Paul McGillion as Carson \"Party Animal\" Beckett

Janina Gavankar as Sgt. \"Dusty\" Mehra.

Christina Cox as Major Anne Teldy

The hardware.

Rob show\'s \'em how it\'s done.

Don;\'t mess with the ladies.

Clean up in aisle six.

Raring to go!

Our guest cast rolled in on Monday for their costume fittings. Then, after lunch, Christina, Nicole, and Janina headed over to Stage 3 where they attended Gun School. Following a brief tutorial by Stargate armorer Rob Fournier, they donned safety glasses, ear protection, and were then put through the paces: pivoting, reloading, and firing. To anyone wondering, the fourth member of the team, Leela, was skipped the lesson, having already received a crash course in the season premiere, Search and Rescue.

Tuesday was Day One of the Whispers shoot. The majority of the day’s work took place inside the house with Sheppard, Beckett, Teldy, Vega, Dusty, Porter, and Mirellus. About a couple of hours in, the script called for nightfall. We killed the lights, dropped the tent, and got the fog machines going. The idea of tenting only key areas of the stage was a brilliant one (Thank you, James Robbins) as it allowed us to quickly achieve and adjust to a desired level of visibility. In retrospect, the alternative – fogging the entire FX Stage – would have been a real nightmare. Although progress was a little slow at first (In an unforeseen snafu, a significant amount of fog ended up seeping into the house during the shooting of the first scene, causing a slight production delay while we sealed up the various breach points), things picked up in the late afternoon and I was able to make it home well before 10:00 p.m.

It was an exhausting day, but the scenes we shot look fantastic and our guest stars have been amazing.

I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to comment on The Empire of Ice Cream and For a Journey to Quibo. Although I’ve been a little overwhelmed here at work, I’ve really enjoyed reading your opinions on the unfinished short, as well as your thoughts on what turned out to be a remarkable anthology.

To those of you who would like to check out some free fiction, head on over to –


This site offers up links to works from a wide variety of authors including Stephen Baxter, Greg Egan, Robert Silverberg, and one Jeffrey Ford.

Well, it’s ticking past 10:10 p.m. so I’ll wrap this up. Looks like tomorrow may be even longer. On the bright side, I’m getting enough behind-the-scenes pics to tide you all over for weeks to come.

59 thoughts on “April 23, 2008: Whispers, Day 1

  1. This is just a quick note to thank all of you who have sent me postcards, letters, and cards. It’s so great getting them. They certainly lift my spirits. I’m having my artistically-inclined niece make a collage of them on my room’s bulletin board.

    Though I have had a minor setback in one aspect of my health, I’m actually doing a bit better in most. In fact, today I walked further (farther?) without having to sit down than I have in 6 years or so. Most people would laugh at how short a distance it was, but my Physical Therapist and I are very happy with it. Also, my doctor’s nurse practitioner has changed some of my medicines. I’m hoping that will ease some of the pain.

    Again, thanks for remembering me!

    Anne Teldy (née Kelly Hurt)

  2. Joe,

    Thanks for the shooting updates. Will Walter make an appearance in Season 5?

  3. Well, hello there, Mr. Saxon. Are the drums still beating?

    Heh, sorry Joe. I don’t think you’ve watched any Doctor Who, so you may not have gotten that. Hopefully some of the other regulars will understand. It’s certainly the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw that last pic.

    Well, it’s good to know that you were only late these last 2 days because of Whispers, and not a freak time dilation field enveloping Bridge Studios. I wish you good luck on the days to come. Let’s see what Stargate can do with a horror fan behind the wheel of a horror episode.

  4. Have a relaxing night Joe.

    I could never do what you do (aside from the fact I have absolutely zero writing ability), long days, but lots of standing around getting everything just right. That would send me crazy! Give me a long, multi-tasking to the extreme day instead – hang on, that’s today!

  5. AWESOME photos….many many thanks. Can’t wait to see more. The concept behind Whispers is certainly falling into place with the cast. We await the next episodes with much anticipation.

    By the way is the snazzy dressed dude you? White shirts do not seem to be your choice – but the purple mask kinda fits.

    Looking forward to Mr. Ford’s comments and answers.
    And, when you have more time – sheesh what a schedule you have this week; your thoughts on Quibo. That one is intriguing.

    Get some rest.

  6. Wow! Late post tonight again (especially for me… I’m in EST, so it’s like 2:00 here!!!) but, as usual, you make the small study break worth it!!!!

    Thanks for the pix!!!!

    In conclusion, I have but one word: finals…. (urgh wish me luck!!!)

