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An early blog entry today as I’m off to dinner with Carl tonight and suspect that we‘ll be up into the wee hours of the morning doing grappa shots and smoking volcano coolers. Oh, and squash-stuffed agnolotti with black truffle butter.

Well, this week is the calm before the storm, and a golden opportunity to make some major headway on Whispers before prep begins on Broken Ties. I’m pleased to report that I’m out of Act I and making progress on Act II. Right now, I’m feeling pretty good about what I’ve got but, traditionally, the second-guessing doesn’t really begin until, oh, Act III. There’ll be a lot going on in this one production-wise and I’d like to put it out early so that we can commence the planning/hair-rending/tearful recriminating as soon as possible.

While Marty G. is on the set of his episode (Search and Rescue), and Paul is prepping his episode (The Seed), and I’m writing my script (Whispers), Carl is doing another rewrite of his script (Ghost in the Machine), and Alan is mulling over a possible story to slip into the #9 slot as the script originally envisioned for that spot ran into a “creative snafu” that a) moved it into the back half and b) may necessitate a change in perspective. Brad is, of course, penning #6 (can‘t wait to see the grotto), Carl is going to jump on #8 (interesting developments in this one that had Priscilla and the gang at MGM very excited), and Marty G. will do the honors for the mid-season two-parter (Welcome back to Atlantis, Dr. Jackson).

As discussion continues on Fast Forward 1, I’d just like to remind you voracious readers that we’ll talking Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors starting on Monday, then Dan Simmons’ Children of the Night the Monday following. Speaking of Fast Forward 1 –

AMZ – Interesting observation on Anon goodnurse’s interesting observation on machine humanity in “The Terror Bard” (I really do have to give this story another go). Yes, how much less human is a human mind when it exists inside a synthetic construct (A question we’ve asked on our show more than once)? I was reminded of Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and how much I loved its linchpin character of Mike the supercomputer. I notice a similar pattern in anime as well – an ability to imbue artificial life forms with personalities that out-human their human counterparts. What’s the deal? Why are we, as viewers, more likely to sympathize with androids and robots? Is it because they are, at their core, innocents inculpable at any level of moral judgment? Is it because, directly or not, they are victims of their creators? Entities who cannot be held responsible for actions connected to internal flaws they had no hand in determining? Or is it something else – perhaps a secret desire we’ve all harbored since the day we anthropomorphized our first teddy bear?

Food for thought while I slip out for food for less cerebral aims.

Today’s entry is dedicated to Nikki who’ll be celebrating a birthday in the coming days and having surgery in the coming months, and lizzyshoe’s Sophie.

Today’s photos: Snaps from the Norco set.

Today’s mailbag:

Thornyrose writes: “So Continuum is complete and just waiting release?”

Answer: Nope. What we watched yesterday was a mix.

Julia Justina writes: “Any news yet on how many episodes Michael Shanks/Daniel will be in next year?”

Answer: Right now, we have him for two.

Kosmo writes: “Ronon, in our opinion, would not have been such an immature alfa dog toward someone that is basically a legend at the SGC.”

Answer: Are you kidding? Sure he would. Ronon is a major Alpha dog (note the A is capitalized). In Runner, he was established as highly suspicious by nature, and inclined to react first and think later. Yes, he’s certainly grown since then, but much of that growth has been expressed in his evolving relationship with Sheppard and co. The Ronon we know and love opened up to his friends on Atlantis over time because they have earned his trust and respect. Teal’c, or any outsider for that matter, has yet to earn that same respect. Furthermore, after all he’s heard about Teal’c the kick-ass warrior and living legend, a rep that actually mirrors his own, it‘s no wonder Ronon want to challenge the guy for bragging rights.

Kosmo also writes: “Season 4 reminds me very much of Season 4 of Star Trek Enterprise and Manny Coto’s efforts to address certain issues with each episode rather than continue the story of Enterprise.”

Answer: I’m not sure what that means. That we’re doing more stand-alone episodes this year? Well, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion, but I’d argue that if you were to draw a side by side comparison of season 4 with the preceding seasons, you’d find we’ve offered more multi-episode story arcs, more character development, and a far more even distribution of stories for our individual team members this season. Atlantis found a new home, got a new commander, initiated a war between its two biggest enemies, forged a new alliance, ultimately allied itself with the wraith to end the threat of the human form replicators in the Pegasus Galaxy, established an uncertain relationship with a wraith who has developed as a character in his own right, set up a mystery regarding the missing Athosians we’ll be paying off before season’s end, explored the relationships between team members to a degree we had yet to do prior to the start of this season, shown sides of the characters we hadn’t seen before (ie. Teyla’s ruthless warrior side in Missing, Sheppard’s backstory in Outcast), and opened up a new storyline for the replicators. From my obviously very different perspective, I feel season four was our best season yet.

Kosmo also writes: “…but I do hope this post gets published so that those that think as I do will see this as an opportunity to put forth their own criticisms that will surely face the smack-down of sycophant fans that believe you can do no wrong.”

Answer: How delightfully myopic. On the one hand, you present your take of the show and make a case for the right to have similar opinions expressed here; but, on the other hand, you’re quick to dismiss any dissenting opinion as nothing more than the arguments of “sycophant fans”. Kind of ironic in that you end your post with: “I figure you’re not one of those, “He can dish it out but he can’t take it” kind of guy.”

108 thoughts on “February 20, 2008: Production progress.

  1. I’m not sure if you chose not to answer my question or just overlooked it since you didn’t do a mailbag for the day I asked it… so I’ll ask again:

    Can we look forward to seeing Gary Jones in season 5? What about Bill Dow?

  2. Your writing about what all the writers are working on put an image of you hunched over pieces of paper at your desks. (Except Mary G. of course.) I know the writing is done on computers, but that was what I imagined nonetheless. 🙂

  3. Grr. WordPress ate my post! Perhaps the alien did it. What IS that thing? Something new? Or a mutant of something we’ve already seen?

    The 3rd pic, I thought from afar looks like Cinderella’s carriage.

    But the LAST photograph is SO obviously either your squash-stuffed agnolotti with black truffle butter or Baron Destructo’s mother in law 🙂

    The weekend cannot come SOON enough for me…

  4. Mr. M:

    I’m pleased to report that I’m out of Act I and making progress on Act II. Right now, I’m feeling pretty good about what I’ve got but, traditionally, the second-guessing doesn’t really begin until, oh, Act III. There’ll be a lot going on in this one production-wise and I’d like to put it out early so that we can commence the planning/hair-rending/tearful recriminating as soon as possible.

    I’m glad to hear that the space cows in “Whispers” aren’t giving you too much trouble. Has Lt. Anne Teldy died yet? 🙂

    I was finally able to get your “thank you for the watch” letter and gift in the mail today. I apologize for the delay. Ice storms threw off delivery schedules and the gift I’m sending only arrived here yesterday. It involves chocolate, so I hope you like it.

    Anne Teldy

  5. A second attempt:

    In the latest little promo for Ark of Truth at MGM’s website they put up graphics saying Lt. Col’s for Sam and Mitchell. Is that correct? I know you’ve said that Sam was a full colonel for both movies, and I don’t think you’ve said as to Mitchell.

    Did you guys decide to go another way, or are the graphics wrong? Any clarification you could make as to Sam’s rank or Mitchell’s rank in Ark of Truth would be appreciated.

    Lucy

  6. Phew! That’s quite a load of hints on upcoming episodes. Thanks! Here’s a question, right off of the bat:

    1. Is the episode being moved to the 2nd half due to the creative snafu the Alan/Rob Shep Whump episode?

    Oh, and one of the earlier ones that I really would like an answer to:

    2. Where was the Wraith bits of Midway shot? You know, the badlands-type area? It was beautiful!

    Ok, moving on. About Star Trek Enterprise; I remember you saying that you only watched Voyager and the original series (although, I could be wrong), so let me give you a break down of what Season 4 of Enterprise was like.

