the delicate crunch


the salty zing


Today’s special guest author joins us all the way from her home in Bangkok, Thailand. As a result of your interest in her novel, her willingness to make time for us, and, of course, the magic that is the internet, K.J. Bishop is here to address a slew of your questions and comments. A huge thank you to Kirsten for offering some wonderful insight into The Etched City, her writing process, and the craft of writing in general.

Today’s pics: I asked Kirsten to send me a picture of herself to accompany the entry and she directed me to these three photos that document her first taste of fried grasshopper during a bus trip to the tourist town of Siem Reap (for the full account, go here: ).  She writes “would any of the photos halfway down the page […] be suitable or would you like something normal?”  Something normal?  Puleeze!  I’ve decided to use all three along with the accompanying descriptions. 

For those of you who simply won’t be satisfied with this lone guest blog entry (and I‘m sure there will be plenty), head on over to for your K.J. Bishop fix. Over to you, Kirsten…

To Joe and everyone, thanks for your thoughtful comments and your questions. I’ve answered them all except a couple that were the same.

Joe writes: “In your mind, what happens to Gwynn at novel’s end?  I assumed his departing spirit was borne away by Beth/the Sphinx, but in your mind was this final act intended to suggest some sort of final redemption?  Yes?  No?  Wait for the sequel?”

In my mind at the time, his spirit and most of his physical substance were borne away. If Beth hadn’t saved him, the Coldrake would have got him, I think. I don’t know about redemption—redemption isn’t really in Gwynn’s idiom, as Sir Lancelot would say; the idea would be foreign to him, and to Beth too—but rescue, certainly. I have a scenario for what happens next, but I don’t know that it would be wise to write it, as after initial strangeness it heads into more conventional fantasy territory.

Sylvia writes:

“1. Loved the “general look” of the book cover the design and colors. Not sure of what the centerpiece is or depicts, as it had elements of possibly being one of the discoveries Raule had in her laboratory. Ignoring that, the colors and framing was—well, I liked it. Are you able to share the spark or impulse to its design?”

I can’t speak for the designer, but the publisher wanted it to look decadent and Art Nouveau-ish and to have crossover appeal between mainstream literature and fantasy. . That’s a pomegranate in the middle.

“2. For the courtroom portion, who and/or what is the significance of Madam L____ C___?”

I was so tired by then that I couldn’t think of a name, probably! Actually, it’s meant to imply that no one knows her full name, or that it would be indiscreet to reveal it. They used to use dashes like that in old books, so I might have been trying to hint that the whole epilogue was apocryphal, but I don’t seem able to remember, sorry.

“3. Gwynn’s never ending supply of cigarettes was intriguing. Initially, I was going to say he must have magic abilities too. Only at the end does he make a comment about packing choices to ensure he has enough cigarettes.”

Packing choices aside, every character is allocated a certain amount of hammerspace—it’s union rules J .

“4. Please elaborate on the lighter that Gwynn uses. The use of a “lighter”—of course that word strikes me as something more modern like a zappo/bic. So it seemed out of place instead of matches.”

The level of technology in the book is roughly 19th century, but I didn’t want it to be a facsimile of our own 19th century. The lighter was invented in the 1820s and the technology improved a lot during the First World War—so, close enough. You mentioned newspapers, too—they had those in the Old West. I wanted to include a few items that would be feasible with the industrial development they’ve got in the book, but also ordinary to a modern reader, so that the ordinary becomes the exotic element.

“5. The story seemed to be set up whereby Gwynn and Raule might continue the “adventure” together. But that did not happen. What were your thoughts? Did you intend to give Gwynn a love interest from the beginning? Did this just evolve?”

I always knew he would fall in love. I’d already written a rough version of his affair with Beth. I didn’t know Raule was going to basically disown him, but she was adamant about that.

“6. It seemed that the etchings on Gwynn’s sword and/or Beth’s art might be linked to the title—the Etched City. Is this thought on the right track?”

Beth’s art, definitely. I hadn’t thought about the sword—but sure, why not? The inspiration for the book’s title—and the first inspiration for Ashamoil itself—came from this image by Sidney Sime for Lord Dunsany’s story How One Came As Foretold to the City of Never, which I think is an aquatint, though it might be pen and ink.

“7. Did you have any experience that led you to write this book?”

Different experiences contributed to different scenes. Driving across the Australian outback, a godawful holiday in Morocco… and, particularly, a story I was told that provided the basis for the murder of Hart’s wife. This guy was an ex-kickboxer turned kickboxing promoter. He must have got on the wrong side of the wrong people, because his wife was murdered in her bed. Their baby son was left alive. For years, I assumed the killers hadn’t been able to shoot the child. Then I realised it must have been for insurance. They needed to leave the guy something to protect and live for, or he would have come after them—he was pretty tough. The idea of a violent world with completely different laws colliding with your own safe world wouldn’t let me go, and that in turn led me to think about magical and supernatural worlds infecting or colonising ordinary ones. Richard Calder’s Dead trilogy inspired me in that direction, too.

“8. What was the basis for the character Gwynn? I found him interesting and intriguing.”

He comes from a lot of places. He’s named after the Welsh god of the hunt and the otherworld, Gwynn ap Nudd—so he’s that kind of dark hunter, except that he’s also a comparatively modern man—a dandy in the Baudelairean sense. Baudelaire wrote that “dandyism is the last flicker of heroism in decadent ages.” That captured my imagination. I like to think that the mythic and the ordinary mingle in him. Sometimes heroes become gods; then gods dwindle into fairies and folkloric amusements—or just mere mortals. He’s somewhere at the bottom of that trajectory; he is descended from myths and legends, but he’s human. However, he has the vanity of Lucifer and he tries to be the most interesting human he can be. He’s been in my head for a long time, since I was a kid. He’s picked up a lot of influences over the years—the violence came earlier, the dandyism later. Various figures and characters stuck their own influences on him, from Adam Ant to Maldoror .

Narelle form Aus writes: “What was your motivation for moving to Thailand from Australia?
Was it for inspiration, job opportunities, change in lifestyle?”

My husband Stu and I had been to Thailand twice and knew we could have a good life here. It was financially advantageous. I’m also allergic to something in the air in Australia—grass or pollen or something that’s everywhere. I don’t have that problem here.

“My reason for asking…

Our long term goal (in around 5 years to get everything in place) is to sell up most items here in Australia and live in Thailand for a much simpler life as opposed the crazy, materialistic world that surrounds us here.

My ultimate goal is to open an education centre for women in the hope they do not have to resort to prostitution but that will come down to whether I will be beating my head against a brick wall due to a pre-existing culture that won’t budge. Even if I can help just a few girls get the required skills to give them a well paying job and break the cycle then I’ll be happy.

We are heading over to Thailand in a few weeks to spend a bit more time trying to work out if it is something that is realistic or just a dream.

I always get told I’m crazy for even thinking of doing something like this. Oh well, so be it. Thank you for coming to visit here and your blog is great!”

If you want to leave the crazy, materialistic life behind, Bangkok isn’t the place to move to. However, other parts of Thailand offer an opportunity for a great simple life—renting a bungalow on an island, for instance, though you’ll need a source of income, and it can be hard to find a good job in those idyllic locations. Bear in mind, though, that the visa situation is problematic. Thailand doesn’t bend over backwards to encourage foreigners to stay and work or do business here, so best to do your research carefully before you commit to anything.

Regarding your idea for an education centre, there’s an organisation called Empower that you should definitely check out:



If you look at the website, you’ll see that Empower has education centres. Sex workers may want to remain in the job for as long as they can for the sake of the money, but in the meantime academic education, money management and business skills can make a huge difference to their lives afterwards. A sex worker can set herself up very well if she is astute. If she lifts herself out of the poverty cycle she may well lift others in time. Education can also help a woman get a better job in a better bar—if she speaks English, for instance.

A little bit more about the money. The problem is basically that the gap between rich and poor in Thailand is immense. Most of the women who become prostitutes or bar girls are poor, usually from rural areas. An uneducated girl can earn 3-4000 baht a month in a factory, maybe 5000 as a maid in Bangkok. As an unskilled dancer (shuffling around a pole) in a bar, she can earn 14,000 if she doesn’t go with customers. If she goes with customers, the pay goes up a long way. A pretty girl can make 100,000 a month. To make that kind of money outside the sex industry she would need a professional education and a very good job. Check on this, but I think you’re looking at jobs like heart surgeon and high level executive.

Another important fact is that nearly all sex workers send a large portion of their income home to their families. They may be supporting their parents or enabling their siblings to stay at school. They can’t afford to take time off for university, and on a shop worker’s or clerical salary that they might be able to obtain with lesser qualifications they couldn’t do nearly as much for their families. Sex work is one of the very few channels through which significant capital flows from rich to poor in Thailand. Regarding “a pre-existing culture that won’t budge,” really, what isn’t budging is poverty and a culture of inept, corrupt governance that lets poverty continue.

I really urge you to talk to Empower, if you’re comfortable with the idea of sex workers remaining sex workers while they’re young enough to be paid well for it and to find work in clean, comparatively safe establishments. If you’re not comfortable with that, I honestly think you’ll end up wasting your energy and goodwill. But re that and all of the above, don’t take my word for it. A lot of misconceptions about Thailand arise from people believing what someone else says. It’s great that you’re going to come and investigate for yourself.

N.B. The western media is not always careful to differentiate between regular sex work and sex slavery. The girls who end up as indentured prostitutes generally come from other, poorer countries in the region. They are not the majority of sex workers in Thailand and you’re unlikely to find them in areas that foreigners have access to. Also, consider that prostitution exists all over the world. Conditions for sex workers in Thailand, at least those in establishments catering to foreigners, compare favourably with many other countries in terms of safety, safe sex, and the right to refuse clients. You might find you can do more good elsewhere, such as Cambodia, which you could check out while you’re in Thailand, or by joining an organisation that fights child prostitution and sex slavery.

AMZ writes: “Did you set out to create the city as a character in its own right?”

Nope, not really. It’s meant to be a stage set for the action. I come from a visual arts background, so it seemed natural to me to “draw” the background around the characters. I’ve travelled a bit and seen some fascinating cities, so I used impressions of those. To some extent Ashamoil is a collection of my holiday snaps. I looked at some of my favourite writers who have created vivid places—M. John Harrison, Pierre Loti, Lawrence Durrell—and tried to study their techniques, but I still only thought I was designing a set. I hadn’t come across the concept of a city as a character at that time, I don’t think.

AMZ writes: “When/where did you intend the setting of the book to be? Was it a post-apocalyptic world or a pre-technological one?”

I intended it to be roughly 19th century in terms of technology, and postwar—any war, take your pick—in terms of zeitgeist. I didn’t set out to make it post-apocalyptic.

“A lot of books which include a journey start in a city, town etc, and then go into the physical journey. But with The Etched City you started with the physical journey and then looked at city life. It seemed to emphasise the psychological journeys of the characters in the city, but I wanted to ask: why did you structure the story like that?”

It was gut instinct to start with, I think. Back in Melbourne I lived in an area where there were a lot of refugees, people from places like Sudan who’d come to a city in a foreign country in hope of a better life. As usual there were doctors working as taxi drivers because their qualifications weren’t recognised, people who’d been through horrifying traumas being expected to just get on with life in an alien culture, some doing okay, others falling into despondency. Their stories influenced the book’s structure. I also wanted to show what Gwynn had been before he reinvented himself as a dandy and an urban criminal.

“Were there any myths and historical events/places that influenced the world you created in The Etched City?”

The wasteland motif, the journey to the promised land, the myth of the femme fatale. Civil wars, but I don’t think you could single out one in particular.

Charlie’s Angel writes: “What made you decide to move away from the character of Raule and concentrate on Gwynn? Did you plan that from the beginning, or did the story just grow that way?”

What happened was that I lost contact with Raule’s voice in my head. I had only written a couple of short stories before I wrote the book and didn’t know much about writing. I relied a lot on my unconscious mind to produce the story, and it was as if Raule slipped out of the dream I was having. I knew it was a problem; I just couldn’t find a solution at the time. Raule is probably the most mature person in the book, and perhaps at the time I wasn’t enough of a grownup to slip into her shoes.

McWraith writes: “1. Do you feel being Australian gives your writing a unique flavour?”

That’s hard to answer. Australia is a pretty diverse place. There might be a style of speech, secular attitudes, perhaps an appreciation of platonic friendships between men and women—I don’t seem to see so much of that in American culture. Although I’m an urban Aussie and only a tourist in the outback, the immense age of the land, they way it is worn down by time, and the way our cities cling to the coasts, gives me a sense of civilisation as a young, fragile thing that we have to tend carefully. There’s a sense of strangeness about Australia —one was born there, one lived there, but one hardly inhabited the place, because it is largely uninhabitable. In a place like Rome or London, the psychogeography is rich. In Australian cities it’s flimsy. The European history only goes back to the 19th century in most places, and the Aboriginal history is mostly invisible. These factors probably influence my writing.

“2. Could you share about your journey to getting published? Did you have to persevere through a lot of knock backs or did it come easy?”

Two knockbacks, then I published through Prime, a small press in the US, on a friend’s recommendation. Through Prime, I met authors who recommended me to an agent. He sold the book to major publishers in the US and UK—the latter being one of the two who turned it down at first, although by then it had been heavily revised and was a better book. In short, I was incredibly lucky.

“3. Have you earned a degree or doctorate in creative writing? Or have there been any courses or workshops that have been helpful in developing your gift?”

I have a BA in English, so I studied books. I don’t have a doctorate in anything—I have little Latin and less Greek (though my Japanese is ok). I did one creative writing course in poetry, with Chris Wallace-Crabbe, which gave me an interest in the word-by-word details of writing. I consider books my best teachers. I study the techniques of writers I like—that is, I study them now. I didn’t decide to try being a writer until after I’d written that first book. At the moment I’m reading Frederick Forsyth, as I’m trying to learn some tricks of plotting. I have an aversion to workshops. I prefer to get the opinions of a few people who I know are honest and perceptive.

Thornyrose writes: “When writing Etched City, was it a case of the book writing itself, where you simply started with your characters, or did you outline the novel, including some of the more fantastical aspects of the tale?”

Initially it wrote itself. At some point I had to try and plan and order it a bit. Then it did some more of its own thing. Mainly, I just tried to follow the characters without interfering too much.

