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Archive for the ‘Dark Matter’ Category

So, yes, in addition to the scheduled general meet and greets, I’ll be teaming up with my friend (and former fellow Dark Matter Executive Producer) Vanessa Piazza to pitch Masked while in L.A.  Editor Lou Anders assembled a diverse selection of tales that focus as much on the individuals behind the masks as they do on the superheroics.  The stories are grounded in character, something I’ve always been a firm believer in, from Stargate straight through to Dark Matter.  I envision the series as an anthology in the vein of Black Mirror except that, instead of studying the influence of technology, the focus will be on the social, political and personal effects of possessing extra-normal abilities – the advantages, the drawbacks, the costs.  Two great examples from established comic lore are DC’s Batman and Marvel’s Spiderman.  Batman – the world’s greatest detective, the dark knight, a masked vigilante who protects the streets of Gotham.  And, yet he is, at heart, an orphan, so scarred by the murder of his parents that tragedy fuels his relentless quest for justice.  Spiderman – the web-slinging, wise-cracking defender of New York is, in contrast, a meek, mild-mannered high school student similarly driven by tragedy to bear the weight of responsibility power and fate have thrust upon him.  Batman and Spiderman, Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker, have always been, for me, the pinnacle of engaging, richly textured characters – at once relatable yet delightfully complex.  And that’s what we’re looking to bring through a collection of original superhero-themed episodes scripted by some of comics and genredom’s heaviest hitters.  Tonally, thematically, I want Masked to offer viewers a show that engages and entertains, but provokes as well.

So who is your favorite superhero/alter ego?  And why?

A couple of years ago, Vanessa was featured in a Hottest Canadian Film and TV Talent You’ve Never Heard Of – But Will list.  There’s a great write up on Vanessa (click the link), and an equally great artist’s rendition accompanying the piece –

Hey, you have less than a month left to get your letters in for a chance to win a piece of Dark Matter…well, a piece of Dark Matter.

Details here: https://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/september-29-2017-fandom-start-your-blickensderfers/

Some of the items up for grabs:

Android chip and Victor upgrades.

FIVE’s sketches.

FOUR’s imperial ring.

FIVE’s goggles.

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So, yesterday I gave a shout-out to the gang at MGM who reached out to me in an effort to save Dark Matter.

Today, another shout-out.  This one for a former syfy executive, Chris Regina, who was the channel’s point man on the series for Dark Matter’s three year run.  He was a tireless promoter of our little show – reading every script, watching every episode, always giving us meaningful input and, more importantly, championing Dark Matter when others may have overlooked it.  We – the cast, the crew, and the fans – lost a passionate, and crucial ally when Chris left syfy in late June.

Chris Regina on set with Executive Producer Jay Firestone

A big thank you to Chris for three amazing years – and best of luck on his exciting new position…which I hope to hear more about when I visit L.A. at the end of the month.

Well, I spent the better part of an afternoon reading about a hundred letters from Dark Matter fans.  All I can say is Wow.  A lot of beautifully written, heartfelt expressions of gratitude for a show that obviously meant a lot to so many of you. It may have looked like I was choking up, but I can assure you that was just the fiery residue of the scorpion chilis I must have got in my eyes.

Anyway, here are a few of the outfits we’ll be sending out to some lucky letter-writing fans…

And more!

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In truth, pretty damn close.

So often, you’ll hear stories long after the fact.  Like how Apple almost brought Stargate: SG-1 back for an iTunes exclusive 11th and final season.  Or how Canada’s Space Channel attempted to save Stargate: Universe.  But in this case, the events are fairly recent  – a last ditch effort to save Dark Matter spearheaded by some old friends.  An effort that, had it been successful, would have seen characters from the world of Stargate crossover into the Dark Matter universe.   Or, technically and creatively, vice-versa.  I kid you not.

Not long after word broke of the syfy cancellation, we had several interested parties reach out to us.  One of the most intriguing of them was was MGM, my former home for 12 glorious years while I was working on the Stargate franchise.   They loved the show.  They were aware of the fanbase.  And they recognized a great opportunity.

Over the course of a week, with the window of opportunity to save the show growing narrower, I had several long and involved conversations with Simon Graty (EVP & GM Domestic Networks at MGM Studios), Kieran Dickson (Editorial Director at MGM), and Jenny Stiven (Consultant, Digital/Social Strategy & Content, Influencer Marketing).  The plan, if successful, would have seen Dark Matter’s fourth season premiere on MGM’s streaming platform, Stargate Command, alongside the upcoming Stargate: Origins series.  Perhaps equally intriguing was the prospect of doing some sort of Dark Matter/Stargate crossover that would rev up the fanbase in advance of further original Stargate programming down the road.

The two things working against us were time and existing contracts, the latter which proved our undoing.  BUT we came so close –

To a fourth season of Dark Matter.

To a sci-fi crossover for the ages.

Ultimately, we weren’t successful, but I want to thank MGM, and especially Simon, Jenny, and Kieran, for reaching out and trying to make it happen.

Today, Ivon and I caught up with a couple of the individuals who orchestrated that attempted 11th hour save (Jenny and Kieran), as we sat down with them, and Gateworld’s David Reed, for late lunch and three hours of reminiscing about the old Stargate  days.

