Archive for the ‘comics’ Category

Some of my very favorite moments from Dark Matter’s first season.

Introducing…The Android!

Wendy takes down the Android.

Derrick Moss revealed.



Now THAT is a cliffhanger!

She’s baaaack!

The guys talk a good game.  This gal PLAYS a great game!

Uh, did WE do that?

A long overdue thank you.

A machine…with friends.

Android’s day out.

It was one of us!

The memory wiper revealed.

Finale WTF?!


Thanks to @SpaceChannel for the #DarkMatter gifs!

Today’s blog entry is dedicated to blog regulars and birthday celebrants gforce and pennlynn.  Happy Birthday, Gary and Penny!

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Today, we kicked off the third and presumably final week of the Dark Matter second season writers’ room.  We’ve broken eight scripts to date and, tomorrow, we’re going to jump ahead and beat out the BIG season finale.  We figure with so many balls in the air, it makes sense to know exactly where we’re ending up so we can reverse-engineer some of the developing storylines and ensure everything dovetails in dramatically satisfying fashion.

Like last year, plenty of twists and turns, shocks and surprises, humor and pathos, with the added bonus of a more aggressive, kick-ass crew, faster pacing, bigger and better visual effects, new technologies, and cool SF elements underpinning all of our stories.  As my writing partner put it today: “Scifi fans are going to LOVE this season.”

In the meantime, I’ve finished my first draft of Episode 202 (Paul is writing 201).  What can I say?  The final act is CRAZY.

So, what would you all like to see in season 2?  Do tell.

The Galactic Authority storm the ship!  A few behind-the-scenes pictures from the Dark Matter season 1 finale…



Jeff Teravainen as Galactic Authority Lieutenant Anders

Jeff Teravainen as Galactic Authority Lieutenant Anders


Melissa O'Neil (TWO) and stunt coordinator John Stead - on their way to an intergalactic super max.

Melissa O’Neil (TWO) and stunt coordinator John Stead – on their way to an intergalactic super max.

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Back to the mailbag:

2cats writes: “When is the background from green screen added – in post? I dabble with Adobe Premiere for little video stuff, but I can imagine it being a lot of work to add backgrounds to HD film. How many film editors does DM use?”

Answer: The show used three amazing editors in season 1: Paul Day, Wendy Hallam, and Teresa Hannigan.  The “background” is added by our VFX crew (lead by VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson) during the post-production process.

clevere writes: “Are those doors manual or automatic?”

Answer: Much like Stargate, the doors on Dark Matter are manual, dependant on the impeccable timing and opening/closing skills of on set carpenter Jesse Partin and set dresser Jean Brophey, among others.

Tim Hendrix writes: “Will there be any repercussions when the crew finds out who wiped their memories?”

Answer: Probably.

“Can the Raza find a stray dog in one of those remaining hidden compartments?”

Answer: Jodelle has been lobbying for a space cat.

Woody writes: “What’s the time frame from the start of filming to airing?”

Answer: Last season, we started in early January and finished the first week of May, approximately four months later.  This season, we’re looking to start a little earlier and have at least one episode under our belt before heading off for the holidays.

airelle writes: “So the fish (looks like a tank on the wall) in the show, special effect?”

Answer: It’s practical playback, not a visual effect.  Or a real aquarium.

2cats writes: “And I too, like Tam Dixon want to know why do the sets have to be packed up until used again?”

Answer: Our standing sets continue to stand throughout hiatus.

Drea Crysel writes: “Are we gonna get to see Lulu n Bubba in Season 2 guest starring in the role as aliens?”

Answer: We’re in protracted negotiations with their agents.

duptiang writes: “what does a producer/writer do for the next few months?”

Answer: Come up with stories and scripts for Season 2.

shaneac1 writes: “Hey Joe is know this may be a long shot but by any chance do you know if amazon is going to put Dark Matter on prime for their instant video service?”

Answer: I don’t know about Amazon, but I DO know that the show will be available for binge-streaming in a couple of weeks.

Drea Crysel writes: “How much of the original Outer Limits factor into or otherwise influenced DM?”

Answer: That was one of the few SF shows/comic books/movies/anime that DIDN’T influence DM.

Ponytail writes: “Where does everybody go when production stops?”

Answer: Usually to work on other productions.

Drea Crysel writes: “So whose idea was it to give the bridge the feel of ST Enterprise?”

Answer: That was our brilliant Production Designer, Ian Brock.

Dallas Marshall writes: “BTW, how’s LuLu?”

Answer: Much better.  Now we have to get her down to her “flying weight”.

Tim Hendrix writes: “Can you give us a clue about how much of the Raza and its contents have not been discovered by the crew?”

