A surprisingly productive day.  The network notes on our first draft of the scifi pilot were minimal.  We’ll take the weekend to address them and turn around the next draft (really, what amounts to a polish) by early next week after which it’ll “go wide”.

Also got an update from our business partner on those final pieces of the financial puzzle.  Decisions have been bogged down by two confusingly unrelated stumbling blocks.  1. Apparently, potential partners are being inundated with “fantasy” projects and, despite attempts to set them straight, lump “science fiction” in the same category.  2. A past, er, soap opera-esque SF series (someone once described as Grey’s Anatomy in space) has scared some of the genre – despite the fact that that particular show was so atypical of most scifi on television.  On the bright side, our business partner is confident the deal will get done – but it may take a little longer than we’d hoped.

Oh, and yeah, speaking of fantasy shows – we also received some great feedback on the second draft of that urban fantasy series we’re developing for another network.  I expect another round of tweaks at which point THAT script will “go wide”.

An interesting development on the horror script front.  A major player is apparently “intrigued” by the concept – which is all well and good but, while we’re waiting, our business partner on the other two projects expressed a desire to shoot a low budget horror script in the coming months and, hey, would we happen to have one?  As a matter of fact…. I sent him the script yesterday.  He’ll read it this weekend and, if it’s something he likes…dare I say it?  Smoooooooth sailing!

Finally, I spent most of the afternoon (and much of yesterday) beating out the story for that female protagonist-centered drama series.  Love what I have so far – which is two and a half acts and the last few scenes.  I just need to figure out the details of the MacGuffin (“a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist (and sometimes the antagonist) is willing to do and sacrifice almost anything to pursue, protect or control” – Wikipedia).  A couple of more days of dedicated mulling and I can actually start writing.

File this one under “Stargate Kid Makes Good”.  Rumor has it that Jason Momoa is circling the part of Drax the Destroyer in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie: Jason Momoa Offered Lead Role in Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Continuing our trip down SGA memory lane with…


What is it they say about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions?  Oh, yeah.  The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. On the one hand, our heroes have discovered a means of weaning wraith off their need to feed.  On the other hand, the solution transforms the wraith into hideous mutations.  Well, what do they say about having to break a few eggs to make an omelette?  Oh, yeah. You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.  Hmmmm.  I know at least one pale, soul-sucking alien who might take offense.

All in all, a great monster-themed episode, and the last Stargate script by writer-producer Alan McCullough.

Writer-producer Alan McCullough receiving script notes from actor Paul McGillion.
Writer-producer Alan McCullough receiving script notes from actor Paul McGillion (ie. Why isn’t Dr. Beckett in this episode?)
Uh, is this the guy who's gonna be eating my face?
Uh, is this the guy who’s gonna be eating my face?
Make sure to get my good side!
Make sure to get my good side!
Human and creature, side by side, enjoying their downtime together.  We've come a long way, baby!
Human and creature, side by side, enjoying their downtime together. We’ve come a long way, baby!
They say that wraith make the best directors.  And, by "they", I refer to the wraith.
They say that wraith make the best directors. And, by “they”, I refer to the wraith.
Nerd wraith alert!
Nerd wraith alert!
Touch-ups to ensure they're looking their worst.
Touch-ups to ensure they’re looking their worst.

Did he just say “Muh”?

20 thoughts on “February 15, 2013: The (slow) Progress Report! Days of Stargate Atlantis Past! Infection!

  1. Oh gawd. The ‘Soap Opera in Space’. Such a horrible (admitted) rip off of BBC’s excellent mockumentary ‘Space Odyssey’. Almost all the explanations they came up with for simple questions like on board gravity, instantaneous communications accross the Solar System, etc… were laughable. The main storyline with the artefacts was interesting but it was drowned by the annoying frequent flashbacks, the locker room banter that was supposed to pass for humor and the permanently ‘complicated’ relationship status of the crew.

