A young girl, shunned by her community, is forced to spend her days wandering the grounds of a palace garden. Considered a demon by many on account of the mysterious dark tattooing that covers her eyelids, hers is a lonely existence – until the day she is approached by a curious young boy. Touched by his kindness, she tells him that the tattoos are the work of a spirit. They are actually finely-scripted verses and song: “Together they make a great magic, and when the tales are all read out, and heard end to shining end, to the last syllable, the spirit will return and judge me.” The boy begs to hear the tales and she agrees, telling him the story of Prince Leander who runs afoul of a frightening old crone who tells him a story of her youth, when she was imprisoned with her grandmother who told her a story of her own…

Catherynne M. Valente’s The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden offers stories within stories within stories, fashioning an intricate web of myths and fairytales that weave in and out of a narrative that continuously circles back in on itself. The tales are at once familiar and unique, a colorful mix of reinvented European and Eastern lore. The story-telling structure is rich and complex and, as someone who forgets his co-workers names on a daily basis, I’ll admit to having been confused at times, especially early on when I found myself having to backtrack and re-read certain passages in order to keep everything straight. But a little patience and perseverance paid off and, eventually, it became easier to track the various stories and characters. The brevity of the individual chapters (no more than five pages in length) also helped put the various narrative pieces in perspective. If you’re looking for light summer reading, this aint it. But if you enjoy sophisticated storytelling, challenging imborglios, and fox-headed pirates, then The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden is for you.

Of the various tales that run through this book the melancholy Firebird’s Tale and unsettling Assassin‘s Tale were among my favorites. I was also intrigued by the relationship between the enigmatic young storyteller and the boy who befriends her, especially when the boy’s domineering older sister attempts to put a stop to their clandestine meetings. Which brings me to my only real problem with the book – the way it ends. Or, to be more precise, the way it doesn’t end. The author leaves us hanging but, thankfully, not for long as I’ve since discovered that the second and concluding book in this duology, The Orphan’s Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice is already available.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t make mention of Michael Kaluta’s brilliant illustrations. Paired with Valente’s lyrical prose, they lend this edition the sense of a treasured tome unearthed in some dark attic corner. Magical.

So, those are my preliminary thoughts. What did everyone else think? Get your comments and questions in for author Catherynne M. Valente who’ll be dropping by later this week.

Speaking of dropping – the expected ratings downtick wasn’t as bad as I assumed it would be. Despite the fact that we were up against live same-day late-day coverage of Pakistan vs. Bornea in men’s field hockey, Ghost in the Machine pulled in a 1.2.

This morning, we were discussing the Olympics and talk turned to that ridiculous fast walk event. You know, the one where the participants appear to be walking but not really. Well, apparently there’s a whole technique to the fast-funny-walk and, after some heated back and forth, we decided to put our respective fast-funny-walking techniques to the test. Check out the video for the race highlights. Sadly, Special Features Producer Ivon Bartok, whose fast-funny-walk technique I liken to a Martini-toting Dean Martin hurriedly sashaying to catch a bus, was not among the participants. The race itself was not much of a contest but I’ve since filed an official protest against Alex Levine’s illegal traipsing. Watch the video all the way through and you will see me demonstrate the proper technique. Note: It’s all in the wrists!


Cat4444 writes: “Oh, and how come Jelly’s leg is shaved?”

Answer: She went in for her dental and they had to put her under. That’s where they attached the IV.

Telekineticforceblast writes: “Question regarding “Ghost in the Machine”:

are they just going to leave her out there?”

Answer: Yep.

Belouchi writes: “1. So including Dr.Weir there were only 9 surviving replicators aboard that aurora class ship at the end of BAMSR? I would imagine a ship like that would contain more.

2. Will their Aurora class ship that we see grounded on the planet where they meditated ever gonna be found and used by our heroes or will it be forgotten just like the TRIA?”

Answers: 1. Only 9. Although it could have held more, they were the only survivors. 2. We don’t have access to that particular ship. As for the Tria, it’s not forgotten – only inactive.

Shawna Buchanan writes: “Why is it that the good guys are such pricks?”

Answer: The Atlantis expedition is asked just that question (more or less) in season 5’s Inquisition.

Ecoharmony writes: “How do you tell Bubba from Jelly?”

Answer: Unlike, say, babies or small children, dogs are fairly easy to tell apart if you spend some time with them.

Anais33 a ecrit: “1)Pour l’instant quel est la chose la plus horrible que vous avez manger?
2)Combient de scènes par jours peuvent tournée les acteurs de stargate atlantis?”

Reponses: 1) Un sandwich à graisse de poulet. 2) Cela dépend de la longueur des scènes.

Translation: 1) Grossest thing I’ve ever eaten = a chicken fat sandwich. 2) How many scenes can the actors shoot in a day? That depends on the length of the scenes.

Tina writes: “…the hardest thing to accept is why the team were even forgiving of the “new” Weir, considering how close she had come to destroying Atlantis…”

Answer: First of all, she was not the one threatening Atlantis. It was the other replicators. And while she may have been indirectly responsible for what happened, she didn’t have an active hand in attempting to sink the city. Secondly, whether or not Sheppard and the team actually fully trusted her is open to debate. In an early draft of the script, Weir doesn’t know what lies on the other side of the gate and steps through trusting our team. The fact that she sends the message back, all clear, in that case I thought made her sacrifice all the more poignant.

Tina also writes: “Teyla told her friend, I think the episode was Sunday, that she had a crush on someone from Atlantis and hoped he would make a move. But we are now to believe that Teyla at the same time also had a sparkle in her eye for Kanaan.”

Answer: People aren’t as simplistic as that. They can have their eye on someone without realizing that their love of their life could be right under their noses the whole time. I have many friends who ended up marrying a good friend in whom they’d hitherto shown no romantic interest.

Tamijb writes: “When is Lexa Doig going to be a guest on the blog?”

Answer: As someone pointed out, Lexa has been very busy of late, but I’m sure she’ll jump on those questions as soon as some time frees up.

MrsB108 writes: “1)Are there any mystical/magical elements to any of the storylines this year?

2)Do Teyla and Kanan have any serious issues coming up between them?”

Answer: 1) Nope. 2) Again – nope.

Steph writes: “In this case, you’re seeing the Puppia harness and the Three-in-one Safety Harness being modeled. Nice choices by the way, Joe!”

Answer: Thanks. They also allow me to belt the dogs into the backseat when we’re traveling.

Thomas Lompton writes: “Joe, I have a great idea for season 6 (complete story arc), how could I send it to you?”

Answer: Sorry, Thomas. We can’t accept unsolicited story ideas.

107 thoughts on “August 18, 2008: The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden

  1. Ha! I think Alex Levine had it. Yours looked more like a Charlie Chaplin walk – all you need is the cane. But you REALLY need to talk to Bill Nye now about Speedwalker, Seattle Superhero Extraordinaire!

  2. They also allow me to belt the dogs into the backseat when we’re traveling.

    Dear god. My flu-addled brain first read that sentence with the ‘to beat’ meaning of belt. I had a momentary brain spasm trying to reconcile your love for your dogs with the image of you mistreating them … then I realised that I’m too sick to be reading blogs. Wah.

  3. Ghost in the Machine – excellent episode. Loved the opening sequence. Only Sheppard and Company could have a “traffic accident” in space.

  4. BAHAHAHA!! You should rename Bridge Studios to “Ministry of Silly Walks”…

  5. Shawna Buchanan writes: “Why is it that the good guys are such pricks?”

    Answer: “The Atlantis expedition is asked just that question (more or less) in season 5’s Inquisition.”

    Ah, yes…but will they justify their prickishness in the end? Or, worse yet, will their prickishness be justified for them? It’s what I’m expecting…will be pleasantly surprised if I’m mistaken.

    Is prickishness even a word? If not – I lay claims on inventing it! 😀


  6. I’m just glad that I didn’t miss her guest appearance. I hope she gets my question about Eureka. Is she busy because of Eureka or other work?

    Did anyone see Micheal Shanks on Burn Notice?

    Why do the Stargate SG1 or SGA writers like to kill off doctors? I noticed this trend since Season 5 of SG1. First it was Dr.Jackson then he was brought back. Then it was Dr. Frazier then brought back in Ripple Effect (which is my favorite Season 9 episode). Then it was Dr. Beckett in Season 3 of SGA then brought back. In the beginning of Season 4 it was Dr. Weir? Then she was also brought back but now supposedly done. Do you have something against doctors?

    Has anyone else notice this?

