Lonely monster looking for Miss Fright.  Enjoys creeping up walls, terrorizing humans, and long walks on the beach.
Lonely monster looking for Miss Fright. Enjoys creeping up walls, terrorizing humans, and long walks on the beach.
Okay, now smile and say...
Okay, now smile and say...
Cheeeeeese.
Cheeeeeese!
What're you looking at?!
What're YOU looking at?!
Glen in the well
Glen in the well
Actor removes their eyeballs and puts them in a plastic container for safe keeping.
Actor removes her eyeballs and puts them in a plastic container for safe keeping.

Well, as promised, I’m dedicating today’s blog entry to a post-Whispers blow-by-blow. Since I was on set for this episode, I have plenty to talk about and, over the course of this breakdown, I’ll touch on a variety of subjects including revised scenes, deleted footage, and on-set anecdotes. And, seeing as how it looks like I’ll have a lot to say on this one, I may well run out of steam and have to pick things up tomorrow.

Before I get started, I’d just like to remind everyone that Will Waring, director of Whispers and countless other SG-1 and Atlantis episodes, has agreed to do a guest blog here, so start posting your comments. Quick, before he changes his mind!

To Das who asks: “What was your mindset while writing Whispers? Dead serious, tongue-in-cheek, something else?”  Definitely tongue in cheek popcorn fun, from Carpenteresque fog to the Ringesque well crawl.  In fact, Sheppard’s line late in the episode neatly summed up the spirit of the episode: “Great. Now all we need is for the prom queen and the kid in the wheelchair to wander off and we’re all set.” 

Today’s pics: Behind the scenes on Whispers.

Today’s video: Stage 2 walk-thru II (up until the point where my camera battery died on me).

THE TEASE

EXT. FOREST – NIGHT: A couple of locals run into a spot of bad luck.

This scene wasn’t in the first draft which actually started on Atlantis with Sheppard informing Beckett that Major Teldy’s team had found something off-world (the original end of tease was the reveal of the lab with Sheppard and Beckett). However, the network and Rob felt the script needed some action off the top. I thought about it and came up with this scene that 1) established the creepy mood we’d be touching on later in the episode and 2) offered me a way of working the gas masked figure (Michael) into the episode. Also, given that I wanted this episode to follow the traditional horror flick structure, I felt that a scare off the top was a terrific idea. The one point I was resolute about, however, was that we not reveal the look of the creature. Not here. Not yet. I also thought it important to establish some sort of unique sound for the creatures, something we could establish early and then use as a cue later in the episode to signal their approach. Editor Mike Banas came up with a temporary solution, a variation on a dolphin’s chittering which I found very effective. So effective, in fact, that when a new sound was created for the Day 1 mix, I asked them to put Mike’s original creation back.

Somebody asked about the creature twitching here and later in the episode. Some of it was actor action while some of it was the work of editor Mike Banas who lifted a frame or two from the cut to five the movement a peculiar, almost inhuman feel. He does this great effect later in the episode: 1) When the creature first spots Beckett in the fog and bares its teeth and 2) With the creature on the wall over Beckett’s head.

This was one of the last scenes we shot for this episode (yep, we shoot out of sequence for those who didn’t know). I remember it was very late and Will had set up a crane shot to open the scene. I was standing by the monitor, watching them rehearse and, as I stepped over to take my seat, the crane knocked over a ladder that came crashing down onto the spot where I’d been standing. Terry, our script supervisor, looked up at me, shocked, and informed me that if I hadn’t moved, they’d have been calling an ambulance for me.

INT. CATACOMBS – DAY: Major Teldy’s team make a mysterious discovery.

This scene wasn’t in the first draft either. Rather than pick things up one year later on Atlantis, I thought this scene would help make for a smoother transition. I love the look of the catacombs – slick and dark – and have to credit director of photography Michael Blundell for doing such a great job on, not only the catacombs, but this episode in general.

INT. BECKETT’S QUARTERS – DAY: Beckett and McKay chat. Sheppard enters with the news.

We wanted to have Beckett back for five episodes but we were faced with a bit of a problem. If he was back on Atlantis, then why weren’t we seeing him every episode? If he was back on Earth, then why was he coming back to Atlantis? In the end, I came up with a compromise solution: Beckett was going to participate in the Pegasus equivalent of Doctors Without Borders, heading off to treat the victims of the Hoffan plague. This would establish his presence in the galaxy and allow him quick access to Atlantis (and vice versa) should the need ever arise.

Given that this episode was running long, I had to make some significant trims to this scene, including a reference to Carson’s wee turtles which I named Michelle and Jeffrey after two of Paul’s most fervent supporters (if there had been a third turtle, I’d have called her Jen but, hey, I figured the letter of reference bought me some good will). Anyway, here’s the scene as originally scripted:

#McKay looks on as Beckett packs up his belongings.MCKAY: I can’t believe this. You were sick. We cured you. You go away for six months to recover. And then, finally, you come back – and only stay for a week before leaving again.

BECKETT: I’m sorry, Rodney, but I’ve come to realize that, for the time being, my place isn’t here.

MCKAY: Of course it is. Are you kidding me? It’s just like old times. You’re back on Atlantis, back in your lab, doing…whatever…it is you’re doing. This is great!

BECKETT: No, it isn’t. As a doctor, I can’t simply sit by while people in this galaxy are suffering. Especially since I had a hand in what’s happened to them.

MCKAY: You can’t blame yourself. Michael forced you to help him. He was the one who disseminated the drug.

BECKETT: And I was the one who helped the Hoffans perfect it.

McKay considers. Then –

MCKAY: Come on. You know how many times I’ve screwed up? Lots.

MCKAY: (then correcting himself) Well, not “lots”, certainly less than the average person, but still – it does happen. On occasion. (beat)Very rare occasions.

BECKETT: I have an opportunity to help these people, Rodney. To save some lives. And sleep a little better knowing that I’m making a difference.

Beckett glances up, notes a downcast Rodney. He adopts a more positive –

BECKETT: Besides, now that I’m back in the Pegasus galaxy, I’m just a step through the gate.

MCKAY: So you’ll be dropping by to visit?

BECKETT: Whenever I can.

Beat.

BECKETT: Oh, I’ll be taking my turtles with me.

McKay, clearly reluctant to part with them –

MCKAY: Well, technically, they’re not really YOUR turtles. I mean, to be fair you wouldn’t have even known about them if I hadn’t told you –

Off Beckett –

MCKAY: But if you want them – fine.

Doing a poor job of disguising his disappointment –

MCKAY: By the way, little Jeffrey likes carrots so try to include a couple of slivers with each meal. And little Michelle really enjoys these cuttlebones Jeannie sent over –

BECKETT: Now that I think about it, I’ll be moving around a lot. I realize it’s a bit of an inconvenience, but would you mind taking care of them a little longer?

MCKAY: Sure. Okay.

Sheppard enters.

BECKETT: Colonel, you’re just in time to give us a hand.

SHEPPARD: Actually, doc, you’re going to have to delay your travel plans. We just got word from Major Teldy.(beat) Her team has found another one of Michael’s labs.

Off Beckett –

ACT ONE

EXT. FOREST – DAY: Sheppard and Beckett meet Teldy’s team.

I didn’t want Sheppard and co. to have access to a puddle jumper, so I established early on that the area is heavily forested (something we emphasize later on) and only accessible on foot. Martin Gero suggested I go a step further and make it even more inaccessible, so I added the reference to having to rappel down the mountainside.

This scene was shot on location on one of the coldest days in recent memory. Every time Will yelled “Cut!”, the actors would scurry over to a heater that had been set up for them in a tented area. When Glenn Mowat, our craft service specialist, wheeled out some chicken soup, I was one of the first in line – not because I like chicken soup but because I needed the cup to warm my hands. Anyway, it was a crisp day but the actors enjoyed themselves. I love the way Paul plays Beckett here – initially weary and complaining about the long walk and then suddenly spry as he jogs after the women. Joe and Paul had a lot of fun with their walk and talk and subsequent meeting with the all-female team, adlibbing the fist bump at the end of this scene.

And, since many of you are asking why Sheppard had to be introduced to Teldy’s team – while Sheppard is the base’s military commander, he seems significantly more off-world action than desk duty. While he certainly keeps updated on the individuals shuttling in and off the city, he doesn’t necessarily meet all of them so he might be surprised to learn that the Dr. Porter and Sgt. Mehra he was apprised on are actually women. Furthermore, the various team leaders (in this case Major Teldy) have the autonomy to put together their own teams. And since, as suggested in this team, Teldy’s team is new, it’s not that incredible that Sheppard would need an introduction.

Also, for those wondering about Sheppard’s turtleneck – that was a game day decision by Joe.

INT. MICHAEL’S LAB – DAY: Teldy’s team lead Sheppard and Beckett to the lab.

A great-looking lab that is actually about half as big as it looks onscreen. The back wall is actually a matte extension that gives the chamber more depth and, of course, room for more stasis pods. As for the mysterious figures in those pods – they’re mannequins.

A couple of references to our season four finale and season five premiere, The Last Man and Search and Rescue, which I’m sure most of you picked up: Sheppard’s line “The last thing I need is three tons of rubble falling on my head again.” and Porter’s informing him that she disabled the security protocols thanks to the lesson McKay learned the last time he attempted to access Michael’s data.

EXT. FOREST – DAY: Sheppard, Teldy, and Vega make their way to the village.

The dialogue in this scene seemed to change with each subsequent draft. In the first, Vega’s complaint about not having the puddle jumper handy leads to a discussion of the midway station and the IOA’s reluctance to re-establish the gate bridge because of the events of Midway. Eagle-eyed (or eared) readers of this blog will recognize this dialogue as part of the deleted Sheppard-Caldwell conversation from Kindred I. It didn’t make the cut here either. Teldy’s character went from Major to Colonel and back to Major, and in one version in which she was a Colonel, she gave Sheppard a good-natured ribbing. Ultimately, however, it felt inappropriate and my writing partner, Paul, argued that making her of equal rank diminished Sheppard’s status on Atlantis. So, this scene was changed yet again but, for what it’s worth…

We find Sheppard, Vega, and Teldy on their way. Sheppard leads.

VEGA: You know what I’d love right about now?

SHEPPARD: A beer?

VEGA: A puddle jumper.

