Whether it’s The British Lottery Corporation congratulating you on your big win, or the cousin of deposed Prince Mogolobowi of Nigeria exhorting you to help yourself to his formidable fortune, spam, like color-superconducting quark matter, comes in many varieties. Some are darn tempting – “Apple MacBook Pro Laptop at no cost to you!”. Others, not so much so – “Gracefully Hernia”. Still others leave you questioning the enthusiasm of the senders – “re: maffic – legiblit“. Gone are the days of “Got your message! Check inside!” and “Important! Virus warning!” Instead, we’re now besieged by half-assed solicitations like: “modifier teat”, “craggy power”, and “THE WIND ADVISORY FOR EARLY THIS MORNING HAS EXPIRED!”. It’s as if these people have just stopped caring. Seriously. Moorthi 119’s email regarding “righteous polar bear” is about as enticing as, say, Serena C. Barnett’s “is ghost!” or Osmund Crawford‘s “to breathing“. And while Milford Cleveland’s email announcement that “66% of members got laid” sounds impressive, Rocco Rojas’s later email titled: “73% members got laid” leads me to wonder whether it might be prudent to hold off as they continue refining the process. Nevertheless, I must admit that “Skinny-dipping preparedness” gave me pause. After all, I can’t imagine anything worse than being ill-prepared for such a scenario. And Wenzel Hodes’s email: “Condoleeza Rice has kicked German Chancellor…” did pique my curiosity. But not enough to open it. Ultimately, I figured that if Condi did kick the German Chancellor, he’d probably done something to deserve it. Fifth Third Bank wants me to “confirm your online status“ left me wondering exactly how many Third Banks are out there. And surely I could do better than fifth! Chadwick Gagnon’s succinct query, “B.S.”, felt more uninspired than refreshingly honest, while Lindsay Lazarus’s “Solid New Homes Made Simple” held no real pull for a guy who can’t even be bothered to assemble a shelving unit, much less an entire dwelling. If I knew for a fact that MGM would honor it, I might be inclined to take Nathan Flert up on his “A Day In Bed Coupon“ and I don’t know who Barb Franzoni is but I sincerely hope she gets help for her “zymosi” Maybe some sort of topical cream? And finally, there‘s the email I discovered in my inbox just the other day: “Increase Your Penis Size 12”. 12?!! I’m assuming that refers to the edition number. But just in case, I’m moving this one out of my spam folder and into my inbox.

Another dinner at home tonight as Fondy experimented with monkfish, a meaty fish that many liken to lobster in texture and flavor. She broiled it in the oven with a crispy caper butter sauce. Delicious.

By the way, I was channel-surfing after dinner and happened by American Idol, stopping to check out tonight’s New York celebrity guest judge. I couldn’t believe it! Holy Smokes, I haven’t seen her in years! Joan Collins looks amazing!

So, what’s on your mind…

Desiree writes: “Being the culinary connoisseur that you are, have you ever tried any honest to goodness Southern cuisine?”

Answer: I Love (note the capital L) Southern cuisine. I used to be a regular at a fantastic cajun restaurant in Montreal called, appropriately enough, The Cajun House, where I feasted on house gumbo with generous chunks of Andouille sausage, crab cakes, catfish beignets, and dirty rice. The Memphis Barbecue House here in Vancouver offers some great oyster po’boys, dry rub ribs, collard greens, and a fantastic pecan pie a la mode. In short, I’m a huge fan.

Desiree also writes: “Would you ever consider attending a convention other than Comic Con…like DragonCon say?”

Answer: Sure, I’d consider it (Chris Judge speaks very highly of this event) but it’s very hard to get away during production. And then, if you are seriously considering having me attend, there’s the cost of all that added security to consider.

UberSG-1Fan writes: “Did your boss at that time ever figure out or was ever told she praised the same work she previously deemed to be “a mess”?”

Answer: Nope. And it sure made ensuing rewrites easier.

UberSG-1Fan also writes: “Hw much interference does the creative process receive from outside influences?”

Answer: No t.v. show is produced in a creative vacuum. That said, certain shows are more heavily-influenced by outside forces than others. Stargate has been fortunate in that it had already proven itself when it made the move from Showtime. Robert have always been permitted to make their own creative decisions and since the show’s inception, the buck has ultimately stopped with them. With season four of Atlantis, the buck will now stop with Paul and I (so if you have any complaints, please direct all correspondence to Paul who sets aside two hours every day to personally read fan mail). That said, SciFi does pay for the product and, thus, does weigh in on everything from script and cut notes to big issue decisions such as casting. MGM, meanwhile, has been nothing but fully, one hundred percent supportive of both shows and their creative teams.

