Today, I’d like to address the online controversy surrounding SGU’s late season episode Sabotage and, specifically, the concern stemming from the released character breakdown and casting sides as they relate to the character of Eleanor Perry.
Let me begin by saying that it’s understandable why so many people are upset. That said, I can assure you that the material being cited does a poor job of reflecting the character or story developments as they will appear in the episode – as will become readily apparent once Sabotage finally airs.

First, there’s the issue of the character breakdown. Now, last year, we tried to address the problem of these breakdowns finding their way out into public forums. The main issue for us arose from the fact that these externally generated summaries were occasionally inaccurate or implied elements that weren’t actually in the script. An example that comes to mind is the online reaction to the all-female team in Atlantis season 4’s Whispers. When those character breakdowns were released, unfairly or not, the general consensus was that we were looking to cast some stereotypical damsels in distress, hapless and hysterical victims for our dashing heroes to save. After the episode finally aired, while fans may have had issues with other aspects of the episode (which, being fans, they often will), the initial concerns stirred by those character breakdowns turned out to be a non-issue. We took steps to avoid the same thing happening again by generating the character breakdowns internally. In theory, it was a great idea since it would allow us to sign off on them in case they did end up getting out there. In practice however…Well, I’m not sure what happened but suffice it to say we dropped the ball. And the result? I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a better example of a worst case scenario. Still, if nothing else, this incident has served as a wake up call. I can guarantee you that, in the future, any and all material will be vetted before leaving our offices.

 

Second, as Brad and Robert already pointed out in their response, this was an early draft of the script. Negative reactions to some of the cited in-story developments are not at all surprising given that, quite frankly, it happens all the time internally. But how, you may ask, can it be an early draft of the script if it says Final Draft? Well, simply put, just because it says Final don’t mean it’s Final. I direct you to a March of 2008 blog entry I wrote titled, appropriately enough “ THE ULTIMATE EXTREME EXTRA SUPERFANTASTIC BEST LUCKY ULTRA NUMBER ONE FINAL FINAL DRAFT” (http://josephmallozzi.com/2008/03/10/march-10-2008/). I hadn’t even read a draft and provided notes until the beginning of this week. Other players, from the director to the various departments to the network had still to weigh in with their thoughts. From the day it is released to the final shooting version, the script will go through many changes as evidenced by all those lovely multi-colored pages. Again I can assure you that, like the character breakdowns, the audition sides do not accurately reflect the finished script.

Third, I can also assure you that the character of Eleanor Perry will not be portrayed as some sex-starved individual looking to bed down anyone in sight. She’s been in a wheelchair most of her life, not in a hermetically-sealed isolation chamber, so it would stand to reason that her disability would not preclude intimacy. Furthermore, the characters of Eleanor Perry and Nicholas Rush have a pre-established friendship and professional relationship that leads Rush to recommend her for the task of addressing a ship-related issue. This past association, built on understanding and mutual respect, is the seed for any potential affection in this story, not biological drive or missed opportunity.

Fourth, and finally, I’d like to address the issue concerning the character of Camile Wray, the franchise’s first openly gay character. Months ago, while we were gearing up for the start of production, I put forth Wray as one of my favorites. She’s a fish out of water, an administrator on board a space ship, a civilian amongst scientists and military personnel, stalwart, smart, opinionated, but at her core a caring and surprisingly vulnerable individual. One of the season’s highlights so far has been the episode Life in which Wray gets to return to Earth (via the body swap conceit of the communication stones) and be reunited with her wife, Sharon. The scenes are beautifully written and beautifully directed, but it’s the performances of both Ming Na and Reiko Aylesworth that really strike a cord. Their stable, grounded relationship is as much in contrast to the show’s other dysfunctional relationships as it is to Wray’s austere, lonely existence on the ship – making her eventual return that much more poignant. All this to say that we’ve worked hard to present a compelling, believable, multi-layered character – a major player in the shipboard dynamics and intrigue – and we are not about to do anything that will undermine or disrespect her. I’d love to say more, but at the risk of giving away any spoilers…

Yes, we’re aware of the issues and extremely sensitive to all of your concerns. Suffice it to say that once Sabotage has aired, many of those eyeing this episode with certain trepidation will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief – and, here’s hoping, also enjoy the show as well.

Now for a little mailbag:

Pastrygirl writes: “Have you decided on October’s BOTM selection?”

Answer: Not yet. Have any suggestions? Let’s hear ’em.

Majorsal writes: “Can you give a reasonable, yet realistic time table on when you think the movies will be made?”

Answer: As I’ve said before, Paul and I have written and delivered the script. The rest is out of our hands.

Darkcraft writes: “Now that the united states government has branded most animal rights groups as being ‘domestic terrorists’ (because apparently picketing and exposing illegal activities is something terrorists do), there isn’t all that much choice of groups for animal rights supporters.”

Answer: I respectfully disagree. Certain animal rights groups that have been branded domestic terrorists because they have firebombed buildings, destroyed public buildings, and threatened lives. While PETA has done some good, they’ve proven themselves at turns incredibly arrogant, bullheaded, offensive, highly insensitive, and hysterically petty. More often than not, their inability to grasp the sheer idiocy of their actions and PR statements only serves to reinforce the general opinion that they are dipstick extremists completely out of touch with the average person. As you pointed out, this is both sad and incredibly frustrating for many individuals who want to support animal causes but are loathe to send any money to support these yahoos. Instead, might I suggest supporting some of the many animal rescue efforts on a local and national level, several of whom have been cited in the comments of fellow readers, groups that, unlike PETA, are more interested in helping animals than helping themselves.

Rrarr123 writes: “Organizations like Sea Shepherds or Green Peace are very “singular-cause oriented”; PETA goes after EVERYTHING it considers wrong.”

Answer: Yes, and that’s the problem. Once an organization starts sending out press releases criticizing the on-air swatting of a fly, it begs not to be taken seriously.

Herbertsommerfeld writes: “Are you going to go see District 9?”

Answer: If the reviews are good, I’ll certainly pick up the DVD.

Jeff writes: “He also has the opportunity to be a bettter person than he would be had he not committed the deplorable crimes he did. Ever hear of Barry Minkow? Child Financial Wiz/Young Adult Financial Wiz/Adult Born Again Christian?”

Answer: Sure. If I cared to, I’m sure I could come up with a healthy list of individuals who had second (sometimes third and fourth chances) and blew them as well, often hurting innocents in the process. Again, it’s not simply a matter of his involvement in a dog fighting operation but his sadistic treatment of these animals. It was less a bad decision as it was a shocking lack of empathy and borderline psychotic behavior.

Jeff also writes: “I have tried posting a few comments that might be considered critical, although I have tried to do it in a constructive manner. If you need to hide such posting from your fan base to make you feel that much more important than that is your choice.”

Answer: I have no problem posting criticisms so long as they’re not rude in nature or personal attacks. I’d suggest you dust off that last post I failed to approve to see which of those two categories it falls under.

PG15 writes: “ Assuming your 2 scripts for episodes 19 and 20 remain 2 scripts, how will the naming go? Will they be (Name) Part 1 and (Name) Part 2, or 2 completely different names, i.e. Darkness and Light?”

Answer: I would prefer to go with a shared name X I and X II.

Deni writes: “Hey, have we not heard from Trish in a while or am I just not paying attention?”

Answer: Hey, you’re right. Trish? TRIIIIIIISSSH!!!

Major D. Davis writes: “Is Dale Volker a scientist or a medical doctor?”

Answer: Scientist.

Stitch writes: “We are having so much trouble trying to figure out what model Motorola Radio the SGU cast is carrying around. Anyway you could give us a hint if it is a GP328 or what model they are?”

Answer: Remind me to ask Evil Kenny on Monday.

Deni writes: “Hi Joe, how’s Jelly doing?”

Answer: The old gal is doing fine. Her test results came back and her liver enzymes are still elevated, so I’m bringing her in for an ultrasound at the end of the month.

Crayonbaby writes: “Who writes the summary of a character that they are sending to casting?”

Answer: From now on, we do!

Duneknight writes: “Will the Kino webisodes be available to people living outside of the US?”

Answer: According to the studio, eventually, yes.

Multisemi writes: “1. People with disabilities can and do have “intimacy.” They even kiss other people.

2. If someone is “intimate” with my body while I am asleep or otherwise not in conscious control of it and I have not previously given explicit permission for that act, it is rape.”

Answers: 1. Agree. 2. Also agree.

Narelle from Aus writes: “Hope Jelly’s results come back showing her fighting fit. Is she on MetaCam?”

Answer: Hey, Narelle, thanks for the tip. I mentioned it to the vet and she said that while MetaCam wouldn’t have caused the problem, it could certainly exacerbate it. I’m going to scale back her dosage and monitor her pain level.

Deni writes: “Oh, yeah, Joe, have you tried milk thistle for Jelly’s liver?”

Answer: Thanks for the suggestion, Deni. I’ll see what the ultrasound turns up and then look into milk thistle. My wife recommended it for a friend who is a heavy drinker and would complain about liver pains (!). He tried it and then claimed he couldn’t continue taking it because he was lactose intolerant. I told him I was pretty certain there was no actual dairy in milk thistle, but there was no convincing him.

