November 22, 2018: Books, Bureaucracy and Animal Causes!

Alrighty.  I’m at 342 books on the year.   If I can read another 23 between now and end of December 31st, that will put me at 365 titles, an unbelievable rate of one per day.  I know, I know.  About a quarter of those titles were graphic novels – but still.  Impressive I think nevertheless.  One of my biggest takeaways form this unreal reading year is that critical darlings, recommended reads, and award nominees/winners are often, shockingly, mediocre, sometimes downright unreadable.  I look forward to giving you the rundown on what were REALLY the best books of 2018.

Five days from our Japan trip and our customary pre-travel excitement has been replaced by a simmering anxiety.  Some of it has to do with the fact that we’ll be leaving our needy gal, Suji, for ten days (Lulu, on the other hand, seems to relish the time away from us), but most of it has to do with our over year long efforts to get Akemi’s permanent resident card renewed.  I’ll spare you the details (These I’ll save for a dedicated blog entry on the frustrations of dealing with the shockingly inept, generally disinterested government bureaucrats) but, in short, we need her renewed PR card in order to travel and, by all indications, it may well be lost in the mail.  Or maybe not mailed out at all despite their claims to the contrary.  Anyway, we have two days to get the card.  If it doesn’t arrive, despite a year long battle to get it renewed, it’s going to be a big issue – one that has kept Akemi up nights.

A couple of friends reached out to me with regard to some worthy causes…

Save Our Scruff is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing dogs and finding them safe and suitable homes through adoption, advocacy, and education.  They’re doing a Fundraiser for Animal Rescue & Rehoming.

Meanwhile, blog regular Deni is doing another animal-focused campaign, this one a Fundraiser for the Human Society of the United States.

Both great causes.

 

November 21, 2018: This Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my favorites…

Dark Souls Omnibus Vol. 1 (cover art by Alan Quah)

Immortal Hulk #9 (cover art by Alex Ross)

Shuri #2 (cover art by Sam Spratt) 

Sideways #10 (cover art by Kenneth Rocafort)

Tony Stark: Iron Man #6 (cover art by Alexander Lozano)

Unnatural vol. 1 : Awakening (cover art by Mirka Andolfo)

Weapon X # 26 (cover art by Rahzzah)

So, which were your faves?

November 20, 2018: A Massive Mailbag!

I have a lot of questions to get to.  Let’s do this!

Katie Oster:  “My question for you is what advice would you give a new writer trying to get into the industry?”

Answer: First and foremost write.  A lot.  Watch film and television and study the narrative, everything from the character and story arcs to structure.  Write two scripts – one an original pilot that demonstrates your ability to create and craft an engaging first hour of television, the other a spec of an existing series that demonstrates your ability to capture an existing show’s tone and character voices.  Ask around and find an agent who is willing to read your work.  Alternate, you can do what I did and get your foot in the door writing for animation, a side of the industry that is more welcoming to new writers.  The time spent in animation will allow you to hone your skills while also getting paid.

Kevin writes: ” If you could take your original cast of Dark Matter and cast them in a new, completely different show, how would you cast them and what kind of show would it be? For example, would you do a sitcom (not your genre, I know…) knowing that the actors are so funny, or would you do something that pushed all of them in different ways?”

Answer: Although I enjoying infusing my scripts with humor, I am not a comedy writer.  My preference is, and will continue to be, science fiction – character-driven, occasionally comedic sci-fi but I do have a number of pilots in the drama, thriller, and horror genres.  And, yes, I am constantly thinking about my Dark Matter family whenever I get ahead of myself and think about casting a potential new series.  It’s always “This role would be perfect for Alex” or “Zoie would be fantastic in this” or “I hope Roger will be available when the time comes…”.

Bob Miller writes: “I was wondering, is “Teal’c” derived from “TLC”, as if trying to phonetically pronounce “TLC”? Which would be amusing, since “TLC” is an acronym for “Tender Loving Care.”

Answer: I wasn’t around for SG-1’s first season but, knowing the guys, I doubt it.

