I suffered a head injury yesterday afternoon. No, not playing pick-up football. No, not in a fistfight with an angry Weir fan. I got conked in the head with a book. Seriously. I was at a bookstore, looking for Robert Reed’s Marrow, when I spotted it sitting atop a pile on the top shelf of the SF & Fantasy section. Standing up on my tiptoes and reaching out so far I think I may have partially separated my shoulder, I managed to touch the low title on the totem pole. I stretched and managed to carefully slide the pile out. In retrospect, I’m not sure what I was thinking. That pile was coming down. The only uncertainty was how many books I could catch on the way. And I certainly didn’t expect to catch one with my head. The corner of a nice fat fantasy book (curse that Tad Williams!) bounced off the top of my forehead as the rest of the titles showered down around me. I caught exactly none. But I did end up buying the Reed book (a recommendation by SFSignal’s JP Frantz) along with Jeffrey Ford’s Memoranda, Steph Swainston’s The Year of Our War, Harry Harrison’s The Stainless Steel Rat, Brian Lumley’s Necroscope (which I’m considering making next month’s BOTMC horror selection) and, yes, Tad Williams‘ Otherland, vol. 1.

Speaking of the book club, author Stephen Dobyns turned his Q&A around in record time so I’ll be turning this blog over to him tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope you’re all very busy reading this month’s selections because the week of September 15th fast approaches when we’ll be discussing Justina Robson’s Keeping It Real with author Justina Robson. The following week, author Glen Cook be dropping by to field your questions about this month’s fantasy selection, The Black Company, and author Sarah Langan will be joining us the week after that to talk about The Missing, this month’s horror selection.

Oh, hey, the NFL kicked off today. This week, me and the rest of the gang in the writers’ room made our dark horse (sub-500 team last year that will have the best record this season) and reverse dark horse (team with a winning record last year that will have the worst record this season). I won last year’s dark horse pool with the Browns. This year, I’m rooting for the Buffalo Bills to impress, and the Tampta Baby Buccaneers to disappoint. GO BILL! DON’T GO BUCS!

Today’s blog entry is dedicated to birthday gal StarWars9771

Anyway, continuing with the Whispers breakdown…

ACT THREE

INT. MICHAEL’S LAB – NIGHT: Mirellus‘s revelation.

Another straightforward scene. Sheppard realizes the answer to dealing with Michael’s experiment lies in the data, and since his wraith reading skills are as rusty as Teldy’s, they set off to find Beckett and Porter.

INT. HOUSE – NIGHT: Beckett heads out to investigate.

Unable to contact Sheppard, Beckett is going stir crazy. His friend is in trouble and he is, in effect, stranded and can‘t help him. At which point he hears the sound of movement outside. As he explains to Porter, if there’s a threat out there, they’re as good as sitting ducks. Subscribing to the theory that the best defense is a good offense, he heads out to check the perimeter. In his mind, he can look around and stay close enough to the house in the event Porter sounds the alarm. Unfortunately, his little stroll takes an unexpected turn.

This run-in with the creature in the fog offers a good example of what I was referring to in yesterday’s entry re: editor Mike Banas dropping a frame in the cut to give the creature’s movement a bizarre, inhuman jump. One second the creature is turning and, in a split second, it’s teeth are bared as it has zeroed in on Beckett.

EXT. MARKETPLACE – NIGHT: Beckett encounters one of the creatures.

A fun little sequence. During prep, we discussed the various ways we could pull off the wall crawling stunt. Initially, we considered a harness and wires but, after some discussion, that idea was shelved in favor a little camera trickery. We built a section of wall that we lay on the floor, then had Paul lie atop the piece. By lifting his head and keeping the camera tight on him, it looks like he is sitting up. Thus, when the creature crawls up to him, it appears as though it’s defying gravity.

INT. HOUSE – NIGHT: Porter is gone. The others return.

In my mind, Porter is alone in the house, waiting for Beckett to return from his perimeter sweep when, perhaps, she spots movement outside. Assuming he’s come back, she opens the door and calls out to him. No response. A cautious step out onto the porch to see if she can spot him is all it would take for one of the creatures to present itself, between here and the doorway. She bolts, retreating into the fog…

When the others return, Beckett explains his theory on the creatures, and the fact that they exude the fog they use a predatory device. In my mind, a dozen creatures do not create enough fog to obscure an entire town. Rather, the mist they exude from the gills in their neck react with the surrounding atmosphere, sort of like a drop of dye turning a bucketful of clear water green.

As for the effects of the fog – Beckett theorizes that, since Michael wore a gas mask when experimenting on these creatures, it stood to reason that prolonged exposure to the mist might not be such a good idea. Given that the team’s exposure to the fog was limited in comparison to what Michael must have experienced, it’s arguable whether they would feel any of the purported side effects. That said, like Keller’s exposure to the pathogen from Michael’s lab in The Seed, these effects could have manifested themselves at a later date and provided story fodder for a future episode. Had we done a sixth season of course.

EXT. VILLAGE – NIGHT: Sheppard, Teldy, and Dusty split up to search for Porter.

Yep, they split up. And in this case, it makes perfect sense. They can cover three times the area in one third the time, and, with Porter out there alone, time is of the essence. They’re armed and, knowing the creatures are blind and hunt by sound, they’re ready for them.

In the first draft, I had the team use flares which, I thought, would have looked mighty cool in the fog. Unfortunately, they turned out to be a problem. For starters, they’re a potential fire hazard – especially when you’re shooting on a sound stage carpeted with dry wood and mulch. Second, the smoke they give off is apparently toxic. Who knew? Finally, they’re noisy – so it wouldn’t make much sense for the team to use flares unless they wanted to draw the creatures right to them. So we opted for the chem flares (production-friendly, unique to Stargate chem flares compliments of Production Designer James Robbins). The conceit is that, unlike the flashlights or radios, these flares are contained units, chemical in nature (which is why Sheppard shakes them to turn them on), and thus unaffected by the fog.

For the well scramble, we built a portion of the well, a green screen half pipe, lay it on the ground, and had our actor/creature crawl along it toward camera (and, also, away from camera after which we ran the film backward to give the creature‘s movements an erratic appearance. It‘s a camera trick that was used to great effect in the final scene of the original Carrie and a ghostly visit in Stir of Echoes). Our VFX department did the rest – creating the rest of the wall, adding a little more fog, and tweaking the creature’s movement.

INT. HOUSE – NIGHT: Mirellus, we barely new ye!

This was actually a deceptively complicated stunt. We required glass and wood to break and fly inwards but, as our stunt coordinator, James Bamford, pointed out, even something as thin and light as balsa wood could cause injury. In the end, we ended up with a suitable and safe alternative, using candy glass (mmmm) to approximate the look of real glass. A bigger problem was the timing of the stunt. The stuntmen/creatures waiting outside had to burst through the boarded-up window a) correctly and b) at precisely the right second. If they came in too early or too late, we would have to re-set and do the whole thing over again. If the glass and wood didn’t break away properly, we would have to re-set and do the whole thing over again. If the stuntment/creatures overshot their marks and missed, we would have to re-set and do the whole thing over again. As we set up for the shot, I turned to Wray Douglas, our SPFX Supervisor, and asked him whether he was prepared to go again if need be. “We’ll get it right the first time,”he informed me, displaying incredible confidence in his team. And, as it turned out, that confidence was well-placed because they got it right the first time.