“Are you planning other stories or novels in the “Etched City” universe, examining other parts of the world you’ve portrayed so vividly?”

Not especially. I’m not a fanatical worldbuilder. Those environments were stage sets, and they’re packed away now. I’m not interested in creating a secondary world that you could draw on a map or write an encyclopedia about. But the characters, yes. I can’t resist writing about Gwynn from time to time, but so far I haven’t been able to manage more than vignettes, which I wouldn’t even try to publish (see answer to next question).

“Was the epilogue planned from the start to wrap up the story of Gwynn and Raule, or did you decide to add it after finishing the main story? I thought it was admirable and gutsy to close out their stories that way. Though there is still room for sequels involving them, the epilogue seems to seriously restrict such opportunities.”

It wasn’t planned from the start, but I’d written a story several years before, The Art of Dying, featuring Gwynn. The Etched City is set sometime prior to that story. I decided to link the two together. I also deliberately made it hard for myself to write a sequel. I wanted to force myself to write different things, so I put that obstacle there.

“Finally, what conditions do you normally write in? Do you prefer music or other distractions in the background, do you set down to write at certain times each day, or do you write when the Muse strikes, so to speak?”

I write in the mornings. I live in two rooms in Bangkok. My husband’s a night owl, so the mornings are mine. I used to write late at night. I usually write the afternoons, too, when I’m not at work. I sometimes write with music in the background. My number one composer to listen to when I write is Harold Budd. Coincidentally Jeff Ford, one of my favourite writers, listens to him too. When I was writing battle scenes for The Etched City I listed to the Ennio Morricone’s film scores (A Fistful of Dollars, et al) and Basil Poledouris’s score for Conan the Barbarian. If I only wrote when the muse struck I would never write at all, but the muse lurks, and by writing he or she can be encouraged to come out and bop me on the head with a sparkler. I wrote some of The Etched City in the atrium of the Crown Casino in Melbourne, which is a psychedelic sort of environment.

Airelle writes: “What/why were the ghosts in Raules dreams?

Old comrades long gone, probably.
“Was the story/characters from an experience or a dream? A lot of dream reference in the story is why I ask.”

Only one line in the book comes from a dream—“You don’t know how dead you are.” On the whole, my dreams don’t furnish material for writing. (The other night I dreamt about a Pacman robot with Darth Vader’s head. I don’t want to touch that stuff with a 10-foot pole…)

“How do you try to think of ideas for a story?”

Sometimes ideas come serendipitously. Sometimes I have to put screws on my brain and hope something seeps out. As a last resort, I summon devils and get them to give me ideas. What seems to happen to me is that a character comes into my head, and then I spend a long time trying to understand that character. It can be like tuning a short wave radio. I have to be patient. I listen to the character while they tell me what they want to do, and we have a conversation about how we could collaborate. Sometimes other people give me ideas. Because my own process is so slow, it’s good when someone says, “Write a story about this.” I’ve done that a few times, not counting commercial work where I wrote short fiction for real money. It’s amazing how the muse will hop to it for a dollar a word.

“Is a lot of research involved once you get an idea?”

It depends on the idea. I try to get away with as little research as possible, but sometimes you have to read a lot of background material to get the one or two details that will end up in the work.

Anti-Social Butterflie writes: “Dear Ms. Bishop –

How did you come up with the character, Beth? Was she based on a real life person or was she an extension of yourself?

It seems as though you have a casual ease with the character that, in my experience, tends to come from an intimate clarity about that person.”

There’s a book called Idols of Perversity by Bram Dijkstra that looks at the femme fatale, often iconised as the sphinx, in fin-de-siécle culture. I was fascinated by the neurotic attitudes of men towards women that the book discusses. Prevalent was the idea that man must be the creator, woman the passive muse. I decided to make the sphinx the creator and give her a male muse. In that sense, Beth is like me. I have male muses. I studied printmaking, so I knew what the process of her work involved, which is always helpful in being familiar with a character. She has a mythic dimension, too. She isn’t an extension of myself so much as an embodiment of something I care about, namely the right of a woman to be what she wants to be. I still don’t think we’re anywhere near achieving that. She’s my feminist icon, my Kali. That’s why the world of dangerous men can’t touch her. She’s my wishful thought.

“Also do you relate more to Raule or Gwynn or are they two sides of your own personality?”

I relate to them both. They both have aspects of my personality, but I’m not as brave as either of them or as determined as Raule to do good in the world. I have Gwynn’s skepticism and Raule’s waspishness (sometimes).

Michelle writes: “My questions for K.J. Bishop would be, what inspired the desert descriptions — have you spent time in deserts?

In the arid outback of Australia—two long roadtrips there, and an impromptu excursion to the edge of the Sahara in Morocco. Those, plus the Spaghetti Westerns that Joe mentioned, were the main inspiration, along with Mad Max and Pierre Loti’s book The Desert. Since then I’ve been to Jordan and Egypt. Deserts used to fascinate me but I feel I’ve seen enough of them now. The desert was partly inspired by the Wasteland myth that you have in Grail legends and T.S. Eliot’s poem. There’s an awesome Wong Kar Wai film, Ashes of Time, set in a desert. It gave me some inspiration too. I could probably also say Tatooine. Maybe my inner six-year-old told me that stories start in deserts and then go someplace else entirely.

“Second, what do you have in the works now?”

Secret—can’t tell, sorry! I get superstitious about WIPs. Sometimes when you talk about them it seems to have an adverse effect.

Sparrow Hawk writes: “1. What is the significance of the red thread/Beth’s red hair? It seems to attain the significance of a religious relic to Gwynn.”

That’s something that I think is open to interpretation, but my take on it would be that, atheist that he is, he doesn’t realise it, but some part of him has a devotional relationship to her. Red thread is used in Hindu ritual; it also figures as a protective charm in Jewish culture. Red has various esoteric meanings that I thought were appropriate for Beth. It’s the colour of the left hand path of tantra, and Lilith supposedly had red hair.

“2. Is Beth human?”

There’s no definite answer to that question. Is a caterpillar a butterfly? J There are multiple possibilities—and within the book, multiple subjective realities in which she might be different things.

“3. The book gave me the feeling of wandering through an art gallery — from the clean, stark desert paintings of Georgia O’Keefe (Copper Country) into Salvador Dali then on to Aubrey Beardsley, Hieronymus Bosch and M.C. Escher with touches of Paul Gauguin. What was your inspiration for the book?”

There were many influences from different places. As for artistic inspiration, there was the Sidney Sime illustration I mentioned above, Beardsley definitely, the Australian painter Russell Drysdale for the Copper Country, old prints of India in the Raj days; architecturally, the cityscapes of Rome and Fez; and I think some things that go back to childhood, like Dr Seuss and Maurice Sendak—the boy who dreams of becoming a Wild Thing in the jungle, if he were a girl, might be Beth.

“It made me wonder whether, in Bishop’s fantastic world, perhaps Beth is a goddess who took on a human body and eventually, after experiencing all she could in this world, ultimately shed her mortal form. Maybe Gwynn, her demon and muse, both inspired her art and enabled her to complete that transformation.”

I think that’s a very plausible reading. While the text really doesn’t tell you, something a lot like that was in my mind.

A few of responses to points raised:

The religious discussions—if I were writing the book again now, I would try to knock some verbiage off those. I wanted to give Gwynn an equal adversary in the Rev. Looking back, instead of talking so much about abstract theology, perhaps the Rev should have nagged him more about actual crimes he committed.

Can you write without an inborn “It” —Somerset Maugham and George Orwell both worked hard to improve their writing. I don’t know if they had “it” or if they grew “it” through diligence. As for structuring things properly, the word “properly” smells bad to me. Writing, done “properly”, is in danger of reaching the condition of Tupperware. I’d like to improve my control over structure and other aspects of craft, sure, but I think you have to beware of formulas that smooth off all the rough corners and eliminate oddnesses and asymmetries.

The battle on the bridge—I might have overdone the amount of luck the Horn Fan had. I wanted the reader to be pretty sure something supernatural was at work, perhaps Beth’s imperviousness to danger rubbing off on Gwynn and his mates. But I think I could have either been more subtle or provided more explanation.

Beverly writes: “Even Raule was morally corrupt in her own way—she never protested when Gwynne tortured a young boy to death. She just stood there and felt nothing.”

I think Raule was exhausted. I’m interested in the fragility of civilisation and morals. We seem to slide rather easily when we’re hungry, tired and frightened, or when our own friends/family/comrades are threatened or harmed. That was a nadir for her, but perhaps most of us, under similar stresses, would have reacted the same way.

Terry writes: “I am curious how KJ Bishop categorizes her story.”

I don’t categorise it, lol. I don’t have a taxonomic mind. It’s fiction. Fantasy, if you really push me. Beyond that, I run shrieking from the label monster. I don’t think it really matters, except for marketing, which isn’t my job, thank goodness.

Phew! Joe said I could talk about anything I liked, but I feel all talked out. So instead of talking, I’ll ask some questions. We’re all readers here, and I’m interested in what makes us readers. What do we look for in books; why do we give them hours and days of our time? Given the length of time it takes to read a book, is there something you as a reader expect in return that you wouldn’t expect from, say, a painting? Do you read novels for insight into the human condition, to immerse yourself in another world, to live out fantasies vicariously? Other reasons? Could you read a book that took abstract expressionism or cubism as its inspiration? Is there anything you’d like to say about your relationship with these strange long lies called novels?

125 thoughts on “July 11, 2008: K.J. Bishop drops by to answer your questions, discuss The Etched City, and much more

  1. Hi Joe

    I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying Kage Baker’s books.. Each book in the series seems to get better and better. I’m reading the Life of the world to come now and what a pure delight.. Thanks for introducing this author to me.


  2. Thanks so much for setting up the visit with KJ Bishop. I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to read Etched City, so I decided to sit quietly and enjoy the discussion.

  3. Thank you so much Kirsten for taking the time to answer my question with so much detail. And thank you for the links!

    KJ Bishop said:

    N.B. The western media is not always careful to differentiate between regular sex work and sex slavery

    It was always my intention to focus mainly on the slavery aspect. Particularly that of young girls from rural areas.

    As your story about the kickboxer shows, when you start dealing in people who are not governed by morals but money (and the required people to turn a blind eye when necessary) I also need to take into account the threat that could come to those around me by interfering in what I am sure is a good little money earner for them.

    It also saddens me that there may be few people to help these young girls because of such threats.

    KJ Bishop said:

    If you want to leave the crazy, materialistic life behind, Bangkok isn’t the place to move to.

    That would be a definite no from us too. I think that with the focus I have in mind, being in the rural areas would be more appropriate.

    I’ve worked hard over the last decade so that if we decide to pack up and go we will be able to draw on the results of that work for a while. Although, if Bill Gates is interested in chipping in with some of those donated billions who would I be to disagree?

    I have some Thai contacts that have aided me in understanding the situation as well.

    I understand that setting up a business in Thailand would be almost impossible (for long term income generation) without becoming a citizen so through their knowledge of “home” I am building up a knowledge base on Culture, Politics and Economics which in turn helps me to narrow down possibility vs “tell im he’s dreamin'”.

    The business ideas are varying from an online business to PADI instructor 🙂 That will depend on the influences of some of the other factors.

    Everything that I approach I follow the process of:
    Idea -> Research -> Plan -> Business Plan -> Execute.

    I am at the later stages of Research and Plan and as I learn more about the factors that affect this idea (and your insight today has again added another element) the way in which I execute if/when it happens is continually changing.

    The idea is a long shot, but if I don’t exhaust the possibilities of making it work, then it will continue to play on my mind. If it never comes to fruition, so be it, I have tried my best. But not trying, that would be true failure to me.

    Trying to summarise the last 3 years of thoughts and research into a small comment reply is tough!

    KJ Bishop wrote:

    why do we give them hours and days of our time?

    My answer is pretty simple and boring.
    While I’m reading I’m not thinking about error messages, implementation schedules, training timetables, opportunities, lead management, marketing efforts, support policies, supplier motivations, payables, receivables, resource management, business plans.

    It is as though everything stops around you and you are part of the story. The noise goes away, the phone doesn’t ring and you get to think about something else. Escape.

    I love the thoughts that come from reading a book. You read the author’s interpretation but then you have all of these side thoughts that come from that. And it is nice to just have to focus on that one thought for a short amount of time.

    It is the same reason I love watching shows like Stargate.

    I have a head cold from hell so, fingers crossed, some of the above was actual English. And with that I’m off to rest and finish The Ghost Brigades.

    Thank You KJ Bishop. Looking forward to continuing to enjoy your books. I’ll make sure I don’t get the version I can only read on my PC next time!

    Hope you enjoy your last official day off Joe.

  4. Thanks to Kirsten for answering our questions and giving us some insights into the creation of The Etched City and life in Bangkok. Love the grasshopper pictures too (although I can’t say I have the guts to ever try that).

    I always find it interesting to hear where writers get their inspiration. I remember hearing from a screenwriter in the UK who got an idea from a song and a very strong visual element, and it’s interesting to hear that K.J. Bishop draws on visuals as well. A picture really can paint more than a thousand words, can’t it? I always thought that saying was meant only as a way of telling people there is so much you can get out of visual arts, but there is so much more to it when you think about it. Pictures can not only tell us things because of what they are, but they can be inspiration for conversations, passion and stories. In a way Beth shows us that in The Etched City, and Kirsten herself through the various forms of inspiration.

    I would also like to say that it’s incredibly refreshing to hear someone saying there were various influences at work – I’m of the mind that it’s hard to not be influenced by things these days, but acknowledging that isn’t something every artist does.

    Thanks again to K.J. Bishop and Joe!

  5. Why couldn’t the Daedalus only partially lower it’s shields to beam Sheppard and Ronin aboard?

  6. Okay…just gotta say….

    I absolutely HATE childbirth scenes!!!!!!!!!

    ….but not this one 😆 😆


  7. Narelle: I think most of the girls who end up as actual sex slaves, when they are Thai, come from hill tribe minorities in the north west, which is a long way from any dive resort. Once they’ve been found and rescued, I don’t know how much danger would remain for someone running an education centre. But it sounds like you’re doing your research thoroughly. Good luck!

    I also read for purposes of escape. Perhaps the places I want to escape to are more sophisticated than they used to be – Paris rather than Disneyland – but I do love to literally lose myself in the world of a book – and to bring souvenirs back.