Bob Miller writes: “Why did STARGATE’s producers have a relationship develop between Samantha Carter and Pete Shanahan, then sever it just as they were about to marry? Was there a “real world” complication?”

Answer: No, it was strictly a creative decision.  Sometimes, relationships just don’t work.  They can be tricky when you’re an intergalactic explorer.

Dr Z writes: “My question is: how many of the DM cast do you catch up with and what are the chances they could all be available IF IF IF you were able to bring a season 4 to air?”

Answer: I keep in touch with all of them.  Spoke to Anthony last week.  Melissa called me for my birthday.  Had dinner with Roger the last time he was in town and will be seeing Jodelle when she comes to town.  I exchange messages with both Alex and Zoie on a semi-regular basis.  I can’t speak to their availability since there’s not telling IF or WHEN a revival might happen, but I can’t imagine doing the show without them.

ceresis64 writes: “How many main characters are there in your UAP?”

Answer: Four colorful main characters and several recurring characters.

JeffW writes: “Have you and Akemi got an itinerary mapped out for your Japan trip?”

Answer: Usually what we do is book our lunches and dinner, then work around them.  I’d love to just hop on the subway, get off at random stations, and explore the neighborhoods.  We do have plans to go visit some of our old favorites: the Mori Arts Museum, Harajuku, Akihabara for anime and electronics and Hattendo cream buns!

idontdomondays2day writes: “What’s been your weirdest/creepiest/funniest moment in meeting a fan in person, even if they were just passing and maybe did a double take.”

Answer: Hmmmm.  Nothing weird or creepy, but I remember once time, many years ago, I was in Montreal, walking back from dinner with my sister.  It was about 9:00 p.m. and we were walking down a fairly empty street, stopped at a corner and had the lone woman standing there, waiting for the streetlight to change, look over and say: “Hey, are you Joseph Mallozzi?”  That kind of stuff rarely every happens.  My sister was more weirded out than I was.

Jen writes: “So I have a quick question about Lulu. I know how old Suji is and her backstory, but not so much about Lulu. Was she adopted around the same time as Suji (also is she around the same age as well)? Also, with future rescues/adoptions, would you focus on just pugs and frenchies or are you open to other breeds?”

Answer: We actually got Lulu as a puppy back in 2007.  If you check out photos and videos from my blog back then, you’d think I’d taken in a jackrabbit.  She was relentless.  Well, she’s slowed down in her old age, what with the bad hips and all, but still as affectionate and obstinate as ever.  As for future adoptions – I love all animals, but would probably focus on pugs, maybe look into The Pacific Pug Rescue when the time comes.

Jim Warner writes: “If you ever want to do something totally different, please write a book, create a course or at least do a YouTube or at the very least do a post or 5 season series on how…You get so much done.”

Answer: I like to keep busy and working on a variety of projects, rather than keeping me unfocused, actually helps by ensuring I never grow tired of one thing.  I enjoy mixing it up so, rather than take a break, I just switch off and work on something else.

Line Noise writes: “I asked this a couple of days ago. What does “UF” stand for? Or is it still a secret?

Mailbag: If the planets align and you end up with two, three, or more projects greenlit at the same time would you have to drop any of them? Or will you be able to schedule things so you can work on all of them?”

Answers: Alas, the meaning of UF will have to remain a secret until the official announcement…whenever that is.

When I tell people I’m working on developing various projects, some will invariably ask: “What happens if they all go at the same time?”  I’ve been in this business for 20+ years and, in my experience, there has never been an occasion where two projects have been simultaneously green lit.  I’d be lucky to have one get the go-ahead.  Still, a classy problem to have.  I’ll cross that bridge in the most unlikely event I come to it.

Rihannon Frater writes: “I just want to thank you for being so open with how things work behind the scenes. It really helps me have a greater understanding of how the television world works and why sometimes my heart gets broken. (Nope. Not over Dark Matter.) I check out your blog often and I’m never disappointed. Also, CUTE DOGGIES!”

Answer: My pleasure.  And thanks for taking the time to join our extended blog/Stargate/Dark Matter family.

