Busy-busy on Transporter: The Series.  Notes on episode 2 (Carl’s) and episode 7 (Alexander’s) have slowly started trickling in.  Once I’ve received input from all 4+ players, I’ll jump on the rewrites – just as soon as I’ve finished the rewrite on episode 6 (mine).  Paul continues his pass on episodes 3 (his) and  4 (Carl’s), Alexander presses on with a first draft of episode 9 (his) while we all prepare to spend much of next week breaking episodes 10 (Steve’s), 11 (probably mine), and 12 (probably Paul’s).  Oh, and of course prep continues on episode 1 (Paul’s).  This afternoon, I checked out the auditions for General Weigart.  A couple of good candidates, depending on how we choose to go.  Also perused the Fiona auditions before heading home.  Again, some really interesting possibilities including one that may be too young for the part but would be perfect for a future episode.

Things have been equally busy-busy on the comic book front – though, admittedly, it’s been my editor at Dark Horse (Patrick Thorpe) and artist Garry Brown who’ve been the busy ones.  It’s been nothing short of amazing watching Dark Matter come together from layouts to pencils (so far).  Garry also tried his hand at the cover for issue #1 – with fantastic results.  Patrick forwarded me a pic of the cover colors this morning.  “Whoa!” indeed.

Continuing my reminiscing on Stargate SG-1’s ninth season…


One of the biggest challenges of this episode was the bugs themselves.  In the original draft, they buzz along the ground like a giant moving carpet.  I limited the cutaways to the swarm figuring that, while expensive, it would not be prohibitively so.  The cold reality of the Visual Effects budget hit me like a punch in the face – followed by three swift kicks to the mid-section and the subsequent removal of all the cash in my wallet.  We simply couldn’t afford sweeping bug swarms.  And so, I came up with the idea of having the bugs travel underground which, while not as visually satisfying, lent them a certain creepiness.

One of my favorite guest stars makes a return in this episode as Robert Picardo reprises his role as the insufferable Richard Woolsey.  This, I think, was the first episode I wrote in which I gave the character a little humor – and, as a result, really started to enjoy writing for him.  Sure, he was a stuffed shirt, but he also reveals glimpses of vulnerability that make him amusing, even likable up to a point.  And Bob, of course, did a terrific job of delivering those subtle and, sometimes, not-so-subtle nuances that – like the point late in the episode where SG-1 and the I.O.A. reps are hurrying away from the bugs, only to have Woolsey speed by them, arms madly pumping.


Oh, damn, the whole “out of phase” debate that rears its ugly head whenever we do these types of episodes.  As Paul always points out: “Why don’t they just phase through the floor?”.  While we’ve dealt with some equally far-flung SF notions, Paul always argued that those notions, at the very least, adhered to certain self-contained theoretical laws of physics phasing did not.  The mechanics of gate travel while “out of phase” was another matter entirely.

After Carter explains their situation to Mitchell, he responds with: “That was alternate reality, this is alternate dimension. Hell, all I need is a good time travel adventure and I’ve scored the SG-1 trifecta. ”  He completes the trifecta in the season 10 series finale, Unending.


Actress Claudia Black returns in time for Executive Producer Robert C. Cooper’s directorial debut.  An ambitious episode that delivers action, humor, and patho.  It also marks the introduction of the Ori warship.  My first reaction to the design: “Uh, it looks like a flying toilet seat.”  One of the rare instances where my input was NOT appreciated.


One of my top ten favorite episodes (August 15, 2010: MY Top 10 Favorite Stargate Episodes) owing to the cliffhanger to end all cliffhanger endings: Earth’s battlecruisers and their allied Asgard and Lucian Alliance ships are getting their asses kicked, Daniel and Mitchell aboard a doomed, Korolev, Carter floating alone and vulnerable in space while a pregnant Vala – carrying “the will of the Ori”  – watches it all from her vatange aboard one of the Ori ships.  See ya next season!

On the day we were to shoot the big Mitchell vs. the Black Knight swordfight sequence, it was pouring rain on location.  Most any other actor would have complained, but not Ben Browder.  He embraced the rain and the mud, going all out – stumbling, slipping, falling, rolling – to outstanding effect.  It couldn’t have turned out better had we planned it.  The sequence was mentioned in a piece done by our old buddy, Ross Hull, for the Weather Channel…

30 thoughts on “June 23, 2011: Transporter: The Series! Dark Matter! Stargate SG:1 Season 9!

  1. Wow, just reading that sounds busy. Glad you’re getting to be productive. Camelot was one of my favorite episodes too.

