Catherynne M. Valente
Catherynne M. Valente

Today, it gives me great pleasure to turn this blog over to Catherynne M. Valente, author of The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden. If you didn‘t get the chance to participate in this month‘s Fantasy BOTMC discussion, all is not lost. Both The Orphan‘s Tales: In the Night Garden and The Orphan‘s Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice are available for order. And, if you have any further questions for Catherynne, head on over to her blog at: Finally, a big thank you to Catherynne for managing to squeeze us in between all of the writing and world travel.

Caitlyanna writes: “I do have two questions for Catherynne M. Valente:
Question #1: What inspired you, if anything, to write this particular story?

I read Arabian Nights for the first time since I was a child in the summer of 2002. It was a relatively new translation, Hussein Haddawy’s, rather than the typical Burton collection of whitewashing, additions, and bowdlerizations. I was fascinated by the structure–how each tale broke from the previous one, to give the sense of a whole, though Arabian Nights has given us many individual tales. I had just graduated from college with a degree in Classical Linguistics I thought entirely useless, and had a bunch of mythology banging around in my head. I was daydreaming on my couch in the sweltering air-conditioningless Rhode Island summer and I thought: I wonder if I could put together everything I know about mythology and folklore and language and storytelling and make a completely new myth cycle? Hot on the heels of that my brain piped up: what if all the stories in Arabian Nights were really just one big story, not individual ones at all?

Brains do things like that to you sometimes. Dastardly things.

So I decided I’d try to write a few stories like that and give them to my niece for Christmas. I’d laminate them so she could get jam and mud all over it. I wrote her a story about a prince and a goose. And the thing is, the story just kept opening up in my head, like an origami box. It just grew and grew, and I suppose in some sense I grew up with it. I was barely 23 when I began it, and 29 when the last book was published. I lived all over the world while I worked on it–Rhode Island, Scotland, California, Japan, Virginia, and finally Ohio. Everything I loved and learned went into it.

My niece never got her laminated pages. But the book is dedicated to her.

Question #2: Did you write each individual story then piece them together or did you write, or plan, them already intertwined?”

I’m a very organic writer. That sounds like pretentious writer-speak, but what I mean is that like a plant, my books just start with something really small, a “What if I…?” seed, and then they grow slowly and weirdly from that. Unpredictably. They snarl and warp and wither, groundhogs eat the fruit, they get meshed up with other plants and invade other gardens, they sprawl and shrink. And I never know when I begin what it will look like at the end. I started with that prince and that goose, and it spooled out from there. I wrote those books from page one to page 500, completely linearly, in the order you read it. I try to proceed through my books the way a reader would, so that I take the same narrative journey they do.

Plus, I’m a terrible magpie. If I wrote the fun parts and promised to fill in the rest later, I’d never fill in the rest.

So the answer is, I didn’t plan anything ahead of time–I just let go and ran with it, spun around three times and pinned a tail on the computer.

Thornyrose writes: “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.”

I lived in Japan for two years–I also went to university in Edinburgh, Scotland, and I’ve lived all over the US. I was born in Seattle, went to high school in central California, did the first half of my degree in San Diego, and lived in Rhode Island, Virginia, Cleveland, and San Luis Obispo. I’ve also traveled quite a bit in Europe and a bit in the Caribbean. A classics girl will have to visit Greece and Italy! I have an irritating case of wanderlust, and there’s few places I don’t want to go. I hope to travel to Russia soon for research for a novel I’m working on, and I’d love to visit Argentina and North Africa.

And what a question! I suppose I’d first head for the lost works of Sappho and Euripides, and just roll around with the Greeks like a happy kitten. I love both their work, in the original they are so rich and gorgeous. It’s tragic we have so little of Sappho, and the hints of missing Euripides plays are fascinating. But then, I’m the kind of geek that gets teary-eyed over lines of poetry in a dead language.

ChrisT. writes: “This wasn’t your typical fantasy novel and I mean that in a very good way. So I was wondering what kind of works influenced you in your writing? And what can you tell us about the second book in the series? How did The Orphan’s Tales differ from your previously published works?”

Well, I mentioned Arabian Nights. Also Milorad Pavic’s novels (particularly Landscape Painted with Tea) made me think about similies in a new way–he’s a Serbian writer, and though the books are translated into English, you can see through the similes that he is functioning in a very different culture. I liked being able to see that through the comparisons a culture finds it logical to make. A good example of this is that, in English, we use the word “fair” as a synonym for beautiful. It denotes pale skin, high-class, old-fashioned beauty, because for a woman to have fair skin once meant she didn’t have to work in the fields. But in Russian, they use the word “prekrasnaya” as the same sort of synonym, which has as its root the word for the color red–because in their culture, to have ruddy, red skin meant a girl was healthy and hardy. It’s logical, just a different logic. I tried to do the same with the similies in the Orphan’s Tales, which all serve to illuminate the culture of the particular tale they appear in in some way.

The Orphan’s Tales differs from my previous novels in that it is, believe it or not, much more linear and accessible, with a much stronger plot than anything else I had done. My first three novels (The Labyrinth, The Book of Dreams, and The Grass-Cutting Sword) are very much based in the language they use–that was the seed, if I can recall the earlier organic idea. they aren’t really too concerned with a strong plotline. I love them deeply and am proud of them, but they are, well, as the reviews said, “not for everyone.” I heard that phrase so many times a friend of mine sent me a picture of a gravestone with “Catherynne M. Valente–NOT FOR EVERYONE” engraved on it.

KellyK writes: “Were you inspired by an specific myths or legends? There were times when some of the stories felt like fresh reimaginations of existing fairy tales. And – I don’t know if this was already asked but what was your writing process in putting this story together? Did you write it as it appears on the page or did you write one story from beginning to end, then go back and write another and weave them through each other once you were done? Were any sort of charts involved? (I’m not kidding)”

I was inspired by every myth or legend or fairy tale I’d ever read. Several of the stories are deliberate mash-ups of familiar ones, new musculature on old bones. I wanted to break down fairy tales into their smallest parts, and then build them up again all out of order, in to things that spoke to what I felt it was to be human, to be a woman, to be old, to be a man, to be lost, to be ugly, to be abandoned. We live in a new world–we need new myths. The Tale of the Office Worker, the Tale of the Freelance Writer. But the old ones pack a punch for a reason, and I love taking apart their fighting styles and using them for my own nefarious ends.

And this is the hard part to believe: I never took a single note or made a chart. Every time I sat down to do it, reasoning that it would be much easier than keeping it all in my head, I just felt like it would take less time to write the damn book than to chart it out. I keep most things in my head–I’ve had so many data loss incidents with my computer I’m a little scared of taking notes. At least any data loss involving my head would be more spectacular than a blue screen of death.

Other people have made charts on various wikis though–and I’m terribly impressed with them. Maybe someday I will have a time machine that will allow me to reach into the future and use the charts before the book is done. That would be pretty sweet. Of course, then I’d know how the book ended, and I’d never write it. So keep your time machines to yourself, Science!

Antisocialbutterflie writes: “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.

It’s more like the scene from A Beautiful Mind where he looks at the birds in the courtyard and sees equations linking their movements. I was driving from Virginia to Ohio–a trip I used to make a lot, and along the lines of the road at night I could see the story unpacking itself–all of the sudden I knew in a rush how to start the sequel, who the girl in the garden was, how it all connected. When I got to Ohio I sat in the car for half an hour scribbling it onto the back of my interstate map so I wouldn’t forget it. I worked out a lot of those books driving along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

I stare off into space and I see a story unfolding, bit by bit, opening up. I write by my headlights–I can only see what’s right in front of me, what I’m writing today, maybe tomorrow if I’m lucky. But I can see, dimly, how that bird out there connects to all the others, and what it needs to accomplish right now to make that connection.