  7. the respirator! ahahahaha! i have quite severe chemical sensitivities after being around termiticide too much a decade ago, and for a few years i didn’t dare go anywhere without a respirator unless i wanted to risk seizing (although i was almost completely housebound, so i still didn’t use it much).

    it looks identical to yours, purple filters and all, but thankfully i haven’t needed it in 4 years now *g*

  8. First I’d like to say a big thank you for mentioning Katherine yesterday, she got a real buzz out of it and went off to school positively bouncing, I don’t think it had anything to do with the teachers strike taking place today because she has practice SATs.

    Great pics and funky gas mask dude.

    Hope your day isn’t as long as you anticipate.

    Shiningwit & Katherine.

  9. Dear Joe,

    Glad to see that Christina Cox is going to be in another part of the Stargate Universe. I saw her both SG-1 episodes (Spirits & The Sentinel). And she’s by far my fave actress that should be on Stargate as a returning character every few episodes.

    I’m a fan of hers from Blood Ties and would like to see her in more Atlantis eps if possible. Thanks for show us the pics of her in costume and with the P-90 training and the vid, too! Would like to see more of her for sure.

    Okay, rambling now, so I’ll go. Thanks again!

    Aliene Weller Sheppard (don’t ask…won’t tell!)

  10. Hey I like that look on you – it’s very “I’m spray-painting the car on my way to a business meeting”.

    Thanks for the cool photos and congrats and best wishes for the Whispers shoot.

    Cheers, Chev

  11. Nice to hear how whispers progresses 🙂
    But I so can’t wait till you start shooting “the queen” after I read the spoilers 😀 – great idea!!! – they wait for season 5 is getting harder the more I hear about the wraith in it 🙂

  12. AnneTeldy, great to hear from you and hope the minor setback is a temporary one. Mr. M, thanks for the great pictures, I’m more impressed than ever by your dedication to this blog and its readers. With your work schedule, the nurturing of your script from paper to film, and your preparations for your chocolate soiree, it would be understandable for you to “just once” skip a night of posting. Were you to do so of course would be a mental health catastrophe as thousands of blog addicts around the world go without their daily fix. You’;e truly a remarkable man to handle such heavy responcibilities so well. Either that, or you a sufferer of OCD. Or you’re both…again, thanks for taking the time to give us a peek at the goings on up B.C. way.

  13. Thanks for the photos. Long days, only a couple to go. Get some rest this weekend. 🙂 At least someone can. I have to work for three weeks straight, we had some people get fired and quit so we are really short handed. I go in at 3 am and make the donuts for everyone. I love it. The customers are always telling me how much they love my baking and the fact that I decorate it all. Makes me feel good. 🙂

    Get some rest. 🙂

  14. Joe,

    Never apologize for being busy working on our favorite show. Knowing that things are coming along and the shoots are going well and all the cast and crew are healthy and working is what we want to hear.

    Your updates and photos are very much appreciated. I’m okay with the wait in between seasons, until the season premier date starts to get closer, then I start jonesing lololol

    You mentioned “the house” in your Whispers comment. What house? Where is it and why are they there?

    You’re not gonna tell me are you –? No I didn’t think so. Darn, worth a shot. Thanks for the pics and hints though.

  15. LOVELY pix thanks & thanks in advance for the Sheppard ones to come! Glad to hear the shooting is going great, this is another one of my most-anticipated eps.

    Glad to see ya Kelly-Teldy, keep getting well

  16. Congrats on the new achievement, Anne!

    And Joe, thanks for the pictures. Hopefully the actresses are starting to look more like military for those who were having trouble envisioning it.

    I hope today isn’t as long as you fear!

  17. Hello Mr M, just to say we have been watching Window Of Opportunity over here on sky,best episode ever(must have watched it a thousand times)first time i noticed you wrote it so just wanted to say thank you very much,my daughter and i know it off by heart,you did a grand job thanks again x Keep up the good work(we know you will)

  18. If you are talking about free books, it might be interesting for some readers to visit Baen’s free library, here

    Whilst it is techanically an attempt at luring customers in (you may discover a new author who’s work you like) there are many ebooks in different formats.

  19. Thanks for all the great pics, Joe. Looking forward to seeing this episode (as well as all the others).

    You said “The majority of the day’s work took place inside the house with Sheppard, Beckett, Teldy, Vega, Dusty, Porter, and Mirellus”

    Wait wait wait… The majority of the day’s work took place inside the house with Sheppard
    *looks at pics*
    Wouldn’t you say that someone is missing in the pics? Poor Shep. Sniff. He feels so unwanted. You know you want to post pics of Shep, don’t you? 😀

    PS: @ Anne Teldy
    Sorry about the setback, but glad to hear you’re doing better in most. Congratulations and keep it up! You’re in my thoughts.

