Hey, look who's back!
Hey, look who’s back!

Well, former Stargate: Atlantis Executive Producer Martin Gero finally made his triumphant return to The Bridge Studios. Yesterday. Unfortunately, I wasn’t around so I missed the parade and pizza lunch in his honor. I was, however, back in the office today and on hand to welcome him in proper fashion: with a thrilling tour of the standing sets. And so, after getting the update on his adventures in New York (in addition to working on the new HBO series Bored To Death, he also apparently won a spot on the Mets’ pitching rotation), we all (Marty G., Carl, Paul, Lawren, and I) headed downstairs to check out Stage 5 where the thrilling off-Destiny sequences for Space were being shot.


After that, we popped into Stage 6 to say hello to the Atlantis set, then strolled across the lot to Stage 2 for a walk-thru the hydroponics lab and shuttle (Martin took it for a spin).


We capped off our tour with a visit to the Destiny on Stage 4 – corridors, kino room, apple core, observation deck, control interface room, quarters, and, of course, the gate room.


Mission accomplished, we swung by the catering, and caught a ride back to the Production Offices on the Special Effects golf cart courtesy of Special Effects Supervisor Wray Douglas (next time, I‘m borrowing his jet pack).


Alas, we didn’t get around to discussing any stories today but Martin did manage to knock off three of the comedy routines on our request list including perennial crowd-pleaser “Lip-Smacking Landry”. Sadly, no Topango as of yet but I have my fingers crossed for tomorrow. When I left him (Martin not Topango), he was in his office (actually, not really HIS office anymore. Since he left, we’ve been renting it out as a timeshare to vacationing Swedes), sprawled out on his couch, catching up on his script-reading (Space, Divided, and Lucid). Tonight, we’re be heading out for dinner with Carl. Ah, just like old times.

Hey, check out the latest addition to my ever-growing library – a book that has found its way to the top of my to-read pile on the basis of its title alone: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies


Finally, to all you Ashleigh fans (both of you) who asked how her Q&A is coming along – it’s done!  She sent it to me about an hour ago, but I was unable to open the attached file.  I asked her to re-send it which she did but, again, I was still unable to open  it.  I emailed her back: “For some reason I’m unable to open docx documents.  Is this some sort of cheap Lithuanian software program?  Could you re-send as a more suitably Western Word document or PDF file?”.  Moments later, I received her response: “Sheesh you are high maintenance.  Copy and pasted for your enjoyment.”  Well, “enjoyment” is a bit of a stretch, but I’ll let you all decide when I post it as tomorrow’s entry.

48 thoughts on “June 18, 2009: Golden Boy Gero Back in Town. No Topango Sightings Reported.

  1. Haven’t read the P&P and Zombies yet but saw this awhile back:


    More mash-ups to come from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies writer

    “Amid the successful release of his manners-and-monsters mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies this month, author Seth Grahame-Smith has reportedly signed a deal for two new tomes.

    The Los Angeles-based author, comedy writer and producer has signed a two-book deal with Grande Central Press, according to a report in Publishers Weekly.

    The first book, which doesn’t yet have a release date, is said to be titled Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”

  2. I have to say, I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies when I read it a few weeks ago. Of course, I haven’t read the original, but from conversations with others, it seems to stick pretty close to the plot.

    Just with the undead. Which makes it better.

  3. I just don’t find zombies that interesting. Maybe it’s something to do with the maggots and worms that make their attempts to talk come out as a fetid mumble. But REALLY like the pictures you’ve been able to show us. And is Mr. G. ashamed to have his picture taken because he’s been frequenting too many NYC eateries? Or is he teasing us before revealing his svelte new figure?
    Good to see you showing some …. management skills in daring to question Ashleigh. While it’s fun to have a female there to keep the testesterone levels from blowing up the studio, we don’t want to go too far in the other direction. Besides, if you cave in too easily Ashleigh might start to get too complacent. Anyways, thanks for an entertaining(and early!) post.

  4. Part of me *really* wants to read ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ however, Jane Austen is one of my ancestors so the other part of me would feel dirty reading it.

  5. artdogspot wrote

    The first book, which doesn’t yet have a release date, is said to be titled Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”

    Ooooooo, that sounds very amusing.
    I’ve stumbled across Pride and Prejudice and Zombies a number of times. While at Borders recently I pointed it out to a friend who mentioned she knew a few people that have read it and loved it. Hmmm, ok, it’s on my books to look up list.

    Enjoy the male bonding with Mr Gero back in town.

