If there are two things Martin Gero loves, it’s show tunes and heist movies. So, very early on in his Stargate career, he was presented with an irresistible challenge: How to combine these two greatest passions into one hugely awesome episode of Atlantis? “Impossible!”you say? Well then, I would have to agree with you. But how about going with one or the other? Say an episode in which the team travels to a planet with a civilization built upon the worship of Broadway musicals? Or an episode in which the city of Atlantis is the target of an SF-style heist? Okay, let’s go with the latter.

Martin had wanted to do this story for a while. As far back as season 2, I remember him pitching it out only, in the original version, Atlantis was compromised by a crazed Aiden Ford (and equally crazed cohorts) who had taken the city in order to get their hands on something special. Something very special. Something so special that, at the time, none of us could think of what it could be. So the story was tabled.

Flashforward to earlier this season. Martin is still spinning this heist story, but this time as the possible mid-season two-parter. I had pitched out the idea that given the wraith’s weakened position in the Pegasus Galaxy as a result of the heavy losses they had suffered over the past year, it would make sense for advanced civilizations that had been in hiding for hundreds of years might seize the opportunity presented by the shift in the galactic status quo to make themselves known. We went back and forth on who these aliens might be until Rob came up with a clever spin on a familiar notion. So we had our villains and we had their backstory. All we needed now was a motive. And it came compliments of Alan McCullough who pitched out an idea about the team discovering a secret lab on Atlantis that was once the workplace of the enigmatic Ancient Janus.

With all of the major pieces in place, Marty G. took the week to spin it in his head, we all gathered and broke the two parter, then he wrote the script. That was easy part. Then, it came time to design the look of these new interstellar baddies. Well, we knew what we wanted. Something cool-looking. And we knew what we didn’t want: lycra, shiny plastic bits, and enormous cod-pieces (q.v. SG-1 super soldier). After much discussion between Mary G. and Production Designer James Robbins, the villains were given their look: sleek, nefarious, body armor chic. Check ‘em out in the posted pics. And in tomorrow night’s episode, First Contact, the first part of our spectacular mid-season two-parter.

Hey, you may have noticed I host a little book of the month club here on this blog, the purpose of which is to introduce readers to new authors and offer a forum for discussion on literary works in the fields of SF, fantasy, and horror. With our October/November selections set, I was looking ahead to January 2009 and started thinking it might be nice to consider some underrated or underappreciated authors, authors who, for whatever reason, aren’t getting the recognition they deserve. So who, in your opinion, should we be considering? Pitch me your Top 5 Underrated Authors.

Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday gals Narelle from Aus and Rachel. And an extra special dedication to regular Becky L. who is undoubtedly going through a very tough time right now.

Today’s video: Bam Bam shows off the suit.

Today’s mailbag:

Missy writes: “Has there ever been a story idea that you really wanted to write for Stargate Atlantis but never got the chance??”

Answer: In the coming days, I’ll post a rundown of certain episodes that did not make the cut (a.k.a. story ideas that got shelved that we would have inevitably reconsidered had we done another season).

Sector24 writes: “So when the network decided to end the series and make a movie, did they tell you “hey guys, give us ideas about a SGA movie”, or they have a starting point and it’s like “hey guys, we have an idea about SGA movie about…” and you go from there?”

Answer: We’ve only discussed the story for the SGA movie internally.

Cat1 writes: “I enjoyed the vid very much – it’s fun watching everyone having a good time at work!
But – and it’s a very small but – didn’t Marty G go (not quoting accurately here): there are two cups of tap water (pointing to two of them) and two cups of bottled water (pointing to the other two. With the camera, that is. Pointing. Subtly. Argh. You know what I mean!)”

Answer: Marty G. was just doing some general pointing. No one in the room knew which cups contained what with the exception of Paul who set up the taste test.

AnneTeldy writes: “Mr. M wrote: Carl got to work on his beat sheetBeat sheet for what? A Universe episode? An SG-1 movie? A second Atlantis movie?”

Answer: I was wondering whether anyone would notice that. No, Carl is presently working on neither a beat sheet for an episode of Stargate Universe nor a beat sheet for the second Atlantis movie.

Terry writes: “On another note, does Paul always seem that grumpy?”

