It was around his seventh or eighth glass of wine when a sleepy-eyed Martin Gero turned to me and confided he might be coming in a little late tomorrow. I too was feeling the stupefying effects, not so much of the booze but of the twelve course meal we were doggedly working our way through. Festivities had started at 7:30 p.m.; it was 10:35 p.m. and we had yet to get around to dessert.

It was a special occasion of course. Lumiere, one of Vancouver’s top restaurants, had invited famed Parisian chef Alain Passard to prepare a special, one-night only meal for some thirty lucky diners. Martin, his girlfriend Stephanie, Fondy and I were among the thirty fortunates, arriving at a little after 7:00 p.m. for some champagne (Martin’s weakness – well, champagne and show tunes ) and milling about. At 7:30 p.m., we were seated.

There are two competing schools of thought when it comes to preparing for such gargantuan gastronomic undertakings. Some seasoned eaters choose to eat very lightly in the lead-up to the big event, ensuring their stomachs are suitably empty for the meal to come. Others take the opposite tact, overstuffing themselves in the days leading up to the event in a bid to build up a greater capacity/tolerance. For my part, I don’t subscribe to any particular training regimen, preferring to simply wing it.

First up on the menu was the free range organic egg with oak barel aged maple syrup and sherry vinegar. The delightfully creamy, sweet and salty yolk mixture was served in an eggshell and proved one of the high points of the night. Martin, who in addition to being a champagne and show tune-man is also an egg-man, loved it. Our second course was the cauliflower floret breaded New Brunswick scallops with thai curry. Although the scallops were excellent as was the thai curry that accompanied it, I felt the cauliflower breading lent it a bitter aftertaste. For our third course, we were presented with a beetroot cooked in gray salt and 25 year old balsamic vinegar, the caked salt hill presented and cracked at our table to reveal the hidden beets, then whisked back to the kitchen for proper plating. Martin is not a fan of beets and really enjoyed this dish as did we all, another highlight. The fourth course was a Nova Scotia lobster terrine with Tahitian vanilla cured salmon roe. Alas, this one was a miss, the terrine’s unusually firm texture and muted flavor striking everyone as more odd than intriguing. I noticed that the couple at the neighboring table seemed to agree as they took one bite of their dishes and left the rest. For the fifth course: beech smoked fingerling potato “en robe de champ” with chardonnay reduction and hazelnut oil. This dish rated no more than a solid 7 on 10 because despite my best attempts, the potatoes would not soak up any of the inspired reduction. In the end, I ended up setting aside the bland potatoes and used some of the house bread to finish off the sauce. The sixth course was Lumiere Chef-Owner Rob Feenie’s contribution to the meal – a spectacular butternut squash ravioli with Dungeness crab sauce vierge. The seventh course proved just as memorable – the sunchoke veloute topped with a Chantilly au speck, the crowning cream lending the hearty soup a smoky richness. Finally, the meat – our eighth course – the roasted Alberta lamb rack with oriental spices, onion fondue, and stuffed Medjoul dates with meyer lemon. I loved every part of this dish. For our ninth dish, we were served a winter citrus terrine with coconut, finished with lemongrass syrup. Most of you are well aware of my aversion to most fruit so I’m sure you won’t be surprised when I say I did manage a bite before setting the rest aside. The tenth course was unarguably the most daring dish of the night. When Martin first laid eyes on the menu description, he raised and eyebrow and murmured: “This should be interesting.” Sugar glazed white baby turnips with house made praline and old style hazelnut. It was, in fact, interesting – but not something I would ever order again. Still, Martin and I agreed we had to give Chef Passard props for trying. Our eleventh course was a cocoa nib chiboust with jivara and Tonka bean infused cream – a beautiful dessert of many complex flavors. My only complaint here was that there wasn’t enough of it. Stephanie received a special dessert – a devilishly good liquid center chocolate cake with a nice rich dark chocolate sorbet. Finally, for our twelfth and final course, we were served a mini two-tier tower of treats.

