Posts Tagged ‘Dark Matter’

Stargate was a fantastic 12-year experience for me.  I learned a lot from showrunners Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, the cast, the crew, and fandom. Among the greatest takeaways from my time on the show is this oft-repeated (by me) nugget: “Fans tune in for the hook, but they stay for the characters”.  To that, I would add the importance of family, something that is at the core of all three Stargates.  On SG-1, it’s team SG-1.  On Atlantis, it’s the Atlantis Expedition. And on Universe, it’s the crew of the Destiny.  They may be very different personalities, have totally different outlooks, and disagree at times, but despite all the challenges they face, they are family – to each other and to fans around the world.  Looking back, it was no coincidence that one of the final scenes I wrote for Stargate was the farewell dinner scene for Stargate: Universe in which Eli toasts his fellow crew while likening them to family members (Rush, of course, drawing comparisons to “the crazy uncle”).  It was also no coincidence that this very concept was at the heart of my show, Dark Matter.  The crew of The Raza are family.  Like SG-1 and the Atlantis Expedition and the Destiny crew, they alway find a way to come together and have each other’s backs.

This sense of family was ever-present behind-the-scenes on all four productions. And obvious in the support and love these show continue to receive from their many fans.  So when we rallied to fight for Dark Matter following its cancellation by Syfy, that sense of family was evident throughout the campaign with hashtags like #WeCarryEachOther and #DarkMatterFamily.  Stargate fans came out to support Dark Matter fans and I’m heartened to see Dark Matter fans now joining this campaign to support Stargate fans.  [I’m also seeing a lot of Dark Matter fans checking out Stargate for the first time and vice-versa which makes me very happy.  If you’ve yet to cross-sample, might I suggest Dark Matter fans check out Stargate: SG-1 Season 4, Episode 6 “Window of Opportunity” and Stargate fans check out Dark Matter Season 3, Episode 4 “All The Time In The World”.  You’ll love the parallels.].

Stargate fans, Dark Matter fans, hell, scifi fans in general are family.  We know the difference between a goa’uld and a tok’ra, a ha’tak and a mothership, O’Neill with two L’s as opposed to one.  We know that TWO is Portia is Rebecca, and SIX is Griffin Jones is Kal Varrick, and THREE named his big gun Bubba and his sidearms Lulu and Pip but didn’t name his knife because what do you think he is, psycho? We know to Keep Looking Up, that Crackers Don’t Matter, and that Han Shot First. We have each others backs. #WeCarryEachOther

And we’re about to send one helluva message.

Trust me, we are closer to a fourth in-canon Stargate series than ever before!

Tomorrow, finally, I’ll give you the details of how we’re going to pull this off – exactly what we’re going to do and when.

In the meantime, if you haven’t already done so, head on over to twitter and follow @StargateNow and yours truly.  If you’re not yet on twitter, fear not.  It’s easy. Just go to the twitter home page, sign up, then come back here and click on the above links to be taken to the aforementioned accounts.  Click the “follow”  button and you’ll be automatically dialed in and updated on the latest developments on the campaign front along with Stargate-related pics, gifs, vids, commentaries, and more than a few surprises.

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Well, isn’t this nice?  The Dark Matter swag deliveries continue…



Varied treasures!

The latter assortment found its way to Tom Gardiner who tirelessly covers genre film & television for SciFiSingularity and ThreeIfBySpace, but is particularly noted for having been blacklisted by Syfy shortly after he had the audacity to criticize their cancellation of Dark Matter.

Hey, if you want a screener of Jeepers Creepers 3, you’re gonna have to play ball, baby!

Whoa!  Hang on!  Sorry.  I just received this official letter from the Galactic Authority.  If you’ve received any Raza-related merchandise, please redirect to the above address.  I thank you for your understanding.

Congratulations to Rebekah!  You’re the winner of the one-of-a-kind (for now) Suji t-shirt.  Please be sure to wear it to all special events, public ceremonies, and court appearances to help spread the word about the difficulties of bathing senior pugs.

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Reports have begun to filter in of Dark Matter fans finally receiving surprises in the mail c/o Prodigy Pictures!

This was the request that went out last fall…

And, after sorting through well over 1 000 letters, the production office commenced deliveries.

So, what’d we get?

Cast-signed Blu-rays.

Signed Dark Matter crew sweatshirts.

Dark Matter props!

Dark Matter set dec!  In this case, one of the contraptions featured in Baines’ Workshop (Episode 302, “It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This”).

And there’s certainly more on the way so, if and when you receive something, post it!

Well, as expected, I have a first draft of that pilot script from the new SF series I’ve been developing.  And, yep, as expected, it clocks in at a robust 63 full pages.  And that just won’t do.  Tonight, I take a break.  Then, tomorrow, the revising begins!

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“Excuse me,”said our waiter in his thick Italian accent.  “May I ask you a question.”

“Sure,”said Anthony.

“You are an actor?”


“You are Boone?!”


“But after three seasons, it is finished already???”

Well, yes.  Long story but, in a nutshell, the decision makers at syfy were never fans of the show.

Still, I never tire of hearing from fans who have discovered the show for the first time.  Syfy may have dismissed us without a second thought, but Dark Matter fandom remains strong.  Thank you!

Today, I had lunch with actor Anthony Lemke who drove all the way into town to sit down with me and discuss the gene manipulation, transhumanism, and perils of future tech over schiacciatas, zabaglione lattes, and a double order of baccala.

Boy, he would be perfect for at least three of the projections I’m currently developing.

Finally, congratulations to Dark Matter’s Lynda McCormack for her Best Achievement in Makeup nomination (Episode 304, “All The Time In The World”) and  VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson and his team for their Best Visual Effects nomination (Episode 313, “Nowhere To Go”) at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards.    Good luck!

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



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.


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.



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.


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).



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.


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.



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.


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.



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.


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.



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!


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…




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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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