After viewing SGU’s sixth episode, Water, did you sit there and wonder “How the heck did they shoot the crevasse sequence?”  Yeah, didn’t think so.  But I’ll show you anyway…

Back in the office this morning where we broke our second story in as many days.  Yesterday, we beat out the season opener for Paul and today, we spun episode two.  Rob, who’ll be doing the honors on this one, pithced out a terrific, albeit radically different, A story to compliment the B, C, D, and E throughlines.  Lots going on in this one – action, drama, spectacular visual effects, and a tough, tough decision.  Two actually.  Tomorrow, looks like Carl is on deck as episode five jumps two spots to take the position formerly held by episode three (my baby).  Hopefully, we’ll be able to get his story broken AND squeeze in that Day 1 Mix of Faith.  And lunch.

So here’s the question of the week, posed by the editor of IO9 regarding my recent rant that you may or may not be familiar with: “Is [my] skin getting thin because the complaints ring true, or was it an appropriate response to a monsoon of trolls?”

Well, after weighing all the evidence and giving it much thought I’m going to have to go with………………………………………………hmmmmmm…………………………………..the latter. If you read the entirety of what I had to say (rather than just the cross-posted excerpts), you’ll note I started off by stating: “I find myself in an awkward position. On the one hand, I want to keep this blog’s comment section open to differing opinions and allow fans to express their honest feelings about the show; on the other hand, I don’t want it to turn into a battleground where fans can feel free to insult the production, its personal, and each other.” And even the most cursory scan of past comment sections over this blog’s three-year run will bear this out.

I humbly submit the assertion that all comments should be recognized as worthy and constructive is, quite frankly, bullshit. There is a difference between weighing in with a negative opinion and launching inflammatory or personal insults from the anonymous refuge of your parents‘ basement. Only last week I mentioned I didn’t approve a comment to this blog for the first time in months. It happens, but rarely. Over the past couple of days, it has, admittedly, happened with more frequency, about a half-dozen posts, mostly from the same individual, seemingly designed to test the functionality of this blog’s TRASH button (Yep, it’s working just fine.).

The day after that initial entry, I posted the Cliff Notes for those who either didn’t read the entirety of what I had to say or missed the point. I broke it down in very simple terms. Evidently, not simple enough. So I’ll try again, breaking it down in even simpler terms.

Criticism = J

Inflammatory/Personal attacks = L

Two other points I touched upon. One, that those who use sexist terms while simultaneously arguing that a scene is sexist subvert their own argument. Two, that those who make use of sensational labels without supportive arguments risk undermining their credibility as well. I mentioned the use of the term “whore”, used by several posters. One of these individuals was someone who had (and has since) provided some terrific, well-reasoned critiques and yet, on this occasion, submitted a comment in which she labeled a character “a whore” and then moved on without so much as an explanation for her position. Some who read the post dismissed the poster and her views as extreme – which was a damn shame because, as I said, this individual has presented articulate and intelligent points in the past. To repeat what I said the other day (and you may have missed it as this part of my original post was presumably deemed less worthy of mention): “Still, I’d suggest that anyone looking to post a critical comment consider their wording – not their opinion, but the way in which they express said opinion. Sometimes, you can be offensive without even meaning to. And, when this happens, rather than making a good point, you risk alienating the very people you’re trying to convince.”

Finally, to all those who feel I’m slighting SG-1 and Atlantis by stating that SGU is far removed from the previous two Stargate incarnations… I had a wonderful time working on both shows for many, many years, and that was mainly due to its wonderful characters and the fact that, at the end of the day, neither series took itself too seriously, forever thumbing their noses at SF tropes like alternate realities (Ripple Effect), time travel (Morpheus I and II), and everything from phase-shifting to technobabble (Wormhole Xtreme, 200). Of course, both shows had their fair share of danger and drama and unexpected tragedies but, when all was said and done, the good guys were good and prevailed in the end while the bad guys were bad (although occasionally conflicted) and invariably wound up on the receiving end of a mothership explosion. Our heroes rarely, if ever, screwed up and, even if they did, their actions never resulted in any long-term consequences. In Stargate: Universe, however, the situation is darker, murkier. The characters are flawed. They make mistakes, sometimes big ones, and they suffer the ugly consequences. Like I said. A different show. Not better. Or worse. Just very different.

Looks like I’ve got a bit of a backlog in the mailbag – which I fully intend to get around to at some point this weekend.

