Yesterday, we were introduced to a potential house-sitter via our friend Nicole.  She was lovely – a pleasant, intelligent, young professional who is looking for a place in Vancouver come October.  The timing should be perfect – provided we get that third season pick-up.  Akemi and I will have someone to watch the house and send us weekly mail updates, while our guest will have a nice comfortable home for eight months.  As an added bonus, she offers dog-sitting services as well.

After she left, I asked Akemi what she thought.  Her response: “I like her.  I think she will be great for the house.  The dogs…we’ll see.”

In other words: Sure, she seems honest and sensible enough to entrust with all of or worldly possessions.  But a little more due diligence before we trust her with the dogs.

My thoughts exactly.

Hey, here are two more entries to add to our every-growing glossary of Akemi-isms:

crank up: grow cranky, usually as a result of hunger.  See: hangry

be regret: to regret something (ie. “If you eat that cookie, you will be regret.”).

These words join our expanding lexicon of such notable terms as: brinkle, mushy-mushy, inch, and “Tastes like Santa’s socks”.

Speaking of Akemi – she felt an allergic reaction coming on and took some Benadryl (because we were out of Claratin).  As a result, she’s been a little dopey all morning…

Akemi: I feel so out of it.

Me: You’re high on Benadryl.

Akemi: Actually, I’m low.

A few more recaps, reactions, and reviews to the last episode of Dark Matter, “Going Out Fighting”:


“After the excellent, parallel-universe hopping episode last week, this week’s turn was a more grounded affair, with a heavy focus on answering the question of what is wrong with Two and her nanites, and more importantly: how to solve this…” by Christopher Hart at The Nerd Recites

DARK MATTER -- "Going Out Fighting" Episode 209 -- Pictured: (l-r) Roger Cross as Six, Anthony Lemke as Three -- (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

“Pivoting to the Raza for a moment, Five and Android have a heart-to-heart over a cup of hot chocolate, which Android adroitly steals from Five, basically inviting herself to have a sip, with her “20 million taste receptors” and then never returning the mug…” by Veronica Scott at Happy Ever After

DARK MATTER -- "Going Out Fighting" Episode 209 -- Pictured: (l-r) Roger Cross as Six, Anthony Lemke as Three -- (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

“Dark Matter continues to flow smoothly into new territory, with the odd jolt of characters dying or changing dramatically. While Six seems more like his “old self,” The Android is entering a new phase. This evolution of the quirky character should be more than a little interesting…” by Michael Knox-Smith at Mike’s Film Talk

Alright.  Scripts downloaded?  Check.  iBooks library updated?  Check.  Pocket handkerchiefs and quirky socks packed?  Check!  I’m off to L.A.!  While Akemi (and Bubba and Lulu) hold the fort, I’ll be in Los Angeles doing meetings, making new connections, and dining out with some old (and somewhat recent) friends.  Full reports to follow in the coming days!

I’m much more likely to pull over to greet an elderly pug than to help a stranded motorist.

I mention this because I came across this study the other day:


(source: Vox)

To be fair, my dogs are much lighter and easier to carry than the average tourist or grandparent.

Hey, in belated celebration of National Dog Day, check out Bubba sporting the pyjamas Akemi got him.  “He loves it!”she insists.dCB7HzL qmsfos4

Hey, what did you all think of last night’s episode of Dark Matter “Going Out Fighting”?

Check out some reactions, recaps, and reviews:

“The show is on track to finish out the season with a skillful progression of episodes, capping off a mostly stellar season…” by Michael Ahr at Den of Geek

“An episode rife with “Wait, what?!?!” moments. Possibly my favorite of the season so far…” by Cort Robinson at Pure Fandom

“One of the reasons I love the sci-fi genre is because I’m fascinated by the technologies it’s creators manage to think up. Nanites, space elevators that put the Space Needle to shame, transfer transits, and blink drives are all really cool bits of technology in the world of Dark Matter…” by Jen Stayrook at The Workprint

“The Android has been pretty much the breakout character from the very beginning of the series, and it is scenes like this that showcase the character’s natural charm and humor…” by Kathleen Wiedel at TV Fanatic

“In a way, I liked “Going Out Fighting” better than last week’s near-perfect “Stuff to Steal, People to Kill”. I say this kind of stuff a lot. It’s mainly because every episode expands upon the overall grand story, making each a little more exciting…” by Tom Gardiner at Three If By Space

