They say that you should never go shopping when you’re hungry. To this, I would add: Never park your car equidistant to two or more take-out restaurant when you’re hungry. I decided to pick up dinner on my way home, intending to drop by The Memphis Barbecue House for some ribs and pulled pork. However, as I got out of the car, I noticed a tiny Greek restaurant with some mighty enticing souvlaki wrap pics out front. I phoned Fondy and had her make the call. Greek it was! I ordered a chicken souvlaki wrap for her and a chicken souvlaki dinner for myself. Since the order was going to take a few minutes, I decided to kill time by going for a walk – right over to the nearby Memphis Barbecue House where I ordered the beef rib special (a.k.a. The Fred Flintstone special) and the heart-healthier cornish game hen (which, let’s face it, ended up as an accompaniment instead of an alternative). I arrived home, double-feast in tow, to discover Fondy had baked chocolate chip cookies. An hour later, I was feeling like that guy from Survivor who won the auction and ending up eating a hot dog, fries, pizza, and a beer in one sitting.

Well, today was the day my paradisaical respite came to an abrupt end with a return to work where the heavy burden of television production was once again thrust upon me. After an arduous morning spent discussing holidays, football, and our favorite t.v. shows, we eventually broke for a spartan lunch – turkey breast on multigrain with cranberry and mayo for me – before retreating to our respective offices for several hours of intense script-reading (ive in all). The first half of the season is looking very solid story-wise as, in addition to some great team episodes, each of our characters is given the opportunity to shine in their own feature episodes.
In the afternoon, I sat down to an interview for a Stargate special, where I spent the better part of an hour discussing everything from the show’s “mythological superstructure” to a certain system lord’s flair for fashion. A truly grueling day.

For those of you in need of a scorecard: we have a waving and fiery-eyed Rob Cooper, the dashing Alan McCullough, the bespectacled Alex Levine, the ever-cheerful Carl Binder, John Lenic gives season 4 the thumbs up, the ice cool BamBam, Martin Gero beats a hasty retreat, our assistant Lawren Bancroft-Wilson goes incognito, I give Carl’s script some serious consideration, Kerry preps for the interview, Ivon goes camo, and Aaron looking street.

Let’s check out the mail –

Toasteronfire writes: “Watched any good anime recently?”

Answer: Yup. I am currently making my way through the 15+ volume Fighting Spirit. Next up – Fullmetal Alchemist.

Carolina writes: “Joe, without wanting to get to serious, what do you think about how in today’s world, people can watch a show whenever they want and not depend on a tv schedule?”

Answer: So long as we get the ratings, I don’t mind how the fans watch (live, tivo) or re-watch (dvd) the show. Personally, I think it’s hard to beat t.v. on dvd for a good, 3-4 hour commercial-free marathon.

UNSRM writes: “…are you not at all worried that the introduction of Amanda and recurring nature of Torri’s character that you might blur the line between SG1 and Atlantis (…)?

Second, I’d love an assurance from you that the time travel movie will be different from past examples, e.g. Moebius.

Answer: We made a point of isolating Atlantis in its first season in order to establish it as a separate entity from SG-1. With season two, elements of SG-1 began to bleed through to the Pegasus Galaxy (even more so and vice-versa in season 3) because, by that point, Atlantis had established itself as a unique series. From a “story universe” standpoint, it makes sense that the line between SG-1 and Atlantis will occasionally blur given their shared origins and mythology.

Ugly Pig writes: “…could Dr. Mallozzi from ‘Sunday’ be none other than the Joseph Mallozzi? You know, the guy who wrote ‘Latin for the Novice’?”

Answer: One and the same. Latin for the Novice was such a huge bestseller that the good doctor was able to open his own anime shop.

Anonymous writes: “Am I ignorant, a cretin or a Lemming?”

Answer: Depends. Tell me more about yourself.

Anonymous writes: “How long – on average – would you say it takes to completely spin/break an episode, and after that, to write it? How much description do you usually write into your episodes, and how much do you leave to the director/VFX people? Do you use ‘cut to:’ in your writing, or do you just go from one scene to the next without that?”

It will take the better part of a day to break a story, about two weeks to write a first draft, and (hopefully) only a couple of days to write a second draft. I only write as much description as necessary and leave the directors as much leeway as possible. No “cut to’s” but I will use the occasional “dissolve to” and “wormhole transition to” in order to suggest the passage of time.

