Today, it gives me great pleasure to turn this blog over to Stargate: Universe Executive Consultant and Resident Deputy Fire Marshal Remi Aubuchon.  Remi joined the writing staff for the show’s second season, the happy result of a snafu with the Rauschepfeifes and Rebecs for Ragamuffins program that saw him land on our office doorstep instead of the underpriviledged youth originally scheduled to study the fine art of minstreling under my tutelage.  Instead of seven year old Achille Zogbo, we got a guy who created the critically acclaimed Lyon’s Den, co-created the Battestar Galactica spin-off Caprica, executive produced Summerland, Wildfire, the aforementioned Lyon’s Den, and Persons Unknown (airing Monday nights at 10:00 p.m. on NBC), co-executive produced on 24, and wrote the Caprica pilot in addition to innumerable scripts for shows like Providence, Chicago Hope, and the Tom Hanks-produced HBO series From Earth to the Moon.  And he also plays a mean hirtenschalmei!

Well, things worked out for everyone.  I’m thrilled to have Remi on board and, last I heard, young Achille had landed a staff job on CBS’s The Good Wife.

So enjoy Remi’s Q&A, and then stick around (a.k.a. “keep reading”) for yet another special guest blogger announcement…

DP writes: “Q’s for Remi: Are yo a freelancer or on staff?”

RA: I am on staff — my title is Executive Consultant.  I have no idea what that title means, but sounds fancy doesn’t it?

“What rules did you have to follow in writing your spec scripts that you get to relax on while writing SGU for pay?”

RA: What’s great about working on an established show, where the characters are defined is that you don’t have to worry about that work and just concentrate on the story.  Working on pilots is hard work because you are creating the whole world, the rules, the dynamics, etc., etc.  out of whole cloth — that work has already been done by the likes of Joe Mallozzi.

“What scriptwriting rules did you have to tighten up on while writing SGU for pay vs. spec scripts? Vs. scripts written for Ronald Moore projects?”

RA: Ron and I worked as partners on Caprica and really, we created the rules together and shared our stuff back and forth sort of like jazz musicians.  It was a great working experience.  SGU not too dissimilar but getting up to speed on a mythology that has been over ten years in the making is daunting.

“Space dolphins – what’s so bad about that?”

RA: Personally, I love space dolphins and was shocked and horrified to realize they were just kidding.

“What sea creature would you like to see in space?”

RA: Giant squid.  First of all, the Destiny crew’s food troubles would be over: calimari for at least a year.

“Do you play any mmog’s (massively multiplayer online games)?”

RA: I do not because I suck at it.  My daughter and I play Age of Empires via game ranger, I love doodle jump on my iPhone, and the occasional RockBand fest, and really that’s the extent of my gaming.  My biggest fear about jumping into mmogs is that I will never return to the world of the living.

“Who puts more actor direction into a script, you or Ronald Moore? What’s up with that?”

RA: I try not to put any actor direction into the script.  There are times when I will put it in, but it’s usually for the studio or network that doesn’t always understand the intention of the line.  Actors always do.

“What science fiction element from literature do you think should be seen onscreen more?”

RA: STEAMPUNK!!!!  I am working on a TV pitch for this.  And alternative world lit.  Why hasn’t “The Man in the High Tower” been done?  “A Canticle For Liebowitz?”  “Jesus On Mars?”

“Where does Joe keep the good chocolate?”

RA: Some place where the rest of us can’t get to it.

“How often does Joe bring the dogs to the office?”

RA: Not enough.

Ponytail writes: “Question for Remi Aubuchon: You always look like your fix’in to crack Joe’s camera over his head. Do you mind him taking your picture or are you just showing lots of patience with him?”

RA: I love Joe.  He always says to me “look like you’re pissed” before he snaps the camera.

Bloomgate writes: “For Remi : How about one (or however many you need) word(s) to describe each of the other writers on SGU?”

RA: This one’s too scary for me.

Gilder writes: “@Remi: Congrats on premiere of “Persons Unknown”. Even Husband, who prefers historical documentaries, was intrigued.  Filmed in central Mexico, ¿si? Are you dubbing in Spanish and/or Italian? If so, are any of the English-speaking cast performing in a second language?”

RA: While we did cast some actors from Mexico, most were from elsewhere.  I will tell you the Daisy Betts is Australian, Gerald Kyd is British, and the little girl who plays Megan is Mexican.  So we kinda have an international cast.

“My academic credentials and best skills are in Spanish; I may start graduate courses in translation this fall. If Ps Unk goes to second season, I would be tempted to offer my services…!”

RA: I’m open, if there’s a second season!  Start the good vibes out into the universe now!

Gilder also writes: “@remi again : I’m particularly impressed with the hotel set…reminscent of the historic older hotels in Austin and San Antonio, TX. Did the Ps Unk set designer draw inspiation from the Fairmont, Menger and Gunter in SA, or the Driskill in AUS?”

RA: Ken Hardy, who designed the sets for The West Wing, Studio 60,Journeyman, etc. is a certified genius.  He drew from all sorts of places, including a couple buildings from Pasadena, California.  We wanted it to look like a town that normally you would drive through on a road trip, and not give it a thought.

Gilder also writes: “One more for Remi: I will be out of USA the next two Mondays. Will I miss a lot of exposition in Ps Unk? Or will I be able to catch up with the fourth episode?”

