I logged onto sitemeter this morning to discover a whopping 2900 visits for yesterday’s blog entry. Martin Gero clearly has some fans! Or it could have been the legions of Evil Kenny’s supporters presenting. Or, more than likely, it was the hundreds of German fans who seem to have discovered this blog overnight. Wilkommen!

A bit of a miserable day today as this chest cold (or whatever the hell it is) left me feeling a little “out of it” and just a tad grumpy. Still, I did manage to squeeze in my morning run and make it to work in time for the playback and visual effects meeting where we discussed the Ancient script on the tablet, the balcony overlooking the city, and that flickering force field (Of course it has to flicker otherwise you wouldn’t know it was there!).

Will complains that he is terribly unphotogenic, but I told him the problem is he poses for his pics. I left his office, then leapt back into his room and took a couple of candid snaps. Not the pic of Will, literally nose-deep in the Reunion script. Camera loves him!

More shipments arrived today: Martine’s, Vancouver’s own DC Duby Wild Sweets, and Pierre Marceline (that I had to drive to Richmond to pick up from Canada Customs in order to ensure I had it in time or Saturday night). Producer John Lenic also made a contribution for the Saturday night in the form of a box from New York’s Mariebelle, some drinking chocolate, and two chocolate bars (one of them, pictured, a divine chocolate and cookie creation that, uh, happened to find its way into my mouth).

After lunch, we headed over to Norco for a tour of the Reunion set. Check it out. Once the episode is wrapped, I think I may try to salvage some of these builds for my place. The bug motif would work perfectly in the dining room.

Everyone read the first draft of This Mortal Coil and, while I was initially dreading the notes, I was very much pleased with the input I received. Lots of great ideas from the guys.

We spent the last hour or so of the afternoon scrambling to come up with a story to replace the “other story” that is getting bumped. Anytime after 5:00 p.m. is probably the worst time of day to start spinning ideas, especially if you have a chest cold and have spent the morning and afternoon in meetings or out trying to track down an errant box of chocolates. Still, despite the fact that everyone is exhausted (Paul spent half the session with his face buried in his arms folded), we manage some progress. “How about an episode,”I offer, “where Atlantis…” And I wait for someone else to jump in. No one does. “Atlantis what?”asks Carl. “I don’t know,”I respond. “I came up with the preamble. The least you lazy bastards can do is come up with the rest!” Eventually, amidst the somewhat inane notions, we do come up with something we don‘t hate. However, chances are good we will after a good night’s sleep.

Some quickie questions –

Peter writes: “ Ack! The photos, they be x’s!”

Answer: Why are you talking like my mother? Sorry about the pics. There was a problem with blogger last night that thankfully rectified itself.

Smiley Face06 writes: “ In addition to Christina Aguilera, who else do you listen to?”

Answer: I happened to catch a Christina Aguilera song on the drive home. Technically, I suppose you could say that I “listen to her”, but it was quite by accident, I assure you.

M.K. writes: “As a project with school, we have to create an adaptation of Romeo & Juliet (an example is that a group set up the story with the Matrix).”

Answer: I’d do it as a musical-western.

M writes: “ Do ya reckon we’ll see anymore stick fights in S4?”

Answer: I reckon so, pardner.

Anonymous #1 writes: “Eh, it may take me a minute to get going, Joe. I’m still a bit dizzy from all the spinning going on.”

Answer: So, let me get this straight. Yours is an informed opinion worthy of respect while my opinion, which just so happens to run contrary to yours, is nothing but spin?

Anonymous #1 also writes: “NBC Universal’s stated future goals include eliminating non-NBC Universal produced programming thereby hopefully strengthening the weakened network.”

Answer: If that’s the case, the network had a wonderful opportunity to cancel Atlantis as well and free up room for original programming. The fact that they didn’t, and ordered a fourth season, leads me to believe that they still support the show.

Anonymous #1 also writes: “if Dresden Files, Eureka, and Painkiller Jane all can pull the same 1.3-1.6 ratings that the Stargate shows seem to pull, then those shows probably seem more attractive to Scifi.”

Answer: There’s a fairly sizable difference between a show averaging a 1.3 and a show averaging a 1.6.

01 writes: “Who would you say is going to be spending the most time in the infirmary season four? And don’t say Keller!”

Answer: Kell- damnit! Just looking over the episodes so far, I’d say that Sheppard has a slight edge.

Allison writes: “What’s in the container with the yellow lid? I’m guessing it’s yours because there’s water instead of coffee next to it.”

Answer: Nice detective work. That is my breakast: all natural low-fat yogurt with chocolate protein powder, All-Bran, ground flaxseed, and strawberries. Yum!

JohnManzione writes: “Are any of the producers, actors, directors, who are put off whenever they are reminded of fan’s desire to have RDA back on any level?”

Answer: Not at all. Rick did a lot for the franchise and it was great having him back. It’s nice to see many fans still support him.

Anonymous #2 writes: “I’d still like to know if Shanks was able to make it back for filming for the beginning of the movie.”

Answer: Yup. We were just watching the sandy Daniel, Teal’c, and Vala dailies at lunch today.

Anonymous #3 writes: “Regarding your little “spell” after exercise, have you considered having your blood sugar checked?”

Answer: Sure – after the chocolate party.

Stephanie Fan of Claudia&Ben writes: “ Do you read all comments you get? Can you tell us what do you think about working with both Claudia Black and Ben Browder?”

Answers: I do. And I enjoyed both Ben and Claudia’s work on Farscape and really pushed for them to make some sort of appearance on Stargate. The Vala character is a lot of fun to write for. Mitchell is a great character as well and Ben Browder is one of the nicest, down-to-earth fellows you’d ever hope to meet. He swung by my office the other day and we spent a good hour chatting about writing and Friday Night Lights.

