My fellow writer-producer Carl Binder is taking me out for a birthday dinner (Mine, I’m assuming; not his.), so I’m posting reasonably early today and turning things over to another much mailbag.
AnneTeldy writes: “I really dislike the use of the Stones for “family time”. It makes no sense. Mrs. Young, for example, wasn’t allowed to know her husband was base commander on Icarus but suddenly she’s allowed to know everything?”
Answer: When he was on Icarus, Young was still able to communicate with his wife and return home on a semi-regular basis. Now that he’s on Destiny, he faces the likelihood that he may never return. The same goes for everyone on Destiny and this places an enormous psychological stress on them – trapped, isolated, with no foreseeable hope of ever returning home. The home visits that the communication stones provide, though far from ideal, provide that glimmer of hope that will hopefully comfort them and keep them sane through the tough times ahead. Not granted them these visits home would have been the equivalent of abandoning them and even discounting the argument that they act on compassionate grounds, the SGC has a vested interest in keeping the Destiny crew happy and cooperative from a purely practical standpoint.
AnneTeldy also writes: “I’m hoping the women’s plotlines kick in soon. TJ is the only one so far with a story and a purpose. Chloe is annoying and useless. I hope to see some growth soon.”
Answer: Chloe is the biggest fish-out-of-water on Destiny, the equivalent to, say, any one of US being trapped on board with these scientist and military types. All I can say is it’s a long season and there will be opportunities to develop many of the unexplored characters – like T.J. and Wray.
AnneTeldey also writes: “I really dislike Camile Wray. I didn’t want to but, so far, I haven’t seen anything to like. She was yelling and throwing a fit at Rush and treating him like dirt in the first episode (”We don’t want to settle in; we want to go back!”). Then in “Darkness”, she had the nerve to reprimand other people about how they treat Rush. I also dislike the way she assumes she has authority. Definitely not likable.”
Answer: Fan opinions on many of these characters will change as we get to know them a little better. At first blush, Camile comes across as yet another in a long line of annoying IOA reps but, as the season progresses (and in particular after Life), we’ll get a sense of the real person beneath that tough, unfathomable façade.
SSJPAbs writes: “Why not get the show to air on a non-Friday night?”
Answer: When we air is a network decision.
PoorOldEdgarDerby writes: “Can Telford take over Young’s body indefinitely if he sees fit?”
Answer: No – for reasons that will become evident in coming episodes.
Skontel writes: “But can you at least tell me if this turns into some sort of pseudo-reality-TV, where the characters are constantly yelling at each other and figuratively stabbing each other in the back?”
Answer: Over the course of this first season, you’ll see this people at their very best and at their very worst. Granted, we’ve seen them at each other’s throats, but we’ve also seen them demonstrate surprising resolve and a willingness to self-sacrifice in the face of adversity. Take Air III, for example. Greer refused to leave Scott behind, risked his own life to find him and get him back to the ship
Skontel also writes: “There are quite a few things to like on the show so far. For example, colonel Young’s situation. He is respected and fully in command at the Icarus base, but the moment he gets injured, his authority isn’t as solid as it used to be. Everyone still seems to respect him, but you get the feeling the vultures would pick at his flesh if they could. It’s a very nice subtlety so far. It also better demonstrates burden of command, in my opinion, than the other shows did.”
Answer: Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown – something Colonel Young will discover firsthand in short time.
Skontel also writes: “I’ve seen many questions here and had discussions with my friends who watch the show, about the third Air episode, and the two characters that dial to another planet. Your response seems to indicate that fans shouldn’t worry much about those two characters anymore, and I’m fine with that. However, I feel that there is a conflict in what you’ve said. You claim that the planet they went to must have been unable to sustain human life, yet before they stepped through the gate they said that the readings were “better than on the ’sandy’ planet.” Faulty Kino readings?”
Answer: No. The suggestion here is that there may be many other variables beside atmospheric conditions that could make a planet dangerous, factors a kino may not be able to identify but which Destiny might.
Skontel also writes: “o be more specific, are you guys at all concerned with the actual science, and do some checking to make sure that science that goes into it has some basis in reality? Or do the writers just imagine things and explain them in ways that “sound good.””
Answer: We try to walk that fine line between scientific accuracy and compelling drama. Someone who has had great success doing this is author John Scalzi (http://whatever.scalzi.com/) – so it should come as no surprise that he is a consultant on the show.
Hegemonmonster writes: “Why is there such a big gap in the chain of command? We go from Col. Young to 1st Lt. Scott…why didn’t anyone/rank in between land on the ship as well?”
Answer: Unlike the Atlantis exposition, this wasn’t a planned mission. As a result, Destiny is now crewed by a most unlikely group of explorers.
Shawna Buchanan writes: “It did occur to me while watching Air III, why don’t they just have, say, McKay and Carter use the stones to switch places with some of those people on the ship who are sitting around doing nothing?”
Answer: This issue will be addressed in an upcoming episode. Earth actually.
Mary writes: “Again on the realism point: if this were real, those people would NOT be sitting around yapping, they wouldn’t be recording their images, thoughts and feelings to a camera that will never be seen by anyone on earth, they wouldn’t be chasing after the girls to see them naked, they wouldn’t be wasting water and power. They would ALL be doing their best to stay alive today and to figure out how to still be alive tomorrow.”
Answer: What would you expect them to do? There’s a huge difference between saying you’d like to do something useful and actually doing something useful. Most of the crew do not have the skills necessary to make any sort of contribution in this regard. Yes, there are plenty of marines with weapons and Icarus base personnel skilled at cooking and cleaning, but they are hardly in a position to start learning Ancient. In the midst of all tragedy life goes on – people eat, take showers, sleep, even find comfort in one another.
Gilder writes: “Any suggestions for insomnia?”
Answer: If you come across any, do share. I was up through most of last night.
Sean writes: “Is it possible or likely that the vortex (wind/sand) alien life form – from “Air (part 3)” – is not from the desert world at all but, rather, while in its natural state as “Air” (or wind) actually resided aboard the Destiny and traveled – undetected – through the stargate with the 7 individuals who stepped through to the desert world; and, that the same Air-based life form was helping Lt. Scott possibly so that it could return to the Destiny (undetected) with them, where they would fix the air on the ship, also rescuing the life form?”
Answer: It’s certainly possible. As to whether this is what occurred…stay tuned.
J writes: “And, when the first opportunity to use it as a MALP to run a scan of the earth to look for the element/mineral arose, and the destiny crew didn’t use it in lieu of aimlessly searching in groups, people asked questions.”
Answer: The kino sent back data on atmospheric conditions. Where was it suggested that it could actually take soil samples?
Thornyrose writes: “I like the Young/Telford friction. This is an issue that’s going to have to be addressed fairly quickly.”
Answer: Things will come to a head sooner than later.
Airelle writes: “Getting closer to Tokoyo time, are you packed yet?”
Answer: Not yet, however I have touched base with my Tokyo friends and have filled all but two of my restaurant slots. I’m going to have to find alternates for Dazzle (booked for a private party the night I want to go) and Quintessence (I’m third on a waiting list). I was thinking either going for the wild mushroom dinner at Muroi, the foie gras soba at Okina, or the roast Iberico pork at Tamao.
Airelle also writes: “Any more info on the comic or the short story?”
Answer: Hoping to have a deal in place for the comic book soon. As for the short story – the anthology will be out next year, date and cover artist TBA.
Tammy Dixon writes: “Pet sitters are catching on here. You could try calling the vet and seeing they could recommend someone.”
Answer: I did. Apparently, plenty of cat-sitters out there but no dog-sitters. 🙁
SebiMeyer writes: “Completely off topic, but I thought this would definitely interest you:
In Japan restaurants are increasingly showing off their menus by putting fake versions of their dishes into their windows.”
Answer: It’s amazing. There’s a district in Tokyo, kappabashi (kitchen town), where you can find all sorts of tasty-looking reproductions.
Ryan writes: “can Destiny dial eight-chevron addresses?”
Answer: It’s unlikely that the ship possesses the necessary power requirements.
Ryan also writes: “Power issues (and Rush’s apparent committal to stay on that ship at any cost) aside, is it possible for the Destiny team to ‘backtrack’ along Destiny’s flight-path, for instance to re-dial that Desert Planet if they run out of lime again?”
Answer: Destiny can only dial planets within range. Once a planet falls out of range (ie. the ship travels far enough away), dialing it directly becomes impossible. However, it would be possible to say, dial a planet within range and use that planet as a launching point to dial another planet within range of that original world. Of course, eventually, you run into all sorts of problems with regard to which planets are, in fact, capable of sustaining human life (there are only so many kinos after all and, once you run out, you’re stepping blindly through the gate into potentially deadly conditions).
Mary writes: “I’d have to agree – the puzzle here is why he hadn’t already pulled them together. Except for people who were temporary guests at Icarus, the rest of the people were supposed to be part of the Icarus team. They were familiar enough with each other that they can’t stand Rush – so it’s not like they’re all new to each other like Eli is. They’ve been together some period of time. So they should both know him and each other.
I could chalk a lot up to his injuries, but if he’s a good enough commander, more should be getting done per his orders while he is resting. “
Answer: I’d submit that there is a huge difference between being stationed on an off-world research base and going back to Earth on occasion and being stranded on a spaceship with no hope of ever returning home. These people aren’t robots programmed to respond to any and all eventualities, they are people – frightened, emotional people, most completely out of their element – scrambling to survive as best they can.
Mary also writes: “Knowing what we have learned of Stargate Command in the last many years, I can’t believe that anyone would be sent to a post off of Earth without being forced to undergo some kind of training. Eli and the Senator and Chloe are perhaps exceptions, but anyone who was going to stay there should be trained.”
Answer: I’m sure they’ve all watched the necessary videos and taken the requisite weapons training, but THIS they definitely have not trained for. These people are out of their depth.
Mary also writes: “I myself gave up on X-Files when they went the horror route; I can’t handle horror (except for vampire fiction, much of which isn’t really horror).”
Answer: Off topic but X-Files went the horror route from the get-go. It wasn’t the result of a sudden change in direction.
Mary also writes: “Another point that hasn’t been addressed: if power systems have failed everywhere on the ship, why is the kino system working and why do they have gravity?”
Answer: That’s like asking why cell phones and radios work if the power in your house goes down. The fact that the kino was operational off-world indicates that it possesses a portable power source that, yes, is charged by means of the ship. If the ship was looking to conserve energy, it might draw power from unaccessed kinos but the kinos “in play” would probably be the last things to give out depending on how long they’ve been in use.
Ponytail writes: “Why is David Blue (my favorite) being written as a 15 year old. How old is David? He is no kid anymore and does not look like a kid, yet he is peeping at women in the shower, and he is being treated like a young nerd. His character needs to be taken more seriously as an asset and his knowledge and intelligence be put to greater use.”
Answer: He’s being treated like a young nerd because, well, he is a young nerd. That said, he is far more mature than McKay was in his early years.
AmyG writes: “Also, in the command structure of the survivors, there doesn’t seem to be a woman in any position of power. Wray seems to be some sort of liason between Young and the civilians, TJ is a paramedic, Chloe was her father’s secretary. There don’t even seem to be any women on equal power footing as say Lt. Scott or the other male soldiers under Commander Young.”
Answer: T.J. and Scott are of equal rank and on equal footing. She is “relegated to playing nurse” because she’s the best qualified to provide medical assistance. Wray isn’t an official liason but will step up to play a bigger role in the onboard politics. Lisa Park is a scientist as well.
123 thoughts on “October 18, 2009: Another Mucho Mailbag!”
Enjoy your dinner. Might I suggest the rabbit for Carl…I understand it’s a favorite amongst his breed. 😉
Grad students frequently do pet-sitting during the holidays as most of us are obliged to stay in the city to keep our research running, but staying in our dank basement suites is just too depressing. Tag me if you’d like me to check if any area available.
Just watched Darkness here. The pacing and plotline weren’t quite as engaging as the pilot episode(s) — it felt like a transitional ep or maybe a Part 1 of ? That said, Dad had some theories about why the ship – or whatever is controlling the ship? – might be doing what it’s doing.
I think my least favorite parts were where Young was visiting his wife. Maybe it’s because we really don’t know too much about him, maybe because it was so easy for the viewers to sense Emily’s discomfort. The idea of being able to revisit Earth via the Ancient body-swap gizmos is unique, but it does throw me out of the ‘lost in space’ feel just a tad.
However, I like Eli, I like Chloe, I like Scott. I’m trying to stop seeing TJ as Jeri Ryan. I don’t feel especially insulted that Chloe, TJ and Camille haven’t been the stars of the show yet. However, I do think it’s a little sad that we’re up to episode 4 and no one’s been forced to wear a crazy blue dress yet! I mean, come on… standards, people, standards.
With everybody asking “Why didn’t they do this” or “do that” to fix the door so that Senator Armstrong didn’t have to sacrifice himself (Including taping a pencil to a Kino and controlling it with amazing accuracy to push several buttons on a really tiny, horizontal touch panel) nobody seems to be asking “From where did Senator Armstrong get a gun?”
Oooh enjoy the dinner! I always find dinner more enjoyable when someone else is paying! 😉
I can’t wait for the DVDs to come out so I can listen to the commentaries! While I love the stories y’all are telling each week, the physical act of watching them is hard. So I’m much more interested in the process by which the stories are told than the actual act of watching them. I hope there’s a TON of behind-the-scenes footage on the DVDs!
In reference to Ponytail’s comment about Wallace being written as a 15 year old boy. I am 24 and I would probably do the same thing he did in that situation, hot girl in the shower or hot girl wanting me alone? I too would be torn.
Joe if your always dog sitting Brie, couldn’t Brie’s owner dog sit your pups for a while? I would volunteer, but my one dog is a handful enough for me, I don’t know how you do it.
I will dog sit for free if you fly me to Vancouver. You’re welcome!
Mary writes: “Again on the realism point: if this were real, those people would NOT be sitting around yapping, they wouldn’t be recording their images, thoughts and feelings to a camera that will never be seen by anyone on earth, they wouldn’t be chasing after the girls to see them naked, they wouldn’t be wasting water and power. They would ALL be doing their best to stay alive today and to figure out how to still be alive tomorrow.”
Answer: What would you expect them to do? There’s a huge difference between saying you’d like to do something useful and actually doing something useful.
