Lawren walks into the writer’s room carrying an enormous book and sporting an equally enormous grin. Everyone’s eyes light up. They know it’s a package for me. And they know exactly what it contains. I dive into the sea of packing peanuts, tossing aside the ice packs, and fish out the prize – or prizes in this case: a truffle and toffee bonanza. Since Brad Wright and Will Warring, were unable to attend my chocolate party (and, really, more because the Bananas Foster truffles went so quickly I barely got the chance to enjoy them), I put in a special order from my buddy Chef Will Poole over at Wen Chocolates in Colorado. They arrived fast, fresh, and utterly delicious. Praise for the chocolates ranges from Alan’s enthusiastic “Chef Poole is a fucking genius!” to Carl’s somewhat less inspired “We’ll all remember Wen”. Martin, meanwhile, suggests adding Chef Poole to the main cast – maybe as the Atlantis CCO (Chief Culinary Officer) – and thereby score some behind-the-scenes treats. For my part, I think I may just adopt the guy. I can’t imagine his upkeep costing much more than a fourth pug. I bring the truffles in for the This Mortal Coil read-through and they are much-appreciated. Jewel ends up eating seven! Well, she actually eats two, then packs five away, claming they are for her brother Lamont. I later learn she doesn‘t have a brother named Lamont.
Two of the best books I’ve read as part of my scifi online book club were character-driven novels that featured strong female protagonists (Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, and Karen Traviss’s City of Pearl), so I’ve decided to go with Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (although I’ll have to read Nine Princes in Amber and Peter Watts’s Blindsight over the course of this month as they are book club selections). The Handmaid’s Tale has sat unread on my bookshelf for quite some time because, being Canadian, I had my share of Canadian lit shoved down my throat in school and, well, didn’t really develop a taste for it. In fact, I would argue that it actually went a long way toward developing my gag reflex. I find it kind of sad that Canadians are so insecure in their national identity that they feel the need to make this country’s cultural offerings a compulsory part of everything from the t.v. we watch to the literature we study.
On to a more palatable subject: food, what else? Bob Picardo is in town, reprising his role as Richard Woolsey in season four’s The Seer. And, as is customary when he comes to town, we head out for a meal. Last night, we hit C Restaurant and enjoyed an excellent dinner that included crispy rainbow trout, stellar foie gras, and a red currant gelee that was so tart I almost swallowed my cheeks (review to come).
The previous night, Paul and I hit Quattro’s on 4th for an equally memorable meal, this time with some old friends from our Student Bodies days. Jamie Elman was in from L.A. bearing gifts (the entire 65 episode run of the series). He just did an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, is in Vancouver for some meetings, and will be heading off to France where the movie he filmed last year (California Dreaming) is in official competition at Cannes. Ross Hull is also in town, shifting his Weather Network anchor duties to the west coast for the year. And Vancouver native Sarah Edmonson (who eagle-eyed Stargate fans will recognize from season 6’s Prophecy) was also on hand to steal my leftovers and generally slap some sense into the boys (again, review to come).
Alipeeps writes: “Have you had chance to see Spiderman 3 yet?”
Answer: Nope. Loved the first one (minus the mechanical Green Goblin), and didn’t love the second one. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the third one. Think I’ll wait until it comes out on the dish.
Bugguy writes: “Is there any release window for “The Ark of Truth”. I don’t mean a date, but is it this fall, winter, next spring?”
Answer: Sorry, Bugguy. No idea on this one.
Anonymous #1 writes: “When something is pretty much panned wouldn’t it be in the best interest of the show to try and temper the negativity and decline by trying to bring the show back to its equilibrium point?”
Answer: Sure. If there’s some consensus or clear majority, then we would take another look. But, as always, I have to point out that the prevailing opinion of a faction of fans does not a consensus or clear majority make.
Anonymous #1 also writes: “the command issue (newbie who never saw the Stargate versus 8 year veteran who spent 7 years as 2IC and 1 year as leader of SG-1); Vala’s childish, immature innuendo; the Landry/Lam soap-opera that begs the regs question; etc., were inappropriate and illogical within the Stargate history — the CANON of the show..”
Answer: The command issue obviously did not sit well with you, but it made sense within the narrative framework: Mitchell is charged with the task of putting together a new SG-1 team after the original members have gone their separate ways. Given my time online, I have to conclude that your dislike of the Vala character is an opinion not shared by the majority of fans. As for the “Landry/Lam soap opera” begging the regs – the situation was unique but not unprecedented. As for any of these creative decisions being inappropriate or illogical within the Stargate history and canon of the show – we establish show canon so, at the end of the day and despite your feelings otherwise, they are appropriate and perfectly logical.
Anonymous #1 also writes: “When you have a group of people […] start to criticize how the changes were handled while at the same exact time the ratings begin, and continue, to decline […] why would the people in charge not even consider that those things that the hard-core fans have pointed out and were wary of right from the get go be at least partially to blame for the problems and the decline of ratings??”
Answer: While you’re arguing that there’s a direct correlation between your opinion and the ratings, I would argue that there are many, many other variables that can be weighed. To offer an extreme example: I was writing on a tiny Sony Vaio in season 9 then, in season 10, switched to a larger Sony Vaio. Coincidentally or not, the ratings for season 10 were not as high as season 9.
Anonymous #1 writes: “…actually I have more respect for those who are able and willing to admit mistakes and at least try to rectify them as opposed to continuing down the same path that contributed to the decline while using everything else as an excuse but never even deigning to admit that the changes played some role.”
Answer: In other words, you have more respect for people who agree with everything you say. That‘s very big of you.
SMB Book writes: “Do you like Spawn figures?”
Answer: I never got into Spawn.
Allison writes: “I’m going to take on one of your recommendations after I finish up a book that was gifted to me yesterday, ‘A Cantice For Leibowitz’.”
Answer: Great book!
Dee writes: “Does this mean that you’ve slotted 16 episodes and are about to slot the 17th? In your rundown, you didn’t mention Carson’s 3rd episode (that you announced on the 12th).”
Answer: Alas, the Beckett episode count is presently at 2 because the planned third episode was temporarily shelved.
PanGater writes: “…as a kid, did you invision being a filmmaker?”
Answer: Nope. I wanted to be writer. Or a detective.
Anonymous #2 writes: “Please givesus a hint as to who is the daddy of Teyla’s baby’s and have you ever been to London?”
Answer: I’m going to have to go with “no on both counts”.
Lady Dulcinea writes: “Do you read Harry Potter?”
Answer: Yup. I am patiently awaiting the last installment.
Edward4th writes: “Ben might try holding the lid on the ketchup before he shakes it next time.”
Answer: You win the “Caption This” contest.
Tammy writes: “It seems like all of the spoilers and pictures show Sam on Atlantis, not in the big movies.”
Answer: That’s because I’ve been providing the lion’s share of spoilers/pics and I’m the Atlantis show runner.