Martin pigs out
Martin pigs out
Andrew rocks out
Andrew rocks out
Slicing the lardo
Slicing the lardo
Tasty sauteed lardo
Tasty sauteed lardo
Cauliflower soup
Cauliflower soup
Marrow meatballs in brodo
Marrow meatballs in brodo
Foie gras terrine
Foie gras terrine
Seared scallop and corned beef tongue
Seared scallop and corned beef tongue
The stuffed trotter
The stuffed trotter
Ling cod
Ling cod
The beef cap
The beef cap
Rob puts the finishing touches on plating
Rob puts the finishing touches on plating
Et voila!
Et voila!
Chef Rob sporting a new do
Chef Rob sporting a new do
Cheesecake with Corinthian grape sorbet
Cheesecake with Corinthian grape sorbet

Dark chocolate truffle, banana-caramel fitter, coconut sorbet
Dark chocolate truffle, banana-caramel fitter, coconut sorbet
The banana-caramel fritter revealed!
The banana-caramel fritter revealed!

Faced with the prospect of a Tokyo culinary tour comprised of fatty toro, well-marbled kobe, and sinfully decadent desserts, I elected to put myself on a diet and exercise regimen. I wake up, do either a cardio or weight training work-out, have a protein shake for breakfast, a hearty salad for lunch, a protein bar for snack, and some broiled fish and veggies for dinner. The point is to ensure I’m able to fit into my suit for, at the very least, the beginning of my trip to Japan. So when Marty G. suggested we hit Fuel this past weekend, I demurred, imagining myself strolling through Omotesando in elastic-waisted sweats. But Martin presented a sound argument. The last thing I want to do is have my body acclimatize itself to this Spartan diet. I needed to throw my metabolism a curveball – and there was no better bullpen ace than Chef Rob Belcham.

So we went to Fuel and saddled up at the bar where we could watch the kitchen crew in action and annoy them with our inane banter. Seated right next to us was fellow foodie and editor of Scout Magazine Andrew Morrison and CTV news anchor Coleen Christie. They bore witness to our gastronomic excesses.

Now I was going to go with a three-course Chef’s menu – soup, salad, a modest fish dish – only to have my dining companion balk. While Martin didn’t actually come out and call me a punk ass bitch, that was the implication. “I’m doing six courses WITH dessert,”he informed me. Hey, Marty G. may be a champion eater but, compared to me, he’s freaking Nicole Ritchie. So, yeah. Six courses it was.

We started with the amuse-bouche, sautéed lardo (cured pork fat) on a bed of diced Gravenstein apple, a delightful harbinger of what lay ahead.

For our first course, we were served soups. The second they were set down in front of us, I feared I was the butt of some cruel prank. Martin landed the brodo with three plump little marrow meatballs. I got the cauliflower soup. Now, don’t get me wrong. The cauliflower soup was very nice, pureed to silken glory, but the marrow meatballs were crazy fantasy. Yes! Crantastic!

Our second course was the foie gras terrine for two, served with a sweet and sour apricot jam, toasted baguette, and maldon salt. Incredibly smooth and absolutely delicious.

For our third course, a little surf and turf Fuel-style: Seared scallop accompanied by some corned beef tongue served atop a bed of diced pumpkin. The sweetness of the tender scallop contrasted wonderfully with the savory crispness of the tongue.

The fourth course was a delight: stuffed trotter (yep – the part of the pig that trots). A really nice, hearty preparation that reminded me of the cuisine of my hometown of Montreal.

At this point in the meal, Chef Rob asked us how we were doing. Feeling cocky, Martin boldly suggested we up the ante and add an extra course. Rob was more than up to the challenge.

Our fifth course was a ling cod dish that, while very good, was a little like Daniel Baldwin at a family reunion. It’s not that he’s loved any less, just that he ain’t Alex, William, or Stephen.

As good as the preceding dishes were, the sixth course was the hands-down winner of the evening. The beef cap, served medium rare, was the best beef I’ve had outside of Tokyo. Fondy had some last time we visited and she’s been thinking about it ever since. Beyond tender. Beyond tasty. Bender and basty! I think I saw Marty G. shed a lone tear when he popped the last morsel into his mouth.

We finished with dessert: cheesecake with Coronation grapes and brown butter for Martin, and, Fuel’s latest addition, dark chocolate truffle, banana-caramel fitter, and coconut sorbet for me. Martin is a big fan of Coronation grapes and greatly appreciated his dessert. I loved mine and do hereby declare it my favorite Fuel dessert ever!

Well, back in the office today. While Brad and Robert worked on revisions to the first script, the rest of us kept busy in our respective offices surfing the internet, phoning home, and making final preparations for our trip to Tokyo. At a little after 11:00, we convened in the writers’ room and started spinning Alan’s story. We broke for lunch, then resumed the discussion on shipboard justice and the ever-developing interrelations among the crew. Factions, fractions, and surprising revelations. By the time we called it a day, we had beaten out Alan’s story.

Tomorrow = More SGU! My Whispers commentary with director Will Waring! And Schnitzel Day!

Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday boy Johnny E! and a recovering Davidd.