Answer: Oh, yeah. It’s one of his most endearing qualities.

64 thoughts on “September 25, 2008: A First Contact Sneak Peek, Underrated Authors, and the Mailbag

  1. Will the Wraith storyline end at the first Atlantis movie?Realisticly, how many more Atlantis movies do you think we will see? Is it likely that we will ever see Aiden Ford in any of the Atlantis movies? Do you know if any of the main cast members of the show have already obtained new positions?

    Thanks for taking the time to read through my questions.

  2. AnneTeldy writes: “Mr. M wrote: Carl got to work on his beat sheetBeat sheet for what? A Universe episode? An SG-1 movie? A second Atlantis movie?”

    Answer: I was wondering whether anyone would notice that. No, Carl is presently working on neither a beat sheet for an episode of Stargate Universe nor a beat sheet for the second Atlantis movie.

    Hi Joe…

    By process of elimination, thn…does this mean Mr. Binder is working on the SG1 movie? And if so…does that mean Mr. Wright has turned that project over to him as he works on SGU?

    And do you know…is there any kind of timetable for both the SG-1 and the SGA movies?


  3. That’s a pretty awesome outfit! I have to admit, I’m really excited about this week’s episode. I’ve been hoping that Daniel Jackson would make a trip to Atlantis some time!

    Hmm, so if it’s not a beat sheet for a second Atlantis movie or a Universe episode, then is it for an SG1 movie? First Atlantis movie? Or *thinks optimistically* for an episode of season 6 of SGA? I keep hoping that sometime you’re going to say that TPTB have changed their minds and that there will be a season 6 after all. It does not hurt to dream.

    Anyway, thanks for always bringing us some nice treats on your blog with all the behind the scenes videos. 🙂

  4. I can’t believe it’s half way through the season already! I am still getting used to the idea that everyone won’t be back again.

    I am super excited for tomorrow’s episode. It’s about time that we got some new civilizations. The pictures you posted look amazing. It makes the whole cancellation thing more regrettable.

  5. Ok, you’ve managed to get me excited about the upcoming two parter. I’m actually dreading the episodes for a reason I’ll post if and when a certain event happens in them. And the new villians look intruiging. Five underrated authors? Gack. That will take some pondering on..thanks for the teasers and video, and hope your weekend shapes up well.

  6. Thanks for the well wishes Joe. Much appreciated.

    Wish I could help you with underappreciated/underrated authors but I rely on the recommendations here to find good books.

    Joe said:

    lycra, shiny plastic bits, and enormous cod-pieces

    Sounds like Blackadder to me…

  7. AnneTeldy writes: “Mr. M wrote: Carl got to work on his beat sheetBeat sheet for what? A Universe episode? An SG-1 movie? A second Atlantis movie?”

    Answer: I was wondering whether anyone would notice that. No, Carl is presently working on neither a beat sheet for an episode of Stargate Universe nor a beat sheet for the second Atlantis movie.

    joe, you’re sly! 😛

    but i had to look up what a beat sheet was – a “beat sheet” is used in script writing to break down what is happening in the play and/or movie.

    as usual, joe, *thank you*!

    sally 😀

  8. Joe,

    I’m looking forward to First Contact. I was just saying the other day, “There should be more codpieces on Atlantis.”

    See, if there were a promise of codpieces on SGU, more oldsters like me might happily tune in. Just sayin’.



  9. Oh, for crying out loud. You guys are really creeping me out, you know. Here is yet another (five, by my count) element from my years-old spec script, showing up in a real live episode. Okay, granted, it’s not that big of a stretch to imagine Janus had a secret lab, which the team discovers, but still. *sigh* Well, now I’m looking forward to seeing how close I was to guessing what said lab might have looked like. Mine was hidden behind a fake wall and filled with strange relics from different cultures and civilizations that he’d picked up while experimenting with his timeship (including–don’t laugh–a goa’uld sarcophagus and a copy of “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court).

  10. For an underrated author, I’d go with Karen Joy Fowler. She’s known quite well for “The Jane Austen Book Club”, but she’s also a gifted sci-fi writer. You mentioned once that you’d recently purchased one of her books, did you read it? What did you think?