ACT FOUR

EXT. VILLAGE – NIGHT: Sheppard and co. run into a spot of trouble.

My writing partner Paul tried to kill this gag in two separate drafts. First, he couldn’t imagine how a flare could be used as a weapon. Fortunately, these were unique chem flares and, as noted in an earlier scene in which Sheppard stabs one into the ground to act as a home beacon, they CAN be used as a weapon. Second, he argued that it would be impossible to pull off the reveal because that would require a fog thickness level nigh unattainable. By normal means certainly, but fortunately we had a brilliant VFX team to rely on. They had CG fog elements to help obscure the advancing creature until the second she popped out to reveal herself.

INT. HOUSE – NIGHT: Sheppard and co. find Teldy in the house.

But Beckett is long gone. While we were watching the mix, someone (it may have been Paul or Martin) found it strange that no one expressed concern for Beckett when Teldy points out the blood, so we ADR’d a line from Porter “Carson?!”. Had we had the time, I would have also liked to ADR the lines: “No, it was probably Mirellus.” followed by a “Thank God it was only the insignificant villager!”.

INT. HOUSE – NIGHT: Sheppard and Teldy’s team brainstorm.

One of the things I liked about this episode was that everyone had something to do. Dusty saves Beckett from the wall crawler and helps take out the creatures from her vantage point overlooking the well, Teldy is in on the creature kills both overlooking the well and in the catacombs, Sheppard rescues Porter, sets the trap that lures the creatures, and helps dispatch of the last group, Beckett figures out what they are dealing with and saves Sheppard and, here, Porter comes up with the final plan.

INT. HOUSE – NIGHT: Sheppard goes over the plan.

To those asking, the reason the laptop wasn’t affected by the fog is explained in the exchange between Sheppard and Porter. She cautions against letting the fog near the laptop to which Sheppard replies: “I’ll lower it about halfway down the well. That should keep it out of reach and working long enough for all nine of them to show.”

EXT. VILLAGE – NIGHT: Teldy’s team takes up high ground positions while Sheppard sets the trap.

Another fave sequence. I remember both Nicole’s father and Janina’s boyfriend and friends were on set for the pyrotechnics. We shot the Christina/Nicole coverage first, then turned around on Janina. Ivon (who was covering the episode for a special feature) and I (covering it for the blog, natch) took up positions previously occupied by Christina and Nicole. I was a little too close to the edge of the balcony because when Will yelled “Action!”, the opening pyro burst almost crispy-fried my eyebrows.

ACT FIVE

EXT. VILLAGE – NIGHT: The gals open up on the creatures.

This is the scene where armourer Rob Fournier’s gun school really paid off. Our actresses were put through the paces with P-90s and handguns prior to shooting the episode. It was more of a refresher course for Christina who had plenty of gun handling experience prior to Whispers (and you can tell by the way she unloads, expertly reloads, and resumes firing). Janina and Nicole were newbies and, after the first day, Janina’s fingers were so raw and painful she was actually dreading the sequence. Will and I pitched her the possibility that, in addition to the gum chewing, she could be wrapping her fingers in a cool preparatory shot or two. Janina liked the idea but, on the idea, decided to tough it out.

This scene was particularly hellish for our stunt creatures. There were a bunch of them and they had to negotiate the heavy fog and their wandering fellow creatures with very limited visibility through their eye webbing. We shot it once and Will, wanting to take advantage of the fog before it dissipated, yelled “Back to first positions!”. Watching these poor souls scramble to find their opening marks was truly a sight to behold.

EXT. VILLAGE – NIGHT: Teldy’s team take stock.

The first draft was vague about the number of creatures out there Martin Gero suggested I actually make this a plot point, 12 pods = 12 creatures. This gave me the idea for the episode’s final twist. Here, it’s the opportunity for a gag when Dusty seemingly miscounts the number of kills – and has a final creature pop up. Love the shot of the three of them simultaneously opening up on the final creature.

INT. CATACOMBS – NIGHT: Sheppard and co. make their way back to the lab.

Ah, the episode is over. Nothing else to do know but clean up some loose ends. Wait! What was that?! In true horror movie fashion, it’s never over when you think it’s over…

INT. LAB – NIGHT: Sheppard finds the other pods.

Ah, the old French reverse. We’re on Sheppard as he triggers the door and steps through, then pick him up on the other side where he is looking at the secret room. The secret room is, in reality, the same lab set shot from the opposite direction and slightly altered by our visual effects department.

INT. CATACOMBS – NIGHT: Sheppard and co. have to deal with the final batch.

The entire cast and crew should be credited for going above and beyond the call of duty in this episode. In particular, I’d like to make mention of Stunt Coordinator James Bam Bam Bamford and his stunt crew who really went all out. This reveal, for instance, called for Porter to turn and be confronted with a creature hanging upside-down from the ceiling. Well, we reinforced the ceiling and built a rung for the stuntman/creature to hook his legs over and hang off of. Apparently, it was incredibly uncomfortable.

This creature takedown was tricky. I remember we were running late on the day. It was a complicated sequence and, on the first take, the creatures overran the position. In the second take, another overrun. And, because we were running late, there was no third take. As a result, Will had to pick up some shots later in the schedule and insert those fog-obscured shots into the sequence.

INT. CARSON’S QUARTERS – ATLANTIS – DAY: Carson finally heads off.

This episode was intended as an audition of sorts and, in the end, Christina, Nicole, and Janina did a great job with their respective characters. I loved all three cand we certainly aimed to bring them back. However, by the time this episode was being shot, we had already developed over two-thirds of the stories for season 5 and, once we got into spinning stories for the final 5, addressing existing arcs and setting up the big finale became the top priority. Nevertheless, I was hopeful that if we received the sixth season pick-up, Teldy and co. would be back. I even toyed with the idea of placing Beckett on the team. Sadly, we didn’t receive the pick-up We did, however, get the greenight on an SGA movie so it’s more than likely we’ll see Teldy and her team again some time in the not too distant future.

105 thoughts on “September 7, 2008: I Suffer a Field Injury, The Whispers Breakdown Part II, and Oodles of Pics and Vids

  1. So, yeah …I’m reading this, and all the while I’m thinking, “that bald, blind fella at the very top is kinda cute…”

    😕

    I think it’s time to re-evaluate my taste in men. 😛

    And, Joe… the very image of you being bombarded by books…well… 😆 Next time, take Carl with ya…

    das

  2. PS…

    Does the bald, blind fella have a name? 😳

    Your explanation about the fog is what I was thinking, too.

    Sad that so many future possibilities won’t happen now – the aftereffects of the fog and the pathogen from The Seed …damn. Joe – A question about this – would you ever consider getting into writing SGA books, perhaps to carry over some of these ideas?

    Crispy-fried eyebrows? Can we expect to see that in an upcoming ‘weird food’ segment? 😉

    Thanks for the breakdown – very interesting. I hope to see Teldy and her team again, soon! Now…GET TO WORK ON THAT MOVIE!!!!! 😉

    das

  3. 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.

