December 30, 2017: Dark Matter Season 3 Awards – Part 3!

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?

December 11, 2016: Naming the Android!

The other day, I received the following text from actress Zoie Palmer:

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And she was right.  It WAS like sharing with her the single greatest thing about bringing a child into this world: coming up with a name for it.  Except that instead of having 9 months to do it, we have 9 episodes, and instead of some kid, it’s our Android we’re naming.

I say OUR because the development of Dark Matter’s Android has truly been a collaborative process with the actress playing her.  I’ll pitch Zoie our plans for the character and she’ll also throw ideas my way – suggestions, requests, flashes of inspiration – occasionally when I see her at work but mostly via the texts she sends my way while I’m in the office, or out and about, or lying in bed about to drift off into sweet, sweet dreamland.  And, every so often, those messages have a way of, uh, veering off topic.  Some of my recent favorites include:

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And –

screen-shot-2016-12-10-at-8-22-29-pm

AND –

screen-shot-2016-12-10-at-8-25-28-pm

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Note: Those blanks in the final text were, of course, a few of the names we’re considering for our lovable Android. And we’ll be keeping them under wraps…for now.

However, if you’re curious, some of the names that didn’t make the final cut and are no longer under consideration include:

ALICE

SAMANTHA

DESDEMONA

CLARA

MARNIE

ELLIE

CALL

DEE

EVANS

ALOYSIA

DESTINY

CHACHACHA

LOYLOY (Like the panda!)

ZOIE

But fear not.  We’ve got a half dozen solid candidates in contention.

dm1g_androidbarcode

Hey, the other day, someone on reddit mentioned they were thinking of getting a Dark Matter-inspired tattoo and floated the possibility of going with the Android’s barcode.  I provide it for you here, via the marvellous Roxanne Borris, who designed it for the show, in the event you’re considering following suit.

She also created one for Wendy the android from Episode 107:

dm1g_androidbarcode_2

And a couple of the androids in Episode 204 (“We Were Family”) including one for the mysterious Victor:

dm204g_androidbarcode_v1 dm204g_androidbarcode_v2

So, what’s in store for our Android in season 3?  Well, besides a few shocking revelations, undercover ops, ass-kicking sequences, inspired fashion choices,  and flashes of her unique sense of humor…you’ll have to wait and see.

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Our Android and Ryo Ishida in happier times.

July 7, 2016: Zoie Palmer Answers YOUR Questions!

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It’s the Q&A you’ve all been waiting for!  Actress Zoie Palmer (Dark Matter’s Android) offers insight into her character, her process, and her love of soup!

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Now some of you may not be aware of it, but the Android character was originally envisioned as male.  But, when it came time to cast “him”, we cast a wide net, opening up the role to all ethnicities and genders.  Zoie was terrific in her first audition and, thus, received a call-back for the second round.  In round #2, she delivered a flawless soliloquy of techno-babble that could have only been equaled by Samantha Carter herself.  Someone in the room (It may have been me?”) asked if she could do it in a British accent.  And she did – once again, flawlessly.  “I can do a Jamaican accent too!”she offered.  And did.  It was a final audition that won her the part…and also set up that infamous Android-speaking-in-accents scene from season!

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On to the Q&A…

Night-Cat writes: “I have only one question for Zoie: Does that hair hurt? Because it looks like it hurts. Oh, and also does it require its own antivirus software?”

gforce writes: “Zoie, one thing that I figure would be very hard to do is play the Android with just the right amount of “android-ness”. I think it would be very easy to over play it to the point of silliness, but you seem to have it nailed! Was that a difficult balance to achieve? And, do you use any kind of guide or approach that let’s you do it so well?”

You’re right gforce, figuring out this character was a tough one for me, tougher than I originally realized. Part of that difficulty was due to the fact that she isn’t a human and I have never played a non-human character before. All of my training as an actor is about how to bring as much human as humanly possible (ha) to any given character. Oddly enough this applies to The Android too but figuring out how to apply it to the Android was the greatest of challenges. How does a non-emotional, strictly practical, non-human reach an audience? How does such a creature connect to the other characters? Can she at all? These were all my questions and as the two seasons have gone by and have slowly figured out some of the answers…well, I hope I have. What I love so much about this character is that I am challenged very much to keep pushing to keep digging to make her deeper and stay true to who or what she really is. Very challenging, very rewarding smile

dasndanger writes: “Hello, Zoie – We (hubby and I) love your character!
Three questions…
1. How difficult is it to keep a straight face while in character?”

