Success! In preparation for my culinary pilgrimage to the mecca of gastronomic delights – Tokyo, natch – I have trimmed my prospective restaurants list from an unwieldy 96 down to a much more manageable 45. Of course, that’s not including a lot of the theme and smaller hole-in-the-wall restaurants I’d also like to check out like the place where the waiting staff all dress up like characters from Alice in Wonderland or The Lock-Up where diners enjoys their meals in the comforts of a maximum security prison environment complete with in-progress jailbreaks or one of the city’s many “horomune” eateries where one can sample anything from simmered tongue to tasty esophagus.

I’m also brushing up on my elementary brain-damaged extra-polite Japanese school boy-level Japanese. Dezato wa, doko ni arimasu ka? (Where’s the desserts at?). Watashi no omoshiroi boshi o nakushita! (I lost my funny hat!). Etc. Just the basics of course.

Today, the cast and crew gathered in Stage 4 to watch the SGU trailer screened at Comic Con AND the super special extra-long sizzle reel Grey Munford and co. put together for buyers and media. I’ve got to say, the only thing more exciting than watching it myself for the first time is watching the reaction of my co-workers as they watch it for the first time. The show looks gorgeous, and with the finished visual effects and score in place its downright stirring. Just the thing to get everyone all fired up for the post-hiatus sprint to the finish.

Oh, you’ll all be pleased to hear that I did make some headway on Episode #20 today, hitting the 40 page mark late this afternoon. I do like what I have but, as I told Exec. Producer and Co-Showrunner Robert Cooper last night at dinner, I fear the script is going to come in long. There is simply a helluvalot going on here. For his part, Rob didn’t seem all that concerned. Quite the opposite in fact. His reaction: “Great! Two-parter! We’ll save on of the other stories for season two!”

On the other episode fronts:

– We’re presently shooting Faith, episode #13.

– Rob is prepping Lucid, Episode #14, which he’ll be directing.

– Twitter reports have Marty G. almost finished his second script, Episode #15, Lost.

– Brad received Barbara’s draft of Sabotage, Episode #16, over the hiatus and says she did a very good job.

– After completing his pass on Sabotage, Brad will shift gears to Episode #17, as yet untitled, which, I assume, we’ll be breaking sometime next week?

– Carl is close on his, Episode #18. He was last sighted wading his way into Act V.

– Somewhat slower going on Paul’s script, Subversion, Episode #19. I assume he’s finished Act I by now.

Finally – what’s the point of going into space if you can’t grow your own cosmic tomatoes?  Today, I offer you a peek at Destiny’s hyroponics lab…







47 thoughts on “July 29, 2009: My Culinary Odyssey Draws Ever Closer! Episode Updates! The Hyrdoponics Lab!

  1. Awesome news update!

    Are all those plants supposed to be edible? Will we see people eating them?

  2. Hi Joe, October seems so far away, but the pics are great! I agree, the show does look gorgeous, but I think I told you that before. Hey, whatever happened to Joel’s Q&A? Should we just forget it? Had to laugh re-watching “Vegas” last night, he really looked like a wiseguy.

    When are you going to Tokyo? Is Fondy going with you?

    Well, the daughter and husband left, she got sick on the plane en route to England, arrived with a cold/flu, so they won’t let her go back to work for at least a week. We’re sh-itting our pants here, hoping it’s not swine flu and we’re not all sick. Just another day in paradise! Of course, my head and neck have been hurting all day…oi. Have a good night!

  3. Baka, baka, baka!!!! (sorry, that’s the only Japanese I know… 😛 )

    Picking up on the little ‘kickass female character’ discussion from yesterday. My idea of kickass doesn’t always involve kicking actual ass. It’s more often about the attitude and style.

    I am not a fan of female characters (as most here know by now). However, there are a few who have totally impressed, even if the roles or films they were in failed to live up to expectations. They are:

    Gail Hartman (Meryl Streep) ~ The River Wild …best example of a realistic ‘kickass’ woman. Love this movie and this character – she tops my list.

