(Spoilers for Dark Matter, minor Spoiler for Babylon 5 that is imo not really a spoiler)
A long time ago there was Babylon 5 and I loved this show from the start, there was only one huge problem: Sinclair.
He was supposed to be the leader, the one holding everything together, but in fact he was anything but. The actor had 0 presence as a figurehead, was super stiff and just dripped in pathos.
Considering that the whole series was a very tight thing, it’s suprising that TPTB did a full exchange, but it really was the boost the show needed.
I know of course that Sheridan is not liked by everyone, that’s impossible, but I think he really shows what it means to have a true leader on board, both the character and the actor. Plus Sheridan and Ivanova are a delight together and everyone who says otherwise is full of crap.....*ahem*
So...along came Dark Matter and to be honest...while I wasn’t suprised that Melissa O’Neill wasn’t lead actor despite her character clearly being the true No1, I was suprised how weak One turned out to be. There is nothing wrong with a “weak” character, I mean with a ship full of potential psychos you need as much conscience as you can find. The problem is that if you want to have someone like for example Crichton (of Farscape), someone as close to innocent as possible, someone who is tough enough to survive but also retained some sense of wonder, you...have to actually cast someone who is able to shoulder that much, especially as the lead actor. I don’t know if my opinion’d be any different if Marc Bendavid hadn’t been cast as the lead, but if you’re the lead, you have to act like one. Because of this season 1 was a blend of really good and really rough and yes, I was frustrated that Melissa O’Neill was the lead without getting those credits while someone just tagging along was supposed to be the lead. That’s why you go the alphabet road with assemble shows.
Still, I was...a bit suprised that apparently TPTB seemed to have a similar opinion and dealt with the matter in a very drastic and swift way. Much like Babylon 5 they didn’t cut ties with the actor and yes, I’m looking forward to how they continue to bring him back, be it Jace Corso or Moss. The actor may be horribly bland, but brought in here and there it seems to work just fine, especially as Corso. I’m also very happy with how the show has developed since One’s demise. They seem to be tighter, more focused, there are no cringe-inducing scenes between One and Two for example and while Six seems to be the only conscience left standing (although Five slaying it was awesome), this is way better than someone sleepwalking through his scenes.
Plus: We already know the difference between a crew with and without memories, so compared to that this crew already consists of litte angels.
Also Plus: We got Nyx who is already a Million times more interesting than One and has a Gazillion times more presence.
While watching Season 1 One was always and forever the black mark and with him gone the series has improved drastically.
Much like Crichton One might have been the odd man out, but unlike Crichton not in a good way and I’m glad that the powers that be actually realized and fixed it. And I’m glad that much like Michael O’Hare it didn’t mean getting rid of an actor but finding some different angle. Michael O’Hare for example was awesome as soon as Sinclair was in the background doing mysterious stuff and speaking in mysterious ways. Marc Bendavid running around as Jace Corso is fun and might be fun in the future, but only in manageable doses.
Speaking of Crichton: I approve of the fact that Good Guys In Black Leather SciFi is back and greatly approve of Melissa O’Neill’s aquisition of The Dramatic Black Leather Coat. Aeryn would be so damn proud.
And on another very different note, just because I’m already talking about Dark Matter: I’m so, so, so happy that Three didn’t end up as another Jayne, especially considering I loathe Adam Baldwin and wasn’t able to enjoy Jayne’s job as The Asshole anymore, because it was way too much the way the actor was behaving in real life. Three started 100% out that way and while I don’t approve of how they teased out his softer side, it also changed the way the actor was able to portray the character and boooy do I love Anthony Lemke as Three Who Has Nuances.