Christina gunning for trouble

Don\'t mess with Leela.

Janina spoiling for a firefight

Nicole ready to shoot something.

A Captive Carson

Despite the early call, it was another late night on Whispers. The morning got off to a rocky start when the treadmill needed for our first scene up failed to show. While someone from Set Dec was dispatched to track down the errant piece of exercise equipment, Will skipped ahead and shot scene 49 instead. I have to say, it’s been a real pleasure having Paul McGillion on set. He has gone all out, sacrificing life, limb, and a little dignity for the sake of this episode. Despite being battered and bruised, he is always upbeat, concluding his day on set by taking the time to thank the rest of the cast and crew before heading home. A class act.

Well, Paul was wrapped by lunch after which we turned the day over to the action sequences. The afternoon was marked by lots of fog and gunfire, the crawling scene, and a pyro flare that almost claimed my eyebrows. Marty G. received notes on The Lost Tribe, Paul locked The Daedalus Variations, and my buddy Bruno gave me some moose sausage that I ended up sharing with Carl and Alan. Tomorrow, it’s all catacombs.

To those asking – no, the 100th episode will not be a comedy. We have something big in mind and are already in the planning stages. Speaking of episodes…

At this point, the schedule looks something like this: First Contact and The Lost Tribe are the mid-season two-parter, episodes 9 and 10. After that, things get a little wonky. We have Alan McCullough’s location episode (q.v. yesterday‘s David Hassel Hoffan entry), Alex Levine’s Inquisition (in which Atlantis is finally made to answer for past transgressions), Carl Binder’s latest (the beat sheet arrived on my desk late this afternoon and I’m going to try to read it tomorrow morning), the Martin Gero “written and directed by spectacular“, my “a very special Stargate Atlantis” which quite possibly may see the return of the lovely Kari Wuhrer, CSI: Atlantis which will be helmed by Robert C. Cooper, and that season finale I was talking about. Which leaves one mystery slot.

Today’s blog entry is dedicated to birthday gal Cassie.

84 thoughts on “April 29, 2008: On the set of Whispers

  1. Things are looking mighty spooky for “Whispers”. Thank you for the extra info about the second half of the season and I for one, glad that the 100th eppy is NOT a comedy.

    What’s going on with “Hexed”? or is that mentioned in the above list?

  2. Whoa, late night indeed. But it sounds like it’ll be way worth the effort! 😀

    *nods* That’s way cool with Paul M. *claps and kudos*

    Sooo…how are you gonna fill that mystery slot? 😉

  3. Hi Joe,
    Wow! I might be the first to post! Oh! The pressure! Haha! The pic’s of Whispers look really good!
    Paul McGillion is a captive! That pic of him looks like he’s having fun! Yeah! I think Paul is amazing! So sweet! I even had the pleasure of meeting him at a con! He left a lasting inpression in me! He is so sweet & humble! The name of the episodes sound very interesting! Can’t wait to see them!
    Stargate Atlantis 100th episode I am sure will be amazing!
    As always great blog!

    Take Care & happiness always!

  4. Love the pictures, it looks like this is going to be a great episode! Can’t wait.
    I bet your eye irritation thing will be gone once you get away from all this artifical fog.
    Do they cater breakfast, lunch and dinner on the set when you have such long days? Or do people send out for pizza and chinese?

  5. Hi Joe,
    Moose sausage? What does that taste like? Mystery slot! Season 5 looks like it will be awesome!
    I am glad you still have your eyebrows! Cause it takes a long time to grow them back!
    Oh! Catacombs sounds wet,dark & creepy! Cool!


  6. Very nice pictures. The back half episodes sound tantalising. Whispers sounds like an especially intensive episode to put to film. I’m looking forward to the final product. Here’s hoping you’ll be able to manage some saner hours in the near future.

  7. Thank you for the update! It’s pretty damn cool watching the production evolve as time goes on without being in the production, which would require us to do work and expend effort. Hooray! 😀

    And that episode 100 is starting to sound…AWESOME.

    Are you guys hiring Production Assistants right now (or anything)? I’ve got a friend who’s girlfriend is a film student and we’re all BIG Stargate fans (I’m, obviously, more well-versed in Gatedom than they are), so it’d be awesome if she can work at the center of our Universe, as it were.

