I’m watching way too much Top Chef…

Cream of shitake mushroom soup topped with homemade pesto and white truffle oil
Lager steamers with parsley and garlic butter.
Monkfish with a shallot-fennel-Pinot Grigio reduction, cinnamon and nutmeg-dusted squash, salt and pepper potatoes, butter-dill carrots, and potato croquettes (the latter compliments of Akemi).
White chocolate kasu truffle (foreground) and kasu-sake ice cream (background).

Mailbag:

max writes: “Do you need an agent to get invited to pitch an idea?”

Answer: In almost all cases, yes.

max also writes: “Did the staff or actors of SG series ever get together with the competition (BG for example) for a BBQ or drinks?”

Answer: BSG was never the competition.  Quite the opposite in fact, especially during the SciFi Friday era.  The better genre shows perform in general, the more receptive networks will be to taking a chance on new SF, fantasy, and horror-themed productions.  That being said, I know that the various productions around town have taken part in friendly hockey games.  Off the top of my head, I remember Stargate playing a very tough and talented Smallville team.

PoorOldEdgarDerby writes: “Obviously if they pitch something that’s similar to something that’s already aired you can’t tell much about them. But if they pitch something that’s only still in development are you likely to give them another chance since they’ve demonstrated an ability to independently create something you’re already set on producing?”

Answer: Yes (and I believe that was the point of my final statement – #10).  Those freelancers were always invited back.

PoorOldEdgarDerby also writes: “If I’m pitching an idea, should I avoid resorting to the stereotypical scifi episodes, leaving it to the staff writers to do the “fighting to the death while out of phase in bizarro world” stories?”

Answer: If you’re asking me if you should avoid cliches, I would answer yes.  If, on the other hand, you’re asking if you should avoid common SF themes like time travel, cloning, etc., I would say no.  The challenge would be to give those ideas a new spin and make them unique to your show, your characters.  Take Window of Opportunity for instance.  When we first pitched the time loop episode, it was much darker.  After talking to Robert Cooper, he steered us in a more comedic direction.  It came to be known as our Groundhog Day episode because it was, structurally and tonally, very similar to the movie of the same name – and yet, it remains a fan favorite because it was so enjoyable to watch our characters react to the bizarre scenario.

PoorOldEdgarDerby also writes: “It sounds like freelancers should try for one-off episodes and not insert themselves into a main story arc. Thoughts?”

Answer: Absolutely, and this should be rule #11: Pitch a one-off.  Since you’re not privy to the ongoing writers’ room discussions, you’ll always be several steps bheind if you’re trying to come up with a more serialized story.  The pitch that landed us a staff position on Stargate was a stand-alone episode, Scorched Earth.  Marty G.’s golden ticket was a one-off as well, Childhood’s End.  The same goes for Damian Kindler, The Other Guys, and Ken Cuperus, Common Ground.

Jack B. writes: “You can never get a production company to even look at the idea. They almost always ignore these emails.”

Answer: That’s because accepting unsolicited submissions opens them up to all sorts of legal hassles.  A great idea will help you get a foot in the door, but you’ll need an agent to knock first.

scott_land writes: “In your opinion what season do you think was THE golden season for SG1 and Atlantis?”

Answer: Depends what you mean by golden.  My personal faves were seasons 10 of SG-1 and season 4 of Atlantis.

Thornyrose writes: “Isn’t it defeating the purpose if you’re modifying the reader recipes right from the start?”

Answer: Only if I’m modifying the recipes entered in the competition.

Michael Simpson writes: “What are your favourite classic stories, Joe?”

Answer: My favorite classic stories?  Probably the ones that left such an enormous impression on me the first time I read them when I was very young.  The stories of Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man.  Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery left a huge impression.

antonio chavez writes: “hey Joe,I was just wondering where can we the fans get all that exclusive information (which I desire to posses) such as artworks,planets information,creatures pre and post artworks and all of that stuff that you sometimes post on the blog????”

Answer: Sorry.  As far as I know, they’re otherwise unavailable for public consumption.

Ulrike Tannenberg writes: “Some of the songs in SGU I really love and in most cases I could find the singer and songtitle mentioned somewhere in the internet. But I could not find it for the 1.season episode “Divided” and would very much appreciate it, if you could let me know.”

Answer: Hmmm.  Not sure off the top of my head.  When, during the episode, does the song play?

Bloomgate writes: “Anyway, it appears that the brightness has been cranked up for syndication. Do you know if that was an intentional decision by someone or if, perhaps, it’s just part of the process of what happens when an HD show is converted for a low def channel?”

Answer: No idea.  I’ve never noticed before.

PJR writes: “Favourite ‘Spooks’ episodes? And why?”

Answer: Season one, the “deep-fryer” episode, because it was so unexpected and shocking.

PJR also writes: “Would you pitch to UK, or is US/Canada the only places to play because of market size, or other factors that appeal?”

Answer: Of course I’d pitch to the UK.  In fact, one of the projects presently on the stack is a potential Canadian-UK co-production.

Sean D. writes: “Regarding “Window of Opportunity” and Dr. Jackson’s loop-back phrase, “Anyway, I’m sorry but that just happens to be how I feel about it. What do you think?” What was Daniel talking about?”

Answer: Believe it or not, I have no idea.

Chief6309 writes: “At the risk of being totally off topic for today’s blog, has anyone, thought to pitch SGU to Directv channel 101?”

Answer: All avenues have and are being considered.

Luis writes: “Ever thought of getting a Nook from Barnes and Nobles and reading books that way?..saves alot of bookself space.”

Answer: I own a kindle which is great for travel, but nothing beats the feel of a real book or the look a well-stocked bookshelf.

