A few more BTS photos from the archives…
Behind the scenes on Episode 210, “Going Out Fighting” (and, evidently, singing and dancing as well). Read more
A few more BTS photos from the archives…
Behind the scenes on Episode 210, “Going Out Fighting” (and, evidently, singing and dancing as well). Read more
I didn’t realize today was Dark Matter Day until fans pointed it out on twitter. Yes, hard to believe it was three years today that Dark Matter premiered, launching its glorious
5 season 3 season run. I miss the cast, the crew, and seeing the fan reaction to all of the twists, turns, shocks and surprises we’d dish out on an episodic basis. Still, it’s heartening to see that fandom remains just as strong and passionate, as evidenced by the continued support for the show online – and the awesome fan art that continues to be produced (like the We Are The Raza masterpiece pictured above c/o @radiolaires).
Thanks to all of you who continue to keep the show alive like longtime fan Tom Gardiner who, among his many selfless acts in support of the series, had the temerity to criticize its cancellation – and ended up getting blacklisted by the syfy for it. Tom, you have an open invitation to come visit the set of my next show. Also, thanks for the above posted gif which neatly sums up what the series was all about.
If you take away nothing else from your experience watching Dark Matter’s three season run, let is be this: Despite the challenges, and against all odds, We Are Family.
Also, syfy hates you.
One of the many highlights of working on Dark Matter was the opportunity I got to collaborate with some truly gifted individuals, both in front and behind the camera. Actor Andrew Moodie, who played the role of Teku Fonsei, is one example. He’s not only talented, poised, and professional, but one of the nicest guys you’ll ever have the pleasure to sit down with over a lunch of grilled octopus and crispy pig’s ears.
When last we met, I asked Andrew if he’d be interested in doing a fan Q&A. He happily obliged and, today, I turn this blog over to him. Thanks, Andrew!
Iggy Ming writes: “For Andrew Moodie: No questions, just wanted to say that I worked at the Grace Hospital about 25 years ago and knew your Mom, Marjorie. She was the loveliest lady, and I remember her talking about you with pride. I hope she is doing well and is still tending to her garden. I was only there for about 3 years and doubt that she would remember me. Loved your role on DM. I will keep an eye out for any upcoming shows that you might be in.”
Andrew: Iggy! It’s amazing that you worked with my Mom. I will get your information from Joe and we can say hi the next time I’m in Ottawa. I’m very proud of my Mom. Both my sister and I have our work ethic from her. Next time I chat with her I’ll say hi from you. And thanks for the kind words about her garden. It’s very impressive. Unfortunately I have a really bad pollen allergy so it’s actually torture for me when the garden is in full bloom. Ah well. I am in a feature film that should be coming out this summer. But nothing as good as Dark Matter. And I’m not just saying that to make Joe feel good. It really was such a great experience.
Shinyhula writes: “Questions for Andrew Moodie, what’s your favorite meals in Vancouver, after pigs ears of course. What has been your favorite stage role so far? What is your favorite store in Vancouver that you can spend all day in (that isn’t Ikea)? Did you keep any of Teku’s cool wardrobe?”
Andrew: Shinyhula, you are a Vancouverite I take it. I really miss Vancouver. I lived there many decades ago back in the early nineties. And all the places I loved to eat are long gone. There was a Goth Burger joint on Granville street I used to go to. I would listen to the Cure on my Walkman and write poetry about death. Good times. I have very fond memories of working at a restaurant with my friend Pat Garland. I won’t tell you the name of the restaurant, but it was owned by some guys who won the lottery, left their jobs and opened up a restaurant. They also quickly developed a habit for hard drugs unfortunately. We never knew if we were going to get paid from one day to the next. One day, my friend Pat was fed up, and went into the fridge, took out the ingredients he had found and he made a white chocolate blueberry ice cream for everyone who worked in the kitchen. It was AMAZING. One of the best desserts I’ve ever had in my LIFE. I still talk about it to this very day. If you ever get to Ottawa, you HAVE to go to his restaurant, it’s called Absinthe.
Most recently, I’m a big fan of La Mezcaleria. I hope it’s still there. Best Mexican breakfast EVER.
