What awaits our intrepid crew?
Our official final main unit day was an event that involved the entire cast – in addition to some thirty extras. After the final scene had been shot (appropriately enough, the final scene of the show’s first season), we wrapped – and celebrated the end of a challenging but very satisfying year.
And then we came back after the weekend – well, many of us did – to shoot the final day of second unit. Directed by Dark Matter stunt coordinator John Stead (who directed Episode 1.10), it involved a single cast member – Jodelle Ferland – crawling through the ship’s vent system…
The labyrinth was constructed in the breezeway between our standing sets (bridge/corridor/underbelly/quarters on one side and infirmary/mess hall on the other).
We wanted it roomy enough to move through but cramped enough to suggest a tight fit, with plenty of branches.
The “landing strip” that runs down the center allowed Jodelle to drawl along as painlessly as possible. All the same, she was outfitted with elbow and knee pads and a stunt double was also used because it was, nevertheless, uncomfy going.
Sections were designed to allow a bird’s-eye view of FIVE’s progress through the maze-like system.
Raised sections allowed director John Stead to capture FIVE’s up and down progress as well.
Jodelle was alternately boosted up (to appear on the rise) or lowered down (to drop down onto lower levels).
Director John Stead, always prepared, had a concise shot list he worked off of…
I collected the shot list for FIVE’s final vent venture and had him sign some of the pages…
I’m thinking of offering up the package as part of a Dark Matter fan giveaway.
John directs Jodelle on our final shooting day.
Checking out the tight quarters.
Lighting the vents.
Jodelle prepares to head in.
Armed and ready.
And that’s a wrap on Jodelle Ferland!
Jodelle has a hard time letting go. She misses the ship already!
Posted in comic books, comics, Dark Matter, Film and Television, science fiction, television production | Tagged #DarkMatter, Dark Matter, Director John Stead, Jodelle Ferland, John Stead | 15 Comments »
Every wonder how the Android whiles away those late night hours on the bridge? Well, here’s your answer:
Monitor magic compliments of Dark Matter playback operator Greg Whiteside!
Our double episode finale airs tonight at 9 p.m.! That’s 9 p.m.!
Want some exclusive insights into the Dark Matter season finale and what’s in store for (hopefully!) season 2? Then enter for a chance to win a signed, annotated script. All you have to do is answer four multiple choice questions correctly for a chance to make the finals! Details here:
Less than 5 hours before the polls close! Get your votes in!
So, what do the members of the press who received advanced screeners of tonight’s double episode season ender have to say about the finale?
Well, here are a few choice quotes:
“Fans of Dark Matter who have been tuning in each week, and/or binge watching via Hulu, will be stunned by events that take place over the course of the season finale. Two hours of this exciting verse in one sitting that will leave the viewer gasping as the end credits roll and asking a collective question or several.”
“When I talked with Dark Matter Executive Producer Joe Mallozzi at mid-season, he made the following statement about the show’s season 1 finale:
“Episode 12 will be another character-centric episode where we actually delve into the backstory of one particular character. Then, finally, episode 13, the season finale, and I really can’t say much about this one except it will be pretty epic. I think once that episode airs, the messageboards and fan forums will be on fire.”
After having screened both episodes, all I can say is “No effin’ sh*t!”
“You may be expecting a bigger than normal preview since this covers two episodes, but given the amount of “holy shit” moments that I don’t want to spoil this is going to be the most vague preview ever.”
“Be prepared for a sweat-inducing, heart-pounding finale that will make you question everything you thought you knew about Dark Matter and our beloved crew, especially in the final hour.”
“Syfy’s space-based TV series “Dark Matter” wraps up its first season tonight (Aug. 28) with back-to-back episodes and a jaw-dropping revelation that even the cast didn’t see coming.”
“The result is a tense hour of television as writers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie create a sci-fi Ten Little Indians scenario that works its way to a genuinely surprising conclusion – ”
“To describe the season ender Jodelle Ferland warned fans to “expect the unexpected.” Roger Cross labeled the finale episodes as “unpredictable,” while, Melissa O’Neil predicted that “it will blow your mind.”
See you on the other side!
Here’s the deal. I’m giving away a signed copy of the Dark Matter season one finale. But this isn’t just a run-of-the-mill signed script. No. I’m offering up an annotated version of the script for Episode 13 with notes on EVERY page, offering behind the scenes insights, episode secrets, and a hint or two at what’s in store for season 2.
