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Archive for the ‘Dark Matter’ Category

I was in the costume department, talking to Dark Matter costume designer Noreen Landry when I noticed the pictures of the dogs lining the back wall.  How cute, I thought.  A different dedicated dog for each episode.  And then, on closer scrutiny, I realized that it was much more than that.  Yes, a different dog for each episode.  And, yes, each dog with a different look.  But each different look was on theme, a little teaser of every one of our episodes…

Episode 1: Space Dog

Episode 1: Space Dog

Appropriately enough, in our first episode, the crew awakens on a spaceship.

Episode 2: Miner dog

Episode 2: Miner dog

In our second episode, the crew assists a mining colony in fending off an attack by a powerful multi-planetary corporation.

Episode 3: Space suit dog.

Episode 3: Space suit dog.

In our third episode, the Android (and later ONE and SIX) undertake a perilous EVA.

Episode 4: Casino dog?

Episode 4: Casino dog?

In our fourth episode…well, I’ll let the above dog pic offer a hint.

Yes, tonight’s the night.  Dark Matter is BACK with an all-new episode, this one directed by amazing Amanda Tapping (Stargate’s Samantha Carter).  She did a brilliant job on this episode and, in the time she spent with us, garnered a whole new fan contingent amongst our cast and crew.

If you weren’t around reading this blog back in February, here are my behind-the-scenes write-ups on “The Amanda Tapping Experience”:

https://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/february-11-2015-introducing-dark-matter-editor-wendy-hallam-martin-amanda-tapping-takes-the-directing-reins/

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https://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/february-12-2015-space-travels-with-amanda-tapping/

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https://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/february-13-2015-back-in-familiar-inertial-dampened-climate-controlled-faster-than-light-territory/

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https://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/february-19-2015-a-casting-hint-cat-t-shirt-day-on-shaofu-2/

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https://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/february-20-2015-director-amanda-tappings-last-day-birthday-bash-on-shaofu-2-a-visit-to-the-space-station-clinic/

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A few episode #104 previews:

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http://www.thetvjunkies.com/dark-matter-preview-where-the-raza-goes-trouble-follows/

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http://www.spoilertv.com/2015/07/dark-matter-episode-4-advance-preview.html

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http://www.threeifbyspace.net/2015/06/dark-matter-episode-4-preview-face-off/

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The past comes back to haunt members of the crew during a stopover at a space station, during which Four makes a stunning discovery, while Two and Five learn that some games of chance come with surprising risks. Elsewhere, Six receives some unwanted attention at a local clinic; and One and Three’s attempts to sell the weapons in their cargo hold lands them at a dangerous disadvantage.

I’ll be live tweeting both the east cost and west coast broadcasts!  Hope to see you all online tonight!

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1) I went through the vent.

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This is my favorite scene in this episode.  A lot of nice little beats here, from FIVE’s slow bullet spill to THREE’s uncertain weighing of his guns.

Rehearsing the standoff.

Rehearsing the standoff.

2) You might want to hurry.

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This scene in the final cut is a shortened version of what was originally envisioned.  From the script:

ONE, SIX and FIVE head out. TWO trains her weapons on THREE and FOUR.

THREE: Is that really necessary?

By way of an answer, she motions for them to raise their hands – a little higher. They do.

—After a cutaway to the rescue, we cut back to the bridge where:

TWO still has her guns on THREE and FOUR. Beat.

THREE: Look, they’re back on the ship, we’re safely in FTL. We done here?

She doesn’t move.

THREE: It wasn’t personal. We were –

TWO: Just looking out for yourselves.

THREE: Looking out for all of us.

Off TWO –

THREE: If the shields had failed while we were waiting for them to haul him in, we’d be singing a different tune now. We were lucky.

He has a point. She lowers her guns. THREE and FOUR lower their hands.

THREE: Alright. I’ll be in my quarters. Let me know when we get to the station.

He starts off. She stops him with –

TWO: Not so fast. We’ve got to finish something first.

Off a confused…

— We SEGUE TO THREE in the hot seat, finishing up his lie detector test.

3) You would’ve done the same for us.

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In the original script, this scene played out much differently.  ONE gets an injured but still conscious SIX to the infirmary – where they are later joined by FIVE and the Android.  Executive Producer Jay Firestone felt that the episode needed more jeopardy in order to a build to its satisfying conclusion, and so the original scene was rewritten and replaced by this much more dynamic sequence.

