People who know me rarely take me seriously. This, I suppose, because I’m rarely serious. Fair enough, but it does present a problem on occasions when I want to be taken seriously like, say, if my shoes happen to be on fire or I need to convince someone of something in order to pull off a practical joke. In the case of the former, I’ve found screaming, waving my arms, and running in circles helps. In the case of the latter, I look for alternate means of conveying that semblance of credibility. The official note or letter is perhaps my favorite way to go – neatly type-written and seemingly signed by someone important, photocopied to give it that authentic hot-off-the-fax appearance before being dropped off on my mark’s desk: “Alex, why haven’t you read me my horoscope yet? Impatiently waiting, Brad”, or “Lawren, please make sure to drain my dog’s anal glands before lunch. Thanks, John Smith”.

A couple of seasons ago, our publicity department arranged for the Atlantis cast to do some promos for the various broadcast affiliates (ie. Sheppard ”Have a gate old time watching Atlantis on Channel 12!”). Well, a request came in that the promos also include a thank you to the gang at Fox for all of their hard work on the show. No problem at all and, ultimately, really a small gesture to recognize their much-appreciated contributions. Brad, who was running the show at the time, was only too happy to oblige. And I saw a golden opportunity. I went back to my office, composed a follow-up request from someone at MGM, just a few additional spots to be recorded at the production’s convenience, and slipped it onto Brad’s desk when he was out of the office. It read:

“Hey Brad,

Good news! Here is a list of the greetings we’d like you and the gang to do. Again, if you could get a package to us by Tuesday at the latest, it would be much appreciated.



1. Congratulations to everyone at Fox from everyone here at Stargate.

2. Thanks to everyone at Fox for your support. Keep up the good work!

3. Happy birthday Ted.

4. Hello from the Pegasus Galaxy! Thanks for your support!

5. Congratulations to Gladys on the birth of the twins.

6. Great job to everyone at Fox!

7. Good luck on your hysterectomy, Hazel.

8. The Fox team is OUT OF THIS WORLD!

9. Victor Robbins, thank you for your may years of dedicated service but the company is headed in a new direction and I’m afraid we’re going to have to let you go. Please consider this your two weeks notice.

10. Eatin’ good in the neighborhood – at Applebees!”

Well, Brad didn’t buy it but a few people did. And, at the end of the day, if I can horrify or panic just one person, I can sleep soundly knowing I’ve made a difference in someone’s life.

Last night, Fondy and I took my mother to her new favorite Vancouver restaurant: Sun Sui Wah on Main Street. She enjoyed hot and sour soup, squab, crispy fried geoduck, lobster with ginger and green onions, deep fried crab, and, of course, her staple yang chow fried rice. The service was typically friendly and first-rate. Mom is already looking forward to a return visit.

Finally, a little advice to those who have submitted comments but have yet to see them approved or addressed –

1. If some spoiler regarding one of the upcoming movies has upset you enough that you feel the need to fire off a childish and insulting response, please do yourself a favor. Change computers before sending me another, politer missive on the topic from your alternate email account. WordPress gives me the power to block offending IP addresses.

2. If, in the past, I have been polite enough to respond to you (either on my blog or through any of my yahoo accounts), and you have, in turn, rejoined in a childish or insulting manner (either on my blog, through my yahoo accounts, or on some other forum), please don’t expect me to now engage you in any sort of dialogue.

3. Do not expect me to edit your comments for you (ie. “Hey, check it out! My social insurance number spells out a funny message. P.S. Please edit my social insurance number out of this message before posting, thanks.”). Bottom line: I don’t know how and it’s just a heck of a lot easier for me to simply delete the entire message.

4. Feel free to leave a comment on my back-up blogger site – UNLESS you want me to actually respond, in which case you’re better off leaving your comment here on wordpress.

I know. We can’t all be Annie from Freemantle’s, effortlessly getting all sorts of posts approved willy nilly. Even the best of us can be tripped up by such simple mistakes. I’m sure I’ll have occasion to post further advice as time goes on so stay tuned and take note!

Today’s blog is dedicated to Libkat on the mend and all of the brilliant poets who’ve posted.

Today’s pics: Mom enjoys her lobster, squab, the lobster mom enjoyed, mom complains about the teeny-tiny portions served at other restaurants.