    So, you guys hiring? And if you can’t tell me for whatever reason, is there a place to find that information?

    I mean, I’m not trying to put a spy in Bridge Studios or something…though that would be kind of cool…er…moving on.

    I think you made a typo there, Joe. The mid-season 2-parter is episodes 10 and 11, not 9 and 10.

    Finally, some questions:

    1. CSI Atlantis – is it written AND directed by Rob Cooper, like his other episodes?

    2. “Carl’s latest” – would that be “The Red Shirt Diaries”?

    That’s it. Hope you have a good day tomorrow down in the catacombs.

  8. Great pictures! Thanks for posting them. I love Paul’s picture in particular. It’s great to see him having so much fun on set.

    Do you have any recent funny “behind the scenes” stories you can tell without spoiling any episodes?

  9. Thank you, Joe, for the season five updates (oohhh…so Shep’s ex-wife may make another appearance…), and for the lovely photos. That Paul…

    I finally got the duck dinner I’ve been craving! Had to travel a distance to get it, but it was SOOOO worth it. Wonderful, delicious — the skin was just that right crispy stage, the meat was so moist and flavorful, and the raspberry/cranberry/orange sauce was very tangy. Matched with a perfect baked potato, some terrific veggies, awesome salad, and heck, I treated myself to a humdinger of a magarita too!

    Sorry, don’t have a cellphone with a camera doohickey to take a picture to share.



  10. Sorry for the double post, just got done watching the first 3 episodes of Season 4 on SciFi, and they are even better the second time around!
    Aging like fine wine…

  11. That last picture of Mr. Paul McGillion got close to making my day–it’s pretty funny, I have to say. Incidentally, isn’t the mid-season two parter usually episodes 10 & 11?

  12. Oooh, that’ll be fun to see an episode written AND directed by Marty G. You always seem to have the episodes I look forward to in the back half of the season.

    I’m glad the 100th won’t be a comedy because it’ll make Atlantis unique from SG-1. Though some people will want the comedy episode, I sense there would be a lot of whining about “ripping off from SG-1,” “not thinking of anything new,” etc… if you all opted for the comedic episode.

  13. [“Martin Gero “written and directed by spectacular“, my “a very special Stargate Atlantis” which quite possibly may see the return of the lovely Kari Wuhrer”]

    What Marty G. is going to direct! COOOOOOOLLLL! Why to go Marty. I thought He was just learning the producer side of things… now He’s going to direct. Awasome! Blessings abound! Have Fun Marty.

  14. So do you have too many ideas for your Little Orphan Episode and can’t decide which one to use? Or not enough?

  15. I think Carl should become a regular on the show.. Just look at that smile.. Isn’t he gorgeous?

  16. I have to say, it’s been a real pleasure having Paul McGillion on set.

    Well, then, you’ll want to be sure to have him back as often as possible, yes?

    Alex Levine’s Inquisition (in which Atlantis is finally made to answer for past transgressions)

    I must say, I’m glad to hear it. Much as I like them and they’re the good guys and all, they do seem to get away with an awful lot of crap and usually feel pretty justified in doing so (which is one reason, as evil as Michael gets, I still view him as a deeply sympathetic character).

    Sorry to see we won’t be getting a more wacky episode, though. I really hope there’s one some time in the future. Maybe the 111th episode?

    So you still have one ep left, huh? How about more with the wraith worshipers? Or maybe there’s a planet where the wraith aren’t so much seen as an alien menace but the cullings are seen as the judgment of their god. Only…well, anyway.

  17. How many Todd episodes are there in season 5? How about: A story from Todd’s perspective.

  18. Thank you for not making the 100th epi a comedy one, I prefer my humour to be a subtle blend of dry wit, character interplay, excellent writing and spot on timing rather than keystone cops and slapstick.
    Wish me luck I got another job interview today.

  19. Hey Joe,

    A little bit of trivia for you and Rob, Sci-fi just ran SG-1’s second Season’s second episode, if you watch carefully when Jolinar Informs Teal’c who he?/she? is, when Chris goes to storm out of the room he swipes the card the wrong way, you can see the magnetic strip..

