Last night, Fondy and I visited the final destination on our Dine Out Vancouver tour: Chef Angus An’s fledgling Gastropod on 4th Avenue. It was our second visit to the restaurant, the first being a generally positive dining experience several weeks back. This time out, our choices were limited to the DOV $25 and $35 menus. We both opted for the former, Fondy starting with the “tuna mille-feuille” while I went with the intriguing espresso beef stew. The mille-feuille – alternating slices of tuna and marinated daikon with a confit pepper yuzu dressing – was an item that hadn’t exactly won me over on our first visit. It failed to impress Fondy this time out although for different reasons. While I found the flavor of the marinated daikon overwhelmed the subtlety of the tuna, Fondy found the dish refreshing but had a problem with the conflicting textures. The stew, meanwhile, albeit interesting, was a little too boldly salted for my taste. Like the last time we ate here, although the appetizers failed to impress, our main courses certainly did. Fondy had the pan-roasted chicken with Israeli couscous: the chicken tender and crispy-skinned, the Israeli couscous (with spinach, chorizo, capers, and topped with parmesan cheese) the surprising highlight of an excellent dish. As for me – well, if it’s one thing this restaurant does exceedingly well, it’s fish: the ling cod with almond foam on our first visit, and my Salmon a la Gastropod on this visit. Two nori-wrapped pieces of incredibly medium-rare salmon were accompanied by a wasabi sabayon, fresh and flavorful pea shoots, and a warm citrus bulgar salad. Probably the best salmon dish I’ve had in years. For dessert, I ended with a very good coffee brownie accompanied by some vanilla crème fraiche and caramel ice cream. Fondy so loved her buttery Gastropod Banana Bread – toasted with Earl Grey syrup and cardamom ice cream – that it actually inspired her to talk about attempting the dish at home.

Service was great – prompt, friendly, and informative as the waiter gave us the lowdown on the upcoming menu change going into effect next Wednesday following Gastropod’s extended D.O.V. hours.

Overall, another generally positive experience. Again, the appetizers weren’t up to par with the mains but, hopefully, that will change with the introduction of some new menu items. My only significant quibble with Gastropod is the restaurant’s annoyingly tight seating. We were seated on the upper level at the back of the restaurant and were practically rubbing shoulders with our neighbors to either side.

On the Stargate front, I’m almost finished my rewrite of Reunion and am, admittedly, a little worried. While the script offers plenty of action, it is primarily a character-driven story. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of notes we receive from the network. The other scripts are coming along nicely. Martin kicks off season 4 with Adrift, continuing the events of the visually stunning season-ender First Strike. Carl’s Lifeline, the big op eppy, is next. Reunion will follow third and then – well, we’re still working that out. On the production schedule, Rob is first up with Doppelganger, a.k.a. N.O.A.S., assuming both writing and directing duties on this one. Alan’s The Seer script is being revised as we speak. And sometime soon, Monday I hear, Paul will have Travelers ready, a gift for all those of the Shep-whumping persuasion.

At lunch today, we did Thai buffet with the rest of the office. Meh. The highlight of the meal was the jar of goose liver pate that Martin brought in for me and that I subsequently shared with the rest of the writing department – or, more specifically, the members of the writing department willing to eat it: Martin, Alex, and myself. A picture-perfect moment presented itself later when Carl tried the 100% cocoa Domori chocolate bar I brought in. Look at him luxuriating in the richness and depth of that pure cocoa flavor.

Okay, whose got something to say…

Anonymous writes: “You’re a pretty interesting guy, you know that?”

Answer: Oh, I’m alright interesting I guess.

Carolina writes: “Joe, you always mention food, but what about what goes with it… drinks… do you have any favorite?”

Answer: To be honest, I’m not much of a drinker – although I do use various liquors in my ice creams (eggnog-flavored Advokaat and the more neutral vanilla-flavored Galliano are especially good in this respect).

Marla writes: “…do like some Chinese food and Japanese food, but can’t eat Indian food. Which is Thai food more like?”

Answer: I’d say it’s close to both Chinese and Indian, but far removed from Japanese.

Page Branson writes: “I look forward to hopefully more anime recs in the future (My personal favs: Read or Die, Battle Angel Alita, Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell:SAC).”

Answer: I’m presently working my way through Fighting Spirit and aim to get back to Full Metal Alchemist which I started before the holidays. My faves: Berserk, Cowboy Bebop, Noir, Evangelion, GTO, Kino’s Journey, Last Exile, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Samurai Champloo – to name but a few.

PalmerEldritch writes: “Joe, ever read any Philip K. Dick?”

