- Acting for Two: Marc Bendavid plays both One and Jace Corso, the sociopathic career criminal whose appearance One copied through Surgical Impersonation. One's former self, Derrick Moss, is played by Dan Jeannotte instead. An interesting case where technically Marc Bendavid's face is Jace Corso's face, but he spends the vast majority of his screentime playing One, the imposter, and only occasionally appears as Corso, the person whose face it really is, a Soft-Spoken Sadist with Lack of Empathy. So most of the time that we're seeing Corso's face and hearing his voice they're on someone who's doing and saying humane, friendly things Corso would never say or do, and making expressions like genuinely warm smiles and Puppy-Dog Eyes that he would never make. Jeannotte appears as One's original face only in "Episode Eight".
- Technically Acting for Three, as Bendavid also plays the Alternate Universe Corso in a parallel dimension where the crew's memories were never wiped - at least, his evil behavior seems more consistent with an AU Corso than an AU Moss, though this isn't 100% confirmed.
- Melissa O'Neil and Anthony Lemke play both the Two and Three of the primary universe and the evil, non-mindwiped Portia Lin and Marcus Boone of the Alternate Universe. Supporting characters Wexler (Ennis Esmer), Tash (Jessica Sipos) and Commander Truffault (Torri Higginson) also have Alt versions who appear.
- As revealed in "Built, Not Born", the Android was made in the image of Dr Irena Shaw, inventor of the modern android, who was Two's lover back when the latter went by her original name, "Rebecca". The Android was originally created to be a new body for Dr Shaw to survive her terminal illness, but Shaw decided not to go through with it. Another example of Acting for Three, as there is also the Alt Android with the Alt Raza crew. All are played by Zoie Palmer. And if the Alt Shaw ever appeared, it would be Acting for Four.
- Kyle Mac plays the android Arrian in the Season 2 finale "But First We Save the Galaxy", who performs a Heroic Sacrifice, and then Chase in Season 3's "Built, Not Born", another android of the same model.
- Acting in the Dark: In the first season finale, one of the team turns out to be The Mole for the Galactic Authority. The cast was not told who this was — even in the script stage (which solely referred to "the mole") until being informed by showrunner Joseph Mallozzi just before they shot the final scene. The video of them finding out can be found on Mallozzi's Youtube here.
- Dawson Casting: Five says a fifteen-year old boy is around her age in Season One, and Season Two reveals that she is 16. The actress playing her, Jodelle Ferland, was in her early 20s during the run of the show.
- Dueling Works: With Killjoys. Interestingly, fans of both franchises strongly associate their show with that of the other, especially given the similar settings (interstellar; corporate-controlled; big wealth disparities), the adjacent occupations for the protagonists (mercenaries in Dark Matter vs bounty hunters in Killjoys), and the fact that they premiered on Syfy at the same time and aired on the same nights until Dark Matter was cancelled after its third season. There were even those within both fandoms who were hoping for a crossover at some point in the future, which the showrunners, who were friends, considered doing.
- Dyeing for Your Art: Jodelle Ferland cut and dyed her hair teal for the role of Five. According to her, one of the reasons was to make Five more visually distinct from Melissa O'Neil's Two.
- Edited for Syndication: Dark Matter airs in an 8pm timeslot in the UK, before the Watershed, so there are some cuts. The uncut version airs later in the evening.
- Executive Meddling: Joseph Mallozzi has stated that killing off One at the start of Season 2 was not his creative decision at all; one or more of the network execs saw that the Anyone Can Die trope had worked for Game of Thrones and directed them to kill off One because he was the first-billed character.
- Fake Mixed Race: Inverted. Karl Ang, who is mixed race, plays Ishida Hiro, the son of two Asian characters.
- Genderblind Casting: Although all three had been male in the graphic novel, the roles of Four, Six and the Android were open for both men and women to audition for. Melissa O'Neil auditioned for both Two and Four before getting a callback for Two. Four and Six ultimately remained male with the casting of Alex Mallari Jr and Roger Cross, while the Android was Gender Flipped when Zoie Palmer was cast.
- Playing Against Type: While Five is somewhat odd and enigmatic to begin with, she's ultimately far more wholesome and normal than the Creepy Child and Enfant Terrible roles that Jodelle Ferland has been known for, such as Alessa in Silent Hill, Young Adria in Stargate SG-1 and two different examples in Supernatural.
- Production Posse: It's not unusual for David Hewlett and Torri Higginson to show up in Mallozzi productions, after playing main roles on Stargate Atlantis. Here they play the crew's handler Tabor Calchek and Commander Truffault of the Mikkei Combine, respectively. Also Amanda Tapping directed "Episode Four" and "Welcome to Your New Home".
