Success! Finally! After what felt like two grueling months (No, check that. It WAS two grueling months), the script is done. Almost. Actually, not even almost. I have a first draft. Fifty-five glorious pages that, when printed up, feel nice and heavy and, upon first glance, resemble a real honest-to-goodness Atlantis script. All that’s left to do now is read it over a couple of dozen times, agonize over the plot, dialogue, and description, make the necessary changes, read it one final time just to be sure, get notes from the other writers, make the necessary changes, get notes from the network, make the necessary changes, incorporate any notes the actors may have and then – done, done and done. Sort of but not really, because then prep week begins with all of its meetings and discussions and, yes, changes. However, once prep week is over it’s finally out of my hands – for about a day. And that‘s when the dailies start coming in, followed by the various cuts, more network notes, and the mixes. Of course, along the way, I’ll also be writing three more scripts.

But let’s not dwell. Instead, let’s celebrate this soon-to-be short-lived victory like they used to do in olden times: over rum cake and Yoo-hoo.

By the way, my friend Sue was kind enough to inform me that today is Hat Day. It may seem silly to some, but when you think about it, wearing a hat is one of the things that separates us from the animals (except on National Dress Up Your Pet Day which was, incidentally, yesterday). So make the most of it because celebrations like these don’t come around every day – tomorrow, of course, being the exception as we celebrate Hot and Spicy Food International Day.

Fondy and I are working our way through the second season of Boston Legal and are really enjoying the series. But one thing I found quite bizarre was the disappearance of one of the cast members. She’s in the show’s opening credits but only appeared in a handful of episodes before vanishing completely. Strange. She was a likable enough character. I wondered who was to blame for her disappearance. Was it the producers? The network? The studio? The actress herself? Was it a variety of factors? Some of the above? All of the above? Or maybe none of the above? Well, there was one thing I knew for sure, and that was that I knew nothing for sure. I considered joining some online fan forum and joining the chorus blaming the producers for her sudden disappearance, that episode with the singing, and my dog’s eye condition – but ultimately decided against it because I realized it would only make me sound like a shrill and ill-informed lemming. Still, it was tempting. There’s something strangely comforting and delusively empowering about chiming in with an anonymous mob, albeit one that lacks any true insight into the reality of a situation.

Sadly, nothing to report food-wise today since Fondy was feeling under the weather and I was working on the script. Still, I did snap a pic of Fondy’s dinner (in the colorful packaging). And, feeling reminiscent of happier meals, I’ve also included a pic of the crab dinner Fondy made the other evening.

Let’s see what’s in the mailbag:

Anonymous writes: “ After having talked with Richard Dean Anderson at Avalon a couple of months ago, I was under the impression that he was indeed interested in appearing in the SG-1 movies, or even guesting if SG-1 were to somehow continue to a season 11. Going by his answers, it seems that he was waiting simply to be approached by you guys.”

Answer: I’ll let the Brad and Robert’s recent interviews on the SG-1 movies speak on this one. But again, suffice it to say, (Us: “Hey, come do the show.”) + (Him: “Okay”) doesn’t necessarily = (Him in the show). Ah, if only it were that simple.

Tokiya 2 writes: “Ya forgot ta mention wot woz in thu jar Joe!”

Answer: I don’t know because I’ve yet to unseal it. I’m working my way through the cakes and cookies first and will get to the jar by this weekend at which point I will file a report.

RebeccaH writes: “The term “make due” is actually “make do”. Don’t worry. I see it all over the web, along with some other incorrect phrases. It sets my teeth on edge and I’m forced to correct it. Call me Schoolmarm if you must.”

Answer: Schoolmarm it is. Good catch tho. In the fewture, I encoorage all fanz to right me if they notice misteaks in my blog.

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Melantha
Melantha

Bless. I do feel sorry for you guys sometimes with all the fan campaign rubbish. All I can say is that in my household we are all thoroughly enjoying the current seasons and welcome whatever comes in the future as we’re pretty certain that the changes will be for the good of the show, as past experiences have shown.

As for the writing and producing side of things, does that spoil your enjoyment of the show at all? I’d never really appreciated how many times you had to watch the mixes until you mentioned it the other day, no wonder you don’t watch the eps when they air!

Desiree
Desiree

My favorite SG writer + my favorite SG show = A HAPPY ME!!!

Seriously, Joe, I know the script will make a WONDERFUL episode seeing as how you are an AMAZING writer!

Oh and welcome back to the web. smile

How many Atlantis episodes are you penning??

Desiree
(from South Carolina)

PS. Did you get my package back in November???

