I’m admittedly the first person to complain about pretty much anything. Well, anything except the weather because, really, at the end of the day, who can you really complain to? Still, given the almost three straight weeks of rain we’ve had to suffer through, I think I deserve the right to at least voice my displeasure. We haven’t seen the sun since late February and I’m getting just a little irritable. Well, even more irritable. And it’s not just me. Our backyard is a swamp, the pugs are refusing to go out, and acutely sensitive L.A. native Carl Binder has been placed on a suicide watch.

Today – more of the same. So what to do on such a miserable day? Well, you could stay home and read or watch dvds. Or, you could motor over to the Richmond Auto Mall and test-drive some cars. We did the latter. And then, since we were in the area, we headed over to the Costco where we partook in one of the most annoying of Saturday afternoon rituals: trolling for parking. Nothing puts me in a worse mood than rolling up and down the various aisles, on the hunt, ready to spring at the first sign of a brake light, or, alternately, following shoppers back to their parking spots, creeping along behind them like anxious stalkers. Recently, however, I’ve discovered an easy solution to this maddening process: get your wife to drive. And just so you aren’t impacted with any of that residual frustration that comes with being a passenger, I’d suggest bringing along some reading material to focus your mind elsewhere.

Well, we finally found parking and headed inside where we joined the hundreds of other zombie shoppers stocking up on shampoo, toilet paper, chicken wings, and bulk peanut butter. Fondy attempted to exchange an item she purchased at another Costco only to be told she’d have to go back to the original branch, making her a tad cranky. As we headed back to the car, I remarked on those people they employ to man the exits and double-check purchases. What purpose do they serve? “They’re there to keep people from walking out with a shopping cart full of stuff,”Fondy curtly explained. “Sure,”I agreed, “but isn’t that what the tills are for? I mean, every store has the same set-up but for some reason, Costco feels the need to go that extra little step. I wonder why that is? It’s like those people are the unsung heroes, the last line of defense against cracker bandits and olive boosters.” Clearly, Fondy didn’t share my curiosity so I shut up.

From the Auto Mall to the Costco to the other Costco where Fondy successfully exchanged the item in question. Then, over to the T&T Supermarket where we picked up some skate wing and crab. Check out dinner.

Catching up on the mail…

Peter writes: “In Season 3 I heard you guys had the goal of doing more character development and focusing more on the team. Do you think you’ve succeeded and is there another goal for Season 4?”

Answer: Character development is something we strive for every season and this year will be no different. As for a specific focus for season 4 – we’re looking for an even distribution of stories amongst the individual team members in addition to a nice compliment of team-centered stories, we’d also like to explore the wraith a little more and kick off some “big events” that I’m not at liberty to reveal.

Misty writes: “I’m reading Frank Herbert’s Dune right now. I saw the movie years ago, but have just recently bought the book. Have you read it and the sequels to it?:

Answer: Dune is on my to-read list as it makes almost every SciFi Top 10 list I’ve seen.

Anonymous #1 writes: “Do you feel famous?”

Answer: No. The day that I walk down the street and people start pointing and whispering “Hey, isn’t that the writer from Stargate?”, I may think differently.

Anonymous #2 writes: “I’m going to have a talk to the concordia officals for the seminar but once its done and all red-tape details have been taken care of, I will need to inform you of the details…”

Answer: You can include your email in a future comment. I’ll take it down and delete said comment without publishing it.

Azar writes: “ I run a fanlisting for Carl Binder […] and there are *no* decent pictures of him around except the ones you’ve posted here in your blog. If you don’t think it would frighten him too much, may I please swipe one or two to put up on the fanlisting?”

Answer: By all means.

M writes: “Do you ever bring your dogs to work and if so do they socialise with the other doggies on set?”

Answer: My pugs can be little bullies if they’re not watched so I prefer to send them to daycare.

Anonymous #3 writes: “…if this were a perfect world and if Hugh Laurie could be cajoled into doing an episode, what sort of character would you write for him?”

Answer: I’d make him the leader of an alien race that possesses the secret to keeping his people safe from any wraith incursion. How have his people survived for so many generations while so many others have perished? For the answer to that – help me convince Hugh to do the show and find out.

Little Raven-Hawk writes: “Will we see you at any of the conventions this year???”

