Looking back over your Stargate viewing experience, what would you consider your favorite VFX shot/sequence?

Hmmmm. This requires some thought.

It’s tough.  So many to choose from.  I’d love to hear what the fans have to say.  But I’d also love to hear what an expert has to say on the subject.  An expert like, say, this guy –

Stargate Visual Effects Supervisor Extraordinaire Mark Savela.  Over the years, he and his gang have produced some of the most unbelievably awesome VFX shots and sequences on television.  So I decided to corner him and ask him the same question. He kindly agreed to swing by this blog and count down his favorite Stargate Visual Effects shots/sequences.  Each entry will include Mark’s insight into how the shot/sequence came together complete with supporting visuals (photos and/or vids).

Impatiently awaiting his first installment.  What do you figure will kick off the list in the #10 spot?  The super gate in SG-1’s Beachhead?  The big bomb drop in SGA’s First Strike?  The body-burrowing sequence in SGU’s Time?

Last night, the gang got together for dinner at Romer’s Burger Bar.  The highpoint of the night?  Ashleigh doing a shot.  And not just any shot.  I’m talking about the lemon-cream dipping sauce that accompanied our mini-doughnuts.

That girl will drink anything!

Tomorrow, I’m scheduled to go in for my annual check-up.  Well, they call it an “annual check-up” but, in my case, it’s more of a every half decade type of thing.  I went in for a general blood test a couple of weeks ago, so my doctor has been sitting on the results for a while.  I figure that if it was bad news, he wold have already called me up in a panic by now. Unless, of course, he tried my home line which I never answer.  Or tried the production office which has been somewhat deserted of late.

So, dentist today, doctor tomorrow and, next week, it looks like I may be in Toronto for business.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

Nope, still no news on the Stargate front.  Tick tick tick…

77 thoughts on “January 25, 2011: What was your favorite Stargate VFX shot/sequence? Dinner with the gang!

  1. Mine has to be the drones being fired in Lost City. So magical in some ways as you’re thinking OMG earth is doomed, then the drones emerge like magical balls of light converging into a stream that cuts down all of the ships Anubis had.

    Also loved the way the sequence where Teal’c is piloting the cargo ship headed towards Earth, pulls up and not long after bores a hole in the ice with the rings.

    And LASTLY also on that episode the armarda of Earth and Goa’uld ships clashing over Antartica.

    So much to love in that episode alone.

    In some ways that would of made the perfect SG1 finale had it not be picked up for a new season. SURE it wouldn’t of resolved everything but the main big bad was gone.

  2. VFX – The end of SG1 season 9 was pretty sweet, though things were gradually getting cooler and cooler in the final seasons of SG1, including both seasons 9 and 10 particularly. And pretty much any of the vfx in SGU. 🙂 Of course, all of that, even SGU’s vfx, is going to look fake in comparison to the new-and-improved stuff in a few years from now. Though, still, pretty sweet stuff for the time.

  3. Hello Joe.

    Hmm. Favorite visual effects shot… Probably the mountain blowing up in Ark of Truth, followed by those dreaded motion control shots when Repli-McKay and Rodney are talking about how the old uniform bunched up a little.

    How are the pups doing? Hope everyone is doing well. And of course, please keep us in the loop about any news regarding the franchise.

    Best wishes,


  4. I like that shot of the drones being fired too, and I like the one at the end of the third season of Atlantis where Atlantis is leaving the planet and flying into space. I also like the one where Destiny is recharging in the sun–thought that was a cool one.

    The video of Ashleigh was cute. She was a good sport to do that.

    Hope you have a good night and that your doctor’s appointment goes well tomorrow.

  5. Favorite Stargate VFX shot/sequence come from the SG:A episode: Be All My Sins Remembered. This episode had A LOT of them. Favorite begins when Fran says Hello, and begins to do her thing.

  6. My favorite shot ever is Atlantis rising out of the ocean in Rising. The pan out from the hole in the ground through the galaxy to Michaels ship in Search and Rescue was another one I liked.

  7. Hey Joe

    I have to agree with Randomness, that was a wicked episode. Also, the effects in the 2 movies, The Arc of Truth and Continuum, were very strong. Mark is one very special man.