  7. I received my Continuum soundtrack CD today. There was a seperate copy of the insert of the CD included that Mr. Goldsmith autographed. Very cool.

  8. **This morning, we were discussing the Olympics and talk turned to that ridiculous fast walk event. You know, the one where the participants appear to be walking but not really. **

    Did you ever watch the movie “Walk Don’t Run” with Gary Grant and Jim Hutton? Hutton’s character was in the Olympics but he was embarrassed to say in what event.

  9. PS: You guys are hysterical. That was a great video. I think, though, that it shows you guys work on the wrong side of the camera normally. I wonder if there’s any chance of a new Keystone Cops movie any time soon … you guys would be shoo-ins.

  10. Oh Joe,
    You have way too much fun at work… or I don’t have enought! Hummm… I wanna work with your gang!!!
    Thanks for the video and mail bag!

    Patricia Lee

  11. Joe,

    Is there a reason why Teyla seems distanced towards John since she returned to the team? It seemed even more apparent in GITM when she abruptly left John with Weir, leaving John staring in confusion after her. Will this be addressed at some point or am I seeing things?


  12. My take of “In the Night Garden.” When I first began to read this book, my first thought was “Oh, a retake on the Schaharazade story. Then, as the tales unfolded, something nagged at the back of my mind. I actually stopped reading for a short time, trying to figure out what it was. The answer suprised me. This book is poetry-in-prose. There is an almost lyrical nature to the wording that evoked a suprising emotional response from me. I’m not a big fan of poetry, which made my admiration for the writing style all the better.
    By the end of the first quarter of the book, I found myself bringing up odd images about the chapters and characters. I kept imagining the orphan storyteller placing a box in front of our young Prince, and pulling out another box from it. And the boxes were not just a series of ever-smaller boxes, but boxes of constantly changing sizes and shapes. The more I read this, the more I visualized the entire novel as a verbal version of an Escher print. Or perhaps prints, where one could neatly stack the varied stories/boxes back together to end up with what one started with, a single neat package. Very odd imagery, and I can’t recall when a book has produced such bizarre-but-enjoyable visions.
    As to the stories. I absolutely loved the vivid characters they depicted, from the steppes-born grandmother, to the Centaur king, to the Arimaspian. I did have to backtrack a couple of times, mostly to follow who was telling their story to which character, and figuring out how far back the chain ran, to get to the original characters of the Prince and the orphan. Of particular enjoyment to me were the gosling’s tale, and its accompanying story of the Firebird, and the tale and resolution of the Black Papess. The Anchorite’s tale, and its relationship to the story of the griffins was also a gripping one.
    Altogether, the book is a fantastic read, in multiple meanings of the word. As a child, I rapidly grew bored with fairy tales, and moved on to mythology and science fiction. Now, as an adult, I’m finding myself drawn back to fairy tales by Ms. Valente’s outstanding work. And it’s a relief to hear that the second volume is already available. My local bookstore owner will also no doubt be thrilled at my adding yet another book to the ever-expanding list of books I will be purchasing from her. Thank you very much, Mr. M. for having selected this as a BotM choice.

  13. The fast-walking was a SCREAM! Please, do us all a favor and don’t take up the javelin 🙂

  14. I loved the walks by all of you. I had a PE teacher in High School that swore by speed walking rather than walking or running. I told I just think it looks stupid and you’ll never catch me speed walking any time soon.

    I feel a little bad that I am only half way through The Orphan Tales: In the Night Garden as I’ve been very busy preparing for our Tri-County Fair coming up in a week and a half. I have been trying to read every night before bed and have had a journal ready beside me when a thought came to me and wrote it down so that I can at least join in the discussion. I have really enjoyed what I have read so far and I decribed the story to her and I think she’s next in line to read it. She’s like me and will read just about anything.

    My note after reading last night’s pages were: I really enjoyed “The Book of the Steppe”. I did, however, get lost a few times, forgetting the names of some of the characters, but as the story progressed, I found my place again. Throughout each individual story, Valente offers morals that children and adults can both takes from the stroies. I love the vivid images Valente paints in your mind and the artwork by Michael Kaluta helps to finalize those images. It’s a great story so far and very inspirational. I love how each story fits together and shows how different people can be and yet be linked in one way or other.

    I have a journal containing my favorite quotes that I’ve either read or heard somewhere and they’re sayings and advise I can one day pass along to my future children. I have already written two from the first half of this book.

    I do have two questions for Catherynne M. Valente:
    Question #1: What inspired you, if anything, to write this particular story?
    Question #2: Did you write each individual story then piece them together or did you write, or plan, them already intertwined?

    Thanks for the wonderful recommendation Joe. I’m looking forward to finishing this beautiful story.

  15. Hi Joe

    I tried to read The Orphan’s Tales, but I just couldn’t get my feeble brain wrapped around the story-within-story concept so I didn’t finish the book. I did like the idea that the stories were tatooed on her eyelids.

  16. By the way in my comment, the “her” I’m referring to about describing the story to is my mom. That’s what I get for not re-reading before hitting the submit button.

  17. LOL at the video.

    GITM- Thanks guys, you broke my heart along with John Sheppards. Excellent episode.

  18. Hello Joe.

    Thanks for the yesterday photos. I have 3 dogs and always enjoy the photos of your dogs, especially I love Lulu!

    Yesterday I saw GitM. WHAT A GREAT EPISODE!

    I think this episode is a good example about what Science Fiction is about. I love the space battles and the action in the episodes (my girlfriend hates me for that), but SciFi is about moral dilemmas and psychological analysis too.

    I have never been neither a fan of Weir nor I have hated her, but since she left the city in Lifeline, I have been waiting her reappearance in Atlantis.

    Really, if your objective, when you made her recurring, was give a twist to the character to make her more interesting, well, YOU HAVE SECURED THE OBJECTIVE:

    She has become an interesting character, and I think you should bring her back for the next season (With Torri or Michelle) since she is only frozen in the space.

    Leaving apart all the fanslovers who want her back in any way, I think that could be a good idea for the show to make her coming back to help the team, even in some kind of regular role.

    Really, Atlantis goes first for me, and If her comeback in GITM would have resulted in a bad episode, I will be the first to say “Don´t touch that arc or character again”, like I said before. But when you watch the end of the episode you have that feeling of ” She could be a cool part of the next season”

  19. I too misread the bit about the dogs harnesses and thought that you were beating up the pups.

    I remember when my friend’s little boy started school. I asked her how she would be able to tell him apart from all the other little ones when she went to pick him up – they were all uniform and dressed alike.

    Yet I can tell two black labradors apart and the meows’ of my two feline kiddies sound very different. But humans? Nah!

  20. Hi Joe!

    So far this season we haven’t seen any episodes leading with finding ZPMs. In GITM we see how Weir tells Rodney about many advanced civilizations they’ve encountered and mentions that she has downloaded the info for him. I assume this includes gate addresses. : ?

    But my core question is: Will we see episodes where ZPMs / power sources are sought / found / built. Would Weir have also downloaded the replicator ‘wiki’ including the part on how to bake a ZPM?? lol

    How bad was the power drain on the ZPM when the city was sunk by the GIM replicators ? ouch!

  21. OK, listen up Everyone in the We-*Seriously*-Hate-Ronon’s-Rug Club!

    Take note here JOE.

    The VEGAS ep — I’m assuming there will have to be some “hotel” scenes involved, yes? Right, soooo why not have a “Hair Stylist” convention going on and at some point, have Ronon suddenly surrounded by a swarm of ScissorHands types drooling over his locks…? Then cut to him showing up in Jason’s now normal hair. And so as to make it all work with ep 100 – you can maybe make it all a dream…

    JOE, please feel free to use this story idea – I will officially declare no claim to it if ever used! I [and a *LOT* of other people] just want to see the Rug *GONE* for Jason’s sake!

  22. Weir fans are going to go through this “will she/won’t she” uncertainty all over again now that it seems possible that she could be back. She could have a human body again.

    Can you please put us out of our misery.

    Give us a yes or a no. Will she be back or won’t she? Will you try to get Torri back, or won’t you?

    It’s been close to two years of uncertainty for her fans. We WERE just as valuable to you as any others in terms of ratings until you decided to jettison us in favour of fans from SG1 and Firefly.

    I think we deserve to know whether it’s worth us sticking around to see if she’ll be back, or if we should just move on. I know you like double talk, you like taunting the fans, you like playing fan groups off against each other. Just this once, tell it like it is, instead of telling it in a way that could be open to interpretation.

