Well, July is behind us and, as promised, I looked over all the books I read over the past month and come up with a list of My Top 5 Favorite Reads for that period. The various Book of the Month Club selections had already been given the spotlight on this blog, so they were deemed ineligible for consideration. Instead, I picked from among the almost 20 non-BOTMC books I read in July and came up with following favorites…

When You Are Engulfed in Flames

by David Sedaris

The title refers to part of the hotel safety instructions author David Sedaris encountered during a trip to Japan. It’s just one of the countless humorous observations that pepper the author’s hilarious anecdotal reflections. From his awkward encounters with a neighborhood pariah in the French countryside to his hapless attempts at learning Japanese, Sedaris offers up a collection of tales that is both uproarious and occasionally very touching. The stand-out for me was That’s Amore which details his love/hate relationship with a colorfully crotchety neighbor named Helen.


by Charles Stross

It’s the 27th century and our protagonist, Robin, has very little on his mind, the result of a mindwipe that effectively erased his traumatic memories of the recent Censorship Wars. Unfortunately, Robin’s rehabilitation is complicated by an attempt on his life. Who is trying to kill him and why? Alas, those memories he lost would have certainly helped answer those questions. Faced with the prospect of further assassination attempts, Robin volunteers for an experiment intended to recreate the dark ages of 21st century society. The next thing he knows, HE is now a SHE, a suburban housewife, and one of hundreds of subjects in an isolated three-year trial where the dangers Robin sought refuge from may well reside.


by John Wyndham

When their adopted son Matthew forms a friendship with an imaginary companion named Chocky, his parents are understandably concerned. Even more so when Chocky’s influence begins to manifest in eleven year old Matthew’s sudden fascination with binary code and interstellar travel. Is their son suffering from an overly active imagination? Is he exhibiting signs of mental illness? Or is something decidedly otherworldly at play here? Chocky is a whimsical little story that, interestingly enough given that it was written in the 60’s, turns out to be a critique of our dependence of foreign oil. The whole is made all the more enjoyable by Wyndham’s polished Brit writing style.

Make Room! Make Room!

by Harry Harrison

Years before Charlton Heston discovered the horrifying origin of that mysterious food ration known as Soylent Green, author Harry Harrison published this book which became the basis of the aforementioned movie. The film deviates greatly from the source material which focuses on the lives of the various inhabitants of a dystopian, overcrowded New York. The murder of a gangster named Big Mike sets the stage for an investigation headed by police detective Andy Rausch. Complications arise in the form of the dead man’s mistress, a Taiwanese boy on the run, a corrupt judge, and the unrelentingly grim backdrop of future New York. A terrific noir SF thriller.

The Ophiuchi Hotline

by John Varley

In the five hundred years since an alien invasion destroyed all Earth technology in 2050, humanity has made great scientific strides thanks to a mysterious data stream from the Ophiuchius constellation. The source of the transmission is a mystery but Earth’s leaders haven’t felt necessarily inclined to find out more about their alien benefactors. Until the day they send a message demanding payment for a half centuries’ worth of information. Enter Lilo, a rebel geneticist sentenced to death who, in exchange for her life, agrees to assist the enigmatic Boss Tweed in investigating the matter. Along the way, she discovers that she is a pawn in an attempt to strike back against the alien invaders that attacked the planet hundreds of years ago.

If you’re looking to supplement your Book of the Month Club selections with some additional reading material, I highly recommend any of the above. And, if you do end up checking out any of the titles, let me know how you enjoyed them.

Also, a reminder that writer-Supervising Producer Alan McCullough has agreed to come by and submit to your grilling. If you have any questions about tonight’s episode The Daedalus Variations, past McCullough episodes, or anything Stargate-related or of a highly personal nature, make sure to post them this weekend because come Monday, it’ll be too late!

Today’s blog entry is dedicated birthday boy Jason Momoa, birthday girl Andria (my sister), and a stranded Patricia.

Inpa writes: “Will you or do you get any hints from the network about what their future plans are for the series (I.e. new series, cancellation ect) or do they just ‘wait’ until they tell you officially what the decision is. Are there any ratings for episode 2 or 3 that you know of yet either?”

Answer: No hints until they make the decision. As for the ratings, the early numbers had The Seed matching last season’s premiere with a 1.1 (not bad considering we were up against the biggest box office opening in history) and Broken Ties upticked to a 1.2 (matching last season’s higher back-half average). Yes, to date, season 5 has been outperforming season four. All very heartening but, again, I caution fans from assuming a decision on the show’s sixth season will be solely ratings-based.

A. loquita writes: “1. Why is it that both Mitchell and Carter are listed as Lt. Colonel in the credits?”

Answer: That was a mistake. They are both full-bird Colonels.

A. loquita also writes: “Daniel exists in an alternate reality where another Daniel is still alive. Why doesn’t entropic cascade failure happen?!?”

Answer: A distinction is being made here between an AU (alternate reality) Daniel, and a time-traveling Daniel from the same reality. Of course this opens up a can of worms about the rules of time travel. Some past musings on the subject here: http://josephmallozzi.com/2008/04/07/april-7-2008-timescape-by-gregory-benford-whatd-you-think/

Telikeneticforceblast writes: “That should also be asked when in atlantis when “Rod” came from the alternate reality where the exotic particles got came in. Now that you mention it, I can remember quite a few instances in Stargate where entropic cascade failure doesn’t occur…”

Answer: Check out Ripple Effect for further discussion on this topic.

Linda Gagne writes: “As a writer do you put yourself into the character shoes a lot if at all? or am I just imagining it?”

Answer: When I’m writing dialogue for them? All the time.

Jenks writes: “On the subject of the back story of Col. Cam Mitchell that was written and narrated by Ben Browder, is that to be considered canon?”