    AMZ: I think it’s impossible not to be influenced, and it certainly isn’t something to hide. Part of the point of making art is to spread your own memetic material, and also to pass on material that you’ve found and liked. Accepting influences and passing them on is a vital aspect of creative culture, I think.

  8. K J Bishop said–Do you read novels for insight into the human condition, to immerse yourself in another world, to live out fantasies vicariously? Other reasons?
    Yes, yes, I like to go away somewhere sometimes and books can take me to that plane of existence,immersing myself. It used to be to take my mind off the snowstorms covering the roads in 3 feet of snow, taking me somewhere it wasn’t doing that nasty stuff. but I just generally like to read. ( I hated that kind of snow) Thanks to Mr Mallozzis suggestions, in to sci-fi, such as your book, my interest has expanded.
    Thanks to Mr. M for inviting you to participate in this very informative discussion. K J -Keep up the great work!

  9. Hey Joe

    Really really enjoyed Search and Rescue. Wonderful action, wonderful character moments, just great all around. Marty G really does write a mean McKay – LOVED the birth scene.

    If I may ask, I wondered if you could clarify something (you probably don’t want to approve this comment until the premier has aired out on the west coast):

    Teyla named the baby “Torren John” after her father, and after Sheppard. In Rising, she introduced herself as “Teyla, daughter of Tagan.” So, which of the following is true (please mark all that apply):

    1. Tagan is Teyla’s mother.
    2. Tagan is Teyla’s father, Torren is his middle name.
    3. For Athosians, “naming after” is loosely interpreted – in other words, names need not be identical but can be similar (in this case, 2 syllables, starts with “T”, ends with “N”)
    4. Oops 🙂

    A great beginning to the season! Looking forward to the rest… Are you looking forward to getting back to work after your hiatus?

    P.S. I am currently reading Old Man’s War – wow. John Scalzi has such a great imagination. Have you read The Ghost Brigades? If so, what did you think?


  10. Awesome beginning for Season V!!!!!!

    I loved the pan out from Rodney to Space to the Wraith Cruiser…brillant and beautfiful.

    Rodney and the birth scene was great!

    Heck – then entire episode was perfect in sooooo many ways…I could go on and on and on…..

    Oh – by the way “we parked the jumper right here….” I loved that….so Michael is still alive…hmmm…maybe….

    CONGRATS TO ALL OF YOU ALL – Season V premiere kicked arse!!!!!!

  11. P.S Just watched Search and Rescue and it was a wonderful, outstanding episode, well done.. More, more I want more!! Bravo!! 😀

  12. Overall, loved loved Search and Rescue. John’s angst and the birth scene were my 2 favorite aspects. Joe as well as David and Rachel were brilliant! The special effects of going from one planet to the other were especially awesome.

    I watched the show on Sci Fi HD for the first time ever (and since it’s on EDT, 3 hrs early for me to!). It’s incredible how much more there is to the experience in HD, both picture and sound. Better than regular broadcast and any download by orders of magnitude.

    I do have a couple of nitpicks, if I may… First, there’s no way Keller would treat John’s wounds with his dirty shirt still on. They would cut it off first thing, before starting the IV. And I don’t just say that because I want to see Shep shirtless. It threw me out of the story. Similarly, in the pre-surgery scene, if John had injuries requiring HOURS of surgery and a week in bed, he sure wouldn’t be sitting up all peppy, playing with a handheld, no IV in him. He’d be very ill, would he not? I can’t think of an abdominal injury where a person appears fine while needing hours of surgery. Again, jarring! Finally, I would really like it if Keller could use “lie” and “lay” properly. Sheppard needs to lie there, not lay there. It makes me crazy, sorry.

    I wanted to ask if the baby was real or a robotic one of some sort. I know they make animatronic figures that are amazing these days, but he sure looked real to me, as well as very young. How was that filming done?

    Great start to the season, Joe and all!

  13. S&R –

    That was pretty good. Lots of action and suspense (yay!) and an appropriate amount of humor. Only problem – it’s been a rough week, I’m tired, and not very enthusiastic about anything right now. I did get the biggest kick out of the birthing scene – that couldn’t have been better! Kudos to both actors! Will watch it again tomorrow, maybe then I’ll be able to make more sense. Just wanted to let ya know that I thought it was very good, and I enjoyed it much despite my pissyass mood right now.


  14. Joe,

    Absolutely wonderful! From the Rainbow cameo to the birthing scene (“didn’t hit the floor” – LOL!) to the rescue to the naming…absolutely wonderful!

    I would offer a more detailed review, but it is still early and I don’t want to spoil anything (more than I already have).

    Thanks, again! I’ll probably write more tomorrow.


  15. Loved Search and Rescue. Making Rodney deliver the baby was genious. It was a great scene between Rodney and Teyla…and of course…I can see alot of Shep whumpage ahead this season…it was a great start. And the baby’s middle name is John…that’s adorable.

  16. Okay, I’m the one who wanted to try the broiled sheep/goat eyeballs when I was in Saudi Arabia, but I draw the line at insects. *shudders and makes icky face*

    And Joe!!!!!!!!! “Search & Rescue” is the best season opener since SG-1’s “Serpent’s Lair”!!! Great, great job!!!!!!! Please convey my thanks to everyone who worked on it. Well, I guess just mention our thanks in passing when you talk to the actors and crew and say how much the fans absolutely adored this one, since it would be a bit much to tell everyone about each specific fan who raves about S&R. I’m not even going to try to tell you every little thing that I loved about this episode, or my post would be a novella.

    I am going to say that I love the foreshadowing for “Blood Ties”, though. I can definitely see Sheppard’s acknowledgment that he would have left Ronon if he were in John’s place come back to bite him on the ass, even thought we all know that he wouldn’t have, he was just saying that to get Ronon to leave him.

    On the down side, I really, really hate the way the IOA jerked the proverbial rug out from under Sam. A whole world of not cool. I liked the mention that SG-1 needed to make an appearance for some purpose or other, but the undercutting of her as a commander was poorly done on the IOA’s part. Damn bureaucratic Frellwits. Then again, that is probably exactly the sentiment that you folks wanted the audience to have, so I suppose a “Well done!” is in order for that, too.

    *sigh* I am so incredibly happy for Amanda Tapping that “Sanctuary” was picked up as a TV series and I am really going to enjoy watching it, but I am going to miss her as Samantha Carter like you would not believe. She is the best female role model on television, ever.

    Thanks again for such a wonderful episode of Stargate Atlantis, Joe!

  17. Hey joe, just got done watching S & R (legally! I WAITED!) very very good episode. I’ll actually have to rewatch it to catch all the subtleties that I missed as my mother actually sat through the whole episode with me(only the 5th time she’s done that ever) and I spent most of it explaining various things.

    A quick rundown *rolls eyes*

    “so thats the Daedalus”(wraith cruiser) ‘NO! Thats Michaels ship, and Michael is the wraith that dr. beckett transformed briefly into a human than he changed back! He’s BAD!’

    “So Sheppards a good guy right? Thats why he has the spiffy hair?” *insert guffaw here* “Uh, yeah.”

    *nods* can’t wait to pick it up tomorrow on iTunes, and rewatch it on the big screen!

  18. Alas, time and lack of funding being what it is, I’m afraid I didn’t get to read The Etched City, but I’ll certainly bear it in mine when time and money are *not* issues for me … Thank you for stopping by, Ms Bishop, and Joe, I have to say yours is a briliant book club, giving the readers a chance to chat with the authors like that! 😀

    This season’s off to a smashing start! 😀 Some *brilliant* characterisation for our fearsome foursome, especially John! Some classic Rodney in there, even while he has obviously grown as a person (like wanting Keller to see to Lorne). Ovioulsy the birthing scene was great fun — my heart did a little flip of *awww* when Rodney proudly presented Teyla with her baby. (Nice lantern from Rodney on the quickness of the delivery. XD) Love how Ronon gets such so much across emotionally, even when saying so little — loved his very subtle nudging of McKay’s arm in the jumper. (Kudos to Momoa!) And Flanigan, of course, had me choked up several times. That bit where John says, “It’s been a pleasure,” *beat* and Ronon replies, “Same.” … That was *perfectly* done. Bravo to the boyos for their performance, and to Gero!

    Is it next week yet? XD

  19. I can now officially say I loved Search and Rescue and more importantly, my daughter that I made watch it with me, loved it too. In fact she is ready to even watch nexts weeks cause it looked so good to her. Bravo!

    I got out of the movies in time to dash home and turn it on and when I was trying to quickly unlock my door, my neighbor, who also works with me, decided he would start introducing me to his extended family and I had to stop him and say I had to watch my show (lol) and added that he needed to go in and put the show on too. I may have convinced him cause next thing I knew he was in the house. Ahh, the power of suggestion or is it intimidation? Either way, it works for me.

  20. Is Teyla’s father’s name Tagan or Toren because in the pilot episode Rising Teyla says she’s the daughter of Tagan but in Search and Rescue she says her father’s name is Toren or could Toren be his middle name?

  21. @ Michelle – the credits say that the baby boy (Torren) was portrayed by Annalise MaCulloch… 😕

    Me thinks McKay didn’t look close enough…

    I also loved the early cameo of an absent friend. That was terrific!

    I have tons of questions about next week’s episode, though. Joe, I know you said there was a cryptic explanation in this upcoming one about Wraith tech, and already it’s raising questions in my head. Just a warning…be prepared for next week…(in the meantime, brush up on your Wraith sciences, k? 😉 )


  22. Just wanted to drop a quick note to say awesome season premiere!!

    – I *loved* the Sheppard-Ronon buddy scenes when Sheppard was trapped and rescue seemed hopeless. The characters are what make this show, and such moments are priceless. (Also, Duff and Oprah Ale… ha!)

    – Loved how determined Sheppard was to participate in the rescue…. and how guilty he felt about Ford’s failed rescue. (We hadn’t really seen Sheppard’s emotional aftermath re: Ford, so it was great to get that.)

    – Loved Rodney delivering Teyla’s baby. (Poor guy. He is *so* going to hate it’s Torren John and not Torren Rodney!)

    – Great special effects. The retraction space shot (between the planet and Michael’s ship) was amazing.

    – And Rainbow Francks’ cameo? Excellent! 🙂

    Great ep. I can’t wait for the rest of the season! (And it doesn’t look like I’ll have to wait long for Carson Beckett to make a reappearance. Yay!!)


  23. “Search and Rescue” was fantastic. That was about three fourths of my entire list of things I’ve ever wished to see in an SGA episode, all RIGHT THERE, and. Gah. GAH. If it wasn’t insulting to the eyeballs this entire comment would be in spaztastic capslock, because I’m just that blissed out. Thank you!

    (Except that we’re all sad Sam is leaving at my house. But other than that, OMG what a fantastic episode! Thank you!!)

  24. Sorry for posting twice here, Joe, but I forgot a couple of things.

    If possible, can you pretty please get us the contact information for all of the advertisers who buy time during SGA? You can email it to me if it would be bad for you to post it here and I will very gladly post it at Gate World and in several communities in Live Journal so that we can all write our notes of support for the show to the advertisers. After all, it’s much easier to give positive feedback and tell the advertisers how much we love the show and how it introduced us to their products and that we are the ones who make the buying decisions for our families and hope that they will continue to buy ad time in support of SGA. It’s fdifficult as hell to try to pull a series back after the network has canceled it, most especially when that network is Skiffy.

    Also, I just have to say that Colonel Caldwell’s “Major Marks, please make that ship go away.” is one of the best lines ever! *sigh* It really makes me wish that you could have gotten Mitch Pileggi for more time on SGA and made Caldwell the commander of Atlantis (boy, wouldn’t that have caused the sparks to fly when he and Sheppard butted heads). I really do love Robert Picardo, but the thought of Woolsey as the commander of Atlantis really makes me cringe. I can imagine there will be some sparks flying with him in command, too. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you folks give him similar character development to what you gave Rodney in the first season so that Woolsey can grow a pair; he’s in pretty dire need.

  25. Absolutely loved Search and Rescue!!!!
    Although I still REALLY don’t want to see a romance between the Keller and McKay characters, I truly liked her in this episode. I’m really happy about that, as this is my favorite show and I love that I love them all now.

  26. Although i have never read anything by Thomas Disch, i found myself looking at his journal and then to wikipedia for his bio. I deal with suicides on an almost daily occurrence, because of my job, but it still catches me; i take a short breath, not a regular one.
    I read a lot of romance books, and the authors there are very prolific in their webpages, personal and professional news and chatrooms. I have visited many of their webpages, regularly and yet, would not think to do so for some of the bigger names in writing, like Dan Brown. In fact, my favorites list has a folder of authors that i check thru regularly. I’m not sure I know where I am going with this, but maybe certain fan bases/readerships/genres lend themselves to wanting or searching for a more personal connection to an author?

    for example – i don’t read anyone’s blog, except yours. don’t quite know why.

    ps – did your friend eat your chocolate, or just LICK it?

  27. Hi Joe
    Is this the right place for questons and comments for Stargate Alantis?
    In case it is… I supect that Michael excaped useing the jumper,didn’t he? After all he had 2years to develope the the ancient gene treatment from information he got from the Carson clone and he wouldn’t have been able to fly the jumper unless he had.
    Besides, Michael is too good a badguy to wack the first show of the season.

  28. Okay, more random thoughts …

    I imagine the John/Teyla shippers must be well-pleased. 😀 And if I were to choose between Teyla and Larrin, Teyla would win by a landslide, even if my OTP is really McShep. 😉

    Glad John thought to tell Rodney he did a good job. 🙂

    Was never really a Ford fan, but for the sake of his fans, that was nice to see a glimpse of him. And certainly a nice parallel in the story/set=up for John’s desperation to find teyla (although I think he had plenty of motive in any case).

    The “buried alive” bits totally freaked me out, I was expecting the tunnel to collapse any moment and kept pictureing Sheppard squished (more than he was already) by the beam!

    Did anyone else think the begging of this ep felt different? Between the dream and the flight through space, the vibe just felt odd somehow. Not that I minded, and it did start to feel more normal when they were all back together. I’m really glad the ep didn’t spend a huge amount of time with them buried, either — I half expected it to be the whole ep! We got a nice variety instead.