RA: You will be fine.  No guarantees after the fourth.  You can, however, catch up on iTunes.

PG15 writes: “1. First of all, thank you for entertaining our unimaginably Awesome questions. Looking over your IMDB profile, you have amassed an impressive array of drama credits, with Caprica being your first Scifi show. Now that you have added another scifi show to your credentials, how are you liking the Scifi genre? Does the added fantastical elements make it harder or easier to write stories?”

RA: I have been an SF fan since I hid under my covers with a flashlight reading comic books, late at night.  I have seen the original Star Wars almost a hundred times.  Don’t forget I also worked on From The Earth To The Moon, which isn’t the same genre, but I got to meet with real astronauts, and spend a lot of time at the Kennedy Space Center.  I also wrote a couple of genre pilots and screenplays that just were never made.  So, short answer, I’m thrilled to be getting a chance write on something I love.  I consider Persons Unknown to be in the same ballpark, though there’s no SF involved.

“2. I’ve read from a freelancer who wrote a story for Season 1 of SGU that being in the series’ writer’s room is intimidating due to how quickly the others toss around ideas thanks to their familiarity with each other. Did you feel the same?”

RA: Yes, it is an intense environment.  Definitely not for the faint-hearted.  Part of the dynamic of the room is that these guys have been working together for a long time and they have a sort of shorthand that is maddenly difficult to decipher, and they have little patience if you can’t keep up.  They also know the lore, mythology and rules about the Stargate world by heart and that’s hard to get up to speed on.  I think I’m close to there now, but it’s taken months.  That said, it’s also incredibly stimulating and their passion is infectious.
“Bonus question: are there special and/or weird initiation rituals that the other writers put you and Linda through? Any gritty/disturbing/blackmail-able details would be welcomed.”

RA: Other than Joe telling me that I was scheduled for the night watch duty, and that I was required to show up at 4:30 in the morning for Destiny systems orientation (I showed up twice before I figured out it was a prank), no.

“3. Any hints on your first SGU episode, “Visitation”?”

RA: It involves a visitation from some unexpected guests.

“4. How did you get involved with SGU in the first place?”

RA: I’m still trying to figure it out — but because Persons Unknown overlapped the Caprica schedule, I wasn’t able to work with Ron and David on it.  So I put it out to my agent that I really wanted to work on an SF show, and SGU came up.  I met with Brad, Rob, Joe, Paul and Carl and they didn’t hate me too much, so here I am.

“And finally… 6. What’s Joe Mallozzi really like? Again, any gritty/disturbing/blackmail-able details would be welcomed.”

