With Dark Matter having already premiered in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Asia, Poland and Eastern Europe, the internet is rife with comments, critiques, and theories. Lots and lots of theories. I’d like to get to those – eventually. And offer some specific pics and insights – eventually. But, with the show poised to premiere tomorrow night on SyFy UK (20:00), SyFy Portugal (22:10) and SyFy Germany (21:00), and the following night on SyFy France (21:30), SyFy Netherlands (21:00) and SyFy Spain (22:20), I’m going to steer clear of any spoilers. So let’s stick to non-spoilery behind-the-scenes insights for now…
Our very first cast read-thru!
Actor Alex Mallari Jr., Dark Matter’s FOUR (with hair!) at an early costume fitting for Episodes #101/102.
T.J. Scott directs Zoie Palmer and Melissa O’Neil in a scene (“No. Show me.”) from Dark Matter Episode #101. Executive Producer Paul Mullie looks on in the BG, hoping for a cameo.
Prepping the pod.
What’s behind the second set of airlock doors?
Those vertical mats sure came in handy.
A few more Dark Matter-related links for you to peruse…
Dark Matter Explodes: http://guardianlv.com/2015/06/dark-matter-explodes-everywhere/
A review of Episode #101: http://twonerdstalking.com/dark-matter-pilot-episode-review/
Another review of Episode #101: http://pop-break.com/2015/06/14/tv-recap-dark-matter-episode-one-series-premiere/
Exclusive wireframe images of our space station: http://www.threeifbyspace.net/2015/06/exclusive-gorgeous-wireframe-images-of-dark-matters-space-station/
Where to watch in the U.S.: http://www.syfy.com/darkmatter/where-to-watch
Time for another mailbag:
bambamfans writes: “Questions ( I understand you may not be able to answer): 1. Did they all retire to their previous sleeping quarters?”
Answer: Some were instinctively drawn to their own quarters. Some not. In some instances, it was a little more obvious: ie. the room with the sketches, the room with the weaponry…
“2. Which character is the easiest to write dialogue & which is the toughest?”
Answer: They all present their own challenges and rewards.
“3. Which character/s did you connect most with? Was it different between the graphic novel and when you saw the performances on screen? On an initial watch it was ONE & TWO for me.”
Answer: What I love about the show is that it’s a true ensemble. The crew is made up of varied personalities and different viewers will respond to different characters. In my case, I found something in each of them to connect with.
“4. Will the people on the planet keep coming into the story?”
Answer: We’ll see them again in episode #102.
“5. Why is the Marauder so light inside? It seems different to the rest of the ship. Is there a reason?”
Answer: Yes. There’s a stark contrast between the clean, streamlined Phantom Class Marauder shuttle and the battle-scarred hero ship. One clearly doesn’t belong with the other. It’s more than possible one, or both, were heisted.
“6. I know they found jackets but did they find socks?”
Answer: Yep. And underwear too!
“7. What was the inspiration behind the music, which I found quite unique and surprising?”
Answer: We wanted something different – unique and surprising.
“8. How did you do the zero gravity sequences, with wires?”
Answer: Yes, wires. I’ll be posting some behind the scenes videos on the stunts soon.
“9. Who doubled Anthony for the ratchet into the wall in the door scene? It was impressive.”
Answer: His stunt double, Blair Johannes under the direction of stunt coordinator John Stead.
“10. How many takes for FOUR’s Katana display sequence?”
Answer: You’ll have to ask Alex. He was prepared and pretty flawless.
Tom Gardiner writes: “Questions, you say? I have some. They may not be good questions, but they’re the best this brain can come up with. 1 – Will David Hewlitt’s character have some of the more reprehensible qualities that McKay had? Y’know, weasely self-preservation over almost anything else.”
Answer: Oh, he’s got all of those qualities x 10.
“2 – Does Two have a condition that requires her navel to get continuous fresh air? (I’m not complaining, mind you.)”
Answer: She has a fairly extensive wardrobe.
“3 – Six watches over Five. Any hints on why or should I shut up and wait?”