I don’t spend that much time in stores generally, but I still love walking around Granville Island. Seeing shows at the Arts Club. Go see a show there if you can! Some of the finest work in Canada.
And there was a beautiful Kimono that Teku wore in one of the early episodes. Such incredible craftsmanship. Hmmm, maybe I should ask Joseph what happened to it?
TheOtherOne writes: “Hi Andrew. I really loved your character Teku Fonsei in Dark Matter. You/Teku had a very calming, higher being, presence throughout the ‘shenanigans’ in Season 3. Do you do yoga or any martial arts? Was Dark Matter your first sci-fi project? If it was, how did you find it? I’ve read you’ve had much acclaim playing Shakespeare (amongst many other things!), which is your favourite Shakespeare play and why? Have you ever visited Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire or The Globe in London? And finally, what do you prefer doing
– acting theatre, TV, film or radio
– playwriting or writing books
(gosh, that’s truly an amazing repertoire!)
Thank you for taking time to answer our questions. I was so looking forward to seeing more of you in Dark Matter.
I will keep my eyes open for any of your projects and really honestly hope one day I can see you perform Shakespeare or one of your plays in my home town in London”
Andrew: Thanks TheOtherOne for the kind words. I really REALLY loved working on the show. I wish I knew Martial Arts. It’s on my bucket list. And as a theater actor, there are many yoga exercises I use to prepare for the stage. And for Teku there were a few exercises that I used to get into character. I won’t tell you which ones, that’s my little secret 😁
Dark Matter wasn’t my first Sci fi show, but it was the best experience. It was his skill as a writer and his passion that made the show my favourite experience.
I have been in many Shakespeare productions but my favourite is Macbeth. It’s his tightest, most powerful tragedy with one of the greatest twist endings in theatre history. I have been in Othello twice, and I’m looking forward to my next performance in Othello, whenever that might be. But one day, ONE DAY, I would LOVE to play Iago. He’s ambitious, envious, vengeful. I really understand that character in ways that I really shouldn’t admit to anyone.
And yes I have been to Stratford on Avon but to watch my sister perform actually. Her name is Tanya Moodie and she’s worked at the Royal Shakespeare Company playing Gertrude in Hamlet, she was nominated for her work in Fences, she was in Sherlock, she was in Prime Suspect, and she’s going to be in a show in the West End soon called Rasheeda Speaking. See her if you can. I am a little biased, but it’s going to be a really great show.
And to answer your last question, I LOVE IT ALL. I love everything about this business. It’s such a blessing to be a working artist. And I’m trying to get one of my plays to London. Trust me. If I can make it happen, I will see you opening night!
Paula Zimmerman writes: “Andrew, do you think Teku’s ship would have joined with the Raza and they’d travel together? Would you be on the next Stargate team? Also, I am impressed with your work in a couple of shows, and hope to see you in more!”
Andrew: Oh I know exactly what Teku would have done in the next episode Paula. But I can’t tell you. If I did, Joseph would send Ryo after me. And that wouldn’t end well. For him. 😉 Thanks for the kind words and who knows what the future holds…
cudaker writes: “Teku Fonsei whats your favorite character you like or would like to act? (Good bad comic tech engy spy FBI ….? anything you can think of )”
Andrew: Oh I have no favourite character that I want to act. But as I said earlier, I would love to play Iago in Othello. And there are other Shakespearean characters I would love to play. Like Coriolanus or Malvolio. And, of course, when I was a young boy, I always thought that I could play Lando Calrisian if there were any films based on Han Solo, but apparently that role has been given to someone else. Hmmmph. Other than that, I love being challenged to do something I’ve never done before. I prefer to be surprised. And hopefully a little scared!
MaggieL80 writes: “Questions for Andrew if not too late: What direction would you have liked to see your character go? What about his relationship with Ryo? Did you get to keep any props? If so, what? If no, what would have liked to have had?”