    Seasons 1 and 2 of that show were almost exclusively standalones. Like, Season 2 and 3 of Atlantis, but more so. Season 3 started the Xindi Arc, which was…well, one big arc. Easily more arc-based than most, if not all, of Stargate seasons (the last 7 episodes were completely arc-based, as in one episode leading into another). I’d say it was somewhat similar to Season 1 of Atlantis, except even more arc-based. Season 4 struck a nice balance; the season was made up of 7 multi-part stories; 3 3-parters, and 4 2-parters. The rest few were standalones (and even those related to the theme of the Season, which was to really reference the previous shows). I personally loved it, as it was like watching mini-movies once you get the DVD (and when watched live, it makes you want to keep watching the next part(s) to, obviously, finish the story). That format allowed the show to explore each story much more in-depth, without the 42-minute restriction. On the downside, you only get a few stories per year. However, if you make the stories good, it can easily lead to the exploration of many characters and concepts.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is…Stargate Atlantis would probably benefit from a similar format.

  7. Ford! Any chance you or anyone else is planning on coming up with a story for his return? Fans still love him even if some of the writers don’t :p Please ?

  8. You write: What’s the deal? Why are we, as viewers, more likely to sympathize with androids and robots? Is it because they are, at their core, innocents inculpable at any level of moral judgment? Is it because, directly or not, they are victims of their creators?

    This makes me think of two things. One, that I cried in Dancing With Wolves when the wolf was shot, and my buddy slugged me and said, “What – you don’t cry for any of the people but a stupid wolf gets it and…” But it was just that – the wolf was the one innocent.

    And two, the woman who ran over a biker and killed them because her tomaguchi was hungry. As horrendous as most people found this, I wonder if machine sentience won’t look back at it as a milestone event, or at least an indication we *can* sympathize with them and thus aren’t as totally anathema to silicone life as our history of hostile robot media narratives would indicate.

  9. First, thanks for the progress report. It all sounds rather exciting! Lucky you to see it all up close and personal!

    Second…and I HATE sounding like a broken record…but YOU started it 😉 :

    “…ultimately allied itself with the wraith to end the threat of the human form replicators in the Pegasus Galaxy, established an uncertain relationship with a wraith who has developed as a character in his own right…”

    You mentioned a few days ago that Todd makes ‘an appearance’ in S5 – can we be guaranteed MORE than ‘an’ appearance…or is one showing all we can expect? And, for as much as I love the Wraith, is there a way to shut them the hell up??! They were so much more terrifying when they explained less, and snarled more (Todd, of course, is the exception here – we love his jokes, and his world-weary way of explaining things).

    Oh – one last Todd question. In BAMSR – after leaving the hive, Sheppard asked Todd if anything else happened when they (the Lanteans) were unconscious. Todd didn’t answer, just said he had to get back to help McKay. Can we assume something else DID happen, perhaps something that will play a part later on? (Personally, I’d just like to think that Todd had ‘lunch’, and wasn’t going to share that little tidbit for fear of reminding Sheppard who he was really dealing with.)

    Any insight is appreciated.

    das

  10. And now the “Joe disses any fans who don’t bow to him” comments begin (well, after this comment). Both here and on other forums. Oy.

    I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. And next – even without Amanda. The only bits I don’t look forward to are the Action Jackson eps. I hold little faith that he’ll be more than (as Shanks puts it so inaccurately) a ‘mini-RDA’.

    Haven’t seen Midway yet. Saw Trio via i-tunes. I’d forgotten how much I like Rodney when he’s only being obnoxious. The whinging about it being impossible to do something instead of finding a possible way greates horrible. It was noticable by it’s absence. Thanks.

    suse

  11. Hi Joe – I concur that season 4 is the best so far, and from my perspective the character growth and interaction has made the difference. The story arcs are interesting and well executed, but it’s the small character moments that have engaged me:
    – Rodney apologizing for not going to Earth with John for his dad’s funeral,
    – Ronan telling Teyla that ‘Ronan’ works as a name for a boy OR a girl,
    – John congratulating Sam on her promotion to ‘full-bird’ colonel
    – Teyla and John arguing about her pregnancy and what it means for her status on the team
    – Ronan waking John in the jumper and smirking at John’s goofiness when he wakes up

    I hope all of you continue to incorporate these character moments into the scripts as you work through Season 5 – looking forward to it!

  12. oh, nice pics, though aggrevating since you’ve provided no context. And was it intentional that we can’t enlarge the first one? Thanks for answering the question on Continuum. I wasn’t quite sure why a finished product would be shelved for so long. Can you indicate how much more work is going to go into the movie, and when it will be complete? It’s still strange to be getting excited about watching season five being developed, while counting down the last episodes of season four. But thanks for the chance to enjoy both experiences.

  13. Hey, I believe that season 4 has been the best so far. I have absolutely loved almost all of the episodes. There are one or two that are not particularly to my taste, but they were still good. If anyone thinks that, because I am of this opinion, I am a “sycophant fan”, go ask my family, friends and co-workers. I have no qualms about expressing MY opinion. However, I do try to respect that others may have a differing opinion, however wrong it may be.

  14. Hi Joe,
    Glad to see you did address some issues on this post. I for one am loving SGA! And I also agree with your comments about Ronon and how this season is progressing overall when compared to the previous seasons! And I think the majority of fans agree, after all SGA did win a People’s Choice Award.
    Thanks,
    Elisa

  15. Dude, I love your blog. Love it. Love how you rip on those who deserve it, and I love how you answer valid questions with valid answers. I love the show and hope it lasts 10 seasons like SG-1 (hopefully more!)

  16. Thanks for all of the pictures that you’ve posted the last several days. Poor Jason. I hope he can lose the dreads early in season 5 so he doesn’t have to suffer too long.

    All of the spoilers (and pictures) that I’ve seen for “Continuum” makes me super excited to see it. I read that Charlie Cohen has a cameo appearance in the movie. And, of course, it goes without saying that I squeed when I read what he was doing in his particular scene. *ahem*

    Answer: “Right now, we have him for two.”

    I can’t wait to see Daniel on Atlantis, Joe. The mid-season two-parter, dialogue with McKay and the possibility that Daniel could ‘maybe’ come back……

    THANK YOU!!!!!!

    danielfanforever

  17. Oooh, can I be a sycophant? That’s a psychic elephant, right? A psychotic psychic pachyderm? And I’m already delightfully myopic, no, really, I am near-sighted as all get out and I don’t like to wear my glasses, so I run into walls. Amuses my friends no end. I’m not much good at suck up anymore, so I have to go with the elephant thing. Ganesh, buddy, pour me another Cuba Libre. I can’t run around spelling polysyllabic words this sober.

    I redressed the Bucky skeleton family today, pics on the blog if anyone doubts my sanity. Oh. Nevermind.

  18. Dr. Jackson. YES! YES! 🙂 That one line made my night. (A night thus far full of coughing, sneezing and Batman… but hey.)

  19. Brad is, of course, penning #6 (can‘t wait to see the grotto),
    Are you teasing us Mr M, or are we finally getting that Christmas ep.

  20. hi, joe,

    i’ll try to phrase this as carefully as possible, so you don’t feel like you’re giving away any spoilers.

    question: after sam’s two eps, which will reveal her reasons for her exit, will any future appearances have a ‘role’ behind it (like commanding a ship, etc.), or will she just be written in like any guest star?

    your answer could be ‘role’ or ‘guest star’.

    sally 🙂

  21. Remind me to never, EVER enter into a debate with you.

    The type of discussion brought up by “The Terror Bard” seems to come up in conversation a lot after… well… a few too many grappa shots. The topic was revisited in our house after reading Consider Phlebas.

    This type of machine that we feel sympathy towards, IMO, is often representing how we wish humans could be – they are the hope that we can be better; more peaceful, more respectful of others. They demonstrate all of the intellectual skills of a human, however with their level of innocence (or you can look at is as plain old programming out the nasty side of humanity), means they can also be our conscience by bringing to our attention when we (as humans) act in a way that is contradictory to their “be good” programming and force oursleves to question our actions. It’s like when a child asks you one of those questions you just don’t have a good answer for… such as: “Aunty Relle, why do you have that in your belly button?” Made me question why I did because I didn’t have logical explanation for why I do. Anyone? Anyone? She’s still waiting on my answer…

    When an innocent machine is hurt, betrayed or destroyed by one of those traits that is distinctly human such as violence, scheming, manipulation, you feel for the machine. It shows that the innocent, whether machine or not, will always lose so long as there are humans around that will take advantage of this innocence.

