Thought I’d kick off today’s blog with a little Transporter: The Series Q&A…
Lou Zucaro writes: “Also…please tell me that Tarconi is going to be in the series. I really like that character”
Answer: Tarconi WILL be in the series. We’re all huge fans of the endearing Inspector played by the brilliant François Berléand.
Winst writes: “Joseph……what type of run times are you aiming for with Transporter scripts/episodes?”
Answer: We’re aiming for a little under 50 minutes an episode.
Winst also writes: “Any plans in place to have some fun with the opening credits for each individual episode? …maybe something interesting, amusing and unique?”
Answer: We’ve talked about a variety of recurring themes and fun signature visuals for the show but have yet to sit down and discuss the opening credit sequence. Stay tuned.
Randomness writes: “Must admit though, the name Chris Vance was the last I was expecting from a series like The Transporter, but am happy he got the role.”
Answer: His audition was a home run, everything from his look to his mannerisms to his delivery. We wanted someone who could do tough and charming, and Chris is both. He’s got a terrific screen presence, as I’m sure you’ll agree once you see him in action as Frank Martin.
sparced writes: “Can’t wait to see the guy in action. I have to imagine you guys are sending him off to some seriously heavy martial arts training to fit the part.”
Answer: Yes, he is in training. He also has the benefit of working with one of the best stunt coordinators out there in Cyril Raffaelli.
dioxholster writes: “I agree with you on this though, we were introduced to the character as a loner so seeing him now in a team might upset some fans. ”
Answer: There is no team. In addition to his uncertain but ever-entertaining friendship with Inspector Tarconi (as established in the movies), we also established the character of Carla exactly because Frank IS a loner. Looking back over the movies, it didn’t make much sense that a guy with a strict adherence to rules like “No names” and a desire to know as little as possible about the people he’s working for would work alone. How do people contact him? How does he screen them? How is payment arranged? The Carla character effectively acts as his agent, doing all that for him and then simply forwarding him the coordinates of his next transport. Once the package has been delivered, the balance of the payment is made to one of Carla’s offshore accounts and she sees to it that Frank gets paid. This set-up is a lot less complicated for Frank and requires next to no contact with the client. His only contact is with Carla, someone he trusts, who simply supplies coordination and support from her office in Nice.
masterchief writes: “it basically says that Luc Besson will be showrunner of the series which will be produced by RTL, HBO, HBO Canada and M6”
Answer: It does? Great! I guess my work here is done. Vancouver, here I come!
Ponytail writes: “It looks like Transporter: The Series will bring a “whole new breed” of fan to your blog.”
Answer: Hopefully, yes!
Michel Cardoso Teixeira writes: “I’m gonna follow the Transporter series as soon as it arrives in Sweden. I don’t think that particular type of TV-show would be something I’d ordinary watch if it wasn’t for you and your dedication to the fans (and the fact that you’re somewhat talented as well…:) ).”
Answer: Thanks. Somewhat talented is what I strive for! When the show does air in your neck of the woods, check it out (and bring your friends and family along for the ride). I have a feeling it’ll fast become one of your favorites.
So, getting back to my Stargate reminiscing – I believe I was halfway through SG-1’s seventh season. Michael Shanks had returned, Daniel Jackson was back, and it was just like old times. Except, of course, for RDA’s reduced participation. After many years on the show, Rick had decided to take a step back to spend more time with family and we were faced with the challenge of finding increasingly creative ways to write him out of episodes. Easier said than done. After the third “Hey, O’Neill says he’s stuck in traffic and we should just go ahead without him” excuse, you kind of begin to stretch credulity. Still, I think we did alright as O’Neill’s diminished role allowed us to shift focus to the other members of the team.
EVOLUTION I (711)
The first part of our mid-season two-parter (Hey, remember the days when the 11th episode was the midway point of the season?) introduced a fearsome new enemy with an equally fearsome codpiece. Yep. Whenever the deadly super soldier strode onto the scene, all I could think was “I wonder if that’s where they keep it’s battery pack?”. The idea of an almost indestructible enemy was a good one and, on paper, it certainly sounded cool but the finished product was more likely to trigger laughter than any feelings of foreboding.
Note: For what it’s worth, the Asurans were similarly/mysteriously well-endowed.
EVOLUTION II (712)
Enrico Colantoni guests as Burke, a former black ops buddy of O’Neill’s, and does such a formidable job that, for months later, we’re still talking about the fact we have to bring him back and give him his own team. Like so many of the show’s creative good intentions, it never comes to pass – but things worked out for Enrico all the same. Last I hear, he’s tearing it up on Flashpoint.
