Archive for the ‘science fiction’ Category

In yesterday’s blog entry, I mentioned the similarities between Stargate and Dark Matter, but one of the parallels I failed to mention was the talent, both behind and in front of the camera.  Former Stargate Executive Producers Robert C. Cooper and Martin Gero consulted and wrote for Dark Matter, former Stargate directors Amanda Tapping, Andy Mikita, Will Waring, Martin Wood, and Peter DeLuise have helmed episodes, and, of course, former Stargate actors Torri Higginson, David Hewlett, and Mike Dopud have put in appearances aboard The Raza as well.

So, as we head toward the possibility of a fourth season, I’d like to know what former Stargate alum would YOU like to see make a guest appearance on Dark Matter?  Post your requests!

Two more days to an all-new episode of Dark Matter.  This Friday at 9/8C on SYFY, Episode 310 (“Built, Not Born”) will offer some very interesting insight into TWO and the Android’s backstory and their mysterious past connection.  It’s chock full of wonderful character moments, a few surprises and – FINALLY – a name for our Android!

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A little while ago, a buddy of mine forwarded me an old article he came across while clearing out his place.  Titled “Winning the Space Race”, it was a piece on Stargate: SG-1.  The article intros: “It’s slammed by critics and sci-fi diehards, but Stargate: SG-1 has become the little show that could, staying on the air even longer than the X-Files or any of the Star Trek series.”

Reading the article took me back to those glory days – and, strangely, made me realize that, after all these years, my situation hasn’t really changed.  Specifically, I refer to the parallels between my old show, Stargate: SG-1, and my new one, Dark Matter.  Sure there are the obvious similarities – the fact that Paul Mullie and I played a significant role in the creative of both, the underlying humor and sense of fun shared by SG-1 and Dark Matter, the fact that at the heart of both shows is the family unit and the bonds forged by loyalty, love, and camaraderie.

And then, there is another comparison to be drawn, neatly summed up in that article’s leading: “the little show that could”.  The sad truth is that Stargate (SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe) faced long odds throughout its impressive run.  It was never a media darling.  It didn’t have the cachet of other shows.  It didn’t have the money of splashier SF productions.  Every season looked to be its last and yet, amazingly, it came back, again and again, defying those long odds.  What was initially supposed to be a two year gig when I joined SG-1’s fourth season turned into a glorious twelve year ride.  And why?  Well, the fans spoke.  Loudly.  And the network listened.

Fast-forward to now and I find myself in a surprisingly similar position – anxiously awaiting word on a pick-up for a show that isn’t a media darling, doesn’t have the cachet of other shows or the money of splashier SF productions.  They’re long odds, but we defied them to get seasons 2 and 3, and now we need our fandom to to help us secure season 4 because season 4…well, I don’t want to spoil it for you, but the season 3 finale opens a new chapter in the Dark Matter pentalogy, one that will reward the scifiest of scifi fans.

If Season 1 was Secrets and Surprises.

And Season 2 was Risks and Redemption.

And Season 3 is Victories and Vengeance.

Then Season 4 is A… and A…

Care to hazard a guess?  I promise you, it’s going to be HUGE.

Then, as always, it all comes down to you.  Help Dark Matter get that fourth season.  MAKE SOME NOISE!

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Well look who dropped by the comments section.  None other than Robert C. Cooper.  I mentioned his upcoming miniseries, Unspeakable, in yesterday’s entry and, today, he left the following message:

“Thanks for the shout out Joe! If you’re interested in following the progress then head on over to http://www.unspeakableseries.com and please like us on Facebook at Unspeakabletv!”

Ah, this takes me back to Rob’s directorial debut, back on a little show called Stargate: SG-1

So what inspired Rob to become a director? His love for the art?  Creative ambition?  Would you believe…fear.

Parents be warned…

And what did I expect from Rob’s debut?  Well, I never had a doubt…

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Tune in tonight at 9/8C for what promises to be our wildest episode yet.

And prepare for a tweetstorm with the cast!

One more sneak peek clip to whet your appetite, this one by way of BlackGirlNerds

The Android crashes the party…

SpaceChannel’s Innerspace breaks down TWO vs Ryo Ishida from last episode:



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20 years ago today, Stargate: SG-1 premiered on Showtime.  I celebrated by going out for spicy chili chicken and dan dan noodles with actor Michael Shanks.

Five years from now, I hope to celebrate the 25th anniversary with Amanda Tapping over tonkotsu ramen and chicken karaage.