UberAmandaFan writes: “1. What is a Blue Draft and who are the characters on the cover art of the script? Is it generic art or episode-specific? 2. What does “doing a pass” mean? 3. Will fans be able to buy those cool watches eventually? 4. RE: The first concept drawing under the watches…would I be too far off in assuming that what is depicted is in some way related to the iratus bug? 5. Can I have some chocolate? (sorry…I couldn’t resist)

Answers: 1. After writing a Writer‘s Draft, the writer receives notes from his fellow writers, revises the script and puts it out as a Revised Writer’s Draft. After the second set of notes – usually from the network – changes are made and, to keep track of these changes, pages that contain changes are printed in blue to differentiate them from the unchanged white pages. If a fair amount of changes have been made, we’ll often go with a complete Blue Draft. Following the concept meeting, after the various departments have weighed in, other changes are made. For instance, I will be working on Pink Pages for Reunion tomorrow. 2. Doing a pass essentially means re-reading the script and making some minor adjustments/changes before putting it out. 3. Doubtful, but I’m sure one or two will find their way onto some online auction sites. 4. You would not be far off. 5. Sure, knock yourself out.

SMB Books writes: “What’s the most popular snack in the break room?”

Answer: Well, today Martin Gero was singing the praises of some kitchen “trail mix” made up of nachos, Doritos, and pretzels.

89 thoughts on “April 19, 2007

  1. I wrote:

    “So the big Sam episode still has to film. This is what I’m worried about. I don’t see how you can keep Amanda on Atlantis and have her have an equitable role in Ark of Truth and Continuum. She’s already been so marginalized these past two years with the Ori being all about Vala and Daniel that I can’t help but believe that her part in the movies (especially the first one) is going to suffer. She’ll be too busy working on The Seer and the big midseason two-parter to be available for SG-1. Any words to allay my fears?”

    You wrote: Nothing

    So, no words of comfort then?

    Stacy D

  2. Joe,

    Just in time for your Chocolate party. A controversy about Chocolate.

    http://dontmesswithourchocolate.guittard.com/

    “…if some members of the U.S. Chocolate Industry have their way, it will negatively change the quality of chocolate you love. Their plan is to change the basic formula of chocolate in order to use vegetable fat substitutes in place of cocoa butter, and to use milk substitutes in the place of nutritionally superior milk. These changes will have adverse effects on the eating, physical and nutritional quality of chocolate, and beg the question: What consumer benefit is associated with implementing these changes? The answer is none.”

    Any thoughts?

  3. My Christina Aguilera comment had a joking tone in my head, but didn’t come off as such in text. Whoops. But then again, I’m no professional writer. 🙂

    I’m still curious though, just what genres of music do you enjoy? Who are some artists in those genres that you like best?

    I hope your chest cold goes away soon!

  4. I talk like your mother? Huh, and I thought I was imitating Rainier Wolfcastle when he went “the goggles! They do nothing!” Oh well, both are good.

    Anyway…a bumped story? Does it mean it’ll never see the light of day, or is it being rescheduled to some other time? Can you tell us why it’s been bumped?

  5. Hmmmm what to say today. You do read all the comments which is quite intriguing despite the fact that my comments are all *that* exciting.

    Yeah Martin Gero looked quite fanboy excited about his watch and I didn’t get a chance to mention that since the pics were having difficulties for awhile.

    What shall I ask today?? I could be deep and ask you your hopes and dreams. Or, perhaps I could mention that I spent quite sometime last night reading all of your 2006 posts to find out more about your interest in foods. I have in fact been inspired to start taking pictures of my food however they aren’t as pretty lol. So, what do you do when you hit up a friend’s place for supper and the food isn’t as great as the wonderful dishes you have shown to us? Are you the sweet-natured type who highlights what you can from the meal, or do you simply not comment at all.

    Oh and *waves* from Saskatchewan. Like Martin Gero said to me at the Vancouver Con 07 set tours. “Ya gotta represent” lol.

    -JJ

  6. Hiya Joe,

    I hope you feel better before your dinner party/thingy tommorrow!

    I’d love to see all the pics of food.

    By the way, you should say I reckon mate (since reckoning (well in my case) is more Aussie).

    Yay to stick fights – I love the fight sequences any time any day and I enjoy it when Teyla, Ronon or John S do it. Wouldn’t hurt to make the Hewlett learn one or two moves! 😀

    Q: So those cool watches – was Martin the only one who got them? What are you getting or aren’t you getting anything? Pls tell Gero that I reckon those watches are pretty cool!

    Cheers,

    Enjoy the weekend mate! 😀

  7. What are you taking something for your cold? Have you tried using Vick’s Vapo-Rub? It’ll open up your nasal passages.

  8. UberAmandaFan asked: “Will fans be able to buy those cool watches eventually?”

    Joe M answered: “Doubtful, but I’m sure one or two will find their way onto some online auction sites.”

    Actually, these watches are produced by Master Replicas and are scheduled to be released on the market in the Spring of 2007. I guess that means they will available any time now. For anyone interested, you can pre-order the watches from several different online sites, including the Master Replicas site.

    http://masterreplicas.com//store/stargate/stargate/8722/

    Unfortunately at the retail price of $299.00 (USD), these really cool watches are out of the price range of this poor fan. 🙁

    But I certainly hope you are finally able to get your watch, Joe. You certainly deserve one. 🙂

    Hope you have a wonderfully delicious Chocolate Party and be sure to let us all know how it goes.

  9. Let’s not get carried away with the melodrama, Joe. There was no attempt on my part to summarily dismiss your opinions as worthless or not “worthy of respect”. Your contention, however, that the first half season numbers for Atlantis and SG-1 aren’t useful as an indicator or future basis for ratings comparisons is a bit beyond the pale. Yes, it is quite possible that the first half numbers for both shows are indeed anomolies representing a one-time or limited lag in ratings. That being said, the debut ratings for the second half premiers are in keeping with the drop off that was seen at the beginning of the seasons. As I freely admitted yesterday, the ratings for the next few episodes will paint a much better picture than the one we have from just the first half’s ratings. But today, and for purposes of the current discussion, that’s all we have to go on. But enough with the wounded lamb routine.

