Well, I received some good news and some bad news today. The good news is the anthology I’m writing that short story for may have found a new home. The bad news is that means I’m going to have to apply myself and finish the damn thing. This afternoon, Carl asked me how many pages I had. I told him 25. “Well, that should be enough,”was his response. I explained that, alas, I couldn’t just end the story there. I actually needed to write the climax and the conclusion. I figure if I can get out of the scene I’m working on and complete the next one, the rest will practically write itself. It’ll be smooooth sailing!
It looks like Monday I’ll finally get notes on my first draft of the mid-season two-parter. Even though everybody seemed to like it the first time they read it, I’m concerned because everyone is RE-reading it this weekend to refresh themselves. What if they’re not in as good a mood or quite as drunk as the last time they read it? I could be in trouble.

Also on Monday, we’ll be discussing Paul’s rewrite of Justice. It’s a very strong script and, going by the consensus preliminary response, he should have an easy time implementing any notes.

Carl, meanwhile, is deep into Life – writing, thinking, rolling his eyes, pacing in frustration, and, occasionally crying. Given my experience, this indicates the script is coming along swimmingly.

Rob put out his pass on Earth and it’s terrific. The Chloe scene merits special mention – but nothing beyond the fact that it merits special mention because of the secrecy surrounding anything to do with the show. I was going to post (what I assumed to be a fairly innocent and non-spoilery) a pic of the Icarus base logo only to have headquarters put the kibosh on it. I’m thinking in about two weeks, however, I should have the all-clear to finally upload some photos of actor David Blue’s footwear.

Brad’s script, Fire, is also out and it is pure BW: action, humor, and enough angst to trigger an anxiety attack in even the most composed of viewers. The scene about halfway through with the characters when the thing happens (sorry, I can’t be anymore specific) is a real nailbiter!

I wasn’t sure if this next bit was too spoilery so, just in case, I sent it to headquarters and they helpfully X’d out the portions they thought gave too much away. Anyway…

I swung by Stage 4 today where they were shooting the XXX and XXX scenes. On the way in, I ran into XXX and told her that we loved the scene in which she XXX XXX after XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX. I said “You may get tired of hearing it, but XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX.” She laughed and told me that XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX. I headed inside and saw that they were setting up for the next shot, the XXX XXX scene. XXX was on his way out and noticed that I XXX XXX XXX. He said “XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX.” I didn’t hear him and asked him to repeat himself. Again, he said “XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX.” I laughed and headed inside, passing through the XXX set where I met XXX and we talked about her XXX. I peeked my head into the XXX set. Once XXX XXX XXX XXX it’s going to look awesome! So I headed outside where I spotted XXX. I XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX elastic band. She XXX XXX XXX parrot XXX XXX XXX haggis XXX. At which point XXX approached and told us that XXX XXX. XXX XXX XXX XXX meerkat XXXX XXX XXX. Child-sized furniture makes XXX XXX XXX melons XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX English to Esperanza online translator! The news that XXX XXX XXX XXX jungle soil XXX XXX XXX tray of biscuits shaped like butterflies XXX XXX. XXX XXX lambada XXX XXX featherless owls XXX. Even if XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX the ship would XXX XXX XXX undolphinlike XXX XXX XXX XXX yelling at the top of his lungs waving his XXX about the XXX XXX XXX thirty-six Latvian step dancers XXX XXX.

But keep it under your hats, please.

Reminder: Last day to post questions for actor Martin “Major Marks” Christopher!

Today’s mailbag:

Ponytail writes: “Joe, besides you and Jason breaking down ‘Broken Ties’, (my favorite episode of seaon 5), are any of the other actors helping out with commentary on the season 5 DVD set?”

Answer: Not to the best of my knowledge.

Sherwood Forest Maiden writes: “Hi Joe, maybe you hve answered this question before, and if so, my humblest of most humble apologies, but why does the network need to see a copy of the script before filming starts??”