4) We move on.

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Well, whaddya know?  THREE was telling the truth after all!

We come away with three conclusions from this scene:

1. Even if one of the crew members was responsible for their communal mindwipe, he/she doesn’t remember.

2. The communal mind wipe may have been an accident, the result of a crude program designed to target someone else’s memories.

3. In TWO’s words: “Finding out whoever did this is going to be next to impossible.”

Ah, well.  Two out of three anyway.

5) Looking out for number one.

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This was another scene that played out a little differently from the way it was originally scripted.

In the script, he leans in and kisses her.  She pulls back.  He immediately backs off and apologizes.  There is an awkward exchange and then, he leaves.

I actually preferred this original version which made TWO more emphatic and clear but, in this instant, production concerns necessitated a tighter version.

6) One final round of discovery!

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Just as we draw closer to some answers, a few more questions are thrown our way. How did FIVE know where to look?  Does this suggest some sort of past connection to the mysterious key card and the gun?  Will we be learning more about the key card as the season progresses?  Will that gun pay off in some way further on down the line?  Do the writers actually have a game plan?  Tune in to find out!

7) Goodnight!

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Ah, the bookend.  We conclude our opposite in much the same we started – with our Android on the bridge, giving the crew the 411.  THREE seals up his vent, SIX touches up that nasty burn on his arm, while FOUR considers – oh, yeah! – that ring he discovered in the puzzle box.  Yet another loose end we’ll presumably be getting around to sooner than later.

Much sooner.

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8) Jace.  Jace Corso.

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So, after everything our crew went through, the burgeoning suspicion and shifting alliances, the suspected sabotage and lie detector test, we must finally come to terms with the fact that we’ll probably never know who was lying.

Until about five (show) minutes later with the final reveal of an all too familiar face sitting at a bar on some space station.  The guy, a dead ringer for one, says he’s been after The Raza for a while now, looking to catch up with someone.

Wonder who?

P.S. This concluding WTF?!! scene was shot by Episode 4 director Amanda Tapping since this Cygni 4 bar set up was shot concurrently with the upcoming bar, lounge, casino, and back room scenes in #104.

PPS.  Isn’t that space station establisher amazing?  Kudos to Lawren Bancroft-Wilson and our VFX team on the gorgeous visuals.

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1) Yes, I am an excellent information source.  Thank you.

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And the hits just keep on coming.  More bad news in the form of gamma radiation being emitted from the remains of a Type 1a supernova.

The revised reveal of our ship from the gang at VFX:

Again, the challenge in scenes like these is to keep the pace up and all of our characters alive (in other words, involved either directly through dialogue or indirectly through cutaways).  There’s a lot of ground to cover here but flashes of humor go a long way toward breaking up the exposition, something I learned from my occasional technobabble-filled days on Stargate.  These beats, mainly involving our Android, go a long way toward humanizing her character, making her more sympathetic, and adding dimension to her seemingly straight-forward personality.  I’ve noticed some people bumping on these seemingly emotional responses.  At times, she is almost childlike in her reactions.  “But she an Android!  It doesn’t make sense!”.  It doesn’t?  Sort of like…

2) On the other hand, sometimes she makes a lot of sense.  Good luck.

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Why is she wearing a spacesuit?  “But she an Android! It doesn’t make sense!”. Until, of course, it does.  The Android volunteers to effects repairs by executing a perilous EVA.  And THREE is only to happy/relieved to let her go.  As far as he’s concerned, it’s nothing personal – because he doesn’t really see our Android as a sentient entity imbued with a personality.  At best, a machine with a  personality template, but certainly not some”thing” to worry about.  On the surface, his attitude may seem cold but an argument can be made that he does have a point. But let’s table that debate for later…

The ever-sassy Zoie Palmer suits up!

The ever-sassy Zoie Palmer suits up!

3) That’s why I like her.  She’s just like the rest of us.

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Amid all the suspicion, the shipboard paranoia, and the overwhelming feeling of isolation, personal connections are made and it’s interesting to see who gravitates towards who and how these relationships evolve over time.  One of my favorites – and one of my favorites to write – is the friendship between these two very different crew mates: the imposing, grounded, wizened SIX and the diminutive, impulsive, young FIVE.  He plays the role of the protector, offering words of comfort here but, in the situations, it’s often FIVE who offers up the words of wisdom, in this instance when she says: “She’s just like us.”, which echoes her “Well, same with them maybe, right?” in episode 102 in which she drew a parallel between the Android’s “killbot” programming and the crew’s apparent past disposition toward violence.  When you think about it, the Android IS just like them in many ways (the fact that they’re all starting over after having their memories wiped being the most obvious), but she’s ESPECIALLy like FIVE: well-intentioned and a key member of the crew, but immature in many ways and incredibly lonely. And, speaking of connections, the relationship between FIVE and the Android is another one of my favorites that develops over the course of this first season.

