DARK MATTER #1 (of 4)

Joseph Mallozzi (W), Paul Mullie (W), Garry Brown (A/Cover), and Ryan Hill (C).  Edited by Patrick Thorpe for DARK HORSE COMICS

A derelict ship floats in space, its troubled crew awakened from stasis with now memories of who they are or how they got onboard.  Their search for answers triggers the vessel’s deadly security system: a relentless android bent on their destruction.  Facing threats at every turn, they have to work together to survive a voyage charged with vengeance, redemption, betrayals and hidden secrets best left unknown.


The two page sneak peek of our SF comic book series, Dark Matter, is out in the November issue of Previews.  Head on down to your local comic shop to order!

Continuing my reminiscing on Stargate: SG-1’s tenth and final season…


The original plan had been to have Daniel go darkside and play out his descent, turn, and ultimate redemption over the course of several episodes. In fact, in its original, multi-episode version, this story would have demonstrated a much, MUCH darker Daniel – but it was ultimately decided that making him too dark, regardless of the circumstances, would have damaged the characters so the decision was made to make his turn to the darkside a little more uncertain.  I don’t know.  I’ve always wanted to explore the theme of redemption with these characters, push them to the line – and beyond – and then bring them back and have them suffer the consequences, because, in the end, its their emotional response to these consequences that creates drama and explores hitherto uncharted facets of their personalities.

The reveal of the pale, milk-eyed Daniel stands as one of the top ten Stargate tease outs ever.  Hmmm.  Now that I think of it, that could form the basis of a future top ten: My Top 10 Favorite Stargate Tease Outs!  File that one away for a future blog entry.

Anyway, a terrific Daniel Jackson episode that sees the return of Jack O’Neill and one final, glorious in-series reunion between the two best friends.

There’s a scene in the episode in which Woolsey (played by the marvelous Robert Picardo) is telekinetically lifted off the ground. Director Andy Mikita dribbled apple juice down Bob’s pant leg to suggest Woolsey was so frightened, he’d actually peed himself.  Alas, the urine didn’t make the final cut.  Hmmm.  There’s one of those lines you rarely see.

BOUNTY (1015)

The Stargate version of Grosse Pointe Blank sees Cameron Mitchell going back home for his high school reunion, unlikely date in tow (Vala, natch), and even unlikelier complication lurking in the shadows (an interstellar bounty hunter played with delightful swagger by Mike Dopud).  This episode was alot of fun (one of my favorites of the show’s tenth season) and it wasn’t just the Cam and Vala fish-out-of-water scenes.  Carter and her “hands on” demonstration at the conference and Daniel’s run-in at the Museum of Antiquities all made for a fun and memorable episode.  In the latter scenario, Daniel is quietly studying away when a sexy young lady (later revealed to be an alien) comes on to him.  Daniel’s is confoundingly uninterested suggesting he is either focused on his work, suspicious, or creeped out.  Or, perhaps, those Jack/Daniel slashers had it right all along!

This episode marked what I believe was the second in a long line of guest spots actor Mike Dopud has done for us, first as a Russian soldier in SG-1’s Full Alert, then as Bounty Hunter Ventrell in this episode, then as Kiryk the runner in SGA’s Tracker, then as the Lucian Alliance member Varro in Stargate: Universe and, most recently, in an episode of The Transporter.  I’ve already told Mike that, if Dark Matter goes to series, I’ve already got a role in mind for him…

BAD GUYS (1016)

Oof.  If Bounty was one of my favorite episodes to the show’s final season, this one ranked down at the bottom.  Daniel just felt out of character in this one.  Still, the premise was interesting, a story that formed from an idea Brad once had for a tease: A museum tour on an alien world takes visitors by an ancient artifact, the Stargate, that suddenly comes alive, kawooshing, and introducing SG-1 to the shocked crowd.  I recall sitting in on the auditions for this one and having one of the actors for the role of the museum curator delivering his lines with a French accent.  What, exactly, an alien was doing with a French accent, I’m not sure.  But, then again, I’m not exactly sure why all the aliens SG-1 encountered spoke English.  Oh, right.  It was the communication nanites that “infect” all gate travelers, allowing them to understood and be understood in any off-world language.  Except goa’uld of course.