  23. ack. Forgot questions for Ms. Valente. And a couple of additional comments as well. Unlike you Mr. M., I enjoyed the end of the book, most especially the final sentence. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect ending. And the book does what any good product should. It leaves people wanting more.
    As for questions. Actually, Ms. Valente’s website has such a comprehensive FAQ, I’m almost at a loss to come up with anything new. But I will venture a couple. First, I see you’ve travelled to Japan. Have you travelled extensively elsewhere, and what countries/places would you like to visit if you had the time and means? Secondly, if you had the chance to travel to ancient Alexandria, and visit the Library, whose works would you seek out, and why? Thank you very much for your time and participation here, and more thanks for producing such an enchanted novel.

    And Mr. Mallozzi, your video of the day leaves me speechless. And unless I’m sadly mistaken(which is more often than not the case), I suspect Mr. Binder was eyeing you up at the end of the video, with a mind as to what sized straitjacket would be appropriate. hilarious video, and much welcomed. When the cast and crew gathers for the end of season picture, I dare you to orchastrate a short video of them showing off their funny-walk style. And thank you once more, not only for the laughs, but for making me realize how tall Mr. Binder is.

  24. AAAAAAAAAHAHAHAH!!!!!!! Love the silly walks and Joe you win hands down… got a good belly laugh out of that one!

    Now…we all want you do do that walk again WHILST eating the weird food purchase of the day.. ie simultaneously.. heheheheheh…. we’re mean!!!

    (aren’t we.. can I get a hell yeah?)

  25. I was surprised to learn that fast walking is an Olympic sport. I saw this one late night and burst into a fit of giggles as I could not believe my eyes. Who knew that walking fast could be considered a sport?! My mom always tells me to slow down when we go walking, perhaps I should give up fencing and get into this sport. lol

  26. Finally got around to watching Ghost In The Machine and I think that’s it for me. I started watching the show because I enjoyed the characters of Weir and Sheppard, they were great characters made better by their interaction together (not even mentioning the shipper possibilities). I was upset by Torri’s dismissal but stuck around with the hope that the show would still hold something for me but the loss of Weir left a gap that the new characters couldn’t quite fill although they have been interesting in their own right. Leaving Weir (if that was in fact Weir) hanging about in space with no plan to bring her back is too disappointing to want to continue any longer. I know many people still enjoy Atlantis so I hope the show continues for you guys, along with employing the fine actors who can’t be blamed for, in my opinion, the dumb choices the producers have made. Just my two cents, best of luck to everyone involved with the show, I however have watched my last episode.

  27. Love Ronon…not a fan of the hair. *big sigh*

    I think the problem is they keep letting his shorter real hair stick out of the wig and it looks like they just sort of comb it back up over the wig and it looks REALLY messy and weird.

    I’m not sure why they didn’t just take the dreads and make a full wig out of it and just hide all his hair underneath.

    I thought a great opportunity this season to fit in a haircut would have been when the Wraith turned him or when Tyre sacrificed himself to blow up the Wraith lab. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Hopefully next season a haircut can be worked into the show. Yes, I’m counting on season 6! *wink*


  28. The MGM Atlantis site doesn’t have the video up for The Shrine yet. Does that mean Atlantis is going to skip another week?

  29. Salut Joseph!!

    Mouhahahaah vous n’avez aucune chance petit canadian celui qui va gagner c’est Yohann Diniz notre champion d’europe et vice champion du monde !! lol

    Alalalal Merci pour cette video, vous me faite pleurer de rire! Et bien, vous ne vous ennuyer pas au bureaux lol, je comprenne que vous adorez votre travail lol

    Merci de m’avoir répondu ! Eurk…..de la graisse de boulet…Mais comment pouvez vous oser manger une t’elle chose lol ???

    aller gros bisou joseph! Je vous adore trés trés fort♥ Bisou

  30. Shawna Buchanan writes: “Why is it that the good guys are such pricks?”

    Answer: The Atlantis expedition is asked just that question (more or less) in season 5’s Inquisition.

    You mean they don’t put it in those exact terms? Aw, that’s a shame. Still, I’ll be interested to see the results and how they explain themselves. And also if they take anything there under advisement should a similar situation come up again. (I think I just really, really want a wraith or replicator to join the Atlantis team. It’s a shame the only people they can bring themselves to trust is… well, people. It would be great if they found a Jonas-like alien/replicator and didn’t screw him/her/it over. I guess that’s sort of where this is coming from.)

  31. PMSL Oh you guys at the ministry of funny walks crack me up but I thought it was all in the butt-cheek squeeze n wiggle not the wrist action!

    Looking forward to the end of the summer holidays (PAH! Summer? WHAT frakking summer!!) Then I can reclaim my living room and get a digger in to clear the detritus caused by bored kids watching TV, playing video games and board(bored) games.

    Roll on september and transport once again!!

  32. Hi Joe,

    Mark Dacascos’ Q & A is now posted on my site.
    The 9 episodes he mentioned having just filmed are from the upcoming “Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight” TV series.

  33. So, which line of your spoiler poem refers to “Ghost in the Machine”? I assume this one: “And a ghost from the past has us fearing the worst.” ?

  34. Hey Joe, following on from a question you answered in the mailbag; will we ever get to find out who Teyla was talking about having a crush on in Sunday?

    By the way, best video ever! Who was the woman that said “nerds”? I loved how Carl and Alex both pushed Lawren backwards at the same time, and Paul and Alan poking their heads out to investigate lol. Was Martin filming?

  35. I realize you were caught in a bind by real life circumstances, but I was really hoping you would come up with something more creative than the invisible boyfriend who Teyla forgot to mention and you forgot to show, but he’s really been there all along, honest.

    Now you’re even retconning past seasons to squeeze in more invisible Kanaan? I enjoyed the crush on John that Teyla revealed in Sunday. Now because of events that I’m none too pleased with in S4 and S5, you have to take away that small hint of John/Teyla we were given in S3? Thanks for nothing.

    The whole thing feels really cheap. Wouldn’t it be more of a creative challenge to move forward with the story you created, than to expect your audience to pretend we didn’t see what’s already been aired?

  36. The Orphan’s Tale… Wow!

    As I read this book I flashed back to my creative writing workshop. There they beat into my head certain essential writing rules. Amongst those rules were two in particular. First, never use overly flowery language. Second, avoid excessive exposition. Honestly I believe in most cases these rules hold true. I cannot begin to describe all of the saccharine poetry and insanely long stories filled with useless details that I trudged through in those classes (not that I’m any Aldous Huxley). However, once in a very long while, you find someone who can abandon those rules and make it work. Mrs. Valente made it work.

    I found the exposition in this book to be extensive, nearing, but not reaching, excessive. It seemed as though the cloned love child of Rodney McKay and Daniel Jackson decided to write a fairy tale. I found myself dragged through the story trying to find some footing to pause, which was both thrilling and exhausting. The tales were short which should have made it a good bus read, but I found myself begrudging my approaching stop. The stopping and starting also made it difficult to keep up with the story.

    It was also in the convoluted nature of the stories that I found the most pleasure and the most difficulty. This is one of those books that are best read at least two times to truly appreciate it. I found myself constantly flipping back and forth through the book trying to remember where I had read a name or a place to find some footing in the current tale. I personally love these sorts of stories, but I also have to be completely invested in it. This book was compelling and intriguing which made it easy to stick with until the end.

    Given the fluid nature of the book with all the constantly intertwining plots, I found it difficult to pick a favorite character or tale. Two in particular did stand out to me. The first was the Grandmother’s Tale in the first book. Her journey through the cave and the entire Black Mare mythology was well-developed and fascinating. The other was the Tale of St. Sigrid. It was interesting to see how one three-breasted woman was deified over the years and in the end wanted no part of her own religion. In the end I couldn’t decide because the tales nested within these tales were also wonderful. I guess you just have to take the work as a whole or not at all.

    For Mrs. Valente…

    Now to the actual questions…

    1) You had dozens of story threads that you had to keep track of and tie up at the end. How did you keep them all straight? Flow charts, venn diagrams? I kept seeing that scene from A Beautiful Mind where the room was filled with highlighted newspapers connected by red string.

    2) I was really impressed by your Black Mare/Star mythology. What were your influences?

    3) This is my random stupid personal question. It is intended to get a little peek inside your head but if you find it offensive, feel free to ignore it entirely. Do you find that you have difficulty answering questions with a simple yes or no? Do you feel compelled to elaborate on everything?

    Thank you for writing a wonderful book and coming to answer our questions.

