Will at work

Setting up the shot

Scott waits to be shot

Whenever I want to fire a zat blast, morph a replicator, or blow up a spaceship, I call on visual effects wizard Mark Savela and his gifted crew. If, on the other hand, I’m looking to gun down a wraith, backhand someone through a railing, or torch a hapless Jaffa, then I go to the masters of practical effects: Wray Douglas and Scott Stofer.

While, on the surface, flinging someone across the room and into a wall may seem straightforward enough, the truth is setting up and executing such a stunt demands intricate planning and careful execution. Truth be told, specialists in the field of practical effects require great patience, an eye for detail, and an affinity for blowing things up. Wray and Scott possess all three. Marty G. tells of an incident during the filming of a season three episode that required a fireball-like explosion. The director yelled action and the explosion was triggered, an awesome blast that shook the stage and engulfed the corridor in an astounding fireball. The director yelled cut. The cast and crew stood, stunned, the detonation still reverberating through the set. At which point Martin glanced over and spotted Wray, off to the side, laughing away like a supervillain who’d just wiped Paris off the map.

These guys love their work. And it shows.

Take Friday’s fog test for instance. Wray and Scott were the guys who made it happen, getting up at 2:30 a.m. in order to set up the machines and ensure the stage was suitably fogged-up for when us lazy laggards rolled in at a sweet 6:00 a.m. Then, when it came time to test some squib hits, Scott was there to take the bullet.

“What’s a squib hit?”you may ask. Well, a squib is a tiny explosive device used in film and television to simulate a bullet hit. In the case of Whispers, we wanted to test a variety squib hits to find out which showed up better in the fog.

We set up for the shot and gathered around the monitors. “Loud bang coming up!”warned Scott. Everyone covered their ears (except me since I was holding my camera, sacrificing my hearing for your edutainment). 3-2-1. Scott triggered the squib. Bang! Alas, the first test proved near unreadable. We went again, this time with the white dust hit. 3-2-1. Bang! Better, but still not quite what we were looking for. Finally, we tried the black dust hit. 3-2-1. Bang! Great. Taken down to a third the impact, it will prove a perfect bullet hit for what we have in mind.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the BOTM club discussions on The Keep. And an extra special thanks to author F. Paul Wilson for coming by to field our questions. For those of you curious about Paul’s take on the film version of his novel, I have added the appropriate link to the Q&A: http://www.the-keep.ath.cx/default_en.htm Just scroll down the left sidebar and click on the F. Paul Wilson interview link.

From horror to fantasy, tomorrow we move on to our third and final BOTM selection for April: The Empire of Ice Cream by Jeffrey Ford. Make sure to finish up because Jeff will be dropping in early to help kick off the discussion.

Today’s entry is dedicated to soon-to-be-birthday-gal Squeakiep.

Today’s pics: Setting up for the squib test.

Today’s videos: Squib hits. 1. Regular squib hit. 2. White dust hit. 3. Black dust hit.

http://s230.photobucket.com/albums/ee164/BaronDestructo/?action=view&current=Regularsquibhit.flv

http://s230.photobucket.com/albums/ee164/BaronDestructo/?action=view&current=Whitedusthit.flv

http://s230.photobucket.com/albums/ee164/BaronDestructo/?action=view&current=Blackdusthit.flv

69 thoughts on “April 20, 2008: My squibbiest post ever!

  1. I had always wondered about the bullet hits that happen on TV and the movies. Thanks for the tidit of info!

  2. Squib hits! Goodness, you’re making us all edjamacated!
    Now we get to feel all smart and be like, “hey, you know what that’s called? It’s called a squib hit!”
    And then they will stare and feel inferior in the presence of our massive smartness. 😉 Thanks, Joe!

  3. Very cool edutainment! Thanks Joe!

    I have learned through the years about all the SFX/Visual FX stuff from reading, etc. What I’ve found fascinating is that there are practice runs for the effects. I guess, I’ve just never really thought about before. And of course have worked on more that a few low budget films where pre-planning is not always a fore thought…when it should be what they have the most budget for!

    🙂

    S

  4. Haha I’m so HP conditioned… you say “squib” and I say “that’s not a very nice thing to say about someone born into a magical family who can’t do magic!”