17 thoughts on “January 17, 2007

  1. Forgive me for hijacking this thread but I don’t want my comment lost in the sea of wank.

    While I both agree to a degree with the comments you made re the fandom – echo chambers are scary things, and some fans can reduce to hystrionics at the drop of a hat – it’s rather unfair to deride them for going off without all the information and then doing nothing to alter their lack of knowing. And I say that fully aware that you may not be in a position to divulge said information, in which case perhaps the mocking was less than the best road to take.

    Also, do keep in mind that online fandom is one tenth of one percent of the collective fans of any given show and you do those of us that aren’t batshit a rather significant disservice.

    Do you have a right to your opinion? Absolutely. Is it valid? To a degree, certainly. Was it in any way helpful? Not so much.

    I’m a big fan of SGA. I enjoy the mix of wacky with the scifi. It’s a show I don’t think about too much and just enjoy. That said, I’m concerned myself about the news that Ms Tapping is coming over, Ms Higginson is reduced to “reoccurring” and Mr McGillion is, for all intents, gone. It’s not unreasonable for even the not wanky fans to have reservations about where that would take the next season.

    So, you know, maybe try to avoid the sweeping generalizations?


  2. Hey Joe,

    Thanks for the pictures. I really appreciate it. It’s always nice to be able to put some faces to the names you read on screen.

    And I really loved the Dr. Mallozzi bit in Sunday.

    I never posted before but I just wanted you to know that I have been reading your blog almost from day 1 and I love coming back here every day. Thank you for everything.


  3. On the question of Torri’s character being recurring — I know you don’t want to give away plot details etc, but can you give some idea of what ‘recurring’ means in her case? Do you mean recurring as in Carson from season one, or recurring as in Ford post season one?

    I know there’s been mass panic on Gateworld — something as simple as a number of episodes, as has already been revealed for Carter, might calm people down.

    The comment was just kind of thrown out there by Brad Wright, and the context in which is was revealed basically implied that she’d be recurring for a little while before the character is gone… that has people worried, because Torri and Elizabeth are both very popular with fans.

  4. Thanks for the pictures.

    Its nice to be able to put faces to the names.

    Best wishes to the entire crew!

  5. You are truly a snark-master! I am finding that your responses to questions on the blog are far more entertaining than even the greatest Letterman Top Ten List of all time.

    Yes, it is the hallmark of a great writer! Let the sarcasm continue!

  6. Joe,

    Glad you had fun on your first day back, and with your camera.

    I was wondering if there was anything you could tell us about the situation with Weir for Season 4? There is a lot of hurt in the fandom right now, and not just amongst people for whom Weir was their favorite character. I haven’t seen any of them blame anyone for the situation, nor anyone profess to know what has gone on behind the scenes (I can’t speak to what’s been in your email and comments here though, but I can imagine). I personally just feel completely gutted. Completely and utterly, gutted.

    Is there a chance she could go back to main cast (maybe towards the end of the season)? Is the reason for Torri Higginson’s recurring status caught up in a story arc for Season 4 or is Weir going to be demoted to simply waving people through the gate or worse still, simply being dumped from the show? I can think of many possibilities but at this point I just feel shafted. It was totally unexpected and Weir is the reason I watch this show. Could you offer anything? Even just a morsel?

    Thanks for your time (and your blog),

    p.s. I’ve been meaning to ask for a while, have you ever tried Kangaroo? It’s a gorgeous meat. Rich, gorgeous flavor and extra healthy. I tried some last month and I think I’m addicted.

  7. Hi Joe,

    Torri’s fans want to know story about her character. We want she stays of main cast and we want to know if it’s your decision or torri’s decision.
    Thanks, I hope that you answer.

  8. One thing about photographing food… you don’t need to worry about red eye like you do with humans. There is software to fix that, you know. 😉

    Your expression is at once contemplative and evil. Very super-villain-esque. Nicely done.

  9. Joe:

    As the firestorm on the net continues…I was wondering if you could shed just a little light to help douse the flames.

    Is Torri’s reccuring status because of a story arc (Like Daniel in season 10)or is it going to be like Ford (a way to dump her from the show compeltly)?

    That’s all we really need, if it is a plot arc that will see Elizabeth back full time by the second half of the season then we will all calm down, however- if this is a way to dump the character Elizabeth completely- well, the firestorm will continue because for many of us, Weir is our favorite character. Not to mention she is a civilian, a diplomat, a strong leader AND in charge of Atlantis. All these qualities set Atlantis apart from SG1 and I know that many of us want SGA to stand on its own feet more.

