Heading out for dinner tonight after which I’ve got to hit the gym, start The Wise Man’s Fear, and finish up the last two episodes of Eden of the East.
Here’s a long overdue mailbag for you to peruse…
Chevron7 writes: “Now onto Colonel Cockblock – love that name Joe. Did you write in the closed eyes swallow Young gave once Varro left his quarters or was that an actor choice? Said all that needed to be said.”
Answer: That reaction was all Louis Ferreira. Prior to shooting, we discussed the scene and he wanted Young to demonstrate maturity and acceptance in an instant where lesser men would have responded with jealousy. Given everything T.J. has been through, Young pushes his personal feelings aside to focus on what’s best for her. And, at that moment, best for T.J. meant showing her the support she so desperately needed. Still, that “closed eyes swallow” reaction makes it clear that, despite what he may be saying, it hurts him to think he may be losing her to another man.
Chevron7 also writes: “Was the inspiration for the creature a crocodile? ”
Answer: No. My original inspiration was a komodo dragon.
Chevron7 also writes: “The creature vision and ratchet scenes were fantastic…certainly created a sense of panic, confusion, drama. Do you do the ratchet stunts all in one day?”
Answer: No. It’s all location dependent.
John D. writes: “For what it’s worth, I didn’t buy the “Rush cares” stuff at all. It really doesn’t play that way. Trying to teach Eli a lesson came off just as Rush being mean-spirited, which was further reinforced by Rush being vile to Volker and pushing him toward a relationship that doesn’t make sense anyway.”
Answer: Rush is not the type of guy who would waste his time. You can certainly view his actions with regard to Eli and Brody as mean-spirited if you like (that’s certainly not the way it was intended given the humor of the situation and his secret smile at episode’s end), but there’s no arguing with results. Argue against his methods all you like but there’s no denying it proved very effective in snapping Eli and Brody back in line. As for his conversation with Volker, I don’t know what you mean by “pushing him toward a relationship that doesn’t make sense anyway”. Why wouldn’t it make sense? I think Volker and Park would be very sweet together. Volker is in love with Park but prepared to let potential happiness slip through his fingers. There’s nothing worse than a missed opportunity. And I’m sure Rush would agree.
Sue Jackson writes: “And…what rotten thing to have Young knock just as TJ and Varro were gonna kiss. That was just mean. Who’s idea was that?”
Answer: As I said in yesterday’s entry, the “almost kiss” was a compromise in response to a note I received. The general feeling in the room was that things needed to progress a little more slowly with these two. In the original draft, they actually do kiss.
Randomness writes: “Speaking of SGU, I hope you and Paul do a thoughts on Episode 20 – Gauntlet entry. Would be interested to know what you think about the episode too, although Paul wrote the thing.”
Answer: Actually, Paul and I co-wrote Gauntlet. I wrote the first draft, he did the rewrite, then I added the Last Supper speech.
Randomness writes: “Sorry about the mistake Joe, just everywhere including Gateworld has creditted Paul as writing the script for Gauntlet. Easy to forget when every Stargate Universe website credits just Paul”
Answer: Well, that’s…annoying.
KevinNS writes: “…does this mean that Varro is the last remaining Alliance member on board now?”
Answer: That he is.
Randomness writes: “1. Did you prefer writing for SG1/SGA over SGU?”
Answer: While I enjoyed writing for both shows, I think I had an easier time writing for SG-1, particularly during the Vala years.
“2. Were you trying to give off a fatherly vibe with Rush when he messes with Eli/Brody after telling them not to touch the Stasis room stuff.”
Answer: Yes. I’ve always viewed Eli’s relationship with Rush and Young as a “my two dads” situation.
“3. As the series was ending, why did you not kill off a main cast member?”
Answers: There’s still time, no? Four more episodes to go.
“4. When you wrote this episode, did you put Young on the planet because you know he has a thing for TJ or was it more him looking after his own?”
Answer: Both but, clearly, this was special circumstance. The only other times I can recall Young heading off-world were in extremely perilous circumstances (Time, Water).
“5. Were Varro and Greer originally planned to be friends in Season 3? Or at the very most two comrades in arms?”
Answer: Nope. I wanted to have Varro redeem himself in Greer’s eyes, which is why I teamed them in this episode.
“6. Why do you believe Greer was so hostile towards Varro on the planet, and what do you think Varro was thinking when Greer was treating him that badly?”
Answer: Greer is naturally cautious and Varro WAS a part of the incursion that took Destiny, however briefly, at the end of season one. He never trusted the Lucians but Varro went a long way toward proving himself in this episode. As for what Varro thought – I’m sure he was somewhat disappointed but not at all surprised.
“7. How do you think Volker was feeling at the end of the episode when he saw Park and Greer, and why do you think he went to see her with what he had in his hand at the end?”
Answer: Well, obviously he took Rush’s speech to heart and decided to “man up” and tell Park how he felt about her.
“8. Do you believe Volker is more looking for a shoulder to lean on, a female friend of sorts, instead of a romance with someone?”
Answer: No, he is definitely interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with Lisa. Again, it’s pretty clear in the episode.
“9. What do you think Young was thinking when the Lucian Alliance joined them on the planet to hunt the beast?”