  37. Ofaite pouvez vous mêttre cette video sur votre Photobucker car je les dans mes favorie et je voudrais pouvoir la revoir plus tard.

    Merci =)

  38. a oui aussi…

    Même si votre façon de marcher et trés funny et qu’elle donne envi de danser…elle est n’est pas valide a la compétition car il faut avoir les peid qui touche toujour le sol^^!
    Si je devrais parier je le ferais sur celui qui a des lunette ( je ne connais pas son nom^^)

    aller bisou, joseph!

  39. “I have many friends who ended up marrying a good friend in whom they’d hitherto shown no romantic interest.”

    And here i was thinking marriage was incantations against the dark and not romance.

  40. Hi Joe,

    GiTM was an enjoyable episode. Fran/Weir took a bit of getting used to but the actress did a good job. I was a little taken aback that Weir would lead the Relicators to Atlantis but her sacrifice in the end was quite poignant and a sad way to end the fate of Weir.

    I did find the Weir/Teyla scene a little odd with Weir seeing a sparkle in Teyla’s eye over a year ago. I just couldnt conjure up a scene with something like that, just seemed a bit of a girly thing to say. I get the feelings that the writers don’t want us to think that Teyla just hooked up with Kanaan on a whim but I really don’t see the problem with it just happened as Teyla herself said.

    Do you think we will think badly of Teyla because she had a fling with someone. You don’t have to be madly in love to sleep with someone. Kanaan was really a plot device and I’m not sure what the purpose is keeping him around. Again do the writers think it would reflect badly on Teyla to go back to the team and leave her baby with someone besides the loving father. Well it happens all the time moms leave their kids with carers.

    I am missing the Teyla from previous seasons. The warm and caring Teyla who seemed to enjoy the company of her team mates. But now all we see is a very serious Teyla who doesn’t seem to interact with anyone much these days and the warm team feeling particulary between her and Sheppard seems to have gone. I hope this is not intentional and the writers are not going to sarcrifice their great dynamic to keep pushing the Kanaan angle.

  41. Hey Joe!

    Ever watch “Malcolm in the Middle”? BEST EVER fast walking! The dad, Hal, got all into it and his outfits were just as hilarious as his fast walking. Priceless tv. (No, NOT better than SGA… maybe second best? 😉 )

    I agree with Patricia Lee: You have too much fun at work.

    Of course, that’s a good thing.

    Trish 😀

  42. Hi Joe – quick question on “Ghost in the Machine” (which I really enjoyed) – when Teyla told Fran!Weir that Torren was off-world with his father, was that the truth or was Teyla misleading her? ps – loved that Fran!Weir asked if John was the father!


  43. Well, if they are going to just leave her out there, I hope that you guys could bring her back in the next or later seasons. It may also work practically, because maybe Torri will change her mind about this. Of course, I don’t know the specifics, so it’s not like I can say that. But it’d just be so cool if Elizabeth could get her body back….

    Question regarding “Ark of Truth”:

    Since the IOA introduced the disk to create a replicator on the Odyssey, and caused massive damage not just to the ship, but also probably the deaths of several crewman, wouldn’t they be punished in some way? Wouldn’t they lose privileges in how much they had a say in the Stargate program?

    What is the Odyssey doing right now, now that the Ori are defeated? Is it just making peace keeping missions in the Milky Way and such, or is there a chance that we’ll see that ship any time soon?

  44. That’s great that you all can have a fast-funny-walk race! Very entertaining!

  45. Kathleen, Fran/Weir looked SHOCKED AS HELL at the prospect of John being the father of Teyla’s baby. I don’t think it furthers the cause for Sheppard and Teyla to be shipped together.

    I mean, for crying out loud. Weir looked shocked, Teyla quickly assured her that wasn’t the case, and when Weir mentioned the baby to John, he brushed it off and went about business.

    There was nothing remotely “shippy” in that scene. The comment was made because the baby had John’s name as a middle name. Simple as that.

    Besides, it’d be pretty tacky to name your kid after a guy you want when you’ve had it with another guy.

  46. Hey Joe. I’m noticing a little habit has popped up here that’s been missing for a while. People asking questions about Weir, and you not answering them.

    Are you going to answer questions about her? Going by what I’ve seen online, mostly at Gateworld, a lot of people seem to be interested in whether you’ll get Torri back on the show. There seems to be renewed interest in the character, and a desire to see Torri back in some way as Weir.

    Think butts on seats, Joe. Bringing her back will get you butts on seats, right in front of the TV when Atlantis is on. Torri as Weir was and always will be someone viewers will go out of their way to see.

  47. @das
    Why are you afraid that the writers could want to get rid of the Wraith? Concerning the Wraith I’m a bit paranoid, too, but for the moment I cannot see any alarm signals. I’m more concerned about that “alternative food-thing” and what that would mean for the Wraith – should it work. I’m still hoping that Todd is only pretending interest because he what to get help from Teyla in “The Queen” and then cock a snook at the humans by saying “Sorry – we’ve tried that before and it doesn’t work. So – bye! Have a nice day. :mrgreen:

    Initially, I wanted to write something to Weir and her return, that seems to be wished by some fans, but I think I’d better leave that. I don’t want to add fuel to the fire. Just so much: I don’t want her to come back.

  48. @ Pamela – From the little I’ve read regarding Torri, I was under the impression that SHE washed her hands of the show, and no amount of ‘begging’ would bring her back. I might be wrong, seeing as how most of my attention is focused on you-know-what, but that’s how I understood it – she was offered a part, and rejected it. Ball’s in her court, it would seem.


  49. Pamela:”People asking questions about Weir, and you not answering them.”

    Because he has. They asked, she (Higginson) said no. No she won’t be back again.

    “Think butts on seats, Joe. Bringing her back will get you butts on seats, right in front of the TV when Atlantis is on”

    But how many? Some people have been mad all the time that they didn’t carry Jessica Steen over, and others are happy to see her leave.

  50. As i write this it’s 7.30pm here in the UK and only half an hour until the new series of Atlantis starts for us. Ooooh!! I’ll give my verdict later or tomorrow! I just can’t wait!!

  51. @ Pamela – Joe has answered Weir questions before. If you do a search in previous blog entries, you will find those Q&As.

    As for how many seats aren’t filled cuz TH isn’t on the show anymore or how many seats would be filled if TH came back, it’s purely fannish conjecture.

    For me, even though I really liked the character, it doesn’t matter whether she’s currently on it or not. My butt is in my seat Friday nights.

    @ das – Who ‘begged?’ Gotta quote to point me to?

    eddy 🙂

  52. LOL, you guys are so funny, Joe. Personally, I think shopping should be classified as an Olympic sport. Anyone who doesn’t think that it requires a lot of strength and endurance hasn’t been shopping with my daughter. Anyway….. you better prepare yourself, Joe, because rumor has it that the Olympics are headed your way.

    Thanks for confirming that Lexa will still be able to do her guest blog.

    And OMG I saw the pictures from “First Contact” with Daniel in them. I can’t wait for his episodes (as if you didn’t already know that). *g*


  53. @ noir – I’m a ‘worry wort’. 😀 If I try to think of positive outcomes, my brain says, ‘don’t get your hopes up, nothing good like that ever happens.’ On the negative side, it tends to make me always think the worst. On the positive side, when things go right – even little things – I’m easily satisfied because my expectations were so low to begin with.

    That aside, I guess I just look at the trends. Wraith – as a rule – don’t survive an episode (and of those who have, only Todd has had a recurring role, while the others just faded away without further development). If they can’t survive an episode, I doubt very much they will survive the series (sure, they will be around for a while, but when the last word for SGA is written – whether that be in episode or movie form – I suspect only humans will be left standing). I might be wrong – will be thrilled if I’m wrong – but I am prepared to be right…if I last that long.

    As far as the feeding thing goes – I don’t mind if there’s an alternative, as long as it is just that – an alternative – NOT a replacement. An alternative food source would allow a Wraith to do both – use the alternative and/or feed on humans (if his little green heart so desired). However, if they are given the choice of one OR the other it will change their nature, and turn them into something they are not – just like Michael. I like the threat presented by their ability to feed, and though I’d like to see some learn to suppress their urges, I do not want them to give it up all together. It would be their ‘secret weapon’, so to speak.

    For instance, what if a Wraith accepts using an alternative food source in order to cooperate with humans, but still can feed the old-fashioned way? Even if you take his weapons away, he will always be armed, which could come in ‘handy’ when up against an enemy who is not familiar with his unique feeding abilities. This way you keep the characters deadly, dangerous, and unpredictable, while providing a reasonable ‘solution’ that allows them to cooperate with humans if the need arises.

