Continuing my memories of SG-1’s 200th episode…
This episode gave us the opportunity to do something we’ve always wanted to do: blow up Stargate Command. It’s part of the story Martin Lloyd pitches the team. Mitchell, however, points out a potential problem. They’re alive in the next scene. How is that possible. To which Martin replies: ” I’m thinking I can back-sell it and say you were beamed out at the last second.” Teal’c’s rejoinder neatly sums up the feelings of many on the production: “Is that not too convenient?”. Yep, nobody hated the Earth ship beaming technology more than I did – with possible exception of actor Ben Browder. In the original version of this scene, the fun we poked at ourselves was a little more pointed:
DANIEL: Beamed out. MARTIN: By the Prometheus. TEAL'C: Convenient. MARTIN: True. But c'mon, you got Asgard technology, why not use it? As long as it doesn't become a crutch. DANIEL: Small problem. The Prometheus was destroyed. MARTIN: Really? By who? MITCHELL: Kind of a long story. MARTIN: In battle? MITCHELL: Yes. MARTIN: Wow. So how'd you get out of that one? Beat. DANIEL: We, uh... we were beamed out. Soon after, Martin fields yet another call, this one from the network. "So, trouble with Nora"assumes Mitchell, to which Martin replies: "No, Nora—she's great." A shout-out to the late Nora O'Brien who was our network point-person for many years before she moved on to another position with NBC. A sharp executive and just a lovely woman.
SG-1 does Star Trek
We all grew up with the original Star Trek (except Rob Cooper who preferred The Six Million Dollar Man) so we (and by we I mean Brad) couldn’t resist the opportunity to do an SG-1 version of the television’s most famous SF series. Paul McGillion was originally supposed to do the one-line cameo of the ship’s beleaguered Scottish engineer, but when that fell through, series co-creator and Executive Producer (not to mention former stage actor) Brad Wright stepped into those shiny black boots.
The younger, edgier team
Look closely and you can catch Glee’s Cory Monteith as one of the young and edgy team-members. “Young” and “edgy” were buzzwords we kept on hearing a lot of (and continue to hear a lot of in the business), so Rob Cooper served up his version of what a younger, edgier Stargate would look like complete with stylized shots and dreamy cast members.
Vala continues to pitch out ideas, offering up an SF version of Gilligan’s Island (“We were in a cloaked cargo ship on a simple, three-hour reconnaissance mission…”) that was one of the scenes we lost for time at the script stage…
VALA (VO): We were in a cloaked cargo ship, on a simple three hour reconnaissance mission... TILT DOWN to reveal a planet. VALA (V)): But on the way we encountered a severe electromagnetic storm and lost all power. We were forced down on an uncharted, deserted planet... EXT. TROPICAL ISLAND -- DAY We see the cargo ship washed ashore on this deserted island, looking very much like the damaged S.S. Minnow. VALA (VO): We washed ashore and were forced to survive for weeks in the most primitive of conditions. No phone, no lights, no motor cars. Not a single luxury. EXT. ISLAND -- DAY Landry comes out of a hut, dressed like the Skipper. VALA (V): General Landry was with us on the mission, and let me tell you, he was in a foul mood. LANDRY: Mitchell! Mitchell runs out, dressed like Gilligan. MITCHELL: Yes, sir. LANDRY: Where's Carter? She was supposed to be done by now. MITCHELL: Oh, uh...(looks around) She's not here. Landry whacks him with his cap. LANDRY: I can see that. DANIEL: Over here... PAN TO Daniel (as the Professor) and Carter (as Mary Ann) carrying a large device out of another hut. Vala (as Ginger) trails behind them. The device looks like something constructed from bamboo and coconuts. CARTER (to Landry): I think we may have something, sir. VALA:Not a moment too soon. I must get out of this place. I have a photo shoot this afternoon. Landry stares at the device. LANDRY: What is this thing? CARTER:Well, I managed to construct a basic subspace transmitter out of coconuts, bamboo and our old subspace transmitter. DANIEL: A long shot, but it just might get us off this island. MITCHELL: That's great! Mitchell eagerly moves in for a closer look, but trips, falls and smashes the damn thing.Before Landry can whack him with his cap again -- TEAL'C emerges from the trees, dressed like Mr. Howell. He casually puffs a pipe. TEAL'C: Was I not traveling with a companion? A female by the name of... Lovey? MARTIN: Alright, enough already.
I had really enjoyed Farscape and, with both Ben Browder and Claudia Black on the show, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to do a little tribute, SG-1 style. Originally, Ben was supposed to play the part of Crichton and Michael the part of Stark, but they suggested it might be more fun to switch up the roles.
Brad Wright, Robert Cooper, Paul Mullie and Carl Binder are huge fans of Team America: World Police, so I suppose it should come as no surprise that they jumped at the chance to do their own, SG-1 version. As it turned out, years ago Paul and I had worked with The Chiodo Bros. who had created the puppets and effects for Team America (as well as work on a Davey and Goliath claymation parody for The Simpsons and the Willice and Crimbles parody segment on The Simpsons). We called them up and they ended up delivering kick-ass puppet versions of our team – and supporting players. So, okay. Fess up. Which one of you fans is now the proud owner of one of these?
In the writer’s draft of the script, yet another idea is pitched out…
MITCHELL: Death is always dramatic. CUT TO: INT. INFIRMARY -- DAY Daniel lies on the bed. Carter, Mitchell, Vala and Landry stand around him. Vala reaches out and touches his hand - VALA: Goodbye, Daniel. The heart monitor FLATLINES. The rest of the group can barely control their emotions. Suddenly, a bright GLOW starts to emanate from under the sheets on the bed. Slowly, Daniel's body TRANSFORMS into a glowing ribbon being like in Meridian. As it rises above the bed, the sheets collapse. Amazement plays on the faces of everyone in the room. The glowing being hovers high above them for a moment then - MARTIN: No, no, no. BACK TO: INT. BRIEFING ROOM -- DAY Martin shakes his head. MARTIN: We did that twice in the series. DANIEL: You only made three episodes.
How many times did we kill off Daniel again? Whenever we offed guest stars, we would invariably send them off with the heartening: “This is science fiction. Nobody ever dies in science fiction!” And, many time son Stargate, that was proven true.
Then, someone pitches out the fishing segment. Martin’s response: “And what’s the twist…no fish?” is, of course, a reference to the twist at the end of Moebius I and II.
How couldn’t we? There was something there for the shippers – and something there for the slashers as well when O’Neill, waiting for Carter, turns to Daniel who utters the memorable: “You know, if she doesn’t show, people are gonna think that you and I –“. My favorite part of this segment is Jack referring to Carter as, well, Carter. Not Sam or Samantha but Carter. I guess old habits die hard.
Martin’s response to the pitch ” Yeah, right, if I want to torture the audience on purpose!” echoes a quote from a fan letter we received that was critical of the ship. A classic line.
The episode ends with a bunch of interviews teeming with inside jokes.
SNOW MONKEYS WIN!!! Unbelievable really given that we were up a mere 15 points heading into the Sunday night game against an opponent with not one, not two, not three, but FOUR players still to play. Fortunately, all four players were members of the New York Jets and, even more fortunately, they were playing the fearsome Baltimore Ravens D. All four opposing players managed a mere 11 points, allowing me to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Despite the fact that we played Ryan Fitzpatrick, failed to play Dez Bryant, and our star RB’s (Peterson and Best) and WR (Roddy White) put in subpar performances, we still came out of the weekend with a 3-1 record. You know what this means, don’t you? My Snow Monkeys are a team of destiny!