Lock and load, baby!
Lock and load, baby!


Julia Anderson (Vanessa James) takes a break from the action.
Julia Anderson (Vanessa James) takes a break from the action.
Josh Blacker (Sgt. Spencer) tries to blend in.
Josh Blacker (Sgt. Spencer) tries to blend in.
Director of Photography Jim Menard suddenly realizes he's standing in a puddle - much to Director Robert C. Cooper's delight.
Director of Photography Jim Menard suddenly realizes he’s standing in a puddle – much to Director Robert C. Cooper’s delight.

The quiet suspense of today’s shipboard mystery was in marked contrast to the gloomy, dank, heavy ordnance-laced mayhem of the preceding days. And it’s just as well. My teeth are still chattering from the M5 barrage that lit up the shadows of Stage 1 the last time I dropped in. Yes, some delightfully creepy goings-on in Time (a Robert C. Cooper joint that completed shooting yesterday) that will no doubt look all the more delightful and creepy once the episode is finished. By all indications, the cast enjoyed themselves immensely – particularly actor Jamil Walker Smith who was reveling in the cold, wet, and muddy conditions. Now, we shift focus from the dark and dangerous alien environment of Time to the shocking discovery and troubling developments presented in Justice. Will Waring is doing the honors here, directing an episode that promises more than a few surprises in addition to decisions both startling and unsettling that will have far-reaching consequences for the Destiny crew.

Rob will be doing the pass on my script, Space (episode 11), this weekend and informed me of a few character additions he wants to make off the top (which tie in directly to Justice), in addition to a dialogue tweak to the final exchange that had me raising an eyebrow in stunned silence. I love both of these characters, and this little revelation raises the stakes, offering a beautiful segue into the next episode, Divided.

Nothing is quite as it seems? Try – No one is quite as they seem. Furtive moves, shifting alliances, and hidden agendas guarantee a dysfunctional and disquieting galaxy-hopping community.

One of the things I’m really loving about the new series is the colorful cast of characters: Rush, Young, Armstrong, Scott, Telford, Wray, Eli, Chloe, T.J., Greer, James, Brody, Franklin, Volker, Park, Spencer, Kane and Riley. I told Brad that Darkness and Light do a wonderful job of offering the viewer insight into these varied individuals thrown together by circumstance, glimpses of their respective personalities only the kino can capture.

Hey, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the big news item of the past few days. I refer, of course, to the fact that, after 65 years, comic icon Archie Andrews is finally getting off the fence and choosing…drum roll, please…Veronica over Betty. Apparently, he and the dark-haired socialite tie the knot in issue #600. Reaction in the production offices has ranged from my writing partner Paul’s bewildered: “Married?! For sixty-five years he’s a high school student and suddenly he’s old enough to get married?!” to Carl Binder’s dismissive: “Hmph. I’m an Archie-Jughead slasher.” Of course, whenever we start talking Archie, the inevitable question pops up: Who would you pick? Who would I pick? Well, to be perfectly honest, if the gals were cool with the situation (which Betty and Veronica certainly seemed to be), I wouldn’t. But if I HAD to choose – well, it would be tough. On the one hand, Veronica possesses the upscale style and social charms better suited to my wining and dining lifestyle, yet seems somewhat shallow by comparison and, quite frankly, a bit of a bitch. On the other hand, Betty is sweet, genuine, and far more down to earth, but strikes me as somewhat dull. I also think that Betty’s – uh – curvier, but every time I bring that up (Hey, it comes up in conversation more than you‘d expect.) Paul is quick to point out that Betty and Veronica are drawn exactly the same and only differ in hair color and style. He tried to convince us by drawing comparisons between Betty and Veronica as they appear in various comic book covers. I countered, presenting the case for Betty being more statuesque than Veronica by also drawing comparisons between exhibit A and B (or C really, at least, but I digress). Anyway, in the end, we agreed to continue to disagree.

