Books!

Books!

And more books!

And more books!

I’ll admit it. I’m incapable of writing a proper beat sheet. Somewhere between an outline and the chronicled ramblings of someone with a reeeeally good idea, the beat sheet is a document that neatly sums up the significant scenes and developments in a given episode (or movie, as the case may be). The intent is not to entertain but to inform, to provide the reader with a story structure that charts the various steps the writer will follow from electrifying opening through spine-tingling progression to coccyx-numbing conclusion. Or, at the very least, prove that the writer is capable of forming proper sentences. But not always.

The problem I have when it comes to beat sheets is that they require a writer to envision how his or her story will break down and, what can I say, I have an overactive imagination – an imagination that won’t leave well enough alone. Nope. No broad stroke sense of a particular scene. Instead, I have to visualize it in all of its glory. Where are we? Who’s there? What do they do? What do they say? Are those seedless grapes she’s eating? I imagine each scene in great detail, like an angry mother-in-law reliving the memories of the awful day her sweet boy married that witch, running it over and over and over again in my mind’s eye. And then, at some point, I have to start writing things down and, knowing full well that it is a beat sheet I‘m working on, I try to keep it simple. Really I do. But all too often, once you’ve got a scene more or less worked out in your head, it becomes very tough to keep it short. Understand, this has nothing to do with being precious about my work or not wanting to kill my babies (that’s what the script stage is for) but rather emanates from a desire to paint the clearest picture possible. I don’t want the reader to have to question my character’s motivations (these should be obvious), makes suggestions for missing beats (they should all be there), or wonder what kind of grapes she is eating (Concord seedless).

As a result, my beat sheets aren’t beat sheets at all. They’re outlines, usually coming in at a robust 8-10 pages complete with scene headings, buttons, and the occasional gem of dialogue (“Who’s Hootie now?”). And the time it takes someone to respond, I’ve learned, is directly proportional to the length of the document. So, going on past experience, since I put out my beat sheet (actually, outline) for the first part of the Stargate: Universe mid-season two-parter yesterday morning, I expect to hear back no later than Spring of 2009.

Speaking out outlines, I switched gears today and worked on the Stargate: Atlantis movie outline, working my way toward the big finish (for the story and, if things work out the way I’m hoping they will…ah, I’ll save it for another entry). Then, I hopped into my car and braved this season’s first snowstorm (really more of a slushing that had everyone riding their brakes for most of the afternoon) to attend a goodbye party for my pal Jackie who works with our accountant, Al. As far as office parties go, this one was quite nice, a catered affair with tasty duck rolls, samosas, and sushi. In an effort to get me to mix with the other guests (being the notoriously shy wallflower that I am), Al to a heavyset man who was loitering near the cream cheese and cranberry pita rolls. “Joe, this is Paul,”he introduced us. “You’re both writers.” And then, satisfied, wandered off to the apple cider, leaving Paul and I to discuss our like professions.

“What do you write?”he asked.

“Scripts,”I replied. “I’m in television. You?”

“Corporate stories,”he informed me. Or, at least I thought I heard “Corporate stories”. It could well have been “coronate Tories”, “correlate lorries”, or “corrugate quarries” for all I knew about any of the aforementioned processes.

“Oh, yeah,”I said, boldly suggesting even a shred of understanding on my part. And then, in an impeccably smooth transition: “You dine out much?”

As it turned out, he did. And he was also a dog lover which gave us plenty to talk about beside our work (So, how exactly does one go about correlating lorries?).

On my way back to the car, I stopped by the bookstore and made my second big book purchase in as many days. I’m turning into the crazy cat lady except that instead of cats, it’s books, and instead of crazy it’s mildly eccentric, and instead of lady it’s a guy who likes the smell of the grass-scented soap his wife occasionally picks up from the spa. Then, I enjoyed a 45 minute drive back home in bumper to bumper traffic, the result of a snafu that darkened almost every traffic light in the downtown core. You know, it’s really too bad most Vancouverites never went to driving school or, at the very least, remembered the four-way stop procedure they were surely taught there.

Well, I’m going to call it an early night. My French bulldog Lulu has a notoriously weak stomach and ended up vomiting at 1:00, 4:15., and 9:05 this morning. I know because she was sleeping beside me at the time.

Finally – Hey, who noticed writer-executive producer Carl Binder’s cameo in tonight’s episode, Infection? If you missed it and bothered to record the episode, here’s a three-word hint: “Keller’s creepy uncle”.

