Mailbox quota exceeded? How the hell is that possible? I mean, COME ON! My writing partner Paul hasn’t deleted an email in over three years. His inbox looks like a guest list for an Italian wedding and yet he doesn’t seem to have any problem either sending or receiving. Of course, it may have been the size of the files being sent my way. They were images from Broken Ties that the visual effects department was sending MGM’s way for the official website. For some reason, I have become the middle man in all matters of publicity between the production and either the studio or network. Whether it’s photos, trailers, or episode synopses, they have to go through me before they go public. This because of past instances in which spoilers have been unintentionally revealed (as opposed to the intentional reveals I can do nothing about, ie. Cue network promo: “And in this week’s episode, you won’t believe the last five minutes…” Cut to a shot of Carson Beckett, very much alive. “…unless you happened to watch this promo. Stargate Atlantis! Watch it live – because when you‘re dead, it‘s nowhere near as good! ”).


Yeah, it’s always annoying when a major spoiler gets out. Still, there are so many precautions you can take. The early release of Search and Rescue is a great example. This season, we were faced with a choice: send out press screeners like last year and risk the episode ending up on the net, or hold of on sending out copies of the episode with the press kit. Ultimately, we decided to send out the screeners because we felt that there was more to be gained by getting the show out there to the various media outlets. Will the S&R leak hurt the ratings? Will the positive word of mouth and write-ups help the ratings? Well, we’ll find out in about a month.

Another source of the leaks that have plagued the production is the online system used to distribute sides for upcoming auditions. What happens is the production forwards a final script to the casting director and the casting director posts excerpts of the script at somewhere like showfax, an online resource community for actors. Having learned from the past, we’ve been very careful not to release full scripts or any scenes that we deemed “too spoilery”. So it came as a huge shock a couple of weeks ago when word broke that a major season 5 spoiler had been leaked. I did a little digging and discovered that the source was show fax. I checked with our casting directors and they were quite adamant that they had only posted the scenes directly related to the parts being cast. We were wracking our brains, trying to figure out what had happened, when Marty G. came up with a novel solution. He actually paid the subscription fee and logged onto showfax. As it turned out, the sides for the specific scenes had been posted – along with the transitional scenes that had been helpfully X’d out. Only problem was, those scenes were still readable. Mystery solved.

Now, instead of merely being careful, we’re being extra careful. And, if it comes to it, I suppose we’ll have to be extra extra careful. Still, there’s no guarantee we’ll manage to keep the spoilers in check. Which is why I came up with a spectacularly devious idea late in season 9 of SG-1. I actually wrote a scene that went something like this:



A somber General Landry heads down the hall with Major Evans.

Evans: How’re you holding up, sir?

Landry: It’s never easy to lose someone under your command, Major.

Evans: How’s the rest of SG-1 holding up?

Landry: As well as can be expected. They’ve just lost a close friend. It’ll take them a while to come to terms with what happened.

End scene.

In the end, the only thing that kept me from sending it in and sparking an online firestorm the likes of which had never been seen was Rob Cooper who took one look at the scene and informed me: “When the truth gets out about this, the fans are going to kill you.” I laughed. “No, I’m serious,”he said, stonefaced. “They will hunt you down and murder you in cold blood.” Of course I knew he was being sarcastic. Surely, once all was said and done, the fans would see the humor in the hoax and not resort to tracking me down and setting upon me like a pack of wild dingoes.

Yeah, I didn’t think so either. So I scrapped the idea.

Hey, just finished exchanging email with Janina Gavankar – a.k.a. Sergeant “Dusty” Wells from the season 5 episode Whispers, and she has expressed an interest in swinging by and fielding any questions and comments you may have about her on-set experience with us (It was, according to Janina, the most fun she’s ever had on any gig), how she managed to put up with Paul McGillion for so many days, and maybe a little sneak preview and some insight into her colorful character. I’ll start gathering questions for Janina starting tonight, then send them her way over the weekend.

And speaking of questions, start preparing your queries for author Kage Baker who will be joining us next week as well as we discuss her book, In the Garden of Iden.

Today’s pic: Well, since Janina has put me back in a Whispers mood, here’s a creepy little snap from the Whispers shoot.

91 thoughts on “June 25, 2008: Spoilers abound, the scene that almost got me killed, and actress Janina Gavankar offers to swing by and field your questions.

  1. I am appalled that we fans are thought of as wild dingoes. In packs yet. No, no, I’d go with blood-crazed, razor-fanged mutant baboons who have scented their last meal of Pony with Rainbow Sauce. Personally, I adore hoaxes. The opportunities are endless … and since you don’t smell like a pony doused in rainbow sauce, I bet you’d be safe. At least, I assume you don’t smell like a pony, Rainbow Sauce notwithstanding. (I know, I’m babbling and I’m sober).

    For Janina, what was the best part of the costuming and what was the worst? Anything you’d like to take home and wear in the default world?

  2. Those photos look like me getting up in the morning.

    In the end, the only thing that kept me from sending it in and sparking an online firestorm the likes of which had never been seen was Rob Cooper

    I kind of wish you had just because of how hysterically horrible it would have been to watch. Like lots of clown cars crashing into each other – the squashed giant shoes, the burning red wigs, the mangled rubber noses. Fantastic.

    Lets face it 99% of the section of flailing fandom would only resort to throwing html at you calling you a poopy head and using caps of rage, but considering the other 1% would be waiting for you in the bushes outside your house, wise words from Mr Cooper indeed.

  3. I found the Search and Rescue episode on the internet, but have resisted in dowloading because I know I can wait another 2 weeks. It’s just not fun to me to watch something that wasn’t put out by the owner(s) of the episode, movie, whatever before it airs. I’m the type of person that doesn’t mind reading minor spoilers because I like to watch the episodes to find out how the storyline got to the point of the spoiler. One good example was with Sunday. I’m American and got onto a Canadian website a couple weeks before the episode aired here in the States and found out that Carson was killed. I still watched the episode and it’s one of my favorites. Now you know you have at least one loyal fan waiting patiently (sometimes not so patiently, but still waiting) for Search and Rescue to air.

    I do have one question for Janina: What was a memorable moment that happened on the set of Whispers?

