With only two days to go in the shooting schedule, we’re in wind-down mode. Last night, we regulars got together for Carl’s send-off schnitzel dinner as Mr. Binder heads back to L.A. tomorrow, hopefully not for the last time. In attendance: Robert Cooper, Lawren Bancroft-Wilson, Carl Binder, Alex Levine, Alan McCullough, Martin Gero, and myself. Carl as so touched by the turn-out that he celebrated by polishing off not only his schnitzel, but Lawren and Rob’s schnitzels as well. He will be missed by all, but mostly by Lulu who has developed a bit of a crush on the guy.

A quiet day today highlighted by a Day 1 Mix of Spoils of War, an early cut of Outcast (both great episodes), and the nifty Atlantis jackets the set dec department had made (cool, no?). Looks like tomorrow will be a doozy that will see The Last Man wrapping late, late, late – or early, early, early depending on how you look at it. On tap: triage, battle action, on the bridge of the Phoenix.

As the other producers head off for their annual golf trip next week, Martin, Alan, and I will be holding the fort until reinforcements arrive. In addition to my production duties, I’ve lined up a couple of books to keep me busy: The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons, Ash: A History by Mary Gentle, and, of course, this months’ book of the month selections Lord Foul’s Bane and The Legacy of Heorot.

Today’s pics: The artwork of VFX artist James Raiz adorns the production offices, Carl’s schnitzel send-off feast includes a demonic Robert Cooper, Carl and I model our fab new Atlantis jackets.

Today’s video: Click on the date for glimpse at some typical Vancouver Fall weather. It’s no wonder Duchovny complained so much.

Today’s mailbag: Lots!

Anonymous #1 writes: “if SG1s cancellation was due to money and ratings, do you ever blame MGM for not ferrying more of the production costs to keep the show alive?”

Answer: Quite the opposite in fact. From day one, MGM and Charlie Cohen have gone above and beyond the call of duty to what is to them a very important franchise.

Smiley face06 writes: “Too bad about Carter’s discussion on O’Neill is being cut.”

Answer: Well, like I said, it will be part of a future deleted scenes special feature. And, if we get a fifth season pick-up, we’ll find a way to express the same sentiment in a finished episode.

Promogirl writes: “So who is the Steadicam operator in the second shot?”

Answer: That’s the talented Greg Fox on steadicam.

Muah! writes: “how is lulu doing? is the cone of shame gone?”

Answer: She’s doing great and the cone of shame is gone. In fact, today, Fondy is taking her to Bellingham for a follow-up visit with our doggy eye specialist.

Anna writes: “Will Carter get angry and yell at anyone this season?”

Answer: Yes. There’s one little exchange in particular that stands out – in Be All My Sins Remember’d where she dresses a certain character down for disrespecting one of her people.

Rhonda writes: “I have been wondering if season endings and season openers are filmed at the same time or is the season openers not yet written until the writers come off hiatus?”

Answer: No movement will be made on scripts for season five until we have a confirmed pick-up. If (hopefully when) we do, we’ll start spinning and breaking stories, then all head off to write in the month of December.

mctdcb writes: “I’m heading off to Las Vegas on Saturday…yeah for dollar parity! Is there anywhere you recommend to eat that’s not too expensive, and would appease the entire family? And how about chocolate? I remember you posted something a while back about a store in the Forum Shops??”

Answer: Check out The Cheesecake Factory in the Forum Shops at Caesars (and get the corn tamales). And, while you’re there, swing by Vosges and sample the applewood-smoked bacon truffles.

Chevron 7 writes: “That mound of sand in the Atlantis corridor is very interesting. Care to speculate?”

Answer: I already know why it’s there. Why would I speculate? I leave that to you…

Zabadoo writes: “1.)Will we see effects as good as in Adrift more often this season? 2.)Will there be a lot more deaths this season? 3.)Can you give us any hint on what the season finale will be about?”

Answer: 1) Yes, definitely. 2) It depends what you mean by a lot. 3) Check out today’s video.

Jen Kirk writes: “At the SCB Rally in March Ivon and Martin were out there in full force filming and interviewing. Is any of that gonna be used for anything?”

Answer: It may find its way into a special feature.

Thors a ecrit: “Beaucoup de fan pense qu’Atlantis n’est qu’un “Copier-Coller” (ex : Doppelganger) de SG1 aux niveau Scénario. Un commentaire ?”