Each dish was accompanied by a glass of wine – whites with the seafood and veggie dishes, reds with the meat, and dessert wine and port to round out the meal. Since I was the designated driver that night, Martin and co. did most of the drinking. By meal’s end – which was a little after 11:00 p.m. – I’d guessed Martin had knocked back about eleven glasses (a conservative estimate since I’m not counting any of the refills). I honestly wasn’t expecting him in so early this morning and yet he waltzed in at his usual hour, animated and seemingly none the worse for wear, suggesting he’d been gifted with a superhuman constitution. Either that or he was still drunk. Hmm. Come to think of it, given some of the story ideas he pitched out today, I’m guessing the latter.

Trying to play catch-up –

Cowpants writes: “Is there a particular reason why, in “Unending” you used CCR’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” as background music? Also, if you could write for any show or project other than Stargate, what would it be?”

Answer: 1) For some reason, Rob Cooper had this particular tune in mind as he was cutting together the montage sequence and, ultimately, decided to use it in the final mix. 2) Writing an episode of Dr. Who would be cool. I can sweeten the pot by bringing along David Hewlett as an eager guest star.

Anonymous #1 writes: “Joe, when will we know if Jack O’neill is going to be in the movies?”

Answer: Stay tuned.

Anonymous #2 writes: Both take place more or less concurrent to one another.

Christopher Hamer writes: “Is SG-1 going to return beyond series 10 … as in is there a chance that in 5 -15 years someones sais hey lets start that again?”

Answer: I’d say it’s highly unlikely that SG-1 will return in a series format. However, depending on how the first two movies do, it’s more than probably that their adventures will continue as possible direct to dvd features.

Spazzyd writes: “Do you think there was any behind-the-scenes footage taken during the prosthetic scenes in “Unending”?”

Answer: Ivon Bartok took a bunch of behind the scenes footage for Unending. At present, I’m not sure what, exactly, he has in mind for his special features piece.

Anonymous #3 writes: “I’ve been waiting six years for an end to the sam/jack ship and when the show finally ends I get squat?”

Answer: Good news! The adventures of SG-1 have not, in fact, ended with the appropriately titled “Unending”. Check out the upcoming movies – The Ark of Truth and Continuum for more SG-1.

Anonymous #4 writes: “ …and your time travel story- uh, isn’t that a total rip off from the Series Finale of Star Trek: TNG ‘Future’s Past?’“

Answer: To be honest, I never saw the episode in question but did check out the online synopsis after reading your comment. Although, admittedly, it is similar in that there are three different timelines, what I was pitching was three versions of the team in three different timelines effecting each other as opposed to any actual jumping back and forth in time.

Karen writes: “Seriously, there is no freedom of speech in the Candian constitution?”

Answer: No freedom of speech and the use of paper clips and other “products of a binding nature” are prohibited by law. Also, our supreme court is made up of retired circus monkeys (stupid monkeys and their conservative agenda!).

Anonymous #5 writes: “Can we expect Doppelganger to be similar to Sateda and Runner?”

Answer: Nope.

37 thoughts on “March 15, 2007

  1. Earlier in the month, you made a mention to Lorne. How many episodes do you think Kavan Smith will be appearing in, and will there be a conflict again with him appearing in The 4400?

  2. Is there any hope of you ever answering any of the questions relating to Elizabeth, or do you want to continue pretending she and her fans don’t exist?

    Please (I’m about to start grovelling here) just answer these questions:

    **Will she have anywhere near the number of episodes Sam will have in season four

    **Will Torri remain in the opening credits.

    **Do you recognise that Shep/Weir has a very, very strong following, and is the SGA equivilent of Sam/Jack.

  3. Hey Joe:

    We’ve never met but I’ve heard nothing but good things — I used to work with Rob and Damien back on Psi Factor. Just came across your blog and am cruising back through it…say hi to Dam and Rob if/when you see them and point them my way.

    Cheers

    Will

  4. Hey man, how hard is it to get a job in a production studio in Vancouver? How many episodes is Weir going to be in the first half of the fourth season?

