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Archive for the ‘Stargate: SG-1’ Category

“Easy to root for” is a term Dark Matter Supervising Producer Ivon Bartok introduced me to years ago.  It was in reference to actor Brian J. Smith (SGU‘s Lieutenant Matthew Scott) on the heels of his Tony Award nomination for his Broadway performance in The Glass Menagerie.  “Easy to root for” in that Brian, in addition to being incredibly talented, was simply just a straight-up good-hearted, down-to-earth, sweet-natured guy.  We were happy for his success because it seemed an appropriate karmic payoff for a guy who had been nothing but positive, pleasant, and downright gracious during our years working with him on Stargate: Universe.

Flash-forward four years and the term comes to mind again in relation to actress Melanie Liburd who, in addition to her role in the upcoming sixth season of Game of Thrones, joins the crew of The Raza in Dark Matter’s second season as the mysterious Nyx Harper.  “She’s like the nicest person on the planet!”texted Zoie Palmer and I have a hard time arguing that statement of fact.

Today, Melanie, Akemi and I got together for a long-overdue meal.  We did dim-sum, got in some shopping, chatting, and capped our afternoon with a visit to Toronto’s premiere chocolate shop, Soma, for a major chocolate infusion.

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Melanie shows off her lobster dumpling…that’s actually shaped like a tiny lobster.

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Akemi and Melanie prepare to descend on dessert.  The calm before the snacking storm!

Can’t wait for you to finally meet her when Dark Matter season 2 premieres (July 1st on @Syfy, @Syfy_Spain, and @SpaceChannel; July 2nd on @SyfyAU, July 4th on @SyfyUK, and July 11th on @SyfyDE).

Speaking of the new season, I have a conference call next with Bipasha Ghosh and the rest of the Syfy International marketing teams to discuss plans for you, the fans.  And, oh, what plans we have!

This week, we head into the home stretch in what promises to be a season full of shocks, surprises and BIG pivotal moments.  What’s to come?  Well, here’s a hint…

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If you’re not following @DarkMatter_show on twitter, you’re missing out on oodles of amazing BTS pics like these…

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Jodelle and Alex support each other during read-thru.

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The sassiest android in space!

Lately, I’ve also been spending time on reddit’s Stargate sub-reddit where I’ve been reposting some of my most popular Stargate-related entries.  So far:

Stargate Memories: My Journey Through the Gate – In which I detail my journey from animation writer to joining one of television’s most successful scifi franchises.

My Top 10 Favorite Stargate Episodes – Self-explanatory.  #1 may surprise you.

The Top 10 Best Stargate Episode Titles – In my opinion.

Top 10 Running Gags in SG-1 – From blue jello to whatever’s in O’Neill’s mug.

It’s been a lot of fun.  If you’re interested in reading about some of the BTS action on Stargate, subscribe to the subreddit.  I’ll be uploading daily entries moving forward!

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Feast your eyes upon the glory that is the 10th Anniversary MGM giveaway which includes a gate-framed photo of the team that started it all AND an SG-1 keychain in its original flimsy silver paper and cardboard box!

This can be yours if you are one of the first to correctly answer the following five SG-1-related questions.

Like yesterday, to ensure a level playing field, I will hold off on approving comments…unless I forget and accidentally do so anyway, like last time.

Ready?  Okay, here’s goes…

Actress Jennifer Halley, who played the part of Lt. Tolinev in season 5’s The Tomb, had also been up for (and just missed out on) another role in season 4.  What was that role?

Who does the character Grell, Teal’c t.v. counterpart, quote at the end of Wormhole X-Treme?

What was my one and only onscreen line on Stargate?

What guest star’s scheduling conflict in the episode Summit resulted in a wholesale second draft rewrite?  And who did we replace their character with?

In Fail Safe, what is Jack’s response to Sam’s bomb-defusing instruction: “Now find the wires leading from the timer to the detonator and cut the red one.”

Congratulations to yesterday’s winner of the SG-1 compact, Kathy C!

And good luck to today’s contestants!

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Win this Stargate: SG-1 compact!  All you have to do is be one of the first to correctly answer the following five SG1-related questions!  The quicker you respond with the correct answer, the greater your chance of winning the grand prize!  As per LineNoise’s suggestion, I’ll hold off on approving comments to ensure a level playing field.

