Well, it seems that fans are still talking about Brain Storm, the Atlantis episode that has become a lightning rod for debate. And no wonder. This is the episode in which Rodney finally gets the gal – and the gal, in this case, is none other than Jennifer Keller, herself the source of some fan contention since her introduction in late season three. Since fans are touching on the topics of relationships in Stargate, and McKay and Keller in particular, I thought I’d take the opportunity to weigh in with my thoughts on the subject as well.
First of all, the big question: Why ship anyone? Does the show necessarily have to involve any sort of relationship? My answer to that would be that while, yes, it is science fiction, the characters at the heart of these stories are real people, subject to the same hopes, disappointments, and desires as you or I. They’re not emotionless automatons but grounded individuals who succeed, fail, exult, fear, despair, lose their tempers, and, occasionally, fall in love. On the one hand, the series wasn’t a space opera in the sense that it explored the constantly shifting relationships between our main characters but, on the other hand, we did aim at creating a realistic world within our scifi framework. It thus stood to reason that, over time, this would be something that we would explore simply because, over time, this would be something that would naturally evolve amongst people working together in such a close-knit environment.
“But what about SG-1?” some of you will (and have) asked. Why didn’t you ever confirm the Sam/Jack relationship in SG-1 but found the need to confirm the McKay/Keller relationship in Atlantis? Well, two reasons. 1) The Sam/Jack relationship was fraught with complications given that he was her commanding officer. Pursuing any sort of relationship would have been inappropriate for both and would only have really been possible late in the series after Jack’s retirement. Which brings us to – 2) Jack and Sam could have gotten together after Jack’s retirement, but it was never made canon because, quite frankly, it wasn’t my call. Still, despite the lack of official confirmation, it was only natural that they should get together after the events of Threads and, in my mind, they have been together ever since. An attempt to suggest as much in season 4’s Trio unfortunately ended up on the cutting room floor when the episode ran long.
Also, it must be remembered that this isn’t the first romantic pairing explored on Atlantis, much less Rodney’s first romantic pairing. Before Jennifer, there was Katie Brown and, to be honest, this was a relationship that could well have gone another way if circumstances had been different. In fact, heading into season four, fellow writer-producer Martin Gero and I had discussed two possible developments for the show’s forthcoming year. The first, was to pair up Ronon and Keller. One of the things that struck me when reviewing Sateda was how much Jennifer resembled Ronon’s lost love. Add to that the fact that both women were caregivers and you had a pretty intriguing parallel. The second development we had in mind for the show was to make Rodney an unexpected father. It was a storyline that would not only offer great comic potential for David, but also allow for some seriously interesting character growth for Rodney. Of course, when we pitched it to fellow producer Paul Mullie, he balked at the prospect of introducing a baby into the mix. “What are we going to do with a baby?”he asked. “Who is McKay going to leave it with when he goes off-world? Will he want to go off-world once he’s a dad? Are we going to have to cut back to the baby every episode?” We tabled the matter for further discussion but, as it turned out, the decision was made for us when Rachel revealed she was pregnant. Rather than pursue an alien baby storyline or minimize the actress by constantly trying to hide the fact, we chose to embrace the pregnancy and work it into the central storyline (answering all of Paul’s anxious questions in the process). Since we couldn’t well have two of our main characters facing parenthood, we opted to drop the Daddy McKay idea.
A quick aside here to discuss developments on the Teyla front. If we were going to introduce a pregnancy storyline, and we weren’t about to embrace an immaculate conception twist, then it stood to reason that we would need a father. Two possible candidates emerged: John Sheppard and somebody else. Ultimately, we chose to go with the latter. Paul, again, was the first (and most vociferous) to balk at the prospect of making Sheppard the baby daddy. True, we had set up a mutual attraction between the two characters, but to suggest that these two had hooked up unbeknownst to everyone else (to say nothing of the audience) seemed a bit of a stretch. Furthermore, we felt it would do a disservice to the Sheppard character to, at the very least, suggest impropriety on his part. So, we went with a fellow Athosian, someone Teyla could well have spent time with away from the watchful eyes of her fellow teammates. Granted, it wasn’t the perfect solution but given the circumstances, the only one that made sense to us.
As for Katie Brown – well, it just didn’t work out. One of the things we became acutely aware of was the imbalance in the relationship. I have to smile inwardly at those who would criticize Keller for trying to change Rodney based on some comments she makes in Brain Storm given that nobody complained about the fact that McKay was incredibly passive, almost childlike in his last relationship. Initial awkwardness aside, he is significantly more confident and self-assured in Jennifer’s company and, in spite of suggestions to the contrary, more himself.
But back to the original topic. With the McKay fatherhood storyline dead, we decided to start seeding a potential Ronon-Keller relationship. Quarantine was the first episode in which we suggested a possible mutual attraction between the two characters. Trapped in the infirmary during a lockdown, their almost kiss is interrupted but the stage is set. Until three episodes later when, in Trio, Keller asks McKay out for a beer. It was a small, almost insignificant invitation between co-workers that perhaps wouldn’t have amounted to much…except that our season finale, The Last Man, turned out to be a time travel episode that explored the potential futures of all of our characters. It was decided that Carter and Ronon, the consummate warriors, would sacrifice themselves. Teyla would never escape Michael’s clutches. And Rodney would live out the rest of his life attempting to undo the past…but not alone. That drink invite in Trio presented the kernel of an idea – an actual relationship between two of our main characters, albeit one that takes place in an alternate future. And, given everything that these two characters go through in this future – defeat, the loss of friends, and their mutual decisions to abandon their positions on Atlantis – it made sense that they would find solace in one another’s company, and that that would develop into something more.
And so, heading into the show’s fifth season, we were faced with the prospect of a love triangle, with two very different suitors vying for the gal. Further complications were suggested in the first draft of Search and Rescue with the introduction of Captain Alicia Vega who, in the episode’s final scene, essentially asks Keller out. The prospect of introducing a gay character to the Stargate universe was always an interesting possibility, but one that would require the right circumstances. In fact, for several years now, there has been one recurring character who, in my mind, is gay but there has never been an opportunity to confirm the fact. While I feared that suggesting it in a throw-away (“I’m heading back to Earth to spend time with my boyfriend. See ya!”) would seem like a truly forced WTF moment for fans, alternately, making a big deal of it felt wrong as well. So, unless the right circumstances present themselves for this character, the fans can simply go ahead assuming he is heterosexual until such a time that, in a Rowlingesque postscript, I can add: “And, oh yeah, by the way – he was gay.” The character of Alicia Vega, meanwhile, did offer an opening that an established character did not: she was new and the final scene of the season five premiere felt neither forced nor insignificant. Of course, as Paul pointed out: “Do we really want to make this love triangle a love rectangle?”. Well, again, the decision was made for us when the episode ran waaaay too long and a good portion of Vega’s scenes, including the last one, had to be cut for time.
So, we were pursuing a love triangle and looking ahead to the events of Tracker in which things would come to a boil with the admission on the parts of both Ronon and Rodney that they were interested in Keller. However, while Carl was writing Tracker, Brad was writing The Shrine and, with Rodney’s admission revealed in the final scene of that episode, the results of the love triangle had, for all intents and purposes, reached a pre-emptive conclusion, a fact all but confirmed at the end of the mid-season two-parter. I remember actor Jason Momoa coming by the offices after First Contact and The Lost Tribe had been shot and my asking him what he thought about the resolution. He shrugged and admitted that, while he liked Keller, he didn’t see her as a match for Ronon. In fact, he thought a far more suitable match would be “Character X”. I remember smiling and informing him “Well, it’s funny you should say that…”
With the potential for a relationship set up and all obstacles removed, it was only a matter of time before McKay and Keller got together – and they eventually did in Brain Storm which offered the perfect setting for the final confirmation.
So, what about the other characters? Well, Teyla has someone now (remember Kanaan? No?) and we’ve already established Woolsey’s inherent loneliness (in Remnants). Ronon – well, don’t give up on the big guy yet. As for Sheppard – I consider him an even bigger loner than Ronon, an incredibly tough nut to crack. If anyone was going to do it, I don’t think it would be someone who just walked into his life. Rather it would have to be someone he knew (and knew him well in turn), someone he had a history with. Teyla would have been a possibility but, alas, she has settled down with the babysitter of her child – Kanaan. And there is one other alternative, one that I’d originally envisioned exploring when I was first spinning the story that would eventually become Remnants: John’s ex-wife, Nancy. In a very early version of the story, Nancy, who we have established works for Homeworld Security, is appointed to review Woolsey’s probationary record. Finally privy to the secrets her ex-husband had to keep from her all those years, she is actually able to empathize and understand him a little better. Of course, with better understanding complications arise… No idea where it would have gone, but I imagined it playing out as part of an extended episode arc.
224 thoughts on “December 8, 2008: Ships and What Ifs”
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Great post Joe.
Gateworld posted a very long interview with Martin Gero yesterday or the day before, and a portion of the interview was devoted to Keller and all the things that surround that character. What distrubed me was the sheer anger from virtually every comment that followed the interview, with people laying into Martin, Keller, all the writers, everyone. It was frightening because I just don’t understand where it comes from.
Daniel Jackson always has been my fav character on Stargate – ever since Shanks did his James Spader impression in Children of the Gods. Like a lot of people I was shocked when he left the show, but I didn’t mind. I liked Jonas and I think that the 3 episodes he did in Season 6 were better than any he did in Season 5 (especially The Changeling, I love that ep).
Martin puts down a lot of the ‘Keller-Hate’ to Beckett’s demise, and despite some of the more vocal angry comments at Gateworld, I think he’s on the money. But unlike the Daniel/Jonas thing, this seems to be bigger somehow.
And then making Keller the object of affection for another main character (in this case my other fav Stargate character) just makes things worse in their eyes – now someone they hate, who replaced someone they love, is getting with the character they loved’s best friend!
I really don’t mind the ‘ship’, and to me the Keller/McKay thing feels natural, as did the reasons for why Keller turned Ronan down (he tried to hard and ended up pushing her away). I think it’s good that things change permanantly on shows like this, be it characters dying, changing jobs, even having actual relationships. And if Universe is going to be, as you say, far more arc driven in that each episode follows directly on from the next, then I really am looking forward to it. Just make sure you or Paul get legal guardianship of Martin Gero so he can’t leave the show!
And these angry people (I loved the ‘Keller is the focus’ comment from the other day, and I loved your answer more), I think that at the end of the day they’re still big fans. If they really did hate everything about the show, they would have stopped watching. And no this isn’t the cop out ‘If you don’t like it stop watching it’ thing that gets said often, this is just me saying that for all their anger, bile and vitriol, they’re still fans and they’re still watching. There’s got to be some good in that. 🙂
Again, great post Joe. Well said.
Wow. If only we could get such a nice analysis of Todd.
Thanks for your take on everything Joe, even though I still have unanswered questions your post did put some things into perspective. I think there is definitely a big difference between what was intended and how the finial results were interpreted, though. I also still believe the way Brain Storm was structured didn’t do either of the characters any favors – Keller not seeming to believe Rodney (It could have been made more clear that while she did believe him she felt that it was best to not make a scene because no one else was going to believe them – Rodney almost sounding like he wanted credit more than caring about having saved the day (it’s how it came across to me, really) – them sex on a plan right after having almost died? Sorry, but that just made no sense…). I also think the relationship progressed a bit to quickly for my preferences – but perhaps the point was to get it done quickly so other plot lines could be followed up in a later season that never got to happen? Either way what’s done is done and at the end of the day the show is yours and you guys should do what you want with it. I know that, I’ve defended that in the past.
Even though I despise the pairing of McKay and Keller so I am very dissapointed that it became canon, I thought that was an absolutely excellent post! A fascinating read 😀
I totally understand why you didn’t make Shep the father of Teyla’s baby, I am John/Teyla shipper but for all the reasons you stated it wouldn’t have been right.
And I did quite like the connection between Ronon and Keller, I wouldn’t have minded them getting together but I very much like the idea of him and Amelia 😉
It’s a shame that we won’t see Nancy again, I liked her much more than I expected too 🙂 Poor Shep 🙁
Thanks, Joe, for that insight. Frankly, I don’t see what all the fuss is about myself. Two different shows. Two different sets of circumstances. Two completely different types of relationships. And I enjoy them both.
Noting what you said about SG1 and Sam and Jack–you said it’s never been canon, although in your mind they’ve been together since Threads (in mine too, if you haven’t figured that out…). Can you tell us if there is any likelihood that it will ever be made canon at some point? Or are we going to have to continue to live with it in our imaginations forever?
As always, thank you!
Thank you Joe for that.
I was one more hate filled Comments section off sending you an email to say thanks for everything, goodbye for now and I’ll read you during Sci Fi book of the month discussions.
Hopefully now the whole Keller/McKeller hate fest can be put to bed and people can start directing their efforts and energies into something useful! I think I’m living in a world of false hope though.
I don’t know where people get the mental and emotional energy to hate, and yes I say hate, fictional characters. Doesn’t real life throw enough challenges at you without feeling the need to go all postal about someone that doesn’t exist?
Think of Maggiemayday, Davidd, Anne Teldy, drldeboer whenever these overwhelming feelings of fictional hate come over you and do some quiet reflection on what problems you could really be faced with right now other than your TV show characters not living up to your expectations.
Practice perspective please…
And those crying “Mary Sue”, so what if she is? If you write fan-fic then can you criticise? The only difference is writer’s of fan-fic are unfunded writers.
The entry from Joe today just shows that they don’t just write whatever they feel like, it is a juggling act of fans, actors, studio expectations and you have to try and keep as many happy as possible.
I want to know how many that continually criticise have tried to create their own idea, pitched it to a network or attempt to raise the capital themselves, have got picked up, hired the actors, worked within budgets, written scripts years on end within guidelines, negotiated contracts, written scripts to work within actor’s limits and have made it successful?
Try it and see how easy it is.
I know this comment will be unpopular but I don’t care anymore. I’m done. Tired. Fed up with so much continual negativity. It doesn’t take much to turn from seeing the positives in life to always seeing the negatives, and sadly negativity spreads like a virus. I make a point of not surrounding myself with negativity people in the real world, so I need to walk away from a negative environment before I let it effect me.
Thank you Joe for the answers to ships and what ifs.
Sam/Jack – I was one who, although, would have loved to see them get together, understood this would never happen as long as one of them remained in the service.
Rodney/Katie – agree with that assesment. Rodney was trying too hard to be nice. He does seem to be more at ease with Jennifer. I don’t think I ever heard Rodney complain about anything while he was with Katie.
After 5 years, I too thought it would be a little unbelivable that no one would fall in love and I think Rodney was really the best choice. John and Ronon both have bad experiences with love in the past, and Rodney did hint that he wanted to pass on his genius, so I would have gone with him.
Anyway, just to let you know, I agree with the direction that the show was going on concerning matters of the heart.
Joe Writes: First of all, the big question: Why ship anyone? Does the show necessarily have to involve any sort of relationship? My answer to that would be that while, yes, it is science fiction, the characters at the heart of these stories are real people, subject to the same hopes, disappointments, and desires as you or I. They’re not emotionless automatons but grounded individuals who succeed, fail, exult, fear, despair, lose their tempers, and, occasionally, fall in love. On the one hand, the series wasn’t a space opera in the sense that it explored the constantly shifting relationships between our main characters but, on the other hand, we did aim at creating a realistic world within our scifi framework. It thus stood to reason that, over time, this would be something that we would explore simply because, over time, this would be something that would naturally evolve amongst people working together in such a close-knit environment.
Thank you Joe. I completely agree with you about the Ship issues. As you said they wouldn’t be human if they didn’t. And it does make more since to have a main character fall in love with someone they know than someone from say another planet. Besides our characters our stuck on Atlantis 365 days a year so who else are they going to have romantic interest with and why not someone that udnerstands what they are going through. Its the samething in real life. People don’t fall in love with someone that walks off the street and into their lives. People fall in love with people they know through work, school, church, friends, etc. Maybe once in a while someone might fall in love with a complete stranger, but not often.
Again Joe. Thanks for the break down.
Interesting post, Joe.
Yesterday, you said:
As for the argument that the Keller/McKay relationship has become the main focus of the show, let’s chart its development: The Shrine (final scene, McKay admits his love for Keller), Tracker (final scene, McKay and Ronon admit their mutual interesting Keller), The Lost Tribe (final scene, Keller informs Ronon she is interested in someone else), Brain Storm (McKay and Keller’s first date, the relationship is solidified). Again, hardly the focus of the show’s fifth season.
See, this – for me – is kind of the crux of my issues with Rodney and Jennifer: I felt their growing attraction wasn’t developed enough. Now, I like Keller just fine. I was never a huge Beckett fan, so this has nothing to do with him. I have no problem with any age difference anywhere. My problem simply lies with the feeling that what you guys had in your head didn’t transfer to the screen as well as it could. I still love SGA. I still love Rodney. Again, I like Keller just fine. I just felt like the key relationship moments stick out awkwardly because of a lack of little hints along the way. I don’t know – maybe these things were meant to be there and were lost due to cuts for time. Maybe these things *are* there in the writers’ eyes, but I am not picking up on them. I’m shrugging as I type. Whatever, I’m still watching.
I have to agree with you somewhat over your comments regarding Rodney’s relationship with Katie vs his relationship with Keller. I found it quite sad the way that Rodney always seemed to feel he had to change who he was to “deserve” a nice girl like Katie. Even his breakup with her was all about how he wasn’t worthy – he needed to work on himself before he would be a good marriage choice for anyone. How sad! And untrue – all he needs is someone whose personality clicks with his. If Sheppard had been locked in that room with Rodney in Quarantine (and this comment is totally not a McShep thing!) then Rodney would not have spent all that time lying on the floor, paralysed by despair – Sheppard knows how to handle Rodney, Katie never did. Admittedly, Keller is better in that respect (although, I did feel that in Brain Storm she seemed to buy into views of the other scientists in terms of thinking of Rodney as an arrogant blowhard – particularly in the scene where Tunney is doing his presentation.)
I have to agree with you, too, in your idea of Sheppard as more of a loner than Ronon, and it’s hard to envision him in a relationship. As far as making him the father of Teyla’s baby – I’m really glad you didn’t go down that road, for all of the reasons you outlined above, but also because I never saw any mutual attraction between them after the pilot, only friendship, and I would have found it extremely jarring (as jarring as I found the ‘date’ dream in Search & Rescue).
I must admit, I would have liked to see Ronon find someone – such a lonely character, and with his years as a runner it would have been interesting to see the impact of his past on his ability to form a relationship like that.
Ah, you know – I’m sighing all over again that the series is ending. 🙁 Still, I haven’t watched Infection yet, and I’ve been reading your blog with my fingers over my eyes to avoid being too spoiled … maybe I’ll watch it tonight. After Dirty Sexy Money.
Re: Sam/Jack – I thought Jack didn’t retire after ‘Threads’, but was promoted to head of Homeworld Security. That took him out of the SGC and perhaps out of Sam’s direct chain of command, but since I’m guessing since HS probably oversees the Stargate Program, a relationship between the two of them would still be seen as improper.
As for your gay guy – I call Lorne. I don’t know why – just a hunch. I hope if you guys ever decide to out whoever it is to the audience, and they happen to be in the military of….certain countries…..you’re careful with how you do it. A throwaway “I’m heading back to Earth to spend time with my boyfriend. See ya!” could be a little dangerous for his career, depending on who’s in hearing range. 🙁
Joe, thanks for outlining the thought process involved in writing this season’s scripts, and in particular, the McKay-Keller romance.
Despite the explanation(yeah, you knew that was coming, huh?) I think that a large part of the general cry of “WTF?” comes from *telling us* that Rodney and Jennifer have feelings for one another not *showing us.*
There just wasn’t enough….stuff… between that beer and the “I love you, have for quite some time.” I know I sat up and said, “WTF?” And then worried that John had messed up the timeline and *told* him for crissakes, real smart John.
You lads gave us a progression with Ronon and Jennifer. The almost kiss, Jennifer’s realization that wow, they approached things very differently and oh, no, this was not such a good idea and her gently breaking things off with him.
It felt like we went from zero to sixty with Jennifer and Rodney and we’re squalling with whiplash. There was no subtext at all and then BOOM, text.
Make no mistake, fandom as a whole loathed Katie Brown, thought she was all wrong for him, couldn’t believe that he was effacing himself so much to be with her and generally forgot about her, as Rodney seemed to, when she wasn’t in sight.
Thing was, we figured you guys thought that, too, and there would be some sort of realization, ignominious end or both. There was both! And much rejoicing forthwith.
Even if I prefer different relationships for both of them, I would have been delighted, would have eaten it up with a spoon, to see them fall in love over a series of episodes – not even whole episodes, but enough to know, to feel the affection between them build. Because gosh, how cute is Rodney when his face is all shining and happy and oh, Jennifer is so pretty and hey, a geek girl too, kind of like us fangirls, and that have been pretty cool. If you made us believe it.
I have to come to the conclusion – and I thought about it – that I have no idea when Rodney’s feelings toward Jennifer changed from colleague to something greater. I never saw it. I can only come to the conclusion that John must have told him they were married in another timeline and that Rodney’d been chewing that over and convinced himself that This Was It. (If so, oh *dear,* Rodney.)
I don’t know about Jennifer either. If her realization that she had deeper, romantic feelings was supposed to happen during “The Shrine,” it was obscured by her doctoring.
She was quite obviously being Very Professional and Protective of her patient. She may have well been harboring squishy feelings or confused feelings or confused squishy feelings, but what came across was distrust of Pegasus medical knowledge of their own diseases, most particularly in the person of Ronon and defensiveness against the collective wish do do something *now.* Again,that seemed to be progression of Ronon and Jennifer’s storyline and Jennifer’s own character development and not Jennifer and Rodney’s storyline.
So, yeah, some of it’s the who, but – and some fangirls would lynch me for saying this – the who doesn’t matter so much as the *how.* Y’all took the cardinal sin short cut of telling, not showing. And there was woe.
Would that you had enough time to give us a slower, less jolting build-up. My opinion? We don’t believe what we’re seeing and we love these characters so much. We want to believe. But we just don’t.
Thanks for the explanation, Joe. It is interesting to hear how much discussion went on behind the scenes in establishing all the interpersonal relationships for the last two seasons.
I never had any problem with the McKay-Keller relationship – it seems natural to me that they ended up together. Both of them seemed kind of nerdy and shy and tentative in their interpersonal relationships. They just — fit.
@Narelle: Your post crossed my last one, so please forgive the extra post, but I wanted to say that I agree with you. Thanks for putting it so well.
Thanks for explaining the thought processes behind the various ships on SGA. I have to admit that I thought Jennifer and Ronan had more chemistry than Jennifer and Rodney, but I’ve enjoyed seeing Rodney act like himself and STILL get the girl, since it probably is too much to ask to have him end up with John. :0)
@Narelle from Aus
I agree, all this negativity is unhealthy, so I’ve decided to make it a point to write positive comments! Joe and the other writers, producers, etc…need to know that there are fans who have and are enjoying Stargate Atlantis. They need to hear the good, not just the bad.
The romance and sexual tension in shows really draw me in, I love it. However, I’m going to have to say that I agree with what Joe F. said in an interview a while back. He was speaking of Teyla and Sheppard at the time, but he said that they could never consummate the relationship, or at the very least, it would be in the last episode. Shows thrive on conflict such as sexual tension. Once the relationship is consummated, then it’s no longer as entertaining.
I believe this is true in the Keller/McKay case. I’ve not weighed in with my opinions on their relationship until now. I do think it moved way too fast. I noticed the subtle pieces added in Friday’s episode that really cemented their coupledom. I suddenly felt myself acting like some 6 yr old, saying “Eww, gross…” and wrinkling my nose. It seemed like too much, and I’m the type of sucker who loves this stuff.
I love McKay, don’t get me wrong, and I definitely believe that he should get the girl. Keller is a great choice, but there has been very little buildup. I know it’s been building for a season and a half, how much more do I need? Well, honestly, the Teyla and John build up went on for much longer. The longer it goes on, the more I want them to be together. I know, it sounds cliche, but it’s the truth.
The journey is the sexual tension and the end reward is the consummation. I’d have loved to see more sexual tension with McKay and Keller. Sure, they aren’t the couple that I’d love to see together, but I think the characters deserve to be happy.
Now on to Kanaan. There are many ways for killing off characters that are fun and entertaining 😀 hehehehe. It’s obvious that Sheppard wants Teyla, and he was her protector while she was pregnant. It was a role that fit him very well. However, if a Sheppard/Teyla consummation is not in the stars, then she could hook up with Carson Beckett after Kanaan’s death. He’d make an amazing father, and Teyla could still go on missions without having to cut to the baby all the time.