RA: Nothing but good things to say about Joe.  He has been a gracious host, taking me out to dinner, taking time to explain details in the mythology of SG, restaurant tips, etc.  Always a smile, always a good word in the morning.  Scary, huh?
E writes: “How quickly did you adjust to SGU’s writing style?”
RA: I haven’t yet.
“Is this series very different from what you’ve done in the past?”
RA: Very.
“Do you have a favourite character?”
RA: Very difficult to answer.  I relate most to Scott and Young — flawed guys who trying to rise above their own weaknesses.  Nicolas Rush because he’s so complicated, so smart and yet so much in his own way.  That said, my favorite character is actually TJ — she is someone who I would want to be stranded on a ship with; resourceful and enterprising.  Compassionate yet forceful when she needs to be.  Camile Wray is interesting in that she’s a smart person, a capable person, who believes she should be in charge but doesn’t know how to assert herself.
“What’s the best part of writing a script? Constructing acts, tweaking dialogue or seeing how actors bring it to life?”
RA: The best thing about writing a script is finishing it.
Tammy Dixon writes: “Question for Remi: How much research goes into an episode? Do you have friends in different fields that you can ping about details for stories?”
RA: I love research — maybe my second favorite thing about writing other than finishing it.  The internet is an incredible tool for research.  Prior to that, I hung out at libraries (still do) pouring through microfiche and periodicals.  SGU is a little different because some stuff is not researchable but rather is speculative and, well, not real — I know it’s a shock.  So we get to talk to futurists and guys that think of crazy things that could be possible.  We try to stay within the laws of physics, but sometimes, it’s just fun to bend the rules a little.  Ultimately, though, SGU is a story about ordinary people trying to survive under extraordinary circumstances.  No one individual is capable of solving the problem, but together, than might just be able to make it.  That story interests me and while the hardware and the SF of it all is exciting, fun and just plain cool, we never lose sight of the human drama.
BoltBait writes: “Questions for Remi: OK, so what specifically does an Executive Producer do on SGU?”
RA: Well, I’m actually a consulting producer, which is to say, I mostly write and throw in my two cents when asked.
“Do you like to have your hand in everything? Or, do you like to delegate a lot?”
RA: I was the showrunner for Persons Unknown which was exhausting, so I am happy to just be a worker and not in charge of anything.
“How delightful Joe is to work with?”
RA: Beyond delightful.
Randomness writes: “Oh I noticed you asked for Remi questions. Okay I’ll join in too.  1. What Stargate series is currently your favourite?”
RA: SGU, of course. — Though I was a fan of SG1 for years.
“2. How did you feel when you were given the chance to work on Stargate Universe?”
RA: Flabbergasted, actually.  Like being shocked that a beautiful woman shows an interest in you.
“3. What are some of your favourite moments thus far working with everyone, cast, crew, writers alike?”
RA: Joe’s chocolate party was beyond fun.  It was a great way to meet and get to know everyone.
“5. Are there any episodes in Season 2 that you feel people will absolutely love?”
RA: So many good ones, it’s hard to pick.
“6. Any favourite books, authors?”
RA: Huge eclectic collection.  From Dickens to Duane Swierczynski, John Irving to Raymond Carver.
“7. What made you decide to leave Caprica and move onwards to the good ship Destiny?”
RA: See above, but short answer, I was a victim of circumstance and timing.
“8. Do you feel Caprica can stand the test of time, and perhaps go on for a few more seasons?”
RA: Certainly when Ron and I created Caprica we roughed out what five years would look like, so yes I believe so.
ytimynona writes: “QUESTIONS FOR REMI: Do you blog? Tweet? Use Facebook?”
RA: I blogged during the Writer’s Strike and had a blast.  I sporadically check into Facebook.  Tweet makes me too nervous.
“Do you prefer writing/producing procedurals or serials? Comedy, drama, or dramedy?”
RA: Not a procedural guy, though I love to watch them.  I’ve always been fascinated with human interaction; people struggling to make sense of their lives. I believe humor is part of human nature, even in the most dramatic of circumstances.
“Can (and do) you watch episodes you have written/produced as they air live, or is seeing the episode a couple dozen times before it airs enough for you?”
RA: I don’t feel like an episode is done until I see it on the air.
“There is no number six. There was, but PG15 totally stole it. So I’ll use the space to say a huge THANK YOU for coming to Joe’s blog and letting us give you the third degree!  In all honesty, we truly appreciate it!”
RA: Thanks and more thanks.  It was cool of Joe to ask me, and I have become a fan of his blog and his fans.
Eric.Stewart writes: “Hi Remi!  I saw the trailer and like the idea put forward by you tv series. In spite of the fact that the trailer give us a fair good idea of what the show will be about, can you elaborate a bit more on the tone that you plan to give to the series ? Will it lean toward a psychological thriller with a lot of blood, a suspense /action type or do you plan to give it at one point a paranormal/science fiction aspect?”
RA: The one thing I can tell you is that there is nothing paranormal or science fiction going on in Persons Unknown.  Everything is based in the real world.  Sometimes there is cutting edge technology involved, that may appear SF-ish, but it was all carefully researched.  We also made sure that we figured out everything that was going on in advance of writing even one script, and then figured out how much and when we would reveal.  The tone is edgy and tense; we tried to capture what it would feel like if you never knew what could happen next or what the people behind the camera are expecting.  We wanted a sense of feeling like you are watched all the time.
“How do you feel your series will differentiate itself among the multitude of new tv shows that we have at the moment?”
RA: Well, that is the big question and almost impossible to answer.  It is difficult (maybe even dangerous) to try to predict what how an audience will react to any one show.  But we tried really hard to make our show fun and exciting yet still edgy and weird.  We will just have to see.
“As an executive producer are you involved a lot in the writing of the episodes or do you use the same formula utilized in SGU i.e multiple writers ?”
RA: We had a great group of five writers on PU.  As the Executive Producer, I gave notes, sometimes rewrote and often guided the story-telling, but I considered it a group effort.  I perceived my job being in charge of the big picture — to see how a particular episode fit into the big story we were trying to tell in the season and beyond.  It is pretty much the same at SGU: Brad Wright and Rob Cooper guide the ship.
A huge thanks to Remi for taking the time to come by.
And a future thanks to…
…actress Jennifer Spence, SGU’s Lisa Park, who is next up on the Q&A block.
If you’ve got questions for Jen, start posting.
And if you have questions for author Ellen Kushner, post them as well.  I’ll be collecting them over the next few days, then sending them along this weekend!

52 thoughts on “June 15, 2010: Remi Aubuchon Answers Your Questions!

  1. Not really a question for Jennifer Spence, but I loved your delivery as Dr. Park of the line in the SG:U finale to Col. Young — Don’t Yell! It was totally unexpected and spot on. I was laughing out loud on that one. Keep up the good work Jennifer, and I look forward to seeing you in Season Two.

  2. Thank you for an awesome Q&A, Remi. If my son hadn’t dumped snow on that old laptop, I’d’ve been referencing that leaked Caprica script and asking more targeted questions.

  3. Questions for Jennifer Spence

    1) What do you want to see happen for Dr. Park in season 2, besides surviving?

    2) What was your initial reaction to Park’s method of coping with being stranded on Destiny; sex?

    3) What do you like to do the breaks between scenes-hang out with the other actors or hide in a trailer?

  4. “RA: …So I put it out to my agent that I really wanted to work on an SF show, and SGU came up. I met with Brad, Rob, Joe, Paul and Carl and they didn’t hate me too much, so here I am.”

    I think you’ve got that backwards. I’m sure it is an incredible honor for the other writers to have you there working with them on SGU. Thank you Mr. Aubuchon for taking the time to answer all those questions! Excellent Q&A.

  5. Crap, I totally spaced on posting questions for Mr. Aubuchon. Thanks for taking the time, all the same.

  6. Pepper Smith I don’t agree that the departure gate was necessarily destroyed when the planet blew. What we know for sure is that Carter said the gate was active for “a full six minutes before the core went critical”, not that the gate was destroyed when the planet blew, and before she made that comment, she asked O’Neill how many people “made it through”, probably expecting that anyone that hadn’t gated through to Earth or the Alpha site before Icarus exploded would have been lost in the collapse of the wormhole.

