Keep those comments coming!  Like most producers, there’s nothing I enjoy more than a little constructive criticism be it from the viewers, the network, or members of our terrific cast.  I’ve often referred to the “open door” policy at the production offices that invites actor input on anything from individual scripts to general character direction.  Well, some of you may recall a candid little photo montage I posted last month that captured the magical process we try to foster between writer (in this case Carl Binder) and performer (in this case Jamil Walker Smith).  [Refresh your memories here: http://josephmallozzi.com/2009/09/10/september-10-2009-i-coulda-been-a-reiki-master-glee-carl-receives-script-notes-mark-burgess/]. Well, I was on set the other day where I was once again fortunate enough to witness this wondrous creative give-and-take…

Actress Elyse Levesque reads the script.
Actress Elyse Levesque reads the script.
It would appear she has some reservations about a particular scene (hint: the fiery red fury in her eyes is a dead giveaway).
It would appear she has some reservations about a particular scene (hint: the fiery red fury in her eyes is a dead giveaway).
She expresses her concerns to writer-producer Carl Binder who is delighted to accept her creative input and make the necessary changes to the script.
She expresses her concerns to writer-producer Carl Binder who is delighted to accept her creative input and make the necessary changes to the script.

See?  Mutual respect!  That’s the key to a professional working relationship.  Well, that and a stretchy sweatshirt that ensures they can’t choke you out.

Hey, Exec. Producer Robert Cooper was back at the studio today only one week after undergoing ankle surgery.  On the one hand, it was great to have him there as he was genuinely missed.  On the other hand, his early return meant that the Peruvian soccer team I was billeting had to move out of his office and down to wardrobe where Val immediately put them to work breaking down leathers and fashioning codpieces.  After lunch, we all sat down (or rather remained seated) to watch a Day 1 Mix of Time (a Rob Cooper joint) complete with creepy as hell visual effects (kudos to Mark Savela and his team).  How creepy?  Well, there’s one point in the action that always sends Ashleigh scurrying off down the corridor in horror.  Mission accomplished!  Time has the look and feel of a big screen feature and stands as my favorite episode of the season.  So far.

An ambulatory Bobby C. at the director's helm.
An ambulatory Bobby C. at the director's helm. Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.

And a little something from the vault for all the wraith lovers out there.  Come on, I know who you are!

Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.
Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.
Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.
Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.

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Sheryl
Sheryl

@DAS, Don’t you get special treatment, pale pic’s. JOE, will your people poss. fix the medical mistakes in future epi’s, do you have someone that does that , like the lady that does the science stuff? Sheryl

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

Best wishes to Mr. Cooper for a swift and complete recovry from surgery. Carl needs to be careful lest he gain a reputation for being a pushover for the cast. Though based on his mugging for the camera he’s trying to outdo them in getting a nomination for the Captain Kirk Award for over the top hamming. Not that any of the cast seems out for that particular accolade; one of the things I do like about Universe has been the consistant level of performances by all of the actors.
Thanks also for making Das totally insufferable for the next few days. Don’t you know it’s dangerous giving addicts what they want(other than SGA fans and movies of course). At least you are at the top of her christmas list.
Thanks for the pics. The laughter is duly appreciated today, as today has been one of those stereotypical horrible Mondays we all dread.

ytimynona
ytimynona

Nice to see Elyse giving some input into the process! ;-D I always love the photo essays…sometimes they are worth 1000 words grin

Don’t you be scaring Ashleigh! She has a very similar sense of humor to somebody I know, and she’s not afraid to use it!

ytimynona
ytimynona

Also, glad to see Rob recovered well!

AV eddy

Hi Joe!

Still happy with SGU Premiere. Hope Rob recovers quickly and with reduced pain. smile

Go Elyse! Go!

Ivon is taking questions on Twitter right now for cast interviews he’s doing tomorrow.

eddy

sylvia
sylvia

Oh…is that Mark Dacascos in the background with the last “pale person photo?”

Thanks for raiding the vault. Nice to know you have many precious pretties in there for us.

Ponytail
Ponytail

I hope Miss Levesque didn’t stretch Carl’s shirt out too much. I have been admiring it since I saw it in pictures a few days ago. Love that soft muted pink color. I have a couple of skirts that I’m sure it would go fabulous with, if Carl wants to let me borrow it…

So far, I like Elyse’s character. I don’t understand what there is to be annoyed about yet. I loved the scene where

**********AUSSIE****SPOILERS**************
S

P

O

I

L

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R

S

she came running in slow motion around the corner and down the short hallway to the door her dad had just closed so he could sacrifice himself to save everyone else. That was really a nice shot. I also kept looking at her thinking she looks nothing like her father.

cherluvya

Hey Joe,

I hope Rob is okay. One week, how is he doing it? Wow, kudos to you Rob…pushing hard.

