Tuesday, June 11, 2024

TV Tuesday: Dark Matter

I absolutely love when a book I enjoyed is adapted into a TV show or movie, so I was incredibly excited to hear that Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (my review at the link) was going to air on Apple TV. This is one of my all-time favorite books, a twisty sci fi thriller, and so far, the TV adaptation, Dark Matter, is living up to its source material.

Jason Desson, played by Joel Edgerton, is happily married to Daniela, played by Jennifer Connelly, and they both adore their teen son, Charlie, played by Oakes Fegley. They live in Chicago, and Jason works as a physics professor at a small, local college. Daniela had dreams of being a professional artist, but she now works to help support their family. In the first episode, Daniela encourages Jason to go to a party at a local bar, honoring his best friend, Ryan (played by Jimmi Simpson), who just won a prestigious science award. From their conversation at the party, it's clear that Jason is just as talented but chose the path he did to support his family more reliably. Ryan asks Jason to join him in a new venture, but it would require moving to California, and Jason turns him down. Walking home, Jason is brooding over the path not taken when he is suddenly grabbed on the street and kidnapped. He's taken to a deserted warehouse by his masked captor and injected with something. The next thing he knows, he's waking up in a place he doesn't recognize, surrounded by people he doesn't know but that know him. They say he's been gone for over a year, and they're glad to see him. Jason finds out that this place has the technology to travel to parallel universes, a concept he understands because he himself did the initial research years ago, before he got married. He realizes that he is somehow in one of those parallel worlds, and he is desperate to get back to his wife and son ... but how?

As with the book, this TV show is based on a mind-blowing concept, that there are infinite worlds and that with every choice made or change in events, another variation splinters off. This isn't fantasy but science fiction, based on quantum mechanics (don't worry--it's all beyond my understanding, too!). Crouch put this fascinating concept to good use in this twisty, gripping, and thought-provoking thriller. My husband and I both loved this fabulous novel, and the TV show hews very closely to the book (much to our delight), probably due to the author being the one who created the show and did much of its writing to adapt it. Blake Crouch is adept at that, having written other TV shows, including Wayward Pines and Good Behavior (also based on his own novels). So, the writing is sharp and engaging. The actors all do a great job here, each portraying the same character in many different worlds, each one the same person but slightly different. And that plot! It's unique, suspenseful, and full of surprises. The cinematography is also outstanding for the small screen, as Jason visits Chicago in world after world (some of them apocalyptic). It's just an all-around outstanding TV show. Apple TV really seems to excel at science fiction shows (like their adaptation of Silo by Hugh Howey, coming back soon for season 2, and For All Mankind, an alternative history of the space program). We are loving this one and look forward to a new episode every week!

Dark Matter is currently airing on Apple TV. We've seen six of the nine episodes and will be watching #7 tonight. I can't wait!

I practically squealed in delight watching this trailer again:

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