I nearly posted Jen and Rodney having a baby idea in my previous Daddy Daycare response to Marty’s Q&A. Teyla and Jen go out, leaving Shep and McKay to watch the babies. haha. I still firmly believe it would be hilarious. It could even be a dream sequence where Rodney wakes up in a cold sweat from the dream. Terrified, Rodney then looks over at the engagement ring on the nightstand. Roll Credits. 😀 Okay, so it’s been established that I’m evil, but if SGA were going on for more seasons, I’d have volunteered to write the script. I’ve taken a number of script writing classes at uni all with high marks, and have the software to boot. It could even be a 15-20 min piece and still be outrageously funny, even if it’s just a dream.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights.
Narelle makes a good point – let’s focus energies on real problems and issues. We have a number of people enduring real issues and grief.
In the US there are enormous issues and problems we face. I know I am confronting some due to the entire state of our affairs. I believe many in other countries have similar crosses to bear.
Yes, this is Science Fiction; it is ONLY an episodic television show and franchise that the majority of us have LOVED forever. Let’s continue to love it for as long as we have it and also the movies too. And, while I am uncertain about what the SGU holds, I’m going to watch it because it is part of the franchise I have held dear for way too long to drop and be petty about.
Why give Joe, and VERY IMPORTANT – the cast and crew who also read Joe’s blog so much grief and negativity. Joe has mentioned the readership as have a number of other blog readers.
My apologies if this offends anyone.
Thanks for the opportunity to blather; thanks for the blog snow; NOW….if we could all chill and play nice.
Wow. Thank you for the insight into the decisions and thought processes involved in the shipping of McKeller, as well as addressing related topics, such as Sheppard, Ronon, and Teyla.
Looking back, it’s not as if the McKeller arc has been all that dominating in terms of air time, other than in Brain Storm itself. Why shouldn’t McKay find some happiness for a time? Even if he “gets the girl” this season, that doesn’t promise that he would keep her. We all know the longevity of medical characters in the stargate universe, as well as McKay’s own karmic luck. The relationship, unlike the Sam/Jack one, was one that was not encumbered by official regulations. The Ronon/McKay rivalry was nicely played, and not overdone. And the McKeller relationship can be traced back all the way to Adrift, when we watched the characters first working in parallel to save their respective “patients”, then together to save Weir. The development of the relationship is logical.
My deepest regret is that we will not get to see Ronon or Sheppard have a similiar opportunity to develop relationships of their own, though with luck the movies might give us hints of them moving in that direction. But circumstances have killed the show prematurely, and unless Bill Gates elects to fund the show himself, we have to live with that.
One more mention about Keller. For those who are wannoyed at how much screen time she’s been given, I would point out that one of the major arcs of this season justifies her presence. None of the core characters could have handled the medical scenes needed to set up and explain the progress of the Wraith treatment. Ms. Staite pulled off those scenes profesisonally, and I believe the writers have not given her undue focus. This doesn’t mean I didn’t want to see more of Teyla, but the writers didn’t choose to tackle an arc, say, showing the Pegasus galaxy alliance of humans forming up, where Teyla might have played a central role. And while Carson Beckett might have filled in for Keller, we simply don’t have Mr. McGillion as a regular character.
With just three episodes left, I simply don’t want to deal with all the venom and vitriol some people seem to feel towards aspects of the show. I just want to enjoy the remaining episodes, and grind my teeth down as I await the release of the dvds and the new movie. Especially given the season, how about focussing on the upbeat for the next few weeks? Once the show is over, there will be plenty of time to get back into our arguments and no holds barred debates.
Hubby and I were giggling over R&J joining the mile high club. Heeheee! Yeah, we’re mature.
Well said, Joe! I was all for the McKay/Keller relationship and hoped he would get the girl. I can understand animosity toward the replicators, Michael and other bad guys, but this? For anybody to say that this was akin to The Young and the Restless (or some such thing) is ridiculous. I’m glad our favorite characters have real emotions and I think that deep down, we’re all suckers for a happy ending. Again, thanks for a great episode~
Hello, i just wanted to ask what the chances are, of having either Joe, Jason, or Rachel answer any questions on your blog? secondly although i know that you guys have not written the movie yet, Do you guys plan on exploring the character relationships or can we expect it to be a 2 hour episode of some sort?
You could always put a bit of your John-Nancy arc in the upcoming movie.
Wow, thanks, Joe, I enjoyed reading that.
Wow, I had no idea that the negativity was truly that bad. I’m usually oblivious to it all as I rarely spend time reading the other comments. I usually only post responses directly related to the blog. This is something I’ve started since I nearly spoiled the Lost Tribe arc as people were posting reviews before I had seen the show…
I apologize if I offend anyone (or drive them away) with my previous post as it was never my intention. The post is how I feel, in all honesty, in regards to that relationship and others. I don’t believe I was too negative. It may appear that I’m joking about Kanaan, but I think ultimately, it’s best for some characters to sacrifice themselves for the good of the show. 😛
(Tried to post this before but my internet died on me, so I’m not sure if it went through or not. Sorry if I double post it. )
It’s very nice of you to write up the sequence of ship events, Joe. To me it seems like a series of compromises and a process of elimination to get to your goal: a romance arc for some pairing. So the question is whether a viewer who doesn’t know all the why’s and wherefore’s, or actually agree with your goal, will “buy” the end product of all those decisions. I think fan reaction shows a fair number of us couldn’t fit McKay/Keller, as it played out, into our viewing context. I’m one of those, and the arc has sadly tarnished the end of the series for me.
If you could travel back in time, would you make all the same decisions regarding whether a hook-up should happen, who hooked up, and how?
Was my comment deleted?
I didn’t approve the comment because the url provided looked like a link to a Russian sex site. It wasn’t?
I really hope to see Daniel and Vala in the Sg1 movies, and see their ship come to an end, hopefully in a good way!! I love them together, and since “Unending” and know ing that it’d work, I want to see it in “real life”. Just curious, do you support the Daniel and Vala ship??
Joe! You have killed mah brain with happy slash thoughts! LOL!
Hmm … a gay character in SGA? How wonderful would that have been? I think absolutely dead-on realistic with the “real world” they are in. Have you seen “Torchwood”? GREAT Roguish leading man and sundry sexy hottie factor men and women, and everyone seems to “snog” everyone else. LOVE IT!
*falls out of chair*
Now … who …. on SGA … Hmmm….:
Carson: YES please. With extra sprinkles on top. Please. Oh please!
Lorne: Um .. YES please. That man is hotilicious and it would have been a bonus for us ladies to wish the impossible wish ….
Caldwell: OMG …. seriously, he was just TOO Rules and Regs, ya know? Perfect! 😉
Okay, my husband said I must stop freaking you out now. Sorry.
Trish in Texas
Thank you for this incredible insight into what goes in to developing a story line. Also, for you taking the time to address the concerns felt by many of your readers and present your reasons/arguments/whatever for the decisions that were made.
Actually, I want to thank whoever nixed your attempt to make Jack/Sam canon. I’m glad that that person was smart enough to leave it to the imaginations of whomever wanted to go down that road, including you. Many people didn’t see it and didn’t want it and I don’t see why they should be force-fed it when it’s just as easy to leave it as it has been… up to the individual whether he/she feels it went that way. Why pander to one faction or the other when there’s enough evidence there one way or another to support whichever way you think?
The more Keller dealt with romance, the fonder I became of the character because Jewel made it quite fun. Having said that though, I have to say I couldn’t really buy the relationship between her and McKay — never felt real, not even in the AU and the best thing I can say about it is that it was better than McKay and Katie, in which like you say, McKay hardly seemed to be McKay.
And despite being a former scientist myself, “Brain Storm” vies with “Missing” and “Trio” as the episode I like least in the entire series — that’s a trio of its own, three episodes which will never pay residuals based on me viewing again, because I find them irritating or boring or both and having nothing that attracts me to the series as a whole.
I do wish that those fans who pontificate on other fans being negative here by making negative statements about such fans and what they should be doing instead, would heed their own advice. That would sure decrease the volumen of negativity itself.
Thank you for discussing McKeller and the process behind what made it onto screen.
I still cannot stand the “ship” or feel it was at all necessary, but I appreciate that you took the time to explain in a thoughtful manner what your rationale was.
First of all, thanks Joe for posting all of this for us to read. Now that Atlantis is sadly ending, it’s nice to see all of this written down.
Although I would’ve loved to see the John/Teyla relationship flourish, I respect the decisions that the writers make (and plus, there’s always the movies for J/T!!!!). John and Teyla is what made me keep watching the show. I love the chemistry that Joe and Rachel share, and it’s really made such an impact on the show.
I am also one of many that love the McKeller ship, so thanks for posting this for us. I’ve loved them since the end of “Trio,” and I was so happpy when Jennifer said that she loved Rodney in “Brainstorm”; it made my week!
Which leads me into my next comment. How much SGA means to me. Just seeing the characters on screen is enough to make me smile when I’m upset. I look forward to Friday nights just so I can see my favorite characters’ newest adventures. All of the negativity being thrown around on the forums and such has really put a damper on the mood of the show. I mean, just enjoy the last three episodes of the show.
Also, thanks for commenting on Jack and Sam. In my mind, they are together as well. I’m glad that someone else agrees with me as well.
Now though, one last question. What about Daniel and Vala? What happened between them? Like Rodney and Jennifer, they happened in an alternate future. So is there a possiblity that they will both be happy as well?
Thanks for listening Joe!
No, Joe. It was a link to a picture of the pride flag to demonstrate my identity and thanksgiving that you considered identifying a publicly homosexual character on the show.
But you were close.
Sorry. Feel free to repost.
p.s. Sorry to disappoint, of course.
I’ve go to go now and no longer have the link. But thank you.
Much appreciation to your entries.
Check on this one.
[enter pride flag here].
Ok, I’m out of here then. I would like to think I’m usually a pretty positive commenter. I’ve post 2 comments on the amount of negativity over the last year.
Thank you Joe for everything.
See you around Jan 14th.
I hope there’s a blog rehab around here.
i appreciate your views on ship, especially the sam/jack one. i have a couple of questions –
1- are you saying jack’s already retired? i thought he was heading homeworld security?
2- months ago, brad wright said there’d be a romantic scene in the 3rd movie for sam/jack; is that still a go?
regarding sam and jack’s statis: i agree with you, they got together after ‘threads’. but i’d like to get that *official* confirmation, specifically in visual and spoken form.
thanks, joe. 🙂
I’ve always enjoyed thinking of Sheppard and Teyla getting together at some point. Clearly they care deeply for each other, though there isn’t a romantic relationship, and I’m a sucker for stories where a deep friendship eventually becomes more (hey, it’s what happened to me!). But I get what you are saying about why that isn’t to be. I have to admit, I’d never thought about him reuniting with his ex-wife, but now that you mention it I rather like the idea. Reminds me of an favorite author of mine who divorced, only to realize that he and his wife had never stopped loving each other. It was the marriage that had failed, not their love, if that makes any kind of sense. They are together again, now.
When it comes to television overall, I most enjoy seeing the characters being human. Yes, they’re running around saving the galaxy, but give me a glimpse of the rest of their lives as well. What do they care about, who do they care about? In this respect, I think Atlantis has struck a good balance, giving us glimpses of the team throughout, as they live their personal lives. And now, we even have a real relationship between two main characters. It isn’t the focus of the whole show, only one aspect of it, just as the relationship hasn’t become the entire reason for being to the characters involved.
May I say, it is also a satisfying change of pace from SG1 — a favorite of mine — where relationships were hinted at, danced around, but never fulfilled. I recently read an interview with Joss Whedon, who had this to say: “Don’t give people what they want, give them what they need. What they want is for Sam and Diane to get together. Don’t give it to them. Trust me. . . . No one’s going to go see the story of Othello going to get a peaceful divorce. People want the tragedy. They need things to go wrong, they need the tension. In my characters there’s a core of trust and love that I’m very committed to. These guys would die for each other, and it’s very beautiful. But at the same time, you can’t keep that safety. Things have to go wrong, bad things have to happen.”
You could exchange “Jack” for “Diane” in that quote, I suppose. But is it true? Is he right?
I don’t know. I’d still like to see Sam and Jack together. 🙂
That whole post made me sick to my stomach. I’m sorry Joe, but you guys just can’t do the ship thing. You don’t know how, and reading this post brought fear of what the next ship might look like. Well, i think Ronan and the new girl would be bearable, but if you make Lorne gay i WILL stop watching. That would be the last straw.
Love the post… While I love some ships and loathe others, I still will watch any and all Stargate movies/shows that come out. I love the moments that are written and acted between different characters that show the depth of concern, care and genuine friendship or dislike that exists between them. Thanks for posting your thoughs on different ships and the thought process that went on to get to where the show is now.
But enough of that.
You’ve mentionned before that you’ve watched Farscape, another of my favourite shows. I consider Farscape to be quite story-arc driven overall, while there are many episodes that are or could be considered stand-alone. Would you consider Farscape to be more arc driven than either SG-1 or SGA? What about SGU?
The Jack/Sam debate always annoyed me! Short of one retiring, of COURSE they couldn’t go anywhere on the show. Now I’ve just gone with the idea of “Well DUH!” I don’t need the writers to confirm it, I watched 10 years of it, of course they have or will hook up when Jack retires.
I’m all for McKeller and I think a lot of people are just blind or, I’m sorry to say, stupid not to see it. Of COURSE Keller is trying to change certain aspects of McKay’s behaviour, because he is an ass! We love him for it – but none of us could live with it day in day out, and if you are – call 1-800-GETANEWMAN. I studied and work with astrophysists and engineers – we can be egotistic asses but we learn to shut up when our partners don’t like our work selves. Keller loves McKay the way he is, but like EVERY woman does with their partner, there’s bad habits she’ll try to “fix”!
Here’s one thing I like to remind everyone of: David Hewlett’s wife gives Hewlett but 15 minutes to lose McKay or there’ll be hell to pay. She can’t even stand more than 15 minutes of McKay, why do we expect more from Keller?
McKay admitted himself that being a better person is something he’s working on! Daniel Jackson asked him, “You can only give compliments to the dying?” and he responded that it was something he was working on. So Keller is helping him!
She was protective of Rodney by trying to stop him appearing bad in front of his peers – not this ‘not standing up for him’ person everyone sees!
Rather than go on a rant about how Keller isn’t a Mary Sue and that the haters of McKeller have unrealistic romantic ideas, too stuck on their attraction to David Hewlett/McKay to let go of him to anyone, or are McSheppers (yeah cause THAT’S a ship that makes sense *sarcasm dripping*) I’m going to address one key factor everyone keeps bringing up in all the forums and reviews:
Sex on the plane.
Here’s my response to the ones who can’t believe that would happen. If a man confessed his love to me, literally saves my life, and I confess my same affections towards him; you bet your ASS I’d have sex with him. Plane or no plane, why not? We both love each other and HE JUST SAVED MY LIFE!!!!! lol
The main issue I thought about this whole debate is that McKay represents the geek; the nerd of the show. Most sci-fi fans are considered geeks and nerds. So the geek/nerd is the one scoring all the action! 2 chicks in 2 seasons. Isn’t this a good thing in promoting that the less attractive geek is more capable of scoring than the hot, rugged Colonel Sheppard who better represents the standard idea of those who aren’t sci-fi fans?? Just saying!
Good blog, Joe. Relationships are a fact of life – sci-fi show or no sci-fi show, people need a little “action” now and again or they become ship hater Mary Sue goggle wearing…wait – I think I might be onto something here, Joe! ;-).
P.S. The gay guy = Lorne?
I’ve pretty much assumed that Sam and Jack are secretly together for the past few years. I would look forward to actual confirmation in one of the movies, though.
Since we couldn’t well have two of our main characters facing parenthood, we opted to drop the Daddy McKay idea.
Well, you could have made McKay’s baby and Teyla’s baby the same baby. That would have been an interesting twist. Heehee.
Bah. I still think making Michael somehow responsible for Teyla’s pregnancy would have been far more interesting, in all sorts of ways (the question of why he orchestrated such a thing, Teyla’s mixed feelings about her baby, the complication in Teyla’s relationship with Michael, etc.), but I guess that’s just me.
Based on what you’ve said and what we know, I suppose the most logical options for this gay character are Lorne and Zelenka. Could go either way. My preference (of these two) would be Zelenka, but my gut’s telling me you’d go with the possibly less obvious Lorne choice.
Bringing back Shep’s ex-wife would be a very interesting option, now that both Weir and Teyla are off the table, so to speak. If you decide to do what you talked about there, in one of the movies or something, I think I’d like to see that.
Hi Joe! Welcome back! Thank you for posting the run down of what went into making or not making a relationship canon. Although McKeller is not what I wanted I’m glad you took the time out of your busy schedule to tell us about it..it makes me feel like you care 🙂 Not just about the “shipping:..loss train of thought here…but Thank you for always trying to clear things up for us and just in general allowing us to voice our opinions and complaints to you!
@beadtific I agree with your post 100% I know I couldn’t have said it better. There really was no build up to the McKeller relationship..sure there was a build up to them…liking each other..more on Rodney’s part put really nothing from Keller..then BAM! I love you long time? Seriously? and now with just 3 episodes left..Ronon will be in or pursuing a relationship? Another BAM! moment coming up 🙂
P.S.: Vega, really? Huh!
I would have liked to have seen that scene. Interesting.
Though, do you think there would have been complaints later when she was killed?
I have already weighed in on this topic many times. I have admitted to being perfectly happy with McKeller. I, personally, agree completely that Ronan and Keller would make a horrible match.
On that same note…
I realize that you can’t actually reveal such details, I’m sure its in your contract somewhere. But I am putting out there (entirely theoretically of course) that Character X is perhaps one kick-ass, kickboxing Gate tech. This would make me very happy. Ronan needs a girl that can hold her own.
Just some thoughts
1 like a lot of fans, favorite character is Sheppard. i like many would like to see more of his life/thoughts/character etc. any chance you could give him a girlfriend? and Sheppard and Teyla would have been hot!! Still remember the scene in ep Sunday when Ronon asks him. Have to agree w/Jason M. Ronon was just to overpowering for Keller.
2. any chance that for the new movie that the props people and writers updating some of the devices, tech and computers? that life signs detector looks kind of, i dont know, 80’s ish? My cell phone looks sleeker, more sophistcated, powerful and can even play games!
3. Lorne or Zalenka being gay. I could see each of them that way, but w/DADT, i guess it would have to be Z. would have liked to see McKay’s reaction to finding that out. I mean he could have been that oblivious. Or knew all along and didnt care, and that would be sweet. He’s Canadian after all, all slash McShep fanfiction begins with the premise that, “hey Rodney’s Canadian and its legal up there!”
and 4. wow, they eat alot of seafood in Japan. no chicken?
I appreciate your insight about the ships.
Personally I neither ship or slash anyone, so I have no pairing agenda.
I can only speak about SGA because I don’t watch SG-1, so I won’t go into any SG-1 pairing.
I used to like McKeller and Jennifer more, but I think my problem is how it was done and how much screen time in a row was devoted to that (and Ronon with the love triangle). I was 100% happy with SGA since Rising up to and including The Queen. Well, in fact I liked Tracker too, even if I didn’t like the love triangle thing. But I liked the episode as a whole at the moment. It was later, as we got more of the love triangle and Keller in First Contact and The Lost Tribe that started to annoy me a bit (I admit that in addition to that, I didn’t like the mid season two-parter much because I couldn’t stand the guy from SG-1, so maybe that made me notice stuff I might have ignored otherwise). Add to that the lack of team (the 4 of them together) in many episodes in a row, and, right or wrong, I started to feel that the screen time devoted to the love triangle, McKeller and Ronon/Keller stuff could’ve been spent in showing the team together or more of the already established friendships that I felt have been missing since early season 5: John & Teyla, Teyla & Ronon, John & Ronon, etc.
And then yet another episode (Brain Storm) dedicated to Rodney and Jennifer and the McKeller angle was too much for me. With all due respect to Martin Gero, I don’t think the romance aspect was dealt in a mature manner in the episode.
I used to like McKeller back when it was in small doses, like the hints in The Seed. But my main problem is that I think the love triangle and everything about McKeller and Ronon/Keller was rushed, we got too much in several episodes within a few weeks/a couple of months (Tracker, First Contact, the Lost Tribe, Brain Storm). I think that if things had been more spread in time (covering the same story arc with the same total screen time but over a couple of years/seasons), it would’ve seem far less intrusive to the other existing dynamics.
I don’t go reading what other fans think about pairings, etc. I stay away of episode discussions outside here. But, for the record, I liked Rodney and Katie Brown and never had problem with them because I never thought the relationship took away anything from the existing dynamics. I never felt we had less team, less of any friendship pairing, etc because of Rodney/Katie and I think the key to that is that the relationship begun in season 2 with Duet, continued in season 3 with Sunday and then in season 4 with Tabula Rasa and Quarantine. Those were 4 episodes in TWO years, not 4 episodes in a single season.
As I said, my main problem is not the pairing itself or even Keller (I do like her as a doc a lot). My main problem is that it was too much in a short period of time (I’m talking about the viewer’s time, , not the “Atlantis fictional time”).
I’ll talk about the other pairings you mentioned in another post 😀
First of all, the big question: Why ship anyone?
Or another question, why ship Rodney yet again? There’s a ship sitting in dry dock called Teyla/Kanaan and the bundle of laundry that they call their own, potentially prime character development land for Teyla and a chance to have a ship that isn’t between two main characters. Instead Rodney becomes the romantic lead and gets to be awkward around someone else all over again and at this point that characters on steroids with the amount of development that it’s got. Eh, it’s all rather moot, and in any respect I appreciate you taking time out to go over a subject I’m sure you’re pretty sick of by now.
It was always going to be a risk taking a gen show and launching a ship that was going to be THE main character arc for the season (and I think that’s why it seems to be such a major focus since it’s one of the few things that links the season together, and that there’s not an overall arc for any of the other characters – I don’t count Ronon/Keller because that was put in place for the McKeller ship, not really for Ronon’s benefit). Especially a ship that was launched in The Shrine with a declaration of love before any ground work was really done. Especially between two actors that describe their working relationship as brother/sister, which for some (not all) was how they viewed it – a ship minus sexual chemistry and life preservers (I emphasis the ‘not all’, people’s perceptions will vary). But I certainly never noticed any preceding spark or long lingering looks or any show other than the tell of Keller deciding that McKay is really a nice guy because he talks to Coma!Carson. Maybe The Last Man and the Romance Montage was meant to be all the groundwork that was necessary?
given that nobody complained about the fact that McKay was incredibly passive, almost childlike in his last relationship.
Oh, there were many complaints, this is fandom after all, and people were wondering what the writers were doing there and all. I thought at least that Katie was shown to ‘get’ McKay with regards to the cactus comment and the line regarding layers, she knew that he could be a complete erm, cactus, but wanted to be with him regardless – I’m not sure that Keller has been shown to get McKay in that the times she’s been complimentary about him seems to be for fairly OOC moments and not for him as he typically is (maybe it’s not humanly possible) – BUT saying that I figure that Keller was a purpose built creation for McKay and therefore his perfect match – I know Gero mentioned that McKeller was pretty much a foregone conclusion from Trio, but I have my suspicions that it was a foregone conclusion, at least to him, from when Staite was signed on. I could be wrong, but then again if I identified completely with Teyla and Nathan Fillion had been signed on to the show I probably would have taken $2 million dollars and got them together on screen as well. And then been asked to leave after hiding in his trailer.
on the other hand, we did aim at creating a realistic world within our scifi framework.
Keller as CMO? Never sold on it because of it’s complete unbelievablity (I would have felt this way if Zac Efron had ended up the prodigy Chief Science Officer, thanks for not doing that), especially since it was tied in to her waving her arms around going ‘I’m unsure, I’m vulnerable, I’m just a girl, opps I need rescuing again’, which I kind of found to be an anvilicious way of trying to get the audience to feel sorry for her, and therefore like her, but just in turn highlighted the fact that she was too young for the role and that she didn’t fit (a prodigy junior doctor with top notch research skills who was the teams sole physician – reason for her to be involved, not quite so Wesley Crusher).
The more the writers tried to make her sympathetic (Ronon: my civilisation was destroyed. Keller: I didn’t go to prom!) the more I felt like I was being manipulated and the less I liked the character because it felt too much like a construct – Woolsey was thrown in and fans overall liked him, because he had to fight to fit in, because he was an ass but was oh so human about it. I don’t feel like Keller’s a human being but changes on a whim because the writers are hurriedly conferring in the background trying to patch her – quick, she’s seen as too wimpy, lets give her fighting skills, but again we’ll tell not show. I don’t feel like there was enough to the character of Keller in the first place and enough development initially put in place beyond ‘please like me! I’m nice, and harmless, I’m winnable as a shipping trophy!’. I’m not even sure, how she’s been written, why such a character would even want to come to the Pegasus Galaxy in the first place, what her motivation is. I kind of wish that there was a bit more passion in her voice when she talks about her research and medicine, I wish she could have had a friendship with Teyla (or hey, Vega) that could have been about development that wasn’t ship based.
