Last night, Akemi and I re-enacted an episode of the anime Gintama. Coincidentally, it was the very episode we watched last night before going to sleep. The episode involved an insomniac Kagura keeping a sleepy Gintama up all night.  By episode’s end, she has finally dozed off while Gintama lies wide awake beside her, unable to fall back asleep. Well, some three hours after I switched off the lights, I was stirred from a deep slumber by Akemi complaining because she couldn’t sleep. Apparently, she was suffering from indigestion, undoubtedly the result of a double helpings of the spicy noodles we had for dinner last night (“Please, don’t judge me,” she said as she shoveled the second helping into her bowl).  “I can’t sleep,”she said.  “Help me.”  I suggested she pop a Pepto Bismal tablet.  I always keep a half-dozen in emergency reserve by my bedside.  She informed me that she’d already taken one and so, my entire repertoire of stomach remedies exhausted, I attempted to talk her out of her indigestion – but only managed a few encouraging words before giving up and settling for a comforting stomach pat.

And then, as I lay there, thinking about going back to sleep, other thoughts began to intrude on my half-wakened mind – concerns, big and small, took root and flourished, prompting dark imaginings, worst case scenarios, and a multitude of possible approaches to the problems. I lay in bed, fully alert, for three hours, attempting to shut down my brain and salvage what little sleep I could.  But when the sun came up at a little after 5:00 a.m., I knew I was done.  Jelly waking up thirty minutes later, crying to be let out, sealed it.

I got dressed, took Jelly out, came back inside, and crawled back into bed.  But it was pointless.  I got back out of bed, grabbed my laptop, and headed downstairs for an early start to the day – all the while being ever so careful to make sure I didn’t disturb Akemi.

She, of course, managed to sleep through the whole thing.

Atlantis memories…


Not quite a clip show yet not quite a progressive episode either, Letters from Pegasus is nevertheless a satisfying entry as it offers up some insight into life on Atlantis and the effect the early months of the expedition have had on its members.  We’re offered unguarded glimpses of our characters as they open up and send messages back to their loved ones.  These run the gamut from amusing and heart-warming to incredibly poignant.  Alongside Weir’s address to the loved ones of those who have lost their lives on the mission to Pegasus, highlights include a conniving Kavanaugh, a long-winded McKay, and a surprisingly stirring Zelenka who delivers his entire message in Czech.

Off-world, meanwhile, Sheppard and Teyla run into a spot of trouble while running reconnaissance and narrowly avoid being culled by the wraith.  Teyla’s attempts to save the family of an old friend prompts a curious lecture from John on the necessity to separate emotions from logic in life or death situations.  The advice is sound but it nevertheless rings a little hollow given that it comes from a guy who has, time and again, demonstrated just the opposite.

THE GIFT (118)

This episode starts with the old double-dream twist (love it!) and ends with a shocking revelation that was hinted at way back in the opening two-parter. Along the way, we are treated to oodles of backstory on the wraith, the Ancients, and Teyla herself.  And, as an added bonus, we’re also introduced to resident psychiatrist Dr. Kate Heightmeyer AND the much-loved tuttleroot soup (an Athosian specialty!).  This episode covers A LOT of ground, but it never feels rushed or overwhelming in its delivery.  It moves along at a brisk pace with one surprise building on the next.  The evolution of the wraith!  The Ancients’ unwittingly having a hand in their own demise!  The dark truth about Teyla’s genetic make-up!  The reason for the grand awakening and looming wraith attack on Atlantis!

And then, there’s this at the very end of the episode:

Teyla: “That is why they are all waking up. That is why they are coming here. They know that Atlantis is the only way to get to a new, rich, feeding ground.”

Sheppard: Earth.

Yes!  YES!  THAT is why they’re all awakening!  Sheppard assumes the blame for awakening the wraith (during the op to rescue Sumner in Rising II) but here, Teyla confirms what I mentioned in a previous entry: that the wraith have awakened, not because of Sheppard’s actions, but because of the information they discovered while interrogating Sumner.

DARK MATTER at Comic Con!