Whatever. For all this talk of looming nuptials, I don’t buy it . My prediction for the upcoming storyline: Archie will ask Veronica to marry him, not because he thinks she’d be a better pick, but because Veronica’s father, Hiram Lodge, is dying (suffering from an inoperable brain tumor located behind his left eye or some similarly hilarious predicament) and wants to see his daughter wed before he leaves this world. But on the day of the wedding, genius Dilton Doyle comes up with a plan to save the filthy rich codger’s life. He shrinks Archie and co. down to size so that they can board the nanite-sub he injects into Mr. Lodge’s bloodstream (which, incidentally, is 33% gin). In a race against time, our heroes travel through the body and up into the head area where they destroy they excise and destroy the tumor from the inside. Mr. Lodge is saved, the marriage is called off but the story ends with a wedding after all – that of Moose and longtime girlfriend Midge. They end up naming their firstborn after the late Reggie who was consumed by belligerent white blood cells while trying to save the rest of the gang, thus redeeming himself after 65 years of dickitude. And our hero Archie returns to his double-teaming status quo. The End.

Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday girl Amy Lynn.


Nadine writes: “Joe, 2 questions:
1) have you read anything by Neil Stephenson?
2) was there a BotM discussion for Neuropath which I missed, or did you just recommend it?”

Answers: 1) Yep. I’ve read Quicksilver and The Diamond Age.

2) No, Neuropath was one of the many books in my every-growing collection I finally got around to reading last year. Great.

Ken Davenport writes: “As the Producer and Co-Conceiver of Altar Boyz, I can honestly tell you . . . you are not the first person to have thought that you wouldn’t enjoy Altar Boyz! Lots of people think EXACTLY what you think . . .

But talk to me after you see it (and if you can, get to the original Off-Broadway production). I guarantee you’ll enjoy it.

In fact, I’ll make a double or nothing bet with you and your friend Kerry . . .

If you don’t like it . . . I’ll pay for your tickets.

Ken Davenport


Answer: Ken, please don’t make me go in there with an open mind. Fine, alright, I’ll keep an open mind. Is there anything I should know that would prepare me for the experience. But just to be clear: Is it a Christian parody of boy bands, a parody of Christan boy bands, or the second coming of NKOTB?

Major D. Davis writes: “1. Will the midseason 2 parter be between Justice and Space, or Space and Divided?

2. If you get a quick moment, could you ask Carl the exact date of MGM’s 85th B-day please?

3. Will Andy be Directing Space?

4. So what do you think of my video? (We actually did this back in november, so it was like the second video we ever made).

5. Any updates on the N. John Smith Q&A?

6. It has been said that there will be SGU trailers on the SGA season 5 boxset. Will those be new feature length trailers or already aired trailers?”

Answers: 1. Yes.

2. I’m sure Carl would be the last person to ask.

3. Yes.

4. It’s tough to judge an unfinished story.

5. What N. John Smith Q&A?

6. No idea.

Arctic Goddess writes: “Joe, could you please define “jerk blowhard”? What sort of personality type drives you nuts?”

Answer: Self-centered know-it-alls who think nothing of inconveniencing all those around them so long as their needs are met. Come on, we’ve all had to deal with these types over the course of our lives.

Nadine writes: “At Chocoatl do you have any favourite chocolates in particular?”

Answer: I like the Denso, extra-thick drinking chocolate.

35 thoughts on “May 29, 2009: Shifting From Dark and Dangerous to Moody and Mysterious. I Weigh In On The Big News Item. And – Some Mailbag.

  1. You know, I was going to comment on the fact that I can’t believe it’s already May – and it’s almost June!

  2. Hey Joe,

    I haven’t tried the Denso at Chocoatl yet – I’ll have to give it a shot next time I’m there. They had the chocolate fountain thing out front yesterday and I think I knew how the kids felt in Willy Wonka when they see the river of Chocolate…

    I read Anathem last year after Christmas and I would highly recommend it. It took me a while to get into it, and normally I’d have written it off, but it was so long I figured I may as well give it a shot and I found it very rewarding. Very interesting ideas.

    Just one question today: have you seen Taken?