So how do you win? Simple. Correctly answer all four of the following multiple guess questions. Vote in the polls below and then leave your answers in the poll’s comment section (don’t forget your username so that I know how you are!). Everyone who guesses correctly on all four questions is entered into a chance to win. A winner will be randomly chosen – via my handed Dungeons and Dragons many-sided dies!
*** By the way, just noticing a lot of people voting…but not many leaving their usernames and answers in the comments section. If you don’t, I have no way of knowing if you guessed correctly.
Ready? Okay, here goes!
Easy, no? Get your answers in before 6 pm PST/9 pm EST Friday, August 28th. Open to all Dark Matter fans worldwide – except those who’ve already screened our finale.
Posted in comic books, comics, Dark Matter, Film and Television, science fiction, television production | Tagged #DarkMatter, #DarkMattercontest, Dark Matter, Dark Matter contest, Dark Matter Finale, Dark Matter season finale | 142 Comments »
Are you ready? This Friday night, Dark Matter’s biggest questions are answered in our explosive Dark Matter double episode finale.
First up is Episode 12. FIVE makes a shocking discovery, TWO meets her maker (literally!), and one crew member undertakes a rare off-ship mission in an outing that sees the return of the crew’s colorful agent, Tabor Calchek (played by Stargate alum David Hewlett), as well as a special appearance by Wil Wheaton.
Then, in Episode 13, our first season comes to a shocking, suspenseful, furious paranoia-fueled climax as we finally receive the answers to some long-standing questions. Who wiped the crew’s memories? And why?
Back when I first created this show, I started with a concept and two huge moments. One of those huge moments was the reveal at the end of the the pilot episode. The second, was the reveal at the end of the our first season. Over the many, many years I developed the show, I filled in the arcs and backstories with plenty of twists and turn-offs, set-ups and payoffs, but from the beginning, it was always those two cornerstone seismic-shifting moments. You’ve seen one; prepare to be shocked by the other.
The finale concludes with a big reveal that we kept secret from the cast and crew until the very last day of main unit shooting. We had 12 of 13 scripts written very early on in the production process but intentionally held off on our finale until about a month before it was scheduled to film. And, even when it was released, portions of the final few scenes were left intentionally vague, leading to much on and off-set speculation.
To keep the cast off-balance, I engaged in an elaborate campaign of obfuscation and misdirection that even involved having certain cast members called in for secret fittings.
The final reveal for the cast came in the form of an Agatha Christie-like gathering on the bridge of The Raza in which I presided (as Hercule Poirot, natch) and delivered the news – before everyone returned to shoot those final few scenes. Dark Matter Consulting Producer Ivon Bartok and Exec Producers’ Assistant Alison Hepburn shot the pre-shoot “You’re probably all wondering why I’ve gathered you here” encounter which will turn up as an online special feature not long after the episode airs.
One of the points I made early on as the show entered production was that we have a five year game plan, but have constructed each season like separate entries in a book series. In other words, each 13 episode instalment has its own theme, and its own beginning, middle, and end. The conclusion of this first season sets us up for a spectacular, thematically different second and I’m hoping we get the chance to tell those amazing stories.
All the same, I’m extremely proud of how this first season stands as a unique and satisfying narrative journey.
In many ways, I’m reminded of other season finales in which I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved.
First there was Stargate: SG-1. In that case, we knew well in advance that it would be our last season and series showrunner and Executive Producer Robert C. Cooper scripted and directed a beautiful send-off for our team in the episode “Undending” that, interestingly enough, paralleled the series finale of a complete different show – Cheers – by giving our longtime friends one more adventure yet leaving the door open for many, many more.
Then, there was Stargate: Atlantis. In that case, the final episode was not scripted as a series finale (I assumed we’d be getting that sixth season because all signs pointed to yes…until very late in the game when it was, bafflingly, no.) but, all the same, even though we were left with a number of questions, there was something fittingly final about the expedition back on Earth – with their new toy: the city of Atlantis. And that last shot of all of our heroes standing on the balcony overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge felt like, if not an ending, then the closing of a chapter.
Finally, there was Stargate: Universe, another show we didn’t know was going to end until after we’d produced the finale. Like Atlantis, I assumed we’d be back for what we were told would be a third and final season to wrap things up…until we weren’t. Still, my writing/producing partner, Paul, had the foresight to hedge our creative bets and so, when the crew goes into stasis, The Destiny shuts down. We drop through its various levels, rooms and corridors, as the lights go out – a sequence that bookends the opening in which we do the opposite, lighting up the various levels, rooms and corridors as the ship comes to life. The final shot of The Destiny jumping into FTL for the last time is incredibly poignant because, unlike past adventures in which we join them for the ride or jump ahead to greet them at their point of arrival, we are left behind to wonder. A bittersweet ending.
