Alan McCullough
Alan McCullough
Alien prosthetic treatment - The Daedalus Variations
Alien prosthetic treatment - The Daedalus Variations
Alien fighter design - The Daedalus Variations
Alien fighter design - The Daedalus Variations
Alien ship design - The Daedalus Variations
Alien ship design - The Daedalus Variations
Interdimensional Drive - The Daedalus Variations
Interdimensional Drive - The Daedalus Variations
Design for Spoils of War
Design for Spoils of War
More Spoils of War
More Spoils of War
Stil thinking.
Stil thinking.
Village design for Outsiders
Village design for Outsiders
Part of the big Pepsi tie-in campaign
Part of the big Pepsi tie-in campaign

Today, I turn the blog over to Alan McCullough. Some of you will of course recognize Alan for the close to 20 Stargate scripts he’s written to date. Others will recognize him for his boyish good looks that occasionally grace this blog. Still others may recognize him Man in Stall from American Psycho, Bip from Funny Things, or the irrepressible Ned Handleson from Jake Moxie. A couple of years ago, when Paul and I were put on the spot during a Comic Con panel and asked to comment on the writing staff, my writing partner said this of Alan: “Well, he chews with his mouth closed. Which is, I suppose, more than you can ask of any writer.” Truer words were never spoken. In addition to chewing with his mouth closed, the soft-spoken Alan also finds time to act as the show’s Supervising Producer AND supply the writers’ room with the odd hilarious zinger. Over to Alan…

Hi everyone. First of all, I’d like to thank Joe for letting me guest blog this week. I really appreciate all the comments and questions about “Daedalus Variations”. Hopefully I can answer them all. Before we get to that, though, I’d like to give a few shout-outs to people who helped make this episode what it was; in particular Andy Mikita, who did a fantastic job directing, James Robbins, who designed those incredibly cool aliens, and Mark Savela, whose team created some of the most spectacular visual effects battle sequences Atlantis has ever done. If you enjoyed this episode, guaranteed it has something to do with these three.

On to questions:

Linda Gagne writes: “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)?

Hi Linda. Yes, the team bonding moments were planned from the beginning. We knew this episode was going to air number 4 in the schedule, so Teyla would still be feeling her way as a new mom whose other job was saving the galaxy. Getting the team trapped together seemed like a good way to get these feelings out in the open. In addition, these scenes provided a nice breather between the action-heavy sequences.

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.”

Much as I’m sure young Annalise would benefit from my considerable parenting skills (“Car seat? What’s that?”), she is not, in fact, my daughter, despite the similarity of our names. For the moment, the only baby in my household is a two-year-old mini-Schnauzer named Monty. Re: S& R, can’t say for sure whether or not the baby cried on cue. My suspicion is the sound was added later.

Jason writes: “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.”

Hi Jason, thanks for your comments. While I don’t go out of my way to include Lorne in my episodes, I’m delighted whenever I get the chance to use him. Kavan Smith is a first-rate actor who seems to hit it out of the park no matter what we throw at him. I definitely like writing stuff for our supporting cast, finding out more about them. I think it makes them more human and enriches the show as a whole. Unfortunately, if we are ever tight for time, moments like those are the first to go, as was the case with the “Uncle Evan” line.

Squall78 writes: “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 agree with you Squall78 — I think the enemy in this show turned out incredibly cool and would love to find a way to meet them in our own reality. As far as this season is concerned, that’s not going to happen. But I wouldn’t rule out an encounter in the future, should the show get renewed.

Cat1 writes: “ 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?”

My favorite SGA episodes combine a nice mix of the three, so that is what I prefer to write.

Lorr54 writes: “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?”

There weren’t any AUs that we cut, per se. Early on, I had conceived of a reality where the Ancients won the war against the wraith and thus had never left Atlantis. But it didn’t fit with the story we were developing, so I eventually dropped the notion.

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

Yeesh. If I could crash the internet and remove all traces of my former acting endeavors, I would. We did 18 takes of my “big scene”, no exaggeration. Try saying “Can you keep it down? I’m trying to do drugs” 18 times while standing on the wobbly seat of a public toilet. You would start looking for a new career too.

Dvid writes: “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?”

Good catch. As you guessed, this was intentional, one of a few things our art department threw in to highlight the fact that this Daedalus was not our own.

Linda Gagne writes: “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?”

We can assume that either the puddle jumpers were destroyed, or perhaps taken by the Ancients when they left through the gate 10,000 years ago (I always wondered why they didn’t do this in our reality) In any case, the F-302s were salvaged from that reality’s Daedalus before it was destroyed, and were used as an effective fighting force. Re: the design of the alien race, James Robbins was the mastermind behind their look, as he is with virtually everything that appears on our show.

Aboleyn24 writes: “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?”

I’m assuming the other team powered down the Daedalus to conserve energy, in much the same way as our team did during the episode.

Kristen writes: “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?”

Hey Kristen, thanks so much for the compliments. As to your questions, the filter effect in “Tabula Rasa” was the brainchild of Martin Wood and Jim Menard, the director and DOP, respectively. I had envisioned some kind of visual distinction between the timelines, but what they came up with was way cooler than anything I conceived of. Can’t take credit for Ronon’s line either — “Never gets old” was all Jason.

In “Outcast”, there was a fleeting reference to Sheppard’s mom in my draft of the script — something along the lines of “…after mom died” — but I’m pretty sure it got cut before the script went to camera. In my mind, however, Sheppard’s mother died of an illness, which drove a further wedge in an already fractured relationship between him and his father. Perhaps we’ll find out more about this down the road?

Ronon accompanying Sheppard back to Earth was largely driven by scheduling (“Outcast” was shot opposite “Trio” so David H. was out, and Rachel was having her baby) but I’m really glad it worked out the way it did. I absolutely loved the interactions between them in this episode, some scripted, some not, e.g. Ronon appearing behind Sheppard as he stood by the coffin, but knowing better than to interrupt.

Airelle writes: “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….”

1) While we never saw it happen, I like to think that the team did bring one of the weapons back for study. 2) Theoretically, they could have put on the space suits and gone to the jumper, but it would have taken longer since they would have had to repressurize the jumper as well as remove Sheppard’s space suit so he could fly it. 3) Good eye. As I mentioned above, Annalise MacCulloch is not my daughter.

The SkyPig writes: “Questions for Alan: How did you come up with the science to explain the incredible reality jumping in TDV? Did you have to consult knolwedgeable people or reference works to ensure that the science made sense? PS: Loved the episode.”

Thanks SkyPig. The science in this episode was the topic of some discussion among the writers. Not only did we need to describe how the drive was supposed to work, but also what went wrong and how to fix it. Sadly, the “expert in alternate reality drive mechanisms” I found on Craig’s List turned out to be a fraud, so we had to come up with the solutions ourselves.

Thornyrose writes: “Some questions for Mr. McCullough. First, thank you for taking the time to participate in this forum. In regards to Tabula Rasa, how did you decide on a virus that affected memory?

Re: Tabula Rasa, I believe the concept of the virus affecting memory was something that came from my host this afternoon, Joe Mallozzi. In fact, my original pitch for this episode involved a virus that attacked the city, not its occupants — essentially rotting it from the inside out, making it no longer seaworthy. As we spun the story, this idea was discarded for the memory one.

What sort of medical research, if any, was involved?

I did a fair bit of research for this episode involving which areas of the brain are responsible for memory, and about how we access stored memories. However, much of the research in this area is still theoretical — so I had to fudge a bunch of stuff as well.

How much of a story do you have mapped out in your own mind when first presenting it as a possible story; a bare outline, or do stories seem to spring full blown to mind?

Most start out as a simple idea that is fleshed out as we discuss it as a group. For example, in Daedalus Variations I knew I wanted the team to find a device that shot them to other realities, but couldn’t be shut off. In my original pitch, the device was located in a room on Atlantis, but this was problematic for a variety of reasons — most notably, what would happen if they went to a reality where Atlantis didn’t exist? Through discussion, we arrived at a solution: put the device on a ship. From there it was a short step to making it the Daedalus, having it show up from another reality, etc.

What aspect of working on a show like Atlantis is most rewarding, and what is most challenging?

Challenging? The writing, bar none. Rewarding? Working with Joe Mallozzi. Did I mention how great he is?

Do you see yourself going on to directing episodes, or do you have some other career goals?

Directing interests me, but I have no plans to tackle it in the short term.

DasNDanger writes: “Questions for Alan:

1. In a recent GW interview, you talk about the cloning tech used in Spoils of War. Are we to understand that ALL Wraith (faced and masked) are supposedly cloned? Does this, in turn, mean that the males are sterile?

To clear up any confusion: there is a distinction between the way the wraith reproduce normally and the cloning technology seen in Spoils of War. Both require the queen to secrete genetic material into pods, but in the case of the cloning facility, that genetic material is then copied many times over to create hundreds of wraith all at once. Normal wraith reproduction takes place on hive ships. While it’s never been established, my feeling is that some part of the male wraith’s DNA is used in the process.

2. With the exception of Todd, individual (pure) Wraith have not been developed beyond the ‘grrrr! I’m gonna eat you’ expendable villains they started out as, even though we now know that – as a whole – the Wraith are far more complex than first thought. Any chance of seeing other Wraith developed beyond one, deadly episode, perhaps even moving a few into the more survivable gray area – as neither friend nor foe?

No plans for another wraith “ally” à la Todd, but we make a concerted effort to write wraith with personality, and cast actors who can bring a human quality to them.

