Allow me to start off today’s entry with an official retraction.  In a recent post, I referred to Martin Gero “tapping out” at the conclusion of a dinner at Fuel.  I wrote: “Martin tapped out and skipped dessert.”  However, after reading my blog, Martin was quick to remind me that, on the night in question, he did not tap out and, in fact, enjoyed a piece of the Eleni Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cake with albion strawberries, caramelized cream, and vanilla foam.  The management sincerely regrets the error and any harm it may have caused.  

Well, yesterday was the final day of shooting for many of our regular and recurring actors: Rachel Luttrell, Jewel Staite, Jason Momoa, David Hewlett, Kavan Smith, Sharon Taylor, and Chuck Campbell. Today, marks Bob Picardo last day with us. Joe Flanigan heads to Vegas next week where he will complete filming on Vegas, and the series, alongside guest stars Neil Jackson, Steve Schirripa (The Soprano’s Bobby “Bacala“ Baccalieri), and Frank Vincent (The Soprano’s Frank Leotardo). A bittersweet time for all; me in particular. Bitter in that it’s been a great five years and I will sincerely miss the show and the many wonderful people who made it all happen. Sweet in that I like to sleep in.

To those of you commenting on yesterday’s video and those who skipped the video because they thought it would be depressing – the video was intended to be tongue in cheek. Terry is not really packing up my office (although the part about her wanting to move in is true). While I will be cleaning up, I won’t be moving out. Paul and I have a movie to write. As for our involvement in SGU – still too early to say anything specific regarding our participation in the spin-off, but I’m sure we’ll all be contributing in some capacity.

Speaking of SGU, I notice that much of the reaction to the character breakdowns has been negative. While I respect everyone’s right to express their opinions, I’d suggest holding off on making a final decision on the show until you’ve actually seen it. Last week, Brad pitched us the series and its first five episodes and, I have to say, it’s a far cry from the shallow confection many fans are imagining. In fact, in many ways, it’s a much more cerebral and mature addition to the franchise. While firmly entrenched in pre-established Stargate mythology, Stargate Universe definitely strikes out in an exciting new direction. It’s a series that will delight veteran fans, but also appeal to newcomers who may not necessarily know the difference between an Alteran and an Asuran. In spite of what the indicators may suggest, this will definitely not be a Voyager 90210. The assortment of characters that make up the character breakdown are certainly an atypical collection of heroes, far-removed from the skilled likes of Jack O’Neill, Samantha Carter, John Sheppard, and Rodney McKay – but there’s a damn good reason for that. Can’t say more but suffice it to say I have a feeling this show will pleasantly surprise a lot of people.

Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday gal Susanthetartanturtle.

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maggiemayday
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maggiemayday

If you say SGU is not a shallow confection, I’ll have to trust you. But I’ve always been a skeptic, so I shall see when I see, won’t I? Shallow confection … now I’m hungry.

Interesting that a possibly related link today is Kill Your TV.

anneteldy
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anneteldy

(I am reposting this on today’s blog so I can be sure everyone can see it! wink )

Mr. M,

1. While packing up your office, Terry didn’t happen to come across that special thing you promised to send me after “Whispers” aired, did she? When I sent you the chocolate mixes and the thank you letter I made a request you agreed to in your blog entry. Remember? I also reminded you during the filming of the episode. Any of this sound familiar? I’ve recently re-sent my address to you at moorsyum so you don’t have to go digging for it. Reply if you need more hints. smile

2. [I hope the following is coherent as I’m extra-doped up today due to an ‘incident’. This issue interests me greatly.] I would read a novel by someone from a political party other than the one I back, but only, as you said, if the story didn’t beat me over the head with the author’s politics. I would judged it as I would any book. Same for authors who have different opinions — moral, religious, political or a combination — on issues such as abortion, immigration, etc. As long as their views aren’t gunking up the story, I’d finish the book.

There is, however, a limit to just how different that viewpoint can be for me. I don’t read books or watch movies made by Nazi collaborators or people who espouse such causes as racial inequality, ethnic cleansing, or Man-Boy Love even if those issues/beliefs are never mentioned in the book. Same with books by criminals exploiting their crime for profit.

Do you have a limit? How far out of your comfort zone is too far? My sister and I argue over this quite often.

Is taking your children to the local Catholic church’s Summer Social when you yourself are a nonbeliever — maybe even an atheist — wrong? What about buying a book of photography by a woman known to be a Nazi sympathizer and strongly suspected of being a collaborator?

Where is that line?

Anne Teldy

t'loc
Guest
t'loc

i will try and give sgu a chance, but i will be missing sga.

majorsal
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majorsal

oh, joe….

