Allow me to start off today’s entry with some exciting news – before, of course, seguing right back into the tedious offerings that typify this blog. Executive Producer/Writer/Co-Creator Robert Cooper has agreed to come by an field your questions about his piece de resistance, his chef d’oeuvre, his hors d’oeuvre and Atlantis swansong: Vegas. Yep, gather up all your queries regarding alternate universe theory and nippleless wraith and start posting because, very soon, ALL WILL BE REVEALED!

Well, after eleven straight days of sleeping on my mother’s guest bed and waking up with a sore back every morning, I’m finally back home, sleeping in my own bed, and waking up with an entirely different sort of sore back. I’m not exactly sure what the problem is. Yes, on the one hand it could be the fact that with four dogs on the bed, I’m relegated to a tiny sliver at the edge of the mattress. On the other hand, it could be the fact that, as predicted by that adorable Hong Kong masseuse with the Vulcan nerve pinch finesse, my many years of latent stress have finally caught up with me. On the other (third) hand, the hypochondriac in me imagines the worst (“One second he’s complaining about back pain and the next, he’s keeling over into his kielbasa!”). Okay, granted, it’s been two months of gastronomic excess and general idleness, but all that is about to change. Starting today, I am on the program! I’m working out, eating right and, craziest of all, will attempt to go an entire two weeks without sugar. “Impossible!”you say? Well, believe it or not, I did it once before. For two whole weeks, I went without. And was an emotionless automaton for the better part of that time, devoid of both the exhilarating highs or devastating lows that mark my daily existence. I was serene. And very, very dull. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Today, besides working out and eating right, I watched some playoff football, shoveled snow/ice, worked on my SGU script, and had a conversation with Paul about the new look writing department. With regard to the latter – bittersweet developments abound. More on this in the coming days.

As per her request, today’s entry is dedicated to my sister Andria who derived made these past few weird food purchases possible.

Check out today’s Weird Food Purchase of the Day video after the mailbag. This one still gives me nightmares.

Mailbag:

DebraDownSth writes: “Joe, is your sister paying you back for some terrible brotherly pranks?”

Answer: Actually, we used to prank each other all the time growing up. Just recently, my sister was gloating about the time she hurried home after school, hid her shoes, then hid herself in an upstairs closet. I arrived home, oblivious, strolled upstairs – at which point she jumped out of hiding and scared the living crap out of me!

Specter177 writes: “This alternate reality was not one that we had seen before, correct?”

Answer: That is correct.

Sylvia writes: “Just out of curiosity, who was laughing almost cackling in the background of your WFPOD? Guessing one voice was Andrias and perhaps Fondy? Others?”

Answer: Just Andria and her friends. I think that when we started setting up, Fondy simply rolled her eyes and headed upstairs.

DasNDanger writes: “Joe, you must be great fun at parties! “Hey, Mallozzi’s here! Grab the deep fried clams with chocolate mint cocktail sauce and a video camera, quick!”

Answer: Ewww. Mint.

Wraith Cake writes: “BTW did you know that you too were once female. Yes Joe, you were once female…a long, long time ago. All feotuses are female for the first nine weeks of life–hence male boobage.”

Answer: How the hell did you find out – Oh. Uh, yeah. Feotus.

Mary writes: “Do you intend to use the travelers in Atlantis movie or the new series?”

Answer: Nope, no plans to.

NZNeep writes: “Drunk Mallozzis! What fun! Does that not drinking thing apply over the holidays too?”

Answer: Not drinking? You misunderstand. My New Year’s resolution is to drink more!

NZNeep also writes: “Oh, I just thought of a question… are Stargate scripts in American english, or do you leave the u’s in place and skip the z’s? Or does each writer write what they are used to?”

Answer: Depends on the writer.

Thornyrose writes: “Did you help Lawren dig out his car, or did you simply send Max with him, with a small keg of brandy attached to Max’s collar?”