Mailbag:

NarellefromAus writes: As it turns out, it was a problem with their equipment. Jelly’s sick, but thankfully not that sick!

Thornyrose writes: “So Mr. M, how is Maximus?”

Answer: He’s come down with the same thing. Now both of them are on meds.

MyNameIsScott writes: “Wish me luck trying to get my tonsils to shrink down and fever to go away… all the while working at a used dvd store full of hicks and idiots.”

Answer: Good luck! Try Beaches. That usually does the trick.

Eugene from Aus writes: “Joe, are you planning to watch any of the soon-to-be-released movies anytime soon or don’t you have the spare time?”

Answer: I prefer watching movies in the comfort of my own home. I’m more than happy to wait for the dvd release.

Eugene from Aus also writes: “Oh yes Joe, another thing, are there going to be more auctions on the Stargate Legacy eBay page, or am I already too late?”

Answer: I believe it will be ongoing for a while.

Majorsal writes: “it hasn’t been stated yet, but did the sg1 movie officially get the green light to be made?”

Answer: Yep.

Jahedur writes: “hi joe love your blog gives great insight into the stargate world. anyway i was watching some oldies…ahh season 1 and i started wondering when did you guys realise that when exiting the stargate having to make the guys all frozen over would be too much…”

Answer: The day a faux frost-covered Richard Dean Anderson stumbled out of the gate and declared “This is going to get real old, real fast.”

61 thoughts on “November 17, 2008: Chef Belcham at the Plate! Spinning Stargate: Universe Day #5! The Mailbag!

  1. You, sir, are a master Torturer. Those lovely pictures, their descriptions… I am seriously looking at my projected vacation schedules over the next couple of years. You’ve made it impossible for me to wait until after the Olympic frenzy has come and gone your way. Even if only for a few hours, I am resolved to visit Vancouver, just to try out Fuel.
    Sorry to hear Maximus is sharing Jelly’s pain. At least you’ve been spared the other two critters adding to your woes? Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for them. Nothing can be allowed to stand between you and that Kobe beef waiting you…

  2. Hey Joe

    Love hearing about every dinner at Fuel and am finding myself slowly looking forward to every bit of news regarding the creation of SGU but that is not why I came out of hiding.

    I’m writing here to say how much I loved Remnants. I know I’m a bit late – was in Death Valley all weekend (turns out there are no cell towers and the only 2 hotels there are not equipped with wifi. But enough about me… As I’ve mentioned, I’m a fan of the show and find something to like in nearly every episode even if there are some flaws but when I see a show as cleverly written and as original as this one it really strikes me and compels me to post to your blog. Great twists, wonderful new alien species that I really felt a connection to. Additionally, your breakdown was very interesting especially the reveal that you originally meant for it to be a study of Woolsey. I really love that character and do like to see insight into what makes him tick. The other team scenes were equally enjoyable. You gave everyone (viewers) a little bit of what they like and that seems to be pretty hard to do. Rodney’s dialogue with Zelenka was fun and smart and the Sheppard Kolya scenes were intense. Since it’s been brought up earlier I’d like to say that the violence was not, to me, too intense – I’m not faint hearted so bring it on in the movies.

    My husband gave the episode his approval as well. He started out nose into his itunes and within 5 minutes he closed up and focused on the episode. He really loved the the fact that the independent plot lines wove together at the end and even though you were engaged in each one separately you didn’t understand how they related until the very end. Also helps that he likes Woolsey alot and he thought the Sekarri were very cool looking.

    Thanks for giving us the insider insight and BRAVO on the episode.

    Hope the pups are all good.

    Paulette

  3. Majorsal writes: “it hasn’t been stated yet, but did the sg1 movie officially get the green light to be made?”

    Answer: Yep.

    😀 😀

  4. Jahedur writes: “hi joe love your blog gives great insight into the stargate world. anyway i was watching some oldies…ahh season 1 and i started wondering when did you guys realise that when exiting the stargate having to make the guys all frozen over would be too much…”

    Answer: The day a faux frost-covered Richard Dean Anderson stumbled out of the gate and declared “This is going to get real old, real fast.”

    Did you bother to think of an explanation for the change (like with the translator nanites)? Some people are OCD enough to prefer at least a half-plausible reason be given for such obvious changes. (Not that I’m saying I’m one of these people. At all.)

  5. The mention of shipboard justice has me curious: is the crew of the Destiny going to have something like the Mayflower Compact?

  6. Ah Fuel… I can’t wait for April when I will able to partake of its delicious food again!

    Hey Thornyrose, While don’t you come for the Convention in April, we can share a table at fuel?

    Q: Joe, how close you are to the two millionth hit on your blog?

    Cheers
    Patricia Lee

  7. So glad it was just the machine. Phew.

    There would be many with litigious itchy fingers who would see that as an opportunity to make some quick cash for pain and suffering. Perhaps the same guy that was the cause of everyone being asked for ID at the bar in the airport?

    Have a good night digesting that feast.
    Fuel is something I must do.

