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This blog's resident television critic: Akemi.

This blog’s resident television critic: Akemi.

“If this series not popular, I really can’t believe.”

– Akemi last night after watching the producer’s cut of episode #113, our season finale.

Her words echo the sentiments of my writing partner who said pretty much the same thing, in less economical fashion, after viewing prod cuts of our first two episodes:

“So, having seen the first two eps in close to finished form, I’m left thinking this: If this show doesn’t succeed, then I don’t know what people want. This is as good as television sci-fi gets. Seriously, if we don’t get a second season, then I should just retire and you should go to the Sorbonne and eventually open a restaurant.”

Well, I’m cautiously optimistic because, when it comes right down to it…

Me: I hope the show does well.

Akemi: Me too.  The dogs have to eat.

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Wow!  The gang at MenLifestyle offer up this handy guide to Dark Matter complete with series overview, character descriptions, and cast bios:

http://www.menlifestyle.sg/nbcuniversal-announce-dark-matter-will-premiere-syfy-14-june-starhub-ch-517/

Get ready Brazil.  Dark Matter is coming your way…

Win tickets to the Dark Matter June 12th premiere screening in Amsterdam:

http://www.insidegamer.nl/artikel/117091/prijsvraag-win-kaarten-voor-de-premiere-van-dark-matter

Premiering June 15th in France:

http://www.frenchgeekmovement.fr/dark-matter-un-nouveau-space-opera-sur-syfy/

Jelly - cold in the morning, so Akemi bundles her up.

Jelly – cold in the morning, so Akemi bundles her up.

And, finally, thanks to everyone who inquired after or offered well-wishes for Jelly.  She’s been very low energy these past couple of days.  At this points, it’s in the hands of the vets and, hopefully, their ability to locate the treatment she needs.

Jelly - a notoriously messy eater, so Akemi got her a little something.

Jelly – a notoriously messy eater, so Akemi got her a little something.

Jelly, of course, thanks each and every one of you for your concern.

Last night, I watched Andy Mikita’s director’s cut of episode #113, the big season finale.  All I can say is: Whoa!  I envy all of you who’ll be coming into the show fresh when it premieres on June 12th.  Believe me, you’re in for such a treat. We’re not just going to surpass expectations, we’re going to blow them away by delivering a scifi series you’re going to LOVE: character-driven, ship-based science fiction full of action, adventure, shocks, surprises, dazzling visual effects, and, above all else, a sense of fun.

I want to get the word out early and often.  I don’t want to wait until AFTER we air to start bringing fans on board or rewarding them for their viewership.  I want to get things started early by making you all part of the Dark Matter family BEFORE we air.  All of these sneak peeks, photos, interviews, trailers, and endless blog posts are here (and there) because I want you all to feel that this is as much your show as it is ours.  Take ownership in it.  The Dark Matter army is strong and getting stronger!

Executive Producer Jay Firestone already has some awesome amazing giveaways planned to coincide with the show’s launch – among them, limited edition 3D models of our various ships.  When the time comes, I’ll be offering up special signed, annotated scripts like the ones I did for Stargate – with hand-written notes and insights on every page.  Official Dark Matter merchandise is on the way but, while we wait, I’ll be giving offering up some of those custom t-shirts pictured in yesterday’s blog entry.  And just wait until we hit San Diego Comic Con…

More photos of our amazing cast (hopefully a few you haven’t seen):

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The stasis pods

The stasis pods

What's behind the big doors?

What’s behind the big doors?

Building the bridge.  Love them windows!

Building the bridge. Love them windows!

Meet the Dark Matter crew:

http://www.thetvjunkies.com/dark-matter-meet-the-crew/

Yeah, I ramble but, in all fairness, I wasn’t THAT drunk.

