Marty G. takes Manhattan, like the Muppets before him.
Marty G. takes Manhattan, like the Muppets before him.

Well, despite the excitement that comes with the launch of a new series, I have to admit that it’s a very different vibe this year, what with the loss of not one, not two, but three of our past writer’s room regulars.

Gone is Alan McCullough whose GQ good looks and team stories made him a fan favorite. Gone too is script coordinator and Sci Fi weekly blogger Alex Levine who now pursues his dream of being a television writer on an east coast production. Also gone is my culinary companion, funniest guy in the room, and the most prolific writer in Stargate Atlantis’s five-year history – Martin Gero, who now calls New York home. Marty G. is presently a writer/producer on “Bored to Death”, an HBO series starring Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson, and Olivia Thirlby, based on the works of American author Jonathan Ames (who is also a writer/producer on the show). It sounds like he’s doing fine – and eating even finer. In his last email, he mentioned he’d been to a restaurant called S’Mac that only serves Mac and Cheese. He included a photo of his dinner, a sectioned pan containing eight different flavors of the glorious comfort food: La Macha (manchego cheese with fresh fennel and onions), Parisienne (brie, roasted figs, shiitake mushrooms and fresh rosemary), Napoletana (mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, and fresh basil), All American (American and cheddar cheeses), Alpine (gruyere and bacon), Cajun (cheddar and Pepper Jack cheeses, andouille sausage, green pepper, onions, celery, garlic and, Cajun seasoning), 4 Cheese (cheddar, muenster, gruyere and pecorino), and Cheeseburger (cheddar and American cheese with seasoned ground beef). The only selections that didn’t make I were the Mediterranean, Masala, Buffalo Chicken, and Garden Lite(?).

Anyway, like I was saying – this season hasn’t been the same without them. They are all dearly missed. That said, I wish them nothing but the best with respect to their new projects – and, in Martin’s case, locating New York’s best restaurants for whenever I go visit him this Summer.

Well, looks like I’ve skidded to a stop on my short story. I hope to regain my footing sometime later this week after I’ve delivered the first draft of my SGU script.

For those of you asking – the remaining cast announcement HAVE to come this week. Otherwise, it looks like I’ll be playing the role of Camille Wray.

I will make a concerted effort to get around to answering your questions. Unless, of course, you’ve been trashing me on your live journal page – in which case, I won’t be making much of an effort at all.

Oh and hey – the other day, I joined editor extraordinaire Lou Anders for a podcast hosted by Shaun Farrell for Adventures in SciFi Publishing. We discuss film, television, literature, our little book of the month club, and some things Stargate. Check it out here:

Well, that’s it. Now go out and enjoy the paltry few hours left in your weekend.


62 thoughts on “February 15, 2009: Gone But Not Forgotten – Especially when I’m in New York and hankering for a good meal.

  1. For what it’s worth, I don’t have a livejournal.

    But if I did rest assured you would not be trashed but, rather, recycled.

    Producer/writers aren’t biodegradable, but they are reusable.

    Reduce, reuse, and recycle. That’s what I always say.

    I also always say, “I’ll give you a cookie if you give me a million dollars.” But the former always seems to be more popular and followed than latter. I dunno why.

    Anyway, chin up, chum! You sound a bit glum.

    I’m sorry to hear about the writing gang being split up. I hope all is working well with the new writers or the writers that are still there.


  2. “For those of you asking – the remaining cast announcement HAVE to come this week. Otherwise, it looks like I’ll be playing the role of Camille Wray.”

    Don’t toy with me Joe, because you playing Wray might just be one of the best ideas ever, just think of the possibilities….I mean really think of a few because i’m drawing a complete blank.

  3. Well, I have never ‘trashed’ you. I’ve gotten frustrated and annoyed with you, but hey, that’s life.

    So to annoy you now, LOL, any SGA news?

  4. Love the photo! We’ll miss all three of them, but wish them well in new ventures.

    We’re busy preparing for Emma’s 3rd birthday party (Saturday), but it’s difficult: her leukemia is back. She’s feeling fine and having fun, but the doctors say 6 months. All we can do is have lots of fun with her and pray for a miracle. Her parents took her to a water park last weekend. It was her first time in the water, and she loved it! Her grandparents are taking her to Disney Playhouse Live next weekend, and then we two Great-Aunties are taking her and her mom to see the PBR bullriding later this month (it’s a girl thing). They are working on planning a trip to Lexington, Kentucky later this spring, since she’s horse-crazy, to watch the racehorses work out.