Anonymous writes: “When is Scifi planning on airing Atlantis’ season four? Will it be in the summer again, or will their be another six month break? If there is a longer break again, will it effect the movies/Stargate Universe timeline?”

Answer: I leave it to SciFi to lock down the date and make an official announcement. But regardless of when it airs, it will not affect the movies/Stargate Universe timeline.

Another Anonymous writes: “Are you planing to make a Stargate movie in the future that includes the real live actual furlings ? Or maybe in Atlantis or the new series ? (…) Do you ever plan to tell us what does the 9th chevron is for?”

Answer: We probably won’t be using any actual live furlings in future productions as they notoriously unpredictable and dangerous to work with. I don’t know about the SG-1 movies but, at present we have no plans to explore the furlings or that ninth chevron.

NowIWillDestroyAbydos writes: “You mentioned that Gero has a Wii, do you know what games has? Does he own Zelda: Twilight Princess?”

Answer: I’m not sure what titles he owns, but I’d be willing to bet Zelda: Twilight Princess is among them. Martin is more the “Battle for the Iron Cross Medal of Courage” type.

Stillhere writes: “In an update to her website, http://www.amandatapping.com, Amanda Tapping has revealed that it was you and Paul who came up with the idea of Sam Carter going to Alantis and approached her about it. Would you mind elaborating on how this concept came to be something you wanted to pursue as showrunners? Maybe a bit of insight into envisioning Carter in the Atlantis series?

Answer: To be fair, having Carter cross over to Atlantis was something we’ve wanted to do for a while but, for various reasons, were never able to achieve. It was an idea that had been floating around for a while because the character would make a great addition to Atlantis. She has a pre-established relationship (not to mention chemistry) with her old buddy McKay, a military background that will allow her to support Sheppard and the team if the need ever arises, a science background that will allow her to add her expertise to what has hitherto been a strictly McKay/Zelenka domain, and knowledge of, not to mention personal experiencing dealing with, both the replicators and the Ancients.

M writes: “Oooh yummy! Are those brussel sprouts or olives? I can’t tell!”

Answer: Brussel sprouts – steamed, then pan-fried with chilis and garlic.

17 thoughts on “January 24, 2007

  1. “Ultimately, I figured that if Condi did kick the German Chancellor, he’d probably done something to deserve it.”

    Maybe you should have read that email. The German Chancellor is a she, Angela Merkel. 😉


  2. Damn, now I want to check my spam filter for what comedy gold got stuck there!

  3. Intersting comments about Sam being on Atlantis – and yeah you make some good points. I think what has a lot of people worried (and maybe we don’t need to be) is the fear that she will TAKE OVER and be in charge while Sheppard and Rodney get shoved to the sidelines because she thinks she is “better” than they are in both military and science areas.

    Yeah probably won’t happen since she is a guest characeter but I think a little reasureence is needed for some of us.

  4. Some of those spam emails are very funny, aren’t they? Now, either I’m very lucky or my spam filter is very efficient, but I don’t receive a lot of them. None actually. Maybe they’re all redirected to your email inbox? 😉

    About Carter coming to Atlantis, I understand your point of view but the way I see it, everything you said about her is already taken by another character: military background – Sheppard; science background – McKay and Zelenka; knowledge of replicators and Ancients – well, I like that they have no idea of what they’re going to fight (they look more ‘human’, closer to all of us, non-Goa’ulds/Ancients/Replicators/Wraith specialists).
    As for her relationship/chemistry with McKay, since I’m a Sam/Jack shipper, just this idea makes me cringe 😉 Besides, I much prefer the Sheppard/McKay buddy-relationship than Carter/McKay.
    I am not anti-Sam, I just think SGA has many other characters who would deserve to be developped and I fear that Sam’s arrival will take that away.

    But don’t worry, I’ll be in front of my tv for the next season. Paul is waiting for our mails, isn’t he? 😉

  5. Dear Joe,

    Just a few questions about Atlantis 😉 You’ve probably heard them countless times before, but I’m going to give it a try anyway. 🙂

    The team interaction has always been very important to the Atlantis fans, and in truth, the obvious friendship that exists between Sheppard, McKay, Teyla and Ronon is what drew me to the show.

    I used to be an SG-1 fan (I own the DVD box sets of the first eight seasons), but halfway through season 9 I began to miss the wonderful friendship between Teal’c, Daniel and Sam that we saw in the earlier seasons. The team got more and more separated and there barely seemed to be any caring going on between them anymore, which is what turned me off from the show.