3. In Spoils of War, when Teyla insisted upon waiting for Sheppard to return to the hive ship, Todd became a bit snarly there for a moment. Was this an attempt to show the limits to the character’s patience, or was he just hoping to get away with the ship, and a few ‘hot meals’, before Sheppard could interfere?

A little of both. Todd is a fun character to write for because he’s always got his own agenda.

4. Are you guys aware of how very important the Wraith are to a certain percentage of fans out there?

Don’t worry, the wraith aren’t going anywhere. We love them too.

5. Have you ever considered shaving off your eyebrows, painting yourself green, and plopping a white cotton mop on your head?”

I’m afraid I’d look too much like Carl.

PG15 writes: “ For Alan (and maybe Joe as well): If you can, please share with us the alternate realities that you guys thought up that didn’t end up in the episode; like, I don’t know, a reality where New Lantia was actually Unicron or something. Thanks!”

See above. We also left out the universe where Sheppard had a mustache.

Jean writes: “Do you have a favorite character to write for?

In DV, when they jumped back to the reality with the alternate Atlantis and were bailed out by the F302s, where did the fighters come from? Are they able to be launched from the surface?

1) Vala was my favorite character until SG-1 got cancelled. As for Atlantis, McKay is a lot of fun to write for. In both cases, it’s because of the opportunities for humor these characters present. 2) The F-302s came from the city. They are able to launch from the surface.

Michelle writes: “ My questions for Alan M. re DV, which I enjoyed very much:

1. In the spinning/breaking stage, did you envision that the VFX would be so huge (and playback too)? Was it supposed to be more of a bottle episode?

We always knew the VFX budget for this episode would be big, we just didn’t know how big. Luckily, we were able to save some money in other areas, e.g. sets and additional cast.

2. Which VFX shot cost the most or was the hardest?

Consulted Mark Savela for this one. He said the hardest shot was the sequence where the F-302s first engaged the enemy fighters. The choreography was particularly complex, especially since he didn’t want to give away who was firing until later in the shot.

3. How do you imagine the other team died? They didn’t really look starved or ill (just dead, heh). I loved that they lay down together, though. Sniff.

I suspect they died of dehydration. But they stuck together right to the end.

4. I love the new aliens. Do you have a backstory for them yet? What is the red glowing light in their foreheads? Whose idea was the green weapons fire/beams? Nice new color for Stargate, I have to say!

No backstory for the new aliens yet; however, we do have an idea for a special power they might have, should they ever come back. As for the red lights in the forehead, you’d have to ask James Robbins when he assumes guest-blogging duties. Re: the green weapons fire, you’d be amazed how many decisions on this show are reached by people saying “That would be cool!”

5. This may be more for the director, but in quite a few scenes, the actors were alone, reacting to radio conversation or computer screens. Do they get to hear each other’s dialog, or see something played back on the screens? How do you or the director convey to them what they’re supposed to be seeing? I thought they all did a great job, btw, but it must have been hard!

Lines are fed to the actor from off-camera by the script supervisor, in this case the lovely Amanda Alexander-McLean. When the actors have to react to a visual effect that isn’t there, it’s up to them to sell it, with help from the director. Luckily our actors/directors are the best in the business.

6. Did David Hewlett threaten to harm you for all the techno-babble he had to memorize?”

I did my best to stay clear of him during the shoot…

Paloosa writes: “I love the episodes that isolate the team together and this was another great one! Would you have written DV differently if the network hadn’t required five act breaks for the US market? If so, how would it have been different?”

Not sure I entirely understand your question. We make a seamless version of the show for DVD, without act breaks. Do you mean would we have changed the story if we had more time to play with?

Bailey writes: “What kind of stuff can you not put through Ring Transport?
And what would happen if you did?”

Little touches like this demonstrate the genius of our art department in creating a realistic world for our characters to live in. As for what can’t be ring transported? Joe M’s action figures, of course.

Jenny Robin writes: “Ok, mister writer-man extraordinaire, can you compose a haiku about one of the episodes you’ve written this year?”

Vessel of lost hope

Flying Dutchman, no way home

Throw it in reverse.

Squeakiep writes: “How is it that Sheppard has learned to manage all stations on the big D? Seems he handled weaps, flight, and miscellaneous engineering.”

Sheppard is a highly skilled pilot who has spent much time on the Daedalus. He’s been given basic training in most of the ship’s systems.

Elf-ears writes: “My question. Sheppard has been shown as both A) Smart and B) able to fix ancient tech. Why was he being a pill and demanding Rodney fix it when it would have been much faster and more productive if he HELPED RODNEY?

Come on! We like Sheppard being smart. And it’s cool he’s learned from Rodney. This was a good chance to put it into action. Yes, nice to work in showing Teyla is learning things. But they all three could have been helping Rodney. (and Teaching Ronon as well), or Teyla could have been on the bridge. They didn’t show her how to fire the guns?”

Sheppard can make basic repairs to some systems, but when it comes to complex programming, he’s out of his league and McKay is the man for the job. Re: Teyla, it’s not that she couldn’t have fired rail guns, but she was in Engineering when the ship made its surprise jump back to the battle reality.

Chevron7 writes: “Thanks Alan for guest blogging. When I saw your photo on the Gateworld interview page I thought you looked like someone else. Maybe Tobey Maguire? Perhaps grow a beard and don a Spidey suit and I can decide. Anyhoo, on with the questions……

1. Do you have to be very disciplined to be a writer?

2. Do you ever watch the episodes you’ve written?

3. Which character (main or supporting) do you enjoy writing best?

4. What’s your favourite word?”

Coincidentally, Tobey Maguire has just been hired to play me in the upcoming summer blockbuster Man in Stall 2.

1) Writing takes a lot of discipline. Especially when you leave it ‘til the last minute.

2) We watch every episode at least four times, at various stages of completion, in addition to time spent in editing.

3) See above.

4) My favorite word is “catamaran”.

Arctic Goddess writes: “It seems, with Joe’s latest taste testing endeavor, that you are surrounded by crazy people. Someone once told me that most of the entertainment industry is completely insane and that, with my background in psychology, I’d fit right in. I am working toward script writing. Do you feel you are the normal one in a room full of lunatics, or do you include yourself to be as wakko as everyone else?”

I’m not crazy. But at least three of my multiple personalities are.

Caitlyanna writes: “What was/is the most difficult or interesting script you have written, for Stargate Atlantis or any others and why?”

“Tabula Rasa” takes the cake. Keeping track of both timelines nearly killed me.

Flygirl writes: “The new “bad guys” in DV are very different from anyone else we’ve met on SGA. They reminded me of the “Cardassians” (sp?) from Star Trek-Deep Space 9 and a bad version of the old “Rock ‘Em, Sock’ Em Robots”. Did they turn out the way you initially envisioned them to be? Was their “Kamikaze” actions an attempt to board the Daedelous or destroy it?”

I was thrilled with how the aliens turned out. The dive-bomb was an attempt to board the ship.

Rosie writes: “ In each of your episodes, there is always at least one great McKay/Sheppard friendship moment. Is that by design — in other words, is there a conscious effort to include such moments in your episodes — or is it just a by-product of the plot? Whatever the reason, your episodes are some of my favorite of the series. Thank you!”

Thanks Rosie! Most of the time such moments arise as part of the plot of the show, but I try to make the most of them when they occur!

Beverly writes: “How hard is it to write all the technobabble? Do you have a science background or do you have to do much research when writing the script?”

No science background. To be honest, a heavy science background would probably get in the way on this show.

Leesa Perrie writes: “Of the episodes you that have written for Stargate, are there any that didn’t turn out quite as well as you had hoped? Were there any that turned out better than you had hoped? Also, which is your favourite episode, whether written by you or someone else, and why? Thanks.”

That’s a tough one. I think “Off the Grid” is my least favorite episode of the ones I’ve written. A lot of things didn’t quite work for me on that one. My favorite episode that I’ve written is “Tabula Rasa”, although I also like “Dominion” a lot. My favorite overall episode (at least since I came on board) is probably “Collateral Damage”.

Cheeky Lil Devil writes: “Alan – *waves* I’ve noticed in the episodes you tend to write that there’s very much a time/space element to them; The Road not taken, Tabula Rasa, TDV, Line in the sand. Does this element of story writing come naturally to you, or have you had to research AU’s and shifting realities to make sure you get the science correct?

I never really remarked on this before. I do love a good AU story, but I’m also drawn to stories where our characters are isolated, trapped away from each other, e.g. Line in the Sand, Road Not Taken, Tabula Rasa and the upcoming “The Queen”.

Also with episodes like Tabula Rasa (which I adored) how difficult was it to write the timelines for it and have them finally merge into a central point? And were there any particular obstacles you had to overcome writing that ep? Did you literally write a timeline and then fill in the gaps? What was your writing process for that? Sorry, I should have warned you that i’m extremely long-winded.”

As mentioned above, Tabula Rasa proved extremely difficult to write. I wrote it straight through, jumping back and forth in time. But at one point, I was going so cross-eyed I rearranged the script in chronological order, just to see if it still made sense. I found several errors, e.g. Teyla referring to “the soldiers” when she hadn’t been affected and still had her memory.

Tam_Myst writes: “Question about the AU team that died on the Daedelus: How did they die? If they were starving why didn’t they use their puddle jumper t abandon the the ship and get down to the planet’s mainland or was every AU they came across worse than starving?”