Answer: Lawren eventually dug his car out and ended up parking it on one of the clear streets – three blocks over.

2cats writes: “1) Was this McKay the same as Alt-Mckay in McKay & Mrs, Miller? There is some chatter in the ether about this.”

Answer: Not sure why there would be. There was never any indication that, out of the myriad alternate universes out there, we landed in that particular one especially since this version of Rodney was nothing like Rod.

Josie writes: “I think another poster wondered if you could persuade Rob Cooper to do a Vegas Q&A, I know he’s a busy man, especially with SGU prep in full swing, and its a long shot but there’s no harm in asking right Joe?”

Answer: As it turns out, no. This time!

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Georgia
Georgia

Have you considered starting a religion? Seems to be working out as a second career for the Hubbard guy, he used to write Science Fiction. Although, I’d miss reading your blog. Still, you could incorporate the WFPOTD and would have someone to cater to your needs in your dotage.

ytimynona
ytimynona

This WFPotD was the best yet!!! Hahaha I like the emphatic “Oh, GOD” and the hand over the camera lens wink
In light of the fact that RC is coming, I’m gonna iTunes Vegas after all!!! Back in forty minutes with my questions!!!

sylvia
sylvia

Gee, Joe…as soon as you said it was squid something or other I cringed. Then your description of smell rather confirmed it would be horrible. Euuuwww!.

Your starting the “program” could be just the result of the last intake of WFPOD.

Thanks for asking Robert Cooper to field questions about that awesome episode. And, YAY…he agreed!

wolfenm

My coldolences to your poor tongue and digestive track. XD I do think this was your funniest reaction yet, but I kind of feel guilty about enjoying it. ^^;

Sparrow_hawk

Joe, I’m not sure I would taste something that smelled that bad. In fact, I’m sure I wouldn’t! I’m glad you survived it.

I’m looking forward to Robert Cooper’s visit. Will he be accepting questions for things other than “Vegas” or should we limit ourselves to only that episode?

Alexandria
Alexandria

The latest videos should be labeled…”Kids do not try this at home.” grin

Very hilarious blog entry today!! My laptop nearly got a bath when I read nippleless wraith. This entry should have the advisement not to read and drink at the same time.

I absolutely loved Vegas, will think up some questions. wink Thanks for arranging the Q&A!

Davidd
Davidd

Hey Joe.

Can you give us a day or two to get our questions in, please?!?! iTunes Canada is taking their deer sweet time putting Vegas on there.

Since I started reading your blog back in April, I;ve always wondered if your write your entries a day or two ahead of time or are they written and posted on the same day?

Thanks Joe!

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

Hey, I like Georgia’s idea. Especially since “we regulars” would presumably serve as your core acolytes, and get to fleec….assist newcomers to the religion. Great news on Mr. Cooper making a guest appearance. I’m also looking forward to Mr. Weber’s participation in the near future. The bittersweet news sounds a tad ominous, but with the passing of Atlantis, I suppose it’s inevitable changes are taking place. I have every confidence that the changes will be positive ones for all concerned, as newcomers join the franchise and old timers move on to bigger and better things. And I’m going just a bit nuts. My computer refuses to play your videos. Guess I’ll have to sneak by work to catch up on the weird foods clips. Thanks as always for keeping us informed and entertained.

Margaret Clayton
Margaret Clayton

Fish sauce, fish sauce,
Not So Tasty fish sauce,
Fish sauce, fish sauce,
Eat it up, yum!

Sorry, channeling Dr. Demento.

mary
mary

J
When my back bothers me I go to a good massage therapist.
The first couple of times it actually hurts as he/she is working the muscles lose but after that it is wonderful. I work in the medical field so I have to do alot of lifting and it really helps.
Lifting people is alot different than lifting weights.
If you do decide to try it start with heating pads to relax the muscles. There where times I couldn’t sleep thru the night my back hurt so much and than I tried a massage therapist.
I hope your feeling better.
Thank you for answering my question.
Have a good night’s sleep.
Mary
ps
I just discovered you site the other day and I think it’s so nice of you to take time out of your day to take to your fans.

ruffles
ruffles

Questions for Mr. Cooper regarding Vegas –

1. How did the original Wraith ship find Earth?

2. I noticed Rodney wearing a wedding ring. Did David Hewlett forget to take his off or were he and Keller (or someone else) married.