Andrew: MaggieL80 I didn’t get any props, and I WISH I had! I would have taken one of the blink drive cards. Totally. I loved the direction the character was taking already. And I would have loved to see what Joseph had in store for the rest of the series. Who knows. Maybe we’ll get a second chance…
AdamS writes: “Hi Andrew. I’d like to know how did you land the role of Teku Fonsei on Dark Matter? What was the audition process like and what did you think of the character? Were you familiar with Dark Matter before you got the audition?”
Andrew: Well AdamS I was very lucky to get asked to audition for Teku. I knew about the series and I really really liked it. I knew one of the actors in the show, and I really loved the characters and the pace, and the world that was created. Even though I love theatre, and drama, I am also a science fiction fan. Harry Harrison is my favourite sci fi writer, and as a kid I dreamed of staring in a Stainless Steel Rat feature film. Who knows, maybe some great show creator and show runner could make it into a series. Ahem, ahem.
FortunateSon writes: “Out of curiosity, what kind of career path did you set out for yourself before deciding to become an actor? And at what age did you decide to make acting your career? What kind of training did you do or are you a natural?
Andrew: I always wanted to be an actor. Never wanted to be anything else. Actually that’s not true. I grew up in the 70’s and when I was a kid, watching Pierre Trudeau, he made being Prime Minister look like fun. So there was a time as a child when I thought I wanted to get into politics, but I had a very sobering thought as a child. I realized that actors don’t get voted out of office. It’s the fortunate politician who gets to retire. Actors don’t have to retire. We can keep going literally until we drop dead. And some actors have. And I applied to the National Theatre School in Montreal, but unfortunately they didn’t accept me. I applied again, but I soon had a professional gig, so I became a working actor very young. But I wish I had the opportunity to study, and I am jealous of those who get the chance to do so.
Ricardaneel writes: “If you could have played any other role on Dark Matter, who would it have been and why?”
Andrew: Oh, I LOVE the role I have on Dark Matter, so I wouldn’t change it for the world. But I my first audition for Dark Matter was for a Mysterious Man who takes Android apart in episode 304. I could not be happier that I didn’t get that role and that I got Teku. He was a gift.
4Star4 writes: “Hi Andrew. How do you see your career progressing in the next few years. Where do you want to end up? Where do you see yourself?”
Andrew: So… here’s the thing. The reason why I became an actor is that I love having no idea at all what’s going to happen to me in the future. All I want is to work with really interesting people on really interesting works. And hopefully be a good father and husband. That’s it, that’s all. Sometimes, in life, when you grasp at things, they slip through your fingers. When you open your hand, something will come to rest in your palm. I should have told that to Ryo. Crap.
LancasterAlan writes: “Hey Andrew, since you’ve done both stage acting and television performance, I was wondering if you could tell me the major differences between the two. The pros and cons of each. And which you prefer. Thanks.”
Andrew: Film is like a mountain, theatre is like the sky. Film lasts for a long long time. And it never changes. A theatre performance is different every night. I love both for their unique natures.
Basilisk7 writes: “Andrew, did you always know, or have a feeling, who was going to be revealed as the traitor in Ryo’s court? Was there a time that you suspected Teku could have been the traitor? How did you enjoy your time on the Dark Matter set? Where there any particular moments you can think of that really stood out for you? Did Joe give you any hints into what he had planned for Teku?”
Andrew: Joe was the most generous writer I have ever experienced and shared so much with me about the character and his history, and his relationship with Ryo. But I’ll be honest with you, I kinda suspected. I do LOT of preparation for any role that I perform in, and in my preparation, a few things seem to come together.
Loved my time on set. The crew was so generous. I loved shooting on those sets. The court scenes with Ryo were great. The only thing that drove me nuts was all the great food that was served ALL DAY LONG! It is a special torture that actors experience when they have to fit in a slim, form fitting costume, and all they can eat are carrots and apple slices all day! I know, sucks to be me.
Thanks for all the questions. It was really fun answering them, and please keep the dream alive. Dark Matter was the kind of science fiction that I loved reading when I was a kid. The kind of stories that ask real questions about life, about consciousness, and what it means to be human.
