So, recently, a beloved show of mine, Dark Matter, was canceled by the SyFy Network. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you may recall that I posted about my absolute adoration of the show & reviewed Seasons 1 & 2 here. After seeing season 3, I can tell you the show just got better. It was obviously building and leading to the last 2 seasons (which the creator of the show, Joseph Mallozzi, has had planned from the beginning). Unfortunately, the show went out on a massive cliffhanger, with lots of threads left hanging, mostly due to business decisions made by SyFy (the full scoop can be found on Mallozzi’s blog here).
Before I get into how this cancellation has made me realize how wonderful fandom can be at its best, I’m going to tell you a little bit about the show. In the initial episode, six people and one android awaken from stasis on a space ship. They have no idea who they are nor do they have any memories about their former lives. They decide to figure it out, and name themselves numbers in the order they woke up in (e.g. One was the first guy awake, Two woke up next, etc.). By the end of the first episode, they know who at least some of them are, and the revelation isn’t exactly a welcomed one. From there on out, they have to decide how to navigate the universe, their pasts, and their relationships with each other. Their new personalities grow and change throughout the course of the show, and forming family outside of the bonds of blood becomes a major theme. While there’s lots of great character building, there are also amazing action sequences, space ship battles, corporate intrigue, political intrigue, etc. While I’ve been recently rewatching on Netflix, I’ve come to appreciate the hints I can find in seasons one and two about the things I know have now happened in season three, and I yearn for someone to pick up the show so that the master plan can be realized.
So, before you ask, I know I’m waxing poetic about a show that just got canceled. You may be wondering why that is. Well, I’m going to tell you about a dedicated fan base. As soon as the show was canceled, Twitter erupted in RAGE. Mostly at Syfy. There were a lot of people who wanted to see how the show ended and who, like me, were definitely not ready to say goodbye to these characters. SyFy denied the creators any chance at realizing that through them. So, we have rallied. There’s a coordinated Twitter campaign happening right now. For four nights last week, fans rallied around specific hashtags for at least an hour, causing said hashtags to trend. On Friday night, there were well over 100,000 tweets on the designated hashtag, and it trended in the US and internationally. Many of us were put in Twitter jail (where you can’t send Tweets if you’ve tweeted too much in a set time frame–I went twice!). The campaign is aimed at making noise so that another provider may consider picking it up (Netflix, Hulu, etc.). The best part?? IT’S WORKING. Per posts from Mallozzi’s blog, people are interested in the show, not due in small part to the HUGE fan response. This goes to show that people en masse can accomplish things. Even if it winds up being for naught (which I fervently hope it isn’t), I feel good that we’ve fought as hard as we can for this show and its cast and crew. I mean, not only is the show fantastic, it features kick-ass female characters who do not compromise, and features a more diverse cast than most shows on television at this point.
Furthermore, not only have the fans been amazing, the cast and writers have also joined in and lent their support during the Twitter fests. They’re just as active as us, and are involved with us the whole time, Tweeting, retweeting, commenting, etc. I know their jobs are at stake, but this goes beyond that. They actually appreciate the fandom in a way few casts do, and have been this involved from Day 1, frequently live Tweeting episodes along with us, sharing fan art they think is cool, going to cons to meet us. For me, this involvement on the part of those who work on the show is a large part of why I want to see this show saved. The show itself is wonderful, but I really feel the cast and crew deserve to finish telling their story and deserve all of the good things that life can bring them.
This has also provided me with lots of thoughts about the nature of fandom. Mainly, how can we harness the power of fandom to make real change in the world? Provide relief to those who need it? I’m not sure yet, but I’ve been considering it a lot. First stop, get Dark Matter renewed…next stop: save the world?
If you haven’t seen Dark Matter yet, you can check it out on Netflix. If you’re interested in helping the show find a new home, follow @DarkMatterFTL on Twitter for information/tips about the Twitter blitzes and tweet casually throughout the week, making sure to hashtag/mention Dark Matter and tag @Netflix or other providers. I feel like we can do this. We’re a community–and we’re working together!
If you’ve seen Dark Matter, what’s your favorite part? What fandoms do you belong to? Let me know in the comments below!
Note: photo from HollywoodReporter.com.