4) I sincerely hope you’re right.  But if anything goes wrong out there, it will be your only chance.

Running through the Android's departure scene.

Running through the Android’s departure scene.

The Android suits up and, despite the obvious dangers, elects to forge ahead and complete the crucial repairs – while FIVE and SIX look on back on the bridge.  I really want to say more about this scene but, for time being, I’ll hold off.  Just make a mental note – and then let’s come back it later in the season.  Plink!  That’s the sound of the penny dropping.

Rehearsing on the bridge.

Rehearsing on the bridge.

5) Too late.

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The Android is successful – but ends up disabled by the electro-static charges.  A little about this sequence, in pictures…

Early set construction.  What a difference a coat of paint makes!

Early set construction. What a difference a coat of paint makes!

Shooting on the day.

Shooting on the day.

In order to reach the trench, the Android must walk down an extreme-angled wall, something easy enough to do in zero-g, but a little trickier to demonstrate in our Earth-based production environment.  So this is what we did…

We set up a section of the trench, floor in the foreground and walls in the background.

We set up a section of the trench, floor in the foreground and walls in the background.

We enlist our stand-in, the lovely Krysta Lee.

We enlist our stand-in, the lovely Krysta Lee.

With 1st AD Grant Boyle supporting her, our stand-in walks down one angle section and up the next.  The shot is a close-up of her booted feet:

I trimmed the head off the second shot and we were good to go!

P.S. The coupling housed within the section of the retractable section of the trench is a visual effects, compliments of our VFX team lead by Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson.

6) Whoa, whoa, whoa.  We’re on the clock here, remember?

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THREE makes FOUR another pitch and, this time, he’s a little more successful in having his would-be ally hear him out.  Why?  Because, from a purely logical standpoint, he makes sense.  As TWO will later tell ONE: “We felt it was worth the risk to save the Android; they didn’t.”

7) Or now.  We can talk about this now.

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There’s nothing I like more than a good stand-off – and this is a great one.  After THREE and FOUR seal themselves in the bridge with the intention of jumping to FTL, FIVE shorts the door console, allowing the rest of the crew access to the ship’s nerve center.  The shots of ONE, TWO, and SIX walking in guns raised – and the complimentary shot of THREE and FOUR drawing on them – never fails spike the adrenaline every time I watch this act-ending sequence.

Hey!  Check out these behind-the-scenes vids at SyFy.com featuring Marc Bendavid (ONE), stunt coordinator John Stead, VFX supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson, and production designer Ian Brock:

http://www.syfy.com/darkmatter/videos/dark-matter-backstage-episode-1

http://www.syfy.com/darkmatter/videos/dark-matter-designing-the-raza-sets

http://www.syfy.com/darkmatter/videos/dark-matter-building-the-raza-vfx

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Picking up where we left off yesterday – let’s continue our rundown of Dark Matter‘s third episode..

1) So somebody in this room wiped our memories and probably killed that kid.

You're probably all wondering why I've gathered you here...

You’re probably all wondering why I’ve gathered you here…

TWO comes clean about what she’s learned – the fact that someone did, in fact, upload a program into the stasis pods that targeted their memories.  This not only suggests someone among them was responsible for their collective amnesia, but also strongly suggests that many of their memories may now reside in FIVE’s subconscious.  Then, they suddenly drop out of FTL and the Android announces there is something wrong with the ship.

Some pretty major revelations!   Sure, but the aspect of this scene that has garnered a surprising amount of attention is the fish tank in the background. Gorgeous but, alas, not an actual fish tank.  You’ll notice in this episode, and moving forward, that the screen at the back of the mess changes, cycling through a variety of different Earth-based nature videos – a little touch of home for our distant crew.

2) Dead bodies, hacked stasis pods, now this?  There’s a whole lot of things going wrong on this ship.

Oh, there's your problem right there.

Oh, there’s your problem right there.