  4. Ah, sorry, I see you answered my question in your blog post. Disregard my question than.

  5. I have to admit, I’m moving beyond angry about the cancellation of the show. Watching the episodes unfold, seeing potential story arcs and recurring characters that will go to waste without another season, is driving me to the point of saying “screw it all”. I’ve already changed my tv watching habits to cut out the Sci Fi network (and what little NBC stuff I watch). I’m at the point of doing without SGU when it finally appears. It’s incomprehensible to me why someone would take show that is going into the Belmont Stakes with a win in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, and then shoot the horse/show before the third race. It defies logic. I’ll watch the rest of the season of Atlantis, and gladly watch the tv movie, but it’s simply too painful to think about investing in a new show, new characters, only to have the same thing happen again in a few years.
    Sorry about the rant, but watching the behind the scenes stuff in Whispers brought it all back out. No doubt something that will be repeated with every episode, as I see things that make me go “boy, I hope they follow up on that next season.” Anyways, your coverage was great, and the episode was a hit with some friends I showed Whispers to this afternoon. I had only one real gripe on the rewatch. That’s the question of the effectiveness of holding a chem-stick directly in front of one’s eyes while moving through the fog. Seems to me like that would have killed any chance of the characters spotting motion beyond their arm’s length. But as to the chem sticks themselves, I absolutely loved the design. Have your props people considered making those for real life applications? If they could be made intrinsically safe, with reusable chemical cartridges, I could see them having a market with certain users, such as spelunkers, confined space, and other types of specialty rescue. Not to mention campers.
    Ok, I managed not to laugh at your pain. Honest. I did smile wryly. I’ve had the occasional close call myself, but I’ve always managed to avoid the consequences you suffered. And I’m truly glad you didn’t have to go to hospital. That would have delayed you posting your blog, and that would have been a truly terrible outcome. I’ve been catching up on some non fiction reading materials, but plan to knock out the BotM club offerings by the end of the week. So far, they are interesting choices. Thanks for overcoming the pain enough to troop on here at the blog, and here’s hoping Fondy and the purebred mutts give you all the sympathy you deserve.

  6. “In my mind, a dozen creatures do not create enough fog to obscure an entire town. Rather, the mist they exude from the gills in their neck react with the surrounding atmosphere, sort of like a drop of dye turning a bucketful of clear water green.” – That’s a cool idea and a good example.

  7. I hope your head will be ok! I am very short (barely 5 feet) and am always having things dropped on me. It mostly happens when I am working in the library!

  8. Thank you for this, Joe. I read your blog consistently, but I never comment. But I had to tell you how much I enjoyed the new team. I’m SO glad to hear they might be back in the movies. You guys did a great job with them, and the actors really made them come alive. I was left wanting to know much more about them. They really came across as a bonded team, and there were lots of hints about what lied beneath.

    I don’t mean this as an antagonistic comment, but I was really pleased with how Stargate handled these women. I have to admit, I was a little nervous about it. Which was odd, because I love Sam and Jennifer and Teyla. So, huh. All I can say is that I definitely would watch more of this team. Any chance of them being featured on the new series, SGU?

  9. Oh cool! The Stainless Steel Rat books are fun reads, as are, if I may recommend a series, Christopher Stasheff’s Warlock books. Less sci-fi and more fantasy, but lots of tongue in cheek humor.

    I’m going to have to go and dig out my Harrison books now. Thanks for the vids and pics. Any news/updates on forthcoming flicks?

    Pol

  10. Oh, Joe, for your sanity, don’t start Otherlands.

    I love Tad, and I quit after NOTHING happened in the second volume. Forge in the Forest, yes, but not Otherlands.

    Honest. Sorry about your head.

  11. Death by books??? Imagine the obituary!!!
    =)
    Thanks so much for the episode break-down and all the videos and pix!!! It’s like Christmas… in September!!!

  12. Sorry to hear about your accident. Hope you aren’t too sore.

    I’m not entirely convinced that Major Teldy and her team as actors, are ready for the movie. They really need more episodes under their belt first.

    On top of that, the movie is sadly far too short. It’s like trying to film a 1000 page book in 2 hours or less. I’ve invested a lot of time in the current characters and I hope to see them have as much on screen time as possible.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing them under Major Lorne. I think Lorne is past due for a promotion. It would really be a promotion for all of them as they would be moved to the second string team.

    Teldy and Lorne could work together.

    Anyway, just throwing out some thoughts. I’ll get back to working on convincing others to tune in to boost the ratings more so maybe MGM and Sci fi might have a change of heart. 😀

  13. Thanks for the episode breakdown, and the videos were cool too.

    Just wanted to say that the part where Sheppard lowers the laptop into the well, and the handle makes noise, that was a very nice detail.

  14. Thanks for the Whispers breakdown… it was FABULOUS!

    We all should be thankful to you Joe for giving us ALL these wonderful behind-the-scenes info, clips and script insights. Where else, but from an Exec Prod, Lead Writer and Showrunner would we be privy to this material? No where else I say. How fortunate we are, really.

    Stargate Atlantis goes way beyond other shows of the genre in quality of story, quality of production values, quality of performance by actors, professionalism and abilities of crew, stunt people, talent of partners, like FX crews, etc. than any other show. I beg humble pardon to BRILLIANT SG-1 who did pave the way and of whom I continue to be a HUGE fan. Go O’Neill, Mitchell, Daniel, Carter and Teal’c!!

    But I have to agree with Thornyrose, that with every S5 eppy shown, I grow not more hopeful, but more saddened, in believing that this wonderful series is being cut down in it’s prime. I do want to trust Brad and Rob to bring us similar quality and fabulousness in SGU, but I’m almost too hurt to care. Almost.

    Please tell us Joe, if you Paul and Carl will be writing for SGU as soon as you possibly can? I think if we knew that you guys were to be a part of SGU, it would all be more easily swallowed, like a spoonful of sugar.

    And an ice pack on the forehead will ease the book damage. I’ve done the same to myself while dusting bookshelves.

    Carol Z
    in New Jersey

  15. Thanks for all the behind-the-scenes info – much appreciated. Was watching the commentary on TMC last night and laughed at your unhappiness over the ‘spinning tree’. There’s always *one* small thing that will bug you later – that no-one else will notice.

  16. Wow, I think the book was trying to tell you to buy it.

    NFL, Yeah! I am a Patriots fan. They should have won the superbowl, God only knows what the heck happened to Brady, he was just not with it (believe me, my sister and I didn’t hold that comment back during that game). My brother was number 1 in the online Fantasy football game for that season. We were so proud of him (lol). We take our football serioiusly, to the point my sister was hoping Eli was shown a thing or two on Thursday night (she thinks he loves himself too much). We are brutal when it comes to football.

    It is no wonder you don’t go on set often if you are that accident prone. They must say, ‘Oh no here comes paul, quick hide the explosives’. Who’s head was that in the video, were you leaning over Will’s head a little too close?

  17. Ouch! Books hurt. I know from experience. The paper cuts, the pointy edges, the hard covers..I’ve had a couple friends throw books at me..*shudders*..It’s a wonder no one considers them weapons.

    Thanks for the episode breakdown!

  18. I watched Whispers with my sister and she thought it felt weird. I said it was because we hardly ever seen that many women in one scene on Stargate. I got the “Ahhh” of realization. Like I said yesterday, I hope to see these characters again!

  19. Hey Joe!

    TV Guide mentioned an upcoming Atlantis episode, along with their take on the cancellation: “Boo!”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. 😀

    On Whispers…oh yeah, this was one I should NOT have watched alone right before bed. Muahaha! Fun episode. Nicely creepy, without being gory or anything. And thanks for explaining the bit about dropping a frame; I’d seen that effect before, but didn’t realize how it was done.

