Well, I was intending to do a review of Toyotomi Japanese Restaurant (4121 E Hastings Street) since it’s where the writing department ordered lunch from today. I really would have liked to weigh in on the spicy tuna sashimi and spinach gomae I ordered but, alas, it never arrived. Everyone else’s lunch orders made it, neatly packed away in their individual Styrofoam containers, but there was neither hide nor hair of my sashimi or gomae. It was kind of ironic in that I was the one who paid for lunch today (and compared to other sushi restaurants, this place aint exactly a deal). Our office assistant Lawren who called in the order and subsequently swung by to pick it up (well, most of it anyway), phoned Toyotomi to inquire about my lunch. Apparently, it was their bad. Hopefully, they will try harder next time. Ah, well. I decided to forego my co-workers’s pity sushi and let them review the meal instead. To begin with, they proclaimed Toyotomi’s spider rolls “the worst in the city”. “Dry” and “off” were two words used to describe them. Script supervisor Alex found the “spicy tuna sashimi” disappointingly “not at all spicy” and “fishy” to boot. The different maki rolls ordered “all tasted the same”according to Carl who also added: “And stale“. On the bright side, Brad seemed to enjoy his chicken karaage – deep fried chicken wings. In retrospect, I suppose I should be thankful I dodged a bullet. And the power bar I had instead was excellent. Gathering from the reaction of the rest of the room, it looks like Toyotomi Japanese Restaurant is a good place to go if you’ve got a hankering for chicken wings. Just avoid the sushi.
My writing partner Paul speaks to his mother about once every two weeks since moving away from Montreal to work on Stargate. Two weeks! If I let two days slide without calling my mother, she fears the worst, imagining me lying trapped under a fallen refrigerator or fallen victim to a pack of those Vancouver coyotes she hears so much about. Our conversations are usually short and to the point (How is work going? What did you have for dinner? The guy who used to clean the snow at the Italian church passed away.), but tonight’s chat was unusually lengthy, clocking in at almost twenty minutes when all was said and done. Which was the amazing thing. In the end, not all that much was said or accomplished. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Hi. What are you doing?
Mom: Watching t.v. Your show is on. In French. Porte – des – Etoiles.
Mom: It’s strange that it’s in French. Porte – des – Etoiles. Door of the Stars.
Me: Right. Stargate.
Mom: It starts with a funeral.
Me: Yeah, we wrote that one.
Mom: Producer, John Lenic.
Mom: Co-producer Andy Mikita.
Me: Yeah, we wrote it.
Mom: Hold on. I want to see your name.
…She proceeds to read the credits aloud until finally –
Mom: Scenario, Joseph Mallozzi et Paul Mullie.
Me: Yeah, we wrote that episode.
Mom: So strange that they have it in French.
Me: Not really. Stargate airs –
Mom: Oh, it’s also on another channel. But in English. Fallout.
Me: Yeah, we wrote that one too.
Mom: Producer John Lenic…
…I stand by as she proceeds to read another set of credits aloud until –
Mom: Written by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie.
Me: Yeah. We wrote that one too.
Mom: Strange that they had it in French.
Well, just finished Elizabeth Moon’s The Speed of Dark – a wonderful, character-driven near-future novel about an autistic man functioning in a 21st century world until the day he is faced with an experimental procedure that could “cure“ his condition. Thought-provoking. Next up, either M. John Harrison’s Light or Neal Asher’s The Skinner. Or probably both. That’s what I’ll be up to this weekend. Fondy, meanwhile, has decided to give up on yoga after only two classes. I suspect her decision has more to do with the fact that she doesn’t want to wake up early Saturday mornings than her instructor’s recent faux pas (Removing his socks, rolling them into a ball, and tossing them over to the far wall right past a distressed Fondy’s face).
Recent dinner: white spring salmon with garlic and green onion in a plum sherry marinade.
Checking the mail…
Anonymous writes: “Any word on Jack being in The Ark of Truth? Continuum? Season 4?”
Answer: Still no word on any of the above. I know that, ideally, Rob and Brad would love to have him.
Bugguy writes: “Will we be seeing Thor or any Asgard on SGA?”
Answer: Still too early to tell at this point.
Anonymous #2 writes: “I watched Bounty this evening – how right would I be on the assumption that you guys filmed the reunion parts at a highschool named Frank Hurt Secondary in Surrey?”