    Having said that though the cast was very good and despite the shows multiple defects at least the creators tried to do something different.

  2. Infection was one of my favorite episodes! Creepy and a great cool as ice Sheppard moment when Todd came at him. 🙂

    Hate to say it, but I don’t know what Soap sci-fi show you are referencing, my first thought was you were making some snarky remark about SGU, but I don’t think you’d be one of those referring to it in that manner.

  3. You gotta love the smooooth sailing parts of the industry. It wouldn’t be the same without them!

    I have to admit I had mostly forgotten about this episode, but I’m not sure why. It was really quite good. When Lt. whathisname was about to get killed, I was thinking you NEVER walk up to a hole in a melting wall and peek through it!

    I think the soapy sci-fi in question was “Defying Gravity”, of which I could barely make it through one episode. Apparently, you did have to see it from the beginning for it to make sense, but I found it boring regardless.

  4. 1. Loved Infection, for many reasons. Todd, zombie Wraith, and the cripped ship, what more could a girl want?! Well, besides a hawt, young shirtless Wraith primpin’ in the mirror and chillin’ to nu-metal, and for some reason I don’t think you’ll disappoint. 😉

    2. Nerd Wraith. The greatest gift you’ve ever given me. 😆

    3. “Muh!”??? Is that you, Jobie??? 😉


  5. 1. why do some people in insist on lumping fantasy & sci-fi together? 2. it seems that most of the “money people” are afraid of sci-fi stuff. probably because there’s so much crap that comes along that no one watches and they loose money. stuff like “grey’s anatomy in space” i’m sure.

  6. don’t know how you manage to live day by day in a world where other people leave you dangling for so long. Much prefer my scoop em up, patch em up, and pass them off to other folks.
    Glad to hear Mamoa getting another role, though I hold a “wait and see” attitude towards it. Fun pictures, and here’s hoping you can give us more than teases about some of these projects in the near future.

  7. @Joe:

    Looks like a pretty productive day! Mine, on the other hand, was spent mostly on airplanes. Made it to Vancouver okay though, and even had a nice dinner at Black and Blue with Barb. Now we’ll see what gifts the jetlag-fairy brings us 😉 (Wouldn’t you know that I forgot to pack Melatonin?)

    I really liked this episode (but then again, I’ve tended to like all the Todd-related storylines). Redshirt drama is always fun too! 😀

    Oh, and who played the monster? Was that Dan Payne?

  8. I have to admit, in watching Infection, at first I was thinking this mutant, sick wraith idea is becoming tiring. But I was wrong. Infection was good! The story was great. The wraith monsters were scarey and the wraith ship was a great sick haunted house. It had the usual SGA humor:

    Todd: “I did not think you would come.”
    Deadpan Ronon: “What are friends for?”
    Then Rodney to an irritated, hissing Todd: “Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the pod this morning.”

    Sheppard and Todd kept their endearing “you do me a favor and I’ll do you a favor” deal going. Keller has a whiney voice and Todd could have used a hair brush in this one. Great ep!

  9. I hope your projects come to something Joe, hopefully then it would help you financially being back in the TV writing/producing area again.

  10. Glad all your projects are coming along well.

    Personally I like and enjoyed “Soap Opera in Space” although I was less clean once the writer revealed where it was going in the future an year after the final episode, some interesting concepts but I think they could have come up with something better, but at least they told us how it was going to end like they promised. I am still waiting to find out how SGU would have ended if it was given its full 5 years and so many other science fiction shows, Odyssey 5 guys promised they would revealed all, they have yet to do so.

  11. Between the mining of fairy tales for movie scripts, and Twilight, there’s a lot of crap out there lately. Pfeh.

  12. Glad things are swimming along (at least slowly) on your projects. I agree with the others. It would be cool to have you back in the TV writing/producing area again.

    Have a great weekend!

  13. gforce: I hope you are feeling better today.

    JeffW: Have a great trip!