    It is a discussion that could go for hours. There’s also the contradictory opinion to what I have said which follows the line of the good and the bad is what makes us human… if they can feel, then they too will learn to be bad.. etc, etc, etc.

    Joe wrote: “perhaps a secret desire we’ve all harbored since the day we anthropomorphized our first teddy bear?” – should that have read Pug?

    I really need a coffee so not sure if that made any sense at all.

    Have fun tonight!
    ~ Narelle from Aus

  22. Carl is doing another rewrite of his script (Ghost in the Machine),
    Oh, I’m really, really tempted to ask you to pass on begging for either reference to Daniel Dennett (who wrote a really wonderful philosophy piece on this that was highlighted in the Stargate philosophy book) or the anime…

    From my obviously very different perspective, I feel season four was our best season yet.
    Well, if it’s any consolation (and I have no idea why it would be), I agree with you from my different yet agreeing perspective. I actually stopped watched Atlantis back in Season 2; it just lost me, and I’d grown too frustrated with it to continue. (I figured giving it a season and a half was fair.) The everything of Season 4 is what brought me back into it – I caught an episode over Christmas and was blown away by the vast improvement in writing, character, acting, everything. And I’ve been happily devouring and catching up since.

  23. hello,
    Speaking of production, I was just stopping by to make sure that the email I sent you two days ago on your moorsyum@yahoo.com adress didn’t go straight to the Junk file and that you actually got it.
    thank you and I hope you enjoyed your dinner… “agnolotti with black truffle butter” am I wrong to suppose that you went to Don Francesco ?
    Marion

  24. I never thought I’d see it, but it was the funniest damned thing I’d seen in a long time. Ronon pouting because he couldn’t get his way?!? In Midway when he says ‘I hate you’ to John’s back, I nearly spit up my soda. Excellent episode!

  25. Why are we, as viewers, more likely to sympathize with androids and robots? Is it because they are, at their core, innocents inculpable at any level of moral judgment? Is it because, directly or not, they are victims of their creators? Entities who cannot be held responsible for actions connected to internal flaws they had no hand in determining? Or is it something else – perhaps a secret desire we’ve all harbored since the day we anthropomorphized our first teddy bear?

    I realize this was probably intended to be rhetorical, but my two cents were burning my pocket. I agree that we may anthromorphize and learn to love androids and robots because they aren’t capable of judging us right now. But when artificial intelligences become sufficiently intelligent, and perhaps able to refine and design themselves, they will then become culpable. In other words, they’ll learn to cheat and lie according to their own internal logic, just the way we do. And I bet we won’t love them nearly as much.

    In other words, since I miss my dogs, I could probably make a pet out of a Roomba, until the day it’s smart enough to tell me I ought to be keeping a cleaner house.

  26. . From my obviously very different perspective, I feel season four was our best season yet.

    Change the word “feel” to “Know”. Because most of us here know that season four is the winner.

    I’m not a sycophant. I respect Joe’s opinion and respect the fact that he’s a writer and knows what he’s doing as opposed to myself and armchair critic Kosmo. (and a bad one at that)

    Hmm those pics are intriguing. Deliciously a little dark to hide detail (gotta love Picasa for increasing the light)…. Thanks Joe.

  27. Dear Joe,

    I was wondering if you will introduce new ships or ship designs in season 5 atlantis and also if we are gonna see the Furlings. Furthermore, I was wondering if you ever tried moroccan pastries because we sell them… intrested 🙂

    thanks sir

  28. Loved Midway! Hmmm…seems you guys can do no wrong this season, at least as far as I’m concerned.

    Agree that SciFi totally blew the surprise for next week, but what can you do?

    Keep up the great work with Season 5!

  29. Since tomorrow (2/21) is my birthday, I’ll be sitting down to a delicious dish of steamed crab legs (not as fancy as what you eat). I have two questions: (1) If you tied up the SciFi/MGM execs and could pen an episode of whatever you wanted, what would it be? (2)What are the ups (and downs) of owning a french bulldog?

  30. Quick question from Midway: What kind of money do they use on Atlantis? It looded Canadian…or was it “Atlantis script” similar to what was used during the war to pay soldiers in the field?

  31. Would a show like HBO’s A Song of Ice and Fire be a kind of show you would like to be involved in if you had the time? And can you tell mister George R.R. Martin to finish A Dance With Dragons already? I am kind of tired of waiting.

    Thank you very much.

  32. First off: love the new layout.

    Secondly: It was my birthday on Sunday. Teal’c and Ronon together was one heck of a pre-birthday present (or an excellent post-Valentine’s Day present), so thank you! (Because I’m sure you had only ME in mind when you guys came up with the episode. 😉 )

    Third: EEEEEEEEEEEEE! Daniel!!! I’ve been having one heck of a week at work, and you have just improved my week immensely with this news. (Last night’s episode of Boston Legal is helping, too.) Don’t get me wrong, I love ‘Lantis, but I also love seeing my fave characters from SG-1 come back for a little visit. Thank you!!!!

  33. Welcome back to Atlantis, Dr. Jackson)….
    And the fan girl screams can be heard for miles! Of course I was the lead soprano XD

  34. Hi Joe!

    There’s something I would like to comment on about Todd, which leads into a request about Teyla.

    I was reading the Gateworld interview with Chris Heyerdahl and he said, “So we’re dealing with extremely good negotiators and it’s an interesting play. [Todd’s] got the ass-kicking ability of Ronon, he’s got the smarts of McKay, he’s got, now, the desire and belief of continuing on from Sheppard, he’s got the good looks of Teyla … why are you laughing?”

    While I’ll agree that Todd has the good looks of Teyla (Todd is strangely appealing and I’m still musing how you guys pulled that off) I think he shares a more important quality with Teyla. That of diplomacy. The fact that Todd has some sort of honor system that allows him to be diplomatic with the Team is great. And I like seeing that. It’s why, on rewatching The Seer, I get a kick out of Woosley meeting Todd.

    Which brings me to Teyla. I hope in Season 5 that we’ll see Teyla more in her role as the liaison between the Earthers and the natives of Pegasus. I think her most important contribution to the Expedition is her diplomatic skills. That she connects with the other natives in ways that the Earthers don’t. Even after four years. And on meeting new people, she’s much better at forging and keeping relations and agreements with people. I think the “contracts” and values the natives have are a bit different from Earth, where it’s mostly bogged down with the dealings of paperwork and red-tape bureaucracy. She’s their ambassador, so that they don’t accidentally step on any more toes than they have.

    Even though they got the Daedalus and Apollo, I think she would still be important in helping the Expedition maintain relationships with the other PG natives. And even more importantly, they need her for intel, to be out there so that they know what else is happening in Pegasus.

    We know she’s as badass as Ronon and that she’s a leader, and we see it. But I feel like we’re not seeing enough of her as an ambassador and info gatherer. Which, I think, is why she’s so valuable in Sheppard’s team. That she can also kick ass and not need babysitting is a bonus. What with the common sci-fi trope of scientists, doctors, and politicians not being great in combat situations.

    So, if you could, more Teyla handling the negotiations in Pegasus please!

  35. “Season 4 reminds me very much of Season 4 of Star Trek Enterprise and Manny Coto’s efforts to address certain issues with each episode rather than continue the story of Enterprise.”

    I didn’t read the comments so I missed this first time around and, of course, have no idea about the context in which it was said.

    HOWEVER 🙂 I am going to disagree with it as written.

    To this day, I have no idea what they were doing with Season 4 and that was the problem with it and most of the earlier seasons of Enterprise. There was no coherence to the overall story arc. And I am saying that as a Star Trek fan who is old enough to remember the first episode of the franchise ever aired.

    Season 4 got so incomprehensible that I decided to watch my first ever episode of Stargate (in Season 7, I think) and have been watching since.

    One of the things that kept me watching Stargate was its production values. Scenes were multi-layered. The heroes may have only walked into a village to exchange a dozen lines with a character, but, if you looked away from the primary interaction, you saw a whole lot of living going on amongst the villagers. Attention to detail was there.