  11. My top five authors, four of which will likely go unread by you, as their books are mostly…if not completely…written for females of the younger adult ages, so I understand:

    Libba Bray
    Cecily von Ziegesar
    Stephanie Meyer
    Tamora Pierce
    John Marsden

  12. Wow, I really like the new villains’ look. They are a bit intimidating. I am excited for tomorrow’s episode too, not cause of Daniel either it’s cause I am having shep withdrawals (lol).

    Alexandria, I am with you on your thought process, I have had the same and am also with you on the dream.

    Thornyrose, what the heck, you know how to scare someone. What could you be thinking and now oddly enough you have me thinking some pretty wierd scenarios. Way to play with my mind.

  13. Awesome outfit. I’m really looking forward to the next episode, but it’s going to be so sad.

    Do you have any idea what the cast and crew members are going to work on? Are they looking for new jobs?

  14. Becky L. wrote:

    My thanks to you and all the guys for the video Joe. My husband lost his battle with a failing liver last night, so it was nice to smile while watching the testing. It was very much needed.

    I am so sorry for your loss. Be sure to take care of yourself.

    All my best,

    Anne Teldy

  15. Mr. M wrote:

    AnneTeldy writes: “Mr. M wrote: Carl got to work on his beat sheet Beat sheet for what? A Universe episode? An SG-1 movie? A second Atlantis movie?”

    Answer: I was wondering whether anyone would notice that. No, Carl is presently working on neither a beat sheet for an episode of Stargate Universe nor a beat sheet for the second Atlantis movie.

    You didn’t rule out the SG-1 movie choice!

    sorrykb wrote:

    But maybe that’s because I always stay at UBC — I think they’re doing something strange to the water there…

    Maybe this is why?

    A sign in a university men’s room read:

    “Please do not throw cigarette butts in the urinals. They clog up the coffee maker in the cafeteria downstairs.”

    Anne Teldy

  16. I’m so sorry to hear about your sad news, Becky; I hope your holding up alright. My deepest sympathies for your loss.

    Looks like I roused the ire of a few Mac users. Doesn’t that say something in and of itself? 😉

    Yes, it was all in jest, and the overreaction was part of it (I mean, I’m not REALLY going to punch a MacAir in the face) Sorry if it offended, but as a fundamentalist PC user until the day I die from a stress-related heart attack due to my 47th crash of the month, it’s kind of my thing to go off on rants about Macs. I supposed that was the first time for the Internet though; all my real life buddies know how I am about Macs. Haha.

    It’s all good. I’ve got nothing against Mac users, but it’s the principle of the thing, you know? 😀

    Happy Birthday Narelle and Rachel!! Hope you gals have good ones!

  17. If there are two things Martin Gero loves, it’s show tunes and heist movies.

    Stargate Atlantis: The Musical
    I can see it now…

    ala Bye Bye Birdie.

    We love you Sheppard,
    Oh yes we dooooo.
    We love you Sheppard,
    And we’ll be truuuuue.
    When you’re not near us,
    We’re blue!
    Oh Sheppard, we love you!

  18. First off, to Becky L, you have my sincere condolences. I’m sending virtual hugs and supportive vibes to you and I will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

    Cool costume, Joe, it looks somewhat similar to one I saw at ComicCon this July (sci-fi/fantasy fans are quite the creative bunch). I’m really looking forward to First Contact tomorrow and I’m curious to find out exactly what this new advanced civilization is going to be like. Mention of Janus really made my ears perk and my mind is going in a dozen directions wondering what they found in his labs. O_O I’m certain there’s all kinds of mischief that can be gotten into and caused there.

    As for under appreciated and/or unknown authors, I would very highly recommend Susan Petrey and her book “Gifts of Blood”, which can be found online at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Powell’s Books. Unfortunately, the book seems to be out of print, so I don’t know if enough copies will be available. Even if you don’t select the book as one of the Book of the Month choices, it is well worth checking out and the Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship Fund is definitely worth supporting to those of us who love sci-fi and fantasy. Susan Petrey’s untimely death was a great loss to the fantasy genre and it would be great if you could help nudge some folks toward her works and the scholarship fund set up in her memory.