    I have to say, having suffered major bloodloss myself, I felt *really* sorry for John, running around like that. I’m not exactly envious of Teyla, either, having to give birth in those conditions!! Glad I will never even have to give birth in a hospital, much less a scenario like that! XD But Michelle did have some good points with the nitpicks — I was puzzled by the lack of IV. And for a moment I was puzzled by how long it had taken them to get around to doing the surgery, but then again the hospital let me wait a whole freakin’ day before they finally gave me a transfusion, despite continual blood loss, so I suppose it’s not *that* surprising …

    I hadn’t expected Sam to leave so quickly. 🙁 Really sorry to see her go, but I wish Amanda all the best with Sanctuary!

  29. Hay Joe,
    My Compliments to Martin Gero that was one hell of an opening episode. Since my wife just gave birth to our daughter “Adria Nicole” two weeks ago, that made the whole Rodney child birthing scene way too hysterical. I was falling out of my seat. Overall the entire episode was fantastic. I must add that I really liked how Continuum was tied into the series the way it was.

    Congratulations on another great episode!!


  30. Search and Rescue – Incredible! Amazing! You all out did yourselves. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

    I said to my friend today at work. “I can hear Rodney saying can’t you cross your legs and hold it.”
    We roared with laughter when he had a line very, very similar to that!

    I loved the growth we saw in his character even while seeing the flaws still there. He is definitely growing as a person.

    Great Sheppard/Ronon exchanges.

    Loved McKay telling Sheppard to stay with the jumper while he and Ronon rescued Teyla.

    Kudos to all involved.

    If this is just the first taste of Season 5 I can’t wait for the next course.

  31. Thanks KJ Bishop for the great q&a, and for your honesty as well. Sorry I asked about WIPs — I didn’t mean to pry so much as to know when to look for more books by you. 🙂

    As far as why I read… my challenge is usually to resist sliding from reading to napping, so the novel has to be something of a page turner or I’m toast, sadly. I need emotional engagement with the characters, in an interesting setting, moving along in an unpredictable, suspenseful way. Some angst, humor and irony thrown in is a big plus. How unhelpful is that? I don’t read novels for deep insights or existential inquiries anymore; I like thought-provoking ideas, but I don’t have energy for Ulysses, if you know what I mean.

    Now I’ve depressed myself with my pitiful self-assessment. 🙂

  32. KJ Bishop wrote

    Narelle: I think most of the girls who end up as actual sex slaves, when they are Thai, come from hill tribe minorities in the north west, which is a long way from any dive resort. Once they’ve been found and rescued, I don’t know how much danger would remain for someone running an education centre. But it sounds like you’re doing your research thoroughly. Good luck!

    I’d heard similar about the regions and the girls. I guess that’s why I’m keeping my options open as to how to supplement an income stream depending on where we might end up. It would be great to get a business going that means I could employ and educate the girls. I’m hoping the experience I have had in Australia with running a company gives me some grounding to setting something new up elsewhere.

    But, if I just end up donating my time to assist another organisation, whether it be for animal or human, then maybe the PADI dive instructor would be a nice choice.

    Only time will tell.

    KJ Bishop wrote

    I also read for purposes of escape. Perhaps the places I want to escape to are more sophisticated than they used to be – Paris rather than Disneyland – but I do love to literally lose myself in the world of a book – and to bring souvenirs back.

    I’m lucky if I stay on Earth with most of the books I’m reading lately 🙂

    Great to see everyone enjoying the start of Season 5!
    Congratulations Joe and team.

    Jean I just finished reading The Ghost Brigades about an hour ago. It’s an interesting follow up to Old Man’s War and I really enjoyed it.
    There aren’t too many books I read and don’t enjoy in one way or another, but if you enjoyed Old Man’s War then you should enjoy The Ghost Brigades. I’m sure Joe will have a much more insightful review of the book 🙂

  33. Hello Joe,

    I just wanted to comment that I am so glad that I have given up reading almost all spoilers of episodes. The opening sequence (I won’t say why so as not to spoil it for others) of the first episode of season 5 really surprised me. I don’t know if this was a well kept secret overall, or I just kept myself in the dark, but it felt good to be surprised again.

    Even though it was a little thing, it did have some shock value for me that added to my enjoyment of the episode. I highly reccommend even the most ardent spoiler freak take one episode to leave themselves in the dark about and see how it changes their watching experience.

    Very good start to the season. (A loyal watcher, and blog lurker)

  34. Thank you to K.J. Bishop for answering so many of our questions. Now it’s my turn to answer her’s =

    What do we look for in books; why do we give them hours and days of our time?

    – For me, they’re a way of unwinding. But if I’m reading the right book, my body will be relaxed but my mind will be wide awake.

    Given the length of time it takes to read a book, is there something you as a reader expect in return that you wouldn’t expect from, say, a painting?

    – At the very least I expect to be entertained. I’d also liked to be challenged.

    Do you read novels for insight into the human condition, to immerse yourself in another world, to live out fantasies vicariously? Other reasons?

    – All of those reasons and more. Books are a means of escape but they’re also informative on so many levels.

    Could you read a book that took abstract expressionism or cubism as its inspiration?

    – That would depend on what other elements the book had to offer. It needs to have something relatable to me otherwise it won’t hold my interest (ie. an interesting character or story regardless of the genre).

  35. I keep thinking of all of these things after I post. Arrrgh! S&R has me in such a fan-tizzy. I’m watching the replay on SciFi right now and I realized I completely forgot some things.

    First off, I wanted to tell you how much I absolutely loved the new establishing shot of Atlantis under both full moons. I seriously need to get HD digital so that I can do a screen capture of that and print it large enough to frame and hang on my wall, that was so beautiful! Many, many kudos to the SFX guys for that!

    Secondly (and lastly this time, honest), I loved Ford’s cameo. The first time I saw that, I was completely surprised and it really kicked me in the gut. I liked his character a lot, he was so young, naive and full of optimism until he got addicted to the Wraith enzyme. I miss him terribly and hope that you can write a way to bring him back again some time if Rainbow is amenable.

    Thank you again to you and the rest of the cast and crew for such a fantabulous series!

    @ dasN’Danger I hope your Mom is doing better and that things look up soon. Hugs to you, and I’m keeping you and your Mom in my thoughts.

  36. Search and Rescue was good.

    Maybe I’ve watched too many cartoons, but I thought it would’ve been funny if, at the end of that space transition shot, there was a sign by Michael’s cruiser that read Bad Guy.

    No questions.

  37. Sooo many things I loved about S&R! It was a great companion piece to Last Man because it continued the great character moments with the team. And there were still nice action scenes. Sheppard fans in particular will love this episode because Flanigan did a fantastic job of portraying Sheppard’s angst and his need to go save Teyla in spite of his own injuries.

    Ronon and Sheppard preparing to make a last stand together against the hybrids – reminiscent of Ronon and Todd in the Last Man. Rodney freaking out a little while trapped with Loren and during the birth scene, but pulling it together in the end. Great examples of character growth.
    Also, I’m looking forward to some interesting character development for Teyla this season.

    And as someone already mentioned, I really felt ticked off by the way the IOA treats Carter. Nice set up for the future conflicts between Woosley and the rest of the team. But also sad because it made me realize how much I’m going to miss Carter.

    Great start. Kudos to everyone involved.

  38. An absolutely fabulous episode! Non stop excitement from start to finish. All the actors stepped up with their “A” game for this one. And how did you keep Rainbow’s appearance a secret? I thought that would have leaked out before the episode aired. If this is what we have to look forward to for the whole season then there is no way that they can’t greenlight a Season 6!

  39. I second Sulien’s wish for the sponsor info, AND express my love for that shot of the city under the moons — that was *stunning*. (Not to mentione that it was a nice, if unintentional, nod to Elfquest’s World of Two Moons — good timing, considering that the news just broke the other day that Warner’s optioned the film rights!! I am deliriously happy about that — I just hope it works out, as I have been wishing for an Elfquest movie for about twenty-five years …)

    Hey, yeah, crazymom has a point — what *did* happen to Kanaan? I suppose they had to put him in the brig as a possible security threat? Or did he refuse to go with them when they were let out of the dart on the planet?

  40. Manyt thanks for Ms. Bishop for taking the time to answer so many questions, and give us so many insights. Congratulations to the whole Stargate team for a great season premiere. There’s nothing like viewing it in a room with a couple of hundred happy fans. And watching the Daedalus take a beating and still kick butt is always a happy bonus. Caldwell should be up for a star pretty soon; he’s been by far the most successful Space Captain in the Stargate Program’s history. ANyways, another long day tomorrow so good night to all.

  41. I’m assuming that the jumper was stolen by Michael, but how did he fly it? Did he have a gene-bearing human among his crew? Did he somehow give *himself* the ATA therapy? Or am I missing something obvious?

    Okay, maybe I should go to sleep now, and I’ll think better in the morning …

  42. I have to say that overall Search and Rescue was better than the bland, boring, and overall fan cheating that The Last Man was. I dislike AU stories at the best of times, but The Last Man was nothing more than a well-written fan-fiction of how major characters might die, but obviously won’t. No lasting consequences except for Teyla’s location of death means it was just a waste to me and why wouldn’t McKay send back with Sheppard the cure for the Hoffan virus when the love of his life could be saved? It might as well have been a fan-wank story. *sigh*

    In S & R, I have to say that the lack of intelligent use of military tactics by the military characters (and hence the writers,) leaves me flabergasted that all the military leaders on Atlantis aren’t disciplined for poor judgement and sent home. If the shields needed to be lowered to beam someone on or off the Daedalus or the Apollo, it has been ignored in previous stories like BAMSR. Besides that, if it was true, why wouldn’t Caldwell minimize the amount of fire he would be taking by getting the Daedalus to the side or behind the Wraith cruiser before lowering the shields? I tell you why, a stupid plot contrivance and poor military tactics!

    Also, any other time a mission where fire power is sure to be needed (i.e. BAMSR, Spoils of War, Reunion, even TLM) a squad of Marines from the Daedalus or Atlantis would have accompanied Sheppard, Ronon, and McKay onboard the Wraith Cruiser. The Marines would have been in just as much danger if they stayed on the Daedalus and they would have left two of them to guard the Jumper. Why weren’t they there? Another plot contrivance so that the Jumper gets taken by Michael. *sighs*

    I hope the rest of the season gets better.

    Less of any issue is that Carter should have set-up an ambush around the rubble site when McKay told her that Michael was on his way. At the very least, she should have contacted Atlantis and requested back-up with heavy weapons. Just assuming that the Daedalus would arrive in time was a poor choice of military tactics. One arguement could be that you are putting more people in danger, but she did just that when she requested the Daedalus to lower their shields. Actually, there is way too many times when the lead characters put the lives of the team above those in the Daedalus and other ships to be believable.

    Send more REDSHIRTS!!!!

  43. Thank you, K.J. Bishop for visiting and answering our questions. But most especially, thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas with us. I think if I had the talent and inclination to write, much of my inspiration would come from works of art. Why do I read? I’ll preface this by reminding you that you are asking this question of a rather skewed audience. Most of us here (I expect) are fans of science fiction.

    I read mostly to immerse myself in other worlds, but I tend to choose authors who not only spin a good yarn, but weave it into an attractive tapestry with come complexity to its pattern. I like to “see” the world in which the story is set. I like characters that are complex and multidimensional. I am particularly fond of morally ambiguous antiheroes – so Gwynn quickly won his way into my heart – by the way, the picture of him on your website is perfect. I like stories that leave me with something to think about. In my personal and professional life I see enough of the “human condition” so I do not seek it out in my reading.

    Paintings vs. novels? Both are stimuli to the imagination and let me visit a world envisioned by their creator. It’s complicated.

    Could I read a novel inspired by cubism – maybe – I like Picasso’s cubist works. Abstract expressionism? I think not. It is not an art form I appreciate, so I doubt that I would find such a novel appealing.

    Thank you so much for answering my questions. I’m not surprised you lost Raule’s voice when you arrived in Ashamoile — she never really belonged there, and grew so tired and disillusioned that she didn’t really have much to say. And as to the Rev — I wouldn’t change a thing in his discussions with Gwynn. He reminded me of some of my Jesuit college professors (except for his little dalliances).

    aka Sparrow_hawk

  44. This is just a heads up…I hope you know that the DvD STARGATE CONTINUUM has been leaked online….just wanted to give you a heads up. I hope you punished the person who put The ark of truth on the internet…

  45. Kirsten,
    Thank you so much for the in depth views to our questions.
    You are a much braver and adventurous person than I when it comes to food.

    No wonder I liked the book cover (even though I did not recognize it) with the pomegranate; I’ve started to enjoy pomegranate teas.

    What do we look for in books; why do we give them hours and days of our time?
    I think reading is one of my forms of escape; a method to “travel” whether to different lands, times, planets, frame of reference, whatever. I want a path to the “new experience.” Often, the new experience is not one I can attain except by reading. Basically, I love to get “lost” in a book to join the characters in whatever they are doing. Something I had not done in a long time except now, thanks to Joe Mallozzi’s book club – I, again, am living vicariously through the reading recommendations. And, I did get “lost” in your novel. So, mission accomplished.

    I am fascinated by your comment about the “…strange long lies called novels.” First reaction was this is an odd thing for an author to state. But, the more I think on it – it is the perfect understatement for the genre we also call fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc.)

    I don’t think I would use the terms to an author because I certainly would not want to imply that I felt any less passionate about reading their work than they did to write it. But fiction by definition is “not actual or true or necessarily factual.”

    Going on a tangent now – one thing I found fascinating about a Star Trek Next Generations episode was the need for humans to communicate with another race using metaphors. This was, in its own right very abstract and very difficult to grasp when you do not have the frame of reference for the words used. So, now that I stated the foundation – I think I would be interested to read, or maybe this should be “try to read” a novel that was written purely in metaphor. Of course this could take a while.

    Thank you very much for your candor and the depth of explanation. Very much appreciated.

  46. S&R was fab! Rodney was the perfect choice to be the reluctant “midwife:” that was played brilliantly.

    Have to admit, I was not thrilled with the terse dismissal of Carter. Perhaps time just ran out, but, geeez, that was very cold. At least Rodney was polite.


    -Search and rescue was fun.
    -Babies NEVER deliver that easily, but it’s sci fi.

    next week: EWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!