  8. I am a longtime reader, love your blog! I am a Doctoral student in School Psychology and was in class tonight in an education course. We were given the word Pyramid and asked to come up with a list of words that we associated with the word, including any concepts. We were divided into groups. Imagine my surprise when the group next to me said, “Stargate, Daniel Jackson, Jack, Ra, Geza…..” The professor said, “What?” But all the class started laughing as we all knew what it was about. I never thought I would talk about Stargate in an Doctoral Education class!

  9. Hoping Jelly and Maximus feel better soon. It sounds like you have your hands full at the moment. Do they let you give them the meds or do they struggle and make things difficult?

  10. Ishshahpat: I swore after my first and only Cretincon to never go to another one. Though it twists my guts to miss out on all the fun, I just can’t bring myself to give them money I’d rather use to support the well run fan cons. though it IS tempting to consider swinging in and at least doing the Fuel scene with fellow fans. I’ll have to think on that one. Thanks for the offer.

  11. Dear Abby, ah…I mean …Baron Destructo,

    I have been feeling a little left out lately. I moved to the great North West last year and while I love my new job, I am missing my family and friends from the Philadelphia, Delaware region. I am single, (I know… a shocker), no kids, and I like the outdoors, camping, fishing, site seeing, reading and watch anything on the cooking and SciFi channels. I volunteer at the local animal shelter and have adopted two completely black kittens which I have named Saber and Sha’re. (They are Brother and Sister). They keep me company when I am home and are a good source of a laughs now and again. I’ve made a few friends on line while lurking around your not so typical blog sites, (ahem) but given your worldly and sometimes creepy ways, might you have some good advice for me? It’s coming on to the holiday time and you know how depressing that time can be when you are alone… so do you have any sure fire / fast ways of making new friends? Please reply soon!

    Earnestly,
    Lonely, but lovely (At least in the eye of the beholder!)

  12. Hi Joe. Glad to hear the pups are on the mend.

    Thought I’d drop you a comment before my big impending trip this weekend.

    I’m flying down to Burbank for the SGA/SG1 convention, promises to be a good time(I’m finally getting around to a convention, lol).

    Any advice for the trip?

  13. How mad would Chef Rob be if I walked into Fuel and ordered only dessert? I would be so scared of eating too much before it came time for it, so I would want to order dessert only. 😉

    Hooray for a third SG-1 movie!!! You can tell Brad he now doesn’t need to answer about half of the questions we asked 😀

    Every time you mention SGU I get more excited about it!!! It better be on iTunes as soon as it airs, or I will go crazy all summer not seeing it!!!

  14. God damn outstanding with regards to the SG-1 movie. Any chance of it coming out next year? Really, Joe, I want to give MGM my money. Speed it up, while I’ve still got some to give.

  15. Hello Joe!
    Whispers was one of my fav episodes this season so far and I look forward to hearing the commentary you’ll be doing with Will Waring.
    I have a little challenge for you. A friend and I play this game and I would like to extend an invitation to you. When ever we have to speak at a meeting, we dare one another to incorporate a random word having nothing to do with the topic in the presentation and see if we can pull it off with out making a fool of our self. The speaker, if successful, get’s a free lunch and the challenger gets to giggle to herself during the meeting, which makes it much more interesting (nerd alert, yes i know)
    So, even though there’s no free lunch in it for you, are you up for the challenge? How about incorporating the word “regurgitate” into the commentary?

  16. Hi there:

    What with not getting home on Friday until after midnight, (I hate watching any show I love when I’m both sleepy and a little drunk) (James Bond party), and then waking up Saturday with huge swatches of the county on fire, I didn’t get around to watching Remnants for a few days.

    But boy was it worth it. Really truly great episode. Not going to repeat what’s been said before, but I agree. I especially liked the blocking on the scenes between Kolya and Sheppard after the chop – it really “sold” the fantasy. I was so happy to see a fitting confrontation between Kolya and Shep – even if it wasn’t real.

    I loved reading breakdown of the script, too. Thanks a million

  17. *Raises hand* Yep, obsessed Ba’al fan back again. Question for you Joe. If Ba’al were to torture every member of both teams, how would he do it? We know what he did to Jack, and I think he would probably cover McKay with lemon juice. But I’m somewhat stumped with the other team members.

    Also, I had another weird thought, since you mentioned Fuel and eating out. If your dining companion was David Nykl, who perhaps regularly ate too much and put on a great deal of weight, would you consider that your meal mate was now a bounced check?

    *Ducks as people throw rotten fruit*.

    Patricia (AG)

  18. Hi, Joe.

    Sorry to hear about Maximus not feeling well either. Hope both Maximus and Jelly are feeling much better soon.

    Darn! I wish I could visit Fuel. Do they FedEX to the states?

    Best wishes.

  19. OMG. I was reading about your dinner and tried to remember what I had for dinner. Then I realized I haven’t had dinner. I ate lunch about 13 hours ago! McDonald’s is open 24 hours, right? My shift ends in 5 minutes…

  20. While Brad and Robert worked on revisions to the first script, the rest of us kept busy in our respective offices surfing the internet, phoning home, and making final preparations for our trip to Tokyo.”

    I’m picking up on the plural there, Joe. Does that mean there’s now an official team list for the World Tour of Tokyo? Or was it the royal ‘we’?