    Also- I’m hurt that you didn’t approve my comment from yesterday. *pout* I was really polite too…


  10. Dear Dr. Mallozzi,

    There are a lot of pretty people working at Stargate productions, both behind and infront of the camera.

    That is all.


  11. Hi Joe,

    Dr. Mallozzi loosing his anime collection and a sudden reference to Macaroons in the shows… Is Mr. Mallozzi planning a take over? you share so much with us that we can make a connection… I wonder what other references are in the shows regarding other people.


    PS: Nice suite…. Made in Hong Kong? 😀

  12. Ok, I’m just reiterating what everyone else is asking…

    Can we please have some sort of hint of how much we’re going to be seeing Elizabeth?! *gives puppy dog pout* Pwease?!

    You will be forever loved! 😉

  13. Just a note that the fellow aiming the inverted victory sign toward the camera – that’s considered a very rude gesture in the UK (equal to ‘the finger’ in the USofA)….

    And I’ll jump into the fray wanting to know what’s going on with Torri’s role in season 4.

  14. Hey Joe…long time no speak. 🙂

    I understand why some fans feel the way they do about the changes on SGA. Heck, it was nigh but a year and a half ago I had similar misgivings about SG-1…that the changes were too much and did not give enough respect to the established characters and storylines. As it so happened, perhaps there was some validity to those concerns that I and many others held about how the new characters and new stories were introduced after all.

    Now we have what seems to be a not entirely dissimilar scenario brewing in Atlantis. It may seem arrogant to say this, but it is the hope of many that lessons were learned from what happened on SG-1 about how to…and how NOT to…implement drastic changes that need to be made.

    I understand the need for change and am excited at the possibilities the cast and story changes hold. It is my hope that the addition of Amanda and the others serves to tighten the series and broaden the fan base to make the show more sustainable long term…to give it the “legs” that Brad Wright didn’t believe it had previously.

    And while there exists a vocal group who choose to react negatively…which I don’t begrudge them at all as it’s their right to choose how they’ll respond to incoming tidbits of information…please also know there are a lot of other fans who are either excited about the changes and additions or are cautiously optimistic.

    As an Amanda Tapping fan, I look forward to seeing how and why she’s brought over to the show and what role she’ll play in this new direction. I personally think that having someone of Carter’s caliber, experience, expertise and background opens new possibilities for Atlantis…not only plotwise but also an interpersonal level. Maybe she can be used to help flesh out some of the lesser used characters for instance. Well at least that’s *a* hope of mine. 🙂

    Thanks Joe. 🙂

    Mary Beth

    P.S…Oh I almost forgot. What was that dish a few days ago with the stuffed oranges? And yes I do feel “entitled” to knowing the name of that dish. I also feel entitled to seeing some ice cream recipes since you mercilessly teased us with their names way back when on your old GW blog. 😀

  15. Hey There Joe,

    I should start this out by saying something cliché, like I’ve been a long time reader of your blog since it was on GateWorld. /End Cliche. On another note, I should mention it’s interesting to hear that you watch Boston Legal. For some reason everyone that I talk to has no idea what the show is, nor have I really ever seen a mention of it in my online surfing. Then all the sudden, bam, you’re blogging it.

    I guess my question, which is the only reason that I am writing at all (I tend to not get involved in Forums or Blogs due to some past experiences involving mass invasions of Attack Lemmings) is this:

    Do you find it hard to write and maintain a blog like this?

    When I was an Admin on another online website (I wont go into a publicity plug for the site here) I found it difficult to continue to be involved in the population. Especially when people consistently tore me down in public for decisions I made. How do you handle that? Survey says it’s likely something like reminding yourself that if the people you work for are happy, then everything will be alright.

    Thanks for the blog. Something new to read daily is always welcome.

    – Another Joe

    P.S. (Joke) What happens when two Joes meet on a neutral planet?

    Answer: A Joedown. (Its horrible, I know. But when your name is Joe, you have to have something on hand to say when people mock your name. Its just too easy for us.) – J

  16. uh… is this Allan guy single ?? 😉 though I wouldn’t mind BamBam to be either 😉

    thanks for your great blog 😉 love the humor and the food pics of course 😉 why else would I stop here daily for ? 😉

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