Apparently, Alexander has discovered the source of all my recent problems (the jet flight I was denied, the payment I’m  yet to be reimbursed for, the recent damage to my car, my VISA being compromised – to name just a few).  According to Alexander, it’s my attitude.  I’m just getting back what I put out there.  If I was as upbeat as him, my luck would certainly turn around.  “Toronto is a great city,”he insists – although, in my mind, this says less about Toronto and more about Paris, the last place he called home.  He assures me that he used to be a very negative guy, but things changed for the best after he adopted a new, positive attitude.  Instead of focusing on the negatives (My credit card information was stolen!), I should emphasizing on the positives (Think how much money I’ll save while I’m waiting for my replacement VISA to arrive!).  Yep, it’s working already.  And it’s all thanks to the perenially upbeat Alexander who I’ve decided to nickname Sunshine for the duration of the production run.

"Grey skies are gonna clear up! Put on a happy face! VISA information stolen? Po-lice are on the case! Spread sunshine all over the place! Though life here's a big disgrace!"

Sunshine gets to pit his optimism-fueled luck against my pessimism-charged misfortune when we both board the same L.A.-bound flight tomorrow night.

That first season on Stargate was a memorable year and, looking back, we couldn’t have asked for a better work environment.  We were on the other side of the country, far from the only home we’d ever known, yet the transition, while initially difficult, was ultimately a very rewarding one because of the people involved and the show itself.  And it certainly helped that the production we joined was, after three years, a well-oiled machine that simply required us to hop aboard and join the incredible ride.  Paul and I were very prolific that first year, writing seven scripts (roughly a third of that season’s 22 episode run), and setting a pace we would keep up for seasons to come.

ENTITY (420)

The premise was fairly standard but, like most every episode, what set it apart was what made it special for our characters – in this case, Amanda who got to go all Terminator, and Jack who is faced with a very tough call in dealing with the threat.  What I found particularly interesting about this episode was that, after many stories in which Jack’s military stance conflicts with Daniel’s peaceful civilian position, invariably resulting in the latter being proven correct, the results are reversed here.  Jack was right.  He should have destroyed it when he had the chance rather than allow Daniel and Sam to attempt communication with the entity.

DOUBLE JEOPARDY (421)

SG-1’s fourth season finishes strong with two terrific back to back episodes.  This one saw the return of the team robots, last scene in Tin Man, and offered up one of my favorite act outs ever: Daniel Jackson’s apparent decapitation.  No, wait!  Speaking of DJ, this episode marked Michael Shanks’s directorial debut and it was a doozy.   With all the twinning and big action sequences, Double Jeopardy would have proven a challenge to even the most seasoned of directors, yet Michael stepped up and the result was spectacular.

EXODUS (422)

Seriously.  How often do you get to blow up a sun?  So when the opportunity comes along, you take it!  And we did, taking out Apophis’s fleet in the process.  I loved the sequence of the gate being jetissoned, its thrusters firing as it repositions itself on its way to its fiery end.  Another aspect of this episode that I recall was Rick’s ad-lib of the line: “We’re boned without water.”, originally “We’re screwed without water” in the script.  Paul walked into my office after viewing the dailies and asked: “Can we say “boned” on television?”.  I remember shrugging back and saying: “Sure, why not.”  We were airing on Showtime after all and, ultimately, boning wouldn’t be an issue until the big move to SciFi, a network that would send us its Standards and Practices overview before every season.  Amusingly, it would offer up a list of acceptable, unacceptable, and “grey area” words and expressions.  The relative permissibility of the latter were entirely dependent on the context in which they were used.  For instance, “jerk off” was unacceptable unless, say, as Paul suggested, we used it in a line like: “Somebody push that jerk off that ledge!”.  Paul and I dedicated an entire afternoon to crafting just the right dialogue context for a host of otherwise improper terms (“Boy, that cock kept me up all night.  It just wouldn’t stop crowing!”.  And such.).  Time well spent.