    But I honestly have always wondered about how the whole bullets special effects worked… so thanks (as usual!) for educating us!!!

  5. Loved the video clips. Thanks Joe! Sounds like Wray and Scott really love their jobs. 🙂 Getting paid to blow stuff up… Hmm. Another thing to add to my list of cool jobs I don’t have.

    July seems so far away… I hate waiting!

    Nika

  6. I learned about squibs in a Columbo episode, many moons ago. However, Joe, your further explanation, plus blog upon blog dealing with something as simple (to me) as ‘movie fog’, has made me come to appreciate the painstaking detail put into the special effects. I guess some things we just take for granted, thinking it’s an effect that’s simply conjured up by the pros with little or no effort. Looks like I was wrong.

    But it also begs the question – if so much is put into the creation of a (seemingly simple) visual effect, is the same sort of detail and effort put into the more important aspect of character development? This is NOT a criticism, but an observation that many fans complain a character is not consistently written, or that things known about or experienced by a character seem to be forgotten in later episodes (a good example of this is in Tao of Rodney, when Rodney heals Ronon’s scar on his back, but no mention is made of the feeding scar on his chest).

    So, just wondering how much effort is put into keeping characters accurate and progressing their development based on past experiences (a GOOD example of this being done is when Sheppard makes the Wraith give Larrin her life back – very nice touch, especially Shep’s acknowledgement that it felt kinda good).

    Narelle from Aus Said: Someone mentioned the likeness of Charlie Sheen and Joe Flanigan. I would say Harrison Ford as Han Solo. The hair, the mannerisms even the way his gun is strapped to his leg…

    I never noticed the likeness to Ford until recently when watching Common Ground, just after seeing pictures of Harrison Ford from the new Indiana Jones movie. I said to myself, ‘Hey, self! Old Shep looks just like Old Indy!’, and now I totally see the resemblence between Flanigan and Ford, both in expression and mannerisms, as well as in general appearance. He also looks very much like my husband…and yet…he’s still not the one that gets my attention on the screen…

    go figger. 😕

    das

  7. I noticed that in the main title sequence where you give all the actors’ names that some have “as Dr. Rodney McKay” for example. Why? It’s just somethign thats always bothered me and i can’t figure it out.

  8. A very interesting post. I didn’t realise squibs were quite that loud, must make filming painful with everyone with headphones/earplugs.

    Also, if you need fog, I’m sure I could figure out a way the ship you what Melbourne, Australia currently has on offer. Its like trying to see through pea soup.

    It also has a small touch of smoke from the back-burning they are doing around the city, would be great for you guys if we where at the point of smell-o-vision.

  9. First, to Shiningwit. You mean to say the books haven’t confiscated the broomcloset under the stair yet?? I’m eyeballing the attic rafters at this point for sleeping space, conceeding the bedroom to the books.
    Mr. M. thanks for a great look into how this episode is coming together. Watching what seems to be a labor of love being tweaked until it provides us a final product is endlessly fascinating. And we don’t have to wait a year for the season five dvds to get all the background information! And there is nothing like realizing that while you’re enjoying the dubious pleasures of a predawn morning, that others have been able to enhance their stargazing by being up in the bowels of the morning hours. I trust we can expect more tidbits as the actual filming takes place starting tomorrow…

  10. yey videos! I’m definitely coming back to this blog in the morning to view them on a computer that plays sound 🙂

  11. I know it was only two days, but I already miss the old almost Shakespeareanlike statement of intent intros – oh well.

  12. “…and an affinity for blowing things up.”

    I am in love. Should either Mssrs. Scott or Wray be interested in a mail order bride, I’ll happily run off to the circus with them. Now ask them what happens when you put a pound of black powder in a bag and seal it inside a five gallon bucket of gasoline and detonate it with a slow fuse so you have time to beat feet out of the blast zone.

    I actually knew what a sqib is, but then I’m massively over-educated and stuffed full of trivia. Or some such thing.

  13. Great blog as always…and the videos make it even more fun! And a big thank you for the dedication…I plan to just sit back and let the day roll by! You can do that, when you’re 29 and holding, and holding, and holding…….

