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.
Me: Stargate.
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.
Me: Anyway…
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.

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Anonymous
Anonymous

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.

Well, at least that would allow Ronan the opportunity for some development and action. Cripes, First Strike had Ronan and Teyla sitting on their asses commenting on their own uselessness. You know Tomin, that guest character on SG-1 who has been in a whopping 3 episodes? That guy has got Ronan beat in the whole story arc/development thing. Come to think of it, he’s got everyone on Atlantis beat.

Wolfen Moondaughter
Wolfen Moondaughter

Re: Piers Anthony, IMHO, his Immortals series is his finest work, particularly the first book in it, On a Pale Horse.

Would you be willing to do an EMAIL interview with me for Sequential Tart? We’re a comics-industry (and related pop-culture) zine written by women. (I should warn you right now that I’m a rabid Daniel/Vala shipper — Momento Mori is my fave ep — but I promise to muzzle myself as best I can. ^_~) I certainly understand if you’re too busy, but I reckon it doesn’t hurt to ask! smile If you’re amenable, you can reach me at wolfen @ sequentialtart.com

And you should totally come to Dragon*Con! smile I didn’t get to go last year, but I’ll hopefully be there this year, and I’ve been there 2002-5. It’s great fun! I love taking photos of the cospayers! smile

Well, in case I don’t hear from you and you don’t go to Dragon, I’ll just thank you now for all your great work on Stargate! I can’t wait till the end of 10 airs on Sci Fi! smile

Arctic Goddess
Arctic Goddess

Hi Joe:

One of your pictures of the outside of a restaurant definitely showed evidence of rain. Would you believe that I’m jealous? It’s currently -30 in sunny Alberta and I’d love the rain right about now.

I have a question. If you were given unlimited time and an unlimited budget with any guests that you wanted and no recommendations from a network to alter any details of a story, what kind of episode for Stargate or Atlantis would you write?

Second question. Have you ever mentored a beginning writer? If so, what did you tell them? What would you give for advice for a beginning writer?

Third question: Your mother is obviously bilingual. Are you as well?

Thanks so much for the advice on the seafood restaurant. We would love to try one of them when we are in Vancouver in March.

Patricia

Peter
Peter

Hmm…funeral at the beginning? Am I right to say that the episode your mother watched before “Fallout” was “The Curse”?

Crystal
Crystal

I love the idea of Ronon visiting earth and winding up on Real World: Maui. I hope you dress him like he was wardrobed in “North Shore” with his shirts open almost to the waist, or better yet, no top at all.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Is Asian food really so popular in Vancouver that you guys eat it every day? No pizza?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Evening. Thank you for answering my question about the location. Well if it was in Surrey, it was Frank Hurt (why? the hornet; Frank Hurt Hornets). hehehe I had grade 8 gym-class in that gymnasium 7 years ago. The smaller gymnasium right next to that one had a climbing wall in it.

Been looking for a good book to read, and Speed of Dark sounds quite interesting.
A good Fantasy series is The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. The series starts with the book Wizards First Rule. My sister owns the whole series. I’ve read three or four of the books so far. I recommend them.

mythie

Jenny Robin
Jenny Robin

Because I’m in a nutty mood, and since I haven’t yet seen any of SG-1 Season 10, or Atlantis Seasons 2 or 3, and I feel left out of the Q&A, I’ll ask this question…

Will you accept the challenge of writing an episode entirely in iambic pentameter or in haiku format?

O Joe, What say ye…
Will you accept the challenge?
Rewrites would be hell!

Lucy
Lucy

Hi Joe.
Just wanted to say, though I’ll miss Carson, sniff, that I understand the need for the cast shake up. He was a good character in some ways, perhaps a little too over the top on occasion, but certainly not one of the most important characters on the show, in my opinion.
I’ll be honest, I won’t miss Weir now she’s having a reduced role, mainly because I’ve never really warmed to her.
I’m looking forward to Carter coming in now, because after First Strike, I actually like the direction the show appears to be going in.
I am positive for season 4, and after a little skepticism initially, now feel really excited about the new season. Bring it on!!
My question: Will Carter be promoted to a full bird colonel, as has been bandied around, and if so, will she assume command of Atlantis?
I actually really like this idea…and this is from someone who initially didn’t even want Carter on Atlantis. How the worm turns…!!! Thanks xxx

Bugguy
Bugguy

” Interestingly enough, Alan McCullough is pitching a story where Ronon visits Earth and accidentally ends up joining the cast of Real World: Maui.”

I have a better idea, Ronan and Teyla audition for American Idol, and when Simon criticizes then for there horrible duet, yes I know Rachel is an accomplished vocalist, they disembowel him. Great family fun.