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

Well, the Night Mare is a real figure from Celtic myth, bed of bones and all. I discovered it while reading Robert Graves’ The White Goddess, which for all its issues is a beautiful book. The Star mythology just sort of grew out of my head, to be honest. I love, and have always loved, to think of celestial bodies as actual bodies–Ama-Terasu, the Japanese sun goddess, the man in the moon. I am in love with human physicality, and I wanted to make the sky a living thing, to make the stars not just something you watch, but something that watches you back.

At the same time, I didn’t want to create a religion so pervasive and undeniable that everyone believes it without question, a common trope in epic fantasy. So people fight over their gods and argue about what they mean, what they want–and the gods are just as lonely and confused as the rest of us. I suppose I wanted my mythology to reflect how I see the world–everyone’s just searching for the object of their obsession, whatever that is, and I don’t think gods are exempt.

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?


Beverly writes: “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?”

Since I already talked about the beginning of the book, I’ll just speak to the research here. That Classics degree turned out not to be so useless after all. Since I’ve been obsessed with fairy tales and myth since I learned to read, to some extent I’d been doing research all my life. But I did do a tremendous amount of linguistic research, to ground each culture in the real world, and delved into a lot of the more obscure folkloric systems–Slavic, southeast Asian, central African. I also spent a lot of time coming up with names–they all have some particular meaning relevant to their stories. Names are hugely important to me. The first thing I do in any story is find the right names for the characters–those names inform the whole story for me.

Airelle writes:
-How long did it take to write this book?”

Six years, from page one to the last page of the sequel. But that was certainly not non-stop. I wrote three other novels and four books of poetry in the meantime. I suppose, if I add it up, it was probably something like a year of continuous work.

“-Was there a reason the boy prince and the girl with the birthmark eyes had no names in the story?

Oh, I’m so glad you asked this question! No one has asked me this yet!

First, the girl does have a name. It’s revealed in the sequel. I agonized over whether to give the boy one–he had one for about a year, but I cut it. Firstly because in all the Western story tales the girls have these outlandish names: Rapunzel, Snow White, Cinderella. But the boys are just the Prince.

More importantly, I wanted their relationship to have an archetypal quality to it. If they have names they’re characters, but a boy and a girl…we;;, we’ve all been boys and girls. We’ve all been lonely and tried to make friends with the weird kid in the playground, or been the weird kid ourselves. We’ve all tried to be beautiful for someone, to tell a magical story about ourselves, so that the pretty, beloved kid will stay and be our friend. That sort of thing is universal, and I wanted this boy and this girl to be all those boys and girls, too.

On The Church of Dead Girls:

Thornyrose writes: “Indeed, the writing style began to positively irk me, which made it increasingly difficult to stay in the story.”

Answer: What was it about the writing style that you found so off-putting?

Antisocialbutterflie writes: “The narrator was an interesting thing to digest. He was, in my mind, very androgynous. Given all the books with heroines that we have been reading, I though the narrator was a woman until the character was finally described as a “he.””

Answer: That’s very interesting. I never envisioned the narrator as a woman but, now that you mention it, why not?

Drldeboer writes: “I spent most of the book thinking the narrator was going to be the killer, and was a bit disappointed when he wasn’t.”

Answer: Ha! So did I! I was expecting a twist that never came – which, I think, is actually a good thing.

Allie writes: “I found it really weird that Sadie would hang out with the narrator of the story. It really bugged me. I was fine with her hanging out with Ryan, though.”

Answer: I actually found it bizarre that this young girl would be hanging out with either them. After all, one (the narrator) is middle-aged while the other (Ryan) though younger, is still an adult. I guess it wasn’t so much the fact that she had befriended these older men and they took care of her while her father was out (the narrator essentially babysits her) but more their attitude toward her and the fact that they spent so much time with her that I found kind of creepy.

Reminder! You have until tomorrow night to post your questions for Andy Mikita. I’ll be sending them his way on Wednesday morning because he starts prep on the series finale, Enemy at the Gate, on Friday.

Today’s video: As per your request = A video tour of Stage 6, the Atlantis standing sets, hosted by none other than writer-executive producer Carl Binder. Part 1.  (Hmmm.  Googlevideo seems to be a little finicky today and the file is too big for photobucket, so check back later tonight when it will hopefully be working). 

Today’s mailbag:

Ryan writes: “What is with all the binders on the shelf in the writers room, do each of them hold a script of a previous episode?”

Answer: Yes. The shelves lining the walls of the writers’ room held every script ever written for the Stargate franchise, from SG-1’s Children of the Gods to the latest Atlantis. Since the video was taken, however, we ran out of room and ended up transforming Paul Mullie’s office into a repository for the Atlantis archives. Now, whenever I need to fact-check, all I have to do is stroll in, step all over his couch, and consult the appropriate script.

Wonderingbrit writes: “Where do the cast do the ‘Read-Throughs’ then?”

Answer: They don’t. Not anymore. When we did do read-throughs, we held them in the conference room (video tour – first door on the right).

Shippychick writes: “Who’s desk is the neatest and who’s is the worst?”

Answer: Neatest = Carl Binder’s desk. Worst = mine.

MysteryMadchen writes: “In your personal opinion, do you think that with a large fan outcry, Atlantis could be saved?”

Answer: As much as empathize with the fans and admire their determination, I believe that it’s a done deal. That said, if ratings continue to rise and the series finishes strong, I can think of no better going away present for the cast and crew. And maybe, just maybe, while it wouldn’t get the show uncancelled, it might cause “some” to regret seeing the show end. So get out there, find someone with a Nielsen box, and go watch the rest of the season at their place!

MysteryMadchen also writes: “Have you guys seen a large influx of protesters out side your doors and the studio since the announcement?”

Answer: Not really. I thought we had one yesterday, but it turned out be just some guy watering the bushes outside the gate.

MysteryMadchen also writes: “What is the mood in the office and studio since most of the writers and producers are going to be out of a job?”

Answer: That’s not true. We’re all awaiting word on how things will shake out for next year.

MysteryMadchen also writes: “How is the atmosphere on stage considering the actors are now with out there jobs? Is it a sad place to be now that they know the news? Are emotions running wild?”

Answer: No wild emotions. Everyone has been very professional. Jason M. is single-handedly ensuring that the mood on-set remains upbeat.

Paloosa writes: “I was wondering, if the last episode shot finishes filming at the end of September, how many more weeks of post production will you have until the final episode, sadly, is completed and you can finally relax?”

Answer: Probably not until mid to late December.

Thesp3aker writes: “If the first movie’s a success, how long do you think future movies would keep being produced for?”

Answer: Indefinitely. So long as they’re profitable, I can’t see any reason why MGM would want to stop making them.

J Williams writes: “Why is your calender set to October, two months before October.”

Answer: Ah, eagle eye! The calendar is set to October because that particular video was taken in October of last year.

Jmanzione writes: “Is a new SG1 movie script in the writing stage at this point?”
Answer: No. It’s in the “thinking about” stage.

DasNDanger writes: “How does it make you feel, knowing that I roll out of bed and check your blog first thing, before I even eat, or say ‘morning’ to Mr. Das, or feed the cats?”

Answer: Uh…good?

Shadow Step writes: ““”On a different note, could you explain why David Nykl gets a credit for a 3 second walk past?” Answer: Sure. Because his scene was cut for time.”

But why retain him in the credits?”

Answer: Because he did work on the episode despite the fact that his big scene didn’t make the final cut.

Shadow Step also writes: “Btw do you wear high heels or were your secretary following you around the production shoot?”

Answer: I prefer low-heeled pumps.