    Nora Charles (Myrna Loy) ~ The Thin Man movies …Let’s face it – no one messes with Nora Charles. She may not have sword or pistol, but what she lacks in weaponry she makes up for in style. This character comes in at a very close second, nearly a tie.

    Rose Sayer (Katharine Hepburn) ~ The African Queen …Come on, she blew up Nazis AND poured out Bogie’s booze…and lived to tell the tale. ‘Nuff said.

    Elizabeth Bennet (Jennifer Ehle) ~ Pride and Prejudice (1995)…I really don’t think there’s any argument that Ehle’s Lizzy Bennet could hold her own against anyone, be it soldier, gentleman or meddling old woman. Her weapon was her tongue, and she wielded it with great skill.

    Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) ~ PotC:CotBP …I really didn’t want to like this character, I really didn’t want to be impressed with her – but I did, and I was. For the genre, she provided a nice balance between damsel in distress, and rum-burning bitch.

    Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel) ~ Blade Trinity …First, stop laughing. Second, besides Chris Heyerdahl’s brief appearance, Biel was the best thing in this movie. There was something believable about her character. I’ve seen other actresses try to pull off ‘tough girl’ and it fails miserably, but this one worked for me.

    There are others, of course, but these have all made an impression on me as strong women, each able to kickass in very different ways.


  4. So, does it have 10 MILLION year old dead plants, as opposed to Atlantis’s 10,000 year old dead plants?

  5. In regards to living conditions aboard the Destiny, I read somewhere (Gateworld?) that the ship was an unmanned vessel. Does this mean it wasn’t meant to support life for long periods of time? And if so, why are there things like an infirmary and hydroponics bay on board? Did the Destiny once have a full crew compliment before the SGU characters got there?

  6. If you could make the nutrient jelly blue, that would be a lot better. Thank you for understanding.

  7. Why am I still awake at 3.06am? Got to try and get a better handle on this sleep malarkey.

  8. When I saw the 96 in the opening paragraph, I thought you were talking about the temperature in Vancouver.

    Seriously West Coast, WTF?! Damn you, climate change!!

    Hey, one of the automatically generated possibly related posts had the title “Mime trapped in invisible box for 11 days. Bystanders assumed it was part of act.” Ah, remember those few days and/or weeks when you had these hilarious shocking titles? Good times, good times.

    Thank you for the photos, Joe! Wow, it looks more fun than a barrel of plants! Seriously though, that’s pretty ingenius. I mean, it saves space obviously; we won’t need huge greenhouses if they can all be filled with barrels like these. At once, you’ve reduced the needed area by pi times! I think this should be patented, really.

    And do the barrels spin, Stargate style? If they do, those plants would grow taller since half of their life is spent upside down, growing WITH gravity! Brilliant!!

    Though I guess the fact that they rely on electricity to light them instead of using natural sunlight like normal greenhouses could be problematic. Hmmm…

    Well, that’s a moot point in a spaceship!

    Then there is the other piece of news: Barbara? Holy crap! A female writer! Ok, I know she’s not an official writer yet, just a freelancer, but still, this is big news! How long has it been since you guys had a writer or freelancer that was female?

    Not that gender matters that much, when talent is obviously the #1 attribute of concern, but to some of the fandom, the Stargate writing staff has been a “boy’s club” for far too long. For my part, I don’t particularly care; though I do look forward to what new writers can bring to the table. Who knows, they might surprise us.

    One last thing: isn’t “Lucid”, “Human” now? Or was the title changed back?

  9. Most of my Japanese is for either bar hopping or shopping. I can ask some really embarrassing questions, but I think I’d have to be blitzed in order to recall most of them. Been a while.

    Triple digits, huh? Welcome to my summer. At least mine is a dry heat. I don’t have AC, I have a swamp cooler. Any desert dweller knows what one of those is.

    Nice pics, Dude, are they growing lemon balm in there?