Watch for our interview, and many more, coming to Stargate Command.

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Here’s your chance to win a memento from Dark Matter, one of Syfy’s most-watched scripted shows and most watched sci-fi series of 2017.  Normally, we’d reward you with another season of your favorite show but, since that’s not possible, we’re offering up props, costumes, and swag!

November 15 is the deadline to get your “What Dark Matter Means To Me” letters in for a chance to one of these awesome prizes…

DM (Dungeon Master?) hats.

Raza crew mugs.

Raza beanies.

Ambrosia’s necklace with hidden decoder inside (Episode 305, “One Last Card To Play”).

The Android’s space ukulele (Episode 304, “All The Time In The World”).

FIVE’s mug.

FOUR’s prop puzzle box – doesn’t open (Episode 101/102).

Ishida Cargo hold key.

Robots x2 from Baines’ workshop (Episode 302, “It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This”).

 

Bars – space currency.

Hrothgar/ONE’s pendant (Episode 101/102).

Functional space light.

Space “meds”.

Subspace transponder (Episode 203, “I’ve Seen The Other Side Of You”).

Sarah’s necklace.

Two Raza fuses.

And I’ll continue to post more swag, props, and costumes as they are catalogued and photographed.

Remember, when it comes to Dark Matter, #ItsARealFanThing!

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We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving yesterday with my cousins…and special guest Anthony Lemke who, it turns out, lives three houses over!  My family loves his character on Dark Matter but, after spending the afternoon with him, loves HIM even more.  If they could adopt him, I’m sure the paperwork would have already been started.

Another walk down Dark Matter memory lane.  My first season set walk-thru…in four chapters…

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To those of you wondering – Yes, I may be relaxing, but I haven’t given up on giving you an ending to Dark Matter.  While a fourth season isn’t in the cards, I still hold out hope for a mini-series somewhere, somewhen down the line. Alternately, I’ve reached out about a possible comic book continuation of the story and the initial conversation was very promising.

Even though I’m enjoying my time off, taking meetings, considering other opportunities, I’m really itching to write more Dark Matter.  So much so that I’m toying with the idea of writing a script (or two, or who knows?) and releasing it online.  I also heard talk of the the entire cast gathering at a convention next year and doing a table read – and I can’t think of better table-reading material than Episode 401.

Anyway, just keeping you in the loop – as always.  Feeling a little wistful today, so uploading some of my favorite BTS videos from the show’s first season.  Enjoy!

A virtual walk-thru of The Raza bridge:

The very first shot of the very first episode.  Directed by T.J. Scott:

Shooting the pilot’s anti-grav sequence with stunt coordinator John Stead:

The Dark Matter boys’ choir, Parts 1 and 2:

My sneaky reveal of The Mole’s identity – season 1 finale:

Season 1 wrap with director Andy Mikita:

 

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If I had to make a list of MY Top 10 Favorite Dark Matter Episodes, season 2’s penultimate episode, “Sometimes In Life You Don’t Get To Choose” would undoubtedly make the list.  It’s a great Ryo Ishida episode and Alex Mallari Jr. does some of his best work ever here, negotiating a minefield of memories in an attempt to take back his throne.  Plenty of great character moments and, of course, those patented Dark Matter twists and turns that sees: 1) Oh, no!  Even though all signs pointed to General Drago, it was our old friends, The Seers, who were working against Ryo’s interests all along, 2) Which leads to the truth about Milo’s death being laid bare, and Nyx realizing her lover was responsible for the death of her brother as the would-be usurper faces execution at the hands of the Commander of the Royal Guards, Han-Shireikan  3) But TWO has put actually put it together behind the scenes and enacted a carefully orchestrated plan that involves the Android bluffing and buying FIVE the time to rescue Hiro and seemingly save the day, 4) Allowing Ryo to retake his throne, order the execution of every potential threat in the court including that of his half-brother, and complete his turn to the dark side, setting him up as season 3’s Big Bad.

Damn.  As far as WTF?! episode outs, this ranks right up there with TWO being blasted out the airlock at the end of Episode 210, the death of ONE at the end of Welcome To Your New Home, the big revelation at the end of the pilot, and the stasis pod reveal I had planned for season 4.

Anyway, this episode ranks in the Top 5 of the imdb fan ratings and I think really does a terrific job of showcasing many of the show’s strengths – from the terrific performances to the awesome visual effects.

And so, as part of my continuing Dark Matter fan appreciation campaign, I offer you a copy of the final shooting draft for your perusal:

DM2 EP212 16_04_15 Script FULL COLLATED YELLOW

The fan letters have started coming in.  We’ve received about a dozen so far, half from Canada, others from as far away as Germany and Scotland.  I’m ready to do some major reading!

“Do you really think you should be eating hot peppers the night before you fly?”asked Akemi.

No.  Probably not.  But we’re off to Montreal for a week and if I didn’t eat them tonight, they’d go to waste.  An interesting mix including chocolate habanero, fatali, scotch bonnets, and ghost peppers.  I ate them an hour ago and I’m still perspiring.

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