  8. If you’re in Toronto next week, then you have to try my husband’s favourite sandwich place — Mustachio’s in St. Lawrence Market (on the lower level). They have the most awesome veal and eggplant sandwiches. The pizza place on the main level is good, too, if you like thin crust pizzas. The mushroom and bacon is always good.

    So, I guess when you said there might be a job opportunity across the country, you meant Toronto, then? It’ll be interesting to see you compare the restaurant scene in T.O. versus Vancouver, especially when it comes to Chinese restaurants.

  9. Yeah Joe,

    I would have to agree with Randomness too that really was a GREAT episode. Bailey- seeing Atlantis rise was really AWESOME too.

    Okay so maybe its not the biggest visual effects you guys have done but I would have to say this one stuck in my mind beacuse when I first started watching SG1 it had made an impression of “holy crap these little grey guys kick butt!”. It was in the Thor’s Chariot episode where we see the outside of the big old honking Asgard’s ship for the first time dropping out of the sky and zapping all the Goa’uld up.
    I think the same effect was used in the episode “Point of View”, no? You know when the Asgard arrive on the alternate earth and zap all the Goa’uld away again in the nick of time.
    Yeah I know it probablly doesn’t reach the top ten of his, but like I said it made a big first impression of the Asgard.
    *sniff sniff* I miss those lil guys. 🙁
    Hey by the way Joe some of us REALLY, REALLY love visual effects. Do you think you could do another visual effects “showing”. Orrrrrr maybe Mark could show us some screen shots or a quick video of how he makes just one of these gems from raw footage, computer cgi and what they look compositing the together?

    Thank ya

  10. @IggyMing Hey, you in Toronto? I love walking up and down Spadina. I always stop at this one place, the name escapes me, but it has 3 levels of shops and a food court in the basement (the upper levels is a hotel, I put the signs in it). Love it.


  11. The first time I saw the replicators in Sg-1 I was amazed at how real they looked. Battle over antartica was pretty sexy too

  12. 1. The scene where Teal’c took that heavy staff weapon and shot down Tanith’s ship. Only Teal’c could do that. Nope, not even Master Chief. Not even a Jedi. Only Teal’c.
    2. The Beachhead, like you gave an example of. FOR MOTHER RUSSIA!!!! Ah, how I love Chekov.
    3. From Continuum: the scene where the gang is being flown in fighters to Russia and they’re attacked by Death Gliders AND THE RUSSIANS SAVED THEM!!! Wow, I have a little Russian thing going on right now… “They’re MIGs!”
    4. This doesn’t even count, but Window of Opportunity.

  13. Hello Joe.

    How could I have forgotten Repli-Marrick in Ark of Truth. What was your favorite scene during your time in the franchise?

    Best wishes,


  14. The opening to “In the line of Duty” (SG-1 Season 2, the episode when carter becomes host to Jolinar) always sticks out in my mind. Such a fantastic sequence.

  15. @Elminster — Nope, don’t live in the GTA, but I have family there, so I visit often. Are you referring to the Eaton Centre? I don’t usually go there, but it is a fabulous place. If I want to go to a mall, I usually head to Yorkdale. Can’t beat the free parking!

  16. Gosh, so many! Atlantis rising out of the water was amazing! “Rising” (both parts) was amazing, actually. This sucks.

  17. I actually have two favorite VFX sequences…

    1) The scene where Young stones into the alien ship for the first time.

    2) The scene where Rush and James go to the desert/crystal planet in the episode Lost.

    Honorable Mention:

    The Rush/Alien fight.

  18. Any scene that Ronon was in had a special effect on me. Does that count?

    If not, the one scene I still remember as a “WOW”, was SGA Season 5, first episode Search & Rescue, scene one, the camera pulling out from the hole McKay, Lorne, Ronon, and Sheppard were trapped in. The pull out from the planet into and across space. The music and visuals were perfect together and it was breathtaking and beautiful. Like I say, I still remember that one and I see others here do too.

    Also in Reunion and Broken Ties watching the Wraith’s aging process on their victims faces was pretty interesting.

    How can you pick one? There were sooooo many.

  19. I was actually thinking of one of my favorite practical effects you had. It was in “Enemies,” and the replicators sprayed their acid to get out of the crate. The thing just melted open, and apparently that’s exactly what happens when you spray gasoline onto styrofoam.

    Not to knock visual effects, but I just thought I’d sing some different praises.

    The Choppa’Ko was pretty snazzy, though. Especially when Carter was standing on it when it went off. That only honestly freaked me the hell out.

