The Stargate Tweetstorm

Well, that was impressive.  We had a huge turnout for last night’s Stargate tweetstorm, with thousands of fans joining in from all over the world.  Those who took part were treated to exclusive concept art, never before seen show footage, and surprise appearances from numerous former cast and crew.  Just a few of the highlights –

And many more, including Dark Matter cast members Anthony Lemke, Alex Mallari Jr, Jodelle Ferland, and Roger Cross!

We trended #1 in Australia, Canada, France, and the U.S., trended #2 in Germany, the UK and Worldwide, second only to the #BBCLeadersDebate and the always formidable BTS Army.  Hollywood also took note of our efforts, resulting in a notable campaign mention on Deadline:

#WeWantStargate Trends In Worldwide Campaign To Bring Forth New ‘Stargate’ Series

Head on over and add your voice to the 86 comments already there.

A huge thank you to everyone who helped pull off this seismic storm: the aforementioned cast and crew, the Stargate Now facebook crew, the gang at Save FutureStargate Travel, the High Council of StargateNow and StargateNowEurope, and, of course, all of you.

As promised, I have some goodies to give away.  Give me a day to organize. Winners will be announced in Monday’s blog entry!

So, what’s next?

Well, some much-needed R&R – and a new series ideally.

June 16, 2018: Goku, ornery crabs, and shifting gears!

June 16, 2018: Goku, Ornery Crabs, And Shifting Gears!

Well, look who was in town the other day.  None other than Peter Kelamis, aka Yellow Jacket, aka Adam Brody.  Also, aka the voice of Goku from Dragon Ball Z which totally wowed Akemi.  Forget Ryan Reynolds.  Peter Kelamis is her new celebrity crush!

Ivon, Peter and I got together for chicken schnitzel, tasteless chicken wings, a giant pretzel that was really a giant piece of bread resembling a pretzel, and undrinkably sour beer.  Still, it was nice catching up.  Hopefully, it won’t be another five years before we do it again!

June 16, 2018: Goku, Ornery Crabs, And Shifting Gears!

Bar Buca’s soft-shell crab sandwich looks downright ornery but is quite delicious.

June 16, 2018: Goku, Ornery Crabs, And Shifting Gears!

Former Dark Matter VFX Producer and dessert tour veteran Kerrington Harper was in town for a few days so, of course, we had to go for dessert.   On this occasion, Le Gourmand, our one stop shop for everything chocolate…and frozen custard!

I’m halfway through my move AND Dark Matter virtual season 4 Episode 4.02. Meanwhile, awaiting word on two deliveries, responses on two pitch sessions, and prepared to write off another two projects.  Hoping for a little clarity this week so I can start shifting creative gears and put a couple of projects in play…in another arena.

March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion!

A huge thank you to Stargate fans worldwide who came together over the past 48 hours to blow up twitter – with a little help from some familiar faces…

March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion! March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion!

March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion!

Yep.  Quite the turnout.  Between the two events, 250k+ tweets and counting the last time I checked.

So, what’s next for #TheDriveToRevive?  Well…

Okay –

March 11, 2018: Our Massive Online Stargate Reunion!

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam and Best Comic Book Covers of the Week!

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam And Best Comic Book Covers Of The Week!

Less than 10 days out from our scheduled tweet-storm, the Stargate Initiative is gaining steam!  The @StargateNow twitter account is inching towards 9k followers with a number of familiar faces boarding the drive including: @MichaelShanks@dhewlett, @martingero, @cpbinder, @Ivonbartok, @redTamsen, @JeffTeravainen, @dopudmike, @Ayisha_Issa, @PatrickGilmore, @mikamckinnon, @marksavela, @PeterKelamis, @MichaelMoreci, @MichaelWelchAct, @SamMaggs, @actualApophis, @ranthonylemke, @SuanneBraun, @cliffsimon, @PaulyMcGillion, @imcorinnemec, @SimoneBaily, @AlexMallariJr.  And we still have over a week to go!

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam And Best Comic Book Covers Of The Week!

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam And Best Comic Book Covers Of The Week!

We’ll be doing a trial run in preparation for next week’s tweet-storm.  Join us Friday, March 2nd (fans in America) and Saturday, March 3rd (international fans) at the above times.   We’ve got you covered!  (Thanks for the assist, Kelli and Irena)

Onto our weekly feature: My favorite comic book covers of the week…

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam And Best Comic Book Covers Of The Week!

Actionverse: Stray #6 (cover art by Mitch Ballard, Wilson Ramos Jr.)

Love the use of negative space in this take on the classic “Superhero No More” cover.  Bonus points for working a dog into the walkaway.

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam And Best Comic Book Covers Of The Week!

Avengers #682 (cover art by Mark Brooks)

Incredible color  detail, and use of depth in this gorgeous frame worthy art piece.

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam And Best Comic Book Covers Of The Week!

Captain Marvel #129 (cover art by Phil Noto)

I’m a sucker for alternate reality stories and this cover leaves me all sorts of intrigued.

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam And Best Comic Book Covers Of The Week!

Deadpool #295 (cover art by Mike Hawthorne)

One of the things I love about Deadpool is that he’s so damn over the top – an attitude that often translates to his covers.  Like this one, for instance.

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam And Best Comic Book Covers Of The Week!

Gasolina #6 (cover art by Mat Lopes, Niko Walter)

I have no idea what’s going on here – the shoes, the gun, that squid sitting atop the soccer ball – but I love the composition and colors.

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam And Best Comic Book Covers Of The Week!

Galaktikon #5 (cover art by Marissa Louise, Steve Mannion)

As a longtime scifi fan, I’m always charmed by these classic SF conceits.

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam And Best Comic Book Covers Of The Week!

Glitterbomb vol. 2: The Fame Game (cover art by Djibril Morissette-Phan)

Horrific and brutal but undeniably beautiful.

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam And Best Comic Book Covers Of The Week!

Doom Patrol/JLA Special #1 (cover art by Marissa Louise, Clay Mann)

Doom Patrol battles the Justice League in a giant bowl of milk while the Milk Man looks on.  What’s not to love?

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam And Best Comic Book Covers Of The Week!

Rich Veitch’s The One #1 (cover art by Rick Veitch)

Love the playfulness of this one as well.

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam And Best Comic Book Covers Of The Week!

Saga #49 (cover art by Fiona Staples)

49 issues in and Saga remains one of the most fiercely creative comics out there.  The series covers are equally imaginative.

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam And Best Comic Book Covers Of The Week!

Strangers In Paradise XXV #2 (cover art by Terry Moore)

I’ve been a longtime fan of Terry Moore’s work, and this is the latest in a long line of terrific (and, in this case, subtly unnerving) covers.

February 28, 2018: The Stargate Initiative Gaining Steam And Best Comic Book Covers Of The Week!

Teen Titans #17 (cover art by Dan Mora)

I always enjoy seeing super beings laid low by mundanities or the harsh realities faced by your average (dare I say it?) Joe.  Still, it make you wonder: Are they leaving the furniture?

What do you think?

April 2, 2017: A Walk in the Park!

April 2, 2017: A Walk In The Park!

“Is that Suji?”asked the woman in the bicycle helmet.

“Why yes,”I said.  “It is!”

We’d spent the better part of the beautiful afternoon in High Park, walking the dogs along the water, taking in the sights and the cantankerous swans, and were on our way back to the car.  Lulu and Suji were tuckered out, so I had the task of pushing them – and their stroller – up the winding incline toward the lot.  We’d just reached the nice little bench area at the top of the hill when we encountered the lovely cyclist couple.

“They’re exhausted,”I explained.  And then, by way of an explanation: “They’re old.”  Ironically, they looked quite comfortable in the stroller while I was the one fighting for breath.

They’d recognized Suji from a recent pug meet-up.  Initially, I’d assumed/hoped they’d recognized her from instagram where her NewOldPugSuji account has, in a mere three months, has more than doubled by follower count.  She’s on track to break 5k by mid-month.  At this rate, I’d be foolish NOT to stunt cast in season 4.

When I retire in about seven years from now, I’m going to just live off Suji’s various endorsements and public appearances.

But today, a lot of this:

April 2, 2017: A Walk In The Park! April 2, 2017: A Walk In The Park! April 2, 2017: A Walk In The Park! April 2, 2017: A Walk In The Park! April 2, 2017: A Walk In The Park! April 2, 2017: A Walk In The Park!

Hey, this takes me back.  Actors Peter Kelamis, Patrick Gilmore, and Jennifer Spence behind-the-scenes on Stargate: Universe

April 2, 2017: A Walk In The Park!

May 24, 2011: Transporter: The Series Pre-Production Update! Site Stats!

No turning back now!  The production machine is rolling along and picking up steam, speeding, faster and faster, toward the precipice that will launch us into glorious flight!  Provided the mechanical wings on this contraption hold firm.  Our European team is gearing up to start shooting in Paris, Berlin, Nice, Marseilles, and the south of France.  To that end, we had a conference call this morning to go over the storyboards for the early episodes.  The guys in France have come up with some terrific car action sequences that, like the ones in the Transporters film series, are fun, inventive, and holy-smokes-impressive!  I suppose this shouldn’t come as a surprise since a number of the key people on our car and fight stunt teams are the same ones who worked on the movies.

When car stunt coordinator extraordinaire Michel Julienne gets into town, I’m just going to start catching a lift with him in the morning.

I figure that’ll allow me to shave about fifteen minutes off my twenty-two minute travel time.

Every so often, I like to check out my site stats – Top Referrers, Top Posts, and, my favorite, Top Search Engine Terms that directed new readers to this blog.  I always find it very interesting.  For instance, here’s a sampling of the Top Search Engine Terms over the past six months…

Search Views
julia benson 59,088
joseph mallozzi 36,572
joe mallozzi 16,013
mallozzi 7,600
joseph mallozzi blog 7,581
elyse levesque 6,252
jennifer spence  5,400
alaina huffman  4,193
mallozzi blog  3,876
batman  2,914
joseph malozzi  1,882
julia anderson  1,766
joseph mallozi  1,751
vanessa james  1,659
stargate blog  1,553
amanda tapping  1,526
julie mcniven  1,450
jamil walker smith  1,047
brian j smith  984
elyse levesque hot  955
louis ferreira  932
jewel staite  895
patrick gilmore  882
joseph mallozzi weblog  865
joe malozzi  839
peter deluise  831
bermuda triangle mystery solved  751
mike dopud  744
david blue  727
malozzi blog  707
stargate universe destiny  706
stargate atlantis  693
leela savasta  693
iron chef chairman  455
michael shanks  454
joseph mallozzi’s blog  433
peter kelamis  428
lexa doig  424
paul mcgillion  416
mint leaves  313
icarus base  288
wraith todd  282
julia benson pictures  267
todd wraith  265
julia benson hot  263
andy mikita  263
stargate destiny model  243
todd the wraith  242
christopher judge  234
chocolate party  223
vanessa james sgu  217
julia benson actress  203
julia benson pics 192
“jennifer spence” 190
mark savela 189
butterscotch schnapps 189
stargate universe shuttle 188
sgu destiny 188
stargate universe julia benson 175
josephmallozzi.wordpress.com 171
julia benson sgu 165
stargate universe chloe 163
vanessa james stargate universe 161
julia benson photos 149
joseph mazzolli blog 149
space shuttle interior 133
stargate atlantis city 131
seed ship 131
blog mallozzi 129
julia benson stargate universe 127
stargate universe ship 117
rodney mckay 117
2nd lt. vanessa james 109
batman pictures 109
destiny gate 109
“elyse levesque” 109
viscous 109
lieutenant james stargate 102
robert picardo 101
brad wright 101
sgu vanessa james 91
stargate universe cast 89
best atlantis episodes 89
stargate atlantis todd 89
ben browder 79
amaretto cream 79
stargate universe ships 71
paul mullie 71
coq au vin 67
carl binder 66
alien ship 55
teryl rothery 54
destiny corridor 54
the chairman iron chef 53
julia benson images 53
peter de luise 53
stargate destiny schematics 53
stargate universe kino 53
stargate destiny bridge 53
kobe beef 53
joe flanigan 51
stargate atlantis gate 50
jaffa stargate 50
julia benson picture 48
florida state cowgirls 48
dr rush 48
leaves 48
butterscotch liqueur 25
snow monkeys 19
fedora hat 15
Carl learns he comes in at 66 searches, beating kobe beef by 53 but falling well short of amaretto cream at 79. Also, for what it's worth, just a shade under "coq au vin".

More people searching the internet came here looking for “Julia Benson” than “Joseph Mallozzi” and “Joe Mallozzi” combined.  Searches for “Batman” (2914) beat out searches for “Patrick Gilmore” (882), “Stargate Atlantis” (693) doubled “mint leaves” (313), while “Joe Flanigan” (51) was trounced by “Brad Wright” (101), “Robert Picardo” (101), and “viscous” (109).

Even more interesting are the daily single digit search engine terms that range from the obscure to the downright bizarre.  Today’s stats yield a unique mix:

Search Views
sucking pig 3
brian j smith girlfriend 2
godzilla tokyo 2
mallozzi fondy divorce 2
janina javankar married or single 1
raccoon lottery 1
leon with pig puppet 1
psych symptoms include speaking in accents 1
confit brain 1
bermuda trapezoid 1

I would assume the first one was supposed to be “suckling pig” rather than “sucking pig”, but the fact that three different search attempts went with “sucking” gives me pause.  It’s nice to know there are people searching for love on the internet, doing their research to ensure their prospective future partners are indeed single: Brian J. Smith, Janina Gavankar, and my ex wife.  Also, I sincerely hope that whoever searched for “psych symptoms include speaking in accents” found the sound medical advice they were looking for here on this blog.  Finally, what the hell is a “raccoon lottery”?

