Dark Matter‘s season 3 finale marked the 279th episode of original scripted television I produced for the syfy Channel. That’s 279 television hours over 13 years, 4 different shows, and 15 seasons! And, in recognition of our longstanding working relationship, syfy treated me, my show, and its fans like a family…
Yes, it truly felt like famiglia.
Anyway, with the Dark Matter done (for the foreseeable future), I thought it might be nice to look back at the people behind the scenes, and in front of the cameras, who made it happen.
Today, I bring you The Dark Matter Season 3 Awards – Part 1, chosen by yours truly!
The wardrobe department, lead by Costume Designer Noreen Landry and Asst. Costume Designer Anna Dal Farra, did great work throughout the show’s run. From miners to G.A. troops to our colorful crew, they’ve delivered a wide and wild array. And Dark Matter‘s third season continued that trend. Standout episodes for me included Episodes 303 (“Welcome To The Revolution”) and Episode 312 (“My Final Gift To You”), but my pick for best costumes was…
WINNER: Episode 309, “Isn’t That A Paradox?”. This atypical episode gave us so many memorable looks: TWO’s soccer mom disguise, the Android’s burgundy coat, and, of course, FIVE’s goth chick chic.
Lynda McCormack (Key Makeup) and Renée Chan (Key Hair) were a fantastic one-two punch. There was the contemporary charm of Episode 309 (“Isn’t That A Paradox?”) and resplendence of the royal court in Episode 312 (“My Final Gift To You”), but in Dark Matter‘s final season, I thought their best work was showcased in…
WINNER: Episode 301, “Being Better Is So Much Harder”, where our crew was bruised, battered, but still looked great.
Property Master Victoria Klein worked her magic, sourcing everything from guns to gadgets, then altering or completely transforming them with the help of On-Set Key Props Lisa Amaral-Wright. There was all that weaponry in Episode 303 (“Welcome To The Revolution”) and the various tech and trinkets of Episode 305 (“Give It Up, Princess”), but my favorite was…
WINNER: Episode 304, “All The Time In The World”. That time clock was one of my favorite props of the show’s three year run.
BEST STUNTS/STUNT CHOREOGRAPHY
Stunt Coordinator John Stead is the very best at what he does and I trusted him so thoroughly that, as the series progressed, my scripted action descriptions would grow less and less detailed. In the end, I would just tell John where I wanted the characters to end up, then stood back and let him do his thing. Lots of great shoot-outs, sword work, falls and so much more in Dark Matter‘s third season. There was the Ash vs. Solara Shockley throwdown in Episode 304 (“All The Time In The World”), Ryo’s duels with TWO and, later, Misaki in Episode 312 (“My Final Gift To You”), but edging out these two was my favorite…
WINNER: Episode 308, “Hot Chocolate”. There was the shootout, the Android taking out SIX, but top of the list was the battle to end all battles: TWO vs. Ryo in hand to hand combat. In the script, I simply wrote: “They fight. It’s glorious.” And then John did the rest.
BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS
Lights! Camera! Explosion! SPFX Coordinator Dylan Hankinson really let the shocks and sparks fly this season, but my pick for best special effects sequence…
WINNER: Episode 302, “It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This”. TWO, THREE and SIX make their grand entrance, literally blowing away the station security.
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Production Designer Ian Brock and the art department continued their terrific. collaboration with our construction department to craft some truly phenomenal sets on the year. I loved the munitions facility and Traugott Garrison from Episode 303 (“Welcome to the Revolution”) and the dank, dark and foreboding industrial facility of Episode 312 (“The Dwarf Star Conspiracy”), but my selection for best production design goes to…
WINNER: Episode 302, “It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This”. The Ishida research station was as sleek and clean as Baines’ work room was claustrophobic and chaotic.
BEST SET DEC
Thank you to Set Decorator Andy Loew and his team. It’s the details that make a set come alive, whether it’s the textures of the walls or the dressing that gives them that lived in look, from Sarah’s virtual garden to the utilitarian accoutrements of Episode 303’s (“Welcome To The Revolution”) munition facility. Still, my vote goes to…
WINNER: Episode 312, “My Final Gift To You”. The royal palace never looked so good.
I’m a big fan of 1st Assistant Art Director/Graphics Roxanne Borris, and her work on Dark Matter‘s third season simply reinforced the respect and admiration I have for her and her craft. Logos, ID’s, emblems and labels – they all come from her. Her creations are in subtle background display in every episode and occasionally, front and center, but I think she did some of her best work in…
WINNER: Episode 303, “Welcome To The Revolution”. Everything from the Traugott emblems to signage to those scrolling video warnings.
BEST MOTION GRAPHICS/PLAYBACK
1st Assistant Art Director/Motion Graphics Sumeet Vats had some big shoes to fill with the departure of our beloved Kelly Diamond, but he availed himself wonderfully with an assist from 2nd Assistant Art Director Victor Mare. People often overlook graphic and playback’s contribution to the storytelling process, but those onscreen elements do everything from offer a narrative shorthand to an emphatic visual emphasis to the proceedings. Lots of eye candy in season 3, but my favorites…
WINNER: Episode 302, “It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This”, for those gorgeous Zaironesque graphics.
Director of Photography Craig Wright was the consistent calm in the eye of the various storms, overseeing and ensuring every shot of every scene of every episode looked it’s very best. Notable examples included Episode 303 (“Welcome To The Revolution”), Episode 310 (“Built, Not Born”), and my pick for season best…
WINNER: Episode 311, “The Dwarf Star Conspiracy”. Craig and his team infused every scene with an underlying sense of impending doom. They always made my job so much easier.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson continued to work his magic, ensuring that our little show always looked it’s best, expanding our library of beautiful Raza shots and creating stunning new visuals for Dark Matter‘s third season. A couple of instances that readily come to mind are the security drone and space sequences of Episode 301 (“Nowhere To Go”) and the flowing aliens of Episode 311 (“The Dwarf Star Conspiracy”). Still as great as those episodes were, there was no beating…
WINNER: Episode 313, “Nowhere To Go”. Fans were clamoring for a colossal space battle and we gave them one.
And that’s it for the technical awards. Tomorrow, we give it up to the onscreen talent as we recognize the supporting performances that made Dark Matter’s third season so great!