Hi dasndanger, thank-you to you and your husband for your support of The Android. As for this question, it can be hard to keep a straight face. It can be very hard if I’m doing a scene with Melissa O’Neil who brilliantly plays the character “TWO.” For some reason she and I have a hard time not laughing all the way through some scenes, couldn’t even tell you why, just seems to happen. So yes is the short answer, but somehow we always manage through.

“2. Is it harder to nail your lines when talking ‘robotically’ than when delivering them in a natural way?”

It was at first. I used to memorize them speaking naturally and then do them in Android on the day. Now for some reason I can’t memorize them unless I do it in The Android tone. Funny hey?

“3. What is one of your favorite aspects of playing an android that is unique to such a character?”

I think I love how totally loyal she is to her crew. Despite the fact that she is not human she would die for any of them if she felt it would save them. I believe that about her. I’m not sure if the writers would agree with me necessarily but I think she would in an instant.

no1zoieplamerfan writes: “Hi Zoie! First I just want to say you’re doing an awesome job as the Android! My questions are as follows 1. What was it about the character that drew you to audition for the role?”

This is a very different character than any I’ve done before. It shouldn’t be hard for an actor to make a layered, deep feelinged human interesting. But to make a machine interesting, to have none of the tools that us actors rely so heavily on such as facial expressions, nervous ticks, hand gestures, to have none of those and to make a character interesting is a great challenge. I have to pause here and say that I couldn’t do it at all if it wasn’t in the writing. So much of what makes The Android compelling is because Paul and Joe have made her so. They have written scenes that have allowed me some freedom and have just been interesting in and of themselves. The challenge of this character and ironically the humanity of her was what drew me to her and still does.

“2. Where were you when you got the news that you had gotten the part?

3. If you could play any other character, who would it be and why? Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions!”

I think I was at home when I found out I got the part, pretty sure at home in my living room. As for what other character would I play, I think perhaps THREE. The female version of THREE would be fun to have a kick at.

shouldwritemore writes: “1. Who has u in stitches the most whilst shooting ur scenes?”

You may not believe this but its definitely Alex Mellari Jr. who plays “FOUR.” He is funny funny funny, not to mention smart and handsome and talented, not a bad guy to work with at all!

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Mike A. writes: “Zoie: Are you lobbying Joe and Paul to let you wear something different, just once? (And not a spacesuit
Actually, are you lobbying them for anything? Story ideas, cooking tips, VCR repair tricks…..?”

Ha! Well, I don’t know that I would call it lobbying but once in a blue moon I mention an idea but it’s not so much a big storyline idea or an outfit idea but just a moment here and there in a scene. Paul and Joe don’t need any help from the likes of me, they know exactly what they’re doing and they’re fantastic at it.

shyone65 writes: “Hi Zoie
1. Which is easier for you reciting Dr Lewis’s medical Jargon or The Androids Technical knowledge?”

For sure Dr Lauren Lewis’s lines were easier than The Android’s mainly because I understood what I was talking about. Sometimes with The Android I have to read it several times to really get a handle on it, or I have to look it up online, or I have to text Joe, or I have to panic…y’know, one of those things.

“2. Do you like performing your own stunts?”

I do, very much. That said, I can’t perform them all. John Stead our brilliant stunt coordinator really choreographs some very challenging stunt work and then we rely very heavily on out outstanding and mind boggling stunt performers who come in and do extraordinary things all while making it look like it’s no big thang. We are very lucky with our entire stunt crew, they really are exceptional and it is a great belief of mine that stunt performers deserve a great deal more recognition that they often get. If I didn’t have stunt doubles on this show, believe me, you’d notice!

“3. What was your favorite book when you were growing up?”

I very much liked The Catcher In The Rye.

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relaxygirl writes: “Zoie, I mean Ms. Palmer. What do you think of the name Minerva? Also, I’m a huge fan of Instant Star- any comment there? Wait one more question- Why no responses on your tweet page? You would make many peeps happy.”

Minerva? Well wasn’t that a characters name on HARRY POTTER? I looooooooooved the HARRY POTTER books and movies A LOT. So, Minerva is a good name…. sorta. I’m thrilled you liked INSTANT STAR, I loved shooting that show and loved the cast very very much. They were a very talented group of peeps and I still see them all from time to time.

Verb1970 writes: “3 questions for Ms Palmer
1) how’s the hair porn doing now that the “trump do” is so popular?”

Ha, I’m not sure I know….

James writes: “Hey Palmer! Your AWESOME btw!
Q1: what’s your number?”

People keep saying my number is 7

“Q2: what’s ya address?”

RAZA. Space.

“Q3: when ya gettin your own show? ( unanimous pole: we’d sit and watch you pick your teeth for an hour if we got the chance)”

I will very soon do a “periscope” of me picking my teeth. You’re welcome.

