Nah, I don’t want to get into it today either.  Soon though.

Despite another sleepless night, I was able to contribute to a fairly productive afternoon spin session in which we cemented the first half of season 2 and worked out further details on those initial five stories.  Looks like I won’t be doing episode 2 after all which is a shame as I was really looking forward to tackling what will be a wonderfully multi-character-centric story with a tough ethical dilemma at its core.  Instead, I’ll be switching over to 3 which, to be perfectly honest, would have been number five on my list of choices only because of the tech component of this particular story (techy scripts are on my personal No Fly list, coming in somewhere between Ancient storylines and anything involving replicator duplicates of our team reaching out to Atlantis).  Still, the late addition of another story element (which I initially pitched out for another episode) has certainly made 3 far more intriguing.

Hey, look who dropped by the other day to pick up his crew gift.  It’s Director Peter DeLuise!

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Director Peter DeLuise drops by to pick up his crew gift.

One of the great things about working on the lot is that you never know what you may stumble upon.  One day, it could be a someone torching a stuntman with a flamethrower (http://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2007/05/02/may-1-2007/), and another it could be something entirely different…

IMG_5338
What the heck is all this?
IMG_5340
Exec Producer Robert Cooper, Producer John G. Lenic, and SPFX Guru Wray Douglas wait for the show to begin.
IMG_5345
SPFX Maestro Scott Stofer preps the whatsis.
IMG_5346
The firing range.

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This poor extra had no idea what he was getting into.

Hey, check out this terrific take on SGU by Curt Wagner over at Chicago Now: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/show-patrol/2009/10/defending-my-series-stargate-universe.html

Mailbag:

Debra writes: “I don’t care about Chloe and who she has sex with… but your blowing off criticisms points out again that when it comes to any type of romantic relationship, the SG writers miss far more than they hit.”

Answer: I’m not blowing off criticism, merely pointing out that it doesn’t make sense to take the opinions of one small group as representative of general viewership.  Sure, it’s great to receive feedback and fan response does give us food for thought, but that doesn’t mean we need to start second-guessing the creative every time someone posts a critique.  To be brutally honest, there are there is the occasional fan input that does make us stop and consider while, on the flip side, you’ll have opinion that says more about the critic’s frame of mind or agenda than the actual episode.

Sylvia writes: “Heya Joe, mystery man is David Blue. And, since you showed it to us, enquiring minds want to know – please, what’s in the bag?”

Answer: Correct!  The mystery man WAS David Blue – who gifted me a nice bottle of wine.  Super guy.  And nicely done.  Now I’ll have to seriously argue for Eli’s survival.

DasNdanger writes: “And, finally – so then did you read the Old Man Logan arc, or not?”

Answer: I picked up the last half-dozen issues and did enjoy it.  I’ll pick up the trade paperback when it comes out.  My list of titles I’m reading has dwindled to a mere half dozen, not counting Scalped and The Walking Dead which I pick up as collected volumes.

Shadow Step writes: “Answer: There were several seed ships.”
Can you seed something of metal? Shouldn’t it be construction ships?”

Answer: Actually, we refer to them as seeder ships or, as my writing partner prefers, cedar ships – big honking ships made out of wood!

Shadow Step also writes: “ “You say “humanity”. I say “idiocy”. ”
I say humanity, because I assumed humans are flawed, I forgot there are exceptions.”

Answer: Oh, we are flawed – some a lot more than others.  Still, there’s a difference between having an opinion and being willfully obnoxious.

DasNdanger writes: “Usually if I read before bed, or distract my mind with some kind of mental puzzle (sudoku, for instance), I find it easier to come down and fall asleep.”

Answer: I read anywhere from 1-2 hours in bed every night.  Maybe I should be watching t.v. instead.

Simon writes: “1) Did the aliens that attacked Shepp and co. in ”The Daedalus Variations” have a name?
2) Were there going to be any episodes of SGA that involved Alternat Realities? Not counting ”The Last Man” and other previous eps.”

Answers: 1) No, they didn’t.  2) I don’t recall.  Just do a search of this blog for my entry titled An AU Season 6 in which I break down the story ideas we were considering for Atlantis’s sixth season.

36:9=4Symbols writes: “Hey Joe is there a full length “Opening Credits” Scene existing for SGU?”

