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Once a show wraps, the production usually holds an industry sale that allows them to recoup some costs and clear the stages.  In our case, I thought it would be nice to do something different.  A little something for fandom.  I suggested to Jay Firestone, President of Prodigy Pictures, that we hold an online auction and give Dark Matter fans a chance to purchase their very own Dark Matter memorabilia.

Prodigy Pictures President Jay Firestone has a better idea!

Well, I spoke to Jay today and he has decided to go one better.  He’s not interested in making money off this wind down.  He just wants to reward fandom.  So, rather than auction off these items, we’re going to give them away.  And if you want your very own Dark Matter something, all it’s going to cost you is a little time and a little effort.

We want you to write us a letter explaining what Dark Matter meant to you.  Make sure to include your name and address for a chance to win anything from a Dark Matter t-shirt or cap to a costume, prop, or a part of the set.

I wanted a name for this mass giveaway, a tag that perfectly summed up what it was all about – thanking fandom for their incredible support and rewarding them for putting in that extra effort.  And I thought about it and, finally, I came up with…

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#ItsARealFanThing (not be confused with dozens of other #fanthing brandings of dubious merit).

Fandom, you all made Dark Matter one of syfy’s most-watched shows and we’re giving you the best possible reward (next to a season 4 of course).  Yes!  #ItsARealFanThing!

Over the next week, the production will collect, photograph, and itemize everything.  I’ll post some of the items on this blog along with the Prodigy Pictures address and final contest details.  And then, let the letter-writing begin!

Artwork by @radiolaires

I gave you the first production draft of the Dark Matter pilot.  Then, I gave you the final shooting draft of “Isn’t That A Paradox?”.  Now, I’d like you to have the final shooting draft of “All The Time In The World”.  You remember?  THIS episode?

All you need to do is hit twitter and tell me your favorite episode using the #ItsARealFanThing hashtag to kick off this ultimate fan giveaway event.  I’m looking for 10k tweets!  Once I have my tweets, you’ll get your script!

And remember…#ItsARealFanThing

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“Just because you’ve never done something doesn’t mean you can’t compete at a professional level.”

— Me to Akemi last night when she heard there was some archery competition going on this weekend.

Dark Matter mementos?  Maybe.

I have suggested to Prodigy Pictures that, if and when they decide to do away with the Dark Matter props, costumes, and set pieces, they do so by making them available for online auction instead of simply holding a private industry sale.  While it would require a little more planning, I think it would be a nice gesture to the fans who have supported the show these three years.

Will keep you posted on that front.

So, yesterday I posted pics of our final trek through our second stage at Evans. Today, I present you with our certainly not final visit to our primary stage where reside, amongst other things: Costumes! Props! The Raza! And, of course, my office with all that Dark Matter Whisky Club whisky!

The whiteboard in my office.  Melissa O’Neil compliments my brain babies. Development exec Natalie Cooper’s To-Do list.  VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson tacks on that little item at the end.  Accompanying artwork by Akemi.

More impressive than the 39 episodes of television we produced was this collection of approximately 50 empty whisky bottles.

Executive Producer Ivon Bartok and I caught raiding the Raza infirmary’s meds supply.

We apprehend Dark Matter Playback Operator Greg Whiteside before forcefully removing him from the premises.  Everything must go!

Strategizing our next lunch move.

View of the mess hall.  Missing: triptych.  Also, everything else.

Other view of the mess hall.  Missing: the mess hall table and, um, the floor.

Ivon, Dark Matter Costume Designer Noreen Landry, and I.

The Dark Matter costume department.  All the wardrobe and equipment are gone now.  The only thing left behind are those amusing dog-themed pictures.

Ivon captioned this: Alex Mallari Jr.’s stunt double.  And I felt the need to point out that I had to go half speed when we sparred because I didn’t want him to get hurt

Fun time’s over.  Now let’s go quell a riot.

Guys, come on.  One more tour of The Raza set.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of seeing 67% of your dream fully realized!

Come, join us on the bridge.

Ivon contemplates life after Dark Matter.