    I was bummed to see Vega go! I thought we’d see more of her this season. Loved Porter and Beckett…and yeah, I actually hope we get to see more of the whole team in the Atlantis movies.

  20. Bad books, bad, evil books. Do you at least have a cool bump to show off?

    Stainless Steel Rat … haven’t read that in ages, but I remember I loved ’em. There was one fuzzy night in Waukegan when my friend and I pestered the bartender to make Panther Sweats for us. A drink you can only drink once you’re drunk; involved grapefruit juice, tequila and banana liqueur. The rest is lost in the mists of memory. Yes, I can turn any reference into a Navy drinking story, thanks. I wonder if I still have my Harrison books or if they went the way of so many in transit. Sadly, I’ve lost more than one box of books in moves.

    Thank you for the nifty pics and vids!

  21. Thank you for the breakdown of the show. I really enjoy them and wish you would do them with each show.

    I agree with the post about you writing SGA books. You have such a feel for the characters and the show, they would be an immediate hit!

    Just saw the cast’s cancellation video. I felt JF’s comment that he hoped the fans didn’t feel too “disrespected” hit the nail on the head. After supporting the franchise for over ten years and being told TPTB now want 18yr. olds, I do feel insulted and “disrespected”. I really thought my viewship had more value. I guess I was wrong. Sad.

  22. Mr. M wrote:

    If the stuntment/creatures overshot their marks and missed…

    Ooh! While obviously a typo here, ‘stuntment’ would be a great word! Here’s my definition:

    stunt•ment [STUNTment], n., any comment made by a politician, esp. about a natural disaster, fire, etc., just to be in front of the media. Sen. Bedfellow gave a stuntment today in which he offered his condolences to the victims of Hurricane Zamfir.

    Anne Teldy

  23. Hi Joe:

    Christina Cox did a wonderful job as the leader of the team. I noticed that she was also in Star Gate SG-1’s “Spirits” and “The Sentinel”. You have also had Garwin Sanford and Steve Bacic cross over to do other Stargate series.

    With that in mind, could you please have Cliff Simon be a regular part of the new Star Gate Universe? I think that Ba’al’s host would be wonderful in the series. And if not him, perhaps Cliff could play a good guy for a change.

    By the way, I also agree that David Hewlett’s portrayal of McKay in “The Shrine”, was masterful and worthy of an award.

    Patricia (AG)

  24. Hi Joe – I thought you didn’t do “holiday” episodes?! All that was missing from Whispers was the guy with the hockey mask and you’d have the perfect Halloween episode. Spooky – creepy – scary. I loved the team running around with the light sticks and that greenish glow against the fog. When Vega is jerked backwards into the fog and dies – I almost jumped out of my chair! (Cue the “Psycho” music). Zombies and monsters and fog – oh my!! Loved the look on Sheppard’s face when the well crank starts to squeek

    Thanks x 100 for an absolutely cool episode and for your play-by-play of the episode, photos and videos. What a wild ride. Everyone did a great job on this one!

    The next time you venture into a book store with high stacks, I believe a helmet is in order.

  25. Hi, Joe!

    I hope it is not too late to post a question to Will Waring. I’m awful slow but I get there eventually!

    To Will Waring: thanks for the commentaries on the DVDs. Always interesting!

    Do you think that the 43 minutes constraint on TV episodes makes for better quality storytelling (No time for self indulgence from the director or writer!)? Or is it just too creatively frustrating (Do you end up cutting so many corners that you wish you were filming movies instead?)

    So many movies seem to be about quantity rather than quality these days. 45 mins of plot padded to fill 3 hours. On the other hand, SGA leaves me feeling like I’ve watched a whole movie every time! I love every single episode. Very satisfying they’re so crammed full of good stuff!

    Will, thanks for taking the time to answer my – very crammed! – question!

    And Joe, thanks for bringing guests to your blog. This is my first time asking a question but I find all the Q&As fascinating!

  26. I really like the behind-the-scenes videos. This kind of stuff has always been interesting to me.

    Btw, today (Sept 7), is my 40th wedding anniversary. Thought I’d tell you, because nobody else remembered.

  27. When I first watched Whispers live on my big screen standard-def tv the fog scenes were horrible. Rewatching the episode the next day on my HDTV, though, was a totally awesome experience. Loved the episode!
    You’re definitely right about not being ready for Vega to die. I’m kinda glad to see Anne’s namesake make it through the episode unscathed.
    By the way, I don’t remember seeing the proper poem lines for the last three episodes mentioned in your blog. Waiting for someone to ask or did I miss them, even though I try to read your blog every night?

  28. “Hello. I’m your commander. I had no idea we had an all girl team. That’s neat!”

    😉

  29. So I am guessing that none of Teldy’s team will make an appearance in the last remaining episodes of Atlantis? I was hoping to at least see Teldy and Porter again. I loved those 2. I always love seeing the other members of the expidition like lorn and zelenka. Would be funny to see Porter and McCay work together to figure something out. It seems to me that Porter could match McCay in the science field, but is more low key about it that McCay, which I think would drive Rodney nuts. Well if can’t see them in Atlantis, maybe Porter could join the new Universe expition and figure out the Destiny.

  30. Thanks for the unprecedented content offering today. Your script/story reviews are always awesome reading. Whispers was definitely the all-time best Stargate fright-fest.

    Nicole was awesome. I loved the subtle Star Trek references she laid in. Who’s idea was that? Yours or did she ad-lib it? Plus her on screen chemistry with Paul was great. I sense a new group of SG fandom pushing for a romantic coupling.

    Thanks again for the great pictures and video!

  31. Why didn’t the team put on gas masks once they realised the fog might be dangerous? SG-1 used to carry them routinely even on apparently safe missions (they put them on after finding the first dead body on Cassandra’s planet), surely the Atlantis teams do too. I know it would hinder their already poor visibility, but they had no idea what that fog, it could easily have been fatal after a while (the fact that Michael wore one is evidence is favour of that).

  32. @ 2cats & Thornyrose – Yup…each episode is like…well…like another curtain falling. You know it’s the end of ‘that’, never to be revisited again. Of course, longtime fans of the Stargate franchise will probably migrate to SGU, and fall in love with the new characters…one attractive, charming human replaces another. Picard replaced Kirk, and the fandom embraced the change.

    My problem is I watch mostly for the Wraith. Whereas the Star Trek franchise found a place for the Klingons and Vulcans in every series, in the Stargate franchise the ONLY place I’m going to get the Wraith is in SGA. I have nothing to fall back on – no reason to look forward to (or watch) SGU – unless, of course, they somehow include a Wraith character (fat chance)…ooooooor… a flowing-locked albino elf with a telescoping spear. 😉

    Even with the SGA movies, there’s no guarantee that those will always include Wraith characters. Sucks to be me, eh? And, sure, I enjoy non-Wraith episodes, but many of them, like Phantoms and The Seed, still gave insight into the characters. SGA just worked for me – I never watched – nor do I have an interest in watching – SG1. So not sure if the new show will do anything for me without the Wraith…I might try it, but I just think it’ll fall flat without anything as beautiful as the Wraith to capture my attention.

    das

  33. Joe,

    I did thoroughly enjoy Whispers and did like the dynamics of the Teldy team and would like to see them in the movie(S) but please do not leave MAJOR LORNE out to include Teldy!!!

