We took the long drive from Vancouver to Langley to check out the pug puppies. I, of course, was doing so reluctantly. After all, it was Thursday, we were leaving for Montreal in two days, and we couldn’t expect our dog-sitter to take care of an untrained puppy for two weeks. Could we? I assumed that would be the deal-killer.

By the time we met arrived at the breeder‘s house, there was only one pug left – the runt of the litter, a roly-poly bug-eyed puppy that bolted the second Fondy got close to him. He was, without a doubt, the unfriendliest pug I had ever encountered. We had, however, brought Jelly along to check out her disposition toward a possible new addition to the family and, to my surprise, the two got along famously, bounding around the room, crawling all over each other. This was bad. I threw Fondy an anxious glance. She was already pulling out the checkbook. “Whoa whoa!”I tried to slow her down. It would be irresponsible of us to leave this new puppy with the dog-sitter. “No problem,”Fondy replied. “We’ll bring him with us.” I suppose I should have seen that coming.

We called him Maximus, after Russell Crowe’s character in Gladiator. And for those first few months, he was a little menace – using Fondy’s Manolo Blahnik’s as chew toys, surrendering the security deposit on our rental by gnawing on walls and uprooting the carpet, and leaving scattered little “presents” for us to find. He was mischievous but darn cute as evidenced by the hordes of cooing Japanese girls who would descend on us every time I took him out for a walk. And so, he became “the handsome one” and, like a kid fully aware of his good looks, he took advantage. If you were a guest in our house and your lap was free, Maximus would find it. And if you failed to notice him or give him the attention he wanted, he would bat you with his paw until you did.

Although he’s mellowed with age, Maximus is still the most stubborn of the trio, distant when you want to be affectionate with him, seeking affection when you have other things to do. He’s loving, laid-back and, apparently, incredibly popular at doggy daycare. Whereas Jelly is aloof and Bubba is yappy and confrontational, Maximus is adored by tremulous terriers and brassy boxers alike. He’s also the chunkiest of our trio of pugs. How many calories in those Manolo Blahnik’s anyways?


Cel writes: “Ever tried Vegemite?”

Answer: Nope. From what I understand it’s an, uh, acquired taste. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try it though.

Peter writes: “If you were to assign one word for each episode in the first half of Season 4 of Atlantis […] what would they be?

Answer: Adrift (desperation), Lifeline (gamble), Reunion (roots), Travelers (rivalry), Missing (missing).

Shawna writes: “What are the odds of ever seeing an actor from the original series on Stargate?”

Answer: At present unlikely, but you never know.

4ps writes: “Some of your fans are in the process of making a type of “fanclub” area in your honor. However, we were wondering if you would mind if we used some of the pictures you’ve posted on this blog.”

Answer: Really, your visits to this blog and the comments you leave are fan club enough. That and the occasional chocolates and doughnuts sent to the production offices.

Anonymous #1 writes: “With Atlantis and SG1, do you ever interact with the stage crew and go down to the sets?”

Answer: I do on occasion but I’m usually in the production offices, writing or dealing with production issues. Thankfully, our seasoned directors can handle most any problem that crops up on set.

Arctic Goddess writes: “Were you aware that there is a movement afoot to have Paul McGillion play a young Scottie (James Doohan’s character) in a new star trek movie about a young Enterprise crew? If you were writing that movie, who would you choose to take on those roles?”

Answer: I wasn’t aware but I’d love to see it. As for who I would choose – Paul, natch.

Anonymous #2 writes: “Hmmm. I guess we’ll know when we see how many episodes Torri’s in. I’m still betting that the information certain people have is accurate.”

Answer: Again, with all due respect, the fact that Weir is not a regular would suggest that she will be appearing in fewer episodes in season four. As for any presumed knowledge of the exact number of episodes the character will be appearing in – that’s quite a trick considering we haven’t even sat down to discuss the back half of the season.