I kind of wish I had been given a pony as a child. *stares into distance*
I know Gero blames the (Beckett) fans for how the character has been received, I will however have to disagree with that assessment (obviously) and say that there are issues with what was intended and how it came across on screen. However there are fans that are overjoyed with the character and the ship, there is also the point that the show is over, and at the end of the day if you and the rest of the cast and crew had a blast, we’ll I can’t really begrudge anyone that.
And I do have to thank you for allowing a forum where fans, no matter what their opinions, can come and vent, discuss and drone onandonandon, about a show that they have by and large hugely enjoyed. So, yeah, thanks.
Ahhh, Joe, you rock. Thanks for explaining the McKeller reasoning to those who Still Don’t Like It. And from those of us who do, thanks for the backstory… McKay as a father, now that’s a story I would like to see play out!!! (Even better if it happened as MG suggested: McKay is the daddy; Shep the mommy) 😉
Well, Joe, since my company just left (they’ve been here since before Thanksgiving) I’m playing catch-up with your blog.
First…..Welcome back from your vacation. Sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for taking the time to blog while you were away. I especially loved all of the photos that you posted.
Second…..Please thank Martin Gero for a fantastic Q&A. There were several questions that I wanted to ask him, but unfortunately didn’t get the chance.
Third…..Enjoyed reading your insight regarding ‘shipping’ on the show. I pretty much understood why Jack and Sam’s relationship hasn’t been made canon…yet; however, I wish you would have explained why it was decided not to make Daniel and Vala’s relationship canon. Especially now that McKay and Keller’s relationship has been made canon on SGA. I guess I’m a little confused.
Oh, and re: a homosexual character on SGA… that would ROCK!!! As long as you didn’t introduce a character and the relationship and then, the next week, mysteriously decide to make that character go away forever *coughcoughGrey’sAnatomy*. So I agree: the timing would have to be right!
I do not see what all the fuss about regarding ships. Frankly, I really do not care, whether characters have romantic relationships or not, its all good. Shippers freak me out, to be honest, but if that is what makes them happy, by all means, ship away.
My guess for gay characters are Lorne or Zalenka, leaning heavily to Zalenka.
And, I’d still really like to know:
Can you explain the differences between the following script writing terms?
-RUSH CUT TO:
-SMASH CUT TO:
Thank you for your thoughts, Joe.
I really liked the possibility of McKay/Keller in Trio, but after that the relationship just didn’t ring true to me. It seemed to just move really fast without the audience seeing any kind of natural progression. She asks him out for a beer, and later Rodney is in love with her. I’m not aware of any other real amount of time they may have spent together in between. While this actually makes sense for Rodney, at least to me, it’s just hard to get my head around.
To me Keller just seemed to lose her sass after Trio, except for an occasional snark here and there. I wasn’t as interested in her, and didn’t see her in a successful relationship with Rodney. And, I cannot tell a lie, nothing irks me more than a character who always seems to be in trouble and has someone rescue them. True, she did kick some ass in Tracker, but many of the episodes that feature her have her in some kind of distress. When I watched Brainstorm I just looked at her lying on the ground when Rodney was coming to rescue her and said, “She’s Danger Prone Daphne.”
I think characters are allowed to change, at least on Stargate, which is what I’ve appreciated about the series. I’d have been interested to see Rodney and Jennifer try to have a “normal” relationship long-term, with the natural ups and downs and their own personal insecurities (as well as Rodney’s obsession with work) thrown into the mix. Someone sent me a fan fic that actually addressed this really well, and ended the relationship in a very adult and, I felt, way for the characters. It would be more interesting if they didn’t make it as a couple to me, because I think long-term they wouldn’t have lasted. But still, I’m happy that Rodney has someone to love him, even if I’m not sure she’s the right one. Because wrong or right, each time someone loves Rodney and he’s loved in return, he grows as a character.
Joe, thanks for the post. Can you at least kill off Kaanan in the SGA movies so John and Teyla can flirt again? Ha Ha… I miss the chemistry of the first three seasons.
Thank you for the definitive explanation of ship on SGA. While I don’t like Keller/McKay for a number of reasons, I now understand your reasoning behind it.
I am also particularly grateful that Sheppard/Teyla never came to fruition. The reasons you gave are valid, but I would also add that the lack of chemistry between JF and RL would make any romance between them less than believable. I never saw any mutual attraction after the pilot. Here’s hoping that Kanaan stays around for the movie. And your ideas about Nancy sound interesting.
The question has to be asked though: why didn’t you write a ship between Sheppard and Weir? She seemed to understand him and he her. And it was certainly obvious that they cared about each other. It’s not too late to make this happen in the movie. Just let him steal a jumper and go thaw her out.
Personally, although I’m not adding much to the debate. I don’t see anything wrong with Rodney x Keller, both characters are made for each other.
Keller doesn’t seem like the woman to end up with a big strong guy like Ronon. More like a geeky but caring Mckay kinda lady.
Since we can’t have nice things in the world, It’s a shame the relationship won’t extend beyond to a season 6 lol
Here is an example of the spectacular writing at my high school: “The holidays are supposed to be a happy time. For some people they aren’t because they worry about their parents alcohol and drug abuse. You can talk to someone.” This was posted around the school. I wasn’t sure whether I should laugh or cry. The only consolation was that the paper it was on was pretty.
Personally, I have no prob with the McKeller thing. Actually, considering their mutual ‘genius’ childhood thing, they can relate. Katie was just sooo wrong for him.
Ronon and Banks would be good… although it would be interesting to see him with an older woman [too bad Weir is history], similar to Teyla — Sheppard doesn’t have an older sister that we don’t know about, does he? Now *that* would be entertaining! Ronon having a secret affair with Shep’s sister!
As for Sheppard… the return of Nancy would be acceptable. It’s funny when you think about it how much Teyla and Larrin both sorta look like her… Otherwise, Teyla is still probably the best match for him – eventually. Hey, took Sam and Jack forever… Speaking of Sam, from the way she and John related to each other, it felt to me as if they may have been in the same class at the Academy. Or served together before the SGC – the first Gulf war maybe? It definitely felt like they had some friendship history going on.
Does Ronon have a sister?
And Lorne… got my vote for most likely to be the Happy Guy!
Oh BTW… what’s with the “snowballs” running across the screen on this site? Is that WordPress, you or a Xmas Wraith virus? Noticed it the other day… got enough snow outside thanks. It’s just that it’s visually annoying…
Thank you, Joe, for the insight into the thinking process behind the atorylines and the “ships” on SGA and SG1. And seeing the other relationship twists that could have been…Very interesting. Of course, any of those would have possibly caused an uproar from some faction of fandom. You can’t please everyone no matter what you do – and trying to can be a creativity killer.
I haven’t always agreed with the turns that a particular story arc or character arc took, but as we count down the last few episodes of the series the bottomline for me is that the last five years have been a blast. Overall I’ve truly enjoyed the writing on the show – especially these last two seasons. The writing recently has felt more layered, with more nuance that I think the actors have really picked up on. (I think of Flanigan in Search and Rescue, Jason in Broken Ties, Rachel in Queen, David in The Shrine.) I think Gero himself, in an interview earlier in the season, said the writing was more sophisticated this year – and I’d agree. Regardless of all the controversy, Stargate Atlantis is now ranked among my all time favorite scifi TV shows.
I’m sorry I missed getting in a question to Gero. But please send him my thanks for the episodes he’s written for SGA. His episodes are all among my favorites – yes, even “Sunday.” And, as far as Brainstorm…I loved it. The physics-for-laypeople geek in me was grinning ear-to-ear seeing Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye on the show. I got a kick out of seeing Rodney in a different setting that another glimpse into his background. And the Keller/McKay relationship feels absolutely right to me for all the reasons you and Gero have articulated.
Three more episodes left – and I, for one, intend to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Continuing with the pairing discussion:
Teyla and Kanaan
I’m glad everything ended in a “normal” way. Normal baby, normal hubby, etc. And I like them together.
I only have a couple of things I’d like to mention:
1) I realize the character was created due to Rachel’s pregnancy in real life and the need to introduce the father of Teyla’s baby. You had no way of knowing this before season 4, so I understand why there was no mention of Kanaan before season 4. But I do think it would’ve been better to introduce Kanaan in any episode after Lifeline (ie. once the city got to the new planet) and before Missing (before the Athosians went missing). Just a small scene with him, or at least Teyla saying something about going to visit her people and Ronon teasing her about Kanaan, for example. As it turned out, even though I like Kanaan, it seemed as if he popped up from nowhere. A brief introduction before Missing would’ve been nice, IMO.
2) We haven’t seen Kanaan since Broken Ties. I realize there are budget and time constraints, but maybe him being there with Teyla and the team and Woolsey having lunch, at the end of Remnants for example, would have been a nice touch (providing hiring the actor didn’t make the episode go over budget 😀 )
John and Teyla
I love their friendship and I think they have a wonderful chemistry together. But I think it would been improper.
I thought that too about John and Elizabeth. I loved their friendship and I did see a wonderful chemistry between them as co-workers, but nothing else. I think it would’ve been equally improper for them to go anything beyond friendship.
John is second in command and as such, I feel he can’t be romantically involved with any member of the Atlantis expedition.
And that brings us to:
John and Nancy
Oh *cries* I would’ve LOVED to see that develoved over time. I loved their chemistry and interaction in Outcast. I was secretly hoping she would be in Vegas, but you would’ve mention edit in today’s post if she was, wouldn’t you? Sniff
When Nancy tells John in Outcast: “You know, it’s funny… When you and I were together, I couldn’t stand it when you wouldn’t be able to tell me where you were going or what you were doing. And now, every once in a while, I catch Grant looking at me the same way.”
In my mind I thought that Grant guy and Nancy might end up breaking up sooner than later and Nancy might end up with John again.
I think she’s perfect for John and I would’ve loved to see that as part of a story arc.
Smart decision on deciding not to go with Sheppard/Teyla. In addition to all the story/character issues you already cited, there’s also the issue of the military’s non-fraternization rules (yes, Teyla’s technically a civilian and an alien one at that, but she’s still Sheppard’s teammate, and as far as the US military is concerned, that’s close enough for the rules to apply). If you didn’t kill the idea, your advisers from the Air Force would have. And there’s also the fact that Joe and Rachel have zero sexual chemistry on screen. It just doesn’t play for the audience.
Nancy’s a logical option, but like Rachel, I really didn’t see any workable chemistry between Joe and Kari Wuher. For that matter, Nancy worked in HomeLAND Security, not Homeworld. So when the heck would she have been transferred?
Weir would’ve been the only other reasonable option, if, instead of taking the lazy way out and killing her off, you had taken a more innovative route to remove her from leadership of Atlantis yet still allowing her to stay with the expedition (and thus bypassing those pesky military non-fraternization rules). Especially since Joe had the best romantic chemistry with Torri out of all the actresses he’s played against on the show. How telling that you didn’t even mention her. You’re still trying to pretend that Weir and Torri don’t exist, apparently.
Okay, I appreciate the explanation. Still doesn’t make me like McKeller any better (the reasosns I don’t like it still remain) — especially since it seems like it was chance, unfortunate (to me, anyway) twists of fate, that led to it, chance that could have gone the other way. Like if Gero hadn’t thought to have Keller and Rodney go out for beer, which sparked the idea for them getting together in the future, if Luttrell hadn’t gotten pregnant (THAT IS NOT A CRITICISM, just an example of non-story circumstances affecting the story — and I’m still grateful for it, even if it did ruin things for the John/Teyla or Ronon/Teyla shippers, the latter of which I was somewhat myself, simply because Rodney-as-daddy-with-Katie would have been even more unpalatable to me than McKeller. XD), if Momoa hadn’t said he didn’t really see Ronon/Keller, and so on. While I appreciate Momoa’s feelings and input, I personally wish you had *stuck* with Ronon/Keller if you were going to go with a pairing at all. And I wish that Gero had never gotten the idea for the beer scene, nore you with the alt-timeline relationship with Keller. Talk about grains of rice …. Yes, yes, I know, if wishes were ZPMs, cities would fly …
But you only mentioned Sam and Jack (I appreciate that you say they are together, at least in your mind — much rejoicing here) — what about Daniel and Vala? They didn’t have any military regs to stop them. They were wroking together for two seasons, too. At least we had “Undending”, yes, but that was alt-timeline and now negated. I had considered us lucky to get *that* much, until now, seeing McKeller resolved in the main timeline, and seeing that you didn’t feel a ship was a total no-no after all. Especially knowing you shipped Daniel/Vala yourself! Colour me confused ….
Like Green, being bisexual myself, I do appreciate that you considered having it mentioned that one of the characters was homosexual. I wish you could tell us who it was! *G* (Of course, I wish even more for *actual* McShep, instead of just innuendos, but I’m pretty sure that that would piss off more fans that McKeller does. XD So I must content myself with the fanfic remixes of “Last Man” where Rodney admits that he really loved John and couldn’t live without him, hence his going against Keller’s wishes. *evil grin*)
(PS, Green, when are our characters going to pick things back up in our SG game, huh? *G* Merry’s been waiting a while …)
Speaking of McShep … someone else said before that Sheppard is worse than Keller when it comes to trying to change Rodney — I’m curious as to how? All Sheppard has ever done really is yell at Rodney when he thinks the man is holding back his ability, or not telling him everything, and their lives are at stake. Which is something I would expect from Rodney’s commanding officer. Nothing to do with social behavior. I don’t recall John ever telling Rodney to stop beaing an egomaniac; he just teases the man when the ego shows. *G* The closest I can recal him coming is telling Rodney that if he dumbed down an explanaton any further, he was going to get hit. *snicker* Otherwise, he seems to me to take McKay’s quirks in stride ….
Love that post it ws extremely interesting.
So who is gay? who!? lol I NEEEEED to know I was thinking maybe Lorne? He never mentions any relationships excpet that one time about his sister and that boy is so fine lol I know its not Zelenka because of the whole smelling Kellers hair thing lol
OMG its chuck! LOL……no?
“As for Sheppard – I consider him an even bigger loner than Ronon, an incredibly tough nut to crack. If anyone was going to do it, I don’t think it would be someone who just walked into his life. Rather it would have to be someone he knew (and knew him well in turn), someone he had a history with.
Yes, yes, YES! I have a one-tracked mind! Arrrrgggh! (Just try to image what it’s like living in my head! “It [is] extremely unpleasant!”)
In all seriousness, Joe…thank you for explaining all that goes into the process of making character decisions like this, very insightful. I’ve never been big on shipping, but McKeller doesn’t bother me at all…probably because I like Keller, an also because McKay and Keller are not the reasons I watch the show, so whatever they do with each other is okay by me.
However, I do understand why those who do have strong feelings for either character may get a bit upset at times when things don’t quite go as they would have liked to see them go – I think that’s just the nature of the beast. I mean, am I ever REALLY happy with what’s done with Todd? Not really (well, sometimes)…though I try to tolerate as much as possible, as long as the character is still alive and kicking. I mean, in this case, I’ll just about accept anything done to him if it means his survival in the show…even shipping him with Shep. 😉
Well…maybe not that. 😛
Shutting up now. I was going to be more serious…but I just can’t seem to maintain that level of maturity tonight…sorry.
You know, revealing that even Vega wants Keller isn’t going to help with the perceived favoritism she gets from you guys!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think everyone deserves a little romance in their life. I love the idea of Ronon and Amelia together. Is Chuck going to see his boyfriend?!
And there is one other alternative, one that I’d originally envisioned exploring when I was first spinning the story that would eventually become Remnants: John’s ex-wife, Nancy. In a very early version of the story, Nancy, who we have established works for Homeworld Security, is appointed to review Woolsey’s probationary record. Finally privy to the secrets her ex-husband had to keep from her all those years, she is actually able to empathize and understand him a little better. Of course, with better understanding complications arise… No idea where it would have gone, but I imagined it playing out as part of an extended episode arc.
But she’s remarried. And John being John, I can’t see him doing anything to get in between Nancy and her husband.
Excellent post, Joe. I’d like to say I really care deeply about the whole McKay/Keller thing and that it somehow affects my life in many ways and that your thoughts on it all are a source of comfort to me, but, yeah, I’m not one to lie unless I’m being paid for it.
However, it was a good read in terms of the writing process and arc development and whatnot.
Also, Paul seems to be a real negative Nancy. But don’t tell him I said that because I don’t want him to come to my house seeking vengence or something. 🙂
In other news, this post has already spawned a thread over at Gateworld speculating on who is gay on SGA. Your powers are truly far-reaching. 😉
Very well explained. I mean, considering it IS your show after all, which includes character development, plot lines, etc. (Or so I learned eons ago in BroCo whatever class that was.)
What I find interesting, & never gave thought to, was that one writer was going one way in an episode concurrently with another working in quite a different direction until, “Oops, you had who do what? We have to make this work out!” And then, of course, those pesky unexpected pregnancies!
But I guess I just tune in at the scheduled time with my beverage of choice & one, if not both, cats & various family members (depending on commitments) to view the episode. and enjoy it.
I’m not going to criticize ‘cuz, heck, I can barely write 3 lines of poetry & make them cohesive!
And, for the record, I’m more with Mary Poppins. You know, “I never explain anything!”
Snow’s back! With a vengeance! I may just have a snow day tomorrow!
@Joe…perfect post. Nothing more to be said than that. Can’t wait until Friday.
Eventhough I’m a JT shipper, I do understand why you chose not to have Sheppard as the dad for Teyla’s baby. (The shipper inside me still thinks it would be cool, but realistically for the show, I get it. )
But could you please explain something for me then?
Why bother with the odd hints? In Sunday, it was hinted that Teyla liked someone and Ronon made a comment to John about possibly seeing John and Teyla one day happening. (I know that was before Rachel gave you the news of her pregnancy).
So, why bother with Teyla’s weird dream in Doppelganger. Teyla’s comment to Heightmeyer, her being overly concern after he gets hurt in the beginning of the ep, plus the hug. And not just one hug in season 4, but 2! In BAMSR, John was upset and hurt of Teyla’s news of her pregnancy. And in season 5, was the dream in Search and Rescue.
If you were never going to continue with something you seemed to want to start, why bother with the previous hints?
I know some things are because of me wearing my shippy glasses, but when we hear here and there comments by some writers and actors, it’s hard to believe that it’s all in my head.
Oh, and since you are saying that Teyla is with Kanaan now, is this why she calls Sheppard, Colonel majority of the time vs her calling him, John for over the past 2 years?
Sorry, its so long, but I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking the same things. 🙁
Wonderful post, thank you. Can you recommend a restaurant that:
1. You liked and would enjoy going back too;
2. allows children.
I’m going to Fuel without them, but I can’t lock them in the hotel bathroom every night.
Thanks for the thoughtful post, Joe. I for one loved “Brainstorm”, partly for the science geek joy of the combined forces of Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, and Rodney McKay, but also because it was nice to see Rodney and Jennifer work some things out. Five years on, I think the writers are entitled to let someone have a relationship. And, as others have pointed out, it’s your show after all.
While the Katie Brown episodes were fun (and also a bit weird for me because she’s got my name), I’ve got to agree that Rodney/Jennifer seems a much better pairing than Rodney/Katie.
And yes, we all know Lorne is gay. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t be able to be out and still stay in the USAF, unless they had different rules for the Pegasus Galaxy.
My only lingering question is: Whatever happened to Rodneyanivalosa?
I thought it was high time I began dropping by more regularly to check out what you’re up to. The last few months have been crazy for me – work, more work and (finally) a degree in writing and drama – hence the lack of presence here. But it’s great to see you’re still around and kicking.
Must admit I skipped most of this entry to avoid spoilers, but I did enjoy your write up of Campognolo.
I’m looking forward to catching up on all the going-ons, too Just thought I’d give you fair warning that you’ll be hearing more from me new that study is well and truly over (heh).
And yes, I DO know how to spell ‘imagine’! I just type faster than I think!! Woo!
Joe – quickie question…
Boxers, or briefs?? 😀 (I keed, I keed…god, I think I’m 12 years old tonight. 😛 )
Question: As a writer, do you find the idea of writing a book – where you would have complete control over every character – more appealing than writing for TV, where there are so many you must answer to? And what sort of relationships do you, personally, prefer to explore – those involving romance, the family, friendships, or something else (workmates, strangers, etc)?
I wanted to a) thank you for the description of the decision process that goes into making the show and b) offer the perspective of a fan who came REALLY late to the game.
I was only an occasional viewer in Seasons 1-3, mostly because the only episodes I caught (by shear coincidence) usually involved
the team visiting a new village, Weir arching her eyebrow, and Rodney getting an “unusually powerful energy reading” and generally being an unpleasant jackass.
I caught more episodes in Season 4 after I noticed Jewel Staite had joined the cast (my nerd brothers and I loved Firefly) and I
was pleasantly surprised by all the character development. Space battles are cool, but if I don’t care about the unpleasant jackass
and his pals living through it, then I’m changing the channel.
I saw The Shrine in Season 5 — it made me cry after just losing my mom — but McKay’s video declaration of love to Keller threw me for a loop. However, instead of thinking, “WTF?” and posting angry comments on message boards (You know who you are), I bought the Season 4 DVDs to see how he got there. There are some telling (and I’m assuming unintential) moments between the two, all the way back to Adrift, which speaks to the chemistry between the two actors. I fell in love with that couple…that wasn’t really a couple. I bought all of the Season 5 episodes that I missed (iTunes, baby), and there are some really lovely little moments that had me rooting for the two, especially in The Seed.
“He surprises me sometimes.” Awwww.
Even though I’m not completely satisfied* with every decision made in their relationship progression (I really wished Ronan was messing with McKay in Trackers), I appreciate that you took two characters with actual chemistry and put them together. It’s realistic and it’s why I watch. Would have I have liked more small moments, more lead-up to the actual reveal? You bet. As much as I enjoyed most of Brain Storm, I was disappointed that you all thought it was necessary to put first date, first kiss, “I love you, too!” and sex on a plane in one episode. Seriously, even Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t do that.
So, what’s my point, exactly? I have since gone back and rented all of Seasons 1-3 and while I still think there’s too many unexplained power fluxuations and villagers with the same clothing, I’ve come to really love the characters (Rodney especially) and the show. I’m in front of my TV every Friday night now with a glass of wine and a smile. I would have never done that without noticing Jewel had joined the cast. So there, Keller-haters.
* Could you work on completely satisfying each and every viwer? Thanks.
Stupid Question 1: In “Brain Storm”, why was Keller’s hair wet on the plane ride back? Rodney even says that she was legally dead a few hours ago. Was there a sudden downpour on the tarmac of the secret facility or does she have magic hair that stays wet for 3 hours?
Stupid Question 2: Did you ever consider that Beckett, Zelenka and McKay alone would have made for a fun series?
Loved Brainstorm. Loved Dave Foley and Bill Nye. What fun! Super nerds unite. Enjoyed the inside jokes, the humor, the reveal, the peril and the rescue. I for one am all for the Rodney/Jennifer pairing. It’s great that the geek gets the girl, not the dashing Air Force pilot, not the blue-eyed Scottish doctor (girls dig accents), not the tall, dark and handsome rogue, but the nerdiest of all scientists except perhaps Zelenka. Thank you for the insightful explanation regarding the evolution of the Brown/McKay; Dex/Keller; Keller/Vega; Dex/Keller/McKay; Keller/McKay saga. I couldn’t agree more, of all the potential pairings, this one works. John and Ronon will find their girl, it just so happens it’s not this girl. Hope you are surviving being back after such a whirlwind trip…how’s the tummy? Do you ever have the mother of all heartburn? I am amazed at all the food you have been “forced” to sample, nibble, digest and photograph. It truly is a feat.
Warning: This is not a Russian Porno site.
Ooooh. Now I see why you were thinking–aha–it says sex in the…huh…I guess it’s for sexual orientation.
Fotw stands for flags of the world.
See? I’m reliable. If I post a not really a Russian Porno site site I’ll come back and rectify the misdoing… Take that how you will.
I’m afraid I very much dislike the Mckay/Keller thing. That whole ‘I love you’ out of nowhere at the end of the Shrine was basically a WTF?? moment – lets get a few dates in first – at least. I also very much did not like how Jennifer treated Rodney in Brainstorm. She also did not back him up in front of the other scientists when it WAS his work, and didn’t believe him when he said it was his!? Come on! And why couldn’t Rodney say he worked for the goverment?
I want to know WHY you decided Rodney had to be the one? I much rather prefered Ronon/Keller. Or if not, UST is best really.
And yes, we all did notice that Rodney was very withdrawn and trying to be ‘nice’ with Katie Brown. We all know it wouldn’t work, but you were not forcing it down our throats and it wasn’t the focus of so many episodes. Yes, there were/are/have been lots of discussions on how Rodney was acting. But left it in the background, it didn’t impact the Team – which this thing with Keller Is doing, which is why so many are upset.