    And I do have a question for you Joe: How’s the planning commitee doing for the 100th episode party coming along do you know? I’m still keeping my fingers crossed in the extreme longshot I could decorate the cake. I won’t be too bummed if MGM goes with a local decorator there in Vancouver.

  4. There is no comments with the pictures – is this intentional? Is this part of your new extra vigilance?

    What about getting your mother along to answer some questions? Could be fun – for us!


  5. No surprise on the Showfax leak. That’s where fan sites like GW, etc. have gotten their ‘spoilers’ for ages 😉

    And, well, I don’t think the inadvertant leak of S&R will hurt. Last I saw it’s #2 on the download list (people REALLY want to see it).

    Question for Janina: Lots of scifi is full of green screen. Did you get the opportunity to work with lots of special effects? Thx.

  6. A certain irony to a show that utilizes modern technology in everything from production to promotion still finds itself struggling to keep up with that technology to prevent leaks. And I’m duly impresses with Mr. G’s solution, which helped absolve all parties from responcibility.
    And I’m glad to see self preservation kicked in when it came to the faux spoiler. As funny as i would have found it, I would also sympathise with fans that might have been pushed over the edge by it. So please make sure the intincts stay intact, and settle for driving us nuts with the occasional dropped comment or picture.
    I’m going to take a day to decide on questions for Ms. Gavankar; I think its fantastic that she’s willing to do so. I’ll be making due notice to follow her career more closely after this. And hopefully come up with some questions that will not embarrass myself, you , or her.
    Thanks for the pictures, and looking forward to the book discussion on Monday.

  7. Hi Joe,

    Those are creepy pic’s! Are they from “Whispers”??
    “Carson Beckett very much alive!”
    I’m sorry that the first epi was leaked! I truly hope it doesn’t affect the rating of the show!
    Do you ever watch the X files??? If you did will you see the new movie??
    Have you seen Howl’s moving castle?

    Are you on Hiatus? I hope you getting a bit of a break too!

    Take care & happiness always!


  8. It’s nice to know that the Stargate family have so much fun! It makes you feel all warm inside.

    May I share an interesting conversation I had?

    Hubby came home and said that his friend was scared of me. I asked the obvious question of why?

    He thinks I’m an undercover agent.

    **Insert image of me with really, really raised eyebrows followed by extreme laughter and buckling over. There may have even been some thigh slapping and holding onto the table for support as well.**

    The natural follow up question through the tears was, “Why does he think that?”.
    “Because he says you know things that other girls just don’t”.

    Here is where I add that I really don’t.

    Ok, so I read a bit, work in IT, run a company (not for much longer!) and have some really useless facts stored away, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never mentioned the Cold War, showed an interest in firearms, or wear excessive leather.

    Some background on the “friend”: He has asked all of his girlfriends to get breast implants… and they have done it … it could be we are just working on a different comparison scale here.

    So I continued my questioning regime of Hubby and according to his friend, what makes someone think you are an undercover agent is:
    1. I’m away on business a lot
    2. I get phone calls late at night which causes me to immediately duck into my office and jump on my PC
    3. I can fix electrical appliances
    4. I can chop firewood while weighing only 45kgs.

    So, do I have fun with this or do I settle his nerves and come clean?

  9. I think it would have been funny if you’d leaked that scene. I certainly don’t mind believing someone’s going to die, and then have it turn out that no one does (no one died, right? I’m trying to remember). No, what vexes me is when we’re told certain beloved characters are going to come back and then have it turn out to be not really them after all. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

    As for the whole leaking episodes thing, why don’t you just film an alternate version of some critical/spoilery scene and put it in the screener, then swap it with the real one for the broadcast? That way people can get all up in arms about something, but then they’ll realize they were had, and then people will know not to always trust leaked episodes in the future.

  10. Glad to read you are attempting to cut down on the leaks and spoilers (yes, the Carson Beckett reveal last season was just bad).

    My suggestion (although I know time and money might be an issue) would be to film an alternate scene/ending to episodes that might be leaked (as ‘Lost’ did for the season finale). On the bright side you and the other writers might get to film a couple things you’ve always wanted to do/try or really just mess with some of the fans who lack a sense of humor.

  11. Amazon best selling DVD’s
    #8 Continum
    #13 SGA S4

    not bad for shows frequently called “cult sci fi”.

  12. Hi, Joe.

    Thank you for the photos.

    Question for Ms. Gavankar: Had you ever fired an automatic weapon (P90) before appearing on SGA? If not, what was your reaction? For example, you had fun, you didn’t have fun, you thought of borrowing one for that “special occasion?” And the ever popular Stargate generic question — what does Paul McGillion smell like? Irish Spring? Oh, I guess that should be Scott Spring!

    Best wishes, Morjana

  13. Joe, I was wondering if you guys found who leaked Ark of Truth.

    If not, how are you all handling Continuum to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

  14. Thanks for the creepy pix Joe. Looking forward to an appearance by Janina.

    Yeah I agree with Dovil. It’s the 1% you gotta watch out for. Set energy pistol to stun..

    @Narelle – Haven’t seen a blog post from you in nearly a month. Writers block? 😛

  15. No! No!! You mean us fans could’ve been treated to the shitstorm of the century, but you chickened out, Joe?! How could you?!

    Look, it’s intrinsically WRONG for us to know ANY spoilers except the ones you and the show’s staff CHOOSE to give out yourselves, face-to-face…so to speak; so Showfax’s spoilers are nothing but trouble! Any fan who reads it (and I don’t, by the way) is just as guilty. They should know that that’s not a good method to get spoilers, and your trick would’ve been the perfect thing to teach them that!

    And nobody would’ve known it was you! The spoilers would cause mass panic, and when it doesn’t happen, the fans would BLAME THE SOURCE (which is not you) for being wrong, and forever be distrustful of them! They won’t read them anymore, and your problems of spoilers leaking through Showfax would’ve been over! It was the perfect plan! Why, Joe? Whyyyyyy?!?!

    It’s all Rob Cooper’s fault. I curse him with writer’s block for the next week! Yes! I CURSE HIM FOR HIS FEAR MONGERING.

    Please Joe, PLEASE…do it for Season 6, or whatever episodes in Season 5 that are left for casting. Please, do it.

    Do it.

    Do it.

    Do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it.


    I’m gonna go watch Search and Rescue now.

