So, the plan is to head down to San Diego for Comic Con in early July and do a signing for my comic book series, Dark Matter. Of course, I suspect that more than a few individuals will show up to chat Stargate so, in addition to giving away copies of Dark Matter, I’ve been thinking about giving away some Stargate swag as well. Scripts, yes. Maybe a couple of collectibles. I’ve got that enormous box set of Atlantis’s full series run with all the special features sitting in my basement, the SG-1 100th episode anniversary package containing the SG-1 commemorative plaque and keychain, and a couple of cool PR packages of the SGA and SGU premiere episodes (I think the SGA version contains some sort of mini aquarium). All possibilities. Some of you have suggested signed photos of my dogs but, to be honest, it’s hard enough getting them outside to do their business. Signing stuff would be almost impossible.
Anyway, in (far) advance of the Dark Matter trade paperback (collecting the first four-issue arc) that comes out in October, I offer the following review of the opening arc I came across the other day: http://www.sparknotes.com/mindhut/2012/06/04/review-dark-matter-graphic-novels-volumes-1-4
Resuming our trip down SGA memory line…
This was Paul and my first episode of Atlantis and, looking back now, it’s amazing how many elements were put in play here. We establish the wraith stunners, the mainland, Teyla’s stick-fighting ability, the Zelenka-McKay working dynamic, and the beginnings of Teyla’s conflicted loyalties between the Atlantis expedition and her people. There’s also the civilian vs. military divide that’s touched upon here in the scene in which Sheppard dismisses Sgt. Bates only to have Weir remind him that she, as the leader of the expedition, appointed Bates as head of security. We also introduce the wraith self-destruct mechanism that, while interesting and effective on off-world encounters, aren’t going to enter into the equation when the teams take the fight to the hive ships.
The thing I remember most about this episode was wondering why the Atlantis away teams didn’t have designations like the away teams oeprating out of Stargate command (ie. SG-1, SG-2, SG-3). While my writing partner, Paul, was busy thinking up lyrics for the Atlantis theme to accompany the bang-up job we’d done coming up with lyrics for the SG-1 theme (We give a rare performance here: Stargate Theme (with lyrics!) – YouTube. Ultimately, Paul was only able to come up with: We’re in Atlantis! We’re underwater!) I set my mind to coming up with SGA team designations. And, I did, but the other writers balked at my First Atlantis Reconnaissance Team idea. Clearly, they were just jealous.
CHILDHOOD’S END (106)
Enter Golden boy Martin Gero, a young freelancer who, on the strength of his script for Childhood’s End, won himself a well-deserved staff position and then proceeded to run the table by taking ownership of the series through his multitudinous scripts (I don’t think anyone wrote more). By the end of the show’s run, he had earned the title Mr. Atlantis.
I remember the first draft of the script included a foppish royal named Lord Smeadon who Martin had to excise for the second draft after the first round of notes. Interestingly, Lord Smeadon was gone but not forgotten, making a curious guest appearance in The Storm, coincidentally also written by Mr. Gero. I also remember watching the dailies one day and hearing one of the young actors utter the now infamous line “Death bird fall from sky”. Death bird fall from sky? Why was he delivering his dialogue like the incredible Hulk? This was also the episode where a line from one of the walla performers left us scratching our heads. For those of you who don’t know, “walla” is the background murmurings, usually unintelligible, you hear amongst some onscreen crowd. In the scene in which Sheppard destroys the shrine, amidst the unintelligible murmurings, we hear one performer clearly mutter: “This has never happened before!”. Really? You’ve never had a stranger walk through the stargate and blast your shrine away with his machine gun? First time? Needless to say, that particular line of walla did not make the final cut.
Anyway, Martin ended up commemorating his very first Stargate: Atlantis episode by gifting the writing staff these awesome t-shirts: