Hey, I heard from Bob Picardo today. He’s doing well but feeling somewhat nostalgic as the series draws to its official end tomorrow night. Apparently, he has one final interview to do, the last of his Atlantis-related duties. Until, of course, we start shooting the movie. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, and I’ll keep saying it: Bob is a class act. He wanted me to know how much he enjoyed working on the show, how much he was missing the people and the city, and how much he was looking forward to making the trek back in the coming months. And, it goes without saying, that we’re all looking forward to working with him again.

Finish up On Basilisk Station all you stragglers because author David Weber will be coming by next week to answer your questions. And, if you haven’t already done so, get started on The Living Dead, the killer zombie anthology edited by upcoming guest blogger John Joseph Adams. And, finally, start prepping this month’s fantasy selection, City of Saints and Madmen, as author Jeff Vandermeer will be joining us later this month. I’m reading the latter right now and, while I liked the first story that kicks off the book, I am absolutely LOVING the second entry, The Hoegbottom Guide to the Early History of Ambergris. Do check it out.

Back in the office today where I completed a little more of the script, writing and rewriting the same ten pages. But what a ten pages! Carl’s script, Water, finally went out and it includes a touching reminiscence of a dog delivered in Carl’s inimitable style. I’m tearing up just writing about it. But I’ve already said too much!

Sugarless Day #5 went much better than I’d imagined it would, devoid of the expected nausea, jitteriness, and inhuman cravings – although I did find myself gazing a little too longingly at the plate of macadamia chip cookies every time I walked by the kitchen. Rob invited me over to his place to watch the games on Sunday, quite literally sweetening the offer with a promise to make waffles (incidentally, he is the waffle king. You thought Vegas was good? Try his home made waffles with ice cream.). Alas, as much as it pains me to do so, I might have to pass and endure a waffle-less football afternoon. Is there anything sadder?

Scroll down past the mailbag to check out today’s Weird Food Purchase of the Day video installment.

Today’s entry is dedicated to Sandra and her daughter.


Thornyrose writes: “Thanks as always for all you do for the fans, and what is your reward if and when you reach the two week mark on the sugar free lifestyle?”

Answer: Hopefully, a slimmer waistline.

Shawna writes: “What would you say are good shows to spec if a writer wants to be considered for Stargate?”

Answer: Original one-hour dramatic pilots or features are good as are specs for genre shows. I’m sorry to say your old Mary Tyler Moore spec won’t cut it.

PG15 writes: “I’m also confused. So there’s now 5 people on the writing team…but here all 7 writers are delivering scripts? Are these the last scripts for those who are departing?”

Answer: Quite possibly.

IMForeman writes: “ Joe, how hard was it getting all the music heard in “Vegas”? I understand just getting “Have you ever seen the rain” in “Unending” was difficult.”

Answer: This is more a question for Rob but indications suggest the process was a lot easier on Vegas.

Kody writes: “Why did Sci-Fi stop airing ATL and BSG back to back? I know that you might not have the answer but it never hurts to ask.”

Answer: I believe that decision was born of a desire to offer their viewers year-round original programming.

Wolfenm writes: “Joe ~ my condolences on the sugar withdrawal. For myself, bread carbs are my weakness, but the withdrawal is still bad.”

Answer: Yeah, I’ve cut out bread, rice and pasta as well.

Lizzyshoe writes: “Are there plans to bring any women onto the writing staff?”

Answer: We have invited at least one female writer to pitch.

Line Noise writes: “Have you ever considered approaching some of your favourite sci-fi book authors about writing or collaborating on a script?”

Answer: Funny you should mention that…

JimfromJersey writes: “So are you going completely sugar/carb free, or just items containing raw sugar? Ie: no bread, rice, pasta etc…”

Answer: Add fruit to that list as well. Hardcore.

OrdinarySuperHero writes: “I also wanted to ask, on the subject of Terry Pratchett, I wanted to ask have you read Men at Arms and Feet of Clay?”