This reminds me of discussions that I saw regarding the beginning of SGA season 4. So many people were praising John for wanting to let Elizabeth die and keep the city safe whilst criticising Rodney for wanting to do everything in his power to save her. I think that at the end of the day whilst people might want to be able to say that they would do what was best for the rest of the group, putting aside your personal feelings (especially when it comes to life and death matters) isn’t something a lot of us would be able to do. For a lot of characters, people seem to have very high standards that they believe the characters should meet, which isn’t realistic
Just re-watched (is this a word?) “Darkness”. As I was now prepared for Rush’s outburst, I could enjoy and follow more the other scenes like Dale Volker and his music compositor comparisons and the other scientist losing herself in the astro-science of habitable planets. Great. Took the tense a little bit out of this dark episode.
I noticed that Scott, Greer, Eli and Rush have sunburn marks. Great how much the SGU film crew takes care of those details.
You answered to a question: Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown – something Colonel Young will discover firsthand in short time.
I think he already sees it coming. I feel sorry for him. His whole world slips his control (private and work) and he has no friend to talk to. Everyone will more or less work against him. So he has to be the commander and can’t show weakness or the “wolves” will be at his throat.
And in addition he still has the cracked ribs.
By the way, if someone has his ribs cracked, do they heal okay without proper treatment or will they inflame, or what? Never got a bone broken or cracked, so I have no idea.
I wish you a lot of fun on your Japan trip. I’ve been there two years ago with my mom. It was great.
I recommend the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. Sulfur rich area with really hot water where they boil eggs in. The for that region “famous” black eggs. Though they didn’t taste different than usual ones (as far as I remember).
My japanese relatives made me taste every strange thing they could find. The worst was a living clam which was roasted directly on the table and tried to escape to freedom by jumping of the fire. I still have its nacre shell.
JoeM, are you still paying attention to The Amazing Race? I’ve been enjoying this season a lot, and tonight’s episode was great (er, I may be prejudiced since my remaining fav teams are safe and one of my most hated teams are gone).
I also had a question about Darkness I don’t think you’ve answered yet. Why was TJ sent to help Scott with the shuttle? I just didn’t get the medical connection at all or why Young would assign her to go rather than say Park. (I know Brody was supposedly on his way).
I always think of something else to say after I hit Submit.
I was just curious how many people on Destiny have a knowledge of the Ancient Language? We know Rush does. Park and Brody both seem to understand it pretty well. Eli and Riley are said to have a “rudimentary” understanding of Ancient. How many are really versed well enough in it to be of use translating controls?
One last thing: Park is a hoot in her message. I hope we get more opportunities to know her. Volker’s message had me in stitches.
Joe wrote: “Chloe is the biggest fish-out-of-water on Destiny, the equivalent to, say, any one of US being trapped on board with these scientist and military types.”
I could hang as well as any of ’em – fightin’ or layin’ out eekwayshuns, as long as there’s coffee.
Thanks for another helping of mailbag info. It’s got to be a bit rough being pounded on matters about SGU. I admire your poise and patience on the matter. As far as the women on the show go, while I share the concerns voiced about their status as compared to earlier shows, I am not going to worry unduly about it until midseason. By then I hope to see the characters start to flesh out and the women step up to become vital members on the Destiny crew.
I’ll also offer an alternate explanation for the lack of cohesion on the military personnel side. The major one would be that there would be a steady turnover of personnel, both through the stargate and by ships like the Hammond. It’s likely that a number of the people that made it to Destiny are some of these. Unfortunately most of the most capable military men either were killed, or were taken away by the Hammond. Out of the military people on board, I suspect few are actual 0300s in Marine Corps parlance. Most come from MOSes that are support rather than direct combat infantry. To me that’s one of the reasons we see both military and civilian members of Destiny forming cliques that distrust the leadership.
Anyways, thanks again for the mailbag. And know that we all feel for the harsh decisions you have to make, having to make alternate plans for two of your Tokyo dinners.
Oh, and can we get some Carl pictures from the dinner? He’s almost as adorable as the pups are…
You, too, Joe? Crap. Got about four hours, then got out of the house for some pleasure shopping. Won’t have trouble tonight…too tired to be wired.
Is Fondy going away to Japan with you or has she other holiday plans?
I will doggy-sit for you – minimum wage plus expenses – air fare from Edinburgh to Vancouver 😉
Enjoy your birthday dinner and remember the doggy bag.
It’s my impression that Wray wields a great deal of power. She is the the de facto XO (executive officer). Don’t think there is anyone else marooned on the Destiny that have her skills and experience to keep things running routinely. And the thankless job of keeping everyone’s paperwork current, maybe drafting Chloe as executive assistant.
Don’t think Lt Johansen or Lt Scott or 2Lt James are trained as staff officer yet. That’s usually for more senior ranked officers.
Thank you for maintaining this blog and doing these mailbag posts. I am enjoying Stargate Universe very much! Great job to all you tv-type people for making this thing. 🙂
You know, I don’t quite know how to feel about Telford anymore. When I found out Mr. Phillips was going to be on but not a main cast member, I was all ready for him to be the next Colonel Sumner. But now? I just don’t know…
@Ponytail: He’s young, she’s young…these things happen. And in his defense, he only peeked when he was fairly sure she wouldn’t see him doing so.
@Joe – You asked “Answer: The kino sent back data on atmospheric conditions. Where was it suggested that it could actually take soil samples?”
From what I understand, MALP stands for “Mobile Analytic Laboratory Probe.” So, my guess would be that it could probe the soil and test for the mineral/element. Once found, maybe it could relay the coordinates to the destiny crew so that they would know exactly where to go instead of searching around in groups.
But, I didn’t create the Kino. So, I can’t say for sure what the thing can and can’t do. Again, this is why people ask these questions. Maybe you can explain exactly what the Kino does, and how it is the same and/or differs from a regular MALP. This would clear up any confusion and would be greatly appreciated.
I thank you for your past and future responses.
Peace & Love,
Look for email at the Yahoo address.
Long time reader, first time I have tried to post a question/comment
I have a really dumb question and apologies if it has been answered previously. How can they even connect to the gate on Destiny in the first place? Throughout most of the show, whenever there was a gate on a ship or a gate gets moved, it wouldn’t allow a connection. So how then beyond the power was the gate on Icarus base different? was the flight plan of the Destiny pre-programmed to the point where the gate on Icarus could extrapolate where it was connecting to in space despite the distance?
Also, if the planet had not been destroyed, would such a system have allowed connection to Pegasus gates and/or Atlantis? (last we saw, Atlantis was on earth, so I don’t want to assume it is back)
Answer: This issue will be addressed in an upcoming episode. Earth actually.
Good to know.
I feel like this series is off to a slower start than Atlantis was, as far as how much I personally am getting sucked into the story. I’m hoping that things will pick up as we go on.
I know you wouldn’t be expected to bring in characters from the other shows all the time, but will we ever get to see Eli, McKay, and Daniel together? That seems like it could be very amusing.
Also, will we get to see minor characters guest starring at any point in the future, like Lee, Kavanagh, or Marks?
That’s so cool how in one of your pictures, in the Destiny shuttle the buttons were labeled to show what each button does! That’s amazing. I love those blueprints of rooms/hallways/stuff in the Destiny you post. That’s awesome to see.
My questions are:
Did the people making Stargate ever consider doing blueprints for SGC, or ships shown in Stargate, or the Atlantis city, etc. Like every room and hallway planned out in blueprints?
And, there seems to be CGI models of the Atlantis city and CGI models of the Destiny ship. Do you think it would be possible for someone to post pictures of the entirety of all the CGI for the Destiny ship or Atlantis city? Like a top picture of the Destiny ship, a bottom picture of the Destiny ship, a side picture of the Destiny, etc. Something that could be posted online to download. That would be so crazy amazing.
Happy late birthday, been a little busy…
Has Julia gotten married or some such thing? A Julia Anderson is credited with her performances on IMDB.
Answer: T.J. and Scott are of equal rank and on equal footing. She is “relegated to playing nurse” because she’s the best qualified to provide medical assistance. Wray isn’t an official liason but will step up to play a bigger role in the onboard politics. Lisa Park is a scientist as well.
Thank you for responding; that was unexpected. I just wanted to clarify about my comment “relegated to playing nurse.” I was trying to an explain my dissatisfaction that she has been relegated to a stereoptypically female role from the getgo; I just think other creative decisions could’ve been made. Just like Lisa Park could’ve been one of the characters standing in front of Young trying to offer solutions to the power crisis, even if it meant failing like the other two. Up until I read it on the internet, I had no idea Lisa Park was a scientist, her role has been so minimal she may as well have been a prop until her Kino introduction. I am just disappointed in the breadth and scope of roles for women on the show. I will hang in with a show, though, in the hopes of seeing their roles expanded, especially Ming-Na, whose talents so far appear to be underutilized, so I’m excited to hear she will become more involved, and I hope more integral to the show.
ok… so I didn’t see an answer to my question: “why didn’t the kino do it?”. So I came up with my own:
1. The Ori came back from the dead and are now sabotaging the people.
2. It’s going to end and have all been a dream
3. none of these supposed scientists are as smart as Carter (the MIT dropout was the only one who thought to use the shuttle’s power).
So will they find a cool alien ally anytime soon?
@Michael Jones: Good point! Where DID he get that gun?
I was talking to a friend, who is now watching SGU (no fan left behind works), and we lamented the loss of opening credits. We both love the show and like all of the characters, but opening credits would have been nice.
In fact I said “I just don’t get it… I think that the opening credits are a key moment in a show… I can’t imagine the West Wing without that music playing over the last second of the opening tease and then a smash cut to the credits.” I loved those moments. They had great music on that show… and great everything else too, but that’s beside my point
I know the decision’s been made, but still when Air 3 aired I was waiting to hear what Joel had come up with only to find that there was only a title card. Most saddening.
I know the decision’s been made. So I know I’m pointlessly making a point. I guess SGU had to follow the trend. After all who has opening credits anymore, just throw up the title and move on.
I’m thoroughly enjoying SGU, it hits the spot nicely. I don’t care about women in control, personally they tend to be somewhat shrewish I’m loving what you guys are doing with it keep going. I don’t believe in “equality” I believe in TEAMWORK, doesn’t matter what gender the best person for the job is BOTH have equal amounts to offer in very different ways and I think the sooner women stop trying to be men I for one will be a whole lot happier.
*ducks out of the line of fire*
That should upset an orchard full of apple carts:)
Mind you it would be really handy to be able to pee standing up so I guess there is a certain attraction in that, it’d make MY life easier LOL
I don’t know if this has been asked but what is the episode order after 1.7 Earth? is it The Episode Time? or the Episode Life? cause some sites say Life and some say Time.
Ok, at the risk of being called dumb (or worse!), there are a couple things I don’t get with SGU.
1) Why haven’t Rush & co. tried to turn the ship around?
2) Earth has intergalactic vessels, Atlantis has a wormhole drive, can’t any of those be used to try and bring back the SGU crew?
3) How does the misty shower thingy work? Is there a tub version somewhere?
Wow, big mailbag.
Please tell me that somebody is gonna break those damn communication stones… all 5 of ’em. Oh, wait. No. I want to see Jack as much as I can. And get a decent understanding of the characters’ background. Uhm… Break at least one stone?
Are there going to be flashbacks and characters visiting their homes the entire season? So far, it’s been okay. I try to comprehend that the more I know about the characters, the more I understand them and am sad/excited/etc when something happens to them. I can’t feel sorry for someone, who I don’t know. Well, I can, but not on the same level. What was the question… ? Ah, yes. I’d like to see these characters go forward and not always look back. At least during second half of the season.
Hi Joe, if the Atlantis movie will not be done, will you consider publishing the script or developing it into an Atlantis novel?
I like the move to the Pentagon, giving stargate some more authority and making it move far out from the regular old SGC, which are trademarks of SG-1/and SGA. Was this the idea? giving it some seperation??
Huge Stargate-fan here, and long-time reader. – Also a non-native English speaker. My apologies for any mistakes. – Let me first off say: “Great work on SGU!” I wasn’t really into it, but now that I’ve seen the first four episodes I’ve really grown into it, maybe even more than with SG1 and SGA. Do keep up the good work! And maybe make SGA: Extinction happen? 😀
Okay, so on another note, I have some questions about SGU.
1. In Air, pt.1 we get to seen the Icarus base. So when Rush says they were looking for this site for two years, what does he mean? Where they looking for just the correct planet? Or where they looking for the Icarus base? Was that base built by the Ancients? Or was it built by humans from Earth? Who placed the Stargate there, the Ancients or SG-personnel? Who modified the DHD? Who built it all? I tried to figure it out by re-watching Air and reading the transcript on GateWorld, but couldn’t seem to find an answer. Also, if Rush says they were looking for “the site” for two years and then they found the planet; then if there was nothing there and they have only been at it for six months; then they did get a lot of work done in these six months? If they had to start from scratch? Is it “important” to know how these time frames and events are related to the ones from SGA? Where it fits in? Or isn’t it?
2. Okay, secondly, the nine-chevron code. I’m under the impression that this is a code, and that wherever you are, whichever gate you are using, you always dial the same nine-chevrons, as it is a code, not a real address, and thus you always end up on the Destiny. I’m guessing this is also how they dialed the gate on the “desert-planet” back to the Destiny. Furthermore I’m guessing that this is the only way they could not know where the Destiny is, but always dial her gate. If they were unaware where the Destiny was, just as the Ancients would have been, as the ship is plotting its own course, isn’t it? So then the only way for it all to work is indeed for this to be a code. Then technically the ninth chevron is not a point of origin (PoO), but just another chevron of the code? Otherwise shouldn’t they, the people on the Destiny, figure every time what the address of the Destiny is, and what the PoO of the planet is? So did they? As I did not see that happening in Air, pt.3.
3. Can a kino dial a gate? So when Eli sent the kino through the gate from the “desert”-planet in Air, pt.3 to the planet where Palmer and Curtis went to, did he retrieve the kino? As he couldn’t go to the planet himself, how did the kino get home to the Destiny? Or didn’t it? It could get home, if the kino could dial the gate. Wouldn’t they be wasting a lot of kinos if they could not get them back, if those kinos could not dial the gate by themselves or when Eli orders them to do it with the remote? Or is this a question still to be answered in an upcoming episode?