  20. What’s this, a general survey about way-cool CGI at a time that I want to get some work done but actually REALLY want to just procrastinate? Awesome! 😉

    I gotta say, the first thing that popped into my fron while reading the entry was the stuff in First Strike, and that was before you mentioned it. While the bomb drop was unbelievably spectacular, I think I’ll go with the end sequence of Atlantis rising again and then flying off. It was one of those rare moments when Atlantis herself felt like a character; specifically, one whom was giving it her all to escape the terror from above despite her immense age.

    I got the same feeling when Destiny dove into the gas giant’s atmosphere in Darkness; the music especially helped, with its intense guitar backing. This million+ year old ship, riding the waves of a massive planet, its atmosphere pummelling her skin like hurricane whipping up the side of a house. It was great.

    Here are some others I loved: the first shot of SGU; the galaxy shots in Sabotage; Destiny and the Seed Ship both sundiving in Resurgence; the massive zoom out in Search and Rescue; the destruction of the Wraith and Ori ships in The Pegasus Project; the chair scene at Proclarush Taonas in Lost City Part 2; Atlantis rising; the start of the battle of Atlantis in The Siege Part 2; the massive wave hitting Atlantis in The Eye; the battle footage in No Man’s Land (the setting of the battle really made it unique); the destruction of the Phoenix and the gorgeous shots of Atlantis in the sand from The Last Man; Sheppard vs. Michael on Atlantis’s tower from The Prodigal; Atlantis arriving to battle the SuperHive from Enemy at the Gate; etc. etc. So many.

  21. It’s very very hard to choose but let’s try a top5:

    The scene from SG-1 season 1 The Torment of Tantalus when Daniel finds the device that shows the reunion of the four races in a language based on the atoms. The visual, the mystery and the orchestration in the back makes a paralyzing clime!! Pretty awesome!!

    The space race in season 7 was SO MUCH FUN!!!!! I love that sequence!!

    First Contact from SGA season 5 the entire episodes was oh my god!! Great visual e adventure sequence!! And when the “bridge” of Atlantis exploded I got paralyzed, was a very intense scene. Seconds before the explosion the music in the back stopped, a complete silence was made and then BOOM it explodes!!! Shocking!!!

    Sheppard fighting “zombies” in Whispers was breathtaking!!

    The blue aliens from SGU entering through the gate in Pain and Chloe with half of the face converted to the alien skin in Cloverdale were SUCH GREAT!!!! When I first saw those scenes in the trailer of season 2 I freak out and I got pretty anxious!!!

    I would like to speak more about those scenes but my English is very limited.

  22. One of my favorite VFX shots was when the replicators were crawlling all over Apophis.

    Or, in the movie Continuum where the guy gets sliced in half with a sword. (I hope I’m remembering that one right.)

    Or, the final Anubis battle with the first activation of the drone chair.

    And finally, “the puddle”. Every time someone walks through the stargate, I love it. Nicely done!

    Those are the ones that stand out to me.

  23. I just read the pitching tips. Very interesting and informative. I just have a couple follow-up questions:

    1. Do pitches usually happen over the phone?
    2. If one wants to be a TV writer, presuming one is willing to move to wherever a show’s produced if one gets a regular job on it, is it absolutely necessary to live in LA/Vancouver, or could someone still get serious consideration if they’re from a non-industry-heavy area? (In other words, I suppose, how critical is proximity in the pitching stage?)

  24. @Ponytail

    Gaaah!!! You’re right!!! That shot in Search and Rescue was GREAT as well!!! So many moments to choose!?!?!?

    The scene where the replicator jumps off the crane, and into the water… in the episode (the name escapes me…) where Sheppard went home for his father’s funeral.

    …Wait… Bam Bam did that stunt himself… 😉

    Best Wishes,

    Best wishes,


  25. The SGU episode 2×07 “The Greater Good” is the one for me that has even SEVERAL awesome SFX scenes (and music as well). When they cross between ships and any overfly are extraordinary.
    Mark Savela should be getting a reward for this.
    I think overall “The Greater Good” is one of the best episode of the show. SFX wise, story wise, revelation wise,music wise … acting …. everything is up there, totally blew up my mind that night.

