blast and thus disarm the warhead to protect themselves.
    • In the Alternate Universe, the alternate Raza nukes a colony that doesn't acquiesce to their demands.
  • Oblivious to Love: Four has this problem. It leads to Nyx's death.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • "Episode Nine" ends with three Ferrous Corp destroyers surrounding the Raza.
    • "Episode Ten" ends with Two getting Thrown Out the Airlock.
    • "We Should Have Seen This Coming" has Hansmeed thinking he has Milo right where he wants him — then suddenly and wordlessly realizing that Milo still has a choice left.
    • "Sometimes In Life You Don't Get to Choose" has an even bigger one coming for Hansmeed... just before he's killed along with all the Seers and the Empress on Four's orders.
    • "But First, We Save The Galaxy" has Kierken see the station's reactor overload, with him standing right beside it. He gets a few precious seconds to let it sink in that he really should have listened to the Raza's crew's warning.
    • In "Isn't that a Paradox?", Professor Brofeed is introduced to "Elaine" and "Mitch". He has the appropriate shocked and terrified reaction when he recognizes Portia Lin and Marcus Boone. He's also from the future and knows exactly who they really are. A double dose, since he realizes this means someone else from the future has time travel capabilities.
    • Everyone's reaction when the Black Ships appear in the Season 3 finale.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Melanie Liburd puts on a good American/Canadian/whatever that is in the future accent, but her native English accent slips through occasionally.
  • Open Secret: The whole point of the multi-corps employing the Raza is plausible deniability, but even a bunch of miners in the ass-end of the galaxy know that "the Raza" are the deniable enforcers of the Corps.
  • Orbital Bombardment: In "Sometimes in Life You Don't Get to Choose", the Android threatens to do this to the capital of Zairon when the crew is captured, unless they're released. When it is pointed out that this would kill the crew and violate her imperative to protect them, she explains that she's been given orders to ignore that imperative and fires a few times to make it clear. The Empress tries to have one of them executed to call her bluff, but other forces intervene before that gets tested.
  • Perpetual Poverty:
    • In season 1 the crew has had money issues practically since the moment they came out of stasis. And all their attempts to remedy the situation only leave them worse off... at least until "Episode Seven", when the ship's vault reveals a stash of credits, guns, and other profitable goods.
    • In season 2 they go right back into poverty since all the stuff in their vault got impounded when the ship got taken by the Galactic Authority. They subsist on Five's secret emergency stash of cash.
  • Pet the Dog: In "Wish I'd Spaced You When I Had The Chance", Three tells Kierken the truth about the white hole bomb under duress, but a rescue by the crew allows him to destroy the recording Kierken made. Three could also kill Kierken, since he's an Expendable Clone in this instance, but decides to allow him to keep his memories since he would prefer knowing even if he has no proof.
  • Planetville: The ship's destination in the pilot, an independent mining colony. The only settlement on the planet is a small town.
  • Planet Terra: By the time the series is set, Earth is better known as Terra Prime. Dwarf Star Technologies maintains a facility there, but other than that there's little information on the planet's condition.
  • Playing Gertrude: In-Universe, Two pretends she's Five's mother, though the characters look around a decade apart at most (the actresses have only six years between them).
  • Plausible Deniability: This is the point of the Raza. If the corporations went in and murdered entire colonies, that would look bad, but the Raza are ghosts, so anything they do can just be billed as bad luck and the corporations move in unimpeded.
  • Poke the Poodle: When the Android tries to get herself arrested as part of a scheme, her "crimes" involve opening a secured door (but not going through it), threatening to open the same door again, and tossing a guard's hat. She finally gets taken in when she rips the guard's uniform.
  • Precision F-Strike: Dropped by Five of all people when she realizes that the malfunctioning Blink Drive threw them back in time in "Isn't That A Paradox?".
  • Psycho for Hire: The crew of the Raza are notorious for a Leave No Survivors approach to the jobs the corporations hire them for.
