Today, I finally finished the scripts. Well, not really because a script isn’t technically done until it’s been shot and I still have my most despised stage of the scripting process not to look forward to – the dreaded rewrite. But, for the moment, a much-needed breather. Now, it’s all in the hands of my fellow writer-producers who will read, consider, and give me notes – some time between now and early next month. While I’m waiting, I’ll shift focus to other producerly pursuits – like watching Rob Cooper’s dailies on Human and a Day 2(?) mix of Darkness (a terrific episode that offers all kinds of insight into our various players, big and small). Sitting in with us on the screening was the fab director himself, Peter DeLuise, who was in the office today prepping his next episode, Sabotage.
Wow. It’s hard to believe that we’re nearing the home stretch and already eyeing our October 2nd premiere. And, a couple of weeks later, we’ll be wrapped. And, hopefully, starting to think about – dare I say it – a potential season 2?
David Blue dropped by the offices today to chat character development with Carl and I. We talked about Eli as the grounding force who’ll offer the fish-out-of-water perspective many of the viewers can relate to. Despite some early fan suggestions that Eli will be little more than a Junior McKay, the truth is that, aside from the fact that they are both geniuses, the two characters don’t have that much in common. In fact, if one were to compare Eli to past characters from the franchise, the one he lines up closest with – and thank you, Carl, for pointing this out – is O’Neill. Yes, similarities to Jack, certainly in his sense of humor, but more cautious, less sure off himself – charitable, enthusiastic, thoughtful, and extremely loyal. Oh, and incredibly likable. Of course a lot of that (if not all of the aforementioned character attributes) stems from David’s wonderful performance. I knew he was good when we hired him yet he’s managed to even surpass those lofty initial expectations. His turn in Time still leaves me shaking my head in amazement.
I had to cut out early today so that I could bring Jelly to vet’s. Poor gal. She puts on a brave show whenever she walks into the place, then crawls up onto my lap and trembles until it’s time for her appointment at which point she’ll try to make a getaway. She’s not as nimble as she used to be, however, so I can usually head her off at the pass, scoop her up and carry her into the examination room where she doesn’t really put up much of a fuss. She had some bloodwork done in order to follow up on her elevated liver enzymes. Results tomorrow. Let’s hope it’s not mononucleosis!
Some of my fondest memories of my early years on SG-1 involve Director Peter DeLuise – his fast-paced style, his encyclopedic knowledge of the show’s mythology, and , of course, his unrestrained sense of humor. He occupied the office across the hall from Paul and I, a veritable Stargate shrine he decorated with the weirdest collection of curios imaginable: prop weapons, visceral alien design work, a rubber life cast of a swollen belly with a ready-made pocket for extruding symbiotes. A chamber of horrors to be sure and yet, whenever a cast or crew member would bring their child by, they would inevitably gravitate to his office, partly to check out the weird exhibit, and partly for Peter himself who would inevitably put on a private show for the kids. From my office, I would hear him chatting away with them, discusing their interests, after which the conversation would eventually segue into his “Pull my finger” request and cap off with his trademark Barney the Dinosaur impression that never failed to impress. Peter was (and still is) good for a laugh, but he’s also an incredibly hard-working, dedicated, and talented individual who has scripted and directed some of the franchise’s seminal episodes. As SG-1 drew to an end, a show that had been an important part of his life for many, many seasons, Peter decided to take a break from the franchise…
Well, I’m happy to report that, three years later, Peter is back in the Stargate fold. And, I’m even happier to report that he received nothing but raves for his work on a (not so) little episode called Fire. It’s been a great working with the guy again and I look forward to seeing much more of him in the months to come.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked him whether he might be interested in doing a guest entry for this blog. “It’s simple,”I told him. “I’ll gather some fan questions and send the your way. You can feel free to pick and choose among them, send back your responses, and I’ll post the whole as a dedicated Peter DeLuise entry.” Sounds perfectly reasonable – unless you’ve never done one of these before and end up so overwhelmed by the fan questions that, instead of picking and choosing, you end up answering all of them. Suffice it to say he was impressed with the care and detail that went into many of your queries and took it upon himself to respond with equal care and detail. Oh, and humor. The practical joke he played on those poor Jaffa extras makes me chuckle every time I think about it.
