One more contingent of fans joins our extended family with the premiere of Dark Matter in France. Brazil and Latin America are next: June 24th! So, my mother watched the premiere – which is a huge deal as she prefers to limit herself to, as she puts it: “Shows that finish nice.” Murder She Wrote and the occasional Columbo is more her speed. Still, according to sis, she did seem to genuinely enjoy Dark Matter – although she was on the edge of her seat throughout. When I asked mom about the show, she told me that FIVE was her favorite character – although she is saddened by her working theory that she is a kidnapping victim whose family was murdered by the rest of the crew. She likes the “nice guy” who, she predicts, is going to “fall in love with the girl”. She didn’t like “the guy, he was so vicious”. Can’t wait to hear her reaction to episode #102. Maybe I should have my sis record her reactions so that I can post her review online.
Speaking of episode #102, last night, I re-screened it with a friend visiting from Japan. Boy oh boy, do things ramp up in a big way. Some of the pieces of the puzzle start falling into place and… Well, Akemi – who has seen all 13 episodes because she knows one of the Exec Producers – said it best: “I feel sorry for everybody who has to wait a week for each episode!”. But episode #102 WILL be worth the wait! So, yesterday, I took us through the first third of our first episode. We talked about the stasis pods, the corridor, the bridge, the opening titles, our cast, and stunts – all with the help of behind the scenes pics and videos. Today, we continue our discussion of our pilot episode starting with… 1) Looking around.
Again the crew splits up, this time do a little looking around while the Android (hopefully) works at bringing the ship’s systems online. BUT, as before, there are suggestions that not is as it seems with these characters…especially the kid, FIVE, who displays some impressive knowledge about the human physiology.
What’s the deal with the creepy kid? Is she psychic or something? An Android? Half lizard person?
While the bromance between ONE and THREE continues to develop, FOUR makes an interesting discovery: a puzzle box hidden away in a secret compartment in one of the lockers. Like his way with the swords, he seems to have an uncanny instinct for tapping those subconscious echoes. Is it muscle memory, or something more? Meanwhile, TWO has the Android run her through the bridge operations, eschewing the convenience of the neural link in favor of manual demonstration. “No, show me,”she repeats. Then, later, when the ship is under attack and she needs the Android to take immediate evasive action, the Android responds: “Would you like me to show you?” I’m sorry. Was that attitude? 2) The missile chase and Zero-G. Love this sequence, from the reveal of the missiles sweeping down on our ship to the elevator drop that triggers the zero-G scene.
You can say what you like about our show but the visual effects are top-notch – end of discussion. Other aspects of the show are fair game to subjective critique, but not our VFX. They are great – as good or better than any other show out there, something we’ll prove time and again over the course of this first season.
The Zero-G sequence was our very first second unit Saturday shoot. Stunt coordinator John Stead directed the action.
P.S. Love our jump to FTL which was designed to be unlike anything we’d seen before.
3) In the infirmary
Back to the infirmary to get poor FIVE’s noggin checked after her nasty fall. Note the two characters standing over her, concerned, when she wakes up: SIX and TWO. Again, it would seem that certain crew members display immediate, almost instinctive, connections with others.
The Android, meanwhile, has some good news. She was able to unearth the ship’s original destination. Finally, some answers! 4) The mysteries deepen. Love the in-FTL shot that kicks off this sequence. We moved away from the more traditional “flying through a tunnel” visual of FTL or hyperspace travel in favor of a more ominous sweep through a “dark and stormy” environs towards a discernible horizon.
Meanwhile… Questions, questions, and more questions.
ONE finds the pendant. FOUR tries to solve the puzzle box. And FIVE, again, displays some puzzling knowledge concerning a big metal door… coincidentally as a snooping THREE discovers a big metal door in the bowels of the ship. His attempts to open it prove, uh, fruitless however. But we don’t need him to open it to find out what’s inside because FIVE already has the answer: “Secrets.” Wait! She IS psychic! Or an Android! Or half-lizard! Or maybe even a child magician! Or is she? 5) Turning in. More or less. While everyone else turns in for the night, TWO kicks back on the bridge in one of director T.J. Scott’s most memorable shots. When he first pitched it, we were dubious – but it worked. Worked beautifully. 6) Rise and shine. TWO drops by ONE’s quarters to give him the heads up – and screw with him a little. She’s tough, but also has a playful side.
7) The Phantom Class Marauder
Part of the crew heads down to the planet. TWO elects to stay behind since she’s the only one who can operate ship’s systems in the Android’s absence. Our shuttle actually sits on another stage on another location, so tying in the walk-in was tricky – and done with a cyc (What appears to be the corridor set is actually a faux backdrop).
It was also incredibly challenging to shoot in. Episodes later, we made an adjustment that allowed us to remove the front section for easier camera access.
The marauder makes its way down to the planet’s surface, kicking up dust and dirt as it settles down for a landing. It’s a damn impressive sequence.
8) Meeting the miners We meet the inhabitants of an independent mining colony who have fallen afoul of one of the big multi-planetaries, Ferrous Corp.
We shot these sequences in a couple of warehouse locations in Hamilton. It was the middle of winter and, amazingly, was actually colder INSIDE the warehouses than outside. At one point, during a delay while we were scouting the building, we actually went outdoors to wait because it was warmer. A downright balmy -5 degrees celsius.
The miners warn us away because their world is about to become a battle zone. The “Raza” are on their way, a race of legendary half-lizard creatures rumored to have skin that burns to the touch! They sound damn scary. Over the course of their chat, ONE notices the pendant one of the miners, Mireille, is wearing – a dead ringer for the one he found in his quarters. What are the chances? Links! Links! Links! http://superior-realities.com/2015/06/15/review-dark-matter-episode-one/#comment-9937 http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/television/2015/06/10/jason-bourne-meets-the-sopranos-in-dark-matter.html
The Dark Matter season premiere left us with plenty of questions. But some answers as well. So who are the six? What we know so far: http://www.syfy.com/darkmatter/photos/character-gallery Inspired by our Android, SyFy.com offers up their list of Important Lady Robots: http://www.syfy.com/darkmatter/blog/important-lady-robots An Android with a sense of humor: http://www.syfy.com/darkmatter/blog/dark-matters-zoie-palmer-is-an-android-with-a-sense-of-humor Want to write your own review? Go here: http://www.metacritic.com/tv/dark-matter/user-reviews?dist=positive Or cast your vote here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4159076/ratings?ref_=tt_ov_rt