  48. Search and Rescue. Wow – 10 out of 10.

    What a great episode. Everything and everyone was at the top of their game. Hard to think right now of specific scenes, but I think my personal favorite was the last moments in the rubble with Sheppard and Ronon — getting ready for their Last Stand, side by side. And Shep holding the baby in the dart on the way home — what an awwwww moment! Adorable.

    The effects scenes, especailly that immensely long pull back from the planet, through the solar sytsem, through the nebula, and on to Michael’s ship – that was just amazing. How long was that?

    A question: The music sounded different in style, especially in the teaser. SciFi scrunches the ending credits so small they can’t be read. Is Joel Goldsmith still doing the music? I liked the very different sound, but it was — disconcerting, I guess.

    I was stunned that Ford’s cameo was a surprise. I do try to avoid spoilers but sometimes they just get around, but this one seems to have caught everyone off guard. Way to go!

    What did happen to Kanan? Will we be seeing him again?

    I know there was another scene I wanted to mention but I can’t recall….. and my machine’s taping Dr Who so I can’t go fire it up… ratz

    Going to watch it again tomorrow. And again.

    Like Jean, I’m reading Old Man’s War – in fact, I’m only about 30 pages from the end, and stopped reading it to watch S&R, and now I’m off to finish it. Thanks (again) for all the great book reccy’s. I’m loving John Scalzi!

    To echo Doci – was the person who leaked Ark of Truth so many months early ever identified?

  49. Hi Joe~~~
    WOW~WOW~WOW!!!….Great start to the new season…I was on the edge of my seat for just about the whole episode..I was really surprised to see Ford in a cameo..Rodney was a hoot; as usual..but the scenes with Teyla were priceless….Sheppard and Ronon were awesome with their scenes…I can’t wait for next week!!!…I’m so hooked on this show!!…Again, great job!!

  50. Good start to Season 5. And I, like so many others, thought the birthing scene was hilarious and even poignant. I also thought Rachel Luttrell was fantastic. Just all around great action throughout the episode.

    I have one negative comment. Please give Keller something to do as a doctor. I’ve only seen Jewel Straite as Ellia in “Instinct “, which was a wonderfully written character, and she was outstanding in that role.

    But I’ve never felt that way about her as Keller. In my opinion, Keller lacks the knowledge of her profession. In the infirmary scene, Beckett would have been giving Sheppard a rundown of his injuries and a verbal smack upside the head about what the consequences would be if he should leave. Keller gave vague references to needing surgery and leaving would be bad.

    When Keller’s off duty, I’m ok with her being cute and perky. But please consider making her more professional in her demeanor and dialog when she’s in the field or infirmary. I really want to like her, but so far I can’t.

  51. Search & Rescue was sweet, from beginning to end. It was a great start to the season. Thank you!

  52. I’ve not read today’s blog for the simple reason that I haven’t had chance to read KJ Bishop’s The Etched City and don’t want to spoil it for myself. I’m off to to update my book collection right away.
    Joe, thanks for the link to the EOS free download but it’s only for US residents and won’t let me have it unless I buy it WTF? I thought we were living in a global market!!Some people really ought to keep up with the times you know have they never heard of P2P? I guess I shall have to look elsewhere. Typical short-sightedness on the part of TPTB if you ask me, they were kinda slow off the blocks with the internet revolution and have missed untold opportunities. Dickheads!

    On a less frustrated note, I’m about half way through Terry Brooks Armageddon’s Children. Now I put Brooks to one side after trying to read the Shannara series but finding it too similar and somewhat lacking in comparison with Tolkein’s stuff but when a friend found she’d doubled up on some of her books I dipped in and thought I’d nothing to lose, I wasn’t going anywhere that didn’t provide pethidine and a bathroom so what the hell right? I was blown away!
    This is the beginning of the Shannara scenario, how the world got from here to where Shannara is. and some of it rings far too close for comfort, with the introduction of the Once-men and the origins of the Demons, each of whom began life as human but embraced their inner darkness too well to become more, a concept I can see all too clearly played out in the news on an hourly basis. Read it, you won’t be disappointed.

    I’m now back in the saddle so to speak after what has to be the weirdest in my entire 45 years on the planet yet and no I’m not anxious to repeat THAT particular experience.

  53. I’m now back in the saddle so to speak after what has to be the weirdest in my entire 45 years on the planet yet and no I’m not anxious to repeat THAT particular experience.

    Tsk Tsk! i need to put a “week” in that there sentence, no wonder time flies by so quickly when I can miss a whole week out in one go!

  54. Thanks KJ for answering all the questions.

    And thanks everyone for the huge S&R spoilers LOL..
    Man I wish things were screened on the same day down here.

  55. Hello Joe!

    Well, I didn’t think I’d say this, but – wait for it…. Search and Rescue is now my favourite SGA episode!!!!!

    I am allowed to squee here? Ok, so probably not, but what the heck!


    Well done to Martin Gero for writing such an action packed yet character driven story. All too often season openers are, quite understandably, action and CGI shows with little character development or character moments. MG used his obvious skills to marry the action and CGI with such fantastic character moments, that quite honestly, I’m totally in awe of the man.

    As a Sheppard fan, and a bit of a Shep whumper, (ok, so the ‘bit’ is stretching it somewhat), I just can’t believe what I saw in S and R. I’m still reeling from the shock! I never thought anything would overtake 38 Minutes as my favourite whumpy episode, but, well, S and R did! So a big thank you to everyone! 🙂

    I loved the birthing scene. I was in hysterics! I didn’t like Carter’s dismissal. But I’m hoping there’ll be more explanation in The Seed, or in the future. It was a well done scene, but I wanted to slap the IOA and cry for poor Carter! 🙁

    I have to say, the performances in S and R were outstanding. Especially Joe F. He was just fantastic in every way! Jason was wonderful too, and his and Joe’s scenes had me feeling all tearful! Especially when they were basically saying goodbye to each other as they prepared to shoot until they died. That scene was so emotional, yet so understated, just like those two boys. Brilliantly done. Sniff 🙁

    David and Rachel were wonderful as well, and Amanda was at her best, IMO. I’m so sad to see her go 🙁 I am looking forward to Woolsey though! 🙂

    I have to credit Andy Mikita here too. He did a wonderful job. 🙂 I remember Cheeky asking him when were on set if there were any infirmary scenes in S and R, and he said he couldn’t remember, but he didn’t think so! I think he might have been not quite telling the truth, do you?! 😆

    Two questions.

    Firstly, one that I’ve been keen to ask. In the scene where Sheppard calls out to the combat engineers, and asks if Harris is there. Did Sheppard suspect the rescuers might not be from the expedition? Or was he just being forgetful, and when Ronon reminded him that Harris was on leave, he then remembered and THEN suspected that the rescuers were the hybrids. Or, did Sheppard always suspect and know before he asked if Harris was there, knowing already he was on leave, and was testing the would-be rescuers to ensure they were friendly? I just can’t make up my mind on that scene!

    Secondly. Why didn’t Sheppard have an IV in his final infirmary scene with Teyla? I mean the guy was bleeding again on the cruiser, didn’t look too good all the time he was there, and was headed off to surgery. He wouldn’t be able to drink, so he must have been dehydrated, right? I’m sorry to ask, but it did sort of, um, well, grate a bit. Sorry 😳 At the end of the day, I am nitpicking here, so feel free to thwack me on the head!

    Everything about the episode was totally wonderful. I can’t express how much I adored it.

    11/10 from me 🙂

  56. Hi Joe,

    I’m not sure I can find any words for Search and Rescue that haven’t already been used! Fabulous? Awesome? Cool? Exciting? Packed full of Jam? Wow? Pick one…!And I have to say, I honestly laughed out loud at McKay peparing to deliver Teyla’s child–both times I watched it. 🙂

    The hardest part, admittedly, was seeing Sam go. I could almost forget throughout the whole show that her departure was coming at the end. I hope we get some reaction to her sudden removal next week and perhaps, if she can return later in the season, some explanation of what she’s been up to since. Running the SGC would be a nice step up for her, I would think. 😉 Any word yet on whether AT will be available for that 2nd episode in the back half of the season?

    Anyway…a standing ovation for a great season opener. Can’t wait for the rest of it. And still crossing fingers for S6!

  57. In Coup D’Etat Ladon said he was working on his own gene therapy to enable the Genii to use ancient technology. I was just wondering if this is a story line that will ever be picked up again. If so, will it be in this season? and if not, why not?

  58. HI ! How are you ?
    I saw S&R and I wanted to thank you all for a so great episode.
    I loved every second of it most of all I so loved the team interaction. Great moment for everybody, such awesome scenes and sweet between all the characters. But too great mments for all the characters.
    An awesome ep for Teyla too I really enjoyed it. Thanks for this. And the scene between Teyla and Rodney so fun and sweet at the same time.
    And the effects were awesome.
    So I think you understood that I really love it because there was particularly what I always loved in Stargate, team interaction, action, story and great visuals.
    Thanks again.

  59. Just a quick note to say thanks for a great episode.

    I was a bit afraid that Teyla would be rescued but without the baby and we would start yet another search for a missing character.

    Ford’s cameo was great! I’ve been wondering what Shepherd would say about him if he let his guard and the scene accomplished it without him actually letting his guard down.

    As cute as it was to see Shepherd with the baby cradled in his lap, I thought it showed a great deal about Caldwell as well that it was the first thing he questioned was the baby’s welfare.

    I am curious though about what the people trapped in the Wraith storage “feel” during the event. Is it like waking up and missing a chunk of time or are they are aware throughout? I don’t know if it is a question that you have considered, but I was curious.

    I also got my season 4 DVD yesterday. I watched the bloopers – I’m understand why you and Martin said what you did about their quality. 🙂

    I was more interested in the deleted scene section. Thanks to your episode reviews, we had “seen” two of them already.

    Some, like the one with Barrett and Rodney, were thankfully deleted from the original. Although, at the time, I thought that point of the episode was a bit abrupt, the scene that was cut would not have improved it.

    I did wish, however, that we would have seen the scene between Caldwell and Carter. Although I love the character of Carter, I was still waiting for “something” more as to her being commander of the base. The scene provided a little of what I thought was missing. And, I didn’t think Caldwell was behaving romantically to her. I’m sure there would have been “shippers” because there are for virtually any pairing, but it didn’t strike me that way. I thought the scene provided a lot of character development to both Caldwell and Carter – too bad something had to go from that episode.

    OK, maybe not such a quick note …

  60. Loved the opening episode Joe – very, very nicely done.

    But the Ford cameo was a fantastic highlight… is that a hint for something in the future or just to show that Shep hasn’t forgotten about him?

  61. Just like to say well done on a great season opener, looking forward to many more this season.

    The Ford cameo was amazing and fit in fantasically with the episode as far as Sheppard was concerned. I am pleased that some series continuity was picked up here, and the idea that the pain of failing Ford is still with him was really great character stuff and again good for series continuity.

    Just a quick question otherwise:

    1.) Is there any chance that we might see another scene in a future episode where Sheppard again looks back at all of the people they’ve lost. Could let him be vunerable just once, and show how the 5 years being on atlantis has truly affected him, losing Ford, Elizabeth, maybe even Col.Sumner since you could say it almost set a presedant for him losing people?

    Finally, thank you for reminding us all that, in regards to Ford’s cameo, that there is always a way for someone to return on Sci-fi as you say, reminding us all that the door, is never completely closed.

  62. @Narelle

    Thanks for the comment. I’m almost at the end of Old Man’s War. I’m happy to have found a new SF author that I really enjoy (I had a fun time with Android’s Dream). Probably will pick up Ghost Brigades next.

    Joe –

    I see you’ve just read The Chrysalids (and I think also another Wyndham book, although it’s already off your Last 10 Read list – was it Midwich Cuckoos?). What did you think? What I like about his books is the sense that things are happening to ordinary people in the present world – this is especially true for Midwich and Trouble with Lichen – I do like stories where the author creates a whole other, rich universe, but the ones that really hit home are the ones that could be happening right now for real.


  63. Looking around the net, there are quite a few fans that are upset about how Carter was written out of the show at this time, to the effect that, for some, TPTB were very disrespectful to the character of Carter. She was dismissed by Woolsey in the gateroom in public. What was the reasoning behind the way in which you wrote her off the show at this point? You have said a number of times that you love the character — so why write her leaving Atlantis in this way? And besides joining SG-1 for the Ba’al situation, what are you leaving the audience with in terms of what Sam is doing now? Thanks! Good luck with season 5!

  64. Well, the season starts with a home run again! S&R was wonderful!!! Inspite of the nitpicks that others have mentioned, it was a great hour for suspension of disbelief for me. I can’t get wrapped around the axle about how the military people respond to the various situations in which they are placed…it’s scifi. S&R gets a strong 10/10 from me. Excellent character moments, nice conclusion to the Teyla arc from last season, and I have to agree with everyone else that Rodney devliering Teyla’s baby was way to funny. Kudos to Marty G!! And to Andy M. for wonderfully executing the story.

  65. AMZ: I think it’s impossible not to be influenced, and it certainly isn’t something to hide. Part of the point of making art is to spread your own memetic material, and also to pass on material that you’ve found and liked. Accepting influences and passing them on is a vital aspect of creative culture, I think.

    Kirsten, thanks for your thoughts. I agree, in this day and age there is some much material that pervades our lives and influences us. I think that’s one of the reasons why a lot of art (particularly film, television and theatre in my experience) is becoming more self-referential. But a lot of the writers I’ve spoken to (particularly the more well-known ones) won’t acknowledge that there are influences at work. Sometimes I guess influences can be subconscious and go unnoticed, but I appreciate hearing what someone’s influences are – it opens up a whole different aspect to the work and sometimes a whole new area of the art.

  66. *sorry – this is long…first-thing-in-the-morning posts always are…

    @ Sulien – Thanks much. Mom has a broken or chipped bone in the shoulder that may need surgery…she is not happy. But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that she can’t pamper dad, which makes dad cranky, which makes mom upset, which makes them both freak out over every. single. thing., which, in turn, is all blamed on me (my folks are in their 70s – mom is totally Edith Bunker, and Dad is a cross between Archie Bunker, and Fred Flintstone/Ralph Kramden…x 1000). My sister is little Gloria, and I – unfortunately – am the Meathead. 🙄

    Now that I’ve had a semi-decent night’s sleep, I will add a bit more about S&R…

    1. I am not a fan of ‘ships’, but I didn’t mind the ‘Sheyla’ moment. I dunno – there is something that seems to work between those two, a good dynamic there. I don’t think I’d like to see it as an on-going thing, however, it might ruin the appeal of the characters.