    In this instance, “critical” doesn’t necessarily mean that Carter was referring to the actual explosion of the planet; she could simply have been referring to the core reaching a point of no return and knowing that the planet was going to explode and that nothing could be done to stop it, which I think was the case.

    Also, we have to consider that the Hammond bugged out before the actual explosion took place in order to avoid being caught in the blast, so Carter can’t know exactly how long the gate remained active.

    Additionally, Destiny began powering up its internal systems (such as light and, I expect, air circulation and heat) and dropped out of FTL prior to the wormhole actually forming. So, it seems that the connection was made to Destiny when the gate began dialling in and before the actual physical manifestation (the “sploosh”) of the connection became apparent. The ship knew that there was an incoming wormhole before the final connection was made and began taking the necessary steps to ensure that the arrivals would not be killed as soon as they passed through the gate onto Destiny (no air and cold as space).

    However, powering up dormant systems and getting air circulating after however many billions of years and heating the ship up to a comfortable temperature would take time. If there was no connection until the gate did its splooshing, then the drop from FTL and the powering up of the systems might not have occurred until that point, and the Icarus people would probably have suffocated or froze to death as they arrived.

    And if the actual connection occurred before the physical manifestation on Destiny, it’s possible that the Icarus people were in the wormhole and on their way before that physical connection became apparent. Given that Rush had dialled the ninth chevron and the wormhole was active on Icarus, but Young forbade anyone going through right away – they simply waited in the gateroom for some time – but the gate on Destiny made its final connection just before Scott came through, it suggests a time lag of some sort, otherwise, the Destiny gate should have been active for the same length of time that the Icarus gate was before the people on Icarus entered the gate.

    Think of it like entering an elevator on the ground floor (the Icarus gate). The elevator is not moving yet but the connection to the top floor exists (the ninth chevron). Once the button is pushed to take the elevator to the top floor (dialling the ninth chevron), it starts moving through the shaft (the wormhole) and, upon arrival at the top floor, the doors open (the sploosh of the Destiny gate) and whoever is in the elevator can then exit onto the top floor, even though there is no elevator car (the destroyed Icarus gate) at the ground floor anymore.

    So, maybe with the force of the planetary explosion behind them and the (at some point) destruction of the Icarus gate (made of naquada and thus providing more energy when it was destroyed), the energy from the blast that entered the gate was used to propel the Icarus people through the wormhole faster in order to meet the 38 minute limit and that the wormhole itself was also used to propel them forward. This one can be thought of like a slinky that has been stretched to the limit and both ends fixed with nails. Pull the nail out of one end thereby releasing it (the destruction of the Icarus gate) and that end will shoot forward to “rejoin” the end that is still fixed (the Destiny gate). The farther away the end of the slinky is from the fixed point the faster it will travel to rejoin that point. Same thing with the people passing through the Icarus gate – those that went first needed less impetus to reach their destination in the allotted time than those that left later.

    Further, after the arrival of Scott and a few others, he radioed back to Icarus to “slow down the evac” because they were “coming in too hot”; but he never got a response. Likewise, the Alliance people were supposed to radio Kiva after their arrival on Destiny, and probably did, but she never got the message before having to leave herself or get caught up in the destruction of the Alliance planet. So, if they radioed back, but the messages didn’t get through before the last person left, that suggests some lag in the process. I’m sure radio waves are much slower than the passage of energy through the gate so the messages probably passed their intended recipients at some point while they were already transiting through the wormhole and, ultimately, went nowhere because the respective departure gate had by then been destroyed and the wormhole at that end collapsed.

    It’s also been established that weird things happen with gates and gate travel when a powerful energy source (such as a solar flare or a black hole) intersects with the gate or the wormhole formed by the gate. I would expect that the energy released by a planetary explosion, especially a planet with a naquadria core, likely falls within the same category.

    However, such an explosion, combined with the special all-pass access code of the ninth chevron, caused the gates and the wormholes to act peculiarly. Specifically, the connection was deemed to have been made by the sending gate as soon as the ninth chevron was dialled, even though it actually took some time for the receiving gate to activate, and the wormhole was formed on the sending end on the basis of it ultimately connecting with the target gate. (Too bad so sad situation if the target gate had been lost at some earlier point in time in this scenario (i.e., the destruction of Destiny).

    Once the target gate activated and began receiving, the loss of the sending gate became irrelevant because the wormhole began collapsing in on itself, back to front, and the receiving gate shut down once the wormhole made its final collapse.

  7. Wow, I missed out on asking questions for Mr. Aubuchon, but thanks so much for all that, Remi & Joe….great Q&A as always 🙂

    For Jennifer…

    1) You had one of the best lines to date in the series last week (“Don’t yell!”). When you read a line like that when you first get your script, is it always obvious how simply great it is, or is it not until you perform it (or even see it when it’s done) that it hits for you?

    2) You’ve worked on a fair amount of sci-fi. Are you / have you been a fan of the genre or is it something that’s “just happened”? If you’re a fan, what (other than things you’ve been in) are some of your favorites?

    3) In “The Core” you were an assistant to Stanley Tucci’s character, Dr. Zimsky, and now in a way on SGU, you’re an assistant to Rush. In a knock down, drag-out, cage match of the minds, which difficult genius would you put your money on?