Answer: I suppose you can consider it canon – until we decide otherwise.

Masterchief writes: “I thought the back half of season 5 was supposed to air next year. Am I wrong?”

Answer: All indications are that, yes, you’re wrong.

AnnaLeo writes: “Dr. Beckett has a family back home right? Wouldn’t he want to let them know that he’s not dead, even though he won’t know how long he may live?”

Answer: There a bit of dialogue I wrote for Whispers that touches on this very subject – Beckett’s improbable return from the dead and the reaction back home. Off the top of my head, I can’t recall if it survived the cut. If it didn’t, I’ll be sure to include it was part of the post-episode wrap-up.

Davidd writes: “Will you ever do an episode which features a specific Earth holiday? Like Christmas or Halloween?”

Answer: Nope.

Khalidur writes: “are you purposefully planning the season finale to also take the place for a series finale if needs be, or do you plan on making a movie/feature length episode to tie up loose ends?”

Answer: I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – the end of the series will not spell the end of Stargate Atlantis.

Michelle writes: “Joe, will you be going to Vegas along with Rob and the gang?”

Answer: Alas, I will not. We’re just going to have to trust that Rob will be able to control himself and not blow the show’s budget on all the spectacular sequences he has in mind – or on 22 black.

Tim Gaffney writes: “Does anyone know why there is no Atlantis next week(August 8th)? Is Sci-Fi trying to avoid going up against the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics, or is it something else?”

Answer: If I was to make an educated guess, that would be the reason.

DownUnder writes: “As Teyla introduced herself in season 1 as “Teyla Emmagan, daughter of Tegan” I assumed Tagan was her father’s name…. so how is Torren named after Tagan?”

Answer: Of course she could have been referring to her mother.

Ganymede writes: “ If Jason Momoa is on the Lot tomorrow [Friday] and if you read this tonight [Thurs], please, start baking! It’s his birthday! There is a select group of us that lurk around this blog who would like to see a birthday photo of him!”

Answer: Sorry. Company day off today. Jason is back home with his family.

AnneTeldy writes: “I’ve started an online petition in the form of a letter to Mr. Flanigan to see if we can get him to change his mind about a Special Features Profile…”

Answer: Good luck with that.

JimFromJersey writes: “The Atlantis teams do not have designations ie: SG-1/SG-11 etc. Why is that?”

Answer: Hate to say it, but I’ve answered this question before. The Atlantis teams are numbered. Sheppard’s team is First Atlantis Reconnaissance Team. Lorne’s team is Second Atlantis Reconnaissance Team. And so on.

SmileyFace_06 writes: “Where will Stargate’s People’s Choice Award go?”

Answer: To be fair to everyone, the award was paraded around the lot and then subsequently destroyed.

Fran writes: “When the gang films in parks, forests, and such do you have to get permission or a permit from the city and province?”

Answer: Always.

Jessica writes: “Why is McKay allowed to fall for a different woman each season.”

Answer: For a grand total of two?

TBA writes: “Any clues, or cryptic hints, to this ‘guest star that will have boards buzzing’ of #518, Identity?”

Answer: A guest star that will have boards buzzing? Beats me. Let me know though.

Trish writes: “When the vet came, though, Sebastian still could not walk or even sit up. The vet said it was time to put him down. So all four of us sat around him and told him we loved him and said good-bye.”

Answer: Hey, Trish, this is really heartbreaking. Hope you and Allie are okay and know that a lot of people are thinking of you right now.

Stan writes: “Mr. M are you telling us that 2008-2009 will be the final season of SGA?”

Answer: Nope because at this point I honestly don’t know.

Alainaross writes: “In the seed, when Carson said “I’m scheduled to leave this afternoon.” To what was he refering, returning to earth or returning to stasis, and will he be comming back in the near future?”

Answer: Beckett returned to Earth for some much-needed R&R after the events of The Seed. He’ll be making his triumphant return to the Pegasus Galaxy in Whispers.

Morjana writes: “IGN had very nice comments about The Daedalus Variations.”

Answer: I love those guys!

92 thoughts on “August 1, 2008: My Top 5 July Reads

  1. Um…so Sheppard’s team is called (F)irst (A)tlantis (R)econnaissance (T)eam.


  2. So, First Atlantis Recon Team – you do know what that makes the acronym, right? (and for those of you who don’t – FART?). That’s such a guy humor thing. Please tell me it’s a joke.

  3. JimFromJersey writes: “The Atlantis teams do not have designations ie: SG-1/SG-11 etc. Why is that?”

    Answer: Hate to say it, but I’ve answered this question before. The Atlantis teams are numbered. Sheppard’s team is First Atlantis Reconnaissance Team. Lorne’s team is Second Atlantis Reconnaissance Team. And so on.

    So Sheppard’s team is F.A.R.T.?

    Anne Teldy (whose humor has been quite juvenile all day)

  4. Thanks for answering my question! It made my day – I had some customers scream at me today for not being psychic.

  5. I expect JF will see The Great Petition as a compliment and will be able to handle the pressure. I’d love to see a Flanigan/Sheppard profile, but I’ll respect his decision on that, as I’m sure the rest of his fans will.

    On the couch with the wine, waiting for Atlantis to start….

  6. Hey Joe,

    Thanks for the kind words. It’s very true; this is heartbreaking. I can’t believe he’s gone. It’s all so surreal.

    Thanks to everyone else. It helps to know that people are thinking about us.

    @Noir: I can’t tell you how perfect the rose is. Sebastian was all white with black *pharaoh* eyes. At least that’s what my mom liked to say. So it’s like a Sebastian rose. 🙂 Thank you!

    Thank The HEAVENS for Stargate Atlantis tonight. I need it now more than ever. *sigh* It will be an excellent distraction.