Answer: It would seem that, in some cases, the characters are drawn to connections they may have made in the past. Would losing your memories change who you are? To what extent? These are some of the questions we’ll be looking to answer this season.
“4 – Five seems to be remembering someone else’s memories (Maybe Two’s?). Some glitch in the memory wipe or a hint at her having some extranormal abilities? Maybe she was responsible for the memory wipe!”
Answer: A lot of questions – which will be answered this season.
“5 – Why does One have to see his reflection in the metal cup? Are mirrors rare in the future? Where are the bathrooms?”
Answer: He didn’t have to see his reflection in the cup. He just caught it while searching through the various items in his quarters, seemingly trying to jog his memories.
“6 – No, really, where are the bathrooms?”
Answer: That opaque door behind him? That leads to the bathroom.
“7 – Back to Five. Hers was the only identity not revealed in the ship’s recovered data. This again makes me think she’s outside the loop of the apparent framing of the others by, I assume, the Big Bad Company.”
Answer: Yeah, many have been making that same assumption.
Keith writes: “This may have been asked already, but which episode (besides the finale) are you personally looking forward to the most for fan reaction? Or which episode is your personal favourite, the best example of the show?”
Answer: I think that Episode #102 offers a nice counter-balance to #101’s more ship-centric mystery, opening up, delivering more in the way of action and character moments.
Keith writes: “Also, when you wrote the first two episodes, were you envisioning them as a two hour premiere? How do you feel about the episodes being aired individually?”
Answer: If there were any two episodes that could have aired on the same night, it would have been episodes #101 and #102 – but our post and delivery schedule was very tight and we didn’t have the option. All the same, I’m quite happy to air this show on a weekly basis instead of doubling up as each instalment offers plenty of rewards – and some terrific closing moments.
JustLookAtTheFlowers writes: “Is this going to stay a family-friendly show? Meaning so many shows seem to force sex scenes or unnecessarily brutal violence on audiences. It wasn’t an issue for SGA so I’m hoping for the same deal with Dark Matter.”
Answer: Depends on the family.
Catherine Rawa writes: “Why is there sound in space?”
Answer: For the same reason we’re flying around in cool spaceships with inertial dampeners.
Ponytail writes: “PeterJ wrote, “Last time I saw Joe Mallozzi characters doing anything in a new drama they were climbing into the pods. It was a strange closure and the start of a new era.”
Wow, interesting thought. When one stasis pod door closes… another opens. Literally. Joe did you do this (start there) on purpose?”
Answer: Nope. I started developing Dark Matter back in Stargate: Atlantis’s fourth season, well before Stargate: Universe was even a pitch.
Tim G writes: “5 reminds me of River from Firefly/Serenity, only more sane. Was that an intentional move, or just a coincidence?”
Answer: I think you’ll find that, as the show progresses, FIVE is very different from River. Latent psychic abilities you say? Nothing is ever as it seems.
alex30425: “Does the title Dark Matter have any meaning to the story?”
Answer: As I said in an recent interview, the Dark Matter of the show is more thematic than literal. While some scientists posit the existence of this nebulous dark matter which hypothetically makes up about 25% of the universe, the premise of this show alludes to the “dark matter” that resides within all of us – to varying degrees.
scott writes: “Also interesting how in Dark Matter, you’ve named the episodes, “Episode One”, “Episode Two”, etc. instead of giving each episode its own unique name.”
Answer: That was a decision we made early to parallel our characters’ numerical designations, and the running themes of identity and discovery.
Tam Dixon: “The computer didn’t have Five’s records. Will that be revealed later or is she going to be a mystery?”
Answer: The plan has always been to pay off the mysteries we set up, sooner than later. In the case of all of our characters, we’ll be peeling the onions on their respective backstories throughout season 1.
Duptiang writes: “In one of the fractured screen shots near the end, was that David Hewlett?”
Answer: Hunh. Now that you mention it, it DOES look like David Hewlett…
Elminster writes: “What was that see through box thing that #5 was playing with?”
Answer: The box was a piece of technology that she seemed to instinctively know how to fix, in much the same way that the other characters display similar affinities or talents (FOUR with his swords, TWO assuming the leadership role).