Ladyflowdi writes: “When Rodney is telling Keller about his mother, and he makes the comment that he doesn’t understand her… I’ve taken it to mean that either he was very, very little when she died, or else she was speaking to him in another language (French?).”

Answer: Neither. I believe this is an indication that McKay’s memories are fading. He remembers her talking but doesn’t know what she is saying because he can no longer recall her words.

Leila writes: “For the record, Joe I don’t think that you knew. And even if… if you knew then how could we be angry at you keeping it a secret. It’s call confidentiality.”

Answer: I can assure you that if that was the case and I did know beforehand, I certainly wouldn’t be making it a point of saying I didn’t.

MrsB108 writes: “1)Does “Inquisition” show us the inner workings of Sheppard’s thoughts and well-kept guilt?

2)In “The Queen”, does Teyla’s abilities exceed what is expected of her?”

Answers: 1) No. You’ll have to wait until Remnants for that. 2) Very much so. Yes.

Liam writes: “From what source do you get the questions to which you respond in your blog at this site? Is it from comments submitted here or elsewhere (and/or other sites like Gateworld)?”

Answer: I pick and choose from among the questions posted here.

Liam also writes: “Also, will any or some group of the writers/producers/directors be attending the April 2009 convention in Vancouver?”

Answer: The producers are rarely invited to those things so I wouldn’t know.

FatesPleb writes: “To keep the flames burning in these dark times, would you tell your avid fans a basic plot summary for the episode that could have been – hexed.”

Answer: If you remind me again, in the coming days I’ll give you a rundown of some of the story ideas that didn’t make the cut…

95 thoughts on “August 26, 2008: Author Catherynne M. Valente Answers Your Questions – And Carl Binder Takes Us On A Virtual Tour

  1. Hey, Joe. Just had a question to ask. Not to KEEP bringing up cancellation questions but this was important to both our sites.

    With regards to Dezrai’s comment you responded to yesterday, I think we can all agree that there seems to be a bit of confusion about the cancellation. We simply just don’t understand where everyone stands. A lot of recent announcements and articles are trying to make out that this is all a good thing, but next to no fans agree – that much is clear.

    We all know MGM’s stance on all of this, we’re just not sure what the Stargate producers themselves want. Would they prefer the show to continue as a series or are they now quite happy with the idea of movies and making way for SGU.

    We have set up campaigns and some websites ( and and now we’re just not sure if we’re fighting for the producers or against them.

  2. Thanks for the recent videos! I love being able to see behind the scenes. Any chance to see the puddle jumpers or wraith set in the future?

  3. 1. Will Elizabeth ever return?
    2. How many movies do you think you’ll do, if you do a series of them?
    3. Will the Ronan and Keller almost-kiss come to play ever?
    4. Are they just going to leave Elizabeth out there forever?
    5. Is it true that the third Sg-1 movie will center on Jack?
    6. Could Rainbow Sun Francks ever return?
    7. Will the first SGA movie be stand alone?
    8. When it says SGU 2-hour movie, does that mean pilot episode or an actual movie?
    9. Will Jason Momoa return for the movies?
    10. Will there be an SGA/SG1 movie?
    11. Was the end of “Ghost in the Machine” meant to show possibility of Weir returning or show that it is the end of her?
    12. Will there be any more episodes of just going to a planet and interacting with aliens?
    13. Will shippers be getting anything this season?
    14. What’s your favorite food?
    15.Will Michael’s story arc be resolved by the series’ end?

  4. …continuation
    16. What does it mean that SGU will be set for a younger audience?
    17. Is there a point to fight for Elizabeth or is she already gone?
    18. Will the series end with some closure?
    19. Will things from “The Shrine” come to play in the latter half of the series?
    20. Can we expect new storyline for the SGA movies (if there is a series of them)?
    PLEASE answer as many as possible…PLEASE!!!

  5. Hey Joe

    I also want to say thank you for the tour videos. I’m really looking forward to Remnants – sounds like we’ll finally get some insight into Sheppard’s motivations.

    If the SG1 movie is in the “thinking about” stage, does that mean the Atlantis movie will come out first?

    Finally – I would also love to hear some of the ideas that were spun for Hexed. Is it possible for you to tell us a bit about another episode that didn’t seem to make it – The Replacements?


  6. Hey Joe.

    Please finish the video tomrrow…it was funny!

    I was just wondering…will the SGA movie make a reference in any way to SGU? To the characters or plot…or are you planning on keeping them completely seperate?

    Thanks Joe.

  7. Oh, thanks so much for the video tour of the set. I confess I went to the Unconvention of the Lexx studio in Halifax, NS, in 2001, and it is so much nicer to get a virtual tour that doesn’t cost me anything and has the advantage of not having to look at plywood floors and painted styrofoam bug structure, thus crushing my fantasy.

    It’s a major disappointment that MGM and SciFi chose to end Atlantis. I think there were so many more good stories to tell, and every season has been better than the last (which doesn’t usually happen – deepest respect for you writers, producers, cast, and crew who managed it).

    I will definitely check out Stargate: Universe, to see what new joys are in store. But nothing will take the place of what has gone before.

    More video tours of the sets, offices, etc? Please?

  8. Can we get a walkthrough of Stargate Command? That’d be awesome. Or if you’re pushed for time, a walkthrough of the Daedelus… or the Puddle Jumper. 🙂


  9. Hi Joe 🙂

    I’ve been helping a couple of Save Atlantis sites (as listed by littlemckay in regards to getting more publicity for Stargate Atlantis.

    We’ve been contacting shows from Access Hollywood to Jay Leno and David Letterman to mags like TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly and Sci Fi Weekly.

    Since you are in the know with the tv industry…are there any specific magazines or shows that we should target and ask for a Stargate Atlantis Feature?

    I suppose at the very least, if it doesn’t convince the execs to change their minds, it will hopefully give tons more publicity to SGA.

    There have been other resurrected shows like Charmed, Reba, and even Family Guy (canceled twice but renewed when the fans went ballistic which is still running today), is there at least a 0.01 percent chance that the fans can change some execs minds? I feel like I am the grim reaper of tv, as soon as I really get into a show, it gets canceled, same is true for food at the supermarket. I’d really like to change my luck.

    Also, I have another question. Are there any intentional parallels between Star Trek and Stargate? SG1 is most similar to Star Trek The Next Generation with exploring the unknown. SGA is most like Deep Space Nine with it being on a station of sorts, and Universe, being like Voyager on a space ship, trying to get home. I’m just curious, but being a Star Trek fan as well, I noticed the similarity.

    Thanks for keeping your blog up to date, it’s greatly appreciated.

  10. Answer: Uh…good?

    As always, Mr. Contrary ignores my real questions, and answer the rhetorical ones. 😆

    Thanks very much for answering MysteryMadchen’s questions…again, a little more clarification. I was afraid to ask that one in particular, since I thought it would put you in a tough spot. But…well…now I know, so I’m just gonna slip through the scuppers with the rest of the rats. 😉

    I really hope you ALL find a place in the new production…unless, of course, some want to move on. My emotions have gone all over the place with this one, and though I’m not taking it as hard as some, I still feel really bad about the whole thing. Just broke the news to my sister today, and she’s pissed. I just got her hooked back around February, shortly after I started watching. So…yeah…now she’s mad at me for getting her into a show that’s going to end soon.

