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Early in November, I held a little contest on this blog, asking fans to directly identify two props featured in Dark Matter’s second season.  Then, we rolled into production and I forgot to announce the winner.  And so, better late than never, the winner of the cast-signed script who correctly identified the props – and the episodes in which they appeared is…

ceresis64!

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Prop 1 – An emergency beacon that Chief Inspector Kierkan shows Four when he’s talking to him, when trapped under the rubble in Ep 205 We Voted Not To Space You.

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Prop 2 – one of Truffault’s soldiers uses it to open the door when they board the Raza in Ep208 Stuff To Steal, People To Kill.

Congrats to ceresis64!  Drop me an email at moorsyum@yahoo.com with your mailing address, and I’ll send the script your way.

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Director Ron Murphy is armed and ready for you questions.  You have until Monday night to post them in this blog’s comments section!

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Hey, check out this concept vehicle, just in time for my Christmas road trip to Montreal!  Just got to fuel up, get the snow tires, and arm the mounted laser gun and I’m road ready!

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Suji has to work on that bark.

I leave you with…dog pictures…

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P.S. Suji now has her own instagram account here: NewOldPugSujiko

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A little something from concept artist Henry Fong for Episode 303…

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Holy crap!  Three weeks of production complete!

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Director Bruce McDonald – the master of ceremonies.

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First blocking – Craiger, Joe, Dave, and Brad.

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Do NOT go in there!

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Script Supervisor Brad Wethlery joins the club.  Dashing, no?

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So what’re we doing in the systems control room?

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An unwelcome guest?

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Last night’s dinner with Torri Higginson (Dark Matter’s Commander Truffault and Stargate’s Commander Elizabeth Weir), four steaks: A5 Kobe Black Tajima from Hyogo Prefecture, Japan; A5 Black Tajima from Gunma Prefecture, Japan; AAco Westholme Wagyu from Queensland, AUS; Mishima Reserve Wagyu from CO, USA. And sides.

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The occasion?

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And the Birthday Gal.

Don’t forget!  You have until Monday night to post your questions for Dark Matter Director Ron Murphy (of such episodes as the season 3 premiere, the season 3 finale, and the show’s wildest episode ever – Episode 304)!

The weekend is upon us.  Finally, I can break this endless cycle of meetings, writing and rewrites by just concentrating on writing and rewrites!

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Hot on the heels of one fantastic Dark Matter fan Q&A (see yesterday’s Roger Cross-dedicated entry) comes another.  Director Ron Murphy (director of such episodes as: The one where FIVE mines her memories and finds out how she got on the ship, The one where FOUR kills his former mentor Akita, The one where the Android uses the upgrade to go undercover as a human, The one where almost everyone gets blown up on that space station, and another three this upcoming season including the premiere, finale, and the totally bananas Episode 304) wants to hear from YOU!  Post your questions for Ron in the comments of this blog.  You have until Monday night!

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Yesterday morning I received a sign that Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 would NOT be one of my best days.  That sign was our new (old) pug Suji peeing in the bed.  At 5:30 a.m.  I suspect this is the result of a bladder infection and not poor housebreaking habits or general insolence.  So, we’ve made an appointment to visit the vet Friday night.  And did a mess of laundry.  And packed up our comforters to drop off at the dry cleaners.

Then, on my way in to work, I saw a pedestrian get hit by a car.  It was morning dark and she was crossing against a red light in a no-crossing zone.  The car wasn’t going that fast but it did send her tumbling, head over heels.  Attempts to coax into a car for a ride to the hospital proved unsuccessful and she scampered off, no doubt to thank her lucky stars for the close call…and, later that night, curse them for the aching back that’ll probably creep on her.

I got to the office 15 minutes before call, set up my laptop, and got to work on my script, marveling at how quiet the place was and how fortunate I’d been to snag a parking spot right out front.  Wait!  Quiet?!  Parking spot out front?!  I checked the callsheet and, sure enough, we were shooting at our other stage.  I hopped into the car and zipped over, just in time for first blocking.

