For those of you who weren’t able to attend, here’s the SDCC Dark Matter panel c/o the fine folks at Syfy:

Also at Comic Con:


Crave Online’s Blair Marnell talks to The Women of Dark Matter

Dark Matter “Episode 17: We Were Family” recaps, reviews and reactions:

Welcome Back, Son by Tom Gardiner at Three If By Space


We Were Family – With Six You Get Replicants by Michael Knox-Smith at Mike’s Film Talk


Robot Romance and What’s a Titch? by Cort Robinson at Pure Fandom


Good stuff from Canada that is as good as any recent series that comes to mind, or maybe even better… By Craig Suide at SciFi Movie Page


Dark Matter has a lot of balls in the air right now, and so far they are being successfully juggled. More episodes like this one would make an impressive storytelling display and an overall successful season to come… by Michael Ahr at Den of Geek


This season continues to deliver to an exceptional standard every single week and our faith in the writers only grows with each passing episode… by Christopher Hart at The Nerd Recites


For whatever number of episodes are in this season, they have a handle on the pacing that has given us a lot for only being on the fourth… by Jideobi Odunze at Geeked Out Nation


Dark Matter, you keep building these relationships like this and I will be a fangirl for life… by Jen Stayrook at The Workprint


This was a strong and powerful episode with an incredible amount of character growth. I think this is my favorite episode yet this season and that’s taking into account that I adored the first two episodes… by Aimee Hicks at Spoiler TV


I mentioned in the comments of a previous review that Three was becoming my favorite character on this show, and Dark Matter Season 2 Episode 4 only reinforces this sentiment… by Kathleen Wiedel at TV Fanatic


This episode revealed that everyone is going to be faced with new choices as the series progresses. Whether they are for the better or for the worst is the real question… by Leaf Miranda at The Young Folks


Josh and Anna of Geeksiders weigh in:

DARK MATTER -- "We Were Family" Episode 204 -- Pictured: Zoie Palmer as The Android -- (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

DARK MATTER — “We Were Family” Episode 204 — Pictured: Zoie Palmer as The Android — (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

Tonight, it’s an all-new episode of Dark Matter!  “Episode 17: We Were Family”, aka Episode 204, aka “A Very THREE Reunion”, aka “Android’s Day Out”!

7 pm PDT/10 pm EDT on Syfy and Space Channel.

Join me for my final live tweet for the foreseeable future and then check out what should be my last live after-show Periscope at 8 pm PDT/11 pm EDT.  I’ll be using Akemi’s iPad for the event so I should, hopefully, be able to make out everyone’s names in spite of the app’s crappy choice of color backgrounds.

DARK MATTER -- "We Were Family" Episode 204 -- Pictured: Anthony Lemke as Three -- (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

DARK MATTER — “We Were Family” Episode 204 — Pictured: Anthony Lemke as Three — (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

A LOT going on in this episode and I’ll have plenty to say about it after it airs.  The upcoming blog entries will be chock full o’ BTS pics, vids, and stuff that didn’t make the final cut.  Stay tuned!


For those of you who WILL be joining in the live-tweeting tonight, here (compliments of blog regular and live-tweeting expert PBMom) are some things to remember…

“How to get Dark Matter to trend tonight:

1) Don’t use #DarkMatter before the designated time: 1 HOUR before Dark Matter airs.

2) One # term per Tweet. (Only one hashtag because Twitter doesn’t count tweets towards trending with multiple hashtags. Their algorithm does not pick it up.

Example: If everyone needs to use #DarkMatter there should be a coordinated effort that everyone just use that and not something else. So if someone tweets #FourClan #DarkMatter it won’t count towards trending at all.

3) Lots of people tweeting matters more than the number of tweets.

4) Those with lots of followers help out a lot!

5) Private accounts must have their locked status removed, as the tweets from these accounts do not count toward the trend tally.

6) Retweets are the easiest way to help out the trending effort. Just search for the hashtag, and retweet the ones that have just one hashtag.

7) Thank the sponsors.

(This is true for ANY show. Sponsors do pay attention to this. Often with DVR viewing, commercials are skipped. When people go out of their way to thank the sponsors means a great deal to them. For example: Thank you @subway for sponsoring #DarkMatter. It s a fabulous show. I think a sandwich would go well with it! ) They help with the retweets when they see things like that.”