Michael writes: “My question is, who decides how many episodes a show gets per season? The standard for most broadcast dramas used to be 22, but a lot of shows are moving to 13 eps, and some shows like True Detective only have 8 episodes. Does it mess with your game plan for the season if the network orders more episodes for a season after production has already started?”

Answer: When a show is initially conceived, the creator should have a sense of how many episodes will comprise the first season.  Of course, that may change depending on where the show lands.  If it’s picked up by a network, first season order could be substantially more.  If it lands as a British co-pro, it will be substantially less.  I enjoyed the 20 episode seasons (22 originally) we did on Stargate, but those were fairly episodic stories.  Dark Matter walked a fine line between episodic and serialized, so the 13 episode format served it well.  I feel the shorter runs lend themselves to the more highly serialized narratives.

Peggy writes: “Since you were so curious about our shower preferences, how about yours?  Here in California we are in a drought, so, in the interest of saving water, co-showering or separate?”

Answer: I listed my preferences in the preamble to the polls but with regard to the last question, I’m more of a separate showerer.  I don’t like waiting for the hot water.

Kathryn Ball writes: “After reading your comments about Facebook you may be interested to know that the family I use it to keep in touch with is my Stargate family. Friends living all over the UK I met at the chevron conventions dating back 10years now. The last one was 2years ago so this is a good way to keep in touch.”

Answer: Nice to hear.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s not all bad.  Just mostly.

Gen Krug writes: ” Joe, at this point after your RUMBLING article, any news on the progress of our beloved DARK MATTER???”

Answer: In order to get the ball rolling on a possible revival, I have to complete one giant step first.  And that step could take me well into January.

maggiemayday writes: “Do you ever visit shrines or temples in Japan? I loved them, big, little, or tiny roadside niches. Just fascinating to me. Do they interest you at all?”

Answer: Yes, I do, although they don’t hold as much interest for me as tonkatsu places and yakitori stalls.

Bailey1 writes: “No questions other than will there still be falling snowflakes in winter?”

Answer: I don’t know.  I hope so!

Bolt Bait writes: “Why did David Hewlett disappear from Dark Matter?”

Answer: I don’t like to think the Tabor character went away.  He was just laying low, waiting for the corporate wars to blow over.

utopian writes: ” What was the most amazing, fantastic and utterly world transforming idea you ever had for a series or episode that was totally shot down?”

Answer: Awww, man.  They’re too numerous to count.  Just this year, I developed a series based on an upcoming sci-fi novel, another one based on a popular game, and yet another based on a horror comic.  The last project went to another showrunner, the second is still in development, and the first has apparently been scrapped.  Which reminds me.  I need to get in touch with the author and see if the rights have reverted back to him.

BoltBait writes: “How would you rank (best to worst) the following Japanese foods (feel free to add more to the list):

Sushi
Nigiri
Sashimi
Maki
Temaki
Teriyaki
Tempura”

Answer: Nigiri, mark and temaki are, technically, sushi.  I prefer nigiri over all.  Tempura, if done right.  Sashimi if very fresh and depending on the fish.  Teriyaki, not at all.

BoltBait writes: ” I’m sure you’ve met many people in the TV and movie industry (actors, directors, writers, etc.), have you ever been “star-struck”?”

Answer: Not really.  The closest I came was meeting Stan Lee back in 2009 at some industry event in Pasadena.  He was incredibly gracious, asked me what I was there for and when I told him we were celebrating Stargate’s 200th episode, he was enthusiastic in his response: “Congratulations!  And many more!”

OgreMkV writes: “Do you ever read a book and think “That would make a great movie or series?” If so, how do you approach the author (have you ever approached an author?)? Or have you ever suggested an author to another director/producer looking for a pitch?”

Answer: Happens A LOT.  I usually talk to my producing partner, Vanessa Piazza, or my manager and have them reach out to the publisher/agent and find out if the rights are available.  Just recently we closed on the option on a horror novel I’ll be adapting with the book’s author.  In other cases, I may reach out to an author and inquire whether the rights are available.

Darkmatterman writes: “When Dark Matter comes back do you think After Dark will be back with it?”