    I tend to think of Star Trek (with the exception of DS9)as a cartoon or action adventure paperback and Stargate as a novel that describes the setting of the action along with the action. Cartoons can be a great deal of fun and there is nothing wrong with that. Stargate, through its use of minor characters (much like DS9) and its use of various production resources, fleshes out its stories and does a darn good job of keeping its characters and story line consistent through subsequent episodes.

    Well, with the exception of the story when they destroyed the Prometheus, but then no one is perfect … 😉

  36. Season Four has been incredible. ‘Nuf said.

    P.S. Which one of your dogs is the ‘Alpha’??

  37. I’ve noticed that Ronon has been amazing this season. Does that have something to do with really finding his character at last, or having more of an opportunity to let him shine?

    Kamilla

  38. I was just curious…

    Looking back (at both SG1 and Atlantis), was there a time that you were maybe thinking of a couple different ways to develop a character personality wise and although you took road A, you always wondered what road B would have brought about?

    Thanks!

    Amy

  39. Ahh, very interesting pictures…the curiosity mounts, of course. 🙂

    Hey, just one of those random thoughts: Do you know approximately how long we’ll hafta wait between the end of Season 4 and when the Season 4 DVD’s are released?

    Hope your dinner out with Carl was a good time. 🙂

  40. So you’re still taking reviews for Fast Forward 1? Yes! I’ll have mine posted by tomorrow (hopefully, it depends on whether I can get on the computer, school’s been crazy recently and everyone is the family is sick!).

  41. How can Stargate Atlantis not get nominated for a Saturn Award and Dexter, which isn’t SciFi or Fantasy does get nominated?
    Also, I asked before about a video you posted on your blog at the end of September that showed Jewel and David in an outdoor setting that looked like Earth. Which episode is that from and will it air or was the scene cut?

  42. Hey Joe. Hope dinner was nice.

    Short one this time.

    How many actual Stargate’s do you guys have around as props?

    And was there ever any explanation to the miniatures found in the rubbish tip?

  43. If you are taking requests for season 5, More Lorne and if possible how about a promotion for the Major and possibly a scene where someone utters his name, maybe by Chuck

  44. Well, the satellite has been hit and the mission has been branded a “success”.

    Now we only have to wait 24 hours until we find out if we are going to be exposed to the toxic fuel…

    These guys have different parameters to me as what needs to occur before something can be considered a success.

  45. For the “Whispers” episode. Have Joe got any casting preference for the actresses in the “doom by space cows” team yet? Will we see the return of any actresses from the recent crop of canceled sf shows? I am cheering for the space cows to steal the show.

    Maybe Joe can put away the sneakers. The US Navy have strike the orbital decaying spy satellite around 7:30PM PST with an anti-ballistic missile from the USS Lake Erie. Results of the strike will be obtain in about 24 hours. Watch the sky!

  46. Joe, on machine humanity: one of the things I have always liked about Stargate Atlantis is the questions of who/what is more human. Particularly withe human-form replicators which, as enemies, I’m not too excited by, but as characters which challenge our perception of humanity and the forms it may take, are very interesting. Fifth from SG1 was a good example of that. I haven’t read “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”, but I’ll have to try and find it now.

    I think in general maybe we sympathise better (although even then not always, depending on the story) with androids or even animals (as Lou pointed out) because they are simply “not human”. It’s easy to make the assumption that things which aren’t human experience things differently, but that we feel obliged to apply our own values/ethics/experiences to what they are experiencing in order to better understand it. In the case of machines, yes we create them, and so they are purely a product of their creators. I don’t think I’d be wrong in saying that you can feel more than a little sympathy for Frankenstein’s creature because he is “new” and abandoned based primarily on his appearance. So while he does things which many people would consider unforgivable, I for one felt sympathy for him because how was he to know what he was doing was wrong? And I use Frankenstein’s creature as an example because it was one of the first in a long line of man-made creatures in fiction.

    In a way it says a lot about how humans think of themselves, doesn’t it? Do we sympathise with mechanical/animal “humanity” because we believe we understand their plight? Is it an arrogant sympathy, where we believe we would not do the same but the machine/animal knows no better? Is it just because we are more sympathetic to creations “different” to humans, possibly even because we find it harder to sympathise with our “own kind”?

    I can’t help but think of Michael in Stargate Atlantis. After I first watched that episode my sister and I had this long discussion about the moral implications of changing anything to that extreme (ie from one species to another), even if they forget they were ever different. Who are we to apply our beliefs of what is “right” and “wrong” onto something else we don’t (or can’t) understand?

  47. sgakaz Said:
    Brad is, of course, penning #6 (can‘t wait to see the grotto),
    Are you teasing us Mr M, or are we finally getting that Christmas ep.

    I thought it was fairly obvious that we’re finally getting an episode set in the Playboy Mansion.

    Seriously, that was the first thing that came to my mind when I read “grotto”. Is that so wrong?!

  48. *raises glass* Heres to myopic dipsticks and further reason to stay well away from GW and other forums. I’ve been in various fandoms for over 30 years and I can honestly say that Stargate has the most eclectic collection of followers I’ve come across, 90% are good solid people with above average intelligence and their own opinions the other 10% are on GW.

    Uh-oh now I’ve done it I expect some heavy artillery coming my way due to severe sense of humour failure.

    rest assured those who respond to what I’vejust writtten will rest my case for me.

    *removing tongue from cheek and PMSL*

  49. Really there is no comparison between Enterprise and SGA. Really.

    You have the ear of George R.R. Martin? Golly.

    And after much research I now have an age for Teal’c as high as 190. Thank you Michelle for stepping in… where did you get your info? Any chance of getting an answer from Mr. Malozzi? Pretty Please? I could bribe with chocolate…

  50. As someone who stuck with Enterprise to the bitter end, I can’t see any way at all that Season 4 SGA is like the doomed last season of Enterprise.

    As an Enterprise fan, I actually found myself laughing (and cringing) at some of the episodes in the last season – yes, it was that bad. With SGA it’s only got better for me. More character moments, (some of which are in my favourite moments of all time for Stargate), more arcs overall, engaging stories…hmmm, not like Enterprise at all – in any way that I can see.

    Kosmo, just because some fans DO like season 4, and do offer praise when they’re happy with something that DOESN’T make them syncophants; it makes them fans expressing their gratitude and appreciation, just as you offer your criticisms. Many fans here who gush over some episodes equally state politely when some episodes don’t thrill them as much.

    On a sidenote, I was disappointed to read about AM’s story being pushed back and hitting a creative ‘snafu’. That was the Shep whump one, wasn’t it? Sniff… 🙁

  51. *waves*

    You summed up Ronon as how exactly I see him, strong, loyal and very much the Alpha male. Shep et al have all earned his respect and have become ‘his family’ so he’s now comfortable enough to be himself with them, and for them to see all sides of him!

    When Teal’c came on board he (as I saw it) challenged Ronon’s place in Atlantis, so it set Ronon on edge. There was no actual threat to Ronon’s standing in Atlantis, just the perception of such and that inturn set Ronon on edge. He’d done very well for years as a runner and on Shep’s team, and he wasn’t prepared to take any advice from a stranger that had come to babysit him. 😀 Loved it, and especially the respect that was built up and earned throughout the episode. It made me do my happy dance. 😀

    As for Jason’s dreads, thanks for the pics and the other pics. I’m sorry to say though that this is one occasion I won’t be joining in with a ‘Save Jason’s Dreds’. 😉 Sorry, I think it’s time to let them go, I just hope that the writers are going to give them a good send off and you instigate talks with Jason about how it’ll be handled (if that’s what he wants). 😉 Okay, so it’s early and i’m a bit braindead. *blushes*

    SO, while i’m here, i’m not going to comment on the two daniel eps, cos i’ll just over react and get my knickers in a twist, but I will ask about Alan’s eppy! Please say it’s not the Shep extreme whumpage eppy *sniff* unless of course the change in perspective is Shep intubated, and nekkid under the infirmary blanket and it’s from his PoV as opposed to the team’s. 😉

    Please can you put me out of my misery. 😀

    *hugs*

  52. Right now, I’m feeling pretty good about what I’ve got but, traditionally, the second-guessing doesn’t really begin until, oh, Act III. There’ll be a lot going on in this one production-wise and I’d like to put it out early so that we can commence the planning/hair-rending/tearful recriminating as soon as possible.