Answer: Nope. We don’t get invited to cons unless it’s the officially-sanctioned con in which case the organizers may feel shamed into inviting a producer or two. Martin and I may be doing the Anime Con at SFU this summer, sometime around August, where we will have plenty of surprises and spoilers in store re: season four.

Lorr54 writes: “Is Larrin the female commnder of the Travellers? Gina Torres – I know it’s not possible, but she is so good at whatever role she takes.”

Answer: She is. And we love Gina Torres and did consider her as a possibility but, alas, she is pregnant and very busy with a burgeoning movie career.

Anonymous #4 writes: “How did the meeting with the Scifi bigwigs go?”

Answer: Alas, they never did make it to the lot.

Monty the radioactive gopher writes: “ So given that when you write for these bad guys in SG1 or SGA, how do you get your inspiration for their evilness?”

Answer: Every villain I write has a little piece of me in them.

Miss H writes: “How do you feel about 100% dark? Does that qualify as chocolate or does it lack the necessary qualities (ie sugar) to count?”

Answer: It’s chocolate but definitely an acquired taste. 90% is as high as I can go and still enjoy the taste.

Shawna writes: “Could it be that you’re already planning to have him in two eps (hence the specific number) and just want to make it seem like you’re making a concession? Could this be the guest actor “pending availability” that you’ve mentioned?”

Answer: An interesting theory but, in all honesty, we have no scripts being written at present that include the good doctor. As for that guest actor I alluded to – the character in question hails from the SG-1 universe (and I don’t mean that literally, science nerds).

Anonymous #5 writes: “You said the travelers found a ship similar to an aurora class that they wanted shepard to activate…”

Answer: No, I didn’t.

Criz writes: “The “I’m with genius”-shirt – was this specifically designed for McKay or did someone just stumble on this in some shop ?!”

Answer: I thought it was something McKay would wear, so wrote it into Home.

Sgeureka writes: “One of today’s photos says the working title of an episode was “Doppleganger”. Have you and the other producers already decided what name/spelling you will use in the end?”

Answer: Doppelganger.

Alipeeps writes: “What kind of car do you drive?”

Answer: I’m driving a Q7 which is really supposed to be my wife’s car. I’m on the look-out for some new wheels. Any suggestions?

SmileyFace06 writes: Honestly? I get most of my best writing done while I’m driving.

45 thoughts on “March 24, 2007

  1. “Costco feels the need to go that extra little step”
    Of course they do – it’s entirely to ensure that you don’t make off with a 24 roll pack of toilet paper under your coat. And to hold you up at the exit for several extra minutes as many checkout lines converge on a single door-checker.

    I’m also a believer in dressing well despite my colleagues’ sartorial shortcomings. I think one does their best work when they’re dressed for the part.

  2. Joe,

    Is the special guest star from the SG-1 universe Mitchell or Vala? I know Scifi loves those two actors to be on all their shows.

  3. Well Joe, with more Gaters seeing your blog, I think that “famous” day is not that far in the future. Heck, I’d probably whisper something if I ever saw you walking around the quenched sidewalks around here.

    It’s weird, has it really been 3 weeks of rain? I haven’t noticed, and I’m not being sarcastic. I guess that’s what happens when you spent all day at home, and all other times in a classroom.

    Big events eh? Sweet. Can’t wait.

    Ok, question: Which episode, in your opinion, would’ve benefitted the most from a bigger budget (barring Irresponsible)?

  4. Of course the much anticipated guest character is from the SG-1 universe. Atlantis has no characters of its own, ever. Who is it this time, Joe? Bra’tac? Woolsey again? Jack O’neill? Replicarter? Hammond? Woe for the Pegasus Galaxy. Apparently no one of note lives there.


  5. I was watching the episode “Lost Boys” and it reminded me of a question I have had since the first time I saw a wraith holding cell. Why don’t the people just climb through the holes in the spiderweb-like door. Some of them are big enough for Teyla, if no one else, to climb through.

  6. Is there any chance of a resident cat or dog in Atlantis? Or even one of each. I think that it would liven the place up a bit.

    Mars Hewlett is an actor I believe, and he is such a handsome wee lad.