Now, before I turn things over to Peter, I’d like to make another Stargate-related guest blogger announcement. Producer John G. Lenic has been with the franchise from the very beginning, starting way back on the Children of the Gods pilot. Over his many years with us, his duties have ranged from scheduling and budgeting to coordination and general troubleshooting. Every early call, he’s one of the first people on set, and every late wrap, he’s one of the last people to leave. John has kindly agreed to take part in a Q&A so if you have questions for him, start posting them!
And now, over to Peter…
PDL: First I would very much like to thank Joe for making this Q and A possible… and for making me feel so welcome when I found myself back across the hall from him at the Stargate office. Now on to the questions… I have tried to answer in the spirit the questions were asked. Forgive me if I took them too seriously… or not seriously enough.
Delaynie writes: “How much fun was it to Direct Window of Opportunity and where did you get your inspiration to write Fragile Balance. What was your favorite memory of working on Stargate and finally how awesome was it to work on Supernatural and with Erik Kripke.”
PD L: Window of Opportunity was a blast. I wish they were all as fun. We knew we were coming in short and many of the ‘antics’ were last minute additions to make the running time for the show. These ‘antics’ turned out to be the high point, at least for me, of the episode. Part of the inspiration for Fragile Balance can be traced back to the naked puppet of Thor. I looked at it and realized it had no genitals, so clearly the Asgard reproduced differently than we do. Figuring out how Asgard sustain their population ultimately led to a concept used in the story that turned out to be Fragile Balance. Erik Kripke wrote the episode of SupernaturaI I was in but didn’t direct it so I only got to ‘work’ with him insofar as saying his words. My little stint on Supernatural was very enjoyable. I did get to visit with Kim Manners, a producer/director on Supernatural, who directed many episodes of 21 Jump Street and the pilot. Kim died this year, so I am grateful for the short time I got to see him. He was a really good guy and a great director… I learned a lot from him.
Kennythewraith writes: “ I enjoy all the work you have done with stargate over the years and am excited to see you back working on SGU. im wondering if this is on a permanent basis or a one time thing?”
PDL: I don’t know. I really like the show and especially the cast. I’m sure if my episode is well received they will have me back. So, I hope it’s permanent… I need the work.
Juralas write: “In the episodes you direct, will you make a cameo appearance and/or name any minor characters after 21 Jump Street characters like you did in the previous Stargate series?”
PDL: Yes. I did something on this episode of SGU that is more abstract than usual.
Laura writes: “Which was your favorite walk on part and how do you direct while you perform you little parts?”
PDL: My favorite cameo – “Wormhole X-treme” and “200”. I actually got to say something, and it was silly. The way I direct when I’m in front of the camera is simple. We can play back recorded takes for me to review or I can just trust the people watching the monitors… (which I usually do.)
Amac251 writes: “What was it like growing up the son of Dom Deluise? How did his sense/style of humor affect you and your brothers? Do you have any children/nieces/nephews to carry on the Deluise legacy of humor?
BTW, I loved you in Robson Arms.”
PDL: Growing up around my Dad was amazing. His humor is always beyond belief but the intelligence, sensitivity and insight to create said humor is off the charts. My brothers and I really are no different than most kids… we want to please our parents and make them proud. Yes, we have procreated.