  16. oh janina gavankar! you have no idea what you’re getting in to.
    1. who would you like to have a scene with on sga that you didn’t yet have one with?
    2. what did you like about your character?
    3. if you wrote an episode that focused on your character what would it be called?
    4. do you like sci-fi? if so, what sci-fi books, movies and tv shows do you like?

  17. Hey Joe.

    No question today, but a funny story. You know in some movies when, in a fast food restaurant, the ice cream machine will start bubbling and blow up? Well, thats what happened at the McDonalds I work at today.

    All of a sudden there was a chugging noise coming from the ice cream machine and the next thing you know…BAM! Ice cream went flying. I got covered, the customers soaked, the kitchen (including the food), the tills, drive thru windows, etc…all covered in ice cream!

    hope that entertained you.

    Thanks Joe.
    Oh, as for the S5 promo pictures, well……..the photoshopping didn’t turn out all that great. As the the levetating, that looks pretty cool:)

  18. How in the world does Showfax get their leaks?? I too wished you would have thrown out your fake script. That would have been quite funny! You should try it some time. Any new ice cream recipes?? I’m still looking for a good cookie dough one. Thanks!!

    Jen 🙂

  19. About yesterday’s post:

    It is intriguing that the wraith “need” their followers, alas I wish there was more on this in the up coming season. Speaking of followers, you seem to get a “pick-me-up” from us here on your blog, which is lovely of course—venting about silly situations at work and home. We all commiserate, support and generally get the warm fuzzies—There needs to be more fuzzies in the world! Dang it. Bless, bless, bless the internet!
    So with that said, I will commiserate: As I’ve mentioned before, I teach. And I have to say there is so much political interference in this profession. However to avoid a tirade—as I’m sure most people on this forum would be able to do with their own careers, what I will say…is that inevitably, we will all have to cope with irrational people at some point in our working life. If you’re one of the lucky ones who has been able to avoid these kinds of people, or you’ve been talented enough to develop the social skills whereby you can dance your way around the “crazies”, you will still have to deal with absurd expectations, absolutely useless policies, memorandums, edicts—whatever—which interfere with your ability to do your job and do it well. And it’s ALWAYS hurtful—even though you tell yourself to not take it personally nonsense nevertheless abounds. I have to say, we all know this, yet somehow, especially if you’re an idealist like me, EVERY time it confronts you, it’s a surprise. The only way I’ve seen that reasonable people are able to manage is to remind themselves why they love what they do. The why is always important to remember. Again, at the same time, this isn’t always enough, so the “why” may not help. At that point I ask myself “is this nonsense, nonsense I can manage, or is the cost becoming too high?” Anyhow, I believe that in all areas—outside of kids, pets and parents we have to revisit these questions again and again. So, yes arrogant people are burden—especially those in authority over us. And as my man says about big wig execs. he has to deal with “you may think you’re all that, but you’re still wearing the same suit I saw you in last time.” No one is above it. There is a wonderful quotation I recently came across by James Baldwin: “The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.” Well, I hope this helps—stay sane.


  20. Let’s see… this is a big “Beckett” ep and you’ve posted “3” pics of a haunting woman [or women]… are you hinting at a storyline that should be entitled: SpookGate MacLantis: The Scottish Play..?

    BTW, speaking of haunting and medieval locals – have you seen David & Jane’s great wedding photos from Warwick Castle? [They’re on his site] Such a super place for such an event – was there years ago… had the best scones ever!

  21. That Marty G is one smart cookie. LOL Who would have thought to sign up to figure out what was going on over there? Not me…well I would have after awhile. 😛

    I have a love/hate relationship with promos released by the networks. Sometimes they just say too much or say something totally inaccurate. In the other fandom I drop in on, the Exec. Producer/creator of one of SGA’s Friday night opponents has always expressed her dislike for the promos and how they lead the viewer astray. She has also made many comments on how she hated spoilers and how she thought they deter fans from watching or give fans the wrong impression or false hope. Do you feel the same way?

    I for one don’t mind spoilers, I always take spoilers with a grain of salt. If the spoilers are for a shows I watch they don’t deter me at all.

    As for questions for Ms. Janina Gavankar:
    1) Is Joe M really as nice a person as he seems to be?
    2) What was it like to work on an scifi show? Do you have any prior experience in this genre? How is it different from the other shows you have worked on?
    3) Were you a fan of SGA/SG-1 before getting the part?

    Thanks Joe! I hope your hiatus/semi hiatus is going well.


  22. Aaaaahh! Creepy photos are creepy! Is there a reason the mouseover caption thingies say “Blank” on each photo? *creeped out*

    My question for Ms. Gavankar is, did she watch any episodes of SGA to prepare for the audition (or for the role, once she got the part)? What did she think of the show? If she didn’t watch any episodes, why not?

  23. Narelle from Aus: Don’t you DARE let that man off the hook. In fact, I want you to torture and torment and confuse him so much that you convince him to have “nueticles” implanted to “augment’ himself. After all, if he can convince women to modfiy themselves, it shouldn’t be but so difficult to convince him that he himself can make himself more ideal. And please do keep us informed of any and all developments on this front.

  24. I am so with you on the SciFi spoiler filled promos. I am the kind of person that doesn’t mind spoilers much. Though I guess it would depend on how much was given away. But in general, I am more into the whole story than necessarily just the outcome.

    But I have to admit that I am really annoyed by the ridiculous promos that the SciFi channel puts out. I know there isn’t anything we can do about it, but has anyone asked them why they do it? It doesn’t take a major reveal to keep us interested in the show. We watch it every week even if we know nothing about the episode.

  25. Question for Janina,

    What is your most memorable moment? In relation to your time filming that is XD


  26. Hey Joe – Thanks very much for all of the great photographs posted over the past few days. It’s seems you’re working just as hard on hiatus as you do any other day. Take a break! It’s going to be 80 degress (F) in Seattle (honest – no lie) over the weekend, so Vancouver weather should also be super!!

    Question for Janina – Did you do any type of prep work or research to understand what life is like for a woman in the U.S. military? Did portraying a military member, of a key team, give you any insights you didn’t have before taking on this role? I spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, so I have a personal interest in how military women are portrayed.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!

