“When I was young,”admitted Fondy, “I never really appreciated the gifts people got me.” My response was: “Are you kidding?” Offhand, I couldn’t think of a gift I hadn’t enjoyed receiving. Then, giving it some thought, I realized that what I’d enjoyed was not so much the gift itself but the getting. There was the initial elation of receiving the present, the mounting exhilaration of the post-delivery expressions of gratitude, the escalating excitement of the unwrapping process, and, finally, the typically anti-climactic reveal: “A Best of Classical Hymns album. Uh – wow.” In the end, it wasn’t so much the gift but the thought that someone had taken the time to think of you and pick out those black knee socks or that totally inappropriate Tommy Hilfiger tie you’d never wear in a million years. Actually getting something cool – comic books, food-related items, one of those retractable metal batons for hitting people with – was a bonus that could not be counted upon. Ultimately, the only gifts to really disappoint were the articles of clothing and only because they necessitated my trying them on and then displaying them for my adoring relatives. “Beautiful,”my mother would remark as ten year old me would strut up and down the linoleum kitchen flooring like some amateur child model. “That’s the style now.” If you believed my mother, red sweater vests never went out of fashion. Nor did cream, body-hugging turtlenecks or shapeless zippered jackets.
Coincidentally, I was the recipient of a gift today, compliments of the SaveCarsonBeckett people who swung by the studio to drop off a glorious vase full of Chocoatl assorted chocolates. As promised, I did share with the rest of the writers. The chocolates were wonderfully sweet and creamy yet tinged with the subtly bitter guilt that comes with offing a beloved character. Or it may have been the cardomom; I‘m not sure. Whichever, it was greatly appreciated although, for the briefest of seconds, it did occur to me that they may have been poisoned when I started to feel a little queasy. Paul, however, suspected it may have had more to do with the fact that I’d just polished off 12 truffles right after inhaling my piece of key lime pie. Well, poisoned or not, they were very tasty.
By the way, speaking of bittersweet, I really enjoyed Cornelius Medvei’s “Mr. Thundermug”, an alternately humorous and touching one-hundred page quickie about a talking baboon and his attempts to provide a normal life for his wife and kids. In many ways, the narrative reminded me of Lemony Snicket’s delivery in the Series of Unfortunate Events Series (The Carnivorous Carnival being my favorite) – dry and dark. I set aside ten minutes today and read Ricky Gervais’s “Flanimals”. Brilliant. Also burned through Richard Morgan’s “Altered Carbon” in two days and have now started on Scott Westerfield’s “The Risen Empire”. Brad dropped by the office today enroute to the Arctic and told me he loved John Scalzi’s “Old Man’s War”. That makes both Brad and David Hewlett as Scalzi converts. I’d pick up his other books – The Last Colony, The Android’s Dream, Agent to the Stars and The Ghost Brigades – but can’t find them at my local bookstores. How maddening is that?
Finally, I’m pleased to report that the guys from SciFi did not meet with foul play as previously assumed. We received a call from Mark Stern explaining he and Tony got held up on the sets of Eureka and Tin Man, but would make it a point to drop by next time they’re in town. Looking forward to it.
Peter writes: “Have you guys started on planning the back-half of season 4?”
Answer: We’re discussing stories for the back half and I’ve started work on the first half of the mid-season two-parter.
Carolina writes: “Now that new eps of SG-1 and Atlantis are about to air in the US, what do we need to do to have the ratings count?”
Answer: Get the word out that the shows are coming back on April 13th.
Anonymous #1 writes: “I wanted to tell you if you had a choice between a doberman pincher(black/brown hair) or a Cavalier King Charles, both males, which breed would you choose.”
Answer: King Charles Spaniel. Or pug.
Anonymous #2 writes: “Who would you say are the most computer savvy among the cast and crew?”
Answer: Martin Gero who owns and operates his official website where you can purchase Martin Gero-related merchandise like key chains, t-shirts, and official mugs.
Copernicus: “I’ve spent the last couple of days reading the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes stories and I was wondering if you have you read any of them.”
Answer: Yup. I read them all in high school.
Anonymous #3 writes: “If one was to attribute one word to describe a Stargate atlantis season, this is what I would say: season 1 exposition ; season 2 relief, season 3 Jeapordy, now what word would you use to describe season four so far?”
David writes: “What say you about SGA movie($) in between seasons, any chance of that?”
Anonymous #4 writes: “You guys have really put Amanda Tapping in a tough position. Everyone now knows that Torri was let go because either you guys or the network wanted to hold Amanda to her contract.”
Answer: In a desire to give voice to our pre-adolescent fanbase (and those possessed of the mental and emotional equivalence) I‘ve gone ahead and posted your comment. What can I say? You have us all figured out. Not only do we force Amanda – and every other actor – to work on the show, but we also do a fair job of imposing our will on hapless writers like Carl and Martin. In fact, I was just in Carl’s office this morning, shocking him with a cattle prod. He whimpered a little but, of course, Carl knows better than to raise his voice in protest lest he TASTE THE BACK OF MY HAND! Seriously though, most will consider you amusingly delusional but I find you refreshingly dim. P.S. Sasquatch has been writing scripts under the nom de plume Alan McCullough.
Ruffles writes: “Since you use several different writers and are writing several episodes at a time, do you have anyone on your staff that looks at character continuity or is that left to the actors?”
Answer: All of the writers participate in breaking every story and providing notes on every outline and various script drafts.