Bugguy
Bugguy

Oh great God of Atlantis, I bow before you and ask that you answer my wish. Please do not let Dr Weir become only a recurring character….PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASSSSSSSSSSE! I’ll walk the dogs for you, and cook, I’m a great cook. You name it. I am also a professional driver to chaffeur you around. Let me know. And I’m a doctor so free Medical care, yeah I know Canadians have universal medical care, but how about this…free “GOOD” medical care. Any thing to keep Weir

Anonymous
Anonymous

Dear Mr. Mallozzi,
I love the character of Elizabeth Weir and the wonderful talent of Torri Higginson. Did Sci-Fi put pressure on you and your colleagues to reduce her role to recurring? Should I be writing letters to them? It is MGM? Or is this all hopeless and we, the Elizabeth/Torri fans, should just give up and accept that she is basically off the show after 3-4 episodes? Just tell us if that is what you believe so we won’t waste our time and energy anymore.

Sincerely,
Bindu Reddy

Sapph
Sapph

Hello Mr M!

I was one of the people who had dinner with you last year near the time of the Creation convention. That was a great restaurant BTW, thanks for choosing it and giving up your time smile

Love reading your blog, and congrats on (almost) getting the script finished!

except on National Dress Up Your Pet Day which was, incidentally, yesterday

There’s such a day? :S

Anonymous
Anonymous

Joe, I’m a proofreader, and that last comment is making my head hurt. Please make it stop. lol

Anonymous
Anonymous

Joe,

Are you telling us that you, a foodie in the worst way, gorged yourself on a McDonald’s feast? I thought you were above such a diet? Those fries are good though….

Anonymous
Anonymous

Joe, How’s it goin? So I was just wondering since your a food lover if you’ve ever had a traditional Irish stew. I have a great receipe given to me by my nan….

Irishchick (Dublin)

Nolamom
Nolamom

You remind me of myself on Friday when the first three chapters of my doctoral dissertation were due…I was counting the pages!

Rather than dismiss out of hand fans who lack a “true insight into the reality of a situation,” might it not be better to clarify some of the problems encountered in producing a television program? Likely there would be fewer fans up in arms now if you would.

Kindu
Kindu

It’s almost funny what you said about the disappearance of a main cast member in a show the same day Atlantis fanbase is going crazy about the news that Elizabeth Weir will become a recurring character in season 4 !!
But I’m a fan and as you said I think we need more information !

Best regards,

Kindu (totally devastated by the news about her favorite character, and sadly my enthusiasm for the end of S3 and s4 is going down)

Sarah
Sarah

You know, I’ve read and mostly enjoyed your blog for quite a while. Being a fairly cynical and snarky person I’ve also been entertained by your deliberate stirring and sly poking of fandom.
However, I take exception to being called a “shrill and ill-informed lemming.”. Am I less intelligent because I enjoy the shows? (my PhD would indicate otherwise). Does wanting to share my enjoyment of the shows with other like-minded people make me lemming-like? Perhaps I should buck the lemming trend and stop buying DVD’s or attending conventions…
I certainly acknowledge the insanity that comes with fandom, some of which I could never condone or support. However, I have a mind of my own, I’m not “empowered by chiming in with an anonymous mob, albeit one that lacks any true insight into the reality of a situation.” A comment which is pretty rich considering the way in which the people behind the show drip feed the “fans” deceptive pieces of information. I expect everything that comes out of any of your mouths to be part truth and slanted towards your own best interests. As Brad said, the show is a business, you do what you have to, it’s not all about friends.

Anyway, like there’s anyway you a. read, or b. give a rat’s ass about my opinion, so I’ll quite while I’m behind.
Congrats on finishing a script – a massive amount of work, considering your apparent opinion of the people you’re putting all that work in for.

kiwigater
Gateworld Forum Moderator (and damn proud of it thank you very much!).

crazedturkey
crazedturkey

Mr. Mallozzi,

Your propensity to stir the pot has, as always, provided me with much amusement.

Thanks for the laugh! And I look forward to the episode!

crazedturkey

Alli
Alli

Hmmm. Ill-informed lemmings, hey? Your Boston Legal anecdote stands out like a sore thumb to most of us. Perhaps we’re a little more perceptive than you think. And if we’re ill-informed, well that’s because a left of centre comment was made without any other details being given. Of course people are concerned when their favourite character is being ‘demoted’.

To say Torri will be back “for some time” as a recurring character was bound to stir the fans up. How long is “some time”? And then what? Are you guys offloading her??

And recurring in the way of Ford, or recurring as Carson was in season one, because there’s a big difference.

People are upset because she’s been developed in such a way that they’ve come to love her. And credit to TPTB for that. You’ve created a likeable, believable character, and Torri is a wonderful, talented actress who brings the part to life in an amazing way.

Do you guys realise what you have in her? Because that’s our concern. That you don’t realise just how incredibly good she is at her job.

Please don’t waste her talent. She, and the series, deserve better than that.

James
James

I think you need to preface your blog entries with a disclaimer, explaining that the characters and events described are not based on any specific experiences in your life.. As it happens, there are shrill and ill-informed fans of a different show altogether who seem to think that you might perhaps be making a thinly veiled point about the way they react to events that they don’t understand.. Such a shame that the Internet makes these sorts of misunderstandings so much more common!! :o)

Anonymous
Anonymous

Joe, in your professional opinion, do you think that the ratings might bounce back when the shows come back in the spring?

