Feast your eyes on some truly glorious spaceship porn. Prepare yourself for Syfy’s latest foray into the big black with some exclusive concept art from Dark Matter, the new space series from the minds behind the Stargate franchise. Behold!

Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie’s Dark Matter is based on their Dark Horse comic that centers around a crew that wakes up aboard a wrecked ship lost, and with no memory.

Here’s the official synopsis:

In Dark Matter, the crew of a derelict spaceship is awakened from stasis with no memories of who they are or how they got on board. Facing threats at every turn, they have to work together to survive a voyage charged with vengeance, betrayal and hidden secrets.

And here is an exclusive look at the many space ships we shall be exploring in this new world when it premieres on June 12th. (All captions below are direct from the artists.)

Ship Design:

3 Ships: The multi-planetaries are the power players of colonized space, massive, far-reaching intergalactic corporations with the wealth and resources to lay claim to and exploit new worlds. Some of the heavyweights include Traugott, Volkov-Rusi, The Mikkei Combine, and Ferrous Corp. It’s a competitive, dangerous field and they have the ships and private armies to protect their assets. Pictured here, James Robbins’ designs for the three Ferrous Corp ships: cruiser class, destroyer class, and shuttle (the latter pictured alongside our Phantom Class Marauder shuttle for scale).

cpXx: The Ferraris of the space ways! An early concept design for one of the Galactic Authority ships. It was deemed a little too sleek and sports car-like.

Galactic Authority Cruiser: Policing colonized space is the responsibility of the GA (Galactic Authority). James Robbins had a lot of fun with this one, dubbing it “Floating Catamaran City”. It has a nice, bulky carrier look with housed weapons (in contrast to the surface mounted weapons of most of our other ships). It felt a little boxy-ish so we ended up elongated it by about 20%. We also lost the side vents that I felt gave it a cruise ship feel, covering them with exterior doors.

Ship centre section: Bartol Rendulic offers up a more detailed view of our hero ship.

Ship dorsal + trench002: One of our episodes calls for an EVA (extra vehicular activity) to effect some ship repairs. We envisioned an enclosed trench that would run along the top of the ship and Bartol Rendulic responded with the following designs. The long walk from the airlock eventually lead to the ramp that takes us down to the trench proper which offers a nice, production-friendly design for our build but opportunities for visuals (maybe a glimpse of that nebula) looking up through the open roof.

Airlocks 4-6:

Early designs of the hero ship’s airlocks by Bartol Rendulic. We abandoned the circular concept and narrower entrance in favor of a wider, bulkier version more in keeping with the ship’s corridor designs. In the end, we deemed these versions a little too clean.

Airlock View

Set Designer Doug Slater provides us with a version closer to the final look, more Nostromo than Enterprise.



When it came time to designing the bridge, we gave Production Designer Ian Brock free rein and this is what he came up with: unique, dynamic, and downright gorgeous. The windows lining the front and top of the ceiling (something I haven’t really seen on other scifi bridges) offer great opportunities for interactive. Director T.J. Scott took advantage of the unique architecture to deliver a beautiful panning shot in our opener, from the outside looking in, as our practical FTL effects illuminate the interior. We have a star field curtain out front for our sub light scenes, then bring in the wraparound green screen for FTL or any scene in which we need to see something out front (a planet, another ship, space dolphins, etc.). Individual blast screens (practical plugs) come down in the VFX shots.

Set Designer Doug Slater had a lot of fun with the layout and interior build. The place is alive with monitors, illuminated gak, and BLU’s (blinky light units). Greens, blues, and reds are the predominant screen colors, offering a nice counterpart to our more subdued, atmospherically moody corridors.

A slight alteration was made on Day #1 of production with the center console moving from the raised section a couple of feet forward to the open area closer to the windows

Space Station

Space Station #1: James Robbins’ initial space station design incorporated a modular concept for the station’s “stem”.

Space Station #2: A second pass on the space station brings us closer. We eschew the modular concept in favor of a simpler, more production-friendly structure that doesn’t require us to visually convey different up/down orientations in our artificial gravity environments.

Space Station #3: Our final version loses the “spare tire” at the bottom and lights up the lower levels to give it a more inhabited look.

Research Station:

Research Station: The initial version of the Traugott Corp research facility and transport shuttle. Pretty close, but the scale is a little off. Why, yes, that IS a particle accelerator ring, eagle eye!

Research Station Revised: The scale is adjusted and the particle accelerator ring is moved from the bottom to the center of the structure.