We kicked off the day with a four hour meeting followed, after a thirty minute lunch break, by another three hour meeting.  Over the course of these seven some hours, we discussed scripts and stories with our four broadcasters, covering everything from page notes on episodes #1 and #2 to big picture arc for the first season of Transporter: The Series.  I’m pleased to report it all went very well.  I’ve been in similar meetings in which I’ve actually had to pinch myself to keep from dozing off but today’s session was informative, amiable, and spirited.  There was no insane input.  No one made any outrageous creative demands, offered bizarre story suggestions, or proposed the addition of an adorable mascot to drive shotgun with Frank on his various missions.  It went, as they say (and by “they” I mean “I”), swimmingly.  The room had a nice, positive vibe and there was never a moment where I wanted to throw anything, burst into tears, or quietly pack up my laptop, stroll down to my car, and drive all the way back to Vancouver.  There was one moment when Alexander exited the room, leading me to assume he had left to jump out the nearest window, but it turned out he only gone to the bathroom.  Regardless, Rob was quick to point out (when I suggested someone try to talk him down) that we were on the second floor and he probably wouldn’t do himself much damage anyway.

Tomorrow = more back to back meetings as we shift focus from the creative to casting!  A lot of familiar faces so far in the audition process.

Top Gun Klaus holds the fort while the rest of us turn in for the night.

A final round of behind-the-scene pics of Stargate: Universe’s “The Hunt” as the episode airs in Canada tonight.  Tomorrow, I start weighing in with my thoughts on the episode.  Tune in tomorrow to find out:

– Why I think this episode goes a long way toward, not only rehabilitating Rush, but making him downright lovable.

– Why Varro is a better match for T.J. than Young.

– How I channeled fellow writer/Executive Producer Carl Binder to write one particular scene.

– What happened to those planned T.J. flashbacks and what did you miss?


32 thoughts on “April 12, 2011: Talking Transporter stories! More behind the scenes pics of SGU’s “The Hunt”!

  1. @Tomorrow, I start weighing in with my thoughts on the episode’

    That’s cool, loved the episode myself, really impressed me, felt like old style Stargate.
    If you ever do a mailbag and I’ve asked too many questions on the previous entry, feel free to just answer the ones you feel like answering, I was more asking about your thoughts on character stuff anyway which I think you’d likely cover without a mailbag anyway.

  2. By the way Joe, ratings for The Hunt just came out

    Stargate Universe (SYFY)
    – 1.020 million viewers
    – 0.4/1 A18-49

    Seems like your episode pulled the numbers above 1 million again. Well it deserved at least 2 million but hey, at least its an increase.

  3. Thanks a lot for all the pictures, saved them all on my hd, hope you don’t mind 😛 Ferreira really has the funniest smile 😀

    I hope you will have some good news about Mike Dopud’s casting tomorrow :p

    It would also be fun to know who (SG related) auditioned for which role 😀

  4. Glad to hear that thing are going good for Transporter: The Series. This are going smoothly in my new job too. The right planets must be in alignment or something. Thanks again for the SGU behind-the-scene pics.


  5. I can’t wait for SGU to start tonight…it will make for better viewing then all the election debate coverage…and I was a poli sci/public admin major thru university…sigh

  6. Joe… let me start out by saying..

    WOW. Just wow. You really ought to be worshipped.

    Even if we get an SGU movie, the thought that you will not be on board is utterly gut wrentching.


    The pacing for this episode was excellent. If I write down all the good things in detail, itll take hours to read.. so in short…

    The good:

    -Greer’s weakness… loved seeing a different side, was done damn near perfectly.

    – Greer and Varro interaction. Felt very organic and was entertaining to watch

    – TJ : Varro interaction …and Varros desire to save TJ. Very organic and also sweet.

    – The cinematography

    – The Location

    – And ill be damned if that wasn’t EPIC VFX

    – The whole monster being intelligent

    – The space dear

    -The humor “I just saw one eat its own vomit how smart can it be” 😀

    – Rush being a naughty bastard

    – Chloe confronting Volker about Park

    – Park and Volker’s scenes

    And the last thing I loved about this ep deserves an explanation. When volker walked in all clean shaven with a flower only to find Greer cuddling with Park, my heart broke. I can’t explain why, maybe its because I’ve encountered similar situations in my personal life, but dang, I felt for that guy. Such a perfect touch to a brilliant episode.

    The bad: …….

    Ummmmmm…. none that I can think of. 😀


  7. @ das Wow. I have not had a cat with an intestinal blockage, but very glad that the Vet is treating her. I have had cats refuse food for many days, and though it’s scary, they have fortitude. If she’s drinking water, that’s a good sign. Try offering Gerber Turkey baby food. My cats always eat that when regular food is refused.

    I do hope all goes well and she overcomes. She’s a lucky kitty to once be a stray and then find her way into you and your husband’s hearts. Indoor cats are healthier and safer cats. You can build a sturdy outdoor run, otherwise keep them inside.:wink:

    I really loved that video of the tabby cat and dolphins. Did you notice how the one dolphin kept looking closely at the cat? Then the cat rubbing against the other’s chin was outstanding. Communication was happening right then and there.