TALION (1017)

Ah, Damian and his affinity for cryptic titles (see Chimera and Ethon). For almost the entire duration of the production and post, I kept hearing “Italian” when someone said “Talion”.  Anyway, bizarre title aside, I thought this was pretty strong episode, a dark examination of the Teal’c character and one of those of those instances where the show was fairly on point in exploring a contemporary and controversial subject matter in a scifi context.

The final showdown between Teal’c and Arkad is mighty gruesome – but nowhere near as gruesome as the director’s cut that was so gory it had us wondering whether we’d been overworking Director Andy Mikita.

32 thoughts on “November 3, 2011: Dark Matter Preview! Reminiscing SG-1’s Tenth Season!

  1. Guh. So sad that you didn’t do dark!Daniel. He’s always been my least favorite character (hilariously, I actually liked him in Bad Guys – that and Unending when he shouts at Vala are the only two Daniel scenes that make me go “Yes! Daniel! Cool!”).

    Of course, the pushing the characters is one of the reasons I adored SGU (may it not be forgotten…) –

    Weird confession: I still haven’t watched the final episode. I really can’t bring myself to do it. How long is denial supposed to last????

  2. Dark Matter is looking GREAT! Can’t wait! 🙂 Better not kill off whichever character I end up liking or I’ll punch you in the nose!

    @ Elminster – I’ve only read Homeland, and I liked it very much. I have so much to read right now I’m going to wait a bit before getting into the next one, or I might check out the comic book series. But I did like the character, he’s the type of guy I’m looking for, that’s for sure!


  3. Joe thanks for the free preview looks awsome can’t wait till janaury ?is there anywhere online where we can preorder dark matter.

  4. The artwork in Dark Matter is awesome! The colors are nice & pretty!

    @ Shannon – Go for it! Watch that final episode of SGU. It really is a good one!

    @ Penny – Thinking of you and keeping you in prayer. Good luck Friday.

  5. Talion/Italian: I had a similar problem when a co-worker was named “Gilbert”. More than once, thanks to sloppy pronounciation, we both answered to the same name.

    Hmmm…PBMom/Hilda, we may have that problem next weekend at Wizard Austin…!

    Shannon, don’t feel bad. I bought the two films but have never watched them.

  6. LOL at Woolsey peeing himself. That would have been hilarious.

    I loved Robert Picardo in SG1 and SGA. I wished there was more conflict between Woolsey and Sheppard but I understand the reasoning behind it not being there.

    He was down in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago for Armageddon 🙁 …..he has a lovely voice

    Looking forward to the Dark Matter release…will they really make it into a movie if we all buy it?

    Cheers, Chev

    p.s. Mike Dopud rocks!!

  7. That cover art looks so fabulous. Amazing! I can’t wait to read the story. It sounds so good.

    I love Bad Guys. It is one of my favorite episodes because the team is so out of water, really no intention of hurting anybody, but they have to pretend they will so they can keep everybody safe, including the hostages. Shanks telling two female hostages how they should be afraid cause they are hostages, we are the captors and heavily armed right after the girls are fighting over a boy. Love it! I also love Bounty, Cam and Vala at a high school reunion, Vala with his parents…..so funny. love the shroud with the unexpected twists and the question over Daniel’s true agenda.

    I’ve been watching Robert Carlye’s new show and it is great. His character is really spooky and very mysterious. I am in awe of his talent. I know a show is good when I am anxious to see the next episode. I predict a pick up for next season.

  8. Joe – You’re finally getting to some of my favorite episodes of S10.

    The Shroud – Lots to like about the episode, but it just seemed a little strange. The team trusting him seemed like a foregone conclusion that received too much attention. The scenes between Jack and Daniel seemed awkward. Jack falling back on his distrust of anyone “even if he understands what they are saying” just seemed really weak. It’s not like they hadn’t maintained their own trustworthy selves in previous situations where different states of consciousness had taken place to various characters. What would make Jack so suspicious of Daniel all of a sudden? If Woolsey had kicked off the distrust of Daniel, it would have made a bit more sense. It somehow seems wrong to initially distrust a guy who you last saw covering your back so you could escape Adria. Anyway, I realize that things had to go the way they did to reach the required conclusion and various plot points along the way. I wouldn’t have liked dark Daniel – or at least you would have to give him a goatee. 😉

    Bounty – One of my faves of the whole series. Vala was awesome. (I loved Grosse Pointe Blank as well btw) At one point at the reunion, a song starts that is obviously meant to be similar in tone and style to In Between Days by The Cure and it cracks me up every time I hear it. A definite reunion from the 80s vibe was achieved VERY well without the accompanying royalty payments for using the actual music. Well done.