    It’s really not that much to ask for. Some work as occasional allies (while remaining mostly in a gray area), while others continue as enemies…with lines constantly being crossed. But to make it work, Wraith characters – even bad ones – have to survive through an episode…that way you never know which one is suddenly going to turn, and which is going to surprise you by doing the right thing. Keeps things exciting, instead of knowing that every Wraith you see will end up dead somewhere within the hour. But from everything I’ve heard, there is no intention of bringing any other Wraith – whether it be an individual or a group – into a more workable ‘gray’ area. Only Todd, and only for now. Kinda sucks.

    @ Joe – 😆 Just watched the silly walk video, and now we know why no work gets done! LOLOL! Wiggly hip man! John Cleese! The tall guy – that’s Carl, right? He’s kinda cute when he’s not scowling in restaurant pics. And WHAT were you doing with your hands???!! Looked like you were husking invisible ears of corn. 😕 Thanks for the laugh!


  54. I wanted you to know that I absolutely loved Ghost in the Machine.

    Michelle Morgan did a great job, and if we can’t get TH back she is a good substitute. Everyone’s reaction to her was very much in character.

    I’m not sure why Teyla’s relationship with Kanaan confuses some people so much. May I just say that I think it is nice to see a stable relationship in SciFi? I understand why you decided to make the father an Athosian and love the fact that she seems so happy. More Kanaan please. Obviously any crush she had on John years ago was just that. And the writers have done a good job bringing in the fact that first Ronon and now Weir knew about him.

    Now, does this mean we might have an Athosian wedding in our future?

  55. @ AV eddy – I was simply speaking of the IMPRESSION I got from a few comments (very few) I read, not that there was actually any begging going on. Nothing I said above is a quote, or even an indirect quote, from anyone else – it’s simply my impression, and my impression alone.


  56. “Ghost in the Machine”… Well, really sad episode that makes me wonder some things and some questions, about the episode itself and the behind the scenes:

    I don´t buy Weir’s story. Being Oberoth so vindictive and full of hatred towards the humans, especially towards Weir, I do not believe that he killed her physical body so easily. Rather, he would torture her body and prove her mind endlessly in revenge for Weir’s mindgames with his own mind in “Lifeline”. I know, is pretty dark, but pretty realistic… And that makes me think that this Weir is one more copy, and that this not is the real Weir captivity history, no?

    So, the episode finished as it begins, with Weir (the real or another copy) lost in the space. You have plans for her, or this is an open-ended for another season?

    This is the history and the end that you had planned, or you had changed it when Torri Higginson refused to participate? If so, you could say which was the original idea that you had in mind?

    You have thought about contacting again with Torri Higginson if there is a sixth season, or it’s something that you even nor consider?

    And a question about the previous episode: the new evil race in the universe parallel has a name?

    Thanks for your time and patience, Mr. Mallozzi.

  57. Wow. Bridge Studios has got to be the most fun place to work ever! That’s a hilarious vid. So what’s next? How about a bicycle race down the hall? The inevitable 4-bike pile up would be worth the LOLs.

    I think Ivon should come up with a DVD feature where it’s just a compilation of the antics you writers get up to during the shooting year; it’d be great! 😀

  58. Funny video, but I sense it was a cunning scheme to avoid the dessicated chicken hearts :p

  59. In the Night Garden was a wonderful book. The other critiques basically said in a much more articulate way how I feel about the book. I enjoyed it so much that I am now starting the sequel. My one complaint is one that Joe and others have mentioned – I had to go back quite a few times to re-read whole sections, because I forgot who a certain character was or how someone related to someone else. This book is definitely complex and is not light reading. I would also recommend not putting it down for several days and coming back to it – you lose so much and you must backtrack to try to remember everything.

    But the tales were glorious – griffins, satyrs, firebirds, witches, kings and other assorted creatures brought the different stories to life, and I love how they all came together at the end. I felt that the first part of the book dealing with the prince and witch came to a much better conclusion than the second story about the griffin, bear, Sigrid, etc. But, unlike Joe, I did like the last sentence of the book.

    My questions for Ms. Valente:

    I was entranced by your book. How did you come up with the idea to write a book of interrelating stories? Did you have to do much research to come up with all the different characters and mythologies?

  60. Kay said: I enjoyed the crush on John that Teyla revealed in Sunday.

    Now, see – I always thought it was Carson she had the thing for. She always seems too sister-ish to John.

    Jessica said: Besides, it’d be pretty tacky to name your kid after a guy you want when you’ve had it with another guy.

    Hell, yeah! *Very* tacky!

    Sam said: Do you think we will think badly of Teyla because she had a fling with someone.

    Heh. Judging by the furore over Keller in Trio, the writers could be forgiven for expecting a bad reaction from the ‘fans’.

  61. I don’t really see how the show is going back and “retconning” anything, we were never told who Teyla’s crush was on the show, heck it would have been random marine guy Ronon and John were teasing her about. The thing is we hardly knew anything about Teyla and personally I like Teyla/Kanaan because we do get to see more of who Teyla is as a person outside the team. We get another look into who she is as a mother and as a girlfriend. I was going to say wife but then I realized they weren’t married…yet. I’m really enjoying the family dynamic that is only Teyla’s. It has done wonders for her character, like in GITM when she obviously lied to Elizabeth about Kanaan and Torren being offworld. She cares about Elizabeth but she is trying to protect her family and that is so understandable and so human. I love this little insight into Teyla. I hope we continue to see more of it.

  62. 1) Est ce que Joe,David,Rachel on un petit surnom dans l’equipe? si oui, lesquels ?
    2)Dans quelle saison avez vous mit le plus de coeur à la produire ?

  63. What was that, Power-walking?

    Seriously, They have this as an olympic sport?

    Whats the deal with power-walking anyway. I mean I get walking, But “power”-walking? Why not just run? :-/

  64. I believe that the real technique is to roll your hips to maintain speed while ensuring that you comply with rule number one of speedwalking: That one foot must be in contact with the ground at all times.

    Not that I actually know anything about the activity… errr, sport.

  65. On this week’s book club selection-I’m sorry but the “and this happened, then this happen” soo many times in a row I couldn’t keep up. The “main” characters I understood, it was the tales I didn’t get. I had to flip to the end oh 50 pages (if that) into it. Just not my cup of tea.

    As for the latest video-I only WISH I could have that kind of fun at work. 🙂 Thanks for it.

  66. Hi Joe,

    I think a couple of entries ago you asked what were some of our favorite Ronan lines, I might be a little late in replying but these are two lines I like.

    Tabula Rasa — When Ronan shots John and says “Never get old”

    Midway – When John tells Ronan he has to go to Midway and Ronan reply “I hate you”

    Thanks for all the great entries, they sure do make the work day go by faster, and the food tasting, well………..

  67. I really enjoyed reading In The Night Garden and I also thought it ended strangely, thanks for the tip on the next book. I thought the artwork was very very good, it was nice to have a picture to compare what my thoughts on the characters were, great job. I don’t believe I will ever look at Crows in the same way anymore. I agree I liked the way the stories were short into the next one, made it easier for me to keep track of the magical weaving storyline. I think my favorite part was Giota and the Griffin’s egg. This is a great fairy tale fantasy and I would definately recommend it to everyone. The blending of the stories was really easy to follow and kept my interest after the first few pages, I felt like the boy prince and couldn’t wait to hear the first tale.
    –Was there a reason the boy prince and the girl with the birthmark eyes had no names in the story?
    –How long did it take to write this book?
    –Thank you for taking time to answer questions,I am looking forward to the next story. and thanks Joe M. 🙂

  68. Eat your heart out John Cleese and the Ministry of Silly Walks.

    You are all too competitive by half, but I called it like this….in third place and taking the bronze for his almost lycanthropic quality is Ivon Bartok.

    In second place and taking silver, but almost missing the corner and pirouetting out of a second floor window is Carl Binder.

    That leaves first place and holding fast to the gold medal, which is really chocolate inside, is Joe Mallozzi. With a resounding quietude our hero humbly accepts his accolade.

    Alex Levine was later disqualified for mixing up walking with gymnastics.

    Well done to everyone and let’s hope the boss doesn’t get sent a copy of the video!


  69. sam wrote: I am missing the Teyla from previous seasons. The warm and caring Teyla who seemed to enjoy the company of her team mates. But now all we see is a very serious Teyla who doesn’t seem to interact with anyone much these days and the warm team feeling particulary between her and Sheppard seems to have gone. I hope this is not intentional and the writers are not going to sarcrifice their great dynamic to keep pushing the Kanaan angle.

