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Concluding our Dark Matter Season 3 Awards with recognition of our amazing main cast and their performances big and small…

MELISSA O’NEIL (TWO)

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE

It’s hard to believe Dark Matter was Melissa O’Neil’s first t.v. role, even more surprising if you’d actually seen her amazing audition for TWO. From the moment I watched her self-tape, I vowed I’d go to war to see her cast.  Fortunately, there was no need for bloodshed as I was not the only one to take note of her immense talent.  With regard to choosing her best supporting role in season 3, this was probably the toughest  call I had to make.  I could have gone with her double turn in Episode 306, “One Last Card To Play”, in which we she portrays both TWO and alt. Portia with subtle distinction, or her heartfelt performance of Episode 309, “Isn’t That A Paradox”, in which she grasps at a potential refuge for her and her crew.  Instead, I have to give it to…

Episode 304, “All The Time In The World”.  The comedy stylings of Anthony Lemke and Zoie Palmer are front and center, but the backbone of this episode is Melissa’s dubious and joyously bewildered performance.

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE

She again pulls double duty in the revelatory Episode 310 (“Built, Not Born”) and my first instinct was to go with that one but, upon further review, I have to go with…

Episode 301, “Being Better Is So Much Harder”.  A great actor’s true talents shine, not so much in scenes of strength but in those instances in which their characters are at their lowest and most vulnerable.  Melissa is at her best here as TWO wrestles with self-doubt, guilt, and the true weight of command.

ANTHONY LEMKE (THREE)

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE

THREE went from being one of the show’s most hated characters to, over the course of three seasons, one of its most beloved thanks in large part to Anthony Lemke’s portrayal of the incorrigible scoundrel.  THREE is generally mercenary, boorish, and comical, making those instances in which we’re offered a glimpse behind that devil-may-care facade all the more delightful.  THREE is terrific when he’s driving the action, but he’s equally great when he’s lending genuine support as was the case in…

Episode 310, “Built, Not Born”.  Anthony and Natalie Brown play off each other beautifully in their shared scenes, and it’s his later, poignant scene with Zoie Palmer’s Android in the mess that really reminds us what this show is really about: these characters and their bonds of friendship.

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE

Like the decision to cast Anthony, this one didn’t require all that much thought…

Episode 304, “All The Time In The World” in which Anthony displays THREE at his funniest (riding the seemingly endless time loop) and most serious (coming to terms with the digital resurrection of the woman he once loved).

ALEX MALLARI JR. (FOUR/RYO ISHIDA)

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE

Season 3 saw FOUR complete his transition to Emperor Ryo Ishida, going from steadfast ally to sworn enemy, and the episode that gets my vote for Alex Mallari Jr.’s Best Supporting Performance is…

Episode 308, “Hot Chocolate”, an episode in which he truly gets to play the role of the season’s Big Bad, delivering as a fearsome threat yet, simultaneously, a conflicted former friend who has not forgotten his former ties.

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE

Throughout the show’s third season, Alex did a brilliant job of conveying the war his character fought, both without and within, measuring fear against love, leadership against loyalty, and there was no better example of this complex duality than…

Episode 312, “My Final Gift To You” which sees Ryo attempt to have it all, give it all, only to see it all come crashing down.  Alex makes us despise Ryo’s actions and yet, at the same time, find compassion and sympathy for that former friend so far gone.

JODELLE FERLAND (FIVE)

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE

One of my favorite guest stars back on Stargate: Atlantis was a young (13 year old) Jodelle Ferland who played the role of precocious princess Harmony in the episode to the same name.  Fast forward some nine years later and she is impressing in an altogether different role as the ship’s tech monkey and defacto spirited mascot.  FIVE plays pivotal roles in episodes like “One Last Card To Play” and “Hot Chocolate”, but my pick for her best supporting performance is…

Episode 309, “Isn’t That A Paradox?”, which reminds us that, even though the crew may no longer refer to her as a “kid”, she is still very much a kid at heart, making friends, playing video games in pajamas, but still finding time to help save the day.

