I’ve had some mighty crazy experiences in my life. I’ve partied to excess, dated a few lunatics, sampled the deadly fugu. But it all pales in comparison to the daredevil exhilaration of attending my very first fan convention. After being roasted alive online, I was fully expecting similar in-person treatment at the hands of some angry weekend Jaffa but, to my surprise, the fans I met ranged from indifferent to incredibly sweet. Not a deranged one in the bunch. Even the few attendees who disagreed with some of the creative decisions we’d made on the show were very polite and respectful. No Daniel Jackson impersonators pelting me with rotten fruit. No furling wannabes demanding answers to the show’s mystifying minutiae. Not even an overexuberant Nox cornering me with a pitch for a future episode. It was all very civil, very friendly and, dare I say it, most enjoyable. The organizers of the event, Gatecon (the first and, in my humble opinion, best) were equally gracious in hosting us.
Of course the fan-run, homey Gatecon was in marked contrast to the big studio extravaganza that is Comic Con. I attended my first Comic Con in the show’s sixth season. I flew to San Diego with my wife and, as we sat in the traffic, waiting for a light, I glanced over at a “Haunted Tour Bus” and jokingly suggested we purchase a couple of seats. As expected, Fondy nixed the idea. The very thought of walking some spirit-infested hall was enough to make her skin crawl. I chuckled, the light turned green, and we motored on, finally arriving at our destination – an old, turn-of-the-century boutique hotel. As we stood at the reception, checking in, I glanced over and watched as the same “Haunted Tour Bus” pulled up and released it’s ghost-lovin’ horde. The tour went right by us, through the lobby lined with white-eyed Victorian dolls, and up the rickety elevator to, I assumed, the cold spot where the grisly murder was committed – no doubt the bed we’d be occupying that night (“Oh, sorry to disturb you. Won’t be long. Just wanted to show everyone the butchering nook. Thanks. Nighty-night!”). Needless to say, Fondy didn’t sleep a wink all night – and ensured I didn’t either. Every five minutes it was: “Wait! What was that?! Did you hear that?!!
The next day was our panel and, by today’s San Diego Stargate panels, it was fairly light – just Corin Nemec (SG-1’s Jonas Quinn) and myself. Oh, and then MGM President Hank Cohen who volunteered to act as moderator but actually ended up fielding almost every question thrown our way except for one related to the average running time of an episode of Stargate (Oh, about forty-four minutes). Afterwards, I walked the floor, picked up a bunch of comic books, and lamented the fact it would be too much trouble to lug the Randy Bowen Juggernaut statue I’d been eyeing back home. Great, great time!
And then it was back to Vancouver to finish up production on what we all assumed would be our final season…
When Paul and I learned SG-1 would be doing a clip show in its sixth season, we lobbied hard and eventually won the opportunity to write it!
Juuuust kidding. When we were first handed the assignment, we were less than enthusiastic. But, as we started writing, it became, if not exactly fun, then certainly interesting. It’s Stargate 101 as the series deals with an issue that would plague it for years to come: How the hell can the government possibly keep the existence of the Stargate program a secret? Sure, there were past incidents that required some fast-talking (“Exploding spaceships? No, no, no. Those were Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Er, yes, in November.”), but the apparent crash of a spaceship into the Pacific Ocean was going to be tough to cover up. And so, rather than even try, we come clean. Of course it stood to reason that our allies would be annoyed at being kept in the dark for so long, so Rob Cooper suggested an appearance by Thor, the ever-affable Asgard, to smooth things over (and put the conniving Kinsey in his place). I love the sequence where Kinsey raises his finger to interrupt only to have Thor trump him by raising his finger (shut up) and continuing.
Tiny nitpick but, in the opening scene, O’Neill peers through Carter’s telescope and remarks on the fact that he can’t see anything. She points out that, no, he wouldn’t because it’s daytime. Amusing and all if not for the fact that the show had already established Jack as a guy who likes to check out the stars at night through the telescope in his backyard. Was Jack being purposely dense? Perhaps. In fact, as the series went on, O’Neill became increasingly “intellectually relaxed”. After some six years of playing the role, I guess Rick wanted to have a little more fun with the character. And that was fine with us, the writers, since it allowed us to do something we always enjoyed doing – bring the funny. Less so some of the fans who began to derisively refer to the new and improved(?) O’Neill as Dumb Jack.
Actor Chris Judge tries his hand at writing with surprising spectacular results. I say surprising because, while I had no doubt it would be a solid script, I was mighty impressed by how good it turned out (this despite the fact that he neglected to include act breaks in his first draft – “I leave that sh*t up to you, m*th*rf*cker.”). From what I remember, Chris really enjoyed the process and was quite proud of the final product.
What was this episode about again?
This episode turned out to be one of my biggest disappointments of the season. I thought the script was solid but the entire episode rested on the final twist, the moment in which O’Neill hears the horn and calls out to Pierce. It’s meant to be the episode’s big, defining moment but it’s so casually underplayed that it loses any dramatic impact.
FULL CIRCLE (622)
Ah, another series finale. Executive Producer Robert Cooper wraps up SG-1 in fine style – except that, as we learned late in season 6, this season would not be the show’s last. After six seasons, SG-1 was still going strong, much to the delight of our new broadcaster, SciFi, who were more than happy to pick up the series for one more year. Which, of course, we assumed would be its last…
Taking a break from the mailbag to focus on some scripts for my new show –
We’ve got six scripts written, one almost complete, and another five to be broken. Carl Binder rolls into town on Thursday and we’ll spend the rest of this week (and next) spinning stories.
Looking ahead, our Pink Pre-Production Schedule (please ignore the Blue) looks like this: Camera Test Technical Meeting, Beam Meeting (Asgard?), Update Meeting, Interviews, Conference Call, Summit! And not longer after, shooting begins. Andy (Mikita) reports that the Audi’s will be arriving in Toronto shortly.
Expect a big announcement on the casting front sometime this week. Ish.
Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday blog regular Elminster!