    Haha. I can just picture that. For discretion’s sake, that’s all I’ll say.

    Thanks for mentioning that Elizabeth Bear’s novels are in cyberpunk mode. I’ll wait on checking out her stuff unless Mr. Anders knows of something else in the same vein as “The Something-Dreaming Game.” – Speaking of, juvenile autoerotic asphyxiation loses its creep-out factor when you work child psych (for example). You remain concerned about physical safety and remediation of dysfunctional behavior, but it’s like becoming used to the idea that some people are into S&M: it’s not my thing, but it’s part of life. (But I guess that point was already made.)

    Just out of curiosity re: literary form, would you be willing to comment on why you saw that story as belonging more to fantasy than to sci-fi? I thought Bear’s intention was for the alien race to be real (even if manifested only in one person’s mind). To me, that would be sci-fi; but you know much more about both genres, so maybe my criteria are incomplete or incorrect.

  53. I agree that Season four is awesome. There are too many parts to count but I like the fact that you showed back story for Sheppard.

    Teyla has had the mommy moments, she thinks of the child now and is not willing to just jump in a fight. When Sheppard told Teyla that if something ever did happen to her that her baby had a family and that they would take care of the child.

    Midway was awesome. I am saving it on my dvr again this friday so I can watch again for anything I might have missed. 🙂
    Ronan and Tealc going at it, I think you did the right thing. And after working together to save Stargate Command Center they did have more respect for each other. I thought that was good.

    McKay and his experience with women. That is hilarious. Reminds me of the boys growing up and having their awkward moments around girls they like but he has not out grown it.

    I guess I should just shut up and say that yes I love it all. I think you all are doing great and keep up the good work. I can not wait for Season five to come out so we can see it.

    I have not been able to do the reading of books that you all are doing, hopefully soon I can get in on that.

    Thanks for all the updates and good luck with your writing. 🙂

  54. Ok so maybe my last comment was a trifle snippy and I apologise to those who frequent GW. I just get really pissed off with fans who always seem to find fault in what is essentially pure entertainment. I don’t always like what happens within the Pegasus Galaxy but I trust the writers and minds behind it to get the balance right. If it wasn’t for you guys there would be no Pegasus Galaxy.

  55. Right now i feel the stories so far has been an improvement over S2/3 but what’s needed now is stability in the series as a whole.

    My main concerns i highlighted was the over-use of (appropriately titled) “BLOW STUFF UP WOWZY!” It’s been an issue since The Siege onwards. Every key episode has some feature of WOWZY so regularly it should receive a special guest star credit:

    “And Blow Stuff up Wowzy
    as [i]herself[/i]”

    This season there’s been Lifeline, Sins, Outcast (to a point), Midway…. all featuring wowzy. My dislike is that the story doesn’t need to feature it so heavily to make the story go forward. A very good instance of this is Before I Sleep. (A similar version of what i mean is The Visitor in DS9 and Episode 10 of Primeval, a UK TV series.)

    My second dislike is how the standalone episodes are far too standalone. The events of the ep is often never referred to again. The most extreme example of this is Ford himself. Since Lost Boys/The Hive he hasn’t been mentioned. Not at all. Almost as if he never existed. What better way to mourn the loss of a character than to assume for 2 years he was never there!
    Stories, standalone or otherwise, are still things that happen to the team and so will have a past/future impact on them. The whole series is one whole story. Episodes like Critical Mass or Echoes for instance are very very standalone, in the sense that the episode hasn’t been mentioned again. Echoes in particular, through the use of a ZPM to save a planet that they departed soon after. Someone can easily hint that if the Ancients came sooner they wouldn’t have to have burned through the ZPM when the solar flare came and just left anyway. Little things like that create a feel of continuity in the series that i feel has been lacking.

  56. Hey Joe,

    Some questions:
    1) Hows the garage door situation going?
    2) Will there be any more appearances of the Bolo Kai?
    3) Will Ladon Radim appear next season?
    4) Not that I don’t mind seeing the new Captain, Alici Vega, but what about Cadman?
    5) After watching F-302’s and Darts fight together in “BAMSR”, don’t suppose we might see if the Travelers have any form of space fighter of rheir own design?

    Take care Joe!

  57. I do hope (in the next season) we will see more of Telya’s one on one fighting skills against a wraith, is that going to happen?

    PS: Enjoy your dinner with Carl, take some photos of the food! 😀

  58. Oh no *cries* it looks like we are going to have to wait longer for the extreme Shep whumpage (if it still happens after the changes 🙁

    I had already got myself into a big whumpy frenzy just thinking about it!!! Maybe the replacement ep for the number 9 slot will have something special for the Shep whumpers? 🙂

    SheppyD 🙂

  59. Well, ok it was early this morning when I posted, and I was sleepy, and a little whibbly on the bottom lip front because it looks like possibly, if I deduced correctly, I’m going to have to wait longer than anticipated for my long-awaited extreme Shep whumpage episode….sniff…. so that obviously explained why I created a new word – syncophant . I obviously meant sycophant .

    Goes away kicking herself for her stupidity and sulking about the possible lack of Sheppy whump in the first half of season 5… I can’t help it, I’m obsessed! 😆

  60. Hi Jo’ !

    Waouh hard work this day ! Good luck and thank you for the photos !

    and THE NEWS : Daniel is come back……….i’m very happy !!!
    I’ve a question : do you have any news about Greg Anderson ( The Prior ) ? I was in contact with him through a stargate board on internet with private messages but since May 2007 no news…

  61. Okay. This sycophant is going to respectfully disagree that there has been no structure to this season. As a matter of fact, the thing that has been most aggravating this season has been the fact that we have to wait for some of the throughlines to resolve themselves.

    I’m enjoying the torment, but it’s how I see it.

    The joys of perspectives….

  62. I have to ask, ‘cos I do, I’m like that, but will there be more Ronon and Rodney scenes in S5, ‘cos those two are always good together (and for some reason I really like seeing them together – every bit as much as Rodney and John or Ronon and John or Ronon and Teyla etc..!) Oh, and more Rodney and Teyla scenes would be great too!

    Sorry, just wondered. I really liked the team and individual developments that we see in Atlantis, especially this last season or so. Please keep it up – and more Rodney and Ronon!

    (I can’t explain it, but I just love the dynamics of their friendship…the little bits like Rodney pulling the tray of food away from Ronon at the end of Doppelganger even though Ronon hasn’t made any move to take it (yet?), and Ronon grabbing Rodney’s tac vest in Doppelganger and other episodes, or pulling him out of the gear room in Spoils of War etc and so on… And in S3, the sparring scene – oh please, another sparring scene with those two would be brilliant!!!)

    Thanks

    Leesa Perrie

  63. Re: Ronan as an Alpha dog. I agree that he’s totally an Alpha when it comes to anyone and everyone but for Sheppard. Just rewatched The Hive yesterday and he was totally a puppy dog when it comes to Sheppard.

    Any chance of seeing some photos from Search and Rescue shoot?

  64. Hey Joe
    i love it when you lay the smackdown on opinionated posters! That must be fun to set the record straight.

  65. Ah, hope its not too late to get my two cents in on Fast Foward 1.

    I admit if you had not recommend it- I wouldn’t picked it up. But since I value your opinion on the book choices-I’m glad I did.

    It was nice to read short stories since everything else I’ve read for years has been “normal” length (I’m not counting fan fiction).

    Most of the stories were enjoyable. And like you, when I saw the poems-I skip on by. Not my cup of tea.

    I did enjoy Kage Baker’s “Plotters and Shooters” (LOVE the ending!) and Mike Resnick and Nancy Kress’s “Solomon’s Choice” (good tone and rhythm/pace). But Gene Wolfe’s “Hour of the Sheep” didn’t make into my top 3. I got lost somewhere in it and totally missed it.

    Agree with you on “A Smaller Government” didn’t seem to belong. But I liked it. It was one story that made sense to me. Reading it was like reading a fable. It had a lesson to be learned at the end. And I enjoyed “Pride” also. Loved the “cat” theme.

    But the one story I couldn’t read was “Sideways From Now”. Nothing in it made me want to read it. Or even try. And for “Jesus Christ, Reanimator-same thing. But that just due to what I believe of Jesus Christ.