78 thoughts on “December 12, 2008: Beating Out the Beat Sheet

  1. Identity…Wow! It was as great as I had hoped it would be. I liked how they used the Ancient communications device from SG1, a nice bit of continuity and a scientific explanation for Keller’s predicament. The guest actress did a great job, she was clearly an evil person, but at some points you did almost hope that she would get away. Since the ending is a bit unclear to her fate, I wonder if she would have resurfaced if there was a sixth season. I was sure going in that Neeva had intentionally used the device to either escape her situation or steal from Atlantis. It was a nice touch that all of this was an accident. I liked how she looked so lost walking around the city, but that she was crafty enough to be able to not get caught in a long conversation with someone. Although it doesn’t look good for the intelligence and saavy of our heroes that, even though they suspected she might be sick, they didn’t post a guard or force her to stay in the infirmary. The one tech looked especially stupid when Neeva asked where the Puddle Jumpers were. I wonder if Ronan knew she wasn’t Keller, he seemed to stare right through her in her quarters.
    The only thing I would have liked to see is Keller’s perspective upon “awakening” in Neeva’s body. How she was caught and ended up in the cell. I liked how Keller tried to be the leader of her little pack of thieves, but of course she has little experience in criminal activity. I liked the idea of Neeva as Keller going to find herself. That must have been the strangest thing Keller ever saw. Neeva seems like the kind of person who is always one step ahead, it was nice to see her get taken down a notch.
    Poor Dr. Z! First he gets attacked by a pair of plyers, then he gets absolutely no sympathy from Rodney. First he is only in a “mild” coma, then he is forced to be wheeled from the infirmary cursing so Rodney could be alone with Jennifer. The Radek whumpers must be thrilled.
    I want to thank the writers of this episode for making it as good as I had hoped it would be. Hopefully I will not be the only one to feel this way. I can’t believe we have to wait three weeks for….Vegas!

  2. First snowstorm, eh? I went out to do my errands today in shorts, sandals and a t-shirt. What is wrong with this freaking city?! Doesn’t it understand the concept of WINTER? … Grr.

    das —

    Yeah, that’s the problem with getting rid of their feeding hand. It also eliminates the other option. Why do I feel like we’ve gone over this already?

    You know what would have been awesome? An episode from the wraith’s point of view. Well, maybe the people who do the novels could explore that at some point, if nothing else.

  3. Hi Joe,

    Hey I saw Carl Binder’s picture! I cracked up laughing when I saw him!! That was great!

    Enjoyed “Identity”! So good to see Beckett!

    Just to, I don’t know, brag maybe, but today’s weather here in South Texas….sunny and 75! 🙂

  4. Good luck with the Atlantis movie and other things, sounding like 2009 will be a great year to be a Stargate fan, granted the loss of season 6 of Atlantis was devastating. But 2 movies and a new series is something worth waiting for..

  5. Hello Mr. M.

    Thanks for the insight into your ever expanding mind! It was fun to read about the details of a writer’s process!

    I hope Lulu is feeling better soon! Give her the yellow ducky; having a good chew always makes me feel better!

    Cheers
    Patricia Lee

  6. Please don’t put Keller in the SGA movie. After “Identity” I’ve had about enough of her. That executioner’s axe should have moved a wee bit faster.

  7. “…worked on the Stargate: Atlantis movie outline, working my way toward the big finish (for the story and, if things work out the way I’m hoping they will…ah, I’ll save it for another entry)…”

    I hate you. 😡

    You know what those kinds of statements do to us sensitive Wraithy sorts!!

    “I don’t want the reader to have to question my character’s motivations (these should be obvious)…”

    Sometimes it isn’t, though… *cough*BrokenTies*cough* 😉 Hmmm. Maybe that’s because – while trying to look at the story from every angle – you sometimes fail to look at it from the Wraith POV …I mean, really look at it beyond the ‘they’re the bad guys, so they do bad things’ angle. It’s not just you – it’s noticable in the others, too. I think Alan has the best grasp on Wraith POV, but even he’s not perfect. (I know! Unbelievable, right??!)

    😉

    das

  8. Uncle? I thought he was supposed to be her *dad*. XD

    And YOU GUYS SCARED THE CRAP OUTTA ME!!! I was scrambling my brain, trying to remember if David Nykl had said anything to me at Dragon*Con that would give me a clue as to the outcome ….

    All in all, not bad, not bad. Not a fave, but I liked it well enough. Something about the atmosphere of it felt wierd, even at the end, but I can’t put my finger on what it was ….

    I liked the chemistry between Rodney and the thief sooooo much better than McKeller, even if she was weevil. *Loved* the ‘jumper scene. And that’s all I’ll say here on that matter (unless provoked *wink*) so you can relax now. *grin*

    Was a little bummed that the chocolates didn’t turn out to be for “Zippy” instead of Keller. Would have been funny and sweet – I like the idea of him doing something sweet on his own rather than prompted by someone else. I mean, he has been known to do that on occasion ….

    Nice to see Carson again. 🙂

    I am confused about the stiones. How many different ways do they work, and what factors determine whow they do? Joe and O’Niell could see out of each other’s eyes without even the intervention of the device (I assume because of the gene?), but when Daniel and Vala entered those Ori villager’s bodies, the villager’s minds stayed dormant in their own bodies, and dying in the villager’s bodies killed their own bodies as well. So does it depend on where it’s placed in the device? ….

