Despite suggestions to the contrary, I actually did make it into the office today.  As I strolled in, Ashleigh and Lawren came out of their offices and started singing Happy Birthday – which led me to sidestep immediately into Carl’s vacant office and shut the door the behind me.  The singing immediately died down.  A few hushed seconds at which point Lawren’s voice broke the silence: “We can wait as long as you can!”.  Fortunately, he was bluffing.

Feeling very special on this special day.  Special and, oddly, kinda pretty.
Feeling very special on this special day. Special and, oddly, kinda pretty.

Well, thanks for all the birthday wishes.  And an extra special thanks to blog regular Narelle from taking the time to post this handy Joseph Mallozzi F.A.Q.: – which I’ll no doubt be consulting with great frequency  when I’m old and forgetful.

And I'm not the only one feeling pretty!
And I'm not the only one feeling pretty!

Anyway, I received a card from the lovely Elyse Levesque, birthday wishes from David Blue and the rest of the office crew, talked season two ideas with Rob, Carl, and Lawren, checked out the finished viz effects for Space (wow!), had lunch, and, finally, retired to my office to finish up today’s blog entry.  Some ten minutes in, I heard the umistakable footfalls of an approaching crowd, then a timid knock.  I knew that just on the other side of that door stood a dozen or so of my co-workers, cake at the ready, singing voices poised and set to let loose.  I redirected my attention to the blog, taking comfort in the fact that I had locked my office door.  Another knock and then the rattle of the master keys as Ashleigh unlocked my office door and led everyone inside.  They sang Happy Birthday, made me blow out the candles (“Here’s your crappy cake!”announced David.), and yelled: “Speech!  Speech!”.  I kept it short and not-so-sweet, thanking them for doing the exact opposite of my expressed birthday wishes.

Tanja presents...My Birthday Cake!
Tanja presents...My Birthday Cake!

Anyway, the cake was actually very good, sort of a hazelnut sponge cake, special ordered by Production Coordinator Tanja Balic in the front office and delivered by none other than my arch-nemesis Ashleigh.

Ashleigh prepares to dig in.
Ashleigh prepares to dig in.

I had not one but two pieces.  Ashleigh barely had one despite the fact that it was my birthday and it obviously would have meant so much to me.  But, like I said, she’s my arch-nemesis so I suppose I shouldn’t have been that surprised (and deeply, deeply disappointed).

Lawren captures the action for TMZ.
Lawren captures the action for TMZ.

It's always a party when Ivon's around!
It's always a party when Ivon's around!
Actress Ali Liebert (Harper's Island, Kyle XY) drops by for cake and pugs.  Follow her on twitter:
Actress Ali Liebert (Harper's Island, Kyle XY) drops by for cake and pugs. Follow her on twitter:

Hey, tonight on SyFy – Stargate: Universe, episode 4 – Darkness!  A great script by Brad Wright, wonderful performances by the cast, and terrific direction by Stargate veteran director Peter DeLuise.  One of the things I particularly love about this episode are all the really nice character moments.  Check out the sneak peek pics – then check out the episode and report back…

Director Peter DeLuise calling the shots.
Director Peter DeLuise calling the shots. Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.
Colonel Everett Young
Colonel Everett Young. Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.
Lieutenant Vanessa James
Lieutenant Vanessa James. Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.

This weekend, I’ll be catching up with the mailbag.  Promise!

129 thoughts on “October 16, 2009: Birthday Festivities! Just What I Didn’t Want! Darkness!

  1. Alas. I cannot watch Universe yet, not until Mr. Das gets home from work so we can watch it together (his rule, not mine!). Watching Monk instead. Probably have to put Sanctuary off, too. *sniffle* Oh well, there’s always tomorrow night! Or…late tonight/early tomorrow morning. Or sometime Sunday.

    Cake looks wonderful, and so do you…for an old man. 😉 And you love the attention – don’t deny it!


  2. Well happy Birthday Joe.

    Seem like Peter DeLuise is demonstrating his ancient telekinesis powers in that photo. Show off.

    The face in the video look pretty damn real, and that with out all the post production work. Good job.

  3. YEY! Happy Birthday Joe!
    Hummm Yummy Cake! And nice pictures and cool video too! Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait for Darkness! I just love Peter Deluise! He ROCKS!!!


  4. Happy Birthday! Ummm, how many is that again? **mumble, mumble 44 mumble, mumble** You don’t look a day over 34! (How’s that for a birthday present?)

    I was going to post a “happy birthday” this morning when the clock hit midnight, but I fell asleep. Oh, well.

  5. Re: the “Joe as a pretty little girl” photo – I hope you’re not keeping anything important in all those binders. Archivally speaking, binders are the Devil’s spawn.

  6. While I enjoy the show I hope we are not witnessing another mckay-keller-ronan relationship thing with Scott-Chloe-Eli. Please don’t it, I hope thats not where we are going.

  7. Oh…I suppose I should wish you a happy birthday, as well.

    Happy Birthday!

    ::stands around awkwardly::

    Uhhh…nice cake, eh?

  8. Happy birthday Joe!!!

    Hooray for behind-the-scenes of Darkness!!! Love those guys and gals!

    PDL did a pretty consistent job, continuing the shakycam and darkness. Which I’m sure is what you wanted. 🙁 Air 3 is still my favorite episode. Perhaps I’ll like Darkness more once I’ve re-watched it on Hulu.

  9. Hi Joe, just watched, really enjoyed, but to me, it just doesn’t feel like Stargate. I’ll get used to it, I’m sure, and I’m actually liking it much more than I thought I would at first. The stones are still bugging me, though. Can’t figure out why this show looks so grainy/weird on my tv – nothing else does.

    Glad to hear you survived your birthday, and yes, you do look kinda pretty 🙂

    Daughter and hubby arrive from England on Sunday (the little shits are already in NYC having a blast while I’m stuck here), so it should be a fun week ahead if Elway and his health cooperate. Have a great weekend!

  10. “Get your paws off me you damn dirty ape!” David Blue is my Idol, He’s a nerd with moves and ideas!
    Love the Peoples death good byes on the Kino.

    Question: If they used the steam shower, wouldn’t finding and producing fresh water be a priority over shower taking?

    Will Rush have another nervous breakdown?

    Will Eli Get the Girl?

    Same Bat time, same Bat channel?

  11. Congratulations for having surpassed the average life expectancy of a 13th century Croatian peasant. Here’s hoping you keep up the good work and make it a couple of decades past the life expectency of the average Japanese from one of those fishing villages where people don’t retire until after their first ten decades. Loved the report of your goings on. Looks and sounds like you had a great time. But no gifts of useful yen from the celebrants?
    I consider Darkness a hit and miss episode, more of the former than latter luckily. I’ll defer on any further comments for a few days while the overseas readers here get a chance to view it. Thanks for sharing, in a small way, your birthday doings. And we’re holding you to that mailbag promise.

  12. Joe, Darkness was fabulous. I loved the little snapshots ‘for posterity’ interspersed throughout the episode. I’m also loving the work your special effects team did, especially with the shots of the Destiny at FTL. The energy surrounding the ship makes it look like she’s flying through the aurora borealis. Just gorgeous.

    I have a random question that I hope you can answer, especially since I can’t catch some of my favorite shows when they air. Do TV networks take into account their online viewers when they consider how popular a series is?

    Thanks so much if you can answer this.

  13. I’d wondered if that shot of the priest was real or a prosthetic. Kudos to the art department.

  14. Happy Birthday!

    I think that this is my favourite SGU so far! It gets better with every episode! Can’t wait until next week!!!

    Any new developments with the SGA and SG1 movies?

  15. Just watched the latest ep of SGU and am starting to get really pissed off at the Space channel. I am very happy they are showing it right away but am more than angry at them showing the preview for next weeks ep before this one is done. WTF is that? I knew that they were headed toward a sun before this weeks ep was finished completely killing th suspense. Can your people write a letter to their people or something?

    They did the same thing last week and it is very freaking annoying.

  16. Joe, no offense, honestly, but I thought there were going to be strong women on SGU. So far each of the females seems there solely to care for the men (medically or otherwise), be hotly girly, be hotly threatening, or ask questions that allow the men to reveal something. When do they get to drive the story?

  17. Hey Joe, happy birthday! In addition to all the cool stuff you got at work (very funny vid, btw), I think Darkness must be one of the best birthday presents ever — except I suppose that, really, you and many others bestowed that gift on the fans. So thank you, and thanks to every single person who contributed to the making of this episode. I thought that Stargate: Universe had maxed out the scale on awesomeness, but I was wrong — can’t quite remember who said on Twitter “It gets even better,” but he was right. And now I’m thinking that one of the best Christmas presents I could ever get would be to hear a definite go-ahead for Season Two.

