Hey, look who it is!  It’s Michael Shanks (Stargate’s Dr. Daniel Jackson, Smallville’s Hawkman) who’s in town shooting Saving Hope with Erica Durance (Smallville’s Lois Lane).  Michael texted me last week to let me know he’d be in Toronto and that I should set aside a night for catching up.  He suggested drinks, I countered with dinner, and we ended up covering both.  He left it up to me to choose the restaurant and, after much consideration over countless choices, I ended up going with my go-to place: Scarpetta.  There we enjoyed a great meal and an even better conversation, three and a half hours spent talking about past and future projects, life on the home front and, of course, Stargate. About the only topic we didn’t cover was the Vancouver Canucks.  I figured it was too soon.

After Toronto, Michael heads back to Vancouver (lucky!) to work on yet another project.  It’s great to hear he’s been keeping busy between work and family (he received text updates on the latter from the lovely Lexa).  He knows T.O. fairly well – apparently having lived here at one point – and assures me that once the summer events kick into full swing, I’ll be much happier here.  Yep, as soon as they finish with all that construction, I’m sure I’ll be a lot happier.

Orecchiette with fava beans and mint.
The spaghetti with tomato and basil.

At one point, we were discussing the fantastic Alaina Huffman (who, coincidentally, I had dinner at Scarpetta with just last week).  Michael explained how, during one of her convention appearances, he had sensed her nervousness and sought to put her at ease, reassuring her that, despite the online vitriol directed at SGU, the con fans would be polite to her.  They were sitting on the panel when Michael said something to her along the lines of: “You look worried.”  At which point some fan in the front row piped up with: “She should be.”

Oooh, scary.  Please, angry fan – don’t lasso me with your Dr. Who scarf!

Heard this story before from three other sources, but thought it warranted repeating since there are a few doubters out there.

Speaking of cons, I finally cleared up a mystery that has dogged fandom for years: The Mystery of the Script Surprise.  It went something like this: the SG-1 (minus RDA) are onstage at a con preparing to auction off a signed SG-1 shooting script when Amanda flips through the pages and has something catch her eye. She gives it a quizzical look, then shows it to Michael who seems equally mystified. Ultimately, they tear out the curious page, toss it, and auction off the script. This odd incident has given rise to conspiracy theories, conjecture and countless rumors.  What WAS on that mysterious page? Some say it was the offensive ramblings of some embittered actor.  Others say it was a set of incantations I had scribbled into the margins in a failed bid to curse the winning bidder.  Still others claim it contained the alternate ending to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows in which Snape is redeemed through a final heroic act and it is revealed Dumbledore faked his own death.  Alas, it was none of the above.  At first, when I asked him about it, Michael drew a blank.  And then, casting his mind back, he remembered: nothing anywhere near as exciting.  It was actually personal information in the form of a director’s contract that had been mistakenly included along with the script. Damn.  And I was really pulling for Snape!

Uh oh.

Anyway, after dinner, we grabbed a seat in the lounge and reminisced some more.  Even though I’ve known Michael for years, I never really had the opportunity to sit down and talk to him one on one until last night, and it was great to get his perspective on his time with the franchise, from the early years through the controversial mid-stretch to the fun and incredibly satisfying final two seasons (and on this we are in total agreement).  It was a terrific night.

So terrific, in fact, that we’re doing it again on Monday, hopefully, this time, with Paul, Rob, and Marty G.

On the Transporter production – Finally!  Movement on episode 10! Look at how happy Steve is!  We actually got around to spinning his story and breaking it, beating out the teaser and two and a half acts before being distracted by one of those massive conference calls where no one can hear anyone else but ultimately culminates in everyone agreeing on the information already outlined in previous emails.

Today’s Bento Breakfast…

Akemi schools me on the finer points of cute meals by informing me that the face on the left is female because – of course – she has rosey cheeeks.

And a final point of interest.  It’s been a while since we’ve brushed my pug Maximus (pictured in this blog’s banner).  How long?

THIS long!

Tomorrow, I reveal the three finalists in the “Name Trevor’s Baby Contest” after which YOUR VOTES will decide the name of my assistant’s newborn.

And, finally, if you’re thinking of taking part in July’s Book of the Month Club discussion, pick up and read volume 1 of Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth…

If you’re not thinking about it – well, start thinking about it.  It’ll only take you a couple of hours to read!

