Well, aint this a kick in the head. Just got the early numbers for last Friday’s episode, The Lost Tribe. We did a 1.5, our best rating in recent memory. I think that says a lot about the quality of the show as well as its legion of loyal fans. I mean, if you think about it, it’s a pretty incredible achievement. A series typically sheds viewers the longer it stays on the air but here we are, completing work on our fifth (and final) season, and we’re pulling in better numbers than ever. So a big thanks and congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to make this season the most successful season of Stargate: Atlantis in years. May pride and a wonderful sense of accomplishment be the reward you bring with you to your next job.
I’m pleased to report I’m finally making headway on my super, secret project. After an excruciating week and a half of writing, rewriting, and re-rewriting, I completed a first pass of the opening, a whopping two pages! Geez. At this rate, I may just make the June 2009 deadline.
Today, I delivered my big horror movie pitch to the gang at the agency. They seem genuinely enthusiastic about the idea (which is always a good time) and strongly suggested we head down for three days of meetings. We’ll probably make the trip between now and November 10th when we’re scheduled to be back in the office, spinning ideas for SGU’s inaugural season. Brad forwarded me the first six story springboards and I have to say that the show is looking very exciting. It’ll be firmly entrenched in the established Stargate mythology but very unique in its premise and story-telling.
Looks like I’ll be Vegas-bound the weekend of November 15th. I’ll be meeting up with an old friend, my buddy Nige who is always up for a good time. Back when I knew him in Montreal, he’d go to work, have dinner, relax, head out for a night of clubbing, follow up with some early morning after-parties, then repeat the process the next day. I don’t think he’s ever slept in the 10+ years I’ve known him. Supa, as he’s affectionate known by his friends, was a member of The Hong Kong Movie Crew, a group of guys (mostly of Jamaican descent) who’d gather every Wednesday night to watch the likes of Chow Yun Fat, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li punch, kick, and shoot their way out of trouble. Since making the move to Vancouver, I’ve lost touch with Supa, Big Daddy, Flipski, Taj, SushiMan, Champion, and Clive. I look forward to catching up.
Then, of course, at the end of November I’m Tokyo -bound for some much-needed R&R.
Finally, late December, I’ll be celebrating Christmas in Montreal.
And, oh yeah, there’s also that SGA script that needs to be written…
Haina writes: “I look forward to your posts from the Far East. Got a time frame or itinerary in mind yet?”
Answer: I’m planning to head over to Tokyo for 8-10 days at the end of November. I’ll probably stay in Ginza, The Imperial Hotel or The Hotel Seiyo, and pretty much wing it. I’ll sign up for a few tours but mostly head out on my own. There are a number of places I visited on my trip that I definitely want to head back to including: Tsukiji, Tableaux, the Jiyugaoka Sweets Forest, and Odaiba.
Laura writes: “Will this trip see the return of “weird food purchase of the day”?”
Answer: No doubt.
Laura also writes: “All the Keller haters are really starting to get on my nerves (along with the other negavtive people). Why can’t people just enjoy the show?”
Answer: Well, fans are perfectly within their rights to voice their criticisms about the show. Again, I don’t have a problem with negative comments so long as they’re polite.
Tim Gaffney writes: “A great point brought up by Narelle in yesterday’s post…a big deal was made in season 1 that the only way Atlantis could dial Earth was with a certain control crystal. Now that the gate and half the control room has gone boom, did the crystal survive or in the recent years did they find an extra crystal?”
Answer: The crystal certainly survived. It’s certainly sturdier than it looks.
Christin writes: “Speaking of food…what did that stolen chicken taste like?”
Answer: Like the tears of the children who didn’t eat last night because Fondy took their dinner. In other words: delicious!
Arctic Goddess writes: “How many words per minute do you think you type and are you the hunt and peck type or do you actually have a key for each finger?”
Answer: I took a typing course way back in high school and have had occasion to get in plenty of practice since. Last time I checked, I believe I was timing in at approximlatey 65-70 words/minute.
DasNdanger writes: “Ronon seemed to show more maturity and growth in S4, but since Broken Ties, he’s seems to have reverted back into caveman mode. Banging on the control panel in Daedalus Variations, blindly shooting up crystals without consideration to what it might mean for the rest of the crew…”
Answer: In my mind, Ronon has certainly come a long way since coming to Atlantis but he’s still prone to fall back on old ways, especially in the heat of battle. Even though he has grown over the years, he’s not the type to fall into line and maintains a fierce individuality that may cause him to act rashly at times. In the case of his shooting up the crystals in TLT, for instance, he was solving the problem the best way he knew how: quickly and decisively. Yes, he could have taken his time and removed a crystal here or there in the hopes that it would prove as effective, but there would have been no guarantee that this alternate approach would have worked.
Wolfenm writes: “And as far as the Keller screentime goes, the complaint was specifically in regards to her time versus Teyla’s screentime, particlarly *recently*….”
