It looks like I will be in San Diego for Comic Con, signing copies of my SF comic book series, Dark Matter, at the Dark Horse booth (conveniently located steps away from where former Stargate scribe Remi Aubuchon will be overseeing the action at the Falling Skies booth).  I’ll have the space for about an hour starting at 4:00 p.m. the afternoon of the 14th (after which it becomes a lemonade stand to raise money for vertiginous raccoons) so swing on by to get a comic signed, say hello to Akemi who’ll be working crowd control, have a shot at winning some awesome Stargate giveaways, and, of course, help the woozy raccoons.

Belfast receives worldwide attention – and not the good kind.  A family fights to save their dog from being euthanized by the local authorities: No Justice, No Mercy for Lennox the Dog in Belfast.  And you can go here to leave a comment: http://www.facebook.com/belfastcitycouncil

Back to our Stargate: Atlantis reminiscing…

THE EYE (111)

The big mid-season two-parter concludes in thunderous fashion.  As the storm of the century rages, Atlantis is assailed from without and within.  McKay struggles to save the city while Sheppard pulls out all the stops in an effort to save the lives of his people.  Amid all of the surprises The Eye throws at you, the biggest shock is the body count. Sheppard kills some 60+ Genii soldiers over the course of this episode, gunning down a half-dozen and then killing 55 reinforcements by raising the Atlantis shield.  One could argue that Sheppard is operating under the assumption that Kolya has executed Weir, that his actions are influenced by grief and anger, perhaps a desire for revenge.  In my mind, however, Sheppard never has a choice.  It’s kill or be killed.   For me, far more telling is not the decision to turn on the shield and kill the reinforcements but the decision to take down Ladon without killing him.  Sheppard demonstrates restraint and, in this pivotal instant, makes it clear he is not just out for revenge.  He’s a man doing everything he can to rescue his friends.

A terrific character moment for McKay as well when, in the episode’s opening moments, he actually steps in front of Weir to face down a gun-toting Kolya.  Rodney has come a long way since his introduction back in SG-1 and he continues to grow over the show’s five year run, but this moment is certainly one of the biggest steps in the evolution of his character.

As cool as the set looked with that driving rain battering the outskirts of the city, it was downright miserable for the cast and crew – but especially the cast.  It was cold, wet, and damn hard to see and hear. And, to top it all off, in one outtake that didn’t make the gag reel, actor David Hewlett was on the receiving end of an errant punch that knocked the wind out of him.  But in decidedly unMcKay-like fashion, David shrugged it off and kept right on going.

THE DEFIANT ONE (112)

Peter DeLuise’s last script for the Stargate franchise is a terrific episode with the feel of an old Western – a duel to the death between two worthy warriors, battling it out against a dusty desert backdrop.  We see a return of a life form surprisingly similar to one we’ve encountered before (back in SG-1’s Prodigy), a species that figures into a clever conclusion.

Here, we see the horrifying effects of the wraith’s feeding process – not death but pretty damn close.  Another step in the evolution of the McKay character as he wrestles between staying safe and watching over a fallen comrade, or going out and helping Sheppard.  And, when that fallen comrade takes his own life, Rodney doesn’t hesitate, putting his own life at risk to make a timely intervention and save John.

Cast your vote for your favorite Stargate mid-season two-parter for a chance to win some signed scripts.

34 thoughts on “June 13, 2012: Dark Matter at Comic Con! Save Lennox the dog! Days of Stargate Past, Atlantis! The Eye and The Defiant One! Vote on our favorite Stargate mid-season two-parter for a chance to win!

  1. You know what? I change my mind. Rather than Fourth Horseman, the more I think about it, Atlantis’ Lost Tribe/First Contact kick way much more ass. Who can pass up blowing up Operations? Like I had said when I commented before on the merits of Fourth and Tribe/Contact, they’re just that feeling of “Okay, how do you guys survive this one because you aren’t paired up in your normal winning style?” And there’s always hyperjumping through a planet that’s cool.

  2. Speaking of The Eye, I liked the way it exposes just how vulnerable the city is to enemy attack, or should I say an enemy attack done correctly. Even with powerful defenses and technology, Earth is just as vulnerable as any other planet in the Galaxy to an attack done right, same as Atlantis.