  7. Will we ever get to see anyone from SG-1 or Atlantis on the new spin-off or is it so out-there that it doesn’t have to do a thing with either? Plus-do you know if they are going to make you a show-runner on it?

  8. Concerning Larrin you should probably check Jerri Ryan. Also, I’m curious to know when season 4 will be out on movie central in canada, I hope its the ususal mid July date.

    Thanks Joe

    Your Moroccan fan(s) … I working on addicting my people to the show… some kudos please

  9. Dear Joe,
    I have read all the fandemonium books on SGA ever since I got hooked on your show. I was wondering sir, do you take the plots of the books in consideration before you go ahead create new episodes. Thank you

  10. To anyone else reading this and wants Stargate on DVD. Costco sells each season for about $30 (USD ). (At least at “my” Costco.)

    Wow, you can drive and write at the same time? That’s impressive! So does road rage cause you to write a particularly aggressive scene/character in an episode? j/k

  11. joe/Answer: As for a specific focus for season 4 – we’re looking for an even distribution of stories amongst the individual team members in addition to a nice compliment of team-centered stories [snip].

    does sam carter figure into the ‘even distribution’? *crosses fingers*

    joe/Answer: [snip] As for that guest actor I alluded to – the character in question hails from the SG-1 universe (and I don’t mean that literally, science nerds).

    jack o’neill??? *crosses fingers*

    sally 🙂

  12. My husband’s favorite thing to do on rainy days down here is test drive cars.

    I’d suggest a Chevrolet Malibu Maxx. We have an 06 with heated cloth seats, telescopic steering & pedals, and mph/kph modes. Along with all the other normal stuff: moon roof, reclining rear seats, power everything, and digital info deck. Lol!

    Give it a shot. Make sure it’s the Maxx style though, the regular Malibu’s are uncomfortable.

  13. Your pugs won’t go out in wet weather, either? My guys, especially my little girl, absolutely detest wet grass. Whenever she’s forced to trod across it, she’ll lift her feet dramatically and stare back at me as though the only thing more profound than her utter revulsion is the need she feels to communicate what a horribly sadistic care-giver I am. The boys balk at first, but then they’ll tromp right through it all, mud or muck, whatever. She, on the other hand, will find whatever tiny patch of less-sodden oasis she can, and stand there looking shivery and pathetic until I pick her up. The longest we’ve ever had a war of wills over the situation was nearly thirty minutes, at which point I was forced to concede that she was the undisputed (if completely pathetic) victor, and allow her back onto the sidewalk. I have to admit, were someone to force me into a water-logged field, whilst wet and naked, and then proceeded to demand I “make potty”, I’d probably drum up a bit of a protest, myself. Thank heavens I wasn’t born with four legs and fur!

    PS-> Dolby is doing much better since my last question. I did take him to another vet and she gave him a stronger allergy medicine. It seems to have cleared him right up. For which I am very grateful. Thanks for the advice. 🙂


  14. Q: Speaking of Mars Hewlett, wouldn’t it be funny if Atlantis has its own little ‘wormhole x-treme’ and used ‘Starcross’?
    *crosses fingers from Bra’tac to be special guest*

    And, that one picture of the oil-like liquid in the bowl? It looks very similar to a dish they eat in the Republic of Georgia called Yogurt Soup. It’s…interesting ^_^;.

    Hope ya’ll get a little bit more sun in the future! You have permission to steal some rays from Austin as there seems to never be a shortage of heat and light around here. ^_^

  15. Majorsal has it right…Jack would be spectacular. Or Teal’c. Or Daniel. Me loves my SG1.

  16. Ok Joe still planning my trip to Vancouver. Where would one get the biggest, and I do mean biggest and best chunk of charred flesh i.e. steak in Vancouver. Thanks

  17. Anonymous #4 writes: “How did the meeting with the Scifi bigwigs go?”

    Answer: Alas, they never did make it to the lot.

    Hmm. Doesn’t that make you wonder what their priorities are? I hate to sound like a piece of doom, but I doubt there’ll be a season five. They can’t even make a meeting with you? What were they doing? Ordering room service and watching movies?

  18. Mars is a star. So is Sedge. Either one of them should be brought into the cast over the bloody SG1 people.

    Why? Why??? Why do we need more SG1 people on SGA? Seriously? Like Atlantis has no cast or characters of its own?