But, of course, unlike the aforementioned, ours will be a season rather than a series finale. Yes, I’m cautiously optimistic. You all may feel we’ve waited a while to hear word about a renewal but, in that time, we’ve solidified our position as SyFy’s #2 original scripted program this year in both overall viewers and that 18-49 demo the kids always talk about (tied with Defiance and 12 Monkeys). Not bad.
Anyway, in keeping with that positive vibe – after the finale has aired worldwide, I might offer you all some very small and subtle hints as to what we have planned for season 2!
Hurray! Received my contest-winning swag from GeekOnReview. Check them out for t.v., comic book reviews and more!
Hey, speaking of contests, check out tomorrow’s blog for your chance to win a signed copy of the Dark Matter finale script, annotated with insights, behind the scenes tidbits, and hint or two of what lies ahead in season 2!
Posted in comic books, comics, Dark Matter, Film and Television, science fiction, television production | Tagged #DarkMatter, #DarkMatterFinale, Dark Matter, Dark Matter Finale, scifi finale | 15 Comments »
From the onset, I promised viewers, twists, turns, surprises and shocks over the course of Dark Matter’s first season. There have been plenty in these first 11 episodes and there are a couple of more BIG ones to come. So, as we barrel toward our big double episode finale (this Friday night on SyFy and SpaceChannel 6 pm PST, 10 pm EST/PST), I thought I’d take a moment to offer up my take on Dark Matter’s Biggest Holy Sh%t Moments this season…
#12 = SIX is shot and killed (Episode 108)
Yes, it’s a misdirect but, damn, it’s a great one. Our lovable SIX gunned down and bleeding out on the floor. How the hell does someone come back from that? Well, someone wouldn’t – but some”thing” might…
#11 = TWO takes out the entire casino crew (Episode 104)
We knew these people were bad. We knew that they were capable of some pretty horrific acts. And it’s during a space station stopover that we find out just how capable when TWO responds under threat. Quite literally – overkill!
#10 = ONE discovers why he is on The Raza (Episode 108)
After acquiring a genetic sample from a transfer transit trip, ONE runs an analysis and finds out his true identity. Turns out he was a wealthy industrialist. Great! Who boarded The Raza under an assumed identity to seek revenge for the murder of his wife. Her killer? None other than fellow member THREEE, Marcus Boone. Whoa!
#9 = The shocking turn in the episode’s closing seconds (Episode 112)
Can’t say much about this one as it’s yet to air but I’m sure more than a few fans will be very disturbed.
#8 = The planet destroyer (Episode 111) * Gif compliments of Tom Gardiner from ThreeIfBySpace.net
The crew holds up their end of the deal, delivering the mystery device to the Mikkei research facility – only to have it all blow up in their faces.
#7 = Somebody wiped our memories (Episode 102)
FIVE reveals that their communal memory loss was no accident. And the perpetrator is one of them.
#6 = FOUR kills Akita (Episode 109)
FOUR asks his former mentor to deliver a message for him. In hindsight, maybe Akita should’ve refused.
#5 = TWO’s magically healing wound (Episode 105)
After testing negative for the deadly virus that scans showed WAS in her system, TWO returns to her quarters to discover the nasty bite wound she sustained has magically healed as well. Bonus!
#4 = Will the real Jace Corso please stand up (Episode 103)
Following an episode teeming with distrust, recriminations, betrayals and an all-in lie detector test, the crew concludes that they may never know who wiped their memories. Cut to a distant space station where we are introduced to a very familiar-looking fellow who claims to be…Jace Corso!
#3 = We didn’t come here to help these people. We’re here to kill them. (Episode 101)
The crew finally learn their true identities – and it aint good news.
#2 = TWO gets blasted out the airlock (Episode 110) *Photo caption compliments of Tom Gardiner from ThreeIfBySpace.net
The nefarious leader of the even badder crew threatens to space TWO unless the crew gives up the codes to the vault. They do. And he does anyway.
#1 = The closing seconds of our season finale (Episode 113)
Yes, we’ve had some mighty shocking moments in the series to date but, really, nothing beats the closing seconds of our season finale. In the words of Melissa O’Neil (Dark Matter’s TWO): “It will blow your mind.”
Posted in comic books, comics, Dark Matter, Film and Television, science fiction, television production | Tagged #DarkMatter, #DarkMatterHolySh%t!, #DarkMattersBiggestMoments, Dark Matter, Dark Matter's Biggest Moments | 9 Comments »