Lyle writes: “What are you top 5 or 10 favorite TV series of all time?”

Answer: The Sopranos, Rome, The Shield, Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Simpsons, South Park, Seinfeld, Top Chef, and Monday Night Football.

JYS writes: ““maria writes: “If you could have one thing to eat before you die, what would it be?” Answer: The heart of my greatest enemy.”

how would you like that heart prepared? Raw? Braised? Roasted?”

Answer: Raw of course, and preferably still beating.

Deni writes: “Hey Joe? Remember you were going to have Joel Goldsmith do a Q & A ages ago? Whatever happened?”

Answer: That’s a question for the very-busy Mr. Goldsmith.

Escyos writes: “How important is Destiny to the Lucian Alliance. Did they supply all resources and personnel to this, or was it a side project that Kiva managed to convince them to do?”

Answer: It was very important to the Lucian Alliance (Ginn says as much in conversation with Camille early in season 2).

Cody writes: “Hey Joe I have a question for you… At what point in the process is a title assigned to a given script? Does it vary by the habits of the author?”

Answer: It varies from script to script, writer to writer.

DeanGrr writes: “How do you balance the intimacy of writing (to me it would seem like sharing a deep part of yourself with the audience), and dealing with criticism from others and realities of show biz?”

Answer: Criticism is a part of the job and, in many cases, so is maintaing and online presence.  My blog is admittedly a grey area between work and play.

DeanGrr also writes: “Is there merit to the idea that scifi fans need to get a life, and that making a work of fiction part of who you are, or how you think, wrong/harmful on some level?”

Answer: Depends.  Enjoying a television show is no different than enjoying a book, a hobby, or vacationing in a particular city.  If it makes you happy, why the heck not pursue related side interests be they writing fan fiction, attending cons, picking up the next book in a series, or making a morning swim part of your daily routine?  On the other hand, putting time and effort into actively hating something, be it a t.v. show, a group, or is borderline psychotic in my books.

Sean writes: ” Hey Joe – hope you make this mandatory reading for your fans and critics alike! http://blastr.com/2011/01/the-truth-about-tv-ratings-online-viewing-and-sci-fi-shows.php Fascinating read – if you have any differences of opinion I’d be curious to hear them.

Answer: An excellent article.  Nothing there we didn’t already know but it offers a terrific overview for those unfamiliar with how ratings works.  That being said, the article introduces the notion that SF shows are at a disadvantage (because their audiences tend to be more tech-savvy) and seems to set out to dispel this idea, but ultimately doesn’t offer evidence to the contrary.  It clearly delineates why television ratings matter to the networks (because they make their money off advertisers who want viewers to watch ads for their products) and why less emphasis is placed on DVD and online sales (although I feel the need to point out that they only count insofar as the network benefits from these sales through ownership of the show which isn’t always the case), but the criticism that kicks off the article remains.  Craig is right though.  It’s not a matter of making sure all viewers are counted because, at the end of the day, not all viewers are created equal.  It’s the viewers who watch the commercials that the networks are interested in because they pay the bills.  Ultimately, it’s a matter of finding a way to make these alternate viewing methods equally meaningful in the decisionmaking process when it comes time for a show’s renewal.

Tenacious D. writes: “My question after reading the comment from hal ehrlich, is that if you suspected that SyFy was gonna screw you guys over anyway, why not give Atlantis the ending it deserved, i.e. one more season, put the Stargate cap to rest, let the money start pouring in from sci-fi fans that will only purchase a complete franchise, and move on with your lives?”

Bailey writes: “What possible reason would Syfy have for wanting to screw over Joe M and Co? So they could have a series they paid tons of money for fail to make a profit? And then write it off as a tax deduction in a truly brilliant accounting move? What?”

Answer: Thank you.

enectrixx writes: “Have you or anyone in the Stargate staff ever considered doing a Stargate SG-2/SG-3/SG-anything series?”

Answer: Nope.

Montrealer writes: “Folks don’t expect SGU be back anytime soon in the current incarnation. Since Skiffy (AKA SyFy) held the first broadcast rights to any new SGU episodes.”

Answer: You are incorrect, sir.  That certainly was the case with SG-1 (which is why we were stymied when given the opportunity to move forward on an eleventh season of the show) but it’s not the case with SGU.

81 thoughts on “January 23, 2011: Meals and mailbag!

  1. Speaking of the Syfy channel, I think it’s really poor the way some people are acting over SGU’s cancellation, such as those trying to encourage others to boycott the network, and hate on it.

    Okay sure, they haven’t had any effect on the channels viewers, but it really does show a small section of the SGU fanbase to be childish and just as bad as those hating on the show itself. Wouldn’t you agree?

    Almost makes me not want to view some peoples facebooks/websites. I dislike the negativity some people have.

    We should all show a positive unity and show the world that SGUs fanbase is a decent bunch of people, and not let the bad apples spoil it for everyone.

    Speaking of SG1, I really loved Season 8. Such as when Carter/Jacob are working on that Ancient device on Dakara, with the replicators closing in, and Baal offers some advice which he gets correct and he’s like *I’m a god* kinda funny at the time lol

  2. Joe, I was surprised when I saw you list the Shield as one of your top 10, since I’d never heard you mention it before but I generally refer to it as the single most perfect show ever. Lots of shows have been great but I can honestly say I don’t think there is a flaw to be found in the series. And I was holding my breath for the last 5 episodes or so because no matter how great something might be along the way…it can all go bad in how they end it. And that ending was perfect.

    So…to summarize…Perfect.

  3. Ulrike Tannenberg asked about a song in “Divided”, I believe the one you’re thinking of is by the band “Brand New” called “She Won’t Know”.

