One of the last things we did before packing it in for the holidays was go on a walk-thru of our standing sets.  Of course, not all of them are quite yet standing (ie. the shuttle, parts of the space station) and those that are still have a ways to go, but our Art Department did a phenomenal job making it presentable for the tour.  The bridge consoles were in, the corridors lit, and there was even some preliminary playback on the screens.  It all looked, in a word, superfantastic.  I snapped a bunch of pics – and have been doing so for weeks now, documenting the ship’s progress.  I’ll hold off on posting them until we’re officially in production  – but there are plenty of other behind-the-scene pics to show you in the meantime…

December 20, 2014: The Dark Matter Pre-holiday Wrap-up!  Alex Mallari Jr. In Action!  The Katana!
(photos c/o Alex Mallari Jr.)

Those of you familiar with the Dark Matter know that the character known as FOUR (aka Ryo Tetsuda, aka Ryo Ishida, aka Slashy McStabberson) isn’t the gunslinging type.  Oh, sure, he packs a sidearm, but his preferred weapon is the katana – sometimes two.  Despite having no formal sword training experience prior to landing the role, under the guidance of our incredible Stunt Coordinator John Stead (more on him in the coming weeks!), actor Alex Mallari Jr. has transformed himself into a twin-blade wielding natural.  Earlier this week, John showed us a video of Alex in training, running through the choreography for the first “training room discovery” scene – a jaw-dropping sequence that perfectly captured the moment as scripted:

December 20, 2014: The Dark Matter Pre-holiday Wrap-up!  Alex Mallari Jr. In Action!  The Katana!

“He stands frozen, eyes fixed straight ahead.  Shuts his eyes.  Beat.  And suddenly launches into action: charging, turning, back-pedalling, leaping, ducking, as the blades whirl and sing around him, slicing through the air.  He makes his way across the room in a remarkable display of swordsmanship, lightning quick reflexes controlling the deadly katanas in a blur of movement…”

December 20, 2014: The Dark Matter Pre-holiday Wrap-up!  Alex Mallari Jr. In Action!  The Katana!

It was unbelievable.

December 20, 2014: The Dark Matter Pre-holiday Wrap-up!  Alex Mallari Jr. In Action!  The Katana!

Check him out on twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexMallariJr

Over the course of series, Alex will use two different “production katanas”.  The first is a super lightweight painted bamboo that, I’ve been told, is all the rage on Hong Kong action movie sets.

December 20, 2014: The Dark Matter Pre-holiday Wrap-up!  Alex Mallari Jr. In Action!  The Katana!
LBW testing the bamboo blade.

The second is the hero sword, forged of equally light aluminum –

December 20, 2014: The Dark Matter Pre-holiday Wrap-up!  Alex Mallari Jr. In Action!  The Katana!

Here it is c/o of our Props Master, Victoria Klein.

December 20, 2014: The Dark Matter Pre-holiday Wrap-up!  Alex Mallari Jr. In Action!  The Katana!

Our Production Designer, Ian Brock, designed the unique signature symbol that adorns the saya (scabbard) –

December 20, 2014: The Dark Matter Pre-holiday Wrap-up!  Alex Mallari Jr. In Action!  The Katana!

And the blade itself.

December 20, 2014: The Dark Matter Pre-holiday Wrap-up!  Alex Mallari Jr. In Action!  The Katana!

Paul checks the weight.

Anyway, we’re all done for the time being (except for the Art Department, Construction, the cast, and yours truly who will be doing another pass on all the scripts) and look ahead to our January 5th return.  Yesterday, it was one final stroll through the sets and then we locked up for the holidays.  Done and done.

Still, I can’t help but feel like I’ve forgotten something…

December 20, 2014: The Dark Matter Pre-holiday Wrap-up!  Alex Mallari Jr. In Action!  The Katana!

17 thoughts on “December 20, 2014: The Dark Matter pre-holiday wrap-up! Alex Mallari Jr. in action! THE katana!

  1. Story Editor’s log, stardate 12-20-14… Joe has locked us inside the Raza, and told us to continue putting out scripts… there’s only 10% of oxygen stores left, and no food… I caught Alison looking at me hungrily – better sleep with one eye open tonight… we may have to go into stasis to survive. Why do I feel like that’s a bad idea?