Answer: That would be a question for the terrific gang at SyfyInternational as they were the ones who produced that post-episode segment for the fans.

Benjamin Sanchez writes: ” And on that note, could you comment on the specific pleasures of writing dialogue for Teal’c?”

Answer: As I often say when people ask me to name a favorite character to write for – “Tough to do.  It’s not like you’re doing something as easy as choosing your favorite child.”  In the case of Teal’c, it was always fun juxtaposing his stoic alien sensibility to the frenzy of a mission or the banalities of Earth life.  Regarding your kickstarter – Hey!  One of the projects I’m working on has a hip hop angle!

Craig writes: “I so love Cooking With Suji. Any new episodes in the works?”

Answer: Maybe!

Lauren writes: “At what point in the process of making an episode do you add the music? (Yes I still want a release of the full score from Dark Matter.) Do you know before filming what you want it to sound like or is the score made first?”

Answer: Once an episode has been locked (to time), our music supervisor will score the episode.  It’s part of the post process but, of course, you’ll always have some sense of what you want the music to sound like.  Still, our Music Supervisor on Dark Matter, Ben Pinkerton, never ceased to amaze.  You can check out his DM playlist here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfCTNAhnSsUyjuavgZTPV6w/featured

Edmond Dantes writes: “Was the plague that wiped out the Ancients a natural occurring disease ? Or did somebody create it (for use against them) ?”

Answer: Maybe, just maybe, we’ll find out the answer to that should the series come back  in a new incarnation…or I just don’t know.

Ponytail writes: “My question is, who is the horror author you are working with? Stephen King? Edgar Allen Poe? Is it someone you recently mentioned on Twitter in a list?”

Answer: I’m going to hold off on saying who it is until the official announcement, but I have mentioned this author in the past.  And since I’m collaborating with them on the adaptation, we can safely assume it isn’t Edgar Allen Poe.

Ponytail writes: “Here is a Suji question. Do you think she is grateful? Could you tell she was happy to be adopted by you and Akemi?”

Answer: I honestly do believe she is healthier, happier, and appreciative.  She’s really filled out nicely and, whereas she was a little standoffish and leery of me when she first arrived, she positively clings to me now.  She’ll wake up early to have breakfast and then cry at the bedroom door until I get up, then follow me around, wagging her tail when I finally join her.  She is incredibly loving.

Nathan Dionne writes: ” Why aren’t you and Akemi married at this point?”

Answer: I have mentioned it to her, but she’s in no hurry.

NinaMoo writes: “Just out of curiosity, if by some magic SGA was back on the air or we stepped back in time and it was about to start it’s 6th season, where would pick it up/take it?”

Answer: If SGA ever did come back, it wouldn’t be my place to pitch the 6th season plan.  That would be for show co-creators Brad Wright and Robert Cooper.  But, if you’re asking my opinion, I’d prefer to pick things up after a time cut of, say, ten years or so.  Atlantis has been transplanted to the dark side of the moon where it has remained for over a decade…until a catastrophic event requires the band to get back together and return to Pegasus!

dasndanger writes: “Do you have a new snail mail mailing address?”

Answer: I do, but it’s usually the production office of whatever show I’m working on at the time.

dasndanger writes: “Coke or Pepsi?  You better say Coke.
What are your plans for the future if this showbiz thing doesn’t pan out? Have you ever considered becoming a personal chef? Asking for a friend.”

Answer: I don’t do either Coke or Pepsi but, if I had to choose, I would definitely go Coke. As for potential alternate plans – no idea.  If I could do anything else that would pay me as much, I’d already be doing it.  As for being a personal chef – Akemi’s the one you want.

RazaArrows writes: “Have you ever visited London, UK?
Would you ever consider popping over (again?)?
If asked, would you ever consider being a guest on a convention panel with any of our Raza crew members?”

Answer: I have yet to visit London.  To be honest, I was scared off by that documentary I watched many years back.  28 Days Later I believe it was called.  Did you ever get that zombie problem under control?

I’d love to pop by.  One of the shows I’m currently developing has the possibility of landing as a British-Canadian co-pro.