  14. I missed this comment yesterday by F. Paul Wilson: “I’d read a couple of novels about “good” vampires and found the idea ridiculous. They’re parasites. But I could see a vampire pretending to be good.”

    Okay – reading this got me to thinking (again!) about the Wraith. I am not a fan of vampires – movies or books. And yet, I hear the Wraith compared to both vampires, and parasites. Technically, they are neither. A parasite requires its host to keep living, and the two coexist as one (I really would prefer the Wraith to be like this – feeding on humans, perhaps weakening them but doing no permanent damage). But that is not the Wraith/human relationship – so parasites they are not.

    Nor are they vampires. The Wraith have been portrayed – not as a supernatural, blood-sucking beings – but as an evolved species with a specialized diet. No matter how ‘evil’ the writers try to make them, all I see is a predatory (probably mammalian) species – like big cats – who act upon instinct and require a specific diet in order to survive. Dangerous, yes – evil, no. So, just as I would hate to see extinction come to earth’s big predatory animals, so too I’d hate to see it come to PG’s Wraith.

    And I am certainly not alone in this – many fans view them the same way (even before Todd) – and it’s why we don’t want to see them exterminated like previous SG ‘villains’ (besides, that formula gets really old after a while). It may be more of a creative challenge, but it would be nice to see their role evolve from pure villains, into the antagonists – the button-pushers – but not necessarily the ‘bad guys’. You are doing a great job with Todd in this, but would hate to see it confined solely to his character (though, if it’s all we can hope to get, we’ll take it!). It’s also great to have individuals within the Wraith rise up as the ‘evil villain’, as you’ve done with Michael. That all works really well for us Wraith fans. It would be good to see the Wraith – as a whole – as a dangerous species with a continued place in the PG (instead of evil and worthy of annihilation), while individuals within the species rise up to do good (like Todd), or evil (like Michael).

    I’m looking forward to – with some misgivings – the ‘interesting developments’ coming up for the Wraith in S5. I know I can’t hope for those developments to be anything like what I’d like to see for the species, but I do have a slight hope that TPTB won’t just simply dispose of the Wraith because it’s the course of least resistance. Diminish their numbers? Make them less of a threat? If that’s what it takes to keep them alive in the SG Universe (and the PG), then ‘so be it’, but I’d hate to see such an interesting alien race annihilated forever.

    And I DO appreciate the opportunity you provide here, Mr, M., for folks like me to express our interests in the show and the characters, as well as our concerns. Thank you. And yeah, it’s a dead horse and I keep beating it – but I’m just one gal. It’s those Shep Whumpers you really gotta watch out for…there’s THOUSANDS of ’em, and I don’t know about you Joe, but they sure scare the crap outta me! 😮

    😉

    das

  15. Hmm…just curious…do you happen to know why they call them “squibs?” I mean…just strikes me as an odd little term so just curious where it comes from. 🙂

    Hope all’s well in your corner of the world. 🙂

  16. hi i dont wish to scare any one but it looks like the Cybermen have infultrated the crew for atlantis. lol.

    also is it right that in season 2 episode “The Runner” dident one of the squibs on ford go off at the wrong time and that is one in the episode?

  17. Another thing that I like about your blog is that you are able to acknowledge all those behind the scenes that make Stargate great!!!

  18. Hey Joe!

    Never knew about squibs, cool lesson, and it proves that we learn something new everyday. They remind me of a paintball shot. Judging by the look of the squib exploding, do you know if it actually hurts when it goes off?

    Thanks as always, and amazing videos! I actually feel like I’m in the midst of the production! 🙂

    – Enzo Aquarius

  19. Joe,

    So for the opening titles, are they going to stay the same as they have been since season 2 or will there be a completely new opening title sequence?

  20. .. which is why I have never trusted any SFX folk when they say “it’ll be just a little explosion”. Damn thing nearly always takes your eyebrows off…

  21. Having to do catchup cause the hotel connection ate my comments twice. So I gave up.

    1. Awesome to get Paul’s insight to the Keep.
    2. Getting my notes and finishing the Empire of Ice Cream
    3. Joe, THANKS for doing this. This is brilliant – your blog forum for communication and sharing and one step further – encouraging us to expand out consciousness by reading, analyzing, sharing, and coming away with the same, different, or compromise point of view.
    4. I was working on something on my travel and at 4:36 am the Illinois earth quake had me wondering what was wrong with my vision, equilibrium or worse. I felt like I was actually “swaying” in the vertical – meaning up and down repeatedly. I was in the Chicagoland area almost near the Wisconsin border.
    5. Thanks for the wonderful photos and vids.