Kliggs writes: “Sometimes I don’t like your magic 8 ball’s answers. Ever think of trading it in for a new one?”

Answer: Yeah, I’m thinking of going with the Sarcastic 8 Ball instead. Sarcastic 8 Ball says “If you say so, buddy”.

Melissa Risenet writes: “What do you think makes a good server, and what’s the worst experience you’ve ever had with one?”

Answer: I like friendly, upbeat servers. So far as I’m concerned, an open personality goes a long way toward smoothing over any minor bumps in service. The worst experience I’ve ever had? Well, there was the time I went to a birthday dinner with friends and had a server step up, take only my order, and leave. Soon after, a second server took everyone else’s order and left. Later, everyone received their meals but me. When I inquired with our server (the second one), she asked me who had taken my order. I pointed to the first server to which she replied: “Oh, he wasn’t supposed to take your order.” I was out of luck.

Anonymous #3 writes: “Don’t you feel like you’re selling out the Atlantis fans to make people who watched SG1 happy?”

Answer: Not at all. As I stated in a previous entry, the decision on the Weir character was made BEFORE the decision to bring in Carter. If it hadn’t been Carter, it would have been someone else.

Lor54 writes: “I did make said truffles from a recipe of my own devising. I couldn’t find a recipe I liked. The secret is using good chocolate, of course!”

Answer: They were sinfully decadent. What kind of chocolate did you use?

Jenny Robin writes: “Big Joe, how was your day?”

Answer: Pretty good. Joe Flanigan swung by the offices today to give us his thoughts on a couple of scripts. He LOVED Travelers. No surprise there. I worked on breaking down the first part of the mid-season two-parter, then joined Carl, Alan, and Martin in the writers’ room to re-break the last two acts of Martin’s latest script to incorporate Rob’s Lectoresque notion.

30 thoughts on “March 5, 2007

  1. Do you ever question whether the same fans that are avid enough to read your blog and post comments on it will actually decide to follow through on their threats to stop watching the show because of one or two decisions about the show’s direction?

  2. I use Scharffen Berger semisweet chocolate, plus heavy cream, vanilla and Godiva Chocolate liqueur. They are very simple but I don’t take the time to make them look fancy. I’ll send you a couple of dozen when I make them again, probably in May.

  3. Answer: Really, your visits to this blog and the comments you leave are fan club enough. That and the occasional chocolates and doughnuts sent to the production offices.

    Ah, well you see this is quite unfortunate. The ball has already begun rolling… no turning back now!! But chocolate and doughnuts you say? I’ll keep that in mind! Oh, and I also noticed you conveniently forgot to answer the question.. 😉

  4. joe mallozzi said:
    As I stated in a previous entry, the decision on the Weir character was made BEFORE the decision to bring in Carter. If it hadn’t been Carter, it would have been someone else.

    and can i just say again how GLAD i am that you guys chose sam/amanda!! 😀

    k, she’s just a groovy character played by an equally groovy actress, but… i’m just super happy you chose sam.

    sally 🙂

  5. “If it hadn’t been Carter, it would have been someone else.”

    So if it wasn’t Amanda Tapping, then we’d have seen Michael Shanks or Chris Judge? Sorry, Joe, but I’m having a hard time believing that this move isn’t a reaction to Scifi’s very public demand that someone from SG-1 cross over to Atlantis. For curiosity’s sake, who else were you considering besides Carter?

  6. Jelly is cuter than words can convey but, in terms of personality, I think Maximus is the one who would steal my heart … especially after I read about him batting you with his paw if you didn’t pay him homage. Awwwww!

    I’m planning to rent “The Departed” but, alas, have low expectations (I’d have rather seen “Babel,” “Letters from Iwo Jima” or “The Queen” win Best Picture — impossible to choose between them). Where would you say “The Departed” ranks in the Scorcese canon?

  7. What does the sarcastic 8-ball say about the chances of seeing Kinsey in a movie?

    And do you think you’ll ever get the chance to write an SG-1 movie?