  7. Answer: Hate to say it, but I’ve answered this question before. The Atlantis teams are numbered. Sheppard’s team is First Atlantis Reconnaissance Team. Lorne’s team is Second Atlantis Reconnaissance Team. And so on.

    Sorry to obsess along with everyone else, but given the military’s love of acronyms, you DO realize that the Fourth and Fifth Atlantis Reconnaissance Teams will also be designated FARTs, don’t you? It’s very confusing, because if they attempt to clarify things with, say, FART1, FART 4, and FART5, people are going to be asking: What happened to FARTS 2 and 3?

  8. Hey Joe.

    So Sheppard leads Atlantis’ main FART 🙂 hahaha

    I was wondering if there is any way to get a holdof one of the Atlantis symbols stuck on all the laptops on Atlantis?

    Thanks Joe.

  9. Did you watch the tv version of Chocky from the 1980’s? I have quite fond memories of that show from childhood.

  10. Answer: Alas, I will not. We’re just going to have to trust that Rob will be able to control himself and not blow the show’s budget on all the spectacular sequences he has in mind – or on 22 black.

    When I first read this I was speed reading and thought that you said that you hope Rob would not blow the budget on spectacular sequins. A picture came up in my mind of Shep, Rodney, Ronan, Woolsey and Michael dressed as Vegas show girls doing the can-can.

  11. Question for Alan,

    Hi Alan, I thoroughly enjoy your work on Stargate. I especially appreciate how you incorporate Major Lorne in so many of your episodes of not only Stargate Atlantis but also SG-1 where he played a prominent role in Road Not Taken. Is it a conscious effort to include Major Lorne in your episodes? Do you find the Lorne Character as interesting to write as the leads? Will we ever hear his first name spoken on the Show? I know from reading previous blog entries that he was suppose to mention that he was “Uncle Evan” in Spoils of War but that was cut during editing. Thanks for guest blogging and continued success in your career.


  12. I Have Chocky, Make Room! Make Room! and The Opuichi loaded on my Reader ready for some quality time in Thailand. Along with 163 other books. False hope I know, but I like to be prepared.

    And on that note…

    Time to sign off for the next few weeks.
    I have been nicely farewelled with a migraine from hell that lasted for 24 hours which had me asking for someone to shoot me please and now have the brain function of a gnat (not much different to usual I hear you say). For anyone looking for a guaranteed weight loss program and a hard reset of your brain, migraines do the trick every time.

    The dogs are heading off to their Gran’s for the school holidays where they will be spoilt rotten, but I know my Mum will deny it. Man we are going to miss them.

    I’m hoping to be able to log on for the Cordelia’s Honor discussion. Will be in Koh Samui by then which I know will have an internet connection, but whether my brain is functioning on any greater level than “Fire bad, Tree pretty” we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Trish, so sorry to hear about your kitty. Hugs to your family.

    Joe, take care and I hope there aren’t 126 comments on today’s blog about fart jokes.

    I’m going to miss all of you guys!

    Speak to you when I get back.

  13. AnneTeldy writes: “I’ve started an online petition in the form of a letter to Mr. Flanigan to see if we can get him to change his mind about a Special Features Profile…”

    I’m sure he’ll be happy to do it if he gets paid. So perhaps you should start an online collection instead 😉

  14. TBA writes: “Any clues, or cryptic hints, to this ‘guest star that will have boards buzzing’ of #518, Identity?”

    Answer: A guest star that will have boards buzzing? Beats me. Let me know though.

    But…you already do? I mean, this is what you wrote on June 4th:

    Help spin Carl’s story for episode 17 (or maybe 18?). A nice callback to some SG-1 tech, the return of that guest star will have the boards abuzz, and Carl searches for an appropriately grisly punishment.

    Link to Source

  15. FART… you’ve got some sense of humor!!! Very funny INDEED!!!

    See you made the top picks with yesterday’s blog… Happening, do you get some sort of prize for that distinction???

    Patricia Lee

  16. Why did SG1 seem to have a much easier time renewing seasons 1-5 then Atlantis did? It seems to me that there was much less worry about this kind of thing? Did showtime just more money, does scifi worry more, or what?

  17. Cool episode…though it felt a bit rushed at the end. Loved the onening “one shot” to the episode. Andy has learned them well. Interesting new alien…will we be seeing more of them?? Sheppard meets Sheppard again, and this time with humor!

    While I know that the show, with a 6th season, begins to have a very heavy bottom line, here’s hoping that the ratings will allow that bottom line to be tolerable to the network for yet another season!

    And Anne, go for it with the petition…though I suspect it probably won’t help.:-(

  18. Been a big day, will make this quick…

    Liked tonight’s episode very much. Ronon – obviously – hasn’t been introduced to Playstation yet. Just a suggestion, but maybe someone should give him one for his birthday, or something. Or better yet, just install a good, old-fashioned Atari Asteroids game in the corner of the cafeteria. The boy really needs some practice… 🙄

    This episode has raised some questions, but I will hold off until I gather all my thoughts. I have a couple for Alan, just too tired tonight.


  19. Oh this blog and its commenters definately use abbreviations to much. Never once put it together and I am laughing hysterically at the what sheppard’s team stands for. Too funny.

    Joseph to your comment on destroying the award, you kill me (I’ve said it many times).

    To Alan: I loved DV. When writing the episode did you intend on the team bonding/developing moments I got out of it (i.e. A lot of McKay/Teyla building on previous episodes where she seems to be able to get him to calm down and focus more as well as him beginning to value her more)?

    Loved the McKay dropping the baby comment. It is so like him or at least I imagine it to be from watching the show.

    Also loved the McKay/Shep scene where McKay said he had to not think like himself and used Sheppards idea (I find a lot of humor in that kind of stuff).

    Liked that Teyla was knowledgable in how to use the computers on the ship.