    And now back to reading – got a “book report” to submit Monday.

  22. Wowies I always wondered how they did the “bullet thing”. Thankyou for taking the time to share ^^

  23. Joe,
    Whatever happened to the SG-1 puppetes from episode 200 I understand they were very expensive to creat.Will they be put up for auction????

  24. squibtastic post dude! now before I FOGet (get it? ) my daughter has started reading your blog,(trying to work out how her mothers brain may or may not work I guess) and as today (monday ) is her 13th birthday she’d get a BIG kick out of seeing her name up here along with the famous Thornyrose, Tiger’s eye, Dovil and Anne Teldy so would you be a real gent and give her a mention? her name is Katherine and she’ll be off to school as soon as I peel her off the ceiling.
    BTW, If you had been prepared to try it I would’ve shipped you some genuine 100% Cornish fog, can be trained to lurk behind trees and round corners to ambush unwary travelers and the really well trained stuff has been known to take requests although it tends to be somewhat taciturn it loves to congregate around the pub at closing time and is rather partial to moonlit skinny dipping.

  25. Thanks for checking out my pics. I’m glad you enjoyed the cakes, but I do have to correct you on one. It’s not A Nightmare Before Christmas, it’s A Corpse Bride. You got the Tim Burton thing though. My mom didn’t even realize that I wrote Tim Burton’s name in the spider webs across the front until I mentioned it to her. Most of the people looking at the cake said that it deserved first place not third but I was happy that I even placed because it was the first wedding cake I decorated, if you can call it a wedding cake.

    I did want to tell you though that I finished my concept drawing for the Atlantis cake if MGM is interested and it is on my page. I think I’m really letting on that I would love to have the opportunity to decorate a cake for you guys. I just realized that. Sorry if it bothers you.

  26. Luis811 – weren’t those puppets made by the Chiodo Bros. who also created the original puppets for Team America (hence the same look and feel)?

    Speaking of squibs, I was watching the latest Doctor Who episode on BBC One this weekend. I’m sure that as groups of alien Ood were being gunned down, not a single one of them sustained a “bullet hit”, and yet just fell over dead all the same. And yet, it’s perfectly okay to show a man peeling back the skin off his skull to reveal a monster underneath, and for tentacles to drop out his mouth (sideways shot – this is the BBC remember, anything resembling a decent make-up effect or animatronic shot would probably bankrupt the production – sigh). Double standards. Can’t see people get killed by bullets, but low-budget splat-gore stuff is just fine for the little tykes at 6:20pm.

    Mind you, it’s amazing the differences between UK and US TV is. For example, I still chuckle at seeing at Cialias advert on TV whilst breakfasting in Los Angeles a few months ago. You attempt to advertise sexual impotence drugs here in the UK at that time and you’d have the Mary Whitehouse brigade spontaenously combusting (albeit off-camera to avoid upsetting the little ones – unless it was really gory in which case let them feast their eyes of the blood!).

    M.

  27. Just goes to show how much acting adds to a show. It looks vaguely like he’s farting out of the wrong part of the body when he just stands there like that. 🙂

    But the black powder definitely works best.

  28. Have read all your blogs and never commented. Sorry about that, because they are brilliant, from behind the scences, books and food. very varied.

    I look for you everyday 🙂

    PS please ask David H to sort out his website, that’s another one I look at everyday – it’s broken 🙁

    And thanks for telling David N to update site.

  29. Joe, you rock! I appreciate so much more, the effort that is put into making my favorite shows. Kudos to you.

    Random Question: Who makes the food on Atlantis? Did they bring a bunch of intergalactic cafeteria ladies across with the rest of the expedition? Does everyone have to participate in mandatory mess duty? Are there magical food faeries that make sandwiches, Salisbury Steak, and tater tots?

