November 3, 2010: Production Update! Stargate Pics! More of that Q&A with Louis Ferreira!

Finished up the script for the second issue of the comic book.  It was a little tricky getting used to the format – and, truth be told, there are still elements that don’t make sense to me. It took me about a week to write the script for issue #1 (which is comprised of the tease and first two acts of the pilot), then, having got the hang of it, about a day and a half to write the script for issue #2 (comprised of the final three acts of the pilot including the big reveal).  Paul will go over them this weekend and they’ll hopefully be in our editor’s hands by late next week – at which point the search for a suitable artist will kick into high gear.  I’ll also send off to an email to Kevin and Dave and get the official okay to release the details on the future comic/graphic novel/t.v. series and/or movie.

Other interesting projects loom including one that – if all falls into place – will see us re-teamed with an old friend who’ll be BEHIND the camera this time.

On the SGU side, we’re all focused on episode #20, Gauntlet, which starts shooting next week.  This one’ll raise (and singe) a few eyebrows – and set the stage for some major season 3 developments.

I think Ashleigh may be losing her mind.  Today, she insisted Rhianna was better than The Prodigy.  With a straight face no less!  Puleeeze.  The trifecta of Invaders Must Die, Stand Up, and Breathe alone blows away the entire career output of Rhianna, Beyonce, Celine, and those other four clones combined.    I mean, seriously.

Over the past few days, several of you have asked me to dish on some of the stories we had in mind for Stargate: Atlantis’s sixth season.  I actually covered this in a blog entry not long after the show’s cancellation.  In it, I list not one, not two, but twenty of the ideas we had in store:

My Snow Monkeys just completed their first trade, sending WR Lance Moore to the Ken Ga Roo Colts in exchange for RB Brandon Jackson. With Marshawn Lynch floundering behind that weak Seahawk OL, I’ll happily take the Packer running back hosting the woeful Cowboys in Green Bay.  Having Robert Meachem made the trade all that easier. Who needs two Saints receivers anyway?  Especially this season.

Art Department work for episode 203, Awakening.

Destiny docks with the seed ship.

In the room, we kept alternating between calling it a “seed” ship and a “seeder” ship until Paul got fed up with everyone  suggesting this spaceship may actually have been made out of cedar (as opposed to, say, pine) and requested  we stick to “seed ship”.

The lovely Julie McNiven kickin’ back between set-ups for episode…well, an episode you haven’t seen yet.

A wonderful actress and an incredible sweetheart.

That’s what you call a “hull breach”.

They don’t get much breachier.

What secrets lie beyond these doors?

Tune in to next week’s episode to find out.

And if you’re going to bring snacks, make sure you have enough for everyone.

Hey!  HEY!  Where the hell does Atlantis think IT’S going?!!









It’s Wednesday afternoon and that means…


It’s Carl’s turn to play in the magic circle!!!




And more from my sit-down with actor Louis Ferreira, Stargate: Universe’s Colonel Everett Young.

Today’s question: What is your favorite genre to work in and why?

His answer will no doubt surprise.

And confuse.

July 11, 2010: He does it again! Afternoon soccer with the guys! The Pineapple Diaries part III! Mailbag!

The psychic octopus does it again!  Not only does he correctly predict the outcome of every one of Germany’s World Cup matches including both losses AND its final victory over Uruguay, but it correctly picked Spain to triumph over the Netherlands in today’s final match.  Amazing!  Is he on facebook?  If not, he should be.  Unless, of course, he’s already been eaten by irate Germany fans.

I watched the game with friends today: Special Features Producers Ivon Bartok (who cooked), actor Patrick Gilmore (who carried plates and helped clean), and actor Tobias Slezak (who just showed up).

Ivon shows us the chicken.

Ivon's tasty, tasty tacos!

Also in attendance: actor Patrick Gilmore. At one point, he and Ivon got into a spirited debate on the relative merits of their respective hockey teams. At one point, I was afraid they'd come to blows. I was only afraid because I was sitting beside Ivon at the time and didn't want to take an errant punch to the head.