    You mentioned you wait ’til videos come out on DVD (which we usually do too) and it came out recently…

  3. LOL Joe… you gotta get a new calendar!!!

    Love the pic’s of the pups on Twitter!

  4. Hey Joe, are we going to have much in the way of equivalents to the Daedalus in the SGU universe? Or is it going to be more of the way it was until mid-late SG1, where we coveted the Gould ships, but never actually kept one for more then 30 seconds. (Who ever came up with RDA’s Line “okay, next one we keep” is a genius. :p )

  5. Wow, that prediction of the upcoming Archie Comics storyline is great! You should be a writer. 😉

    Thank you for all the SGU updates! I always thought that Time is a time-travel episode, but I think I may be mistaken; or, it could be an episode where our heroes must make it to the gate before the time counts down to zero and the Destiny jumps away.

    I’m very glad to hear that scripts are being amended so as to make them more connected to the previous and subsequent episodes; I’ve always enjoy serialized stories more, on average.

    BSG being the BIG exception. 😉


    1. This amending of scripts to connect stories better, are you guys doing it more with SGU stories than with past SG1 and SGA stories?

    2. Is Andy Mikita also directing “Divided”?

    3. What do you mean when you say that Rob is “doing the pass” on your script? Does it mean that he’s producing it, or just reading it to give it notes?


  6. Maybe Reggie is in league with the tumor, and his seemingly heroic death is in fact completely inadvertent?

  7. Coucou Joseph!

    ahhhh, la journée commence bien! Merci pour ces new, on va pouvoir remplir nos site de Fan!!

    Je voudrais aussi je plusieur fois par jour je vote pour le twitter de vos chiens! Je n”avais pas imaginer qu’il étais aussi populaire, des vrai petites star^^!

    Bonne journée, gros bisou!

  8. Great to hear about this sort of thing (whats going on, on the set – especially when there are a few clues).

    No idea who Veronica or Betty are…


  9. Hi Joe,

    I just wanted to share something with you and the other dog owners out there.
    I took my 11yr old westie to the vet as he had ear trouble and as well as giving him drops the vet suggested I give him an evening primrose oil tablet every day to keep his skin in good condition. Hey I laughted when I heard this, but I went to my local store and bought some. The amazing thing is 2mths on he has had a new lease of life. Hamish is much more active, his joints dont creak anymore and he acts like a much younger dog. In fact…I think I might go buy some for myself to-day!

    Re the Veronica vs Betty situation – How disappointing that Archie chose Veronica – why do the nice girls always come last…

  10. He chose Veronica? Sheesh, another one heading for the divorce courts in a year or so.

    Regarding Altar Boyz – you got called out, and it serves you right. You would be the last one to judge a book by its cover (and as you well know there is a vast difference between a book cover designed by a UK publisher vs. the same book by a US publisher)..yet you did exactly that with Altar Boyz.

    Yes, it’s a play and not a book, but the same rules apply.

  11. I think Carl is right. Archie and Jughead are a slash pair. The marriage is obviously an attempt by Archie to hide the fact, with Veronica going along because a) it allows her to live her own lifestyle while carrying on with a sham of a marriage(which perhaps daddy insisted on as a condition to inherit) and b) she will be able to torment Betty about losing the contest to win Archie.
    Ok, the characters are sounding increasingly interesting. “No one is quite as they seem”? This could be fun, seeing how you put a new spin on such seemingly stereotypical characters as Sgt. Spencer. Still, we are talking 3 more months…
    I’m also curious on how the siffy network is going to put on the show. I see Eureka will be moving to fill in the Friday night slot in July. By the time Universe goes online that means Eureka should be closing in on its season finale. So what other shows will be hooked to SGU to hold our interest for the entire prime time hours?
    Anyways, the mailbag is appreciated as always. ANd I can’t wait to see if honesty trumps greed once you go to see Altar Boyz(assuming you actually like the show). For myself, it would take more than a bet backing my favorite team to get me to accept such a torment.