May 15, 2011: The Apocalypse Approacheth! More SG-1 Season 6 Memories! Another Monster Mailbag!

Holy Smack!  So there I was this morning, minding my own business, perusing the internet for cornish game hen recipes when I came across THIS article in which a religious group alert us to the possible end of the world May 21.  The evidence is mighty convincing.  According to the article, the group’s elderly leader claims he arrived at the May 21st date through “a mathematical calculation that would probably crash Google’s computers. It involves, among other things, the dates of floods, the signals of numbers in the Bible, multiplication, addition and subtraction thereof.”  Multiplication, addition AND subtraction! Usually, you get one, maybe two of the aforementioned in your average doomsday calculation, but the fact that this guy made use of all three (division is for losers by the way) suggests a mind-boggling thoroughness and attention to detail.  If that’s not enough to convince the skeptics, the group’s leader also points to the many obvious signs that the apocalypse approacheth.  According to the story in the Washington Post, he “mentioned the massive earthquakes in Chile, Haiti and Japan, as well as the recent tornadoes in the South. And to top that off, gay people are thriving.”  Yes to the earthquakes in Chile, Haiti and Japan. Another yes to the tornadoes in the South.  And, the last time I visited my favorite cupcake shop in Vancouver, owned by a really nice same-sex couple, business was booming which seems to be confirm the final piece of the prophecy.

I’m of two minds here.  On the one hand, I’m horrified at the prospect that, in a matter of days, everything I know will cease to be.  On the other hand, this means I don’t have to kill myself to complete that pesky script rewrite.

Hell, I’m taking the rest of the week off!

Steve Eramo interviews actor Louis Ferreira (Colonel Young) here: http://scifiandtvtalk.typepad.com/scifiandtvtalk/2011/05/stargate-universes-louis-ferreira-forever-young.html

Thanks to all those who have taken the time to weigh in with their comments and questions.  I do read them all and, hopefully, will get around to addressing most.  Eventually.  In the meantime, my trip down memory lane continues with more Stargate: SG-1 reminiscences…

UNNATURAL SELECTION (612)

Although I liked the replicators when they were first introduced, I felt a little of them went a long way – which was why I loved their evolution into human form.  Same villain but new, improved, and far more dangerous.  What made this very good episode great was O’Neill’s double-cross of the all-too-trusting Fifth.  Was he right to do it?  Sure, an argue could be made for the fact that his actions do contain the replicator threat.  Of course, the double-cross comes back to bite us in the ass down the line when Fifth escapes the time dilation bubble.  So, would we have been better served taking him with us.  Again, hard to say.  And that’s one of the things I loved about SG-1.  Sometimes, amid the high adventure and humor, there were situations that offered no easy answers.

SIGHT UNSEEN (613)

Boy, did I NOT like this episode, this despite actor Jodi Racicot’s brilliant turn as the beleaguered Vernon Sharpe.  My note at the script stage was: So what?. I mean, okay, people started glimpsing interdimensional creatures that caused them to “Freak out, man!” but, when it came down to it, those alien centipedes really weren’t much of a threat.

SMOKE AND MIRRORS (614)

See if you can spot Peter Kelamis (SGU’s Adam Brody) in one of his first guest spots on the franchise.  Yep, that young little guy who gets clotheslined by Teal’c.  That’s him!  This episode also marked the return of one of my favorite characters you love to hate: Senator Kinsey played by the brilliant Ronny Cox.  It was always a pleasure to have him on the show.

The hotel at the beginning of the episode where Kinsey gets shot is actually located right across from The Bridge Studios where the show’s production offices are located.  Apparently, back in SG-1’s early days, a new writer joined the staff and was offered accommodations in town.  Instead, the writer elected to move into The Accent Inn!  I mean, sure, it was convenient in that all you had to do was walk across the street to get to work but there is nothing of interest in the neighborhood outside of the ABC Country Restaurant.  Sorry.  Strike that.  Nothing of interest in the neighborhood.

PARADISE LOST (615)

Robert Cooper’s long-standing distaste for arugula is finally revealed.  The mysterious plant Jack and Maybourne eat in order to survive apparently tastes horrible – not unlike arugula.  Not only that but, at episode’s end, we realize it’s the cause of the frightening hallucinations that almost get them killed.  Rob’s aversion to spicy leaf plants isn’t restricted to arugula alone.  Back in the day, we used do our annual trips to Vegas to celebrate our respective birthdays that all used to fall in the same month (Rob, Chris Judge, John G. Lenic, and myself).  I remember going to The Cheesecake Factory with him once and, when our two orders of corn tamales arrived, having him look down at the heavily cilantro-topped tamale he’d received and lamenting: “Hey, why do I get to have all the cilantro?” as if to imply I’d been left out because my tamale was relatively cilantro-less.  A clever bit of reverse psychology.

METAMORPHOSIS (616)

And the award for Most Awkward Seduction scene in an episode of Stargate goes to… Whenever I see the Nirrti’s Bedchamber scene, I vacillate between squirming and laughing out loud.   “Mrs. Nirrti, you’re trying to seduce me!”.  Poor, simple, innocent Jonas.

Another thing I recall about this episode was the gratuitously gory shot of the mutant exploding on the hospital gurney that ended up being cut.

Mailbag:

Darth Novos writes: “MGM may own the rights but there is nothing stopping you from talking to other people about possible deals.”

Answer: Actually there is – believe it or not, MGM, who own the rights.

Marius writes: “I think your unwillingness to “wrap up loose ends” is what has driven the Stargate franchise down the toilet. […] It is obvious you´ve “gone with the flow” on both Atlantis (which also sucked) and Universe. […] I also want to add, that I have some genuine good ideas for an alternatively new Stargate series concept. […] I´m positive my ideas could generate a show that gathered good viewer ratings. If you believe in me, contact me via email.”

Answer: Clearly, you know what makes for a successful t.v. show better than any of us who were involved in Stargate’s 14-year run.  I’m forwarding your email to the Grand Councilor of Awesome Programming at MGM’s moonbase headquarters.  Good luck!

glennh73 writes: “1. Your comic Dark Matter, does it have any connection to the book Dark Matter written by S. W. Ahmed. Great Read!”

Answer: Nope.

“2. You stated Atlantis couldnt connect to Destiny with 3 zpm’s nor with the Ori Supergate. Well if the Anicents were still around, how would they of going back aboard?”

Answer: That’s a questions for the Ancients.  Or Brad and Robert.

“Honestly wouldnt a black hole powered ORI Supergate have more power than a Icarus type planet?”

Answer: Possibly.

“3. Oldie but goody. Daniels grandfather Nicholas Ballard. Those aliens he is with, were they the Furlings or even the Faith Aliens or something else and why didnt we get another story about him.”

Answer: Definitely not furlings.  We never did another story about him because, alas, no one came up with a good story idea that would have included him.

“4. From SG1, is there any storylines you wished you could of expanded on. Ex Daniels grandfather, the Aschen, Re’tu, ORi?”

Answer: While there were no specific stories I’d want to revisit, I would certainly love to revisit every one of those characters.

Shannon writes: “Just wondering if you can clarify here. Was it Destiny just trying to help TJ survive/cope or was this Destiny actively doing something (like, since it’s the latest fashion, uploading the baby to the Destiny computer)?”

Answer: It was the former – Destiny reaching out to T.J. and creating a scenario which would have made it easier for her to accept the loss.

tidusspear08 writes: “Did you have any plans to make Ginn a series regular?”

Answer: As much as we all absolutely loved Julie McNiven, there were no plans to make Ginn a series regular.

nm writes: “Assuming though that you are referring to the dvd market in general rather than specifically the SG1 sales figures, do you think if the movies could have been made within a year they would have been successful?”

Answer: Don’t recall the timing of the collapse in dvd sales (and, yes, I’m referring to the general marketplace) so it’s hard to say.  Back when Atlantis’s fifth season was drawing to an end, Robert Cooper floated the idea of rolling right into a production of a two-hour event (I dubbed “Project Twilight”) that, once completed, could have delivered as either a movie (in the case we didn’t receive the sixth season pick-up) or the first two episodes of season six (if we did receive the pick-up).  For whatever reason, we weren’t able to move forward on this idea which, in hindsight, probably would have been the best way to proceed.

detanfy writes: “First of all, what exactly did the Blue Berry aliens want with Destiny. I know you said they are collecting information to try and take over, but what do they actually want with the old gal. Do they even know about Destiny and her ultimate mission?”

Answer: This is something we would have discussed and detailed in time but the idea was that the Blueberry aliens had been aware of Destiny for quite some time.  It’s doubtful they would have been aware of her ultimate mission, but they certainly would have been impressed with her capabilities both offensive and defensive.

detanfy also writes: “How did the Blue Berry aliens discover Destiny?”

Answer: I imagine they encountered Destiny during one of her many refueling stops, attempted communications and, receiving no response, scanned the ship.  Their interest pique and assuming their prize was unmanned, they attempted to board Destiny – only to be rebuffed by the ship’s automated defenses.

detanfy also writes: “Can you tell us about any of Destiny’s past experiences before the Icarus crew got on board? She seems to have been through a hell of a lot of battles. I would imagine she would have just been in FTL all this time and would only drop out to recharge, so why all the battle scars?”

Answer: A lot of the damage could be attributed to attempts by the Blueberry aliens to capture the ship.  Of course I’m sure they weren’t the only alien life forms to attempt as much.

detanfy also writes: “Are the Icarus crew the first to gate to Destiny since its launch?”

Answer: As far as we know, yes, but I loved the idea of discovering some humanoid corpses during a search of the ships unexplored sections.  Along with those corpses, we would also discover a recorded account of what happened to them when they gated aboard.  Of course, the experience of the long-dead explorers would somehow help or hinder our crew (preferably both, first hinder, then help).  Again, one of those stories that never developed beyond that germ of an idea.

mike mcginnis writes: “Also was there ever a plan to bring ford back for another episode?”

Answer: Yes.  I believe the story is included as part of my AU Season 6 post.

Andrew Jung writes: “Being from Vancouver Island, would you have ever considered doing an SG shoot on the island, or other parts of BC outside of the Lower Mainland; like the Okanagan desert?”

Answer: Sure.  We considered all possibilities.  What it ultimately came down to was budgetary constraints, what we would really gain from shooting so far out of the zone and whether it would be worth the extra costs.

Andrew Jung also writes: “Was there ever any talk about having a point where the Stargate actually became public knowledge and start using the gates and ships for colonization?”

Answer: The possibility of the Stargate program going public was going to be the premise of the next SG-1 movie, Stargate: Revolution.

Don Matthews writes: “…was the idea of Destiny going into the past and creating a civilization that would stretch into the present partially designed to allow SGU to showcase human type aliens ALA SG1/SGA?”

Answer: Yes, it would offered us a plausible scenario by which humans would have colonized that section of space.

Don Matthew also writes: “Oh and frying the Wormhole drive, that was kind of a “this tech is too powerful/deux ex machina and we have to get rid of it” decision?”

Answer: Over the course of Stargate’s run, there have been several technologies the show introduced that I felt undermined drama or handcuffed the storytelling.  Off the top of my head, in particular order: beaming technology, the Asgard core, and the wormhole drive.

Don Matthews also writes: “And was there a big payoff to come with the “franklin getting absorbed by the ship” thing? We saw him but it was kind of ambiguous.”

Answer: Purposely so.  It was something we could have explored more in the show’s third season.

Don Matthews also writes: “Was the “disappearing fetus” story just a way of dispensing with a pregnancy that you didnt feel fit with the rest of what you had planned for season 2?”

Answer: Over the course of Stargate’s long run, the production has had been faced with a number of pregnancies.  In a couple of cases, we were able to ignore the pregnancies by shooting around them.  In another case – Rachel on SGA – the pregnancy became part of the storyline, as did the subsequent birth and associated motherhood issues.  Ultimately, we decided that, while Atlantis was a hopeful enough environment to raise a child, Destiny was not.  We wrestled with how we wanted to proceed, none more so than Paul who faced the challenge of scripting the season two opener and, eventually, came up with the ambiguous/mysterious solution.  It’s interesting to note that, even though it’s more or less stated that Destiny was responsible for T.J.’s vision, many in the writing department refused to confirm it one way or the other.

Don Matthews also writes: “Oh and any gate that was powered by a blackhole should have been able to contact Destiny since they were able to keep the supergate blocked indefinitely (Pegesus Project).”

Answer: Having slept on it, I’m now firmly uncertain as to whether or not it would have been possible.

ben writes: “Regarding your new series The Transporter, have you already cast the lead roles? I’m eager to find out who you will cast as Inspector Tarconi, since you both share an affinity for haute cuisine.”

Answer: Oooh, you’re in for a treat on the casting front.  Stay tuned.

Shiny writes: “Finally got to see a marathon of SGU on Hulu; was there a caveman lurking in background of Common Descent?”

Answer: Peter DeLuise loves unique-looking extras.  The producers, not so much so.  There was plenty more of him but Paul succeeded in cutting around him. For the most part.

paloosa writes: “You mentioned something about another series in the works? And are you still looking for a more permanent home?”

Answer: Everything I mentioned in my previous post is all I’ve got on the go.  And, yes, still looking for an actual house here in Toronto.

Dustin writes: “Judging by how far Destiny is away from earth could it be the gates left by the seed ships are sending back info to the other gate networks in the Pegasus and Milky way? ”

Answer: Theoretically possible, but not something we considered.

Spectrefire writes: “I read up on Netflix’s intentions on possibly footing the bill for shows and series that are about to be cancelled, and was thinking that Stargate Universe, or at the very least, a couple of movies might be right up the service’s alley.”