  6. Ashleigh’s file was a docx format? You must not have Word 2007. All she had to do was save it as a Word 97-2003 document. Unless you’ve managed to escape the Windows cult…

  7. Gotta give a dissenting opinion on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The original is my favorite novel, one I read over and over, so I was primed to love it. But I gave up without finishing, something I rarely do with a book. But what was amusing in the first 20 pages became tiresome after page 50 or so and downright annoying by 100. Reminded me of those Saturday Night Live routines that were funny when they were a few minutes long, but deadly as movies.

  8. Woo! Now I don’t have to check your blog for a new entry in the middle of the night when I go to the potty. 😀 (pg15 – thanks for that little bit of shared enthusiasm!)

    Hope everyone is well. Joe, thanks, as always, for making me smile. 🙂


  9. I saw this book in an airport store and was really intrigued by the premise. I love Pride and Prejudice, but this could really rock it sideways.

    And I glad someone asked the question…
    “What’s Topango?” ’cause I want to know too.

    As always – love your blog Joe! *gush..gush* 😉

    Thanks, BlondieCG

  10. And with the Golden Boy, comes new set pics! Sweet! Mark Savela (on his twitter) is right when he said that Marty G. is lucky. Did you film the set tour? I’m sure it was hilarious.

    For some reason, that first pic of MG’s hand at the door reminds me of Eye of the Tiger. Weird.

    What are those…things in the 4th pic? They look like either alien shellfish, or sandals filled with ice. Both make perfect sense, of course.

    Well, I guess I’ll find out how Ashleigh delt with my creepiness tomorrow. Has there ever been a case of a restraining order filled by someone against someone else whom he/she hasn’t even met?

    And…apple core?

  11. I’ve seen that book numerous times in bookstores. I’ve never had an interest in it, but that may be because I had to read the actual Pride and Prejudice in high school. Though, I suppose, adding zombies can’t make the book any more boring to read.

  12. Microsoft Office 2007 saves word docs as docx.
    So, Ashleigh would have to save it as a 2003 doc before giving to you.

    There are likely others telling you this, but just in case not, here is it.

  13. Thanks for the pretty set pictures!

    docx: the bane of users who haven’t yet upgraded to the latest expensive and resource hungry version of MS Office.
    (disclaimer: in truth I don’t know the price or system requirements of that product)

    Can’t wait for Ashleigh’s Q&A! Good thing I have remote
    access to Joe’s computer.
    (Disclaimer: I don’t, so in fact I am waiting)

  14. Sweet, glad to have gero back. Sets look cool… But I want to know what their for!!!!!! Sweet, bring on the Q&A!!

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  15. All right, P&P&Z!!! Just bought it a few weeks ago myself but haven’t been able to read it quite yet. I have read the original and am really excited to see what Jane Austen’s world looks like with the walking dead. Some ardent fans of her work argue it is disrespectful, but I think she would have probably enjoyed it because from what I heard, she used to read gothic novels.

  16. What the heck is wrong with good ol’ Notepad or Textedit under OS X? PDFs, Docxs? Pah! Plain text rules. None of this propritery crap that forces people to keep upgrading or performing voodoo magic to obtain compatibility.

    It’s good to know Mr. Gero’s arm made the trip successfully. Hope the rest of him arrived okay..

  17. I bought that book for my sister’s birthday last month. She’s a huge Austen fan, as well as the modern sexier stuff, Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife and all. It’s actually pretty funny to read compared to the original, because the guy lifts entire scenes. They just have to fight off some undead scurge on occasion.

  18. To open .docx files in earlier versions of word all you need to do is change the file name from “whatever.docx” to “whatever.doc” and it’ll open just fine.

    You can fix it permanently by adjusting your computers file associations – and associate docx with Word and it’ll remember for next time. If you’re using Windows, save the attached file to your computer, then through either “My Computer” or “Windows Explorer” right click on the file and choose “Open With” then “Choose default program” select Word and you’re done.

  19. Oh, yes, “docx” is the newfangled version. Somehow I wound up with it on my laptop. You can still save everything in a more traditional “doc” format if you so choose–which I do. I don’t like the new Office.

    I’ll be eagerly awaiting your review of P&P&Z. The title and cover are certainly interesting. So interesting that I went to amazon to look up some reviews. There were several people saying that it in no way lived up to the title and cover. So, I’ll wait to hear what you have to say. I like the idea, but I’m dubious. I’ll defer to whatever your opinion is on this one, whether I should check it out or not.