  5. S’MAC!!!!! I go to school a couple blocks from there at Friends Seminary, my friends and I go there for lunch all the time ! Good Eats!!!! You should definitely grab a quick lunch there when you visit Marty!

  6. Somehow New York seems to be a perfect fit for Mr. Gero. As much as I’ll miss his contributions to the Stargate franchise, it’s nice to know that he and Mr. McCullough are out there raising the quality of other media offerings.
    And you would so make a perfect Camille Wray, whoever the character is….

  7. Goodness, Mr. G looks quite stylin’. Also like he might break into a little song and dance at any moment. Hey, hey, I’ve got it! Videotape a little musical number for us when you visit NY this summer? Please? 😀

    Stargate-themed song optional, of course.

  8. If I check out that podcast at work I’m so fired.

    I love the photo of Marty G!

  9. Ok i am new and i don’t understand what your short story is. Please explain.

    Thanks a lot.
    Major D. Davis

  10. Did you catch the first episode of Joss Whedon’s new show, Dollhouse? I have to say, I was a bit disappointed. Oh, it’s an interesting enough show, but there’s none of the humor and wit that I’ve come to associate with his brainchildren. It felt like a fairly standard semi-sci-fi drama that any number of other people could have written.

  11. Hey Joe,

    I had no idea Alan and Marty were going to be gone from SGU. I am actually very upset at this. I mean have they seen how much the show has succeeded? It is almost like SGA is the middle child and when it was old enough it got kicked out and told to get a job and find a place to live. Ouch. Well give them my best. I really enjoyed their eps they have written. Some of the best if you ask me.



  12. Thanks for that link Joe, an interesting discussion and I’m glad that I now know about AISFP – I’ll definitely be listening in regularly.

    I’m excited by what you said in the interview about focusing on characters more in Stargate Universe All my favourite Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis episodes are character-driven so I’m looking forward to seeing what Universe is like.

    Was it a conscious production decision to have Universe as a more character-focused series, or has it just happened organically?

    Thanks for the writers update, glad to hear everyone is doing well. I’ll have to remember to start watching “Bored to Death” when it gets to Australia (as far as I know it’s yet to come).


  13. Hey Joe,

    Listened to the interview. If there’s something I’ve learnt in my short time here (well “short” relative to the age of the Universe) and the exposure to authors of a genre I hadn’t previously sought out to read, is that you’re all a pretty logical, well balanced bunch… and I like it.

    I read John Scalzi’s blog as well (and I’m sure he’s glad I don’t comment on there like I do here) and you both seem to have a healthy perspective on life which is what makes it addictive reading.

    I’m struggling with articulation today, however, what I’m trying to say is, “Thanks!”

  14. What is a live journal? I’ve had my super-cool home laptop computer for just under a year now. Computer whiz friends have been giving me a hard time about not knowing how to do anything on my computer and how I am wasting it. But I just love to go out and read websites and surf around for informaton. I have read Joe’s blog since the beginning. I think I will go back and read it all again starting from 2006 (back when you would only have maybe 3 comments). Sorta like the good ole days of SGA when Joe use to say “guess who dropped by my office today …?”, and it was a SGA cast member.

    I think I will check out SGU solely because I like you Joe. I like your blog too. I think you take a lot of heat for the franchise because you are so open and available to the fans. I hope they are paying you a public relations bonus, because you are the best thing they have and you deserve one.

    Joe, does Marty G seem happy in his new job and city? Can’t really tell if he is from that picture. (Cute picture, btw)

    Joe you are a Producer/Writer. Are you a Producer first, Writer second, or vise versa? And which would you rather be?

    Joe I always thought a Producer put up the money to make the show or movie, then they would get it back when it was sold to a studio like MGM. What exactly does a Producer do?