OBSERVER’S POV – They are being watched.

SHEPPARD: That could’ve been arranged if I’d known we’d be doing this much walking.

TELDY: Area’s too heavily forested. Nowhere to land.

She sizes him up.

TELDY: Besides, this is great exercise. It’ll help build those calves.

SHEPPARD: My calves don’t need building.

TELDY: If you say so.

SHEPPARD: What was that?

TELDY: I’m agreeing with you. You have marvelous calves.

BACK ON our trio.

SHEPPARD: I didn’t say that.

TELDY: Of course not.

She sizes him up again.

TELDY: Tightens those glutes too.

Sheppard throws her a look. She smiles innocently back at him – and on they go.

INT. MICHAEL’S LAB – Dusty takes a walk, leaving Beckett and Porter to talk.

All of the characters were fun to write for, but Dusty held a special place in my heart. She’s like one of those embarrassing family members with no social filter, quick to speak her mind and oblivious to the reaction she elicits. She is stuck on babysitting duty, doesn’t like it, and makes no bones about it. Annoyed with the lovebirds, she takes a walk, allowing Beckett and Porter to bond. Originally, this scene was significantly longer. Again, some of the dialogue had to be cut for time including an interesting reference to Beckett’s dear mother and her reaction to his sudden resurrection. BTW, the original draft had her giving away his guitar, but Paul McGillion suggested a budgie would be funnier. It was.

PORTER: I’m sorry.

BECKETT: You have nothing to apologize for – and, frankly, neither does she. She’s right. Resurrections do make for very interesting reunions – especially when the dead man didn’t know he was dead to begin with.

PORTER: I can see how that could make things a little – uh, awkward.

BECKETT: Yes, that’s exactly how I would describe showing up on my mother’s doorstep two years after my funeral. Awkward.

PORTER: What did you tell her?

BECKETT: Certainly not the truth: “Ma, I’ve spent the last two years a prisoner of the vindictive alien hybrid I helped create. P.S. I’m a clone.” I told her I’d been kidnapped, that I actually hadn’t been killed in an explosion.

PORTER: How’d she take it?

BECKETT: Surprisingly well. When the initial shock wore off, the first words out of her mouth were: “Dear Lord! But I gave away your budgie!”

Porter smiles.

PORTER: I’m assuming you forgave her.

BECKETT: Oh, he went to a good home. And it was easy to forgive everyone for moving on. After all, I’d died. What was far more difficult was finding out that my life had gone on without me for almost a year after my disappearance.

Beckett reflects for a second then, catching himself, throws Porter a look –

BECKETT: What about you, Dr. Porter?

PORTER: Alison.

BECKETT: What about you, Alison? Any interesting experiences you’d care to share? Encountered any dangerous alien predators? Been cloned recently?

PORTER: No, but in all fairness, I’m new to the Pegasus galaxy. Sounds like cloning is more of a second year thing.

BECKETT: Third actually.

PORTER: Ah.

EXT. VILLAGE – DAY: Sheppard, Teldy, and Vega search the deserted village.

 

A fairly straightforward scene shot on our village set. The archway they step through leads out to the faux forest where we shot the later creature attack on this trio, and the opening scene.

INT. MICHAEL’S LAB – DAY: Beckett and Porter learn about the experiments. Dusty makes a surprise appearance.

Another fairly straightforward scene that serves to reveal a little more about the creatures in the pods, establish that night is about to fall, and allow Dusty to have a little fun with her babysitting charges by screwing with them. As scripted:

#A clearly creeped-out Porter stares at the mysterious figure within the pods. Suddenly -DUSTY(O.S.): Hey!

Porter and Beckett are startled. They turn and find –

Dusty standing in the entrance to the lab.

DUSTY: Sorry about that. Didn’t mean to startle you.

Although clearly she did.

DUSTY: Just wanted to let you know it’s going to get dark soon. Are we planning on making this an all-nighter?

Beckett and Porter exchange looks.

Director Will Waring does a wonderful job here, pushing in on the figure in the pod, turning back on a creeped-out Beckett and Porter, then playing Dusty’s off-screen “Hey!” and revealing her standing behind them.

EXT. VILLAGE – DAY: Sheppard, Teldy, and Vega corner a local who reveals what he knows about the abandoned village.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s entry, this was actor Darren Dolinski’s first time on camera and I thought he did a terrific job – especially later in the big window snatch stunt. Christina was a stickler for proper military procedure and she and Leela consulted Atlantis armourer Rob Fournier for this scene. So, you’ll note that as Mirellus talks, Teldy backtracks to check out the area around the corner while Vega scans the building’s interior for trouble.   And, yes, they did set a trap for Mirellus – which is why, when Mirellus swings out to follow Sheppard, he finds him seated on the steps, gun out, waiting for him.

EXT. FOREST – DAY: Beckett, Porter, and Dusty walk and talk.

I revised and trimmed this scene significantly from the first draft that offered some interesting insight into the women, Dusty in particular. Also, in the director’s cut, we see Mirellus step out from behind the tree and skulk off. In order to save time, and because I liked the mystery beat, we trimmed the end of the scene and kept the hidden individual’s identity a secret.

BECKETT: My mother, my friends, and my extended family in Scotland. You?

PORTER: My parents, two sisters, some friends, and a three year old labradoodle named Quigley who, my roommate tells me, is doing just fine without me. What about you, Dusty?

DUSTY: What about me?

BECKETT: Who did you leave back on Earth?

DUSTY: No one. A family I hardly speak to and an ex-husband I speak to may too much.

BECKETT: I hear you served with Stargate Command before transferring over.

DUSTY: Yeah, but Pegasus had more of what I was looking for.

BECKETT: And what was that?

DUSTY: Bad guys that needed killing. The Milky Way just hasn’t been the same since the Ori got their butts kicked.

BECKETT: Some would argue the situation has actually impro-

Suddenly Dusty stops, quiets them with an upraised hand. Beat.

BECKETT: What is it?

Dusty takes a step forward, weapon at the ready.

DUSTY: I thought I heard something.

Beckett and Porter exchange uneasy looks.

BECKETT: What?

Dusty scans their surroundings. Beat. Then –

DUSTY: Probably nothing.

Dusty eases up, continues on her way. A creeped-out Beckett and Porter hurry after her.

Beat. As their footsteps recede in the distance, SWING BACK to reveal Mirellus concealed behind some forest cover. He watches them head off O.S., then quietly creeps out of hiding and hurries off in the direction they came from.

INT. MICHAEL’S LAB – NIGHT

Mirellus opens the pods. Nope, you didn’t miss this scene. It was never shot.

#Mirellus is standing in the entrance to the dimly lit lab.His eyes widen at the sight of the stasis pods. He hurries over, sets the torch aside and tries to open one of the pods, straining against whatever locking mechanism is in place – to no avail. Mirellus gives up and scans his surroundings. His eyes alight on –

The consoles. He approaches, gives them a cursory scan, and starts hitting buttons at random. The onscreen data changes. Frustrated, he goes over to another console, repeats the same process.

Unbeknownst to him, the front on one of the stasis pods slides up, releasing a coiling mist.

ON Mirellus, moving to another console, hitting buttons at random. A thick mist creeps in around him.

CUT TO:

INT. CATACOMBS — NIGHT

Beat. Then –

MIRELLUS: (screams)

INT. HOUSE – NIGHT: Sheppard, Teldy, and Vega leave Beckett, Porter, and Dusty for the night.

This scene remained fairly intact. The only line of dialogue I lost was Beckett’s request for a Venti vanilla bean frappuccino to go with Porter’s triple grande sugar free vanilla latte.

To Shawna who wonders why the team just didn’t go back to Atlantis after the local warned them of the dangers – 1. Unlike the local, the team knew the reason for the perceived danger. Michael was snatching villagers and experimenting on them. But the danger no longer exists because Michael has long abandoned the lab. That is, until the local releases the experiments. 2. We establish the fact that it is quite a walk from the catacombs to the gate (necessitated a climb up a mountainside as well). It’s not uncommon for teams on fact-finding missions to stay overnight. In this case, it was simply convenient to do so.

INT. CATACOMBS/LAB: Sweeping through the darkened catacombs and into the labs. The pods are opened.

Will’s direction, Greg Fox’s camera work, and Joel Goldsmith’s score combined to make this one of my favorite sequences in the episode. On the day, Will decided to play a practical joke on camera operator Fox and actually hid in the pod. Greg swept down the catacomb, into the lab, pushed in on the stasis pod – at which point Will slammed his hand up against the door, hoping to scare the beejeebers out of him. Alas, Greg was cool under pressure.

ACT TWO

INT. HOUSE – NIGHT: Beckett and Porter bond…much to Dusty’s chagrin.

I needed Dusty to be reading something in this scene and so, rather than have the art department make up a phony book, I contacted my buddy, editor Lou Anders over at Pyr, and asked his permission to use The Martian General’s Daughter by Theodore Judson. In the end, the cover is partly hidden and you can’t quite make out the title – but fear not! The book makes a second, clearer appearance in the first part of our mid-season two-parter, First Contact, in which we find gate technician Chuck reading it. Evidently, it was Atlantis’s book of the month.

Many of you know that Will Waring includes his trademark pineapple in every episode he directs. If you look closely, you’ll notice the pineapple appears in this scene – as Dusty’s pineapple bookmark.

EXT. FOREST – NIGHT: Sheppard, Teldy, and Vega experience flashlight trouble.

When it comes to horror movies, flashlights in the dark are fun, but no flashlights in the dark are even more fun! Again, props go to director of photography Michael Blundell as well as Wray Douglas, Scott Stofer, and the rest of the SPFX crew for the light and fog.

EXT. VILLAGE – NIGHT: Dusty takes a late-night stroll.

The creatures were originally conceived as eyeless humans but, when we got into prep on the episode, Todd Masters pointed out that completely covering the perfomers’ eyes would make taking direction, much less walking around, night impossible for them. So Todd and his crew came up with a creeptastic alternative – a fleshy webbing that covered the eyes yet allowed the actors limited visibility.

I thought it might be fun to work in a representation of these monsters in rudimentary doll form, perhaps the work of some crazy local who swore he glimpsed the creatures in the distant woods only to be summarily dismissed by his neighbors. Exactly what happened to him or his fellow citizens is a mystery. The only clue left behind is this creepy little memento.