Wow, such an epistle.
I already want to thank you for taking the time to answer all these questions, and for the time you took to answer all the other questions in your mailbag I come back to read everyday.
My best wishes,
Regarding Stargate Universe being on Friday … Stargate is one of the few shows that I can think of that can boast it’s ALWAYS been on ONE night for its first run episodes.
SG1 was on Friday nights for Showtime for five years, and five years on Friday nights for SyFy. SGA was on Friday for five years (overlapping with SG1 for three years).
So, with SGU, this makes 13 years that Stargate has aired on Fridays — consecutively!
(Yes, that is a silver lining in that cloud, why do you ask?)
That Hammond is still bothering me. It just doesn’t make sense that some races in MW could have advanced beyond Ori technology, even with Anubis’ leftover ships and possible Ori ships, it would take longer then this to RE the technology in them. It would just make more sense if the Hammond was rushed into service as the other ships were not available and Atlantis (possibly) not on Earth anymore, they had to rush and leave some (APBWs) system un-finished…
Oh I don’t know. I’d take up learning ancient without even thinking (hey I already know Latin and I can read over a dozen languages comfortably and I’m certainly not a stand-alone case, in the Netherlands lots of people speak 4 languages or more, generally in Europe people speak 2 language or more.)
My experience from dealing with other people is that with several hours a day of exercise, most people are able to learn a language to the point of being able to read a little within a few months. There’s nothing to learning a language but repeating, repeating, repeating, and it’s not like they can’t fit that into their busy schedules. So maybe something for the second season there. Have them all be able to read ancient by then. 🙂 (I hope I’m not saying anything stupid as I’ve not actually seen the new ep).
Re dogsitters: I have had excellent luck working my way through college students. (Not that my dogs get rid of them, necessarily. They just tend to do that whole annoying, “graduate and get a life” thing.)
It started out with a referral from a co-worker and then it just gets passed on from kid to kid.
I’ve never had a dud. The kids enjoy getting to live outside the dorm and the dogs get to stay home.
Sorry I’ve been incommunicado for a few days. I’ve been without Internet. No major dramas – had a great weekend staying in the city for the Armageddon Expo (multimedia expo with guests Joe F, Jason, Paul & Chris).
Firstly, can I say the most important thing…man that cake looked awesome…..no, no only kidding, about the important thing, not the cake, it really did look awesome.
hApPy BiRtHdAy JoE!
I hope that your family & friends are waiting on you hand & foot, attending to every whim no matter how trivial. I like to have the day off to celebrate my birthday and it goes on and on and on…….speaking of which you may get your gift from me sometime this century. Woo hoo!
About to watch Air Pt 3.
Somebody over Twitter said that the events in “Darkness” happened two days after “Air”, part 3. Is that true?
According to Brody they had the ‘gate on all day on the previous day. So did they dial up another planet or was he talking about the events from previous episode?
John G. Lenic wrote:
#SGU episode Darkness takes place 2 days after Air Part 3. I see alot of people asking the same question so thought I would help.
Thanks for answering my question! Looking forward to Light this Friday – I need to find another SGU fan before then to place the winning bet onto why the ship is behaving the way it is.
Another question that’s been bugging me – given that Stargate: Worlds seems to be getting some publicity now (looking forward to that too), I have to wonder: was “Prometheus” derived or influenced in any way by whatever Chayenne Mountain Entertainment has for that game so far? I remember reading somewhere that footage was pulled from the game directly.
One of my colleagues is heading to Japan next week. I’ve told him of your blog (and foodie adventures). Do you have any restaurant recommendations I can pass on to him and his wife, they do like to try new things.
Loved your comments. I think that’s a very apt description of Wray’s position aboard the Destiny. Civilians might still see her as more of a Chief Executive Officer, only associated with a military-intelligence organization. If I’ve misunderstood the function of the IOA, please correct me.
About 1st Lt. Scott, we know that he didn’t attend the U.S. Air Force Academy, but that he might have been in a Reserve Officer Training Corps, or possibly even rose through enlisted ranks and became a 2nd lieutenant following Officer Candidate School. Being a very bright young man, it wouldn’t take him long to be promoted to 1st Lt. — especially given the needs of the Icarus Project. (I know this because something similar happened with my father during the Vietnamese War.)
Likewise, I would imagine that he’ll be very quick to acquire the knowledge needed for a staff officer of his rank — and beyond, since he’s Col. Young’s backup. Possibly his biggest problem will be his relative immaturity, as seen in his ill-advised intimate liaison with 2nd Lt. James, and what certainly appears to be a developing relationship with Chloe Armstrong. But to quote a remark made by Patrick Gilmore on Twitter, “Sex? We’re only human.” So my take is that viewers will have to be patient while Scott learns from whatever consequences result from a known history of sexual indiscretion, and then he’ll have much more of the responsibility and understanding required of someone who’s in a position of leadership over a squadron, or larger unit as the case may be.
I’ve been reading through as many of the comments as I could from the past few posts, and I have a few thoughts I’d like to share with you and others.
First off, I wasn’t reading here regularly when SGA was on, so I have to say that I am impressed by your willingness to approve the critiquing of the show on your blog. A lot of writers would probably not want to open up the more critical posts for their readers to see, and I think it’s to your credit that you do so.
It doesn’t hurt, though, that the critiques are respectful, even when folks posting here radically disagree with the decisions that the creative team is making for SGU. Even people who are posting to say that they’ve decided SGU isn’t for them refrain from insult and calumny, and I think that is a credit to everyone here.
That said, I have my own take on the issue of how SGU has portrayed women and their interactions with the other characters on the show so far, which I hope might make some people think a little more about their concerns.
1. It is true that we might not yet have a full picture of the women on the show as strong characters, but I’m not sure we have a full picture of anyone yet on the show. An ensemble show cannot give every character full story development in every episode. For example, Greer played a largish part in Air III, but I don’t recall seeing him in Darkness at all. I suspect that as the episodes are broadcast, we will in fact begin to see the women characters come off just as strong as the men.
2. And that said, the men aren’t necessarily coming off as strong either. All of them seem to be dealing with their own weaknesses and demons just as they’re trying to handle the situation they’ve all been thrown into. I think the issue we’re seeing is that the men in the group were already in leadership positions that required certain survival skills, and that at the start those skills have to be placed in the forefront. My guess is that some point soon, when the crew realizes that they’re stuck on the ship indefinitely, Wray and Chloe are going to step forward to attempt to impose some sort of civilian leadership on everyone.
3. It is totally believable that Chloe would want a shower, and that Eli would accommodate her. Chloe isn’t military, and is probably unused to the idea of roughing it. As soon as Eli mentions that he found showers (of a sort), Chloe is exactly the one character who would jump at a chance to take a shower…and who would manipulate Eli into letting her do so.
4. Eli’s actions are also very believable. Eli is one of the more realistic characters on television whose maturity is arrested. He’s awkward around women, although it’s clear he respects them. As for the scene with the kino and Lt. James, it seems to me that a) Eli is blowing off steam in his own way, feeling like the social inappropriateness of his actions are forgivable because of how far they are from home, and b) he’s getting back at James in some small way for manipulating him into the confrontation earlier in the episode.
5. And make no mistake about it, Lt. James is a strong woman. She knows she can manipulate Eli, and she comes off as real military in her other scenes, probably because she knows she can kick the crap out of anyone she wants. But at the same time, as her short video confession shows, she’s just as scared as everyone else. Who wouldn’t be? My guess is that at some point we will see an episode where James is isolated from the officers who outrank her, and that she’ll step up to the plate and display leadership qualities.
6. But…well…I have to agree that some of the sexualization we’ve seen, while absolutely realistic, does go farther than anything Stargate has done before. I think more might have gone into preparing the SG1 and SGA audience for that. (My own take is that I have no objection to such things, but I want to know going in exactly how the tone has changed. It’s like reading a gritty mystery novel that opens with a violent scene; it prepares the reader for the violence to come. If I were to start reading a “cozy” mystery novel and come to graphic descriptions of violence in the middle of the book, I’d be unprepared for it and possibly put off for a while.)
Anyway, those are my thoughts, coming from the combined perspective of an SF writer and a Stargate fan. I’d be curious to see what others think.
Marys comment makes no sense to me really. She mentions they would try and do the best they can to stay alive, but in reality, if you take the first four episodes into account they can’t really do much else but rely on Rush etc to keep the ship going. People are just doing what they feel they can do. I would argue that the characters are doing what they can do to stay alive, when the situation warrants them to step up and take charge, like Matt and Greer leading the teams in the gate. Eli looking out for Chloe.
The characters are essentially out of their comfort zone and in a foreign location, normal real world logic doesn’t always apply in some cases.
Hi, Joe –
Just to let you know that you might have incoming in your spam folder, since in my next comment I’ve included a link related to the insomnia issue. I hope you’ll find the information helpful.
Could you please send a quick email my way if you have not yet received my package? The guy at the mailing service swore that you would get it by the 16th. I will verbally rip him a new one if it doesn’t get there by tomorrow. Unfortunately, in all the confusion preceding my flight to Denver, I somehow misplaced the tracking number.
I’m not asking for a public acknowledgment of any sort — the gift is something I did for you, not for an audience. Of course if you choose to say “thanks for the belated birthday card” (or what have you; I’d be delighted if you applied your marvelously dry wit to the situation, and would actually love a light roasting if you want) — naturally, that’s your call. Also, since the contents don’t comprise your oft-expressed preference for chocolate, of course I’ll understand if you choose to redistribute it — my present, your gift.
IS there a season wrap up party for SGU?
If there is a wrap up party, can you post some pics?
Good luck with the insomnia. My cure for one or two nights of insomnia or jet lag: Melatonin tablets, readily available in the vitamin isle of my local grocery store.
Joe, taking care of [my] business here:
A day or two ago — you know how wonderful a job I do of keeping track of time — I found a link on MSN’s home page regarding the insomnia issue. I checked out their article, and the writer actually gave sound advice and accurate scientific info re. human physiology. Time being in short supply these days, I felt confident enough in the writer’s coverage to quit reading halfway through, and in fact was sufficiently impressed to tweet the link to a friend of yours.
If you choose to check it out (I tested the link about 30 minutes ago, and it still works), all I would add is that hot chocolate with its tryptophan and cell-repleneshing, quickly absorbed glucose works better than melatonin in foods — my own experience, and that of my patients as well. Alternatively, in Canada you should be able to pick up both tryptophan and melatonin at your local pharmacy — more potent and obviously no calories, if you’re still on the program — and may I take this opportunity to compliment you on your excellent results?
So enough already, here’s the link:
Hope this helps a little.
PS: Use of condiments at bedtime is not recommended.
(2) In response to your very helpful, huge and informative mailbag: I will be glad to have this mini-compendium readily available when I grow old and forgetful, which I expect to happen any hour now. (Or minute. What day is this again?)
I have to commend you, Joe, for being very patient with us and hell, for putting up with our questions in the first place. You don’t have to answer us so I thank you for that.
I know I have a TON of questions about what I’m watching, but I’m finding that they’re being answered piecemeal in the following episodes, like when Rush explained that the ATA gene technology wouldn’t be a factor on the Destiny and why. And the caffeine/nicotine withdrawal explanation was a great touch, btw. I don’t think that’s ever addressed on shows like this, where people are cut off from staples like food, water, and cigarettes. I kind of think you’d get like Rush once you realized you were out of chocolate. 🙂
I was going to go into this long essay about why I wanted to see Rodney McKay on the Destiny (because come ON, he would’ve gotten the ship’s core systems online last week), but that’s not the story you’re telling and I get that. But I think the hardest part for me is that the names Carter and McKay HAVEN’T been tossed around as solutions to the problem at all. Even if Colonel Young knew that Dr. Lee or Radek or Rodney were busy with other things, I would think that he would mention them to get back at Rush. Or maybe that’s a petty thing that only I would do? 🙂
Finally, I’m confused with the Ancient timeline. Can someone (you or the peanut gallery) put Destiny in the correct place in their history? Was Atlantis still on Earth when they sent out the ship? The fact that you need the ATA gene to activate systems in the city seems to indicate that the ship is older, although of course they probably would have renovated Atlantis many times over the years. So were the Wraith not a factor at all? And are there more scout ships? Is this the main way they seeded the galaxies with stargates? Did the other main races (Nox, Asgard, Furlings) know about the Destiny? Can the Nox help the Destiny get home somehow? Why or why not?
See, I told you I had a ton of questions…
I’ve decided to try monitoring Twitter. I don’t think I want anyone to monitor me yet. Is it good for anything else besides self promo, peeking at celebs and tracking events?
Thanks for the detailed explanations. But SGU just isn’t grabbing me. Yet. I’m really starting to dislike the swap stones and I hope they aren’t heavily relied on to keep stories going. Maybe it’s my attention span but trying to keep track of where someone is (Destiny or Earth) is giving me a headache. I can’t say that I like any characters yet, mostly ambivalent but looking to see what Rush or Eli does next. “Dr. Smith” was always screwing with stuff and being annoying.
Terribly missing SGA and SG-1.
Bonjour Joseph. Je sais que je vais être un peu brutal mais s’il vous plait, dites moi que Light ne sera pas aussi ennuyeu que Darkness. Je trouve que SGU dévellope beaucoup trop les personnages et ne se concentre pas assé sur la découverte du Destiny. De plus, à part la scène de fin de Darkness, j’ai l’impression que les scènes d’action (bataille et explosions) n’existent plus.
Enfin, on a toujours eut aucune information sur la petite navette de la fin de “air III” et l’attaque d’Icarus. Allons-nous en avoir.
Merci de me répondre et bonne journée.
Hi. I’m digging SG:U. Didn’t really think I would, but I find myself doing something I didn’t with SG1 and Atlantis; I’m going back and watching on Hulu just a couple days later. I howled at the caffiene/nicotine withdrawal commentary in Darkness.
I’m enjoying the Chloe/Eli relationship so far. Some loathe the word ‘cute’, but anybody that has been willing to be a fool for love can enjoy the concept and tolerate the word.
I do suggest that as soon as the characters can catch their breath, they should schedule usage of communication stones. Among the first things they should do: have TJ (and some other character) come back to earth 8 hours per day for intensive medical/surgical training. I think the pilot mentioned 5 stones? All of “the wrong people” need to get into training.