3. Sheppard chose to steal money from a crime scene. Rodney never mentions Sheppard’s family. Is his family not wealthy in this reality or has he already blown through all the money or have the ties been cut completely here?

4. I loved the look at this Wraith – both physically (cool markings on his back!) and mentally. Who taught the Wraith how to drive, put on makeup, and play poker?

5. Was Woolsey in charge of the SGC instead of Landry?

6. If the Daedalus was close enough for sensor scans, why didn’t it fire at the trailer?

7. In your mind, did Sheppard die or was he rescued?

suziesbluefeather
suziesbluefeather

So your willing to eat squid sauce but you don’t like mint?

I squirmed in my seat watching that. I don’t think you will ever be able to top that one. Wait I have some foam from the oyster soup I made last night. Would you like me to send it to you?

On a diffrent note I went back and rewrote the first 12 chapters of the book I’m working on. Your advice on just using my on writing style and not waring about the POV so much really helped out. It’s much better this time around. Thanks

Teri
Teri

A question for Mr. Cooper regarding “Vegas”…. Awesome episode! I believe I saw Rodney wearing a wedding ring in one scene. It was after the scene when Jennifer walks by Rodney & Sheppard in the hall and they gave each other “the look”. Can you tell us who he is married to in this alternate universe? Jennifer, perhaps? Thanks for your time!

Patricia Lee
Patricia Lee

Questions for Mr. Robert Cooper; writer and director extraordinaire of Vegas…First, I absolutely loved this episode! It was off the charts great, stupendous, amazingly wonderful and so unexpectedly different, that those who loved it, will love it forever, those who don’t, will never be able to appreciate it’s is exceptional, revealing wisdom. Now to the Q’s:

1. How are you so awesome?
2. What is the most difficult aspect of shooting Vegas in Vegas?
3. What editing choices resulted in changing look and feel of the story?
4. Did Joel Goldsmith help with the choosing of the songs used in this episode or did you have them chosen before filming began?
5. Did you have to pay for the use of the songs in this episode?
6. Finally, I was wondering if there are any plans to use similar scripting, filming methods and popular music choices in the making of SGU?

The Vegas episode was so astounding different it makes me wish that there was a season 6 to see more of the same. But alas, there is no hope there…nevertheless thank you for bring us such a wonderful episode. I hope there are lots of behind the scenes on the Season 5 DVDs dedicated to this episode!

Cheers
Patricia Lee

EricaHP
EricaHP

Fish sauce – hilarious! You weren’t too far off with the decomposing dead guy – it’s fermented fish. Yummy!

Knightie
Knightie

Question for Rob C

First I loved Vegas. Kudos to you. My question

If JS died at the end a “solitary” man why didn’t Rodney knowing he was out there send help. Also I would think that they SGC would have sent in a clean up squad ASAP and found John. Was the ending meant to be ambiguious or are we just hoping it was.

Again thanks for giving us a glimse of JS even if it is AU. I think we learned more about this JS in this episode than all 5 years of SGA.

jedi43
jedi43

Question to Mr Cooper

Was there some reason John was wearing a cross around his neck toward the end of the episode when he had not been wearing it before? Did he know that he might meet the Wraith again and not come out of it alive and wanted piece of mind that someone was looking out for him as he died?

Jedi

lexxye
lexxye

ROFL. Please thank your sister for finding those unusual food items in her pantry. She’s great!