  20. Thanks for all Paul pictures you’ve given us over the last few days! It’ll be great seeing him on Atlantis again, I can’t wait.


  21. Hello Joseph!!

    Yaou! Merci pour ces super photos!!! Cette épisode a l’aire génial!!

    Je pense que le 100iem épisode sera intérésant.!


    Que faut t’il faire pour être figurant dans un épisode de stargate atlantis?

    Voila =D Gros Bisou Bisou, a bientot =)

  22. Maybe you could let your ‘adoring’ fans write the last episode for you.

    I think that it should be a whump hunk episode with Rodney and Radek saving the day. Lorne, Beckett, Dex and Sheppard all whumped in abundance.


  23. To those asking – no, the 100th episode will not be a comedy.
    Thank GOD! For a few minutes there after reading the interview I feared the season 5 ending was going to be a joke. Which woulda been bad.

    I’m VERY excited about Season 5, s4 is quite an act to follow but so far the ep descriptions promise stories right up my alley and I hope they equal if not surpass the quality. We will be stepping up our SGA support campaign pretty soon to help, we really want a season 6.

    return of the lovely Kari Wuhrer as Nancy Sheppard: just say YES!

  24. Oh, the torment of knowing all the delightfulness we have incoming!

    And hooray for Paul for having the show go on. If he’s battered and bruised and you hadn’t shot the action sequences yet, just what were you doing to the poor man? 😉

  25. Hi Joe,

    Not complaining or anything but was wondering if Robert Cooper was still doing that Ark of Truth guest appearance here.

    Take care Joe!

  26. Interesting! Does this mean that the second half of season five will be an episode longer? I ask because I thought the two parters were usually 10 (season break) and 11.

    While I understand why people keep asking about the 100th episode, I completely see why it wouldn’t be a comedy–I mean, I hope you guys get picked up for a sixth season, obviously, but no matter what happens, it’s the season five finale, isn’t it? I’d rather take that seriously.

    Thanks for the post!

  27. Sounds like Whispers is going really well. You’ve mentioned the horror tone of it before, and that it might be more horror than anything else Stargate Atlantis has done. I’m wondering if there is any difference in the tone on set due to the horror tone of the script? Are people, for instance, laughing more, or more excited because it is different?

    I was also wondering if you have any tips for getting rid of microphone distortion from wind? I’m doing a short documentary for the web, using a camera with an in-built mic, and the location is proving really windy. I thought maybe you would know a few tricks of the trade.

  28. Hi !

    je voudrais vous posez quelques questions spéciales FRANCE !

    1 Où avez vous appris à parler si bien français?
    2 Quelle région de la France voudriez vous le plus visiter?
    3 Si vous deviez aller vivre dans un pays, ca serait lequel?
    4 Vous savez parler en combien de langues?

    Hum désolé mais j’avais vraiment envie de vous poser ces questions 🙂

  29. Joe,

    Really? Moose sausage? Like from a real moose? I don’t think I can eat moose. I can’t bring myself to eat buffalo, either. It’s their big, brown, adorable eyes that get me. I did try alligator tail and it sort of reminded me of something that came from a swamp. I know, duh! But I’m no alligator fan either. And it did NOT taste like chicken.

    Also, do you get headaches when there is a lot of gun fire on set? I get a headache just thinking about it.


  30. Thank you for the pics and schedule update. I was wondering, do you all conscientiously try to balance lighter episodes with darker episodes? Or do you let it trend towards whichever, if that happens to be the way it works out?

  31. Hey Joe,

    Aside from the mid-season 2-parter, you only mentioned 7 other episodes for the back half of season 5, including the season finale (#100), so doesn’t that leave 2 more slots? Since the 100th episode of SGA will be the season finale, hard to make it a comedy I guess (on SG-1 it was in the middle of the season). Hope we get many more episodes after that…


  32. Hey Joe…I will probably be behind on your blog the next few days…we are starting to move into our new house today.

  33. OK so Ford is not coming back anywhere in there to help save the day? I guess he really could be gone. The pictures are good, and the snippets of info are great too. thank you as always. How do you keep all the information straight> You must be a very organized person. Good luck and get some rest!

