As promised, here is an annotated version of that Stargate poem I posted before production began. Let’s see how you’re all doing so far…
The dawn of each season brings ideas galore
Some which survive, others shown the door,
(For various reasons, things like production demands, actor availability, and a plain old change of heart may kill a given story or spin it out in a completely different direction)
Like that time travel story,
(Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow in which a temporal incident involving that time-hopping puddle jumper from Good to be King sends a version of SG-1 to the past, another to the future, and leaves a version in the present to deal with the inevitable ripples in time)
or the love romp not done,
(A freelance pitch which involved the various members of Sheppard’s team afflicted with an extreme case of Spring Fever)
Or the Dark Daniel arc trimmed from six tales to one.
(It was originally suggested that Daniel would disappear at the end of Quest II, be M.I.A. for two episodes, and then make a shocking reappearance for a big three-episode arc. In the end, it was decided that the latter would work better as a single episode).
We begin each new year with the best of intentions,
Seeking to craft our inspired inventions.
But conditions are altered, storylines change,
From the original notion so far may they range.
So as we look forward to two thousand and seven,
I can’t help but think it would truly be heaven,
To see the ideas pitched out, some produced,
Make it as finals, not crossed out or reduced.
Atlantis assailed by the stuff of nightmares,
(Refers to a season four episode and given the spoilers that are out there, it shouldn’t be that hard to figure this one out).
While the team will explore that dark sunken lair.
(Refers, of course, to the season three’s Submersion).
For one player worship, adoration and fame,
As he and his rival find it’s more than a game.
(Refers to, appropriately enough, season three’s The Game).
Receive a grand gift from an all-seeing shaman.
(Refers to a season four episode. Again, given the spoilers out there, this one shouldn’t be all that hard to figure out either).
Find the wraith and our allies have something in common.
(Refers to a season four episode and a revelation to come).
A tech-savvy group who progress via pillage.
(Refers to a season four episode. Again, there are spoilers out there that should point you in the right direction).
A wild west High Noon in an inapt Dutch village.
(Refers to none other than season three’s Irressistible a.k.a. Shootout at De Dutch Pannekoek Corral).
Too late the value of that friendship he’ll learn.
(Refers specifically to McKay in season three’s Sunday)
A strange disappearance feeds another’s dark turn.
(Refers to a season four episode. The title pretty much gives it away. Alas, this is one that may not play out as planned as the originally envisioned dark turn arc has been superseded by another necessary arc).
Find survivors concealed in an orbiting rock,
(Refers to season three’s The Ark).
While the thinker receives an enlightening shock.
(Refers to season three’s Tao of McKay).
(Refers to season three’s Vengeance).
O’Neill is all wet.
(Refers to season three’s Return II).
With a change of location all will forget.
(Refers to a season four episode. Another case where the title should let you know).
Hyperion’s wrath threatens total destruction.
(Refers to season three’s Echoes, Hyperion being an allusion to Helios the sun god).
Our hand will be forced by ominous construction.
(Refers to season three’s First Strike).
Carter arrives; a reunion of sorts.
(Both references to a season four episode. Again, not that hard to figure out).
One of our own the enemy courts.
(Refers a season four episode – maybe a little harder to figure out).
Isolation imposed and a grand battle looms,
(Refers to an early season four episode).
While an alien contact this player dooms.
(Refers to another early season four episode).
Self-doubt for one,
(Refers to a season four episode).
parenthood for another,
(Refers to a season four episode. This one was the biggest longshot to come to fruition but we were considering making McKay a daddy. However, circumstances led us to change this particular storyline as we didn’t want to have two characters facing parenthood in the same season).
And that brilliant young mom may be needing her brother.
(Refers to a season four episode. Given the spoilers out there, this one should be pretty easy to guess as well).
From innocents lost he’ll produce strict adherence
(Refers to a season three episode that I won’t name because this storyline will continue in season four).
While the late fallen one makes a surprised reappearance
(Refers to a season four episode and the return of a much-beloved physician. This was a possibility we toyed with early and it finally became reality not too long ago).
Scheduling conflicts, production demands,
Changes necessitate all won’t go as planned.
But let’s hope these ideas do well find their way,
And all see the light of a t.v. one day.
(Overall, not bad. Over half the scripts are in play and none of these notions have been bounced – although a couple have been altered ever so slightly).
