Image by Tom Gardiner, Senior Editor - Three If By Space. Logo courtesy Syfy.

SDCC 2015: Dark Matter – The FULL Panel

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I hesitate to call this an “exclusive” since thousands of people packed the hall to see the Dark Matter panel, but so far I can’t find anyone else who’s posted it, so I think the term applies, at least to a degree.  This was one of the most fun panels in a week full of fun panels and I think the reason why is all these people seem to get along and really enjoy being together.  That’s a good thing since they spend something like 12-18 hours a day on the set, so might as well have a good time, right?

Image by Tom Gardiner

The graphic novel, for cast signing! (Image by Tom Gardiner)

The panel was hosted by EP Vanessa Piazza of Prodigy Pictures, the production company that makes Dark Matter possible.  Joining her on stage were 2/3 of the crew – Jodelle Ferland (Five), Anthony Lemke (Three), Melissa O’Neil (Two), Roger Cross (Six) and two other masterminds behind the show, Joseph Mallozzi and Jay Firestone.

If you really want to keep up with behind-the-scenes information about the show, you should read Joseph Mallozzi’s Weblog every day.  His recounting of the real adventures of the cast and crew is almost like being a part of the group and he answers many fan questions posed in the comments section.  I even learned where the bathrooms are on the Raza by asking on his blog!  How’s that for inside information?  So go try it!  Also follow him on Twitter where he’s known as @BaronDestructo to the rest of the world.

Listening to each of the cast outside of the show was fascinating.  Anthony Lemke isn’t like his character, Three, in a lot of ways, but they do seem to share the same sense of humor.  We learn that while Jodelle Ferland is the youngest member of the cast, she actually has the most acting experience, having started her career in commercials at the age of two.  Roger Cross came across a lot like his character, Six; being kind and thoughtful in his responses.  Melissa O’Neil was warm and friendly, talking about her part in the show with honest enthusiasm.

Catching Joe in a pensive mood. (Image by Tom Gardiner)

Catching Joe in a pensive mood. (Image by Tom Gardiner)

Joe (Mallozzi) told the story of Dark Matter‘s origins back in his Stargate days.  He promises the mysteries and questions will be solved and answered as the show goes along.  There’s no plan to string viewers along with long-unanswered questions.  He gave credit to Jay Firestone and Vanessa Piazza for taking his idea, which had originally been made into a graphic novel, and turning it into a successful series, which is what he wanted from the inception of the idea.

Jay (Firestone) talked a little about his excitement at getting a space-based series back on the air.  In fact, he’s so excited about spaceships that he bought himself a 3D printer and printed out his own Raza model, which he showed off to the packed house.  What he didn’t tell anyone is that he’d accidentally broken it about an hour earlier.  One of the pivoting engines (which actually pivoted on the model) broke off when he was showing it to us.  Does that make it partly my fault?  I’ll take some of the blame.  Good thing he can just print another one, right?

Stay tuned for our upcoming SDCC interview with the Dark Matter cast hosted by Dark Horse Comics!

Science Fiction Influences and Favorites

Joseph Mallozzi:  Farscape, Cowboy Bebop, the Stargate franchise.

Roger Cross:  Star Wars, Star Trek, Buck Rogers

Jodelle Ferland:  Firefly, Doctor Who

Anthony Lemke:  Doctor Who, Space 1999

Melissa O’Neil:  Alien (A movie with a kick-ass female protagonist. No wonder she got the part!)


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Dark Matter airs Fridays at 10/9 central on Syfy

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Tom Gardiner