So Paul and I were kept very busy on the work front and the work front – what with seven scripts to write in addition to my burgeoning producing duties – bled into personal life.  At times, it was very hard to turn off script mode, particularly when much of my writing process involves me running dialogue in my head, over and over again, until I achieve the idea running rhythm of the scene.  I do my best work in the shower or while I’m driving, but have been known to come up with a nice run while lying in bed at night or just eating dinner.  I’m also the type of guy that gets antsy when I’m not being productive and that just exacerbated the problem.  Still, with one season under my belt, I was well pleased with the decision to accept the staff position in Vancouver (and I can only speak for myself here, obviously) and I was even more pleased knowing that we had that fifth, and presumably final, season of SG-1 to look forward to.  I had, at the time, no doubt we’d be going out with a bang.  Little did I realize that a different set of fireworks lay ahead…

In the days to come, I’ll shift focus to my second year on the franchise, SG-1’s fifth season, that saw a new addition to the writers’ room, a fresh round of fandom unrest, the return of some familiar faces, and the death of a major character/departure of a series regular.

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MNP
MNP

I can hardly watch Entity. It’s just… the premise is so ridiculous and there’s not even an Ancient thing involved to handwave so to me it’s painful to watch.

majorsal
majorsal

from the previous blog entry: Joan001 said: If MGM can’t handle this franchise, then I wish they would sell it to someone else who can.

i have to agree with this. if mgm can so blithely drop this awesome franchise, especially when there’s still *so* many fans wanting to see the outcomes/adventures of sg1/atlantis/sgu…

let another company take this precious franchise and bring it back for *the fans*!

and before i go…

sam + jack = confirmation on sgu.

smile

ps- entity’s my all-time fave ep! sam focus-s/j ship-and amanda rocking the house! grin

pps- tell alexander that shiny/happy ppl are the first to burn up, seeing as they’re spreading that sunshine all the time. :p

sylvia
sylvia

Loving the recap – and “re-living” the series seasons. Sweet!

Shannon
Shannon

I’m loving these flashbacks!!

Additionally, I wanted to just drop a line and say that Epilogue (coupled with Common Descent) made my all time favorite Stargate episodes list. One of the best parts of SGU is the ability to take a sci-fi premise and flesh it out the way only veterans of the genre could do. The wonder of meeting one’s own descendants was beautifully fleshed out and so very satisfying. I’m glad it was arced over two episodes.

smile

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

Good luck Mr. Sunshine!

archersangel

double jeopardy is a tough one for a first time director. which is probably why MS never directed again.

Randomness
Randomness

@majorsal

I fully agree, though MGM hasn’t finished bleeding the fans dry yet, as they’re doing Atlantis on Blu Ray now. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been hoping they’l do that for ages but it comes accross as kinda insulting after they essentially stuck the middle finger up to fans that have supported them for so long and given them endless profits no less by killing the francise off like this.

I don’t like MGM much anymore, they owe fans a movie to finish SGU, Syfy be damned. Stargate fans aren’t to blame for their quality management that got them so much in debt to begin with. Thus Stargate fans shouldn’t be the ones going without, and this great francise shouldn’t be allowed to die like this.

Lisa R
Lisa R

Oh, that should be a fun airplane flight. Let us know how that turns out.

My favorite ep out of those last three was Exodus. That blowing up of the sun was really cool. Looking forward to remembering Season 5.

Joan001
Joan001

But hey! It’s a business, don’tcha know… We have to run out and buy, buy, buy…. even though it’s a half-baked project. I’m so tired of being ripped off and disrespected everywhere I turn.

The MGM lion does not roar for me anymore.

jojo
jojo

Sunshine does have a point. Bad things happen all the time to everybody. It is how we handle these things and how we respond to them that creates our state of mind. I have found that trying to find the positive side of things and trying to work out whatever issues arise have helped me have a more cheerful attitude. Being grateful for the good things I have, such as a job, good health, a warm nice place to live, etc. makes me very happy. You have a lot of good things going on, Joe, like the positive comments from us blog readers!