“This episode’s pacing was excellent. You didn’t know what was going to happen next and it gave you the chills…” by Jideobi Odunze at Geeked Out Nation

Dark Matter delivered what may very well be its highest-stakes episode yet…” by Aimee Hicks at Spoiler TV

“Not to sound like a broken record but we’re going to risk it anyway. The second season of Syfy’s Dark Matter is stellar. One of the best series of this summer season…” by TV Goodness

Anna and Josh at Geeksiders:

Hey, comic book fans.  Join my Comic Book Reading Club.  Our first discussion kicks off September 5th with Daredevil (vol. 1): “Born Again” (Daredevil #227-233).


Oopsy.  Many of you got a sneak peek at today’s blog entry last night when I accidentally posted its unfinished contents.  It was the second time it’s ever happened to me – in almost ten years of daily blogging.  Not bad.  Anyway…

Tune in tonight for an all-new episode of Dark Matter: “Going Out Fighting” at 7 pm PDT/10 pm EDT on Syfy and Space Channel!

Here’s a little appetizer in the way of some BTS production pics!

IMG_5394 IMG_5625 IMG_5633 IMG_5401 IMG_5415 IMG_5367 IMG_5640 IMG_5093 IMG_5467 IMG_5354 IMG_5473 IMG_5719 IMG_5612 IMG_5731 IMG_5362 IMG_5310 IMG_5617 IMG_5274

And some sneak peek clips from tonight’s episode!


TWO finds out about her origins (video) at TV Insider

TWO and the Android (video) at Blastr

And, finally, a preview of tonight’s episode from Aimee Hicks at SpoilerTV.com:

 Fighting Until The End


Tomorrow night on Syfy and Space Channel – 7 pm PDT, 10 pm EDT:

Yes, we’re already on to the ninth episode Dark Matter’s second season – “Going Out Fighting”.  Written by Supervising Producer Ivon Bartok.  Directed by Peter DeLuise.  Two names that should be familiar to fans of Stargate.  Guest starring Wil Wheaton as Alexander Rook – who may be familiar to fans of that other star franchise!

What’s going on with TWO?  What answers – and surprises – lie within the confines of Dwarf Star Technologies headquarters?  Well, maybe these photos will you give you a hint…

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 7.47.47 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 7.47.32 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 7.48.05 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 7.49.00 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 7.49.09 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 7.50.01 PM

Or, maybe not.

A few things about this episode:

We’ll be introducing an element in this episode that will be a game-changer down the line.  Fans will be abuzz!

Cue up the Blink Drive for a very special jaunt.

And in typical Dark Matter fashion, we end with one helluva WTF?! moment.  Android fans, you’ve been warned!

Finally, via Syfy, here’s another sneak peek clip from tomorrow night’s episode:


My cousin Paul and niece Erica were in town for a week, visiting Vancouver.


Their stay involved a lot of eating, mainly dessert, but also included plenty of sightseeing, shopping, and spending quality time with my dogs.
1Did I mention we ate a lot of desserts?  yes?  One of the highlights was the carrot cake at Cadeaux Bakery, pictured above with extra end-piece frosting!


We did a fair amount of walking Vancouver’s various neighborhoods – after which we stopped for a snack.  Yes, dessert in the form of ice cream.


Erica and Paul trekked across Van, tracking down about a dozen “pianos” interspersed throughout the city.  Akemi and I (and the dogs) joined them for their Olympic Village hunt, finally locating one of the pianos.  Pictured above: Bubba shows off with a little Chopin.


We did Vancouver-style dim sum at Sun Sui Wah where our meal was accompanied by Jerry Springer on the big screen.  Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Ha-gow! Ha-gow! Ha-gow!


Our restaurant itinerary included Taqueria, Meat & Bread, Fable Diner, Bob Likes Thai Food, Rangoli, and, of course, Minami for their salmon oshi sushi.


Among my cousin Paul’s Vancouver commemorative purchases was the beginnings of his Halloween ensemble.

IMG_8839 IMG_2504

Before leaving, Paul and Erica presented us with going away gifts: wacky themed socks for me, and a Pokeman cap for Pokeman-obsessed Akemi.  Bubba immediately took ownership of the cap.

Paul and Erica couldn’t get enough of the dogs, especially Lulu who, despite her snoring, outrageous belching, and terrible gas, seemed to make a great impression.


