Cool, huh?  High speed video of gelatin cubes being dropped onto a hard surface via

Well now, isn’t this interesting: Internet Video Contributes To Second Straight Decline In TV Households.  “Nielsen is working with its clients on the evolution of the current definition of a TV household and a TV device for their ratings services, potentially qualifying video content delivered to a TV via the Internet,” the company says.  That’s nice. Get right on that whole digital revolution thing before it really takes off.

Elderly couple cleaned out of all their worldly possessions following break in.  Individuals responsible won’t face any jail time because they said it was a terrible mistake.  Oh, and they’re a major bank.  Owners Lose Possessions After Home Near Twentynine Palms Is Mistakenly Foreclosed

ESPN ranks the best (and worst) sports franchises in 2012, taking into account such variables as Bang for Buck, Fan Relations, Ownership, Affordability, Stadium Experience, Players, Coaching, and Title Track. Coming in at the very bottom (122nd spot?) – well, let’s just say we should make sure my buddies and former Toronto natives Rob and Ivon don’t see this:

HD solar eruption compliments of the gang at NASA:

And our trip down Atlantis memory lane continues with…


When Paul and I took over as show runners for the show’s fourth season, a lot of fans wondered where Brad Wright and Robert Cooper were going.  The answer: nowhere.  They remained involved in the show’s creative, helping to break stories, write scripts and, in Rob’s case, direct and produce the occasional episode.  This one was a lot of fun for all involved.  For Joe in particular because he got to play a bad guy, something all actors love to do – unless they’ve made a career playing bad guys in which case they want to play the part of the hero.  

I’m sure it was also a blast for Rob who really went all out with the fantasy sequences, drawing on some of his own childhood fears for inspiration.  The whale nightmare, for instance, was no doubt influenced by Jaws, a movie Rob saw when he was admittedly way too young to appreciate the nuances of a man-eating shark.  It apparently haunted him for years but, on the bright, help shape him into the fine storyteller he is today.  There’s also an homage to one of the creepiest scenes in an SF movie ever when the creature bursts out of Teyla’s stomach a la Alien.  This scene apparently earned the episode a “15” age restriction on the dvd release, which is kind of interesting given that the original scene was A LOT more visceral and ended up being toned down for air.  I also had to laugh at the scene in which Sheppard realizes Teyla is mad at him for something he apparently did in her dream.  I recalled Rob telling me that the exact same thing happened to him once after his wife had a nightmare.  

Doppleganger was the first episode shot that season in order to accommodate Robert Cooper’s commitment to directing Ark of Truth. Although it was the fourth episode to air, the production designation, 401, caused a little mix-up that resulted in iTunes subscribers receiving this episode instead of the season premiere.
The Art Department bulletin board at the start of season 4.

Whenever the half-wraith Sheppard in rustic clothing attacked Teyla in her dream sequence, Martin Gero would shout: “No, hobo Sheppard. No!”.

One of the stunts during the climactic Good vs. Evil Sheppard sequence called for a ratchet pull which required Joe be jeked trough a portion of breakaway railing and cross the room.  It was a bit of an unnerving stunt for the uninitiated since he needed to fly through the air, backwards, from a starting point of the set’s second level.  Joe was harnessed, Rob called action, the countdown came “Three…two…ONE!” and…nothing.  Our special effects coordinator called for a re-set and as everyone relaxed and prepared for an equipment check – the apparatus suddenly engaged.  I remember watching (and rewatching) the shot in dailies, the exact instant when Joe realizes – eyes widening slightly, body tensing, managing an “Urk” before – being abruptly yanked off his feet, through the railing, and across the room.  Acting is a tough business.

21 thoughts on “September 7, 2012: News of note! Days of Stargate Atlantis Past! Doppleganger!

  1. One of my favorites, particularly watching the progression of duplicate Sheppard: just playing along with Teyla’s dream, snarky, “this is sort of fun” grin in Ronon’s, absolutely fascinated by Jennifer’s, ultimate thrill when Kate died, to condescendingly superior in Rodney’s and John’s.

  2. I really liked “Doppleganger”! It was interesting to see people’s fears, though Dr. Heitmeyer’s(sp?) fall was nausea-inducing. And did you really need to kill yet another doctor? 🙂

    Ronon’s fears rang really true to me. First, he’s absolutely alone with no one to help him and then he’s sees good friend Sheppard turn on him just as Tyre, etc. did in “Reunion”. Excellent.