  27. Hi Joe!

    Very creeeepy pictures today! Eeek! Methinks Whispers is gonna be a “grab my hubby and a pillow to hide behind” kinda ep!

    LOL @ the forsaken fake spoiler script. Though I would engage in peals of laughter, Rob C. was right. There are those who would hunt you down like the dog (owner) you are.

    It’d be like…uh…RUSH doing an Anne Murray cover album. Hunting. Pain. Dogs. Possible arrest. Not good for anyone involved.

    For Ms. Janina: Thanks for taking questions! We’ve seen quite a few creepy pictures from the set of Whispers. When you’re on set and working “in the moment,” does the set feel as creepy as it looks to us viewers? Or does the set feel like the unreal reality it really is.

    For Joe: I probably should know this, but do the Wraith have feeding orifices only on their right hand or both hands? If they only have an orifice on one hand, theoretically could some be right hand feeders and some left hand feeders?

    And why does “orifices” seem wrong as the plural of orifice? I looked it up!

    Have a lovely evening!


  28. “Surely, once all was said and done, the fans would see the humor in the hoax and not resort to tracking me down and setting upon me like a pack of wild dingoes.”

    Oh, Joe. You yielded to a cooler head.

    I don’t know whether to commend you for a good decision or berate you for robbing me of the funny.

    The dingoes may have gone crazy, but we hyenas would have LOVED it.

  29. Quick question – I have read about spot the pineapple in SG1. When did that start and is it in the finished cut of every episode. I am setting myself a quest while waiting for DVD’s of Continum and Season 4 of Atlantis to come out

  30. Joe. Pleeeeease release a fake spoiler like that some time. It would be so much fun watching some parts of fandom get their antsy knickers in a knot. I do worry that you may have to talk someone off the top of a building one day.

    Thornyrose I share your sentiments regarding augmentation. I did say “And because you are such a beauty queen” but I believe the sarcasm was lost on him.

    I also made an example conversation to both him and my husband if the roles were reversed.
    Me: “Hey honey. That (points to groinal area), yeah, not really doing it for me right now how it is.”
    Boys in chorus: “That’s harsh!”
    Me: “See, how does it make you feel?”

    I take that as 1 vote for playing this further. I will ensure to incorporate a certain element of torture just for you 🙂 Here’s hoping karma sees the funny side in this.

    Hey McWraith!. No writer’s block! All of my spare time has been spent planning our holiday (and dabbling in some espionage apparently). Plus, you feel sometimes as though you are blogging to yourself and then I worry I’m going to start talking to myself, then I’ll start collecting cats, then I’ll start hunting through garbage bins – so it’s best to avoid the downhill spiral from the start.

    I’ll have a think and a chat with the main source of material (ie: the dogs) and put something up 🙂

  31. Heya Joe,
    Today’s headline got my attention – glad it was not as severe. whew. Please stay healthy – we need you.

    The creepy pictures have achieved the goal of creepy. There is a Wraith? … without white hair. If this is true…how come? Or perhaps I’m confused and missed something. BUt I thought all of the Wraith had the white hair..except for the solders.

    Cool that Janina wants to come play with us. Please convey thanks for her willingness to participate.

    Questions for Janina Gavamlar”
    1. After filming SCIFI Atlantis – how would you compare your experiences with this group to other productions?

    2. After your experience with Atlantis, in general, how would you characterize your opinion of SciF? Has your opinion changed? If yes, better? or worse?

    3. Frequently, we have heard comments like – “…I only am familiar with my scenes and not an entire episode…” Have you had the opportunity to watch any of the episodes you are in?

    If yes….what is your opinion of the episode in general? How does it compare with your opinion of other final productions?

    4. What is your reaction to the variety on Atlantis?
    Meaning – Atlantis Horror? Atlantis humor? the human drama of the personal interactions?

    5. So far, what is your favorite or one of your favorite actions/scenes/episodes on the show?

    6. What are your favorite “catered foods” while on set?
    Special drinks? Water, other?

    7. Do not want to put you on the spot…so if you prefer not to respond, that’s ok. Have you formed friendships with other cast and/or crew? Would you care to share names? And, do you guys do things off sports or other activities?

    8. What are your thoughts on attending conventions? Like an Atlantis focused convention?

  32. Hi Joe me again,

    Forgot to ask if you watched “Wipeout” or “I Survived a Japanese Game Show” last night? I watched both and it was like a train wreck, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the tv.

  33. Janina Gavankar:

    Having been in the military I can say that the first time I fired an automatic rifle freaked me out. Soon, though, I was wanting to shoot everything. The machine guns were the best!

    So, how was your first time firing the weapons on Atlantis? If they did scare you at first, did you get to like firing them?

    Whether you survive on this episode or not would you like to come back and do future episodes? This isn’t as crazy a question as it might seem – just ask Jewel Staite and Paul McGillion.

  34. Hey Joe…one more post.

    I was in a rush when I wrote my first comment before, so for some reason I forgot a question for Janina.

    Okay, here it is….

    Why would you say working on Stargate Atlantis has been your “most fun gig ever” (stated by Joe M.)? Thanks

    Oh, Joe…I tried to find the S&R episode on the internet(just to see if I could even find it), but I can’t see it anywhere…I guess this is a good thing. However, with living in Canada, I’ll have to wait until the season 5 DVD release to see the episode.

    Thanks Joe and Janina.

  35. Well, I know that over in my little area of the world the leaked first episode has actually guaranteed additional viewers for July 11th. I fully admit I’ve seen it and have been telling, very politely, friends and family that it’s a great show and they really must watch. So far I’ve got 5 extra viewers that wouldn’t have initially tuned in. 🙂 Now if the rest of the sneaky earlier viewers could get 5 additional viewers… that would be some ratings!

  36. Speaking of Whispers, can you give us any more details about how Anne Tedly characters dies??? or does she?

  37. FWIW, I don’t watch spoilers. I (im)patiently wait until the next instalment is broadcast (or made available on DVD if I’m playing catch-up). I don’t want to know in advance what’s going to happen. 🙂

  38. Sure, so S&R got leaked…but Joe, it was, in a word, BEAUTIFUL. Everyone involved should be very proud. I am even more excited for July 11th than I was before (and believe me, I was pretty excited).