    Major props to Narelle for compiling the FAQ sheet. My one question in regard to that — you said: …Which I’ll no doubt be consulting with great frequency when I’m old and forgetful. — Are you really *that* old already? (Not that I can talk …)

    Right now I’m starting to come down off the mother of all adrenaline and caffeine buzzes, so the easiest way I can think of to further describe my reaction to Darkness is this: It’s like A-Rod hit a grand slam, Jeter racked up an inside-the-park home run, and they combined to turn the triple play *three* times in one game — and instead of being a Red Sox fan, I’m cheering for the Yankees. (Heaven forbid, but just for the sake of a handy metaphor. Also, maybe Jeter’s not fast enough anymore to pull off the homer, but you get my point.)

    Especially good pics, everyone looks great, the pug as well (of course), and the images from MGM are really well done.

    — Ivon Bartok is a party animal? Who knew?!!

  18. Joe!! Fantastic episode I was loyal from the beginning but if I wasn’t at first I would be now. Can’t wait to see next weeks episode.


  19. Longtime lurker and first time poster. I have to say what I am most impressed with so far is the music accompanying the show. It reminds me a bit of some of Bear McCreary’s work for Battlestar Galactica. It’s rare for a scifi score to be as strong as the story, so kudos to the composer. The ship and space effects are also excellent. I’m gonna stick with this show.

    Happy Birthday, Joe!

  20. Happy birthday, again.

    We have company tonight, so I’m time-switching by VCR. Just add one household to the umpty-million in the +1 ratings. Gee, sounds like I know what all of that means!

    Yeah, I’m a Luddite. When Husb. gets wide-screen, we’ll discuss DVR.

    Stay warm!

  21. I think I know what Destiny is doing, and it’s a cool idea. I’m guessing this is your astrophysicist’s time to shine (no pun intended.)

  22. PS: You really do look kinda pretty in that “dudette” pink ribbon. Maybe now that you’ve met Ivon’s mom, he’ll ask you out to the prom. — Okay, I suppose that horse has been ridden to death …

    … and speaking of horses, when my pretty new pony gets here from New York in about March-April, its license plates will read AIR III — “Darkness” having too many characters. Now if you’re wondering why a pony would need license plates, that’s because its name is 2010 GT.

  23. Hope your B-day was nice, the cake looked pretty good, actually. Really liked “Darkness”, some good funny moments in this one. Liked Dr. Rush’ mini breakdown, maybe Carlyle will do crazy well like Michael Shanks (e.g. “Lifeboat”).

    Finishing the rest of my road trip back to Phoenix, I was in Colorado Springs today. Odd thing was, none of the area looks like it does on TV….. all the trees look wrong… (evil grin)


  24. Wow, that head thing is so cool. It’s amazing what people can do these days.

    Happy birthday, BTW. As it happens, I’m finally reading Old Man’s War right now. I’d like to say it was an intentional thing to celebrate your birthday, but I must confess it’s just an odd coincidence. Or perhaps my subconscious knew your birthday was coming up.

  25. I agree with Hayloh that SPACE spoil the episode by inserting the next episode preview half way through. Very annoying.

    Must disagree with most of the posters on this list about this episode. It looks like a clip show. My suspicion is that the Darkness and Light episodes was originally one episode that got stretch into two filled out with the Kino video clips. The story feels unfinished and slow paced.


    Mind you, if you omitted the video clips along with the Chloe shower and Vanessa in undies sequences then the remaining is actually a fast pace action oriented story.

    Rush cracking up is a bit over the top. Hope the Rush character gets more 3 dimension in future episodes.

    Visually the Destiny interior scenes is dimly lited. Reminds one of old movies inside tunnel-works fighting fake looking monsters. Especially with the handhold camera point of views.

    Hope the future episodes have a faster pace. Still undecided on SGU.

  26. Just finished watching Darkness. More awesomeness! What I like most about this series is the return of cool sci-fi mysteries to solve! It’s like old school SG-1. Dial a planet, find something weird, and spend the whole episode trying to figure it out along with the characters.

    Love it! Great writing so far!

  27. Darkness…another amazing episode.




    Robert Carlyle should get an Emmy for this episode. His range from rushed to angry to manic to, well, a lump on the floor was played brilliantly. I still don’t like him, but you can’t stop watching him. I was stunned by the FX at the end, absolutely mindblowing. You must be blowing through your budget already in these first few episodes.

    A couple of things I didn’t like. I know you want to get LDP into these episodes, but it strains credability that he is the one who always is there when Young returns to the Pentagon. There is nothing that says that Young has to jump into someone of the same rank.
    And come on, I can maybe buy that Sen. Armstrongs wife was informed of the situation. She could have high clearance. But Young’s wife? The Stargate program and all it’s offshoots are SECRET! You would really tell someone who in all likelyhood is going to divorce you. She doesn’t seem like the person who can keep a secret, although she doesn’t seem to have a reason to tell anyone.
    And if Telford reports that Young should be removed from command, who would possibly replace him. Rush just had a mental breakdown, Scott would be the only other possibility and he is only a Lt.

    Line of the episode:
    Young: So the computer hacker dropout can save our asses, why don’t you get your heads out of yours.

    Bring on the next episode!!!

  28. Excellent episode. My favorite parts:

    Eli’s second Planet of the Apes reference (Get your stinking paws off me…hehe)

    the cameo by Peter Deluise (“I’ll take over Peter”
    ” Again? ” hehe)

    everything else with Eli (best character so far, imo)

    Rush’s breakdown (whoa)

    when they went through the gas giant (also: cool cliffhanger! ).

    Prob my least favorite part of the episode: Young goes to visit his ex-wife? ex-girlfriend?

    It was ok, I guess, and gives background on Young, but overall, can’t say I’m liking the trips home so far (expect for the O’Neil appearances of course). They are a bit soapy imo. Kind of wish the stones would get “accidently” broken. lol. But then, of course, no cameos by Richard Dean or guest apperances by Lou Diamond (although, I don’t really care for his character so far).

    Despite that minor thing, the show is getting better & better with each episode. Really liking the show. I think its going to be, at least, better than Atlantis. Too early to tell if it’ll be better than SG-1.


  29. Dear Joe,

    It would a lot to me if you can please answer the following questions:

    1. Would you say that the Destiny is as big as a:
    a. Wraith Hive
    b. An Aurora class vessel
    c. An O’Neill class Asgard ship

    2. The FTL that the Destiny is using, is it faster or slower than Hyperspace windows?

    3. What’s your opinion on Montreal’s Maire Tremblay, do you think he is doing a good job?

    Thanks and I really hope this time I strike gold…lol

  30. I almost feel guilty for saying this, but I was bored out of my mind by Darkness. There were moments that were interesting, but none of them involved the talking to the flying ball. I hated that. There is no point to it – it’s not like the kino can go to Earth and people could say goodbye or send a message to their loved ones, like with Letters from Pegasus (which I really loved). This was just too reality-show vapid people yapping at a camera for me. None of them were even remotely interesting to me except for Eli.

    The sense of drama at their plight simply disappears with all the endless talking and saying very little.

    Rush’s lunatic tantrum seemed par for the course for Rush – and to have his completely out of line behavior dismissed because he was on caffeine withdrawal is insulting. He’s a jerk; so we have the handful of lines Wray has excusing his behavior because people aren’t nice to him. HELLO! People aren’t nice to him because he’s a complete jerk!

    His idiotic insistence on holding on to the knowledge he has and his refusal to show anyone anything puts everyone in danger, including himself. And Eli, the one who might come the closest to actually being able to figure something out about the ship shouldn’t be wasting his time showing other people how to waste water or talking to flying camera balls; instead of playing with things that aren’t a priority, he should be learning about that ship. THat is what EVERYONE should be doing. Instead, they are – oh again – TALKING! And the talk has so little to do with trying to solve the reality of their situation that I would be happy if some of them flew into the sun.

    Speaking of which, I also find the flying into the sun end a bit lame; do we REALLY think they’re going to fly into the sun? My (completely uninformed) theory is that the ship knows what it is doing. I may be wrong, but I’m getting close to not caring.

    The only parts of the episode I found interesting were the scenes involving Col. Young. I like him; he’s not vapid and what he says is not inane (unlike the conversation of the 20-somethings and the girls) (I have a hard time calling them women because they are so bloody shallow). I know that I wasn’t that shallow at that age. Heck, I wasn’t that shallow when I was 10.

    Young is trying to keep everyone together and alive, and he’s trying to get Rush to follow orders and be rational, while at the same time trying to live in pain, both physical and emotional. That I can respect. His concerns make sense in the circumstances.

    Clearly there are people who really like this kind of show. It IS very different from previous Stargates, although last week’s episode was much more like Stargates I have known and gave me hope that I could get involved in SGU. I am seriously thinking that “character-based” in SGU means no story, no action, and endless yapping by people who say nothing significant.

    I always thought that the best things about SG1 and SGA WERE the characters. Plot-driven shows with people I don’t like don’t keep my interest. I loved SG1 and SGA because of the people. And SGU is supposedly better because it’s character based, as opposed to SG1 and SGA.