    Hopefully, all of the coding here will post correctly. Drat WordPress and their lack of a preview or edit function. *sigh*

  19. @pg15 – I used to agree with you. I studied video production in college, and I used to joke that I could freeze up the editing PC’s in 0.5 seconds.

    However – I now own a PC laptop with Windows Vista Ultimate, and I have got to say, it hardly EVER freezes. Programs freeze on occasion, but 8 times out of 10, if I wait a few mins, the program will fix itself without closing. I never need to do a hard reboot anymore as it never totally freezes up. It’s an acer travelmate 5720G and it’s great! My fiance works in IT and found this laptop to be the best where he works.

    Now when Windows ME existed, I did swear that I’d never touch another PC again with ME. ME royally sucked.

    I will say though that MAC’s have just as much of a chance to freeze up as PC’s. I’d use the MAC computers at the computer lab because the PC’s always had a waiting list. The MAC froze up while I was trying to print my history paper. Unfortunately, my last save was 5 pages ago. I had 20 mins to retype half of the paper. Thank god I had it mostly written on notecards!

    Sorry to say, but no computer is safe from freezing. I know from experience. One should never get too comfortable with a computer they think doesn’t freeze, as it will happen at the most inopportune time. 🙂

    So, in the end, I use a PC as it has less compatibility issues with programs. My fiance prefers linux, but it has practically zero compatibility with other programs.

  20. Oops! I forgot to mention to you that National Geographic’s Naked Science is airing an episode titled “The Big Bang” that covers that subject and how it relates to the LHC and the experiments going on there. I don’t know if you’d be interested or not, but they’re showing it several times this week. It’s pretty interesting stuff.

  21. I received my 2009 SG-1 Calendar today. There are some really nice pics from Ark of Truth and Continuum. Hopefully I’ll get my Atlantis Calendar tomorrow since they shipped the same day.

  22. Hey, Mr M

    Your blog is now #11 out of all the Internet sites rated on Hey!Nielsen (rankings here). Just below Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog and just above Netflix.

    Overall, you’re #143 out of 12,917 rated people/shows/videogames/etc.

    Not bad for just a few days of opinions.

    Your site is here.

    Anne Teldy

  23. Thanks PG15. Although I’m one of the oldies so I may just have to go off and complain about it 🙂

    And Then There’s Cake – That is going to be stuck in my head for a very. long. time.

    For four months on end I had to listen to that song while playing the very prestigious role of Reporter Number 2 and Frustrated Adult in the local production of Bye Bye Birdie. I really am one lousy actor, but I thought it might be fun to do something different.

    I didn’t realise that one musical could have so many annoying songs.

    Looking forward to hearing about the scripts that didn’t make the cut Joe. It will be fun to imagine how they could have come together.

  24. Woohoo Daniel returns tomorrow night!!!!
    I’m having a really tough time containing my excitement!!!!

    As for some not-quite-household-name sci-fi authors:
    *Elizabeth Bear
    *Mary Robinette Kowal (who is also a puppeteer)
    *Cherie Priest
    *Tobias S. Buckell (haven’t actually read anything of his, but he’s been highly recommended to me by others…)

  25. *waves* Hi Joe, how are you?! Um, just wanted to drop by and let you know I am still alive.

    I’ve apparently been invaded by some insane body snatching alien who looks and acts like me but does stupid things. Like taking a full time course load in college while at the same time volunteering on not one but two different planning committees for my livestock course, and reading “War and Peace” for fun.

    Well have to run and do my math homework, my psychology stuff and various other sundry duties that I must accomplish. I’ll try and stop by later and visit again!

  26. Hi Joe.
    Looks like we’re all deducing that Carl is maybe, perhaps working on a new SG1 movie. I can only hope…along with many many more!! 🙂

  27. Mornin’, Joe

    Well, if that was a grumpy Paul, then i’m mildly intrigued to see the man in a pleasant frame of mind. ‘Grumpy’ reminds me of a bad-tempered Dwarf.. and not of the Disney type either. More your battleaxe-wielding, furry-faced, Middle Earth variety.. Ready to put a rather nasty gash through the back of your head and then go on for an evening’s song and drink at the local Tavern.

