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…


19 thoughts on “July 5, 2012: Days of Stargate: Atlantis Past! The Tower! And Dogs Eating Ice Cream!

  1. Ha! I loved Bubba’s “shark attack” – GLOM! I bet he would have taken the whole thing if possible. Jelly is almost demure in comparison.

    “The Tower” actually was never really one of my favourites, although I can’t really put my finger on why. I haven’t had a chance to rewatch this one in a while though, so I maybe I would feel differently now.

  2. PS: “3D shark attack” – perfect description!! 😆

    He’s still a pig, though. 🙂


  3. Your cute pug videos reminded me of this, so cute:

  4. Dang, suprised you still have fingers after Bubba’s assault on that cone. Hilarious stuff. If they can do a tv show about a monkey as a doctor, you should come up with a show with the dogs as oh, superheroes, or space explorers, or private detectives. Just think of the fun you’ll have casting guest stars…
    The Tower was an episode that had all the right elements. Action, with Ronan, humor, with Rodney and others, life and death issues with various plot twists, and as you have already noted a great cast of guest actors. But this is not an episode that rates highly on my list. And I really can’t figure out why. Partially, I think, because Teyla really doesn’t get to do much. Or maybe it’s because I’m not the biggest Sheppard fan, and this was mostly about him. Or maybe it was that the culture on the planet was so depressingly primitive and dysfunctional I couldn’t invest in the story. it’s a rare case of the parts being greater than the sum of the episode. Still, it’s not like I skip over this episode when it airs, or I’m watching the dvds. And some episode has to move towards the bottom of the ranks.
    Another day of melting weather, then a morning of trying to get rid of some “stuff” via yard sale. An event that ranks just below tooth extraction without novacaine or having someone tapping at the same spot on your pody with a dull needle for hours on end. But I need the space, and no point in losing out on some cash. Naturally temps will be hottest that day. Gotta love life.
    Thanks for the videos, they really made my day.

  5. @ Tam Dixon – Ha, no! I didn’t notice Joey was wearing a coat! Lucky duck! As far as household temp – I prefer it around 67, though that’s not possible in the summer (unless I want a billion dollar electric bill and/or a frozen evaporator coil). Seventy to 72 is good, though right now I’m *happy* with 78. 😛

    @ JeffW – Mr. Das is doing much better, thanks! Fever’s gone, but now he’s dealing with a headache, probably a combination of the infection, the fever, and laying…lying….WHATEVER!…around all day. I get ‘bed headaches’, too, when I’m sick.

    It got up to 93 today here, with humidity. It’s rare for the shore to be this hot for this long, but the last three summers have been killers, and this one is proving no different. My house AC is struggling, my car AC is on the fritz, and the only place I can find relief is in the office, the last place I want to be! 😆 😛 I was just telling Lise (for the love of Beckett) that today I had to clean the pump in mom’s fish pond – it was full of muck and the water was getting hot and the fishes were very unhappy. Cleaned it, sprayed some cooler water in the pond, and all was well…except me, dripping with sweat. So I took the hose and sprayed ME! 😀

    Betcha yer all sorry that you missed THAT wet t-shirt contest, eh? 😀 (Really…you shouldn’t be…trust me. 😛 )


  6. The Tower was not bad. As Deborah Rose said, it had all the right elements and ingrediants. I think those Shakesperian-type, boorish nobles, as you called them, stunk up the show. They were entertaining, yet very unlikeable people. McKay underground was interesting, Ronon killing that man was brutal, the special effects were the usual great, and the poisoner was a surprise.

    Love the videos! And Joe you need to talk to your son Bubba. His ice cream eating manners (while highly comical) are terrible. I don’t think Jelly or Lulu got their fair share. Where does he get that from? Do you gobble your ice cream down? I bet you do! Got to eat it before it melts, right?

  7. Oh dear. Sorry to say that following on the deeply satisfying Grace Under Pressure, this was a letdown. I liked the idea, and there were some good bits (e.g. McKay finding out that no, the tunnels really are dangerous), most of it was too heavy handed for me. A top hat and twirly mustache would have fit right in.

    Oh well – can’t like em all.

  8. G’day Joe

    We used to give our dogs Dixie Cups, no sharing so it was much easier. Always funny to watch them trying to get the last little bit out of the cup.
    Bubba is a shark.

  9. The Tower was a light, mostly fun episode. Interesting seeing what happened to Atlantis’ sister city. I pretty much like anything with more Sheppard in it!

  10. ahh…Brendan… ;-D — Such a sweet Fellow… I met him at an X-Files party long ago… On my birthday no less! The event was “Tropical” themed. He was looking like “The HAWAIIAN PUNCH GUY”! And totally *plastered*!! 😀 – [it *was* just before They started filming on the ep where His character got bumped off…]

    good times… good times…

  11. I liked the tower. The lines you mentioned were good, but Sheppard’s face when the girl came on to him, quickly changing when she mentioned marriage – priceless! But what a waste of a good dungeon. C’mon, Couldn’t you have clapped him in irons? Maybe roughed him up a little…

    Loved the video. Glad to see the dogs are doing well.

  12. Oh, how cute with the dogs and ice cream! It’s certainly hot enough here for it. What’s the temp been there??

    Not looking forward to getting out in it today. Have to go take the car to the mechanic.

    Have a great day!!!!!
    Lisa R

  13. Ha! Loved the ice cream vs. puppies vids.

    My vacation just got expensive. Took Basil cat to the vet this morning and have a preliminary bill for teeth cleaning, 1 tooth extraction and getting micro-chipped. BIG o-o-ow-wie to the old wallet. When I asked why so much, the doctor said, all medical costs are rising and it does entail full anesthesia, recovery area, IV fluids, antibiotics, pain meds, etc. I know my face did not register relief, just a constant expression of WHAT?!? I gave the go ahead anyway. Basil hasn’t been feeling well and when the bad tooth was shown to me, I agreed I wouldn’t feel well either were that in MY mouth.
    Good thoughts appreciated for her, as there is always risk in anesthesia. I’ll have her back by end of day.

    I enjoyed ” The Tower” because it was so over-the-top quirky and interesting to see Atlantis’s sister city portrayed so uniquely. Spiffy dialogue too.

    How was everyone’s July 4th celebrations?

    Keep the cute puppy vids coming, always glad of a chuckle!


  14. Awwww, thanks for sharing the pups video, how cute!!. Are you packed yet for comic con? I have been watching the promo clips on G4, maybe I will see you on them next year.

  15. Cool videos. 🙂

    Do you feed them any other flavors besides vanilla? Like calamari or liver flavored ice cream? 🙂

  16. Loved The Tower! It was interesting to see the sister city to Atlantis in semi-use by ATA gene descendants….the portrayal of the nobles as glutonous, obnoxious and totally unworthy inhabitants vs the downtrodden, fearful villagers was clever in its stark differences. Best scene: when Mara comes to Sheppard and drops her robe revealing her intent–Sheppard’s surprised expression is priceless!!!!

  17. Love puppy videos. Bubba just proves it–men are generally slobs when it comes to eating. I should go to Dairy Queen and get one for Maddie and see how she devours it. I would care to guess not dainty at all!

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