Back to the mailbag:

2cats writes: “When is the background from green screen added – in post? I dabble with Adobe Premiere for little video stuff, but I can imagine it being a lot of work to add backgrounds to HD film. How many film editors does DM use?”

Answer: The show used three amazing editors in season 1: Paul Day, Wendy Hallam, and Teresa Hannigan.  The “background” is added by our VFX crew (lead by VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson) during the post-production process.

clevere writes: “Are those doors manual or automatic?”

Answer: Much like Stargate, the doors on Dark Matter are manual, dependant on the impeccable timing and opening/closing skills of on set carpenter Jesse Partin and set dresser Jean Brophey, among others.

Tim Hendrix writes: “Will there be any repercussions when the crew finds out who wiped their memories?”

Answer: Probably.

“Can the Raza find a stray dog in one of those remaining hidden compartments?”

Answer: Jodelle has been lobbying for a space cat.

Woody writes: “What’s the time frame from the start of filming to airing?”

Answer: Last season, we started in early January and finished the first week of May, approximately four months later.  This season, we’re looking to start a little earlier and have at least one episode under our belt before heading off for the holidays.

airelle writes: “So the fish (looks like a tank on the wall) in the show, special effect?”

Answer: It’s practical playback, not a visual effect.  Or a real aquarium.

2cats writes: “And I too, like Tam Dixon want to know why do the sets have to be packed up until used again?”

Answer: Our standing sets continue to stand throughout hiatus.

Drea Crysel writes: “Are we gonna get to see Lulu n Bubba in Season 2 guest starring in the role as aliens?”

Answer: We’re in protracted negotiations with their agents.

duptiang writes: “what does a producer/writer do for the next few months?”

Answer: Come up with stories and scripts for Season 2.

shaneac1 writes: “Hey Joe is know this may be a long shot but by any chance do you know if amazon is going to put Dark Matter on prime for their instant video service?”

Answer: I don’t know about Amazon, but I DO know that the show will be available for binge-streaming in a couple of weeks.

Drea Crysel writes: “How much of the original Outer Limits factor into or otherwise influenced DM?”

Answer: That was one of the few SF shows/comic books/movies/anime that DIDN’T influence DM.

Ponytail writes: “Where does everybody go when production stops?”

Answer: Usually to work on other productions.

Drea Crysel writes: “So whose idea was it to give the bridge the feel of ST Enterprise?”

Answer: That was our brilliant Production Designer, Ian Brock.

Dallas Marshall writes: “BTW, how’s LuLu?”

Answer: Much better.  Now we have to get her down to her “flying weight”.

Tim Hendrix writes: “Can you give us a clue about how much of the Raza and its contents have not been discovered by the crew?”

Answer: There may be as yet unaccessed sections of the ship still waiting to be discovered – or existing unseen sections that may be repurposed for other uses (like, say, hydroponics).

“Have you decided on a good name for the massive, rabid and dedicated fan base as yet? Would you consider putting it up for a vote?”

Answer: Sure, what are your suggestions?

gforce writes: “I love the concept of Transfer Transit, and was wondering who came up with the idea. Was it yours, something that grew from discussions in the writers’ room, or was it an already existing idea?”

Answer: When I was first developing the series, I wanted an alternate means of travel that would allow solitary passenger to move from point A to point B without having to use a ship.  At first, I considered something along the lines of stargaze-like  transit points situated at space stations throughout colonized space but ultimately decided it was too much like Stargate.  Eventually, I came up with the idea of transfer transit which was inspired by the works of Cory Doctorow, David Brin, John Varley and Richard Morgan in which an individual is able to “back-up” their consciousness in the same way we would save a document draft on our computer.  I liked the idea of back-up bodies and elected to use them as part of an alternate means of travel, placing certain restrictions on their use (ie. the host body must remain in the sender pod until the connection is severed, failure to return to the receiver pod for recycling and memory transfer means all memories made during experience are lost, etc.).  For years, I sat on the series, the idea, and what I thought would be a fantastic tease that involved one of our main characters (seemingly) being killed in an episode’s opening.

