“I’m surprised the dogs are still alive,”Fondy sarcastically murmured as she busied herself with the task at hand. I wanted to point out that, unlike the withered houseplants she was in the process of turfing, the dogs do a terrific job of reminding me whenever it’s time to feed them. “I can’t believe you forgot to water them,”she admonished. “I watered them!”I countered. “Yeah, only AFTER they were dead.” Well, she had me there. I made a mental note for next time: In addition to cleaning the house, don’t forget to –

1. Wash the car.

2. Make sure there is some cooking oil in the house (and the white truffle oil you use to garnish my butternut squash soup doesn’t count).

3. Check to make sure she remembers how to set the alarm after her six week absence so that you don’t have to turn the car around two-thirds of the way to your dining destination after receiving a call from ADT Security informing you that the home motion sensors have been tripped.

4. Open ALL mail (including anything addressed to her) and ensure the enclosed past due bills are paid up.

5. Water plants.

Things are back to normal. The dogs slept in their doughnut beds last night (except Jelly who opted for the laundry basket) and I slept straight through for the first time in recent memory. Great to see so many of you enjoyed The Last Man. There were a few who had problems with some aspects of the episode (fair enough), and there were two or three who thoroughly hated the episode but, sadly, didn’t possess either the intellect or the class to present a critique that wasn’t completely obnoxious.

By the way, they announced the nominees for this year’s Nebula Awards (to be presented in Austin, Texas April 25-27th). To check out the stories/novelettes/novellas in the running, go here:




and here:


I urge you to check them out – even if you only have time for a short story or two. The only thing it will cost you is a little time, and it’s a great way to discover new writers. Among the items in my last book shipment (see yesterday’s pic), were works from Kage Baker, Mike Resnick, and Tim Pratt – authors who would have remained off my radar were it not for my introduction to them through their terrific short fiction (Baker and Resnick[writing with Nancy Kress] in Fast Forward 1: Future Fiction from the Cutting Edge, edited by Lou Anders who was kind enough to drop in, talk shop, and answer your questions several weeks back –


 – and Tim Pratt as part of the past Hugo Awards nominees available online –http://josephmallozzi.com/2007/05/08/may-7-2007/

– and, by the way, Tim’s “Impossible Dreams” won in the Best Short Story Category). Paolo Bacigalupi’s Pump Six and Other Stories is also on order because of how much I enjoyed his “Yellow Card Man” (a Hugo Award nominee for Best Novelette) and “Small Offerings” (again, part of the Fast Forward 1 collection) [edited to correctly attribute “Small Offerings” to Paolo.  “WikiWorld”, as one astute reader of this blog pointed out, was written by Paul Di Filippo – whose Neutrino Drag and Steampunk Trilogy are also on order).

Speaking of reading, I’m a couple of hundred pages into Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss, the book that just missed out on being our next Book of the Month Club selection in the fantasy category. My advice to anyone looking to start a new novel: Pick this one! It’s a beautifully written, incredibly touching, thoroughly engrossing read. I’m blown away.

Another reminder about the upcoming Book of the Month Club discussions –

In the scifi category: Timescape by Gregory Benford. Discussion will begin April 7th.

In the horror category: F. Paul Wilson’s The Keep gets the nod. Discussion on this book will begin April 14th.

In the fantasy category: Jeffrey Ford’s Empire of Ice Cream. Discussion on this book will begin April 21st.

Who’s in?

And, yes, Squeakiep, you’re correct. The following line from my teaser poem “The death of a loved one spurs McKay into action” refers to The Last Man.

Today’s video: Director of Photography Jim Menard gives us the inside scoop on a scene from The Last Man.


Today’s mailbag:

MizMoose writes: “What authors or books would you recommend to someone like me who thinks she really should like SF but just can’t find something to love anymore?”

Answer: Like you, I have tried and failed to get into cyberpunk. However, some scifi titles I have enjoyed and recommended to people who enjoyed them just as much – Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, Player of Games and Consider Phlebas, both by Iain M. Banks, Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang, Camp Concentration by Thomas M. Disch, City of Pearl by Karen Traviss. Try these for starters and then let’s talk.

Penny writes: “It’s hard to see the books care to list them for us??”

Answer: Sure. Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff, Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan, Acacia by David Anthony Durham, The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman, In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker, The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari, Little Gods by Tim Pratt, New Gods for Old by Mike Resnick, Infoquake by David Louis Edelman, Dark Mondays by Kage Baker, Hart & Boot & Other Stories by Tim Pratt, Mother Aegypt and Other Stories by Kage Baker, Deadstock by Jeffrey Thomas, and How To Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion by Daniel H. Wilson.

Patricia writes: “I’ve just heard that you once showed up at an event dressed as Ba’al. Would you be willing to do that again at the Fuel dinner?”

Answer: Hmmm. I really had my heart set on that Daisy Duke outfit Vala wore in Bounty.

Ltcolshepjumper writes: “Can you be so kind as to possibly release the score for The Last Man? maybe on the DVD?”

Answer: Hey, I’d release a new DVD at the end of every season if it were up to me. I’m a big Joel Goldsmith fan. And speaking of Joel, I’m sure you’ll all agree he did a tremendous job on The Last Man. The score that accompanies Carter’s final battle is nothing short of extraordinary.

Slian Martreb writes: “Precisely how does holo-Rodney know what was going on with Ronon and Todd in the Wraith research lab? Before or after Ronon lost radio contact with his team? I mean, you know, what with Ronon being dead and all and so not in a position to actually tell anyone what happened?”

Answer: Precisely – he didn’t. This was a conversation we had in the room as the script was being written and we ultimately decided it would be a bit of a cheat, the conceit being that Rodney may have had this information relayed to him second-hand through the operatives who were with Ronon on the mission (and perhaps even overheard the exchange via whatever communications device they possessed prior to their heading through the gate). Or, what we are glimpsing is not so much McKay’s retelling of the events as he heard them as it is a flashback to the actual event.

amac251 writes: “With all the books you order (and read) what do you do with the majority of your books when you are finished with them? For some reason, I am not picturing your home as one huge library.”

Answer: It isn’t. My office is.

amac251 also writes: “I liked the foreshadowing you gave with Woolsey. Friends and I want to know if that was the ONLY foreshadowing. Will some elements of Rodney’s sad timeline actually happen?”

Answer: Unfortunately, the fact that we look so brilliant was quite by accident. At the time The Last Man was produced, we were assuming that Carter would still be commanding the Atlantis expedition in season 5. So, it wasn’t so much foreshadowing as an interesting coincidence. As for any of the sad elements in Rodney’s timeline actually happening. Hmmmm.

Patricia Lee writes: “Also, will Martin Wood be directing soon, or is he all tied up with Sanctury for All for season 5?”

Answer: Martin Wood is busy with Sanctuary. His schedule permitting, he may direct a couple of episodes for us in the back half of season 5.

Tba writes: “1) Do you have any idea how long the mid-season break of S5 will be?

2)Will the Asgard-database, or perhaps even Ba’al help to cure Carson? The Asgard were able to fix the O’neill clone in s7, and Ba’al doesn’t seem to have any cloning diseases.

3) Will the Genii be brought back in S5 – possibly an appearance of Sora, Ladon Radim or Kolya?

4) Can you PLEASE answer my questions?”

Answers: 1) Not quite yet. 2) Not all cloning tech is created equal. Also, you’re making the assumption that the issue with Carson is wholly related to the technology used to clone him and discount the possibility that Michael may have had a hand in ensuring his little creation not survive long without him.

Rza writes: “That it was Jennifer’s death that was too much for Rodney to bear and not… say, losing John?”

Answer: As someone has already pointed out, Jennifer’s death isn’t the only reason Rodney decides to try to undo the timeline. But it is the final straw. Prior to that, he considered the possibility that he could actually come up with a solution next to impossible. But, with Jennifer dead, the last positive thing in his life died with her and he was finally able to wholly commit himself to the seemingly impossible task.

98 thoughts on “March 9, 2008: Dead things! Free stories! And the mailbag is back!

  1. When you reference real life movies on the show (ex. Blades of Glory, etc.) do you need permission? Or is it a public domain thing?

    (I saw a similar question to this posted before, but I didn’t see it get answered.)

    Thanks, Jumper One.

    P.S. Last Man was awesome!

  2. The next time she leaves, Fondy could do what my husband does when he leaves for more than a day or two. You’d think he doesn’t trust in our common sense or something! You’d think we just sit around, watch TV and eat junk food when he’s gone! Oh, right…well, we’ve never forgotten to feed the cat or the dogs. Not more than one meal a day, anyway.