Stillhere
Stillhere

Wolfen Moondaughter I love your interviews on Sequential Tart. They are wonderful:)

Joe I think you should write an episode where Rodney goes to his highschool reunion with Sam, Teyla and Weir as his date. Watch the evny on all the faces of the former jocks as he strolls in with 3 lovelies at his side LOL!

Marla

Wolfen Moondaughter
Wolfen Moondaughter

stillhere (Marla): Thank’s very much! We try! #^_^# Glad you enjoy them! smile

NowIWillDestroyAbydos
NowIWillDestroyAbydos

Joe,

Any chance of seeing the entire “Siege” Trilogy (all 3 parts as 1 episode, like a movie) available for download in the future, like on Amazon’s Unbox or iTunes? Maybe on DVD?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi, Joe, big-thanks for your time…
Replacing Weir for Sam in Atlantis 4 season, has been a strategy to cause a fight between fandoms of Atlantis vs. SG-1 (or Weir-fans vs. Sam-fans) with the objetive on retain the focus in both series during this scifi-channel long (very, very long) hiatus?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Since I guess you guys must be pretty close to thinking about the big midseason two-parter for Atlantis’ season four, I was wondering if maybe you guys had considered writing a big, huge, enormous crossover episode with SG-1? I figure that the SG-1 guys would all be up there filming the movies (hopefully RDA too!), and it would be so very cool to have a major, franchise-wide crossover. It’d probably be great for Atlantis’ ratings, and it would really help keep SG-1 in people’s minds. It’s a win/win. What do you think, Joe?

Nigel

Miho
Miho

Hi, Joe
I’ve just read that you were introducing a new race in the Atlantis universe. Does taht mean less Wraith stories than in season 3? And are they actually still a serious threat? After season 3, they kind of look harmless now…

On another topic : will we see a more mature side of Sheppard (which I would love) in season 4 because of Weir’s situation at the end of First Strike? I mean, he’ll have to make decisions for everyone… Won’t he?

And I beg your pardon for this one, but… Will we see Torri in at least Adrift and Lifeline?

Thank you Joe.

Miho

Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi Joe!
Is there any chance that the Atlantis season4 will have more earth based mythology? If I know well, the Asuras are hindu demons. Was this connection planned? Will the Asurans know about Sam’s past (Fifth, Asgard, RepliCarter)?

ldbug
ldbug

Don’t like sushi anyway, but hot-wings are tasty;-)

I love some of the conversations with my mom (who also is insistant that I’m dead if I don’t talk to her every other day, me a Montana girl in the big city, ah well)

conversation yesterday:

Mom: you know I saw that movie on TV last night

Me: Uh which movie?

Mom: You know that one I like

Me: you like lots of mo-

Mom: with the friends, the guy and the girl, they live in NY

Me: um, “When Harry Met Sally”?

Mom: you know, they are on a car ride together, then they hate each other, then they become friends…

Me: Yeah, “when harry met sally”

Mom: And their friends get married and then they fall in love, I just love that part of the movie (still describing movie)

Me: Yeah, “when harry met sally”

Mom: (presumably continues while I check what’s on TV, feed the cat, do a little dusting)

Me: Mom you’re talking about “when harry met sally”

Mom: Jon! What’s the name of that movie we saw last night? (some muffled yelling)

Me: long sigh

Mom: Oh, that’s right, “When Harry met Sally”!

Redtwin
Redtwin

Hi Joe

Elizabeth Moon’s Speed of Dark was one of my favourites over the past few years. One of her other gems is called “Remnant Population” and it is a compelling and well told story.

Sorry if this posted twice, I couldn’t seem to log on to post.
In the episode “Sunday”, which was so well done and such a tribute to the real life dangerous jobs they all do, there was a scene that opened with a shot through the stargate in the gateroom that seemed to start after Rodney had finished speaking. Will we ever find out what he said?

Melantha
Melantha

Not to make light of the seriousness of your absent lunch order ordeal, but this entry did make me giggle! Bless your mum, she’s obviously very proud of her son! Aw. Does she tell you what she thinks of your work?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Joe, can you tell us anything about Sanctuary?

satine
satine

hi!!
I’m a fan of stargate and a french girl! I just wanna explain you the french title “Porte des étoiles”!
in reality in french “Gate” and “door” mean “porte”. But the word “door” it uses for examples for house! So “porte des étoiles” is a good translation for “Stargate” But in France, we call the stargate, stargate! lol (and I prefer see stargate in english, it’s better than in french!) So I’m gonna go, I’ve drama’s class now! bye