Answer: I’ll respond to this one in English. Thors writes “A lot of fans think that Atlantis is nothing but a carbon-copy of SG-1” and uses Doppleganger as an example. Well, for starters, there are going to be plenty of similarities between SG-1 and Atlantis because both shows are part of the same Stargate franchise, and both series follow the same template: team explores other worlds via the gate. As for similarities between scripts – again, given that we are working within the same (Stargate) universe, there will be similarities between certain story elements. Take Doppleganger, for instance, which has been compared to Cold Lazarus. The parallels being drawn are to the crystal entity that (in a nutshell) causes the targeted individual to hallucinate. Again, given that we are operating within the same story-telling framework, we it is not outside the realm of possibility (in fact, it’s even probable) that our heroes will encounter similar species or off-shoots of certain species – in this case, the crystal entity. Complaining about this aspect of the script is like complaining about using the goa’uld or the wraith on more than one occasion. The crystal entity may not be as prevalent as the aforementioned races, but we have already established them as part of the same Stargate universe.

Atlantisfannew1 a ecrit: “ 1)Si il y’a une saison 5, quand commencerez vous l’ecriture des épisodes? 2)Avez vous reçu mes cartes? 3)Vous n’avez jamais penser a ouvrir un restaurant?”

Reponses: 1) Ca depend. 2) Oui, merci. 3) Des fois, oui.

Anonymous #2 writes: “How long do you think that the shippers will hang around for confirmation that Sam and Jack are together, before they give up and find another show to watch?”

Answer: So, just to confirm, the only reason you’re watching is because you’re waiting for confirmation of Sam and Jack?

Jay writes: “Hey Joe, did you catch Carmen Argenziano on House last night?”

Answer: Yes! It was great to see Carmen again and he was terrific. Hell, the episode was terrific.

Nivea Soft a ecrit: “1)Vous sentez vous concernez sur d’éventuelle critique de stargate ?
2) Dans les livres on voit que les bouldogues, ronflent, rotent et pêtent ! en faites vous les frais avec Lulu ? 3) Pince mi et pince moi sont sur un bâteau ! pince mi tombe à l’eau il reste qui ? 4) vous allez répondre à mes questions ?”

Reponses: 1) N’importe quoi, il y’aura toujours les gens qui critiqueront. 2) Lulu est un bouldogue typique. 3) Pince vous? 4) Non.

Anonymous #3 writes: “How about you post that deleted scene on your blog instead of including it on the DVD?”

Answer: It may well end up on the SciFi website first.

Alipeeps writes: “Yikes! What happened to BamBam’s hair?”

Answer: He’s wigged (or wigged out in this case).

Bex writes: “I need to know of a few places to eat in burnaby. Where would you say is best on a student budget, somewhere that does a decent steak, nice Italian…”

Answer: Hmmm. That’s tough. Lunch is usually a catered affair, but on the rare occasions when we order in…might I suggest Anton’s for Italian. Steak? No idea.

SMB_Books writes: “Indicating that a group of fans (“former” or not) are demonstrating an “inhuman amount of ignorance” is an interesting tactic to take…”

Answer: Specifically, I said that those fans who consider the obvious effects the internet, and the proliferation of channels have had on television ratings (and not just ours) as nothing more than excuses demonstrate an inhuman amount of ignorance – and I’ll stand by that statement. To completely dismiss the influence of all of the aforementioned is just downright silly. And to be perfectly honest, given your intelligent and well-argued past comments, I’m surprised you vehemently disagree.

SMB Books also writes: “ I have posted in the anti-season 4 thread on GW. From my observation, I can tell you there appear to be different kinds of fans who post in that thread.”

Answer: And there are fans who have posted their criticisms here as well. But there’s a big difference between someone criticizing changes in the show and someone claiming they have abandoned the show (the “former” fans) who nevertheless take the time to remain active criticizing a show they no longer watch AND enthusiastically root for its cancellation. In the case of the first group of critics – hey, so long as their posts are respectful, they’ll always have a forum here. In the case of the latter, I’d say their pointless behavior is fair game.

Camy writes: “Btw, didn’t you mention that Scifi would broadcast in HD this season or did I dream that?”

Answer: No, you didn’t dream it. SciFi will be broadcasting season four in HD – eventually.

Anonymous #4 writes: “Are you still optimistic for a 5th season pick-up, now that Adrift has aired? Is it possible that the fact that Adrift leaked before it aired hate an affect on the ratings?”

Answer: Given that the episodes were only available for a limited amount of time before the airing of the actual finished version, I don’t think the leak influenced the ratings. As for season 5, I remain optimistic.

Fran writes: “What are your plans now when there is the 4 month break? What is the most challenging thing you’ve faced producing SGA? What is a good day for you?”

Answer: Write, read, and hopefully work on some scripts for Atlantis’s fifth season.

Louise writes: “Whilst the changes made to casting will obviously not be the only factor in affecting the show’s viewing figures, to say they have no effect is equally ridiculous.”

Answer: Where did I say, or even infer, that creative decisions have no effect on a show’s viewing figures?

Mrs.B108 writes: “Will the Seer reveal any prophecies or portents of things to come?”

Answer: Un huh.

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