And yes, thank you very much for NOT making Sheppard the father to Teyla’s baby. That would be so much NOnonono. Also, I’m very, very glad you did NOT have Rodney become a father, because yea, he would have moved back to earth!
I was fine with Keller as a character until Mr. Gero’s love for her make her become the be-all-to-end-all. She’s been getting the focus and drawing away from the team. I want the team out exploring – you know – going throught the gate!! Action/Adventure, not romance.
Holy Crap, Joe! Here I am, just taking a simple break from the finance homework and you pull this shocking post on me. Mild fan heart attack here. Ok, gotta comment, can’t resist.
the characters at the heart of these stories are real people
Thank you! I have always been a “shipper”. Not so much because I like seeing sex onscreen or whatever, but because, no matter the odd environment/situation, these are still people. And even the coldest of hearts can melt, be it by romantic love, or even just an adopted familial kind of love. That’s what makes a true story. Even if I’m not keen on the couple myself. Hey, that happens in real life, too.
I completely agree with your analysis of Sam and Jack. I’ve adored them from the start, but I think the only thing more complicated than the coworker relationship would be military coworkers. I appreciated the realistic approach the writers put to that throughout SG1 even if a part of me was rooting for the two to be able to follow their desire. It’s also nice to hear a confirmation–even if it isn’t specifically canon.
Two possible candidates emerged: John Sheppard and somebody else. Ultimately, we chose to go with the latter.
I have to admit, I like what you chose. I do see Sheppard as that ultimate loner. And the fact that he can’t seem to maintain a lasting relationship contributes to his tragic hero status.
given that nobody complained about the fact that McKay was incredibly passive, almost childlike in his last relationship.
Perhaps they were just not as vocal? I did see anti-Katie comments a few places and I myself was one of them–for exactly the reason you wrote. I wasn’t and am not anti-McKay-in-a-relationship. I didn’t like how he was never himself around Katie. But I adore him with Keller. They make a good team.
“Do we really want to make this love triangle a love rectangle?”.
I am really amused by that. Especially since so many fans dislike Keller. To see so many people show-wise crushing on her makes me laugh. Shame that hit the floor. I think it would have been a good character point for SGA.
In fact, for several years now, there has been one recurring character who, in my mind, is gay but there has never been an opportunity to confirm the fact. While I feared that suggesting it in a throw-away (“I’m heading back to Earth to spend time with my boyfriend. See ya!”) would seem like a truly forced WTF moment for fans, alternately, making a big deal of it felt wrong as well.
Reading that made me go WTF!! I love it. While I think you’re cheating (as I thought Rowling cheated!) by not bringing it out on the show (the world needs more positive homosexual role models), it’s still fascinating and I’m glad to hear its been thought of. And now it’s got my head spinning. Is it Zelenka? Lorne? Caldwell? I suspect when you say several years (Ford was only around for a short time), combined with “he”, and going back to Earth (not on a ship), it’s probably Lorne (I see others concur). Or Chuck.
In fact, he thought a far more suitable match would be “Character X”. I remember smiling and informing him “Well, it’s funny you should say that…”
Hmmm. Guessing Amelia Banks? I noticed some good chemistry there. I think their kids would be the human version of The Terminator. Or invincible cheerleaders.
Interesting idea about Nancy. Could have been good…or could not have been. Guess we’ll never know.
Well, you’ve given me a laugh for the night as well as some things to ponder before the show ends. I’m incredibly sad the show has to end–but excited to see the ending!! And hey, we’ll all have those movies to look forward to. Plenty of room for more deaths, more life, and more ships. lol Thanks for the great post!
“Ronon – well, don’t give up on the big guy yet.”
Does this doesn’t mean the series finale will have Ronon/Banks shippy moments?
*eek* Sorry about the typo… That should have said “Does this mean…”
Thank you for the thoughtful and well reasoned out blog. It is refreshing to have such an open discussion about ships and their place in scifi.
I understand why you guys decided not to make John the father of Teyla’s baby, it makes sense but i guess what i don’t understand is the decision not to have Teyla and John have a relationship after the whole baby storyline was resolved?. There were plenty of opportunities to get rid of Kanaan? also, you said it yourself, that you only really saw Teyla or Nancy as someone John could be with. Why end it like that?. I was hoping that maybe in the movies we can possibly get some John and Teyla but after your comment about Teyla staying with Kanaan, well i guess it isn’t going to happen.
Hope you can answer my question because i am curious as to why it was decided to end that possibility. Thanks!.
Thanks for the post, Joe. Oooooh, who’s the gay character? Any hints that you can provide us? 🙂
Thanks for this post. I have such strong feelings about this, I’m not sure that I can express my opinion without sounding angry and I don’t want to do that. But I’ll try.
Back when news of the McKay/Keller storyline first came out, I asked a question of you and you graciously answered in the July 25 mailbag. I asked why a canon romance now, when there hadn’t been one during ten years of SG-1? Your answer (I’m paraphrasing) was that it was a great way to reveal previously unknown aspects of a character’s personality and that, after all, these are human beings who occasionally fall in love.
That’s true, of course. But in my humble opinion, a romance between main characters is a great way to disrupt the team dynamics and in this case I mean that literally.
For me, this show is, and always has been, about the team. Sheppard’s team is the heart and soul of the show. I love Zelenka and Lorne and I liked Elizabeth and I even liked Keller in the beginning, but the relationship between Sheppard, McKay, Ronon and Teyla was the one I wanted to see developed and focused on.
Instead, we have Keller/McKay, the instant soul mates. We have Teyla spending her time with her family. This is life, certainly – people fall in love, make goo goo eyes at each other, make babies. But this isn’t the show I signed up for.
It’s even more disappointing that the series is going to end this way – not as I would have hoped, with Team Sheppard walking off into the sunset together but with Rodney and Jennifer going one way, Teyla and her family going another, Ronon and Amelia (apparently) going in another and poor Sheppard standing there all alone.
I’m being a little bit facetious but only a little. There have been some truly great moments this season – Broken Ties, Daedalus Variations, The Prodigal and lastly, The Shrine, the best of the best of the entire series – but for me, the show I’ve loved so much is ending on a down note. And that makes me tremendously sad.
@ Narelle- I agree with you and thanks for saying it so eloquently.
@ Das- LOL
Narelle from Aus: If you write fan-fic then can you criticise? The only difference is writer’s of fan-fic are unfunded writers.
Yes, because fanfiction, regardless of what is perpetuated by people not in the know, is not about writing Mary-Sue’s. And no, the only difference is fanfic writers do it for love, not money. And if you think so poorly of fanfic writers, I suggest you unfriend them.
littlemckay: or are McSheppers (yeah cause THAT’S a ship that makes sense *sarcasm dripping*)
You are a bigot and I hope you live in a country where people are more tolerant than you. If not, I fear for anyone that isn’t ‘normal.’
As to the main part of the post – I’m sorry but your ideas of shipping are best left at ideas.
John and Teyla? Weird, like a brother and sister getting it on. And if I want sibling love like that, I’ve always got Supernatural 😉
John and his ex-wife? Lame. Because bitter, divorced people so often get back together, don’t they?
There was a possibility of a canonical gay character on the show and she was a lesbian? Well of course – heterosexual men aren’t going to write about icky gay guys!
And if you retconn a gay man a la Dumbledore then I have to point out that that is a cheap and cruel trick.
Hee. Shep/Todd. Now that would be something.
I also have to say that I hope the future ship for Ronon is that kickass scientist. That’d be cool, and I think they’d get along well. Maybe that nice caretaker type was a good match for pre-Runner Ronon, but I think that he needs another type of girl now. And besides, we’re running out of even recurring female characters that remain unattached. Though, for the record, I was always partial to Ronon/Teyla, especially in the third season, when it really seemed like there was more there than just friendship.
Long time lurker just popping my head up to say how much I love SGA and your (and the rest of the staff) choices on it. I do love to see characters finally be happy (i.e., Rodney). He certainly needs and deserves it. I think that he and Keller work very well together. I do understand the comments by several people that they just don’t see it because the amount of screen time the two of them had to develop their relationship, but this is an ensemble show and only so many minutes in a particular episode. I saw their chemistry almost from the beginning. But that’s just me.
I liked your take on how these characters developed and would have developed if there would have been another season. My feeling is it’s your show and you can do whatever the hell you want with it. If I don’t like it, then I don’t watch anymore. That’s never happened with SG1 or SGA. And I do think all of you have done a terrific job for the most part (mumbles about Torri leaving because that was probably the only big mistake on the books, but I’m sure totally not your fault).
If only Sam and Jack were canon. I loved your comment about that. I’m totally with you on that. Keep up the good work. I am looking forward to watching the new series.
P.S. You made me so hungry with the post about the new restaurant. Yummy Italian food!
Holy crap! 82 comments! I can’t read 82 comments in the ten minutes before the school run!! No way!!
BTW GO MCKELLER! *cue wedding march*
Joooooeeee!! I have a geeky fangirly question!!!!
Back in Common Ground, Todd told Sheppard that he was ‘stronger than any human he had ever fed upon’. In light of what we learned in Infection, could that strength be due to the fact that an iratus bug once fed on John?
(If you don’t know – go ask Alan. 😉 )
Great post Joe, thank you. With all the fan fiction out there in never never land, it’s nice to hear how you would have like to take the characters if you were able.
There is an old saying – ‘only men start wars – women however will go on and on and on and on…’.
I personally have a huge dislike for Keller and have made that known before on here. I don’t like her because she reminds me of someone I used to know, who was insipid and vapid and giggly and as irritating as hell, plus she was too young for me to take seriously – just my opinion. More than that though (and I personally think this is where most fans ‘hatred’ comes from) is the fact that you, the writers and producers, decided to kill off a beloved, sexy, and yes whiney, male doctor and replace him with an insipid, too young, whiney, female doctor – then when fans complain about it, you got all bolshy and started hyping her up, making her even more prominent in the scripts.
Which started a war.
More fan complaints, more Keller. More ferocious the complaints, more vitriolic the keller love from you in response. It’s how all wars go, they escalate on both sides out of proportion to whatever started it going in the first place. There are some fans out there who will never be able to let go of their anger, they feel that they have not been heard by you and will keep having their say until they exhaust themselves into oblivion. If you want my advice, take the high road now the series is over and let Keller go, no one wins in a war.
Personally, I would hate it if Zelenka was gay – I have a secret desire to get him alone in his pidgeon coop. Lorne I could take – he seems kind of sensitive with his painting and all. I have to say that I have always thought that the wraith might be bisexual – I mean one queen to how many male warriers? Plus all that brotherly love going on. That I could probably take but hear me now Joe (and I’m shouting, hands fisted on hips in full warrier stance), IF YOU MAKE TODD GAY YOU HAD BETTER PREPARE TO MEET THY DOOM!!!
I rarely comment, but wanted to thank you for your thoughts regarding shipping, especially McKay and Keller. I just don’t get the negativity and apparent belief that the “PTB” are out to ruin things. Personally I kinda like McKay and Keller together, and I don’t see why the show shouldn’t include an actual adult relationship. Please pass on to Jewel in particular that there are some Stargate fans who think she rocks!
Wow.. 82 posts?!
For a moment there, I thought i’d tripped onto a GW (who’ve also been very quick to pick up on the gay character debate :P) link by mistake.
Thanks for the post, Joe. It’s great to get a glimpse of what’s going on between the lines when you guys are coming up with scenarios for our favourite characters. More often than not, it’s the subtle background things not said or done, that make up the detailed bits of a story. And as none of you are Gods (well.. with the exception of those who are perfectly able to make trees and furry things sing and dance), we’re also unable to get into your collective minds and figure out what you’re thinking. It’s nice to see some of the thought processes that go into building up an episode, character, story arc and season. It’s almost a pity that you didn’t address this particular debate sooner.. You might have been able to nip the McKeller hate in the bud before it got the chance to snowball.
Re Mckeller: Firstly, I think both David and Jewel are fantastic. And despite the odd niggle with how their relationship has developed, i’m neither a hater nor a lover of this particular ship. It’s all a part of the ongoing Atlantis story arc and if there are times when I skip on a scene or two, then it’s only because I miss my team moments.. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Re The Lone Sheppard: Reluctantly, I also agree it would be completely out of character to pair our hero up with anyone. Being a loner is as much a part of Sheppard’s character, as his incessant suicidal drive to look after those around him. It just wouldn’t fit, seeing him all gooey-eyed over some nymph. And as much as I sometimes hate seeing him so lonely (kinda makes me wanna pack him off to my Gran’s for a good dose of homemade apple pie and cream 😛 ), it’s simply the way he is. Maybe bringing Nancy back would have worked, I don’t know. But I think Sheppard’s ‘love’ is his Team. The family he’s found within the walls of Atlantis.
Besides.. what female in their right mind is gonna pack him off with his sandwiches and P-90 first thing in the morning, knowing full well he’d be spending the day surrounded by Pegasus’ beautiful and best? She’d have to be stark raving mad 😛
Das: Yesterday’s post got gobbled up by the Snowman, so i’m gonna try to condense it into a few sentences here 😛
i. My Partner’s much better, thanks. After dragging him through the snow to get to the surf this weekend just gone, he finally got the message that sympathy really isn’t one of my virtues. We had a few yelps and grumbles when he pulled on the boots to his wetsuit, but other than some residual bleeding, a few swollen toes and the fantastic wipeout that nearly drowned him within the first ten minutes… he’s fiiiine 😛
ii. I miss Johnny too. Another reason as to why I dislike seeing a Team base it’s entire gameplay on the skills and abilities of one man. If England hadn’t been so focused on having him at the centre of their little world, then they might still be up there fighting with the best of them now.
iii. Six Nations. And something about the hot latino blood of the Italians, as they build themselves up to take that crown. There was more, but I can’t remember what I said.. Something about the passion of the sport, I think 😛
iv. Shep ‘n Todd.. No kissing. No shipping. No nothing.. No, no, no, no. Nu-huh. Nada. That was not the kinda mutual respect I was thinking of.. *shivers* And now i’m gonna have nightmares all over again >.>
I’m adding my thanks to all the others for the insight into the decision making process at the Bridge. My personal feelings aside (McTeyla forever!), I find the collaborative plotting process of the writer’s room fascinating.
I’m also grateful that you continue to answer some fairly strident attacks respectfully and thoughtfully. While I have definite opinions about about the way character arcs should have gone, it is never worth insulting an actual human being over them.
Hey joe, great post, I always like reading your background info on the show, its great!
About all the people who hate keller, I dont really get the overzelous-ness of their dislike. I think what you say is true and your characters have always felt very real in their interactions, thats why I watch the show.
Anywho, on to other things, how are you doing with Basalisk? I’m about three quarters done with it and I can already forsee myself picking up the next book in the series. I also found it funny that on the map there is a planet named Asguard. Is Weber making an homage to Stargate by chance?
Whoa, haven’t commented in ages!
Great post Joe. I loved Brainstorm, thought it was a brilliant idea, I’m not sure I’ve seen any programme touch on the issue of global warming before.
Thanks Joe, for today’s blog. I agree with what you’ve written. Especially with regards to Sam/Jack post-Threads 😉 although I’m also a shipper who would also love to see confirmation on screen 🙂 Third SG-1 movie I hope?
For me following a show like SGA is a joy and something to look forward to each week. I like the fact that I’m seeing a story being told, I may not agree with all the twists and turns but then I don’t agree with all the twists and turns that happen in my own life :rolleyes: If I dictated where the story was going then I’d be the storyteller (and I wouldn’t do nearly as good a job as you guys) and if I do want the story to go differently; well, that’s what fanfiction is for! 😉
Hi Joe 🙂
Thanks for explaining how you were trying to develop the relationships between characters. At first with Sam and Jack, I believe we still have the third movie for our confirmation, right? I hope this time the scene won’t be cut. We deserve it 🙂
But I am really disappointed because of Atlantis. You were great in writing Sam and Jack so I cannot understand at all what you are doing with my favourite Atlantis characters. I have more reasons why McKeller will never work for me and why BS will always be the worst episode of both Stargate shows.
1) No chemistry between the actors. They can be both great persons and I am sure they are but there is absolutely no chemistry between them. That is not my opinion only. In the whole ep they seemed to be sibblings and that is just wrong…
2) The characters cannot work together. Doctor and a hypochondriac? No way. And that is not just this. Also I agree that there was no development between them. Just jumps without explanation. Rodney and Jennifer can be similar in some ways, yeah they are both smart and from the Earth. That is all. This relationship couldn’t last longer then few months.
3) No one of you explained properly to me why Ronon and Jenn couldn’t work. Does it mean that Melena was also wrong for him? Yeah, they are different but I can clearly see them together. There is bunch of chemistry between the actors as well. And don’t tell me that the physical attraction is not important. It is. I am still devoted Ronon/Keller shipper and if you look around on the internet, you will see much more R/K shippers than McKellers. Even most of the non shippers find them much more suitable.
I really like Stargate and it makes me sad that you destroyed the end of my favourite show for me. It took me months to forgive what happened to Elizabeth but I can see the reasons. In this case I don’t. You had so many choices and McKeller was the worst. If you look at the reactions, you can see that is not just my opinion.
Thank you for your detailed explanation about the thinking process behind some decisions. Interesting. It’s way better than a sarcastical answer and it shows that you (as in writers and producers) don’t do things without a reason behind. However, I can’t share all the conclusions. Admittedly, I’m just a fan, not a writer or producer.
They’re not emotionless automatons..
Of course they aren’t. And I’m not generally against romance in scifi. Quite the opposite, I adore a well written one with chemistry between the characters (both I can’t see with McKeller). That’s the main reason why I’m a huge Farscape fan. But with SGA there are so many other emotions and character developments for all the characters (What are they really feeling? How do they cope with their emotions? How do the events change them? What comforts them? What makes them the person they are? Struggling with decisions and events. What’s behind some decisions? Is there a darker side, too? etc.). We don’t see that or just a glimpse from time to time and usu-ally just in one episode. It’s not enough for me, although I appreciate that there’s more since season 4. They are in a special situation in another galaxy. Why not focus on that, too?
… that would naturally evolve …
And that’s one of my main argument against McKeller. I haven’t seen a naturally development. It all happened too fast and much of it came out of the blue (Rodney’s love confession. Keller’s interest after watching that.). IMO it’s not well written. I really love romance. Just not like that.
… much less Rodney’s first romantic pairing
Exactly. Rodney already had a relationship. I don’t see the urgent need to write another one for him so soon.
… was to make Rodney an unexpected father.
I’m really happy that it didn’t come to that!
..it stood to reason that we would need a father.
I agree, Sheppard and Teyla being so close would have come out of the blue – except you could have written it in another way. I don’t say that’s something I would have liked.
… in spite of suggestions to the contrary, more himself.
If this is true, he apparently isn’t the character I’ve seen and liked for five years.
… it made sense that they would find solace in one another’s company, and that that would develop into something more.
Yes, I completely agree with that. I just can’t see why this should be the reason for their relationship in our timeline. As you said yourself, it was a special situation in The Last Man. By the way, I liked them in TLM. Just not now.
Rather it would have to be someone he knew …
Again, I don’t understand why not writing something like that? Give him someone he’ll get to know in the course of time. Build a history. You are the writers, you have the story in your hands (except the other TPTB like the network are against it, I suppose). Apart from the fact, that I think this would have been possible with Weir.
I don’t think Rodney was the best choice. Sure, other stories or pairings may have been ‘not so suitable’ at first sight (I don’t think that about Keller and Ronon). However, often the best things are the unexpected developments. One could have argued that there never could be a situation like between Sheppard and Todd. Now it’s one of the best and most interesting things – for me.
Of course, it’s just a TV show and there is a real life. That’s the point. I want to have an hour where I can just forgot the real life with all its problems and issues. I just want to enjoy watching Atlantis, a show, TV, not the real life and its problems. And I did. More than every other TV show. Even when I didn’t like everything. But Atlantis has changed. There are too many things and decisions I dislike. There is so much potential which isn’t used. Too often I watch and think ‘that’s nothing I want to see’ or ‘I don’t care about that’. There are whole episodes I don’t need to watch again. Even the cancellation doesn’t hurt anymore. That makes me incredible sad. Atlantis is still a good show. But it isn’t any longer something special for me. Nevertheless, thank you for the great fun I had over the years and the amazing characters.
Sorry for the long and negative post (and hopefully there aren’t too much mistakes in it). I know it doesn’t matter. And I don’t expect that. It’s just my personal opinion.
On another topic. I won’t join the next BOTM because I don’t think the books are my cup of tea. But I ordered ‘The Dark Beyond the Stars ‘. It sounds interesting.
I am interested in why it took you so long to tell us (aside from one small comment months back) that you feel one of the SGA characters is *secretly* gay? (Lorne right? It would just be like a straight male to make the gay guy a painter lol )
You could have at any time actually written a gay ( or lesbian or bi ) character into the show in the first season you were showrunner and the world would not have ended, even the show would not have ended?
I have no idea what you mean by “right circumstances” do you ever say that about het characters? Why is a gay character only able to be introduced in the “right circumstances”?
*sigh* And people tell me I am over thinking this, well it seems not; it seems you guys might be over thinking it! Being gay does not take the right circumstances anymore then being black does! lol
I mean from Doctor Who to Star Trek to Red Dwarf… cough… we have had scifi characters in main stream scifi shows who are either gay/lesbian/bi or just not totally straight.
*all hail Capt Jack Harkness*
Also please try and take this seriously, I am genuinely interested in why and why not. Especially when “After Elton.com”
asked many writers/EPs and the like on US shows why they did or didn’t write gay characters. It seemed many were just basically scared shitless that the shows would get cancelled. And some of these guys were gay themselves!
How sad is that, when even they couldn’t write gay characters into their own shows due to fear…. perceived or otherwise 🙁
I really hope you take the time to answer.
Joe, thanks for a very interesting post! I love knowing what goes on in making my favorite show.
Since we’re still talking about Brain Storm, I have a question. One of my friends thought the “Rodney rescues Jennifer” scenes with the ax were reminiscent of the movie, The Titanic. I told her I’d ask you and see if that was the case.
I don’t understand all the complaints about the Rodney/Jennifer pairing. People say Rodney’s a whiner, and that Jennifer is a whiner. Seems like they’re perfect together. Just kidding about the whining.
Good heavens, remember Carson? He was a big whiner, too. And yet everyone loves him (including me). It took him a while, but he went thru the gate when he had to, and learned to shoot a gun when necessary.
Actually I think Rodney complains a lot less than he did in the early days and he makes far fewer comments about his genius. I think he realizes that through his actions, everyone in Atlantis knows it now, so he doesn’t have to remind people. And while Jennifer is the supergenius doctor, she’s still a small town girl at heart and doesn’t have the years of experience that Rodney has of saving the day. Now it’s Rodney giving the reassuring pep talks.
I love my Atlantis characters, with all their strengths and faults. If they were all perfect, it would leave no place for the characters to grow.
For those complaints about how Rodney was out of character at the Tunney presentation, all uncertain of himself, I say that it’s perfectly normal. Although I’ve lived away from my folks longer than I lived with them, when I visit I find myself regressing to childhood behavior patterns, reacting in ways that I know I wouldn’t normally do.
He wanted these people to respect him, and he couldn’t show them all the brilliant work he’s been doing. At first I wondered why he just didn’t tell them he’s been working on confidential military projects. Seems to me that the other scientists would understand that. But then I realized that Rodney would have never been invited to that presentation if they knew he had anything to do with the military, since they were trying to keep their work a secret from them.
Favorite line: Rodney saying “Hey, I’m Doctor Rodney McKay, all right? Difficult takes a few seconds, impossible a few minutes.” That’s the Rodney I love!
And that “gay in your mind” recurring character? I don’t who it might be, but I vote against Zelenka, because of the way he behaved around Elizabeth and Sam. He obviously likes women.
Uh, I really wish wordpress would offer the possibility to correct the typing errors in the commentary after pushing the button…
I thought for one moment that today’s “episode” was about actual ships (naval floating things). Too bad hehehe.
I wonder how are you able to put up with so much crap. Seriously, seeing how many people are so bored to write crap about your writing abilities and your characters and actually continue to watch the show… well, it’s a pretty good indication of how much they should be taken seriously or even be heard/read. I guess the natural order of things requires dumb/re-uber-super-useless-freak people in the world to keep diversity…
Whatever… you’re doing an awesome job, and I love the turns the show it’s taking. 10/10. 😉
Glad to have you back from Japan. I enjoyed catching up on your adventures there. The Hubby and I plan on taking a trip there one day, and since we love Japanese food, you’ve definetly gave some good starting places :-).
And I have to say this, with your above comments in regards to ship and Stargate, my respect for you has gone up a bit. You have at least done what Martin Gero failed to do: you tried to answer the concerns and questions of the fans in a more adult and mature manner, instead of poking fun and ignoring them. After reading his comments on your blog I was furious. And though I do not agree with the McKeller relationship (and never will) you have atleast shed some light onto it, to make a very tiny bit easier to stomach. Thank you for showing us, the fans some respect. I have always enjoyed reading your blog, and will continue to do so.