By the way, somebody asked me which Stargate prop I would bring home with me, given the choice. Well, no question. It would be the creepy doll, lovingly designed by our Production Designer James Robbins.

Also, the well at the heart of the village, while incredibly heavy (it required a forklift to move around) isn’t real. It was maybe two and a half to three feet deep. Tops! The rising fog was achieved by having a member of the SPFX crew curl up inside and release the mist on cue. As for the seeming depth of the well when Dusty drops the stone – let’s give it up for Mark Savela and the rest of the gang at VFX.

EXT. FOREST – NIGHT: Sheppard, Teldy, Vega, and Mirellus are attacked. Vega buys it.

In the original draft, Teldy was the one who bought it here but, after some discussion with Paul and Martin, we decided that the audience would be expecting it. What they certainly wouldn’t be expecting would be for Vega to buy it.

On the day, we shot Leela’s coverage, then had a stunt double step in. She was harnessed and then yanked back into the fog (and onto a nice comfy mat) by our stunt coordinator James Bam Bam Bamford. Once we’d finished shooting the episode, Mark Savela and the VFX team added CG fog elements to obscure her so that it looked she was literally being swallowed up by the mist.

INT. HOUSE – NIGHT: Beckett and Porter hole up while Dusty heads off to investigate.

I love this scene for Dusty’s take charge attitude. She’s calling the shots, she’s going out to investigate, and Beckett is staying put. Period. As Porter points out in a later scene, if Beckett had continued to argue, Dusty probably would’ve decked him. A far cry from the weak, damsel in distress a number of fans were imagining when news of the all-female team first broke. This, by the way, was Janina’s last scene of the episode.

INT. CATACOMBS/LAB – NIGHT: Mirellus reveals that he was the one who released the creatures.

Yep, that’s pretty much what happens in this scene. Another matte extension, this time revealing all of the pods have been opened.

To be continued…

107 thoughts on “September 6, 2008: Whispers Breakdown, Part 1

  1. How could these creatures produce that much fog from their gills that the whole area is fogged up? It doesn’t seem to make sense scientifically.

  2. Joe,

    I was wrong, wrong, wrong about the all-female team. I loved Teldy and Dusty was funny and definitely someone I’d want on my side.

    Forgive me.

    Rose

  3. The fist bump thing? Yep, the guys would totally do that (as long as they were sure they wouldn’t be seen). It doesn’t mean they wouldn’t respect the women, or doubt their abilities, but they would definitely do the guy thing. Because they’re guys.

    And I’m starting to resent the way the term “middle-aged” is being thrown around here, particularly since I’m older than Sheppard, Beckett and McKay! There’s nothing creepy about the fact that yes, I definitely notice the attractive officers half my age. I may be old enough to be their mother, but I’m not dead, you know!

  4. Whispers is by far one of the creepiest episodes of Stargate ever, and for that I am truly thankful. The team has excelled themselves once again in all departments.

    I will now have nightmares for the next six months.

    Damn.

    😉

    M.

  5. Definitely should have been on Friday, October 31st – would have been perfect to air on Halloween. Liked it a lot – on the edge of my seat.

  6. I don’t like scary movies, scary episodes, or scary anything… specially when it’s about keeping the suspense.. and that was what this episodes was about, what’s going to happen or actually when is it going to happen… scary!!!

    I had to wait until this morning to watch the episodes, no way I was going to do it last night when I got back home… Hurricane Hanna decided to wait for me, so I had special effects while watching… very dark day, rainy and windy… not the best setting for my taste…

    I did not expect for Vega to die any of the other three yes… but not Vega.

    Carl has a different look for these last videos, has he dolled up for us?

    Carolina

  7. Joe, I really enjoyed Whispers, despite not normally being into horror (way too active an imagination). I thought Dusty was great, and Major Anne Teldy was really efficient. I watched it with a male friend who, when they first appeared together on screen said, “Oh, so the military only hires beautiful women, huh?” When I responded, “Yes, and the guys on the show are so ugly ….” He said, “Hmm. I guess you’re right – I just never notice them.” Heh.

    To all those people going on about Sheppard and Carson being “too old” for the women (or, “dirty old men”), were you aware that the actress who plays Teldy is 37 – only 4 years younger than them? Or that Nicole de Boer is 38 years old? Even Janina Gavankar is 28. Come on, my flatmate is 28 with a 40 year old boyfriend. Nothing creepy there, just two adults who get along well. All of them are well and truly over the age of consent – get a grip. Also, there are a lot of fans out there drooling all over Paul McGillion and Joe Flanigan who are younger than those actresses – that doesn’t seem to be a problem for anyone.

  8. I quite enjoyed this episode, especially Teldy and Dusty. I hope you can bring at least one of them back this season or in the movie. 🙂

  9. I liked the all-women team and the score was awesome. The episode didn’t quite work for me but I’m curious to go back and watch after having read your notes. Thank you, by the way, for posting your notes and thoughts.

  10. Joe, I may be showing my ignorance here, but what is a budgie? Thanks for the behind the scenes look at “Whispers” so far. Do you know if any of the deleted scenes from this episode will be included in the dvd set?

    Questions for Will: When directing an episode do you tend to be more picky with the camera operators because of your background, or do you give them more leeway, or does it depend on the person? Also, do the pineapples you put in your episodes always make it to the final cut, or are they sometimes in scenes that don’t make it through editing? Thank you for your work in the Stargate franchise so far and I hope it continues into Universe. By the way, “Whispers” was a fun episode. Everything fit together nicely. Great job!

  11. To Das who asks: “What was your mindset while writing Whispers? Dead serious, tongue-in-cheek, something else?” Definitely tongue in cheek popcorn fun, from Carpenteresque fog to the Ringesque well crawl. In fact, Sheppard’s line late in the episode neatly summed up the spirit of the episode: “Great. Now all we need is for the prom queen and the kid in the wheelchair to wander off and we’re all set.”

    Ya know – sometimes I’m not the brightest chevron on the gate, but even I got that. I just needed to hear it from the horse’s mouth, just so I could continue with the eye-rolling and head-shaking at the GW bunch. Thankies, sir.

    @ Shai –YO! You out there, babe? I was NOT telling YOU to ‘shut the hell up’ – no, no, no – I was referring to the ‘hapless villager’ who wouldn’t listen to Beckett telling him to be quiet…and then he got ete. 😀

    And to answer your question – YES – I thought it was very much tongue-in-cheek. In one of my other posts on yesterday’s blog, I mentioned Mystery Science Theater 3000. Not sure if you are familiar with that show (google it), but it poked fun at cheesy old horror and sci fi flicks. I thought that Whispers was made very much in the spirit of both the films that were featured on that show, and in the sort of ‘talking back’ to the screen that MST3K was all about.

    So, for instance, when Joe just mentioned Sheppard saying, “Great. Now all we need is for the prom queen and the kid in the wheelchair to wander off and we’re all set.” – THAT was totally a sarcastic Joel, or Crow, or Tom Servo thing to say…for those who know who Joel, Crow and Tom Servo are. For those who don’t, you have my sympathies.

    Yeah – obviously I really enjoyed this episode for exactly what it was. As Lucius would say, “Good times! Good times!” 😉

    das

  12. Good evening Joe. Love when we get to find out about all the stuff that was thought of for a story but was cut out for one reason or another. Great stuff.

    There is one thing that bugs me everytime I hear of it. And, please understand, this is not ment to be against you, or Paul, or any of the other writers. But almost all shows forget that there are always people of the same rank in military groups. A navel ship has many different people with the *rank* of Captain, but there is only one who is recognized to the *the* Captain. The same is true of all branches of the military. On an expedition like Atlantis (or even in the SGC) there would be several colonels but no one would dispute who was the head of the military contingent. As I said, it’s nothing against anyone at the Bridge, but it is something that has bugged me since I was a small child. (So far a long, long time now!) I thank you for letting my ‘rant’ about it.

  13. Courtesy of SciFi HD and SciFi, I watched Whispers live 4 times last night. I saw something new each time. I just wish I had a Neilsen box.

    Many thanks for the breakdown of the episode. It seems that, even though I was working on a 36 hour plus day after flying in from Australia yesterday, I caught almost everything you have mentioned so far. I’m looking forward to the rest, and to Mr. Waring’s visit here.

  14. Oh, a couple things…

    1. Where is OUR anne teldy? I’m quite worried…

    2. Vega’s death. You always kill the one least expected in the beginning to send the signal that no one is safe. Had things been different in S3, this would have been a excellent time to off Beckett. However, seeing as how that was already done – and offing Beckett would have just left Kirk Sheppard with a bunch’a girls – they went with their second choice.

    3. I liked how Beckett found renewed energy after meeting Team Hooters. Cute. Just one BIG complaint here. Why weren’t the girls clad in flimsy lingerie, the staple of all good horror flicks. You were really off your game there, Joe.* 😉

    das

  15. I loved this episode. It actually made me jump a couple of times. Which, admittedly, isn’t terribly difficult, but I pride myself on my reasoning skills and I usually reason through monsters and creepy things before they scare me..Haha..

    Question for Will: What episode, if any, was your favorite to direct? And why did you like it so much?

  16. “sometimes I’m not the brightest chevron on the gate”

    Heh, good line Das *g*

    “Why weren’t the girls clad in flimsy lingerie”

    Indeed, what’s the point of a female team if they look mostly like the male teams.

  17. Aaaaand…yet another post. Sowwy. 😳

    Just read through your breakdown – good stuff!! Thanks for answering the ‘Sheppard’s clueless about the team’ thing – I wasn’t too worried about it (didn’t even notice it until everyone else brought it up), but once the question was raised…well…I needed clarification.

    I love some of the deleted bits – the ‘glutes’ moment would have been priceless – I can see Sheppard’s face even now! And I like the bit about the turtles, but especially about Beckett’s resurrection. It’s something that needs to be explained a bit more from his standpoint, and it’s a shame some of that didn’t make the cut.