Erica bids the dogs a fond farewell.


Brought Bubba in to get his stitches out today.  The results came in on the two masses removed from his head and, while one was benign, the other one was inconclusive.  We have an appointment in late September with an oncologist for further tests (x-rays and ultrasound) as well an anti-cancer vaccine.


Lulu, meanwhile, continues to slow down.  At 9, she is officially a senior!

Well, our guests have left and Akemi (and I, but especially Akemi) are already missing them.  Akemi LOVES to entertain, so much so that she suggested we could home-stay visiting international students.  I, on the other hand, prefer responsible adult guests, so I’m looking to adopt.  Any of you interested in a move to Vancouver?


I can’t believe we’re only days away from Dark Matter “Episode 22: Going Out Fighting”.  It honestly seems like just yesterday we were touring the Hyperion-8 prison sets in preparation for season 2.  Time IS speeding up!  And I’m having a hard time keeping pace!


Dark Matter overviews and interviews!

A series overview to date.  Dark Matter: A Shipload of Antiheroes by the Capricious Narrator

Anthony Lemke, Dark Matter’s THREE, talks with Adam A. Donaldson at Nerd Bastards.

I chat with The TV Junkie’s Kelly Townsend about “Stuff To Steal, People To Kill”.


“Stuff To Steal, People To Kill”!  More recaps, reviews, and reactions!

“This was a very enjoyable take on one of science fiction’s most popular, and favorite tropes in a straight forward, action packed episode that did a good job in also moving the series narrative forward….” by Craig Suide at SciFi Movie Page

“All in all this was ‘Dark Matters’ take on the classic ‘Star Trek’ mirror universe trope, but with much darker hues…” by Ian Cullen at SciFi Pulse

Dark Matter, Stuff To Steal, People To Kill, Alternate People To Deal With by Patricia at Wormhole Riders


“It wouldn’t be a sci-fi series without at least one parallel universe episode!” by Jessica Anson at MyM Buzz

How’s your German?  Die Doppelte Raza! by Tim Kruger at Serien Junkies

“There are many doors that could be opened by what’s come out this episode. It gives great promise for what’s to come…” by Aaron Billingham at Kneel Before Blog

“I’m not all that fond of alternate universe episodes on the whole, but “Stuff to Steal, People to Kill” was both interesting and lots of fun (though it did make me realize that I probably never want romantic Two/Three)…” by Siobhan Dempsey at Word of the Nerd

Hey, comic book fans!  Join our Comic Book reading club on reddit!

As I mentioned in a previous post, two my favorite sub-genres of SF television are AU (alternate universe) and time travel.  They both allow us to shed light on our characters, and the show’s world, in ways we wouldn’t normally be permitted within the established narrative.  “Stuff To Steal, People To Kill”, for instance, answers a few outstanding questions, some going as far back as our very first episode, while also teeing up a bunch of future storylines as well.  There was A LOT going on in this episode and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if you may have missed a few crucial tidbits even on second and third viewing (which is de rigueur for every episode of Dark Matter).


First off, can I just say what a fantastic job VFX Supervisor (and Dark Matter Supervising Producer) Lawren Bancroft-Wilson is doing this year.  That shot of The Raza moving through the debris from the destroyed space station?  Wow. Kudos to Lawren and his VFX team, with FUSEFX at the forefront, delivering some truly spectacular visuals this season, from The Raza’s atmospheric entry and landing to…well, the finale.  Great, great stuff!


Earlier this season, someone was asking about ship to ship battles.  Specifically, why hadn’t we seen any yet?  Well, we’ve seen some pretty good ones so far this season, once again thanks to LBW and co.  Always fun to see The Raza in action but, in particular, to check out how far the ship has come in its level of detailing.


Android: “A slight variance in the temperature of the cosmic microwave background suggests an extremely unusual possibility.”

I received a fair amount of love for this theoretical conjecture on the part of the Android, but must give credit where credit is due.  When crafting a hypothetical explanation for the inter-universe jump, I consulting with the experts – in this case, former Stargate science tech advisor Mika McKinnon who stepped up with the assist (GeoMika).