Gilder writes: “ How will Mr. Ferreira be credited? As Luis Ferreira or, see IMDb, Justin Louis?”

Answer: Luis Ferreira.

Michael A. Burstein writes: “Nomi and I have been home for three weeks because we just had baby twin girls, and in the midst of taking care of them we sometimes keep the TV on in the background.”

Answer: Hey, congratulations! Hopefully, both Josephine and Joelle will grow up to be huge Stargate fans, just like mom and dad! All the best to Nomi.

DasNdanger writes: “For some reason, the info on kino should have made me understand what it is better…but it doesn’t. What’s the purpose of it?”

Answer: In addition to allowing the crew to explore inaccessible parts of the ship, it also serves as a MALP to scout out planets. Our characters can also use them as video diaries, allowing the audience a more intimate glimpse into their respective personalities and backgrounds.

Dave writes: “Will SGU in any way tell us something about the ongoings of the Atlantis expedition?”

Answer: Alas, no. Sorry.

Silver_comet writes: “Do you use recording equipment for your thoughts when you’re in situations where you can’t write them down soon?”

Answer: Nope. I just endlessly run and re-run the dialogue in my head until I achieve a rhythm I like.

Gen writes: “Do you ever use music for inspiration? Have your stories or characters ever had unofficial soundtracks?”

Answer: Nope. I find music a distraction.

The Bald Soprano writes: “I’m a college student — a hopeful someday TV writer. And I’m working on a spec pilot these days. […] However, as I’m not writing on assignment I wasn’t sure if I should be writing it in cable-format (without act-breaks) or if I should include the breaks. Any thoughts?”

Answer: To be honest, I think you’d be safe going either way although, if it was me, I would include the act breaks. A spec script is a calling card that demonstrates talent as much as it demonstrates an understanding of proper format and story structure.

O6untouchable writes: “You mentioned in response to DP’s questions that the Kino is not sentient. Why then is it roaming the ship, catching these intimate moments with the crew? Is it some sort of high-tech Ancient security camera / guard dog? Or is it being directed to fly around the ship by someone, to “spy” on people, or somesuch?”

Anwswer: The Kino can either be remote controlled or placed on a roam setting.

Quade1 writes: “Joe did you ever find out how they got the Puddle Jumper into the SGC gate room in Morpheus??”

Answer: It was either one of two ways: either they disassembled it and reassembled it in the gate room, or they got it in the same way they got the gate there – by lowering it in from above.

Anneteldy writes: “By the way, Mr. M, is it pronounced KEY-no or kin-o?”

Answer: KEY-no.

StellaByStargate writes: “perhaps you can confirm or correct something RCC said in an article that was posted on SciFi Wire today…they reported that he said he thought that that the SG-1 movie was set sometime between Continuum and the events of SGU. Would you say that’s accurate?”

Answer: Sounds about right.

Maza writes: “Yet here we are, three years after they were filmed, and there’s still not even any word from you lot about when we might see another one.”

Answer: Clearly, you don’t visit much. I’ve done my best to keep fans updated. Anything I know, you know. Well, maybe not you specifically but the readers of this blog.

Norriski writes: “…my 9 month old Blue Tick/Red Bone Coon-hound was well taken care of by my brother/neighbor. But here is the problem, Chassis is extremely destructive!”

Answer: I’m not a dog expert but, given the pup’s age, chances are she’ll grow out of it. Back when Maximus was a puppy, he used to enjoy gnawing on the moldings and wall corners – much to our horror. He grew out of it. Jelly used to enjoy gnawing on stair corners. I tried to dissuade her by sprinkling a little tabasco on the area but she seemed to enjoy it. Eventually, she grew out of it too.

MaggieMayDay writes: “We had some local ALF dipwads “liberate” minks from a farm. These were not pets, but they were cared for extremely well until they met their destiny. Turned out of their cages? Most of them died from heat and fright right there in front of the farm. Asshats!”

Answer: A similar thing happened here. A farm was raided and all the mink set free. For days afterward, city workers were shoveling mink road kill off the local highway.

107 thoughts on “August 15, 2009: Addressing the Issues and a Robust Mailbag.

  1. Hi, Joe
    Did SGU webisode get a name yet? Like Battlestar’s The Resistance. And how long is each of webisode?

  2. I’m still not sure how I feel about the Ming Na character, but I’ve always known that all of you would not exploit a character in a manner in which it would cause controversy. I’m quite excited about the kino, it reminds me of the Halo ‘character’/thing Spark. Does it have any other abilities besides video recording and transmission? Glad to hear Jelly is doing ok and I hope she gets better soon.

    Thanks always,

    -ZPB

  3. @Deni, BREATHE, BREATHE, it’s all right. Did you see the 11:00 news on sat. night? ANA is giong more south, -cuba- maybe the gulf, and bill is still 9-10 days off and they think it may curve more north and poss. become a fish storm!! Just keep watching the weather. IF I have to , i will drive you to Chicago myself, you WILL get there!!! Give them “BOTH” a kiss from me- you know who!! HI JOE, were are just a little nuts because the tropical storms-hurricanes- are lining up out in the atlantic ocean, one after another. It always gets us crazy as we both have had to deal with severe storms in the past and both has massive damage to our homes. So we keep our fingers crossed and stay on top of the weather… and pray!! …Sheryl

  4. Hi Mr. M,

    I just wanted to say thank you for the excellent way you handeled this. This “calms my Nerves” regarding the subject. I knew this entry would talk about sabotage and that stuff but what you wrote is really nice. It just goes to show you guys are true professionals and that you truly care about your fans.

    Thank You so muchx Mr. Mallozzi,
    Adam

  5. Hold on a minute… who wrote Sabotage? Hopefully it was someone who managed to make all of this happen gracefully.

  6. Lol season 4’s whispers.

    It’s ok Mr. M. I know there was a lot on your mind for this entry. It got a huge smile reading it. Well I’m so tired right now I’ll smile at just about anything. Lol.

    Goodnight everyone,
    Major D. Davis

  7. Hey Joe,

    This whole thing with the casting call release has been on twitter. Links from twitter to websites, journals..blogs. I read Brad and Robert’s statement and I came away feeling still very sad. You are the team of creators and we can’t possibly see your vision on this. What few words I did read left me knowing I would probably just skip the episode.

    What you have said is reasonable and I should feel different. I keep asking myself why I don’t…so I think at times like this it is better to step aside and be supportive. I have only posted one short post, and this here will be my last on the subject. I trust you, Brad and Robert. You have a wonderful franchise that has brought me great joy.

    Best,
    Cheryl

  8. Thank you for answering my question, Joe! That’s one less episode name to guess. Good. 😉

    And a HUUUUUUUGE THANK YOU for the d-low on Sabotage. I’m really not that surprised that there is more nuances to the issues presented. Perry knew Rush? That’s huge and changes quite a few things. Having read your blog for 1000+ days straight, and noticing the issues you’ve raised that I haven’t even realized myself, it would be crazy for me to think you guys aren’t aware of all these issues already, like rape or stereotypical portrayal of quadriplegic people.

    Besides, you guys aren’t blind. You guys see all the criticism that’s out there. At this point, I’m sure that, whatever issues may come up, it’s not due to ignorance, but rather creative choice, which I respect.

    Speaking of creative…ness, John Scalzi has posted about this, and I’ve joined the discussion about this episode currently going on in the comments section of John’s blog entry. I hope he doesn’t mind me linking to it:

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2009/08/14/controversies-and-etc/

    It’s very intimidating over there. LOL. From lurking there in the past, it seems that there are several commenters with significant debating skills, not to mention a wealth of knowledge regarding portrayals of minorities in the media. However, I have an advantage: I seem to be one of a very few commenters who’s actually seen Stargate, and thus know the importance (and the workings) of the Ancient Long-Range Communications Device in the portrayals of this episode. Hopefully, it will make a difference.

    Off I go back to the debate!

  9. I… uh, wow. I’m rather taken aback! I disappear for a few days to gleefully run around the set scrawling equations on anything I can get my grubby little paws on, and a huge controversy breaks out? Geeze, I really am ridiculously out-of-the-loop while being in-loop — maybe it’s true what they say about oblivious scientists…

    Re: character breakdowns — no description targeted at actors and agents could have prepared me for the realization that I’ve repeatedly dated incarnations of Eli. While the first time I was in John Sheppard’s bedroom left me tongue-tied, I’m in serious danger of absently dropping pet-names on David Blue.

    Everything I’ve seen has left me eager for the show to air. My newest plot to get around lack of both a television and cable is to get a critical mass gathered at a Vancouver pub to convince them to switch from sports to Stargate. And if that fails, maybe I can convince pg15 to stalk me a dorm resident with access to communal tv….

  10. Sabotage – would it kill you guys to actually apologize for the words in that release/casting call that set this whole thing in motion? I mean, seriously, someone at SGU wrote it, dispersed it, and you guys admitting it was wrong to even think that way would go a long way towards easing tensions.

  11. You do realise if Perry has sex in Camile’s body, yanno, without her explicit permission, it’s rape, right?

  12. Thanks Joe.

    Hmmm. Between Continuum and SGU…which I presume means before SGA’s Enemy at the Gate as well. Well…this will certainly give my imagination something to contemplate for a while….