  20. Love your selection of statues…
    can you make a list of them…

    I know you’ve mentioned a tad few of your SUPREME bad a$$es of the universe in previous blogs but either the collection has grown or this is a different side of your office.

    thanks for keeping up the blogging duties even at 10:10pm

  21. Anne Teldy – Thanks for the update. I’ve been wondering how you’ve been doing, but often don’t get a chance to read through the huge amount of comments Joe gets every day. Chances are you might not see this either, but I’m glad to hear you’re doing good.

    pg15 – I was thinking more along the lines of “Muuuuuummy…Are you my mummy?”. And there’s The Doctor again.


    Onto The Empire of Ice Cream again…”The Beautiful Gelreesh” was interesting philosophically because while the Gelreesh looked beautiful people adored him, and even when they knew what he was they empathised. But once he showed his real form their sympathy seemed to leave them. It really made me think again about what is considered “beatiful”. And why do we consider some things beautiful, but not others? Who are we to impose our own values and standards onto others who we may not be able to fully understand? The way I see it the Gelreesh did what he had to do, and believed (or at least seemed to) that he was doing people a favour. I don’t think he was evil, or at least not any more so than the people who judged him.

    “The Boatman’s Holiday” captured Hell in a really captivating way. Often in stories I have read that include descriptions of Hell, it all gets very cliché with the fire, brimstone, Satan etc etc. While this story had those elements, there was a lot more to it, even in the descriptions of the fire and stone and eternity of torture. It also seemed that there was still hope, even in Hell, and even in the most unsuspecting characters.

    “Botch Town” was great. I noticed a few of the comments so far have says this story really captures childhood, and I have to agree. Jeff’s thought processes, the twists and turns, the fear that at first seems irrational but turns out to be incredibly perceptive intuition, it all felt very real. I’ve noticed there are some writers that never use there own names in their stories, and some that do. I’ve even known one of my favourite (and considerably successful) writers to include themselves IN a story (very postmodern, isn’t it?). And in “A Night at the Tropics” and “Botch Town” Ford and Jeff are used respectively.

    My question to Jeffrey Ford is why he has used his namesake? Does it make the story easier to narrate? Or the character easier to define? Or was it a completely unconscious thing that I’m reading into way too much?

    Onto “Recipe For a Journey to Quibo”. I really liked this story so far. The almost undefinable magic that is held in the dust and “knowledge” of libraries is illustrated beautifully. My only criticism at this stage is that it seems the two plot lines – finding the recipe book and changing the Empire – are very separate. I’m assuming they would come together later on in the story, but I thought I would mention it. And the other thing is I definitely want the book to be found, whether or not the journey is to Quibo, or a journey of realisation in finding the recipe book, is something else entirely. I’d like to see where this story goes though. Does the Emperor find the book and take it with him? Or does our narrator get to visit Quibo and find out what the name of the “Zasheel” really is?

    Again, thank you Jeffrey for sharing that with us.


    Joe, glad to see everything seems to be going well in the mist department. And even though you sound extremely busy this week, I hope it’s all fun too.


  22. Wow…Whispers just sounds like it’s shaping up to be really creepy. Which is not normally my favorite thing in the world but for SGA I’m willing to give it a go. 😉 *chuckles*

    Sounds like it’s progressing right along, tho’ and that’s good. Thanks for all the lovely pics! 🙂

    Gun School…lol sounds like fun. How often does that get conducted, and how long a session does it normally turn out to be?

    The mask looks good on you. LOL!!

  23. congrats on the overall good day one of shotting. Best of luck with the days to come.

  24. Joe,

    Thank you again for the behind the scenes insight. Very educational. Does Joe Flanigan have issues about getting his picture taken by you? You never seem to get him on film. The ladies (or as we would say in the military “females”) look great. I’m looking forward to “Whispers” more and more.

    Any word on when Season 5 will actually air?


  25. Thanks for taking the time to post the great pics of chicks with guns. Hubby will like that a lot. I’m getting all tingly about S-5.

    Nice shot of the casings, who gets to police the area? Don’t tell me y’all just scrap the casings what with the price of metal and how green we’re supposed to be and all that. Mover’s blanket on the floor, yeah, sound suppression. Someone’s thorough, nice to know.

  26. Love the pictures. I am getting really excited for Whispers and all of season five.

    Today is my birthday. It is a bittersweet occasion as this is the last year I will be in my thirties, but hey hubby is taking me out to my favorite restaurant for lunch so its all good. As a new poster (I am mostly a lurker) I wouldn’t dream of asking for a blog dedication as a present, but would asking for a some spoilery goodness espically about Sheppard be to much to wish for?

