Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I’m pleased to report that I finally pushed through that pesky today.  In the end, I went with the one tried and true writer’s block-breaking method I failed to mention in yesterday’s blog entry: When in doubt, use humor!  With that done, it was a nice segue into that delightful Android-Tabor scene.  One more scene to cap the act and it’s smooooooth sailing!


This week has been like Magic: The Gathering, but without the magic part.  The other day, Anthony Lemke (THREE) dropped by the production offices with his family.  Today, it was Melissa O’Neil (TWO) with her adorable frenchie.  Yesterday, it was Alex Mallari Jr. (FOUR) who took the time to stop in and regale us with tales of his summer in Moscow.  Next time you see him at a convention, ask him to tell you the one about the receptionist, the Brad Pitt lookalike, and the drunken overprotective co-worker.

Happy Thanksgiving to our American fans!  Let’s celebrate with behind-the-scenes pics of our sets-in-progress: 1It’s okay.  You know the showrunner.  Come on through.


Warden Treihan’s office window.  Room with a view.


All the comforts of home.


Hyperion-8 is a doorknob-less environment.


Come on, guys.  Let’s move things along.  My laundry isn’t going to do itself!

1Damn, our Construction and Art Departments do good work!


And, of course, this is the…well, I’d tell you, but then I’d have to hire you.  And make you sign a non-disclosure agreement because the only way to keep you from talking about it would be to kill you and that, of course, would be illegal.  And very troublesome.

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A couple of months ago, I came across this interesting little piece which seeks to match the crew of The Raza to the passengers of The S.S. Minnow.


Never mind that actresses Melissa O’Neill and Jodelle Ferland didn’t know what the hell the interviewer was talking about (Thanks for making me feel old, ladies!). There’s no denying the similarities: seven disparate individuals thrown together by circumstance, isolated, facing insurmountable odds, they must band together, despite their differences, in a concerted effort to stay alive – and stage a musical version of Hamlet (Spoiler Alert!).

So, let’s match ’em up!




Our idealistic, innocent, unlikely heroes.  They’re often in way over their heads but, despite all, succeed in their efforts to do the right thing.




The defacto leaders of their respective groups – strong, capable, but somewhat temperamental.




Mercenary, egotistical, always looking out for Number #1, yet their gruff exteriors belie a hidden warmth engendered by the love of a good woman.




Sweet and sunny, sure, but also incredibly resourceful.  When push comes to shove, you can count on them to scrounge together the necessary components to fix up an FTL drive, or whip up a coconut cream pie.




Our resident tech experts share a dry sense of humor and a conservative fashion sense.




Proud and dignified, they’re the quiet warriors of their respective crews.




Both like to dress up in sexy outfits that show off their arms.  Both have the annoying habit of ALWAYS bringing up the past and allowing their colorful histories to inform their present decision-making.  Before becoming an actress, she assisted a magician who made things disappear.  Before joining The Raza, SIX assisted a rebel group that made an entire space station disappear.

Agree?  Disagree?  Next up, Dark Matter Community!

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Dallas Marshall writes: ” Will Bubba get a Daddy-Son day, too?”

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Answer: Bubba is a big momma’s boy.  He’s much happier hanging at home with Akemi.

clevere1 writes: “Is Paul still show running with you Joe?”

Answer: Although Paul is a co-creator and an executive producer on the show, I am (and have been) Dark Matter‘s only show runner.

screwball writes: “If she comes to the set, any chance of getting a picture of her posing with her namesake? Maybe with Anthony Lemke demonstrating the proper way to handle Lulu (and Lulu)?”


Answer: You mean like this?

jeff t writes: “The scripts are done!?”

Answer: Well, the first two anyways – pending the inevitable rewrites.  The rest are coming!

jimfromjersey writes: “Will we be seeing any alien species this season?”

Answer: Well, I did promise the girls in wardrobe…

gforce writes: “Right in the midst of moving my stuff to the new house.”

Answer: Congrats!  When’s the house-warming party?  I’m going to get so wasted I’ll be stripping wallpaper with a flat iron!

msstargate writes: “Might we see an episode or 2 directed by Peter?”

Answer: Peter DeLuise is already booked to direct Episode 209.

Bea_And_Carmen writes: “Is there a way to send in my CV? 3 years of stage management in musical theatre and 10+ years of production work in TV as a background… Hmmm? Chance for a placement?!”

Answer: Alas, we don’t need anyone for this season…but maybe next year?

ceresis64 writeS: “And the new character Treihan is the Warden. What was his casting breakdown?