After the game, Ivon suggested we all watch The Boondock Saints, a presumed “cult classic” – and a film that is the focus of one of my very favorite documentaries, Overnight.  The latter tracks the rise and fall of Troy Duffy, a humble bartender once trumpeted as the next Tarantino who impresses Hollywood with his first spec script, is given his first big break, and then proceeds to squander this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by burning bridges and generally acting like an out-and-out jerk.  As for The Boondock Saints – well, at one point, the blu-ray player froze for about five minutes.  They were, by far, the best five minutes of the movie.

Hey, heard from Rob Cooper yesterday.  He dropped me an email titled “I thought of you”.  It contained the following pic…

In the third installment of The Pineapple Diaries, we pick up our interview with actor Louis Ferreira, conducted on a day when he was called in to work on his day off (Can you tell?).  Here, Louis discusses the challenges of working in those space suits –

Which reminds me of one amusing behind-the-scenes incident from my Atlantis days.  We were shooting the episode Subversion which required our actors to strut around in these enormous, unwieldy underwater suits.  Joe Flanigan’s suit necessitated some repairs and so, while everyone waited, a crew member hopped inside to fix the problem.  We were hurrying to get our day so when the crew member had finished, he hopped out and Joe stepped inside.  Too late did he realize that the crew member was feeling unusually gassy that day.  And by “too late”, I mean “by the time they sealed him inside the airtight suit”. Now THAT would have been one for the blooper reel!


Sean D. writes: “Hi Joe, can you make those videos available in another format or through another source?”

Answer: Hey, Sean – when I have time, I’ll upload them to youtube.  I’ll keep you posted.

Bailey writes: “You know, rereading the mailbag, what I think PG-15 and a few others may have been tactfully trying to ask, without actually asking, is why haven’t you or Paul gone to bat for Extinction as Brad has for Revolution?”

Answer: Hmmm.  I spent the better part of an hour attempting a tactful response to this question before eventually giving up.  Let’s just say that when news of the Atlantis cancellation first came down, I was crushed – as was everyone else associated with the production, from cast and crew to the entire writing staff.  My disappointment was somewhat mitigated, however, by the prospect of continuing Atlantis’s story in the direct-to-dvd format.  Since then, circumstances have tempered that initial enthusiasm.  I still want to see the movie made; I’ve simply adopted a more practical outlook with respect to its (hopefully) eventual production.

Major D. Davis writes: “1. Now I know the SG-1 cast is signed to do the SG-1 movie, but what about the Atlantis cast? When the movie is greenlit, are you worried that it might be to difficult to get the cast back together?”

Answer: The SG-1 cast has not been signed.

Gategod writes: “What might a fourth stargate series be about/be set?

Would you be the show runner?

Would any of the SG-1/SGA cast members star in a 4th stargate series?”

Answer: No thought has been given to a fourth Stargate series.  We’re wholly focused on the terrific series presently in production.

Deni writes: “Hi Joe, any news regarding Jelly?”

Answer: She heads in for her procedure on Tuesday.  Will keep you posted.

Don writes: “One thing I’ve been curious to see is a story where someone uses the stones to come to Earth and something big is happening there.”

Answer: Like in season two’s Alliances?

Quade writes: “Have you seen Avatar the Last Airbender, the tv series??”

Answer: Nope.  My anime to-view list will probably take me well into 2015 as it stands.

Pol writes: “About how long does it take you and Paul to knock out an episode script? Do you do a solid pass and then give it to Paul (or vice-versa)? Or do you sit in a room and collaborate? How does that process work?”

Answer: Even though we are credited as co-writers, Paul and I haven’t co-written a script since SG-1’s 8th season.

Pol also writes: “But…back to my main question, how long does it take you (’til you’re happy with the script – or at least willing to release it into the wild) to write an hour-long episode?”