    Paul.. doesn’t quite match up to that. Then again, I don’t spend from dawn to dusk with the guy, so I might be quite mistaken.

    Soo.. Last night I watched ‘Duet’. Not my favourite episode, but fun for those quirky moments that remind me why Mckay is such a hoot. Anyhow, I noticed something i’ve never really paid much mind to before.. In fact, if I had, then i’m pretty damned sure i’d have mentioned it somewhere along the way. And if this question has been asked or remarked on a thousand times before, I apologise.. I guess I missed that train.

    When Elizabeth heads down to the Gym with the intention of speaking to Ronon, she states in opening, ‘I understand Major Sheppard extended you an invitation to join his Team?’

    Was that a script error, or slip of the tongue on Torri’s part? And howcome it was left in the final, editted version? Like I said, you’ve probably addressed this countless times in the past and you have my permission to cuff me around the back of the head for being so blatantly late in asking.. But i’m just curious. Nosy. And used to having a Gibbs-style smarting around the ears.

  28. Oy… can you make a dedication? It’s mah birthday ..well it was yesterday (but it’s today for you really)

    Nice attempt at the water!

  29. Carl is grumpy? I don’t get Carl as grumpy. (Wait. Does this mean that I’m grumpy and, thus, don’t recognize it?!)

    Very cool outfit. I’m looking forward to the “Battle of the Babblers.” (Aka, Daniel vs Rodney in the Fast-Talking Duel of the Stargates)

  30. Hi Joe,

    Finally got some time to myself to check out your blog again!
    Cool looking suit Bam Bam is wearing! It kinda reminds me of Halo/robo cop style type of thing! That said its way cooler!
    So are you going to work on the Stargate movie/movies?
    What are you going to do now that SGA has finished?
    Still really sad about that decision!

    I want to wish you & all the crew/cast all the best for giving us “the fans” such a wonderful sci fi show being stargate atlantis! For the past 5 years it has been one of the best sci fi shows with brilliant stories & great characters!

    My mum’s dog Bess has cancer & she is only 6 years old! She cant afford to give her an operation its to advanced apparantly & she would die! Bess is still running around with boundless energy! You wouldn’t even know she was sick! She is a shi tzu/maltese terrier! I’ll try & find a pic to show you what she looks like! Trouble is I dont know how to post it here! Any ideas! Not that computer savvy!

    I look forward to seeing what you are gonna work on next!

    Take care & happiness always!

  31. @ Narelle from Aus

    I had a similar experience with muscial earworms when my sister was in our high school production of “Guys and Dolls.” She was very diligent in her practice. o.O To this day is someone mentions a bushel of apples I flashback to…

    A bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck
    A bushel and a peck, and a hug around the neck…

  32. Prayers & sympathy for those posting here going through a tough time medically, personally and with family members; I do see your posts and think about you.
    I appreciate the same, this week my mom was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer so now it’s just a matter of time since she’s too weak & infirm to treat it. Thank god for hospice care.
    So… one of my few bright spots continues to be SGA, and this two-parter is one of my MOST ANTICIPATED! with all my top favorite Stargate characters in it. I’m glad I won’t have to wait 3 months to see the 2nd part.
    But I’m very sad that s5 is now half over.

    I’ll have to think about underrated authors.

  33. Hi Joe,

    I wanted to let you and everyone here know that I’ve written a novelette and am distributing it via my blog as an eBook. It’s freely available as is the software to read it on any device you could want to.

    I’m really looking for feedback on it as it’s as much a part of a larger whole as it is a self contained story. Anyone who’d like to comment on it here or on my blog is welcome to. I especially invite criticism!

    Here’s the link to it:


    Let me know what you all think if you’re interested in reading it at all, there’s a lot of really great opinions here.


  34. Hi again Mr M

    Firstly, to Beck L., my sincere sympathies to you at what must be a very difficult time. You and your family are in our thoughts here in Ireland.

    Mr M: OK, I’ll bite too…. I notice you say “…SECOND Atlantis movie”…mmmm…Did I miss a press release about this?? And please do NOT tell me Carl is working on Pochahontas II…please for the love of God….

    Bam Bam looks cool in the Baddie Outfit…. James Robbins is pure genius…I love the Master Chief-esque quality to this look…very cool!