    My theory is this – viewers like ‘single’ characters (esp. in this sort of show) because that means the character is available – to the viewer. It’s hard to explain in just a few words, but if the character is ‘taken’ in the show, the viewer can become jealous, even heartbroken, because the character is no longer ‘theirs’ alone.

    I, personally, am willing to share.

    2. Loved Ronon throughout this – from his protective attention towards Sheppard, to his ‘don’t touch me!’ resistence to medical attention. He reminds me of the devoted dog who sticks by his master’s side, no matter what. I WISH I was looking forward to Broken Ties because I expect more of this between the two, but for obvious (and very selfish) reasons, I’m not.

    3. “I can’t imagine carrying a child inside of you is very comfortable”… @ Joe – is this an indication that Wraith queens NEVER carry a child in utero – that all their reproduction, even that of the faced Wraith (who seem ‘born’ as children) emerge from egg sacs like the masked warriors?

    4. Flanigan/Sheppard – his performances always amaze me. I never see him ‘acting’ – everything just flows out of him with such ease. Lots of stuff I liked about his performance; he does wounded well (whumpers were in heaven, I’m sure), and I always like the way he treats his team/superiors. In fact, the only real problem I have with the guy is his tendency to kill Wraith [okay – just the cute ones – but still… ].

    5. SO SO SO EXCITED about Woolsey. Weir was nice. Sam was nice. But I feel both characters were too sweet and too perfect and very, very one-dimensional (yes, even Sam, at least in SGA). Woolsey – I HOPE – will shake things up a bit. I love The Return simply because of Woolsey – he was so stupid I just wanted to strangle him, but at the same time I was lmao over his antics. It was great! It’s just like Col. Ellis – I like him because he’s irritating. Irritating is so much more interesting than sweet, soft-spoken, and non-controversial.

    6. Thanks. I’m starting to feel sorry for Michael again. His need for Teyla to understand him is very touching, regardless of his reasons behind it. I just don’t know if it’s his human side, or his Wraith side, that needs this connection. If it’s his Wraith side, then I love it – if it’s his human side, not so much. See, I have trouble liking him as a hybrid human [I think I just have issues with humans, period. 😆 ]. I suppose it’s because I no longer consider him Wraith – who act upon instinct and upbringing and are more ‘animal’ in nature – but a free-will human. For some reason, I’m always less sympathetic towards human characters.

    7. Keller. What can I say, I like her, and liked her little scene with Sheppard very much, she has a nice bed-side manner, at least around cute guys. 😉

    8. Are things less than perfect medical and military-wise? Yes. BUT – in defense of the production – there is this little thing called ‘fiction’. A story is being told, the characters – what they say and do – should be the focus, not the props. If this was a $150 million dollar, 2 1/2 hour production, maybe I’d whine, but a LOT must be crammed into a little, and I am quite pleased with how SGA manages to do it.

    9. Carson had the ATA gene, Michael had Carson and manipulated his biology – it’s just one of many explanations as to how Michael could have received the gene (assuming he has it, and used it to take the jumper).

    10. Teyla. “I knew you would come for me, John” – there was something kinda creepy there. NOT sure what, maybe I was just tired, but her expression was more cold than kindly. Like I said – maybe I was just tired, but I got Wraith vibes there – like how Teyla goes cold when she’s got someone else in her head. Maybe it was Michael, or maybe the baby…maybe the baby was in her head…hmmmm.


  67. Funny – I bought “Old Man’s War” yesterday to read. Not sure when I’ll get to it.

    I really enjoyed this episode, the birth scene was hilarious and I loved how Ronon just picked Teyla up.

    Although some people already mentioned it, I came on to ask about Kanaan. He’s helping them in the cruiser and then just disappears. I kept waiting in the infirmary scene for them to mention him and nothing was said.

    Great surprise with Rainbow’s appearance. It was great to see him and hope we might see more of him in the future.

    Also, HATED the dismissal of Carter. It was just too brief, quick and cold.

    Loved the shot from McKay to Atlantis – great visual…

    Also when John asked about survivors, Carter only mentioned Lorne and McKay – What about the guy who stumbled through the gate at the beginning?

    Does Carter have the gene? Cuz she was working the life signs detector…did she get the therapy? Has it been established that anyone who comes to Atlantis has the gene therapy?

  68. WOW, Search and Rescue was absolutely incredible. I must admit that for it’s simple premise I was astounded at the story you guys put together, truly epic!

    The VFX shot panning out from Rodney’s face across space all the way to Michael’s ship blew me away!

    For me though the most exciting thing, the part that had me grinning from ear to ear was the appearance of Ford! 😀
    I had heard rumours that he might be in an episode this season and it’s awesome to see him back (even if only briefly).

    This episode ranks amongst my absolute all-time favourites. Certain undefinable elements of it reminded me greatly of SG1 around the season 5-6 mark. I think it was that great off-world adventure feel that SG1 always had. Atlantis has always been (imo) a bit more about the city than the off-world missions.

    Whist this is great and really works for the show, this latest instalment has really taken the characters out into the wide unknown, which I have always loved!

    I’m so excited about the rest of series 5 now that I simply don’ think I can contain myself.

    Finally one (predictable) question… Will we see any more of Ford this season?

    Thanks Joe 😉

  69. I feel bad posting a non-book comment when someone is visiting, but damn! I LOVED “Search and Rescue!”

    First off, bravo to the VFX team. Truly breathtaking shots; including the one going across the galaxy to the ship and the ship being shot out of hyperspace. Breathtaking!!

    Second, the characters. I loved the characters. Great team moments.

    I got all verklempt.

    Bravo to everyone!

  70. I think I’ve been hibernating the last week or so…but Search & Rescue has pulled me out of it (and yes, I’ll admit to watching it online because I just can’t wait for Sky One to show it over here).

    Anyway, great, great episode! Rodney delivering the baby was perfect! There was a discussion on David’s ADB forum months ago about how wonderful it would be if Rodney was the one to do that, but I think most of us ‘squirrels’ felt it was a pipe dream! Not so, and now there are lots of happy Rodney fans now!! *high pitched squeeing occurred in this house during that scene*!!

    Great whumpage, wonderful character moments, a few minor niggles that I’m going to ignore because it was just so freaking fantastic I don’t care right now!!

    And I’ve decided that ‘Teyla, daughter of Tagan’ (Rising) was referring to her mother…every other time her father is mentioned prior to Search & Rescue, no name is given that I recall.

    Anyway, I’m really, really, really, looking forward to the rest of the season!!


  71. That is the best season opener to date….So much better than last season 😀

    So great to see Teyla back…

    1. Were you disappointed in the serious lack of chemistry between Teyla and Kannan….Or was that planned?

    2. Will we find out what that substance was that Michael injected into Teyla in the kindred?

    3. Are we going to see more background on Teyla this season,you know, about her past….Maybe some much needed development?

    4. I know you originally planned on a darker side to Teyla in S4 but because of sircumstances you had to change it slightly….Are you planning on exploring her darker side this season?

    Thank you!

  72. Wow, S&R was… wow… Fantastic? Brilliant? Oh my gosh… Lemme work to recall what exactly I fell in love with, and why.

    Okay, first off, like has been said before— that bit at the very beginning, with the memory of Ford— not only was that a wonderful insight into Sheppard’s mind (still hasn’t forgiven himself after three years? He’s not going to, is he…), but I was just so totally blindsided by the cameo from RSF. Didn’t even have a clue. -That- was a pleasant surprise.

    The interaction between Ronon and Sheppard, another popular one I know, but… I found it really defining for both of them. Also (and I don’t know if this is just me reading too much into it) but it seemed after a little while, Ronon was the only one working to get Sheppard out, and John just stopped trying. All this, despite the fact that he realized he wasn’t getting Ronon to leave, he still wasn’t trying to get himself out. Now, being a main character and being the first episode, a bit of meta-thinking makes it obvious he wasn’t going to bite the big one here, but even realizing that, I still found myself getting anxious. God, I love that about you guys— even when we can fairly well guess that everything’s going to turn out all right, you bring the characters to life with such powerful emotion, that it -still- makes the connection with us, -still- makes up terrified for them. Wow. I mean… you all (writers, producers, actors, everyone). Kudos.

    And then, it was just the same level of intensity through most of the rest of the episode, and not necessarily ‘intense’ as in ‘dangerous’ or ‘frightening’. The scene where Teyla’s baby was born was particularly moving. By the way, you’ll have to tell Joel that the music for that segment was just gorgeous. Don’t get me wrong— the music through the whole episode was even better than usual, but that particular piece just stole the show.

    I may be imagining things, but I saw a parallel between John’s dream and Teyla and John’s conversation before he went in for surgery. I also saw Sheppard becoming very uneasy. Another excellent moment that I’m a bit surprised hasn’t been getting much mention, yet.

    Okay, a few questions, now… Naturally, ‘Where’s Michael?’, though I think that one’s segues with ‘What the hell happened to the Jumper?’… I’m assuming we’ll find out in a later episode. That also brings up, ‘Where’s Kanaan?’, but again, I’m just figuring that there wasn’t space to include what happened to him in this episode or something similar. Honestly, I’m not so bothered by this, because I like the pace of the episode and the way it wraps up with the main characters. Finding out what happened with Kanaan would just open up another ‘story line’ if you will that would have messed with my sense of closure. (Not that a sudden, jarring change in command didn’t do the same, but I liked that, right there at the end, and I think it works great— everything’s become nice and warm and fuzzy and all of a sudden we’re sucker punched. ‘Have a nice day.’) So, I know everyone’s wondering where Kanaan is, but, hoenstly, I’m happy to find out later.

    Moving right along… was that Dusty who shot and took down the dart in the beginning of the episode, then was in the Jumper with Carter, McKay, and Keller?

    Re what Doci121787 said about Continuum being leaked— I can’t speak for more than myself, obviously, but I was thrilled to find out this would be out on Blu-Ray, because, how awesome is Continuum going to be in HD? Now, who in their right mind is -so- eager to see Continuum, that they’d rather watch it in whatever low-def quality they can manage on a computer screen, just to see it two weeks early? I would wait a few more -months- just so when I first see Continuum, I can view it the way it was meant to be viewed. Not to mention, how completely disloyal it would be to the franchise. Whoever leaks this stuff should be shot, but, I don’t think it’ll end up being too problematic.

  73. Well I liked it more than I thought I would.

    One thing though, I’ve tried really hard to like Keller but I cannot stand her! She was childish and unprofessional in the episode and her comments to Sheppard were….distasteful.

    If we really are stuck with her please make her more professional because at the moment she’s ruining the show.

    But back to the good stuff, it was far more exciting than almost anything in Season 4 and I loved the Ford cameo, very good! I’m still not sure about Wooley and the Sam thing…..could have been better but that’s minor, all in all I was hooked to the end of the show and cannot wait for Beckett next week!

  74. moms2398 said:

    I would offer a more detailed review, but it is still early and I don’t want to spoil anything (more than I already have).

    No I think you and the others spoiled it for those anti-spoiler people quite succinctly. I can’t imagine you could have added anything else. 😀

    Cheers, Chev
    (please excuse the sarcasm – I couldn’t resist and for the record I’m not an anti-spoiler person myself, but there’s spoilers and there’s SPOILERS)

    p.s. I’ve been having a season 4 marathon this weekend. I’m already up to Midway and I’m loving it – I’ve got so many fave episodes, scenes, lines. BTW thanks Joe for Larrin. I’ll start preparing all of my S4 questions soon.

  75. Re: The new ep

    So if Teyla named her child after her father and we know from season 1 that her father’s name is Tagan, then did she have two biological fathers?

    I’d really like to see how men can have a child together in the Pegasus Galaxy…although you can skip the part on how they come out.

  76. Okay – in defense of Keller…[I can’t believe I’m defending the Wraith, AND Keller… 🙄 ]

    Her bedside manner was perfect. My doctors joke with me all the time – I SO canNOT tell you what my OB-GYN said to me once, but it had us all laughing (me, dr, nurse) – it was a LOT less professional than anything Keller could ever say to John…or anyone. Ever. BUT it was funny as hell. 😆

    Doctors are real people. They say real things, do stupid things…they are not perfect. I’ve heard those in the medical profession say that if you want a more accurate idea of what working in a hospital is like – of what the people are like – watch Scrubs, not ER or Grey’s Anatomy. Keller is definitely more like the doctors on Scrubs, and it’s probably why I like her – she’s real.


  77. I enjoyed S&R. Nice opening to the new season. But this time around I have to agree with those who criticized Keller or at least whoever is writing her character. O.K., I understand that she was not hired as the chief of the medical division, so perhaps she is still a little uncertain of her duties as chief but she should have no doubts about her duties as a doctor. She is a surgeon for heaven’s sake! Have you ever actually met a female surgeon? They have CONFIDENCE. You can’t be in the middle of an operation and start wondering, “gee, do I attach this blood vessel to that one or, no, maybe it’s the one over here…” And they tend to be pretty assertive, at least on the job. But that doesn’t get in the way of their ability to be compassionate. Send your writers to chat with some O.R. nurses at your local hospital to get the write flavor for the Dr. Keller character. I’m sure that Jewel Staite could easily play a confident, compassionate doctor and still be cute and perky off-duty. I love her as a actress, but I am having a really hard time liking her character. O.K, I’m done venting.

  78. I was quite impressed with Search and Rescue, I think you guys did a good job with it. I was impressed with Fords role to be honest, it’s good to show that that situation *did* have an impact on Sheppard, and did affect him. I think being the leader of his team, he would assume responsibility for that, and it’s good to show that. It’s also good as it shows that Ford was not forgotten within the show.

    The opening sequence was done beautifully as well, from the dream sequence to the visual effect travel to Michaels ship, really gave the episode quite a cinematic feel, which I feel was good to set up in an opening scene of a new premiere. ‘We’re back in a big way’ sort of thing.

    Everything else was done well as well I felt, story progressed well and it held up throughout, and generally good characterisations by the characters.