  26. My top ten?


    #10: The Suppergate being blown up….
    #9: Destiny Exploding
    #8: The (i wonder if I’m spelling it right) Hippoforalcus (love that word)
    #7: Wraith Hive Ship being nuked
    #6: Aurora self-destructing
    #5: Destiny flying through a star when it is recharging
    #4: Gou’ld Pain stick in symbiote pouch
    #3: Asgard Plasma Beam Weapons
    #2: The KAWWOOSH!
    #1: Destiny firing its main battery

  27. Hey Joe,

    My favorite topic with Mark. He is the KING of all kings. I can’t wait to see the list.

    A couple that come to mind: ….oh crap, never mind. The titles of episodes just don’t pop into my mind. I feel like a failed fan at times. Everyone seems to know ALL of them. In general…shuttles crashing, planets blowing up, the Destiny blowing up, battles in space, the Stargate woooosh…too many to name.

    I hope you have been practicing your “cough” for the doctor. I hear it is really “high up” on the list of favorites. *giggles*

    My doctor is drop dead gorgeous. I took two of my daughters with me for our first meeting. They sat and whispered, giggled and secretly snapped pictures of him during the exam with their phones. I finally had to tell him to ignore the “fangirls” but “We all think you are HOT!” He had a good laugh..then continued..and so did my girls.

    Best to you Joe,
    Cheryl 🙂

  28. This post vanished for awhile, but now it’s back… or my computer found it again… or my mind re-booted… whatever.

    Favorite VFX, let’s see…
    Sheppard crashlanding the shuttle in The Ark, for one;
    for another, the 90-degree shifts in gravity orientation in an SG-1 episode (don’t know the name) where O’Neill is a prisoner being interrogated by Ba’al [?], who “drops” things on him (acid, etc.) and his cell swaps walls for floors at the push of a button. Trippy.

  29. Lets see…

    The Battle of Antarctica in “Lost City”
    The destruction of the pyramid in “Full Circle” (though I think that’s SFX)
    Be All My Sins Remembered
    The loss of the Prometheus in “Ethon”
    SGU’s Darkness, passing through the gas giant
    Light, recharging in the sun
    The Blueberry Aliens in SGU
    The ship in “Scorched Earth”
    The squid like things in SGU’s “Time”
    Adria walking around with the fire effect in Ark of Truth
    The storm passing through Atlantis in SGA’s “The Storm”
    The battle over Earth at the end of Enemy at the Gates
    The Midway Space Station in SGA’s “The Return”

    And all of those that I can’t think of at the moment and all of those that I didn’t even realize had VFX in them because they were so flawlessly done.


  30. I would have to say that one of my favorite effects shots was when Atlantis was under attack from the replicator laser-stargate-spaceship-thing and they sunk the city.

    On another topic, would there be a chance that the Tollan weren’t all destroyed? I would like to see them again, upgraded versions of their “space guns” would really come in handy for defending Earth.

  31. If you tied me up and waterboarded me, I still would not be able to give you a list of the top 100, let alone the top 10. Mark Savela and his team deserve to win the Primetime Emmy, and hoping next year they will.

  32. My favorite VFX was from Heroes 2. During that scene where Bregman was editing interviews, I was pacing in front of the TV, my mind screaming, “Hello!?! The Stargate’s over there! What’s going on on the planet?!!” (Okay, I admit, and I don’t do this often, so don’t get the wrong impression, I just may have been shouting for real.)

    Bregman throws his hands in the air just as I reach to the top of the TV for the remote (I was just going to tap the FFW. Honest.) and …

    CUT TO

    HUGE EXPLOSIONS on the planet!

    Of course, a frustrated “What’s going on on the planet?!!” was the whole point of the Bregman scene so I was totally punked and enjoying HUGE EXPLOSIONS and tons of action.


    When the Destiny deployed its solar collectors was pretty sweet, too.

  33. The geek in me wants to say the simple scene in SGU – Resurgence where Destiny is following the seed ship through the star, but I suppose the body borrowers in ‘Time’ were much harder to do since they had to be synced with live action. The Antarctica battle scene was also quite awesome.

    Question: Are the staff weapons in SG-1 powered by D batteries stacked from tip to tip?

    Dentist! Scary!

  34. In your post yesterday you said, “There’s also the fact that if things move as quickly as I think they will, it will make both Paul and I unavailable for any other projects-poised-for-production.” What does this mean for the future of the franchise? Does it mean that you won’t be able to be a part of it if it does continue, or does this mean that you will have a lesser role, or what?