    Major Lorne has paid his due and deserves to be seen in any and all SGA movies in the future, please.

  34. To Rebecca H

    Congratulations on you 40th wedding anniversary!!!!
    That is a huge milestone! I hope you and your husband have 40 more years together!! Gob bless you both.

  35. 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

  36. Sorry to hear you got clobbered. I think my nephew can sympathize with you. He just came back from New Zealand, Jakarta and Bali. He’s so smart, doing it while he’s young (21), passionately experiencing life and his love for wild surfing along the way.

    So yesterday he goes surfing in the calm waters off Malibu, and whack! He gets a surfboard right between the eyes. He was so lucky, only 18 stitches. But he said his days of looking flawlessly cute are over. I told him chicks dig guys with scars, I hope. Hope you’re ok too.

    I’m looking forward to reading all the details about “Whispers”. Just haven’t had the time lately.

    Also looking forward to football this year, the year of the RAMS.

  37. Fantastic breakdown, Joe. Thanks. Webbing over the eyes sounds as creepy as it looks.

    I’m sorry to hear about your book incident. But look on the bright side…it’s better to tell people you got bopped on the head by a book than having to tell them that you, oh, got smashed in the face by a ceramic hummingbird (yeah, people were oddly unsympathetic despite the fact that it gashed the bridge of my nose pretty badly and nearly knocked me out…I have a scar from it…I should have gotten hazard pay).

    Yay for NFL season! Go Bears! Let’s not lose so spectacularly this season!

  38. Much sympathy for the Book Injury. I worked at B&N for a year and suffered many a tome-related wounding.

    And may I just say YAY FOR “NECROSCOPE” !!! I have every one of the books for that series and love them madly.

    WHISPERS was great, btw. I’m disappointed that Leela got nailed but at least she got a second shot at SGA. And the ep was phenominally creepy; my friend said she’s going to be freaked out by the make-up job for *weeks*!

    Very much looking forward, now, to THE QUEEN. That transformation of Teyla’s look amazing…

  39. I love the behind the scenes commentary, videos and explanations of your episodes. We are amazingly privileged that you take the time to do this.
    Questions for Will Waring-Do you have a favorite film director or director of photography or someone whose style or work you really admire? And I don’t mean on SG-1 or Atlantis. Is there a particular style of filming that you’ve wanted to try that you haven’t gotten the chance-like black and white? Or another genre? And last, did you get a degree in film and if so, where? Thanks Will! I love your stuff! Good luck in your post-Atlantis future.

  40. Can you please ensure that SGU doesn’t use SGA/sg1 vests.
    I know it’s a weird request but the vests from sg1 and sga are signature and i believe using a pre-established design would detract from sga and sg-1 uniqueness.

  41. Hi, Joe.

    Thank you again for the breakdown on Whispers, the terrific behind the scenes photos and the fantastic videos! Woo-hoo! Like Christmas in September.

    🙂

  42. Hope you iced your sports injury and that it feels better.

    Thanks for more of the Whispers secrets….cool!

    Rebecca – Happy Anniversary!

  43. Oh, I forgot to say – hope your noggin is okay. The power of the written word, eh? I guess you haven’t done major damage – you’d have to be pretty tough after all the lashings you get from angry fans!

    @ Anne Teldy – I love your definition of stuntment. Perfect. I could really see that catching on!

  44. Random question of the day:

    How does one go about acquiring a Nielson box??? I watch every Friday, but feel like my watching doesn’t count!!!

  45. Questions for Will:
    What is your favorite film to shoot with??? (HD, 35mm, et cetera…)
    What has been your favorite non-Stargate project to work on???

  46. (Mr. M, feel free to delete this if you would prefer this information not to be so readily available — or if it’s wrong.)

    Masterchief wrote:

    also can you confirm that Carson’s fifth episode is in fact Enemy at the Gate? thanks

    According to cast lists at TV.com’s Season 5 page, Carson Beckett will be in the following episodes:
    5-13 Outsiders
    5-18 Identity
    5-20 Enemy at the Gate.

    Anne Teldy

  47. You answered the first part of my question about if you would have considered bringing the new team back in season 6, if it had been picked up. The other part of my question came after watching a rerun of Lost Boys. There is a scene in the gateroom where Weir is talking to Lorne with his team in the background. It got me thinking…there were other episodes(Kindred pt1 and Last Man) for example that had Lorne x3 on missions with SGA-1. When you were putting the script together for Whispers, did you give any though to using Lorne and introducing three new characters as his team for the episode? I am not sure I even remember a member of Lorne’s team getting a name in previous episodes, although I could be mistaken. I know it would have been less dramatic, seeing as we all know Lorne would survive, but it would have left more of an opening for future episodes with Lorne and SGA-2 since Lorne is the main recurring character and the 2IC.

  48. I completely wore out my first copy of Stainless Steel Rat with all the rereading. The first … 3 of the series are highly recommended. It’s when Mr. Harrison decides that the series is totally YA that it starts sliding towards later Xanth quality.

    I’m not sure why you thought Teldy was the expected victim. Sadly I kept expecting Dusty to die (the visible minority, also she kept looking down when supposedly on patrol, what was up with that?), but was gratified when she made it. Love interest, Porter, was also a stereotypical candidate for death.

    Also, I didn’t expect Vega’s demise since you went on and on in previous blogs about how wonderful Leela was and y’all were bringing her back and … well, there’s still her scientist twin sister out there, right? 😎

    In another vote against canceling Atlantis as a TV series, I offer this story: I’m a big fan of the franchise and I read blogs (obviously), news sites and the occasional print magazine. So, I get all the build up and hype and… Although I bought and watched both Ark and Continuum, they didn’t blow me away. They were enjoyable, but contrary to hype, still felt like double-length TV episodes. The Shrine had similar build up and behind the scene teasing, but had me weeping throughout.

  49. Hey Joe

    Hope your head is okay. I know how heavy falling books can be. Got a couple of stitches a few years back from a falling textbook.

    My friends and I saw Whispers the other night and were wondering about a few things…

    1) How did Vega die? Of course she had to, to create tension and drama, but there was no outward signs of trauma. Did the creatures snap her neck or something?

    2) How come you only wrote the story for Sheppard and Carson? Of course it builds tension if you have a bunch of new people without plot immunity like the main characters, but why those two and not Ronon or Teyla?

    3) Porter’s reaction to the monsters is very similar to how Keller reacted to danger in ‘Missing’ but how come no one is ragging on Nicole de Boer for playing a whiny scared child like they did for Jewel Staite?

    If Remnants is as good as Whispers, I think this may be my favourite season ever. Thanks so much for all the hard work you put into Season 5!

    Tim

  50. I really liked Whispers. It was a very fun episode and a great way to introduce new characters. Is Captain Vega really dead or was she just rendered unconscious? My favorite of the four team, female squad would have to be Dusty. I thought she was great and I hope to see more of her. I also like that tease from “Ghost in the Machine” where Weir told Atlantis that she had uploaded information about other star systems and new wraith technology to their computers. I am looking forward to more of season five.

    On another note, several months back when you were filming this episode, in your blog you mentioned Deviantart.com and how that got you thinking about what you would want to do as your own online site. Did you get anything started like a custom chocolate – candy site or something like that?