Stargate was a fantastic 12-year experience for me. I learned a lot from showrunners Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, the cast, the crew, and fandom. Among the greatest takeaways from my time on the show is this oft-repeated (by me) nugget: “Fans tune in for the hook, but they stay for the characters”. To that, I would add the importance of family, something that is at the core of all three Stargates. On SG-1, it’s team SG-1. On Atlantis, it’s the Atlantis Expedition. And on Universe, it’s the crew of the Destiny. They may be very different personalities, have totally different outlooks, and disagree at times, but despite all the challenges they face, they are family – to each other and to fans around the world. Looking back, it was no coincidence that one of the final scenes I wrote for Stargate was the farewell dinner scene for Stargate: Universe in which Eli toasts his fellow crew while likening them to family members (Rush, of course, drawing comparisons to “the crazy uncle”). It was also no coincidence that this very concept was at the heart of my show, Dark Matter. The crew of The Raza are family. Like SG-1 and the Atlantis Expedition and the Destiny crew, they alway find a way to come together and have each other’s backs.
This sense of family was ever-present behind-the-scenes on all four productions. And obvious in the support and love these show continue to receive from their many fans. So when we rallied to fight for Dark Matter following its cancellation by Syfy, that sense of family was evident throughout the campaign with hashtags like #WeCarryEachOther and #DarkMatterFamily. Stargate fans came out to support Dark Matter fans and I’m heartened to see Dark Matter fans now joining this campaign to support Stargate fans. [I’m also seeing a lot of Dark Matter fans checking out Stargate for the first time and vice-versa which makes me very happy. If you’ve yet to cross-sample, might I suggest Dark Matter fans check out Stargate: SG-1 Season 4, Episode 6 “Window of Opportunity” and Stargate fans check out Dark Matter Season 3, Episode 4 “All The Time In The World”. You’ll love the parallels.].
Stargate fans, Dark Matter fans, hell, scifi fans in general are family. We know the difference between a goa’uld and a tok’ra, a ha’tak and a mothership, O’Neill with two L’s as opposed to one. We know that TWO is Portia is Rebecca, and SIX is Griffin Jones is Kal Varrick, and THREE named his big gun Bubba and his sidearms Lulu and Pip but didn’t name his knife because what do you think he is, psycho? We know to Keep Looking Up, that Crackers Don’t Matter, and that Han Shot First. We have each others backs. #WeCarryEachOther
And we’re about to send one helluva message.
Trust me, we are closer to a fourth in-canon Stargate series than ever before!
Tomorrow, finally, I’ll give you the details of how we’re going to pull this off – exactly what we’re going to do and when.
In the meantime, if you haven’t already done so, head on over to twitter and follow @StargateNow and yours truly. If you’re not yet on twitter, fear not. It’s easy. Just go to the twitter home page, sign up, then come back here and click on the above links to be taken to the aforementioned accounts. Click the “follow” button and you’ll be automatically dialed in and updated on the latest developments on the campaign front along with Stargate-related pics, gifs, vids, commentaries, and more than a few surprises.
Well, isn’t this nice? The Dark Matter swag deliveries continue…
The latter assortment found its way to Tom Gardiner who tirelessly covers genre film & television for SciFiSingularity and ThreeIfBySpace, but is particularly noted for having been blacklisted by Syfy shortly after he had the audacity to criticize their cancellation of Dark Matter.
Hey, if you want a screener of Jeepers Creepers 3, you’re gonna have to play ball, baby!
Whoa! Hang on! Sorry. I just received this official letter from the Galactic Authority. If you’ve received any Raza-related merchandise, please redirect to the above address. I thank you for your understanding.
Congratulations to Rebekah! You’re the winner of the one-of-a-kind (for now) Suji t-shirt. Please be sure to wear it to all special events, public ceremonies, and court appearances to help spread the word about the difficulties of bathing senior pugs.
Reports have begun to filter in of Dark Matter fans finally receiving surprises in the mail c/o Prodigy Pictures!
This was the request that went out last fall…
And, after sorting through well over 1 000 letters, the production office commenced deliveries.
So, what’d we get?
Signed Dark Matter crew sweatshirts.
Dark Matter props!
Dark Matter set dec! In this case, one of the contraptions featured in Baines’ Workshop (Episode 302, “It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This”).