  8. Now that Remi has completed that glowing Q&A on what it’s like to work with you Joe, you can start going back in to work and tell that actor you hired their job is done.

  9. Remi

    Thank you for the Q & A. I can just imagine the Trial by Fire of the Writer’s Room *scary s**t*. At least you didn’t start the new job by yourself. Hopefully, you and Linda could commiserate with each other and help one another out.

    I didn’t see From the Earth to the Moon, so I will have to see if I can find it online. I think being at the Kennedy Space Center would have been an incredible experience, a real sense of history. It must have been such an honour to get to meet the astronauts and crew. I’ve always wanted to go to Space Camp, and go on the G-Force machine (something is tickling the memory that it may be nicknamed the vomit comet, not sure though). You know the one that goes around faster and faster gradually increasing the number of G’s that you pull, until you pass out. Although they probably stop it before that happens, which, in my opinion, is kind of too bad. I think that would be a BLAST!!

    Finally, it had been my understanding that Person’s Unknown was only shot as a 13 episode series, kind of like a mini series, or like Harper’s Island. I didn’t realize that there was an option to get it renewed, for a second season and beyond. I hope this means that there isn’t a cliffhangerrrr …………..

    Joe – I am in the process of cleaning up my computer files, folders and bookmarks etc. I ran across this link. You had asked a week or so ago about a pizza place in Van. I think someone already mentioned Nook, but here is a second opinion. So it may be worth a shot.

    Have a Good One!!

  10. Dear Ms. Spence.

    What is it like to wear the same clothing over and over and over again? I imagine I would get pretty annoyed with whatever I happened to choose to wear the day Icarus Base was attacked.

  11. Question for Jennifer, how much are you like Dr. Park, being the optimist and placating presence, in real life? What one item would you want to have with you if you were stuck on Destiny? Are there any actors on the show that you hang out with when not filming? Thanks for answering, and keep up the good work it is nice to see a beautiful lady as part of the science team.

  12. To Remi: Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions; I’m sorry I did not post any — Life got in the way. But I have checked out Persons Unknown and it looks very intriguing. I missed the first episode, but I’ll catch it on ITunes. Second episode is on DVR. Husband said it looked like his kind of show, so waiting on him to have a moment to watch with me. In addition to writing SGU reviews, I also do the Caprica reviews. I want to thank you for the awesome pilot for Caprica, and I, too, hope there is a longer life for it.

    To Jennifer Spence:
    1. We know how Dr. Park copes with stress, but what is your coping mechanism (if you can share)?

    2. What are your similarities to Dr. Park and what are your differences?

    3. Dog or cat person (or both?)

    4. What was your favorite chocolate at Joe’s party (if you attended)?

    5. If you had a say in it (which I know you don’t), who would you like more screen time with as an actor with another actor, or as your character with another character.

    6. What would be your SGleeU song to sing? Julia Benson answered “You Give Love a Bad Name” by Bon Jovi if that helps.

    7. I read somewhere you own a bookstore in Vancouver?

    Thank you for being so kind to answer our questions.

  13. More awesome Q&As, thank you Joe! 🙂

    Question for Jennifer:

    What’s your favorite episode of season 2 so far?

    Thanks! 🙂

    And a few normal questions for Joe:

    1. Any chances of seeing that chess set that Rush was carving completed and put into action? Perhaps Rush and Young can play chess together?

    2. The way that episodes “Human” and “Lost” focused on the characters Rush and Greer, respectively, was beautifully done; can we have some more episodes that provide focus on other characters?

    3. It was awesome to get to see 4 of the characters do some exploring of an alien world (Scott, Greer, Eli, and Chloe) – any chances of any of the characters in SGU forming more SG teams (4 (or so) person team or teams) or at least that previous team going on more of those “small group” type missions to alien worlds?

    This next question, it’s totally understandable if you don’t answer, it brings up a couple points a recent reviewer made on SGU…

    4. The season 1 cliffhanger was refreshing in that it didn’t end with a bang or a twist, though (and this is reflection after reading a June 15 [cinemaspy] SGU review) are there any chances season 2 can “end with a bang” and/or a “sci-fi twist”?

    Thank you, again, for your time and generosity!


  14. Yaaay! Lisa Park – again, one of my fav secondary characters! Questions for her:

    Did you practice a lot for the kino sequence in “Darkness”? ‘But it might be great!’-moment made me fell in love with Park’s character.

    What exactly is Park’s are of expertise? Is it astrophysics?

    What do you think – does Park feel guilty for sleeping with various guys on Destiny, while she has a boyfriend on Earth?

    That’s it. You rock, Joe, for arranging Q&A’s. 😀

  15. Hi Joe; here’s a thought or perhaps prediction for the start of season two…

    …the pulsar flare occurs as our two heroes are stranded outside; they have to run to the front of the ship so that Eli can let them back in via an airlock there.

    Surely it’d have been quicker to run around the ship and take cover on the underside, using the shields on the top of the ship and the bulk of Destiny herself to protect them from the dangerous radiation from the flare?

    Question for Jennifer:
    “You’re cast as a civilian on Destiny; do you ever wish you could have been cast as part of the military contingent so you could run around shouting ‘hoo-rah!’ a lot?”

  16. So, after initially hating the finale. I went back and watched it again. I like it this time, quite a bit actually.

    However, the ending still didn’t give me a sense that all hell had broken lose. And I figured out why.

    The music.