  30. Good break down of what the practical effects people do, thanks Joe.

    It got me thinking that visual and practical effects are really important visually, but also the sounds that go along with a zat blast, gun fire etc help bring it all together.

    So my questions are…

    Who does the sound effects?

    Also, in what stage of the production do sound effects get added in?

    Thanks,

    Amy

  31. Hey Joe,

    I know this is off subject but we are trying to put a little movie together and cannot seem to find easy to use editing software. Do you have any recommendations or do any of your bloggers have one.

    Thanks

    Sean

  32. I loved today’s blog! Great info on the squibs (at first I thought you meant baby pigeons, but they’re squabs … how on earth I know that I don’t know!! Has my mind been invaded by pigeon-racing Radek?!).

    Anyway, loved the info and the vids – the different dusts was fascinating.

    susanthetartanturtle said: Shooting men, throwing them into walls and even blowing them up = a perfect cure for PMS. Where do I apply for a job?

    LOL!! Yep, sounds like a great cure to me!!

    I remember from my early fandom days, an actor had to run through a field of sci-fi type bombs, which would go off one after the other just after he’d run past each one. He said he’d never run so fast in his life – and as for the ‘only little explosions’ thing – they lied!! Still, he managed to do it and not get singed, so the explosives people knew what they were doing, I guess!

    At which point Martin glanced over and spotted Wray, off to the side, laughing away like a supervillain who’d just wiped Paris off the map.

    You want someone slightly manic handling the explosions, don’t you?! Don’t you? I mean, it’s more fun that way!!!

    Leesa Perrie

  33. The strangest thing happened to me today, I recieved a proposal for one of my artworks to be used in an ad campaign. Ive always loved art and planned on making a career out of it. Once I finished school though i went in the complete opposite direction and started medical school. Now Im confused, should I have went with art? lol either way I think i’ll stick to my medicine, buts it cool to see my artwork on posters ^^

  34. So Shanks is telling fans in Germany that his “wardrobe” for Atlantis is speedos. Before we all hit critical mass and melt down, is he taking the piss or is this in fact true? That would be one Atlantis episode I WOULD buy the DVD of.

  35. Oh Anti-Social Butterfly, the food thing is easy … every branch of the armed forces has cooks. How do you think Navy ships and subs keep their sailors fed? Or combat troops in Iraq? Can’t exactly order in from Pizza Hut in Baghdad, now can you?

  36. Btw Deluise talked about CGI bullet hits – but perhaps that is more expensive than squibs?

  37. Hi Joe,
    A few questions for the upcoming season. Maybe you could alleviate some of my fears.

    1) Will be see more balanced screentime for the team.
    2) Will we get character episodes for other characters besides Rodney.
    3)Will be get more screentime for Ronon and Teyla and less of the John and Rodney show.
    4 Can I hope that Teyla and Ronon won’t fade into the background once they get their token episode.
    5)Any change we get a decent and dramatic role for Sheppard that has nothing to do with women or Rodney.

    Many thanks,
    Have a great day.

  38. Well the 13th birthday went well, tons of food, we went Indian this time and there is enough left over for breakfast tomorrow! Just going to get rid of the guests and then its sit down with a cup of tea and some Stargate to centre myself once more. Maybe I’ll just let the dogs clear up tonight!

  39. Thankz for the edukaton. Squibs hey? Very interesting.

    Videos are interesting too, especially the shot of what looked like jeans and black sneakers.

    Were you, Mr Dapper, dressed in civvies?

  40. Thanks Joe, this is a great blog, always so interesting and informative, and the pictures are a bonus. and q&a with real life authors of books you are reading and and might never get to ask that all important Q!! cool. thanks again. Tomorrow the 22nd is my bd, but I don’t expect a mention here since I am not, I repeat not getting any older,, lol. 8) Is it chocolate party time yet?

  41. Hi Joe

    1. Will Stargate Universe have a new team of writers, or is it too early to know?

    2. When Rob Cooper comes over, can we field questions about Universe now that the premise is known, or will it just be Ark of Truth?

