Teyla and Ronon walk and talk as they enter the village: I completely forgot about this little exchange as it never made it past the first draft because one of the writers felt it was nothing but vamp. I thought it was fun, a call-back, and offered some good-natured ribbing between the two friends but, hey, in the end the episode didn’t miss it.
EXT. VILLAGE — DAY
Teyla and Ronon head into a village.
RONON: “Sergeant Moore?”
RONON: “Dr. Healey?”
RONON: “Chuck the technician?”
TEYLA: “No! Ronon, you are mistaken in what you’ve heard. I harbor no secret feelings for anyone on the base.”
RONON: “Fine, don’t tell me. I’ll just figure it out on my own. Let’s see…”
Off her look –
RONON: “He’s got to be handsome…of course, brave…intelligence is important. Hmmm…handsome, brave, intelligent…” (considers) “It’s not me, is it?”
She throws him another look as a TOWNSPERSON spots them and hurries over.
TOWNSPERSON: “Praise the gods, you have finally arrived.”
Carter gets Sheppard and McKay up to speed: When an episode is running as long as the director’s cut of Reunion, you realize that all of the cuts aren’t going to come out of the body of scenes. Whenever possible, you’re going to lose some scenes – and this was one we could lose. It came away clean and didn’t effect the overall narrative, but I do miss it because it reinforces the reasons Carter was appointed to the command position on Atlantis. In the first draft, I made a point of having her mention that Richard Woolsey put in a good word for her with the I.O.A., helping her nomination. When I received notes, it was suggested that it should be O’Neill instead of Woolsey who put in a good word for her. I’d thought about it, but hadn’t done so in the first draft because I didn’t want to suggest any impropriety, but the counter-argument was that if O’Neill could put in a good word for her, he would have out of respect for her record. So, in the subsequent draft, I changed it to O’Neill. A day later, Amanda swung by my office and echoed the very same concern I’d had earlier. Ultimately, I decided to split the difference, crediting both Woolsey and O’Neill with helping her secure the post –
INT. CONTROL ROOM – ATLANTIS — DAY
Picking up where we left off. Carter, on the monitor, informs Sheppard and McKay –
CARTER: “I think the I.O.A. saw me as a compromise candidate, since I have both a military and a scientific background. That and the fact that I got some pretty strong recommendations from General O’Neill and Richard Woolsey tipped the balance in my favor.” (beat) “I have to admit, I was a little hesitant at first to accept. There are some outstanding issues…”
MCKAY: “I didn’t…I mean, it didn’t have anything to do with…”
CARTER: “No, Rodney. It had nothing to do with you. I was just worried that I might still be needed here. But General Landry assured me that he’d keep me informed of any developments at Stargate Command.” (beat) “Ultimately, I considered some of the things that were waiting for me at Atlantis and that, more than anything, helped me make my decision.”
MCKAY: “Ah. So in that case, your decision to accept – “
CARTER: “No, Rodney. That had nothing to do with you either.”
##MCKAY: “Right, well, it’ll be nice to work together again. Just like old times.”
CARTER: “Except that this time, you’ll be following my orders. Anyway, I’ll be there as soon as I’ve finished dealing with a few things here at the base.”
SHEPPARD: “Looking forward to it, Colonel.”
CARTER: “See you soon.”
The monitor goes to static. The gate turns off O.S.
OFF McKay, still trying to digest this latest development.
Ronon and his fellow Satedans catch-up in the tavern: A fun little glimpse at a surprisingly artistic pre-Runner Ronon here that we ended up cutting for time. It offered a more playful exchange between the old friends. Paul strongly objected to the “beautiful singing voice” line:
#INT. TAVERN — DAY
Ronon’s buddies reminiscing, while Rakai finishes up on the new tattoo he has given Ronon. Ara informs Teyla –
ARA: “Oh, Ronon was quite the artist in his younger days: sculpting, sketching, writing poetry – “
A surprised Teyla throws Ronon an amused look –
TEYLA: “He wrote poetry?
RONON: “Do we really need to drudge up the past?”
RAKAI: “When he wasn’t singing to the ladies.”
ARA: “He has a beautiful voice.”
