Even for me, it’s so weird to remember that Mal, who busted his way into the cast back in Chapter Two, has a last name. He doesn’t get called by it very much. In the original script I actually had him droning on for a lot longer, but I eventually realized even the other characters could only take so much technobabble.
If your ears perked up at the name, yes, I did indeed name Mal after a certain famous Canadian astronaut. The strange thing is, he’s possibly now better known, at least among Canadians, as the man who recently tried to run against Justin Trudeau for Liberal leader (which, by the way, if he had succeeded would have been so awesome). But at the time I gave Mal the name he was just a back-bencher. It was very peculiar to see his name pop up in the news again, with hardly any reference to his other career.