I’m making final arrangements for Comic Con.    In a little less than a month from now, I’ll be in San Diego, signing copies of my comic book series (Dark Matter), walking the floor of the convention center (it took me an entire afternoon the first time I went), and attempting to find a restaurant amid the myriad of neighborhood bail bondsman offices.  Hopefully, by the same time next year, I’ll be back in San Diego and, instead of talking about Dark Matter the comic book series, I’ll be there to discuss Dark Matter the t.v. series.  Seriously. Television is in desperate need of a ship-based science fiction series.

Four more days to get your vote in for The Greatest Mid-Season Two-Parter in Stargate history!

It’s about 4:00 p.m. and I’m ready for bed!

24 thoughts on “June 16, 2012: An early start to the day! Days of Stargate Atlantis Past! Letters from Pegasus! The Gift!

  1. Ugh. Can’t agree more about the need for ship based sci-fi.

    I’ve had those nights too – where for no reason you just can’t get to sleep. Complete with the “everything is going to come crashing down on you” type worries. Could be anything, health, work, relationships, you name it. What’s so bizarre is that in the cold light of morning you have to shake your head and wonder what you were thinking. Of course, usually I wind up eventually falling asleep at about 5:30… and the alarm goes off at 6. I’ve taken to sometimes using an ambient sound/brainwave entrainment app on my iPhone to help me focus on something other than what I call “restless brain syndrome”. It usually works, but not always.

    This is the app, for anybody interested:

    For indigestion or nausea, I’m a big proponent of crystallized ginger, which is usually available in grocery or bulk food stores. It’s even good for motion sickness. You don’t have to eat much, and it’s not exactly tasty (I chase it with a little water usually), but it usually provides some (and often complete) relief within about 30 seconds. Plus, it’s completely natural. I’ve never found Pepto to be anywhere remotely as effective. Unless your objective is to turn your poo black, at which it works amazingly well.

    I loved “Letters from Pegasus” – it gave a nice view into the characters’ lives and personalities when it was a good time for that in the first season. “The Gift” was great too!

  2. “Hopefully, by the same time next year, I’ll be back in San Diego and, instead of talking about Dark Matter the comic book series, I’ll be there to discuss Dark Matter the t.v. series. Seriously. Television is in desperate need of a ship-based science fiction series.”

    Amen, brother Joe!!!!! Amen!!

    Get it done!

  3. Joe, I’m hoping the re-write is going well despite the sleep deprivation. Good luck on it!

    I just finished watching Letters from Pegasus, and while looking at the IMDB listing for this episode, I noticed that 11 writers were listed (including you and Paul). Was each writer responsible for a particular character’s “letter”? If so, whose “letters” did you and Paul do?

    BTW, the meal at L’Abattoir was very very good. It is now at the top of my list for future return trips. As a starter, I had one of the specials, the Sea Bass prepared ala duck confit (delicious!), and then roast scallops for the main course (also done perfectly). I finished with the mango Ricotta Cheesecake which I found to be good, but not as sweet as I expected.

    I’ll try to get some pictures of the meals uploaded tonight/tomorrow; I just have to fight with the iPhone and work laptop to get the pictures to a memory stick so I can transfer the pictures to my home PC…why does Apple have to be so restrictive? A microSD slot on the iPhone would have made this whole affair so much easier. Before anyone suggests that I connect the iPhone directly to my home PC, the iPhone is a company phone and the company data policy requires that I only sync it with the company laptop.

    Needless to say I made it back to Chicago but not without a little bit of drama. Somehow both Air Canada and United lost my e-ticket reservation (it was a code shared flight between the two). The same thing happened on the way out, but United assured me that they had fixed it…apparently not. Spent 45 minutes standing in the “obscure ticket problem” line (twice I was pulled out of line by a check-in agent to go try the automated check-in kiosk, only to have it report that the reservation didn’t exist…again). I’ve been avoiding flying United and I’ve just been reminded of why.

