As I said in a previous post, when it comes to preparing a meal, Akemi places as much emphasis on appearance as she does flavor.  Pictured above is one of her latest creations, inspired by the 30 bite salad at Tokyo’s Chez Tomo.  Her version is closer to 20 bites but, I’m sure, equally laborious.

On to my memories of Stargate: SG-1’s ninth season…

I was vacationing in Hong Kong when I received an email from Executive Producer Robert Cooper informing me that SciFi was considering picking Stargate: SG-1 up for a ninth season.  The only catch was Richard Dean Anderson’s departure left a big hole in the show and the network wanted to know who were planning to bring in to fill it. Well, as far as I was concerned, it was a no-brainer.  “Get Ben Browder,”I emailed back.  I loved Ben Browder’s work on Farscape and came away deeply impressed with the guy following our brief meeting at the Saturn awards years earlier.  Turns out Executive Producer Brad Wright and Ben had met at a recent SciFi party and hit it off as well – so the wheels started turning.

By the time I got back from Asia, Ben was all but signed and Robert informed me that they were considering bringing in not one but TWO new characters for the show’s ninth season: Ben’s character would be joined by Vala Mal Doran played by Claudia Black.  It was going to be a Farscape reunion and I couldn’t have been happier.  Unfortunately, the network put the brakes on that idea for exactly the same reason: it was going to be a Farscape reunion.  And so, Ben was signed for that season’s full twenty episode run while Claudia was signed for a seven episode arc.  But when those first few episodes delivered, the network quickly changed its mind and requested MORE VALA!  Unfortunately, given the number of scripts already written (or in the process of being written), it wasn’t a request we could honor – but we were able to bring her back for two more episodes at season’s end.  And, of course, there was always the possibility that in the likely event we got a record-breaking tenth season pick-up (!), she could be back as a regular…

AVALON 1 (901)

One of the things that stood out for me about Ben Browder’s first episode was Ben behind the scenes.  While he was great onscreen, he was equally great off-screen as well – passing on R&R in his trailer in favor of staying on set to deliver his off-camera lines.  He was happy to be on the show and eager to help out in any way he could.  The guy was committed.  How committed?  Well, for starters, by the time he’d hit Vancouver, he’d already watched every episode of SG-1 (eight seasons worth!) in preparation.

My only regret with regard to the Cameron Mitchell character was the way he was introduced – specifically, the fact that he was brought in to lead SG-1.  Only problem was SG-1 already had a leader in Samantha Carter.  Well, theoretically she was except that, by the time season nine got underway, SG-1 was no more. With the defeat of the go’auld, the team members had gone their separate ways.  And so, it fell on Mitchell to get the band back together.  My writing partner Paul flagged the potential problem in the writers’ room, arguing that giving someone else command of the team (or merely suggesting as much) was disrespectful to the character Carter.  A heated debate ensued and, in the end, a compromise was reached.  Carter and Mitchell would share command team.  Which, in retrospect, did little to quell some of the angry fan response.

AVALON II (902)

Claudia Black demonstrated her talent for comedy in previous episodes, but this one showcases her considerable dramatic range as well.  I remember watching this episode thinking “Damn.  She WOULD make a great series regular!”.  And the onscreen chemistry between her and Michael was electric.

A bit of controversy surrounding this episode’s fiery death scene.  It was pretty damn horrific – the original edit even more so – and we went back and forth on how much we wanted to show.  In the end, I’m surprised that the network allowed us to show as much as we did.  It was by far the most unsettling scene in my 11+ years on Stargate.

ORIGIN (903)

With Jack O’Neill transferred to Washington, the SGC found itself under the command of General Hank Landry played by veteran actor Beau Bridges.  Beau reminded me a lot of Robert Picardo (Richard Woolsey) – both were very successful, incredibly experienced, and always made it a point to come by our offices to run prospective dialogue changes by us rather than simply surprising us in the dailies.  Like Bob, Beau would always make the time to come up and see us to request even the tiniest of changes.  Both of them were class acts and I have nothing but terrific memories of working with them.

