An almost perfect football day.  Sadly, the Atlanta Falcons just came up short in their match-up against the 49ers.  The second game of the double-header was doubly pleasing in that it not only offered up a Baltimore Ravens win, but a New England Patriots loss as well!

Thanks to Robert Cooper for hosting this afternoon’s festivities…

The spread included gravlax (Akemi made - salmon cured with salt, brown sugar, sasho, dill, vodka, and metaxa), bagels, cream cheese, olives, Rob's seafood gumbo, and various desserts.
The spread included gravlax (Akemi made – salmon cured with salt, brown sugar, sasho, dill, vodka, and metaxa), bagels, cream cheese, olives, Rob’s seafood gumbo, and various desserts.  It’s always good eatin’!
This was the knife Rob handed me to slice the salmon - last scene being wielded by Ronon to sever an enemy's carotid artery.
This was the knife Rob handed me to slice the salmon – last scene being wielded by Ronon to sever an enemy’s carotid artery.
The tasty gumbo included chorizo, shrimp, and crab.
The tasty gumbo included chorizo, shrimp, and crab.
Despite the fact that she was battling a terrible cold, Akemi took the time to make peanut butter sandwich cookies.
Despite the fact that she was battling a terrible cold, Akemi took the time to make peanut butter sandwich cookies.

A good time was had by all.  With the possible exception of any Atlanta Falcon or New England Patriot fans.

As we continue our trip down Stargate: Atlantis memory lane…


One of the many great things about working on Stargate was that you were essentially making a varied mini-movie each episode.  One week, it would be a space opera, the next a scifi comedy, another week it cross over into fantasy and, yet another, it you could be doing a mystery.  Or, in the case of Whispers, you’d be delving into the world of SF-Horror.

This particular episode presented a host of obstacles but the ever-awesome Will Waring was more than up for the challenge.  First there was the issue of filming in the fog.  The initial tests that saw us fogging up the entire Stage 5 (where stood the Atlantis gate room and control room) proved incredibly tricky.  We needed to ensure the fog was thick enough for filming purposes but it would disperse too quickly in the cavernous room.  Any thicker and it would make everyone sick. Ultimately, Production Designer James Robbins came up with the brilliant idea of erecting tents, limited/controlled areas that could be fogged up for the requisite scenes.  This way, it was always a quick in and out for actors.

Another issue were those flares the team members needed to use to find their way in the dark and fog.  We were informed that actual flares gave off a toxic residue.  They were also a fire hazard.  So it was James Robbins to the rescue again, pitching the idea of the chemical flare.

One of the more inspired solutions to a production issue came in the scene where Beckett leans up against a wall to catch his breath only to have one of the creature crawl along the wall toward him.  This was achieved by building a duplicate portion of the wall and having actor Paul McGillion lie down atop it – but giving the impression he is leaning up against it.  The creature then scuttle along beside him, seemingly defying gravity…

This was an incredibly demanding episode that saw every department step up.  Props outdid themselves of course –

1As did hair and make-up along with the prosthetics team –

1The eye covering permitted only limited visibility – and the fact that the stunt performers were working in fog made their scenes all the more demanding.

A great guest cast for this one.  In addition to Paul McGillion, the off-world team in this episode included Christina Cox, Nicole de Boer, Janina Gavankar, and Leela Savasta –  all wonderfully talented and equally wonderful to work with.

Finally, while writing the script for this episode,  I held a contest on this blog promising the winner I would name a character after them. The eventual winner, long time blog reader Kelly Hurt, requested I use the name “Anne Teldy” (her blog handle and a nod to her young niece) and, thus, Major Anne Teldy was born.  Sadly, Kelly passed away last year following a brave battle with various health issues.  I like to think that Major Teldy is still out there, exploring other worlds in memory of her.

(Photo @MGM Television)
Director Will Waring at work (Photo @MGM Television)
(Photo @MGM Television)
Stunt Coordinator James Bamford oversees the monster action (Photo @MGM Television)
(Photo @MGM Television)
(Photo @MGM Television)
(Photo @MGM Television)
(Photo @MGM Television)

I was on set for this entire episode so plenty of pics and vids in previous blog entries.  If you’re interested…

Costume fittings, fog tents, and gun school: April 23, 2008: Whispers, Day 1

Stunts, Song of Fire and Iced, Creepy Well sequence: April 24, 2008: Whispers Day 2

Paul McGillion and co.: April 25, 2008: Whispers Day 3

Hopscotching, Christina Cox, and hair issues: April 26th, 2008: Whispers Day 4 and The Return of Author Jeffrey Ford

Catacombs and chocolate: April 28, 2008: Whispers Day 5

Fog, catacombs, Paul McGillion: April 29, 2008: On the set of Whispers

Story inspiration and production challenges: September 5, 2008: Whispers

Pics, vids, and a scene by scene breakdown: September 6, 2008: Whispers Breakdown, Part 1

More pics, vids and continuing that scene by scene breakdown: September 7, 2008: I Suffer a Field Injury, The Whispers Breakdown Part II, and Oodles of Pics and Vids

33 thoughts on “January 20, 2013: Football and Whispers!

  1. This was such a fun episode to watch – even thought I’ve seen it probably 4 or 5 times now, it’s STILL scary. I love all the nods to horror movie conventions – think all the threat is over? Nope! Still one last run of space zombies!

    All the actors did such a great job and it was great to see Ezri, I mean Nicole DeBoer again. As you noted, every department seemed once again to step up to the plate and swing for the fences.

    I was a bit surprised though, in the scene where they first meet the villager and he says that it’s not safe to stay there, why Sheppard then just says he can then go on his way. I would be wondering why he would be saying that! Perhaps Sheppard just figured he was remembering the times when Michael was there, but still it wouldn’t hurt to clarify.

  2. @Joe:

    The second game of the double-header was doubly pleasing in that it not only offered up a Baltimore Ravens win, but a New England Patriots loss as well!

    😀 😀 😀 😀


    I liked the “Doom-feel” to the scenes in Whispers. I can’t remember though, were the “chemical flares” glo-sticks? I think I’ll re-watch this tonight to reminisce.

  3. See I knew it, there was food to be had (thanks for the pictures) with all the football stuff. Hope Akemi is feeling better soon.
    ~ back to the picture of you in the respirator,(apr 23,2008) kinda like a super hero costume, well sorta, kinda, if you were looking to be a super hero person.

  4. This was also one of my favorites of the series. I am not a big horror fan, but could appreciate the atmosphere that was created and all the times the team thinks it is over, only to have more stuff hit the fan. As already stated by gforce, it was great to have Nicole DeBoer on the episode. A great episode all around.

  5. I actually made it through the day football free, only finding out the results late this evening. As usual, your layout looks delicious. I remember how much behind-the-scenes we got as this show aired, and it’s fun looking back on it. It will always have a bittersweet feel to it when I watch it, as I see Major Teldy and remember Kelly’s presence “here” in your blog.

  6. I’ve got my sous vide on well enough to hit the 63 deg. egg when I feel like it, which proves out my candy thermometer.

    Here’s my latest configuration, including a water circulator.

    Here’re its innards.

    Adding the water circulator really cuts down on the time-lag between changing the heat and the temperature response. It makes the whole thing easier to control and gives a big enough uniform temperature zone with less water than my last configuration. Before I get any ideas about splicing in a temperature control, I need to see how a real machine handles the lag.

    Ignore the second wire. The submersible LED lights are attached to the pump and the alternative was to let them dangle over the stove.

    I tried some fish. By the time I got a sear on it, it would have been cooked anyway, which means overcooked when starting with sous vide. If I try again, I’ll dry it with a towel before searing. Some of the problem might be like how it’s hard to brown soggy potatoes without overcooking because of the time it takes to boil the water off before you can get a higher temperature.

  7. I liked Whispers – it was fun! A bit scary, a bit funny, and best of all, no Wraith were killed in the filming of this episode! 😉


  8. I wonder if I have enough good karma built up that gloating over the Patriots loss won’t dent my balance too much. Because I just have to say HURRAY TOM BRADY IS NOT GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL :)))))

    Right. Now, back to our regularly scheduled SGA episode. Whispers! I’m not usually a horror fan, but I do like this episode. Creepy and suspenseful and lots of Carson!

  9. Get well soon Akemi. Yay for the SF 49ers making it to the Superbowl. 😀
    Delicious looking peanut butter cookies. I’ll take a dozen. :p

  10. G’day all

    @Deni – Grandson is just gorgeous. Enjoy every moment, even the bodily function ones :p

  11. Re: Whispers. I loved the Carson/John pairing. Excellent decision! It’s a thoroughly entertaining episode filled with creative horror movie traditions.

    Laura will always be the gal for Carson but the all-girl team definitely added a different dimension to the show. 🙂 I liked the creatures they faced; would’ve been good to see Michael using both the smog mutants alongside a small army of different hybrids.

    Damned shame we had to lose Carson at the end … I wanted him to stay on Atlantis. 🙁


    Well, we finally had decent snow fall in London yesterday. Had to find time to go for a walk, it’s our winter tradition! I wanted to make the most of it, since we’re hardly ever treated to the glistening white treat. Built a small community of snowmen and a snow pumpkin currently sitting outside on the pavement. Dogs seem to love walking and playing in the snow, whereas I’m done after about an hour with jeans trailing on the ground, collecting icy remnants and hands which need to be wrapped around both a hot water bottle and a hot chocolate simultaneously. 🙂

  12. Whispers was a fun story. I enjoyed the lady soldiers (and one lady scientist) most of all. I wished we had gotten to know the ladies better in future episodes but….

