Last month, when the Syfy Channel cancelled its pulpy space-opera show, Dark Matter, the show’s creator, Joseph Mallozzi, immediately began working on a way to save it. Recently, on his blog, he revealed that MGM showed some interest in picking up Dark Matter — and crossing it over with another well-known science fiction television franchise, Stargate.
Dark Matter follows the crew of the Raza after they wake up from stasis with amnesia and work to build new lives. The show ran for three seasons on the Syfy channel before it was canceled, but not before gaining a small, vocal fanbase that lamented its demise.
Following the show’s cancelation, Mallozzi noted that MGM approached him with the aim of bringing the show to its new streaming service, Stargate Command, which launched last month. The service is billed as an online destination for Stargate fans, allowing them to stream every episode and movie from the franchise. To help promote the platform, MGM announced it was filming a prequel web series, Stargate: Origins. In an e-mail to The Verge, Mallozzi said the platform would have “afforded us a host of possibilities, from 20-minute installments to a full series.”
Mallozzi is no stranger to Stargate: he was the executive producer on Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, and Stargate Universe. The plan, he explained on his blog, “would have seen Dark Matter’s fourth season premiere on MGM’s streaming platform, Stargate Command, alongside the upcoming Stargate: Origins series,” which is currently in production. He told The Verge that he and MGM discussed a couple of scenarios, but the most realistic one included a six-to-eight-episode miniseries “that would have allowed us to wrap up the series and give the fans closure Syfy denied us.”
Another scenario included a potential crossover with Stargate. “It was pitched as an opportunity to reward some of the longstanding Stargate fans with a return visit from some familiar faces,” Mallozzi says. “If the notion had gained traction, next step would have been dialing Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper into the mix, since they were the creative forces behind the [Stargate] television franchise, and I couldn’t imagine returning to that world without them.”
The crossover is an intriguing idea. Stargate SG-1 is about a military unit on Earth that uses an alien technology to transport themselves from planet to planet. As the show progresses, they come into contact with other human civilizations scattered around the galaxy. It’s certainly possible that Dark Matter could fit into that part of the story. “The Blink Drive offered a convenient door in,” Mallozzi mused.
If the fourth-season pickup worked out, it would have been another novel instance of a streaming service saving a show for the fans, much like Netflix has done for shows like Longmire or Arrested Development. As streaming services work to gain their own populations of paying users, original content has been a key asset, and MGM’s series Stargate: Origins has shown the company is willing to create that new content to help promote its service. Bringing on Dark Matter would have have let it host new original content, and brought onboard a new wave of subscribers in the form of disgruntled Dark Matter fans who wanted to see the show continue.
That plan didn’t come to fruition, sadly: while several parties were interested in reviving the show, Mallozzi says time ran out on the contracts for the production’s sets and cast members, so there’s no chance of a fourth season at this point. He does say he’s “still holding out hope that somehow, some way, we can find a way to give fans that series-ending miniseries.” If that doesn’t work, he has said he’s exploring going back to the show’s roots by finishing up the story as a comic book.