    I actually liked Koyla as a villian, he did it right. Shame he had to die, he was the perfect nemesis for Sheppard, always felt he had a few more episodes in him, in which to annoy, destract and otherwise cause a problem to the Atlantis team.

    No issues with his death, always did think it would come down to a him or Sheppard situation, the better man won 🙂

    I don’t really have much to say about these 2 episodes, beyond what you’ve mentioned already Joe, they were very good.

  3. I loved both of these episodes, primarily for badass Shep. Glad to see Rodney stepping up too. Just excellent action/adventure stories all around. The Eye, in particular is stunning in it’s presentation.

  4. Hey, thanks for the attention/links re Lennox Joe, you’d be genuinely outraged at how little media coverage his plight has received in this neck of the woods (Belfast born, bred and currently employed)!

    Great memories re The Eye (working my way merrily through the Blu-ray box set these weekends), speaking of Sheppard, I must treat myself to that classic Johnny Cash poster for the office 🙂

  5. Oh, I did love The Defiant One! An amazing episode. I’m going to abstain from voting for cliff-hangers as I did not see all of them and am a little fuzzy on a lot of the ones I did see. Too much life going on right now.

  6. Knowing this was coming, I watched “The Defiant One” on the plane today. A few observations:

    1. Although I see Rodney growing, he still has some fun rough edges in this episode, e.g.:
    Rodney emptying the pistol’s magazine into the wraith: “What do I do now?!?”
    Sheppard: “Reload!”

    2. Getting absorbed in the details, I found myself in one scene looking at the bottom of the wraith’s shoes and thinking “why does he have hiking boots on?” Given wraith-tech, I wondered if his boots should be more organic looking… This is much more about my mind wandering off than a nit-pic 😉

    3. Richard Cox (Dr. Gall), also played Nyan in SG-1’s “New Ground” and at first I thought Nyan had joined the Atlantis Expedition (since he was previously exiled on Earth). After I figured out he was playing a different character (unless “Dr. Gall” is a pseudonym), I then wondered if there was any thought to bringing him back as Nyan instead?

    4. Last wondering: exactly how do the wraith excrete the web Dr. Gall was covered in?

    Now off to dinner at Miku.

  7. The Storm/The Eye and The Return I/The Return II are my favorites and hard to pick one over the other. I went with the Return, because it had it all. Replicators, the Ancients, some SG1, Woolsey and a lot of great moments for the characters. There was humor and drama both…not to mention Carson’s wee baby turtles (which we’re left hanging, BTW).

    Speaking of the The Storm/The Eye, I’ve got to say one of the best bad guys from the franchise is Acastus Kolya. Robert Davi is a favorite actor of mine especially when he plays the heavy. He does a very convincing job here and I thought he played off the cast extremely well. IMO, he gave the Genii their badness. Was it always the intention to bring Koyla back at a later time?

    I have to say though, Joe, that these were the episodes I developed a strong dislike for the character Ford. He was obnoxious and showed a level of immaturity. I was not sorry to see the last of him at the end of the season.

    These are very strong episodes in every way. I never get tired of watching them.

  8. @ for the love of Beckett – Penderbooks can be a bit gruesome, just so you know in case you scare easy. 😉

    @ Sparrowhawk – Slow down, girl! You’re making me out of breath! (I totally understand the busy life thing, though I’m just not as dutiful to life as I am to goofing off. 🙂 )

    @ JeffW – I tried to get an answer about that web, too. Back on the Gateworld forums we used to joke about it – did it come out of the Wraith’s hand, or mouth…or butt (like a spider!). 😮 One of the Wraith Defenders conjured up this great mental image of a Wraith excreting web out of his mouth on a windy day, causing him to web up his own head by mistake. Silly, yes…but when you really think about it, it’s also hilarious!

    So, Joe – Jeff and I both wanna know – where did that web come from??!

    das

  9. I had to take a day to think about it. For me, it’s the Storm/the Eye. (Season 9 and 10 of SG-1 are close behind.) I love seeing McKay be miserable so having him soaking wet trying to fix everything is fun. I also love how he attempted to fix his own injury over his clothes. As for Shepard, this is an awesome story showing how badass he is.

  10. The Storm/The Eye for me. Sheppard’s skill and tactics in the guerilla warfare he waged against the invading force gave his character an unknown background that would show up later, most specifically in “Outcast” when Nancy referred to his obviously classified assignments. Tempering the violence with Ladon’s knockout kept him accessible, not a berserker nutcase.