Anna Cherry writes: “I really enjoyed the scenes where Zoie played the Android that we know as well as the Android in Red when looking for faults in her programming. It was amazing to watch, how was it to play both parts?”

It was actually a ton of fun to do the twinning scenes. That’s what its called when you’re in a scene with yourself. I loved everything about that because you have to pay a great deal of attention to what you’re doing. You have to make very specific choices and you have to try to remember what you did when you were in the scene as the other character. There’s a lot going on and I loved it. The challenge of course with twinning The Android is that they’re not so different from one another and so I really had to figure out how to make them different enough that you could see it, even a little, but not so different that it wasn’t believable.

Tanja writes: “So here are my 3 questions
~ Did you ever got hurt during stunt scenes?”

I have been hurt in stunt scenes but nothing major, bruises mainly. It’s to be expected that you may be a bit stiff or tender the day after a major fight sequence but overall they are very safe. We have an incredible stunt coordinator in John Stead and safety for him is paramount so I always feel completely relaxed trying anything he asks of me because I know he’s through it through a hundred times before bringing it to me.

“~ How do you get prepared for your scenes?”

So much of the “prep” work is done before I get to set because in tv you shoot quickly as there’s a lot to do in a day, so the bulk of most actors’ work is done at home, just you and the script and your imagination. In terms of how I get prepared to actually shoot, I’m someone who needs some time alone, so I’m often in my trailer as much as possible when I’m not needed to shoot in order to go over my lines, focus, get centred, get out all of the stuff from my head that I don’t need in the next scene. And then, and this may sound strange but all the practical stuff like being hungry or thirsty or whatever, you don’t want to be thinking about any of that while you’re shooting a scene. You don’t want to be thinking, “boy I’m hungry” when you’re trying to be present in a moment with your acting partner, so I make sure I eat well and I have water with me etc. Sounds all a bit trite but as actors our bodies and minds are all we have to use so they need to be free of unnecessary stuff.

“~ Can you influence how the character of the Android will grow? How you like her to be?”

Both Joe and Paul are amazing at what they do, writing the show, creating the characters, the stories, the arcs of each of the characters so if I’m honest I typically feel great trusting them to do what they do best. The other thing that’s so great about them is that they also are very open to any thoughts we have about our characters or storylines so if I bring them something regarding my characters I’m always met with an openness to discuss which I believe is all an actor could possibly ask for and I’m very grateful to get to work with them both.

DARK MATTER -- "Episode Twelve" Episode 112 -- Pictured: Zoie Palmer as The Android -- (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)
DARK MATTER — “Episode Twelve” Episode 112 — Pictured: Zoie Palmer as The Android — (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

Brianna Culberson writes: “What type of pet would The Android have on the Raza? What would she name it?”

Probably a pet rat. Dunno why, just seems about right. Probably name it RATBOT

Robin Hess writes: “Hi Zobot!!
Q1. What is the hardest thing you have you have encountered with the android’s outfit?”

We often have a “mic pack” on for sound. It has to be attached to your body somewhere but there’s not a lot of places to put it in a skin tight “onsie” Also, once it is attached, going to the bathroom is a good time, I’ll let you picture all that in your head. Enjoy.

“Q2. How would you describe the android’s personality since she is an android?”

Clinical. Dry. Rational. Optomistic. Pesimistic. Child like. Literal. Those are all words that come to mind.

“Q3. What have you found you like or dislike about playing this character?”

I like how in the moment she is, how honest, how real, how she is one hundred percent in whens she’s doing anything. I have enjoyed figuring out how to play her and how to bring little nuances that hopefully communicate different things. I don’t think there is anything I dislike about playing “The Android,” but it is challenging in a way I haven’t experienced with other roles I’ve had. Obviously my dialogue is a challenge and I have to spend a great deal of time being very focused to learn it. It’s funny.  The part that is the most interesting for me with this characters is also what is the most challenging, but overall I very much enjoy playing her.

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Casey Van Cleve writes: “How hard is it to learn the lines of a Android?”

It’s hard but it’s gotten easier for me now that it’s my second season. I’m starting to get used to it.

Jacquelyn May writes: “One- How long does it take to put your number tat on?”

Not long at all, Lynda McCormack, our wonderful makeup artist is incredible at what she does and could probably put it on with her eyes closed now, so its pretty quick. Taking it off on the other hand is a whole other story, it takes longer to do that because its a professional grade fake tattoo so it really takes a liking to my neck.

fpmolina writes: “My Android questions three:
1) are you going to be using anymore accents this season, loved the jealous accent scene from last season.”