    Thanks

  42. Hey Joe,

    I was watching some old episodes of SG-1 recently (season seven and eight) and I was wondering why you decided to stop Sam’s arc as leader of SG-1? There’s a pretty clear storyline in episodes like Evolution, Grace, Death Knell, and Resurrection of Sam being on her own and capable and of her being in charge. Then in season eight she gets promoted, there’s Zero Hour and Icon with her leading SG-1, there’s Endgame and It’s Good to Be King and Reckoning.

    But then in season nine Sam kind of turns into a third tier character. Did Amanda do something wrong like Torri or were you just sick of her character? Maybe Ben wouldn’t join the show if he didn’t get to be a Lt. Colonel too? Color me confused, because even though Sam wasn’t in seasons nine and ten much, she was still sorta in charge sometimes. Anyone else out there got any answers? I just got into SG-1 since Christmas and have been catching up.

  43. Quote
    Everyone covered their ears (except me since I was holding my camera, sacrificing my hearing for your edutainment).
    End Quote

    Speaking as a potential ASL interpreter as well as the wife of a target shooter…

    Joe, pretty please with sugar and a cherry on top, WEAR YOUR EAR PROTECTORS! (For those who don’t know, that’s those hard yellow earmuffs worn in the video by the young man in the tan jacket.)

    Anyone else have trouble with keyboard response when typing in comments? Mine keeps skipping lette an saces .

  44. Cool videos! I heard that Cliff Simon loves working with those squib things.

    Question: Michael Shanks provided the voice for Thor, does he also provide the voice for Hermiod?

  45. dasNdanger wrote

    No matter how ‘evil’ the writers try to make them, all I see is a predatory (probably mammalian) species

    Well I think ‘evil’ is a cartoon concept in general. But I see them as sentient and thusly they choose what to do (I seem to remember they could eat animals? But that tasted bad – poor them).

    And I am certainly not alone in this – many fans view them the same way (even before Todd) – and it’s why we don’t want to see them exterminated like previous SG ‘villains’ (besides, that formula gets really old after a while).

    well I think that so far they are fairly half dimensional cartooninsh villains and wouldn’t mind seeing them go entirely (even though I agree, the ‘Hocus pocus gone’ routine is a bit old) but if they were given some more and varied motivations (beyond “grrr drool fooooood”) that could be interesting.

    a dangerous species with a continued place in the PG

    “PG” being?

    Brendan Said:

    So for the opening titles, are they going to stay the same as they have been since season 2 or will there be a completely new opening title sequence?

    So there is some place where they haven’t updated the titles for each season, eh?

  46. Death to all squibs what’s the recoil like on one of those little suckers?

    So following Newton’s third law of motion…whenever a particle A exerts a force on another particle B, B simultaneously exerts a force on A with the same magnitude in the opposite direction.

    The strong form of the law further postulates that these two forces act along the same line. This law is often simplified into the sentence “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”.

    So force A is the squib and B is poor Wray the law dictates that he should be moved backwards by the force of the explosion A…he wasn’t so we can postulate that it was all a big bang and nothing more…typical man?

    Pauline

  47. Eri said: “I noticed that in the main title sequence where you give all the actors’ names that some have “as Dr. Rodney McKay” for example. Why? It’s just somethign thats always bothered me and i can’t figure it out.”

    It happens in most of the shows. When actors sign their deals with the studios, this kind of thing is included in the contract negociations.
    In Atlantis, Joe Flanigan gets top billing and goes first in credits as the show’s leading actor. David Hewlett gets second top billing (after JF), he goes at the end, but with the special credit “as Dr. Rodney McKay”.

  48. & gatefan

    Regarding your question about characters getting their episodes (besides Rodney), check Mallozzi’s entry on April 17th. Rodney, Ronon, Teyla and John will get at least one episode each, and there will be team episodes as well. He also talked about different episodes having certain scenes between different characters, not just John and Rodney. So I suggest reading that entry.

    I’ve been watching SGA from day 1 and I never saw it as the “John and Rodney show”. Yes, both characters have more screentime than Ronon and Teyla, and I agree that Ronon and Teyla should have more to do. However, my guess is that John and Rodney will always have more screentime than the other two, because the characters are played by the two actors that get top billing… Or maybe top billing and screentime have nothing to do with each other. I’m just a fan, not in the business industry 🙂

  49. Jason Said:

    Will Walter make an appearance in Season 5?