  35. Tick tick, indeed.

    Some favorite VFX from previous SG series…

    – Dogfight over Antarctica in “Lost City”
    – Ending of “Camelot”
    – Dakara weapong activating in “Reckoning”
    – Kawoosh when Ba’al first dialed the gate on the Achilles in Continuum
    – Puddle Jumper stuck in the space gate in “38 minutes”
    – When Atlantis arrived to fight with the super hive in “Enemy at the Gate”. Some of the shots looked like they were unfinished (to my unprofessional eye), but combined with music it made a great scene.

    That’s from the top of my head. It’s been ages since I last saw any of SG-1 or SGA. Most likely forgot some great sequences. SGU, on the other hand, I’ll do chronologically stating from the pilot.

    – Everything from first seconds up to Young flying through the gate in “Air” pt 1
    – Destiny/gas giant in “Darkness”
    – Destiny and the star in “Light”. All clips, the one approaching it, then flying on the surface, then refueling — perfection.
    – Small alien pods approaching Destiny in “Space”. Again, combined with music, made one heck of an awesome sequence.
    – Shots of the Destiny in “Faith”
    – Snow planet in “Lost”, and pretty much every dialing sequence in the episode
    – Shot of Destiny after the overload and explosion in “Sabotage”
    – SGU-style shot of the Goa’uld cargo ship flying in hyperspace in “Subversion”
    – Scott and Greer walking on the Destiny hull in “Incursion” pt 2
    – Thunder on the alien planet in “Intervention”
    – TJ seeing the nebula in the end of the same episode
    – Shuttle crashing in “Aftermath”
    – Destiny docking with seed ship in “Awakening”
    – The gate being dialed over and over again in “Cloverdale”
    – Perry flying the Destiny in “The Greater Good”
    – Shots of Eden with shuttle covered in snow in “Visitation”
    – Seed ship and Destiny together in FTL “Resurgence”

    In case no one bother to read the long list, then best from the best would be, in my opinion, shots of Destiny in “Light” and shuttle crash in “Aftermath”.

    SGU is an awesome show. Why did it have to end so soon?? *kicks life* Still hoping for the best, but if there’s no news whatsoever coming this week; then it won’t look good.

  36. I like the big joined venture of the wraith and humans to fight the replicator.
    From the first shot of the fleet in space all waiting to start the campain to the replicator planet beeing distroyed was amazing!
    Allso i find the goauld snakes scarry as hell, verry nice!

  37. The first thing that came into my mind was the Ori ship coming through the supergate with Carter nearby in the spacesuit

    That was really impressive


  38. @IggyMing Chinatown Centre at 222 Spadina Ave., is where I meant. Lots to see, eat and buy. Eaton Centre is over on Yonge St. I used to go there, too, when there was actually an Eaton’s there.


  39. You know, I had a hard time answering this question at first, and it took me a little while to figure out why: I get lost in Stargate, engrossed in the story to the extent that I don’t think “Oh, visual effect there.” To me, as I’m watching, it’s just part of what’s happening.

    I hope that sounds like a compliment, because it is meant as one.

    Though, now that I’ve read through the other comments, I’m going to agree with Bailey. Those two sequences were pretty amazing.

  40. I vote for Atlantis rising in Rising as my number one favorite. It still makes me catch my breath when I watch it. I also rather like the battle in the void between galaxies from No Man’s Land. The deployment of the stargate in Pegasus Project is another I like to watch, though it’s not all that “flashy”. Beyond that, I would really have to review all the episodes to decide which effect rise above simply wow to I’m speechless. And alas, I havent that kind fo time to indulge myself with at this time.
    Ashleigh and the shots was terrific. Not enough pictures of Carl though. Thanks for sharing with us. Even if you kept the night’s menu secret.

  41. My favorite one is the chair spinning in which RDA is sitting, but he is INVISIBLE!!! OMG! That must have been the most expensive episode ever!!!111

    Yeah, I got nothing.

  42. I have to chime in here… hands down, my favourite scene is in Camelot, where Carter is hanging in space beside the supergate watching a battle unfold and then, being scooped up by the ship maneuvered by Mitchell — awesome and outstanding!

