Naturally, I will not be celebrating.
You know, there are a lot of things that bother me in this world: war, injustice, man’s inhumanity to man. But I find that nothing quite provokes me more than the brain-bursting fury of a ringing, unattended cell phone. Let me be clear. The whole point of having a cell phone is so that people can get in touch with you wherever, whenever. Leaving your phone at home or, in this case, sitting in your office while you’re off running photocopies, kind of defeats the purpose. Especially when, very clearly, someone is trying to get in touch with you and just won’t take no – or being directed to voice mail – for an answer. Compounding the problem (read: my annoyance) is the prospect of my having to listen to a wacky ring tune, played endlessly over the course of an afternoon. It got so bad last year that we actually forced Alex to change his. Unfortunately, Martin Gero’s cell phone still play’s Enrique Iglesias’s Hero whenever his buddy from Toronto calls.
My advice: keep your cell phone with you at all times and make sure it plays a pleasant or novel ring tune like, say, The Monday Night Football Theme (Rob Cooper) or the ring of one of those old rotary dialers (John Smith) or the sound of a clucking chicken (Andy Mikita). In my case, I have a ring tone for most any occasion, sure to delight and entertain all within earshot, mostly made up of South Park sound files including little Jimmy’s uplifting rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas and Cartman’s holiday classic: Kyle’s Mother’s a Bitch. In the event the call originates from my house it plays, appropriately enough, the theme to House.
Please, no rock ballads or gangsta rap or crooning pop divas. Thanks for your time.
Let’s check the mailbag –
Anonymous #1 writes: “Could you also let me know if the dead-but-not-quite-gone Apophis will make an appearance in Continuum?”
Answer: To the best of my knowledge, and given the information I have now, he will not be making a return appearance in the second SG-1 movie.
Anonymous #2 writes: “Trying to change Stargate into one of those other shows is fundamentally altering the premise upon which the franchise is based.”
Answer: I’d argue that Stargate isn’t being fundamentally altered and that it has, in fact, always been that type of show. Stargate fans have mourned the loss of much-loved characters in the past and, while I agree that scifi is very different from procedurals or dramas, I consider our show more than pure escapism. The reason we care about these characters is because they are presented as real people in at times, yes, fantastic situations. Fantastic yet unarguably dangerous as evidenced by past episodes. I realize that may fans would prefer to keep the status quo and remain secure in the knowledge that, at the end of the day, everything will turn out okay for everyone. But then that doesn’t make for particularly effective drama.
Anonymous #2 also writes: “Also, you’re argument that the decisions that have been made are the ones the producers wanted to make also rings a bit false.”
Answer: Obviously we don’t write in a vacuum. We must be aware of what viewers like and don’t like, and the individual preferences of the various entities involved in the show’s production. As writers, there are times when we’ll agree. And there are other times, we’ll respectfully disagree. And it’s in striking the appropriate balance that a successful show gets produced.
Cole J. writes: “Where in Vancouver were the Abydos outdoor sequences filmed in seasons 1-6 or were they entirely CGI?”
Answer: Those sequences were shot at the Richmond sand dunes.
Arctic Goddess writes: “So, where is your Ba’al action figure then? BTW, I’ll check on the pot and let you know. Do you want to split it?”
Answer: Do they have a Baal action figure? When they put one out, I’ll certainly pick one up. As for the pot – let me know what it gets up to.
Jenny Robin writes: “Where can I find, or do you know someone who can make for me, a model of a stargate which I can place in a 20 gallon fish tank?”
Answer: Hmmmm. I think it would probably be easier to find someone who can make one than actually find a fish tank-worthy pre-made stargate. That said…I haven’t a clue.
Peter writes: “Come Season 4, will Amanda Tapping be seen in the Opening Credits?”
Shawna writes: “How many hours are in a day on Atlantis? Also, is there any chance of seeing more AUs in the future?”
Answer: We’ve always operated under the assumption that it was, uh, approximately 24 hours. As for an AU story in the future – it’s very possible. They’ve always been among my favorites.
Prior_of-the-Ori writes: “Was wondering though that if there are any plans in season 4 to expand more on the backstory of the Wraith and Asurans? Will we see any stories on the Asgard or Hermiod? Oh and any more interesting information about the new third series of stargate that you know about? Also, what other tv shows have you gotten into and enjoyed recently?”