    So here’s my question: was S&R shot at the same time as the end of S4 for continuity’s sake? Or did you wait until S5 filming began to shoot that epp? In general, is this how you guys operate?

    Hope you’ve been enjoying the same beautiful weather in Vancouver as we have been in Seattle! Cheers!

  39. For what it’s worth, Joe, here’s my take on the leak of S&R. Anyone who can get their hands on a leaked episode of a TV show has to have access to a certain amount of technology, and they have to be pretty savvy about using that technology to find a download of the episode. Generally speaking, it’s not as easy as one might think. I would venture to say that the vast majority of the people who have acquired it got it online through one source or another, and I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that most of these people are involved in online fandom. You have to be “plugged in” to a certain extent to even know about leaked episodes.

    Now the thing about those of us in online fandom is that most of us who know enough to download the leaked episode are well aware of Nielson boxes, and how ratings are collected. If I had a Nielson box, you can bet your ass I’d be watching SGA every Friday, whether I had already downloaded the leaked episode or not, and then I’d be watching the rebroadcast. Because nobody loves SGA more than fandom, and nobody wants SGA to succeed more than fandom folks do. Well, maybe the people whose livelihood depends on the show want it to succeed more than we do, but just by a hair.

    The other important thing about fandom folks is, we talk about SGA. Talk, talk, talky, talk, talk. To each other, to our families, to strangers on the subway, to coworkers, and to our friends, even those who don’t watch SGA. I can’t claim that all our talking has any positive effect on ratings, but I would respectfully submit that all of us sharing the episode online certainly won’t have a negative effect on ratings.

    Speaking for myself, I’ve seen S&R, and it was fantastic. It’s one of my favorite episodes ever, and you all should be commended for producing such an awesome hour of TV. And from what I’ve seen in my little corner of fandom, that’s pretty much been the reaction of most of the people who’ve seen it.

  40. Hi Joe,

    Just had to say that I did watch the leaked “Search & Rescue” solely because I’m gonna be chief babysitter on a vacation with 3 young kids on premiere day, and I just know trying to watch a possibly-scary show I care a lot about with kids ages 3, 7 and 9 will Not Go Well. 😉 Other than that, I’m trying hard to avoid spoilers!

    You said you approve all publicity stuff — any comments on the horrible MGM promo photography? Well, okay, maybe not ‘horrible’, but certainly not good…. Levitation, photoshopped skin, flat Flanigan hair, this is certainly not the best face to show the public. I’m curious about what you all in the offices think of the photos, and whether you all see anything you could change/update about the process. You’ve probably heard that fandom has been enjoying mocking the pics quite a bit!

  41. Joe,
    I take it the all Ladies sg- team has been broken up???end of the line??

    for Janina: what actor or actress did you like working with the most. Did Joe treat you good did he take the ladies to Fuels???

  42. ZOMG! I totally wish you’d posted that scene. In fact, I’d love to have one fake scene posted for EVERY episode. Fake spoilers are like alternate universes. They’re awesome! (Then again, I like an air of mystery about what I watch. I love surprises! Which is why I’m staying the hell away from that S5 spoiler, damn it.)

  43. Mr. M

    I just discovered that the Ark of Truth movie is available for $9.99 on iTunes Canada along with an entire new movies section from Apple. When are we getting SGA on iTunes Canada?

    Unfortunately my computer don’t have the CPU muscle power to play the MP4 movie video file on iTunes. Hope other Canadian listees of your blog find this useful.

    Doesn’t the preview screener DVDs got ID code embedded on the video to track who’s might leaked the episode? It seems to be a small expense for the deterrent value.

    Couple of questions for Ms. Gavankar:
    1) Did you expected the unseasonable weather during the shooting on location of the Whispers episode? Related to this, was the actor’s costumes adequate for the weather?

    2) Any comments on the Chocolate Tasting Party that Mr. M throw on the Whispers episode weekend?

  44. I only got as far as reading Susanthetartanturtle’s comment which I agree wholeheartedly and partial kidney with. Let us talk to your mom Joe oh and tell her to bring piccies of little Joe in his mutant mayhem outfit or shortly after his first failed plot for world domination fell apart cuz his buddies had to go home for their tea, you know the drill.

  45. I’d like to ask Janina how much preparation she did for the part and how she gets into character mode, does she give her characters a little background etc. cheers

  46. Oops. In all my rantings I forgot my question.

    Did you guys send out episode screeners like Search and Rescue before Season 4 of Atlantis? If so, why didn’t they leak, do you think? If not, why did you guys start during Season 4?

    Thanks in advance!

  47. Coucou Joseph^^!!

    Sa va bien?? OUlalalal oui, il faut faire vraiment atttention maintenany, car des gens asoiffé de spoiler il y’en a beaucoup^^
    Sympas les photos!
    Bon je vais voir les new..bisou bisou =)

  48. Question pour Janina

    Petite question pour Janina..

    Connaissiez vous bien stargate avant d’être pris dans le casting?

  49. WOW!! I’ve just seen Search and Rescue. That has to be the best ever Atlantis episode. It was totally awesome. It had everything that I love about the show. Great CGI moments, fantastic character moments and an all round excellent team episode. I have always said that the team are the core of this show, once you start separating them or bringing in other characters that we don’t have any connection to, the show looses something. I’m not saying that we dont need guest stars of course but splitting off the characters with random guest stars of the week just doesnt work for me.
    I found that was an issue I had in season four. Somehow the season lacked soul if that is the word for it, but it returned a 1000 fold in S&R.
    Finally Sheppard gets to show a bit of emotion and what a difference it made. I was almost loosing interest in the stoick emotionless hero but the Sheppard I love was back in S&R. Everyone was fantastic in the ep, well maybe except Keller, sorry but she is the most unconvincing CMO I have ever seen. [spoiler edit] She sounded like a 15 girl who really didnt know what she was doing, but other than that small scene I can’t think of anything I didnt like about the episode. The Sheppard and Teyla scene was wonderful and these two actors have great chemistry. The birthing scene had me rolling around. Excellent.
    Hopefully this will be the standard of the episodes to follow. They will have a lot to live up too. I hope we see the closeness of the team again and I can’t wait now for the Seed. Fantastic job to everyone.