  34. Good morning Joe,
    Really looking forward to season 5, especially Whispers. It looks to have the right amount of creepiness and action to satisfy all. Ok, maybe just me! Really appreciate the behind the scenes photos. Adds a lot to the anticipation of the episode.

    Repeat 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 DVDs and it caught my eye.

    Hope things continue to go well on the set of Whispers. May sleep fall gently on you at the end of filming.

    Happy Daze!

  35. “Tomorrow, it’s all catacombs.”

    Yeah, that pretty much describes my morning.

    Wonderful pics, thank you. Paul seems like a fun guy to work with!

    Moose sausage? Sounds like a bad joke. Although I do like bison burgers, so I’d probably be game to try moose.

  36. Wow it has been awhile since i posted…
    I had a weird thought…what do you think about pitting Robert Picardo against Stanley Tucci…I would love to see a knock down drag out fight between the two…it would be awesome to watch. They both act with their whole being. Again, just a weird thought.

  37. I’d love it if Kari Wuhrer was to return, I thought she was wonderful as Nancy!

  38. Everytime you post something about Paul/Carson, this little lemming sqeals with joy and, yes, Mallozzi is redeemed for a day. Keep up with with the Paulie pictures (and episodes).


  39. *waves*

    Long time no speak. Did you miss me? 😛

    Thanks for all the yummy pics and vids from whispers, great to see some of the girls kicking butt, i’m sure they’ll do us proud. 😀 And it’s good to see Kari Wuhrer hopefully coming back. You know for all my osterich tendencies about her character, I really liked her, so hope to see more of her.

    So Marty G is directing and writing? Any hints on the name yet? And then that elusive empty slot? Any chance it could be the extreme whumped shep eppy? Or is that now off the table? I tell you what, how about when I come to Vancouver and visit the set, you and I can discuss it in more detail? 😉 😛 😀 Have I scared the crap out of you yet? 😆 I can just see it now the new mystery Atlantis episode entitled; “Cheeky’s Pegasus Adventure!” It has a nice ring to it don’t you think? 😉 😛 😀

    If nothing else, I hope that you can give me directions and some recommendations on what foods to eat at Fuel when I come over, and hope to meet up, if i’ve not scared you off already. 😆


  40. Writers, almost by definition, must be creative people and probably enjoy challenging themselves by writing about new worlds and characters. Do you (or your fellow writers) ever find it tedious to be writing for a long-running series, with the same characters to work with, year in and year out? Do you write fiction or screen plays for other shows on the side? Just for fun or creative release? Or is there not enough time for that. (you do great writing for your blog – does that count?). Perhaps exploring the newer characters on an established show is a way of doing something new too? Just wondering.

  41. Yeah, it’s well known how much Paul is loved on set and how easy he is to work with. Some of the crew even bought their own Save Carson tee-shirts! Sadly Joe, your observation makes it all the more mysterious why he was fired and then not brought back full-time. 🙁

    I knew it was Gero who was going to be the new director! I think he’ll really enjoy talking to himself on the commentary. :p

  42. So are you guys having trouble finding directors? I noticed you said that M. Gero was going to direct now too.

  43. Inching towards season 5 with all these updates everyday. Wonderful.

    Susanthetartanturtle said:
    “I think that it should be a whump hunk episode with Rodney and Radek saving the day. Lorne, Beckett, Dex and Sheppard all whumped in abundance.”

    Hehe, I like he way you think. 🙂

    Thinking of Lorne 🙂 Can you tell me how many episodes he will be appearing in, in season 5? Thanks.

  44. The pic’s of the team all weapon’d out look awesome. I’m totally looking forward to being horrified! 😛 Thanks for posting! Good luck in the catacombs.

    Hmm. You know… it’s not everyday you can actually use “catacombs” in a sentence. 🙂


  45. Oh, oh, my birthday is tomorrow, May 1st – can you dedicate a photo of Ronon to me? Haha 62 years old and still writing fan mail – I blame it on the 60s…
    Loved all the photos of the chocolate and I cannot wait until this new season starts for Atlantis!!!