Answer: There may be as yet unaccessed sections of the ship still waiting to be discovered – or existing unseen sections that may be repurposed for other uses (like, say, hydroponics).

“Have you decided on a good name for the massive, rabid and dedicated fan base as yet? Would you consider putting it up for a vote?”

Answer: Sure, what are your suggestions?

gforce writes: “I love the concept of Transfer Transit, and was wondering who came up with the idea. Was it yours, something that grew from discussions in the writers’ room, or was it an already existing idea?”

Answer: When I was first developing the series, I wanted an alternate means of travel that would allow solitary passenger to move from point A to point B without having to use a ship.  At first, I considered something along the lines of stargaze-like  transit points situated at space stations throughout colonized space but ultimately decided it was too much like Stargate.  Eventually, I came up with the idea of transfer transit which was inspired by the works of Cory Doctorow, David Brin, John Varley and Richard Morgan in which an individual is able to “back-up” their consciousness in the same way we would save a document draft on our computer.  I liked the idea of back-up bodies and elected to use them as part of an alternate means of travel, placing certain restrictions on their use (ie. the host body must remain in the sender pod until the connection is severed, failure to return to the receiver pod for recycling and memory transfer means all memories made during experience are lost, etc.).  For years, I sat on the series, the idea, and what I thought would be a fantastic tease that involved one of our main characters (seemingly) being killed in an episode’s opening.

“Given the recent introduction of the new Apple TV and the “Content as apps” concept, do you ever see a time in the future when shows (like DM for instance) are “app” based rather than (or as well as) broadcast based?”

Answer: Absolutely.  Eventually, technology will eventually allow viewers to access programming however and whenever they want either through standard viewing options, app-based content, or via direct transmission to the mind chip installed in your brain.

Sylvia writes: “Heya Joe, Is anyone involved/working on shirts (black) with the DM logo? ”

Answer: Not yet, but I grow impatient and am considering making my own.

Greg D writes: “In the episode where ONE learns he’s Derrick Moss, we see a bit of his personal bio on the computer screen. He’s born on Earth. Will we be learning anything about Earth in season 2? Will we be visiting?”

Answer: While there are no plans to visit Earth in season as of yet, there’s a possibility we will learn more about its place in the grand scheme of things.

Drea writes: “I’m not sure if someone else asked this already, but are we gonna hear more from Cyrus King in season 2?”

Answer: Possibly.  We’ve got a lot of ground to cover in season 2!

ceresis64 writes: “You’ve answered about Derrick Moss coming back. I was going to ask this too, how did he know to alter his appearance to Jace Corso? He must have had prior knowledge that Corso was a criminal and would be joining the Raza crew? Did he use his wealth to gain information or is Derrick Moss a dodgy businessman?”

Answer: This would be the most scenario, yes.

“You said we’d know more about Titch in S2, didn’t Five say in her dream that when she looked in the mirror she thought it was One but his face was different, then we found out that One was Derrick Moss. So, Titch is One?”

Answer: You’ll find out early in season 2.

“Will we see a flashback to show us how Six found out what he was really on the Raza for?”

Answer: Yes.  This will be answered right off the get-go.

“And why is Six on the Raza? Is it to turn over the crew to the GA , which he has done (perhaps as a deal, Six not going to jail for his part in the massacre) or a bit more? […] Did he also enter her dreamstate to not just save her, but to see if she’d give away the key’s hiding place?”

Answer: Answers come early in season 2.

“Will we see all the crew’s stories, in S2 as to how they all eventually end up on board the Raza?”

Answer: Again, this is one of the possible stories we’re considering.

“Who actually owns the Raza?”

Answer: The crew.

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Executive Producer Vanessa Piazza on set with Consulting Producer Ivon Bartok.

Executive Producer Vanessa Piazza on set with Consulting Producer Ivon Bartok.

One of the questions I get asked a lot is: “What does a producer do?”.  The answer is: “It depends.”  Some producers oversee scripts and various other creative aspects of production, from casting to costumes.  Other producers oversee the numbers, things like scheduling and budgeting.  Still other producers deal with the broadcasters, agents, and lawyers.  And then there are those producers who do much of the heavy lifting before the show even gets on the air, selling the series and closing the deals that get it that first season green light.

Usually it’s one or the other.  Or the other.  Or, the other.  In the case of Dark Matter Executive Producer Vanessa Piazza, it’s all of the above.  She was instrumental in getting the show picked up and since then, through pre, production, and post, has been HEAVILY involved in everything from casting and production design to mixes, music, and marketing.