Answer: Agree.  I suggested this option to the studio.  The fact that it didn’t pan out suggests it wasn’t a viable option.

Arctic Goddess writes: “I have a question about Torri Higginson and something that Joe Flanigan said at the Creation Convention. I’m paraphrasing, but Joe said how good and serious an actress Torri was and how she fought for every word she got and was concerned that she only worked two days out of five, but that she got quite a lot of screen time in spite of that.

Then Joe said that the writers were all aiming for the young adult male demographic and did not write a lot of strong women parts. That the writers did not come to the conventions and see the wide audience that Stargate was reaching. and that the writers were not very receptive to Torri’s concerns.
Eventually when you keep getting that kind of reception, you stop going upstairs to talk to them. He said it would probably have been better if there had been a few women writers writing it.”  What is your opinion of Joe’s comments?”

Answer: Between seasons, we always made a concerted effort to bring in new writers by inviting them to pitch and, hopefully, sell a story that would allow them the opportunity prove themselves and land a staff position on the show.  No easy feat.  Many of the writers, while very good, simply weren’t able to offer us stories that we felt were right for the show.  Others did manage to sell us pitches but, for whatever reason (and, again, I have to stress that it often had less to do with talent than it did with their inability to “get” the show’s tone), were unable to get past the outline or script stage.  If you check the credits on past shows (particularly in the first half of each season), you’ll note that quite a few writers, both male and female, were given a shot.  Ultimately, what it came down to was the fact that the show (be it SG-1, Atlantis, or Universe) was tough to write for because, after so many years, it was backstory and mythology heavy.

I can’t speak to claims that the writers weren’t receptive to Torri’s concerns as I was never privy to any such conversations.  I do know, however, that Brad and Robert always maintained an “open door” policy with regard to the scripts and the actors (something Paul and I maintained when we took over as show runners in Atlantis’s fourth season).  I’m aware of many shows that simply ignore actor input, so I do take exception to the suggestion the writers weren’t receptive to any serious issues the cast may have had – especially since I would often see the actors in discussion with either Brad or Robert.  To be fair, there is a difference between “not being receptive” and “disagreeing with a take on a particular scene.  Simply drawing from personal experience, I can tell you I had great conversations with Bob Picardo, Beau Bridges, and the late Don Davis about their respective characters and was always receptive to any input they might have had.  The same was true for other actors like Jason Momoa (whose desire to go darkside resulted in my writing Reunion and Broken Ties) or Jamil Walker-Smith (who’s crisis of confidence story in The Hunt came about as a result of a visit he paid me one afternoon).

William Francais writes: “I wish you would have brought Jack’s clone back, did anyone in the writing room want to bring him back years later?”

Answer: Yes, revisiting Young Jack was suggested on a couple of occasions but we were never able to find the write story for the character.

scottland7 writes: “… why did Hammond get reassigned? I think I read because of Don Davis’ health problems started around this point. Is this really the reason he was written as being reassigned?”

Answer: I don’t recall the circumstances.  There was a point in the series when Rick was scaling down his appearances on SG-1, resulting in quite a challenge for the writing department.  I remember Don coming up to the production offices one day and volunteering to have his character retire so that O’Neill could take over as the commander of the SGC and thus make things easier from a creative standpoint.  That was typical Don.  Incredibly generous.  We didn’t take him up on his kind offer but, later on down the line, that more or less became the scenario that was adopted.  To my recollection (again, I wasn’t privy to these discussions), the call to have Hammond reassigned was a mutual decision on the part of Don and the show’s Exec. Producers.  He enjoyed a semi-retirement of sorts, focusing on his art but still finding the time to do the occasional guest spot for us.

MNP writes: “Also, what did Jonas do during the Ori invasion? Did he lead a resistance movement? Go into hiding?”

Answer: In my mind, he led an underground resistance movement.  Following the defeat of the Ori, he retired from public office.

Lance W. writes: “1. What does Eli do for those two weeks when he’s not fixing his stasis pod? Did he even attempt to fix it, or did he know it couldn’t be fixed? Does destiny come across problems that he alone must fix? Does he take a final trip back with the stones?”

Answer: Presumably when he’s not working on the problem, he’s eating and sleeping.  I assume if it was the 11th hour and he realized he wouldn’t be able to fix the problem, he would use the stones to pay his mother one final visit – but that’s awful pessimistic.

“2. Did Rush volunteer, knowing that Young would deny him and instead choose himself? Was Rush hoping to get rid of Young, despite how well they’ve been getting along?”

Answer: I think Rush volunteered because he wanted to be the one to stay and fix the problem, but there’s no doubt he suspected that Young might disagree and insist he be the one to stay.

“3. What year and month did they enter the pods? I wish to make a note on when the three years is meant to be up.”

Answer: I suppose whenever the episode aired: May 9, 2011.

“Finally, I’m grasping at my last straw here, but this episode seemingly left it open to a film after three years, is that even a possibility any more?”

Answer: It’s a nice thought but, given the fact that the sets are about to be struck, very unlikely.

Lisa R writes: “When you planned your original five-year arc, was it planned for the Destiny to be in a different galaxy each season as they got closer to their goal or would there be more time spent in one particular galaxy?”

Answer: That’s was the original plan – but plans change.

Phillip writes: “Were the mindless drones in SGU a metaphor for the unsupportive fans that wanted to see SGU the show end?”

Answer: Ha.  Apt but no.  Reminds me of a similar theory way back in early SG-1.  During a warehouse shootout, a bullet ricochets off a fan.  The following days, some fans were claiming this was wish fulfillment on the part of the producers = shooting a fan.  No kidding.  Well, I’ll say the same thing to you now as I told fans back then – you’re reading too much into it.  Entertaining theory though.

zakhar writes: “I was wondering if there was every any plan to further explore Alan McCullough’s unknown aliens from The Daedalus Variations episode in Atlantis.”

Answer: Another idea that was floated but ultimately shelved.

Greg writes: “Why would the blue aliens have to transform Chloe when they had access to Destiny ? I make that conclusion based on their ship detaching at the end of the one episode.”

Answer: That assumption is incorrect.  They were able to attach a scout ship to Destiny’s hull, but that doesn’t mean they were able to gain entry to the ship. And the only reason they were able to do so in Space was because the inexperienced crew was running the show (cutting off power to a section of the ship, thereby bringing the shield down and allowing the alien ship to attach and penetrate the hull) instead of Destiny’s automated defenses.

Greg also writes: “How did Chloe suddenly become Bruce Lee by changing into a blue alien when Rush was able to take one out with a metal bar ?”

Answer: Chloe wasn’t transforming into a Blueberry alien but mutating into a hybrid alien form with similarities to them – and another species they had experimented upon.

Elliott writes: “1.) Did you ever discuss who built the ruins from “Human” and “Lost”?”

Answer: Not to any significant length, no (and by significant, I mean to the point where it would offer us a kernel of an idea we could use as a springboard for another story).

“2.) Who is your favourite character from each of the Stargate shows?”

Answer: Which ones did I have the most fun writing for?  SG:1 – Vala, SGA – Ronon and Woolsey, SGU – T.J. and Greer.

“3.) Why didn’t you mention that the Odyssey’s secret mission in “Enemy at the Gate” was the search for an Icarus planet? I think many assumed that it was “Revolution”.”

Answer: I didn’t write the SGU premiere so I can’t answer that.  I assume Brad and/or Robert changed their minds and did, in fact, shift Odyssey’s mission to Revolution.

“4.) If you could change anything about each of the Stargate shows (besides cancellation, greenlighting movies etc.), what would it be?”

Answer: Probably the aforementioned tech.  I’d have lost the beaming tech, Asgard core, the Earth fleet, and wormhole drive.  I’d have maintained Atlantis’s isolation from the Milky Way.

“5.) Any idea when “Dark Matter” will be released?”

Answer: January of 2012.  Will have a firm date shortly.

John T. Williams writes: “So how’re the two types of statis chambers different? Do the Destiny type freeze completely so that the occupants don’t actually age whatsoever?”

Answer: Yes, that’s the way they were designed to operate.

Airelle writes: “How are the pups doing in day care, have they taken over the place yet?”

Answer: They’ve been attending two different daycares.  Lulu and Bubba passed the rigorous screening process and are now attending St. Roch’s Academy for Gifted Canines where they are learning arts & crafts, proper table manners, and elementary Latin.  Jelly and Maximus, meanwhile, are occasional attendees at a more downscale every-dog institution.

Lloyd writes: “How did you get into the world of Stargate?”

Answer: Our Canadian agent got us the opportunity to pitch.  We came up with five story ideas, two of which we sold.  One, Scorched Earth, was the script that landed us a position on staff.

“Have you watched before Season 4 Stargate SG-1 before coming to the team?”

Answer: No.  In fact, I had only seen one episode of the series – Emancipation – and hated it.  It wasn’t until we got the opportunity to pitch that we started watching episodes and realized – hey, this show is pretty good!

“When you watch an episode of Stargate (SG1, SGA, SGU), you have the eyes of a fan (or viewer) or a critical eye on your work?”

As with every film or television series, I view it through the eyes of a writer first and the eyes of a producer second.  My ex used to hate going to see movies with me because I’d spend most of my time sighing and muttering angrily to myself in the dark.

“If the MGM offers to return to something new: about Stargate, Will you join in?”

Answer: I’m committed to other projects and, unfortunately, would be unable to participate.  Provided Brad Wright was in charge, any new project would be in excellent hands.

“Is there some episode you remember most? and why?”

Answer: A few.  Harmony, Whispers, 200, Ripple Effect, The Hunt to name a few.  As for why – well, you’ll find out when I get around to reminiscing about their particular seasons.

“Today you have another project (the series “The Transporter”), how would you like your job, compared to Stargate?”

Answer: To be honest, Toronto has been a major adjustment (still ongoing), but I can’t say enough great things about Transporter: The Series.  I can honestly say that I enjoy going into work and that speaks to the show and the people involved.

“If you had to summarize in one word, all your work on Stargate, which one? ? and why this word?”

Answer: Fun.  That’s what I set out to do (have fun) every time I envisioned a story and sat down to write a script.  If the viewers at home had fun watching, then mission accomplished.

“Finally, what do you think about the cancellation of ALL projects Stargate?  (“Extinction”, “Revolution”, a film SGU) Why all of a sudden?”

Answer: I think 🙁 .

Jeff writes: “obviously the ancients had to create a ZPM to power their ships, bases, and atlantis, so i guess my question is, didnt they leave directions in the ancient database on atlantis on how to actually create a ZPM?”

Answer: You would presume so but the fact that this was never discovered suggests that either: a) it wasn’t uploaded to the Atlantis database, or b) is there somewhere but is so top secret it will take a while before scientists uncover it.  Ideally, they could have uncovered it in time to come up with an alternate power source capable of dialing Destiny and sending a retrieval team to the rescue – but that’s a story for another fan fiction.

Jeff writes: “btw, the wedding is october 29, where should i send your invite?”

Answer: Just tell me where in Vegas you’ll be.

Alex writes: “in your mind was the earth Stargate still at the SGC in Colorado or was it moved to Homeworld Command?”

Answer: In my mind, it would make sense to have moved it to Homeworld Command – but the nostalgic part of me says it’s still inside Cheyenne Mountain.

C-Verse writes: “1. Given that Atlantis was more family friendly, do you think the darker tone of Universe might have discouraged people from watching it?”

Answer: I’m sure it turned off some people.  On the other hand, I’m sure it attracted new viewers as well.  It’s a double-edged sword, just like the word Stargate in the title.

“2. Again concerning the darker tone, do you think Universe would have had better luck, if it taped more in the Battlestar Galactica fanbase, than the old Stargate fanbase?”

Answer: Sorry.  Don’t understand the question.

“3. Do you think Universe could have survived if it had a smaller budget?”

Answer: I don’t think it would have made any difference.

“4. Given that more people are now downloading shows instead of watching them, do you think Sfy-Fy should put in more effort in advertising it shows online, rather than traditional media?”

Answer: Eventually, we’ll all be going that way.

Michelle writes: ” fans reacted more to how Daniel was treated than to his screen time, anyway: Jack didn’t seem to give a crap about Daniel going off undercover with the system lords; in fact, he seemed irritated at him when he made it back alive. Seriously? And on and on.”

Answer: Again, because I wasn’t privy to any discussions Michael may have had concerning his character, I didn’t realize there was an issue.  In fact, having written episodes like Scorched Earth, The Curse, and Summit (and looking at season 5 episodes like Beast of Burden and Menace), I still have a hard time seeing it.  In the case of Jack seemingly not giving a crap, being irritated with him, or not even broaching the subject that he almost killed him (Scorched Earth), I can see it but this was a source of frustration because these reactions (or lack thereof) were not scripted.

Michelle also writes: “As far as it being Michael’s decision, there was a rumor he changed his mind after filming Meridian, but Brad and/or MGM told him to get lost, they’d already found another 6′ actor to fill his role. Any truth to that?”

Answer: Again, I was out of the loop but I’d bet my last dollar that Brad and/or MGM did not tell a guy they had worked with for the last five years to “get lost” or any variation thereof.  If there was an issue, it would have been with the fact that they’d already signed an actor to a one year deal that made it difficult for Michael to come back as a series regular.  I stress again, I was out of the loop and don’t know what happened, but I’m quit certain all parties discussed the decision at length before taking the next step.

Michelle also writes: “And I know it is hard to accept, but, just as with SGU vs SGA, not liking Jonas was not solely a reflection of missing Daniel. Convenient to blame it on that, but also inadequate.”