  10. Out of the 45 places, how many have you started making reservations at? And if you go long and make it a two parter, how many more pages will you end up having to write?
    I’d like to note that the Battlestar Galactica franchise is busy turning out dvds and new productions even as MGM/Syfy/TPTB still seemed stalled out on the Stargate movies. You folks have produced a wonderful set of products, but it’s frustrating that while Universe moves forward fans of the other two productions are still waiting on word of some sort of progress. On the plus side, with a completed script for the Atlantis movie, you are in a position to collect some cash for those of us who can scrape up enough money to buy copies off of you… I realize you have limited input on how things move forward, but hopefully those with more influence might take note of BG’s successes and consider being more aggressive in marketing their own products.
    I see the dogs have twittered again, so on that note thanks for the pics and have a great night.

  11. “Rob is prepping Lucid”

    Can we take this to mean his title change didn’t go over very well and it is no longer called “Human”?

  12. Not gonna lie, the new show DOES look very good. I was just remarking on that to a peer of mine. It’s looking like some serious Sh**.
    Stargate is growing.

  13. 45 restaurants? Just how long are you going to be in Tokyo? Honestly, Joe, I’m not sure I would survive if I traveled with you! But you should try to find a cafe with costumed wait-staff instead of wasting a precious dinner on one. I think they are all over the place in Akihabara.

    The hydroponics lab looks just as steam-punk as the rest of the place and not terribly plant friendly. But I expect that will get better as the plants mature and get more lush. I always think of the hydroponics area of a spaceship as kind of an oasis – a green and friendly place.

    @narelle: Okay, you work on that cut of the inheritance on your end and I’ll start buying those megamillion lotto tickets here. And pick a place for a beach party in Asia where there are no critters in the sea that want to eat me or even nibble a bit. Of course, we’ll have to send an albino in evening clothes, dark glasses and opium cigarettes to fetch das if we’re going to get her to come, but what the heck…

    @das: you didn’t hear any of that. Oh, and I’m halfway through MMM and just read the first chapter of Monsieur Zenith.

    And belated birthday greetings to Anne Teldy!

  14. Hey Joe,

    Love the pictures from Destiny; please keep them coming! 😀

    Do you think, at some future point, the sizzle reel from Comicon will be released? Or is that not really under your control?

    I may be in the minority, but I’m actually really enjoying this gorgeous Vancouver weather. Any plans to watch the fireworks tonight? Or do you stay well away from English Bay during the craziness….


  15. Joe Terrific is spot on again. Love Rob’s comment about SEASON 2 – yeah!. Thanks for the great pics.

  16. Very nice pics Mr. M. I’m still getting the Flash Gordon era vibe from the set decor though… lov’in it, just say’in. Hydroponics — way cool.

    I’m glad the gang at Bridge enjoyed the SFX and musically-enhanced trailers from Comic Con. I’m sure everyone on this blog has a similar opinion — FABULOUS! Thanks all who put them together.

    Any chance the fans will ever see the “super special extra-long sizzle reel Grey Munford and co. put together for buyers and media”?

    May I ask why Marty Gero is writing and consulting producing for SGU if he has this super new gig on another show out of NYC?

    Why isn’t James Bamford listed as Stunt Coordinator for SGU on IMDB?

    I’m sorry Vancouver is sizzling in heat and humidity. At least you folks now know what NJ gets every summer. Maybe the Gua’old messed with the jet stream?


  17. You said: “After completing his pass on Sabotage, Brad will shift gears to Episode #17, as yet untitled, which, I assume, we’ll be breaking sometime next week?”

    Now… I appreciate the hectic TV schedule, and I understand the need for fast-paced writing. But (if I understand you correctly) it seems strange to have Episodes 18-20 being written while Episode 17 hasn’t even gone through a story-break session…

    Is it difficult writing the series finale without having the rest of the season in place? Or is it not all that bad since you break the stories as a staff? (And yet, Episode 17 is still not outlined, which would undermine any understanding I seem to have of the writer’s room at SGU).