Answer: “No-nonsense, arrogant, and authoritative, the Warden runs one of the most fearsome intergalactic prisons in colonized space.  The Warden doesn’t suffer fools and is quick to confront  – and take down – anyone who would challenge his/her iron rule.  [REDCATED], the Warden is [REDACTED] that seeks to [REDACTED] the crew of The Raza [REDACTED] about their [REDACTED] (see Episode REDACTED).”  Open to all ethnicities and genders.

Dallas Marshall writes: “Why did the bridge have to be broken down during the hiatus, once you got the word that you’d been renewed for season 2? This is a primary set that you know will be used throughout the series. Did they have to rebuild all the sets?”

Answer: Our Raza set is still standing.  We’re simply in the process of building some new sets for season 2.

Pontytail writes: “Is your second season preparation easier than your first season?”

Answer: With less lead time to write scripts, it’s actually more challenging.

ceresis64 writes: “Any more news on the casting breakdowns?”

Answer: “MISAKI HAN – A former companion of Ryo Ishida, she is now – as the new Commander of Ishida Royal Guard – determined to bring him back home for execution. Focused, fearless, and deadly, she is a dangerous adversary.”

jeff writes: “In the guest quarters room of the SGC there’s a painting hanging on the wall of what appears to be Saturn. My wife loveeees this painting and I want a print of it… But I can’t find it anywhere.  Do you know anything about this set piece? It would be super special to have your involvement in pointing me in the right direction.”

Answer: Hey, Jeff, I wish I could help but I don’t know anything about that particular prop.  Sorry.

FargateOne writes: “…and the new actors are…?”

Answer: You’ll find out soon!

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Check it out!  I’m heading to Japan where my buddy Ivon and I will embark on our new career as the hilarious Osaka comedy duo Gaijin and Tonic!  Got my suit and I’m ready to go!  Ikimasho!


Lulu this morning was looking a little down.  But, as promised, she was in for a treat today…

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Road trip!!!  Today was daddy-daughter day at the office.  Lulu got to hang around while I worked on my latest script.  Call me crazy, but between all the attention lavished upon her and the extra treats (including a little roast chicken off my lunch plate) she actually seemed MUCH happier than she’s been in weeks.  She did the rounds of the production office, played with her toys, met a bunch of people, went out for multiple walks, and lazed around.

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Meanwhile, back on the home front…

Today’s blog entry is dedicated to our friends, families, and fans in Paris.

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Embarrassing things most people don’t know about me but I’m telling you now because, well, you’re my friends.  Also, I’m not sure what else to write about for today’s blog entry.

I sing to my dogs.  A lot.  I have a whole repertoire of original compositions including such favorites as The Apple Dumpling Gang (“The Apple Dumpling Gang! The Apple Dumpling Gang!  Who’s a member of the Apple Dumpling Gang?!” – sung while giving them their apple dumpling-flavored treats), Eat Time (“Eat time! Eat time!  Who are the dogs who’ll come for eat time?  Eat time!  Eat time!  Etc.” – sung when breakfast or dinner is served), and The PooPoo PeePee Song (which really needs no explanation).  I would, on occasion, serenade my late pug Jelly with Let Me Call You Sweetheart while rubbing her ears, a rare foray into non-original material.

I played the clarinet.  Badly.  In high school.  I was third clarinet which means the back-up to the back-up.  Should some horrible fate had befallen the first clarinet on the day of our recital, I would have been called upon to be on standby lest the second clarinet was unable to perform his or her duties.  That never happened. After a while, our music teacher, Doc, decided it might be best if I tried my hand (and lips) at the french horn.  This was a clear step down from the trumpet, which is the instrument I originally played before being demoted to clarinet.  I was reluctant, mainly because the clarinet was so much easier to lug around.  “I’m actually better when I’m playing with the others,”was my defense.  “No,”whispered Doc, gently disabusing me of the notion that I’d be taking the clarinet home with me that night. “You’re not good.”  And so I switched to the french horn.  For two weeks.  And then switched to shop class.

I’ve watched every episode of Sex and the City – and enjoyed it.  My ex and Akemi are huge fans of the show and would watch the dvd’s constantly.  Whenever I was in the kitchen, they’d be on in the background, playing in what felt like constant background loops.  At first it was annoying, then ignorable, eventually interesting and, finally, great!  I still can’t believe Carrie would choose Big over Aiden!

Once, when I was a kid at summer camp, I ate five ice cream sandwiches in one sitting, got violently ill, and didn’t eat another ice cream sandwich for years.