    • Ryo hires an entire ensemble of those to get rid of the Raza in Season 3.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: Three is infected with one of these in Season 2 episode "Going Out Fighting". It exists as a gaseous entity which can take over human hosts. "The Dwarf Star Conspiracy" reveals that it is from a race of interdimensional Starfish Aliens running the company from behind the scenes.
  • Quest for Identity: Pretty much the basis for the entire show. The crew awakens on a ship in space with no memories of their lives or identities, though they retain their skills. They have to work from there.
  • The Quiet One: Four barely says a word to the other characters. At multiple points the other characters comment on how little he speaks; Three says his silence makes what he does say all the smarter, and One talks about how you sometimes forget he is even there.
  • Red Herring: The advertisement Six sees for expendable clones seems to set up the reason why there are seemingly two Jace Corsos running around. It is soon after debunked when Jace informs his doppelganger that the latter couldn't be a clone due to Clone Degeneration setting in after three or four days.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: "Episode Eight" has the crew dining at a space station, trying to identify the meat. Two finally reveals that it's mealworm meat, as it's easier to source than livestock. One and Four are instantly turned off; Three just shrugs and continues eating.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Played with, since everybody starts out with amnesia and nobody remembers anybody. It turns out that Jace Corso was not originally a member of the Raza's crew, he was recruited for the mining colony job. And One is not the real Jace Corso, he's a physically-identical impostor who infiltrated the ship in Corso's place.
  • The Reveal: They come up fairly often. Word of God states that only two episodes in Season 1, Episode 2 and 4, come without them.
    • "Episode One" ends with the revelation that the protagonists are the crew of the Raza, wanted criminals.
    • "Episode Three" shows that someone else is the real Jace Corso (One).
    • "Episode Four" ends with the revelation that Four is really the crown prince of the Principality of Zairon and is wanted for the murder of his father, the Emperor.
    • "Episode Six" reveals snippets of several crew members. Six used to be a resistance member but left (and killed several of them) when he was tricked into bombing a space station. Five was a stowaway that Three nearly spaced. Four was framed by the Empress, who wanted to install his half-brother as Emperor and needed him out of the way.
    • "Episode Eight" shows us One's true physical appearance, when he gets cloned. He uses the genetic profile to uncover his true identity and motive for infiltrating the ship. He's a former corporate CEO named Derrick Moss whose wife was murdered. The prime suspect in her murder was Marcus Boone/Three.
    • "Episode Eleven" reveals that Two is an Artificial Human.
    • "Episode Twelve" reveals Two's creator, as well as the person behind him. Also, Five finds a recording that has Two and Four talking about killing someone on the crew once they have landed on the mining colony.
    • "Episode Thirteen" ends with everyone captured thanks to the actions of Six.
    • "She's One of Them Now" reveals the nature of the keycard Five stole. It's a piece of an experimental Blink Drive that can transport a ship anywhere in the galaxy instantly and fits to any standard FTL drive. In a setting where it can take weeks or months to reach a destination, this would make whatever side controlled it unbeatable. And now the crew of the Raza has the whole thing.
    • "Sometimes In Life You Don't Get To Choose" has a very subtle one: Five was the one who helped Portia make the modifications to the Android. This means that the time period between Boone discovering her on the ship and the memory wipe was far longer than previously implied and as Das she was actually a member of the crew pre-mindwipe.
    • "But First We Save The Galaxy" ends with Lt. Anders, Six's former GA partner, coming to rescue Three. Six shot Anders in "Kill 'Em All", with no hints as to his survival.
    • "Built, Not Born" ends with Dr Shaw and Victor recruiting Sarah, in her new android body, to join their android uprising that's been foreshadowed earlier in the episode.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The rebellion against the Galactic Authority is willing to blow up a space station full of civilians just to make a statement. Six and his cohorts were pissed when they found out, as they thought the job was merely to steal one of the Authority's starships. Worse yet, in Season 2 it is revealed that the Galactic Authority allowed the rebels to blow up their station in order to drum up support against the rebellion. In Season 3, "the General", the man responsible for the space station reappears and orders prisoners killed, justifying his actions before Six shoots him dead.
