Archive for the ‘Dark Matter’ Category


With Dark Matter‘s first season off to – by all accounts – a rollicking star on Netflix, I wanted to look back on the show’s performance to date.  Specifically, I wanted to look at the show’s overall performance.  Which, at the end of the day, is easier said than done.

Over on SyFy, Dark Matter is (the last time I checked) the #2 original scripted show on the network, and holds the #3 spot in the oft-discussed “key demo” (averaging 0.24, just a tick behind the #2 spot averaging 0.25).

Internationally, the news was even better, with Dark Matter pulling in BIG numbers in territories like the U.K., Australia, Portugal and (closer to home) Canada!

When it comes to downloads, however, the results are a little…murkier.  How many downloads from the network websites?  iTunes?  Other legitimate sources?  I don’t have that information.

How about illegitimate sources?  Well, ironically, that information is a little more handy.  According to thedrum.comDark Matter was one of the top ten most pirated shows in June, July, and August.  The September analysis is forthcoming, but I expect the results will be similar.

On the one hand, I’m heartened to see there are so many smart, tech-savvy viewers out there checking out the show.  On the other hand, all those “other” smart, tech-savvy viewers don’t really factor into the show’s renewal prospects.

Still, Dark Matter‘s online popularity suggests that our creative approach to the show’s narrative has paid off as expected.  We set out to create a character-driven series that built dramatically over the course of its 13 episode first season run, setting up mysteries, paying them off, peppering each story with twists, turns, and surprises, building momentum toward our shocking finale.  In other words, we wanted to create a binge-worthy series that viewers HAD to keep watching – and, overall, it appears we’ve succeeded.

My hope is that, between now and the season 2 premiere, we continue to build our audience so that we come back in the summer of 2016 bigger and better than ever.  And, of course, the way to do that is to get the word out – and get people watching (and even re-watching).


So, while you’re out watching and getting the word out about the show, we’ll be busy making it.  This week, Paul and I head to Toronto for meetings with Executive Producer Vanessa Piazza and Production Designer Ian Brock.  The week following, Akemi and I (and the dogs!) make the big move.  And then – things are going to get crazy!

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As of September 28th, Dark Matter‘s first season is available on Netflix U.S. (and Canada should follow shortly!) for all of your binge-watching (and re-watching) needs.

Need a reason?  Well, check out this recent article from DenOfGeek.com on Why Syfy’s Dark Matter is well worth your time…



“Syfy space opera Dark Matter caught many off-guard with just how interesting its first season became. Here’s why you should watch it…”

Or review this past article from TheTVJunkies.com on 7 reasons to binge the sci fi summer hit…


“How could we not mention the plot twists? Nearly every episode features one game changer or another, whether it’s some dramatic new information or a member of the crew does something you never saw coming. Dark Matter keeps you guessing every episode and rarely disappoints with the follow through. With some serious cliffhangers sprinkled throughout the series, you’ll find yourself binge-watching before you know it.”

Get your friends and family hooked!  Prep for season 2!  And relive some of season one’s most memorable moments like:












Who’s in?!!

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Tonight’s the night!  The premiere of Blindspot!  For those of you not-in-the-know, there’s a Stargate connection here.  The series creator, Executive Producer and showrunner is none other than Martin Gero who many of you may remember from such productions as Stargate: SG-1Stargate: Atlantis, Stargate: UniverseThe L.A. ComplexBored To Death, and, most recently, a little something called Dark Matter.


Jaimie Alexander Is Jane Doe

Click here to download this poster.



Click here to download this poster.

Click here to download this poster.

Tune in tonight!

In other-show-related news, I’ve completed a rough first draft of Dark Matter Episode 202.  Paul is presently working on 201.  A late curveball thrown our way last week necessitated some minor re-juggling, dropping the story we had planned for Episode 209 into the Episode 205 slot and pushing everything forward. We’re also flopping 210 and 211.  On the surface, it may not seem like a big deal but given the serialized nature of the show and all of the developments we have planned for season 2, it was a challenge (to say the least).  But it looks like we’ve got it all sorted out and now I can finally turn my thoughts to more pressing matters like the shuttle shot, the Randroid, and Titch.

Call today with Dark Matter Production Designer Ian Brock to discuss the first four episodes!

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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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Yeaaaah!   The young NFL Fantasy Football season is off to a rollicking start with an atypical week 1 win for my Snow Monkeys.    The highlights included stellar performances by WR1 DeAndre Hopkins, RB1 Jeremy Hill, the top-ranked Panthers D, and QB Andrew Luck who may have played below expectations but still managed to rack up a respectable 22 points in a winning cause.

With a 1-0 record and the #1 waiver wire pick (Come to poppa, James Jones!) the fearsome Snow Monkeys appear primed to make a championship run!  Check out the gory details…

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So, how did YOUR fantasy teams do in week 1?

In what you’ll no doubt consider comparatively less exciting news, I also found time – between researching free agent players and considering my week 2 lineup – to convene with the rest of the writers to continue our discussions on Dark Matter’s second season.  Familiar names (Titch, Alexander Rook, The General, Jace Corso) were being bandied about alongside some unfamiliar though no-doubt-destined-to-be-just-as-memorable names (Nyx, Arax, Devon, Reynaud, Chief Inspector Kierken).

The directors’ schedule will start to solidify in the coming weeks with, again, some names familiar and unfamiliar (and familiar for other familiar shows ;)).

 Conference call tomorrow to discuss that 16-point season 1 post-mortem after which it’s smooooooooooooth sailing!

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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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