- Real-Life Relative: Although their characters don't interact, Shaun Sipos, who plays medic & short-lived crewmember Devon, and Jessica Sipos, who plays Dark Action Girl Tash, are brother and sister.
- Screwed by the Network: Par for the course for a Syfy show, it was canceled a week after the third season finished airing despite maintaining its audience numbers from the previous season. According to creator and showrunner Joseph Mallozzi in an interview, the show was passed over by the Los Angeles branch of Syfy but given the greenlight by the New York branch. And it was licensed from Prodigy Pictures in Canada, not a Syfy Original, so Syfy couldn't make a profit on merchandising or on international distribution. After watching it outperform much of the LA branch's original programming, once the person in New York who had kept greenlighting Dark Matter left for another job, the show was unceremoniously tossed out. So in fact, it was screwed over for being too well-liked by the audience, and thus taking attention away from the Syfy Originals that could make the network more money.
- Star-Making Role: For Melissa O'Neil, for whom Two was her first role in a scripted television series after winning Canadian Idol and acting on Broadway.
- Suppressed Mammaries: Jodelle Ferland is supposed to be a teenager, and thus she is always padded down and costumed in baggy, concealing clothing to disguise her larger breasts.
- Typecasting: As he noted in an interview, Marc Bendavid's past roles were largely either the romantic lead/Nice Guy, or the "baby-faced killer"/unexpected murderer as in Bitten. On this show, he got to play both types.
- What Could Have Been:
- The original plan, developed around the graphic novel before the series aired, was for a dark future for practically all the main characters:
- Four, after regaining his memories, becoming Emperor of Zairon and turning against the crew, would have been gently executed by Two taking him to a planet with a thin atmosphere (which wouldn't be a problem for her), where they would spend his last moments on a beach in a call back to his childhood memories with his half-brother Hiro. His corpse would have mysteriously disappeared from the planet, though. Originally, there would have been more focus on Ryo and Hiro's relationship, and Hiro's death during Ryo's coup would have been accidental.
- Six would have ultimately been unable to come to terms with his guilt over having betrayed the crew and the destruction of Hyadum-12, and would have chosen to remain behind with a new identity and set of recollections on a planet where the people selectively change their own memories. Making him the only adult human crewmember with a more or less happy ending.
- Two would have killed Alexander Rook and taken down Dwarf Star Technologies but at the expense of her own life, as her internal power core ran out and she was left still and lifeless (her original concept was more biomechanical).
- One and Three would have gone out together taking down the Ferrous Corp home offices, in a callback to the "blaze of glory" scene from "Episode 2". Either would have had the chance to save themselves by abandoning the other, but chosen not to. The developing Vitriolic Best Buds relationship between One and Three was originally supposed to "form the core of the series".
- The Android would have succumbed to the AI equivalent of dementia. Her arc would have been bookended with Five reading the same bedtime story to her that she had once read to Five early on in the series (in the original concept where Five was younger).
- Five would have been left alone on the ship. Originally, the series would have ended there with a shot of her on the bridge all by herself, but even then showrunner Joseph Mallozzi had a backup plan to suggest a less depressing ending by possibly putting an additional scene up for viewing on the Internet which would show Five being awakened by a hologram of the Android. Five had gone into stasis after programming the ship to find out whether the rest of the crew were really as lost as they seemed, and the hologram would inform her that while it could not answer that question, it had brought her to a place called the Tesseract that potentially could.
- According to Mallozzi, the future glimpsed by the Android in "All the Time in the World" was basically this dark timeline. However, the future she'd seen could still be averted, and he had come to believe that a less Downer Ending was more appropriate, though he won't yet share what the new ending he came up with is.
- Way back in Season One, Mallozzi indicated that Ruby Rose could possibly appear again in a future season.
- An episode late in the first season would have featured voiceovers from the crew hinting at backstory and future plot elements for Season Two. As seen in this video posted by Mallozzi on Youtube the cast recorded the voiceovers, but they were ultimately cut:Two: I promised I'd go back for him. (Kryden.)
Six: They're asking around, looking for someone called Titch. (Three's original gang in "We Were Family".)
Three: Her husband set me up. (About the Catherine Moss storyline; Three or Boone - Mallozzi hadn't nailed down the timeline placement - thinks Derrick Moss set him up when he says this.)
One: And he has a lead on a scientist who could save her life. (Two's nanite glitches. Originally, One would have still been around.)
Four: Her name was Misaki, and she meant the world to me. (Four's childhood friend Misaki, apparently not so unrequited in this version.)
