Hot TV Robots: Dark Matter’s Android
This sci-fi robot hottie flips the switch on her sexy personality.
Since my rather—to be polite—lukewarm review of the first two episodes of HBO’s Westworld, a few folks have asked me what shows, in my opinion, did right what this new show simply hasn’t.
That is, shows that really delve into the wild-and-woolly possibilities of artificial intelligence—especially in regards to sex.
So here we go! I’m starting an ongoing series on television shows that I personally recommend for anyone who might be feeling that the Westworld remake is a little too tall in the saddle, and not doing enough to explore the robosexual frontier.
The underdog on this list, Dark Matter, is a new personal favorite. Sure, it’s budget is on the low side. But what it lacks in production values it makes up in intriguing characters, thoughtful speculations on humanity and technology, and totally unpredictable twists and turns.
Created by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, Dark Matter is initially about six people who awake on board the starship Raza—without a clue of where they are, how they got there, or even who they are. Amnesia as a plot device is nothing new, but Dark Matter has a lot of fun with the concept, constantly raising questions about how memory shapes us. Far too often, the crew of the Raza realizes they might be better off not knowing; preferring the people they have become rather than who they were.
In addition to the crew of the Raza (who name themselves one through six from the order they wake from cryostasis), there’s a seventh member of the crew who they name, in a burst of originality, the Android.
Played with intensely sweet playfulness by Zoie Palmer—who melts my heart every time she answers “Okay” to a command—the Android is at first, like many artificial beings on both the big and the small screen, completely innocent. She’s Pinocchio desperately wishing to be a real boy—or, in this case, girl.
As the series progress, the Android does become more “human.” But the show shines in how, despite her evolution, she’s still depicted as retaining a feeling of other;” a unique life form and not just a carbon copy of a human being
In the episode “We Voted Not to Space You,” she uses a recently acquired upgrade to transform herself into an independent, kick-ass, and overtly sexual version of herself—and yet, at the end, puts it aside and reverts to her previous personality.
This on/off switch to her personality gives the character both a feeling of humanity and not, making her a perfect companion to the crew of the Raza and their own dealings with coming to grips with their lives with, or without, their old memories.
While the Android isn’t sexual per se, in “Take the Shot” there’s a virtual reality fantasy showing her very involved with another android she’d met previously—possibly foreshadowing that at some time in the future she might switch back to that part of herself, if just to experience her own version of sexuality.
Luckily, Dark Matter is currently streaming on Netflix, and on Space in Canada and Syfy in the US. I recommend you check it out, for now, but be warned: one thing the show does love to do it mess with the audience’s expectations. Just don’t get too attached to any character, if you catch my drift.
In the end
Westworld may turn out to be worth watching, eventually, but for now, I encourage you to check out Dark Matter. Hopefully you’ll laugh, maybe even cry, and—best of all—do some pondering yourself about sex, artificial intelligence, and the future of both.
Do you have any favorite sexy androids on the small screen? Share them in the comments below.
In the meantime stay tuned for Part 2, where a certain android has gone where many men have gone before.
Image source: Syfy