November 12, 2018: Distant Dark Matter Rumblings

When Dark Matter was cancelled a little over a year ago, I was left somewhat frustrated, kind of annoyed, a more than a little pissed.  For various reasons.  I was frustrated because I wouldn’t be able to complete the story I’d mapped out, annoyed by what I felt was a petty and vindictive decision, and more than a little pissed at how it all went down.  In the end, it was a Clueless Exec Sucker Punch to the show’s cast, crew and, chiefest of all, its fans who had supported the series for three seasons.

An ensuing online campaign to save the show proved ultimately (frankly, surprisingly) unsuccessful and so I redirected focus to other projects.  Whenever fans have asked me about the prospect of a Dark Matter revival, I’ve been honest with them.  It’s unlikely, but I still hold out hope for a mini-series that would allow me to wrap up as many of those narrative loose ends as possible and, hopefully, offer fans some closure.  That, I honestly felt, was the best case scenario.

Until today after my conversation with a very determined individual with connections to a group of equally determined, forward-thinking individuals who have proposed an atypical but very intriguing approach to getting it done.    And the more they talk about it, the more convinced I become that, maybe, the odds of a fourth and fifth season of Dark Matter may not be as long as I’d initially assumed.

Ambiguous, no?  Alas, for now, all I’ll say is that the wheels on a resurrection are – surprisingly – in motion again.  There is, of course, no guarantee that anything will come of this, but the strategy is crazy-brilliant and certainly worth pursuing.

Anyway, I followed up this afternoon’s call with an email outlining the game plan, the questions we needed to answer, and my proposal for a schedule moving forward.  Conversations to follow.

Let’s just file this one away for now but I’ll leave you with this.  Prior to this afternoon, Magic 8 Ball said “Outlook not so good”.  After my chat, it had revised it’s prognostication to: “Ask again later”.  Read into that what you will.

It’s been one year since Dark Matter was cancelled…

It’s been approximately one year since Dark Matter was cancelled.

Truthfully, it’s hard to pin down an exact day because syfy never gave us a “Thanks for three years” official announcement, but I like to peg the date at around this time last year when, buoyed by the show’s relatively strong overall viewership, I sold my home in Vancouver and moved to Toronto to finish up what I assumed would be the final two seasons of the show – only to learn on the day I arrived, jet-lagged and exhausted, that we were done. Read more

The Perfect Storm Approacheth!

Here.  We.  Gooooooooo!

i.gif

Looks like we’ll convene the writers’ room sometime in September.  Before then, the show’s creator and I will map out the first season game plan covering all ten episodes, character and story arcs.  We’re also aiming to have the pilot co-written by then.  After that, it’ll be smoooooooth sailing!  

All that will be left to do is get those nine other scripts written, rewritten, prepped, shot, then have the episodes edited, mixed, color corrected and delivered…and we’re done in time for Sanno Matsuri.  Yeah! Read more

My Top 10 Toughest Episodes!

The other day, I did a rundown of the top ten episodes I had the most fun writing. Today, I switch gears to focus on My Top 10 Toughest Episodes.  Why were they tough?  Well, the the issues varied, ranging from script challenges to productions issues, scheduling headaches to post-production problems. Read more

July 15, 2018: Dark Matter Art by Andy W. Clift!

I first came across Andy W. Clift’s work while perusing Comixology’s new release section,  taking notice of the lovely retro cover for the first issue of his Captain Cosmic comic book –

1.jpg

I ordered that first issue, loved its fun sensibility, and followed him on twitter.  Recently, I reached out to Andy to find out if he’d be interested in rendering Dark Matter in that same lively style.  Well, he was more than happy to oblige and here is an initial sampling of his take on the The Raza and its crew…

Raza FTL.jpg

The Raza in FTL (black and white).

1 - Raza.jpg

The Raza in FTL (color).

Three firing.jpg

Our favorite gunslinger, THREE (black and white).

4 - Three firing Bubba.jpg

Our favorite gunslinger, THREE (color).

Four sword.jpg

Our resident swordsman, FOUR (black and white)

3 - Four swording.jpg

Our resident swordsman, FOUR (color).