Answer: Well, given that they do pay a licensing fee for the show, I’m sure they would want some input into what goes on their channel. By reading scripts and providing notes, they can flag any problem they have early in the process so that they don’t end up with a scene where, say, the show’s alien resident character ends up attending a reading of The Vagina Monologues.

AussieSGFAn writes: “So you all come up with the scenarios for each episode. Are some teases easier to come up with than others? And, how do you remember all the links in the plots? Like, who has died, this happened in this episode, that guys been promoted,etc. Do you rewatch episodes or rely on each other to remember, reread scripts and notes….?”

Answer: Some teases are easier to come up with others. It really depends on the story. The best ones are the ones like Tabula Rasa which leave the audience pondering (the WTF? tease) or surprised (The Holy Shit! tease). As for coming up with the links and plots – between the bunch of us, we’ve seen every episode of the franchise, often more than twice. And, if there is ever an outstanding questions, we have a DVD library and script archive we can always go to.

Shawna writes: “In general, and considering both printed work and the screen, do you think that the story that’s produced is better when it’s by mainly one person (like with a novel), or by a group of people working together (like with TV)?”

Answer: Apples and oranges. Co-written novels are a rarity whereas most scripts (regardless of the fact that a single individual may assume the writing duties) is a group effort.

Rose writes: “Regarding your answer about the writing process, did that refer to SG Universe or to all Stargate series? If it’s the latter, did Brad Wright and Mr. Cooper have that level of input during each of Atlantis’ five seasons?”

Answer: The writing process I outlined referred to all three shows: SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe. Brad and Robert did not take part in much of the day to day spinning and story breaking during Atlantis’s fourth and fifth season but, when they had the time, they did provide script notes.

Duneknight writes: “Joe, did you see watchmen yet? […] will there be alien enemies who pretend to be Gods in stargate universe?”

Answer: Nope and nope.

Trish writes: “Is Lulu any better or is it too soon to tell?”

Answer: She doesn’t seem to be enjoying the new food. Still, on the upside, her ears and paws don’t seem quite so itchy. On the downside, the herring and sweet potato kibble makes her very gassy. But I think that’s fairly common in French bulldogs.

Oops, spoke to soon. She just hopped off my lap and vomited up her entire dinner.

Squall78 writes: “ Do you know if that outtake with Connor Trinneer knocking off Sheppard’s/Joe F’s stunt person in “The Prodigal” and he says “I win” will be shown on the DVD?”

Answer: I believe that was during a rehearsal so the cameras weren’t rolling. Sorry.

For the love of Beckett writes: “ Thinking about this makes me want to read your short story sooner. Will you show it to Paul when you’ve finished the rough draft?”

Answer: My friend Kellie will be reading it first. If she says it’s okay to proceed, I proceed. If she tells me to bury it, I’m burying it.

Sulien writes: “I understand that having a TV series plotted out with full back story by one or two people is by far the exception rather than the rule, but writing by committee makes for inconsistent characterization and lack of continuity on too many occasions.”

Answer: Actually, you’ve got it backwards. Having everyone onboard at every stage of each scripts development ensures all of the writers are on the same page. Having each writer go off and do their own thing results in inconsistencies.

Ytimyona writes: “ …Brad, Rob, and Paul have done massive unaccredited rewrites in the past, fixing problem scripts…
Have you done this as well, Joe, or is that more Paul’s department?”

Answer: Paul handles the rewrites.

Airelle writes: “Is the food still good at the studio?”

Answer: Yes, especially the desserts!

Airelle also writes: “p.s. Forgot wanted to ask, If I read The Beyond,Jeffery Ford, should I read the 1st 2 books that say they come b4 it to make sense?”

Answer: I would start with the first book, The Physiognomy.

Alfredo De La Fe writes: “Why is it that most of the members of SG1 and those on the Atlantis team have rarely been promoted? I would imagine that saving the planet every once in a while would earn someone a promotion (and thus an increase in pay) I know that the US Military has very high standards, but…”

Answer: If our heroes were to be promoted every time they saved the planet, they’d have all been made General by the end of season two.

