I experienced a range of emotions upon hearing of Dark Matter’s surprising cancellation: disbelief, anger, sadness, and a lot of frustration at the thought of leaving this story incomplete.  As most of you know, I went in with a game plan from Day 1, a thorough narrative blueprint encompassing every story and character arc over the show’s outlined five season run.  Of course, I know fans were equally frustrated given the fact that the show ended on the promise of aliens and androids and their disappointment compounded my own.  Over the course of the eight or so months since syfy dropped the ball (and us), I’ve been keeping busy with various development projects.  I’ve written scripts and overview and takes and, while enjoyable and creatively fulfilling to a certain extent, the process made me miss my show and my characters all the more.  And then, yesterday, while perusing the Dark Matter subreddit, I happen across a thread titled Season 4 Premises.  On a whim, I clicked replied with an overview of what I had planned for the first act of the first episode of season 4.  It was incredibly cathartic.  So, I headed over to twitter, and announced that I would do the same there, in more detailed fashion, offering up a breakdown of Dark Matter Season 4 Episode 401, Act 1.

In truth, it was really just a therapeutic exercise, but the fan response was overwhelming.  And so, I’ve decided to follow up with Act 2 tonight – and Acts 3, 4, and 5 over the next few nights – to give fans a glimpse at what might have been. And, also, to finally get this story off my chest.

Depending on how things go, who knows?  Maybe I’ll do the same for Episode 4.02.  And beyond.  It won’t be season 4 and 5 on the small screen but, hopefully, at the very least, it will offer fans some satisfaction and, most importantly, a degree of closure.

So, what did you miss last night?  Here’s the rundown of Dark Matter Season 4 Episode 4.01, Act 1…

What do you think?  Leave me a comment in the comments section.

My favorites…

A Walk Through Hell #1 (cover art by Jose Villarrubia)

Cold War #4 (cover art by Hayden Sherman)

Gideon Falls #3 (cover art by Greg Smallwood, Andrea Sorrentino)

Infinity Countdown: Daredevil #1 (cover art by Clayton Crain)

The Mighty Thor: At The Gates of Valhalla #1 (cover art by Nick Derington)

The Punisher #224 (cover art by Clayton Crain)

You Are Deadpool #3 (cover art by Rahzzah)

So, which was your favorite?

Okay, before we get started, please click to link below to find out if Thanos killed you at the end of Infinity War:

Did I Survive The Snappening?

To those of you who perished, you shall be missed.  To those of you who survived, congratulations.  May this close brush with non-existence give you a greater appreciation for the smaller things in life like the chirps of a morning bird heralding the dawn of a new day, the summertime smell of a freshly mown lawn, and KFC Hot Wings.

Alas, since I too survived, it looks like I’ll have to deliver the rewrite on that pilot after all.  I feel like I’ve been living with this script longer than my girlfriend but, after multiple drafts, it looks like I may be nearing completion on this one. You know what they say, eighth time’s the charm!

While I head off to read Act 3 for the perhaps the hundredth time, please enjoy this show video of Suji eating an apple chip =

The Hyperion Corps – Pilot – Writer’s Draft 11-1-16

Kira character design by Karl Crosby

Yesterday, Akemi and I checked out one of my favorite events in the city – the annual Toronto Comics Art Festival.

It was quite a turn-out at the Toronto Reference Library for the free general admission event showcasing artists, creators and publishers, both mainstream and independent.

Well this was a pleasant surprise, coming across artist Cat Farris there to support her new book My Boyfriend is a Bear.  I happened to read it last week and absolutely loved it.  Coincidentally, I was recommending it to Akemi earlier that day, so I picked up a copy to compliment the digital version I already purchased.

Also in attendance,Karl Kerschl and Brenden Fletcher, who were there in support of their terrific new fantasy book, Isola.

I happened across uber-talented artist Jim Zub, a Toronto native, who has done work for Marvel, IDW, Image, and others.  We talked Japan and I picked up the first volume of his creator-owned, Tokyo-set, supernatural series Wayward.

Fellow Torontonian and illustrious illustrator Michael Cho was also on hand.  We chatted comic books and I picked up a few of his prints…

Perfect for the new place.

In addition, I also picked up a whack of titles from independent creators including All Of This by Suzanne Alyssa Andrew and Jonathan Kociuba, and Home by the Michaud Brothers…

My plan had been to go back today for a second and final sweep but, sadly, I never made it.  Alas, looks like I’ll have to wait until Fan Expo in late August.