    It’s like an insult to the Atlantis actors that you bring in SG1 people as a ratings ploy. The SG1 people were all nobodies apart from RDA when the series started. They were allowed to grow and become stars with the show, please allow the Atlantis people the same opportunities.

    And please bring Torri back to the cast in at least as many eps as Amanda.

  19. Ah, another conspiracy theory killed. So disappointing. I’ll survive…especially if Carson does end up making it end. Someone from SG-1, though, huh? I know the odds are stacked against this, but I was thinking the other day how funny it would be to have Felger transferred to Atlantis, just to see McKay have to deal with him (and the whole Traders connection would just be a bonus). Though I wonder if Felger hasn’t been fired by now.

  20. Magic 8 ball:
    Are we going to get to see more of Jeanie Miller in season 4?

    90% Dark?!?!?! Thats nuts… 70% is about my upper limit..

  21. hello Joe i have a question do you have any plans on bring Andee frizzell back as a wraith queen because i loved her as the wraith queen in submersion and i was hoping to get to see another queen soon?

  22. [I’m with genius shirt]
    Answer: I thought it was something McKay would wear, so wrote it into Home.

    +karma for you … ooh, wrong place, kudos to you then, because it is genius *g*

    and I take it that for the actual design only the necessary letters were done and not the entire alphabet *winkwinknudgenudge*

    *grabs a pen, adds two dots to Doppelgänger and sneaks away*

  23. Hiya Joe,

    Some questions from me again heh. I was wondering in relation to season 4 about the following:
    1) Will we see any more Wraith that are like Michael?
    2) Will we see anymore enzyme users like Ford?
    3) Will we see any other people like Teyla who were experimented on by the Wraith in the past?
    4) Will we encounter another Runner?

    Thanks Joe and take care!

  24. So, people up in Vancouver have been told that Elizabeth is to have brain surgery… What then? She’s dead, or she disappears into the infirmary as a deaf mute and you wheel her out to make a cameo appearance for 10 seconds every few episodes.

    I swear to God, if you people off her..

    The comments that are being made on LJ are revolving around what the hell you people are smoking up there – you’re planning to dump one of the best people on the show, and it sucks.

  25. To the person who quoted the Solutions spoilers, those didn’t come from Joe, so don’t blame him!

    To Joe, I can see you in a BMW 7 series, black of course. The new body style is not as villainous as the old, but you’d love the drive. I still love my 3-series 7 years in…

  26. Yes, yes, livejounal this, circular friend network that. All twenty of you can be outraged together. I for one can’t wait to see more Sam and hope she’s in charge of the Atlantis expedition. And I hope she gets tonnes of screen time too. Right now the episodes I’m most looking forward to are the one where Sam first shows up, the one with Teal’c, and whatever this new SG-1 crossover will be. Traditionally the very best SGA episodes by far have been those with strong SG-1 crossover elements. Grace Under Pressure, The Returns, Mckay and Mrs. Miller, The Real World, all are among the best and most successfully executed Atlantis episodes. I expect that trend to continue, and hope for more of the SG-1 team (especially Jack :D) in season four.

  27. Don’t worry, Joe. I think you’re doing a great job! (no matter what anyone says *cough* stupid anonymous *cough*)

    I do think Doppelgänger should be spelled just so. Adds a certain pizzazz, especially for a starting episode. (that is the first one for the season, right?) *scratches head b/c has brain like a sieve* ;D

    Just a quick Q: Who wrote the script for ‘Sunday’? Besides the whole Carson-dying thing, I thought it was a really funny episode. Not only did it showcase all the other certain quarks of many beloved character (yay Zelenka!), it really brought Beckett’s character to the forefront, which was a real treat. (and I still think you can’t resist bringing him back in the fifth season. No one can resist such a sweet Scot) 😉

    Just a quick note: It would be very unfortunate if Elizabeth were removed from a reoccurring role. I actually started off really disliking her in SG1 and at the beginning of Atlantis, but she’s grown on me quite a bit. It would be a real shame to remove her character when I’ve started to enjoy where her personality has been heading.