ThomasJohnBrown writes: “I bet you have trouble answering this, but it’s been on my mind. The episode you directed in SG1, Reckoning parts 1&2, the device on Dakara was used to send a energy wave through all the Stargates in the Milky Way network at the same time, which means that the energy wave that went directly into the gate on Dakara, was then transmitted through every gate. It was the same wave, only replicated many thousands of times over through the incoming wormholes. Now what would happen if lets say you were to put a human into the gate at Dakara when all the gates were dialed in the network? Would that said human be copied like the energy wave, and have many thousands of that human on all the planets in the gate network? Or would that human be transmitted in a million pieces and come out in bloody chunks of nasty out of every stargate? I mean if the wave was copied in the buffer of the Dakara gate, and then transmitted out to all gates, then it would make sense that the same would happen with a human! But then I got to thinking about how Ba’al cloned himself many times. If my theory was correct, then why didn’t he just rig the gate to dial let’s say 50 or so gates in the network, and just step on through?? It would be a perfect copy everytime just like it was for the energy wave! Surely I’m not smarter than Ba’al???”
PDL: Wow, that is quite a question. I don’t think the Ancients intended the Stargate to be a cloning machine. I think for the logic of the story the device on Dakara in combination with open wormholes ‘magnified’ the energy from the device not ‘replicated’ it and would have a different effect on organic matter… until a storyline was needed for it to create many clones as you suggest. I’m guessing you may get a future story credit on the episode, “Send in the Clones” if there ever is one.
JimfromJersey writes: “I’ve been a fan for…longer than I’d like to remember: 21 Jumpstreet, Highlander, Seaquest, Stargate(s), Sanctuary….you just seem to be associated in some way with my favorite shows ever. So I need to ask: How are you so awesome???
But in all seriousness: To what do you owe your longevity in the business, and in so many varying roles (ie: actor, director, writer, producer etc…) besides your aforementioned awesomeness, of course.”
PDL: You flatter me. Except for Seaquest, all the shows you mention shot/shoot in Vancouver. I think you respond to shows that tend to shoot here. My longevity, as you call it, is based on a desire to remain employed. So I try to contribute in a way that my bosses can’t help but notice… i.e. “Hey, is that DeLuise in the bathroom scrubbing the toilet again? …What a keener.”
Shirt ‘n Tie writes: “For Peter DeLuise: First off, how is your Dad? Huge fan for years! Second: I know it’s a bit premature, but will you be doing the Audio Commentary for your ep? Third: Is it true you hung onto the Anubuis’ Super Soldier Outfit? Thank you for all of your talents in the Stargate Franchise over the years, and continued success.. and B-I-G-G-E-R!!”
PDL: My Dad is doing well, thanks for asking. Re: commentary. It IS premature, but I guess so. I don’t have the Super Soldier Outfit, did I joke about that? Black is very slimming and I dig the cod piece…
Whovian writes: “How is Dom doing? Please give him a huge hug from me. If you wouldn’t mind.
Which brings me to my next question. Your dad is a great cook. How about you? Do you love to cook? And if so, are you good at it? I only say this because I happen to suck at cooking no matter how hard I try.
Window Of Opportunity is my all-time favorite episode probably of any television show. Ever. What’s your favorite Stargate episode? It doesn’t have to be one on which you worked.
Thanks so much for stopping by to talk with us. I’m very excited you are back!”
PDL: Hug for Dad… on it. I am not a great cook and empathize. My favorite is ‘Urgo’ because I got to work with my Dad. I also really enjoyed “Wormhole X-treme”.
RSThomas90 writes: “Peter DeLuise were you born this awesome?”
PDL: Mom? Is that you?
NZ_Jackie writes: “I have always wanted to know how fun it was to work with your family on Stargate? And is it even an accident that they all seem to follow you to a show??”
PDL: It is fun, sometimes too much fun. We have all worked on each other’s shows at one point or another. If a job lasts long enough eventually someone ends up saying, “Hey, wouldn’t your dad and/or brother and/or son be right for this?”
Shiningwit writes: “OOH! I have a question for Peter DeLuise. Season 3 URGO is a favourite of mine and looks SO much fun. I love to watch the background guys trying hard to pretend like they can’t see Urgo. Did the senior Mr DeLuise ad lib any/much and was it as much fun for you guys behind the scenes as it was for us on the other side of the TV screen?”