    Yes, NBC Univesal/Scifi could well have achieved that goal of eliminating non in-house productions in one fell swoop. Sure. Honestly, though, we both know that that isn’t a viable option for any business. This is a long term goal meant to be achieved over an extended period of time. Scifi did, essentially, cancel SG-1. And there really wasn’t much basis for that decision. It was done abruptly, and it was done as the network was running on an emotional high as Eureka succeeded probably much beyond anyone’s hopes. It was Scifi’s first real success in a long time. With Dresden Files waiting in the wing and critical darling BSG still to come, I think the folks at Scifi were enjoying an inflated optimism. But that’s beside the point. SG-1 did get cancelled, despite having almost identical ratings to Atlantis, and despite being one of the networks only established shows with a solid fan base. As you say, Atlantis could have been cancelled as well. But to effectively slaughter the Stargate franchise all at once would have created a stigma for Scifi that no amount of good PR would ever overcome. I believe they already underestimated how badly MGM, which displayed the experience of all its years, was going to beat them up in the press over SG-1’s demise. Adding Atlantis would have been a rather bold stroke of bridge burning on Scifi’s part. Pardon the pun. As we’ve previously discussed, there was also the fact that Atlantis still had yet to reach enough episodes for a viable syndication package. I say 80 may be enough if the show’s first run numbers don’t go up; you say 100 would be a better package (not that I disagree). But we both can probably agree that 60 episodes wouldn’t cut it at all. The decision to carry Atlantis through a season four was an easy one. Much, much more money stands to be made from this upcoming season. I’m not sure the profit to be made from a fifth season is nearly as much.

    Yeah, there’s a sizable difference between shows averaging 1.3’s and 1.6’s. But my previous point is that that gap is closed somewhat by the money NBC Universal makes back on DVD sales, itunes downloads, various licensing and marketing avenues, and the like from shows they own outright. Also, the vertical integration of those productions is a boon to the network. And all of that fails to even take into account the different demographics that Scifi’s own shows seem to get. Perhaps you could provide some data, but it’s my understanding that the Stargates’ audiences skew much older than, say, BSG’s or Dresden Files’. As ridiculous as it may be, younger audience equals more advertising dollars. So, as you say, there is a marked difference between the Stargates, pulling an average of 1.6, and BSG and Dresden Files, pulling averages around 1.3 or 1.4. My point is that Atlantis probably needs to maintain that three or four hundreths of a point better rating to be just as profitable as Scifi’s own shows. If Atlantis begins to do no better than Dresden Files or, dare I say it, Painkiller Jane, then the decision to go ahead with season five becomes harder to justify.

    Yanan

  10. Wow, totally awesome! That bone-like structure made out of styrofoam must’ve taken a long time to carve. Is all Wraith architecture made out of foam-core composites? I know that some of it gets re-used occasionally, but about how much of the show’s budget goes to building sets and props?

    I love pictures that show us stuff still in the making. I hope we get to see more! Thanks Joe!

  11. hello.

    yesterday you told us that in the second part of season 4 we will see something that came from the legacy the asgard left behind.

    that made me also wonder will the legacy of them all there knowleadge left to the humans be the new bases of human technological development.will we see the steps of the technology evolution in atlantis and/or the third series.

    will we also see something like the EMH from star trek voyager but the a asgard.

    and how many enemy’s will atlantis have.

    thanks for the possible answers.

    and good luck with the show and great future stories.

  12. Wow, that set looks amazing! Creepy, yet intriguing.

    I wanted to ask you, what’s up with all the fat jokes at McKay’s expense? David Hewlett is hardly overweight, and in fact, he looked downright slender in the Tao Of Rodney. I mean, we know he ask to eat often to keep his blood sugar up, and other then the power bars, whenever we see him eating in the mess it seems to be healthy food, with fruits and salads and such. I just don’t get it.

    I too hope you recover from your chest cold soon. They’re never fun.

  13. When I was in film lectures, a majority of the ‘edgy’ people they had in to speak to us said that to make it anywhere you have to come up with something so different people will watch it. This always struck me as an odd thing to say.

    What do you think, script-wise; is it better to write something you are passionate about/know intimately, or just try and get your stuff noticed?

  14. Heya, Joe. Love the swanky three-piece suits. It’s very 1940s. All that’s missing is a fedora.

    Chocolate protein powder? What kind/brand do you use? I’ve been looking for something that’s neither soy nor milk based, as both hate me.

    And a left-field question: regarding the last ep of SG-1, which I won’t detail for the unspoiled – what about Hermiod? Really like the cranky little Asgard-McKay.

  15. We have met Rodney’s sister (and her family) in s3, will we meet any other family members in S4. If so can you say who’s?

  16. *is confused by all the ratings talk*
    Think I’ll just skip past that part…
    Thanks for the pics Joe (I take it some of those are of a Wraith ship? – I may be wrong…)
    Hope you feel better soon. 🙂
    Oh – and we’ve not heard much about Fondy for a while, I hope she’s okay too 🙂

  17. If say you put on THE ARK OF TRUTH or
    CONTINUUM on ON TV and it made ratings like 2.5-3.6 what do you think that MGM or sci-fi’s reaction would be regarding production of more
    movies or the series?

  18. I’ve noticed that Ben Browder tends to lean into other actors’ blocking often. Is this intentionally done or do you often have to reshoot sometimes because of it?

  19. You should tell Martin to try writing a blog of his own on his myspace page. I keep looking for one but never get anything. I do like the promo’s though especially the one with the guy smacking into the gate on his bike. I have a cruel sense of humour!

  20. As a Farscape fan, I was extremely excited that Ben Browder co-wrote an episode. (which I loved by the way…one of my S10 favs off the Ori storyline) Do you remember who it was that actually pitched the story first? And I am just curious about what “writing” stuff you guys talked about the other day…that is, if it’s not a hushhush secret…

    And I do agree with you that he is the most down to earth guy ever…met him a few different conventions.

    And just a question I’ve been curious about…if you can remember. Was there a jump in ratings, or did they lower on the season 9 premiere?

  21. Since I can not find the answer anywhere else I will ask you.

    Which park in Vancouver was the scene in Rising (where Sheppard was flipping the coin) shot? I see the two bridges behind him and have an idea which park but want a definate answer. LOVE the set up/camera angle of that shot, btw.

    Best wishes on the chocolate party (like that will be a problem!) and thank you for posting the pics you have.

    Speaking of which-ever try Pennsylvania Dutch/Amish food?

    And remember that dinner invite is still open for next week. Let me know.

  22. Hey joe, will we be able to actually see where the wraith-ships are grown or do we have to wait more?

    Thanks so much.

  23. “Jason said…
    Joe,

    Just in time for your Chocolate party. A controversy about Chocolate.

    http://dontmesswithourchocolate.guittard.com/

    “…if some members of the U.S. Chocolate Industry have their way, it will negatively change the quality of chocolate you love. Their plan is to change the basic formula of chocolate in order to use vegetable fat substitutes in place of cocoa butter, and to use milk substitutes in the place of nutritionally superior milk. These changes will have adverse effects on the eating, physical and nutritional quality of chocolate, and beg the question: What consumer benefit is associated with implementing these changes? The answer is none.”

    American chocolate isn’t chocolate. It’s crap disguised as chocolate.

    Go to any other country in the world. Eat the chocolate there. It will be 100 times better than American. Hersheys? An abomination!

    The best chocolate is 50-70% cocoa and organic. Sometimes suitable for vegans.

    American chocolate? Don’t know how it’s possible for them to make it worse. They sold Hersheys blocks here for about 5 minutes in the 80s. It was novelty for a while and then everyone went back to Cadbury. They only really sell those Hersheys Kisses in Aus now.

    And a show related question: Torri (yes, I know, here we go again….) how many episodes is she likely to get in the second half of the season?

  24. So each year, my friend comes into town and we throw our Annual Italian GorgeFest. Much like the concept of your chocolate party, we make a million different kinds of pasta, lasagnas, etc, (okay, at least 5 different pastas and three different lasagnas) and various versions of garlic bread.

    The only non-carb item is the 5 gallons of homemade tomato sauce (from the Castelluzzo family recipe).

    It has now become tradition that the first person to succumb to the sugar coma gets their picture taken and shared with everyone. (This year, it was a 6’4″, 250 pound police officer.)

    I was curious if you have the same phenomenon at your party? And, if so, could you share who it is that’s taken out first? 🙂

    Have a blast. But maybe you should skip your exercise in the morning and just rest. Your body’s kinda tired from dealing with this virus. Feel better!

  25. Hi,

    I hope that you are feeling much better very soon.

    You asked for our thoughts on The Return Part 2
    Overall, I enjoyed the episode – the way the plans changed was amusing, and the rewinds were well done. I solution of using the crystals from the ARGs was well presented. IMO the only disappointment was the last scene. I felt that it should have been between O’Neill and Sheppard – at least some acknowledgement that Sheppard had disobeyed orders to save the city and their lives. A quiet reprimand perhaps, followed by a handshake and thanks for a job well done. If that kind of scene had been on the end, then I would have given it 10/10. With the awkward O’Neill & Weir scene, which seemed terribly out of place, I’ll have to award it 9/10

    As for season 4, some of my personal wishes are:

    1.
    I would like to see the season concentrate on the current characters more. We’ve learned lots about McKay, and quite a bit about Ronon. For instance; I was glad to read that you are going to give us some background on Teyla this season, as both she, and Sheppard, are badly in need of some personal history.

    2.
    I’m disappointed that Carter is joining the cast. I didn’t like her in The Pegasus Project (which I only watched because Sheppard and McKay were in it). I just hope she doesn’t get much air time.

    3.
    What I most want to see is a huge amount more background on Sheppard.

      3.1. What about his parents… are they alive, is John estranged from them, are they dead?

      3.2. Has he flown jets as well as helicopters?

      3.3. From an observer’s PoV watching The Storm & The Eye, it would seem that Sheppard has had some special ops training. If so, when and for what reason did this occur?

      3.4. In what subject did he get his Masters? It has to be a ‘hard science’ otherwise he wouldn’t have reached the rank of Major. Does he have more than one – I know that many do – maybe aeronautical engineering and mathematics?

    4.
    Another thing I would like to see is more scenes showing the stick fighting between Sheppard and Teyla… he must be improving by now; maybe even fighting back to back against foes, and winning – that would be really cool.

    5.
    Lastly, more exploration of the city itself… it’s supposed to be huge, I would love to see more of it – I’m sure there are lots of things that can go wrong and make a good episode.

    Is there a chance of seeing any of these wishes come true?

    Thanks for reading :o)

  26. How long does it usually take Joel Goldsmith to write the score and complete recording for an episode on average? How many people are involved in recording the score? How many musicians?

    Finally, what would you do if someone ‘accidently’ left all that chocolate out in the swealtering heat, causing all the goods to melt into a giant disfigured pool of goo, the night before your shindig?

  27. In sunday we saw that teyla has feelings for someone. 1. Can you tell us if you are going to say who is it in S4? 2. it is Sheppard?

  28. Joe, after SG-1’s cancellation hit the net there was immediate talk of “shopping” the shows to another network. Can you tell us if MGM actually shopped the show, was there any interest from, say, Spike or USANetwork, or any other? What are your personal beliefs about the viability of the Gates performing well on another network?

  29. Hiya Joe,

    Any chances of another encounter with one of those nasty Wraith AI virus’s in the season? Just watched ‘Intruder’ again and I think the only thing missing was the camera of the ships computer being called HAL. Was very spooky that way.

    Anyway, take care Joe and a great set of pictures.

  30. From the spoilers so far on season four it sounds like its going to be a very exciting season and possibly the best so far. Looking forward to getting character focused eps, and its great to hear that everyone is getting sometime in the limelight. It’s also great to hear that Joe is getting the opportunity to show us an evil Sheppard. Looking forward to seeing that.

    Good to hear you will be developing all the characters as season three did a great job there, particulary with John and Teyla. Wonderful interaction between them and the scene is Sateda in the mess hall, was one of my favourite character moments of the season. Beautiful performances by both Joe and Rachel.

    My question..

    Will Sheppard remain the CO of Atlantis and still function pretty much as before, with Carter playing a similar role to Weir, or will Carter take on the CO position and if so how will that effect Sheppards position.

    Thanks a lot.