  27. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the pics – especially pic #2 (though one wonders what Paul is doing!!!). And more goodies to come…yay!

    Okay, that’s all!

    Leesa Perrie

  28. Hey Joe!

    After looking at the leftovers from gun school, makes me rethink what I said yesterday about costs of blanks…not only do they cost you lots of money, but there is a whole ton of cleanup afterwards as well. Who cleans up the gun casings? 😛

    Glad to see everything going smoothly for you, so have lots of fun on the set!

    Thanks as always!

    – Enzo Aquarius

  29. Hi Joe –

    I love the photos (jumping up and down and clapping) especially Christina Cox. I really love her character in Blood Ties and can’t wait for Whispers! She totally looks ready to kick some ass! I’m glad your episode is finally up but sorry to hear your schedule is going to be even crazier!

    Unfortunately local library didn’t have Empire – and waiting for them to inter-branch-mail it from Toronto would take, well, 8-10 weeks judging by the last oddity I ordered. Guess they don’t expect us local’s to have any kind of half-decent taste. ^_^ I’m pre-ordering May’s selections though so I’ll be ready to go!

    Have a great day on set and may your green tea perk you up!


  30. Hey there, Joe!

    Again, fantastic pics! You spoil us, you know. I’m thrilled to see Paul. 😀 *does happy dance*

    I have a question for you. Allie is all of a sudden wanting to read horror books. Since I still check for boogey monsters under my bed I’m at a loss as to what to get for her. I don’t do horror.

    Allie is a very mature 13. A couple years ago for Halloween I found a book on Poe. It contained most of his works (maybe all?). Allie devoured it right up. Her dad took her to see Sweeney Todd and Allie loved it. Do you have any suggestions for her that may be along those lines? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    @Anne Teldy: Congrats on the walking! The furthest you’ve gone in six years? That’s really something to be celebrated. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you well. 🙂


  31. Nice shots. I see Christina’s grown her hair long again (last time I saw it was shorter). Hmm, as another fan said, no Sheppard shots? Aw, come on, throw us a bone (or at least a photo)! 😉

  32. I receive emails from Tor Books ( and they offer a free scifi/fantasy book download each month along with a choice of two screensavers (new cover art from books). I download them in a .pdf file. I enjoyed Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. Just thought I’d mention it.

  33. Hi Joe,
    Thanks for the wonderful pics. We are truly a lucky group of fans who get to see behind the scenes before the show even airs!

    Haven’t finished Empire of Ice Cream yet; had to renew it at the library. From all the comments so far I am looking forward to finishing the rest. What I’ve read so far is very enjoyable. Especially enjoyed Mr. Ford’s short exerpt of his new story. So many possibilities. Will look for it in the future to see whether Mr. Ford’s ideas matched anyone elses. What an imagination!

    Question about Stargate two-part episodes: Why are some written and/or directed by the same person, and others aren’t? Is there ever a concern over lack of continuity, or do your writers and directors just work so well together that everything flows smoothly? I know most of the writers and directors have been around for quite a while, which goes to show what a great track record you/the franchise have for retaining quality. Just curious cuz I’ve been watching the dvd sets and it caught my eye.

    Anyway, have a great weekend. (I know, it’s only Thursday at the moment.) Hope you have time to recuperate after this most busy week.


  34. W00T! Can now see the pictures! *kisses office high-speed connection*

    Hmmm…Emma Frost? That explains the all-female team.

    Deadpool? That kinda explains everything else… 😉

    LOVE the collection! I only have a couple Wolverine figures…seeing as how I think he looks so snazzy in those blue and yeller jammies of his. 😀

    Thanks, as always, for the pics and the behind-the-scenes goodies!!


  35. Thanks again for the pics Joe, it’s much appreciated. 🙂

    I’m adding my voice to the whole lack of Sheppard/Joe F pics thing. Could you try and get one pic of him? Pretty please? Whatever we have to do to persuade the lovely Mr. Flanigan to pose for a photo, I’m sure we’d all be willing to do it – bribery, copious amounts of flattery, threats – whatever it takes! 😛

  36. Nice pics. Was wondering why the blog was way past my bedtime on the East coast lately. If we are getting pics and vids from the upcoming episode, then Mr M can be as late as he want.

    It’s shocking. The girls gone to the gun school without hair or makeup for Joe’s picture taking. Hope that quiet the noise about model babes from the other posters.