(((joe))) sad

(((atlantis fans)))

and that includes me.

My Name Is Scott
Guest
My Name Is Scott

Believe it or not, you have successfully alleviated my fears regarding SGU, and I am now excited again…. thanks!!

Thornyrose
Guest
Thornyrose

I gathered from the fact that 0 objects made it out of the “officecleaning” that the video was a bit of a put on. But when the time truly does come, I volunteer to help move that book case. And the books on it of course… my cataloguing of books in my home just broke 1000, and that’s all fiction. I haven’t begun on the non fiction, or on the tubs of books scattered about. Still, it is progress.
I really want to remain loyal to the franchise, and I trust Brad Wright to produce a quality product. I do NOT however trust the network or MGM to not put pressure on him to dumb down the show or otherwise adversely affect the show. And I’m waiting to see what happens you yourself and all the other writers and crew that contributed so much to SG 1 and especially Atlantis. And though I want to enjoy Universe as much as I have its sibling shows, it’s going to be VERY hard to develop an attachement to a show knowing its likely to suffer the fate of Atlantis; a premature cancellation for the sake of the next ‘shiny toy’ to come along.
Very nice pics though, and love that the last ones are of our favorite Scotsman. But poor Jason Mamoa. Someone please take that Pegasus galaxy head parasite and shoot it! It’s a real shame he wasn’t allowed to go sans dreads for the last season. That …thing just did not work. One of the very rare failings of makeup or whoever’s department is responcible for such things.

Linda Gagne
Guest
Linda Gagne

See, I believe the negative comes from two things, in my opinion; one, most everyone knows, even though they will deny it, SGA was canceled because they wanted to do a new show and didn’t want to do two at a time plus it will save TPTB money. Two, Brad himself spun SGU as hitting younger audiences making us 35 plus not comfortable. Besides, when you like characters already and the show is doing well and they still cancel it, then it will happen again I am sure. I feel there is no respect for the fans and they just assume all the SGA fans will do as expected. Perhaps they will, but I tend to stand firm when I feel disrespected.

Doesn’t matter, in the end, I know the show I liked will no longer be on and well, I will choose not to watch a show that is not like the one I fell in love with and quite possibly was canceled for.

I just hope they keep their word when they say movies. I know you said as long as the results are good, but like someone said, airing the movie and then people buying it, the odds are not so great. I am someone who will, but not everyone is like me (TPTB should be happy about that cause if they were SGU wouldn’t make it).

Sorry, I just don’t feel any excitement at all.

On a different note, what were you drinking to write that Martin tapped out when he was there for what seems like most of the dessert? It must of been the excitement of the actual dessert that put you in a fog.

shannon
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shannon

There’s no way SGU could ever be Voyager 90210 – for one thing the writers rock (as much as I enjoyed Voyager, the Star Trek franchise has been a bit of a let down over all for me) wink

Looking forward to more info in the future (although I am sad that I won’t be enjoying Bob Picardo’s skills more often! Yay to movies!)

elf-ears
Guest
elf-ears

Since SFU killed SGA, I’m sorry, but I’m not trilled that it’s being made. I’m actually very upset.

I love my ‘skilled’ characters, the stargate history, and wanted much more from SGA. More team episodes, more friendship, move adventures. I hope during your plotting for the SGA movie – it’s a huge team episode with Sheppard’s Team foremost – maybe some cool gate adventure? Time travel or Au? We’ve seen alternate Rodney’s – how about other Sheppards??

And I don’t want Rodney to get together with Keller. Please don’t force it. I know, you writers all love her, but I would rather have had much more team episodes than the focus that’s been on Keller this season. I don’t dislike her, but why couldn’t we have had a strong John episode rather than more kidnapped Keller?

Mika
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Mika

I’d like to give SGU a chance, but unfortunately, my parents got rid of most of our stations, so only the ones *they* watch are still available on our TV, so no Sci-Fi for me.

crazymom1
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crazymom1

If I was basing my decision on the “character breakdowns,” I wouldn’t be watching SGU. Those promo things are always oversimplified and cheesy. However, knowing who it’s coming from, I’ll definitely give the show a good shot. For years every time I was channel surfing and saw SG-1, I thought, “Oh, that’s that military sci-fi thing with RDA” and promptly changed channels. Not my thing. Then I actually watched an episode or two, and I was totally hooked. I didn’t read any character breakdowns for Atlantis–I just watched it because it was Stargate, and I loved it. You can’t explain a show in a few sentences. You have to watch it.