Love your photo show and tell. Getting to know Elyse in the premiere was great. Seeing the pictures knowing a little more of who she is makes it mean more.

Love the premiere. Hearing mixed reviews on twitter. But they know I am a fan of SGU. I was telling everyone it was my favorite show and it hadn’t even aired yet.

Best to you Joe,
Cheryl smile

wonderingbrit

Ok, I’ve watch this through 3 times now without commercial interruptions. I think the set feels small because of all the close-in shots when people are interacting.
The response to the situation wasn’t to obvious one – especially for the level of intellect of the crew and definitely for the military personnel who are trained from day one that survival is everything (ref NATO booklet ‘Survive to fight’). Therefore they would have secured the immediate area and then gone in search of supplies and materials to survive with – this would have happened within minutes of arriving onboard the ship.
Clothing… Obviously this is early days and one would assume that there are cleaning and washing facilities or stores of clothing – otherwise the whole ship is gonna get very smelly very quickly!
Having just pulled a 17 hour shift, I have spent a good while pondering over things and feel that had any of them have watch Apollo 13, the issues regard CO2 wouldn’t have been an issue really – especially in the onboard science community.
Back to the soldiers again – if you’re on a ship in space that is in poor repair – you don’t go around pointing live weapons at people – firing a weapon could be the straw that brakes the camels back!
I understand why the flash backs were used, but they were a hassle to watch when skipping back and forth.
Someone mentioned the darkness of the visuals – I agree, it was a pain!
This is BSG in heat, the cinematography was just too grandiose and the SG style input only went on to confuse matters.

With up coming SG1 and SGA movies, I can only assume there will reference made to the loss of this expedition and more info given.

One thing that did stand out as an obvious business opportunity for the franchise was the Daniel Jackson training videos – these have so got to be addressed and turned into DVD’s – they’d be hot property to any SGF fan. They would complemented by Science of the SG training dvds by Tapping and Hewlett – not to mention a ‘How to Get on in the verse’ by Vala and a guide to species by Thor.

Sadly I feel the show looks and feels like an amalgamation of just about every space sci-fi show ever created and if AIR I/II were the only things to go on – I’d have to say that it is sadly not for me.
However, I will watch the next episode or two to see if it wins me over – because I actually want to be. But my gut says something else I’m afraid.

I don’t know quite what the problem is – it’s certainly not the writing, that’s as good as it gets.

EricaHP
EricaHP

Really enjoyed Air – looks very promising. Loved the shot where Eli was ‘beamed up’ right after disappearing from view on the staircase, loved the Daniel Jackson videos, loved Elyse’s performance, and loved the short scene with Dr. Lee – he’s a favorite of mine. The only criticism I have is that the commercial breaks were far too frequent. I watched it on the Space channel with a group of friends and we all found this very annoying — commercial breaks every 10 minutes, at a little over 3 minutes long each, so only 6-7 minutes of show at a time. I watched it again later on the Space website and it was a much better viewing experience. Looks like people who watched it on Syfy had similar complaints, judging from comments on gateworld. It would be much better if Syfy/Space had longer but less frequent commercial breaks.

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Oh. YUM! Thanks, Joe! He was such a pretty one, too…poor, devious hungry thing that he was. You treated him very badly, you know. Still not sure if I’ve forgiven you for that. I may need to see many more pictures before I decide.

Now, ‘scuse me while I go fantasize about a little persuasive suck n’ puke with this pallid one in some visceral Wraithy grotto. It’s so much more tasteful than all-out rumpy pumpy in the storage closet. wink

Have a good evening, sir! grin

das

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

And yes…for those of you who read my post above, there is a song about me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nnym_cw0u6U

grin

das

OHinNJ
OHinNJ

With all of the talk about too many commercials on SGU’s first ep, it was interesting that today I came across a newspaper article about what some networks are doing to keep viewers from fast-forwarding through commercials. Some networks are creating vignettes from the TV show, with actors from the show using advertised products. The TV show “the Philanthropist” did this, creating mini-stories that showed some characters using Microsoft’s new Bing.com search engine.

But some in the industry aren’t thrilled with the idea because they fear the mini-story/commercial might confuse viewers and might even conflict with the main show’s plotline. Other critics of the idea don’t like the fact that it blurs the line between commercials and the actual show.

What do you think about this, Joe? Of course, I don’t think it would work for SGU, even if the network wanted to use it. With the characters stuck thousands of light years away from Earth, there aren’t many Earth products that they would be using in such vignette/commercials.