One of my very favorite guest stars, Torri Higginson, reprises her role as the opportunistic Commander Delaney Truffault.  The character was originally supposed to meet her end in Episode 11 of the show’s first season, but a scheduling conflict and some serious reconsideration of her role in the grand scheme of things saved her.  When it came time to casting the role I knew Torri would be great – but her performance surpassed my lofty expectations.  She played Truffault with such sass and bemused confidence that I instantly fell in love.  And, boy oh boy, that shot of her swaggering down the corridor of The Raza after she takes out FOUR and SIX? Perfection.


The crew’s research uncovers intriguing tidbits of information, hints of what could have been and clues to what may come…

There’s a corporate war in full swing, something that has only been hinted at back in our reality.

The war finds its roots in long-standing corporate conflicts, but was seemingly sparked by the destruction of a space station, EOS-7, during a summit attended by representatives from the various corporations as well as the League of Autonomous Worlds.

Ferrous Corp is suspected as being the culprit behind the station’s destruction, although they have steadfastly denied the charge.  Oh, hey, Commander Nieman!

Kal Varrick (SIX’s alter-ego) uploaded a virus to the ship’s computer before going into stasis, one that would disable The Raza, thus rendering it “dead in space” (see Episode 1).

He has arranged for the ship to emit a subspace distress call to make it easier to track (see Episode 1).

The Raza’s security system is an Android who can be take offline with a verbal shutdown command.

If the Android perceives an insurmountable threat, she is programmed to wipe the ship’s data stores (see Episode 1).

We learn that The Raza paid a recent visit to the headquarters of Dwarf Star Technologies, killing over two hundred company personnel including company CEO Alexander Rook (see Episode…oh, it won’t be long).

The script’s first draft included another scene, a file SIX accesses prior to the video of his death…

He double-clicks, bringing up various sub-files (SERVICE, MISSIONS, RECORD, COMMENDATIONS) including the one he clicks on: DEATH. We switch to a deposition video – Commander Tarvis of the Galactic Authority (last seen in Episode 106)is being questioned.

COMMANDER TARVIS: He was our best agent up until the incident on Hydaum-12. That mission – it changed him. Though, in all fairness, over ten thousand lives lost – it would’ve changed anyone.

She fields an unintelligible O.S. question –

COMMANDER TARVIS: He requested a leave of absence and we gave it to him. I honestly wasn’t sure he’d ever come back – but he did, six months later. And requested the toughest assignment on book. In retrospect, I should’ve turned him down. He wasn’t ready.

Unintelligible O.S. question –

COMMANDER TARVIS: He went undercover to bring in the crew of the outlaw ship, The Raza.

Unintelligible O.S. question –

COMMANDER TARVIS: He was murdered while sending a data burst back to G.A. Central Command. He died on camera. The visual evidence was logged as part of the inquest into –

SIX freezes the video, enters another sequence, bringing up another video.


This reality’s Ishida Ryo has retaken the throne of Zairon with the help of his step-brother, Hiro, and other loyal agents within the court.


To quote actress Melissa O’Neil on the Portia-Boone “sexy time” scene: “My butt clenched reading it.”


Some awesome twinning sequences in this episode.  Kudos again to VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson and director Andy Mikita.  Find out how they pulled it off here: The Fine Art of Twinning


Bring on the bad guys!  One of my biggest regrets of season 1 was the loss of Wexler and Tash, two psychotic but colorful mercs who met their spectacular ends back in Episode 10.  Well, here was an opportunity to bring them back – along with the duplicitous Jace Corso.  Scheduling was a huge challenge here as all three actors – Ennis Esmer, Jessica Sipos, and Marc Bendavid – had other commitments we needed to work around.  But, thankfully, we were able to make it work in the end and all three delivered delightfully diabolical performances.


Since the episode was running long, we had to cut some dialogue for time.  FOUR’s conversation with the captive Portia and Boone offered a little more insight into Blink Drive’s workings in the script…

Portia and Boone are on their feet when he enters.

PORTIA: You didn’t account for temporal displacement. That’s why you and the rest of your crew are here. You tested the drive without making the proper adjustments.

Off FOUR –

PORTIA: So instead of going from point A to point B in your universe, you punched a hole in the fabric of space-time and ended up here in ours.

FOUR: We didn’t know we had to make those changes to the drive.

PORTIA: Didn’t the scientist you tortured tell you?

FOUR: We didn’t torture a scientist.

BOONE: Rookie mistake. You ARE different from the Ishida we know.

