I hate to entertain. Well, not so much the entertaining per se but the lead up to the festivities and the post-party clean-up immediately following. Something about hosting turns Fondy into a fastidiously sadistic drill sergeant. All of the towels in the various bathrooms have to be replaced, the floors swept and vacuumed, the dishwasher unloaded and loaded, the office desks organized, the books and magazines littering the kitchen table gathered up and shelved, my dvd’s at the foot of the stairs transferred to the dvd room downstairs, that dead plant in the living room turfed. Oh, and also make sure all of the bathrooms have extra toilet paper. Extra toilet paper? What is this, the Ritz Carlton?
I’m pleased to report that, thankfully, all was in order by the time our guests arrived. Even dinner was ready. For the occasion, Fondy had picked up some smoked salmon and I put out some of the foie gras terrine that Carolina sent my way the other week. We enjoyed the terrine with lavender honey and a strawberry compote. For the main course, perhaps inspired by our recent trip to Wing Nuts, Fondy made wings – dry and spicy. Because they were baked rather than fried, the wings were tender and succulent, exceptionally fatty. She also made brussel sprouts using my mother’s recipe – steamed, then fried with garlic and chili flakes. For dessert, some big-ass strawberries and a chocolate mousse cake picked up that afternoon which failed to impress me.
Better dessert yesterday thanks to some Shep-whumpers who sent along a gift basket we enjoyed after lunch. Check out the look of sheer delight on the usually solemn Martin Gero.
A relaxing Saturday spent working out, watching the college basketball tournies, and taking a quick trip to Chapters where I picked up four books. I know, I know, I’m buying them faster than I can read them, but that’s not going to stop me from trying to play catch-up. I have less than a hundred pages to go on Only Forward and with the next book lined up, Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End, coming in at a little over two hundred pages, I’m going to need something to read sooner than later. I’m intrigued by Max Brooks’s World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. Anybody read it?
Crazymom writes: “I was watching “Duet” last night. If you remember, whose idea was it to have Sheppard leaning on that fake torso while watching Ronan spar with the Marines?”
Answer: That was a directorial decision.
Nathaniel writes: “Have you guys forgotten about Danger Beckett already?”
Answer: Sadly, Danger Beckett died on the way back to his home planet.
Night Spring writes: “When did you decide that Atlantis would reestablish connection with Earth at the end of S1?”
Answer: While we were working on the latter back half of the season.
Trace writes: “Could you tell us when you actually film during the year, when you take the mid season break and what you do during the break.”
Answer: We started shooting season four on March 1st. The timing of our mid-season break differs from season to season. I believe we’ll get some time off in July. As for what we do – depends who you’re asking. If it’s the writers: we’re usually writing.
Caryn writes: “1) You’ve said Torri will be appearing in the first half of the season, but the second half hasn’t been looked at properly yet. Is there a plan to have her in the second half of season four? 2) Is the plan to get rid of the character completely? 3) Is there a hope of her returning as a regular in season five.”
Answer: 1) We have yet to start spinning story ideas for the back half of season four. 2) I don’t want to say too much about what we have in store regarding the character but, as I’ve previously stated, the plan has been to make her a part of a significant arc. 3) Truthfully, we aren’t even thinking about season five right now.
Majorsal writes: “Will Sam be in: 1 – the first 14 eps? 2 – the middle eps? 3 – the last 14 eps? 4 – mixed around?”
Majorsal also writes: “Also, i’ve heard that amanda has been given the go-ahead to keep her hair extensions: can you tell me how it’ll look? (up in a bun, braided, pony tail?)”
Answer: Her hair will be in keeping with standing Air Force regulations.
Anonymous #1 writes: “Who is your favorite character to pen, and why?”
Answer: Right now, I’m enjoying writing Ronon because there is still so much to learn about him.
Anonymous #2 writes: “Do you guys feel bad about holding up production on Sanctuary with forcing AT to be on Atlantis? It’s pretty obvious she wants to move on, but is being held to her option.”
Answer: I assume you’re either joking or pitiably oblivious. Let’s say the former. Ha ha ha. Good one. Yeah, she’s been crying every day she comes to set.
Royal Nonesuch writes: “Any hopes of seeing Major Paul Davis again?”
Answer: Not in Atlantis but maybe one of the SG- movies.
Royal Nonesuch also writes: “What is your favorite writing brain food?”
Answer: Dark chocolate, of course.
Arctic Goddess writes: “Are you serious or is “Blank Slate” a bit of a joke?”
Answer: Tabula Rasa is no more or less a joke than Missing.
Anonymous #3 writes: “Nobody except Carl Binder seems to know how to write for Teyla and Elizabeth. It seems to a lot of us that most of the writers don’t understand women. Funny how Carl’s the one who gets it, given the fact he seems to be a fair bit older than most of the others.”
Answer: Heh heh heh. Now that you mention it, it IS funny. Yeah, that “fair bit older” Carl will often set aside his curmdgeony disposition and, on the odd days his arthritis isn’t acting up and he is able to shuffle in and remembers where his office is – and he isn’t off chasing those pesky kids out of those Jello trees – he does do great work. Granted, he’s a long way from his early years on Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows, but he keeps right on going. Amazing. As for none of the other writers being able to write Weir or Teyla – how in the world did you manage to get through the entire first season before Carl came on board?
Artheval writes: “I would like to know if we would be going to see french people on Atlantis in season 4?”
Answer: It’s very possible.
Elinor writes: “Can we expect a bit more of Sheppard ‘pushed to his limits’, as it were, in s4?”
Shawna writes: “I’m going to Vancouver for a couple days (should be there by tonight, actually). Any suggestions of good restaurants where we could get out for less than $30 (preferably less than $20) per person? Something not Asian (due to my soy allergy, I’ve pretty much written off Asian food).”
Answer: Check out Bin 941, Budapest, Cru, Hamilton Street Grill, Nu, Ocean 6 Seventeen, Pear Tree, Rodney’s Oyster House, Saveur, Senova, Tapastree, Vij’s. Let me know what you check out and how you like it.
TheDancingArchaeologist writes: “Have you read Phillip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy?”
Answer: I started the first book but couldn’t get into it.
Mark writes: “Is it possible that you ever go and post on gateworld forums under another user name (not asking for the name, just if you do)? If not, do you still “lurk” there?
Oh, and do Canadians recognize any type of daylight savings times?”
Answer: I’ve never posted under pseudonym at Gateworld, but I have recently swung by after being tipped off to some occasionally interesting/befuddling/unintentionally hilarious posts. As for daylight savings times, Canadians do recognize it but, here, it’s known as Chinook Post-Snow Maple Leaf Go-Ahead Time. Although, when you think of it, Daylight Savings Time would probably be easier.
Anonymous #4 writes: “Is there a Canadian version of ‘The Office’? If there is I think Martin Gero would make a great David Brent. What do you think?”
Answer: Really? I’ve always thought of him as more of a Gareth Keenan.