I know “the season is young” and there are plans for the characters. I am enjoying the story so far. I just wanted to throw my two cents.
Keep up the good work.
I know that you have probably answered this before but what does FDL drive stand for and how does the drive work?
You could try Mika’s idea about a grad student. I would feel odd about having someone I didn’t know in my house, taking care of my “babies”. I’ve worked with animals for a long time and have seen a lot of abuse cases. So I can be kind of suspicious about who deals with my “kids”.
Sounds like you might want to investigate boarding facilities now. Some facilities are quite busy during holidays and weekends. You take excellent care of the dogs and I know you will make ideal arrangements for them.
Wishing a good night’s rest for you and Gilder. Oh, I forgot to mention my other sleep remedy: Nocturnal “exercise”. Works wonders for me! That brings me to a kino question:
If a person switches bodies and goes to see his/her significant other, would it be cheating if they “hooked up”? My hubby says yes but I’m leaning towards no.
Joe, just saw “Darkness”.
How come there still isn’t a full opening credits montage, with the characters’ pictures not just names?
If there is one already then, maybe I missed it and you can disregard this message.
So far it’s just the title that pops up with the credits. Will there be one later once the story get’s more momentum?
It’s just the title now it’s pretty boring.
@ Joe – you said, “What would you expect them to do? There’s a huge difference between saying you’d like to do something useful and actually doing something useful. Most of the crew do not have the skills necessary to make any sort of contribution in this regard. Yes, there are plenty of marines with weapons and Icarus base personnel skilled at cooking and cleaning, but they are hardly in a position to start learning Ancient. In the midst of all tragedy life goes on – people eat, take showers, sleep, even find comfort in one another.”
What about the base personnel who are scientists? You’re suggesting that there are a bunch of cooks and janitors and soldiers and no one else and the cooks and janitors can’t learn anything? I don’t think you really mean that.
First, what they should be doing, to start: (1) cataloging everyone’s skills, knowledge base, etc.; (2) systematically and in an organized fashion searching the ship to learn (a) what it has and (b) what they can possibly use of what it has. Teams can be formed of at least one soldier plus civilians; (3) having people who know things (first aid and basic medical skills like TJ has; basic Ancient that Eli knows; basic self-defense and survival skills that the soldiers know and so forth), teaching those skills to those who do not have them. That’s just the beginning. Instead, what we see is a few people doing a few things and everyone else either sitting around doing nothing while other people work or screwing around.
(Btw, I don’t find Eli’s snooping on James with a kino or watching Chloe shower to be anything less than criminal behavior. In a 15 year old it may be forgivable if the woman first kicks his ass and he never even contemplates doing it again; in an adult, peeping on a woman is a violation and a crime. It doesn’t fall within “finding comfort in one another” for me.)
That’s just a start. I’m sure a competent commander could come up with lots of things they could be doing. Maybe you’ll respond to us that “how do you know they’re not already doing those things?” The answer is that all we see them doing is sitting around engaging in endless and boring conversation or doing really stupid things like peeping on women.
Also, why are the cooks and the janitors not in a position to start learning Ancient? They may not become experts, but it provides something constructive to do with their time, and it may make them more useful. You seem to assume that they’re not smart enough to learn a language. They won’t learn it overnight, but they can learn it. The more everyone learns, the better chances they have of surviving, even if they never get back to Earth. Since there are so few of them, the loss of anyone is a terrible loss, and they should all learn as much as they can about everything they can as soon as they can.
Further, as Young undoubtedly well knows, keeping people busy has value in and of itself. Busy people are less likely to become dangerously depressed than are people who are sitting around bemoaning their fate and are less likely to get into trouble like engaging in peeping on women. A good commander would find something for them to do.
Re Chloe’s shower: I may have missed this, but I don’t recall Young clearing people to use the shower that Eli figured out. There may be a fair amount of water on that ship, but it’s not replenishable based on what they have at the present time, and certainly not until they have the waste reclamation up and running. I certainly buy it that she’d be the first to want her creature comforts, and she’d manipulate Eli to get what she wants. It’s still stupid and should be punishable if Young hasn’t cleared them to use the water for such purposes.
You also said: “I’d submit that there is a huge difference between being stationed on an off-world research base and going back to Earth on occasion and being stranded on a spaceship with no hope of ever returning home. These people aren’t robots programmed to respond to any and all eventualities, they are people – frightened, emotional people, most completely out of their element – scrambling to survive as best they can.”
Yes, absolutely true, but what I see them actually doing is a bunch of not much that is productive. If they’re *that* out of their element so far, they shouldn’t have been on Icarus base in the first place. It’s been well-established in Stargate that anytime you step through the gate you are risking your life. The same clearly holds true for getting on a spaceship and going somewhere on it. Going to a base off of Earth is the same. It’s not like going down to the local movie theater or even like visiting a neighboring nation on Earth.
Yes, where they are is terrifying, and their circumstances are very bad. But it’s early days yet. The best way Young would have of keeping them together, trying to create a cohesive bond, is to keep them busy working or doing something constructie nearly every minute they’re awake.
“I’m sure they’ve all watched the necessary videos and taken the requisite weapons training, but THIS they definitely have not trained for. These people are out of their depth”
I can hardly believe that the videos and weapons training are the only training they’ve had. How about basic survival training? It’s not just a matter of weapons and what a Stargate is. Everyone assigned to that base should have a lot more training than just weapons and the orientation videos.
“Off topic but X-Files went the horror route from the get-go. It wasn’t the result of a sudden change in direction.”
Re X-Files, I didn’t mean to suggest that it was. I started watching X-Files because I thought it was going to be SF. When it turned out to be more horror than SF, I left the fold. I had no emotional investment in it. That is not a criticism of X-Files. (I also hated Duchovny – he reminds me of a squirrel). However, I had a lot of friends who were seriously into X-Files during its entire run, though, and when it changed, they felt betrayed. I didn’t mean to suggest that I had those kinds of issues personally. I was trying to say that I didn’t personally feel the same about the X-Files last season because I was out of there before then. It was a different matter with Enterprise.
Re Ponytail’s comment about Eli: I agree with Ponytail. I liked Eli a lot at first, but he IS behaving like a 15 year old, and I found his behavior in Darkness amazingly offensive (this is not a criticism of David Blue, btw, but of the character). I know lots of nerds. The adults are still adults, and while some may be a bit immature and lack social skills, they do know better than to peep at a woman who is taking a shower or to try to catch another woman naked or in her underwear. They understand that that is criminal behavior. It’s not cute, and it’s not acceptable.There are people in jail for doing this, and the women who are spyed upon like that do feel a violation. There are consequences. It is not innocent boys-will-be-boys behavior. It’s wrong!
Finally, Joe, regarding the role of women in the show, I know that you keep saying that we should wait and there will be more for the women to do, it’s early days yet, etc. That’s all well and good, and I could accept it much more easily IF what we’ve seen of the women so far weren’t so offensive, if the women looked like they were more important in the story than as sex objects, and if there hadn’t been so much shown of, for example, Scott’s background and fantasies. There’s a huge imbalance here. The women have been established as sex objects to be exploited, as whiny little girls, or as nonentities. It’s going to be really hard to turn that around.
@Quade1 – do it and if you’re caught, you can be arrested and may end up charged with a sex crime. It’s also a serious violation of the woman you spy on.
@Nina, I’m not a doctor, but some years back I had a bicycle accident and hit my rib cage hard on the handlebars and cracked one of them and bruised several others. The pain was unreal. There was nothing that could be done except let them heal.
@Pooroldedgarderby: “And in his defense, he only peeked when he was fairly sure she wouldn’t see him doing so.”
You must be kidding. Honestly, do you really think that is ok?
Michael Crow wrote – “I howled at the caffiene/nicotine withdrawal commentary in Darkness.”
Oh, yes!! When Rush admitted to the nicotine withdrawal, too – too funny! Gave me a chuckle.
This is exactly what I want to see – other characters having humorous lines here and there, just so Eli isn’t the only ‘comic relief’ element in the show.
I’m still not 100% sold on the show, but I’m sticking around for now. As I said before, the biggest ‘plot’ downside for me is the communication stones – it’s not something I want to see used on a regular basis, but it seems that’s the way things are going. To me, it feels like a way to bring in past SG actors for guest appearances, perhaps to boost interest in the show if things start to slide. I would be content if no old SG actors made appearances, since I found it to be a drawback (for the most part) to Atlantis. A cameo in the premiere is fine, but I want to get to know the new guys now, and leave the rest in the past, or for the movies. But that’s just me, and since I was never a fan of SG1, I guess I don’t have much love for the whole SG mythos. Only the Wraith. 😀
I guess what I’m saying is that I actually would have been much happier if this show started with a totally clean slate, with no old SG baggage. I only did watch Atlantis for the Wraith…it wasn’t the whole SG thing that brought me in (never really saw the movie…and the few bits I did see did not interest me at all). Adhering to what had come before stagnated Atlantis, with too many similar plots based on Ancient tech and recurring SG1 characters and blah, blah, blah. That show was never allowed to really stand on its own, and will always (imho) be the franchise’s ugly stepchild.
I would like to see this show stand on its own, but those communication stones will never allow for it. I really wanted to see what we never truly saw with Atlantis – a crew/team totally isolated from earth, having to learn as they go, having to start new lives because, as far as earth was concerned, they were dead. And I especially wanted to see people who have to rely on one another for survival, and not on Super Daniel or Wonder Sam to rescue them. If those old characters continue to be used as ‘crutches’, then – just like with Atlantis – these new characters will never be allowed to truly shine on their own.
Just my two cents based on what I’ve seen so far, and what I hear is coming up in future eps. If there is anything that will kill this show for me it’s those stones – I hate them already, maybe as much as I hated the Genii. 😀
Hello Joe !
Ok, I have a few questions concerning the show :
– How far ahead of the Destiny are the ships who place the Stargates on the planets ?
– Also, how these ships determine which worlds to “seed”, because there are thousands of billions of planets between Earth and “billions light years from home” ?
– How the Destiny is supposed to explore the planets without a crew during hundreds of thousands years ? With the kinos ? If yes, it means that the ship must do regular drop-outs of FTL in order to use the Stargate…
– The Destiny is likely to attract races who are capable of ship travel when it is in conventional speed…can it protect himself from aggresive aliens ?
Re the SGA movie, someone on Gateworld posted news about an upcoming book, where they say that:
“I’ve just seen confirmation that the SGA movie has been put on
indefinite hold. No SGA movie.
HOWEVER, before you tear your hair in despair (unintentional poetry,
honest), there WILL be something to replace it!
Jo Graham and Melissa Scott are writing a Fandemonium Stargate Atlantis
novel called “Stargate Atlantis: Legacy – The Return” and picks up where
Enemy At The Gates left off at the end of Season 5.
It’s due in late 2010 and is the first book in a series, with the second
book “The Missing” due early in 2011.
Contracts are signed and the storylines are approved by MGM!”
So is this a novelization of you and Paul’s script? Or has MGM just decided to continue SGA in book form only?
Just wondering and sad that if this is true, it might mean there will never ever be a movie…
ça va bien? Moi oui, mais j’ai passer une longue journée, demain cela risque d’être pareil! Vivement les vacances (Vendredi soir)!
Merci pour ces questions/réponses.
je pense à vous,
Kinos hookups: Ok, maybe not cheating but creepy/illegal. The person would hopefully, get their kino privileges taken away!
Michael A. Burstein: Great points! I agree with all of them and you articulated them better than I ever could have. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. M for putting up with all our questions, and critiquing.
FDL is FTL.
Stands for Faster than Light.
I have a fairly random question. It’s about SG-1. I’ve been watching the ninth and tenth seasons again lately, and… *SPOILERS*
…whatever happened to Rya’c and Ishta? Bra’tac still shows up from time to time, and that makes sense as the council episodes and whatnot would involve him. Were Rya’c and Ishta just not really all that relevant? I would have liked to have seen the latter on the council or something along those lines. I guess it’s safe to presume Rya’c is off aiding in whatever ways possible and happily married, but just for speculation’s sake, do you think Teal’c and Ishta still have a thing going on to this day?
otros ojos wrote:
How do we know this? All I remember being said about his service was when he told Eli that Icarus was his first assignment after SGC training.
I think you might mean FTL drive, not FDL drive. It stands for “faster than light,” and it’s a standard staple of science fiction. I don’t think they’ve explained yet on the show how the Destiny’s drive works.
Question: I´m still waiting for answer, what is going on with Odyssey? Will we someday know, what is that secret mission?
At first I wasn’t sure what to think of no 1 min opening credits. Now I’m okay with it. Would love to hear Joel’s music, but without it we get to the episode itself much faster.
Sorry for spamming your mailbag, Joe. Got today off from school.
Guesses – predicition – spoiler?
I am going to be happy if Destiny uses a Bussard-style ramscoop near the star for the purposes of hydrogen collection and refueling. I am also looking forward to hearing the Engineer character show some skill and discuss what kind of power-plant Destiny has.
Also, Destiny has reinforced my opinion (should I ever inherit a starship) that I will try to find/create some whitewash paint to brighten up the interior and reduce the power requirements for lighting.
@Mika – Grad students frequently dog sit? But Joe doesn’t sit on a thesis committee. 😉
@shiningwit – You can pee standing up, you just shouldn’t.
@Michael A. Burstein –
You addressed a lot of gender issues in your post, but you left out an elephant in the room: it is harder to write central, driving roles in adventure for female characters than for male characters.
If you want a female character to express boisterousness or aggressiveness, you have to purposely write her character as an exception or driven by exceptional circumstances, whereas you can wring that out of any default male character whenever you need to.
We’ve already seen which female characters have purposely been written that way and exceptional circumstances will drive both genders equally. Writers know intuitively that audiences more readily accept strong actions from male characters who weren’t as explicitly set up that way so I don’t think we’ll see as much strong action from the women as from the men in SGU.
Who is wealthy enough to offer audiences what few will accept?
Of course, my thinking is clouded by saturation in action/adventure fiction. What strong actions resolve action/adventure-based peril may not be the same for character-based clashes.
Joe, I really appreciate and admire your patience in putting up with a lot of negativity/criticism on the new show, and continued willingness to answer questions and give what information you can. I think that everyone gets so caught up in their expectations that sometimes we forget what a boon this blog is from a fan perspective.