And, oh yeah, we also find out a little more about this reality’s ongoing conflict between Zairon and the Republic of Pyr…

PORTIA: After EOS-7, the corporations backing Pyr had bigger things to worry about than some regional conflict. They pulled their support and we took advantage, targeting your homeworld’s enemy and destroying their fleet.

BOONE: And Zairon welcomed you back with open arms.


Jace Corso’s launching of the nuclear missile, with TWO still on the planet, is a tip of the hat to the AU machinations in Star Trek: The Original Series’ classic “Mirror, Mirror”.


It’s TWO and Tash Round #2 in one of the greatest fights the show has done to date.  Let’s give it up for stunt coordinator John Stead, director Andy Mikita, editor Teresa Hannigan, actresses Melissa O’Neil and Jessica Sipos, and their stunt doubles.


Commander Truffault’s double-cross and taking of The Raza results in an exchange between her and TWO that was a little meatier in the director’s cut…

TWO: I thought we had a deal.

COMMANDER TRUFFAULT: We did – a deal you never had any intention of following through on. We both know that. So here’s the new deal: the lives of your crew in exchange for the drive.

TWO hesitates. Beat.

COMMANDER TRUFFAULT: Look at the big picture. You just need it to get home. We need it to save millions of lives by putting an end to a war that has ravaged this reality for years.

TWO: By winning it? How long is that going to take? Ferrous Corp had the drive on their side in this conflict, and you’re still fighting.

COMMANDER TRUFFAULT: I’d argue our enemy didn’t make the most efficient use of a very valuable asset. They also made a mistake by letting your counterparts keep it.

TWO: I’m guessing they didn’t have a choice.

COMMANDER TRUFFAULT: Probably not. Still, it’s hard to win a war when you’re relying on an ally who thrives on chaos. (beat) Look – this universe or your own, what difference does it make? What the hell’s really waiting for you back there?

TWO: Our own mess.

COMMANDER TRUFFAULT: (sighs) Your people in exchange for the drive. So, what’s it going to be?


The final goodbye twinning sequence was, in a word, a nightmare.  Director Andy Mikita had planned to shoot the entire thing as a oner, one continuous shot that followed TWO over to a waiting Alt Android and Portia, captured their exchange, then ended on our originals as the doubles left the shot.  And it almost all went according to plan.  Andy carefully planned the shot.  He informed the cast and crew.  We ordered the special equipment required which arrived..MINUS a crucial piece that made shooting the sequence all but impossible.  They persevered but, when it came time to assemble the cut, it was clear the eyelines were not matching up.  Most baffling was the fact that the Androids were surprisingly way off in their exchange.  We couldn’t figure it out until VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson realized our new Android outfit includes boots with heels that add another three inches or so.  As a result, the entire sequence had to be reshot in the Episode 210 schedule.

A couple of notes on this scene…

Melissa O’Neil loved Portia Lin’s coat so much (she was almost reduced to tears during her fitting) that I rewrote this scene so that her character could actually keep it.

When we originally broke this story, we’d planned for our crew to take the AU Alt Raza back to they reality with them, but ultimately decided against it because it complicated some of the developments we had planned later on down the line.

There’s this exchange between the androids that many of you picked up on:

ALT ANDROID: My presence on the other Raza would be redundant. Besides, my loyalty is to my original crew – and Portia in particular. I owe her a debt of gratitude.

Our Android finds this curious –

ANDROID: For what?

ALT ANDROID: For making me more.

The episode that offers the backstory on this one is going to blow your minds!

With the change in Raza’s, I ended up losing a scene from the original draft that opened with this preamble:

FOUR steps onto the bridge to find the Android standing there, listening to a discordant new age MUSIC that plays over the speakers. She notices him and the music automatically LOWERS.

FOUR: What are you doing?

ANDROID: While going through the new Raza’s database, I discovered a music library. I thought it might be interesting to play a piece and learn what kind of emotions it engenders in me.

FOUR: And?

ANDROID: Initial confusion followed by slight irritation, then discomfort, frustration and, ultimately, disappointment. I don’t like this at all.

FOUR: Well, there you go – an interesting emotional response.

The music turns OFF. The Android, clearly pleased –

ANDROID: Yes. I look forward to experiencing an equally visceral reaction to more selections.


Finally, the crew returns home…with some unexpected guests in the form of an FTL-capable Marauder that jumps before they have a chance to deal with it, opening the door to all sorts of new potential storylines.  Aint scifi grand?


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