    SBS

  13. Thanks for the clarification on “Sabotage,” Joe. It’ll be interesting to see how that episode plays out. I did have one question, though. After reading the spoilers for that ep I wanted to know if SGU is going to be considered a “family show” like SG1 & SGA were or is it going to be more adult oriented?

  14. You know, no matter how much you try to fix this, there will still be people out there who will bash it. That’s unfortunate.

    Thanks for the answer. I figured that whoever was responsible for that casting call didn’t realize the fallout. I just wish it would not be placed on the internet for all to read. We all know that these things go through so many different versions, etc., in regards to casting, script changes, editing, whatever before it airs. As I always say, shit happens. No one is perfect. As I’ve stated before, I’ll wait and see the episode before judgment.

  15. Ok, my head is about to explode from all of this disabled/rape talk. I’ll wait till the episode airs before putting in my opinons on the matter, given that I haven’t enough data to maek an informed opinion right now. You folks have had the occasional faux pas in the past; if you do it again then you’ll be castigated by all. But until you do blunder, I’d rather leave you to the business of making the episodes.
    As an FYI, I’m back from my Fuel experience. As a die hard “meat and potatoes” person, it’s a far cry from my usual fare(though I’ve been working on developing a better palate and learning to cook more adventurously.) Not a cheap meal, but well worth it. Not a perfect meal, but the staff is definitely top notch and no complaints on the service. Thanks for all of your coverage of Fuel, that enticed me to give them a try. Thanks also for the fat mailbag. Looking forward to more of Carl;s, the dogs’, and your own misadventures..

  16. Thornyrose writes: “As an FYI, I’m back from my Fuel experience.”

    What did you have? When did you get in town? How long are you staying? Where else have you gone?

    Leila writes: “You do realise if Perry has sex in Camile’s body, yanno, without her explicit permission, it’s rape, right?”

    Answer: I answered this question in today’s mailbag. And – yes.

    Karen writes: “…would it kill you guys to actually apologize for the words in that release/casting call that set this whole thing in motion? I mean, seriously, someone at SGU wrote it, dispersed it…”

    Answer: An apology was issued.

  17. Camile being a fish out of water addresses an issue I had with her character that I now understand better.

    When her character was first announced, she was an accountant. It was announced later she was Human Resources instead.

    The irony was I had just removed mention of human resources and a woman on a spaceship being an accountant from a story I was working on because those things were turning into injections of boredom.

    I was afraid Camile would be boring, too, but the fish out of water angle puts her blah career into a new light.

    I’ll take a few extra seconds to consider the fish out of water angle the next time I go to cut something.

  18. There are a lot of people who have raised concerns about Sabotage who have not seen any SG media, and their concerns are valid. Having watched SG1 and SGA I have to say, if anything, I’m actually *more* concerned.

    As it’s been pointed out by others this episode is being brought to us by the same people who thought it was hilarious to have a character roofie women (yes, I’m bringing up “Irresistible”, because it really is relevant), where the last GLBTQ character – who was in all of two episodes – was killed and only then outed on a blog with no canon reference, and have been hearing negative talk about their race and gender issues since SG1 was still on the air (and yes guys, it is possible to have a show without hearing that kind of criticism, many other shows manage to do it). So my faith in your ability to avoid insulting several demographics in one fell swoop is pretty low.

    It’s possible to be “edgy” without being offensive, but I’m not remotely convinced the showrunners have the ability to toe that line. Do you have anything definitive from the episode to say otherwise?

  19. Maybe you should post a link to the apology, which I hope was for what was said and done, not for the fact that a bunch of us are angry.

  20. OK, how about something by Neil Gaiman? Or, another one of your faves for October. Any excuse to read, I always say…

    For Norriski and anyone else with frisky, gnawing pets I have a suggestion that usually works – it’s called Grannicks Bitter Apple. It says to spray in the dog’s mouth to give them the (bitter) taste, then spray on anything you don’t want them to chew on. They get close enough to smell it, remember the blecky taste and move on!

    Before you all worry that its cruel, I have tried it myself and yes, its bitter but not horrible. Rather than spray in the dog’s mouth and risk spraying in eyes, I spray my fingers and let them lick it off. Works pretty well, and I’ve had countless rescue/foster dogs with poor manners to test it on!
    Available at most pet stores and large discount stores like Walmart etc.

  21. Thank you Joe for the comments you made in this blog.

    In my opinion. Watch the episode first, and than if you have a problem with it. Comment later!!!

  22. “An apology was issued.”

    Yes, and it contained the *exact* same line that upset so many of us in the first place: “…happens to be quadriplegic.”

    Tag another adjective onto that (black, Asian, woman, etc.), read it again, and tell me that it isn’t insulting. “Oh, she’s a brilliant scientist who happens to be black, but her brilliance totally overcomes that unfortunate skin color condition. So sad she’s like that, eh?” THAT is what those words convey. I hope you (collectively, not just JM, BW, RC, etc.) can see how hurtful this is.

    Also, in regards to the words “those who may have been offended.” There is no “may have,” here. People were, and are, hurt and offended: hands down, flat out, no question. Why such tip-toeing around the fact?

    Please check out natsuko78’s view (http://sheafrotherdon.livejournal.com/424574.html?thread=21347966#t21347966).

  23. My gut reaction from all this hoohaa, warranted or not:
    I really cannot get over the fact that one of the main players on the new Stargate show is a rapist or wannabe rapist (unless that scene from the sides is rewritten). I just don’t want to watch this kind of show. I like a little angst, sure, but this is too much; I’d feel dirty just tuning in.
    I think one of the MGM folk talked to AfterEllen and said that the bodyswap/sex thing was a repeated thing on the series, even before the Perry/Wray incident, and this is also something I’d rather not see. Maybe one time, just to bring up the issue, but repeatedly? Why?
    That same MGM person evidently said that the ONLY healthy relationship on the entire show is that between Wray and her lesbian partner. While I’m all for showing a healthy couple, lesbian or not, why is it the only one?
    Every other pairing is filled with issues, betrayal, dysfunction? If I want to see that I’ll just go watch a daytime soap. Or Jerry Springer.
    I WANT SCIENCE FICTION! NOT DAMNED SCREWED UP CHARACTERS IN A SPACE SOAP!
    Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggggggg!

  24. pastrygirl –
    I’ll second the use of Grannicks Bitter Apple. Our dog will occasionally lick her front legs until a sore appears, and a spritz or two will ensure that she stops bothering the hotspots long enough to let them heal. Good stuff!

  25. Ann-Marie Sloan
    Thank you Joe for the comments you made in this blog.

    In my opinion, watch the episode first, and than if you have a problem with it. Comment later!!!

    I agree with Ann- Marie! I hate it when people jump to conclusions!

    Thank you Mr. M. for the follow up! I will wait patiently for the episode to air.
    Cheers,
    Patricia Lee

  26. It so amazes me how people can get so caught up in character descriptions they are designed for the agents/actors to look and see if they are up to the challange of doing the part…the more info they get the better…otherwise if you are picked for an audition you can go in half prepared. Which is a waste of time and money for everyone.

    Btw you don’t have a copy of ‘Desperate Escape’ Michael’s last film…only shown in Canada…many fans chomping at the bit to get a copy…LOL (I am joking!)…we are chomping at the bit though…LOL

    Kriss 🙂

  27. @ Mika: I’ll get on that immediately! It shouldn’t be a problem; I’m excellent at stalking – I believe that’s on my permanent record at UBC.

    But, should I fail, I propose this alternative: I will BUY you a TV, and give you cable for one month, if you give me a tour of Bridge Studios. 😉

  28. Como ESTA Senor Luis Ferreira?? I have the same last name…..Could you possibly be my long lost uncle????

  29. Hi Joe:

    As the parent of two sons with disabilities, and as someone who has worked with many people with a variety of disabilities, I had no problem with the casting call as it was worded. I also think that those people who are screaming foul should see how other people with disabilities feel about it instead of speaking for them.

    One personal comment, however. When writing the way that a person with a disability is described, remember that the person with a disability is a person first. You do not call the individual “that quadraplegic, or that crippled person”. The person, when described by other characters in the show, should describe them as, “the person with quadraplegia, or the person with a mobility disability”. It doesn’t roll off the tongue, but it would definitely show sensitivity to the people with disabilities, because it is the appropriate way to describe the person.

    And, thanks so much to whomever wrote the episode, for including a person with a disability as a character. I asked you guys to include a person with a disability when I wrote a comment on your blog several months ago. I am so glad that you agreed that this was a good idea.

    Patricia Bertrand

  30. Aparently people need to learn NOT to assume things. I personally had no idea anything like this was going on with SGU (but then again I’m still peeved with what happened to SGA). Geez, wait till it is shown then form an opinion. Like me with SGU. I’m going to watch a few episodes (or at least one) then form an opinion. Why 100% beleive something before you see it.
    And Joe, multiply revisions must suck some times. 🙂

  31. Coucou mon super Joseph =D

    ça va aujourd’hui?? Moi bien, mais il à fait si chaud que je n’ai pas pu dormir cette nuit.

    Je ne comprend pas, quel est le probléme avec l’épisode “sabotage”? Car j’ai essayer de traduire plusieur des textes concernant cette épisode mais il à des choses asser délicate à traduire -_-‘

    En tout cas c’est trés gentil de votre part de répondre à toute ces questions, pour l’instant aucune ne me viens à l’esprit..

