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!

140 thoughts on “January 4, 2009: A Guest Blogger Announcement and the Most Horrific Weird Food Purchase of the Day Yet!

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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. ^^;

  5. 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?

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

    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. 😉 Thanks for arranging the Q&A!

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

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

    Sorry, channeling Dr. Demento.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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

  13. 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!

  14. 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

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

  19. 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!! 🙂

    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

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

  25. 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

  26. Slightly late but general Vegas thoughts:

    A very good episode, it was different which added to it, made it feel a lot more fresh especially for an alternate reality episode. A lot of the AU episodes have felt kinda ‘done’ before, as in the stuff you did in them were generally stuff you’d already covered by the first few seasons of SG-1. But this one was fresh, the AU element was used as a springboard to tell a new story and something different, and that is how they should be used imo. To be able to distance the audience from the familiar. And this is probably the best example of an AU script to do this. And the best use of an alternate reality in terms of reppercussions with ‘our’ world since There But For The Grace of God.

    It was also nice to see the reality not meet ‘our’ team, that was refreshing and kept it contained within their world while having the reppercussions in ours. As in AU scripts don’t always have to be about peolpe seeing duplicates of themselves, as that plot elements loses its impact after the 4th time of doing it…

    As for developments and where they come in the season, in terms of developing the story late in the game versus telling good individual episodes, I’ll go with the latter, as they generally work out better (as long as they actually are good/original and contribute to the show as a show), and to be honest, there aren’t that many stories left to resolve. ‘The Wraith are out there’ isn’t one I count, so if they continue to exist in the Peg galaxy after the show/films ends, I’ll be fine with it, and would be a bit unrealistic for that to end tbh…
    The only thing I care for you to resolve would be character issues, and not to just let these characters float out there with no conclusion simply because ‘there could always be another film next time’. Have Ronan go out fighting, Teyla retiring or something to look after her kid and live with/help her people grow after the Michael thing (just examples here), have Sheppard be left leading a team of mostly audience unknowns which he doesn’t want but doesn’t really have any options left with everyone else doing other things. I think character conclusions are the important thing which need addressing before the series ends, as that’s what most peolpe have been following… In terms of actual story though, some loose ends I don’t mind, such as the Asgard or Wraith, as that’s fairly realistic and it doesn’t take anything away from the stories they were in previously.
    So episodes like Vegas, which don’t look to conclude ongoing plots, I’m fine with, as I don’t feel it’s blocking the show from reaching a good conclusion, and is just extending the good elements of the series, which it should near its end. It should remind viewers of the reason they stuck with the show for 5 years, and the franchise for a possible 12, and show them why they’ll miss it.

    So yeah, Vegas a very good episode. Loved the CSI style parody I found that quite funny, and the varying locations showed in this episode, rather then finding a caravan in the woods…. But give Rob congrats on it, a well crafted and original story which knew it’s strengths and built on them to deliver a good, strong episode.

  27. With my questionable reading comprehension skills, I thought I had misread “nippleless wraith” and it wasn’t until I read it again (and again and again) that I realized I hadn’t.

    Which is a shame because that could have easily replaced “police search for muppet suspect” as my most WTF misread in recent memory. 🙂

  28. Okay, I gotta say, wouldn’t it be impossible for the alt-Rodney we saw in Vegas to be Rod? I know it’s never explicitly stated but it is heavily implied that the Sheppard in Rod’s universe was on Atlantis. It -was- outright said that Rod knew him, personally. Vegas-McKay didn’t even meet Sheppard (however much he knew about him) until shortly before he died. The only thing that threw me for a loop was the ‘I met another version of you’ thing.

    So! My question for Cooper: when Vegas-McKay’s said that he had met another version of Sheppard, was this to imply that he met -our- version of Sheppard in some off screen adventure, or that he just met -a- version of Sheppard (not ours)?

  29. Questions for Mr. Cooper:

    1. I was confused by the AU Rodney’s reminicing about a Sheppard he once knew. As far as I know only one AU Rodney has met our Sheppard and the JS he knew didn’t match this one. Is this because his bunch had found a way through to AU’s as well as our team and found other Atlantis teams? (Sorry, that is almost as confusing as Quantum Physics. Funny that)

    2. The lead up to the whole poker scene and the scene itself were cut beautifully. How much of that was left to the editors? How much input was given by you? (The B Roll was pretty awesome btw)

    3. I think that you captured a mood in this episode that was completely outside any other Atlantis ep. Did you always want to explore something as wildly different in regards to characters and the over all feel of the show?

    4. Will you be adding to the audio commentary for this episode? If so, could you please add stuff about the cameras (type, lenses etc) and the editing process? (This question doesn’t really need answering here, it is just a request.

    5. I know people are curious to know if Sheppard was saved at the end. I would like to hope not. If he had been saved the tragic hero would not exist. He turned back for a nobler cause than himself which indicates to me that no matter what AU you are in each person has the same core, the same driving force. Is that what you were aiming for?

    Lastly, thank you for your time and for creating such a huge almost end to the television series. Also for the last five years which have been a remarkable journey of imagination and ingenuity. I was hoping one day to get my hands dirty with paint and work on creating the worlds you helped envision, alas, that will not happen but I will continue to be artistically inspired, in part, by what you have all given us.

    “Thank you…again”. 😉

  30. 😆 Joe! How could you think that would be better than vinegar?! So, not a fan of mint (knew that), and vinegar (didn’t know that)…but you’ll eat pig brains.

    Yeah. You’re weird. 😉

    I’m going to start early with questions for Mr. Cooper, lest I forget (asking a couple Wraith-related non-Vegas questions, too…if that’s okay):

    1. In reply to a question of mine, Mr. Wright gave you most of the credit for the creation of the Wraith. So, first, THANK YOU. They are absolutely beautiful in style and design. Did you base their look on any insect in particular? If you care to share, what were some of your inspirations for their design?

    2. The Vegas Wraith seemed to be nippleless. Was this the case, and if so, what was the thinking behind it – just going for a cool look, or was it yet another clue to their physiology?

    3. In Vegas, when the Wraith is sitting in the trailer, flashing back to how he came to earth, he pulls off part of his mask and it’s in a star pattern, over his left eye, like Todd’s tattoo. Was that a bit of foreshadowing, or just a coincidence? We have speculated that he was sensing Todd’s thoughts, and visa versa…so at that moment was he reflecting Todd’s insanity, or just his own desperation?

    4. In line with the above, how much – if any – mental contact did AU Todd and the other Wraith have? In your mind, was Todd ‘helping’ the other Wraith design the transmitter, or in any other way exchanging information with him?

    5. Extra Wraith ‘nostrils’ – are they true nostrils, or more like sensory pits…or just sexy-cool holes in their face?

    6. Wraith tattoos – just personal adornment, or do they have some significance?

    7. I will try one last time…please, oh please…Wraith finger armor thingys – WHAT the hell are they for??!!! 😀

    Really, I have a million more questions. Please don’t think I’m just some crazy fan without a life – I’m not. I just really love, and sympathize with, this particular sci fi creation. I never watched SG1, and was only drawn into SGA because of Todd, and then – after catching up with the first 3 seasons – the rest of his ‘kind’. I appreciate all the insight into the Wraith we’ve finally gotten this past season, and particularly now, in Vegas (the spine was totally awesome!). Still, there is ‘much about Wraith we do not know’. I wish there was time for you to tell us more about them, but…well…you know how that goes. I’m not angry that Universe is replacing Atlantis, but I am very sad that, with the end of the series, comes an end to the only place I can find out about these intriguing, and uniquely beautiful, characters. Still, I am grateful we even had them in the first place, so I thank you very much for that.

    Now. Do NOT go killing them off! 😉

    ~ Deirdre

  31. Can’t wait to see the result of your SGU script. Know it will be awesome.

    Bittersweet developements in the writing department. That can’t be good. Hope nothing too serious!!

    Will have to think of a good question for Robert!!!

  32. My brother once waited in my cupboard for a couple of hours until i went to bed. He waited long enough for me to just be drifting off to sleep before jumping out to scare me. The roof still has claw marks in it.

  33. Some questions for Robert Cooper re Vegas:

    1) Is Sheppard (the AU one) dead? (Yeah, everybody is gonna ask that) or is his fate really up to the viewer?

    2) Some fans have noticed Rodney wearing a wedding ring; mistake, or is this Dr. Keller flirting with a married man?

    3) What made you choose Vegas as the locale for this episode?

    4) Some fans are grumbling about the lack of Ronon and Teyla. Is there an explanation for that (I think that since this AU Shep never joined the program, he never invited them to join the team, so….)

    5) Did Mikey’s goons give Sheppard that cut below his eye?

    Meanwhile, though the episode was loads of fun and yes, finally, some meaty Sheppard storyline! 🙂

  34. My questions for RC:
    1) My impression from the episode was that the AU Rodney was married (hence the wedding ring), but having an affair with AU Jennifer – or at least contemplating it (hence the look he gave her). Am I right?

    2) This ep had such a different look and feel for SGA. Did you have the specifics of that look and feel in mind as you were writing? (i.e. Sheppard’s car, the type of gun he carried, the music, the look of the Wraith, the lighting of the Area 51 (?) offices, etc.) Or did those come as you were prepping to film?

    3) In the scene where Rodney and John are talking outside, there seemed to be a lot of airplane noise in the background. Was that on purpose, or were there just a lot of planes flying overhead when you were shooting?

    4) There were lots of little scenes that I loved in this ep. One was the Wraith striding out of his trailer to shoot John, music blaring. So cool! What was your favorite scene, and why?

    Thanks for a great episode!