  4. Ya know, it was that ‘deep fryer’ ep that put me off of Spooks. Of course, I was watching the show during the deepest of my depression, so that wasn’t really smart in the first place, but I also found that I just didn’t have the stomach for realistic violence, at least when watching it. Reading it seems a bit different, I guess because I can’t hear the sounds. It’s the sounds more than the visuals that stick with me with things like that. I hate to hear people in pain. That’s just the worst sound, ever. I hate the sounds of anguish – crying, wailing, etc., anything related to distress. Can’t watch shows with a lot of arguing or screaming, either – just stresses me right out. I don’t know how people can go through life always yelling at each other. I mean…that’s my dad – he only knows how to ‘yell’ – that’s his normal ‘speaking’ voice. I hate it. I hate it when Mr. Das starts getting argumentative. And there’s nothing worse than an irate idiot out in public. But then I can turn right around and listen to heavy metal with its growling, snarling, angryass lyrics. Maybe if music played when people yelled, I could handle it.

    Sorry, really went off on a tangent there. 😛

    das

  5. Hi Joseph,

    Could SGU lower it’s budget per episode down in order to get a season 3? How much could it be lowered before it feels like a totally different show?

    If $15 million is the amount needed for a season 3, I’d imagine we could get the millions of fans world-wide to all send in $5 and that’d cover it!

    -Chris

  6. Montrealer writes: “Folks don’t expect SGU be back anytime soon in the current incarnation. Since Skiffy (AKA SyFy) held the first broadcast rights to any new SGU episodes.”

    Answer: You are incorrect, sir. That certainly was the case with SG-1 (which is why we were stymied when given the opportunity to move forward on an eleventh season of the show) but it’s not the case with SGU.

    Great news, Joe

    Elminster

  7. Joe, the point of SGU was to attract a non-sci-fi mainstream audience, I believe that was made clear even by Brad. Thats why I can’t agree with you whenever you say sci-fi audiences are tech-savvy and thus the low ratings. The blend of drama and sci-fi just confused people and made both kinds of audiences run away. Let me just say the Wray storyline couldve been handled better, I think that was the one that just shouldve not happened. She first started as a cold b**** then all of a sudden she became the ship’s new kino. If there is a possibility for a season 3, I’d say never return to it.

    Another one would be Eli, hes important but ruined by the mother storyline and well his sensitivity can be nauseating. For me those are the two characters that didnt work as I had hoped for, and I think its why people stopped tunning in. Most of the Earth character’s storyline wasn’t all too great except for Young’s. Thats one awesome story Young had, just wish it was continued. Overall the characters that work for me are Young, Rush, Scott, Greer, Chloe. I wouldve put Eli had there been more Scott/Eli scenes, they play off each other well, couldve developed nice banter between them. Because the show needs more bromance or something. As long as every character has a reason for being then it will work, every character has to bring about the best or worst of some other character, its like some weird equation. I still dont know how Wray fits in all of this, and TJ’s problems aren’t new, although her leaning on the LA guy’s shoulders should be interesting, hope Young does something bad that makes her throw herself at LA guy right away.

    Im not saying have more action and drop the stand-alone stuff actually lots of my favorite episodes are stand-alones like Time or Cloverdale even Pain, these episodes are great. I think the trick is to have that usual drama while giving viewers the feel of something urgent happening even though it might not exist on screen. Its psychological. Unlike season one, season two has plenty of that so I hope it becomes the main driving theme to future episodes as well.

    “Answer: All avenues have and are being considered.”

    even Showtime? or Starz? or is that too unrealistic?

  8. I think Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and “The Illustrated Man” were two of the books that made a huge impression on me in my youth. And then there was “Fahrenheit 451” … which may be one of the reasons I resist e-readers.

  9. @Randomness – I agree that the swearing, namecalling etc towards Syfy and on their facebook page is childish and doesn’t help the cause. However encouraging other people to boycott Syfy is a legitimate protest measure to them know that SGU viewers matter and that they shouldn’t be taken lightly. Boycotts, assuming you can organize enough people to be taken seriously, are an effective way to encourage changes to be made. There have been many instances over the years(maybe not in TV) of boycotts being effective.

    One comment to further the discussion on the ratings controversy, is Canada with 10% of the US population somehow manages to get 1.4 million per week to watch SGU in 4:3 SD resolution on SPACE, which is nearly the same # of viewers that watch SGU in the US. Even Australia manages to get 800,000 viewers, albeit on Free to air tv.

  10. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now; I’ve never posted before. I watched the original Stargate movie, then every episode of the SG1 series. I tried, but I just never could get into SG Atlantis – not sure why.
    SGU was great – I was looking forward to seeing what happened to the chain of command on the ship as time went on. I hope it comes back in some form – movies, miniseries, … I started reading your blog for the updates on the SGU situation, and got hooked on the book recommendations, doggie updates, and yummy looking food.
    At the risk of over sharing, I’m currently navigating my way through a rather nasty military divorce, going to college full time, apartment hunting with my 2 little girls in Chicago, taking my youngest to every specialist our insurance will pay for (and some it won’t) in search of a diagnosis that seems to be impossible to discover…and then SyFy, or MGM cancels my fave show. So – Please sir, could you post a gratuitous pic (or two…) of Louis Ferreira, and send me one of those white chocolate truffle desserts??

  11. Joe, back to the topic of pitching. So you have somebody come in that pitches an idea that’s already on the table or in development. Have you ever, depending on how far in development, seen some totally rock solid awesome ideas in the pitch that you just had to incorporate into what you already had going? Or are the pitches not really that specific since you said to not over-complicate things?

    btw, keeping my fingers crosses for the possible future of SGU. I’m sure there’s a number of those haters who haven’t even watched the show, yet go around saying how horrible it is. I personally take TV for what it’s supposed to be, entertainment. If it makes me laugh or sit on the edge of my seat, thumbs up. I really don’t watch a show because it’s part of some family, but more because of how it’s written. Most of the time those go together, but not always.