PDL: Yes, keeping a straight face was very difficult on the set of “Urgo”. Many ruined takes due to laughter. My dad did ad lib a fair bit. There was an enormous amount of material in post that Brad Wright expertly waded through in editing to make a wonderful episode.
Gilder writes: “For PDL–What do you consider your “masterpiece” on-set prank?
Best wishes to your parents, whose work I’ve enjoyed for decades. Remember Lambertville (NJ) Music Circus? Attended several events there in the 60’s.”
PDL: I don’t think this qualifies as ‘masterpiece’, but I love to torment the extras. Usually when we had a field of ‘dead’ Jaffa I would scream while we were rolling at no one in particular, “I can see your eyes moving!” They would all hold perfectly still. “Then I would scream even louder, “You are so fired if you don’t stop moving your eyes!!!” All of them would be frozen hoping I wasn’t screaming at them… good times.
PoorOldEdgarDerby writes: “Questions for Mr. DeLuise (bear with me):
. I know that much of the production staff will follow to SGU, but how are you feeling about directing a new bunch after years with the same actors?
. I’ve never really watched 21 Jump Street. Is it any good?
. How come I pronounce your dad’s name differently? Am I the only one who tends to separate the De more prominently?
. Your commentaries have always been a highlight for my DVD viewings. Will you be returning to do more?
. On that note, how is Gary Jones doing these days?
. Will you continue to cast yourself as an extra on SGU?
. Who is your second favorite Beatle?”
PDL: It always concerns me when questions start, “bear with me” followed by a numbered list. Perhaps my therapist can figure out what my issues are with that.
1. I welcome a chance to work with new actors. (BTW These new guys ROCK!)
. I don’t know…
. I don’t know. Yes.
. Thank you. I don’t know. I hope so.
. Gary Jones is the best. We must all bow down before him.
. I don’t know. I hope so.
. I don’t know.
ChelledeBoer writes: “Oooh goodie…questions for Peter!!! I had a major crush on that man back in the 21 Jump Street days…I was all of about 17/18 years of age…ahh the memories! Ok…Peter…thank you so much for joining us here for a Q&A session. I just have a few questions if that’s ok. 1. In terms of directing, what was the most difficult episode of Stargate you directed and why? 2. What was your favourite episode of Stargate that you directed? 3. What is the most difficult aspect of directing? 4. In terms of acting, do you get a chance to stretch your acting skills much anymore? 5. What is the one thing you would have loved to have seen happen on Stargate SG1 that didn’t happen? 6. How’s your dad? I loved him in the episode Urgo and the movie Smokey and the Bandit. He makes me laugh. As do you when you do your Bill Cosby impersonation! Finally, any chance of you popping down under for a meet and greet with the fans?? I’d love to say hi. Thank you. Cheers!! xxxx ~Chelle”
PDL: More numbered questions…
1. ‘Most difficult’ – “Condemned” …Too many cast members in too many scenes. I still have nightmares.
. Favorite episode to direct, “Urgo” (because I got to work with my dad) and “Wormhole X-treme” (Brother)
. Trying not to freak out.
. No. I miss acting.
. Love alternate reality episodes. I know it’s a stretch but I wanted to see Walter Harriman and Sam Carter consummate their relationship in zero gravity.
. Dad is well. I really like Australians… anything is possible.
Artdogspot writes: “Love your commentaires on the SG 1 DVD set. It is fun to hear your take as an actor versus the other directors with their more technical approaches.
.How did you begin directing? 2. How does your acting background help you visualize your approach to directing? 3. Given respect for the great writing on these shows – do you feel that you can allow more improvisation on your sets than other directors because of your acting background? 4. Have you had input into the mythology of SGU? 5. Any future performances by you in any upcoming gory-yet-amusing scifi tv movies?”
PDL: Thanks. OK I’m getting used to the numbered thing.
1. I started directing on 21 Jump Street because just acting wasn’t stimulating enough for me. Ironic that I now crave acting so much… “grass is always greener”.
. My acting background helps me communicate with and anticipate the needs of actors.