    Tonight, the people of SGU were boring. When they weren’t boring, they were stupid. It’s hard to get a sense of “omigod we’re all going to die,” when they just walk around, playing with the ship and yakking yakking yakking. There’s no energy in that, no sense of jeopardy.

    It’s not even like when O’Neill or Sheppard would say something off the wall to defuse tension or deal with a terrible situation and then spring into action to solve the problem; I never got the sense that there was a terrible situation to deal with. These people are empty shells in comparison.

    Sorry Joe, I just could not get involved in this episode. I don’t understand why there are people (and clearly a lot of them) who find this kind of show interesting.

    @ Michelle – I completely agree with you. The women are either caretakers or idiots. I’m not surprised, but I am disappointed.


  31. Are all these slow character moments going to pay off in a big way? Overall, Darkness seemed slow paced; I preferred the last 10 minutes which were well done. Dr Rush was awesome though, yet again. The CGI for the Destiny and the planets are beautiful.

  32. Hi Joe,
    Just watched Darkness – first it was great to see Peter Deluise’s “guest” appearance! Now that I think about it, this episode didn’t have any action, but that didn’t detract anything from me. In fact, I was glued the whole way through the episode. I enjoyed the character interactions, and learning background info of the main and supporting characters through the Kino (though I still can’t remember the names of everyone!!)
    Something I was hesitant about before watching was the camera and “realism” of the show. However, I find that I actually kind of like it. I’ve gotten use to the hand held camera, and it doesn’t detract from my experience – in fact I hardly notice it now. And I think it’s wonderful that realism doesn’t equal just nitty gritty blood and gore, but more realistic actions and science – like having to translate the shuttle buttons, or the scientist talking about the planet orbiting the red dwarf. It’s great to have the scientific aspect (last week as well, with the lime testing).
    And the CGI through the planet’s atmosphere was amazing. Though the end shot reminded me a bit of the Atlantis episode where the computer virus sends Deadelus toward a star…
    Can’t wait until next week!

  33. I missed Darkness because I had to work and itunes doesn’t have it up yet. Guess I’ll have to catch it tomorrow. It makes me sad.

    Happy Birthday Joe!

  34. VERY slow paced episode tonight, “Darkness”, which I normally have no problem with, but I could definitely tell this was forced into a two parter. While this story would definitely be wayyyyy to fast as a single episode, a major rethinking was probably needed.

    With that: I still love this show. The feel and depth of characters has me constantly intrigued. Love how the Destiny seems to be smarter than all of them combined ;). Long live the Ancients!

  35. Hey Joe,

    I am sorry you ended up at the office. Secretly you must have wanted to be there. hehehehehehe

    TWO pieces of cake…I would say the cake was a hit. Good birthday cake, song, presents…did you get presents?

    See blog from yesterday for my birthday wishes.

    Love the pictures and stories.

    Best to you Joe,
    Cheryl 🙂

  36. @ Mary – I believe your not seeing rush as intended.

    For one, he spent all this time trying to workout how dial the 9th chevron using the planets core as a power source, then when it does work everyone is pi***d off at him because they’re now stranded.

    As one of the few people who are likely to get them back people still hate him and view him as the one who got them stuck in this situation in the first place, partially true but people still seem to hate him even though he’s trying to save everyone.

    We’re aware of the problems and still people feel the need to drain power trying to figure things out, regardless of the fact Rush repeatedly informs everyone that the ships power is dangerously low.

    As for the passing out, Rush drinks lots of coffee, and is a smoker, the two of those together with the fact that he’s had very little sleep, possibly none since they’d arrived, where on a certain planet he was so tired and thirsty he was sure he’d die.

    I find it quite believable that he’d pass out having taken all of the above into account.

    Everyone blames rush because that’s all they can do, nobody else is smart enough, the one person who Rush would consider to be on his level is a drop out, which I find rather amusing in itself.

    Happy birthday to both of us 😀

  37. Hi Joe, Happy Birthday! May you Live Long and Prosper!
    You know, looking at Twitter, Gateworld and SyFy forums, one of the most commented upon aspects of Darkness is/are 2Lt James’ most considerable “assets.” I hope in the future she gets a bit more character development and is not simply known as that girl with the huge ****s!

  38. The picture you posted today of Peter Directing proves that Kinos are a real object and are not CG! You guys should totally sells those on the open market!

  39. Happy Birthday, Joe, albeit a bit belated. I hope you had a wonderful day!

    Mine is on Sunday, and the only plan I have is to spend a quiet day at home, maybe doing some yard work. Fun, fun!

  40. @Mary – I loved Letters From Pegasus too. I have that whole season of SGA on DVD, plus others.

    @Joe – Happy birthday. Please give Maximus a hug and a puppy treat. Best wishes to you.

    Peace & Love,


  41. Hey Joe,

    First of all, Happy Birthday.

    About the episode, absolutely fantastic character moments in this episode and amazing acting all around.

    The only scene I didn’t dig is the one between Young and his wife. I feel it went on too long and slowed down an already slow paced episode. However, Young’s interactions with everyone else was very interesting. He’s definitely no O’Neill or Sheppard, he can obviously be light-hearted, as seen in the Destiny mess, but he’s not f*cking around. “Want me to hold your hand?” I’d compare him more to Woolsey or Weir, though seemingly less compassionate than either of them. Shut the hell up and get the job done. Not getting the job done? Why? What hell is wrong with you?
    Reminds me of the manager of Loblaws at my first job.

    Unfortunately, despite not reading any spoilers for Light, I think I know where this particular story is going. I hope I’m wrong, but it seems fairly predictable.



  42. Happy Birthday Joe!!!

    I enjoyed Darkness. The Kino scenes were good in my opinion. Yeah it’s a little like a confessional sort of moment, but I think that it really adds to the my understanding of the characters. Though I gotta say that at the end of the episode I literally said “wow that’s an unlucky lot.”

  43. Happy birthday!! You don’t look a day over twenty. Nine. And a half. (The cake looked so yummy!!)

    I just skimmed past all the comments with my hand over my eyes. I haven’t been able to watch tonight’s episode yet–my three-year-old son is sick, so I’ve been snuggled up in bed with him all evening. The sacrifices I make as a parent, eh? ;o)

    Anyway, a question! I just thought of this, and was wondering if you could clarify something for me. Is the Destiny traveling through hyperspace or through normal space at superluminous speeds? I feel like it must be through hyperspace to avoid relativistic effects on the new crew. Otherwise the real-time communications would no longer work, and they ‘d be contacting an Earth far into our future after not much time had passed on the Destiny…

  44. Happy Birthday! You’ll be hitting that big 3-5 before long, no? “Darkness”–good episode. I am a little concerned that the Air Force (or U.S. government, IOA, whoever is calling the shots) is revealing the stargate program to a civilian like Young’s wife/ex-wife (although I did get the idea that she wasn’t given the whole story) because, despite the circumstances, a secret gets harder to keep the more people you tell. And I guess Young’s wife of all people, too… Young’s in the military, this was part of the risk when he signed on. I feel like the Stargate Program of yesteryear wouldn’t have been that cavalier about revealing such a massive secret.

    Volker (I’m not sure of the actor’s name right now, but he’s very good) and Brody (also portrayed by a talented actor, whose name I also don’t know) came off as a little “not up to snuff” for the Stargate Program. Again, circumstances (being far flung out in the galaxy, deprived of several things) considered, you’d think they’d be able to come up with some of the ideas that Eli did (even though he is an MIT dropout).

    From a pure story perspective though, I have no complaints. I know this was originally a one-part episode, and—granted I haven’t seen the second part–would find this much crammed into half an episode too much. If next week, after “Light” airs, you could briefly go over how “Fire” was paced out (just like where the act breaks were), I’d appreciate it. That’s considering you know, or that it even got that far before you folks switched it up.

    Thanks in advance. I have no doubt you’re going out for your birthday dinner and I hope it was excellent.

  45. *correction to the above … Otherwise the real-time communications would no longer work, and they’d be contacting an Earth _from_ far into our future after not much time had seemed to pass on the Destiny…

    I think I got that right this time. Someone yell at me if I didn’t. And yell at me if this particular issue has been covered already.

    Sick kids. Man, they wear on ya. 🙂 I’m too tired to be discussing relativity. And yet, I wait for the show to appear on Hulu! (Is it midnight yet??)

  46. Coucou Joseph!!!

    Yahhh! Trop toute ces photos!!! Pleins de joie, de rire et de bon moment, ça fait plaisir à voir!! =P

    Je suis contente de voir que vous avez passer une trés bonne journée d’anniversaire!! J’aurai bien voulu être là^^!

    Gros gros bisou, je vous adore!!!!!!

  47. Still awake… What a rollercoaster ride this week has been, and I’m having trouble getting out of the contraption. Then there’s the whole other rollercoaster of my week closing out with such an incredible epi.