Answer: Not yet, but I will.

Pandy writes: “Do you know if all the characters have been cast yet?”

Answer: Not yet.


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I applaud your dedicated effort at weight watching. No FRUITS? Does your current restrictions allow you to eat anything besides cardboard and those styrofoam packaging peanuts?
Thanks for the latest Weird Food of the day offering. I am so going to have to find a food or drink product labelled Bile now, though. Which will, if discovered, will be immediately forwarded to you for testing. And Fondy should consider increasing your insurance coverage. It just cannot be that healthy conducting all of your experiments. Thanks for the chuckle, and the little teases that are definitely increasing my curiousity about SGU(and the fate of certain writers).


What?!? No sweets, carbs or fruits? Good luck with that. I don’t know if I could do it…


Nice job on the sugar free control. Just wondering if you could shed some light on why scifi is calling the last episode “the final mission” instead of “enemy at the gate” or are they just saying that it’s the last mission rather than giving the title. Also what happened to the Tria, is it still in the void between galaxies?

Thanks always,



Answer: Original one-hour dramatic pilots or features are good as are specs for genre shows. I’m sorry to say your old Mary Tyler Moore spec won’t cut it.

Thanks for the info. Good to know. Haha, Mary Tyler Moore… yeah, maybe not. Still, it’s a pity that some old school Trek or even Journeyman or Moonlight is out. *shakes head sadly* But original scripts is better than something I’d have to catch up on to write about, I suppose.

You know, I tried cutting out sugar once. I lasted a few months. It wasn’t pleasant. Although… I did find one thing interesting. Before cutting it out, I drank a lot of Mountain Dew (and, unfortunately, I’m back into that habit again), but when I cut out the sugar, I didn’t have any for two and a half months, then when I had one, it tasted so weird and rich. Like I was drinking liquid candy. Odd how the body adapts to things.


I’m sensing a kind of elemental theme to the SGU episode titles (Earth, Air Water- who’s writing Fire?) …. Anyway, something I thought you might find interesting: a man named Jeffrey Deskovic came to my school yesterday to speak to us. He was wrongfuly convicted of a rape and murder at the age of 17, and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison despite the fact that DNA evidence proved his innocence. 16 years later, in 2006, he was released and the real murderer was caught. Here’s a link to his website: http://jeffreydeskovicspeaks.org/index.php .

Questions for you: Is the city of Atlantis sentient? Can people with the ATA gene really hear or sense the city’s consciousness? Also, are we going to find out anything more about McKay’s childhood in the movies?

For Rob Cooper: First of all, I want to say that you’ve written some of my favorite episodes of all time. Thank you for everything that you’ve done for Stargate. Second, have you been interested in sci fi your whole life? What books and shows have influenced you the most?


thornyrose asked:
>Does your current restrictions allow you to eat anything
>besides cardboard and those styrofoam packaging peanuts?

Maybe you could sautee the packing peanuts in that squid brand fish sauce from the holiday edition WFPOTD. Yum.

Ooh. We just had an earthquake here in L.A. Fun. Think I’ll scrounge up dinner now in case it’s a precursor to a bigger quake…

– KB


Oh, yes, and questions for Mr. Cooper about Vegas…

1. In this AU, what happened to the rest of the team? Are Ronon and Teyla still there? If not, who does McKay’s team consist of? (Assuming, of course, that there is a “lead team” in this version.)

2. What led you guys to pick this route, to show a whole episode entirely about an AU? I love the idea, and the execution, but I just wonder what made you go there. I imagine some people may have been disappointed that the “real” characters never showed up.

3. How do you go about determining what the alternate versions of characters would be? It seems like this Sheppard was sort of determined by that failed rescue attempt and everything that followed. But what made this McKay who he is? Was it simply the lack of Sheppard’s influence, or something else? Where do you start with answering those sorts of questions for the characters?

4. Is there a character that you would have liked to have seen in this universe, but just didn’t fit into the storyline? If so, what do you imagine they would be like?