    If you are giving out “stuff” for the BOTM reviews, could you perhaps grab that really cool drawing / spec for the outfit as a prize? I’m sure all here would love it!

    Best to all


  35. Hi Joe!

    I heartily agree with you on bottled water tasting nicer than tap water. I noticed the taste in Vancouver (very chlorine-y UGH!) and insisted on buying lots of bottles… I have to say though, my fridge has one of those filters fitted so you can get water from a dispenser at the front (I think I spotted one in your kitchen in one of your vids), and I think the tap water then tastes just as good as bottled water.

    I saw ‘The Shrine’ here this week, and it was fabulous! My favourite episode of Season 5 so far, very well acted by Mr Hewlett. It looks like I have some aliens to look forward to soon…

    Anyway, bye for now!

  36. @BeckyL ~ I know I said this in an email already, but you can never have too many, so


    @ JoeM ~ Yikes! I couldn’t wear an outfit like that without getting extremely claustrophobic. I hear Anthony Daniels had a fan in his mask when he played Threepio — do those helmets have fans?

  37. I am looking forward to seeing tonight’s episode

    underrated writers? What constitutes underrated? Underrated by critics or underrated because they don’t sell as well as you’d hope? Hmmm. I cheated and gave six.

    Karin Lowachee: (Particularly her debut novel, Warchild)

    Sandra McDonald: A good short story writer (but not collected.) Instead, go to her SF novels. Her third is due out in Spring 2009. She goes at the space opera from a less traditional path.

    Megan Whalen Turner: YA writer. Her first book, “The Thief” was a Newberry Medal winner (and still I think she’s underappreciated). When I read them, I couldn’t figure out why they were classified as YA as they seemed aimed at adults more. Wonderful characters. Deft writing

    James Patrick Kelly: Good short story writer with a few collections out. I find his novel writing a bit sterile, but the short story form better suits his love of cool ideas.

    Ted Chaing: Well respected in small circles. I think you may already have read him?

    Paolo Bacigalupi: Short story writer who definitely has a social awareness that drives his stories.

    These are off the top of my head. I feel a need to sift through my books to find some others.

  38. Stargate the Musical… the visual on that is, really, odd. All I can see is the Wraith number aboard a hive ship: Todd has a solo and all his crew are doing a choreographed dance behind him.

  39. “We went back and forth on who these aliens might be until Rob came up with a clever spin on a familiar notion.”

    I can’t wait to see who they are!!!

    In the video that suit looks like rubber, is it?? If so the costume/art dept. did a great job distressing it and giving it an aged metal look. i bet it looks even better on screen

  40. Hi again Mr M

    Meant to say…Caught The Shrine during the week.. What a great ep!! Loved all the cast in it. Though it was Rodney-centric, it was the reaction of the cast which underlined his illness…Beautifully played.

    Hats off to Mr Hewlitt..particularly liked the child-like “Ronon Dex” line he said in such a child like way… What’s spooky about that is my 3 year old says it the same way!

    Also, as I knew would happen…Scrap my favourite Ronon line from “that never gets old” to
    “She said shoot it!”


  41. Coucou Joseph!!!
    Sa va??
    Moi oui, trés bien!! c’est enfin le week end!!!
    Merci pour ces photo et cette video, ce robot me fait penser à un Daft Punk lol^^!!!!

    Je doit y aller, bisou bisou. Promis demain mon commentaire sera plus lomg^^!!!

    Bisou!! A demain!!

  42. Tonight’s the night, Joe. I am soooo looking forward to this episode. To be honest, while the new aliens look great, as far as I’m concerned they could all look like Tinkerbelle and I wouldn’t care. I’m just really looking forward to finally seeing Daniel Jackson in an “Atlantis” episode, and the fact that he will be interacting with my favorite “Atlantis” character, McKay, is icing on the cake for me. *squee*

    Oh, and Joe, just a FYI….the Presidential debate is back on tonight. Even though it starts at 9, there is a lot of ‘he said’ dissecting commentary that goes on and on and on…..Anyway, the ratings could take a huge hit – hope I’m wrong.