    Stream of consciousness sets in, my mind moves from pretty pink bow to pretty pink dress, Pretty in Pink, and I start picturing how you would look with red hair… hmm… Mallozzi Ringwald? No, not quite right, move on… Mozalli Ringwald, okay, that works better, but on some level I’m aware that Sheriff Jack Carter of Eureka would say, “That’s just *wrong*.” And of course it is.

    Definitely time to hang up the hay bag for the horsie and go to bed.

  48. Hey Joe

    I knew it! I knew Ashleigh and Lawren would ‘have their birthday revenge’ – (see yesterday’s comment). Yes, you do look ‘special and kind of pretty’, and the cake looks wonderful!

    I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve seen of SGU so far, the sets look cool, the music is great, and the cast is terrific especially Robert Carlyle – and Eli, TJ, and Scott are definitely characters who I can’t wait to see what happens to next. Unfortunately down here in my part of the world, SGU will be a couple of years away – Season 5 of Atlantis starts in just over a week – thank goodness for the magic of the internet, and DVD’s!

    Have a great weekend

  49. Haha! I made it!


    Hope you had a good one!

    Meanwhile, it may not be my birthday today, but damn did Darkness make my day! Ha!

    Absolutely loved it; most likely my fav episode of SGU yet! I, too, loved the character moments, and thought every single character showcased in this episode shined. Volker, Brody, Riley, and Park were absolutely hilarious, and yet you can still get a feel for their personality beyond the simple humor. The KINO scenes were very well done.

    Meanwhile, you have the few regulars doing incredible things. Rush was AMAZING in his rant. Robert Carlyle just upped his tone and intensity bit by bit throughout the first half of the episode until he was just going absolutely nuts. The guy’s a genius. On the other end of the spectrum, but equally as awesome, was the calm and ascerbic demeanor of Col. Young. He reminds me of Dr. Cox from Scrubs with his dry and frank wit. His reunion with his wife was just heartbreaking.

    Eli and Chloe running around the ship reminded me of a pair of siblings, the shower scene not included, of course. Heh.

    Scott, TJ, and Greer’s scene in the shuttle was very nice. It’s cool seeing the three just talking like that, as if they were buddies. Also loved that little smile TJ had when she mentioned the smokers to Rush after he woke up (speaking of which, the calmness he exhibited after he woke up was an incredible transformation from when he was yelling; I think it added a whole new layer to the man. Was it Brian J. Smith or David Blue who said that RC was a chameleon? Well, whoever it was, he was right!)

    But once again, the best part is at the end. I LOVED seeing the crew gather around the observation deck to witness the gas giant (or “big Bertha” as Col. Young called it. lol). It’s been a while since I got that sense of “we are truly out in the unknown” – something I’ve greatly missed. That feeling of being awed by something so much more significant than you are. Brilliant.

    Then, of course, gotta give it up Mark Savela and his team for that incredible CGI sequence, and Joel Goldsmith and his team for the incredible music backing that part up! I think I had my fists balled up and my teeth gritted during that sequence. Very tense. Then, of course, at the end the ship heads for a star. I literally yelled “NOOOOOOOOO” when the episode ended – what a cliffhanger!

    So many small moments left unmentioned, so many more things enjoyed. I wish I could get to it all, but I gotta go to bed! Loved the episode, and looking forward to next week’s!

  50. Wow, that cake looks amazing! I’m glad to hear you got the proper birthday shenanigans despite all your efforts to avoid them.

  51. Again was distracted by the sheer number of commercials.

    Maybe that is a good indicator though … was bugged in the first episode when I was hoping to see some suspense building but it was killed off by the frequent commericals.

    In Air III – which seemed to involve walking here and then walking there – I didn’t notice them because there was no suspense to kill.

    Now, last night again they seemed intrusive … so much so that the final “solution” seemed to have pulled out of a hat at the last moment.

    Liked the first few scenes when Young met with the small groups of people. He is my favorite character on the ship so far largely because he seems to be the only one who “gets” it. His takedown of the scientist who allowed Rush to kick him out and his comment to the other two about a “computer hacking drop out” working the problem while they weren’t were the best lines.

    Best scene: Peter DeLuise giving up the chair to Lou Diamond Phillips.

    I honestly thought that I would hate the whole stones thing on a philosophical level (taking over someone else’s body). That part hasn’t bothered me yet, but I do agree that, with the exception of the actually “reporting in” part, the visits home have been overly extended and soap opera – ish.

    “@ Michelle – I completely agree with you. The women are either caretakers or idiots. I’m not surprised, but I am disappointed. ”

    I beginning to be no longer surprised and am definitely disappointed.

    Stargate redefined a woman’s role in scifi with SG1. By the end of the premier episode of Atlantis, at least two female characters had established themselves as strong leaders (and at least one had definitely established she had active “social” life with Simon).

    There was a reason that expectations were high for the female characters on SGU.

    Were it not for the ridiculously extended shower scene or the “boob camera angle”, Im not sure I would have noticed that there were any female characters in the episode at all.

  52. I really like where this iteration of Stargate is going. I’m really liking the development of complex characters over the span of multiple episodes and multiple “storylines.” The one I caught last night was the power struggle between Cols. Young & Telford. And Rush is just so layered. Thanks to everyone in the SGU production for such a mature, thinking series. And it was great to see Peter back in the mix!

  53. happppyy birthday to youuuuuuuuu
    good luck ESS GEE YOU!
    I hope you get ratings
    and an EEEEEMMY or two!!!

    Nice badge *cough*

  54. After reading Mary’s post about Darkness there is really nothing I can say, I completely agree with her, and I hate that I do. After last night’s episode both my wife and I are going to be looking for something else to do on Friday night. Stargate is dead, and that’s sad.

    We’re living in tumultuous times, things are not going well anywhere and people are stressed beyond belief. Now, more than any time before, Jack and Daniel, Sam and Teal’c would be more than welcomed into our lives if for nothing more than a bit of relief, and engaging storyline, some quips, and some action. SGU is NOT that, and that’s what you wanted to do, which is fine. This is not what I wanted, not what I need right now.

    Good luck with the show Joe, I seriously mean that. If you guys decide to make another SG1 or SGA movie I’ll be there with bells on. But as far as SGU goes, I’m out.

  55. “Darkness” was amazing! Robert Carlyle and Justin Louis delivered great acting. I’m loving how the show is starting to develop its own feel and dynamics. It still has the “Stargate” trademark, but is very much different than SG-1 and Atlantis, which is a good thing. I see great potential for the new series. It has all the rights elements in place and I really, really hope that it doesn’t suffer from the imperfect rating system in the US. The score during the orbit entry was amazing, a mix of epic and classical sci-fi soundscape.

  56. Very much enjoyed ‘Darkness’, compliments to the cast & crew for it. While it was slow-paced (which I don’t mind when done right, in fact, I prefer it), I could just sit and watch the characters interact with eachother for hours, it was very well done and it all felt naturally. Hope to see more of this interaction, for instance, Eli and Riley stalking James with the kino. Some would say it didn’t do anything at all and was just there to fill the time, but I think it’s those moments that make me care about the characters and enjoy the show, and also a welcome distraction from the ‘we’re going to die’ stuff that you don’t really want to see an episode long.

    Nice to see the humour is still there too, but some of it kind of missed (like the earthquake rant). Also good to see some of the secondary crew getting developed.

    No points of critique actually.

    Imo, the quality of the episodes is increasing, hope this trend continues!

  57. Happy Birthday and all the best to you, Joe.

    Well, here’s some questions for the mailbag.

    – Where did the ancients get those bed linens?? Did someone bring them from earth, just happened to have them in their back pack??

    – I have watched Air 1 and 2 at least twice, what does FTL stand for??

    – Where did Chloe get her change of clothes??

    @ Deni – I’m having a hard time with the stones too. That part reminds me of Quantum Leap. It’s funny they have the ability to swap minds,souls, …. but they can’t find a way to power the ship. That has to be frustrating.

    Sorry don’t mean to sound sarcastic,or overly critical just still trying to work thru some things.

    My husband fell asleep during last night’s episode. He said what he liked about Atlantis, there was more action.

  58. Good morning everyone. 34 degrees up here by the Great Lakes. Yeesh. In spite of this, the dogs still want to go for a walk. I’m sitting here at the computer, stalling, while they sit at my feet thumping their tails impatiently. Are we going now? No? Hey, you moved, are we going now?

    Was Darkness the first part of a two-parter? I wasn’t sure if that was the intent, or if you guys meant for many episodes to just lead right into the next, if you know what I mean. Either way, a slower-paced episode, which I didn’t mind. Some neat character beats, and I’m liking Young more and more. I also wanted to say that I appreciate the inclusion of Scott’s faith. I’m not quite sure how to say this, so forgive me if it doesn’t come out right but…I think it’s good to show that people can have strong faith and yet still make bad decisions, and still struggle with desires and impulses. It’s reality, and I haven’t often seen that portrayed well on television. So thank you for that.