Answer: True.  There were fans who simply felt Jonas didn’t work.  But there were also fans who, quite clearly, had not intention of ever giving the character a chance.  Some of the arguments made against him at times felt a little suspect.  For instance, the fact that he turned his back on his people led some fans to brand him a traitor and untrustworthy, yet these same fans had no problem with Teal’c who did the same – and also had the deaths of hundreds of innocents weighing upon him.

Joe Cooper writes: “At risk of sounding harsh about something that happened like a million years ago, Jonas was written as a bit of a “mary sue”; his only real flaw was that others around him (namely Jack) wouldn’t accept how ridiculously awesome he was. Over and over again everyone would be shitting bricks and then Jonas would come along and fix everything.”

Answer: That’s fair.  In an effort to make his inclusion and eventual (necessary) acceptance as part of SG-1, we built up the character in such a way that he came across as a little straight and one-note.  In retrospect, given the time, we would have been better served adding a little more depth to the character by taking our time and not worrying so much about making him an instantly beloved and accepted teammate.

Dave writes: “I’ve always wondered, was any thought given to which SG unit Young commanded before being assigned to Icarus base? Was he on an SG team back in the days Jack led SG-1 or was it more likely during the Mitchell years?”

Answer: We never got into this but I think it’s more than likely, given their respective ages, that Young and Mitchell crossed paths at some point.  Hell, it’s likely that Young and O’Neill crossed paths at some point as well.

Rachel Grizzot writes: “I was looking through the old notes about what could’ve been the Season 6 of SGA and one of the topics were ‘Carls replicator story’
can i assume that maybe that was a attempt to bring back Elizabeth Weir ? or not?”

Answer: Yep.  That was the plan.

DeanGrr writes: “With a a reputation earned by years on Stargate, why not try it to support a new or cancelled production? ”

Answer: Again, you’re approaching the wrong guy.  The only entity that can make this happen is MGM.

DeanGRR also writes: “What is Dr. Rush’s true motivation, given that even with all the power of the Ancients, he cannot bring his wife back?”

Answer: The answer to this is tied to the conclusion Brad and Robert imagined for the series.

November 21, 2010: The Stargate: Universe Season 2 Wrap Party!

Last night, we celebrated the end of another production year with a wrap party at Vancouver’s Gotham Steakhouse.  But before we hit Gotham, a bunch of us met for dinner at Market in the Shangri-la Hotel…

What better way to kick off the pic parade than with a shot of belated birthday boy Lawren.
The sesame-crusted tuna.  Awesome appetizer.
Soy-glazed short ribs.  My go-to dish, but I decided to opt for something a little different this time out…
Curry chicken.  Good, but didn’t love it.  That’ll teach me to try something new.
Perennial party gal Michelle

I ended up seated between Brad’s wife, Debbie, and Paul’s wife, Michelle, who spent much of the dinner discussing potty training. Check that.  LOUDLY discussing potty training in an effort to be heard over the restaurant’s accoustics.  For some reason, they elected turned down my offer to switch seats, preferring instead to shout through me.

Eventually, we finished up and walked down to Gotham for food, fun, and frightfully horrible DJ tunes (Seriously.  It’s been ages since the last time I heard Funky Town).

Mike Dopud and his lovely wife.
Peter Kelamis and his lovely waitress.
David Blue looking buff.
Louis Ferreira already on a roll.
Appies
Me in my morning coat.
Carl is all smiles.
Jamil Walker Smith, and buddy, dressed for success.
Ready to party.
Master Chef Steve leads the catering crew.
Carl and Karen.
Kelly.  Her eyes!  They burn!
Kerry and Alan.
David and Peter.
Troy and his better half.
Ken gettin’ all Holywood.
Ivon and Sara
Carl and Ashleigh
Patrick Gilmore raises a glass – to you!
Ashleigh and Patrick.  Oh, and Louis.
Jen Spence.

Julia and Peter…

Dave
Amanda
Mike brought his baby.  Or borrowed a baby in the hopes of attracting women.  Can’t remember which.
Kelly.  Again with the eyes!
Kerry and Ashleigh.  Oh, and Lawren.
Nancy
Will and Kathy
Brian J. Smith gets ready to chow down.
The ladies of hair and make-up.
The VFX gang.
James “Bam Bam” Bamford
Ashleigh and James
Elyse and Devon
Carl and Julia
Lisa and Akemi
Lisa and Tio

A quickie mailbag:

Judy in SATX writes: “I’ve always wondered, is ‘Furling’ the real spelling? When I first saw the episode I thought it was ‘Ferling’, maybe because it’s not so Ewok-evocative.”

Answer: Nope.  The far more Ewok evocative “Furling” is, in fact, the correct spelling.

Randomness writes: “Speaking of the Gate network the seederships are laying. It’s reasonable to think that any alien species with enough knowledge could use the gates even without a remote right? Kinda like how Earth used the gate without a DHD by making a dialing program.”

Answer: Yes, that is another reasonable assumption.

Ponytail writes: “What is that building in the first picture? Garage, guest house, pool house, dog house, maid’s quarters, playhouse, neighbor’s house, detached office?”

Answer: Garage/guest room for visiting in-laws.

Freeman writes: “Also i have one last quick question for you Joe, I’m not sure if you read all of these or not but I was wondering if you get requests for people wanting to send you a “new idea” or a “partial script” that they have made up as something to spark a new path in the stargate story.”

Answer: I don’t receive as many as I used to.  I suppose most know by now that I can’t read or accept unsolicited scripts or story ideas.

JJA writes: “Have you read the Lost Fleet series of Jack Campbell??”

Answer: Nope.  You can check my (approximate) read list here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/384915-barondestructo?shelf=read

JJA also writes: “Also about Destiny: Does it have its own manufacturing section of the ship?”

Answer: No, it doesn’t.  Only the seed ships have been outfitted with that capability.

BTW writes: “…who’s job is it to choose the typeface used in the opening/closing credits?”

Answer: SGU co-creators Brad Wright and Robert Cooper had the final say on everything from the Destiny design to the typeface used in the opening/closing credits.  THAT is hands-on producing.

Mika writes: “As your resident scientist who has worked for a few years in a research laboratory focused on the cosmic microwave background radiation, I’m obliged to point out that seeing circles is like finding patterns in the static of old sk00l tvs. (Literally, just like it — a percentage of that static IS the Cosmic Microwave Background!)”

Answer: Hey, Mika!  I think I saw you at the bar last night, then when I turned around you had disappeared like two protons colliding at high energy.

Lloyd67 writes: “A new Stargate spin-off ? by Robert C. Cooper? Seriously?”

Answer: No.  Not seriously.

Major D. Davis writes: “Given recent developments, are you still confident about a renewal. I know theres a lot more to it then numbers, so fingers crossed!”

Answer: Neither confident nor pessimistic.  We produced a terrific second season and, at the end of the day, that’s all we can do.  Things like what night we air, what segment of our audience records or downloads, are elements beyond our control.

November 16, 2010: Stargate: Universe, Episode #208, Malice, on Tonight – 9:00 p.m. on SyFy!

As I was walking into the Production Office this morning (after waiting some twenty minutes for the recycling guy to move his truck out from in front of my parking space), I ran into actor Peter Kelamis (SGU’s Adam Brody) who had just dropped off the cast’s crew gifts.

Check ’em out –

SGU dog tags.
Peter models them in action.

Cool, no?  A big thanks to the cast.  Every time I have to remove the dog tags before taking a shower, I’ll think of them.

Speaking of the cast, yesterday marked the final (until, hopefully, next season) shooting day Mike and Julia.  Today, we bid a fond farewell to Peter and Patrick.

 

Patrick Gilmore in wardrobe for his winter hiatus gig playing the role of Tevye in The Vancouver Art Club's Fiddler on the Roof.

I visited the set with Ashleigh and Lawren.  I know, I know.  I always get them confused too.

THIS one’s Lawren.
And THIS one’s Ashleigh.

Anyway, as is tradition this time of year, both Ashleigh and Lawren head down to stage 4 to set up squatting rights to the various areas they intend to occupy during the hiatus.

Look at them, all comfy in their new living room.

The living arrangements are perfect of course.  The kitchen only has prop food and the bathtub is actually an old crate that used to store a repair robot, but they call it home.

Following our set visit, we grabbed lunch at the truck.  There, I witnessed something so shocking, so unbelievable, that I had to capture it on digital…

Check out eco-friendly, environmental know-it-all Ashleigh using a STYROFOAM CONTAINER for her lunch!!!

She claims she only went styrofoam because she didn’t bring her plate with her to set, but I believe that if she truly loved this planet, she would have walked all the way back to the office, picked up her plate, and walked all the way back to the catering truck (before walking all the way back to the office to eat).  Shameful, really.  Rumor has it she also requested extra styrofoam that she used to stuff her boots because they had a comfortable two inches of height.

This afternoon, I went to post where I had a visual effects spotting with Rick, Mark and Bones, then did the cut notes for The Hunt.  As often happens when it comes time to lock my cut, the challenge isn’t how to implement the various notes but how to make sense of them.  Specifically, my handwritten scrawl.  1. My handwriting is atrocious.  2. My handwriting is atrocious when I’m scribbling down notes quickly so I can continue watching my cut.  3. My handwriting is atrocious when I’m scribbling down notes quickly in the dark so I can continue watching my cut.  Anyway, I was able to decipher most of what I’d written.  And I’m sure you’ll have no problem doing the same.  So here you go, the cut notes for The Hunt.

Spoiler warning!

Here’s an early review of tonight’s episode of SGU, Malice, from the gang at popculturezoo: http://popculturezoo.com/2010/11/malice-and-revenge-on-the-next-stargate-universe/

Today’s blog entry is dedicated Riley.  Very sorry to hear about Moochie.

Mailbag:

Gen writes: “Does Lulu have food allergies? I’m having trouble remembering if you’ve said so already or not. Anyway, an elderly Cocker Spaniel who we adopted into our family some years ago had a habit of chewing on her paws, along with occasional digestive ailments. The vet told us it was likely a food allergy, and suggested we either change her diet to a special dog food or that we start cooking her meals for her.  We started off with the special food, but one night when she was feeling under the weather I ended up cooking for her. That was that. I cooked that goofy dog dinner every night for the rest of her life.”

Answer: What a great dog mom (or dad)!  Lulu is certainly very particular about her food.  She won’t eat raw and I have her on a special canned food for hypoallergenic dogs. Might try cooking for her.  How do you think she’d like her foie gras?  With a rhubarb compote?

BA writes: “Also, took your advice and bought a copy of “Revelation Space.” I LOVE THESE BOOKS! Reynolds is an amazing writer. I’ve burned through every one of his books, even his short stories.”

Answer: Hey, Brad, pleased to hear you’re enjoying the show (Tell your friends!) and equally pleased to hear you’re enjoying Alastair Reynolds.  He’s a recent discovery and I love the fact that I still have several of his books to read.  Show co-creator and Exec. Producer Brad Wright is also a recent Reynolds convert.

Viv writes: “If you are already working on the season two finale, when the mid-season finale has yet to air, how does this allow the writing team time to react to something that doesn’t air well? […] The only show I know definite production info about is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which I think had more sets, actors, locations, and maybe special effects that an SGU episode, and by the end of each season, they were shooting the episodes a bare three weeks prior to airing.”

Answer: It takes us about six months from shooting to final and Buffy was a show that made use of visual effects as well, so I find it highly unlikely that they would have been shooting episodes three weeks prior to their airing.  The realities of production simply don’t allow for that type of creative shifting.

Llyod67 writes: “I want your opinion : does Wraith feed on pregnant women?”

Answer: Don’t see why they wouldn’t.

Renegard writes: “Joe, could you provide some information on the Destiny’s FTL drive? Is the intergalactic hyperdrive in Daedalus-class ships faster?”

Answer: Ivon Bartok is putting together a special feature that will focus on SGU’s various tech elements, from FTL to shields.  Watch for it!

Debra writes: “As for Bubba… do me a big favor? Bitch slap your vet. Do it now, do it hard. Eyelashes cause horrific pain to the eyes. They should have fixed the eyelash problem LONG ago with entropic type surgery to prevent rubbing.”

Answer: Jelly had the procedure done long ago.  Your comment spurred me to bring Bubba in this weekend for a check-up and referral to a specialist.  Thanks.

Deena writes: “On a related note, are we going to see Varro pop up anytime soon?”

Answer: Varro…Varro…hmmm….doesn’t ring a bell…

Holloway writes: “However one issue that I can’t overlook, one that’s been agitating me since season one, is the handling and under usage of Greer.”

Answer: In season one, we set the groundwork for the series and tried to give each of our main players a spotlight episode (in Greer’s case, it was Lost).  As we headed into season two, we broke down our stories and ensured that each main character would have one (or more) spotlight episodes.  When it comes time to lining these episodes up in the production schedule, their placement is dictated by the overall season arc and ongoing storylines, so even if one character may seem light in the first half of the season, that won’t be the case for the second half.  In the case of Greer, he’s got two big episodes in season 2 (in addition to a lot of terrific beats and throughlines in other episodes), but you’ll have to wait until the back half to see them: episode #213, Alliances, and episode #216, The Hunt.  In fact, one of the things SyFy’s Erika Kennair remarked on during her last visit to the Stargate set was the significant development in both the Greer and T.J. characters this season.

November 12, 2010: Some Stargate: Universe links! What are YOU reading? Mailbag!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to fill me in on their viewing habits.  Some wildly varied tastes out there.  Keep those t.v. lists coming!

To those who may have missed it (ie. anyone who lives outside of Canada), here’s a link to the Stargate: Universe segment that aired on Canada AM this morning –

http://www.ctv.ca/canadaam/ (or check the right sidebar for the link).

Thanks to Craig and Cat4444 for the heads up!