Even if the planet had been there, it would have been very risky to take the puddle jumper down to it. If the Daedalus had jumped while they were gone, they would have been stranded forever I think it says a lot about our team that they never gave up trying to find a way home.

Kim writes: “Thank you Alan for a wonderful episode on Friday. I’m not sure if you can field this question but after listening to the commentary to “Outcast” the idea was mentioned that Dave have returned for “Hexed”. Since I think, I’m not sure, you might have been the one who was asked to pen that script….and now that its been shelved.

Could you tell us what that one would have been about? I’m very curious even though it’ll never see the light of day what would have brought back John’s brother in the picture not to mention elsewhere it was mentioned that Sheppard’s hair would have needed to be flat for the eppy.”

I don’t want to say too much about “Hexed” in case the idea resurfaces for season six. Suffice to say it could also be titled “Sheppard’s Really Bad Day”.

Debi writes: “I have to admit that your first SG-1 episode “Prototype” got me upset concerning Daniel’s not forgiving Woolsey at the end. But, after some time, I’ve grown to list that episode among my favorites.

Was there any debate in the writers’ room concerning Daniel’s ending scene with Woolsey? Did you have something else in mind?

What did you do to prepare to write “Prototype”? Were you afraid that there was too much “previously-on” history in the episode and that it would get bogged down? If you had had more time, what else would you have included in the story?

I also read that there was a scene that was originally written for Cam that was given to Daniel instead. Is there any truth to that rumor, and if so, which scene was it? Why was it changed?

I was living in Toronto when I pitched “Prototype”. At the time, I wasn’t that familiar with the franchise, so Rob Cooper said he’d send me some reference materials to help out. A couple of days later I got a call from my agent saying he’d received a FedEx box with 20 episodes of SG-1 inside: everything from “Metamorphosis” to “Meridian” to “Lost City” to “Threads”. I thought it was a joke. Little did I know how much history would play into that story. As for the Daniel/Woolsey scene at the end, the intention was always to end with some bitterness between them. To my mind, it’s justified by the fact that Woolsey refused to listen to reason and nearly got them all killed. Re: the scene written for Cam given to Daniel, I’m not sure which one you mean. Do you have any more details?

How was your transition to Atlantis for Season Four after having written for SG-1 for two years? Do you miss writing for the SG-1 characters? Do you identify with any of them? Do you wish that you could write a cross-over episode in SGA just so you can have a chance to write SG-1 characters again?”

I definitely miss both the cast and the characters of SG-1. They were wonderful people and a pleasure to write for. I’d love to write a crossover episode someday.

LcShepp writes: “Comment for Alan. I enjoyed DV very much especially McKay’s comment to Sheppard about being opposite of himself and Sheppard praising himself for McKay’s benefit. The team’s reaction to that was hysterical.

Question for Alan. In ‘Outcast’ what were your thoughts when you decided that Sheppard would come from a wealthy family versus middle class or needy? I enjoyed Sheppard’s interacton with his older brother Dave. Lot of feelings/emotions expressed in those few short minutes they had together.”

Hi LcShepp, thanks for your comments. Having Sheppard come from a wealthy background was something we had been tossing around for awhile — not sure who originally came up with it. But it seemed to fit with what we knew about Sheppard’s character.

Thanks again, y’all. Hope you enjoy the rest of the season!


90 thoughts on “August 8, 2008: With Special Guest Blogger Writer/Supervising Producer Alan McCullough

  1. I’m just rushing out the door, but would like to thank Alan so very much for answering the questions, both my own, and those of others. It has been a very rough week, and a bad day, and he’s given me something to smile about. Secondly, I’d like to thank you, Joe, for providing this opportunity for us.

    “To clear up any confusion: there is a distinction between the way the wraith reproduce normally and the cloning technology seen in Spoils of War. Both require the queen to secrete genetic material into pods, but in the case of the cloning facility, that genetic material is then copied many times over to create hundreds of wraith all at once. Normal wraith reproduction takes place on hive ships. While it’s never been established, my feeling is that some part of the male wraith’s DNA is used in the process.”

    Thank you – I understood the cloning process (that the first were created from the queen, the rest cloned), but was wondering what was up with the more advanced, faced Wraith. This gives a little more clarification, and makes for great speculation.

    “No plans for another wraith “ally” à la Todd, but we make a concerted effort to write wraith with personality, and cast actors who can bring a human quality to them.”

    Oh, poo. I prefer the ‘bug’ quality to them. 😉

    “A little of both. Todd is a fun character to write for because he’s always got his own agenda.”

    Todd has been wonderfully written. We love him lots. You guys better not screw him up now, or you’ll have a whole swarm of worshippers after your butt!! 😆

    “Don’t worry, the wraith aren’t going anywhere. We love them too.”

    Best news I’ve heard yet. If Joe would just say something like this once in a while, there would be a lot less whining on my part.

    “I’m afraid I’d look too much like Carl.”


    Can’t believe that Joe actually put that last question forward… :p (for the record, I think you’d make a fine figure of a Wraith 😉 )

    Thanks again! You guys know how to make someone’s day!


  2. Alan McCullough wrote:
    “To clear up any confusion: there is a distinction between the way the wraith reproduce normally and the cloning technology seen in Spoils of War. Both require the queen to secrete genetic material into pods, but in the case of the cloning facility, that genetic material is then copied many times over to create hundreds of wraith all at once. Normal wraith reproduction takes place on hive ships. While it’s never been established, my feeling is that some part of the male wraith’s DNA is used in the process.”

    Can’t you reconsider that, please? Don’t do that to me….*burst out in tears*

  3. Hey Joe!

    Great Q&A session, really puts insight into Daedalus Variations, which I absolutely loved. 🙂

    The ice cream also looks and sound oddly good, but also sounds very weird. Glad you found a winner!

    Thanks as always!

    – Enzo Aquarius

  4. Cheddar corn ice cream?

    Joe, I’m betting your tastebuds start screaming for mercy sometimes…-shakes head- On that note, ever tried tongue tacos before? I know it sounds sick, but there’s these Mexican supermarkets here in the US, Vallarta, I don’t know if you have them in Canada, but most of them have a mini Mexican food court, and I had those once when my mom, grandmother and I were shopping for things to make tamales(yum) and menudo(which I honestly hate, but oh well).

  5. Thanks AM for the great Q&A!

    Hey Joe.

    One more day until England! Same question as yesterday: Any chance that, if there is a S6, Kate Hewlett will be featured more?

    Thanks Joe.

  6. Thanks for the great pics (as always) and the Q&A with Alan McCullough!

    One of the answers bugs me a little: “Was this an attempt to show the limits to the character’s patience, or was he just hoping to get away with the ship, and a few “hot meals”, before Sheppard could interfere? -> A little of both.” As much as I imagine Todd having his own plans and wanting to keep the hive for himself, I can’t imagine him eating the expedition members. Fantasising about it, yes, but actually considering it? I would think he is intelligent enough to choose possibilities of further mutual help over immediate and transient pleasure.

  7. A cheese/corn Ice-cream… *raises an eyebrow*

    Yup, The Earth is most definitely doomed.

    LoL, Leave it up to Canadians to find Ice-cream flavors noone would ever in a million years possible think of 😛

  8. Cheddar corn ice cream does (unlike some of your other offerings) sound good. This is the second video from that place with the wide windows. Where is it, and did you do this second video at the same time you did the other one (which food I don’t remember at the time, because you obviously didn’t enjoy it)?

  9. is that the same restaurant as the shrimp chips?

    on another note; i’ve been showing my brother the “weird food of the day” clips & he recognized the shirt you wore for the rose-fizzy drink as an anime one. forget which series he said it was though.

  10. you cheat!
    that is not a new weird food try for a *new* day
    that’s the same restaurant as the day before and you are wearing the same clothes (black- but of course i dont think you have any clothes in your closet other than black, do you?), and i think that the woman behind you in the pink shirt is on yesterday’s video, too.

    someone mentioned cheesburger, cheesburger. thats actually a restaurant chain down here on the east coast. could be years old, i just noticed one that opened here last month. they have bizarre topping additions for you burger, like chocolate chips, i think? and they do mild shakes with about 70 different flavors you can combine as much as you can stomache. like mango marshmallow peanut butter mint

  11. SNL, John Belushi, in case no one got the reference.

    I’ve got a nice bout of Bad Chicken going in my guts, so the ice cream just about did me in. Joe, you almost owe me a keyboard cleaning. Urk! And normally, I’d like the thought of … oh. Wait. Nevermind. Guuuurg.

  12. Dear Joe,

    Its been a while my friend. I hope all is well, I recently got my graduation present an Audi S5. I was wondering if you heard about it or tested it before, because it would suit well my friend or at least better than the Q7; not that there is anyrhing wrong with it. I also went to M Brgr on Drummond and I can say that you have great taste in restaurants… the Kobe Burger was a delight.

    By the way Bravo for a spectacular first four episodes for season 5, really you guys are pushing the envelope and for what it counts I’m very proud of you, my fellow Montrealer.
    A quick question if I may: This concerns season 5.
    1. Will our team of Atlantis get another spaceship, either Daedalus design or other during this season?
    2. Will we get to see gorgeous space ship fights or cool ancient tech in future episodes other than the mid season two parter?

    Thanks buddy

  13. dear Joe,

    With all due respect sir, did you know that ice cream looked very similar to a circumcised male reproductive organ. I don’t know if that was your intention for a joke, but I didn’t want some doofus to joke on you or somethin.

