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Dark Matter - Joseph Mallozzi Exclusive Interview - Built, Not Born Post Mortem



After that mind blowing episode that aired tonight many of you likely have a lot of questions. I certainly did, and I asked Joseph Mallozzi, Co-Creator/Executive Producer, as much as I could about what we all just witnessed. So, sit back and enjoy this insight into Built, Not Born.

WARNING: If you have not seen this episode and don't want to be spoiled you need to stop reading right now! There are spoilers abound from this point on.

SpoilerTV: I've got to admit 310 is the episode that I think, in my opinion, is the game changer for the series. I don't think we've had a reveal quite as large as the one that happens in this episode, how far in advance did you let Melissa and Zoie know what was coming?

JM: I gave them the script, so when they read the script they found out. Although, in terms of the name, I kind of had a little fun with Zoie because we were trying to come up with a name and every time I would go to set I would be like “Zelda” and she'd be like “Emily” and we’d go back and forth. Finally, I generated a list of favorite names and I chose five names and she chose five names we just texted back and forth and would eliminate a name from the ten until we came up with the name and it was her name she chose for the character, or one the entries, so it was fun. She's got a name but they still call her Android for now when she will assume the name remains to be seen.

STV: Will she actually ever assume that name?

JM: Who knows…possibly. I have plans for the Android. The Android's come a long way from the ship's utility model, the quirky utility model, and the fact that she has kind of has settled in and we do more scenes where she’s in the mess and she sits down with them at the table like she's a member of the family. There are scenes where she weighs in with an opinion, her opinion is invited. In fact, in Episode Twelve it becomes a really kind of critical part of the debate at the end of Episode Twelve but she's become very much a member of the crew and that's something we want to sort of continue. There’s a great scene in Episode Eleven, she gets a new outfit, and she has his great discussion with Two about being able to choose, the ability to choose, not so much “I've got a new outfit” but “I have the ability to choose”. There are things I've got planned for the Android, I don't want to give too much away, but basically, we will allow her to call the Raza home.

STV: We need to talk about Dr. Shaw. Did the Rebecca and Dr. Shaw thing come about because of the chemistry between Melissa and Zoie or has it always been in the works since the beginning when you were imagining the show?

JM: It's kind of been in the works, but it certainly helps that Melissa and Zoie do have great chemistry. If you look back you can see that it's kind of hinted at throughout this season so it's throughout the show. There is a special connection between her and the Android for some reason. It’s something we hint at kind of subtly through their interactions, but also when we talk about the backstory and the fact that again and again, Portia made her who she is and such. Like most everything in Dark Matter, it's kind of an endgame in mind. And a lot of the stuff we threw out there may seem sort of random but, hopefully, all of it will come together and pay off at series end.

STV: Going way back to Season One we saw that Two had intimate relations with Three and she sort of tried to commit to One but their timing always seemed to be off and at the time everybody kind of felt that it could have been because she was the captain and had all that weight on her. Was any part of it because some part of her remembered Shaw and couldn't let go of that?

JM: You take a look at the relationships she had with One and Three and they were very much physical relationships whereas the relationship she had with Shaw was on sort of a much deeper level. You can definitely suggest that in the back of her mind, potentially subconsciously, there was someone else out there for her. That could be part of it and part of it could be what like we said as commander she can't really commit to a relationship and she doesn't want to create complications on board the ship. That could be another element to it.

STV: There's another interesting parallel with Three, in that they both put the loves of their lives in stasis, but unlike Rebecca who had somewhere safe to leave Shaw, Three had to take Sarah with him. While Boone was out there searching for a cure for Sarah, was Rebecca/Portia going through something similar trying to find a way to save Shaw? Or did she just kind of say that’s another part of my life and I'm moving on?

JM: There’s another piece to that puzzle that is going to be revealed at the end of Episode Twelve so I'm going to hold off answering that question until you watch that episode.

STV: I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of Two and Android stuff coming up. That’s what it is sounding like.

JM: Possibly. Possibly.

STV: The accent that Zoie used for Shaw, was that her choice or part of the design of the character?

JM: That was actually her choice, she suggested trying something similar and I said sure if you want to try something different, go for it.

STV: Can you clarify the time frame of events? How long were Rebecca and Dr. Shaw together? Because it seems like there is a significant amount of time that we haven't seen yet. Can you clarify anything about what's in that unknown time frame?

JM: You know, I hate to put a time on anything, I would say, definitely more than a month, definitely less than a year.

STV: Now we've got Dr. Shaw running out there still alive. She's got Android Sarah with her and we know Alternate Portia is running around out there. I'm going to guess it might be safe to assume that Alternate Portia has a Shaw of her own? Will these two meet? And can you tease, if they will, what kind of tension they could have?

