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So now that it’s official, I can finally talk about my new show, Dark Matter, and my plans for the series and this blog in the lead-up to season premiere (sometime in 2015).  As most of you know, while I was working on Stargate this blog offered fans a peak at the inner workings of the production, with posts of everything from concept art to behind the scene videos and, of course, Q&A’s with the many talented individuals who helped produce it.  Well, I’d like to offer fans and prospective viewers the same opportunity with Dark Matter - with the added bonus that we’ll all be on this journey together.  From prep through production to finished episode,  this blog will offer you spoiler-free insights into the evolution of the production, something usually reserved for after-the-fact special features.  I want you all invested in the series from the very beginning and involved in its progression and completion so that, ultimately, hopefully, you’ll consider it YOUR show as much as I consider it mine.

Saturday, I leave rainy Vancouver for the frosty environs of Toronto where I’ll spend the next seven months – at least.  Next week, I’ll be talking to Jay Firestone (http://www.jayfirestone.com) and his team, lead by Vanessa Piazza (https://twitter.com/Vanessa_Piazza_), about coordinating these behind-the-scenes entries.  In the meantime…

Delivered scripts for episodes #7 and #8.  The script for episode #9 will come out next week.  As I mentioned in a previous entry, my writing partner, Paul, and I are approaching this first year as a maxi-series, each episode a chapter in our season-long story.  By the time we go to camera in January, we should have all 13 scripts done.

As for now, we’ve got six crew members and an android to cast and are deep into it.  We’ve cast a fairly wide net, opening the roles to all ethnicities and, in a couple of cases, both genders.  In the end, I think two of our linchpin female crew members, defacto leader TWO and the mysterious kid FIVE are going to be the toughest to cast.  Having that, however, we’ve got A LOT of very interesting candidates.

Well, seven if you include the Android.

Well, seven if you include the Android.

Thanks for all the birthday well-wishes.  I celebrated today by getting my haircut and doing a pass on the aforementioned scripts.  We went out for sushi dinner and, tonight, I cap off my birthday festivities by taking in another 30 auditions.

One final full day in Vancouver and then we’re Toronto-bound.  And, just when I was beginning to feel a little more comfortable about flying with the dogs, Lulu, my french bulldog has come down with diarrhea.  Let’s hope it clears up before we board our Saturday morning flight.  :(

Big news!  I’m not crazy after all -

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So I DIDN’T imagine the whole thing.  Unless, of course, this is also part of my elaborate, ongoing hallucination and those url’s actually link to the live cam of a cat hotel in Cornwall.

But, just in case, I’d like to thank a few of the people who got us where we are today: poised to go into production on a glorious 13-episode SF series…

First and foremost, Jay Firestone of Prodigy Pictures who worked tirelessly for months (and months and months!) relentlessly pursuing (I suspect he’s really a T-1000) and piecing together the various deals that made Dark Matter, the t.v. series, a reality.  If not for all of Jay’s determined hard work, none of this would have been possible and I would have had to find something else to blog about today.

Next, Keith Goldberg at Dark Horse Comics who green lit the original four issue Dark Matter comic book series (available as a graphic novel here: https://digital.darkhorse.com/browse/brand/52/.  As I suspected, the graphic novel proved an invaluable visual tool in conveying a proper sense of the prospective show’s tone and plotting – and ensuring people didn’t automatically imagine “the worst version”.

Speaking of the comic book, a big thanks to artist extraordinaire Garry Brown who illustrated all four issues (http://www.garrybrownart.com), colorist Ryan Hill (https://twitter.com/josephryanhill), letters Richard Starkings and Comicraft (http://www.comicbookfonts.com/default.asp), and my awesome editor Patrick Thorpe (http://www.comicbookdaily.com/columns/wham-bang-pow/got-job-series-patrick-thorpe/).

I’m sure I’ll have at least another hundred people to thank when all is said and done but for now, a final thanks to Vanessa Piazza who has been overseeing early prep (everything from The Raza and space station designs to casting) and will be joining me on set for all the space-faring fun in the coming months.

Spread the word.  And check back here for plenty of behind-the-scenes insights, tidbits, and sneak peaks.

There you have it!  It’s finally official!  Worth the wait, hunh?  Hunh?!

Hang on.  What do you mean “There was no grand announcement”?  WTF?!

I’m sure you’re all sitting back in your homes or at your respective desks, quietly shaking your heads thinking: “Poor guy.  He has lost it.”  Like John Nash in A Beautiful Mind or Jacob Singer in Jacob’s Ladder or the main character in that story you wrote for Mrs. Haversham in second grade, I’ve become full-blown delusional.  A new show you say?  A scifi series no less?  Suuuure.  If I was writing this story, the twist would have me wake up to discover it’s 2010, and I’m still in Toronto!


The official announcement comes out in a press release tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.  By the time many of you read this entry, you’ll probably already have heard – and come here armed with questions.

Or carefully worded inquiries about my sanity.

A busy. Today, we discussed visual effects and designs: stasis pods, shuttle exterior and interior.  We also received the first round of Toronto auditions.  I spent two hours, after dinner today, going over them.  Some very promising candidates.  Can’t wait to see what Vancouver and L.A. bring.