Yes, Vanessa not only does it all – but does it all really, really well.  So it should come as no surprise that she was recently recognized for her incredible talents.

The hottest Canadian talent you’ve never heard of [unless you read this blog on a regular basis] but will:


I’m a fan!

Let’s get to more of your questions…

lewis writes: “If Dark Horse decides to do another limited series comic of Dark Matter would you & Paul write a whole new story line with our favorite space faring crew or use some of the tv scripts? Also, illustration wise would you use the look of the crew from the original comic series or incorporate the look of the actors?”

Answer: I hadn’t even considered the scenario.  In a best case scenario, five years from now after the show has run its course, Paul and I would be free to write the unseen adventures of the Raza crew (the ones we’ll get to know over the course of the show’s run.

Randomness writes: “1) Will the Android take on more human traits as the show goes on? You know, like aspiring to be more than just a regular Android and maybe, you know, be more human like?”

Answer: It’s possible.  I don’t want to give too much away, but we do have a significant story arc planned for everyone’s favorite Android in season 2.

2) Any plans to do an episode based around any spatial anomalies, like say something that makes time go all funky aboard the ship or something? could be fun!

Answer: Yep, could be a lot of fun.  Let’s find out when Episode 207 airs.

3) How do you feel about alternate universes with relation to the show?

Answer: Pretty good.  Pretty damn good.

4) Can we expect any more revelations regarding Derrick Moss?

Answer: Yes, very early on.

5) Now that Six has betrayed the crew, can we expect some heated discussions between him and the remaining crew when everything has settled down?

Answer: Oh, you can bet that any future conversations between SIX and his fellow crew members will be passionate.

6) I’ve wanted to know more about Three prior to the lost memories, will his backstory be touched upon more next season?

Answer: Yes, we’ll be delving deeper into THREE’s past in season 2.

Drea Crystal writes: ” In the SG series seems most of the very best episodes, resulted from a writing collaborative … So am naturally wondering why the decision to have you each take turns writing individual episodes on your own instead of working together? or at least have you all collaboratively consulting on most of the episodes?”

Answer: On Stargate, even though Paul and I were co-credited though much of the franchise’s run, we actually started writing separately around season 7 of SG-1.  Much like Stargate, Dark Matter is a collaborative effort – but it starts with Paul and I.  In the case of season 1, I had the thirteen stories in mind before we even assembled the room.  Once the show was green lit, my writing partner Paul Mullie, and consulting producer Martin Gero got together and hashed out all the story beats – every moment of every scene of every act in the script.  Paul and I oversaw all the scripts, revising when necessary and, once we were in production, I made necessary changes or, in some cases, additions (many of the FIVE-Android scenes).  Back on Stargate, Bard Wright and Robert Cooper oversaw all the scripts in a similar manner.

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It’s time for a long overdue mailbag…

daithi82 writes: “One question I have though is if there are any plans for the return of the real Jace Corso in season 2? Also why does the Android keep getting stunned?”

Answer: Given the fact that things were left unfinished the last time the crew crossed paths with Jace Corso, it’s safe to assume they’ll cross paths again sooner than later.  As for the Android getting stunned – I believe it happened twice.  The first time, Wexler used the shock stick to incapacitate her.  The second time, SIX made use of a proven method (the shock stick) to take her out of action again.

Keith writes: “You mentioned in an earlier blog post about having a dispute regarding which way of editing a particular scene was “funnier”, and finally taking your laptop around for an office poll – and losing. Can you elaborate now on which scene that was, And what your take on it was?”

Answer: The scene in question was the top of Episode 3 where FIVE drops in on ONE and asks him if he wants to do something.  In the original version, we got CLOSE ON ONE for his “No thanks, kiddo. Found this antique book in one of the holding rooms. It says it’s a classic…” Then we go WIDE as he swings a look at the door…and she’s already gone.  The final version stayed WIDE and we actually see her exit.

“The whole concept of “Transfer Transit” pods seems rife with problems. Such as, wouldn’t every wealthy person only use the pods to leave their fortified house, as an insurance policy against dying? Are these kinds of issues going to be addressed in the future?”

Answer: Oh, yes and yes.  See Episode 206.

Scott writes: “1. Is it just me or was that stun stick used way too many times on the android?”

Answer: By my count, it was used twice.

“2. Why weren’t there more space battle scenes in Season 1? It seemed like every time the crew was about to get into a fight with another ship, something would prevent the fight from happening (i.e. other ships dropping out of FTL, weapons system offline, enemy warping away instead of fighting). Was this done to save money on VFX or were there actual space fight scenes that were cut out of the script because of the episodes running too long? Or were there none planned at all for Season 1?”