  4. Only 9 p.m. here and I’m ready for bed, as well. Moving in 3 weeks, so everything’s up to me (hubby’s working 6 days a week). Trying to do all that while keeping an eye on Riley (her latest is “cow tipping” Gumbo…), the usual housework and cooking, I’m pooped. Problem is, I go to bed around 11 p.m. and can’t sleep. I’ve been falling asleep around 2 or 3 a.m., then hubby gets up at 4:30, turns on lights and makes a ton of noise (yeah, 30+ years of that…), dogs out, dogs in, Riley jumping on my face and I’m wide awake till 7. I wind up sleeping till 9 or 10 and get called LAZY!

    Like many here, I’m re-watching SG Atlantis. I thought I was pretty burned out on it but I’m actually having a blast watching. Maybe that’s why I can’t sleep! 🙂

  5. I can’t argue about the need for ship-based sci-fi either. Hope very much that it comes true.

    Have a great night!!!!! And get some sleep. 🙂
    Lisa R.

  6. I’m rewatching the series with you on my 17 inch computer screen, sitting only about 2 feet away. So it is pretty easy to get into all the episodes . I loved Letters From Pegasus! With the wraith coming, the crew records messages to be sent back home. As they record we see past events on Atlantis so far. Carl Binder wove a beautiful story around clips from past shows. Beckett starting to cry was hilarious. (sorry Carson) Ford introducing himself to his grandparents before saying “hi” was hilarious. Dr Weir’s messages were heartbreaking. Brought tears to my eyes. She is one tough lady. Kavanaugh – somebody just slap him!! And I bet McKay is still talking! Sheppard and Teyla’s terrifying trip to a planet under attack by the wraith was suspensful. I was glued to the screen while watching this one. After watching, I think Sheppard has a lot of pressure on him. I think he should challenge Weir if the situation warrants it.

    The Gift had a few “oh crap” moments in it thanks to Teyla’s special ability reveal. She learns why she is so sensative to the wraith and can see through their eyes. The wraith have awakened early and there is not enough food to go around. Except in one world. And Atlantis knows how to get there.

    So let me get this straight. The wraith, when awake, feed on every living being in space until the food chain is almost depleated. Then they sleep for thousands of years giving the food source time to rebuild itself back up. Then they awake again to feed again. Is that right? If so, kill the suckers!

  7. Well technically a 3 parter. I love the Siege saga. It was an awesome/painful cliffhanger, that I think solidified the series.

  8. @ JeffW – Carl Binder wrote Letters From Pegasus. The other writers are listed because, (I believe), clips from episodes they wrote were shown. Gotta give them credit too. But Carl wrote this and put it all together.

    I’m fixing to watch the last 2 episodes from season 1. That went by fast!

  9. @Ponytail. The genii were trying. But the Hives in space were a difficult target, impossible for most humans. And enough Wraith active to make sure human societies were culled when their tech level got to be a danger.

    A lot of great episodes in season 1,and letters from Pegasus is among them. this episode solitified Weir’s position as leader. She stepped up and handled the hard job, a job that sheppard by rights should have handled for a good number of the honored dead. I also love the fact she did push her military commander to do his duty in one special case. Weir is the kind of civilian leader a soldier can die for with some confidence his or her death is not meaningless or wasted. But the episode was so much more. McKay provided the bulk of comedic relief, right up to the point he left hooks us with his message to his sister. Zelinka’s description of Atlantis Rising made my heart soar, even though I had no idea of exactly what he was saying. And the fact the characters were making these messages ramped up the tension leading into the final episodes. It is obvious these are people who believe they are getting ready to die, and the drama translated well to the viewers.
    The gift was not one of my favorites. You remark the pacing was well done. I think it might have been a bit pushed, myself. though I was pleased that aspects to Teyla’s abilities were explored later on in the series. so while I don’t like this one as much as some of the others, it certainly is a critical one for the mythos of the series.
    Since I didn’t get to sleep till 4am myself, and then only intermittendly, I will blame you or Akemi for my insomnia. Well, that and the gallon or so of soda i ended up drinking through the day. I’ve done well avoiding colored sugar water but I ended up overdosing on the stuff for one day. Live and learn.
    Hopefully the planning and execution of the trip to comiccon goes smoothly. Hope you have fun, and look forward to the blog reports(and perhaps some pics of some of the regular readers). thanks as always for your dedication to maintaining this post. Now, off to finish Scalzi’s Redshirts…

  10. Have fun in San Diego. I hope you are getting some sleep tonight. I don’t know if Pepcid is over the counter up in Canada but it usually works like a charm for indigestion.

