Yesterday, we sat down and watched the director’s cut of Air I and II. Even without the visual effects and the music, it was mighty damn impressive. MIGHTY damn impressive! A big congratulations to show creators/runners Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, the entire cast and crew, and go-to-guy Andy Mikita who directed his big ol’ heart out in treating us to one hell of a spectacular premiere. Later in the afternoon, we sat down to watch the director’s cut of Fire. Now I usually dread watching cuts after 4:00 p.m. as, late in the day, my mind tends to wander while my eyelids seem to put on about six pounds a piece, but this episode was absolutely riveting. GREAT – except for the fact that it’s about twenty minutes too long, and this isn’t even taking into consideration a bunch of scenes that Brad actually wrote but had to cut at the script stage for fear that the episode would run long – which it has anyway. And yet even though the running time is long, the episode is tight, moving along at a surprisingly brisk pace. So congrats to Director Peter DeLuise on his triumphant return to the Stargate franchise.
Now allow me to clarify a few things about the Stargate: Atlantis movie. Back in the 2008, we floated the possibility of shooting a two-hour Atlantis movie. The idea was to roll right into it right after episode 20 and then play it by ear. If the show got picked up for a sixth season, those two hours would form the first two episodes. In the event the show was not picked up, then we’d already have a movie in the can. Alas, Project Twilight (which is what I dubbed the two hour event at the time) didn’t come to pass. The series ended and focus shifted to Stargate: Universe. But not ALL of the focus because the intention has always been to make a movie. Actually, the focus has been to make two movies: an SG-1 movie, and an Atlantis movie. Now many of you are asking: “Hey, we hear that production on the Atlantis movie is being held up by the economy and yet, you have the money to make a new series and that SG-1 movie. What gives?” Well, first of all, it’s not a simple matter of us getting a whack of money and being able to pick and choose the projects we want to apply it to. Each production whether it be SGU, SG-1, or SGA, is contingent on their respective deals. And no two deals are alike. Furthermore, part of a project’s production budget is made up of licensing fees from various broadcasters, sales to various territories both domestic and international. Now these entities are a fickle bunch and won’t just buy anything. If they want product A, you can’t just replace it with product B. And that’s just one aspect of the many elements that go into any given deal. The bottom line is that the deal in place for Stargate: Universe has different components than the deal for the SG-1 movie which has different components than the deal for the SGA movie (yes, in spite of the fact that they are both Stargate movies, the deals are different).
So even though the SG-1 movie has been greenlit, I can assure you that plans are still in place to move forward on the Atlantis movie as well. Brad is working on the SG-1 script while Paul and I hope to have a first draft of the Atlantis script by month’s end (we’re already past the halfway mark). No firm production dates for either movies, but if I was a betting man, I’d be looking at this fall. All this to say – there’s no need to get all negative. When there is a need, I’ll let you all know but, at present, we’re making progress on all fronts: SGU, SG-1, AND SGA.
As for that new episode title I promised: Divided.
Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl? Discussion:
Sparrow_hawk writes: “. I wasn’t as impressed by Deena Pilgrim – she seemed to be there more as a foil for Walker. I thought that her reasons for working with Walker were well stated in the beginning, but then she became a mere sidekick.”
Answer: I quite liked Deena’s portrayal. Clearly, he has a bit of a chip on her shoulder which suggests significantly more going on beneath the surface. I also enjoyed her single-minded determination to confirm her suspicions about Walker. She surprises him with a kick, asks him point blank, and then resorts to snooping to learn the trust. She had her own little investigation going on and, in the end, closed the case to her satisfaction. She’s tough. And, in subsequent stories, we get to learn a lot more about her.
Sparrow_hawk also writes: “. I know that I’m not supposed to ask questions like this because it is fantasy and I’m supposed to suspend my disbelief, but I’ll ask anyway because things like this bug me: If the police used “drainers” to keep criminals with superpowers under control in prison, why didn’t the forensic pathologist just use one to conduct his examination?”
Answer: I’ll include this question in the batch I’ll be sending Brian’s way. However, I simply assumed that the “drainers” kept superpowers in check (ie. Enhanced strength, speed, flying ability, etc.). Other physical attributes (ie. A third eye, impervious skin, etc.) weren’t “superpowers” per se and, thus, not affected.
Dasndanger writes: “… wondering what the conversation between Walker and Calista was all about. I had a few suspicions, but eventually I had to ask some folks who have read the entire series what the ending meant, and they explained that all is revealed in later issues.”
Answer: I thought it was fairly self-explanatory that Calista, like Retro Girl, is the next in a long line of powerful women throughout history, the eternal champion Sparrow-hawk refers to in her post. I guess you could liken it to the Buffy Summers character who is the recent incarnation of a long line of female slayers, no?
Dasndanger also writes: “However, not so much love for Walker. Perhaps – if I read the entire series – he’d grow on me, especially once his demons are revealed. But, basically – and pardon my French – he was a bit of a prick. Then again, I guess that’s what he’s supposed to be, but I have a lot of trouble warming to that sort of character…a bit like how I’ve never been able to like Scott Summers/Cyclops.”
Answer: Walker struck me as more of a lovable goof. What was it about him that you considered prickish? The only moment that comes to mind is when he snaps at Deena after she’s invaded his privacy but, in that instant, he has every right to be upset. The fact that he takes care of Calista in his albeit awkward way suggests a lot about the man’s character. Finally, as for Scott Summers – we are in total agreement. I always find him bland as white bread. And the big screen version is even more boring!