A great Marauder day with Director Ron Murphy calling the shots.  There was a special guest star and laughs and even a few tears shed.

At one point, actress Zoie Palmer came by my office to discuss a name for her Android.  We’d had two weeks to go away and come back with three suggestions each.  I actually came back with two.  She had seven.  We kind of, sort of, agreed on one (with a surprising Stargate connection!).  But we’ve yet to commit, so discussions are ongoing.

Today, we’re in the infirmary for Day #2 of Episode 302 (which is actually shooting in the #3 slot) with Director Bruce McDonald at the helm…

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Concept piece for the Ishida holo-tablet c/o Props Master Victoria Klein.

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1st Assistant Art Director/Set Designer Karl Crosby shows off his robot arm.

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Construction continues on the Ishida research facility.

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Details!  Details!

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B Dolly Grip Phil Calambakas represents on Cat Shirt Thursday.

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Sound Recordist Rachelle Audet makes do with a cat pin.

For my part, I actually bought a bunch of cat t-shirts before the season started…but keep forgetting to wear them.

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On Set Dresser Mean Jean Brophey looking tough(ish).img_4477

While Executive Producer Jay Firestone negotiates a tableful of notes.

Dinner tonight with belated birthday gal Torri Higginson (Dark Matter’s Commander Delaney Truffault).  We’re gonna wagyu it up!!!

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Back when we were first casting the show, I watched countless auditions for the role of SIX.  Going in, I knew that the linchpin of the performances would be that one line of dialogue our lovable father figure utters to FIVE at the end of Episode 9: “But truth is, when the time comes that you do decide to leave, I’m gonna miss you kid. I’m gonna miss you a lot.”  And, boy, was I right.  So many performers crashed and burned or were wholly unconvincing in their delivery, stymied by this surprisingly tricky line.  Others came close…but no cigar.  But one actor delivered the warmth and gravitas and genuine sincerity we were looking for.  He was perfect.  He was Roger Cross.

Well, two seasons later, Roger has been keeping busy – on our show and many other projects.  BUT STILL found the time to field YOUR questions.

You asked; he answered…

ceresis64writes: “If you could play any other character in Dark Matter, who would it be?”

RC: If I could play any other role, it would probably be the android. It would be fun to control and play with the emotions like she does.

“What’s the most fun role you’ve played, and why?”

RC: I can’t pick my favorite, so many are great because of timing and/or experience.

“Which character have you played that is most like you, and the least like you?”

RC: My favorite part of playing “Six” is all his intimate scenes, whether it be with Five or Two, Three or Anders.

Kris Jane writes: “If you could choose, are there any specific storylines or arcs you’d like your character to explore? (More hidden past stuff, body swaps, weird ticks or incidents, leadership roles, other secrets, a romance, etc.)”

RC: It would be great to see the real background and romantic side of Six. A body swap episode would be kind of fun too.

Harley Power Parks writes: “Will you be visiting Hawaii soon? If so would you let fans know? Or San Diego Comic-Con?”

RC: I hope to be back in Hawaii soon. I’ll be sure to let you know. Maybe we can film an ep there.

“What makes you happy?”

RC: My kids make me happy.

“You were the first to use Transfers Transit, Now that Raza Crew has their own Transfer Transit Units, Using 5’s ability to hack memories too, is it possible that instead of sending out one clone you could send out multiples and successfully merge all the memories back together? Is it necessary to be unconscious? Kind of like mixing Edge of Tomorrow and Naruto’s shadow clones!””

RC: Wow, all of that transfer transit stuff sounds great. That would be a better question for Joe.

Harry Hanz writes: “”If you could build anything out of Legos, what would it be and why?”

RC: I love building Lego with my boys. Would be fun to build a Raza Lego set.