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mylifeincleveland

Hey Joe,

Check out my Wheel of Stargate I made when i was bored one day.

http://mylifeincleveland.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/wheel-of-gate/

jeffoconnor

I think you were totally justified, FYI.

Major D. Davis
Major D. Davis

Ok I was just saying no one would go up to one of tge actors on their twitter and call them and their characters whores. So sorry If you thought I was labeling a character a whore(I know I’m probably not the person your thinking of, just checking though). Dang, i’m one paronied puppy. If you read my posts and didn’t get to know me, You’d think I was an ex spy always paronoied that someones attacking him.. Lol

Thanks so much,
Major D. Davis

Dreiko
Dreiko

Hi Joe, first of all, I apologize for my english…it’s not very good.
I have to say that so far, in my personal opinion, SGU it’s been awesome so far, sure…it has good and bad things (which tv series/movie doesn’t?). I look forward to see the rest of the season, keep up the good work!
Greetings to the whole staff of SGU!

conniepoint

Joe, once more you have earned my undying affection. How you manage to maintain such a level head is astounding. Looking forward to the backlogged mail bag!

Can you give us any hints as to what’s maybe possibly going on in S2 of SGU? Or is that jumping the gun too much?

Nina K.P.
Nina K.P.

stupid question. For what does the J and the L stand?
Criticism = J, Inflammatory/Personal attacks = L

(I understood your previous posts. First yay, latter nay. Just wondering about the abbreviation)

A pity that you couldn’t catch the Chewbacca howl on tape. Would have liked to here that. smile

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

“…but, when all was said and done, the good guys were good and prevailed in the end while the bad guys were bad (although occasionally conflicted) and invariably wound up on the receiving end of a mothership explosion. Our heroes rarely, if ever, screwed up and, even if they did, their actions never resulted in any long-term consequences. In Stargate: Universe, however, the situation is darker, murkier. The characters are flawed. They make mistakes, sometimes big ones, and they suffer the ugly consequences.”

As you know, this was one of my biggest complaints with Atlantis, and for the simple fact that Universe is an attempt to be different in this regard is one reason I am still watching, despite my apprehensions about some of the show’s other elements.

And Joe – I don’t think your skin is thin, or that you over-reacted. Having been on comic book forums for a few years now, I’ve seen some of the ugliest blow-ups and pouting bouts – often leading to someone running away from the evil interwebs – amongst some of the best-known writers and artists in comics. Every time I come here, I am amazed that you continue to blog daily, despite some of the personal attacks and accusations that have been made against you, the show, and everyone involved with the show. Even I’ve been rough on the show and its creators, and yet you still continue to put up with me and others like me.

I’d say – based on what I’ve seen of other creative types on the internet – your skin is at least a foot thick!

And remember something else – people like controversy. They like to stir people up…and they like to see people who are stirred up. You provided some excitement in the fandom – gave people something to write about. 500 posts for that entry tells me you got some blood boiling. People like that, even when they say they don’t (or why else would they post?). You know what you did, Joe? You gave the editor of IO9 something to write about – you made his job a little easier.

But you should already know that. That’s how the beast works – people these days thrive on scandal, controversy and conflict. No one at IO9 cares about the last dinner you had at Fuel, or Maximus’ surgery – but you sure did get their attention when you called out the idiots! Good for you – you are now a household name! You’re famous! Well…at least amongst sci fi geeks and stuff. razz

Have a good evening, sir!

das

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Oh, before I forget. Since not everyone can get a vaccine, and since we don’t like to get sick, whether it be a cold, flu, generic virus, or bacterial infection, I found these tips on the net – some good advice to avoid all sorts of infections.

SWINE/H1N1 Prevention Tips: http://www.altdotlife.com/forum/index.php?page=15

We all know to wash our hands and to keep them off of our face, but the two things that caught my eye here is 1. gargling daily with salt water, and 2. using a neti pot or nasal rinse.

After all my illness this past winter/spring, the doctor advised me to use a neti pot (or nasal flush) twice daily. I’ve been trying to follow that advice, especially this past month. Not sure if it works, but hubby had bronchitis two weeks ago, and so far, so good – I didn’t get it yet. I’ve also been trying to drink more liquids, and gargle with salt water (though I often forget the latter). I figure it can’t hurt, and who knows, it just might help!

das

PoorOldEdgarDerby
PoorOldEdgarDerby

That get-up cannot be easy to wear for hours on end.

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

@ Nina K.P. – The J is a smiley face, the L is a frowny face. For some reason, the faces aren’t showing up for you.