THE TIES THAT BIND (904)

This episode, originally titled “Treasure! Treasure! Treasure!”, ran long and, as a result, I had to cut one of my favorite exchanges, part of the scene where an undercover Mitchell encounters alien mercenaries Tenat and Jup:

Tenat eyes Mitchell.

TENAT: Your name?

MITCHELL: Cam Mitchell, bounty hunter.

TENAT: Never heard of you.

MITCHELL: I try to keep a low profile, let my work speak for itself. Don’t like to brag, but I’ve captured some of the most dangerous criminals around.

TENAT: Such as?

MITCHELL: Well … Grabthar the Hammer.

TENAT: Never heard of him.

MITCHELL: The Olsen Twins of Omega 3? Moesha the Vile?

TENAT: No.

MITCHELL: Trebek the Destroyer?

Jup pipes up –

JUP: Him I’ve heard of.

This was one of my favorite scripts of my 11+ year Stargate run.  I loved the opportunity to write an all-out comic episode – and greatly appreciated the fact that I was supported by actors who could deliver the funny.  From our series regulars to this episode’s guest stars, all did a terrific job on The Ties That Bind.

Another scene that I had to cut at the script stage sought to answer the question many curious fans had been asking for years: “What happens if you need to go to the bathroom on a cargo ship?”.  In the scene, Jup is at the ship’s controls when the door behind him slides open and Tenat enters, pulling up his pants.  Tenat “flushes” by initiating the rings that transport away whatever he just left behind in the back.  Question answered.  And then my fellow producers made me cut it. sad

One of the many amusing memories of this episode concerns guest star Wallace Shawn (Vizzini in The Princess Bride.  Inconceivable!). Prior to his arrival, I was told he was very excited to be working on the show because he was, in fact, a huge fan of SG-1.  So, on the day of his costume fitting, I went downstairs to say hello and welcome him to Stargate.  “So, you’re familiar with the show,”I said.  “Oh, no, I’ve never seen it,”he informed me.  “I don’t even own a t.v.”.

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Shannon
Shannon

The most interesting part of reading these flashbacks (okay, well, most of them are interesting in their own right) is that by having come on-board to the fandom later on (and even later, the internet fandom), I missed so much controversy.

I always figured Sam was cool with not having command because a) she’s an officer and a lady b) less paperwork = more time to travel out to DC to see a certain General we all know she’s with. Win-win IMO.

Aureah
Aureah

Hi Joe smile

Could you please tell more about SGA Extinction ?
Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease ?!?!?!
Pretty Please ?! smile

by
Aureah

majorsal
majorsal

joe said: […] A heated debate ensued and, in the end, a compromise was reached. Carter and Mitchell would share command team. Which, in retrospect, did little to quell some of the angry fan response.

the shared command idea happened *after* the fans got upset. razz

on a shipper note: this would have been another opportunity to confirm sam and jack being together. having sam coming back to sg1, but not wanting to b/c she’s married to jack now and wants a more stable and non threatening life… it would have worked.

Bryan M. White
Bryan M. White

Hello.

Love the Galaxy Quest reference!!!

Best wishes,

Bryan

Randomness
Randomness

Speaking about the start of Season 9 introducing Mitchells character, I must admit I wasn’t entirely sold on his background(Him fighting in Antartica) however given the fact the show was on its 9th season, benefit of the doubt had to come into play, because obviously his character had no prior build up before appearing onscreen.

For me, seeing Mitchell prior to Season 9, if only randomly, or in passing would of been better, however budget I would imagine, and a reason for him to be there would of been I guess hard.

I think it paid off, Browder was starting to make the role his own, its a shame he wasn’t introduced sooner, like in Season 8 as a potential SG1 leader.

I felt more dissapointed for him if anything.

Anyway did anyone else watch Red Faction yesterday? Its a very good movie, if you’re a Brian J Smith fan he performed wonderfully, ideally making my point that he would of made a good SG team leader had he appeared in SG1/SGA for whatever reason prior to SGU.