  51. Trust you to make reading an extreme sport! If that happened over here, we’d have ‘elf an safety insisting all bookstore customers wear protective hard hats and goggles*pictures book shop filled with …never mind*

    On a bum note I’ve got a week to sort my house out in order for the gas central heating to be installed, this includes clearing one of the outhouses out to hold the dogs, don’t want the big one biting any of the workers again! *sigh* its going to be a long week followed by another even longer one!

    Cheers for all the pics and vids, background and hell just keeping this blog going. You’re a great guy Joe and next time you’re in Cornwall I’d like to buy you a beer;P

  52. Joe,

    I can tell from your blogs that you are really into Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels. I highly recommend the Guardians of the Flame novels by Joel Rosenberg. He writes some of the best characters I’ve ever read and is not afraid to tarnish or remove them if the stories require it.

    The books themselves have been out for some time, so you could probably find them in a used book store, or Baen released omnibus editions last year. Also, Joel has never been shy about interacting with his fans if you wanted to have a dialog.

  53. Hey Joe,

    I was watching “Whispers” for the second time today…Great episode by the way! However, I noticed a little bit of an error in the sequence where they set the trap for Mirellus.

    When Sheppard, Teldy, and Vega set the trap for Mirellus., Sheppard walks by the alley with his P-90 in hand, as Mirellus. moves out of the alley, Sheppard is seen sitting on the stair with his P-90 shouldered. They then cut around to Teldy and Vega, and when they cut back, Sheppard has his 1911 our….In my mind there was not enough time for him to pull it out…not to mention the fact that there was really no reason for him to do so…the P-90 actually might have been the better choice if he was worried about an attack.

    Was this just because they used to different takes and pieced them together? I cannot see Sheppard having time, nor reason, to switch…

    Dan

  54. I often see on site such as gateworld.net, that some fans only watch scifi channel to see Stargate: Atlantis.
    This led me to the conclusion that a portion of viewership may be inclined to pay for an online version. Or have the cost additionally included in their cable package with scifi channel.

    This way ie) If scifi charged $2.50 per episode, and there were 1,000,000 online purchases there would be a profit of 2.5 million dollars.

    Obviously there has been a relitively large viewership turn-away due to youtube and free internet broadcasting sites who have pirated direct from television, and robbed scifi channel of valuble revenue.

    In relation to Stargate: Atlantis’s television series cancellation, has the idea of producing a internet series been discussed? What was the premise for not affirming that way of broadcast?

  55. I just spent about forty five minutes trying to intellectualize and make my last comment in relation to online sga work. PLEASE ANSWER it!!! *PLEASE* 🙂

  56. After reading all the neat details and after watching the cancellation vid with the cast, I’m more than angry about the cancellation. The show still has so much potential and it feels like we just scratched the surface. They still have at least a half of the city to explore. It just isn’t fair, not just to us as the viewers but to the cast as well. In the vid, it was obvious how terribly sad the actors are, especially Joe Flanigan, and TPTB’s “get over it!” attitude just makes me think why bother investing in anything they’ll throw at us in the future. Brad Wright and Co. just don’t get the fact that it’s not just the “stargate” part of the show that fans love, but first and mostly the characters that can’t be replaced like worn socks with new models.

  57. Mornin’, Joe

    Sorry to hear about the head injury. I was under the impression that sort of stunt was usually left to those of us who can’t see impending doom about to topple down all over us. Well, at least you’ve learnt two invaluable lessons there:

    1. Never trust a book as far as you can throw (or catch) it.

    2. Reading not only feeds the mind, but can also seriously indent it.

    And, whilst wearing a crash helmet out in public may cause irrevocable damage to one’s street credibility, it could save your life. Or at least lower the risk of you carrying around the unmistakable mark of a book corner imprinted on your skull.

    Thanks for the last two blog entries. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being able to see a little more into the inner workings of ‘Whispers’. It’s great to catch your perspective as a Writer and the way you envisage certain aspects of the storyline unfolding. It also adds that little extra bit of insider knowledge for the Viewer, especially with the script outtakes and the vids you put up yesterday.

    Muchus grassyarse.. and so forth and so on. Tis appreciated ; )

    Okaay.. I think i’ve partially managed to remember the questions I had for Will, so here goes and I hope they make sense:

    Will, firstly thanks ever so for popping by and putting up with the Inquisition. You’ve directed some of my favourite episodes in the past and I appreciate the added bonus of listening to your audio commentaries on the DVD’s. A week or so ago, I was watching/listening to the audio commentary fo ‘Travelers’ and was amused to hear you talking about the complications involved in building the set depicting the inside of Larin’s ship. Quite a few of your directed episodes seem to involve either complicated or intricate sets and it begs a couple of inherently nosy questions:

    1. Do you choose to direct an episode that will involve a fair amount of complicated – and often cramped – set work, or are you ‘pinpointed’ for the job?

    2. It must have been fairly difficult at times, directing for ‘The Seed’, simply due to the jungle-like nature of the set. Do you ever get to the point where you think something just isn’t going to work because of it’s complexity.. and if so, how do you go about compromising without actually dragging one of the Writers onto the set by the scuff of their necks?

  58. Hi Joe,

    Thanks as usual for the blog, and the rundown of Whispers, (and recent events!). Saw the Episode last week and loved it. Just the right balance of SG, horror, humor, and surprises! Been a *great* season so far. No fans wanted the end of the show, but I am glad that SGA is going out in fine form, with what for me, is the best season in a long time!

    But on to my main point… You picked up ‘The Year Of Our War’ by Steph Swainston! I think I posted a recommendation about 3 months ago for it in the comments section of an entry, if not more, and really hoped you would one day pick up a copy. She is a fine, fine writer imho, combined with some truly original ideas… I read the book first about 4 years ago now, and remember demolishing it 2 days, and being frankly stunned! The books that follow are arguably better! Hope you enjoy it, but look forward to your thoughts on it! 😀

    Thanks once again,

    Sos

  59. G’day Joe

    Hope your melon is feeling better. The pen is mightier than the sword.

    Wow what a creepy episode. The tease was soooo scary. I totally jumped when the creature burst through the wall.
    Well done to all involved.

    If Sheppard’s team is
    First
    Atlantis
    Reconnaissance
    Team

    Then Teldy’s team must be
    Third
    Atlantis
    Reconnaissance
    Team

    Loved the character of Dusty. I love the kick ass characters.

    Great job
    Janet.

  60. I have one question about Whispers concerning captain Vega. Why introducing a character that is somewhat playing a similar role like Major Lorne and only use her in two episodes, to have her killed of during the second episode?
    Is anyone of the all female team going to reappear during the 5th season?

  61. Whispers = Fright night! Thanks very much for all the extras and rundown, I did love the creepiness of it, the monsters were great! The visuals were just terrific, in all senses of the word. Pretty tricky about the mist. And all the yap before about the “all-girl” team, go blow. I liked everybody, Teldy, Porter, Vega, even Miss Kick Ass. I could’ve done without the initial Shep & Beckett leering, but things got busy real quick to put that nonsense aside. I didn’t mind Beckett wanting to get to know Porter better, and was laughing at Dusty’s reaction. But very sorry to lose Vega, as much as anybody. Good ep.

    and the Tampa Baby Buccaneers to disappoint… DON’T GO BUCS!
    Wrong choice.
    DD

  62. Mr. M, did you have in mind a specific reason why Sgt. Mehra acquired her nickname Dusty? What is her real first name?