  12. ‘The heart of my greatest enemy’? Intriguing. Here’s another one for the mailbag.

    What got you interested in reviewing and trying out new food recipes?

    Also,

    What made you want to do what you do? (In terms of your work on Stargate) Did you know that you wanted to do this in, say, high-school, or did you figure it out later?

    Thank you for your time, Mr. Mallozzi!

    Maria

  13. Yes, I’d like to order that 3rd dish. That looks devine. Keep practicing Joe, then you and Akemi can open a restaurant. You could call it Akemi, or Lulu, or Maximus, not Jelly cause it sounds like breakfast. You could call it Bubba’s if it is diner style with big ‘ole hamburgers. If you go Italian, Mallozzi’s would be good. How about Pugs? That sounds like you’d serve a lot of beer or it’s a sports bar.

  14. Whoa, so there was an opportunity for an 11th season of SG-1?! Can you offer any details about who was interested?

  15. Someone asked about the song so if you mean the beginning of episode 12 (divided) when Chloe is dreaming, it’s “you won’t know” by Brand New.
    Season 1 had a lot of great songs!

  16. Wow. Way too much football today. Who’s your pick for the SuperBowl? I’d have to say Packers at this point for me. I don’t have any vested interest other than looking at the teams today and what they did.

    Oooh, so SyFy doesn’t own first rights on SGU? Interesting. Never knew that. Good luck to Brad shopping the rights around.

  17. Hey Joe,

    *giggles* For you to admit that you are watching too much of something…just makes me smile. I always enjoy your food chats and photos.

    I have one for you tonight…

    http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab253/cherluvya/Dinner.jpg

    My daughter cooked this meal. The asparagus was “lightly” tossed in olive oil and seasoned…then baked until they were crisp-tender. The baby red potatoes where cut up…also lightly tossed in olive oil and seasoned…then baked. The onions and red pepper on the potatoes were cooked on the stove and added later. Meatloaf…which is a favorite of the family…yes…that is catchup on top.

    One of my favorites is the jalapeno bread…lightly buttered and layered with shaved Parmesan then broiled. There is a 1/4 piece of a raspberry oatmeal muffin top (these were baked for the kids who won’t touch the spicy bread). Yep…and kiwi.

    That was my dinner tonight. Seemed the right thing to do…to have a show-n-tell for you on occasion.

    Best to you Joe,
    Always,
    Cheryl 🙂

  18. Now I’m curious – what was the original pitch for Window of Opportunity? If you can still remember.

  19. Sorry, just now I saw that Chris has already answerd the question about the song but I`m pretty sure the name is you won`t know e not she won`t know

  20. Hi Joe,

    Window of Opportunity was originally meant to be much darker? Now see…I’m one of the few who watches it and still sees some very dark undertones in the story, in spite of the humor. Could you possibly share how you’d originally envisioned it?

    Thanks!

    SBS

  21. In my opinion boycotts is not the way, you will just get more shows to be cancelled. Reasoning with SF is the way and they already doing it. We just have to hope for good news.
    What we can do is convince our friends to watch the show because if they watch 3 episodes, it’s nearly impossible do not want more.
    If each fan brainwash one friend and make it another fan, I guess we would have enough audience to kick the show on.

    Maybe I can borrow my sarcofagos but the transportantion issue would be expansive!

  22. Sorry-last comment. But I’m not sure that I’m reading right. You were given a chance for an 11th season of Stargate Sg-1 and you didn’t take it? Why on earth not? It might not have been completely one person’s decision, but if you could enlighten me- or shall I say ‘we’ because I’m sure there are others who want to know-why Syfy wasn’t taken up on the offer, I’d be really grateful. Thanks again,

    Maria

  23. Thanks for addressing so many of the finer points of freelance pitching, Joe. Very insightful.

  24. I admit that when I first heard that SGU was canceled, I wanted to stop watching Syfy altogether. And then I realized that wouldn’t work because the network still has Eureka, Warehouse 13, and possibly Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome. So ya, I’m stuck with ’em. I do try not watch the channel too much other than those shows though. Not that they really have much else to offer these days (in fact, I don’t watch at all right now because none of those three shows are on).

    I guess as long as Syfy does some interesting stuff, I’ll keep watching them. Though, to be honest, I don’t know how much longer they will do interesting stuff. It seems like more and more they do Wrestling and Reality shows. *sigh* It really hasn’t been a great season for Syfy though. Universe & Caprica were my two favorite shows on the network…

    Anyway, I’m hoping Syfy does show the rest of Stargate Universe Season 2. And I hope someone picks it up for a couple of seasons or at least we get some movies or a mini-series or two.

    I’m glad you guys did SGU. I like SG-1 and Atlantis, but it was nice to have something new & different. And, as a Battlestar fan, it really helped fill the void of a more realistic outerspace/starship drama that was left when BSG ended. Now that Universe is gone, there’s no show like that. 🙁

  25. Hey Joe, who are you repped by? (I understand if you ‘re not comfortable answering on the big ol’ web) I was just wondering if it’s common to be repped by Canadian agents/managers AND U.S. agents/managers. Thought I read somewhere that Chris Haddock had reps on both sides of the boarder.

    I feel ready to start getting my stuff out there, but am not sure where to start.

