March 13, 2012: A Quick Update And A Mailbag!
Bubba says hi and apologizes on my behalf.

A short blog entry today as I still have to get around to my daily hiragana/katakana exercises (And no, Das, they don’t involve swords). A busy day today on a couple of fronts.  First, I made significant progress on the rewrite of the horror script by nailing down Felliniesque birthday party scene.  I’m going to make a few trims, add a few more suspenseful beats to the third act, and then I’ll send it Rob Cooper’s way for his assessment after which it’ll be smooooooooth sailing. Finally had that rescheduled (rescheduled) conference call today.  There were about twelve participants and I believe I speak for everyone when I say we had a wonderful time.  Ultimately, just another step in the process and this entity is one of several possible homes for Dark Matter but, in my mind, the most ideal.  Finally, Paul and I (and out agent) convened on one of those show running opportunities.  Looks like we’ll be sitting down to a meeting this Friday.  We’ll see how it goes.

I leave you with a mailbag:

KevinInNS writes: “Was any thought given to a scene with Eli comprehending that he knew about the Stargate program already? (by way of Wormhole X-treme, putting random facts together etc..) or was a concious decision made not to do this so that new viewers wouldn’t feel they needed to watch the other series as background in order to understand the new show?”

Answer: There wasn’t for the reason you stated.  Given the immense amount of backstory and mythology tied into the franchise, we wanted to make the new show as accessible as possible to new viewers.  While Wormhole X-Treme would have been an amusing call-back, it would have been an unnecessary (and, for most viewers, annoying) cryptic reference.

Scott Hander writes: “I was telling my wife recently that strangely I was seeing more and more parallels in our society to the conflict between the Ori and the Alterans (imposing religious values vs. logic and science) and I was wondering if when you were writing the Ori story arc that there was any intent to draw comparisons to real-world circumstances in today’s society?”

Answer: Exec. Producer Robert Cooper created the scenario so this a question for him.  I know that, simply speaking for myself, any parallels in my scripts were never overtly intention – subconscious, perhaps, but never an attempt at social commentary.

TeesterX writes: “What are your actual plans for Dark Matter? A film or tv series?”

Answer: The plan is to set it up as a television project, probably a television series although the idea of doing it as a mini-series grows more and more attractive to me.

Ponytail writes: “So what’s going on tomorrow? Why the special pistachio chocolates?”

Answer: Akemi never needs a reason to make chocolates.  She’s great like that.  🙂

Randomness writes: “Odd question for your next mailbag Joe but was wondering, have you ever considered doing a show like Infinite Ryvius before in TV form?”

Answer: Funny you should mention Infinite Ryvius.  It was a property I was aggressively pursuing with some other producers before – like so many other things in this business – interest faded.

Bailey writes: “Do you feel like you’ve been a bit spoiled by your experience with the Stargate franchise? And that you judge every project by those standards? ”

Answer: Yes and absolutely!  With all due respect to any production I’ll work on in the future, Stargate was a singular experience that will be impossible to beat.

Sparrow_hawk writes: “Fuzzy Nation – John Scalzi (loved it! You may be noticing a trend here)”

Answer: Yes.  Am proud to say I was one of the first to read it.  And love it!  I told John it would make a great feature.

Patricia Stewart-Bertrand writes: “I have a question for you. What is the difference, if any, between a Producer and a Show Runner?”

Answer: All show runners are producers, but not all producers are show runners.  Show runner is exactly what the title suggests – an individual who runs a production.  Producer can mean a lot of things, from someone who runs the show to one of the financier’s relatives who had an idea that may or may not have been used.

G-MaN writes: “Have you seen Kevin Smith’s Comic Book Men series on AMC?”

Answer: Only the minute or so recorded from the run-over of Walking Dead.  Any good?

gforce writes: “The Amazing Race (what do you think of Brenchel? They’re just as annoying/insane as they were on BB)”

Answer: She strikes me as crazy.  Hilariously so.

DP writes: “I wouldn’t assume that for your circles, though, Joe. The word of mouth recommendations in your circles surely involved erudite critique about out how Bridesmaids hits all the right story beats square between the eyes, then mentioning the potty humor.”