Jean
Jean

Hey Joe,

You know, (to be fair to fish sauce) it’s not really meant to be consumed in that way. It’s an ingredient in things like pad thai, or thai coconut curries (where it is well disguised) – very yummy when used correctly (i.e. not drunk out of the bottle). There are plenty of “food items” that are essential ingredients yet would probably taste horrible when taken straight up (since I was baking today, a couple of examples that come to mind are vanilla extract and almond extract). Still, very brave – the things you do for our amusement!! smile

Some questions for Mr. Cooper:

I really enjoyed Vegas, it obviously had a very different feel from the usual SGA episodes, but tied in quite nicely to the Stargate universe.

1. Did you have in mind from the beginning that there would be no linking back to “our” reality and that the whole story would stay within this alternate reality?

2. Joe Flanigan is a Johnny Cash fan – did he have any input to your picking “Solitary Man”?

3. What was your thinking behind Sheppard wearing the silver crucifix in the last scenes after he finds out about space aliens from Rodney?

4. Do you think Sheppard was fulfilling his destiny fighting the Wraith? Do you think that is always his fate, in some form or other?

Thanks for taking the time to answer questions!

Jean

gollysunshine
gollysunshine

Vegas was a good episode, but it seemed more like Rob Cooper’s audition tape to convince Jerry Bruckheimer that RCC’s next writing gig should be on one of Bruckheimer’s shows than an episode of Atlantis.

Could we please get rid of the annoying falling snow on this site as the holidays are over and so almost is winter?

Mel
Mel

Questions for Mr. Cooper:

1. Was there a specific reason as to why Jason Momoa and Rachel Luttrell were not featured in Vegas? I just think that their characters could have been fit into the mix somewhere and was wondering why they were left out.

2. Was there anything you wrote for the episode that did not make the cut? If so, could you give an example?

I’d just like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. One of the best episodes of the season for sure.

Sparrow_hawk

I’ve started thinking about Vegas questions for Robert Cooper:

1. The first question related to the scene with Todd in the glass cell. McKay said that Todd was “a poet” but it seemed to me that Todd was describing what the other Wraith was seeing. Was there a telepathic link between the two and was Todd essentially seeing through the other Wraith’s eyes?

2. I loved the scenes of the Wraith putting on his makeup and then walking through the crowd, as well as the chase scene – heck I loved it all! But I especially enjoyed the way the music fit with the action, I and I always suspected that the Wraith would like hard rock/metal. How did you decide on the music that was used for those scenes? I guess “Sympathy for the Devil” is pretty obvious, but why the Marilyn Manson?

I may have more later, but wanted to write these while I remembered them. Getting old is hell!

quade1
quade1

Rob, I loved Vegas, one of my favorite Atlantis episodes in an already great Season 5.
What prompted you to come up with such an offbeat type episode? How have you guys convinced many popular people in recent episodes? And could this be a regular occurence in SGU?

Joe, with more drinking part of your new years resolution, I can only imagine what future WFPOTD can bring us.

Morjana

Hi, Joe!

Welcome home (again)!

Many thanks to Robert Cooper for answering questions about Vegas. Truth be told, I can’t think of any questions! I’d just like to take the time to thank Mr. Cooper (and everyone at Stargate Atlantis) for the fantastic episode that Vegas was (hey, Johnny Cash, CSI and Todd’s Poetry…what’s not to love?), and also for the five terrific, marvelous and superb years of Stargate Atlantis!

Looking forward to Stargate: Universe!

danielfanforever
danielfanforever

Sorry for running behind on your blog, Joe. My husband has been quite ill, but we’re starting to adjust.

Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday visiting with family. Enjoyed all of the pictures that you posted. As much as I enjoy going away for the holidays, it’s always good to be back home.

I was disappointed that Brad didn’t answer any of my questions. I guess they didn’t interest him. Oh well…….

“Vegas” was great. Rob and everyone involved did an excellent job. It’s hard to believe that there is only one more episode to go. “Atlantis” will be missed.

dff