  11. Please spread the word on what has been happening to Lennox and his family. I know there are many dog lovers reading this blog. Please take the time to sign the petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/sl190510/petition.html

    Here is the history on Lennox:http://www.examiner.com/article/lennox-s-family-s-historic-fight-against-breed-specific-legislation-continues

    This link shows the meeting between Lennox and the dog warden.

    This is not a dangerous dog. He was taken away from his loving and responsible family and has been kept in deplorable conditions. Now he has been sentenced to death.

    Please help win this fight for Lennox, for his family, and for the lives of all dogs who may find themselves in a similar situation.

  12. I have been following Lennox and her story. So sad. Thank you for spreading the word.

  13. Tough call! It’s definitely between The Storm/The Eye and The ReturnI&II. Ultimately, The Return won out, though. I love the reverse culture shock some of the characters go through and the pervasive loneliness they all experience after spending 24/7 together for 2 1/2 years. Plus the fact that everyone sees the Ancients are kind of jerks, and of course, the action and humor. And O’Neill! Although The Quest I&II are two of my favorite SG1 eps ever.

  14. The Eye was very good, action packed, cat and mouse between Sheppard and Kolya. Rodney was pretty cute in this one, especially when he doctored his arm. The Defiant One is one of my favorite espisodes. That super ugly skinny wraith, that needs a dentist real bad, is like a cat with nine lives or Arnold Schwartzenegerrr…. in the Terminator. You just can’t keep a bad wraith down. My only thing with this one is the last scene where the wraith takes a missile from space. That shot looked a little dorky to me, like a doll was placed in the sand then blown up. But no big deal. Still a great esisode with that rugged looking wraith.

  15. That’s a tough choice! I think I’ll go with Justice/Space, because I was SHOCKED when Young left Rush on that planet. Sh*t had just gotten real. Justice had great elements – Rush and Young yelling at each other, Franklin in the chair, an alien planet, the music. It was a great character episode for Wray, Young and Rush. Space wasn’t a complete home-run, but loved the battle intensity and mystery about encountering aliens.

    Wow.. no matter how awesome 1.5 and season 2 were, I kind of miss the earlier feel of SGU. The drama was really good, and sci fi was more in the background creating these fantastic situations our characters were facing.

  16. Loved The Storm/The Eye but also thought the battle scene in Be All My Sins Remember’d was terrific.

  17. ITA with your take on Sheppard. In fact, there was more at stake then the lives of his friends. He didn’t want Atlantis falling into enemy hands. The Genii may not have been able to use the technology in the same way they could, but they still could have caused a lot of damage with what was available to them. Plus, all of the expedition would have been left abandoned on a strange planet. And you’re right. McKay did come into his own in that episode. Our selfish little boy grew up!

    But the Defiant one is one of my favourite episodes. Why? Because it had everything. It was tense – kept you on the edge of your seat. But it was also funny. And it was funny sad too. McKay and Sheppard’s conversation at the end when he asked him how he was. Looks more than words can convey a feeling sometimes. They had both been through the mill, but neither really wanted to discuss it. Great stuff!

  18. I voted for The Eye. The storm action was great! Thanks for the actor tidbits. I’m always wondering about what the actors go through doing a scene. All that water looked uncomfortable but I didn’t know if they warmed the set to compensate.

    As for the Belfast dog, don’t even get me started on animals rights! Plus, how do they know Lennox is part pit bull? His head is strong but he could be part Dane. They keep trying to put a breed ban over here but it hasn’t taken. If they are going to ban dangerous breeds, where are the rotties, danes, and shepherds listed? I’ve seen some badass rotties! Not as many vicious pits and we saw a lot of pits. Pits are super stoic. Most would just sit there while I drew blood or put in a cath.

    Thanks Das for the book list! I’ve read quite a few on the list. It’s been a while since I started the series, so may start from the beginning again.

    Have fun at Comic con! help the woozy raccoons…..Come again?

  19. Thank you for recapping Atlantis. I was afraid you weren’t going to do it. *g* The Defiant One is an all-time favourite episode of mine through all five seasons. Picking one two-parter was tricky but I went with The Return 1 and 2, because the gang was so determined to go “home” even while they were on Earth. Says a lot about their characters.