    On a seperate note, your daughter is beautiful (yes, I read end credits). In S&R did she cry on cue in the birthing scene? Because that was very real sounding but it looked real too.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

  20. Alright, it is late and I didn’t re-read my comment. There are errors, just ignore them.

  21. I see others picked up on the acronym as quickly as I did. Of course, I had to wait about five minutes before I could even click on the comments section; my vision was too blurred from all the tears from the laughter. That was just the perfect capper for the night.
    Kudos to all on Daedalus Variations. The special effects were all that was promised and more. The opening teaser was another short one, but definitely grabbed my attention. The story was great, loved the character interactions (who’d have thought Ronon could be so psychologically insightful when comforting Teyla about Torrin), and then his frustration earning him a Chewie comment from John. We now have some possible foreshadowing of future villians, never mind yet another way for Mckay to blow up a solar system or two while experimenting on his latest finds. The season really does get better and better…
    My condolences to Trish. I know the heartbreak of the loss of a pet. The fact that you had the chance to be with him at the end may provide a little comfort, but I know that’s not enough. Just know that others grieve for you and your loss.
    As for the AU vs. Timetravel aspects of Continuum, well, I just refuse to worry about them. At least not until I’ve knocked off a bottle or two of vino. I’ve my own theories and questions on the matter, but it looks like everyone is hashing them out for me. It’s enough that I loved the movie. And I have always been fond of stories involving AU anyways, especially in Stargate.
    I understand the lack of interest in doing a holiday specific episode, but have you considered doing at least a scene where a holiday is referred to? Something on the lines of Ronon or Teyla commenting on the whole idea of gift giving, or perhaps involving some odd gift they recieved? Or of comparing a specific Earth holiday they’re told about to some Pegasus analogue? I always enjoy how the Pegasus born characters percieve Earth customs and habits, and it would seem logical to have them comment on such matters now and then.
    Two weeks till Ghost in the Machine? Three until The Shrine? Over a month to Whispers? Perhaps I’ll just check with the doctor now about a blood pressure med. Still, the possiblity of not having to wait until next year for the back half of Atlantis sounds promising.
    Thanks for the mailbag, and I’m looking forward to Mr. McCullough’s guest appearance.

  22. Looks like everyone beat me to the F.A.R.T. joke. Typical, I’m always behind.

    Considering that the team involves Jason, I believe it fits. 😉

  23. I realize this may be a subject that has been answered in the distant past, but for the sake of saving me countless hours searching thru past blog entries, I’ve often wondered what the rational was in allowing someone as vital as McKay to the overall mission at Atlantis, being the apparently senior scientist present (at least in his own mind), in being assigned or allowed to accompany a field team that so often ends up in such dire situations? Especially when a situation is clearly a military one (i.e. rescue team or armed incursion). I would think that the danger of losing his expertise in any of a multitude of ways with an away team, would lend the powers that be to keep him on Atlantis until new situations have been stabilized. Especially since he has had no direct military training for possible hostile or dangerous situations. The practice just seems so un-military, or at least un-bureaucratic. Has a reasonable explanation for this sort of activity been developed yet from the writers or TPTB?

    Have been very much enjoying the new season so far, even with the wait for iTunes to post the episodes.

  24. I remember watching the TV adaptation of Chocky when it was on Nickelodeon years ago ….

    Started to read the mailbag and realised I have to avert my eyes from the blog too today, too,, not just the comments, as I won’t get Continuum until tomorrow. *sigh*

    Anyway, on to The Daedalus Vaeriations …Bit of a thrill ride, there (espeically riding on the coattails of the Who finale tonight), and scary concept! 😀 I Let out a mournful cry when Rodney was saying that they had no way off the ship ((clever answer, that — nice callback to John’s donning the suit in “Midway”) and the show suddenly cutscene — I was all “no, donm’t make us wait to see how they get out of this!” And then I freaked out again when the Daedalus disappeared at the end. XD

    Some really nice Teyla/Rodnmey moments in this one! Teyla telling him to focus, and thanking him later, and of course loved the end! 😀 (I let out a little McSheppy *squee* at John’s line — McKay having a kid would mean Rodney being with someone else, after all, so yeah, scary! 😉 I know, I know, not how he meant it — and I agree with him the way he *did* mean it — but a girl can dream, eh?)

    Loved Ronon’s frustration with the weapons system, how he flipped out and started hitting it!! XD

    Poor Rodney, so much of the pressure was on him! 🙁 To his credit, while he was certianly cranky, he was nowhere near as snappish as he has been in past seasons, though …

    Shouldn’t John be used to Rodney using “We”? 😉

    In other news, been busy making more SG ponies for my panel at Dragon*Con. In partticular, I’m fond of this one, a sea pony made into the City of Atlantis. Das you might be interested in the new Todd pony I’ve made, too (pictured there with my Halling pony).

    Merry Lughnasadh!! 😀

  25. Daedalus Variations – what a fun ride. It would make a great VR theme park attraction. Plus Chuch, Lorne, and Zelenka – Awesome.

    Will we being seeing more of the new enemy aliens in our reality this season?

  26. Are the aliens we see in daedalas variations the same ones in the mid season 2 parter?

  27. SmileyFace_06 writes: “Where will Stargate’s People’s Choice Award go?”

    Answer: To be fair to everyone, the award was paraded around the lot and then subsequently destroyed.

    This made me laugh aloud – brilliant!

  28. First Atlantis Reconnaissance Team. Was that deliberate or do I just love potty humour 😉

    And I need a bloke to come car shopping with me because I’m going to get my licence then I’ll need a car. Are you available to come to Melbourne? Or is Fondy the wheeler and Dealer? (Only joking! I have five brothers. Hmm, I think I’ll ask one of my sisters.)

