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DARK MATTER

I AppleTV+ I May 8, 2024 I 9 Episodes I

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TBA %

* As of 5/10/24

Starring:  Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Connelly, Alice Braga, Jimmi Simpson, Dayo Okeniyi, Oakes Fegley

Directors:  Jakob Verbruggen, Roxann Dawson, Alik Sakharov, Logan George, Celine Held

Hailed as one of the best sci-fi novels of the decade, “Dark Matter” is a story about the road not taken. The series will follow Jason Dessen (Joel Edgerton), a physicist, professor and family man who — one night while walking home on the streets of Chicago — is abducted into an alternate version of his life. Wonder quickly turns to nightmare when he tries to return to his reality amid the mind-bending landscape of lives he could have lived. In this labyrinth of realities, he embarks on a harrowing journey to get back to his true family and save them from the most terrifying, unbeatable foe imaginable: himself.

SERIES REVIEW BY: Kurt Morrison

RATING 3.5 out of 5

Earlier this year, AppleTV+ premiered a show centered on alternate realities and conflicting versions of characters within Constellation. This series delved deep into science fiction, exploring how parallel universes can yield unsettling variations in the lives of characters traversing between realms. Dark Matter, however, takes a more grounded approach to similar themes. Adapted from Blake Crouch's bestselling novel, this thriller genre gem defies sci-fi norms, delivering a gripping narrative rich in twists and stellar performances by Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Connelly, and Alice Braga. From its captivating outset, Dark Matter showcases exceptional storytelling.

 

The series introduces Jason Dessen, a physicist content with his life in Chicago alongside his wife Daniela and son Charlie. When Jason's friend Ryan achieves a coveted science prize, Jason's world is upended by a job offer from Ryan. However, a bizarre encounter with a masked assailant leaves Jason disoriented, awakening in a strange facility where he encounters Amanda and others. What follows is a tale of parallel realities, where Jason navigates divergent paths, grappling with identity and the consequences of choices made.

 

Drawing inspiration from Schroedinger’s Cat, Dark Matter explores the butterfly effect of decision-making. Through two intertwined narratives, the series intricately weaves together elements of paranoia and scientific exploration. Joel Edgerton shines in the dual roles of Jason, grounding the story with his compelling portrayal. Supported by Jennifer Connelly and Alice Braga, the ensemble cast delivers nuanced performances that anchor the complex storyline.

To that end, it benefits immeasurably from the participation of Edgerton and Connelly, whose nuanced heartfelt performances and intense chemistry shine throughout the entirety of the series 9 episodes.

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Filmed on location in Chicago, Dark Matter eschews extensive special effects, focusing instead on the urban backdrop to enhance its atmosphere. With a haunting score by Jason Hill and skilled direction by Jakob Verbruggen and others, the series captivates viewers with its visual and narrative prowess. The score sometimes feels disorienting, which compliments the mind bending scenario we find Egerton’s Jason in beautifully.

 

I have decided to be vague and scarce in my review of Dark Matter here for you, because there are A LOT of spoilers I could go into very quickly, even from the first episode. But I encourage you to give this Sci-Fi mindbender a shot because I thoroughly enjoyed it. Comparatively to other Apple TV+ offerings recently, its pacing, writing and acting are leagues above and make for a very absorbing and well rounded series experience.

 

Overall, Dark Matter transcends the limitations of its source material, offering a superior storytelling experience through its episodic format. With its blend of thriller elements and thought-provoking science fiction, this series stands out as a must-watch for genre enthusiasts.

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