  • Ridiculous Future Sequelisation: Star Wars XXXVI is mentioned as a "classic" once.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: In "We Were Family", the Android runs into a group of renegade androids that can convincingly pass themselves off as human. They would be reset if anyone caught them. "Built, Not Born" reveals that the upgrade was created by Two's caretaker Dr Shaw, who built The Android in her likeness and sent her out to accompany Portia - also explaining the relationship between the two shown in "Stuff To Steal, People To Kill".
  • Saying Too Much: One of the things which tips off Six to the fact that he's in a simulation is Three knowing his wife's name, which he never told him.
  • Scifi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale: It takes this show an unusually long time to fall foul of this tropenote  in a particular egregious manner, but then the aliens in season 3 episode "The Dwarf Star Conspiracy" make it sound like the heat death of the universe is only little more than a billion years away. For comparison: Even the sun has still 3.5 billion years worth of fuel left before it'll go into a different phase of its existence that isn't so supportive of life in the solar system. And new stars are born all the time, including from old, exploded stars. It's estimated that it'll take about a hundred trillionnote  years until space expands too much to form new stars. Even if the aliens massively accelerate the entropy-accumulation / energy-diffusion in a universe somehow, "This universe is younger. We can feed off of it for over a billion years." still sounds just as ridiculous as Dr. Evil demanding a ransom of a million Dollars in the first Austin Powers film.
  • Seers: The Seers in "We Should Have Seen This Coming". Using a combination of drugs and a Hive Mind, they are able to process massive amounts of data from everywhere in the galaxy to predict the future with a reasonable degree of certainty. Even when not connected, they are able to predict the future, though not nearly as accurately. Their leader intends to kidnap more people to expand the Hive Mind and improve their abilities, with the ultimate goal of forming a fleet to take over the galaxy.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Not so much with the actual villains of the show (except Alicia Renaud), but while ruthless murderers Portia (during flashbacks during her days on the Raza) and alt!Portia, and newly-ethical Two all generally wear tight black outfits, the Portias still manage to dress considerably more revealingly (very low-cut shirts, boob windows, bared midriffs), to the point where you can easily tell who's shown during fake-outs by the amount of cleavage shown by the actress. Even the outfits of One / Corso try to encourage the Evil Is Sexy trope by having Corso wear guyliner and more leather, while One dresses fairly normally. Of course, the male version of this doesn't have the Unfortunate Implications that come with visual allusions to the Madonna–Whore Complex...
  • Servile Snarker: The Android chooses the middle of an attack to reveal this aspect of herself. She continuously tries to manage the ship with her neural link, and each time Two stops her and has her show how the task can be done manually. When Two tells her to defend the ship during an attack, the Android remarks on her previous requests.
    [Another ship has launched missiles at the protagonists' ship.]
    Android: Time to impact... 50 seconds.
    Two: What can we do?
    Android: The ship is also equipped with various countermeasures I can initiate. [Smiles] Would you like me to show you?
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: When the android Ruac gets severely damaged, one of these is activated to wipe his mind.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: During their trip to the Alternate Universe the crew become aware that the bombing of a corporate summit at Eos-7 started an all-out war between the corporations. Realizing that this war helped Zairon win its own war against Pyr, Ryo enacts a plan to make sure that Eos-7 is destroyed during the summit in the main reality as well.
  • Sex Bot: Wendy the entertainment android is programmed with a vast array of sexual techniques and even has interchangeable parts to accommodate those who prefer a male anatomy.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: The Android looks quite pretty in a dress. This is the crew's reaction later when she puts on normal clothes and lets her hair down to go undercover. The Android also enjoys it herself.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the pilot, Six hands Five a jacket that looks very much like Kaylee's.
    • In "Episode Six" The General is said to have returned to Arrakis Sadr to coordinate the next campaign.
    • In "Episode Eight" Five invites Six to watch Star Wars XXXVI.