  3. Answer:….As for any of the sad elements in Rodney’s timeline actually happening. Hmmmm.

    evil, evil man.

    Well, out of the ‘sad’ things that happen, I’m pretty sure that Teyla doesn’t really die, or Ronon, or Sam, or Keller…so that leaves…


    (should I start the ‘save Todd’ campaign now… 😛 )

    LOVE your new ‘to do’ list – it’s EXACTLY why I don’t leave my husband alone for more than 12 hours at a time.



  4. Hey there, Joe.

    How are you doing? That’s funny about the dogs. Men…

    I just wanted to say that overall, I really enjoyed Season 4. It had some really nice character moments and character episodes.

    I think my biggest problem with it, however, were the numerous episodes that featured only a fraction of the team. And that was, most of the season, I think. I realize that was partly due to some unexpected gifts and issues with the actors, and I still think they were excellent episodes, I just miss the team a lot. It’s funny because I love it when the individual characters have something significant happen to them, but I’ve discovered it means little (to me) when the rest of the team isn’t there to experience that event. Like with Missing and Trio, both of them had some excellent moments for Teyla or Rodney, but no one else from the team was there to witness it. I don’t know.. it just didn’t have as big of an impact for me.

    Again, I thought everything was still really great, but that was my major issue when looking back on it.

    Will season 5 focus more on the team?

    Wonderful year and very nicely done on all parts!

    Oh, one last thing that I doubt you can answer: will Search and Rescue focus on Sheppard a little more? Just wondering because it doesn’t look like any of the other epsiodes of the first half of the season don’t seem to have a lot to do with him..


  5. Congratulations on a return to “normality”, thank you for the links about the Nebula awards, and a double thanks for a new mailbag. No doubt Fondy will come up with a detailed checklist for you next time, which will promptly disappear under a fresh batch of books-to-be-read. Words to be dreaded when uttered by yourself. Hmmmmm. Truthfully, not dreaded. We fans do love to see our heroes tortured. Now, who and when? Finally, you mentioned “if it were up to you” you’d see about an album of Goldsmith’s soundtracks. Who is it up to? I’m more than ready to pester the appropriate PTB for a new release or ten.

  6. joe said: “As for any of the sad elements in Rodney’s timeline actually happening. Hmmmm.”

    touch sam and i’ll train your dogs to eat ALL your chocolate! yes, i’m going to the evil end to ensure sam’s safety!!

    sally 😛

  7. Man…I’m still trying to get over the Awesomeness of The Last Man. Seriously, I think it may just be my new favorite episode of Stargate Atlantis. You guys did an absolutely spectacular job with what is essentially not a BIG episode per se. There were great CGI moments, but those were few and far between, and so much was spent on the characters instead, showing their growth, their suffering, and all that good stuff. It’s pretty hard to describe exactly how I’m feeling towards this episode, but I think I did my best with it with the following:

    “”And we buried another empty casket.”

    You know, I just rewatched the scene where Sam dies, and the sombre and subdued pans around an empty, reddened Atlantis afterwards…and just…reliving the entire episode…I think this may be my favorite Atlantis episode of all time. The thoughts it inspires in me just pushes it over the top. I mean, no SG1 or Atlantis episode have done this; I’ve always, usually, enjoyed them, wrote a review of them, then went about my day as usual, but this episode really did a number on me.

    There is something to be said about these quiet, sad episodes. When you really connect with the characters, their pain is yours; you think them real. At this point, I am SO glad it wasn’t a traditional, [major] plot-forwarding, big-action episode. It would’ve been fun, but no way would it have been this impacting on me.

    Well done cast and crew at Bridge. Well done.”

    ^I posted that on Gateworld. I had to write *something*, just because my mind was still buzzing with the episode. And yes, I’ll have to echo your thoughts on Joel’s score. Absolutely marvelous. Any chance you can pull some strings and get a soundtrack released? I’ll support you and Joel and whoever’s involved with it all the way if you decide to go for it, and I have a strong feeling that I won’t be alone. Just…damn, that was awesome.

    One more try: Amort = episode title of Season 5 – yes or no?

  8. Last Man was an awesome episode! But I was wondering about Beckett. Was he ever cured and lived out the rest of his life? Was taken out of the stasis chamber when everyone left Atlantis or was he still there 48,000 years later?

  9. A couple of questions: What do you personally feel worked in season 4 on the whole? What did you think did not? I’m just curious because you say your thoughts on individual episodes sometimes but what about the season as a whole?

    Also as I’m sure you know the Ark of Truth will be shown on Sky One in the UK before the UK DVD release, do you know if Sci-Fi were approached about showing the film before the US release? Or did MGM want to keep the film DVD exclusive in NA?

    and lastly did The Last Man come in long for time as well? As some people I have been talking to were wondering if the reason we didn’t see Shepard get out of the Status chamber and dial Atlantis is because the episode was long. Can you confirm or deny this?


  10. I understand Torri will not be back in season 5, and as much as I am saddened to hear that I respect her descision. I was just wondering if you think the way the story-line for the Replicators will go will be good enough and will still flow, if that makes sense, without her after we saw her at the end of Be All My Sins Remember’d? It seems odd to show her and then have to cut her out.

  11. It’s amazing all the things you forget to do when you’re not being reminded about them. I managed to kill several of my sisters plants when she went away for two weeks, but amazingly didn’t kill her rabbits that she left me babysitting, mainly because like you’re pugs they reminded me everytime I went near them that they wanted food.

    Are we going to get a writers run down on Last Man? I noticed that the writing credit was for you and Paul and you’ve done such a good job with the rest of the eps you’ve written this year, it would be nice to see how Last Man has changed from script to screen.

    Oh, and just to clarify my comments from the past post, I thought that Act 5 of Last Man was more like the tease from Search and Rescue than it was the end of an episode. I loved the rest of the story, very moving and very sad.

  12. I always forget to water flowers. It drives my husband crazy, and it is probably why he rarely brings me any.

    On The Last Man. There were lots of parts I liked, but overall the flashbacks didn’t work for me. It felt like I was reading a story that was in the wrong tense. Sometimes I like flashbacks, but sometimes they don’t just don’t jive for me. It also really bothered me that future-Rodney didn’t even mention Carson and how the stasis thing worked out. It was implied, but I still expected him to say something. Overall it felt like a very low-key episode for a finale.

    Not that I didn’t like the episode. McKay and Sheppard banter is always a plus for me. I also like the idea of Keller and McKay.

    I notice a lot of people saying she’s too easy, but isn’t she just a female version of John? If someone were to call Jennifer easy, wouldn’t they have to call Sheppard easy as well? Personally, I think Keller is an enjoyable and mostly real character and I look forward to seeing her next season. Any chance of more romance between her and Rodney or Ronon or anyone else? Maybe now that John knows that Rodney and Jennifer could have worked out as a couple he’ll prod Rodney into asking her out?

    I have to admit I’m a little bit worried about how Woolsey was portrayed in Last Man. What kind of leader will he be for Atlantis next season? Under the circumstances of the new time line, will he have a chance to shine as a leader, or will he be overly cautious? Can’t wait to find out!

  13. In the scene where old Mckay talks to Gen. Lorne, he says, “You saw what happened in Pegasus; you know what’s happening here.” What did he mean by “you know what’s happening here”?

  14. Ltcolshepjumper Said:
    In the scene where old Mckay talks to Gen. Lorne, he says, “You saw what happened in Pegasus; you know what’s happening here.” What did he mean by “you know what’s happening here”?

    Yes – I’d like to know this, too!! Will this be something revealed later in S5, or is it just to be left up to our imaginations, gleaned from what little is revealed in the show?


  15. *psst* I know everyone is busy with season 5, but would it be at all possible for the schedule to leave Martin Gero free the weekend of April 12th to come to Philadelphia for the screening of Young People Fucking? Really – is there any chance at all?

  16. I remember reading/hearing somewhere that when SG-1 was going into season 9 they didn’t think Atlantis would go as long as 7 seasons much less 9 or 10. Do you have a plan as to when to end SGA? Could season 5 potentially the last season? Or will SGA stay on the air as long as Sci-Fi keeps ordering seasons? Do you have an end in mind for the series?

  17. First post ever!!!^^

    I have HOW TO SURVIVE A ROBOT UPRISING and the sequel(kind of) WHERE’S MY JETPACK?: A guide to the amazing science fiction future that never arrived. The latter being the better of the two in my mind!!!

    I’m sure you will find the humour to your liking!!!^^
    UPRISING being more then a little doom’s day and big brother and it’s not fiction!!!

    Anyway nice to see Fondy back and that the dog’s are finally back in their place so to speak!