    Some of you also think that Teyla has changed. To me she has not changed. She still cares about the team, Atlantis, and her people. The only thing that has changed is her priorities. When she was on the team before she was helping her people. Now that she is a mother her priority is her son. Many mothers return to work and have careers, but many of them would still put their family first. This is the same with Teyla.

    She still has the “warm team feeling” with the team. It waas apparrent in Deadleus Variations. Its just that their circumstances are different in GiTM. I believe it was the Team as a whole that was distance to Fran/Weir then the other way around.

    It was easier to except Weir the last time they saw her, because she was in her “original body.” However, this time it was just her voice. They wanted to believe that it was Weir but they were also cautious. I believe that is what we were seeing when Weir was talking to Teyla about Torren.

    Am I right Joe?

  70. @ das: Thanks! I wasn’t sure if you had read something specific or were going with the overall impression. 🙂


  71. @das

    Wraith – as a rule – don’t survive an episode (and of those who have, only Todd has had a recurring role, while the others just faded away without further development). If they can’t survive an episode, I doubt very much they will survive the series (sure, they will be around for a while, but when the last word for SGA is written – whether that be in episode or movie form – I suspect only humans will be left standing). I might be wrong – will be thrilled if I’m wrong – but I am prepared to be right…if I last that long.

    I don’t think the fact that most of the Wraith don’t survive an episode is bad will of the writers or a sign that they don’t like the Wraith. I think they hardly have a choice. Most series tend to stories that are “complete”. In the end the good ones have to survive and the bad ones have to die, so that the audience can switch off their TV and got to bed satisfied and in peace because “the world is in order again”. I guess the majority of the viewers think so and you cannot produce a series and ignore the mass of the people that watch that show.
    I like dark stories, I like dark and open ends – but most of the series I really liked don’t survive their first season. So I’m a bad example. 😉 “Total Recall 2070” was such a series. 🙁

    And yes – I’d, too, like to see the Wraith survive at the end of SGA. Hope the writers let them take as many humans they could get, let them get on their hives and leave the galaxy. The universe is huge and the Wraith aren’t stupid. I’m sure they would survive and it would be comforting to know they are alive and out there. Somewhere…

    As far as the feeding thing goes – I don’t mind if there’s an alternative, as long as it is just that – an alternative – NOT a replacement. An alternative food source would allow a Wraith to do both – use the alternative and/or feed on humans (if his little green heart so desired). However, if they are given the choice of one OR the other it will change their nature, and turn them into something they are not – just like Michael. I like the threat presented by their ability to feed, and though I’d like to see some learn to suppress their urges, I do not want them to give it up all together. It would be their ’secret weapon’, so to speak.

    And exactly the alternative takes away their innocence. And innocent they are – so ridiculous that sounds. For the Moment they don’t have a choice but to feed on humans. With an alternative food source they have a choice and then the Wraith are divided into two fractions: The good ones that are nibbling on daisies and the bad ones that are nibbling on humans. In the end it would be the same thing as with Goa’uld and Tok’ra. I said it before: I want no “Wraith-Tok’ra”. The Tok’ra have been boring. 🙁

    There is no argument against cooperation between unchanged Wraith and humans. They could if they wanted to. They are no animals that cannot control their own desire. You can see it in “Broken Ties”. I’m sure a Wraith needs more self-control to stop feeding and give back what he took, than to take all and leave a dead body.

    And how will you defend the Wraith after they have an alternative? I always argued with the fact that they have no choice but to feed on humans and they have a right to live. That there is no argument that they should starve only because their pray are we. But after an alternative food source – how will you argument then? How do you call a person that kills another person just out of lust and desire? Yes – murderer. And exactly that is what all the Wraith-haters will tell us then. And I have no moral argument against. 🙁

  72. Yes, it was confirmed that Teyla’s crush in Sunday was John. Despite the obvious plot parallels in the episode itself, it was officially confirmed in the Sunday Commentary by Martin Gero.

    No, this doesn’t mean that her being with Kanaan now means there is a plot hole, or that her character is shallow/changed “for jumping into bed” with someone else, and no it doesn’t mean the writers are trying to retcon over previous John/Teyla hints.

    As JM has already explained and as should be quite clear, the facts have been established as such:

    Teyla grew up with Kanaan.
    Teyla was friends with Kanaan and spoke of him to Ronon and Elizabeth.
    Teyla met John along the way and developed a crush on him.
    Teyla was waitiang for John to make the first move.
    John never made a first move.
    Teyla moved on to Kanaan just recently and while not planned, got pregnant.
    Teyla is with Kanaan right now.

    This doesn’t mean that Teyla was with Kanaan while she had a crush on John, it doesn’t mean she “suddenly” jumped into bed with another man while still crushing on John. Developing feelings for someone else should in no way make her shallow now.

    The continued hints of John’s feelings in season four with his jealousy and his dream in S&R, the S4 Commentary that calls Kanaan Teyla’s life partner “for the next ten minutes,” the recent comments at the Comic Con 08 that John and Teyla’s relationship will yet be addressed… All are examples that hint that there could be more to come. Perhaps there won’t be. Perhaps there will be. But there hasn’t been anything conflicting or confusing or contradicting so far, whether you actually like or dislike J/T or whether you like or dislike Kanaan.

    And yes, I am a J/T shipper. And no, I don’t expect to see on screen romance. But yes, I do hope and believe we will eventually move past Kanaan, continue to see the sublte sexual tension between John and Teyla (who will continue to be conveniently kept apart by various plot devices), and just maybe if I’m really lucky, see something between them at series/movie end.

    That is my personal hope.

    But that is separate from the facts of what we know to be confirmed up until today which can’t and shouldn’t be swayed by personal opinion.

  73. Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden
    I’ve found out I’m definitely not fond of this “Arabian Nights circle format” which reads like a breeze heavily laden with camel spit. But, that said, I did wipe it off and enjoy many of the sub stories and even identified with one (being a witch of leaves and grass who loves horses and respects wolves). The screwy similic language coated cloyingly at times as did the blood. My biggest problem was keeping track of where the stories connected and even if they did connect. I’m still not too sure of a few. I couldn’t quite catch the tune. Some of the short chapters were like a single drop of water to someone dying of thirst. I liked the Light references and stream of connection with the Knife. If I had to pick a fave character it is the boy prince to whom the stories were being told. Resourceful kid, I bet he’s the heir. Did we ever get his name? My fave place was the Dreaming City, the City of Light, the Anointed City: Al-a-Nur of the Twelve Towers, I immediately knew my place would’ve been in the Nightingale Tower. Too bad there wasn’t more about that but I thought the descriptions of the city and life there were terrific. I still don’t get it about the Yi and I thought I got it about the Stars, but as the book progressed I got more confused. I did get the Sigrid and polar bear end of things. I do like things nautical and that magic is magic. Papess = LOL. Nice. I see that there is a second volume Cities of Coin and Spice, not sure if I’ll ever get to it due to disliking the format. But perhaps I might someday, just to follow the boy. And Dinarzad. And don’t pay the ferryman til he gets ya to the other side.

  74. Hey now =)
    Racewalking is a serious Olympic competition! LOL whenever I feel like I’m being a pathetically slow runner, I always remind myself that I am a verrry fast racewalker! In fact, I can racewalk a faster mile than my average running mile!!!
    Lol the video CRACKED ME UP!!!!

  75. I’m not shipper of any variety. I like my shows to be ship-free. I will say though that Sheppard and Tayla are like watching paint dry. Only maybe watching paint dry has more excitement to it.

    They have no chemistry, because the actors have no chemistry. If only the powers that be could see that, we could move on from this debarcle and concentrate on something that’s actually important. Um, like maybe the show.

    Joe has chemistry with David Hewlett and Robert Picardo. He works well with both of them. He even had chemistry with Michelle Morgan.

    Joe and Rachel. Really, they have no chemistry. None at all. Look away, nothing to see, move on.

  76. If Sheyla’s so obvious, why are the Sheylas running around like headless chickens in their thread, panicking about the scene with Fran/Weir and Teyla, saying they wish it had been left on the cutting room floor?

    I never cease to be amazed how such a supposedly confident in their ship group can be so hateful towards a character as they are to Weir, or how they can be so damned afraid of a character that’s DEAD!

    For the record, I’m not a Sparky shipper, I actually like my Lizabeth with Rodney. But even I can see how dumb and self destructive this behavior is.

