One of Carl’s fondest memories of me was of the time Marty G. and I invited him, the new writer in town, out for dinner.  And I guess it’s been downhill from there.  Well, two new writers have joined us this year – Remi Aubuchon and Linda McGibney – and I figured it would be nice to give them at least one happy memory of me to reflect back fondly upon years from now.  So, Carl and I invited them out for dinner.

On the day of our outing, Linda fell mysteriously ill (Coincidence?  You decide.) so it ended up being the four of us: Carl, Remi, his friend Cintia, and yours truly.  Remi expressed an interest in seeing a noodle show, so I booked us a table at Shanghai Chinese Bistro, a restaurant that, last time I checked, does a nightly noodle show.

Apparently, it’s been a long time since I last checked because on the night we dined at Shanghai Chinese Bistro, there was no noodle show.  But, there was this…

Carl says: "Get that f***ing camera out of my f***ing face. I 'm ready to f***ing eat."
Cintia and Remi

Remi and yours truly

Carl meets dinner

Remi is so excited, he's vibrating!

Carl, ready to get crackin'

We were presented with some complimentary prawn to kick off the meal. Great although Carl bitterly complained they were a lot of work. I'm surprised he even goes through the trouble of chewing his own food.

Peking Duck. To be honest, I wasn't impressed. I found the meat dry.

Remi hides his tear-streaked face after being surprised by the heat level of the XO sauce.

Steamed King Crab. Excellent! A second course was also served fried with garlic and jalapeno. Also excellent!

Although there was no noodle show, there were home made noodles. Remi loved them. Apparently, he a big noodle man. I sense a possible nickname in the works.

To end: your standard mango pudding. Meh.

Carl's review: "F**k yeah!"

Today’s entry is dedicated to Luvenjack.

A quickie mailbag:

Jason967067 writes: “I was wondering if you could give us a hint and tell us if SGU is going to have a darker tone in season 2 or if the crew is going to be more upbeat?”

Answer: At the risk of giving too much away, I’ll just say that a number of characters will see an “attitude adjustment” as their journey develops.

Vojtech Gabriel writes: “About SG1 movie it looks like it will not be filmed…can you tell us if you created new aliens for SG1 or it is a story of the old one.”

Answer: Let’s just say the story stems from an issue that has plagued Stargate Command since its inception.

HBMC writes: “1. Did they leave people behind, and if so, who?
2. Was the pregnancy written into the show because of Alaina Huffman’s actual pregnancy, or was this always the plan?”


Answers: 1. Yes.  Kaine stayed behind with about a half dozen of his fellow crew members.

2. In Denis’ original pitch, a female crew member discovers she’s pregnant.  As it so happened, actress Alaina Huffman announced her pregnancy around this time – so, rather than give the story to a secondary character, we gave it to the Tamara character.

Ponytail writes: “SyFy sticks their network logo down in the bottom right of the screen. Tell your (graphics?) people not to put names down in that corner.”

Answer: Yes, Carl gave us the heads up about this a few weeks back.  Steps have been taken to rectify this.

Sean D. writes: ”

1. I really enjoy the aspect of SG shows that is rooted in Earth-based stories: Will we see more of Earth in seasons 2+?

2. It was awesome seeing RDA’s dog in an ol’ SG1 episode: Any chances of any of your dogs making special guest appearances in SGU? Or have we already seen any other cast/crew/etc.’s pets in SG1/SGA/SGU?

3. Did I see what appeared to be a large Kino type device inside that Ancient device (that “looks like a robot”) that was found in a crate (in “Faith”)?

4. Eli said, in reference to the large structure on the planet (in “Faith”), “…markings like some kind of alien language”… so it’s probably not Ancient (unless the Ascended Ancients have another language or another race that Ascended), though curiosity is through the roof: did the Ancients, the Space aliens, or another race create that star, planet, and/or structure? (Or probably a safer question: Will that question be answered this season?) ;)

5. Any chances of seeing either Ascended beings or Ancients in SGU?”

Answers: 1. We will.

2. To the best of my knowledge, not yet.  Jelly is holding out for a really meaty role.

3. You’ll have to wait and see exactly what is up with that find.

4. Elements of this particular storyline will be picked up at a later date.  Cryptic, no?

5. TBD.

Craig writes: “And why would Scott stay behind when he has a son back on Earth?”

Answer: He weighed his commitment to a son who is alive and well and being taken care of back on Earth against a group of people who faced an uncertain future on the planet.  There was also talk of the possibility that a race powerful enough to create a planet might be powerful enough to help them get back to Earth.

Tim Gaffney writes: “Will you ever say how many people came to the Destiny and how many are military vs. civillian?”

Answer: We wont’ say but we do have a specific breakdown, civilian and military, in mind as we write the scripts.

Rich S. writes: “He mentions the pressure of writing for a series with such history, when you were seeking new writers for Universe did you deliberately go for people who did not know the franchise?”

Answer: Let’s face it – not that many freelancers would know the franchise. Auditioning writers for this show was simply easier because they could come to the show fresh without having to research about a decade-worth of mythology.

Rich S. also writes: “When the scripts come in from freelancers do you expect to do major re-writes?”

Answer: It’s a given that a freelancer will get rewritten.  It’s simply a matter of how big the rewrite.  Again, it has less to do with talent than the advantage we have of being on staff, knowing the character voices, and being aware of where we’ve been and where we’re going.

dasNdanger writes: “How many eps are you writing for Season 2? And is it true that SGU will be moving to Tuesday nights?”

Answer: Season 2 is still a work-in-progress, so I have no way of knowing how many I’ll write.  At least two.  As for word that we’re moving to Tuesday nights – like everyone else, that’s what I’ve heard.

Kabra writes: “So as a freelancer, when the story is rewritten to the point that’s it’s really not the original writer’s words or recognizable to the writer, does the writer still get full credit for it or do they share the by line with whoever rewrote it??”

Answer: Depends on the show.  On Stargate, this is the case.  I’ve seen scripts in the past that were totally written.  Not a full sentence of the original freelancer’s draft survived.  But the freelancer still received full credit for writing the script.  One of my favorite freelancer stories comes from Brad who was presented with a sample script from a writer looking for a job.  Brad recognized the script.  It was the full rewrite HE had done on this guy’s script when he was working on another show!