Hmmm, can’t tell you that, they’ll kill me if I tell you things… I don’t want to die wink

“2) do you think you will ever get a love interest on the show?”

I sure hope so, poor wee Android needs a little bit of love in her life doesn’t she? Sad lil lonely lil droidette needs someone to call her own, so heres hopin’

“3) what is the best thing you have eaten on set?”

Soup. They always make a really great soup and I LOVE soup!!!!!

Michelle Deen-Alston writes: “1) Will we see more of android this season?”

I believe you will.

“2) You play the android so well, but I was wondering, is there a lot of blooper or are you able to stay in character?”

There’s definitely bloopers. I mess my lines up from time to time. Sometimes they just won’t stay in my head or I get tongue tied and then keep messing up the same word. Often if Melissa O’Neil and I are in a scene together, there will be at least one take we can’t get through. I’m not sure what it is with the two of us but we laugh for some reason. Just seems to happen.

Maggie L80 writes: “Thanks for setting up the Q & A with Zoie. My questions: Any inspirational performances that you draw upon for The Robot?”

Not specifically for The Android but every time I watch an actor who inspires me, it’s in there y’know.  You take them all with you. They’re in you then and everything in me gets drawn on and some of it is used in a character I play. The Android is no different. She is different parts of me, my life, my friends, things I’ve seen and done. It all gets accessed and the parts I need get put into the work. So in short, everything inspires each character I play.

“Your favorite color?”

I don’t have one. I’ve never had one. And when I was a kid I would make up a colour when anyone asked me what my fave colour was. I’d say blue, or yellow or red or whatever but inside I knew I was just making it up. I’ve never had a fave color or number or anything like that. I’ve never really understood it.

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cathyweaver30 writes: “Zoie,
1) Will we ever see @cloverblob in an episode?”

If she has anything to do with it, then YES.

“2) What is your favorite episode of Dark Matter and why?”

Thats a tough question because there are so many great eps but I really enjoyed the very first ep of the whole series because it really felt like the audience and the characters were in the same place of the complete unknown. It was a huge episode of discovery for everyone and I thought it was some really great television.

Cheri P writes: “Kudos for the amazing job you have done as The Android.”

Thanks!!!

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“1. You indicated that you were not a fan of working out or going to the gym. How do prepare for the physical demands of your character?”

I don’t really prepare physically. I just kinda jump in there and go for it. It’s kind of how I deal with anything physical, I see it in my head and then I just go for it!

“2. Who was your childhood idol?”

Hmm, I’m not sure that I had an idol, but I very much looked up to Meryl Streep as a young kid and she’s been a huge inspiration to me in my career. She’s obviously a tremendously talented actress who can seemingly do just about anything. I think what I respect about her so much is her commitment and dedication to her craft. She’ll do nearly anything to create a believable character and she will immerse herself in it until she gets it. I have a huge amount of respect for that.

@BaddassMer writes: “does Android get pulled apart and put back together this season”

… ummm pulled apart? Ouch! I sure hope not, but if so… OOOOOOUUUUCCCCHHHHH!

“any other parts of you’re anatomy get molded”

An Android never talks about her mouldy parts.

anthrod127 writes: “Question for Zoie, will you be kicking more ass in season 2? How much of the stunt fighting do you do? “

You never know, there may very well be the odd Android fight scene in season two. As far as how much I do, the answer is, I do as much as I feel I can. Also, John Stead the stunt coordinator checks in with me to see how comfortable I am with a move. If I’m in any way uncomfortable, then our extraordinary stunt doubles jump in. There are some things John would just automatically give to the double because it’s simply not safe for me to attempt. The stunt doubles are so talented and make me look outstanding so I’m more than happy to stand back and let the pros do work their magic.

cpinzone85 writes: “Hi Zoie, first I just wanted to say you’re a magnificent woman, incredible actress and a huge inspiration in my life. I have so many questions for you but I’ll ask just a few:
1. What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever done for you?”

Hmmm, weirdest? I don’t think of many things as ‘weird” but I think seeing my face tattooed on someone still catches me off guard. It’s just something I don’t think you ever get used to, seeing your face on the anatomy of someone else. Fans have made birthday video messages for me in the past which was so lovely and so thoughtful and really made me smile and feel good – that was a lovely gesture that really meant a lot to me. I’m so genuinely grateful to the fans because their passion for the show or for us actors is real and genuine and very special. It’s true and meaningful and it may sound all a bit cheesy but I’m very moved by the people who send letters and reach out.

“2. If you were single and I asked you out on a date, would you say yes?”

Yes, of course.