5. (Just because he’s my third-favorite character on the show…) What happened to Michael in this AU?

6. How much fun is it playing in an alternate universe, where nothing’s granted, even basic things like a main character’s survival?

7. This one’s not a question. I just wanted to say I loved this ep. It was utterly fantastic in every way, and is definitely among my favorites of the series, and of Stargate in general.


sorrykb —

You felt that, too? I wasn’t sure if I was imagining it, as no one around me seemed to react.


I take it the diet is for a limited period? Cutting out fruit is generally not a good idea for vitamin-related reasons, and having friends of Italian ancestry, watching them go on Atkins and give up bread and pasta was interesting, to put it politely (I’ll give them credit, they lasted a whole six days). I’m sure you’re going through that withdrawal now. Has the gang at Fuel phoned to see if you’re ok?


I commend you on your willpower, Joe. You’re a better man than I am and not just because I’m a woman. A world without carbs is not a world I can live in.

I’m gambling with fate on the horror selection for the BOTM. It’s on my wishlist. I didn’t get for Christmas and if I don’t get it for my birthday (which is Monday), then I’ll get it with one of the giftcards I got for Christmas. And then all I’ll have to do is read it.

Yeah, I’ve seen too many sitcoms to know that this will all work out in my favor.


I thought we had covered the Italian/bitter warning?!

And, sweet? Did you break your “no sugar” pledge to bring us our viewing pleasure? Such sacrifice, such dedication!!

I’ll miss Bob……


What you say? the mary tyler moore show was the best sci-fi show ever. Ted bakster had to be of an alien origin. and mary’s hair was a spieces unto itself. Murry was creepy Golum like and who was the giant orc like man that lived in the small room that ruled the office with his grouchy sneer. yes much sci-fi shinanigans were had with that zany bunch. in the opening credits mary throws her hat into the air therby signaling her demonic alien overlords to invade earth by taking over the airwaves. many hours were stolen from a unwitting or unsuspecting public by being brainwashed in to watching this show. and so it continues with a whole network devoted to the genre.

my god what will we do? hope for better writters i suppose. hehehe.

write on good man, write on.



I was going to post and tease you mercilessly for saying Utah deserved the National Championship over Oklahoma.

But considering how things went tonight…

…never mind.




Sure hope you drank that sweet/bitter concoction before you went sugar-free! And love the eyebrow thing you do when eating/drinking all this stuff. It’s like your very own built-in weird-o-meter, or something. smile SEE??! You’re doing it now as you read my post!!

I went carb-free for a few months a couple years back (as carb-free as possible – I don’t do sugar substitutes, and I can never pass up good chocolate grin ). Well, I don’t think I’ll ever do that again. I nearly killed every living soul I came in contact with, snapping at everyone like a pit bull on steroids. I also went into a deep depression, and got really suicidal (in thought, not in action – no worries, it’s nothing new, and I deal).

That is, until our annual company dinner. Over the course of a few hours, I drank a bottle of wine, and a couple other things. NEVER, ever been so drunk in my life! I even had a little gap in my memory…although Mr. Das gladly filled me in on the details. oops I’m usually a two-drink max person, so all this alcohol hit me like a freight train. I had a really good dinner that night, too – the best lamb, EVER, it just melted like butter in my mouth. There were lots of other goodies that the kitchen sent out to us, too. Everything was delicious, and I ate like a pig…or, like a drunk girl who hadn’t tasted a potato in about 4 months. razz

Well, I figured I’d pay for it in the morning…maybe even that night. But I didn’t – I never got sick, I slept like a baby…and I woke up feeling GREAT, with the most positive frame of mind I’ve had since I was like…4. Never felt so good before, or after, and I attribute it to totally overloading on carbs after denying myself for so long.