I remember that I was totally against SGA at first, mainly because they tapped the character of McKay. I HATED him from SG1- his arrogance, and how he treated Carter. Didn’t want to watch, didn’t like the “new” Weir etc. Loved the show, McKay is one of my favorites now!! The show grew on me, the characters evolved. (Still hate Kavanaugh, and in fact when I saw the actor on Harper’s Island, I disliked his character on principle…)
I say, give the show a chance, or not, as you wish. Feel free to dislike it, the characters, the storylines, the actors. But remember that just because it doesn’t match what you expected doesn’t make it valid. It is, after all, an artistic creation, which makes the show automatically subjective. As someone who is also in a creative field, you go into it trying to please the client(s), but also realizing that you cannot please all the people all of the time, and you still have to maintain artistic integrity. I think the show’s creators, writers, producers, etc. have done that.
Joe, I have a friend who’s sister-in-law lives in Vancouver – I’ll see if she can recommend a doggie sitter. Might also want to check with the local pug rescue, if there is one. I’m sure they would know someone experienced with the breed….
Darn. Should proofread BEFORE hitting submit!
“But remember that just because it doesn’t match what you expected doesn’t make it valid.”
Should have read “doesn’t make it INvalid.” Or “not valid.”
Thank you again Joe for your answers, they’re greatly appreciated! You answered the question about the vortex (wind/sand) life form from the “Air (part 3)” episode. I’ll pass the word on to my mother and we (my family, friends, and I) will definitely stay tuned in hopes of finding out more about that lifeform.
A transcript for that episode is available on gateworld.net, which refers to that air or wind/sand being as a “vortex” lifeform. The same site has an omnipedia that refers to it as a “dust devil”. I’m curious…
Could you share what term Brad & Robert’s original transcript refers to for the vortex/air/wind/sand alien lifeform?
Thank you very much for answering these questions!
By the way, Carl’s taking you out for a (your?) birthday dinner, I’m guessing it’s a belated birthday dinner? 🙂 Stay away from the tofu turkey! 😉
Thank you Col. Mustard! 🙂
Reading through some of the comments, I just realized something…
I’m not nearly as geeky about stuff when I’m not obsessed with it. 😀
What I mean is this – for the most part I really don’t care about the technical details of the show. I don’t care about ranks, or how the science should work, or what class the ships are. Why didn’t they use the kino for such and such? Because it wasn’t in the script! That’s why. Yeah – that stuff doesn’t bug me.
What I have had problems with is how the story is told – whether it be the graphic sex of the first ep, or use of the communication stones as an ongoing plot device, or setting up one character as the class clown, while everyone else walks around in a funk.
So, Joe – a serious question…
What really matters more when it comes to the bigger picture – viewers who nitpick technical details (‘Wait! Wraith don’t have nipples?!’) or viewers who have issues with the way the story is told (‘Arrgh! Not another clip episode!!’), and why?
(I’ll leave it up to you to decide what the ‘bigger picture’ is. 🙂 )
Well Joe I would dog sit for ya being unemployed all right now but I’m in Florida so that would complicate things. I got a Papillion sunday, my neighbors are going back to Brazil and it would be to much money to transport. Its a pup yet 8mths old. full of energy. Named Kipper. I know your dog are pugs and french bullies but you have any advice for it being a small puppy. Its been a few yrs since i had a dog, it was hard for me when my last dog passed, he was a Toy Fox Terrier(Snoopy) that was 19 when he died.
As a woman with NATURAL VLBs (very large breasts) I don’t find the scenes where Riley and Eli Kino Vanessa unrealistic at all. And as a woman with VLBs I have plenty of experience with all sorts of ways that men/boys find to get another peek.
I also don’t find any disparity in female vs. male portrayal either during or after viewing a show. It just doesn’t seem to be an issue for me. Maybe it should, but I have worked in male-dominated industries all my life, and am secure in my abilities. I would have had to have looked for it specifically, then found instances to back up my view.
Being caucasian, I also found the same thing true with the African-American/Canadian cook. I also worked in highly diverse environments. The first thing that I thought of was not that he was an African-American/Canadian cook oh what a stereotype, but that he was too SKINNY to be a cook (or too skinny to be a GOOD cook.) and immediately thought ‘maybe he has a high metabolism.’
I LOVE THIS SHOW!
Dont let all the verbose negative people get you down, Mr. M!
I just read that Jason Momoa has been cast as Drogo in “A Song of Ice and Fire” on HBO.
Have you read those books?
Joe – I am enjoying reading the comments and your replies.
I would like particularly to endorse your assertions that these characters are complex humans, shown to be doing things which could be said to be reprehensible on occasion yet also capable of great self-sacrifice. This isn’t a team that knows it’s a team yet – they’ve hardly had time to find out who anyone else is yet – and to expect them to work as a co-ordinated group straight away doesn’t take any account of the forming-storming-norming-performing model of group dynamics. However, they are forming sub-groups, which seems highly plausible in these circumstances.
Weren’t people specifically ordered NOT to do things, by the way? Rush banned them because he said they were wasting power. I really love Robert Carlyle’s portrayal of the character, and remember his comment that we were not to trust anything about Rush; yet he is also being asked to make us like a man who is unlikable. I think he is doing an admirable job of that.
Anyway – these are not saints; but the show is not, as far as I can see, endorsing the things they are doing wrong. Eli is making mistakes – and isn’t he made to feel ashamed of himself? To expect the show to set these people up as models of good behaviour is unreasonable and would be contrary to the point of the drama, I would have thought.
I am content to see how these characters develop over the next couple of months. There are a lot of players in this ensemble – each with an interesting backstory and this will take some time to “unspool”.
I’m not crazy about the lack of immediate substantial backstory on at least one of the female characters as we have seen with some of male leads. This does not seem very “Stargate-like” regarding women (i.e. Carter, Weir). I think if we had seen some important emotional flashbacks for one of these women as we have seen for Scott, as an example, this might have been helpful in allaying any gender gap fears. The sexual-added scenes – I could live without. But with so many people confined and distraught – let’s face it – there’s going to be sex. But so far only the women have been objectified and that’s the problem. Perhaps if we see Eli drop some trou… that might start to even things out a bit.
Michael Burstein’s point about preparing the fans for a show unlike past shows is a good one. But we, fans, are so attached to the other shows – I am not sure this would have made a difference. It’s just going to take some time to become attached to these characters – or not.
If you’ve never had wild mushrooms in the Fall in Japan, I would recommend you give them a try – if you really like mushrooms, which I assume you do or they would not be on your list.
@shiningwit: I’m with you–it’s just that one advantage I’d like to have. Especially at work when I’ve got all my gear on. Not fair!
Get a grip, people. Chloe knew Eli was at the door, and he was trying to have a conversation with her and NOT to be a Peeping Tom. He may be a little immature, but he’s not doing anything creepy. Using a kino to follow someone down a corridor may be kind of childish, but it’s hardly criminal. If they’d sent it after her into someplace where she thought she had privacy, that would be different.
Can you tell us a little more about Janelle Monae’s appearance in Earth?
I’m a little disappointed at the lack of hype, so here’s the video to one of the songs she’s performing. The lyrics fit SGU perfectly!
@Mary I was just adding some levity to the situation, I don’t think it’s okay for Eli to take a peek at Chloe, even though she probably wouldn’t notice. But what if their roles were reversed, and Chloe was stealing glances of Eli in the shower? I think that woulda been rather sweet. Point being, I’m not meaning to disregard the objectification of women, but for a guy who (probably) doesn’t get out much, that is just a very human situation that he isn’t wholly prepared for. Under the circumstances, I don’t think Chloe would press charges. You can blame his mother, but she has enough to worry about with her exorbitant medical bills.
@Lisa I’d go with “invalid.” And I prefer to be called a Grammarpudlian, personally.
@Mary thanks for the information about the cracked ribs. That was the only “problem” I had with SGU.
Maria wrote: Since there are so few of them, the loss of anyone is a terrible loss, and they should all learn as much as they can about everything they can as soon as they can.
I’m sure Colonel Young and Camille Wray will see to this when there is time and no immediate danger. Right now they have to sort out the basics.
Regarding teaching the others the Ancient language. There is no available teacher at the moment. The few who can read Ancient are trying to access the ship systems.
And Rush isn’t willing to share any information at all. Not even an early warning.
I hate to say this, because I see SGU as a stand-alone and didn’t want to compare it with SG-1 or SGA, but just to point out the difference in character:
McKay would have alarmed everyone from the first indication of power failure. Simply because he is/was always in panic to get hurt. Pure self-protection.
Carter would have informed Colonel Young about all important stuff so that he could have made informed decisions.
Rush is not that kind of person. He is so arrogant to think he is the only one who can understand Destiny and make decisions for everyone. And when it’s going down he blames other (see his nervous breakdown in Darkness).
@Michael A. Burstein
I echoe you on your post. Eli letting Riley talk him into violating James privacy as a way of him getting back on James is a good point. I didn’t think of that. And I wasn’t annoyed by the scene. I found it funny that they were caught and how James promised them to kick their ass. Same with Col. Young’s “Go help now.” at the end. He is clearly pissed off that they have no better things to do in this situation than playing immature boys. But maybe this is just my european cultural background speaking here.
Oh, and by the way. Greer was in Darkness. Mess scene, shuttle scene and corridor scene with the kino.
Joe, you’re right about cat sitters being more popular. I don’t live in that large of a metro area, only ~400k here, and we found a cat sitter to give one of our cats insulin shots (newly diagnosed with feline diabetes). I can only imagine that is because cats require very little attention. Even with this sitter having to give a shot, it’s just the shot, food, do a quick scoop of the cat boxes and then leave. Probably max 10 mins. With dogs I imagine just taking them outside is at least 10 mins or so. Then only coming twice a day I imagine would be stressful for them (dogs)
Food + SGU questions! 😀 I’ve seen images of the part of Destiny that houses large wheel rotary devices and display stands with food. It appears as though it’s all plant life. Are we going to have a “forced vegetarian” lifestyle change for the crew aboard Destiny? 😮 Also, any chances of any of your favorite dishes finding their way to SGU? 🙂
Sounds as though your Birthday was a low-key but enjoyable day. Hope your dinner went well!
Thanks to all for your feedback on Joe’s Q&A. Those that have pointed out a few missing entries, thanks! I’ll update it. Joe, if you think you could ever use any part of the Q&A for your own site, just let me know and I’ll send you the source. Saves all that typing.
Joe, now I have a question for you. Since you said your New Year’s resolution was going to be to drink more and now that you’re cooking from home more often, have you become a drink a glass of wine while you cook person?
How’s the laptop going?
I’m shopping for a new laptop for work at the moment as well. I’m laughing at the one that has a fragranced keyboard (Musky Black or Morning Dew) and apparently has a hint of sparkle (this laptop had better not be about Twilight). And you know what, I’m getting it. It’s spec’d to the max! Although I was daring my business partner to call the store and only ask the questions:
1. Which fragrance is available?
2. What colour are the sparkles?
Damn it he wouldn’t do it.
Just one more and I’ll shut up. Regarding “spying” on people, the key element is “expectation of privacy.” James is walking down a public corridor. Chloe obviously knows Eli is standing right there and is okay with it. So, no spying going on. Bad manners maybe, but no more than that.
@ Narelle – Not sure it’s appropriate for a young lady to be asking Joey about his ‘laptop’…
@ Tammy Dixon
Tammy, you’re welcome. I try.
“You addressed a lot of gender issues in your post, but you left out an elephant in the room: it is harder to write central, driving roles in adventure for female characters than for male characters.”
I’m not sure if it’s harder to do that, so much as your second point is valid, that it’s harder for audiences to accept these characters. And yet, in a world in which we’ve seen characters like Xena and Buffy, why does this keep coming up? I wish I could figure it out.
“Michael Burstein’s point about preparing the fans for a show unlike past shows is a good one. ”
I actually got the concept from Lawrence Block, in one of his essays on writing. He discusses setting up a world of violence from the outset, so your readers know what to expect. Ironically, Block himself lost me in one of the middle Matt Scudder novels, which was much more violent than the previous ones had been, at least to my taste.
I think your point does speak to a broader problem, which is that consumers of fiction, at least in the USA, will still assume a character’s “default” to be white male heterosexual Christian, until told otherwise.
@ Nina K.P.
“Eli letting Riley talk him into violating James privacy as a way of him getting back on James is a good point. I didn’t think of that. And I wasn’t annoyed by the scene. I found it funny that they were caught and how James promised them to kick their ass. Same with Col. Young’s ‘Go help now.’ at the end. He is clearly pissed off that they have no better things to do in this situation than playing immature boys. But maybe this is just my european cultural background speaking here.”
Americans (or maybe I should say USAins) do have a cultural hang-up about things like this. In my mind, the scene was meant to echo the obligatory “boys spying on girls” scene that have appeared in American teen sex comedies since Porky’s (which, I hasten to note, was actually a Canadian film). So I can see exactly why the scene will resonate differently for different people. Some will see it as an innocent prank, but others will see a continued tradition of the objectification of women.
Where do I stand? If I think something fits the plot, and grows organically out of the characterization without seeming tacked on, I accept it. So for me, I could see Eli doing what he did and accept it for SGU, even though in real life I would find such behavior reprehensible.
I hope you had a lovely birthday dinner, Joe.
@Narelle I thought you were supposed to sip a glass of wine while you cook…
and scented keyboards – really? That is too funny! What kind of computer is the sparkle-farkle one you’re getting? I don’t think I could handle a scented keyboard unless it’s something like sandalwood – flowery stuff gives me a headache. But I wouldn’t mind sparkles if the computer had everything I wanted on it.
@Michael A. Burstein I appreciate your comments! For myself, when I talk about having “strong” women on SGU, I really mean that the women, at times at least, get to drive the story forward. I do believe characters like James are “strong” in the internal fortitude/toughness sense. My issue is that the way the female characters were defined, and the roles into which they were placed, it is very hard to see how any of them will ever be the dominant “actors” in a situation. While SG-1 had a female lead scientist and SGA a female civilian leader, SGU’s power positions are all male. Maybe it’s “scorekeeping”, but it seems a step backward in Stargate history.