    Bonne journée!
    Bisou!

  32. personally i like the story i just hope its not gonna be soft core porn sleazy. although i cant imagine that “disabled” character living with herself after what she had done. like in Miller’s Crossing. anyway dont change the story because you are pressured to do so, you canceled atlantis for this so it better be worth it.

  33. “Third, I can also assure you that the character of Eleanor Perry will not be portrayed as some sex-starved individual looking to bed down anyone in sight. She’s been in a wheelchair most of her life, not in a hermetically-sealed isolation chamber, so it would stand to reason that her disability would not preclude intimacy.”

    If that’s the case, why does she need to use someone else’s body to “to finally experience intimacy”? “Intimacy” that involves more than one of the male characters?

  34. Thanks to whoever wrote it for including a lesbian into the series, and for including a person with a disability. I will refrain from commenting on the issue until I have seen the episode.

    As to the October BOTM?

    No offense to you Joe, but sometimes you are way to highbrow for me (us?)

    Can we have an easy science fiction book this time?

    By this, I mean a well written book that eases you into the story. Most of your selection falls under what I consider hard reading.

    A book I consider a hard reader is a book that you know is going to be an excellent read judging from all the comments surrounding it, but is hard going at first.

    It’s like a nut. You know you will really enjoy the superb goodness inside if only…you..can open the darn thing…

    This time I would like the nut to be really good, but also to have a soft shell.

    John Scalzi does an easy (but good) book, but we have done one of his books before.

    How about Storm Front by Jim Butcher?

    Any other suggestions?

  35. I wish people would realise that Stargate: Universe is a made-up TV series intended as entertainment and is not necessarily a true and reflective picture of the real world (for that, you might as well switch over to the Discover or National Geographic channels or something – or if you want more excitement, watch the News channels – although I suspect an element of fiction is creeping into Fox News these days..)

    And one should always judge the quality of work on the finished product and not gossip, leaked material, or anything else that may have been given away prior to the episode actually airing.

  36. The thing this controversy about SGU has brought up for me is the concern of whether I’ll still be able to watch SGU with my family. Will it still be a family show or are you trying to get a more mature audience? What rating would you give SGU? Would it still be suitable for kids under 12?

  37. Sorry I should have elaborated, I meant how did the production team get the Puddle Jumper from sound stage to sound stage? It’s pretty big and doesn’t look like it can be disassembled, can it?

  38. Hi Joe, I guess you can’t please all of the people all of the time. I’ve never thought of any tv show as my moral or ethical compass, so I can’t understand why, after an apology was issued, people are still not happy. It’s wonderful to have this forum in which you so generously give us your time and allow us, the fans (or not, apparently…) a place to discuss just about anything. I do, however, have to wonder just how politically correct one must be these days, especially for someone in your situation. Apparently, there’s no acceptable level. Appease one group and piss off two. I can’t imagine watching a tv show to pick it apart or to be on the lookout for some indavertent slight toward a particular group. Wouldn’t that make writing terribly difficult and frustrating? Who needs government to censor anything when you have this?

    I’m looking forward to your latest imaginings and wonderful stories, and in passing, thank you so much for all the fun. xoxo, Deni

    and…@Sheryl: Ok, you drive, I’ll buy the junk food 🙂 Thanks for caring, sweetheart!

  39. I never had problems with the “disabled issue” – though it was MORE than poorly worded. I had problems with the RAPE issue. Eleanor takes someone else’s body and has sex in that body with a man who knows that the body doesn’t belong to her. They are both raping Wray’s body because I can’t see her consenting to just let them sex her body up while she’s somewhere else. And that’s what disturbing and wrong. It’s not a moral issue, it’s a crime very similar to date-rape. Disgusting. And from I understand, it’s a recurring issue, sex in someone else’s body, as a spokesman said to AfterEllen! I couldn’t believe my eyes! This is the sort of new and gritty you went for? No, thank you.

  40. Thanks for explaining the kino thing to me. So, it’s like a mini-malp used by the crew…not a filming technique for the audience only. See…I thought it was like an outside eye (outside of the knowledge of the crew) looking in…just another pan and scan technique, or something.

    RE: Gay characters. I live in a gay town…I’ve been around gay men and women all my life. in fact, Friday night while hubby was at work, I hung out with two gay gentlemen down at our local dingy bar (one I’ve known for years, the other just met). My biggest issue with gay characters on tv is the unrealistic and overly romanticized portrayal of their relationships, as if they’ve risen above all else and have found some sort of Utopian lifestyle. Ya know…it’s not really like that. In fact, Friday night the one fella went on about lusting after short, red-headed Irish lads with sweaty, smelly…uh…erm…junk. Ah! Such romance! 😆 Eh, it’s certainly not the worst I’ve heard (you do not wanna know the worst I’ve heard… 😕 ). I’ve known of only a few stable gay relationships, of many lonely people who will bed anything just to feel wanted, of wild debaucheries involving certain persons of note, of broken hearts and petty hostilities and hissy fits…and…well…

    It’s no different than what straight people go through. Human nature is just that, and doesn’t change into some idealistic thing when you find the right mate – gay or straight. So, when I see an overly idealistic gay relationship on tv – as if it represents ALL gay relationships in stark contrast to all the screwed up straight relationships on tv – then it becomes a bit of a turn off. Make it real, and I can buy it – make it a fairy tale, and you’ve lost me.

    das

  41. Ok so excrement meets air con, a bit out of the loop this week but it seems to me that its the same as those who scream about racial issues, they create more of a problem than the perceived problem itself. Ya know Joe, somedays you can’t piss a drop. You cant suit all of the people any of the time so suit yourself then you’re certain that SOMEONE is happy 🙂
    I’m just looking forward to watching some great TV when Universe finally hits our screens, I’ll save my critique (PMSL) till I’ve actually watched it.
    You know while I’m writing this I’d like to also point out that even within disability circles there is a hierarchy with many physically disabled having little understanding of what life is like for those who are mentally impaired and certainly within so-called “normal” circles a physical disability is seen as preferable to a mental disability Go figure!
    And before any nay-sayers start shouting I’ve worked with the disabled most of my life, my ‘nephew’ has ASD, my younger son is learning disabled, my two best friends growing up were both confined to wheelchairs due to a condition called Friedrich’s Ataxia, I’ve run swimming clubs for the disabled and now am considered physically disabled myself due to progressive Osteo-arthritis so think I have some clue as to what I’m waffling on about.

  42. I didn’t know Jelly was on MetaCam, my cat’s been on it for years and if it wasn’t for the medicine she would have died a long time ago. Although she is sick ALOT and throws up after many meals, at the mo we only give her one drop a day, but are thinking of taking her off it to rest her stomach.
    Does Jelly take many drops? Hope she gets well soon

  43. I’m heading out of Vancouver on a cruise ship after a single night’s stay, and I’ll be back overnight at the end of the cruise, on the 22nd,Haven’t tried any other places, as I’ve been too busy/lazy to go back through the blog to find some suggestions.
    As for my meal, I and my travelling companion both started with the corn soup. The texture was very smooth and pleasing. The taste was very clean; like Ramsay’s brocolli soup you have corn, corn, and more corn. strong but not overwhelming. The garnishments did nothing for me one way or another as far as taste, though they did give the soup a little zest in appearance. The only distractor was the fact the soup was served cold. I kept thinking that the flavor would have been even more intense had it been served warm. That may just be my conditioning on that. My dinner mate polished off the entire bowl without any qualms. We were then served two bite sized appetizers. I had one of those wee tomatoes, on top of a few drops of tomato soup, with what tasted like bacon bits. My friend got some corned beef and I forget-what-else. Alas, I forgot to take notes so I cannot do justice to the appetizers. The texture of the corned beef left something to be desired, and the mustard taste overwhelmed the beef. As far as the tomato; normally I despise tomatoes(though I have no problems with tomato based products). In this case though, I have to admit it was ok.
    For the main course the original plan was to go witht the duck, but my friend decided she wanted the scallops.(well, torn between scallops and lamb, with the server directing her to the scallops). I resisted the obvious choice of steak and fries, to go with the tuna special. The scallops were nicely seared on the outside, and bursting with flavor(my companion’s face is taking on a dreamy look just thinking about it). The avacado nicely offset the scallop’s flavor, and the pork belly was surpisingly crispy. The only complaint was that the avacado went a bit “mushy” as it warmed up.
    The tuna was served very rare, and I’m not sure but that it might as well have been served up raw. Fortunately I like sushi, so this posed no problems. I blank out on all the garnishes to the tuna. I’ll just say that I initially approached the dish in a quasi scientific way. A bite of the tuna by itself, then a bit of tuna with the different garnishes. A few bitefuls were absolutely perfect, with taste and texture fighting to overwhelm my senses. Other mouthfuls were less intense, and no two bites tasted the same. My only quibble with this dish was the presentation. The “pile of junk” on top of the tuna was not overly pleasing to the eyes.
    For dessert I went with the creme brule, while my companion tried the albion strawberry tarte. The rice pudding base was perfectly done, the tarte itself “wonderful”, very sweet. The strawberry sorbet on top helped bring out the strawberries in the tarte itself, with the contrasting temperatures enhancing the taste. Very sweet and absolutely delicious. The one thing that my friend suggested was perhaps a grating of a little dark chocolate over the whole dish. Just enough to offset the sweetness of the dish.
    I went with the vanilla creme brule, topped with bourbon ice cream. The dish was also sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. The ice cream was a perfect offset to the creme brule, and the cherries beneath the crust added some firmness to the texture of the dish. Absolutely delicious, and this from a person who thinks chocolate is not only a separate food group but the only thing that counts as a proper dessert.
    The meal was topped off with a sampler tray, with a bit of marshmellow, chocolate cookie, vanilla jelly, and hazelnuts toasted with chocolate dusting. Cutting the marshmellow turned out to be an adventure, but worth the effort. The cookie to me had a bit of baking soda flavor, but definitely chocolately. The vanilla jelly was “ehhh”. Not bad, just no outstanding taste, texture, or smell to make it stand out. The hazelnuts were excellent. I managed to let my friend have the third nut, though I considered breaking her arm to prevent her from doing so.
    As for the service, well, for one the server won serious brownie points for at least knowing what mead was, even though Fuel doesn’t carry it. The water glasses were kept topped off, and we were checked on periodically without being hovered over. I appreciated the way the staff worked as a team. No obvious competition among the servers; rather they all worked to provide the guests a great experience.
    The best compliment I can give is that my friend cleaned the plate with all three courses, and is willing to go back to Fuel again. As for me, I enjoyed the whole experience, and will probably go back when we get back to port. That, or figure a way to kidnap the chef and transport him home with me…