Then, prepare your questions for author Jeff Lemire.  He’ll be joining us next week for the discussion.

39 thoughts on “June 29, 2011: Dinner and drinks with Hawkman! Episode 10 on track! Bento Breakfast! And a Sweet Tooth reminder!

  1. > once the summer events kick into full swing, I’ll be much happier here.
    > Yep, as soon as they finish with all that construction

    Sorry to break it to you, but Toronto has two seasons: Winter and Roadwork.

  2. Thanks for the pics of Michael…he’s looking great as always…very “Toronto Suave”..


  3. Without anonymity, people tend to not be as rude. Still, that anyone could be rude to Alaina Huffman of all people… I was just thinking the other day that just a little less than a year ago there was a Stargate con in Minneapolis. It was short notice, so it was a small gathering. I was thrilled to meet Alaina and Brian Smith – they were really gracious and incredibly sharp. I told my husband that it’s actors like them that make being a science fiction fan rewarding.

  4. Michael Shanks did a fantastic job in “Burn Notice” as well. So good that fans kept asking if maybe Victor (his character) hadn’t really died after all. But alas, in this interview the show’s creator Matt Nix explains why he can’t bring Victor back, no matter how cool he was: http://www.aoltv.com/2011/06/24/burn-notice-creator-matt-nix-interview/ (see the very end of the interview).

    Damn it.

    I’m going to have to check out “Saving Hope.”

  5. Wow, thanks Joe for sharing, as always…it was great to see and hear the latest on Michael…I’m going to watch RRH just to see him…Joe, was the restaurant busy on a Tuesday night?

    Thanks so much for the birthday wishes, it was grand.


  6. RE Alaina Huffman:
    I guess I’m missing something, because I can’t think of anything that Alaina might have done to cause someone to think that she should be worried…. unless it was one of the characters she played in a show… Really?!? Whichever one they mean, it’s just a show… get over it.

    RE Michael
    You’re looking great. I like to see actors who like what they’re doing for a living, then go home and tend to the family. You and Lexa are class acts and best wishes to both of you.

    RE SG1
    “..to the fun and incredibly satisfying final two seasons (and on this we are in total agreement).”
    Indeed.. I also agree. I wish we could hear a little more about Chris Judge, Ben Browder and Claudia Black and what they’re doing these days.

    RE Stargate SG1 – Emancipation
    I saw that episode this week again and I don’t mind saying that it was very enjoyable. I don’t know what the fuss is about people saying it was not a good episode, other than not having too much action. But you know, when you travel through the stargate and see different worlds and societies, I would expect that type of situation to happen in one way or another. … I really miss that show.

    RE Stargate (original movie)
    I saw it for probably the 5th or 6th time and still enjoyed it, past my bedtime… Viveca Lindfors can say so much with her expression… what a great actress. And the stargate…. what a concept! Wouldn’t it be great if there was a show about the stargate!!

  7. Very cool to see Michael! Hope everything goes well with Saving Hope.

    Never, never understood all the online diatribe and rudeness. If you don’t like a show, don’t watch it. I’ve done that plenty of times in my life. Life is too short to be nasty about a tv show.

    For anyone wondering about our job saga, no, hubby hasn’t heard anything yet. In fact, we’re thinking about making the big leap and going to a bigger state where we have family for him to look. There’s just nothing here in his field.

    Hope everyone has a great evening!!!

  8. It’s always great to see Michael…he looks like he is doing well and keeping busy…and really that is a Tribble you found in the vent, right?

  9. Good one, Gracey! (I was “Star Trek” when it wasn’t cool…)

    Joan001, Chris Judge and Alexis Cruz are both on Facebook (official fan pages) and Twitter. Both are new to Twitter, so be gentle! Don’t know about Browder or Black.

    Shanks’ FB and Twitter presence is courtesy of the Michael Shanks Online fan website. Lexa Doig does not Tweet as often as in previous years, but I’ll drop her a line complimenting her good taste in young men. (Shanks is looking like a teenager. Joe, you can tell him the Texan lady from Barcelona said so.)