    Last Man was great!!!Have you ever had the idea to do a episode on a side character? And do you think any of the line’s from this years poem will not come true? Kind of like the whole Mckay baby bit from the last one!!!^^

  18. Does Fondy like to read as much as you do?

    I always have a book at hand (with a few lined up ready and waiting). It’s a good thing that my hubs like to read as much as I do …

  19. I haven’t had the chance to weigh in on the final episode for season 4. I have to say that the way Carter gave her life (in the alternate timeline, of course) was quite moving. That was a real hero’s death. Not that the others weren’t, but for someone who has been around in the Stargate universe as long as Sam you deserve to go out big. That push in on Sam’s face was awesome. And yeah, the music was simply perfect.

    Rodney and Jennifer actually made a pretty cute couple. Hope we’ll see some more of that develop.

    The whole episode was fantastic. My only quibble was the building collapse at the end. The CGI shot just didn’t sell it for me. But that is only a tiny, tiny, tiny complaint. 😉 Congrats on one hell of a season. You and the rest of the cast and crew did an outstanding job. Glad I don’t have long to wait for season 5!

  20. Wow, thank you for all the links to the Nebula stories/novellas! And thank you for an entertaining season 4.

  21. The score that accompanies Carter’s final battle is nothing short of extraordinary.

    Absolutely. And now, ironically enough, it sounds like a sort of valedictory theme for Col. Samantha Carter’s brief but distinguished tenure as Director and Commander of Joint Operations, Atlantis. My mind has been revisiting that part of the episode very frequently, undoubtedly in large part because the music has helped fix it in my memory – but also because the entire sequence was spectacular.

    A lot of things keep popping back up in my mind: Ronon’s rueful look when he sees Todd’s knife placed to kill, then his “vengeance is sweet” smile right before he sets off the C4 that kills both of them while taking out one of Michael’s ships. Loved that – the implacable Wraith-hater becoming allies with one in their last few minutes of life – as well as the entire panoply of characters, however long they were onscreen. And I loved that there was still room for humor, and that we saw Zelenka as Rodney likely thinks about him.

    I felt that characterization throughout was brilliant, with the possible exception of a few exchanges between McKay and Shep that seemed slightly off-balance for one reason or another – once, because it looked like Joe F. was anticipating his lines rather than reacting to David H.’s delivery. Small things, and not enough to keep me from giving “The Last Man” a tie for first place with “Rising” on my own list of favorite eps.

    – My sympathies to Fondy on her dead plants, and to you for inadvertently killing them. Before hubs and I were married, I wound up killing the entire population of his aquarium by turning off the A/C in his apartment in July while he was out in L.A. on business. Had no clue what I was doing to the creatures . . . was very grateful he didn’t bear a grudge over it.

    (PS: Paolo Bacigalupi wrote “Small Offerings” for FF1; Paul Di Filippo wrote “Wikiworld.”)

  22. Hey, Joe! Any chance you’re going to be reading Thirteen soon? I’ve been meaning to read it for awhile and have heard good things, but college is leaving me very little time to read for fun. But I’d like to hear what you think of it! Hope you’re doing well,

  23. On the April BOTM selection, I’m in for Timescape (actually found it in one of my regular book stores), and I want to read The Keep and Empire of Ice Cream, online ordering/shipping permitting. And the contingency question…

    If I don’t get The Keep and Empire of Ice Cream in time for the discussions, could I weigh in my thoughts at a later date?

  24. Joe said: Answer: Precisely – he didn’t. This was a conversation we had in the room as the script was being written and we ultimately decided it would be a bit of a cheat, the conceit being that Rodney may have had this information relayed to him second-hand through the operatives who were with Ronon on the mission (and perhaps even overheard the exchange via whatever communications device they possessed prior to their heading through the gate). Or, what we are glimpsing is not so much McKay’s retelling of the events as he heard them as it is a flashback to the actual event.

    To be honest, that isn’t really a good answer.

    dasNdange said more or less the same thing in response to my comment- I’m gonna take a stab at this, someone will correct me if I’m wrong, I’m sure. The way I take it is this: Rodney tells Sheppard the ‘facts’ of the battle – WHAT happened… (Ronon meets Todd in the lab, the two decide to work together, Ronon’s men escape, lab blows up, neither man nor Wraith are seen alive thereafter)… while we, the audience, get to see the details of HOW it happened. (Afterall, this wasn’t one of those ‘perspective’ episodes, where we see 5 different versions of what happened, all from different standpoints. So, I’m assuming the audience gets to see what really happened, while Sheppard is left with just the known facts surrounding Ronon’s death.)

    To@ dasNdange: I just felt that that stuck out from the real Rodney’s knowing/seeing that John didn’t come back, seeing Teyla’s dead body and then seeing Keller die. I can deal with his ‘imagining’ of Sam’s death because they knew she crashed the ship and that she would have been on deck. Not much to imagine and very factual. With Ronon, we go from being told a story of facts and his actual experience to guessing.

  25. Whoops. Hit ‘enter’ there before I mean to.

    What I was going to say, in addition to my original response to dasNdange is that you have to choose one. Either holo-Rodney is telling us things he actually knows (which doesn’t explain away knowing that Todd and Ronon had knives to each other’s throats once all the other operatives left the lab, or what was spoken after they gated back) or we’re seeing events as they actually happened (to which, then, the holo-Rodney doesn’t provide a good means of telling us). If we were seeing events as they happened, the story should have been told more from the Atlantis POV, rather than the Sheppard POV of being told what happened.

    Let’s be honest, all of the SGA writers are far too good to give yourselves, in your words ‘a bit of a cheat.’

    Also: my sister would like to know if we’re ever actually going to see animals on screen in Pegasus. Specifically, the leopard skin that was part of the Wraith queen’s outfit.

  26. With respect to the idea of Keller being easy, wouldn’t those people have to say the same for Carter and all her romances? I find it interesting that there’s this double standard between life and TV. Serial dating and sleeping around seems ok in popular culture. But when a female character kisses (or almost kisses) a guy once, and then later on when that guy has left her behind, finds love with someone else, some people find fault with her? A whole two guys to speak of. Seems inconsistent to me.

    In any case, I really enjoyed the season finale. Can’t wait until season 5! Sorry if you’ve answered this already, but any idea when the season will start up again?


  27. With respect to the idea of Keller being easy, wouldn’t those people have to say the same for Carter and all her romances?

    I find it interesting that there’s this double standard between life and TV. Serial dating and sleeping around seems ok in popular culture. But when a female character kisses (or almost kisses) a guy once, and then later on when that guy has left her behind, finds love with someone else, some people find fault with her? A whole two guys to speak of. Or it’s ok for one character to have multiple romances, but not for another. Seems inconsistent to me.

    In any case, I really enjoyed the season finale. Can’t wait until season 5! Sorry if you’ve answered this already, but any idea when the season will start up again?


  28. Thanks for listing the Titles/Authors of the books in your latest shipment. Unfortunately, I never managed to lay my hands on a copy of Fast Forward 1: Future Fiction from the Cutting Edge. However, I have enjoyed listening to short stories by Tim Pratt, Mike Resnick and Nancy Kress on a great little podcast called Escape Pod. (Especially Impossible Dreams by Tim Pratt) If you enjoy hearing great science fiction read aloud, check it out.



  29. I personally loved Last Man. I think that it raised some interesting questions, such as whole do you have the right to change the past aspect. I also really love how it showed how much the team meant to each other and how the loss of one can affect them all so much.

    I never would have guess that Rodney and Keller would get together, but I loved it.

    I cannot wait for the next season and what happens after the apparent deaths or Sheppard, Rodney, Ronon, and Lorne.

  30. Thank you for reminding us about Joel Goldsmith; the one thing I was thinking toward the end of the battle sequence was how awesome the music was. A soundtrack would be so awesome, but I guess that’s a decision for TPTB? And if so, have you any say in it at all? Maybe some influence?

  31. Joe,

    Did McKay give Shepard his 25 years of calculations to take back?

    I think he would have! All he has to do is download it on chip and make sure Shepard grabs it on his way out.

    I’m a thinken that might be one reason we didn’t send Shepard wake up and all. It leaves a opening.

    We don’t know what or if McKay gave more information to Shepard to take back with…

    Great season totally enjoyed it! Great ride!

  32. Hey Joe!

    You also forgot the following on your list:

    6) Water the Plants

    7) Water the Plants

    8) Water the Plants

    9) Trim the Plants

    10) Fertilize the Plants

    11) Water the Plants

    12) ???

    13) Profit!