Ronon checks out his new tattoo and not so subtly changes the subject –
Carter pays Ronon a visit: The heart of this scene remained pretty much intact, but I ended up losing a discussion regarding the various unique items Ronon has in his room – which, ultimately, was little more than a preamble to the real conversation. This chunk came away easily enough.
#INT. RONON’S QUARTERS – ATLANTIS — DAY
Ronon is clearly getting ready to leave.
The place is decorated with keepsakes from Sateda and some of the other worlds Ronon has visited. Carter’s eyes are drawn to a painting, a Frazetta-like depiction of a group of Satedan warriors triumphant in battle.
RONON: “That used to hang in the military museum – the Satedan victory over Vetariss. After my life as a runner ended, I went back and sorted through what was left of my homeworld.”
Carter points to a portion of a marble column.
CARTER: “What was this?”
RONON: “Part of an archway, at the entrance to the academy where I did my training.”
Carter picks up a necklace of withered fingers.
CARTER: “And this?”
RONON: “It’s a necklace made from the fingers of the first wraith I ever killed.”
Off Carter’s look –
RONON: “It holds a lot of sentimental value.”
Carter sets the necklace aside, gives the room a cursory once-over.
CARTER: “You know, the fact that you even brought these things here tells me you considered Atlantis home; that you were happy here.”
The Flashbacks: There were two, one earlier in the script, the other here (although, in the first draft, Carter‘s visit to Ronon played even earlier). They were designed to convey the strong bond between the Satedans and the fact that Ronon was almost like a big brother to them – someone they depended on in the past. It offered a glimpse at Marika and Hemi, the lost Satedans. It also showed a softer side of Ronon and, for that reason, I was reluctant to lose them but the episode was already running long and so, in the end, we saved the production time (and money) and these scenes were never shot.
Flashback #1 –
#EXT. FORESTED PLANET — DAY
Sounds of battle in the distance.
ON two Satedans – Marika and Hemi – crouching for cover behind some rocks. Marika is a tough-as-nails warrior in her prime. Hemi is older, world-weary. Marika is tending to a wound in Hemi’s side. Reveal that a Ara is with them, looking younger and a lot less experienced. She is clearly terrified.
ARA: I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
Suddenly, the sound of movement causes a wide-eyed Ara to go for her weapon –
As Ronon ducks into cover alongside them. Ara is relieved to see him.
ARA: Ronon! You came back for us!
RONON: “Of course I came back.” (re: Hemi’s wound) “What happened?”
ARA: “It…it was an accident. I thought he was one of the Bolo Kai.”
#RONON: (to Hemi) “Can you move?”
RONON: “Alright. Let’s go.”
Ara is horrified at the thought –
ARA: “But we’re surrounded. There’s no way out.”
Ronon grabs her and fixes her with a look.
RONON: “Hey. I found a way in, didn’t I?”
They move out.
Flashback #2 –
INT. SATEDAN BARRACKS — DAY
Ronon walks in and finds a downcast Ara sitting quietly at the foot of her bunk.
RONON: “Looks like we got him back in time. He’s going to be okay.”
RONON: “It was your first op. You’re inexperienced. You made a mistake.”
ARA: “I almost killed a friend.”
RONON: “Yeah, as far as mistakes go that was a pretty big one.”
Ara steels herself for what she is about to say, then looks Ronon in the eye and reveals –
ARA: “I’ve decided to abandon my specialist training and take a position with support personnel.”
RONON: “I’m not going to let you give up.”
ARA: “I think it would be better. I can supervise weapons maintenance. I can cook.”
RONON: “The only reason you were out on that op is because we believe in you. We recognize your potential, even if you don’t. Okay, you made a mistake – but that’s not going to make us give up on you. So don’t you give up on us.”
RONON: “Besides. You’re a terrible cook.”
Ara gives a little smile. As Ronon turns to leave, smiling himself we –
McKay and the replicator converse: Again, this entire scene came away easily enough and, in retrospect, I’m glad it did as, in retrospect: a) it really added nothing to the episode, and b) there’s nothing less scary than a chatty replicator.