    Das: “RE: Pegasus Cup. Well, my dream would be a Wraith v Atlantis final…not sure who would actually win the match, but we KNOW there would be a lot of illegal hands in the ruck.”

    You know, i’ve never been a Shep/Todd shipper… but that brings all kinds of bizzare ( and for the most part, really unwanted) images to mind. I’m now officially traumatised.

    “My only problem with this whole idea is the mental image I get of a team of Wraith – with their lovely silvery locks and pasty green skin – dressed in shorty shorts and bumble bee-yellow and black striped knee socks.”

    Naah.. It’d be leather hotpants and stringy vests, with lots of tribal tattoos. 😛 Wonder if they’d have their own form of the Haka?

    Sessy: Those must be some pretty vicious mosquitos.

  21. Hello Joe!

    Is there any chance to make two Atlantis movie + one SG-1 movie next year? What will be titles?

    When will be released the newest movies? 2010 spring? Because we counted with 2-3 month work with special effects and you mentioned that Sony demands 6 month for marketing campaign.

    What happened with the Children Of The Gods – special edition? Why did Mr. Wright postpone it?

    Will you ever make an SG-1 movie for theatrical release from even bigger budget (10-20-30 million $)? I think the people, not only fans would watch a good written scifi film. I am bored with comic heroes nowadays, so we need something fresher.

    Thanks for the answers. Good spinning! 🙂

  22. Less than 2 weeks and classes are finished. YES.

    Then I can finally catch up on some long-awaited Stargate episodes, including Remnants!

    Anyways, sorry to hear that Max had to go through what Jelly did, but glad to hear that they’re both on the mend. So, any idea what afflicted them?

    Coleen Christie? Cool! I’ve actually never met any celebrities so any celebrity can star struck me…or whatever that phrase is.

    Crantastic? Bender and Basty? Making up new words eh? Well, two can play at that game. Or should I say, Tucanlatame. That’s right.

    Once again, you’re a master at raising the excitement level for new Stargate things. This talk of shipboard justice and the crew splitting into factions with frictions is very intriguing, to say the least.

    Question: so far, does it look like personal conflicts are carrying through the subsequent episodes? Like, if two characters were angry with each other at the end of one episode, it’ll be picked up again in the next episode, instead of everything being hunky-dory again?

    Oh hey, the trailer for the new JJ Abrams Star Trek movie is out:

    http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/startrek/

    So far so AWESOME HOLY CRAP IT BLEW MY MIND. So yeah, I liked it.

    What do you think, Joe?

  23. good to see you’re in better spirits Das

    two puppies sick Joe, the poor babies. They need lots of cuddles

  24. Hey there Mr M!

    Greetings from Tipperary!

    So, the Whispers Comentary…mmm..any chance you can sneak in a shout out to us dedicated band of blogees?
    Fuel. as always looks amazing. Following my trip in April, I have kept my wife informed of the gastronomic wonders that Chef Belcham creates…Wow another fab repast.. What prompted the new look?? No more locks? Also, its been a while since we have seen Tom Doughty? how he?

    Any chance the SGU crew smuggled a dog aboard the Destiny?

    Best to all!!

    S’n’T

    PS: If you are feeling a bit bloated after the gastro blow out:

    just use these easy to Cardinal rules of Audio Commentary:
    Having listened (with rapt attention) I find the following phrases helpful by producer/writer/director…

    “XX was JUST amazing”…
    “YYY just brings it every time”….
    “We were shooting late on a Friday and Joe had a flight to catch”…
    “We were losing the light and Jason’s guitar playing soothed frayed nerves”…
    “ZZZ is SUCH a pro”…
    “AAA was feeling off that day…they are such a trooper”
    “We had intended to use Effect XYZ but it would have put us WAY over budget”

    Take care

    S’n’T

  25. I finish High School in Three DAYS!!!!
    WOOOT!!!

    😀

    yay

    Now theres just another five years of uni 🙁
    😛

  26. Chef Rob is fast becoming a god to me. I have never eaten at Fuel, yet even the pictures make me drool with anticipation.

    However, I have to admit to being shocked that you could so easily fall under the peer pressure of on Marty G. What happened to your world domination? Are you going soft on us?

  27. Greetings from Australia.

    It’s no secret that Fuel is your favourite restaurant.
    If you had to choose dishes from all the ones you have mentioned (& made us drool over) on this blog, which would make up your favourite menu?

    Josh

  28. I have GOT to stop reading your blog before breakfast!!!!

    Sorry to hear about Maximus 🙁 Hope the others don’t come down with it & that Jelly & Maximus are 100% soon!

    I need to keep watching those auctions. The biggest thing on my son’s wish-list is an SG-A crew jacket. We typically have at least one SG themed gift every Christmas. (It drives my hub batty!)

  29. I’m with RDA on the gate-frost. I mean, really…why wouldn’t the Ancients fix something like that?

    I’ve got to stop reading your blog in the morning. Makes me too damn hungry.

  30. Mmmm weird French Canadian food. Your bit about trotters reminds me of the Ragout my dad makes every Christmas. Gotta love those pork hocks.