    @ Joe, I’m glad the work on your new series is progressing so well. Who are the 4 broadcasters in the US? Will Transporters be on cable or network TV?

    The Hunt was excellent in every way. Kudo’s to James Robbins and the animation team! SGU is such quality sci-fi, I still can’t come to terms with it soon ending.

    g’night all,

  8. I use the word “swimmingly”, too, but I try to keep it to a minimum since what I write involves a lot of swimming.

  9. @ 2cats – Things are not looking good for kitty, she might have cancer. 🙁 We’re getting more medicine tomorrow, but right now I’m not too optimistic.


  10. Just saw Arthur and it was good!!

    Can’t wait to see The Hunt!! Can’t wait to get my hands on SGU on DVD!!

    Anyone know any good remedies for vertigo?? Saw Arthur and because of the camera angles I’m left with a great episode of vertigo now I’m neauseaous. I have permanent vertigo because I’m half deaf but haven’t found anything that helps me!! Just saw my doctor today and didn’t think to ask for medical advice only think of it when I’m suffering an episode!!

    Hope everything has dried out from your last disaster!

  11. @das… so sorry about your kitty.

    I have not yet watched the episode, so off to do that now.

  12. Just finished watching ‘The Hunt’…overall…I liked it.

    Being the nitpicky sci-fi fan I am, I was a little confused how the quadriped tiger creature was able to get his dinner ‘alive’ to the cave..hauling them in his mouth.. without causing them to bleed out. But then, I’ve heard of similar real-life creatures that haul their young around in a similar manner, so I can believe it in the end.

    I was kinda disappointed they didn’t kill the creature though. A cool alternate ending, would have been them killing the creature, cutting its head off, stuffing it, and mounting it above the door to the mess.

    Question..does this mean that Varro is the last remaining Alliance member on board now? it kinda sounded like it.

  13. Loved this episode! Spoileriness . . .
    I particularly liked that Greer wasn’t the “iron man” in this one, that he had doubts and hesitated, although I kind of suspect that he saw something other than a threat during the initial attack since he lowered his gun.

    I also liked that the “animal” was actually intelligent. A non-humanoid intelligence!

    Poor Volker. Left broken hearted by his sweetie, who probably doesn’t even realize it.

    Loved the “interaction” with Rush, Brody, and Eli. I think that Rush’s “test” was to determine whether Eli would be able to figure out why the statis pod activated and how to get Brody out. Epic Fail! I also enjoyed Eli and Brody trying to keep what they were doing, and had done, from Rush, and his playing with them by acting as if he didn’t know.

    Varro! Yay! Free at last and putting the moves on TJ, much to Young’s chagrin, and she seems to be quite receptive. Ready to move on. Greer putting in a good word for Varro, despite his initial animosity, was a nice touch.

    My one real quibble is with: “I think I broke my leg” followed by TJ saying it’s “probably just fractured” – given that a “broken leg” and a “fractured leg” are the same thing. Are you responsible for this? Are you going to admit it if you are? If you aren’t, who are you going to blame? Carl? Did I mishear? If you say “yes” be aware that I did record the episode and will be rewatching it, so you will be caught. 😉

  14. Hmmmm . . . speaking of Varro, here’s a thought:

    Nice, plausible way to get Young out of the picture on the planet. Can’t help but wonder, though, since Greer’s always been extremely loyal to Young if that loyalty may be tested in the future in a conflict between Young and Varro – probably over TJ. Greer seems to have come to an understanding with Varro and, perhaps, even developed respect for him for persevering in the search for their missing people.

    Or maybe this was something was being set up to play out in a later season given how close we are to the end of season two – and now the show – and, as a result, is something we will never see come to fruition. 🙁

  15. Please add a “that” between “was something” and ” was being”. Slip Rule!

  16. Thanks a lot for those behind the scene pics of SGU – Volker just looks adorable in that first one. And I am very curious about your comments on the episode tomorrow.

    The episode is still not on here (usually it is on just a few hours after it aires in the US), but I check every 2 or 3 hours and can hardly wait to see it. And I am looking forward to the 2.season DVD to be out, but as I will have to wait for the dubbed version (surprisingly both my husband and son like the show, but don’t speak english), this is still going to take quite a while.

  17. {{{Das & Mr. Das}}} Holding warm thoughts for you and your cat.

    Coming also from Allison, Anakin and Ashleigh. (Anakin is our Wonder Cat, insulin-dependent diabetic since he was 1 1/2 years old, today celebrating his 8th birthday.)

  18. Since the Canadians have seen it Tuesday night, I’ll weigh in on my comments now. I try to be respectful of them watching it before I post anything.

    This is a great, great, storyline. You had lines for everyone, especially people who hadn’t had much like Julia Benson (James).

    Rush: I’m still not utterly convinced he was just having fun with Eli and Brody or he set them up knowing they would do it anymore and gettinghisdata in the process. The smaller”hunt” of the cat-and-the-mouse. Or the puppetmaster.