  5. Come on Mr.Mallozzi please answer this one or at least keep us on our toes by saying maybe………..
    Will you bring the ancient warship Tria back in season 4. Will we get to see the daedalus in season 4. How many ZPM related episodes have you planned in season 4

    Thanxs

    Your montreal fan

  6. Wow! That is a ton of food! I am amazed your stomach lived to see another day! 🙂 Did you have to take notes to remember every detail or is your memory just that good from the pictures?

  7. I have a bit of a geeky question (I know…you’re so surprised) but it’s in regards to Teal’c in Unending. To give those who haven’t seen it a chance to avoid this I’ll include some spoiler space.
    s
    p
    o
    i
    l
    e
    r
    I had thought that it was the symbiote that kept the Jaffa from aging as fast? Since Teal’c is without his symbiote how was he able to stay so young looking?

  8. Ha ha. Well, I was actually curious enough to google the Canadian constitution – apparently there is freedom of expression, but rights are not held to be absolute as opposed to the US constitution.

    As to the circus monkeys, well, you may be better off than us. Some of us here in the US, would say that somewhere in Texas, a village is missing its idiot.

    Since you’ve been to San Diego, have you ever dined at either the Prado or Indigo Grill (if not, I recommend both places).

  9. Well, even if your time travel idea does resemble the TNG finale in some ways, it would hardly be the first time. “Window of Opportunity” resembled TNG’s “Cause and Effect” in that there was a time loop. “Michael” resembled “I, Borg” quite a bit. The list goes on. However, in most cases, even when I do see the similarities between Stargate and sci-fi shows of yore, I’m generally of the opinion that Stargate’s is the better version.

    (Regarding the above poster’s assertion that Shep/Weir is the Atlantean Sam/Jack…I’d disagree. Sam/Jack is full-on canon. Shep/Weir is not.)

    One question some of us had after watching “Unending”…was Hermiod affected by the same thing that got the rest of the Asgard? Because it seems like he was on the Daedalus during the time when all that was going on. We just love that snarky little guy and hope he didn’t meet the same fate as his people.

  10. Hi JM…

    I wanted to send you something other than chocolate. I’m allergic to chocolate to where I can’t enter Godiva or I get a vicious, what I call CHOCO-GRAINE (migraine from chocolate), from the smell.

    So is there anything else you like, besides chocolate, but can be shipped just as easily?

    Thanks in advance.
    Here’s again wishing you the best on filming, getting great episodes written, and on another fantastic season. 😀

  11. Joe,

    If you put yourself in the shoes of a hardy stargate atlantis fan and was allowed to view one episode of season four tomorrow, assuming they are all done and completed, but the next day is the end of the world for example; which one will it be?

    MADMOROCCAN

  12. So, here’s the funny thing –

    I came to the blog because I’m a Stargate fan and someone happened to point to it. But I’m also a foodie, and your food writing has me enraptured!

    So here’s my question:
    The condemned man is supposed to get whatever last meal he wishes for. If you were in that position, what meal would you choose?

    And, as an added bonus question – if you were forced to spend a month eating only one meal at breakfast, lunch and dinner, what would it be, and how long until you think you could face it again?

    eeeeeeeeeeeee! Food!!!

  13. Hello Mr Mallozzi,

    Could you tell us what will be the length of the two Stargate movies ?

    Thank you,
    Nathalie

  14. The “joke” about freedom of speech in Canada wearing a bit thin for this particular Canadian. Once was enough, twice is moving towards stupid, three times would be offensive. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 2: “Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms … (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion AND EXPRESSION, including freedom of the press and other media of communication …”. “Expression” is fancy lawyers’ talk for “speech”, but it’s there. I kind of hope that you knew that already.

  15. hmmm, well, I think I spot Martin’s problem…. he’s trying to drink a candle for a start 😉
    The salt mound looks interesting – if only due to the fact it looks like shoe scrapings :p However, I’ll take those yummy looking desserts any day – and the wine, the wine sounds good too. Tried many/any New Zealand wines?
    I feel a bit thwarted this year in that I can’t afford the trip to join the other raging (and shrill, did I mention shrill? 😉 ) lunatics at the con, so you must promise that you’ll borrow one of those cameras and film the spectacle of Rob being pulled from his car….*veg*

  16. Hello!
    I apologise if this question has already been asked, but I can’t find it here, so I’m hoping not.
    Concerning ‘Doppelganger’. Is this one of the previously mentioned character showcase episodes, and if so, can you say which character features in it? Or, if not, is it a team eppie?
    Thank you!!!