    And “Wikiworld” was definately a laugh. And a good way to end the collection.

    Can’t really pick a top three but Kage Baker’s “Plotters and Shooters” would definately be in it.

    Thanks again for the recommandation.

    And for something SGA related, notice how everyone is commenting that S4 is the best season ever-not sure of that myself yet but it made me think of the best episode of the seasons so far. I still love 38 Minutes the most (even though the cast hated filming in the small jumper).

  66. Just checked Amazon for George R.R. Martin’s “A Dance with Dragons”. The publication date is listed as September 30, 2008.

  67. F.O.R.D. said: “Ford! Any chance you or anyone else is planning on coming up with a story for his return? Fans still love him even if some of the writers don’t :p Please ?”

    Some fans still love him. I never cared for the character and was very happy to see him go. I wouldn’t mind an episode with him. I mean, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if a character I don’t care for comes back for an episode. But I won’t cry if we never hear about him again 😉

  68. I whole-heartedly agree with your belief that season 4 is the best so far. I felt the same way about SG1 as it went along, getting better and better with each season. I love how you the writers and actors have humanized the villains over the course of the last few seasons. Giving rise to such arch-villains as Michael, Todd, and the great Oberoth.

    It’s only practical that the more seasons a show has on the air, the more time it has to service each and every important character. I think that’s why the relationship of the SG1 core team and major allies became so lauded, because there was time to explore it so well.

    I really look forward to seeing what the Atlantis team’s group relationship looks like in another three seasons.

  69. I like the character development and would love to see more. Sheppard expressing himself more plus going a bit dark and living with the dark decisions it when it needs to be done(adding broader dimension and more layers). Teyla not only being a wise diplomatic leader, a fierce warrior, a strong woman, she’s also now vulnerable and trusts her team (and John) is able to express her fears, concerns and emotions. Rodney’s still himself but is also growing and learning to be a better person, friend and team mate. Plus, he actually gets to be the hero in Harmony and Trio able to take care of himself and others. I love the interaction between Radek and Rodney. The first time I saw Lorne and Rodney together in Runner was priceless. (I hope there are more of those moments too.) My favorite character is Ronon. Love the physical badass warrior stuff (just is a thing of beauty) and the honor and loyality. I like his development from such a de-humanized wild thing that the Wraith made him into and his re-evolution into a human being again. (Will we see more of what kind of person he was before he was the Runner?) I enjoy seeing his humor, that he can be playful and sarcastic. I would like to see more of his smart thinking, brain power and strategy skills – what kind of education and training did Ronon have? (Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Ronon on some occasion or situation could out think Rodney! Rodney’s ego couldn’t handle the caveman being smarter!!)

    It also would be interesting to learn more about Teyla’s culture and beliefs (one does examine them – especially if she plans on teaching them to her son). Does Ronon have any religious beliefs? What about Rodney’s beliefs – have they changed any since his experience in the Tao of Rodney? What does John believe in? Here’s another thought / moral dilemma – will they create more “programs” like Fran (have you thought of that already?) Since Atlantis is short of personnel, Fran programs could fill in – in times of shortages or teach the galaxy natives. Do the Scientists in Atlantis actually teach the Pegasus natives about technology? Would you think that they would be trying to find more natural gene carriers and teach them how to maintain the city and other things? We did see them teaching about agriculture to one population in Coup D’etat…

    Requests – I like to see more science, more medical discoveries & problems,(still do like the occasional action too), what other hobbies do the people of Atlantis have – does anybody knit for example? Make Rodney knit – it might calm his nerves, although I think he’d find a way to get worked up about it. What if he screwed his knitting up and Ronon could fix it. Too funny!! After all Ronon could probably do anything, as he had to survive by himself for 7 years – make his own weapons, traps, knives, utensils, clothes, cook, herbal medicines for his wounds, etc. Further, nets for catching game or fish don’t make themselves – FYI knitting does involve math and calculations – think of it as another type of String Theory for Rodney). Social and moral conflicts are always thought provoking. One of my favorites is the Poisening the Well – on so many levels. Love multi-faceted stories and character driven stories. Favs so far PTW, Runner, Sateda, Echoes, Tao of Rodney, McKay and Mrs. Miller, and Sunday.(You’ve made me care about the characters). Haven’t made my mind up about for my favs for Season 4 yet, but Midway is really high up there. Have you done any fan polls as to our favs for Seasons 1-3? Obviously, I’ve had too much time to think about Atlantis… AS always I do enjoy your thoughts!
    Lynn Carole

  70. Hi again Mr M!
    Greetings from Tipperary, the Home of Cashel Blue!
    Before I start the Book report, I must ask, was there a scene cut from Midway, which featured Ronan and Coolidge? It seemed a bit “jarry” going from the Ronan: You can leave if you want to….” scene to the Coolidge : “That’s good enough for me” scene. In any case, fab episode, really enjoyed it. More please!

    BOOK REPORT:

    Introduction: Mr Anders intro was fab., as others have said and was worth the price alone.

    YFL-500: An interesting take on raw data meets art. I liked this story in that it blended science with art and a nice twist at the end. It shows how bereft one can be without the other. Lovely style and very believeable.

    The Girl Hero: As you say, perhaps a bit of backstory would have helped me here. It struck me while reading it, that it was a Japanese Anime in prose form. Intriguing ideas but more of a visual medium than written word.

    Small Offerings: Scary, dark thought provoking and very creepy. Loved it! Interesting concepts on the “disposability” of humanity and the search for predictability in the very fibre of life. Love to read more of this guy.

    They Came from the Future: Poetry soothes the soul and at times can be a balm for wounds, but I still don’t get the SciFi Poem, sorry

    Plotters and Shooters: Very enjoyable story, well told and written. Multi-layered and nice nods to other genre. Captured the “stuck-on-a-station-with-cabin-fever” effort really well, and nailed the “inspirational character” type down!

    Aristotle OS: This was a very British SciFi type story. Almost Dr. Who-esque. Certainly a bit “Sliding Doors”-ee. Liked it, but with a let-down ending.

    The Something Dream Game: Excellent and creepy at once. The aliens mentioned reminded me of Philip Pullman’s creations in Book 2 of His Dark Materials. Frightening take on a very real phenomenon amongst children. If nothing else it raises awareness of this potentially fatal attraction.

    No More Stories: Solid tale, well told. Reminded me of a 70’s film with a character who had a “running tape” inside him and when the spool ended everything desisted!! Can’t think of the name. Very good though!

    Time of The Snake: MasterChief style Halo 3 type story…Mmmm…

    The Terror Bard: Couldn’t get into this, sorry

    PDolce: Excellent tale, very well told. Reminiscent of Being Jon Malkovich. Enjoyed the historical accuracy also

    Jesus Christ Reanimator: Very hip-cool take on a “what if” Almost a bit too hip, but enjoyable. Nice style….Reporter’s vantage is a great tool

    Solomon’s Choice: By far my favourite tale. Very engaging backstory and believable hero. Reminiscent of a Janet Fraser conscience with a Rodney McKay solution.

    Sanjeev and Robotwallah: Couldn’t get into it, sorry

    A Smaller Government: Nicely told, no character names, just positions in Government echoing the THEM and US. Bit dated but enjoyable, but again weak ending.

    Pride: Excellent tale (or tail). Enjoyed and predicted ending. Coming of Age meets responsibility story

    Settlements: Lanteans come to Earth!!!!! Didn’t like the “nuke them because they control us”, as it wasn’t well qualified.

    Sideways from Now: Great story. Fab Irish Characterisation (and very very accurate) Agree that the whole “Court and King” thing left me puzzled, but 9 out of 10.

    Wikiworld: Still reading!!

    My question to Lou is this: How exactly do you get a blend of “hard scifi” and “easier”scifi? Was this a difficult edition to edit?

    Talk soon Shirt’n’Tie

  71. I’d like to put it out early so that we can commence the planning/hair-rending/tearful recriminating as soon as possible.

    JM, are you describing the episode, or what goes on in the writer’s room?