Janie writes: “So… Zoie Palmer: you are my favorite android of all time. I am so excited to see you in my living room again! (huge Lost Girl fan). Your cat should take a lead from Joe and give fan shout outs on Twitter!! Thanks to both of you for doing this.

1. I saw an interview where you said that you do indeed think the android has a range of emotions so your affect is never totally flat. Is it hard to stay so reserved the whole time?”

It’s not hard in that I want to burst into emotion all the time but the challenge is to somehow portray more with very few tools.  That’s what I’m often trying to figure out in any given scene.

“2. I’ve never seen the android smile. Does she or can she smile?”

It’s both a good observation and a good question. I believe The Android can smile but I’m very resistant to having her do it. I want to use it when it really calls for it and I think there will be a scene where I go, “yes, it should happen here”. 

“3. What keeps you busy in your free time and do you have any upcoming projects between season 2 wrap and the beginning of season 3 (we all cross our fingers for S3).”

Everything keeps me busy when I’m not shooting. The rest of my life really. When we’re in production it’s very busy and many things end up on a kind of hold until you’re wrapped. So once I’m wrapped I like to reintroduce myself to life, to friends, to my hobbies, to reading, to walking, to my pets, to filling myself up so that I may bring more and more to my characters.

“3.1 (: It’s always about your hair, right? How the hell do they get it into that curl and how long does it take you to get it out?”

The hair is quite a process performed by the very talented Renee Chan. The whole thing takes approximately an hour but it’s in two stages. First it’s the curlers and then I’m sent over to have my makeup done. Once that done, I go back to Renee who then begins the artwork and in truth I don’t know what she does. I have my face in my script running my lines and then at some point she asks me to bring my head up so she can finish the front and thats it. It’s done. It is complicated and because she’s so good she just does it everyday and looks incredible.

Templeton writes: “Question for Zoie, will Android and Four finally hook up this season, or is she just too emotional for his taste?”

The Android and Four eh? Wow, there’s an interesting combo. I think the word on the street is that the strong silent types are dynamo in the bedroom so, well, here’s hoping.

Jordan Thane writes: “Qns for Zoie – The Android was fairly isolated in the first season, will we see her included more in the action, maybe leave the ship to go on missions, get in a fight or two, meet some other Androids?”

Hmmmm, you may just be on to something there.

“We know Kris Holden Ried is guesting and because I love you two working together, do you get to work with him?”

Maybe maybe maybe.

“What are you most excited for us to see in this upcoming season?”

For you guys to see it, I think you’re going to love it!!!

bambamfans writes: “Thanks Zoie for responding to our questions. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your performance as the Android and what she’s brought to the Raza crew. I loved the stunts, the accents & I’m fascinated with the way you speak in the role. I hope one day you’re invited to an Aussie convention, test out the accent.

1. I realise you can’t speak yet regarding the Android’s exciting arc and perhaps even physical appearance in Season 2 for spoiler reasons. Could you share your reaction when Joe and Paul shared what they had in mind for the Android or when you read the first script?”

I love all of Joe and Paul’s ideas for my character. It may sound like I’m just saying that but it’s really true. These guys know exactly what they’re doing and every time they tell me what they have in store my reaction is “wow, you’re brilliant”.

“2. Is there a member of the cast that you didn’t have many solo scenes with in Dark Matter Season 1 that you’d like to have a scene with and why?”

Well I don’t often have solo scenes with many of the other cast members. I had several with “Five” in season one and really enjoyed that and I’d happily welcome solo scenes with any of them. Each of the actors brings something really special to their character so it’s so much fun to have a real moment with them from time to time.

“3. Have you ever said you had a particular skill to get a job and then had to perform it? If so, what was the skill?”

Ha, well early on in my acting career I think I said I could do anything anyone asked me if I could do. “Miniature carvings out of tree bark? Yes absolutely, of course I can.” But you do have to be careful because if they’re asking, it’s likely because you’re going to need to actually do it. smile

Audrey E. writes: “First of all, THANK YOU Jo’ and Zoie for this wonderful opportunity !
– Also, Jo’ talked about a new outfit for the Androïd this season ? What do you think of it ?”

I really like the new outfit for The Android, but I also miss the old one sometimes. T hey each have a very different vibe to them and inform the character quite a bit.

Melissa writes: “1 question: Will you marry me?”

Yes, sure.

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Michelle writes: “So question for Zoie, when she’s at the console typing does she ever type out sentences to see if anyone is paying attention?”