Damn.  This hallucination grows increasingly elaborate.

Oh, to all those wondering – and I’m sure there are A LOT of you – my Snow Monkeys won this weekend, evening their Fantasy Football League record at 3-3 and moving into fifth place in our twelve team league.  I smell playoffs!

Hang on tight.  My Snow Monkeys are poised for a deep post-season run!

Hang on tight. My Snow Monkeys are poised for a deep post-season run!


1. As flexible as nylon, more robust than steel, an artificial spider silk called QMONOS (kumo-no-su being Japanese for spider web) is apparently poised for mass production in everything from super lightweight bulletproof vests to automobiles.


According to the article, this unique silk is so strong that it could snag a jumbo jet in mid-flight.

“Spiber claims its spiderweb is not only seven times tougher than aramid fibres, which are used for bullet-proof vests, but weighs just one-sixth that of steel and 40 per cent less than carbon-fibre. The company says its product will “go close” to reproducing those qualities.” (http://www.motoring.com.au/news/2014/cars-from-cobwebs-46595)


I, for one, would love a spider silk suit – but don’t see one on the company website.  I do, however, see this fetching blue cocktail dress.  Maybe perfect for Akemi when her birthday rolls around next April – by which point I’m sure the price will have come down considerably.


2. According to Akemi, sumo wrestlers consume one enormous meal a day.  This starve-binge schedule accounts for their enormous weight.

In retrospect, however, Akemi isn’t sure this is true and suspects it may just be a story she heard from her grandmother.

3. Scientists in Japan are creating noodles out of wood!  Well, close.  They’re using cellulose – which is not all that new.  We’ve been enjoying its high-fibre, low-cal benefits for years now:


What’s interesting about the Japanese noodles is that they’re composed entirely of cellulose, making them calorie (and flavor) free!

4. According to Akemi, if you dream about Mount Fuji, two eagles, and three eggplants on New Year’s Eve, you’ll have a great year.  Apparently, those details are set in stone so you can’t be dreaming about Mount Kilimanjaro or  three kumquats or even two eggplants and still expect to have a great year.  When I questioned her about this, she insisted: “It’s common sense.”  I tried to explain to her that “common sense” assumes the application of simple logic – in this case, to a causal relationship.  i.e. – If you set fire to a book, it will burn.  But she remained adamant.  “If you ask ninety percent of Japanese people, ninety-nine point nine percent will know this.  It’s common sense!”


We’re barreling through Fall and heading straight toward Winter.  What happened to 2014?!

P.S. Tomorrow IS the day.  Finally.  An official announcement on my new series will be made.

I’m hoping.

Well, the tradition continues insofar as this makes two years in a row Akemi and I have roasted up a turducken and made a piecaken to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving.

I ordered the turducken last week, electing to go with a different butcher and different franken-bird: turkey-chicken-duck but with bacon-wrapped sausage-stuffing.  And, to hedge our bets, a side of regular bread-based stuffing as well.

On Friday, we got to work on the pie portion of our piecaken, baking up a Chuck Hughes version of the southern favorite -


Then, on Saturday, Akemi baked the pie inside a giant brownie cake.

I woke up at 5:45 a.m. this morning to start the turducken – four hours covered; one hour uncovered…


Cha-daaa!  I was worried we might not have enough but, as usual, I was wrong.  The 10 lb bird went a long way for eight.  Our guests had seconds and thirds and even took home leftovers.


It was very good although I’d have to agree with Akemi that last year’s turducken was better.


Everyone liked the stuffing as well – although, like the turducken, I preferred last year’s version.

So near...

So near…

And yet, so far.

And yet, so far.

Served with cranberry sauce, Rob’s signature salad, Ivon’s signature brussel sprouts, gravy, and a little taste of the south -


These compliments of two (transplanted) southerners who happened to be in town -


Jeff and Barb came bearing desserts – a pumpkin pie and -


This awesome bourbon-laced pecan pie with paper shell pecans.  Delicious!


They also came bearing gifts: a mug and apron for me, and this pug-themed book that had Akemi positively giddy with joy.

Joining the dessert line-up…



This year’s version of the piecaken was richer and denser (owing to the fact that we actually followed a recipe this year instead of winging it) and lacked the clear, paleontological-like layering (cake, pie shell, gooey substrate, pecans, shale, etc) of 2013’s piecaken.  Still, damn tasty though.

A good time was had by all.  Jeff and Barb’s Baltimore Ravens crushed the Bucs, while a last second interception return for a touchdown by the Cardinals D put my Snow Monkeys within striking distance of an unlikely win.  All I need is for 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree to put up a perfectly average 9 points (a TD + 30 receiving yards should do it).

STILL too far!

STILL too far!


Watching dis movie be like getting together wit former girlfriend after several years.  You tink it be a great idea but, when show up for date, you diskover she really let herself go, embittered wit life, and spend most of evening telling tasteless jokes and trying to sell you on Amway.  At end of de night, you go home feeling sad, cheap, and gross.  Also poorer becuz you bought box of multivitamins and six pack of men’s fragrance dat smell like eau de Grover’s toilet.