    Thanks again!

    das

  18. I admit I forgot what I was watching at first. I knew Vega was toast when she stepped away from the group, turned her back to the fog, and started talking. I was yelling “What is she doing??” but she didn’t hear me in time. Later when I was protesting about people wandering off to find someone in the dark, GeekBoy looked at me and said, “Hel-lo?!” Then I realized I had swallowed the entire hook, line and sinker. Way to reel me in! GeekBoy, on the other hand, had your number from the beginning. At one point when someone went to look for someone else (I lost track), GeekBoy called out “Don’t go in the caretaker’s shack! Corey’s been dead for an hour!” If you watch Two And a Half Men, that’s pretty funny.

  19. Mike Banas who lifted a frame or two from the cut to five the movement a peculiar, almost inhuman feel.

    I was puzzled by this sentence. What, exactly, does it mean?

    Thanks so much for the blow-by-blow. Whispers was a wonderfully scary episode. And, may I say, Janina Gavankar’s “Dusty Mehra” was a great character, my favorite in this episode by far. She reminded me powerfully of Jenette Goldstein’s “Pvt. Vasquez” in Aliens. I really wish we’d had a season six for the possibility of seeing more of her, and I’m hoping there is still be a spot for her this season.

    Thanks also for your extra (deleted) scenes. They add so much more to the story.

  20. Yo, Das! I WUZ wondering…
    signed,
    NOT a hapless villager/redshirt/scary turtleneck
    : – D

  21. Although, Das, I would have no problemo being cast as the the black T-shirt of Yum… ;-D

  22. Sorry but this was easily the worst episode of the season so far for me. Frankly I found it boring with the never ending running around in circles in the fog and the scariest thing about the episode was PM’s hair! Paul can stay, but that hair style and color has got to go! Anywho…

    What’s up with the gas mask? Other than the fact that you were suggesting that was Michael yet didn’t have the actor on hand so it was used to hide his face. Why would he have been wearing one in the first place? Was the “fog” emitted by the walking mosquito foggers toxic to only him? Because apparently it had no effect on the team or those two guys in the opening act…and I seriously doubt there will be any kind of repercussions in later episodes…unless someone grows a gill or something. lol.

    Granted the gas mask was visually creepy (though the Doctor Who ep The Empty Child does creepy and creepy gas mask much much more effectively than this ep), but other than that, it has no implied purpose. Yeah, trivial question to ask but its use implies some kind of danger and yet it never played out in the ep.

  23. Whispers = creepy. scary, fun.

    With the episode extras you have kindly provided for whispers it remeinded me there were cut scness for Ripple Effect (that you described on Gateworld) would you preety please put up the script parts for those missing scenes aswell? 🙂

    especially interested int he scenes you wrote between black Daniel and Cam, where Daniel is questioning their actions.

    Thanks 🙂

  24. “Ma, I’ve spent the last two years a prisoner of the vindictive alien hybrid I helped create. P.S. I’m a clone.”

    Okay, I really, really wish that bit had been left in. It totally would have been my favorite part of the ep. That is just so hysterical. (And I did think a mention of his mom during that conversation was pretty conspicuously missing.) Why can’t you guys put scenes like this back in for the DVDs, if they were shot?

    Thanks for clarifying why they stayed, but… I still don’t understand why the rest of the team didn’t go with them. Since Teldy’s team was already there, they knew how difficult it was to reach, which means they’d know how hard it would be to get back to the gate if things got rough. They knew they were dealing with Michael, and from the season premier they knew that even when Michael left a place that didn’t necessarily mean it was safe. Even if Teyla was off with the fam, did Ronon have something better to do? And since when have they been content to rely on a second-string scientist to evaluate Michael’s techno-crap when McKay’s just hanging around doing nothing? I mean, I totally understand that, from a story-telling perspective, if the whole team had been there, there wouldn’t have been enough room to show or develop the new characters at all, but at least some attempt to explain why things were different this time would have been nice.

    @ crazymom — Heh. Yeah, guys are definitely not the only ones who notice attractive members of the opposite sex who could be called too young for them (the difference, unfortunately, is that older guys are much more likely to actually get younger women than older women are to get younger men, generally speaking). One of my best friends is 39 and her taste in men runs to the recent-college-graduate crowd.

  25. 1. Whose idea was it for the small Ark of Truth reference, or spoiler if you want to call it that, in Whispers?

    2. Will everyone that’s in the season 5 beginning credits be in the 100th episode?

    3. I’m assuming Teyla’s reason was the episode The Queen but was there any reason for Dex not being in Whispers?

  26. I loved the episode. I’ve seen it three times now! I’d like to see more of the female team, perhaps a side story in the movie? I think it’s great that you and Paul have the guts to write stories like this one- very different from a regular episode. I really liked the banter, especially between Beckett and Porter (and I am by no means a shipper). I’m guessing everyone had a blast making Whispers! I have two questions: On the preview for next week, the Sci Fi Channel guy says to tune in for the BEST season of Atlantis. I agree, it is. But, if the Sci Fi Channel thinks this is SGA’s best season, why are they… Oh nevermind. (Sigh). I have one question: Will we find out about the effects of exposure to the mist later on in the season? And thanks for the best season of SGA!

    Berry

  27. Thanks so much for the in-depth coverage!!! I really appreciate it!!!

    Set tours= ALWAYS amazing!!! Thanks again!!!

  28. I’m enjoying the breakdown of Whispers, and looking forward to tomorrow’s chapter. I especially appreciated your addressing the comments/concerns/questions raised by various posters, from the “why didn’t Sheppard know there was an all girl team” to “why didn’t they go back to the Stargate”? Your answers were pretty much what I expected, especially since you’d kept the lines in about how far they had hiked.
    And I particularly want to thank you for addressing Carson’s status, even if that didn’t make it on screen. Given his return to Earth as an invalid, I’d been wondering if SGC were going to exile him elsewhere. Thanks for allowing him to resume some sort of life with his family.
    Anyways, work calls, so a good night to all.

  29. I really enjoyed Whispers – very creepy (as advertised). In fact, my daughter watched most of it with her hand over her eyes asking “is it safe to look now?”

    I thought the doll’s face looked more like the gas mask than the face of the creatures – with it’s round mouth recapitulating the round part of the mask.

    That Ringu-esque well crawl fit in perfectly! I loved it and thought it was probably the scariest scene in the entire show. And fortunately my daughter still had her eye’s covered at that point; it would REALLY have creeped her out.

    The all female away team was well-done. I liked all of them. The reaction of Sheppard and Beckett and subsequent comments by the women was fun to watch. I was rather sad and disappointed that Captain Vega died. I’m beginning to feel a bit like das – I’m afraid to like a character since it seems to be the kiss of death for them.

    The humor was a perfect counterpoint to the moments of sheer terror. One of my favorite lines was delivered by Dusty as she was leaving to “check the perimeter” and she quips to Beckett and Porter that she’ll be back “unless there is a sock on the doorknob.” I almost fell off my chair. Then I had to try to explain it to my 14-year-old daughter. Joe, was that your signal back in your college days or did someone else suggest it?

    @das : Hey, you were right about the pineapple bookmark!

    @jumperpilot: A budgie is a parakeet. But I’m sure by the time this posts, someone will have already explained that.

  30. @ Shai – NOT before I’m cast as the black leather duster of the Great Pallid One. 🙂

    das

  31. PLEASE bring back dusty for the movie. She rocked! I gotta say, with the amount of promotion Vega got, I was surprised she was killed off…and i loved that fist thing between John and Carson at the end of the scene

  32. Dear Joe Mallozzi,

    I have an interesting proposal for your weird food purchase of the day: Sheep Testicles. When properly cooked its a very big delight in some North African cultures’ dishes. Anyways my friend I hope and wish you a great great future whether its in SG Universe or elsewhere and I will always be a regular and loyal toward SGA and your blog.

    I have a little question regarding Stargate Atantis. We found out in season 1 that there were 60 Hive ships or more in the Pegasus galaxy, now with so much that has transpired ( Our team taking out a few, the wraith civil war, the asuran-wraith war) approximately how much do you think are still out there and will it be adressed in one the season 5 episodes?

    THANKS A LOT

    MOULAY

  33. There has only ever been one horror movie that has scared me, that being the grudge. Whispers has come in a close second, i can’t remember how many times i screamed when one of the hybrids jumped out of the dark…uuuh it gives me shivers hehe!

    It was incredible, one of your best episodes to date!!

  34. Mr. M. wrote:

    Major Anne Teldy, a tough as nails, by-the-book commanding officer who was, of course, named after blog regular (and contest winner) Anne Teldy. When it came to casting, I was looking for someone good, strong, and, above all else, believable. And Christina Cox’s audition delivered that in spades. Watching it, I totally bought into her as a kick-ass military officer. Of course, a lot of that could have had to do with the fact that Christina is pretty kick-ass in person. She’s had weapons training and extensively researched previous roles in procedural drama. She was perfect.

    Christina Cox was, indeed, perfect and I thank you for choosing a non-bimbo character for my namesake and having her played by a non-bimbo actress. I do have one question: where was Ms Cox when you were casting Larrin? She’s very pretty, looks like she could command a ship, and, at 37, isn’t that much younger than Mr. Flanigan who’s 41.

    dasNdanger wrote:

    And SO cool to hear ‘Major Teldy’ – and to see her come to life on the screen. Congrats, AT!! Enjoy your moment!!

    I very much enjoyed my moment. Mr. M did me proud.

    y little sister created a red carpet premiere party here in my cell room. Nine members of my family attended. She set up multiple televisions and made a “red carpet”. As people walked down the carpet, she interviewed them about the upcoming feature and the designer of their outfits. Everyone was saying Walmart and Target but one of my nieces just really made us laugh by answering “This is from the Vintage Collection by Salvation Army. I’ve always been pro-military.” We had wonderful snacks and even had “champagne (Sprite). We had fun.

    Mr. M, even the unwashed heathens non-fans enjoyed the episode. Lots of gasps and starts.

    Tim Gaffney wrote:

    I wish I could get all my thoughts into one entry. Can you believe what was said after the previews for the Queen. “Get into the best season of Stargate ever.” If this is the best season ever THEN WHY ARE YOU CANCELLING IT!!!!!!! The sci-fi channel execs are the worst frakking scum of the earth.

    My jaw dropped when I heard that and I turned to the room and said “Did you hear…?” My little sister interrupted “It’s a party. You can curse at them tomorrow.”

    Squeakiep wrote:

    “All we need now if for the prom queen and the kid in the wheel chair to wander off and we’re all set.”