Answer: Nope.  Sorry.

Cat writes: “Have you ever had the chance to check out the Cannery Restaurant?”

Answer: As a matter of fact, yes.  My wife took me there for my birthday.  We had a wonderful time and a terrific meal.  The late Don Davis loved The Cannery.

Ravenfur writes: “Why are the Kino scenes split apart from the main direction? Not that I don’t love what Ivon is doing (I think the Kino scenes are some of the best parts of these episodes) but I’m confused at the division of labor. Is it because they’re just too different from the main action? Wouldn’t it have been easier just to lump everything under the main director? With they way things are right now, does the episode’s main director have a lot of say in how the Kino scenes are created?”

Answer: The kinos are not considered part of the standing episodes so it doesn’t make sense to have our regular directors direct them within the body of a scheduled main unit production.

Boookal writes: “Joe the CG in Universe is freaking awesome. Is there a new team that was brought in or has the existing team just stepped up a lot?”

Answer: With the exception of the cast it’s been, for the most part, the same team.

Chair writes: “I LOVE the dog in your header, is it yours?”

Answer: Yep.  That’s Maximus – who was in the office today recuperating following minor surgery.

Col. Mustard writes: “Since the Destiny has just been recharged, does it now have enough power to dial earth?”

Answer: No, it doesn’t.  If it did, they certainly would have tried.

Gilder writes: “Ever seen an actor replaced during rehearsal?(on any production, not just SG)”

Answer: I’ve heard it happen on other productions.

Otros Ojos writes: “Could you be induced to take a couple of days off from doing your blog entry, or at least from modding mega-comments like mine?”

Answer: And break my streak of consecutive days blogged?  Never!

Ponytail writes: “If that doesn’t work, do what I did when I was 10 years old. I would pretend a burglar was in my room. I had to act like I was asleep and lay very still or he might kill me. It worked for me!”

Answer: Replace burglar with monitoring aliens and that was me at 10.

Milmer writes: “Are there any plans for you to explain how Earth managed to create it’s own version of the ancient long range communication device, or should we just accept that they did in the interests of making the show accessible?”

Answer: This is one of those givens that we have no plans to explore or elaborate upon, the conceit being that over the years, Stargate R&D has made technological inroads based on its many off-world discoveries.  Of course some have been easier to replicate than others, which is why you can’t hop online and order yourself up a working goa’uld sarcophagus.

Shadow Step writes: ““If Brian Smith is getting the Wil Wheaton treatment, ” As far as I can see he’s just a bit too sensitive.”

Answer: Right.  As far as you can see.  You haven’t been privy to the idiotic messages he’s received from fans who have decided to take their displeasure with the show out on him.

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gatelady
gatelady

In the future will we see a big smack down between Greer and the bald guy (is that Spencer)?

TJ is toughening up. I like!

“Water” was a pretty good episode, but I’m still not feeling the love towards Scott. The boy needs to quit turning off his radio (on duty no less) and zip his pants. He keeps coming across as a boring man whore.

Ryan
Ryan

Aww, Joe… I’m rather upset that you keep ducking my “How’d they plug in the ‘At’ point of origin on Icarus Base’s gate without towing the Earth gate all the way out there” question.

Might I suggest you do that rant on Halloween tomorrow? I’m not a big fan of little kids coming to my doorstop and hitting me up for my candy… IT’S MY HORDE! NOT THEIRS!

Anyway, a different question for you today since you seem so resistant to my point of origin question: For the swarm of alien microbes in this week’s ep, why did they pitch it through an outbound wormhole and then have Young dial in? Some of them could’ve decided to hop right back onto the ship and it was my understanding that there was a very unpleasant (but effective) death awaiting anyone who tried to enter a wormhole the wrong way?

Ryan

crazymom1

Oooooh, nice one! Greer and TJ: outstanding scene! I also really liked Lt James’ reactions in this one. She’s a grownup, and not stupid. Also not petty. Scott is still 14, and I’m NOT talking about hormones, I’m talking about having a clue about women. He’ll learn, poor guy.

No way should Spencer have gotten away with brushing past Young like that! I believe the Colonel’s authority (and stability) may be slipping…understandably. He needs to lock himself in his quarters and break a few things!