GateGipsy
GateGipsy

Joe, is that truly how you feel about people who are so passionate about a show that they join an online community to talk about it?

When your favourite sports team signs a new player or unexpectedly gets rid of an old one, do you shrug your shoulders and say well I guess there’s things going on that I don’t know about, or do you seek out your friends who are also fans of that team and have a good rant about it?

Why insult us?

windshieldbug
windshieldbug

Ah, interesting take on lemmings. That’s the strangest thing I’ve been called by someone affiliated with Stargate Atlantis.

David Hewlett calls us Squirrels, David Nykl calls us Piranhas.

As with the actress in question on Boston Legal (a show I greatly enjoy), characters on other shows are immediately missed by their fans. If James Spader or William Shatner were reduced in their role the ratings would decline as the complaints from fans increased.

Lemmings need not act as uninformed anonymous mobs. Quite often fans know there is more to the situation than is presented, that however does not keep them from being upset by the loss of a character who has won them over.

I hope you are not hounded for the statement you made, as it is your opinion. Please understand that fans/lemmings become emotionally attached to long-standing characters and actors.

tmac72
tmac72

I’m sure there’s more going on than we know right now, but that does not mean that we have to be happy with the situation at the moment. Of course we are going to be upset, mad, outraged, and anything else you can think to add. Just like anyone who suffers the loss of someone they care for, and yes we do form somewhat of a bond with these characters that we have gotten to know over the years, there will be grief and a whole range of emotions. That is something that passes with time but right now we just have a hard time seeing past that. I’m holding out (very faint)hope that there is something big in store that will make all of this that has happened worth it.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Dear Mr. Mallozzi,

While I appreciate the humour in your lemmings comments, and your right to express your own opinion, I would have hoped that such a unique perspective of both sides of the fence would generate a greater understanding of your own audience, rather than comments disparaging our intelligence. While I concede that it may not have been your intention to insult your own audience, unfortunately these comments have done exactly that.

Lauriel.

alyburns
alyburns

You wrote:

“I considered joining some online fan forum and joining the chorus blaming the producers for her sudden disappearance, that episode with the singing, and my dog’s eye condition – but ultimately decided against it because I realized it would only make me sound like a shrill and ill-informed lemming.”

Very sly, sir. Very sly. ::accepts jab with grace but wishes we were as clever in order to lob it back again:: *grin*

Anonymous
Anonymous

LOLOLOLLOL

Rogue
Rogue

My, you are taking the slack aren’t you! It’s strange how one seemingly innocent comment can have so many people in such an outrage. I can’t get over how much people will read into things!

Don’t worry bout it Joe, you’re still one of my fav’s!

A shrill and ill-informed lemming
A shrill and ill-informed lemming

Mr. Mallozzi, is that truly how you feel about the fans of your show? That we’re “shrill and ill-informed lemmings”?

My world doesn’t begin or end with Stargate Atlantis. I have a life, friends, a job and a full-time university course. This show is only a small part of my life, but it’s something I’ve enjoyed for the past three years and, yes, it’s something I do feel passionately about. Because I care about these characters. I’ve loved watching them grow and develop over the course of the show, and it’s always disappointing to discover that a much-loved character is being written out or replaced.

You refer to the fan outrage over one major cast change in a show. Atlantis is undergoing four: The reduction of Torri Higginson’s role, the loss of Paul McGillion, and the arrivals of Amanda Tapping and Jewel Staite. You have to admit, it’s a big overhaul. Can you blame fans for being upset, especially with the casual “by-the-by” way in which some of these changes were announced?

I’m not writing to argue for or against the changes to the show’s main cast, but simply to express my hurt in the callous way in which it was handled. We’re told Carson will be demoted from a regular character to a recurring one and suddenly he’s been killed off. We’re told Carter will be guest-starring in a few season four episodes and suddenly she’s lined up for almost all of them, apparently taking the female-in-command place of Elizabeth. Who, we’re to learn as if it were already common knowledge, is being reduced to the ambiguous role of “recurring character”. Amanda and Jewel’s characters have been alienated among fans before they’ve even reached Pegasus.

Please, Mr. Mallozzi, afford your fans a little more respect. However your remark was intended, it has left a lot of people in fandom feeling hurt and has only served to bolster the growing sentiment that the producers of Stargate Atlantis have little or no regard for those who watch the show.

Carolina
Carolina

Let me sit in my little corner and just clap… bravo! although I’m worried for you, I’ve never seen you answer so directly to questions, what happened with “maybe”? “could be”? “some day”? “yes and no”? are you sure you’re eating well? or is it the weather? have you lost your touch? I’m worried… smile

Anonymous
Anonymous

As a part of online fandom, I get being irritated etc. with some of the fans. But honestly, most people are taught (from a very young age) the old saw about ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.’

To take it a step further, ‘you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar’. And I think you’re entering into a season where every little fly counts, even the most annoying ones, no?