Look at what came in the mail!
Look at what came in the mail!
And this!
And this!
Don't stray from the scripted dialogue!
Bob Picardo learns a valuable lesson: Don't change the scripted dialogue!
Executive Producer Carl Binder aint buyin' what you're sellin'.
Executive Producer Carl Binder aint buyin whatever you're sellin'
Leah and Wray show off an arm wound.  Carl is impressed, Martin horrified.
Leah and Wray show off an arm wound. Carl is impressed, Martin horrified.
Looks mighty convincing.
Looks mighty convincing.
#100!
#100!

Apologies for the tardy post but I spent all day in the darkened catacombs of post-production amidst the trolls, troglodytes, morlocks, and editors. The light from my laptop screen! AIIIEEEEE! IT BURNS!!!

I was cutting Remnants which clocked in at an astounding +9.20! Trimming out the first four and a half minutes was no problem; losing the next four and a bit of a chore. The last twenty seconds was freaking impossible and, after going over the episode twice, I threw in the towel and decided to it pick things up Monday morning. It’s a great episode (Carl says it’s his favorite among the three I wrote this season) with not one, not two, but three parallel storylines. The David’s are great together, Bob shows off his great comic timing, and our nefarious special guest star puts our helpless hero through some real physical and psychological torment. Even though Remnants is a perfectly appropriate title for the episode, Revelations would have worked as well. But it was already taken.

Speaking of titles – we finally got one for our 100th episode: Enemy at the Gate. Looks like it will shoot in the #19 slot, meaning we’ll wrap in Vancouver and finish shooting season five in Las Vegas. It’s 60+ pages of intergalactic fun and Marty G. is looking to add to the page count by pitching out a certain scene that has divided the writers’ room. That’s Martin and Carl for, Paul and I against, and Alan firmly straddling the fence. Hey, I love the idea. I’m just not crazy about the timing. If the scene boards, we may compromise by shooting it anyway and deciding later whether or not it makes the final cut.

Ratings are the hot on-set topic, particularly the big 30% bump the show has been receiving from the Live+7 numbers. It’s nice to see the ratings upticking so early in the season. That’s either a good argument for a sixth season pick-up or cause for a congratulatory farewell. I guess we’ll find out in the coming months.

A reminder to finish up our Fantasy Book of the Month Club Selection, In the Night Garden: The Orphan’s Tale, because discussion begins on Monday.

And finally, another HUGE thanks to author Lois McMaster Bujold for taking the time to visit with us and taking part in a veritable novella-length Q&A session.

Today’s pics: Around the production office.

Today’s video: The Weird Food Purchase of the Day = Sour Prune.

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The teslan
The teslan

Hi Mr. Mallozzi,
Wow, all I can say about tonight’s episode is what an ending! And Woolsey is fast becoming a favorite of mine.

I just read about your trip to China, and you shouldn’t worry too much about not speaking any Chinese since you are only going to Shanghai and Hong Kong. A friend of mine who is from Shanghai assures me they are very accommodating to English-speakers.

charles cooney
charles cooney

In the episode, ghost in the machine, the replicator calling itself elizabeth weir gave atlantis a bunch of information on other technologically advanced civilizations in the pegasus galaxy. Does atlantis still have that information or was it destroyed when the other replicators came or what?

Bailey
Bailey

Sour Prune = Eyebrow of Doom

Ganymede
Ganymede

Joe!! Been waiting up for you *all* evening!! [EST zone] grin

Then again, I know you guys usually work late on Fridays…

Prunes, huh? Got a thing for Klingon [in more ways than one – eventually!] food dooo ya? Suppose it’s one way of catching up on one’s reading…

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

Enemy at the Gate? A prospective scene that may or not be in it? ohhh, I love the teasing. And is +9 minutes a new record for being over? It’s interesting watching how much trouble 20 seconds can cause.
Please extend kudos to everyone involved in making Ghost in the Machine. Another episode i had not really expected much from. But the script was flawless(and I was trying to find holes in it), the special effect great(love all the views of Atlantis, never mind the ringed planet and puddle-jumper-into the gate; also a nice touch seeing the stabalizing rockets work). The ending actually made me tear up. And the acting was superb. There was no “going through the motions here. Rodney’s plea to fix things, Zelinka’s various reactions, and especially the shot of Sheppard almost in tears… this season has really been surpassing the standards of the previous seasons. If Sci Fi doesn’t renew, their executives should be checked for brain damage.