    Have a good evening!!!

  2. “but not Ben Browder. He embraced the rain and the mud, going all out – stumbling, slipping, falling, rolling – to outstanding effect.”

    Yep, he kicked knight-butt. 🙂 And here I thought the rain and mud was part of the script.

    Thanks again for all this behind the scenes info.

  3. The ending of Camelot was really well done, the episode itself was paced well too and lets be honest, the ship battle wasn’t something you’d expect at the end of the episode. It’s like watching something awesome,only for that awesome to be ramped up like 50 notches to incredible!

  4. I always liked the Ori ships. Well, maybe, not *liked*, but they seemed particularly menacing. Something about the almost-casual way that the ship would just cruise along while its main weapon simply sliced another ship in half was just so … evil.

    But maybe that’s just me.

    – KB

  5. I wonder if it had been you instead of Browder rolling in the mud, would you have apprecitated his efforts even more? It’s probably my imgination, but it seems as if you took just a bit too much delight in the extra travails the actors encountered. but loved the report. And glad to see you seem to be having so much fun with all the work landing on your desk. As always, appreciate you taking the time to post, not to mention the work you go through reading comments and doing mailbags.

  6. i liked that line in authur’s mantle, as well as the (non) reaction teal’c had to mitchell just reappearing like he did.

    i noticed the rain in those shots with daniel & the local in camelot

  7. Good ‘ol Ross Hull. Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

    Nice behind the scenes insight. I see producers are asking the same questions as the fans…’But why don’t they phase to the floor’? 🙂

  8. Coucou!
    Comment allez vous?

    Je vois que vous avez beaucoup de travail en ce moment, je suis sûre que vous allez faire quelque chose de super sur cette serie 🙂

    Ahaha oui cette video je l’ai vu des dizaines de fois…ça rappel des souvenirs…alalal stargate ça me manque tellement!

    Camelot est un épisode AWESOME!!! Je l’adore vraiment beaucoup!

    Aller, gros bisous,
    Bon week end!

  9. Joe, really looking forward to Dark Matter! Can’t wait!

    Lots going on in real life – it’s been a rollercoaster. Summer is here so work is insane, and on top of it my dad just got home from the hospital and he’s on this medication that makes him a zombie. It’s only for a week, but not what we need to be dealing with the week before a holiday weekend! My mom is flaking out, my sister is here and doesn’t want to be, and I’m about to clobber our main mechanic. He comes in the office today and – because I asked him for service slips he hadn’t yet turned in – he starts going off on me about how I should be doing the billing – aaarrrgggh! I told him in no uncertain terms that the office is not his concern, that his job is in the field, and that maybe I could get my work done if he GAVE ME HIS BLOODY SERVICE SLIPS! Amazing how quickly he turned into a lamb. 🙂 But still, it’s stress I do not need. So I come home from work, eat dinner, fall asleep watching tv, then wake up at 3:30 am, unable to get back to sleep. The problem is, by 5 am I’m ready for bed again, and it’s totally messing me up. Gonna try to catch another hour and a half, so wish me luck!


  10. “That was alternate reality, this is alternate dimension. Hell, all I need is a good time travel adventure and I’ve scored the SG-1 trifecta. ”

    When we first watched that episode, I was so delighted by that line that we paused and ran the line over and over so I could write it down.

  11. Camelot – One of the best episodes EVER! Love the sword fighting scenes with Cam Mitchell. It was fun watching Ben getting all muddy and fall on his face. I was always amazed how well those fighting scenes came out. Ben certainly was spectacular. Love the space battle scene. The CG was just awesome. The best cliffhanger of SG-1, by far. My jaw dropped watching the Ori ships knock down all the Goa’uld motherships. Then…when the Korolev exploded…I was just in shock. The score for that scene was just incredible. Mr. Goldberg really did an awesome job on that musical score for that scene.

  12. While watching SGA, if it’s an outdoor scene, seems like there was a 50% chance you could see rain in the background.

    (Paul Mullie is soooo handsome)

  13. @ Ponytail – Mebbe that’s why Joe never shares pictures of Paul…he doesn’t want Mullie stealing his limelight. 😉

    Joe, in all seriousness, you look good in that video, too. You really haven’t changed much, if at all, over the years. Probably all that cod sperm and sheep offal you eat. 🙂 Quick question, I know you’re not a big drinker, but have you ever been a smoker?


  14. Hey Joe,

    I ran across this site, something I know you would get a kick out of.

    I got a kick out of it until I realized that this is how Syfy comes up with its “Original” movies.
    “A nanny gives a massage to an incompetent clown in a bowling alley.” Yes, it’s that fantastic.