  77. G’day Joe

    On the walking, it can get rather scientific. You have to have one foot on the ground at all times or else you are

    And an Aussie won the bronze in the mens.
    Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi.
    He is a potato farmer.

    Enjoyed Ghost in the Machine.

    I was another who for a millisecond thought i read that you beat the dogs. I am ashamed and i apologize.

    have a great day

  78. Thank you for the update on Lexa guest blog, I read somewhere she is going to be appearing in another episode of Eureka, so that is very exciting for her fans 🙂

    Search and Rescue aired in the UK tonight and it was a very enjoyable start to the season, now very much looking forward to more next week. 🙂 Especially adored Rodneys panic over playing midwife and admired Teylas calm while going through giving birth! A true test of her nature! It’s going to be interesting to see how Woosey is recieved.

  79. But it was never stated in THE SHOW who is was. It was vague just like every other ship hint in the show, Ronon/Teyla, Shep/Mckay, Shep/Weir, Rodney/Keller, Keller/Ronon. I don’t see Shep/Teyla at all, I never thought John was jealous, or did I ever think Teyla had a crush on him. I mean they are obviously both very attractive people and they thought each other was “hot” but it didn’t go anywhere after the initial first episodes in s1. How many people do you think are hot? You don’t pursue a relationship with everyone that you think is hot. Even if Teyla had a crush on John (which I don’t believe at all) it would have been just that a crush, a crush doesn’t equate to true love.

    This is of course my opinion. In the end I think the SGA is vague enough that people see whatever they want to see. I see no Shep/Teyla while others might. But I’ll happily live in Teyla/Kanaan land because it is refreshing to see a supporting relationship on SGA. I mean Kanaan is basically the perfect boyfriend.

    I do have a question for JM. Rodney/Keller please let it happen. Okay not a question more like a statement. They are too cute.

  80. My problem about Teyla/Kanaan is quite simply ZILCH spark and chemistry cannot be forced- it is either there or not and between these two is is so NOT !
    My other issue is why not try out John/Teyla and go with it ?
    Seems to me McKay is the ONLY one getting any substancial airtime, romance, and character development and all the rest are supporting him and while I do enjoy McKay I am tired of SGA being The McKay Show more and more ..
    Also let Jason/Ronon show off his shorter locks and drop the wig- it looks stupid .

  81. @ noir – will make this quick because I’ve already said too much on the subject here…

    Oh, I can still defend the Wraith if they have an alternative. 😀 Like I said before, I do not want it to change their nature – I still want them to crave humans, and feed when the spirit moves them…even the ‘daisy eating’ ones. The thing is – and as Mallozzi said – it is feeding upon humans that gives them their regenerative abilities. That is part of their nature – they will still need, and long for – a human food source in order to survive. It’s the same as us needing water in order to survive. Sure, we can drink juice and other liquids, but in the end it’s water that gives us life. Likewise, humans are ‘water’ to the Wraith, so even if they find another food source that can sustain them, they will still always need to return to their human springs if they are to truly survive.

    That’s what I’d like – something along those lines. This way, even an alternative-feeding Wraith can never be fully trusted, though – perhaps – the humans can learn to understand and accept his need, knowing that it is still a biological need, though a slightly diminished one.

    Think of it this way – some people have snakes for pets. They may not like feeding that snake baby mice and stuff, but they know it’s the only way their pet will survive. So, too, the humans may not like the fact that – once in a while – a Wraith ally must – and I say MUST – give into his nature and feed on a human. But instead of doing so every few weeks, perhaps now he will only need to do so once or twice a year. This way all Wraith would remain ‘Wraith’ – those who suppliment their diet with something else in an attempt to coexist more comfortably with humans, and those who don’t. Afterall, it is their ‘need to feed’ that makes them so intriguing, and I don’t want to see them lose it…otherwise, they’re just creepy green dudes in spiffy leather coats.

    Yeah – I know – that wasn’t very ‘quick’. 😛


  82. Shippers, BACK TO YOUR CORNERS!

    I and many others have had enough of the sniping. BUT I will say one thing on the matter: The Shep/Teyla people need to stop running around like Martyrs and saints. They are not either of those things.

    I lurk on Gateworld a lot and have been in the GitM thread watching the happenings. Joe, really, it’s better than reality TV. More laughs, more fights. You should check it out some time.

    My point is this: the Shep/Teyla types are purposely stirring things up by making stupid statements like Shep’s never shown any emotion towards Elizabeth and they have been taunting the Shep/Weir people by saying that their ship is dead and buried. For people who like to think their ship is so certain to happen, they’re showing a lot of insecurity in their need to pick on other shippers.

    Put the shoe on the other foot people. See how you’d feel. I’ve seen them say nothing other than what those who don’t ship have said when it comes to the Sheppard/Weir fans. They saw how distressed Sheppard was to watch “Franibeth” walk through the gate, knowing they’d lost her again. But the Shep/Teyla people? They deny he’s ever shown any emotion towards her. They look at his face in that last scene and say they can’t see anything.

    Non shippers can see it, guys. We don’t look for romance and don’t want to see romance but we can see when there’s an emotional connection between characters in terms of friendship and loyalty. To say that he shows no emotion towards her means that you’re either blind or stupid.

    Shep shows emotion towards all the other characters in varying degrees. He had very much a protective role when it comes to Weir because she was a civilian and the head of their expedition and her safety was therefore his reponsibility. Of course he’s showing emotion towards her, just as he’d show towards Teyla or Ronon or any of the others if they were dying or sacrificing themselves. The difference is that most of the others are warriors or soldiers or the like and of course his approach to them is going to be different.

    I saw one comment that made me want to barf, Joe. Can you please clarify this. One of the Shep/Teyla shippers has said on Gateworld that you considered making Sheppard the father of Teyla’s baby and that you said as much on this blog. Now I’m not here all the time. I come and go (you know, I actually have a real life) but I’ve never seen you say that. The only thing that I’ve seen you say in reference to that is that you were never going to make two members of the team parents at the same time, which is why the Rodney/baby plan fell by the wayside. Going by that statement, Teyla/John would also not be parents at the same time, meaning he couldn’t possibly be the father of her child. Can you please answer this question, because Shep/Teyla people using this as an excuse to fire up yet more ship wars is the last thing we need.

    Oh! And one more thing. Please, please tell me that the Keller/Ronon and Keller/McKay business is going to be over ASAP. We’re scifi fans. If we wanted to sit through love triangles, we’d be watching The Young and the Restless.

    Please end the shipping. The only ship I think I can tolerate is Teyla/Kanaan because at least we know something real has happened between them given the fact they have a child together. It’s also more palatable because he’s off-screen most of the time.

    I second the call for an Athosian wedding. Then can we all move past the romance and get on with the scifi?

  83. @ hahahha

    As so painfully missed or perhaps as I so painfully failed to explain, my post WAS actually directed at my fellow J/T shippers, some of whom are the ones saying Teyla is out of character/shallow/confused with the timeline/etc. I was merely trying to show that while of course we all have our own opinions and interpretations, we should try to objectively keep them separate from the facts. And yes, I am guilty of struggling with this as well. I think any of us would be, over whatever part of the show we are passionate about.

    And again, yes, I am a J/T shipper, saying this to my fellow shippers, who has also been a fan of Elizabeth all along. It’s not very prudent or accurate to lump us all together nor is it to mock people for expressing their individual opinions. I was NOT trying to get involved in a ridiculous and pointless pointing of fingers, shippy or otherwise. I am MERELY trying to show the facts, as separate from opinion. And with those facts, as again Joe said just yesterday, are that Teyla can have a crush on one person and then eventually move on to another. The timeline should be as simple as that, regardless of our personal opinions of it.

  84. @ Ihateshippers!

    I will NOT get into this. If you read objectively, comments, snides, attacks, over-reactions, blah, blah, blah, go both ways. Extremely sad and pointless and utterly ridiculous. On that, we do agree.

    I just wanted to clarify your question on the “John as father” comment. I don’t know who in Gateworld mentioned it or how it was used and nor do I care, but to explain where it comes from, it’s from the S4 commentary. I forget which episode right now, but there is a brief and passing dialogue between Joe and two others about how Kanaan came to be. Joe says something along the lines that “I think we even briefly considered making Sheppard the father at one point, but that was quickly shot down by Paulie…” I’m paraphrasing a bit here, but you get the idea.