Patricia Lee
Patricia Lee

Sour prunes…yeck is right!!! Well since you did not swallow it… I guess you might still need the Exlax!!! Very funny face!!! EWWWW.

Cheers
Patricia

Patricia Lee
Patricia Lee

Oh Yeah… WooHoo!!! Episode 100 has a name! I thought you said Brad Wright was writing Epi 100 and then you said Marty G was writing it… what gives Joe! Were you trying to keep it a secret so we would not pump you with questions???

It won’t work!!! Come on give us a tidbit or two! Please….

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Enemy at the Gate, eh? Lemme guess. Wraith…and they’ll all be dead by the end of the story. Or they’ll become showgirls in Vegas.

Personally, I prefer the latter. wink

Saw tonight’s episode…it was okay. I dunno – I’m very bored with both the Ancients and the Replicators. Neither are exciting to me – they’re dull…wooden, and self-righteous on top of it. Just could never get into them. I mean, the Wraith might be a buncha arrogant SOBs, but at least they tell jokes. Makes ALL the difference.

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Imur.

Imur who?

Imur death, that’s all you need to know.

See?? Makes all the difference. smile

das

sulien
sulien

Oh yeah, they’re sour all right! Best sour face I’ve ever seen. Thanks for the laugh Joe, I needed that. smile *still chuckling*

Jessica
Jessica

Yay! Episode 100! Great name, who decided it? Was there any sort of list or vote taken place to choose?

Sour Prunes… I don’t mind prunes and I do like sour things, but I’m judging by the faces you were making that it wasn’t to your liking? Oh well maybe something better tomorrow?

I’m pretty excited at the moment, I have finally decided two other uni courses to put down in case I don’t get my first preference… excitedly waiting and dreading going to uni next year, all three of the courses I’m thinking about go for four years so I hope that I find, whichever one I get, to be worth it, which I’m sure they will be but it makes me nervous all the talk at school of uni, tafe, gapyears and such. On that note did you go to a university/college and if so what course(s) did you do?

Jessica

Tim Gaffney
Tim Gaffney

I posted this in the previous blog just before the update, so I thought I would add it to today’s post.
The Ghost In The Machine…another great episode. Not quite on par with the previous 4 episodes, but still great.
First, lets give some props to Robert Picardo. He gave an amazing performance as a true commander. His speech on them all dying together and to go ahead and sink it showed no sign of hesitation or weakness. He has stepped into Carter’s shoes and is wearing them well.
And Michelle Morgan did an excellent job as Weir/Fran. She must have really studied tapes of previous episodes because in many scenes she dead on nails Tori’s speech pattern and manerisms. I hope she returns as a replicator again.
There was one thing that kept this from being a perfect episode…no Tori. I am not blaming anyone. I’m sure she had her reasons for not doing the episode. And it is not a criticism of Ms. Morgan. She hit it out of the park. And it is not the fault of the writers for having to rework their original story to accomidate Tori’s absence. It just didn’t work as well as it could have.
Next week’s previews look great. Bring on the Shrine!

Ncc-72452
Ncc-72452

Hi Joe,

I just had to stop by and offer a hearty “Thank You so, so, so, so, so, so, so much for Ghost in the Machine.” I haven’t felt this good about an Atlantis episode in such a long time. Please thank Carl Binder for an awesome story! The director, Ken Girotti, and all of the actors and actresses, but especially Joe Flannigan, Michelle Morgan, and David Hewitt. Robert Picardo definitely gets a nod as well. I cannot express how much I enjoyed this episode tonight. I wasn’t a fan of the changes in Season 4, but I’ve stuck with the show and am starting to see some dividends. I will definitely be tuning in next week for “Shrine.”

