News of note:

Save Lennox: Time Runs Out For ‘Death Row’ Dog In Belfast (PICTURES, VIDEO).  From heartless to heartless AND spiteful.  Belfast Council has even ignored offers to ” to pay the expenses to relocate Lennox from Northern Ireland and bring him to the US to a sanctuary and freedom”.  Shame on Belfast City Council.  And there’s a handy “complaints” option on their website here:

Scientists believe they’ve found ‘God Particle’ .  I didn’t even know they’d misplaced it.  (And, just in case: ‘God particle’ for dummies or this: If you were thinking, “What’s the deal with this Higgs Boson? And can somebody explain it to me in cartoon form?” well… you’re welcome [PSA]).

OMG!  Chocolate?!  8 commodities you didn’t know were scarce – Yahoo! Finance Canada

This pretty much confirms everything I feel about this industry: 6 Terrible Decisions That Gave Us Great Movie Moments

10 of the Weirdest Futurist Scenarios for the Evolution of Humanity.  #7’s for Das.

And because they’re cool: Top 10 Fascinating Samurai

Resuming our merry jaunt down Stargate: Atlantis memory lane…


Back in SG-1’s seventh season, we did an episode in which Carter is stranded aboard the Earth ship Prometheus.  Injured and alone, she begins to hallucinate as she struggles to figure a way out of a seemingly impossible situation.  Her visions culminate in a visit by an imagined O’Neill – and a hot and heavy make-out session.  The episode was called Grace.  In Atlantis’s second season, we did an episode in which McKay is stranded inside a submerged/sinking jumper.  Injured and alone, he begins to hallucinate as he struggles to figure a way out of a seemingly impossible situation.  His vision takes the form of an imagined Carter – and culminates in a hot and heavy make-out session.  We decided to call this episode Grace Under Pressure.  The title works on so many levels.

When we were in production, we would look for ways to maximize the money we had to make the best and most spectacular-looking show possible.  One of the ways we did this was by redressing certain sets (The village set, for instance, was shot countless different ways, its cost amortized over the course of many seasons).  Another way we did this was by, every so often, shooting episodes simultaneously.  This provided us with a huge saving that could, in turn, be put toward bigger episodes later in the season (or pay for those big episodes we’d already shot).  Of course, pulling something like this off required heavy preparation, intricate schedule juggling, and a cast and crew who knew exactly what they were doing (ie. which stage they should be showing up at on the day).  Most importantly, an actor couldn’t be at two places at once so we had to ensure both scripts could be shot simultaneously by minimizing certain characters in one episode while maximizing them in others.  Oh, and it also helped to work with a brilliant, well-prepared actor.  Like David Hewlett.

And then, of course, there are the great performances by Amanda Tapping as the illusory Sam and David Nykl as the anxious Radek Zelenka who steps up and figures out a way to save the day – and his irritating rival.  There were other very good performances in this episode, but I thought that these three really stood out because they were not only engaging but memorable in offering insight into their respective characters (Yes, even though Sam was a figment of McKay’s imagination!).

Grace Under Pressure was “All McKay Almost All the Time!” and it worked beautifully.  Martin Gero delivered one of his strongest scripts of the season, a script that is not only wildly entertaining for one-man show, but clearly demonstrates a love and respect for the Rodney McKay character.  For his part, the ever-watchable David Hewlett is at his best, reminding us what we, as viewers, love and respect about Rodney McKay.  As if we could forget.

Favorite line: “

By the time Zelenka comes up with a plan, I’ll have died of old age!”

26 thoughts on “July 4, 2012: News of Note! Days of Stargate: Atlantis Past! Grace Under Pressure!

  1. I’m probably wrong but the Higgs Bosom aka the God Particle is important not only because it gives insight into the creation of the universe but also opens up new avenues in the science area. If you can understand how the universe works and what does what you can make the technology to make stuff happen.

    I guess in Stargate terms, all the major races be it Asgard, Ancient, etc all most likely knew of this particle anyway lol.

    Regarding Grace under Pressure, I agree, it was McKays not so finest hour. As in his inner desires were preventing him from saving himself quicker, at least in my opinion.

    That said I guess it helped him in the end, no one likes being alone, having someone there to keep you occupied ultimately would eliminate the lonelyness one would experience when trapped in a puddle jumper under the sea.

  2. @Randomness: I thought the important takeaway from this episode wasn’t that McKay’s “inner desires” prevented himself from saving himself, but rather his demons almost killed him because by trying to save himself, rather than trusting his team, he almost died. (His fiddling caused the additional hull breach that lost more of his air, and also wasted more power.)

  3. I didn’t even think about the two titles—Grace and Grace Under Pressure—like that until you said it. Now, I have all these images in my head. 🙂 I did enjoy Grace Under Pressure though because I liked the interaction between McKay and Sam.