  29. Wow. Lots of FARTs in the comments today. 😀 That word will never stop being funny to me.

    “Jessica writes: “Why is McKay allowed to fall for a different woman each season.”

    Answer: For a grand total of two?”

    Well, he’s got my love life beat.

    @Tammy…Totally agree on Zelenka, Lorne, and Chuck. They always make my episodes.

    @Trish…I’m so sorry about your dog. You and yours are in my thoughts.

  30. I would like to know whose idea was to let Shepperd play around with a Nintendo DS in a few scenes this season?

  31. I’m just really, really glad the name of the show isn’t Stargate F.A.R.T. – rofl

    Alan! You rock!!

  32. So if by some weird happenstance Sheppard’s team gets accepted into the League of Aliens and Mutants for Evil (after all, they are “aliens” to the Pegasus folks and look at all the “evil” they’ve managed to cause there and Sheppard’s ATA gene makes him a “mutant” compared to the normal folk, not to mention Rodney’s designer genes), I guess they would then be a LAME FART.

    Hmmmm, you’re the boss, do some bossly-type things. Talk to the Baron. DO NOT let this scenario come to pass.

  33. Did not re-watch yet, but it seemed that Shep called Ronon Chewy while he was frustrated and banging the keyboards…and told him the buttons are our friends.
    And you treated us to the vision of Lurch yesterday which was easier to check out the stationary enemy instead of those that were moving too much..

  34. Hi Joe,

    I’ve been lurking around your blog for a long time now, and I just wanted to thank you for being so candid with all of us fans. How you have the time to do it is beyond me, but it is very much appreciated.

    I enjoy reading your blog so much, and not just for the Stargate things. Thank you so much for all the hard work you and everyone else in Stargate Land does. It really shows how much you love what y’all do, and I know that most fans really appreciate it.

    Eat some wonderful food for me!


  35. Hey Joe, I enjoyed daedalus variations alot.but i did have a question. how come the starmap on the bridge was orange instead of green? was it meant to point out the fact that the ship is from a alternate universe or was it a prop error?

  36. Daedalus Variations…what an awesome episode! First off, the music was spectacular. Usually I don’t notice the music as I am so enthralled by the scenes, but in this episode it really stood out, especially when the Daedalus tries to outrun the little ships. Great team moments as well. And “Easy Chewie, those buttons are your friends”….BEST LINE EVER! Loved Ronan’s “I’m Trying!” response. And once again Rodney got to yell “I got shot!” One thing that was strange. Teyla knew more about the Daedalus than John. I know Major Marks must be an excellent teacher, but how does John not know how to do anything on the ship. It made him look somewhat stupid. I wish the momentum wouldn’t be broken by the off-week next week. I want this awesome season to keep going.
    Also, in the novels they refer to John’s team as SGA-1. I think that is much better than F.A.R.T.

  37. This is for Alan…

    I noticed at your page on IMDB that you were ‘man in stall’ in the movie ‘American Psycho’. Care to elaborate on the experience?

  38. Is it safe to say that those alternate reality aliens that debuted in tonight’s Daedaleus Variations will make a future appearance in Atlantis hopefully in season ?

  39. Loved Daedalus Variations! The team on their own, scary new bad guys, banter!, John showing himself love, Teyla showing her human side, “Chewy!”, Lorne, and my favorite line, from Rodney: “They were us, and they failed.” That really got to me. Questions for Alan tomorrow!

  40. Coucou Joseph! Sa va!

    Olala moi fatiguer! Je le suis réveiller tôt ce matin car je doit accueiilir les inviters qui viendront pour ma fêtes d’aniversaire dimanche! …même si je suis bien née le 4 et non 3!

    C’est vrai que votre soeur est comme Jason et moi? Lion! Mouahaha c’est les meilleurs!!!

    Jespert que les audience vont encore augmenter!
    Merci pour avoir répondu a tout ces questions!

    Ps: je ne serais pas là ce week end, je revient Lundi =)

    Gros bisou, pasez un trés bon week end! Je vous adore fort♥

  41. All day my husband has been walking around, snorting and giggling…and saying “fart” at every turn. ::sigh:: Thanks.

    Daedalus Variations? Wow. When the ‘jumper skimmed along the hull? Really beautiful. All the effects were very good, but that really pulled me in. (Also, Chewy?? Terrific.)

  42. Joe
    First I loved the show tonight, course I always do.

    Second Trish, I am soo sorry. I’m going through the same thing with my 13 year old cat, Baby. I am trying to save him but he’s so skinny and I think sooner rather than later. This will be the fourth cat i’ve lost in two years and no matter who the kitty is it’s never easy. My cat’s are my Kids and it’s very painfull to loose them. I hope that you can take comfort in the fact that your baby is nolonger suffering. You gave them that and that is an incredible gift.

    Joe: I look forward to the next episode. By the way how is the kinda shep centric/whump epi Remnants comming. Did you win in the debate of Sheppard torture? There has to be a season 6 and 7 and 8 and so on because there’s nothing left good on tv, Take Atlantis away and there’s nothing left to live for… 🙂

    And Joe did you see Dr. Who today? What’cha think? I was sad with the ending but it was a good episode. Poor Donna. What I don’t understand cause I missed a few episodes was why did Rose go to an alternative reality? Wasn’t see from earth, I mean the none alternative “our” earth? I’m soooo confused…

    Well have a happy weekend. Nicole.

  43. Hey Joe,

    I forgot to say congratulations on ‘Broken Ties’. The writing was extremely smooth and memorable. It was amazing how many great character moments you were able to work into one episode. Also, THANK YOU for writing in an extended sequence where music could be prominantly featured!

    I just saw Continuum and I absolutely LOVED it.

    And The Daedalus Variations was a fun ride! Great vfx!