    Biggest Talk Right to the TV Moment of the Night: “Hey, it’s Peter Deluise! Nooo, no don’t get up, don’t let him sit there Peter! I want to see Young walking around in Peter’s body, don’t….aw dammmit.”

  59. Hi Joe,

    I have to admit I found Darkness boring for at least the first 30 minutes. My two teenage daughters left after 15. I’m afraid I will be watching Universe alone from now on.

    I was happy to see Peter Deluise briefly on screen again. Reminded me I was watching a Stargate show. I realized I really did miss the gate to a new planet, do crazy shit and come home of the old Stargate.

    Robert Carlyle is an awesome actor and performed the hell out of the go crazy part. I wasn’t looking at the clock during his scene that’s for sure.

  60. Why did Young leave to go visit his wife instead of talking to scientists who could help the Destiny? That was a total waste! The triangle thing with Chloe/Eli/Scott needs to end too. It would be better to dump Chloe as she doesn’t do anything anyway. The stones need to get flushed too. Have these people get a grip, stop complaining and learn to work together. That is what I want to see.

    Dr. Rush is cooler by the episode, but I still can’t remember names for some reason. The boob shot was lame. Come on, you guys are better than that.

  61. Forgot to mention, the Young character is one of the most interesting and rounded so far imo (besides Rush, ofc). Seems like he has the most shit going on. He wasn’t supposed to be on the Destiny at all yet now has to lead all of the Icarus refugees, his only hope of returning to Earth is a mad scientist who doesn’t really want to go home, he’s having problems with his wife for being on a spaceship he wasn’t willing to be in the first place, and Telford wants to blame him for everything that goes wrong on the ship (seems like there’s some past between Telford and Young…).

    Still, when the power was down and he used the ancient device, instead of asking for the help of some brilliant SGC scientist (Carter?), he went to his wife. Ehe.

    Also love the walking stick. Reminds me of House, hehe. Hope that cane will remain for a couple of episodes, it adds a nice little touch.

  62. Mr M

    a few quick questions

    Who is the ranking officer after Colonel Young? It’s my impression that it is TJ. So she is next in command if Young croaks?

    My reasoning is that she have done at least one tour while Scott is just starting his first. So is Scott a lieutenant or second lieutenant?

    Come to think of this. Does 2Lt James outrank Scott too?

    Haha nobody notice the strange chain of command on SGU. With the Colonel ailing. The next ranking miltary officer and and highest ranking civilian are women!

  63. Sorry I totally missed SGU, i’ve been sick and slept for about 14 hours yesterday. I did just finish watching it on my PVR though, and I was wondering. Do the actor’s have to visualize the Kino or do you guys have like a green ball hanging from a rope on a stick? I mean when they meant to interact with it, not when we see them through the Kino, that would obviously mean they are looking at a camera.

  64. Oh my, Mr. M. That cake looked fantastic! Can Ashleigh have milk, sugar and eggs? 😀 That cake would have been worth going to work.

    Saving “Darkness” for tonight, when hubby and I can watch together. Since, I’m not in your target audience, can I still watch the show/enjoy it? 😉

    Gilder: Before my dad passed away, we bought him a DVR. He took to it like Crack Cocaine. One of the good memories. Anyway, if my technophobic dad loved it, a blogger, such as yourself, would probably love it also.

    Happy post birthday!


  65. Wow, that has never happened to me before!

    Sat down, started watching and, poof!, it was over. My God! What have you done to me!

    Totally captivating, beautifly timed and excellently acted by one and all. Amazing show Joe, simply amazing.

    My only regret is the week wait to the next episode.

    Oh BTW, Hey Joe


  66. My thoughts on Doctor Rush.
    Having seen the original movie & SG-1 right from the start and all the way through, I see signs of early Daniel Jackson.
    Rush is so fixated with his personal agenda and achieving that, whatever it is(as well as survival). And it is this fixation that is getting me so engrossed in the show. Is he just fixated on accessing the mainframe so he can get back to earth or is it something more? It’s a very similar thing in the way of fixation to Daniel Jackson’s (originally) crack pot theory about landing spaceships on the pyramids…

  67. My questions to you Joe would be; (1)Are there any moments ahead where Telford challenges Youngs command or something, or anyone challenges his command(this question is limited to people stranded back on earth only)??
    (2) Okay I’m really curious about how Atlantis is going to fit in to the picture these days? And it makes me want to see the movie even more… come on before the actors get any older!!!

  68. Four episodes (if the first is 2) in and women are sex objects, the emotional ones, the ones for the MEN to ogle, the one screaming in the shower naked wanting a protector, the little lady or mom waiting back home. Lots of up front men… not so with women. I wish you guys would get a woman writer or two. The lack of one in 11 yrs is telling.

    And then there is the Jewish issue. You have portrayed major religions, but not one planet ever Jewish although in reality they’d be more likely since closer to time of the original goa’ulds than Christians. No strong good Jewish characters. You had Rothman, nerdy no social skills, killed off quick. Not sure if Eli is supposed to be Jewish but again, dumpy nerdy guy. And how about a Muslim or two. They do make up a HUGE portion of the world.

    Beyond that, yeah love the show. The complaints above for the entire franchise. I just wanted this one to move past that. 🙁

  69. Glad your comrades forced you to eat B-Day cake! You are a lucky man and much loved by all around you.

    I thought Darkness was very good during some parts and the performances were spot-on.

    My favorite moment – the cameo by Peter DeLuise. It felt like “home”.


    While I hope darkness gets a 1.9, I am sorry to report, it has been my least fav ep so far. Extrememly slow paced. YOU really should have considered making it(darkness and light) a 90 minute episode or 60 minute episode with better pacing. The scenes lagged, some scenes felt like they were inserted to fill time, and it was generally blah. I really hope the ratings won’t drop, cause if I wasn’t a stargate geek, I might have written off this show after this ep.

    I do have to say the VFX and this eps ending WAS MARVELOUS, so was Peter’s cameo, he even got some lines. Overall, it felt like a filler episode that couldn’t find its pacing, and considering there is a big population of viewers who are on the fence, I think it was a mistake to put such a non action packed stretched out episode in the first few eps.

    On a more positive note, I was excited by Lights promo and storyline, and so I am convinced Light might be my fav episode so far, and that darkness was just a set up episode for light.

    Overall, still a great show, IM LOVIN SGU!!!

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  71. Hi Joe,
    stumbled over your blog this week for the first time while reading information about SGU. So Narelle’s Q&A will be a great help.
    About this week’s episode “Darkness”. At the beginning I really felt uncomfortable because of Rush’s outbreak. I have a problem with people reacting so hostile in real life and I felt for Volker. Robert Carlyle’s acting was amazing. So real. That’s why it went under my skin.
    And Louis Ferreira is doing a great job in portraying Colonel Young. I love Young’s way of telling people off and how he tries to reason with the group to get something constructive done.
    One of the differences between SGU and SG-1/SGA for me is the amount of information I have to notice during each scene. In SG-1/SGA the focus was on the plot and the surroundings, so most of the time I could simply watch without trying to figure out what and why someone just said or did. In SGU every second shows something new about a character and I’m struggling to keep up with this.
    Luckily, Amazon has every episode already for download the next day after airing. 🙂
    So I can watch all episodes as often as I want.
    I like the new character-driven focus in SGU. Maybe because I love to read books.

    A SGU unrelated thing. Today is Saturday. Let us know if that newspaper guy turns up again. 😎


  72. I enjoyed Darkness, I just need to watch it a few more times.

    Hubby liked the shower. Figures.

    What would I say to the Kino? “Well, this has been interesting.Sucks to be us right now, but yeah, interesting.” Or fall back onto a favorite Hunter S. Thompson quote, “Buy the ticket. Take the ride”.

  73. I like that you can take main characters over the edge in this setting. You had to limit that in other series when section 8’s were more plausible.

    Robert Carlyle did a dead-on amphetamine crash (oh, I’m sorry – withdrawal from nicotine and 5 cups of coffee a day 😉 ). The passing out would happen in a quiet moment long after he was making even less sense, but that isn’t as dramatic, is it?

    Volker is way cool. The actor brings his A-game to the subtlest moments. What’s his name again?

    “I can and will kick your ass” – that’s exactly how a woman phrases it when she needs to inform a large male of where he really stands. The “and will” is optional. Dead serious confidence on the words “I can” and barely contained restraint on the last words are key. It comes naturally at the moment you really mean it. Ask me how I know. (Just a figure of speech. Don’t ask.)

    What is your favorite brand of candy corn?

    Are you giving up on one-word titles? Have you run out of nouns? Try verbs.

    David Blue is playing a perfect geek. His reactions when his jokes fall flat are hilarious.