  46. Paul is a great guy. I met him at a convention in Germany (www.fedcon.de) last year and we had a talk at the bar about tattoos… You should try to convince the rest of the cast/crew to attend that con ;^)

    Thx again for the pics… I’m trying to get a good Atlantis uniform together for the cons I attend and those pics help to see some details, especially on the props :^)

    Thx for the updates on the new season… really looking forward to seeing it… even if it is without Torri Higginson… you guys should really try to get her back on the main cast… *puppy dog eyes*

  47. Thanks for all the great pics. Especially the one of Paul. Very funny 😀

    1) Has the Shep whumping episode been shelved or could still happen in s5?

    2) Does Inquisition have anything to do with the court room you mentioned last year (or maybe earlier this year)?

    I loved Nancy Sheppard in Outcast. I’d love to see her again in s5!

  48. It’s me again 😀

    Another question 😛

    If there’s a court room in Inquisition, any chance we see Shep in his dress uniform? *whistles innocently*

    I’m shallow. I know. :O

  49. Just when I thought you guys couldn’t possibly make me any happier after last year…. Martin Gero writing AND DIRECTING an episode?!?!?!


  50. Forgot to mention that I’m thrilled to be hear that Kari Wuhrer might return. I thought she did great as Sheppard’s ex-wife. Lovely actress.

  51. Bon je vais aller me coucher plus tot car depuis 3 jours je n’arrive plus a dormir…Bisou Bisou . A demain. Je vous adore!!!

    Ps: Trop happy j’ai eu 800 commentaire aujourd’hui sur mon blog^^!

  52. Hello Joe

    I volunteer in our local (Perth, Scotland) Oxfam book and music shop and am currently trying to write a newsletter for our customers. I need quotes – you are famous(ish) and like books. Could you give me a truly inspirational quote about your love for books, one which will make our customers just want to rush back in and buy books in bulk. All our books and music are donated by members of the public. They are all pre-loved.

    The photographs above are great – those big fierce women and the scared wee Carson. As things should be.


    PS If you ever feel the need to donate your books to charity…..:-) 🙂

  53. —clarification on previous statement…
    I think Woolsey verses whatever character you made up for Stanley Tucci would be AWESOME.

    And Happy BD iberostar!

    Did anyone else think last week’s LOST completely upped the game AGAIN…what an episode.

  54. Oh a Mystery slot, how about “The Mystery” or Mystery Man as en episode name, it is both mysterous and goes in tandem with your mystery slot names.

    Personally Il’d love to see Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie on the credits of episode 20 of season 5, but thats just my preference on who should write.
    But being episode 100 it’l be a everyone episode most likely.

  55. Season 5 sounds awesome. Can’t wait can’t wait.

    Question – are any of the episodes in Season 5 what I’ve heard referred to as “bottle shows”? If so which ones?

    Alexander Londe’s mention of the infamous card swipe mistake reminded me… I was watching Crusade with closed captioning on the other day, and in the scene where Daniel/Vala walks into the shower room,you can hear what sounds like a dog bark, and the closed captioning even has “dog barking”. Any insights?

  56. susanthetartanturtle Said:

    Maybe you could let your ‘adoring’ fans write the last episode for you.

    I think that it should be a whump hunk episode with Rodney and Radek saving the day. Lorne, Beckett, Dex and Sheppard all whumped in abundance. 🙂

    Oh no it’s Snakes on a Puddle Jumper! Although the Shep & Lorne whumping would be great.

    Congrats to Marty G. What are his plans for getting people to listen to him on set?

    Cheers, Chev

    Cheers, Chev

  57. hey joe i posted a question couple of days ago about Mid season two parter, plus is there any hints who’s involved


  58. Joe,
    I’ve just been looking at stills from Continuum (which looks awesome!) and I reminded myself of a question I have been wondering about. Cameron Mitchell the leader of SG-1, is he by any chance named after the actor Cameron Mitchell who played on the TV western High Chapparel? Just wondering…..

  59. Paul does seem like a class act. Why isn’t he in more episodes? I like Jewel (who also seems like a class act–loved her in Firefly), but I began to really dislike Keller when the romantic entanglements started last season (I was fairly neutral about her before that). And, well, I am disappointed to hear we will be seeing so much of Keller…and to hear there will be more romance on the horizon. Why this focus on romance? You could still tell good stories with friendships as the focus and the odd shippy hint, like in previous seasons.

