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…
THE SCOURGE (917)
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.
ARTHUR’S MANTLE (918)
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…