June 8, 2012: Dim Sum And Donuts And More Stargate: Atlantis Memories!
Little known fact: the design of the Stargate was the inspired result of a late night donut binge.

Today, I met up with former Stargate creator/producer/director/writer Robert Cooper and former Stargate special features producer Ivon Bartok for an afternoon of dim sum and donuts.  Over the course of our culinary conference, we discussed past productions, pending projects, and even pitched out plans for a few potential programming possibilities.  We also ate.  A lot.  And sampled donuts from Van’s latest donuterie…

June 8, 2012: Dim Sum And Donuts And More Stargate: Atlantis Memories!

The verdict?  Well, I’d like to come back for a second round of sampling but my first impression was that the flavors of the donuts were far more muted, a lot subtler than what I’m accustomed to.  As for the PB&J, the one I was most looking forward to trying – I thought it needed more PB and less J.

Akemi insists that Vancouver’s best donuts are the ones Rob made for a recent dinner he hosted.

June 8, 2012: Dim Sum And Donuts And More Stargate: Atlantis Memories!
Rob says: “Yeah, okay, enough about the donuts. Getting back to Stargate: Atlantis and a little episode called..Hide and Seek…”

Right, right.  Stargate: Atlantis…

June 8, 2012: Dim Sum And Donuts And More Stargate: Atlantis Memories!


Following the big, splashy two-hour premiere that established the foundation of the new series, creators Robert Cooper and Brad Wright followed up with episodes that explored Ancient mythology and technology, gate mechanics, the city of Atlantis and, most importantly, the key members of the expedition.  Rob kicked things off with Hide and Seek which does a terrific job of mixing mystery, action, suspense, and that all-important trademark Stargate humor.  While the threat of the energy-devouring creature drives much of the story, it’s the smaller character moments that prove the most memorable: Sheppard trying to scare the Athosian children with a ghost story that only succeeds in confusing them, the team sitting down to a nice bonding moment over football, McKay’s hilarious arc that takes him from invincible to doomed.  That early scene in which John shoves Rodney over the railing only to have McKay spring back up, unscathed, is brilliant and never fails to amuse.

June 8, 2012: Dim Sum And Donuts And More Stargate: Atlantis Memories!

38 MINUTES (103)

In this episode, Brad Wright does what he does best: places his characters in a tight spot and then allows their personalities to shine through in their responses to their dire predicament.  And you’d be hard-pressed to find a tighter spot than the back of a jumper trapped just outside the gate’s event horizon.  The episode succeeds in creating a tense, claustrophobic feel but also grants the audience some much-needed respites in the form of flashbacks and cutaways that offer insight into, among other things, wraith biology, Athosian rituals, and the dynamics of the science team.

This episode introduces us to a couple of supporting players who would eventually establish themselves as forceful secondary personalities over the show’s run: Zelenka and Kavanaugh.  In truth, Kavanaugh’s prominence in this episode was, while not exactly a happy accident, the result of a need to shore up an episode that needed the extra time. The gag at the time was that 38 Minutes was a most appropriate title given that the episode was running about five minutes short.  Two scenes were subsequently added: Weir’s conversation with Kavanagh and Weir’s discussion with Halling.

Aside from that rubber bug, I thought that this was a pretty solid episode which left one big question maddeningly unanswered: What WAS Sheppard going to say to Weir in those final moments?

Hmmm.  Still thinking about doing signing at Comic Con in support of Dark Matter.  I could sandwich the trip between a visit to L.A. for some meet ‘n greets and three days in Vegas.  If I do end up going, I’d have to come up with some interesting giveaway items for any Stargate fans show happen to show.  What do you think?  Signed scripts?  Some Stargate mementos?  The first five pages of Stargate: Extinction?

30 thoughts on “June 8, 2012: Dim Sum and Donuts and more Stargate: Atlantis memories!

  1. Mmmm, donuts. I think I know what I want tomorrow. 🙂 My favorite moment was when John shoved Rodney over the railing. I think it really showed a rapport between the characters that lasted throughout the entire series. I think you should do a signing. Even though I wouldn’t be able to be there, I would send my brother. Hope you can make it.

    Have a great night!!!

    Lisa R.

  2. The rubber bug was hilarious and just about ruined the episode, but I just put it out of my head and kept watching. 🙂 I remember thinking at the time that Star Trek Voyager also had a similar bug thingie, except this one was huge and even more ridiculous. Then again, that’s sci-fi! Kavanaugh was a wonderful guy to hate, too. 🙂 Night!