Craig MD
Craig MD

Nice spotlight on TJ tonight. And it was great to see Lt. James handle the Chloe/Scott thing so well. Why is it that Scott keeps having to get rescued? LOL. Can we have someone else get placed in mortal danger for a change?

Also, does Eli know about the discovery of Atlantis? I know in “Air” the video with Daniel Jackson mentioned the 8th chevron opened up to a new galaxy, but he didn’t mention Atlantis by name. Wouldn’t Eli be a bit excited to find out that the legendary “lost city” was found?

BTW, at which point (or episode) does Ming-Na go from being a guest-star to a regular cast member? There was a lot of press about her joining the show and being a regular, but so far she’s only been listed as a guest-star. Looking forward to seeing more of Camille and how her status as the IOA rep is handled in regards to the “power struggle” (if you will) between Young and Rush.

maggiemayday

Been doing a lot of heavy sleeping, I do have the flu, very mild case, but enough to wipe me out and make me forget to ramble on. Or not. Something like that.

I heart flamethrowers, except we have to call them “flame effects” or Homeland Security gets cranky.

Flashback: Ah, the sex hat. I’ve been to those parties, in the 70s.

Dang, you mean my As Seen on TV Goa’uld Look Young Forever Sarcophagus is a fake? Like I’m going to shell out for the Replicator Cat Feeder anytime soon.

Abby

Are you planning on having a soundtrack come out for SGU? I absolutely love the music and I would totally buy it if there was one.

maggiemayday

Hmmmm, so if you want to sleep, catch the flu. Nah, not so much fun. I do have a light box with blue lights, when my sleep patterns get out of whack, it says to set it up so the light hits your face for a half hour every night at the same time, about two hours before bedtime. Takes about a week. Works for me, but I haven’t had to use it recently.

Jeff
Jeff

Enjoying the new stargate alot, Joe. I like it so much that me and some friends have been able to create a SGU drinking game so far. Some of what we got…have a drink when….
1. someone says FTL
2. The pentagon is shown
3. someone says we’re not supposed to be here
4. someone says these are the wrong people
5. someone records a message on the kino
6. the kino is shown
7. rush is in a pissed off mood
8. someone uses the communication stones to body swap
9. telford starts giving orders as soon as he’s onboard destinty

just a little of what we’ve got so far, im sure we could come up with more. but keep up the good work joe! looking forward to hearing the good news about a season 2 renewal

me
me

Man that is not cool if people are writing idiotic messages to Brian Smith. The fans are jealous because he gets to make out with two beautiful women (Julia, and Elyse). I like his character on the show, and he is doing a great job. I see his character gaining experience as the show continues to grow and progress. I’m enjoy watching SG-U. Keep up the good work.

DP
DP

Could you be dreaming that you can’t fall asleep?

Abby

Oh, also, are we ever going to find out why the dust cloud seemed to hover and try to communicate with Scott?

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

Are you trying to fatten us up on mailbags to get us through the lean times of your trip? Whether or not the answer is yes, thank you. Pictures also enjoyed.
A few comments on Water. SPOILER ALERT……….

All in all, not bad. This time I felt the tension a bit more, enjoyed the mystery of the alien entity, and loved the ongoing civilian/military tension, as well as the scumbag hoarder touch. TJ didn’t do badly as a leader, though I was sorry to see that there was no attempt at communication with the alien(given its face-making behavior I wonder if it were sentient), but given the circumstances I can see why that was not tried. Solid performances all round. My opinion of Scott is still low; physical courage is common enough, but he lacks the moral courage to control his libido, to the point of turning his radio off. Given he’s now one of the command officers, that kind of behavior is troubling. I really am waiting for Chloe to become more than a woman-girl who has to cling to a man. I saw hints of a powerful female in the first part of Air, but not seen anything since. Really loved Rush’s slapdowns of Eli. Got to wonder when we’ll see Eli begin to slap back. Still waiting on Volker and Brody to come into their own. As Young has pointed out, they are scientists in their own right, even if not on the uber-genius of Eli and Rush. Solid job by Mr. Binder. Next week’s teaser actually has me just a wee bit interested. So, keep up the good work. Meantime, any chance of a guest appearance by Baron Destructo? Inquiring minds want to know what his Evil Evilness is up to. Anyways, thanks for keeping the streak going one more day.