    I get it. It’s not fair that TJ is there because she resigned. We’re up to 4 references to that now, 3 in this one episode. I blame the kino scene for pushing it into “on the nose” redundancy. That kino is a powerful, but dangerous device where drama is concerned.

    It’s not fair to anyone because not even the military members signed on to an unending tour of duty. The only thing that will keep the “consent” of the governed down the road is if O’Neill gets manipulative with access to the stones.

    It’s getting better. I knew it would.

  74. Another AWESOME episode…

    Excellent VFX. On Gateworld I said that Rush’s rant was just like another day at the office. And it was. It was not over the top in any way, amphetamine or caffeine withdrawl induced or not.

    I love all of it, the kino work, the music, the acting, writing, everything…except CHLOE. Sorry. I just don’t think this is the actress’s vehicle. But according to your posts, she is still around, sooo….

    I think I know why they are headed to the sun, also! Great idea. I dont mind the ‘shaky’ cam at all, heck it only seems to shake when the whole place shakes. The only thing still that bothers me is the body jumping, like I said before. Young’s ex is talking to LDP’s body, not Young’s. It has been difficult to distinguish if the scene is a flashback or a body jump if you miss the ‘reflection’ information. There has to be a better way……..

    I want to let the whole thing play out. I can’t wait for next week.

    Hope the numbers are even higher than last week.

  75. How nice. Your coworkers presented you with a cake decorated with an octopus, or … a spider. Or something.

    Darkness was intense and engaging although, after a while, I did want someone to put Rush in a headlock and choke him out. Robert Carlisle is great in that role.

    I know you don’t have anything to do with the music score, but may I say, Goldsmith’s scoring is magnificent. Please, please, pass it on that there should be a CD put out immediately upon the conclusion of Season One (yes, I am that geeky).

  76. on October 16, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Hayloh said:
    “WTF is that? I knew that they were headed toward a sun before this weeks ep was finished completely killing th suspense. Can your people write a letter to their people or something? ”

    Um, spoiler alert! Some of us haven’t seen “Darkness” yet! Now you’re sort of giving us the idea of what is coming up!

  77. BTW – the cake looks awesome, I could smell the chocolate from here. And I’m sorry, Ashleigh looks like she waiting for men in white coats to come for her. LOL – There’s a joke at work that we’re all gonna end up in facilities wearing bows – that’s what made think that.

    @ Deni – how’s you doggy doing? Had to go to the vet this morning and we’re trying antibiotic injections that my husband and I have to administer, did a practice injection at the office, it hurt me more than it hurt Teemu. She forgives and forgets pretty quickly tho.

    @ Narelle awesome website, that took a lot of time and a of of thought. – check out the video – new album just came out.

  78. I’m liking stargate universe so far, especially Eli (what can i say i’m a sucker for comic relief)

    and in this episode specifically, i liked volker’s kino scene and the super hyper ‘look on the bright side’ girl who was talking about how she hates earthquakes when describing how they were near inhabitable planets.
    and i absolutely loved the last few minutes with them passing through the atmo.

    the one thing that made me *foreheadsmack* was the last part, the realization that they were headed towards the sun. *sigh* it just wasn’t ‘cliff-hangy’ for me cause i figure the ship will just draw all the power they need from the sun somehow.

    it’ll be interesting to see if this is not how it turns out, and something upredictable happens next episode. or at least, if my prediction is correct, that the characters will realize it before it actually happens, and the focus of the next episode will be directed to a different aspect of the situation, rather than “oh no we’re flying into a star”. maybe instead how they have to deal with the rising temperature….wait, there’s going to be ‘heat’ in the next episode isn’t there? *headdesk*

    overall though, i really do like it! it’s very intriguing.

  79. My question: will the crew ever be able to explore the full extent of Destiny? One of my big disappointments with SGA was that we never got to see the full depth of Atlantis; I hope we don’t have a repeat of that.

    I really like the overall direction that you’re taking the show. Each episode makes me feel like I’m there, part of the crew, facing hard decisions, experiencing things with them, rather than watching from outside. It’s different from not just the rest of the SG franchise, but from modern TV too, in a good way.

    Things I like: the FTL effect is amazing; the character of the ship and the new gates; the main characters are coming along great, particularly Rush, Young, Eli and Scott; the observation deck; the intimate moments between characters (like Scott & Chloe after her father died); the sense of realism; the build-up in tension among the crew; the moments of uncertainty and tension like the scene with Eli putting his hand in the gate at the end of E03.

    Things I don’t care for: the scenes on Earth (the use of the stones feels very contrived); a little too much irrationality among the crew (some is understandable); a little too much filler in some episodes (there’s plenty of good story to tell — why bother with the filler?); not enough development of the female characters (SG-1 would have been boring without Amanda).

    Things I would like to see more of: the tech on the ship; history of the builders; details about the ships that placed the gates; where the ship has been before. I’m also looking forward to hearing more about the planets they pass, why Destiny got shot up, etc, but I can feel that part is coming. I would love to have them discover something wonderful and world-shattering that they are for some reason unable to communicate to Earth.

  80. SGU has finally piqued my interest with “Darkness”. (I’m sure this was a major concern of everyone who reads this blog…”When will JES’S interest be piqued?”:-)) Some of the characters (only the male ones, unfortunately) exhibit life beyond one-dimensional stereotypes and begin to interact in meaningful and interesting ways. Lines of conflict begin to emerge. Potential alliances begin to form. However…

    I continue to be disappointed in the depictions of the military, particularly the lack of military discipline. Apparently, military troops feel free to undermine their leaders by coercing a poor little geek into being a snitch. Stargate has always played fast and loose with military discipline and evidently SGU will be no different. I’ve always wondered how a show that has such strong ties to the military and evidently access to military advisors can get so much wrong. That includes all three of the series. Rank insignias are often wrong. On at least one occasion, an historical military engagement was badly mispronounced by a character who is old enough to know better (Landry’s slaughtering of Bien Hoa in SG1). The characters and units are often officer top heavy. For example, the “medic” on SGU is a lieutenant. In the military a “medic” is an enlisted MOS (military occupational specialty). Commissioned officers are not paramedics. Attention to detail might go a long way to improving the credibility of military characters.

    Also, I continue to be disappointed in the depictions of the female characters. I understand that your target demographic is primarily adolescent boys and young men and it follows, therefore, that the standard depiction of females in television science fiction is sex object. However, I do not understand why you cannot cater to male hormones and enlighten male minds at the same time. Television does not create stereotypes, but it does, unfortunately, reinforce and perpetuate them as in the case of female sex objects. Importantly, however, television can and does break stereotypes and I think SGU should really give it a try. Both male and female viewers deserve better than naked woman in shower while hormone-addled male drools adolescently.

    Well, all this by way of saying, I enjoyed the episode and hope for continued substantive development of all of the characters.

  81. Joe, is not having the minute intro like you did for most of SG1 and SGA a factor of just rather having the extra time for the story, something MGM wanted, an artistic decision, or some melange of the three?

  82. Loved “Darkness”. Really nice to get to see some more of the supporting cast this episode. It looks like Riley and Eli will become friends of sorts and will get themselves into all kinds of trouble as the season goes by. So far my favorites from the supporting cast are Volker and Lt. James. The Lisa Park (earthquake woman) character looks to be fun as well.

  83. Am I crazy for wanting to be aboard Destiny with Rush? Probably.

    “Darkness” was slow and felt slow. Interestingly not boring. I was at the edge of my seat in the end and was totally surprised when credits began. Wtf, already over? I see it as a positive sign.

    Loved Peter’s cameo. Loved interaction between Chloe and Eli. Loved Rush – gosh, I want to see more of him!!!

    Clever way to deal with the… uhm… shower-ish thing and…. liquid waste. Plus smokers and coffee stuff. Hoped SGU to be so realistic, but didn’t expect. Kudos!

    Where did Chloe get the other clothes?

  84. Happy Belated Birthday Joe!!!

    Me, I hit the big 35 on October 28th. Would love a shout-out!!!

    Loved lastnight’s episode. Got a kick out of Peter’s cameo in the episode, too funny!!!

  85. Just a small point I noticed in the episode…its not a mistake…just something that seems a bit out of place.

    At the beginning of the episode when they’re in the mess hall. Everyone is casually sitting around and having a conversation…but in the back of the room…there’s a soldier in full gear…carrying his rife at the ready.

    I think i’ve seen this in other parts of the show and it just seems out of place. If the soldiers were at entraceways or something..sure I could buy that…they are still new to the ship…but “in” the mess hall? If that was done in ‘real life’…all that would do is increase the tension in an already high tension situation. As a former military member…it just really stood out to me.

    It reminds me of a moment in the BSG episode “Razor” when Kendra Shaw is walking around the Pegasus flight deck..and there’s two armed marines carrying their weapons ‘at the ready’ just walking around….not guarding anything specific…just walking around…and this is peacetime.