  43. Can’t wait for tonight’s episode!!!!

    Random question of the day for you, Joe:
    When do you think casting will be done for Stargate: Universe???
    I can’t wait to see who the “front runner” is gonna be =)

  44. Hey Joe!

    That suit looks quite flexible, though does it have a fan in it or something? Looks like it could be something that would get very hot inside after some time.

    Thanks for the First Contact sneak peak! I am so looking forward to it, the episode sounds amazing, and it’s great to see Michael Shanks in Atlantis again. 🙂

    As always,

    – Enzo Aquarius

  45. I like the look of the new baddies! Let’s hope they’re as cool as they look. 🙂

  46. Joe! *squishy hug*

    Um, love the suit except for ONE thing. Ok, you guys didn’t want the giant cod piece, a la SG-1 Super Soldier.

    But come on, give a sista some love: no junk in the trunk?!

    How do you expect me to have weird dreams about being captured on an alien planet if the aliens aren’t “pinchable”?


    Oh, great idea about the under appreciated authors. I will check my library at home for some names.

    LIST (WIP):

    1. Elizabeth Haydon – Symphony of the Ages series

  47. I would like to nominate Tad Williams for your underrated authors. Your readers might enjoy: Tailchasers Song,
    The Dragonbone Chair or Otherland. These books and their sequels are all a part of my permanent library and I have enjoyed them several times.

  48. That suit looks amazing, send huge grats to the team working on it.

    Whomever that is (race) look very technologically advanced,
    I can only assume they where few in numbers due to being in hiding from the massively numbering Wraiths.

    That’s a combat suit, I assume they only appear in small teams rather than armies.

    Very high tech suit, high frontal protection to aid during frontal assault. But flexible enough (back of legs, etc) to allow high movement stealth.

    I think I see heat vents on the back and glimpses of a thermal undersuit as well.

    It also looks like they have a fully closed repiratory system, meaning breathing under water is no issue. And by the looks of the suit it might double as a short term space suit as well during emergencies.

    Although it’s hard to tell from the images, I would not be surprised if the suit has bio-mechanical enhancements for speed and strength as well.

    The helmet seems well suited for auditory, visual and temperature/heat signature scans and more, including the obvious encrypted communication devices.

    And close combat with these guys would hurt, I doubt this guy would have any issues taking down a Wraith in hand to hand, no contest there.

    So as I said earlier, the Wraith only have the upper hand in numbers vs these guys. And the reason we have not heard of these/seen these before is due to stealth, and no Wraith surviving to tell the tale.

    It’s hard to tell but I suspect there may be a few short range/close range/contact weapons hidden in the suit.
    The three “studs” on the left/right sides of the helmet looks “interesting” to say the least.

    The suit may possible have defensive weapons like a personal shield generator and more.
    And the suit certainly looks big enough to contain a shield and stealth generator. Hmm, I wonder where that stealth wrist device in the previous episode came from originally?

    There is something about the gauntlets on the suit too, those two larger openings on them. Energy blasters embed in the gauntlets?

    The visor look like it could have a integrated tactical HUD as well.

    The suit looks like it’s quite a few years old, seen a lot of combat. (is that a projectile weapon dent on the chest plate?) But it also looks like it is very durable and low maintenance.

    Man, I really hope my guesses are correct. If so.. things should get exciting not just for Atlantis but for the Wraith.
    If only half my assumptions are correct, just one of these guys could be a considerable threat if you ended up on the wrong side of them.

    Very nice work, very nice. I dare say that’s one of the best Sci-Fi suits I’ve seen in ages, the only suit that looks more iconic is Darth Vader’s, but that one is not truly a combat suit.

    This suit is by all means a combat, infiltration, recon, stealth, special-ops suit. It looks deadly, like it packs a punch, seemingly fast but heavy (powered armor), and like it could survive in cold space.

    Damn, I want that suit. *laughs*

    Great work again guys, can’t wait to see it on the screen with proper lighting, considering how awesome it looks outside during normal daylight, I can only imagine how cool it’ll look with pro lighting and cameras.

  49. Friday morning’s Hey!Nielsen numbers for your blog:

    In Internet ratings, your blog is #8 (between Google and MySpace).

    In Overall ratings, your blog is #116 out of 12948.

    To read the opinions and/or rate Joseph Mallozzi’s blog, just go here.

