Dark Matter’s Natalie Brown on her Expanded Role in Season 3

Stephen Scott/Syfy
Stephen Scott/Syfy

Dark Matter fans have seen many visitors and crewmates come and go on the Raza, but few have stuck in our memory as Natalie Brown’s Sarah, who broke our hearts in Season 1 when Three’s (Anthony Lemke) forgotten love tragically died just after she was discovered in stasis on the ship. Thanks to a bit of savvy on Five’s (Jodelle Ferland) part, Sarah made a surprise comeback in Season 3, when it was revealed that Five was able to upload her consciousness onto the ship.

For much of the season, Three and Sarah were getting to know each other again, and diving back into their relationship in her digital environment–but all that changed in Episode 310, when she was finally given an android body of her very own. The TV Junkies had the opportunity to chat with Brown about Sarah’s journey in Season 3, her connection with Three, and hints that her android body may complicate things even more than we thought it would.

 

The TV Junkies: After Sarah died in Season 1, did you get any indication that the role would be expanded like this by Season 3?

Natalie Brown: No. There was always the hope. Having such a great relationship with the show creators, writers and also knowing Anthony [Lemke] before, there’s always the hope you can come back, and with sci-fi anything is possible. I know that I was told they had jettisoned her body into space and I thought, “if you just edit that remark and keep things open, no one ever really dies.” I was thrilled when they had found a way to bring me back and that Five had the sense to download my consciousness. I love the crew and the cast so much, I was so happy to be back in such a big way, because I only had one episode in the first season, and then one scene, which wasn’t very favorable in Season 2, so I was thrilled to be given such a rich, interesting storyline in Season 3.

TTVJ: I’ve always felt that even though Sarah was only in that one episode in the first season, she was always in the lifeblood of the show, and one of those characters you can never really forget.

NB: Aw, that’s really sweet. I always feel like because Sarah does exist within this bubble, and also coming from a different place and not having much of an understanding of the politics that go on for the crew of the Raza, she represents an innocence that is a bit of a breath of fresh air for Three. Sometimes I feel like I might be on a different show. I’d be worried, tonally, if [a scene] would work, but I was always reassured by Joe [Mallozzi] and Anthony that it’s nice to have that lighter side of Three.

Syfy
Syfy

TTVJ: A lot of Sarah’s scenes with Three this season have taken us to a totally different space than we’re used to. I made a comment to Joe that it looks like she’s living in a deluxe spa.

NB: Yeah, I think that things were a little rough for her on her home planet, so this was a much more hospitable place that she always dreamed of being. Although it’s interesting to me that she can create anything she wants, and all she seems to want is a soft place to sleep and somewhere welcoming for Three that’s green and lush. I feel like her planet was so overmined that what she really missed was clean air that she wasn’t able to breathe, so she gave herself plenty of greenery and oxygen.

I did have some other theories of things she could have manifested, [because] it was something I really got excited about. The possibilities are infinite in that room, and when we had intimated some of the past that Sarah and Three could have gone down, we were told by Joe that he already had other things in mind, so it was a bit too late to plant a literal seed. It would have been really interesting to manifest a baby, but Joe Mallozzi had other things in store for Sarah that we’re all waiting with bated breath to see.

TTVJ: Three and Sarah have had such a connection from the get-go, but they’ve had some hardships. He lost his memories, she died and had her consciousness uploaded onto a ship. That’s a lot for a couple to go through, so what is it about their connection that keeps them trying to make it work?

NB: Essentially, they saved each other. Beyond the love that they had for each other, for Three, Sarah is the one thing that connects him to who he might be, and a better version of himself. For Sarah, he’s all she has in this new entity. There’s love, there’s desire, but there’s also need for one another. They only know certain versions of themselves and with each other it completes how they would like to see themselves.

TTVJ: A big part of why people connect to Dark Matter isits three-dimensional characters, and, in the case of Three and Sarah, it really resonates how much his character has grown over three seasons.

NB: They say there’s no better mirror for ourselves than when we’re in relationships with one another, so, as much as Three wanted to see himself as this hardened, unemotional renegade… I just think that everyone on the Raza do need each other to see themselves in a three-dimensional way. In life, and in space, we need each other.

TTVJ: Sarah has had the opportunity to interact with other members of the crew this year. How was it to branch out of the Three bubble?

NB: Yes, the Android (Zoie Palmer) found her, and Five and Sarah were a dynamic duo and helped save the Raza. She has that contact with the people on the ship, and I think that Sarah has endeared herself to them.

Syfy
Syfy

TTVJ: How did you enjoy getting to save the day for once?

NB: It was surprising for me, because Sarah has always had softer, more emotional dialogue, and it’s mostly based in her relationship with Three, and then all of a sudden I felt like I got the Android’s lines. She was taken over and incapacitated, so they said let’s give some of Android’s jargon to Sarah this season. It was fun to step outside of her more emotional zone and be able to step up and help save the day.

TTVJ: As a fan of the show, it really has been so exciting to see Sarah’s expanded storyline this year.

NB: That’s exciting for me to hear! It’s funny too, because all of Sarah’s scenes take place in that one set, so we block shot three episodes in one day. We started the morning with Episode 308, and it’s Five and Sarah staring at a piece of paper that became the inner workings of the ship in post-production, but on the day we’re looking at this piece of paper and bringing up the urgency of the ship being taken over and trying to save the day, then jumping right into the next episode, then jumping in to episode 310. It was quite the emotional spectrum all in one day. Being able to play that arc was really dreamy for an actor, but now that she’s out of that room, things will definitely get more interesting.

TTVJ: Yeah, that was the big ending point of Episode 310. Sarah’s got her new android body. You could see immediately when she stepped out of that pod, getting the sense of her new body and the power coursing through her. How do you think that will affect her mentally?

NB: I wish I got out of bed feeling that way. [laughs] That’s not what it feels like to wake up in the morning and feel completely recharged. But it’s a really good question. I have my own thoughts on what I would do. I feel like when you’ve had your health taken from you, and to get it back, and to know that the people around you have been the ones to help you to do that, I feel like I would only want to use it for good. I would want to save people the way I’d been saved, and I’d want to repay the people that were so good and kind to me and kept me around. But it’s also the androids that have given her this new body and new sense of self, so it will be very interesting to see where Sarah feels the need to pay her respects—who she feels she owes the most to.

TTVJ: Joe has hinted that there’s an Android Liberation Front coming, so clearly that’s going to complicate things for everybody.

NB: But who does she pledge allegiance to? These newfound friends that have given her a new lease on life, or the people that she’s held the biggest emotional space for, like Three. The thing is though, there was one end of a scene where Sarah and Three are in bed and when she turns around after saying the past doesn’t matter, my only direction was “Sarah’s face darkens.” The stage direction simply said “she knows,” but I don’t know what it is that she knows. I have ideas on what she knows, but of course only Joe knows. I’m not sure if part of that past that she wishes Three would forget might affect her actions going forward.

TTVJ: It sounds like there might be a rocky road ahead for Three and Sarah then.

NB: Possibly. I think the essence of a person never really leaves, or I’d like to think so. I feel like the essence of Sarah is innately good. But then, of course, there is how our environments affect who we become. I think we may find out a little bit more about Sarah’s past that will heavily affect how things play out in her future.

 

What do you think will happen between Three and Sarah now that she has her new android body? Sound off in the comments below.

Dark Matter airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on SYFY and Space.

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