Wilson writes: “If season five doesn’t come to pass, will you guys be able to wrap up all the Atlantis storylines?”
Answer: We’re staying positive and operating under the assumption that we will be back for a fifth season.
Vikitty writes: “Do you guys base any characters on people you know?”
Answer: There’s a little bit of the writers in all of the characters.
Desiree writes: “ Have you ever tried chocolate liquer?”
Answer: I have a fair selection of chocolate liqueur that I use to top my ice cream.
Anonymous #1 writes: “Do you think scifi will look in to how the shows fared wherever they were first run before freaking out about the state side ratings?”
Answer: No idea.
Just Jess writes: “Can you recommend a good scifi book to start?”
Answer: John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War.
Luis Jr. writes: “Have you ever playe any sports?”
Answer: In College, Paul and I used to play pick-up football every Friday afternoon and a little one-on-one basketball on weekends.
Little Raven-Hawk writes: “What helps you get into a “writing” zone?”
Answer: A looming deadline does the trick. Getting up early and forcing yourself to write also helps a lot.
Little Raven-Hawk writes: “How technical do you get with the science and stuff like that in the first draft?”
Answer: Your first draft should be as thorough as possible.
Linzi writes: “I read yesterday, that a poster on GW found a site that reported SGA season 4 will premiere on Sunday 15th July.”
Answer: Sorry. That’s B.S.
Anonymous #2 writes: “Now you make it sound like her contribution was just to walk on set and read a few lines, and that the entirety of her character was all in the writing.”
Answer: Not at all. As someone who has been involved in various productions, I am well aware of the many contributions made by numerous individuals – actors, writers, directors, editors, and producers – in the creation of a great character. My point is it’s incredibly ignorant to presume that one individual alone is responsible for the success of a given character.
Anonymous #3 writes: “Joe M said “I never claimed the ratings system was unfair, wrong, inaccurate, yada, or even yada.” I know you didn’t and I didn’t say you did.
Answer: Then what were you suggesting when you wrote “if the ratings were still in the 2.2 – 2.4 range like they were for season 8 (32 short episodes ago BTW) would the ratings sytem still be unfair, wrong, inaccurate, yada, yada?”?
Anonymous #4 writes: “ Just hoping that you will find your way clear to answering a question posed previously – will Carter be (1) playing an active role (action, out with the team sometimes, sam-whumping, commanding her ship, etc.), (2) be more like Hammomd where it is basically talking and directing the teams what to do or (3) just a figure-head that you can say is there and in charge but with no real role or action to play?”
Answer: Carter will be playing a support (not unlike Landry) but her background will allow her greater involvement and, yes, could even see her heading off-world.
Carolina writes: “Hi Joe, I will be flying to Canada tomorrow for a quick meeting, just one night! it will be my first time in your country, is there anything I should know and be prepared for?”
Answer: Beware the carnivorous seals!
Kate writes: “Do any of the actors or writers on atlantis have any suprising additional skills?”
Answer: Martin Gero can kill a man with his bare hands in less than the time it takes to down a can of coca cola. Does that count?
Anonymous #5 writes: “1. What does your heart tell you about a season 5 for SGA?
2. Are we going to see all three earth ships together in an eppy in season 4?
3. What is your position regarding sci-fi’s awkward decisions regarding the timetable changes?”
Answer: 1. My heart tells me we’ll be back. 2. 2 out of 3 aint bad. 3. I wasn’t a fan of the delay but, at this point, what’s done is done.
Anonymous #6 writes: “Is the Ori storyline going to become an issue in Atlantis at all?”
Answer: No plans to introduce the Ori to Atlantis.
Anonymous #7 writes: “Teyla’s pregnant? […] It just proves that if you can’t figure out how to develop a female character you off them like you’re doing with Elizabeth or you get them pregnant… where have I seen that again? *insert rolling of eyes here*”
Answer: As far as I know, there are three ways in which shows have dealt with pregnancies: 1) They’ve reduced the actress’s onscreen time drastically and ignored the fact by shooting around her, 2) They’ve written the actress out of the show entirely, 3) They’ve supported the actress by writing the pregnancy into the show. If there is a fourth option you have in mind, I’d love to hear it. Maybe a “Teyla has an eating problem” arc?