In case you missed it yesterday, here’s one of my many favorite scenes from this season:


Tomorrow night, it’s a brand new episode of Dark Matter

On this week’s all-new episode of Dark Matter, THREE (Anthony Lemke) reconnects with his former crew while The Android (Zoie Palmer) finds herself in unique company.


Screen Spy has an EXCLUSIVE SCOOP on the episode, offering some intriguing teasers, individually titled: “Sentimental Memories”, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”, “Sexy Sparring”, “Pretty Woman”, and “The Key to Victory”.

DARK MATTER -- "We Were Family" Episode 204 -- Pictured: Anthony Lemke as Three -- (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

DARK MATTER — “We Were Family” Episode 204 — Pictured: Anthony Lemke as Three — (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

This episode promises some great developments for everyone on board The Raza, offering insights into THREE’s past, the Android’s potential, TWO’s backstory, Nyx’s secret, Devon’s demons, Arax’s hidden agenda, and one of my favorite THRE/FIVE scenes of the season.  The latter is a lot of fun and gives us a glimpse of their burgeoning atypical friendship…Ah, hell.  Why don’t I just show you.  Check it out:

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry, I grow weary of twitter and have seriously begun to question its value simply so far as I’m concerned.  I’m going to give live-tweeting another go when tomorrow night’s episode airs (7 pm PDT/10 pm EDT on Syfy and Space Channel) and then, at Akemi’s behest, follow up with (probably) a final after-show Periscope (8 pm PDT/11 pm EDT).  New blog entries will be automatically uploaded to my twitter feed and I’ll retweet the occasional article but, moving forward, this blog and reddit will be THE sources of BTS pics, videos, and insights.  Maybe, in some not too distant future, when twitter has worked out the bugs and Periscope is less annoying to use, I may return.  In the meantime, I hear there’s this thing called Meerkat…

Hey, it’s been a while!  Let’s hit the mailbag!

arcticgoddess writes: “With all the time travel episodes you are watching, are you planning on writing a time travel ep for season three?”

Answer: Maaaaaybeeee!

KathyC writes: “Is the food getting any better? You weren’t very happy when you got home.”

Answer: Checked out two new (to me!) local restaurants with Akemi and Anthony recently, and both were winners: Mission (http://missionkits.ca) whose head chef, in addition to being a Stargate fan, creates some truly incredible dishes like –


Stuffed zucchini blossoms.


Sea urchin pasta.

And, for dessert, an unbelievable apricot-soaked savarin.

We also hit Fable Diner where we enjoyed some spectacular duck and kimchee pancakes and a this –


EJ writes: “Mailbag question that’s had me curious since the first episode: how did you come up with the name “Raza” for the ship?”

Answer: It’s actually from the Latin “tabula rasa”.

Maggie L80 writes: “I know lots of people have commented on Five’s abundant supply of clothing compared to the others and she’s been on the ship the least amount of time. Any new wardrobe changes for the others this season?”

Answer: Yep.  TWO gets an especially awesome new jacket later this season.

2cats writes: “Mailbag questions:
1) The Raza is in space and yet they fire propellant weapons inside? Wasn’t that a bad thing last season with the derelict zombie ship, causing hull breaches? Why weren’t there any hull breaches during this latest firefight?”

Answer: Certainly unwise.  As for why no hull breaches – The Raza is a much better than that old freighter.

“2) Is Marc excited to be playing a bad guy from now on (Jace Corso)?”

Answer: I believe so, but this is a question for Marc.

“3) Does the Doc and Nyx know about Arax’s connection to the lady that’s seeking to “get” Five”?”

Answer: You’ll have to wait and see to find out.

ceresis64 writes: “But, why was Android so hostile when activated?”

Answer: The answer to this question coming your way in Episode 208.

“Back to S2, is Randroid set to Android’s default settings?”

Answer: Yes.

Wouter writeS: “Questions for Joe:
-Initial ratings for S2 that I’ve seen, only for Syfy, didn’t look great. Are there other metrics that may decide the fate of the show, like how it’s doing on Space Channel, or alternative means to watch like digital views (Netflix) or downloads (iTunes)? Is S2 even available on the later options? Could strong sales on DVD/Blu-ray or on iTunes save the show even if ratings are disappointing?”

Answer: Sure.  Ultimately all of the aforementioned will play a role in the show’s future.  Some, however, will hold more weight than others.