Ugh…and I just saw that my grammar is off in my previous post. Oh well…it’s late…I’ll blame it on that! smile

das

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Oh, and trolls…the reason for your rant, that is.

See Joe, you have a ‘tell’ when things hit too close to home, or when you’re skirting around something. I’m not telling you what it is, but I see it, and I didn’t see it in your rant. So, either your indignation was justified, or you’re just becoming a better fibber…but I’m willing to go with the former. wink

das

J
J

@Joe – Gosh, I had just assumed based on a lot of the things that I read for “comments” that everything was going through. Whatever wasn’t approved had to be pretty bad for the trash button to be put into use. Well, 502 comments (so far at least) being approved – and read – gets kudos from me any day.

Peace & Love,

j

Major D. Davis
Major D. Davis

I guess when you said this person had supplied well reasoned critiques I should have known you were talking about someone else. I’m so insecure. Lol

Thanks so much,
Major D. Davis

Major D. Davis
Major D. Davis

Oh and das is darn right Joe. I am amazed how you come back and take tge time to post every day despite all the attacks. That is darn respectable. Really, thank you though. Despite some of my negativity, I still do enjoy sgu and this blog immensely.

Thanks again.
Major D. Davis

Ngan
Ngan

Not sure if these have been answered so I’ll ask.

1. In the first episode, the ninth chevron was Earth’s symbol. They dialed the symbol from Ra’s gate but Ra’s gate is only a few thousand years old. If Destiny is millions of years old, Ra’s gate wouldn’t have existed on Earth. So shouldn’t the ninth chevron have been the original symbol (the one found on the Antarctica gate)?

2. Every time the crew needs something (air, water, light), Destiny knows this and goes out of hyperspace to a planet that has what they need. How does Destiny know this?

skontel
skontel

Hi Joe, Having discovered your blog around the time the SGU first aired, I can’t believe there are people who take it for granted. I think this blog is an excellent opportunity for us fans to learn about the production side of things (something that always fascinated me personally), and give you, the show creators and writers some feedback on how we perceive the show. Personally, I find it hilarious that people keep making offensive comments, as if that will result in you guys scrapping certain scenes from the upcoming episodes, and re-shooting them. I guess they missed the memo that the season one has been *wrapped up*. Something you’ve touched upon in your recent posts really caught my attention, because it has bothered me in the past. You have mentioned recently, on at least two occasions how the SG-1 and SGA characters were near-perfect, and I have to agree with you. Personally, I have always found the character of Samantha Carter to be too perfect, and thus difficult to really embrace. In my opinion, some of this had to do with the way the character was conceived and written (extremely intelligent, battle capable), and some of it had to with the casting — let’s face it, Amanda Tapping is extremely easy on the eyes. In latter seasons (season 10 comes to mind, in particular), there were a few attempts to write some flaws into her character, but at that point it was simply too late, and I as a viewer was left confused by the contradicting character behavior. I think this was largely avoided with the character of Rodney McKay in SGA, but SGA had someone like John Sheppard who really had nary a ding to him. Mind you, I’ve watched and enjoyed both series very much. I just had to say that I agree with your statements on perfection of the characters in SG-1 and SGA. However, having said all that, I personally wish there was more *science* and *fiction* in SGU thus far. In other words, I *love* character-driven stories, and I think it is great that you guys have chosen a different direction for the SGU compared to the SG-1 and SGA. Nevertheless, I am left wishing for some serious expounding on the tech of Destiny, why and when *exactly* was it launched, what it can do, etc, etc. And can the damn thing get fixed?! (sorry, just couldn’t resist). I know, the “bugs” in the episode Water were a cool alien (as in *fiction*) element. It doesn’t mean I can’t wish for more of it, does it? Finally, I wish other characters would stop bashing Rush, get out of his way, and let the man work on the ship. In the words of Mr. Potato Head, “Hey, I can dream, can’t I?” I do have some questions for you. For some time I’ve marveled at how the scripts get turned into the finished episodes (or movies), what the directors and actors start with, and what… Read more »

Arctic Goddess

Hi Joe:

I had to euthanize my 12 year old cat, Tigger, yesterday. It was the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long time. She has battled feline leukemia (cancer) for the past two years. With a mass the size of a small orange in her abdomen, we decided that she had fought the good fight long enough. Since I have never had to put an animal down before, I didn’t know what to expect. Without going into details, I found the experience disturbing and not peaceful. I feel guilty about her last moments, even though, deep down, I am sure it was the right thing to do. Geez, I miss her.