And, sure, would love to be a convention guest but, realistically, unless you’re Joss Whedon, the demand for show creator appearances are rather small.

November 19, 2018: Get in touch. Or not.

Who’s up for a mailbag?  I am!  If you are too, leave me your burning questions in the comment section.

You know what’s annoying?  When people say “Hey, our team wanted to reach out to you regarding your efforts to save the show but didn’t know how to get in touch.”  The fuck?  Really?  My perfectly legible name is onscreen as the series co-creator and Executive Producer.  Also the writer on fully half the show’s script. That knowledge, combined with an awareness of something called google should have been all you needed.   Unable to get in touch?  Really?

So just in case you ARE looking to get in touch, this is the place.  Leave a comment here on the blog.  I read every one because I moderate every one.  And, because I moderate every one, if you want to discuss something on the down low, just say so and I won’t approve your comment for public consumption.

Twitter is an equally good way to get in touch.  Now, I know, twitter is, for the most part, the exclusive domain of rage-a-holics looking to roast people for the most seemingly inconsequential utterances and political partisans eager to dub anyone who disagrees with them doesn’t agree with them doesn’t wholeheartedly enthusiastically support everything THEY believe inhuman monsters, but it is a good way to reach out to people.

Failing that, you can always go with reddit where I am still fairly active in the Dark Matter, Stargate and, of course, fantasy football communities.

If you try to get in touch with me on facebook – well, you’re out of luck.  That Joseph Mallozzi facebook page was set up by a fan and while administrator privileges have been handed over to me, I rarely venture over.  My actual facebook account is under Baron Destructo – but I rarely bother checking that one out.  Let’s be real.  Facebook is only used by the elderly as a way of keeping in touch with distant family.  I am honestly amazed it’s still kicking around.

Yeah, I have an instagram account, but I’ll be damned if I know how to use it. Last week, Akemi showed me how to access the messenger section of the app and I discovered an archive of old unread texts dating as far back as 2016.  And, I’ll be honest.  It’ll probably be another two years before I check again.

Probably the best way to get in touch is the most direct.  Just stop me in public and say hi.  As was the case the other day when, while on my way to a pitch, a woman stopped and asked “Are you Jeff?”  “No, but do you need a Joe?”I asked. “Jeff,”she said.  “No, Joe,”I said.  “Joe Mallozzi,”she said.  Turns out she was a producer and huge Stargate: Atlantis fan.  And, also, she WAS saying Joe (as Vanessa later informed me).   So, yes, the direct personal approach is best, but there’s no guarantee I’ll understand what you’re saying.

Pictured: Lynne and Jeff.

So, after much back and forth and spending of money for upgrades, and working through a plethora of bugs, and spending even more money, we finally settled on this blog theme.  What do you think?  Me?  I hate it.

November 17, 2018: The Projects, Poll, and Fried Chicken Update!

Well, this past Thursday afternoon, we pitched Untitled Awesome Project to a broadcaster.  As you may (or may not) know, I’m especially excited about this one as it’s a notion that (like Dark Matter) was many years in the making.  And by “many years in the making” I mean that, like Dark Matter, I came up with the concept and main characters quite some time ago and put them on the back burner, allowing them to bubble and stew while I focused on the projects at hand.  In the case of Dark Matter, it was almost seven years between the time I first came up with the idea (while working on Stargate) to when the show finally got that elusive green light.  In the case of UAP, a show I first conceived while working on the first season of Dark Matter, the timeline may (just MAY) be a little shorter.  I received word late last night that the pitch went over well and, should the right dominos fall between now and end of next week, I may soon be starting work on a pilot script.  Of course we’re talking development, still a ways from a green light, but it’s a crucial step in a positive direction.

Expecting notes on the preliminary series overview of that comic book adaptation later this week as well.  I have much love and respect of the series writer and artist and am looking forward to their feedback.

And, also this week, I’ll be getting together with one of my very favorite horror authors to start the wheels turning on our adaptation of one of his novels.  This one’s going to be a lot of fun.  And very, very unsettling.  I started describing the project to Akemi who was so freaked out she asked me to stop.  She bemoans the fact she won’t have the nerve to watch it when the time comes.