  12. Moose & Midge…now that’s a wedding that would be newsworthy. But how can you kill of Reggie?

    I still think Archie should run off with Josie (of the Pussycats).

  13. Wow, very interesting pictures 😉

    Since the last time, some more questions about SGU showed up in my mind:

    1. Will there be any Earth made screens and other devices pluged onto the Destinys computers to make their control a bit easier for the crew. Like on Atlantis, where some of the systems weren’t easy to read for humans.
    2. Will the Shuttle be mind-controlled(like Puddle-Jumpers) or the pilot will have to control it manually?
    3. Will the Shuttles have some kind of weaponry and a holographic(or other kind of) display?
    4. As I remember you mentioned that Ona Grauer will appear in SGU. Will she play the same Ancient woman who was seen in SG-1:Frozen and SGA:Rising? If yes, how can it possible? She was there when Atlantis left Earth and we know that the Destiny was launched long before Atlantis even built.
    5. You mentioned that there is a hint for SGU in the 2nd half of SGAs Season 5. Can you tell exactly what is this hint?(as I remember it was explained there won’t be any Wormhole Drive in Universe)
    6. Will there be any spacebattle between the Destiny and Alien ships. If yes, will the Destiny easily handle with them or they will give the Destiny a sweat?

    Thanks for answering!

  14. Betty or Veronica sounds like the same argument as Ginger or Mary Ann. At least your analysis on the two characters involved discussion of their personalities. Then you ruined it by saying which one was curvier 😀 .

    Das: Hope you are feeling better today. I have a lot of sinus problems. I can relate.

    Pg15: Thank you for your explanation of a black hole.

    Nadine: I saw Taken. If you like explosions, and martial arts fighting. You will like this one. It’s no chick flick, though. However, I gave up watching chick flicks when I got married 😀 .


  15. Joe,

    How soon after an SGU episode is shown on SyFy will it turn up on Hulu/SyFy.com?

    The SGU hints are just the right amount.

    Kino scenes must be fun to write. Its recurring nature on the show means you can go so much deeper. What a fun toy.

    I’d use it to trade shifts with someone without Young knowing. I know, I need to think of something more interesting before SyFy’s What’s Yer Kino? Contest.

    Vanessa James must be a bad guy. Her shirt is too clean. Anyone who thought to bring along stain treatments to the base attack is an automatic suspect in my book.

  16. My bad wrong name

    Thanks for answering my questions and thanks for the SGU info.


    1. Any updates on the JOHN LENIC(Thats the one) Q&A?

    2. Besides Air, Earth and Life, will there be any episodes partially set on earth( you know, getting out of those sound stages for a breath of fresh air)?

    3. When do you think air will be leaked? August, September?

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  17. @Tammy

    I just saw Terminator. It is soooooooo good. There is so much action and good story. I think it is better than taken.

  18. Couple of questions:

    – With Fire being now ‘Darkness’ and ‘Light’, the element titles in the first part of the season aren’t really there anymore. Or is there now another episode later in the season called ‘Fire’?

    – Does the first season of SGU takes place in only one galaxy (well, besides the MW galaxy where we’ll have our Earth episodes)? And are you planning on doing one galaxy a season?

    – Do you think it’s ultimately better or worse for the ratings when the pilot leaks?

  19. Question for Ashleigh:

    Have you thought about contacting Mallozzi’s sister for ideas of how to torment him? Maybe she could dredge up something from his childhood that would really mess with his psyche.

  20. Yeah, not an easy choice between Betty and Veronica. I think my brother solved the problem by discovering Catwoman, whose curvaceousness knows few bounds. Of course, she takes bitchiness to a new level, but I think when a chick graduates from Dominatrix Academy, it adds to her fascination. Naturally, not the one to take home to meet mom and dad, but perhaps the one who crops up in daydreams (or even as a costume in wife’s closet) when the honeymoon’s over.

    @pg15: Another round of thanks for the layman-oriented summary of the origin of black holes. Does thanking you twice entitle me to ask another question? If so, here it is — the perennial Astronomy 101 exam item: What happens when an electron shower falls on a red dwarf?