Again, Thank you.

wolfenm

LOL, that sour face!! That was priceless! XD I’m not a fan of sour either. You’re much braver than I!

Please tell Squirrel King David that it’s very sweet of him to work on getting the site back up like he’s doing! In the meantime, though, we squirrels have found other means of keeping in touch, so tell him not to stress himself out over it. We’ll still be out there, waiting for his commands via Twitter and promoting our little hearts out for him, official site or no official site. smile

As for “GitM” .. I have to admit, I didn’t care for this one quite so much. (Sorry, Mr Binder. ) I found myself going “Why didn’t they just …” a little too often, and the logic the characters used didn’t work for me a number of times. It was also vastly unsettling, watching our people send the Replicators to their deaths under the guise of trust and compassion, especially since I felt like thay actually *were* trustworthy and innocent, that it was just Weir who was untrustworthy! (Well, (and that guy she killed.) And I was disappointed that our guys didn’t bat an eyelash at the news that the RepliTeam was indeed dead — did they already know? Still, I didn’t exactly *hate* it, either. And I hope we might see another FRAn again someday. (Just not necessarily Weir again, although I wouldn’t begrudge her fans a reappareance just because I am not fond of the character ….)

I did love the beginning sequence — that was cute and funny!! I love the quiet team moments like that. My heart broke for everyone as they watched Liz walk to her death. Nice touch, her goodbeye to Woolsey, in particular his reaction, part touched & part guilty. And I loved that bit of music that was playing when Weir write “Help Me” on the screen — that was very touching …

Definitely looking *very* forward to “The Shrine”!! grin

Duke of Earl
Duke of Earl

The majority of your weird food purchases are Asian. Is that just because they have a penchant for odd foods, or is there nothing else to choose from in Vancouver?

noir

Hm…Enemy at the Gate. Not Angels?

That was my first thought when I read the titel. wink

pg15

*Avoids Ghost in the Machine talk*

Now, hopefully you won’t think I’m laughing at your misfortune, but HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That was the best Weird Food Purchase of the Day (should abbreviate that: WFPotD) vid yet! The ending had me laughing my ass off and pounding my computer table. Something that started out kind of promising (chocolatey), turned…uh…sour, and your reaction was just priceless. I didn’t even know you can make that sound at the very end; or that face. Haha.

You know what? Acting disgusted is great, but nothing beats genuine disgust. Hilarious.

Woohoo! A title for the 100th! Enemy at the Gate? Well, doesn’t that just scream “the Wraith are going to attack Earth!!!”? I think it does scream that, even though it has no mouth. I can’t wait! Onset photos please? K thanks.

Oh, and congrats on the ratings! I know you’re trying to see both sides of the issue, but it’s hard for us fans not to get a wee bit excited at the (relatively) excellent ratings we’ve been getting. Even if it ends up for naught, it still shows an increasing interesting in Stargate. Be proud, Joe, as you and your cohorts are reponsible for the first general uptick in Stargate ratings since the beginning of Atlantis. That’s gotta count for something!

Finally…how about 2 questions:

1. MGM is releasing some schematics of Atlantis tech on their website, here. Are these things canon?

2. Is The Red Shirt Diaries as DOA as Hexed?

Thanks!

Bailey
Bailey

Wow, what a great episode. So sad. So very well done. So far you are 4 for 4 in my book!!!!!!!
Michelle was just spot on wonderful and the looks between Fran!Weir and Sheppard had my heart breaking.