DARK MATTER -- Season:1 -- Pictured: (l-r) Zoie Palmer as The Adroid, Alex Mallari Jr. as Four, Anthony Lemke as Three, Melissa O'Neil as Two, Mark Bendavid as One, Jodelle Ferland as Five, Roger Cross as Six -- (Photo by: Dennys/Ilic/Syfy)

DARK MATTER — Season:1 — Pictured: (l-r) Zoie Palmer as The Adroid, Alex Mallari Jr. as Four, Anthony Lemke as Three, Melissa O’Neil as Two, Mark Bendavid as One, Jodelle Ferland as Five, Roger Cross as Six — (Photo by: Dennys/Ilic/Syfy)

That #Zobot sneak peek – just in case you were geo-blocked:

And a few wonderful Dark Matter gifs compliments of http://darkmatterdaily.tumblr.com

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Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular whoviantrish!

Well, whaddya know?  Our teaser trailer has quietly been racking up views and is nearing the 200k mark.  Let’s see if we can hit the quarter mill mark by the time Dark Matter premieres on June 12th (10:00 p.m. on SyFy!  Check your local listings!)

“Do Androids dream of electric sheep? This one’s too busy beating people up to answer.”

The SyFy site offers up a little #Zobot action in this sneak peek:

http://www.syfy.com/darkmatter/videos/dark-matter-sneak-peek-the-android-attacks

or here:

http://www.blastr.com/2015-5-27/exclusive-watch-sneak-peek-syfys-dark-matter

or here:

http://darkmatterdaily.tumblr.com/post/120023168869/dark-matter-1-01-pilot-sneak-peek

Alternate Zobot shirt design:

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More pics to whet your appetites…

When he's not traveling around the world on business, reading scripts, giving notes, visiting set, or editing, Executive Producer Jay Firestone finds time to socialize - here with Director Bruce McDonald.

When he’s not traveling around the world on business, reading scripts, giving notes, weighing in on prep, visiting set, or editing, Executive Producer Jay Firestone finds time to socialize – pictured above with Director Bruce McDonald.

Emergency lighting!

Emergency lighting!

All readings appear normal.

All readings appear normal.

Bubba x 2

Bubba x 2

You should get that looked at!

You should get that looked at!

Jodelle Ferland (FIVE)

Jodelle Ferland (FIVE)

Jodelle again.  Photography by Dennys Illyic (http://www.dennysilic.com)

Jodelle again. Photography by Dennys Illyic (http://www.dennysilic.com)

Akemi in the containment chamber.

Akemi in the containment chamber.

“What,”I’m sure you’ve been asking yourself, “are we to expect from Dark Matter?”  Well, for starters…

“We have a five-year game plan,” Mallozzi explains. “One of the things I think audiences will love is the fact that because we’ve been able to plan so well; we’re able to drop hints to various character reveals and various twists and turns that will pay off later down the line either near the end of season one or beyond it.”

http://www.denofgeek.us/tv/dark-matter/246499/dark-matter-what-to-expect-from-syfys-new-space-opera

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“Carnibal is eat the same species.”

– Akemi on cannibalism.

“Hello Kitty’s pet is cat so not carnibal but don’t you find strange?”

– Akemi elucidating on the topic of cannibalism.

“My stomach and back is touching.”

– Akemi’s way of letting me know she’s hungry.

“Wow. So depressing Facebook account ever.”

– Akemi passing judgement on my Facebook activity which is entirely comprised of me sharing missing pet and adopt-a-dog posts.

Hey, Germany, look out!  Dark Matter is headed your way:

Space.ca offers up 5 reasons to count down the days until the Dark Matter debut:

http://www.space.ca/article/Dark-Matter#sthash.VZqdJGhx.dpufhttp://www.space.ca/article/Dark-Matter

Dark Matter makes TV.com’s list of 11 Most Anticipated New Series for summer 2015:

http://www.tv.com/news/most-anticipated-new-summer-shows-143154270939/

Get your Dark Matter t-shirts!

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On a non-Dark Matter-related – but no less awesome – here is the trailer for my friend, Lou Anders’ first book, Frostborn:

And a review of his second book, Nightborn:

http://linkis.com/bit.ly/cuL8S

Another prolific friend has a book forthcoming:

https://outtherebooks.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/a-small-excerpt-from-alastair-reynolds-new-novella-slow-bullets-is-available/ 

While another friend seems to be doing alright:

http://io9.com/john-scalzi-signs-a-massive-10-year-13-book-publishing-1706919623

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Finishing up my overview of our wonderful cast, we finally come to the character of TWO.