  2. That’s so cool. I suspect his character would be more effective in close combat situations, such as corridors, or surprising the enemy with stealth and speed. Perhaps give him some throwing weapons, so he can go full ninja 🙂

  3. @Trevor: I suspect that Alison will be wanting you to go into stasis first, just in case something goes wrong so that she can pull you back out. Yeah, that’s it. Make sure to avoid any doors that say “Airlock”.

    Alex is looking great already. As is everything else. I can’t wait to see more of the pictures. It’s hard to believe that actual full production is getting so close. Time sure flies. Are you guys heading to Montreal again for Christmas?

  4. RE: Yesterday’s comments.

    @ Tam Dixon – I’ve been sick – sick in the head – for a long, long time. 😉 Had a lot of real life stuff to deal with all summer and fall and it kinda threw my rhythm off a bit. Not that I had any real rhythm…I mean, I can’t dance to save my neck (I can do the ‘Clarence Clemons’…which is a modified version of ‘The Carlton’…a.k.a. ’80s White Chick Dance)…and I can’t sing or play any instruments…but for many years now I’ve been fairly good at pestering Joey on a regular basis. Until this year. Methinks Ponytail wins top poster this time (I wonder if anyone in the cast will wear a ponytail…hmmmmm….).

    @ Ponytail – I’m in denial. No, I didn’t know, and I still think it’s some sort of fluke…like, Joey meant to call her Sad but accidentally spelled it backwards. If it’s not a fluke then it certainly is a great honor and I appreciate it very much. 🙂 I just didn’t want to make a big thing of it because I’ve never felt very comfy under the spotlight, unless – of course – I have control of said light. 😉

    das

  5. @ Joe – I forgot to say in my last post that you are the BIGGEST TEASE, EVER!!!!!! Evil, evil man…dangling such eye candy in front of me at the end of the day, after I’ve had a delicious dinner! The whole family went out and I had filet mignon with Gorgonzola and a cabernet demi glace, pear salad with Maytag blue and candied walnuts, and chocolat pot de creme for dessert…and wine. I am warm and fuzzy and relaxed, and needless to say that right now I’m weak and vulnerable to young, muscular men wielding pointy sticks. 😉

    I’m also pretty vulnerable to big fluffy pillows and soft beds and warm, snuggly blankets…so….I think I’m gonna call it an early night. 🙂

    das

  6. Alex Mallari Jr. looks like the PERFECT choice for FOUR (aka Ryo Tetsuda, aka Ryo Ishida, aka Slashy McStabberson) Congratulations signing him. I know I will enjoy waching him as much as I did Jason Momoa. Strong, tough, beautiful face. As Das asked earlier, will he be wearing a long wig?

    @ Das – I think gforce will be the top poster this year, if not you. RE: “(I wonder if anyone in the cast will wear a ponytail…hmmmmm….).” Nobody has to wear a ponytail. Just show the backside of a horse…and there I am… 🙂

    Joe you might want to swing by the studio soon. I think you left something there…

  7. The problem with calling it an early night is that one wakes up at 4 am – 3-4 hours ahead of schedule – unable to go back to sleep. At this rate I’ll be wanting my afternoon nap at 10 am. 😛

    Hey, where’s JeffW??

    das

  8. Wow, Alex Mallari Jr. looks great! I’ve done a little weapons training but suck at it. It looks so cool, when a person has a knack/training for it. What kind of sport does Alex normally do?

    Very nice faux paint on that ship door!

    Das: I think we’re all a little sick in the head. Maybe, some more than others. If you want to vent, go ahead.
    We’ve been going through some life stress lately too. I lost eight pounds in one week. Those oreo balls should even things out though. 😉

    Ponytail: The backside of a horse? 😆 Always love your comments too!

  9. I wonder how long it will take for me to stop picturing Alex Mallari Jr as Ambassador Londo Mollari of the Centauri Republic? 🙂

  10. Is it January yet? 🙂

    I’m sure Alex’s twitter follower count will skyrocket when the show airs on Syfy.

  11. That blade is stunning. I love how it keeps the feel of a Katana yet has that slight alien touch. 🙂 Every single picture you post just adds to the excitement. Have a lovely holiday break!

  12. Hmm…I’ve always known Katanas to have a slight upward curve to them. Plus, if a sword was straight, it was because it was double-sided. I figured you’d be the resident expert on Japanese feudal-era weaponry, Joe! C’mon! 😉

    -Mike A.

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