The Android informs them there’s a problem with the ship.  THREE suspects sabotage or, at least, a sabotage of the ship’s diagnostics – and he wastes no time pointing the finger of blame at our resident tech monkey, FIVE.  Big brother SIX predictably rises to her defense and, again, we get a taste of how the various shipboard alliances and relationships are shaping up (something we explore over the course of this episode, this entire first season, and beyond).

I love these types of scenes that include the entire crew but, truth be told, they are incredibly challenging to shoot.  Not only does the director have to cover seven different characters, but he/she also has to keep the scene dynamic.  No easy task, particularly given the fact that exposition drives a huge chunk of this scene.

3) No, not the door.  What’s behind the door.

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Thought we’d forgotten all about the mystery door, huh?

In an obvious attempt to win himself an ally – and possibly get himself inside – THREE shows FOUR the big metal door.  Anthony Lemke and Alex Mallari Jr. are great together here and I especially love this scene because it offers up a rare glimpse of FOUR’s dryer than dry sense of humor.

4) We’re bad company.

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SIX is really the only other crew member capable of going toe to toe with TWO, and he does so here – a follow-up to their initial clash on the bridge.  Only three episodes in and fractures are beginning to show.  And, by the way, he’s not wrong about the dangers present on the ship – and the fact that it’s no place for a  “kid”. As for his stab at TWO’s reasons for keeping FIVE around…well, we’ll have to wait and see.

5) It’s chocolate protein pudding day!

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The crew sits down to a new-fashioned lie detector test compliments of the ship’s Android who monitors their physiological responses for tells.  I noticed a few people who watched this sequence commented along the lines of: “Why are they taking turns answering each question?!  It doesn’t make sense!”  Dudes, seriously?  The jumping between the various crew members answering the same question is a visual conceit, a fun shorthand that touches on everyone’s responses without having to cycle through each individual session.  The sequence, edited by the marvelous Teresa Hannigan, is accompanied by a terrific score compliments of Brad Pinkerton.

Coincidentally (or not!) the episode aired on Friday, June 26th which, it turns out, WAS Chocolate Pudding Day!

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Maybe the kid IS psychic!

6) We’re not asking.

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2, 4, and 6 pay 3 a visit so they can ask him to take the lie detector test.  He refuses because, as he puts it, he doesn’t “trust that robot”.  If you devised a drinking game in which you’d have to do a shot every time THREE uses the term “Android”, you’d go very thirsty.  What’s of particular interest in this scene  is the fact that FOUR is among the trio who strong-arms THREE, reinforcing the point he made earlier during the training room sequence: He wants answers, dammit! 7) If you shoot him, you may skew the results.

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Hey, you know who I love?  The Android.  She’s a blast to write for because she’s a delightfully humorous character – played by a delightfully humorous actress (Zoie Palmer).  After informing the crew of the potential pitfalls of shooting THREE, she proceeds to grill him…

The Android detects lies AND reads palms!

The Android detects lies AND reads palms!

And, just when we start getting some answers, the proceedings are interrupted by another shipboard emergency.  This one worse.  MUCH worse!

Some Dark Matter-related links to check out: Ratings – http://www.tvwise.co.uk/2015/06/dark-matter-opens-big-for-syfy-uk-with-nearly-400k-viewers/ Whoa!  An incisive analysis of the show and its characters.  The author picked up on certain story elements others have missed.  A very interesting read: http://tv-remote-viewing.com/2015/06/27/dark-matter-walk-on-the-wild-side/ Another very interesting read: http://www.philpercs.com/2015/06/syfys-dark-matter-and-moral-aspects-of-personal-identity.html “In the show, the memory loss serves as a plot device to allow formerly evil characters to explore a newfound goodness. But, more than making for an interesting show, if my intuition that this is a plausible response in this situation, I think this suggests something deeper about us.” Melissa O’Neil (TWO) interviews Anthony Lemke (THREE): http://www.space.ca/show/dark-matter/episode/melissa-oneil-interviews-anthony-lemke/646421/ Anthony Lemke (THREE) interviews Melissa O’Neil (TWO): http://www.space.ca/show/dark-matter/episode/anthony-lemke-interviews-melissa-oneil/646418/

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So, what did everyone think of Dark Matter’s third episode?  Questions? Concerns?  Theories?  Got it all figured out?  Who wiped their memories?  Why? What’s behind the big metal door?  What’s the significance of FOUR’s ring?  Who killed the boy?