Here’s the breakdown that went out for the role:

“AKA Boss Lady, AKA Portia Lin. NIKITA-ESQUE, BEAUTIFUL, SOFT- FEATURED. THE GROUP’S DE FACTO LEADER, SHE IS A MASTER FIGHTER and an unbelievably quick learner when it comes to any sort of weaponry. DETERMINED, TOUGH, AND MORE THAN A LITTLE HEADSTRONG, SHE IS NOT THE TYPE YOU WANT TO MESS WITH – OR DISAPPOINT. She can be cool and inscrutable. LOOKING FOR SOMEONE FIT, PREFERABLY WITH FIGHTING EXPERIENCE.  ALL ETHNICITIES.”

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By far, this was the role that saw the most auditions.  When all was said and done, over 250 candidates had read for the part. We had a lot of interesting possibilities but one, for me, stood out amongst the rest.  I received her audition, a rare self-tape, from New York where she’d been on Broadway appearing in Les Miserables.

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Her name was Melissa O’Neil and she was everything I was looking for in the character – someone with obvious strength and a commanding presence and yet, at the same time, sympathetic and possessed of an underlying warmth.  Too much of the former and one risked making the character unlikable.  Too much of the latter and one risked making her seem weak.  It was a very, very tough balancing act that most were unable to pull off, but one that Melissa managed to deliver with ease.  She also had MMA and martial arts experience which was a huge plus because, next to the character of FOUR, TWO was our most technically proficient fighter.  The rest of the crew were brawlers but she needed to be an expert in the use of weapons and hand to hand combat.

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One of the things that impressed me about Melissa early on was her positive outlook and commitment to her craft and character.  She was a stunt coordinator’s (not to mention a director’s and show runner’s) dream, training like crazy, rehearsing complex action sequences on weekends so that she could nail them on the day.  The editors loved her because she was so good at fight choreography that we could actually stay on her in the wide shots rather than having to cut around to her stunt double.  Like the character she played, Melissa was an incredibly quick learner who picked up enough moves to give me pause whenever I debated story points with her.

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When all is said and done, however, I’ll forever remember the enthusiastic emails exchanged shortly after we received her audition.  Some of the highlights: “I’m so excited about her”, “That second scene was near perfection”, “Top of my list”, “I think she’s really special and fresh”, and “She’s ready to break!”

We all knew we had a star in the making.  And, in about a month, I believe we’ll be proven right.

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For a dog at death’s door, my 16 year old pug Jelly has been doing pretty well.  In fact, ever since we brought her back home to die last Friday after receiving a hopeless diagnosis from two local vets, she’s been as animated as ever.  In fact, I’d be so bold as to say she bounced back – if not for the test results that point to kidney failure and antibiotic resistant E coli coursing through her system.  Euthanasia was recommended and I was fully prepared to follow this advice, treating my girl to one final weekend of muffins, ice cream and some of the 60 day old dry-aged steak I had for dinner the other night.  Except…the following morning, she was up and alert.  Her appetite had returned.  And she was as cantankerous as ever.  So I decided to hold off…temporarily…

A little over five years ago, Jelly all but stopped walking.  It turned out her hip dysplasia had progressed to the point where she was no longer capable of supporting herself.  Euthanasia was recommended.  Over five years ago!  I considered my options, then generated some new ones by going online and discovering the marvels of stem cell treatments.  They’ve been seeing some surprising results with this procedure – in Europe – a procedure that involves extracting the body’s stem cells (from belly fat which apparently has the highest concentration of the stuff), shipping them to a lab where they are spun in a centrifuge, then shipped back and injected into the problem areas: in Jelly’s case, her arthritic joints and eroded hips.  I contacted this company (http://www.vet-stem.com), took Jelly in for a consult (where I was told results varied so not to expect too much), and had her undergo the treatment.  A couple of weeks later, she was back on her paws  – wobbly, mind you, but once again able to support herself.