  26. @Ulrike Tannenberg

    Hi, if you’re thinking of the song that plays durring Chloes nightmare, it’s “You Won’t Know” by the band Brand New. 🙂

  27. @Migzy

    Please stop proliferating nonsense ratings.

    Canada has never scored more than the premiere episode of Air which got 565,000 and proceeded to fall to levels no longer news worthy and not reported.

    Australia has NEVER hit 800,000.
    First run on SciFi Channel scored 149,000 and then proceeded to lose over half it’s audience and now is so low it is not reported.
    Second run on FTA (Free To Air) scored 744,000 then 558,000 then 487,000 and then was pulled from air because of low ratings.
    It is now having a run on FTA on a second tier digital channel and scored 205,000 then 227,000 then 134,000 for it’s first 3 episodes and it remains to be seen if the ratings follow the same pattern across the world of losing half it’s audience.

  28. @Das: Sure we didn’t grow up in the same house? I feel the same exact way. That is why I can’t watch Hell’s Kitchen anymore.

    @Joe: The meal looked delicious. I would actually eat that, and even try the monkfish. I’ve never eaten monkfish before.

  29. You mentioning ‘that’ Spooks episode…guess who switched over just as that happened…never watched it again….

    Oh and over here they got loads of complaints when it was shown…even with a warning at the beginning of the show.

    Kriss 🙂

  30. Hey Joe, I was just wondering if you thought that at anytime within the franchises the public would be made aware of the Stargate program? I know that they have been a few episodes in dealing with this possibility, but I have always wondered if you guys would actually do it.

    One other thing, which is just complete curiosity on my part, since you write these shows and everything, do you believe in intelligent extraterrestrial life?

    Josh

  31. Is this how you ask mail bag questions? If not, how do you? I wanted to ask how come, given that you said you can’t enter an incoming wormhole, Colonel O’Neill was able to hold a wormhole open by putting his gun back through it?

  32. Here’s another something for the mailbag –

    It’s pretty safe to assume that the Blue aliens are responsible for Chloe’s transformation and new abilities, but does it really explain why she now understands Destiny’s systems (turning the ship around) and knows how to fiddle with the door control? More knowledge about math and physics wouldn’t mean that she knows what button to press on an alien computer. How can the Blues know so much about Ancient technology when they’ve never been onboard the Destiny?

  33. hello joe, ive been reading on and off for a while now and its my first time posting… just a quick idea…
    could the stargate franchise continue in mini series form? one or two a year about different things going on in the stargate universe. it would get money from the network plus dvd sales. just a thought i had… love the blog!
    jeff

  34. One of my Nieces is old enough now to be interested in novels. She’s 7 and is amazing with reading. I started reading them Harry Potter on my Reader and bought her BFG to have a go at, but when she came over and started going through my book shelf, I realized I’m missing some great books because they’re on my Reader. Fortunately Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Complete Series was there (I gave her the instructions she could read when she was a little older) but I decided that for every great book I read I’m also getting the hard copy of it so I can pass their stories down. I travel a lot so the Reader is brilliant for my lifestyle. I never understand the argument of having to be one or the other.

    Let me know if you ever want the recipe for a Blue Swimmer Crab Spagattini. I may have posted it before come to think of it…

  35. Hi Joe,

    Great blog. Thanks for taking the time to reply to my previous question.

    Please forgive me if you have already answered this before, but I have just read the graphic novels Tron: Betrayal and Star Trek: Countdown – both ‘prequels’ to their film counterparts. I thoroughly enjoyed them and I was wondering – seeing as the scripts for both the SG1 and Atlantis movies have been started (completed?) and you have an idea on how to carry SGU forward would it be possible to go down the same route and publish some graphic novels based on your ideas for the new films\new SGU season?

    I understand that some license rights issues would have to be sorted out (I suspect a lot less red tape would have to waded through?) but hopefully that would be the next best thing if we were not able to get the movies\new series we are all praying for.

    Thanks

    Rich

  36. Hi Joe,

    Firstly, such a disappointment that SGU was canceled this early on in its run. But hardly a shock giving the ratings;

    1) Is here any update on this ‘VERY exciting news’ you mentioned a couple of weeks back?

    2) Does the news concern SGU only or the entire franchise?

  37. Montrealer writes: “Folks don’t expect SGU be back anytime soon in the current incarnation. Since Skiffy (AKA SyFy) held the first broadcast rights to any new SGU episodes.”

    Answer: You are incorrect, sir. That certainly was the case with SG-1 (which is why we were stymied when given the opportunity to move forward on an eleventh season of the show) but it’s not the case with SGU.

    Might that be the minor hurdle you have cleared so far? Any more hurdles cleared or still stuck with the same ones you had last time?

  38. @randomness. I don’t advocate boycotting Syfy. I advocate simply ignoring its existance. The cancellation of SGU was merely the final straw. I’ve tried to be loyal to the network and the (very) few decent sci fi shows it did air. But that loyalty hasn’t been returned. Instead, we’ve been given innumerable shows about people creeping around old buildings scaring themselves while they pretend they are “scientifically” investigating something, nearly naked men pretending to take immense amounts of damage and keep on fighting(ok, so nearly naked men aren’t so bad, but it’s not sci fi), and other drivel. I don’t believe the network knows what science fiction really is, much less cares about delivering us quality genre shows. So, a pox on them and their house. I will just go read a good book instead of wasting time on them.

    To Mr. M. Do you find the shitake mushrooms to be the best for most uses? I have to admit to being disappointed by them when used in certain recipes. I make a point of trying different mushrooms in recipes, and I’ve only found a couple that I prefer the texture of shitake in. That said, that soup looked delicoius.
    Mailbag greatly appreciated, as was the clarification on the reader recipe modifications. Thanks for taking the time to go through the mailbag, and condolences on the steelers making it to the big game. Guess I’m rooting for the Packers this year, unless the superbowl pool forces me to favor Pittsburg.