    Sunday night means back to work tomorrow. All I do these days is terminate people due to company layoffs. It gets depressing when I see all these names coming across my desk of employees who have been there many many years. Lots of friends and really good people. Sometimes when I know a little about their personal lives, it is so sad because I know being laid off will be devastating to them and their families. That is the last thing they needed to happen. In the news they are just numbers. In reality they are individuals – each with their own personal story. I hope this economy turns around soon.

  15. Hello Joe, Good to see you still hold an interest in foods. Appreciate the update on the whereabouts of those nice fellows., I imagine you do miss them. I think Mr.G. looks rather dapper , taking Park Av/NY by storm, how cool. is that a muppet in his lapel pocket? It is always a pleasure for me to read your blog, do I need to get a life or what,,lol. but thanks for pausing to write it.. Am listening to the podcast you posted, very well spoke. I do not have a live journal page, not sure I know what that is, Just let me know who is talking trash 😡 and we will take care of it for you! and maybe Baron can help me, whatever it takes. Hope the day gets better! 😀

  16. Wow, I didn’t know the SGA team had broken up so much. I guess I assumed they had all translated over to SGU. Darn! Well, I’m sure it will be great with their awesomeness spread around.

  17. Martin looks good all jazzed out I see he is standing on Park Avenue does he live there??? New York is very fast paced I was born and raised there lived there for 33 years. there is no where to park a vehical…they tow you away in a min. He will probably have to go Mass Transit (Bus,Subway,ferry,etc.) Is this his first experience in the big Apple??? Gero is tough he should be alright.

  18. ps – your interview with Lou Anders on AISFP was great! Thanks for the link – I was excited to see interviews with Robert J. Sawyer there too. Any chance of seeing one of his book in the BOTM club?

  19. Re: Dollhouse, I think I read in TV Guide where Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica) was to be in it.

    Marty G sure does look dapper – a NY dandy – to be interpreted in the nicest way. Glad to hear he will be your restaurant guide when you visit.

    Anne Teldy – yoo hoo, wave….feel better. The bunch is still the bunch! Seems like everyone is having a bit of an unbalanced twirlly do thanks to the craziness of the US and world economies.

    Thanks to Joe for his blog and the blog community – gives a little sense of balance.

  20. And doesn’t Mr. Gero look cosmopolitan in his picture. I’ll miss his presence in Vancouver, not only for his wonderful scripts, but as one of the convention set tour guides. He was always a hoot.

  21. Hey Joe,

    Meant to stop by yesterday…but I’m sick with this crappy cold so I’m reading both blogs today.

    I’m glad you survived Valentine’s Day. We decided not to celebrate it as I feel so awful and it was a really hectic week with my husband working crazy long hours. When I’m feeling better we’ll have a nice dinner out.

    I hope Marty is happy in his new diggs and with his new job/co-workers. (not that it could ever be as great as with the Stargate peeps) It’s just awful when you don’t enjoy the people around you. Same with Alex and Alan…good luck to all three of them. I hope they are all happy, healthy and successful.

    @Crazymom1..I’m so sorry Emma is sick again. We miss you at dGeek(David Hewlett’s site)…if you get a chance stop by and say hi! *hugs*

    Most Contagiously,
    aka Kimber
    aka Kdvb1

  22. Dear joe,

    1.) Can we expect more brillant space ship battles for the upcoming Stargate Atlantis movie?
    2.) Will We get to see you making a Cameo appearance in the movie?
    3.) Will the Wraith still exist beyond project twilight?
    4.) What did John Sheppard mean when he told Todd the Wraith in the Enemy at the gates: “let’s make sure it won’t happen again…”

    Thanks buddy and greatings from soon to be snowy Montreal

  23. crazymom1 – So sorry about Emma. I think of that picture you post on your blog of her dancing it always makes me smile. Thoughts are heading her way.

    For the Love of Beckett – Thank you also for the update on Anne Teldy.

  24. Hey Joe!

    Great to hear about Marty G.! I live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Any chance you think he may be willing to have a cup of coffee, go to a civilized dinner on an evening of his choice? Any way to contact him? Tell him a student of the classical arts would love to meet him, and fully understand the meaning of a busy schedule!

    -Josh K.-

  25. Do we wait until Feb. 23 to post questions for Infoquake or is that the deadline?

  26. Positively dapper pic. I just had some mac and cheese myself. Nothing fancy but hot sauce on it.

    I lied, I only had a sandwich. But if I had mac and cheese, you can bet I’d hot sauce that right.