    • In "Episode Nine" Three is shown reading Charlotte's Web.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: In "Kill Them All", Five gets her hands on Three's BFG and immediately puts it to good use.
  • Smoking Barrel Blowout: The Android does this after dual-wielding assault rifles to gun down a Ferrous Corp boarding party.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Played straight in the comic with Two being the only female crew member. Averted in the series where Five and the Android were gender flipped.
    • Almost inverted in the course of season 2, which killed off two male crew members and gave another a Face–Heel Turn, while adding another woman, so that by the end it was just 2 guys and 4 girls. And then season 3 temporarily had Six leave the crew, though it only lasted a few episodes. But generally, it's a more balanced 2 guys, 3 girls (or 3 guys, 4 girls) for most of season 3.
  • Space Clouds: Zairon has a research station hidden in a radioactive nebula that ships cannot stay in for prolonged periods.
  • Space Pirates: Several members of the Raza's crew are wanted for piracy charges by the Galactic Authority, but we haven't seen them engage in it yet.
  • Space Police: The Galactic Authority fulfills this role in colonized space. The Raza's crew is on their most wanted list.
  • Spiritual Successor: There's more than a few connections to Firefly, with similar character concepts (Three and Jayne, and Five is a combination of Kaylee and River), premises (crew of miscreants trying to make a living), and universe details (some Eastern influences and a massive galactic authority).
  • Stable Time Loop:
    • In "Isn't That a Paradox?", the crew travels back in time and have to reveal their identities to a group of kids. When they get back to the future, they learn that the descendant of one of those kids would invent the FTL drive, inspired by his tales of space travel.
    • In the same episode, a proximity alarm on the Marauder goes off, so Six goes to check it out and is arrested by the police, who have found the ship. In order to fix things, Five is able to jump back in time an hour using the Blink Drive, in the process triggering the alarm that will attract Six.
  • Standard Human Spaceship: All the ships in this setting tend towards this aesthetic in their design.
  • The Stoic: Four keeps his emotions under control at all times and his face never betrays any of them.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Six and One both try to convince the same Transfer Transit tech to bend the rules for them in order to "get back at the corporate big-wigs". The tech doesn't fall for it a second time, even finishing One's sentence for him when she realizes what he's trying to do.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: One is apparently killed by Jace Corso in "Welcome to Your New Home". An interesting example as both are played by the same actor, so it's only the character being written out. Jace Corso gets killed not long after, making it a straight example.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: How the crew defeats Ferrous Corp in the second episode; Two brings along two Mikkei Combine cruisers to face off the Ferrous Corp destroyer.
  • Superhuman Transfusion: In "Going Out Fighting", the crew needs to gain access to a new version of nanites developed by Dwarf Star Technologies. However, Rook was expecting the heist and has the nanites moved. Fortunately he left behind an Artificial Human infused with those nanites, so the crew is able to obtain a sample from that guy's bloodstream once they've killed him.
  • Surgical Impersonation: One is revealed to have taken the identity of a notorious criminal by changing his face with plastic surgery when he's captured by the same criminal. This is because he's looking for the man who killed his wife, whom he suspects to be part of the ship's crew.
  • Sweet Tooth: A characteristic shared by Two, Five and the Android. All three of them share a fondness for hot chocolate. Five in particular is prone to a) sulking and b) overpossessiveness when it comes to her favorite treats. She's not someone who likes to share her daily dose of sugar high!
  • Technically Living Zombie: In "Episode Five", the crew runs into a virus which was produced as a botched attempt by a pharmaceutical company to create an immortality serum. Instead, those it infects are turned homicidal and feed on their victims. The outbreak was so bad the entire planet where the research was done was put into permanent quarantine.
  • Temporal Paradox: Discussed in "Isn't That a Paradox?", where the crew are keen to avoid creating one after traveling back in time since they have no idea what will happen. The Android suggests the crew might simply cease to exist. The time-travelling scientist who brought them there by mistake is worried that a paradox could create a temporal rift that would have the approximate effect of dropping a nuke on the town.