  44. Daedalus Variations is another great episode! Thank you very much! I loved the team being out there on their own, the story, the firefight, linking in the Last Man, the new badass aliens, the humor, the possibilities it suggests, amongst other things. The special effects are jaw droppingly gorgeous. If another Emmy nod doesn’t come along for it, I will be outraged.

    A question or two for Mr. McCullough…

    Were there any AUs you would have loved to include, but couldn’t? What was the hardest to cut and why did it lose out over what we saw?

    Thank you!

  45. Regarding Davidd’s question about the holidays, may I ask why not? I’m just curious. The gate covered in Christmas lights and wreaths hanging off every console might be humorous. 😀

    Aaaaaand regarding Teyla referring to her mother as Tegan…when was this decided? Her father’s obviously been a huge force in her life, but her mother is never mentioned so I suppose a lot of fans naturally assumed Tegan was her father. I was just wondering where that came from.

  46. Joe – thanks so much for organising the guest bloggers – it’s been fascinating reading. And for the BOTMC, too. I’m certainly reading books I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. I’m glad Iain M Banks is a favourite – did you read “Feersum Endjinn”? Out of all of them I think that’s the one that I personally enjoyed most.

    I haven’t been able to see Season 5 yet – not until my upcoming trip to the US, when I’ll be staying with another SGA fan – but I do have a question for Alan McCullough.

    In my opinion, SGA works because of the balance between humour and serious issues, between action and relationships – “team” especially.

    Do you have a particularly fondness for one element of the stories, or do you prefer to write a mixture of humour, drama, action adventure or whatever?

    Thanks in anticipation!


  47. Depending on how many teams there are there could be up to 3 F.A.R.T’s and 2 T.A.R.T’s travelling through the gate on any given day. Or a F.A.R.T and 2 T.A.R.T’s (which I think would be a great title for an episode 😉 )

  48. [i]”Answer: Hate to say it, but I’ve answered this question before. The Atlantis teams are numbered. Sheppard’s team is First Atlantis Reconnaissance Team. Lorne’s team is Second Atlantis Reconnaissance Team. And so on.”[/i]

    Sorry Joe. I must have missed it. And Anne beat me to it: F.A.R.T. I love it.

  49. Hello,

    !st things first thanks to Alan and Joe. you both rock!!!!!!

    I just wanted to say LOVED IT DV had me rolling on the floor it was great.
    I have had a bad month and you all gave me back my smile.

    Okay i couldnt help but notice all the Star wars hints ( imo)
    With Ronans weapon shooting red and the new bad guys green, I was looking for the life savers lol

    The fx group rocked on too.

    Rodney owie loved it and watching for the water still lol

    have a great day and thanks guys for the job you do brings many smiles to many faces !!!!!!


  50. “iamjohn

    Why did SG1 seem to have a much easier time renewing seasons 1-5 then Atlantis did? It seems to me that there was much less worry about this kind of thing? Did showtime just more money, does scifi worry more, or what?”

    But who is worrying ? (apart from you) – This is standard operating procedure, you don’t get renewed decades in advanced. That happens when its time, which it isn’t yet.

  51. So, the First Atlantis Team are the old FARTs, so as not to confuse with the Fourth or Fifth teams?

    Ronon really is Chewie, thanks for clearing that up for everyone. Lovely episode, with more team bonding as promised. Thanks!

  52. “Sheppard’s team is First Atlantis Reconnaissance Team.”

    So Shep’s team is called FART?


  53. Hi Joe, so far this season there have been small hints about Ford a few times this season.. Are you planning to address him this season or next if you get renewed???? Thanks

  54. Hi Mr ! How are you doing ?
    I just wanted to say how much I love this start of season 5. I’ve enjoyed Search & Rescue but since I wanted to say that I enjoyed all of the eps.
    Daedalus Variations was an extraordinary ep I loved it. I won’t enter too much in the details but what I really love since the start of this season is the so well balanced character moments in all the eps everybody has the chance to shine.
    I’m a fan of the core team and eps like this are really gifts.
    I loved this mix of action and technobabble and scifi. I loved this mix of characters that I find so well done they are awesome all the characters shine and we even have more personal aspects so a really great ep.
    I had fun too and particularly Ronon. As a fan of Teyla I’m really happy to see her doing all of this and her interactions with Rodney were just great.
    Thank you so much to everybody.

  55. Well, Daedalus variations was a good strong episode, good story and plot and it held its end up giving through the whole episode. Characters were used well, and the story was quite original, specially for an alternate reality episode where let’s face it most of those boxes have been ticked. But this was quite original and a good episode.

    Not loads more I can say really, which is a good sign for the episode really. But strong, keeping up a so far relatively consistent good season. 9/10.

    Question time: I read over at Gateworld (since they provide some behind the scenes tid-bits on episodes in the episode page) that you once said that you were worried about the episode (Daedalus Variations) while it was in the outline stage, what was it at the time you were concerned about?

    But anyway, give Alan my congratulations on another good episode, I’ve always felt he’s been a very good writer ever since Prototype.

  56. Hey Joe,

    Question for Alan. I enjoyed Daedalus Varaitions a lot, I think the plot was excellent and hope we get more of these kind of episode. My question is will we see anymore episodes with this enemy? It seems this enemy in the alternate reality have establishment and Sheppard points out the certain symbol on the ship and then on the dead alien. I think it would be excellent if in a future episode the team comes in encounter with a ship or facility on a planet with that symbol and perhaps the enemy themselves.

    I also think this episode is similar to “There but for the Grace of the gods” but it is also different and is it’s own episode which I found simply brilliant. It also had a Farscape feel to it, which I thought was good.



  57. My 4 year old insists there’s nothing funnier than a fart joke, or saying the word “poop” at inappropriate times.

    So… since haven’t really read the comments other than a quick skim (since Daedalus won’t air until Monday night here in Canada)… but the FART jokes won’t pass unless you ask if Major Teldy’s team is team three, making the all girl team the TART’s?