  44. Hey Joe,

    I’m here. Thanks for the, was that yelling for me? LOL! Well, I heard you. 😳 I didn’t mean to be such a slacker. Sorry! I’ll try to post more.

    This summer has been kickin’ my butt. And I made the mistake (so far) of signing up for piano lessons. My girls make it look so easy. Now my brain hurts.

    I hope your pups are doing well. Poor Jelly!

    Trish

    @Deni: Sorry to worry you! I sent you an e-mail. As for the hurricanes, how crazy is that? Nothing then three. But I’m not worried, either. As Sheryl has said, I think we’ll be OK. El Nino summers are good at keeping hurricanes away. 🙂

  45. Hi Joe!
    I was interested to hear you might pick up the dvd of District 9 rather than seeing it at the theatre.
    I think you mentioned before that you have a theatre set-up at home.
    My hubby wanted to take us to see the movie at the local 24-screen place, but in my opinion the quality of picture and sound is not as high as our own (pretty humble) basement theatre.
    Do you have any pics of yours? Do you have a projector or a big screen tv? Lazy boys or sofas? We are always curious about what other people have!!!

  46. Joe – thanks for the clarification. Sorry this has gotten to be so contentious.

    Seems like a situation where “you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t” for the writers/producers. I have seen some criticisms of Stargate story-lines in the past because there has been an absence or minimizing of certain types of characters. Inclusion of these new dimensions in characterizations is welcomed by me. But it is a question of how they are portrayed. No suck ups intended, but the experience behind the writing on Stargate is quite substantial. So, I feel this subject matter must have been approached with a great deal of care and consideration. But I will reserve judgment until I see this episode. No doubt this controversy has raised awareness about SGU in general. Perhaps a larger audience will tune in because of it. This could be a very good thing in the end.

  47. I personally was not aware of all the hoopla regarding this particular character and episode (PhD comprehensive exams all summer = boo), and don’t know the entire story, but it seems that people are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    One thing that I think a lot of people have a hard time with is the fact that the three Stargate shows just cannot be compared closely with each other. For example, it’s like walking into the theater to see a Harry Potter movie, and then spending the entire film (and afterward) criticizing the screen adaptation of the book rather than appreciating it as a separate work of art.

    When Atlantis was cancelled, I was sad; however, the prospect of a new series was exciting. It will be cool to see new characters/situations within a familiar mythology, and I’m eager to see where it goes. If you are so excited about the acting/scripts/etc., then I am, too. 🙂 Give it a chance, people!!

    PS: Another suggestion for destructive dogs: A spray bottle of water with a small amount of vinegar mixed in works wonders. It’s great for dogs who chronically tinkle in specific spots on your floor, as well as hotspot-lickers and things like that!

  48. “Answer: Hey, congratulations! Hopefully, both Josephine and Joelle will grow up to be huge Stargate fans, just like mom and dad! All the best to Nomi.”

    Thanks! As for the names, I am most amused. Many of my friends named Robert (including writers Sawyer, Masello, and Greenberger) all suggested Roberta as a name, but with my uncle Robert around, by tradition it was a name I couldn’t use.

    However, my father was named Joel (Hebrew Yoel), and so one of the girls was named Yael. She might have been a Joelle had we chosen to go that route, but with the name Yael you can claim that there’s a little Mallozzi in my family. 🙂 (Her sister is Elisheva, the Hebrew version of Elizabeth.)

    As for the controversy over Sabotage, I’ve completely missed it (see re twins) but I tend to think one should watch the episode before making comments. 🙂

    Congratulations on the sale to the Lou Anders anthology that you had been talking about for a while; it sounds like a book I’ll want to read.

  49. Hi Mr M!

    Greetings from the local internet cafe! Just back from a trip home to my folks.

    @Michael Burstein: My heartiest congrats to you!! As a father of twin girls (now 6) (and of course our little 3 yr old girl) Welcome to the wonderful world of Double Trouble! Happy hectic days ahead Michael, but cherish it sleepless moment..they fly all too quickly. Congrats again to you both. Lovely names by the way! I recommend a book that’ll make you laugh…it’s about a guy whose wife has TRIPLETS!! It’s called “I Sleep at Red Lights!”…I know that feeling…The writer is a gag writer for Leno…Very funny (and touching)

    And RE: Sabotage.

    I can only speak for myself, but having had the rare privilege of meeting (however briefly) the creators of Stargate Franchise, and watching the shows over the years, I can only imagine that this was a “dropping the ball” situation which (thankfully) happen rarely. I have great faith in the Creative team and the people who star in this upcoming series. Having also had the privilege of meeting some of the stars of SG1 and SGA too, I have come away with the feeling the these are decent and respectful people who love what they do. I look forward to the episode and am 99% sure that it’ll be a knock-out. ’nuff said.

    RE: October BOTM : something light : Artemis Fowl (book 1) by Eoin Colfer…or “The Alcehmyst” by Michael Dillon

    Best to all

    S’n’T

  50. @pg15

    “I am Asian.

    I have no clue why I should be offended right now.

    Weird.”

    Then you are fortunate. However, other people, having had different life experiences, ARE offended.

    Part of the argument here is that we’re asking people to consider someone’s else’s viewpoint, experience and state of being.

    We don’t all live on the same wavelength, and much of what has been aired during this debate (starting with the casting call itself) implies that we should, and that those who don’t need to shut up and get back in line.

    @Arctic Goddess

    Here are the views of some people with disabilities, in regards to this debate: http://sheafrotherdon.livejournal.com/424574.html?thread=21347966#t21347966

  51. Thanks, Joe, for the most genuinely thoughtful response on the “Sabotage” controversy. While my concerns are not 100% allayed, you’ve obviously taken viewers’ concerns very much to heart. Also, I’m intrigued to see that you refer to Sharon as Camille’s “wife.” If you mean that literally, it’s a big step forward in televised science fiction.

    However, you raise more questions than you answer when you say Camille is the first “openly gay” character in the SG franchise. Have you had some tacitly gay ones? Do tell.

    Sending out a prayer for Jelly,
    DMc

  52. Thanks for the clarifications, Joe. I’m hoping that this:

    2. If someone is “intimate” with my body while I am asleep or otherwise not in conscious control of it and I have not previously given explicit permission for that act, it is rape.”

    Answers: 1. Agree. 2. Also agree.

    means that Camile will actually have given Eleanor permission? Because if she doesn’t, Eleanor and Rush both will be very hard characters for me to respect, and it will make me feel … icky, to say the least, if they aren’t severely punished. Yet I can’t see how you could adequately punish a character and still have them in the show. XD Maybe I’m not being imaginitive enough, but the only way around it I can see is if they either don’t think the women can swap back, and so it’s a “it’s my body now” scenario, or if their bodies aren’t actually swapped so much as changed — ie, it’s still Eleanor’s own body that she’s in, but now she looks like & has the mobility of Camille. And even with that latter scenario, if she doesn’t know that at first, it’s still icky. If I use something that I think belongs to someone else and it turns out to actually be mine, I would still be “bad”, as would any accomplice I might have, for having been willing to use what wasn’t mine withiout permission, and acting on that willingness ….

    As for the issue of “lesbian sleeping with a man”, I am well aware that it’s not Camile doing the sleeping, but it still does pose a troubling question: if Eleanor is in a lesbian’s body, and the school of thought is that sexuality is at leasst partially biological, not entirely mental/learned, does this scenario suggest that that theory is wrong, and Camille just chooses to be lesbian but could feel pleasure with a man if she chose? Or do you establish that it’s a mind over matter thing, that Eleanor’s feelings for Rush can override her new body’s chemistry? Or is Eleanor willing to do it even if she can’t fully appreciate it? Or is Camile not full-on lesbian, is actually biologically bi? (Basically, where does she fall on the Kinsey scale?)