    I have a curious question. With a name like ‘Phoenix’, is there a secret meaning to the ship’s name? As we know the Phoenix is the mythological bird that rose from ashes, so it sounds like you guys have something up your sleeve. 😉

    Thanks again, and I love that image of the dogs!

    – Enzo Aquarius

  33. Hi Joe, I just wanted to say like many I loved The Last Man. I especially liked how you wrote a time travel story that didn’t actually make my head hurt. And that’s not easy.

    I also just wanted to say, that I love the character Todd. Between he and Michael you have two of the strongest recurring characters I’ve seen on a show in years, and the scene with him and Ronan was just amazing. I hope there will be more with Todd in future.

    I also really liked your ‘Old Hologram McKay’. He was exactly how I’d expect a older Rodney would be. He would still get frustrated, but there was a wiser, calmer presence about him.

    Kudos on a great finale, and overall a really strong season 4!

  34. When your houseplants die from neglect, get tougher houseplants. My past housesitters haven’t done a good job with my plants, leaving wilted survivors behind. What remains is a selection of extremely hardy, wildly overgrown and scraggly plants. Not so pretty, but very, very tough. I’m expecting them to begin sporting ink and switcblades.

    I wouldn’t trust my hubby a week with the house. The animals would be fine, but he can’t sort mail to save his life. Online banking and automatic withdrawals, that’s the ticket. He does dishes, trash and laundry (eek) and even shops with a list and coupons, but he has left the cash management to me for so long I don’t think he has a clue about our bills. Just hand your paycheck over to Fondy, she knows best, I have no doubt about it.

  35. Hello, Why did Michael kill Teyla instead of making her a hybrid? I would think she would be a powerful and strong hybrid warrior. I guess he wanted more than just her baby but her senseless death.

  36. Glad Fondy’s back and that the dogs lived with her absence – even if the plants didn’t survive.

    I pretty much liked The Last Man. Of course, what I liked most was all the stuff between Sheppard and McKay and that things went to ‘hell’ when Sheppard disappeared. I was hoping we’d get to see what happened when Sheppard got out of stasis and his run to the gate. Was that thought about or written then cut for time?

    What I didn’t so much like was the McKay/Keller. I can understand, and it even made a whole lot of sense in the way it was brought up – they were the only two left, and you do tend to hold on to what’s left. But eh, I don’t want to see it continued. For an AU where everyone died – yea, I agree, interesting. But lets not continue that. I want to see the future CHANGED.

    Also, before McKay left Atlantis, he argued John wasn’t dead, just sent forward in time… wasn’t he working on something then to get him back? had he already given up? Sad that.

    I liked how the AU death’s came down, and they made sense – Ronon would go out fighting – and with Todd (that was pretty well done), Carter would take out as many as she could. Sad for Telya and I can see the idiots on Earth (IOA) wanting to pull back. After all, its a whole galaxy that is not theirs, why fight?

    I would have liked to see more of the future stuff really, and have Sheppard returned at the end of the episode – so that the whole rescue wasn’t ALSO thrown in. Which is where I think you ran out of time.

    So, anyway, Thank you for a Great Season 4. I’m going to really miss my Sci-Fi Friday parties we’ve had. And thank you for going out with an episode heavy for Sheppard and McKay.

    I’m hoping for TEAM episodes in Season 5. Pretty Please? And lots more Sheppard and McKay banter too 🙂

  37. @ Slian Martreb – I felt that all the flashbacks were just that – flashbacks. Some more detailed than others, but flashbacks nonetheless. We – the audience – were seeing what really happened.

    A good example of this is when Rodney says he didn’t know whether or not Zelenka was there, and we see Zelenka giving Rodney coffee. So, if the stories were ONLY Rodney’s retelling of events, Zelenka would not have been in that scene. The fact that he is indicates that we are seeing actual flashbacks, and not just Rodney’s version of the story.

    That’s how I’m accepting it, at least…just makes the episode more meaningful that way.

    Regarding Keller – Poor gal, she just can’t get a break. She got cozy – for a moment – with Ronon after an ordeal. Stuff like that happens. She asks Rodney out for a drink, again – after an ordeal. A brief warming to a co-worker after a stressful situation does not a strumpet make.

    However, Teyla’s been running around for most of the season pregnant, and no one questions that… 😉

    Just sayin’. I think the Keller bashing is a bit silly. Give her a chance to develop and be a part of the show. Besides, my husband thinks she’s hot…so, as long as she’s around for him to drool over, he doesn’t mind me drooling over the creepy green guys… 😀

    Go Keller! (I also liked her very much with Rodney in TLM – I think their personalities compliment one another…wouldn’t mind seeing something develop there, even though I am NOT a fan of romance in shows…or books…or movies. I prefer stuff blowing up. 😛 )


  38. didn’t possess either the intellect or the class to present a critique that wasn’t completely obnoxious.

    uhuh..are they aware of ‘constructive criticism’.. dunno. Can they rub two neurons together?

    As for the dying plants.. solve that by buying some niiice silk ones for her to say sorry.. they’re more expensive but even you can’t kill them Joe. They just need dusting once in a while.

    Thanks for the link to the free reads. I probably will check them out 🙂

  39. 1. I know you said that you guys were planing a major shep whump episode and I was just wondering if you found a home for it yet, you know somthing to look foreward too!!
    2. You had said you had photos of search and rescue which you would post after the last man, please please post them, also can I hope for a healthy dose of shep whump in that episode to hold me and all those like me over. thanks.

  40. Excuse me as I go non-verbal at the RUBBER DUCKIE and directions that ‘Bubbles, etc.’ be included in McKay’s bathtub! Just… yeah.

    I really, really enjoyed The Last Man. I cried (you were right, and tissues were acquired pre-viewing as per your advice), but it was worth it (though, I would be interested to know why you all chose to end it where you did, instead of a) before John came back or b) right as John said ‘I know where Teyla is’–but I expect we’ll know more about that after our dreaded wait is over and we see the second part), very, very worth it. Loved the hair, loved the Keller/McKay, and I especially loved the goodbye Sam gave Rodney, especially for the fact that he didn’t realize it WAS a goodbye until much, much later.

    Most of all I loved DH’s performance, and I just want to thank you guys for writing something with so much depth to it, so we could all enjoy watching David knock it out of the park, yet again.

    Much love,

  41. Oops, forgot you’d asked “Who’s in?” for the upcoming BOTM discussions. I’ll be done with Timescape, so look forward to the discussion on that.

    I’m getting Name of the Wind based solely on your compelling review. Thanks much for that, and for all your links to speculative-fiction works and related events. It’ll be a pleasure to check them out.

    *tries to picture Joe as Daisy Duke* I’d give almost anything to see how you, Trey, and Matt would do that up for South Park. I’d probably have to be committed for frequent, inappropriate outbursts of hysterical laughter.

  42. Thank you for yesterdays art department pics, McKay’s fangirls have discovered them and have now provided me with hours of amusement.
    They particularly like the rubber ducky!
    Please also pass along my thanks to the art department for the always fantastic artwork.

  43. I just gotta hand it to everyone involved with Atlantis in season 4 – esp The Last Man. It is right up there along with the 2eps that hooked me and made me such a huge fan of the show (The Storm and The Eye).

    David H’s delivery of some of his lines (“I’m sorry some of these stories didn’t have a happier ending” and “..and we buried another empty casket”) were just gold. He is just amazing and by tone of voice alone he brought tears to my eyes. Quality.

    RE: some people’s disagreement with the whole Ronan/Todd thing – if you listen to what he says during Sam’s final battle, he says something along the lines of “she must have lost the transport system” – but the screen didn’t actually show her even attempting to get off the ship. Rodney gave his own perception of what he thought she would have done in those final moments (what he would have done maybe?) Note also, there was no Rodney voice over during the whole Ronan/Todd thing on the ship. Obviously there was no way Rodney could have known what happened (beyond what Ronan’s men could tell him) so they didn’t write Rodney lines for it. Perfectly done in my opinion and a method used by movie and tv writers alike since pretty much forever. It seems to me to be a standard story telling practise when re-telling a story with details they couldn’t possibly know. Happens ALL the time. Some do it better than others, and I think in this episode it was done perfectly. What would you have preferred – hearing rodney say “he told his men to leave without him. we never heard from him again so we assumed he died when the lab exploded.” or the way it was shown? much more powerful the way it was actually done and how many of you would have felt even more cheated if it was done the other way? I know i would have!

    And Rodney/Keller – beautiful. After Trio I was not really there for the Rodney/Keller ship, but after The Last Man- I can see it now. Very heartbreaking, very poignant, and set’s it up nicely as the final straw for Rodney to get him to start on his life’s work.