I loved Double Jeopardy. the twin thing, the surprise twists, wow, fabulous. Two RDA at one time……priceless.

Barbaro
Barbaro

I just finished watching Epilogue this evening and all I have to say is, “Man, that is GOOD Stargate”.

Mix-martes86
Mix-martes86

Hey Joe, is Alexander aware that in that picture he was wearing a WW2 German dogtag (at least, that’s the shape they had)? New sort of fashionable items?

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

I agree with Alexander. You have been rather pissy lately. I understand why (because, ya know, I’ve been rather pissy lately, too), but everyone tells me if you can’t change the events, you can at least change how you react to them. Car gets a scratch? Put a big band-aid on it (I actually did that once when I couldn’t afford to fix a dent). In other words, have a little laugh about it. Next time that fire alarm goes off at 5 am, grab the vodka, tomato juice, tabasco, celery, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon wedges and make everyone a round of breakfast bloody marys (it might behoove you to keep a kit already made up and ready to grab in case of emergency). And for crisis sake, the next time Akemi gets hot pepper-burny fingers, dip ’em in chocolate sauce, top ’em with fresh whipped cream, and suck ’em clean! Must I teach you EVERYthing?? wink

das

Greg
Greg

Toronto sucks, plain and simple. It isn’t your attitude. There are so many reasons why.

Like you said it sucks driving there. Every street seems to have construction. Try to park and the signs say something like “Only between 2:30 am and 2:31 am on a half moon only on Feb 2. once per month.”

Anyone who lives in Toronto or grew up there thinks theres nothing outside Toronto. Ask them they’ll give you these blank stares. Whats worse is when they actually do go outside Toronto all they do is talk about how bad it is compared to Toronto.

I think Toronto is full of people who had something to run away from and feel like they need to prove themselves. Most of my friends who live there left behind drunk or dbag parents they didn’t get along with.

StellaByStargate
StellaByStargate

Hi Joe,

Got in too late to post this to yesterday’s blog, so I’ll tag it on here….

Personally, I always thought the best part of “The Light” was the subtext of the scene between Jack and Carter on the beach. The whole “You’re in withdrawal…and so am I!” had as much to do with the previous events of Beneath the Surface as it did with the light addiction itself.

Or…you know…at least that’s how some of us saw it…

A question for later, relative to the ship. You noted that in your opinion it ended in a way that was unsatisfactory to everyone. (Agreed) Could you share a bit about why? I know, post S8, that there were lots of hints to suggest S/J were together, but nothing concrete. When the Trio scene was cut, you said it had been your intention to use that to confirm, subtly, that they were together, but also that not all of TPTB could agree on whether they *were* in fact together or not. I know you were on-board with their relationship…Martin G. even wrote that Trio scene, so I assume he was too…Brad did his share of shippy stuff (and of course there was his famous “If you want to believe they’re together, then they’re together” comment which had so many of us hanging our hopes on that 3rd movie “romantic scene…)…and RCC did too. So, I’m curious where the resistance came from, once the whole matter of the regs were out of the way? Was it MGM? SyFy? The lady on the park bench outside of Bridge?

Anyway. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

SBS

Randomness
Randomness

By the way, I don’t blame you for being negative in regards to your card stuff. I was negative too when it happened to me in the past, more along the lines of me only having 1 card, no credit cards or anything, so when the lowlife used my details, I was without the means of drawing money at will unless I brought myself into a bank and did it manually, the slow way.

I wasn’t angry that I was a victim of fraud, more angry that I had to wait 4-5 days for a new card.

By the way Joe, Tuesdays Syfys ratings

Destination Truth (SYFY, 9pm)
– 0.581 million viewers
– 0.4/1 HH
– 0.2/1 A18-49

Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen (SYFY)
– 0.331 million viewers
– 0.3/0 HH
– 0.2/0 A18-49

Notice a trend in, oh I don’t know, popular shows(Not the kitchen one) being ran into the ground by the network because they keep switching days, times etc, like SGU?