I do type out sentences and I have this slightly paranoid theory that the keyboards are actually hooked up to printers that are always on and are printing every random thing I type in some room somewhere that’s hooked up to twitter or something and there’s some account somewhere where everyone can log on and see it all. Member how I mentioned paranoid? Yeah.

seaskycafetriste writes: I am glad that I went to Philadelphia to meet you.
Q3: in the real world, if you have the capability of the Android, which skill you want the most? And what will you do with this skill?”

In my life I’m very emotional, very sensitive and can’t shut that off. In part it’s very useful for my chosen career but it would be nice to have the rational of an Android sometimes. I’m sure many people would relate to that, just to make decisions based on reason and not emotion. I don’t think I would really want to live that way, but it might be nice sometimes.

adherentbodhi writes: “@ZoiePalmer are you excited that DM is aired in Taiwan and Asia?”

I think it’s great anywhere Dark Matters airs! I think it’s such a fun show and I really hope it’s enjoyed everywhere!

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Alicia writes: “Is the Android forever learning, like any AI? Which would mean that the more time she spends with the crew, the more she understands them and their feelings. She doesn’t need to literally feel to actually understand what feelings are. So will she become way more “empathetic” I guess in a way, for this new season? It would only make sense for an AI to explore deeper and deeper.”

This is a wonderful question. I do believe The Android is always learning, I do believe she “evolves” so to speak and figures out each situation she’s in from other things she’s learned from the past, from the other crew members etc. In terms of whether or not she’ll become more empathetic – hmmmm, we may just have to wait and see.

Carl writes: “For Zoie,
1. You worried way too much about that pesky other android, you are way more interesting and more attractive for it.”

That’s very kind of you Carl. I will try to remember that smile

“2. How do you express so much with your movements and expressions as subdued as they are?”

Again thank you. It’s a challenge definitely and one I’m still working on. This character is great in that the more I play her the more I’m learning about how to play her. It’s a first for me in a lot of ways to play such a character so just as The Android learns about people and things, so do I about the character and how she works.

“3. Have we seen the end of the alternate/copy of you that was diagnosing you? Please don’t let her come back and wipe you out!”

Hmmm, you mean The Red Android. She is scary isn’t she? She’s sooooooo, well, Android like. I’m not sure we’ve entirely seen the last of her just yet wink

CathyL writes: “Hiya, so glad to be able to ask Zoie questions.  1. Did Joe follow up on his promise to Cloverblob to have her in S2?”

This is a question for Cloverblob’s representatives. I know nothing of this.

2. Since you play The Android, do you prefer Android phones over IPhones?

Ha! I own an iPhone.

3. What kind of music does The Android like most, I’m guessing Techno.”

I think The Android is partial to classical music.

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Ranae writes: “My question is did it require a lot of takes when the jealous android spoke with several different accents? I can’t watch that scene without cracking up? Your portrayal of the android is so fun and engaging.”

Thanks very much! That was such a fun scene for me to do. I have to say, I was actually quite nervous because I had to do them all in one take. I couldn’t mess up any of the accents, so I was nervous. It’s hard to flip from accent to accent so I wasn’t entirely sure I could pull it off. I was lucky and it worked out, but it was definitely a really fun moment for me.

Sandy writes: “Questions for Zoie…
1. If the Android were to meet Dr. Lauren Lewis (aside from noticing the physical resemblance hee) what kind of interactions do you think they have… would their be lots of scientific curiosity?”

I think Dr. Lauren Lewis would be both fascinated with and protective of The Android. I think she’d want to learn everything she could about her but also she’d feel like she had a responsibility to be ethical with The Android and to make sure nobody mis-treated her. I imagine Dr. Lauren would keep The Android a secret for quite a long time.

“2. What do you like to do during your downtime while filming on set?”

I read the next scripts. I get on my phone and chat to friends. I eat and eat and eat. I hang out with the rest of the cast, or with Joe or with Ivon, or anyone else who’ll hang out with me. Just about anything is what I do.

“3. If you weren’t an actor what would you passionately pursue?”

I’m not sure really. I only know I definitely couldn’t sit in an office all day. I’d likely do something with animals. I just know that whatever I do in life, it needs to have some freedom involved. I’m not the kind of personality who could sit in a building at a desk. It’s just not in my nature.

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Lily writes: “Questions for Zoie:
1) What is the typical lead time of receiving the script for an episode prior to shooting?”

It’s different from show to show, but typically a few days to a week. Joe and Paul are very good to us and get us the scripts as soon as possible.

“2) Have you ever consider leaving the bar-code tattoo on your neck to see how the public react when off set?”

I never take the barcode off at the end of a shoot day. I just go home with it on and take it off there. And yes, I have absolutely forgotten it’s on and found myself in the grocery store with a lot of people staring at me. As it’s a tattoo I forget it’s there and all of a sudden I’m wondering why I’m getting a lot of weird looks.

