Our flight got into Los Angeles twenty minutes late and, by the time we hit baggage claim, it was past 11:00 p.m. local time (2:00 a.m. for us).  We were exhausted and looking forward to that nice, quiet, relaxing ride to our hotel.  Yessirree.  Once we’d located our driver, it would be smoooooooth sailing.  Well, after some twenty minutes of fruitless searching (we DID, however, locate the driver who had been dispatched to pick up one of the actresses we would be testing the next day), we double-checked our travel itineraries.  Under “Ground Transportation Los Angeles” were the letters: TBD.

TBD?   Who gets to decide?  Us, I guess.  So we decided on taxi.

$60 later, we were dropped off in front of our hotel.  We weren’t permitted to pay by credit card but, fortunately, I had some American cash on me – once all those singles had been counted out, sixty dollars exactly!

Then, we checked in.  The place is possessed of unique character.  My room smells like a sweat lodge and for a five full minutes after opening and closing the mini bar, it makes an extended sound akin to tubular bells.  For some reason, I was given the option of having a key for the mini bar.  I opted to take it but, mysteriously, there IS no lock on the mini bar in my room.  I suspect what they’ve mistakenly given me is the key to the desk manager’s heart.  Also – and I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised – the amenities do not include toothpaste.  I’m brushing my teeth with a homemade concoction of Gilchrist & Soames hand soap and Jack Daniels.

As we settled in to our respective rooms, it suddenly dawned on me that while we knew what we were doing here in L.A., we didn’t know where we’re doing it or how we were supposed to get there.  And, while I was certain Alexander’s powers of prognostication would no doubt magically divine the location, I felt less confident about actually getting there since I’d already committed the last of my cash to ensuring we reached our toothpasteless destination.

Fortunately, we received an email from production this morning.  There had been a mix-up last night but everything was on track.  We’re being picked up at 10:00 today.  And Rob has made a reservation at Craft for tonight (sadly, Animal is booked).

Alexander and I took a morning stroll and I picked up breakfast –

Also missing from my hotel room: a spoon with which to eat my Ben & Jerry’s Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream.  I ended up having to improvise with fries and a bathroom water glass.

See you in Toronto!

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular Cherluvya!

I hit the mailbag during the flight.

Dustin Owens writes: “1. Many have asked if the scripts for the movies will ever see the light of day as books or just released online. Well does anyone know if MGM even knows the fans still want the scripts at least?”

Answer: I’m sure they do know but, alas, I don’t think it’s a priority for them right now.

“2. If they are taking down the sets, does that mean most of it all will be on that Propwerx auction? And I mean the Destiny sets and any other SG sets/props that have been in storage in case the movies were ever made?”

Answer: Probably yes.  Sooner or later, those elements will find their way to auction as well.

“3, And last… who gets the full gates?”

Answer: My guess is whoever makes the best offer.

El Floruso writes: “With Carl, and Brad Wright, you could write some novels with the stories of Stargate Revolution, Stargate Exctinction and the conclusion of Universe.”

Answer: Someone could, but I fee I speak for both Carl and Brad when I say it wouldn’t be us.

Gen writes: “Which are your favorites from Season 4, Joe?”

Answer: Looking back, I’ve got to say I was very happy with the work we did in SG-1’s fourth season.  I very much liked Point of No Return and Chain Reaction, but I think Window of Opportunity and The Curse stand out as my fourth year favorites.

William Gallagher writes: “Can you talk about the decisions made going in to the second season, please? […]  Specifically, did you want to move the show more toward the feel of the previous series?”

Answer: No, there was never a conscious effort to shift the tone of SGU’s second season toward that of previous Stargate shows.  I think it’s more, as you pointed out, a progression of the shipboard relationships and acceptance of their situation.  The desperate search for such elementary requirements as food and water are met and the focus shifts from basic survival to exploration of Destiny and its original mission.

William Gallagher also writes: “What did you think in particular of the story that bridged the two seasons, please? I thought the last two in season one were nothing short of incredible: such a rich, exciting, challenging ride. But the conclusion didn’t work so well for me.”

Answer: I had a great time writing the first two parts of the three-part arc and, while I agree it was a fun ride, I have to point out that a ride has to end sometime – and often sooner is better than too much later.  And even though we wrapped up the main story, there were plenty of loose ends (the Lucian Alliance prisoners, TJ’s baby, Chloe’s sudden regenerative abilities) that offered terrific story potential for future episodes.