    Daniel in the library was awesome too. Did the alien chick do ZERO research on Earth? Like a random hot chick picking up a guy in a library wouldn’t be out of place on any planet anyway. 😉 The bus was an awesome touch. Also liked the comments about the social scene at the conference although another WOW reference would have been stellar. Something like “I’m supposed to meet a level 56 Valkyrie at the bar later. I hope it’s a chick this time…..”

    Bad Guys – I actually liked this one although it did seem like Daniel was on the rag most of the time. I took it as side effects from returning back to his old self from Merlin/Priorness, and having to deal with the screaming chick. It’s hard to concentrate with that level of distraction. I would have just zatted the chick. Liked the Die Hard reference. I was a little disappointed with Vala’s thieving skills. I was under the impression that she was better than that. Sure, it would have made things too simple if it had worked easily, but I got the impression that she would have become captured or dead or both if she was so far below snuff on her past adventures when she was on her own. She had set a much higher level of competence in Prometheus Unbound.

    Talion – Nice Teal’c story. Was a bit gory for my tastes, but I prefer more humor and less blood.

  9. I really thought Daniel’s exasperation in “Bad Guys” made for some hilarious moments. “We are hooped!”, he said.

    The Jack/Daniel scene on the spaceship in “The Shroud” is probably one the best of the series.

    3 episodes to go, can’t wait for your thoughts on “Unending”.

  10. Oh, I’m so sad. I do love Bounty (Vala and that outfit cracks me up EVERY time), but Bad Guys is one of my favorite episodes. I don’t think I stop laughing the entire episode each time I watch. Of course, I’m also a huge fan of Will Bailey, er, I mean Joshua Malina, so maybe that’s part of it…

    That preview looks great! I am so excited for the release. I just had someone tell me the other day that comic books are awful, trite, and a waste of time and I nearly spewed a McKay-like rant at him.

  11. Boy, you really have a lot of favorite episodes. It’s ok, so do I ;). As for Bad Guys, I kinda felt the same way, awesome premise, ok execution. I LOVED the idea behind it, completely plausible. Almost too much went wrong, but the episode was still fun. Loved The Shroud, Adria’s one of my favorites, as previously posted. Bounty was fun, too. Vala exploring her saucy minx side is always good tv! I remember posting about an “easter egg” I found in this episode. It was something posted on the phone booth in the hallway of the high school. Something about Andy Makita and a lost dog? Can’t remember right now.

    As for how everybody spoke English on all the planets, I always thought it was because of the running premise from the original movie: all human life in the galaxy originated on earth and was displaced by the goa’uld, with the exception of the ancients, who were already gone when Ra came to earth. This, in my mind, allowed for English to be spoken but written in any number of forms and characters as derived from the region that the goa’uld took the humans from.

    It made sense to me. I never had a problem with everyone speaking English. It was less of a stretch than a universal translator like on Star Trek.

  12. okay need help…am in a fun group called Nerd Wars, on Team SGC..anyhow one of the challenges this month is to make something using the periodic table…now I know a lot of elements were mentioned, but many times they were made up…cab anyone point me to episodes (of any of the shows) where an actual element was important….although I don’t have to tie my object to the show, I get extra points if I can…thanks….

  13. Have to trot off to the comic store when it opens, to see if I can get hold of that preview. Meantime, glad the wet himself scene got cut with Woolsey. It would have been in character, but the poor guy has been beaten up enough over the years that I would have just as soon seen him spared the indignity. Now, the idea would be a great one to use sometime in the future, and not just with a SG episode. Or dark streaks along the back of the pants…as long as we don’t have smello vision… off to the real world for a few hours, before enjoying my last weekend before officially coming off vacation.

  14. “push them to the line – and beyond – and then bring them back”
    I was struck by the similarity between Daniel here and in “Need”. He’s gone dark before and been accepted back after redemption.

  15. Can’t wait for Dark Matter! January, eh? I have a tooth extraction, dental implant AND a trip to Hawaii for my birthday then. Just a month chock full of excitement. Sadly, our one remaining comic book store in town is closing this month.