    🙂

  72. Hey Joe!

    Great to hear that Michael Shanks is going to appearing in two episodes of Atlantis. Daniel Jackson definitely deserves to get to step into Atlantis again. 😛

    Looking at the picture of the Wraith display device, ever thought of getting the art department to put something regarding your blog or Gateworld in Ancient text on a display as an in-joke? 😉

    Thanks as always!

    – Enzo Aquarius

  73. Hello Joseph =) Yé! encors un journée et je suis en vacance^^!!Merci pour ces photo =).

    Vous allez écrire, jespert que vous penserez a mon francais!! (et oui encors et toujour lol, je lacherais pas!!)

    A votre avi,entre Ronon, John et Rodney lequel réussiraient le mieux un dînner?

    Voila, Kisou Kisou, je vous adore, bonne journée, a demain =)

  74. I am a tad late to the Midway comments party. Still, I want to say that I absolutely loved and delighted in watching Midway. After seeing the promos, I wasn’t sure why Ronon would be so difficult about Teal’c helping him out, but his explanation of not needing a “coach” and that he was capable of handling the IOA says it all. He definitely is an independent, alpha male and has learned to accept help from those who, as you’ve said, have earned his trust. I loved their scenes on the station and at the SGC: the Three Stooges scene (hilarious); and Ronon’s comment about Teal’c’s frequent use of “Indeed”; Ronon’s “get in line” line was to so satisfying because I was thinking, ‘hey, Sheppard asked for one first.’ Great moments. Ultimately, I was pleased with how their respect for each other was grown over the course of the episode. It seemed very real and natural at the end.

    I loved Kavanaugh in the episode, including his hair. I always hated the ponytail and thought it made him seem meaner, which worked for the character. His new, softer hair gives him a friendlier appearance (which could only help in his attempts to regain the respect and trust of his fellow expedition members). At the same time, I like that he still gets next to no respect and that they’re making him earn it. Those scenes between Rodney, Dr. Lee and Kavanaugh were priceless.

    Loved all the danger and action on the station. The Rodney/Sheppard moments were touching. I love how their friendship has grown and developed even since last season. The final jumper scene with all the banter in the back was beautiful. With Sheppard being my favorite character, I can’t pass up the chance to say how adorable the sleeping Sheppard/Ronon scene was. I love their friendship dynamic. There wasn’t one moment in this episode that did not rock. Fantastic job!

    Next…

    I enjoy all the behind the scenes info and photos you provide on your blog, and have enjoyed seeing spoilers on many other websites, including GateWorld…I peek… but I think from now on I’m taking a page from Marty G.’s book about spoilers. I totally agree that being exposed to the spoilers diminishes the experience of watching the show live. As much as I like to know certain details ahead of time, I’d much rather be surprised. I echo the earlier complaint about the Sci-Fi Channel giving away too much about upcoming episodes in their promos. It makes me want to change the channel when the promo for next week’s episode comes on. Whatever happened to real teasers? Is it a lost art now? Back to class kids.

    I’m chatty today.

    I am definitely looking forward to the last three episodes of the season…and mentally/emotionally preparing myself for the cliffy at the end.

    May production on Season 5 go as smoothly and as close to planned as possible. I can’t wait to start in on that feast. (Will the wait be 3 months or 7?) I also hope and expect it to be more and better than Season 4…always growing and improving, yes?

    Take care. Tah tah.

  75. Hi,

    Is there any chance at all that Atlantis will get two fully powered ZPMs and hold on to them for a good half-a-season?

    Thanks.

  76. Well I am not one of the people who think season 4 is the best yet, although the last three episodes might pull it up to the level of season 1. This season has been better overall than seasons 2 and 3 and started out as one to easily surpass season 1, but it has stumbled badly of late in my opinion. Midway has recovered the season from the downward dive after Spoils of War.

    The season started well, hiccuped at Travelers and then improved until Spoils of War with slight problems within the construction of BAMSR. The biggest disappointment this season for me is the poor job of creating a credible race in the form of the Travelers. A poor introduction episode and then moments in BAMSR that were way too convienent in building an alliance with the Atlantis expedition have me writing this race off as nothing more than a way to create “funny” situations (to some people maybe?) with Sheppard and get more ships for the space battle.

    Maybe I am just so put off about how Larrin was presented as just a cliche warrior chick with no leadership ability when before the season she was described as a strong female character. She ended up only being portrayed and sounding like some Frat-boy’s fantasy of a young, hot chick/dominatrix and not a real strong female character. I think it was the combination of wardrobe, dialogue, and casting choice that has made this character laughable in my view. A more experienced and mature actress with a realistic wardrobe and non-Fratboy humor-style dialogue would have probably given a fan-favorite character to the franchise and not one that in my opinion is laughable as only serving to attract the 18-35 male demographic. I think it was a slap in the face to the real strong female characters the Stargate franchise has developed in the past.

    Of course, if it was TPTB intent to create such a laughable character than you have done a good job at it. In my opinion, not since the “date rape drug” aspect to Irrestitable has a storyline been as degrading to women as has the Larrin character been. I just hope in season 5 her appearances will allow TPTB to bring the character from a joke to what she was described as; a strong female character.

  77. Hi Joe, there’s a rumor on GW based on a AT interview that you want to place the action in Continuum post season 4. Some posters have said that Teal’c’s hair in Continuum and Midway heavily suggest that Continuum can’t take place except after Midway! So would please tell us when is Continuum supposed to take place with regards to Atlantis time-line? Also when Sam leaves Atlantis will we find out exactly what her next assignment is going to be or we’ll be left in a limbo?

  78. Okay- one question here:

    Back in the earlier seasons of Atlantis, the wraith blasters packed a lot of punch, making a loud “whump” sound when they hit a solid object, slamming into McKay’s face rather forcefully and knocking him right on his ass in “Suspicion.” There were even little shakey-camera effects to show how powerful they were. The opening sequence in that episode shows what I mean. There was one episode (can’t remember which) where they blast through some shrubbery. Now, they are more like zats in that they are electric-y rather than just bluish bolts and “splash” over peoples bodies, making them twitch a bit and fall down. This makes them look weaker, in my opinion. Will we ever get the more awesome blasters back?

  79. I just wanted to say I saw Midway and thought it was fantastic! Season 4 just keeps getting better and better, which makes the prospect of Season 5 even more tantalising.

    I have to say I am a little sad at the thought of maybe losing the extreme Shep whump ep, is that the one you spoke of in your blog, which has fallen foul of a creative snafu? The whumper in me has everything crossed in the hope that you are talking about a completely different ep…am I that lucky? or should I not bother buying a lotto ticket this week? 🙂

  80. Amy Taylor wrote:

    I just rewatched first season’s Home and was wondering, did Shep ever finish War And Peace?

    In the Season 3 episode “The Return (Part 1)”, Sheppard says: “For one thing, I’m only a quarter of the way through War and Peace.”

    So, if it took him 2 years to get a quarter of the way through, and he stayed on schedule, he should be 3/8 of the way finished.

    Anne Teldy

  81. Sorry, I meant that based on Teal’c hair Continuum can take place only [b]before[/b] Midway, not [b]after[/b].

  82. Wow!
    Saw ‘Midway’ last night: phenomenal! I was on the edge of my seat, those Wraith scare the life out of me, they’re worse than Daleks ;o) (spent many a Saturday evening as a child hiding behind a cushion).
    Loved seeing Teal’c again, and the interaction with Ronan was fabulous. Indeed.
    Looking forward to the films now, pre-ordered ‘Ark of Truth’ but we (UK) have to wait until April! I’m really going to have to avoid the spoiler reviews. I’m most looking forward to ‘Continuum’ though… Jack’s back!
    Hope you enjoyed your dinner.
    Oh, and have you tried a UK brand of choc (not sure if I’m allowed to say the name, made up of two colours), they do a 85% dark choc, intense or what?! I’ll send you some if you want.

  83. Hi Joe,

    This will be my inaugural reply post – about time I guess! I’ve been reading your blog since around June of ’07 and really enjoy checking it out on a daily basis. I’m not really sure which accounts you check actively, so what’s a good email address to send an email to so that it might avoid a spam folder or the like? Anyhow, since I’m posting, I may as well ask a question for the mailbag (forgive me if it’s been asked before): How much does a typical full course meal run at the more upscale restaurants you enjoy?