Also I would worry about the networks overdoing it. I remember on Eureka there were a few episodes where SciFi went crazy with product placement for Degree deodorant on the show – to the point where they wrote a plotline into the show itself where the Eureka labs were receiving corporate sponsorship from the company and the characters were wearing uniforms with the Degree’s logo all over them. Very distracting and totally took you out of the show’s story.

But it is interesting to see how the networks are trying to solve the DVR/fast-forwarding dilemma.

As a show writer/producer, any thoughts on how this new vignette/commercial experiment might affect your craft?

PoorOldEdgarDerby
PoorOldEdgarDerby

Does anyone know if Eli was playing the Beta of Stargate Worlds?

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

b>@ Sheryl – It’s my reward for being the Last Wraith Fan Standing long enough to even give SGU a chance. I think the rest of my kind have just abandoned the franchise all together, and pretty much stick to their realms of fan fiction. I guess I stick around because this blog deals with so many subjects, and eventually something I’m really interested in – like comics or chocolate – will come up in conversation. And besides, every now and then Joe throws me a Wraithy bone, like tonight. Makes it all worth it sometimes. smile

das

Col. Mustard
Col. Mustard

Just finished watching Air the second time with no commercials via itunes. Loved it even more the second time. Eli is my early favorite, mostly because of his attitude, how he treats others, and gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. Oh and he is really funny. The humor is much more subtle, and I think it has to be in a situation like this. Some of the biggest laughs I got were just from Eli’s expression. T.J. also stood out to me because she seemed to have everyone’s respect. I also liked Rush. I am kind of naive and trust everyone and that would include a man who would strand me on a ship for his own agenda as long as he had a good reason. I loved the moment when I think Rush was kind of caught off guard and saw the kino for the first time. I don’t think he could of held back his delight when he saw the kino. Heck, I liked everyone pretty much and am excited for the rest of the season.

Jim of WVa
Jim of WVa

Joe,

I caught a science error in the SGU pilot. When discussing materials for carbon dioxide scrubbing, the Nicholas Rush character says calcium carbonate when he should have said calcium oxide. Calcium oxide mixed with water would remove carbon dioxide from the air, and calcium carbonate releases carbon dioxide into the air when heated.

Yes, I know that I am being a fussbudget.

Jim of WVa

Debra
Debra

If your child has not seen almost if not more “sex” on many commercials, I am shocked. Keep them tuned to PBS, watch regular tv when they are in bed. Sorry I agree with the Brits, a little sex we have fits over. Yet it’s okay to send them to slasher movies, I guess. Sue me, I don’t think nudity or concentual sex is inappropriate for an adolescent. I never get how people don’t worry about their kids hearing about rape, incest, killings etc on the news or shows… but spirits forbid sex. I guess the upcoming lesbian sex is going to send some people right into orbit.

Echelon
Echelon

With much of the season already filmed, how hard will it be to change a few things to better fit audience suggestions/critiques?

Also, do you know or can you find out how Hulu views of the program affect your overall ratings. Do they apply?

Terry
Terry

I planned on not watching SGU. I decided at the last minute to give it a shot. I’ll be honest and say that I was not grabbed in the first half hour, which is usually the time I’ll give a show to take hold of me (much like reading the first pages of a book). For instance, Lost had me hooked in the first five minutes. In many cases, it’s a series of things that pull me in slowly. SG1 had me with RDA first and then with Daniel. SGA snagged with Sheppard first and then with Atlantis (my fave scene is still the city rising out of the sea). In SGU, only one actor jumped out at me (I think it’s Lt. Scott) as someone distinct and interesting, which is pretty impressive as he wasn’t on screen much in the time I watched. It wasn’t enough to keep me plugged in. What didn’t work for me? Starting in the middle at a point that is intended to be intense and jarring and attention-grabbing. I have a preset negative reaction to stories that start in the middle like this. They make me suspicious about the strength of the story that preceded the event which was chosen as the starting point. If the backstory is so interesting or essential, then why not start there? Granted, sometimes the broken linearity works (some past SG episodes worked this successfully), but usually they work because the movement in time is part of the story. It wasn’t here. It was a contrivance. Frankly, when we did jump back in time and we zeroed in on a young man? I was disappointed. When he turned out to be the convenient genius with social skill problems? I shrugged. Doesn’t that sound familiar. He didn’t stand out as a character and unlike a Jack O’Neill or Daniel Jackson or John Sheppard, there’s nothing in him that I found intriguing. I think I told someone that for me personally, he was the wrong choice to start moving this viewer through the backstory. I guess you could say, he didn’t imprint upon me. Following him around for the next scene or two did nothing to engage me further in the show. Now, the soldiers we met did engage me (there was some edge, some experience), but again, not enough to keep me going I’ll be the first to admit that my biases may be getting in the way of giving SGU a fair shake. I thought about it and then tried again to watch it this evening. I came in late, at the point where Robert Carlyle is trying to decide who should sacrifice his or her life to save the rest. Then someone dies and then he gives his little talk to the daughter. The whole thing just felt familiar. Again, not enough to make me excited to find out what happens to these folks. Though I will say, Brian Smith, Lt. Scott?, stood out again. Pilots can be… Read more »

spencerschleicher
spencerschleicher

I really liked the premiere, but there were many things that I did not like, and a few that I hated.