  3. One of the best things about SGA was the wonderful secondary characters like Zelenka and Kavanaugh – happy accident indeed.

    I loved the little moments you spoke of like Sheppard throwing McKay off the balcony, that one in particular was great because you could see the beginning of the epic friendship between the two characters. I don’t think you could have asked for better chemistry. Superb.

    38 Minutes is one of my favorites. A team ep and Shep Whump! I did think Weir was a bit too dismissive of Hallings cultural concerns, though. She’s supposed to be an international diplomat, I’d have thought she’d be a bit more understanding.

    Anyway, loving the memories. Making me miss this show so much. But THANK YOU!!! (I’d love the entire script of Extinction, please 😛 )

  4. Interesting picture you chose to depict 38 minutes. I’m guessing that is from an outtake because I don’t recal the bug actually attatching itself to him, we only see it after and before it has attatched to him.

  5. Oh yes, the moment John shoved Rodney over the railing and I thought, this is going to work. It’s too bad that the movie making world is no longer a place to make a series of Hope/Crosby style buddy movies starring Joe Flanagan and David Hewlett. I’d pay to see that and buy the DVDs.

  6. Loving the memory lane look at.sga. Ever since you did sg1, I’ve been hoping for this. The only bad thing is it is triggering an urge to rematch the show. As the class I’m teaching is about over, and the various medical crises in the family have stabilized, I will probably bow to temptation pretty soon.
    Love the food pics but very cruel, as I can feel the pounds piling on just looking at them. Hope the pooches and fellow blog readers are well, and thank you for the time and effort you so kindly put in for us. I do hope you do Comic Con, though I won’t be attending unless I hit a lottery big enough to retire. Until then, I do hope a lot of folks here make it to San Diego.

  7. Pardusian, I also seem to recall that the bug’s body was the other way around.

    Kavanaugh a great character to hate, I can’t stand that guy!! Although he is sort of like what a mirror universe(the one in Star Trek) McKay would be like.

    But Zelenka, him and McKay are great throughout the show, they are constantly after each other, but when it comes down to the wire, they get it done. It’s not many shows that give secondary characters such a prominent role throughout the series.

  8. Hey, Joe!

    You should give away some of your homemade chocolates!

    …or signed pictures of the dogs! 🙂

  9. If I do end up going, I’d have to come up with some interesting giveaway items for any Stargate fans show happen to show. What do you think? Signed scripts? Some Stargate mementos? The first five pages of Stargate: Extinction?
    whatever you can pack in your luggage without going over the weight limit.

    maybe print out some of the pictures you’ve taken behind the scenes over the years and sine those?

  10. Loved Hide and Seek. It was hilarious when Sheppard pushed McKay over the balcony, the thud he made when he hit the ground, and the reaction of those standing nearby. Then Sheppard amusingly admitting he tried to shoot McKay too. Pretty funny. The discovery of what I always called “The Elevators” was neat. How could they possibly think they were closets? They should have just turned those kids loose on all of Atlantis. They would have discovered everything faster.

    38 Minutes was very good. What a nightmare – running into a web with a big insect hanging in it! Yikkes! I thought it looked a little plastic, but when it started growing and pulsing, it was more menacing. You should have slimmed it up some to give it a wet, gooey, slimey look.

    Maybe you could get Cooper to write up a little of your entry later on when you get to some of his classic stories like Sateda or Vegas. A guest star memory…

  11. @Joe:

    I’m loving the SGA trip down memory lane. Thanks for reminiscing.

    I did check out the Comic Con website and found that all the badges are sold out, so unless they reserve some badges for sale at the door, I won’t be going. The irony is that I have to visit a customer south of LA that week and could have made the trip down to San Diego. Well, maybe next year…

  12. @Tam Dixon:

    I might try freezing cheesecake…problem is I never have any leftovers to experiment with.

    I did get the two ‘cakes for tomorrow done last night with my son’s help. I’ll have to see how the white chocolate one turns out though; my son accidentally dumped in about 5 times the amount of almond extract than I usually use. Now I keep thinking of the line that Jodie Foster gives in “The girl who lives down the lane” when she explains away the almond-tasting poisoned tea as being from the almond cookies that her victim is also eating. I guess I’ll see if anyone notices. 😉

  13. I loved that scene too. Sheppard and Rodney were like two big kids. It was the humor that really made the show stand out, especially as one minute you were at the edge of your seat. Carson’s Klingon remark was a perfect example of that.

    Now I wish I was going to Comic Con. Not just because I’ve always wanted to go, but I would love to have had the chance to meet you…not just because I might be lucky enough to get one of those scripts. Sigh…the disadvantage of living so far away.