Lorr54
Lorr54

Pardon me while I try to pick my jaw up off the floor. Stunning, amazing episode tonight. I think this is one of the top three in my book, and I can’t think of the other two right now. Many thanks to all of you for the work this season. Y’all have done a superlative job from pitch to final product.

norriski
norriski

Hi Joe, It’s been a while since I’ve posted so I’m about to make up for it now take fair warning, if you stop reading I’ll understand… 1st enjoyed tonight episode, a little strange seeing FRAN as Weir but I guess in some ways that was the point (and I’m assuming you couldn’t get Torri back). 2nd… since I’m a teacher and this is my off time I somehow ended up buying Seasons 9 and 10 of SG1 and 2 and 3 of SGA in the last week and a half (all I need now to complete my collection is seasons 3 and 8 of SG1 and 1 and 4 of SGA.. yeah don’t ask).. anyways based on that I have a couple of comments, after watching the 8 and 9 arch of SG1 again and espically watching them with the commentaries I found that I enjoyed it much more this time than when I watched originally. I had some issues with the Ori story line but after listening to the commentaries I guess I understand them better. And while I never really had an issue with Ben coming on the show I REALLY liked him more this time around and loved what what happening with the team, in may ways those episodes reminded me of the team stuff we got back in seasons say 4 and 5…. all that said one of the episodes (Company of Thieves) had me thinking after seeing Daniel basically in command of the Odyssey, regardless that he wasn’t military even the crew didn’t argue that he was in command, playful banter yes… sorry anyway after seeing Daniel in that position I wondered if the idea of placing Daniel in command of Atlantis was tossed around the room? Part of the “reasoning” for putting Woolsey there was he’s not military, and Weir wasn’t military, well Daniel isn’t military. Now I know it’s not that easy and Shanks would have to agree but my question is was it ever thought of? Lastly… I finally watched Sunday for the first time since it’s originally airing and I have to admit that I cried like a baby again. I managed to watch the commentary and only get misty eyed (and that will be an episode that I don’t think I’ll watch again for a very long time) but Martin G said that up until a couple days before filming there was an alternate ending, can you give us light of that that might have been, I’m assuming it was one in which Carson doesn’t die. Don’t take this wrong but I have to say that up to the point where Carson dies that is one of the best SGA, seeing the team outside of a mission was great. I understand the “need” for the viewers to feel like someone is in true jeopardy but I don’t understand why it was a lead that had to die, one of the other secondary characters that we all know are part… Read more »

sylvia
sylvia

Great episode. Very well done. Hated the end but for the obvious reasons…it was brilliantly done plus the music. The cast reactions were so well performed and then the clincher when Rodney said, no doubt about her being Elizabeth. This was heart breaking – sad.

Michelle Morgan was spot on with speech patterns and inflections so many times and her appearance often was Weir…awesome.

Your expression tasting the prune was priceless and so real. Sorry it did not pass the taste test. Thank you for giving us even more items to chuckle about.

caitlyanna

I have to say that I love the look on your face. I’m a fan of sour but not prunes, so I think I’ll pass thanks.

Just finished watching Ghost in the Machine and I liked most of it and didn’t see the ending coming, but I wasn’t too excited about half way through. That might just be because I’ve never been a fan of the replicators, on SG1 or Atlantis. I can’t wait for next week’s episode though. I’ve loved McKay since his first appereance on SG1 and David Hewlett is one of my favorite actors.

I hope I’ll finish The Orphan Tales by monday, but a lot is going on because our Tri-County Fair starts on August 28th and I’ve entered nine things (seven baked goods, one crazy quilt block and a decorated wedding cake…wish me luck and I’ll let you know how I do). My mind is on about 20 things at once and trying to squeeze some reading time in somewhere is practically impossible, but I’m doing my best. I’ve made notes and questions I have as I read so even if I don’t finish it completely, I can still join in the discussion. I’m loving it so far.

semisweet
semisweet

Re: Ghost in the Machine

*sobs uncontrollably*

Just when I thought I was OVER Elizabeth being gone you bring her back again upsetting me all over again. Thanks a lot!

P.S. Woolsey rocked!

NeKo
NeKo

Ni Hua Joe! ^^
Have you been practicing your mandarin?
oooooooh 100th episode script *pats*

anneteldy
anneteldy

When the Bad Replicator ran off, why didn’t we see any searchers with ARGs?

Anne Teldy

shiningwit
shiningwit

*doing a happy dance* Sky One is showing Search and Rescue on Tuesday!!! we’re gonna be catching up and joining in again YAY!

LOVE the vid, LOVE your reaction, had me chortling muchly

Cheers
Shiningwit