    Have a great night!!!
    Lisa R

  4. Thanks, Joey. 🙂

    But just so we’re clear… I may like pretty boys, but I still want them to be BOYS, not ‘its’. (Well, men, actually…’cause liking boys is a bit too creepy, even for me.) Oh, and thanks – that’s a lovely picture of Andrej. 😉

    News of Note in NJ: Mr. Das is home sick with a 101 fever and a middle ear infection. I asked how on earth does a grown man (who hasn’t been in the ocean or pool) get an ear infection – I always thought only kids get them. Well, it seems one way that grown-ups can get an ear infection is from sweat. Who knew? With all this heat and Mr. Das working big days out in it (at one time his shop was 110 degrees!), I guess it’s a possibility that sweat could have caused it (also using Q-tips, which he does, as well as seasonal allergies, which he has). I just hope he keeps all his germy germs to his bad old self, ’cause I canNOT afford to be sick.


  5. I loved Grace Under Pressure, David Hewlett was so drippingly believable, amazing freezing performance. It worked, and Amanda Tapping was wonderful as well, McKays dream came true, well you know sort of. Another Great job Martin!! I enjoyed David Nykl coming to a rescue, and I also loved his make-up with (the previous story) entertaining the kids,,made me laugh out loud.(sorry david). Happy 4th. Be safe.

  6. The discovery of the Higgs Boson really is a huge deal (for a small thing!) and I’m always disappointed why the public would much rather read about the latest celebrity gossip than something like this. I was rather impressed though that CBC’s website had the announcement has it’s top story when I went there this morning.

    Grace Under Pressure was indeed a brilliant episode. A real acting tour-de-force for David Hewlett. So well done on so many levels!

    @Randomness: I feel exactly the same way about developments like this. There’s many that may say it’s just some abstract concept and why bother, but it’s these discoveries that make real world improvements to our lives. Plus, it’s just cool!

    @Das: I hope Mr. Das gets well soon!

  7. Grace Under Pressure was a great episode for McKay and David H. He did a terrific job. However at this point I remember thinking too much of a good thing, and feeling oversaturated with McKay. I like him better as part of a team. Not one of the eps I rewatch much as a result. I never realized the connection between Grace and Grace Under Pressure either. :O

  8. We’re having a grandson, guys! 🙂 Just found out, very cool pics with the 4D scan! He’s gorgeous! Oh yeah, my daughter’s home! 🙂

  9. McKay was never my favorite character. Although I recognize his genius, I had a hard time with his rude, crude, brash, motormouth, egotistical, conceited, self-important attitude. But absence makes the heart grow fonder and McKay’s personality is more appreciated now. Back then I loved this episode, and I wondered why if I was not partial to McKay. Today, I still love this episode, and I guess I even like McKay more too. This episode was very well written and a perfect showcase for McKay. My only questioning, eyebrow raising moment was when some of Sam’s clothes disappeared. I couldn’t help but wonder if this series was still on HBO, a lot more clothes would have vanished. Not very respectful to the beautiful and classy Amanda Tapping, I thought.

  10. I loved this episode, especially because I always love the interplay between Amanda and Hewlett. Those two just had some “thing” together that I loved. I always wished they would have more scenes together. It was just fabulous.

  11. @Ponytail. Well, it was McKay’s fantasy after all. What I found hilarious is that despite this, he never umm, “consumated” anything. His mind is so analytical that even with the distractions and enticements, he kept interupting his own fantasies. That was one of the things I loved; Amanda reminding him that when he was kissing “her”, he was kissing himself. At least we have established there is a limit to McKay’s self obsession and autoworship. Truly great episode and another reason Im such a fan of Hewlett.
    Have to check out those links later today, but I will pop off the complaint to Belfast. i’ve already read the story elsewhere, but haven’t seen any updates. I’ve always wanted to visit Belfast, but if that’s the kind of people they(or their city officials) are, the heck with it.
    Thanks for the daily post, and keep up the good work here, as well as with all the semi-mysteriouis projects.

  12. Hi there,
    great news. Our nephew, Dominique Brown ceo of Beenox-Activision, is now the owner of the best chocolate factory in the Québec province: “Chocolat favoris”.
    take a look here:

    I will try to send to you samples of his products asap.

    Oh by the way are you afraid to become an art critic of a day?

    All those SGA episodes ! HA great fun, great show! How much do I miss a good sci-fi tv show!

    Have a nice day

  13. Grace Under Pressure was one of those eps were I thought would be cringe-worthy. I wasn’t a big fan of McKay at the time, and I thought that a whole ep would be just too annoying. But…ironically…that episode is when I started to like McKay a little more. In fact…I felt the episode quite entertaining. David Hewlett is an amazing actor. The fact that he was able to manage to keep whole episode focused on one character quite entertaining and amusing is such an achievement. David certainly is a gifted actor. I have grown to like McKay over the years of SGA. 🙂

  14. @das: I hope Mr. Das gets well soon. Ear infections are awful. The good news for you is that they are not contagious, so you don’t need to worry about getting sick. Stay cool! It’s very hot here as well. My tomato plants are very happy. Me? Not so much.

    @Joe: I did not know that there was a precursor episode on SG-1 featuring Carter. And the Samurai and Human Evolution links were fascinating. Once again, your blog has been an education. Thanks!