  35. @ maggiemayday – 😆 I channel Dr. Demento all the time, and I haven’t heard his show in 20 years, at least. I often find myself singing Fish Heads or My Dead Dog Rover in my head at least once a week…nothing in particular will trigger it, it just happens. Pencil Neck Geek jumps in there, too…and a few others. That tells you how much I listened to him back in my teens/early 20s…and, perhaps, helps explain a little about my mental state. 😛

    das

  36. Questions for Mr. Cooper regarding Vegas:

    There seemed to be a lot of similarity between Todd and the other wraith in the episode. For example, they both have goatees, and Todd rambles on about the desert, eating and getting stronger, and hope almost like he is communicating with the other wraith. Also, after the wraith has the very emotional flashback about the hive ship being destroyed while he’s sitting in the trailer, he moves his hands away from his face and the viewer sees that the top part of his human mask is damaged from the earlier fall off of the building. The damaged area seems to resemble the top part of Todd’s star (except the star points are turned the opposite way). So here are my questions. Is the viewer supposed to be seeing a deliberate connection between these two wraith or is all of this just a coincidence. If there is a connection being made, what is it? Were Todd and the other Wraith in telepathic communication with each other? Finally, how did Todd know Sheppard’s name?

  37. Mr. Cooper, thank you for such a riveting episode and for agreeing to guest blog. I know there will probably be a lot of overlap in the questions, but I would like to pose a couple for you.
    1 – What stunts did Joe Flanigan do?
    2 – Was Mr. Flanigan really in the car being showered with debris during the firefight (or was it CGI debris) and was he really as close as it looked to the explosion of the trailer?
    3 – Do you feel Mr. Flanigan and the other actors played it like you imagined when you wrote the script?
    4 – Being such a departure from the normal Atlantis episode and characters, did Mr. Flanigan and the other actors have any input, and what of it actually got on screen?
    5 – What was your inspiration for Vegas? I’m sure it could just as easily been focused on an AU McKay and a power generator experiment SNAFU or any number of other scenarios. What made you decide to focus it on Sheppard?
    Again, thank you!

  38. To Robert Cooper,

    First off wanted to say “Vegas” was a brillant episode, it truly defined what would happen if the wraith ever made it to Earth, loved the direction and the theme.

    Was this episode meant to portray the Sheppard we’ve known for 5 years?

    Was this episode written and placed knowing this would be the final season? A lot of fans thought there would be a 6th season of Atlantis.

    Some fans are upset about no Teyla and Ronon in this ep. My opinion is they truly don’t fit the bill and it would not of seemed right. Do you have any reasons to why Teyla and Ronon were sidelined in this episode?

    Again, thanks for another great episode of Atlantis. It’s a shame you and Brad are ending Atlantis, I think one more season would of been perfect. So many more stories to be told.

    Best,

    Squall78

  39. Ugh…forgot to tell Mr. Cooper how much I loved the style of Vegas…he did an excellent job of making an AU look and feel believable, and in making Wraith badass cool again, while at the same time allowing us to sympathize with these two in particular, trapped as they were behind enemy lines. All my off-line friends I talked to today said their favorite scene was the chase, and the jump off the roof…it wowed them all! Excellent choice of music, too. Really, there is too much to say…just pass this along to him, please,…if you can.

    And hey, at least I didn’t gripe about the torture of Todd, and hypocritical nature of humans, eh?? I should get points for that… 😉

    das

  40. Ummmm…..
    Just FYI, there’s a press release of “Ememy at the Gate” on YouTube.
    Maybe you should talk to someone about getting that taken off.
    Just a thought…

  41. j
    Something doesn’t make sense about the Vegas show.
    The wraith’s only goal would be to feed and contact his hive.
    Why would he go to a poker game? He should lay low and avoid the public. How could he say anything without drawing attention to himself? If he needed money he could kill drug dealers. They carry alot of money and if they disappear no one would notice. The police might think that the dealer was killed by other players.
    mary

  42. I fear for you.

    One of these days you’re going to miss a warning label and end up in an Ivon R. Bartok Special Feature “The Last Weird Food Purchase”. He’ll be interviewing your snickering fellow writers, producers, cast and crew about your self-inflicted untimely (unless the script’s finished) demise.

  43. Ooh, ooh, pick me! My questions for Rob Cooper about Vegas:

    How much time did you spend filming on Planet Hollywood’s premises? Were they enthusiastic to have the production there? Did you truck down all the equipment, or use local stuff?

    The lighting was so different from a typical episode. What was the strategy behind it, and did it take much longer than usual?

    Can you list the Stargate cameos in the casino and at the poker table? I saw Brad Wright, but others said there was Joel Goldsmith too, but I didn’t think that was him!

    How did Sheppard get the cut on his cheek — was it in a scene you had to cut for time?

    Did you mean for some of the scenes to be more a parody of CSI, or strictly an homage? I think you out-did CSI with the heart shriveling, for example!

    How did the Atlantis expedition survive and thrive without Sheppard, his ATA gene, and his particular actions that saved Atlantis and woke the Wraith? Five years later, it seems things would have diverged very greatly from “our” reality, given how often Sheppard saved the expedition and/or Rodney.

    It seems like Joe did a lot of his own stunts, for example, jumping down the stairs and jumping over the Camaro right after the Wraith shot him. How did that come about, and were you ever nervous about it?

    Why did Sheppard quit the police force?

    What were you looking for in this alternate Sheppard, and did Joe F give you what you had imagined? How about David as a less neurotic, scarier McKay — was that something you suggested, or was it David’s input?

    The very last scene seems to take place at twilight, and the behind-the-scenes images at mgm.com show it was getting quite dark in some pics. Was that because filming ran long, or was it meant to show that Sheppard was sitting alone by his car for a long time before walking away and collapsing?

    Why was Sheppard wearing a crucifix necklace in those last scenes? (Somehow the silver chain just made the last shot sadder, I have to say.)

    Thanks very much for answering, and for a very interesting episode.

  44. Questions for Rob C. Cooper:

    –Will Robert Carlyle be keeping his accent for Stargate: Universe?

    –Will you be directing any episodes of Universe?

    –Will “Universe” be the actual title of the new series, or is it still just a working title?

    –Will Ben Browder be absent from the third SG-1 movie too?

    –After five years, what is your favorite episode of Stargate Atlantis?

    –Is there an episode of SGA that you always wanted to make, but for whatever reason, never did? Care to tell us about it?

    Thanks for all your work on Stargate, and I’m really looking forward to the franchise’s future!

  45. I wanted to say that I absolutely Loved this episode. In fact I think it is my favorite episode of any that the franchise has produced. It was beautiful, angsty, brilliantly filmed, acted, lighted, and the musical accompaniment was incredible. I was glued to the screen the entire time, and absolutely mesmerized. (It sure didn’t hurt that all the boys were so hot!) I cry every time I have watched it and was melancholy for days after watching it the first time.
    1.I was wondering what inspired you to create such a unique episode and whether you felt like it was time, after 5 years, to explore the Sheppard character (even in an AU) in more depth. The dynamic between Sheppard and McKay has always been the core of the show for me, and that aspect has been somewhat lacking this season. I was so overwhelmed and happy to see it back in full force in this episode.
    2. Did you ever consider (as a nod to us McSheppers) not actually specifiying that the medic Shep went after in Afghanistan was female? Just wondering, as it would have been a cool thing to have this Shep possibly being involved with a man. I can dream, anyway.
    3. And although I do think that Det. Sheppard most likely died finding redemption at the end of this episode, did you deliberately leave the ending a bit ambiguous, so that we could make up our own minds as to whether Rodney and Woolsey were able to rescue him? I know there is already a lot of fanfic out there where he is saved.
    4.Was the stranded Wraith in contact telepathically with crazy!Todd? And that is the source of the poetry?
    5.Can you please shop this concept out for a spin off series? Pretty Please? (you have to get JF and DH to reprise their roles, though)
    Again, so much love for this episode, I bow before your awesomeness!

  46. Joe, the above were questions for Mr. Cooper, sorry that I didn’t say that at the beginning of the post.

  47. Question for Mr. Cooper re: Vegas

    Where were Ronon and Teyla?

    And if the answer is “not in the story”, why not? Why did you exclude half the main cast from the penultimate episode?

  48. Hey! While I enjoyed Vegas, I did indeed (like many) think that this Rodney was “Rod” from McKay and Mrs. Miller. I think we assumed that because it seems a bit awkward for Rodney to mention that he recently met another version of Sheppard. That right away felt like a reference, so the attachment was made to McKay and Mrs. Miller. Why else would it be brought up?

    Anyway, I did enjoy the ep! Talk at ya later.

  49. Wow…so many posts for Mr. Cooper already. We are so not getting all our questions answered, are we?? 😆

    @ Joe – Now that I have a few minutes…a couple things…

    “…devoid of both the exhilarating highs or devastating lows that mark my daily existence.”

    Wow. I thought I was the only one. Perhaps now you know how I feel after any given Wraithisode. 😛

    “…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.”

    Uh…oh.

    das

  50. For R.Cooper:
    1. Did you envisage when you were penning the script for this episode how completely cool it would look when filmed?
    2. Did you get to meet the Soprano guys and the pro gamblers? Did they give you any tips or insights into their characters?
    3. Did you have a car like Det. Shep’s when you were a kid?
    4. How did you write that scene where Sheppard quits his job, gives the box of his belongings to his boss and just keeps the poster of Cash? There was hardly any dialog at all, just incredible acting from JF which conveyed so much, so how do you put that in a script?
    I am beyond thrilled with this episode, I’m almost without words – and so happy that Shep finally got a little more character exploration. Loved the McKay and Sheppard relationship throughout this series, so am twell and truly glad to see them back together for this episode.
    Thanks.

  51. Hey, I wrote the above post, but forgot to kick my sister’s name out of the Name screne.
    Sorry… wish there was a delete or edit feature with this blog.

  52. Question for Robert Cooper:

    All my questions are already asked by other people – except one: What pocket cards had the Wraith in his last hand? 😀

    Did I mention that I love “Vegas”? No? I LOVE IT!!!

  53. Oh, Joe!! That is definitely the most reaction out of you on these weird food segments!! I love your description of the smell. I can’t believe you tried that…whatever fish saucy thing it was.

    When do we have to have questions into Rob? I’m going out of town which, as usual, means no internet! I’m going to hope I can procur some to make it in on time…

  54. Questions for Mr. Cooper:

    1. Is it too late for Colonel O’Neil to make an appearance (count the Ls, that’s not a typo) along with his reported lack of a sense of humor?