  39. oh, one more thing. How do you rate Spartacus vs. Rome? I’ve gotten my coworkers hooked on Spartacus, where Rome left them cold. I find both shows excellent, but I have to admit the current cliffhanger with Spartacus is leaving me wanting more. The new season and it’s backfilling the story of Battiatus and his ludus is nice, but I want to see slaves kicking Roman butt…

  40. Coucou,

    Désolé je ne peux pas rester trop longtemps..en ce moment je suis en pleine recherche de stage et c’est pas facile =S!

    Je vous fait de gros bisou,
    Merci pour ce post,
    Kisss

  41. Joe, to me it feels like more and more shows gets canceled earlier than before, like they newer gets a real chance, like now, SGU. I have started to feel a bit … well, lost hope, and I don’t follow as many new shows now due to fear that it will just get canceled. It feels like, what’s the point, when the show have a few eps with lower numbers it gets kicked out, to be replaced by another “great” show that just gets canceled again.

    Do you think SGU got the time it needed, or that you, if you got some more eps, say 10 for the start of season 3, would have been able to recover?

    I think all this quick cancellations will hurt all shows in the future, im sure more and more people will feel like me. “Why bother, it will just be canceled without a proper ending”.

  42. ‘…one of the projects presently on the stack is a potential Canadian-UK co-production’

    Which, if it’d be fine to tell? How far has it got?

    For insight, what is the core buzz, zing and howl-of-energy to body-mind that you get from concept/world/situation of each of the projects that you are developing? Of course, including the above!

    As listed by you they are:

    – comic book series

    – t.v. pilot (horror-comedy)

    – t.v. pilot (dramedy)

    – t.v. pilot (dark comedy)

    – t.v. pilot (fantasy)

    – possible SF novel

    Looking forward to learn!

    PJR

  43. your dinner pictures on this post made me chuckle. It is a perfect storm of foods that could kill me. (Mushrooms, then shellfish, then chocolate AND ice cream.) But they all look beautifully executed! 🙂

  44. @Maria: If I’m reading Joe’s comment on an eleventh season of SG-1 right, they were given the opportunity to have an eleventh season of SG-1, but because of some agreement with ScyFy, they were unable to do so.

    Joe, am I close??

    Oh, and I liked the food pictures especially the potato croquettes.

    Have a good day!!

  45. Humm… I find it a little disturbing that none of the Stargate shows make your 10 favorite TV series of all time list. What’s up with that? 🙂

  46. You must have WAY more room in your house for books than I. We had to give away several boxes of Sci-fi/fantasy novels because of space restrictions. That is one reason we switched to eBooks. It’s a big plus for hubby, too. He has to read all of these huge computer books. It makes it much easier to travel with the ereader. He can take several computer books AND pleasure reading.
    Have you noticed how many people get defensive of their brand of ereader? There are lots of new readers coming on the market. The ereaders options will be exciting to see.

    Das: glad you weren’t hurt in the fender bender. It would be embarrassing to return a car that has been wrecked.

    Mr. M,: the food looks yummy! I saw a recipe for “Garlic Spaghetti” that I’m going to try. I may cut down the butter, though. It looks easy and I love garlic: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/garlic-spaghetti-recipe/index.html

  47. I’m pretty much alone at the day job and loving it; everyone else took a “Steeler day off” to celebrate and I’m grateful for the peace and quiet.

    Your pick of The Lottery always makes me a bit frustrated; I read about a woman who finds her husband has hidden a winning lottery ticket, and then begins to suspect that their elderly neighbor who never failed to play the lottery and has died may have been killed by her husband. After she destroys the ticket she discovers her husband won fairly and had nothing to do with the old lady’s death. A wonderfully mean little story about trust and well, distrust. But I don’t know who wrote it; I’ve searched and asked but people only remember is the Shirley Jackson classic.

    How to break into the business without and agent: apply to the studio training programs. Yes, anyone can do it and most of the programs are free. All you need is a great spec of a current TV show (not a cancelled one, so no X-Files eps). If you do NOT write a great spec then you need to take a screenwriting class and learn, and if you ARE a good writer than you’ll have a great script to enter in the next contest, to send to an agent or to send to a prodco.

    Here are some upcoming contests; the WB is the only one that makes winners pay a small fee, the rest pay you to participate. Some are diversity programs, most open internationally to all. They’re great programs and tough to get into, and open to all so good luck to you:

    http://www.wga.org/content/default.aspx?id=1042

    http://www.austinfilmfestival.com/new/screenplay

    http://abctalentdevelopment.com/programs/programs_writings_fellowship.html

    http://writersworkshop.warnerbros.com/programs.php

    http://diversity.cbscorporation.com/page.php?id=18

    http://www.fox.com/diversity/creative/writer_submission.htm

    http://www.sundance.org/programs/screenwriters-lab/

  48. Last question you answered on yesterday’s post was about sg-1’s eleventh season. Which station wanted it?

  49. @Migzy

    Boycotting and anything like that is a directly negative campaign against a network.
    It’s a poor way of showing you’re a Stargate fan and it shows everyone up as being spoilt children kicking and screaming when we don’t get what we want.

    You do realise the Syfy channel has been good to Stargate over the years. It’s unfortunate that Stargate Universe was cancelled, but simply put. It wasn’t popular amongst Nielson box owners that have the channel.

    However Stargate Universe is a great show. If a network took a chance on it being successful on their airwaves I think you’l find it’l go on for a little while longer.

    Anyway.