The mailbag –

Jenny Robin writes: “Do you remember where I left my copy of Princess Bride?”

Answer: It’s on your nightstand, sitting hidden beneath The Time Traveler’s Wife. Or it could be in the basement laundry room where it has fallen behind the dryer.

Cat4444 writes: “If the tumor no longer had access to the raw materials needed to complete the process, how could it have reached critical mass and exploded?”

Answer: I could argue that when the tumor reaches critical mass, it becomes highly unstable and can be set off by any number of things including sudden movements. But I won’t. I defer all exploding tumor questions to writer Martin Gero who will, coincidentally, be swinging by here to collect his questions after Friday night’s show.

Farscape Fan writes: “when Vala lost her mother?”

Answer: I don’t believe we ever said she was dead.

Lori K. writes: “I was curious if there was any truth behind this “rumor” that if the Screen Actors Guild goes on strike that it’ll affect Joe Flanigan and Jason Momoa finishing off the fifth season?”

Answer: If SAG strikes, it will certainly affect Joe and Jason who are SAG members.

Squall78 writes: “Based on how the show is doing success wise now and if the trend continues, do you see the show going past 5 seasons?”

Answer: 10 seasons may be too much to hope for, but certainly a healthy 7 or so isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

nodakskip writes: “ Is it hard to reset up the SGC sets like the Gateroom/control room for an Atlantis ep now that SG1 is done?”

Answer: There is nothing to reset up. The sets are still standing.

Narellefromaus writes: “When watching the Sci Fi channel there tend to be the same actors going from one show to the other. Is this intentional?”

Answer: I think it has more to do with the fact that shows like Stargate, Flash Gordon, Eureka, and BSG are all shot in Vancouver and productions are more likely to draw from the local talent pool when casting guest stars.

Loren writes: “Anyways, when you were in school, did you find youself really interested in TV shows? Or… the idea of working in that kind of business in general?”

Answer: Not really. I was more interested in the feature world.

Lt. Col. Errandboy writes: “Do you have any good Italian patisseries in Vancouver?”

Answer: None come to mind.

Nathaniel writes: “Will you be attending the peoples choice awards to pick up Atlantis’ prize?”

Answer: Because of the writer’s strike, the award show won’t be live but made up taped segments. If we win, I’m sure the actors will be only to happy to accept on the production’s behalf.

Doci21787 writes: “1. Will we ever see any ori in stargate atlantis? 2. Is Baal ever going to atlantis? 3. Is Oma gone for good?”

Answers: 1. Unlikely. 2. No plans for Baal in SGA at present. 3. That’s a question for Robert Cooper.

Thunder writes: “Are the dogs well behaved around the Christmas tree?”

Answer: Hell, no. I’ve caught Lulu several times chewing on some of the items she has pulled off tree (ie. decorations, tinsel, tiny colored lights).

Chris writes: “ Do you happen to know if Scifi will be broadcasting the back-half of Season 4 in HD?”

Answer: I can’t say for sure, but I would assume they would be.

Majorsal writes: “what happened to the deleted scene where sam and keller were talking and sam mentioned a not-so-subtle hint about ‘that guy in washington’ (jack)? you said you’d either a- put it (deleted scene) in the s4 dvd package, or b- put the same sentiments in an s5 ep. or you’d do both maybe”

Answer: Martin chose the deleted scenes from his episodes. I’m not sure if this one was among them.

Female wraith writes: “Have ever tried Bulgarian cuisine? Musaka, tarator, banitza or something else?”

Answer: I haven’t. I’d love to though.

Jimbo writes: “Towards the end of Stargate:SG1’s run it seemed like Tealc was carrying and using earth based weaponry instead of his staff weapon or Zaat. Was this done to save FX costs and if not why?”

Answer: It was felt that Teal’c had adapted to battling with Earth-based weaponry over the years and that said weaponry was more efficient than the unwieldy staff weapon. Also, Chris preferred the earth tech.

Emily writes: “When you and Paul are sitting around together typing a script, who usually does most of the typing?”

Answer: Paul and I write our scripts separately.

