Dark Matter said farewell, for now, to two of its newest characters, Adrian Maro, played by Mishka Thébaud, and Solara Shockley, played by Ayisha Issa. After enjoying multiple adventures and near-death experiences, in “One Last Card to Play” Adrian decided it was time to leave the Raza, bodyguard in tow, despite the crew’s insistence that Solara could be a valuable member of the team.
Adrian and Solara were terrific additions to Dark Matter‘s Season 3, providing a new energy and sense of humor in the midst of a corporate war and conflicts with Zairon. While their time on this season may have been short, they left a lasting impression on Dark Matter fans.
The TV Junkies had the opportunity to chat exclusively with Thébaud about inhabiting the role of Adrian, creating chemistry with Issa and Jodelle Ferland, and his thoughts on Adrian’s future on the series.
The TV Junkies: Dark Matter showrunner Joseph Mallozzi said you really made the role of Adrian your own. What was your process in that?
Mishka Thébaud: I mean, we all have ideas of our characters when we start off and audition. You want to keep it as close to the audition as possible, so I tried to do that. It was on the first day of set, we were shooting a scene and I didn’t have much to say or do, but it helped shape my character, in a sense, because they gave me an adjustment and I was like, “Yeah, I thought this character was like that, but in this scene I had a different interpretation.” After they gave me that adjustment, something clicked in me and I was able to find this character. Also just feeding off other scene partners helps. It’s a way of finding yourself in the group and seeing how you mesh. The writing also is going to give you some hints. All those factors played a part.
MT: I remember getting the script and thinking, “Is this right? Is this a typo? Why is my name in it so much?” It was obviously a great surprise. I was super excited to do that episode. I mean, I was also nervous, obviously, since it’s a demanding one. I had a lot riding on me, but I’m always up for it and I know I’m capable of it. I knew I was going to bring it, so that was my attitude. I was confident.
TTVJ: Did you get any good fan response after it aired?
MT: Yeah, I’ve gotten a lot of great fan responses since my first episode. The fans of Dark Matter are fantastic. The feedback has been awesome and people have been tweeting regularly. I’m surprised by all the feedback, to be honest. It’s been great.
TTVJ: One thing I love about Adrian is that he’s a good guy in a not-so-good galaxy. If Adrian’s story continues, do you think that the trajectory of his character will continue to grow?
MT: Absolutely. I definitely think he could grow. He’s a good guy, he’s got a big heart. I think there’s plenty of room for him to grow because I know he was the assistant to Tabor (David Hewlett), and he learned from him, but Tabor is the type of person where he definitely kept a lot to himself and left Adrian on his own in terms of figuring out the job. He doesn’t want his assistant to surpass him, to get all of his skills and be an equal to him in any sort of way. I think Adrian has always had to fend for himself and he’s been doing that since he was young.
I think there’s plenty of room for him to grow because, I know it may look like he’s a bit of a screw-up so far on the Raza, he kind of messes things up a lot, but I think there’s a chance for him to get better and find a place within he group where he’s actually very much needed.
TTVJ: He took his leave of the crew in last week’s episode. Do you thinking leaving the Raza was bittersweet for Adrian?
MT: Yeah, definitely bittersweet, for sure. There’s definitely both sides to that. I understand he’s gotta be his own man and he’s still trying to be Tabor, or be a better Tabor, in terms of being a handler, so he still has his reputation to look after. He can’t just stick to the Raza, stay on board and become one of the crew for that long. He’s got to do his time and I think that will benefit him. When or if he returns to the Raza, I think he’ll be more useful, going off and doing his own thing.
TTVJ: He had a really sweet goodbye with Five. What do you think about their chemistry?
MT: I think they have a lot in common, actually. They appear to be the youngest ones in the group and Five, in the beginning, she can defend herself, but Adrian didn’t view her in that way. I think he found a connection with her because he thought they were the same, not knowing she could really kick ass. There’s something about the age, and everyone kind of looking after them, and that sense of wanting to take care of Five, and Adrian kind of gets that as he stays on the ship for longer. I just feel like they have a lot in common. They have chemistry in terms of their place within the group and how they fit. Obviously Five is more important, but Adrian feels more equal to her. He’s able to communicate with her, whereas with Two (Melissa O’Neil), she has that power and authority, Solara can kick his ass, Three (Anthony Lemke) can kick his ass. I think he feels comfortable being with her, and it’s more of a comfort level in being able to get along with her. I think there’s something that grows from there in Episode 303, even that first conversation they had together, I think there’s a chemistry there where they can talk freely with one another.
TTVJ: Another character Adrian spent a lot of time with is Solara, obviously. How was it building the chemistry with Ayisha, since you both were in the same position as the new kids on set?
MT: It was great. We were in the same position as being newbies on board. Everyone really welcomed us. It was fun, Ayisha’s fantastic. We had a lot of fun on and off set, we just kind of joked a lot. They’re complete opposites in terms of character. Solara’s more of the straight, silent-type and very tough, solid, firm, and my character’s more of a goofball, so they work off each other very much.
TTVJ: Now that they’re off the ship, I’m sure there will be plenty of mishaps. It could make a good spin-off, actually.
MT: True. [laughs] I agree with that, it would be fun. Solara would have her hands full because she’d have to be saving Adrian quite a bit.
TTVJ: So what kind of future do you see for Adrian?
MT: I think his future’s bright. Yes, he is a bit naive at times, but I think he’s very wide-eyed and has a lot of hope, and ambition. He does want to become something. For example, that scene [in 304] when one of Ryo’s (Alex Mallari Jr.) henchmen is gonna be on the ship, everyone’s reliving the day, and Two was giving everyone assignments. “You go back to your quarters” is what she says to Adrian, but he’s eager to get an assignment. He’s like, “no, give me something. What, are you kidding me? I’m not gonna be part of this?”
That’s why I also think he looks up to the Raza. He calls them the baddest of the bad. He wants to be that, essentially. There’s a bit of him that wants to be Tabor, but he wants to surpass him, he wants to be a great handler, and he wants to be a part of this crew and to be their handler, because he looks up to them a lot. I think his future’s bright. He’s learning as he goes and he’s also very young. He’s got a ways to go, but he’s definitely capable of becoming an important piece to any puzzle. I think there’s plenty of room for him to be an important figure in this crazy, dangerous part of space that they’re in.
TTVJ: I hope he never loses that good guy, naive quality about him, though, because I think that’s what people like about him.
MT: I agree. As much as it gets him into trouble, I also think that’s what wins him over with the people around him. That’s why the Raza stuck with him for as long as they have. He’s proven to be, unlike Tabor, a very nice guy, is good-hearted, and has good intentions. That’s why Five totally doesn’t want to space him right away. She admires that he has a good heart.
TTVJ: Do you have any other upcoming projects we should be looking out for?
MT: I will be appearing in a new miniseries coming up, I’ve got an episode in that, called Bad Blood, which is a Montreal mafia miniseries that should be good. Apart from that, I’m about to head off to L.A. to tackle some new territory.
Do you hope Adrian and Solara will return on Dark Matter? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Dark Matter airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy and Space Channel.
Associate Editor Kelly Townsend always had strong opinions on TV growing up, so it was only natural to evolve from couch musings to online journalism. She can't ever choose a favorite series, so please don't ask. Her writing has also appeared on IndieWire and Tribute.ca. You can find her on Twitter at @kellybtownsend.