    Don’t let all the negative comments get you down. You guys rock! (and so do your suits) ^_^

  28. Anonymous said:

    The comments that are being made on LJ are revolving around what the hell you people are smoking up there – you’re planning to dump one of the best people on the show, and it sucks.

    Well, whatever they’re smoking up there, I like the direction it’s steering the show in personally. I can’t wait for season 4. Bring it on!!!! 🙂

  29. Joe, don’t forget to turn Space Channel tonight to watch Claudia Black in “The Dresden Files” episode tonight! :)))

    And a question: will we get Daniel and Vala fix in the third Stargate series? If not, this particular viewer is not interested in it AT ALL.

  30. Well, at least SG-1 fans are excited about season 4 and that’s all that matters. Who cares about Elizabeth fans, Carter fans rule all!

  31. Hey Joe!

    How far in advance of an episode filming do you prep for it, and how long before you start filming do you generally cast for the guest roles?

  32. Goran Visnjic of NBC’s ER has said he’s a Stargate fan and would love a guest spot on Atlantis. Would you ever consider putting him in an episode, maybe as a foil for Dr. Zelenka?

  33. Q: Is there going to be any actual mourning for Carson? Closest thing to a best friend (McKay) and people who would do any thing for you even give up their life (Sheppard) would hopefully mourn the fact they blew you off and then you exploded later that day. We had a funeral but then no mention until the replacement mentioned him? Season 4 going to be any different?

  34. Brain surgery, WTF, I think I laughed and then proceeded to laugh some more. This cannot be good for Elizabeth.

  35. hi, joe,

    at the vancouver con that’s currently taking place, rob cooper has stated that as soon as the two stargate sg1 movies are done filming, he and brad are going to concentrate on the third stargate series. i’m not sure if it’s the wording of this info, but… are there ‘really’ any plans to continue the *stargate sg1* movies past the first two? i know that how well they do selling wise will make the difference, but right now, my heart is with stargate sg1 and… i just want it to continue.

    any reasurrances?


  36. I was once a big fan of Red Dwarf until I started watching stargate and Arnold Rimmer (Chris Barrie) was my favorite character. Is it possible that in season 4 you ask him to appear in one of the episodes as some scientist or native on some planet but in Rimmery kind of a way. I bet he and Meredith would be a good whiny team.
    My next choice is Rowan Atkinson as a goofy character also.

  37. Hi Joe,

    Just thought I’d give you an update on the chocolate situation. I tried the 85% and a 92%, both of which were a little bitter for my taste. I’ve always been more of milk chocolate girl, though. My girlfriend enjoyed the 85%, as did her best friend, but I think the chocolate of the day went to the 75% Swiss.

    Nice to know that even a self-confessed Dark Chocoholic has difficulties with the high end of the cocoa spectrum!


  38. I can see you in a Range Rover, for me one of the best, classiest cars there is, as of colour? Black, of course.

  39. With SGA being ‘darker’ than SG1,(which I love btw) does this open up more doors for you as a writer? Or do you prefer writing the more comedic types of episodes?

    Do you find that your mood coincides with the script that you’re writing?

  40. hi, joe,

    we now know that jack’s going to be in the second movie (“continuum”). we also know that rick’s went up to film the arctic stuff with amanda and ben. so, my question is…

    knowing what “continuum” is about, and how teal’c and vala are the ones changed; is jack with sam, mitchell, and daniel in that he knows the future is wrong, or ‘changed’ with teal’c and vala?

    sally 🙂

  41. So, here’s me….agreeing with my fellow Texan…

    What is wrong with a majority of the ANONs that comment? Attacking you or or blog is about…idiotic? childish? foolish? stupid?

  42. Yay windshieldbug! The Texans are invading. Run for your liiiiives! *bwahahahahaaaa* -leaps out of nearby window for theatrical effect-

    But, yeah. For every bad/angry/rude comment you ever get, I will personally offset it in spirit! >D Those evil-doers (besides yourself, of course) won’t stand a chance against my abundance of positive thinking!
    -strikes heroic pose-

    But seriously, man. If you want them taken care of…*eeeevil smirk*
    No, it’s really cool how you put it the good with the bad comments. Really gives a sense of fair play and shows that you’re not afraid of bad responses. Very classy (but we already knew that) 😉

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