Propofol writes: “Just in case you didn’t get my previously submitted comment, I was wondering why the price increase on the Season 5 Atlantis DVD set?”

Answer: You’re asking the wrong guy. No idea.

LUIS writes: “Joe you a baseball fan???”

Answer: Nope.

duneknight writes: “Joe, this question has always been on my mind but i guess i forgot to ask. Why San Francisco?”

Answer: Check out Paul Mullie’s Q&A. Initially, we were thinking New York…

My Name Is Scott writes: “That brings me to another question… why go back in time to fix anything, since the act of going back in time creates a diverging timeline, which does nothing to save your original timeline?”

Answer: Ah, I see your problem. You’re applying logic to the time travel concept. I believe I dedicated a past entry to a discussion on time travel stories – the different types of stories, the various versions we’ve done, and how each concept is, at its heart, flawed.

Luvnjack writes: “A group of artists on GW dedicated their art challenge to TPTB of Stargate this week!”

Answer: Love it. The Carl Binder banner is my new desktop wallpaper.

Sulien writes: “Speaking the Dresden Files, are you ever going to give them a try, Joe?”

Answer: Eventually, sure.

AnneTeldy writes: “1. In “Runner”, Ronon speaks of accidentally coming upon a world with a village near the gate and staying the night. This indicates he wasn’t just visiting worlds he knew before he was a Runner, but that Ronon was dialing random address. This made my niece wonder aloud why the people in Pegasus don’t accidentally connect to a Space Gates when random dialing from a world.”

Answer: In Ronon’s case, he was no doubt dialing an address that had been given to him. In the case of Atlantis (just like SG-1 before it) every off-world jaunt is preceded by a MALP that checks out the new address.

AnneTeldy also writes: “ 2. When there are two gates on a planet — as when Russia had their own gate program running — how does the address system work? It should be the same six symbols for both gates, so how come the Russians never accidentally showed up at SGC? And when the Replicators set the gate-satellite over Lantea why did it activate instead of the Atlantis gate?”

Answer: When two gates are in close proximity, one (known as the dominant gate) will take precedence over the other.

AnneTeldy also writes: “3. What did you think of Vurt? It was far, far from my favorite book when I read it years and years ago.”

Answer: I liked it.

Belouchi writes: “I was wondering if prior to releasing project twilight to the general public, did you guys consider making like a set of very short web episodes sort of what Battlestar galactica did in between seasons to keep fans on their toes and drooling for more?”

Answer: Nope. Sorry to say that it wouldn’t make much financial sense.



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so that they don’t end up with a scene where, say, the show’s alien resident character ends up attending a reading of The Vagina Monologues.

Part of me still can’t believe you guys went there. I think that’s a prime example of why I love these shows so much.

Now that I think of it, it seems as if, especially in the later seasons, SG-1 went to a lot more random/weird/funny places than did Atlantis. Will Universe have occasional moments of random craziness like that?

My Name Is Scott
My Name Is Scott

Hah, thanks for the reply. I’ll do a little more digging to try and find that post.

How about another one? grin

Will the Atlantis movie take place during it’s time of release, or will it take place prior to SGU? Star Trek always timed things very nicely, so that a movie that was released between two episodes actually took place between those two episodes chronologically. Will we have to watch the SGA or SG1 movie are think in our minds, “Okay, this is one year ago, so A and B haven’t happened yet…” or can we watch it comfortably in the “present:?

My Name Is Scott
My Name Is Scott

aiii, let me edit the end of my last paragraph:

Will we have to watch the SGA and SG1 movies and think in our minds, “Okay, this is one year ago, so A and B haven’t happened yet…” or can we watch it comfortably in the “present?”

I need to read what i type back before I hit “submit”!


Not sure if it has be mentioned, but I am currently watching Divide and Conquer and prop #3 is indeed from this episode. At about the 6 minute mark you can see the Tok’ra bring the device to Earth. It is upside down in Joe’s picture but you can clearly see it is part of the machine. Also, at 8min 25secs you can see it as a separater piece. There are also a few other instances where you can see it.