- Commander Truffault was originally going to be killed by Wexler's crew when they turned on the Raza.
- The plan was for Amanda Tapping, who directed the second season opener, to also play One's lawyer Felicia; however, she could not fit in taking the role with her prep work for going behind the camera.
- In an earlier version of the script for "Welcome to Your New Home", Felicia was in One's hotel room when Corso came in and he shot her as well, and Corso had a Circling Monologue about everyone thinking they're the hero of their own movie and The Hero never dying before shooting One (which was a bit meta). In an even earlier plan, One's seeming death would have been in a shuttle explosion, but it would have turned out to be Corso who died.
- A scene was cut from "We Were Family" that showed Five had a crush on Devon, and another where Four contemplates his stored neural imprint and the Android asks him about when he first started to dream - since people without memories to process can't have dreams - and he admits that a couple days after they awoke from stasis he started having a recurring dream about waking up in the pod and being unable to get out.
- As noted above, One was never originally meant to be killed off. If not for this Executive Meddling, he was planned to still be a crewmember in Seasons Two and Three, and would have helped orchestrate the crew's escape in "Kill Them All" and rejoined them. There would have been a confrontation between him and Three where they realized that Marcus Boone did not kill Catherine Moss, that Darius van Hoeven was responsible for the hit and the frame job, and that Derrick Moss had been the actual intended target. Then they would have teamed up to take van Hoeven down.
- The showrunners of Dark Matter and Killjoys (being friends, whose shows have a similar tone and aired on the same night) discussed the possibility of a crossover where the Raza ended up in the Killjoys universe through a wormhole and inadvertently caused some trouble, leading to the Killjoys team being given a bounty on the crew, but it ultimately didn't materialize.
- The reason the character of Adrian Maro, Tabor Calchek's assistant who took over his role as a handler for mercenaries when the Corporate War broke out and the latter went into hiding, was introduced in Season Three was because David Hewlett wasn't available to reprise his role. Otherwise, it would have been Calchek who was on the Raza (with Solara Shockley as his bodyguard) for a few episodes of the season rather than Adrian.
- As Joe Mallozzi was never happy about the forced killing-off of One (in fact, he identified it as his biggest regret about the show when asked what that was in a fan Q&A), he had a plan to return him to the series, albeit as a recurring ally using his position as head of CoreLactic to help the crew. One actually faked his death using a non-dissolving clone (hence his looking nervous and saying, "I'm ready" before answering the door) and was actually the one who hired Jace Corso to kill "him" (without Corso's knowledge, obviously) so that Darius van Hoeven would assume he was out of the picture. His company, CoreLactic, had developed the technology to create these "locked" clones.
- An episode in Season Three would have involved the Alt-universe Jace Corso and ended with a scene showing One in stasis being moved to a secure location by his lawyer Felicia (Marc Bendavid's prominence in the episode as Alt Corso disguising the fact that he was going to be in it as One too at the end, since he would of course have to be billed as a special guest star). However, Marc Bendavid was unavailable to film with his schedule, so the episode was pushed to Season Four, and the time travel episode "Isn't That a Paradox?" was made instead. Then the show was cancelled.
- This would have been foreshadowed in Season Four by Lt Anders seeing the General in a G.A. lockup even though he didn't dissolve when he was killed in Season Three.
- Syfy canned the series after three seasons out of a planned five (like Babylon 5, Dark Matter was planned from the beginning to have a five-season arc), ending it on a Cliffhanger of alien spaceships emerging from a tear in spacetime.
- One thing Mallozzi wanted to do (if Season 4 had gone forward) was have Robert Picardo play the avatar of the invading alien species. Another was to have the actors who played the original SG-1 (i.e. Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge and Michael Shanks) guest star as another infamous team of mercenaries the Raza crew would meet.
- An outright crossover between Stargate and Dark Matter via the Blink Drive came very close to being made at MGM post-cancellation when MGM's new streaming service Stargate Command was launched.
- Virtual Season Four on Mallozzi's blog shows what was meant to happen in the first three episodes of the season:
- The alien possessing Two would have been ejected by electric shock. However, because Two is a simulant and her body is designed to host the alien invaders, it would have taken a lot more than it did with Three in Season Two, so Alt Wexler would have volunteered because Five (who was temporarily in command of the Raza), the Android and Ryo didn't want to torture her. While possessed, Two would have had dreams about an idyllic existence on the planet where she had left her daughter in the care of a close but platonic friend, Kryden, a fellow Phlebotinum Rebel. In his case, he had been one of a group of (visibly) cybernetic soldiers called the Accelerated. The planet has a unique meteorological phenomenon which would serve as a clue to its location after Two awoke.