Hey!  Who’s ready for our craziest episode yet?  Tomorrow, Friday  July 27th at 9/8C!


Another sneak peek scene from tomorrow night’s episode, “Isn’t That A Paradox?”…Welcome to the Neighborhood!

via Parade.com Exclusive Clip: “Isn’t That A Paradox?”


Dark Matter Season 3 Is A Love Letter To SciFi TV by Kelly Townsend at TheTVJunkies

“But what really sets this season apart is the way it has paid tribute to some of the more beloved and iconic sci-fi tropes in film and television. You name it — clones, time loops, alternate universes, time travel — Dark Matter has taken the most well known tropes and not only executed them fantastically, but has done it in a way that still speaks to the heart of the show.”


Dark Matter “Isn’t That A Paradox?” Advance Preview by Aimee Hicks at SpoilerTV

“Tell your friends to check out this episode and sit back and watch as they get hooked. It’s got all the elements that highlight why Dark Matter such a special show. This is a really fun must-watch episode.”


Episode 309 Early Analysis: Past, Tense by Tom Gardiner at ThreeIfBySpace

“Look for many hilarious fish-out-of-water moments from everyone as they learn to navigate the Earth of today. Some are more adept at fitting in than others – you might be surprised at who has the easiest time of it.”


Dark Matter Visits Earth in Rollicking, Rocking Episode by Greg David at TV, Eh?

“I haven’t seen this much time travel fun since Star Trek: The Voyage Home. If I didn’t want the Raza crew back in their own time so much I’d be happy to have them stay in this one. Of course, to get back to their time, our heroes could make a decision impacting the future of time they’re in. Paradox.”


And let’s cap today’s blog entry with one more sneak peek clip.  Party Preparations!

via io9 – Dark Matter Reminds Us if the Importance of Baking When Stranded in the Past


So, hey, I hear tomorrow night’s going to be a HUGE Dark Matter live tweet fest.  The cast is ready to go!  Are you?!

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Let’s answer some questions…

Georgia G.: “Just a small question… now that the episode descriptions have been revealed, does this mean we will finally see which doggie pics match up with what episodes, soon?”

Answer: Sure, once the finale has aired I’ll post them.

Ponytail: “You’ve gone quiet in your house hunting. Did you find a place to live?”

Answer: Not yet.  It looks likely we’ll just move into a rental in September.  That should give us the time to look for the perfect place.

26mengel: “Is it possible, our beloved Android was created from the DNA of a deceased person?”

Answer: Interesting theory.  The truth will be revealed in two shorts weeks – Episode 310, “Built, Not Born”.

Irene Strobach: “I recently came across your blog entry of May 10, 2011 in which you told about the upcoming Dark Matter comic book and revealed your ideas of how the Dark Matter crew should look like. (The link is already posted above, only the comment with my questions didn’t make it through.)  We learnt about One: “I describe him as a Ben Browder type”.

1. Did you ask Ben Browder to audition for One when you got a go for the tv series?

Answer: No.  As much as I’d love to work with Ben again, the character as originally conceived changed between the comic book and those auditions.

About Three: “I’m eyeing Mike Dopud for the role.”

2. Did Mike know this? Did he audition for the series?

Answer: Mike is an immensely talented actor – which is why I’ve cast him in every show I’ve ever produced.  I wrote the part of Arax Nero for him and it’s possible we’ll see him again before the series ends.

About Four: “He needs to be prettier, more androgynous, with longer, darker hair.”

3. Did you change your mind or did anyone else decide what should be Four’s look? (Alex Mallari jr. is not androgynous at all and his hair is even shorter than in the first design.)”

Answer: We chose the best actors for the various roles.  Alex is very different from FOUR as originally envisioned but, then again, Zoie Palmer is very different from the male android in the comic book.

About Five: “I was having trouble finding something appropriate for FIVE until I came across a pic of Chloe Moretz.”

4. Did you want Chloe to audition for the role? And who came up with the longer hair for Five?”

Answer: No.  That was never a consideration.  She’s a big feature star and, realistically, not someone we could go after.  In the interim, however, I remembered working with a 13 year old Jodelle Ferland back on Stargate and realized she would make a terrific FIVE.  As for the do – I think she probably looks better with hair.

Wouter: “I assume that One’s background (seemingly forgotten since Jace Corso got killed) will be revisited down the line? Who killed his wife, what was the actual reason he personally came to the Raza and what’s the deal with his own murder, that kind of stuff. There is unfinished business here.