On a completly other topic, Joe, I’ve been wondering, what are the differences between all the levels of producers (ie. supervising, co, etc) (besides pay)?


that was too funny when I watched it…. “so that they don’t end up with a scene where, say, the show’s alien resident character ends up attending a reading of The Vagina Monologues”. ha!!


I understand security is on the way to haul you away. The number of lap dancers was a major spoiler! I hope this doesn’t delay the posting of pictures of SGU past December of 2012. I am so looking forward to seeing them before the end of the world.
Good news and great news on the story. Just have the studio medics monitor your blood pressure as the deadline approaches. Lulu needs someone to clean up after her after all. I do hope she adjusts to the diet though, for the sake of your wardrobe, if not for the great videos we get when she’s feeling in form.
How are the experiments in home cooking going? I’m making a birthday resolution to cook as much fresh food as possible, and have begun my research into such things as home made salad dressings. It must be some subliminal message in the Gordon Ramsey shows, which BBC America obligingly makes available a couple of times a day. I’m even becoming resigned to increasing my vegitable intake…


I noticed the question about the Dresden Files and I feel I need to recommend it. It’s a great show.

I hope you can figure out Lulu’s diet! The poor baby…Keep getting suggestions from people and try different foods. Hopefully you’ll find something that agrees with her and that she likes!


I’m glad your short story is going to find a home and publisher! Although it would have been kind of fun to read it here on the installment plan… Please keep us posted about developments, like the title (once there is one) so we can look for it.

Sorry to hear about Lulu’s continuing tummy troubles. I hope you find something that she likes and can tolerate.

Wish me luck: tomorrow I’m helping my mother move out of the house I grew up in, where she has lived for 50+ years (and near as I can tell has not thrown out ANYTHING in that entire time)!

Oh, and thanks to Nancy Kress for coming by and answering questions. Here comments on her upcoming book sound very interesting. Yet another title to add to my reading list!


Hiya, Joe…

Wish ya the best on finishing the short story. I know you can do it!

I read a short story – or something – once back in high school. It was required reading from a school anthology book. The story has stuck with me to this day, and it’s what made me fall in love with ships and Age of Sail stories, and a specific kind of character. Problem is, I read it back around 1977, and I can’t remember the title, or the author (it may have been a short story, or an excerpt).

Anyway, the story was about a sailor wrongly accused of some misdeed, and as punishment he was tied to the bowsprit, and left to rot. It was about his ordeal there, his suffering, and his eventual escape. Best whumpage story I ever read, and I have looked all over for it, but it’s just vanished into thin air. I thought the name of it was ‘The Bowsprit’, but nothing ever shows up under that title when I google. Even after all these years, I still think about it often…

The reason I bring it up is because – despite my not remembering the title or who wrote it – that story had a real impact on me. It’s the story that made me love introspective, tormented or conflicted ‘Man-alone’ characters – Eastwood’s Man-with-no-name, Mad Max, Hornblower, Wolverine, and now Elric. Heck, I suppose Todd may even into that category. So, finish your story, get it published – you just never know who it will touch, and how long your words will linger with a person.



I asked: “…besides you and Jason…any other actors helping out with commentary on the season 5 DVD set?”

Joe answered, “Not to the best of my knowledge.”

That is sad. And disappointing. Considering the DVD boxed sets are produced for the fans, I would expect the actors to respond accordingly. I am patiently waiting the opportunity to spend my hard earned, recession/depression money on this final 5th season. I will wait to see the DVDs before any further comments. But let me tell you, if XXX or XXX or XXX or even XXX does not XXX with XXX XXX XXX, I will be extremely XXXed! And come about July, my XXX will surely XXX and everyone will XXX because XXX and XXX should not XXX and XXX that XXX! Stay tuned…….

Thanks Joe! I can now “let it fly” and get away with it!

Poor Lulu. She probable threw up because you told everyone she is very gassy. Hey, talk about Bubba or Maximus that way, but don’t tattle tell on little girls. We do not want that kinda stuff broadcast. You are lucky she jumped out of your lap first. I hope that little sugar lips Lulu gets better.