  53. I don’t get why people are complaining about this Eleanor Perry character.

    The only information out there are unaccurate character breakdowns. And even IF they were accurate I couldn’t give a ****, I’m just intrigued to see this situation happen. It’s not everyday when you see a person who’s been in a wheelchair for most of their life get a chance to walk again, Even when it’s just fiction is this case. I look forward to finding out which person you guys cast for this role, As I’m sure it’ll be a interesting part to play.

    I for one can’t wait to see this kind of issue being tackled, I’m sure it will be a cool and emotional episode to watch.

    Kind regards,
    Angelus

  54. The Stargate producers and MGM enjoyed the Lucius uproar so much that they decided to model the lead character of Universe after him!

    Rapist as leading man is definitely edgy, no question about that.

    The whole body-swapping conjugal visit idea is too ugly and distasteful for me to be a longterm viewer, I’m pretty sure, though I am planning on watching the pilot. I only made it through 3 seasons of BSG, and I now call it quits much sooner on shows that are proudly dark and gritty and ugly and amoral. I only made it through 2 episodes of Dollhouse.

    I do hope that syfy adequately warns people that this version of Stargate is not for families. I can well imagine lots of people sitting down with their kids to watch the new Stargate and being very angry when they realize how different it is from what they expected, based on other products carrying the Stargate name.

  55. @ Bailey – I tend to agree. I like character studies, but…on my terms…lol. I prefer the exploration of an individual’s emotional or mental or physical state under pressure or stress, but have never been a fan of romantic/sexual relationships playing a major role in a show. And I find the study of friendships (like that between Todd and Sheppard), much more intriguing than sexual situations (McKay and Keller joining the mile high club).

    In real life I’m the same way – I really don’t care who’s dating who, or what relationship problems you’re having, or who wants to hop in bed with their boss. I dunno, but in my real life, with my real life friends, sex is about the last thing we discuss. Of course, I’m not a ‘gossipy’ sort, so feel no need to know the sordid details of a person’s life. I just accept you for whatever you are…no need to get personal. And maybe it doesn’t interest me because I feel I have a pretty healthy relationship with my husband, and it’s with him that I share those serious sexual discussions (the silly ones, of course, I share with EVERYbody! 😀 ) TV has made sex seem like the most important thing in life, and that’s just not something I want in my shows, especially sci fi. And it’s why I don’t watch reality tv, or shows like ER (I can’t even think of the other nighttime dramas because I don’t watch them). Romantic relationships just do not interest me…at all.

    HOWEVER…

    I know I’m in the minority. The fact is sex sells, straight sci fi doesn’t. I know the new show isn’t written with me in mind, and I know no one is forcing me to watch it. I’ll give it a shot, but there are no guarantees. I know what I like…I like action, life and death decisions, and friends helping friends for the sake of the friendship, and without the reward of sex dangled in front of them. Sure – I know we are sexual creatures – it’s what we do. But it’s never been something I need to WATCH others do.

    das

  56. @ Michael A. Burstein – Congrats on the twins!! 😀 May they bring you a lifetime of joy!

    das

  57. I’m going to try something radical with SGU: I’m just going to watch the show, and then decide if I like it or not.

    I don’t like spoilers, and I really don’t like spoilsports. SGU will either be good or it won’t, and it will have fans or it won’t. The pre-series naysayers are getting on my nerves.

  58. Hey! Do you know why cavemen drag their women by the hair??

    Know why?! Know why??!

    ‘Cause when they drag ’em by the feet, they fill up with dirt.

    😀

    (Just trying to lighten the mood…)

    das

  59. People are so closed-minded for getting offended at all this stuff, in my opinion. It just is depressing for me to see people like this. When I see things like this, it makes me lose faith in people. There’s absolutely nothing offensive about the breakdown, the episode, or the character sides. If you’re offended, I think you need to do some soul searching.

    I think you should be able to do the MOST offensive stuff you want and put it on a TV show. It should be the producers freedom to do so. And if people are offended, then they can simply turn it off. Think of the MOST offensive things to people and I think producers should put them in a show. People need to open their minds, and grow up. Brad Wright and Robert Cooper have NOTHING to apologize for. They did NOTHING wrong. It’s so petty for people to get upset by this.

    Please 2012, PLEASE – let the human consciousness be expanded collectivity. Let us all become one mind, open to everything. No divisions – creating negative, just unity and openness. Complete openness to every little thing.

  60. Hey Joe.

    I just came back from seeing DISTRICT 9.

    I highly recommend it. It is definitely not a glossy, Hollywood, FX extravaganza. It was dark, gory and had a realism to it that was quite unsettling but what really sold the movie to me was the storyline. It really moved me. I was almost teary eyed by the end.

  61. This is the South African District 9?
    Darn, I want to see that, if for no other reason to see how that play it. I saw the trailer and found it quite astonishing.
    Of course, it only opens here on 28 August.

  62. I’m interested in Camille’s character particularly about how they approach the subject of sexuality.

    However this brings up a question. With the exception of a few shows (Torchwood most prominently, Six Feet Under, Queer As Folk) the majority of TV shows seem to approach “gay characters” as meaning female-female… like this is the “more comfortable” route to take.

    The overwhelming majority of those same shows (Noah’s Arc excluded), take it to mean as being white/caucasian. While i know Ming Na is of an Asian descent, i want to ask was there any debate about this?
    As someone behind the scenes, do you feel that TV shows (not specifically Stargate, but as a whole) are doing a good enough job with focussing on other aspects of sexuality and how race/gender play a part in this?

  63. I can vouch for the efficacy of milk thistle, at least in humans. My hubby has hemachromatosis, or iron overload disease (not actually a disease though, a genetic disorder). He can’t shed iron from his system, it can build up in his organs and joints. This is tough on his liver, and while he has not had scarring, he did have inflammation when first diagnosed and tested. A year on milk thistle and his liver was back to normal. We both take it to keep our livers happy, as we both have arthritis and the anti-inflammatories we take can potentially harm the liver.

    Hubby has a prescription for phlebotomies, up to a pint a week. Bleeding is still a viable medical procedure. Proceed with the SNL skit, if desired.

  64. coucou me revoila!!

    Aprés plus d’une heure à essayer de comprendre l’épisode “sabotage”, j’ai retenu que ça va être hard lol… chez moi on peut dire que ” ça va partir en cacahuète^^” . Mais il en faut beaucoup plus pour me choquer!

    En tout cas je suis sure que cette épisode sera trés interessant!

    A bientôt!

  65. How THEY play it. 🙂 Astonishing English too.

    I watched the trailer again. That accented English the cops speak in? It’s real! That is how an Afrikaner (a person who speaks Afrikaans first language) speaks.
    I am an English-speaking South African and I really hope I don’t sound like that!

  66. After reading so much spoiler information in general articles (as well as your blog), well, SGU sounds more like a TLC show “Timeshare your body!” 😉

    SGU also does not sound like the ‘family fare’ that was SG1/SGA… more adult in nature, which will win some fans, lose some.

    However, there isn’t any real surprise in the uproar over the particular casting information. I’ve read a lot of the furor over it, on AfterEllen, disability sites, fan sites, and GW (where the discussion got so ugly – fans belittling others – that the thread was closed for a while).

    While Brad’s apology went out on GW, why not send something to the Scifiwire site? A lot more people read that site.

  67. Joe,

    Thanks for commenting on the current controversy. As one of those expressing some trepidation with this episode, I hope you’re right and my fears are proved unfounded. At this point, I guess there is nothing left to do but wait until the episode airs, and see how it all falls out from there.

  68. Given that I’m a busy soul and that this blog is really the only way I keep up on Stargate happenings, any “controversy” was news to me. I thought about browsing around online to learn more. Then thought nope, I’m with Mr. Burstein on this one. Reserve comment till checking out the actual episode.

    You know what, though…considering some the subject matter Battlestar Galactica delved into during its run, it does make me wonder what the reaction would have been had a few unpolished details of certain episodes got out a bit early.

    (Or did that actually happen? Hello BSG fans?)

  69. A lot of people are wondering why those who are upset don’t just wait to watch the show and see how it’s dealt with. Well, if you saw a kid standing in the path of oncoming traffic, wouldn’t you say or do something *before* the horribleness you could foresee actually came to pass? A lot of people read the casting call and the casting slides and had quite real qualms about what was about to go ahead. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Sabotage has not yet been filmed? Why not speak out now, so that in case their fears are justified the production team have time to look at it again. Why would you – if you have real concerns – want to wait until it’s too late for anything to be done?

    Nobody in this world is perfect, and that goes for the writers of SGU as well, you know. It is not disloyal for a fan to question whether the writers may be less than perfect, and it does not mean the questioner is less of a fan than those who don’t question.

  70. @deeinsouthafrica: You and me both! It’s amazing how distinctive an accent it is, though. I had someone in the middle of the Yukon(!) ask me if I was from Jo’burg…

    @Michael A Burstein: Congratulations! And good luck — my nieces (also twins) make life very interesting for their parents, but also bring an immense amount of joy. I hope your daughters do the same for you. 🙂

  71. Hi Joe,

    I’m a long time reader, first time posterm (Hi, everyone!!). I’ve been watching Stargate since its first season and cannot wait until SGU will be released in Germany. (That’s where I’m from, you guessed correctly 😉 ).