  43. because I just watched it. The very last scene of resurgence, episode ten season 2… camera moves along the edge of destiny with laser bullets flying everywehre… tres magnifique … sure not a revolutionary shot… but it was good!

  44. Hi Joe

    i think that battle on Antarctic was realy very very good stuff, then Heru Ur Jaffa Armor (first animated hiding helmet)

    and all space ships in space (from first Hattak to Destiny)

    greetings from POLAND

  45. (posted by Randomness) “Mine has to be the drones being fired in Lost City. So magical in some ways as you’re thinking OMG earth is doomed, then the drones emerge like magical balls of light converging into a stream that cuts down all of the ships Anubis had.”

    I have to agree with this — I don’t think I breathed through the whole sequence, and I remember yelling at the end LOL.

    And I’m not just sucking up 🙂 , but I always liked the terraforming thing in “Scorched Earth”.

    A sentimental favorite is General Hammond “threading the needle” with the glider and yelling “Yee-hah!”

  46. Best VFX : SG1 season 10 (I think) Samantha Carter in space suit beside the supergate or The Ark of thuth” When Sam engages the Prometheus in the Supergate

  47. Here is my list of what I can remember in no particular order :

    This looks CGI but it looks so real not sure if it is or not.. The Ancient ruins and the small village in SG1’s Its good to be king.

    Resurgance : Quite a few scenes from there.

    Awakening : The aliens were awesome looking !

    The Siege – when the Wraith were attacking Atlantis.

    Air parts I and II : when the base was under attack.

    Enemy at the Gate: The fight scenes between Dedalous and the ZPM Wraith ship.

    First Contact and Lost Tribe : The Asgaurd in their space suits

    Heros : the scene that gets shown over and over during the opening credits of SG-1 where there is a huge battle on the planet between our guys on the ground and the Jaffa/ Gould ships .

    Lost : the scenes where the go from planet to planet showing all the different backgrounds.

    all in all the improvement over the years is great.. Looking back from season 1 of SG-1 compared to SGU is amazing !
    I am sure is has alot to do with the technology availible to actually make the scenes. But the actual imagination of the VFX crew is one of the best in T.V.

    I could go on and on..

    Also can you possibly give us a little morsel ofwhat you guys are trying to work on with SGU at the moment ?
    Can you give your opinion of how you think things are going ?

    also I dont know if you have heard this or not, but SYFY has taken down the date of when SGU will return, it used to say spring, but now it says nothing at all.
    I really hope that they dont hold off on showing it like they did with Caprica !

    Can you explain how it works with when they recieve the episodes and if you tell them when to air them, or once they get the shows is it up to the network when theyy air them ?

    The reason why I ask is becuase in season 1 , the last few episodes ran in Europe a few weeks before they ran in the USA and word got out all over the internet that the shows were pirated and shown on youtube ! They were in another language with no subtitles, but you could still make out what was going on. I think that may have hurt the ratings for the last few shows of season 1 since alot of people had already seen it online!

    Hopefully that does not happen again this time around.

    Take care !

  48. I know it’s not much but I liked seeing the city of Atlantis actually on earth on the last episode. Just two worlds colliding, it was just a cool scene to think that, what took so many years to find was just finally sitting right in our own waters, and everyone was completely unaware.

  49. Hi Joe,

    Funny topic today, I was just thinking the same thing the other day (Space in Canada) aired First Strike on Monday. I thought to myself during the bomb sequence, how utterly amazing that sequence was to have the camera follow the bomb all the way down! One of the coolest things I’ve seen on TV.

    Also always loved the battle with Inubis’s fleet over Antarctica. Dogfight with 302’s really kick ass!

    The SGU stuff is so lifelike, it becomes less of an effect more of piece of the film. Which is absolutely amazing! How can Syfy cancel such a show that is really ‘Big Budget” film quality in Effects, Action, Drama, Story…Writing 🙂

    Great work SFX guys, for years and years of VFX wonders!

    Cheers to you too Joe!

  50. My fave scene[s] is, and is likely to remain, from SGU’s “Darkness” and “Light” and involve the aerobraking man. around the gas giant, followed by Destiny diving into the star. Epic.