    Sure! Under some dire circumstances though. Sheppard is forced to return to earth because his brother has been the victim of an assassination attempt. To the surprise of the SGC, the suspect arrested at the scene is one staff sergeant Walter Harriman!

    😉

  50. Shadow Step Said: “Well I think ‘evil’ is a cartoon concept in general. But I see them as sentient and thusly they choose what to do (I seem to remember they could eat animals? But that tasted bad – poor them).”

    Evil is a cartoonish concept, but it’s how the Wraith are (unfortunately) often described. Also, never cared for the ‘villain’ label slapped on them – dangerous foe or enemy, yes – villain…ehhh…that’s a bit harsh because it implies evil intentions…and makes me picture Todd with a Dick Dastardly mustache… 😛

    As far as having a choice, it’s been established in the show that they do not have a choice. I have not heard that they can actually feed on other animals and thrive. I recall Sheppard trying to feed Steve all sorts of living things, but nothing worked. If he was hungry enough, I’m sure even spoiled Steve would eat something that didn’t taste good just to survive (just like I might eat liver in order to survive… *shudder* ). But why eat something that isn’t going to sustain you? For Wraith, sucking on a cow might be as nutritious to them as sucking on an ice cube. I really don’t know what the creators have in mind in this regard, but I’m sure if animals could sustain them, this argument would have been brought up to the Wraith – especially Todd – before this. Why feed Wallace to Todd if a cow or a pig could have kept him alive, regardless of the taste? That didn’t come up, indicating that it wasn’t even an option.

    Also, Michael told Teyla that he did not have a choice when it came to his need to feed – it’s an ‘instinct’ – their nature – not a choice. Of course, Michael himself NOW has a choice, and he is choosing to continue to kill though he no longer needs to do so for food. In my humble, that now makes him a ‘villain’, driven by evil intent (can’t you just see him twirling his Dick Dastardly ‘stache??!).

    “well I think that so far they are fairly half dimensional cartooninsh villains and wouldn’t mind seeing them go entirely (even though I agree, the ‘Hocus pocus gone’ routine is a bit old) but if they were given some more and varied motivations (beyond “grrr drool fooooood” that could be interesting.”

    Nah – I think the whole ‘total villain’ route is way too cliche, and from what I know about SG1, the ‘eliminate the big bad villain’ thing has been done to death. Even my niece, who is a huge SG1 fan, is tired of it – it’s an uncreative and predictable ‘solution’. But finding ways to coexist – that is a challenge – both for the fictional characters in their fictional world, and for the writers who would have to come up with a solution that is believable as well as exciting and entertaining.

    In all fairness, they’ve done an excellent job with Todd – giving his character both development and depth – but he’s just one Wraith. I love him – best thing to happen in the show – but I’d like to see other Wraith given some development, too – and not just used to show up and die.

    Part of me has faith that the SGA creators CAN do it – but part of me – the ‘gut’ part – feels they’ll just do the predictable because that formula worked for SG1, and – let’s face it – they’re just a buncha guys who like to blow things up anyway… 😉

    “PG” being?

    Pegasus Galaxy. 😉

    das

  51. Thanks for this – it’s always interesting to see what happends behind the scenes and how everything is put together.

  52. As far as having a choice, it’s been established in the show that they do not have a choice.

    I’m not saying you are wrong, merely that I don’t remember that this has been established, and so remain skeptical. But regardless, even if they were to die without feeding they still have a choice as sentients. Just like some humans crashing on a mountain top would eat their fellow passengers, and some would chose not to (and possibly die instead).

    But why eat something that isn’t going to sustain you?

    I have this notion that I did hear it could sustain them, perhaps I was half sleeping when i hear something else. But either way, I think its basically nonsense – if it is not to be religion then its science, and if is science there is a way out (especially in scifi 😉 ) – so far earth teams have tried to solve the problem the good old human way: Kill the opposition. Now its time to try something else: Tretonin for the wraith. Something synthetic which WILL sustain them – and doesn’t involve killing hapless peasants on dusty worlds. Then you can have in fights between those who cling to their old quaint ways and the more progressive types 😉

    Nah – I think the whole ‘total villain’ route is way too cliche,

    “more and varied motivations” means not total villain.