    I’ve been wondering for a couple of days now, since I saw the Comic Con trailer for SGU….which Earth ship do they beam Eli up to? Is it the USS George Hammond or another ship?

    I read somewhere (probably here) that Amanda Tapping is in the premiere of SGU, so it would seem logical to me that, since she is the commanding officer of the USS George Hammond, you guys would put the George Hammond in the premiere, and not the Odyseey for instance, am I correct?

    My second question is regarding the design of the USS George Hammond. Is it a Daedalus Class Ship and therefore identical to all other X-304’s or is it a new designed ship?

    My third question is regarding the production of Earth’s ships. Can I assume that the U.S. are not the only country currently capable of building hyperspace ships? Could i.e. China, France or Germany build them as well?

    (So far we only know that the Korelev was handed over to the Russians and we don’t know where the Sun Tsu came from, correct?)

    If so, have you guys ever thought about names for these ships? Since all U.S. are named after Greek mythology (except the Hammond, of course). Would you continue in that tradition or change it to i.e. historical persons, like you did with the Chinese and Russian ships?

    Thank you for taking the time to read these long questions and (hopefully) answer them.

    Apollo_031

  72. Hey Joe

    Just curious, will the intimate scenes be like kiss talk kiss kiss talk, fall in bed etc…. or will it be more like we see them start to kiss and then scene cuts?

    Sorry but I am really wondering how this will be handled.

    Oh and the word intimate has been used so many times to reference both gay and straight relationships on SGU, so I was wondering, would the intimate on SGU be like Sex and kissing, or a more innocent type of intimacy, like emotional talking scenes(for example it has been confirmed that the intimacy between straight and gay couples in SGU will be equal).

    Hope I am not pushing the lines here or offending anyone or making you guys unconfortable. If so, please tell me.

    If I do, I sincerely appologize.

    Please keep in mind i’m young and still learning.

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  73. PS I don’t get why there’s such a uproar, as for me there’s no way I’m able to comment on characters in a TV show I’ve never even seen yet!
    DD

  74. For Rhys: I’m pretty much in agreement with everything that you said. I also find it fascinating that it was so important for Brad Wright to eliminate the full frontal nudity from Children of the Gods but sexual body swapping is a continuing moral dilemma in SGU. Rape isn’t a moral dilemma; it’s a crime. (BTW, I love the recut of COTG). I know it’s important to actually see what is shown before reaching conclusions, but the fact that this controversy exists means that I won’t be recommending that my friends with children allow their kids to see this show until after they’ve screened the episodes.

    For Wolfenn — I’m pretty much in agreement with what you’ve said on this issue (and I’ve been reading it for days and find many comments interesting but of the “don’t get it” variety on the rape issue, but I have a question for you:

    Agreeing with you that if Wray doesn’t give (advance) consent to allow her body to be sexually used by someone else, sexual activity between Rush and Eleanor would be rape of Wray (by both Rush and Eleanor), how would you feel about Wray as a character if she did give advance consent? Aside from anything else that has been said on the issue, I don’t know if anyone has addressed that point.

    I wouldn’t have any respect for a person who said, “Yeah, go ahead and use my body for sex while my consciousness is in your body. Hey, I’m a lesbian and I sure don’t mind if a man has sex with my body.” Such consent would eliminate the rape factor, but it actually would put a major impediment in any respect I could have for the gay character as a legitimate, real person. (And I was so looking forward to this character).

    In fact, I might actually have more problems with someone who did that than I do with the alternative. Someone who allows someone else to use them like that would say to me, “hey, I don’t have any respect for myself.” Not to mention, it plays into every nasty stereotype in tv of gay women just dying to have sex with men.

    The thing is, Wray has to live with these people after she comes back to her body. She has to work with Rush. Everybody on that ship is going to know that her body was used that way. If she doesn’t immediately kill Rush, well, how could viewers respect her? If she so easily accepts that her body was used, was raped, what kind of a person does that make her?

    What it says about Rush is pretty appalling – even if there is “consent,” what does it say about a man who knows he’s having sex with a person who is using the body of a gay woman? It seems to me that he doesn’t respect Wray as a legitimate person with a legitimate sexual orientation.

    I’ve also thought that perhaps it can be dealt with in a legitimate SF context by taking the position that all a person is exists in their minds; their mind is what they are, and when Wray’s body is used, it’s not really her and therefore it’s not rape and no consent from her is needed. Perhaps some might argue that in that context, it’s not rape.

    I can’t go there, though. A person is mind and body. That idea doesn’t work for me at all.

    And what I also wonder: would any writers/producers think this is ok if Wray were a straight man, Eleanor were a gay man, who used Wray’s body and had sex with a gay man on the ship? So that a straight man would have to deal with gay men having used his body? I have the feeling that those who don’t believe that Rush and Eleanor using Wray’s body is rape would see things much differently in that context.

    And Joe: I really appreciate what you’ve said and how you personally feel about the Wray character. I also have been silently watching what has come out about SGU since the screaming and fighting months back (in which I participated fairly loudly), and have liked some of what I’ve seen and disliked some of what I’ve seen. And I am waiting to see how it actually turns out.

    However, this, though, looks pretty bad, even considering what you said here and what Brad said on Gateworld. Either Wray consents to the sexual use of her body when her mind is elsewhere, and she’s a flaming idiot whom I couldn’t have any respect for as a character, or she’s being raped by the lead male and another woman. That’s not good.

    I don’t think I’d be as concerned as I am if I’d ever seen any statements by any of the writers or producers that they understood the objections to Lucius on SGA and got why many of us felt that Lucius was a rapist. I saw the first Lucius episode again a couple weeks ago, and I was even more appalled than I was initially – while the team and the people of Atlantis were somewhat uncomfortable with Lucius’ behavior, and angry at what he’d done to them, no one acknowledged that what he did by drugging women and having sex with them was rape. Period. There’s no way around that, no SF story logic that can be used. And it was supposed to be humerous. I don’t find rape funny. When the second Lucius episode came on the other night, I turned the tv off.

    Even going back to SG1, there isn’t any way to get around the fact that Hathor raped Daniel (and I do recall that you didn’t like that episode). The rape wasn’t dealt with in SG1, but at least it wasn’t played for laughs. The characters did express at least distaste at what happened, but there was no fallout from it, no acknowledgement that Daniel had been raped and should have had some sort of reaction to it.

    I was also concerned that when the body switching communications stones were used to toss Daniel and Vala into the Ori galaxy, two innocent people were caught up in some pretty bad business – no one at the SGC even mentioned what those two would face in view of Daniel’s and Vala’s activities. At least in that story, Daniel and Vala were not engaging in criminal behavior, but the enormity of the use of other people’s bodies wasn’t really dealt with. Or even discussed.

    So, getting back to SGU, I’m concerned. I am concerned with the portrayal of the disabled as “useless” in the casting materials, and I do feel that Brad’s statements go a long way towards dealing with that issue. However, I haven’t seen anything from anyone that deals or addresses the rape issue in an adequate way. Frankly, Brad’s implication that this is a recurring issue on SGU also is a problem.

    I don’t expect SGU to be SG1. SG1 will always be my first Stargate love; those characters are important to me and always will be. But neither do I expect to watch a show where rape is so trivialized.

    Yes, I’ll watch the show, at first. I also watched BSG, but I was never comfortable with the sexual sleaziness of that show, the show had other problems that bugged the hell out of me, and I won’t ever watch it again or buy all the dvd’s, either. You couldn’t call me a fan, but a casual viewer who got caught up in the story.

    But Stargate isn’t BSG, that universe isn’t the same, and I hope the show has more class than that. If it doesn’t, well, I still have SG1 and SGA (sans Lucius). But I want to love SGU, I really do.

    Mary

  75. salut joe:

    quelques questions:

    1) etes vous bilingue pour le français?

    2)a quoi sert le chevron sur le sol devant la porte?

    3)peut on avoir une photo des shuttlepods vu de l’exterieur?

    un titre pour vos webisodes:

    Destiny story!!!!!!
    Destiny’s big brother!!!!

    a plus

  76. Did the seeder ship seed DHD’s with the stargates or will the crew of the Destiny be the only ones able to operate the stargates?

  77. Holy Hannah, what did I miss, I got some catching up to do.

    Congratulations to Mr.and Mrs.Burstein on the birth of twins.

  78. People are so closed-minded for getting offended at all this stuff, in my opinion. It just is depressing for me to see people like this. When I see things like this, it makes me lose faith in people. There’s absolutely nothing offensive about the breakdown, the episode, or the character sides. If you’re offended, I think you need to do some soul searching.

    Oh, thank you! Gosh, I am soooo glad to hear that describing disabled people as sex starved, or physically useless beings is not offensive at all. And the idea that someone could take over someone else’s body, and use it for sex, well, gosh, that’s not really rape. Who cares that the person to whom the body belongs is nowhere around to give consent? Who needs consent anyways, rape is A-okay and totally not at all offensive, and damn those in society who disagree and speak out about it, huh? Man, they’re such losers for harshing our squee. It’s so much better if we all just keep quiet and get along, one big mostly happy family living in peace and harmony, and hiding the blood and bruises so as not to disturb anyone else.