Patricia Lee
Guest
Patricia Lee

Hello Joe,
I appreciate what you said about giving SGU a chance… and no doubt I will, but it is still sad that SGA is gone from weekly viewing.

Thanks you for the pictures of the cast… they look great but somber!

What happened to the video Q&A with Robert Picardo?

Please keep your office the way it is…we like the super villain motif.

How close is the 3 Millionth hit on your Blog?
Will you be gracing us with a chance to win something for the honor of the 3 millionth post?

Lisa S.
Guest
Lisa S.

Sorry, Joe. I know it’s in your best interest to put a positive spin on SGU but I just can’t get behind it. First of all, I really can’t support anything that’s taking the place of Atlantis. I watch Atlantis because I like *ATLANTIS*; I can count on one hand the number of SG-1 episodes I’ve seen and some of the comments made in the SGU press releases about Atlantis fans flocking to SGU for their Stargate fix was on the insulting side. Not to mention all the emphasis in the press releases about the show being geared towards a younger audience. Now, I’m only 31 and those comments stung. It’s like I’m not wanted because I’m not a 20-something any longer. I still feel that SGU is going to be Gossip Girl in space.

wonderingbrit
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wonderingbrit

So what about you Joe? If you don’t get picked up for SGU, this Atlantis movie could well be your last SciFi production before moving on to greener pastures and this of course would start to erode the SGA dynamic for future movies (if any) after the one you’re writing. Of course it’ll probably turn out to be your best work to date, but even if SGU does prove a success the cast and crew turn over of this franchise must far exceed that of even Trek and will be getting known for such.
So do you have other works in the pipeline? other projects you might like to share with us.

darsynia
Guest
darsynia

I really want to believe you when it comes to the character descriptions, but ‘silver spoon’ and ‘every teenaged girl’s dream’ just doesn’t read as ‘cerebral and mature’ to me. Yes, once the characters are fleshed out (pun intended? only time will tell), we’ll see the differences, as evidenced by the character descriptions of the Atlantis crew and the way our beloved characters turned out.

I just have to say, while I understand the concept behind wanting a younger audience, I disagree with the way its been presented, as it feels, as a 29 year old woman, that I’ve been dumped for an 18 year old boy. I am curious to know if the time slot will change? I sincerely doubt that the targeted demographic that’s been hinted at so often, in conjunction with the phrase ‘young and desperate’ to describe the crew of SGU… will be all gung-ho to be sitting down in front of their television sets at 9 or 10 PM on a Friday to watch a Sci Fi show, instead of out with their friends.

Yeah, I’m more negative than usual, sorry about that. It hurts, losing SGA. I don’t doubt it hurts you, too. I’m glad for your sake that there’s something (the movie! Thanks so much for that, btw) you have to look forward to, that it’s not the complete end, just the crest of a hill.

~Darsy

Ponytail
Guest
Ponytail

This is how I see who is guilty in the cancellation of SGA.
Now correct me if I’m wrong Joe, but I don’t think you can!

MGM = GUILTY
SciFi Channel = GUILTY
Brad Wright = GUILTY
Robert C. Cooper = GUILTY

The Actors got a big kick in the ass with a “don’t let the door hit you on the way out”!

The fans got a “screw you, but we think you’ll get over it”.

Well it’s been a while now and I’m not getting over it. In fact, I’m getting madder and madder and madder!

It also sounds like life will go on for the crew and most of the writers and producers. It will be business as usual, but with a different TV show and movie on the side.

But you don’t seem to realize this “cool” new little show your pitching comes at a very high price – the loss of the fan’s favorite – SGA. How am I suppose to like something that killed the only show I watch on TV? Reading your last paragraph Joe makes me want to puke!

There! I’ve said it, now I’m done! I love all the SGA cast members and I will miss you so very much!! I will be watching for you in future projects and shows. Good luck to you!!

aboleyn24
Guest
aboleyn24

Thanks for the positive spin on SGU. While I am still deeply saddened by the loss of SGA still in its prime, I will attempt to keep an open mind about the new show.