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE

My choice for this category is an episode that was intended to open the door to a bigger arc involving the introduction of FIVE’s long lost sister, Karina, a surprising connection to the villainous Alicia Reynaud, and the shocking ascendance of a new Big Bad…

Episode 302, “It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This”, finally allows us insight into FIVE’s backstory, revealing the relationships and critical decisions that impacted her life, putting her on the fateful course that landed her on The Raza.  Jodelle is wonderful throughout, but especially in those final, heartbreaking moments of FIVE’s trip down memory lane.

ROGER CROSS (SIX)

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE

Back when we were first casting the role of SIX, I felt heart of the character was distilled down to a single line of dialogue, an exchange with FIVE in which he admits that when, inevitably, she chooses to leave their ragtag crew…”I’m going to miss you, kid.  I’m going to miss you a lot.”  When delivered correctly, this line would encapsulate the very heart of the Big Brother/Little Sister relationship I sought to capture.  Almost every actor who auditioned for the part missed the spirit of the line, and then along came Roger Cross…

Some great moments for SIX in season 3, both in a spotlight and supporting role. In terms of supporting performance, I really liked him in Episode 301 (“Being Better Is So Much Harder”) as he attempts to pick up a fallen TWO and of course in Episode 308 (“Hot Chocolate”) as he attempts to juggle his roles as Raza bad-ass and rebel mediator, but my favorite was…

Episode 310, “Built, Not Born” mostly on the strength of a single scene opposite Zoie Palmer in The Marauder that sees SIX attempt to buoy our Android’s fallen spirits.  Roger has a natural warmth and nowhere is it more evident on screen that in this wonderful exchange.

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE

Sure, the obvious choice would be Episode 303 (“Welcome To The Revolution”) that sees SIX finally walk the walk he’s been talking since season 2, but I would actually give the nod to…

Episode 307, “I Wish I Could Believe You”, which offers a peek at SIX’s backstory, his friendship with John Anders, and the family he left behind.  Roger delivers a compelling performance and never have we felt more sympathy for SIX.

ZOIE PALMER (ANDROID)

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE

To think I originally envisioned The Android character as male.  Three seasons into the show, I can’t imagine anyone BUT Zoie Palmer in the role.  And, while the initial plan was to make the character a more supporting role, Zoie’s early portrayal ensured the Android became as important a crew member as everyone else on board The Raza.   I was really torn in trying to select an episode for this category. On the one hand, there was Episode 309, “Isn’t That A Paradox?” which sees her drive the action in her inimitable fashion; but on the other hand, there’s…

Episode 304, “All The Time In The World”.  She’s at her funniest dealing with an increasingly harried THREE and at her most dramatic jumping through her various flash-forwards.  Hell, she even sings and dances!

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE

Was there ever any doubt it would be…

Episode 310, “Built, Not Born”, that sees Zoie give a tour-de-force performance as both doomed creator, Dr. Shaw, and conflicted creation.  The Android-SIX scene in The Marauder in which he reminds her how special she is, Android’s conversation with FIVE on the merits of smiling, Android’s heart to heart with THREE over whiskey and hot chocolate – some of my favorites of the entire series.

So, those are my votes.  What do  you all think?  What were your favorite Supporting and Lead Performances for each cast member?

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Dark Matter‘s season 3 finale marked the 279th episode of original scripted television I produced for the syfy Channel.  That’s 279 television hours over 13 years, 4 different shows, and 15 seasons!  And, in recognition of our longstanding working relationship, syfy treated me, my show, and its fans like a family…

.

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Yes, it truly felt like famiglia.

Anyway, with the Dark Matter done (for the foreseeable future), I thought it might be nice to look back at the people behind the scenes, and in front of the cameras, who made it happen.

Today, I bring you The Dark Matter Season 3 Awards – Part 1, chosen by yours truly!