Answer: I think that, while Young may also be cautious, he’s also logical. He saw the benefit of having the Lucians assist in the hunt and genuinely appreciated their willingness to help. After all, Tamara’s life was at stake.
“10. Is Mike Dopuds performance good enough in this episode for you to cast him as Frank in your new Transporter series, or at the very least, give him a decent role?”
Answer: Mike is a terrific actor and a pleasure to work with. I wouldn’t hesitate to bring him in to audition for any role I thought would be a good fit for him. However, unilateral casting decisions don’t happen. In the case of the Transporter series, about a dozen different voices will be weighing on casting.
RFVDevil writes: “1. What happened to Wray? I didn’t see her at all in the episode and it seems like it would have been easy to work her into the script. Does Ming Na only have a contract that allows her to appear in a limited number of episodes like Picardo and Amanda on SGA, or did her scenes get cut.”
Answer: Yes, like Woolsey and Carter in Atlantis, the character of Camille Wray doesn’t appear in every episode.
“2. Was this episode at all inspired by The Host? It’s a Korean monster movie.”
Answer: No, the episode wasn’t inspired by any particular movie.
“11. Why did Matt Scott although injured, not join Varro and Greer hunting the beast?”
Answer: Because Young leaves him in charge of Destiny when he leaves to head up the rescue op.
“12. Was there any scenarios out there that involved Young ignoring Varros comments and staying on the planet because of TJ?”
Answer: Nope. As much as Young wants to go on, he sees the logic in Varro’s argument and elects to leave the rescue to Varro and Greer rather than risk slowing them down.
Joan001 writes: ” Robert Carlyle has not been heard of since the cancellation notice. Has there been any word or opinion from him. Does he keep in touch with anybody in SGU?”
Answer: Actually, I hear he’s got quite a few projects on the go. And he has been in touch with both Brad and Robert.
Michael A. Burstein writes: “Do you use Movie Magic Screenwriter as your primary software? I have Final Draft on my Mac.”
Answer: Yes. We used Movie Magic Screenwriter on Stargate and have convinced Alexander to switch over from Final Draft for Transporter: The Series.
Ashleigh writes: “I was woken up at 7:00 AM by Joe this morning with a question I had answered last week via email. When I thought he was done responding he had found his answer…but he obviously became distracted.”
Answer: Still sleeping at 7:00 a.m. Talk about lazy! No wonder I had to register my own Cavco number!
Paloosa writes: “1) Will Transporters be as post production heavy as SGU or Atlantis was?”
Answer: Not as heavy although the Transporter: The Series will have limited visual effects.
“2) Is there a date by which you have to have the first episode in the can?”
Answer: Still solidifying our production schedule.
“3) How many episodes are being produced?”
Answer: The show’s first season will consist of 12 episodes.
“4) What network will be airing it?”
Answer: Stay tuned for the official announcement.
“5) Will entire episodes be filmed in Europe, or are only different segments being shot there?”
Answer: Elements of most every episode will be shot in Europe will main unit photography will take place here in Toronto.
Randomness writes: “How’s the casting side of The Transporter going Joe? I realise you can’t say any names or anything, but is it going well? Like do you have ideas as to who you want for each character?”
Answer: Yes, casting is going very well. A lot of terrific candidates to choose from. We’re narrowing down our selections and meeting to discuss this week.
BoltBait writes: “So, Joe, am I to understand that the flashback scenes were filmed? Or, did you cut them before production began?”
Answer: No, they were shot, then cut in editing.
Renegard writes: “Does stargate travel guarantee continuity of consciousness? Or could one argue that the person is killed on one end and an exact replica is recreated on the other end?”
Answer: I think it’s more an interruption than a death. The traveller is disassembled at the molecular level, then reassembled to his/her original form.
Debi writes: “Concerning THE HUNT that was aired, was that Cpl. Marsden that was killed? Say it isn’t so! :O”
Answer: Alas, ’tis so.
Holloway writes: “Joe, I can respect your opinion that Varro is a better fir for TJ than Young. But did you have to play such favorites by having Young go down with injury leaving Varro to be the guy who has to work with Greer to save TJ?”
Answer: Actually, there was one scenario in which Varro teamed with Young to rescue T.J. but, ultimately, I decided to go with Greer. I think Young’s decision to turn back showed great maturity. He places T.J.’s well-being over his own pride and that says a lot about the man’s character.
Holloway also writes: “That’s a nitpick. The other nitpick is that I would have love to have seen those TJ flashbacks. Time could have been made for them if you had jettison the whole Rush/Eli/Brody subplot.”
Answer: While the T.J. flashbacks were informative, the Rush/Eli/Brody subplot serviced a bigger arc. It addressed the emotional fallout from the previous episode and established the stasis pods for…the not too distant future.
Holloway also writes: “Also was there really a need for another nerd vs soldier for a woman’s attention storyline? I’m referring to Volker’s subplot. Even though it ended badly for Volker in this episode there seems to be little doubt whom your sympathies were with in this episode.”
Answer: Not sure what you mean by whom my sympathies were with. The subplot focused on Volker and his feelings for Park. If I’d written a story about Greer and his feelings for the same woman, I’m sure one could argue that my sympathies lay with Greer.