  17. OOh FOOD!

    Oh Joe, I just love the pics of the food and you are so lucky to have been one of the 30!!!

    I love food and I love exotic European food… well, I love all kinds of food actually and I’m very lucky that I get that variety where I live.

    Pics of Martin are cute – even with champagne.

    I wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed the last ep of SG1 -I was rather sad that it ended but I thought it ended on a high note. It was all the little character interactions that made me enjoy the story!

    I’m actually a fan of the CCR song so I was surprised and thrilled to hear it.

    I don’t often read your blog and I don’t have any/many SG related questions, but here’s a question for a food connoisseur such as yourself:

    I ate this in Belgium and it’s some fish dish – I think those are potatoes around the fish rolls.

    You’ve probably had something like this – uh, any idea what it’s called?
    http://dano.maybaybay.com/Hol2007/Europe/Bruges04.jpg

    I ate a lot of stuff that I ordered off a menu when I didn’t really know what it was (as one does when one travels in a country whose language isn’t English!).

  18. Hey Joe ,

    Do ye ever get sick of people asking about sam/jack .

    I mean id love them to get together but im sure you guys have it all in hand..Right!!!

    Irishchick

  19. Will Doppelganger be a psychological episode like The Real World or more like AU in nature?

  20. Joe, how do you feel about the participation of so many crew and cast members from the Stargate franchise in Damian Kindler’s new avant garde series, SANCTUARY? Are you all supportive of one another in that regard?

    You’ve avoided answering at least one question already about your feelings on the matter here so I was wondering if there was a personal vs professional dichotomy there? It seems strange that you folks haven’t really chimed in (publicly) yet. You all work so closely together, you must talk about it. Or are you not allowed to?

  21. Karen: Ha ha. Well, I was actually curious enough to google the Canadian constitution – apparently there is freedom of expression, but rights are not held to be absolute as opposed to the US constitution.

    Copernicus: I don’t know if you read other comments, but one of the really peculiar things about the Canadian Constitution is that until 1982, freedom of expression only existed in statute passed by parliament that could be repealed at a moment’s notice by a majority government. That was 1962’s Bill of Rights, passed by John Diefenbaker.

    The really remarkable thing, however, is that before 1962, freedom of expression only existed in the common law rulings of our judges that essentially said that while the right was not guaranteed, the government was never specifically empowered to take away someone’s freedom of expression under the British North America Acts that founded our nation, and as such your right to freedom of expression existed due to the government’s lack of power to take it away.

    The old Canadian system was really fascinating in that sense. Not only were basic freedoms provided, but because the system had such limited government powers and such a flexible judiciary, it was actually far more adaptable to change than the American system.

    Sadly, Trudeau tossed that out the window with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is so well-named that very few people will believe it causes more harm than good unless you go into great detail.

    *takes off the constitutional lawyer cap*

    Joe: Are there any plans to introduce any more on-base recurring characters?

  22. Actually, I don’t think anyone believes you have the s/j storyline in hand anymore. Please get it together for the movies. No alternate realities, alternate timelines, no resets. Just finish it off and put everyone out of their misery. The fans will thank you, the actors will thank you, and you’ll even thank yourselves.

  23. The food looks almost as amazing as your descriptions make it sound.

    Question: Have there ever been times when a scene in your script has played out on screen completely differently from the way you’d imagined it?

  24. I’m quite tired of people showing up here pushig their ship agendas, though I sure you’re used to it by now.

    I’d just like to say that I feel people like me, who are in the silent majority, are quite pleased by what we’ve seen in terms of relationships on the two shows.

    I’ve seen Unending now, and wanted to tell you that I thought it was a lovely series finale all around. And though I’ve already seen all of Atlantis season 3, I look forward to watching it again soon. I’m so please with what’s happening on Atlantis this season, and am waiting to see what wonderful episodes you’ve in store for us in season 4.

