Nooooooooooooo!  Yesterday, I was crushed to learn M:brgr had closed its doors only months after opening them.  Apparently, Torontonians don’t have an appetite for high-end burgers.  Great.  Now where the hell am I going to get a kobe beef patty with brie, caramelized onions, porcini mushrooms, black truffle carpaccio and fig jam on a white bun with a side order of sweet potato fries served with truffle mayo?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.  And the truly sad part is it’s not the burger I’ll miss most of all.  It’ll be this –

The chocolate chip cookie skillet a la mode, hitherto my favorite dessert in Toronto.  The dish was perfection: the cookie served, partway between cooked and cookie dough, with not one but TWO scoops of vanilla ice cream!

Well, at the very least there’s this place –

Will have to get the name from Rob Cooper, who recommended it, but here’s hoping this restaurant sticks around.  Sadly, no chocolate chip cookie skillet a la mode here, but there is THIS –

The schnitzel platter that bested us on our last visit.  But I’m calling for best two out of three.

On the home front, the eating is good.  Not cooking as much as I’d like but I suspect that’ll change once I finally get settled in – probably around September the way things are going.  Akemi has assumed most of the meal preparation duties, including the occasional bento breakfast…

The guys at work are sooooooo jealous.www.

So, I was out and about today and happened by this Customize Your Own T-Shirt shop on Yonge Street.  I wanted to get some shirts for the writers in advance of the big broadcaster summit coming up later this week (Mine’s going to say: “Thank you for continuing to challenge me”).  Anyway, when I mentioned I was working on Transporter: The Series, the guys behind the counter were intrigued – then all sorts of delighted to hear I’d just come off eleven years on Stargate.  We chatted about the SGU season finale, fate of the franchise, and the big anime convention (Anime North) running through this weekend.  Anyway, I promised them a blog shout-out as part of today’s entry, so here it is –

Pascal and Andrew handle all your t-shirtly needs.

Casting my mind back to the start of SG-1’s eighth season, I remember going into that year fairly convinced that it would be the show’s last (yet again).  And, in many ways, it was because SG-1’s ninth and tenth season were a notable departure from those first eight.  This was Richard Dean Anderson’s last season as a regular, the final season in which the show’s long established villains – the goa’uld – would threaten Stargate Command and, in sum, the end of “classic Stargate” (although there are those who have long held this designation should only applly to the show’s first three seasons).  This was the year we wrapped up the big loose ends and we did so with a mind to ending the series and launching a new SGC-centered spin-off tentatively titled Stargate Command.  Needless to say, things didn’t exactly go as planned. Not exactly.  But, for the most part, they did and we ended up concluding the original team run in immensely satisfying fashion.

This also marked the first year we transitioned from a 22 to a 20 episode season.  It meant two less episodes – but only as far as SG-1 was concerned because this was also the year we launched Stargate: Atlantis.  In all, we produce 40 episodes of television that year!


Finally, after years of behind the scenes begging and badgering, actor Chris Judge got his wish – and Teal’c got hair.  Brad had long-resisted Chris’s requests but finally broke down since it seemed this was going to be it, the show’s final season.  I didn’t think it was such a big deal, especially considering Teal’c had undergone other notable changes over the course of the series run. Remember that gold tinge his skin possessed, making him look like he was a professional dancer working an all-night rave?  Given the fact that certain scenes from this show’s first four episodes were shot out of sequence, Teal’c’s hair is somewhat inconsistent – but I’m sure Chris will tell you it was a small price to pay for not having to shave his head every morning.

With Brad and Robert looking ahead to Stargate: Atlantis, a late change was made to the script’s first draft.  Initially, Richard Woolsey was supposed to take over at Stargate Command but the decision was made to have Elizabeth Weir step into the role instead.


The part of the human form replicator that comes out of stasis aboard the Daniel Jackson was played by SGA stunt coordinator James “Bam Bam” Bamford.

The episode’s final reveal, that Fifth had created a replicator version of Carter, wasn’t part of the story we broke and was included at the draft stage when Robert Cooper was struck by his usual insidiously evil inspiration.