Check out my weekly episode debrief with TheTVJunkies’ Bridget Liszewski for some additional hints:

http://www.thetvjunkies.com/dark-matter-episode-3-postmortem-the-real-jace-corso/?utm_content=buffer3b631&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

This episode was written by former Stargate Executive Producer Martin Gero who has been busy of late, working on his new show, Blindspot, which premieres September 21st on NBC.  While our first episode focused on the mystery surrounding our crew and the second episode was more an action-driven entry, episode 3 delves into our characters, shifting alliances, burgeoning shipboard paranoia.

1) I hope you’re all enjoying a hearty breakfast.

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There’s nothing I like more than a good bookend and the scene of our Android, standing on the bridge playing the role of cruise director, offers just that.  It does a nice job of visually conveying a pervasive sense of loneliness – her, standing alone, then cutting to our crew who, though enjoying a communal meal, are seemingly equally alone with their own thoughts.

Setting up the mess table scene.

Setting up the mess table scene.

Until THREE breaks the silence – allowing them all a much-needed cathartic release.  Ultimately, THREE is odd man out, left alone with his thoughts – and everyone else’s leftovers.

2) You wanna play a game or something?

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Perhaps no one is feeling more lonely than FIVE who, already feeling like an outsider, can’t convince anyone to spend some time with her.  SIX is exhausted, ONE is busy reading and FOUR – well, he’s got other things on his mind.  By the way, ONE references the book he is reading as “a classic”, but we never get a good look at the cover.  Like most everything else in this show, this seemingly innocuous element will come back later in the season – but for now, I’d like you all to guess at the title.  Guess correctly and I’ll send you a copy of the book!

Jodelle Ferland (FIVE) also takes the time to read a classic.

Jodelle Ferland (FIVE) also takes the time to read a classic.

FIVE finds herself back in the ship’s vents, exploring its maze-like labyrinth.  Her search strangely, inexplicably (?) takes her to a small utility room in the ship’s underbelly where she makes a horrifying discovery: a dead body!  Dum dum DAAA!

3) Did you want to organize a funeral; prepare parting remarks?

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A scan of the body reveals he was a young boy, coincidentally (?) around FIVE’s age, who died of a single gunshot wound.  ONE immediately jumps to the conclusion that one of them may have been responsible.  TWO dismisses not so much the notion but the very prospect of considering the possibility.  She sees the futility in and suggests they move on.  This, of course, does not sit well with ONE who finds her decision, and seeming lack of compassion, objectionable.

Running thru the infirmary scene.

Running thru the infirmary scene.

The dead boy is played by a terrific young actor named Gage Munroe.  Wait!  How do I know he’s terrific?  Because I watched him deliver a great performance – beyond just playing dead on an infirmary table and gurney.  When?  Well, suffice it to say we’ll be exploring this particular mystery in an upcoming episode.

4) Have fun playing with your stick.

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Not to be so easily dissuaded, THREE drops in on FOUR, seeing in him a like-minded soul guided by self-interest.  And he’s correct.  Up to a certain point.  FOUR may be as mercenary as THREE, but he’s much more even-keeled, logic-driven over emotionally motivated.  THREE makes his pitch and FOUR politely hears him out, before turning him down – with the understanding that HE feels the time isn’t right.  He’s not saying no, just no for now.

I can’t move on from this scene without mentioning two things.  The first is Anthony Lemke’s ad-lib “Okay, have fun playing with your stick!” that almost had me burst out laughing at the monitors the second is Alex Mallari Jr.’s incredible dedication to his role, specifically his mastery of the various weapons in that training room.  Over the course of the season, you’ll note, he uses them all – with seeming deadly precision.  Chalk it up to Alex’s hard work, dexterity, and skill.

5) What if some of our memories were…what if they weren’t all gone?

Setting up the shot.

Setting up the shot.

A nice bonding moment between FIVE and SIX (did I mention how much I love these two together) in which she gives voice to what we already kind of suspect. Something lead her to that room; that body.  The kid was her age.  She probably knew him.  She feels bad because she DOESN’T feel bad – or, maybe, should feel worse.  SIX attempts to console her and talks about fresh starts (a recurring theme throughout this episode and the series as a whole).  In the comfort and connection of the moment, FIVE suggests that, maybe, all of their memories aren’t exactly gone.  Damn, it’s so hard to keep secrets on a spaceship!

6) She has all our memories in her head and you knew it!