    My family and I were all slightly disappointed there were no Space Cows. 🙂 When we first saw the shadowy figure behind the tree, my sister mooed.

    maggiemayday: I received both of your cards. Thank you. I also received a card with a couple of unusual comments in it and a return address of Lust in the Dust, that was signed by William and Genius. Thank them for me. And be sure to tell Genius his(?) photography is incredible. My family was really taken by it. But what was that purple-palm-tree-on-its-side- looking thing?

    Anne Teldy

  63. Bonjour Joe,
    Une question au sujet de “First Contact” : de la meme facon que Daniel Jackson qui meurt etait devenu une de ses “actions” les plus frequentes, est-ce que “Daniel qui reveille de nouveaux ennemis” est devenu un theme regulier de l’univers Stargate ?

  64. Hi again Mr M

    Greetings from Sunny Tipperary, bracing ourselves for the tail end of Hannah….

    It has been remiss of me not to congratulate Ms Staite, Mr McCullough,Mr Masters and Mr Savela for their Gemini award nominations….Please convey same!! Thank you!

    So, I hear that Vegas is being shot in South Okogon? Have you guys shot there before?

    WRT: Book injury…..
    “Joseph Mallozzi, they say the books he read went straight to his head” *boom boom!*

    Have skipped over the Whispers stuff, as yet to air here, will return for same when it airs!!

    Best wishes

    Shirt’n’Tie

  65. I agree with Jason: While it would be great seeing Teldy’s team another time (mostly because I found Dusty to be extremely cool, even though she probably broke every horror movie rule known to men), I’d be seriously disappointed if Major Lorne didn’t make it into the movie(s).

    He is, after all, Sheppard’s 2IC and has quite the fanbase. I think I can speak for many more people beside myself when I say that leaving Lorne out of any SGA movies would disappoint a LOT of people. So let’s just all hope we’ll get to see more of him even with the show canceled.

  66. Hey Joe, thanks for the spoilers, now I don’t need to watch the show on TMN tonight………

  67. Loved the videos. It’s always a joy to see the actors in action from the raw beginning, not the “final” product with effects on tv. Thanks Joe!

    Good luck with the movie. Can’t wait.

  68. ytimynona wrote:
    Random question of the day:
    How does one go about acquiring a Nielson box??? I watch every Friday, but feel like my watching doesn’t count!!!

    How do I become a member of the Nielsen TV sample?
    Strictly through chance. We cannot ask every home to participate, so we carefully select a sample of homes in your community to represent the entire TV audience. To be statistically accurate it is essential that our samples be randomly selected. Every household in the United States has a chance of being selected, no matter where it is located.

    read more……

  69. Joe,

    Whispers was fantastically creepy. Loved it! Thanks for the breakdown, and the pics & vids. The webby eye covering was genius.

    Perhaps a helmet is in order for your future book shopping escapades??

    Have a great week!

  70. Whispers was great! I watched it twice. It was creative and well written. An interesting change of scenary. The all-girl team was refreshing as well. I wish Vega hadn’t been killed. Paul and Joe were great, as always.
    I sent you guys some lemonade as support. Join our fight! Revolution is at Hand!

  71. I have a chocolate related question:

    In all your explorations with choclolate and/or ice cream flavors have you attempted Chocolate & Bacon?

    The reason I ask is that a dear friend of mine makes truffles each year at christmas to raise money for Families going through the Adoption Process, and each year she does a “special” flavor, last year was Chili. Her husband, Another Firend, and I have been attempting to convince her that a bacon truffle would be good, but she is throwing up roadblocks at every angle (http://www.lifeofelle.com/2008/09/08/sweet-hope-primary/) *note the note

    Personally, I feel with your chocolate tasting experience, your ice cream experimentation, and your food purchases of the day, I’d consider you an expert when it comes to expressing an opinion on such matters. Any suggestions for trying to convince her this is a great idea?

  72. Sorry to hear about your head. And speaking about Weir. Is there any way the real human Elizabeth Weir can be in the new Atlantis movie. Many of fans like me would love to see her in the new movie. As well as Carson, John, Teyla, Ronon, Rodney. Being that the series began with these characters I think it fair that the franchise end with them as well. Please if there is any way to bring these characters back together again for the movie, can it please be considered.

    Thanks and again sorry to hear about the bump on the head.

  73. Coucou Joseph! =) C’est moi!!

    Sa va ?? Moi oui j’ai passer une bonne journée de cour aujourd’hui. Snif mais demain c’est la pire journée de la semaine. Trop contente il fait beau!! Enfin!!!! Je détéste de mauvais temps qu’on a depuis 3 bans -_-‘ .

    Merci pour ces photo et video =)!
    Cool la NFL recommence, dommage qu’il ne soit pas diffuser en France =(

    Questions:
    1)Quel scène a été la plus difficile a tournée dans l’épisode “Whispers” ?
    2) Quel aliment détestez vous le plus?

    Aller bisou, a demain Joseph!♥

  74. Gosh, thanks so much for posting more pictures of the disturbing no-eyed mist people. Who skitter up walls. Somehow seeing them in parkas and drinking coffee does not lessen the creep factor.

    But, unpleasant wall-skitterers aside, I did really enjoy this episode. Even the parts other people didn’t care for, like Sheppard and Beckett’s little fist bump. I know people thought that was sexist but okay, I’m sexist too, and if I found out that instead of my usual aesthetically-challenged co-workers I’d be spending the afternoon with Sheppard, Ronon, Lorne, and Chuck, I’d be pretty happy too.

    I also saw the short feature with the cast reaction to the cancellation, and it made me sad all over again. Joe Flanigan’s comment that he hoped fans don’t feel disrespected was very perceptive. I’ve been a loyal Stargate viewer and merchandise purchaser for years, but loyalty works better when it’s a two way street.
    (And obviously I don’t at all mean to say that either Joe Flanigan, or you, Joe, are the people who I feel showed a lack of respect for fan loyalty.)

  75. Hey, how about to put ascended Elizabeth Weir in one of those SGA Moviez? Maybe not in the first one, but in #2 or #3 if it will be possible.

    Idea of continuing to developing Dr. Weir story arc, at least it is worth to think about.
    Let’s imagine, that one unknown spaceship (Wraith, Replicators (those who still alive), Micahel, maybe even Travelers or another) pick up those “frozen in space” bunch of Replicators and RepliWeir. Later, they may capture their shipowners and fly to one of technically advanced worlds (FrenWeir talked about it in Ghost In The Machine). After using some sweet technology stuff they finally become biological humans. BUT, they all were replicators with their own type of mind and didn’t have succeed in process of ascending. All of them become just puddle of ectoplasma. No one can make it, but Weir (because she was human in past, her consciousness is human). She finally become an ascended being!

    It is will be so cool to see Michelle Morgan and Torri Higginson in same one movie!! Atlantis Movies needs to bigger stories and this is possibly could be nice part of it.

    Just think about it, guys!

  76. Joe,
    Let me just say that Continuum left some MIGHTY BIG shoes for an SGA movie to fill. I just watched Continuum this weekend and I could not be happier with it. I’m not saying your team at SGA can’t do a movie just as good, but the heat is definitely on. If you see Brad or Martin, tell ’em at least one random, unimportant person from the internet LOVED their movie.
    HnB

  77. Thank you for the break down of Whispers and the video. It is always interesting to see the behind the scenes of an episode.