The role of Colonel Alexi Vaselov was played by actor Gavin Hood who went on to win an Academy Award (no, not for his appearance on Stargate) in the Best Foreign Language Film category for Tsotsi, then later directed Rendition and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

One of my favorite scenes in this episode comes when Carter visits Daniel in the infirmary.  With the ailing and near-death Vaselov lying in his bed only feet away, Carter draws the privacy curtain and proceeds to deliver a dire diagnosis on the suffering Russian.  Whenever we watched the scene, one of the writers would invariably pipe up (as Vaselov): “I can hear you!  I’m lying right here!”  Then, as Carter to Vaselov: “Don’t worry!  Hang in there!  You’re going to pull through this!”  Then, as Carter to Daniel: “Not really.  He’s as good as dead.”  Then, as Carter back to Vaselov: “Think positive!  You’re going to be fine!”


aka – A Day in the Life of General O’Neill.  It was sad to bid farewell to General Hammond, especially considering I considered the actor who played him, Don S. Davis, a good friend – but having O’Neill take over command at the SGC opened up a host of welcome new story possibilities.  In this episode, we see the long-time wise-cracking rebel in uniform really step up and take charge in a big way, maintaining his cool – and trademark humor – as everything seems to be coming apart around him.  The SGC being overrun by alien plant life was an idea Brad had long wanted to incorporate into a story and, finally, got the opportunity to see it done here.  Chalk Siler’s wimpy flamethrower up to fire and safety regulations that prohibited us from using the real thing on set (when used in later episodes of the franchise like Cloverdale, the flames were enhanced by our visual effects department).

30 thoughts on “May 28, 2011: Food, food, food, t-shirts, oh, and Stargate: SG-1’s eight season!

  1. I liked all four of the eps from Season 8 that you listed. Things got off to a rolling start that season, and both hubby and I really enjoyed the ride.

    We went to Chili’s last night to celebrate the end of our homeschool school year. The pulled pork barbeque sandwich was quite good. And then, we had a cake today. It’s a tradition to make something sweety and yummy to celebrate too.

    Have a great evening!!

  2. The Stargate Command series sounds interesting. Did you have any ideas on who the lead characters would be or what plots the series would have?`

    I’m almost feeling guilty about all my questions 😛 Hope you can answer them all! You’ll have to make an Enectrixx bag, a mailbag-spinoff!

  3. Joe, I have a couple of dog questions. I had to leave my house last week because of impending tornados and my dog, Rhet, companion of 13 years, had a seizure in the car and I had to have him euthanized 2 days later. I lost his sister 2 years ago and it kills me to go through the experience. When I tell people that I stay with my pets through the procedure they think I’m crazy. They wonder how I can put myself through that. My thinking is that being with friend of 13 years during his last moments is damn near an obligation and I think it’s pretty gutless to just walk away because it’s a difficult experience. You seem to be a great dog parent and I just wondered what your take is. The possibility does exist that I’m totally out to lunch on this and have lost touch with reality. Also, I had stated many times after I lost Scully, Rhet’s sister that he would be the last dog I’d ever own. His care and upkeep the last couple of years were exhausting. He was deaf and nearly blind and needed help with everything but I don’t regret the effort at all. I now find the emptiness almost unbearable. I’ve had canine companions for 13 years and I find I don’t know what to do with myself. Friends and relatives seem to think this is a bad time to decide on a new dog. Your thoughts would be appreciated. You can drop me an e-mail if you’d rather not address something like this in the blog. Thanks.

  4. @ Tim Hendrix

    Condolences on your loss, Tim. You were with Rhet to the end and filled his last moments with love and friendship. He knew he was loved. That’s all anyone of us can ask.

    Hugs to you.

  5. @Tim Hendrix: So sorry for your loss!

    Hey Joe, catching up on SGU on Netflix, and must say, I’m totally floored. Excellent!

  6. Speaking of Japanese food, have you tried making Melon Bread Joe? It’s absolutely gorgeous and easy to make too, recipes should be easy to find online.