    Its things like this I notice in the background that are just a tiny bit distracting from what I think so far is a pretty good storyline….GJ

  86. I loved SG1 and SGA and SGU is growing on me.
    Definitely more of a character story than an action one.

    Spoiler alert:
    or it will be if I’m right.

    I think TJ is with child. A young child. Or a Young child.

  87. Darkness to me felt more like Rush overcoming his personal demons, if only for a little while and being accepted by some of the crew members, if only for a brief while. Because they saw him fall apart/self destruct trying to save them.

  88. I am *so* clueless about how annoying I’ve been until I’ve had enough sleep to replenish the relevant brain chemicals. Sorry… Will try to make an atonement of sorts by responding to two comments made previously — though with so many comments, it would be quite understandable if both my replies go unnoticed.

    @AscendedTauri: I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment of Darkness as having been overly slow. One of the stated purposes of the scripting is to emphasize character development at least as much as, if not more than, the prevailingly action-oriented scripting of both SG-1 and SG:A. This fits with everything Joe and others have said about SG:U taking a path that’s quite different from its predecessors. If action, rather than character development, is your cup of tea, then it follows logically that you’d find SGU less appealing than previous SG iterations. On the other hand, some of us are attracted equally (or more, for others) by character development and action sequences, and are delighted to see what, IMO, is as near to a perfect balance of those elements as any show could hope for.

    @Montrealer: Who is the ranking officer after Colonel Young? It’s my impression that it is TJ. So she is next in command if Young croaks?

    My reasoning is that she have done at least one tour while Scott is just starting his first. So is Scott a lieutenant or second lieutenant?

    Come to think of this. Does 2Lt James outrank Scott too?

    Haha nobody notice the strange chain of command on SGU. With the Colonel ailing. The next ranking miltary officer and and highest ranking civilian are women!

    This is in no way intended as a personal criticism, but it’s you who hasn’t been paying close enough attention. TJ is a medic, so would only be put in the position of acting CO in a worst-case scenario. The ranking medical officer should never have to carry the responsibility of tending to casualties as well as overseeing all other ops. – Lt. Scott is a first lieutenant, and in fact we’ve already heard Col. Young tell Scott that he’s in charge if/when Young is incapacitated. Clearly, there’s no possible way that 2nd Lieutenant James would become acting CO unless Young and Scott are both incapacitated, and indications so far are that this is more likely to be an issue for James than for Scott.

    Being as objective as I possibly can about the issue of having a woman as ranking military officer, I have to concede your point. But do you seriously have a problem with women in the position of highest-level civilian administrators? If so, how did you feel about Elizabeth Weir in Stargate: Atlantis? A large number of fans felt, and continue to feel, that she did an incredible job given the circumstances. People have to accept that this is the 21st century, and women are no longer present for token purposes only. – That criticism, and more besides (as I’m sure you’re aware), has been leveled at SGU, but that’s an issue unto itself.

  89. again @Ascended Tauri: If you read my comment above, and were to respond to my point with your counterpoint that you were responding specifically to the episode Darkness rather than to all four epis, you would be absolutely right. I didn’t see the flaw in my own reasoning during my initial proofreading.

    My further point would be that in Darkness, a good few of the character moments were so intense that one could view them as action — only filtered through character, as (for instance) a photographer might filter a camera lens. I would then cite Nicholas Rush’s buildup to going nuclear as a perfect illustration of that metaphor.

  90. @Lisa – I have noticed they’ve handled her framing and costuming differently than the other female characters.

  91. Just watched Darkness. Great Peter DeLuise cameo!

    How can the gate be powerless? For normal (7 chevron) use, don’t the gates draw all their power from subspace? Isn’t this how the space gates in SGA worked? (Can’t they at least spin it by hand like they did in SG1… if they ever find an address?)

    I hoped for the use of the term RepliCarter in SG1, but they never said it. Are we going to get to hear TeleStone?

  92. @Kabra: Elway’s doing ok, but dig this nonsense – the vet’s office lost his blood samples (the ones taken a week ago)! So, the neurologist and I were waiting and calling them all week, only to be assured that yes, the lab was “working” on the blood tests and that we’d get them “soon” (channeling O’Neill here). Yesterday, I’d about had enough and went ape on one of the vets. He finally decided to call the lab, only to find out that they didn’t have anything for my dog, but then found out it had never been sent out! These were important tests (Phenobarbital and Potassium Bromide levels) that were necessary to adjust his dosages, and so far, here we sit. So, had to go back in today and have them done again. Just what Elway needed, hey? I was furious (still am). Otherwise, he’s hanging in there, a little jerky/twitchy, but hopefully that’ll be resolved with the new dosages. Hopefully, we’ll have test results by tomorrow or Monday morning.

    Good luck with Teemu – you’ll get used to giving injections in no time, you’ll see. I know what you mean though, it’s tough! Good thoughts going to both of you!

    Did I ever tell you guys about the time my daughter and I went to NYC and left my son-in-law in charge of the dogs while Mr. Deni was at work? It was our “thing” to go to NYC, go shopping, spend a few days, and have at least one really fantastic dinner somewhere lovely. On that particular trip, we opted to try Aureole, and as we’re having appetizers, my daughter’s cell goes off. She looks at it, turns it off, apologizes to the other diners. Then, her work cell goes off, same thing. Then, mine goes off and I notice it’s Matt, my son-in-law and I figure out really quickly that Elway’s probably having seizures. I answer it really quietly, and poor Matt’s freaking out on the other end. He couldn’t get the shrinky plastic packaging off the Valium suppository and didn’t know what to do. Very calmy (yeah), I told him to get scissors or a knife to open it and I’d stay on the line. He got it open, but not before breaking the suppository in half. Now he’s really going nuts, asking me what to do and I’m screaming at him (in the middle of this dining room full of people) to “Stick your fingers up his ass!” and “Stop being such a wimp, just shove it in there!”. Yep. (By the way, I did apologize to everybody, and they were very understanding!)

    @Trish, Kabra, Florida people: Let me or Sheryl know who’s showing on the 31st at Tutu Tango. How’s 12-12:30 p.m.?

    GATORS WON! Have a good Sunday, all!

  93. I’m finding SGU very slow paced. I was hoping it would be as good as the hype said, but most shows seldom meet the expectations advertising/hype drums up and so far I’ve found SGU is one of those ‘most shows’.

    If I leave off watching it for a few episodes will I come back to find more action and less talking? I want to like it, I really do but I guess I’m in that over 40’s bracket that isn’t the target audience so I’m starting to feel it won’t grow on me.

    I feel like there’s too much info about the characters backgrounds too fast, with SGA we got to actually like the characters and want to know more before getting much of their backgrounds, I think that’s missing from SGU, I don’t know the characters and haven’t seen enough of them to want to know more about them yet I’m being loaded up with background pie IYKWIM?.

    Anyways, I’m glad the ratings seem to be good, you guys have worked so hard on the show you deserve it to go well. Hope those enjoying it keep on doing so.

  94. @Michelle
    There is nothing “weak” in a woman who cares about a man.

    Rush understands most of what’s going on, the other idiots don’t and still don’t listen to him. He’s right to jell at them. Perhaps he should ask that reprobate to shoot them as well.

    “His idiotic insistence on holding on to the knowledge he has”

    He’s NOT A TEACHER – there is NO TIME. When the pants are on fire there is no time to teach you to become a tailor. (“But everybody is just standing around talking” – If they can’t help, better than they talk than go around sabotaging things out of ignorance, as they have been doing all along)

    “do we REALLY think they’re going to fly into the sun? ”

    No, we think its going over there to refuel.

  95. Hey Joe! Long time no see!

    Here’s to a happy birthday, I hope you had a good one!

    – Enzo Aquarius

  96. I find hit depressing how people are different. It should be obvious to anybody that they should listen to Rush, he’s trying to save them all.
    But not only on the ship, but all over the internet we see people who’s psychological makeup make them hate Rush because of the way he talks, to the point of irrationality. And on the ship, very well to the point of their death.
    I hope the people on the ship… the *crew* will stop their damn moaning and do what he says – and then realize its good.
    (If that mutiny group are planning something I’m hoping for summary executions. That should be fun *g*)

  97. Hi Joe,

    Darkness was great. More episodes like that please! 🙂

    I’m really liking the character of Young – it’s nice to have a soft-spoken, yet totally in-control commander.

    I do have one question, and no, it’s not about Julia Anderson’s considerable… uhh… “contributions” to the episode, it’s actually about the Kino sequences.

    Obviously they were done in a way to introduce what is a large ensemble cast to the rest of us – great idea – and I think we got a pretty good idea of what each of the characters are like. Will the characters we saw be developed further in this way (not necessarily via Kino diaries).

    Take Lisa Park as an example – I think she’s adorable, and seems to be the kind’ve person who rambles a bit when given the chance. Is this present in her character further down the line, or just something done in this episode?