    Very powerful episode – I loved it.
    Can’t wait for the DVD set to come out. I think i’m gonna love listening to the Audio Commentaries for several of the eps from this season.

    Again a job well done to everyone involved. Brilliant!

  44. Joe,
    I understand about the dead plants. I forget to water the plants all the time – and I’m the one who buys them in the first place. My husband is convinced that plants have feelings because he says he can hear them scream in the garden store when I come near. His nickname for me is Morticia!

    Ooo – Joe Haldeman’s Accidental Time Travel – I think I’ll pick that one up. The Forever War is one of my all time favorites.

    Two questions:
    1) Was the last scene in Trio with Keller and McKay specifically written as a way to set up the possibility of a McKay/Keller relationship in The Last Man? Looking back, it seems like a clever piece of foreshadowing.
    2) Will the writers be hinting at/exploring/teasing us with the possible development of a McKay/Keller relationship in Season 5?

  45. Does the I.O.A ever send troops from countries like england or china or anywhere else on earth other than the U.S.?

  46. The Last Man was by far my favourite episode of the Stargate franchise so far. It was just incredible.

    The stark, red, burnt out Atlantis, old!Rodney and John bantering like usual, every regular character getting their own little storyline,and each one making me bawl.

    Teyla’s death was by far the saddest, because she didn’t go out fighting like the others. And in a way Rodney’s living is sadder than all the rest, because he had to go on while everything he loved and believed in was taken away. I’m glad that version of him at least found love (and a great hug with Sam!). I was very pleasantly surprised to see Kate Hewlett, and I hope we see her again in season 5!

    Now that season 4 is over I can definitely say that it was my favourite so far, which is surprising since I say that about every season. Every season feels to me like the show can’t get any better, then it does!! Season 5 already looks good if we get McKay in a bathtub 😉

  47. I was wondering if there are plans to rebuild the Midway station. That way Caldwell wouldn’t be relegated to being the intergalactic mailman.
    Also, leave Keller alone. Seriously, all you haters need to find something else to gripe about.

  48. Shudda invested in kleenex! Had to view The Last Man 4 times to get the impact and of course each time was so sad. WOW, the threads were mesmerizing. As someone else noted – this time line stuff as presented in TLM did not provide headaches. However, it was both heart and gut wrenching as it unfolded. sigh.

    Meanwhile – if the writers can make the characters happy in the “STORY” – go for it. It was beautiful between Keller and McKay; and heart wrenching.

    In case there is any doubt – I loved the episode!

    Looking forward to more – darn – the wait.

    And, awwwww, the cute bow wows look tired and worn out.

  49. Incredible work on The Last Man! Now vying with “The Eye” for my Best Atlantis Episode Ever title.

    Even thought I am of the small, but enthusiastic, community of Rodney/Teyla shippers, I didn’t mind McKay/Keller. I thought it was sweet and poignant. And I felt that it was implicit that losing Jennifer was the last straw for Rodney, not the whole reason for him changing the timeline.

    Joe Flanigan and David Hewlett getting to play off each other with a mixture of tragedy and comedy is always gold.

    Joel Goldsmith’s score was amazing. MGM really needs to put out some kind of recording with his best scores from the shows, maybe The Stargate Suite. I can barely wait to hear what he achieves for Ark of Truth.

  50. I had to send a quick message, “The Last Man” was AWESOME! By far one of the best episodes I have seen.

    By the way, I have had a question for some time- why havent they brought Zat’s and staff weapons to Atlantis? While the Wraith stunners are “local” the Zat’s and staff weapons are easier to handle (and a heck of a lot cooler). Also, where are all of the Alteran hand weapons? (Not that the show is necessarily about weaponry, but it kinda bugs me everytime I see an episode where they take a big, bulky wraith stunner along…)

    Once again, GREAT job on “The Last Man”!


  51. Dear Joe,

    I’m more coherent now to tell you that I enjoyed the finale. Loved seeing how bad the Lanteans experiment with Michael has come back to bite them in the ass.

    Normally, I dislike any story where a character travels in time so that they can change history. Usually, I feel the writers make the characters comes off as selfish and self-righteous to think they can decide what is better for the future. The universe is big and time is infinite, who is to say what they do is right? I haven’t seen it handled well. However, The Last Man doesn’t hit on that problem because Rodney was in fact fixing the timeline by sending John back to his proper time, while giving him important info. So I think this time- traveling story worked great and was done well. So congratulations! You’ve came up with the first time-traveled story I really liked.

    Things I really love: The future shots of the Atlantis interior. I also loved the lights turning off and on as Sheppard walked through the hallways.

    The character developments: 1. I love that we got to see how each character has grown. With Sam, we got to see how much she cares about Rodney and that they’ve become friends. That she loves him enough and remembers that this is Mckay, so she reminds him to wish her good luck. And I loved that moment. That Rodney is still Rodney, not all with it to social interactions, but knowing what to say. But also at that moment he’s distracted by the fear that he’s likely to lose her now, and yet he knows he can’t stay with her.

    2. I found Ronon’s segment to be the best. And not just because I adore Todd! He left Atlantis and started an army! Instead of going all lone wolf because of his past as a Runner, he tried to make a difference and got other Pegasus natives to help. It harkens back to his youth in the Satedan military. Also, as someone who has every right to hate the Wraith, it was wonderful to see him trust Todd in battle. It shows that he can overcome his hate and also that he realizes that this Wraith is very much the lesser evil, and not an average Wraith.

    It’s ironic that Ronon died with Todd. Yet fitting. A Satedan and a Wraith. They’ve both suffered at the hands of each other’s species. Both who do everything they could to survive and protect their own, in the end ready to die. The “are we done?” line was gut-wrenching. And Ronon, who previously was unable to kill Todd due to orders, now does but under the circumstance of sacrifice!

    Here’s hoping for more Todd! And loved the duo’s knife combat!

    Oh, and I had no problem with Mckay knowing how that went down. I assume that the soldier who gave the C-4 to Ronon reported the conversation between Ronon and Todd to Mckay. Based on the soldier’s description of Todd, Mckay put two and two together. (Do I get a no-prize? 🙂 )

    Loved seeing Lorne as the head of the SGC.

    And I thought Teyla and Keller’s death was tragic. Keller’s because she and Mckay finally had a normal, and good life. But because of all her humanitarian efforts in PG, she died. Teyla’s death was tragic because she died all alonek, helpless, and unable to make a difference. Teyla who is the character that we’ve come to expect to be always surrounded by people who care for her, or for her to go down fighting. She’s also the one who is most invested ridding the galaxy of the Wraith. In the end, she couldn’t do anything.

    Loved the spin on “being one step behind.” Instead, the Lanteans are too early, again! It’s like their intel is too good.

    Couple of things I didn’t like though.

    I’m not liking this trend of treating Zelenka with flippant disregard. Isn’t he also one of Rodney’s best friend and closest colleague? Rodney’s line about Zelenka on the Phoenix makes me think that either Rodney doesn’t think much of him, or that he’s taking Zelenka’s friendship for granted and hasn’t learned to value it yet.

    I also don’t like seeing Teyla this helpless. She’s suppose to be a kickass like Ronon, it’s odd that she shows no sign of putting up a fight. I hope now that Rachel has had her baby that Teyla’ll be more pro-active now.

    And it bothered me when John hesitated to change the past just because Rodney finally got the girl and be happy for awhile. I always think a character is disturbed in the head if they are willing to sacrifice many lives just so that one important person could be happy. So I thought it was a bit out-of-character for John to weigh all those lives lost to Michael against Rodney’s growth and happiness with Jennifer.

    Finally, two things I’m afraid of: I hope Lorne isn’t in danger of dying soon for irony’s sake! And I hope the Hologram Rodney was an actual hologram. It occurred to me that maybe it could be Rodney ascended. I rather prefer the idea that Rodney worked relentlessly, just him and his intellect, to fix things and to create the hologram program.

    Great work! Can’t wait for S5!

  52. Hey Joe,

    I rewatched The Last Man and guess what? I still love it! it’s just an awesome episode and season finale. oh and this time I paid special attention to Joel’s score, it’s amazing. WOW! especially when Sam dies…*sobs*

    so The Kindred Part 1 got a 1.2 rating. that’s not bad considering it sets up Part 2. I’m sure folks were interested in Part 2 and what happened to Carson. let’s hope for a 1.3 🙂

    you forgot to water the plants? see that’s why I don’t have any…LOL

  53. I would also like to point out that Rodney says “That’s when I got my idea” not “That’s when I got some motivation to change things.” Which, to me, are largely different things. I would have a problem with him deciding to change the world too soon, as in, why didn’t he try it everytime something goes wrong?