  • Tempting Fate: "Hot Chocolate" ends with the Android saying "I have a good feeling about this" during a test of the FTL engine. Cue an overload and a pulse which knocks her and the rest of the crew unconscious.
  • That Man Is Dead: The crew's reaction to finding out all that all of them except Five were ruthless mercenaries is to reject their past identities and even names and to make new ones utilizing their retained skills for good. Two is the most vocal about it, saying not to even call her by her old name.
  • There Are No Coincidences: When a malfunction drops the ship out of FTL and just so happens to strand it in the middle of a supernova's gamma ray bombardment, the crew is certain it was sabotage. Turns out it really was a malfunction.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In "Going Out Fighting", Four shoots an Artificial Human several times, including in the head, then drives his sword through the man's skull just to make sure his nanites can't revive him.
  • They Were Holding You Back: Misaki cites this as her reason for killing Nyx, since Ryo's attachment to his former crew is a liability he'll have to deal with eventually.
  • Three-Point Landing: Two does it after artificial gravity kicks back in after being strained by an evasive maneuver in the first episode. The rest of the crew wasn't nearly so graceful, but then they hadn't been warned about it.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock:
    • It happens to Two in "Episode Ten". She survives, and does it to Wexler in the next episode.
    • Pre-amnesia, after Three discovered Five stowing away, he was about to do this to her. Six stopped him, and he claimed he wasn't actually going to go through with it.
    • In "But First, We Save the Galaxy", this happens to an android by his own hand to get rid of a bomb that had been hidden in his body.
    • Later, Portia and Marcus eject every prisoner being held on a transport into space, as they're useless to them.
  • Time Travel: In "Isn't That a Paradox?", the crew travels back in time due to an unexpected glitch in the Blink Drive. They pal around suburbia for a little bit and accidentally inspire the invention of the FTL drive.
  • Title Drop: Every episode from season 2 onward is named after a line in the episode, though void of context it often ends up being misleading.
  • Torture Always Works: Zigzagged. A mook being interrogated by Four warns that torture won't work, drawing on personal experience. Four shoots back that it's cathartic nonetheless, and he does get the intelligence he wanted.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The end of "My Final Gift to You" has Two about to execute Ryo, which the next episode preview blatantly reveals she won't go through with.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: What One, Three, Four and Six are forced to do with the miner colonists when the ship jumps to FTL without them.
  • Trojan Horse: An old enemy of the crew arranged for them to get their hands on Wendy the entertainment android so she could take over the Raza and fly it into a star.
  • Twinmaker: Transfer Transit makes a clone with a three-day lifespan on another planet and at the end of that span the clone's memories are sent back to the original.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: The first season finale reveals Six was collaborating with the Galactic Authority, flanked by one of the General's revolutionaries from "Episode Eight" in a GA uniform. Season Two reveals he was a GA officer the entire time, undercover among the Raza crew.
  • Unobtainium: The terrium that the settlers in the pilot episode mine to support their colony.
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: In "Going Out Fighting", Two is pitted against Dwarf Star's newest iteration of Artificial Human. She loses badly, but her friends show up and gun the guy down.
  • Uriah Gambit: Two figures that the salvage job in "Episode Five" was this. She presumes their handler was paid off by Ferrous Corp. to take them out, and he intended for them to die on the ship since he never informed them of the plague it carried. On the off chance they succeeded, the data and/or samples would have been extremely valuable. He never anticipated that they'd survive and scuttle the ship, though, so now they have a reason to want him dead.
  • Used Future: The colony from the pilot looks basically like a twenty-first century warehouse/factory. Their fusion reactor is also forty years old, replacement parts are hard to get, and it is thus very vulnerable to the planned Ferrous Corp. attack.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: At the end of "We Were Family", the head of Ferrous Corp. warns that a war is coming, and that the crew of the Raza have something that can win it. It's not explained what will start this war.