    Trish so sorry for you loss. Many people don’t understand how integral pets become to the family. I lost both my cats (after 17 years) within 3 months of each other. It was horrible.

    – Nika

  58. How many times has Sheppard called Ronon “Chewie”? I can think of two for sure, but it seems like there might have been at least one other time.

  59. More questions for Alan:

    In one of the realities Atlantis was using F302’s for fighting, are we to presume that reality doesn’t have puddle jumpers or theirs were all destroyed?

    Also for the new Alien race, did you choose how they’d look or was that a group effort?

    Will other shows coming up use some of these reality scenarios to work with in some way?

  60. Cool episode! Sad to see the alterna-team dead in the Daedalus (hee! dead & Daed! … yeah, small things, and all.) Although, the episode was so fast-paced I wasn’t allowed to feel sad for too long! Creepy bad guys, I’m assuming they’re the new villains coming in this season? They reminded me of demons on Buffy … ‘cept with LEDs where the Buffy baddies would just have bumps. John and his love-in with his other self? FTW!!! And Rodney with the baby – what? Are you trying to make us clucky??? Also also – TEYLA WAS FRIGGING AWESOME. Go Teyla!

    @cf100 – my friend just said *exactly* that to me (about Rodney being on the away team) down at the pub I just got back from (40th birthday party – the food sucked, but the 6 double Black Russians made up for it.) As I pointed out to him, though, this is why it’s called “sci-fi” and not a documentary. If we were to be realistic, Sheppard would also not be going on away missions (as base commander). And he certainly would never have taken his 2IC (Ford) with him on the same team.

    @Trish – my heart goes out to you. My beloved kitty is 19 in October, I know it won’t last forever, but I’m equally sure I won’t be prepared for the end no matter how long I have with her. My thoughts are with you and your family. xo.

  61. Oh dear Joe, look what you’ve done…you’ve opened up a whole load of FART comments, quite unintenionally I’m sure but extrememly funny none the less. 😀

    @ THUNDER:

    “When I first read this I was speed reading and thought that you said that you hope Rob would not blow the budget on spectacular sequins. A picture came up in my mind of Shep, Rodney, Ronan, Woolsey and Michael dressed as Vegas show girls doing the can-can.”

    OMG, hilarious imagery, thanks for that Thunder! 😆

  62. I was just wondering Joe, The Emmagens are called Torren, Tagan and Teyla. Is there a reason they all begin with a T? maybe an Athosian culture thing, or is it just coincidence?

  63. QUOTE
    Davidd writes: “Will you ever do an episode which features a specific Earth holiday? Like Christmas or Halloween?”

    Answer: Nope.

    However, Christmas was noted in the “time passing” montage of SG-1/ep 1020, “Unending”.

    *just couldn’t help being the smartypants*

  64. DV is a GREAT episode!


    Our team stuck an a battleship all alone? Ronon trying to play a live version of Space Invaders and getting angry cuz he sucks at it LOLOL!

    Rodney’s line about “I realized I had to stop thinking like me and think the opposite of me and… there’s nobody more opposite of me than you” was a great chuckle. So was the ending and Sheppard’s comment about Rodney becoming a father. But Ronon enraged over really sucking at “video games” was great. Don’t ask me why I saw that as him trying to hold his own aginst Shep in a vid game. lolol

    @ Tim Gaffney I don’t believe that John didn’t know anything about the ship though. He does and proved it by taking the weapons console and then the helm. I think when he asked Teyla if SHE knew this stuff was just him being surprised that she had the knowledge to help out.

    The new aliens were awesome! Loved the look, and the guns, and the ships! Those fighters were cool. The chase scenes were great , the space fights were awesome. And can I say that the slow panning of the Jumper scuttling the larger ship’s belly was an awesome image. I loved it. I want a pic of that.

    The red sun from The Last Man …. finding their alternate selves dead together on board….. Lorne in charge of the city while John was away.

    Where was Woolsey do ya think?

    That part when they got OFF the Daedalus to await rescue… without a ship!– holy crap, that was extremely daring… I would’ve been crying like a baby. LOLOL

    But the Ronon/Alien fight was awesome and Ronon firing his pistol into the wall to get John’s attention. Nearly gettin’ blown up, burned up, shot… Rodney got shot with one of those energy guns! Holy crap LOLOL

    It was FUN… Just dont think about the fact that you KNOW they’ll get back before it ends, but up til then I just let myself enjoy it

    GREAT JOB this year, Guys!

  65. Toren, Tagan and Teyla. Today’s letter of the day is T. Actually its nice to know that people from Earth aren’t the only ones who find it adorable (gag) to name their children with the same first letter when the husband and wife happen to share it.

    My question for Mr. McCullough …
    Does the Daedalus have an automated response to turn life support down to minimal when no life signs are detected? If not did the other team have a reason for doing so?

  66. Hey Joe, loved The Daedalus Variations. It was great to see Lorne have to take charge for a while, and a welcome return for Chuck!

    The new aliens were great too, I hope we get to see more of them in the future.

    I noticed the alien fighters looked similar to Peacekeeper Prowlers from Farscape; was that intentional?


  67. Very much enjoyed DV, thanks for another great episode. I’m loving Season 5.

  68. I just watched DV. I was pleased to see the team all together. I hope that’s a theme this season. But it didn’t exactly feel like Sheppard’s team to me. Was this an old SG-1 script modified for SGA?

    With the unemotional delivery and computer savvy, I thought this may have originally been written for Carter? Sheppard as a cocky pilot, Rodney all technobabble, and Ronon the muscle. They all felt rather generic. I’m no expert on SG-1 (can’t seem to sit through entire episodes), but it didn’t feel like SGA to me.