You do NOT want to get on SIX's bad side.

You do NOT want to get on SIX’s bad side.

As I was saying: secrets.  The worst part about them is when they get out.  And such is the case here when an angry SIX barges onto the bridge and accuses TWO of keeping the truth from them: that FIVE has everyone’s memories hidden away in her subconscious.  TWO calmly informs him that she wanted to confirm it as fact first before sharing the information.  SIX is far from convinced however…

Let’s check out some Dark Matter reviews:

http://www.mikesfilmtalk.com/2015/06/28/syfys-dark-matter-promising-space-opera/

“This is a promising new show and one that already keeps the interest level high and has the viewer trying to guess where the series will go from this excellent beginning.”

http://www.threeifbyspace.net/2015/06/dark-matter-episode-3-review-trust-no-one-except-maybe-three/

“The Understatement of the Year award, from last night’s episode of Dark Matter, goes to One – “We may have lost our memories, but I think it’s pretty safe to say we didn’t lose our personalities.” And as we get to know them, seven distinct, conflicting, mistrusting, potentially deceitful personalities are emerging. Isn’t it great?”

http://www.spoilertv.com/2015/06/dark-matter-episode-3-review-electric.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_term=Autofeed#link_time=1435464431

“This show has proven that it has a strong grasp of who these characters are and this episode does an outstanding job of further developing them. Already we’re beginning to see character growth as their shared experiences are having an effect on all of them.”

And these Dark Matter interviews:

Actor Anthony Lemke, Dark Matter’s THREE, chats with The Action Elite:

http://theactionelite.com/2015/06/anthony-lemke-interview/

“I believe really strongly in folks with creative minds and active imaginations and I think science fiction or fantasy speaks to those people. I think it’s a positive thing to be an adult and maintain a youthful imagination and creativity moving forward. Plus, I think we are actively engaged in shaping the future. People who make sci-fi and people who read sci-fi and are part of that community and directly involved in shaping what our future looks like.”

Actress Melissa O’Neil, Dark Matter’s TWO, chats with the Calgary Herald:

http://calgaryherald.com/entertainment/television/calgary-actress-melissa-oneil-charts-new-path-with-sci-fi-series

“He saw the breakdown for this character and said, ‘You have to audition,’” says O’Neil, in an interview from her home in Toronto. “I was in the middle of callbacks and had the chance to take over a leading part on a Broadway show for a few months or keep auditioning for a TV show. (My agent) really encouraged me to take a chance. He said, ‘You’ve already played that part in Toronto. Do something new.’ And I’m so glad I did. Because it’s been such a ride.”

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So, Dark Matter’s third episode aired last night in the U.S., Australia, and Canada. If you watched it, what did you think? Since the episode will be airing in different parts of the world over the next few days, I’m going to hold off on weighing in with my insights – but plenty of behind-the-scenes pics and vids coming your way! Hmmm.  It would appear I’ve been demoted.  When Akemi first moved to Canada, I was her #1 guy.  Then, as she settled in, I dropped to #2 behind this guy –

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And I could live with that.  Bubba does have his charms.  But with a recent addition to the household, I’ve dropped in the ranking yet again, losing my spot to THIS guy –

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Roomba-chan, as Akemi refers to him, has pretty much had the run of the place since moving in last week.  He putters around, keeps to himself, but isn’t above nudging the house’s other inhabitants if they get in the way.  I dare say he has a bit of an attitude.  But, I suppose, sometimes women like the bad boys.

Trying to take some time off to catch up on my reading.  For you comic book fans, here are my recommended reads – some titles with an SF bent:

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Injectionhttps://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/injection-1

Warren Ellis is at his cutting edge best in this strange and wickedly humorous series, a mix of SF and the supernatural.

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Broken Worldhttp://www.comicbookresources.com/comic-review/broken-world-1-boom-studios

With Earth facing an extinction level event, those connected enough to book safe passage flee the doomed planet, leaving behind the mad, the downtrodden and the very, very unlucky.

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Roche Limithttp://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=22121

A scientific and military expedition runs into trouble during a mysterious mission to an off-world colony.  Suggestions of conspiracies and time paradoxes abound!

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Squadron Sinisterhttp://ca.ign.com/articles/2015/06/18/squadron-sinister-1-review

I don’t read a lot of superhero titles (Nick Spencer’s hilarious Ant-Man being an exception) but I positively love Marc Guggenheim’s exploration of this mercenary, duplicitous, wholly unpredictable team.  Sound familiar, Dark Matter fans?