Finally, I’m just putting the finishing touches on the Episode #3 script for UF which I hope to deliver Monday or Tuesday after which I can set my screenwriting software on standby until it comes time for me to write the Episode #10, season finale.

Oh, hey, the results are in on our Which Vegetable Would You Excise From Your Diet For The Rest Of Your Life? poll and the winner is…

With 28.89% of the vote, edging out surprising second-place mushrooms at 20.44%, is – zucchini!  Congratulation, courgette.  Now get the hell out!

Perhaps equally not unsurprising is the fact that potatoes received the fewest votes at a mere 3.11% of the total tally.

So, last night, I had dinner at THE BEST place for fried chicken in Toronto: Home of Hot Taste, aka Buldak.  There, we enjoyed five fantastic varieties of fried chicken – and a spicy squid platter for Akemi.

Fried chicken with green onions, Snow Chicken (with powdered cheese), five spice, garlic, and sweet and spicy wings.

I’ve been doing my research, putting in the long hours and trust me, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better fried chicken experience in this city.

November 16, 2018: The Results Are In!

Well, the results are in on my multiple shower polls and, I have to tell you, they’re equally unsurprising and only moderately interesting!

Approximately half the respondents take morning showers, while the other half take night showers.

A slight majority, roughly 57%, do not wash their hair every day.

An almost equal majority, 59%, do not condition their hair every day.

Most prefer the traditional 45 degree angled shower head (50%) over the rain shower (28%) or the hand-held shower head (22%).

Only about 29% of respondents said they take baths.

So, what are we to make of this data?  More or less nothing, but it’s always great to get everyone weighing in with an opinion on something.

Next hard-hitting poll –

I’d have no trouble dropping zucchini.  And, frankly, lettuce could follow it out the door.  You?

 

November 15, 2018: Your Shower Secrets Revealed!

Throughout most of my life, I’ve been a morning shower guy.  Get up, brush my teeth, shower, get dressed and go.  But when I started Akemi, that changed.  Akemi was a night shower gal (a Japanese thing) and the whole morning shower routine left her thoroughly perplexed.  She would ask: “Doesn’t it make more sense to take a shower at the end of your day and go to bed nice and clean every night?”.  In fact, it DID make more sense and so, after some forty years of morning showers, I switched.  And, quite frankly, I’m glad I did.  The best part is I now get to bank that extra half hour in the morning.

So, my first poll question to you is this –

*

Yesterday, I got on the elevator with one of my neighbors and commented: “You’re doing something new with your hair.  I LOVE it!”  As it turned out, she’d been to the hair salon earlier in the week and was trying a new do.  When she got off, Akemi remarked: “She probably doesn’t wash her hair every day.”  I was like: “Wut?”  According to Akemi, when you get your hair done, the hairdresser will often suggest you NOT wash your hair every day.  “I was like: “Wut?”  In fact, Akemi informed me, even though SHE washes her hair every day, experts tell you not to.  It’s apparently bad for your!  And I was like: “Wut? Wut?”

So, my next poll question is this –

*

I grew up in a home where we always ate dinner together, always went to bed at a reasonable hour, and always used both shampoo AND conditioner when we showered.  And then, when I eventually moved out, I stopped using conditioner and noticed something interesting: It made absolutely no difference.

Maybe my hair isn’t as sheeny and bodiful as yours, so I’m wondering –

*

I’d always assumed that showers were all the same, the heads angled at a 45 degrees.  Then many years ago, when I visited Japan, I discovered the rain shower head that  – well – rained the water straight down on  you.  I loved it – and now get to love it even more because my new place has one.  Akemi, for her part, hates the rain shower, endures the 45 degree shower head, but actually prefers the hand-held shower head.  I went hand-held for about a month at our last place after the slide bar in our shower broke and absolutely hated it.