  31. Funny, when I saw the SG watch, I thought it looked pretty cool and wondered if they’d be for sale, so the first place I checked was ebay:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/MASTER-REPLICAS-STARGATE-SG-1-10th-ANNIVERSARY-WATCH_W0QQitemZ290106772565QQihZ019QQcategoryZ348QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    That link should work if you plug it into your browser, but if it doesn’t, the gist is that the exact same watch is being offered on ebay for close to $300 by Masters Replica, and apparently 1000 of them have been produced (so act fast! supply is limited! everything must go!) They certainly aren’t priced to move. That’s way outside my budget for a collectable watch. Where’s the cheap Chinese knockoffs when you need them?

    I know you’ve read Ender’s Game. I can’t remember which of the other Ender books you’ve read, but I’m an avid Card fan, so I thought I’d share a personal tip. First of all, the Shadow Series and the Ender Series really are two completely different works. Ender’s Shadow is fun because it shows Beans side of the story, filling in the holes that EG might have left. But once you get to the subsequent Shadow books, you find it’s all about Bean, and things spiral off from there. Frankly, I stopped reading them after Shadow of the Hegemon, which I liked, but I just couldn’t get into the storyline after that.

    Now Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind, are amazingly intricate, complex, thoughtful works of art. They make you think, they weave a great story, and they are THICK, in the intellectual sense, as opposed to length. It’s wholly different from the somewhat youthful playfulness of Ender’s Game (despite the serious nature of saving the world). I’d recommend you get to them first if you have to choose. Speaker for the Dead remains one of my favorite books of all time.

    On the note of Orson Scott Card, I wonder if you ever happen to get over to his website, http://www.hatrack.com. If you do, you’ll find there’s quite a few Stargate fans who’ve all congregated in a single thread on the Forum there.

    We have a question/request for you though: When are we going to get a more multi-dimensional enemy for the Stargate crew to face? I won’t go into the whole diatribe (yep, I have a diatribe), but if you look at the enemies faced by the Stargate teams, they are so one dimensional. The Goauld fight and conquer because, well, they’re Goauld, and the Jaffa fight for them because, well, they’re Jaffa. Individual Jaffa, the ones who get names, are a bit more complex than that, but on the whole the depth of the story is soley focused on the good guys fighting a cookie cutter bad guy.

    When you get to Atlantis, you get the Wraith. They’re even worse. They’re all played by the same three or four actors (or at least it looks that way) and they’re around seemingly just to be bad guys. And the Genii, dear god, they just never quit. They stupidly double cross Atlantis a half dozen times, and just out of spite continue to send more and more guys to die despite never having won a single fight against Atlantis, and every single time Atlantis shows good faith after they win. Just how dumb are these guys?

    We want a complex bad guy. Think Thrawn or maybe an evil Talon Karrde, if you’ve ever read any of Tim Zahn’s Star Wars books. Someone who has complex motives and who gets character development via their interactions with the Stargate team. I want someone who isn’t just formidable because of more numbers or increased technology, but who is on par in cleverness.

    The Ori followers begin to reach that point. The Ori themselves are like everyone else, they are evil just to be evil. They never have to explain why they are evil, they just go out and convert people to be more powerful because being powerful is desirable in and of itself. The struggle of their followers however is a a fascinating story. Tomin (that’s Vala’s husband’s name right?) has an ethical dilemma. He believes in his gods to a fault, as he was brought up to, but at the same time he feels that what his leaders are telling him to do is patently against the original beliefs in the book he reads. He feels in his heart that all the chaos and death he is causing is WRONG, so he has a serious moral conflict. Now that’s an interesting, compelling bad guy. Maybe you can have a bad guy that we fight for a few seasons and in the end he stops fighting not because we whooped him, but because his moral conflict got to be too much to bear.

    I know it sounds like I’m bashing all over Stargate, and I’m not, I LOVE the show. I search high and low for information on it, I think the Stargate team is fantastic, the writing for the Stargate team is top notch, and the acting is incredible. I just want more out of my bad guys.

    Thanks for listening, and sorry, I guess I DID go into the diatribe. I also apologize for this being so long.

  32. Joe,

    1. I was wondering if you can tell us the exact size of atlantis ( radius of the city and height for central tower). I dedicated some of my spare time to a website giving technical details on ships and space faring vehicules in the Stargate Saga.

    2. Will we see Atlantis on the move in later eppys in season 4, kind of like Progeny and First Strike, Adrift.

    3. Am I right to assume that Zpms are not going to be consequential to Atlantis in season 4 as they were in the past seasons.

    thanks

    Chalk and Talk

  33. Dear Mr. Mallozzi,

    Did you name the lantean ship in the episode Travellers? If so, what is it.

    I was wondering if it would be possible to include details on the time line in the beginning of each episode of Season 4. For example, in Adrift, October 5, 2007, and This Mortal Coil, March 13, 2008. This will be helpful for avid SGA fans such as myself to know how much time has passed between episodes.

    thank you

    your moroccan fan

    P.S Your invitation to Morocco is of course open for as long as you like, our family owns the hotel and the travel agency… take your time

    April 19, 2007 1:27:00 PM PDT

  34. “Honestly, though, we both know that that isn’t a viable option for any business. This is a long term goal meant to be achieved over an extended period of time.

    You know what they say about opinions and certain parts of human anatomy.

    Here’s my, um, opinion:

    You’re right about one thing. The backlash of eliminating Stargate first-runs from its programming would hurt Scifi. Actually, “backlash” is the wrong word. I like the word “apathy” better. Doing so would increase the level of disinterest for the network’s other projects.

    I’m not an industry insider, so this is only a mirror of my viewer habits.

    I’m a Scifi junkie. I left Showtime when Stargate moved to Scifi. Whatever Scifi is running, I get that from adverts while watching Stargate. When Stargate left Fridays, I left Fridays. I’ll find my fix wherever it is, but at the end of the day I know it’s only entertainment, which means I’m not going to commit to the programming of a network that behaves as Scifi has behaved since March ’06. Stargate already has me, but I noticed I wasn’t as committed to BSG as I thought I was. When BSG came back, without a lead-in that caught my attention, I forgot about it. I know where to find the DVDs.

    The reason for this, and maybe Scifi will take note, is Scifi let go of its best trait. At one time it seemed to be devoted to feeding the sci-fi itch of its sci-fi customers.

