I begin today’s entry with another BIG guest blogger announcement.  As you all know, Jamil Walker Smith and Elyse Levesque have your questions and are furiously working away on them, also managing to squeeze in time for their full-time jobs on Stargate: Universe.  So to those of you asking – yes, they’re working on ’em and should have their answers back our way…soon-ish.  In the meantime, while we’re waiting, let’s put another Q&A into play…

Actress Alaina Huffman wants to answer your questions and kick some ass (photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television).

Actress Alaina Huffman (SGU’s Tamara “TJ” Johansen) wants to hear from YOU.  Yes, YOU.  NOT that other guy or gal, but YOU.  So if you have a question for Alain, post away.  I’ll be gathering them up over the course of the next few days and will be sending them her way by week’s end – after which I’ll start collecting questions for yet another guest blogger!

Today was Ice Cream Day.  I made two batches.  The first, Vanilla with Shaved White Chocolate and Milk Chocolate Flakes, is for Ashleigh.  The second, Sweet Corn with Cheddar Chips is for whoever is brave enough to sample it tomorrow.  I’m sure the first will be very good, but I have high hopes for the latter. Now, all I have to do is remember to bring them to work tomorrow.

Sure, last Friday’s episode of SGU was chock full of cool elements: alien ships, robots, body switching, and, best of all, Mr. Brody’s contribution to future parties, hilarity, and interminable stories…

The concept.

Setting up the still.
Ready to go.
Brody's Bar: open for business!

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular Paloosa.

Let’s field some questions –

Bryan M. White writes: “Seriously though, I was watching the SGA episode Adrift tonight on DVD and was wondering if the background plate of the two galaxies was taken from the shot of Midway, replacing the station w/ Destiny?”

Answer: Can’t recall for certain, but it sure sounds like something we would do.  If we didn’t – you’re hired!

Craig writes: “1) Does the robot have a name?

2) How are the show’s ratings? I don’t think I’ve heard anything since Justice about how well the show is performing. Has it been doing better since season 1.5 started? Or about the same?”

Answers: 1) Ludwig Honenberger the Third.

2) The show came back with a 1.18 , maintained, dipped a little, then came back last week to match the 1.18.  Internally, we’re referring to it as the “Knepper Bounce” because, last week, Carl found himself on a return flight to L.A. with guest star Robert Knepper.  As they were disembarking, a passenger recognized Robert and called out to him: “Loved you in Prison Break!”  Robert responded: “Then you should check out Stargate: Universe!”

dasNdanger writes: “Joe – just wondering (since you mentioned things catching up with you) if your aches and pains have gone away, or are you still having troubles? If they’ve gone away, just curious as to what you did to feel better (as long as it’s clean and legal, that is ;) ).”

Answer: I did what any grown man would do when faced with a mysterious ache and/or pain.  I ignored it until it went away.

Scott writes: “is the robot going to be doing like fixing up the broken parts of the ship now? so that like the crew can start exploring more of the ship?”

Answer: That’s the idea.

PG15 writes: “1. Since you’re back to being an Executive Producer for Season 2, does that mean that you can give us episode rundowns for Awakening and Resurgence, like you did with those SGA episodes you wrote?

2. Is there any significance to the fact that the only 2 non-one-word SGU episode titles so far are right next to each other? Are they a 2-parter perhaps?

3. Now that Young and TJ are kinda joined at the chromosomes, how will Emily feel about this? Are you guys going to touch on Young’s wife again soon?

4. How far are you guys along on coming up with stories for the 2nd season? Got an idea for the season finale yet?

5. Has anyone in the production seen Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” series?

6. Did you actually read this entire, extremely long comment?”

Answers: 1. Possibly, if I find the time.

2. Nope, no significance.  They were simply more suitable titles.

3. Yes, we will be touching on his relationship with Emily some time in the near future.

4. We still have a few open slots, but we do know where we’re headed for our second season finale.

5. Of course.

6. Of course.

duneknight writes: “did you guys chicken out? because of the contriversy regarding the sex scene or did you plan it like that all along?”