Answer: Yes.  There was a story I wanted to do this year that would have touched on this but, alas, we couldn’t get all the pieces to fall into place.

“I have read a few interviews and in those, nobody asked about Inspector Kierken. The explosion of EOS7 was undoubtedly lethal for him, but we also know that the GA can use Transit transfer clones. I don’t think it was hinted that Kierken at EOS7 was using a clone body, but neither was the possibility left out. Since he got a lot of development, I was hoping he’d return at some point to influence the story. But maybe I misread that and it was supposed to be clear that he died?”

Answer: The show is full of surprises.  For the time being, let’s assume he perished in that explosion.

Line Noise: “Questions for the mailbag: In the unlikely (fingers crossed) event that Dark Matter isn’t renewed by SyFy are you able/inclined to shop it around to other networks?”

Answer: I honestly don’t know.  In some instances, deals are in place that prevent a show from being shopped elsewhere.  Hopefully that’s not a bridge we’ll need to cross.

“Would you consider any of the newfangled streaming networks like Netflix?”

Answer: Again, haven’t given this any consideration.  I’m hoping we’ll get that fourth season pickup soon and our sole concern will be getting scripts done.

“If we can’t get the full five seasons what’s the chance of some more comics to finish the story for us?”

Answer: It’s possible.  I do have all the major character and arc beats for the show’s fourth and fifth seasons, but it just wouldn’t be the same without the cast and crew.

“Not so much a question as a comment: I’d love to get my friends and family into Dark Matter but there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to catch up with old episodes in Australia. It’s not on Netflix here while Killjoys is. I know it’s not your department but what’s up with that?”

Answer: Hmmmm.  Not sure.  That’s perhaps a questions for SyfyAU.

Irene Strobach: “In light of recent events, one more question: What do you think of the big news from San Diego Comic Con: Stargate is back with “Stargate: Origins”? Have you been asked to take part? Would you like to?”

Answer: No opinion as I know nothing about it.  And, nope, haven’t been asked to take part.  If I were to ever be involved in another Stargate series, I would only want to do one that ties into the three series (and its various characters) that made the franchise what it is today.

BoltBait: “Mailbag questions: Where can I get an official Dark Matter crew t-shirt?”

Answer: That’s a question for Prodigy Pictures.  However, you can check out redbubble for some unofficial fan-made t-shirts that are pretty awesome.

“Where can I get Dark Matter DVD/Blu-ray seasons signed on the box by you or the actors?”

Answer: Your best bet would be to bring one to an upcoming con appearance.  I’m sure they’d be happy to oblige.

“I don’t have cable TV, so I’m waiting patiently for Season 3 to show up on Netflix (US). Will you be making it available right away like you’ve done with Season 1 and 2?”

Answer: Alas, that isn’t up to me – but season 3 should hit Netflix (US) a month after our season finale.

“Could you ever do a crossover episode with Killjoys? I have no idea what the premise would be… I just like both shows. If you could do one, would your teams try to kick each other’s ass or would they work together?”

Answer: They’re bounty hunters.  Our crew are wanted criminals.  The crossover practically writes itself!  It would be a blast.

“Joe, are you involved at all with the SGU ‘Back to Destiny’ comic? https://www.gateworld.net/news/2017/06/sgu-back-destiny-comic-stores-today/Looks interesting. I’m sure you have many fans here who want to know how the story continues.”

Answer: Like the web series, I know nothing about the comic book either.  But if you’re curious about how WE would have continued the story:

Stargate: Universe, Beyond Season 2!  What Might Have Been!

Bailey: “Mr. M., I know this post was not about Stargate and I truly hope you get your Dark Matter renewal soon but I have a question. Today at SDCC they announced 10 ten minute webisodes (behind a paywall evidently) – prequels featuring Catherine Langford. What could be the thinking behind an offering such as this to generate more interest in the franchise? It seems quite underwhelming. Just can’t figure out why this format? Sorry to bug you but you know show biz and perhaps have some insight?”

Answer: I’m sure this is MGM testing the waters to gauge fan interest.  It seems like a double-edged sword though.  On the one hand, if there IS strong fan interest, they’ll take it as a sign to retcon the franchise.  On the other hand, if there isn’t, they may reconsider going down that road.  On the surface, hard to see a scenario where we get the old Stargate back.