    The music just isn’t alarming. I posted somewhere else that the ending music is more like the music you hear when the soldiers are preparing for a battle from which they probably won’t return. Not when your soldiers are all held at gun point by the enemy.

    You might not have gone back and watched the final cut, but even if you have, I urge you to go back and listen to the last 4 or 5 minutes of soundtrack, tell me how it makes you feel. Does it make you feel urgent and like there is more just around the corner?

  17. Joe,

    Thank you again (and Mr. Aubuchon) for another delightful question and answer session. Looking forward to Jennifer Spence’s.

  18. sorry to post again.

    While I’m not against it. What made you (and fellow writers) decide to have the Lucian Alliance use Earth weapons instead of Goa’uld weapons? Are we to assume that Earth has superseded the Goa’uld in arms dealing?

    Also, have you checked out Stargate Resistance yet?

  19. Thank you, to Mr. Remi Aubuchon for a great Q & A! Deputy Fire Marshal? Sounds intriguing…

    Narelle: I’ll get to work immediately on the “Climate Exchange” project. 😀 . I’ve got tons of work outside today. It’s definitely going to be a three shower day……

  20. I don’t know if anyone mentioned it or not, but Eli’s comment to Chloe after opening a new door (yep, more dark and gloomy) got a laugh. I thought it was a direct connection to the comments on this blog (and probably others as well) made about the Destiny being so dark and gloomy… That was a good scene…

  21. Questions for Jennifer Spence:

    1) How did you get into the acting business?

    2) What kind of studying do you do to make your lines believable especially when there’s alot of science in the script? (if you’re not already familiar with the science concepts. 🙂 )

    Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.

  22. TO cat4444

    Thanks for the time you are taking in explaining the more technical problems with the science of this show. It’s much appreciated. I love SGU and the whole concept but, not being a science geek (only from afar), I continually am trying to wrap my head around the science of space travel, worm holes and stargates. Love the concept and the show.

  23. Aw…nuts!! I was still contemplating my questions for Remi…didn’t realise I was too late….he’s super quick.

    Cheers, Chev

  24. About the Seedership,

    we know that the Seedership collect material on a planet and build a stargate from these materials and then leave the stargate on the planet

    so my theories:
    1.if the crew of the destiny finds a seedership, could they change the programming of the seedership to build a supergate from the collected materials?

    2.If the Seedership is not big enough to produze a supergate (to get the destiny through the supergate (if they could control it) to earth) they could change the programming to build more modern stargates, to change the limit of the range?

  25. Thanks for that Q&A Joe & Remi!

    Questions for Jennifer:

    1) First off, congrats on the Leo Award nomination! Will Dr. Park be getting more screen time in Season 2?

    2) How many episode will Park be in this time around?

    Questions for Joe:

    1) What do you think of the ratings in total for SGU’s first Season?

    2) When’s that Jamil Walker Smith Q&A coming?

    3) If SGU where to end shorter than expected, are you prepared for that?

    4) Similar to the question above. If that DOES happen, will there be more of a chance of getting the SG-1 and SGA movies?

  26. Ok, lemme just say for the record that, with all the talk of supergates, I sincerely hope that we never see a supergate on SGU.

    The reason? It’s been done.

    I don’t want an Ori trick to become THE trick that SGU implements to get the Destiny crew back to earth.

    As far as I’m concerned, SGU is Stargate, with homages to both BSG and Lost in Space factored in.

    Whatever means or methods are introduced to allow the SGU crew to get back to Earth (eventually), I hope that something else compelling is introduced to make them NOT want to go back. Some reason they (and the SGC) will want to stay out wherever they are.

    Of course a new “persistent” threat will need to be a part of this (blue meanies, etc.) but getting home shouldn’t be the endgame.

    The beauty of sci-fi, and particularly with the mythology of Stargate, is that it always leads to more, and I don’t want that messed with!

  27. Hey Joe, hope you’re fine and dogs too. =)
    Q’s for Jennifer Spence :

    First, thanks for answering our questions, it’s nice of you.

    Did you cast for Lisa Park first or any other character ?
    How is the atmospher on set ? How funny is it ? Who is the most funny ? Were you the victim of someone’s joke on set ?
    What is your favorite scene/episode of SGU and why ?
    Did you know Stargate before playing in SGU ?
    When are you gonna do a “Chevron/Symbol locked sequence” ?
    What are your similarities/differences between you and Park ?
    Are Rush/Brody/Volker and Park a kind of control room gang ? ^^
    What was the hardest/funniest scene to shoot ?
    How Lisa is gonna evolve or how you want to evolve ?
    What would you do if you were really stuck on an old rusty ship, billions light years away from home ?
    Few words in french maybe ?
    Thank you Jennifer =)

    Again, thanks a lot Joe.

  28. For Jennifer –

    1. Do you have any particular science background? You seem to do a lot of tech talk, that must be intimidating.

    2. Not really a question I guess, but the reason I find Dr Park so endearing is that she’s obviously an extremely intelligent person but also an extremely normal person. That scene way back at the beginning where she is expressing concern about visiting a planet – melted me a little.

    3. Why don’t you tweet more often? 😉

  29. Oopsy, I forgot a question :

    What would you bring on Destiny to make life better ?