So, next question is this –

*

Finally – when Akemi first came to Canada, she would take a bath about once a week, just lying in the hot tub, soaking and relaxing for an hour before hitting the shower.  I, on the other hand, can’t remember the last time I took a bath.  I guess I don’t see the point.

So, my final question is this –

*

Thanks for your input.  I look forward to analyzing the results.  And passing judgement on you.

November 14, 2018: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my favorites…

Cyber Force #7 (cover art by Atilio Rojo)

Dark Ark #11 (cover art by Juan Doe)

Darth Vader #23 (cover art by Giuseppe Camuncoli)

Domino #8 (cover art by Gang Hyuk Lim)

Elves vol. 21: Rebirth (cover art by Kyko Duarte, Olivier Heban)

Gideon Falls #8 (cover art by Andrea Sorrentino, Dave Stewart, Mico Suayan)

Marvels: The Remastered Edition (cover art by Alex Ross)

Ms. Marvel #36 (cover art by Valerio Schiti)

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #26 (cover art by Ashley Witter)

So, which were your faves?

 

November 13, 2018: This and That!

A late blog post today as I was out with Private Eyes Showrunner/Executive Producer (and former Stargate Co-Executive Producer) Alan McCullough for an evening of drinks, discussion, and rosemary-infused dessert.  Good, good guy.  He say hi by the way.

Pursuant to what I mentioned in yesterday’s entry…what was it again?…Oh, yeah! Dark Matter!  I sent out my rundown of what we need to accomplish in this relatively short period of time.  I say “short period” but, to you regular mortals, it may seem like an eternity.  In an ideal scenario, we get the ball rolling on Phase 1 in December which will lay the groundwork for Phase 2 (letting everyone in on the plan) in early 2019 and then, if all goes as planned, aim for a very “productive” Phase 3 in late summer to early fall.

Had a meeting today regarding my Untitled Awesome Project (which, actually, has a title now but I won’t mention it as I don’t know if it’s going to stick and I don’t want you to get attached), a preparatory sit-down in advance of Thursday afternoon’s broadcaster pitch.  We already forwarded them the 12 page overview, so I’m hoping it’s less pitch and more of a chat about the show creative – and compliments.

On the somewhat less ethereal front, I’m about halfway through the script for Episode 3 of the show I’m currently showrunning.  Received the script for Episode 2 tonight from Courtney and, tomorrow, I sent Alejandro to draft on Episode 4. Still awaiting notes on the Episode 5 outline.  The pilot was well-received – which is always a relief.  You’re only as good as your last script, right?

Early next week, I begin to apply pressure on the outstanding materials delivered for that comic book adaptation.  Once everyone is happy with the overview, we start talking pilot.

Finally, with the deal closed on the option for that horror novel, it’s time to sit down with the author and start hammering out a game plan for the show’s first season.

Oh and hey, check this out.  My Snow Monkeys won last week by the narrowest of margins, securing a share of first place in my NFL league (while maintaining sole possession of first in my Yahoo league):

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0.04 points!  The potential for a stat correction will keep me up for the rest of this week!

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.

November 10, 2018: Moderate progress and the week ahead!

Well, today wasn’t exactly the 10 page, Act II, whirlwind of writing I planned it to be.  More like almost 2 pages, a revised outline, and a couple of well-crafted emails concerning various projects.  I’d like to say that I’m going to make up for lost time tomorrow but who am I kidding?  Tomorrow is Sunday and, with my Snow Monkeys in sole possession of first place in my yahoo league, but in second place in my NFL league, I’ll be too focused on football to do much of anything else.

Beyond that, the week is shaping up to be a busy one.  More work on Episode 3 and I’m going to get the writers starts on Episodes 4 and 5 while we await the broadcaster response to the pilot.  Monday, it’s lunch with former Dark Matter director Ron Murphy.    Tuesday, it’s a pre-pitch meeting with Vanessa and the gang re: Untitled Awesome Project, then dinner with former Stargate Co-Executive Producer, present Private Eyes Executive Producer Alan McCullough.  Wednesday, it’s lunch with former Dark Matter stunt coordinator John Stead (aka SteadMuffin).  Thursday, it’s a visit to a potential broadcaster to discuss Untitled Awesome Project, then Korean hot wing dinner with some Japanese cheerleaders (Long story).  Friday, free and clear – for presumably putting the finishing touches on that Episode 3 script.  And another week will come to an end.