    Yeah, there was no need for anyone to address this issue at all.

  79. @Michael A. Burstein

    Congratulations. I hope you can get some sleep. That whole sleeping for eight hours straight thing is overrated. Don’t mourn the loss of those days. You have broken free from that paradigm. I haven’t slept that in a stretch for 4 yrs. now and it hasn’t hurt me one bit. Nope, not one bit.

  80. Joe,

    I wanted to apologize for losing my cool on your blog with that last comment of mine. It was over the top and unfair to you and the other writers of SGU — especially so in light of your words on the post to which I was responding. I should have just bitten my tongue like I’d originally planned to do.

    Apologies again.

  81. It’s really sad to see a network and TV show work so hard at pandering to a group of people who at the very most comprise 2-3% of the population. Why not try to make a show to draw in viewers who are sick of the networks and cable channels pandering to every fringe social group?

    Also, why is SG:U so worried about offending homosexuals, but if you offended Christians (which you have by the way with the pandering you’re doing), your response would be “just don’t watch” or “that’s just TV.” However, a bunch of you had to run to all these Internet sites and grovel at the feet a bunch of lesbians because they were offended by a casting call.

    Finally, the next time you talk to Aylesworth, let her know she’s lost a good number of fans due to this role. Even after taking down the only real website about Aylesworth, I still get daily e-mails from former fans who are disappointed in her and now think she is a fool.

  82. FYI – Our decision to introduce an openly gay character was the result of a desire to have the limited community on board Destiny reflect society as a whole. I know it may come as a complete and utter shock to you, but homosexuals do exist.

  83. So far, of all those who have tried to address this issue – darn if you haven’t handled it the best. Not that I’m in any way trusting, nope, you didn’t do that good of a job *g* – and there’s too much history in the Stargate world. 🙁

    That said, I would ask a couple of questions:

    If there hadn’t been any leak and thus no uproar, I wonder what we’d have seen actually make it to the screen with regards to the Sabotage episode?

    I also wonder if there hadn’t been a reaction to the Whispers leak – what we’d have actually seen on screen versus what we *did* see.

    Sometimes these leaks are good things.

    Me, I’m thinking the “final” draft for Sabotage won’t be anywhere near what was originally desired – thanks to the leaks – but I’m a suspicious so-and-so. 🙂

  84. One of the season’s highlights so far has been the episode Life in which Wray gets to return to Earth (via the body swap conceit of the communication stones) and be reunited with her wife, Sharon.

    Am I understanding this right? Are you saying that before Perry and Rush use Wray’s body for sex, Wray herself will use someone else’s body to have sex with her own wife?

    Just… please tell me that body doesn’t belong to a man.

  85. I’ll tell you why it’s a problem waiting for the show to air before raising these concerns.
    Because by then it will be too late.
    By then a lesbian character (so rare on TV) will have given consent to be ‘used’ or she’ll have been raped. By then a disabled character (so rare on TV) will have been represented as a rapist or just plain pathetic. By then a woman of colour in a position of power will have been humilaited or just used like a blow-up sex doll.
    Once the show is made it is too late. Gay women, disabled people, women of colour, all will have been told once more that they are of less worth than their straight white, ‘perfect’ counterparts.

  86. hello Joe,

    I’d like to clarify that most of my comments whether on Netscape or on your blog, have for primary goal to trigger a reflexion and occasionally to respond to some “eyebrow raising “comments. Yes, there is always more to my answer then the simple answer I provide. Rest assure that my answers are in no way a mean to criticize or diminish anyone. I’m trying to sensibilise people and make them THINK!!

    I like to set people straight when I found that they are “out of order” with their comments but I also like to help in what I call “the bouncing of ideas process”.! They say change is good, bringing new ideas is good, trying something new is good, bringing new concepts is good, voicing your opinion is good, but hopefully, this will have a positive impact on yourself and others. This being said, it is not a coincidence that I don’t have kids. There is too much negativism and bad things going on in today’s world, if I decide to have kids, I need someone other then I that can be a strong role model for them. Now, I’ve defended you a few times on some blogs entries because I felt it was the right thing to do! Not because I was expecting some silly reward! I am doing this for everyone, it is just the way I am.

    Now I’d like to redirect my comment on what it is really about. Please keep in mind when reading this, what I’ve just wrote above. I’ve read the other day the blog discussion on the Camille Wray character on Netscape. I’ll be frank with you, I am still trying to understand why it was so important for this Stargate to include a female gay character and why does she has to be a visible minority (Asian). When it comes to television, I feel it has not always been very kind in depicting on screen minority groups, whether we were talking of Black, Native American or Asian (and I’m not even addressing ethic groups or gender here!!).

    While growing up, in my surrounding network of friends, family members and coworkers, we always felt we were constantly on the look out for the” minority TV celebrity” that was going to screw up and make the rest of us look bad.

    The sad thing about being a visible minority is that it SEEMS that you have TO BE ONE to understand the impact an “unflattering minority representation” can have on your group. The actor/actress might feel comfortable and o.k. with a role, but at the end, it is not about that actor/actress but about the impact this representation has on the group that particular actor/actress is representing. With racism being as present as its used to be BUT presented in more subtle ways, you would thing that on television, someone would understand this problem and work toward creating strong role model characters that we can be proud of !!!

    Not so long ago, in movies, if someone needed to die first it was always the Black person. It also seems that a visible minority could not have a lead in a film or TV series. Throughout the years, some actors and public figures have worked very hard ( I salute their efforts) at trying to change this and I feel bad and disappointed that there are still people that don’t seem to understand how big of an impact some apparently trivial decision can have on visible minority groups. Not all TV viewers are intelligent , and sadly some are looking at TV programs as a mean to find reasons to perpetrate hate crimes or behaviours.

    Is it enough to say that we are not accountable for other people’s behaviours even though we indirectly had something to do with it??? Why in 2009, are we still dealing with racism and why damn it, TV shows continue to portray minorities in a less flattering light. People have been fighting for years to try to solve racial discrimination, why can television be part of the solution??

  87. Glad to see I’m not the only one who believes that violence and property destruction is not the way you save the environment.

  88. I’m trying to figure out why people are getting technical about the exact wording of some document which has only a low correlation to the finished product.
    People, stop wasting your time theorising about the ins and outs of the situation (pun so not intended): the writers have already done all that. You’ll have adequate opportunity to comment once we’ve all seen the actuality of the portrayal of the situation.
    But if you want to get all technical, Joe’s sentence, “This past association, built on understanding and mutual respect, is the seed for any potential affection in this story, not biological drive or missed opportunity.” makes me doubt that the ‘intimacy’ people are speculating about will go as far as they assume.

  89. Wow mink road kill after an ALF incident[?]. Sounds like the ALF folks didn’t consider the consequences of their actions.

  90. How about if you let a *straight* woman do the bodyswap instead? There could be plenty emotional fallout, if the straight woman was in a committed relationship.

    And Wray could mention; “I am SO glad i backed out of that!”

  91. Okay, let me see if I have this correct. Using the communication stones (like Daniel and Vala did in SG1), first Wray will “travel” home and get to spend some “quality time” with her wife. In other words, Wray will swap bodies with some stranger and then have sex with her partner, who it is presumed she loves and would not want to be forced to have sex with a stranger in order to be “with her’. And then you’re going to turn around and do the same thing with Eleanor swapping with Wray to have sex with Rush. And you don’t have a PROBLEM with this? Why, just because we’ll be really seeing the appropriate actresses in the roles, like we did in SG1, instead of the stranger/non-partner? Because it all takes place in the mind, because the “real people” inside the bodies are in love? That’s just bull, because you’re not talking about them touching minds and exchanging intimacy that way, or else there wouldn’t be a need for body swapping. You’re talking about people taking over other people’s bodies and having sex – with or without their consent. I thought it was creepy when you let John Sheppard and Elizabeth Weir kiss when their bodies were “occupied” and this is ten times creepier.

  92. Dear Joe,

    Thanks for the continued insights.

    I know I’m a day late, but I wondered how you felt about the NFL’s lousy ONE year suspension of Dante Stallworth for a MANSLAUGHTER conviction? He was down here in Miami, clubbing and got behind the wheel of his car after drinking. He struck and killed Mario Reyes, a construction worker, father of a 15 year old daughter, husband of 20 years, who was walking from his job site to the bus stop to go home.

    As a teacher of high school students, I feel that this decision, like the Vick decision, sends the message that as long as you are an pro athlete, you can get away with…well, murder.

    I know this isn’t on your usual topic, but I was reminded of it when I saw your post on Vick.

    Thanks for your time,

    MaryA.

    BTW Daughter Jennifer wants to know: Did either Jason Momoa or Chris Judge (or both) get hurt in anyway during the filming of their now famous fight scene? Did they do all the fighting themselves or were stunt doubles used at all?

  93. BTW, when I pointed out to Jennifer that she used the word “okay” a lot, she reminded me of when Ronon told Teal’c that he said “Indeed” a lot and Teal’c responded “I hadn’t noticed”. Then she gave me a definite “Get it, duh?” look.

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