More of Andy’s work in the coming days.  In the meantime, if you want to check out his creator-owned comic book, The Adventures of Captain Cosmic, you can do see by purchasing it here.

Tomorrow: Answers, answers, answers!

Ideally.  But problem more questions.

Oh, and dinner with Dark Matter’s THREE, Anthony Lemke.

July 2, 2018: On Spoilers!

Oh, teasers are teasers and spoilers are spoilers and never the twain shall meet.

The subject of spoilers came up the other day after a New York Times article essentially spoiled the ending to DC Comics’ big Batman/Catwoman wedding storyline.  Not only did they spoil it, they spoiled it in the damn headline!  Fan response was…heated.  Comic shops that had pre-ordered copies were suddenly left holding the bag (and board to ensure its contents remain in mint condition!) as readers responded by cancelling their planned purchases.  Twitter was ablaze with a furious fandom who felt betrayed by either the book’s ending and/or the decision to reveal said ending days before the title dropped.

To be fair, it was a curious PR call.  I mean, I understand the great buzz that would follow a feature profile in the New York Times, but surely that could have been achieved without ruining the ending.  It’s not like you’re going to convince new readers to check out a movie, t.v. show, or book by saving them the trouble of actually watching/reading.  I honestly don’t get it.

On the other hand, there are productions that guard against any and all pre-release reveals with merciless determination.  Many an extra and crew member has been fired, publicly pilloried, and, on occasion, even sued for posting what they deemed a perfectly innocent pic on their instagram page, or made mention of a seemingly innocuous onscreen development on twitter.  In some cases, I get it.  In others, not really.  For me, it comes down to the difference between a spoiler and a teaser.

And what is that difference?  Oh, that’s easy.  A spoiler spoils viewers while a teaser simply teases them.  I know, I know.  Where to draw the line?  It varies from production to production, viewer to viewer, but I’ve personally always been very forgiving when it comes to on-set posts and pictures so long as they don’t reveal any major plot twists or surprises.  For example, a photo of a presumably deceased character on set would, by my definition, be considered a spoiler.  Photos of our series regulars in action would not.  Yes to sneak peeks of most concept art, costumes, visual effects designs and props because I want to get viewers excited in the lead-up to the episodes – and hopefully intrigue some new viewers as well – rather than wait until after the episode airs at which point these visual tidbits are rendered mere points of interest for the hardcore fans.  No to major reveals – like that new Android costume or a shot of SIX back on the ship after his apparent departure in Episode 303.

I think that’s reasonable.

Inciting a full-scale rebellion among your fandom probably isn’t.  But then again, I’m not the one with the marketing degree.

My Top 5 Stargate Spoilers

#5 – The Curse: Dr. Daniel Jackson reconnects with some people from his past, one of who, it turns out, has been taken over by a goa’uld.  Who could it be?  Well, if you watched the broadcast promo, you’d note a fiery-eyed Anna-Louise Plowman using a goa’uld hand device to blast our heroes.  A dead giveaway.

#4 – Apophis episode: Don’t recall which episode, but the network aired a promo that included a scene of Apophis actor, the amazing Peter Williams, snapping orders.  Only problem was they inexplicably used raw footage in which the actor’s voice had yet to be flanged to achieve that ominous goa’uld delivery.  As a result, mystified viewers were treated to a uniquely terrestrial-sounding System Lord with a slight Jamaican lilt.

#3 – Solitudes: A gate mishaps strands Sam and Jack on an icy wasteland.  Stargate Command races to locate them.  Where could they be?  Well, if the SGC had merely consulted TV Guide before the episode aired, they would have learned Antarctica and saved themselves the time and effort.

#2 – Kindred I: Another network promo totally ruins a surprise the production had kept under careful wraps for almost a year.  “You won’t believe the last five minutes!”says the voice-over, at which point we are treated to a shot of a once-dead, now very much alive Carson Beckett asking Sheppard and his team: “What took you so long?!”.

#1 – Forever In A Day: The German title for this episode is “Sha’re Ist Tod”.  Translation: Sha’re Is Dead.  But maybe not!  Ah, who am I trying to kid?