JM: You know, I don't know if that's a question for Season Four or Five, but you're absolutely right, chances are very good that Portia had a Dr. Shaw in her life who went through a similar scenario. What ended up happening, that's kind of an interesting story to explore.

STV: Going back to those that are running around out there, Sarah is out there now. Three believes that she has a body now and it seems to end kind of on an ominous note. Are we going to see pay off to that this season or are we going to have to wait until a future season to see what comes of that?

JM: We're going to have to wait until a future season to see how things develop in that respect, but isn't it ironic that Three, who throughout the first few seasons referred to the Android as a robot and nothing but metal bits. What would happen if the love of his life is suddenly an android? That's kind of an interesting scenario. On the other hand, her plate is full. Clearly, there's a lot more to Victor than we assumed when we first met him.

STV: Shaw wasn't there, so she doesn't know what Victor is capable of, is she going to become aware of what her creations are capable of and try to do something about it or is she going to get caught off guard too?

JM: Chances are very good that she is either aware, is very aware, or is going to be quickly made aware. The question is what will she do about it? How far is she willing to go to safeguard their survival? More importantly, if their end goals, or means to the end, don't line up how will Dr. Shaw and Chase and Victor and Sarah, how will things develop in that respect in terms to their relationship? Then in terms of all of the androids who are constantly being upgraded?

STV: Is Victor going to continue his self-destructive ways?

JM: I wouldn't say self-destructive, you could argue he's kind of destructive, and very careful. The fact that we don't know Victor that well and we will get to know him a little more as some time goes on.

STV: Could something bad happen to him be the reason we saw the Android being consoled by Two in the flash forward?

JM: Could be. Could be. Again, anything is possible.

STV: It kind of felt as the episode was winding down that Two felt something in regards to Shaw, but didn’t express it. Could she make some deeper connection with Shaw if they meet in the future, which I'm going to guess they probably will. Do you think there is a potential for them to strike up a relationship or is Two just too far different from Rebecca for Shaw to be able to see Rebecca in her?

JM: I think she's very different, but you know, that may not very necessarily preclude the possibility of a relationship. I'm really hesitant to shut the door on any potential relationship this early on. Or basically, I should say I'm hesitant to commit to something either way in an interview this early on.

STV: Sanctuary seems like it's gone now, it's been decimated, the androids that knew it existed now no longer have a place they know is theirs, how's that going to affect the populace of them out there?

JM: Well, on the surface, it could mean that they're in trouble and if they're in trouble and are pushed then they will have to react, or they will have to act, and if they act then there’ll be a reaction from the human population. So potentially a very grim path they could all go down. Or maybe they’re just going to be upgraded and everybody's happy and we don’t need to do more seasons.

STV: We want future seasons!

JM: Well, then, maybe, who knows?

STV: We know Chase's story now, he told us what happened, and at one point, like we talked about earlier, the time frame is kind of iffy, but after Shaw goes into stasis, there is a clear costume change for Rebecca. In that time frame did she change from Rebecca to Portia Lin? Is that what the wardrobe change meant or is that still yet to come?

JM: That still yet to come, there's another event that kind of drives her to assume the persona of Portia LIn and then join the crew of the Raza. Again that's something that we're going to be finding out in a future episode, but she's very much still Rebecca in that final scene when Shaw goes into stasis and she’s standing alongside Chase. What led her to end up joining the crew of the Raza and becoming one of the worst of the worst remains to be seen. Although we did see how she assumed command in this episode too.

STV: Yeah, that was ruthless, and awesome and fierce, and totally what I would expect from Portia Lin.

JM: Uh-huh, and what you’d expect from Boone as well who is more interested in food than really getting involved and risking his own hide.

STV: True, true. That was definitely Boone being Boone and just eating. Seems like Anthony would like those scenes too.

JM: He does! He does!

STV: Speaking about food, the Android seems to be really into cooking this season. She's made a lot of new dishes, is that just her personality coming out?

JM: I think so. Essentially she's discovering fashion, she's discovering cooking, different ways to express her individuality and her creativity. Hopefully, we'll get to see a lot more of it in Season Four.

STV: Are we going to get to see more of the flashback scenes like we did in 310 of the pre-memory wipe crew?

JM: Eventually, yes. Not anymore this season. As I mentioned, in Episode twelve we’ll be revealing secrets of a different sort, through a different means.

STV: In 310, right before Shaw and Two parted paths, Shaw gave her what looked like a thumb drive of information. I'm guessing, from the synopsis that I've read, that's going to be immediately paid off in 311. Is that safe to guess?

JM: That is safe to assume, yes. Essentially she gave her the override codes to some of the Dwarf Star security protocols. It's what she used to essentially help spring Rebecca and she kind of gives it to Two to use should she have the need and it turns out she will have the need next episode.