Yo, Kick-Ass.  Try to keep up.

Movie open on Hit Girl and Dave (aka Kick-Ass) in training.  He a wimp but she tuffening him up by beating de living crap out of him and, occasionally, shooting him.  Dey going to be de greatest team-up since Punisher and Archie!  UNTIL Hit Girl’s step dad make her promise to give up superheroing and just be a normal girl. Haha!  Right.  De Hit Girl we know from last movie would never agree so…Oh.  She does agree?  Haha!  Right.  But de Hit Girl we know from last movie might agree but would never really give up being a superhero…Oh.  She does?

Yes, for some reason, she agree and den spend big chunk of movie “trying to fit in” wit other high schoolers.   Dis plot development offer plenty of opportunities for hilarious fish-out-of-water scenes as Hit Girl try to akt like a normal teen. Unfortunately, it make absolutely no sense.  It be totally out of charakter for de Hit Girl we knew from last movie but,  luckily, cliquey high school girls also akt totally out of charakter, inviting her to a sleepover and convincing her to try out for dance team.  While she desperately trying to fit and hilarity ensuing, monster wonder: “What happened to terrific rebellious kid from last movie?”.

Alrighty, den!

Alrighty, den!

Meanwhile, Dave, aka Kick-Ass, team up wit lame amateur vigilante superheroes lead by Ace Ventura.

You!  Gimme de cash!

You! Gimme de cash!  You!  Spank me!

Meanwhile, Chris D’Amico, aka Red Mist, come out of retirement and don his dead mom’s S&M ensemble to become…De MUDDERFUCKER!  He also assemble his own lame amateur super villain team.

Scenes of extreme violence ensue but, unlike original, no fun to be had here.   In first movie, action sekwences enjoyable becuz it feature incongruous kid taking out bad guys.  In dis movie, we instead treated to action sekwences of bad guys killing cops in gruesome fashion.  Hohoho!   And, later, Ace Ventura.  Hahahaha!   Oh, and Dave’s dad.  Heeheehee!  At one point, Mudderfucker unable to assault a girl becuz he can’t get erektion!  And it all played for laughs.

Eventually, Hit Girl come out of retirement and join rest of superheroes in warehouse showdown against supervillains.  Ho hum.

Sorry about getting your dad killed, dude.

Sorry about getting your dad killed, dude.

Bad guys are defeated and all is forgiven.  Even Todd, Dave’s high school buddy, who joined Team Supervillain, revealed Kick Ass’s true identity, and was direktly responsible for Dave’s dad being murdered, get a pass.  Well, you know what dey say: “Bros before common sense!”

So long and tanks for all de fish sticks.

So long and tanks for all de fish sticks.

Hit Girl heads off into the sunset disappearing herself and leaving her step-dad to pick up de pieces of the police investigation into her vigilante past – and, presumably, face jail time for aiding and abetting a murderer.

Not so kick-ass.  Aktually, dumb and depressing.  A sekwel in name only.

VERDIKT: If you loved de first movie, you’ll hate dis one.  But if you hated de first movie, you probably won’t hate dis one as much.

RATING: 4 chocolate chippee cookies – except chocolate chippees actually raisins.  Sucker!

1. I’m back in Vancouver.  And exhausted.  I’ve got seven days to get my crap together, including: banking, car servicing, making arrangements for the house, and making a turducken AND piecaken for this Sunday!

2. The official announcement on my new series is coming.  No, really!  Apparently, Tuesday is the day.

3. Ever wanted to own a figurine of yourself?  Or a figurine of your favorite Executive Producer?  Well check out this place, located right here in Vancouver, where you can pop in, get scanned, and have your very own mini me delivered to you in 72 hours: http://mini-me.ca

4. Comcast goes above and beyond the call of shitty customer service: http://gawker.com/comcast-half-apologizes-to-the-customer-it-allegedly-go-1644252018 

5. 10 t.v. shows that are really creepy if you think about them: http://io9.com/10-tv-shows-that-are-really-creepy-if-you-think-about-t-1644845434

6. Oh, I noticed: http://www.cracked.com/article_21574_5-movie-plans-that-you-didnt-notice-rely-entirely-luck.html

7. “They taste like burning.”  http://www.vulture.com/2014/09/28-simpsons-quotes-every-fan-must-know.html

8. Uh.  Oh.  Okay: http://defamer.gawker.com/nielsen-weve-been-getting-tv-ratings-wrong-since-march-1644853977

9. Pecan pie at the bottom of the list?!  Creamed horns lower than apple fritters?!  Plain croissants at number #1?!  Nonsense!  http://rankings.gawker.com/pastries-ranked-1635451466

10. Pursuant to my recent post about the new Twin Peaks series, here are 10 Things Showtime’s New Twin Peaks Series Needs To Do: http://www.toplessrobot.com/2014/10/post_10.php

11.  Oh.  And THIS re: Golden Boy Marin Gero: http://deadline.com/2014/10/l-a-complex-martin-gero-phoenix-project-cw-849644/


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