Answer: How did I know you were a Philip K. Dick fan? Yes, I enjoy his work and my writing partner Paul is a particularly big fan. The Eye of the Sybil and Other Classic Stories is sitting on my office scifi shelf, just waiting to be read.

Anonymous #2 writes: “Have you guys considered producing a ‘deleted scenes/bloopers’ DVD?”

Answer: Ivon Bartok, our Special Features producer, and I have put together a deleted footage commentary for the upcoming DVD release. It will include deleted scenes from Morpheus, Memento Mori, and Quest I.

Suz writes: “Will we see Carson Beckett in Season Four. Yes or No?”

Magic 8 Ball says: “Reply still hazy, try again.”

Valerie writes: “Is there any possibility Jonas could come back to the stargate universe?”

Magic 8 Ball says: “Cannot predict now.”

14 thoughts on “February 1, 2007

  1. Hi Mr. Mallozzi!

    I hope you’re well. I’ve wanted to ask the Atlantis writers about the episode “Runner” ever since it first aired in the US. That episode brought up a lot of questions about Runners that (to my knowledge) haven’t been answered yet.

    When Ronon said that the Wraith stopped feeding on him was that because he is somehow special/resistant (if so, why did Beckett never pursue the matter?) or did the Wraith stop feeding for another reason? Are Runners perpetually caught and released (like fish!) or do they literally run for as long as they can evade capture?

    Also, I read Natalie Barnes’ short story in the Jan/Feb issue of Stargate Magazine in which the team decides to look for the rest of the possible Runners they discovered in “Sateda.” Is there any hope of seeing this great idea carried into an episode?

    Thank you kindly for your time!

    ~ Kellie


    Sorry for taking advantage of your blog to bombard you with all these questions (and to send you the links to my fan films which I pasted the last time I wrote to you here). May you be well!

  2. Some of your blog comments and responses about Beckett make me laugh. I think your magic 8 ball is broken when it comes to any question pertaining to Carson Beckett. I believe that is one thing that we all want to know.

    Happy dining!

  3. My favorite food is Thai and second to that is Japanese. When I first saw that question, my thoughts were that Thai is closest to Chinese, although too often for me, Chinese dishes are hard to distinguish from each other. I wouldn’t say it’s close to Japanese, but I’d say it was a lot closer than to Indian, which I have yet to find a dish I like.

    Then again, I haven’t dabbled with gourmet cooking since the days when I was married, as I’m fond of saying I divorced the kitchen when I divorced the hubby.

    On the Stargate front, I’d like to say that I think you made a mistake in “Line in the Sand” cutting for time that walk and talk scene where they talked about Daniel’s absence and presumably some time frame for inability to find/rescue him. Without it and with this episode coming right after his disappearance, at least some fans found it very jarring to have the team romping around in the beginning and acting like they weren’t missing a teammate. Especially when they were using Merlin’s device which Daniel had a big part in obtaining and in rescuing Sam and Cam from the other side. I’m sure we could all you give our individual opinions of what else could have been trimmed or cut in that episode, but that really isn’t the point. We feel things through our characters. And the lack of time frame and lack of mention cast a pall over the whole episode for me. With the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ presence hanging over these characters like a black cloud of lack of feeling, I found it very hard to feel for what Sam was going through or buy that any of them cared about any of them. I loved the way Ben played the one mention of Daniel and I could relate to his not wanting to lose another teammate, but I have to say my thoughts led to thinking that was a stray adlib on Ben’s part rather than a scripted line, with the way Daniel didn’t seem to exist in that episode. Hence, as a viewer, I think it was a mistake to not give some recognition to the loss early on, because as it is, it’s an episode that leaves me too cold to ever watch again.

    Speaking of deleted scenes, I’d love to see the scenes you talked about being deleted in “Ripple Effect” and yes, I know it’s the wrong season. However, it does lead to the suggestion that if you guys would put out a DVD of deleted scenes and bloopers, even by its lonesome, many, many of us would buy it.

  4. Joe…

    I know I’m asking the wrong person and I fully acknowledge this up front.

    Why isn’t there an audio commentary for Threads?

    As the only episode since Small Victories without one, the absence of one is that much more glaring.

    Was it never recorded? Or was it recorded and never added for whatever reason? Will there be some kind of special release??? Is there a hope in Netu that someday we, your viewing public, will ever getting our grubby hands on that commentary???

    I and many others really want to hear it.

    Thank you,
    Mary Beth 🙂

  5. Eh, I didn’t miss any concern for Daniel in the two episodes he missed. Line In the Sand was a great episode, and it was nice to see Vala interact with someone besides Daniel for a change.