    I’ll see what I can do about the ratings. I don’t know a single soul with a Nielsen box, though. Oh, see…this all starting to suck again now…just when I thought I was getting over it. 🙁


  11. The videos are fantastic, and please thank Mr. Binder for serving as a tour guide on today’s posting. There is no getting enough of Atlantis, or even of its Earth facimile. It just makes me appreciate the magic you and the crew perform to see what is behind the curtain.
    In reference to Church of Dead Girls, I think what most annoyed me, besides the alternating first and third person viewpoints (and that alone was bad enough), was the emotional distance the narrative seemed to maintain to the characters and actions. Again, it is most likely just me, but I never found any of the characters to spark my interest, curiosity, or empathy. It was almost as if I were reading the book the way tv depicts witnesses under hypnosis recalling an event. And on thinking about it, I’m not sure if my reactions are based on a certain sense of false expectations. Yes, there was horror in the novel, but perhaps not the kind of horror I was anticipating. I’m glad others got more out of the book than I did, but in this case I just didn’t get what I was hoping for.
    I just have a couple of questions for Mr. Mikita, if it’s not too late. (My track record for getting questions in on time has been shot lately). First, favorite episode to direct/produce in the Stargate franchise. What one work would you like to have the chance to do over? Is there any one “dream” project, in film or tv that you would like to do in the future? And finally, what is the hardest aspect of directing and/or producing a show like SGA, or even a non-sci fi genre show? Thank you very much for your participation and time, and many thanks to Mr. M. for all the work put in to make that possible.

  12. Hahaha!! So Carl thinks the conference table looks like a coffin too, eh? That’s what some of us fans have been saying since we saw it! That’s hilarious.

    You have more, right? I mean, you said on the tape that you’re filming more. Either way though, I loved this. Thank you so much!!

    Haha, Carl doesn’t have the Ancient gene.

    By the way, where was the camera during this? You couldn’t have been looking through it…because that means you’re only about as tall as Carl’s chest…right? Or is he really just that gigantic?

    Wow, so that’s the gym?! Incredible! I thought for sure that it was a separate room; the set redress totally fooled me. Heh. So, in Hot Zone, when Weir was telling Sheppard to stay in the gym, he was really just below her all that time? That’s great! Haha.

    Thanks again! Looking forward to more, as well as those ideas that didn’t make the cut. Will you tell us why they were cut, as well? Like, too expensive, or whatever?

    Also, what are the spoiler poem lines for Ghost in the Machine and The Shrine? Thanks!

    @ Trish: Hahaha, that’s incredible how closely the monster…er…”fits” Allie’s personality! I suppose Joe may be right when he said that those icons were a “representation that reflects [our] inner being.” Hahaha.

    Oh, and I think a “Welcome to Joe’s blog!” is necessary for Allie! Enjoy the craziness!

  13. My lord, what a big, beautiful set. Sure hope you get to make lots of movies, as it would be a shame to see it taken down and not used anymore.
    Guess you could have weddings and bar mitzvahs there, though, if nothing else works out.

  14. Okay, so, I’m just getting back from a 2-week vacation, so I’m behind in a lot of the posts on your blog. But I did check-in enough to read about the cancellation of SGA. And so in the midst of a great visit to my hometown Chicago (no I wasn’t there for the Stargate convention), I experienced most of the five stages of grief over the ending of the TV series. I’m almost up to the final stage – acceptance – but not quite. Especially after seeing The Shrine, which I had Tivo’d. That episode was phenomenal and brought home again what I’ll be missing after this year. Sure, I’ll look forward to the movies, but my weekly fix will be gone – and that’s hard.

    But, not being part of that “younger audience” that MGM and company are going after with SGU, I have enough years to know that change is part of life and not necessarily a bad thing. (See, getting closer to acceptance.) So in the midst of my EXTREME SADNESS AND DISAPPOINTMENT (okay, maybe not as close as I thought), let me add my thanks to you and all of the cast and crew for a wonderful five seasons. Season 4 in particular was fabulous, and Season 5 so far is beyond fabulous.

    I’ve never been as involved with a TV show as I have been with SGA…between your blog, the fan forums, and David Hewlett’s blog. And I won’t be this involved again with another show. Not a bad thing, just a change. So, thanks again and I’m still looking forward to the remainder of this season and the movies next year. Ahhh. Acceptan….well, maybe next week.

    On a different note, I came <> to meeting John Scalzi (author of Android’s Dream) this weekend. He was doing a book signing at a library. Didn’t make it to the book signing. But I did turn my friend onto Android’s Dream. (He loves it so far.) And, after reading Old Man’s War, I bought and finished Ghost Brigades and started The Last Colony. Thanks for the introduction to Scalzi’s work.

  15. Hey Joe,

    For Andy Mikita: What episode did you like the best to direct from Atlantis or SG1? If you could pick any of the Executive Producers of Atlantis you found gave you the most trouble when directing? Was their a script you felt was hard to direct and what was it? Thanks for your time!

    Joe, Loved the video. I don’t know how long it was supposed to be(3.52). Your camera work was better this time. Looks like you guys have fun at your job. Now, I have to go back and read all the posts you wrote about Whispers. Care to help me find them 🙂

  16. Jmanzione writes: “Is a new SG1 movie script in the writing stage at this point?”

    joe/Answer: No. It’s in the “thinking about” stage.

    okay, i’m confused. for something to be a script, doesn’t it have to have been ‘written’ in the first place? or is a script just the outline for something that’ll someday be ‘written’ into… i’m confused! 😛

    you might not know the answer, but is the 3rd sg1 movie coming before the 1st atlantis movie? i’d hope (for more than one reason) that sg1 would get preference because atlantis is still releasing stories for the fans to see.

    go ahead and answer these questions immediately. 😛

    sally =)

  17. Thanks for an amazing episode last week. I was out of town and didn’t get to watch it until yesterday. David Hewlett’s acting was so good… I had tears in my eyes almost from the beginning until the end. The scene with Sheppard and McKay on the pier had me chuckling, though – seeing Sheppard laugh like that. That’s a first! It was almost weird, but good weird. =) What a touching episode… thank you!

    After the episode when it showed the teaser for the next one, it said in two weeks… is that correct? No SGA this Friday?

  18. Where do I get a hold of one of those Nielson boxes? I will make everyone I know get one and watch it if it is the last thing I do (lol).

    I am still extremely sad about this. I can’t believe they thought it was a good idea to do this knowing the fans are so “passionate” about the show. Universe would probably do better if Atlantis got a sixth season with warning to the fans that then it will go to movies. I think those of us who just came on board with the writer’s strike would feel a little better as well as the long time fans out there (although I have every episode now). The way it has been publicized leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Can’t help but feel that Atlantis was thrown to the wolves so a younger Universe can be made. Us 30 plus people pay for the cable to watch the shows so we should count too, if not more so.

    I bet my desk at work is more cluttered than yours, but I know where everything is.

    I wonder if Carl looks at you coming his way and says “crap, I need to get out of here before he has me do more crazy things”.

  19. A comment and question for Andy M: First, thanks very much for the multiple hours of wonderfully executed scripts. I very much enjoy your style of story telling. How do you keep the production on time and on point throughout the 5-7 day shoot? There’s a lot of cats to heard!! Thanks in advance.

  20. Joe, now that the end is in sight, at least for the series, can you give us shippers a hint? Will Teyla and Joe reveal their feelings for each other before the movies?

  21. Hey Joe!

    Thanks for the amazing Stage 6 tour. Even though we see the sets everyday, it’s neat to see it behind the scenes. I never knew that the ‘gym’ was simply a redress of part of the gate room. Neat! 😀

    Thanks as always, and great interviews!

    – Enzo Aquarius

  22. Question for Andy Mikita (or you) . . .

    Will the cancellation of the show change the way you were planning on shooting “Enemy at the Gate”?

  23. Loving the tour–thank you and Carl!!

    And thank you and Catherynne also for the guest spot. I can’t wait till I get the chance to actually pick up the book. Shame I had to miss it this month.