    Take care


  14. Hey Joe,

    Given the fact that certain sci-fi shows (such as Star Trek) have explored issues of homosexuality directly or indirectly in certain episodes and more the more recent show Torchwood has openly gay characters in a relationship, do you think it’s time for Stargate to include some gay characters as well and be more representative of the general population?

    I do appreciate the multi-nationalism which you’ve always made a point of including but have to focus on Americans because obviously, the SGC is an American organization. Also, due to the American military’s archaic policies concerning homosexuals, it would be difficult to work this into the storylines, but you are including other militaries and civilians from all over the world. Personally, I’ve always found it sad that people like me aren’t included in media in the same natural way in which women and people of certain ethnicities are these days. Since sci-fi has always been the trendsetter in society in terms of social development, isn’t it time that Stargate included some openly gay characters who aren’t just ‘in the background somewhere’?

  15. Ah bugger, why is it that whenever I ask a question that I’d love to get an answer to the next entry is always a guest blog and so therefore there is no mailbag?? Is my timing bad or what?

    I still blame you for my sore throat, I’m totally convinced it’s your fault now… or it could be my sister’s boyfriend’s fault…

    I too noticed the restaurant was the same as yesterdays and I did wonder whether you recorded them at the same time or whether you just like the restaurant that much that it required a second visitation.

    Anyway I was just wondering, are there any name ideas picked out for the 100th episode yet? Or any you would like to name it?


  16. Thanks for the guest blog, Joe! And some great answers. It was a pleasure to read.

  17. First off, thanks for today’s bit with Alan.

    Secondly… There was something about yesterday’s entry that was just nagging the back of my brain — didn’t surface until AFTER I went to bed!

    You were with *Dave Foley* – and there isn’t even ONE photo taken of your “fingers” squishing Marty’s head!!!? [Or anyone else’s for that matter!?]

    JOE!!! Such a missed opportunity!!!

    [Gany shakes her bowed head in utter disbelief… Must have been the shrimp chips…]

  18. It’s Friday and NO SGA… BooHoo!

    Cheese and Corn Ice Crean was your dessert from yesterday’s lunch… Eh?

    So what if Joe Cheated…it still counts as weird food choice …just on the same day!

    Hey Joe writes the rules…we follow!


  19. Good Joe, glad you found a keeper on the weird food of the day choices. I like cheddar and corn and would consider it in an ice cream environment.. so Yummy! Thanks.
    and Thanks for the Q&A with Alan, a great job, and a very nice looking fellow.
    -still reading on Cordelias Honor, working on Barrayar, wow good reading..
    Have a great weekend!

  20. Cheesy corny icecream.. glad you indulged…hehehe..

    Love these weird food purchases. Keep it up!

  21. Hey Joe,
    Are you and Fondy watching the Opening of the Olympics? Did you enjoy it? What were your impressions?

    Patricia Lee

  22. Hey Joe!

    Great guest blog, by the way! And I seriously was sure you were going to spew cheddar corn ice cream all over the camera (cause thats what I think I would do) but I’m glad you liked it.

    Watched all of the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremonies, and all I can say is…breathtaking. My only problems were when they cut to commercial and made us miss some of the beautifully choreographed sections of that artistic part. And just a question to anyone who was watching… Were any of you catching your breath when the man went up to light the torch and it looked like he slipped or something shifted. I swear I thought he was going to fall, made my heart start beating overtime for a second there (I’m sure it did his as well) but he definitely recovered and went on with the show! All in all, a truly worthy way to spend four hours of your life.

    Except for the fact I was supposed to be writing my final chapter on a story I’ve been working on…I at least started it, and I’m sure I’ll finish it up tomorrow. But anyway….


  23. Hey Joe,

    So I’m sitting here on my sofa, getting ready to watch The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Friday/Saturday August 8/9 12:40am) but to do that I have to endure PGA highlights. I perpare to endure that by pulling up your blog to read over while I wait when what in the world should I hear coming from my Television speakers? The Stargate Atlantis Theme music?!

    Really? For a moment I was confused, I even closed out your blog, thinking it was some new feature or something, but no, CBS was using the Atlantis Theme music for their PGA Highlites opening credits thing!

    What the heck is up with THAT?


  24. Just got back from The Dark Knight – it was okay, very edgy…but a bit too dark for me, considering some recent events. I really liked Iron Man, Incredible Hulk and Hellboy II much better. Iron Man was – by far – the more perfect movie, Incredible Hulk a more entertaining film overall, and Hellboy II was just fun and whimsical and full of pasty white eye candy. 😀

    Speaking of which…

    @ noir – Oh, I like the pod idea…much better than live births. Also, it makes them more like hive-based insects, such as wasps. I had said before that paper wasp queens do not need to be fertilized to produce eggs – unfertilized eggs are always male, while the fertilized eggs are female. It would be cool if they decide to portray the Wraith like this, since it would make so much sense, considering how many males there seems to be compared to the handful of queens we’ve seen. Maybe I’m alone among Wraith fans, but I tend to prefer their more insect-like nature. Make them too human, and then they’re just a bunch of humans in green face goo.

    @ Laura Dove – I can very well imagine Todd feeding on… well…just about anyone. Just because he has shown more self-control than other Wraith, he still is controlled by his instincts. It’s his instinct to feed, and so – if irritated enough – I’m sure he’d give into his nature and feed on whoever is…handy. 😉


  25. Thanks Alan for answers. Pleasssssssssseee don’t give up the HEXED Idea!

    Joseph, you may have found yourself a weird food winner, but I will keep it as a not so much for me. You do like the weirdest things.

    No Atlantis tonight so it was ok to go out for a drink with friends (they hate it when I work my schedule around the show lol).

  26. This isn’t so much a question for Lois McMaster Bujold as a comment. I just wanted to express my appreciation for the wonderful character of Miles Vorkosigan in fiction and for your kindness in reality. My niece has CP (cerebral palsy) and during her teen years she had the difficulty of coping with her CP in addition to the usual teen angst. I introduced her to the Vorkosigan books at a critical time in her life and Miles made an impression on her to such an extent that we took her to, I think, it was Baltimore to a convention so she could see you speak. You ended up sitting behind us at a presentation and were very kind to one of your biggest fans. She is now a speech pathologist, married with three children, and still one of your biggest fans.

    As far as a question, did your characters come before your world building?

    Thank you for many years of reading pleasure. As a family we buy multiple copies of your books as not one of us is willing to be the second to read your stories.


  27. There are very few things I don’t like cheese on. Icecream would definitely be one of them. I’m a purist. I’ll eat pure vanilla bean just for the taste.

    Corn and cheese? I don’t think I’d ever choose to eat the foods corn and cheese together on a regular basis let alone combine those two tastes into the sacred icecream nexus.

    Thank Alan for his answers to the questions. That was great. I was going to repost my questions for him but reread the questions and decided it was best for it to leave them in the ethers of the internet.

  28. Darn….I had a great question for you Joe, that I thought of earlier in the day. I didn’t write it down, so of course it has left my brain now! *pouts* So I totally understand having a memory like a sieve! LOL

    Loved the Q & A with Alan! It answered my plot hole questions…um….mostly. *whispers* I just don’t think the AU team would have just sat there and died of thirst though.

    Everyone had such great questions and comments for Alan!

    Oh yeah…pssssst…I’ll remind you again later that Mackenziesmomma and my bdays are August 10th. *wink*

    Kimberly aka Kimber aka Kdvb1

  29. Coucou ^^ sa va bien joseph??

    Moi moyen, j’ai fait un affreux cauchemar!! donc je me suis réveiller à 5h00 du matin snif..mais heuresement qu’il y’avait les J.O a la TV!!

    Merci pour ces photos =) a

    Aujourd’hui je passe la journée la plage et je vais manger pleins de moules et de frites^^!!

    aller bisou bisou joseph! Bonne journée! Je t’adore!!

  30. Wow! I just saw the description for “Identity” at Gateworld and it looks like it will be an amazing episode. I will let you go there and read about it, don’t want to spoil it for anyone who wants to be surprised. It is a Keller-centric episode and Beckett is in it as well. I think it will be a great chance for Jewel to stretch the envelope of the Keller character.

  31. Many thanks Mr. M. for hosting Mr. McCullough’s visit, and equal thanks to him for participating. The effort that all the crew of Atlantis put in to provide us a weekly escape to the Pegasus galaxy does not go unappreciated.

  32. Before you even said that the cheesy corn ice cream was good, I though, hey this might be a good one!

    The texture of ice cream is always a winner for me.

    Have you ever had real European ice cream/gelatto?
    ….. It’s incredible. I got to experience it in the Czech Republic routinely last month.

  33. Thank you Alan for an awesome Q&A! I’ve loved your episodes on Atlantis and SG1, and if you don’t mind me saying so, I didn’t think Off the Grid was that hot either. It was enjoyable, but not great. I’d say that you’re improving more and more every year, so keep up the good work!

    Also, congrats be to Joe for finally finding a strange, but tasty, food item. Now, was it worth the 5(?) duds before this? 😉

    Meanwhile, got a bit of a health problem happening here. I won’t go into it as it’s…kind of embarassing. All I know is that I’ve gotta take antibiotics for all of next week. Wish me luck that I don’t get sick to my stomach!

  34. Gak! Confusing question. Not surprising, since I often confuse myself. But Joe, what I can clearly see with Alan and all the other wonderful Atlantis folk you have guest here is that you all really love what you do. Even though it’s stressful, it’s great to see you’re still able to have so much fun.

  35. “Others will recognize him for his boyish good looks that occasionally grace this blog.”