Base8 writes: “Curious, “Instead, I ended up putting out some green pages for Awakening which starts shooting tomorrow…sometime.” does green simply refer to the color of paper in your printer, or does it refer to something else? I am assuming that you aren’t still writing the episode if it starts shooting tomorrow….?”

Answer: The Final draft that goes out to everyone is white.  When it comes time for the rewrite, the changes are asterisked and that particular page is put out as a Blue page.  If more than half the script’s pages require changes, then the office simply puts out a Full Blue script.  If there are more changes required, said changes are put out as Pink pages.  Subsequent color drafts include yellow, green, grey, salmon, dingleberry, and Tara Reid faux tan brown.  For more on drafts and the revisions process, check out this past blog entry titled The Ultimate Extreme Extra Superfantastic Best Lucky Ultra Number One Final Final Draft:

DasNdanger writes: “1. Was the question of how the planet came into existence purposely not answered to allow characters (and audiences) to draw their own conclusions?

2. Will the question ever be answered?

3. Will we learn the purpose of the beam?”

Answers: 1. Yep. 2 and 3 – You’ll have to wait and see…

dasNdanger also writes: “Hmmmm…now you’re dreaming about her….hmmmmm…”

Answer: Once, I dreamt I was being chased through the London subway system by a serial killer.  Doesn’t mean a future is in the cards there either.

69 thoughts on “April 17, 2010: Dinner at Shanghai Chinese Bistro

  1. Thanks for answering my questions!! 😀

    Answer: Once, I dreamt I was being chased through the London subway system by a serial killer. Doesn’t mean a future is in the cards there either.

    Soooooo, Joey… *sharpens knife* … when’s your next trip to London…??


    In all seriousness, I’ve had about 5 dreams featuring you, Joe – and still no invite to your annual chocolate party, not even a box of chocolate sent to me on Valentine’s Day! 😡 So phooey on you! I’m gonna start dreaming about Todd, or something…(with my luck, I’ll dream about Kavanagh. 😛 )


  2. Decent sized mailbag is appreciated. And glad to see you’re subsisting on more than protein drinks. And gladder that Carl is serving as a wingman. And gladdest to finally see a picture of one of the new writers. With all well in the world I’m going to retreat for an early bedtime, work permitting.

  3. Answer: Once, I dreamt I was being chased through the London subway system by a serial killer. Doesn’t mean a future is in the cards there either.

    I don’t know… I had a dream once where I was trapped in a house with vampires and had to kill them with a hammer. I had another where I was in a town full of zombies. I’d lay odds that at least one of those is bound to happen eventually.

  4. Umm, Joe, I’d stay away from the London subway if I were you. Just in case…


  5. Joe – have you ever read either Casanova (Matt Fraction) or The Gunslinger/Dark Tower (Stephen King) graphic novels? Just curious if you have, and if you have any feedback on them.



  6. Hi Joe! Thank you for answering my previous questions. It’d rock to get to see Jelly make a special guest appearance in SGU. Maybe Chloe’s mom or Eli’s mom can “adopt a dog” and you know they really miss their baby, and who better than to have Jelly to keep them company. 🙂

    Regarding Kaine and crew on what I like to call “Earth 2” – the whole concept of an alien race – either a previous one or an undiscovered one – showing up while they’re there would make for an *exciting* episode! (Even if just part of an episode.) It’ll be great to see where all of that goes… to see if they go to Earth, and back to Destiny, or if they end up dead, abducted, “probed”… if the aliens that will (hopefully) show up on their Perfect Planet will be friend or foe… I’m excited to see where that story line goes! 😀

    Silly question just for fun…

    If you could have 5 superpowers what would they be and what would you do with them?


  7. That’s some mighty fine teeth you’ve got on display there. Money well spent! *g*

  8. Just thought of something to add to my comments on the faith aspect of “Faith”:

    What the guy who stayed behind was exhibiting was blind faith, which is not really a very accurate depiction of faith as experienced by religious people. It would have been nice to have someone go, “Hey, guys, wait a minute. We have no reason to think that whoever or whatever put this planet here has our best interests in mind. For all we know, this planet is a rabbit trap and that beacon is telling the aliens that their take-out order of yummy humans is ready. Now, I’m all for faith in God, but maybe this is a test of whether we’ll just give up and settle for second-best at the first opportunity or whether we’ll trust God to get us home if we continue on the course we’ve been put on.” Or, you know, something to that effect.

  9. How long is it between Divided and Faith? Rush is apparently up and about (but not really from what spoilers I’ve read). Surely, it would have to be at least a couple of weeks if he’s able to move around but still on the brink of collapse?

  10. You had to write TJ as pregnant. You can’t shoot around hair that awesome. Yes, pregnant lady hair is that much more awesome that not pregnant lady hair. Us science fiction geeks notice every little detail and rant about authenticity. So, there’s just that much more reason not to try to shoot around it.

    So, my husband joined me when I was halfway through watching Faith. I managed to catch him up on the story he missed in no time flat. If this were SG1, I’d’ve at least needed to pause the show to catch someone up at the halfway point. Different show, yeah, just sayin’.

  11. I know you probably didn’t want to answer me put please, give me an answer its my dream to write for stargate can i living in the united kingdom.

    ps. will T.J keep the baby

  12. Tuesday night? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? TUESDAY NIGHT? WTH? Well never ever overestimate SyFy’s ability to F$$$ things up.

  13. Hey, gang, requesting your prayers for South Texas. After a few damp days and one very stormy night, the area’s saturated and under flash flood watches and warnings.

    There’s always someone who doen’t heed the warnings and has to be rescued from flooded roadways. Hoping there will be no tragic deaths this time.

  14. Woah, I missed another post! I think it was easier keeping up when I was on the other side of the country 😉

    As always, Carl’s expressions in your photos cracked me up. Glad he seemed to have an interesting time (minus the prawns I assume).

    While on foods etc, I have a craving for hot chocolate, where’s a good place in Vancouver?



  15. Just rewatched “Faith”. Loved, loved, loved it. The obelisk is MYSTIFYING! I cannot wait to find out what it all means. I have my baseless theories, of course, but I’ll keep them to myself on the off chance I’m right.

  16. I liked that episode but please, for the love of everything holy, ask your peeps to stop with the shaking camera. It makes watching extremely difficult to a person who gets motion sick and outside of a kino shot I fail to see how it contributes to the story.