  69. Loved the Daedalus Variations episode, the new villian was cool. I like the way they(SGA) can save the day or themselves in an hour(would like less commercials!!). Character development is progressing so well, all the actors have done a wonderful job with their roles. I have thoroughly enjoyed the storylines. Keep up the great work everyone.
    questions for Mr McCullough:
    -Did they happen to bring one of the neat alien weapons with them to their reality?
    -Could they have gotten into the space suits to get to the hangar bay for the jumper?
    -thank you for taking time to answer questions.
    —Linda Gagne said–[i]On a seperate note, your daughter is beautiful (yes, I read end credits). In S&R did she cry on cue in the birthing scene? Because that was very real sounding but it looked real too.[/i]

    —-I thought the ending credits said Torren was Annalise MacCulloch? different spelling?not sure?!? that print is tiny and then they shove it all to the side to show yet another commercial….

  70. Hi Joe,
    first, congrats to all of you for this great episode that The daedalus variations is !
    Then I’d like to know if there’s a chance that we meet the race of TDV in season 6 (if season 6 there is !) because they look cool and we really need to see there ships again, their guns and do they have name ?
    Thanks ;:)

  71. Alan,

    I wanted to thank you for all your wonderful episodes since season four, you’ve become one of my favorite writers on the show. I’m not sure if its the stories you’re assigned or just your muse, but to me, you’ve done the best job of balancing all the characters in your scripts as you did in “Tabula Rasa, “Spoils of War” and of course the “Daedalus Variations”. Everyone always has a vial part or aspect and your stories also do a wonderful job of juggling tense, fast paced plots, and character moments.

    DV was the best team eppy this season and I especially enjoyed how you write Teyla’s continued use of technology and the awesome banter between John and Rodney and what I thought was a nice homage to Star Wars with Sheppard and Ronon using the rail guns.

    So, yes, questions 😀

    In “Tabula Rasa” was it in the script the way it was shot with a filter to give everything that fuzzy feeling or was that the director’s choice? Did you write Ronon’s line about it ‘never getting old’ in regards to stunning Sheppard or did Jason ad lib that? Also Ronon’s speech to John to get him to lower his gun was awesome, you nailed their relationship right there.

    In “Outcast” there was no mention about Sheppard’s mom in regards to if she is alive or dead. Was this your choice or because it pertained to Sheppard’s back story…it wasn’t allowed in? I loved the fact that Ronon went with Sheppard to Earth.. again was this your choice or was it a scheduling thing?The scene where he joins John at the gate was a wonderful moment.

    Lastly, is there any particular character you really love to write for or whom you feel you ‘get’ the most?

    Thank you for all your hard work.


  72. Dear Joe, I hate to bother you, especially if you already answered this question, but for Vegas. Is it just John going to Earth or is the whole team going? If it is just John, then when will Teyla be able to do a mission on Earth?
    Thank you.

  73. Hi Joe. I was wondering if you had already thought about doing something with the 2008 US Presidential Elections in the Stargate Universe. We know Henry Hayes’s mandat, started in Season 7 (2004), is coming to a term, so don’t you think it would be an interesting background issue? Hayes’s reelection or replacement could maybe alter the actions of SGC and Atlantis Expedition, if a new president and government show up with a different vision of Earth’s offworld projects.
    So have TPTB already discussed about that possibilty at some time? I really think that could be interesting, even if it’s only a line, some short introducing scene where people talk about the elections and their consequences (Woolsey would definitely be the best at it) before entering in the episode’s main plot…

    Always about politics, and just for curiosity, which side do you think is Hayes? Republican or Democrat? And again, have you ever discussed the question with the other writers? Well after all, the question works only if you writers consider that those two parties also exist in the Stargate Universe…

    Thanks for answering to my “unessential questions”! Those were my first, but be sure there are many others to come…

    Keep up the good job on the show!
    [mg1138 from France]

  74. just wanted to say “the daedalus variations” was one of the best atlantis episodes ever! keep it up!

  75. Hey Joe!

    No questions today. I must confess that your People’s Choice Award answer cracked me up!

    Let me think about a question or two for Mr. McCullough and then I’ll get back to ya!

  76. @ wolfenm – ah, yes! I saw your Todd pony before! Adorable! But I hadn’t seen your Halling pony…too cute!

    I’m not so talented – so I bought a Wraith action figure, and – for good measure – just picked up a Prince Nuada one, too. Afterall, it IS all about those long white manes of theirs, isn’t it? 😉


  77. Daedalus Variations was one of the best SGAs so far. The whole flying dutchman concept probably would have made a nice 2-part, shame.

    Keep up the good work

  78. I wanted to say – I love the way you (writers) are handing Teyla, kid and Kannan. Really. I totally LOVE it that Kannan was rescued (and the other turned people), that he was returned to normal and is staying on Atlantis with Teyla!!!! it’s great she’s got support, that he’s turned into the stay-at-home-hubby.

    Please don’t kill him off.

  79. I saw that you were thinking about reading “Down Below Station” by C. J. Cherryh last year but I see no subsequent mention of it.

    I’m curious if you gave it a whorl; or any of Cherryh’s books? Personally I think the Chanur books (with due warning that the publisher compelled her to hurriedly split the book into three) or my favorite, “Foreigner”. Although Foreigner is now a series, the first book is quite self-contained.

  80. Alan seems to have a great way of working the Ronon character; is there a conflict between Shepherd’s designated leadership and Jason/Ronon’s warrior presence? Is Ronon’s development being held back by a need to keep him underscoring Shepherd’s decline towards the civvy?

  81. I thought the russians found the stargate that fell into the ocean when SG1 beamed it on the asguard ship, and the US replaced it with the artic gate? If not where did the russians find their gate?

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