  30. Thanks, Remi, for the great Q&A! (One thing I want to know, however…is how much Joe paid you to say that working with him is ‘beyond delightful’? Or…did you just say that to insure getting invited to next year’s chocolate party… 😉 )

    Joey…Quick questions about your comic book…

    1. Did you mention the publisher? For some reason, I’m thinking either Vertigo/DC, or Dark Horse…but that may be for something else I was looking into.

    2. Any time frame for release? Next year sometime??

    3. What’s the difference between scripting a tv show, and scripting a comic book?

    Thankies in advance!

    I’ve been beyond busy. Visiting the Shofuso house and garden in Philly inspired me to change around my Japanese garden a bit – worked on it all yesterday morning. It’s far from how I want it, but Mr. Das said it looks more ‘Japanese-y’ now. I’m at the mercy of what’s available locally – for instance, I can’t find small (1/4″ ‘pea’) stone in grey – it’s only available in white/tan, or chipped marble. I found some larger grey river stone (3/4″), and am using that for now, but it’s not exactly what I want. I’ve been pricing water basins, but can’t find one for under $150 – which is a bit rich for my blood. I finally found some moss and am trying to get it to take, added a few plants, and trimmed up my winter-damaged shrubs a bit better. Now, if only I could do something about the vinyl siding background… 😛

    Gotta run!


  31. @Cat4444

    You said…

    Additionally, Destiny began powering up its internal systems (such as light and, I expect, air circulation and heat) and dropped out of FTL prior to the wormhole actually forming. So, it seems that the connection was made to Destiny when the gate began dialling in and before the actual physical manifestation (the “sploosh”) of the connection became apparent. The ship knew that there was an incoming wormhole before the final connection was made and began taking the necessary steps to ensure that the arrivals would not be killed as soon as they passed through the gate onto Destiny (no air and cold as space).

    Do we know that? Everything we’ve seen would indicate that the dialing / establishing of the first wormhole must be complete before the receiving gate lights up and prepares to open the wormhole on its end. So I think that much has to happen before Destiny drops out of FTL to receive the incoming wormhole.

    However, powering up dormant systems and getting air circulating after however many billions of years and heating the ship up to a comfortable temperature would take time. If there was no connection until the gate did its splooshing, then the drop from FTL and the powering up of the systems might not have occurred until that point, and the Icarus people would probably have suffocated or froze to death as they arrived.

    Personally, I would think that if you can build a seedership fleet, Destiny, a stargate system and Atlantis (among other things) that you could improve upon HVAC enough to get the ship warm pretty quickly 😉

    But as you said, we do know that you don’t instantly appear on the other end when you go through this end…there’s a bit of a delay…so the distance from Earth that Destiny is could mean that that delay is much longer than with a “normal” gate travel scenario.

    I’d have to watch Incursion again to see if that holds up when the Alliance dialed & boarded Destiny. Might be there’s no way for us to tell (if there’s a six minute delay, for instance) as gate travelers may not be aware of the delay…it might seem instantaneous for them and as such, we don’t need to see the actual ride every time.

  32. Hi Joe,
    two questions.

    1) Will we have a episode in Season 2 that focused on Dr. Rush and Col. Young´s and Rush and Eli´s relationship ?! These three are a blast to watch, they have a great on-screen chemistry.

    2)Will the Destiny crew ever stumble across a planet with a whole alien society on it?

    And two questions for Jennifer Spence:
    First of all, you are doing a great job as Dr. Park, hope we´ll see more of you!

    1) How is it to work with Louis Ferreira and Robert Carlyle in the same scene together? I have heard Louis is a prankster.

    2) Is it just my imagination or is Dr. Park a bit afraid of Dr. Rush. Or let´s say, quite uneasy around Rush. Why do you think is that the case?

  33. For Jennifer Spence…

    Playing a recurring character, does your time on set differ much from the actors who are playing main characters?

    Also your “Don’t yell” line is going to be a classic, it was delivered spot on!

  34. Paul Moody said:
    Hi Joe; here’s a thought or perhaps prediction for the start of season two…
    …the pulsar flare occurs as our two heroes are stranded outside; they have to run to the front of the ship so that Eli can let them back in via an airlock there.
    Surely it’d have been quicker to run around the ship and take cover on the underside, using the shields on the top of the ship and the bulk of Destiny herself to protect them from the dangerous radiation from the flare?

    So now that’s at least 2 of us making this prediction (I stated mine on my comments under the 14th’ post).

    Anyone else want to agree with this prediction for the second season opener? Or do you think some other outcome was more likely?

  35. Questions for Jennifer Spence:

    1. Do you enjoy working on the Kino videos? Which was your favorite?

    2. Have you ever said to Joe (or any of the other writers), “My character would never say this! She’d say it like this…”?

    3. How many “takes” do typical scenes take to finish on SGU?

    4. Have you ever said to the director, “Let me do that again, I can do better.”?

    5. Your character has a Doctorate. What is it in?

    6. Your profile page on doesn’t say much about you. You (or your agent) needs to update that page!

    7. Does your character believe that one day she will return home?

    8. If you were really aboard Destiny, what would you need to preserve your sanity?

    Questions for Joe:

    1. Chess is nice, but can we see some Double-Six Dominoes action? I love that game!

    “The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.” ~Kirk, “Shore Leave”, Star Trek

  36. Ok, as long as it’s my day to be irritated (and it is, so far), here’s another. “Camile Wray is interesting in that she’s a smart person, a capable person, who believes she should be in charge but doesn’t know how to assert herself.” 1) Would you agree with that assessment of the character? 2) Would not an inability to assert onesself disqualify a person from leadership? (And by “assert” I don’t mean “ride roughshod over everyone else”.)