“Given the recent introduction of the new Apple TV and the “Content as apps” concept, do you ever see a time in the future when shows (like DM for instance) are “app” based rather than (or as well as) broadcast based?”

Answer: Absolutely.  Eventually, technology will eventually allow viewers to access programming however and whenever they want either through standard viewing options, app-based content, or via direct transmission to the mind chip installed in your brain.

Sylvia writes: “Heya Joe, Is anyone involved/working on shirts (black) with the DM logo? ”

Answer: Not yet, but I grow impatient and am considering making my own.

Greg D writes: “In the episode where ONE learns he’s Derrick Moss, we see a bit of his personal bio on the computer screen. He’s born on Earth. Will we be learning anything about Earth in season 2? Will we be visiting?”

Answer: While there are no plans to visit Earth in season as of yet, there’s a possibility we will learn more about its place in the grand scheme of things.

Drea writes: “I’m not sure if someone else asked this already, but are we gonna hear more from Cyrus King in season 2?”

Answer: Possibly.  We’ve got a lot of ground to cover in season 2!

ceresis64 writes: “You’ve answered about Derrick Moss coming back. I was going to ask this too, how did he know to alter his appearance to Jace Corso? He must have had prior knowledge that Corso was a criminal and would be joining the Raza crew? Did he use his wealth to gain information or is Derrick Moss a dodgy businessman?”

Answer: This would be the most scenario, yes.

“You said we’d know more about Titch in S2, didn’t Five say in her dream that when she looked in the mirror she thought it was One but his face was different, then we found out that One was Derrick Moss. So, Titch is One?”

Answer: You’ll find out early in season 2.

“Will we see a flashback to show us how Six found out what he was really on the Raza for?”

Answer: Yes.  This will be answered right off the get-go.

“And why is Six on the Raza? Is it to turn over the crew to the GA , which he has done (perhaps as a deal, Six not going to jail for his part in the massacre) or a bit more? […] Did he also enter her dreamstate to not just save her, but to see if she’d give away the key’s hiding place?”

Answer: Answers come early in season 2.

“Will we see all the crew’s stories, in S2 as to how they all eventually end up on board the Raza?”

Answer: Again, this is one of the possible stories we’re considering.

“Who actually owns the Raza?”

Answer: The crew.

18 thoughts on “September 13, 2015: All caught up on the mailbag!

  1. Nice mailbag, thanks. Do your pups get jet lag, or does the flight bother them at all? I vote for space cat.

  2. Cool background on Transfer Transit! Great concept.

    I’m holding off on the brain chip entertainment implant until Dark Matter is remastered in full VR. I hear it will be a real classic!

  3. So many interesting clues in the last couple of mailbags as to where the show will go in season 2. Lots of loose ends to tie up and enigmas aplenty to keep the fans puzzling until the season premieres. There are so many possibilities for plot resolution and further complication in S2. We will definitely need at least five seasons to give the Raza and her crew time to grow.

    Thanks for taking time to answer our questions.

    And yes, DM shirts will be required attire for viewing season 2.

  4. “Where does everybody go when production stops?
    Answer: Usually to work on other productions.”

    So I guess that means that you have to plan the start of your production around the end of another show’s production?

    Maybe the best mailbag yet. Interesting comment by airelle. Do dogs get jet lag?

    Oh and… how ’bout them Cowboys!! Wow!

  5. Regard shirts and related DM branded items.
    To minimize the need to handle fulfillment and keeping stock on hand, one potential path is: Café Press.
    You can have just about anything branded from baby bibs to flasks.
    Things are “branded” as they are ordered and shipped. So they only need to keep “blank” items ready to print on hand.
    Tshirts – have been Gilden and Hanes
    Polos – Hanes
    Hoodies – Hanes
    Café Press also has a decent customer service – return policy.

    Something to consider.

