Wow! 160+ comments and counting! Who knew haggis would prove such a popular topic. Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on my first attempt at the Scottish delicacy.
Also, thanks to those who have been weighing in with their thoughts on Stargate: Universe – their likes, dislikes, and hopes for the future. As I stated in yesterday’s entry, you have the entire back half of season one to look forward to come April and I can assure you that many of your requests will be magically honored when the show returns. While the first ten episodes established the series, the ship, its characters and their various relationships, the next ten will be more action-oriented, focus more on exploration, and delve deeper into our crew. Still, this is the perfect time to chime in as we gear up for the show’s second season.
I’ve received a slew of comments (and expect many more), but would like to address each of the topics in term. So today, let’s discuss the responses to the first questions asked: 1. Which character would you like to see explored more?
Not surprisingly, you weighed in with a wide selection of worthy candidates ranging from main characters to background players. But leading the pack was SGU’s resident medic, Lieutenant Tamara “T.J.” Johansen. Many of you cited the character’s potential and the surprising depth of Alaina Huffman’s performance in even the most cursory of scenes or exchanges. It’s something that struck me as well, especially in later episodes, Alaina’s ability to masterfully convey so much about her character in subtleties like a simple line delivery of a thrown look. Although most of your diehard fans know where we’re going with the character, but I’ll resist the urge to spill the beans for those who don’t want to be spoiled. Instead, I’ll simply assure you that T.J. will have a developing story arc through the back half of season one, one that will have major ramifications for her character well into season two. A lot of wonderful Tamara moments throughout the back half, but Faith, episode 13, is the episode that fans of the character (and fans of actress Alaina Huffman in particular) should really look forward to. And the show’s second season gets off to a very interesting start for her as well. One of the aspects of the T.J. character we see flashes of in episodes like Water that I truly love and want to explore is her military side. In short, I want to see her kick ass!
Two more characters who you’re requesting to see more of are the Machiavellian Dr. Rush (Robert Caryle) and SGU’s spirited warrior, Master Sergeant Ronald Greer (Jamil Walker Smith). While Rush has been front and center to date, many of you are hankering for a peek at Rush’s motivations, his backstory, what potentially dark events from his past shaped him. Well, fans of the character won’t have to wait long for some answers. Human, episode 14, will explore the Rush character and, if not answer many of these questions, then at least offer some major hints to a troubled past. And, of course, Rush will continue to follow his own agenda (which we’ll begin to piece together as time goes on), ultimately taking this game to a whole new level as we head into the show’s second season.
As for Greer, many of you have expressed a desire to find out a little more about his backstory as well, what makes him tick tick tick. He’s one of the more fascinating members of the Destiny crew, a soldier’s soldier with an explosive volatility simmering just beneath his ice cool exterior. And, in episode 15, Lost, we finally get a glimpse at Greer’s past, some of the events that shaped him as well, for better and for worse. In addition to that episode, the back half of season one is sprinkled with plenty of wonderful character beats both dark and humorous, as well as moments that will speak to the bond of friendship between Greer and Scott.
Plenty of other characters made the wish list. Quite a few of you want to see more of Eli Wallace (David Blue), find out a little more about how his mother is doing, and see the character mature a little over the course of his incredible adventure aboard Destiny. Check, check, and check although, admittedly, the latter requires us to walk a fine line between having the character mature over the course of his experiences yet keeping him the grounded, fish-out-of-water the viewer can continue to identify with. There are many challenges ahead for the young genius, not the least of which being his uncertain positioning in the ongoing tug-o-war between two diametrically opposed father figures: Young and Rush. Remember that last scene in Justice where Eli goes to visit Young after Rush has been left behind? You figure he suspects something’s up?
Chloe Armstrong (Elyse Levesque) was another character that received quite a few votes and more than a few requests to see the character developed beyond what we’ve established to date. Well, things will get very interesting for Chloe almost immediately upon our April return and her harrowing experience will have repercussions not only for her, but for the rest of the crew as well.