As much as I didn’t love the super soldier, I was all over the zombies that stalk the jungles of Nicaragua (Vancouver woods with a little help from our Greens Department). Speaking of tearing it up, Director Peter DeLuise does a brilliant job here with the action, particularly one shot that sees the Zombie Chalo blown apart. The other guys felt it was too visceral (“Pretty damn goopy!”) but I didn’t see the problem. It was a zombie after all, not a human being. I mean, it’s perfectly acceptable to decapitate robots onscreen. I think the same logic would apply. I was overruled.
While I, admittedly, would have liked to see the Sam-Jack arc culminate in their finally settling down together, I wasn’t a fan of the dream flash in this episode in which the two lock lips. My problem with it was not so much the content of the sequence as the fact that it was confusing – a hallucination within a greater hallucination. That said, I quite liked the episode that, in its early outlining, jumped back and forth between Carter actually boarding the alien vessel and coming face to face with its crew. In the end, it was decided the story would work better as a self-contained narrative.
Actor Corin Nemec pitched this story and wrote the original outline for an episode that brings back Jonas Quinn and explores his new life on Langara. The original title of the episode was Turn of Events which, we couldn’t help but note, was a title applicable to every episode we’d ever done. It would have been akin to titling an episode Off-World Adventure or Fourth Act Twist! It was a lot of fun although one element in the story didn’t quite pan out – specifically, Jonas Quinn’s love interest, a fellow Langaran named Kianna. On the day the first dailies came in, we were horrified to discover that both actors had unnervingly similar hairstyles that, as a result, made them look like they were related. Which, in turn, made some of the romantic scenes a little…weird?
zenophite writes: “Still hanging on to the question of whether Rhona Mitra’s Kiva was originally intended to get more airtime in season 2…”
Answer: The plan going into the Incursion two-parter was to set up a difficult situation that would not be so easily resolved. No matter how things resolved themselves, we wanted to have consequences that would shake up the shipboard dynamics – and that meant having some members of the Lucian Alliance remain on Destiny once the dust settled, initially as prisoners but hopefully, down the line, as new crew members. At the time I was writing Incursion I and II, I had no idea who would be sticking around in season 2 with the exception of Varro. After shooting the final two episodes of season one, we elected to focus on stories that didn’t involve the Kiva character. And, bonus – her death allowed for an unnerving scenario in the season 3 premiere.
Lady A writes: “Does the fact that you did intend to try to restart the storyline in Season 6 mean that you were prepared to stop dragging it out and finally give a conclusive ending to the storyline as both Torri and the fans have wanted from the beginning?”
Answer: I beg to differ. The reason we brought back the Weir character was in order to tell a story – potentially a series of stories – that fans of the character would enjoy. While I think closure it certainly nice, I’d argue that fans would have preferred to leave the door open and seen the character make multiple reappearances rather than ending Weir’s story. For instance, the scenario you pitched “Team Sheppard successfully rescues Weir and brings her home to Atlantis to recover and rejoin the team?” is not a conclusive end to the storyline but a continuation in a different creative direction.
In my mind, the original Weir was not destroyed (as the human form replicators would have us believe). Her body was kept “on ice” somewhere to serve as a prototype for future study. At the time I wrote This Mortal Coil, I imagined a future storyline that would have involved the team learning of Weir’s fate and launching a rescue op. They would have retrieved her and, in the end, Elizabeth would have headed back to Earth for some R&R, leaving the door open for future guest appearances.
Greg S. writes: “I was wondering, what did you have planned for Earth and Atlantis 3 years later? Is there a new threat Earth is facing? Also, did Woolsey come to an agreement with the Langarans for gate usage?”
Answer: Had we gone with the “3 years later” scenario over m preferred “100 years later” scenario, then, yes, Woolsey would have negotiated for access to the Langaran gate which would have been used to mount a rescue mission. As for the fate of Atlantis – had the movie, Stargate: Extinction, been made, Atlantis would have found its way back to the Pegasus Galaxy within a month of Enemy at the Gate.
dioxholster writes: “What happened back then? why did you disagree with Michael? He didnt like the script? I don’t get it, hes an actor, you a writer, what possible disagreement could happen?”
Answer: It’s not that uncommon. Occasionally, the actor may disagree with the direction of the show or a particular character arc. Other times, the actor may feel his character isn’t receiving enough screen time or story emphasis.
kimmy writes: “I wondered if you could convince Carl to do a spot on your blog to fill in questions about some of his episodes on Universe.”