Ever since, I’ve really been scared to go low carb – it messed terrible with my depression. I don’t medicate for it because I’m so used to it, I don’t think I’d recognize – or even like – myself without it. It is what makes me ME, afterall. Anyway, I try to avoid things that make it worse, and the low carb thing really fired it up…even worse than dead Wraith or cancelled shows…so I’m not eager to go that route again.

So, I give you credit, Joe. If you can go two weeks without wanting to kill someone or something, then more power to ya! smile



Water? I might as well just start the Gateworld thread about Brad Wright’s 104: “Fire” then. Heh.

It’s great that there is such a connection between episode titles (when’s the last time Stargate did this? Maybe the “Serpent” eps in early SG1?); it seems to me that you guys are really taking care to put as much serialization as possible within the series, and that’s a big plus for me. Also, the Elements are awesome, because Avatar: The Last Airbender relied on them. You must watch that show, Joe; it’s so awesome, it will take your mind totally off of the suger cravings. I guarantee it.

Huh, that paragraph changed topic fairly quickly.

Anyways, this entry was just full of good news! Well, outside of the answer to my question. It’ll be tough to see these proven writers go, whoever they end up being; they did a great job with Stargate SG1/Atlantis.

But onto the good news: potential female writers and authors! WOOHOOO!! I think hiring female writers will be a good move; not that I think they’ll be better than you guys (I doubt creativity is that sexist), but it’ll be a “symbolic” thing for some of the fandom, I’d imagine; they can no longer refer to you guys as a boy’s club. Besides, if the female writer ends up sucking, it’ll shut ’em up. wink

The authors potentially pitching for the show is also great news; in my uninformed opinion, since they aren’t encumbered by budget, their imaginations are free to soar in all sorts of crazy places…which is exactly where SGU needs to go if it wants to live up to its “explore the Universe” premise! I can’t wait to see where these go.

Ok, questions: what’s happening with episode 9 of Universe? Any development on that yet? Have you guys gotten a writer for it yet?


My first post to you. I’m a blogger on Fox 26 Houston and am also on Fox 26 Houston 5:00-5:30 Thursday news segments of Your Family Matters, giving a perspective of what family life is like having a child with multiple disabilities with the big issues facing all of us. Have been lurking and reading and enjoying your blog for quite some time. Big fan of the franchise. People like me who have insulin-resistance issues just cannot process sugars, including fruit. It is miserable at first, but when your body starts feeling better and you have more energy, you understand that you are eating properly for your body type. Not sure if you’re just attempting this way of eating for health reasons or other, but it is very difficult at first to change. Also, once you do switch, if you do eat those food types, you will feel very differently. You are doing an awesome job, not only with the diet (LOL). Keep up the good work. You never know who you might inspire out here in lurker-world.


Good job on the sugar thing! And while I know you’re not a big fruit person in the first place, I can’t imagine life without fruit. What is it you are eating without fruit and bread and other such stuff? Chicken and peas? I had planned to start my new work out program tomorrow (not as a new years resolution but for my own reasons), but alas, weather (and apparently avalanches) will keep me tied up so that I will be on the road all day until I have to work. Guess it starts Saturday, eh?

Questions for Rob:

I’m sure every Vegas question possible has been asked (although, amazing job. Definitely one of my favorite episodes), and I don’t want to give you a hard time for Brain Storm (especially since I like McKay/Keller), so I’ll focus on some other things.

1. Brad touched on this a bit in his Q&A, but I’m wondering how you two met and how you came up for the idea of developing Stargate into a TV series.

2. You and Martin worked together to create a little known (adorable!) movie called The Impossible Elephant which has one of my favorite actors in it, Nicholas Lea. How did you get involved in that project? Did you ever consider Nick for a guest role in Stargate at any time?

3. What is your favorite episode: written, produced, etc? Is there a difference between your favorite one you wrote verses the one you maybe had the most fun doing? And I’m willing to hear this across SGA and SG1. Least favorites? Any particularly hard episodes to write/produce/etc?