  51. My top 10:

    #10: the first activation of the drone chair (and the destruction of anubis’ big mothership) (The Lost City, Part 2)
    #9: The attack on the two wraith hives with the daedalus and the orion (No Man’s Land)
    #8: The orion explodes (No Man’s Land)
    #7: Destiny uses an aerobreaking maneuver to enter the star system (Darkness)
    #6: Destiny fires its main battery (Space)
    #5: The ori ships are fighting against the combined milky way forces (Camelot)
    #4: The attack on the replicator homeworld (Be All My Sins Remember’d)
    #3: Destiny and the seed ship are entering the sun (Resurgence)
    #2: Atlantis is rising out of the ocean (Rising)
    #1: The icarus planet explodes (Air)

  52. Fave fx shots; sounds hard at first, and then like a ton of them come to mind. Best would have to be SGA “Critical Mass” when Atlantis shield goes up and the incoming fire turns into a pretty fireworks display; not sure if it was Critical Mass or the one after that.

    Also loved that scene where TJ wakes up after being shot and sees the weird nebula thing in the sky; that was sad but amazing.

    Aslo liked that scene where the Atlantis guys are cloaked in a shuttle and they see Wraith ships darting around culling and they can’t do anything but watch; sad but very cool looking.

  53. My other favorite scene, which I forgot to mention was Sheppard and Zelenka in space suits floating across the rift and then trying to repair Atlantis. Great Great shot!

  54. Ah, I’d definitely have to say that my favorite Visual Effects were from the SGA espisode, The Daedalus Variations, specifically the Alternate Reality where they encounter the unknown aliens. The fight sequence between the Daedalus and the countless alien fighters made me shiver a bit. I wish that the series had lasted a bit longer, and maybe those aliens would have eventually made an appearance in our own reality (seeing as how they were in conflict with an Atlantis Expedition as well).

    Either way, it was a spectacular scene, rivaled only, in my opinion, by some of the others mentioned here (Destiny flying into the Sun is another of my favorites).

  55. Sheppard and Zelenka’s zero-g jump at the start of SGA’s season 4 is probably my favourite Stargate visual effect ever.

  56. I had never watched Stargate before SGU, so I can only comment on this latest incarnation of the show.

    But I’m with several others here: the amazing sequence where Destiny enters the gas giant still has incredible emotional punch for me. The build-up to this moment is so intense and the music is so perfect, I feel just like Rush–“Yes!”

  57. Before you say “We don’t accept unsolicited ideas,” this idea is so… non-specific even if I tried to file copyright charges, I would lose so fast my nose would bleed.

    That said, here is my idea for a movie or two to finish up the series.

    tell it from the perspective of someone telling us the past 3 years (with “present day” being the end of season 5). Obviously you don’t remember everything that happened, but you remember the good stuff. Which would give a reason to be jumping around in the storyline. And allow them to flesh it out a little more than just “Ok, here’s what was going to happen in fast forward” … And then all the sudden they know everything they need to. The person re-telling the story. I envision matt, strong, but not so willing to risk his life like greer. just says “I don’t remember how we figured out most of this stuff, I wasn’t really involved, I would just report to the bridge, and then they’d tell me what to do. Everything changed after the command ship assault. Everything was stricter, protocol enforce even more.” And that is how they start the story where it left off. Or whatever happens at the end of season two, they say things changed after that!

    So what do you think? Good idea or no? You don’t have to explain or anything. I’m just asking advice on if you think my ideas are good. So don’t go on about how the producers are exploring all options. I know they are. I just want your opinion.

  58. Personally I didn’t mention Stargate Universe because quite frankly the show has a near endless amount of amazing VFX effects and listing every one that impressed me would like take ages.

    However happy to see people agree with me about Lost City. I think if anything that episode left a huge impression on me that hasn’t really been replicated a great deal of times in SG1/SGA/SGU.

  59. Hey Joe,

    Hope all goes well at the doc’s tomorrow. I’ll be thinking of you. As for Stargate. Well, I understand that you still feel invested with the company, but if you get a good offer maybe this is God’s way of telling you to move on.

    When one door closes…

  60. I loved watching the red enegry burst fired from Ronon’s blaster nail head shots on Wraiths. I never caught them the first time but I have been rewatching over the last few months and noticed them.

  61. Hey Joe

    Did you participate in the earthquake drill today at 10:00?


  62. Ugh call up MGM and tell them to stop dragging their feet!! Oh well I guess no news is better then bad news….keeps hope alive. Although I hope they make a decision before you commit to that other job next week.