    I think I have a new crush :$ 😛

    And, you actually liked the Weird Food Purchase of the Day?!?! I’m breaking out the champagne as we speak.

  36. Hi again Mr M!

    Sheesh! Totally forgot about Mr McC’s Guest Blog Spot… I had hoped to have viewed DV before this appearance, but as S+R doesn’t air til Tuesday week here, it ain’t gonna happen….My other stand-by question was which is Alan’s favourite “voice” to write for, but I think he covered that in his replies.

    My thanks to Mr McC for his chat at the Screening !


  37. Hi Joe

    When will be shot the other episodes with the beloved Dr Carson Beckett ? Did you write them ?
    Have a nice day !

    Quand seront tournés les autres épisodes avec le cher Dr Carson Beckett ? Les avez-vous écrits ?
    Bonne journée !

  38. Thanks for getting Alan in, Joe, he seems like a great guy. Also good to see he’s a diet Pepsi drinker 😉


  39. Corn and cheese ice cream? I can honestly say I don’t know how you put it near your mouth, let alone ate some! YUK! Wasabi peas are ok, I think, but cheese ice cream? Eeeew! 😆

    I really wanted to say thanks to Alan for his informative Q and A session. I enjoyed reading his thoughtful answers. So, thanks, Alan. I couldn’t think of a question to ask until this morning! Typical! 🙂

  40. I’m keeping this post as friendly as I can because I respect you and the show. I love Atlantis and I’ve watched from day one. I’ve converted many fans into watching the show. I buy all the DVD’s and don’t watch the stuff that’s pilfered into release. I travel a lot for my job and I won’t stay in a hotel on Friday unless it has Sci-Fi! Sure I was upset about Carson, but he’s back in some form and I’m happy. Ditto for Weir, I missed her but I love Woolsey.

    That said, for months now I’ve been posting in the blog and reading posts about the Good Ship Romance Atlantis and people have commented that this was an exaggeration, that the show would not move in that direction, that the romance might be “there” but it would be more background, not evident in each episode. Well, guess what. Read the spoilers for Identity. You were all wrong! Identity is just another excuse to force us all to accept the McKay and Keller romance, the ongoing arc of the season . (YES ARC! I know someone else on the blog once mentioned “romance arc” once and was kind of maligned for it. Guess what … whoever you are, you were right too!!!! ) This time Keller, the damsel in distress gets captured again…only this time it’s her mind, not her body. Quite the novel idea there. Why was this episode made? I’m guessing ahead of time it’s for the golden opportunity at the end of the episode to show McKay relieved that the twenty six year old love of his life has been returned to him in one piece.

    I understand that a lot of fans like this “ship” and I’m happy for you. But for some fans who just want good sci-fi without all the loving, and enjoy all the characters and the team as a whole, this season is shaping up to be a nightmare.

    Although of course, no one will ever make note of it in this blog…there are a lot of us, long time fans, who are very disappointed. Am I being too quick to judge? That’s what everyone said when the complaints started over Tracker. So I’ll make the prediction now that the starry eyed romance will be all over The Shrine, thereby marking that episode (which I am still looking forward to because Joe promised other character development.) Then we get the nice hand-holding scene mentioned in the spoilers for Infection. And of course, Tracker, BrainStorm and goodness knows what else.

    I suppose that so many people are enraptured of Keller and McKay that they don’t even realize that other character development is lacking. Teyla gets one show (The Queen) to Keller’s three. Ronon gets one ep (Broken Ties) and the glory of being involved in a love triangle (Tracker) that we all know he loses. Sheppard…well poor Sheppard has to wait for the end of the season until Vegas airs for his only character episode. I’m assuming he had one episode dropped (probably Hexed) to make room for Keller’s third of the season. Come on people, bloggers, fans doesn’t this make anyone else a little upset??? Surely there are fans who read this blog that like characters other than McKay and Keller!

    Thanks for letting me have my say.

  41. Oh, and Joe, try the wasabi peas without the fish oil.

    They’re very, very good.

  42. (Joseph, can you suppress my duplicate message, please? I submitted it before finishing.)

    dasNdanger: Sure, if trapped on a planet like in “The Defiant One”, Todd would feed on about anyone, human or wraith. But remember “Miller’s Crossing”: He collapsed rather than feeding on McKay. Plus irritation has little to do with feeding, more with throwing someone flying across the room if anything. 😉 Anyway, he was angry and, I believe, afraid in “Spoils of War”, but not especially starving. Planning of kidnapping Teyla, Lorne and the marines in order to feed on them is can hardly be called an instinctive reaction.

    Joseph, I have a question for you: Is there any plan for future seasons to bring a recurring bad guy such as Kolya? Not necessarily a Genii or even a human, but a bad guy who is ruthless, sneaky and dangerous even without a whole army to support him, and who survives more than one episode so that we never know when and how he will act next.

  43. Thank you to Alan for his guest blog.

    Cheddar/corn ice cream??? I love cheese of all type, but not on my ice cream.

    @ Mercie – I also very much enjoyed the opening ceremonies, what a great show. Yes, the TV breaks are annoying especially since they had 12 hours to edit the show, they could have had their breaks and not cut out anything.

    The torch lighter was spectacular, I knew nothing bad had happened or it would have been on the news, but yes, my heart jumped a second when he lurched forward.

    I’m actually glad Atlantis wasn’t on last night, I was watching/recording the Olympics and jumping back and forth to the Eagles preseason game during the commercials. I don’t know how I would have watched Atlantis.

  44. Rats! The video won’t play. Most of the time I have no problem but the odd video won’t play.
    Did you watch the opening ceremonies yesterday? It was shown about half a dozen times so it was hard not to miss.
    Hope you are feeling better and that Fondy and the pooches are doing well.

  45. Chedder Corn icecream…dear god o.0 I feel sick just thinking about it! lol
    Thanks to Allan for the awesome interview I found it really interesting!

  46. Joe – you moderate the comments. Do you actually get comments that you have to trash? Are they genuine, but unacceptable, comments or just SPAM?

    I think that the colour alone of that ice cream would put me off eating it. Makes me think of a crisp/potato chip called Wotsits – they leave your hands bright orange and are made of 100% unhealthy ingredients – but they are strangely tasty.


  47. Joe, please pass on to Alan a huge thank you for a wonderful Q & A.

    Debi – the scene that you are thinking about in “Prototype” is where Daniel and Mitchell are on the ramp towards the end of the episode. According to Ben, the original script called for Mitchell’s shot to be the one to take down Khalek. Ben thought that it should be Daniel, and so they changed it. At least that’s what I remember. I thought “Prototype” was an excellent episode – especially that scene.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Joe.


  48. Freidag said:

    I suppose that so many people are enraptured of Keller and McKay that they don’t even realize that other character development is lacking. Teyla gets one show (The Queen) to Keller’s three. Ronon gets one ep (Broken Ties) and the glory of being involved in a love triangle (Tracker) that we all know he loses. Sheppard…well poor Sheppard has to wait for the end of the season until Vegas airs for his only character episode. I’m assuming he had one episode dropped (probably Hexed) to make room for Keller’s third of the season. Come on people, bloggers, fans doesn’t this make anyone else a little upset??? Surely there are fans who read this blog that like characters other than McKay and Keller!

    Thanks for letting me have my say.

    I’m a long time, obsessive fan of Stargate, and particulary Atlantis. I don’t like Keller/McKay one bit, I don’t like that every other spoiler I’m getting recently is talking about their romance – in fact I’m getting pretty peed off, to be honest.

    I too am disappointed Sheppard only gets one episode, right at the end of the season, and is rarely mentioned in spoilers, and so are many Sheppard fans I know. Ronon and Teyla appear to be getting one each too, and that McKay gets two and Keller gets two…I’m counting The Seed as Keller eppie and now Identity. Plus we’ve got what appears to be exclusively Keller and McKay in Brainstorm as well, and Keller and McKay/Ronon in Tracker. In fact, I find myself feeling pretty disappointed with the spoilers from the back half of the season generally.

    At the end of the day, what can I do? Not a lot. I can only watch and hope I enjoy them, or not watch and skip episodes I think I’ll dislike – not that I’ve ever done that as yet, but if the romance thing really starts to dominate, I shall do that.

    But, Freidag, you’re not the only one concerned and pretty disheartened by recent spoilers, no. I also know a fair few others who feel the same way. 🙁

  49. Just saw the spoilers for “Identity”. Ouch. More Keller. More Keller as victim. Any chance we’ll get lucky and the switch is permanent? Can we keep Neeva and leave Keller with the thieves? I’m so tired of helpless little girl Keller.

    On a bright note, thank you, thank you, thank you for not shipping Sheppard with that albatross. (Poor McKay)

  50. @das
    Well – everyone has his sore point: yours is Todd and his surviving – mine the Wraith and their evolution.
    So it’s no surprise that Mr. McCullough’s sentence totally picked me off tonight – although I feared that this sword of Damocles would hit me one day. It’s one of my worst cases…

    For me the Wraith are a mixture between Humans and insects – as well as in body structure as in socilal behaviour and sexuality, too. They have too much human DNA within them to ignore that totally.

    And no – that will not make them to humans with green complexion. Not in my imagination…

  51. I’ve pretty much vowed to not do alot of griping regarding that this season, since I seemed to always get slammed last season for being a Sheppard fan.

    Sure, the guy’s “come a long way” as a serious commander of the base. But when I talk about wanting to see him developed more I’m talking about him as a person.