    The preview for “Vegas” (which I confess I had misgivings about before) had me positively *drooling*. Oh Gaia, please let it be as awesomely McSheppy as it seems it will be ….

  9. Ohhhhhhhhh…Midwich Cuckoos! Children of the Dammed is a favorite movie of mine. Not a great movie, but kind of B-movie fun. The Scalzi is good, too, although I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that.

    ~kath

  10. Hey Joe,

    As always, I greatly enjoy reading your blog. I was glad to hear that you had a great time on your recent trip!

    I just sent you an email (with a quick update), and wanted to be sure you got it.

    Alex

  11. vancouverites are great drivers. it’s the people who aren’t good drivers, so for their safety, they buy big SUVs which makes them even worse drivers……you know exactly what i’m talking about.

    i saw the hollow chocolate bunnies of the apocalypse at chapters and was thinking about getting it, lemme know how it is

  12. It was kind of fun seeing Carl in the picture with Keller! I wasn’t expecting it and kind of jumped, like I recognize that face type jump!

    Was he really uncle or Dad??

  13. I can’t even find the pineapple when I know I should be looking for it. How am I supposed to find Carl when I don’t know I should be looking for him?

    I’m much better with Where’s Waldo.

  14. I keep hoping I’ll wake up in an Alternate Universe where there is no Mckeller… darn it, but Identity dashed that dream.
    Oh well, Looking forward to Vegas, it looks amazing!
    I love Zelenka.

  15. Hey Joe.

    You think the weather in Vancouver is bad, here in northern Alberta we have 2 feet of snow and a temperature os -30c! Now this is a snowstorm!

  16. Thanks for the confirmation on Mr. Binder’s appearance in identity. But if I were him, I’d be worrying. First the auditorium named after him, now he’s a relative of Jennifer Keller? Is this some way of avoiding paying him some bonus or extra residuals he’s entitled to?
    Nice selection of books there. I’ve particularly fond of Guards!Guards!, having seen the play version of the book, with Paul Darrow as Captain Vimes. I liked it so much I ended up laying out a small fortune to get an autographed wall poster from the play custom framed. Only to realize I don’t have a wall in the house big enough, or strong enough, to hang it from…
    Identity was…interesting. On first viewing, it’s not one of my favorites. But there are a lot of elements I enjoyed about the episode, so it will take a re-viewing or three for me to figure out exactly what it is that keeps me from raving over it. The opening teaser was gut wrenching in more than one way, and I feared for Zelinka’s chances of appearing in the movie for a time. Lots of nice little moments, especially with the McKeller shipping. Hey, in 15 years of Stargate it’s nice to see one primary character enter into what looks to be a sane relationship. I also enjoyed threads with th Coalition being mentioned, and the glimpse into how it’s pulling together.
    Here’s hoping Lulu will settle down. Or that she quits trying to share her already eaten meals with you.

  17. Looking into my crystal ball, I foresee another heated McKeller hate session vast approaching on all SG fronts lol.

    I liked Identity; I thought it was played out pretty well for a fairly common sci-fi story setup. I was admittedly a bit worried about poor Zelenka! It is the last season and all!

    What a cute ending, I loved it! I like how McKay is growing in the relationship, willing to do something that he believes Keller would like, even though it may not be 100% what he likes. She did go with him to a science event so I guess it’s fair! I love how he’s more himself around Keller, so much so that Keller sees through him when he suggests the puddle jumper ride and he gets sheepish thinking he’s done something wrong. However, we know that he’s done something right, it’s just that Keller wasn’t expecting it. Looks like our boy IS a fast learner after all :-).

    As it turns out, from experience, I’ve found that a lot of my writer friends tend to like or own dogs over cats and prefer eating out or at least ordering in. It all means less time wasted in cooking and by eating out it means complete escape from work rather than being at home; close to a laptop; having a revelation; 15 minutes later remembering that you were in the middle of eating; discovering your food is gone and was enjoyed by your beloved dog; realising that if you owned a cat they would have turned their nose up at your pitiful/rushed/half-assed cooking… Before you know it, it’s 11pm and you’re eating biscuits instead of real food and planning to go to the gym to make up for it, but you know deep down that’s a lie!

    Man, I love being a writer! :-P.

  18. @ Shawna – Okay…I’m starting to believe in telepathy…

    What are the odds we both would have mentioned Wraith POV at the same time – before either of our posts were approved???! EEEEEEEERRIE!!!!