    Whatever made him get the idea did not have to coincide with the desire to change all the bad things that happened. I think that after he got the idea and believed that he could change everything, he became obsessed. I think if he had gotten the idea sooner, he would have been equally obsessed. But it’s more heartbreaking after the last of his team dies. Well, anyhow, that’s how I’m explaining it to my brain and I’m sticking to it.

  54. If I hadn’t lost my tear ducts in a poker game the week before I would have been weeping like a bucket of hungry babies while watching The Last Man. Such an excellent episode. I laughed, I failed to cry but made sad faces, I perched at the edge of my seat in glee. If David H ever wants to make a bit of extra money he could hire himself out for children’s parties and depress the crap out of them.

    Loved season four. Very much looking forward to the next one.

  55. I need to make an additional comment. (I can’t believe I forgot to talk about Todd!)

    I loved that you included Todd! And that the flashback was an affirmation of what we’ve seen of his character so far. That he is unlike the rest of the Wraith. In that he does have an honor code, he prefers stealth as opposed to brute force, he’s willing to put aside differences and respect the humans, and he can recognize a common cause. And he carries a knife! I don’t remember any other Wraith doing that. Then again, it’s practical given the threat of the hybrids it would be wise to carry a weapon that doesn’t just stun. Good thinking. Loved the combat!

    And I love that he shows once again that, though he fights to preserve himself, he’s accepting of his death when it appears. I think both he and Ronon are quite aware of the irony of their situation. Loved Ronon’s final grin!

    In a way, it’s also a call-back to Todd’s plight in Common Ground. Instead of fighting to get out, he’s fighting to get in. Again with one ally. Both agreeing to the same goal. And this time, he dies with his ally. Yet they still succeed in their goal.

    Greatest segment ever! I hoped Todd fares will in our timeline!

  56. Umm I’ve been linked to this video by David Wilcox


    Ok at 1hour 11 minutes have a look. David claims that SG1 season one and two are actually based on FACT. There IS a stargate .. he mentions the episode ‘extreme wormhole’ ..have a look. Interesting video. He even claims that the Stargate did come from Atlantean technology and was hidden in the ice.

    How weird!!

  57. Hi Joe,
    my sister is so into Atlantis right now, that she had a dream the other night about Sheppard, McKay, Sam and Ronon trapped on a wraith planet with artificial caves. McKay walked around doing some technical stuff, while John and Sam were trying to find the “emergency exit” of out of the cave. I joked around the she maybe saw a future episode of season 5. Maybe you can shed some light if there’s a story like that in the works… lol 🙂

  58. Joe, a question. That line from Todd, “Are we done?” Did it have another layer of meaning? Specifically, did it mean that Todd was the last of the Wraiths and Ronon the last of the Satedans?

  59. Count me in for all three books in April’s BOTM selection.

    Glad to hear that I’m not the only one that can kill houseplants in under two months. Black thumbs are an undervalued talent. If ever the world were taken over by plants, people with black thumbs would be Earth’s first and best line of defense. Well, us and goats, anyway.

  60. Dear Mister Mallozzi, Sir!

    You are a good man.

    You state: “I’d release a new DVD at the end of every season if it were up to me. I’m a big Joel Goldsmith fan. And speaking of Joel, I’m sure you’ll all agree he did a tremendous job on The Last Man. The score that accompanies Carter’s final battle is nothing short of extraordinary.”

    You have a very good taste in music, Mister Mallozzi, Sir! Just like humble me.

    Therefore, I know that you are just as saddened as I am that there is no seasonal jTunes DVD, yet. (For those few among you out there not in the know, yet: that’s “Mighty Fine Joel Goldsmith Tunes”, or jTunes DVD, for short.)

    As you, sadly, do not have the greenlighting power for such a much-desired seasonal jTunes DVD (that is bound to put molto pugnos of extra dollari in the koffers of Il MGM Grande — sorry, my Italian’s still a bit rusty), I’m asking you frankly and boldly: who has the power? Please give me his/her home phone number, so that I can phone-terrorize him/her until he/she caves in and can comfortably retire to a nice rubberized cell where my calls can no longer reach him/her.

    Otherwise, if you refuse to give me that number, I may have to spank your adorable dogs. Then again… they might actually like that… well… maybe abduct you and give you no food for three days? How’s that for a compelling reason to scream out that phone number of said individual?

    Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this very urgent matter, Mister Mallozzi, Sir!

  61. You do realise that you have given facebook another 50+ quizzes and games to make and attack my inbox with. Thank you very much – and in case you’re wondering that was typed in sarcasm typeface.

    Watching The Last Man tomorrow night and can’t wait. I think you forgot Rule 6 : Deny, Deny, Deny the dogs were ever on the bed.

    M xx

  62. The Last Man…WHOA. What a way to exit the season…seriously. As so many have said, kudos to Mr. Goldsmith for a fantabulous score to go along with the emotional punch of this episode.

    If fan voices count *somewhere* toward getting another soundtrack out…add mine to the list!!

    Very, very well done. Everything from Atlantis in the sand shots to holographic Rodney to the poignant demise of Sam to General Lorne!! to “Rodney, you’re a genius” to the ohhh no! ending…*throws virtual flowers and chocolates* 😀

    How long did it take to apply all that “old” makeup on David H.? I can’t imagine sitting still that long…I’d be all fidgety. LOL

  63. I loved the last man, and it did seem as though you were foreshadowing what would happen when Woolsey takes over Atlantis. I really like Robert Picardo, is there any plans to humanize him in season 5? Perhaps a scene where he’s babysitting all those kids from M7G 677?

  64. Just drop by to say how much I love “The Last Man”. What an awesome episode! The score by Mr. Goldsmith was beautiful, special effects and David Hewlett´s Make up perfect and the acting superb. I think it´s my favorite episode so far of Season 4 along with “Tabula Rasa” “Midway” and “Trio”.

    And can you tell us a little bit what you guys have in store for McKay in Season 5?

  65. I have to say, I worried when I saw trailer to the episode, but it was beautiful.

    You’re right, the music was dead on and the story fit together really well.

    No question this time, just praise.


  66. Please don’t publish this….

    Just wanted to drop you a quick thank you. My aunt passed away yesterday and the weeks leading up to it have been horrible to say the least. I always laughed at those people who say celebrities or tv shows got them through stuff but I can see now how it could. I have had a lot of trouble sleeping but it really helps to read your blog each night before I go to bed. I know to you it’s just your life but it definitely gives me a good laugh at the end of the day. (Buying Ark of Truth on Tuesday will also be a pleasant and welcome distraction!) So again, thanks i guess for just being you and giving the rest of us a peek. Sorry to be so damn heavy here but I am really no good at this life and death stuff. Please keep me smiling!

    Jill E.

  67. On March 9, 2008 at 8:13 pm Katie S Said:
    The Last Man was by far my favourite episode of the Stargate franchise so far. It was just incredible.

    The stark, red, burnt out Atlantis, old!Rodney and John bantering like usual, every regular character getting their own little storyline,and each one making me bawl.

    Teyla’s death was by far the saddest, because she didn’t go out fighting like the others. And in a way Rodney’s living is sadder than all the rest, because he had to go on while everything he loved and believed in was taken away. I’m glad that version of him at least found love (and a great hug with Sam!). I was very pleasantly surprised to see Kate Hewlett, and I hope we see her again in season 5!

    Now that season 4 is over I can definitely say that it was my favourite so far, which is surprising since I say that about every season. Every season feels to me like the show can’t get any better, then it does!! Season 5 already looks good if we get McKay in a bathtub

    Ah, Katie you say it all so well. I’ve put off rewatching the ep because I didn’t want to cry again, but I will rewatch it.

    I keep thinking how much more grief can Rodney bear? Apparently a lot. David is amazing in his ability to project such a range of emotions. McKay has such a huge heart under the snark and David does a great job of portraying it.

    Kudos to the writers for the Dog’s Breakfast references. *fangirl squee*

    David in a tub full of bubbles – that image is now going to invade my dreams (day and night) sigh. How long do we have to wait? That scene MUST NOT be cut Joe. You couldn’t tease us that unmercifully!

    And finally a glimpse of the Atlantean bathrooms! *grin*

  68. Hi Joe. Loved The Last Man. The question is why the final CG sequence is so rough? Usually all CG is spectacular in Stargate but this (and that is a season finale!) is IMHO not so good (I’m talking about the building falling down thing, all others are perfect). It looked a bit unnatural (I don’t know.. too simple maybe? Cartoonish? Seems like the pipes was broken even before the chimney felt on them..)
    Sorry for the language – English is not my native. And thanks for the great show. I enjoy it very much!