    If people want to understand what I mean, google *Boycott Syfy* Pretty much an easy way of explaining it without posting links.

  50. The sweet potatoes look terrific, but then, they usually do.

    Been enjoying the pitching conversations. Interesting, thank you.

    Rambling story, a stirred up, previously forgotten memory: In high school we read The Lottery in literature class, of course. Drama class often mirrored what was going on in English; very progressive in the 70s. Our student drama teacher sat us in a circle and told us to act out The Lottery without words. We were not assigned parts. We mimed handing out tickets. The glancing and unease began. Everyone cupped their hands and began peeking as if we had tickets. We turned swiftly on the girl who looked the most ill at ease, who was breathing shallowly as if terrified, we responded by pointing and shaking fists, then miming throwing rocks. The real drama teacher called it off fairly quickly when the girl began to cry, but not before she huddled in a ball on the floor. Most of us started to cry or shake in the aftermath. Intense.

    I hated high school. But not that day.

  51. Hi joe, i was wondering as your writing a comic book may i as a question. I may of missed some blogs where you delt details about how the process is different. Im currently penning something, in script format-

    i understand each is different, and each panel takes description in account, working out my descriptions to be about 300 to 500 words per, max.

    …. actually i lost myself in my question and dont know how to properly ask…

    If neone could point me in your previous posts, id love to read what you have to say when writing an episode script say to a 121 page graphic novel.

    Be safe

  52. @ PBMom – Read your comments yesterday. You know what you need? You need to get that whole Texas story on one of those investigative reports TV shows. The whole thing is just so ridiculous, so unjust. I really wish you all the best in your fight.

    @ Tammy Dixon – It should be an easy repair – just replacing (or refastening) the bumper. I’m SO glad I was no where near the car when it happened, mostly because it proves that I was in no way at fault. Even so – even though the car was unoccupied and the damage the result of a hit and run – Enterprise (Rental) would have charged MY insurance, and today I would be paying the $500.00 deductable. However, I did something smart for a change – I took out the extra insurance through Enterprise, so I don’t have to pay a thing. Whew. (I suppose since someone did get the tag number of the car, eventually his/her insurance would be charged and I would be reimbursed, but that’s a real pain in the arse.)

    Oh well, I better get my butt to work. Stayed home this morning and baked banana chip bread, cooked bacon and French toast, and cleaned everything up – all for Mr. Das who’s home sick with a cold, or the flu, or…whinyass syndrome…I really can’t tell. 🙄

    das

  53. Well, it is going to be Steelers vs. Packers at Jerry World for the Super Bowl.

    Since you’ve got so much time on your hands, here’s a suggestion. For only $200, you could have the privilege of traveling to Dallas (at your own expense) to stand outside the stadium in the unseasonably cold weather and watch the Big Game on a Big Screen.

    Being from Vancouver, the weather should feel normal to you. 😉

    We’ll be watching on a big screen; the one located in our media room.

    Is it possible to watch too much Top Chef?

    A bit surprised you don’t like suspense; guess that’s why Agent Pendergast isn’t really your cup of tea.

  54. Who eats all this food?

    I’m making a batch of jelly with store bought juice. *fingerscrossed. I don’t know about Vancouver, but I can’t buy decent jelly in the store.

  55. Hi Joe,

    Been awhile since I last posted, but I do read daily! Doing my part to keep the SGU train on track writing notes to the powers that be showing my support. Praying for the best.

    I do have a question regarding close to topic of late. My uncle has written a really cool, SF time alteration what-if kinda novel. I’ve been privy to a advance copy (it’s really good Sci-Fi). Anyways, he’s trying to shop it around to publishers, but can’t seem to get in the door. Do novel writers also need agents to open those doors as you’ve mentioned for the TV pitch guys?

    He’s thinking of self publishing on Amazon.com. Any pro’s or cons you could suggest as a professional writer that I might pass on to my newbie writer uncle?

    Thanks for all your efforts and info as always, Joe!

    Regards,

    Shawn.

  56. Hey Joe, long time reader first time poster. Just wanted to say that everyone involved with the SG franchise, including you, have done some tremendous work over the years. You’ve provided countless hours of entertainment. Keeping my fingers crossed for some form of continuation of SGU! On that note, is there any chance of a 2.5 trailer airing for the remaining SGU episodes, similar to 1.5?

  57. A ‘darker’ version of fan favorite ‘window of opportunity’?

    You have me intrigued.

    Can you tease us with some details of what might have been?

  58. Your passion is food and sci-fi.. ever thought about a Stargate Cook-book, ala Nelix’s Star Trek Cook-book?

  59. I see you are a fan of Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man. Which is your favorite story from that collection? Mine is No Particular Night or Morning followed by Kaleidoscope.

  60. What did you think of the Spartacus prequel ? I liked it but for the most part it seems to be retelling the same story except Crixus is Spartacus with more intrigue, sex and gore.

    Looking forward to Game of Thrones on HBO. Jason Momoa will have a hard time remembering his lines in the first scene, “No… No… No… No?” 😛

  61. Hey Joe! I was just wandering if in the back half of season two we will see Destiny kick some ass in a space battle rather than always getting pounded. In every single space battle the ship has been involved in so far, it’s never ended with a victory for the Destiny crew (the ship or the enemy jumping away doesn’t count).