Answer: There were some minor changes, but no more than would be made on any script as it advances from outline to and through its various drafts.  The one change that stood out for me was a little character backstory we had planned for the Lieutenant James character.  Initially, she volunteers, makes the switch, panics, and backs out.  Rather than being a simple freak out, we learn that her reason for backing out stems from a personal issue – specifically, the circumstances surrounding her younger brother’s paralysis.  Even though it was a positive depiction of the bond between siblings, Standards and Practices felt that it cast a physical disability in a negative light because James displays grief for her brother’s condition.  As a result, we had to lose it.

imadaman writes: “No hints about when the premiere took place? Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years after EatG?”

Answer: It would have to have taken place not too long after the events of EatG (days, maybe weeks perhaps) since the events of the Atlantis movie, Stargate: Extinction, follow very son after EatG as well (and helps explain why Dr. McKay wasn’t drafted to body switch during the show’s first season).

E writes: “I thought that’s going to happen in “Sabotage”, but it didn’t… Can we still expect clawing-eyes-out-worthy sex scenes in 1.5?”

Answer: Enjoy the teaser of Pain.

RedFlames writes: “If each dive into a star isn’t fully recharging the zpms/batteries/hamsters-on-wheels or whatever powers Destiny why doesn’t destiny stay inside the star until it is fully charged?”

Answer: Damage to the ship’s systems make it incapable of fully recharging.  Presently, Destiny’s capacitors are only able to charge to about 40% capacity.

Curiositykitty writes: “Theres also a bunch of gripes online about the music montages in episodes lately. Ive been beginning to think its just one of those sgu things now thats a stylistic thing for the series.”

Answer: Bingo.

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dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Answer: I did what any grown man would do when faced with a mysterious ache and/or pain. I ignored it until it went away.”

And this, sir, is why you haven’t been able to get rid of me. wink

Have a good evening, Joe!

das

sheryl
sheryl

I LOVED Brody’s Still, very cool!!!! Sheryl.

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

Very nice mailbag. And great news on yet another q&a. Looking forward to hearing about the reactions to the ice cream. Thanks for the daily dose, and hope you managed enough sleep.

HBMC
HBMC

“…and helps explain why Dr. McKay wasn’t drafted to body switch during the show’s first season.”

First season hey? What about the show’s second season? wink

cat4444
cat4444

Re: Sabotage I have to agree with everyone else that has said the return of Eli, Scott, and Chloe was too rushed. Seems like they just came back as though they’d been out for a stroll. No worries. There should have at least been a scene showing them despairing of ever getting back to Destiny and then elation when Destiny suddenly reappears on the remote, before Eli frantically begins dialing the gate and they pile through. (Cut scene maybe?) Should also have been somewhat more elation demonstrated by them on returning and by the others upon their return. Everyone seemed rather blasé and matter-of-fact about it, though. Blueberry aliens are back! Rush looks freaked out at the possibility of them getting on board! Stones “malfunction” again! Franklin saves the day! I’m beginning to think those stones are the Stargate equivalent of a transporter/turbolift/holodeck in the way they seem to “malfunction” at inopportune moments lately. I’m also sticking by my thought that the stone the Blueberries have is somehow different than the average run-of-the-mill stone. I particularly don’t understand why anyone on Destiny would use THE stone when they have four others to choose from, especially when they know the Blueberries are probably looking for them and, if that stone wasn’t used but the Blueberries were still able to take control of James in order to sabotage the ship, they either have one of those special stones I posited from a seeder ship, or they understand the technology a whole lot better than Rush gave them credit for. The Blueberries learn fast, too. Young got on board through the stones and freed Rush. Rush then freed Chloe, and they both made their way back to Destiny. (Yeah, I know, probably planned that they get returned to the ship, but likely not before the Blueberries used Chloe to get the information they wanted from Rush.) So, to prevent the Destiny folks from knowing what was going on, they drugged up one of their people, put him/her/it in a dark closet, and pulled off the switch with James, then put her back when the “mission” had been accomplished. Question is, how did they know the opportunity was there? Was it through random attempts to connect or some means of knowing there was an “open line” available? Definitely need Amanda to return, she’s good for Rush. Loved the scenes with them, as well as the reactions to them: Eli’s incredulity that she was referring to Rush, TJs stunned look at finding them hugging each other. I also love that the characters are evolving as events progress: Rush actually grabbing Young to stop him from sitting in the chair and Young’s rather bemused look, not to mention Rush’s “did I just do that” look; Brody and his still (Yay! I knew he had it in him. Go, Brody! Does this mean alcohol wars are about to begin between him and Inman as to who produces the best hooch?); Young seems to be mellowing somewhat, too,… Read more »

cat4444
cat4444

Pretend that’s not all in bold. wink

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

@ cat4444 –

I literally lol at your second post! grin

das

Shawna
Shawna

Even though it was a positive depiction of the bond between siblings, Standards and Practices felt that it cast a physical disability in a negative light because James displays grief for her brother’s condition.

Well, that’s just idiotic. Who on earth wouldn’t grieve for a sibling being paralyzed? All this PC crap is ridiculous. Like handicapped people are all going, “Yay! It’s awesome that I can’t use my legs! If I could use them, I think I’d cut them off, ’cause not being able to use them is awesome!” Meanwhile, a reasonable explanation for a character’s actions is disregarded in favor of her just freaking out for no reason. (Which I deduce purely from your comment about it, as I haven’t seen that ep yet, since I have to wait for Hulu.)

movebee03
movebee03

Thanks for taking the time to answer fan questions, you have a terrific blog. I really love the show. A few questions…

Are we going to see even more backstory and more depth for Msgt. Greer? “Lost” was great.

Will we see a backstory on Dr. Park? Any chance that Dr. Park and Msgt. Greer become an item? Or was it just a one time thing?

Arlan
Arlan

Questions for Alaina Huffmans:
How does it feel having your real-life pregnancy written into your character?
Was it a relief that you wouldn’t have to spend episodes wearing baggy clothing, standing behind something, or sitting down in order to cover your baby bump?
Also, how do you juggle having a newborn with your busy SGU shooting schedule?
Thanks, and keep up the great work!

cat4444
cat4444

Daz: Yeah, really wish this thing came with a preview function. grin

skye
skye

Hi Ms. Huffman,

I was wondering how did u tell the Producers that u were pregnant and how did they react to the news?

Skyejag

Bryan M. White
Bryan M. White

Hello Joe.

Once again, thank you for answering our questions, and offering us the chance to question the cast. I just have a quick question tonight (kinda a follow-up question): if you reuse or slightly modify stock footage for a visual effect shot, does it cost the same as when the shot was originally produced?

Is it cheaper to slightly modify existing shots which has been done in Atlantis, for example taking the stock shots of the city rising from the pilot, and adding a beam and ripple for the shield (season 3: First Strike), or would it cost the same if the department creates a whole new shot?

Along that line, do you pay each time stock footage of the ship is shown traveling through FTL?

Getting away from post-production questions for a bit… What did you and your sister do for Mother’s Day? My sister had the family come to her house, and she made meatloaf and ribs. Personally I like Bat Out Of Hell (1 & 2) but I HATE the dish (sorry for the bad joke). Too moist for my liking. That said, the ribs were great! Then we gave Mom her gift: a gift card for spa treatment before her vacation later this month.

I hope your family had a nice Mother’s Day as well.

Best wishes.

Bryan

Bryan M. White
Bryan M. White

Okay, so that wasn’t so quick… wink

Best wishes.

Gilder
Gilder

For Alaina Huffman: How do you fill “down time” between shots or scenes? Reading, needlework, hobbies?

(Same theme as my questions to Elyse…I’m in one of my needlework phases)

Chad
Chad

Will we ever find out what happened to the Exodus ship from AoT? And is there something special about it?