  85. Heh. Re: fast-funny-walking, you should ask Bill Nye about “Speedwalker”….

  86. Wow, I learn something new every day. Fast walking an olympic sport, go figure. Maybe I’ll get the guys at work to try it tomorrow (lol). That’d be too funny, I would not participate because I think I would trip over my feet. Work thinks I am nuts anyway for the Stargate Atlantis love, if I keep bringing your ideas to work, they are going to ship me to you express with the biggest boot they have. Hey, I figure I keep it humerous, because, yes everyone should have a great time at work.

    Other comments on the John/Teyla ship are interesting. I never thought they had chemistry at all even though hints were there in the writing. I did however feel the chemistry with john and elizabeth and of course john and larin. I have to agree with one comment that Teyla always seemed more of a sister to john and he her protector in the same since.

  87. I’m a J/T shipper and have NEVER seen any J/Ters going into any posts causing trouble but have seen many J/W shippers try starting trouble and being disrespectful to Rachel and extreme hatred directed toward Teyla .
    Seems to me the Torri/ Weir fans are angry about her not being on the show but NEWSFLASH Rachel did not have anything to do with that !
    As I watch SGA I often feel TPTB are copping out about J/T and afraid to *gasp* pursue the coupling and trying to push Teyla/Kanaan and yes it is very frustrating since Kanaan is exciting to watch as taking out the garbage and the whole Teyla/Kanaan contrived relationship is annoying .
    This whole debate has been going on since SGA first started and still the S/W fanatics cannot accept the possibility that S/T may actually have chemistry . While others do not see any spark there are others who do and for too long the J/T fans have been criticized .
    Personally I think TPTB will always ‘tease’ but never fully commit and I’l willing to accept that but at least stop pimping the Teyla/Kanaan crap and give Teyla a decent story .
    It has been 4 years going into 5 and yet still no character development for Teyla while Ronon has had several outstandind episodes devored to him ( no disrespect meant to Ronon since I happen to very much like him on the show ) and McKay has been run nonstop since the series premiered and given the most of all compared to any other character .
    I realize J/W had many fans and I’m sorry how it all woorked out about Torri but this constant blasting Rachel and taking it out on Teyla is unfair and blame who is responsible !

  88. I challenge everyone to participate in the first ever MOO–Mallozzi Original Olympics.

    The MOO begins tonight and lasts for the next several days. The events you can enter are:

    #1 Pug haiku–sharpen your fingernails and type out the best 5-7-5 haiku about Joe’s pups you possibly can

    #2 Ryder’s Bloch–Write a sentence that uses as many misspelled words as possible while still being able to be read and understood

    #3 Name that Character–Tell us your best made-up name, male or female, for a Pegasus- galaxy human (non-Earth) character

    and finally,
    #4 Tell us why (in 20 words or less) who would win if Ronon and Teal’c were pitted against each other while playing The Quiet Game.

    I will be the sole judge of all entries (because I doubt anyone else wants to do so…unless Joe wants to participate as well). Enter as many or as few events as you like. I suppose just post them here and I’ll find a way to make it work with selecting some finalists to put to a general vote.

    Start crackin’, good people….this is YOUR chance to participate in the Olympics at an international level.

    Go, MOO!

  89. I want to add my two cents to Teyla’s reaction to Fran/Elizabeth’s questioning:

    I have kids and if someone I only half trust or think could be a threat starts asking where are they questions, I’d shut them down PDQ!

    In my opinion, Teyla’s reaction was spot on… misdirect and get out.

    As for In the Night Garden….

    I loved it! The intertwined stories kept it interesting, I kept trying to figure out how they fit together and where it was going next. I usually read more than one book at a time so keeping the stories straight was kinda fun;)

    Any questions I have thought of have already been asked so I’ll say thank-you to Joe and to Catherynne M. Valente for bringing this book to my attention!

  90. Hi Joe, glad to see that the numbers weren’t down for SGA during the Olympics – I am not missing my fav programmes either and I tape any Olympic moments I might want to watch.

    As for the walking event?? I have it on good authority, from my resident armchair sports know-it-all, that a walker can walk the marathon faster that a runner can run the marathon. I dont like watching the marathon or walking as the athletes are so painfully thin.

    My more to my liking is the triathalon, altho why that begins at 10am, meaning the athletes are running at noon in the hot sun, is beyond me.

    Last Monday was Miller’s Crossing. I can now see why there was such heated debate here in your blog last year.

  91. @ Linda Gagne

    To the first part of your post, LOL! I too was thinking about having my team do the “Speed Walk” contest in tomorrow’s weekly team meeting. 🙂 Alas, cameras are not allowed on our campus due to client security, but it would be a great team building event I think. Either that or they will think their manager has finally gone loco. 🙂

    LOVED the video, Joe! Thanks for sharing it and thanks for sharing your tips on the best techniques. 🙂 That was great! HA!

  92. I’m a J/T shipper and have NEVER seen any J/Ters going into any posts causing trouble. .

    You never ran across the infamous Sanssong have you? *shakes head*

    What I’m seeing lately are the few fans who actually like Keller doing all they can to get rid of Teyla. There has been such a Keller backlash, and so many calls to kill her off, that the minority of Keller lovers are trying to twist it around, saying Teyla is boring, wallpaper, and needs to go. Total Teyla trash talk. They know TPTB will never dump two female characters in one season so they’ll make Teyla look as unpopular as possible to save their whiny child doc-wannabe.

    I’ve never been a huge Teyla fan, but she is miles above Keller in every dept. If one has to go, let it be the crybaby.

  93. Re all this J/T, J/W, Sheyla, Sparky, etc. War of the Worlds, maybe NOW you understand why you should keep the romance crap out of Stargate.
    Way too much blood, way too much….

  94. RE: no more ships…

    Though I’m not a fan of ships, I must admit that I am looking forward to the Todd/Woolsey moment that’s supposedly coming up later in the season. Rather curious if it will involve an actual suck-n-puke, or just lots of shameless flirting. I’m thinking the latter, seeing as how Todd is a bit of a tease…


  95. @Steph, I have a proposal for you. Literally, a proposal.

    Marry me! *g*

    I’m a John/Teyla shipper who doesn’t hang at Gateworld, but sees things (more or less) the same way you do.

    Joe, I’m disappointed that we’re not going to see a furtherance of the John&Teyla dynamic, as you’ve implied. But as you probably know by now, I’m considerably more disappointed that there doesn’t seem to be anything more about Teyla this season than her part in “The Queen”.

    I was hoping that the front end of the season would be about Rodney and Ronon and Keller, and the back end would be about Teyla and John and Teyla and Teyla and Teyla.

    As for the fans who keep harping on about who has ‘chemistry’ and who doesn’t…

    In an interview, a couple of years back, Joe Flanagan was asked about the “chemistry” between his character and the characters of his two female co-stars of the time: to which he replied that Sheppard had chemistry with Teyla, but not with Weir.

    I never assume that people do or don’t have chemistry in a pairing unless I’m one of the people in that pairing.

    Since I’m not John Sheppard, you’re not John Sheppard, and the only person who really can say whether or not “John Sheppard” has chemistry with “Teyla Emmagan” is the actor playing him (or her – and Rachel has been largely neutral in this)…I’ll go with what Joe F said.

  96. “Teyla met John along the way and developed a crush on him.
    Teyla was waitiang for John to make the first move.
    John never made a first move.”

    I’m sorry Steph, but these so-called “quite clear facts” are anything but. Commentaries and blogs mean squat if the intentions were not properly conveyed on the show itself. I had no idea that TPTB were even thinking about shipping Sheppard and Teyla until I went online.

    Besides, I find it hard to believe that Teyla, leader of a people who had to live life with the constant fear of the wraith and death, would play shy violet waiting for Sheppard to come around.

  97. Besides, I find it hard to believe that Teyla, leader of a people who had to live life with the constant fear of the wraith and death, would play shy violet waiting for Sheppard to come around.

    One could argue that she didn’t play ‘shy violet’: she began a relationship with Kanaan, after all.

    The reference to her ‘waiting for John to make the first move’ is one that’s tied in back to her people’s ways in “Sunday”, although – like you – I think genderising the initiative role in relationships would be distinctly uncharacteristic of a people who live their life on the edge.

  98. @Ihateshippers:

    So SciFi isn´t about PEOPLE albeit in a futuristic environement?
    Luke Skywalker didn´t have a relationship with Han Solo, Chewie, Leia, Yoda?

    Why is the term relationship always confused with romance????

    if there SciFi Stories weren´t told about characters (be it alien or human), there wouldn´t be much to watch.

    So the only appropriate comment I can leave to you is quoting the great John Donne:

    “No man is an island unto himself”.

    Thank you.

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