  31. I read your blog all the time yet I have never posted a question Before so here it goes.

    Question,

    I love SG-1 (Duh right?) lol but I was wondering if there is a Third movie being penned and if so is Vala in it? If not then is there any movies hopeful planed in the future that may have her in them.

    …… I love the chemistry between Daniel and Vala plus the relationship between the two actors (Michael and Claudia) seems like one of great friendship so it just adds to the pleasure of watching them. Thanks for you time STroxelli

  32. “I prefer watching movies in the comfort of my own home. I’m more than happy to wait for the dvd release.”

    We do this! We just saw Iron Man on Sunday. It’s just so much nicer! You can be comfy on your own couch, with the dogs and you can pause to go to the bathroom too. And you can even have a drink!

    BUT, don’t you think that there is a movie every once in a while that you just have to see as soon as it comes out? For me, it would be the new Bond film.

    S

  33. Did you bother to think of an explanation for the change (like with the translator nanites)? Some people are OCD enough to prefer at least a half-plausible reason be given for such obvious changes. (Not that I’m saying I’m one of these people. At all.)

    It was actually explained in an episode by Carter. I don’t remember which episode, or what the exact line was. But she explained that it was because of a miscalibration of the the dialing computer that they built to control the gate.

  34. ahhh, so Marty G. is the provoker. That person who tells you it is ok to eat when you are trying to cut back. Don’t get me wrong, I wish I had more friends like him, but six courses, oh my! Don’t get me wrong, I do believe throwing your body a curve ball to boost metabolism is a good thing, but you were lucky you didn’t explode.

  35. On November 17, 2008, Joe wrote: “Food, food, Japan, food, food, food, food, weaping Marty G., dessert, office, lunch, …then resumed the discussion on shipboard justice and the ever-developing interrelations among the crew. Factions, fractions, and surprising revelations… mailbag.”

    Can ya guess which part got my attention? And, can you elaborate a little bit more, perhaps whetting our appetite – not for food we can never have – but for a show that, perhaps, will prove to be more satisfying than the last course we were served…ya know…the entree that was just taken off the menu?

    What you’re saying now about the new show is really starting to interest me because it’s not sounding so ‘soapy’ to me, but more like the sort of dynamics we’d see in a military-themed show. Is this the case? My only concern is that I don’t want a show as morbidly depressing as BSG, but something in between BSG and SG1/SGA might not be too bad – in fact, it could be the next M*A*S*H, only with toned-down humor.

    das

  36. Coucou Joseph!
    Alalal encore une journée qui ce finit =)
    Merci pour ces photos! Cela a du être trés bon!!

    Pourquoi faire un régime? vous êtes parfait !!

    impatiente d’en savoir plus sur SGU ^^!

    éhéhé dans 3 jours c’est l’anniversaire de quelqu’un..enfin plutôt quelque chose!!

    Passer une trés bonne journée!! Bisou!!

  37. @ Perragrin – Okay…illegal hands in the ruck and greasy balls may have traumatised you…but ‘leather hotpants and stringy vests’ has just added a whole new layer to my already very twisted view of Edward Sleazyhands… 😯

    I think I like it! 😀

    Tribal tats and a Wraith haka – too wonderful to even imagine! Just taking this one All Blacks haka, and changing All Blacks to Wraith, it would fit very well:

    Wraith, let me become one with the land
    This is our land that rumbles
    It’s my time! It’s my moment!
    This defines us as Wraith
    It’s my time! It’s my moment!
    Our dominance
    Our supremacy will triumph
    And be placed on high
    The shadows fall!
    Team in Black, yeah!
    Darkness falls!
    Team in Black, Yeah, Ha!

    😀

    @ BlueJay – It’s amazing what a certain elven prince can do to a soul…

    @ Sara (sclairef99) – I agree. It’s amazing how beautiful a certain elven prince looks and sounds in HD…especially when one has the Power of Pause, Rewind, And Pause Again in the palm of her hand. 😀

    das

  38. What’s happening to the “lost episode” of season 1 of SGA, “Human Error” ? It’s become an episode of a season 2, 3, 4 or 5, and his title has changed?
    If not, can you say us his synopsis?

  39. Hi Mr Mallozzi,
    I am a French fan of the Stargate Franchise since 1998. And I have a lethal question for you. And I am a little worry about your answer.
    It’s about the best Tv show that we can see. Humour, Adventure, Suspense, Action and a lot of incredible discoveries! It has stopped on September 4th and made its incredible return on Sept 22nd!
    But now, it has been stopped definitely! And I am very sad!

    So my question is (roulement de tambour): what happened to The Weird Food purchase of the Day?

    Bye and sorry for my english!
    Sami

  40. Hey Joe!

    I hope Maximus gets well soon, sorry to hear that both of them got sick. 🙁 It’s that time of season anyways, so make sure you get your vitamins!

    Well, it’s lunch time, and your images have made me even more hungry. Everytime you go to Fuel, the more it makes me want to travel to Vancouver solely to try it. Alas, flight costs can be quite expensive, so it’s not entirely feasible to do it purely for one meal. 😛

    Thanks as always, and I am really enjoying these updates on the production of SGU!

    – Enzo Aquarius

  41. I posted some comments about some episodes in the past but I decided to write short notes on my take on each individual s5 episode so far:

    Of course these are just my thoughts, not facts. Just my opinion on each episode.