Answer: Well, if you really want to get into an episode breakdown…
Wolfenm writes: “Search and Rescue: despite the ep focus being her disappearance, Teyla had only a little more time than Keller.”
Answer: I’m at a bit of a loss. Some critics (not you) will point to the amount of time the actors appear onscreen while others will say that the amount of time isn’t as important as the importance of the character in that given episode. While you may be inclined to call S&R a draw, I couldn’t disagree more. Keller’s contribution was minimal while Teyla’s scenes were crucial to the episode – from her scenes with Michael and Kanaan, through her reunion with the team, to the delivery of her baby and return to Atlantis.
Wolfenm writes: “The Seed: Keller’s the focal point, Teyla inexplicably disappears completely from the story about fifteen minutes from the end.”
Answer: Keller’s the focal point? Had Teyla been the victim here, fans would have surely complained because she did nothing but lie there through the entire episode. In spite of the fact that she is source point of the contagion, this one had little to do with the Keller character.
Wolfenm writes: Broken Ties: Yes, Teyla had some good participation, even if ot wasn’t her ep — but she wasn’t the focus.”
Wolfenm writes: “Daedalus Variations: This one was good, Teyla-wise, too, but again, not Teyla-centric. (Not saying they all *should* be, just making a point)”
Wolfenm writes: “Ghost in the Machine: just that one scene with Elizabeth, really, otherwise she’s there but not really *doing* much”
Answer: This one I’d consider a team episode in that they are all touched by Elizabeth’s return. In terms of “doing much”, the same argument could apply to the rest of the team as well. It’s the replicators who build themselves their own bodies and are the architects of their own demise.
Wolfenm writes: “Teyla was mostly in the background while Keller had a lot to do. (Understandable, yes — although if it were Carson, would he have been as prominent, I wonder?)”
Answer: Given the medical nature of the episode, it stood to reason that Keller would play an active role in the proceedings.
Wolfenm writes: “Whispers: None of either”
Wolfenm writes: “Queen: Obviously this one was Teyla-centric. but Keller did have multiple scenes in which she *did* stuff, rather than just being around.”
Answer: This one was practically all Teyla. Keller’s contributions were significant in that they set up the scenario (her surgical skills and the fact that she has been working on a means of “curing” the wraith of their need to feed. This was a significant storyline that we wanted to pursue this season and it so happened that the Keller character was in the logical position to contribute to this particular arc.
Wolfenm writes: “Tracker: No Teyla, Keller-*centric*”
Wolfenm writes: “First Contact: Keller has the scene with Ronon, the scene with Todd (well, two, technically), the scene with Woolsey, and another bit with Ronon: Teyla runs around with Sheppard, but doesn’t have a lot to do that isn’t done by others as well, like she’s just a tagalong and it could have been anyone. Lost Tribe: Keller and Ronon have the backup story – she has the scene where she basically instigates Ronon to take another couole of shots in retaliation to her comments (if Ronon’s going to do something that proves detrimental, I’d have rather it had been without an outside influence) and confronts Todd, then confronts Ronon later. Teyla, after helping to find Sheppard, had to stay behind while Sheppard got to go on the mission. (Granted, I understand why she had to, it’s just unfortunate that she got left behind again).”
Answer: Some episodes service the characters (Broken Ties, The Shrine, Brain Storm) while others service the story (Whispers, First Contact, The Lost Tribe). Last year, Teyla was front and center in the bigger arc that concluded the season. This year, the focus of the mid-season two-parter is on arc elements (the wraith treatment, the attero device, the love triangle) in which she plays a lesser role. Next week’s episode sees a return to a more team-centered storyline and then, two episode’s later, Teyla gets to step up.
Kfsone writes: “I noticed “Inversions” on your reading list; is this your first Banks’ book?”
Answer: Nope. Do a search for “Iain M. Banks” on this blog and you’ll find my thoughts on some of his other works.
Jessica writes: “On a different topic, will there be more bloopers as part of the season five boxset?”
Answer: Deleted scenes, yes. Bloopers, no.
KayD writes: “Come on Joe, you just acknowledged that you felt it was perfectly appropriate to integrate SG-1 elements into SGA, and then you turn around and mock my comments by suggesting the only similarities are spaceships and stargates?”
Answer: My point is the shows share a common backstory, mythology, and world (in the figurative sense).
Joesmom writes: “Its no wonder ratings are down!”
Answer: Actually, quite the opposite.
Dignan50yp writes: “I know Keller isn’t in every scene Joe but darn it, that’s the way it appears lately.”
Answer: Well, of course. That’s because she happened to play a significant role in the past three episodes (Tracker, First Contact, and The Lost Tribe).
Shawna writes: “I don’t remember if you’ve already mentioned it, but could you tell me if we’ll get any more Michael? I’m just curious if I can look forward to seeing him at all, now that it’s canceled.”
Answer: Oh, chances are he’ll turn up sometime between now and the end of the season.
Camy writes: “I understand that Keller had to let him down. I get that. But why must it have been so cold and ruthless.”
Anwer: If you had been in Keller’s position, how would you have approached him?