  27. No trash talk here!!

    Martin looks very…Mr Smith Goes To Washington. 😀 And wow, a whole restaurant dedicated to mac n’ cheese? Note to self: Go there!! I think that’s what heaven is like…

    It’s sad to see much of the staple crew gone…but I look forward to the new and remaining talent, too. Can’t wait to hear about the casting!

  28. Weekend? You’re joking. When you were posting the above, it was already Monday in Europe.

    All the best to Alex, Alan and Martin – I hope they are happy in their new jobs.
    And let me know if you need a new script coordinator!
    Yes, I know there’s already someone else, plus a mile of a queue in front of me. But still, worth a try…

  29. I would never trash you on my LJ. Never.

    Thanks for the update on Marty G, Alan and Alex. It’s great to see them successful after SGA. Why on earth would there be a restaurant that only had Mac and Cheese?

    Yeah, I think we’ll wait to hear who is playing Camille Wray. I’m not sure you’d be right for the part.

  30. Marty G. takes Manhattan, like the Muppets before him. Following in the footsteps of the pioneers of television.

    Sorry to hear that Alan, Alex and Marty have moved on, but I wish them all the best with whatever they do/are doing next.

    People trashing you on LJ? Who? Where? Let me at the them!

    crazymom1 I’m so sorry about Emma. Sending prayers and thoughts her way.

  31. Coucou Jospeph.
    Vous allez bien?

    J’spere quze vous allez bientot nous mobtrez de belle photo du tournage de sgu =)

    Rooh oui ils vont me manquer à moi aussi, surtout Martin qui me faiser trés rire =r

    Aller gros bisou. A bientot

  32. Hmmm, the only live journal I have going anymore is the recipe blog. Last entry, Japanese Beef Curry. *shrug* I’ll check & see if I slipped in a side-order of Mallozzi bashing, but I don’t think I have the recipe for that.

    By the time I read this, my weekend was over.


  33. I miss Alan… *sniffle* But, of course, with no more Wraith to write about, I guess it really doesn’t matter. Any news as to what he’s up to?


  34. I wish Marty G. all the best in NYC! It must be hard to lose those friends you do hold dear to your heart but if you love someone you must set them free. Good luck to Mr. Levine too. But I think you said this before some new freshness to the new SGU will be good. I hope so and can’t wait for it to air.

  35. Trash you on your livejournal pages? No no, we do that here *g*

    Did you take that picture? I wonder how many of the passers by thought you were a couple 😀

  36. Joe, did you catch the first episode of “The Amazing Race”? Do you have any favorites? I think the pair that won (I’m trying to not give it away in case some haven’t watched it yet) really did a good job. I still don’t understand the whole cheese thing. How were those boards supposed to work? Stay sane or as sane as possible. Pam

  37. Who’s been trashing you on LiveJournal? Do you want your minions to swarm this site and take over the comment threads? (I jest, of course!) 😉

    Hmm…. Camille Wray (and all the other girls!) could be played by *us* should you still not have anybody by next week… 😉

    In all seriousness, though: do the final few actresses who you are considering for the roles know it? They’re gonna hafta drop everything and get to Vancouver pretty quickly!

    Good to hear Marty G is doing awesome stuff in NYC. I was kind of hoping he would be working on a sequel to YPF or another feature film… I don’t subscribe to HBO, so I guess I’ll hafta wait for “Bored to Death” to come out on DVD!

  38. So you have trained Martin on how to take pictures of his food. NICE! You must be so proud.

  39. Hi again Mr M!

    Wow! Check out Marty G.! On the corner of Park Avenue, in his tailored finery, brolly in hand. For some reason, the song “Englishman in New York” came in to my head, sung by Sting. (No offence to Toronto or indeed Canada intended).
    Am very sad that Marty G. is gone all East Coast on us, but am delighted he has a landed what sounds like a great gig! I assume that Marty G. will probably be tapped to consult on the SGA movie? or even the SG1 movie?