    When a sci-fi show airs on the alphabet networks, I chuckle. I’d rather wait for the DVD than get bounced around and canceled after four eps. I’ve begun to look at Scifi that way. Incomprehensible programming decisions, unheard of breaks both mid-season and between season? That’s the network’s choice and more power to it.

    My contribution to Stargate is a cable subscription and a promise to watch first-run on the night it airs.

    If Stargate leaves Scifi altogether, I don’t know, maybe I’ll give Spike a chance. I already own the DVDs.

    New world, Scifi.

    As to the 1.4, 1.5 rating, after an abysmally long mid-season break, if you saw the advertising I saw, you’d be upbeat too.

    EC

  35. Hi Joe, hope you are going to feel much better for the big chocolate party.

    So, you’e looking for ideas for an episode. One of the few things that I have seen fans on GW agree on is that we need more exploration of the city. Why not give us an episode like that?

    Mixing up the teams a little would make things more interesting also. For example. The Zalenka/Ronon interaction after their little camping trip is one of my favorite moments of S3, and Zalenka/Sheppard is always enjoyable also.

    Just a thought.

  36. Thank you so much for all the pictures that you posted in the last few days! They are all wonderful and it’s so interesting to see so much of the making of the Stargates. I’d be really grateful if you post a picture of Ben Browder or Claudia Black sometime 🙂
    Will you tell us again what are the ratings for the new episodes that are going to be aired tonight, when you know? Because apparently the rating depends on so many things, I am counting on your reaction and explanation to know if it’s good or bad.
    Thanks, and I hope you feel better before your party.

  37. “Yup. We were just watching the sandy Daniel,Teal’c, and Vala dailies at lunch today”.

    Thanks so much Joe for answering my question. Take care and have a great weekend.

  38. What is you favourite rumour relating to stargate?
    My favourite is that David Hewlett is actually christopher Judge in disguise – they have never been in the same scene in an episode.
    LOL – who made that one up!

  39. When you said “James and Tom also pitch out how they’d like to pull off the “horrific reveal” at script’s end. I love it!” you were talking about “this mortal coil” right ?

  40. Hi there Joe!

    Sorry to hear you’re still feeling poorly. My doctor says the best thing for a chest cold is whisky, honey and lemon…better than anything you can buy over the counter. Now I’m not sure what proportions of each item you should pop in there…it probably is a personal choice!!

    Us GW Shep fans loved trying to figure out the puzzle you set recently, as regards what NOAS meant…and…Yippee…one of our whumpers worked it out!

    Now, can you set us another puzzle to figure out please? We had such fun with that one. Maybe something about the angsty episode JF suggested? A nice intriguing puzzle that will ultimately give us a little clue about the story!

    Get well soon!

    Elinor

  41. Bonjour de France

    I would like to know in which episode we will see Wraiths for the first time in season 4?
    how much episodes of season 4 will be they present?

    sorry for my bad english.

    Vous n’avez pas de problème de crise de foie avec tous ces chocolats que vous mangez ???

  42. Sorry to hear you are still sick. I think I have the same thing, did I catch it from you?

    Thanks for all the great pics. We really appreciate them. Now if there could only be more of that Flanigan fella… I’m just saying.

    I know your party will be a success, after all, chocolate is a food group.

  43. Hi Joe! (sorry for the grammar) 1. Regarding the future 100th episode, how would you do it right now: with a humor-oriented approach like SG-1’s or with a more serious? 2. When will Joel Goldsmith start working on the music of the season 4 episodes? His music is awesome. Thanks.

  44. Joe,
    Hi Joe how are you doing? I’m a big fan of SG-1 and SGA and a big fan of the work you have done both as writer and producer. The question I have for you is are you concerned about the current ratings and wether or not you’ll get renewed for a fith season?

  45. just reading about your lightheadedness with the squat jumps..depending on how many exercises you are doing place them somewhere else in the order..sometimes doing them straight after say running(probably sprinting more than jogging) or high impact activity the body can take a little longer to recover if it does happen again just relax ,deep breaths and drink some water.
    heehee can you tell i study this????
    *ill be a qualified fitnness instructor in 2 months *toes crossed*

    ummmm plyometric jumps…..

  46. I read you are conversational in French, may I use my native language to ask a question ?

    ” Qui choisit les voix de doublage de SG1 et SGA ? les auteurs, les producteurs ont-ils leurs mots à dire ?

    Cette question me préoccupe depuis le début de la diffusion d’Atlantis en France. Autant les voies françaises de SG1 coincident parfaitement avec les voix originales des acteurs, autant pour Atlantis…. C’est une autre histoire….

  47. “Anonymous said…
    In sunday we saw that teyla has feelings for someone. 1. Can you tell us if you are going to say who is it in S4? 2. it is Sheppard? “

    No!! Please let it have been Carson. I think they’d have been cute together. Hell, anyone would be cute with Carson.

    If not him, then Ronon is, to be honest, the most obvious choice. Shep? Nope. I think Teyla finds these humans, especially of the military variety, a little perplexing. There are times when she even seems to look down on Shep.

    Carson is the exception due to his softer character, IMO.

  48. Hey Joe,
    Great job on the behind the scenes stuff. As an community theatre actress, (i.e. all the same work and “eccentricities”, none of the pay)I KNOW how valuble a good crew is. Catch them in the wrong mood and you’re microphone gets “somehow” turned off for the next scene. I always suspected it was quite wacky behind the scenes of Stargate and I see that hilarity, does indeed, ensue. My husband and I went all “fanperson” over the watch. Thanks to those who let us know it will indeed be available for purchase. We are so excited that we will go right out and complain that we can’t afford it.

    So…what would it cost to put a good work into the art department for designs for our new house? I’ve always liked the “icky hive” look.

  49. You wrote:
    We spent the last hour or so of the afternoon scrambling to come up with a story to replace the “other story” that is getting bumped.

    You’re replacing it? Poor thing’s gonna have a complex!!! So, does ‘getting bumped’ mean it will be moved further down the line or will the “other story” end before it has a chance to see daylight? (*shakes head* Poor, poor thing…)

  50. Hi!

    Hope you feeling better soon and that your chocolate party is huge success. What am I’m saying, it’s a chocolate party—how can it not be a success.