  84. How will production be affected this season since you are not facing actor availability issues? Will you be able to film more linearly or will special effects require a different order?

    In early seasons, Weir called Chuck “Sergeant”. Is he Canadian military?

    Will we learn anything about Ronon’s parents? Is there a reason we’ve only heard about Teyla, McKay and Sheppard’s fathers and nothing about their mothers or is that an oversight?

    Any idea when SciFi will announce SGA’s season premier date?

    If you are interested in opinions of Larrin, I liked the concept – tough female leader who plays Sheppard. However, all the sexual innuendo made it difficult to take her seriously. Toned down a bit (like Vala), she could be a great character.

    Kudos on the character of Nancy Sheppard, BTW. She was done perfectly as were Ava and FRAn.

    Also, for the record, I think Keller and McKay are adorable together. In case you wanted opinions on that. 🙂 Of course, I liked Keller with Ronon too (lucky girl).

    The character interaction in S4 has been wonderful, and I look forward to it continuing in S5.

  85. Civ L’Ingénieur wrote:

    How much does a typical full course meal run at the more upscale restaurants you enjoy?

    As a regular reader, you must know Fuel is one of Mr. M’s favorite restaurants. They have a website complete with menus and prices. You can find it at http://www.fuelrestaurant.ca/.

    Anne Teldy

  86. Ahh, thanks Anne – should have thought to check there first I guess. Many restaurant sites I’ve checked out prior have only shown selections from the menu, devoid of prices. I don’t know why I’d never thought to see if Fuel even had a site before this! Anyhow, hope to see your SG-self die a horribly painful death soon 😉

  87. I must say, I find it rather odd that there was a complaint about season 4 of SG: A being somewhat like season 4 of Enterprise; every Enterprise fan I’ve ever met said that season 4 was exponentially better than any previous season. While I personally have no opinion of which season of Enterprise was better (I didn’t exactly take well to the pilot, but I’ve been meaning to give it another go since I kind of want to see the Reeves-Stevens penned eps), I must say that I’m personally really enjoying this season. It’s not to say it’s completely without flaws, but I’m finding it much easier to get into, more enjoyable to watch and more addictive than previous seasons (not that the last 3 seasons weren’t really fantastic too). *shrugs* That’s my two cents, anyway.

    In any case, I have two questions for you today, and oddly neither has to do with Stargate (although I can’t wait for the next Atlantis and I’m about to jump out of my skin waiting for Ark of Truth and Continuum). I’m a relative newbie to your blog, so I apologize if I end up asking the same question someone else already did.

    Question 1: Since you have fantastic taste in food, I was wondering if there was any restaurant or cafe or whathaveyou in the Ottawa area that you would recommend…?

    Question 2: I noticed that you co-wrote an episode of the Lost World with Paul Mullie a few years back (a personal fav of mine, actually), and I was curious how that came to pass.

    Thanks for the news about Daniel (yet more to look forward to!) and for posting the missing scene from “Trio” a few days back. 😀

    -Sheena

  88. Lou Anders wrote:

    I should point out that Elizabeth Bear is very definitely more than cyberpunk. She does alternate history, Norse fantasy, and, with Emma Bull, Will Shetterly and Sarah Monette has just launched this website:

    http://www.shadowunit.org/index.html

    Thanks very much for both the information and the link. That’s definitely an interesting site. From there I followed another link to Ms. Bear’s own website, read some of her comments about her writing, and looked through her bibliography. I’m eager to check out her fiction journal, but it’s already clear from your comment and the bibliography that I have more to look forward to reading from this author.

    Having calmed down a bit from my post-Wikiworld euphoria, I’d like to add to my comments on the story. As I recall, I said rather vaguely that “trendiness (among other things)” was the subject of Paul Di Filippo’s spoofery. I’d like to be more specific in stating my impression that he also – and more significantly – targeted (1) democracy taken to its absurd logical extreme, (2) capitalism run amok (plus its adjunct of overconsumption), and (3) the litigation mentality in its ultimate endgame, played out globally. All of these themes have been dealt with very seriously by numerous commentators, with varying degrees of pessimism and cynicism. Since I tend to be fairly pessimistic and cynical, I was a bit surprised to find that Di Filippo’s take on the whole stinkin’ mess never once let me quit laughing about it.

    So — and this is a question for Mr. Anders — I’m now wondering, “Is Di Filippo satirizing the doomsayers as much as everything else he skewers? And is there any other message I’m missing?”

    Also, I note that more than a few of my comments on the stories tend to emphasize negatives rather than positives. In view of that, I’d like to reiterate that my reading experience for Fast Forward 1 has been very enjoyable overall, and has now become even better after getting input from other readers that’s helped me with some concepts that were difficult for me.

  89. Civ L’Ingénieur wrote:

    Anyhow, hope to see your SG-self die a horribly painful death soon

    Me too! 😀

    Mr. M promised a memorable death. I’ve been trying to guess what the impetus for Lt. Anne Teldy’s demise will be. I’d hoped the episode title would give me a hint, but so far, “Whispers” hasn’t helped at all.

    Anne Teldy

  90. Shirt’n’tie said, My question to Lou is this: How exactly do you get a blend of “hard scifi” and “easier”scifi? Was this a difficult edition to edit?

    Easy. By inviting a blend of hard and soft SF writers! As I say in the guest blog post, I was aiming for a broad definition of SF (but only SF, no fantasy) in the Fast Forward series, so there would be a little taste of everything.

    Anon, good nurse said: So — and this is a question for Mr. Anders — I’m now wondering, “Is Di Filippo satirizing the doomsayers as much as everything else he skewers? And is there any other message I’m missing?”

    I don’t want to put words in Paul’s mouth, but yes. Paul is an amazing short story writer, in that everything he does is just like this and yet also like nothing else he’s ever written before. The thru-line is simply that every story is hysterical, mad and brilliant, and usually very cutting edge. His “God Pod” story for The Solaris Book of New Fantasy Volume 1, for example, in which the universe starts talking through everyone’s mobile handheld device… Oh, and I should add that “Wikiworld” is online in its entirety here if you want to share Paul’s gonzo goodness with a friend:

    http://www.pyrsf.com/chapters/Wikiworld/WikiWorld.htm

  91. Anne Teldy said: Mr. M promised a memorable death.

    I think your death and the loss of Ronon’s dreads could be a good match. Ronon could utter the lines, “Just a bit of a trim, thanks”, Anne Teldy the resident Atlantis hairdresser could mishear, and wackiness could ensue.

  92. Hey! I loved Midway. Just so ya know.

    Question! I feel I can say this and not give anything away since FOX official released this clip as a promo… when the Odyssey enters the supergate, we see the same wormhole visual effect that is used from travel between Milky Way gates (blue).

    Is this just a placeholder? One would imagine that if the wormhole effect is a certain way in one regular gate network, another way in a more recent one (green rather than blue), it would stand to reason that something as radically different as a SUPERgate would have a radically different wormhole effect.

    If it isn’t any different in the finished product, is there an in-canon speculative reason as to why the wormhole effect would remain the same? Thanks a bunch!! Don’t worry about disappointed, I’ll buy it either way. 😀

  93. Michael-sighting (no, I’m not talking about Michael Shanks, though he wouldn’t be bad either)…Squeee!

    Coming from a Mike/Teyla fan, thank you so much for “Kindred I.” I won’t ever complain about SGA, again (until next week, lol). Their scenes were not soap operish, it wasn’t mushy nor was it romantic. The story meshed in with stand-alone episodes in the past, it highlighted what I loved about Major Lorne (love Lorne with a passion, man) and it was true to the characterization of the show’s warrior woman and the rejected hybrid. The story was told well, and well performed by all parties.

    Thumbs up on this one, man. Thank you again (smile).

  94. Hi again *waving*,

    By the by, please make Michael the father of Teyla’s baby. Conner Trinneer and Rachel Lutrell could act the hell out of their scenes and turn that story into gold. And it would be so much more interesting than Kanan. Please o pretty please, make it come true…begging…I mean, I want it so bad, I’m actually a little afraid to post it on the boards now. And I know the only way Michael could have fathered her child would be without her consent…I know that…but it’s still a good story. And the actors are willing to pull out all the stops to tell it, so please…

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