Camile Wray (Ming-Na) and Colonel David Telford (Lou Diamond Philips) also received mentions. Wray is a civilian with a background in Human Resources and while, at first blush, the skills she possesses may seem impractical in a space-faring scenario, Camile will step to the fore later this season, especially when all hell breaks loose in the show’s two-part season finale. And then there’s that hate-hate relationships she’s got going on with Greer. We’ll be exploring that throughout – and in very interesting fashion later.
Several of you wanted to know more about Telford. As one poster mentioned: “There has to be more than what we as viewers have seen of him”. True, true. And we’ll find out plenty more about him later this season. Also, someone else cited his past with Young and suggested that this was an element that warranted further exploration. Well, yes, we have hinted at some history between these two and some of these shocking and tragic details will be revealed late in season one.
Also receiving votes: Luis Ferreira’s Colonel Everett Young (big trouble looms for our anguished commander on the heels of his shocking decision in Justice), Brian J. Smith’s Lieutenant Matthew Scott (Faith, episode 13, in particular offers us a better understanding of his selflessness and willingness to self-sacrifice for the greater good), secondary characters (some great moments upcoming for the likes of James, Brody, Volker, Park, Franklin and Riley), and Destiny itself (shipboard exploration and discovery to come).
So plenty of character development headed your way, most of which will hopefully satisfy your numerous requests (while simultaneously stirring further interest in our extended shipboard family). And if what’s ahead in the back half of season one doesn’t clear your entire wish list, well, there’s season two to look forward to as well.
To JimfromJersey who complained because I didn’t post a pic of my finished haggis. Sorry. I forgot. Here it is.
PG15 writes: “I just got accepted into the Calfornia Institute of Technology as a Graduate Student!! Woohoo!!”
Answer: I echo Carl Binder’s congratulations (If you missed it, check the comments. He posted especially for you!). Go Beavers! (to quote Cal Tech alum Dr. Alison Porter in Whispers).
Michael A. Burstein writes: “Haggis is one of those foods found in every culture, that people within the culture appreciate and people outside generally can’t understand. (In my background, that food is kishke.)”
Answer: Now kishke I have done, back in Montreal where some of my Jewish friends also introduced me to the joys of chicken liver dumplings. Yum on both counts.
dasNdanger writes: “Now…how about that 100-year old egg.”
Answer: Also done. It was a tasty ingredient in the congee Fondy and I would get when we used to go to Richmond for lunch.
Kerry writes: “You should now try Blood Sausage – a traditional Irish breakfast DELIGHT! Black or White pudding are your options, and I have to admit, if you don’t think about what you’re eating (much like Haggis), it’s a pretty great part of a Sunday fry. Alan makes his friends from home stock him up when they come to visit because the good stuff is hard to find in Vancouver.”
Answer: First Carl, now you. It’s a practically a Stargate reunion in the comments section today. So, yeah, I gratefully accept your invitation to try blood sausage the next time Alan’s friends come to town and bring the good stuff. Looking forward to it.
Dasndanger writes: “But I was wondering about the writing team – what’s really better? A team of the same writers, or mixing things up a bit by bringing in new blood? Personally I think having a consistent team of writers is good, since they really get a feel for the characters. Sure, outside writers can bring in new ideas, but what if those ideas are at the expense of the characters? Just wonder what you think of regular writers v guest writers…if you have a sec or two to share.”
Answer: You started your post by referencing Mark Harmon (who I hear nothing but good things about on and off screen) and NCIS and I just wanted to say I LOVE the fact that this show has been pulling in some of its best ratings ever in its 7th season! Hats off to them on a truly impressive achievement. As to your question – Which is better, established writers or new blood? – I would answer: Can’t we have both? On the one hand, established writers know the show and its characters better than anyone and they’ve developed a strong working relationship with the cast and crew; on the other hand, new writers could inject some new ideas and approaches to the stories and characters. Why not the best of both worlds?
Steve Eramo writes: “Glad to read that your first Haggis experience was such a positive one! I wouldn’t steer you wrong.”
Answer: Hey, Steve. So what’s next on the menu?