William Gallagher also writes: “I was similarly brought out of the story by the reveal of the bridge: the first time we see it, it seemed to me to be played as if it were the first time Rush found it. Now, that can’t be so: he went straight there, he knew exactly how to get in. And I liked him not telling anyone else, yet something in the scene just played wrong to me. Off-kilter, somehow. Am I alone in that?”

Answer: Rush clearly knew there was something important behind that door (may have even known it held the bridge) but hadn’t been able to access it until the tease of that episode.

Max writes: “Was there any serious consideration by the producers or writers of doing a mini-arc of the wraith taking on the ori?”

Answer: Alas, no.  While it certainly would have offered interesting story fodder, there was never any consideration given to going down that road.

Max also writes: “In the Ark of Truth, was the victor of the battle in the end (when both because pure energy) between Morgan and Adria decided?”

Answer: Nope.  Like Anubis and Oma Dessala, they are locked in endless mortal combat.

Shiny writes: “Are you hosting your chocolate party this year? Sounds like a great way to keep those reunions going.”

Answer: Sadly, no.  Last year’s chocolate blowout was my last – for the foreseeable future.

Gilder writes: “Joe, finally to Vegas next week. Any non-gourmet recommendations?”

Answer: Get the corn tamales at the Cheesecake Factory in the Caesar’s Mall.

Dallas Marshall writes: “How many scripts for SGU season 3 were written before everyone left for end-of-season hiatus (never to return)?”

Answer: 0.

Dioxholster writes: “one thing though, how did you meet Paul? Was he with you in college or something?”

Answer: We actually met in a college creative writing class.

Lewis writes: “If season 3 had come to fruition were there any particular characters from the other Stargate shows that had been discussed for a guest spot… or even repeat guests like O’Neill or McKay?”

Answer: We hadn’t gotten as far as to discuss potential guest stars.

Alabaster Runner writes: “Did you ever “aquire” any props or souvenirs from the show?”

Answer: Yes.  A goa’uld pain stick from SG-1’s Serpent’s Venom, some carnivorous prop bugs from SG-1’s The Scourge, some oozy past-one pustules from SG-1’s Lockdown, and an alien petri sample of Gadmeer DNA from our very first episode, Scorched Earth.

MNP writes: “Why did you quit with Vanessa Angel? I’ve heard she didn’t get along with you guys that well but I have no idea if that’s true.”

Answer: Untrue.  She was terrific, both in front of the camera and off.  I remember watching her audition and coming away very impressed.  While most of the other actresses simply said the words, it was clear that Vanessa had actually LEARNED the dialogue.  There’s a big difference.  In the end, the decision not to revisit the character had nothing to do with the actress and everything to do with our inability to find a proper, satisfactory storyline for her.

Oneil7 writes: “Where can we see the concept art of the exterior appearance of Destiny Ship ?”

Answer: They’re probably archived somewhere in the Art Department offices.  Don’t know what will become of them now sadly.

Lloyd67 writes: “I know you do not know the plans for MGM Stargate franchise. But you, do you think Stargate is frozen for the time like other projects at MGM?”

Answer: No doubt.  Stargate is too valuable a property to lie fallow for long.

J514 writes: “what would of happened in part 3 of the aschen trilogy if it had ever been made?”

Answer: The third installment of the trilogy would have seen the surviving Aschen mount a ship-based attack on Earth.

Tim Gaffney writes: “Since we know that T.J. will get sick in this timeline as well, does that mean that Volker will as well?”

Answer: The planet-bound Volker died of renal failure.  The Volker we followed aboard Destiny had a successful lifesaving surgical transplant in Hope.

mix-martes1986 writes: “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?”

Answer: Actually, it’s a German dogtag, circa 1987, from Alex’s 15-month military service and has nothing to do with WW2.

StellaByStargate writes: “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’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?”

Answer: It was an internal creative decision.  I think Brad and Rob simply felt that if we did resolve the ship, where would we go from there?  Hard to disagree while O’Neill was a regular, but I thought it was a shame that we never offered closure even after the show had ended.

Dodoalda writes: “Of course, I understand that Mr. Goldsmith is working hard (and results of his work are outstanding), but as a fan, I would just like to know if the soundtrack is ever going to happen.”

Answer: Unfortunately, I’m out of the loop on marketing decisions but, given the present situation, I doubt we’ll see anything in the way of new Stargate-related merchandises hitting store shelves any time in the near future.