    5×01 Search and Rescue: one of my top favorites episodes ever. Great character moments. Everybody had something to do, nobody was wallpapered. I especially love the scenes with John and Ronon, the team scenes, and the scenes in the infirmary with Jennifer and John, and John, Teyla and Jennifer.

    5×02 The Seed: I didn’t care for Carson in this episode. I usually like both Carson and Jennifer the same, none of them are favorites or mine, but I like both, and I like them equally. But in this episode I liked Jennifer more than Carson. It was nice to see all the characters and all of them doing something. My only complaint is that Teyla disappeared after the first 20 minutes. What? Did she went to take a nap?

    5×03 Broken Ties: another fave episode of mine. Great character moments. Everybody had something to do, nobody was wallpapered. I wish we could’ve seen more about the aftermath, and not just John giving Ronon the sword. Some talk about what had happened and how Ronon was coping with it would have been great, IMO.

    5×04 The Daedalus Variations: great team episode. How I miss the team! And yes, for me the team means the four of them together in the same room for at least a significant part of the episode. Having all the characters in an episode but in different physical spaces is not team in my book. This is another favorite episode of mine, just for the “teamness”.

    5×05 Ghost in the Machine: great episode, with most of the characters having something to do. I thought it was a bit slow at the flashbacks/explanations thing, but the rest was excellent. Another favorite of mine.

    5×06 The Shrine: the best John & Rodney friendship scenes ever. Great scenes between Jeannie & Ronon and Jeannie & Rodney. BUT… I felt cheated because once again the producers felt the need to give such a story to Rodney instead of Ronon, Teyla or John. David Hewlett is a great actor? Sure. But so are Joe Flanigan, Jason Momoa and Rachel Luttrell.
    With all due respect, and from the humble point of view of someone who watches the show but is obviously not privy to the producers/studio/network politics & decisions… well, as much as I love Rodney, I strongly resent the fact that the character keeps getting the most “meaty” parts again and again season after season in detriment of the other characters. If the actor was the lead of the show, I’d say that he gets those parts because he’s the lead and all the others have lesser roles (there are many shows like that, and it’s fine), but he’s not even the lead. And oddly enough, the character played by the lead of the show has never gotten anything like that in 5 seasons. Once again, I do respect your creative process and decisions, and I don’t want to sound obnoxious. But McKay already got McKay and Mrs Miller and Tao of Rodney. Sheppard NEVER got something like that. So, in my humble opinion, Sheppard should have been the one getting sick in The Shrine. The relationship between Rodney and Jeannie had already been explored in two previous episodes at least (McKay and Mrs Miller and Miller’s Crossing). John and his brother Dave only got a couple of scenes in Outcast. This episode, in my opinion, should have been written with Sheppard being the sick one and his brother Dave being the one coming to say goodbye. It would have been a wonderful opportunity to explore something not done before in the show, instead of having Rodney and Rodney & Jeannie again for the nth time.

    5×07 Whispers: not my favorite, but I did like the female team and John in this episode. I wish there had been an opportunity to bring Dusty back. She was, in my opinion, the best character of the female team by far.

    5×08 The Queen: great episode, another favorite of mine. Excellent performance by Rachel. I loved learning more about the way the Wraith think. Todd was fantastic (he and Kolya are my fave baddies in the show by far). And the rest of the team was at least present in the episode, even if mainly apart from Todd and Teyla.

    5×09 Tracker: great story. It was great to see Ronon and Rodney, Jennifer was great, and the runner too. In my mind, the Wraith captured him and made him a runner once again. It would’ve been great to see the character again in future episodes.

    5×10 First Contact / 5×11 The Lost Tribe: I loved the parts with Woolsey, Radek, John and Teyla. Couldn’t stand the parts with the SG-1 character. Sorry, couldn’t stand him at all and he ruined these episodes for me. These are definitely my least favorite episodes of the whole series, along with Trio, The Tower and Irresponsible (although I have to say that I prefer The Tower and Irresponsible a million times more than Trio, FC and TLT. Arrrgghhh).

    5×12 Outsiders: nice episode. Not my favorite, but nice. I especially enjoyed the team together in the first part, and then the parts with John, Ronon and Teyla.

    5×13 Inquisition: I liked the episode. But I feel it could’ve been far better had the trial in question been a fair one, instead of solving everything by saying “this is not a fair trial so let’s bribe one of the guys”. I think it was a waste of opportunity.

    5×14 The Prodigal: excellent episode. Another favorite of mine. Everybody had something to do, and every second of it was great. I’m glad you decided to kill Michael. I feel that this story arc had ran its course, and Michael leaving Atlantis alive once again would’ve been too much, in my opinion.

    5×15 Remnants: another excellent episode, and another top favorite of mine. My only complaint is that I feel the Shep & Kolya storyline deserved more that what it got, so this should’ve been either a two-parter, or that story get another episode on its own. How come we never go deeper into John and what makes him ticks, why he is like he is, etc? He’s played by the lead actor, and we barely know about him. Any chance of getting something more meaningful for Sheppard in the movie?

