1) Yes, I am an excellent information source.  Thank you.

July 1, 2015: The Dark Matter Episode 103 Discussion!

And the hits just keep on coming.  More bad news in the form of gamma radiation being emitted from the remains of a Type 1a supernova.

The revised reveal of our ship from the gang at VFX:

Again, the challenge in scenes like these is to keep the pace up and all of our characters alive (in other words, involved either directly through dialogue or indirectly through cutaways).  There’s a lot of ground to cover here but flashes of humor go a long way toward breaking up the exposition, something I learned from my occasional technobabble-filled days on Stargate.  These beats, mainly involving our Android, go a long way toward humanizing her character, making her more sympathetic, and adding dimension to her seemingly straight-forward personality.  I’ve noticed some people bumping on these seemingly emotional responses.  At times, she is almost childlike in her reactions.  “But she an Android!  It doesn’t make sense!”.  It doesn’t?  Sort of like…

2) On the other hand, sometimes she makes a lot of sense.  Good luck.

July 1, 2015: The Dark Matter Episode 103 Discussion!

Why is she wearing a spacesuit?  “But she an Android! It doesn’t make sense!”. Until, of course, it does.  The Android volunteers to effects repairs by executing a perilous EVA.  And THREE is only to happy/relieved to let her go.  As far as he’s concerned, it’s nothing personal – because he doesn’t really see our Android as a sentient entity imbued with a personality.  At best, a machine with a  personality template, but certainly not some”thing” to worry about.  On the surface, his attitude may seem cold but an argument can be made that he does have a point. But let’s table that debate for later…

July 1, 2015: The Dark Matter Episode 103 Discussion!
The ever-sassy Zoie Palmer suits up!

3) That’s why I like her.  She’s just like the rest of us.

July 1, 2015: The Dark Matter Episode 103 Discussion!

Amid all the suspicion, the shipboard paranoia, and the overwhelming feeling of isolation, personal connections are made and it’s interesting to see who gravitates towards who and how these relationships evolve over time.  One of my favorites – and one of my favorites to write – is the friendship between these two very different crew mates: the imposing, grounded, wizened SIX and the diminutive, impulsive, young FIVE.  He plays the role of the protector, offering words of comfort here but, in the situations, it’s often FIVE who offers up the words of wisdom, in this instance when she says: “She’s just like us.”, which echoes her “Well, same with them maybe, right?” in episode 102 in which she drew a parallel between the Android’s “killbot” programming and the crew’s apparent past disposition toward violence.  When you think about it, the Android IS just like them in many ways (the fact that they’re all starting over after having their memories wiped being the most obvious), but she’s ESPECIALLy like FIVE: well-intentioned and a key member of the crew, but immature in many ways and incredibly lonely. And, speaking of connections, the relationship between FIVE and the Android is another one of my favorites that develops over the course of this first season.

4) I sincerely hope you’re right.  But if anything goes wrong out there, it will be your only chance.

July 1, 2015: The Dark Matter Episode 103 Discussion!
Running through the Android’s departure scene.

The Android suits up and, despite the obvious dangers, elects to forge ahead and complete the crucial repairs – while FIVE and SIX look on back on the bridge.  I really want to say more about this scene but, for time being, I’ll hold off.  Just make a mental note – and then let’s come back it later in the season.  Plink!  That’s the sound of the penny dropping.

July 1, 2015: The Dark Matter Episode 103 Discussion!
Rehearsing on the bridge.

5) Too late.

July 1, 2015: The Dark Matter Episode 103 Discussion!

The Android is successful – but ends up disabled by the electro-static charges.  A little about this sequence, in pictures…

July 1, 2015: The Dark Matter Episode 103 Discussion!
Early set construction. What a difference a coat of paint makes!
July 1, 2015: The Dark Matter Episode 103 Discussion!
Shooting on the day.

In order to reach the trench, the Android must walk down an extreme-angled wall, something easy enough to do in zero-g, but a little trickier to demonstrate in our Earth-based production environment.  So this is what we did…

July 1, 2015: The Dark Matter Episode 103 Discussion!
We set up a section of the trench, floor in the foreground and walls in the background.
July 1, 2015: The Dark Matter Episode 103 Discussion!
We enlist our stand-in, the lovely Krysta Lee.

With 1st AD Grant Boyle supporting her, our stand-in walks down one angle section and up the next.  The shot is a close-up of her booted feet:

I trimmed the head off the second shot and we were good to go!

P.S. The coupling housed within the section of the retractable section of the trench is a visual effects, compliments of our VFX team lead by Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson.

6) Whoa, whoa, whoa.  We’re on the clock here, remember?

July 1, 2015: The Dark Matter Episode 103 Discussion!

THREE makes FOUR another pitch and, this time, he’s a little more successful in having his would-be ally hear him out.  Why?  Because, from a purely logical standpoint, he makes sense.  As TWO will later tell ONE: “We felt it was worth the risk to save the Android; they didn’t.”

7) Or now.  We can talk about this now.

July 1, 2015: The Dark Matter Episode 103 Discussion!

There’s nothing I like more than a good stand-off – and this is a great one.  After THREE and FOUR seal themselves in the bridge with the intention of jumping to FTL, FIVE shorts the door console, allowing the rest of the crew access to the ship’s nerve center.  The shots of ONE, TWO, and SIX walking in guns raised – and the complimentary shot of THREE and FOUR drawing on them – never fails spike the adrenaline every time I watch this act-ending sequence.