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Tired…hope I make sense… First of all, I’m vrey disappointed (and angered) by the so-called fans who have taken it upon themselves to target Brian J. Smith. Brian – if you’re out there – don’t let it get to you. You’re doing a fine job. Water was a great episode – well done! That said…Joe – tell everyone (writers, directors) enough with the mushy stuff! Blow something up already!!! I think in this you are starting to hurt Scott’s character. People are not taking him serious because they can’t see beyond the sexual situations you keep putting him in. Can we see him do something else?? By this I mean on a personal level – of course we’ve seen him in heroic situations that involve his position and duty, but more insight into the character’s personal nature – apart from his libido – would be nice. I recall one of my favorite scenes of Nuada in Hellboy II – it wasn’t a fight scene with his white hair flying about, or when he was hitting on his sister, but this brief little scene where he was delicately assembling a golden egg. That’s the type of stuff that makes viewers fall ‘in love’ with a character. What they do when no one is looking. Just look at the effect that scene with Greer alone in his room had on people – it made folks take notice. I think people need to see this in Scott. Give him a hobby or something…maybe he molds toy soldiers out of spent shell casings, or plays tunes on a homemade flute, or writes poetry in a old ratty leather journal…stuff like that works wonders with an audience because it helps to make the characters ‘real’. And on that note I will express one concern I’ve been holding off on. When it comes to ‘character moments’ – nothing works better (imho) than what I’ve said above. I know you guys know this or you wouldn’t have included that wonderful Greer moment that so many loved. But I’ve noticed that we’ve had very few of these moments. Flashes here and there, but not enough to really get to know the characters. I want to know what Eli does in his room when he’s alone (within tasteful reason ). I’d like to see cut-away scenes of people beginning to make Destiny their home. I wish I could explain myself better – I’m really tired, though. But I think you know what I mean. It’s something Stargate never really seems to have time for. Such moments were rare in Atlantis, and though Universe does have those moments, I think there could stand to be more, especially if this is supposed to be a character-driven show. Eh, maybe I’m tired, or just grumpy because I spent the last official day of my vacation doing 4 loads of laundry, and paying the household bills. I’m broke now. … .. . Heya, Joey…wanna lend me a few bucks?? @ Joe and Ponytail… Read more »

skye
skye

hey joe

Have you ever been to Southwest Florida. it is a nice place to visit after working hard all year and warm. We have some good resturants down u might like

Jenny R.
Jenny R.

You know, if you can’t sleep I have a slew of boring textbooks for you. Mainly my books for sociological theory. Or I could tape the lectures, as I fight sleep almost every class. Seriously, I’m getting tired thinking about my professor go on about Emile Durkheim.

Anyway, I thought Water was good. I’ll venture into my own little minority of fandom by saying that I may like Universe more than Atlantis.

Jenny

Alphawox

Mr. Mallozzi, sir, I have a couple questions for you.

1. How long was Eli on Icarus Base before the Lucian Alliance arrived and made a mess of things? It seemed like maybe a day to me.

2. Through the end of “Water” (which was a damn cool episode… I loved the planet), how much time has passed since the team got onto Destiny. I’m just trying to keep the days and hours in some sort of framework.

It seemed like there might have been a bit of a gap between “Light” and “Water.”

Thank you for your blog and your work on the series!

sheryl
sheryl

Hi everyone, up in Orlando with the daughter and NOT having lunch with the Florida crew tomorrow due to illnesses. We have rescheduled for Dec. 5 th, -waves- “Hi girls”. 6 days ’till con. and I can’t wait. @Joe , did the chestnuts come yet? I just want to know they DID get there!! Thanks, Sheryl.

hendrixtl

Water. Best episode so far. Waiting to see what the complaints from fandom will be this week. One would think they would be running out of reasons to whine but their attention spans are far greater than I would have guessed. Truly impressive performances tonight from the entire cast. I’m sure the best is yet to come . . .

36:9=4Symbols
36:9=4Symbols

Hey Joe, what´s going on with Rush? Is he a good guy or a bad guy? Is he knowing more about the Destiny than he is telling.He´s a very difficult character,will we get more information about his past,his intentions and his (maybe) wife shown on the Picture in Air I?
Just watched WATER,it was a nice episode but there is one thing i don´t understand…Why was the rescue of Scott so easy in the end (Young just pull him up)?First it was looking like it was to hard for young to pull him out and then he had no problems like Superman.
Anyway the whole Team did a great job on SGU,and i will stay tuned for the next Ep.
Cheers everyone i got a lot of work to do.