    Sorry if I’m come of as confusing. As fate would have it, I am in fact confused. 🙁 Whatever. Life goes on.

  18. There’s a female screenwriter? Let’s meet her! Can we get a guest blog with Barbara, or is she not here to stay?

  19. The Lock Up actually sounds like a pretty sweet place to eat!
    But still, 45 restaurants is pushing it, I think, as far as culinary exploits go. Might come home with a stomachache.

    Mmm, I wonder what hydroponically grown food tastes like… Possible future WFPotD? Or not weird enough?

    Philburt beat me to it: how can you be writing episode 20 when episode 17 isn’t broken yet? Or do you have the basic plot and just need to get the beats down? The whole writing-for-TV process is a source of endless curiosity to me! 😀

    Oh, and I forgot to say this yesterday, but YAY ELYSE!!! Her role is (if I recall correctly) the one that was causing the most fuss (not that there wasn’t fuss about them ALL) because hers was the character description that most specifically stressed her young age and silver-spoon upbringing. Glad to hear Elyse is handling the stress well!

  20. Hey Joe,

    With these out of this world temps we’ve been having in Vancouver (93 at the highest today). How has the cast and crew been keeping cool while on set???

    David Blue Twittered today that the Hair and Make-up people were going to have fun with him today!!!

    Would love to know!!!!

  21. My sympathies to all those in British Columbia suffering through the heat. Here in Houston 100-104 degree temperature and high humidity is normal; but we are equipped to handle it — everything is air conditioned. However, when Hurricane Ike came through and we were without power for 7 days, it wasn’t 100-104, but still hot and by the end of that 7 days it was getting hotter. You just didn’t even want to move or do anything but just lay there with a battery-operated fan on yourself and misting yourself. Sleeping was uncomfortable. We’re so spoiled.

  22. Just curious Joe.. But, exactly how *long* DID it take you to pay off all of those eatery credit card bills from your last little Tour de Food…? Hope you’re using one of them really, *really* good “points” card!! AND have an equally as good “Health Plan”…. You know, just in case Fondy “injures” herself lifting the Card “statement” out of the mail box…

  23. Hey Joe,

    The hydroponics bay looks great. I just have one question: Is there a problem with the artificial gravity on the Destiny? I only ask because the only reason you’d want to grow tomatoes in a centrifuge is if you needed to use it for artificial gravity to promote regular growth in microgravity.


  24. I’ve really enjoyed the interesting and funny stuff in your last two entries – the focus on Elyse Levesque as Chloe Armstrong, in particular, and I think pg15 and PBmom made good points re. character development. Also, I think it’s relevant that in the first trailer, Nicholas Rush is looking down on those on the level below and thinking, “These are all the wrong people.” (Personally, I’m glad I wouldn’t be among those Rush would consider the right people, but that’s beside the point.) – The first pic of Elyse is especially nice; it captures a pensieve side, and maybe other things that I’m sure haven’t gone unnoticed by the guys. *w*

    Love the pics of Carl and Rob. Carl is too funny as a pretend scenery-chewer. Re. Rob’s eyes, obviously he’s going through some sort of change akin to that of the spice-eaters in Dune, but with an unsuspected twist. Awaiting further developments.

    – I’m pretty embarrassed about my histrionic and somewhat paranoid comment on your blog-birthday entry. I’m still trying to learn how not to let stress (the major kind) pop out at the wrong times, in the wrong places, and in not the best ways. I thought it was awfully nice of you to throw a virtual party, and had fun reading the posts afterward. (Cleaning up after party hearty Riley, maybe not so much. – Kidding. Good times.)

    A bit later today, I’ll be traveling to Florida. The trip came up sooner than expected, but in this case, that’s a good thing.

  25. Dear Joe,

    I love the Tokyo Restaurant list. What a trip. Are you going to take pictures and notes so we can have a little Japanese food guide…of course you would tell us your favorite.