    Mr. Flanigan as Evil Sheppard walking up the stairs during the fight with Good Sheppard was especially serial-killer looking.

    I thought it was a really good episode. I would give it 8.5 chocolate chip cookies on the Cookie Monster scale.

    My spasms are coming more frequently and are becoming noticable to other people. They make it very hard to type because my fingers just decide to hit whichever keys are near. Sometimes I hit the same key two or three times. I try to check my spelling but ieSpell is being weird when I use it here. So please forgive my typing mistakes.

    Anne Teldy

  3. This episode was like the Saturday night creepshows I used to watch as a kid…

    I could see a couple of parallels with classic sci-fi fantasy shows over the years:

    Heightmeyer dying in a dream and Twilight Zone’s Perchance to Dream
    Evil Sheppard burying Ronon alive and the movie The Vanishing

    I heard Joe Flanagan talk about the cable pull for this episode…he also mentioned a break-away railing that didn’t break? Sounded painful.

    And, yeah! My Ravens made #11 on that list! I’m not surprised about the White Sox’s and Cubs (down below 100); the Chicago teams tend to suffer from insane ticket prices. The Wolves are okay, but they’re IHL, so they have to be reasonable 😉

  4. This was a really great episode. The reachetting up of tension and danger was nicely handled. What appeared to be creepy and annoying turned deadly in one of the more horrifying deaths of the shows. ( and once again it’s the medical proffesional taking the hit; who is it who hates doctors so much?) shep whimper is always fun, and my favorite still shot is McKay’s defiant look after the doppelgänger has shoved him against the bulkhead.
    Saw on AOL news that Mt. Fujiyama may be getting ready to erupt. As if the country hasn’t suffered enough. And it’s hard to imagine any change to that perfect form. Do make sure to check the news before you take your annual trip. Wouldn’t want you stuck there away from your pack for too long.

  5. 1. This is one of S4’s eps I never saw. I really need to watch it one of these days.

    2. The sun is amazingly beautiful…and pretty damn hot, too.

    3. Pretty bad when the team with the dog killer on it beats out the Leafs, eh?

    4. Nielsen sucks.

    5. Banks suck.

    6. I’m pretty sure I’m made of jello. 😛


  6. So, Joe, why for you not use the shot of Flanigan’s surprised look when he got ratcheted over the railing? I’d have paid good money to see that. Not that I like to see people get whumped…no, not at all. Heh heh heh heh.


  7. Never though watching a jello cube drop would be so fascinating. 🙂 It is kinda cool how it shape-shifts as it hit the the surface. Looks like something Mythbusters would do. Love science! 🙂

    That sun eruption thing is pretty cool! 🙂

    Doppleganger is probably one of my fave of SGA. Such a fun episode! Love seeing Lorne barefoot in his PJs. I bet Kavan had a lot of fun with tht scene. I bet the floor was cold. 😉 Then the whole scene with John Sheppard fighting himself was kinda cool. Love the BTS stuff for that. 🙂

  8. Ooooh! That video of the sun was excellent! And the jello one was fun.

    @das: Thanks for the laugh – I have a long day ahead and this got it off to a
    good start!

    I actually watched the movie for next week, so I’m ready for discussion and rebuttal.

  9. As a society, the laws haven’t caught up with the internet yet. Neilson is just one aspect of lagging behind. One example, the “jury” verdict against Samsung. A jury deciding this should have been composed of programmers or software/hardware architects. The average person just says “it looks the same, so it must be the same”. Two more examples, how many people get maligned on some kind of forum and nothing CAN be done? Secondl, look at all the fake reviews for books on Amazon! I’m sure you could list a few more yourself.

    Deni: Your vet sounds pretty cat smart! When we moved to our current house, we had two cats. One cat was older and her personality was very …reticent. The other cat was younger and outgoing. We were all shocked that the older cat came out of her carrier and looked over the new house with excitement. The younger cat….I set him up in the bathroom and it took him two full weeks to come out! Good luck with Kenny.

    DOPPLEGANGER: Thanks for the inside stories! I wasn’t sure how the big fight scene took place with J. F. and the evil J. F. . Who was his stand in for the doppelganger? It looks pretty good.
    My hubby has these dreams were I leave him and he wakes up all pissed off at me. 🙄
    I enjoyed the Alien reference. Also, I loved the clown surprise! When I first saw it, I didn’t see it coming. That’s the way some dreams are, kind of goofy and nonsensical.