Answer: I plan to. But only after he’s finished his next script for Transporter: The Series. First things first!
kimmy also writes: “why did writers: 1) choose such a devastating disease (ALS) for TJ”
Answer: Exactly for that reason. The disease is devastating. We wanted to put her in the toughest of situations, facing certain death at the hands of a disease that she knows, as a trained medical professional, is relentless and incurable.
“2) why didn’t Young allow any of the descendants to stay aboard Destiny as crew replenishment?”
Answer: I think he was concerned about resources, being able to feed and provide water for the extra mouths. Perhaps the timing wasn’t right. Perhaps it was a matter of fairness – being able to offer crew positions to some but not all of the descendants was to difficult a decision.
“3) Since the Novans knew there planet was dying, wouldn’t they have managed to take copies of their history over time to their new ‘expedition’ planet? Aside from on the ships I mean.”
Answer: Presumably if they’d had the time to make those copies, yes.
Penny writes: “Also lived Michael Welch as young O’Neil was always hoping he would make a return. Did you ever have a story idea as to how that might have happened?”
Answer: Having him return wasn’t the problem. He may be a teenager, but he’s still got all the skills and savvy of our Jack. It would have been a simple matter of being faced with a situation that required Jack’s expertise – and making the original Jack incapable of offering his assistance. What, exactly, that “situation” was is the question that stumped us.
majorsal writes: “you’ve stated recently that when mgm decides to continue the stargate franchise, you don’t believe it’ll include our sg1/atlantis/sgu mythology.
is this still true?”
Answer: Yes. Again, this is simply my opinion.
majorsal also writes: “there’s some shows that you just know is ready to go (i’m there with ‘house’ right now), but this is not the case with sg1/atlantis/sgu. their stories are not finished. they need closure. we need closure. please, what’s your opinion?”
Answer: I agree.
libkat writes: “What was the part you were going to write for Ben Browder on Atlantis? (I had read gossip somewhere that he was the original frontrunner to play Sheppard, but the Farscape mini-series intervened.)”
Answer: True. Ben would have made the perfect John Sheppard as originally envisioned in the Atlantis pilot – a Southern cowboy with swagger. The fact that he was shooting the Farscape miniseries took him out of the running. As for the part I’d written for Ben – that of Colonel Dillon Everett in Siege I, II and III. Needless to say the character’s arc would have been significantly different had Ben been available to take the role.
Dr. D writes: “Do you know of anyone at MGM who might have a blog or offers Q&A? Any word yet on if/when Brad and Robert will offer a Q&A? Any recommendations on blogs to visit?”
Answer: First, congrats on the doctorate. Second – no knowledge of any MGM-related blogs. Third – no idea if and when either Brad or Robert might come by for a final all-Stargate Q&A. Fourth – As for blogs you should visit, I highly recommend the philosophical musings of Jocelyn TestesHarder over on http://FilthyRichmond.com. Her site (and accompanying twitter account) is replete with brilliant insights (ie. “You remember that guy who was always flipping the bird, even in his online profile pictures? He died as he lived.” and “It’s my turn to make the snacks for my daughter’s class this week. I just hope they like 4-day-old Papa John’s pizza crusts.”
Escyos writes: “1. I heard somewhere that Lord Yu, despite being stabbed through the chest by RepliCarter actually survived and is still out there. Kind of fits with what Osiris said in that he simply refuses to die. Do yu (lol) think that he is still around?”
Answer: He was one of my favorite system lords so I’m going to sat yes.
“2. Whats Teal’c up to these days, is he Jaffa President yet?”
Answer: Or the Jaffa equivalent.
“3. Was Destiny, and the seed ships, built on Earth, in orbit, on the moon, mars, nearby etc?”
Answer: I would imagine they were built on Earth, way back when.
“4. Is there anything left by the Ancients elsewhere in the solar system, perhaps a moonbase?”
Answer: Definitely not a moonbase. With the city of Atlantis presently sitting there, it might get a little crowded.
James writes: “Reminder about the SGU soundtrack.”
Answer: Already sent. Awaiting a response.
James also writes: “Your love of anime is well documented; what series are you following at present?”
Answer: Haven’t started one yet. I’m eyeing Gintama vol. 2 but also considering Darker Than Black.
dasNdanger writes: “I have this image of Joe and his date going back to her apartment, where she excuses herself to change into something ‘more comfortable’. As soon as she disappears down the hallway…”
Answer: I wish to subscribe to your fan fiction feed.