Kevin
Kevin

Will we see the crew using any Ancient personal weapons in the series?

We’ve seen drones and we’ve seen pistol style weapons that the Ancients used in Atlantis but we haven’t really seen widestyle “Tauri” usage of handheld energy weapons.

Since bullet supplies are going to be an issue…it’d make sense to use them if they’re there.

But in the meantime…cool move with Greer making a homemade flamethrower. I liked his line where he said “..your not the only one that can build things”…good dark humour moment.

Alfredo De La Fe

Hey Joe:

I have been giving SGU a chance. While I am enjoying it, I find that the episodes are a bit slower and the stories so far have not been “edge of your seat” good.

I will continue to follow it until the end of season 1, but I am really missing SGA. Some things just cross the line of being within the realm of “believable” as far as SciFi goes. (For starters, that they would “recruit” a young man using a video game and then proceed to take him to a different planet without any sort of prep. and the idea that anything technological would survive a million+ years really bugs me)

Anyway, I DO enjoy your blog immensely and I am a big fan of your work. Hopefully after a bit more character development and some interaction with the “ship database” to fill some of the gaps I will be able to get into SGU more.

Thanks for the daily blog entry. You are the only non-work blog by an individual that I look forward to daily.

Wahlyn
Wahlyn

Loved the episode. I know. You’re surprised, right?

TJ was amazing. Alaina Huffman really got to shine this time around.

Also found myself really impressed with Lt. James. Her interactions with Chloe and Scott were meaningful. She said a lot with just her expressions. That’s good acting.

Major D. Davis
Major D. Davis

Wow, water topped light by far. Amazing. Just sad gorman had to die. Loved his character. And stop killing off redshirt marines. I love their uniforms, and you guys are killing off extras wayyyyyy to fast. Your going to run out of people!!

Lol

Thanks so much,
Major D. Davis

Holly

If I read before bed, I stay up way too late and end up too keyed up to fall asleep easily. I love reading but I have to find other times.

I, too, slept really good when I had the flu.

Have you tried melatonin?

otros ojos
otros ojos

Sorry to hear you didn’t get your episode of choice, but I guess there’s a reason for everything. . . like sleep-deprived writer/producers refusing to break a “consecutive days blogging” streak. (I have to wonder if that drives Fondy crazy sometimes, as it does me.)

Down to business: I’m blown away by how SGU keeps kicking it up a notch or five with every episode. On Twitter, Mark Savela, among others, has encouraged fans to trust cast/crew assurances that “it gets even better.” I’m now firmly convinced of that. Water, like Light, had my eyes riveted to the TV (new technology; don’t ask) from first to last — only riveted even tighter, with the addition of more action, and the perfect scoring that got my adrenaline pumping with my just barely being aware of it. Superb VFX as promised, and photography/cinematography again is also hit out of the park. As well, the change-up looks we get from one ep to the next are incredibly impressive.

Character moments: My impression was mostly of tension of one sort or another — but then the closing kino scene with Col. Young was very moving in its understated dialogue and overall minimalistic effect (very appropriate given the circumstances); and as Young stalked down the hallway, I remembered to breathe. Still, tension was seen in his frustration over not knowing how to turn off the kino, and in his tight posture while going down the hallway with loud footfalls, and the camera going abruptly to black. That kind of attention to detail is part of what makes SGU such a standout for me. But, again from my POV, it’s mostly about the characters. TJ and Chloe both step up. Chloe’s time in the spotlight is brief but significant for character development. Lt. James, same thing — tough job for her vis-a-vis Chloe, but she did the right thing. Young, Scott, Rush, Eli, Greer, Spencer – everybody seen in this ep gets insightful development, whether at length or briefly, and many kudos to the actors/directors/writers/producers, and all crew for that, and for making the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

I would gladly pay to see any two eps of SGU on the big screen in lieu of the overwhelming majority of movies that’ve been out in recent memory. (Normal memory, not my Swiss-cheese variety [ty, Quantum Leap].) To me, it’s just that good. And better. As posted on Twitter, I’ve run out of superlatives for this show.