  14. I think you should give a different page of Extinction to each person who wants one, and swear them to secrecy. Then see how long it takes before it’s all acted out on youtube.

  15. We would take the first 5 pages of “Stargate: Extinction”!!!

    BTW: Is there a way you will every release parts/complete script on your blog or somewhere else?
    Is it copyrighted to somebody or so?
    Additionally to your memory-lane, it would be awesome if you post some small parts of the script on the end.
    This way we could get the “Stargate: Extinction” story together, and you have some text to fill your blog-entries =)


  16. Perhaps you could offer to sign peoples Stargate stuff if they request Joe? I’m sure there are people out there who want your autograph, you were like one of the head guys of the Stargate stuff..

    So yeah suggestion from me, you could make yourself available for autographs 🙂

  17. for the love of Beckett wrote:

    @ Susan Bowden — Second that. Carson Beckett (Paul McGillion) was my favorite SGA charactor, also. My fave episodes of his were Poisoning the Well, Whispers, and Outsiders.


    Great choices! Poisoning the Well is a brilliantly written episode and a fantastic acting vehicle for Paul McGillion.

    I’ll also add Thirty Eight Minutes, Before I Sleep and all three Sieges – which means I’ve slipped into Season 2.

    Yikes! I really should limit myself to S1 discussion (just for now) otherwise I’ll start including Duet and Conversion and … well, you get the idea! 

    So many favourites … I love the team episodes and I do try, wherever possible, to keep the TV on SKY when they repeat SG1 and SGA. I like to give both shows a rating.

    Looking forward to Joe discussing ALL the episodes – I do have a few thoughts about The Storm and The Eye!


  18. John pushing Rodney over the railing is a funny scene, but I particularly liked his follow-up line: “I shot him!” and the oh-so-pleased look on his face. Too bad he caved to Weir’s responding look and admitted it was “in the leg.”

  19. Wonderful memories SGA Mr. M.! We made a donut run this morning ourselves. It’s becoming our Saturday morning ritual.
    Is your trip next weekend?

    JeffW: I’m surrounded by picky eaters/diabetics, so a cheesecake would go to waste if I didn’t freeze it. I’ll take out one piece at a time just for me. One cheesecake will last us a few months! I remember that Jodi Foster movie and that line. 😆 Sometimes a cooking mistake will turn out to be fabulous new recipe. 😉

    Das: Well I’m glad your eyes aren’t worrying you. Have a great weekend!

    Bailey: Good catch yesterday! I got a good giggle out of it.

    We had a Lilyhammer marathon last night. That show is growing on me. I loved it when the character (former mafia) went to a Norweign jail. Sooooo, much different than an American jail.

  20. Thank you again for the memories. For ’38 MInutes’, I would imagine that shooting that whole storyline in the back of a jumper had to be claustrophobic for cast and crew, even more than the audience – you shot both forward and back, so unless you had multiple jumper sets (and even if you did!) the logistics must have been a challenge.

    I’d choose the Extinction script, if I could!

  21. I am getting back into the SGA from the first ep. til the last. I think your reminiscing will out pace my watching. But I do have one question. In watching the Defiant I remember conversations about the Richmond sands. How far away was it from where you had your food feast the other week?

  22. @DP You’ll be waiting a long time if I get them! I’d have them until I die, then they’d be passed to my daughter who’ll cherish them until she passes. 🙂 After that, maybe they’d show up on ebay! 🙂


  23. Joe,
    I must say without your blog I would not be as adventurous in dinning out or of menu choices. Of this I must profess Mea Maxima Culpa. For over 20 years I lived this town had not visited this restaurant, Mandarin Kitchen, for fear is would be another Americanized Chinese chow main palace. In buying copies of Dark Matter, I looked more closely at the cliental. That peaked my interest. It is not an old saying if you want food good go were the locals are? It was a chinese restaurant with the smells and fish tanks. I decided to make a lunch visit and had the dim sum. It was Good. Better than what I remember having in a Chinese enclave at my Peace Corps site. Unfortunately I no longer reside there.

  24. Have you or will you ever talk about the untimely and IMHO very wrong decision to cancel the Peoples Choice Award winning show SGA that still has so much life to live in lieu of an unknown darker SGU…..which IMHO faiked on so many of the levels SGA succeeded?!

  25. I would hope those of us who are unfortunate in NOT being able to go can have some type of entry into a contest so we can win stuff, too. With SDCC, you basically have to buy your passes a year in advance.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.