If Red Faction does well for Syfy it’l be made into a tv series, thus you’l be seeing Brian J Smith every week lol

He really does impress me, such a talented actor with a desire to perform, as a lot of people noted, he does a lot of off camera work, which is pretty amazing.

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

It looks like tic-tac-toe, with food!

Akemi is very talented! smile

das

Lisa R
Lisa R

Akemi, I just have to compliment you on being so creative. That looks lovely.

Joe, Season 9 of SG-1 was certainly a change. It took me a bit to get used to, but I got to where I enjoyed it. In Avalon 1, I liked how Cameron was so fascinated by the stargate. I know he was military, but it was all so new to him, and I liked how Ben Browder portrayed that–kind of like the viewers’ eyes in to the world of the stargate. At least, that’s what I thought anyway.

Have a good night!!!

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

I second it, Akemi is very talented!

Das: I just got new rx glasses. Let’s compare on who is more blind. Mine is (Left)+.25 (sph), -2.25(cyl), 015(axis) add +1.5; (R) +0.5(sph), -3.00(cyl), 158(Axis) and add +1.5 . Personally, after our numbers, Mr. M. should feel darn lucky he just needs a little Optic Rx help!

I’m back home! It feels good to have a keyboard again. The ipad turned out to be a ebook reader without wifi. I had to use my windows phone the whole time. However, it does Flash, so I didn’t miss any videos!

Mr. M.,: I loved all the episodes with Ben and Claudia! Except Claudia was so good on Farscape, that I wasn’t expecting her to be that funny. I kept waiting for that tough Aeryn Sun to punch somebody.

crayonbaby
crayonbaby

You’ll have to tell us the reasoning behind the 30 bite salad. Do you have to eat them in a certain order to get the full effect? Just wondering.

Three more of my favorite episodes. The Ties That Bind is one of my favorites because it really was damn funny.

noelm
noelm

As much as I am a fangirl (fanjirl?) of Ben Browder, I have to admit that the Cam character did not work well for me on SG-1. And I’m not sure why. Cam just seemed … too perfect? Not enough of a dark side? I really don’t know. Maybe it did have something to do with feeling that the Carter character was slighted. Now I want to go back and watch season 9!

Erick Brockway

Well Joe, I just finished SG1 (via Netflix), and I have to say the series finale was genius.
I’ve seen the SGA series (also via Netflix), and even tried to watch SGU. The latter I got to Season 1 Episode 5 and the audio/video track was out of synch, which made it unwatchable (maybe by now Netflix has this fixed).
Sad to see SciFi (SyFy, whatever that is) change to basically a TNT format with wrestling and friggin’ vampire shows, but there it is, I guess.
Also sad to have Atlantis stuck in SF Bay with now TWO Stargates sitting on Earth and whatever bugs that throws to the SGC, but I guess that’s what we have Kindles for, to get beyond all that.
Isn’t quite the same, so I hope you and your people find a way to get ONE more movie cranked out.

Ponytail
Ponytail

Akemi is awesome! I believe she is designing your menu for the Japanese restaurant you need to open one day.

I was a huge Farscape fan. The sexual tension between Ben Browder and Claudia Black reminded me of the fun 80’s show Moonlighting with Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd. I loved the interaction between Aeryn and John on Farscape. I thought it was a little weird when they were together again on SG-1. Took me a while to get use to it.

“many curious fans had been asking for years: “What happens if you need to go to the bathroom on a cargo ship?”.

That reminds me…I am also a huge NASCAR fan. Huge. One year during a fan Q&A with several drivers, a fan asked race car driver Greg Biffle (for the billionith time) “what happens when you have to go to the bathroom in the car?” Greg said, one time, right at the end of a very long race, a big wreck happened, and they threw a red flag, which means all the drivers stop their cars on the track together while they clean up the wreck and clear the racetrack. Greg said he had to go to the bathroom really bad. So he went. On the floorboards. A couple minutes later, his Crew Chief radio’s Greg and says, “Greg it looks like some fluid is leaking from underneath your car.” Greg just says, “Oh, okay.” The fans were dying with laughter…

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

@ Tam Dixon – Your astigmatism (cyl) is worse, it seems, but your sphere numbers indicate that you are, what? Far-sighted? (I think the plus numbers are for hyperopia, while the negative numbers are for myopia.) Do you need glasses to see things far away?

das

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Also, am I the only one that sees muppet-like googly eyes with bushy brows in Akemi’s okra creation on the plate above?

das

Sg1efc
Sg1efc

“What happens if you need to go to the bathroom on a cargo ship?”.

