Back to SG-1 memories…


The second of three scripts I wrote over a fourteen day period during one hiatus, I loved this one for the Daniel-Vala moment (something I expand on in the ensuing episode) and the fact that it had all of our team members – and Landry! – in play.  I recall actor Ben Browder (Mitchell) recommending his friend, actor Mark Dacascos, for the part of the lead Jaffa.  I loved Mark Dacascos’ work in Brotherhood of the Wolf and The Crow (and, lately, Iron Chef America) but didn’t want to cast him only to kill off his character in the episode.  I held off and, two years later, cast him as Ronon’s former comrade, Tyr, in SGA’s Reunion – and, the following season, in Broken Ties.  He was one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.  Over the course of production on Broken Ties, I had a half dozen crew members approach me about finding a way to make him recurring.  In addition to Iron Chef America, you can now catch Mark on Hawaii Five-O as the villainous Wo Fat.


The third script I wrote during those two weeks was a lot of fun – atypical and Vala-centered, but with a nice, emotional pay-off that cements the friendship between Vala and Daniel, suggesting the possibility of much more.

I remember one of the scenes I had trouble with was the interrogation of the captured Trust operative.  I was wracking my brain, trying to figure out how Teal’c could get him to talk when Rob Cooper – as he often did whenever we reached a creative roadblock – would throw out a suggestion.  In this case, simply have Teal’c lean in and whisper something in the operative’s ear.  Something so terrifying that the operative immediately starts talking.  So, what did Teal’c whisper in his ear?  Something just too horrible to repeat.

In the original version of the script, Vala gets a job at Sal’s Diner.  For some reason, it was changed to Sol’s Diner.  We ended up casting the wonderful Don Stark in the role and Director Peter DeLuise suggested we change it back to Sal’s Diner because Don looked Italian.  I did.  I met Don and told him about the change and he pointed out that he was, in fact, Jewish.  Sol’s Diner it became.  And then I found out he was of German, Jewish AND Italian descent.  I briefly toyed with Sigi’s Diner but ultimately elected to leave well enough alone at the risk of having the entire Art Department coming after me.

Speaking of Director Peter DeLuise – the direction of this episode’s tease is wonderful – tight, dynamic, and provocative (or, I prefer, WTF?!-inducing).


Sylvia writes: “Food looks scrumptuos!  Please do list macaron shops in Van.”

Answer: I’ll be doing one better.  I’m going to check out the top 16 macaron makers in town and test their products, head to head, in a macaron-off.  Stay tuned!

Debra writes: “How are the pups doing, especially Maximus? Still eating?”

Answer: Yep.  He’s eating and walking.  He’s a whole new dog since the move back to Vancouver.

Lewis writes: “1) Who was your favorite BusyTown character? I always thought Mr. Worm was stylin’ in his apple car and wearing his hat/boot combo.”

Answer: Yeah, definitely Lowly Worm.  I always thought he was hiding a dark side.

Lewis also writes: “2) If DARK MATTER gets the greenlight to become either a show or movie, which format do you think it would be the strongest suited for: live action, animation, or anime?”

Answer: Ideally, a live-action television series.  That’s the plan.  A mini-series would also work since I have the series mapped out – beginning, middle, and end.

glowyzoey writes: “We had a little silver tree when I was a kid. […]   I had to throw it out just 7 or 8 years ago, because all of the “needles” were gone. I had it over 40 years! Did yours fold up for storage?”

Answer: Yes!  Beautiful – and practical too!  I loved that silver and tinsel monstrosity!

Anais Bellieres a ecrit: “Vous étiez un bon grand frére avec Andria, vous ne lui faisiez pas trop misères?”

Reponse: Non.  Il y’avait plein de miseres.

dasndanger writes: “Joe – quick question. I see that you read the first Uncanny X-Force trade. How’d you like it? I LOVED it, as you well know. Just hoping you enjoyed it, too.”

Answer: I did like it but had a difficult time figuring out who was doing what and why for much of the time.  I probably would have been better served reading the previous volumes first.  There are previous volumes, aren’t there?  Loved the ending though.

Airelle writes: “Can you play a piano now or just banging on it?”

Answer: In fact, I can.  This after three years of piano lessons (mom’s idea).

21 thoughts on “October 10, 2011: More SG-1 Memories! Mailbag!

  1. Wow, and here I thought I was the only person who liked ‘Brotherhood of the Wolf’. Actually, I like that movie quite a bit. And, yeah, Dacascos was great it in. Even if he was playing an American Indian 😉

    Re: the Sal’s / Sol’s thing, as I always say: “Take Jesus out of the equation and Jews and Italians are basically the same people”

    I’m Italian and my wife & her family are Jewish. it’s amazing how similar our family gatherings / dynamics are. I maintain mine have much better food (sorry, sweetie)

    Thank you for posting a picture of Morena Baccarin.

  2. Sweet, thanks Joe…will eagerly look forward to that. LOL – in fact already jotted down Ivon’s source – Indulgence just to be sure we had at least one address in Van, cause one never know when a visit may be possible.