    So have Christina Cox been inform about her character’s impeding “Space Cow” encounter yet? Hope Mr. M take up my previous suggestion of bring back Major Teldy as a Wraith hybrid experiment.

    @Anne Teldy
    Good to see you are posting. Hope your health setback is very minor and temporary.

  37. In your last post you mentioned John Scalzi, Joe Abercrombie, Iain M. Banks, Ted Chiang and George R. R. Martin. I love Ted Chiang and Martin and Banks is special and I’m looking forward to reading Joe Abercrombie. I’m not the fan of Scalzi you are, but I’ll give him another shot with the BOTM selection. Have you read Dan Simmons’ “Hyperion” and “Fall of Hyperion?” Those were the kinds of books for me that you describe these others as being for you.

    I am curious if you have any female writers that you find as amazing? Personally, I am a big fan of Megan Whalen Turner, Lois McMaster Bujold (science fiction, not fantasy) and CJ Cherryh. There’s also a new series started by a new writer, Sandra McDonald. Have you read any of these or perhaps you have some you’d recommend?

    As always, thank you for sharing the photos. I can’t wait for season 5.

  38. Aw sounds like midterms and finals are all due for you Joe,(late nights, etc..) nice gas mask and suit, Hope you stocked up enough chocolate to tide you over. thank you for the pictures, I enjoy seeing behind the scenes. Get some nap time in if possible…

  39. Congrats on finally getting WHISPERS going in front of the camera!!
    Quick question: why are the pix today showing up as Bitmaps? I save the pix from your site to my Mallozzi Pix file (easier to refer to than paging thru the blog) and was aghast to have them NOT pop as jpegs today. Whassup?

  40. Jason Said:

    Will Walter make an appearance in Season 5?

    Sure: Walter is comming home after a long tough day at the SGC. What witnesses would later describe as a portal is seen shimmering into place in the middle of a street, soldiers jump through it grab Walter and drag him into the portal which promptly closes. Security cams reveal that the people who snatched Walter are Sheppard, Teyla and Ford – which comes as something of a surprise for the people on Atlantis.


  41. Hey Joe,
    Quick question please, Any possible revelations on Inquisition episode….is it gonna be like spoils of war or echoes type which follows up on the mid season two parter?

  42. Dear Joe,

    I was wondering if you ever plan to reveal the new ships from the new alien races. Anything man, stills, concept arts or even illustrations.

    cheers mate and good luck with Whispers…. hope its as good as you sell it.

  43. Just checked the status of the current “win lunch with … ” auction some of our Stargate actors are participating in on –

    Amanda and Jewell are still a bargain at $3,600 and $3,500 so far.

    RDA is up to $15,000 but Joe F. has him beat at $16,500!

    -and the auction isn’t over until the 29th.

  44. Are the women going to wear those uniforms in the field or are they going to wear more of a fatigue style uniform? The ones their pictured in look tight and uncomfortable. I was hoping you’d go back to the season 3 uniforms.

  45. Wow. Thanks for the pictures and the link…I’m sure it will provide for many hours of amusement in the near future!!!
    (Sorry this post is a day late!)

  46. Thanks for the piccies! Must be thrilling for Anne to see her character in pixelated glory!

    Take a pic of your eye Joe. We gruesome lovers beseech thee!

  47. Thx for the pics… my computer is starting to get loaded with them :^D
    And thx for the link to the free fiction… I’ll prolly spend hours at work reading instead of actually working ;^)

  48. You read so fast Joe! I wish I could read that fast. I can only do one book club, and I’m already in one. Last month was Daisy Miller, which I liked, but this month is Eat, Pray, Love, which I am dreading. I had hoped to get through life without having to read that one!

    Two questions…How long is gun class? And those casings make me think it would hurt to get hit with a squib. What are they made of?

    Thanks for the pictures. I’m trying not to get too spoiled this season. I try to avoid spoilers, but unless I want to stay off the internet, it’s near impossible. I even got spoiled for something in Continuum by the official Stargate Magazine! I was so pissed! I thought the official magazine would avoid spoilers, but I guess everyone wants to show they know something others don’t!

  49. I was thinking the EXACT same thing when I saw that last pic! I’m a big fan of New Doctor Who and I just can’t get the
    last 3 episodes of season 3 out of my mind! The Master was
    so crazy, funny, cruel and sexy! He gassed all the cabinet
    members to death while he gave the 2 thumbs up to the last guy who called him insane with his last breath! Brilliant!
    Now bring back Beckett as a full time regular, add him back to the opening credits or the Master will decimate Atlantis!
    Here it comes, the sound of drums….here come the drums,
    here come the drums!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.