And there’s certainly more on the way so, if and when you receive something, post it!
Well, as expected, I have a first draft of that pilot script from the new SF series I’ve been developing. And, yep, as expected, it clocks in at a robust 63 full pages. And that just won’t do. Tonight, I take a break. Then, tomorrow, the revising begins!
“Excuse me,”said our waiter in his thick Italian accent. “May I ask you a question.”
“You are an actor?”
“You are Boone?!”
“But after three seasons, it is finished already???”
Well, yes. Long story but, in a nutshell, the decision makers at syfy were never fans of the show.
Still, I never tire of hearing from fans who have discovered the show for the first time. Syfy may have dismissed us without a second thought, but Dark Matter fandom remains strong. Thank you!
Today, I had lunch with actor Anthony Lemke who drove all the way into town to sit down with me and discuss the gene manipulation, transhumanism, and perils of future tech over schiacciatas, zabaglione lattes, and a double order of baccala.
Boy, he would be perfect for at least three of the projections I’m currently developing.
Finally, congratulations to Dark Matter’s Lynda McCormack for her Best Achievement in Makeup nomination (Episode 304, “All The Time In The World”) and VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson and his team for their Best Visual Effects nomination (Episode 313, “Nowhere To Go”) at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards. Good luck!
Concluding our Dark Matter Season 3 Awards with recognition of our amazing main cast and their performances big and small…
MELISSA O’NEIL (TWO)
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
It’s hard to believe Dark Matter was Melissa O’Neil’s first t.v. role, even more surprising if you’d actually seen her amazing audition for TWO. From the moment I watched her self-tape, I vowed I’d go to war to see her cast. Fortunately, there was no need for bloodshed as I was not the only one to take note of her immense talent. With regard to choosing her best supporting role in season 3, this was probably the toughest call I had to make. I could have gone with her double turn in Episode 306, “One Last Card To Play”, in which we she portrays both TWO and alt. Portia with subtle distinction, or her heartfelt performance of Episode 309, “Isn’t That A Paradox”, in which she grasps at a potential refuge for her and her crew. Instead, I have to give it to…
Episode 304, “All The Time In The World”. The comedy stylings of Anthony Lemke and Zoie Palmer are front and center, but the backbone of this episode is Melissa’s dubious and joyously bewildered performance.
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
She again pulls double duty in the revelatory Episode 310 (“Built, Not Born”) and my first instinct was to go with that one but, upon further review, I have to go with…
Episode 301, “Being Better Is So Much Harder”. A great actor’s true talents shine, not so much in scenes of strength but in those instances in which their characters are at their lowest and most vulnerable. Melissa is at her best here as TWO wrestles with self-doubt, guilt, and the true weight of command.
ANTHONY LEMKE (THREE)
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
THREE went from being one of the show’s most hated characters to, over the course of three seasons, one of its most beloved thanks in large part to Anthony Lemke’s portrayal of the incorrigible scoundrel. THREE is generally mercenary, boorish, and comical, making those instances in which we’re offered a glimpse behind that devil-may-care facade all the more delightful. THREE is terrific when he’s driving the action, but he’s equally great when he’s lending genuine support as was the case in…
Episode 310, “Built, Not Born”. Anthony and Natalie Brown play off each other beautifully in their shared scenes, and it’s his later, poignant scene with Zoie Palmer’s Android in the mess that really reminds us what this show is really about: these characters and their bonds of friendship.
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
Like the decision to cast Anthony, this one didn’t require all that much thought…
Episode 304, “All The Time In The World” in which Anthony displays THREE at his funniest (riding the seemingly endless time loop) and most serious (coming to terms with the digital resurrection of the woman he once loved).
ALEX MALLARI JR. (FOUR/RYO ISHIDA)
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
Season 3 saw FOUR complete his transition to Emperor Ryo Ishida, going from steadfast ally to sworn enemy, and the episode that gets my vote for Alex Mallari Jr.’s Best Supporting Performance is…
Episode 308, “Hot Chocolate”, an episode in which he truly gets to play the role of the season’s Big Bad, delivering as a fearsome threat yet, simultaneously, a conflicted former friend who has not forgotten his former ties.