    I’m not counting episodes, simply how little has really been divulged for Sheppard from his past, his experiences, his relationships. I know more about Teyla’s family, their names, her friends names, her culture, etc than I do of the so-called lead.

    It’s great that he’s mysterious, it’s even fine that he doesnt dump all his personal crap on his friends, it’s even great that he bucks up and tries not to show his negative aspects… to THEM. But as a viewer, I’d like to see him a bit more three dimensional.

    Heck, Woolsey got more character development and personal growth in TWO episodes than Sheppard has in five seasons. It’s great that the show’s an ensemble cast thing and that they don’t want ONE person focused on all the time (unless it’s McKay) But maybe the guy who has the first title spot could get something significant… once in a while. I honestly dont care what else they play at as long as my favorite got the same level of character growth as the others and if he hasn’t grown at least explain why. It’s become extremely frustrating… but as I said, I’ve vowed to not focus on that anymore since Sheppard’s “importance” seems to have been discarded somewhere at the end of season three.


    Okay, now… loved Alan’s guest blogging. Love the new taste testing vids we get. Joe gives me a chuckle everyday and quite often it’s the only one offered each day. So I thank you for that too. And again, so far, this season has taken on the flavor of the first three seasons and I’m really enjoying season five so far.

  52. *waves*

    Please can you say thanks very much to Alan for answering my questions and being a guest blogger, I really enjoyed it. Just as much as I enjoy your breakdowns. 🙂

    Okay now that i’ve buttered you up a little bit. 😉 I’m going to have a bit of a rant, sorry, but I can’t keep my mouth shut when i’m irked. 😆

    So, I was reading some of the spoilers for Identity, and to be honest, I wasn’t very happy. Now i’m only getting used to Keller, but so far this season most of the episode spoilers have been about Keller, Keller’s romance, Keller’s kidnappings, Keller getting taken over, Keller’s love triangle… and to be honest i’m feeling a bit of overkill with the whole Keller thing. Character wise, I don’t hate her, she’s just not the greatest character in SGA. Sorry Jewel. She’s (as far as i’ve seen) shown to be ‘ a damsel in distress) once, great, let me see the vulnerable side of her psyche, and let me see her grow from the experiences and see how she’s come on as a character and as a doctor. But seriously Mr M, whilst I accept the spoilers don’t reveal the whole ep, the concentration seems to be too much on the Keller character. Now i’ve not held a focus group, or conducted a poll to assess her liking amongst the fandom, and i’m sure there’s a fair few that like her, but equally it seems that there is a fair few that dislike her… something i’ve never seen before in a fandom… although ti could be argued that this is the only fandom I play in. 😉

    Seriously though Mr M, it would be nice if the spoilers released reflected other characters and the trials and tribulations they’re going to be facing, and i’m not just talking about Shep. So far we know Keller’s been featured (how I see it) heavily in S5, The Seed, Tracker, Brain Storm, Identity and those spoilers feature her heavily, whilst that is yest only 4 eps out of 20, can I dare hope that each of the characters are afforded the same, or maybe 16 team eps. 😉

    I’m sorry, but the whole seductive Keller coming onto Rodney just makes me reach for the bucket. UST is great in some situations, and I may only be one of a handful of folks who don’t see that UST with Keller and Rodney, and yes love can be born from friendship and overtime, but the whole seduction whilst under alien influence does not fill me with glee. Sorry, and I can’t believe i’m going to say this, but unless you’re going to whump the characters for the next 20 eps 😉 I just don’t get why a doctor would play a prominent part. I appreciate Jewel’s position has changed and I accept that, however, I don’t understand why, and yes I know it’s none of my business, but for me a doctor should not be a focal part of the show (which thus far it’s perceived to be). The focus should be about the team, and i’m sorry, i’m just not seeing that for future eps. I hope i’m proved wrong, and I know i’ve been judgmental in the past.

    Now don’t get me wrong i’ve loved what you’ve done so far with Season 5 and all the lovely character moments, but, i’m starting to be concerned that the teamyness will die away in Season 5 and that the concentration of eps will remain on Keller. I’m hoping you can alleviate my concerns.

    Thanks for letting me ramble.


  53. Joe, The writing staff seems a very collaborative bunch. However, how much contibuting to a script gets a writing credit and how much is helping out the team. Thanks for your time.

  54. Hey Joe, I am really excited about the direction which took Jennifer and Rodney´s relationship. I think that it´s time for SG to finally have some normal, no-AU, no another timeline, but present, cannon relationship. And those two are perfect 🙂 I hope they will be together in the end of the season…or even sooner 🙂

  55. Thanks Alan for a really interesting Blog on DV. 🙂

    I’m sorry Joe but that ice cream sounds disgusting to me! 😕

  56. @ Joe – First, I came aaaalll the way over to the office just so I could watch the food vid – they’re THAT much fun! (Well, I was really in the neighborhood…but they’re still a hoot!)

    I must say…I will NEVER trust your food recommendations ever again! The very thought of eating that combo turns my tummy. I am well-familiar with the basic taste – I LOVE fresh-grated cheddar in my grits, and over my popcorn…but never, ever, EVER with anything ‘sweet’ added to it. HOT sauce, maybe…but not sugar. No wonder you get stomach aches.

    And don’t you have a cold right now, or something? How can you taste anything anyway??? *raises a skeptical brow*

    @ noir – Ah, I see. Well, they do have a touch of human in them, those lovely long fingers, for instance. 😉

    Like I said, I like the idea of ‘pod-births’ – it just seems weird to imagine a pregnant Wraith queen. However, Alan did say that it is his feeling that somewhere along the line male DNA is used. It’s just how it gets from point A to point B no one’s really sure about. Heh…I sure hope it’s not through a handshake…

    Another reason I don’t mind the whole cloning thing, or the idea that all Wraith are born from pods, is that – to me – the Wraith are like a bunch of mad scientists. It just seems natural that they would try to find a way to take the more inconvenient steps out of reproduction, like the pregnancy thing. Much more efficient to produce pods/eggs and get on with your Queenly business, than to waddle around for months with a big belly.

    And as far as the males go…well, someone said a while back (DeLuise?) that they DO have an extra ‘prong’…in the prong region…so, if that’s what you’re worried about, fret no more! (Just HOW Peter would know this is still a mystery)

    @ Laura Dove – Oh, I don’t think he was planning on kidnapping the team, just that it was a convenient turn of events. Would Todd just take off with the crew and – once at a safe distance – start sucking away? No. They were better used as bargaining chips or as a repair crew or in some other way where having them alive would be to his advantage. However, in the back of his mind, I’m sure the thought of having a few HRE* on board must have crossed it, too…ya know, just in case things went south…AND, just in case he was real and really had a mind. (I often laugh at myself for talking about these things as if they have thoughts beyond what is revealed in the show…it’s totally ridiculous, and yet…I still can’t help speculating. 😛 )

    *Humans Ready to Eat


  57. I tune in for the team eps the same way I did for SG1 for 10 years. The team and their wonderful dynamic kept me watching. I didn’t tune in to SG1

  58. I would like to add my two cents to the debate regarding Keller and McKay. From the spoilers we are reading/seeing, it does seem as if a great deal of S5 will be revolving around the Jen-Rod ship. The prospect does not gladden my heart. I like Rodney, but I’m not all that enthralled with Keller, certainly not as much as TPTB seem to be. If you want to ship them, fine, but not at the expense of the others on the show. It would be nice if TPTB put as much effort into developing Sheppard as they seem to be doing for Keller, about whom I learned more when she was a recurring character in S4 than I have learned about Sheppard in 4-plus seasons.

  59. I’m with Freidag and Linzi – apprentice demon, I’m getting really annoyed at all the McKay/Keller stuff. I am, as I’ve said in the past a big fan of John Sheppard; and I would really like to see far more character development for the leading character than he has had so far.

    The spoilers so far for the season is not really giving me much hope. I heartily dislike Keller – I really can’t get past the dithering and the constant whiny voice – and would be extremely happy ever to have to watch her again.

    So far I have watched every episode, and have all four seasons on DVD… but I’m beginning to wonder if the season five box set will make it in to my collection.

  60. Joe,

    When you sit down to write an episode (I am assuming you don’t stand or kneel or any such thing when you write them), do you ever feel that your creative genius is stifled at all with thoughts about production expenses or do you let the others on the team edit out the expensive parts?

    Are you going to watch the new Star Wars animated movie when it comes out?

  61. I don’t think I’ve got the hang of this “fan” thing. I just watch the show and enjoy being able to go along for the ride, which is hopefully a good one, fun, touching, exciting, or all at the same time. I never remember to count how many episodes my favorite characters (or any character) “get,” and I always remember that it’s fiction. I’m pretty sure that real military women wouldn’t show as much cleavage in uniform as they do on TV, but hey, I’m pretty sure the military doesn’t really have any women in the Pegasus galaxy, so I do my best not to get stuck on the details and just enjoy the story.

    I also have a tendency to assume that the writers and producers are creative and at least relatively smart people who know that if they screw up a show, it will be canceled and they’ll be out job-hunting, so they’ll do their best to make a good show. I’m not sure where I got that idea.

    I’m not trying to head-slap anybody in particular here–just spouting off. I appreciate JM providing a place where we can all do that.