    My brother nearly fell off his chair at that line! He kept quoting it the rest of the night.

    crazymom1 wrote:

    And hey, that bucket wasn’t there earlier!

    We all noticed that as well.

    Becky L. wrote:

    And I have to say to Anne Teldy – You ROCK girl! I see Joe has truely captured the real you.

    Hardly. The real me would’ve been whimpering in a corner somewhere! Though the cut line indicating Teldy was staring at Sheppard’s… physique has some truth in it. 😳

    Charlie’s Angel wrote:

    One question from the “how come” room: If the flashlights and radios didn’t work in the fog, how come the laptop did?

    Because the computer hadn’t been in the fog as long? Dr. Porter said it would probably be affected, so Shepard put it down the well to make it last longer.

    Jen wrote:

    I did wince during that first scene where John sees the all women team for the first time. How would John not know that the team was an all women team? Isn’t he in charge of the military on Atlantis? Wouldn’t he know exactly who’s on what team? Yeah I know the scene was done for the comic moment but, honestly? it made John look like an idiot.

    My dad said to him it looked like Sheppard just hadn’t put it together. He’s not exactly the greatest at paperwork. He gets the list from her and thinks “Ah. Teldy picked her team.” Then he glanced down the list, none of the names jumped out at him as problems, and he put it aside marked approved.

    rodneyscat wrote:

    Carson’s flirting with this way younger woman and her unprofessional reaction

    First, he’s a medical doctor and she’s a scientist. How were they ‘unprofessional’?

    Second, way younger? Dr. Porter was played by Nicole de Boer who is 37. Dr. Beckett is played by Paul McGillion who is 39. Ms de Boer has simply aged well.

    A Honshuu wrote:

    Last question. Do you know that there’s a teeny, tiny smiley face at the bottom of the screen when we’re typing in comments in this box? Kinda freaked me out when I first saw it

    It’s how WordPress counts page views. From the FAQ on Blog Stats:

    Every time a visitor views a page, the browser requests a little smiley-face image from our stats system. That action is logged and the logs are summarized every few minutes to update the graphs, charts and lists you see.

    Bruni wrote:

    …may I ask again about the possibilty of reading one of Mercedes Lackey’s books? I’ll actually recommend one this time: By the Sword. It’s the one that can most easily stand on its own.

    While I like Mercedes Lackey’s books very much myself, I really don’t think they would be Mr. M’s cup of tea at all.

    Anne Teldy

  35. Joe,
    Thank you for the Whispers breakdown and the update/mention on Carson’s turtles! I thought I was the only one who wondered about them.

    And here we go with the questions 🙂 Do you plan on giving us breakdowns on any other episodes?

  36. One of my favoirte esiosdes. It was scary and funny. Thank you.

    Question: Did you get the idea for the experiments climbing on the wall from the movie “The Grudge”?

  37. As a fan of horror films (since childhood…I own books about them and even have a coffee table book full of horror movie poster art), this episode really hit the spot. It was fun and creepy and had a nice feel to it. Loved the look and movement of the hybrids (or as Carrie called them, the blind space zombies). Good stuff, Joe.

    Now let me take a moment to profess my love for Dusty. I want to go drinking with her. We could tear up a bar together. She’s a girl after my own heart.

    Love the breakdown so far. It was a great episode, Joe.

  38. WAC, WASP, WAFD, ANC, NNC, USMCWS, WAVES, SPARES…Joe, these were women in service organizations that paved the way for women to be the military now. Maybe you should read up on them a little. The all female team you wrote didn’t do any justice to real ones.

  39. Joe – You now have a new task:

    Convince Brad and Rob to make Dusty a full-time character on SGU.

    She was great, and Whispers was heaps of fun. So didn’t see Vega getting killed off, although I did expect more people to die.

    Were it me I would have killed Dusty and Porter at the end, but I’m sadistic like that.

    But year – Dusty for SGU! Make it happen!!!!! 🙂

    BYE

  40. Can’t wait for part two breakdown. It’s neat to see the overall process/efforts that took place to get it all done.

    Question for Will;

    Which episode would you say was the most difficult to do and why?

    Do you like directing more action episodes or emotional episodes?

    Which episode was the most fun for you?

    Which character do you look forward to directing?

  41. lol to someone’s comment about the turtleneck being scary…I agree. Was that Joe F’s idea or wardrobe’s?

    I kept expecting Teldy to die and was surprised that it was Vega. I liked Dusty! I hope we see her again in some form of the Stargate franchise. I particularly enjoyed her line: “I just read something funny…and obvious”. It made up for the flirting between Carson and Alison (which I didn’t find all that believable).

    Excellent make-up! I think it’s among Stargate’s best!

  42. “McKay looks on as Beckett packs up his belongings. MCKAY: I can’t believe this. You were sick. We cured you. You go away for six months to recover. And then, finally, you come back – and only stay for a week before leaving again.”

    Aye, I’m with Rodney! Our dear Dr. Becket is only come back for a few episodes, with a few lines here and a few lines there. It’s awful, it t’is! God bless Cap’n Mallozzi fer writin’ us a grand nod to the earliest campy days of science fiction, with Carson sharing the lead. Who bett-r than a Scotsman to help with the homage and sly humor? Though it t’were John’s, the line about the prom queen and the kid in the wheelchair fairly slayed me.

    We were pining for a more-Carson focused story anywee. While there was only a hint of his life back on planet airth (tell us more, mon!), it did show him getting on with his life in fetching fashion. Did ya see him get all giddy over the pretty doctor? “Dr.” and “Dr.” became “Carson” and “Alison” in short order. And they were askin’ where t’other one was when danger struck. At the end, it sounded like there will be more of “them two.” Hoorah! Carson’s in love. Does’na the puir Scotsman deserve it after being kilt and cloned?

    The verra best part is the man who puts the twinkle in Dr. Beckett’s eyes and the wry smile behind the dry wit: the dear mon Paul McGillion. Bravo. It takes talent to make a pairson laugh while the character is showing personality under crisis and running for dear life. Class and charm, comic timing and action. Oh, my…

    T’were a fine job altogether. Am sure I will watch “Whispers” several tames. For the love of Beckett, Cap’ns Mallozzi and McGillion, keep up the good worrk!

  43. I can understand Joe and Paul wanting to be playful and ad-lib the fist bump into the scene, but don’t you think it should have been cut out of the final version? Just in my mind diminishes the significance of the all-female team into nothing more than a plot device for one-liner jokes.

    First Michelle Obama, now Sheppard & Beckett… man those fist bumps are getting people riled up.

  44. Dearest Joe,

    Thank-you Thank-you Thank-you for Whispers – it was truly amazing.

    I loved the all-girl team and Teldy’s comments re: such put a huge smile on my face. I really enjoyed these characters and hope to see them again. Dusty was definitely my fav from the group – she was heaps of fun and totally cracked me up.

    As for the creepy – you totally brought it! Yay! Freaky masks, nasty creatures, howly-faced dolls, foggy villages and that “I wouldn’t enter if you paid me” lab/dungeon set….wow it was all so great.

    My fav freaky parts?

    The Ringuesqe wall-crawl was FANTASTIC. I loved how Dusty and then Teldy were poking around the well, and all I can think is – “so yes, something MUST come out of that damned well, but how?” And then the wall-crawl – which completely threw me. So loved it.

    Fog fog fog fog fog fog fog fog fog fog 🙂

    The creature sounds were great – it reminded me of the sounds the spirit/curse-thing made in the Grudge. That sound makes my neck ache and my eyes squint (which goes in the plus column for a horror-fan like myself).

    I could gush about this ep for ages, but instead I will say thanks! and go watch it again – with all of the lights off this time – and with less eye-squinting so I won’t miss anything.

    So, when’s you’re horror movie coming out? I want to see it!

    All The Best,
    Sandy

  45. Thanks for the breakdown, Joe. I’m sorry that this episode didn’t really do it for me, but the extra info makes me like it a little more.

    I’ve got to say, though, I’m pretty glad the calves and glutes scene was cut down, but I really wish the initial Beckett explanation could have been there.

    Granted, part of that is my tiny little crush on McGillion, but mainly I guess I missed the “this galaxy” part of his conversation with Rodney, because I thought he was going back to Earth, and that occupied the back of my mind for longer than it should have. This is actually what I said about that scene on my blog, because I was apparently THAT confused:

    Speaking of Pauly, it was good to see him again, but I’m not sure I buy this “Back for a minute to do clean-up on something of Michael’s and then leaving to ‘actually help people’ again” thing.

    If they want to say Beckett’s burned out on stargates and Pegasus after being Michael’s prisoner for two years and nearly dying a couple times, that’s one thing — and maybe that’s what we were supposed to get out of it — but I think when it comes to saying goodbye to a beloved character (again) you can’t rely on subtext. If that’s what you’re going for, there has to be some level of acknowledgment, otherwise he becomes instant stunt-casting and his fans just feel jerked around. And given the sheer volume of Keller-hate, I can imagine the wank for this episode is epic.

    Fortunately the wank hasn’t been epic. And I really like the idea of Beckett being a Doctor Without a Planet.

    I wasn’t really a fan of Dusty (beyond mad love for her name) but I enjoyed Teldy and Vega — and Dr. Porter was adorable! That was the big suspense of the episode for me — whether she would bite it (and hoping, for Beckett’s sake, that she wouldn’t).

  46. @ Sparrow_hawk: Thanks for explaining. It is funnier than a guitar now that I know what a budgie is. 🙂

  47. @ the real anne teldy — So at least two of the actresses are in their later 30’s? Well, that’s all right then. You’re right, they have aged well. Although, the Flan doesn’t really look his age either, so I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised.

    @ HBMC — I actually wouldn’t mind seeing Dusty in the new show. I’d love to see (nearly) any character move over from SGA to SGU, if possible.

  48. hey been gone for awhile you know summer, so ive been catching up on some reading here, but what are your plans then when stargate is finished? i read that its done after this season. Also thx for posting all these photos up for us, really shows the amount of work that really go’s into making our show what it is. Keep up the good work, hope to see your reply.