  37. Which ones would you (not) eat? Personally, I have an issue with the way some of the animals are prepped and also the endangered ones.

    What to do with plastic cutlery, if it isn’t recyclable….and you’re really bored.

    Here’s some irony for you…. Sign at an Ohio BP gas station. Let’s hope they mean it.


  38. Question to Joe: will we ever see the situation when Rush & Young are working as a team, solving the problems without suspicions and hidden motivations? Or it is more impossible than turning Destiny back to Earth? I mean the phrase “We`ll never be done!” Thanks.

  39. Joe, I want to know, should Stargate: Resistance be considered canon? I mean, it has Sam as a General and as the head of SGC. I mean, I know, Sam’s awesome, talented and rising fast, but SGR takes place 2010-2012. As awesome as Sam is, I just… don’t see it happening 😐

  40. TO: dasNdanger

    … Now, if only I could do something about the vinyl siding background…
    = = = = = = = = = = = =

    The garden sounds nice – for a background, how about bamboo poles lashed together and placed behind the pond, against the wall. Decorate with some Japanese-like, metal art…

  41. Great answers Remi, sorry if my questions wern’t entirely up to scratch, they were more as and when they came to me, but thankyou for taking the time to answer.

    I have 1 question for Jennifer Spence

    1. First of all, let just say you do an amazing job on SGU, you really show a lot of spirit with your character, my question to you is, do you see Lisa Park being around till the end? And with the many years she will of speant aboard Destiny, how do you think she will be, like growth wise? Can you see her becoming stronger, a different person? In a deep romantic relationship with someone?

    I know thats a long question, well several questions in one Joe, but it was me asking her if she thinks her character will survive till the end, and if she does, how does she think her character will be.

  42. Remi – Thanks for the great Q&A – despite the fact that my question scared you.

    I was hoping you would make up meaningless and nonsensical words to describe each writer.

  43. Thanks to Stargate: Universe Executive Consultant and Resident Deputy Fire Marshal Remi Aubuchon, for doing the Q&A, always fun to hear more about the process, from those in the know. Enjoying your work on the show. Please keep up the great job. thanks Joe.

  44. @ Joan001 – I have looked into bamboo fencing. I already have split bamboo fencing covering the chain link – that’s pretty cheap – and I DO want bamboo fencing for against the house…but I haven’t decided on what type (split or whole), what size, and what style (there are some ‘fancy’ styles out there). Of course, it all depends on the pocketbook right now – so I might wait for next year.

    @ Joe & Co. – I’m having a really bad problem with my hands – going to the doc in a week to see if it’s ‘crappy’ tunnel syndrome, or something else. It’s gotten to the point were my hands are numb all the time, except when I keep my arms really straight. Night braces help a little, but I have no relief during the day. I can’t hold the phone, or a book, or use scissors for more than 30 seconds. Just typing this I have to stop at the end of each sentence, and ‘stretch’. I’ve had a problem for years, but just very minor – NOTHING like this…and it’s getting worse by the day. I’m afraid I might lose the use of my hands if I’m not careful. So, if I don’t seem to have much to say on some days, it’s probably because I just don’t feel like typing. Of course, this is my favorite place to play so I will probably still type more than I should (unless the doc orders otherwise), but if I do seem a bit more ‘quiet’, it’s most likely due to having numb hands, and not because I’m annoyed with Joeykins, or anything. 🙂


  45. Great Q&A, Remi! Thanx muchly.

    Questions for Jen:

    1. How did you get into acting?

    2. What’s the best part about working on SGU? The people, the scripts, BTS stuff?

    3. Ice-cream or custard?

    Thanx kindly! 😀

  46. @ Das – I had noticed you were MIA, but had just assumed that you were busy doin’ ‘stuff.’ I’m so sorry to hear that you are having problems with your hands. I was thinking maybe pinched nerves, but I don’t think it would happen to both hands at the same time, so no armchair diagnosis to suggest. Good luck with the doctors, hopefully they can quickly figure out what’s wrong, and it’s easily treatable!!


  47. Hi Jennifer! My Questions:

    1. If you could go anywhere in the world or have been anywhere in the world and want to return where would you go?

    2. Where would be your favorite place to shop & or Eat & or Drink (ie coffee etc)?

    Just wanted to say a HUGE congrats on your awesome work on SGU! And I hope TPTB give you lots more screen time in season 2 as you truely add sooo much to the show! And thanx for taking the time to answer our questions! You rock! Cheerz, Heather

  48. Questions for Jennifer Spence:
    I: What is the backround for your charachter’s constant optimism?
    II: Do you feel a similarity do the charachter you are playing?
    III: How many times your charachter has approximately done ”reading” during season 1 and will that continue or will your charachter find a new hobby?
    IV: Is it fun to play in SGU?
    V: What episode do you like in season 2 most from the ones that are already made?

    Good luck and good night!

  49. I’ve got a question for Jennifer Spence.
    Lisa Park is one of my favourite character aboard the Destiny. She is pretty, funny and clever. A true geek. Do you think that Lisa can be the female Eli in the future?
    Thanks for answering.

  50. For Jen Spence: What has a major difference between SGU and Continuum been? If Echoes is picked up would you be able to work on it?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.