. Improvisation has its place and some actors are better at it than others. Stargate scripts are pretty tight and well thought out so improv is kept to a minimum (except my dad of course, that was special.)
. No, but I really like the premise.
. I think you are referring to “Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon”. No, at the moment, being beaten to death with my own leg will have to suffice for now. (BTW My character’s name was a total coincidence… I swear on all that is holy.)
The Huntress Diana writes: “During your involvement with the Stargate franchise, what was the one April Fool’s Joke that you spent the most time working on that has backfired on you? If one hasn’t backfired, then my next question is: What has been your best/favorite April Fool’s Joke and could you explain what it was?”
PDL: I don’t do April Fool’s pranks. Sometimes after we shoot a scene when an actor is fishing for a compliment or validation “ how was that?” I will answer, “”Don’t worry we’ll fix it in post.” I don’t do anything too off the hook; it’s important for actors to feel safe.
JK Carter writes: “What and who makes you laugh out loud?”
PDL: Things that I find funny are: Unguarded moments… Human short comings… My Dad and Brothers, Jon Stewart, Steve Carell (The Office), and my 5 year old son.
Major D Davis writes: “1. Was the end of stronghold hard to direct cause it had some extremely realistic and intense combat scenes?
. Having directed on all three Stargate shows, Which is your favorite to direct on?
. Which set do you like most, the Atlantis set, the Stargate Command set, or the Destiny set?”
PDL: 1.) My memory of the end of Stronghold was that it was not harder than usual… it was fun actually. 2.) At present my favorite to direct is SGU because of the shooting style. I find it very liberating. 3.) The Destiny set is my favorite. It has many advantages including space, depth, texture, and many practical lights.
Morjana writes: “Questions for Peter DeLuise:
) You’ve directed on 22 different projects — from TV series, to made-for-TV movies — and in varying genre, from SciFi to Crime/Drama/Action to Romantic Comedy.
Do you have a decided favorite, or do you enjoy the balance between them?
) Will you also be working on Sanctuary this year as a Director and/or Director/Writer?
) Any anecdotes from the Supernatural set?
Best wishes to Dom and all of your family, Peter, and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.
Thank you too, Joe, for this opportunity.”
PDL: 1.) I prefer comedy/romantic comedy… I like to entertain, but love to make people laugh. 2.) I don’t know if Sanctuary is going to have me back. 3.) I played someone possessed by a demon… as it was being purged from my body I needed to whip my head around violently… I had a very sore neck for several days… it was cool though because I got to work as an actor.
Robert writes: “I have enjoyed all the Episodes you have directed.. One particular one stands out for me… Urgo from early on in Stargate Sg1..
Did you enjoy directing Your Father…? Will we see you working with any of your brothers again..
I think all You Deluise Men are superb actors.. I still remember you from seaquest…
Will you be writing any Episodes for SGU… Or possibly be in line to direct any SG1 or SGA Films.. Or even coming up with any stories for future stargate Films.”
PDL: Yes Urgo was my favorite to direct and I cherish that time I had with my dad. I love working with my brothers so I hope that happens again. Re: my future with SG… I don’t know. I hope so… time will tell.
Libkat writes: “Thanks so much for taking time to answer our questions. It is great that you are back in Stargate land.
. Did you alter your directing style when working with your dad? (Like were you on your best behavior?)
. Did you take advantage of the situation when directing you brothers to be extra bossy?
. I saw David at a Con a couple years ago. Is funny just in the DeLuise genes?”
PDL: 1) Yes, I was on my best behavior for my dad. It was… my dad. 2) Yes, I took advantage of my brothers… I was drunk with power. 3) I don’t know about genes or not, but my brothers can sure make me laugh… not an easy thing to do.
Jim from West VA writes: “Will Gary Jones be joining you for any DVD commentaries?”
PDL: I don’t know, but I would love that. Jonesy is the best.