    Dustin

  49. Joshua Meyers

    I know there is (probably)going to be a whole new cast of actors to the Stargate Franchise as regulars when SGU is cast. Who would you as a Stargate: Atlantis viewer like to see in the SGU line-up? Anyone in particular from SGA/SG-1(not restricted to the main cast)

    The only actor I would follow is Joe Flanigan… to be honest I would follow him anywhere 🙂 If he’s not the lead in SGU then I doubt I shall bother to watch it; since I’m not in the demographic at which they are aiming the show.

  50. Yes, thank you again for writing the breakdown. I can tell you really love doing it.

    Episode was great. And I admit have only watched it once so I might (well probably) be wrong on asking this question. Mirellus get pulled thru the window/wall, then Beckett places another board (or something else) over the opening. Hence with this the window /wall get destroyed. But I almost swear in the next scene when Teldy get back into the room and looks thru the slats on the window-it looks just like the same one/area that just got destroyed. Am I wrong?

    Oh and great job on Dusty!

  51. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your notes on the episode and, like many others I am sure, regret the missing turtles scene – I can well believe McKay would have named them, noticed their favourite food, be reluctant to part with them. Beckett’s reaction, which gives Mckay the opening he needs, is the act of a true friend. Ah well – the show is only so long, and the adverts HAVE to have their place, I suppose!
    (BTW, as an English viewer who saw The Shrine on American tv, I have to register a good grief moment. David Hewlett’s expressive face, him acting his socks off and breaking my heart – and his face half obscured by an advertisement for the programme following Stargate! Oh sigh. Bring on the DVDs.)
    Anyway – I am now looking forward very much to your notes on the second half, and one of my favourite scenes -the exchanges between the colonel and the team regarding his plan. I laughed as I watched both the major and the sergeant assessing Shep’s – er – rash? foolhardy? unnecessarily dangerous? – plan. They had to obey the chain of command but boy, could you read their opinions of it. And of course, they obeyed orders and saved their colonel’s life but it was good to watch another critique of his self-sacrificing tendencies.
    And I am in can’t wait mode for those tendencies to be examined with a fine tooth comb, as they say.
    Oh – and I thought killing Vega was unexpected but more powerful because we knew a little more about her. Such a death, too.
    Thanks again, Joe.

  52. Good episode. It was interesting seeing the new characters involved. I really liked Dusty, however, it seemed like their familiarity was forced. I definitely felt like they were acting as opposed to getting sucked into the storyline. This happens more in theater where you are painfully aware that its just actors acting as opposed to really being drawn in to the performance.

    Mirellus was awesome. He really fit the part well and did an extraordinary job especially given the fact that this was his first time in front of a camera.

    The girls just did not seem to mesh well together. The characters themselves were set up perfectly fine. Their actions and emotions seemed forced and each went over the top with their characters’ attitudes. I loved Dusty’s lines though, it definitely made for an interesting show.

    The Porter/Beckett romance seemed a little awkward and out of place, but it lead up to some really funny lines by Dusty that made it worth while.

    I loved the overall storyline and how it was put together. It was creepy, scary, and cool all at the same time. It was definitely refreshing to see a slightly different style of show. It made for a fun evening.

    Thanks for posting excerpts of the script and discussing the scenes.

    @Will – You did a truly amazing job bringing the story to life. Is is more difficult to direct a horror style episode than the normal Atlantis episodes? I definitely think Alfred Hitchcock would be proud especially given how the suspense built up beautifully.

  53. Whoa, after reading all the comments, I don’t know if they’re being filtered or if I saw I different episode than everybody else. For me, it was without a doubt the WORST episode of 15 seasons of Stargate (and that’s saying!).

    And the death of Vega?. So much talking, so many photos, a little of buildup for this?.

    You’re losing your touch, Joe.

  54. Jumperpilot ~
    “Joe, I may be showing my ignorance here, but what is a budgie? ”

    Its a small bird, similar to a canary.

    And Joe what does a halloween mask smell like? We dont celebrate halloween in Australia, and Carl’s comment made me think, I have never in my entire 20 years of life worn a mask 0.o How strange.

  55. Great musical score.. very atmospheric.. BUT.. I would have loved to have seen more of that doll and perhaps an explanation as to its existence.

    Good episode.. nice homage to the Ring too! Also reminded me of the game “Silent Hill”..

    Thanks!

  56. Hello Joe,
    is there any chance that you could support David Hewlett´s nomination for some actor´s award for his performance in The Shrine? I think he definitely deserves it. And I am not the only one.

  57. Just had to say great ep i do not normally jump at horror films /shows but this one had me jumping out of my seat.

  58. Whispers is, IMO, another very fine episode and proves again that season 5 is, indeed, SGA’s best….I won’t repeat what everybody else has been saying about SciFi, it’s bad enough for my blood pressure that I’m thinking it.

    Congratulations to writer, cast and crew for another 45 minutes of great fun and entertainment.

    The “bunch of girls'” team was “the best and brightest” and like many other people, I expected Major Teldy to NOT survive, so going with that asssumption and killing off Vega instead was a very clever move. 🙂

    @ Crazymom1: 🙂 I’m so with you. Middle aged and resenting the fact that we’re obviously frowned upon for liking men who may be a little younger. Besides, what’s with the whole age discussion anyway? Attraction isn’t limited by age.

    @ AnneTeldy: Hm, Mercedes Lackey’s books aren’t Mr M’s cup of tea? *LOL* One reason more to ask him to read them. 😉 Though I do get the hint. When a question is ignored 3 times, even I get it. So, scratch ML. Too bad. 🙁
    But I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes her books, though I wish we could have talked about them. I usually don’t have any of the books that are discussed here and can’t participate. 🙁

    BTW, you have a wonderful family, Anne, I really loved the way they celebrated “your” screen debut with you. 🙂 Consider yourself a lucky lady.

    Starting the countdown till the next SGA ep.

  59. Thanks for the explanation of why John didn’t know about the all women team – it makes more sense now. I still think his shock was over played but that of course is open to interpretation. And of course I can see how it could have been intentionally over played for the comic moment – which to be fair happens a LOT with Atlantis.

    You also mentioned a few other things that were bugging me

    – That they were staying over night and wondering around in the dark because there really was no danger until the creaters were released and the gate really was that far away)

    – why Carson had apparently been there a week and was leaving again (I thought he was going back to Earth to be honest).

    I’m going to have to watch the episode again with the idea in mind that everything was intentionally tongue in cheek. I do think part of the problem was I got a little too frustrated with the fog/mist and not being able to see what was going on. I’m a very visually oriented person and when I can’t see I get frustrated … and the fog made it more frustrating than creepy.

  60. Oops wasn’t actually done – I meant to go back to the first paragraph and add: And I’m usually one of those defending the idea that everything is intentionally overplayed for the comic moment on Atlantis.

    and I meant to fix the spelling of creature, too…

  61. Oh, I forgot to mention it … I so expected Dr Porter to turn … I don’t know … creepy at the end. After all, she’d been out in the fog for some time and her reason for leaving the house was never explained, she might have been “bitten” and “turned” by one of the creatures – vampyre-style …. 😀 Yeah, I know, strange reaction, but it only proves how well the creepy atmosphere of the episode worked. (and that I watch too much horror stuff). I was trying to anticipate what horror would come next … and also hoping Carson wouldn’t lose another girlfriend.

    Nicely done. 🙂

  62. I loved Whispers Joe! It was so creepy and the tone quite different from most episodes, but still with the same humour and characters that make Stargate Atlantis what it is. I noticed last week (I think?) a couple of the mailbag questions/comments had to do with the shows apparent “unoriginality”, with one commenter seeming to accuse it of being rehashes of SG-1 episodes. I fundamentally disagreed then, and people need look no further than Whispers to see this is a show of its own.

    Janina Gavankar was hilarious too. Such a good character, and she played it with a great sense of timing. I’ll definitely be watching out for more of her work. Any chance we might get to see Dusty again in the Stargate universe?

    A couple of questions for Will Waring…

    You’ve done a lot of work as a camera operator and I’m just wondering which you were more interested in at the start of your career – camera operation or directing?

    Also, in a similar vein, do you think the knowledge you gained from working as a camera operator has influenced the way you approach things as a director? If so, could you give an example (or two)?

    “Whispers” seems quite different in style to a lot of the other episodes you’ve directed for the Stargate series’. Was there a conscious decision to try something new for this episode? How did you approach it, considering the scare factor is quite high?

    And finally, thanks for agreeing to do a q&a with us! It’s been great getting to know your work on Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, and I’ll definitely keep an eye on other projects your involved in down the track. Like most people who’ve worked on Stargate Atlantis, you’re incredibly talented, and it’s great to get the opportunity to ask you questions first-hand (well, sort of first-hand anyway, thanks Joe!).

    Joe, congratulations on such a wonderful episode. I think it could very well end up being one of my all time favourites.

    Amy/Amz

  63. @ Sparrow_hawk – Yay! I was right about the pineapple bookmark!! (Do I win anything for that?? Like…TODD??! 😀 ) I missed that in my perusing yesterday…I was multitasking (in other words, I was trying to watch Cops, eat, and read the blog comments at the same time. 😛 ) But Dusty’s comment about being ‘obvious’ is what made me think it was the bookmark, since it was right up in the front of the screen.

    Was there a pineapple in Common Ground? I’ve never looked, being too distracted by…other…things. 😳

    das

  64. For Will Waring:

    Thanks for directing a classic Atlantis episode! I noticed a lot of possible homages to some of my favourite horror movies in the course of the episode, including the Descent (always great to see well-drawn, well-acted female characters in horror), the Mist and Evil Dead. Were these deliberate? What are your favourite horror movies?

  65. Hey Joe,

    Just coming up for some air while doing all the wedding planning stuff.

    You wanna know how pathetic my life is right now? I’ve tried THREE TIMES to watch Whispers and have been so exhausted that I’ve fallen asleep! 😯 I know it has NOTHING to do with your writing. 😉 In fact, the last time I was falling asleep I remember thinking, “This is freakin’ awesome! What is WRONG with you stay awa….zzzzz.”

    Yeah…I remember falling asleep. Jeremy has seen it though and teased me with the whole, “It’s so good! You haven’t seen it and it’s SO GOOD!” He’s a brat.

    Allie hasn’t seen it either. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen Allie. The bride has kidnapped her.

    Um… I’m late for stuff now. ARGHHH!!! Hopefully tomorrow morning I’ll be able to watch Whispers.

    Take pity on me.