  62. The deep-fried episode of Spooks/MI-5 was so shocking the 1st time I saw it, I couldn’t believe that they went there. On the dvd they state that originally it was going to occur in the last episode, but decided to move it to episode 2 to set the tone for the series about no one being safe in that job description (i.e.- a Spook/MI-5 agent). The first episode was boring with their “portrayal” of a “right-wing American extremist” or maybe it was just the bad Southern accent that I almost never watched the 2nd episode. So glad I did tho! Been addicted to Spooks/MI-5 ever since… it seems like only Harry (Peter Firth) makes it through each season, so you never know who’s going to survive episode from episode which really ads to the intensity! Plus awesome guest stars! Always thought it would have been cool if Malcolm (Hugh Simon) could have guest starred on an Atlantis episode as some “super expert” that outshined McKay on a mission and Rodney couldn’t let it go.

    Can’t wait until Tuesday when Season 8 comes out on dvd!!!

    Hey, Joe!
    In your list of TV Chefs you like/don’t like you forgot to mention the most famous TV Chef of all…. the SWEDISH CHEF from the Muppets!!!
    He had some really good “chickey in the pot” recipes! Not to mention that he worked with talking vegetables… imagine the possibilities of him on Iron Chef!

  63. Surely the worldwide tv rights would be more than enough to cover the production costs of season 3 even without any American money. Then the profit would be in the dvd sales ? Financially naive ?

    Doesn’t syndication kill DVD sales, series constantly running on a loop doesnt encourage people to part with their hard earned ?

    My cable provider has entire tv series on demand and I discovered the west wing that way. The first season was available for a month and then the second for a month and then the next month season one aggghhhhh Had to rush out and buy the box set.

  64. Montrealer writes: “Folks don’t expect SGU be back anytime soon in the current incarnation. Since Skiffy (AKA SyFy) held the first broadcast rights to any new SGU episodes.”

    Answer: You are incorrect, sir. That certainly was the case with SG-1 (which is why we were stymied when given the opportunity to move forward on an eleventh season of the show) but it’s not the case with SGU.

    How about SGA? Was the network holding broadcast rights, or not? Were there other avenues to continue SGA pursued before you’ve settled for making a movie instead?

  65. Hi Joe,

    Thank you for answering the “Window of Opportunity” question, even if you didn’t know what Dr. Jackson was talking about. 😉 (his loop-back phrase when O’Neill was eating fruit loops)

    About the books… I agree, reading actual physical books is hard to beat, even with the fancy kindle type stuff that’s out there now.

    I didn’t know that “Scorched Earth” was your foot-in-the-door one-shot. Either way, great episode! 🙂

    All the best,

    Sean D.

  66. Eduardo, yep, it’s “You Won’t Know” – sorry, had stayed up all night and got confused when thinking about Chloe and mixed “she” and “you’ up, lol.

  67. thanks for the dessert, best part of the meal!
    I enjoyed watching Patrick Gilmore on the pilot episode (last thurs) of Fairly Legal on USA I believe. His part was….. quite interesting.
    Keep cooking Chef Joe and Akemi and thanks for sharing pictures with us. yum.

  68. Joe,

    I have been wondering about destiny and the speed in which the ship is traveling at. When traveling at the speed of light or faster there should be a large time distortion between what those traveling experience and what say someone sitting on earth would experience.

    Since there is already a president set in Stargate (Some SGA episode I believe where they found the Ancients in a war ship traveling at 99.99% the speed of light) is this something that the we would see affect the crew? I would think that this should have already made a substantial difference.

    Thanks
    John

  69. Das: lucky for you about the extra insurance! The bozo that hit you probably didn’t have any.

    Does anyone have any recipes for Quinoa? I finally found some here and may try it for lunch tomorrow.

  70. are artworks from SG-1 and atlantis available for public,know that the shows have ended or could be available via auctions?

  71. Hey Joe,

    Got a plan, an idea if you wish. Could really do with a heads up of whether it is worth even bothering please.

    Now if you wanted to look at this imdb thread: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1286039/board/nest/177193437 it would tell you probably no more than I will here, but would be good for SGUanatics to post their thoughts if they have any on this specific topic.

    Anyway, I have been told that it costs $2-3 million USD per episode of SGU. I reckon we could get enough people i.e. globally 3 million avid SGU fans who would pay $20 USD each – the bigggg question, beyond my pie in the sky dreaming is: When is it too late to retain the principles (roughly), I anticipate they have options for season 3 when would the SGU team not be able to exercise such? I know you can’t be specific but you could define in equinoxes if that helps.

    I see a chance for so much publicity with the angle being that the show would be ‘the worlds first cancelled TV show picked up by viewers and broadcast on the internet’.

    I know you can’t give an opinion that would imply any legal responsibility to the concept, nor can you allow me to infer anything from your responses and I also accept you do not speak for the SGU owners or production team or actors or any person involved in the SGU production or Stargate ‘franchise’. I accept any answer and or opinion you might be willing to give without prejudice and as the informal natterings of a couple of blog posters who are chewing the cud with no expectations from either to the other.

    (In response to your: no agent = no pitchy mailbag answer:) )

    Hell could we even get 3 million people worldwide to punt $20? Surely it must be possible, by the way it is always the way I thought an SG1 movie could have happened years ago, pure punter driven TV/Movies.

    P.S. off topic, I have enjoyed your blog for a long time and never posted, but thanks for the fun it provides. Incidentally my three year son enjoys the Pug pictures and recognises your blog as the ‘Pug Dobby pictures’ place to be on the web!

  72. Hi Joe,

    Thanks for the great post about pitching, and answering all those questions! It’s been very educational–and entertaining. I don’t know if you’re still answering questions related to this topic, but I have a couple for you:

    First, how do you go about pitching story ideas when you work with a writing partner? For example, do you take turns pitching a story? Does one person do all the talking?

    Which brings me to my next question, how do you and Paul decide how to split up the work? I imagine you’ve developed a system over the years, so are there any big lessons you’ve learned along the way that you could share with us?

    Also, good luck with the big decision about the move…Tough one!

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