Some great reviews of SGU episode #207, The Greater Good.

Here: http://www.tvsquad.com/2010/11/11/stargate-universe-season-2-episode-7-recap/

Here: http://www.tvovermind.com/cable/syfy/stargate-universe/stargate-universe-207-recap/38272

And here: http://io9.com/5686940/sgus-finally-reveals-destinys-secrets-for-the-greater-good

While Robert Carlyle (SGU’s Dr. Nicholas Rush) talks about the episode with Show Patrol’s Curt Wagner here:

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/show-patrol/2010/11/stargate-universe-robert-carlyle-sees-the-greater-good-in-rush.html

And, if you’re hankering for a (potentially spoilerific) sneak peek at next week’s episode, Malice, take a look over here:

http://www.daemonstv.com/2010/11/12/stargate-universe-malice-season-2-episode-8-photos/

In non Stargate-related matters (aka – my life), I’ve almost finalized my Tokyo restaurant list.  Unlike previous years when I’ve booked Michelin starred restaurants for both lunch and dinner, I’m only going to go with a few high-end choices requiring reservations and will play the rest by ear.  More or less.  Even though I won’t book the tables, I have a rundown of places I want to check out, covering the gamut of Japanese cuisine – restaurants specializing in: ramen, soba, sushi, unagi, anago, tempura, yakitori, kushiage, and maybe (when my travel buddy Ivon isn’t looking) even suppon.

With the cast in Toronto for food and fun, today was a production holiday.  I celebrated by doing a little shopping and, again, adding to my burgeoning to-read pile:

Clockwise from left to right starting from the top:

First King of Shannara by Terry Brooks: I vary my reading and, occasionally, like to dabble in high fantasy.  To be honest, I don’t know much about this book but picked it up on the recommendation of Robert Cooper’s wife who, apparently, is a bit of a fantasy junkie.

Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind: Another heavy-hitter of the fantasy genre and another author I’ve been looking to check out.  In the case of both Goodkind and Brooks, I’ll start with the first book in a series and see where it takes me.  In the case of some past fantasy authors (ie. Joe Abercrombie and George R. R. Martin), this particular strategy has taken me quite far.

The Attraction by Douglas Clegg: I’m a sucker for good horror novels and this one, about a group of young travelers who run afoul of a horrific roadside attraction, sounds like good, creepy fun.

Plan for Chaos by John Wyndham: A never-before published novel from the man who gave us The Midwich Cuckoos, Chocky, and The Day of the Triffiids.

Apartment 16 by Adam Nevill: In describing the novel in a recent SFSignal MindMeld discussion of horror novels (http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2010/11/mind-meld-which-horror-novel-would-make-a-great-film/), writer/film critic Gemma Files writes it “centres around the perception-altering works of long-dead and -forgotten painter Felix Hessen, who Nevill describes as being a cross between Francis Bacon and Wyndham Lewis. Of course, these visions are never actually *seen* at all, only described, in much the same way Nevill uses a classic M.R. Jamesian web of suggestion to project horror far beyond the human capacity to properly process; something mammoth, Lovecraftianly alien, glimpsed only partially, through either a tiny aperture or a variety of filters.”  Intriguing.

Black Butterflies by John Shirley: The one thing I enjoy even more than a good horror novel is a good collection of horror fiction.  John Shirley, one of the masters of the genre, offers up 16 works of macabre short fiction.

Transition by Iain M. Banks: The latest from one of my favorite SF authors – although, to be honest, I’m not going to be getting around to this one until I finally make time for Matter.

So, what are you all reading?

If you answered Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story, November’s book of the month club selection, then weigh in with your comments and questions for author Christopher Moore.  You have until the weekend.

Mailbag:

conniepoint writes: “One quick question, will we ever see a Peter Kelamis/Brody centric episode? Or at least get more information about him? He’s my favorite character and I’d love to see more of him. I’ll beg if that’ll help.”

Answer: No need to beg.  While we won’t be seeing a Brody-centric episode any time soon, there’s plenty of Brody to come in upcoming episodes.

Gary writes: “In retrospect do you think it was a mistake to spend so much time developing the characters in season 1, perhaps at the expense of action and plot which seem to have a more immediate payoff?”

Answer: If you’re asking whether I think we should have sacrificed character development in favor of action in season 1, my answer would be no.  It’s the groundwork we laid in that first season that makes these season 2 developments that much more effective and stirring.

Xyla writes: “I notice you keep answering people that the best way to get the network’s attention is to watch SGU live. But more and more people are wising up the the fact that only a handful of viewers (the people with neilson boxes) actually get counted. Wouldn’t it be more productive to say something like “Everyone with a neilson box, make sure you watch it live. Everyone else, watch it through another system that is counted”.”

Answer: My professional standing prohibits me from suggesting you track down someone with nielsen box, invite yourself over to their place, and make them watch SGU under threat of karaoke or other equally ghastly punishment, but I can advise viewers to get the word out and tune in live in the hopes that their enthusiasm (and timely viewing) will prove catchy.  And, yes, it wouldn’t hurt to download the episodes as well now that you mention it.

MNP writes: “In regards to publishing the ending on this blog:

Now that is interesting. Definitely not. Why would that be? I’m not saying it to demand an ending or anything, I’m just curious. Is it a rights issue? Would the group want to save it for a novelization or something?”

Answer: Ideally, we’ll be able to finish telling the story we started back in Air I, II and III on a timeline that will please the network, studio, fans, and the production.  In the event of a worse case scenario, it will be up to the studio and the show’s creators to decide how to proceed.  I doubt very much one of those options will be: Joe posts the ending on his blog.

Oreol writes: “Are you, guys, planning to deliver the ending in a movie, a book, perhaps something else?”

Answer: Actually, the plan is deliver the ending at the conclusion of season 5.

Sean D. writes: “Any chances of having interdimensional stories in SGU?”

Answer: Not this season.

@iom666 writes: “One might have thought that Canadians would have downloaded the episode from Tuesday and not watch it at all on Friday’s night, and on the contrary, it’s not that happening!”

Answer: I know.  Given the population of Canada, the numbers SGU does on Space would extrapolate to the equivalent of approximately 3 million viewers on SyFy.

Philly writes: “The real risk these days is making a show that goes so long-haul you put people off, and so simple that you don’t engage them.

What ideas and thoughts did you guys and girls throw out to avoid these pitfalls when crafting SGU?”

Answer: As I said in yesterday’s mailbag, we strive to strike a fair balance between arc-driven plots and standalone stories.  The aim is to reward fans of the show but, at the same time, not make the show inaccessible to first time viewers.  It’s a tricky line to walk but, so far, I think we’ve been successful.

dasNdanger writes: “@ Narelle – Dare I ask – how big are your orb webs?”

Answer: Das, I needn’t remind you that kids occasionally read this comment section.

Fred Kiesche writes: “But mostly…reading. About 90 books YTD. Last year was over 200. Next year? Probably somewhere in between.”

Answer: Damn!  You reader faster than I do!

nate writes: “Since you watch Top Chef…what do you think of Top Chef: Just Desserts?”

Answer: Haven’t seen it.  I don’t think it’s aired in Canada yet.  Marty G. loves it though.

snakey writes: “With that said, then wouldn’t you need to know at the beginning of the producing season if that was going to be the last season or not instead of in December when you are nearly done with said season? Does this mean you already know that there will be a season 3 and not telling?”

Answer: Nope, still no word on season 3.  I’m hoping we’ll know in mid-December, but wouldn’t be surprised if we had to wait until mid-January to find out.

Bailey writes: “Considering how well SGU is doing in Canada compared to the US, and the fact that most of the writers/production folk are Candadian, do you think that SGU is a show that appeals more to Canadian sensibilities than US-American?”

Answer: I don’t think so.  I believe North Americans in general share like sensibilities.  Still, I’m not sure what to make of the difference in the ratings.  Historically, the numbers have always been very similar (comparatively speaking).

Jon writes: “After watching The Greater Good I couldn’t help wondering, how you planned the episode to play out back in the day, when it was written for the first season?”

Answer: Back then, it was just this basic notion: Rush and Young are in the damaged shuttle when its engine engage and its set adrift, away from Destiny.  With (at this point) no way of controlling the ship and the jump clock ticking down, Eli leads the rescue op by sending one of the service robots after the shuttle on a repair mission while, aboard the shuttle, Rush and Young spend quality time together.

Jonathan writes: “Will we be seeing a return of Col. David Telford?”

Answer: Boy, I sure hope so.  I’m a huge fan of Lou Diamond Phillips.

Major D. Davis writes: “In terms of finales.. which one do you think is better (and tells a bigger story).. Gauntlet or Incursion.. you gotta give me a tease here.. Gauntlet sounds EPIC!”

Answer: Gauntlet is definitely more epic…and gut-wretching a cliffhanger.

September 14, 2010: Actress Jennifer Spence Answers Your Questions! Masked!

I got a sneak peek at the Stargate: Universe season two trailer this afternoon and it’s – well – is “crazysuperfantastic” a word?  Steve has done an incredible job and I can’t wait for you guys to check it out.  I’m still aiming for the week prior to the SGU second season premiere (Tuesday, September 28th at 9:00 p.m. on SyFy).  Trust me, it’ll be well worth the wait.  LOTS to look forward to this year.

Please keep those questions and comments coming for September’s Book of the Month Club, Masked.  We’ve got a slew of special guests lined up to field your queries including: Matthew Sturges (“Cleansed and Set in Gold”), James Maxey (“Where Their Worm Dieth Not”), Paul Cornell (“Secret Identity”), Daryl Gregory (“Message from the Bubblegum Factory”), Gail Simone (“Thug), Mark Chadbourn (“By My Works You Shall Know Me”), Marjorie M. Liu (“Call Her Savage”), Lou Anders (our fearless editor), and yours truly (“Downfall”)!

And now, I’d like to turn this blog over to Destiny’s sassiest scientist, Dr. Lisa Park – a.k.a. Jennifer Spence – who has kindly taken time out of her space-suited forays (Come to think of it, what IS she doing in that space suit?) to spend time with us.  Thanks, Jen.  Now back to work on those shield emitters…

Me writes: “Not really a question for Jennifer Spence, but I loved your delivery as Dr. Park of the line in the SG:U finale to Col. Young — Don’t Yell! It was totally unexpected and spot on. I was laughing out loud on that one. Keep up the good work Jennifer, and I look forward to seeing you in Season Two.”

JS: Aw thank you Me! We’ve got some pretty fan-freaking-tastic writers on the show and that line came from none other than Mr. Joe Mallozzi and Paul Mullie 🙂

Michael writes: “Questions for Jennifer Spence

1) What do you want to see happen for Dr. Park in season 2, besides surviving?”

JS: Hi Michael. I would love to see her become even stronger and explore more of what makes her human. We know she’s smart and can hold her own with the other scientist boys, we know she likes to get it on with the military lads, now I’d like to see what else she can offer the team. Perhaps an episode where she takes on more of a leadership type of role or one in which she must overcome a fear or issue from her past in order to get the team out of a dire situation. I love the idea of secrets. And of course it would be so much fun to have some scenes where she just loses it on someone, like maybe she develops a temper.

“2) What was your initial reaction to Park’s method of coping with being stranded on Destiny; sex?”

JS: Shock followed by absolutely loving the idea! It just added so much depth to my character in that she now had this secret and it’s always great fun as an actor to come up with a reason for a character’s behavior.

“3) What do you like to do the breaks between scenes-hang out with the other actors or hide in a trailer?”

JS: We’re almost always all hanging out between scenes unless someone’s got a big scene to prep and even then everyone is so awesome about offering to run lines. We goof around a ton and regularly get our wrists slapped for getting out of hand 😉 I mean you put some of the funniest people I’ve ever worked with in a room together and you get non-stop entertainment. I think I now have about 5 videos I’ve shot on my iPhone of Kelamis doing various impressions and bits that we keep pressuring him to perform for us and the man is so sweet that he always obliges! Actually Patrick posted one of them on youtube the other day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSE7TOd1ieU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Lou Zucaro writes: “For Jennifer… 1) You had one of the best lines to date in the series last week (“Don’t yell!”). When you read a line like that when you first get your script, is it always obvious how simply great it is, or is it not until you perform it (or even see it when it’s done) that it hits for you?”

JS: Hi Lou. It’s usually obvious to me when I read it thanks to our stellar team of writers. Whenever I see a line like that I get super excited about saying it and I love that those types of lines are generally of the comic variety which can be a nice little addition to dramatic scenes.

“2) You’ve worked on a fair amount of sci-fi. Are you / have you been a fan of the genre or is it something that’s “just happened”? If you’re a fan, what (other than things you’ve been in) are some of your favorites?”

JS: Honestly I was never really a fan of sci-fi before SGU. A lot of the productions that have been shot in Vancouver over the years have been of the sci-fi variety and I’ve been lucky that those that I’ve worked on have all been high quality but in general, I usually didn’t watch shows or movies of that genre. I do remember loving E.T. though and having all the E.T. paraphernalia: stuffed toy, t-shirt, shoelaces, etc. as well as rushing home from school to watch Dr. Who. I finally saw Galaxy Quest a few months ago and LOVED it!

“3) In “The Core” you were an assistant to Stanley Tucci’s character, Dr. Zimsky, and now in a way on SGU, you’re an assistant to Rush. In a knock down, drag-out, cage match of the minds, which difficult genius would you put your money on?”

JS: Probably Rush just cuz he’s always thinking outside the box. Plus Zimsky didn’t end up making it out alive 😉

Tim Lade writes: “Dear Ms. Spence.  What is it like to wear the same clothing over and over and over again? I imagine I would get pretty annoyed with whatever I happened to choose to wear the day Icarus Base was attacked.”