  24. Hey Joe, you need to check on on those CG guys. the space gate in “The Shrine” only had 8 chevrons on it!

    Other then that. Sweet video, the gate is bigger then I thought it was, when is th height of it?

  25. Hay Joe,

    Since this is the last season of SGA would it be possible to get more special features on the season 5 DVD box set?

    Just a comment about The Shrine, that episode was very moving for me since my grandfather passed away from alzheimer’s. I actually had one of those moments of sudden clairty with him shortly before the end. Out of nowhere he suddenly looked up at me, actually focused on me and said “I love you buddy” then he was gone again. That episode really touched a very special place in my heart. Excellent episode and excellent acting from David.


  26. @ Trish – But I’m not here for Joe…I’m here for YOU!! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!! 😈


  27. Oops sorry for the blank, duh, lack of comment “Hay Joe”

    Oh and one more question. Could you please say something to Brad and Rob about squeezing in a little plug for the wizard of oz into the pilot of SGU? At least that will give us all a sense of familiarity right off the bat.


  28. I love the idea of posting some “would have been” story ideas! I always find such things wildly interesting.

  29. PS…Trish…

    Wow. That didn’t seem as creepy before I hit the ‘submit comment’ button as it did afterwards. 😛

    No worries. Unless you, or Joe, are eyebrow-challenged albino-types with great hair, and a telescoping spear or a sucky palm, you’re safe.

    In fact, I think that means everyone in the real world is safe. But if I ever figure out a way to breach that forth wall, then…Woot! Watch out!

    And, nooooo. There aren’t any men in little white coats waiting outside for me…

    Not yet, at least. 🙄


  30. Reminder-to-Joe: post the “would have been” story ideas.

    JAG writes: “Not much talk has been issued about Teyla in any episode after the Queen. Can we expect to see her in episodes after, or do many Teyla fans have some hearbreak in store for them?”

    Answer: Prodigal.

    So from your phrasing, ‘Prodigal’ is the only episode that has Teyla in it after ‘The Queen’, then?

    As a Teyla fan, I’m very disappointed.

  31. *stretch* 11pm, time to wake up, it seems.

    Oh, look, Joe’s updated his blog while I’ve been asleep.

    Das, you aren’t alone in your daily routine.

    Say you had a chance to write and produce for any other show other than one in the Stargate universe. Like someone came to you and said “Okay, so you’re not going to be able to be a part of Stargate anymore but you can have your pick of any show, still running or not, to play a vital role in. The show must be pre-existing.” What would that show be and why?

    Also, say you received a plastic lemon. How likely would it be that it would have to honor to sit amidst the sacred clutter on your desk?

  32. How can I have gone my entire life thus far never having known someone with a Nielsen box? Do they even exist? And how does one acquire one so that one’s shows stop getting cancelled!?
    Love the video-tours. Thanks very much for taking the time to do them. I also love the pictures and videos of your dogs. I play the one of all them snoring for myself and my sister almost every day. Never fails to make us laugh to tears. (It also reminded us of our family living room at 2 in the morning after my cousin’s wedding reception – only replace the dogs with my drunk relatives.)
    I’m not sure if anyone has asked yet, but have the Las Vegas-location portions of “Vegas” been filmed yet?

  33. Thanks ohsomuch for the tour of the set!!!!
    Is the rest of the tour coming tomorrow???
    Questions for Andy Mikita to come later tonight (well, tomorrow for me).
    Homework already has stolen much of my free time today 🙁

  34. Aaand…it would be nice if I could spell FOURTH right. 😛

    green wrote:
    Das, you aren’t alone in your daily routine.

    Wait. What? You pluck whiskers, too??


  35. …and I wonder why my “randomly-generated avatar” is the same…every day? Hmm, anyone else notice it with your posts?

  36. “Now, whenever I need to fact-check, all I have to do is stroll in, step all over his couch, and consult the appropriate script.”

    Why do I have this image of you bouncing on the couch while leafing through scripts? Don’t tell me that you don’t. Don’t ruin my fun.

    Well, Joe, I’m leaving Thursday morning for DragonCon in Atlanta. This is the first time I’ve flown since 9/11, so wish me luck. I’m looking forward to a good time there and then coming home to catch up on your blog. I hope I’m too busy to notice the withdrawls. 🙂

  37. Hey Joe.

    One more question.

    If (and I stress this the “IF”) the sets are taken down sometime in the next few years, what will happen to all the props and pieces of the set?

    Thanks Joe.

  38. Hey Joe

    Thanks for the virtual tour – one question: Are you guys going to keep the sets after production finishes? Cos I’d hate to see all that craftsmanship go to waste!!!

    Anyone in Vancouver got a ‘film & TV’ museum you can send it to if you aren’t gonna keep it? I’d fly to Vancouver from Australia to walk around on it (just like I did in Hollywood to sit on the bridge of “Enterprise D”!) and I’m sure many others would as well!

  39. Hi Joe,
    Thanks for the videos!

    Question/Statement for Andy M.

    -What has been your most challenging episode for the Stargate franchise and why?

    -On those same lines what was the easiest episode and why?

    -Have you ever ended the day wanting to pummel one of the cast members, or a guest actor (I’m guessing you won’t tell us who but I have to ask)

    -Lastly THANK YOU for taking the time to do the commentaries on the DVD’s. I’m one that buys DVD more for the commentaries than anything else!

  40. Ugh, I should not be reading, I have a helluva lot to do before I leave for Dragon! XD But I had to say, it’s been four days since the airing of The Shrine and I was *still* teary-eyed today, thinking about the McSheppy John’s room/pier scene! And, well, the cancellation, but in particular, I think of that segment and I’m bloody Niagara! XD

    I’m working on a drawing of Hank Landry right now, to have Beau Bridges sign at Dragon — I’m so excited!! 😀 Any chance we weill see him this season? I was so bummed when we didn’t see him in “Miller’s Crossing” or “Outcast” …

  41. Hi, Joe.

    Thank you, and Carl, for the video tour of Stage 6. Also, thank you so much for the continuing Book Club discussions and the author q&a’s. I really enjoy these features.

    Congratulations on the four Gemini Award nominations for Alan on Tablua Rasa, Todd Masters for make up on The Last Man, Mark on crew for VX on Adrift, and Jewel for her performance in ‘Missing.’ Best wishes to all involved.

    I dreamed about SGA last night…I was watching their feature film in a theater!


    Best wishes, Joe.

  42. Questions for Andy Mikita

    First off I want to say that I loved Search and Rescue. The look of that episode was spectacular. It looked and felt like a high budget big screen movie.

    1) During the filming of S&R, was the dust from the collapsed building scenes falling on the actors, or was that a camera trick?

    2) Who’s idea was it to have Shepard’s shirt still on in the infirmary scenes. As Keller lifted it and then let it fall back down, all I could think about was what kind of doctor kept cleaning and then redepositing the dirt on a wound? 😉

    3) What has been your favorite episode so far?

    Thank you!

  43. For Andy Mikita: I loved The Shrine and really enjoyed your interview about making it, at There you predicted mixed reviews for the episode due to the lack of action, but in fact, it seems it might be one of the most universally loved episodes of Atlantis ever! Are you surprised to see a character piece be so well received? Gratified?

    How did you approach directing the scenes that started in Sheppard’s quarters and moved to the pier, in terms of discussing with Joe Flanigan and David Hewlett how the scenes would evolve? They were played so beautifully. 🙂 Was Joe wearing his own clothes, for real?

    Also in The Shrine, how do you make it appear the camera is so far away from the subjects, both on the pier and on top of the submerged Stargate? How do you keep the movement realistic as the camera appears to pull back so far?