BEST COSTUMES

The wardrobe department, lead by Costume Designer Noreen Landry and Asst. Costume Designer Anna Dal Farra, did great work throughout the show’s run. From miners to G.A. troops to our colorful crew, they’ve delivered a wide and wild array. And Dark Matter‘s third season continued that trend.  Standout episodes for me included Episodes 303 (“Welcome To The Revolution”) and Episode 312 (“My Final Gift To You”), but my pick for best costumes was…

WINNER: Episode 309, “Isn’t That A Paradox?”.  This atypical episode gave us so many memorable looks: TWO’s soccer mom disguise, the Android’s burgundy coat, and, of course, FIVE’s goth chick chic.

BEST HAIR/MAKEUP

Lynda McCormack (Key Makeup) and Renée Chan (Key Hair) were a fantastic one-two punch.  There was the contemporary charm of Episode 309 (“Isn’t That A Paradox?”) and resplendence of the royal court in Episode 312 (“My Final Gift To You”), but in Dark Matter‘s final season, I thought their best work was showcased in…

WINNER: Episode 301, “Being Better Is So Much Harder”, where our crew was bruised, battered, but still looked great.

BEST PROPS

Property Master Victoria Klein worked her magic, sourcing everything from guns to gadgets, then altering or completely transforming them with the help of On-Set Key Props Lisa Amaral-Wright.  There was all that weaponry in Episode 303 (“Welcome To The Revolution”) and the various tech and trinkets of Episode 305 (“Give It Up, Princess”), but my favorite was…

WINNER: Episode 304, “All The Time In The World”.  That time clock was one of my favorite props of the show’s three year run.

BEST STUNTS/STUNT CHOREOGRAPHY

Stunt Coordinator John Stead is the very best at what he does and I trusted him so thoroughly that, as the series progressed, my scripted action descriptions would grow less and less detailed.  In the end, I would just tell John where I wanted the characters to end up, then stood back and let him do his thing.  Lots of great shoot-outs, sword work, falls and so much more in Dark Matter‘s third season. There was the Ash vs. Solara Shockley throwdown in Episode 304 (“All The Time In The World”), Ryo’s duels with TWO and, later, Misaki in Episode 312 (“My Final Gift To You”), but edging out these two was my favorite…

WINNER: Episode 308, “Hot Chocolate”.  There was the shootout, the Android taking out SIX, but top of the list was the battle to end all battles: TWO vs. Ryo in hand to hand combat.  In the script, I simply wrote: “They fight.  It’s glorious.” And then John did the rest.

BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS

Lights! Camera! Explosion!  SPFX Coordinator Dylan Hankinson really let the shocks and sparks fly this season, but my pick for best special effects sequence…

WINNER: Episode 302, “It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This”.  TWO, THREE and SIX make their grand entrance, literally blowing away the station security.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Production Designer Ian Brock and the art department continued their terrific. collaboration with our construction department to craft some truly phenomenal sets on the year.  I loved the munitions facility and Traugott Garrison from Episode 303 (“Welcome to the Revolution”) and the dank, dark and foreboding industrial facility of Episode 312 (“The Dwarf Star Conspiracy”), but my selection for best production design goes to…

WINNER: Episode 302, “It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This”.  The Ishida research station was as sleek and clean as Baines’ work room was claustrophobic and chaotic.

BEST SET DEC

Thank you to Set Decorator Andy Loew and his team.  It’s the details that make a set come alive, whether it’s the textures of the walls or the dressing that gives them that lived in look, from Sarah’s virtual garden to the utilitarian accoutrements of Episode 303’s (“Welcome To The Revolution”) munition facility.  Still, my vote goes to…

WINNER: Episode 312, “My Final Gift To You”.  The royal palace never looked so good.

BEST GRAPHICS

I’m a big fan of 1st Assistant Art Director/Graphics Roxanne Borris, and her work on Dark Matter‘s third season simply reinforced the respect and admiration I have for her and her craft.  Logos, ID’s, emblems and labels – they all come from her. Her creations are in subtle background display in every episode and occasionally, front and center, but I think she did some of her best work in…

WINNER: Episode 303, “Welcome To The Revolution”.  Everything from the Traugott emblems to signage to those scrolling video warnings.