JS: Haha! As an actor it’s not so bad just cuz you always know what to expect and our fabulous wardrobe department keeps like 6 sets of the outfit on hand. As the character though, you’re right, it would be pretty frakking annoying to wear the same outfit day in day out. I mean, there’s only so much B.O. you’d be able to get out what with a limited water supply and steam showers!

Mike writes: “Question for Jennifer, how much are you like Dr. Park, being the optimist and placating presence, in real life?

JS: I try to be an optimist as much as possible in real life and I think that’s who I am at heart but of course I still have my moments where I cross over to the dark side.

“What one item would you want to have with you if you were stuck on Destiny?”

JS: I think if I could have only 1 item on the Destiny, it would be my iPhone much as I don’t want to admit my addiction to that blasted thing!

“Are there any actors on the show that you hang out with when not filming? Thanks for answering, and keep up the good work it is nice to see a beautiful lady as part of the science team.”

JS: Aw thanks Mike- so sweet! I think I’ve hung out with pretty much all the cast off, but I think I’ve probably spent the most time with Gilmore & Kelamis. Patrick and I just recently spent a week in L.A. with Kelamis and his lovely wife in their gorgeous home which they completely re-did THEMSELVES!

PBMom writes: “To Jennifer Spence: 1. We know how Dr. Park copes with stress, but what is your coping mechanism (if you can share)?”

JS: Chocolate cake with LOTS of icing.

“2. What are your similarities to Dr. Park and what are your differences?”

JS: I think we’re similar in that we’re both optimistic, solution-oriented and nerds. I think we’re different in that she got her doctorate whereas I went to theatre school, she uses sex to relieve stress whereas I’ll eat a whole chocolate cake, she works with a couple of male scientists who bicker like a married couple whereas I work with a couple of male actors who… you know what- we’re not that different 😉

“3. Dog or cat person (or both?)”

JS: I’m definitely a dog person but I like cats too. Especially the ones that seem like dogs trapped in cats’ bodies.

“4. What was your favorite chocolate at Joe’s party (if you attended)?”

JS: Aw man, how to narrow it down?… It was actually probably the brownie (wish I could remember the company). Twas the creamiest, richest, most perfect-level-of-sweetness brownie I’ve ever devoured in my life!

“5. If you had a say in it (which I know you don’t), who would you like more screen time with as an actor with another actor, or as your character with another character.”

JS: Naw don’t make me choose- it’s too hard! I think it would be interesting though to have more scenes with whatever other character brings out the most conflict when paired with Park.

“6. What would be your SGleeU song to sing? Julia Benson answered “You Give Love a Bad Name” by Bon Jovi if that helps.”

JS: “Laid” by James http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ol-KrTTta4g or

http://www.totallyfuzzy.net/ourtube/james/laid-video_a5e2641d2.html

“7. I read somewhere you own a bookstore in Vancouver?  Thank you for being so kind to answer our questions.”

JS: The bookstore you’ve heard about is called Biz Books which is owned by the talented and outstanding Catherine Lough Haggquist who not only has been my boss but a very close friend and mentor AND she played Mary in the SGU episode Sabotage! She has taught me almost everything I know about the film industry and her belief in me is a lot of the reason I stuck it out with acting. She opened Biz Books 14 years ago and it is the only bookstore based in Western Canada that specializes in film, television and theatre related books. The store has just recently evolved from a bricks and mortar retail space into an online and on-location only bookstore www.bizbooks.net. Very excited for its next chapter!

Sean D. writes: “Question for Jennifer: What’s your favorite episode of season 2 so far?”

JS: Aw man, too hard to choose- they’re seriously all good! One that was especially exciting to shoot was Malice because we traveled to New Mexico and it put Park in an extremely challenging situation which then changed her perspective about Rush.

E. writes: “Yaaay! Lisa Park – again, one of my fav secondary characters! Questions for her: Did you practice a lot for the kino sequence in “Darkness”? ‘But it might be great!’-moment made me fell in love with Park’s character.”

JS: Aw you’re sweet, E 🙂 I actually only ended up having a few hours to practice that one. As I recall, it had originally been scheduled to shoot after a long weekend so my plan had been to take the weekend to memorize it and make sure it stuck. A day or 2 before said weekend, I got a call from production asking if I was available to come in later that very afternoon because they wanted to shoot that scene a few days ahead of schedule! Hello heart palpitations! I was working at the bookstore at the time and was slotted to be working there for the rest of the day but of course Cat (see info about Biz Books above) being the awesome woman she is told me to skedaddle and I spent the following few hours memorizing and practicing with anyone and everyone who made eye contact with me 😉

“What exactly is Park’s area of expertise? Is it astrophysics?”

JS: She definitely has a lot of knowledge about astrophysics and I think she also has done a lot of research in the fields of computer science (specifically computational linguistics) and geophysics.

“What do you think – does Park feel guilty for sleeping with various guys on Destiny, while she has a boyfriend on Earth?”

JS: I think she definitely feels guilty about cheating on her boyfriend but manages to adopt an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude 😉

Paul Moody writes: “Question for Jennifer: You’re cast as a civilian on Destiny; do you ever wish you could have been cast as part of the military contingent so you could run around shouting ‘hoo-rah!’ a lot?”

JS: Haha! Naw, I think the role of a civvy is a lot more fitting for me. I’m a nerd through and through. That being said, I would love for Park to get the opportunity to shoot a gun or backhand a bad guy in an upcoming episode.

Lisa R. writes: “Questions for Jennifer Spence: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. 1) How did you get into the acting business?”

JS: Hi Lisa. I’d always loved acting since I had done skits and stuff at summer camp as a little kid but when I did a community theatre production of “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller just before graduating high school I realized I didn’t really have a choice anymore – it was just what my little heart wanted!

“2) What kind of studying do you do to make your lines believable especially when there’s alot of science in the script? (if you’re not already familiar with the science concepts.)”

JS: When there’s tons of science-speak in the script, I usually start with wikipedia. Then when we go to shoot it, I’ll double check with the writer(s). A couple of times, Patrick and I have gone up to Brad with sketches of what we think the science-speak is referring to and then Brad will draw his own little sketch and patiently explain what’s actually going on!

Simon writes: “Questions for Jennifer: 1) First off, congrats on the Leo Award nomination! Will Dr. Park be getting more screen time in Season 2?”

JS: Aw thank you Simon! Twas truly a thrill! And yes the writers have given Dr Park lots of fun and sometimes unexpected stuff for me to play this season. Many times now, I’ve found myself clapping my hands in delight when I get any sort of tidbit of what’s on the horizon!

“2) How many episode will Park be in this time around?”

JS: As I write this, we are about 15 episodes in and I have been in all but one. Of course being a little greedy guts, I’m hoping I’ll be in all the rest of ’em!

Yazid writes: “Q’s for Jennifer Spence : First, thanks for answering our questions, it’s nice of you. Did you cast for Lisa Park first or any other character?”

JS: Hi Yazid. I read for 2 other parts first and then the producers were lovely enough to find me something else to play. The first incarnation of Dr Lisa Park was actually written as a male scientist named Miles Henry!

“How is the atmosphere on set?”

JS: Rindonculously fun. But also super respectful, patient, supportive, focused and generous.

“How funny is it? Who is the most funny? Were you the victim of someone’s joke on set?”

JS: Super funny. My abs get a mean workout any time I’m on set or between scenes. Everybody on this show is pretty funny but of course it’s always a blast when Louis is around. Haig played a brutal joke on me first season. We had just gotten the script for an upcoming episode so we hurried into our trailers to flip through and see if we were in it or not and if so, if we made it out alive. I think I had just turned to page 1 when I hear Haig (whose room was right next to mine) say “Oh no!” and I yell, “What?!” through the wall and he says, “You die.” Blink blink. “Huh?” I squeak and he shouts, “Yeah Brody says ‘what happened to Park?’ and Riley says ‘she died'”. So at this point I leap to my feet, fly out my trailer door, clamber up the steps to Haig’s door and he opens it laughing his ass off. I think I manage to mumble “I hate you” as I retreat down the stairs backwards never breaking eye contact with him. This is not a set on which one should be gullible. And I am. Oh how I am.

“What is your favorite scene/episode of SGU and why?”

JS: Really really hard to narrow it down to just one. They all have special moments and I can honestly say that I have gotten goosebumps at some point during every single episode. I think “Life” was one of my favorites because we learned so much intimate stuff about the characters.

“Did you know Stargate before playing in SGU?”

JS: I had heard of it and knew how popular it was but I hadn’t actually seen it tsk tsk!

“When are you gonna do a “Chevron/Symbol locked sequence”?”

JS: Haha! Joe?

“Are Rush/Brody/Volker and Park a kind of control room gang? ^^

JS: I think we are! It’s a good dynamic because we’re all so different. What could our gang be called? Maybe Brush-polker? Or Volkush-bark?

“What was the hardest/funniest scene to shoot?”

JS: I think the hardest as well as funniest scenes to shoot were my “reading” scenes in the episode Life. I had never done love scenes like those before so I was kinda nervous but both Zak and Jamil were perfect gentleman and super professional. Because they’re both awesome guys, it ended up being a lot of fun and because both scenes took place in the same location with similar lighting, we shot them back to back so Zak got wrapped and then it was like, “Next!”

“What would you do if you were really stuck on an old rusty ship, billions light years away from home?”

JS: Find out where they kept the chocolate cake.

“Few words in french maybe?  Thank you Jennifer =)”

JS: Merci d’avoir poser ces questions!

Lis writes: “For Jennifer – 1. Do you have any particular science background? You seem to do a lot of tech talk, that must be intimidating.”

JS: I don’t have a science background so it certainly can be intimidating to do the tech talk but once you know what you’re really saying and you run it a bunch of times it’s a lot of fun!

“2. Not really a question I guess, but the reason I find Dr Park so endearing is that she’s obviously an extremely intelligent person but also an extremely normal person. That scene way back at the beginning where she is expressing concern about visiting a planet – melted me a little.”

JS: Aw thanks Lis! I’m glad you feel that way because that’s one of the things I like most about her too is that at the end of the day, she’s just human like all the rest of em.

“3. Why don’t you tweet more often?”

JS: I will try to! No excuses 😉

Yazid also writes: “Oopsy, I forgot a question: Thanks. What would you bring on Destiny to make life better?”

JS: Earlier I answered ‘my iPhone’ but now I’m thinking a massage chair.

Myhelix writes: “First of all, you are doing a great job as Dr. Park, hope we´ll see more of you!

JS: Aw thanks Myhelix! And you will definitely see more of me second season!

“1) How is it to work with Louis Ferreira and Robert Carlyle in the same scene together? I have heard Louis is a prankster.”

JS: Being in scenes with those two rocks my world! When I first started on SGU, I didn’t know what to expect – I just had memories of Bobby as Begbie the psycho in Trainspotting and Louis as the psycho serial killer in Durham County. But Bobby is the truest definition of a gentleman. He’s a real sweetheart, completely open and one of the most gracious people I’ve ever met. Louis is totally a prankster and a super funny guy but he also has one of the biggest most generous hearts ever and looks out for us all. I think it was Elyse who dubbed him Papa Smurf. Perfect. One time we were rehearsing a scene and Bobby and Louis switched roles with each other just for the rehearsal and they did it complete with accent reversal and imitation of each other’s physicality! Wish someone had filmed it 😉

“2) Is it just my imagination or is Dr. Park a bit afraid of Dr. Rush. Or let´s say, quite uneasy around Rush. Why do you think is that the case?”

JS: I think as much as she wouldn’t want to admit it, Park is a little intimidated by Rush mostly because of how he interacts with the scientists that work with him but also because of his vast knowledge and experience.

Nuno Barreto writes: “For Jennifer Spence… Playing a recurring character, does your time on set differ much from the actors who are playing main characters?”

JS: I think us recurring characters generally get fewer shooting days per episode than the main characters but sometimes we have had just as many depending on the episode.

“Also your “Don’t yell” line is going to be a classic, it was delivered spot on!”

JS: Thanks Nuno! It was a lot of fun to say!

BoltBait writes: “Questions for Jennifer Spence: 1. Do you enjoy working on the Kino videos? Which was your favorite?”

JS: The Kino videos are always fun to work on! I’ve enjoyed watching all of them for different reasons. I think my favorite was probably the one where Volker is helping Riley and Brody into their spacesuits. Riley tells Volker he has to pee and the ensuing interaction is hilarious. Brody then finishes donning his spacesuit, tries to take a step forward and proceeds to tumble face down. Anytime those 3 get together, I end up peeing my pants 😉

“2. Have you ever said to Joe (or any of the other writers), “My character would never say this! She’d say it like this…”?”

JS: Not yet but now you’ve got me curious to know how they’d react! (Just jokes, Joe.)

“3. How many “takes” do typical scenes take to finish on SGU?”

JS: For each ‘set-up’ within a scene, I’d say we do an average of 2 or 3 takes.

“4. Have you ever said to the director, “Let me do that again, I can do better.”?”

JS: Yes I said that to Peter DeLuise once cuz I knew I could appeal to the actor part of him and he let me!

“5. Your character has a Doctorate. What is it in?”

JS: My interpretation is that Park got her doctorate in Planetary Science from MIT and through her studies has also acquired a vast amount of knowledge in computational linguistics and geophysics.

“6. Your profile page on imdb.com doesn’t say much about you. You (or your agent) needs to update that page!”

JS: You’re right! We’re working on it!

“7. Does your character believe that one day she will return home?”

JS: I think she does. Because she’s an optimist I think she believes it’s possible but at the same time, the longer this adventure continues, the more attached she grows to the whole experience and the people she’s sharing it with.