On to today’s questions…

Which script had the early working title: Ad Infinitum?

What was the German title for Forever In A Day and what is it’s English translation?

The characters (and one referenced expedition) in season 4’s The Curse were named after what exactly?

What does N.I.D. stand for?

Name two U.S. Air Force Chiefs of Staff who appeared on the show.

Congratulations to the winner of yesterday’s Stargate caps giveaway, Tom C.!

Tune in tomorrow for more!

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Another day, another giveaway!

Up for grabs in today’s blog entry, the above-pictured caps from all three Stargate shows.

I’m posting early so that readers in the U.K. can participate as well.

To win all three caps, all you have to do is be one of the first to correctly answer the following six questions…

Match the Stargate: SG-1 characters with their Farscape parody counterparts from 200.

What were the names of the warring countries in Stargate: Atlantis’s “The Game?”

Which crew member does Eli end up settling down with in Stargate: Universe’s Epilogue?

Where was the Stargate: SG-1 episode Nightwalkers shot?

Which Stargate: Atlantis episode had the place holder title: “The Grapes of Wraith”?

What was our endearing nickname for the Stargate: Universe alien race known as The Nakai?

That’s it!  I’ll announce the winner in tomorrow’s blog entry.  Good luck to all!

The winner of yesterday’s SG-1 coasters is…gforce.  Gary, do I have your mailing address?

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At Akemi’s behest, I am getting moving on those Stargate giveaways I promised a while back.

First up are these lovely matching surprisingly heavy Stargate: SG-1 coasters!

All you have to do is be one of the first to correctly answer the following five skill-testing SG-1-related questions..

What was the first script Paul Mullie and I wrote for the franchise – the one that landed us a staff job on SG-1’s fourth season?

What signature item did director Wil Waring sneak into his episodes as a visual calling card?

Name three of the generals who ran Stargate Command during the SG-1‘s ten year run?

What play does Teal’c unwitting attend at the end of Family Ties?

What parting advice does AU Cameron Mitchell offer our Cam at the end of Ripple Effect?

I’ll answer the winner in tomorrow blog entry.  Good luck!

 

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Comin’ at ya in five (WITH FIVE!)!

Space Channel here in Canada is counting down toward the Friday premiere in delightful fashion.  Each day ticks off with a different Dark Matter, appropriately enough…

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Who’s next?  Can’t wait to find out tomorrow!

SyFy UK and SyFy Australia, meanwhile, have launched this terrific campaign that asks…

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Zoie Palmer (Dark Matter’s Android) talks about Lost Girl, her new movie Patch Town, and Dark Matter with ET Canada:

http://www.etcanada.com/video/zoie+palmer+talks+patch+town/video.html?v=458310211866#video

Another Dark Matter preview article.  Brush up before the premiere!

http://www.threeifbyspace.net/2015/06/preview-dark-matter-premieres-on-syfy-june-12/

Lari Burkhart offers up her list of What To Watch In June:  Among her picks…

“What do you get when you have 6 amnesiacs and a spaceship? A SyFy original series, obviously. Throw in an android and the writers from Stargate and you’ve also got me sitting on the couch anxiously awaiting this premiere!”

http://www.geeksundergrace.com/tv/what-to-watch-in-june/

Dark Matter makes Rick’s Picks at tvweeklynow.com:

http://www.tvweeklynow.com/news-blogs/news-blogs-RicksPicks/dark-matter-premieres-with-six-strangers-one-android-and-galaxy-spanning-adventure.htm

We make The Columbus Dispatch’s “10 shows we’d watch this week”:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/life_and_entertainment/2015/06/07/1-1aa-best-tv07-art-g8610acfd-1.html

Chris Lackner of the Winnipeg Free Press profiles Dark Matter as Big Event Friday viewing:

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/entertainment/movies/pratt-goes-prehistoric-306402271.html

“The small screen is due for a new sci-fi saviour, and this could be it.”

Oh yeah!

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The ship’s underbelly!  Probably my favorite standing set.

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Two floors of fun!

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Note the floor design and texturing. It’s the little touches…

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Looking up at the second level.  Check out the ceiling designs.  Never underestimate the importance of floors and ceilings!