All those XXX’s – we didn’t realise you were shooting porn. wink


the show’s alien resident character ends up attending a reading of The Vagina Monologues
Can I just say that that was one of the most spitacular scenes in the history of EVER??? I was eating while I was watching “Family Ties” and it was very difficult to keep my food in my mouth wink

Thanks for the laughs… as per usual, while reading your blog I think you ought to be writing for a comedy, not a scifi show!

Oh, pretty please can we see David Blue’s shoes? I hear they are quite awesome for footwear!!!


The X’s = porn??!! Yikkes!!!!!!!


Huh…this is very odd. I just decided to again ‘google’ that bowsprit story, and I came up with one very similar written by J. E. Fender, called On the Spur of Speed which sounds VERY much like the story I read back in 1977, but this one seems to have been published in 2005. I am tempted to buy it, just to see if this is similar to the story I read in high school. It reads very much like it…




Question for Martin Christopher,

1. Do you ever get any kid n’ play fan mail on accident?

2. Which flight suit was your favorite and least favorite to wear?

3. Is your seat more comfortable that the Captain’s Chair?

4. What was your favorite episode to film?

Thanks for playing with the ‘gate fans!


Ha xxxxx Ha
Well that said you should think about xxx and going to xxx xxx xxx xxx morning.
It is said that xxx xxx on the xxx xxx monkeys!!
well if you into xx xxx xx xxx tall xxx xxx xxx I can’t blame you really!
so when the chocolates are ready then we should go xx xxx xxx xxx with xx xxx hehe!! You’ll see what I mean.
By the way Joe, can you tell me, in SG universe are we going to see anything related, from the previous two franchises?
Such as replicators,wraith or the ori, etc?
Surely there would have to be the same “species” in the universe, so to speak, that have evolved differently?
As I am writing this, I am thinking that it could apply to nearly every living creature known to man.
Will we see any more “advanced humans” in the series?
What can you tell us?
xxxxx Cheers Mate!!!


Joe, please tell the PTB that Porn, Meercats and Latvian step dancers don’t mix too well, especially when mixed with Gate Travel. shock

…unless it’s the self-inflicted alcohol poisoning scene, then everything works quite well… twisted


Talking about self-inflicted alcohol poisoning scenes, what happened to the weird food choice of the day (liquid edition)? mrgreen


Joe, thanks for returning to the non sequitor regarding haggis. It was a peach, by far.


Questions for Martin Christopher:

1. Did you always plan to play your character as somebody who had to take orders from a guy who had watched Star Trek too much?

Either way, it translated beautiufully.

2. You played a guy shirked around due to ships blowing up and all that jazz. Did you ever consider how the Major would not have anybody close for comisserating?


Hello sir,

What episode number is “Life”, written by Carl Binder?

Sincerely and many thanks in advance,



If a MALP is sent through every time to check an adress, then they must lose quite a few MALPs to space gates. How do they get them back when they’re just floating through space?



Poor Lulu. I empathize with her, and you, since my cat has similar stomach problems (he’s part Siamese and the vets always tell me it’s a problem inherent in the breed). I can’t recommend the Spot Bot and other mini carpet scrubber/upholstery cleaners enough.

As for the upcoming footwear photos, I’m sure the fans who enjoy costuming would enjoy the closeup shots so that they can match the footwear for their own costumes. You do realize that people will be disappointed if you don’t come through on these, right?


@ Anne Teldy Okey doke, the first two omnibus editions of The Dresden Files (which contain the first 5 books) are headed your way (I cheated and ordered them from SFBC). They are easy to fall right into and work really well as a distraction from pain, at least for me. I hope you enjoy them, but don’t be too angry with me if you find yourself addicted to the series. I read the recently posted sample chapters of book 11 on Jim Butcher’s site and now I feel like a junkie jonesing for their next fix, but the book isn’t going to be released until April 7th. :-p


@ Anne Teldy Oops! I for got to ask, please let me know if they don’t get there within about 10-15 working days so I can ride herd on SFBC if necessary.