Answer: Are you kidding?  This is the same circle that is always quoting lines from Team America: World Police.

Yates writes: “Glad you picked up Machine Of Death, my friends David and Ryan put that together. The story of how the book was made and marketed is as interesting as the book itself – it stemmed from a discussion in a webcomic forum five or six years ago, and as just about every publisher turned down the book, they self-published. Relying on their online fanbases and social media, they managed to make the MoD the #1 best-selling book on Amazon the day it was released, even beating out a release that day by Glenn Beck, who them went on to briefly disparage MoD on his talk show later that day.  More about:

Answer: Congrats to them.  Great story.  And, a third of the way through the collection, great stories so far.

Randomness writes: “Hows your Japanese getting along Joe? There are 2 Code Geass movies out in Japan covering the events of each season, called Black Rebelleon and Zero Requiem.”

Answer: My Japanese is coming along…slowly.  But watching anime helps.  Akemi will no doubt want to check out the movies (she loved the series) but I’ve never been a fan of movies that retread covered territory.

Randomness also writes: “Fate/Zero is out soon in the US, costs several hundred dollars on blu ray, but is a good seriea and will be uncut.”

Answer: Yeah, it piqued my interest while I was in Tokyo – the box set was available in Akihabara.  But it wasn’t subtitled so I had to pass.  Alas, my Japanese is nowhere near that good.

Elminster writes: “A little windy out your way today?”

Answer: Yeah, we lost power for a few hours.  Some are still waiting for theirs to be restored.

Michelle writes: “Just started watching Downton Abbey because I’m sick of hearing about it from my friends. 3 eps in and I’m quite hooked, just like everyone said!”

Answer: Another series I should get around to.  It comes highly recommend – from Rob Cooper no less!

DP writes: “Why do the super hero movies have to be so bad? Why couldn’t they just write a good story and film that?”

Answer: It’s annoying when a studio can’t tell a good script from a bad one, but downright alarming when a professional screenwriter can’t either.  Sometimes, the individuals involved in a production place greater emphasis on cast, directors, or visual effects and consider the script an after-thought – with predictably disastrous results.  And the thing that kills me is that these people never learn their lessons – especially if they luck out and score a box-office smash despite a dreadful script.  Also, a lot of the times in situations like these (big budget movies), A LOT of individuals are involved, all with their own ideas of what would make a great script.  The problem is when the scriptwriter tries to accommodate every single one.

Kathode writes: “And what the fuck was Faye Dunaway after? And why the fuck did her whole plan depend on first getting a cheesy gardener to fall in love with her?”

Answer: It would appear that male supervillains seek world domination while female supervillains (if you believe this movie) seek the love and validation of a man.  Oh, and world domination.

Randomness writes: “If Cookie monster wrote a Stargate script, what would it be about?”

Answer: Don’t know.  Maybe we should get him to write some fan fic.

Gina writes: “what gets me is somewhere, at sometime the writer had to go pitch this to the producer AND that the producer said “God that sounds excellent! I have to make this! I’m on board!”

Answer: More than likely it went something like – Writer: “Kara, who happens to be Superman’s cousin, follows the power source that, coincidentally, lands on Earth in the cheese dip of a picnicking wannabe supervillainess.  Then, after flying out of cosmic egg as Supergirl, Kara  assumes a new identity by walking behind a tree and magically transforming herself into a schoolgirl.”  Producer: “That’s ridiculous.  Can her alter ego have brown hair?”  Writer: “Sure.”  Producer: “I love it!  Let’s make this movie!”

Line Noise writes: “What’s wrong with you Cookie? This is a great film. Certainly an improvement on the Superman crud that came before it.”

Answer: We, sir, are in violent disagreement.  Superman III was dumb and poorly executed, but at least it possessed the semblance of a plot.  Supergirl, on the other hand, was horrendously, insultingly terrible.  Easily one of the worst big screen features ever produced.

DP writes: “Is Cookie Monster mad at me for not sharing the pain of Supergirl?”

Answer: Yep.

JoeJ writes: “Am I the only getting a bit lost in these reviews? I’d love to partake in this but the reviews themselves are so difficult to read/comprehend!”