    2. If you ascend in this reality, is it an occurence in which you become one ascended being with any alternate ascended Robert Coopers? Or are any planes of existence restricted to their own respective realities and all the Ori in one reality are powerless over the mortals in another?

    3. Using the Apparatus at Dakara, could the Ancients have made a pepper so hot that even they couldn’t eat it?

    4. Is there something you’d care to say about SGU that nobody has thought to ask? Such as, are you adequately or naturally enthused?

    Joe, try mixing mayo and peach juice, I think you’re onto something.

  55. I know none are related to Vegas, but I’m tired and can’t watch it until tomorrow. Plus, while ears are being lent…

  56. Your Weird Food of the Day video is killing me Joe! No, literally. I’m trying to get over a bit of a chest cold and every time I laugh I start coughing uncontrollably. After watching your video, I think I hacked up an entire lobe of one lung.

    I find it hilarious that you’ve picked so many Weird Foods that have been a normal part of my food pantry since childhood. If you’re brave enough to try fish sauce (“patis” as us Pilipinos call it) again, try it mixed with chilled, diced tomatoes and cilantro as a salad. It’s fantastic!

  57. PMSL @ WFPOTD which brought back memories of a 9 year old me loving the apple scent of my shampoo and reasoning that if it smelled that way then surely it should TASTE like apples….no prizes for guessing what happened next.

    For Rob Cooper: Congrats on a brilliant episode I had a really good laugh at the homage to CSI (a pity Grissom wasn’t in it mind) I love exploring the multiverse and all its combinations. Which particular string theory do you subscribe to? There seem to be so many these days.

  58. Questions for Robert Cooper:

    I loved Vegas. Mostly because it showed an alternate universe that affected our heroes’ universe (like Daedelus Variations) and showed that we’re not the only idiots that screw things up (Rodney!) with ramifications in other realities.

    1. Was the SGC in this reality totally based on Earth? I got the impression that they had never found Atlantis, which would have explained why there were no Pegasus natives around.

    2. When Sheppard was at the poker table with the Wraith, I was under the impression that Sheppard folded (with the better hand) to try and draw the Wraith out, not that he was under Wraith mind-control. Am I wrong?

    3. People have remarked on Rodney’s wedding ring and assumed that he and Keller got married in this reality. I assumed from their “look” in the hallway (and the fact that very few married people I know check each other out like that) that Rodney was married to someone else and he and Jennifer were lusting after each other. Which was it? Either way, it was totally hot. Seriously.

    Margaret

  59. Just had a thought . . . if I sent you a bottle of bagong (shrimp paste), would that be a possible candidate for a future WFOTD?

  60. Man… I’ve got a good broadband service and your vids Joe are stopping and starting even after they’ve been completely downloaded? Anyone else got this problem??

    You’re game trying out this WFPOTD stuff. Kudos and toothpaste to you !

  61. Joe…the greatest epi of WFPOD yet. Though, like a few others, I do feel bad enjoying it so much. LOL.

    Here’s a little advise that I have always followed when it comes to trying new things….if I don’t like the smell, it doesn’t enter my mouth…maybe you should try it.

    And just curious, what was the something vinegar you tried right before?

    Questions for Rob:

    First of all, loved Vegas. Personally, I think it’s the best AR stargate epi yet. Even over all the SG1 epis. I always love when we visit other realities. And it looked and felt like I was watching a scifi version of CSI. I loved it. Even the music fit. Anyway…

    1. I’m wondering if this is the reality that Rod, the alternate McKay that we met in season 4…if this is him and his reality? Isn’t that the only alternate McKay that we met? And if so, what was with McKay talking about the alternate John and McKay being involved?? Maybe I’m getting the wrong impression, or heard it wrong. But ever since Joe shared with everyone that he always saw one of the Atlantis characters as gay besides Vega, I’ve been kinda paraniod…

    2. Hoping to be a writer one day myself, I always wonder about other people’s writing methods. How do you approach beginning a new project? Whether it’s an epi for SG or something else entirely. Do you begin with character, plot…or something else. Or does it all just kinda show up… Basically, what’s your writing method from start to finish? In the simpliest terms…

  62. Hmm. I’d assumed Teyla and Ronon weren’t in it because they’re not from earth, and the only non-earthlings in the story were the Wraith. Is that what the idea was, Joe? That Teyla and Ronon would be off living different lives in Pegasus, and therefore don’t belong in this AU episode?

    I’m surprised, too, at the number of people who thought this McKay was Rod. When you’re positting alternate universes, you usually are talking about an infinite number, not just three. I did wonder briefly whether this McKay *had* encountered our team in an adventure that occurred ‘offscreen’, but then I realised it could be any of an enormous number of Sheppards, given that we are talking alternate universes.

    I have to admit, I did not notice the nipplelessness (try saying that 3 times fast!) of the Wraith. Perhaps the network was looking out for Das’ health? I can only imagine the impact the sight of a Wraith nipple would have had there!!!

  63. Question for Mr. Cooper:

    For every one who wants to hear that Rodney was married to Keller in Vegas there is one person out there who’d prefer they were not.

    For every one out there who wants confirmation that Sheppard died at the end, there’s one who’d prefer the option of a rescue.

    For every one who thinks Sheppard resigned the police force to run away is one person out there who thinks Sheppard resigned because he considered joining Rodney’s battle against the Wraith and wanted to be free for that.

    In conclusion: for every person who wants you to answer in a certain way, there’s always another person who wants to hear the opposite.

    So I won’t ask these questions.

    What I *do* want to know is, why didn’t Sheppard try to shoot at the Wraith after the Wraith jumped down from the roof and made his escape?

    There were no other people around who could have been endangered by it. I get that Sheppard was very surprised about the Wraith not only jumping but on top of that also *surviving* the impact. But given what Sheppard must have experienced in his live as a soldier and a cop, I wouldn’t have expected him to be so stunned by his surprise that he didn’t even consider shooting at him. Or at least threatening him with shooting in case he wouldn’t stop.

    So, was there a reason Sheppard didn’t do that?

    Aside from that – awesome episode.

  64. @ Inpa

    Well, what you consider “conclusion” for a character, other people might view as a very bleak future for them, breaking up the team and such. Separate them and let each of them go into the future alone after they have been kind of a chosen family for so long. There’s enough of that in the reality of life and I guess some people would actually prefer to *not* see that in their favorite show as well. 🙁

    I know it’s nothing I would want to see, I would like to see quite the contrary. Getting Atlantis completely out from under Earth’ command, or at least become more independent in Pegasus, with the team together continuing to be an important aspect of it, – so, with the hopes and expectations so contrary it’s perhaps a good thing neither one of us does always get what we want.

  65. For Robert Cooper:

    Powerful filmmaking. Brilliant work by you and Mr. Blundell. I usually am not interested in the DVD commentary on the details of camerawork and lighting, but I am definitely looking forward to it this time. Gorgeous work; 2 favorite shots: Sheppard and McKay backlit in the hall, and their parting scene with the painterly desert background. Truly breathtaking.

    Question: I saw a lot of parallels to 1st season’s The Defiant One: Sheppard battling a wraith in the desert who’s holed up in a silver transport, only to be saved when the wraith is taken out by air to surface fire… some of the blocking seemed to deliberating echo the ep. Is that intentional, or am I reading too much into this? Because I’m thinking that the difference between the two eps is that here McKay is not going to come over the ridge to save him. That Sheppard, the Solitary Man, cannot survive without his team. That this reality’s tragedy was not Sheppard’s black mark, but his failure to connect with The Team afterward.

    Your thoughts?

    babs

  66. Question for Rob Cooper:

    I quite enjoyed the music during the episode, particularly the one I heard as “The Beat of the Meatball.” I kept thinking–What meatball and why is it beating? My daughter then informed me that they were saying “The Beautiful People.” Well–that clearly makes more sense. We’re off to visit a hearing specialist and then local nursing homes today. But before I am locked away could you tell me—did you choose the music yourself or was it a joint effort and, if so, with whom?

  67. Regarding Teyla and Ronon not appearing in Vegas: As much as I love both characters I really can’t see how they would have fitted into Vegas without a crowbar. Assuming that they were part of the Atlantis expedition in this universe (not a given especially as Sheppard never went to Pegasus) what could they have brought to the story? I really can’t see how they could have played any significant role or how their presence would have furthered the plot in any way. On the whole I do tend to prefer the episodes that use the whole ensemble but in this instance I think not featuring Ronon or Teyla was the right decision.

    Question/s for Rob Cooper:

    I understand that this episode was your baby from the word go, where did the inspiration for the story come from?

    Something that struck me about the episode is that Sheppard really doesn’t have an awful lot of dialogue (despite this Joe F’s performance was wonderful) was that intentional? And does directing a scene with little or no dialogue offer a different challenge?

    But mostly I just want to say thank you for creating such great episode (and for agreeing to answer our questions), it really does go down as one of my favourite Stargate episodes.

  68. Dude, are you sure your sister didn’t substitute concentrated fish emulsion meant for plant food for the stuff that was supposed to be in the bottle? Your description of the smell and reaction upon tasting it really make me wonder. Then again, I also have to wonder why on earth you’d even consider tasting it after getting a whiff of the smell. Blecch!

    As for Robert C Cooper’s Q&A, here goes:

    Thanks for answering our questions! Vegas is in my top five favorite episodes of Stargate Atlantis, I really like the concept of one universe bleeding over into the other and love the way you guys made it work here. Despite their differences, I noticed that Detective Sheppard isn’t too far off from our LTCol Sheppard, the same darkness is there, though we don’t often see it manifested so openly. As for McKay, I think our Rodney would be a bit put off by his alternate self’s darkness, though I think our Rodney has that same kind of steel inside, despite the fact that he rarely shows it. I really am going to be sorry to see this series end, especially when there are obviously so many more stories to tell and so much background of the various characters left uncovered, but, hopefully, you will be able to cover some of that in the movies. Yes, I’m staying hopeful that there will be multiple Stargate Atlantis movies! Now, for my questions:

    1) Who chose the Johnny Cash song “Solitary Man” for the last scene in Vegas? That was absolute perfection, not only considering the circumstances, but also John Sheppard in general.