Patricia

Arctic Goddess

One other thing….to be clear, I paid our family veterinarian to euthanize Tigger. I was with her to the end.

pastrygirl
pastrygirl

“After viewing SGU’s sixth episode, Water, did you sit there and wonder “How the heck did they shoot the crevasse sequence?” Yeah, didn’t think so. But I’ll show you anyway…”

Actually, I did! Remember, I asked if they actually built a crevasse? Sigh. Used to do backstage stuff in theater – props, costumes, makeup, lights, SFX, etc. Love all the behind the scenes stuff – thanks for showing us!

My roomie, who has reluctantly watched SG:U with me has decided that she is hooked now. Apparently thinks Luis Ferreira is a cutie, you can tell him he has a fan wink

Is it safe to read the comments again? LOL I read the blog every night, but had stopped reading comments about a week before your ‘rant’ because I was tired of hearing the sniping. Your skin is not becoming too thin, Joe – if anything you may have been too patient!

I will wave my magic wand for a troll-be-gone spell… if that works, I’ll get on the dust- and dog fur-be-gone spells next….

Lisa

Kristina

Well I loose my internet on Friday as I change to a new provider so will miss great piccies from the LA con…BUT I will be at Chevron 7.3 this weekend with David Blue…looks like he is excited as well as he has twittered about it…bless him

http://www.massiveevents.co.uk/chevron73/

So watch out on Gateworld as piccies will probably be going up on there as well as peoples LJ’s

See you guys in about 10 days.

Kriss smile

Bilo&Bella
Bilo&Bella

On a completely different topic, Mark Dacascos (one of our favourite bad/good guys from Atlantis + awesome fight scenes with Jason M.) just got voted off Dancing with the Stars (ya, ya, I know, who watches that?). His dancing partner got sick and he had only a couple of days to practice with her replacement. Perhaps Jason should have stepped in!

Laz
Laz

“Our heroes rarely, if ever, screwed up and, even if they did, their actions never resulted in any long-term consequences.”

Wellllll… SG-1 did kind of alert the Goa’uld to the technological advancement of Earth and then the Ori to the size of the human population of our galaxy. The Atlantis Expedition kinda woke the Wraith up and alerted them to the size of the human population of our galaxy. Ooh, a bit of a recurring theme there. But I know what you meant. wink

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Joe, I’m really enjoying looking back at some of your past entries. Take Feb. 21, 2007, for instance. I didn’t know you watched Spooks/MI-5. I used to watch that show – really enjoyed it, though sometimes it was a bit too gritty for me (the deep fryer, for instance eek ). I loved Matthew MacFadyen in that – didn’t watch after he left the show.

The first thing I ever saw MacFadyen in was a BBC production about the UN peacekeepers in Bosnia called Warriors (Peacekeepers in the US). It was this scene from the movie that made me really take notice of MacFadyen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y27PUgbdtU

Knowing the film, that scene just breaks my heart…and I share his sentiments about bratty kids. smile

It was a very poignant film – worth the watch if you ever get the chance. The human moments in this – the affects on the men during and after the conflict – THAT’S the stuff I love to see in a film or show. I guess I like films that explore the the human psyche under pressure, and probably why I love movies like 12 Angry Men and Lifeboat. But for some reason most modern productions don’t quite capture what I loved about those older movies. Somehow they confuse psychological drama with drama queens…turning what could be good character moments into something from the Jerry Springer set.

Do you understand what I’m trying to say? Can you see the difference between the human drama in Lifeboat, and the human drama in a show like BSG or ER? Something has been lost over the years…something is missing. Whatever it is, I look at the older movies as films that really probed the human condition, while modern tv and film just sensationalizes everything, making it all larger – and louder – than life, and never really making a point.

The human drama in Warriors/Peacekeepers was more on par with what I loved about the older films, though the film itself is much grittier. This movie also starred Ioan Gruffudd (Horatio Hornblower; Mr. Fantastic) in probably the best role he’s ever done, and Damian Lewis of Band of Brothers; Life. Good, sobering film. If you get a chance, watch a few of the other bits there on Youtube – it looks like someone’s put up the entire movie.

das

Gilder
Gilder

@das: Thanks, Joe’s emoticons were also J and L on my iPhone.

EternalDensity
EternalDensity

“Morpheus I and II”
Erm, that would be Mobius I and II. Morpheus was a season 9 ep about sleeping sickness and some sort of lizard.