  63. Hi Joe,

    Favorite VFX? Oh wow. That’s hard! I will say that I still get tears in my eyes whenever I see Atlantis rise up out of the ocean that very first time. It’s the perfect combination of VFX and musical score. Thrilling. Just thrilling.

    I also love the opening shot of Continuum, although I think the VFX there is limited to the very beginning. Still…that completely uncut shot trailing various members of the SGC around until we finally get to our Heroes…Yeah. Martin is a genius.

    Also in Continuum…when all the Goa’uld motherships appear in orbit above Earth. That one’s pretty amazing as well.

    On a smaller scale, I’ve always liked the way Replicarter could transform her hand into a sword. Not terribly flashy, in terms of big explosions and impressive space shots, but very cool, nonetheless.

    I won’t tell you how depressing it is to think of Bridge emptying out and you moving across the country. If only life could mirror art… then we’d already know that it all works out in the end and SGU gets a last minute reprieve and the band gets back together and we all get to watch Stargate happily ever after.

    Well. A gal can dream, right?


  64. Joe, were you the one who thought of using drones as weapons for the ancient weapon platforms? It’s very creative and something very different from other series like Star Trek, or B5 where lasers are fired.

  65. Yo! Was watching SGA season 2′s “Inferno”, and had a question about the Ancient base the Taranians are inhabiting. It’s mentioned that the base was probably built during the height of war between the Lanteans and the Wraith. The walls are riddled with technologies that don’t really look Lantean in particular.

    I was wondering if these devices and additions to the typical Lantean theme are meant to be taken as Taranian technology brought in when they discovered the place, or is it simply the Lanteans showing their concern for function over form, considering they were in the middle of being defeated.

    Thanks a bunch!!

    (ps, didn’t mean to post this twice on yesterday’s post, meant to move it along to this one!)

  66. G’day Joe

    Top 10…too many to pick from…

    1. Has to be Samantha beside SuperGate
    2. Dragon

  67. a couple I really enjoyed and haven’t seen mentioned:

    SGA 2nd season: Trinity – McKay blows up the solar system. Daedalus comes to the jumper’s rescue as they try to escape the weapon and get to the space gate.
    SGA 3rd season: No Man’s Land – battle between Daedalus/Orion and the wraith hives between galaxies was done so very well.

    I agree with many others – SG1 Lost City Part 2 set the bar wayyyyy high

  68. Joe,

    I’m late to the party here and can’t come up with 10 off the top of my head but,

    Hands down most memorable for me is Destiny flying into the sun.

    Others that I haven’t seen mentioned above,

    Mitchell fights the holo-knight in Avalon.

    O’Neill and Robo-O’Neill wrassle in Double Jeopardy. (the things an actor gets to do when he is also an exec. producer.)

    The explosion of the Abydos pyramid.

    Ronan’s fight with the super wraith in Sateda.

  69. it is hard to choose a favorite vfx sequence throughout the 17 seasons of stargate it is also just as hard choosing which one was by far the worst as they are pretty much equal.

    as a 3d cgi vfx efficionado myself i must say that the fx in starget especially the 3D animations are by far compared to other scifi series and movies the most unconsistent with designs changing like the many many many diffrent atlantis models that have been used etc

    i do realize this is what happens when you are on a tight scheduale and must use several studios episode to episode but it also gives an impression if “we dont care enough to make it perfect” and personally i would have liked to see more consistency used in the Fx.

  70. Looking back over your Stargate viewing experience, what would you consider your favorite VFX shot/sequence?

    I’ve liked a lot of the visual effects throughout all the Stargate shows, but a couple from SG1 have always stood out in my mind, for different reasons.

    * The ship hovering over the film crew near the end of Wormhole X-Treme! I remember the first time watching that thinking “wow, movie level FX!”

    * The Jaffa being thrown back (and back, and back!) by the Prior at the start of Beachhead.

  71. I know it’s considered not proper to declare one of the most recent in a list of the greatest in over 10 years, but I actually think the “Space Jump” from SGU is up there with the best VFX in Stargate history.

    I’ve watched that episode over a dozen times now and that sequence is absolutely amazing. Not only is it one of the greatest VFX of a Sci Fi TV series, I actually think that visually it’s one of the best things – of anything, movies, tv, etc.. – I’ve ever seen.

    actually pretty much ever space sequence in SGU is pretty amazing, but the Space Jump was something special.

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