  15. Thank you for the write-up. This episode is one of my favorites. My only gripe with it is not seeing more of the whale-like creature. (There were never any dogs on the Atlantis base itself either. I wonder why…)

    McKay’s ridicule of Zalenka never gets old though.

  16. @ gforce & Sparrowhawk – Mr. Das thanks you for your well-wishes! I hope it’s not contagious, because now he’s sounding sort of ‘coldish’…snotty and stuff. I’m washing my hands so much I’m sure I won’t have any skin left by the weekend!

    As far as keeping cool – it’s not happening. My AC is old and just not keeping up, so I have to keep it set at about 78, otherwise it’ll just run and run and run and never get to temp (though it will pull down once the sun sets). We were supposed to replace it over the winter, but just kept putting it off. Now I’m regretting it. 😛




    I’m’a wiltin’ like a delicate flower tossed in a fire pit. Please make it stop!

    d as in delirious

  18. @beanie-o

    You’re right, I guess it’s more a different view on the situation than anything.


    I agree, I think one of the main gains from the discovery would be the potential for light speed travel in the future, if there’s one thing we need desperately it’s this. Though if I understand correctly even with light speed engines you need to properly protect your ship etc so it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Ultimately I think we should be exploring the universe, and mapping out whats there with our own eyes.

    Would be interesting if scientists could confirm the existance of Gravitons too because if anything this would be another massive discovery. As said on Wikipedia it mediates the force of gravitation, understanding gravity would go a long way.

  19. @dasndanger

    Hey, hope your husband gets better soon. Never had an ear infection before so I don’t know what its like, guessing very uncomfortable at night? lol.

  20. @ Deni – Congrats! They say kids keep you young, so now you’ll be putting that theory to the test. 😉

    @ Randomness – Thanks! A middle ear infection in an adult has the uncanny ability to turn a 44-year-old into a 4-year-old. 😛 He’s had fever, a headache, body aches, mild congestion, sore throat, and an upset tummy (but he swears that was only because he thought the flu test they were going to give him involved a needle – hubby HATES needles). The ‘sore throat’ is mostly pain in his eustachian tube when he swallows, but only on the bad ear side. He’s doing better today, but still in bed and taking it easy. Hopefully he’ll be able to go to work tomorrow.


  21. I just realized, many times when an SG-1 character appeared on SGA, they had to go into a water tank as part of the plot. Talk about a hard sell! “Are you interested in making a guest appearance on Atlantis? You’ll be underwater and soaking wet for a good deal of time.”

  22. I made sure to write a complaint letter for Lennox. Stupid bureaucrats! Thanks for the link. I hope they get MILLIONS of complaints. All the money they could have saved on lawyers, the court system and all they had to do was ship the dog out of the country. Even that was paid for by someone else. The P. R. would have been huge if they had saved the dog! Idiots!!!!! Sorry…you got me started.

    Grace Under Pressure might have come off tedious but the writing was good. I liked it! Were the actors freezing? They sure looked it!

    Das: Did you see Mr. M. wear a jacket in yesterday’s picture? (shakes head)
    I hope your hubby is feeling better. Anything under 78F and my hands start going numb. (Raynaulds) My hubby is getting upset with me because he likes the A/C around 70F. Too cold!

    Deni: Woo-hoo a boy! You’ll save a fortune on baby clothes. 😉

    Bill Clay: Pretty funny! I’ve always wondered what the actor is thinking during all those uncomfortable scenes? They are probably counting their paycheck bucks and thinking “It’s not enough”.

  23. @Joe:

    This pretty much confirms everything I feel about this industry: 6 Terrible Decisions That Gave Us Great Movie Moments

    Arbitrary and capricious?

    On David Hewlett’s performance in Grace Under Pressure; he’s certainly a dynamic individual. Having him do the majority of the scenes made me wonder if that made the filming smoother and/or quicker? Which then leads me to the question (in case there’s a mailbag coming up), what was the most time consuming SG-1/SGA episode that was produced?


    Sorry to hear about Mr. Das…I’m praying he feels better soon!

    @ Randomness:

    You’re right, there’s still a long way to go…next they need to find a Higgs-Singlet, and then find some way to confirm M-Theory (or some part of it). I’m not sure if confirming a Higgs-Singlet would confirm M-Theory, or if there’s a counterpart in the Standard Model…more googling to do.

    If you like reading about string theory, I found Brian Greene’s book interesting:


    It hit 105F (51C) here in C’ville. I checked the temp on the pool and it was also 105F…I think it’s time to remove the solar cover!

    I’ve been working on my bathroom remodel this week (tile cutting on the deck in the hot sun), and was thinking about a refreshing swim, but that thought lost its appeal with the 105F pool water temperature! 😉

  24. @Deni:

    Congratulations on the grandson! My oldest daughter (and her husband) are waiting for her to finish her doctorate (i.e. – another two years or so)…so I have yet to join the grandfather club.

  25. @ Randomness: The discovery made me think of the quote from Star Trek: TNG’s last episode “All Good Things…”, when Q says:

    “For that one fraction of a second, you were open to options you had never considered. *That* is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence. “

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