  62. I tuned into SGA each week for the team, the same reason I tuned into SG1 for 10 years. I watch for the team dynamics. I didn’t watch SG1 to see Janet being kidnapped or taken over by Alien entities. I enjoyed her role as doctor and she was an awsome one. She was never shoved into episodes needlessly the way Keller is now. I will never understand why Keller was made a main character. She is a totally unconvincing CMO and wouldn’t even convince me that she is a first year med student, so why would I want to see her week after week being kidnapped or being a whiny damsel in distress. Alas so far I have no interest in her character whatsoever.

    What do we know about the other main characters. Sheppard is still a one dementional stoic hero with zero development. We see him willing to sacrifice himself for pretty much anyone, even Keller whom he only knows for a few months, and his almost suicidal tentancies are put into place once more. But still we never get any reason behind his actions. Why is the man willing to put his life at risk for everyone (and seems to think he has to be the one to do everything) and yet can’t even make an effort to reconcile with his own real family.

    Why is it that McKay is the only character that gets any development and is allowed to show emotion and have relationships but Sheppard can’t be seen to do anything except act like a military tin soldier. Nothing seems to get to the guy, eveything is shrugged off and basically gets zero development. But Keller who has just become a regular a few week ago seems to get more focus in the next few months than Sheppard has had in five years.

    Teyla’s new reason for being is being a mother and that seems to be the only character development she has gotten so far. And being a mother shouldnt mean that she loses her spark and vitality and this is exactly what the new Teyla has turned into. Boring and uninteresting. Why can’t the writers give everyone the attention and depth that McKay gets and now even Keller seems to be getting. Even if she gets to tote a gun I couldn’t really care less at this stage as they character is pretty much a non entity for me.

    I have waited for 5 years to see the other main characters, besides McKay, get some decent material but it seems I waited in vain. I really thought that after Search and Rescue things were back on track with the team and with the team dynamic but sadly it didn’t last and it looks like it will only get worse. The team was the best thing about SGA, even if it turned into the McShep show at times.

    Dadalus Variations was what SGA is all about, even with the team being somewhat off, especially Teyla but it was still exciting and fast paced and what the show is all about.

    I had hoped for some character based episodes that expanded on the dynamics of the team and showed how much they have grown, not some cheesy love interests for Shep, or some flash in the pan love affair for Rodney, or some rediculous lover brought in from nowhere for Teyla, that has sadly only weakened the character so far. Even the Shrine doesn’t get me excited because once again any emotion is centered around Rodney and it looks like the start of the Rodney/Keller relationship.

    Maybe my expectations were too high I guess, expecting equal development for all the characters. And it doesn’t look like the writers ever intend to give some us some good character development for Sheppard or give us some insight into why he doesn’t seem to value his own life and can’t show any emotion to those close to him .

    But instead we have Keller being in peril show, sigh!! oh and the Keller in seduction mode and being taken over by alien entities once again, and no doubt Sheppard will come to her rescue and put his life on the line again and Rodney will come up with a genius plan at the last minute whilst holding her hand, until the next time she is kidnapped and in peril in the forest.

    Sorry for the ramblings but I’m feeling pretty disappointed and disalusioned at the moment and hopefully my fears after reading all these uninspiring spoilers will not be realised, and I still live in hope that Sheppard will get some character development one of these days.

  63. Hey Joe, hope everythings going okay up there in Vanc(I’m a wee bit behind with my psychotic new schedule).

    I was just popping by to see if I could get a couple birthday wishes thrown out for the 10th. It’s also Kimberly(KdVB1)’s birthday as well.

    Now I realize that we share our birthday with the affable Carl Binder, but I bet he wouldn’t mind sharing a blog dedication especially after he sees the awesome ditty below…

    You think you own whatever birthday you land on,
    The day is all yours for you to claim,
    But, we know that day as it’s also ours,
    We have a life, a spirit, our own name.

  64. Remember that phrase: Muscians never die, they just decompose? Writers never die, they become weird food critics. Joe, have you thought about being a weird food critic when you retire? You may be on to something. I can see how the sweet/ salty taste would be palatable, like kettle corn. But the cheese…. Anyway, am I too late to ask Lexa a question? I always miss these things. I think it’s the time difference.

    My question for Lexa, if it’s not too late: What was your most emarassing moment on Stargate and how did you recover?

  65. Jess wrote: “Sorry for the ramblings but I’m feeling pretty disappointed and disillusioned at the moment and hopefully my fears after reading all these uninspiring spoilers will not be realized, and I still live in hope that Sheppard will get some character development one of these days.”

    Couldn’t agree more. The writers all love McKay…and their shiny new toy Keller. All the spoilers are Rodney this..Rodney and Keller that.

    They gave Teyla the token “Queen” and besides that it seems her screen time will be replaced by Keller. Oh and The Keller/Rodney ship they’re shoving down our throats.

    Sheppard’s the lead and we had to wait four seasons to get crumbs in the form of “Outcast’. No Sheppard eppy in the first half and I bet “Vegas” will be an ‘action’ eppy and once again the more emotional scripts are developed for McKay.

    Why are the writer’s afraid to allow Joe to act outside the box? Why not do any of things that Rodney got in “Tao” , “Duet” and “The Shrine”?

    I also hope all the stuff in the second half of the season will prove us both wrong…but I doubt it.

    I love Rodney…I love Ronon..I love Teyal and I love Sheppard…..but why so unbalanced?

  66. [b]crazymom1[/b], you’re going to force me to start wearing my tinfoil hat again – stop reading my mind!

    I like to avoid spoilers, watch SGA as it comes on, and judge it for what I see and not on other people’s opinions, either before or afterwards.

    There are some characters I like better than others, that’s only natural. I do have to admit I have counted Carson episodes, but only to see how far above zero they get! Otherwise, some weeks we get to see everyone, some weeks we don’t, and I just take the episodes as one big story all together. That’s what’s fun for me, and I know some fans don’t agree with my perspective, but I’ll bet my blood pressure is lower than theirs!

    Joe, thanks again to you and everyone else who is working hard to bring us many many great episodes of SGA.

  67. Happy Birthday to Mackenzie’s Momma and Kimberly (KdVB1) (tomorrow -10th)… Have a happy day ladies!

    I am in total agreement with Crazymom1 and Marsha _R. I watch because I love the show and I appreciate what’s given, no matter who has what story line! The writers and producers do a great job! Who are we, to be so critical of the characters get and don’t get. Beside how many times have we seen rants about “spoilers” that when the show is finally aired turns out to be totally different that what was assumed? I prefer not to speculate!

    Patricia Lee

  68. Thanks to Alan for the Q and A. I won’t ship any Joe M action figures via the Rings, thanks for the warning!
    PS – You know what I think about the McKay and Keller romance angle, and that it only serves to detract from the team moments that I love so much about SGA. But as I agree with so many of the above posts I won’t go on much, suffice to say, I am disappointed also with the direction the season SEEMS to be taking. Keller is fine in small doses. McKay is a great character and I love him in his interactions with the team. A romance with a young girl serves only to bring him down to the level of some random guy going through a mid-life crisis, and I hate to see that. I’d be happy with the Shep and McKay show 24/7 though, so I admit I am biased. Every moment Rodney spends with Jennifer is a moment he isn’t with Shep, Ronon or Teyla, the real team, IMHO.

  69. Oooooh, Marsha_R, spooky! We seem to have some weird Duet thing going…only backward! For a second I thought I wrote your post!

  70. Thank you, Alan! I’ve noticed that the episodes I rewatch most often from last season are “Reunion”, “Tabula Rasa”, “Outcast” and “Midway”–2/4 of them are yours. I loved “Daedalus Variations” because it was a solid team episode where Ronon and Teyla were treated like real people, and not just “the aliens”.

    That said, I have to add my voice to the chorus of dismay at the heavy focus on the McKay/Keller romance. I actually like Keller…but the reason I watch SGA is for the team interaction. The episodes that are All McKay, All the Time are less interesting, especially when they’re just him and someone who isn’t actually part of Team AR-1. I just hope that Ronon, Teyla and John don’t get forgotten in the rush to tell us all about Rodney and Jennifer.

  71. the heavy focus on the McKay/Keller romance

    Seriously, what heavy focus? Except for the end of “Trio,” I’ve only heard about it here. Are you talking about episodes that haven’t aired yet, or are you assuming things? I’m asking, not snarking.

  72. I understand the posters who say we shouldn’t speculate on what the season might bring in terms of episodes. But that being said, it’s impossible not to speculate when most of the rumors and episodes sneaks point toward only two characters, McKay and Keller.

    I was willing to accept Keller, in fact I liked her in Adrift , but little by little I’ve grown to resent the character for the amount of screen time she receives, the character enhancement and development she seems privy too while other longer standing characters are shoved to the wayside, and now with the general way she seems to have inundated the show with this romance angle with McKay I completely dislike the character. I think it’s a case of too much Keller, too soon.

    I never complained about Carson dying. I’ve never complained about Weir. I accepted those decisions and always looked forward to the future. However this season I find there are many episodes I’m not looking forward to at all.

    Now I realize you don’t care what people think Joe and you’ll make the show the way you want to as is your right. But I’ve watched since day one and frankly I’m not happy. And as an unhappy fan I don’t have to watch. And on Keller 101 nights, I’ll be switching the channel.

  73. I don’t read spoilers (only the stuff posted here by Mallozzi), so I’m not sure what this is all about. I do have some concerns based on what others have said here, but I’ll wait and see before forming an opinion.

