Well, I pretty much accomplished zero out of the dozen or so things I needed to get done today. Zero. Oh, I started off with the very best of intentions, but I was either at the wrong place or at the wrong time and, in one instant, on the wrong date(!) so that, when all was said and done – nothing got done. I even failed at making the bed, putting the comforter in inside out! It does give me cause for concern given that I’m scheduled to pick up Akemi at the airport later. The way things are going, I may well be eating ramen alone tonight.
Oh, sure, I did take part in that conference call in which we went over the notes for the urban fantasy pilot script we’re working on – but, to be perfectly honest, I was left more confused by the end of our conversation than I was going in. It happens a lot. My writing partner, Paul, and I have two very different approaches when it comes to notes. Upon reading them for the first time, I tend toward the pessimistic and panic (“There’s no way we can address these notes! We’re doomed! DOOOMED!”) while Paul is much more positive and, dare I say, irrationally optimistic (“Oh, that’s no problem. Sure we can do that!”). Days later, once we’ve had time to fully digest, our opinions invariably flip – suddenly, I’m Mr. Positive (“Yeah, in retrospect, maybe these notes aren’t so bad”) while he’s adopted a decidedly more negative attitude (“What was I thinking?! We’re doomed! DOOOOMED!). But I’m sure it’ll all be fine. If t.v. has taught me anything, it’s that everything always works out in the end.
Unless you happen to be a serial killer being chased by Mandy Pantinkin.
BROKEN TIES (503)
Sometime near the end of Atlantis’s fourth season, actor Jason Momoa swung by our offices to talk about his character. Over the course of our discussion, he told us that there was one thing he would love to see Ronon do in season 5, and that was to go darkside. Well, it just so happened that I was looking to do a sequel to season 4’s Reunion and the notion of writing an Evil Ronon story was just too enticing to pass up. I wrote the script over the hiatus, including a scene in which Ronon shaves his head to complete his bad-ass transformation. It was the ideal opportunity to present a logical, in-story explanation for the change in hairstyle (over the hiatus, Jason ended up losing the dread locks). As it turned out, however, the network felt strongly about the Ronon character’s trademark dreads and so we ended up losing the scene – and wigging Jason for the rest of the season. That wig, by the way, was woven from his real hair.
Anyway, playing the part of a bad guy is something almost every actor longs for and Jason threw himself into the role. He was, in a word, magnificent. And he was magnificent not only because he was so damn scary-convincing as Ronon gone darkside, but because he was so damn good conveying a range of emotions: fear, anger, anguish, and, ultimately grief. Jason demonstrates incredible depth and range in this episode – in my opinion, his best performance of the series.
Special mention should be made of our guest star, Mark Dacascos, who returns to reprise his turn as Tyre – and win his character’s redemption. Mark is a class act, incredibly professional and a wonderful on-set presence. He so impressed that, at various points during the production, a good half dozen members of the crew approached me to ask “Is he really dead?” and “Is there any way we can bring him back?”.