Thank you for explaining the process to us, Joe, and let me state, that I would have been delighted to see a lesbian character on the show. It would have been interesting to see how Sheppard would have handled having a gay in his crew with the DADT policy.
But let me get one thing straight – bad pun intended:
– Vega had the hots for Keller,
– Ronon had the hots for Keller,
– Rodney had the hots for Keller…
… and all that within 10 episodes? And you wonder why people consider Keller a love-interest slash Mary-Sue? Really? Joe, if you can’t take a step back and see it for yourself, then there’s no way anyone could explain it to you properly *chuckles*
Oh my, with this one, you totally jumped the shark, really *laughs*
Well, at least you and this fan think along the same lines. I understand some of the frustrations out there, but the level of anger is pretty wild.
I was thinking last night, while watching Jonas on a SG1 episode, that Stargate fans don’t seem to do well with change.
I remember the extreme dislike of Jonas during his time on the show. But now, many years later, I am seeing this whole level of love for him from people who previously couldn’t stand him.
We creative fans. So tempermental.
My biggest problem with McKeller is that it seems to be all about McKay, what’s good for him, what you want for *him*. It’s like Keller is just a tool to make McKay happy. A relationship is supposed to go two ways, it’s not just about what makes person A happy, but person B should matter as well. And you did *not* sell the Jennifer side of the story at all.
Already from the beginning with the way the Trio askout was done made no sense. That was the first WTF moment for me. Where did this come from? Had it been formulated more in terms of a “you saved my life, let me buy you a drink” it would’ve made sense, or even a “someone needs to teach you about women, want to have a drink?” kind of thing. The insinuation that Jennifer suddenly was interested in him, when aside from him not letting go of the rope when she had been hanging, she hadn’t exactly seen many of his better sides down there, it just made no sense to me.
I did not then and I am still not buying her side in the ship. It’s completely and utterly been shown from McKay’s point of view and continuously focused on *his* feelings for her. Then suddenly we get this “I’ve loved you for some time now.” Oh please, not too long ago Ronon was still in the picture, how could she have loved McKay for some time now? And it was a major WTF moment, because while we got to see some parts on her side in the Keller-Ronon dynamic, there was next to nothing from her side in the Keller-McKay dynamic.
So for me as a viewer and a major Keller fan, it disappoints me a lot that she has been reduced to merely a tool to make McKay happy. But I reckognized a long time ago that it’s all about McKay, so I really should’ve known it would go this way…
Nice of you to do a long summation on your thoughs on shipping but it didnt really prove anything other than McKay has always been the focus of the writers since day one and it’s a shame that none of the writers felt the same passion for any of the other characters, or were intent on giving them a happy ever after.
Why even start relationships if you (writers in general) have no idea on how to take them foward. Why start relationships when you know you have NO intentions of taking them forward. Why lead fans on for years with inuendoes when again you have on idea or no real inclination to carry it through.
John and Teyla were hinted at from day one and various writers have stated that there is a mutual attraction between them. In season 3 we were told that Teyla actually had a crush on John but yet you feel it would have been totally out of the blue for them to end up being intimate. After 3 years of dancing around each other you all felt it would be too much of a stretch if they actually made a move?. How would John being the father show any inpropriety on his part!! Two consenting adults, where was the problem. Was it because she was on his team, again why the problem. Teyla is not military and not even from earth so what rules or inproper acts would they be conducting.
She could have joined another team and considering how little interaction John and Teyla have had in season 5 how could this have made any difference to any team dynamic. They barely interact this season, and if they do it’s with an aloofness that belies they are even friends. Choosing some invisible lover for Teyla took one of the best things away from the show. Instead the writers totally ruined Teyla’s character for me by suddenly have her admit she’s pregnant by some unknown guy she supposedly is sleeping with for months. Why lie to her closest friends. Why the hostility to John. When was she supposed to be with this guy when she was portrayed as living and breathing with her team. But this was considered the better option.
What was so awful about making John the father when you all are so anxious to make Rodney one. Why protray John as some emotionally stunted 40 year old who can’t handle a relationship but yet Rodney can. Why not put the same time and effort into Teyla and Kanaan that you put into Keller and Rodney. Why turn the guy into some joke whose only purpose seems to be the invisible babysitter.
Why the scene in Search and Rescue between John and Teyla when you had no intention of doing anything with their relationship. Why did MG feel so strongley about giving Rodney a love interest and NOT messing him around when you all had no problem with doing this with other characters.
Where was the loyalty to the fans who had waited for 5 years to see some resolution between JT only to find out that the writers are more interested in indulging their own wishes for the characters instead of trying to give the fans what they want. I don’t expect any of the writers to pander to any fandom or change things to suit any particular following but is it too much to expect that the writers at least follow on with what THEY started.
If you all struggle so much with relationships why do them at all. Why deliberately mess with fans feelings when you have no idea what you are doing. Why go ahead with a full on in your face relationship, and one that came totally out of the blue when the writers couldnt give a resolution to one that had been building up over the last 4 years. How do you think that makes all the other fandoms feel when you have spouted on for years about not pairing up main characters and all the rediculous reasons that went with it, but suddenly all those reason are not important when it comes to Rodney McKay.
Bottom line is none of the writers were all that interested in putting the effort into making any previous relationship work, but suddenly when it comes to Rodney anythings possible.
Captain Alicia Vega who, in the episode’s final scene, essentially asks Keller out.
Let me get this straight, so in your Atlantis universe, even the token, possibly gay female character wants Keller? Gee, why am I not surprised?
Honestly, I think you should have trashed the entire idea instead of developing fifth wheel Keller into essentially what she is…a Mary Sue. Explanations are nice and appreciated but no amount of dissertation is going to change minds on this pairing.
Wonderful post and a fascinating read. Thank you for taking the time to explain your thoughts and reasoning, personally I found myself nodding along with a lot of what you said though felt a few twangs of disappointment at stuff that didn’t reach the screen.
I, for one, have enjoyed the McKay/Keller romance so far, I think its terribly sweet and I like that she isn’t afraid to put him in his place. I know some people felt that the word “love” was used to quickly but I’ve always seen Rodney as someone who would fall hard and fast for the right girl, he craves love after all.
I am very happy with the way things worked out for Teyla. I make no secret of the fact that I have a deep dislike for the Shep/Teyla ship – though I adore both characters and their friendship to pair them up after everything that has happened would be detrimental to both characters. If you had continued to pursue the ship through out the seasons then I doubt I would have such issues because I was perfectly content to go along with the idea for the first two seasons but now I think that the two of them have moved beyond that point in their relationship and it would seem almost incestuous now.
And I like Kanaan, I think its a shame we didn’t see more of him because he seemed rather lovely and a perfect match for Teyla.
Its a shame you couldn’t have kept in the scene with Vega, in fact its a shame we didn’t get to see more of her full stop in S&R, much as its a shame we won’t get to see the surviving members of her team again.
And then there is Nancy. I cannot tell you how much I would have loved to see Kari Wuhrer back. She was great in Outcast and there is so much to explore in her relationship with Sheppard, a relationship that would have allowed us to see a completely different side to him, one he tends to keep hidden. What was it about Nancy that made John Sheppard decide to give marriage a try? How did Mr Emotionally Dysfunctional let anyone get that close?
I recall you mentioning back when you were first kicking ideas around for Remnants that she might be making an appearance and was disappointed that never materialised. I guess I can continue to hope you may find a place for her in the movie/s.
I just wanted to thank you one last time, for two different things.
1. You and the team of writers gave us four beautiful years of Stargate Atlantis, and for that I will always be grateful. Those four years made SGA one of the best show on TV, and the one I’ve been the most involved in ever.
2. Thank you for making the parting so easy with season 5. I thought, after the announcement of the cancellation, that it was going to be so hard, that we were going to keep trying and keep wanting. But the reality is that season 5 isn’t Stargate Atlantis anymore to me.
It’s a show I don’t recognize anymore, with characters that in the space of three episode go from one end of the spectrum to another with no justification, with regular characters that are closer to Mary Sues and Marty Sues that any twelve years old write and with plots that don’t even pretend anymore to be original.
I dread watching the episodes every week and I’ve found myself hoping that the deal for a movie would also be cancelled so that the canon would stop being tampered with in such drastic ways.
(I sometimes do wonder if Season 5 is a sort of preview to what Universe is going to be.)
In any case, I know that the opinion of only one person doesn’t matter to you or TPTB or even to other fans, I just wanted to leave you my thanks for the good and the less, and then, as anonymously as ever, part from your blog, which sadly also used to make me happy.
I don’t think you fully grasp how much it means for someone like me, who’s been fan of Stargate longer than I realize I was gay, to find out that the series you worship doesn’t reject or ignore your sexual orientation as I though it had for so many years.
I had seek refuge in slash but it’s still fictional, and to find out that one small character in your fave series is gay means SO much that I can hardly explain it. THANK YOU for revealing that, THANK YOU SO MUCH! It’s kinda like I’ve found out my parents aren’t homophobic anymore 😉
Stargate have had a big, big influence in my life. I’ve been a fan for nearly 10 years so I basically grew up with it, and designed to features of my personnality with it.
And to learn that a cutie like Captain Vega, who didn’t look like a tomboy or a highschool nerdy feminist is gay is really wonderful, because it goes past all the clichés that people have about lesbians. And the fact that she asked Keller out is both sweet and funny, because I don’t agree with all these people who hate Keller, I think she’s really sweet, smart and funny, and I don’t see why Rodney, Ronon or Alicia for that matter wouldn’t fall for her.
Well, too bad Alicia’s dead.
As far as the secondary character who is also gay, I’ve always thought Carson was the gayest character ever out of Will & Grace, but you seem to have made him into more of a bisexual character (you could never make be believe he’s straight, no way XD) and you said your secondary character was “gay”, and premumably a male since he could “see his boyfriend”.
Zelenka already seemed to have this weird attraction to Keller’s hair, jacket-less Carter and pigeons in general. (and I usually see gay characters everywhere, Sheppard included, and I don’t picture him).
On the other hand, Lorne would make THE perfect candidate.
Oh, and I always thought Kolya had this weird chemistery with Sheppard (and sometimes McKay) so maybe?
But I’d put my bets on Lorne, definetly. No girlfriend, a sister and a nefew, loves painting, lived in San Francisco. Guh!
I’d like to remind you about the ultimate plot within any slash fanfiction involving a member of the US army : the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. It’s a real law (even if Obama promised he would supress it) of the military code that prevent any member of the US Army other than heterosexual to out themselves. So I would really much doubt that Vega would ask Keller out on a date without really knowing her (she have been a bitch *we know she’s not, but still* and could have tell her secret to another member of the military) and in the middle of a corridor where someone could have heard her.
Same thing with Lorne (hence the difficulty you would have to out him…maybe he could just say something like “I don’t like women you know…” to some alien princess that would try to seduce him in one of the movies XD).
Anyway, you really made my day brighter Joe! Cheers for France!
Wow, I would have really enjoyed to see Sheppard’s ex-wife come back. I liked Nancy and your original idea is intriguing.
I can’t help feeling Sheppard has been brushed aside this season, in favor of McKay and Keller All The Time. Thank you for the well, thought out post. I completely agree with you that these characters are ‘real people’ (as must as fictional characters can be), but can’t help noticing it’s MCKAY that always gets the chance to succeed, fail, exult, fear, despair, lose their tempers, and, occasionally, fall in love. Sheppard gets to…shoot guns and glower. Anything that does happen to him, rolls off his back and his character is unchanged. Thank god for JF, putting his all into whatever is written for him.
For the people who can’t understand the dislike (okay, hatred) of Keller. I can say, for some of us, it comes down to the desperation of only having a handful of episodes left, and being faced with multiple episodes featuring a relatively new character we weren’t too crazy about to begin with, when we want the TEAM, and Sheppard, and Ronon and Teyla.
Had Keller been made part of the team, as you started to do in S4, she would have been easier to accept. I’m not dissing any Keller fans out there, but face facts. Not everyone is as in love with Jewel/Jennifer as all the writers/producers seem to be, or think we are.
I really liked this post. To me, it provided quite a lot of insight. Thank you for taking the trouble for writing it.
I should mention that I have also read many many previous posts & although I haven’t commented on them I did really like them. You have a very cool writing technique & we all know how ‘wicked’ 😉 your imagination is.
Don’t get lost in the snow.
Thanks for the info, Joe…. must have taken a while to write.
Personally, I really like the way things have gone.
Oh, Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinda. Lorne is gay.
Shep can hook up with Todd *any* time. *g*
And his ex works for Home*land* security, not world. 😉
[about Nancy] “she’s remarried. And John being John, I can’t see him doing anything to get in between Nancy and her husband.”
As far as canon goes, [B]there’s nothing that implies that she’s remarried[/B]. The way she talked about the other guy in Outcast was very ambiguous. The only thing I could get from that is that she was probably dating a guy called Grant. For all we know, they might have been living each at their own place and just dating. There was no confirmation they were even living together, much less married.
[about the 2 hugs in season 4] I never thought those hugs were more than friendship and Teyla needing comfort from a friend, and I didn’t feel those hugs were introduced as nothing more than that. In the same way that Elizabeth hugging John in The Siege III because she was so relieved and happy to see his friend and co-worker alive didn’t have any romantic meaning for me.
[about John being upset about Teyla’s pregnancy in BAMSR] the way I see it, he was upset that she hadn’t told him as a friend AND, more importantly, as her CO. He’s her CO, she should have told her right after she found out.
[about S&R] I do give you a point there that it seems odd to introduce a romantic dinner like that
I do think there has been always a mutual attraction in equal doses between both John & Teyla and John & Elizabeth. I feel that all the hugs, etc have always been just in a friendship context. None of them would’ve gone further, in my opinion, knowing that it would have been highly improper to do so.
Thank you for taking the time to write about your decision making processes when it comes to relationships in SGA. It is much appreciated.
However, I think you guys have got it all totally wrong. Of all the ships you could have taken further (John/Elizabeth, John/Teyla, John/Rodney, Ronon/Jennifer etc) the one you pick is the one ship that hardly anyone likes.
McKeller just does not work. Where do I begin? Complete lack of any chemistry for starters. They look like they are just friends – or worse, uncle and neice, and that makes for some very uncomfortable viewing.
Then there is the jump from “Lets have a drink” to “I’ve loved you for some time”. Where did that come from? Any hints that they were developing feelings for each other are so tiny that one would need a microscope to see them.
A hypochondriac with his own personal doctor? How would that work? Will Jennifer have to check Rodney’s stool and urine samples every morning?
For me another problem is the changing the personalities of the two characters involved, Jennifer in particular. I love her to bits and am despairing about the way her character is being pulled this way and that. I really liked the way that her character was developing up until the end of The Lost Tribe, and then all that development vanished In Brain Storm she turned into nagging shrew who pulled that many faces at Rodney I lost count. And as for the swearing…? Then onto Infection and she seems to have lost every bit of confidence and intelligence she ever had. I am having a hard time actually believing that is Jennfer to be honest.
Finally, I sincerely hope that the film isn’t going to turn into McKeller The Movie. Because if it is, I am not going to fork out my hard earned cash for it. Sorry.
I’ve been thinking more on this, I know you’re probably groaning at that very thought…
What ever happened to Rodney lusting after Sam? I recalled it when I watched an old episode where he was talking about her to Sheppard and the gang. I always loved those scenes. I guess McKay had to grow up at some point though.
On the same note, I did pick up the picture of Sam and Rodney together for David H to sign at the sci fi expo in Melb. It’s a picture from the episode where Rodney dreams her up in the puddle jumper after it sinks into the ocean. Brilliant episode!
I, like some others here, would also love to see more Daniel and Vala ship. 😀 They have such a rich history together. *crosses fingers* perhaps in the next movie as there was so little of them together in the last one.
Season 9 in SG1 is by far one of the best seasons ever made. Creative storylines that beautifully incorporate human history with amazing character interactions. I’d love more of that flair in both movies, and hopefully Universe as well.
Speaking of movies, I’m sure this has been asked before…but will Carson Beckett be in the movie? I tried to search the blog, but alas, I did not find the answer. I really miss him on SGA. No need to cut back Keller’s on screen time for him…just make the situation so dire that two doctors are needed! That’ll work 😀
I’ve just read the wonderful words you said regarding Sam and Jack’s relationship. Thank you for that so very much. It’s very good to have your support, sir.
As much as I love what I saw in the famous deleted scene from “Trio”…it is still a deleted scene and therefore questionable as to its status as a canonical fact.
And therein lies the problem. Written words and deleted scenes about Sam and Jack are great and all…but in the eyes of canonical fact they are highly questionable. It is in the seeing that comes the believing…and that is what we all need… to see a hard, undeniable, unquestionable, on-screen, non-deleted scene between Sam and Jack solidifying their relationship.
I hope that after that group of shippers came along to Bridge Studios all those months ago with their “Sam/Jack Confirmation” banner as you reported in your Blog entry of August 19th that you did what you said you would and spoke to Mr. Brad Wright about getting some confirmation into the third “Stargate SG-1” movie. How’d that chat go by the way? If Jack is indeed the centre of the new movie as Mr. Wright has said, then I think it would be silly to pass up this opportunity to solidify on screen what so many fans of this relationship know in their hearts and minds.
I’m hoping that the third movie won’t be the last for Stargate SG-1…but here’s a horrible thought…what if it is? What if this is the last opportunity to give us loyal fans what we want to see?
I implore to you and Mr. Wright and anyone else involved in Movie III to not miss this opportunity to confirm Sam and Jack’s relationship to us. It may be the last time for all anyone knows.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank you for this wonderful Blog.
Yours very sincerely and faithfully,
Thanks for the elaboration about shipping on the show, Joe. I find it interesting to see the thought processes that went into the various relationships on the show, and especially McKeller.
I kind of figured part of the reason McKay is so much more relaxed around Keller is because he got to know her before he became romantically interested in her. In fact, until the end of TRIO, I don’t think McKay had ever considered Keller as a potential love interest. To me, the McKeller romance seemed to grow organically out of a friendship, which makes it so much more satisfying than the McKay/Brown relationship (which, I confess, I loathed).
Rodney was actively pursuing Katie from the get-go, and I thought that made him feel he needed to hide parts of himself, to make himself look more desirable. Whereas with Keller — well, she’s already seen him when he’s grumpy and ill and sarcastic and sad (at least, I tend to think McKay probably wasn’t ecstatic when he was sitting by Beckett’s, uh, Ancient cryogenic tomb), and she seems to like him anyway. And I like that Rodney is still Rodney when he’s around Keller. *shrug*
I have no problems with McKeller being made canon. And I hope that, while ships will not be the be all and end all of the plots on SGU, they will be explored in the show — especially since SGU is supposed to be more character-driven than either SG-1 or SGA. People have and will continue to fall in love with co-workers, and I don’t think ships signal an automatic jump the shark moment. Just, please don’t make the ships the centre of everything in the new show. 🙂
Finally, I’d love to know which recurring character is supposed to be gay in SGA. Any chance we’ll get elaboration in the movie? Or on your blog? Or…you know you’ve just let yourself in for a world of badgering about this, right? 🙂
f-kinell Joe, I’m glad I don’t you’re job!
Years ago an old Aussie buddy I worked with came out with a great phrase when we’re were ogling a girl at work “mate, yer don’t screw yer crew”.
That said, I did want to see Sheppard’s ex-wife come back and have the travellers turn up in the same episode for comical fun.
Of course, military protocol would never have let people who date work with each other and that kept SG1 clean – SGA has a lot of civilian staff, so thats how things get to work. But putting Keller and McKay in a ‘hands-on’ tactical environment would never happen – like on a wraith ship.
But thats the fun of the show.
Thanks Joe, interesting and obviously well-thought out post. Behind the scenes stuff is almost more interesting to me than the actual show! Notice I did say almost!
I thought about writing out my feelings and response to this but as I was reading through the comments someone beat me to it! @Beadtific hit the nail head on as far as I am concerned, took the words right out of my mouth!
So, I’ll leave it at that and go on to my thoughts on Infection now that I’ve had a chance to watch… hhhmmm….. interesting…. Sheppard showing his ruthless side – me likey! They let Todd go – me likey even more!!! Good solid episode. I wish there was another season so we could follow up on the gene therapy issues and maybe bring Todd back a few more times – he and Sheppard really play off each other well – two tough leaders who will do almost anything for their crew.
oh, and of course my two cents on the gay character…. my fangirlish little heart says LORNE!!! but realistically, given his position in the American armed forces the chances of ever being able to openly admit that on the show – not likely… *pouts* The other option that I’m strongly leaning towards is Chuck… one of these days you will tell us won’t you?
*hugs* for Narelle from Aus. Speaking for myself, my mom (70) is as passionate about Dr Who as we are about SGA. Caring so long about a TV show has supplied her with something to focus on besides the illness. She too has her likes and dislikes of characters and development.
My mom’s been a fan for as long as I can remember, and was my intro to sci-fi, horror & fantasy (much to my dad’s dismay). Her TARDIS replica bank that I gave her a long Christmas ago is sitting on her bedside table.
Joe thanks for the writers perspective for SGA character development. I too have had my “ship” preferences over the years.
In addition to Sheppard just wish we had had time for more personal development for Zelenka, Lorne, Banks- all “secondary” characters I have immensely liked since intro.
Wish we had had time to bring back Nancy Sheppard. Great casting & potential character also.
*sigh* = fanfic.
Loved the post. So glad you didn’t go with McKay as a dad. If I ever meet Paul I must thank him for balking at the idea which made you guys change your minds on this.
Your thoughts on a regular recurring male character being Gay, at least in your mind, almost killed me (but in a good way). ; ) My first thought was Lorne but then I thought of Chuck. Either would have been interesting. Oh I can just see the fanfic that might come out of that “innocent statement” of yours. LOL!!!
I hope you get to introduce a gay character on Universe.
Well must get back to work.
*Thank* you, Sylvia! Blog snow, why didn’t I think of that?! I swear, when I saw little white dots cascading down over my screen, I thought I was goin’ nuts!
Thank you for giving us some more detail in regards to your thoughts on the different relationships in Stargate.
You mentioned SG1, Do you have any thoughts on if Daniel and Vala will ever become a couple? Both have suffered trauma in regards to past relationships, and the thought had occured that they might be considered to damaged to have serious relationships again? (although in Unending Daniel says he finally feels he may be ready to be with someone again) Do you see them alone in the future or finding someone else even if it isn’t each other?
Thanks Joe for more discussion with us all here on the blog about ships in SGA. I just think some fans are not real happy with the Rodney\Keller pairing. Oh well, I know you can’t please them all. In fact I must say I enjoyed the Rodney and Ronan fighting over her thing best and would have been happy if it was left at that, a mystery, something in the background we always wondered about. I agree totally with you about SG1 Jack/Sam, it was a great underlying story that you guys never confirmed, I like that. Again, no matter what, I love my SG!
Well, I for one thought Brain Storm was well written, directed and fantastically performed by both David and Jewel. I’m very glad that McKay and Keller have finally gotten things together – it was very well handled by all concerned and quite beautiful.
Going back to the ‘ship’ thing; sex and relationhips have GOT to happen even in sci-fi otherwise there would be a new phrase going about the genre: “In space – nobody can hear you mas”.
In some shows the characters are so damn asexual that you wonder how the hell they’d survive if they were real.
I hate it WordPress removes my deliberate CENSORED tags. Sorry, Joe.
Thanks for explaining your thought process in making the storyline decision.
Even with your explanations – McKay is still an unpleasant jackass. Why would any other character want to get into a romantic relationship with him?
The problem is not shipping couples; the problem is shipping a character that has no redeeming qualities as a partner/mate. IMO, you have failed to show what characteretistics McKay possess that would attract another character into a romantic relationship with him.
Thanks for the ship post, but it saddens me a bit that some people are so up in arms about ships that you felt that you had to even put that out there.
In the real world, people meet, get to know each other and eventually fall in love (or lust). It happens, and why wouldn’t it happen on Atlantis? I think it all boils down to how well it’s done, and I think McKeller was done pretty well. Since we’re only seeing a slice of their lives every week, I think it’s safe to assume that there was plenty of little glances and flitrations that happened between episodes that helped solidify their relationship between Trio and Brain Storm.
As for the gay character, I’m guessing Zalenka, but I think Chuck would be a better choice.
Wow. I LOVE THIS BLOG ENTRY!!!!!!
Luvs ya to pieces Joe! 🙂 Thankyouuu! 🙂
I personally think the one person for Sheppard would’ve been Elizabeth. You remember that scene with Shepp sitting on Elizabeth’s desk? To be honest, in my mind they did have something going on. But, with her no longer around… Well. I also think he had some nice chemistry to Christina Cox’s, Anne Teldy character, but with her also being military and lower in rank, neither of them would wanna risk their careers. What about the Travellers? He seemed to really connect to Laren’s drive to save her people. A long distance relationship where both pretend to be really independent but secretly kinda need each other when times get tough?