Look, as a foodie, I’m the last person who is going to criticize someone’s menu selections.  If you want to shell out an extra $50 to top your scallops with Osetra caviar or spend $150 to finish that risotto with white truffle shavings, why not? Who am I to say anything?  On my first trip to Tokyo, I dropped over $200 on a modest wagyu (a taste experience so revelatory that, upon my return to North America, I was unable to eat regular steak for three years).  But I have to draw the line at this –

And this –

And this –

To answer the question posed in the last video (“Is a $90 24-karat gold burger worth it?”), I can say with utmost certainty:  No, it’s not fucking worth it.  Why not?  Well, because unlike Osetra caviar ($300/2 ounces), white truffles ($300/ounce), or an A5 Black Tajima tenderloin from Gunma Prefecture ($300/10 ounces), that edible gold tastes like absolutely nothing.  It is not only completely devoid of flavor, but chemically inert so that it will pass through your digestive system without effect.  Truly the only justification for ordering any of the afore-mentioned is that they allow you to proclaim “I shit gold!” and be literally correct, in addition to sounding like a complete asshole (as opposed to maybe being figuratively correct and sounding like an asshole).

As this culinary trend started to gather steam online, I wondered: “Who the hell would order this?”.  And, almost immediately, someone came to mind, an ostentatious grandstander who, as far back as I can remember, never hesitated to joyously remind everyone of his incredible affluence.  The kid who decorated his Christmas tree with diamonds and precious pearls because regular ornaments just wouldn’t do.  The kid who’d take a private gondola up to his tree house.  The kid who named his dog Dollar, then fed him kibble in the shape of dollar signs!

This little bastard, with a consumption so extravagantly conspicuous he’d put a rapper to shame, wouldn’t think twice about chowing down on gold-dusted wings, gold leaf burgers, and gold-sprinkled sundaes.  Why?  Because he can and he wants you to know  it.  Also, he’s always been a jerk.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s proof!  10 Times Richie Rich Was A Dick!

Hey, poor kid, nice boat!

My Jai alai match was cancelled, so I’ll just catch a ballgame like the regular folk.

Lest anyone forget how wealthy I am, let me remind you.  I bet half those kids hadn’t eaten a proper meal in days.

My work duties consisted of walking around with a retrofitted backpack so that my employer could watch t.v. while strolling.  Also, care of fine china, silver, and crystal.

I don’t play golf but I have a feeling this would, at the very least, be considered a breach of etiquette.  Fore, suckers!  

That’s not a top.  THIS is a top!  Just kidding.  It’s a 1200 carat diamond worth more than the lives of everyone you’ve ever loved.

What’s next?  Hire a couple of goons to work over those pesky third graders?

Dance for me, monkeys!

Replacing the stuffing of his glove with cash because…his opponents can’t afford to buy a decent pair of shoes.

Yeah, these coins grow naturally in my backyard.  Also, Santa is a close personal friend of mine – oh, and your grandma isn’t dead anymore.

Fielding your burning questions…

gforce writes: ” Have you heard any new info (that you can discuss) about any possible new Stargate series/movie/anything? All news from that seems to have fallen into a wormhole.”

Answer: I’m out of the loop on the Stargate front.  On the heels of the SGO release, Stargate fandom rallied online to show support for a fourth series that could be a launch point for new viewers yet pay homage to the 17 seasons of Stargate that came before.  It was an amazing display of fan loyalty and, while I didn’t expect the campaign would spur MGM to make any sort of official announcement concerning the fate of the franchise, I assumed they would at least acknowledge the amazing fan effort.  Their disregard of the campaign was genuinely surprising, disappointing and, in my estimation, doesn’t bode well for longtime fans.

Chem_Is_Try writes: “I have a question for the mailbag about a shooting location I’ve seen in several episodes of Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis. It is a long, dark, narrow hallway with a long pipe and several smaller ones running along the ceiling, and concrete block walls. For example, in SGA episode Sateda Ronon is being pursued by the Wraith, and he enters the hallway. He collects weapons and body armor from the corpses of his fellow Satedans.

I’m guessing it’s in the Vancouver area somewhere, but where? I’ve scoured IMDb to see if it’s mentioned anywhere, but can’t find any reference to that location. It’s driving me nuts. Is it a basement hallway somewhere?”

Answer: Honestly tough to say.  I do know that much of Sateda was shot at location called Terminal City, named after a show of the same name.

Duane Kennedy writes: “Quick question about dark matter , two has a child, did the child inherit any of the “enhancements” that are caused by the nanites? Also have you tried Max of Manila for fried chicken?”

Answer: No, the child would not have inherited any of TWO’s enhancements.  She would have been as vulnerable as any other child.  As for Max of Manila – no, but I’m intrigued.

Tam Dixon writes: ” Okay, one question: how are NOT overweight?”

Answer: My age is catching up with me.  Once, my cardio would consist of 45 minutes of full on running.  Over the past couple of years, it’s been adjusted to alternating brisk walks and sprints, then a 2:1 brisk walk to sprint ratio and, lately, 4 minutes of brisk walking for every minute sprinted.  Also, I think I pulled something in my shoulder.  I need the nanite upgrade.

TheOtherOne writes: “Always meant to ask this…
‘Maku-Chan (aka Marc Bendavid)’ in your December 14th 2015 blog entry. Please explain?”

