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.
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.