Thanks to everyone who weighed in with their awesome lists of Guilty Savory Pleasures.  This ensures I will, upon my retirement, be visiting each and everyone of you.  Please make sure the pillows in your guest room are neither too hard nor too soft, but just right.  I’m picky!

November 9, 2018: My Top 10 Savory Guilty Pleasures!

I have to specify “savory” because if I didn’t, my top ten would be entirely comprised of desserts.  

By the way, “guilty pleasures” isn’t entirely accurate as I don’t feel particularly guilty about eating any of these, but I can see how some might!

10. Stuffed Pasta with Cream Sauce

I don’t have it that often but when I do go to an Italian restaurant and I order a pasta medley, I do make it a rule to include at least one of these delectable artery-cloggers.

9. Nankotsu

A fave standby at a lot of yakitori restaurants and many casual Asian eateries is this version of popcorn chicken that is essentially fried chicken cartilage.

8. Ramen

This one is tricky since I can trace two of my five food-poisoning experiences back to ramen (an impressive 40% rate).  Still, I love me some tonkotsu base broth with black garlic and extra butter.

7. Shahi Paneer

This Indian dish is basically cheese in a creamy cashew sauce.  Delicious!

6. Fried Dumplings

There’s a restaurant a ten minute walk from my place that serves up a dozen a plate with a side of sweet and spicy chili sauce for dipping purposes.

5. Pizza

Obvious, perhaps, but not just any pizza.  One of my favorites is a version that combines honey with spicy sausage or pepperoni, black olives, and cheese – sweet, salty, and spicy.

4. Schnitzel

Ah, I remember the old Stargate days when writer-producer Carl Binder and I would do the Vancouver schnitzel tour.  There’s a place here in Toronto that offers up a platter comprised of three different schnitzel varieties and a piece of sausage.  I always prefer mine paper thing and crispy.

3. Katsu Curry

This Japanese dish if comprised of tasty fired pork, rice, and their version of curry which is sweeter and thicker than the Thai and Indian versions.

2. Chicken Wings

Nothing gets me quite as excited as the prospect of going out with friends and sharing a variety of chicken wings.  Buffalo, parmesan, barbecue – you name ’em, I’ll eat ’em.

1. Fried Chicken

I suppose this one should come as no surprise as I’ve often alluded to my search for Toronto’s best fried chicken.  I love the fact that this dish transcends cultural boundaries and some of the city’s best offerings include Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Southern versions of this dish.

So, do tell – What are your top savory guilty pleasures?

November 8, 2018: Toronto’s Top 5 Mochas!

As a fan of mochas, lattes, and various chocolate/coffee drinkables, I make it a point to sample as wide a variety as often as possible.  For research purposes mostly.  And, having done my due diligence over the past year, I offer up my Top 5 Toronto Mochas…

#5. Bar Buca

This place boasts a host of fancy lattes laced with everything from honey and ginger to dulce de leche and, well, chocolate.  They also do a delicious Cafe Al Zabaglione for that taste of Venice.

#4.  Les Moulins LaFayette

The latest addition to the Queen Street West scene is the Toronto branch of this Montreal bakery.  Enjoy your mocha with lunch – or, better, yet a tartelette tropezienne and/or a Paris-Brest.

#3. Oretta Cafe

Adjoining the Oretta Restaurant is a little cafe that offers up terrific Italian bites and, of course, a stellar mocha (aka The Cioccolacciono).

#2. Hot Black Coffee

One of the chocolatiest of mochas hails from this quaint little Queen Street coffee shop whose internet-free environment ensures conversation over solitary browsing.

#1. Soma Chocolate

This should come as no surprise.  Toronto’s premiere chocolatier makes one of the city’s premiere mochas.  If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, check out their decadent drinking chocolates.

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I’m sure there are a lot of other great candidates out there.  No doubt, in time, I’ll check them all out.