    I don’t mean to be negative or rude in any way but I like this show and rather enjoy watching it. I cannot continue if it makes me ill.

  17. Thank you for answer Joe, it really sounds cool :D. SG1 is the base on which you created that interesting franchise, it’s really sad that they don’t want to film it now. RDA is like my father I grew on him up I really believe that he is immortal, but when they decide to film it after 20 years…..

  18. Space Questions:

    1. Your answer to Shadow Step regarding whether there was any thought to making the alien ship have a water atmosphere, was a resounding “yes.” Was that idea the genesis of the “wet suits” the (sorry, have to do this) Space aliens wore? The aliens didn’t have a nose as we would recognize one, but they did have facial tentacles that went into the collar of the wet suits.

    If the aliens were supposed to be water-breathing life forms, are the tentacles their “gills” and the collar of the wet suit acts as their version of a respirator, which is something they would require outside of their native habitat? Are the tentacles intended to be some type of implant that attaches to the respirator, or part of the respirator, or are they intended to have evolved naturally?

    2. If the aliens were originally intended to be aquatic, why do they look like they are land-based organisms? Was there a complete revamping done once the water-filled ship idea was scrapped or were they always intended to look the way they do? Are they intended to be aquatic life forms that evolved to survive on land and have since returned to the sea, but retained many of the land-based evolutionary features?

    3. What was the “glass” on the floor in the tank rooms? I think it’s safe to say it wasn’t real glass since Louis Ferreira, Robert Carlyle, and Elyse Levesque were all running around barefoot, and it’s unlikely any of them (or the producers/director) would want to get their feet sliced up.

    Regarding Faith, I quite enjoyed it with all of its little moments:

    1. Brody rocks with his surprised “We?” in response to Rush’s statement about getting to work.

    2. Brody and Park with their differing responses to Young about the same thing. (Boo, we can only turn left! Yay, we can turn left!)

    3. Greer’s method of testing the kiwi, and, of course, the “spirit of cooperation” when it came to digging the latrine.

    4. Scott and Chloe’s tentative moves around each other.

    5. TJ’s uneasiness about returning to Destiny and having to deal with the pregnancy and, as will inevitably happen, Young finding out about it.

    6. Eli and his confession to Wray about sneaking a kiwi, and their conspiracy of silence in sharing it, then their conversation on the observation deck, and their differing points of view regarding the planet. A nice conversation expressing their views with no acrimony involved.

    7. Young’s attempts to make peace with Rush and his questioning whether Rush should even be working, as well as Rush’s somewhat sarcastic but, by and large, subdued responses.

    8. The little glimpses of the fact that Rush is, indeed, overdoing it and pushing himself too hard. Was that a little smear of blood on the tissue he had in his hand while in his quarters?

    9. Rush’s little smile after Young left following his comment about liking chess.

    Here’s a way for Young to get Rush to respect him, at least somewhat: Once Rush has finished carving his chess set, Young challenges him to a game and beats him at it. Rush is smarter, but Young is a tactician, and chess is about tactics, so it is within the realm of possibility that he could beat Rush. Hmmm, shades of Sheppard and McKay, there.

    I did figure out TJ’s pregnancy way early in the ep though, so it didn’t come as a surprise when she confessed to Chloe about what the “problem” was.

    Faith Questions:

    How did Brody and Park get into the shuttle? I assume that the damaged mechanism for the inner hatch to Destiny was repaired, but in Air it was established that there was no exterior hatch control for the shuttle. The whole reason Sen. Armstrong went inside the shuttle was to close the rear hatch as it could only be done from inside the shuttle (although that doesn’t really make much sense since it would mean that either someone would have to remain on the shuttle while it was on a planet or the hatch would have to be left open).

    Did they do a space walk over the hull, scale the shuttle, and enter through the broken window to access the shuttle and open the hatch? Did they bring in the materials to repair the hole the same way? Was it assumed, correctly, that Destiny’s shields would seal the leak once the hatches were reopened and the materials were brought in through the hatches?

    If there is an exterior hatch control on the shuttles, is it placed in such a way that it is simply inaccessible from Destiny, but not on a planet (i.e., the hatch is the same dimensions as the corridor leading to the shuttle and the exterior control is just outside that range and, thus, not accessible while the shuttle is docked)?

  19. What was the name of the character Vincent Gale portrayed in “Faith”? I liked how he was opposite in belief to Dr. Caine. I remember he played an N.I.D. agent back on SG-1, with more hair on his head.

  20. Yeah, after the blow-by-blow of Aliana’s birthing on Twitter, I reckoned her character would either be knocked up or conveniently standing behind tables for several months. By the way, guy with his shirt untucked…I totally thought he was out of place from the second he came on screen. I don’t know why, but I just assumed he would be an Ancient or an Ori or something right from the getgo.

  21. Out of curiosity, Back in January when you asked fans of the show to answer 5 questions about the show; which comments if any, have are you considering to implement or expand on? A second question, will SGU ever bring in themes from SG1 and SGA? And a third question, How does it feel to expand the SG franchise to a new audience and alienate the original fans of the franchise that helped build the franchise to what i t is, because SGU has nothing to offer them? Not to sound rude, but so far SGU is mediocre at best when compared to SGA and SG1. SGU has a lot of potential, and I understand you wanting to take the franchise into a different direction, but a complete 360 degree change is just overkill, how about the original fans, where do they fit in with SGU, should have just done a 180 with SGU. The only reason why I haven’t stopped watching SGU is because I am such a huge fan of SG1 and SGA. I was hoping that SGU would have been a much more balanced show with regards to character and plot development, but its all character development. You should seriously pick the number of seasons you wanna tell the SGU story and just go for it, no bs filler episodes, pick an ending and have all the seasons lead up to that ending and for god sakes please pick up the pace of SGU, it moving so slow its depressing. In all honesty if you actually read my entire comment and respond to it, then I just wanna apologize for all my complaints. I just would look forward for new episodes of SGA and SG1 and I don’t feel the same about SGU.
    Some Ideas that I have for SGU are:
    [At a cursory glance, the ideas looked to detailed to be suggestions and, unfortunately, I can’t accept or publish pitches for the show. If they were merely very detailed general suggestions, then apologies for the edit].