    2) I think that nickel plated, pearl handled .45 was the perfect choice for a weapon to epitomize John Sheppard! Whose idea was it to use that specific hand gun?

    3) Did you use stock footage of the A10 Warthogs, or did the Air Force give you a fly by? I’ve got a soft spot for those planes and loved them taking out the Wraith! Wooohooo!

    Lastly, thank you for 12 great years of Stargate. I’ve been a fan from the beginning and I’m going to miss getting my weekly fix after Enemy At The Gate.

  69. A couple thoughts:

    a)The “shoveling snow & ice” may have added to the back pain.

    b)Anything labeled “fish sauce” with an odor like that can’t be good.

    c)I can’t ever come up with good questions…..well, not that I ever remember anyway.

    d)Going sugar-less for a week or two sounds like a good plan for me as well.

    e)I need more coffee….

  70. “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.”

    Ruh roh, Raggy…. That does not sound like it’s of the good. I hope the M&M partnership isn’t ending. 🙁

  71. for R. Cooper

    I enjoyed Vegas, the look, the music, the wraith. Just hard to see Todd suffering even if it’s an AU Todd.

    I find the wraith characters so much more interesting than the human characters, B. Wright gives you the credit for creating them so thanks for that. There’s going to be some Vegas questions and some wraith questions because i just can’t help myself (i’m such a fangirl).

    1. Do you know how much extra time it took to make up the wraith for the shirtless scene?

    2. How did the wraith manage to aquire his makeup, contacts, teeth etc in the beginning? Little help by some bystander who didn’t know what was going on or is he just that good at watching and working things out on his own?

    3. Please put Das out of her misery and give an answer on what those finger coverings on the wraith are for. She asks everyone who does a Q&A and no one has been able to give an answer.

    4. tattoos. Vegas wraith had them all over so i assume other wraith do as well which is a little surprising as they are always so covered up. It was great to see some skin and find out a little more about their anatomy, was there a belly button?, loved the spine. Any comments you want to make on this look or their always being so covered up all the time?

    5. Could you please tell us what was discussed and decided upon in regards to wraith sex and children. We’ve seen how drones are born but what about the others? we’ve seen they’re not mammals and their lack of females suggests some other way. How would they instruct and raise their young?

    6. wraith evolution. natural or ancient experiment gone awry (wouldn’t surprise me)

    7. Any general information on the wraith that never got to be included in the show that you would care to tell us? Grooming, names, language, anything.

    thanks for reading my ramblings, i know i go on a bit but it is a little frustrating that it has taken so long to get some development on wraith culture on the show. I hope you can answer some of the questions, thanks again.

  72. Trish (aka whovian) wrote:

    @anne teldy: I’m O- baby! Universal donor! It’s how I knew you could use my blood. I’m in Florida though. I’m giving blood at the end of this week. It’s sooo on my calendar! And I’ve got a shiny key chain showing I’ve donated a whole gallon in my life. I’m trying to make it to TWO gallons!

    Thank you for donating! I had a teacher who got her 5 gallon pin while I was in high school.

    My sister was here yesterday and thinks I’m paler than I was New Year’s Day (but not as pale as pre-transfusion) and she’s afraid tomorrow’s bloodwork will not be promising.

    Still no idea on why my body isn’t making hemoglobin.

    Thanks again for donating!

    PLEASE GIVE BLOOD, EVERYBODY!! You never know when a friend might need it.

    Anne Teldy (both mentally and physically drained)

  73. I arrived home, oblivious, strolled upstairs – at which point she jumped out of hiding and scared the living crap out of me!

    And that was only last week! *ba bum*

    I’m tempted to ask, ‘what did you think’ *g* – However:

    Where the budgetary expenses for Vegas so low compared to normal episodes that it is a functional model for a bottle show?

  74. @Mary I definitely recommend Massage therapy for back Prolems..helps that I am a Massage therapist (Deep Tissue Sports Massages and relaxing Holistic Massage)

    Joe where on your back does it hurt?? id recommend trying some sort of heat pack on your back (ice can sometimes have the opposite effect on people) 20 mins on the hour every hour for at least 3 hours (E.g: put it on at 6pm take it off at 6.20..put it on at 7pmm take it off at 7.20..) after the 2nd time id try some gentle back stretches

    example of a stretch:

    http://www.physicallytrained.com/fm21-20/physical-fitness-training/images/FLEX-hip-and-back-stretch-lying-down.PNG

    if the pain is more around the shoulder area you would have to be careful about where the pack is place..too high around the neck area and you can dilate the various arteries and veins comin in and out of the area and cause dizziness etc.

    ill have some Questions for Vegas as soon as it airs over here!!

    T

  75. Joe: This bothers to a small extent, but why no two-parter for the finale? From what I understand, there is enough plot to warrant such and not feel rushed to complete the story in one hour (and, btw, the story sounds superb). You guys did it with SG-1 in the past (Lost City, Moebius). Camelot was left as a ‘hangar because the story would be continued (much like a two-parter, no?) and Full Circle was going to lead to the spin off (no? I am making assumptions with these. Please verbally abuse me if I’m wrong). Was it an internal decision? Thanks! I’ll hang up and listen to your response.

  76. Hi Joe,

    Yes, I have been reading in silence for a while but the chance to ask Mr. Robert Cooper some questions is a wonderful opportunity! Thankyou so much!

    Firstly I’d like to thank him for Vegas. Even though I was devastated seeing the AU Todd suffer, the other parts in Vegas made up for that! Like their back, OMG I can’t stop imagining Todd’s back 🙂 The music was also fantastic!

    I want to confirm my interest and agree with the questions posed by Sparrow_hawk, Starry Waters and dasNdanger! Their questions are actually from discussions us Wraith fans have had on our forum. There are actually a lot of people desperately hoping for some answers before the show ends! 🙁

    But, there is one extra question I would like to add though, please and some comments I would appreciate you passing on to Mr. Cooper:

    My question:
    Can all wraith read human minds or just the ones who crashed on Earth in Vegas?
    We think that the ones in Vegas can read human minds because at the end of the poker game, the wraith knew Sheppard was on to him and ran. Just like he must also have known when to hold’em and when to fold’em, to do so well at playing cards 😀
    Also Todd in the cage said “John Sheppard” followed by the AU McKay saying that “they can get into your head!”
    For example if the answer is yes then that means that our Todd read Sheppard’s mind everytime he says he’s going to kill him and realise that he’s not really going to do it and is all talk? That would explain why he tolerates it 🙂

    My comments:
    With the Stargate Atlantis Movie, please have Todd (MUST be by Christopher Heyerdahl) in it and please, for the love of ***, please treat him better! You’re killing me! I can’t take much more of this pain! Seeing him treated that way by Sheppard and the others nearly puts me in a hospital!!! He deserves so much better than that 🙂
    He has jumped through every hoop the Atlanteans have thrown at him and he has LOST his own Hive 3 times!!!
    Todd and his kind are the greatest things to come out of Stargate Atlantis! Please keep them that way (and please expand our knowledge of them even further in the movie – we can’t get enough of them!)
    I have spent more than a thousand dollars buying all of SG1 on DVD (over the 10 years), all of the movies on Blu-ray, all of SGA on DVD, but I will not buy into Stargate Universe if Todd continues to suffer. I’m going to give up on Stargate entirely! I know this isn’t a threat or anything because I’m just one fan but I’m trying to convey to you that I’m actually a serious hardcore fan of Stargate that you might want to retain? Many others feel the same way.

    Finally, yes I’m nearly finished …sorry.
    Finally, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE release some of the Stargate Atlantis Seasons in High Definition on Blu-ray (and in Australia/UK)!!! I’m desperate for this!!! Even if you can only do it for Seasons 4 and 5 (because they were filmed in HD) then that would still be wonderful, please do this as soon as you can! 😀

    Thankyou for your time and patience,
    Todds beloved Worshipper 🙂

  77. You guys are fast- already beat me to asking RCC questions for which I’d like answers. SO I will await the QA results and thanks for doing it!

    Can’t stop raving about the Vegas ep. Have watched it 6x so far. At this point in my life, nearing the “Vegas” point when you realize you’ve pretty much become a parody of yourself (like Elvis’ Tupelo to Las Vegas transformation theory, but that’s a whole ‘nother story you will want to hear someday but not from me…) I wonder if I’d feel the same if it wasn’t the 2nd-to-last episode. Or wasn’t about Sheppard, the character I have felt closest to from his first scene in Rising. Right now I feel more affinity for this dark Sheppard, considering all the things that went wrong for me in 2008 and will continue to reverberate into this year. Right down to driving the $800 old Camaro, desperate poker games, and being so screwed that you need something, anything, to happen next. But preferably, something better.
    DD

  78. Vegas rocked! I loved the fact that it was different to other AU episodes in that not a single character from our universe appeared in it! I’m not sure that has ever been done before, or if it has I haven’t seen it, so kudos for that!

    And then, on top of that, the AU managed to screw things for us (or at least, that’s what I’m presuming from the ‘neon flashing sign’ about the message sent through the rift!!!).

    Loved the music, loved the way it was filmed (been told there are lost of CSI tributes in it, but as I’ve never seen CSI myself I can’t say). Loved the similarities and the differences in the characters… Just loved the whole episode!!

    I know some fans won’t have liked it for various reasons, such as being very different to the normal episode and more detective than sci-fi in feel, but I like the odd episode that is different! And yes, no Ronon or Teyla, but in that universe with no John on the Expedition, who would have activated the necklace on Athos to start that culling? There’s a good chance Teyla is an offworld ally and nothing more…and as for Ronon, who knows?

    The ending…ah well, I would have liked to have seen John rescued at the end, or just the hint of it, but hey, it has more impact leaving it there – and I can tell you that there are several fanfics out there already dealing with this!!

    Questions for Robert Cooper:
    1) How did you and the writing team come up with the idea of messing with the standard approach to AUs (ie at least one character from our universe appearing in the episode) and give us this great episode with absolutely no non-AU characters?

    2) Was that a wedding ring on Rodney’s hand? Or was the person who mentioned it on their blog seeing things? If it was, do you have an idea in your head as to who he was married to? And whose idea was the ring, yours, one of the writers’, the director’s, David Hewlett’s?

    3) Are there any deleted scenes (or scenes you wrote but rejected) that you can tell us about? Also, why they didn’t make it to the screen?

    Oh, I’m sure there are millions more questions and I admit I haven’t checked the comment section before posting this, so apologies for any duplication!

    Will have to catch up with reading your blog, Joe, as I’ve not been feeling good recently and have let it slip for a few days. But I have been enjoying reading it, and very much enjoyed your Tokyo entries as well as your Christmas ones too.

    Leesa Perrie

  79. My family has sorta given up on SGA, and that has more to do with overall poor quality, not the fact it has been cancelled, however we decided to watch these last few episodes.

    “Vegas” we well received – we liked how the writers went way out of the box and its the sort of creativity that should have been apparent all season. Face it, you guys seem to have been phoning in your scripts this season. It was very nice to see Joe Flanigan get something different to do other than play superhero. Super Shep became boring long ago.

    Our quibbles with this episode were with absences of key characters. Since AU Rodney talked about the Stargate and Pegasus, it would have been easy to fit Teyla, Ronon, or both into the story somehow. Would have been interesting to have Teyla the one walking down the hall, giving Rodney the flirty look, and Beckett should have been the medical examiner. Ronon could have been a “handler” for Todd.

    Fans are tired of having Keller barge in and take roles and lines that should have been used for the long-term regs and this episode really drove that home for us. I don’t know one person who likes Keller at all and honestly, she is the reason I personally gave up on this show. Teyla could have been a much more interesting and developed character if you folks had tried. Since Rachel returned, she has had almost nothing to do, while Keller is front and center, and needing to be rescued constantly it seems. *Yawn*

    Ah well, on to better things. Hopefully Keller is not used in the movie, and we can enjoy an adventure with our beloved regs who have been with us this entire journey. BTW, we all like Woolsey. ;o)

  80. “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.”

    Sounds painful, Joe and symphonies are heading your way. Quick cure (well.. it’ll either cure you, or leave you crippled for life):.. Ask Paul or Carl to gently walk up and down your spine as soon as you get into the office.

    Uh.. remember to ask them to take their shoes off first, huh? No spikes, studs, heels or spurs allowed.

    .. if only I had an innocent-blinkey-smiley right about now 😀

    ~~

    Rob: Firstly, i’d like to thank you for an absolutely stunning episode in ‘Vegas’.

    Joe was right when he said it was beautiful. Your writing and directing have combined together with an outstanding performance from Joe Flanigan, to give us one of the best episodes thus far. With so many fantastic stories already spanning across five seasons, i’d be hard put to name one particular favourite. But if I did, then it’d have to be this one. I’m in awe. Thanks ever so 😀

    There’s so much i’d like to pick your brains on with regards to the episode, but in an attempt to prevent Joe’s blog from being completely spammed, i’ll try to keep things short 😛

    1. It was inevitable that Johnny Cash made an appearance somewhere, if only because it was Sheppard. It was Joe. And it fit the both of them perfectly. But who’s choice was ‘Solitary Man’? Yours? Joe’s? Anyone else’s?

    2. Early on, we see Sheppard suddenly sporting a cut to his face and as many times as I have re-watched the episode, there seems to be no explanation for it. Was it a brawl? Gambling orientated? Job orientated? Or did Joe simply forget to duck when working with Bambam? 😛

    3. What inspired you to take this particular direction with episode 19? Are you a CSI fan? I guess i’m just curious to know where the idea came from, when almost every other episode over the past five years has been Pegasus-centric.

    4. From a viewers standpoint, there’s absolutely nothing negative I can say about ‘Vegas’. It really is a beautiful way to pay tribute to five seasons of sheer brilliance. As the Writer/Director, are there any parts that you might have liked to change after seeing the final cut? Or, were you happy with the end result?

    5. The final desert scene.. is played out wonderfully by Joe. And the music, lighting, special effects, etc all add to the haunting mood and resulting impact it has on the viewer. How difficult was it to film that particular scene? There’s explosions, burning fires, debris everywhere, a setting sun.. Did it take alot of coordination to get things absolutely spot on and are you pleased with the way things turned out?

    Well.. I could go on and on. But I won’t 😛 Thanks for taking the time to come here and fraternise with the Mob. You’ve given us a special parting present with ‘Vegas’, Rob, and I wish you all the best of luck in your up and coming projects 🙂

  81. Hey Joe,

    Yeah… fish sauce. Probably never a good idea to eat it straight up.

    My questions for Mr. Cooper:

    1) How am I so awesome? Remember last time I asked how are YOU so awesome and you responded with how am I so awesome? It’s my shining personality, isn’t it? But really, you are way more awesome than I could ever be.

    2) Did you film that scene of AU Shep and the wraith at the poker game in Planet Hollywood or a different hotel or maybe a sound stage? And did you get a chance to eat at Pampas in the Miracle Mile Shops right next to the Planet Hollywood? Really excellent Brazilian food.

    3) Who really wanted to use the Johnny Cash song? I just loved that to bits and think the person responsible should get a huge hug. 😀

    4) The line about the Star Trek Experince being shut down was perfect! I go to Vegas at least once a year and miss that ride! Do you think we’d ever get a Stargate Experience in Vegas or any other city? Because that would be THE MOST AWESOME ride ever!

    Thanks for your time!

    Trish 😀

    p.s. @das: Oh yeah… now I get why I’m the one with the *blushing pink* monster. *sigh* So there IS blushign in cyberspace after all.

    @maggiemayday: Dr. Demento. Good times! Love the fish heads song.

    @Rose: I really hope the stitches come out fine and that bathtime is a success. When my youngest was 4 she broke her elbow and was in a cast for four weeks. We had to bath her THREE times the day the cast came off. And her arm still smelled very badly! I had to use half a bottle of strong-scented lotion to help with the smell. Believe me when I say I understand the joy of being able to bath your pup! Keep us posted. 🙂

  82. My question is why in gods name would your sister BUY those!?
    LOL though lucky for us she did as it was very entertaining.
    And to the no sugar for 2 weeks – ARE YOU MAD!?

  83. The weird smell on coming home from vacation story got me choking on my tea. Thanks for that. 😉

    I think everybody beat me to any questions I wanted to ask about Vegas, not to mention a lot that I never would have thought of. So I’ll just say Thank you, Robert Cooper! The AU Sheppard and McKay, the Goth Wraith, Todd the Poet, the music, the guys from the Sopranos, what a wild ride.

    Hang on, there’s my question: how did the idea come up to bring in the two actors from the Sopranos (sorry, I can’t remember their names)? How did you pull it off, did you write that crazy finger story for them, did they have some input?

  84. Hello Joe, a question for Rob Cooper for the episode “Vegas”;

    Hello Rob, as a Teyla fan, how come Teyla and Ronon were not in this AU world? They could have been the nurse or croupier?

  85. Sorry to ask a ship question, but… I’ve been watching the Atlantis marathon on scifi channel and in Conversion, there’s that scene between Weir and Caldwell where she asks him to assume Shepperd’s duties while he goes buggy. Perhaps I was reading too much into it, but was there ever any intention of getting Weir and Caldwell into a relationship, cause it looks like the Colonel’s almost teary eyed!

  86. Coucou Joseph!

    Sa va bien? Moi pas trop car je suis trés occuper en ce moment et je n’ai même plus le temp de dormir car je doit m’occuper de la SGC, sa approche! LOl Ma mére ma même vu crier cette nuit que j’avais perdu mes contacts pour la convention lol XD

    Donc désoler de passer si vite.

    Gros bisou

  87. Question for Robert Cooper:

    I just want to echo das’s question about the blue/green finger thingies the Wraith wear: what are they – just jewelry? rank symbol? weapon? When I started watching SGA in season 3 and discovered the Gateworld forums, I brought up the topic and we discussed it for quite a while. And that same topic comes up again and again as new people start watching the series. Yes, I do have a life. Yes, I do things besides visit this blog and chat on forums. But it is one of those questions that niggles in the back of my mind periodically. And an answer would put that niggling to rest once and for all. Thanks!

  88. For Robert C Cooper

    I didn’t enjoy the episode “Vegas”, but it was an interesting concept and left me with more questions than answers regarding alternative realities.

    My cat, Frankie, enjoyed the episode very much and was engrossed from beginning to end. Whether this is due to your writing or all the flashing lights on the screen we shall never know.

    Best wishes for the future from me…and Frankie and his sister Merlin.

  89. My home internet is down, so I’ll have to submit some questions for Mr. Cooper from here at work. Hope I can concentrate with all these yahoos I work around! (If they are reading my outgoing stuff – you know I didn’t mean that!! I love you!, and I’m on break!)

    Questions:

    1. Mr. Cooper, will you please give up your day job of creating/producing and start writing and directing full time? You are so gifted at the writing/directing combination.

    2. Since you are the creator/executive producer, etc etc of SGA, when you decide to write and direct an episode, are you given a bigger budget than the other directors? It looks like it.

    3. Have you ever considered stepping away from the Stargate franchise and cable TV, and writing and directing for the other more mainstream networks – NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC?

    4. Where did you learn or study at for your writing and directing skills?

    5. I am a Ronon and Shepherd fan. On the 3rd season DVD, you said you wrote Sateda especially for Jason’s character. (Thank you, Sateda was beautiful) Similarily, did you write Vegas especially for Joe’s character?

