A few weeks back, I wrote up an article about a new television series called Dark Matter, from Joseph Mallozzi (Executive Producer of Stargate SG1, Atlantis, and Universe). Mallozzi began offering hints that one of his projects was inching its way toward the development stage awhile back. Having read his Dark Matter graphic novel, I was really hoping that the collected comic series would be the show he’d been teasing. When it was finally announced that Dark Matter was green-lit by Syfy for a 13 episode season, I was thrilled.
It’s with great honor that I present to you an interview with Joseph Mallozzi. Check out the interview below!
Geeks of Doom: When Stargate Universe was cancelled a few years back, I found myself reading your blog every day, discovering small details about new projects that might be on the horizon. One of said projects was Dark Matter. What was it about this project that drove you to bring it from conception to reality?
Joseph Mallozzi: I first started developing Dark Matter way back while I was working on Stargate: Atlantis. I was having a great time working on SGA show but, at the end of the day, I was playing in someone else’s sandbox, writing for an incredible world and characters that Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper had created. It was incredibly rewarding but, at the same time, I wanted to create something of my own, something that would be different and yet still contain many of the elements that I found so appealing about Stargate: compelling characters, a sense of adventure, and an underlying humor. After developing the series, Paul and I handed it off to fellow Executive Producer (and President of Prodigy Pictures) Jay Firestone who, ultimately, did all the legwork – working tirelessly to put together the deals that made the show a reality.
GoD: I couldn’t help but notice that the “ending” of Stargate Universe is eerily similar to the premise of Dark Matter. Was Universe’s open-ended finale an influence for your new series, or is this simply a coincidence?
JM: I remember Patrick Gilmore (SGU‘s Dale Volker) emailing me after reading the Dark Matter graphic novel, wondering the same thing. SGU ends with our crew going into stasis while Dark Matter opens with our crew coming out of stasis. Alas, as I said, I came up with the idea for Dark Matter way back while I was working on SGA so, yes, it is a coincidence. But a pretty darn funny one.
GoD: For those who have read the Dark Matter graphic novel – or for those who would like to before the series begins this coming summer – will the show follow closely to the book for the 13 episode season, or will it have its own story to tell?
JM: The first four issues of the comic book collected in the graphic novel comprise the first two episodes of the series, establishing the world, our characters, and the story that will drive our narrative through the first season and beyond. If you want a sneak peek of what’s in store, head on over to the Dark Horse Comics site and download a digital copy of the comic book.
GoD: You have spent many years of your career working on the Stargate franchise (SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe). In what ways does this new project feel similar to your previous work and in what ways does it differ?
JM: Unlike Stargate’s contemporary setting, Dark Matter takes place in a distant future. Also, whereas Stargate offered more standalone storytelling (especially so with SG-1 and Atlantis), Dark Matter will be far more serialized. Thematically and tonally, DM will be a little darker — but it will still retain a sense of humor, something I’ve always felt goes a long way toward facilitating a connection between the viewers and our onscreen characters.
GoD: Can you talk about the recently announced cast and their dynamic/chemistry with one another?
JM: At present, there’s not much to report in terms of onscreen dynamic/chemistry as we go to camera January 9th, but I have no doubt this cast will click. Each and every one of them is unique and incredibly talented.
GoD: SyFy’s Dave Howe has recently said that the network is striving to “re-own the genre and be at the forefront of high-end buzzy, provocative storytelling.” Considering this goal, what unique aspects of Dark Matter bring it to the frontier of science fiction storytelling?
JM: I really enjoy shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, genre shows with a cable sensibility. And, in the end, it’s what I’d like Dark Matter to be — a sci-fi series with a cable sensibility, a show that constantly surprises and leaves the boards buzzing.
GoD: Here’s a little bit of a fun, hypothetical question for fans: If you could choose 3 characters from any of the Stargate series to be on Dark Matter, who would they be and why?
JM: Vala Mal Doran (SG-1), Ronon Dex (Atlantis), and Varro (Universe). Their personalities make them perfect fits for our ragtag crew.
GoD: Lastly, what would you like fans to know about Dark Matter?
JM: We premiere this summer! Circle the season. Then consult my blog for behind the scene tidbits and updates: www.josephmallozzi.wordpress.com