Though if I may be so bold… I wouldn’t rule out if that ascended chick he spent a half a year in a time bubble with re-materialises in his bedroom once in a while, away from anybody’s knowledge (she seemed really into him, though he didn’t seem that much into her).
Ronin, that’s easy. Kickboxing gate technician would be just the thing for him. Maybe not for long, but hey. There’s only so long that walking testosterone bunch can spend alone before Atlantis runs out of Kleenex.
So who’s the gay character? Carson seems likely, but it also seems there was an attempt to pair him to a woman in Whispers, Zelenka just doesn’t have the gay vibe although I could really picture him defending homosexuality against a rude remark of Rodney’s. Lorne? That’d be interesting. Or is it… Chuck? 😉 whehehe.
Gavankar’s character, Dusty from Whispers, now there’s one woman I can really picture to be gay. But you’re talking about a recurring, and a boyfriend, implying a male.
Yes but she’s hinting at marital problems. Wouldn’t be such a far fetch for her to divorce again. Or her hubby could die in a car accident. Would be even more interesting if it turned out she had kids with the hubby cuz Sheppard with his whole responsible-for-everyone (even chicks who tortured him) attitude would be drawn to take care of her and the kids…
Anyways Joe. LOVE this blog entry! Thanks!
Joe, a question.
In Infection, Todd states that it’s not exactly easy to land a Hive ship. True, the dang thing is supposed to be 11 km long, and you’d have to find a large open spot to land it without putting it on trees, or hills, or other things, so it would sustain no damage, or whatever, from that.
So basically, I think we can assume that they don’t easily land Hive ships, only for special occasions, like the big hibernation they did for thousands of years while waiting for the human population of the PG to grow enough so they could sustain the Wraith population for quite a few years, let’s say.
And there lies my question. In ‘Michael’, we see him taking Teyla to a planet that a few hours or so later gets overrun by the Wraith. And they even landed their Hive ship on an open location, with a Cruiser flying over. So, what makes Michael such a special person that the Wraith landed their precious Hive ship, versus just picking him up with a Dart?
Unless, of course, the ship was already there. But then it doesn’t make sense that the Wraith were only just *now* coming out of the Hive…
Heh. See? Small dilemma. 🙂
I totally agree with your perspective about adding relationships in a show. To have fully-realized characters, romantic relationships need to be addressed to reflect real life. They add an extra dimension to a character. While I don’t want to be hit over the head in every single episode, it is nice to see a romantic relationship on occasion.
You said, “Jack and Sam could have gotten together after Jack’s retirement, but it was never made canon because, quite frankly, it wasn’t my call. Still, despite the lack of official confirmation, it was only natural that they should get together after the events of Threads and, in my mind, they have been together ever since.”
In my mind, I also think it’s natural that Sam and Jack have been together since the end of s8. It wouldn’t make sense if they were *not* together, given everything we’ve seen in the first 8 seasons (and the very subtle hints in the last two).
However, you mentioned Jack’s retirement a couple of times…. Jack hasn’t retired yet (head of HWS), so I think you mispoke? Regardless, I would like to think that, despite being head of HSW, he is far enough removed from her chain of command that they are together.
I only ask (plead, beg) that there be official confirmation in the third movie that they are together (hopefully married… after all, by the time we see the movie (in 2010?), it will have been several years since the end of Threads). I know that you’re not writing it, but I am hoping that you will influence Carl or Brad to add it in 🙂
oOhhhh non!! mon dieux!!!!
Mais c’est affreux ce que vous dites!!!
Teyla va couler des jours heureux au prés de son Kanann et john sera un vieux solitaire mais c’est horrible!! Dés le début de sga il y’a pleins de preuves qui montre qu”ils vont finir ensemble, vous ne pouvez pas nous faire sa!!!
Tué Kanann dans le film !! Tout les sheyla rêve de voir Teyla et John ensemble♥
Je vous en supplie =(….
One thing you consistently ignore about fans’ opposition to the character of Keller is that she has become the lead actress of the show this season.
I find this problematic when the character of Teyla exists and has had practically no story this season. It was the writers’ choice to include the real-life pregnancy, but you have since totally minimized the character, to use your words.
The reason I keep posing racial politics questions is because the young white female has become the sexually desirable focus, while the woman of color is now an unmarried mother who has one or two lines per episode. It’s frustrating as well as pretty uncomfortable. And the man of color that was pursuing the young white female has been painted as a brainless, violent loser.
“Captain Alicia Vega who, in the episode’s final scene, essentially asks Keller out.”
… and you think the Keller favoirtism accusations are bad now, just imagine if that scene was not cut – the argument for ‘SGK’ would have gained a bit more ground. The new running joke might have been, who hasn’t asked Keller out yet? LOL.
Don’t worry (not that you actually are) about the ‘Brain Storm’ debates. As far as a network ‘forced’ plot decision, Eureka is much much worse with their way-too-much Degree For Men advertisements – it is likely their ‘jump the shark’ moment.
FYI, your blog theme is becoming a bit annoying with white dots falling down, obscuring the text as I read.
I’ll be wondering who’s gay now o.<
thanks for the long SGA-related entry ^^
Character X must be Banks (or so I’m hoping)
and I owe you a very,very big THANK YOU for all the entries from your Japan trip, I’ve been following regularly and just had not much time to comment (but I’ve finally passed the test I failed three times before… it was high time and I know a lot about the growth of plants now that I will never need again…)
so much food in such a short time and most of it really looked delicious ^^
Hi Joe, A very interesting post. I have to say I don’t understand why people complain about the romantic entanglements of the characters. Art imitates life and romantic entanglements are certainly part of life, especially in such close quarters. Take if from me, I used to work on a small cruise ship with 30 crew members. It was like Melrose Place! I’m sure Atlantis would have it’s share of similar experiences. I’d also add that a good portion of viewers are female and I would hazard a guess that the complainers are male. Just a guess but I feel pretty safe with it. I understand your reasons why Jack and Sam never got together but it still doesn’t change my feelings of disappointment over that one.
On another note, I really enjoyed all your posts from Japan. I’ve never been there and yet somehow I feel like I’ve had my own little Japanese Vacation while staying at home. Keep up the good work. -Jennifer, Orlando FL
Thanks for your post Joe, that was great. Nothing has to be added. And I also would have loved to see John and Nancy later … in the season 6. I’m really sad we won’t get it. Maybe in the movie(s)? What do you think about it?
And because I’m sad as well as my Hungarian friends are (I mean the ones who are SGA-fans!) due to cancellation of our favorite sci-fi show, I need to make them and myself laugh. Therefore I made a little funny video, if anyone want to watch it, here is the link:
Thank you for this very interesting article on the Keller/McKay relationship, it is gratifying that despite all the s**t that gets thrown at you guys that you still take the time to give us an insight into the how it came to be.
I’ll admit that after Missing I was not Keller’s biggest fan but I also felt the episode was required given otherwise we have so many perfect characters. I felt Brain Storm was really natural and the relationship sits very well with me. Please pass on my thanks to Martin for a great script/show.
Yes, they are real people with real relationships however couldn’t that have been handled with subtle hints rather than a full character arc? I watch this show for its science fiction element and while I DO enjoy the personalities and the interworkings of everyones relationships, having to stare at the screen for an hour and watch romance storylines is not really what I’m tuning in for.
And I’m also surprised you went ahead and made a ‘ship concrete when you seem to realise how big this fandom is and how diverse the ‘shipping is. Didn’t you realise you would be upsetting the majority of fandom by doing this?
SG1 had done fine all those years with subtle hints about relationships, and so did SGA for 3 seasons. I didn’t see the necessity in this ‘ship arc, no matter how it had panned out (whether Rodney or Ronon ending up with Keller). Why fix what ain’t broke?
I am not into the whole ship thing, I think just anticipating what the characters may do in their off time is good. We all know they are human and leaving it to the imagination is, to me, so much better. Like I always saw Sheppard and Weir even though it wasn’t intended that way, it just seemed there was a chemistry there. I see no chemistry for McKay and Keller which makes it too weird for me to watch. I don’t want love stories anyway, I like the action.
I think what a lot of people are upset about (maybe I am wrong, I have been before) is that we like action. We all have our favorite characters and like to see them in most of the episodes. I am a sheppard fan and have felt that his importance is not stressed as it was in past seasons. I don’t think a lot of us are looking for romance, although the unspoken word is just as powerful to me as it is if you actually have to write an episode to point it out, perhaps even more so.
I do appreciate that you guy decided not to do a disservice to Sheppard’s character. I do think that Nancy is a good idea cause I saw chemistry, but I also seen that with Larrin (I know some did not like them, but I did). Both seem to be able to stand up to the strong character of Sheppard.
The reason Sam/Jack isn’t happening, for one thing, is that once you consummate a long-term relationship on a TV show – unless you’re doing a soap – it gets boring fast and viewers leave (witness several prime time shows that died after they put the leads together). Never consummating the relationship on-screen means viewers who want UST will still watch/buy movies in the hopes that it will happen.
And viewers can and will always think what they want about who is with who doing what, so there’s no need to drag ‘ship’ to a series unless that’s the direction you want to go. And what ‘ship’ there has been on the show has been ‘meh,’ to sum it up.
As for McKeller, don’t care about it one way or the other. My major complaint about McKeller, though, is that she’s busy telling McKay what to do, or just standing there, and ignoring half-frozen people lying on the floor. She’s a doctor, after all, but at times I really wonder. And joining the *cough* “mile-high club” after suffering hypothermia and cardiac compressions??? STUPID – there, I said it, now putting on the Nomex suit for the forthcoming flames. And enough people have complained about her sitting in wet clothing on the trip back that I won’t go about that…
“So, unless the right circumstances present themselves for this character, the fans can simply go ahead assuming he is heterosexual until such a time that, in a Rowlingesque postscript, I can add: “And, oh yeah, by the way – he was gay.”
I hate to be cynical, but it does seem to be a cop-out. If you’re going to do a gay character, just do one. Saying Vega is gay now means nothing (especially since she’s dead), and I’m assuming that whoever you had in mind for being gay isn’t in the military as he’d be discharged from the service (“don’t ask, don’t tell”) the moment he comes out. And realistically, it’s not canon unless we see it on the screen. You could also say McKay is a closet gnome fetishish 😉 but unless we see it on the show, he’s not (and no, please, don’t) 😉
Bottom-line, if the characters are created that way to begin with on most series (such as with “Torchwood”), viewers and advertisers know what they’re watching. The Stargate franchise has always been about space-action-adventure, not about romance. Probably why it does so well in syndication.
However, there is always SGU – for the “younger, edgier” audience – so why not make a gay character there?
Thanks for taking the time to detail the lovelines of the SGA crew. I’d add the many bromances on the show to that list; they are more rewarding than all the who kissed who drama.
I would love to see Teyla and Shep make a go of it or at least continue percolating along as they had been, Kanan be damned. They had that great chemistry from day 1. It’s been wonderful to see their friendship grow stronger but hey, there is friendship and then there is that amazing kiss in Season 2. Sure he was hopped up on bug juice but it was still a smoking hot turn of events.
The most intriguing love story has to be btwn Michael and Teyla. It was one sided, originated in a terrible lie and was doomed and fraught with peril, mostly for poor Teyla but boy, none of the SGA men loved as passionatelly (or as psychotically) as Michael did.
Michael was delightfully primal; he wanted Teyla and her baby for his own nefarious purposes and he laid waste to whole cities to get them. He may have wooed her in a rather misguided way (killing half her tribe and kidnapping her) but he showed way more gumption in going after the woman of his dreams than the pokey SGA men did.
I gotta say I loved the eps where the crew were under the influence of substances like bug juice or wraith gunk that allowed them let loose and sow some wild oats. But I did grow up watching the very randy Kirk bed many, many Moon princesses and it’s left me wistful for the pre-PC days of randy space captains with a girl in every space port.
With a cast as easy on the eyes as SGA it’s a shame not to see more rolling about in the hay 🙂
I gotta disagree with you Kate. SGA isn’t a bland kiddie show. Every other network show has lovestories, breakups and makeups btwn characters that enrich the show and deepen the bonds btwn characters. Fans can agree or disagree with the ships but it would be way to vanilla to have a sexless TV show in this day and age. It would be like Leave it to Beaver in space without the irony; boring and dull beyond words.
Speaking solely for myself, I am SO very happy you did not make McKay a father. My sincerest thanks to Rachel for her fortuitous pregnancy!
Personally, I don’t mind ships, IF they are handled well, something I do not feel was done with McKeller for many of the reasons already stated throughout today’s comments. I see absolutely no chemistry between McKay and Keller, while others see nothing but chemistry. I have seen chemistry between John and Teyla in past seasons, but many viewers say they see none. It just shows that you will never please all of the fans all the time. We all watch the same show but come away with vastly different impressions about what we saw.
While I have certainly had my differences with some of the choices TPTB made over the course of SGA, I thank you for allowing all of us to have our say — positive and negative — about the show’s direction.
wraithfodder wrote: “If you’re going to do a gay character, just do one.”
I have to agree here. I prefer characters who are introduced as gay over those who are suddenly revealed to be so (most likely for shock value and/or to spice up a stagnant character). It allows the audience to accept the character for who they are RIGHT from the start, and grow it from there, instead of throwing a shocker in after several years have gone by, stirring up fans who’ve developed a very strong attachment to the character as they are and can’t accept major change in them, especially after many years of devotion*.
*see McKeller Debate
Now – I say ‘shock’ value – but really, that is SO 1990s. The big ‘gay reveal’ no longer has shock value, instead it’s become too cliche and – honestly – annoying as hell. Same with other past gimmicks used to stir up the audience, like the black/white kiss, or I Dream of Jeannie’s bellybutton, or naked behinds shown in prime time.
If I was gay, I would actually resent seeing my sexuality exploited in this way…just for ‘ratings’, or to create a buzz. For that reason, I have always preferred knowing the fundamentals of a character right up front, and not turning what or who they are into an ‘issue’. It’s the issues – and the constant debate about the issues – that often prevents people from moving on and learning to accept people for who they are. Who someone is isn’t as important as what they DO – what sort of character they possess and how they treat others, despite ethnic background, sexual preferences, political or religious idealogy, etc. I mean, bottom line is this: if you were trapped in a burning car, would it matter to you if a gay person pulled you out and saved your life? Would you judge them as a lesser human being, despite their heroics, based solely on their sexual orientation? Would you even CARE if they were gay, or not? Would you even have to ask?
See…that’s how I try to look at people. I really don’t care who they sleep with, just as long as they’re good people. So, I get kind of annoyed when sexuality becomes the big issue in a show – I would much rather the issue be about their character – their personality. (For the record, I live in a town with a very large gay population – and, ya know, no one feels obligated to inform me of their sexuality, nor do I feel obligated to ask – live and let live, and all of that.)
I also have an issue with black, Asian or any other so-called minority stereotyped to play only certain types of roles. I love how actors such as Morgan Freeman, and Will Smith, just play characters…not ‘black’ characters. And I am THRILLED with Marvel for bringing in Samuel L. Jackson to portray Nick Fury, an otherwise ‘white’ role.
Another great example is Zelenka – he’s just a scientist who happens to be Czech, not the other way round. That was great casting, actually, and I think Stargate in general has done an excellent job at not turning race into an issue…but just showing people accepted for who they are, not what they look like.
I really hope that made sense.
Wow – I totally switched gears in that last post, then cut it off abruptly…sorry about that. I was going to tie things all up nice and tidy at the end, but…I didn’t. 😛 (Mainly because I am SO late for work!)
@ Shawna – Seeing as how Todd’s higher up on the food chain – well…he WAS higher up, so we’ll just stick with that – at least we know which one would be the girl. 😉
@ Perragrin – I am in a rush – but totally agree about basing an entire game plan on the boot of one player, and yup…the Italian team – I really would like to see them rise up and take 6 Nations some day. Remember little Diego Dominguez?? “A wee bloke with a mighty boot” – and I just loved him!
Oh, I’m just teasing about Shodd. Actually, I’m not really sure Todd has the right parts to do anything untowards to anyone…male OR female. As far as I know, the only thing he was able to do was give wicked mean hand-hickies…
but not anymore. *sniffle* I miss sucky palm Todd. 🙁
Completely off topic, but Level 29 score of 15770 of Brickbreaker. Beat that! 😀
Thanks for the post Joe. I don’t think it’s pandering or a cop out, I’m sure there are plenty of what we fans would consider important things that make it to the cutting room floor. (You should see what homophobic comments have been stirred up by this posting however, over on gateworld, although I’m sure there’s plenty here too. I just haven’t read them all yet).
My personal opinion is that if important to the story, I don’t care what kind of relationship is on the screen. If it’s a throwaway to placate someone, that would be pandering, IMO. We all know the characters have personal lives, but we’re not going to, nor should we, see them all on the show – it would become a soap opera and none of us want that. Plus then the real stories would wind up even quicker and neater than so many of them do now, because we’ve (you’ve) taken valuable time to have a personal-lives scene. There’s no way to please everyone. Being gay or lesbian is as part of today’s society, military or not, as being heterosexual, and if it can be worked into a storyline fine; if not, so be it. Besides anything we don’t see on the screen becomes a fan fic the next day or week anyway, so no fear. We fans have the best of both world, IMO.
By the way, did you rig your blog site so that there’s snow falling on the screen? If not, I better get a new monitor.
And finally, while I read the blog a lot, I don’t always post, so I’ll take this opportunity to wish you, the wife, and the dogs (along with the rest of the production staff) a happy holiday.
Whoa…I really didn’t see that one coming about Vega! You really should have left that part in the final cut…..would have made for an interesting plot twist. So, did you guys already decide how Keller would have reacted? Would she have accepted the invitation? From how I have come to perceive Keller, I think she would have said, then kept it to herself. Then, after a little while, revealed it to either Teyla or Sheppard…..that’s how I imagine it would go over.
Secondly, you brought up the events that took place in The Last Man. What I find interesting, both on SG1 and SGA, is that you drop little hints here and there, have the characters make comments to one and other, etc. and imply a relationship between them (Keller/McKay/Ronon, Daniel/Vala, Jack/Sam, Teyla/Sheppard….), however it is only in the episodes concerning either time-travel or events that end up not happening in reality that we ever see these characters getting together…does this make sense? Like, in Unending, we finally get to see Daniel and Vala together, only to have those events erased from time. In Last Man, Daniel and Keller get together….then those events turn out to not be the true happenings. Was this deliberate, or just coincidence?
Thirdly (if that’s a word), do you think that there is any chance of Kate Hewlett appearing in either the final episodes or in one of the SGA movies? She is by far my favourite guest star you’ve had on the show!
Finally…I think I deserve a pat on the back as this is my longest post I’ve ever posted on your blog 🙂
Why? With his “bug-therapy” he undit the whole Keller-therapy and now he should be a live-sucking Wraith again…. Well – as far as I understood it.
‘the prospect of introducing a gay character to the Stargate universe was always an interesting possibility’
Universe?? Is that still a possibility?
Oh and I’d go for Lorne as the happy fellow too. I can only see Zelenka loving his pidgeons.
I’ am a french student who heard that the stargate team is searching actors for the new serie : Stargate Universe. I am 18 years old, and I am very interest in this casting. I know I have not many chance because I’m french, I haven’t any experience of actor. In fact I hope a miracle or something like that. Being actor is my dream and stargate is a context that I know well. If you think, there is one chance, contact me with my email. I’m ready to all : take English lessons, acting lessons, work hard seven day by week.
I hope to receive mail from you quickly. Sincerely, Florian B.
I love how people say “You only write for McKay. He’s your favorite. No fair… you’re playing favorites.” but these people’s favorite characters are mostly Shep with a little Teyla and Ronan fans too. Lol you must have written something that they liked with those characters in it, or they wouldn’t be these people’s favorite characters!!!
For example, The Shrine was a McKay ep, but it was also a Shep ep… there were a ton of moments in there where Joe F really got to show off his excellent acting skills. Lol you might have meant for the ep to be about McKay, but Shep is the one who made The Shrine so awesome for me!!!
Joooooeeee!! I have a geeky fangirly question!!!!
Back in Common Ground, Todd told Sheppard that he was ’stronger than any human he had ever fed upon’. In light of what we learned in Infection, could that strength be due to the fact that an iratus bug once fed on John?
(If you don’t know – go ask Alan. )
Great question Das!!!
The Queens have mentioned that as well. Could it also be because is his ATA genes???
Another character that had a fairly bad reception by a fanbase was Dawn in Season Five of Buffy (not sure if you’re familiar with the show). She was dropped in to an established show without a by-your-leave (though it was a major plot point), she was the novelty item teenager in a show staring twenty-something’s, heavy handed attempts were made to make her sympathetic which fell over, and the catch-phrase of course: “Dawn needs rescuing, it must be Tuesday”. That and their was the perception that she was horning in on the ‘Scoobies’ by pulling the shows focus partly off them and entering in to a new group dynamic.
For some people (definitely not all) Keller is the Dawn of Stargate. Though thankfully they never shipped Dawn off with Giles, heh!
Well, I can´t talk for everybody but it´s not only Beckett fans that dislike Keller. She would have been fine, if she had stayed a background character who wasn´t pushed on us in so many episodes, where she became front and center. Especially now that the show is heading towards an end, why dedicate so many storylines to her?
Even Jewel and former Keller fans are getting annoyed with her now.
Janet on SG1 never got any episodes dedicated to herself and she played a pretty big part.
I watch Atlantis because of the team (Sheppard, Teyla, Ronon and McKay) and sadly, every time Keller gets a huge amount in an ep (with very few exceptions), it reduces Sheppard (who happens to be my fav) to a 20-30 second guest role, Ronon and Teyla are barely in them at all (often not at all) and the focus is on McKay getting his love life fulfilled, now not only once but actually twice.
It´s more than just McKay that us fans care about, and to be completely blunt, I don´t find him attractive at all, nor very likable most of the times, so watching that guy “getting some (esp his happy ever after)” – even just hinted, it´s nothing I long to see when the hotties 😉 are never shown that way. It´s not fair to the eyes of the hungry fangirls :p
That said, I liked your post and thanks for the input. I still would have prefered Nancy back in Remnants than Woolsey and his fantasy though. I had been hoping for some insight into Sheppards psyche, especially with the promises it would give us just that, but I can´t help feeling let down. 🙁
Any chance that former Remnants script is/becomes available? It would certainly be considered a goldmine 😉
Seeing as how Todd’s higher up on the food chain – well…he WAS higher up, so we’ll just stick with that – at least we know which one would be the girl.
Oh, that just solidified a vision in my mind that I’d really rather not be there. 😉
This is definately one of my favourite entries 😉 I’m not such a big Atlantis fan as I am an SG-1 fan so I’m especially thankful for the Sam/Jack part in it.
And now it comes…..BUT: -it might be my fault because I was very busy lately and I could have missed something- if Sam and Jack had been together since Threads, what the hell happened between then and Continuum? Because in Continuum they don’t seem to be lovers (anymore)… and if there happened something in between, (maybe Jack cheated, whatever…) wouldn’t it have been important to mention? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a nice person, just still hoping the best for them.
I find it kind of sad that the tension between the two has never got the attention of TPTB. And for some years (!) already it seems to fade. Wasted potential.
And I have another question: How do you think is Boston Legal going to end?!? What will happen to the firm, what to Denny??
greetings from the other side of the planet,
Thanks for your interesting post. I personally am not averse to shipping within the Stargate fandom. I was a big Sam and Jack shipper for a long time. I completely understood the reasoning’s for not taking that next step to be honest. And you’re right it wouldn’t have been appropriate given their positions at the time. Secondly, both of them I personally don’t think would have made that move because of the work they had to do. Sure, they skirted that fine line, but never really crossed it. For me though that ‘relationship’ felt right to me. I don’t know what it is to be honest about McKay and Keller getting it on.
For me if I think about it, it’s all about being in a position of power/authority that makes that difference. I’ve seen too much abuse of power that I get kinda hinky that a person who is in a position of authority shouldn’t overstep the boundaries of the position that they’re placed in, like a doctor or a superior officer. Jack/Sheppard and Keller each hold that position of ‘power’ in my eyes. I agree with you about the Sheppard/Teyla aspect also… see how well we’re doing. 😉 For me I think I dislike Keller in certain eps when I feel she has stepped over certain boundaries. You may not see it in the same light as me, which is fine. But for me there are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed unless the situation changes, such as a change in doctor, commander etc.