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
Throughout the show’s third season, Alex did a brilliant job of conveying the war his character fought, both without and within, measuring fear against love, leadership against loyalty, and there was no better example of this complex duality than…
Episode 312, “My Final Gift To You” which sees Ryo attempt to have it all, give it all, only to see it all come crashing down. Alex makes us despise Ryo’s actions and yet, at the same time, find compassion and sympathy for that former friend so far gone.
JODELLE FERLAND (FIVE)
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
One of my favorite guest stars back on Stargate: Atlantis was a young (13 year old) Jodelle Ferland who played the role of precocious princess Harmony in the episode to the same name. Fast forward some nine years later and she is impressing in an altogether different role as the ship’s tech monkey and defacto spirited mascot. FIVE plays pivotal roles in episodes like “One Last Card To Play” and “Hot Chocolate”, but my pick for her best supporting performance is…
Episode 309, “Isn’t That A Paradox?”, which reminds us that, even though the crew may no longer refer to her as a “kid”, she is still very much a kid at heart, making friends, playing video games in pajamas, but still finding time to help save the day.
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
My choice for this category is an episode that was intended to open the door to a bigger arc involving the introduction of FIVE’s long lost sister, Karina, a surprising connection to the villainous Alicia Reynaud, and the shocking ascendance of a new Big Bad…
Episode 302, “It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This”, finally allows us insight into FIVE’s backstory, revealing the relationships and critical decisions that impacted her life, putting her on the fateful course that landed her on The Raza. Jodelle is wonderful throughout, but especially in those final, heartbreaking moments of FIVE’s trip down memory lane.
ROGER CROSS (SIX)
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
Back when we were first casting the role of SIX, I felt heart of the character was distilled down to a single line of dialogue, an exchange with FIVE in which he admits that when, inevitably, she chooses to leave their ragtag crew…”I’m going to miss you, kid. I’m going to miss you a lot.” When delivered correctly, this line would encapsulate the very heart of the Big Brother/Little Sister relationship I sought to capture. Almost every actor who auditioned for the part missed the spirit of the line, and then along came Roger Cross…
Some great moments for SIX in season 3, both in a spotlight and supporting role. In terms of supporting performance, I really liked him in Episode 301 (“Being Better Is So Much Harder”) as he attempts to pick up a fallen TWO and of course in Episode 308 (“Hot Chocolate”) as he attempts to juggle his roles as Raza bad-ass and rebel mediator, but my favorite was…
Episode 310, “Built, Not Born” mostly on the strength of a single scene opposite Zoie Palmer in The Marauder that sees SIX attempt to buoy our Android’s fallen spirits. Roger has a natural warmth and nowhere is it more evident on screen that in this wonderful exchange.
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
Sure, the obvious choice would be Episode 303 (“Welcome To The Revolution”) that sees SIX finally walk the walk he’s been talking since season 2, but I would actually give the nod to…
Episode 307, “I Wish I Could Believe You”, which offers a peek at SIX’s backstory, his friendship with John Anders, and the family he left behind. Roger delivers a compelling performance and never have we felt more sympathy for SIX.
ZOIE PALMER (ANDROID)
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
To think I originally envisioned The Android character as male. Three seasons into the show, I can’t imagine anyone BUT Zoie Palmer in the role. And, while the initial plan was to make the character a more supporting role, Zoie’s early portrayal ensured the Android became as important a crew member as everyone else on board The Raza. I was really torn in trying to select an episode for this category. On the one hand, there was Episode 309, “Isn’t That A Paradox?” which sees her drive the action in her inimitable fashion; but on the other hand, there’s…
Episode 304, “All The Time In The World”. She’s at her funniest dealing with an increasingly harried THREE and at her most dramatic jumping through her various flash-forwards. Hell, she even sings and dances!
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
Was there ever any doubt it would be…
Episode 310, “Built, Not Born”, that sees Zoie give a tour-de-force performance as both doomed creator, Dr. Shaw, and conflicted creation. The Android-SIX scene in The Marauder in which he reminds her how special she is, Android’s conversation with FIVE on the merits of smiling, Android’s heart to heart with THREE over whiskey and hot chocolate – some of my favorites of the entire series.