    I hope your eye has recovered. Take care.

  60. trekkiegirlt,

    Cameron Mitchell isn’t the leader of SG1. In The Ark Of Truth General Landry makes him the new captain of the Odyssey.

  61. Paul is such a cutie patootie! How awesome to read that he is as upbeat, gracious and charming offscreen, as he is onscreen. He ROCKS!

    susanthetartanturtle said:

    Maybe you could let your ‘adoring’ fans write the last episode for you.I think that it should be a whump hunk episode with Rodney and Radek saving the day. Lorne, Beckett, Dex and Sheppard all whumped in abundance.

    Ooooh, this sounds good to me!

  62. All that fog is “Silent Hilly” isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be funny if the teams’ radio went off and made that hissing sound, then some giant alien bird appeared? lol

    I see Paul’s in good spirits.

    How’s your eye? *slap* for not getting medical attention sooner. Typical hard working male heheh. Your conjunctiva could have been scratched!

  63. Sounds like SGA Season 5 is going to be a hell of a year. …Is it October yet???? *pines for new episodes*

    Also, just though you’d like to know that a friend of mine saw a preview for Marty G.’s Young People F*ing when he went to see the new Harold and Kumar movie at the theatre. He said nothing about release date, but you can pass on the word that the trailers have hit here in Toronto, at the very least!

  64. Hey Joe,

    Love all the set pics, please keep them coming.

    Any truth to the rumors that Season 5 will start on July 11th? When do you expect TPTB to make an official announcement?


  65. 1)Are there any major secrets kept this year amongst the team?

    2)Will there be any undermining(intentional or otherwise)of Woolsey’s authority?

  66. I go away for a month with access to only military websites and lookit all I miss! I have a lot of catching up to do. I do have a question – I just got my daughter a puppy. Any advice on potty training? I’m clueless!

  67. We know that Episode 100 won’t be a comedy, but are there any other episodes of the season you would consider rather comedic?

  68. Joe,

    A while back I asked if Apophis was going to be in Continuum and you answered “no”. Now there are promotional pictures that show that the man, Pops, is indeed going to be in Continuum. So what’s up with that? Did plans change? Did you flat out lie? I also asked if Jacob was going to be in the movie, to which you also responded “no”. So, should I take that “no” to really mean “yes”, as was the case with Apophis? Or are you out of the loop when it comes to the SG-1 movies? Maybe I could ask Rob Cooper when he stops by for his big Ark of Truth Q & A.

  69. marielabbott said: “I am disappointed to hear we will be seeing so much of Keller…and to hear there will be more romance on the horizon.”

    I’m looking forward to more Keller, I love Jewel Staite, and I think Ronon and Keller would be a cute couple, somewhat odd perhaps… 😉

  70. Sooo, Geros directorial debut – what are the odds of it also being the last? I might fancy a flutter *g*

  71. gate4life Said:

    Cameron Mitchell isn’t the leader of SG1. In The Ark Of Truth General Landry makes him the new captain of the Odyssey.

    General Landry did not make him captian as in take him out of being the lead of SG1! In season 9 first ep, Landry tell Mitchell he is to lead SG1…that has not changed.

  72. Which, if any, Season 5 episodes will have character of Michael in them? Don’t disappoint Joe!

  73. Would someone be so kind as to tell me how to quote someone in italics here in the comment section? I wanted to do that to my reponse to gate4life.
    I also wanted to add that Landry did not reassign Mitchell to the Odessey, he just put him in the “chair” for the misson.
    Thanks for the help with the italics…novice here

  74. It’s great to hear that you’ve enjoyed having Paul M back on set as much as we’re looking forward to seeing him back on our screens. 🙂

    Season 5 is sounding better and better every day!

  75. The best thing would be that if Tori Higginson returned for fifth season, but I hope she will return in the sixth season as regular cast member. I think everybody, all of us who is a fan need Dr. Elizabeth weir.

    The 100th would feature how Dr. Weir returns to Atlantis.

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