    Guess I better go before I get fired! Vegas was awesome!! Loved the look, feel, sound, story – everything!! Thank you Mr. Cooper for 2 of my favorate franchise episodes: Sateda (#1) and Vegas (a top 5). Your artistic talents and abilities shined brilliantly. I wish you would do more writing and directing. Let Mallozzi run the shows. Thank you for your time! Thank you period!!! Good luck to you in the future. Hope to see you in other places besides just the SciFi channel.

    (Hey Mallozzi, your in the 2nd – 5th place catagory too with some episodes written by you! – Broken Ties & Reunion) BTW, Runner rounds out the top 5. But I could go on and on and on . . .

    Thanks,

    Lesley

  90. Questions for Rob Cooper –

    Vegas was amazing! I loved everything except the end. I hope it was meant to be ambiguous because I very much want to think Det. Sheppard lived, and I will cry buckets if you tell us he didn’t.

    I really felt like I understood what Sheppard was feeling in this story, and I didn’t realize until I looked at the transcript how little Sheppard actually says. Did you write the script that way originally, assuming you could rely on Joe Flanigan to convey what you wanted, or did you start off with more dialogue?

    I liked your characterization of Sheppard the episodes you wrote (especially Sateda, Conversion, Doppelganger, and now Vegas). What are the key parts of Sheppard’s character in your opinion – the traits you keep in mind when you write for Sheppard?

    And I’m also curious about the cross Sheppard wore. Was it to symbolize a renewal of faith? To fight off space vampires? To look (very) good against Joe Flanigan’s tan?

  91. For Robert Cooper: the Poker scene was awesome! I loved the dialogue, the casting, the color palettes in the room, the mobster’s costumes, the Wraiths rockstar look and John’s dusty “man in black” duds. How much of that detail was in the script up front, and did you draw on other movies as inspiration for that scene?

    For Joe, dude, you may have a sore sciatic nerve. It helps to experiment with a sleeping position that takes pressure off the back like sleeping on the tummy or with a pillow (or a pug pup) btwn the knees. It can take a while to find a good sleeping position to ease the pain but once you do the ache will get a chance to heal up with some rest. And some Tylenol. And a bottle of Johnny Walker Black label.

  92. Mr Cooper,
    Four questions about Vegas.
    1: How did the hiveship get there in the first place?
    2: Did they go try to save Sheppard, or did he just bleed out?
    3: Did you specifically write it as a CSI spoof?
    and 4: How much did it cost to get the licenses for all those songs?

  93. Oh! Almost forgot..

    Happy Birthday to Joe Flanigan and Paul McGillion! Hope you two superheros have a wonderful day 😀

  94. Inspired by this weird food purchase, too much wine with (and without) dinner, and 12 straight days of SCIFI network programming, I believe the next SCIFI originally movie which will involve a giant evil squid that destroys a small Italian fishing village, leaving no one but the hip-hop dancing american hero alive, really should be titled Killahmari.

    Now back to the wine.

  95. Okay, I know I shouldn’t be taking so much pleasure out of someone else’s obvious discomfort but I can’t help it – you’re Weird Food Purchases vids just make me laugh.

    I’m sorry. 😛

  96. I kinda figured that as Teyla and Ronon weren’t Earth native they would have been pursuing their own AU in the Pegasus Galaxy. Was I wrong in assuming that …oh never mind, I’ll check it out myself and get back to you.

  97. I can see clearly now, the snow is gone
    I can see Joe Mallozzi choking on Squid(tm) oil
    I can see clearly now, fake snow is gone
    I’ll be able to scroll (scroll!) scroll all the way down the page.

    perfectly unnaughty link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y42U8GfXQc

    You didn’t do it for me, but thank you for getting rid of the snow.

    Check.

  98. For Robert C. Cooper’s Q and A:

    Everyone has already asked the questions I had in mind concerning Vegas. Typical….

    So, I just want to say this instead:

    I’m not usually a fan of AU’s. I mean, as far as I’m concerned often they have no direct effect on our heroes, so I come away feeling a little cheated as there are often no ramifications.

    When I heard Vegas, the only Sheppard centric episode in season 5, was an Alternate Reality episode and somewhat of an homage to CSI I was concerned, to say the least. I craved some character development for our version of Sheppard so much and felt a little cheated I wasn’t going to get it. Because, after all, this alternate guy isn’t MY Sheppard.

    BUT.. there’s always a but, isn’t there? I have to admit, the more I heard about Vegas, the more interested and intrigued I became. And when I watched it, I was totally sucked into the plot and these alternate versions of our heroes, especially Sheppard.

    I absolutely adored Vegas. Joe’s performance; his brooding, dark and troubled cop, he was just perfect! And I did feel I learned a lot about our version of Sheppard here. The beautiful wraith, and yes, he WAS beautiful! I loved the stylistic choices in the episode, loved the camera work, the humour, the direction, the plot and as for the ending? I just felt so sad, but felt it was perfect. Sheppard died as far as I’m concerned, and as someone who’s a massive Sheppard fan, I couldn’t think of a better ending for this Sheppard. It was redemption for him, as far as I’m concerned, and I thought it a brave choice. I loved the soundtrack too, and ‘Solitary Man’ just made me develop a huge lump in my throat at the end. Ok, ok, I cried!

    So, no question, as others have asked my questions already (You intended us to think Sheppard had died, right? I’m sure you did! LOL!) So, just well done really. I adore Vegas. It ranks in my top ten Atlantis episodes ever, along with Doppelganger and Sateda, which I know you also penned and directed. So, thanks so much!

    Oh, and I must add watching Vegas made me realise how much I’m going to miss seeing SGA on my TV every week. I just feel that if episodes like Vegas can be made, then there was so much more potential left in the series.

    I’d better leave before I embarrass myself more than usual 🙂

  99. Joseph, if your back problem is sciatic nerve, which can be about where you sleep, you should try floor stretching exercises. You lay flat on your back, pull on knee up and hug it leaving the other on the floor, then do this to the other side. There are more that I was given many years ago when I almost couldn’t walk it was so bad, but with chiropractic help and the stretches, I haven’t had the problem again (it’s been like 19 years). Good luck!

    No sugar! Have the tylenol ready. I know I have sugar withdrawals after 2 or 3 days of none.

    I am gonna think about my Vegas questions and post on Jan 5’s blog.

  100. I would like to thank Brad to answer my questions and to you Joe to give us this rare opportunity. We are disappointed that ther is no plans for Vala in the next SG 1 film .

  101. @Trish (aka whovian)

    *g* Then you know exactly how I feel. There’s nothing like snuggling up to a freshly bathed dog. Or kid!

    Best,

    Rose

  102. For Mr. Cooper:

    Judging from the SGA stories you’ve had a hand in, you seem to have a real affinity for the character of John Sheppard. Would you agree? And are you pleased with the way the character has evolved over the course of the series? Is there something you would have liked to have seen that you didn’t?

    I just want to say how very much I loved “Vegas.” From the moment the first details of the story were revealed, I had pretty high expectations and every single one of them were met. Although this John Sheppard broke my heart, the episode was done beautifully, in every way. Thank you so much for giving it to us – it was truly a gift to the fans.

    Sincerely,

    Rose

  103. Hey Joe,

    I’m having to lalalalala my way through most comments until I get a chance to watch Vegas. Back online properly now so can catch up on the videos.

    Annie from Fremantle – I’m having the same issue with the videos.

    Anne Teldy – Hang in there. Your talk of blood donations made me revisit the blood bank website and I now qualify to be able to give blood! Woohoo!

    Rose – I bet she is so appreciative of having a family that wants her to still be around and are willing to make the effort to get her back fighting fit.

    Trish – Happy belated Birthday! I think I’ve missed someone else on that front that I’ve wanted to say Happy Birthday to. Sorry…

    I throw in the recommendation of massage too Joe. I have to get the deep tissue massage which at the time can take your breath away, but afterwards it’s like you’re floating. Have some green tea afterwards to get rid of the toxins released and you’ll be snoozing in no time. It’s rather addictive though.

    My second recommendation… lose the dogs on the bed. As a former dog on the bed sleeper, once they are into a routine where they can’t come up and just sleep nearby, you will sleep much better.

    With the New Year’s resolution of drinking more, will we be seeing more food and wine reviews? There are so many occasions that wine enhances the flavour. Now I’m hungry.

  104. I’ve got 35 minutes till its my birthday, another year to celebrate…with tissues and vaporub….

  105. PS: Will sugarless Joe be a representation of a hormonal Joe? And do you have any tips or advice to aid us in not hitting a sugarless nerve during this time?

  106. @Narelle: Thanks! It was a good birthday. Now I’m tempted to have a deep tissue massage. And we kicked our dogs out of our bed years ago after our second baby was born. The baby had to be in the bed for nightime feedings and the four of us did not fit. It is easer to sleep without the furry ones in bed. I agree with that. Besides, Ziggy loves to jump on the comforter and snuggle for naps. So it’s like the best of both worlds. 😀

    @Rose: Truer words were never spoken. I love it when the dogs (and children) have had a proper bath. Best wishes on a quick recovery!

    @Shiningwit: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR SHININGWIT!!!!! HAAAAAPPY BIIIIRTHDAAAAY TOOOOOO YoOOoooOOUUUU!!!!

    Yeah I’m actually an *ok* singer in person. Online? Not so much. Hope you get well soon. Hate being sick on special days!

  107. Question for Mr. Cooper:

    I loved Vegas! I loved the thinking outside of the box aspect, the style, the music, the setting and most of all, Joe Flanigan’s performance. Outstanding. Thank you for writing a great Sheppard episode. In this season of the horrible McKeller, Sheppard, along with Ronon and Teyla, have been seemingly forgotten, so thank you very much for giving us a memorable, look at a very different Sheppard. Great path not taken angle yet giving us a look inside John Sheppard. Most of my questions have been asked, re Ronon & Teyla, but here are a couple:

    1. Even after 5 years, Sheppard is a mystery. You seem to understand and write him better than anyone else. Going into this episode, was it your plan to peel some of the layers from Sheppard and give us a glimpse inside the man?

    2. Did you discus or get input from Joe Flanigan as to how this Sheppard would be portrayed or any aspects of the shooting/script? Who came up with Solitary Man? It was perfect for Sheppard.

