Joseph Mallozzi is known to many for his brilliant work as a writer/producer on the Stargate franchise. Now he makes a significant pathways with his creation and work on SyFy’s Dark Matter. What would you do if one day, everything you knew were erased? That’s exactly what I dove into with him.
SANDEE: Where did this idea for the comic come from and grow into? What prompted this passion for a subject that is very complex and misunderstood?
JOSEPH: The theme of redemption is something I’ve explored in other works and something that has always fascinated me. We’ve all done things in our lives we’ve regretted and they have shaped our lives to a certain degree. I wanted to explore this idea of starting over and being given a fresh start – and the most interesting way of doing that was by truly giving them clean slates: no memories, no burdens of their past selves.
SANDEE: What fascinates you about amnesia and the neural workings of the brain?
JOSEPH: The amnesia premise allowed me to explore these characters in a way unencumbered by their respective pasts. It’s a unique and rare opportunity in that these characters know as little as the viewers and progress at more or less the same pace.
SANDEE: What made you think you could successfully pull off this topic and then do it from comic to tv?
JOSEPH: The years I spent developing the premise, the show and its concept, and the experience I garnered producing Stargate gave me the confidence that I could pull this off.
SANDEE: How is your approach different that hasn’t been done in every other movie or tv show about
JOSEPH: There’s an old adage that every story has been told – and I suppose that’s true to a point. What differentiates stories are the characters and follow-thru. Window of Opportunity, one of our first Stargate scripts, has a premise very similar to the movie Groundhog Day, and yet it became a fan favorite because of how OUR characters reacted to the familiar situation. It’s much the same for Dark Matter. When the show was first announced, people said it sounded too much like Pandorum or Deepwater Black but, three episodes in, those same arguments can’t be made.
SANDEE: How do the characters emotionally handle having no memory or identity?
JOSEPH: There’s an initial panic and then an acceptance and search for answers but each characters handles their lack of memories differently moving forward.
SANDEE: Neural damage (amnesia) changes things in the brain. Are there changes to any of the characters personalities from before amnesia to after and do you put this in the scripts?
JOSEPH: It will depend on the character. Some characters will struggle to forge a new path. Others will have a harder time and may fall back on their old ways. Others may discover that their pasts are not at all what they expected…
SANDEE: I saw this quote “, the premise of this show alludes to the “dark matter” that resides within all of us – to varying degrees” is the show taken from a biopsychology (science) or the psychology angel?
JOSEPH: That quote alludes to “dark matter” as more thematic, a pervading “darkness” that resides within all of us.
SANDEE: The TV show Blindspot is coming out soon, is there a concern about another amnesia show on the same time/year as Dark Matter? I see Martin is involved in Dark as well.
JOSEPH: No concern whatsoever. Again, it’s all in the execution and characters. I think Blindspot will explore totally different territory in a totally different way. And it will be a hit for the uber-talented Martin Gero!
SANDEE: How will you deal with or show flashbacks? Will they be from certain environmental triggers or biological triggers?
JOSEPH: I can’t say much about this without giving too much away. I suggest checking out episode 6 for the answer.
SANDEE: What movies or shows with amnesia as a topic have you liked? How about books?
JOSEPH: The anime Elfen Lied, movies like Angel Heart and Dark City.
SANDEE: What are you working on next?
JOSEPH: Right now I’m relaxing, doing a little reading. Hide original message
SANDEE: Season 2 for Dark Matter?
JOSEPH: Hope so!