    Having said that…

    1) I like all the characters, but for me the show is about the team, and I watch to see their interaction. For me, John, Ronon, Rodney and Teyla are the core of the show. The rest of the characters are nice to have them around, but they shouldn’t be the focus. I thought making Beckett a regular in seasons 2 and 3 was a mistake. Likewise, I disagree with Keller being a regular in season 5. Not because I dislike Keller. In fact I like both Jennifer and Carson the same. I just think the CMO (no matter who plays it) shouldn’t be a main character. The same with the expedition leader (no matter whether it’s played by Elizabeth, Sam or Woosley. I like them all the same. I just don’t think any of them should be regulars). I like Lorne, Radek, Caldwell and others too. And I still would disagree with any of them been made regulars.

    2) I prefer to see just friendship on screen. But I have no big problem with on screen romance, as long as it doesn’t take over the show. So far I like the small tidbits between Rodney and Jennifer. But I don’t want to see whole episodes or big parts of several episodes focused on that or any other romance.

    3) I don’t count how many episodes have each character. Besides, it’s not something that you can quantify so easily. For example, I consider Search & Rescue a team episode, but John got quite a bit there. So not having X number of episodes considered character Y-centric could mean nothing.

    4) My ultimate favorite character is John, but I love Ronon, Rodney and Teyla as well. I don’t ask for a lot of focus on Sheppard at the expense of the others. All I ask is balance for the 4 members of the team. I do agree with others that Rodney seems to get all the meaty stuff. I’d like John, Ronon and Teyla to get the same type of episodes Rodney got in Tao of Rodney, The Shrine, etc.

  74. @das

    Like I said, I like the idea of ‘pod-births’ – it just seems weird to imagine a pregnant Wraith queen.

    No one said that Wraith have to be 9 month pregnant. Polar bears whelp their offspring after two or three months. Maybe the Wraith have a similar short pregnancy?

    Another argument against pods is Elia. Why should the Wraith produce children, that can’t feed upon humans, but have to eat human food, when they are able to produce fully grown-ups? Wouldn’t that be an unnecessary burden for the Wraith?

    Another reason I don’t mind the whole cloning thing, or the idea that all Wraith are born from pods, is that – to me – the Wraith are like a bunch of mad scientists. It just seems natural that they would try to find a way to take the more inconvenient steps out of reproduction, like the pregnancy thing. Much more efficient to produce pods/eggs and get on with your Queenly business, than to waddle around for months with a big belly.


    But that takes me to another question. I still don’t believe that the queens and the keepers are the only women in a Wraith society. Wouldn’t the genetic pool be too small for a whole race to survive?

    And as far as the males go…well, someone said a while back (DeLuise?) that they DO have an extra ‘prong’…in the prong region…so, if that’s what you’re worried about, fret no more! (Just HOW Peter would know this is still a mystery)

    A while back? That was in the first season. 😉 Well – maybe he tried out? 😉 ….. Sorry……

    No – I don’t worry about that – not really. Most animals penetrate their females – insects too. So that wouldn’t be that problem. The bigger problem would be key stimuli. But when I look at the Wraith women – no…probably not that big problem. 😉

    But that kind of “pod-reproduction” seems somehow wrong to me. Like reducing the Wraith to … well …living robots or so. It takes away their individuality, their uniqueness as living beings. I cannot explain it. It’s only a feeling.

  75. @ Joe – Over on Gateworld, Traveler64 mentioned that Tyler Wraith in BT came across as a bit…paternal. I thought about this, and found myself thinking of the prodigal son. It’s not an exact fit, of course, but if you look at Ronon as the prodigal being accepted by the father, and Tyre as the loyal son, now feeling rejected, then – I suppose – the Wraith would fill the role as ‘father’.

    This probably isn’t what you had in mind, but this aspect did make the relationship between Wraith and worshipper unique. I know a few fans said that this Wraith did not scare them, and perhaps this is why. Despite the feeding/gifting process, there seemed to be more familiarity here, with the Wraith far less distant (in attitude) than we’ve seen in the past. This part worked for me, although I am still disappointed that there was no meaningful explanation as to what motivated this Wraith in particular. The whole powertrip thing is a given, but I’d like to think there could be a bit more to it than that.


  76. @ noir – Personally, I like the pod concept because it’s icky and disgusting. Imagine something as beautiful as Steve emerging from one of those gooey things. Yeah. See…I’m gross enough to think that’s a really great image. So, I don’t think pod births make them robotic – just more insect-like…or, more like single guys. Ya know…a Wraith, all alone with a Playwraith magazine and a pod. 😉

    I really can’t believe I’m talking about this here…

    ANYWAY…as far as taking away their individuality or uniqueness as living beings, I think it does quite the opposite. It makes them more unique, more fascinating (to me). However, I think what you might be concerned about is that it will lessen the value of their life, making them more expendable than the humans. If the Wraith aren’t ‘human’ enough, it gives the writers/creators reason to dispose of them. I’m thinking that’s what you may be concerned about…and it’s the same thing I worry about, though I don’t think pods have anything to do with it.


  77. noir and dasNdanger: Maybe only the warriors emerge as adults from the pods? After all, in real life, insects lay eggs that produce larvae rather than adults. In fact, I like the pods a lot because they remind me of a mix between insect eggs and an external womb.

  78. 53 danielfanforever

    Debi – the scene that you are thinking about in “Prototype” is where Daniel and Mitchell are on the ramp towards the end of the episode. According to Ben, the original script called for Mitchell’s shot to be the one to take down Khalek. Ben thought that it should be Daniel, and so they changed it. At least that’s what I remember. I thought “Prototype” was an excellent episode – especially that scene.

    danielfanforever – Thanks for answering my question in your comment above. I had heard only that there was a scene changed, but no more details were given, and a link to the Browder interview was never given either. I’ve seen speculation galore as to what exactly was changed from the original script, but never in this detail. Would you happen to know where that Browder interview is?

    And I agree with you about the ramp scene. It was powerful and horrific and tragic and, in some respects, bittersweet, all at once. The whole episode brought into clear focus the changes that Daniel has gone through, especially as a direct result of his ascension, the confrontation with Anubis over Abydos, and his return. So much more could have been explored in that one arc alone.

    Anyway, I really couldn’t give Alan much more detail in my original question because all that I had seen up to that point was what was speculated on the forums, and no direct quote from Ben or Peter DeLuise (director) was ever provided.

    Maybe Joe can pass this on to Alan for us since Alan had asked for more information about the scene.


    And, thanks to you, Joe, and to Alan for taking the time and effort to keep fans in such close touch with the shows.

  79. @ Laura Dove – that’s what I imagine – the warriors emerge as nearly-developed adults, while the more advanced, ‘faced’ Wraith emerge as young (as ‘children’, perhaps not as infants). I’ve thought of the warriors as closer to their Iratus ancestors, while the faced Wraith are a step further along in the evolutionary process, becoming more human-like in appearance and ability (speech, free thought, etc), and perhaps in biology/reproduction.

    Having faced Wraith go through a larval stage makes sense, considering the change in dietary needs. As young (or larvae) they feed on what we consider normal food – much like…say…a caterpillar feeds on vegetation. But once an adult, that caterpillar, now a butterfly, can only survive on nectar, much like an adult Wraith can only survive on the ‘nectar’ of human life energy.


  80. Wonderful guest blogger.

    Question for Joe: As I continue to watch the “Weird Food Purchase of the Day” videos I wonder, is there anything you won’t eat?

    Corn can taste good in many forms and cold is not a bad way to eat it. Interesting. Thanks for the video. ^_^

  81. @das
    Sorry for my late answer. I had other problems to solve. :-/ Hope you’ll find this post nevertheless….

    @ Laura Dove – that’s what I imagine – the warriors emerge as nearly-developed adults, while the more advanced, ‘faced’ Wraith emerge as young (as ‘children’, perhaps not as infants). I’ve thought of the warriors as closer to their Iratus ancestors, while the faced Wraith are a step further along in the evolutionary process, becoming more human-like in appearance and ability (speech, free thought, etc), and perhaps in biology/reproduction.
    Having faced Wraith go through a larval stage makes sense, considering the change in dietary needs. As young (or larvae) they feed on what we consider normal food – much like…say…a caterpillar feeds on vegetation. But once an adult, that caterpillar, now a butterfly, can only survive on nectar, much like an adult Wraith can only survive on the ‘nectar’ of human life energy.

    Ok – then we have already agreed on children. So there’s only the question about the pregnancy and Wraith infants left. And in that case the series provides me with another presumptive evidence: Michael’s ultrasonic equipment:

    Why the Wraith should build these apparatuses when they wouldn’t need them? To candle these transparent (!) pods a better pocket lamp would be enough. And how Michael would know how to make prenatal examination when the Wraith wouldn’t use it? I don’t think that they are so kind to care about the unborn children of their food. 😉 And don’t forget Teyla’s pregnancy. How could Michael know that the birth of Teyla’s child was imminent when the children of the Wraith hatch out of pods?

    No – all in all I still believe that the Wraith have a pregnancy similar to ours. Whether the writers of the series agree to my thoughts or not that’s another question. 😉

  82. @ noir – of course, Michael has kept humans captive, experimenting on them, etc. for a while. He could easily have learned about human pregnancy during this time. However, we still don’t know who the Wraith scientist was who experimented on Teyla’s people all those years ago – it would be interesting (a convenient coincidence?) if it had been Michael. That would – perhaps – explain both his interest in Teyla, and his knowledge of human reproduction.


  83. Joe,

    As far as favorite Ronon line, I’ll have to think more, but right off the top of my head I’d say you keep eating like that, it’s more like Fatman.


Leave a Reply

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