  22. According to everyone on Twitter, your party was a success! Can’t wait to see all the pictures from this year. I nearly become diabetic solely by looking at all the chocolate.

    In the meantime, skipping over those Faith spoilers, although oops, got the pregnancy one before I realized (although I’d already been wondering about that). A few more weeks of school and then I’ll be back in shape to catch up on all my TV. Faith’s got good reviews, so I’m excited!

  23. Hi Joe,

    I liked Faith. It did, however, leave a lot of unanswered questions. I think, at some point, we will be seeing the people left on the planet again. But then I was totally wrong when I thought that no one had stayed on the planet. So what the hell do I know? lol.

    Could Wray have an accident please? I don’t mean kill her off; just a good thwack on the side of the head to cause a personality change would suffice.

    I did have a couple of questions regarding the Faith episode but you have already done the Mailbag for that show, so I shan’t bother.

    Carl looks much happier than at the Raw Foods place. That was nice of you both to take Remi and his friend Cintia out to eat. Is Remi new to Van.? Or just new to the Writer’s Room? How many female writers are on SGU? How many female writers have there been (approx.) for the whole SG series? Since you have an established group of writer’s why do you get Freelancer’s in, especially so early in the series?

    Peking Duck is on my Food Bucket List.

    A noodle show sounds interesting I don’t have any idea what it is…… So I went and consulted The Google, and found some You Tube vids. One was the guy was just flinging the noodles around like a cowboy’s lasso. The other one the guy was actually making the noodles.

    I love crab. One of my favourite shows is the Deadliest Catch, the new season started this week. It was so sad about Captain Phil’s death. I’m just watching the other Captain’s being interviewed on Larry King as I’m writing this comment. I’m sorry but Larry really needs to retire.

    This is an overgeneralization but why don’t Chinese restaurants ever seem to have good desserts? I don’t recall ever having a good dessert at a Chinese food place (fortune cookies don’t count.)

    So I’ve been feeling bad all day about dissin’ Lulu in yesterday’s comments. Pls extend my apologies to her and give her a kiss and a cuddle on my behalf. She is adorable. Besides it sounds like we are kindred spirits of sleeping late on crisp white sheets with lots of fluffy pillows. (Oh-oh just erased a further comment to keep this a family friendly blog *g*).

    Note to Self – 1. Don’t read Joe’s blog whilst hungry and 2. Don’t comment when you are over tired and should be in bed (like now). Good night!

    Have a good one!

  24. Hi Joe:

    I’m still in Vancouver. Some of the fans wandered by the front gate of the lot at Bridge and got pointed at by some burly looking teamsters. Those guys are down right terrifying! The fans ran for cover, just in case someone came outside the fence and pointed at them even more sternly.

    Due to the convention, we missed this week’s episode of SGU. For some reason, we just couldn’t manage to get up and catch the rebroadcast on Space channel at 6AM.

    It’s Sunday. That means that David Blue, Elyse Levesque and Brian J. Smith are up. I haven’t forgotten that extremely life changing question you wanted me to ask them. The answer will be provided on Monday. Then you can decide who among them stays with the show, and who goes.


  25. So, Joe, according to twitter, you had your annual Chocolate party today. THANK YOU FOR TELLING US. 😛

    Looking forward to seeing the photos!!

    Though, do be aware: apparently several SGU actors are on the verge of diabetic fits thanks to you. If they keel over, you’re gonna have sum s’planin’ to do to Brad and Rob!


    Anyways, Faith was a fascinating episode! It didn’t have the excitement and tension found in Space and Divided, but it made up for it with its cerebral storytelling. I was just outlining why it’s one of the most scifi stories in Stargate history over at Gateworld, and the more I wrote, the more I loved the episode.

    The episode was in essence a metaphor for how people handle their faith. Instead of a promise of an eternal paradise that religion gives the peoples of the real world, the “paradise” is made real for the crew of the Destiny, and it’s up to them to decide whether to embrace it, or be critical of it.

    We have people like Dr. Caine who entirely embraced the idea that there is meaning here beyond the reality of a star and a planet that’s formed too quickly, and that a higher power is involved. After the hellish weeks on Destiny, the sharp difference in environment seems to have swept him up.

    Then you have the opposite side of the coin, as with the scientist with the red hair. He questions this “higher power” idea and points out that this isn’t necessarily a paradise at all, but a very real planet that could have “mood swings” if it wants to.

    And then you have others, like TJ, who just sees the planet as a better place than Destiny, and that that’s all it is – but that’s not selling it short either. The planet is great, so why not stay?

    It is a great parallel of the theist, the atheist, and the pragmatist we all meet in the real world, all made possible through a Sci-fi setting. That is some masterful storytelling right there!

    I also loved how the montage served to highlight this, with its juxtaposition of the scenes on the planet and the scenes on the ship. On the planet, the sky was clear, the sun was shining, the air was clean, and everyone had fun enjoying themslves. Meanwhile, on the ship, it was work-work-work, and everything was dark and dank; a great contrast between heaven and hell, so to speak. Or, perhaps Destiny is just reality (to keep to the metaphor of Destiny being our daily lives, and the planet being paradise), and hell is something much much worse.

    So, apart from all that scifi goodness, we also had good ole’ SGU character development and interactions. There were several that comes to mind.

    First of all, TJ. My goodness. Not only was Alaina Huffman’s performance incredible in this episode, but she was absolutely stunning with her hair down like that. What can I say; I am a guy after all. I loved the few moments where she reminisced about her childhood – especially the mention of the Olympic Peninsula. I’ve been there a few times and it is truly a beautiful place.

    So who’s the person who chose it to be included in the script?

    That little smile she wore when she found the last piece of her memory puzzle – the waterfall – was heartwarming. Then, later on, it became heartbreaking as she struggled with her decision to stay. Her conviction to stay for the betterment of her child was very moving and her strength at that moment shone right through (though it could’ve also been the baby glow ;)). I’ve gotta admit, I’ve always liked TJ, but never thought she was that interesting (it might have had something to do with her lack of screentime) – until now. Her character just jumped quite a few levels in interest for me. Not only did we get a revelation about her, but we also saw her in a bad place – she was pushed to her limits personally and it’s always good to see characters like that.

    At the end though, TJ chose to stay on the Destiny in order to fulfill her function as CMO. This was a noble decision, but I think she made it knowing that people such as Scott will not let her baby be harmed in anyway if they can help it.