I wish I hadn’t read the cast descriptions, because out of context they really do sound awful. With your assurances otherwise I will try and drum up some excitement for this new adventure.

wolfenm
Guest
wolfenm

That’s actually too bad if SGU will be good — I’ll never find out. :/ Like I said, not interested in having my heart broken again in five years, or supporting Wright anymore. It feels like he’s being too impatient to get going on the next leg of his career, despite it leaving the actors, crew, and fans of SGA all high and dry. I still cannot fathom why he couldn’t have waited one more year — weren’t most of the actors contracted for six? I’m pretty sure Hewlett said he was. I can understand not wanting to work on two shows at the same time, or even MGM not wanting to pay for it, but if you’re not going to be a primary writer on SGU, Joe — and it doesn’t sound like you are — why couldn’t he have just left SGA to you and Paul to run, and washed his hands of it? Why did he have to be like a kid with a ball, saying he didn’t want to play anymore so no one else coukld either? Maybe they couldn’t have shot SGU, maybe MGM still wasn’t willing to pay for it, but couldn’t he have worked on other aspects of SGU? Hell, couldn’t he have strong-armed them, made them put up the bucks to produce both? Would they really have said no to SGU if Brad has said, “You make both or you get neither”? Even if he couldn’t, SGU would still have gotten made if they’d waited a year, wouldn’t it? (Just like the Atlantis movie would have gotten made even if the show went 6 seasons, right?) Then we would have gotten twenty more episodes, the crew would have gotten one more year of job security, and we all would likely have stuck around for the new show. Now, the actors and crew lose out on all that work on a job they loved, we lose out on 18 and a half hours of story, Sci Fi will lose a fair number of viewers who will refuse to watch the station anymore, and whether the new show is good or not, I and many fans can’t see supporting another Wright production. If SGU fails, then nobody wins, whereas if SGA would have continued, everyone would have won — we would have *tried* SGU despite how bad it sounds. Now it doesn’t *matter*. Boycott was the only card we had to play to show our displeasure over the situation. I don’t make empty threats, so I have to stick by my word. I said I would try SGU if SGA got another season, and that I wouldn’t watch SGU if SGA didn’t get one. And I will follow through on that promise. I hope others will too, or viewer opinion really will come to mean nothing. I will still buy the Atlantis movie, to support you and the rest of the crew, though. Anyway … thank you for the pics! And sorry for whinging… Read more »

Lorr54
Guest
Lorr54

Yeah. Right.

Oh, I will give it a hopeful shot, but since I’m definitely not in the highly prized demographic that seems to be the target, I fear this life-long and very ardent fan of science fiction may not be able to relate.

snerk.

Bailey
Guest
Bailey

I am very torn about SGU. I am such a big Atlantis fan that the cancellation in favor of Universe is still an open wound. I feel betrayed by Brad, MGM, whoever else is involved in this.
Every time I feel I am coming to terms with the loss, some news such as the casting call comes along and tears open the wound again.
At this point I am not willing to even give the new series a try, as I am so very pissed.
Perhaps by next year after the anger has dissipated and acceptance has occurred, I will give the new series a chance and watch it. But at this point, I feel like it is a betrayal of Atlantis to say so.
I know, very emotional, but that is honestly how I feel.

Weird Person
Guest
Weird Person

It is so sad that SGA is ending. I woke up this morning crying because of it! And I’m not an emotional type of person. I’m going miss my weekly dose of John, Rodney, Teyla, and Ronon. I am looking forward to Universe, though, and I hope it’s as good as the other two.

Charlie's Angel
Guest
Charlie's Angel

Hi Joe — thanks for sharing the “last days” of SGA. Also thanks for the positive info on SGU — it makes me feel a little bit better, even though I’m not in the target demographic. Alas, no way to backtrack to my twenties, nor would I want to smile

I saw on an earlier blog where you bought Ragamuffin by Tobias Buckell. Have you read it yet? It is the 2nd book in his Xenowealth series. Sly Mongoose, the third, is even better, IMHO.

Arctic Goddess
Guest
Arctic Goddess

Sad to see Atlantis go, even with all the unpredictable changes made in the past two years.

Speaking of changes, for whatever reason they were indeed made, did they achieve the desired results? I don’t think you ever did tell us, did you?

Patricia (AG)

Lt.Col.Errandboy
Guest
Lt.Col.Errandboy

hellooooooo Joe!! I’m back from snowboarding in NZ with a few very nice bruises to show for it, but nothing broken this time!!

I’m still annoyed about Atlantis coming to an end, and unfortunately nothing is amping me into even a lukewarm acceptance of SGU as a replacement. Especially after reading the casting notes for the new characters – it’s enough to gag a maggot.

I seriously think I will just hold out til the SGA movies – plural – come out. All I can say is, I sincerely hope that TPTB were taking the piss when they worked out a cast outline of such incredibly unrealistic proportions. It’s an insult to the intelligence of the Stargate fan base. One forty-something commander with a bunch of just-out-of their-teens crew. Oh puh-leeez…

greg
Guest
greg

Thanks for the SGU comments Joe! The character breakdowns do sound a bit odd, but without faces they don’t really stand for much…

I would love to see Courtenay J. Stevens join the show – his characters in Last Stand and Childhood’s End were fantastic.