“3) Does the Android sleep, recharge, or neither?”

You may just find out that very thing this season. Or you might not. But you might….. you know, maybe.

Angela Merry Pavlica writes: “Do you have a middle name? If so would you tell us fans what it is?”

Sure my middle name is “Ann” which means that my initials spell ZAP.

Ttlypalmerised writes:
What motivates/inspires Zoie Palmer to be such a beautiful human being inside out?”

That’s a very kind thing to say. I have been so very lucky in my life. I had the good fortune of being born in a great country and then coming to yet another great country full of opportunities. I have wonderful parents who taught me about the kind of person I want to be in this world. It was very important to them that I treat others, whoever they may be, with respect and kindness and I’m very grateful to them for that. You don’t get anywhere on your own in this world and that’s no different for me. I had a lot of help to get where I am and so I’m just trying to spread it around a bit. There a lot of people in this world that do a whole lot more than I. I’m just trying to do my part smile

Dallas Marshall writes: “Zoie – Dogs, cats, both, other?”

Them alllllll. I love animals. All animals.

LC writes: “1) What made you audition for DM and the android?”

I thought it was a great part on a great show with great people. Was kind of an easy decision to throw my hat in the ring.

ceresis64 writes: “1) What is your favourite genre of music?

I don’t have a favourite kind of music, I like it all. Well not literally it all but I like all genres.

2) What is your favourite song?

I’m not sure I have a favourite, but I very much like “You don’t know me” – by Ray Charles.

3) Which song would you say describes you?”

“You don’t know me” – by Ray Charles wink

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A BIG thanks to Zoie Palmer for taking the time to field a slew of questions!

Now, it’s Melanie Liburd’s turn!  Post your questions for Dark Matter’s Nyx Harper in the comments section.

May 5, 2016: Zoie Palmer (Dark Matter’s Android) answers YOUR questions!

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Yes, it’s true.  Dark Matter’s excruciatingly adorable Android, played by the equally excruciatingly adorable Zoie Palmer, has agreed to drop by and do a little fan Q&A. If you have questions for Zobot, post them in the comments section.  I’ll gather them over the course of the next few days, then relay them via subspace in an encrypted data burst directly to her neural matrix (via The Raza of course).

DARK MATTER -- "Episode Twelve" Episode 112 -- Pictured: Zoie Palmer as The Android -- (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)
DARK MATTER — “Episode Twelve” Episode 112 — Pictured: Zoie Palmer as The Android — (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

Three questions per customer, so make ’em count!

If you’re not following my dedicated Dark Matter twitter account (@DarkMatter_show), these are some of the BTS pics you’ve been missing:

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While, over on Reddit, I continue my trip down SG-1 memory lane:

Stargate Memories: Watergate, The First Ones, Scorched Earth

As our second to last day of main unit photography on Dark Matter’s second season draws to a close, I leave you today with some pics from…one of our new episodes:

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Airlock inside.

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And out.

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EOS-7 lost and found department.

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Representing the Galactic Authority: Jim Codrington

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Representing the Galactic Authority…

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A snacking Kris Holden-Reid.

May 18, 2015: The Dark Matter rollout! Introducing Zoie Palmer as The Android!

Photo by Dennys Ilic (http://www.dennysilic.com)
Photo by Dennys Ilic (http://www.dennysilic.com)

“Zoie!!!” is the reaction the Android elicits from my girlfriend every time she pops up on my laptop.  I’ve screened 11 of 13 prod cuts for Akemi and, to date, she loves the show, loves all of the characters, but is especially fond of Zoie’s Android – which leads me to believe that #zobot is going to be BIG in Japan when the show airs on SyFyAsia in June!

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This was the breakdown that went out for the role when we started the casting process:

“CLOSER TO A WRY BUTLER THAN YOUR TYPICAL SCI-FI ANDROID/ROBOT. CONCISE, IMPASSIVE, YET SURPRISINGLY POSSESSED OF A SUBTLY WRY SENSE OF HUMOUR, he is an indispensable member of the crew since he can exercise control over all the ship’s systems. He’ll prove a loyal supporter of his fellow shipmates, risking destruction to secure their safety. IN TIME, HE WILL ASSUME A DOTING CARETAKER POSITION OVER THE YOUTHFUL FIVE. ALL GENDERS AND ETHNICITIES.”

Yes, “he” because, in the original pitch, the Android was male.  We ended up diverging from the source material by casting a very wide net in our search.  And, as it turned out, it was a wise choice because some of the very best candidates for the part were women.