    Eli: He’s not the boss of me. (meaning Rush)

    Brody: Loved seeing them team up without Volker to get something done.

    Volker: He may have Greer’s kidney, but the shaggy hair may be throwing Lisa off.

    I ADORED the scene in the infirmary where that other doctor was complaining of his foot when Volker was checking in on Lisa. I was laughing so hard I was tearing up because I knew those lines came straight from you.

    TJ: Taking charge of a situation when they wake up in the lair.

    Varro’s rescue earned his freedom but cost him his other Alliance friends. I am so ANGRY at you that they were about to kiss before Colonel Young came busting in the door. You can see he knows, how he swallows deeply, but yet still deeply cares for her.

    WIll comment more. I’m dog-dead tired. Gotta go to bed now.

  19. That was an awesome episode, Joe! Great humour and suspense, with some really good character moments. I loved the the awkward scene between Volker and Chloe. Great work by those actors, too.

    Anyway, I’m off to Vancouver to the convention!!

  20. Hmm, so it’s “official”, Transporter: The Series. I really wonder what you are going to do with the irreplaceability of Jason Statham. I just don’t think the movies would work with any other actor. Have you, the writers and producers, thought about that?

  21. The Hunt was a great episode.

    I’d like to ask; was The Predator movies the inspiration for this episode?
    I only say that because of Varro’s line : “We’re not hunting it, it’s hunting us.”

  22. loved the episode the hunt 🙂
    you did a great job writing for Varro, he’s one of my favourite characters.

    and good luck with the new show, can’t wait til the premiere

  23. Very happy to hear the broadcasters were happy to listen to your efforts and approve, rather than ham-handing it and muddling up a winning formula. As for the casting auditions, I hope you will be able to share some photos of the “familiar faces”. One of the things the SG franchices have been superlative at is picking outstanding actors for each role. With the production and writing crew you have on this new series, I expect this will continue, and help to ensure the success of this new show.
    Pictures=very very good. Many thanks, and looking forward to your take on The Hunt.

  24. @ Debra and BMc – Thanks. She’s prancing around this morning, but still not eating (though I think she has nibbled, which is good). Today we start her on an appetite stimulant, and steroids. Hopefully we will see improvement.

    @ PBMom – Agreed about Rush. Rush told the ‘child’ Eli not to touch the chocolate cake before dinner, knowing full well that Eli could not resist sticking his finger in the creamy icing while no one was looking. Rush baited, Eli responded as he had hoped, and bingo! Testing could commence without anyone (e.g. Young, TJ, etc) arguing over the dangers, etc., and Eli – being totally unaware of what was really going on – would keep mum about his disobedience as long as no one noticed the big dent in the side of the cake. Rush had everything he needed – ‘willing’ guinea pigs and a quick and easy way around the red tape.


  25. That’s funny because I hate Rush more than ever. 🙂

    Yeah, Mike would work as your Transporter guy. Hope he auditions well & is considered.

  26. PS: @ PBMom – About Rush again. What I said? That’s not to say he didn’t have a bit of fun doing it…I think he was truly enjoying his ol’ naughty self…much in the way Ashleigh enjoyed tormenting Joey.

    God, I DO miss Ashleigh.


  27. Hi Joe…

    You haven’t mentioned it on your blog (yet), but you should check out Brassaii (www.brassaii.com) if you’re looking for yet another very good restaurant. I took my cousin there for lunch (or dinner?) a couple of years ago at her suggestion when I was in Toronto on business and was blown away by the food. It’s on the south side of King a bit west of Spadina.


  28. When I see spears I get excited for another lean to raisin’, Eden planet style! Those pointy sticks put me in mind of Fortress, that Aussie movie of the week about at teacher and her class battling thugs to the death with pointy sticks.

    Looking forward to hunting down Hunt; if I can’t hulu it then I’ll track it down on Syfy or Amazon. Comcast raised the price of Standard cable to match that of Digital (70 bucks) so still waiting for Fios to save our town from bad cable.

    Glad the meetings went well, a nice start to a very cool project. Aw, Volker looks a lot like my nephew’s flat Stanley, only with curlier hair.

  29. @Das Yes, I was thinking about Ashleigh, too, when they made the vegetarian references. Also sorry to hear about the cats.

    I don’t know. After 10 months of eating vegetarian food, I think they would all get sick eating animal protein. To finish my comments — I can’t believe how exhausted I got while I was typing that stuff up last night, the visual effects team once again did an outstanding job–I loved the sabertooth-tiger-like creature (up there among my all-time favorites, in fact), and the alien deer were beautiful. I can always count on a lot of action in Joe’s episodes, too, and enjoyed the stunt sequences, too. Good to see that Greer has some vulnerability. Varro certainly has Greer’s character pinned (about denying he recommended him to allowed to join the crew and roam freely on the ship).

    @Paloosa: Are you out there. How did the surgery go?

    @Arctic Goddess: Glad to hear you are on the mend. Hope you are continuing to feel better.

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