Answer: I don’t recall the name of the school, but it was definitely in Surrey.
Craig writes: “I’m just wondering if you guys were planning on introducing a reasonably powerful/organized Pegasus Galaxy based ally?”
Answer: Funny you should ask. We’ll be introducing a new “big picture” player in season four. As to whether they’re friend or foe – well, that remains to be seen.
Pitry writes: “What makes you guys decide whether a story is going to be a one parter or a two/ three/ arc parter?”
Answer: It depends entirely on the story. More often than not, we go in with the idea that we want to do a two-parter, then come up with a big event worthy of two hours of television (ie. The Ancients return to Atlantis, SG-1‘s quest for the sangraal). Occasionally, we’ll come up with an idea that we may think worthy of a couple of episodes, sometimes more. The Dark Daniel arc, for instance, was initially envisioned as a possible 6 episode arc (with two episodes in which Daniel would be M.I.A. following events of Quest II which would have been a part of this arc). In the end, it was decided that it might be too long, so the decision was made to trim the arc down to four episodes.
Dwayne writes: “Have you ever been to Ireland? we could cook you up a good traditional IRISH DINNER!! oh who’s idea was it to have an Irish villige bombed by 302’s in “roads not taken”??!”
Answer: Never been to Ireland, but if you’re cooking I’m there. As for whose idea it was to bomb the Irish village – I believe President Landry was to blame.
Amy: “I know you “guys” take a break. Is that looking like it will happen in July this year? Hopefully not June?”
Answer: Looks like June it is.
Anonymous #3 writes: “Here’s a technical question: What exactly does “prepping” for the new season at the end of this month entail? Is that when you guys start looking at sets, and when scripts get sent out?”
Answer: Technically, we’re already in prep, getting James Robbins and the construction started on the sets for the first bunch of episodes. We’re officially in prep the last week of February when we start meetings on the individual scripts with the various department heads. As a rule, we like to have seven days of prep before we start shooting an episode. And during the seven day shoot, the next episode preps.
Anonymous #4: “Can you please tell me if there’s going to be any Bounty-type episodes on SGA next year. I hope not.”
Answer: So far no stories involving Sheppard going back home for his high school reunion. But the season is young. Interestingly enough, Alan McCullough is pitching a story where Ronon visits Earth and accidentally ends up joining the cast of Real World: Maui.
Anonymous #5: “ Joe, given the way things went with SG-1, do you guys, TPTB, regret not using RDA’s five episodes on SG-1?”
Answer: Not at all. He did a terrific job on Atlantis. Besides, any ratings boost he may have given SG-1 would have been negligible as, sadly, the show had already been canceled.
Anonymous #6: “On a different subject, is the business case there yet where you could sell directly to the viewer on something like the itunes model and skip the networks ether with a new series or an existing one like SG1?”
Answer: I don’t know. It looks like t.v. will eventually go that way. “When?” is the question.
Marla writes: “Have you ever read any Piers Anthony Zanth(sp) novels?”
Answer: No, but I do have Bio of a Space Tyrant and Split Infinity on my to-read list.
Michelle: “Is there any chance Michael Shanks will do the DVD commentary for The Shroud?”
Answer: It’s possible. But I suspect it would depend on Michael’s availability.
GB writes: “I was watching Misbegotten yesterday, and I was just wondering if you were responsible for the “John Sheppard, are you defending my honor?” line?”
Answer: Thank my writing partner Paul for that one.
Marla also writes: “Do you just mean that the Lucian Alliance thing didn’t exactly pan out as you had hoped […] or did you mean the Ori and the Lucian Alliance thing?
Answer: It had nothing to do with the Ori and everything to do with the Lucian Alliance who I felt, ended up being more comical than threatening.
Anonymous #6 writes: “Is there any truth to the latest talk that Torri will be in only four episodes of season four?”
Answer: At present, we’re not talking about a specific or set amount of episodes.
Annika writes: “If she [Keller] is supposed to be some kind of genius (what another one?) then I have to say that is a bit too much. Isn’t it enough to have Rodney (and the way it now looks also Sam)?”
Answer: I don’t know about “genius”, but Keller is certainly at the top of her field like Rodney and Carter – and pretty much the rest of the Atlantis personnel. The expedition is made up of the best and the brightest so the fact that Keller is young and, yes, brilliant shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise.