I spent yesterday afternoon going through the various Art Department handouts I amassed over my time on Stargate.  Sadly, not over my entire run on the franchise but mainly over those last four years – Atlantis’s fourth and fifth seasons, and Universe’s first and second. There’s a lot of interesting stuff – and some highly detailed schematics that might only prove of interest to the most diehard fans.  Some episodes are well-represented with reams of supporting sketches and blueprints while others have only a single sheet or two to accompany the happy memories.  All told, several hundred documents at least.

The plan, as outlined in a previous entry, is to package them by episode as fan giveaways.  I estimated 40 at first but, including SGU, it’s closer to 80!   Ultimately, as many of you have already pointed out, it would be nice to make this veritable treasure trove of Stargate information available to fandom at large.  And so, before I get around to doing that giveaway, I’m going to have everything scanned and digitized so that someone (hint! hint!) can upload to a dedicated site where fans can peruse them at their own leisure  – while the more ambitious of you can start work on building your own versions of the various sets.  How’s that for an idea?  “Hey, studio, we’d like to shoot the movie.  No, we can shoot it for half the cost because we’ve already got the sets.  They’re on loan from some fans…”

1Continuing our trip down SGA memory lane with…


Another one of Carl Binder’s infernal “ghost” episodes!  Have to hand it to him though.  He was damn good at them.

This one was bittersweet for a host of reasons, the chiefest, of course, being the fact that it marked the final appearance of Elizabeth Weir (in new replicator form, mind you).  The original ending was a little more open-ended but, once were unable to secure Torri for a return appearance, it was decided to rewrite the script and offer closure to that particular storyline.  I often like to think that, if things had turned out differently – IF the show had been picked up for a sixth season and IF Torri had been amenable to a return appearance – we could have found a way to re-introduce the real Weir to the Stargate universe.  In my mind, Oberoth’s claim to have killed the real Elizabeth was an obvious lie.  Why dispose of such a valuable asset, someone with such intimate knowledge of Atlantis and the Stargate program?  It’s more probable that Oberoth kept Elizabeth in stasis at a secret location – only to perish with that knowledge.

Somewhere out there in the Pegasus Galaxy, Elizabeth Weir is waiting to be rescued!

The lovely Michelle Morgan as Fran.
Lots of firepower in this episode.
Lots of firepower in this episode.
(Photo @MGM Television)
Heads up! (Photo @MGM Television)
(Photo @MGM Television)
(Photo @MGM Television)

A rare addendum.  Came across this and thought it was too good to pass up.  Art Department rendition of the ending/final VFX shot:


40 thoughts on “January 15, 2013: Days of Stargate Atlantis Past continues with Ghost in the Machine!

  1. Although Michelle Morgan was great, it just wasn’t the same not having Torri as Weir, which kind of blunted the emotional impact of the episode and certainly the ending. But I’m sure there was no alternative at that point. I do like the thought of Weir still being out there somewhere.

    Do you mean to have a website set up specifically for the digitized art? I have some web design software and some experience in setting up sights and domains, so if you’re going that route and want my help, I’m definitely open to it. Just let me know.

  2. This was a very emotional episode and Michelle did a terrific job of picking up on Torri’s mannerisms and demeanor. I felt really sad for them in the end, floating in space for eternity. Hopefully Sheppard will go back some day and at least find Replicator!Elizabeth and revive her. I do think Elizabeth’s body was destroyed during the destruction of the Asurans and this conciousness was what was left of her. So I do think this was the real Elizabeth Weir. And OMG, John’s face at the end! Joe F can say more with his expressions than most others can with thousands of words! I was in tears.

  3. I agree, I think this episode would of had a much greater effect with the Weir we know and love. Though her new actress did well enough, the story really did need Torri.

    Anyway I got my Nokia Lumia 920 today as a secondary phone. I love it, I’m not an Iphone fan and never did buy into the hype but to have a Windows phone is just pretty neat. Easily one of the best phones I’ve ever had to be honest. Love that you can pretty much do anything on it lol

    Oh and yes please, I would love to see another Stargate movie in whatever shape or form, MGM needs to like revive this franchise already, they’re making bucket loads of money off The Hobbit(Great movie btw)

  4. hey! I remember that stuff!
    I remember laughing the whole time I worked, making that ‘atlantean to USB’ adapter! …and then laughing more later on when we made it adapt to several other things too (tho I can’t quite recall what).

    …I also remember making the most ludicrous mistake of accidentally walking outside to talk to someone at the front door (smoking) while holding one of those awesome shotguns (I was doing some minor repairs to a fake one).
    not a good idea to chance be seen on the street with assault weapons! even if fake.

  5. I’d say as long as there are no copyright infringement problems with doing the plans online like that, sounds like an excellent idea, and all get to share. Cool!
    And Carl does write a swell ghost episode, thanks Carl.

  6. Okay. I’m back from my little diversion and I really didn’t mean ‘forget Stargate’. I just lost my head for a moment, that’s all. 😛


  7. That idea is awesome Joe! I have 3 laptops and one home computer “expansion hard-drives(external and internal) full of stargate pics and programs like the Midway Simulator, The Hud, and Stargate SG-1 Gate dialer..plus screensavers like the SGA Pegasus Symbol in Weirs’ Office. I’ve done “alot” of searching etc, over the past century. ALOT of work lol. I hate to say that there are not alot of diagrams or blueprints. 99% of those have come your webpage. I hope you don’t mind. Oh yeah, i forgot what i was going to say…lol. I loved Torri Higgins role as Wier but i must also say she technically isn’t the “real” Wier. There was another who played here in her first episodes in SG-1, but i like Torri better. dasndanger, i’m sorry but even though i look forward to the new show, I’ll never forget Stargate! I’m still hoping someone will take over the game Stargate Worlds, finish it, and put it on Comsole Games as well. I remember watching Stargate SG-1 when it came out on Showtime and then right after it watch Jeremiah when it started to come on right after. It’s hard to forget something that brought me into Sci-Fi. Now i can’t get enough of it. It really changed my way of life it big ways. For the better. Since then i try to read as much as i can and so on. lol I never was much into books in my teens. Well, besides comics and graphic novels anyway.Now i’m 35 and a better and smarter person from it all. lol Gosh do i sound pathetic! lol

  8. Please forgive my mispelled words. I typed that fast and didn’t look over before i clicked send.


    (I went back and read the post I made when you announced these documents a few days ago (the January 9th entry, “Days of Stargate Atlantis Past continues with season 5′s The Seed!”) where I asked you to have these documents scanned is downright indecipherable! It was almost comedic – half ended thoughts and random words, so if you read that, I apologize for putting people through reading that abomination.)

    I’m glad some others expressed similar opinions (hopefully more eloquently) and the scanning will go ahead!

    Scanning is quite labour intensive so hopefully you’ll be able to find people to get it done but the rewards far outweigh to effort.

    I think I speak on behalf of everyone who will benefit from these documents in the future to say THANKS FOR DOING THIS!!!

  10. When you do a mailbag, I’d like to know who came up with the idea that the replicators should stick their hands in people’s heads. Despite the clinical nature of it, the concept never fails to creep me out.

  11. I’m with bailey, the emotional charge at the end was very affecting, especially from Sheppard.

    And, to confracto – I love seeing your comments, thanks for sharing the memories!

  12. Joe,

    Thank you scanning the art drawings. Every time you have one of these contests I hope that I will win but I know I stand little chance to the diehards that have been with you longer. This way, everyone wins. Thank you.

  13. @Joe: You are a wise and kind man! (One of my favourite lines from Irresistible! 🙂

    Digitising / Posting the documents to a website is a brilliant and inspired solution. Everyone interested will be able to share in the fun!

    Re: Ghost in the Machine:

    Sketchy memory regarding episode details – I’ve only watched it once. Great shame Torri couldn’t reprise her role as Elizabeth. It would’ve felt *right*. I have to agree with a few other comments: it didn’t quite have the same emotional impact; it isn’t anyone’s fault and it doesn’t take anything away from Michelle Morgan. I liked her acting style and she felt like a good fit in Atlantis. I just genuinely missed the S2/S3 cast!

  14. Randomness: I’ve got a Nokia 900 and love it. Hubby works for Microsoft, so Apples were severely discouraged. I slipped my iPad in the house but with great difficulty. Nokia doesn’t have as many apps but I’m not an app person. Even on my iPad, I have all my book apps, a solitaire game and that’s about all I want/need. Why junk it up?
    Did you see that the 920 lets you wear regular gloves to touch type? I would LOVE that but I’ll have to wait and get hubby’s 920 when he upgrades. Did you get the charger plate for the 920? I remember SGU having those on Destiny. Have you tried using the file share (where you touch another phone and it transfers the file)? That is pretty cool! I live with a techie 😉 . Hubby did say he had to turn down some of the features to extend battery life. Now he just recharges every 2-3 days.

    confracto: Great story!

    Gotta get out on that ice (ice storm yesterday). Prayers welcomed!

    G’day yall!

  15. Forgot to add that GHOST IN THE MACHINE was very good. Bittersweet without Torri though. Creeps me out when the replicators put their hand through someone’s head.

  16. @Debra: ROTFL, thanks! Needed that!

    Hi Joe, got nothing today, Ghost in the Machine wasn’t one I liked. 🙁 The creepy hands-in-the-head thing was always good, though!

  17. @Joe:

    The way this episode closed, I always expected that to see “Elizabeth Weir” reappear later (either by a new set of Replicators being discovered whereby Elizabeth is unfrozen to help deal with them, or by another space faring race discovering the frozen replicators in orbit and unknowingly thawing them out). Still holding out hope for future episodes 😉

    And on the scanned schematics: great idea! I’m willing to host a site for you, but it sounds like you have plenty of offers already. I and the kids still need to come up with a concept for this year’s Centerpiece Contest for the convention. Maybe the schematics will help.

    @Tam Dixon:

    Sorry for the slow commenting…a family we’re friends with at church lost their 24 year old son this week to a severe allergic reaction. He leaves behind a pregnant wife and two sisters and his mom and dad. We’re pitching in to help with the viewing today and the funeral service tomorrow. That coupled with the repairs on my son-in-law’s car in the evenings, has made for a very busy week. I’m hoping to come up for air later in the weekend.

    I’m with your husband on iPhones; they are a restrictive over-hyped platform, but I was forced into it by fiat of my company’s international travel policy. Maybe in a couple of years I’ll be able to switch to an Android or Windows phone…we’ll see.

    Be safe on the ice (prayers sent your way). There’s too many people out there who still drive like idiots even in the worst conditions, so be careful of them and good luck!

  18. Joe, could you tell us more about the original story before the rewrite of the script?

    It’s a great episode but sad at the end. Michelle Morgan did a great job.

  19. @ Debra – Hilarious!!! 😆 That would even make me watch football! (The sad thing – for American Football, that is – is that funny crap like that is often heard during rugby matches. For instance, last weekend a player accidentally planted his knee in another player’s wee bits. It took a while for the injured player to regain his composure, and while he was standing bent over, hands on knees, one of the commentators said, “He’s just counting ’em.” 😀 I suppose that’s one of the reasons I love the game, the commentary is often quite amusing. 🙂


  20. JeffW: Condolences on your friend’s death. That puts all my little problems in perspective….. Thanks for the “driving on ice” prayers. They worked and I’m sending prayers to your church friend’s family.

  21. “In my mind, Oberoth’s claim to have killed the real Elizabeth was an obvious lie. Why dispose of such a valuable asset, someone with such intimate knowledge of Atlantis and the Stargate program? It’s more probable that Oberoth kept Elizabeth in stasis at a secret location – only to perish with that knowledge.

    Somewhere out there in the Pegasus Galaxy, Elizabeth Weir is waiting to be rescued!”

    you have made me very happy because in my mind that was not the real Elizabeth Weir in Ghost In The Machine I hated that ep who ever that was it was not Elizabeth not the real one it almost made me stop watching Atlantis. I hope Stargate movies are made sometime in the future so we can fix those things I finally saw all of SGU and I am not happy about how it was left

  22. Joe, I call dibs on any sketches of Eli’s cloth-type garments from Epilogue! I’m joking of course, but only slightly as I bought that costume he wore in that episode. I believe it’s the one he wore when he showed Chloe all preggers and when he was tending to his own wife’s childbirth.