    I thought that was funny about Robert wanting to make your script into a two-parter. I love those..they have more detail..other than the fact you see it a week apart.

    The pictures as always are so fabulous. Can’t even speak to what they mean to me.

    Thank you again for entertaining me.

    Best always,

  26. phthth!! all this talk about the Summer everyone seems to be having PAH! Apparently we had ours back in June which is a bugger cuz I think I may have slept through it. My gills are developing nicely and the webbing between toes and fingers should be useful around september. Meanwhile baling equipment is on permanent standby and I’m looking into the prospect of bottling the rain and exporting it elsewhere.
    Now off to the Library to rearrange their books again and put them in the right genres…OCD? Moi?

  27. Hi Mr M!

    Would love to see the sizzle reel…Wrt: heat….please take a trip to Ireland…it is RAINING (pretty much since last July).

    RE: Japan….more on the Tippu Tippu song, and don’t forget those Hermes Macaroons!!!!

    You guys seem really busy with shooting at the mo.

    I echo the call for a Q and A with Barbara!

    Best to all


  28. @ Sparrowhawk & narelle –

    Girls… I have a beach…sun, fun, and NO tropical diseases! 😀 We do have greenhead flies, though. 😛 And horseshoe crabs…and this kinda funky smell at low tide… and…

    Hmm. Maybe you should send that opium-smokin’ Albeeno (as the Brits say) my way afterall.

    Albeeno. Sounds like an anti-gas cure. 😉


  29. I’m glad that some of you can point to a few female characters who ping for you – I can, and have, as well. I am not saying, and I have never said, that all female characters in science fiction are weak and helpless princesses. What I am saying, and failing at making clear, is that there is a trope in this genre in which female characters are depicted as lesser, weaker models of their male counterparts and that, far too often in my opinion, the disney-fied idea of a princess, learning about life and her role in it because she’s fallen in love with her hero knight-rescuer, is considered the ultimate in character growth.

    For me, that kind of character growth isn’t enough anymore.

    I want to see more technically-minded and capable female characters on my TV screen, because I am lucky enough that that is MY everyday experience of the women I see around me. We are not all secretaries or teachers or nurses or housewives or supermodels. Some of us are in technical fields like IT and physics and mathematics and engineering. Some of us are in the military. Some of us are leaders, and heroes, and first responders who know what to do in emergency situations. Where are those women on Icarus Base? Why aren’t we seeing them in action in the trailers? When do I get to see something that makes me look at the women characters in SGU, and say, “Hey, you know, there’s somebody I could really get interested in, because she’s smart and capable and great at what she does!”

  30. Joe,
    One of my favorite restaurants in Tokyo serves a dish known as Dojo Nabe.
    The restaurant has been in the family for generations. It is over 100 years old.
    I will look up the address and write out directions for you if you are interested.

    Dave Chapple

  31. For those now experiencing (temporary) heat waves, Auntie Gilder’s Cooling Advice from Exceptional Drought territory:

    (with apologies for the format, copied from an email)

    > Cool the extremities with wading pools, ice packs, cool drinks in
    > hand. I find a cold pack on the neck helpful.
    > Avoid going out in hottest part of day. Check the onlne hourly
    > forecasts to determine that time in your area. Down here, it’s
    > generally 2–7 PM.
    > I refill drink bottles halfway, then freeze. When going out, I add
    > water, Gatorade, juice, to have cool drink in car. Also good ice
    > packs for coolers.
    > Call the authorities /help agencies about vulnerable folks:
    > elderly, small children and infants, pets.
    > Your seniors at mobile home park may not know of alternatives > available. Does management provide any A/C space, like a > clubhouse? (It’s to their advantage to keep paying customers. )
    > In San Antonio, two TV stations run box fan drives every year, in
    > coop. with Fire Dept. and Family Services Agency (non-profit).
    > Ask local Red Cross Disaster Services or city /county energency
    > operations center to set up cooling stations /shelters.
    Also, wear loose, light-colored clothing, turn off un-needed indoor lights, and close shades to block sunlight heat.