    But I agree – it would have been great to truly see a Wraith POV ep…The Queen was close, but not enough. No offense to the writers, but I really don’t think they want to see it from the Wraith POV, especially since – despite the glaring injustices against the Wraith – they are still portrayed as the malevolent overlords, when they’re more like unruly teenagers. Okay – unruly, life-sucking teenagers, but still…

    And now I’m faced with a new dilemma. As someone pointed out elsewhere – Sheppard refers to Todd as their best ally ‘against the Wraith’. So…great. I love Todd…and I love the Wraith…but slowly the show is moving Todd away from the Wraith, and putting him at odds with his own kind. Now – that’s FINE if Todd remains in control of a faction of Wraith followers – a dozen hives or so. But if Todd ends up being the only Wraith agreeable to work with humans, while the rest resist – then I’ll be totally torn between my love for Todd and a desire to see him succeed, and my love for the Wraith and a desire to see them survive. It’s sheer torture!

    Ugh. There has to be some positive middle ground for Wraith fans like me who love the species as a whole and not just the individuals. I know one won’t be found in the series (no time), and not sure from Joe’s little hints about the movie that I should hold out any hope there. I know it’s stupid, and it’s only a tv show about fictional characters…but I am just such a sucker for happy endings, especially in this day and age.

    das

  19. Send those Vancouverites who can’t drive to Southern Alberta… there they can deal with no lights and whiteouts that prevent you from actually seeing the opposite side of the street… We’ll take care of ’em.

  20. Coucou Joseph!! Sa va??

    ohh vous avez mis de la neige sur votre blog j’aime beaucoup! Rohh ici il neige 5 centimétre tout 3 ans c’est nul je trouve. De toute façon pour le jour de l’an je vais à Paris et là bas j’espere qu”il va neiger.

    Je me suis reveiller un peu tôt aujourd’hui car je doit aller acheter le cadeaux d’anniversaire de ma meilleur ami, et oui , je suis inviter a manger chez elle avec mes parent ce midi…

    J’espere que dans le film il y aura du sheyla!!! allez s’il vous plait Joseph!

    Mince alors pour votre chien, en éspérant que sa aille mieux, moi mon chien c’est mis un pousser un cri de loup à 4 heure du matin, sa ma fait trop peur surtout qu’il ne fait jamais cela d’habitude, je ne sais pas c’est sans doute à cause de la pleine lune^^!

    Bon et bien Passer une bonne journée!
    Bisou, je vous adore♥

  21. Dude, I TOTALLY noticed Carl in that picture!!! At first I was like “He looks vaguely familiar…” and then I did a double take and was like “WHOAH it’s Carl Binder!!!!”

    All I’ve got to say about Identity can be summed up in three short phrases: Poor Zelenka!!! Knew it was the thingamabobber from SG-1 right away!!! Nice ending!!!

    Thanks for the breakdown of beat sheets, Joe. Might come in handy when I take my screenwriting class next semester. 😀

  22. Well, as someone who doesn’t enjoy McKeller at all, there wasn’t much for me to like about tonight’s episode. Even when she wasn’t on-screen, the whole ep revolved around Keller and McKay/Keller, with the predictable rescue and sappy infirmary reunion. The rest of the team was underused yet again. This season is really reminding me of S10 of SG1, which became the Vala show, with a side order of Mitchell. Sigh.

  23. Joe, I thought Carl was Keller’s father in the picture. Creepy Uncle sounds better 🙂 . I reconized it right away in Keller’s room. I had to laugh when I saw the picture. Sorry I missed your journal of Japan and now I have some catch up reading to do. I can’t wait to hear all about the Atlantis movie. Hey it’s my birthday on Monday and could you please give me a shout out, that would be cool! Thanks!

  24. Poor Lulu! How’s she doing now? feeling sorry for herself I’ll bet. So who gets to clean up after? You or Fondy?

  25. I hope Lulu feels better. My dog does this sometimes, she keeps us up all night long vomiting. I feel so bad for her and hate to see her suffer. Books are one of the joys of life, enjoy reading them. Give us your thoughts on using a Kindle for reading. I am too used to actually holding a book in my hand I don’t know if I would like one. What do you think Joe?

  26. Pineapple, Oh Pineapple, wherefore art thou Pineapple?

    Give a clue Joe. I could not find it!

  27. Colour me surprised.

    As someone who is very much against filler eps, especially this late in the game, Identity seemed to be Sci-Fi Cliche #24 – the bodyswap episode. Moreover, it’s something Atlantis has done before, let alone SG-1.

    Thankfully, while the episode was still a filler ep, at least it was a good filler ep. All the Keller haters will come here screaming about how she dominated the show (never mind fact that she didn’t even show up ’til half way through), and how she should be this, or not be that, or whatever, but I’m sick of that and them. What concerns me more is that there are only two episodes left to go.

    Anyway, Identity was loads of fun – Carl’s cameo had me in stiches – and quite a shock ending as well (a bit darker than I expected). Nice to see everyone involved – even Beckett. Everything just fit together nicley, so I liked it.