I’d also say the men aren’t driving the story much either, YET. Mostly they’re running around helplessly as the ship does what it wants. But they are looking to each other for ideas, while the women stand on the sidelines or mop their brows.
I do agree with you the characters are behaving believably, given how they were defined. To me this show is like a game of The Sims, where a set of characters was created and thrown into a scenario with a set of initial conditions to see what happens. Things are evolving organically from that point, and I give the writers great credit for that. But there are risks to this approach: Will the the evolving story remain interesting? Will it be offensive? Will the assertion that it’s all consistent with the initial conditions mollify the audience? Moreover how can mid-course corrections be made, when the box of characters is fixed aside from the stones conceit?
@jlgrand – I have worked in diverse work environments as well. And that is the point, they were DIVERSE. You are making my point for me. Thanks.
@Mary – I love the point that you made when you said “You’re suggesting that there are a bunch of cooks and janitors and soldiers and no one else and the cooks and janitors can’t learn anything? I don’t think you really mean that. ”
I also think that there is a strong likelihood of these people having skills outside of their jobs that could be used in running/maintaining the ship. Just because someone is a cook doesn’t mean that this is all they know how to do. I hope to see more “diversity” among the different rankings on the ship as things play out more.
On a lighter note, I finally watched the Daniel Jackson tutorials – they were a hoot! I loved the one on ascension with all of the blinking at the end. That was great.
Peace & Love,
“@Michael Burstein: That said, I have my own take on the issue of how SGU has portrayed women and their interactions with the other characters on the show so far, which I hope might make some people think a little more about their concerns.”
I have to confess I didn’t find your arguements compelling.
“1. It is true that we might not yet have a full picture of the women on the show as strong characters, but I’m not sure we have a full picture of anyone yet on the show.”
So far we have had 4 hours of the show which has chronicled several crisis and threats to survival. So far we have yet to see a single female character that was more than wallpaper. At best that tells us that there isn’t a single female who is crucial to the mission. There was, however, plenty of time to tell us TMI about Scott’s life.
“2. And that said, the men aren’t necessarily coming off as strong either. All of them seem to be dealing with their own weaknesses and demons just as they’re trying to handle the situation they’ve all been thrown into. I think the issue we’re seeing is that the men in the group were already in leadership positions that required certain survival skills, and that at the start those skills have to be placed in the forefront.”
The “Chief Medical Officer” doesn’t have survival skills that have to be placed to the forefront? Actually you have provided a reason why the portrayal of female characters has been SO unrealistic to date.
“3. It is totally believable that Chloe would want a shower, and that Eli would accommodate her.”
Everyone wanted a shower. They said that in the mess scene. As to Chloe – we have been told that she wasn’t simply “window dressing” as her father’s aide. Which is it? Strong talented assistant or the “little girl” that needs protection?
“4. Eli’s actions are also very believable. Eli is one of the more realistic characters on television whose maturity is arrested. He’s awkward around women, although it’s clear he respects them. As for the scene with the kino and Lt. James, it seems to me that a) Eli is blowing off steam in his own way, feeling like the social inappropriateness of his actions are forgivable because of how far they are from home, and b) he’s getting back at James in some small way for manipulating him into the confrontation earlier in the episode.”
Yeah, that bodes well for the future of the expedition.
The survival of the company is in peril and a major character is engaging in petty revenge and/or harrassing women to “feel better”.
“5. And make no mistake about it, Lt. James is a strong woman.”
Why? Certainly we haven’t seen anything so far that tells us that. As to what “may” happen in the future …
Give me a reason to hang around long enough to find out. So far, I haven’t seen one.
“6. But…well…I have to agree that some of the sexualization we’ve seen, while absolutely realistic, does go farther than anything Stargate has done before. I think more might have gone into preparing the SG1 and SGA audience for that. (My own take is that I have no objection to such things, but I want to know going in exactly how the tone has changed. It’s like reading a gritty mystery novel that opens with a violent scene; it prepares the reader for the violence to come. If I were to start reading a “cozy” mystery novel and come to graphic descriptions of violence in the middle of the book, I’d be unprepared for it and possibly put off for a while.)”
“Absolutely realistic”? Are you serious?
Even worse, would you really have “no objection” to it in your workplace? For that matter, is spying on women with electronic equipment “realistic” in your workplace?
(Yes, I have overstated your comments a bit, but, frankly, I did find them to be somewhat UNrealistic.)
I recall a late season scene from “BSG”.
It was gritty, raw, throughly unpleasant and realistic within the context of the storyline. It also involved two characters engaged in sex in a washroom, but didn’t objectify the female.
“Good” Sharon, badly beaten, and terrified for her daughter’s safety is forced to listen and watch while her husband mistakenly has sex with “bad” Sharon in the washroom. Betrayed by the man she loves (albeit not deliberately), but she has to endure it all so that she can escape to try and save her child.
THAT was a “strong woman”. Lt. James – not so far.
@Mary: “Finally, Joe, regarding the role of women in the show, I know that you keep saying that we should wait and there will be more for the women to do, it’s early days yet, etc. That’s all well and good, and I could accept it much more easily IF what we’ve seen of the women so far weren’t so offensive, if the women looked like they were more important in the story than as sex objects, and if there hadn’t been so much shown of, for example, Scott’s background and fantasies. There’s a huge imbalance here. The women have been established as sex objects to be exploited, as whiny little girls, or as nonentities. It’s going to be really hard to turn that around.”
I would have to second this.
I have not, in the past, thought the lack of female writers on the staff was a big deal. Great female characters existed in SG1 and SGA without female writers creating them.
But, it doesn’t mean some obvious things don’t get missed.
A bunch of women are on a ship thousands of light years from home and the commander of the project is physically impaired and not in the strongest position.
And not one of the women is concerned about what could happen next if the command structure falls apart? Not believing it.
A far more realistic scene would have been Chloe asking Eli to show her the shower only to have him walk into a room full of women – including Wray and TJ. Wray and TJ would be able to keep track of Young’s actions but they would need Eli to find out what Rush was doing. They would want him on their side.
But, then it would have tough to work in the extended shower and underwear scene (complete with boob camera angle).
Very kind of you to comment on my questions, I very, very much appreciate it!
I just read your post from January (catching up) on DVDs and Blu-Ray discs. I work as an engineer on things related, so I feel I can offer a little bit of insight.
I don’t see why everyone feels as if they should rush out and re-purchase all the titles they like in Blu-Ray format. A Blu-Ray player will very nicely upscale your old DVDs. Well, most Blu-Ray players. So you can still enjoy your current DVD library, until the optical substrate starts disintegrating. 🙂 I’m sorry, did you expect them to last forever? 🙂
Moreover, the Blu-Ray standard mandates the H.264 video compression these days, but the process of mastering good quality H.264 video is still rather involved. The encoders (the video compression hardware) are still new, the H.264 standard is relatively new. Bottom line: new titles will currently get more attention than the old ones during the production.
So what? Well, for foreseeable time the best policy is to get only new titles in Blu-Ray format. After all, they will be in high definition. As the economy improves, people will shift their purchases to Blu-Ray, and the economy of scale will bring down the cost of Blu-Ray titles. Finally, as the H.264 video compression production systems mature, it will make it cost-effective to produce old titles in Blu-Ray format. By then, some of your older DVDs will need replacing anyway. 🙂
But what if the new standard comes along?
Not likely. And even if it does, the players will still be backward compatible to DVDs and Blu-Ray discs. I mean, take a look around. Just a year ago you could still buy black-and-white TV sets that would work with the analog broadcasts. And that is well over 50 years after the NTSC broadcasting system was launched! As someone who works in this industry, I can tell you that I only wish it would move faster, not slower. It can’t move any slower.
Media-less distribution seems unlikely to me. It’s too messy. How often do you lose your internet connection? How often are you somewhere where you don’t have one, or have to pay extra for one? I’m sure we all yearn to have our playback systems verify that we can watch something we already paid for. I know I don’t. I’ll pay for it up-front, thank you very much, and watch when I please. Also, even the fastest broadband connections are simply too slow for media-less distribution in HD these days. And if I’m not watching it in HD, what’s the point of having spent money on my HD TV set?
Finally, on more up-to-date blog posts, I cannot recommend a Mac highly enough as a laptop or a desktop. Having worked with computers for 22 years, I’ve worked with all kinds of operating systems and computer hardware. Four years ago, having finally gotten sick of putting up with Windows and waiting for Linux to grow up, I bought a Mac laptop. I haven’t looked back. It lets you just get your work done without getting in your way.
People will complain it’s too expensive. Well, you get what you pay for. If you configure a PC to match a Mac, you will be shocked how close in price they are.
People will complain that you’re “drinking the cool-aid.” They are just envious that they didn’t buy a Mac when they had a chance.
People will tell you that you can’t run this or that software on it. It’s not true.
Finally, those same people who have been complaining about your Mac ownership will buy a Mac. And find out why you’ve been having so much happier computer usage experience.
Of course, ultimately it’s your decision, and I can only hope that my comments are somewhat helpful. I also hope that whatever you choose to go with, that you will be happy, and that it will make you productive. However, if you do choose to go with a PC, I would recommend that you wait to see if Windows 7 is better than Vista was/is. Then again, that wouldn’t be too difficult. 🙂
#-Why don’t the use the stone’s for … expert help.
– This will be addressed later.#
I shall make a point of telling people this all over the internet when i see them saying this show is filled with stupid characters who should have tried this a long time ago *g*
“Give me a reason to hang around long enough to find out. So far, I haven’t seen one.”
Nope. There is no reason for you to hang around. Bye.
@ Michelle says
“My issue is that the way the female characters were defined, and the roles into which they were placed, it is very hard to see how any of them will ever be the dominant “actors” in a situation. While SG-1 had a female lead scientist and SGA a female civilian leader, SGU’s power positions are all male. Maybe it’s “scorekeeping”, but it seems a step backward in Stargate history.”
Michelle, I guess what I’m projecting onto the show is what I would do to move the story forward myself. One of my own favorite plots is the little tailor, the story of the person who is thrust into a situation too large to handle and yet somehow manages to handle it. I’ve already thought about how characters like Wray and James will be able to show exactly how powerful they can be.
Also, isn’t Wray supposed to be in a power position, given that she represents the civilian agency that oversees the Stargate program? In a way, she’s actually the ranking person on Destiny. But yeah, it hasn’t been presented that way as of yet.
@ Rose (formerly OhioAnne)
I’m not sure if I’m able to make my arguments compelling, but let see if I can at least make it clearer where I’m coming from.
Point 1: I don’t know if we have seen TMI about Scott’s life, but I do agree that we’ve seen more about some characters than others. For the moment, those characters have been the men. If it weren’t for the fact that I know that this creative team has given us strong female characters before, I’d probably feel the same way you do about the short shrift. But for the moment, given how huge the ensemble is, and possibly because of my own biases, I’m seeing this as luck of the draw.
Point 2: I thought that TJ did come off as strong, in her insistence to Talford that the body he was occupying had to get some rest. I can easily see her pulling rank as CMO. But at the same time, she doesn’t think she belongs there, just like the rest of them, and that also comes through in her portrayal.
Point 3: I don’t see wanting a shower as the equivalent of being a little girl who wants protection. I see her as strong because of the way she plays Eli. She knows that she can get him to help her out with a little flirting, and so she does so. She’s strong enough to try to order Eli to help her, but she’s smart enough to know that won’t work.
Also, her father just died, practically in front of her. If anything, she’s too strong as it seems to have stopped bothering her within hours of it happening.
Point 4: Note that I didn’t say that Eli’s actions were admirable, simply that they were believable. I think Rush’s actions were believable too, and I hate his guts for what he did. I agree that Eli’s actions don’t bode well for the future; and I’d expect him to get his comeuppance soon.
Point 5: I based my interpretation on James being strong in the way she admitted privately on tape that she’s scared, but that she’s still able to trick Eli into a confrontation.
Point 6: You misinterpreted what I said, so let me make it clearer. First of all, what I have “no objection” to is not the sexualization of the workplace, but the acknowledgment on television that humans are sexual creatures and that sex exists. Years ago, when Lucy became pregnant on “I Love Lucy,” the show had to use circumlocution to mention the topic. (I think the phrase they used was “in the family way.”) Years later, All in the Family had the first sound of a toilet flushing on television, and the country was almost scandalized. Television shows no longer hide these things from their audience, but assume that we’re mature enough to know that these things are real and exist.
I would absolutely object to these things in my workplace, but in fiction, that’s a different matter. (Aside: ever notice how a lot of romantic pursuit in TV and movies would be considered stalking in real life? And yet audiences go along with it.) I want my fiction to acknowledge that people sweat, go to the bathroom, and have sex, among the many other things people do. If writers are told that certain topics are off-limits for their fiction, they can’t create an accurate mirror with which to evaluate the world.
Why do I consider these things realistic for SGU, other than the fact that they’re being acknowledged? Well, Destiny is not my workplace. The people who were living at Icarus Base and are now on Destiny have been thrust into probably the most stressful situation human beings have ever been in. People under stress do a lot of things they wouldn’t do otherwise. I can see these characters reacting this way.
So again, let me make one point clear one more time: I do not find these behaviors admirable or respectable, nor would I accept them in my workplace. I find these behaviors believable for these characters in their situation.
@ Michael A. Burstein – BTW, thanks for hanging out here.
Why does it keep coming up?
For me, I want to understand everything I can about what makes something marketable. We aren’t all Joss Whedons who can hook 100% of a niche like a Buffy audience.
If something as simple as picking the gender of a central character affects the size of your potential market, that’s very significant.
A science fiction audience is still a niche, but the genre is broadening and I can only assume that is because there is a larger market out there that is ready to be catered to. As the genre broadens into more “character-driven” stories (whatever that means), it’ll be interesting to see if the slow-won progress toward some Janeways in TV science fiction will be lost to more marketable characters in the vein of Twilight’s Bella.
I can lament about the way things are fiction writing and be a total sell-out at the same time. I’d write a Bella in a heartbeat if I knew that many adverbs to apply to “chews cafeteria food”. (It was on CD and I stopped listening when the forearm-touching started, I swear).
@Michael A. Burnstein
I noticed there was only one female dog in all of 101 Dalmations – the mother (besides a couple nameless pups with bit lines). All those operatives in the barking chain and the pups that had names were male. The tendency in a lot of writing seems to be to make characters male by default and only female when there is a specific reason to go that way.