Answer: The made judicious use of space battles in season 1 (the missile pursuit in 101, the return to planetary orbit in 102, the face-off against the Ferrous Corp ships in 110) mainly because the scripts didn’t call for them and we chose to put our money elsewhere.  Having said that, we will see more involved ship to ship battles in Season 2.

“3. Can you please, please, please make sure there are ACTUAL space battles in Season 2, like what we saw MANY TIMES in SG1, SGA and SGU?”

Answer: Yep.  Already on our Season 2 To-Do list.

“4. Will there be aliens in Season 2, like what you posted several months ago about there being a list in the office with things everyone wanted to see in Season 2, and aliens being one of them?”

Answer: I’m going to say…maybe.  Also, can you say for sure you didn’t see aliens in Season 1?

“5. Any plans on bringing back Torri Higginson and David Hewlitt back? Any other previous SG members you might have an idea on getting as well?”

Answer: Yes and yes.  Both Commander Truffault and Tabor Calchek will be back for Season 2 – in addition to a couple of more Stargate alums if things work out.

no1zoieplamerfan writes: “When do we get Alex Mallari’s answers to our questions?”

Answer: This one’s a question for Alex.  Ask him – @AlexMallariJr

Elminster writes: “Will we see what the ‘dimensional pocket key’ is for in season 2? Or was it a red space herring?”

Answer: No red herrings in Season 1.  Everything was included with purpose.  Yes, we’ll get a surprising answer to the question surrounding that interdimensional pocket key in Season 2.

2cats writes: “1. When will a DVD of season 1 be available to buy? Hopefully it will include cast/crew commentaries like Stargate DVD’s?”

Answer: No idea.  Alas, that’s not my department.  Also, don’t know if they will include cast/crew commentaries as we’ve yet to be asked to participate.

“2. Why was Android carried off like the others under stun gas? The neural chip was out and she was incapacitated, why not leave her aboard ship?”

Answer: Presumably because their captors wish to study her in their own lab, with their own equipment.

“3. Was there a reason the crew went into the stasis pods in the first place?”

Answer: Presumably the journey to the mining planet (Episodes 101 and 102) would have been a long one (taken months rather than years) and the decision was made to go into stasis to preserve resources…and alleviate boredom.

“4. Are there plans to return their memories, or just let them “discover” their pasts?”

Answer: Tune in to Season 2 to find out.  As with most questions concerning our crew, it’s a different answer for each individual.

“5. If One was such a cold, psychotic killer before having her memory wiped, how can she be caring and attentive to Five’s emotions now? I’m no psychologist, but I would think a character/ emotional trait like that isn’t affected by memory loss.”

Answer: I believe you mean TWO and, yes, TWO was clearly adamant about not wanting FIVE on board in the beginning – and TWO does display a frightening lack of empathy when it comes to threats or enemies.  If I was a betting man, I’d wager she treats her friends and allies differently – and that she and FIVE somehow bonded, pre-mindwipe.  The specifics of those circumstances are a story for another time…

“6. The Vault door seemed to have changed appearance from earlier in season compared to later, when there was an entire tall top part with window cutouts visible, or was that just the camera angle?”

Answer: Had to the the camera angle.  The big door has not changed.

“7. Will we have more Q&A with the rest of the cast soon? I’m curious how they anticipate S2 activities… as are we all… sigh, it’s too long to wait.”

Answer: That’ll be schedule dependent.  I’ll certainly extend the invitations.

“8. Will Amanda Tapping return to direct or act in S2? (We ALL hope so!)”

Answer: We would, of course, LOVE to have Amanda back in Season 2.  It’ll come down to finding time in her busy schedule.

“9. Will you & Paul M. continue to be very closely involved with S2 writing, editing, producing, etc.?”

Answer: Yes, Paul and I are on board for Season 2, overseeing the writers’ room and all aspects of pre, production, and post.   I’ll be back to show run as well.

Ponytail writes: “So Joe, what was your reaction to the renewal news? How did you celebrate? Did you hear from the cast? Did you talk to your partners?”

Answer: My initial relief gave way to the realization that we had a show to make!  I celebrated by starting the script for Episode 202.

gforce writes: “My question is, was your Mom referring to a character on the show, or to you?”

Answer: She was, of course, referring to me. :)

fffffffffffff writes: “Are there any plans to start calling the android “Seven” in season 2?”

Answer: No, but some interesting developments in store for her in Season 2.

JasonVK writes: “1. Why didn’t Five tell anyone about her wounded (boy)friend? He obviously died in the same room where she left him. There was a risk that the crew might toss him out of the airlock, but since he was dying anyhow, what did she have to lose by telling them about him?”