    5×18 Brain Storm: I don’t read spoilers before I watch the episodes, because I prefer to be surprised. However, from the episodic pics released and what Alex Levine has posted in his blog, I get this is a McKeller episode. I don’t mind their relationship in small doses, but I think we’ve already had more than small doses of it this season. I think I’m going to skip this episode completely, something I had never done before with SGA…

  42. @ Das: “.. greasy balls.. “

    :l .. One of these days, we’re gonna wake up and find Joe’s locked us both behind some nifty ancienty bars.

    Re: TheWraithHaka..

    lmao. Gotta wonder what the Lanteans would come back with. Even better, how about military v geeks. The thought of watching Mckay running as Scrum Half fills me with both trepidation and hysterical laughter. Now that’d be a match to watch 😛

  43. I’m thrilled to hear that the SG-1 movie has been given the o.k. to proceed. I really, really miss SG-1.

    If you are in the office with Brad today, could you please ask him (or maybe you already know) if it’s true that FOX will have ‘creative say’ over the new release of “Children of the Gods”? If true, will FOX be able to override Brad’s decisions if they disagree?

    *is concerned*

    dff

    PS: Thanks for the yummy pictures!

  44. @ Joe – Here’s a little something to cheer Maximus and Jelly up…and to remind them that things could be much, much worse…

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v54/dasNdanger/hotdogs.jpg

    (I sure hope those AREN’T your dogs…)

    @ Perragrin – You can imagine my surprise the first time an announcer said, “This is a difficult kick – he’s got wind and a greasy ball.” 😕

    I always think of the scrum half as the finger-pointer, and McKay could fit that position quite nicely…”See, see, see! They’re collapsing the scrum! It wasn’t us this time! Althooough, that first time may have been us, but that really doesn’t count because I’ve recalculated the whole ‘crouch, touch, pause, engage’ thing, and I’ve found a fatal flaw in the formula…a flaw which, I might add, only I was able to detect when no one else could see what was happening right in front of their… huh? What? Penalty?! Aww…for what? Delaying the scrum? Hey, it wasn’t just me…you were talking, too…oh, what now…a yellow card? Great. Who’s gonna put the ball in? Zelenka? You’ve got to be kidding me…”

    😛

    das

  45. Lily said:

    5×06 The Shrine: the best John & Rodney friendship scenes ever. Great scenes between Jeannie & Ronon and Jeannie & Rodney. BUT… I felt cheated because once again the producers felt the need to give such a story to Rodney instead of Ronon, Teyla or John. David Hewlett is a great actor? Sure. But so are Joe Flanigan, Jason Momoa and Rachel Luttrell.
    With all due respect, and from the humble point of view of someone who watches the show but is obviously not privy to the producers/studio/network politics & decisions… well, as much as I love Rodney, I strongly resent the fact that the character keeps getting the most “meaty” parts again and again season after season in detriment of the other characters. If the actor was the lead of the show, I’d say that he gets those parts because he’s the lead and all the others have lesser roles (there are many shows like that, and it’s fine), but he’s not even the lead. And oddly enough, the character played by the lead of the show has never gotten anything like that in 5 seasons. Once again, I do respect your creative process and decisions, and I don’t want to sound obnoxious. But McKay already got McKay and Mrs Miller and Tao of Rodney. Sheppard NEVER got something like that. So, in my humble opinion, Sheppard should have been the one getting sick in The Shrine. The relationship between Rodney and Jeannie had already been explored in two previous episodes at least (McKay and Mrs Miller and Miller’s Crossing). John and his brother Dave only got a couple of scenes in Outcast. This episode, in my opinion, should have been written with Sheppard being the sick one and his brother Dave being the one coming to say goodbye. It would have been a wonderful opportunity to explore something not done before in the show, instead of having Rodney and Rodney & Jeannie again for the nth time.

    Even though Sheppard is my favourite character I don’t agree with this. Sheppard losing his mind doesn’t have the same punch as McKay. Sure he’s smart but he doesn’t base his entire existence on it, like McKay does. Even though this was a Hewlett tour-de-force episode and I think he deserves an Emmy for his performance, there were plenty of moments for Joe and he hit it out of the park too with his performance.

    Also David is one of the leads.

    Sure it would have been great to have a “Sheppard episode” this season and de-mystify the character a little but I don’t think it should have been that episode and I don’t think that’s going to happen now, because I don’t think they’d do that for the movies.

    Cheers, Chev

  46. Oh, oh, oh! Joe – forgot to tell you this…

    Several years back my dad was in the hospital for four months, and the one lingering side effect from his ordeal was that he lost some of his ability to taste things. Well, the other day he toasted a couple of bagels for himself and mom, slathered on the cream cheese, bespeckled them with olives, and started gleefully chomping away. Mom took one bite, and screwed up her face. She looked at my dad, who was still munching away, and asked, “Do these taste okay to you?” He said, “I guess so…cream cheese doesn’t have much flavor, though.”

    Mom probed a bit further, “which cream cheese did you use?”

    “The one in the foil,” he replied.

    “Dear,” she said, “the cream cheese was in a box, the stuff in the foil was the last of the Crisco.”