“What is Six’s most appealing trait?””

RC: You can tell me what you think is Six’s most appealing trait. I think it’s his passion to do the right thing.

Drea writes: “Favorite Bob and/or Ziggy Marley song?”

RC: I love all of Bob Marley’s songs, but I’ll probably have to go with “Redemption Song” as my favorite; “Corner Stone” as 2nd.  And for Ziggy, I have to go with “Welcome To Jamrock” as my favorite, and “True To Myself” in second place.

Linda Kettle writes: “Does 6 have a family? Did 2 & 6 anticipate 4 trying to steal blink drive? Does 6 still consider Anders a friend? Is it weird being on a Canadian sci fi show?”

RC: Season 3 will answer those questions.

TheOtherOne writes: “In Season 1, who did you originally think was the mole and how did you feel when you found out?”

RC: I thought Six was the mole when I first read it, thought about others, but wasn’t positive till the morning of the filming.

“You seem to be a very chilled out, happy kinda guy. What’s your secret?”

RC: I like to think I’m a chilled and happy guy. No real secret. I just embrace and love life, and my loved ones. I do my best and let the chips fall where they may.

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Ceresis64 writeS: “What has been the most challenging location you’ve had to shoot in?”

RC: The most challenging location I’ve had to shoot at was where we shot the barn scene with Five. It was probably -30 that day, and damp…and I was wearing a t-shirt.

“What book are you currently reading?”

RC: I’m currently reading a book given to me by a complete stranger in London after we struck up a conversation about life and religion.  She was muslim, respected other beliefs, and was reading the book that she gifted me: “Saint Augustine: Confessions”.

MaggieMayday writes: ” “What keeps you busy and happy during downtime?””

RC: My family keeps me happy and busy during my down-time.

monsterfactory3 writes: “What drew you to the script?”

RC: Curiosity and intrigue drew me to this script. I wanted to know more about these characters.

” What do you have most in common with your character?”

RC: What I have most in common with Six is his desire to do the right thing.

“6 betrayed the team and just got their respect back and both 6 and 4’s reasons were kind of honor based where 6 was for the law and 4 is for his people, both a sense of duty. Do you think 6 will ever forgive 4 for what he did in season 2 finale based on that?”

RC: Six turned them in, but he didn’t blow up a station full of people or maybe kill members of his crew, so his betrayal is, waaaaay beyond next level. It’ll be tough, if not impossible to forgive.

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Tingly writes: “Hi Roger! I’m a big fan. What is your favourite thing to do with the dark matter cast?”

RC: My favorite thing to do with the cast is going out to dinner and rigorous games of ping-pong, topped off with listening to a great band somewhere.

Tam Dixon writes: “”Thanks Roger for doing a Q & A! I’m a big fan of your work. You’ve been in so many Sci-fi movies/TV shows, and have met some wonderful actors. Any fun anecdotes that you can share?””

RC: One of my favorite memories as an actor happened working with Billy Dee Williams on the final episode of “Wiseguys”. I was playing the young thug/drug dealer that ran the school, and he comes in to clean things up and throws me out – andIi’m freaking and threatening him etc. After rehearsal, he looked at me and said, “I can tell that you’re a nice kid, but when a true gangster threatens someone, he doesn’t have to yell; he just means it.” It was a great moment for me, and has helped me since.

Carolyn Sy writes: “Roger- who plays the best pranks on set? Thank you in advance for doing a Q&A”

RC: We’re not huge on pranks, but Melissa pulled a great one on one of our producers, Ivon, when Ivon lost his license.  She may have gotten him to believe he had to go pick it up from the last person he wanted to re-encounter…

“Do all the cast and crew pick on poor little Jodelle or can she kick ass with the best of you?”

RC: We’d never let anyone pick on Jodelle. We all lovingly tease each other, and she can give as well as she gets.

