Dark Matter

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Dark Matter TV Poster Image
Mysterious sci-fi thriller full of guns and surprises.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Cooperation and the sanctity of human life are stressed. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters boast good racial, ethnic, and gender diversity but all are complicated, with mixed motives. Women are in positions of power alongside men. 


Guns are near-omnipresent on-screen, including futuristic weapons that emit waves of energy. Many violent scuffles; people are thrown against walls. Violence may be scarier for young viewers as soundtrack amps up scary noises and setting is dark, shadowy, and menacing. 


Flirting; passing, mild references to sex. 


Four-letter words infrequently: "hell," "s--t." Gendered cursing: women called "bitches," a man called "pretty boy." 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the comics-based Dark Matter is a tense sci-fi thriller set on a mysterious spaceship. The setting may alarm young viewers: It's shadowy and menacing with weird light and shadow; noises on the soundtrack are metallic rasps and unnerving echoes. Futuristic guns are fired often; there's martial-arts-style fighting including swordplay; and an android's hand is severed (bloodlessly) on-screen. Expect cursing such as four-letter words ("hell," "s--t") and gendered cursing such as "bitches" and "pretty boy," as well as some flirting and passing references to sex. Kids who love dark sci-fi will enjoy the show, but others may find it a bit of a yawn. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bychristianfreiss September 21, 2020

Overall Disappointing

If you want to sample the series, I’d say the best episodes are "We Voted Not to Space You", "Isn't That a Paradox?", and "The Dwa... Continue reading
Adult Written bycubicinfinity December 31, 2019

I enjoyed it

It's too bad it got cancelled. As for the content, here's what you need to know: The first season has a fair amount of sexual content. Both the first... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byfreshfruit July 21, 2020

was ok until it got weird...

there was some pretty sexual stuff and i just couldn't keep watching it when in the middle of this one episode it went too far and i had to turn it off
Teen, 13 years old Written byiiTrxshAxel May 30, 2020

Really good sci-fi show

This is a really good show. It’s about these people who woke up on a spaceship with no memories. What you have to watch out for:
Blood/gore, a few sex reference... Continue reading

What's the story?

At the opening of Syfy's series DARK MATTER, six strangers wake up on a spaceship with no idea who they are or why they're there. They name themselves after the order in which they wake. Fearful One (aka Jace Corso, played by Marc Bendavid), icily composed Two (aka Portia Lin, played by Melissa O'Neil), brash Three (aka Marcus Boone, played by Anthony Lemke), mysterious Four (aka Ryo Tetsuda, played by Alex Mallari Jr.), young empath Five (aka Das, played by Jodelle Ferland), and cheerful Six (aka Griffin Jones, played by Roger Cross) are slowly starting to put the pieces together, alternately hampered and assisted by the on-ship android (Zoie Palmer). The ship is on course to land on a nearby planet soon. Who's there? What's their business on the planet? And why are they under attack from unknown predators? 

Is it any good?

Adapted from a fiercely beloved comic book, this series boasts a cool, innovative gimmick: The characters are as lost as new viewers. We're all figuring out together what's going on and all surprised by sudden plot twists and turns. The intriguing premise is matched by interesting characters, each with his or her own backstory that will slowly be teased out. It's all quite immersive stuff, with a few major flaws. One is the familiar character of Three, who's playing a classic sci-fi trope: He's Han Solo, he's Chris Pratt from Guardians of the Galaxy, he's Bill Paxton in Aliens. You know the guy.

The other flaw is the less-than-creative setting, all cramped corridors lit with strips of colored neon. Really? Presumably hundreds of years into the future and neon is the best we can find? Sigh. More tropes include women in revealing adventurer gear (hi, Lara Croft!) and computer systems pulled straight from every space movie you've ever seen. Dark Matter actually has an innovative plot; it's just that the creators have marooned stock characters and a clichéd setting within it. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Dark Matter is adapted from a popular comic book. What other shows or movies were originally comic books? How is this show alike or different from the others you've seen? 

  • What clues are you given as to the show's time frame? How do dramas communicate the year in which they take place? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sci-fi

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