BEST MOTION GRAPHICS/PLAYBACK

1st Assistant Art Director/Motion Graphics Sumeet Vats had some big shoes to fill with the departure of our beloved Kelly Diamond, but he availed himself wonderfully with an assist from 2nd Assistant Art Director Victor Mare.  People often overlook graphic and playback’s contribution to the storytelling process, but those onscreen elements do everything from offer a narrative shorthand to an emphatic visual emphasis to the proceedings.  Lots of eye candy in season 3, but my favorites…

WINNER: Episode 302, “It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This”, for those gorgeous Zaironesque graphics.

BEST LIGHTING

Director of Photography Craig Wright was the consistent calm in the eye of the various storms, overseeing and ensuring every shot of every scene of every episode looked it’s very best.  Notable examples included Episode 303 (“Welcome To The Revolution”), Episode 310 (“Built, Not Born”), and my pick for season best…

WINNER: Episode 311, “The Dwarf Star Conspiracy”.  Craig and his team infused every scene with an underlying sense of impending doom.  They always made my job so much easier.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson continued to work his magic, ensuring that our little show always looked it’s best, expanding our library of beautiful Raza shots and creating stunning new visuals for Dark Matter‘s third season.  A couple of instances that readily come to mind are the security drone and space sequences of Episode 301 (“Nowhere To Go”) and the flowing aliens of Episode 311 (“The Dwarf Star Conspiracy”).  Still as great as those episodes were, there was no beating…

WINNER: Episode 313, “Nowhere To Go”.  Fans were clamoring for a colossal space battle and we gave them one.

And that’s it for the technical awards.  Tomorrow, we give it up to the onscreen talent as we recognize the supporting performances that made Dark Matter’s third season so great!

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The highlights from #DarkGate Round 2, another Dark Matter/Stargate-related Q&A.

On the mysterious Cyrus King…

What of Solara Shockley?

What episode idea did Episode 309, “Isn’t That A Paradox?” replace?

As for what else we had in store for ONE/Derrick Moss…

On Ryo, Misaki, and Teku…

 

And how would FOUR have adjusted to life as a returning crew member?

On The Mikkei Combine’s role in the alien invasion storyline…

What were the plans for Lt. Anders?

What about Dr. Shaw?

And Wexler?

What else did we have planned for SIX?

We would have even explored an increasingly complex Alt. Portia…

And, finally, what of Alexander Rook?

Thanks for everyone who took part.  Let’s try to do another one in the New Year!

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Apparently, it’s Dark Matter Family Day on twitter, so I’d like to take this opportunity to say hello and thanks to our extended Dark Matter family – cast, crew, production personnel, and fans.  While others may conspire to keep us apart, it’s nice to see the familiar spirit that was the heart of the show still alive and well in all of you.

To those of you wondering, the production has read all your letters (in the end, upwards of 1000) and is in the process of sending out goodies to some lucky fans. Alas, I have no idea who they’ve chosen, so if you do receive something in the mail, let us know.  Would love to know who got what!

It’s been a while since our last tweetstorm and I’ve been thinking it would be nice to have a little get-together before the holidays.  I’m going to select a night the week of December 4th for a 1-2 hour Dark Matter (heck, maybe even Stargate)-themed Q&A on twitter.   Over the course of those two hours, I’ll field all of your questions, offer up some behind the scenes pics and videos, and even offer up some never-revealed insights into the show’s creation, production, and what I had planned for the future.  Did SIX really give up his life at the end of the third season finale?  Given everything he did, how could the seemingly irredeemable Ryo Ishida possibly reintegrate into the crew?  Who the heck were Kryden and Carina?

This event will be for our North American fans (and, of course, any other fans world-wide who are willing to stay up), but I’ll follow up with a similar event for our International fans so they don’t feel left out.  So, if you’ve got some burning Dark Matter (and perhaps Stargate)-related questions, file them away.   And stay tuned for more details on date and time!

