Last night, we went out for Rob’s final meal. In Vancouver. For a while anyway. We ended up going to The Flying Tiger, a restaurant that specializes in “Asian street food”, some great, some truly horrendous. I suppose it depends on what street you happen to be strolling through. Sketchy back alley offerings including alarmingly fishy toto tuna sushi tempura and Hawker street noodles that tasted like they’d been boiled in dish water. On the sunny side of main street, dinner highlights included:
Anyway, the food was hit and miss but the company was grand.
I showed the above to Akemi. She had two things to say. 1. She doesn’t pose like that. 2. Carl shouldn’t tuck in his shirt.
This morning, I mentioned this to Carl who took offense to the suggestion that tucking in shirt made him look dorky. Paul confirmed the prognosis: “It shows your age.”, leading Ashleigh to reprimand Paul for his insensitivity – although, seconds later, she admitted that he was right. Still, Carl refused to believe, so I stepped out into the hallway, made a little wardrobe adjustment, and stepped back into the office to demonstrate how he appears to others…
Hey, ever notice how Carl just seems to take over a blog entry? Well, I’d like to take this opportunity to profile some of the other hardworking individuals who make Stargate so much fun. People like the lovely –
Today was an eventful one. Kerry from post tried to run me down. We ate pizza for lunch. And Remi actually lived that nightmare where you dream you go to school in your underwear except that, in his case, he was at work, and instead of being naked he was the next closest thing: in his spandex bicycling outfit without a change of clothes –
After lunch, we took a break to celebrate Laureen (1st payroll assistant) and Nathan’s (2nd assistant production coordinator) birthdays with…
After which I instructed birthday girl Laureen remove her and Nathan’s name from the cake, along with the “Happy Birthday” so that we could re-use it an hour later as Rob’s going away cake. The salt of her tears made the icing that much sweeter.
This was it. Rob’s final day. After clearing out his office, he went back for one final sweep, only to discover –
Afterwards, we sat around and chatted –
The rest of the day was spent yakking about Carl’s first draft of Hope, episode #14, my outline for The Hunt, episode #16, and whether or not Radio, episode #18, still worked given the preceding episode.
Slowly but surely, the writing offices emptied out until it was just Rob, Ashleigh, Lawren, and me. And then, the time came. Arms laden with boxes, we (and by “we”, I mean Rob, Ashleigh, and Lawren as I was carrying my briefcase and tupperware snack container) headed down to the parking lot, Rob’s last journey down those stairs (until September when he comes back for a three-day visit). And, in the parking lot, the final goodbye. It was… well, I have to admit…it was sad. Even back when Brad and Robert handed off the reins to Atlantis after season three, they remained a presence, popping in on a semi-regular basis to spin stories, critique scripts, or steal our lunches. So, even though they were “gone”, they weren’t really. But this is different.
I’ll miss the guy. His ability to spin like no other, tap-dancing his way out of the tightest of narrative corners. One of my old bosses used to say “Don’t come to me with problems; come to me with solutions” (which is all well and good so long as you’re not talking to yourself) and this was something Rob could do like no other: zero in on exactly what wasn’t working in a particular story or script, and then come up with a fix. It’s very easy to criticize but much, much harder to find a way to make it better, and Rob always found a way to make it better. He may not have had an answer when he gave you the note (although, quite often, he did), but, invariably, he would talk it out, pitch out ideas, and, eventually, find that answer. And whereas I could spend days spinning my wheels in a futile attempt to figure out a third act twist or A-B story connection, Rob would solve the problem in less time than it took him to lean back, look skyward and say “How about…?”
How about we make this Vala character a tough, wise-ass mercenary who battles Daniel in the downest, dirtiest fight we’ve ever done on the show?
What if, instead of trying to cast that new doctor, we bring in the Rodney McKay character I created in SG-1 and make him a part of the Atlantis team?
What if we take this opportunity to reveal Eli’s concern for his ailing mother, or Rush’s love for his deceased wife?
I tend to refer to the Stargate production as a well-oiled machine. Well, Rob was one of the two biggest cogs in that machine. Without his immense contributions to the franchise, we wouldn’t have ten seasons of SG-1 to look back on – five seasons of Atlantis, two SG-1 movies, a season of Universe with the prospect of many more to come, and the possibility of more movies to continue the legacy of the previous shows.
In the end and when all is said and done, this is not goodbye.
It’s ’til we meet again.