JulieAloha
JulieAloha

Joe,

The ice-cream sounds great – I would try the sweet corn and cheddar chip in a heart beat; care to reveal your recipes? BTW, I looked up the Gelato 3000 – $2799 on sale (but with free shipping) (oh, and it has a removeable bowl with a lid, too) and it only makes 1.5 kg at a time? That has got to be some majorly smooth frozen goodie for the money.

Thanks for the mailbag – here’s something for the next one:

1. Is Ludwig an SG version of Farscape’s DRDs or Red Dwarf’s scutters?

2. Are we seriously going with Blueberries?

3. And if Wraith have iPads, will Blueberries have Blackberries?

Q’s for Alaina:

1. Which is your favorite episode so far and why?

2. What is the funniest thing that has happened on set?

3. With which characteristic of TJ’s do you most identify?

Thank you!

Natalie
Natalie

I’ve been a long time reader of the blog but this is my first comment. I came to the SG Uni via SGA, have enjoyed the occasional SG1 ep when I can catch it and have made SGU a priority on my DVR. I have to say that I somewhat resented SGU because I was with the fan-sentiment that SGA was dropped because of SGU, but SGU is such a different show from either SG1 or SGA–and has taken a darker track than either–that I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve wished more than once that we’d gotten the darkness/background in SGA that we’ve gotten in SGU, but I’m not going to resent SGU because of what I didn’t get in SGA.

So, I think the eps thus far have been mostly hits with, I’d say, two eps not holding up to the bar that have been set. I’m really enjoying the show, especially after the mid-season hiatus. But since we’ve had Daniel Jackson in every SG universe, and you explained why McKay hadn’t been involved in the first season… are you going to involve McKay in the second season? He seems a natural for the pickle Destiny seems to be in. I hope you bring him in!

In other news: I reallyreally hope the SGA movie happens.

Also, to reiterate: I reallyreally would love to see McKay in and ep of SGU!

In other other news, I love the food and author part of your blog. I visit Seattle/Vancouver every 2 years or so and am always looking for good new restaurants. The picture blog is always appreciated! I always appreciate a new author to check out!

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

@ Joe – Is it Alain, or Alaina? You are confusing me. razz

@ cat4444 – But that would take all the fun out of it! grin

RE: James – I did find it a bit confusing as to why she backed out. At first I couldn’t figure out what was going on – thought maybe she saw a spider, or something. wink

In honor of National Hamburger Month, I repost this link:

http://cheeseandburger.com/

And whet a few appetites with this picture:

comment image

Enjoy!!

das

Eric.Stewart
Eric.Stewart

I just couldn’t wait til Wednesday…. Pretty nice episode grin ….was planning to only watch 30 minutes of it… then kept on watching!!! like the end. So the chair accepts human sacrifice ?!!!

me
me

SGU keeps getting better week after week.

I love the work Alaina has done in Painkiller Jane, Smallville, and now SG-U. My questions for Alaina are:

1) Is it tough being a Goddess?

2) Will you be appearing in season 10 of Smallville as the Canary?

Thanks.

MyNameIsNada
MyNameIsNada

Questions for Alaina:

1) Considering Stargate’s past treatment of doctor’s in the franchise, is any part of you worried about your character’s possible demise?
2) Do we see the baby born in this season?
3) Help me interpret some of these scenes between TJ and Young. I definitely picked up on some tension between the two characters early on, before a past relationship was directly revealed. However, I’m having a hard time grasping the depth of this relationship. I like both characters and want to imagine that this past came about from some emotional need, but I also get the feeling that it was just a purely physical attraction that went too far. Any hints to their past or what you imagine it to be?
4) If you were in TJ’s shoes-would you have chosen to stay on the planet to raise a child over Destiny?

GabbyD
GabbyD

hi joe!

i got a SGU question:

what happened to lou diamond philipp’s character? has he left the show?

cat4444
cat4444

das Sorry on the spelling. I’m obviously at Daz too much for my own good.

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

@ cat4444 – I didn’t think twice about it – I’ve had people spell it that way before. Just assumed you were spelling it phonetically, or …you had just been diggin’ into a tub of Häagen-Dazs. smile

das