Answer: Some interesting revelations regarding both the Wraith and the Asurans to come. No Asgard stories being planned. And no word on that third series. As for what t.v. shows I’m watching – well, I’ve dropped a few more of late. Still in the regular rotation: Friday Night Lights (the best written drama on television), House (because he reminds me of Rob Cooper), Boston Legal, The Office, My Name is Earl, Survivor, The Amazing Race, and – because my wife loves it – Grey’s Anatomy.
Lyn writes: “But Joe, at the end of the day, are you truly satisfied with killing Carson and relegating Torri’s role to a less than recurring role? I’m not saying those were your decisions, but were you happy with them? Can you understand or empathize with the fans’ displeasure over Carson’s demise?”
Answer: Of course I understand the fans’ displeasure and I do sympathize. And, as I already said, in the world of science fiction the door is never closed on any character. My relative happiness is beside the point. I am looking forward to season four and strongly believe in the stories we have planned and in the direction we’re headed.
Anonymous #3 writes: “One, will Baal be in full Gouald form in Continuum? As in deep voice, big ego, threatening like Apophis? And two, can Atlantis keep the next ship they find?”
Answer: Again, don’t know the gritty details regarding Contiuum so I can’t really answer the question. As for Atlantis keeping the next ship they find…it’s possible.
Nathaniel writes: “If you miss writing for SG-1 so much, any thoughts of writing an SG-1 novel or two?”
Answer: Alas, I possess neither the skills nor the infinite patience required to write a novel.
Abkar Fazil writes: “Speaking of British TV, do you watch Life on Mars?”
Answer: Haven’t seen it yet but will definitely check it out when the first season comes out on DVD. Presently, I’m working my way through the second season of Dr. Who.
Anonymous #4 writes: “Are you guys planning on having either Gen. Landry or Gen. Hammond in Atlantis season four at all? Woolsey? Gen. O’Neill?”
Answer: At least one out of four for now.
Arctic Goddess writes: “Mallozzi: “The heartache and the anger – fans would save themselves a lot of that if they would wait and watch the episodes. I’m sure they are already starting their letter-writing campaigns. But in our case, to be brutally honest, they don’t really have any impact on creative decisions.” Say it ain’t so, Joe,
Answer: I’m afraid it is so. With regard to the first part of my statement: Of course some fans will be upset but I would argue that there have been many instances in the past where fans have reacted negatively to spoilers and then tuned in and been, if not pleasantly surprised, then not quite so enraged as they expected. As for the second part of my statement: Like I said, I was being brutally honest which, obviously, can be an extremely unpopular position to take. Letter writing campaigns are great in that they are an expression of fan passion and they offer us insights into what fans want to see, but they are not going to cause us to unmake a major decision at this stage and it would be disingenuous to lead you on and make you believe otherwise. While I could say that I’d like nothing better than to craft every step of Atlantis’s fourth season in response to fan requests and demands, developing relationships and storylines based on the most recent online polls, that’s not the way t.v. works. And Stargate isn’t the exception in this regard. There is a big difference between producing a show for our viewers (which we all do), and allowing online fan critiques and letter-writing campaigns to determine how a series progresses. In all fairness, a decision that may prove incredibly unpopular with one section of fandom may prove popular with another. Ultimately, rather than having it come down to which faction makes the most noise, we are basing our creative decisions on what is best for the show. Believe it or not.
TheOldOne writes: “Are you going to put these restaurant reviews into some kind of formal document?”
Answer: Wasn’t planning on it. Unless…you just happen to be a publisher looking to release The Gluttonous Adventures of Joseph Mallozzi.
SueKay writes: “ I’ve got a lot of food allergies (anything spicy, lime, ginger, seafood, some sauces and dressings etc (none too severe other than the first two))so any recommendations for a new dish I could try that wouldn’t make me ill?”
Answer: Can’t go wrong with a good burger. Unless you’re allergic to gluten. In which case you can just have the meat. Unless you’re allergic meat.
Shipperahoy writes: “As a dedicated foodie have you ever considered going to the annual Masters of Food and Wine at the Highlands Inn in Carmel?”
Answer: Oooh, I’m intrigued. More information, please.
Anonymous #5 writes: “Other than the movies what fate Daniel, Mitchell and Vala?”
Answer: At present, that remains to be seen.