    Looking back at your time on Atlantis, what are some of your favorite memories, and some of your most traumatic or difficult?

    Have there been times you just couldn’t make a scene work and had to go to a “Plan B”?

    How much do you “direct” guest stars versus the regulars, in terms of influencing their performances?

    Would you like to work on Stargate Universe?

    Thanks for the great work, Andy!

  44. MrsB108 writes: “1)Does “Inquisition” show us the inner workings of Sheppard’s thoughts and well-kept guilt?

    Answers: 1) No. You’ll have to wait until Remnants for that.

    I sincerely hope that some of that guilt we’re going to see is for Elizabeth Weir. After everything she did for Atlantis and the expedition as a whole and for Sheppard personally over the past five years, it would be obscenely out of character for him not to acknowledge her sacrifices and his responsibility in what happened to her. Ignoring that would be a poor way for him to repay the debt of honor that he owes her.

  45. wolfenm Your comment about what you liked about McKay made it to tonight’s/this morning’s Gateworld podcast. Very well said.

    On that same note, I don’t know how much you were on set during filming for “The Shrine,” Joseph, but David Hewlett (on the aforementioned podcast) said something about Jewel and Kate both having this acerbic sort of humor and him having to act more childlike gave a lot of material for them to work with. I’d love to hear about any funny stuff that happened behind the scenes of this otherwise serious and touching episode.

  46. Hello.
    you wrote : “Jason M. is single-handedly ensuring that the mood on-set remains upbeat.”
    how ?

  47. Joe, something i’ve been meaning to ask you for a week (but never remembered to ask, methinks it’s some bug affecting me.)

    On the subject of translating, the “Back-issue of Ancient Architectural Digest” on the 9 of June’s blog (here did you know what the writing was meaning, that is, a translation. When I tried translating it, it came out as a heck of repeated sentences (about 4 sentences repeated over and over), but it had like…. holes in which text was possibly missing. What I mean is like fragments of the text were only available, and there was a high occurrence of split-up/partial words. Is there a proper translation of this text?

    Also, who developed the Ancient lettering that has been prominently featured during the many series of Stargate?
    Is there an “official” factsheet on the letters?
    I know Gateworld has a topic on the alphabet, but i’m not sure on some of the letters as well. The letters F and U are in essence the same from what i’ve seen, but are there any distingushments?

    Oh yeah, I fixed up an image version of the alphabet, but would it be a 3 by 8 gridwork, or a 6 by 8 gridwork?

    If you don’t know the answers to any of these, if you could pass them on to someone who might, thanks!!

    P.S. Found any weird food to purchase yet?

  48. Hi Joe,
    I want to add my thanks to crew and cast of Atlantis for 5 awesome years and to wish you all good luck in whatever you will do after finishing production of SGA. So: Thanks.
    I was also wandering, if you could describe the missing scene with David Nykl or share transcript with all us Zelenka fans:)
    Bye bye

  49. Mornin’ Joe,

    First cup of coffee as of yet.. so forgive me if i’m slightly blurred around the edges.

    Not too much to comment on this morning really, outside of the ‘low heeled pumps’. For some reason, i’d kinda figured you more for the ‘air between the toes’ sort of guy.. But that could simply be down to my own Romany spanish roots and the bold assumption that *everyone* dances around barefoot in the sand.

    Guess you learn something new every day, huh?

    Thinking on Andy coming along to answer some questions, i’ve got one for the both of you.. being the nosy little bugger that I am ; )

    Q: If you were to step through the Stargate and join the Atlantis Expedition, which one, personal item would you choose to take with you?

    And no cheating.. Personal Slave, carrying everything you own, does *not* cut it 😛

  50. Bonjour Joseph!

    Merci pour cette vidéo, elle est sympa=)

    Je suis fatiguer, j’ai fait 3 rêve différent cette nuit!! Dont 1 ou vous étiez le président de l’ONU et un reportage passer sur vous sur la 2iem chaine national. Le reportage été trop génial! Dommage que l’on ne puisse pas enregistrer nos rêve^^!


    1) S’il vous plait, j’ai vraiment besoin que vous me redonniez l’adresse où je peut vous écrire?
    2)Quel est le meilleur souvenir que vous garderiez de SGA?

    Aller Bisou, bonne journée!

  51. Thank you for the interesting videos (the sound has to wait until I’ll get home)!

    Yesterday I watched a Farscape DVD commentary (the only other series besides SGA I’m completely fond of and care about – yes, I don’t easily become a passionate fan) where they talked about character development and the difference between a series and a movie (not a TV related one). This is my only criticism of SGA. I’d like to see more character development, struggle with emotions, events and decisions and conflicts between the characters (like Farscape did so well). If I remember rightly someone (you?) said the reason why things often weren’t mentioned in the next episode was because time goes by between the episodes. Now you’ll have only 2 hours and probably won’t know when the next movie (story timeline) will be. What are your thoughts about the SGA movies? Will there be more emotions? Do you think it will be easier or harder as in the series to show a development?

    One of the things I don’t understand (in the actual meaning not because of stubbornness): why is it so unthinkable for TPTB to produce two Stargate series – even for just a year? I’m not familiar with this topic. Does SciFi has only one original series and can’t afford two? Because for me it would be simple: SGA for us passionate fans 😉 and Universe for the new younger audience. This would benefit SciFi and MGM, too, wouldn’t it? And the work (in addition with new people) could be divided. For example you and Paul Mullie for SGA and Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper for Universe.

    Warning, a sarcastic thought:
    Joe Mallozzi: Indefinitely. So long as they’re profitable, I can’t see any reason why MGM would want to stop making them.

    I can: When they are successful and the fans love them too much… 🙁

  52. Ever considered becoming professional tour guides? Thanks for the videos, will we ever get to see the more interesting bit?

  53. Hm, if I get it right, we will get one movie later in 2009 – which can mean anything from summer to early winter. It’ll air on Scifi first and then go to DVDs. And then TPTB will wait to see if it was a success or not. And if it will be a success, you will start working on the script for movie Nr. 2. If we will be lucky (again), we will get the 2nd movie in the middle of 2010. So, basically, if we are lucky (again) we will get one movie a year. To be honest, that’s rather depressing, to go from 20 hours of entertainment a year to 2 and that’s still in the “maybe” category. How can Brad Wright and other TPTB present that as positive is beyond me.

  54. Hey Joe,

    Loved the ‘Tour Guide Carlie’ video. Are we going to get part 2 tomorrow? and is there any chance of Carl making a guest appearance in your wierd food purchase of the day videos?

  55. Ahh. So nice to have a set tour!

    Now what would be really fun is to invade actor trailers (well, those who don’t mind) so we can compare everyones’ styles before they start packing things up.

  56. Hi Joe, i’m a bit calmer today so it’s question time, (oh joy he says)

    * if you are giving out details of the episodes that will now never be, can you tell us your idea concerning wraith children cause that would be interesting.

    *also any backstory that was discussed for certain episodes. Like ‘common ground’ and how Todd came to be caught and for how long.

    *concerning the movie, since Todd is in it will any of the other wraith characters be as well. Perhaps Kenny if he survives the season, Todd needs one who isn’t going to turn on him.

    *don’t suppose there’s any chance of Chris H. doing a guest blog is there or something on the season 5 dvd since Todd has been so important this season?

    there were more but i scoffed too much chocolate and now i don’t feel so good, more questions of torment later then.
    bye Joe

  57. I am saddened Zelenka’s big scene from The Shrine was cut. As I was watching the ep, for the fourth time, last night I was trying to see what could have left out to make room for Radek but I just couldn’t do it. There was so much awesome stuff it must have been real hard to make the cut.