    Anne Teldy

  50. Hey Joe,

    How about dropping a line as to what’s going on with the SG-1 movie?? I’m on pins and needles here!!

  51. Wow, I have not commented in a long time…sorry. I do read this everyday though…

    Just wanted to say that I think Karen Miller is an underrated author and I have to say that Brent Weeks–whose first novel The Way of the Shadows-just came out is awesome…I can’t put this one down…had me so engrossed that I am jumping at the smallest things…

  52. I am curious about the production process with the Ancient body armor suit. Is this something that the Production Designer, James Robbins exclusively designs or is their a concept art team that shares in the concept art assignments? How many people work on the design process after they have sat down with Marty and get a description of what he is looking for?

    Also, do any of the design department take part in the fabrication/sculpting of the suit or is that all done by another team? Looking forward to tonight’s episode with Daniel Jackson. Thanks for your time!

  53. I know so far that you are not involve with SGU but do you think that the production of the show will be using CGI sets like they are doing in Sanctuary, to keep the production costs down. Also to provide a wider range of planet enviroments, Vancouver forests are just getting a tiny bit familiar now.

    If you are not invited to join the SGU writing staff, have you got any other projects lined up.

  54. When it comes to under-appreciated Sci-Fi, I think you have to give credit to ‘Bloodtide’ by Melvin Burgess. Although often listed under teen fiction, it’s an incredibly sophisticated novel with extremely dark themes and a wildly imaginative futuristic take on an old Icelandic saga. Burgess writes both real world and science fiction, and the only decider seems to be which one best enables him to inspire his readers with complex ideas and believable characters. He caused a massive stir in the UK with his novel ‘Junk’ (called ‘Smack’ in the US), an unpatronising and realistic take on teenage drug addiction. While it was condemned for many for glamourising heroin addiction, it in fact revealed subtly and carefully the distorted mirror through which the teen drug addicts viewed the world. We only realised just how wrong their lives had gone when they did – often once it was too late.

    While attacked for his graphic descriptions of sex and violence, it is the intelligence and sensitivity with which he writes that keeps readers coming back again and again to his work. In other novels he explores ideas around plastic surgery (Sarah’s Face), manages a hugely moving celebration of non-conformity set at the time of the witch-burnings in the 16th century (Burning Issy) and explores ideas about responsibility, sexual experience and growing up, all from the point of view of a girl turned into a dog (Lady, My Life as a Bitch) – which would also be great as an underrated sci-fi classic.

    Nevertheless, I think ‘Bloodtide’, and to a lesser extent its sequel, ‘Bloodsong’, are his most ambitious and impressive works to date, thanks to their conjuring up of a dystopian London that easily rivals ‘Children of Men’ in its bleakness, but also its crude beauty, and its recognisable young characters, that make us able to follow them throughout the novel, even while they are pitched into the most unimaginable situations.

    You may have figured out, I’m a massive fan of Burgess. He’s one of the most thrilling teen fiction writers around. I started reading his books when I was 11 and now, at 21, I still find I can’t put them down. I recommend them at every opportunity I get, and I really hope Bloodtide is in print in Canada!

  55. Oh, also, (apologies for double post), Eva by Peter Dickinson. Absolutely devastating.

  56. for the musical: a take on West side Story

    When you’re a Wraith
    You’re a Wraith the all the way
    From your first human feeding
    To your last dying day

    When you’re a Wraith
    If Sheppard hits your hive
    You got brothers around
    You are a Wraith family man

    You’re never alone
    You’re never disconnected
    Your hive is your own
    When Ronon is expected
    You better be well protected

    Then you are set
    With a capital W
    Which you’ll never forget
    Till they cart you away
    When you’re a Wraith
    You stay a Wraith

    (unless you run into Michael)

  57. Many years ago I bought two remaindered books by an author I had never heard of called M A Foster. They were about a “new human” breed called the Ler, who had quite different social and sexual mores from normal homo sapiens and had been segregated in reservations. I found them fascinating, but at the time could not discover anything more about this author or his books.
    Foster now has a Wikipedia article devoted to him, and the books have recently been reprinted in an omnibus edition as “Book of the Ler”. I recommend it.

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