    But, I’m sure a LOT of people will want stuff from Epilogue, one of the best episodes in the series as regarded by most, so I’ll still concede to whatever you decide for dispersal. Besides, I’d rather have weaponry-related drawings anyway! *wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more*

    -Mike A.

  23. I was wondering if Confracto can tell us any more information about the drum magazine shotguns?
    How did you make them, what did you use, fiberglass? Actual metal parts? Did you base them on actual firearms?
    How long does it take you to make them? Did you make each one a one off, or did you make molds? Do you weight them so they feel more realistic?

    Curious monkeys want to know, if you don’t mind.

  24. Gateworld could be asked for gallery space since they’d have the best network of people to host the files for posterity. Such a gallery couldn’t link detail and assembly drawings and I don’t like their image viewer, especially not for something like this. That would be about preservation, not the full solution.

    I’ve only “built” the one Angry Toy Factory web site, but I’m like The Pretender in that I can pick up any skills needed to do anything ever done or possible so I can build the site, too. And I’m working on building those skills anyway so it fits into my plans well.

  25. BTW, I loved the Fran episode. My favourite series of episodes (I think) were the three part with First Strike. I thought the nuclear explosions, the bomb, all the special effects were simply outstanding.

    Of course I also liked the episodes that involved the return of the ancients (called the Return), their taking the city. They should have called it “No good Deed”. But also there was also First Contact, and the next show. So many great shows. I suppose one of my single favourite is a tossup between Rodney slowly losing his mind in “The Shrine” and the episode everyone either loves or hates, “Vegas”. Although Vegas peeves me because the team is celebrating their victory while Sheppard lies dying.
    Plus ever since I read that they used the wrong sound for the rotary canon on the a-10 thunderbolt, it’s driven me crazy every time I see the episode. Why would they use anything else but the sound it actually makes, which, IMHO, sounds far better, a kind of whining scream from hell.

    It’s difficult to have a favourite show because so many of them depend on other shows for setup. It goes all the way back to the first episode, then back to the movie. The entire series of series, including the movies are really great.

  26. Ghost in the Machine was good! I’m with everyone on the hand in the forehead creepiness. The first part was a little spooky but this episode was not scarey. Come on Carl, you say ghosts, I want to see ghosts! I was very interested in the flying monkey planet they had just come from. What was that all about? Forget Sheppard’s expression in the end. It was those poor Replicator’s expression that made me so sad when they stepped out into space. How cruel. Made me feel sorry for them.

  27. I’m like you, Joe, I always thought the Weir-Replicator story should have gone on. I thought actually having a Replicator on the SGC’s side was too valuable and complicated a storyline possibility to just let it go. There’s all the turmoil of “Is Weir still on Atlantis’ side?”, “Has her loyalties changed now that she’s the leader of the last surviving Replicators in the Pegasus Galaxy?”, or other questions.

    I do disagree though that the episode’s ending was final, I do consider it open ended. The Replicators are still out there floating in space near a space gate (I believe is most likely a remnant of the Rodney’s gate bridge). It’s not their all gone, it’s like with Niam, they’re just in a sort of hibernation. There’s still the possibility of picking them up and thawing the little buggers.

  28. Yes, I really miss the Weir character! It would have been great if she was reintroduced, perhaps as the leader of a new planet or something? I woud consider seeing her as “Replicator-Weir” taking control of what Oberoth left behind and creating a more friendly type of replicator civilisation, with some ambiguity and hidden motives of course. I don’t think she would return to Atlantis (other than offering them assistance now and then as an ally) – independent as her character is, she would probably stand up on her own feet in the galaxy instead… Yes, that would be a very satisfying sequel or conclusion to the “Replicator arc”. A bit like Larrin anyway, but self-dependent.

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