    RE: Mr McCullough……sadness has fallen….the two reasons my wife would (very occasionally) glance at SGA (box set) were : a certain lead actor with an Irish American name….and the off chance of a “behind the scenes” chat with Alan. I shall have to break the news gently…

    Alex Levine too? what gives people!! Am saddened by that. but also assume that other projects are in the works!

    Best to all


    PS: Remind me when National Producer’s Day is again!!!!

  40. @Crazymom1 – hugs,prayers and positive thoughts to your family.

    Marty G looks very dapper in his best bib and tucker. I went to New York once, feels like a million years ago now though, I think it was in black and white!

    Number 1 son’s broken leg now has an infection so he still can’t have a full cast on it yet and he’s now on antirobotics. Oh Joy!

  41. Best of luck to Alan McCullough and Alex Levine as well as Martin G. I’ll start looking for their names in production info as well as all the folks from Buffy/Angel/Firefly. It will be a sign that the show is worth a look in.

  42. Wow, I might have to watch SGU if you play Wray! That would be awesome!
    Good luck to your fellow writers in their new ventures, hope you keep in touch and update us with news of their careers.

  43. Hey Joe,

    Couple of questions, I think I asked some of them before but that’s all good.

    1) Who’s idea was wormhole drive?
    2) Where was the Odyssey?
    3) I’m guessing you guys get teh Odyssey out of the eps because you didn’t want to put a ZPM powered ship against a ZPM powered ship, I’m guessing in that case the Odyssey probably would have beaten the hive. (Maybe not a question)
    4) Why do 90% of space battles always include the line “Our shields are down, we cannot take another hit!!”?
    5) Atlantis’s shields have always been written that as long as there is power the shields are at 100% strength, yet in EaTG, they were talking about things like “Shields down to 70%?

    I know I’m too much of a techie!!

    Thanks for taking the time to read my questions!!

  44. Hahahahahahaha… know I went off looking for the LiveJournal where you got trashed. Think I found it. **smirk**

    Best wishes to Alan, Alex and Marty. I know they’ll do well.

    Cute photo of Marty. Is he wearing someone else’s shirt?

    Cheers, Chev

  45. Heya Joe,

    Long time, no speak.

    Can’t help but get the impression you’re feeling a little despondant right now. Chin up, eh? There’s always gotta be something, somewhere to smile about.

    @crazymom: Thoughts and prayers are with you and Emma.

    @Das and Chev: A little late, I know.. but thanks for the well wishes. They were much needed and appreciated.

  46. East Coast fans of your work get to meet you. Flying to Vancouver was just to much money for last years dinner at Fuel. How about a New York City locale?

    able to do that?

  47. I just watched window of opportunity an loved it. I even saw your name on the back of the Latin book! Just wondering if the episode was written mostly by you or Paul.
    Major D. Davis

  48. @ crazymom1 – {{{Hugs}}} to you, and little Emma, and all your family. Thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    @ Perragrin – Heya! Riding high from the Wales victory, eh? And I agree…Joe does sound a bit down. We should do something to cheer him up…like…oh, I dunno…pester him about Shep and Todd?? 😉

    @ Joe – I’m thinking that all your creativity is being put into this blog, and you have nothing left over for your story. Perhaps you should lock yourself away in a cabin for a week – no internet – no phone – and see what happens. We can survive without the blog for a week if that’s what it takes to get your creative juices flowing again.

    But ONLY a week, k?



  49. @ Perragrin – I keep meaning to ask – do you have a favorite ref? Mine is Chris White.


  50. Trashing on LJ? Huh, I can see it since it’s all about fannish activities over there.

    And hey, S’Mac! Love that place! And think of it makes me missing living in NYC… 🙁 But the picture of Marty in the rain with an umbrella doesn’t. Walking in the rain sucked and I for one, like driving a lot more.

  51. Hey Joe,

    I is back. After boycotting for so long, I found that I missed your blog. So, I is back. I had no idea that martin would not be working on SGU! 🙁 He was one of the best!

  52. I think with my personal economic situation, Mac and Cheese done different ways may not seem so distant anymore – thanks for the ideas.

  53. Hi Joe!

    Sad to see such good guys go, but I wish them continued success in their future projects!

    I’d never bash you in my livejournal cuz I don’t have one.

    Take care!


    P.S. Just picked up Infoquake and hope to have comments/questions next week!

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