So, those are my votes. What do you all think? What were your favorite Supporting and Lead Performances for each cast member?
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!
The highlights from #DarkGate Round 2, another Dark Matter/Stargate-related Q&A.
On the mysterious Cyrus King…
What of Solara Shockley?
What episode idea did Episode 309, “Isn’t That A Paradox?” replace?
As for what else we had in store for ONE/Derrick Moss…
On Ryo, Misaki, and Teku…
And how would FOUR have adjusted to life as a returning crew member?
On The Mikkei Combine’s role in the alien invasion storyline…
What were the plans for Lt. Anders?
What about Dr. Shaw?
What else did we have planned for SIX?
We would have even explored an increasingly complex Alt. Portia…
And, finally, what of Alexander Rook?
Thanks for everyone who took part. Let’s try to do another one in the New Year!
Apparently, it’s Dark Matter Family Day on twitter, so I’d like to take this opportunity to say hello and thanks to our extended Dark Matter family – cast, crew, production personnel, and fans. While others may conspire to keep us apart, it’s nice to see the familiar spirit that was the heart of the show still alive and well in all of you.
To those of you wondering, the production has read all your letters (in the end, upwards of 1000) and is in the process of sending out goodies to some lucky fans. Alas, I have no idea who they’ve chosen, so if you do receive something in the mail, let us know. Would love to know who got what!
It’s been a while since our last tweetstorm and I’ve been thinking it would be nice to have a little get-together before the holidays. I’m going to select a night the week of December 4th for a 1-2 hour Dark Matter (heck, maybe even Stargate)-themed Q&A on twitter. Over the course of those two hours, I’ll field all of your questions, offer up some behind the scenes pics and videos, and even offer up some never-revealed insights into the show’s creation, production, and what I had planned for the future. Did SIX really give up his life at the end of the third season finale? Given everything he did, how could the seemingly irredeemable Ryo Ishida possibly reintegrate into the crew? Who the heck were Kryden and Carina?
This event will be for our North American fans (and, of course, any other fans world-wide who are willing to stay up), but I’ll follow up with a similar event for our International fans so they don’t feel left out. So, if you’ve got some burning Dark Matter (and perhaps Stargate)-related questions, file them away. And stay tuned for more details on date and time!
This upcoming season of Blindspot is going global – and Dark Matter’s Anthony Lemke is joining the trek. Check out the BTS video for a sneak peek at international destinations, Blindspot creator and showrunner (and former Stargate Executive Producer and Dark Matter Consulting Producer) Martin Gero give us the rundown on season 3, and a brief glimpse of The Raza’s lovable rogue –
So THAT’S what he was doing in Marrakesh!
What kind of character will he play? Good guy? Bad Guy? Will he have any scenes with Dark Matter’s other resident bad boy and Blindspot recurring player Ennis Esmer (aka Rich Dotcom)?
It’s a multiple episode appearance for Anthony kicking off with episode 9, but you’re going to watch from the beginning!
Blindspot’s season 3 premieres tomorrow night at 8/7 C on NBC.
So, yes, in addition to the scheduled general meet and greets, I’ll be teaming up with my friend (and former fellow Dark Matter Executive Producer) Vanessa Piazza to pitch Masked while in L.A. Editor Lou Anders assembled a diverse selection of tales that focus as much on the individuals behind the masks as they do on the superheroics. The stories are grounded in character, something I’ve always been a firm believer in, from Stargate straight through to Dark Matter. I envision the series as an anthology in the vein of Black Mirror except that, instead of studying the influence of technology, the focus will be on the social, political and personal effects of possessing extra-normal abilities – the advantages, the drawbacks, the costs. Two great examples from established comic lore are DC’s Batman and Marvel’s Spiderman. Batman – the world’s greatest detective, the dark knight, a masked vigilante who protects the streets of Gotham. And, yet he is, at heart, an orphan, so scarred by the murder of his parents that tragedy fuels his relentless quest for justice. Spiderman – the web-slinging, wise-cracking defender of New York is, in contrast, a meek, mild-mannered high school student similarly driven by tragedy to bear the weight of responsibility power and fate have thrust upon him. Batman and Spiderman, Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker, have always been, for me, the pinnacle of engaging, richly textured characters – at once relatable yet delightfully complex. And that’s what we’re looking to bring through a collection of original superhero-themed episodes scripted by some of comics and genredom’s heaviest hitters. Tonally, thematically, I want Masked to offer viewers a show that engages and entertains, but provokes as well.
