THE TOWER (215)
In first season or so on the Stargate franchise, my writing partner and I co-wrote scripts in the truest sense of the term. We actually sat (or paced) in an office, bouncing ideas and dialogue off each other, hammering out every scene and every line in the script. Eventually, we found it easier (and faster) to simply pitch the script back and forth between us. I’d write a scene, send it his way, then he would rewrite the scene, write the next one, and send it my way. I would re-rewrite his rewrite of the first scene, rewrite the second scene, and move on to the third. And so on. As the demands of production increased, it simply became easier to write our own first drafts and then have our partner do a pass on that. By the time Atlantis was in its second season, we were at this third stage of our writing partnership. I came up with the initial kernel of an idea involving a sister Atlantis, but it was the writing department that developed the story while Paul did the lion’s share (aka = all) of the work on this one. And what the hell was I doing? Well, given the timing, I believe I was either rewriting Ripple Effect, writing The Scourge, or locked in my office making plans for my next trip to Tokyo.
Lots of humorous moments in this one and great visual cues, one of my favorite being the segue that juxtaposes the polite table manners of the downtrodden villagers to the boorish behavior of the so-called nobles. Also, as far as great exchanges go, this is one of my favorites:
OTHO: This is terrible. I knew Tavius was cruel and vindictive, but to want to murder his own father?
SHEPPARD: Raising children can be very dangerous.
And later, after he ends up getting tossed in a cell with Sheppard, Beckett’s lament: “I really need to stop making house calls.”
Actor Jay Brazeau (Harlan from SG-1’s Tin Man and Double Jeopardy) returns to the franchise, this time playing the ailing Lord Protector who places his trust in the wrong person. Peter Woodward is delightfully devilish as the scheming Otho. Brendan Beiser (who used to play basketball with former Stargate script coordinator Alex Levine) was an unbelievably pleasant surprise as the scene-stealing Tavius. And, of course, those of you watching Martin Gero’s new show, The L.A. Complex, will recognize Chelan Simmons who plays the role of Mara here (Alicia Lowe there).
The episode’s colorful characters were matched by some equally colorful costumes, rentals actually because the wardrobe department was swamped by the demands of two productions.
Finally, loved the fact that Atlantis gets to supplement its supply of puddle jumpers and drones – but this is one of those stories that simply begged for a follow-up episode.
Summer has finally arrived. And you know what that means! Yes. It’s time for…
DOGS EATING ICE CREAM…