So, faced with a similar dire situation, I once again turned to the one place that had helped me in the past: the internet.  And there, I discovered a possible cure for presumably untreatable antibiotic-resistant infections: phage therapy.

I read this article about a woman who had been given a “you’ve got an untreatable antibiotic-resistant infection so prepare to die” diagnosis:

http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/cure-antibiotic-resistance

Instead of packing up her belongings and resigning herself to certain death, she packed up her belongings and headed to Europe where phage therapy has been used for over a decade with great success.  She underwent the treatment and was miraculously (?) cured of her incurable infection.

From the aforementioned article:

“Bacteriophages (“bacteria eaters”), commonly called phages, are viruses that infect bacteria but not humans. Found in water, soil, and even your digestive tract, phages dwell wherever bacteria are found because they rely on them to reproduce. (Find out how what you eat affects your gut bacteria.) They drill through a bacterium’s surface, hijack its DNA, and then replicate themselves within it until the cell bursts. Cocktails of phage viruses can kill a bacterial infection in the human body with remarkable accuracy, taking out only the infiltrators and leaving important populations of “good” bacteria intact—unlike the blunt tool of antibiotics, which tend to wipe out a wide swath of good bugs and bad.”

Apparently, it’s been researched for a while here in North America with very positive results:

https://ispub.com/IJAM/7/1/13668

But, of course, the FDA (in the U.S.) and Health Canada (here) have yet to make this treatment readily available.  Why?  Rose-tinted glasses-wearing observers will argue it’s because they’re being very careful.  Cvidently, a decade of positive results in Europe isn’t quite enough for them.

Anyway, I dispatched some emails this weekend and made some inquiries.  The wheels are in motion to get Jelly the treatment.

Maybe we’ll see a miracle bounce back like we did the last time everyone else wrote her off.  Or maybe we won’t.  But at the very least, we’ll have TRULY exhausted our options.

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Whoa!  As our series premiere draws ever nearer (less than two weeks and counting!), things are really beginning to ramp up.  Check out all of the Dark Matter-related goodies…

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…starting with this terrific interview by longtime Stargate supporter and friend, Steve Eramo, who talks to Dark Matter Executive Producer and Prodigy Pictures President Jay Firestone about how he brought the series to air and his continued involvement in the show’s creative and production:

http://scifiandtvtalk.typepad.com/scifiandtvtalk/2015/05/jay-firestone-talks-dark-matter.html

Give it a read and leave him a thank you for bringing you some much-missed ship-based scifi!  And your new favorite SF series!

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Get to know Dark Matter and Lost Girl’s Zoie Palmer:

http://www.syfy.com/lostgirl/blog/get-to-know-lost-girls-zoie-palmer

Hey!  Jodelle Ferland and the gang speak Spanish in the Dark Matter trailer for #SyFySpain:

https://amp.twimg.com/v/05c44b2e-d871-4853-bb17-b441b2f111b4

For our Spanish-speaking fans:

https://seriescienciaficcion.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/conoce-a-los-protagonistas-de-dark-matter-la-nueva-serie-del-canal-syfy/

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SyFyNL is offering up the opportunity to win a trip to San Diego Comic Con.  See you there!

http://www.syfy.nl/competitions/win-een-reis-naar-comic-con®-san-diego

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SyFyUK’s poster for the series.

AIRDATES…

June 12th: US & Canada
June 13th: Australia
June 13th: Germany
June 14th: Asia, Poland
June 15th: UK & Spain
June 16th: France, Netherlands & Belgium

(and more to come…)

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The ladies.

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And the guys.

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#Don’tMessWithTheZobot!

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Dark Matter’s Goemon!  Yeah, anime aficionados know what I’m talking about!

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Recently got a chance to sit down and talk Dark Matter with the wonderful Sam Maggs, author of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy (http://sammaggs.com/writing/books/).

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A delightfully informative read for all genders!

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