    Looking forward to the Gates tonight, I’m hosting a little girls night viewing party—I’m attempting to convert some of the friends. I figured Mexican Food & Tequila should help, needless to say I’ll be taping them also so I can re-watch tomorrow with out the six million questions I’m going to get and the influence of the adult beverages.

    Ran across this article on the pet food recall and thought I’d share.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18210224/

    Hope you feel better, have a great party & weekend.

    Nichole

  51. Are there any plans for new types of Wraith and Ancient ship designs, besides the one mentioned in “Travelers” this season?

    Also by any chance, is the ship design in “Travelers” the same as the Ancient cruiser seen in “Progeny”?

  52. I doubt it, there were hundreds of Germans suddenly reading your blog, but thanks for the welcome anyway 🙂

    oh, and by the way it’s “Willkommen” (two l as in O’Neill), sorry for being a smartass 😀

  53. Sorry about yesterday–I could have easily put you over the 3000 mark if I’d been home, but instead of sitting here typing all day, I was out role-playing at the police academy. Now I’m back to listening to dictation, and sneaking away to see if any new comments are posted here and at dgeek.

  54. Will we see any Goa’uld in SGA in season 4 or do you make an effort to keep crossovers to a minimum?

  55. (1) Are we going to see any more of Sam the Whale in any season of Atlantis?

    (2) Will other episodes of Atlantis deal with things similar to aliens/technology SG1 encountered and maybe explain a bit more about them/resolve things SG1 didn’t get a chance to? (referring to Rob Coopers notes on Gateworld about Doppleganger.)

  56. Hi, I would like to know if Weir is going to step down from the position of Atlantis’ leader by herself or if she is going to be recalled by the IOA?

    And if Carter is going to be promoted to ‘Colonel’ … that doesn’t mean that Sheppard is going to be promoted as well, does it?

  57. Long-time viewer, first-time poster, Joe, with a handful of questions…

    –first off, I always liked the shift from the false-deity angle of the Goa’uld into the religious fanaticism around the Ori… but what kind of decisions were made about envelope-pushing by the writing staff, in terms of echoing present-day religious extremism? I know the writers on BSG have gone extremely far in that, but it’s a very different show from the Stargates. I would have loved to see if Daniel’s “soft-sell” approach in “The Shroud” ended up making an impact on how other Priors approached new potential worshippers.

    –second, will we finally find out if the attack on the Ori in “The Shroud” did what it was supposed to in “The Ark of Truth”? (And if it did, would any of SG-1 ever face up to the fact that sending the Ancient weapon through amounted to flat-out genocide, a kill-Hitler kind of dilemma?)

    –third, any chance of Jeannie Miller (possibly her whole family) becoming a recurring character? Having the Miller clan around would add both some wide eyes and a very different perspective on how Atlantis is run. I love how she’s written as an anti-copyright geek, a la the kids on BoingBoing… it’d be interesting to see someone like that in the scientific mix on the show. (Not to mention I loved seeing Kate and David’s sibling chemistry. Fantastic acting beats at the end of “McKay and Mrs. Miller”.)

    –lastly, my fiancee and I are going to be honeymooning in Vancouver and Vancouver Island this June… any particularly great and/or romantic recommendations you could make for dining/sightseeing? (The one I know we have to hit is the Chocoholic’s Bar at the Sutton Place Hotel, and we’ve heard great things about Granville Island/Gastown/Stanley Park.) I wrote down a few of your restaurant shout-outs (an Indian place and a Japanese tapas place)…

  58. Stupid question #486:

    What is Norco? I lived for years in Norco, CA (Horsetown, USA 😉 ) but I know it’s not one in the same. Just wondered as I don’t recall that word/location being mentioned in your blog in the past.

  59. [In sunday we saw that teyla has feelings for someone. 1. Can you tell us if you are going to say who is it in S4? 2. it is Sheppard? “]

    Good grief, NO! Everyone knows Ronon’s been winking at Teyla from their first episode together. Besides, only Ronon has been allowed in her quarters to watch her do splits on her bed. ;o)

  60. Hi Joe,

    I hope you feel better very soon. Whenever I get a bad chest or head cold, I inhale steam infused with Eucalyptus oil. It works wonders for me. My brother’s a herbalist, and he also prescribes echinacea for me. I’ve no idea if it really helps or not to be honest, but he swears it boosts the immune system!

    I was a little curious about the story you’ve said has been bumped. Is it one you’ve previously talked about, or is this something different?

    I hope it’s not the story idea Joe F. pitched that Carl Binder is due to write, because I’m looking forward to that so much already! I mean an angst Sheppard episode? Have you any idea how exciting that is for a Shep fan to look forward to? I know, I’m obsessed! Lol!

    I’ll go and sit down with my chamomile tea now! 😉

  61. Wow great Atlantis shots…especially that last one. I love how the backlighting adds an eerie feel to it.

    Thanks again for the concept art and answering my questions. Just how many colors do you go through with your scripts anyway???

    As for the chocolate, will you be sending them to me via air or ground mail? 😉

    Take care…
    Mary Beth

  62. hi, joe,

    as a mutual lover of the show ‘house’, i wanted to ask you a question. when the show comes to an end, do you want house to be reformed? meaning, do you want the series to show that he’s become a better and nicer person? and if so, what circumstances would you like to see make that happen? if you want him to stay the same, why?

    i think i’d like to see him changed in the last two episodes. he’s super fun and interesting the way he is now, but if the show’s ending, i’d like to see this miserable person become happy. (and i think that’s the number one reason he’s such a jerk; he’s not happy)

    sally 🙂

  63. Many of us loved the Firefly episode ‘War Stories’ (where Mal and Wash were whumped together and we got to see them support each other throughout)is there any chance we will ever get an ep where Shep and Rodney are whumped together like that (and we dont mean Echoes)?

  64. I vote Carson too. They’ll be much angst for Teyla when he returns. YES.

    Also your blog makes my computer slow. Weird.

  65. Hope you have a nice chocolate party. Remember and give the little Gremlins doggy chocolate. Not that I see you sharing.