Answer: From concept to finished draft, about a month.

dasNdanger writes: “Any chance of a sexy long-locked albino sort finding its way into your story??”

Answer: Not in the short story but quite possibly in the comic book series.

Lewis writes: “Just a quick ? about Gauntlet (ep. 20). Is it already mostly written at this point or do you wait until later in the fall when you find out if SGU has been picked up for Season 3… or is it a matter of plotting out 2 different endings?”

Answer: As was the case in every other season, the script for our season finale will be written by the time a decision is made on a pick-up.  In fact, I suspect that by the time we do hear, we will have already wrapped production on season 2.

Boris writes: “1) Who are the writers of the last episodes you give out in this post:
215: Seizure, 219: Blockade, 219: Blockade, and 220: Gauntlet?
2) What happened to episode 218: Radio that you mentioned some days ago?
3) Will we see many new different species of aliens in season 2 or just a few like in the first season?
4) Will there be a CD of SGU’s first season soundtrack, I will buy it ASAP, the music is just awesome?
and finally just out of curiosity
5) Which episode of SGU is shooting now or will start shooting soon?”

Answers: 1) 215, Seizure – Remi Aubuchon, 216, The Hunt – Joseph Mallozzi, 217 – Robert Cooper script, 218 – Carl Binder script, 219, Blockade – Linda McGibney, 210, Gauntlet – Paul Mullie,

2) That’s still under discussion.

3) We’ll definitely be introducing several new alien life forms in season 2.

4) No idea.  Sorry.

5) We just wrapped on Deliverance (211) and will be moving on to Alliances (213).

Collegeboy8907 writes: “Did SG-1 ever find the Clava Thessara Infinitas that was mentioned In SG-1 Season ten?”

Answer: Nope.

LaWanda writes: “I was wondering about something else when they were fighting those aliens guys on Daedalus variations could they have been a new form of wraith.”

Answer: No, it wasn’t our intention to create any connection between the two alien races.

dioxholster writes: “Joe, is that alien concept art for season 2 or was it something for season one?”

Answer: It’s an alien concept for season 2 – that we won’t be seeing in season 2.

Valaur writes: “1. Does the Destiny have a teleporter similar to that of the goa’uld or the Ori? Seeing as the Goa’uld stole that technology from the Ancients, it would be really cool to see the first or second generation of that technology.
2. I think it was Brad who said he immensely disliked having the Asgard beaming technology as a quick get-away device or a gimmick used by the SGC. Are there any pieces of technology that were imagined, then suggested in the writer’s room but received an unequivocal no? Like the Zat being able to make a body disappear with 3 shots.
3. In ‘Faith’, the marsh looks similar to the one used Battlestar Galactica’s ‘Home Pt. 1 and 2.’ along with ‘Kobol’s Last Gleaming’. I’m only curious if it’s the same location or just really similar.
4. Will the answer to why the environmental suits of the Destiny looks so similar to the ones used by ‘The Lost Tribe’ or was that already answered?
5. Will there be an ascended Ancient sent to the Destiny to help the crew in any shape or form?
6. I really, really enjoy the real science element of the show, like the white dwarf and pulsar in ‘Incursion’. Is there anything coming up that you’re excited for, science-wise?
7. In comparison to SG-1 and SGA, could you give us a rough estimate or figure of how many crew work on the show to give us what we see on the TV? Also, have most of the crew from the two previous franchises moved on to bigger and better things or stuck around for SGU?”

Answers: 1. Nope.

2. Actually, I’m the one who hated the convenience of the beaming technology.  And, yes, plenty of ideas get bounced from the writers’ room – though none come readily to mind.

3. Sorry.  No idea.  Given that both shows were produced in Vancouver, it’s likely however.

4.  Nope.

5. You’ll have to stay tuned.  For the record, however, I’m not a huge fan of ascended visitors.

6. Yep.

dasNdanger writes: “Joe – you like cool spooky stuff, right? Please tell me what you think of this:

Answer: Love it.  I spent the better part of my after-dinner wind-down watching the entire Daywalt Horror line-up.