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One such candidate was actress Zoie Palmer.  She delivered a great first round audition and then, in her callback, wowed us with three very different, very impressive reads: first her original interpretation, then with a British accent, and finally with a Jamaican accent (let’s file that last one away for future discussion).

One of the biggest compliments I can give Zoie is that, in many ways, she reminds me of Amanda Tapping.  Amanda, as Stargate’s Samantha Carter, had one of the toughest roles in the franchise’s run, tasked with delivering all the technobabble in believable yet entertaining fashion.  And she did, time and again.  She was so good at it that she made it look easy – but as anyone who has tried casting actors for similar roles will tell you (like, say, me for instance), it’s anything but easy.  And yet, like Amanda, Zoie made it seem effortless.  She was informative, convincing, and delightfully compelling.

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After she was cast, Zoie took the role and made it her own, fashioning a character that is highly intelligent and powerful yet, at the time same, marked by some very human, occasionally adolescent foibles.  Her Android is  more Marvin (Hitchhiker’s Guide) or Kryten (Red Dwarf) than Data (ST:TNG) – in many ways, more emotionally flawed than her human charges.  But, if I had to pick one word to describe Zoie’s Android, it would be “endearing”.  I have no doubt she is going to be a fan favorite.

1Working with Zoie has been a dream.  She is uber-talented, incredibly professional, and just a lovely, LOVELY human being. And possibly one of the funniest people I know.  Over the course of the season, I received more texts from her than any other cast member.  Some where script-related but most were simply weird and wonderful missives sent my way to, I suspect, keep me off-balance.  Some of my favorites…

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May 7, 2015: Space Cat! Oh, and the rest of the Dark Matter cast!

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A sneak peek at the Dark Matter season finale.  In the final shot, the crew enters the bridge as this season’s mysterious Big Bad swivels around in the command chair to reveal their true identity: Space Cat!

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See, this is the type of behind the scenes photos fans love.  Actor Anthony Lemke (Dark Matter’s THREE) eats an egg salad sandwich.

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While actor Roger Cross (Dark Matter’s SIX) enjoys his morning coffee.  Try to take it away from him and THIS happens –

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Meanwhile, back on the ship –

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Someone forgot actress Jodelle Ferland (Dark Matter’s FIVE) in the airlock!

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Actor Alex Mallari Jr. (Dark Matter’s FOUR) shuttles our special guest star back to her trailer between scenes.

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Actor Marc Bendavid (Dark Matter’s ONE) wants your coffee.

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Actress Zoie Palmer (Dark Matter’s Android) keeping Space Cat’s seat warm.

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And, yes.  Actress Melissa O’Neil (Dark Matter’s TWO) also wants your coffee.

January 13, 2015: Dark Matter – from cast to characters!

Today, we shot two of the most important scenes of this first season (if not the entire series), and every member of our cast – Marc Bendavid, Melissa O’Neil, Anthony Lemke, Alex Mallari Jr., Jodelle Ferland, Roger Cross, and Zoie Palmer – delivered BIGTIME.  Sitting at the monitors, watching them in their first scene together, I found myself magically cross over from professional observer to mesmerized viewer as their onscreen characters took on a life of their own.  The lines separating fact and fiction, fantasy and reality had blurred and I’d been transported.  And the first thought that entered my head was: “I’m going to love watching this show!”

This cast is AWESOME!

A couple of behind-the-scenes snippets:

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The gang (Alex Mallari Jr., Anthony Lemke, Roger Cross, and Trevor Finn) show craft server Cathy some love.

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The exterior of the ship’s underbelly where secrets reside.  Oh, and the cast because that’s where they hang out between set-ups.

Our Dark Matter screen grab of the day (from yesterday’s dailies):

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Mysterious, no?

And, of course, on the heels of last blog entry’s Carlton Dance comes a little MJ c/o Alex Mallari Jr. (aka. FOUR).  Go say hi to him on twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexMallariJr #FOURCLAN #DARKMATTER

And while you’re in the twitter neighborhood, why not drop in on the entire crew:

ONE (Marc Bendavid): Apparently, not on twitter. Yet.

TWO (Melissa O’Neil): https://twitter.com/Mel13Oneil

THREE (Anthony Lemke): https://twitter.com/ranthonylemke

FOUR (Alex Mallari Jr.): https://twitter.com/AlexMallariJr

FIVE (Jodelle Ferland): https://twitter.com/jodellemicah

SIX (Roger Cross): https://twitter.com/therogercross

THE ANDROID (Zoie Palmer): https://twitter.com/ZoiePalmer

This year is going to be A LOT of fun!