@Mary — Wow, you must really just hate the show; I don’t see you ever posting anything you like about any episode, just everything you dislike. Why are you still watching then?
We had our book club meeting Sunday night and I was telling everyone about SGU and when I mentioned that Robert Carlyle was in it, ears finally popped up and listened. It was more like, “Robert Carlyle? I love Robert Carlyle? Really? He’s starring in this show on Syfy? They couldn’t comprehend the thought. Potentially 4 new viewers headed that way.
As far as Rush goes, I don’t think many people are remembering that this man lost the love of his life (from unknown circumstances). I think he drives himself to work because he doesn’t want to feel that pain. We saw some of that pain in the 2-hour premiere. I can totally relate to that idea.
As far as Lt. James goes, I guess the line, “I can and will kick your ass” isn’t tough enough for you all? Then her confession to the kino about being scared. Many of us women are sometimes scared but we have to put on a brave front because it is expected or because we’ll sometimes be viewed as being weak if we show any hint of emotion.
Yes, the kinos were very reminescent in this episode of Letters From Pegasus. I like when they are spying on people the best or Eli has them recording particularly important conversations. I think the kinos seem to be taking on the role as ship’s counselor, too.
As far as TJ is concerned, I get the feeling she fell in love with Col Young or perhaps, since we know she is pregnant from the Syfy lunch with Amanda Tapping in real life, maybe the pregnancy gets written in (guess it depends on when season 2 starts shooting). Or perhaps she was in love with him, but he was still in love with his wife, and she felt she couldn’t work with him anymore which is why she wanted to leave. Or she found out she was pregnant and decided to leave.
I had many favorite moments in Darkness — the “Recipes” line, the fact that Eli used his IPhone as a flashlight for Chloe.
As far as people saying no one is “doing anything” if you recall at the beginning of the episode, people WERE doing things, and draining power doing them. That one group (that Haig Sutherland was in) had figured out how to recharge their powered things–pretty impressive). Colonel Young had to go around to tell them to stop at Rush’s request. Then the power went off. Hasn’t anybody in the group been in a wicked storm (let’s say) and the power goes out and you are confined to a building and can’t leave? You have no access to anything. The phones are out, so you can’t call anyone. If you are in a storm that goes on for hours, like a hurricane or typhoon or whatever, you probably are going to be stuck there for at least 12 hours or longer if flooding occurs. I don’t care if you are an engineer, a cook, or whatever; at that moment, you are just a person stuck with nothing to do. I dare you to try this experiment. One night, turn off all the lights. Use a small flashlight. No internet, no TV, no radio, no reading books, no knitting, no washing dishes. Just do absolutely nothing (sit down or walk around, but absolutely nothing else) Want to see how a group would respond? Invite your family. A few of us would have problems making it 10 minutes; we’d be bored out of our skulls by 1 hour; by 3 hours I bet most of us would be ready to quit. By 3 hours, your kids and significant other might be whining that this is the most stupid thing you’ve ever suggested and they don’t want to be there. Then tell them, you have no choice, you have to be here. Then see what happens. That is exactly what is happening on Destiny.
As far as no strong females, too, none of the women were ranked high enough. So it is logical that Rush is taking charge of the scientific things; it is logical that Colonel Young (and Scott while Young was unconscious) took control of the military and to keep order). It wouldn’t have made sense for Lt. James to step forward (that would go outside the chain of command). TJ stepped up immediately into her role as highest ranking officer with medical experience. She took charge. Chloe has led a very privileged life, but she is extremely intelligent (political science major). Someone like that, and the fact that she just lost her father, is feeling a bit vulnerable right now, and is turning to the 2 people who have comforted her right now — Matt and Eli. They happen to be men. I’m sure she will bond with the ladies soon enough. Camille Wray probably is compiling that list of people for Colonel Young that tells him who they have aboard and what their skills are. She also seemed to be the counselor of sorts on Icarus Base, so she is likely to know info that even Colonel Young doesn’t know. Just because it didn’t happen “on camera” doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Remember she is a member of the IOA and she likely was working with Colonel Young at Icarus. Once TJ resigned, perhaps she fell under Camille’s responsibilities and since nothing was formalized, yes, Colonel Young was totally in his right to recall her to active duty.
RE: The 2 scientists that went to the other planet, maybe the kino saw the conditions were right on that planet to support life, but once they got through the gate, some creature ate them, something the kino might not have spotted before they fled through there.
Out of all 4 episodes (the 2-hour pilot, and the 2 subsequent episodes), the only issues I have that caused problems for me were the medical stuff in Air I/II that was cleared by their medical consultant on the show as being accurate.
Just felt I wanted to share that since some of the comments being made seemed to forget certain pieces of information from the shows, and my possible ideas of where some of the answers might be for things they haven’t been shown (like what Camille Wray is doing at the moment).
“Lost” had the same problem focusing in on so many cast members in the time they had, but it did rather well, but you have to be patient. And each found a way to contribute over time (and going back and forth through time). I think BSG had a pretty big cast and several secondary cast members who had storylines. They did just fine, too. But you had to be patient.
Although I like the more modern take on the Stargate franchise (better camerawork, beter music choices) I really dislike the fact that I’m almost looking at Desperate Housewives or As the world turns. It a lot of drama, a lot of dramatic personal interactions in a roller coaster, well you get the idea.
I really miss, among other things, one of the corner stones of the original Stargate series and movies: the humor. No cynicism at all, nothing like Jack vs Daniel or Sheppard vs McKay. That makes it especially boring, there isn’t a real core team that’s used to each other.
Allthough I understand it is necessary to come up with something new, I don’t have the feeling I’m watching that is in the footsteps of the Stargate franchise. Too bad, really.
“Give me a reason to hang around long enough to find out. So far, I haven’t seen one.”
Nope. There is no reason for you to hang around. Bye.”
Just for that I will have to hang I have post MORE often about this show. LOL!!!!!!
“on October 19, 2009 at 8:07 pm Michael A. Burstein
Michelle, I guess what I’m projecting onto the show is what I would do to move the story forward myself. ”
I understand that. But we all can’t be projecting the same thing. Therefore the quesiton is whether the show is compelling enough to stick around long enough to find out if what we hope happens does happen.
Let’s pretend for a moment that we take the entire question of how women out of the equation:
The answer would still be “no” at this point. The episodes have seemed padded and slow to date. As to “character” moments, I found Teyla and Ronon’s conversation after he killed his old commander to tell me more about their characters than all the KINO scenes to date.
@ Rose (formerly OhioAnne)
“I’m not sure if I’m able to make my arguments compelling, but let see if I can at least make it clearer where I’m coming from.”
You are good sport.
“Point 1: I don’t know if we have seen TMI about Scott’s life, but I do agree that we’ve seen more about some characters than others. For the moment, those characters have been the men. If it weren’t for the fact that I know that this creative team has given us strong female characters before, I’d probably feel the same way you do about the short shrift. But for the moment, given how huge the ensemble is, and possibly because of my own biases, I’m seeing this as luck of the draw.”
I find it to be most improbable from the aspect of “luck of the draw” view.
“Point 2: I thought that TJ did come off as strong, in her insistence to Talford that the body he was occupying had to get some rest. I can easily see her pulling rank as CMO. But at the same time, she doesn’t think she belongs there, just like the rest of them, and that also comes through in her portrayal.”
I actually do see the problems with TJ’s portrayal as being different from the problems with the other female characters. There have been repeated “hints” about why she has done what she has done. (So “repeated” that they are already tiresome.) Those “hints” have actually worked to call into question the strength of her character.
It’s serving to hold her back. She actually seems to be walking through scenes on autopilot.
“Point 3: I don’t see wanting a shower as the equivalent of being a little girl who wants protection. I see her as strong because of the way she plays Eli. She knows that she can get him to help her out with a little flirting, and so she does so. She’s strong enough to try to order Eli to help her, but she’s smart enough to know that won’t work.
Also, her father just died, practically in front of her. If anything, she’s too strong as it seems to have stopped bothering her within hours of it happening.”
I didn’t see my father die in front of me, but I was one of the last ones to see him alive. When I received word that he had been found, I “cleaned up” my desk and my calendar for the week I would be gone before I told anyone what had happened. I was out the door five minutes later.
I’m sure that you are not suggesting that meeting your responsibilities/doing what you can to help out is not an indication that the death of a parent doesn’t “bother” someone.
Are you suggesting that “strength” is defined by how manipulative a character is?
“Point 4: Note that I didn’t say that Eli’s actions were admirable, simply that they were believable. I think Rush’s actions were believable too, and I hate his guts for what he did. I agree that Eli’s actions don’t bode well for the future; and I’d expect him to get his comeuppance soon.”
My problem is that I don’t see much that seems believable.
I have been trained to work with disaster victims. Sure, there will be a few that act that way, but virtually everyone?
“Point 5: I based my interpretation on James being strong in the way she admitted privately on tape that she’s scared, but that she’s still able to trick Eli into a confrontation.”
Again, “strong” women are “manipulative”women????
“Point 6: You misinterpreted what I said, so let me make it clearer. First of all, what I have “no objection” to is not the sexualization of the workplace, but the acknowledgment on television that humans are sexual creatures and that sex exists. Years ago, when Lucy became pregnant on “I Love Lucy,” the show had to use circumlocution to mention the topic. (I think the phrase they used was “in the family way.”) Years later, All in the Family had the first sound of a toilet flushing on television, and the country was almost scandalized. Television shows no longer hide these things from their audience, but assume that we’re mature enough to know that these things are real and exist.”
And there was never a time in the Stargate “universe” that I ever questioned that these behaviors existed. There is a space between showing everything and showing nothing that gets the point across without shoving it your face in the first 15 minutes in a show billed as “family”.
“I would absolutely object to these things in my workplace, but in fiction, that’s a different matter. (Aside: ever notice how a lot of romantic pursuit in TV and movies would be considered stalking in real life? And yet audiences go along with it.) I want my fiction to acknowledge that people sweat, go to the bathroom, and have sex, among the many other things people do. If writers are told that certain topics are off-limits for their fiction, they can’t create an accurate mirror with which to evaluate the world. ”
With all due respect, you comments are contradictory and therefore confusing. (I tried reading the whole response together to see if it explained the contradiction, but it did not.)
If this behavior in the workplace is objectionable in your opinion, then why would you not object to a portrayal of a workplace where it has been so far considered “acceptable”?
“Why do I consider these things realistic for SGU, other than the fact that they’re being acknowledged? Well, Destiny is not my workplace. The people who were living at Icarus Base and are now on Destiny have been thrust into probably the most stressful situation human beings have ever been in. People under stress do a lot of things they wouldn’t do otherwise. I can see these characters reacting this way.
So again, let me make one point clear one more time: I do not find these behaviors admirable or respectable, nor would I accept them in my workplace. I find these behaviors believable for these characters in their situation.”
Based on what? The only information we have is that they have been working together for a long time (which is what we have been told) but now they appear to have no idea who each other are or what skill sets they have (which is what we have seen).
Based on the first, they should have it more together. Based on the second, Rush should be locked in a cabin by now.
“BTW, thanks for hanging out here.”
Um, you’re welcome! I’m having fun. It reminds me of the old days when we used to chat with JMS on GEnie about Babylon 5.
Regarding what you say, the fact is that every choice a writer makes in crafting a work of fiction inevitably limits the audience for that fiction. For example, you and I like SF and are already inclined to watch a show like SGU; someone who professes a hatred for the genre would never even try the show once, and we’d probably shake our heads at them. But tastes differ, and that’s the way it goes.
The question I have is that television (and other media) characters seem to go in cycles, and the “strong woman” character is one that should now be a staple of storytelling. And yet, a lot of people see that type of character disappearing, and I’m not sure why. I’m pretty sure there are a lot of strong woman characters on TV right now; I can think of some from Castle, FlashForward, Lost, Law and Order: SVU, just off the top of my head. But a lot of woman viewers disagree with my assessment, and I’m trying to figure out why.
(This isn’t just academic; I’m working on a book with a woman detective, and I want her to come off as strong as possible. If I don’t manage to make her believable to women, I’ve lost the battle there.)
As for the one female dog in 101 Dalmations: this has been a problem in many movies and TV shows for years. Remember how there were all those smurfs but one Smurfette? I still recall the day that Sesame Street realized that the default for almost all their animal muppets of indeterminate gender was that they were male. They immediately began to fix this problem; for example, in a retelling of the three little pigs, the pigs were two brothers and a sister. (It’s something.)
And again, for me this goes beyond academic. I’m now the father of three-month-old twin daughters; I’d like them to grow up enjoying the same SF and comics that I enjoy. I want them to find strong female characters that they can relate to or consider role models, so they will learn that nothing in this world is beyond them.
@ Rose :
More point by point, on the ones for which I feel qualified to respond….
On point 3, I also have to view how a character reacts to a parent’s death through my own experiences. Both when my father and mother died, I had a lot of details and things to take care of but would have fallen apart without the support of the people around me. When I see a character on TV being able to process the death of a parent in a way that would have been impossible for me, I tend to see it as a sign of strength.
As for the question, “Are you suggesting that “strength” is defined by how manipulative a character is?” the answer is no. I’m saying that strength is defined in many ways, one of which is the ability to take decisive action. I am not equating “strong” and “manipulative.” I am saying that someone strong might have as one of their characteristics the ability to manipulate a situation to their benefit. (For example, Rush clearly manipulated the situation so he could test his theory about the Stargate.)
As for point 6, let me see if I can respond to this question:
“If this behavior in the workplace is objectionable in your opinion, then why would you not object to a portrayal of a workplace where it has been so far considered “acceptable”?”
First of all, I don’t think this behavior have been presented as acceptable. I’m assuming from the previous comments that you’re referring to Eli’s spying. Well, as soon as Eli got caught spying, he got chewed out by the commander. That doesn’t seem like the workplace considered his behavior acceptable.
Let me make it clear one more time what I meant: what I don’t object to is that television shows can and now do deal with issues of life that used to be swept under the rug or hidden away due to broadcast standards and censorship. That is what I meant when I said, “My own take is that I have no objection to such things, but I want to know going in exactly how the tone has changed.” The “such things” I referred to was the increase in sexual (and other) situations as being things that could be presented and discussed on television.