48 thoughts on “April 29, 2011: A brief trip to L.A.

  1. Joe, these things can only happen to you. 🙂 Did you warn Alexsander before you flew?? Thanks for the chuckle and glad things worked out. Hope your flight back to Toronto is uneventful.

    Have a great day!!!

  2. As always, thanks for your post. I so quite a bit of travel and the trend with hotels seems to be, no toothpaste, shampoo, coffee, etc but I have found that if you call the desk they will bring it to you.

    Slam

  3. I was sitting at my PC, hiding from the excessive media coverage of some wedding, when I decided to pop in to see puppy pictures. To my surprise I find that you have blogged already – but no doggy piccies.

    I hope you have a pleasant trip to LA – and a safe journey back to Akemi and the furry-bairns.

    Susan

  4. Wow, you’re having all sorts of good luck lately, huh? Did you recently steal a kid’s lollipop or shoot a baby seal by mistake or something?

    Anyway, will you try to get somebody to order the Green Garlic & Artichoke Risotto at Craft tonight? Curious to hear how it is.

    The Pork Ravioli & Honey Dates looks intriguing, too, even though I’m not a big fan of dates in general.

  5. If thats carl’s Jr, I urge you to never go there. As a Californian I have horror stories about that place.

  6. I loved “Epilogue”, especially Brody yelling about his lawn. My question is, if they knew how fast the decedents’ ships were going and they weren’t in hyperspace, couldn’t they do an FTL jump to just in front of them on their path and wait for them to go by? They knew the start point and end point, so presumably there was a pretty straight path on which to look for them.

  7. No spoons? Where is Ashleigh when you need her?

    I myself am having a rotten day. It can only get better from here.

  8. Your travel issues are exactly why I handle my own travel arrangements. too many times I have been let down by other people who make arrangements for me. One particular time had me standing at the airport in Madrid, Spain, with hubby and child, 6 bags, midnight, and the hotel shuttle, paid for in advance and set to pick us up, was “on its way” but never arrived. Yep, nothing like being in a foreign country sitting on a bench outside at midnight and being tired, sleepy, hungry with a cranky child and a mad husband pacing up and down. Even better: nobody spoke English that was around at that hour. So I took matters into my own hands with my limited Spanish language skills, and went back into the airport and booked a car service. Then had the hotel to reimburse me for the shuttle I paid for, but never arrived. yes, fun times.

  9. Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack
    Cause when I leave for the night I ain’t comin’ back

  10. @jojo

    Sounds like a lot of issues there, my worst travel woe would probably just be a cancelled flight and having to catch a boat instead.

    Not very good on boats that move too much, pretty much always end up feeling sick lol

  11. joe/Answer: It was an internal creative decision. I think Brad and Rob simply felt that if we did resolve the ship, where would we go from there? Hard to disagree while O’Neill was a regular, but I thought it was a shame that we never offered closure even after the show had ended.

    so this is how it ends? 14 years of waiting for that happy ending, and then… nothing?

    not even a confirmation on sgu?

    if it really isn’t even in sgu, i can’t begin to tell you how that makes me feel.

    ~and the confirming would have been so easy to do. SO easy.~

    🙁

  12. Joe,
    Have you seen the ratings for Sanctuary after moving to Monday with SGU. They are not good. Maybe SYFY should rethink everything that they are doing. Bring back SYFY fridays and uncancel SGU.

  13. Answer: Unfortunately, I’m out of the loop on marketing decisions but, given the present situation, I doubt we’ll see anything in the way of new Stargate-related merchandises hitting store shelves any time in the near future.

    Does this include the season 2 DVD? The season 1 DVD came out here a couple months back, really hoping to find out how it ends. (Well, was really hoping it wasn’t ending, but it’s too late for that.)

  14. The bathroom water glass? You are a brave soul. I will never drink out of a bathroom water glass again after watching an expose about germs in a hotel. Did you know that in a lot of hotel chains, even the nicer ones, the hotel staff clean the toilet bowl and then instead of replacing the glass with a brand new one actually use the same rag to just wipe the glass and put that little paper on top. Yep, I know you probably just threw up a little in your mouth.

    I pack a plastic cup from home and put it in my luggage now (like a child’s sippy cup). At least I know that is clean.

    On the bright side of your trip, the plane didn’t crash. That has to be a bright side, yes?