  10. i’ve never heard that story about the script before.

    and gracey is right; it’s not fur from maximus’ brushing, it’s a tribble! get rid of it quick! or it will get into the dog food & you’ll have 500 by morning.

    if you could remind mr. shanks about the questions sent into his site, that would be nice. or maybe he could do an Q & A here. (can’t recall if he did that)

  11. Here’s hoping you can get Shanks and other SG alumni to guest star on Transporter! You had transporters in Atlantis, that should count for some kind of tie in, right?

  12. Thanks for sharing, and for Mr. Shanks to permit you to share with us. For all your grumping you’re beginning to sound like you’re having fun in Toronto. The only downside I see to everything is that we, the viewers, will have to wait so long to see what it is you’re slaving over. Can’t wait to see the three names that get the nod, and for voting for the most outragious of them.

  13. Thanks so much for the dinner recounting and pictures! I got to spend an hour with Michael last year, but I had to pay and there were 9 other ladies there. ha. He was awesome, so engaging and cynical, but in a good way. 🙂

    I can’t believe you guys discussed the infamous script incident from what, 2002? But, I have a follow-up question, if it please the court. The reason fans thought there was something nefarious on the page was the reactions of the actors. According to the lore, Michael was upset, Amanda comforted him, and Chris started ranting about how a certain actor was never going to be seen again and was “no Michael Shanks”. Anyway it did become one of the great mysteries of early fandom, so it’s cool to hear a more gentle explanation.

  14. Shanks is looking really slim! Handsome as ever 🙂 Glad he’s keeping busy and you two had a change to sit down and actually talk. Hope to hear good things about Monday’s dinner, too!

  15. Hi Joe,

    Long time MIA here – long diabetic story, longer recovery, but things are looking up – especially when I tune back in and am greeted with Michael’s smiling visage. Oh, how I miss Stargate – ‘course I’m watching “The Storm” as I type, thank you Netflix Streaming (too lazy to keep switching DVDs right now, but will have to later in order to watch with the commentaries again).

    Love the Bentos, Akemi is so creative! And I agree with Archersangel, I think it’s a Tribble; beware!

    Smiles, Julie

    @PBmom – Hi! *waves*

    @Das – Why don’t Wraith talk to their food?

    A. They used to, but it got old, real fast!
    (from Fandomatic’s Wraith Handbook)

  16. Thanks so much for the pics of Michael….when Lexa was here at a con Michael was continuely texting her…so sweet…

    And LOL about the contract page…thank god Amanda spotted it! very embarrassing.

    Kriss 🙂


    You speak of Snape as if he was not redeemed. He was… his killing of Dumbledore was part of a larger plan by Dumbledore himself. He was redeemed after his death when it was revealed that he essentially took the guilt bullet and pretended to be bad when it was all part of Dumbledore’s larger plan.

  18. RE Alaina Huffman: Wow. It’s kind of difficult to comprehend some fans these days. They seem to be unaware of the possibility of not watching a show if you don’t like it. It should have been as simple as it sounds. She’s been in one of my favorite TV shows as far as I’m concerned and she’s done a very good job.

    It’s so nice to see Michael Shanks again. I’ve lost touch with Smallville at some point. I’d have carried on if I knew he was in it. And it’s so nice to see that you’ve returned to posting some food pictures. The orecchiette looks delicious despite the fact that I’m allergic to fava. The tomat5o and basil pasta did too but there’s a home cooked feel about the other dish.

    Best thing to do is to read your blogs with a full stomach. 🙂

  19. Coucou 🙂 comment allez vous?

    Waaaouuuu vous avez vu Micheal!!! Moi aussi 🙂 et il m’a fait un calin ♥ ! Superbe ces photos mais je trouve que Micheal a un peu maigrit ;)..Micheal pourrait jouer dans “Transporter” ?

    Je suis impatiente de voir le dernier film d’HP!!!!

    Gros bisou!!!

  20. Ooo, I think I might even have time to read the BOTM this month. Hopefully one of the comic stores here Down Under will have it in stock!

    (Long time, no comment, sorry about that).

  21. Waves to JulieAloha!

    Gilder’s is correct, M. Shanks looks great! I think he lost some weight. What are the projects he is currently working on? Let us know, and I’ll be sure to tune in.

    It does look like a Tribble (gracey) 😀 . That is enough hair to make another dog!