  3. I miss watching sg-1 especialy since after they cancelled sg-u they are no longer running old episodes .

  4. I remember thinking at the time that “Sol’s Diner” was a sly reference to Earth’s Sun, probably because I thought Vala was dreaming /hallucinating /in an alternate universe.

  5. Shane: Who’s “they”? schedule shows SG-1 repeats starting Nov. 1, and I often find syndicated repeats on various channels of Time-Warner Cable /San Antonio. Check your local listings.

  6. “I did like it but had a difficult time figuring out who was doing what and why for much of the time. I probably would have been better served reading the previous volumes first. There are previous volumes, aren’t there? Loved the ending though.”

    Hmmmm. Not sure how to answer that. Yes, there was a previous volume – some of which you read, as I recall (that team included Wolverine, Angel, X-23, Warpath, and Wolfsbane). I think you dropped it for a similar reason – having trouble figuring out what people were doing, and why. I can agree with you on that one because I found the story a bit ‘muddy’, as well (not to mention it was overly violent and dark). But not so since Remender took the reins…at least, not for me. I thought the story was very easy to follow and the characters and their purpose clearly defined (I’m assuming the trade included the teaser info included in Wolverine, Road to Hell ). Now, there are times in the story where things are confusing because of Fantomex’s power of misdirection, but other than that I can’t imagine what you found confusing, unless you’re reading too fast and not paying attention to details. 😉

    There were several great moments in the book – I loved Wolverine’s interaction with Fantomex (well, I loved just about everything about Fantomex), and the Deadpool/Angel moment (yummy!), and…well…that ending. Whoa. Totally blew me away. Another thing I like about this book is the soul-searching these characters do. I’ve grown weary of the mindless violence in comics, especially of late, and the lack of effect this violence seems to have on the heroes. That was one thing that got me into comics – the introspection and self-pummeling of Wolverine. I just figured that would never change, and I also assumed that other characters would be just like him. But lately some books have just been violent for violence sake, without any sense of a pricked conscience or remorse on the heroes part, and that’s left me flat. I need heroes who struggle with their actions. Uncanny has touched on this without turning the characters into a bunch of brooding emos. A nice balance overall.

    I must get back to bed (I hate these nights when I fall asleep watching tv, only to wake up at midnight, totally refreshed and raring to go! 😡


  7. I enjoyed watching those Season 10 episodes. The comedic bent that Vala brought to SG-1 was fun to watch. Can’t wait to hear about the macaron shops, and I had the same question about the different color macarons too.

    Have a good day!!!

  8. @ Das: Well how about that! Yep, the weather was fantastic! Perfect campfire weather. We even had a large blow up projection screen set up outside by the fire so we could watch the Phillies choke.

  9. Loved Counterstrike! Loved the whole Daniel/Vala interaction and team dynamic. Love the introduction of Adria. I thought she was a great villainess. Morena Baccarin is such a wonderful actress, and love how she protrayed Adria. Loved her interaction with Daniel, “We have plans for you.”

    Memento Mori was just a great episode. A favorite among Daniel/Vala shippers (which I am one). This episode kinda took the Daniel/Vala relationship to another level. Love the ‘date’ in the beginning. Then…loved the emotional hug when Vala remembers him. Love the end scene where Vala said that she and Daniel will have to continue their date some other time. Daniel denies it was ever a date. But…the looks of Sam, Teal’c, Cam, and Landry were just precious. It seemed that they knew that Daniel had a ‘thing’ for Vala. Was Daniel in denial of his feelings for Vala? 🙂

    Macarons? Don’t think I ever had macarons before. They looks delicious! 🙂

  10. Did you write the part of Tyr for Mark Dacascos or did you write the part and then think of him and cast him in it? He was perfect as Tyr. No surprise he is a nice guy. He even looks like a nice guy. Wouldn’t want to be around him and Jason as they were practicing their sword fights! Yikes! Might lose a nose or something.

    Glad to hear Maximus is doing so well. I bet it is a combination of being back home again and his Daddy being happy again and not so over worked and under so much stress. That reminds me, how is Alexander doing? He still spending long hours at the office? – I’m sure.

    Any chance of us getting to see you play a little piano? Maybe you could put that on your list of “things to do for my readers”. I bet you are good, just like everything else you do. When you’re out about town, just duck into a piano shop and tell Akemi to roll the camera!

  11. I must admit that I was a little concerned when I saw that Claudia Black was going to be on SG1. I loved her on Farscape and feared she would play the same character.

    But, it turned out to be fantastic. Her character here was totally different. She truly is a fantastic actress.

    I’m really glad you writers didn’t try to duplicate the chemistry she had with Ben Browder on Farscape. That would have been lame–been there, done that, etc.. I liked Vala and Daniel together espically in the final episode. It was nice to see that they shared more than just physical attraction.

  12. Hey Joe, I didn’t mean I wanted to see you play a “little” piano as in a child size one. I meant a “little” piano as in about 16 seconds on one of your blog videos. I’m talking a big Steinway or Baby Grand. Got it?

  13. Joe, have you checked out “the sword of truth” series. It’s fantasy by Terry goodkind. My wife absolutely loved the whole series. Check it out!

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