  20. Ahh those stupid .docx (MS Word 2007 format document) files! The bane of my existence, one more way for Microsoft to make life and yours harder. Nice to hear Ashleigh accommodated your request. Can’t wait to read her responses tomorrow.

    Btw will “Weird Food Purchase of the Day” return?


  21. Great pics:). Totally off-topic.. Can you let us know what SG1 cast has been in for filming on SGU?? Also tv guide dude says a source said that there is quality Sam / Jack time in SGU opener..Will you confirm/deny/ or plain ol’ comment?? Merci for your time!

  22. Hi Mr M!!

    MARTY G BACK IN DA HOUSE! I presume Chef Belcham and Tom Doughty have been fore-warned?

    As I was one of the people who asked about Ashleigh’s Q and A…I presume I am one of the two…*bows deeply in a jaffa-kinda-way*

    Lovely snaps of the sets…many thanks

    Best to all


  23. Hey, very interesting pictures here! This setting will give a dark feeling to the series.

    I have got some question, if you don’t mind 😀
    1. Will there be any Earth-made equipment plugged onto the ship’s computer like in Atlantis?
    2. Will the shuttles will mind controlled or the pilot have to fly them manually?
    3. Will the Destiny be superior compared to the alien ships which will show up in the series?
    4. Any hint about who will attack the Icarus Base?(as I remember you stated that there won’t be any SG-1 and SGA enemy in SGU)
    5. Will there be any alternate universe story, if not do you plan it in future season?

  24. P&P&Z’s has been purchased as of 5 mins ago. I am a die hard P&P fan.

    A zombie or two can only enhance the plot LOL.

    Will be sure to let you know my verdict.

  25. I got P&P&Z from ThinkGeek when it first came out. Just for display alone, it’s worth it. Love it. 😉
    Not so keen on Office 2007. It made mw want to pull my hair out when people didn’t know they were saving and sending a .docx company-wide. IT would be the ones inundated with employees who couldn’t open the file. Thank goodness for Microsoft’s compatibility pack.

  26. You just need to download the Compatibility Pack.

    “With the Compatibility Pack, you can use some previous versions of Word to open Office Word 2007 documents that were saved in .docx and .docm formats. You cannot open Office Word 2007 template files that were saved in .dotx or .dotm format. “

  27. docx was created to make those of us who don’t have it feel inferior.

    But, it doesn’t work that way. We end up feeling superior as we have to explain to the users how NOT to use them.


    Looking forward to the Q&A. That is, if your computer doesn’t explode before they are uploaded.

  28. @Lisa S.: I can’t speak for Jane Austen, but I suspect that she would at the very least be amused. Also, the fact is that a book like this brings more attention to the original, and she would probably appreciate that. (Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair led to a lot more sales for Jane Eyre, for example.)

  29. Ah, another happy encounter with Microsoft Office 2007 — a whole new Office suite instead of an upgrade, complete with hidden menus and tabs that make no logical sense, and files that are incompatible with Office files of past. Progress, you gotta love it!

    I read THE WALKING DEAD, and, um, maybe I need to read more than just the first volume? It didn’t really feel like that great or different of a story. I mean, the beginning was very 28 DAYS LATER, what with comas and all. So, does it get better in volume 2? More importantly, are there fewer infuriatingly tiresome discussions about why women should do laundry because guns are too hard for us to understand?

  30. Pride Prejudice and Zombies….amazing, I may pick that up if it’s a BOTM choice. I can’t turn down a good zombie story. And when i actually saw that second picture the first thing I thought of was a zombie horror movie. Is the entire Destiny ship decreped and rusty? How did Martin enjoy his tour of the green screen set?

  31. According to wikipedia, one of the authors of that book died in 1817. What’s the copyright date on that book?

    The book title supports my theory that zombies are the negation of coolness. That doesn’t mean zombies aren’t cool, but, without the coolness negation of zombiedom, zombies are just folks staggering in the dark, which is uncool. They need the coolness negation of zombiedom (the product of two negatives is a positive) to become cool.

    guy staggering in the dark = uncool
    zombie X (guy staggering in the dark) = cool

    It works the other way around, too. If you take something cool and factor in zombies, it becomes uncool.

    gremlins = cool
    zombie gremlins = uncool
    cowboys = cool
    zombie cowboys = uncool

    Which reminds me of something I meant to ask…I hope I haven’t asked this already.

    Will there be gremlins in SGU?

  32. Coucou Joseph! Vous allez bien? Moi oui!!! je suis en Week end et encore mieux en vacance =D!!

    Yéép Martin^^^!! Merci pour ces photos elles sont trés interessante!!!!