  6. Thank you for all the mailbag answers. Is it just me or is there still a little spark between Two & Three. (Of course it could be how the actors play these scenes). I’m catching little looks and actions that are a “tell” regarding Three such as giving up the code in episode 10/11, how ballistic he was while locked up in the storage hold after Two was spaced, the fact he couldn’t look her in the eye when departing the Raza at the beginning of episode 12 but by the end he shares an “eye contact” moment with her when the crew is all gathered at their dining table and the fact he wasn’t eating anything when Alexander Rook shows for dinner earlier in the episode. He’s just playing with his food on the fork. That’s the first scene I’ve seen with food that he’s not eating. Three is a human vacuum when it comes to food.

    Also will One confront Three early in S 2 regarding his supposed involvement in the killing of his wife? Two & Four know. How long will it stay secret?

    And regarding Transfer Transit technology – if your clone kills someone while on his or her little adventure is the real person held accountable? For that matter any crime committed? Lots of legal repercussions. Reminds me of the movie Surrogates.

    Appreciate all the references to the SciFi greats that gave come before. Alien, Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, and even Trancers which I love. That burn mark left behind when a clone dies prematurely reminded me of the marks left when a Trancer was singed . Doubt we’ll be seeing any Zone Trooper references.

  7. I can answer the Amazon question I bought a season pass so I could watch it but you can do single eps too I will ask my sister about prime she has it not me. I want season 2 and I want it now hate waiting

  8. OK, I am putting in my vote for a shirt with the logo AND the crew on the front.

    My hand hasn’t been out of the cast long enough for me to paint my own.

    {{and I would not want to be sued for infringement}}

    Please don’t make them purple…I hate purple.

  9. I think I’ll pass on the brain chip implantation. Last thing I’d want is someone hacking into it and then taking control of my body or altering my memories.

    I will say though, bring on the VR MMO like they have in Sword Art Online and I’ll jump right in. 🙂

    Randomness brought up a good idea about the spatial anomalies. I love those kinds of episodes. Joe, do you remember the episode you and Paul wrote in SG-1, “Window of Opportunity”, where Colonel O’Neill and Teal’c have to re-live the same 10 hours over and over again? Or like the episode in TNG “Cause and Effect”. I love these episodes. You can’t have a space-based television show without at least one of these.

  10. Yep! I’m definitely with @Sylvia & the rest of the gang on this one!. We should all be donning DM shirts before S2 airs. That way we can be walking billboards to recruit more viewers for 2016. The shirts could be simple.

    -Dark Matter-

    Summers On SYFY & Space

    the back would could simply read:
    Follow @Dark_MatterTv

    Albeit, if you do decide to jazz it up a bit:

    I want one with this photo on it:

    With the tag line beneath it reading:

    DARK MATTER: you know its there – but you’ll never see it coming!!

  11. Another great mailbag.

    I’ll bet you can’t wait to get production going again – roll on Season 2 👍

    A name for the massive, rabid and dedicated fan base?
    Mm….not too sure about it, but I’ll throw it out there, how about Marauders after the Raza’s shuttle?

  12. Thanks for all the hard work you put into this blog, Mr. M.! We appreciate it. 🙂

    I DO know that the show will be available for binge-streaming in a couple of weeks My son will be happy to hear this. Netflix is their main source of TV viewing at his college. He wants to get his roommates watching DM too.

    Add up another vote for “space cat”. 🙂

  13. @I will say though, bring on the VR MMO like they have in Sword Art Online and I’ll jump right in

    I prefer the Neuro Linker from Accel World personally. It’s something you could wear on your neck and offers more practicality in the real world, and would be amazing for gaming. It’s a shame technology hasn’t reach this point yet.

    Though the technology in SAO is pretty amazing. You’ll see the Soul translator when they eventually come around to doing Season 3.

  14. By the way. It looks like Dark Matter ended strongly, with 1.84 million + 0.5 18-49 for both Episodes 12 + 13 in the Live + 7.

  15. @Scott: “I think I’ll pass on the brain chip implantation. Last thing I’d want is someone hacking into it and then taking control of my body or altering my memories.”

    Or even worse, wiping our memories!! 🙂

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