  15. Dont suppose you can drop hints on which hotel you stayed at. And I would think that any place you stayed at would offer the basic amenities on request, if not already stocked in the room.
    Mailbag is duly appreciated. Hope good things come from your meetings, and that your flight home goes smoother.

  16. @Joe:

    Also missing from my hotel room: a spoon with which to eat my Ben & Jerry’s Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream. I ended up having to improvise with fries and a bathroom water glass.

    Ah yes…gone are the days when you could carry you’re own utensils when traveling. Heck, nowdays just complaining about the TSA is likely to get you your own private exam with Nurse Diesel in a little white room.

    Have a good trip back. To commemorate your visit to LA, I`m watching Skyline…seemed fitting 😉

  17. Joe, reading your blog gives me a chuckle, thanks for that. Hope you had a non-eventful trip back to TO. Time to regroup for another fun filled week. Have a macaron.

  18. PBMom wrote,

    “Did you know that in a lot of hotel chains, even the nicer ones, the hotel staff clean the toilet bowl and then instead of replacing the glass with a brand new one actually use the same rag to just wipe the glass and put that little paper on top. Yep, I know you probably just threw up a little in your mouth.”

    I bet he just threw up a lot!!! 😮

  19. Nice to Akemi posting here 🙂

    @JeffWM/b> So sorry you watched ‘Skyline’. Although I did like the ‘creature’ effects, it was not a good movie. I actually enjoyed “Battle L.A.” a lot more.

  20. Thanks for answering my question! It’s good to know she might have come back with the right opportunity since she seemed a bit less arrogant than the other Tok’ra, even as Anise (as opposed to Freya).

  21. “Answer: It was an internal creative decision. I think Brad and Rob simply felt that if we did resolve the ship, where would we go from there? Hard to disagree while O’Neill was a regular, but I thought it was a shame that we never offered closure even after the show had ended.”

    But, since RDA left after season 8, you wouldn’t have had to go anywhere “from there”. Sam and Jack would have been confirmed as a couple — end of story. So, all this to say, I agree with you that having closure wouldn’t have undermined the show or introduced any complications in any way.

    Thanks for sticking up for the ship, and fighting the good fight, though.

    Hope you had a good flight back.

  22. So Joe, after 6 years and 9 visits to Vancouver, I am finally going to try “Japadog” tomorrow – my last full day of vacation …hope it’s as good as you, Jewel Staite and others have raved about…

    I’m rather excited about it to be honest…

    And already planning the next trip out here…need to make it double figures!.

  23. Thanks, Joe, but we flew home today /Fri. Sent a couple of food photos by email. Besides, I live in South Texas, corn-tortilla country!

  24. By the way Joe, Akemis statement could be taken as praising your hard work, or saying you’re tired.

    If you’re going by Otsukare sama, mostly a positive statement.

    Personally I thought it was said as Otsukaresama?

    Anyway I guess that explains for anyone wondering.

  25. Oh, and about the Carter /O’Neill “ship”: It’s my impression that, as recently as SGU, Gen. O’Neill was still Col. Carter’s first- or second-line supervisor. A publically-acknowledged relationship would still be against regs, based on my US civil-service background. Military experts, feel free to correct me or add info.

    Besides, leaving the question open provides background for fan fic writers to exercise their imaginative talents and hone their skills. 🙂

  26. Thanks… I laughed so hard my husband woke up and yelled at me. I am so sorry, but really, ask Mr Sunshine to put a positive spin on it. I dare him!

    I agree about asking the desk… they usually HAVE the stuff if you ask for it.

    Seems you left Akemi with her fave desert. I was out today and thought about red velvet but resisted.

    I think in many ways it was strongly hinted that Sam and Jack were together. I am not so sure it had to be blatant. Then the nonshippers could keep denying and the shippers can grab the confirmation. I am not anti-ship, but I honestly felt the two of them had utterly not one spark of chemistry romantically.

    I cannot believe only 2 more episodes. Dang dang dang.

    I am not sure how you used french fries to eat ice cream. Too bad you didn’t bother to take pics of THAT for us.

  27. A couple of things you should always pack – tissues (in case of emergencies), a plastic cup and spoon and a towel.

    Okay, if you were going up Africa you would also pack a satellite phone and AK-47 ammunition. Guns are not allowed on airplanes unless you have bribed people prior to boarding, but it’s cheaper just to buy an AK-47 when you arrive at your destination. Ammo is not cheap, hence packing it in luggage.