    And thank you for taking the time to drop hints about what’s coming up.

  25. Can you answer this existential question :
    What percentage have we to seeing Hammond in 1)Atlantis 2)SG-1 movies ?

  26. It’s been really awesome to see the intimate friendship that you all have been developing between John and Teyla over the last few seasons. Can we expect that to deepen this season?

    And on an unrelated note, it occured to me that in our galaxy the Ancients had several powerful allies that helped them. Can we expect to find that there are similar allies in Pegasus that might be of help to Atlantis?

  27. You wrote:
    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.

    However, Playback magazine today posted “Continuum, produced by MGM Studios, will shoot in the Arctic March 23-29 with an 18-member crew, including veteran director Martin Wood (Stargate SG-1), DOP Peter F. Woeste and cast members Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping and Richard Dean Anderson.”

    So, it seems RDA is gonna be in that movie 🙂

  28. People realise that ‘Freedom of Speech’ doesn’t apply to privately run websites right?

    Joe censoring comments on his private blog does not amount to him denying anyone their ‘Freedom of Speech’ at all. If the Canadian Government attempted to shut down Joe’s blog (assuming it was hosted in Canada), then you might have an argument.

  29. To Sanssong,

    How can an intimate friendship develop between two characters who hardly even have any real dialogue?

    Where was their equivilent of the hug? Where are their balcony scenes? Where was the bit where Colonel Skinner (don’t bitch, I know what his name is, I just like calling him Colonel Skinner!) said “You two are close, aren’t you?”

    Give me a break. Don’t even count the mouth smush which, as you could tell from the look on Teyla’s face, amounted to assault, because I’m not counting the ‘under alien influence’ kiss.

    Someone said recently that Joe looks like he wants to give her a pat on the head half the time. I agree! She has ‘little sister’ written all over her.

    Now Teyla and Ronon on the other hand… THAT is ship. That’s the most developed ship on the show, canon or not. I’ve always found Teyla to be as boring as hell, and I’m not the only one. It’s only in the scenes with Ronon that she actually sparks up and looks like she’s alive.

    The ship lines are clearly drawn: Shep/Weir and Ronon/Teyla. Sheyla may have been the original intended ship before the actors were cast, but hell, it doesn’t take a genious to realise that if the actors have no chemistry on screen, it’s time to move on and pair them with someone they do have chemistry with. Ronon/Teyla is a very obvious case of this.

    You want to talk about indimate relationships developing? Shep/Weir is a very clear case of that. From potential rivals to close friends. That much is very, very clear.

    Why does any of this surprise me though? You were the people who wanted to call your ship “Twix — when you need a moment”

  30. You and Martin Gero look freakishly alike. It’s scary.

    Shawna I don’t think anonymous person said that Shep/Weir was canon just that they have the same amount of support that Sam/Jack in SG1, fandom wise. Which yeah it’s true. They have become huge in a short period of time. I don’t know there’s something about Shep/Weir, like my friend says “they eat your brains” LOL.

  31. To anonymous who’s sick of people pushing their ship agendas, you should probably be more worried about certain shippers asking what he’d like them to send him… that to me screams “OMG! If I buy him something, he’ll give me Sheyla by the bucket load!”

    Everyone can see that for what it is.

    I love Sparky, but I’m not going to resort to sucking up by sending him food. Especially since they’re screwing over one half of my ship anyway.

  32. Is there ever going to be some sort of relationship between the Satedans and the Athosians. Since Teyla and Ronon are friends and I’m sure Ronon would love to some day be reunited with his people maybe he can have the Satedans shack up with the Athosians for a while. Being that they are completely different people. AThosians are all about farming and Satedans…well…aren’t. They could help each other out-plus I think it would make for an interesting background story.

  33. To Grace….

    Wow, girl, hall in your shipper horns honey. I must have really hit an insecure nerve for you to come after me like that.

    I won’t bore everyone here repeating the obvious and NUMEROUS examples of the friendship I spoke of, but I do have one question for you. If John and Teyla are so dead as a couple and have so little future, why do you care what I think? Aren’t you grown up enough to live and let live?

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