Dasndanger also writes: “I found Calista’s dialogue too mature and unnatural in the beginning for a kid her age, and it threw me off at first.”
Answer: I found her precociousness hilarious. Her asking Walker “What’s a clitoris?” is one of the funniest moments in the book.
Michael A. Burstein writes: “For me, the juxtaposition of the artwork with the more adult themes just didn’t work for me. I kept expecting a more PG-rated kind of story, and the first use of adult language kind of threw me for a loop.”
Answer: I was unsure at first but, eventually, the contrast in styles between the gritty noir storytelling and the illustrations that I found quite atmospheric despite being a tad cartoonish.
Lisa S. writes: “ I did have a few problems with this book; I’ll try to go in order in which they appear:
1. Highly cliched small child already mentioned.”
Answer: She may have seemed cliché at first but surely the revelation at book’s end changed your mind in this regard? No?
“2. Pilgrim’s clothing. This was the major WTF? thing for me in this book. I didn’t see Johnny Depp anywhere so this can’t be 21 Jump Street so, why is she dressed as though she just went shopping with the high school senior class?”
Answer: Ha, okay, I’ll give you that. Of course keep in mind that at the time of its publication, that look may have been all the rage. Probably not department issue, but stylin’.
“3. Zora and her ‘there is no God I am my own God’ deal. I get tired of anti-religion digs.”
Answer: I didn’t see this as anti-religion and thought the philosophy behind it was quite clever. It’s not unlike a lot of contemporary motivational groups that focus on the individual ability’s to influence their environment through the power of positive thinking – to the nth degree.
“4. To skip to the end the interrogation scene really got my hackles up. The whole ‘He’s intimidated by boobies. Pilgrim, you have boobies, go stick your scary boobies in his face and he’ll tell us everything’.”
Answer: That’s an extreme interpretation. The victim is intimidated by women, so why not send a woman in to intimidate him?
“5. Oh, and Triphammer felt a little too much like a poor-man’s Tony Stark.”
Answer: I immediately seized on the parallels and assumed Bendis was doing a little iconic subversion here. Also, keep in mind that Triphammer’s dozen or so pages in Powers pale significantly in comparison to the innumerable issues Marvel has dedicated to detailing the Tony Stark character.
Lisa S. also writes: “They didn’t send Pilgrim in there with the suspect because she’s a good detective. They sent her in there strictly because she’s a woman.”
Answer: “Well, no. They sent her in because she is a female detective.”
Daniel Willis writes: “I live in Australia and I am currently studying Film and Television production. I am only in my first year of a two year course, but I would like to see if it would be possible to do work experience/volunteer work for SGU next year?”
Answer: Sorry, Daniel. The production isn’t looking to bring in new people at present.
Luis writes: “Joe!!! I dont see the Flash you dont like Barry Allen????”
Answer: Already picked it up. Check my April 4th entry.
James writes: “I’m curious Joe if you read green lantern?”
Answer: I will be.
Shiningwit writes: “Brie is VERY photogenic, to whom does she belong? any video of her mingling with your crowd?”
Answer: Yep. I’ll be posting some this weekend.
Tuskin writes: “I have a question, what year does SGU take place? How close is it to the finale of SGA?”
Answer: It picks up where the Atlantis finale left off. Ish.
Becketts Patient writes: “The wraith came into being because the iratus bug turned slowly into a more human form after feeding again and again on humans over thounsands of years. So I wondered now if that was an ongoing process. Whether the wraith are still becoming more and more humanlike by feeding on humans.”
Answer: Like humans, they have attained a point a plateau in their evolution – though that’s not to say that, like humans, they won’t undergo future developments.
Silversi writes: “But question…we watched ‘Irresponsible’ with Lucius last night, and his ancient shield device seemed very strange compared to McKay’s back in the first season. How were the Genii able to dunk his head under water, whereas when McKay had the shield it wouldn’t allow him to even drink?”
Answer: A) Different shield, and B) Air would have to pass through the shield to allow the wearer to breathe so, in Lucius’s case, he was “breathing” water.
Michael A. Burstein writes: “Spider-Man revealed his secret identity during the Civil War series, but that was retconned too.”
Answer: I believe that was one of the last few comics I checked out during my last comic-reading phase. So, what happened with the whole Iron Man killing Giant Man thing? Did that get retconned too? Also wasn’t Aunt May killed off and brought back to life once before?
Deni B. writes: “Does Joel bring the orchestra to Canada or is this done in the U.S.?”
Answer: Brad and Rob usually head down to Seattle for the recording.
Deni B. also writes: “ Elway’s doing ok this morning, although I think it’ll still be a long day because it usually takes 24 -36 hours for the episodes to be over.”
Answer: Give him a recuperative kiss on the nose from all of us.
Dasndanger writeS: “ It’s one reason I’ve considered switching to TPBs for certain books since their stories read better all in one shot, than when they’re dragged out over 4-6 months.”
Answer: Trade paperbacks also collect the crossovers to other titles as well. Crossovers, by the way, are what pretty much killed my interest in reading comic books.
Anne-Marie Sloan writes: “While out and about this weekend, we ate at Horzions up on Burnaby Mountain and ABC Country Restaurant across from Bridge (love the SGU signs we saw). Have you eaten at either place and what did you think???”
Answer: I’ve eaten at both. As for what I thought…not much.
Dreams-of-Skies writes: “Speaking of writing, I notice that you’re playing around with various writing ideas at the moment. Is there anything in particular right now that has you really excited?”
Answer: Well, I’m very excited about this short story I’m working on.