    That’s when I discovered Atlantis; it had the wonderful team moments that I felt SG-1 had been lacking for a long time.

    In your previous post, you said you and Paul had been wanting Carter to cross over to Atlantis for some time now. In making the decision to add Carter to Atlantis, did you take into consideration that fans of SGA might be concerned (as many of us are now) that the addition of a major character like Samantha Carter would take away from the dynamics of Sheppard’s team, especially from the Sheppard/McKay dynamics (which, in all honesty, is one of the things that made SGA a great show)?

    Also, many SGA fans fear that the enormous growth Rodney has shown over the seasons will be nullified; they fear that, since Rodney is rather smitten with Sam, he would have eyes only for her and care only about her, instead of about Sheppard and his team. Are there any reassurances you could offer us? Will the friendship between the members of Sheppard’s team still be developed once Carter has joined Atlantis?

    I, and many other fans, have always been willing to give changes a chance. Perhaps Carter joining Atlantis will be the best thing that ever happened to the show, I don’t know. I’m certainly keeping an open mind.

    But if Sam takes away the focus from Sheppard’s team, and, consequently, takes away the focus on the friendships that exist within that team, I believe many Atlantis fans will be very, very disappointed.

    I hope you’re willing (and able) to shed some light onto what your plans are for the SGA character dynamics in season 4! Thanks!

  6. On the flipside, doesn’t the character of Sam actually duplicate many of the skills and special attributes of existing characters? There is already a scientist in McKay and military with Shepherd. What exactly do you hope she’ll add to the mix that will make for more interesting TV stories?

  7. I disagree – “is ghost!” has piqued my curiosity… just WHAT is ghost, I wonder!

    Although it does seem that these days, spammers just throw darts at dictionary pages.

  8. hello, joe,

    even though i’ve never watched one single episode of atlantis, i’m excited that sam’s coming over. (i’d watch her watching paint dry :p)

    to be honest, with me not having viewed atlantis, i feel like sam’s coming on a completely brand new show (like ‘law and order’ or a ‘csi’, etc). there’s something exciting about a situation like that. if you guys moving sam over to atlantis was in part hoping that new fans would check it out, i’d say it’s working.

    you know me mr joe, the hopeless sam/jack shipper that i am; if you want to throw in any s/j in an ep or two, i won’t put up a fuss. :p

    but basically, this little note is to just say i’m excited about seeing sam on atlantis. {take care of my girl, she’s the best}

    sally 🙂

  9. I’ve read some of the comments posted here, Joe, and thought I’d try and give you another perspective.

    I’m one of those SG-1 fans who really aren’t into Atlantis. And putting Sam on Atlantis isn’t really going to get me to tune in each week. I love SG-1. My problem with Carter crossing over is that this move will essentially kill SG-1. I hate the idea of Carter not being on SG-1, out there exploring the galaxy and defending Earth. I can’t see how it makes any sense for her to leave the SGC and SG-1. If you’re going to keep both universes alive, then for what plausible reason would Carter have not stick with Daniel, Teal’c, Jack, etc. Those are the people she loves and cares about.

    Me, someone who doesn’t care about Atlantis, absolutely hates this move because it’s breaking up the team (SG-1). As others here are asking, can you give us SG-1 fans any reassurances that SG-1 will live on and continue, despite Carter being hijacked for the sake of Atlantis. An awful lot of Atlantis fans seem upset, and so are a lot of SG-1 fans. I just can’t see how this is going to work out for anyone.

    Can you at least tell us if Carter being on Atlantis is going to reduce her participation in the SG-1 movies? Will Sam be there as part of the team, or just as an add-on who doesn’t fit anymore? I’m really not liking this move.

    SG-1 Team Fan

  10. Joe,
    Its been a long time since BHS. I really enjoy your work and am so happy to see the success you have had. Well deserved.

    Hope the family is well
    Skully (JV)

  11. Joe, I’m disappointed you didn’t answer my question yesterday. I wasn’t rude or anything. Maybe you just missed it, so I’ll ask again.

    Is there any chance of Jack O’neill visiting Atlantis again in season four? His episodes in season three were great, and The Return 2 was the best big episode Atlantis has ever done!

    Jack Attack

  12. Hm, just a comment about Sam, here.

    The problem is, to me, exactly what you said. She is, IMHO, overly qualified, and can easily take over anyone’s position on Atlantis, which can make her little Miss annoyingly perfect.