    Letters From Pegasus is one of the best clip shows I have ever seen. Everyone’s character moments were gems, and Zelenka’s description of the city rising is awe inspiring.

    The Gift was good too, made for some interesting drama for Teyla.

  11. PS – Re Letters from Pegasus, I remember being particularly struck by Sheppard’s lack of anyone to send a message too and wondering even more so what his back story was. The one you eventually gave him I would have never guessed. At that point I thought he was brought up in foster care or all his family had died in some awful tragedy.

  12. Joe, Welcome to my world. I have stomach upset and sleep troubles 2 or 3 times a week. Some things that I have found to be helpful with my stomach are yogurt and milk. The enzymes in yogurt and the melotonin in milk help sooth it. also I have drunk hot tea and that has sometimes helped when I didn’t feel like eating the yogurt. sometimes i eat crackers, and it may help. the yogurt helps the most often. I have tried numerous things for the mind won’t shut off problem, going from exercise, imagery (imagine a nice place or a pleasant memory) and watching tv. recently I have started doing crossword puzzles. I keep a paperback book of easy crossword puzzles by my bed and when I can’t sleep I just turn on the light, do a few puzzles and often I can nod back off. If I can’t sleep, at least I am having a good time rather than being angry I am not sleeping.

  13. Hey Joe,

    Long time reader first time commenter.

    There have been so many great eps of Stargate that I want to thank you for (as it is the show that got me into sci-fi, although not many other shows have matched up to it).

    Out of the eps above I’d have to say my favourite is probably The Quest due to the combination of the ‘quest’ like storyline as well as the characters involved which I found made a very good episode. While The Lost Boys (I thought Ford in his new state would have made a great recurring character, was there ever any plans to have him appear again?) and This Mortal Coil are a close second!

  14. I wanted to ask this at the Rising part, but I was a bit busy and if slipped my mind at the end:

    In the very beginning of Rising we see two ancients, and the woman seems to be left behind. She was the same actress who played Ayiana in SG-1’s ‘Frozen’ in season 6. Is she supposed to be the same character or it’s just one of those looks exactly the same but have nothing to do with each other characters?

  15. I have a “cast-iron” tummy, takes a lot to upset it. Ginger is my fallback remedy if hot tea or generic Rolaids aren’t up to it. Guts, not as tough anymore, surgeries do that.
    I can always fall asleep, but I do early waking. I try to turn off the monkey brain, or to catch a dream I was having, while doing deep relaxation techniques… but mostly I just get up and make coffee.

  16. Ponytail: Here is the link for the virus software. It’s been working well for us:

    Das: Hmm, I didn’t think about the electronic gadget age affecting comic books. When I was a kid, we didn’t have any little devices and only three TV channels. Now I go a little crazy (er) without a Wi-Fi fix.

    Mr. M.: That is so sweet that you stayed up to help Akemi! A stomach ache is impossible to sleep through. She might want to take a preempted medicine next time she pigs out. I’ve heard exercise helps work out gas but who feels like crunches at 2 a.m.?

    Teyla confirms what I mentioned in a previous entry: that the wraith have awakened, not because of Sheppard’s actions, but because of the information they discovered while interrogating Sumner I didn’t remember that, so thank you for posting this explanation.

    I hope you have an easy/fun/safe trip!

    P. S. I hope you can work in a nap today AND Happy Father’s day! Is it Father’s day in Canada?

  17. A bit surprised to see The 4th Horseman not getting many votes at the moment. Perhaps the arse-kicking the Ori handed out’s a downer for some, but I thought it was great!!!

  18. that gintama episode was awesome, especially the funny story they heard on the radio.

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