    I think Teyla giving birth so quickly though was a bit…convenient, but a lot of shows do that. 🙂

    Also, I don’t remember in the past there being anything about not being able to beam people in while the shields were up, in fact I think No Mans Land and a few others contradict that, is that something that’s new would you reckon based on new updates to the ship or something? Or just an inconsistency 🙂

    Overall, a good episode, 8-9/10 I’d say. A good indication of the season to come.

  79. Leesa Perrie said:

    And I’ve decided that ‘Teyla, daughter of Tagan’ (Rising) was referring to her mother…every other time her father is mentioned prior to Search & Rescue, no name is given that I recall.

    That makes sense because the Athosians seem like a matriarchal society.

    Cheers, Chev

  80. Regarding The Etched City, I asked my question poorly. I need to think them out more before I post them. I had wondered about the type of book written (post-apocalytic or fantasy). The reality is, I’m less curious about how the book is sold than I am about the setting. Is this a post-apocalyptic world? It had that look and feel to me, but I think others see the world more as a mythical one. As a writer, did she have view in mind of the world’s history and how it had arisen?

    Regarding “Search and Rescue,” it was okay. I’m glad to have the show back and I thought Joe Flanigan was the strength at the center of an okay episode. I loved his scene with Amanda Tapping and he and Jason Momoa were cool together

    Still, Rodney, my favorite character, was too whiny and I still haven’t found much love for Keller, the other whiner. The person I watched with has seen a few episodes but her viewing is sporadic because she finds McKay annoying too much of the time (unlike me, who genuinely likes McKay most of the time). During the jumper scene with Carter, McKay and Keller, while Keller was speaking, my friend said, “It’s bad enough he does it–does she have to do it too?” The “it” in question is the whining. I grew to love Ronon and I keep hoping it’ll happen with Keller.

    As for Woolsey, he’s going to be a hard sell and I can’t imagine that the sale will be any easier given the way he dismissed Carter at the end of this one. I suppose we can respect the guy for having the guts to be the one to deliver the news (but why do it in the middle of the gate room? That’s a bad manager move and thus not offering much hope on how he handles personnel). I’m keeping my fingers crossed because I like Picardo and I like SGA.

  81. What a great way to open S5! Tell Marty G. and Andy M. great job on this one. The VFX crew(s) did a great job too. Just a great job all around. I felt this episode tied up a lot of loose ends from S4 nicely and set a good foundation for S5.

    One question though: Was the scene with Capt. Vega and Col. Carter discussing Vega’s team assignment before the rescue not filmed or cut in editing for time? Vega is introduced but yet not introduced at the same time. Is ‘Whispers’ the next episode we see her in?

    In regard to Michael and the “missing” jumper, I figure that when Michael had Beckett that one of the things Beckett worked on for Michael was the ATA gene therepy. This way Michael and possibly some or even all of his hybrids could use Ancient/Atlantean technology if the opportunity arose. As for Michael finding the jumper, he is not stupid. It would not take much for him to figure out the likeliest way for intruders to get on board his crusier and use that method to escape. Michael stealing the jumper is going to bite the Atlantis team in the butt later.

    Once again great beginning for the season. Can’t wait to see more.

  82. 1)Will any of the team discover that their full destiny is greater than they ever imagined?

    2)Does Teyla’s newfound motherhood begin to effect her while in the battlefield?

    3)Does Sheppard continue to show more emotion this coming year?

  83. Like Das said, Keller reminds me a bit of my own OBGYN/Onocologist in the humour department. I never get the sense that Keller doesn’t know what she’s doing, just that she’s uncomfortable talking to people/being scrutinised — I think she knows her *job* just fine, she’d just rather the patient were unconcious. 😉 But I’d take her any day over the horrible doctor I had in the hospital last year, who oozed confidence but didn’t seem to actually *know* a damn thing and had a horrific bedside manner. His ego was ten times worse than McKay’s — that’s not a character I want to watch. I like that Keller is nervous — she’s human. I like characters that are obviously thrust into situations they don’t want, and I think it’s interesting to watch her struggle with the job.

    Oh, BTW, forgot to mention, *loved* John’s line to Sam about being courtmartialed! 😀

  84. Just my response to the people up over the “Tagan” and “Torren” – I bet in Athosian culture, Tagan is a nickname/informal way of saying Torren, or vice versa.

    But what a great episode! And that one visual effects scene looked like something out of Star Trek! Will the rest of the season be like that, or was there a higher budget since this is the premiere?
    Joe – will you be doing any in-depth overviews for any of your episodes this year, like you did last year? And/or will you ask any other writers to guest-blog on their episodes this season?(I think Martin Gero did one last year)

  85. I loved Carter in SG1 but I didn’t think she was much of a leader during season 4 of SGA. S&R comes along and Carter’s leadership skills kick in. She was great.
    Now I’m disappointed she’s leaving.

    And what a crappy way to tell her.
    Oh well. It will be fun to see Woolsey and all the problems he causes.

    S&R was fun to watch especially all the character moments. Thanks for a great episode.

  86. That makes sense because the Athosians seem like a matriarchal society.

    Where do you get that? Teyla’s father was the leader, then she was. Halling took over when she went to Atlantis. At no time have the writers made the Athosians a “matriarchal” society! The Tagan thing was just BAD WRITING.

    As for Keller. What is there to say, other than she is the worst character ever created in the Stargate universe. She just gets dumber each episode. After the “play with your insides” stupidity, I’ve had enough. Maybe she was playing her infamous drinking games before that comment came out. *shakes head* I don’t want to see another episode with her in it.

  87. I see someone else has already asked it, but anyway…

    Teyla names her wee lad after her father, Torren. In The Rising she introduced herself as “Teyla, daughter of Tagan”. Does this mean that Tagan was her mother and the Athosians are in fact a matriarchal society?

    Or did you just slip up?

  88. Hey Joe,

    I enjoyed the Season 5 Premiere but I was wondering can it be easy or hard to come up with an episode title?

  89. Search and Rescue was fantastic. I loved the warmth between Ronon and Sheppard in their scenes. I really enjoyed Joe Flanigan’s and Jason Momoa’s performances. And I was totally surprised to see Ford.
    I think I’m sort of dense though – was Teyla supposed to be sort of ambiguous/cold in her conversation with Sheppard at the end? Or maybe I just get used to seeing Ronon’s more overt friendship with Sheppard, so Teyla’s more reserved style comes across as lacking warmth to me.
    But whatever, the episode was great. Can’t wait for next week!

  90. @ grapesofwraith— what you said about Star Trek, exactly! I had to wonder aloud if Atlantis was channeling The Next Generation, it reminded me of it so much. But getting past that, it was quite cool. ^_^

  91. Great episode! Truly, Atlantis at its best! Two quick observations:

    1). The episodes only real weakness, in my view, involves Capt. Vega. What happened to the scene where Vega was supposed to be introduced? She’s goes for the entire episode without being acknowledged by any one, except for that scene where she manages, somehow, to blow a dart down with an M-16. Every time she said something, it seemed like no one was listening to her. Still, it would’ve been nice if there was a bit more interaction between her and other characters, especially in the sequences where Edison runs through the gate where the press release said she’d be talking with Carter about assignments (there, we could’ve been given an idea for who she is). Her appearance felt a bit rushed. In summation, I thought a bit more time should’ve been spent integrating her into the episode.

    2). Will there be opportunities to delve into Kanan’s (sp?) character this season? There’s a lot of potential with his character, but I feel there’s a great deal thats not been said about his life before serving Michael and where he fits into the grander scheme of things (besides being the father of Teyla’s character). I like the scenes where Teyla appeals to him for help and her attempts to save him, but I’m left scratching my head thinking: where the heck did he come from? We go for almost all of season four without knowing who the father is, and then when we do find out, he’s more of a side show than what I would’ve expected from such a critical story arc.

    Okay, a third comment:

    3). Bring back Ford!

    Regardless, you guys are doing an amazing job with the show! The opening sequences were dramatic and moving. This truly raised Atlantis (no pun intended) to new heights as a series. I think I grew more attached to the cast of this show in one episode than in all previous seasons combined. If this is any indication for the coming season, then you guys are truly becoming masters of your craft.

  92. @ wolfenm – when I said in my post above – regarding Shep – “I always like the way he treats his team/superiors” – it’s that court martial line that I had in mind! Loved that moment. Very Horatio Hornblowerish – only Horatio would only think it, not say it out loud. 🙂

    With everyone whining about Keller, I have the perfect solution: Bring in Michael as the new doctor, with all his old skool Wraithy ways: operations without the benefit of sterilized instruments and anesthesia, no pre-procedure hand-scrubbing, stone-cold metal beds void of sheets and pillows…a bunch’a leering assistants with big, toothy grins looming over the table, delighted in – and perhaps a bit fascinated by – the agony of the patient. That should make Keller look just like Marcus Welby, MD!


  93. QUOTE
    Now I’m disappointed she’s leaving.

    And what a crappy way to tell her.

    But realistic. I have lived that scene, though not quite as publically.

    Good show, Joe.

  94. S&R was simply awesome! I loved every moment of it. What a nice surprise to see Ford, that was a well kept secret. Great team scenes, great character moments. Joe Flanigan’s acting was superb. Gero is God! Kudos to all for a stellar episode.

  95. Bonjour Joe,

    Enfin la saison 5 et ce premier épisode était très bon.
    – La scène de la naissance du bébé de Teyla était touchante bien que pas très réaliste.
    – Certainement un des meilleurs épisodes de Carter dans Atlantis (très bon leadership)
    – La présence de Ford (vraiment inattendu) et Michael,…

    Par contre, coup de gueule du jour : la façon dont vous avez traité le “départ” de Carter ne m’a pas du tout plu. En moins d’1m30, hop out Carter. Je m’attendais à quelque chose d’un peu plus respectueux pour le personnage. J’ai l’impression qu’après 11 ans elle méritait un peu mieux.

    Petite question : Après avoir été retirée du commandement d’Atlantis, Carter réintègre-t-elle SG1 sous le commandement de Mitchell??
    Si oui, ce serait un réel pas en arrière pour elle.
    Fin du coup de gueule lol.

    Vivement le 2e épisode, j’ai hâte de voir Woosley prendre les commandes d’Atlantis, ça risque d’être intéressant.

    Bonne journée Joe.

  96. We enjoyed “Search & Rescue”. Can’t wait to watch it again.

    One nit: What’s happened to Jason Momoa’s ability to pronounce anything? We had to turn on “closed captioning” to understand everything that Ronon said. This is the first time we have had to do that for a Stargate episode.

  97. Sulien

    “I liked the mention that SG-1 needed to make an appearance for some purpose or other,”

    Yes, the purpose is shown is shown in the next SG1 movie.

  98. *waves*

    Thanks for the update on Remnants, keeping everything crossed for you know… 😉 😛 😀

    So Mr M Search and Rescue. I hope you got your earplugs this weekend because i’m being exceptionally shrilly. 😉


    I absolutely loved it, and have watched it more times than I’m prepared to say. 😉 There are certain scenes that stand out for me as being some of the best character developments we’ve seen to date. You know how much I adore my whump, well the comfort thing for me is equally as important and seeing everyone caring and concerned and filled with all that angst and love and i’m starting to gush now, so better move on before I turn into a pile of goo! 😳

    The transition from the dream sequence to FORD Woohoo to Shep lying in the rubble and seeing his p.o.v was fantastic. I don’t remember seeing that transition anywhere to date on SGA, who thought of it? I have to say I was a bit… WTF? about the whole dinner thing, and to be honest didn’t get it at all, or why it was set up like that, but then when all was revealed I thought it was an exceptionally clever analogy. Great stuff!!

    I’ve said right from the start when you posted the pics about the set, and how realistic everything looked even down to the rescuers. I have one confession, I did get a bit narked that Shep and Ronon were beamed out by the Daedy… not sure why they had to drop their shields though as Asgard shields, can beam people in without being lowered (New Order – SG1) So was that just for dramatic effect or was that something else? 😉 So where was I? Oh yes, dramatic rescues. Yes, i’d have loved the whole being dug out without the beaming thing, but I wouldn’t have changed the Keller/Shep scene for anything in the world. Oh my I nearly cried at that bit, it just melted my heart, and good for Keller telling Shep no, even though she caved from his wonderful pleading. She needs to be that firm more often. 😛 But goodness me, I can’t say enough how I loved that, the passion to go that extra mile to save a friend. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Sorry it slipped out.

    Now let’s talk friendship! Ronona and Shep’s scene and Ronon getting pissy. I absolutely adored it, and Shep lying to him, so he wouldn’t get killed. Oh big bless. *snuffles* Their friendship scenes in this, just… there are no words to describe them, but beautiful and simple, and a total feeling of family. Just one thing, when will Ronon learn that petruding objects in the body shouldn’t be yanked out, and a sterile dressing shouldn’t be placed in the mouth before applying to a wound. 😆 But it was those bits that just were classic. And Shep gasping for breath and nearly giving up as he’d just about reached his limit. OH be still my whumpy heart!!

    And Rodney and Teyla’s scenes with her giving birth, absolutely adored it. I honestly thought it was going to be cringeworthy, but I adored it, and McKay’s line, “Am I allowed to touch you down there!” I nearly peed myself laughing… yeah I know, too much information. 😳

    I absolutely loved seeing the hyperdrive, it looked great when it was all in it’s glory, that’s the first time we’ve seen it and it looks huge.

    Then Sam left, and whilst I was unhappy initially with Sam coming on board, I really liked her in SGA, my fave ep with her will always be when she stood up to Ronon in Reunion. And i’m really sad to see her go. 🙁 And without so much as a goodbye from the team… *sniff* I’m assuming it was done that way, because the IOA didn’t want a fighting match and for her to say no, so they were very sneaky… I might be wrong there though.

    And then lastly we have another lovely infirmary scene, only a couple of little critics about this scene. Shep was bleeding heavily, he’d had a patch up job from Keller, but when he returned to Atlantis, there was no IV or anything, did someone forget to put it on? Even though he’d i’m assuming had a transfusion and stuff, why no IV when he got back, if he’s leaking blood from internal injuries he’d need it, and he was a tad perky. 😆 And last critic, was the baby’s name as some have mentioned, Did someone forget? 😆

    Anyway, I absolutely loved it, the acting was superb, and Joe F kicked this performance out of the park, as did david, Jason and Rachel. I adored the feeling of family, love and all the whump that came with it. I love character eps, so please pass on my heartfelt squee to Marty G, and Andy M for writing and directing this, and to everyone involved for making this a kick ass opener.