Cookie Monster answers: Diffikult?  What not to unnerstand?  Monster sorry.  Nekst time not use so many big words.  Not my fault me so elokwent!

Kathode writes: “Even after a day to absorb it, and after reading Line Noise’s spirited defense of Selena as villain, I still don’t get Selena’s plan. She spends the vast majority of the film trying every trick in her bag to get a hapless gardener to fall in love with her […]. She says that somehow this will lead to others loving her (and presumably serving her every villainous whim), but there’s no clear pathway illuminated between getting the gardener to fall for her and getting everyone else to.”

Answer: In the words of Cookie Monster – “Shhhshhhshhhh.”

poundpuppy29 writes: “Joe you are a chicken for not answering my Sheppard question how about my Vala question where was she if she wasn’t in the third movie I know you and Robert Cooper were on the Daniel & Vala side but I don’t know about Brad?”

Answer: I answered where I thought she might be, but I can’t speak for Brad who wrote the script.

29 thoughts on “March 13, 2012: A quick update and a mailbag!

  1. Hi Joe! Definitely try to watch Downton Abbey, it’s excellent! I’ve missed the current season so will wait until later to watch, but it’s addicting. Another good one, if you didn’t watch it, was The Tudors.

    Well, we tried cutting back one of Elway’s meds, but he got more ataxic, so he’s off it for a few days starting tomorrow. It’s been awful and scary to see him like this. We’ll see what the next few days bring, but seizures could be on the horizon. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    Have a good night! 🙂

  2. Yay…top spot in the mailbag responses 🙂

    I kinda figured that was the reason. It’s unfortunate that it couldn’t have been written in, but I totally understand the reasons why. There were lots more examples I could have cited, but like you said, the franchaise allows for so many possibilities, that it could certainly deter new viewers.

    With the non-renewal of sci-fi shows like SGU, Caprica, V, and most recently “Terra Nova”, I’ve kinda had it with network television executives…they are cancelling all the shows i’ve liked before they have much of a chance. (And Jericho too…)

    It makes me wonder if scripted sci-fi dramas would have a better home on a network like HBO? What do you HBO a home you’d consider for Dark Matter?

  3. Wishing you luck and progress on your projects!
    And the answer to any Sheppard question (unless you are a man-eating plant) is Yummmmmmmmmmmm!

  4. Shame about Infinite Ryvius, it would of made a fantastic TV series, especially since there is so much potential there, like expanding on the crew of the Blue Impulse(Especially the Captain), the Crimson Dicastia, and Grey Gespenst(Would need a decent actor for the Captain). They were mostly nameless crews in the series and oddly enough I would of loved some backstory there.

    Would of loved more of a backstory on the effects of the Vaia around the Captains of these ships, especially as one of them went insane.

    And more on Conrad Vicuss, perhaps slightly altering the outcome of his story a little and expanding more about his motives/reasons for pursuing the Ryvius some more, personally I think he fell to the same thing as the Blue Impulses captain and was going slightly insane at the end, only to be snapped back into reality by Neya.

    I think especially with Conrad Vicuss he would be a main ‘bad’ character if someone ever did a TV series, for obvious reasons, namely he had the most plot development and was the most interesting semi bad guy and of course he made the most appearances.

    Loved the series personally, such a shame they didn’t produce more, we had a crew there ready to do whatever they were supposed to be doing(Honestly the series never really says does it? Beyond the whole importance of them being there).

    Anyway speaking of Fate/Zero, can’t see it holding its price for too long when it comes out, granted this release will have subtitles but not everyone will want to pay a few hundred dollars for like 12/13 episodes. It’s a good series, no question there, and the fact it will be uncut in all its gorey/slightly disturbing detail proves its value(It was censored on Japanese TV, huge parts were missing from some episodes).

    I feel the same about anime movies covering the series, if anything if there is a few minutes of extra footage it makes the whole thing watchable. A while back I followed the Death Note movies in anime form and was more interested in how they would cover everything, and to be honest they cut out huge important parts, and characters all together. They were average at best.

    Anyway speaking of Code Geass, Code Geass: Nunnally in Wonderland is out on the 27th of July in Japan, its a single episode OAV and Code Geass: Akito the Exiled is out soon too. 2 newish OAVs that should be good.