    Speaking of Scott, he also gained a few levels in Awesomeness. Not only did he do well ordering people around down on the planet, he also showed a sense of honor and leadership by choosing to go against Young just so he can protect the people on the planet when they decided to stay. When one realizes that this means he will never see his son again, it adds an extra layer of nobility to his actions. Good stuff.

    At the same time, when TJ told him he was pregnant, he seemed to be momentarily speechless; he almost had a “deer-in-a-headlights” look to him during that revelation; it just shows that he’s not quite the stoic leader Young is (yet?), and that he still lets his emotions rule him at times. It’s a flaw, but flaws are usually good in TV land.

    And then there was his scene with TJ in the shuttle. Wonderful scene. The two actors have great chemistry, and it was great to see Scott caring so much for TJ in her time of need. I think this has everything to do with Scott’s past – especially with that look he gave some ways into that scene – I saw how the memories of his past instantly erupted back into the front parts of his mind. This time he is not going to make the same mistake and abandon the pregnant girl, even if he wasn’t responsible for it this time. He is going to make amends.

    Now that I think about it, perhaps Scott stayed not only to protect them all, but to especially protect TJ and her child.

    And perhaps Chloe as well. The coldness between her and Scott was obvious and pretty much every scene between them was awkward as hell, which is good. The shot of Scott and Chloe in the pond in the montage was very telling – there’s a bit of mutual “I really want to work this out” thing going on there, and I think it added significant depth to the relationship. Then again, we also saw frustration – I thought Scott’s “Have you forgotten what those aliens did to you the last time we met them?” line was a bit harsh, and Chloe seemed stung by it. Not surprising, considering Scott has been one of her emotional pillars in the show. It will definitely take some time for them to get back to normal, if it happens at all.

    If you ask me – and I’m sure you do since my opinion is oh-so-important (especially to Carl ;)), I think this relationship could suffer a few more tests before they break it off – but ends up getting back together near the end. This way, it allows the characters to grow while apart from each other, but also doesn’t remove the obvious emotional bond between them. Also, I just like to see those “soulmate” relationships in shows where they get together in the end no matter what happens to test them. What can I say, I’m a guy AND a romantic. A lethal combination.

    Speaking of Chloe – she didn’t get that much screentime, but what she had was good. I liked how she tried to ask for work when she didn’t get assigned to a team, and how she helped TJ when she got sick. What I really liked though, was how she stood up for her beliefs once again in her defence of the people who wanted to stay. I love this aspect of her character; she is uncompromising on the value of a human life and the free will that is a right of every one of those lives.

    One relationship that came out of nowhere for me was Wray and Eli. I was wondering what was going on there until I had 2 revelations: 1). Eli usually hangs out with Chloe, Scott, and Greer, but they’re gone. I doubt he wants to hang out with Rush or Young at the moment, so that leaves Wray. He also tried to get away before being caught. Also, 2). Wray now understands the importance of Eli to the “cold war” that is serving as an undercurrent between her, Rush, and Young, and if she can manipulate Eli into being on her side, then there is more power to her.

    Then again, maybe she just wants to be friends with him and no manipulation is involved. It’s just so hard to tell with this show, which is Awesome!

    Speaking of Awesome, I think it’s about time we tell the Dictionary people to list “Greer” as a synonym of it. Seriously, not only does Jamil do masterful work with every line he’s given, every line he’s given is a masterful work! Haha! You see what I did there? Anyway, I loved his moments in this episode. His “You are both going to dig, and you’re both going to love it” speech; definitely a highlight. There was also the bit at the end with him siding with Young right away – not unexpected, but it raises 2 questions:

    1. Now that he’s seen how Scott and TJ go against Young, how will he feel about them?

    2. What will it take for him to be disloyal to Young?

    Interesting questions that I hope you guys will explore somewhere down the line. Scott and TJ are definitely less loyal to Young than Greer is (consider the scene in Air II where Young wanted to sacrifice himself). On the other hand, Greer seemed to go with Scott against Young just fine in “Space” – does this mean that the one thing that will make Greer be disloyal is the issue of sacrificing lives? We saw how Greer was broken up inside when he saw all those lives he lost in “Time”, after all. Another interesting idea to think about, IMHO.

    Ahhhh! I love how consistent these characters are! LOVE IT!

    Loved the Brody-Park team up. Hilarious! Brody continues his pessimism shown in “Darkness”, and no doubt Park is so optimistic all the time thanks to her little book club.

    Annnnd now I can’t think of Joe’s book club without getting weird ideas. Dear God no.

    Finally, we have the seeds of a Young-Rush-Wray leadership council. Seeing them discussing the issue together without any significant shouting matches was refreshing, and it was nice seeing them all calming down a bit and realizing that they HAVE to work together, or else. Young’s efforts in being nice to Rush really made him likeable again after the bad things he did in the last few episodes (during which he wasn’t very likeable, but extremely interesting – which luckily he still is). It was pretty funny seeing Rush being all shocked at Young’s new attitude.

    The “I like chess” line is going to be important, I think.

    One last thing: the CGI in the episode was FANTASTIC. It goes without saying that it looked realistic, but it was also just *beautiful*, especially the shots of the Destiny in front of the star, and that one shot of the shuttle cruising amongst the clouds of the planet. I literally shouted out “Wow!” when I saw that shot. Incredible.

    One nitpick though: when the shuttle first landed on the planet, the grass and weeds beneath it didn’t move at all; I thought that was kind of odd.

    So anyway, I think that’s all I got (cue the reader breathing a sigh of relief). It was a great episode, and it made me think quite a bit. You guys did a great job! And, of course, Denis the Freelancer did a great job as well! Go bug him for more scripts! 😉

    You know what sucks now? I won’t be able to watch “Human” live. I have a final exam starting at the exact time the episode starts on the SPACE channel. This really pisses me off, especially with how “Human” was partially shot at UBC!

    So, basically, I will be missing a SGU episode shot at UBC because of an exam I have to do at UBC! WTF?!

  26. If there was no stargate on the Obelisk planet, then why did Destiny drop out of FTL?

  27. Enjoyed Faith! The Destiny crew might want to get used to seeing pregnant women because the BC will run out eventually. 😉 What are they going to use as diapers?