  15. @ Das – I think Joe looks good in that video (too) because he has a little more weight on him. Joe you don’t need to get so thin. Eat healthy and maintain a good weight, but keep some meat on your bones. (I’d love to wrap my arms around Jason Drop-Dead-Gorgeous Momoa. 😈 )

  16. @ Ponytail – Since I’ve always struggled with weight, I prefer my men skinny! Probably why I think Chris Heyerdahl is so sexy just as himself – he’s nice and thin. Since I was young I’ve always been attracted to waify guys who look like they’re about ready to pass out from malnutrition 😆 …something like this guy, my mental ‘template’ for a young Elric: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v54/dasNdanger/AndrejPejic.jpg

    Of course, he’s a tad young (I think about 20 in that pic), but to me that sort is the epitome of male beauty – not beefy, muscle-y guys. I also like lanky guys who move like a praying mantis…I can’t explain it, I just do!

    And yes…I should probably just keep this all to myself. 😛


  17. @ Das – you have obviously been brainwashed by the Wraith!
    (or Tiny Tim) 😉

  18. @ Ponytail – Guuuh! Tiny Tim! 😆 I am a brave one, fessing up to that crush. 😛 But I also have a thing for Russell Brand, and if you look at Russell, with his ‘praying mantis’ body movements and toothy grin, he reminds me something of Tiny Tim, prettied up with a touch of Johnny Depp. 🙂


  19. That scene where we see the super gate activate is just incredible! If I were to experience that I’d probably start crying or something. It has to be like looking into the eye of the universe or something.

    That said, this seemed to drive home the idea that the Ori were just too strong to be beaten conventionally.

  20. I enjoyed all three of those episodes, but the ending was the outstanding one. And I’m ashamed to admit that I had forgotten John Noble was in that episode. Shame, shame, shame on me. My Fringe buddies would be mortified. That was the episode that contestant winner was in, I think she played his wife.

  21. I really enjoyed watching Ben B. in the sword fight scene. It was choreographed rather nicely using up that 3-d space, not just the back and forth of the old swash buckle duels. In watching the series again from the beginning I have noticed that a lot of outdoor scenes were in the rain like in the episode the Nox. It must have been tricky to get those outdoor scenes done. At least Chris Judge would not need worry about it messing up his hair. Ben seemed to be the total sport going in whole hog. Fun to see Andy Mikita. He was part of the SG crew from the start. The nice thing about having those DVD sets is that you can go back and pick up on stuff you blow past in the first viewing and learn the names and appreciate those who were involved behind the camera’s eye.

    I remember you mentioning the slight debate about the destruction of the off world base when the Krull warriors attacked. I think it can be noted that a bomb offers more destructive force when elevated over the ground than on ground level or in the ground so I did not have any problems with the scenes the way others might have questioned. However, I did have some trouble with the scene when the SGteam tried to stop/capture one on its way to assassinate a Goa’uld that RDA took over the M60 from the soldier next to him. As a highly trained special force member, each soldier is quite proficient at the weapon he holds, also it took Col O’neill out of his overall command position. Also, when Cam was “trying to get the Band back together”, the team had two Colonels. That would be highly unusual. I suppose in the real world O’neill would have been in charge of the SG teams and Carter in charge of all the science studies under the command of General Hammond/Landry. But, to quote a Scrubs episode, “Where’s the Fun.”

    In your discussion of the Deleted scenes from Ripple Effect, the picture from scene 20 reminded me of Worm Hole Extreme. Wish you would have left in the “What the frell” line. I would have liked to have seen the deleted scene you described in the episode. I think it speak to the creativity by the writer and directors in telling the story. But as you noted in an earlier commentary about wanting to add the deleted scene to the DVD, Robert Cooper replied to you that there was a reason they were cut. But the recorded medium is the ideal place to have that deleted material added back into the ep. Wish there were companies willing to do that.

    Sounds like you are starting to settle into YYZ with the acquisition of new restaurants. I will need to make a new list of places I would like to check out some to treat myself.

  22. Just finished season 9 for the first time. Camelot and the sword fight was indeed great, Ben was a massive breath of fresh air to the show (as was Claudia – Farscape FTW) and its a shame that he only got two seasons.

    Ben so grabbed me I could easily watch the ep on my own and then later with my wife, not something I managed easily with earlier seasons

    I liked how the stakes had risen in season 9, there were consequences and costs to the war against the Ori. Can’t wait to see what season 10 brings. (except the knowledge that the show is rapidly coming to an end)

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