Once, when I was an adult at a dinner party I was hosting, I sampled thirteen different flavors of the home made ice cream I made, got violently ill, and didn’t make ice cream again for years.

Also, there’s this picture:


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It started early that morning – whispered conversations, furtive looks amongst the members of the Prodigy Pictures production staff.  “Is this about me?”I wondered. And then, when I saw them sneak the balloons, pizza, and cake into the conference room I concluded: “This IS about me!”.  THIS, of course, being the totally unexpected “Welcome Back to Toronto, Joe!” surprise party they’d no doubt been planning for quite some time.  They’d done their darkest to keep it under wraps but I was onto them.  All the same, I wasn’t about to spoil it for them.  I’d play dumb, I decided.  Act wholly shocked when the time came.


“We’re gathering in the conference room,”I was told, an hour later.  I pretended to finish up something on my laptop so that everyone had a chance to get in there before I showed, then got up and strolled in.

The first thing I noticed were the balloons.  And then, everyone started singing: Happy Birthday to yooooou!

I couldn’t believe.  Two weeks late, but they were going to do a belated birthday/welcome to Toronto party!

Happy Birthday to yooooooou!

I supposed I’d be asked to make a speech – but I hadn’t prepared!

Happy Birthday, dear –

I guess I’d just have to wing it.

Jaaaaaay!   Happy Birthday to yoooooou!

Wait!  What?!

Well, as it turned out, we were actually celebrating the birthday of our partner in crime and television production, Prodigy Pictures President and Dark Matter Executive Producer Jay Firestone!


Amazing, Jay – who spends more time traveling than the average airline pilot – happened to actually be in town for the celebration.  His birthday is actually October 31st (today), but we celebrated yesterday because we assumed he’d already have plans with his family on his special day.  Also, it would have meant coming into the office on a Saturday.

Anyway, Jay celebrated with the three things he loves most: pizza, wings, and, apparently, celery sticks (which, for some reason, were left behind after the festivities so I dropped them off in his office).  He also celebrated by reading and preparing script notes for Episodes 201-204!

Throughout the day, he’d swing by to let me know if he had an issue with the script – but then helpfully provide a potential fix or alternate take.  And that’s one of the nice things about working with Jay which is, frankly, a rarity in this business.  Most executives will tell you what doesn’t work for them and then leave you to figure out a solution.  Jay will tell you what doesn’t work for him, but always brings ideas to the table as well.  It’s been a great working relationship that yielded terrific results throughout the show’s first season.  Whether big or small (and whether I agree with them or not), they’re always smart and come from a desire to seize dramatic opportunities – or find moments for the characters.  For instance, one example from last year that comes to mind was his suggestion of adding the hug between FIVE and the Android in Episode 108.  It wasn’t in the script and seemed like such a little addition and yet, in retrospect, it turned into such a beautiful beat between the two.

So that was Jay’s pre-birthday: pizza, wings, celery, a surprisingly delicious white birthday cake, and script notes!


No surprise party for me on this day, but that’s okay.  It’ll make it even MORE surprising when they spring one on me NEXT week!

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Some disconcerting news hit the web yesterday:


Yep.  According to the World Health Organization, bacon and other processed meats (hell, red meat in general!) are very, VERY bad for you. They’ve been classified as a Group 1 Carcinogen along with asbestos and tobacco.  Apparently, daily consumption (of the meats, not the asbestos or the tobacco as those numbers may vary) increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%!  18%!  What does that mean?!!  I have no idea.  Does it mean you have an 18% increased risk of developing colorectal cancer if you eat processed meat EVERY DAY?  Or does it mean that that slice of bacon you had for breakfast last Tuesday has increased your chance of getting cancer by 18%?  If the latter, what if you have bacon two days running?  By week’s end, you’d be dead!

Then, today, I came across this article that helped put things in perspective:


“Here’s the deal: The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer weighs the strength of the scientific evidence that some food, drink, pesticide, smokable plant, whatever is a carcinogen. What it does not do is consider how much that substance actually increases your risk for actually getting cancer—even if it differs by magnitudes of 100.”

Hang on a second.  So eating a smokie ISN’T as bad for you as working as a drywall taper on long-condemned buildings?  Well, this IS news!

Curious, I decided to check out what other items make the WHO’s list of Group 1 Carcinogens and put together the following rundown for your edification.  Please avoid the following as they may be hazardous to your health…


Coal tar

Oral contraceptives

Alcoholic beverages


Mustard gas

City air

Salted fish

Processed meats


Didn’t see heroin on the list.  All the same, I’d recommend limiting your dosage out of an abundance of caution.

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