    How do you think moving SGU to Tuesday might affect ratings?

    Second day without a headache in a week! It’s going to be a good day. This pollen is killing me.

    Have a good one!

  28. Good Morning joe!

    I very much enjoyed Faith! It flowed nicely and the story was good. I think this is going to be classified as a favorite.


  29. OK Joe we ALL know you had your famous chocolate party last night, everyone is tweeting about it!! Give it up!! WE want pictures and a full report!! Who ate and drank what, and everyone who was there. We want a list!! Ivon and KLAM ratted you out, so I expect a full report on tonight’s blog. No excuses, ya got all day to do it,and NO , nothing is more important than this!!……. OK back to reality, so hope the party went well,seems like everyone enjoyed themselves. Are ya gonna crash the con today? Sounds like a good time there as well. Really enjoyed “Faith” on Fri. night. You guys are on your “A” game!! Sheryl.

  30. @DP
    “Us science fiction geeks notice every little detail”

    So me not noticing his hair means I’m not a science fiction geek? Oh hallelujah!

  31. Wow I love that food I have never seen prawns like that!! They look soooo good! Yummy! So does anybody here know how I can send in something to the mailbag? I have asked before but I never got a reply. So please let me know how this is possible. Thanks all and have a great day!

  32. @Das

    Could be worse. You could be dreaming about yourself in Rodney on a small boat. Worse, its raining… Even worse, there is a scary clown in the boat with you. And wait, it gets worse… Sam (Rodney’s whale, not Carter) swallows you both whole….

    Best wishes.


  33. oops. I meant “and Rodney”, not “in”. Could you please edit me Joe? Thanks.

  34. pg15: So, basically, I will be missing a SGU episode shot at UBC because of an exam I have to do at UBC! WTF?!

    The world is going to tilt off its axis for this! 😉

  35. Joe – I liked Faith. I just wish you guys would quit with the meandering montages to show what everyone is feeling at any given moment. I end up fast forwarding through them. More action and/or dialog please.

    Foodish question: What is the actual “gruel” that the cast eats on set while dining on Destiny? Not a biggie, just curious how much “acting” is involved when the characters are showing their dissatisfaction while eating it.

    Production question: What’s the rationale behind the “dirty” lens some of the time? I swear, at least once an episode, I start to get up to clean my TV before remembering that it’s done on purpose. On the bright side though, I clean my TV FAR more often than I ever have before.

    On the subject of dreams: Once, as a pre-teenager, I dreamed that the earth was being invaded by aliens. I started to get some anxiety, then realized that it was a dream, put a blaster in my hand and a shield around my body, and started blowing them all away. So, my advice to you about Ashleigh is to recognize your dream-state and provide some sort of appropriate Ex Deus Machina to deal with her properly. Remember: No one critiques your writing in a dream. 😉

  36. Ewww…

    What a peculiar but expensive looking dinner, Joe…Some of it look like it could be alien critters from SGU, LOL…The dish before the nasty looking mango pudding look’s good though. I see what appears to be beef, baby corn, snow pea’s, broccoli, celery and some sort of noodle, all the things I can recognize, lol.

    Can’t wait til the next show.

  37. I have just got back to the Uk having been in NY visiting an e-pal of mine who I persuaded to record all the 2nd 1/2 of season 1 of SGU for me. And so following your advice about making up my own mind rather than relying on a review I watched them. Either SGU is growing on me or as you predicted there is more action consequently I have enjoyed the last 3 episodes more than the previous 10 combined. The new aliens were fun & reminded me a lot of Babylon 5 & Species 8472 of Star Trek Voyager apart for the difference in colour, perhaps it is just the feel of CGI doing that?
    Faith was a bit wierd mainly because the some of the outside location were the same as use by Battlestar Galactica in Season 2/3 even down to the angles used.

    So my overall impression of season 1 2nd half is good, I certainly found it more enjoyable than the first half but not enough to go out & buy it on disc when it comes out on DVD.

    It is interesting to see that Sy Fy are planing to move the show to Tuesday after all Friday nights are when most of the shows target audience are out socialising & traditionally Fri night viewing figures are lower so a Tuesday will be better for SGU’s audience numbers.


  38. pg15 – Spot on, as usual. Interesting note about Greer: He actually had more to do in this episode (a whole fishing subplot) that had to be cut when Jamil got sick during filming.

  39. Providing administrative support.

    @Niall Macnamara…Joe has answered versions of your question many times. Try the Search function at upper right corner of page or google “writing for television” or “breaking into scriptwriting”.

    @Bloomgate: I think the dirty lens indicates KINO shots.

    @Freeman: The commnents section IS the mailbag. Just post! 🙂

    @SG FAN…please forgive me, missed my calling as either teacher or copy editor, but…you, like many, have confused 180 degrees of turning radius with 360 degrees. If stand and turn to face the opposite direction, that’s a 180-degree turn. If you turn in a complete circle, 360 degrees, you end facing the same direction as when you began.

  40. After being burnt out on the whole SG1 and Atlantis formula thing I gave SGU a chance on Hulu. Only intending on watching one episode I watched 6 in a row.

    Better writing, not focused on bad guys with silly voices and had better actors. On the other SG shows I’d get annoyed with civvie actors moving and acting like civvies while pretending to be military, did the budget not run to a day of bootcamp?

    I watched Stargate in the cinema and going from suicidal tough Kurt Russell to lets have a vote I don’t do orders Richard Dean Anderson spoiled it. Maybe Americans think hes tough (I’m British) On SGU the formula changed and rightly so it got into characters more. The average grunt is going into slack Nam mode and the officers need to kick ass but at least they aren’t bouncing about like they had too much caffine.

    It is like Battlestar Galactica’s less talented child but far better than the SG’s. I can pick out characters like Robert Carlyle’s Dr Smith from Lost in Space, Colonel Young as John Sheridan from Babylon 5, LT Matthew Scott is Ethan Hawke from Training day . Others have roles to be fleshed out I like the way TJ being overwhelmed in her role as doctor gets dissed by her patients unlike other shows in which the doctor is the best and most respected person there is.
    Greer is the military steel fist and a proper follow orders type even if he shouts “who is with me” every time he wants to form a mob a much needed character who could do with a more scary edge or he’ll just look like a thug stereotype.