    I didn’t like Zelenka getting stabbed, but his bit at the end was hilarious. But please don’t scare us again like that! Don’t know what we’d do without him.

    A successful filler ep… only two more to go!

    BYE

    P.S. Just read the little blurbs for Vegas and Enemy at the Gate. /Thankyou/ for bringing Caldwell back for one last ep. I was worried we’d get to the end without seeing him one last time.

    P.P.S. Put Caldwell in the movie, even if it’s a tiny cameo like Ellis in Ark of Truth.

    P.P.P.S. Ignore the McKeller haters. They are full of sound and fury, yet signify nothing.

  28. I rather liked tonight’s ep. Got everyone involved, had some nice moments of all kinds… yeah, nice. I especially liked that last scene. There should be more with McKay, Zelenka and Beckett. They always have a fun dynamic. Oh, and I’m a big fan of bringing back previous tech (and other plot elements), especially when it goes so far as to cross shows, so that was very cool.

    I have two questions…

    How was it decided to show them as who they really are instead of who they look like? (Having the other lady play whatsherface-in-Keller rather than having Jewell just act the different character and vice versa.)

    You may have already answered this, but what are the chances of Beckett being in the first Atlantis movie?

  29. I didn’t watch Identity, perhaps I will next week sometime, as I did DVR it. From what I read, it just doesn’t seem like something I’d want to watch much. With a few notable exceptions this season, I think your show has really gone in a direction that I am not interested in – the original reasons I tuned in week after week seem to be missing and things and characters that I don’t like are front and center.
    Watching some of the older episodes on the SciFi marathon only emphasized that feeling.
    But the next two episodes sound terrific, hope some of that old squeeful feeling will be back for the last episodes of what was once my very favorite show.

  30. Thankgod, wait no thank the writers Zelenka’s ok! Me and my sister were like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! when he was stabbed.
    I thought this was a great ep, really funny, great character interactions and you were pretty mush going ahhhh the whole time. Loved it ^^

  31. Ahh… I see you are about to embark upon the tasty adventures of diskworld and all things Pratchetty. Whatever you do, do not drink the following while reading these books:

    1. Anything.

    If you do not follow these rules, you may have a moment of realization as just how much of what you were drinking can go through your nose at one time out of sudden and unexpected outbursts of laughter.

    That is all.

  32. Ha! follow up question. What if there comes a demand that Kellers father actually has a speaking roll in a future TV movie or dvd release? Has Carl has his Hamlet training?

  33. Loved Identity. Carl Binder’s cameo was funny — I didn’t realize who he was at first in the picture, just knew he looked familiar. Then it hit me, cracked me up.

    I, too, loved how the whole thing was an accident instead of some insidious plan. Neeva’s reaction after being switched was great — no idea what was going on, trying to improvise as best as she could and doing pretty badly at it. Kind of interesting, too, that we got most of the story from her point of view, then caught up to Keller later. I think Keller’s great (Jewel too), but this was a neat way to tell the tale.

    Probably my favorite part was how Ronon knew something was up right away, getting a clearer picture of it even before McKay.

    Only thing I didn’t care for was SciFi channel harping on how there’s only two episodes left. Yeah, shut up, we know, SciFi. Don’t have to keep rubbing it in, ya buggers.

  34. Glad to hear you weren’t at the TallGrass Distribution Ltd. party.

    @das Cape May, cool, knew the area very well. Nana’s house was on Shore Rd up in Palermo.

    If the Wraith were stripped of their life sucking ability, they won’t be able to give it back anymore either. No more “rush”.
    DD

  35. Wow, you even manage to dine well at parties!

    Why do you look at the clock when an animal does stuff like that? For some reason, I do the exact same thing when the cats offer up a furball in the wee hours. I think I am turning into the crazy cat lady with the cats AND the books. Only I smell of green tea.

    And, for the record, I would have been wondering about the grapes all day long.

  36. I am one of those people who have to have to have jokes explained to her. I never see the good guy is going to turn into the “real” bad guy at the end.

    Last night, partially way through the episode, I thought (and not for the first time during the episode) that I should probably clean out my e-mail trash. I went into a different room to do so.

    When I got back, the characters in this episode still hadn’t figured out when I had already figured out – Keller and the other person had switched and somehow it would relate back to the Ancient device used by Daniel and Vala.

    Truthfully, most of my favorite episode’s are Carl’s. This one won’t make that list. It wasn’t a dislike of any actress/actor or character – the episode just moved at a snail’s pace (Yes, even with people running at full speed through the woods).

    Last night, the thought actually my mind that that particular episode might have been better if it had been set to music.

    Looking forward to the next two episodes.

  37. Good show last night, although I was thrown off by the different way the device worked in this episode than the way it did in SG-1. Was there a concern among the writers about the continuity problem or was it assumed to be just a variation of the same device?