Emily also writes: “ Oh, I’ve also noticed the significant drop-off of the “Bring Back [Character Name Here]!!” and “You Suck, I Hate You, I No Longer Watch The Show!” posts. Is this due to you practicing your New Year’s resolution #3? Or do you think that “those people” aren’t able to find your new home and/or are turned off by the inability to comment anonymously?”

Answer: All of the above.

Catriona writes: “The original version mentioned Weir. The revised version did not. Obviously Weir was mentioned, but you didn’t seem to want to have what was said about her in print.”

Answer: I didn’t edit the article and I didn’t ask that any references be removed, only clarified. I believe the reason the sentence didn’t appear in the revised version was because it was hard to make out what it was I had actually said (as I mentioned in a previous post, a problem in these phone interviews). As to what it was I said: don’t recall. But, given the context, it no doubt had something to do with the fact that some Weir fans were upset with the creative decisions made.

Malhoney writes: “How do difficult characters become fleshed out (if they do)? My guess would be that it would be a sort of group effort, with writers, producers, actors, directors maybe contributing, but, then again, maybe not.”

Answer: It’s always a group effort.

Kristen writes: “ 1.Have you ever read “House of Leaves” by Mark Danielewski? 2.Did you catch the bowl games? I hated the ‘traditional’ match ups. Would have preferred to see Ga vs. USC. 3.Does Carson’s return have anything to do with events from “Misbegotten”? 4.For Sheppard fans, besides “Outcast” any angsty character moments of emotional ones to look forward to? What about whump? Sorry had to ask.”

Answers: I haven’t. Recommended? 2. Some. Yeah, a Trogans-Bulldogs match-up would have been fun. 3. Carson’s return? He’s coming back? 4. Possibly Last Man.

Inkiya writes: “I wondered how did you came up with an idea to start bloging in the first place? What reasons did lead you to that decision and what keeps you bloging so constantly now?”

Answer: I started blogging at Gateworld on the invitation of Darren Summnr, then eventually started my own personal blog back in late 2006 as a means of documenting my trip through Asia. When I returned to North America, I elected to continue blogging and haven’t missed a day. The reason? As a writer, I think it’s a great exercise.

Shawna writes: “I certainly didn’t expect you to actually respond to any of thge interpretations of the poem, but I do hope you address the issue after each episode airs, so we can be sure to eliminate the appropriate line from further pondering.”

Answer: That I will. First up – Be All My Sins Remember’d.

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I simply feel the need to tell you, that I think you’re pretty awesome and I’m glad I stumbled across this blog. (I don’t remember how exactly I did that, but it was only in the past week or three) Initially my curiosity was via Stargate (Surprise, surprise) but I’ve deemed your blog generally awesome enough to be in my RSS reader.

*tips hat*

Annie from Fremantle
Annie from Fremantle

I don’t know what to make of your comment Joe. Oh well.. I was just responding to people’s comments on my comments. Sorry.

Your dinner looks great. Can’t wait for BAMSR then I’ll look back at the poem to see which clue you may have put in. Chances will be that I am incorrect.


Just wanted to say hello from Germany ( where it is one o´clock in the morning) and thank You for the wonderful series and the very enjoiable blog!!


Annie from Freemantle writes: “I don’t know what to make of your comment Joe.”

Answer: It was a compliment to my favorite prolific poster.


Emily also writes: “ Oh, I’ve also noticed the significant drop-off of the “Bring Back [Character Name Here]!!” and “You Suck, I Hate You, I No Longer Watch The Show!” posts. Is this due to you practicing your New Year’s resolution #3? Or do you think that “those people” aren’t able to find your new home and/or are turned off by the inability to comment anonymously?”

Answer: All of the above.

I am still active in the ‘SaveCarson’ campaign and yet I (and many of my SCB friends) visit this blog, enjoy reading it and, hopefully, have never been critical of either Joe or Stargate Atlantis. I believe that the return of Paul McGillion would be a positive move for both him and the programme. However, as my late mother used to remind me, it is only TV.


Happy New Year Joe. Here’s to a successful second half of the season and an even more successful season 5. I can’t wait, especially following the great first half.
Two questions: since Atlantis is now on a different planet, any chance our heroes might have to deal with extreme weather, such as snow, wicked cold, or even extreme heat?
Assuming you have one, what’s on your iPod?