Come on.  Who could say no to this face?

Okay, syfy, yes.  But who else?

Ah, fuck it.  I aint going anywhere.

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Yesterday, I dropped by our second stage at Evans Avenue to say goodbye to what was, for the past two years, our home away from home (The Raza standing sets being home of course).  Over those two years, it has held sets like the Marauder, the Ishida cruiser, the Hyperion-8 Galactic Super Max, Rook’s lab, the Dwarf Star pod facility, the Ferrous Corp shipyard, space station underbellies, the munitions factory, Sarah’s room, the Zairon transit chamber, the Zairon guest rooms, and others.  Had we returned for a fourth season, we would have expanded our footprint here and built a Ferrous Corp lab, some space station interiors, and an alien ship (!).  Ah, what could have been.  I guess you’ll just have to Imagine Greater.  No, wait.  Wrong one.  It’s A Fan Thing.  No, wait.  That can’t possibly be right either, can it?

Anyway, a few photos from our little farewell expedition…

Deconstruction has begun.  That little hut holds the Ishida bridge.  The cleared area once held Sarah’s room and various labs, and before that the Hyperion-8 Super Max.

Ivon Bartok, Rick Fernandez, yours truly, and Frank Consiglio.  I’m going to miss these guys.

The Marauder.

Taking it out for a final spin.

Oh crap!

Brace for impact!

Phew!  Disaster averted!

Except for that whole Syfy cancelling us thing.

The Ishida Cruiser – like the cold, empty shell of a syfy programming executive’s soul.

The long view.

You know the party’s over when they pack away the torture chair, cuffs and bits.

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Well, it was close but our winner nudged out second place by 2% of the vote.

Here are the results…

And here is (the final shooting draft of) your winning script –

DM3 EP309 17_03_07 Script COLLATED DOUBLE BLUE

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So, let’s discuss next steps.  I know there are those of you who would prefer to have your imaginations finish the story for you.  And I’m fine with that because it looks like another season or miniseries is off the table (for now).  But there are those of you who would like some closure – or, at the very least, answers.  Here are the option presently open to us:

Continuing the series as a comic book:  This would seem to make the most sense since Dark Matter started off as a four-issue arc for Dark Horse Comics (although it technically existed as a pilot script first, but for the sake of argument, let’s ignore that for the time being).  The comic realm offers the opportunity to tell the planned final two season arcs OR possibly a condensed version of seasons 4 and 5.  The only thing working against this would be any copyright issues that might prevent me from using the characters from the t.v. series in the comic book.  The original characters were somewhat different in the original comic books (ie. FIVE was much younger and the Android was male), so I need to be sure I can use the characters we have come to know as the crew of The Raza – otherwise, continuing the story is pointless.  In any case, I’ve put out feelers and hope to hear back later this week about the possibility.

I write some scripts: The operative word being “some”.  At this point, the prospect of writing any more scripts is daunting, but I do like the idea of maybe scripting my plan for the first few episodes and making them available to you online.  Still, this would be a long way from that two season plan.

I offer a breakdown of what I had planned: Which might be kind of fun.  Dedicate a separate blog entry to an episode by offering a summary of each proposed episodic story.  In this case, however, the devil would be in the details since much of my season-long writing has consisted of me jumping back and forth between scripts to ensure consistency and flow – something that might be a little difficult to achieve in this scenario.

I offer “answers”: This would no doubt be the easiest option.  Line up the questions (Where was TWO’s story with her daughter headed?  What were your plans for Ryo Ishida?  How would the reunion between THREE and Sarah play out and where would it go from there?  What happened to SIX?) and then give you my intended broad stroke game plan for each.

There are several ways to go and I leave you to think about it – or suggest options I haven’t offered (although if I haven’t offered them, chances are it’s because I’m not exactly keen on them) – while I look into a few scenarios.

