Hi thank you for joining us. We really appreciate it. How would you best describe yourself and your career?
I got my start in animation, writing and developing, then made the jump to live action where I worked on a teen sitcom. From there, I moved on to one hour dramas before my writing/producing partner and I landed on Stargate: SG-1 as it was preparing for its fourth season. We spent 12 glorious years on the Stargate franchise and are now writing/producing our own original series, Dark Matter.
Dark Matter has been very interesting so far with the best part about every character developing together at the same time making it very intriguing. But how did you come up with the idea and what made you choose ‘Dark Matter’ as the name of the series?
The “dark matter” in the series is not literal (for now) but is thematic and an allusion to the darkness that resides around us, and in us. As a fan of villains growing up, I’ve always been fascinated by anti-heroes. Shows like The Sopranos, The Shield, Breaking Bad, Blake’s 7, comic books like The Thunderbirds, etc. I wanted to create a show about anti-heroes – and their search for redemption.
One of the tasks includes casting, do you put any conditions, or let the casting director decide who is best for the role?
We create the characters on the page and its the casting director’s job to bring in possible candidates for the role. In the case of Dark Matter, our casting director, Lisa Parasyn, did a brilliant job. We had a lot of great candidates to choose from.
Team work is one of the biggest aspects when you are filming a series. How do you think you can increase it and motivation as well in a group of people? What about the cast chemistry? Any other main aspects in play?
The script form the blueprint of the episode but there is so much more. A talented cast and crew makes a world of difference in the final product and, of course, onscreen chemistry for the cast is as important as a positive work environment for everyone behind the scenes. In this positive respect, my time on Dark Matter reminded me a lot about days on Stargate where I worked with a lot of wonderful, very talented people.
Who do you think has the best story behind them between the characters? Which one of the characters do you like most?
Ah, unlike children, it’s hard to pick a favorite when it comes to characters. I enjoy writing for each one of them for very different reasons. I think they all have great backstories – and we’ve just started peeling the onion on them!
How different are the actors from their roles? Like 3 is a jerk and 2 is a born leader but how are the actors different or similar from their roles?
There are a lot of similarities and dissimilarities that would take me a day to list. But, just off the top of my head: Marc is very much like ONE in his kindness and compassion, Melissa is very much like TWO in her strength and determination, Anthony is very much like THREE is his humorous, swashbuckling manner, Alex is very much like FOUR in his thoughtfulness and inner strength, Jodelle is very much like FIVE in her delightful geekiness, Anthony is very much like SIX in his warmth and charm, and Zoie is very much like The Android in her sincerity, groundedness, and humor.
The whole team has had trust issues, with 2 now being very different and possibly a victim of a man-hunt soon. Her character is pretty much in there all the time but we haven’t seen much of her background story like we have seen of others. Will we get a glimpse in the finale? What about 3?
More on TWO in Episode 12. We’ll receive flashes of insight into THREE, but not more backstory…until season 2.
The series is filled with action, how is all the fighting and action filmed, trained & practice? Does it take a lot of time?
Action sequences DO take a long time, but we have a fantastic stunt coordinator in John Stead (who also directed episode 10), a great stunt crew, and committed cast members who really take the time to train and learn fight choreography. They’re amazing.
The finale is a two-hour special, any hints or information you want to give us? The promo shows a lot of mistrust and fighting occurs between the members of the ship but what other aspects will we be seeing?
Big answers to some big questions await! It’s going to be shocking!
The series hasn’t been renewed yet, fans are desperately waiting to hear about a renewal. How do you think they can help out other than watching and using the hashtag?
Getting the word out always helps, but tuning in – and convincing friends and family members to tune in helps ever more!
One of the main problems of series these days is the ‘problem-solving’ storyline. This means that at the start of the episode there is a problem and at the end they solve it. We saw a few of the episodes that had this kind of plot but some of them managed to be a continuation to the next one. Do you think that this kind of plot is benefiting? Or it should be avoided at all costs?
Like Stargate, one of the great things about Dark Matter is that it offers a wide variety of storytelling opportunities. Our show is serialized but why not include the occasional satisfying standalone story?
The element of repetition also plays a role in every series at the same time characters also always make out alive or never lose. It becomes predictable that the main characters are always going to win. When this happens what makes the series a must watch is the storyline of how they get out of the trouble they are in. Do you think Dark Matter has being doing a good job avoiding these circumstances? Should we expect someone dying soon?
I think so. I read a recent article that opined on the crew’s terrible luck. It seems they can’t catch a break! As for someone dying soon…oh, you never know. As I said from the beginning, it’s not going to be a happy ending for everyone.
Many viewers have compared Killjoys with Dark Matter. Is there any chance we could see a cross-over? Do you think it is just a dream or it could happen? In case it does do you think it can be a blast?
I think it’s highly unlikely but, all the same, I would personally love to do a crossover. They’re bounty hunters who bring in bad guys. We’re bad guys on the run from the galactic authority. Perfect!
In your point of view are the Canadian Series on the same level as the American ones or they have some catching up to do?
I don’t think nationality has anything to do with it. We have talented crew members on both sides of the borders, actors who work on both sides of the border, and writers/producers who do the same. It comes down to the project – and the budget of course which, again, has nothing to do with where a series is shot.
Thank you very much for your time but here are a few fan questions.
Answer: Nope. Still waiting.
Answer: Oh, as an SF series, you’d expect aliens to pop up at some point, wouldn’t you? 🙂
Answer: Re: “Dark Matter”. I answered above. As for why FOUR killed his mentor? Because he viewed him as a threat and, without his memories, no longer had an emotional connection to the man.
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Dark Matter 2-hour season finale airs Friday, August 28 at 9/8 central on Syfy