Over the course of the time Stargate has been on screen there’s been changing dynamics within relationships. You may work with someone for a long period of time and then something happens and your own feelings change, or you work in such a close knit community that your life depends on someone else and feelings emerge; be they platonic or romantic. That’s realistic to me, and I can understand how the relationships aboard that type of community can emerge. I don’t want the characters I love to be 2 dimensional automatons, who have no feelings, because I watch for the characters and their relationships… interactions with each other. That is a large part of what is so special about our characters. And yes, overtime these change, either drift apart or grow closer and that is part of human behaviour. We want our characters to develop friendships, close relationship, possibly have those family ties and to watch them grow over the years. And yes those sorts of bonds don’t develop overnight.
The thing for me is that i’ve seen that development between them. I’ve watched them change and grow over the years albeit some have had more growth than others. But, at the end of the day, I watch not only for the characters, but for the SciFi element, the blowing things up and our heroes coming to the rescue. And all of that has to take place in a 43 minute or so window. It’s a lot to cram in, and where the plot lends to it, relationships should be built up and people should grow closer. However, with the McKay/Keller relationship i’ve seen a shift in how the stories revolving them have changed and for me its been at a cost of losing what made SGA special. An example of this was Brain Storm. I watched it eventually, and to be frank was the most abysmal episode of all time for me. Why? Because it ceased to be about the team, Atlantis, its characters and about the Science and instead the focus became Rodney and Keller wanting to get their leg over. Yes that was me being dramatic, but once you have that focus on developing a kindling romance, you don’t have a SciFi ep you have an episode of the Love Boat. 😆
I mean, (and I know it was Marty G who wrote this and not you), every writer has their favorite characters those they adore writing for. But if I’m writing a story (and yes i write for myself not for anyone else) do I indulge in my personal obsessions over a certain character or do I ensure that each character is allowed that ‘personal growth’? For me it’s not one or two characters that make things special it’s the whole ensemble. I watch for the team, I don’t watch to see just two characters, be it Rodney/Shep, Ronon and Teyla, Keller/McKay, I watch for the team and the adventures they got up to. It’s the interactions of the team that make things special. It’s the ‘knowing the team have each others back’ that makes it special. Honestly Joe, I just balk at the thought of an ep being lovey dovey, it’s not why I fell in love with SGA, but it may be a reason why I fall out of love with it.
What i’m trying to say in a nut shell… 😉 is that the dynamic of SGA doesn’t (for me) lend itself to long lasting romantic relationships, unless of course the dynamic is changed between core characters such as Keller and Rodney. If Keller wasn’t Rodney’s doctor, I might feel different about their relationship, but as it is now, it is an abuse of power. Its against the medical code of ethics, and for me its morally wrong. You’ve had Keller treating Rodney, when she should have been hands off if she was in love with him. If those elements had been different then maybe I might have accepted things. Who knows….
Okay i’m shutting up now 😆 I’ve bored you enough, see i’m better than sominex. 😉 Thanks for the Japan pics I really did enjoy the write up and living vicariously through your blog. 🙂
The whiny few bash Keller, yet the ratings go up and up. I won’t waste too many lines bashing the one-note Keller bashers except to say this is not your show. You don’t own it. You don’t create it. You don’t speak for the fans who are tuning in to records numbers to see Season 5. The more you rant the stupider you sound.
When McKay and Keller are featured prominently it gives the other actors a chance for some much needed time off. Filming a TV series is grueling work and yes, those are actors. Keller doesn’t really exist. They can’t see you, even though you can see them.
So rant away, nothing can stop you (except maybe a padded cell) but know that the rest of us love the show, love the cast, love the writers and yep, we even love Rodney. That’s why we tune in. If Keller and Rodney bother the few of you who make it your daily job to whine about Keller then you have a simple choice: don’t watch the show.
@ noir – THAT is what I hope, too…but right now, I’m in a ‘wait and see’ mode…I’m just not really sure what is going to happen.
As I have said many times before (caution: dead horse!), I really would like to see the best of both worlds for some – find an alternative food supply (whatever form that takes) without taking away their natural craving for humans and ability to feed (this is what makes them Wraith). This way, those who want to play nice with humans can fight their natural inclinations in favor of a different diet – one that sustains them though, perhaps, not quite as satisfying. Basically, this is what Todd has done in the presence of the Lanteans…he has resisted his natural urges in order to work along with them – and THAT’S the dynamic I LOVE. Take that away and he’s just a paler version of Ronon. Maybe a little sexier. 😉
But, eh…what I want and what’s gonna happen are two totally different things. I’m just tryng to think of a feasible way to keep the Wraith alive in the show/movie[s] – if it was REALLY up to me, there’s no doubt about what I want – Wraith to be a real life-sucking threat with true dominion over the galaxy, and the Lanteans keeping a healthy distance away, with none of this genocidal talk. I just think respecting the Wraith for what they are would be a lot more interesting than ‘let’s kill ’em’.
@ Scifan – Oh, I have no doubt that the ATA gene is what writers have had in mind when they have the Wraith admiring Sheppard’s strength – however, I don’t think it’s ever been stated at fact. With this new revelation about the iratus bug, it would be a great opportunity to have THAT be the reason for Sheppard’s ‘strength’, especially as it relates to Wraith. Also, there’s the little thing that happened with him after his encounter with Ellia, so – both with that, and the iratus bug incident – Sheppard basically has had a double-dose of what makes Wraith, Wraith…which could account for his superior physical endurance and resistance.
But, hey – it’s probably not that at all (mainly ’cause I think that I think a lot more about these little details than the fellas actually writing the show. Mostly, they think about blowing stuff up…and ‘ships. 😆 ).
@ Joe – I just got a call from my Wraith-hating niece…okay – maybe she doesn’t ‘hate’ them, but she certainly doesn’t
lust afteradmire them like I do. 😉 ANYway….without any prodding from me, she was upset over the team’s treatment of Todd and his crew. I was really surprised. She was especially bothered by the decision to kill Todd’s crew by shutting down the revival system, and really displeased with how dark and uncaring Sheppard has become. Now – like I said, this surprised me because I thought I was the only one in my family with issues about this…so it was nice to hear it from someone who usually has no problems with the show…at least I know it’s not just my imagination.
That said, our conversation was cut short due to work, so we never got to see what seemed to be a change in Sheppard’s attitude at the end. But she did say she’d like to come here and express her feelings about the show ending. She has been a Stargate fan since the very beginning – with the movie and original show – and she’s starting to feel a little…well…sad. So, if she does show up, be nice to her – she’s a sweety, nothing like me. 😛 In fact, I told her NOT to read my posts…lol.
And I’m impressed, Joe – you really know how to set a blog on fire! 😉
Yeah, well Joe. You wanted to avoid a WTF moment, too bad cause I just had one. So here you go WTF?!?!?!?!?!? GAY ON STARGATE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
@ Shawna Buchanan – I wonder if Todd would demand that Sheppard squeal like an iratus bug… 😕
And Joe – if that is totally inappropriate – just delete it. I am in rare form these past few days. See what one Toddisode does to a rabid fangirl?! I just can’t contain myself!!!
Fabulous post J, thanks.
Lorne = Gay? I think not. I’m going with Caldwell on this one, his butt looks fantastic in his ship suit. A prime example of that is in “Search and Rescue” when he is talking to Sam and Sheppard and etc…
Who know and older guy could have such shape?
I think that relationships make the show more realistic. Things like McKay and Keller are bound to happen and I am surprised that it hasn’t more. Especially given the constant danger they are in. Looking for comfort in a perilous atmosphere is a story as old as time.
Sheppard and Teyla though? Thank goodness that line got killed. I always thought that Sheppard and Larin would be fantastic, she is like the female him!
Thank you for your thoughts and insight. I was so glad to read your comments. I do have some comments and concerns though.
“My answer to that would be that while, yes, it is science fiction, the characters at the heart of these stories are real people, subject to the same hopes, disappointments, and desires as you or I. They’re not emotionless automatons but grounded individuals who succeed, fail, exult, fear, despair, lose their tempers, and, occasionally, fall in love.”
I totally agreed. I was always of the belief that science fiction was at it best when we can see it has being realistic as well as being scientific. So, yes, I do expect to see characters fall in love with each other, human or alien. So I am glad you guys were willing to explore that. So although I understand the thought process and understand to some extent why the ptb may have chosen certain storylines:
1. I have repeatedly questioned for some time why Rodney is the only one to have a love life that we can view on the show. And by your own admission now Keller since she has appeared in Season 4. Look how many pairings’ possibilities she could have been involved in? Or person or persons that may have had a romantic interest in her. You telling us that there were discussion about the other characters’ possible romantic relationships that were nixed because it didn’t make sense to you guys. This doesn’t resolve the fact that we have only gotten to see the character of Rodney only in this type of relationship. And you may not want to admit it, but I as viewer have to question why that is. Why only McKay? Now Keller! How come the effort for the most part has been only focusing on McKay? I am sorry if I perceive the relationship’s storylines for the other principal characters that they don’t seem to get the same focus as the ones for McKay.
2. “True, we had set up a mutual attraction between the two characters, but to suggest that these two had hooked up unbeknownst to everyone else (to say nothing of the audience) seemed a bit of a stretch. Furthermore, we felt it would do a disservice to the Sheppard character to, at the very least, suggest impropriety on his part.”
I am happy for that confirmation. But I have to question why you felt it would a disservice to the Sheppard character and why the following scenes don’t apply?
1. Travelers. Having Sheppard kissing Larrin and allowing her to be able to get the upper hand on him. You have to question to Sheppard’s judgment. How was that not a disserve to his character?
2. TLT. Having Sheppard constantly questioning that Travelers’ girl about Larrin while he is on an important rescue mission. It seems childless on his part. How was that not a disserve to his character?
3. Remnants. Having Sheppard hitting on that female scientist like that. How was that not a disserve to his character?
Talk about disserve. Those scenes have again subjected Sheppard character to being criticized for not being a good leader, for inappropriate behavior, or being a Kirk.
Yes, I would have loved to have seen guys try to put Sheppard and Teyla together. I saw the potential. I believe that the potential is still there. But, you gave your reason why you guys did not follow through with that. Fine, so, we were given an unknown Athosian. Someone Teyla kept from her friends. No, previous hints, considering all along you guys had set up the attraction between Sheppard and Teyla. Someone that John doesn’t even know. How does that make any sense? John and Teyla seem to have one of the closest friendship’s relationships. You did a disserve to Teyla’s character! Because we were still given a stretch anyway and with three episodes remaining no kind of effort to resolve it or to make it make sense.
3. You stated that Teyla is in a relationship Kanaan.
“Well, Teyla has someone now (remember Kanaan? No?)”
I’m sorry if I have to wonder about that. Are we shown this relationship? Since Broken Ties what kind of relationship have we seen with them?
Look how you describe Kanaan.
“Teyla would have been a possibility but, alas, she has settled down with the babysitter of her child – Kanaan.”
I may be the only one, but I find your description of Kanaan demeaning. Is that all Kanaan is? Gosh, I thought Teyla deserve more in a mate than a babysitter. I wish this couple was given a quarter of the effort that you guys seem to have put into McKay’s relationships. Then, I may be able to believe it and accept it.
I come away from your post with some understanding, but still with the feelings that the ptb focus on certain characters robbed me of character development and growth, for Teyla, Ronon and Sheppard. So, I don’t have a problem with McKeller. I just have issues with how the tpb seem to have only focused on them this Season and only Rodney’s relationships in general. I love McKay, but I love Sheppard, Teyla and Ronon too. Because I do love the team and I love the team’s interaction, but somehow, I don’t see that anymore. Do they (John, Ronon, and/or Teyla) still spar with each other? I just can’t recall seeing the different members of the team interacting and I miss that.
You really know how to stir the pot.
I really enjoyed and appreciated your post.
I for one am just enjoying the last few episodes
of my favourite show.
I look forward to any additional insights about
how the show is created, charactors are written etc.
Oh my god, Chuck is totally gay. Awesome.
Shiny said …
You seem to be under the impression that we who don’t like McKeller don’t like the show at all and do not watch it. Just because we don’t like that *particular* development doesn’t mean we aren’t *also* contributing to ratings. It also doesn’t mean that there aren’t others who are still watching, like we are, who aren’t similarly disenchanted with that *particular* aspect. The ratings are not proof one way or the other as to whether McKeller is popular or not. Me I’m still watching for the McShep, even in minute doses. 😉 (I kid — I like more than just the McShep!)
I don’t *just* complain about McKeller. I have praised what I love about the show as well — on numerous occasions. Comparatively speaking, I have written probably hundreds of pages (here and elsewhere) in favour of the show as opposed to tens against. Hell, I have even spoken in defense of Keller in the past!
Just like you can, guess what, not read the posts you don’t like. 🙂 But snce I do stull like the show otherwise, I will continue to give feedback, both nagative AND positive, because I have a vested interest in the show, just like *you* do. Oh, and I love Rodney too. That’s why I’m not happy seeing him with Keller, whom I feel does not love him unconditionally. 😉 We wouldn’t be spending the time to say our piece if we didn’t care.
What I find curious is the repeated need I have seen here for those who do like, or at least don’t mind, McKeller to make disparaging remarks against the people who disagree, calling them crazy/etc.
We aren’t telling you you are wrong for liking McKeller, or for *saying* that you like it. We aren’t telling you that you are wrong to like the show (hey, guess what, McKeller aside, most of us still like it on the whole too). Hell, most of us aren’t even *really* telling Joe & Co that they were *wrong* for doing the show the way they did — we are simply saying what we do or don’t like and *giving reasons why*. Artists need *thorough, constructive* feedback, both positive and negative. Joe has even said he welcomes criticism so long as it is civil.
As for not owning the show … no, we don’t technically own it, but at the same time, it’s our numbers that MGM & Sci Fi wants, right? We’re the ones “paying” for it with our time/attention. We are what they covet. So in a way, it kind of *is* our show, and like consumers with any product, we our within our rights to let the manufacturers know when we are displeased. In fact, isn’t it better that we do (if done constructively, at least), rather than stop watching with no explanation? It serves no artisan to not let them know *why* you don’t care for a work.
Imagine if everyone loved the show to start with, but something happened that turned *everyone* off, enough that the ratinghgs dropped considerable. What if the writers had no idea what was wrong because no fan stepped up to say what had bothered them, they just stopped watching. What if it were something that could be *fixed* Should a show just be lieft to die, then? That’s not the case here, no, but the same principle applies. For good or ill, it is the audience’s job to clap AND to boo in honesty. And now, thanks to the internet, the creator can know *why* a work is or isn’t well-recieved, and make adjustments to ensure the continued success of the product. It is a *business*, after all, right?
What was wrong with John being the father of Teyla’s baby. They had been building up their feelings for three years so how can you say this would have come out of nowhere. But Teyla announcing she’s pregnant with some unkown Athosian is not coming out of nowhere.
How is it ok for Keller to have a relationship with her patient but somehow it’s improper for John to fall for someone he works with. It’s all just one excuse after another. You didnt want to go with John and Teyla because none of the writers were that bothered, but that wasnt the case for McKay and then Keller. Why was MG so adament for Keller and McKay not get messed around but didnt seem to object to any other pairing receiving this treatment.
It would have been nice if any of the writers had the same passion for John and Teyla as they seem to display for McKay and Keller. One moment Keller doesnt even know who she likes, the next she is rubbling her patients head and listening to a mentally unstable man confess his love for her, and then a short time later she is suddenly confessing her love for him and pouncing on him, and you actually talk about not wanting to show Sheppard in a bad light!!.
If you had wanted John and Teyla to work you could have made it happen. It was the writers who started this relationship but as soon as the first obstacle came your way you ditched it but somehow you were all determined not to let anything get in the way of McKeller, to even dumping a well loved character to fit Keller into the show just to give Rodney some loving.
But the ptb dont seem to care what kind of fanbase they attract. Obviously they are not bothered at all about keeping existing fans who have supported the show for years. There is no loyalty whatsoever to long standing fans, lets just spice up the show for our new younger demograghic that we need to transfer over to SGU, well I hope your dwinding existing fanbase does get topped up with your new younger audience who enjoy barbie doctors and no substance, but I think you’ll need better ratings than around the 1.2 million mark.
Alright – I’ll bite. D’ya think Doctor Who’s tendency of throwing in random comments about GLBT couples/ people in a way that is not a part of the story but just random trivia creates WTF moments for the fans? If you feel a character is gay/ want to write a character as gay, isn’t it better to contribute to the acceptance of gay people by proper representation on television (that is – not all gay people are either camp or having angsty struggles with their sexuality – some are just gay, end of. And these random mentions like in DW and the one you seemed to want to avoid are exactly the way to represent them that way)? I mean, there have been completely random mentions of the heterosexuality of members of the expeditions, and no one thought it was weird because, well, everyone talks about their other half/ ex/ whatever.
For the same reason, BTW, I’m glad the Vega mention was cut off – yes, glad. Because this would have asked for an awkward reaction and making a big deal out of it. The whole point of these random mentions in shows like DW and its spin off Torchwood is that this isn’t a big deal.
And lastly… *angelic smile while asking a baiting question, sorry* – I thought you guys are writing the show you think is best, not catering to what the Fans Might Say…
And now for something completely different – I get why you’d be defensive after all the noise about McKay and Keller – but bringing up Teyla’s relationship isn’t the best way to defend it… I mean, come on. Do I remember Kanaan? Hardly. He’s been in about 2 episodes these season. Early on there was a throwaway comment about Teyla’s son being with him on a different planet, and we’ve only seen him when it fit the plot, i.e Prodigal. In order to say Teyla has settled down with the father of her child… we need to see it – well, scratch that, I need to see it in order to feel it, others might not. It doesn’t feel like she’s i any sort of a relationship, thsi is jsut brought up when the plot requires it.
(these points have probably been said already but there are over 180 comments today so… I’ll just be lazy and post it anyway.)
Here’s my response to the ones who can’t believe that would happen. If a man confessed his love to me, literally saves my life, and I confess my same affections towards him; you bet your ASS I’d have sex with him. Plane or no plane, why not? We both love each other and HE JUST SAVED MY LIFE!!!!! lol
I feel like I need to explain myself here – it wasn’t the fact that they were going to have sex on a plan that didn’t make sense to me. It was the fact that they were going to have sex on a plan AFTER SHE HAD JUST HAD CPR! Do you know what that does to a body? That’s not something you just get up and you’re perfectly fine from! She should have been in pain! But no of course not she’s perfectly fine, no harm done after nearly dying and being brought back by CPR.
But then of course I’m forgetting that this is Stargate where all medical injuries are magically healed as fast as they need to be… (Sorry Joe but you gotta admit that at least that much is true).
Thanks for the lengthy and well-thought out post. Must have been a long, boring trip back over from Tokyo!
I’ve always thought that O’Neill’s position since Season 8 was left deliberately vague so there wouldn’t be concerns about whether or not he was still Carter’s supervising officer if and when their romance was ever mentioned again on-screen. That, and the little hints always made me think there was something going on- off-screen, that is. Unless Sam has some kind of abnormal fixation that makes her carry his picture in her luggage.
Is that incorrect? And what about O’Neill having retired? I missed that part, too.
If you want to tell us something, now is the best time to do so…don’t try to hide it anymore, denegation won’t help you to feel better!
Don’t be shy, the worst that can happen would be that we’d pay attention to it! But we are open-minded, so, np with that too…
are you implying that I am gay? If that’s the case then you should look up the anti-gay-marriage rally that took place in Springfield last month. I’m in several of the pictures
Thank you for yor post on the McKeller-thing. It was thoughtful and insightful and I really appreciate your willingness to address fans’ concerns (if you can call them that) and treating them with respect.
The problem I have with McKeller is not Rodney and Jennifer being together, it’s the fact that it was made so explicit so quickly. I’ve never been a fan of romance, but I do enjoy romantic/sexual tension between characters of a show. However, the moment a relationship is consumated, it stops being interesting very quickly.
Also, there was hardly any build up to the McKeller relationship. It went from them having a drink together in Trio to Rodney’s: “I love you. I have for some time now” in The Shrine. And then Brain Storm… I’ve never thought of myself as conservative, but this was too much, too soon. I feel that a little more subtlety in handling this relationship would’ve gone a long way in keeping most fans happy. Now it’s just been shoved into our faces and leaves very little to the imagination, and that’s a shame.
Oh, and for the record, I balked at the assumption that most fans are discontent about the McKeller-relationship because of Beckett. I like Beckett, yes, but like Keller, to me he was a secondary character and therefore replaceable. My dislike for McKeller has nothing to do with Beckett.
I watch for the core team, and as long as they’re still intact and the focus of the show, I’ll be watching. So yeah, I’m still a fan, even though the focus of the show does seem to have shifted away from the team somewhat, and I’ll still be watching every remaining episode and however many movies you’ll be making. But I do hope the focus of the movie(s) will be on the team again and on the deep friendship they share, rather than on romantic interests.
Anyway, thanks again for your post. It’s good to know that you’re willing to listen and that you take at least some of our concerns seriously 🙂
Ya know…something just struck me as I wandered back here for the 50th time today….maybe 51st time…
For a bunch of people who don’t like soapy space operas, this day’s blog has certainly turned into one! 😆
Way to go, Joe – make us show our true colors!!
Never mind Jack and Keller, Sam and Rodney had more chemistry than any other pairing in the entire Stargate franchise! Undoubtedly helped by David and Amanda also having a great (platonic) relationship.
Oops! Forgot to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Infection! It had team (YAY!), monsters, Todd and tons of action and suspence!
The missed Shep-whump opportunities are a shame ( 😉 ), but I was glad to see his interaction with Todd and how John kept his word and let Todd go. Todd on impulse trying to feed on John and the ending scene with the two of them at the gate were awesome.
This was a great team-ep! Thanks!
P.s. I apologize for not organizing my thoughts about this ep very well, but it’s late and I’m about to fall asleep 😉
I was never happy with the Katie Brown relationship because Rodney never acted like himself around her. He was trying really hard to be nice. With Keller, she “nudges” him when he needs to simmer down, but it seemed to me that she wasn’t trying to change him or tell him he was wrong, just that he needed to chill. Even then, he didn’t act like he’d been scolded, so he obviously feels comfortable with her. She brings him back to the ground without smacking him down, so to speak.
I think “The Shrine” made Keller see ALL of Rodney, which was sort of a crash course compared to the way most people learn about him. Most people don’t really appreciate Rodney until they see what’s underneath–the part he works really hard at hiding. She’s seen it, and he knows she’s seen it.
If he’s not going to be with Sheppard, I’m okay with Keller. As long as Rodney has someone who appreciates him.
Thank you Joe! I think this may be my favorite post of all time! The only thing that would make it better is if Sam and Jack’s relationship could become cannon.
Wow, obviously a lot of long replies to your blog. I will be short and sweet.
I love Rodney, I think he is one of my favorite characters.
I think his attachement to Jennifer is sweet.
I love SGA, I wish it wasn’t almost over. I hate to constantly find fault with something I love so……I won’t!
@stargatelvr, I speak for everyone here when I say that we’re here for you! You looked FABULOUS in those photos by the by and I’m sure one day you’ll find the same sex partner of your dreams, though you may want to change the venue that you look for them. I hear only closet cases turn up at those events and you should really aim a bit higher.
Interesting analysis, though, I must admit I am not a big fan of Rowlingesque post scripts. I find them interesting, but I like to see something on screen/print if it’s going to be called canon. Otherwise it’s a little like Khruschev’s secret speech–too late to make a difference, soon enough to confuse/annoy the audience.
I don’t have a problem with Keller/McKay, really. I think they have quite an interesting chemistry. However, I would like to know, did you guys ever plan to do somethign with Weir/McKay? I recall McKay saying something to her in the “Tao of Rodney” that hinted at it. (I’d love to ask the Weir-Shep question, but I think that one has been handled).
Thanks again for taking our mail,
Well, hey, this is quite a little firestorm that has blown up over McKay/Keller. I admire your willingness to put the whole thought process out there and invite continued comment. You must be feeling really good from your vacation experience.
I did find the thought process and reasoning quite interesting. Cool. However, I find I don’t have anything more to say on the specific subject of McKeller. At this stage of the game, it is what is, as they say. I just hope it has low prominence in the film.
Speaking of which, any progress on the movie? I remember you were waiting on Paul?
BTW, the snowflakes on your blog are a nice touch :>
Whoa…this a great post. You know, no matter how much I was rooting for Ronon to get the girl since Quarantine…I do agree with Jason, she is not the perfect match for him. Now I’m wondering who you guys think is…personally, I’m looking forward to seeing more of Amelia…
Never saw a John/Teyla thing happening…I agree with you guys that it would put a mark on John’s character. Like how it would have been inappropriate to see Sam and Jack on a public basis before his retirement. I’m SO glad that idea was nipped in the butt…
As soon as I read the headline that’s on gateworld, I said to myself…that’s so Rowling…LOL. I think it’s a fantastic attribute to Atlantis. I am sad that Vega ate it already…but I’m just wondering who can be the other gay character…you do know…it’s gonna drive me nuts until I figure it out. Now I have to go back and watch everything extra carefully.
I hate it when you guys do this…hehe…actually..I really don’t.