But whatever we decide to go with, it won’t be for a little while.  I am, to be honest, exhausted.  On the one hand, I’m fortunate enough to have worked some 20 straight years in this business without interruption.  On the other hand, I’ve worked 20 straight years in this business without interruption.  I went from teen sitcoms straight into action adventures directly to 12 years of Stargate followed by another series, then a miniseries, a year spent writing pilots, and finally three straight years of Dark Matter  which consisted of overseeing a room, writing scripts, prepping, producing, and posting a season, then overseeing another room, writing scripts, prepping, producing and posting another season…  350+ hours of produced television, 115+ hours of scripted television, and one immense fan campaign later – I am exhausted.  I think I could use a break.

So, I’m going to take a little time.  To read.  Take some meetings.  Consider my options.  But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop keeping you informed – of my fight to give Dark Matter a proper conclusion, or of the other exciting projects I have in the works.  You’ll still be able to connect with me on twitter (@BaronDestructo), find me on reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/DarkMatter/), and interact with me here where I’ve been blogging daily for over 10 years.

All that said, I really, REALLY appreciate how amazing you’ve all been throughout the show’s run but especially over these last few difficult weeks.  I often talk about family – how the crew of The Raza are like family, and how the cast and crew of the show have become like family to me.  Well, you’ve all become family to me and I thank you for that.  And, as a token of my appreciation, I’d like to offer you continued access to exclusive BTS materials.  Last week, I posted the first production draft of the Dark Matter pilot.  Today, I’d like to give you the final shooting draft of…well, you choose.

I went through the imdb listing for the show and came up with the six highest-rated episodes as chosen by fans.  Cast your vote for the script you’d like to read. Polls close in 24 hours!

 

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All good things must come to an end – some much sooner than expected.  Sadly, such is the case for Dark Matter. Despite word of the cancellation by syfy, fandom rose up and gave us new hope. We sought to buck the odds and find our little show a new home.  But unfortunately, I just learned that our final option has proven unworkable due to contractual issues.  It’s a shame because these potential saviors reached out to me and offered a creative solution that, had it worked, would have been a sci-fi fan’s dream scenario.  But, alas, it was not to be.  In time, I would love to tell you all about it.

As for what’s next for Dark Matter?  My first choice would be to complete the story in comic book format where it originally began, but I’ve just started to look into the possibility now.  Beyond that, I’m not sure.

Thank you to my cast and crew who made it all possible.

And an especially HUGE THANK YOU to all of you, the viewers and fans, who made Dark Matter one of syfy’s most watched shows and who rallied and made your voices heard these past few weeks.

I said it before and I’ll say it again…

You all deserved better.

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And then there was one.

Another potential partner dropped out of the running today in our mad dash to save Dark Matter.  In the end it came down to money.  As much as both sides wanted to make it work, it was clear the gap separating us was too wide.  A valiant effort but to no avail.

And so, we switch focus to our final suitor – a delightful wildcard with a creative proposition.  Unfortunately, said proposition comes with its own set of complications, chiefest of which is a timeline that may stretch far past our drop dead date.  And yet, if the pieces come together and all the parties sign off (and that’s a pretty big 

I mean, look the size of it!), then we’d be looking at mini-series that would run, depending on budget, between 4-8 episodes – offering Dark Matter fans some form of closure.

In the meantime, time has officially run out on our second stage.  I heard the strike team is in place and ready to move.  I’m hoping we can move the Marauder to the breezeway in our remaining stage and buy our shuttle some more time while the Ishida cruiser, labs, and the Ferrous Corp shipyard come down.

It’s crazy to think that, not that long ago, we were actually thinking of expanding our stage space to make room for an alien ship interior, Galactic Authority facility, and underground bunker.  What a difference a month – and an altogether baffling network decision – make.

Regardless of how things go down between now and week’s end, the Dark Matter Council is planning on another enormous fan tweet storm this Friday night.  And, as a little thank you to you all for your continued support, I’m going to talk to Playback Operator Greg Whiteside about showcasing some of the amazing graphics our playback team has created over the show’s three seasons.

Whelp, still not dead yet!  But we’re in an 11th hour life or death scramble.  This gif, by Robert Ek, about sums it up –

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