Dark Matter-related links for you to check out… Taking Charge interview with Melissa O’Neil (TWO): http://scifiandtvtalk.typepad.com/scifiandtvtalk/2015/06/taking-charge-interview-with-dark-matters-melissa-oneil.html “It amazes me that they took a chance on someone who never worked in television before to take on a role like Two, but I am truly humbled by it. I’m having such a good time coming to set every day and figuring out who this woman is and how to help tell her story as best I can.” Tabula Rasa: SyFy’s Dark Matter: http://www.criticsatlarge.ca/2015/06/tabula-rasa-syfys-dark-matter.html “Patient storytelling and a talented cast of Canadian actors makes Dark Matter a welcome addition to the television field, and right now the series tops my list of new summer shows. And, I should hasten to add, it also honest-to-goodness fun.” SyFy Embraces the Dark on Friday Nights: http://www.tvtyrant.com/2015/06/26/new-syfy-shows/ “As the characters are told more and more about their pasts – information that may or may not be true – will they become the people they are purported to be? Or are their futures black slates, unencumbered by their pasts?” Review: Wait…What?  On Dark Matter: http://www.tv-eh.com/2015/06/27/review-wait-what-on-dark-matter/ “Dark Matter just messed with my brain. After making a bunch of notes during Friday’s third episode, I basically had to throw everything I thought I knew out the window thanks to that final scene aboard the space station.” Dark Matter: Mutineers, Saboteurs and Trust Issues: http://www.thetvjunkies.com/dark-matter-episode-three/ “Episode three was a surprisingly solid instalment to the series, considering the entire episode was set solely on the ship. I think it says a lot about the actors and the writing to be able to make a compelling hour of television within a confined space. In a relatively short amount of time, we’ve come to care about these people and the relationships they’re forming with each other.” Dark Matter Episode 3 review: https://bladeofthesashurai.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/a-sashurais-review-dark-matter-season-1×03-there-is-no-sound-in-space-hence-the-no-one-hearing-you-scream-in-space/ “It may be nothing, but the subtext is there that eventually Three will eventually care about Five like a big bro cares for a little sis. It’s entirely too early to call this but the thing with anti-heroes is they end up doing the right thing because of someone else and not necessarily because they believe in that right thing. By establishing this nuisance-style relationship between the two, they are in fact setting up scenarios that should pay off with three finding a way to redeem his attitude by saving her life and or something similar.” Dark Matter Episode 3 review: http://sidelinebuzz.com/review-dark-matter-episode-3/ “All in all, this was a great episode. The best element of it is the deeper group dynamics being explored, and how these dynamics will ultimately determine the course of these characters fates in the episodes to come.” Thoughts on the show and Episode 3: http://www.examiner.com/article/geeky-tv-commentary-killjoys-and-dark-matter “Even though this show is a little on the side of slow-burn, it looks like episode four will really be adding to the story, and that’s a good thing!”

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Who is ready for an all new episode of Dark Matter?!

Tonight at 10 p.m. EST/PST and 7 p.m. on SYFY and SPACE CHANNEL!

What’s in store for our mercs?  Well…

“Sabotage is suspected and the onboard paranoia surges when the ship mysteriously veers off course. To bring the systems back online, a perilous spacewalk is required; at the same time, Five makes a shocking discovery.”

And there’s this –

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And this –

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And this –

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And this –

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And this –

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The episode was written by the lovely Martin Gero (StargateThe L.A. ComplexBored to DeathBlindspot – premiering Monday September 21st after The Voice on NBC!) so you DO NOT want to miss it!

Join us online at 10 pm EST and PST as the cast and I live tweet the episode!

Finishing up our discussion of Dark Matter Episode #102…

1) It’s Bubba Time!

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The boys prep for battle – and THREE introduces his guns…which, regular readers of this blog already know, were named after my dogs…

The original Lulu and Bubba!

The original Lulu and Bubba!

2) Game on!

Comin' at ya!

Comin’ at ya!

This big’s action piece kicks off with an amazing oner compliments of fab director T.J. Scott.  The long take STARTS ON the Ferrous Corps guards taking fire, then SWINGS OVER to catch them rappelling, FOLLOWS them down and up the stairs where on gets blasted by BUBBA, HANGS ON ONE and THREE as they exchange fire with the enemy, PAN OVER to THREE leaping over a railing (one of my favorite beats!), then PAN BACK to ONE drawing the assist from Mireille and OVER TO more mayhem.