    Please let Akemi know that we appreciate her Bento breakfasts! There is no way I’m spending that much time on hubby’s breakfast. She must care about you a lot. (or is really bored 😉 )

    It’s my B-day today! All this week I’ve been feeling achy and stiff. Not today! I woke up with a headache, grabbed the aleve and swam a mile at the Y. Feeling pretty good. I’m sure the feeling will end once I comprehend just how close to 50 I am OR when the Aleve wears off 😉 .

    I’ll look up Sweet Tooth! I must have missed that post in the land of no Wifi/internet.

  22. No ebook version of Sweet Tooth at Kindle, Sony or ibooks! My dance card is pretty full but I’ll see if we can swing by the book store this weekend.

  23. You should send these cute oatmeal pics to the Quaker Oats folks (or the Bob’s Red Mill folks) so they can put Akemi’s creations on their packaging. So cool to see Michael Shanks on the blog, the food looked so good.

    Rude con fans, ugh. Gotta say I didn’t hear any rude questions at Dragon-Con, them southern folks are awful friendly. It’s always the folks who think that the show is real and that those people really are stuck on a starship far out in space.

  24. @ ganthetjr
    SPOILER ALERT<<<<<<<<

    It HELPS if you put a lot of spaces… or better yet not even post such things. While I guess most of us have read the series, you just really blew it for those who hadn't.

    MaggieMayDay, he posted pics for you, lol. Not fangirl shots, but at least pics.

    Now if Mr Mallozzi would clear up his first saying there was never a conflict that he was aware of, then that they buried the hatchet, we could put all things to rest. (Tho I had never heard of the script thing but I had heard of the jerkwad rude comment to Alaina.)

    I am shocked, shocked I say, that you needed Akemi to explain which was female! Obvious distinction! Don't mind him, Akemi!

    How is Jelly doing?

  25. Thats so cool! I also saw SG-1’s final 2 years as monumental; its why SG-1 remains the favorite among fans, it continued to reinvigorate the story without a problem and never got stale. And just when you thought it was over in season 8, a whole new adventure opened up afterwards.

    heres an interesting article about soccer and divorce rates:


  26. @Shiny – great idea.
    Am not sure if Quaker makes/sells steel cut oats; only see rolled oats from them. Perhaps Bob’s Red Mill produces that.
    McCanns does..
    These take forever to cook…us “instant meal people” would need lots of patience. Akemi is a goddess of patience!

    Joe has made reference to his oatmeal being steel cut.
    Akemi’s creations would be great marketing for the steel cut folks.

  27. Hi Joe,

    I love the whole SGU cast, a friendly and generous group of people to all the fans. To hear how a few of them behave like that is sad to hear. I really miss SGU and Stargate in general.

    Little request or suggestion.
    Apropos Harry Potter and Snape, would you mind to write a blog entry dedicated to the Potter series? I would love to hear your thoughts on certain characters, story developments and such, from another writer point of view. And with the final movie coming out in July, it seems to be fitting.
    IMO HP and Stargate are a amazingly cool combination. To bad that it all ends 2011.

  28. Wonderful pictures, yay! Fangrrlish enough for me, thanks.

    The oatmeal needs speech bubbles! “I’m so happy to be headed to Joe’s tummy!”

  29. So someone was being hostile towards a member of the SGU cast at a con? That’s kinda pathetic, if anything the cast aren’t to blame for a show getting cancelled. If anything the cast of a show are just as helpless as the fans when it comes to a show being renewed, or what effect a show may have on other shows associated with it.

    If anything if you’re going to appear anywhere you need a thicker skin, you shouldn’t worry what people think of you, and if anyones negative, you put them back down in their place and move on.

  30. Hello from the UK, I know it’s a bit old, but why can’t SGU be like Firefly and do a Serenity? ( I know I’m a geek but I’ve nothing else to do as my boyfriend’s fishing in France)

    Luv ya xxx

  31. @Jane
    The set is beeing auctioned off i think so it would be verry expencive to make it allover for a movie 🙁

  32. Hi Joseph,

    Where can I buy/download the official version of the song played at the end of the last episode of SGU? This was the final song here which someone kindly uploaded:


    I think it’s by Joel Goldsmith. Is there going to be an SGU soundtrack released? There’s some really nice songs played throughout SGU episodes. I know at least 23 people would be interested in it (from posting on Reddit, there’s bound to be many more interested).

    Many thanks,

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