    3. I noticed Vegas Sheppard was wearing a white bracelet rather than the black wristband and in the last scene, a small cross necklace. Who/Where did those small details come from? Was the symbolism done on purpose for the redemption of the character?

    4. Not Vegas related, but will you be involved in the Atlantis movie? If so, can you tell us in what capacity? I hope you are, especially after Vegas.

    Thank you for a fantastic Sheppard episode and all your work on Stargate.

    D

  108. Could I also please echo BlueJay’s wonderful questions!! I hadn’t seen her post when I made mine hours ago or her name would have been among Sparrow_hawk, Starry Waters and dasNdanger’s.

    I’m also desperate to know if they have a belly button!?!?!? The frame lights up and moves to quickly for us to see it clearly. I want to soak up more details about the wraith physiology and breeding habits 😉

    Thanks heaps,
    TW

  109. Nope, the Chinese Medicine WFPotD is still number one in terms of absolute torture on your part.

    Wait…was that a Weird FOOD Purchase though? Hmmm…

    Nevermind, I think we have a winner here! That was utterly hilarious! 😀

    I don’t like the sound of that bittersweet development…is someone leaving? Is it Marty G? He seems like the kind to strike out on his own.

    Or perhaps you got a new writer and he…HATES CHOCOLATE?!?!?! My God, I scare myself sometimes.

    Anyways, HAPPY BIRTHDAY shiningwit! I hope you feel better soon!

  110. I loved the Vegas show, despite never seeing an episode of CSI or The Sopranos.

    Loved the reference to Star Trek: The Experience, and Picardo getting to tell them it had closed. He looked so glum.

    Questions for Mr. Cooper re: Vegas:

    – Who is “David Magee” and why was his name so prominent on the window/door in the hallway scene?

    – How many crew members were used in the show, especially in the casino scenes? I kept thinking I was recognizing people from Mallozzi’s crew photos he has posted in his blog over the years.

    – Was Zelenka’s suit right off the rack, or does the actor, David Nykl, just like very long suit jacket sleeves? In his scene, I wanted to send the man to a tailor.

    – Why did the Wraith lose his cool in the poker scene, after all the work he put in to pass as a human? I just didn’t get why he reacted so violently (after supposedly being so calm to pull off multiple murders over a period of months).

    – How many “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” moments did you have, while filming and hanging out in Las Vegas? How about some moments you can share?

    Thank you for your time!

  111. I don’t have a question regarding Vegas, I thought the episode was cool… (Maybe too much nodding towards CSI, With all the Vegas area shots they do there)

    Plus the whole Wraith playing poker thing was pretty hilarious to see.

    Not to mention seeing a few familiar faces playing whatever the heck the card game was you guys were playing in between the dialogue.

    My question is Universe related, No I’m not going to ask for spoilers or early work in progress art.

    My question is simply, Considering you guys start shooting SGU next month (Or so they say), Any news yet on the casting?, Or will this be revealed waaaaay after you guys start filming?

    Thanks for your attention,
    Angel

  112. “about the new look writing department. With regard to the latter – bittersweet developments abound. More on this in the coming days.”

    That doesn’t sound good, hope all is well.

    For RC its not a Vegas specific question, but I was wondering did you have a hand in creating the main Characters for Atlantis and the UP coming SGU? and if so what was the process and how did you come up with the characters?

  113. @Narelle from Aus

    You’re sweet to say so but Dobermans are very loyal; it’s only right that we return that. She’s such a sweetheart – affectionate and playful and even after everything she’s been through, she can still run faster than any of us! (Though that might say more about the sad shape of my family than anything!)

    *hugs*

    Rose

  114. For Rob Cooper: I’m going for the shallow comment versus the intelligent question. Thanks for the ‘peakage’, it always does a girl good.

    I really like the fact that you ‘dig’ Sheppard. That is something that has only been touched on briefly since day one. Great job!

    Okay, one semi intelligent question. How much input did Flanigan have in this episode? Oops, the shallowness is returning! God, he was hot!

  115. Question for Mr. Cooper: Did the crew get to spend some leisurely time in Vegas? I can imagine the entire cast going into a Casino in costume . . . including Neil Jackson as the Wraith.

    Thank you for your time!

  116. For Robert C Cooper re “Vegas”….

    Curious. Lots of stuff gets filmed in Vegas all the time. I’m just curious how the tourists/onlookers reacted to George, er, the Wraith (sorry, I had to name him) just walking on the streets, or were all those folks extras?

  117. Glad to hear about the Q&A. Can we start asking now, or will you tell us when.

    Also, random question: do you have a facebook?

  118. for Rob Cooper – Rodney said that Sheppard was involved with medic he tried to rescue – was the medic male or female? (couldn’t quite make that out). We know from Phantoms that he went to rescue his (male) friend – so this is an AU situation to that shown in Phantoms that led to him being dishonorably discharged?

    Absolutely loved Vegas – I was half waiting for Grissam & Co to make an appearance and I’m happy to note I didn’t make the mistake of thinking that this was the same Rod from McKay & Mrs Miller AU. Really appreciated the deeper darker aspects revealed of John’s mind, he was ready to skip out on his responsibilities – the angst right there in that car!

    But did Rodney & Co forget that John was out there and didn’t think to check up on him? They just left him out there to die?

  119. Regarding the Q&A for Mr. Cooper…I jsut read the interview with Ms. Gosling on the MGM site and at least my Q5 was answered. I love tha tyou did the Vegas CSI and not theothers. It was a perfect setting.

    Thank you, Mr. Mallozzi for the consistently entertaining, and occasionally gross out blogging!

  120. had a conversation with Paul about the new look writing department…bittersweet

    I hope nothing too terrible has happened for all of you and that the new year starts out on a positive note.

    How’s that SGA movie script coming?

    Two bad tastes, one right after the other. How did you get rid of the taste?

    Questions for Rob Cooper? I enjoyed Vegas and thought Joe Flanigan (and Rob) knocked it out of the ballpark. It must have been fun to play with a different cinematic style. Which did Rob enjoy more on Vegas: writing or directing it? I liked the open question about whether or not the alternate universe this Rodney encountered was actually the one we know or another altogether. Was that intentional? Were there any reservations about making the penultimate episode of SGA about a version of the characters the audience didn’t know?

  121. FYI, Rob answered some questions about Vegas over at the MGM site. Wish that had been published before I asked mine, since some are the same! RCC can do a copy/paste to answer them again, I suppose. 🙂

  122. Question for RC:

    In the episode The Gift we are told that the wraith could not read the minds of humans before some of Teyla’s ancestors were experimented on. However, in Vegas we are supposed operate under the assumption that the wraith could use his mind powers to win at poker. Has there been a new development that I might have missed. It would be much appreciated if you could help me on this.

    RC thank you so much for all that you do

    Thanks always Joe

    -ZPB

  123. Mr Cooper. Thank you for being one of the few writers who actually tries to explore the Sheppard character. After so many years with so little, you gave us so much in “Vegas’ by offering us a glimpse into Sheppard if he had gone down another path. Between “Vegas” and “Doppelganger’ I think you’ve explored the Colonel more than any other writer. Thank you.

    The episode was brilliant, from the zooms and cuts, to the impact, and tone from the soundtrack to the location shots. It was truly an outstanding episode from top to bottom.

    1)Normally a script has the tiniest inspiration. Which scene was in your head from day one?

    2)How did you pick “Solitary Man’”? It had the perfect lyrics and was the most fitting for this Sheppard. Did you look through Mr Cash’s body of work, or once you heard the song, store away for another day?

    3)Loved the subtleness of John wearing the silver cross. Was that a last minute idea?

    4)Was Joe Flanigan excited by this script? Being able to play Sheppard in such a different way and allowed to portray a tragic, yet redeeming end to his character. Did he have any input on the script?

    Thank you again.

    Kristen

  124. Joe,

    also wanted to say thanks for giving us the opportunity to ask questions. Kind of fun. And thanks to those who are willing to risk taking the questions (and answering). Sometimes the q&a may seem to go awry, but it’s always interesting.

    One other question about Vegas. Will the music that was used in the episode be included in the DVD release? I know sometimes shows don’t get the rights for the DVD release, so I am curious about this one.

    Did I mention that I really enjoyed Vegas? For Joe and Paul, I hope it feels good to go out on a high note.

  125. A question for Rob Cooper:

    First I really loved Vegas and thought it was one of the top five episodes. One I things I noticed among all the SGA writers is that each one of you seem to have a preference on who write about. For example, you about Sheppard , Mallozzi about Ronon, and Alan Mc likes to write group stories. Do each of the writers have their own preference who they write for?

    Joe, you can answer this too.

    Happy Birthday Joe Flanigan, Paul McGillion, and ME.

    Tami

  126. One more thing for Joe, I just looked at the Scifi site and they have the last episode labed as “The Final Mission” instead of “Enemy at the Gate,” has something happened or is it just labed wrong.

    Thanks always,

    -ZPB

  127. There’s so many birthday’s.

    @shinnigwit: Is your birthday Jan 5 or 4? Its hard to tell on this blog. Happy Birthday.

    Tami

  128. Hello Joe!

    Quick “WOOHOO!” to you and Rob for the most excellent kickass ep, Vegas. Even my hub declared it “very cool.” 🙂

    LOVE!

    eddy

  129. Hey Joe, I got a few questions for Rob!

    First off, Rob, I love you for making this ep. It was like a really hip, stylish music video, and the editing was out of this world. One of my favorite parts was when the Wraith got up after jumping from the building and his footsteps fell in beat with the music. I think I died from happy. I really can’t get over the greatness of the editing. It was fantastic.

    Some questions…

    1. If Sheppard did die, what was the most likely cause of death? I know he got shot near the heart.. and that explosion blasted him pretty good (blew out his eardrums?) and maybe radiation from the signal thing? I’m just asking since I couldn’t make out what was hurting him so much in the end. Was it a combo of things?