    Got a question for you and apologies if it’s already been answered: who convinced Sheppard to join the expedition? I think it was O’Neill. (I heart Jack forever. Missed him dearly when he moved on from SG-1.) Anyway, was the decision ever scripted or discussed among the writers and producers?

    Two questions. *g*

  20. Absolutely horrible what they are doing to Lennox and his family. I’ve been following this for some time, and it absolutely makes me sick to my stomach.

    Belfast City Council, by the way, has removed their Facebook page.

    I realize that Northern Ireland is technically part of the UK, but it still makes me ashamed to call myself an Irish American.

  21. Hey there!!

    While I adore The Eye/The Storm for the Die Hardness I had to go with This Mortal Coil/Be All My Sins Remember’d for the epic VFX battle sequence. It was ambitious and awesome…also killer titles and Haha take that Human Replicators!!!

    Cheers, Chev

  22. *sigh*

    I just realized I could make Mr. Defiant (or Greg, as we like to call him) bigger by clicking on the picture. Sometimes they don’t enlarge, but this one did. I must say that I love the detail given to his ancient Wraithy habiliments – he has a real Mad Max thing going on there. Kudos to the costume department for the design…and to James for sporting them so well!

    das

  23. That was a hard choice to make but I finally went with The Storm/The Eye. Sheppard being bad ass ….that’s what made it for me.

  24. ….it was downright miserable for the cast and crew – but especially the cast. It was cold, wet, and damn hard to see and hear.
    i heard that episode was scheduled for right before a break in filming, because they knew everyone would end up sick from being in the cold & wet.

  25. *whew* A three day weekend for me. Thank goodness.

    That is a charming picture of the Defiant One. And, as you said, das, the costume is perfect and really brings home the fact that he has been there for a verrrrrry long time. I’d forgotten about the discussion of how Wraith web their victims, but thinking about it made me smile.

    Hey, I’m heading to Seattle in a couple of weeks and plan to go to the Mystery Book Store. No, the location is not a mystery, it is a couple of blocks from the hotel; they specialize in mysteries. Any suggestions for good mystery authors? Unfortunately, there will be no time for a side trip to Vancouver this time.

    I wish that Comic Con was in my future but, alas, it is not. I would be happy to help the woozy raccoons and and would very much like the chance to meet you and Akemi. And I would love to see Akemi doing crowd control!

  26. @glowyzoey
    @who convinced Sheppard to join the expedition?

    Pretty sure that was covered in the Atlantis pilot, and it was infact Jack who gave Shep a kick in the proverbial rear end and inspired him to join the expedition.

    My memory isn’t amazing so, If Joe ever has another mailbag I’m sure he’l answer that

  27. I love all the episodes mentioned, but my fav is First Contact/lost tribe because:
    1. Shanks brought his A game
    2. McKay met his match in Daniel and kept trying to one up him
    3. Todd “hugs” Woolsey.
    4. Mamoa running around shooting things and looking good!
    5. Asgard goes dark….didn’t see that one coming.
    6.. coooool FX
    7. love all the BLT blinky light things
    8. Mckay/Daniel banter is fabulous.

  28. We had a long family meeting over this issue, one great thing about the Stargate Franchise in this house has to be it’s multigenerational appeal. My wife and three kids, 1 18yo Girl, 1 14yo Boy, 1 10yo Boy, and I have watched the series since the first time we discovered it. My kids grew up on Stargate, that being said, a consencious could not be reached. Therefore I thought it only fair to list our choices, my wife (Krista) and my daughter (Tracie) both love S2 SG1 Tok’ra. Myself and my eldest son both agreed with S6 SG1 Prometheus/Unnatural Selection, while my youngest son, who got caught up in the reruns after first loving Atlantis due to his youth (Devon) says his favorite episode from Atlantis S1 The Storm/The Eye.

    Although SGU has worth, even some episodes as stand alone mini movies, as we look at it, this final addition to the Stargate family was, well, not very Stargate worthy. We all agree, along with friends of ours that Atlantis should have been aired longer, SG1 was the best, killing Atlantis to bring out the disfunctional SGU was a crime. Again we did, as stand alone mini’s, not associated with the franchise in question, where not to bad. As Stargate goes though, we weep for Atlantis and SG1.

    Lovers of Stargate

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