  50. I saw those pictures and for a moment I thought you’d strayed onto the Supernatural set by mistake! Very creepy.

    I used to read spoilers all the time, mostly because it was one way to keep up with what the hell was going on with LOST; that scene would have been fun to speculate about, but, yeah, I can imagine there would have been a few fans baying for for blood when they found out it was a hoax ;-]

  51. Oh! It’ll be great for a chance to chat with Janina. I’ll have to try to come up with a few good questions in the next day or so.

    I’m loving the pictures!

    I don’t know, you might have gotten away with false spoilers. After all, The X-Files: I Want To Believe set actually video-taped false spoilers and no one’s revolted, yet.

    I’m thinking it’s a good thing I haven’t had time to be online much. I only just saw the first season 5 promo tonight, even! I’ve completely missed this big spoiler you mention.

  52. There’s a reason why I’ve stopped surfing most of the Stargate fan sites: I want to wait and not be spoiled! So I’m really hoping my fellow fans don’t sit and casually discuss said spoilers and ruin my fun.

    Good luck fighting the good fight!

    (And please let us know what that scene was all about when the time is right.)

  53. WOOO question time!!!!!!!!

    My Q for Janina Gavankar;

    Were you the ‘victim’ of any pranks on set????if so….what happened!!!!!

  54. I’ve been a fan of Stargate ever since the first movie & I still watch it, I’ve grown more than fond of the Alantis series & commend you on great works. I do however have an interesting question for you, specifically on the issue of races in the stargate universe. Why have no mention of the Nephilim or Samarian races been addressed? Aside from the Samarians, the Nephilim race should be, seeing as how, after many year of personal research by myself & other esteemed colleagues, they were found directly coincide with the real legends of the stargate itself in biblical & fictional text?

    Thank You for your time,
    L. Nathaniel Hall

  55. I just read a spoiler on gateworld.
    yeah…, Fran will appear in S5.
    I was just wondering is Fran the same as S4’s Fran?

  56. Any chance you could ask Janina to answer more fan questions after Whispers airs? I know I’ll have things I’ll want to ask her after watching the episode. Thanks in advance. 🙂

  57. I’m so sad the episode got leaked 🙁 I was already making plans to book a hotel with the scifi channel since the episode airs during the Shore Leave convention which I, my sister and a friend are planning on attending…. and now I have to avoid all my favorite Stargate Forums because of spoilers. I think I already have had the biggest one spoiled for me 🙁

    Heh, as a DeviantArt addict, my questions for Janina might get kinda silly with stuff like “What’s it like dating a deviantArt god” or “If Dusty fanart started popping up on deviantArt, would that freak you out?”

    But more seriously:
    Janina: If your character doesn’t die, would you come back and play your role again? If she does die, would you be interested in coming back and playing a different character if the opportunity came up?
    What do you think of all the anti-all-women-team feelings that have been going around even before the episode airs?

    Thanks 😀

  58. Janine, hi!

    How many episodes are you in this season? If more than one, how much character development will Dusty experience? And, also, does she have any amusing/significant scenes with Ronon?


  59. Okay so, these pictures are of Whispers right? The scary one? Ummm…looks like a cross between an Ed Wood “B” and Kinski’s Nosferatu. I’m thinkin’ this is a wraith that has been experimented on. No? Ug! that pulls at my heart. Looks like he’s been hand cuffed and kept in a crate. Oh, sad sad (sniff), but I suppose what they’ve done to the human population (beyond survival that is) may not generate much pity for them–oh but he looks so pathetic! 🙁 It’s not that I don’t get frightened by horror films but not many. Aside from the grating performance by the female lead, The Blair Witch was about as frightening as watching the bus load up at 999 Queen St. Mental Health Centre. Also, saw What Lies Beneath by myself and The Cell and what else…? Scare factor not high on both counts. However, that’s what the genre’s like: different stories push different buttons for everyone; like comedy, not everyone finds the same thing funny. Two films in recent memory which did frighten me silly were The Ring with Naomi Watts and Halley Berry’s Gothica, 2003 (not the 1986 Gothica on Lord Byron with G. Burns). There’s just something about torture, especially of young women, that I find so utterly disturbing. (Creeped out shrug to myself) There isn’t any of that in Whispers is there? :S


  60. Wild dingoes, hardly!
    More like wraith with a grudge.
    Take comfort in the fact we probably wouldn’t have killed you, but may have left you in an old & frail state, giving you time to suffer & think about what you did.

    Seriously though, I have to agree with PG15, DO IT!!!!


  61. Janina–

    Thank you for taking the time to answer questions!! Can’t wait to see your episode “Whispers” & the all-female team!!

    1.) What was it like working with the All-Female Team, especially Christina Cox?

    2.) And the “Chocolate Party” seemed wonderful, tells us about it & what was your favorite chocolate? Did you fight anyone for your favorites?

    Thank You again Janina!! Keep up the great work!! =0)

  62. My wild blue guess. It’s Major Anne Teldy in those creepy photos after the Space Cows are through with her. As I predicted earlier, you can bring Christina Cox back as the Stargate Undead. LOL

  63. If any of your specially created spoilers leak out you can always turn to us at SCB for help. We will make sure that you are protected by a tartan turtle or two at all times.

    In fact should you be working with Mr McGillion I am sure that we will turn out in droves to drool over Pa – sorry I meant to say to protect you.

    You know where we are.


  64. My thoughts on the leaks is that if the people who are that desperate to watch it before air date, then they are die hard fans that will be aware of the affects of ratings on air date. My guess is that they will watch still so the show gets the ratings. As for me I will plead the 5th Amendment. I can tell you this though July 11th 10pm is on my calendar (lol). I am so baddddd.

    Secondly, how does anyone know that the leak is the actual exact scenes that will air. So they will most likely watch to be sure. I thought that before you mentioned the SG-1 idea to be misleading. It would be ok by me, keeps everyone wondering.

    Janine question: I am assuming you got to fire your gun. How was that for you? Was it more powerful than thought? Was it a stress reliever (lol)?

    Just an fyi, I am not a gun person, but watching the show all the time, I just wonder about these things especially when I have a real bad day.

  65. To Jess: a request please. I started to read your post, but it looked like it was a review of Search and Rescue. I’m avoiding spoilers, as are a number of others here. (not that I fault those who elected to sneak a peek). Anyways, I quit reading as soon as it appeared it was a review. If you could indicate that there are possible spoilers, it would be appreciated. I am already anticipating reading this site the night of the 11th, and seeing what everyone thought, including those who have already seen the show and are withholding comment.