  8. You said “Again, with all due respect, the fact that Weir is not a regular would suggest that she will be appearing in fewer episodes in season four. As for any presumed knowledge of the exact number of episodes the character will be appearing in – that’s quite a trick considering we haven’t even sat down to discuss the back half of the season.”

    So does that mean Weir will not just die in the first episode of next season.

  9. LOL at the sarcastic 8 ball. I hope it has more answers than just that one. 😀

  10. You said that the second part of season 3 is darker than the first half of the season and I’ve been wondering- did the news that SG1 is canceled affect in any way the decisions you are making about the stories in Atlantis? I mean in general, did it make you bolder, trying to shake things up, or more careful and looking into numbers and statistics who might like what, or did it have no effect at all? (I am sorry if this has been asked/answered before)

    By the way, I am one of those fans that watch and like both shows and I am really happy Sam is coming to Atlantis for the next season 🙂


  11. Oooohhhhh, how cuuute! Hm…seems you’re right. Maximus just presses my squee button.

    You know, I think I’d like to hear more from the Sarcastic 8 Ball. He sounds like more fun. I think the Magic 8 Ball was really just the Optical Illusion 8 Ball.

    Okay, so there was some discussion of just what super powers the Atlantis peeps would have after the whole Fantastic Four scene. But I wonder, as you seem to have enough knowledge of the subject, what comic book supervillains‘ powers would the main Atlantis characters have?

  12. Burning question…

    Is Jack O’Neill’s first name really John (Entity, Fragile Balence, Wiki), Jonathan (Wiki, Gateworld), or does John J. O’Neill stand for “John Jonathan O’Neill”? I would love to clear up confusion in the fandom in general and this Wiki article specifically (note the two versions of his first name, in red under the photo and in bold at the start of the article): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_O'Neill

  13. Awww, puppies again. I’m still mad about Elizabeth.

    Copernicus, there are so many ways to actually watch the show without you know giving it ratings. LOL.

  14. You mentioned Joe Flanigan really liked the script for Travelers. Of all the Stargate Atlantis scripts (all seasons) you’ve been involved with, which has been your personal favourite so far? Did the final broadcast episode of your favourite episode script live up to, or even surpass, your expectations?

  15. Maximus is totally adorable! Those puppy dog eyes would have him getting everything he wanted in my house…a bit like my new labrador puppy. She is so smart, and boy, can she turn on the charm, especially with my daft husband. He’s putty in her hands. Wish I had that effect on him, oh well…
    I read with interest the words you assigned to the early season 4 episodes.
    You listed:
    Adrift (desperation), Lifeline (gamble), Reunion (roots), Travelers (rivalry), Missing (missing).

    Is that the order you expect the episodes to air in?
    I only ask because the ealier I get to see Travelers, the less chance there is of me being hospitalised because of my escalating blood pressure because of my need to see that eppie! You leave these little clues in your answers here, which I just love to speculate about. They leave me crying out for more, and desperate to see the episodes – especially the afore mentioned Travelers. The fact that Joe F. liked the script has me even more exicited, if that’s humanly possible… I feel sort of whumped myself now! Probably serves me right for being such a shameless Shep whumper…

  16. I think it is great that you answer questions on this blog.

    I was wondering if there were any plans to continue the Ford story arc… there’s such potential for angst there. Knowing that he is probably bouncing around the Pegasus Galaxy, they have to run into him again sooner or later, don’t they?

  17. Mmmm Donuts… Around here we have a place that does Banana Donuts which are the absolute best! What is your favorite type of Donut and what unusual flavors can you get?

  18. After SG1’s cancellation, Mark Stern made an announcement that one or more characters would move to SGA. That tells me “X marks the spot” where it was decided to dump Weir. Someone had to go to make room for SG1 people. I just wish you writers had taken the time to develop the characters you already had without bringing in reinforcements. Personally, I don’t think it will work.