    Best wishes – Susan, meow from Frankie and Princess Merlin.

  66. Hi Joe!

    This Shep Whumper has a question for you. You mentioned he may be in the lead in the Infirmary Sweepstakes……that’s as a patient, right? Or were you teasing us…..I mean, he could always be visiting someone!!!! You wouldn’t do that to us Whumpers, would you?

    A question in general….are the actors allowed to ad-lib or change a line here and there, or do they strictly adhere to the script?

    Thank you, and have a nice weekend!

  67. Hi again Joe, just wanted to say yet again how much I love the pics (especially of the cast – some of Ben, Claudia and Kavan wouldn’t go amiss…:P) but I was wondering if we could get more pics of people involved behind the scenes? (Robert, Brad, Martin, YOU! etc) They deserve some public recognition too for all the great work they’ve given us over the years 😀

  68. “Anonymous said…
    [In sunday we saw that teyla has feelings for someone. 1. Can you tell us if you are going to say who is it in S4? 2. it is Sheppard? “]

    Good grief, NO! Everyone knows Ronon’s been winking at Teyla from their first episode together. Besides, only Ronon has been allowed in her quarters to watch her do splits on her bed. ;o)”

    Excuse me but Teyla and John are better suited because their both leaders of a sort and besides, Ronan has also expressed the feeling that he’s not ready to have a relationship just yet. Anyway who kissed Teyla? Yea, he may have been turning into a bug but he wasn’t that for gone to act on animal instinct, it was probably subconcious, but it was definitely his emotions.

    (Sorry about this Joe, just a little friendly banter…carry on.:))

  69. Joe said, “We spent the last hour or so of the afternoon scrambling to come up with a story to replace the “other story” that is getting bumped.”

    That wouldn’t be the semi-nekkid Shep, lying in the infirmary all hot and sweaty ep would it? Say it aint so, Joe! ;o)

    *perishes the thought from her dirty mind*

    Talking of eps, how’s JF’s script coming? Is this likely to go into production any time soon? You mentioned that you were all excited and that it’s likely to be an angsty ep *squee* so any lil tid bits you’d like to share? Go on, you know you want to. 😀

  70. Correct me if I am wrong, so far we know Torri is going to be in Adrift, Lifeline, and This Mortal Coil-what is the fourth episode you know she will be in?

  71. Anonymous said…

    “Anonymous said…
    [In sunday we saw that teyla has feelings for someone. 1. Can you tell us if you are going to say who is it in S4? 2. it is Sheppard? “]

    Good grief, NO! Everyone knows Ronon’s been winking at Teyla from their first episode together. Besides, only Ronon has been allowed in her quarters to watch her do splits on her bed. ;o)”

    Excuse me but Teyla and John are better suited because their both leaders of a sort and besides, Ronan has also expressed the feeling that he’s not ready to have a relationship just yet. Anyway who kissed Teyla? Yea, he may have been turning into a bug but he wasn’t that for gone to act on animal instinct, it was probably subconcious, but it was definitely his emotions.

    (Sorry about this Joe, just a little friendly banter…carry on.:))

    Well, you’re all wrong because Teyla was obviously in love with Carson. 🙂

  72. Tough luck for you. I’m going to see Wicked tonight and will miss your shows.

    I listened to the cast recordinig on my drive to and from Michigan last week, so I am ready to be impressed with tonight’s performance.

    Carry on…

  73. FACT! FACT! FACT! FACT! FACT!
    MARTIN GERO IS TOTALLY AMAZING AND VERY FUNNY!!!!!
    FACT! FACT! FACT! FACT! FACT!

    er…. but so are you….so no, me veiwing the page isn’t about Martin Gero. Also can i say how much i LOVE your blog and Stargate Atlantis. THANKS!!!!

  74. To whoever mentioned the weird thing where Browder leans into everyone–

    Yes! Thank god it’s not me. It wouldn’t be such a big deal, except he does it so much. It has to be intentional. I don’t know what he’s trying to do except draw more attention to himself at the expense of others. It just makes things seem uncomfortable.

  75. “Excuse me but Teyla and John are better suited because their both leaders of a sort and besides, Ronan has also expressed the feeling that he’s not ready to have a relationship just yet.”

    Ha. Yeah, and didn’t John say he’s not interested in anyone in Atlantis? That would include Teyla.

    The pairing makes no sense. In any way, shape or form. Except to fullfil some adolescent fantasy about being a hot guy getting a hot alien chick. How very cliched.

  76. Joe – about LiTS – great episode – that AT can certainly pull it off – just a wonderful performance. Lucky for you guys you’ve got her in your shows.

    Oh and BTW – glad to hear that “Amanda” is in next week’s eppy – does skiffy have any idea how dumb they look, and sound??? Sometimes it borders on pathetic what they do to this show, they can’t even do justice to their coming attractions – pitiful. Unless of course, they did it on purpose because Amanda is such a big draw . . .

  77. Hi Joe

    Did you see the SciFi promo for Road Not Taken. They said “Amanda” is shifted to an alternet reality. Morons.

  78. Excuse me but Teyla and John are better suited because their both leaders of a sort

    And this is a reason they should be together? Sheppard and Weir are both leaders, so are Sheppard and Caldwell. That isn’t exactly a valid reason. Besides, when have we ever seen Teyla really LEAD anyone?

    Anyway who kissed Teyla?

    I never saw anyone kiss Teyla. I saw her boss assault her when he was under the influence, but I never saw any two-sided enjoyment of people who care for each other.

    All I see is Teyla relaxed, smiling and outright laughing only when she is with Ronon. “Echoes” was definitely their “shippy” episode.

  79. hi, joe,

    loved ‘line in the sand! 😀 it was wonderful to see amanda be able to exercise her acting muscles. (does that make amanda all buff now?:p)

    and atlantis shippers: stop fighting, k? (enough ppl think we’re idiots to begin with)

    sally 🙂

  80. I watched Echoes even though I said I wouldn’t because of Lizzie, but I loved this episode the first time around and I needed to watch the Ronon/Teyla cuteness again. Can we have more of this in s4?

    I love Carl Binder like woe.

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