Tam Dixon: “I got one for the Q & A. Sorry if you’ve answered this before but does online subscriptions for DM help ratings? ”

Answer: They don’t help ratings but they do help the overall picture.

Christian: “Here are my questions for the mailbag.(If you don’t feel comfortable to answer some of them, that is of course ok.)

“1. How’s Akemi doing? Has she fully recovered from her tonsillitis yet and is she excited about the move?”

Answer: Akemi is doing great and looking forward to moving to Toronto…and decorating the place!

“2. How are the dogs doing?”

Answer: The dogs are fine.  Old, but fine.  Lulu has seemed depressed of late.  I suspect the move to Toronto might do her some good.

“3. When will be the latest date you have to her from Scifi if you get a picked up for season 4?”

Answer: I want to say late September, but who knows?

“4. Will episode 311 “The Dwarf Star Conspiracy” reveal, who the fellow in the ICU bed was, that we saw in the last episode of season 1?”

Answer: The individual’s identity is not important.  It’s what he represents (or, literally, embodies).  More pieces of that particular puzzle will be provided in this episode.

“5. What are you going to with all the Stargate stuff that sits in your garage? Any chance we can win some of that cool stuff, through a quiz, like you did previously?”

Answer: I don’t have that much stuff: an SGA uniform, a goa’uld pain stick, some rubber bugs from SG-1’s “The Scourge”, and approximately a thousand hours of BTS footage.

TheOtherOne: “How did discussions go with the British producer regarding that revival scifi series? (and who WAS he? – obviously you can’t say…)”

Answer: I was actually looking into both Blake’s 7 and Space: 1999, but attempts to generate a discussion proved torturously slow so I’ve abandoned those plans.

“How is your spacey military project going?”

Answer: The pilot is out there.  Time will tell…

TheOtherOne: “Will there ever be any Dark Matter merchandise for sale, like tee shirts, hats etc … and that poster I see in After Dark?”

Answer: As I mentioned, until Prodigy Pictures starts to create official merchandise, check out redbubble for some terrific fan-created shirts.

ceresis64: “For the mailbag – Did you all get everything done that you aimed for during the Season 4 writers’ room meetings?”

Answer: Nope.  We got seven stories beaten out.

“The silhouette for Season 3, why are there still seven crew members? Is it the original Season 1 crew that has just been used again? (I’ve probably just answered this one myself but decided to ask it anyway!)”

Answer: I imagine it’s just old artwork from season 1.  No big mystery here.  Sorry.

“Are you posting some more Trivia Quiz questions?”

Answer: Hopefully if we get that season 4 pickup, I can do another script giveaway.

“In which episode will we find out what the box with the spider-like emblem on the front (from Season 2 Episode 3 I’ve Seen The Other Side Of You) means to Three?  (I’m looking forward to finding out about this, as I ‘think’ it has something to do with whatever Ryo/Sarah both know about Boone’s past!)”

Answer: Not in season 3.

“From an interview – “In this episode, she is able to recall certain flashes, glimpsing life prior to the group going into stasis,” reveals Mallozzi. “It sheds light on her relationship with Portia, with Portia’s relationship with Das, and [the Android’s] relationship with Ryo.” Which Episode will we find this out about Android?”

Answer: Episode 310, “Built, Not Born”.

“My questions from earlier posts were about Episode 1.  Why did Six not make any comment/react about the fact Anders saved Three, especially as Anders contacted the Raza to pick Three up? Six would have still thought he’d shot, and possibly killed Anders. Therefore, wouldn’t he have been relieved that Anders was alright?”

Answer: The fact is, we only catch a glimpse of the beginning of that conversation – and Anders is talking to TWO and Truffault at the time.  SIX is not present.

“Will we find out why exactly Anders was on EOS-7 to start with?”

Answer: Presumably he was there as part of the security detail.

Scott: “Also, had some questions for your mailbag… I’ll apologize in advance if you already answered these before, but I haven’t checked out the blog in a while.

1) What happened to David Hewlitt, a.k.a. the comic relief master? Busy shooting something else and had to skip out the whole season? That guy who replaced him… Mishka I think… he’s a good actor, but I’ll be honest, he’s just not as funny as David… I’m missing that comedy element that David brought in during the first two seasons.”

Answer: As much as we missed David, we loved what Mishka brought to his role as Adrian.