Lots of laughs. smile

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Joe, I’m sorry for my ignorance and bad memory, but can you kindly remind us again how to pronounce Akemi’s name? A-chem-ee? Ah-chem-ee? Ah-key-me? Ack-E-me? Gah, I just don’t know! Please help! Thank you. smile

das

sparced
sparced

all this SG1 reminiscing makes me want to watch the show again. the behind the scene anecdotes just add that nice little touch to a great show

archersangel

i was wondering; did beau bridges went through the usual audition process or what? the same with louis gossett jr. i think of them as “movie actors” & was surprised to see them on tv.

is it true if SG-1 ended after season 8 there would’ve a show called stargate command? (can’t recall if you mentioned that) would any of the old characters have been included? and would the ori have been the big, bad guys on that?

Shawna Buchanan

Oh, I’m sad that scene got cut. Was it actually filmed, though? Could it be on a deleted scenes somewhere? My favorite is “Grabthar the Hammer”.

Michelle
Michelle

To Majorsal, your marriage scenario would have been my nightmare and the end to any SG1 viewing, hee.

To Randomness, it’s “would have” not “would of”. You can remember it by knowing “of” isn’t a verb.

To Joe, was it always going to be the case that whoever was lead of SG1 would also be number 1 in the credits? I think the long-term cast earned a shot at that spot, regardless if they were the archeologist or some other position on the team. smile

Do you think it would have been easier for fans to accept Mitchell and Landry if it were clear where Jack was going?

Randomness
Randomness

@dasNdanger

Pretty sure Akemi is said as Ah Keh Meh. That said its not really a name you would hear enough to get it phonetically correct lol

Anyway I guess no one else managed to catch Red Faction when it aired, judging by the current responses.

Complete cast list here
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1693872/

Ideally this could be a good SGU replacement, well if you want Scifi with action, heres hoping it gets picked up into a full series.

Did you have a chance to watch Red Faction Origins yet Joe?

PBMom

Akemi is very creative. Almost so pretty you’d hate to eat the food.

I loved Ben Browder’s character. Reminds me of Eli Wallace. Cam showed the wonder and amazement and was still counting how many times he’d been through the Stargate, etc. I felt that it helped to get the viewer excited. Having the team split up and doing their own thing & having to get the team back together I think was great because RDA was not going to be a regular anymore.

Definitely the scene where Vala has switched bodies with that other character on the Ori planet and then burned to death was graphic in terms of what we had ever seen on Stargate.

I don’t think there was any episode from Seasons 9 or 10 that I did not fully enjoy.

Anaria
Anaria

Okay, that answers the toilet question about the cargo ships, but what about jumpers? They don’t have rings, and sometimes people spend a lot of time in them, for example in ‘Midway’ after the midway station blows up.
(I have been wondering about this for a long time. Weird, I know. smile )

Also the very beginning is all we will get from ‘Extinction’ or you’ll continue with that?
(Please continue smile )

E
E

Ugh, how much I dislike that Carter didn’t get to command the team. Does shared command even work in the military? And why did Mitchell have to be the lead? He didn’t have the 8 years and counting experience with Stargate and off-world missions. Because SG-1 being lead by a woman wasn’t cool enough? This is Carter we’re talking about. I just don’t understand reasons behind this.

E
E

Sure, Carter was the lead of SG-1 in season 8, but then we barely went off-world, and more stories took place on Earth and at the SGC. And Jack was still the leading man.

Not that I want to sounds feminist or something, but it feels like although Carter so deserved to be in command in S9-10, you (writers/network/whoever in charge) played it safe with male as the leading character. Please, feel free to correct me. I hope I’m wrong about this and that there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation to this.