Hey!  Check out these behind-the-scenes vids at SyFy.com featuring Marc Bendavid (ONE), stunt coordinator John Stead, VFX supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson, and production designer Ian Brock:




11 thoughts on “July 1, 2015: The Dark Matter episode 103 discussion!

  1. Met up with an old classmate & her husband today. Turns out they enjoy sci-fi media but haven’t seen the Syfy Friday lineup yet. Hoping I brought two new viewers into the fold. 😇

  2. Still loving these behind the scenes shots and info – it was one of the things that drew me to your blog back in the Stargate days. Keep ’em coming!

    Went on an overnight hike in Fundy National Park last night and just got home – almost 20kms hiking today, including three river fordings in ice cold water! Pictures later (maybe tomorrow).

  3. PS: “Mr. Robot” is NSFW nor for minors or those uncomfortable with drugs, sex, anti-heroes, etc.

  4. I meant to add that the VFX of the ship (which was really cool) shows the bridge windows and finally gives an idea of the overall size of the Raza. It’s HUGE! Lot of hidden places. And hidden secrets, I suppose.

  5. @Joe;

    Thanks for the background scenes on the android’s “boot walk” sequence. I enjoyed the attention to details that you all put into the Dark Matter production.

    I did wonder about the static build-up explanation for the de-fibrillation sequence…wouldn’t it have been simplier to give her the ability to channel her own electrical supply to her hands? Or is this figuring into a story element later on?

    And how are Bubba and Lulu doing? Have they re-adjusted to life in Vancouver?

    @Tam Dixon:

    The Route 66 trip was fantastic! LA was a bit of pain getting into (and later out of!), but it was all worth it. Twenty five hundred miles from the start in Chicago to the end at the Santa Monica Pier in LA!

    Now we’re heading up to Portland to drop Jackie off at her co-op job (her university, Kettering University, does two quarters of co-op and two quarters of academics per year, and this is the first quarter of her first co-op job). After that, I drive home by myself.


    On the route, we did use music from everyone’s suggestions, but surprisingly, we didn’t really follow the road trip music as much as I thought we would. Traveling Route 66 is very different from traveling by interstate. We had to go “old school” where Jackie was navigating by using a special set of Route 66 maps, and I was following her directions and looking for the next turn. The GPS was only helpful in as much as it would “bing” and tell us when a Route 66 point of interest was nearby…Jackie really navigated all the turns for us. Since we were constantly referring to the Route 66 maps and then taking pictures wherever the GPS would “bing” or whenever something caught our eyes, we didn’t pay that much attention to the music.

    We did play through all of the music, though. And there were a few songs we had to play at key points (for example, Take it Easy by the Eagles while in Winslow Arizona and California Dreaming by the Mamas and Poppas when entering Needles California). After I get back to Illinois, I need to transfer the full song list and post it on Facebook…I’ll tag you when I do.

  6. Sassy Zoie Palmer is giving you that look. That look that says… “this suit is damn hot and uncomfortable so you better get your little camera out of my face if you know what’s good for you!”

    Yes, I’d like to complain. Why does Krysta Lee have to have Grant Boyle supporting her? All she is doing is taking a walk. Why does Grant have to hold her hand? Can’t she put one foot in front of the other without him? Just doesn’t seem right to me… 😉

  7. I mean, if it was me, I’d need Grant supporting me because I have a bad knee. But Krysta is younger than me and perfectly capable of walking without help from Grant.

  8. @GForce STUNNING pictures. I need a vacation to commune with nature (look at a mountain or the ocean) but without all the hiking. LOL. Speaking of nature, I have a 4x daily visit for my friend’s pets for this week (and then the daughter comes back Sunday night and I do 2x a visit per day while she is working until the family gets back). I was really shocked to see a deer in the middle of the day. I saw the deer again this morning (July 3). It was munching on my friend’s neighbor’s plants. I slowed down and stopped because I don’t want a deer getting spooked and hitting my car (more concerned about the deer) but it looked like it might have gotten hurt already. He/She was trying to get around without using the right front leg. I think it is the same deer. If I see the deer again during the weekend, I’m going to try Texas Wildlife services and see if there is anything they can do to maybe help this deer (like dart it with tranquilizers and bring it somewhere to get checked). It just broke my heart.

    @JeffW What an exciting but emotional trip. I didn’t realize the trip up the coast would end with you taking your daughter to Oregon. Must have missed that or forgotten that. Makes me get all teary-eyed thinking about that. Oregon is a beautiful state and on my bucket list of places to see. No hurry on the playlist. Consider that a bottom thing on any to-do list. Sounds like it was more important to stay on course then to sing the whole time.

    @Baterista I love your Dark Matter conversion reports. I hope your arm is doing better.

    I was thinking that Zoie’s look was more, “I’m going to sic Cloverblob on you.” I FINALLY watched it all the way through last night. So many moments I liked. I really like seeing Roger Cross in this type of character. I know there were a lot of things I didn’t get the chance to see him in because they were things only available in Canada, but it reminds me of some Curtis moments on 24. We are always so used to seeing him kick butt; when he makes these emotional connections, they do seem to real and genuine. I think everyone is doing a wonderful job. I am SO EXCITED to see what the Jace v Jace thing is all about tonight.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.