“8. If you were really aboard Destiny, what would you need to preserve your sanity?”

JS: A journal.

Randomness writes: “I have 1 question for Jennifer Spence 1. First of all, let just say you do an amazing job on SGU, you really show a lot of spirit with your character, my question to you is, do you see Lisa Park being around till the end? And with the many years she will of spent aboard Destiny, how do you think she will be, like growth wise? Can you see her becoming stronger, a different person? In a deep romantic relationship with someone?

I know thats a long question, well several questions in one Joe, but it was me asking her if she thinks her character will survive till the end, and if she does, how does she think her character will be.”

JS: Thanks Randomness! I do see Park being around til the end and I hope that’s the case. I think after all those years she will be a much stronger, tougher person, wiser person who probably will be in a deep romantic relationship with one person and will have given up most of her casual ‘reading’.

Tanie writes: “Questions for Jen: Thanx kindly! 1. How did you get into acting?”

JS: See above.

“2. What’s the best part about working on SGU? The people, the scripts, BTS stuff?”

JS: All of the above. It’s got everything going for it! I hope it goes on for many years to come!

“3. Ice-cream or custard?”

JS: Ice-cream.

SG7 writes: “Hi Jennifer! My Questions: 1. If you could go anywhere in the world or have been anywhere in the world and want to return where would you go?”

JS: Right now, I’d really love to go to Hawaii. I’ve never been and I’m dying to see those incredible volcanoes and that beautiful water and attend a luau!

“2. Where would be your favorite place to shop & or Eat & or Drink (ie coffee etc)?”

JS: Probably Italy. I LOVE Italian food, love drinking coffee (even though I’m a wuss and only drink decaf) and damn those Italian ladies sure know how to dress, don’t they?

“Just wanted to say a HUGE congrats on your awesome work on SGU! And I hope TPTB give you lots more screen time in season 2 as you truely add sooo much to the show! And thanx for taking the time to answer our questions! You rock! Cheerz, Heather”

JS: Aw thanks Heather- that means a lot! And uh… feel free to let TPTB in on your wishes there 😉 Or put it out there to the “universe”, as it were.

Feanor writes: “Questions for Jennifer Spence: I: What is the background for your character’s constant optimism?”

JS: Hi Feanor. My take on it is that she grew up with 2 brothers and always felt underappreciated by her divorced parents especially her father so she had to build herself up in her own mind in order to feel good enough. I think she then started getting so practiced at it that she was able to do the same for her friends when they were feeling inadequate and soon, she’d adapted the “habit of hope” for life.

“II: Do you feel a similarity do the character you are playing?”

JS: I think the biggest similarity between the 2 of us is that we’re both nerds (except I don’t have a friggin clue when it comes to technology). That and we look alike 😉

“III: How many times your charachter has approximately done ”reading” during season 1 and will that continue or will your charachter find a new hobby?”

JS: She has “read” with at least 4 guys (that we know of): Greer, Rivers, Marsden and Dunning and I’m wondering if she will next move on to the scientists after she’s run out of military 😉

“IV: Is it fun to play in SGU? Good luck and good night!”

JS: Aw man, it’s da best!

“V: What episode do you like in season 2 most from the ones that are already made?”

JS: I think I’ll have to watch the completed versions of all the episodes before I can say J

Nekomajin writes: “I’ve got a question for Jennifer Spence. Lisa Park is one of my favourite character aboard the Destiny. She is pretty, funny and clever. A true geek. Do you think that Lisa can be the female Eli in the future? Thanks for answering.”

JS: A true geek – well said! I think Park is really smart like Eli but nobody can else can be Eli like Eli.

Thank you so much for all your wonderful questions and support! And a very big hug and special thanks to Joe for hosting the q & a and for managing to find the time to write a blog that never fails to entertain and put a smile on our faces.

Jen

Mailbag:

avabird writes: “…I attended Dragon Con. (…) What I remember is that one or two people did ask rather rudely-toned questions about SGU. Usually, the actors representing a particular branch of a franchise fields those questions. When the questions were asked, the majority of the audience “oooo”ed in a way that should have tipped off the one asking that it was rather rude.”

Answer: Yes, that’s in line with what I heard from other sources, that the crowd oooh’d, leading someone to speak up in the actress’s defense, something along the lines of “keep it up and she’ll end up scared of you.” – to which some classy individual resplied “With good reason.”.

Mel writes: “So instead of apologizing to the innocent SGA fans at the Dragon Con, you misdirect people towards an incident, which has nothing to do with the Dragon Con.”

Answer: First of all, I never referred to the “innocent SGA fans at the Dragon Con”, only the rude ones.  So, if you were rude and you were offended by what I have to say, tough. If you were innocent and offended by what I had to say, I wasn’t talking about you.  Second, if you check out the comment above, someone who attended one of the panels pretty much confirmed the story I heard.

Mel also writes: “And finally blackmail! SG1 and SGA movies will be made on its OWN merits. The ratings were great, the DVDs of them sold MUCH BETTER than SGU. The SG1 movies were a huge success. It doesn’t matter how good or bad SGU is doing.”

Answer: If you want to believe that, then by all means knock yourself out.  But the reality is that should SGU end prematurely, it would be bad for the franchise and have an adverse impact on the SGA movie.

Mel also writes: “Watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55CRBpqVgdg It starts at 8:50. The fan ask politely the WHOLE panel and NOT specifically Alaina Huffman.”

Answer: What does this fan have to do with what we’ve been talking about?  You’re assuming that this is the incident I was referring to.  It’s not.

Mel also writes: “The simple answer is, because he likes to stir trouble and put fuel to the flames of the “fandom war”, which is going on.”

Answer: Yes, Yes, I know there are many out there who assume I put in a lot of time and effort into hatching these diabolical plots designed to target them specifically but the truth is – and I hate to break it to you – outside of this blog, online fandom is an insignificant part of my life.

Sean D. writes: “Person X enters a stargate a long, long time ago, and finally, present day, the destination stargate is made available, and (poof!) out pops Person X, who should be about 46,000,000 years old now but is still young. :-o

Definitely intriguing.

I’m curious though…

What would initiate finally making that connection once the second stargate is made available?”

Answer: Hmmm, now that I think of it, we’ve dealt with a similar scenario back on SG-1 in an episode titled 48 Hours.  I believe we said that the gate buffer stores the traveler but that degradation occurs over time.  Say, 48 Hours.  I still prefer the original working title: Teal’c Interrupted.

crayonbaby writes: “How did the truffles turn out? Were they gone by the time the game ended? Does the alcohol evaporate in the cooking process? You will have to tell us which one is your favorite so far.”

Answer: I brought the leftovers to work and they were a hit.  All three flavors went over well, but the Guinness Dark Chocolate Truffles – surprise, surprise – were the clear winners.

Abbas Karimjee writes: “1. Are you concerned about the fate of the movies, given the ongoing delay. Essentially, are you concerned that ecen if the films are ultimately given the greenlight, it may not be possible to have the required main cast for both films?”

Answer: Not especially, no.

Abbas Karimjee also writes: “2. As far as the second season of Stargate Universe is concerned, will we have the chance to touch on the issue of Colonel Young’s relationship with his wife, Emily especially given TJ’s pregnancy?”

Answer: Yes, we will.

July 28, 2010: Script Progress! Jelly Update! Trailers and Spoilers Abound!

Progress on the script front.  This morning, I finished Act II of The Hunt, working out the troublesome dialogue – as I often do – while driving.  I hope to hit the 30 page mark by end of week, then the 40 page mark by end of next week.  By the time I return to the office, it should be smoooooooooth sailing.  Of course, I won’t be able to do any actual writing because, with Paul prepping Alliances, my presence will be required on set to make sure actor Peter Kelamis doesn’t finish off all the craft service sandwiches again.  Still, I should have the script – with its A, B, C, and D stories – in pretty good shape by the end of August.  Now the on-set producing on THAT shoot should be plenty interesting and, no doubt, reminiscent of the week I spent on Harmony way back in Atlantis’s fourth season.  Thankfully, the location we’re looking at won’t be quite as a far as Wigeon Park, meaning: a) less likelihood of a bear jacking my lunch, b) I’ll be able to sleep in past 5:30 a.m., and, most importantly, c) no getting lost and running afoul of backwoods cannibals.

Jelly continues to improve.  Although her hip movements continues to be a tad awkward, she does seem more energetic and yesterday, for the first time in recent memory, she actually stood up on her hind paws.  She got her stitches out this morning.  The doctor has pleased with her progress and reminded me it’s only been about a week and a half since the stem cell procedure.  I’m considering bringing her in for hydro-therapy (having her join the local water polo dog team) and picking her up one of those PEMF (pulsing electro-magnetic field) blankets that SGU Editor Maverick Mike Banas P.I. says has worked wonders for his dog.   They’re mighty pricey however.  Wonder if I should just make my own.

Hey, some interesting trailers coming out of the recently concluded Comic Con.  These are the ones that caught my attention.

SPOILER ALERT!

First up, a trailer for the prequel to one of the biggest television surprises of 2010 – Spartcacus: Blood and Sand.

I’m not usually a fan of prequels, but John Hannah is brilliant as the conniving Quintus Lentulus Batiatus and I look forward to learning more about his character and, of course, the House of Batiatus.  If you missed Spartacus when it premiered on Starz in January, then circle September 21st on your calendar.  That’s when the first season is being released on DVD – with plenty of time to catch up before Spartacus: God of the Arena premieres in January of 2011.

Still with television.  As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Robert Kirkman’s zombie comic series The Living Dead – so it should come as no surprise that I’m really looking forward to the upcoming television series, premiering in October on AMC:

Well, aint this a kick in the pants.  The only version of the trailer

available is one some fan recorded from the audience during the panel.

Special Features Producer – and admitted zombie fanatic – Ivon Bartok is especially looking forward to this one.

While Watchmen had its flaws, there’s no arguing the fact that it was visually stunning.  And the word stunning also comes to mind while checking out the trailer to Director Zack Snyder’s upcoming big screen project, Sucker Punch:

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until March of 2011 to see it.

Oh, and then there’s the season 2 trailer for a little series called Stargate: Universe –

Oooh, intriguing.  What is Greer torching with that flamethrower?  Is that…Dr. Perry?  Is that…Caine?!  Standing behind Rush out of focus, is that…?!!   What did Rush discover?  Who the hell is Eli kissing?  Was that a shuttle crash?  What the hell is happening to Chloe?  Is Scott decking who I think he’s decking?  Soooo many questions.  I can’t wait until September to learn the answers.  I may just go ahead and read the scripts.

So, what are you all looking forward to?

Another positive and positively spoilerific review of Masked here: http://bostonbookbums.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/biblioholic-review-masked/

And regular readers weigh in with their thoughts here: http://carolsnotebook.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/masked-edited-by-lou-anders/

and here: http://lastexilewords.blogspot.com/2010/07/book-tour-masked.html.  Bonus points for working Big Wolf on Campus into her review.

And this blog has been receiving some pretty rave reviews of its own.  I dug the following out of my spam folder:

Zod Carlos of Healthy Effects calls it a: “Powerful blog entry. You definitely know what you are talking about here. Im so happy I was able to find this site. I look to see more great writing from you. Keep up the excellent work.”

egj05 writes: “I think it was a great article.”

WatchPredatorsforfreeonline says: “very cool :)!”

Strollersforcheap raves: “Excellent blog with lots of useful information on strollers. I just favorited it in my browser, so I can always check out your blog! are there any products you would recommend?”

And FedoraHats4Sale marvels: “A Eager Quality For That Jaunty Happen!  Do you expect to seem full when you go out?  Do you assonant that coolheaded, snappy ornamentation endorsement?”

I am humbled.

July 10, 2010: Proper script planning! Out and around the office pics! Another Masked review! The Pineapple Diaries #2! Mailbag!

Time flies when you’re having fun – or when you’re not prepping that script until September, meaning you don’t have to finish your first draft until well after your return from hiatus.  On the bright side, I finished the Tease and it’s a pretty damn good one, the kind the network loves: Jeopardy!  Jeopardy! Jeopardy! This is going to be one of those episodes (like Malice and Cloverdale) that will be mostly shot on location, meaning there’ll be no ducking back up to the office for a quick break between set-ups.  Guess I’ll be bringing my work – and chocolate – with me.  Also, bug spray may not be a bad idea.  I’m sure the experience will not be unlike that fab week I spent with Will Waring on the set of SGA’s Harmony all the way over at Widgeon Park – except that, in this case, the location under discussion is a much more manageable fifteen minutes or so drive from the studio.  Hmmm.  I’m thinking that for my next script, I might set the episode in a middle-class suburban home.  One with a fairly extensive and somewhat bizarre liquor collection.  And four dogs, specifically three pugs and a french bulldog.  I could wake up five minutes before the first blocking, throw on a bathrobe (note to self: purchase a bathrobe), come downstairs for first team, head back upstairs for a shower and shave, come back downstairs whenever they’re ready to shoot the scene, then head back upstairs and watch my favorite morning shows (note to self: have favorite morning shows) until they’re reading to move on.  Catering could serve lunch right out of my kitchen and, best of all, this time, I can’t get in trouble for walking around in my underwear.  It’ll be win-win-win!

In and around the offices…

http://awkwardfamilypetphotos.com/

Director of Photography Jim Menard on Stage 5's black-out set.

Production Designer James Robbins swings by the office to talk to off-world wildlife.

An early concept drawing that, while brilliantly alien, wasn't quite what I was looking for. Still, let's file this one away for future reference.

Actors Peter Kelamis and Patrick Gilmore head off for some well-deserved R&R.

