When it comes to science fiction on TV the benchmark is undoubtedly Star Trek, which is almost impossible to compete with in terms of budgets and depth of universe. However, in terms of low-budget sci-fi westerns, Firefly is not only a cult classic but is also a show whose popularity has lasted the test of time. Dark Matter falls into the latter category, and whilst there are certain similarities with Joss Whedon’s show, it has a very different emphasis and feel.

Six members of the spaceship Raza wake up in deep space with no memories or recollection of who they are or how they got there. They name themselves One to Six and along with the help of the ship’s android must attempt to piece together their past. Unfortunately, teamwork’s doesn’t seem to be their strong. When details of their pasts begin to gradually emerge they discover that they’re the most wanted, and in demand, crew around.

Dark Matter takes elements of space opera and westerns and throws it into a big pot of suspense and mystery. Right from the off the crew are thrown straight into situations and there’s no let-up. The character building is done through the dynamic of the group, and with the modern graveyard of cancelled shows, I’m guessing speed is of the essence. Dark Matter has a strong dramatic arc which revolves around the concepts of nature versus nurture and redemption, but more than anything it’s a great entertainment.

Dark Matter Season 1 is released on DVD by Acorn and is out on Monday.