The back and forth in the first hour felt a little odd, and I felt that the flashbacks generally lacked intensity.

There were some frustrating lapses in logic, but nothing too bad. A 304 should’ve been able to take out three Goa’uld ships.

I also only really liked three of the characters, Loved Eli, and liked Rush and Young. Carlyle and Ferreira impressed. The others I didn’t really care about, and Wray (what little we did see of her) really came off as a standard IOA rep in the first two hours. Hated her, but from what I have read I’ll probably grow to like her a lot.

The score was fantastic in parts and annoying in others. It would feel like Stargate, but different, one second and the next it would feel like a standard action piece.

The visual effects and acting were top notch.

The set designs were nice, if a little unancienty. Kinda sad that the SGC set had to go away for the Icarus base.

Lastly the only thing I truely hated was the sex scene, I don’t have a problem with a sex scene but that was too much. As dark as the show is supposed to be Stargate should still remain a family show.

So far it’s my least favorite Stargate pilot and I don’t see myself loving it as I do SG1 and Atlantis.

So far I like it a lot so I’ll stick around.

spencerschleicher
spencerschleicher

Sorry for for my haphazard way of writing.

EternalDensity
EternalDensity

Great Elyse pics there. A picture tells a thousand words, but a picture with a funny caption makes a thousand grins.
I’m really enjoying the character of Chloe so far. Though really there’s no character I’m not enjoying apart from lack of seeing much of certain ones yet. I’m sure that will balance out after enough eps.
Now, time to squint at the front page of that script…

Arlan
Arlan

Loved the premier – sadly I couldn’t watch it live, so to make up for it I’ve watched on my DVR, on Hulu, on SyFy.com, and through the free download on iTunes. 4 non-live viewings makes up for 1 live viewing I hope.

Please send on many kudos to Joel Goldsmith for his score – the soundtrack is awesome. When will we be able to buy it?

Oh, and please more scenes of Eli narrating the action to the kino. That was one of my favorites scenes of the premier.

pg15

Hey Joe! It’s been a while; been busy with school. …But not too busy as to not watch SGU!! Loved the premiere, though not right away. I enjoyed it a lot after watching it, but it was only after reflecting on it for a day did I realize how great it was. I think it was just the incessant commercials during the initial broadcast that dampened my spirits a little. I won’t go into details because I still have a lot of school work to do. Still, I will say this: I am intrigued by every single one of the characters, including the secondary ones. They all show incredible promise. Rush is by far the most complex so far, IMHO. You guys were right when you said that we wouldn’t know how to really define him. At points he shows disturbing disregard for the lives and well being of his fellow humans, and yet at others it seems like that was just a facade to cover something much more human and fragile. Got to hand it to Robert Carlyle; the man’s a genius. He will be incredible to watch. I loved Eli as well. As I expected, he was pretty much me. Hell, I even act as if there were a camera to look into in my real life (chock that one up to watching The Truman Show one too many times), so those KINO bits were just great. As you said before on this blog, David Blue adds so many little personal touches to his performance, and I can’t agree more. All those little bits, like holding his breath before going into the Stargate; giving Scott a “pfft, I can so do this” look before going to the desert planet; giving the KINO a “this guy is crazy” look when Rush was talking about asking someone to sacrifice themselves to seal the shuttle; and being so dead-panned when he told Rush that that thing floating over his head was a “flying camera ball”, etc. etc. Just pure gold. Pure gold. Well, so much for not going into details. Louis Ferreira does indeed have a glorious voice, and I love his calmness throughout the entire ordeal. He has an incredible aura of silent strength that immediately made him authoritative. Seeing how he treated Eli, I think he is the kind of Colonel I would want to serve under if I ever decided to join the military. Scott…brilliant. He was provided with the beginnings of many facets in the premier. While the sex scene showed off a rebellious side to the young lieutenant; the almost-whispered “Please” that he said to Dr. Rush showed off a vulnerable side; while the way that he ordered everyone around showed off his strengths as a commander, the fact that it took him some tries to get everyone’s attention shows that he was inexperienced; while his talk with Chloe showed that he is very much a sensitive soul, his banter with Eli showed that he has… Read more »