    Das: Jello?

    JeffW: I’m letting that Memphis BBQ thing go. I’ll pray for you though 😉 .

  10. Loved Doppelganger! It is one of my favorites! I never did really know if I was watching someone’s dream until they woke up. Just when you think it’s only a dream, the doctor dies.

    I always heard as a kid if you are falling in a dream and don’t hit ground, you’re okay. But if you ever actually hit the ground, you die in your sleep. So does the doctor’s death make that true or is it just evil sci-fi (Cooper) pushing my fears?

    Sheppard was difinately the big bad monster. He spared no one. Ronon shoots Loren before Loren can shoot Shep or Carter. Shep chases Ronon through a forest then tries to bury him alive. Shep obviously enjoying the alien bursting out of Teyla’s stomach (she was not as pregnant in this episode as the last, so you are difinately showing them out of order). Why was Rodney affraid of whales? I thought he got over that in Grace Under Pressure? The big fight between Sheppard and Sheppard was awesome. It is one of my favorite fights. Hey, a poll idea: Best fight scene (hand to hand style). (Shep vs Shep, Ronon vs Ford, Ronon vs big bad wraith in Sateda, Ronon vs his friends in Reunion, etc, etc.) And I loved all the scenes of the team gathered around the table eating or just talking.

    Another awesome and very interesting episode by Robert Cooper! I watch this one over and over again too.

  11. And Joe, on your next poll… if you want to go big time, you could always show a brief clip of each of the nominated entries. That would be so much fun for us and shouldn’t be too hard for you…right? After all, you are a big time television writer and producer and show runner. You can make it happen! 🙂

  12. I had to put down a “not my problem” boundary with my husband over sharing his dreams with me. He’s allowed to share if he wants, but I get to be as invalidating as I want to be if he wants sympathy over his conclusions.

    The random dreaming about a plane crash is even more annoying than whatever he dreams about me because I just ignore the latter. One day he’ll be at least within days of being right about a crash and forget that he announces such dreams regularly and then it’ll be insufferable.

  13. @Tam Dixon:

    Ha! 😀 I’ll take all the prayers I can get; even if it’s over the choice of South Carolina BBQ vs. Memphis style. 😉

    On dreaming, I don’t usually remember my dreams, even when they’re strange. I figure that with most of my brain shut-down (sleeping), they’re not going to be a reliable indicator of much of anything. Mostly my dreams don’t have much to do with anything going on in my life either and thus are easy to ignore, but maybe that’s just me.

  14. “Elderly couple cleaned out of all their worldly possessions following break in. Individuals responsible won’t face any jail time because they said it was a terrible mistake. Oh, and they’re a major bank. Owners Lose Possessions After Home Near Twentynine Palms Is Mistakenly Foreclosed”

    Aren’t banks great eh? After their not so inconsiderable help of plunging the world into a financial crisis, they are now scraping the bottom of the barrel in an attempt to go even lower in people’s estimates. This story’s almost unbelievable. I’m getting angry now just thinking about it!

  15. Ah Nielsen, the thing that let everyone down with Stargate Universe. I think had Nielsen tracked other methods SGU would probably still be on the air.

    I’m really not a fan of it Joe, and it’s horrible how companies take Nielsen numbers as a reflection of demand, I think everyone here can say for certain that there was massive demand for more Stargate, but failure on Nielsen meant that couldn’t happen.

    Sorry if I went off on a rant a few days ago on here Joe, just annoying how something as special as Stargate is off the air, because of this ridiculus system, SGU deserved a Season 3. It deserved many Seasons but ugh.

  16. Doppelganger is one of my favorite episodes! Two Sheppards and and evil one at that. Best thing ever. And all the dreams gave us insight about the different characters which was good. I liked the initial trek into the woods scene for some reason. Sheppard being so distraught when he thought McKay had died and everybody blaming him was gread fodder for fics! Excellent story, production and acting from all!

  17. I loved Doppelganger. Joe F. certainly seemed to be having a blast playing the bad guy. The most surprising thing for me in the episode WAS that it was Sheppard, rather than McKay, who reached for the crystal. Yeah, I know, it had some kind of siren song to entice the local fauna, and, by extension, any living being, to touch it, but still.

  18. Really cool behind the scenes info and pics, Thanks a lot. Would also be very cool for the audience who buys the DVD’s of any future sci-fi series, to include a lot of extra behind the scenes footage similar to what you have been posting in this blog. 🙂

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