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Kat writes: “Hi Roger, thanks for doing the Q&A – I’m sure you get a lot of the same questions in your interviews so I’d like you to please tell us something about yourself or the show (or both) that you’ve never said in an interview or at a convention. Time to get thinking!”

RC: Kat, that’s too much thinking…my braaaaaaain! Can’t think of anything.

Harley Power Parks writes: “On the Raza main deck, ep105 there is live food being stored in fish tanks, or is it a screen saver?”

RC: The fish isn’t food, just a screen saver. But maybe we should look into farming fish onboard.

“Three seems to have been given an intelligence boost.. the host may have retained some of the black goo’d knowledge, does 6 notice the change?”

RC: Hmmm, maybe the black goo and/or his friends will make a re-emergence in Season 3. And naw, there’s no marked rise of intelligence in Three.

“It is War, and 6 seems to be stepping up to assume a new role in the war effort. If so, What role do you see playing or what change is coming?”

RC: Season 3 will possibly reveal Six’s role in the upcoming War, so can’t tell ya.

Colin writes: “Hi Roger – what is the most flattering thing your fellow cast members would say about you and what is the least?”

RC: Colin, you’ll have to ask my cast-mates.

shinyhula writes: “Six is empathetic character both pre and post mind wipe. Does Six keep that strong moral compass in season 3 or is the Raza crew rubbing off on him?”

RC: Everyone s influenced by their environment, but Six, is who he is, yet he continues to learn and grow from his experiences.

Annie Wauters writes: “Roger-aka-Six- Do you feel that six has been forgiven/accepted as part of the crew again. What’s his role on the ship looking like (assuming they make it back to the ship…) How is his relationship with five? That was definitely something I loved from season one.”

RC: They’re all flawed characters, so they get it that no ones perfect. So, yes, I think he’s definitely been forgiven and accepted by the others, but it’s impossible to ever forget a betrayal. His relationship will always be strong with Five.  They truly love each other.

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MaggieL80 writes: “Most influential movie, art, or literature that inspires your work?”

RC: “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and “Deep Cover” are two of my favorite movies.

“Favorite artist?”

RC: Sidney Poitier is my favorite actor, and an inspiration to me.

” Favorite animal?”

RC: My favorite animal is the Bald Eagle.

” Favorite quote or phrase?”

RC: My favorite quote is “Carpe Diem”.

” Do you see your character surviving all 5 “planned-out” seasons? Hopefully we’ll get the 5 seasons that Joe has envisioned. I’d like more than 5 of course. ”

RC: I see no reason Six shouldn’t be around for all seasons planned or not.  He brings a lot to the table.

“On a personal note, it was a pleasure meeting Roger at Dragon Con, such a sweet person. Thank you for coming down to Georgia!”

RC: It was great meeting you in Georgia as well.

cliff odell writes: “No questions directly, but tell him a slew of us down here in Oregon adore the crap out of his extensive work!”

RC: Hey, Cliff, thanks for the adoration from Oregon!

Farflame writes: “What do you like and/or dont like about Six?”

RC: I like almost everything about Six.  Can’t think of any dislikes right now.

“Which episode of DM Season 1 do you like the most (if you remember) and which crew member(s) is/are your favorite and why?”

RC: I love all my crew members equally.

“Regarding the mole and betrayal – what would you, Roger Cross, do in place of Six? Would you betray others like Six or do something completely different?”

RC: I hope i’m never put in that situation, I have no clue what i’d do.

“Three learnt some basic pilot skills in Season 2. Could you honestly compare his skills to skills of Six?”

RC: Three’s piloting skills have a long way to go to catch up to Six’s. He almost got them blasted out of the sky if you recall.

“It seems there will be war of corporations in Dark Matter. What do you think Six would like to do now? If GA is corrupt, maybe Raza crew could become new “rogue authority” that punishes all corporations for war crimes against civilians. ”

RC: Season 3 will tell you all about that.