    The sad thing about Africa is that you can go to any gun shop and buy an AK-47. If you are connected it it even cheaper to buy one on the black market. In the movie Lord of War (with Nicolas Cage) they used over 3000 AK-47s because it was cheaper than getting prop guns. 🙁

  28. deeinsouthafrica: Wow, interesting!

    PBmom: thank you, for the water glass warning!

    Another storm is coming Sunday and I pray it’s not like the others.
    I drove to my mom’s house in Tennessee yesterday and there were a lot of Alabamians traveling to buy generators. Tunica casinos (in Mississippi) are closing due to flood waters. Weird weather!

    Safe travels for everyone!

  29. Hello Joe,

    Why the “Behind The Scenes” & “FX” images from your episode “The Hunt” are not available on the Official Stargate Website ?

    Thanks. =)

  30. Lou Zucaro:

    So sorry you watched ‘Skyline’.

    After watching it, I agree. No real story or character development. I had the same complaint about ‘Cloverfield’.

    So, ‘Battle LA’ is better? I may save that for Joe’s next LA trip. 😉

  31. Good mornin’ to Joe, Akemi, and da puppies!

    Nothing to ask, nothing to say, except have a happy and beautiful day! *skips about draped in billowy chiffon, throwing flower petals in the air*

    🙂

    das

  32. @JeffW Yeah, definitely better than “Skyline” although I actually really enjoyed “Cloverfield.”

    True, there wasn’t a lot of character development in “Cloverfield”, but I thought it was a good monster movie.

  33. Oh yes, meant to add…another one on the “very glad you didn’t take the Jack/Sam situation to a conclusion” camp….I don’t like romance on all of my Stargate shows (and that includes the rather too “obvious” Daniel/Vala stuff too)…leave it to fanfic and let them continue to write whatever they want in their own way as to how the story ends…

    I don’t believe any of us are “entitled” to a particular conclusion…as far as I’m concerned Stargate lives on as we want to imagine it – we should all be content with that.

  34. Carol – Oh yes, meant to add…another one on the “very glad you didn’t take the Jack/Sam situation to a conclusion” camp….I don’t like romance on all of my Stargate shows (and that includes the rather too “obvious” Daniel/Vala stuff too)…leave it to fanfic and let them continue to write whatever they want in their own way as to how the story ends…

    I don’t believe any of us are “entitled” to a particular conclusion…as far as I’m concerned Stargate lives on as we want to imagine it – we should all be content with that.

    the age-old shipper/anti shipper battle, eh? after all this time, you *still* would deny the shipper fans a conclusion, just because (and i’m quoting something an anti shipper said to me once), “if i can’t have the ship i want (daniel/jack), you shouldn’t have yours either”.

    ~~~

    i wish i’d known this was never going to go anywhere (besides hints and innuendo), so i wouldn’t have been running along, constantly grasping at the carrot being dangled from the back of the truck.

  35. im so tried of waiting when is stargate worlds video game going to released! I know its not going to be mmo anymore but a standalone comp game with what they have got would be great tho. Come on im bored of waiting

  36. Hi Joe, hopefully you can answer this in a future mailbag or in your retrospective SG entries…. After season 8 of SG-1 I know there was initially an idea of renamed the show Stargate Command or Stargate: SGC but it was decided to stay as SG-1. Had this changed occurred would there have been any difference in the last 2 season? For example would you have still done the Ori story line, would SG-1 still have been the main focus or would they have more of a supporting/recurring role allowing other SG teams to be followed? Finally had the series been renamed to SGC and promoted as a ‘new original series’ do you think it would of been picked up for a 3rd season? Thanks.

  37. Dear Joe,

    me and some of my friends are going to spend a few days in L.A. this summer. So, I was thinking it would be interesting to visit the sets of some of the series that are filmed in L.A.

    Since you were part of the Stargate crew for a longtime I wanted to get your opinion on this one:

    Do you think I should bother and send out some request emails or would I be just wasting my time since we are just a bunch of nobodies?

    Thanks. R.

  38. As someone that has watched the Stargate franchise since the beginning; seeing it end like this is the most terribly sad thing… ever.

    Need more Stargate. Need more SGA. Need more SG1.

  39. Can you say where you stayed; were you guys stuck in Burbank? See, if you’d been at the Biltmore downtown you’d be dodging the bums of the evenin’, sure but you’d have the great hotel staff to hook you up with some t-paste. I hope you weren’t at the godawful Days Inn Lodge.

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