    Having a ship load of people with character flaws instead of perfect stand in pros makes me want to watch some characters but that Eli gets annoying too much Tarrentino.

    The power struggle Young has against the civilians is pure BSG but in Youngs place you need to be tough and not everyone can be pleased by your actions, the taking a vote might have worked for O’Neill but really he’d be taking orders in the second episode and making everyone tea so they all like him.

    You have a nice class system to explore with big boobied marines wanting to get it on with professors who would only go near them if they ran out of choices.

    I don’t know if anyone has said all this before my opinions are purely from viewing last night. All round better sci-fi than usual keep up the good work and some good casting there.

  41. I was wondering If you are using?:

    Type I, II, and Type III Civilizations…
    Type I – this civilization harnesses the energy output of an entire planet.
    Type II – this civilization harnesses the energy output of a star, and generates about 10 billion times the energy output of a Type I civilization.
    Type III – this civilization harnesses the energy output of a galaxy, or about 10 billion time the energy output of a Type II civilization.
    We would be a ‘Type 0+’ on the verge of possibly a Type I in a hundred years or so…

  42. Thanks for your response to my question,Joe, it’s good to know the writer gets credit for his/her work. I have had some teacher give my art work a totally different look, sometimes I have agreed, sometimes not. But it has always been a learning experience.

    Yes – please do tell, what is a “noodle show’? Is it legal?

    It worries me SGU is moving to another night, the last time that happened to a show I liked -Ugly Betty – it got canceled. I hope that’s not the case I’m just starting to get into SGU.

  43. JOE – I was at a big craft show the other day and came across this artist who is from your neck of the woods. Being the foodie that you are, I thought of you when I saw her work. And thought perhaps it will provide you with an unique gift idea for your various foodie friends whenever you happen to be stuck for one…?

    Her pieces are even nicer looking in person!

  44. @ Carl Binder….oooooh, so that’s what happened, he got sick. I thought he was missing quite a bit from this episode. I was like where is Greer?! I need more Greer!….By the way, what or where the heck is pg15 and how can I read it?

  45. Ignore my questions about why did Destiny drop out of FTL. It got pretty nicely explained in the episode. Don’t know why I missed it during first viewings.


  46. @das

    lol. Im gonna laugh so hard the day that Joe goes to England and get chased by a serial killer.

    Ive had one dream about Joe that I can remember. Him and Andy Mikita and me and about a dozen others were hanging out waiting to hear back from MGM if the movies were greenlit(MGM had a deadline) and both ended up being greenlit. Thats pretty much why I started the movie campaign. If any of you guys haven’t heard about the campaign yet check it out.

    Here is the FB page: (were almost at 700)

    And the the Gateworld thread:

    Also, there is this campaign that is starting up at Gateworld revolving saving the bald asian man left behind on the planet. I fully support this campaign and wanted to bring it to your attention!*Faith-Spoilers*

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  47. Tuesday?! Wait, please tell me this is happening next season. I’m a total LOST fanatic and would totally have to catch SGU on the internet (which would be depressing to say the least because I love getting online and talking about it right away).

    Another question – one of your mailbag’s mentioned that it looked like the SG-1 movie probably won’t get filmed – I’m assuming we’ve officially heard nothing? Not wanting to beat a dead horse but I generally ignore anything but what I read here.

  48. @Shadow Step: As a collective, we’d have noticed. Just because you wouldn’t be the first to notice doesn’t mean we wouldn’t expect you to join the ranting.

    Question for Joe about foodie culture:

    You’re about to take a bite of a delicacy that comes in small portions. Just as you pop it into your mouth, your dining mate asks you a question and waits expectantly for your answer, distracting you from savoring a rare treat. How do you respond?

  49. joe said, regarding 3rd sg1 movie: “Let’s just say the story stems from an issue that has plagued Stargate Command since its inception.”

    hmm… i’m thinking the program going public (by accident or… )?

    are you still hearing at least ‘rumblings’ about the 3rd movie? *hopes*

  50. I dont agree at all with Kaine and the other half dozen people staying behind. You’re stranded across the universe, your best way of getting home is the ship destiny because it has a stargate, and you know by fact the stargate can get you home with enough power.

    letting those people stay behind hurts because by letting people leave dwindles the number and as rush said, we cant afford that, since there is no way to get reinforcements.

    however, i do see their point of view. if someone created a star system and a planet, there is a good chance they can save them and take them home. its a risk and even though they didnt have a choice to board destiny, i suppose they do have a choice in staying on the planet and taking their chances.

    If it was my call, i would have had the military round those people up.

    by the way, favorite scene was young going to the planet and talking to everyone. i loved how he ordered the military back.

  51. @ Major D. Davis – Whew! I don’t feel so bad now! In my defense, all my Joe Dreams have involved food…so I’m probably subconsciously lusting after good eats, and not Mr. M. (Sorry, Joe. 😉 )

    As far as hoping for an Atlantis movie, alas…I’ve given up hope. Just today I found out that the Wraith Defenders Thread was moved from the Atlantis main forum to ‘characters and relationships’ because all the serious discussion and speculation from days past has been reduced to naughtiness and gushing. Sure, it’s fun once in a while, but for me the death of the serious discussion signals an end to the Wraith as we knew them from the show. Now they’re just fan fic sex toys. *sniffle* (I knew it was gonna happen – predicted it, in fact – but it’s still sad.)

    I kinda feel in entertainment limbo right now. Though I have favorite shows (like NCIS), none affect me as passionately as Atlantis did. No passion, no desire to get into deep discussions. But the same is happening with comics – I’m getting bored, looking for something new. Though I like reading Spider-Man, Iron Man and a couple others, the only character I still really care about is Wolverine, and I’m a little apprehensive about what Marvel is planning for him over the next year. The only thing that is still ‘thrilling’ me is Elric (just started a new – to me – Elric story today, in fact), but pretty soon I’m gonna run out of his stories, too. I just feel kinda ‘meh’ overall as far as this sort of entertainment goes (movies, tv, books, comics), and I’m thinking that soon I’ll be stepping away from the internet because of it.