“Jodelle gives impression that she has a lot in common with Five in real life. Would you agree? You were big friends in season 1 so lets say you are qualified for this question.”

RC: Yes, Jodelle is a lot like 5, but more artistic.

“You acted in a lot of sci-fi shows and movies. What usually attracts you to do them? Are you become a little typecasted or its actually a compliment to be “man from future” or “man for future”.”

RC: Sci-Fi offers a world of possibilities and dreams, so it’s a fun stage to play on.

“Do you see how sci-fi as a genre evolved or the difference between shooting your early sci-fi shows like First Wave and the recent ones (Continuum, DM, The 100)? Could you shortly compare sci-fi show you did?”

RC: Sci-Fi has clearly become more mainstream, and a lot of Sci-Fi shows now incorporate a lot more drama than in its earlier days.

“What could you tell us about your involvement in 24?”

RC: 24 was a great experience, too big to be summed up here. I was blessed to be a part of it.

“Star Trek or Star Wars?”

RC: Love both Star Trek and Star Wars.

“Do you have some dream role (for you) or dream story/character arc for Six? Tell us.””

RC: Would love to play Muhammed Ali.

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bambamfans writes: “What’s your favourite Dark Matter set or location to shoot and why?”

RC: My favorite set is our main studio because we shoot during winter and it’s warm there.

“Have you ever exaggerated about a skill on an acting resume and then had to perform it?”

RC: I don’t bother exaggerating on my resume for just that reason. And, frankly, I don’t think I need to.

” How many takes for the strut down the hallway at the end of the Season 1 Finale?”

RC: We did several angles for that final walk, but I have no clue how many takes. It wasn’t excessive though.

“Going forward, what are Six’s feelings towards Four in Season 3?”

RC: You’ll just have to wait and see how we all feel about Four’s betrayal in S3.

“Are all the quarters on the Raza identical in size and are the beds comfortable?”

RC: The quarters are equal and the same in many instances. Yes, the beds are comfy. I may have even napped on one before. Shhhhhhh

“Do you keep your schedule free hoping for a renewal when the season ends?”

RC: I’m contractually bound to wait for our renewal, and hope for it, but live life like it’s not going to happen.

“It looks like you all have a great camaraderie filming, is that the case on other sets you have worked on? (on dfferent programs) Is there ever a case of just getting the job done and getting out?””

RC: We do have great camaraderie on set. It’s not always like that, and yes, there are definitely jobs that you just get done, learn what you can, and move on.

“For Roger Cross: I enjoyed interviewing you, Jodelle and Mike in Vancouver. However, I forgot to ask you, of all the roles you have played, which is your favorite. Maybe I should rephrase that – of all the roles you’ve played, other than Six in Dark Matter, which was your second favorite.”

RC: Hello, Arctic Goddess. Outside of Six, I may have to go with “Travis Verta”, but I have fond memories and love many of my other roles.

“I noticed that between the Continuum and Dark Matter characters that you’ve played that both seemed to be criminals (to some degree) that had moments or paths of redemption that were played out during the progression of the show (okay Six wasn’t technically a criminal to start, but he had his moments of defying authority for the right reasons in season two). Has this been a character profile that you’ve sought out and maybe enjoy playing, or was it all just happenstance? Or maybe a mix?”

RC: I love playing multi-dimensional characters, and it’s always fun to play a character with a little bad to him. It’s more real, and gives you more room to play.

no1zoiepalmerfan writes: “My questions for Roger Cross. 1) Have you previously worked with any of your fellow cast mates?”

RC: I’ve previously worked with Zoie on “The Guard”, and Jodelle on numerous shows.

“2) If you could work with any actor/actress you wanted, who would it be?”

RC: There are soooooo many actors I’d love to work with: DeNiro, Pacino, Denzel, Gary Oldman, etc.. But if I had to pick, I’d love to work with Sidney Poitier if even for a day.