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

So, any hints on the purpose of the trip? And if Alexander is the anti-Mallozzi, in that he is lightness and joy to your brooding and grimness, you will be tempting the fates being on the same plane. It should make for a fun trip, especially as you decide who does the speaking. Of course, outside of Toronto, you may revert to your somewhat-more-cheerful self. And you can always let Baron Destructo and company share their feelings. I miss the gang.
Looking forward to more postings, though I gather it will be a ew days, as the new production demands your attention. Have a safe fun trip, and a successful one.

Ponytail
Ponytail

Alex is cute, but, to quote Billy Joel:

Don’t go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before.

I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times.
I’ll take you just the way you are.

I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me?
The way that I believe in you.

I love you just the way you are.

Ivon B
Ivon B

Well, there was one bright spot in “Prodigy”… “Excuse me ma’am, did you say ten dimensions?”

Blinky Cadet – aka Ivon Bartok

TheSGC
TheSGC

Didn’t Carter have a quote in Season 8 (I think it was) where she says, ‘You blow up a sun and all of a sudden everyone thinks you can do everything!”. Well, that’s what fame gets you.

Long live SG-1.

PBMom

Happiness is a choice, but sometimes that is easier said than done.

The first program we did with Patrick taught us these principles along with that our feelings/reactions are getting us something somehow. For example, I could have dealt with Patrick’s school district from a very business-like approach, and I actually did, even took the “joy” route, trying to build relationships while pointing out flaws. This did not seem to motivate them to change. When I lost control and became angry, it was then I noticed they were motivated to change something. So I continued to deal with them this way, even though I could, at any time, choose to go back to dealing with them calmly. My anger was getting me something: Services for Patrick.

But another example was when I was invited to share in my friend’s daughter’s birthday party when she was a toddler. I excused myself and went into the kitchen where I found myself crying because I was feeling sorry for myself that I would never get to experience this–a party with my son’s friends invited–I’d be lucky if he even had one single friend or even cared to have a birthday party. Then I decided to have a talk with myself. I told myself to stop it, what an incredible blessing it was for my friend to have invited me to share this experience with her so that I COULD have this experience. In an instant, I stopped crying.

Going back to the anger thing though, lots of other bad things did happen during that time period, particularly the effect of it on my health. As soon as I pulled Patrick from the district and put him into his new school, all these wonderful things started happening (okay, aside from my health), but wonderful things, indeed. Alexander might have a point there.

In the meantime, I hope your lawyer has given notice to V1 Jets and you’ll be getting your refund soon.

You might want to check out my poem about Despair; at some point I had to just let it go to get back on top of the water again:

http://pbmom.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/despair/

Kimmy
Kimmy

I remember my regular Friday night group of friends gasping in astonishment as we watched the end of Exodus, shouting at Tanith and yelling Oh No when Apophis showed up. Way cool end of season – good vibes and speculation abounded as we spoke about the next season.

Thanks for providing us your memories of these terrifically entertaining shows.

For me, Friday’s were always Sci-fi night on TV, being with friends and immediately discussing the shows live and in-person as apposed to internet chats. Ah, those were the days.

ascendedalteran
ascendedalteran

You mentioned that Epilogue would have have been a good ending to the show. I haven’t watched it yet and was wondering if I should skip it, watch Blockade and Gauntlet, and then watch Epilogue.

Anais
Anais

Coucou!!! ça va bien?

ahaha j’adore l’épisode 421!! tout ces épisodes doivent vous faire remonter pleins de souvenirs smile à moi aussi!

La prochaines fois vous ferez la saison 5? je suis impatiente!

Gros bisou bisou!
Anais!

Sparrow_hawk

Mallozzi and anti-Mallozzi particles on the same plane might result in an explosion that could end the universe as we know it!

But have a good trip to LA, Joe!

@das: smile