    Any chance you can tell us about it or ever show us the script for the scene? PLEASE!!!!! 🙂

  58. Hello again Mr M!

    Greetings from yet another rainy day here in Tipperary.

    Firstly, thanks for a great video!!! And WOW two stars for the “price” of one….As a long time fan (and correspondent) with Kate Ritter, I was delighted to finally see her!! The Ultimate Visual Guide (UVG) has travelled the length and breadth of the country, what a great companion to the world of Stargate!

    Secondly, way to go Carl Binder on the Tour Guide job!! Can we work in Carl Binder as a unit of measurement? I take this from your measurement of the gate as “3 and a bit Carl Binders”….Could we use this in an upcoming script…..
    Shep: How far is that?
    McKay: It’s about three and a bit carlbinders away?

    Finally, for Mr Mikita:

    Thank you for all your wonderful direction over the years. I particularly liked Outcast last year.
    (i) Is there any specific difficulty that you continually encounter in the Sci Fi genre as against more mainstream direction that impeeds your vision for a shot?
    (ii) In the directorial rotation, is there/have there been, any particular episodes that you’ve passed on/or not directed where you wish you could have been involved?
    (iii) In reading a script do you have an entire vision at outset? and (if the occasion has arisen) would you suggest a linking scene including dialogue if you felt it was necessary?
    (iv) Also, do you say “SWEET!” or “GREAT!” a la Mr Wood, after a great take? If not, are there any Andy Mikita-isms after shooting a difficult scene?

    Also, may I just add, that I really enjoy your commentaries…I always get the sense that you are seeing the episode for the first time, and your recall for events at that time is great, even though it’s months later….

    Thanks again


  59. I think that all TVs should come with Nielsen boxes built in. Don’t take a sampling. Get the real numbers.

    I think I in my cold medicine fuzz I said something wrong yesterday, Joe. I was trying to defend you and the other writers and think I ended up insulting you unintentionally.

    I was trying to say that the fans should not be mad at you all. That you weren’t the ones making the decision. Sorry if it came out differently.

  60. Hej Joe!
    During the tour your footfalls resound through the set since everything is made of wood, I guess. But in fighting scenes or when the actors walk through the gateroom in the episodes the sound is not present. How is it shielded ?


  61. I know you have probably discussed this to death but I just got back from deepest darkest Cornwall with no TV, internet and papers too much of a hassle so bit of a shock today.

    Lost last week and SGA’s future this week. I LOVE SGA and can’t believe the mentality that cancels an award winning show that from all accounts has FINAL viewing figures to be proud of. Gutted is not the word. Theasurus and A4 paper might be get me a bit closer.

    I don’t know if your responses are due to how you feel or the fact that you have to continue to work with these imbeciles. I just wanted you to know that I have loved the work you have done so far and I am deeply saddened that it has come to an end. You say movies are the future – I say if they can cancel a series of this caliber then how many more movies will they make before Atlantis becomes a lost once again in the history archives.

    Gateworld states that SGU will be trying to capture younger viewers and I cannot help but suspect that SGU will turn into SG Beautiful and be based on model shots instead of good, dramatic characters that hold your heart. I will miss them all.


  62. Joe,

    Watched “The Seed” for a second time last night and I enjoyed it much more this go around. Some episodes are like that for me, they seem to get better with repeated viewings. I think it’s because I can focus on the background details and allow myself to notice things I missed the first time. I tend to ‘rush’ through somehow – if that even makes sense.

    Anyway, all that to say this episode is ‘growing on me.’ ;p

    Enjoying the tour of the studios! Will the WFPOTD be returning, or did the stomach upset finish it for good?

    Apparently the petition got wiped to zero in a system update. Everyone will need to sign again!

  63. More virtual tours pleeeeeeeeeeezzzzze! They may be less hazzardous to your health than the weird food purchases, unless you fall off something walking backwards.

    I’m still in denial.

  64. Hey Joe

    I have a question for Mr. Mikita:

    When you get a script, do you end up making any changes to the way that scenes are set up or to the transitions from one scene to another? Is this something that is worked out first with all the writers/producers before you get to the shooting stage, or do some things (that don’t work well) only become apparent once you are shooting (or both)?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!


  65. Thanks for the tour – I’m thinking I would love to have a gate in my living room – no wait, my art room!!
    I also have always loved the steps with the lights – hmmm- another idea!
    Still in an emotional mess over the cancelation of the show. I guess I was so used to the cast BEING the people on Atlantis, I tend to forget they are in a business and this is their life.
    I think I will follow Karen’s post above – Denial.

  66. Great tours! Thanks for taking us along.

    Bummed to hear of SGA’s cancellation, but I am pleased movies will be following. I am very excited about SGU and think it will be a great next step for the franchise. Growing and evolving is a must in the entertainment business and trying to run 2 shows and movies would be a nightmare and really be telling on the quality of all of them. I will miss SGA, but I am looking forward to the future. Continuum was so impressively done and I believe that Atlantis and its characters deserve the same opportunity to expand and grow in the way that only a feature film can give.

    Anyway, you guys have done an amazing job. I will absolutely be watching all the remaining episodes and will see SGA finish it’s television journey with joy, a little sadness, but mostly with a wonderful contentment to have been part of something so truly magical.

    Thanks for all you do!


  67. GOOD MORNING!! Today’s comic book Wednesday! Woot! Two week’s worth to pick up – ugh…this hobby is gettin’ ‘spensive. 😛 But it’s worth it, seeing as how the bad guys NEVER die! *hint, hint* 😉

    And the blog was not the first thing I checked this morn. Nopers. Nuada vids (and the cats and Mr. Das) won out over Joe today. See?? I’m semi-sorta-normal.

    @ green – ….uh…a little of both??

    @ BlueJay – It’s good to see that a Wraith defender is still on their game. Unfortunately…I…I have wavered over the past week. With the sad news of SGA‘s non-renewal, I have jumped headlong into silliness as a diversion…and now…now I’m off in NuadaLand, fickle thing that I am.

    @ Joe – A serious question. SGA, it seems, touched on horror-based mythology – vampires (Wraith), Frankenstein’s monster (Michael), zombies (Michael’s hybrids), The Fly, or perhaps, werewolves (Conversion), and ghosts (Echoes). Michael’s bugs (Aliens?) and The Seed could also fall under the umbrella, perhaps as a representation of all things that go bump in the night (or something more specific that escapes me at the moment). There was even a Tingler moment in Critical Mass, with the symbiote…and, perhaps, in 38 Minutes as well, with the iratus bug.

    So, questions:

    1. Did I omit anything from the above comparison? Overthink anything? 😆 If so, what?

    2. Do you think that with such focus on horror-related themes, a darker, edgier SGA could have been produced, thus bringing in those desired younger audiences, since they are the primary fans of the horror genre in general?

    It’s all moot now, I know, but I just would like to hear your opinion. For the record, I like the tone of SGA as is, a nice balance between dark and light, unlike shows such as Lost and BSG which tend to be mired in darkness. But just wondering about how you see things, looking back now over what was, and what is to come.



  68. Thanks for the video tour of the set yesterday, great to see behind the scenes.<Looking forward to the next installment. Carl is a great guide. 3 carlbinders and a bit, good measure, He is tall!
    =I am glad Ms Valente stopped by to answer questions. I am reading(still) the church of the dead girls, so trying not to read comments on that. But I did think it was the narrator, or the butler, that did it, Its hard to put down when I start, but I read it when I am going to sleep, so its a little scary at times. I am not usually into horror type, me I like the fantasy, time travel, upbeat, but I will continue to read it, thanks for the botm ideas.
    =Mr Mikita ?- Do you have plans after SGA? I think your work is great.
    =Can you pick the episodes you want to direct?
    =Do you have the ancient gene?
    thanks for answering questions. Have a great day!