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Watch your step!

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Readying for Day #1!

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Shooting in the underbelly, episode #101.

Finally – missed this the first time around.  Here’s a Stargate reference from Archer:

And, speaking of Stargates, check out this almost fully functional 3D printed stargate.

No, it can’t send you to other planets.  Yet!

*** Oh, and one more thing!  Tomorrow, at 12 PST, 3 EST, I’ll be chatting with Simon Applebaum on Tomorrow Will Be Televised (BlogTalk Radio).

“Simon Applebaum
Good Saturday morning, Dark Matter followers! Catch co-creator/executive producer Joseph Mallozzi LIVE Monday on Tomorrow Will Be Televised, the program all about TV. He’ll take your phone calls and chatroom reaction to Syfy’s new series–Monday at 3 p.m. Eastern time, noon Pacific on BlogTalk Radio (www.blogtalkradio.com) and Brooklyn Independent Media HD (NYC-wide on Verizon Fios/Brooklyn-wide on Time Warner Cable, Cablevision Systems and RCN). Tune in and spread the word!

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I was actually developing Dark Matter as far back as 2007.  That year comes to mind because, in 2007, we were producing Stargate: Atlantis’s fourth season and I remember walking the corridors of the ship we constructed for episode #405, Travelers, and saying to Paul: “We’ve got to find a way to keep these sets. They’d be perfect for Dark Matter!”  In retrospect, it was probably a good thing we didn’t hold on to those sets.  The storage costs over seven years would have no doubt eclipsed the price tag of our spanking new sets.

The nice thing about waiting seven years for your show to get green lit is that it gives you plenty of time to develop the hell out of it.  Characters, their journeys, seasonal and series arcs – you’d be surprised how much you can flesh out over the course of 84+ months.

With a more than fully fleshed out show on our hands,  the plan was to roll right into Dark Matter if and when Stargate ever ended.  I’d been preparing myself for Stargate’s eventual end since Stargate: SG-1’s fifth season, back in early 2000, so I’d grown inured to the dread of cancellation.  As a result, when the end did come, and Stargate: Universe was cancelled in 2011, I was taken by surprise.  I wasn’t ready!

This business is funny sometimes.  Given the fact that Brad Wright and Robert Cooper had effectively established MGM’s t.v. division and made the studio TONS of money with Stargate, I imagined they be set.  A studio deal.  A couple of blind pilots.  Offers to use their years of experience to help shepherd or run whatever other productions the studio had in the pipeline.  No?  A letter of reference?   A hearty handshake?  A “Thanks for multi millions?” scribbled on a post-it?

If they weren’t exactly rolling out the welcome mat for the guys that had earned them enough cash to purchase a tiny country (something modest with a lot of beachfront property), I figured my chances were…slimmer…

“I’m sorry.  What department did you say you used to work in?”

“Uh, television.  A t.v. show actually.  We ran for seventeen seasons, produced over three hundred episodes and two movies?   Stargate?  STARGATE?!”

“Could you spell that?”

Even with a writing/producing background on one of the most successful franchises in television history, the chances of selling a pitch are slim.  People love great ideas.  They love great scripts.  But, usually, not enough to buy them.  Established properties on the other hand…well, that’s a different story.  And that’s something I was well aware of from my days working development.

And so, rather than roll the dice on a pitch tour, I made a single call – to Keith Goldberg at Dark Horse Comics and presented him my idea for Dark Matter.  He loved it and, in no time, we were in business with publisher Mike Richardson on a four-issue SF comic book series.  That would eventually be collected into a trade paperback.  Which would be used as a visual aid and sales document to help Prodigy Pictures President Jay Firestone sell the show.

So, much respect for Mike Richardson, Keith Goldberg, artist Garry Brown, colorist Ryan Hill, editor Patrick Thorpe and the rest of the gang at Dark Horse Comics (Kari Yadro, Aub Driver, Spencer Cushing et al.)

And much respect for Executive Producers Jay Firestone and Vanessa Piazza for getting the show to air.

And much respect for my terrific cast, crew, VFX, and post personnel helped me produce one hell of an awesome SF series.  And a ship-based SF series no less!

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