    Good luck with season four. I hope Teal’c really does get to Atlantis for some episodes. That’d be sweet.

  6. Hi Joe!
    It was great to read about the gift to those of the Shep whump persuasion in the form of the upcoming episode, Travelers. Can you look in your magic ball, and tell us if this episode will equal or even better the whump we so adore in two of our all time favourite episodes – Common Ground and the wonderful 38 Minutes?
    We are really looking forward to season 4, and the promise of Shep whump has made us even more excited!
    Thank you so much!

  7. JoeM WritesOn the Stargate front, I’m almost finished my rewrite of Reunion and am, admittedly, a little worried. While the script offers plenty of action, it is primarily a character-driven story. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of notes we receive from the network.

    OK I don’t want to make the wrong assumption here, but from my take on this, I get the impression that it means Scifi has an issue with stories that are character driven?

    First let me ask for clarity on am I reading that wrong. I’m asking first before I jump the gun or make statements that have nothing to do with what you are actually saying.

    I ask also because the idea that they are less inclined to do character driven stories doesn’t make sense to me. I admit to me in my limited experience, would seem to be less expensive to produce than say stories drive by special effects or big action scenes.

    So I await your response that clarifies what you are saying.


  8. Woohoo! A Shep whump episode coming up in season 4! Thanks so much for the inside scoop on that! I’m excited about it already! Though I’m gonna be greedy and ask, will there be more Shep whump to look forward to? 😉

    Speaking of whumping though, aside from the obvious hurt/comfort aspect whumpers like so much, we believe it also adds to the credibility of the show. For example, in your opinion, wouldn’t it have been more realistic if a team had come away with much more than a simple scratch on the cheek after going up against an army of superbugs? Especially when one’s been knocked down and clawed at? It adds to the suspense for the viewers, because *gasp!* members of the core team get hurt too, these giant bugs are dangerous! Some blood or a bit of bruising would’ve come a long way in convincing the viewers that these new superbugs are a force to be reckoned with.

    With you and Paul taking over next season, we’re certainly hoping to see more Shep whump! Because, really, Mitchell gets whumped all the time in SG-1, Sheppard’s the lead of SGA and he barely gets any! 🙂 Of course, Shep’s our hero, but he’s also very much human; he bruises and bleeds just like every other human being. I believe it would add much more to the realism of the show.

    Thanks again!


  9. To clarify, Joe, my comments about “Line in the Sand” were in response to your January 30th entry in your blog, which stated: “but one of the scenes lost was right off the top, a walk and talk in which a worried Vala discusses Daniel’s absence and the effort to find him. Yep, sorry to say it was cut for time.” My comments were not in response to any fan’s comment about what she did or did not see filmed.

    I didn’t ask whom Vala was talking to because that didn’t matter to me and wasn’t my point. My point was not having that mention, early on, made the whole team seem callous, especially with the actions they were taking, and cast a pall over the entire episode. They were not people I’d want to spend time with. On the other hand, “In the Road Not Taken” (which I’ve just finished watching), that one line, where Sam asks Cam if there was any word on Daniel, was sufficient for me. To make these people feel like people who care about their missing teammate and who are going about their business but quietly hurting. That one line makes them people I want to know. I even like that it came from Sam, because frankly she has seemed too often in the past callous when it comes to Daniel and his jeopardies. I love the brilliant bit at the end where they all admit to trying to keep an out-of-phase Sam company — that’s a team of individuals who care about each other and are friends. And I love that in that scene, their other missing friend is also still very much on their minds. Those are the characters I want to see.

    Since you once visited my blog, you know what business I’m in. And being in television myself, I understand the constraints you are under that lead to making scene cuts, trims, and rewrites, whether at script stage or in post. And I understand how willing you have to be to let things go in a script. And I try to balance that against what I want to see as a fan (and why would I consistently watch a show that I’m not getting paid for if I wasn’t a fan of it?). As a viewer of sci-fi, cop shows, westerns, legal, medical or any other show that has partners and teams in it, the most important part of the show is the characters and their interactions with each other. They may not be real, but if I don’t see them as representing caring people I either know or want to know, I’m much less inclined to watch the show.

    I know that SG-1 is essentially finished (as a series) and I wouldn’t take so much time making these comments if it weren’t that you are going to be doing Atlantis, where I understand some characters are going to disappear either temporarily or permanently. So I’m hoping that you’ll carry in your mind that it does matter if your characters feel like real people and people who care about each other.