    2. Vegas was way better than CSI. Maybe because it didn’t have that creepy guy in it. Was John’s boss supposed to resemble David Caruso in any way? Sometimes I had to double take to make sure it wasn’t really him!

    3. What crazy person let Joe Flanigan do his own stunt, jumping over the hood of that car like that (was it Joe??)? He looked like he landed on his HEAD. Great stunt, but did it scare anybody? I loved that Camaro btw. Such a sexy car!

    4. During Sheppard’s poker scene with the Wraith, after Sheppard threw down his cards, the Wraith kind of gives him this respectful sort of nod before getting up. What was that about? Did the Wraith enjoy that game with Sheppard? Seems like the Wraith was actually having fun there.

    5. Did this Wraith have any sort of nickname on set? Like Todd, Bob, Steve, etc. ?

    Okay, that’s it. Again, much thanks for this ep, I thought it was fantastic and ridiculously intriguing. Definitely something I can watch over and over again. 😀

  130. The video is a black screen that merely says embedded with a little circle of dots in the center of the page chasing itself into infinity and nothing ever appears; therefore, I am out of the proverbial loop so cannot comment. Did someone say squid? YUCK!

  131. not really a question for Rob but a comment….

    CSI: Atlantis – rocked my world! (I used to be a huge CSI fan) So much fun… – the lighting was excellent and the music was perfect and I have to say that calm, cool, collected tough-guy Rodney was fantastic – loved the interaction with Sheppard. So very awesome!

  132. I have comments/questions for Mr Cooper.

    First, a very cool episode. I always enjoy these alternate universe “What If” type stories. I usually dislike Earth-based episodes, but this one was a pleasant exception.

    I only noticed one other person mention this, and the folks on Gate World are too busy whining about “CSI Atlantis” and “Stargate 90210” to take notice, but I was wondering if I was just imagining things or did you make Alternate Shepard Gay? McKay mentioned that Shep was “involved” (complete with awkward pause) with the Man he was trying to save in the war. Was that an intentional addition? If so was there any specific motivation. Personally I thought it was done very well. Thank You.

  133. That was without a doubt the best Weird Food Purchase of the Day EVER.
    One of two bright spots in my otherwise miserable day.
    The other was of course when my friend gave me the “Ultimate Visual Guide” to Stargate SG-1 as a late christmas present.
    Thank you for putting yourself through many a disgusting food item for our pleasure. ^_^

  134. I have some comments/questions for Rob!

    First off: thank you so much for this episode, it was wonderful! I loved everything about it from start to finish and I’ve already re-watched it like, three or four times lol.

    1. We got some great insight into Sheppard and his life in this reality, what do you think Atlantis was like? Or Pegasus as a whole? I have to think that Sheppard not being there changed things quite a bit.

    2. Why did Rodney tell John so much about Atlantis/Wraith/classified stuff in general? Was he working toward asking John to join the mission?

    3. What was the best and worst part about shooting in Vegas?

    4. Did they torture Todd D:?

    5. When did the Wraith hive come to Earth? Would it have been back during the Roswell conspiracy (1947, thank you Wikipedia), or more recently – like post this reality’s The Rising?

    Thank you so much, again, for a wonderful episode! And thank you in advance for any questions you may answer 🙂

  135. Hello! I just found out about your blog yesterday via a link to the Brad Wright Q&A. Thanks so much for this! It’s a fantastic read. 🙂 And thanks for the upcoming session with Robert Cooper. I’m excited!

    P.S. Dead burglar comment made me laugh like anything. This must be why you’re a writer. 😀

    Questions/Comments for RC:

    First of all, AMAZING episode. From the shooting style, to the music, to the story and its tie-in to the overarching SGA story, to the alt-universe choices for the cast and the wraith, to the Johnny Cash poster. All of it was astounding.

    1. Quote from an unnamed blogger: “gather up all your queries regarding … nippleless wraith and start posting”. Mr. Cooper, please comment.

    2. I realize the wisdom of tying up plot threads quickly, but so many universes are affected by this episode that I can’t imagine it being dealt with (dealt with *well*) in just one more episode. However, neither do I see you guys banking on a movie expressly to end the SGA storyline, like what happened with SG-1. Will the repercussions of this story be wrapped up in the final episode of the series, in the movie(s), or will they stretch into SGU?

    3. McKay tells Sheppard, “They can get into your head.” I thought the Wraith could only mind-link with their own kind (thus Michael’s ability to influence Teyla but not the others, e.g. Carson). How then was the imprisoned wraith able to grab information from Sheppard’s mind such as his name?

    4. I once read a short story which was billed as canon (printed in Stargate Magazine) explaining Sheppard’s black mark. It seemed different in some ways to the story told in “Vegas” (black ops individuals being rescued instead of a medic love interest) but similar in others (political cover-up). Were you aware of this story? Was the episode “Phantoms” meant to depict this critical time in Sheppard’s career or was it just another rescue mission? From “Return”, I had somehow gotten the impression that Mitch and Dex were the men Sheppard was meaning to save. In any case, in your head, how do you envisage ‘our’ Sheppard having received his black mark?

    5. Was this always a one-parter, or was it cut down from an arc?

    6. How difficult was it to acquire the music for this episode? I have never seen licensed music in a Stargate episode before, excepting “Unending”.

    7. The style of this episode (lighting, wardrobe, music, tone, everything!) was so completely different from what has come before. How much was this due to this being almost the last episode of the Stargate Atlantis series? Could you conceive something like this being in an earlier season. (I’m thinking “Sateda”, but even that wasn’t quit this degree of ‘different’.)

    8. Could you share a behind-the-scenes and/or off-the-clock story with us regarding this episode or the series in general? Any pranks? Goofs? Difficulties? Wackiness?

    9. Could you share with us a plot summary of further SGA episodes that you would have liked to see?

    10. Finally, what is a question that you were hoping to be asked when you agreed to this Q&A? Was there a question you wanted to answer that wasn’t asked? And please answer, too.

  136. to mr cooper

    first of thanks for vegas i really enjoyed this episode

    questions

    1. was AU sheppard gay i thought i heard mckay say he was in a relationship with the medic he saved?

    2.how much did it cost to incorporate the songs into the episode?

    3. what gave you the idea for this episode

    questions not regarding vegas

    4.what are your thoughts on russel T davies remarks on stargate? (his reaction to robert carlyle being cast SGU saying “Stargate, can you believe it? That was a surprise. Has his agent watched it?)

    5. out of every episode of stargate would be your favourite and your least favourite episode

    6. Season 5 been so teyla light with her either not being in episodes (vegas, whispers, BS and tracker) only in it for a little (remnants) or doesnt really do much important (identity) she has had the less screen time than all other main characters (except maybe wolsey) why is this?

    and finally

    7. What is the reason that Claudia Black isnt returning in the third movie?

  137. Who was that guy with the beard impersonating a poker player sitting next to the wraith? He was terrible – not believable at all!! Maybe you could have found a REAL poker player – like ohhh I dont know- maybe a great poker player like TODD BRUNSON to play the role. That way he would be believable. 😉

    How did you get one of the greatest poker players in the world to do a cameo? He must be a fan. Who’s in the movie? Doyle Brunson? Maybe you can get Phil Helmuth to play a wraith.

    How come I’m the only one who recognized him? I guess the typical SGA fan isn’t a poker player.

  138. D’oh, I goofed in a question to RC. In #4 above, I meant the episode “Home” not “Return. Here it all is again, with the small correction:

    By the way, random question for Joe or anyone: Was the village set taken down? Or will it come in handy for SGU? I imagine the Goa’uld ships are no longer standing? Thanks if you answer! (And if you don’t, more snow for your driveway! j/k)

    Questions/Comments for RC:

    First of all, AMAZING episode. From the shooting style, to the music, to the story and its tie-in to the overarching SGA story, to the alt-universe choices for the cast and the wraith, to the Johnny Cash poster. All of it was astounding.

    1. Quote from an unnamed blogger: “gather up all your queries regarding … nippleless wraith and start posting”. Mr. Cooper, please comment.

    2. I realize the wisdom of tying up plot threads quickly, but so many universes are affected by this episode that I can’t imagine it being dealt with (dealt with *well*) in just one more episode. However, neither do I see you guys banking on a movie expressly to end the SGA storyline, like what happened with SG-1. Will the repercussions of this story be wrapped up in the final episode of the series, in the movie(s), or will they stretch into SGU?

    3. McKay tells Sheppard, “They can get into your head.” I thought the Wraith could only mind-link with their own kind (thus Michael’s ability to influence Teyla but not the others, e.g. Carson). How then was the imprisoned wraith able to grab information from Sheppard’s mind such as his name?

    4. I once read a short story which was billed as canon (printed in Stargate Magazine) explaining Sheppard’s black mark. It seemed different in some ways to the story told in “Vegas” (black ops individuals being rescued instead of a medic love interest) but similar in others (political cover-up). Were you aware of this story? Was the episode “Phantoms” meant to depict this critical time in Sheppard’s career or was it just another rescue mission? From “Home”, I had somehow gotten the impression that Mitch and Dex were the men Sheppard was meaning to save. In any case, in your head, how do you envisage ‘our’ Sheppard having received his black mark?

    5. Was this always a one-parter, or was it cut down from an arc?

    6. How difficult was it to acquire the music for this episode? I have never seen licensed music in a Stargate episode before, excepting “Unending”.

    7. The style of this episode (lighting, wardrobe, music, tone, everything!) was so completely different from what has come before. How much was this due to this being almost the last episode of the Stargate Atlantis series? Could you conceive something like this being in an earlier season. (I’m thinking “Sateda”, but even that wasn’t quit this degree of ‘different’.)

    8. Could you share a behind-the-scenes and/or off-the-clock story with us regarding this episode or the series in general? Any pranks? Goofs? Difficulties? Wackiness?

    9. Could you share with us a plot summary of further SGA episodes that you would have liked to see?

    10. Finally, what is a question that you were hoping to be asked when you agreed to this Q&A? Was there a question you wanted to answer that wasn’t asked? And please answer, too.

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