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This upcoming season of Blindspot is going global – and Dark Matter’s Anthony Lemke is joining the trek.  Check out the BTS video for a sneak peek at international destinations, Blindspot creator and showrunner (and former Stargate Executive Producer and Dark Matter Consulting Producer) Martin Gero give us the rundown on season 3, and a brief glimpse of The Raza’s lovable rogue –

So THAT’S what he was doing in Marrakesh!

What kind of character will he play?  Good guy?  Bad Guy?  Will he have any scenes with Dark Matter’s other resident bad boy and Blindspot recurring player Ennis Esmer (aka Rich Dotcom)?

It’s a multiple episode appearance for Anthony kicking off with episode 9, but you’re going to watch from the beginning!

Blindspot’s season 3 premieres tomorrow night at 8/7 C on NBC.

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So, yes, in addition to the scheduled general meet and greets, I’ll be teaming up with my friend (and former fellow Dark Matter Executive Producer) Vanessa Piazza to pitch Masked while in L.A.  Editor Lou Anders assembled a diverse selection of tales that focus as much on the individuals behind the masks as they do on the superheroics.  The stories are grounded in character, something I’ve always been a firm believer in, from Stargate straight through to Dark Matter.  I envision the series as an anthology in the vein of Black Mirror except that, instead of studying the influence of technology, the focus will be on the social, political and personal effects of possessing extra-normal abilities – the advantages, the drawbacks, the costs.  Two great examples from established comic lore are DC’s Batman and Marvel’s Spiderman.  Batman – the world’s greatest detective, the dark knight, a masked vigilante who protects the streets of Gotham.  And, yet he is, at heart, an orphan, so scarred by the murder of his parents that tragedy fuels his relentless quest for justice.  Spiderman – the web-slinging, wise-cracking defender of New York is, in contrast, a meek, mild-mannered high school student similarly driven by tragedy to bear the weight of responsibility power and fate have thrust upon him.  Batman and Spiderman, Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker, have always been, for me, the pinnacle of engaging, richly textured characters – at once relatable yet delightfully complex.  And that’s what we’re looking to bring through a collection of original superhero-themed episodes scripted by some of comics and genredom’s heaviest hitters.  Tonally, thematically, I want Masked to offer viewers a show that engages and entertains, but provokes as well.

So who is your favorite superhero/alter ego?  And why?

A couple of years ago, Vanessa was featured in a Hottest Canadian Film and TV Talent You’ve Never Heard Of – But Will list.  There’s a great write up on Vanessa (click the link), and an equally great artist’s rendition accompanying the piece –

Hey, you have less than a month left to get your letters in for a chance to win a piece of Dark Matter…well, a piece of Dark Matter.

Details here: https://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/september-29-2017-fandom-start-your-blickensderfers/

Some of the items up for grabs:

Android chip and Victor upgrades.

FIVE’s sketches.

FOUR’s imperial ring.

FIVE’s goggles.

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So, yesterday I gave a shout-out to the gang at MGM who reached out to me in an effort to save Dark Matter.

Today, another shout-out.  This one for a former syfy executive, Chris Regina, who was the channel’s point man on the series for Dark Matter’s three year run.  He was a tireless promoter of our little show – reading every script, watching every episode, always giving us meaningful input and, more importantly, championing Dark Matter when others may have overlooked it.  We – the cast, the crew, and the fans – lost a passionate, and crucial ally when Chris left syfy in late June.

Chris Regina on set with Executive Producer Jay Firestone

A big thank you to Chris for three amazing years – and best of luck on his exciting new position…which I hope to hear more about when I visit L.A. at the end of the month.

Well, I spent the better part of an afternoon reading about a hundred letters from Dark Matter fans.  All I can say is Wow.  A lot of beautifully written, heartfelt expressions of gratitude for a show that obviously meant a lot to so many of you. It may have looked like I was choking up, but I can assure you that was just the fiery residue of the scorpion chilis I must have got in my eyes.

Anyway, here are a few of the outfits we’ll be sending out to some lucky letter-writing fans…

And more!

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