    See, I have a theory. I first came on-line in 2000 to discuss the Horatio Hornblower miniseries on A&E. I was very passionate about that series and the books (read them all – a feat for me!). However, this ‘passion’ for the show was directly related to what I was later to discover to be the onset of a bad case of depression… depression that lasted (in various degrees) until…this winter. It’ll probably come back, but for now I’m feeling pretty good, and the better I feel, the less obsessed I become over silly things like tv shows. I think I’ve finally come full circle. Each ‘obsession’ was another way to cope – Hornblower was my first diversion (or, as my sister says, it was me being an ostrich, sticking my head in the sand). Hornblower lead directly to my volunteering on NJ’s Offical Tall Ship, the AJ Meerwald, and working on her was my ‘therapy’ during the worst of my depression. Pirates of the Caribbean (and Jack!) lifted my spirits in 2003 for the first time in nearly 3 years to a point where I could start socializing more regularly with real-life friends. I still couldn’t concentrate on reading, however…until I started reading comics, back in 2006 – Wolverine Origins #1. (From Dec. 2001 – when I got news of a friend’s sudden death – until spring 2006 I was unable to concentrate on anything longer than a forum post.) Then in 2008 I discovered Atlantis, and the Wraith gave me something to fight for. God, I loved those guys. I shoulda been their lawyer, or something. 🙂 Still depressed, though. Elric was the next step, finding him signalled the end of my lifelong search for the perfect fictional antihero, and I probably would never have discovered him had it not been for my interest in the Wraith, which lead to this blog, which lead to Sparrowhawk and you, Joe, both encouraging me to look into the doomed albino’s saga. And now? Well…I guess I’ve finally pulled my head out of the sand and other things are calling me…and none of them seem to be in the world of pop culture. It’ll be interesting to see where I go from here. In the meantime, with all my passion for pop culture waning, I find I’m less and less interested in the net. Probably won’t visit Gateworld much, comic book forums suddenly seem like a waste of time, and I really hate e-mail! Still love this blog, though…so I’ll probably stick around. In the meantime, however, I’m getting a lot done in real life, and it feels great! 🙂

    Thanks for letting me ramble, Joe. The reason I did is because I know what depression is like, and I know a lot of people have it, and I just wanted to let them know that sometimes there IS a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s worth it to keep coping, and hoping, even on the darkest of days.

    (Oddly enough, when I’m depressed I’m also WAY funnier than when I’m feeling good. LOL…so now I’m this happy, totally unfunny person, instead of the gloomy jokester. Sometimes I really don’t understand myself. 😛 )

    And I didn’t proofread because I have to run an errand for Mr. Das. Cheers! Have a good one, everybody!


  52. @Das – Always glad to see/read you here, whether you are up, down or sideways with the world!

  53. @ BMc – Thanks! If Joe keeps posting sexy pics of Alan M. like he did on his latest chocolate party entry, I just might have a new obsession!! 😀 😀


  54. Joe, my suggestion were just very detailed, but I understand while you edited them out, so no hard feelings. I would tremendously appreciate it if you could answer the questions I had in the first paragraph(see below). Sorry, if question 3 comes off blunt or insulting. I’m just frustrated with the pace of the show and how much time is being put into character development rather then plot development. I suppose all the initial character development, will help improve plot development in future seasons. Could you at least make the characters more interesting to watch, then focusing on their personal problems, we all have problems, we don’t need to be watching someone else’s. Could you at least consider making a forth franchise that is more like SG1 and SGA, since you cant bring back SGA. Thanks, wish the best for SGU.

    1. Back in January when you asked fans of the show to answer 5 questions about the show; which comments if any, have are you considering to implement or expand on?

    2. Will SGU ever bring in themes from SG1 and SGA?

    3. How does it feel to expand the SG franchise to a new audience and alienate the original fans of the show that helped build the franchise to what it is today, because SGU has nothing to offer them?

  55. Hi Joe

    You can’t accept or publish pitches for the show, as you have said before. Da Rules! Apologies for having missed the info but what are the options for those with the thought, and hope, that they’ve something original, and a fit for the story arcs (they believe) of SGU, and want to tell the tale, not see it wither?

    Quite a few folk have said they’d love to pitch original ideas and/or write. Me, too. What should they/we all do – dream on and entertain ourselves and cliques with the crafted tales, or get an agent for that is THE only way to make an official approach, to anyone, on any series, at any time. Our gatekeeper talks to your gatekeeper?

    …and to get an agent is a journey of craft in itself, besides which by then we should have at-the-ready an original script (movie, for TV, eg like a pilot) and also a demo-original ep for an established, successful TV series? Those are needed as the proverbial calling cards, or door jams, to help the agent help us?

    I recall Gene Rodenberry ok’d a book of original fan-contributed stories, or ‘eps’, for the original Star Trek. Should it be utterly impossible to pitch for the series – and I believe it’s not (hey, I’ve this great double-ep you’re gonna love…) – then what about a producer who loves books with a passion that approaches chocolate saying if such a venture could work for SG (note, I’m thinking SGU here, but possibly wider possibilities…) with a pitch ‘room’, etc?

    One other aspect of the pitching…is there more open, wider scope for the potential movies? I’m reflecting on how the Bond series often has new writers come on, there’s no fixed stable (though there is in SG)…

    A few questions…thanks for taking them and I’d really appreciate learning your views, and advice…

    Carl’s, too

    and, Brad’s

    Robert C’s


    …pile in, please.

    Looking forward to what comes! (scripts, too? Can supply email, postal, pigeon, etc)

    best, Patrick

  56. Joseph.

    As I sit in my office and watch old seasons of Stargate SG-1, I dream of a time when I looked forward to new Stargate episodes. I have to say I am very disappointed with SGU. The main plot line in every episode is clouded by confusion. In SG-1 episodes you were able to flesh out new cultures and exciting exploration. In this series we’ve barely seen exploration because there is so much political unrest. Please give us what we want in a syfy show, space exploration and discovery. I can get political debates and conspiracy theories from CNN. You don’t have to approve the comment if you don’t want it on your blog but please take it to heart. I have so many friends who were avid SG-1 and Atlantis fans who really want to be SGU fans. Don’t try to be Lost or Battlestar anymore. You can claim back so many fans if you just return a little more towards the roots that made your previous shows so great. Give us a controllable ship, some unity in purpose and some awesome bad guys to go up against.

  57. I am disappointed with SGU I have tried really hard to get into the show but it’s just not there so I started writing my own little SG1 returns story/script for my own amusement. Shame it got Axed it was a GREAT show wish there had been more series made.

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