    Speaking of which I loved Umineko no Naku Koro ni, it’s an adult who done it mystery type series. 26 episodes long.

    Wow, just realised how long this post was. Guess when speaking about anime one tends to ramble on a bit lol

  5. Hello joe just a quick question hopefully for the next Mailbag can you tell us what genre you’re. Next show running gig might be in.

  6. If it’s any consolation for Cookie Monster, I did subject myself to Superman II yesterday. Not by choice mind you, it was just on and after reading his review I couldn’t /not/ watch it.

    Other than the wonderful Terrance Stamp over-acting the hell out of General Zod, the rest of the movie was just horrific. What was Gene Hackman thinking? What role did Lex Luthor really play? Was he just there because he’s a Superman villain and is required by law to be there?

    It was so stupid!!!


  7. For Cookie re SUPERGIRL: I started reading the DC comics VERY early, age 5 or so, so roughly 1961. (Credit my brother, who was 11 in 61.) Kara’s brown-haired alter-ego and the survival of Krypton’s Argos City are elements of the original SUPERGIRL canon. As for the rest of the film, yeah, there’s quite a bit of ridiculousness.

    Joe, I, too, am a “Downton Abbey” fan. Do see it at your earliest convenience.

  8. a, nice juicy mailbag. and more teases on the possible projects looming in your future. A great read before heading out to work. The EMT class has started, so I’ll be losing a lot of my spare time for the next few months, but I;ll be doing my best to keep up here. Hope to hear some good news from those meetings later this week. You’ve had your vacation; time to get back to giving us something worth watching on air!

  9. Easily one of the worst big screen features ever produced.

    You, Sir, are forgetting The Fabulous Baker Boys.

  10. JOE: Can you please delete the TWO previous comments I made – OH F**** I give up.…I sooooo shouldn’t post so late at night……Ta!

    Hi everyone! Remember me? Sorry I’ve been MIA. Work has been sucking majorly. I found out that they took an important part of my job & my work identity (social networking) and created a new job for someone else. I was devastated. I’ve been trying to work out my next step. I decided that while I can’t control the situation I can control my reaction to it. Just working through my feelings.

    Catching up on the blog, couldn’t go past that awesome photo of Ivon. WOW!! Speaking of which…celebrated Ivon’s and James’ birthdays by doing this – may I present the #FollowFriday Crown Prince of Canada and the King of Canada – it’s a Twitter thing! Means they were the 1st & 2nd most recommended Canadians for those weeks. Was super fun. And yes I still owe you a birthday photoshop Joe.

    I’ve been working out a lot! Trying to get back to where I was before the accident. Doing physio, swimming, just trying to get back my range of movement.

    I have been reading Dark Matter. I downloaded it from Dark Horse. Awesome work Joe & Paul – had a Stargate geek moment when I read nanites. Actually more than once…has a great Stargate feel to it… I love the chick with the short hair best.

    I’ve been watching Jeremiah TV series on DVD. It’s a post-apocalyptic story where adults got wiped out by a plague. 15 years later the kids that survived are grown up and have struggled to create a life for themselves and find out what happened.

    On TV I’ve been watching Alcatraz, Amazing Race and American Idol. I visited Alcatraz when I was in San Francisco….was amazing…really enjoying uncovering the mystery piece by piece each episode.

    Cheers, Chev

  11. Glad things are going well. I don’t remember if I said this or not—-older son’s baseball season has all the days running together, LOL—–but I did get Dark Matter 2 and enjoyed it. I certainly hope something works out for it to be on TV.

    Have a great day!!!!!

  12. thanks, Joe, for recommending The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon. I enjoyed it. I’d like my son with autism to read it when he is a little older. I would love his perspective on the book.

  13. When you go through the decision-making process on making Dark Matter for TV (whether a mini-series or a regular one), how much if any weight do you give to how many viewers that network reaches (such as HBO vs TNT)? I understand that you might have more creative license on a premium cable network but so many more households get basic cable. If both networks made an offer, do you consider their viewer base at all?