    I know we’re gonna get a lot of Sam/Rodney, but it’s also something I fear, for I don’t really like Rodney’s attitude when she’s around, his crush on her makes him act like a teenager, and I also dislike the fact that (as someone I know said 🙂 “McKay is the logical one, and Carter the crazy one. If Carter says 2+2=5, no matter how much Rodney says 2+2=4, well Sam will always be right”. I know it’s a little bit simply put, but that’s the kind of feeling I get, and it’s why I’m am really sceptic about her arrival on Atlantis.

    Now same goes for the military side. Sheppard knows the Pegasus Galaxy and its enemies better than she does, I, for sure, would be very disappointed if she becomes the perfect soldier who knows better than John what to do.

    And I still don’t know what to think about Torri becoming recurring… I really hope that her role won’t be the Ford recurring kind of role, because, IMHO, this would be a total waste of one of the best characters Atlantis has.

    I have mixed feelings about season 4, I know there will be many changes, and don’t know what to think about it… I hope, Joe, that you understand many fans like the show as it is now, and don’t feel like it needed all these changes.
    However, it’s your decisions, and I respect it.
    Atlantis remains my favourite show, and even if I don’t really agree with your latest decisions, I really want to see season 4 and how it will be on screen.

  13. Checking out my spam and it seems apparently I have urgent shipping issues, but I can have a voucher to fly southwest airlines(maybe that will take care of the shipping issues).

    I can have a Sam’s Club gift card. I didn’t know Sam Carter had a club and she gave out gifts. Wow that must really be top secret. But according to the email that announces ‘I was just on Cam’ Mitchell is having more fun than she is.

    They want to give me a hundred dollars for talking about doing laundry. Then I can take my hundred dollars and be a Mystery shopper. Of course while I am a mystery on a shopping spree, somewhere in the world New Christian Singles are waiting on me(what happen to the old ones or do I really want to know). But why go to them when apparently I have attractive Asian singles in my area I can meet.

    It’s just too much for a girl to take in (so that’s why it goes to my spam folder LOL).

    Thanks for answering about the Carter to Atlantis decision. I wish you could let her take Cameron Mitchell with her. To me, Sam and Cam have such a great friendship/working relationship thing going on. I’ve never seen Carter so at ease and so comfortable working with someone like she (to me) she is with Cameron.

    However I understand Atlantis fans misgivings about what or how Sam Carter will fit into or affect the established dymanics. Will be interesting to see where and how it all goes along.


  14. I am as big a fan of the Stargate(s) as the next. I saw the original Stargate movie when it was in a movie theater. I even saw the original SG1 premier on a Showtime free weekend when it was first shown.

    That said, the reason I started reading this blog is I really enjoy your “slice of life” essays, Vancouver restaurant tours and pictures and the problems of writing and managing a TV show.

    I like an occasional bit of SG info that you think would be nice for us to know, but, I am starting to get worried (from some of the posts) that we could be heading back into the “Gateblog” wars of season 9 (eg. Sam didn’t get command in sg1. Now she has too much command in Atlantis” please discuss).


    Sometimes one line comes out of a movie or series that brings the whole episode/series back to one’s memory. Some possible examples.

    Gone with the Wind “Frankly my dear…..”

    When Harry met Sally “ I’ll have what she’s having”

    Hero’s “Save the cheerleader, save the world”

    and of course the Stargate(s)

    “Indeed”, “You think?” and “password is fishing”

    When you are writing the script do you ever think that this is line that will live in the jargon long after the episode has played?

  15. Totally unrelated to Stargate….

    Regarding American Idol, that was actually Carole Bayer Sager (the songwriter) doing her world-famous Joan Collins impersonation. She sure fooled hubby and me. (…as we channel-surfed, of course….)

    Mystery Girl

  16. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Sam being in Atlantis. As a fan of both shows (and of Carter and AT in particular) I have to admit I’m still not thrilled at the prospect, even more so now that I’ve read your comments. She’ll be duplicating all the skills and talents of the characters that are already there, characters that already have a wonderful chemistry (Sheppard and McKay in particular, but also McKay and Zelenka, and all of Sheppard’s team). Sam is smart and brave and maybe a little too perfect. Atlantis characters are flawed, sometimes annoying, sometimes scared and sometimes they screw up and argue with each other and that’s what makes them the wonderfully human characters that I’ve grown to love.

    SG1 is filled with great big heroes doing heroic things. As much as I enjoy the show, I love the quirkiness of SGA much more. And that’s what I’m afraid of losing.

    Just my two cents on the matter.


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