So who is your favorite superhero/alter ego? And why?
A couple of years ago, Vanessa was featured in a Hottest Canadian Film and TV Talent You’ve Never Heard Of – But Will list. There’s a great write up on Vanessa (click the link), and an equally great artist’s rendition accompanying the piece –
Hey, you have less than a month left to get your letters in for a chance to win a piece of Dark Matter…well, a piece of Dark Matter.
Some of the items up for grabs:
Android chip and Victor upgrades.
FOUR’s imperial ring.
So, yesterday I gave a shout-out to the gang at MGM who reached out to me in an effort to save Dark Matter.
Today, another shout-out. This one for a former syfy executive, Chris Regina, who was the channel’s point man on the series for Dark Matter’s three year run. He was a tireless promoter of our little show – reading every script, watching every episode, always giving us meaningful input and, more importantly, championing Dark Matter when others may have overlooked it. We – the cast, the crew, and the fans – lost a passionate, and crucial ally when Chris left syfy in late June.
A big thank you to Chris for three amazing years – and best of luck on his exciting new position…which I hope to hear more about when I visit L.A. at the end of the month.
Well, I spent the better part of an afternoon reading about a hundred letters from Dark Matter fans. All I can say is Wow. A lot of beautifully written, heartfelt expressions of gratitude for a show that obviously meant a lot to so many of you. It may have looked like I was choking up, but I can assure you that was just the fiery residue of the scorpion chilis I must have got in my eyes.
Anyway, here are a few of the outfits we’ll be sending out to some lucky letter-writing fans…
In truth, pretty damn close.
So often, you’ll hear stories long after the fact. Like how Apple almost brought Stargate: SG-1 back for an iTunes exclusive 11th and final season. Or how Canada’s Space Channel attempted to save Stargate: Universe. But in this case, the events are fairly recent – a last ditch effort to save Dark Matter spearheaded by some old friends. An effort that, had it been successful, would have seen characters from the world of Stargate crossover into the Dark Matter universe. Or, technically and creatively, vice-versa. I kid you not.
Not long after word broke of the syfy cancellation, we had several interested parties reach out to us. One of the most intriguing of them was was MGM, my former home for 12 glorious years while I was working on the Stargate franchise. They loved the show. They were aware of the fanbase. And they recognized a great opportunity.
Over the course of a week, with the window of opportunity to save the show growing narrower, I had several long and involved conversations with Simon Graty (EVP & GM Domestic Networks at MGM Studios), Kieran Dickson (Editorial Director at MGM), and Jenny Stiven (Consultant, Digital/Social Strategy & Content, Influencer Marketing). The plan, if successful, would have seen Dark Matter’s fourth season premiere on MGM’s streaming platform, Stargate Command, alongside the upcoming Stargate: Origins series. Perhaps equally intriguing was the prospect of doing some sort of Dark Matter/Stargate crossover that would rev up the fanbase in advance of further original Stargate programming down the road.
The two things working against us were time and existing contracts, the latter which proved our undoing. BUT we came so close –
To a fourth season of Dark Matter.
To a sci-fi crossover for the ages.
Ultimately, we weren’t successful, but I want to thank MGM, and especially Simon, Jenny, and Kieran, for reaching out and trying to make it happen.
Today, Ivon and I caught up with a couple of the individuals who orchestrated that attempted 11th hour save (Jenny and Kieran), as we sat down with them, and Gateworld’s David Reed, for late lunch and three hours of reminiscing about the old Stargate days.
Watch for our interview, and many more, coming to Stargate Command.