    Not exactly ‘tasty sautéed lardo’, eh? 😛

    das

  47. This is in regards to the upcoming Brainstorm and also Identity, in which, I read, that Rodney will be holding Keller’s hand to comfort her as their “relationship” grows.
    What I don’t get is where y’all ever got the idea that these two were a good match for each other? They are both insecure, and there is no way, over time that Keller, who seems like a nice girl, will be able to put up with the true Rodney, who is egotistical and quite self-absorbed (and one of my favorite characters, BTW). If you wanted to find an appropriate companion, you need look no further than the friendship between McKay and Shep. Regardless of whether you’d ever go down the gay relationship route on this show, it is pretty evident that these two characters have a great deal of chemistry together, they “get” each other and complement each other perfectly. What should have been done, IMHO, if you needed to create a love interest for McKay, is to recreate that with a female version of Shep. That I’d have paid money to see.
    But this McKeller is a pale, pathetic version of what could have been a fiery, intense and exciting pairing.

  48. @ perragrin

    I looked the species up in the dictionary and it gives “gnat, mosquito, midge” as translation so I’m not sure which the word is for those bloodsuckers – I’m not from an English-speaking country.

    Actually, the only animals prone to biting me are ants, I’m like an ant magnet. Midges/mosquitos and even the horsefly on the other hand, they don’t bite me, at all, ever. I don’t know why, but I suspect even the wraith wouldn’t eat me.
    I was bitten by a bloodsucker once in my life and I was so surprised I yelled at it, “what do you think you’re doing? your kind doesn’t even like me!”

    However, my boyfriend can’t sleep as long as a few of those bloodsuckers are flying around, and I used to live right next to a large pool of still water. You can imagine the amounts of those we had. Spiders took care of the problem better than netting did, for some reason! And I’ve aways been a big fan of spiders, ever since I was a kid.

  49. Hey Joe!
    I remember we haven’t heard more about your brave encounters with ‘weird food purchase of the day’? (or have I completely missed them somehow?) , I’m always astonished how people actually voluenteers eating …. things *shudder*
    (I’m both repulsed and amazed when I’m watching Fear Factor at those sections)

    Always looking forward for more Universe info! (to prove myself wrong about my initial reaction)

    I volunteered myself to be a director at my school’s filmproject (it was either that or be the actress) and before the class ended my teacher added “oh, and you will also write the script”

    *thud*

    yup, so now I’m eagerly searching the ‘net for info about what directors actually do, and how scriptwriting actually is built up. Which gonna be interesting…

    I’m wondering if you use a program while writing a script, or you do it all in a regular word-processor?

    Also, as we in class watching and discussin old classical movies at this moment (recently Jean-Luc Godard’s “Pierrot Le Fou”) do you have any movie(s) you enjoy watching from a “writer’s point of view” so to speak?

    /Ces

  50. I just found the time to catch up on Remnants, and went back to read your overview, of course. I really enjoyed the Woolsey plot line. I’ve found him a fascinating (and contradicting), perfect beauracrat since day one on SG1 and I love to see the evolution. Just like McKay has been tempered, so has Atlantis affected Woolsey. I like knowing that the overall atmosphere and their experiances truly affects those who work and live there. (On the other hand, it’s still nice to see some people (Kavanaugh) are just assholes at heart.) I really enjoyed the character of Vanessa and the actress, which makes it bittersweet for me as well as Woolsey that she won’t be recurring.

    I, like you, did not think the hand thing to be too much. In usual SG fashion you didn’t show any gore (something that I like about this show, it’s nice to have one show I can eat while watching), but it was very effective. Though at the same time, it gave it away. While I had begun to guess with the fact that no one had seen Conrad, it was that Sheppard might not have his hand that really made it clear and me go, hey wait. This is probably a dream. On the other hand (heh), I didn’t catch on that it was an AI until that was revealed which made for a plesant surprise. One which I really loved as it’s something we haven’t seen.

    And I enjoyed the Shen antagonism. To be honest its not something I would have expected her to want. But fascinating! And the glimpse into the still continuing beauracratic politics of the IOA always makes my day.

    Good episode!

    And regarding your eating habits…somehow I doubt you’ll get out of practice or that you’ll have to wear elastic-waist sweatpants. That kind of stuff is only for us mere mortals. 😉

    PS. I want that grape sorbet. It looks AMAZING.

  51. Hey Joe.

    Thanks for the blog dedication. My toe feels a bit better today….the swelling has started to go down, although it stills looks kind of mutilated 🙂

    Hmm. I wonder if you’ll get this question by the time you post today’s entry. I give a try now.

    Q: Can you get Fondy to host a Q&A? I think it would turn out really good!

    Thanks Joe.

  52. So we know we won’t get any story details for Universe in the near future, But how about some early art development?

    Maybe some first looks at what the Destiny could look like? Or maybe even some details on what kind of Gate the show will be using (i.e: SG-1 or Atlantis gate, Or something totally different?)

    You know nothing set in stone, Just an early look into the development?

    Please?

  53. While I enjoyed Remnants, it did reinforce my suspicion that the writers in general completely misunderstand the theory of evolution and the meaning of the word sentient. It’s a shame really because other than that the episode was top notch.

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