So, what’s on your mind?
Colleen Scott asks: “I have a question about Stargate Atlantis. Once you had decided to have David Hewlett reprise McKay did you have a contingency plan if he had not signed on?”
Answer: Ah, it may interest you to know that it was just the opposite. As I wrote in a past blog entry: “Production on the new Stargate spinoff was fast-approaching, but we were scrambling to cast one crucial role: the part of the intrepid, dedicated team doctor. Multiple auditions yielded no suitable candidates and the producers were at a loss until… Robert Cooper suggested a different tact. Instead of casting a new character, why not bring in an established one – namely, Dr. Rodney McKay who had already put in a couple of appearances on Stargate: SG-1? To say that this last minute switch “worked out quite nicely” would be an enormous understatement. Could you imagine Atlantis without him?”
Gildermcc asks: “I’m going to a Lou Diamond Phillips Q&A on Sunday. Any messages for Lou?”
Answer: Ask my favorite celebrity foodie “What was the best thing you’ve eaten this month?”
Sandy asks: “Some Dark Matter questions regarding our beloved Android:
1) How come she didn’t detect that Devon was an addict?”
Answer: She may have picked up on some unusual physiological readings but an actual cell or blood test would have been required to specifically confirm him an addict.
“2) Zoie Palmer has said Android was going to have an English accent, but right at the last minute before filming the decision was made to change that. Why was that?”
Answer: There were many different ways that the Android could have gone. We opened the role up to all genders (and the character was originally envisioned as male). In her audition, Zoie offered different variations on the role including readings with an English, German, and even Jamaican accent (which I filed away for later use – see Episode 7). Having the Android speak with an English accent may have been a passing consideration, but it was never something I pushed for.
George Perham asks: “The new season of Dark Matter airs when?”
Answer: Whenever a broadcaster or streamer recognizes and rewards the show’s loyal fan base!
2cats asks: “Mailbag:
Ques 1… When can we expect to know more about this production? Name of show, cast, etc.?”
Answer: I don’t know. Unlike Dark Matter, this isn’t my show. I’m not the creator. So it’s really up to our broadcaster and production company to decide how much to reveal and when.
“Ques 2… Do you find having a solid track record with previous productions, Stargate, Dark Matter, opens some doors for new product consideration?”
Answer: Yes and no. To be honest, Stargate and Dark Matter are off most L.A. executives’ radars. Rob Cooper once met with an exec who actually asked: “Stargate? Did that air in the U.S.?”. So it’s an uphill battle in that respect. On the other hand, those who DO know about the productions are impressed with the quality of the work and, in the case of Dark Matter, how much we were able to accomplish with a very limited budget.
“Ques 3… Do you ever dream about your past shows, as in assuming a character or playing out alternate scenes that never were shot or used? Since you write them, just wondering how much lingers in your psyche?”
Answer: Oh, sure. I’ll always reflect fondly on certain scenes or imagine missed opportunities. The memories never quite leave you, both the good and the bad.
RazaArrows asks: “The very popular ‘Isn’t it a Paradox ‘ was written because another storyline could not be fulfilled. How would that original episode have played out?”
Answer: It involved Alt. Jace Corso’s return to our reality and would have had nothing to do with our crew traveling back in time. In the end, as much as I loved the Corso character, I’m very happy circumstances steered us toward producing “Isn’t That A Paradox”.
“”In Season 2 onwards, what would have been One’s story arc, had you not been asked to ‘kill’ him off?”
Answer: There would have been a showdown with THREE in which he would have come to realize that Marcus Boone was set up, and that the bullet that killed Derrick Moss’s wife was actually meant for Derrick Moss himself. Then he and THREE would have teamed up to take down the man responsible.
Wayne Hughes asks: “Hi Joe, Do you ever have ideas for stories that seem so grandiose you feel you can’t do it justice ?”
Answer: Oh, all the time. I try my best to produce on the page, meaning I write episodes I know the production can afford, but sometimes the realities of making television can be unforgiving. That space battle you thought you could afford, when all is said and done, is UNaffordable and you need to make concessions.
Gildermcc asks: “Mailbag: Ever seen this comic, Joe?
Answer: I have not.
Ponytail writes: “How about the success of Jason Momoa since Stargate Atlantis? He was even presenting at the Oscars! Pretty cool!”
Answer: Yes, great to see him doing so well. He took his craft very seriously and always worked hard at improving himself when he was on Atlantis.
Jen Blood asks: “In your future projects (like the highly anticipated “Untitled Awesome Project”), will you ever try to work-in any Akemi-isms?”
Answer: You know what? THIS is a brilliant idea. Thanks!
Darkmatterman asks: “When Dark Matter comes back and with people trying to get more seasons of Killjoys, if its saved do you think the Dark Matter/Killjoys crossover could still happen?”
Answer: Tonally, they’re very similar and I have much respect for what Michelle Loretta and her crew have accomplished. For those reasons alone, I’d love to do it. But realistically, given the ownership and legal issues (not to mention the fact Dark Matter is no longer airing), I’d think it unlikely.
“Also, what happened to those Dark Matter rumblings? Is that group of people still trying to save it?”
Answer: Alas, no. Back in November, I had a conversation with a representative of a group that was looking to finance film and television productions through public/fan-backed, crypto-currency-funded structures. What surprised me at the time was the amount of money they had raised for an original production – and how much they could have come up with to back a fourth season IF the timing had been right and they had reached out to the right people. We were in discussions about the possibility of my helping them launch their original project in exchange for their backing a Dark Matter miniseries but, alas, before we could get further along, a major studio made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. And, sadly, that opportunity disappeared.
Edmond Dantes asks: “If Disney made a serious offer on the Stargate IP/Franchise, (do you think that) MGM would sell or not? And why (not)?”
Answer: This a tough one for me to answer because I have no way of knowing what executives at Disney or MGM could be thinking. From an outsider’s point of view, I think it highly unlikely that MGM would give up the Stargate since it’s one of its most profitable television franchises. Which really begs the question: “What’s taking them so long to laugh a new series?”
Nathan Dionne asks: “Bit of an odd question I had after watching an episode of Stargate the other day and seeing the credits roll by at the end. What percentage of those names in the credits (or the credits for Dark Matter) would you have actually known/interacted with? As opposed to them being background/periphery crew or outside the studio or whatnot.”
Answer: As a showrunner, you’re not only interacting with department heads, but people in those departments and working on the floor as well. Even though I have a terrible memory, I do make it a point to try to learn everyone’s name.