February 5, 2013: The Superbowl’s Most Controversial Ads! Days of Stargate Atlantis Past continues with…Inquisition!

The Superbowl is never without its share of controversy.  Power issues. Blown calls.  And, of course, the commercials!

What am I talking about?  Well, find out for yourself.  Presenting, the most controversial ads in superbowl history…

Holiday Inn compares itself to a post-op transexual:

Apple’s depresssing misstep:

The great Fred Astaire dances with a vaccuum cleaner, compliments of Dirt Devil:

Lifeminders’ self-proclaimed worst commercial.  Coincidentally, they’re no longer in business:

Just For Feet’s superbowl commercial was so controversial, it’s almost impossible to tack down.  Check it out here:

http://adland.tv/commercials/just-feet-kenya-mission-1999-030-usa

Ah, women.  So bossy and temperamental.  So says Pepsi:

Snickers manages to simultaneously offend homophobes and the LGBT community:

The HomeAway test baby:

Save the whales money with Groupon!:

Free Tibet!  I mean Save with Groupon!:

Ah, Ching Ching and Ling Ling!  We hardly knew you:

This year’s Volkswagon ad featuring a white guy speaking with a Jamaican accent (and attitude) sparked controvery.  Some found it racist.  Interestingly, all of my Jamaican friends found it hilarious:

And then there was this year’s Go Daddy ad that featured model Bar Rafaeli making out with some uber-nerd – complete with close-ups of them tonguing each other.  Yech!:

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Our walk down Atlantis memory lane continues with…

1INQUISITION (513)

There invariably comes a time in every season when the producers take a look at the bottom line and realize they’re over-budget and need to come up with a relatively inexpensive episode to put the show back on track – and, more importantly, ensure there is enough money for the big season-ender.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  And just how desperate depends on how much money you’re looking to save.  If you’re in not bad shape, you can look to do bottle show, an episode that takes place on the existing standing sets.  No extra builds or moves to exterior locations are a big money-saver.  An even bigger money saver is to eschew the bottle show in favor of the dreaded clip show, an episode that makes use of pre-existing material to tell a story. Sometimes, they can be great.  While other times…well, they can be pretty forgettable.

One of the keys to producing a good clip show (relatively speaking) is to have a great story at its core – and, in the case of Inquistion, we had a pretty good one: Finally, after so many years of playing the role of galactic policeman, the Atlantis expedition was being held accountable for their actions.  One the one hand, they had successfully defended the inhabitants of the Pegasus Galaxy from the wraith.  On the other hand, at what cost?  And there’s also an argument to be made for the fact that their presence in the Pegasus Galaxy only exacerbated the problem.  It was an interesting debate that fandom had been heatedly discussing for years and, while there weren’t any easy answers, there were some convincing arguments on both sides.  This then was the premise of the episode – at turns controversial and complex.  But, hopefully, all sorts of entertaining as we would include flashbacks to various spectacular situations from seasons past.  As clips shows went, it was a tall order – and it happened to fall on first-time writer – and longtime Stargate script coordinator Alex Levine.

Alex was more than up to the challenge.  It was a tough script but, ultimately, a great learning experience – as he explained on his SciFi.com blog:

“Inquisition’ is a clip show, [and] that didn’t make it any easier to write. You see, there’s a particular aspect of writing clip shows that’s extra tough, and that is the part where they move in and out of the clips. Of course Paul Mullie, who did the re-write and produced the episode, has lots of clip show experience, but this was my first attempt. And writing specs and other scripts didn’t prepare me one bit. So let’s just say it was a great learning experience.

“At the end of the day, the writing staff was very kind. They met with me on my first draft, gave me notes and some time to re-write the script. I did another draft too on another round of notes. In the writing I found some things about the characters and the story that worked well; other stuff was discarded. There’s certainly some of my writing in the finished product, but I must credit Paul Mullie and the writing staff with much of the episode’s success. And my experience is not unlike other first time writers of any show. Stargate is no exception.

“The coolest part of the show, which is always why people watch clip shows, is that you’ll get to see pretty much every cool space battle we’ve done. There’s also great acting in this one — keep your eyes open for the character of Myrus (the Council Liaison), who is played by my real life brother, Tobias Slezak (different last name). He did a great job.”

Many of you will recognize his brother, Thobias, from SG-1’s Heroes in which he played the part of Tech Sergeant Dale James, or more recently from the SGU episodes Intervention and Visitation in which he played the part of Peter, or, perhaps even more recently, from my Superbowl get-together where he played the part of “Guy scoffing down doughnuts” –

1As for brother Alex, his writing career continued to blossom post-Stargate with credits on King, The Border, Verdict, Flashpoint, and an upcoming scifi series.

I knew him when…