4. How many actors were on the top of the list for Sheppard? While obviously JF *is* Sheppard, is he exactly what you envisoned before you cast him, or was Sheppard originally thought of as blond or southern…and so forth. Brad mentioned fighting to get Amanda Tapping cast as Carter. Were there any actors you had to fight for? For either show (or SGU).

5. And finally, how many more wonderful spin-offs do you have brewing in that great brain? Would you do Stargate (some form) forever if you could, or do you look forward to one day working on a big motion picture or another series of some sort?

Thanks for stopping by!!

for the love of Beckett
for the love of Beckett

The Atlantis marathon on SciFi has really sucked me in this week. (I know. My to-do list has gone out the window, too.) This morning they aired “Sunday.” And even though I know he comes back, when I saw Carson “disapparate” from the pier, I couldn’t help but…




You know, this has been like a week of mourning… and celebrating the high points, too. It helped to actually hear the musical score. Oh man, if I get any more emotional, I’m going to have to break out the brogue.

J-Joe…Do ya think if meebee any of the staff, cast, or crew have any final wairds of farewell for us, that they could shaire them here? Kind of an Atlantis farewell party on your blog? We know that quite a few read the blog right along with us every dee. We’d luff to hear from everyone who had the experience of creating that wairld.

Please, Sir, Cap’n Joe?


[b]Shawna and sorrykb[/b]

The, ah, earth moved for us too. I was at a story meeting in LA when everyone paused and looked around, one or two reached for the edges of their chairs. The meeting broke up rather quickly after that! LOL

And Joe…what’s not to love about MTM? (grin)


Such faces! You look like a little baby getting his first taste of peas! Have you ever eaten/drank anything that immediately came back up? I’m waiting for that video!



Thank you Trish and Patricia Lee!!! I’m glad I’ve not been totally forgotten…lol.

Psstttbb! To everyone else that didn’t remember me! *grins* (that’s supposed to be a raspberry)

(If you never met me…you are excluded from that…*wink*)



Wow, lots of earthquakes all around. I read an article on yahoo about the unusual amount of earthquakes surrounding Yosemite and the supervolcano there. Apparently, if it were to erupt like it did some 70 million years ago, it would spread ash over the entire North America continent and dramatically change the world environment permanently. They believe that the way the stratosphere is now was due to a volcanic eruption.

I read that there was an earthquake in Costa Rica recently as well.

I wish those near major fault lines are safe.


@ Joe ~ No bread carbs or fruit sugar either?? Egad! Don’t pass out from low blood-sugar on us! sad

@ Deni ~ hope you and your pup get well soon!

Now some comments/a q for Mr Cooper:

As a die-hard Daniel/Vala shipper, I want to say thanks very much for “Unending”! I even started a fanfic community that’s specifically for “tags” to the episode, there’s just so much ground there to explore! So thanks for that, all the “plot-bunnies”, as well!

Actually, thank you for “Avalon” 1 & 2, & “Origin”, too, as those episodes are what brought me into the SG fold! I had seen the movie and a little of the show before then, but Vala and her relationship with Daniel is what made me … well, let’s face it, obsessed with the franchise. smile

And thank you for the little McSheppy bones in “Vegas” (whether you intended it or not), as I have come to love McShep every bit as much as Daniel/Vala, if not more ….

So, anyway, my questions …. I see people have already covered my qs for “Vegas”, so I just have one, for “Undending”:

Regarding the scene where Vala is crying and Daniel takes her in his arms: what, in your mind, happened there?

Enzo Aquarius
Enzo Aquarius

Hey Joe!

Wow, talk about hardcore dieting, with even no fruit! You got some guts! Keep it up, and I’m sure you’ll see plenty of results in a week or so, you’re doing an amazing job!

Thanks for the weird food purchase of the day (always love them!) and thanks as always!

– Enzo Aquarius


Heya Joe,
You are BRAVE – not just a sip or two…but almost a guzzle of “strangeness.” Your expression – the eyes, mouth, shake the head were all priceless. wow.