  19. Well Joe, the bribe offer is still open. Centerville DOES claim to be the jerky capital of the world, and I’ve seen no other place that sells elk jerky all year round 😉

    I had a costume question, mostly because it was the only thing that was visually irking me in “First Strike”, are the SG-1 type uniforms here to stay? I’m afraid to say that they kept distracting me throughout the episode (and I’m sure we’ve seen them before, but for some reason they really popped out in that episode).

    That said, I will throw in some jalepeno jelly (don’t knock it until you try it! Good on toast with cream cheese) if for some reason… the wardrobe department rediscovers a new love for the Atlantis gray.

  20. Your production diary (http://www.stargate-sg1-solutions.com/jmpd/jmpd00.shtml) is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read, as well as being very informative and interesting. I read parts of it out loud to my teenage son, and there were times we were both laughing so hard we could hardly breathe. It took us several minutes to recover from the story of the dog expressing its opinion of the other writer’s script. That wasn’t one of your dogs, by any chance, was it?

  21. Really, your visits to this blog and the comments you leave are fan club enough. That and the occasional chocolates and doughnuts sent to the production offices.
    What is the address of your production office ? I will be glad to send you some french specialities (like chocolates with nougatine…)just to thank you for your great job!

  22. Anonymous: “That tells me “X marks the spot” where it was decided to dump Weir. Someone had to go to make room for SG1 people.”

    … do you people actually READ the blog?

  23. Joe,

    Please tell Rob and Brad that they are the Lords of Stargate, and that Dominion was most awesome episode since season eight. The Goa’uld are the shit.

  24. Hi Joe
    Given the huge numbers of fans who hate the axing of the Beckett and Weir characters how does this help the show? I don’t have an axe to grind here, I’m not wild on the changes – particularly the axing of Beckett – but I will give it a shot. I just wonder if something that has caused so many fans to have a negative reaction can possibly help the show? And I’m basing this not on the amount of bashing you are getting (personally I think it’s a little silly) but – and if I were you I’d be far more worried about this – the lack of people actively excited about the new season. Gateworld in particular is a depressing place to spend any time these days, and the other sites are not much better

  25. OMG! The black pug is so cute!

    And I know you must be tired of hearing questions about Weir by now, but can you at least tell us if we will be seeing her at all in the first half of S4? Oh, and btw, could you pass on to David Hewlett that his “Aye, aye captain” was just the sweetest thing ever? Thanks!

  26. Well this years annual Masters of Food and Wine at the Highlands Inn in Carmel has come and gone. The piece de resistance being the $5000.00 8 course Rarities dinner. Unfortunately I didn’t have $5000.00 to blow but I did manage to attend the Chef’s Tables event (it was my late birthday present from my parents and waaaay less expensive, not anywhere near the 4 digit range). There were 9 stations with each chef preparing a little something at each station. It was fun because not only do you get to sample the goodies but watch them being made. This year one of the chef’s was Marissa Churchill from Top Chef who made a black currant tea creme brule with huckleberry compote that blew me away which was surprising because I usually don’t care for anything even remotely fruity with my dessert. Apparently though, this is the last year that the Masters of Food and Wine will be held in Carmel. They’re taking it on the road to try to gain more exposure and I’m not sure where the next years event will be held yet.

  27. Looking forward to seeing Sam in season 4!

    So, have you decided — will she have her usual shorter hair or leave it longer in season 4? I saw a video of AT from the Vagina Monologues she was involved in this weekend. She had fairly long hair in the video. I’m hoping for the usual shorter hair style, similar to how she wore it in season 10.

  28. LOL. At the people asking if Carter will have short hair or long hair. Who care? Hey how about you shave her head, that would be something.

  29. Hiya Joe,

    Will we be seeing any newer classes of ships seen? New Wraith, Ancient or Earth vessels in the new season?

    Have a good day Joe!

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