Answer: Presumably she was on uncertain footing with the crew at first and didn’t want to risk him sharing the same fate.  When she got the first opportunity to go see him, he was probably already dead.  Certainly if she had the crew’s trust, she would have tried to save him.

“2. In the episodes 2 and 3, Five mentions a dream about someone uploading the mind-wipe program and that it wasn’t her. Yet the reveal in the finale seems to suggest that it was Five after all. Unless it was Six who tried fooling Five into believing it was her. Was this supposed to be ambiguous? Can you possibly shed some light on this?”

Answer: Ah, but you’re assuming that the individual who wrote the program (FIVE) was the same person who uploaded it to the stasis pods.  If she wrote the program to protect SIX, it’s more than likely she would have warned him, told him her plan – and he would have been the one to risk uploading it.

“3, This was actually picked by someone else in another forum, but here goes. There was a conversation in the finale between Five and the Android Projection. Why didn’t Five ask the Projection about who took the Android out? Also, is it really the end of the Projection? It seemed kind of an abrupt ending to otherwise interesting sub-plot.”

Answer: The projection’s access to information – and ability to interact with the ship – is extremely limited.  FIVE could have asked, but Redroid would not have known who was responsible – much less what the hell was going on.

Tam Dixon writes: ” How is Lulu? Also, are you moving?”

Answer: Lulu is doing better.  But she needs to go on a diet.  Yes, moving back to Toronto in October!

DP writes: “Did you decide who would be The Mole before or after your rib injury?”

Answer: Well before, but Roger’s damaging bear hug cemented it for me.

“How far into the episode 13 script did you announce to the cast who The Mole is?”

Answer: As you see in this video, the cast didn’t know the identity of The Mole until the last scene of the last day of main unit shooting:


“Is there any chance of a cross-over with Killjoys?”

Answer: As much as we do share similarities and I do love what they do, the chances of a crossover are unlikely for now.

Chelsea Lester writes: “1. Now that we know One was the heir to a family fortune, is it safe to assume Titch the farm boy is Three?”

Answer: It’s not safe to assume anything on Dark Matter.  But we will have the answer to Titch’s identity early in Season 2.

“2. Is the Raza the same ship that we saw Six and his buddies steal in episode 6? If so, does that mean that Six was the former captain?”

Answer: Nope.  They stole a G.A. ship.

“3. What specifically caused the Android to suspect that Two was different?”

Answer: Little things only an Android would notice – like the fact she was on a blink cycle.

duptiang writes: “What is Paul’s Take on things?”

Answer: Paul’s attitude pretty much parallels my own.

“Are you going to invite him on the blog for a quiz the guest moment?”

Answer: I would but he’s notoriously social media averse.

“Are you and he working on lyrics for the theme music?”

Answer: Sure, but they’ll be pretty damn short.

Angela writes: “What can you tell us about those thigh holsters everyone wears? It’s a bit hard to see the black-on-black on a small screen, I know there’s two straps, but are they made of leather or something else? What sorts of buckles?”

Answer: They were a stylistic choice.  They needed somewhere to carry their guns and I prefer the look of the thigh holsters and the easy quick-draw accessibility.  I’ll have to get back to you on the specs.

“Any specific details you can give us on Three’s vest? (Why is it such a complicated vest? Why couldn’t he have a simpler iconic outfit?)”

Answer: I think his vest IS pretty iconic.  Costume Designer Noreen Landry and her team did a terrific job outfitting our crew.  Akemi is constantly going on about SIX’s big overcoat…

That’s it for now.  I’ll be answering more of your questions in the coming days!

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Here’s the final part of the Dark Matter set tour hosted by yours truly – and my co-host, Bubba:

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Hey, what’s the old Stargate gang up to?  Well, I’m glad you asked.


Former Stargate Executive Producer and writer (and, oh by the way, Dark Matter season 1 Consulting Producer) Martin Gero is show running his own series, Blindspot, that premieres on NBC – Monday, September 21st at 10:00 p.m.



Meanwhile, I little further north, former Stargate fight and stunt coordinator – and present Arrow right and stunt coordinator, James “Bam Bam” Bamford is multi-tasking this upcoming season, assuming the directorial reins for an episode.



Very happy for both these guys and wishing them all the best in the coming weeks and months.  Looks like they’re going to be VERY busy!

Speaking of which – big conference call today with Executive Producer Vanessa Piazza and Line Producer Norman Denver to discuss Dark Matter’s second season.  Then, next week, the room reconvenes to – hopefully – finish breaking those last handful of episodes!

Let’s cap today’s blog entry by continuing our tour of the Dark Matter sets: the quarters!


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