I was going through my office desk today and came across a slew of supporting material from the last two seasons of Stargate: Atlantis – concept art, sketches, designs, schematics, art department packages. I uploaded many over the course of the past few years, but just as many have remained secreted away in my bottom drawer alongside a bottle of multi-vitamins, a box of pecans, and a package of unsweetened shredded coconut. There’s plenty of stuff here that may, or may not intrigue so, at the risk of boring you, I’ll just post a couple of items for starters and gauge your interest in these glimpses of way-back-when. If you want to see more, let me know. And, if you’re all extra nice, in the lead up to the April premiere of the back half of Stargate: Universe (April 2nd, Space), I could be convinced to organize these items by episode and then award the various packages as prizes. Again, if you’re interested, let me know…
Lucky Rollers Motor Hotel Awning Sign - Stargate: Atlantis, Season 5, Vegas. The Lucky Rollers, the motel of choice for the discerning alien visitor. First, someone had to come up with a motel name that hasn't been taken yet. My writing partner Paul suggested The Sleep-It-Off Motel but, in the end, Lucky Rollers was more in keeping with the Vegas theme. The actual location used (as noted) was the Best Value Westward in Langley. Excuse the coffee stains. This one was sitting at the top of the pile.
Exterior Desert Highway Signs - Stargate: Atlantis, Season 5, Vegas. It's all in the details. One of the notes suggests: "Paint to age signs slightly. Highway 157 sign aged more. Aging appropriate to desert climate (ie. no rust, more of a dust treatment). Interestingly, the note accompanying the sign on the left reads: "Sign to be peppered with practical bullet holes...". Even more interestingly is the picture in the bottom left-hand corner, an actual bullet-peppered road sign used for photo reference.
Vehicle Placement, Teaser - Stargate: Atlantis, Season 5, Vegas. In the episode tease, Detective John Sheppard checks out a crime scene. It all looks so casual onscreen but, in fact, great care is taken in the staging of not only the action but the various elements that comprise the scene. Note the two compass-like symbols suggestive of director Robert Cooper's shot selection (ie. long lens looking west as Sheppard arrives). Also note a reference to "Masters FX body inside taped perimeter (props)", a reference to the work of the enormously talented Todd Masters and his team at Master FX.
Exterior Police Station - Stargate: Atlantis, Season 5, Vegas. A part of UBC (University of British Columbia) is magically transformed into a Vegas police department. Raise the U.S. flag, park a police car out front and - voila! I love the note at the bottom right: "...grass to be cut prior to shooting" And while you're at it, do the windows too!
Wraith Device - Stargate: Atlantis, Season 5, Vegas. At first glance, I had no idea what I was looking at but, upon closer scrutiny, I recognized the interior of the wraith's trailer and, specifically, the communication device he initiates at episode's end. Plenty of notes on the left-hand side of the page, reminders of the work to be completed by the various departments like Construction, Set Dec, Model Shop, Props and - in this instance my favorite - Lighting: "to supply interactive backlight for wraith plug. It must ramp up to nuclear bright for last interior scene." Now that's pretty damn bright!
Vehicle Placement - Stargate: Atlantis, Season 5, Vegas. An aerial view of the desert location where Detective John Sheppard and the wraith have their climactic showdown. Oliver, B.C.
Speaking of Atlantis, word is the complete five season box set of the series will be released on March 23rd. The collection will include all 100 episode and oodles of extras:
A gentle reminder to get your questions in for Cherie Priest soon as I’d like to send them her way Thursday. Not so gentle reminders to follow…