    Hey kids, eloping to Vegas is so much easier on the relatives!

    Trish

  66. Hi Joe!

    Loved “Whispers”! It was very creepy! A much different episode than I have seen on either SGA or SG-1. You should give the option in Season 5 to watch the episodes in their normal format or with added scenes. That would be awesome!!

    Today (Sept 7), I am celebrating my birthday (#37) with my family but I also have homework to do. 🙂 :(. I’m back to college for my 3rd semester working toward my degree in Elementary Education. I have 2nd semester Spanish, Chemistry for Elementary Teachers, and Class 1 of 3 of Math for Elementary Teachers.

    My daughter and I went to the Chicago Convention in August. Tony, Michael S., and Chuck were excellent! You must have Chuck in the movie!! He is a nice guy and very funny!!! Have a great week!

    Jen
    from Indiana

  67. Thanks for explaining the eye-effects/makeup. I was wondering how the stunt folks could “see” well enough in the fog and dark to take direction. And I suspected the Sheppard-Beckett fist-bump was ad-libbed. Loved it!

    I am not a horror fan. I have not seen Rings or much else scary on film, I do not read horror. But, prepared to remain true to my favorite TV series, I watched Whispers clutching a pillow to my stomach and trusting Joe wouldn’t give me nightmares. That creature scrambling up inside the well freaked me out. Also, the scene with Beckett running in sheer terror, falling, being sniffed by the creature and screeched at. {shivers} And the scene with Vega “buying” it. {more shivers} And let’s not forget the creature hanging upside down in the dark, in Porter’s face. {extreme shivers}

    Well, sleep has been dicey since viewing this episode Joe — thanks.

    Question: did Rachel, Jason, Bob mind not being in this ep?

    Looking forward to “The Queen” and Rachel’s much anticipated fab performance!

    Thank you everyone involved with the creation of Stargate Atlantis. I LOVE this series.

    Carol Z in NJ

  68. PMSL. I loved Whispers. The team were brilliant, the writing was spot on and I wondered about that fist bump! I got a real kick from having such a lot of “inside” info like the origin of Anne Teldy and stuff. Thank you once again for everything .

  69. Rebecca H writes:

    Mike Banas who lifted a frame or two from the cut to five the movement a peculiar, almost inhuman feel.

    I was puzzled by this sentence. What, exactly, does it mean?

    I too was puzzled until I deducted that Joe hit the F instead of the G so it should read “…to GIVE the movement….”etc.

    Das: Thanks for the MST3K reminder. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I discovered it and now my kids and I will watch a movie and give it the MST3K treatment if it deserves it.

    Meanwhile I’d like to see a team with Dusty and Ronon in it, I think the comedy would be worth it. BTW Dusty reminded me of deputy Lupo from Eureka, intentional or what?

  70. Thanks for the break down of Whispers. As I said I enjoyed this episode. It was exactly as you said creepy and fun. It was exactly what I like in a horror movie, creepy and scary without all the blood. The only problem I had with it was that is was too short. I wanted more when it eneded, which I am sure everyone else did as well.

    I do have one question about the fog though. Through out the episode it was mentioned that there could be affects of the fog if expossed too long to it. Did you think about the fog affecting the teams at first but then change your mind? Or was it mentioned so it would give a reason for Micheal to have a mask on in the beginning? At first I thought something about the fog was going to start changing the team members, especially after they kill the first twelve and go back inside. Dr. Porter starts acting strange and I thought she was going be affected from the fog.

    Anne Teldy writes: Second, way younger? Dr. Porter was played by Nicole de Boer who is 37. Dr. Beckett is played by Paul McGillion who is 39. Ms de Boer has simply aged well.

    I thought Paul McGillion was older. I read somewhere that he was at least 44. I quess I was wrong. Good. That makes him exactly 4 years older than me to the date.

    Trivia question: Most of you probably already know this, but did you know that Paul McGillion and Joe Flanigan both share the same birth date, January 5? Yup January 5 is an awesome date because two of our favorite SGA actors were born on that date along with their number one fan, ME! LOL!!

  71. Dear Mr. Mallozzi,

    I just wanted to say what an awesome episode! I really enjoyed it despite the fact that I am absolutely terrified of scary movies/shows/anything. I was scared by the main menu of the Ring DVD, it’s that bad. Even my friends and roommate, who hardly ever watch the show with me, enjoyed it and were shouting at the screen and jumping at the scary parts right along with me. I have to admit I am new to this leaving comments on blogs thing (this is actually the first time I ever did!) but after just discovering your blog and enjoying the episode so much I thought it warranted a try. I actually only just heard about, and started watching the show last season since I didn’t get the SciFi channel until I came to college. I can’t believe what I’ve been missing all these years! It’s by far one of my favorite programs on TV and I wanted to thank you and everyone who has put so much work into making it such an awesome show! Unfortunately I had to discover it just as it is coming to a close (I guess that is just my luck) but I look forward to the rest of the season and the movies to come. I do have the first four seasons on DVD on order from Amazon (as an early birthday present to myself!) to enjoy at least! I also wanted to mention how much I loved the all girl team and especially Dusty! I’m in Air Force ROTC so it is always awesome to see some Air Force chicks kicking butt! That’s another thing I love about the show is how well you guys portray the military. There is nothing more annoying than watching a movie or show where they mess that up. Even though Becky L. is correct when she talked about the ranking issues. Actually, our Detachment commander is senior to his boss, meaning he’s been a Colonel longer than him but his boss still technically outranks him, but that is just the way things go. To be honest it doesn’t really matter. The fact that you guys even discussed it and considered things like rank and chain of command shows that you put more effort than some into getting it right. Although I know I won’t get a cool position in the Pegasus Galaxy, just watching the show makes me excited for when I finally get commissioned (hopefully in a pilot’s slot or an engineer!). This show combines so many things that I enjoy which is why I love it so much and I believe many people feel the same way. Wow! I said a lot more than I expected! I probably should have done this more often. Anyway, thank very much again, sir, and extend my deepest gratitude to everyone who made the series possible. Keep up the excellent work because it means so much to all of us!

  72. Hey there Joe!

    Haven’t posted in a while. Between running to the doctor and running away from hurricanes, I haven’t been here in a few weeks.

    Still bummed about SGA being cancelled! Guess I’ll NEVER win “Get in the Gate” now! *snort*

    The only episode I haven’t seen so far in the new season is “Whispers” and I look forward to it.

    Did you ever find out who did that damage to your shoe? Being a dog owner who chews EVERYTHING I found that amusing. Psst…..I’d cast a glance at LuLu……she looks a bit too innocent. *giggle*

    It’s football season again! YAY! I am off to watch my beloved Saints. Go Drew Brees!

  73. @Bruni
    Oh, I forgot to mention it … I so expected Dr Porter to turn … I don’t know … creepy at the end. After all, she’d been out in the fog for some time and her reason for leaving the house was never explained, she might have been “bitten” and “turned” by one of the creatures – vampyre-style …. Yeah, I know, strange reaction, but it only proves how well the creepy atmosphere of the episode worked. (and that I watch too much horror stuff). I was trying to anticipate what horror would come next … and also hoping Carson wouldn’t lose another girlfriend.

    Nicely done.

    Bruni,
    I thought the same thing. When Carson asked Porter if she was OK…I was like Oh No..she is going to turn and someone would have to shoot her..glad it didn’t happen.

    My two least favorite of the characters were Vega and Dusty. I might have changed my mind about Vega but she didn’t make it. Dusty seem to me like a combo of Ronon and McKay..but who knows, if she is around more I could grow to like her 🙂

  74. Hey Joe,

    I don’t know if I’m being dim here, but while you were obviously joking that you could only afford to put forward one performance for nomination at the Geminis, are the nominations based on submissions at all, or do the judges pick them completely independently? If the first is the case, I don’t suppose you could let us know which other Atlantis performances, from which episodes, were submitted, for curiosity’s sake? No doubt, I’m not the first person to ask this, and as someone who completely supports Jewel Staite’s nomination, I’d understand if you didn’t want to whip up another storm of controversy by telling us who else was considered.

    P.S. To Bruni: I thought Porter was gonna turn creepy at the end too. Was my only real disappointment from the episode that it was mentioned that the gas might do something funny to them with over-exposure and that that rather intriguing plot strand never went anywhere.

  75. I know, it’s a late post for “Whispers” but I had to say ‘nicely done’. The fog effects were perfect and having Vega snatched back into the fog was great!

    So sorry the line about the turtles was cut! I rescue turtles and am very fond of the four presently residing with me. Although the growth rate of the Sulcata is definitely pushing the timeline on having enough land fenced in to make them comfortable!

    Thank you for another enjoyable episode.

    And before anyone tries to correct me: All tortoises are turtles; they all belong to the family of chelonia! Tortoise is an old Spanish word for turtle.

  76. Evenin’, Joe

    Today, i’m living with that ‘White Rabbit’ feeling. I’m not quite sure *what* it is I ought to be doing.. but i’m pretty damned sure i’m late. Think i’ll just blame it all on yesterday and not having enough sleep, or too many Guinness’ last night. Whatever.. i’m trying to wrack through what’s left of my pitiful mind for a question to throw at Will.

    Uh..

    >.>

    Crap.

    Can I reserved the ‘D’ hat for today and come back tomorrow, with a few more teeth on these gears?

    Meh.

  77. Joe,

    Thanks for the inside look on the ep. As you recall I wasn’t that happy with a couple of things but I am going to watch it when it airs in Canada tomorrow and give it another shot.

    I am hoping in tomorrow post you talk about why you wrote Carson leaving Alison all alone in the cabin as well as Where & why did Alison leave it as well?

    My fave line in the whole ep is “Bad Guys that needed Killing.” Reminded me of Jayne from Firefly.

    Oh Joe, my mind is scary sometimes because when you mentioned that Chuck that is reading Dusty’s book, I immediately thought that the only way Chuck got the book was because he is dating Dusty. LOL!!!!!

  78. Coucou Joseph=)
    Me revoilà!!
    Sa va bien??
    Moi oui j’ai passer 4 jours super!
    Mais c’est déjà finit snif et demain les cours reprenne , je rentre à 17h0.

    Roh cette épisode ma traumatiser lol XD!!
    C’est un mixte entre Stargate biensue, Resident evil et Th grudge lol^^!