- Alt Portia would have brought Three to a planet where Alt Boone had his stash in order to raid it for useful items, since she was ditching Boone whose growing alcoholism made him a liability, using Three's knowledge of himself to get past the security systems. Triggering an alarm would have brought Boone there, and Three would have tricked Portia and Boone into being locked in the vault while he escaped back to the Raza.
- G.A. Lt Anders, Wexler and Three would have stolen the actual white hole bomb and used it to destroy the gateway the Black Ships were coming through. Several of the alien ships would be destroyed while others escaped out into the galaxy. Meanwhile, Six and Alt Tash would have formed an Enemy Mine to escape the alien dimension and saved each other's lives in the process. Wexler would have joined the Raza as the Token Evil Teammate on a probational basis while Tash left, now on fairly good terms and in command of the Alt crew's Ishida cruiser and the Alt Android.
- In the third episode, Five would have made contact with her sister, Carina, Alicia Reynaud's adopted daughter. While Carina would have claimed she wanted to leave Reynaud Enterprises and join Five on the Raza, it would have turned out to be a triple cross where Reynaud was using Carina against the crew, but Carina would kill her mother and offer Five We Can Rule Together, then try to kill her when she refused, take control of Reynaud Enterprises and blame Alicia's murder on the Raza crew.
- Meanwhile, Ryo would refuse Teku's entreaties that he return to the throne of Zairon and decide to let the Android reset him to Four using his neural imprint from the last time he used Transfer Transit pre-Ryo (in Season Two, "She's One of Them Now"). Four would grapple with the guilt of learning he betrayed the crew and indirectly caused Nyx's death, even though he couldn't remember it anymore, and would start slipping up and cutting himself during sword practice in an apparent form of Self-Harm.
- The third episode ends with Lt Anders contacting the crew to offer them a deal. This would have been that they become official agents of the G.A. in exchange for their criminal records being wiped clean, with Anders as their contact.
- Eventually, following the episodes shown so far in Virtual Season Four, Alt Wexler would have cemented his place on the crew by tricking Alexander Rook while the Raza were transporting him to G.A. custody for interrogation about the aliens (while Two would much rather kill the blackguard). Wexler would have manipulated Rook into revealing that the important information was all in an implant in his spinal column, and Two would have delivered the G.A. the implant and some surrounding gray matter. (She finally killed him.)
- Alt Portia would have revealed a softer side at the prospect of reuniting with her daughter and Dr Shaw. The crew would have found the planet where Kryden and Two's daughter were living, but Kryden would have initially thought Two was an imposter and fought with her because she didn't know the password pre-mindwipe Portia left him with. (Taking these two tidbits from Mallozzi together, they probably would have needed Alt Portia to reveal the password.)
- There would have been another time travel episode involving Prof Brophey, the scientist who invented the Blink Drive, who eluded the crew in "Isn't That a Paradox?". This time they would have gone to the 1950s.
- There were "big plans" for Solara Shockley to appear again in Season Four.
- Mallozzi also indicated, when asked, that a Body Swap episode was a possibility in the future.
- Season Four would have focused on the Raza, the G.A., the independent worlds and the corporations all fighting the alien invasion. A method developed to detect alien-possessed simulants would have had the side effect of also exposing the androids who were hiding amongst humans. There would have been an incident where Sarah, in her new android body, rescued Three from a dangerous situation but displayed a level of cruelty against their antagonists that shocked him, causing him to reject her, which would embitter her against humanity. The android liberation movement would have split into two factions, a more moderate one led by Dr Shaw and a more violent one led by Sarah. Ultimately, Sarah's android faction would have expelled the aliens from the galaxy but also overcome Dr Shaw's faction. Season Five would then have focused on the android rebellion, with Sarah as the final Big Bad of the series.
- Victor would have died at some point while androids were being exposed. That's whom the Android was crying about in one of her flashforwards in "All the Time in the World". (While using the upgrade), she and Three would have drowned their respective sorrows and ended up sleeping together, with morning-after regret. Also, the people who had captured her for information on the Android Liberation Front in one of her other flashforwards were Electus Corp, the ones responsible for the Seers.
- Cyrus King, the old enemy of the crew who sent them Wendy the Trojan entertainment android from "Episode Seven", would have appeared in Season Five, as would the Accelerated.
- The original plan, developed around the graphic novel before the series aired, was for a dark future for practically all the main characters:
- Word of God: Showrunner Joseph Mallozzi's blog often serves additional explanations, like the convoluted role of Six in the Season 1 finale or the Deleted Scene from episode 1x13 that explained how One got the sun pendant from the first episode.
Dark Matter (2015)
aka: Dark Matter