“2) Why does it feel like there are certain scenes that were cut out of certain episodes? (i.e. when Six was being rescued last week, I thought for sure there would be a vfx scene with the raza coming out of hyperspace and opening fire on the facility that was holding him captive, but there was nothing of the sort… so… saving money on the vfx?)”

Answer: The fact is, we don’t have the money many other scifi shows have so we have to be selective about our VFX shot selection.  If we can find a way to tell the story without them, we will, so that we can really place our focuses and resources on the more crucial shots.

“3) What are your thoughts on Star Trek Discovery and Seth MacFarlane’s Galaxy Quest spinoff The Orville? Any plans to watch them, maybe take some ideas and incorporate them into DM?”

Answer: To be honest, I’m so busy with my show that I don’t have time to watch much of anything else.  My free time is spent reading.

ChadB: “The big fight scene between Ryo and Two had some familiar looking surrounds. Was that a remodel of the Hyperion-8 set?”

Answer: Nope.  That was one of our standing sets: the underbelly.

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“That fight scene. There’s no denying when they concentrate on action, they can do a good job and here it was a rambunctious one-on-one with a nice steady camera angle that let the fight breathe on its own, something I have great respect for in the world of cinematography. Two and Ishida are the most capable hand-to-hand fighters on this show and it was only a matter of time when they would clash against each other. Very enjoyable fight to watch and it was given a substantial amount of time to tell.”


“Two and Ryo’s fight was beautifully choreographed and strangely sentimental at the same time; I wish they would fight more often. (You know what I mean.)”


“The next award goes to Best Fight Scene of the Season. I’m not even going to qualify that statement with a “thus far” because the likelihood that any fight scene will top this one is remote. Two and Ryo finally having it out physically and with words was as thrilling as it was necessary. The choreography, power, level changing, shifts in momentum, and editing had my eyes dancing. The emotional weight had me aching.”


One of the most buzzed about scenes from last night’s episode of Dark Matter, “Hot Chocolate”, was that showdown-throwdown between TWO and Ryo Ishida.  An overwhelming response from fandom for this sequence, so I want to take a moment to give a special shout out to actors Melissa O’Neil and Alex Mallari Jr., stunt doubles Anita Nittoly and Allen Keng – and an extra special shout to director John Stead who choreographed and shot the extended battle.  John is terrific at what he does and I trust him completely.  And how much is that?  Well, here’s an excerpt from the script that describes the fight sequence –

“She launches herself at him and they fight. It’s glorious!”

And the rest was up to John.

Further thoughts on last night’s episode, “Hot Chocolate”:

“This for me was perhaps one of the strongest episodes of the season and we can only wait and see what some of the consequences are likely to be.”


“This was a terrific ensemble episode. They all had big parts to play in this episode.”


Get ready, Dark Matter fans, because the next five episodes are going to be STRONG!

“It was just so pleasantly unexpected that Ryo would have such a grand plan to take back the blink drive! And it’s amazing that he would have the time or the wherewithal to persuade Two that he didn’t kill Nyx or that he doesn’t want revenge. Of course, he might be “full of — ship is registering strange power fluctuations” but clearly Two was affected by the confrontation, leaving it up in the air whether the coming conflict will involve Ryo as an adversary or a powerful enemy-of-my-enemy. The mere possibility is exciting!”


“Now, this is the kind of episode I’ve been hoping for this season. I don’t know if it quite counts as a bottle episode, since most of the show tends to take place on the standing Raza sets as it is, but this week we got a great ensemble story that brought together the entire cast and let them kinda wail on each other. Ahhhh … camaraderie.”


“This episode started off looking like it was going to be a weak entry, then quickly evolved into something magnificent and refined. Right down to having one of the last scenes be Five doing The Android’s hair, which was heart-warming callback.”


“So many questions going in and boy did they give us some very unexpected answers.”


And, finally, my weekly post-episode chat with Kelly Townsend at TheTVJunkies

“After we finished Episode 304, Paul [Mullie] said we had to write something in where they have to go to the space station and get the wall replaced. I was like, “ehh, it feels like such a cuddly thing to do,” and he said, “what, is it just gonna stay there?” And that tweaked something in me, so I wanted to find a place later on in the season where they were gonna walk by that wall and comment on it. I told Ian [Brock] to hold onto that wall, and I remember after we shot the episode, Liz [Gregg] in costumes, said “if that’s part of the architecture now, are we ever going to see that again?” Then when she read Episode 308 she was very excited. She came up to me and said, “You did! You were good to your word, we did see him again.””

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