August 13, 2009: Awaiting word. Michael Shanks guests. Actor Luis Ferreira drops by the office. And Carl Binder in: Set Trouble!

Rob has been directing Human, Brad has been prepping Sabotage, and Paul has been finishing up his first draft of Subversion, so the only producer who has actually had the time to read my scripts, episodes #19 and #20, is Carl. He dropped by my office today to offer his opinion. Yes, I agreed, the B story will require some rethinking and there are a few sequences that will need some tweaking but, happily, Carl found it exciting, well-paced and seemed quite intrigued by the ending. And, most importantly, he felt it worked well as two scripts.  Hopefully, the others will feel the same.

Rob dropped my office after lunch while the production was making the move from the location to mess set, waved my first script and joked: “It’s so hard to know what’s going on without having read episode eighteen.” – a reference to Paul’s script, still being written. “Yeah, tell me about it,”I countered. “You think reading is confusing. Try writing the next script!” And, since he was there, I told him how much we’d enjoyed the previous day’s dailies. The film looks amazing. For his part, Rob had nothing but praise for the actors and, given their significant roles in this episode, Robert Caryle and guest star Michael Shanks in particular.

Actor Michael Shanks

Actor Michael Shanks

Also dropping by my office today was actor Luis Ferreira who was in the neighborhood and decided to stop in and say hi. And get the scoop on the last three episodes. Luis is a guy whose onscreen persona is in sharp contrast to the character he plays on Universe. Off the set, he’s incredibly gregarious – animated, affable, and very funny. In front of the camera, however, as Colonel Everett Young, he is a rock – cool and unflappable, a solid and steady leader. He’s a wonderful actor possessed of major talent and – I couldn’t help but notice after those first few days of production – an amazing voice. Young is the calm in the eye of the storm, the guy you want calling the shots when things get heated – and Luis is nothing short of perfect for the role. And, did I mention, he’s a hell of a nice guy?

Luis on set with fellow actor Patrick Gilmore (Dr. Dale Volker).
Luis on set with fellow actor Patrick Gilmore (Dr. Dale Volker).
Luis does his Daniel Craig impression.
Luis does his Daniel Craig impression.
Luis gives Stargate fans the thumbs up!
Luis gives Stargate fans the thumbs up!

This afternoon, I had a conference call with Grey, Erika, and Craig to discuss this blog and ideas for cool SGU exclusives. Very exciting stuff.

I leave you with a recent stroll through Stage 5 that ended rather, uh, abruptly for Carl. Check it out.

But first…I’d like to dedicate today’s entry to Platschu. Thanks for the Hungarian cookbook.


And happy birthday!

No sooner do we start our walk through Stage 5 than Carl takes a wrong turn and we end up lost.
No sooner do we start our walk through Stage 5 than Carl takes a wrong turn and we end up lost.


We hear some unsettling noises coming from the top of the staircase and send Carl to investigate.  What we initially took to be the sound of a bugbear feeding on carrion turned out to be a teamster eating his lunch.
We hear some unsettling noises coming from the top of the staircase and send Carl to investigate. What we initially took to be the sound of a bugbear feeding on carrion turned out to be a teamster eating his lunch.


You wouldn't believe how many unionized spiders we had working overtime to complete this project.
You wouldn’t believe how many unionized spiders we had working overtime to complete this project.


Yes, Carl, that was the exit.  Nice going.
Yes, Carl, that was the exit. Nice going.
A panicked Carl tries to dig his way out.

A panicked Carl tries to dig his way out.

Demonstrating formidale strength!

Demonstrating formidale strength!

Ha!  Just kidding!  It's a prop rock!

Ha! Just kidding! It's a prop rock!

Just like this one!

Just like this one!

Oh!  Oh %&@$!  This one's real!

Oh! Oh %&@$! This one's real!

He went doing what he loved most.  Moving big rocks around.

He went doing what he loved most. Moving big rocks around.