    I knew there was a reason I never cared for apple juice.

  16. ‘In the latter scenario, Daniel is quietly studying away when a sexy young lady (later revealed to be an alien) comes on to him. Daniel’s is confoundingly uninterested suggesting he is either focused on his work, suspicious, or creeped out. Or, perhaps, those Jack/Daniel slashers had it right all along!’

    Or, all of the above!

    ‘Dark Matter’ looks cool, especially as a TV series – claustrophobic, intriguing, the drama coming from human interaction – the way I like it!
    The blondie makes me think of the actor Neal McDonough…And one of the earlier images made me think of Adam Baldwin…

    Mike Dopud is terrific as a Runner in ‘Tracker’, managing to be both tough and vulnerable. I would have loved to see more of his character.

    Dark-side Daniel would have been sooo interesting. As it was, his ‘turning’ felt a bit half-hearted. Please tell us more about the dark-side Daniel plot! (Nice use of the word ‘hitherto’, by the way!)

    I loved ‘Bad Guys’; it was a romp, but a romp with purpose and something to say. Daniel was tetchier than usual, but I put that down to Vala being the fingernails to his chalkboard. I could never really see them together long-term, they’re too different, and Vala is all artiface and no sincerity, and Daniel’s a sincere kind of guy. Also, I see Daniel as married to his work, really. I would have loved to see him on Atlantis as a recurring character, he absolutely sparkled in ‘First Contact’ & ‘Lost Tribe’…

    I like to imagine that Baal’s host could have replaced Daniel on SG1; I’d always imagined that Baal chose hosts for their knowledge and intelligence (whereas Apophis was all about the pretty) and had chosen an Alexander the Great-type character, an intellectual warrior king. I thought it would have been an interesting dynamic between Baal’s host & Vala, with their shared history…and the hint of chemistry between Baal & Vala in a couple of episodes!

    Would have loved to see more of Major Teldy, Dusty & Dr. Porter in SGA, too. Three interesting characters, different to each other but very believable. I’m afraid I wasn’t sorry when Vega was killed (though I was surprised!) – I just couldn’t buy such a fragile waif-like girl as a soldier – she looked like her arms would break if she got into a hand-to-hand fight – her gun looked heavier than she did!

    Another character I wouldn’t be sorry to have seen the back of was Keller. I tried, I just couldn’t warm to her. Everything went so very…high-school, when she was around. Seen quite enough of her, ta very much.

    More Zelenka would have been absolutely peachy, though!!! 😀

    A Season Six had so much potential after the reinvigorating of SGA with Season Five…I can’t believe it got cancelled! 🙁

    And, seriously, there is no decent SF around now… ‘Terra Nova’? Pfft!

  17. Reminiscing is good but additional movies would be better. I enjoyed all 10 years plus the two extras of SG1. I haven’t watch SCIFI much since SGA and SG1 ended. Those two are my favorite shows of all time, along with Moonlight which CBS dumped. More SG1 & SGA would have been better than any of SGU (this was a bad decision).

  18. Joe, I finally have a couple moments as I sip my coffee and watch the noon news (that’s right, it’s noon, and just getting done breakfast – morning has been THAT hectic!), and talk about Dark Matter.

    Firstly, I really like the art here. It has a very ‘industrial’ feel – cold and hard and raw – which I’m guessing (from what I see) fits the story perfectly. Secondly, I like the action – there’s a very real feel to it, like real people really fighting for their lives…which, again, I’m guessing is the effect you were hoping Garry and Ryan would acheive. Thirdly, this is my favorite panel on the two pages:


    Love the composition there. For some reason it gives me a sense of both courage, and apprehension. Of course, it might be ME who feels the apprehension, and not the character. Really like it, either way. 🙂

    I posted these pages on the Benbo, and they’ve sold at least one person on the book, and possibly a couple more (of the ones who have actually said something). One thing people are looking for, it seems, is a book where the main characters are not all white. Your mix of black, Asian and white seems to be a big attraction right now. For me, I’m particularly interested in that purty little thing with the swords, but I’m not going to get too attached because I know how you like to kill things I love. 😉

    Have a great day, sir!