    We are big Bill Nye fans here, Brain Storm Rocked! I’ll have to rewatch Infection because some of the details are a little fuzzy.

    It sounds like some of your projects are going well. Maybe, one of them will pay for a condo? Any decisions reached on housing options?

    I went to pick up my mom yesterday for a visit (six hours of driving). My brothers have her stressed and overworked. At least one brother was calling me on the way to pick her up and hinting that she needs to be back by Tuesday (to babysit). “Tuesday’s no good. I was thinking Saturday/Sunday”. That news didn’t go over well with them but my mom needs a break. A week of Netflix and unlimited naptime should perk her up.

    G’day all!

  14. When you mentioned a “soap opera in space” it immediately brought to mind the network promos for “Deep Space Nine” when I was living in New Zealand. They described it as “Melrose is space” and I cringed every time. Still, looking back at it, they probably weren’t far off!

    I agree with gforce, they’re probably thinking of Defying Gravity which I never saw but sounds awful.

    Whenever someone tells me that sci-fi and fantasy isn’t profitable I just point them at the all-time worldwide box office rankings. Seven of the top ten are sci-fi or fantasy (although Skyfall is borderline sci-fi and Toy Story 3 with walking, talking toys is pretty fantastic!).

    As for lumping sci-fi and fantasy together, yeah, that gets my goat but if you look at movie box office takings you can see why they get lumped in together.

    Speaking of goat . . . the local butcher had some goat meat on display so I grabbed some. I now have a goat curry simmering away on the stove. I’ve never cooked goat before and, to the best of my knowledge, never eaten goat either. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    I enjoyed Infection. Did you all know that this was the end by now? Or were you all still expecting another season?

  15. Defying Gravity had terrific actors but the pacing was so strange; slow to reveal a mythology but too quick with the many hookups. And wow, the whole miscarriage plot was such a depressing way to keep the “meant to be” lovebirds apart. The show should have taken place in space instead of splitting the action between Earth and the space ship. I’d rather see “Carrier In Space” than “Greys Anatomy in Space.”

    I made dumplings yesterday using youtube’s Foodwishes channel; I used bisquick a.k.a. flour for dummies, sour cream and milk and I got huge fluffy dumplings floating atop my soup. The results almost brought me to my knees. Almost as good as my grannies.

  16. I think Soap Opera esq elements have a place in Scifi, certainly it worked with Stargate Universe, I think the only thing the show had going against it was the fact it had Stargate in the name, and some people either weren’t willing to look past that, or simply couldn’t accept a different kind of Stargate.

    Certainly SGUs concept and story telling were solid, I think under another name it would of had less critics and more fans on-board, and would of gone on for longer. It was a fun show.

    I would love another ship in space type show. Stargate Universe proved it can be done, and it can be fun too.

  17. That set looks like a draining tonsil abscess.

    It’s a little hard to define not-fantasy science fiction when you’re speaking in terms of what’s already out there. Star Wars and Doctor who are really fantasy/science fiction mash-ups. It would be better for the pure fantasy purveyors to call themselves “pure fantasy” and then the science fiction and fantasy mash-ups and pure science fiction could have a different category. “Not-pure fantasy science fiction” just isn’t a catchy and descriptive label. What you need is a proper label.

    Longer arcs are here to stay, but I’m not always on board with the pacing that results. I like the idea of a planet-visiting space opera right now because I think it could constrain the writers to resolving a tight, emergency of the week plot and they’d have to work the longer arcs around that.

    You may have the new formula for how to dovetail longer arc plots and science fiction, Joe. You just gotta’ convince them you have it. You were in on the ground floor of hammering it out with SGU. Now you emerge from your workshop, shake the welding flux off your apron, hold up your new creation and declare, “[insert catchy term for not-pure fantasy science fiction here]’s alive!”

  18. Hey, hey, hey. Defying Gravity was a good show. Of course ABC ripped it the United States right before the episode Patrick Gilmore was in showed.

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