  69. I liked The Last Man, except for one major scientific oversight: no star with a habitable planet such as the new Atlantis planet can go from normal to a red giant in 48,000 years. And certainly there would be almost zero change in the 500 years quoted by McKay. A better figure would have been 1 BILLION years, but I can see how you would have a hard time explaining how Atlantis survived for that long. I know it’s SciFi, but we understand the life of a star quite well these days.

  70. TruBlu said: – Perfectly done in my opinion and a method used by movie and tv writers alike since pretty much forever. It seems to me to be a standard story telling practise when re-telling a story with details they couldn’t possibly know. Happens ALL the time. Some do it better than others, and I think in this episode it was done perfectly… much more powerful the way it was actually done…

    @ TruBlu – Exactly how I feel. It takes away from the moment if you only focus on ‘how did Rodney know this stuff??!’

    I just accept it as is, and loved that particular scene to pieces, even if it did kill my favorite character, and…well…my kinda sorta second favorite character (I mean, how can you not love Ronon? *sigh* If only he were green… 😉 )

    @ Joe – I have quite a few friends who love the show, but don’t visit fan sites or blogs. They’re all so very excited about TLM, and what lies ahead. One gal pounced on me yesterday – at church, of all places – and just raved about how great the episode was. But she was a MESS! Teyla is her favorite, and she’s gonna be buggin’ out until the new season starts. It’s nice – for me – to see such POSITIVE reaction among my friends who don’t venture on-line, and though you already know the positive far outweighs the negative, I thought you’d still like to hear what I’m hearing from my friends, and it’s all been good! Not one ‘thumbs down’ yet (well…except for the killing everyone part…but we just know you’ll undo all of that…right? RIGHT??! ).


  71. Will DVD sales numbers for Ark of Truth effect the possible pick-up of a sixth season of Atlantis? Or will it strictly effect future SG-1 movies?

  72. Hey Joe,

    I really enjoyed The Last Man but wanted to ask one question, future Rodney told General Lorne that he saw what happened in Pegasus and what was happening in the Milky Way, so did Michael reach the Milky Way in that alternate future or was there some other threat or did he simply comment on how things just went bad?

    Oh and, I know it was part of the plotline and all, but didn’t Weir’s faction of Asurans do anything during that time? I suppose it wasn’t a necessary plotline to consider for the episode but was just curious.

    Take care Joe!

  73. Because some of us do not like certain characters, does not make us haters or bashers. In my case, I honestly do not have positive feelings about the character of Keller. I am ok with her in small doses, as one of the supporting players, but having her as a major part of the team disappoints me and I don’t see her with Rodney at all. (Although I can see that the loss of everyone else threw the couple together, I don’t think it would have lasted). That said, I am not sure why some of you think that because I hold this view, I am an evil hater. Not everyone in life “clicks” with each other, and it is the same for TV characters. I love some, I am OK with some and actively dislike others. From whatever elements that make up my personality, I respond differently to different people. Just as in real life, I don’t like everyone I meet. I usually choose to not associate with them, and if I have to, try to be reasonable and pleasant. But I cannot be forced, by other’s opinion or desire, to like someone or believe something that I don’t. It’s like religion, just because I am supposed to believe in a certain way, I cannot escape the truth that, deep down, I just don’t believe in certain things. No matter how loudly I shout to the heavens that “I believe!”, inside I know I don’t. Wouldn’t it be hypocritical to say that I do? Just to please others? I don’t do that and I can’t say I love Keller just because it would make those of you who do happy!

  74. Will we be seeing a new Battleship class next season?

    Considering you guys showed us the Phoenix now (Which was I guess only different bridge-wise)

    Would be cool to see a new big battleship with the combined technology of The Asgard, Humans and the Ancients Tria.


    Also I have this idea on how to bring back The Asgard… Put an Asgard mind into a fully working Human clone (We’ve seen cloning can be done now, With Michael and Beckett) … Considering The Asgard left us ALL their knowledge, And from the SG1 final it seems like Thor had his likeness uploaded into the Asgard core, It could be that there are fully stored Asgard ?Consciousness-es? saved somewhere in there, right?

  75. Joe, i thoroughly enjoyed Last Man. You took a formula of time-travel that has been used as a foundation for a few SG1 and SGA episodes and turned it on its head, and the results were fantastic: both a great sci-fi story was woven and also a moving portrait of how close these characters have become over these four years.

    My question is two-fold 1) Was there any doubt as the ideas for this episode came to fruition that it would be Rodney who was the hologram, and the one who survived
    2) Were there multiple stories you considered for each character who died and so forth, or were you resolute going in that they had to die the way they did (i.e. i LOVED that Ronan, hater of Wraith that he is, died side-by-side with Todd)

  76. Cute doggie photo – thanks!

    Poor dead plants…that’s why I have cacti…they don’t need watering for half the year, and don’t need much during the rest of the year (and can cope with me forgetting for a week or two)!!

    Hubby looks after the geraniums/pelargonuims (probably spelt them wrong).

    I have a question: Sometime last year (I think) you showed us a layout of Rodney’s room, including the much acclaimed over terranium. What happened to the scene? ‘Cos we haven’t seen his room this season. Did it get cut? Will it turn up in season five? Was it a tease? (In which case, is the bathtub one a tease too?). Hmm, just wondering what happened.


    Leesa Perrie

  77. Ben Browder recently said in an interview that “no one told him” about any co-command and that he was solely in charge of SG-1. And while admitting that his character was “out of his depth” and that putting him in charge “smacked of hubris”, he full well proclaims that that is what happened. Care to comment or respond??

    Who’s lying, Joe? You or him? And why won’t any of the producers really comment on this issue in a meaningful and forthright way? It’s all over now, how about a little honesty about what actually went on when Browder joined?

    Lord knows I’m no fan of Sam Carter, but even I have to admit that it looks like you all had a hard on to wreck her character. I always liked the way you stood up for your ideas and your vision, even against some overly virulent criticism from fans, but I admit to being stumped here. Did you realize how bad you were making her look? Did you not care? And it really reflected poorly on Amanda Tapping, too, because it looked like you were angry with her or thought she wasn’t capable of carrying the show. In that way, I’m glad she is doing Sanctuary and not Stargate, but I’m still curious as to what on Earth went on that you all scuttled her command and characterization. I never saw her as just the scientist until Ben joined and she got written as the emotional dork. JMO

    Hoping for (but not expecting) answers,

    Mark Winchel

  78. HI Joe!
    All I can say is, SWEET STARGATES!!!! You left it like THAT!?!?!?!? OH me oh my! THAT was a FANTASTIC episode, it was like watching a mini film!!
    I LOVED it! Yet I now find myself going bald, tearing my hair out in frustration at the prospect of the long wait until the next season!

    Any idea when the season 4 DVDs will be released? *just can not wait!*

    Have you ever read Robert R. McCammon’s The Wolfs Hour? I read it years ago and pick it up every now and again. A great book. Also, ever read my other two favorites, Dean R. Koonts Lightning, and Steven Kings The Tasliman?

    Anyhoo, still enjoying the blog and still loving SGA!
    You guys ROCK!

  79. Hello =) Sa va Joseph =) Moi sa peu aller, ma premiére journée de cours c’est asser bien passer.

    Yé! Super photo de vos Chiens, trop chou♥:!

    Tient vous recommencez a répondre aux question?..donc voici la mienne…je continurais a la poser tant que je n’aurais pas de réponse franche.

    Avez vous réfélchi à mêttre un francais dans la saison 5?

    Voila, je vous dit bonne journée, a demain, gros Bisou, merci pour tous♥

  80. Hi Joe! The following statement was attributed to you by a few posters on Gateworld, but I can’t seem to find the entry where you said this. Can you confirm if you did in fact say these comments or if it’s more speculation being inaccurately assigned to you?

    “Mallozzi stated on his blog that the baby will not age fast or be written out by convenient scifi means. He also stated that the baby will figure prominently in season five and will not be in the background.”

    Thank you!

  81. Your job sounds sooo cool! Did you always want to be a scriptwriter? How did you get into it? Is it really as fun as you make it sound? Any advice to anyone who wishes to pursue the same career?

  82. So how is your weather?

    All our hatches are battened down, drawbridges raised and alligators free to police the moats, mind you they’ll probably get relocated by the storms soon enough. Thankfully we live up a hill which is ideal in a riverside village with storms and spring tides to contend with, hopefully they won’t be canoeing up to the bar in the local pub this year!