“When Two was outside the ship when the other mercs had taken over the Raza, some explanation was offered why she survived for so long. But I don’t recall ever getting an explanation of how she managed to keep breathing (or alternatively, why she could survive without breathing if that is the case). Nanites migrating to the skin doesn’t cover that, AFAIK.”

Answer: It was both a matter of the nanites making highly efficient use of oxygen stores and placing her in a physiological state that minimized those oxygen requirements.  It was a stop gap measure that would not have worked indefinitely.

“I rather like much of the short music tracks that accompany the episodes – for example, the ending of ep 5 of S1 had nice music. Are there any plans to release a soundtrack or at least to put bits and pieces online?”

Answer: I have asked our brilliant composer, Benjamin Pinkerton about this.  He told me intends to eventually.

fsmn36 writes: “How long were One and Six part of the team before Five stowed away?”

Answer: Timing would suggest – not all that long.

“What convinced Portia, Boone and Ryo to allow them to join?”

Answer: The crew of The Raza has a rotating lineup.  Members are presumably made and lost along the way.  We’ll learn more about the ORIGINAL original crew in time.

neosmithxeno writes: “For one thing, why did the prison arc end so quickly? It felt like there should’ve been at least another episode before the gang returned to the Raza. Was this always the plan?”

Answer: The prison storyline was originally planned as a three-episode arc but was compressed to two after several requests to shorten it.  In fact, one request was to have them escape halfway through the premiere (!).

“Second, why reveal almost immediately that Arax Nero is the asset, rather than tease the mystery out for a few episodes?”

Answer: We went back and forth on this but, ultimately, there’s another storyline we want to get moving on that requires us to advance the Arax Nero storyline first.

“Third, I was confused about whether or not pre-Ryo/Marcus knew about pre-Portia’s status as an advanced synthetic. They didn’t seem at all bothered by the fact that she could link to the ship, an ability I thought was exclusive to the Android. So, did they know what she really is or not?”

Answer: The answer to this question will come in time.

“Finally, assuming that Marcus did go inside the Vault and see Sarah’s body, did he also find the Frozen Six? Was there maybe a scene that addressed this?”

Answer: SIX’s stasis pod was not in the vault.  It was in one of several holds located in the ship’s underbelly.

Hey, don’t forget to check out the Dark Matter panel at Comic Con tonight!



Who’s going to San Diego Comic Con?  Well, Dark Matter will be there.  Thursday, July 21st at 7 pm, join cast members Melissa O’Neil, Anthony Lemke, Alex Mallari Jr., Jodelle Ferland, and Melanie Liburd along with Executive Producer Jay Firestone in Room 60E for the Dark Matter panel.

Well, our lodger left us today, bound for San Diego.  He’ll be missed – by a couple of the locals in particular…

3 1 4 2

It wasn’t all fun and games though.  While here, Akemi put him to work…


Meanwhile, local celebrity rag captures celebrity in totally candid shot:


Cider house rules!

Well, finished a first draft of Episode 301 .  I’m going to take a day off, give it a polish, then send it off to Paul and co. for notes, after which I roll right into Episode 303.  But FIRST, I need to do a pass on that military SF pilot before sending it out another round of “professional vetting”.  P.S. Thanks to Maggie, Ryan, Bob, and Chris, the military vets with an eye for detail – and story!

Also, looks like I’ll be L.A.-bound for the last week of August.  My new agency wants me to do “the tour”, so I’ll be flying in for fight days of meetings – and meals with (hopefully) my L.A. pals: Martin Gero, Carl Binder, Marc Bendavid, Melanie Liburd, Ellen Wong and Adam.

Hey, you know what Friday night is?  Yep, it’s SciFi Friday!  Killjoys at 6 pm PDT/9 pm ET and Dark Matter at 7 pm PDT/10 pm EDT!  It also may mark my last pick at the tweeting/periscoping can.  It’s been fun, but twitter and I may be breaking up.  Our relationship has hit a rocky patch.  :(

Allow me to leave you with some eye candy (work-in-progress!) from our crack visual effects team lead by our tireless VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson.

Screenshots of the Ishida Cruiser in FTL.  Original concept design by artist Jon Hrubesch.  Modelled by Brendan Morfitt, overseen by VFX Supervisor Shawn Hillier of FuseFX.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 6.36.16 PM

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 6.36.46 PM

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 6.37.22 PM

EOS-7 design by Jeff Bartzis, FuseFX.  Visual effects work overseen by VFX Supervisor Shawn Hillier, FuseFX.

space station A

space station B

Tomorrow, promos and previews for Dark Matter “Episode 17: We Were Family”.