    Dommage que Ronon n’était pas là, il aurait plaisir a tous les tués lol !!

    Aller bisou bisou, a demain Joseph!

  79. Sorry if repeating myself cause I thought posted here but guess not must have posted in the other Whispers day blog; anyway can I just say its always nice to see what Michael has been doing since we last seen him and would be intresting if he does make it through Prodigal and hopefully into the made for dvd movie that we do finally find out more of his background as a wraith.

    Vengence was on Syndie and when Teyla speculated about he maybe was a scientist wraith. And yes hopeing we see Connor in the made for dvd movie got to admit a fitting end for Michael would be to be done with in movie I think since th Atlantians haven’t been able to catch him he seems so sly that like the bad guys of SG1 fitting end would be to have him be in the made for dvd movie.

    Yes looking forward to Prodigal as well as First Contact and Lost Tribe. Tracker sounds intresting as well as Queen. and the 100th eps even sounds intresting so lots to look forward to.

  80. Hey I have a question for Will, what was your favorite episode to direct and why?
    Also who was your favorite character from SG-1?

  81. Congrats to you, Joe. I really enjoyed this epi. Whisper was wonderful , little creepy, got funny moments and the womens team were excellent, it was really fun to watch it.
    Sure there were hints to cliches of other horror-movies, and I believe you do that on purpose and I love it, this was an epi, where you can sit on your couch, eat your popcorn, drink a beer and just enjoys it. Was thrilling too, sometimes frightning and a great atmosphere with all that mist and darkness. The creatures reminds me a bit of resident evil (hihi, thought, now comes milla jovovich and save them, that would be funny), loved the interaction between carter and porter, very natural. And JF as Shep was great as always, was a bit irretated by the turtle neck, missed the yummy black shirt.So what should I say more. A great relaxing episode with a lot of entertaiment and tension. loved it!!!!!!!!!!

  82. Carol Ann the Flanigan Fan wrote:

    >Did you ever find out who did that damage to your shoe? Being a dog owner who chews EVERYTHING I found that amusing.

    I would have thought the dog would do the chewing not the owner. 😉

    Anne Teldy

  83. I am loving the breakdown of Whispers. Knowing some of the cut dialog really adds to the show.

    I wanted to say though I never doubted an all female team, I really enjoyed seeing it as well. Christina Cox was amazing. Any chance she would do a guest stint here?

    My question for Will Waring…
    Did anyone put on the gas mask and run around set asking “Are you my mummy?” during the shoot and if not what a lost opportunity.

    Also you are responsible (because I refuse to take the blame) for scaring the crap out of my eight year old son. As a special treat, he wanted to stay up and watch so I let him. I think I had to peel him off the ceiling when the creature jumped on Sheppard. The boy screamed and was literally airborne off the couch. I was thinking its SGA how scary could it be, I was wrong.

  84. I find it amusing that people are so offended that Carson wanted to go after Dusty (assuming it’s just because she’s a woman). Are people forgetting that he tried to go after Ronon in Sadeta? Ronon!

    I don’t think it’s because she’s a woman – it’s because he can’t stand to see anyone else get hurt when he thinks he could prevent it! Yes he comes across a bit stupid for trying to protect people who are more capable than he is, but he’s intentions really are honorable.

  85. hey Joe, would you mind telling us which line in the spoiler poem referred to Whispers? also can you confirm that Carson’s fifth episode is in fact Enemy at the Gate? thanks

  86. Good episode. A lot of people are comparing it to The Ring but it seemed inspired by The Descent. The blind creatures and the one crawling next to Carson especially were Descent-esque. Plus that film had a group of kick-ass in it too.

    I liked Dusty a lot but I really want Maj. Teldy to find her way to Universe. Christina Cox brought the thunder! She’s such a strong screen presence. She can do tough butch warrior and be very feminine at the same time. Few actresses can pull that off. Rachel Latrell can. SGU would be better with her involvement.

    Back to this episode. The cinematography was the best on Stargate, ever. One scene that was very effective was the creature coming at the time with Teldy’s chem-light in her shoulder.

    My only criticism Joe is that you guys have to learn how to write romance. The Carson/Porter stuff was excruciatingly difficult. I don’t know why on Stargate flirting = awkward stuttering. I just wish someone had some game. I know the show’s ending but maybe for Universe you should think of hiring a female writer on the staff.

  87. scary episode (glad I watched it in broad daylight with a friend). and it was so much fun seeing Janina Gavankar in another role! I have only seen her as Papi on The L Word, so when I saw Whispers I let out a yelp (scaring my friend). it is even more fun to notice that her character in The L Word is quite outspoken too and not really afraid to say what she feels.

    anyway, very good episode, enjoyed it a lot!

  88. @ shiningwit – You’re welcome!! I love MST3K – but hubby doesn’t quite get it. 😆 I usually had to explain the jokes and digs and stuff. But he’s the sort who doesn’t like it when people talk through a movie (unless it’s HIM 🙄 ) and he was always more interested in the cheesy flick than in what Joel & Co. had to say about it.

    RE: Dusty. Been reading comments about Dusty – both good and otherwise. I liked her because she was full of personality, which made her stand out right away. As far as whether or not it was a believable portrayal – I’d say, yup. She reminded me of – me. I’m very much that type…not bravery-wise (as we all know by now)…but in other ways, especially blurting inappropriate things out at inappropriate moments…like…

    Back in the spring, I had to lead a police officer back into the woods to show him an illegal military-style camp that hubby and I stumbled upon while hiking. I grew up in the woods (like a bear! Grrr!), so brambles and swampy ground and stuff doesn’t freak me out. I (Dusty) hold back the sticker bushes for the cop (Porter) so he doesn’t get scratched…lead him around the swampy spots so he doesn’t get too muddy…while Mr. Das (Beckett) was bringing up the rear, chattering on about all the local cops he knows…and tutt’les. 😉

    Anyway, we get the cop back there, he takes his report and all, and then says, “I really don’t know how to get out of here.” He looks at Mr. Das, and Mr. Das just shrugs – he had been too busy talking to notice the route we had taken. So, I reply – a bit maniacally, too (rubbing my hands together like Dick Dastardly) – “Muahaha! That was the plan! Get you out in the woods, all alone…”

    Yeah – I didn’t even stop to think that this guy has a gun. 😛

    Mr. Das gave me the eye over the cop’s shoulder, and I behaved, and led Lewis and Clark safely out of the woods like the good little Indian maiden I am…

    So, I could totally relate to Dusty and her attitude. She’s a bit more ‘tough’ girl, while I’m a bit more…’escaped lunatic girl’…but the basic idea is the same.

    das

  89. I like Whispers. It was a refreshing change to see Sheppard interact with othe characters and no McKay in sight. Good to have Carson back too.

    Teldy was great. A real professional. Vega and Dusty I could take or leave. Porter was a little too Keller-like — mostly there to be saved and to be the object of Carson’s affections.

    I hope when you make the movie that you don’t let it turn into the McKay show. I started watching SGA because of Sheppard, came to love the whole group, and now I’m watching mostly out of nostalgia. Way too much McKay. It feels like nearly every plot centers around him, and even when Sheppard gets a moment in the spotlight, he’s often got McKay hanging around. I really prefer Sheppard without McKay. Teyla lost her way when her people disappeared and the baby came along. She seems indecisive and cranky most of the time. Ronon has practically disappeared, along with Zelenka and Lorne. It’s nice to have Carson back, but he’s too much of a stranger with all of the coming and going. And way too much Keller. She doesn’t fit in, isn’t enjoyable, and adds very little to the show. Please cut her loose. I miss the team working together and would love to see them all given equal emphasis (even Rodney would be okay if the others got the same attention).

  90. Hi Joe, since the “Whispers” was female orientated, I would like to ask a question about female writers and directors.

    The S1 epi “Home” screened on the weekend and I noticed it had been directed by Holly Gale (I am sooo hoping right now that “Holly Gale” is a female 🙂 but I have also noticed that some of the first epis for S1 were written by women.

    Is there any reason why female writers/directors no longer feature in SGA??

  91. Hi Joe,

    I’d have more of a response to Whispers but I just “saw” it last night, around midnight. I say “saw” in quotes because it was creeping me out big time and therefore I kept moving between the episode and Sportscenter on ESPN (I’m such a wimp about creepy stuff). It’s saved on my DVR though, so it’s definitely getting a second (maybe even third) look!

    I must say that I loved the “YES!” fist-bump — there’s nothing wrong with appreciating attractive, competent women, after all. 🙂

    I also yelled at Vega to “Get up!” when they fell back. I was completely expecting someone to grab her and drag her with them. I remember you saying that Teldy was the one who died a horrible death so Vega’s death was a surprise. Touche, Mr. Mallozzi!

    I’m going to add my vote for more of Team Teldy in SGU! And as much as I liked Jill Wagner as Larrin, I think Christina Cox would’ve been EXCELLENT in that role.

  92. I didn’t like this episode, partially because I hate horror movies, but mostly because it was so boring I dozed off toward the end. I woke up near the end with McKay and Doctor Clone talking. what kind of Plotonium was introduced to get them past the zombies and back home?

    More to the point, what WAS the point to this episode?

    P.S.
    Please light up your sets better when running around in caves. I have to crank up the brightness on my ipod just to see what’s going on.

  93. “In fact, Sheppard’s line late in the episode neatly summed up the spirit of the episode: “Great. Now all we need is for the prom queen and the kid in the wheelchair to wander off and we’re all set.” ”

    I loved that line – hubby & I were laughing so hard! I totally saw Vega about to get it too – the cocky one who disregards the warning usually goes first! Watching this eppy made me remember why I don’t watch horror flicks anymore – upsets my stomach waiting for the next character to live or die! “Whispers” was a fun one! Thanks,

    Dalene

  94. Zoom Booms, Skyjacks and Road Cases in a hive ship….weird. I hope those wraith are licensed.

  95. It’s a shame those deleted scenes didn’t make it to the actual episode, they sounded great. But I missed the usual team and didn’t care much for the four pretty girls: They were nothing but red shirts to me, even Vega. I’m glad most of them survived, though.

    As a whole, I felt that this episode was hesitating between the horror movie feel and the SGA feel. Honestly, I preferred the SGA feel, but I’m not much into horror films anyway. :-/

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