Answer: Maku-chan is how Akemi refers to Mark – “Maku” being the Japanese equivalent of Mark, and “chan” being a more causal honorific (less formal than Mr. or Miss), usually referred for close friends.  It’s used for adults who are considered cute and, really, I can’t think of anyone cuter than Marc Bendavid.

Wayne Hughes writes: “Hey Joe, Do you think that there is too many T.V. shows being produced theses days? I think there is about a dozen Marvel shows alone.”

Answer: I think that they should continue producing as many shows as viewers will support.  Having said that, I feel like we’re reaching critical mass.  The other day, I had a friend say: “There’s nothing to watch on Netflix” which kind of surprised me but then, upon further reflection, made a certain sense.  We are overwhelmed with choices and many, rather than wade through the selection process, simply give up.

coveredincathair writes: “Any news on the Stargate front???”

Answer: See above.  I heard a rumor that there was a fourth series idea in play, one that would have completed ignored the pre-existing t.v. series, but interest in it was lukewarm.  Again, just a rumor, but interesting.

Quantum Mechanics writes: “So, any news on the Stargate front? How about how your screenplay is coming along? Do you read digital comics or just hard copies? As I have gotten older, I need a large screen (32 inch) in order to see comics anymore and sometimes even then, use the magnifier app on my laptop HDMI’d to the big screen.

Finally, how did you get Dark Matter from an idea to a comic book?”

Answer: See above.  The studio acknowledged fans who supported SGO but pretty much ignored the massive online fan campaign that followed.

The script is coming along.  Just received notes and will do one more pass before delivering next week.  After that, it’s smooooo – Ah, forget it.

I read digital copies first and, if I truly love the book, will pick up a hard copy.  I’m constantly surprised by what I respond to.  For instance, a couple of days ago, I decided to check out My Boyfriend is a Bear, a graphic novel written by Pamela Ribon and illustrated by Cat Farris.

I figured it would be a cute, light read but was genuinely surprised by how much I loved this book.  Check it out here.  It’s one of those books I will buy just so I can gift to friends like Jeanette Walls’ The Glass Castle, John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, and David Benioff’s City of Thieves.

I prefer digital because it ensures I don’t add to my library of some 100 boxes of books currently sitting in my storage unit.  Also, I can adjust the print size and dial up the brightness to levels so blazing that Akemi has to sleep with a pillow over her head.

As for how Dark Matter made the transition to comic books = I simply pitched Dark Horse Comics who liked the idea enough to green light a four issue opening arc.

cudaker writes: “Questions:
-Do we (Canada) Have a potential($) to Host a tv series like Netflix do with their originals..Have you though to summit your scripts to one Canadian network?.”

Answer: Hmmm.  Not sure I understand the question.  If you’re asking whether Canadian broadcasters have the money to fund original programs like Netflix – I’d say it depends on the series.

“-Do you have a marble in the top lead..wich one ?”

There are currently two marbles in the lead, one sci-fi, the other horror.

TheOtherOne writes: “Here’s a daft question – what is your most perfect day, weather wise, and your favourite season? Please describe in glorious detail so we can experience it too”

Answer: As much as I like the spring and summer weather, there’s nothing I love more than a big, fat-flaked snowfall on a warm winter’s night.

Line Noise writes: “When are we likely to have a visit from Cookie Monster?”

Answer: Soon, soon.  Cookie Monster is mustering up the courage to get started.  He has a lot of superhero movies to get through.

Jenny Blood writes: “Question: In Dark Matter S3:E9 “Isn’t That a Paradox”, is that Lulu your dog in the scene by the Chocolate Shop?‬”

Answer: Nope.  That adorable french bulldog TWO encounters at the park is actually actress Melissa O’Neil’s frenchie, Tehya.

Curtis L Burnett writes: “Hello Sir, I am an Alaskan automotive painter with dreams of becoming a writer. What do you remember being the hardest obstacle to conquer, when you began your writing career? And, what advice would you give to aspiring writers?”

Answer: Getting started is always the hardest part – getting started writing; getting started in the business.  The best advice I can give is to make sure you have two solid samples, a spec (based on an existing show) and an original pilot.  Attend industry events, make contacts, reach out to agents willing to read submissions from unproduced writers.  I actually got my start writing for animation and will always recommend new writers look there first.

Katie writes: “My question is….would you ever consider doing some sort of drawing or something along those lines to read through and note a script? As an aspiring writer I would love to have someone I look up to read and note a script for me.”

Answer: Hmmmm.  On the occasions I do agree to read scripts, it’s usually with the understanding that my schedule is erratic and there’s no guarantee when I’ll be able to turn around a response.  Also, I make it clear that if someone wants me to invest my time reading their script, they should be prepared for an honest criticism.  As a result, interestingly, fully half of the people who send me scripts never contact me again after receiving my feedback.

Well, that’s it.  Thanks for asking!

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