    I spotted Carl Binder right away, you can check out yesterday’s comments, but I thought he was Keller’s dad.

    I can hear the anti-Keller, anti-McKeller factions complaining already even though she didn’t appear until half way through the show and the McKeller stuff was held to a minimum (actually too minimum for this McKeller fan). I’ve actually stopped going on the Gateworld boards, I’ve just gotten so tired of the same old argument for every episode, even ones that have no Keller mention at all.

    Three long weeks til “Vegas” and then only one more episode. The closer we get, the more depressed I get. Thankfully we have two movies to look forward to in ’09.

    JoJo

  38. Hey Joe,

    I need to rant a little, Not at the job you and everyone else is doing which has been excellent btw, but to rant at people on GateWorld. I think they should change the name to GripeWorld. The place is just over the top with the overdramatic complaining of the show. People insist Keller is the star of the show, and I just roll my eyes and say because she had a few eps focused on her? Give me a break. I think Season 5 has had some epic eps, and I think the last 2 are going to be amazing. People need to chill, because if people knew how the show was performing ratings wise they would think twice before opening their damn mouth and saying the show is failing and that is why it’s being cancelled.

    GateWorld needs to be moderated better. People insult the cast, crew, and other fans and get away with it. On other forums they would be banned from posting.

    Now, I know why you left GW, good call.

    Best,

    Squall78

  39. like an angry mother-in-law reliving the memories of the awful day her sweet boy married that witch

    Heh. My mother-in-law was on Valium so she wouldn’t throw herself in the aisle sobbing and wailing.

  40. Is Teyla going to be in the SGA movie, or are you just going to replace her with Keller?

    Honest question.

  41. @ Joe – I just want to thank you for your amazing generosity!!! You see, last night I had a dream…

    I received a big brown box from ‘josephmallozzi’. Inside were a dozen or so artifact props from Atlantis. Oddly enough, most resembled Native American artifacts …nothing I could identify from the actual show. There was this one in particular that looked like a Native American/Athosian spoon rest. I remember oh so clearly trying to remind my husband which episode it was from: “Don’t you remember? Teyla wore it on her head, like this…” *holds spoon rest up to forehead*

    Yeah. He didn’t remember, either. 😛

    There was something that was supposed to belong to Ronon…and I think a medicine bag, which somehow I associated with Bigfoot from Sanctuary. The last items in the box were two small packages yet to be opened, but I woke up in a post-cold coughing fit before I could dream them open. However, from the shape of them I knew in my dream exactly what they were – one was a following tool that locksmith’s use in rekeying locks, and the other was a pair of chopsticks. Joe! How did you know I collect chopsticks!

    Anyway – it was a strange dream, to say the least…but one I can easily explain:

    Yesterday, as if for the first time, I noticed “josephmallozzi” under your blog entry title. Every time I visited, I was like, ‘there’s that ‘josephmallozzi’ again…I don’t think I’ve ever noticed it before’. So, that explains why I saw your name so clearly across the package in my dream.

    The artifacts from the show were, of course, a recall from last night’s episode about the artifact thieves.

    The fact that the artifacts looked Native American is because I recently mentioned archaeology in relation to Indians here under one of your entries.

    The medicine bag reminding me of Bigfoot was probably due to my lamenting that he wasn’t in last night’s episode.

    The locksmith’s following tool goes back to yesterday morning, when Mr. Das asked me to drop one off to him at work.

    And the chopsticks probably popped in there because I had Chinese last night, chopsticks and all.

    And your generous nature, Joe? Well, I think just letting me play here is proof enough of that. 😉 Not to mention all the things you happily share with us – from your trip to fine dining to pukey pups. 🙂 Thanks.

    Fun, easy-to-explain dream, but still…one of these nights I’m bound and determined to dream about Todd!

    das

  42. That was Carl, not Car; this is what happens to my brain after medicating myself to rid me of migraine pain.

  43. Awesome episode last night. I love Keller. I didn’t like the McKeller ending to much, but that doesn’t surprise me.
    I loved seeing the picture of Carl. I had to giggle at that. Don’t know about creepy though. Anyway great episode.

  44. QUOTE
    remembered the four-way stop procedure they were surely taught there.
    END QUOTE

    OK, let’s all exchange procedures and/or methods for three/four-way stops.

    My trick is to count my stop as #1. Next vehicle to stop is #2, then #3 and #4. By then, the cars that stopped before me have already gone, so it’s my turn to proceed.

    Yes, I noticed Carl’s photo.

  45. I enjoyed Identity; poor Zelenka. It will be fun to watch with hubby, he gets silly over pretty actresses.

    Samosas! Now I am craving them! I wonder if Bombay Grill is still open downtown?

    We have dreary, gray, needly snow under drab skies. I’m baking, trying to get the house warm and cheerful, but even frosted pumpkin cookies and almond-date bread aren’t doing the trick. Putting up the tree seems like a chore, not a fun thing to do. Sigh.

