From one of television’s biggest modern science fiction franchises comes two writers with a vision for their own space-action epic. Long-time Stargate television writer/producers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie are going out on their own and doing it in comics with newcomer artist Garry Brown.Dark Matter is a four-issue series launching in January 2012 following a derelict ship adrift in the vastness of space. It is crewed with little more than passengers, recently awoken from stasis with no memory of their past and no idea what their future holds. As mysterious as that may be, the six crew members have a more pressing matter concerning them – an off-kilter android onboard the ship looking to exterminate them all.
Newsarama caught up with series co-creator/co-writer Joseph Mallozzi to talk about this expansive new outer space epic and the big plans he and Paul Mullie have for Dark Matter.
Newsarama: What can you tell us about Dark Matter, Joseph?
Joseph Mallozzi: Dark Matter is a science fiction series, originally envisioned for television, that will launch as a comic book first on January 11, 2012 through Dark Horse Comics. The plan is to kick it off with an opening four-issue arc and then hopefully use that as a springboard to the television show. The premise: the crew of a derelict spaceship awakens from stasis with no memories of who they are or where they are going. Their search for answers leads them to some shocking discoveries aboard the seemingly deserted vessel.
Nrama: Can you tell us more about the crew?
Mallozzi: Six crew members awaken from stasis – four men and two women. They’re a disparate group, thrown together by unknown circumstances, who must find common ground in order to survive. Of course given the fiercely independent nature of some, and the simmering mistrust among others, working together becomes a challenge in itself.
Nrama: What exactly are they dealing with?
Mallozzi: Beside the fact that they have no memory of their past lives, much less each other, they have to contend with the fact that they’re stranded on a ship that’s apparently dead in space. As they attempt to explore the ship for answers, they run afoul of one of its security protocols: a robot who targets them as threats. That’s just for starters.Nrama: How would you describe the setting inside the space ship?
Mallozzi: I’d describe the space ship as more Nostromo than Enterprise: dank, dark, bewildering, occasionally cramped, potentially dangerous in certain hard-to-access areas. Proceed with caution!
Nrama: What does the title, ‘Dark Matter,’ refer to in the series?
Mallozzi: Ah, that answer I’m going to hold on to for the time being but suffice it to say the link is thematic rather than literal. A lot of dark goings-on in this series. Having said that, those familiar with our work on Stargate know that Paul and I are big proponents of flashes of light in even the darkest of narratives, manifested through story elements like friendship, the wonders of discovery and, of course, humor.
Nrama: You told me earlier this was originally intended to be a television series. How did it develop and come to be a comic?Mallozzi: We’ve produced 300+ hours of television, written a little over 100 hours, but have not a single comic book to our credit. We mean to rectify that with this opening four-issue arc. From a creative standpoint, producing a comic book series with Dark Horse has granted us a certain freedom that we could never hope to attain in television. The aim is to tell the story we want to tell, and comics are the ideal medium in which to do that.
Nrama: In addition to doing the Dark Matter comic series, what else are you working on?
Mallozzi: After 11+ years on Stargate, Paul and I are taking a much-needed break. He’s spending time with family while I’m catching up on my SF, fantasy, and horror reading, reorganizing my vast comic book collection, and doing some research for a historical fiction series (or mini-series) I’d like produce some day. In addition, we’re keeping our options open, entertaining other showrunning opportunities as we head into 2012. Oh, and I also update a daily blog here.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!