    …the locals that is not alligators silly, alligators EAT canoeists.

    its nearly tuesday HOO!

    thanks for the doggie pic
    *waves at Fondy*

  83. @ Jill E *hugs* I think a lot of us have been there hun. My lifesaver started out with Star Trek TOS, fandom has helped me through many crises and will continue to do so I hope.

  84. Voici le film qui connait un grand succés en france!!


    Philippe Abrams est directeur de la poste de Salon-de-Provence. Il est marié à Julie, dont le caractère dépressif lui rend la vie impossible. Pour lui faire plaisir, Philippe fraude afin d’obtenir une mutation sur la Côte d’Azur. Mais il est démasqué: il sera muté à Bergues, petite ville du Nord.Pour les Abrams, sudistes pleins de préjugés, le Nord c’est l’horreur, une région glacée, peuplée d’êtres rustres, éructant un langage incompréhensible, le “cheutimi”. Philippe ira seul. A sa grande surprise, il découvre un endroit charmant, une équipe chaleureuse, des gens accueillants, et se fait un ami : Antoine, le facteur et le carillonneur du village, à la mère possessive et aux amours contrariées. Quand Philippe revient à Salon, Julie refuse de croire qu’il se plait dans le Nord. Elle pense même qu’il lui ment pour la ménager. Pour la satisfaire et se simplifier la vie, Philippe lui fait croire qu’en effet, il vit un enfer à Bergues. Dès lors, sa vie s’enfonce dans un mensonge confortable…

  85. Condolences to Jill E.


    I mostly agree with it about Last Man. I do not agree about Outcast, which made my Top 3 s4 eps along with Doppelganger & Tabula Rasa. Bottom 3: Trio, Travelers, Last Man.

    hachi Said: Because some of us do not like certain characters, does not make us haters or bashers. In my case, I honestly do not have positive feelings about the character of Keller. I am ok with her in small doses, as one of the supporting players, but having her as a major part of the team disappoints me and I don’t see her with Rodney at all…etc
    I agree with this too. Maybe something will happen in Season 5 where I will like her better, but right now she’s even lower than Kavanagh in my book. And my dislike has nothing at all to do with Beckett.

    Still waiting on my copy of Ark of Truth, wanna see it now!

  86. Hopefully I’m not too late this posting to throw a question at you. I’m currently having a bit of a mosey around New Zealand and it reminded me of a something I meant to ask a while ago:

    * Is the Athosian greeting of touching heads in any way related to, or inspired by, the Maori Hongi? (As far as I understand it, the two people touch noses to symbolise the breath of life intermingling and that they are no longer strangers.)

    Also, has anyone been to NZ? It involved the crossing of a few pesky time zones for me (UK) and included a short, slightly surreal stopover in LAX but it is very much worth it.

    (The slightly surreal being herded through US immigration at 3 in the morning for them to take my fingerprints. Actually, I should probably be more specific – they have a *copy* of my fingerprints. They didn’t actually steal my fingers, there has to be some boundaries…)

  87. Hey Joe,

    Loved The Last Man and am looking forward to Season 5. A quick question – we know that people still age, albeit slowly, while in the stasis chambers. So, if Sheppard was in there for 700 years or more (and based on the fact that Weir aged by ~60 years while in stasis for 10,000), he would have aged by 4-5 years right? Add on the 6 extra months in Epiphany, Sheppard is going to be old before his time! 😉


  88. I enjoy your little videos, and wonder, in season 5, can you catch Kavan Smith or David Nykl on video?? 🙂

  89. Hey Joe,
    I was wondering (and not just me) who is actually the “last man” in The Last Man? Someone says it was Sheppard as the last man in Atlantis and someone says McKay because he was actually the “last man standing” from his team. I personally believe in the McKay possibility but who did you write that for? Who was the last man for you?
    Thank you!

  90. hi, joe,

    i watched *that scene* again, from ‘the last man’. 🙁

    i noticed in the battle scene, when they got ambushed; it reminded me of the sequence in star trek: the wrath of khan, when kirk was afraid of what spock had done and was making his way down to the engine room. the composer, james horner, had this intense music playing in the background. it fit perfectly with what kirk was feeling. even as a kid, i remembered being so movied by the music because i’d never heard something match so much of the fear and trepidation i was feeling along with kirk. joel did the same thing with the battle sequence, using the violens playing out this tense theme alongside the other music. and then when holomckay is done explaining, and it just shows the red and empty hallways of the future atlantis… it just continued the sadness and loss of sam’s demise. WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF!!

    please, PLEASE don’t do this again!! 😛

    also, in what TruBlu suggested; did sam even try to beam off the phoenix before she set it to ram michael’s ships?

    sally 🙂

    ps – i’m afraid of anyone commanding a ship now…

  91. I’m among those who had problems with The Last Man, and at the risk of being judged ‘obnoxious’ or ‘unintellectual’, I’ll tell you why.

    The viewpoint character of the story is clearly John- we follow him through the gate, we find out what’s going on as he does. That sets up an expectation- since John is the protagonist, we expect John to have a problem (okay, he’s stuck in the future, check), that he must struggle to overcome. It’s the second part that’s the problem. All John has to do is follow Rodney’s instructions, he does, voila, he gets back. The sandstorm wasn’t a plausible obstacle- it wasn’t clear that he couldn’t simply have waited it out, and nothing particularly happens- he walks through the sandstorm, he gets to the other side. There’s no tension.

    Now you’re probably saying, ‘hey what about the flashbacks?’- the flashbacks are *Rodney’s* story. Rodney does have dramatic tension- But the flashbacks, despite your extremely lovely FX, have a distinct feel of ‘telling-not-showing’. Also- they’re not plot points, particularly. They’re a long list of disasters that provide motivation for Rodney to Do Something. Which he eventually does, but we don’t really see it happen. We just hear about it. The actual best dramatic scene in the episode to my mind is the one with Lorne, because it’s the only place someone really has to make a choice. David Gerrold once said that the best Star Trek episodes revolve around not force of arms, but ‘James Kirk makes a decision’.

    And it really didn’t help that the basic concept was lifted from the SG-1 episode 1969- it felt repetitive for those of us who are fans of both series.

    You have a fantastic setting, an incredible wealth of canon, terrific actors and kick-ass FX- but I can’t help but feel that in this one, you lost track of the basic goal- telling a good story.

  92. People are saying Kellers easy?
    How is falling in love being easy?
    She didnt jump them in the corridors or anything lol XD

  93. I have a question that I’ve been dying to ask you and finally got the courage to ask. The summer it was announced that Stargate SG-1 was cancelled, I wrote a long heart felt letter and sent it to the studio. I wanted to thank everyone for the show. My question is, did you get it and did anyone read it? Please respond. Thank you.

  94. Could the dna rewritting machine in “Tao of Mckey” help to cure Carson and rewrite his telomeres to the right life expectancy ?

  95. As someone has already pointed out, Jennifer’s death isn’t the only reason Rodney decides to try to undo the timeline. But it is the final straw.

    I get that. I know my initial reaction to the episode might not have been… the most rational one around, but it doesn’t chance the things it was for what we saw onscreen.

    That losing John, Teyla and Ronon (and Sam, too) wasn’t… straw enough for Rodney. I could have easily bought those being the reason for Rodney to do all that. Instead you wrote in Keller, basically an outsider, to be that last straw. Add it together with lines like J:“I’m just saying, if we start munging around the timeline here, there’s no guarantee things will turn the same for you guys (talking about Rodney/Jennifer).” R:“That’s what I’m counting for.” and I just wasn’t fine with her as the catalyst.

    I’m not faulting it or the storyline per se, because I could easily like the story of them coming together due to the shared grief and loss, but in that case… I would have needed a little more. As it was, I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy the episode after it was never even shown that Rodney even tried to save John. That he tried everything in his might to do the impossible for his friend, like I’d imagine (…I wouldn’t have needed that much. just the briefest of glimpse of Rodney working desperately, arguing with Sam or fighting with Woolsey on where to focus his energies. just.. something. yes, I understand there’s a limited time in one episode but assuming things happen offscreen doesn’t always work). This time it made it seem Rodney gave up just like that, quit and left to Earth with Jennifer.

    … leaving John behind to die alone.

    That’s not my Rodney.

    If you needed the McKeller romance there, like I said, I’d have needed a bit more from Rodney first to be all right with it.

    I’m seriously running around in circles with my feelings and thoughts for this episode. There’s comments here and here that sum up my problems with it, but then there’s posts like this one that explains things in a way where I could/might/should love the episode and… well, I’m just lost. ~__~

    I guess I’ll have to make myself watch the episode again and see how it goes with the second viewing.

    … that’s enough with my ramblings/whining. I swear this is the first episode I’ve had this kind of reaction to. XD

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