STV: That would be awesome to see. There's another piece of the Rebecca puzzle, and that would be Eric. He seems to fall into the picture after Shaw is fired. We know that the time frame between Shaw's firing and Rebecca's escape seems to only be, based on Chase's story, like a couple of weeks. Is Eric's presence going to come into play again? Is he somehow connected to Shaw, did he know what was going on between them relationship or is he just an unfortunate innocent soul?

JM: He basically was just unfortunate and in this case collateral damage. They were all part of the same team and they both kind of felt a connection to her, but eventually Rook recognized what was happening with Shaw and she was forced off the project and then you know Rebecca was essentially left alone and Eric ended up stepping into that void and kind of reaching out to her and kind of consoling her. So, neither of them fared very well off. You know Eric is dead and Shaw is dying.

STV: Speaking of Shaw dying, that's kind of sad to think that's six hundred years in the future, we still haven't cured cancer.

JM: Yeah, yeah. I think as time goes on you are able to treat certain diseases but more virulent diseases kind of manifest. Cancer's been around for quite a while.

STV: True. Seems like Shaw's got a reprieve, at least for the time being, because of Two’s nanites, but again, I have a feeling that's going to get more story time too.

JM: Yeah, who knows how long that will last. If it’ll stave it off indefinitely or if it is a cure of sorts? Again, time will tell.

STV: Shaw seems to think that she’s still effectively dying, so she really doesn't have anything to lose from this last big push to free Androids.

JM: Yeah, I mean, yes and no. There's certainly a morality about her so, I mean it will be interesting to see. They're all working towards the same goal to help androids but ultimately it may seem they have different ways to achieve the goal.

STV: Physically the Android isn't Shaw, but they do share their appearance which is what seemed the most meaningful to Portia in the flashbacks. Even though the Android isn't Shaw, she does have a connection with Two, is there ever a chance that they would become something more intimate? Or are they always going to be really close friends?

JM: The way things are now, it would seem to suggest just a friendship. But again, you know, I don't want to close the door on anything.

STV: Will this big reveal affect their friendship? Because almost immediately, as soon as the Android saw what was going on, she said that the situation was awkward. Is that going to affect her friendship with Two? Their working relationship?

JM: I don't think it'll impact it negatively.

STV: In the flash forward, in episode 304, Shaw was a part of that dark prophecy, that future Five recounted to the Android. Are the other things going to come into play this season or in a future season?

JM: Half this season and the other half will pay off in the next two seasons.

STV: It doesn't look good for Ryo, so I have a feeling that the Fall of the House of Ishida is probably not far off?

JM: Looks like that can be happening sooner than later.

STV: If Ryo survives, and that seems like a big if, can he ever find a place back with the crew even if they were to say wipe his memories? Or can they never see that guy as a friend ever again?

JM: It's going to be tough, It's going to be very tough. I mean, when you're wiping his memories that’s easier said than done. It remains to be seen, maybe that’s something they're going to have to deal with at some point this season, who knows?

STV: You’ve had a lot of big surprises this season, like every episode, there's something new and crazy that is being dropped on fans, was that always the game plan for this season, to just blow our minds?

JM: That's the game plan for every season. First of all, I want something to happen every episode, I just can't stand shows where nothing happens. Something advances a big story or you get a reveal on a character, but I want each episode to be important in some respect and ultimately I want to end each episode with a moment that makes you go “holy crap I want to see if where this is going”. And it's challenging, but it's really a satisfying type of story to tell.

STV: What can you tease about these last episodes of the season and what should people be the most excited to see?

JM: As I said, Episode Eleven, we really shed a lot of light on a storyline that we've been building for the past several seasons, in fact, that it's called The Dwarf Star Conspiracy kind of lets you know what it's about, but it's really a fun kind of off episode. Episode Twelve is really a super character centered episode, it's all about family, it's all about secrets. All about kind of a bittersweet reunion of sorts and wraps up another storyline and I mentioned the fact that it could end in death for someone. Episode Thirteen, friends become enemies and enemies become allies, and the most unlikely of enemies become allies and we close one chapter and open an exciting new chapter in the show. So, big things, big things await.

That concludes this interview. I'll try to have another one with him to bring us answers about the upcoming episodes. He wasn't joking when he said that big things are coming our way. The reveals in this episode were mind blowing, but believe it or not, there are even bigger reveals coming. Buckle-up because this is just the beginning of the incredible things coming over the next several weeks.

Hit the comments with your thoughts regarding what Joseph Mallozzi had to say. Did anything particularly shock you? Should we get a chance to interview him again before the end of the season what would you like more clarification on?

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