  69. Re Scary’s comment about not being able to find a scene to cut to insert Radek’s moment. I can – the very last one… and I would have been a VERY happy camper.

  70. Carl is definitely not worried about the long butt shot of him going up the stairs during the tour! LOL. Thanks for the tour! Very cool to see how different parts of the same set are used for so many different parts of the city.

    So, you met Kate R – also head of the website. Another site I frequent.

    Looking forward to the next installment of the tour!

    I, like DAS, also check your blog right before going to bed or first thing in the morning before dog walks. 3 dogs=2 walks and a bike ride.


  71. I just rescued two kittens–their mother was feral and left them too young. A neighbour rescued them actually, I’ve had to just prevent them from going to kitty heaven at the pound. All I’ve had are house plants (lovely things really; don’t peep and poop and stink like bum rot; but they also don’t sky dive, head long, into their wet food nor look at you with imploring eyes. Plants don’t have eyes–meh!) Have wraith hair right now–bad wraith hair. Don’t know about the surrogate kitty mommy thing, but like a plant they are starting to grow (on me!).


  72. Hey Joe,

    I’m leaving for Dragon*Con tomorrow. I’m so NOT prepared for this trip, either. It’s going to be interesting. Hopefully I will survive.

    You say you prefer low heeled pumps? The high heels actually accentuate your calf muscles, though. But to each his (or her) own favorite shoe. 😉

    @Das: 😮 So that is YOU hanging outside my window???

    HA! HA! HA! You crack me up! I honestly think that if Todd lived in the Milkyway, you are the only human that would actually have him worried. 😆

    @PG 15: I was wondering if Joe wasn’t actually serious about the monster icons being reflections of ourselves. Hmmm… And thanks for the warm welcome for Allie!

  73. 1)In “The Prodigal”, do we get further explanation into Michael’s ultimate plan for Teyla’s child and/or his personal feelings for Teyla?

    2) In “Tracker” does Keller have a definitive preference between Ronon/McKay by the end of the episode?

  74. Watched the vid! Pretty cool…except, now I’m more familiar with Carl’s butt than I care to be. 😛

    @ Trish – 😆 I can just see it now – Todd, at a looming 6’4″, coming face-to-uh…bellybutton?…with squatty ol’ me, at 5’2″. He’d take one look, burst out in that ‘Wraith humor’ laughter of his…and then he’d smush me like a bug (but not before I snuck in a juicy belly-berry! *BBBRRRFFFTT!!!* That’ll learn ‘im!). 😀


  75. @green — thanks for the heads-up!! 😀 I’d forgotten about it! XD Glad you liked what I had to say! ^^ I wish I had saved what I’d written, though, cause they edited the post on Gateworld so it wouldn’t spoil the show, but they didn’t use all I’d written either, and now it just shows my signature under the spoiler tag! Weird … XD Also, I love how the podcaster read it with inflections like a bedtime story, LOL!

    About fifteen hours till I leave for Dragon*Con — will I finish everything in time? *whimper*

  76. Hi Joe

    Wellll!!! I’m away few a few months for personal stuff and lo and behold what do I find when I get back..**** The shows been cancelled!! I mean really there is no other Sci Fi show out there.. Even Dr WHo is gone into Hiatus for a year. So what do we have left.. I was looking for ward to the new stargate universe but that didn’t mean we had to do without Stargate Atlantis.. Will the writers, yourself and Carl, particularly, be writing for the new show? It’s really too bad.. Stargate A was always such a visually satisfying show as well as well written..

    Such sad news..


  77. Guten Abend, Joe,

    Amongst all the fallout from MGM´s idiotic cancellation decision this might be a very mundane question, but I was wondering some time now, so here it is:

    1) Will we see Teyla sparring again this season, with John or Ronon? Best both ; ))I always loved Rachel Luttrell with the Bantos rods and I miss it, and since the pregnancy is well past her?

    2) Will Mitch Pileggi reprise the role of Colonel Caldwell in season 5 (apart from 501) and if, hopefully, yes, which one(s)?

    I´m glad you´re seemingly bringing back Kolya. Honestly, the ep Irresponsible didn´t do him or the actor Robert Davi any justice. Kolya is just one of those great adversarial characters – hope you´ll give the character the hell of a decent send-off he deserves!!!

    And thank you for keeping a sort of ,well, “open house” like here on your blog, I just recently stumbled across it, and it´s defintely not something to be taken for granted – so I appreciate the effort very much. thank you.



    p.s. Isn´t the scifi universe marvellous ; ))) – you don´t need to go to all the writing pains a la Dallas et al. to bring back a dead character – there always an alien lifeform or evil device playing havoc on a character´s mind, so much opportunity…. he, he ; ))) – no enough evil thoughts ; ))

  78. I was reading your current entry and just thought of something…

    I was just wondering if you guys get into fantasy football. If so, is there an Atlantis league, with cast and crew playing?

  79. I, too am curious about Radek’s scene in “The Shrine”. I thought the show was excellent from start to finish, so I don’t know where you could have put it, but I’d love to know/see what took place. I’m guessing Radek took a moment to say goodbye.

  80. Thanks for the tour videos
    Thanks Catherynne, Joe & fans for the great Q&A. I do love mythologies and folklore.

    Well, my family is now set on finding me another TV show to replace SGA. It’s taken me a full day to recover from their debut efforts. On Monday they made me sit through 2 shows, Big Bang Theory and The Middleman. I will not mention channels. Two things really scared me. First, I understood the dialog and insider references on Big Bang and second, I couldn’t understand Middleman dialog or scenes at all. This wigs me out because apparently I’m either smart enough for physicists or too dumb for musicians & secret agents. Wait, that explains, I AM a musician. The last horror is that I really did think Big Bang Theory was funny, and imagined what it would be like if McKay & Zelenka were in it.
    Can’t get away from SGA.

  81. 1. Will we find out what that stuff was that Michael injected Teyla with?

    2. Will there be any proper Teyla whump at all this season?

    And i’m still bummed about Atlantis getting canned for this new toy…..So seeing as their going for a “younger” audience does that mean us over 30’s are dead to them now 🙁

  82. Hey Joe,

    May have already been asked, but how long will each movie take to create, from start of script to final product?

    If you aren’t required at the office every day do you think will you stay in Vancouver? I’m sure there’s lots of balls in the air for you right now, so understand if you don’t want to answer.

    Trish – I exclude Allie from my comment re 16 year olds. It’s great to see her participating in Book of the Month. Welcome and Congratulations!

  83. Hi Joe,
    Concerning all the comments from fans being displeased with the cancellation of SGA, did you or anyone else see this coming? Are you surprised? Have you talked to the other writers, directors, producers about the large number of fans voicing their anger, sadness, displeasure of this decision by MGM and others? I think you and the others involved in making SGA should be very proud of yourselves in making a T.V. series that is so loved by many that when it’s canceled the fans fight to try to keep it on the air. You all should be very proud of this accomplishment.


  84. Answer: I prefer low-heeled pumps.

    Ah.. show us some pictures of your feet and we shall provide some gifted commentary *g*

  85. PG15 wrote:
    “By the way, where was the camera during this? You couldn’t have been looking through it…because that means you’re only about as tall as Carl’s chest…right? Or is he really just that gigantic?”

    I can’t speak for Joe, however, I use a digital camera (not a camcorder) where the screen can be tilted. I find if you turn the screen up and hold it down so the strap is tight, it steadies the picture alot, yet still have a view of the picture.

    Great videos, Joe! I second the request for a SGC tour sometime.

  86. Maybe someday I will have a time machine that will allow me to reach into the future and use the charts before the book is done. That would be pretty sweet.

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