    A bientôt!

  33. @pg15,
    For some reason my mind said long long range communication body switcherMcgiggy. But probably not. Maybe its a kino, or some communication device.

    Oh sorry das, I was busy and just read your comment from Yesterday.

    *Major D. Davis quickly, speedily, and adeptly clones his enthusiam and sends it to das* Hope that helps 🙂

    “Is this some sort of cheap Lithuanian software program?”

    lol, I have had problems with switching mac documents to pc and other formats and visa verca. I know the feeling.

    Oh and to complete my destiny, I will have to start posting Joe’s updates on gateworld. Of course I will wait until PG15 has retired. It would not be right of me to try to overthrough his reign.

    Oh and a few questions if you don’t mind

    1. I started to respond to spam like you said and my mom got kinda ticked when she found out(I forgot she told me not to when I did it the first time). So what did you say was so good at responding to spam. Like doesn’t it just make you get spam in the long run?

    2. If SGU gets a second Season, will it air in the fall, summer, or winter of 2010?

    3. What exactly are VFX temps. Are they the “first draft” of the VFX for the whole episode?

    4. Since I will be in Vancover, would it be possible just to meat you at the gate of the bridge, shake hands, say hi, meat each other in person, and leave?(Well I might only on the weekend so I should also ask, do you at all work from the bridge during the weekend?)

    5. Will there be any reacurring/ regular character deaths in season 1 of SGU(or should I rather say, has it been considered).

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  34. Oddly enough I just started reading that book as well. The seller at B&N said that she hates Austen intensely, but this book was so amazing.

  35. LOVED PP&Z! It’s best enjoyed with a copy of the original at hand, so you can compare and contrast certain scenes. I loved the original, and love this one too. In fact the better you know the original, the better you’ll get the subtler parts of it.

    I think my favorite bit (though although the whole book is a hoot) is at the end… the “study questions”.

  36. Ack! It’s so simple! I know why Windows changed it from doc to docx.

    With the new “docx” file format, it’s clear that Windows is trying to be hip and trendy. Evidently, the original doc files just weren’t EXTREME enough; no, they must add an “x” since, according to Wormhole X-Treme! it’ll get higher ratings…or more users, in this case.

    Pure. Logic.

  37. Was it the little red wagon in the picture that Mr G. took for a spin??(makes vroom vroom noise) You guys are really kicking up your heels. Can’t wait to see the pictures of your adventure. P&p&Z looks a might scary for me, so will probably pass on it, I am reading a Robert A. Heinlein book, Stranger in a strange land, not bad so far, wanted to find his Have space suit will travel, but no luck yet. but thanks to Joe, I have this enormous list of –To read– books, I really do appreciate all the great information you share,,thanks..now maybe more hours in a day would be helpful. 😆

  38. So maybe only two people actually asked how Ashleigh’s Q&A was coming along. I have no doubt that many more of us have been eagerly awaiting it. The key is patience. But I also strongly suspect that your remark was a case of Ashleigh-baiting after she called you “high-maintenance” when you couldn’t open a .docx file. Personally, I think she showed remarkable restraint, and the copy/paste job is WAY beyond the call of duty. On behalf of underlings everywhere — ohnevermind.

    Always nice to see Marty G.’s arm. Its color and muscle contraction indicates that it’s still attached; good news there. I don’t know whether to offer congrats on the Mets pitching gig since they’re currently second in their division, or condolences just because they’re still the Mets. But, hey, at least they’re not the Yankees.

    I’ve tried and tried to get through Pride and Prejudice, but the only one who’s been able to help me sit through the whole story was a very fetching Colin Firth, at that age such stuff as dreams are made of. King Lear and Goneril and Zombies, that I could go for. Or Macbeth vs. Mothra. (I’ve never seen Mothra, but daikaiju seem to add zest to everything. Like the giant crab in the dying-sun part of The Time Machine. Great imagery.)

    Time to go get ready for dinner, so I can be ready 30 min. before hubs. He is *such* a peacock when we go out. Eagerly anticipating Ashleigh’s at-bat later.

  39. Ooooh, can’t wait for Ashleigh’s Q&A tonight!!! Also, pictures from last night? And I totally agree about the new Microsoft Word: .docx is silly! Why update something that was working perfectly well?!?

  40. I actually love the new Office. Once you get used to where things are and place a few of your favourite tools in the Quick Access Toolbar, it’s great.

    For anyone wanting the old Office experience (if you don’t have Office 2003) you should use Open Office. It looks very much like the old Office.

    Cheers, Chev

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