There’s a great FOUR sequence in which he jumps down to save a miner, snagging one of the corporate guards, then takes out a second guard.  The final version sees this scene cut out here but, in the director’s cut, it actually continues with –

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FOUR hoisting himself up and running the length of the overhead pipe, jumping the railing, and taking out another two guards on the raised platform.  No stunt person required.  It was all Alex Mallari Jr. and I wish I could have kept these beats in the final cut.

Alex Mallari Jr. (FOUR) gets the drop on the Dark Matter crew.

Alex Mallari Jr. (FOUR) gets the drop on the Dark Matter crew.

All of our main players get their opportunity to shine: ONE gunning down the oncoming guards, FOUR proving why he’s a master of the blade, THREE blasting with Bubba and then two-fisting it.

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It all culminates in a Butch & Sundance moment with our heroes, hunkered down and SIX facing certain death at the hands of Sgt. Voss.

3) Shields!

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One of my favorite moments in this episode is TWO’s authoritative command: “Shields!” and the cut to the Ferrous Corp. destroyer opening fire on The Raza.  Then, the two Mikkei Cruisers arrive, flanking our hero ship.  Love it!

4) Blaze of glory?

Butch and Sundance, Dark Matter style.

Butch and Sundance, Dark Matter style.

Facing seemingly insurmountable odds, the boys decide to go out in a blaze of glory.  They jump up, guns at the ready only to realize – the enemy has left.

5) I got a better offer.

Behind the scenes on episode #2.

Behind the scenes on episode #2.

A vexed Commander Nieman pays TWO a visit and discovers her in the company of her new allies: Commanders Sakey and Truffault of the MCS Sujin and Murukami. Commander Truffault, played by the marvelous Torri Higginson (Stargate: Atlantis’s Elizabeth Weir), informs Nieman that the planet is now under the protectorate of The Mikkei Combine.  I love Torri’s performance here, parts Weir, May West, and all sorts of kickass.

It's nice to have friends in high places.

It’s nice to have friends in high places.

Who knows if or when we’ll ever see her character again (Episode #110).

Torri grabs a snack after laying a verbal beatdown on a corporate rival.

Torri grabs a snack after laying a verbal beatdown on a corporate rival.

6) For me, right now, I think that place is up on that ship.

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ONE bids Mireille a fond farewell.  They just went through hell, faced certain death, saved each other’s lives, and he risked all to help her and her people.  A goodbye kiss is perfectly acceptable.

P.S. Love that beautiful shot of ONE standing in the rain.  Thank you, director T.J. Scott.

7) We can spend some quality time getting to know each other.

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TWO brings the rest of the crew up to speed on how it all went down.  It was brains over brawn as one of the women of The Raza saved the day.  Again (If you’re counting, TWO restores life support in the opener, turns off the security protocol that shuts down the android before she can kill the boys, the Android initiates the evasive maneuvers that allow them to dodge the missiles).  With some time to kill before the next space station stopover, they can spend some quality time getting to know each.  Which they will.  In a big way next episode!

8) Because we’re dangerous!

The episode is capped off with one of my very favorite sequences – directed by T.J. Scott, edited by Wendy Hallam, with music by Ben Pinkerton.  It’s a beautiful and haunting montage that touches on each of our crew members revealing, in the final beat, that all are, in fact, a list of suspects in the mystery surrounding their stolen identities.

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I leave you with a few Dark Matter-related links:

http://www.hollywoodsoapbox.com/?p=13443

“Syfy recently premiered its new space drama, Dark Matter, and it’s a lot of fun. Featuring a group of talented actors bringing to life a rich plot with many possible routes, the show should have a long, healthy run on the network.”

https://tvgeektalk.com/previews/dark-matter-preview-episode-three-photos-video/

“I love the mystery, the characters are intriguing (and hilarious!), and there’s plenty of room for other interesting, secondary storylines to run on top of the main arc.”

http://wormholeriders.net/darkmatter/?p=1

“We here at WormholeRiders strongly suggest all science fiction fans make sure to tune in each week for thirteen exciting episodes on Syfy in the USA, the Space Channel in Canada, and Syfy affiliated stations all over the world! Your support, by watching and tweeting live, is critical and will most likely help ensure that Dark Matter has many more seasons in the future!”

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