Hey! I was in Boston over Christmas vacation, and just caught up on the blogs…love the poem! Also, Happy New Years, of course. I was curious though- you definitely watch anime, but what’s your opinion on manga?


Hi Joe. Do you find that your dogs have different reactions to your return home after a trip? ie: Maximus might not talk to you for days, but Lulu chews your sock off and then has a go at the ankle while she is there?

Also, if you decide to do an AU SGA I can guarantee there are a few of us here that would gladly volunteer to help out! Just say the word and our accents will be there. Stroooth, blimey, corka, *clears throat*, just practicing.

Annie from Fremantle
Annie from Fremantle

*blushes* Thankyou Joe..

Well in all honesty Joe, the weather here is hot (up to 43 deg C) and the boys and I are pretty much isolated in our home which is thankfully airconditioned. Your blog gives me something nice to look forward to in the morning when I get out of bed for my coffee and to fix the boys brekkie.

Now if only the pics of your blog were scratch and taste.

Wait……. just the food pics.


“If SAG strikes, it will certainly affect Joe and Jason who are SAG members.”

What about the Canadian actors Joe? I thought David Hewlett was SAG? And wouldn’t this also affect Michael Shanks and Chris Judge from doing guest spots if it’s not filmed before the strike? I thought that they were both SAG too.


Hey Joe ,

My husband and I are stage actors (as I’ve mentioned before and you’ve no doubt remembered). Anyway, we were reading an article about Michael Shanks recently (it was typically funny and charismatic) and my husband mentioned that he “hates” him (in the totally good natured so no need to alert the authroities, way).
I said, “Honey, I don’t pretend like you’re Michael Shanks anymore when we make love…I’ve moved on to Lucius Malfoy.”
He replied, “I know…now, ~I~pretend that I’m Michael Shanks…”

ANYWAY…all joking aside. He’s pissed because MS started on Stargate when he was 27 and my husband is now 29 and isn’t on TV yet. Of course I told him you have to actually audition for a show to get on one, but he seems to find that a little unnecissary. My dear dear husband is now under the impression that if we move to Vancouver there will be more opportunities for him on television—
So I guess what I’m getting at is, we have just sold all of our worldly posessions and are 10 minutes away from leaving for the airport. We’ll be at your door tomorrow night and we’d like to bed down as soon as possible. We’ll keep the cats locked up, but if you’d talk with LuLu about attacking them, that would be appreciated. I’m sure we’ll find our own lodgings within a month or two. Any leads you have on acting jobs would be appreciated, but mostly we figure we’ll just hang around Bridge Studios until you need someone.

Oh and if Michael Shanks ever does come over can you let us know ahead of time so I can usher my husband out for the night? I’d hate to have another incident like the one with Elijah Wood a few years back. I told my husband just because he has hairy feet doesn’t mean ~he~ should have been Frodo.



I always thought this was a strange name for a person – Narelle Fromaus. I have just ‘got’ it. smile :-0


If I ever get made redundant at my company a jaunty announcement by the sga team, and a huge whopping payout, would make it the best day ever, not including the day the toilets backed up and we got sent home with pay.

I can’t believe that someone took that (hilarious) list seriously, but then the power of an official looking letterhead can not be underestimated. Which is why the next note excusing me from work will be coming from the Pentagon.


Hi Joe

How’s it going?? Reading the first half of your entry I thought of the following query for you:

What has been THE BEST pratical joke you’ve played on someone. Or What has been the best on EVER on set, who played it on whom?

The duck looked kind of shinny or was that just me??


Charles Schneider

That’s a great prank. Have there been any pranks that Brad has fallen for. I’m sure after all the years at Bridge Studios he’s wizened up to the more pranksterish employees. In a lot of RDAs behind-the-scenes featurettes he talks about his own unique sense of humor. Does this mean that he was a fellow prankster?

I hope you and the family have a great time before everybody goes home. Didn’t you mention a while ago that they both live in your old hometown of Montreal? Hopefully their trip through the airport won’t be so bad on the return.


How much say do the actors have in what is required for them for the show? For example if the script called for an actress to shave off her hair or to perform a stunt without a stunt double (due to how it needed to be shot) could she be required to do so due to her contract?


Narellefromaus writes: “When watching the Sci Fi channel there tend to be the same actors going from one show to the other. Is this intentional?”