  66. Hey Joe!

    Sorry to hear about “Search & Rescue” getting leaked. I really hope it doesn’t negatively affect the ratings of the episode when it airs next month. 🙁

    I have a question for Janina Gavankar (thanks for allowing this opportunity by the way): What was ‘gun school’ like, especially with a weapon such as a P-90? Was it nerve-wreaking, fun, difficult?

    Again, thanks for the opportunity to ask questions. 🙂

    – Enzo Aquarius

  67. hi joe! thank you for posting these pictures. a question I would ask from Janina: why did she decide to audition to a role on Atlantis?

  68. Creepy pics! 😕

    I think it’s a shame that S&R has got leaked – I’m going to be really good though and wait to watch it when it hits UK shores in August. I hope that all Atlantis fans will still watch it when it airs in the US, if only to keep the ratings up.

  69. I just finished reading an interview with Martin Gero on Gateworld. In it he was discussing how McKay will not be happy with Daniel’s presence and felt competitive somehow.
    I’m not sure I understand this, why would Rodney and Daniel be antagonistic towards each other in a professional capacity – one is a physicist, the other an anthropologist/archaeologist?

  70. Yep, I downloaded it. Watched it and enjoyed the hell out of it.

    When it comes on SciFi, I’ll plant myself in front of the TV and announce to the family to only disturb me in the following instances…

    2)House on fire which means it has to be bigger than a small stove fire
    3)substantial blood loss and/or unconsciousness by myself or close family member
    4)massive meteor hurdling toward the earth and will impact before the episode has finished airing

  71. Hachi … have you never watched SG-1? Rodney was always competitive with Daniel. Like a running thread. Nothing to do with professionalism, just the old Rodney was incredibly arrogant and disliked anyone else edging onto what he’d perceive as his turf.

    To me, McKay has mellowed considerably, nice to see the old genius back on his mettle. I liked Snarky Rodney a great deal. I don’t care for Hero Rodney quite as much.

    I know there’s lots of SGA fans who haven’t seen all of SG-1, but there’s a ton of backstory to be considered.

  72. just finished watching First Strike (taking a longer lunch than supposed to) and I wanting the 8th to get here quick!

  73. Another question for Janina:

    Does Dusty represent one particular aspect of her team? For example Rodney is like the brain of his team, Ronon the brawn, Shep the leader and Teyla cultural expert… what about Dusty’s team? What role does Dusty play for her team?

  74. Questions for Janina:

    1. How does your character differ from the other officers we’ve seen on Atlantis – Sheppard, Lorne etc? Is she Air Force too?

    2. Does your character have the ATA gene naturally, only after gene therapy or not at all?

    3. Can I ask a question about Ms. Dewey? I love it. What’s the craziest response they got you to give?

    4. How long has Dusty been on Atlantis and did she work on an SGC team before that?

    Thanks Janina and Joe for this!

    Cheers, Chev

  75. maggiemayday- thanks for that, I haven’t watched much SG1, and it was a long time ago. But maybe I should get some of the DVD’s and start!

  76. Creepy photos. I’m really excited about Whispers, it’s sounding like a fantastic episode.

    Hey, thanks so much for giving us the opportunity to ask Janina Gavankar some questions. Here are mine…

    1. How did you get into acting?
    2. Could you briefly outline the casting process you went through for Whispers?
    3. Whispers is looking like it will be a really creepy episode, what was the atmosphere like for you on set?
    4. How was it working in all the mist?
    5. What were the cast and crew 0f Stargate:Atlantis like to work with?

    And finally…thanks for offering to answer our questions! I’m looking forward to seeing you in Whispers and more to come.


  77. Why, exactly, do you have a hiatus? Is it to give the “behind the scenes” people time to catch up with the filmed material? If you had just worked straight through would there have been time to finish (filming anyway) enough material to complete the season before the potential SAG strike gets underway?

  78. 1) Do any of them team members have “words” between them, putting a significant strain on the core dynamic?

    2) Are there any decisions made by Sheppard this year that ultimately his team do not support?

  79. You should’ve done it, Joe! It would’ve been funny to see the Stargate fandom implode on itself. 😉

    Back in the day, I had a friend who worked for one of the main networks. She worked on the network’s New York based soap operas, and had access to scripts. She made a site and put up everything she’d read in the scripts, and was eventually fired because of it. Lesson learned!

    I have a question for you, though! On a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the darkest, just how dark is ‘Whispers’?

  80. So, over on Gateworld MG says, ‘…thing about a show like this is if you have a main bad guy — Battlestar can’t destroy the Cylons. That’s got to be the last episode. And for us that’s who the Wraith are, I think. We can’t deal that finishing blow to the Wraith and not feel like, “Well, the story’s over.” ‘

    Why must a ‘finishing blow’ be dealt? Why can’t some other (mutually beneficial) way be found to deal with them without annihilating them? Oh, okay – perhaps it’s anti-climactic, but you’ve got us hooked now and the Wraith have enough fans to warrant the survival of some…otherwise you risk ruining the entire SGA experience for many fans.

    Granted, killing off individual characters has ruined the experience for some fans already, but I think there is a difference where the Wraith (as a whole) are concerned. There is the hope that at least some of this species can be saved from extinction, without necessarily changing who they are (as was attempted with Michael). I hate to use the Klingon analogy, but I will. It wasn’t the Klingon as the enemy that made them great, it was the Klingon as the irritable and somewhat iffy ally that made them great. You just didn’t know what to expect from them. Discovering a way for two races in such opposition to each other to coexist in the end – that is inspiring. And fun…can’t forget the fun. 😉

    What I (personally) would hope to see is someone (Michael, or someone like Michael) rise up to be the baddest of them all. Instead of targeting an entire species, target an individual and his hordes. I liked the direction things were going in by the end of S4 – it was great having a ‘bullseye’ (Michael), instead of an entire wall of flimsy paper targets (the Wraith).