    So, I leave with just one last question, has Michael injected himself with the ATA gene? 😉



  99. While I loved many (many!) things about Search and Rescue, I was mystified why Carter would seem blindsided by a “standard” Wraith battle technique (dialing the gate to make it unavailable). Not only have other enemies she’s faced before pulled the same move, but surely as commander of Atlantis she’s reviewed old reports on Wraith battles. Carter isn’t a noob; why was she written like one in that scene?

  100. Loved S & R. Awesome!

    Gotta say I don’t understand the constant questions about “will Sheppard finally show more emotion this season?”. Sheppard showed tons of emotion last season. Sure he’s not the touchy-feely type (thank goodness) but what do they want – collapsing on the floor weeping? I think Joe Flanigan expresses emotion brilliantly by being subtle – it’s all in the eyes. Doppleganger, last season, is one of my favorite episodes. I think I’ve watched it about 6 times. You get the full range of Sheppard in that one episode – good,evil, confident, concerned, afraid, guilt-ridden, hurt, angry, etc. etc.

  101. Just wanted to drop a word in and tell you that I enjoyed “Search and Rescue” immensely. I have no doubt that the rest of the season has many more such joys in store.

    However, let me add that I found it a little jarring that Athosian babies are apparently born without umbilical cords (didn’t mind the absence of the placenta so much).


  102. Also, regarding the baby’s name. I get it why you didn’t want to name the baby Tagan John Emmagan. Tagan John? Think about it, folks.

  103. WOW! I totally loved Search and Rescue. I’ve been so excited for this premiere that I was afraid I had built it up in my mind too much and that I’d be disappointed…but I wasn’t! A great start to season 5. There were some really great character moments, especially between Sheppard and Ronon, and I absolutely adored McKay and Teyla during the childbirth scene. Did you use a real baby during any part of the filming of that episode? Also, what happened to Kanaan? He helped them get off Michael’s ship, but did he go with them? Will we see him again in another episode? The teaser to next week’s episode was killer – now I can’t wait for that one. Thanks!

  104. Given the length of time it takes to read a book, is there something you as a reader expect in return that you wouldn’t expect from, say, a painting?

    I think I expect more in the way of a structured story from a novel than I would from a painting. For me, paintings show a single moment in a story, kind of like a vignette. Stories in books are more like movies, complete stories in and of themselves, with characters and situations dynamically changing as you read along. Paintings, while beautiful, strike me as static and unchanging — the images do not really evolve with time.

    Do you read novels for insight into the human condition, to immerse yourself in another world, to live out fantasies vicariously? Other reasons?

    I guess all of the above. I read novels to escape from the everyday grind, and because they offer me the chance to look at the world a bit differently. I will never get the chance to physically visit another planet or travel through time (outside of my lifetime), but fiction gives me the opportunity to make believe I can.

    Could you read a book that took abstract expressionism or cubism as its inspiration?

    I’m not sure? I guess it would depend on whether the story the author was trying to tell captured and held my interest or not.

  105. Gate Lady said …

    Where do you get that? Teyla’s father was the leader, then she was. Halling took over when she went to Atlantis. At no time have the writers made the Athosians a “matriarchal” society! The Tagan thing was just BAD WRITING.

    Where do *you* get the idea that it’s *patriarchal*? For all we know, Teyla’s father’s mother was leader before him, or someone else entirely. Halling could have been second in command simply because teyla appointed him so. We are neither matriarchal or patriarcal anymore — the Athosians may not be either one. Perhaps It’s customary for women to say their mother’s name, and for men to say their fathers. Perhaps Jinto would say “Jinto, Son of Halling”, and only because he is a boy. So there’s no evidence that tagan could *not* be Teyla’s mother — it was never said. That’s not bad writing, that’s just people making assumptions and then getting upset when something invalidates their assumption.

    As for what others had mentioned, about Ronon’s taking the thing out of Sheppard … I had wondered about that too, the whole bleeding-out thing, but with his late wife having been a doctor and with all the battles in which he’s probably deal with wounded, perhaps he actually knows a thing or two about anatomy, and knew that the item had not struck a major artery. I mean, if it had, Sheppard would have bled out in mere minutes, and he didn’t, so it must not have …. I do agree that he should have had an IV at the end, though.

    I agree with Tammy about Sheppard’s emotions — Flanigan’s eyes are extremely expressive, as we saw in Adrift, when Keller told him Weir would likely die, and in Miller’s Crossing, when Rodney demanded he be allowed to sacrifice himself …. Sometimes I really wonder if I’m wathcing the same show as other people. XD

  106. Joe, I got this e-mail from my sister, ya know – the newly-converted SGA fan – please pass it along to MG (considering how she’s not normally the fangirlish type)…

    “OMG was the birth funny or what with Rodney??!!?? Teyla: “The baby is coming”. Rodney: “Can’t you hold it in??” and Teyla: “you have to catch the baby” Rodney: “can you do it underhand I was never good at baseball??” Someone with a great sense of humor writes this stuff.”

    I just re-watched the birthing scene, too – it is definitely my favorite part of the episode because I would SO be Rodney! As someone who’s never been a mother, I find childbirth really, really…gross. I relate it to those Alien movies. Give me a good Wraith egg sac-hatching scene any day! IF I could have children that way, I may have considered it.

    Yeah. I am not a normal woman…hell, I’m not even a normal human… 🙄

    And I forgot to mention how much I loved that pan-out from the collapsed building to Michael – that was really excellent!

    My only complaint lies with the new opening credits. ‘Jimmy’ the Wraith was moved forward a bit, and no longer matches up with the ‘eerie’ vocal part of the opening theme (which fits his appearance in the credits so well). Yeah – it’s just a tiny, unimportant thing, and I’ll live. But it kinda takes the menace out of his approach towards the viewer. (Hey, I had to find SOMETHING to complain about, seeing as how I even liked Keller and all… 😉 )

    Please give Marty, Andy and all involved in this episode a heartfelt ‘well done!’


  107. Hi Joe!

    I thoroughly enjoyed watching Hide and Seek last night. Loved the opening scene…sucked me right in. Not only did we get to see Joe Flanigan looking his delicious best in that white shirt but we also got to see long lost and almost forgotten Ford. Expected to see Elizabeth pop up too. After all, Sheppard never saved her either.

    Also loved the excellent flight to Michael’s ship through the solar system/universe/galaxy scene. Great work!

    David Hewlett was amazing in the birthing scene. His facial expressions were priceless.

    Sheppard’s comment to Carter about her being the best commanding officer he’d EVER had made me grit my teeth.
    WTF! Yes, I’m still bitter about Weir leaving, but c’mon that comment was WAY OVER THE TOP!

    Sheppard and Teyla’s baby in the dart scene…ok, that had to one of the cutest scenes I’ve EVER watched. Yes, I said EVER!

    In the past you mentioned that you’d never watched the new Battlestar Galactica. IMO, BSG is a grown up sci-fi show while SG:A is a teenage/young adult sci-fi show.
    Script wise SG:A seemed to “grow up” a lot last season and appears to be doing so again this season. Keep it up! If you have the time, Joe, you really should watch BSG. It’s an amazing show.

    Next week…Carson’s back. And not being fan of Keller, I can only hope that she gets eaten by god knows what!

  108. Joe, loved Search and Rescue, thanks. Who was responsible for the greatest Rodney line ever, “throw it underhand, I was never good at baseball”.

  109. Just watched Continuum [yes, I have it pre-ordered from Amazon]- it’s better than Ark of Truth! Kudos to Martin Wood and Brad Wright!!! More, please.

  110. After watching Search and Rescue one thing is bothering me, why can’t the Daedalus beam through shields all of a sudden? It has been able to in previous episodes…

  111. Joe –

    Search and Rescue was a great season opener! Thank you to everyone for all their hard work!

    I’ve watched it, well, more than once now, and I keep picking up little details. It sometimes helps to turn the closed captioning on when you can’t keep up with McKay’s chatter…

    Still can’t pick out a favorite part – John’s fevered dream, Michael’s remaining bit of unrequited love for Teyla, Ronon choosing to die in a battle next to John rather than leave him behind, John’s determination to rescue Teyla and everyone else’s concern for him, Rodney’s new-found skills as a midwife, and even Sam’s abrupt departure (I’m just glad she didn’t choose to leave her post). All good bits and I’m sure I left out more.

    Friday nights are fun again! Thanks!

  112. Narelle: I forgot to mention, the girls in the northwest may not officially be Thai, although their families might have been living in Thailand for a long time. If found and rescued, they may be sent back to Burma or Laos. Thai nationals – who are more likely to end up as slaves overseas than in their own country – would usually be sent back to their families, I think, and may well then go back to school or find jobs. So, check all of that out… I recommend investigating the options in Cambodia. I think you’re more likely to find former indentured sex workers there, and I’ve been told that there isn’t so much red tape for foreigners – not to mention, there are probably more business opportunities. Foreigners can’t own land in Thailand; in Cambodia, they can.

    Sparrow_hawk: You’re right that Raule didn’t belong in Ashamoil. The Copper Country was really her world. I like (figurative) cubism as a model for writing, since there’s still something recognisable, but it’s multidimensional and different registers of viewing are equally valid.

    Sylvia: I remember that Star Trek episode. An entire book written in metaphor would be amazingly alien, I think, especially if both the action and the language were metaphorical. On another ST-related literary tangent, I liked the idea of the Cardassian enigma novels where everyone was guilty, you just had to work out who was guilty of what.

    AMZ: I guess some bigass authors might have a kind of creative steatopygia. Something like, “My ass is so big because it’s so full of dreams…”

  113. Dear Joe,

    I just wanted to say that S&R is my favorite ep… so far. All the actors, crew, fx and everyone involved did awesome.

    I loved the opening scene and everything about it. I also notice that the candle lights go out after Teyla mentions that Shep rescued him and he is trying to recall it. To me it showed that him thought had changed from one thing to another, which was more serious. And Ford!! Ahhhh!!! I loved that you used him there to remind him that he wasn’t saved and neither was Teyla. Great transition to from the dream to him being trapped.
    Wonderful scenes with Ronon and Shep in Michael’s compound. They both did awesome. True brothers in arms.
    JoeF does whump so well and I personally think that he improves each season. The infirmary scene says that loud and clear too.
    I loved how he was determined to go back out there. To not let the chance pass him by to get Teyla. Even to the point of being court marshalled, if need be. WOW!! Definately, great scenes with Shep and Keller and Shep and Sam.
    Love the PJ scene with Ronon and Rodney being all concern.
    I died laughing with Rodney helping Teyla with the delivery. I know time wise it wasn’t realistic, but I still loved it. They were both great.
    There is also the dart scene with Shep and the baby. That was too precious. Definate awwww moment. 🙂
    Oh and before I forget. The zoom out into space and back towards Michael’s ship was so mind blowing. Standing O for the people that did that.

    My whole household loved it, even my dad. He’s a big SG-1 fan, but never got into SGA. He was really impressed though with this ep.

    The only things that confused me were ( sorry if these were already mentioned 1) Teyla saying her dad’s name is Torren instead of Tagan. Who is Tagan then?
    2) Shep’s alot better just before surgery after looking like he was on death door in most of the ep. What was up with that?
    3)When Shep asked the “combat engineer” if they liked Duff beer or Oprah ale and the guy said Duff… What was it that Shep said after that? It almost sounds like he said that he didn’t watch the Simpson or drink beer, but we saw him drink some on Sunday. I don’t know if you can answer these question and maybe Martin G can?
    Any way. Thanks again and loved the ep. Kudos to everyone!!!

  114. Hey Joe,

    Watched Search and Rescue last night, I think it was one of the best premieres of the series. I have to say the series premiere still was the # 1 but this was a close 2nd, without a doubt. I loved how you fueled Sheppard’s guilt with losing his team members and not wanting to lose Teyla.

    Also, the Ford cameo, was truly brilliant. I hope we can see a Ford closure story down the road if there is a 6th season pickup. It would seem Rainbow and the producers still have good ties, which is always good.

    Anyway, I am really excited about this season, and I think you are already on the right path to topping the previous season.

    Don’t worry about the nay sayers and bashers, because no matter what you or the other producers do, you will never please them. The show will find new fans to replace those. Plus, the fans like me, well we are sticking to the end, so hopefully that will not be until a few years. You are stuck with us till then, Muhahahahaha!!

    Best Regards,


  115. @ Scifan – I think Sheppard was saying that they guy above (the ‘rescuers’) didn’t watch the Simpson’s or drink beer, indicating that they were not from earth…because, ya know, every guy watches the Simpsons.

    RE: Teyla’s ‘easy’ birth – it’s really not unrealistic. I’ve had a couple friends who – with first births – had very quick deliveries. Also, Teyla’s in excellent physical condition. My ONLY concern was whether or not the afterbirth passed while Ronon carried her…lol…NOT kidding, I was concerned about that, even knowing it was all make-believe. But I’m sure Ronon could handle it…tough guy that he is.

    The thing I loved most about that scene was her reaction to Rodney’s Lamaze breathing. The whole Lamaze routine is kinda creepy to me. I was SO thrilled to see her reaction to that. It’s one of those things that makes me uncomfy with most childbirth scenes – all the ‘instructions’, as if a woman has never given birth before. I just love how it was handled in this episode, with Teyla giving the orders instead of the ‘midwife’ doing so – the girl knew what she was doing!! I just love how it was handled…as I said before, it’s the best birthing scene I’ve ever watched…(except that one from last year in SoW 😉 )

    I have to say this about Ford’s cameo. Although I just watched all of the first 3 seasons for the first time this past winter, there is something…comforting…about Ford. I can’t explain it, but I just really loved his character, so full of personality and enthusiasm. Seeing him made me feel warm and fuzzy inside, like seeing an old friend, even though my exposure to the character has just been quite recent. I really do miss him.


  116. semisweeet said:

    Sheppard’s comment to Carter about her being the best commanding officer he’d EVER had made me grit my teeth. WTF! Yes, I’m still bitter about Weir leaving, but c’mon that comment was WAY OVER THE TOP!

    Weir was not a part of the military therefore she wasn’t his commanding officer. She’s not an officer at all. I’d hazard a guess that he was only talking about the military not all past leaders.

    Cheers, Chev

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