Late last night, we learned of the passing of Nola “Nolamom” Shingledecker, a longtime Stargate fan, recent Dark Matter fan, and a member of this blog’s community since the very beginning.  Her friend and fellow San Antonian, baterista9, forwarded the following:

“This is a very hard post to write…On July 12, 2016 my wife passed away in her sleep. This has been a difficult time for the whole family…I want to thank those who have helped with their words of support…I have tried to contact everyone who’s numbers I have. I hope this post will reach those I have been unable to call…She was a teacher at Taft High School in NISD for 20 years and her passing will impact this district greatly…She got her degree and master degree from UTSA and became a full time teacher in 1999. She was so excited about the upcoming year’s classes. As per her request, her remains were sent to Texas State University to further educate students in the field of Forensics…She was a very good person and there is not enough space to cover the positive impact she made during her life…She will be missed…”

This morning, I went through Nola’s posts dating back to December of 2006 and noted how much of her personality came through in those comments, and how well we got to know her over these many years.  Often, it’s the small strokes that paint the bigger picture…

She had a BA and an MA in history.

She was married to an architectural designer for 45 years.

She loved dogs, especially yorkies, and was incredibly supportive of my Maximus and Jelly through their various health issues and final days.

She loved pecans, berries, lobster, clam chowder, spaetzle with tenderloin, wild boar sausages (which she made after her husband’s hunting trips), Hungarian food, prawns, souffle, dim sum, shish kebab, a good Philly cheesesteak, and the Kahlua truffles her daughter would make (especially for her!) at Christmas but…

She hated beets after polishing off a bowl of them as a child.  Also, not a fan of turkey sausage, melons, San Antonio summers, networking, zombies, or internet trolls.

She was a big fan Anne McCaffrey, the original Willy Wonka (showing clips to her economics classes to illustrate the factors of production: Oompaloompas as labor and Willie as entrepreneur),  Star Trek: The Original Series (using the episode “Charlie X” to illustration the socialization process, or lack thereof, to her sociology class), Gary Larson’s The Far Side, and her Dallas Cowboys.

She eschewed gift cards (which she considered cop-outs) in favor of good old-fashioned personal shopping for the ones on her list.

She was a self-avowed “sportscar person” who would often tell her economics students that, if she were rich, she would have a Lamborghini.

And some of the comments she left on this blog that really gave us a sense of who she was:

“Everyone should know the name of the custodian who cleans their office (or in my case, classroom) and treat them with the same respect that they treat their boss. ”

“One of the best things you can do is to cultivate the people who are least noticed. These are the folks who are unsung, but who may do so much in the long run. I’m a teacher. What does it cost me to get to know the custodial staff? Nothing. Maybe a breakfast taco now and again or a dozen doughnuts a couple times a year. What does it benefit me? Myriad ways – little things like getting the best new pencil sharpener installed the same day as mentioning that my pencil sharpener is lousy…having loads of boxes of paper delivered to the copy room without having to ask (yes, it would seem that this is is given -NOT) Having your classroom given extra attention so that things are dusted and vacuumed regularly (not the case for everyone) And the smiles of all of them – knowing that I acknowledge their hard work which is almost universally unsung. Are these folks ever going to be in a position to help me “on the way up”? Unlikely. Although I did have some cafeteria ladies talk to the principal about how they’d like to have me as an administrator.

Everyone in an organization contributes to the end product, no matter how humble their job. If a person wants to make their workload lighter (in the long-run obviously) be kind to EVERYONE who makes your job possible.”

“Akemi did a lovely job on the beef – it’s the oven’s fault if it’s not done enough for you.”

“Whatever time Maximus has left he will spend with the one who loves him most, this is important.”

“Lovely Thanksgiving here, and my Cowboys win in the last 3 seconds! Excellent food, family and friends and a good game to boot. Today the two grandmas, my daughter, and my granddaughter go for our annual pilgrimage to see the Nutcracker ballet. Tis the season!”

“… Talk about a hard candy Christmas! But it was probably our most thankful one – we had much to appreciate in each other and within our family grew stronger.”