    Now, you’ve said that individual Wraith (like Todd, Michael, Ellia) are somewhat sympathetic characters. I see it a little different – I see the entire species in a sympathetic light, while individuals lean either towards good, or bad. When you have individuals that you can cheer on, or hiss at, it just makes the experience so much better. Do we ‘hate’ the Genii? Not really. Do we ‘hate’ Kolya? Sure do! For me, there is something hopelessly sad in judging an entire race (yes, even a made-up one…and even the Genii) as evil and worthy of destruction, although it is the usual outcome in most good/evil struggles. Maybe I’m too much of an idealist, but I love the themes of forgiveness/redemption/salvation. Perhaps it’s because there isn’t enough of it in the real world, so I hope to at least find some in my fictional escapes instead.

    Of course, you probably haven’t been able to follow what I’ve said here 😉 – but I’d like to ask if you’ve thought of alternative final solutions to the Wraith ‘problem’, besides total annihilation? I hope you’ve considered some sort of redemption in the end for at least a few (more than an individual, less than the majority), just so those of us who love these characters can walk away from the series with a little hope instead of a big, empty void.



  81. I guess I have to step up to the plate and ask the hard hitting questions:

    1. How often did Management come down to beat the actors? Were you beaten or did you manage to escape by cowering under the catering table?
    2. How was the food?
    3. Would you describe firing the guns as super awesome, or awesome to the extreme?
    4. With that many squibs etc on set were any of the crew members inadvertently killed leading to a multi-million dollar cover up by the studio?

  82. I thought I was looking at pics of “Ring 3”.

    Gonna be a scary episode… and that’s something coming from me.

    I will not look for S and R… I’ll wait 🙂

  83. Well I say you should have had the courage of your convinctions and gone ahead and messed with the fans’ heads! After all, Doctor Who ran a promo for the final episode of Season 2 featuring Rose Tyler saying “This is the story of how I died” and Russell T Davies lived to write another day. 😀 And BOY Doctor Who fans can sure take stuff seriously… 😉

  84. ah-h-ooooo… sniffle-sniffle, cough, hiccup… rubs eyes again and tries to see the laptop screen and keyboard. Yes, I admit it, I’m a sight-typer.

    Going off topic folks, but I just caught Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo & Juliet on cable, no commericals. Doggone it, I cry and cry every time I see this film. And I saw it 7 times in the theatre as a teenager. My eyes are so swollen now, that I can barely see to type. My VHS version is worn out.

    This is bar-none one of my top 5 BEST, FAVORITE and MEMORABLE films of all time.
    Of course I was nearly the same age, (at the time), of Olivia Hussey (she, 15, me, 13) when the film came out in 1968. I bonded with Olivia whilst heartily lusting after Len Whiting and Michael York. In fact, because I WAS under 17, my Mom had to escort me to the theatre. Yes, my neighborhood establishment really did enforce the age limit.

    Spectacular cinematography, gifted direction, passionate acting, brilliant costuming, you name it. There is nothing I don’t like about Romeo & Juliet, Zeffirelli style!

    Well, just wanted to share.
    Anyone else think this film was great?

    Carol Z in New Jersey
    Going onto my second tissue box, thank you… sigh…

  85. (Another attempt at writing this note…:()

    Ms. Dewey, just tell me…er…I mean


    I’ve taken some time to read many of the questions here and realized that a lot of the introspective, in depth ones have already been asked. So forgive the scraping-the-barrelness of these. (Plus the fact that this was much better the first time around before I lost all the stuff I’d already typed…grumble!)

    As a preface: You were fantastic in the L-Word. Really, very good :).

    Q1: Did you ever watch Stargate regularly before taking this gig? If not: Will you watch it more, less, or just as much as you watched it previously? (No, I’m not addicted to filling out viewer poll surveys.)

    Q2: Someone had already asked if you’d ever gotten a chance to fire a P90 before and how it was so I’m going to expound on that. If you did use some sort of weapon in this episode how many times did you get to do it? Did it get easier or harder to fire the weapon as filming progressed?

    Q3: What on earth did you talk to Paul about between takes? I mean, there’s the customary “Nice hair,” and the obligatory, “So you don’t really have a Scottish accent?” but, really, where does one go after that?

    Q4: You have a very unique perspective acting in an already established series. In your opinion (separate from that of someone immediately involved in the series like Joe, here, or some other cast/crew member) what actors are most like their characters (from what you know about their characters) and who is completely different. And who are just weird.

    Q5: I had a fifth question in the last draft of this comment but heck if I can remember it. All I remember is it including the words “bad arse.” Make of it what you will. Insert random bit of experience on set here, hm? Funniest event. Most enlightening experience. Favorite crew member. Scariest set piece. Any puns exchanged between cast or crew. Ionno. *pout* These questions were a lot cooler before!

    Ooh! Ooh! Here’s another question I hadn’t thought of before. One more and then I’m done.

    Q6: Obviously Stargate is incredibly different than the L-Word in many ways. But was there anything that especially struck you as being different or that initially made you think “Wow, this is like nothing else I’ve done before.” Unless this was exactly like something else you’ve done. In that case, void this question.

    Okay, I’m really really done, now.

  86. really nice post . please keep the good work . greetings from germany !

  87. Hi Joe. I have already seen the “leaked” episode, and I THANK YOU for releasing it. The reason is that I wouldn’t have been able to see it otherwise. I’m going to be in Maryland to attend “Shoreleave” on July 11, which is great since David H and Kate are going to be there. However, I’m staying at my brother’s house, and he doesn’t have cable. So I would have missed out, and not been able to download it until I got home July 19th.

    So thank you for deciding to release it.


  88. “In the end, the only thing that kept me from sending it in and sparking an online firestorm the likes of which had never been seen was Rob Cooper who took one look at the scene and informed me: “When the truth gets out about this, the fans are going to kill you.” I laughed. “No, I’m serious,”he said, stonefaced. “They will hunt you down and murder you in cold blood.” Of course I knew he was being sarcastic. Surely, once all was said and done, the fans would see the humor in the hoax and not resort to tracking me down and setting upon me like a pack of wild dingoes.

    Yeah, I didn’t think so either. So I scrapped the idea.”

    Well, at least until Continuum, that is. I think it stands to reason that if the character was O’Neill the entire community would be up in arms, so it’s probably not him…

    That just leaves another character I enquired about a few months back. I guess we’ll find out later this month if I was right!

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