    I hope Akemi feels better soon! I’m glad she doesn’t this flu going around.

    The Gumbo and cookies looked the best to me but I’m sure it was all good.

  13. Oh yes, sorry to post again but… Anyway, Kelly is/was such an inspiration to me. She rarely complained about her circumstances and was so brave. Facing certain death and she was STILL more concerned about others. May she rest in peace….

  14. How did Paul keep from laughing. I would have been cracking up trying not to laugh knowing there was someone starring at me. I’d have been fired for too many takes.

  15. @ Deni – I missed the picture last night, just too sleepy, but got a chance to look today, and all I can say is, AWWWWWWWWW!! He’s adorable!! :heart:


  16. This was a really scary episode. I loved it! There were mixed emotions, however, when Major Anne Teldy appeared on screen and I remembered how she got her name. 🙁

    One thing that didn’t sit well with me, though, was how Sheppard was surprised about the all-woman team. Surely, as Second in Command and Officer in Charge of the military on Atlantis he would be responsible for (or at least have knowledge of) the make up of the teams. But that’s just a minor niggle.

    Was this one of those money saving episodes which allowed another episode to be shot at the same time with the other regular actors? I’m thinking maybe Tracker with Ronon, McKay and Keller. Or were the other regulars just sitting at home collecting their pay checks? 🙂

  17. @Das, Ganymede and Janet: Michael would like to thank all his fans…:) My daughter, however, would like a nap! Thanks for the kind words! xoxo

  18. Deni — Your little Michael Blake is the cutest thing! He’s all wrapped up like a baby burrito! 🙂

    JeffW — Congrats on the Ravens win!

    Loved Whispers! Any story with Carson Beckett/Paul McGillion was always a good one for me. 😀 Pretty cool that he was getting chummy with a girl (girl scientist, yeah!) in a horror scenario, a traditional date movie. Why did they never let Carson get a girl? 😐

    Joe, thanks for all the photos, videos, and links! (Take care of Akemi!)

    Seeing Whispers is bittersweet, though. Kelly was so proud of Major Anne Teldy and treasured her mementos of this episode. It was a huge deal for her. I miss her, and can’t pick up the phone and call her anymore. It stinks! 🙁 Am glad that we got to hear from her and her sister Kerry. Love ya, Kell! You ascended before us. Tell Aslan we said hello.

  19. Congratulations, Deni. I have one of each and it is a pleasure to watch their little personalities unfold. My four-year old grandaughter has been telling people that she’s going to have another baby brother or sister. My daughter has been going around doing damage control, as this is not the truth (so far, anyway). I don’t think she’s quite ready for another one… Enjoy him, they grow so quickly!

  20. Whispers was one of the most memorable ever episodes to me. It was pretty scary. I love scary. And it wasn’t a blood fest. I love that too. There were some moments in the fog that were so impressive. Reminded my of a M. Knight Shalamananaman movie! (you know who I’m talking about – Signs, Sixth Sense director) I love his work. The lovely Will Waring was giving him a run for his money! (That is a huge compliment to Will from me.) It kinda reminded me of his The Village movie. Erie images, shadows in fog, general creepiness. Awesome! Great writing and directing! The “thing” crawling on the wall was classic. I always wondered why Ronon couldn’t have gone with them. But I guess him and Dusty would have killed all the creatures within the first 5 seconds, so you had to bring Beckett instead. When Sheppard said “Major Anne Teldy” the first time, I got a smile on my face. What a great tribute and legacy to a neat lady. She will always be remembered now thanks to you Joe.

  21. How did your new TV series meeting disguised as a football gathering go this week? Who was there this time…Bam Bam, a director of photography, a director, another writer, maybe an actor? Must have been really top secret and good because of no pictures of people. I’m right aren’t I?

  22. I think MG did the commentary in this ep. I can’t improve on his description of the female group (big movie producers like Martin have all the luck). I wish not to sound like a brutish clod. However, I just had the great opportunity to meet with a former student from my past from mytime in the Peace Corps. Some how I provided insperaton to her, wow. She is a marketing manager for a local restaurant. Her new project is to try to start a mobile restaurant concept. I immediately thought of your blogs and reviews as a helpful source in the consumer perspective. I sent a few links. I hope she finds it helpful. It is hard to imation all the problems starting a business adventure.

  23. Not that it makes much difference but her company has restaurants in Bangkok and Phuket.

  24. It was very sad when I had to uncheck the box in my address book to send Kelly a Christmas card this year. I cried some. It’s amazing the effect people we’ve never met have on our lives in this internet age.

    I loved this episode. It was creepy and, of course, loved the all-female kick-ass team. It’s a shame they couldn’t become the regular beta team to our stars’ alpha team.

    Cookies look yummy.

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