Dark Matter started its second season in the UK earlier this week with a busy premiere episode. That picked up the story not long after the events in the Season One cliffhanger with most of the crew of the spaceship Raza now incarcerated in a Galactic Authority prison. In the 45 minutes that followed, the packed script introduced new characters, featured acts of betrayal and conspiracy, and ended with what appeared to be a shocking murder.
Having seen so much crammed into one episode, the show’s fans are now expecting plenty more action and surprises in the weeks to come. They won’t be disappointed, says Dark Matter’s Canadian star Melissa O’Neil.
“I’m really excited for them to see these new characters that we have and the developments with a few specific characters,” O’Neil tells Geektown. “If I were a superfan, I would be really excited to see the journey that the Android goes on this season. I think I’m most excited to see how people receive the storylines for the Android and Four and also Nyx.”
Nyx is one of three major new characters added to Dark Matter’s ensemble cast for Season Two. She is played by British actress Melanie Liburd (albeit with an American accent) and was introduced in the season premiere as a tough inmate of the mixed-gender GA prison. Already she has tried to intimidate the hotheaded Three (Anthony Lemke) and proven a worthy opponent in hand-to-hand combat with O’Neil’s character, Two, despite the latter’s enhanced fighting abilities. It was exciting to film the fights in the season opener, Liburd says, and she hints that more impressive martial arts scenes are on the way.
“I’m really excited for the fans to see all the fight sequences,” Liburd told us. “I’ve been blown away just watching everyone in action, like seeing Melissa do her stuff and the big, big fight scenes.”
Another of the new characters is Arax Nero, played by Mike Dopud. Dopud’s face should be familiar to anyone who has watched the Stargate franchise, which Dark Matter creator Joseph Mallozzi also worked on. Nero leads one of the factions that the prison inmates have divided themselves into. In the opening episode of Season Two, he tries to convince Four (Alex Mallari Jr.) not to attempt to escape because that could impact his privileged position. The gang leader comes across as cool and dangerous. Yet, Dopud is nothing like that in real life, O’Neil says.
“He’s so great,” the actress reveals. “I just loved working with him and it was really nice because of the interaction between Two and Arax. I loved the dynamic that Two and Arax had. It was really fun because actually before we even had a chance to properly talk to Mike as a human being we were shooting these scenes and we’re being very sassy with each other.”
Unlike Dopud, O’Neil has no sci-fi pedigree other than Dark Matter. The young actress is a past winner of the talent show Canadian Idol and after that she went on to musical theatre. Hence, her casting in Dark Matter was a surprise. Nonetheless, she has risen to the task and has enjoyed the introduction the show has given her to the world of science fiction fandom.
“I think what I love the most about people that are fans of sci-fi is that they are really hooked on the details and the storytelling aspect of everything,” O’Neil says. “I love jamming about scenes and the content of what we’re talking about and the themes in the show. People are genuinely interested in the world that we’ve created and it’s really fun to talk to them about it.”
There will be another episode of Dark Matter to talk about when it is broadcast in the UK by Syfy on Monday, July 11 at 8:00pm.