    SGU gets more and more interesting, and that’s helping me climb out of my grudge against SiPhy for its Apophis-like termination of SGA. (Other grudges against SighFie remain unabated.) Many thanks for all the pics and write-ups of what’s going on with the show’s development.

  21. @ Tammy Dixon – Thankies. I am feeling better – BREATHING much better since taking some herbs and vitamins I’ve picked up at the health food store. Trying different herbal teas, too, and they seem to help somewhat. But still having ‘issues’, and each day it’s something different, which is very draining. I’m probably far more emotionally and mentally exhausted than I am physically. Perhaps I’m just not used to getting old. 😛

    And if you want a REAL definition of a black hole, it’s simple…

    My garage. Not sure how it happens, but the thing just sucks in junk, and it’s all soon lost to me.

    Still enjoying Elric…going off to read some more right now. I’m even starting to give things names inspired by the books. The toilet is now The Ivory Throne (it’s white, so couldn’t exactly call it the Ruby Throne), the chair I always fall asleep in while watching tv is the Dreaming Recliner, and the kitty litter scooper is now the hell-forged Stoolbringer. 😀

    Scary thing is, Mr. Das is as in love with Elric as I am – if not more so. Instead of waking up in the morning and watching tv, he’s now grabbing Elric and ‘shushing’ because he’s reading. It’s nice to be obsessing over the same thing for once, except now he wants to buy a motorcycle and name it ‘Stormbringer’, and he’s talking about dusting off the Renaissance Faire swords we have stored away, just so he can have his own horrid runeblade.

    I jokingly told him none of that was necessary, as long as he bought a long, white wig. I’ve made this suggestion before, ever since I crossed paths with the likes of Wraith and Prince Nuada. However, for the very first time he didn’t roll his eyes at that suggestion…quite the contrary, this time he wanted to know where he can buy one. 😕

    I think I have created a monster… 😛


  22. Oh, yes, the Archie stuff. I always did find Betty a little too people-pleasing and Veronica a bit too shallow. That being said, I believe Archie would be better with Betty, simply because their goals in life are similar. Not very romantic, I know. But really Archie and Veronica will last a year or so, maybe 5 tops, and then when Veronica gets sick of living in an apartment on 3rd street, she’ll leave him. That also being said, I heard that there’s actually an old comic where Jughead went to the future and Archie was getting married but at the last minute, the to-be wife ended up being the other girl. So, if the writers have any sense of consistency, Archie may end up with Betty after all.

    Really, though? Carl is a slasher? Who knew? Hah!

    (I admit, I always thought Veronica was the curvier. Betty was the tomboy after all. And while there’s no law dictating curvy girls can’t also like sports, it was around the time of Twiggy and that stereotype certainly seems well entrenched.)

    Wow, the theatre producers are now cruising your blog? That’s impressive (well, to some of us, lol). I will possibly die of laughter if you come back that night and like the show. So don’t like it too much. I happen to like living. 😉 You are going to take this bet, though, right?

  23. Is that a gate in the background of the jungle picture?

    With a white looking event horizon?

  24. Hey Joe.

    I’m sure you know who Susan Boyle is from Britain’s Got Talent. Well, the results for the show just came in….do you think she should have won rather than come in at second place? Did you like her voice?

    Thanks Joe!

  25. So, Archie is choosing Veronica over Betty? That’s a bummer! I read Archie comics religiously when I was younger and I always loved Archie with Betty. They’ll end up ret-conning it in a few years.

  26. Regarding Archie and the proposal to Veronica – a few years ago, as a stunt they announced that Archie was going to choose between Betty and Veronica. The two girls started arguing so much with each other that Archie ended up going off with some third girl. One wonders if that will happen here again…

  27. Hm, I think I’ve actually read some of Carl’s Archie/Jughead slashfic on the net…

    It would serve you right if you really enjoy Altar Boyz after all your kvetching. Maybe you can come visit Marty G. and take him to the original off-Broadway production?

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