  19. Hello Joe, I was wondering, seeing as you read so many books, more than I ever will (I’m a slow reader 🙂 ), do you know any good post-apocalyptic book?

  20. @das – Glad you liked it! He, and his friends, have been around for a long time, about 30 books and counting. Mind you, if you get hooked on any other character stop reading at about the 25th book, they start dropping like flies…. Oh, and the stories just keep getting better, book after book. There is one character I think you’ll develop a soft spot for, Artemis Entreri, he’s recurring throughout. And if you finish them and want something else there’s the Elminster series by Ed Greenwood. They have seven silver-haired sisters in them, besides the great mage himself. 🙂


  21. Bounty and The Shroud are two of my favorite episodes from Season 10.

    Dark Matter looks better and better. Guess I’ll have to figure out where to buy comics around here.

  22. Dark Matter does look awesome. Love the art work and looking forward to the story. Mike Dopud is a busy man! Looking forward to his Transporter episode.

    I, once again, adored all those episodes above, even Bad Guys. And as far as Talion and the “gruesome” scene, I do remember the husband to say, “It’s about time!” He still talks about that scene when SG-1 is brought up.

    @Gilder: That should be fun! My husband does not call me Hilda; he dislikes my name.

  23. @ Eliminster – Thanks for the info! Hopefully I’ll be able to get into another book soon. I really loved Drizzt…his sense of humor and naivete just won me over. I hope he retains that throughout the series, though I do realize that with age his innocence will continue to be lost.

    @ Joe – I just started George Mann’s Ghosts of War, and it’s starting out pretty good. I think it flows better than the first one did, only George still has the habit of throwing that awkward ‘f’ word around. It just doesn’t seem to fit the atmosphere of the book.

    That said, I really do love the beginning of this new one. You know how I love a tortured, beaten down hero, and this book is really delivering in that regard. It picks up just about where Ghosts of Manhattan left off, and starts off in full steampunk glory. I am really excited about reading this one, it just feels much tighter all the way round. Of course, I’m only a couple chapters in, so things might change, but I hope any changes will continue to be for the better.


  24. Joe, Dark Matter looks great and I can’t wait to read it!

    @das: Yeah, Mr. Space Samurai is my favorite, too (just sort of figures, doesn’t it?). I want to see him use those katana to slice that baddie into tiny little pieces!

    Glad you liked Drizzt. So Ghosts of War is good? I thought the first one was okay, but didn’t like it enough to go searching for the next one. But now I may reconsider.

  25. Now that I think of it, that could form the basis of a future top ten: My Top 10 Favorite Stargate Tease Outs! File that one away for a future blog entry.

    you could also do your top 10;

    guest stars
    deleted scenes
    lines or exchanges between two characters
    special effects
    episode titles

  26. “A derelict ship floats in space, its troubled crew awakened from stasis…”

    Destiny!!!!! I wish!!!! Lots of laughs. 🙂

    Thanks again for these behind the scenes. Will be cool if DM does go to series. 🙂

  27. I like archersangel’s list! Well Joe…?

    top10 moments I caught with my video camera
    top10 pictures I took
    top10 writing breakthroughs
    top10 people who have helped me through the years
    top10 my favorite blogs
    top10 funniest thing my dog(s) did

    etc, etc

  28. Dark Matter is looking mighty interesting!

    Bounty was fun, and the director commentary was an added bonus. I was a bit disappointed the Daniel’s would be assassin did not last longer. You could not have used a beach scene or a moment in a hot sweaty desert? Come on.

    I thought Bad Guys was just hilarious. The last time I saw it I was laughing all the way through it. I thought you were intentionally spoofing the characters. I like the part when Daniel breaks up the fight and says, “there are rules…” Of course through the whole series and even into SGA you could wonder why they all understood each other. In Farscape they solved this problem early on, but such issues remained lingering and I the viewer had to accept it or there would be little story time. Even when the team members went back to Chulak, the Jaffa families spoke English. I loved Vala’s over confidence in stealing the chest.

    Talion, gruesome ending, really? Ya I was a bit surprised it made it past the “censors,” The ending did remind me of the episode “The Warrior.” I liked the fight scene between Cam and Te’alk seeing Cam landing a few good licks in but knowing he would get whooped, and like in “The Warrior,” Te’alk too was loosing only to make one last desperate move to defeat his opponent. Dramatic effect, hmmm?

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