Terrific review of Masked, that forthcoming superhero anthology I keep talking about, over at io9: http://io9.com/5583647/the-book-that-anybody-who-writes-superhero-stuff-must-read.  The collection is edited by none other than blog favorite Lou Anders and features contributions from a wonderful array of writers from the worlds of comic books (ie. Matthew Sturges, Bill Willingham, Gail Simone), novels (ie. Marjorie M. Liu, Ian McDonald, Stephen Baxter), and television (ie. Paul Cornell and even yours truly).  Thanks to Morjana and Nadine for the heads up.

Coincidentally, Masked is our September Book of the Month Club pick – so if you’re thinking of picking it up:

http://www.amazon.com/Masked-Lou-Anders/dp/1439168822/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278800522&sr=8-1

The second installment in our Q&A with an already-on-vacation Louis Ferreira.  Here, Louis offers up his thoughts on the flawed Colonel Young…

Finish up House of Suns and start organizing your thoughts!  The July Book of the Month Club discussion begins on Monday.

Mailbag:

Zoomeister writes: “1.) Have you seen these?

http://forum.gateworld.net/threads/69538-Sgt.-Hunter-Riley-Discussion-Appreciation-(-SGU)

http://forum.gateworld.net/threads/75513-Riley-and-Brody-21-and-24

See? Riley has fans.”

Answer: Oh, we’ll well aware of the fact.  It’s nice to see there’s support for not only the main cast, but our wonderfully talented supporting players as well.

Zoomeister writes: “2.) Have you seen this, BTW?

http://io9.com/5565598/how-to-save-stargate-universe-season-2

Pretty interesting. What’s your take on it?”

Answer: Some I agree with; some I don’t; some we’re already working on in season 2.  We’re definitely “fleshing out the main characters” (and those “side characters” as well) in the show’s second season and, with that, demonstrating that these people are far from perfect.  And, as Brad already alluded to in a recent interview, we will be taking advantage of the gritty realism to go to some pretty dark places in the coming season.  There’ll be plenty of “crazy” to go around in SGU’s second year and, yes, many of those questions will be answered or, at the very least, explanations will be hinted at as we use them to build some bigger arcs.  We’ll be doing more exploring and more adventuring, both on and off Destiny.  I don’t agree that we need to kill off the cook or “this guy” to raise the stakes or convey a sense of loss.  Anyone remember Senator Armstrong or Sgt. Spencer or Franklin?  More exploration?  Check.  More monsters? Oh, yeah.  Check.  More of that back half of season one humor.  Also check.  Lose the music montages.  Nyet.  Meredith may not like them, but I love ’em.  They offer a nice, succinct way of wrapping up the episode’s various storylines and furthering ongoing character arcs.

Zoomeister also writes: “Will you have an alien join the cast (and no, I don’t mean a Jaffa, Tok’ra or Lucien Alliance member)?”

Answer: Great idea.  All we’ll need is an extra 3 million dollars an episode and we can work one of those blue aliens into the show as a recurring crew member, maybe the new cook.

PG15 writes: “I’m glad to hear that Brad is having talks with MGM about Revolution. That’s a good start. I wonder what the impetus for these talks were (unless they’ve been happening since the beginning), and why that’s not happening with Extinction?”

Answer: As I mentioned previously, Brad is co-writing and Exec. Producing Revolution, not Extinction.

E writes: “Can we expect some AU SGU stories to come? I’m dying to see what would have become of the character had they not gotten stranded on the Destiny.”

Answer: Hmmm.  Wouldn’t that be interesting…

Juergen writes: ”

1. I believe SG-1 Movie will be produced soon. Hope, Hope, Hope! You guys had a lot of time now. Did you have improved some things from time to time or is the script untouched for long time?

2. Assuming the next stargate movie works fine and MGM wants more stuff. Do you think, it is possible, that we will see an entirely Stand-Alone-Movie with new characters and new stories? A new series is often a risk. But making a movie with a completed story would maybe safe money (new characters) and gives the chance to reinvent the Franchise. I want to see more about Stargate. Why no movie with from the perspective of the Jaffa, Tokra, any other people. A complete detached story. I thought long about it. That’s the kind of way, I would go. Hope, sometime we will see such a movie.

3. Does the SGC still exist or is the Stargate being moved to Homeworld Command?

4. If it has been moved….has this to do with Atlantis staying on Earth?

5. The moon base, which Sam speaks about in Continuum…Are we going to see it in the next movie? Has the Earth Gate beeing moved to the moon?”

Answers: 1. Paul and I haven’t revisited the script since submitting it some time ago.

2. No.  When we move ahead with the movies, the first one up will be Revolution, featuring SG-1.

3. More on that in Stargate: Revolution.

4. Not necessarily.

5. Stay tuned.

Daniel writes: “1) Will we learn more about the Lucien Alliance in future episodes? I’m curious to know if it’s only this group led by Kiva that is pursuing Destiny or if it’s an obsession for the whole Alliance?

2) In the Writer’s room have you pinned down what Destiny can and can’t do, in order too stop each Writer adding something new every script to solve a plot point until there is nothing it can’t do.

3) Given the tight running time every episode has too keep too, and the shows aim to treat the audience with more respect was there any talk of dropping the “previously” segments? Or is it something the network simply won’t let you drop?”

Answers: Hey, Daniel, thanks for the insightful comments.  And welcome to the blog.

1) We will definitely be learning more about the Lucian Alliance in season two.

2) We are all on the same page with regard to what the ship can and can’t do.  In fact, all the writers are present when a story is broken, ensuring a consistency in series logic.

3) Given the somewhat serialized nature of the show, I think it’s a good idea dedicated a little time to catching potential first-time viewers up on what has come before.

Ponytail writes: “Would you ever consider doing a sort of live Q&A with someone on your blog. Lets say one evening you let us ask this person questions (in your comments section) and they answer them right away (in your comments section). You could have rules like, only one question per person per 1/2 hour or something like that, and every 10 minutes or so, you post everything so far. That sounds like fun to me! Can we, can we!”

Answer: It’s possible but unlikely.  The whole point of doing the Q&A’s the way I do (gathering the questions, sending them off, then giving the guest how ever much time they need to get back to me) is to ensure the process is a painless as possible for those taking part.

dasNdanger writes: “If you get a lot of good feedback from your story, do you think you might try to tackle a novel?”

Answer: I’ve been kicking around an idea for a novel.  It’s just a matter of finding the time to sit down and write it.

SG-UNIVERSE writes: “Can we see a SGU trailer 2.0 in Comic Con 2010 ?”

Answer: You will.

PG15 also writes: “1. Are all the Season 2 episode slots filled at this point?

2. In your opinion, would you say Season 2 is more serialized than season 1, or less serialized?”

Answers: 201: Intervention, 202: Aftermath, 203: Awakening, 204: Pathogen, 205: Cloverdale, 206: Trial and Error, 207: The Greater Good, 208: Malice, 209: Visitation, 210: Resurgence, 211: Deliverance, 212: Twin Destinies, 213: Alliances, 214: Hope, 215: Seizure, 216: The Hunt, 217: (Rob’s script), 218: (Carl’s script), 219: Blockade, 220: Gauntlet.  Yep.  All we need are a couple of titles.

2. I’d say it’s about the same as season 1 although there will be  a much bigger build in some of the individual story arcs, particularly in the front half.

Chevron7 writes: “Do you mind if I borrow your photos for a little project I’m working on?”

Answer: Sure, knock yourself out.

July 7, 2010: Do NOT doubt the octopus! Ivon’s unnerving bad vacation mojo! In and around the office pics!

Yesterday, I mentioned that psychic octopus that correctly predicted every one of Germany’s World Soccer Cup wins in addition to its shocking 1-0 upset loss to Serbia (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/europe/10521867.stm).  It predicted another upset for today’s match, picking perennial underachieving Spain to beat the favored German squad.  Well, with Germany played Spain today with a World Cup finals berth on the line.  The finale score: Spain 1 Germany 0. The next time I hit Vegas, that octopus is coming with!

While many of us were happy to see Spain advance, a few were…less than pleased…

Pre-match Carl.

Post-match Carl.

Poor guy.  But I know how to cheer him up.  Theoretically.  At lunch today, Carl revealed his love for Tim Tams, that overseas treat first brought to his attention by generous Stargate fans years ago.  Apparently, he makes a special trip to a local specialty store every week and stocks up on the milk chocolate originals, snacking on two biscuits a night.  I’m betting he eats an entire package tonight.

Speaking of generous fans sending us stuff, Steve Eramo dropped by my office today to drop off a couple of treats compliments of Sylvia and Louise, two of the organizers of the 2011 Legend of Atlantis Legendary Gathering taking place in the Bahamas (http://fan-gathering.com/) next year.

The always-appreciated bacon-chocolate combo.

So here I am, looking forward to my annual winter Tokyo holiday, delighted at the prospect of being joined by Special Features Producer Ivon Bartok for this upcoming trip, when my writing partner, Paul, throws me a look and informs me: “By the way, you do realize Ivon has the worst vacation karma.”.  I paused and reflected.  Well, yes, know that he mentioned it, Ivon did experience the soul-rattling terror of an earthquake the last time he vacationed in Central America – but, really, what are the chances of an earthquake hitting Tokyo while I’m there in December?  Paul, however, was quick to point out that Ivon’s bad holiday mojo isn’t limited to natural disasters.  He’s been sunburned, chemically burned, incessantly rained on, incapacitated, hospitalized, contracted salmonella AND triganosis, and fined.  And those are just the ones he’ll admit to!

Ashleigh claimed the second dessert was for Carl. To cheer him up I suppose.

Yep, just pile up this rubble outside the sound stage for the next day garbage day.

These three are always up to something - Peter Kelamis, Ivon Bartok, and Patrick Gilmore.

July 6, 2010: Pics! Masked early reviews! News of note! Happy Birthday to Golden Boy Martin Gero! Mailbag!

Hey, what’s happening on the Stargate front?

Director Peter DeLuise on the set of his latest epic: Deliverance

Sassy

Coy

Tired of having his picture taken.

Actor Patrick Gilmore wonders whta the hell you were thinking.

Presenting the comedy stylings of Gilmore and Kelamis!

Five minutes after this picture was taken, she also devoured a half dozen Splenda packets, a box of Triscuits, and a bowl of wax fruit from the conference room.

Two reviews of the upcoming superhero-themed anthology, Masked, I’d like to direct you toward.  One by The Crotchety Old Fan (who struck me as pleasantly uncrotchety in his write-up), written back in May prior to the collection’s re-titling: http://www.rimworlds.com/thecrotchetyoldfan/2010/05/double-review-with-great-power-antho-zombieman-zero-comic/ and another by SFRevu: http://www.sfrevu.com/php/Review-id.php?id=10576.  Also, a brief mention as part of IO9’s July Books round-up: http://io9.com/5580562/pick-your-apocalypse-or-grow-a-baby-ai-in-julys-books.

Uh oh.  Looks like World Cup favorite Germany could be in trouble.  Paul, the psychic octopus that has thus far correctly predicted the outcome of every one of Germany’s World Cup matches, is going with Spain in tomorrow’s semi-final match: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/europe/10521867.stm

Don’t you hate it when the dinner party conversation turns to gravitational waves and you find you have nothing to add to the discussion?  Well, you’re in luck.  NewScientist offers up a crash course on General Relativity in the first installment of their Instant Expert series: http://www.newscientist.com/special/instant-expert-general-relativity

Today’s blog entry is dedicated to birthday golden boy Martin Gero!  Head on over to his twitter page and harass him with birthday well-wishes: twitter.com/martingero

Mailbag:

ilikecakes writes: “Didn’t see the bacon wrapped quail eggs, but did you try the vietnamese dessert drinks?”

Answer: Nope, but I am planning a return visit – once Akemi recovers from the last one.

anneteldy writes: “I’m pleased to announce to all my friends that, after sixteen years, I have reached a personal milestone: as of this evening, Monday, the 5th of July, 2010, I have read 3,000 books!”

Answer: First – welcome back.  Second – congratulations.  That’s quite an achievement.

gforce writes: “I had the strangest dream last night that I thought would be kind of funny to share with you. In the dream, I was riding home from work on the commuter bus that I usually take and noticed something on the floor. It was a contact lens case and on the bottom of it was a printed label with a name – “CPBinder”. (Carl apparently labels everything, at least in my dream.) I think “What? He’s on this bus??”, and look around and sure enough, in the back row is Carl leaning back and sleeping.

I pass the word back for someone to tell him that he lost something and he comes up the aisle and then thanks me for finding the case for him. Then, it gets weird(er). He proceeds to the front of the bus and begins to make some kind of announcement. He’s speaking English, but with a very thick Acadian accent. The problem is that although the words are intelligible, he’s making no sense at all. They just seem to be random words strung together.”

Answer: Yep, that’s Carl alright.  Imagine how we feel having to put up with his eccentric behavior every day in the writers’ room.

steph writes: “As someone who studied English (I am assuming you did in college as a writer…if not please correct me), do you have a preferred literary canon. Recent internet searches have revealed to me that no one seems to be able to agree on which books every educated person really ought to have read.”

Answer: To be honest, I don’t believe in a literary canon.  I think it’s hard enough getting people to read nowadays.  Why direct them to read books that could well drive them to gaming or watching MMA on pay-per-view instead?  I read The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and Dante’s The Divine Comedy while I was still in elementary school and loved them, adored Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre when I read it in high school, and very much enjoyed Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in college.  On the other hand, I’ve never read Chekhov or Dostoevsky and have no desire to ever re-read anything by Henry James.  Does that make me more or less informed or worldly than the average person?   I don’t know.  I just know what I like and that long list includes classic literature in addition to contemporary works from the likes of Scalzi, Ford, and Abercrombie.