  46. At this point I’m just kind of indifferent to the emphasis on Keller McKeller, I didn’t watch Brain Storm or Identity because of it. Pointless to complain, the show just isn’t the same anymore. Not what I signed up to watch, although I’ll watch the last two just to finish out the series. Hope they will be a return to the “good ol’ days.”

  47. So do you read these books too? My sister buys them but never reads them. Which is fine for me because I have a library that I can pull from at anytime. Just wished she would get into Sci-Fi and Horror.

    I enjoyed Terry Prachett. Parts where slow in each book but still liked it.

    You have to let me know how the Choclate Bunnies of The Appocolypes goes, that looks fun.

  48. I haven’t seen Identity yet, but I have a question — why on earth would you have the actors involved in the bodyswap not play the opposite characters?

    Having them play their “inner selves” only works if the story is locked tightly to their perspective. Also, it removes the joy of a bodyswap episode, which is seeing the actors play a different character. Surely Jewel Staite, who seems to have some talent, could have played Neeva, right? So why, Joe? Why?

  49. Oh, nice book choices, Joe! I’m a big Terry Pratchett fan and have read all of those except Jingo. I’ll be interested in hearing which of the story arcs you enjoy the most — wizards, witches or guards?

    I read John Wyndham a long time ago after seeing “Day of the Triffids” on TV. I remember that I really liked “The Kraken Wakes”, which was published here in the US as “Out of the Deeps” but I read it so long ago that I don’t remember anything about it; may be time for a re-read!

    I agree with das and Shawna: at little Wraith POV would be nice. Maybe you could work it into the movie? And I also tend to like Alan McCullough’s take on the Wraith, or maybe I just like the way he writes for Todd!

    I liked Identity a lot more than I expected to. I was afraid it was going to be just another sci-fi body exchange story, but it was very well done!

    And your blog is very educational: first I learned about “bottle episodes” and now I know about “beat sheets.”

  50. Sorry to hear about the barfing dog, Joe. I hope she’s feeling better and doesn’t share her problem with the others. Do all French Bulldog’s have such sensitive tummies, or are you especially blessed?

  51. Hey Joe,

    So I have not seen Identity, does not air until Monday night here, so can’t comment on it just yet…..

    As for your first snowfall, I could send you some of the snow from here!
    The snow started at noon yesterday and stopped around midnight, about 20cm fell. It was blowing, so now there are drifts everywhere and driving home from work at 11:00pm last night was a joy. Currently it is a balmy -25C with a wind chill around -35C, nice and warm for December! You really should come for a visit, Calgary really is nice.

    Good Luck with the Atlantis film writing! I am looking forward to the finished product.

  52. ‘Identity’ got me hooked right away, because Zelenka was hurt and I wanted to know if he survives .. poor Zelenka!
    It was nice to see Carson again too!
    Oh, and Jewel had nice costume. Costume department rocks!

    The books … I dont know the other authors, but Wyndham belongs to my favourites. He was so creative and unique. I loved his short stories, especially one about space shuttle and surviving prego woman, not sure what was it’s name now… but this story was brilliant!
    From Pratchett I’ve only read his book with Neil Gaiman, Good Signs, and this one was hilarious!
    I try not to read much when I write my own story though … I always find too many ideas of the others in my work later :/

    I hope your dog is fit again!

    tc
    xx

  53. By the way, thanks for including Beckett in “Identity” — I loved the role he played and it was lovely to see him again. 🙂

  54. I’m turning into the crazy cat lady except that instead of cats, it’s books, and instead of crazy it’s mildly eccentric,….

    i to am a crazy cat, er, book person. although i rarely buy as many books as you do at once. not since the 2 used book stores nearest me went out of business anyway. 🙁

  55. I LOVE Terry Pratchett!!!! I’m actually in the middle of “Guards! Guards!” right now myself.

  56. @ Das: “Doncha ya hate me now?? 😀 “

    How about a tad vexed? Or maybe even a little murderous? 😛

    Re: The Dream – Honestly.. i’m more disturbed about the fact you didn’t mention Todd in that detailed breakdown. Nor that his pale locks featured anywhere and were indeed, replaced by Bigfoot, Teyla and Ronon.

    Das.. you is a slipping 😛

    Joe: After watching Infection, i’m feeling a mite depressed. Nothing to do with the episode, I don’t think. It was okay.. just okay. I think it’s more to do with the two remaining episodes we have left to us. Tis like knowing an old friend’s gonna disappear soon and you’re left counting the days. Meh..

    Any ideas as to what Santa’s gonna be leaving in your stocking? If you say holes or doggy vomit, I won’t be impressed.

  57. Squall78 wrote:

    I think they should change the name to GripeWorld. The place is just over the top with the overdramatic complaining of the show.

