Nothing kills creativity and story momentum like:
a) An ether leak
b) A 48 hour Who’s the Boss? marathon
c) Three successive blows to the back of the head with the butt of a gun
d) A two and a half hour discussion on script notes
e) All of the above
With Carl in town, we made terrific progress on Friday, spinning a new story and almost beating it out fully by day’s end. I woke up this morning, raring to go, figuring we’d finish up and move onto the next one. I was feeling good. Feeling confident! Hell, with Carl only in town until Thursday afternoon and things zipping along, I was certain we could get three stories broken this week. I rolled out of bed, got ready to take the dogs out for their morning walks when – BING! – my iPhone alerted me to two new messages. The first offered up some gorgeous pics of Place de la Concorde, gare de l’est, and potential police stations in Marseilles. The second was from our script coordinator, Trevor, contained notes on the last two scripts. Honestly. The least he could have done was wait until I’d had breakfast and then just broken a chair over my head and had done with it.
The notes were, uh, thorough, and we spent the morning going over them, deciding how best to address them. By the time we were done it was lunch-time. We grabbed some burgers, then headed upstairs to finish up Carl’s episode, then move on to a new story, spin it out, board it, and, hopefully, finish it.
Well, finish up Carl’s episode, then move on to a new story, spin it out, and board it.
Actually, finish up Carl’s episode, then move on to a new story, and spin it out.
In reality, finish up Carl’s episode and move on to a new story.
Okay, finish up Carl’s episode.
But I’m confident that, tomorrow, it’ll be smoooooooooooooooth sailing!
To those of you asking, the Transporter: The Series writer’s room looks like this: Robert Cooper, Alexander M. Ruemelin, Paul Mullie, Carl Binder, and yours truly. In addition, designated hitter Ben Sokolowski has come in to pinch hit for us, delivering on what is going to be a terrific episode. And that’s it. No super-intelligent monkeys or trained Kodiak bears or highly advanced computers running virtual script software programs or writers from an alternate world who have already worked on the show in their universe and know which scripts were fan favorites so they’re going to go ahead and write them for us.
Okay, I’ve really got to find a new place to live. The top floor of the apartment we’re in now is unbearably hot – but, in all fairness, only at night when we’re trying to sleep. The main floor is actually quite cool, thanks to the air conditioner that is on its lowest setting and running full blast 24/7 despite the fact that it’s actually quite cool outside. On the bright side, come summer, I’ll probably be able to bake tandoori chicken in the comfort of my own bed.
When last I left off my Stargate: SG-1 musings, I was discussing our ramp up to the big series finale! We’d wrapped up the Sarah Gardner storyline, killed off a series regular, and written the scripts for the final four episodes. At which point we learned we’d be coming back for an eight season!
Written by Michael Shanks and directed by Amanda Tapping, this one was all sorts of fun at almost every stage – pre, prep, production, and post. The episode finds the N.I.D. screwing up yet another experiment, leaving Stargate Command to pick up the pieces (and dispose of the bodies). Fans have long speculated on the full name of the nefarious organization and I’ve read some pretty good guesses: National Intelligence Directorate, National Intelligence Division, Next In Defense. All great. All wrong. What it actually stands for is Not a Real Department. N.I.D. Simple, no? Oh, right. Well, it WAS originally N.R.D. but we changed into N.I.D. because it sounded better.
When Paul and I learned the show was going to be doing another clip show, we lobbied hard for the opportunity…Oh, you’ve heard this one before. Never mind. Actually, as far as clip shows go, this one was a lot of fun, mainly because it afforded us the opportunity to throw in a twist at episode’s end by having company man Richard Woolsey actually demonstrates surprising strength of character by turning his back on the conniving Senator Kinsey and doing the right thing. It’s the first step in the rehabilitation of a character who would eventually become one of my favorites to write for. Terrific performances all around by Robert Picardo, Ronny Cox, and William Devane who had the gals in the production office all a-flutter after taking the time to autograph some pictures for them between scenes.
LOST CITY I (721)
The plan (actually “plans” since it was fast becoming a habit) was to wrap up the show and then cap it with a movie. Lost City was going to be that movie – until we got the eighth season pick-up, at which point it was rewritten and turned into our two-parter season finale. This episode saw the introduction of Dr. Elizabeth Weir. Blonde in Lost City I and II, she goes brunette by the time the Atlantis expedition gets underway in Rising I and II (In case you failed to notice).
One of my favorite moments of this season comes when all of SG-1 gathers for what they think may be the last time. With Jack facing an uncertain future, Sam unexpectedly drops by for a visit. As they sit down for a beer, there’s a knock. O’Neill opens the door to discover Daniel at his front door. Not long after, Teal’c comes a-calling. As much as I enjoyed the show’s high-adventure, I especially enjoyed these scenes – moments that brought the team together, demonstrating that they weren’t just teammates but good friends as well.
LOST CITY II (722)
A great series-ender that sets the stage for game-changing events, particularly with regard to Anubis’ destruction of an aircraft carrier. I mean, holy smokes! How the heck is the government going to cover something like that up?! Great, great question. Guess we’ll find out next season!
Making a special appearance in this episode is General John P. Jumper, former Chief of Staff of the United States Airforce. I remember running into him in the production office the day before he was to shoot his episode and asking whether he had any plans to explore further acting opportunities in the near future. He chuckled and assured me his Stargate appearance was a one-time-only thing. “You sure?”I asked. “Next week, I better not turn on the t.v. and catch you on Moesha.”