    Have tried stuff like Maple Syrup/Chocolate and random other flavored bread too, fully reccomend people make, or buy, they should be easy to import from Japan if you’re going for the authentic taste but erm yeah.

    But Melon Pan(Bread) is just something people should try at least once in their lives, just so easy to do.

    Anyway speaking of those SG1 episodes.

    For some reason, out of every episode in Season 8, I really dislike episode 2, its like you have DJ back, and suddenly the attention is taken away from him and placed onto Sam, and the replicators.

    I’ll hold my hands up and say I really wasn’t a fan of the fifth character and his story.

    Anyway, loved episode 3, for a story that resolves itself on that episode alone, it was done well. Thought episode 4 was the best as poor Jack couldnt get any rest, also had some comic relief with Jack giving Baal some banter.

  7. And speaking of which, episode 1 of Season 8 was the highest rated episode in the history of SG1, something you and Paul should be proud of Joe.

  8. I don’t usually comment, but enjoy reading not only Joe’s blog, but the comments from everyone else as well. Tim, my husband and I faced a similiar situation a few years ago. After losing our beloved lab, we thought we would wait a bit, but the house was too lonely. We ended up getting another dog fairly quickly and have never regretted it. She, like our previous dogs, has been a joy. The important thing is making sure you don’t expect the new dog to be just like Rhet. We got a different breed which helped a bit. And Maggie and her lovable personality made the rest of the adjustment easy. It worked so well that not too long after we got Maggie, we adopted a rescue dog and how have two. Again, sorry for your loss, but in our experience at least we were happy we chose to not wait long and to have pets again in our lives.

  9. I guess after Chris Judge’s stint with the, er, “caterpillar” (to use a less-than-PG-13 term), having regular hair wasn’t that far of a leap.

  10. zero hour is a good one. poor jack, things just keep getting worse, he’s wondering why he was picked for the job & (in fine TV tradition) it all works out at the end. loved the bunting bit and jack locking the alien diplomats into a room to work out their issues.

  11. 1. That group picture is much better with you in it! But, what are you doing to Akemi?? Just exactly where is your other hand?? 😆

    2. At the next family gathering I cook for, I’m going to put a smiley face on everything. Wonder if they will notice…

    3. As a very casual viewer of SG-1 (and I knew nothing about the behind the scenes going-ons), I was not too fond of Teal’c hair. I had already noticed RDA’s screen time was changing, and just figured he was tired and wanted to step back or quit the show. SG-1 had been on the air for many years so I understood if that is what he wanted to do. I thought Teal’c hair was signaling the show was continuing to change.

    And finally,
    @ Tim Hendrix – your comment had me in tears. I am so sorry you lost your Rhet. I was present, holding my last dog, as they put her to sleep. It was very hard but I wanted to be there for my baby (my 16 year old baby). My house looked like a doggie nursing home her last few years. But she was worth it. It was 3 years before I could get enough courage to get another dog. During those 3 years my house was quiet, cold, and lifeless. I now have a crazy beagle who is the total opposite of my last dog. She is full of life (and gas) and keeps me wore out. I plan to be there for her last breath too. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this tough time.

  12. @Tim: Sorry to hear about your loss.

    @Randomness: I’m lucky to have a Japanese bakery not too far away that makes Melon Pan. Their Coffee Creme Pan is my favorite. My dog’s, too. I once made the mistake of leaving one on the counter while I was getting ready for work. Never made that mistake again.

  13. Joe i hit up the night market just because you cant anymore. Tried duck and octopus for the first time. The duck was good but really boney, octopus balls were ok i wasnt expecting the texture, soft and chewy similar to a ball of dough. I also picked up what i think is a badass movie. The tv had a clip of some asian guy single handidly taking out about 30 german nazis, i bought the dvd in which the cover actor looked most like him. Then i looked at the back and he was a samuri, although my friend tells me he probably travels time fighting samurai, nazis and what looks to be 20’s gangsters.

  14. Coucou 🙂 ça va ? vous avez passez une bonne journée ça faut plaisir 🙂

    Aujourd’hui c’est la fête des méres en France 🙂 !

