Space Race…


Working on Stargate was a writer’s dream in that it offered a host of wide-ranging opportunities when it came to scripting an episode.  The stories could be arc-driven or standalone, Earth-bound or off-world centered, mythological in nature or purely scifi, dramatic or humorous.  And, every so often, we occasionally did those departure episodes that stood out all the more in the uniqueness of their narrative or execution.  Space Race was one of those episodes and, as a result and to no one’s surprise, was a little divisive went it came to fan opinion.  Some fans loved it.  Others hated it.  Still, whatever negative response it may have received online paled in comparison to the scorn heaped upon…

Avenger 2.0…

Okay, in retrospect the title was one of the best things about this episode.  We shot Felger’s apartment at the Accent Inn across the street from The Bridge Studios (where we also shot Ronon and Sheppard watching BSG on motel t.v., Teal’c enjoying the thousand finger massage in Point of No Return, and the scene of Kinsey’s shooting in Smoke and Mirrors).  In the original script, Felger is painting his Warhammer figures but the gang at Warhammer nixed the idea because they felt suggesting a character like him (ie. brilliant scientist) played Warhammer would depict the game in an unfavorable light.  So we went with Stargate action figures instead.

At one point in the episode, Felger makes reference to an old science professor of his named Mr. Hoffman.  This was a salute to one of my own high school teachers, Mr. Hoffan, a knowledgeable man in his own right.  Once, during a class, he informed me that the chocolate bar I was snacking on could contain a maximum of three hairs and one rat turd according to regulations set down by the Canadian Food and Drug Administration.  For my part, I always avoided Charleston Chews which seemed to allow for roughly twice that.


Actor Chris Judge’s second foray into scripting sees him tackle Jaffa cultural constraints, sexism, and uneasy alliances.  Apparently, he wrote the part of Ishta for Jolene Blaylock.  Thankfully, she was available to play the role.  The episode also features a cameo by Executive Producer Michael Greenburg’s wife, Nicky. At one point in the episode, she rides by on a horse and shouts something.

Evolution Part 1…

The first part of our mid-season two-parter (Hey, remember the days when the 11th episode was the midway point of the season?) introduced a fearsome new enemy with an equally fearsome codpiece.  Yep.  Whenever the deadly super soldier strode onto the scene, all I could think was “I wonder if that’s where they keep it’s battery pack?”.  The idea of an almost indestructible enemy was a good one and, on paper, it certainly sounded cool but the finished product was more likely to trigger laughter than any feelings of foreboding.

Note: For what it’s worth, the Asurans were similarly/mysteriously well-endowed.

Evolution Part 2…

Enrico Colantoni guests as Burke, a former black ops buddy of O’Neill’s, and does such a formidable job that, for months later, we’re still talking about the fact we have to bring him back and give him his own team.  Like so many of the show’s creative good intentions, it never comes to pass – but things worked out for Enrico all the same.  Last I hear, he’s tearing it up on Flashpoint.

As much as I didn’t love the super soldier, I was all over the zombies that stalk the jungles of Nicaragua (Vancouver woods with a little help from our Greens Department).  Speaking of tearing it up, Director Peter DeLuise does a brilliant job here with the action, particularly one shot that sees the Zombie Chalo blown apart.  The other guys felt it was too visceral (“Pretty damn goopy!”) but I didn’t see the problem.  It was a zombie after all, not a human being.  I mean, it’s perfectly acceptable to decapitate robots onscreen.  I think the same logic would apply.  I was overruled.


While I, admittedly, would have liked to see the Sam-Jack arc culminate in their finally settling down together, I wasn’t a fan of the dream flash in this episode in which the two lock lips.  My problem with it was not so much the content of the sequence as the fact that it was confusing – a hallucination within a greater hallucination.  That said, I quite liked the episode that, in its early outlining, jumped back and forth between Carter actually boarding the alien vessel and coming face to face with its crew.  In the end, it was decided the story would work better as a self-contained narrative.


Actor Corin Nemec pitched this story and wrote the original outline for an episode that brings back Jonas Quinn and explores his new life on Langara.  The original title of the episode was Turn of Events which, we couldn’t help but note, was a title applicable to every episode we’d ever done.  It would have been akin to titling an episode Off-World Adventure or Fourth Act Twist!  It was a lot of fun although one element in the story didn’t quite pan out – specifically, Jonas Quinn’s love interest, a fellow Langaran named Kianna.  On the day the first dailies came in, we were horrified to discover that both actors had unnervingly similar hairstyles that, as a result, made them look like they were related.  Which, in turn, made some of the romantic scenes a little…weird?

3 thoughts on “March 20, 2023: Stargate SG-1 concept art and episodic insights!

  1. Interesting about the fan reaction to Space Race vs. Avenger – I didn’t care for the former AT ALL, but thought the latter was pretty fun.

    I was just thinking the other day how much I miss TV seasons that were actually 20 episodes long (or more!) and now if it’s 10, you’re lucky. Everything just seems… smaller.

  2. One of the most common mistakes I notice in “concept art”, the drawings of concepts for a sci-fi production, is the inadequacy of the objects with the physical, ergonomic characteristics of the extra-terrestrial species. Often we see fingers with claws or suction cups to the character push buttons or pull levers adapted for the human body and obviously unusable with their hand. Hands with only 3 fingers etc. Just my editorial this morning!

    Translated with (free version)

  3. I am 72 and a huge Stargate follower from the very beginning. I continue to watch reruns of the movies and all the stargaze series. I really wish it would be reinvented again!!!

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