Answer: I think it has more to do with the fact that shows like Stargate, Flash Gordon, Eureka, and BSG are all shot in Vancouver and productions are more likely to draw from the local talent pool when casting guest stars.

This is something I have termed “Vancouver Actor Syndrome”. Pretty much every show filmed here in Vancouver suffers from it. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing though, as it enables me to play my favourite games “Spot the Vancouver actor!”, “Spot the Vancouver location cleverly disguised!” and “How many time can we blow up SFU?” (I think I was up to 4 on that one. But there are several Vancouver show I don’t watch, so I might not be entirely correct).
The CW network films a good chunk of their shows here, and it’s always amusing when they have someone on to guest and they’re on 2 different shows in the same air week.


I don’t really have a comment, just a question? As a writer on Stargate, you do realize that while you guys create the material, it is fans such as myself and the others who visit this blog who make or break your enterprise, do you not? Sorry if that sounds crazy, it’s just something that I’ve been wondering about lately. You don’t have to answer but I’d be enthused if you would.


kdvb1 Says:

“I saw for the first time the first episode “Children of the Gods” and was quite shocked at the full frontal nudity of Daniels wife! Of course my 13 and 14 yr old sons were watching with me and I had no idea THAT was coming up! I quickly fast forwarded through that part…which was totally unnecessary to the story…ahem….but anyway, I was wondering why the shows seem to have gone the other way totally….we hardly ever get to see any nice beefcake anymore. ”

SG-1 was originally on Showtime.


Do Sci Fi listen to anything the producers have to say on advertising the show? As I’m a watcher from the UK and obviously don’t get the Sci Fi adverts, but the ones I’ve watched on youtube after I’d seen an episode tell the entire plot. As in they’re practically showing next weeks ‘previously on…’ Do you guys have any input into the methods of advertising used?
Do you think that putting a doccumentary about the show on before the season started (Like was present on seasons 7, 8 and 9) would help raise interest again for the premieres?

And will you write season 5 on the rough guess that there will be a season 6, or write it as if it could be the last season but leave the possiblility open?


Have any of the actors had to work sick? I mean really sick, as in stomach bug or something. I can’t imagine how they’d do it.

Katie S
Katie S

“Narellefromaus writes: “When watching the Sci Fi channel there tend to be the same actors going from one show to the other. Is this intentional?”

Answer: I think it has more to do with the fact that shows like Stargate, Flash Gordon, Eureka, and BSG are all shot in Vancouver and productions are more likely to draw from the local talent pool when casting guest stars.

I recently purchased the X-Files on DVD, and through-out the first five seasons, I’ve been amazed at how many Stargate-ians I’ve spotted. Some in a few different roles. I admit it, I giggle and get excited when I spot them smile


If Joe and Jason were effected by a possible SAG strike….how do you address that in framing the back half of season 5? Do you have two different scenarios thought up, depending if they are forced to walk the line?

That must be a nightmare since its all what ifs and not knowing if the strike would last a week or for months. I hope they resolve both messes soon, it seems a long ways off but so did the writer’s strike and nothing was accomplished.

I’d hate to see a season 5 without half the gate team for a long period of time.


Hi Joe –

Just a quick ‘thanks” for a wonderful read I had yesterday (yes, I read it in one sitting). And my butt kept falling asleep – thank you very effing much, Mr. M!! wink Several times over the past few months people have asked for your recommendation for a good scifi book, and more often that not you answered John Scalzi’s Old Mans War. Well, I picked up a copy and loved it. I will be definately be reading more of his work. Any more suggestions?


Hey Joe, I’ve been working like-a-dog making dough for ‘The Taste of Tasmania’, and thus have been way overtired and haven’t read your blog for the past week.
Catching up I have the following questions: 1)BAMSR has the beautiful Larrin and her Travelers. No? 2) Larrin seems to have a similar persona to Vala, in her devilish and double-crossing mannerisms.(in my opinion) Was this Vala’ness deliberately included? 3) Happy New Year. 4) Joe F. has a birthday coming up. No? Are you going to fly down and pronounce your professional affection for him? Or another dreaded “Phoner”?

Finally, is it me or do you have some little character going between the letters? A little white character that skittles across the screen? Should I see the Doc?