    Avez vous déjà goûté de la poutine? vous trouvez ça bon?

    Les deux vendeurs de T-shirt on l’air vraiment FUN!

    Bonne journée!

  15. Joe – Zero Hour has always been one of my fav episodes. It’s kinda funny, but I had just finished watching it right before reading this blog entry. Loved the twists at the end. Giving Baal the burnt out ZPM was brilliant.

    And for the record, I thought the flame thrower was just right for trying to burn the plant without destroying the walls, wiring, ducts, and other conduits that line the walls of the SGC. Anything stronger and you would end up having to rewire the whole joint. 😉

    Is it possible for you to craft an internet appropriate description of why Jessica Steen didn’t continue on Atlantis as Dr. Weir? I realize that it may be a sensitive issue that possibly shouldn’t be discussed in this medium, but could you offer a genre of issue like “contract issue” or “personality conflict” or “team chemistry” or “Our view of the Weir character evolved into something different and we didn’t think Jessica was the right fit any longer” that would at least partially satisfy my curiosity about what happened?

  16. Hi Joe

    Ahh, Season 8, the best SG-1 season. Love them all. Can’t wait ’til you get to describing Moebius 1&2.


  17. So sorry to hear about your dog, Tim. I’m going to echo what everyone else has said on the subject and say don’t wait too long to find a new friend. You might feel disloyal, or that you need to grieve, but that is just prolonging the pain and loneliness, and your dog wouldn’t have wanted you to be unhappy. There is another dog out there who needs a home, and you can brighten each other’s lives.

  18. @Joe: Sorry your burger place closed. I just hate it when you find a place you love, get your taste buds all ready for a fabulous meal there, and head there for dinner only to see a CLOSED or OUT OF BUSINESS sign on the door. That cookie does look good – and big enough for a party of four!

  19. Shouldn’t your t-shirt say “I heart notes!” I was glad to see early Glittah Teal’c give way to Rocawear Teal’c. It showed the character’s growth over the years; his early sparkly days was when he was still learning to be free, and the later Western wear (and less guyliner) showed he’d embraced the human side. Can’t imagine any other guy looking so bad ass in an entire Sephora aisle of makeup.

  20. Hi Joe

    In season 8 episode 18, when daniel is in the diner together with Oma Desala, he aks who the people around them are and Oma answers ” others”, daniel aks if they are ancients and Oma anwers: “some of them” , that means that there must be other asended Races besides the ancients, since the the Ori didnt know of the existence of the milky way at that point cause the anicients hided it.
    So my question is who those other ascended races are and if you had any plans Of involving them in future episodes of SGU? Maybe as part of the “final Destiny” ?

    Thanks (:


  21. @Till
    @So my question is who those other ascended races are and if you had any plans Of involving them in future episodes of SGU?

    That would of been a great way to end SGU, have Destiny reach a final location, say an isolated planet in the middle of nowhere at the edge of the known universe, have them explore the planet, maybe try and find clues as to how to return back to Earth and complete the mission, have a scene with the beings, say the first race in the universe greeting the crew of Destiny and returning them to Earth.

    From a creative standpoint, that would be an incredible way to end the show if done correctly.

    Though I guess, if someone were to make a new Stargate series using the already established canon, you could just end it with the gate opening and the Destiny crew stepping through. That would be a Deus ex Machina end 😛

  22. Hello Joe !

    A quick question does not concern you, but that appeals to your knowledge.

    Do you think the second most lucrative franchise from MGM (Stargate – lol) can be put aside long ?

    Thanks !

  23. I thought season 8 of SG-1 really proved that Jack was smart, even though he played dumb. Thanks to the writers for that. Great episodes, all four.

    Fig jam on a burger? Really? I used to make fig jam, but I only put it on toast. Worth a try, I guess.

  24. June 3, 2011: I still think y’all should have let Teal’c have the cornrows that Chris was sporting in Feb. 04.

    Merciful heavens, has it really been SEVEN years since I went all the way to Barcelona to meet Judge?

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