    The good news? A large thunderstorm front is blowing in from the NW. The bad: temps still expected to be 100 or more for the next week.

  32. Okay, so I did some reading up on the characters on the Stargate Wiki site, and you know, I think I’ve found the female character I’ll be watching SGU for. Tamara commands an air of respect from the rest of the crew, which suggests she is capable and smart, and many of the things I’m looking for in a female character. Yay!

    I still think the comic con trailer is weak in showing why we should care about the female characters, though, or what value they add to the show beyond the romantic subplots, and I hope later teasers and/or trailers address the issue, at least a little bit.

  33. hello joe.

    interressant this greenhouse.

    more questions.

    1) What is the writing used for symbols?

    2) Will we see Ancients during this season?and animals?

    3) Will there be an universe alien’s who coming with the crew during the travel?

    4) Why not to add a pet on the show for the fun (same star trek enterprise)?


  34. Hey Joe,

    Happy to take a some degrees off you Vancouverites because someone stole all of ours. I don’t mind it being cold if it’s raining. But when it’s cold for no reason, I just get cranky. Shirt ‘n’ Tie – Also happy to take some of your rain. We need it!

    I too was wondering if you’d decided to extend your herb selection after reading the title of your blog entry today. And also wondering if you’d decided on an alternate means for coming up with some new story ideas that were slightly left of centre. Whoa man, it’s like, aliens, but they look like flying pizzas. Really, really tasty flying pizzas. Neil from the Young Ones had an impact on my youth.

    The Lock Up reminds me of a place in Singapore I visited recently called The Clinic. You sit in wheelchairs, your tables are old autopsy tables, the freezers are old morgue lockers and your drinks come in an IV. The bar was better equipped than some of our hospitals!

    sparrow_hawk – There’s oh so many beaches/islands in Thailand I would recommend. **sigh** Sorry, just thinking about being warm near the beach. Das – not sure how we’d get you on a plane, kidnapping couldn’t be ruled out. I’d probably say that Koh Samui or anywhere around Phi Phi is nicely lacking in deadly creatures while also providing a nice backdrop for drinks, culinary adventures, some late night DVD viewing and general frivolity. I know For The Love of Beckett is already signed up 🙂

  35. Joe , may you find all the food in Tokyo that your little heart desires! It will be an adventure for sure. Take pictures to share, thanks. What ever it takes to help your brain churn out all those great episodes,eating chocolate, japanese, foie gras, keep it working. Looking forward to the show. And don’t forget to bring back presents from your trip for the pups.(they will expect them)

  36. Japanese huh? I’m trying to learn my karate terms in Japanese for my black belt test.


  37. P.s. the pronunciation is killing me (the Japanese). It doesn’t help that my karate instructor says the words with a southern accent so deep, the native Japanese students don’t recognize what he is saying :P. Learning and understanding the Japanese terms is the one big thing I’m worried about in my black belt test.

    Your Japanese sounds much more fun (and edible).


  38. Finally saw the new trailer. looks great, (… and exciting). Have not been able to watch it using the link you gave the other day. Once on, the video kept freezing every 2 or 3 seconds. I’m still not able to watch it from there.

    Now, I’ve noticed Robert Carlyle has an interesting accent, would you happend to know where he gets this accent from?

    I’ve been watching pictures of the Destiny and the technology that is inside it, and I’m wondering how old is the Destiny supposed to be? When the crew goes through the Stargate and end up on the ship, which year are they supposed to be in?
    It seem that they end up on an abandonned ship, do we learn the reason for it ? Was the ship built with human or alien technology ?

  39. The hydroponics drum is a real product called the Volksgarden-TM, made by Omega Garden Inc in Vancouver BC. see more at – omega garden dot com – It looks a little different in real life then on the SGU set, but not much.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.