    I have a quick question about the time frame from when Micheal created the creatures. Did he create these things before he took Teyla’s people hostage and before he developed the Hoffan’s drug? Just curious. I still love the story.

  78. I was so dissapointed in myself for not being as spooked as I thought I would be after seeing Whispers. : ( It was a good episode, I liked it, I just expected to be more spooked by it. I did jump twice. I even turnedout the lights. Had it been last weekend when Fay hit and it was stormy, it may have spooked me more.

    I love the play by play, blow by blow, thanks, Joe. That is so cool.

    In the “EXT. MARKETPLACE – NIGHT: Beckett encounters one of the creatures. ” scene… y’know, I thought initially he was on the ground laying down, then I read the blog and saw that he really was on the ground. I’ll have to go back and watch that part again.

    One question, if the creatures respond to sound, then why in the very first scene with the two villagers, why didn’t the creature respond then when they were calling out to it? They actually had to touch it before it responded.

    I’m still in denial. Still would like a Q&A blog with Mr. Flanigan, please.

    Has anyone heard from Sean in LA? Hope he’s ok.

  79. Thanks for the “Whispers” breakdown, Joe. Really appreciate you going into so much detail. Great episode. There was one scene that caught me off guard and I jumped. Scared the hell out of my cat who was sitting on the couch next to me. A leather couch, and a cat that hasn’t been declawed……very, very bad idea!!! *g* I thought Dusty was pretty cool. Loved the attitude. It was nice to see Beckett again too.

    Awesome pictures!

    dff

  80. Watch out for those flying harbacks! I know how you feel, I’ve learned the hard way that when you’re less than 5′ tall, there’s no shame in asking for help when reaching for the top shelf (after almost bringing down a shelf at the Half Price Books when I thought that there was no way I was heavy enough to move the huge thing).

    My trauma of the week: I was out of town over the weekend, and unbeknownst to me our power went out Friday night when my DVR was about 40 minutes into recording “Whispers”. Once again, I am a week behind.
    It also recorded two episodes of Dr. Who that were, in actuality, infomercials. My disappointment is still rather palpable.

  81. “This year, I’m rooting for the Buffalo Bills to impress, and the Tampta Baby Buccaneers to disappoint. GO BILL! ”

    Thanks!!! We, in Buffalo, can use all the sports support we can get! I’m still holding out for a Stanley Cup for the Sabres too!!!

    & I hope your head is okay…unbeknown to many, reading can be a pretty dangerous sport!

  82. Hey Joe.

    Can you confirm whether the rumours of Dylan Neal and Kari Wuhrer returning late this season are true or are in fact, just rumours?

    Is the final episode of this season AU or does it stick to some part of the story-line?

    Thanks.

    Larissa.

  83. “The Stainless Steel Rat” is an excellent read.
    Excellent episode, the effect of the failed experiment scuttling up the well was reminiscent of the girl crawling from the television in “The Ring”. Seriously creepy.
    Beautiful set as well. Walking in the woods in BC will have a whole new feel to it next time I am out there.
    I am really going to miss the show when all is said in done. Maybe I should write a strongly worded letter…

    H

  84. “Brian Lumley’s Necroscope (which I’m considering making next month’s BOTMC horror selection)”

    OMFGGGGGGGGGGG! YES!! PLEASE YES!!!!!!!!!

    *tackle hugs Joe*

    I LOVED this series! I’ll have to grab my well-read copy and join you if it’s next month’s selection. How COOL ARE YOU!?!

    *dreamy eyes at Joe*

    Trish in Texas

  85. Joe, thanks for the Whispers breakdown. I really enjoy hearing about the process. Sorry about the head injury. Thanks for your time.

  86. Ah. Mr M facing the wrath of the flying hardcover books. Hmm does that sound like a fantasy movie cliche? Hope you are not getting accident prone, cause we really want you to put out the 1st SGA TV movie soon.

    Finally get to see the whole Whispers episode. Entertaining show. The flashlight /lanterns makes a return visit to SGA after the season 4 commentaries saying we not likely to see them again .

    Got a couple of questions. Nicole DeBoer’s Porter character is civilian or military? If military, what’s her rank? Or is she like Dr Lee, an independent contractor attached to a military unit? A more serious question. Why didn’t Atlantis keep communication contacts with either Major Teldy or colonel Sheppard for the duration of the episode. It’s not that difficult to set up radio relays (ex military signaler asking).

    Does Mr M have any idea why the iTunes Canada store is really late in putting out new SGA episodes. We are still waiting for the Shrine.

  87. You got hit in the head by a Tad-book and lived to tell the tale? That’s quite something. Tad’s wife once crippled a poor woman for life by accidentally dropping one of his books on her foot on the London tube. True story. Ok, not really.

    Still, Otherland is great, don´t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s certainly among my all time favorites. Plenty of stuff happens but it’s definitely epic so probably not recommended for readers who lose patience if the don´t know excatly what the story is all about after no more than 30 pages. It´s the journey that counts, not just the destination. This one is quite a trip.

  88. Hi Joe!

    Finally saw Whispers. Ooooooohhhh….creepy!!! Really enjoyed the different look, feel, and cast(!) for this ep! 🙂

    My hub at first scoffed at the all-women team, but then I reminded him that no one has a fit over an all-men team, even when they are all young and very handsome. (I sure as heck wouldn’t have a fit over that! 🙂 )

    It was a very, very foggy episode. Thanks for all of the behind the scenes info about how the sets were fogged. Made it very creepy.

    Also, the monsters and how they moved – freaky and, yes, creepy!

    I think this ep was more creepy than Vengeance, which certainly had a high creepiness factor.

    In fact, this episode was so creepy it could’ve been made by Creepy Van Creepenstein, using his Creep-o-matic Movie Maker/Knitting Machine.

    Joe F = very hot. Hair = very rakish. Turtleneck = sexily demure.

    We had no prob with the hand bump. It wasn’t “Hey, we’re pigs and we’re going to demean women.” Instead, I saw it as, “We’re very lucky to be around such beautiful and capable women.” 🙂 🙂 = Shep & Carson

    My hub probably would’ve done the same thing – and he’s very respectful of women. I would’ve done the same thing if I was working with a team made up of Shep, Ronon, Lorne, and Carson. 😀 = Me

    I was very surprised that Vega died. Didn’t see it coming. Glad Teldy survived. Watched the behind-the-scenes shooting with Cox and deBoer. Christina was very efficient and looked experienced with the weapon (P-90?).

    I’ll be watching Whispers again tomorrow.

    Hope your head feels better, Joe!

    eddy

  89. Thanks for the episode breakdown Joe, I love the video clips too! I’m looking forward to “Whispers” airing here in the UK in a few weeks! 😀

  90. In the same vein as Puppets that Kill you could do a new series on Books that Maim.

    Thanks for the Whispers info. Really enjoyed the episode. I loved the all female team, sorry to see Vega die (was it a book that did it, hard to tell in the fog). Nice to see Carson back as I do love him although I kept thinking that if Jennifer was there instead of Carson you’d been swamped with comments on how she did not stay put as told and how she was a wimp. Not so with Carson I guess.

  91. I only can leave a reply if I said the episode is the best? If I don’t like it, there is not reply.

    If you don’t accept critics you never will improve the scripts

    🙁

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