    I have not even gone over there yet! And I may not. The short amount of time I have spent there has really been depressing! They are just so negative!

    GateWorld needs to be moderated better

    You know, the first time I tried to leave a reply, hours went by and I never saw it, so I tried two more times, thinking I had done something wrong, but still never saw any of my replies. Next morning I received a rude message from a Moderator. Right then I figured that GateWorld my not be the place for me, but I have stayed for the info there and just stay away from some threads.

    -Elisa (aka: ed263)

  58. I had no idea Kelller’s uncle was such handsome fellow, not to mention a lover of potato pancakes and a damn fine fast walker.

  59. So I’m sitting in front of my computer at 1.17am with the christmas lights glaring balefully at me from behind the net curtain, a dog gnawing loudly on a bone recently liberated from the others stash whilst the other was busily preoccupied trying to dig up the reflection from my watch face off the carpet and enjoying the relative peace and quiet now the remaining kids are in bed or at work as the TV witters on mindlessly in the background. Time for bed said zebedee. Oh yeah, I got halfway through Identity when i was called away to fix a mates computer, no rest for the wicked eh Joe?

  60. So that WAS Carl in the photo! I was watching on a small-ish TV, so it was difficult to tell.

    Why were both Keller and Neela conscious in each others bodies while the Ancient device was activated? Is it because this devise a different variation than the one used in Avalon? Or did I miss something?

  61. Joe —

    Ah, “Young Miles.” You are about to have your world rocked by Vorkosigian awesomeness. After you read it let me know if you think anime would be the way to go to convert the Miles saga into film.

    Even before Carl’s surprise appearance, I loved McKay’s comment that is was schintzel day in the cafeteria. I’m glad you guys got to have some fun with the last scripts.

  62. Seeing Mr. Binder in Keller’s grad photo was my favourite part of this episode – which (no offense to Mr. Binder) isn’t saying much. SGA is my ALL TIME FAVOURITE SHOW – but I just don’t understand why Identity, which gave some major air-time to an extremely non-central character, had to be the 3rd last episode of this amazing series. I was praying for an eppy about one of the team, or all of the team, or Woolsey or maybe about the city itself, of Todd, or hey, how about an eppy about Chuck!?! I just did not see the point of this episode at all. What I hope is that the powers that be decided to save the good stuff for the upcoming movie. I have never wanted to complain about an episode before, and please forgive me for ranting here – I guess my expectations are high since the show is almost over and I was hoping for more of what we saw in the first half of the season. Looking forward to Vegas – which looks truly amazing.

    Sandy

  63. As soon as I finished the episode, I knew the anti-Keller fans would be out, despite the actress who played Neeve being in more of the episode and that Beckett made an appearance.
    It’s like they’re trying to see her everywhere just to complain (subconsciously of course).
    Sigh.

    Anyway, I liked Identity. It was good to see Zelenka in trouble (as much as I was going to be sad if he died), the reluctance of the woman they talked to first in the village to help, the mention of the Coalition, and yet the head of the village being completely willing to help the team. He looked really worried about pissing them off – especially since he had someone telling him she was from Atlantis, attempting to execute her, and then Atlantis shows up. That must’ve been an oh s**t moment for him.

    I am definitely looking forward to Vegas.

    And I see you picked up some Discworld. I’m slowly going through those myself 🙂

  64. Books: Mmmm, books. I could get lost in Chapters for *hours*. Possibly days, if they were open 24/7.

    Food: Hey, everyone knows you are a total foodie. Have you ever been to Restaurant Connor Butler? I was just there last night and *OMG* it was a total foodgasm.

    We had the 6 course menu – things like salad with lobster, chèvre, citrus segments and white truffle oil. Dungeness Crab Bisque w/ crab, crème fraîche and caviar. Pheasant with fresh noodles, mushrooms parmigiano reggiano. Dark chocolate mousse, with biscuits, fudge and Marcona Ice Cream.

    I figured this might be the kind of thing you liked if you haven’t been there already. It’s at 7th and Granville, almost at the foot of the bridge.

    PS: better late than never – thanks for putting the picture of all of us hanging out protesting at the Bridge up on your blog. That was kind of cool to see, even if I did have a doofy look on my face. But you caught be with the guitar and that was cool.

  65. I miss when Stargate: Atlantis was about *Atlantis*, and the Stargate.

    I’ve been sort of keeping up with spoilers and other viewers’ reviews of the episodes, but I haven’t watched SGA since shortly after The Shrine. SGA was a big obsession for me for a couple of years but it’s lost its magic. I guess my vision of its potential doesn’t match up with what you & the rest of the writing team had in mind.

  66. Yuck – sorry about Lulu’s interesting ways of waking you!
    Yep – saw Carl – had to laugh & tell my hubby about it, though I didn’t think he was her creepy uncle – I thought he was supposed to be her dad 🙂

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