  14. At least Cookie Monster takes his mad out on those closest to him and I live far from Sesame Street.


    Regarding too many people having input on a script, yeah, too many bosses is a recipe for disaster in a lot of professions.


    Good luck on your Friday meeting.

  15. Is Dark Matter going to be an animated series?
    Downton Abbey is a good series but it’s more of a chick flick. I’m fascinated by the clothes and the mannerisms of the aristocracy.

  16. Hey Joe, with so many bad superhero/heroine films about, don’t you fancy doing a film yourself to right the records? Even though I must admit, I think that particular genre is a bit overcrowded now. After Heroes, some superpowers seemed to be more like curses.

    If Cookie Monster could be a superhero who would he be, or would he have a superability/abilities not yet thought of?

  17. @KevinInNS

    What?! V has now been cancelled too? Didn’t know about that one. Just as well that Sy-Fy (who thought up that shit name too) can’t get their hands on shows like Fringe. I certainly hope not anyway. Sy-Fy in the Uk doesn’t seem to run any Sci-Fi shows. Just re-runs of older shows (Buffy,etc) and embarrassingly bad low budget ‘horror’ Sci-Fi films. Horrifying for all the wrong reasons!!!!

  18. @KevinInNS

    Wow, it only got cancelled 10 months ago! Lol. Would’ve found out sooner or later when I would have checked to see when season 3 was starting. But I’m surprised I never found out sooner, as I usually find out nearly straight away. Couldn’t find out why it got cancelled either, as it got several awards and had very solid viewing figures. Only had an audience of 410,000 in the Uk, but over 10 times that in the US. Is 4.5 million viewers an episode considered poor?

  19. @Tam Dixon, Downton is much more than just a chick flick; I’d hardly compare it to one of those wretched Heigl movies.

    Downton is like ER, Good Wife or Lost; big juicy drama, gorgeous cinematograhy and smart writing. The Brits are rockin’ the telly these days; Misfits, Bleak House, Being Human, Luthor; Downton is just another great Brit drama. My fave thing about Bleak House is the way they frame the actors against the beautiful scenery during “important moments,” like when the family comes together to greet the injured soldiers. The framing alone is terrific, but it doesn’t overwhelm the story.

  20. Hey, JOE!
    Have you seen THIS?

    Looks like Ottawa is trying to get “noticed” again. — How “They” can afford STEWART is a mystery at those admiss rates! Even-money says an invite to Harper’s place for Dinner must have gotten thrown in! — Then again.. SIR Patrick has hung out with QE2, whom I’m sure is a far better conversationalist.

  21. I love that your circle quotes Team America. I does help explain some of the humor in SG. Also the puppets from 200, but I already knew that.

    I also noticed a possible Joe-ism in Cookie’s review: In the scene with the truckers, where Cookie is quoting the script, after the quotes appears the word, “written”. That totally sounds like something a writer would say about something that was so ridiculous that actually made it not only to a script, but to screen as well. I love it.

    -MIke A.

  22. Speaking of networks, if all else fails I hope you pitch Dark Matter to the Syfy Channel Joe, with a reasonable budget you should do well there.

    The network does have its eye on any potential Space based shows, people request them enough on twitter. Dark Matter should make people happy at least if picked up.

  23. Hey Joe

    Elminster writes: “A little windy out your way today?”

    Answer: Yeah, we lost power for a few hours. Some are still waiting for theirs to be restored.

    Ya, that’s what the weather channel was saying. Winds to 130 km/h! I’m loving our weather back here. Got to 17 today, some talk of it getting to 21 tomorrow.
    Gotta love that global warming!


  24. Oh Ya, almost forgot, I went today to see if my Dark Matter #3 was in and the damn comic store closed. I mean they were gone. Nothing left but some empty shelves. Gotta find another one now.


  25. QUOTE
    Randomness writes: “If Cookie monster wrote a Stargate script, what would it be about?”

    Answer: Don’t know.  Maybe we should get him to write some fan fic.

    I have an account at and would be happy to serve as Cookie’s beta reader and publisher.

    Conundrum: If Cookie’s alter ego is a former SG creative talent, can that talent read, let alone edit, Cookie’s fan fic, due to potential plagiarism claims? 😉

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