    And please don’t kill them all off too quickly… 🙂

  98. Just finished Darkness. Peter DeLuise still got his cameo, that makes me laugh. If the show continues its pace, this will be the best show ever. I loved every minute of Darkness. Seriously this show is great! And I hate to sound so super positive, but I can’t honestly think of anything I didn’t like.

    Eli has a personality that everyone loves. He is the litmus test character, if you don’t like Eli then I don’t like you. So far my least favorite character is Telford. He seems like a jerk. I loved that we got to see more of the ship and the characters. I also found the plot interesting, throughout most of the episode I had no idea how they were gonna fix their power problems. By the end of the episode I have a theory, but still can’t wait for the next episode.

    Joe, I felt sad for the mess cook. Nobody liked his cooking. Does he eventually become an excellent cook just to show everyone else?

    I think I’ll go watch it again.

  99. I’ve seen this mentioned but I would really like to understand why the stones are being used only as a means of reporting their status. Why not have scientist that are experts on ancent tech swap with someone in board Destiny and try and solve some of these problems. They can’t expect Rush to do it all and its not like they don’t have access to capable people that might be able to assist them. It seems an obvious solution and the only reason not to do it is because it would lesson the dramatic tension. If you are going to establish a means of communication why aren’t they using it to the best of their ability instead of visits to relatives? Perhaps this will come up in future episodes but it seems for now a really poor use of personel and technology by those at the SGC and on board the ship.

  100. After watching ‘Darkness’ I decided to emerge from lurkerdom and say, “Wow!”

    It’s great having Stargate to watch on Friday nights again. As much as I’m glad that I’m not stuck on Destiny with Rush, I’m fascinated by the character and Robert Carlyle’s portrayal. I liked the Eli/Kino bits; it was nice to put some names to faces. I have to wonder what the background is between Young & Telford, it’s kind of, well, creepy (for lack of a better word) to see how desperate (?) Telford is for control of a ship/mission millions of light years away.

    I hope you had a happy birthday (Unrequested? Not requested?) cake and all. And as a Pratchett fan, I hope you enjoy your time with Mr. Pin & Mr. Tulip! I haven’t gotten through all the archives yet, but if no one has recommended Mr. Pratchett’s “The Amazing Maurice & His Educated Rodents” & his ‘Wee Free Men’ series they’re great for a quick read. They’re set on/in Discworld and are considered young adult novels. I enjoy them just as much as the “adult” novels, and how can you not love books with characters like ‘Dangerous Beans’, the stupid-looking kid & ‘Rob Anybody Feegle’?

  101. Hi, My name is Jim and I have a Stargate addiction.

    Phew glad to have that out of the way admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery right?

    Well you guys have done it again. Because of you I now have to pay for satellite TV again so I can watch Stargate Universe in HD. I’ll expect your check in the mail to pay me back.

    Thanks for all you do and happy birthday Joe!

  102. Unlike most here, I didn’t feel it was too slow, the pacing was just about right, for a first viewing – I don’t see myself ever watching this again. However I don’t feel it was particularly character building (ok, Young going in someone elses body to talk to his wife might show him as an insensitive fool – or a lovesick one). You can build characters at a break neck speed (just check out Joss Whedon on a good day – this just to the people who say slow equals building character – it doesn’t have to be and sometimes slow is just slow (or a cigar depending on whom you ask)) – mostly I’m looking for them to reveal themselves through action (not necessarily action action, but behavior) not incessant chatter, from people who are still largely ciphers. Eli, Rush and Young are present – the rest are extras who got bumped up to whining parts.

    But anyway, short take: Better.

    If that was because of what Brad Write (groan) or a trend remains to be seen. Still seeing too much complaining and not enough lightness of being (- “But they are stranded a million miles from home!” – No no, see the door over there, with the Exit sign? That’s where the actors go home in the evening 😉

    Tune in next week where Nurse Johansen gets a sudden craving for Vinegar Pie with Xinchin, and Dr. Bob tries to invent the wheel.

  103. Just watched Darkness, and all I can say is that you guys totally ripped off my ‘Wraith mist showers’ idea! TOTALLY! I want compensation!!!!

    In chocolate. 😀

    Good episode. Didn’t like it as much as last week’s, but I think that’s because I’m not a fan of those blasted communication stones. I hope they’re not used in every ep, ’cause they’re gonna get old, really fast.

    Nice to see Peter. Jury is still out on the kino – I think that might get old fast, too. I liked the early mess scene – with the rations – reminds me of those ol’ age of sail stories. Loved Rush – crazy idgit that he is. Curious about the ‘mutiny’ group – will they (as a group) play a part in any upcoming eps? I find that I am enjoying the tension (Rush going apeshit on everyone) 1000x better than the mushy romance and/or relationship bits…I guess I really just do not care who loves who, who’s leaving who, and who’s screwing who. Or is it whom? Anyways… I hope to see more of the stuff we saw last week – like when Greer went back for Scott – that sort of honor and duty thing. There are a few things I am really liking, and a few that have me a bit worried. Will see how things go over the next few eps before I start to really worry about those ‘worries’… just in case they work themselves out.

    Oh, and Eli’s a perv. 😀


  104. Liked this episode (sorta). But my fears of this being a remake of the BSG remake seem to be coming true with the little group of people.

    Why can’t they just use the ancient stone platform for a temporary power source (it would get rid of the stones and their power issues)? Also why didn’t they use a kino to press the button? I will watch next weeks episode before passing final judgement on this season.

  105. Re: Relationships on SGU

    I think that the reason why the relationships on SGU are not compelling (yet?) is that they are instant. Or, at least to me as a viewer, they are.

    Whether it was O’neil and Carter, Vala and Daniel, or Sheppard and Teyla, these relationships were complex and interesting because they took time. If and when these characters did show their feelings for each other, it took seasons for that moment(s) to come to be. So, it felt natural. And, I was always happy to see it.

    I always equally enjoyed the women characters to the men characters on SGA and SG-1.

    But, this is a new and different show. And, it is going to display things in a different way. I am personally trying to take crazymom1’s advice by letting the season play out. Who knows; things can always change.

    Peace & Love,


  106. Happy Birthday, Joe. Sigh…another Libra in my life…LOL!

    Just watched this week’s Universe. Thank you for the introductions. I will, undoubtedly, watch the ep again for that information. I loved the coffee/cigarette withdrawl conversation.

    Unfortunately, the only characters I really care about are Eli, Lt. Scott, and Choe, at this point…I know I will care about more as the show progresses…so, I wasn’t super concerned about Rush.

    I am warming to the show, however, and will continue to watch.

    Thank you, again, for the updates. And, once again, Happy Birthday.

    Mary A. Milan

  107. Loved ‘Darkness’ start to finish. Am curious what the other writers can do with SGU, since we’ve only since Brad Wright and Robert Cooper specials thus far. Peter DeLuise’s direction of Darkness informed me that the directing will be solid with this new one.

  108. First off, Happy Birthday!

    Darkness was our favorite episode so far. It felt good, like it was starting to find a comfortable groove.

    Can you clear up something for us though?

    Vanessa James is credited (and referred to herein) as Julia Benson. However, if you type Julian Benson into IMDb, it returns Julia Anderson. One of the photos on that page looks like the Julia Anderson who was the “winner” of the reality show True Beauty. The rest of the photos don’t.

    Is this one and the same person or…what’s the deal with that?

    And if the actress who plays Vanessa James is the same person who was on True Beauty, why isn’t that listed in her IMDb credits?

    Anyway, Ms. Benson definitely stood out in Darkness. Wow.

    So, um, are there gonna be bad guys in SGU? Just wondering.

  109. Ech, I didn’t mean that 3:26pm comment to sound so gossippy. I meant it purely as speculation on TJ’s character. I should’ve made that more clear.

  110. Happy belated birthday. SGU is slowly finding its legs but struggling a bit. I found parts of Darkness felt really forced and I have to say I absolutely detest the Eli character. Please, please, please lose the stupid Planet of the Apes crap. Eli is quickly turning into Ensign Eli Crusher one of the most reviled characters in all of science fiction television history.

    Okay, had to get that off my chest. One of the problems the show has had so far is that there are few or no characters to actually like and relate to. The Stargate franchise was always carried by characters that had a quirky charm. Tonight in the kino clips you revealed the first character that I really want to see more of, the girl describing the proximity to habitable planets with the fear of earthquakes. She had valuable information in exposition and the sort of odd charm that is instantly likable. She didn’t need a prominent set of mammalian features or a tanktop to outshine the rest of the cast. Please move her up in prominence.

    Sad to say that along with the horridly annoying Eli, the Chloe character is a waste of screen time and Lou Diamond needs to be dropped right out an airlock. What sort of idiot undermines a ranking officer with his command staff in a perilous situation. Badly written and a terrible portrayal by the veteran actor, really disappointing. Anyway, I’ll keep watching as the kinks get ironed out and don’t forget, Eli must suffer before he perishes.

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