On a broader level, though, should I object to the portrayal of societies in fiction where things that they consider acceptable we consider abhorrent? The second part of your question, “why would you not object to a portrayal of a workplace where it has been so far considered “acceptable”?”” seems to imply that I should refrain from reading books like 1984 because I object to Orwell’s portrayal of an absolute dictatorship as acceptable. If we were to extend this standard further, we would never read such thought-provoking fiction as “Those Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula K. LeGuin or “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. Both of those portray societies I think we would consider unacceptable, but that shouldn’t mean that the books should not have been published.
When the people on destiny go off-world, do they dial 7 chevrons to get back to the ship or do they dial the 9 chevron “code” to get back?
@Michael A. Burstein
Did you say JMS? I read his scriptwriting book this year. His outlining advice for one-hour TV was dead on and I can testify it gives evenly spaced act breaks and just the right page counts.
Cute pug and Jason pics. Thanks! 🙂
I giggled when people said Jason is scheduled to play Drogo in an upcoming miniseries. I thought, “Jason’s going to play Frodo’s father?” LOL!
Thanks for the hefty mailbag and SGU talk. My hub (an offline SG fan) and I have discussed the SGU eps and I have these comments.
What we find interesting is that these characters could do “anything.” We’ve seen people hit each other, lie, squirrel away food, challenge each other, peek, and have a breakdown. Although we’ve seen some of this same behavior in SG-1 and SGA, there was an original baseline for who the characters were and we knew they wouldn’t cross a certain line. I mean, I can’t see Jack or Shep or even McKay sneaking off with the communication stones and coming back saying, “I’m in charge!”
This is not a criticism on any of the characters, just an observation that the usual SG comfort zone of “the team members put the team and Earth’s security first, followed closely by a general concern for humanity.” I wonder if that’s why some people are reacting so negatively to some of the characters. It’s like there isn’t a character to really root for. (for whom to root?)
As for Darkness, I enjoyed the ep. I really liked the Kino Confessions scenes. (Thanks for Lt. Scott praying. Nice to see real belief in an SG character.) Lots of character development (or decline in the case of Rush) to digest. He’s refusing any help because he doesn’t want to spend any time explaining. Volker, Brody, Park, etc. could be very helpful in getting Destiny back on track, but he won’t get them started. I could understand Rush’s attitude if he had to solve a huge problem in one minute, but he had hours and hours to at the very least point them at a panel and say “Figure this out!”
Still, I’m interested in seeing where Rush is going as a character.
My hub said at the end of Darkness, “OK, tell me one thing that happened in that episode.” Y’know, not much really happened. It was full of character-y goodness, but felt like a set-up show, rather than a full episode.
As for Eli peeking at Chloe, if she was really concerned, she’d’ve told him to get the heck outta there. And he didn’t see anything. If Eli made Chloe uncomfortable she would’ve dressed before calling for him when the lights went out.
Now, Eli and Riley peeking at Lt. James was worthy of them getting their asses kicked by said Lt., but not completely criminal, as asserted in other comments.
@ Mary You said
In Darkness, Eli says, “I don’t think the showers use water. They just spray a sort of mist that you kind of stand in and it sort of beads up. There’s one in the compartment off the crew quarters.”
So, Chloe wasn’t wasting water in her shower.
I am interested in seeing where Camille is going as a character too. I think she, as well as others, reacted in the first eps as if they expected to go home right away. If they weren’t very active in searching or learning or whatever, it is similar to how Shannon from LOST acted. She didn’t do anything for survival at first because she expected to be rescued in a day or so. I think Camille is realizing they are in for the long haul and is trying to help Young with the staff.
I thought Young’s interaction with the cook was interesting. The cook is willing to help. He knows things are crappy and wants to do whatever possible to get them all home safely. At the moment, though, Young doesn’t have new duties for him to do. Young is still trying to figure out who and what he has, therefore he tells the cook to keep working on recipes.
Frankly, they all seem a little depressed. Understandable, considering their situation. I think they’ll snap out of it soon.
1. If Scott’s Father ‘all but’ drank himself to death when Scott was 16, is it a flashback in the church? Scott says ‘the girl’ is 16 which IMPLIES that Scott is older. If so then the Father is dead. Or maybe it is not a flashback, but a hallucination where Father is actually the alien lifeform.
2. Is all this infighting ok for you? It seems a bit much at times for me, but I have a hard time reading all of it with my disability. Seems people could make their point with fewer words. But you seem to read like the wind.
3. I would take care of the pups, but I’m too far away. I always house-sit for my brother who has a menagerie (sp?). It seems to be better for the pets to have someone around all day. I even pet-sat (?) a ferret.
4. I have a tower with the glitter stuff and lights going on constantly. I can’t stand it, but haven’t had the energy to get into the chassis and unplug it and it doesn’t have a control anywhere. I’ve had it for 8 years+ and had it built to my specs with Windows OS (totally against my better judgement.) I run several architectural 2 and 3d programs, and a tight animation program. No problems except the glitter. It’s just too girly for me. Maybe you’ll like it on your laptop. With your connections, don’t you have a geek type just drooling to build one for you with free on-call maintenance?
@ DP says,
“Did you say JMS? I read his scriptwriting book this year. His outlining advice for one-hour TV was dead on and I can testify it gives evenly spaced act breaks and just the right page counts.”
I did indeed say JMS. I have a copy of his book, autographed, and found it very useful when adapting one of my stories, “Decisions,” into an audio play earlier this year. (The Chronic Rift podcast produced it.)
I’m also reading “Writing the TV Drama Series” by Pamela Douglas at the recommendation of Robert J. Sawyer, who is scripting an episode of FlashForward. Fascinating stuff. (Although my all-time favorite book on the TV biz is Robert Masello’s “A Friend in the Business.”
OK, this is getting confusing: 🙂
Rose: “If this behavior in the workplace is objectionable in your opinion, then why would you not object to a portrayal of a workplace where it has been so far considered “acceptable”?”
Michael: “First of all, I don’t think this behavior have been presented as acceptable. I’m assuming from the previous comments that you’re referring to Eli’s spying. Well, as soon as Eli got caught spying, he got chewed out by the commander. That doesn’t seem like the workplace considered his behavior acceptable.”
Rose: “Not on my screen, he didn’t. AFTER Young essentially covered for Eli and James (not supported by her commander) left, he sarcastically gave the peekers a sarcastic slap on the wrist.”
Micheal: “Let me make it clear one more time what I meant: what I don’t object to is that television shows can and now do deal with issues of life that used to be swept under the rug or hidden away due to broadcast standards and censorship. That is what I meant when I said, “My own take is that I have no objection to such things, but I want to know going in exactly how the tone has changed.” The “such things” I referred to was the increase in sexual (and other) situations as being things that could be presented and discussed on television.
On a broader level, though, should I object to the portrayal of societies in fiction where things that they consider acceptable we consider abhorrent? The second part of your question, “why would you not object to a portrayal of a workplace where it has been so far considered “acceptable”?”” seems to imply that I should refrain from reading books like 1984 because I object to Orwell’s portrayal of an absolute dictatorship as acceptable. If we were to extend this standard further, we would never read such thought-provoking fiction as “Those Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula K. LeGuin or “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. Both of those portray societies I think we would consider unacceptable, but that shouldn’t mean that the books should not have been published.”
Rose: “My quote was actually this and was meant to go together:
*With all due respect, you comments are contradictory and therefore confusing. (I tried reading the whole response together to see if it explained the contradiction, but it did not.)
If this behavior in the workplace is objectionable in your opinion, then why would you not object to a portrayal of a workplace where it has been so far considered “acceptable”?*
I was stating that your comment there appeared to be contradictory to me and gave the example. I was not referring to the greater question but to the *specific* behavior that you had addressed and nothing more. Sorry, but I still find the comment to be internally inconsistent.
Of course, I agree with your greater point. I personally find Scalzi’s first two books to be terrific, but would hardly want to live the life portrayed within. (I need to find time to read the rest.)
I just expect, if I am told someone is green, that they will actually BE green. “
@Bailey: is it true? no atlantis movie? damn
@Rose (formerly OhioAnne) – I completely agree with:
“Let’s pretend for a moment that we take the entire question of how women out of the equation:
The answer would still be “no” at this point. The episodes have seemed padded and slow to date. As to “character” moments, I found Teyla and Ronon’s conversation after he killed his old commander to tell me more about their characters than all the KINO scenes to date. ”
However, I have to take women and minorities out of the equation to come to the same conclusion (as of now.)
To be honest, it is interestingly enough, still the characters and their interactions on Atlantis that have me watching SGU so far. I remember how much I enjoyed those characters and know the SGA show was done by the same people that have come up with SGU. I am just waiting to get to the point where I can really like what I see, but it hasn’t happened yet. And, I am not sure that it will.
I really liked the Sheppard character, and the way he interacted with a team that eventually became a second family for him. I liked how he had a bit of a hero-complex, and how even though he didn’t wear his feelings on his sleeve, I could see how much he really cared by how much he tried to hide the fact that he did care, especially with the Teyla character. And Teyla, wasn’t she great. Now, there was a woman/minority that was the strong, wise, and beautiful leader of her people.
Ronon had a great backstory. I loved Beckett (the wee baby turtles line is my favorite in all of the Stargate stuff I’ve seen) and Weir, and Ford, and McKay. I could just keep going on about the potential that show had. Of course there were some changes made during the latter seasons that I didn’t agree with (mainly in who the main cast was – and sometimes a snide comment here or there that I found unnecessary), but the show was still worth coming back for.
Peace, Love, and Goodnight,
I’ve read a lot of these comments and the discussion seems to have heavily gone in the direction of the kino spying incident, the shower scene, and the objectification of women. I guess I’ll toss my opinion in to the ring.
I thought that Lt. James was in the hallway in her underwear, which is understandable considering that her clothes are likely dirty from escaping a collapsing underground base. Saying that I agree with the idea that she has little expectation of privacy. Do I think that people should follow someone around with a recording device because they are attractive, no I don’t. Do I look at attractive women, yes. Do I follow them around and record them, no. Further when I do look at someone I find attractive I’m not gawking, staring, or otherwise acting like a fool. And I’m normally looking at someone’s face since I find a cute face to be one of the more important physical features on a person.
Now I think it odd that few have mentioned that Lt. James used sexuality to manipulate Eli. Does that make Eli immature? I don’t think so. He may have thought that she was interested in him, but instead she tricked him into an awkward situation. When taking this in to account it’s possible that she’s just a sexually forward person. Which explains her and Scott’s thing in Air 1. Again we just don’t know these characters that well yet. Do I hold that against her, no. So far in the SG franchise we’ve seen only Carter, Dr. Fraiser, Dr. Lam, Vala, Dr. Wier, Teyla, Dr. Keller, the all women team, and a little bit of Amelia. Three of them have had any kind of on screen romance (to my recollection). Only Vala has been overtly sexual. Some people are like that and others are not. I think that’s just the nature of things. I don’t see it as either a good thing or a bad thing just something that’s part of her character.
Regarding the shower scene I think that it’s kind of a sweet moment between people who have become comfortable with each other to some degree. I suppose that I may not see that as a big deal especially since I went to a university with Co-Ed bathrooms in the dorms (there were individual toilet and shower stalls). It was never a big deal though.
On the issue of water usage I recall Eli saying that he didn’t use the ship’s water supply. Instead it used some other chemical that beaded up and cleaned in someway.
Finally I just want to say that when it comes to the objectification of women. I’d say that Stargate’s women characters thus far are people not objects, and perhaps as importantly are treated like people not objects. So far in SGU it feels the same way. There’s not a single female character who’s really been shown to be an object.
As an aside females aren’t the only gender to be objectified in Television and Film. When women look at men lustfully I highly doubt they are thinking that the on screen actor has great acting talent. In the end people happen to have sexual sides. I’m glad that’s being shown more in SciFi (I didn’t watch battlestar). I’ve said in other replies that I think that sex in a show without context and character isn’t good since it reduces the impact of something powerful, but when the situation warrants it it’s not bad. Comfort-ability between two friends in tough times is important. And a lapse into immaturity isn’t something that should be thought of too much.
Wow that was a rant… I feel like I’ve used my posting rations for a week or two.
Yes, I know, a day or two late in replying! Oh well! And I can’t read your latest entry because the UK is an ep behind on House!!
Answer: He’s being treated like a young nerd because, well, he is a young nerd. That said, he is far more mature than McKay was in his early years.
I agree. The thought of a ’48 Hours’ McKay on that ship, let alone a younger version, makes me shudder! I think Rush would suddenly become really quite popular compared to him!!! *bg*
Anyway, I’ve been watching SGU and I like it. Okay, not like SGA which I totally love and am obssessed with (!), but I didn’t expect to love it that much! I like it, it’s different and yet not too different. You have the character driven thing going of shows like BSG, but without the boring/doom laden feeling I got from that show! You have the action scenes that I like in some eps and then ‘slower’ eps like ‘Dark’, where the tension builds up to the ‘oh noes, heading into a sun’ bit in a way that works well here, but drove me mad in shows like Heroes (season 1, I gave up on it after that)! And you have nice touches of humour here and there, without overdoing it! And some excellent acting and fabulous FX!
So yes, I like. And I’m growing to like it more the more I see. I think it is quality, but I can see that some Stargate fans might not like it because it is different – but then some SG1 fans don’t like SGA for the same/similar reasons!
I’m not trying to deeply analyse the show, because I only do that with shows I get involved with (like SGA). As a pure entertainment show, it’s enjoyable and is quality made. Beyond that, atm I don’t care. I like it. I’m sticking to that!!
Why would a ship of incredible complexity, FTL travel, inertial dampners and artificial gravity which one would imagine consume vast amounts of power, shut off its lighting which even today uses an incredibly smaller amount of power in respect to others mentioned above.
Please don’t disregard inertial dampening and artificial gravity as something that always remains. Darkness could’ve had a great twist if the gravity cut out, and they had to float around the place.
“Chloe had the audacity to fall for someone else?”
You have got to be kidding me… They shared a mind blowing 15 seconds of dialogue and now we have to choke down the young lovers’ relationship over the course of the season.
Never before have I had such a strong desire for the male lead to be redshirted. Then again, all other male leads (Shepp, Mitchell, O’Neill) had admiring qualities and personalities.