    After all, if you were abducted on the way to one of your restaurants, in plain view of your friends, what would you think of them if they went on their business without a thought to your plight, or any indication they’ve been looking for you or asking about you, and treating like you didn’t exist? I know how I’d feel.

    And before I shut up, let me say that I thought “The Road Not Taken” was excellent. It hits all the right buttons of my activist soul and is for me, the best I’ve ever seen Carter. I’ve always been of the mind that I don’t want any of SG-1 going over to Atlantis, because I like the Atlantis cast just as it is and want to see them developed. But if this is the Carter you have in mind, it just might be interesting.

  10. Will we ever get the timeline fleshed out of when the great alliance of four great races happened?

    Did it happen before the Ancients left to go to Atlantis or when they came back from Atlantis?

    Any info on what the Plague was that killed off the ancients from the Milkyway. Would be great if we could get more backstory on that.

  11. hi, joe,

    i know you’re not writing the sg1 movie(s), but the subject i’m about to bring up basically works in writing the show.

    how do you balance writing what ‘you’ (stargate writers) want to happen on the show vrs what you know the fans want?

    when you start writing a show, there’s no ‘i love this, please continue!’ remarks, because you have no idea (yet) what they’ll like or not like. but when you’ve been writing certain situations, and you see it’s popular, you’ll want to continue because you’ve seen what pleases the fans.

    what i’m (slowly) getting to is…

    the sg1 movies are going to try, i assume, to reach the largest amount of fans with their endeavor. i know you’re not involved in the writing of the movies, but do you think rob and brad are trying to please the majority of fans? i know that’s a stupid question, but i’m sure there’s already a list for fans of what they want and don’t want to see. and the hardest part is that instead of them just tuning in to see a new ep, they’re going to have to pay for it with it going to dvd. that means that there’s some pretty big expectations to satisfy for ppl to be willing to shell out the bucks.

    i’d LOVE for rda/jack to be in the movies. it’s not that i won’t buy them if he’s not in one, but… and here’s my list. it’s simple, though, because it’s only one thing i’m wanting. sam/jack resolution. i’ve been waiting for 10 years for this storyline to be resolved.

    i already know that they’ll be fans that’ll say, ‘i won’t buy the movies if there’s s/j ship ‘, but what about the fans that’ll say, ‘i won’t buy them if there isn’t s/j ship’?

    going back to my questionS (hunts for it through the babbling): are rob and brad considering pleasing the majority of fans with their movies?

    and before anyone says s/j ship didn’t please the majority; just look at the ratings for seasons 7 and 8 – 8 especially – and tell me s/j ship wasn’t working enough to bring in those numbers.

    i can’t tell you *exactly* what made the ratings drop in seasons 9 and 10, but it wouldn’t be out of the question to consider a lack of s/j ship/resolution being an option.

    you’re already working on your prize (atlantis), and you seem to be very interested in pleasing the fans; i just hope rob and brad are doing the same.

    i know this really isn’t part of your game, but it IS something to be considered (for the franchise).

    sally 🙂

  12. I saw an interview the other day in which a t.v. writer talked about how she didn’t watch t.v., and more specifically sitcoms (which she was a writer for). I was just wondering, do you think that writing for t.v. is something in which you actually have to like the genre you’re writing for or can you still write quality scripts if you could care less about the arena in which you work?

  13. Sigh. When did I become the subject here, when all I said here was that my comments were in response to Joe’s post, not to any fan’s comments about what she saw or didn’t see, as her use of my words imply? Everything else I wrote here was on my perspective and interest in Stargate.

  14. I know that Majorsal likes to believe that the shippers are the main reason why SG-1 got high ratings in S7 and 8 but really that’s completely up to her own bias for it because she has no way of proving that this is the reason for the higher ratings. I don’t know where she’s coming from in thinking that shippers are the majority because I’ve seen just as many people who are either anti-shipper, who prefer the team as friends only, and/or even people who have no interest in Jack/Sam together though they do ship other pairings. J/S shippers aren’t the majority because the sides are all pretty even (though if you added all the people who don’t care for the J/S ship together and didn’t pay attention to the various reasons for why that is, I’d say they’d probably come out in the majority). She could just think about the fact that it may’ve had more to do with RDA leaving than the ship that some people didn’t come back. Or that people didn’t know about the show before S7. Or that they personally liked the stories better. Unless Majorsal has spoken to all the people for their reasons for watching, she’s making an assumption with absolutely nothing to back it up.

    Anyway, I just think it’s rude trying to come off as the majority w/no proof to back that up and essentially threatening not to have anything to do with the movies unless the writers do what THEY personally want and who cares what everyone else wants.

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