I just wish you had posted this a few weeks earlier…would have had tons of interesting questions for Jason, David, Kavan, and Rachel at the Burbank Con….well, there’s always next year…hehe…
I really would like to see the best of both worlds for some – find an alternative food supply (whatever form that takes) without taking away their natural craving for humans and ability to feed (this is what makes them Wraith). This way, those who want to play nice with humans can fight their natural inclinations in favor of a different diet – one that sustains them though, perhaps, not quite as satisfying.
lol I know you said before that you’re not into vampire stuff (I think it was you, at least), but you just described the exact situation of the vampires in Twilight (and the occasional other vampire from another show, but since that’s the big one right now…).
I agree, though. It’s the effort to resist the natural drive to kill/feed that makes it so interesting. If they weren’t making that sacrifice in order to get along with the humans, then they would just be any other alien race.
You know 191 comments and most of them revolving around Keller and McKay’s shipping. Amazing.
Reality check. It’s a FICTIONAL show.. and well speaking for myself, that’s the way I look at it. I know they’re actors playing a role for our entertainment.
Wonder how Jewel and David feel about their work being sliced and diced and analysed to death?
At the end of the day it’s a show, meant solely for our entertainment purposes and I for one, enjoy it immensely. Who cares about the ins and outs of their relationship?
Entertainment is art I suppose and art’s purpose is to illicit an emotional response. Soooo SGA sure did that. Brilliant art then isn’t it?
Thank you very much for the explanation of the thought processes in deciding to “ship” this year. I do appreciate the long post of what was involved. Very interesting.
I have to agree with several of the above posts, especially beadific, The Peoplemobile, Rose and Kath from Baltimore. First, I don’t like shipping, at least this latest incarnation of in your face McKeller. If it had been subtle, this is any ship, where each group in fandom could see what they want, it would have been palatable. I watch Stargate for the action adventure, humor and team. I want to escape from real life and have fun not all the drama and tension and fun sucking that McKeller is doing to my favorite show. As has been said, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I don’t think the show was crying for ship. It’s not what I watch Stargate for.
Second, why McKay again? Everything happens to McKay. Most of the meaty, emotional episodes have gone to McKay. (One notable exception is the stunning Broken Ties) Last year he was proposing to Katie, a situation I didn’t believe and didn’t like. This year he gets another girl, THE girl, the writers other favorite. I despise this ship, more on that later. I wish that you would have given Ronon, Teyla and Sheppard a tenth of the attention, love and development that Rodney gets. I understand that the situation of Rachel’s pregnancy necessitated some quick decisions where there wasn’t a perfect answer. Ronon sounds like he will have something with Banks, at least they have chemistry. That leaves John. It is a cop out to say John is a loner and basically ends up alone. Why hasn’t he had the chance to grow? He loves his team and would die for them but yet we get nothing more than that. In Remnants he tortures himself, mentally, yet we get no payoff as to why. Why couldn’t he grow emotionally? No, we get him badly flirting with the scientist in Remnants – tired, old and no growth, just a Kirk cliche left over from the first season. No, the writers favorite, Gero’s geek alter-ego was always going to get the girl – everything else is a rationalization and excuse to do what you were always going to do.
Now, of all ships McKeller. Repeating what many have said, it was told not shown. The two might have went for a beer after Trio, don’t know that they did. So, we get The Shrine, a killer episode until the last 30 seconds, and BAM! Rodney, infected with the parasite, is declaring his love! WTF – where did that come from, especially after he spent the last hours crying for John. And then Keller watching the tape – eww! Also, she made the comment that she liked the nice Rodney, not unconditional love. Then we skip to Brain Storm and BAM! back from the dead with no ill effects like shaking from hypothermia, she is declaring her long standing love. Then she jumps him on the plane in wet clothes and blankets. This whole situation feels forced and unbelievable. We never see them falling in love, no all of a sudden they just are. Also, Rodney around Keller is not so different or different at all than he was with Katie – still trying to be nice and almost subservient like a puppy begging for attention, something he’s not. I see no chemistry whatsoever – it really does look like siblings rather than lovers. Rodney has more passion kissing Carter in GUP. I know the writers love these two, but it just doesn’t translate onto the screen. It just seems like you were always going to go in this direction from the moment Jewel was signed. Not that I wanted the ship, but I thought Ronon and Keller had natural chemistry and sparks in Quarantine. I would have believed that one, but I think it was already decided that it would always be Rodney. I don’t get that if the chemistry is there, why not go with it.
Lastly, another point about Keller from your post a couple of days ago regarding the focus on her this season. I think part of my problem with the character is the excessive amount of screen time she gets for being a background character. Yes, her name is in the credits, but the show is about the team. Woolsey and Keller are background, just like Weir, Carter and Beckett were. Yes, they get a showcase episode and if a doctor or leader is needed then they show up. At least, that happened in prior years. This year by your count, Keller has 3 character centric episodes – Tracker, Brainstorm and Identity. Sheppard has one. One. The lead actor has one character centric episode. That tells me that yes, Keller is getting way more focus than deserved/necessary. In two of those eps, Sheppard appears in only a cameo. BS is all McKay and Keller. In Vegas, you have said that Zelenka and McKay appear and I’m sure Keller does too. But no Ronon or Teyla. Again, a very obvious discrepancy. To me, that is why this season along with the overlay of the “romance” is too much about Keller, again a character I dislike for full disclosure, and McKay, who I don’t recognize with her. All of her screen time comes at the expense of the team and of the Sheppard/McKay moments that I have always loved. It really is hard not to be resentful of her, when I feel she is robbing the show of what made it great.
I still love and treasure Sheppard, McKay, Ronon and Teyla. I adore Zelenka and Lorne and Chuck. You have given them great personalities for the limited amount of time we get with them. I have grown to love Woolsey, you have done an awesome job of integrating him into the show and adjusting his personality to the realities of being in charge. I thank you for all of them. I thank you for the action, adventure and most of all humor and team love. I just wish we could have avoided the McKeller and if not, that it wasn’t so blatant and in your face. I still love the show, but just hate that one aspect, which at times seems all consuming. I am and have been impatiently waiting for Vegas. I am hyped about it from seeing some of the promo pictures and Joe Flanigan looks wicked hot! *g* I hope it really showcases Sheppard.
Again, thank you very much for the thorough post explaining the thought processes. Even if I don’t agree or like the final decision, I really appreciate your detailed explanation. Thank you for taking the time to do this blog and for hosting all points of view. I look forward to hearing what you can tell us about the movie and I really, really hope it is about the team and not shipping, unless it is the inevitable breakdown, where the team has to comfort Rodney and he realizes that they love him unconditionally – naughty or nice. *g* Long live Team Sheppard!
Oops, that should have read inevitable break up! Sorry!
Thanks Joe for that substantial and detailed explanation. It’s unfortunate that you felt compelled to write it in part because of so much unfounded criticism.
I myself am a huge supporter of the McKay Keller relationship. I like Keller and Rodney, and i think a solid, grounded relationship is the last step in his evolution to Rodney McKay the more even-tempered, honest, open, and considerate character, from Rodney McKay the snide, egotistical, inconsiderate, awkward character from his first appearance in SG-1
You are my hero. Thank you for voicing a logical explanation for what a lot of fans are feeling. You hit the nail in the head with every point. I only hope Joe et el will keep this in mind when writing the movie.
I love how it’s now perfectly OK to have gay characters but simply not reveal them in canon. What a cop-out. I guess you writers think you’re doing us a great favor by throwing your gay fans a bone. Thanks J. K. Rowling! But really, that’s the best you can give us in over 10 years? The secret gay character?
“So, unless the right circumstances present themselves for this character…”
That’s a real laugh–somehow the right circumstances always miraculously surface for straight romances. Gosh, I really wish I could have chosen “the right circumstances” to grow up being attracted to men.
As for John and Nancy? You think the one person in the world for Sheppard is the woman he divorced and didn’t bother to mention in three years. Yup, makes perfect sense.
Shiny said, “When McKay and Keller are featured prominently it give the other actors a chance for some much needed time off.”
That has got to be the stupidest statement I have ever read in the history of Joe Mallozzi’s blog! I bet Rachel Luttrell had her baby just so she could claim Family Medical Leave Act and stay home knitting booties and blankets for her baby. And Joe Flannigan, the star of the show, loves spending time working in his garden growing oinions instead of appearing on his own show. Jason Momoa, just thankful to get to wear hats, would rather stay home also with his baby.
With all the screen time Keller and McKay have been getting, maybe its time they took some much needed time off. Oh wait. Isn’t that what they are doing now!
littlemckay: or are McSheppers (yeah cause THAT’S a ship that makes sense *sarcasm dripping*)
You are a bigot and I hope you live in a country where people are more tolerant than you. If not, I fear for anyone that isn’t ‘normal.’
LMFAO how am I bigotted? McKay and Sheppard have never ever shown any feelings of a sexual nature towards each other and therefore McShep doesn’t make sense in SGA outside fanfiction. I’m not against a gay character being in the series! In fact I’ve always thought it would have been cool to have an episode where it was the norm on an offworld planet for same sex relationships and that heterosexual relationships were more a necessity for procreation – and not an enjoyable necessity lol.
I always thought it would be have been an idea to make Teyla Bisexual, like it was the norm for Athosians. It would have been an easy way to encorporate different sexual orientations in the more viable series for this to occur. Because of the military influence on SG1, even to this day being gay is something that’s not very open or shared, but on SGA there’s more civilians than military – and a few aliens! Why not have a gay influence on the show? It didn’t need to be in your face or anything, either. Teyla or Ronon could have been an easy choice. Nothing major, but the way Joe said this gay character X would be, just like a passing comment. “You like Keller? She’s cute, but what about that marine over there, yum!”
Yeah okay, maybe a bit far fetched – that’s just too long a line for Ronon.
When handled well, showing gay characters in TV shows can work really well. I don’t like L Word but I was right there with a lot of Torchwood fans who were touched by the kissing scene with Captain Jack and the war-time Captain Jack. Damn, that was a helluva ep!!! There was more love and emotion in than scene than a million movie kisses!
thanks for sharing Joe
whoa, whoa, whoa….causing some definite tension with this topic…
It’s the battle of the Ships!!! LOL!!!
Joe…I hope you have a ball reading all of these….
Annie from wherever…David and Jewel are actors…I’m pretty sure they are used to having their work sliced and diced…and true…it’s a fictional show. But it’s a show that people are crazy about. A show that people travel across the world to meet it’s creators. A show, that yes, takes place in another galaxy, which, as far as we know is not yet possible…
however, it’s a story about people that are real. Not based on living people…but characters with feelings as real as ours. They live through the same suffering and pain, love and joy that we do. So…they are going to have relationships.
There are alot of people out there that believe when a scifi show puts two of it’s main characters together…it’s doom. But, I agree with Joe. It’s extremely important. Look at Farscape, Buffy, Angel, Battlestar….shows that put main characters together that are some of the best tv shows in history. And some with the most fans…
Anyway…if this show is simply a form of entertainment…why do you take the trouble of searching out Joe’s blog, which you no doubt found on Gateworld (which I’m sure you didn’t find by accident)…and even go as far as commenting???
Nice post on McKeller – but I don’t buy it. I’m sure it makes perfect sense to you, a nice way to rationalize it – but I think more is going on than you’re consciously aware of? Or I could just be a cranky fan and a brat – I’m willing to explore all possibilities. *g*
Why I don’t buy it: I’ve watched the show from the beginning (and Stargate SG1), read your blog and others, read most interviews, heard the actors at cons, followed the ratings, read Variety, know people in the industry. Yeah, BFD, but I’m laying the groundwork here.
I watch a lot of television, pay attention to trends, the economics of the industry, have watched shows grow/shrink, change direction, get tired, jump the shark, or get better in spite of the odds. I’ve seen when relationships on a show work – and knew why – and my proof came in the form of great ratings. But I’ve also seen TV relationships coming to fruition (as opposed to being left to the imaginations of the viewers) and not working – an opinion proven by lower ratings. In the last few years, I’ve witnessed the “dumbing” down of television – obviously based on the assumption that we’re – you know – dumb. But see, I’m NOT in television’s beloved demographic (who appear to be the group growing dumber), but I am in one that spends more, yet remains invisible. So based on all that, here are my issues, beliefs, whatever, with McKeller. Feel free to chalk them up to crankiness and being one of those fans.
The age difference:
How typical of male writers (MG said that Brainstorm was his fantasy) to give the 40 year old geek a beautiful and much younger love interest (as opposed to Katie Brown, who was in her thirties). Am I against relationships with an age difference? No. I’m against the use of it on television as written by men. It dismisses the more “mature” women who could end with a lead. God forbid.
The Dynamics of the show:
This was destroyed (many of us believe) by the rise of Stait’s character. Purpose behind the decision? That much wanted demographic? Yes and no. How ’bout, “Let’s go out with a bang (because this is bound to make those 18-to-whatever men stay home on Friday night *scoff* to watch her) and oh, by the way, we are going out – so let’s do it our way.”
Sure, lots of folks are thrilled with McKeller, but I bet the same amount aren’t. You’re in a business to make money, so why alienate half your audience by screwing with a set of dynamics that worked for 4 1/2 years? We’re your audience in the future too, you know.
Yep, I typed the word and I think it plays a part here – subconscious or not. Why was decided to include Rachel’s pregnancy other than the one given in your post? Very little was done differently with the character – the pregnancy was hidden (even after the fans found out) and she was still shot to hide it. You changed episodes to accommodate it – so why not to hide it? But by including her pregnancy, Sheppard, a white male, the military leader, could be ruled out. This was given credence by the choice of actor to portray Teyla’s ‘husband’ (many thought the father would be Halling). It’s given further credence by the fact that Keller, the perky, white, twenty-something ends up with the white, forty-year old geek instead of the exotic twenty-something alien.
*crawls back into invisible, cranky hole*
This is in response to the last paragraph, yes we do remember Kanaan (gods, you’d be freaked out with the things we remember) and poor Ronon honestly deserved the girl (in this case Keller).
You are messing with Rodney’s character though so much in order to fit McKeller into it that I can’t tell who he is and of course that affects your Sheppard even more. John might be a loner and am sure that the idea of actually making some of your fans happy by leaving him and Rodney un-attached never crossed your path (oh yeah, I forgot, am one of those scary people. You know the ones. I like McShep and that kind of stuff? The ones who fight more than any one else to keep this show and the ones who go crazy at cons and everything else in between). But I’ll give you examples of two great shows of the past who still remain beloved by the fans: The Sentinel and due South. You might want to look at how they ended and take a cue 🙂 And in the process you might want to make us happy and we’ll stop moaning about everything (well not really *g*).
John, right. Ehm, nope, don’t see him being able to actually function with Nancy. After all he can hold a grudge like nothing else and in my view a great amount of his loner status comes from that marriage.
Am actually quite happy to actually have read this, cause now I don’t need to watch anything after The Lost Tribe and that’s fine with me. It works as a season ender and a show finale (that means that I won’t have to give any more money to buy things and it works for me, since SGA never showed in my country).
Yet, am hoping that you’ll get to have another great show soon, sci-fi needs you (unless is Atlantis High, at which point, no) and even though at times we seem not to like you, please don’t take it personally, we just care too much and that is a very good indicator of how successful your shows are 🙂
*Props to Deker for being eloquent where am just waffling*
After much deliberation, I think the recurring character who is gay is Kavangh.
Hey joe. Just letting you know that I’m not reading your blog anymore. You let comments that insult me through your system. I am very disappointed. I expected more from you. Cheesy I know, but oh well.
Boy, I think Ponytail’s ponytail is on too tight. Actors working the daily grind of a TV show relish time off, so when the schedule is light they can get a break. Rachell and Jason have toddlers and Joe has three boys; it’s not selfish of them to want to have a few days off on their very busy schedule.
If you are that upset that Joe, Rachell and Jason aren’t featured in a show then for goodness sake don’t watch. Lay down with a wet cloth over your eyes and try not to have a stroke.
how can a gay person be in the military? better yet why bring a gay character on stargate, its being done to death on every freaking show already.
stargate will never achieve much if it follows, it should lead 🙂 anyway that was interesting as far as shipping goes. but i always find the less romantic relationships between characters the better on shows like this. plus whats the hurry? SGU will probably have plenty of those 🙁
Thanks Joe for this long and detailed article. I always find it very interesting to read some of the inside discussions. Please continue to post similar thoughts as I think it’s useful for us viewers to get an idea of the thought process that goes into the show.
While I am a Sam/Jack shipper, I think that not putting it on film was one of the smartest moves. It’s kinda like scary movies: having viewers use their imagination is much more powerful than just showing it (I’m sure others can word this a lot better than me). Threads and the Atlantis “lost scene” on YouTube obviously made me happy as it showed that they were meant to be together and sort of are together, but insinuations work so much better in my opinion. For example, I thought X-Files was great at insinuating the relationship between Mulder & Scully. But when the latest movie came out and they really are together, it was almost a let-down.
I’m looking forward to SGU coming out next year. I’m more of an SG1 fan than Atlantis, but hope to get back into the Stargate universe (no pun intended).
Thanks for discussing your thoughts.
I loved seasons 1-4 of SGA. Seasons 1-3 were awesome and despite cutting back on the humour in season 4, most of the episode plots were pretty good.
However, overall season 5 has been a bit of a disappointment. The story dynamic really worked for me where there may have been background romance going on (Teyla/Kanaan, Rodney/Katie, etc.), but it was still about the team and Atlantis. There’s been a few episodes like that in season 5 (not enough), but it has kept coming back to the push for the development of the McKay/Keller relationship. Personally, I’m a fan of letting fans interpret character relationships as they will, that way everyone goes home satisfied in their own mind. Yet that isn’t exactly where my disgruntlement over the season and the McKay/Keller aspect has come from.
I mostly liked Keller in season 4. She was there she was doing her job. Then she kept getting more and more focus time and in a cast of rather “real” characters she stuck out as a Mary-Sue. The more she was thrown in my face the less I liked her. Having an essentially off-side character being given so much airtime when our main favourites were absent and/or instead of the great team episodes also didn’t win her any more affection.
Then, like others, I felt the reveal of love in the Shrine was a “HUH?” moment (I thought the McKay/Keller in “The Last Man” worked, the brief romance overview and the circumstances made it real and believable). Mind you, if it had gone on from the Shrine and featured a few background McKay/Keller “dining-hall dates” Brainstorm wouldn’t have felt like such a kick to the stomach. Instead it was characters resolving individually who’d they be interested in without any togetherness for them being given screen time (although, then again, the love-triangle theme had “too much” screen time).
As for BS – it was obvious from the beginning of the episode that it was going to be a McKay/Keller episode and you could (as a number of my friends did) just choose not to watch it. However, the episode had some potential to be good (outside the fact that it was obviously there to ship McKay/Keller), the interdimension bridge making a return with the problem supposedly fixed (then again, poor other dimension earth), actual scientists and an opportunity for McKay to get recognition despite the secrecy of the stargate program. Yet, the end of the episode just felt poorly written as events were put together so that there would be a McKay/Keller moment rather than things happening that just naturally lead to such a moment. It felt out of character for Rodney to run off with an axe to save Keller. The problem hadn’t actually been solved and McKay “trusting” someone else to do it didn’t ring true. It would have been great if McKay had saved Keller only to find that ‘oops they all died anyway’ as the solution couldn’t be implemented in time. None of the other scientists had experience with “combat situation science”. Furthermore the moment would seem to set a bad precedent for future disaster scenarios in Atlantis. Will Rodney have to run off to save Keller immediately if she gets in trouble while Atlantis is falling down around everyone’s ears? Then there was the unbelievable medical side of Keller’s recovery, just so there could be onscreen McKay/Keller time…
I’m really hoping you’re not planning to devote screen time in the SGA movie to showing us the characters romantic relationships when it could be (hopefully) better spent developing the plot.
(Sorry about how long this post got. I’m not a fan of books/shows/movies/etc. where the romantic subplot of characters becomes the main feature of the story and the plot is demoted to the background)
And now for the actual reason I dropped by to post…
In “Infection” we see Teyla toting around a life-signs-detector keeping an eye out for wraith-soldiers jumping out of the walls, but previously wasn’t it the case that the LSDs like the puddle jumpers require the person to have the ATA gene? Did I miss an important reveal where the scientists worked out how to “undo” the ATA gene lock?
Then again, how was Michael able to steal and pilot a jumper without the ATA gene (we saw that the super-wraith wasn’t just able to pilot it away)?
(I hope Todd survives his iratus bug treatment. He’s been an amazing character)
Jo, thanks for taking the time to try and explain to us, the fans, what your reasoning is behind the various pairings and dynamics this season. So many writers just do whatever with the storylines and pairings and feel no need to explain anything to their audience.
That being said, the McKeller ship really, really doesn’t work for me. And it has NOTHING to do with Carson or dislike of Jennifer. I liked Carson, I like Jennifer. Period. My gripe is with the total lack of chemistry between Jewel and David (that I can see). It’s totally obvious that both the actors adore each other, they’ve said as much at cons, but that doesn’t translate to the characters they portray. And a lot of that is due to poor planning and plotting in terms of the writing. I too went “WTF” and nearly did a spit-take when Rodney confessed his love for Jennifer in The Shrine. So. Out. Of. The. Blue. I mean, when did this happen?!
And there has been a diminished role for the other characters since Jennifer’s arrival. I knew she was introduced as a main character and thus you needed to quickly establish her, but that’s not cool when the other main characters, that we’ve been with for FIVE years get shafted. And I loved who you wrote her to be, but having her and McKay be such a HUGE focus in the very last season, all rushed like this, reeks of Ezri Dax/Julian Bashir thing DS9 tried in season seven, their last year. Which was also groan inducing. And gave me a deep distrust of Nicole DeBoer whenever she pops up on a show. Like on SGA!
I could have totally believed a Teyla/John ship as opposed to Rodney/Jennifer, because at least you’ve given us five years of potential build-up in small moments and big scenes and all that. Not just connecting the dots with a laser pointer and telling us McKeller: Theirloveissoepic.
Anyways, I just wanted to throw my two cents in. You were good enough to give me your opinion, now I give you mine. I’m going to stick to my pairings and OTPs because I believe in them, and other people are going to do the same. The battles will rage on, the “discussions” will continue, and in the end we will still have fanfic to save us from the plots, characters and pairings we want to handwave away. Forever. Such is the beauty of fandom.
but honestly putting a gay character on stargate would have cut its audience by half. plus everywhere on TV there is a gay person already so there is no need for this show to do the same especially knowing its a military sci fi show that is partially aimed at kids. yeah it would be weird and it will scare away your heterosexual audience like i said.
Okay, I just need to respond this is bit of ignorant idiocy:
dioxholster: it will scare away your heterosexual audience like i said
Most people who write, read, and draw slash and make up a lot of the fandom are… get ready for it… HETEROSEXUAL WOMEN.
If stargate gets a gay character on screen, I WILL STOP WATCHING THE SHOW. I will also stop promoting the show. I have been promoting the show to all my friends since sg1 started. Please don’t wreck the show with that garbage.
Excellent post. Glad I caught it. Personally, I’m rooting for Lorne, but Chuck would be fine too. lol.
I’m always amazed at people who complain about negative comments. Um, why do they read them? You have to, but they don’t.
Happy Holidays, Joe.
I know this is an old post, but I wanted to issue a quick corrective piece of information. “Immaculate conception” refers to the Roman Catholic teaching that Mary was sinless and therefore had no sin to pass on to Jesus. It doesn’t refer to a virginal conception. It’s a common mistake, but it’s a mistake nonetheless.
I’ve been re-re-re-reading this trying to figure out little hints and honestly I don’t think it was someone actually living on Atlantis. The need to present the right circumstances and the emphasis on going back to Earth makes me think that it was someone who regularly popped in and out rather than someone who spent all his time in the area.
And too even with the guy trying to keep his sexuality a secret, if he lived in the city something would have eventually come up… that Vega chick was pretty new to the show (or at least new to being noticed) and they made her lesbo right off the bat because they could… (she lived in the city, easy to use with time constraints).
I generally agree with the idea that the guy must be someone that the show never developed that much. But only because they made a big deal of right circumstances and right amount of time. Probably someone who’s airtime was frequent but short in every case. So my guess which is probably going to get me killed is: Caldwell.
I think it makes sense enough on the description given from the blog. Though I could totally see Shepherd being outed despite his past marriage and his apparent interest in Weir. He could be outed as bi… If he wasn’t out it could explain some of his troubled military career that seemed to disappear once he got placed on Atlantis. Plus he does always hang out with the cute guys a lot. And like Mallozzi said he is very much a loner who would need someone already very close to him to crack his shell. That could be inherent from being closeted. I remember back in the day when I was in the closet I had a hard time letting anyone near me for fear that I’d get sniffed out. But for now my money is on Caldwell. I think he’s the only one who was frequent enough but who’s lines were short enough to justify the need to present the right circumstances to introduce him as gay.