Blaine Nielsen writes: “Ooh, ooh question for Mr. DeLuise: after taking a break for the Stargate production, last one being Family Ties, how does it feel to be back??? And will we see you around more often?? More Commentary on episodes with Gary Jones?? Thanks for dropping by”
PDL: My episode of SGU was a blast. I hope there is more to come including the commentary… with Gary… that would be so cool.
Deeinsouthafrica writes: “How many Stargate related ‘pieces-of-junk-I-cannot-throw-away’ inhabit your house?”
PDL: Mom, I really need that stuff! Memorabilia is worth big bucks! Including the Tok’ra nose hair trimmer from Jolinar’s Memories. (It’s true… look at it closely, when Martouf uses it on Carter… not on her nose… her temple.)
Lewis writes: “I love all the SGs and some of the other shows you’ve directed. They’re some of the funniest. I have 2 questions: 1. Did you ever hear the Roger Daltry tune, After the Fire? He mentions your dad. It’s on the album, Under a Raging Moon. 2. How is your father doing? I use to watch him on tv on his comedy show.”
PDL: Yes, I have heard the Roger Daltry song, and I made my dad listen to it. He had a big grin, ear to ear. Just like the grin he had when watching ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and Bill Pullman orders a bottle of “Dom DeLuise”.
DasnDanger writes: “For Peter DeLuise: First, I’d like to thank you for all you’ve helped to create over the years. I’m one of those fans going back to your 21 Jump Street days, and I can honestly say that your love for – and enjoyment of – what you do is clearly reflected in your work.
Now, a few questions:
. Loved the ‘Nubbins’ episode! It was one of my favorites. How much fun (or not) was it working with the Sanctuary bunch, and will you have any involvement with the show next season?
. Back in S1 of 21 Jump Street, you had a ten-second scene with Chris Heyerdahl in the episode ‘Next Generation’ (yes, I know these things – I have all the boxsets!). Do you remember working with him waaaaaaaay back then?
. Okay – this is the most important one: Wraith, exactly how many prongs DO they have in their prong region??”
PDL: Thanks, that’s very kind of you. 1) I really liked working on Sanctuary. ‘Nubbins’ was a light and funny episode so that made it all the more enjoyable. 2) I did not remember working with Chris on 21 Jump Street, thanks for the heads up. 3) The number of prongs a Wraith has in its prong region is dependant on the Wraith’s sex.
Montrealer writes: “Read somewhere that they are using the RED HD digital camera in Sanctuary. Is that true? In any case, any comments about working with the RED and other HD camera systems? Will film cameras go the way of the typewriter anytime soon?”
PDL: Yes, Sanctuary uses the RED, probably because of the large number of virtual backgrounds in the show. Martin Wood is a huge fan of the RED and can answer that question far better than I. SGU uses the Genesis and the people over there prefer it to the RED. They have different needs. I believe HD digital is the future of Camera systems in the foreseeable future. Film has been around over 100 years and the basic principle has remained the same. That being said, someone will always prefer film to digital, just like some filmmakers preferred black and white to color, or silent to talkies. They still make black and white films and not so long ago my dad was in “Silent Movie”… but it was in color… huh. It is still common for some shows to revert back to film when shooting in direct sunlight because the intensity of the sunlight does not ‘translate’ well to digital and compromises the image quality. I do not think film will go away ‘soon’… but slowly over time it will be used less and less… it makes me sad, actually.
Crayonbaby writes: “1. What series/films are you working on directing or are in the works for you in the future?
. Do you plan on ever acting in anything again? I imagine that the directing takes up much of your time.
. Have you ever contemplated creating a series starring your family? There are just so many talented people in your family. Hope they are all doing well.”
PDL: 1) I was working over at Kyle XY and thought I had a future there, but that show was cancelled. (Very sad… a lot of talented people over there.) I just finished shooting “Robin Hood: Beyond Sherwood” with a lot of sci-fi veterans: Robin Dunne, Julian Sands, Erica Durance, David Palffy, David Richmond-Peck, Mark Gibbon and Katherine Isabelle for The Sci-Fi Channel. I’m hoping that this year I direct some more SGU.
