Happy Chinese New Year! Fondy and I will be celebrating with our friend Jackie by going to our favorite Chinese restaurant – Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant. Unless, of course, they’ve already canceled our reservation. It’s very possible given that, a couple of hours ago, a woman phoned and immediately started talking to me in rapidfire Cantonese the second I answered. Assuming she had the wrong number, I told her as much. It wasn’t until about ten minutes ago, as I was scrolling through the recent calls list, that I recognized the number. And now, their line is busy. Hmmm. I really had my heart set on shark fin soup and sweet egg-yolk buns.
Speaking of dining out, Martin Gero and I hit Fuel the other night. We both had the five course Chef’s tasting menu. Martin started with one of my favorites – the pumpkin soup with caramelized sunflower seeds while I tried the onion consomme that, while good, was not as good as the pumpkin soup. Next up was the duck confit and foie gras terrine with a caramelized onion jam and served with brioche. It was incredibly rich and heavenly – and we could feel it working on our arteries almost immediately. We then enjoyed a truly sublime crispy skinned trout – a dish fully I intend to order again the next time I‘m in. Finally, we were treated to a special off-menu item: lamb loins served with diced kidneys. Martin wasn’t sold on the kidneys but I found the dish unique and tasty. When it came time for dessert, I was disappointed to discover the pear beignet is no longer on the menu. Instead, we went with the banana tart crowned with long pepper and coconut ice cream. I also ordered an extra dessert – a new addition to the menu, a nice-looking creation that included chestnut cake, cream, Guiness, and ice cream. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for either of us. The chestnut cake was fairly neutral and the Guinness a little too sharp, lending the an unpleasant sourness. The only bump in an otherwise exceptional meal. Marty G. is the perfect dinner companion. Like my wife, he is an adventurous eater who will try most anything. But, unlike my wife, he never fusses over what he’s going to wear before he leaves the house. Usually.
I hear (I can’t say for sure as I no longer watch the show, but somebody tell me how it all works out) that Lost has taken a page out of Heroes’ handbook and given a character superpowers. Interestingly, in the same week, Grey’s Anatomy has taken a page out of Ghost Whisperer’s handbook. And speaking of Grey’s Anatomy, our office assistant Lawren apparently forbids his friends from going over to his place to watch the show because he has designated his apartment a “no cry” zone. I thought about it and, for the life of me, couldn’t remember an episode of Grey’s Anatomy during which my wife didn’t cry. It’s like me trying to sit through that movie with the incorrigible sea otter that ends up getting decapitated by a shovel, or Donald Trump watching the latest edition of The Apprentice flame out.
I’m halfway through Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and am eyeing either C.J. Cherryh’s Downbelow Station, Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars, or Alistair Reynolds’ Revelation Space as my next selection. Anybody care to weigh in?
Let’s field some questions –
Anonymous writes: “What chance is there of picking up Human Error for Season four?”
Answer: Human Error was a story that was kicked around for a while but never made it to script. It happens. Take SG-1’s The Return of the Jaffa for example. Given the stories we have lined up, it’s unlikely Human Error will make it into the season four rotation.
Crystal writes: “Are you not bound by the American television rule that says one freelance script per 13?”
Answer: Nope. We have used freelancers in the past, but do not have to use them.
Anonymous #2: “Is there a chance that we’ll see that lovable rogue Lucius in season 4?”
Answer: You mean the episode titled “Irrepressible”? Probably not.
Anonymous #3 writes: “I can’t think of one spotlight episode for Teal’c yet this season.”
Answer: Check out Talion.
Andrew Timson writes: “Why aren’t they credited if they made a significant contribution to the script?”
Answer: Because re-writing and doing polishes on other people’s scripts is part of our jobs. If we wanted to be jerks about it – sure, we could claim part ownership and go to the writer’s guild and have them decide the matter. But we don’t.
Valerie writes: “If you want more anime suggestions Samurai Champloo is an interesting one.”
Answer: Loved Champloo. And the action figures are out.
Jenny Robin writes: “Insert random question regarding the Stargate universe here:__________________”
Answer: An excellent question, Jenny. And believe it or not, the answer is a resounding Yes!
Anonymous #4 writes: “You guys did a whole episode for no other reason than to get Amanda Tapping in her underwear.”
Answer: Uh, there was a whole lot going on in that episode beside that one scene. By that logic, the only reason we did First Strike was so we could do the scene where Sheppard compares the team to the Fantastic Four.
Shawna writes: “Will we ever see Jonas again?”
Answer: In Atlantis – highly unlikely.
Lolly writes: “What About Amanda?? It would be awsome to have her do the commentary for Line in the Sand and The Road not taken.”
Answer: I agree and it would be great. However, I’m not in charge of deciding who does and doesn’t participate in the commentaries. In fact, the writers went a couple of years without even being asked to participate.
Anonymous #5 writes: “Joe, any plans for Brad Wright to script an episode of Atlantis during season 4? Also, are there any plans for Ken Cuperus to write a season 4 episode?”
Answer: At present, it seems unlikely that either will write a script for season 4.
Anonymous #6 writes: “Joe, looking back over the last year, are you happy with how the final year of SG-1 turned out? Had you had the luxury of knowing Season 10 was going to be the last season when you started out, would you like to have seen the season play out any differently? Similarly, were you happy with Season 3 of Atlantis?”
Answer: At the end of every year, looking back over another complete season, there are always episodes that stand out, and episodes you’d wish you could do all over again (or, in some cases, not do at all). Seasons ten of SG-1 and three of Atlantis were no exception. Overall, however, I’d say I’m pleased with both shows and wouldn’t have done things any differently for SG-1’s tenth season. As I stated before, the SciFi cancellation doesn’t spell the end of SG-1’s adventures.
Anonymous #7 writes: “Just wanted to ask if there ever will be a wraith queen that does not get killed by the atlantis team and could there be a romantic relationship with a human male and a wraith queen?”
Answer: A romantic relationship? I’d love to be a fly on the wall on the blind date. “Hi, I’m Matt. You’re a lot – uh – taller than I expected.” “I am grateful for the cluster of plant blossoms, human vermin.”
Joseph writes: “Is there plans for a goa’uld to take over a wraith?”
Answer: No plans but, of course, stranger things have happened. Car once tried to cross cat with a chimpanzee.
Joseph also writes: “How can a long-time show enthusiast contribute to the show as a writer and have their work considered or is it highly unlikely?”
Answer: To be brutally honest, it’s highly unlikely that a show will look at an outside submission unless it is submitted through an agent. Even then, may shows – like Stargate – are staffed up and don’t even look at scripts with representation. Sorry.
Anonymous #8 writes: “Did TPTB make an intentional switch to write for a younger audience at the end of the 2003-2004 seasons?”
Answer: I hate to answer questions like these because it only ends up deflating those online conspiracy theories I’m so fond of following. In truth, there was no intentional switch in terms of series tone or the types of stories we tell. As always, it comes down to what ideas interest us.
Anonymous #9 writes: “It’s nice that you’ve been to Paris, I hope you had a good time there. Do you remember the restaurants you checked out or at least what you ate there?”
Answer: It was so long ago. But I remember a restaurant called Bowfinger that struck me as Brasserie-esque.