“It’s been a good Christmas here in South Texas. We had 15 over today for a huge pot of vegetable beef soup and the present exchange. Everything from the youngest 4 year old grandson to my 87 year old mother in law were present and had a good time. It was a bit crazy, but joyous.”

“I woke up one more time – each day is a gift.”

Donations can also be made in her name to FACTS (Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State) instead of flowers.


We watched the first two episodes of Netflix’s Stranger Things last night.  I’m enjoying it so far and really, REALLY hoping that all of these cool narrative elements come together and make sense in the end.  Akemi, on the other hand, was freaked-out.  “Is this horror?”she asked as the frightened scientist ran through the flickering corridors in the opening.

“No,”I said.  “It’s science fiction.”

“Are you sure?”she asked after the scientist met his fate.

“It’s science fiction,”I insisted.

And then, throughout the first episode, Akemi: “It’s horror.” “I think it’s horror.”  “This not science fiction.  Horror!”

We usually watch a single episode of something before bedtime but she was so unnerved she suggested we watch a second episode that would answer some of the first’s eerie questions.  So we did.  And got more eerie questions.  She would have stayed up for a third but she was exhausted.  Before drifting off to sleep she informed me: “I might have to turn on the light to go to the bathroom tonight.  And wake you up.”  Thankfully, she didn’t.

This morning she woke up, still weirded out by the show.  “I can’t sleep last night,”she told me.  “I worried that you disappear.  So I kept touching you to make sure you’re still here.  But you seem to not like it.”

Being touched while I’m trying to sleep?  Of course I’m not going to like it!


Hey, look who dropped by to spend time with the original Bubba.  Yes, it’s t.v.’s Anthony Lemke “(“Le Monkey”to Akemi), into town for a couple of days before heading to San Diego for Comic Con.

Hey, if you have any questions about the last episode, “I’ve Seen the Other Side of You”, post ’em.  I’m long overdue for a mailbag and will try to field your questions over the next couple of days.  But one that has come up:

Sandy Pahl asks: “Why didn’t Two, Three and Four question where One & Six were after regaining their memories?”

Answer: The fact that only Portia Lin, Marcus Boone, and Ryo Ishida’s neural imprints flashed up suggests that when the crew first created this fall-back strategy (in the event the Android was incapacitated), Jace Corso and Griffin Jones were not part of the team.

Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 1.28.00 PM

Yeeeeah!  Who’s joining me on the Atlantis expedition?!

Oof.  You know what I hate?  Writing.  Especially when I’ve been sitting on the same scene for going on three days.  THREE DAYS!  If I can just forge ahead, get it done and then, hopefully, tear through these last ten or so pages, I can actually take  day off and NOT WRITE…which, frankly, is what I’ve been doing these past three days except that, instead of reading or watching something, I’ve just been staring at my laptop screen.

I’ve been reviewing some of my fave time loop movies and t.v. episodes with Akemi lately.  We started with Groundhog Day (which she found dated and I didn’t love as much on the re-view), then move on to Run Lola Run (she LOVED IT, as did I just as much on the re-view), SG-1’s “Window of Opportunity” (she found Rick’s performance somewhat…disinterested, while I felt the episode showed some age), and SGU’s “Time” (which she found confusing but compelling, and an episode I still consider one of the best time-travel stories we ever did.  Kudos to Robert C. Cooper).  Lined up for future viewing: Star Trek: The Next Generation “Cause and Effect”, Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Life Serial”, The X-Files “Monday”, Angel “Time Bomb”, Lois & Clark “Twas the Night Before Myxomas”, Smallville “Reckoning”, Dr. Who – various,  Farscape “Back and Back and Back to the Future”, and about a dozen more.

Dark Matter “Episode 16: I’ve Seen the Other Side of You” recaps, reactions, and reviews:


When this show is over and looked back upon, we feel that this week’s episode will stand out as one of the most memorable and crucial episodes…  by Christopher Hart at The Nerd Recites


Dark Matter: It’s Two vs. Five in “I’ve Seen the Other Side of You” by Jen Stayrook at The Workprint.


It turns out that the crew’s memories aren’t gone after all, which Five had to learn the hard way… by Leaf Miranda at The Young Folks


Wait, what?  by Siobhan Dempsey at Word of the Nerd Online



Season 2 Episode 3 Fun Facts!


What’s the Deal with the Crystal Tower?

You remember the crystal tower, dontcha?

Crystaline Buildings 10_DM2



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