INT. TESTING CHAMBER – WRAITH RESEARCH FACILITY — DAY
The captive replicator hangs suspended, eyes shut and unmoving, in front of McKay’s work station. McKay has hooked up his tablet to the wraith gak. He consults the scrolling data onscreen and throws an anxious look back at the doorway where –
Just outside, a burly wraith stands guard.
McKay swings back around and starts –
When the replicator’s eyes flash open. It whispers –
REPLICATOR: “Release me.”
McKay throws another fearful glance back at the guard just outside. He whispers back.
MCKAY: “I don’t think that would be such a good idea – for me in particular.”
REPLICATOR: “It’s not you who need fear me.”
MCKAY: “Still, I’m one of those equal opportunity fearers.”
REPLICATOR: “Once you have made the changes they require, they will kill you.”
#MCKAY: “I’m hoping it won’t come to that.”
REPLICATOR: “Do not delude yourself. I am your only hope.”
McKay doesn’t like the sound of that, but ignores the replicator and presses on with his work.
Sheppard and Carter talk: This scene was intended to develop the friendship/working relationship between these two characters and close out the episode, but we were long and I thought it would be preferable to end with the Ronon-Teyla scene since it was Ronon’s episode.
EXT. BALCONY – ATLANTIS — NIGHT
Sheppard steps outside and finds Carter standing alone, looking out at the city below.
SHEPPARD: “What are you doing out here? Ronon’s welcome back party is about to start.”
CARTER: “His welcome back party? He never actually left.”
SHEPPARD: “Hey, do you want to party or not?”
Carter smiles. He joins her. Carter casts her gaze out over the city.
CARTER: “It was a hell of a day. We risked our lives, kicked some alien ass – “
SHEPPARD: “#And made it back in time for dinner.”
CARTER: “It’s like I never left Stargate Command.”
And as we PULL BACK on them on the balcony we (VFX) –
Today’s pics: Snaps from the last week of production.
Today’s video: None today.
AMZ writes: “Is there a reason the producer’s cuts are called “Producer’s cut A” and “Producer’s Cut 1” (why not “A” and “B” or “1” and “2”)? And what is the difference between the Day 1 Mix and Day 2 Mix?”
Answers: The Producer’s cut A reflects an internal cut that will go through another edit before becoming a Prod cut 1 – which is the version that goes out to the network and studio. On occasion, we may bypass the Prod cut A, label it a Prod cut 1, and send it out. The Day 2 Mix is the next version of a mix (which includes music and sound effects) after the notes on the Day 1 Mix have been incorporated.
Foolishpleasure writes: “why didn’t Sheppard, or any of the military personnel on Atlantis, salute Carter when she came through the gate and took command of Atlantis?”
Answer: Seahen already answered this one – “ The Air Force only salutes indoors during formal ceremonies and arriving through the gate is not a formal ceremony.” We did check with the Air Force on this one.
Anonymous #1 writes: “How much of the Sheppard backstory that Joe Flanigan wrote was used in Outcast?”
Answer: None. The idea that Joe pitched us (which was a verbal pitch by the way and not a written document) had to do with the action element/door into the story. The writers came up with the entire Sheppard backstory in the room.
Shawna writes: “As far as Carter’s speech, it seemed a bit weird to me. Not anything she said, just the fact that it seemed she was making it to whoever happened to be wandering around the general area of the control room about the time she was scheduled to arrive. “Each and every one of you” seemed a bit odd when she’s only talking to a handful of people, a tiny portion of all the people on Atlantis.”
Answer: I had originally envisioned this scene with a heck of a lot more people. As it turned out, there were only about 20 extras on the day – in my mind, they were the various department heads – which is why the speech was trimmed. Also, Carter’s “each and every one of you” is meant to imply not just them but all of the Atlantis personnel.
Sharma Stancil writes: “I would love to know if Ronon and Sheppard are/were supposed to have a long & bruising (for Sheppard) stickfight scene??? I think you alluded to it (WITH pictures) in an earlier blog, but now I can’t seem to find it any longer. Were those scenes deleted or something???”
Answer: Wrong episode. You’re thinking of This Mortal Coil.