    “PG” being?

    Pegasus Galaxy.

    Ahhh 🙂

  53. Woohoo I love squibs, okay granted other than on the show and well these few vids, they are the only ones I have seen, but hearing about them is great!!!At the con quite a few of the actors spoke about experiences such as this, but to see a test of it is so much cooler.

    Thanks for the clips, and hopefully you didn’t lose your hearing while filming them. 😀

    -JJ

  54. Shadow Step Said: I’m not saying you are wrong, merely that I don’t remember that this has been established, and so remain skeptical. But regardless, even if they were to die without feeding they still have a choice as sentients. Just like some humans crashing on a mountain top would eat their fellow passengers, and some would chose not to (and possibly die instead).

    Oh, I COULD be wrong – relatively new to the show, and crammed all four seasons into my brain just since January, sooooo…yeah.

    The only problem with the whole ‘they could choose to starve to death’ thing not working for me is that humans ARE their food, they don’t really have a choice in that matter (that we know of). It’s not like a plane crash survivor who refuses to eat a fellow human because – to them – it’s a sin. The Wraith, from puberty, feed on humans – it’s natural to them and they see nothing wrong with it, just like a cat sees nothing wrong with eating a beautiful songbird, much to the birdwatcher’s dismay. It’s just their nature, and they are not ashamed of that fact. And since they are a different species, it’s hard to force human values upon them…they are evolved insects, with a totally different mindset than humans. For instance, humans think Wraith tech is icky, but to the Wraith, it’s quite normal. Their normal is our ‘gross’ – and that in of itself intrigues the heck out of me!! They would probably be quite insulted over our repulsion.

    I have this notion that I did hear it could sustain them, perhaps I was half sleeping when i hear something else.

    I believe someone mentioned here that JM said they can feed on very large mammals, but it will not be nourishing enough (correct me if I’m wrong, Joe…it’s only a vague memory of a comment made by someone else).

    But either way, I think its basically nonsense – if it is not to be religion then its science, and if is science there is a way out (especially in scifi ) – so far earth teams have tried to solve the problem the good old human way: Kill the opposition. Now its time to try something else: Tretonin for the wraith. Something synthetic which WILL sustain them – and doesn’t involve killing hapless peasants on dusty worlds. Then you can have in fights between those who cling to their old quaint ways and the more progressive types

    Agreed. This would work perfectly for me. I love the threat they present, but I also love the characters (it’s the hair, I SWEAR!), and find what little has been revealed about them quite interesting, so would hate to see them eliminated. I also love the fact that they have this kind of perverse creepiness about them, without actually being sexual deviants. Dudes obsessed with food instead of boobs, quite refreshing! In fact, the latest issue of Toy Fare said something to the effect of the Wraith ‘are like the creepy guys at metal concerts, standing around leering at the girls but never getting into the music.’ 😆 EXACTLY!! I remember after Kindred aired, quite a few of us were thrilled that Todd seemed a bit creepier than usual – I think it was that Tasty Teyla remark that did it!

    “more and varied motivations” means not total villain.

    Yeah, I knew what you meant – I just got off on a tangent…I tend to do that at times…like now…sorry… 😳

    das

  55. Heya! I was reading about the new Viacom/MGM/Lion’s Gate network this morning in the Journal. I noted they’re planning to air original series. I’m madly curious – is this where a third Stargate series (or a sixth season of Atlantis) would be likely to air?

    I fully expect a “no comment” from you on this, but I just HAD to ask.

  56. dasNdanger Said:

    Wraith ‘are like the creepy guys at metal concerts, standing around leering at the girls but never getting into the music.’

    If i’m not mistaken that is a story from season 5 – they arrange a heavy metal concert on Atlantis and some wraith drop by to leer at Keller 😉

  57. Shadow Step Said: If i’m not mistaken that is a story from season 5 – they arrange a heavy metal concert on Atlantis and some wraith drop by to leer at Keller

    😆 😆 😆

    The mental image that conjures up!! Great way to end the day! Thanks! 😀

    das

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