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…
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.
Right, right. Stargate: Atlantis…
HIDE AND SEEK (103)
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.
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?