  • Villain Team-Up: In "Sometimes in Life You Don't Get to Choose", the Seers ally with the Empress in an attempt to get Nyx back and eliminate the crew of the Raza. Instead, both parties end up dead when they're outgambitted by the crew.
  • Villain's Dying Grace: When Ryo thinks he'll be executed, he tells Two that she has a daughter as a means of apologizing for all the trouble he caused.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: It looks like One and Three are headed here. They can't stand each other and don't trust each other but they get paired off a lot and haven't turned on each other yet. This despite Three knowing that One is not the real Jace Corso. He uses it to blackmail One but doesn't tell when his bluff is called. Ultimately, their differences cause them to turn on each other instead of bonding.
  • Void Between the Worlds: In the season 3 premiere, a botched attempt to use the Blink drive on an entire station strands the crew and the station they're on in a pocket of null space which is slowly collapsing.
  • Wall of Weapons: Three has a modest one in his room (two rifles, a shotgun and a pistol case). Four has one full of bladed weapons.
  • Wardens Are Evil: The warden of Hyperion 8 is thoroughly corrupt and in the pockets of the corporations.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Episode Ten": The ship is taken over and Two is airlocked.
    • "Episode Thirteen": Six betrays the team.
    • "Sometimes In Life You Don't Get A Choice": Four takes back the throne of Zairon...and kills off everybody, including his stepmother and half-brother.
    • "But First, We Save The Galaxy": Four steals the Blink Drive and destroys the station hosting the corporate summit, Nyx may be dead by poison, and the fates of Two, Three, Five, and Six are all up in the air since they were last seen on the station.
    • "The Dwarf Star Conspiracy": Starfish Aliens from another universe are extremely close to coming through to this galaxy where they have already set up accomplices and have an ally in Dwarf Star Technologies that has secretly sent out Simulants to infiltrate all the other corporations. They plan on coming through, infiltrating all sides, and then wiping out humanity and almost no one knows they exist so it would be hard to fight back against their schemes. Anyone anywhere could actually be an alien in disguise fulfilling their goals.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The season one finale has the crew being dragged off by the GA one by one, except Six, who orchestrated their capture for reasons unknown.
    • The second season premiere ends with One apparently being shot dead by Jace Corso.
    • The Season Three Finale ends with a inter-dimensional portal opening up and a fleet of "The Black Ships" coming out of it.
  • "What Do They Fear?" Episode: "Take the Shot". Two, Three and Four are forced to face their greatest doubts and fears.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Four has one that framed him for his own father's murder.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: In "I've Seen the Other Side of You", Two (currently reverted to Portia Lin thanks to some memory shenanigans) gains access to a direct neural link to the ship. She immediately describes it as a rush of power, but the Android warns that insanity and brain damage will soon follow if she doesn't terminate it.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: In the Season 1 finale Six puts himself to sleep with a drug even though he's the one who has been knocking out the rest of the crew in order to make it easier for the GA to arrest them.
  • Wrench Wench: Five is extremely proficient in mechanics and enjoys working with wires, circuits and fuses. She is later revealed to be a decent programmer.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: This is the result when the crew of the Raza go up against their counterparts from the Alternate Universe. They know each other so well they keep anticipating each other's moves.
  • You Are Number 6: Because the crew doesn't remember their real names they call each other by the order in which they woke up. The only exception to this is the Android. After The Reveal, they decide to keep the numbers to separate them from their former identities.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Thanks to the Android jumping through time and getting glimpses of the future, Five assumes that anyone she saw in those events that haven't happened yet must survive for those events to take place. The others aren't as confident time is immutable.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Most of Five's hair is dyed a bright teal color.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Non-verbal example. In "Wish I'd Spaced You When I Had The Chance", Three tells Kierken the truth about the white hole bomb when he promises not to shoot down the Marauder. Kierken orders it shot down anyway. Fortunately, Five had sabotaged the missile launcher beforehand, so it's his forces that take the hit.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: The crew wake up in stasis chambers on a ship without any memory of who they are or why they're there.

Alternative Title(s): Dark Matter


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