“For Roger Cross: you work so much all over the place, I wonder which city do you enjoy working in most? Is there a city you wish you could work in?”

RC: Hello Jojo. I’ve been blessed to have worked in so many amazing places.  It’s difficult to pick. I loved working in NYC over the summer, several cities in Europe, Asia etc. If I had to pick, for comfort reasons, I would have to go with Vancouver and L.A.

“Do you prefer to stay in hotels or an apartment while working?”

RC: If it’s a short stay, I love great hotels, but if it’s a longer stay, it’s much nicer to have an apartment to get cozy in.

“What has been a role you have enjoyed in the past?”

RC: I’ve enjoyed so many of my roles.  I can’t really pick just one.

“What is your process to memorize a script? It is something I find so difficult to do. Love your work”

RC: To memorize scripts I generally do it by rote. Simply read it over and over again, and build the character along the way.

I want to thank each and everyone of you who took the time to send in questions.

Much love to you all!

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While I was back in the office, working on this latest script, production on season 3 continued at the Ishida Palace in Kitchener, Ontario Zairon.  In tribute to Dark Matter’s latest biggest bad, here are some family portraits c/o the spectacular Roxanne Borris, 1st Assistant Art Director/Graphics…

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Emperor Ishida Tetsuya

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Empress Ishida (Li Na) Katsumi

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Emperor Ishida Hiro

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Emperor Ishida Ryo

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Speaking of the Art Department, this is your last chance to post your questions for Dark Matter Production Designer Ian Brock – shipbuilder, space station manufacturer, and  futuristic wheelchair assembler.

Tomorrow, another BIG behind-the-scenes guest Q&A announcement!

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Pursuant to yesterday’s hi-rez render of the Ishida Research Station, here’s a breakdown of the station itself.  We were very particular about the look as the script for Episode 302 requires a very specific look.  Anyway, here ya go if you’re interested in building your own space station.  Please direct all accolades to concept artist Jeff Bartzis.

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And, of course, what recent blog entry would be complete without the requisite photo of the latest addition to our family, 11 year old Suji – here modeling the new outfit Akemi picked up for her the other day.  All toasty warm for the Toronto winter.

We take her for a carpet walk every day to exercise her gimpy gambs.

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Meanwhile, the Thelma & Louise of our floor continue to bond.

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Commander Delaney Truffault means business!

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The Raza’s spooky underbelly.

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Media day with Tanavi Patel and Yael Tygiel.

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The costumes department has something in the works for the Ishida court.

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Liz celebrates her birthday with red velvet cupcakes and overtime!

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Check out this gorgeous render of the Ishida research station.

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Back home, Lulu has apparently really taken a liking to Suji.  They apparently snooze, side by side, all afternoon.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

P.S. This is your last chance to post your questions for Dark Matter Production Designer Ian Brock!  Ask away!

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We are wrapped(ish!) on Episode 304 and have started production on Episode 301. By the time New Year’s rolls around, we’ll have three episodes in the can(ish!).

Today, we were shooting in the bridge and the infirmary – while prep continued on Episode 302. AND we got a pizza truck!  While I was outside perusing the selections (Buffalo chicken = winner!) Liz from costumes approached me about something that was really bugging her.  Were we ever going to address that thing that happened at the end of Episode 304?  Puleeze!  It’s all part of the masterplan. When I told her about Episode 308, she was positively giddy.
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Jozie models some kitchenware.  No.  Really.

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Director Bruce McDonald powers up in his office.

img_3842The playback meeting.  Lots of onscreen graphics in this one.  Overriding note: “Let’s take down the purple!”.

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Sketch from the costume department.  There’s a new sheriff in town.

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Another costume department sketch.  The white glove treatment.

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In case you were wondering – this end up!

A HUGE thank you to Drea and everyone who organized my 10th Anniversary gift. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.  It will take me until this weekend to digest. Stay tuned!

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Guess who’s flying in tomorrow?

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