) I miss acting very much, but times are tough and directing pays the bills. I will act when the opportunity arises.
) The thought of creating a show for the family has come up, but never panned out.
Planet_tv writes: “I would just like say that my favorite episode that you wrote and directed of SG-1 is Death Knell. Now here are my questions.
. Where did you get the idea to stick yourself in the background of the Stargate episodes you direct?
. What would say was your favorite episode to write of SG-1?”
PDL: 1) I got/stole the idea from Sir Alfred Hitchcock. He did cameos in many of his films.
) My favorite episode to write was Evolution Part 2. Specifically the character of Burke, a character from Jack’s past, played so well by Enrico Colantoni. When writing for the character I felt as though I was channeling the spirit of Burke… It was strange and wonderful!
Delynn writes: “In 200, you let out an impressive stream of expletives that lasted for a very long time! Did you have to borrow from other languages to keep that going, or did you repeat a couple?”
PDL: I repeated many.
Luis writes: “This is for Peter thanks for taking time out to answer questions….My MOM is 91 and she is a huge fan of your Dad. I beleive my Mom has all the movie’s on DVD that Dom has ever been in.Do you have your own web site where we Peter fans can get updates on what your directing,producing stuff like that??..hopefully you will be back to direct a few more episodes of SGU….EH?”
PDL: I do not own a web site. IMDB.com is always a good way to get updates on anybody.
Babancat writes: “You wrote and directed ‘Affinity’, an angsty episode in terms of the Sam/Jack ship. Whenever we discuss this episode the hot topic is, what did Jack mean by his answer ‘I wouldn’t be here’ when Sam shows him the ring and asks him ‘What about you?’. Shippers have come up with lots of thoughts but I’d like to know your thinking when you wrote and directed the episode. Thanks.”
PDL: This was the intention. We knew the audience would read what they wanted into this line, and that’s the way I like it.
Jason writes: “Did you ever expect the character of Lorne to take off like it did when you first came up with the character and named him after your brother or father in law? Thanks for casting Kavan Smith in the role, he’s one of my favorites now.”
PDL: Major Lorne is named after my brother-in-law Lorne Loder in the episode “Enemy Mine”. Kavan Smith stood out from the get go. He’s very focused, handsome and talented. It was a no brainer to bring him back. I didn’t ‘expect’ him to work on Stargate as much as he did but I was not ‘surprised’ because he is so good. (He’s one of my favorites too.)
Ytimyona writes: “1) Did you come up with the name “Orpheus” for the episode you wrote? If not, where did it come from?
) Did anyone ever thank you for contributing so very much to DVD sales? (We only buy them for the commentaries, yanno, and yours are some of the best!)
) What is the best practical joke you’ve played in all your years on the show?
) When I IMDB’d your mane, I accidentally misspelled it “Delouise” and to my surprise a character popped up instead of an actor/director/producer! Did you name this character or was he just named in your honor?”
PDL: 1) I used the title ‘Orpheus’ from Greek mythology because I felt my episode paralleled his descent into the underworld to retrieve his wife, as when Teal’c went into the death camp to retrieve his son and Bratac.
) I am so pleased you like the commentaries. I guess, in a way, you just ‘thanked’ me.
) I could tell you that I put plastic wrap on one of the cast members dressing room toilets, so that the pee ran off and into his pants… but I could not confirm or deny that.
) Ray Galletti played the ‘Navigator’ in the episode Memento. I had him put my name on his uniform, so his character name on IMDB went from “Navigator” to “Navigator Major Peter DeLouise”. I don’t know why it has an ‘o’ in it, and no one called him by that name in the episode. Maybe it looks better on Ray’s resume.
Judy Derby writes: “I noticed several fans have asked this question Peter, but how IS your Dad doing? I am such a big fan of his, and was very thrilled to see what a great job he did with his boys! I absolutely love Stargate–there’s not a show that comes close on television these days. Of course, we’re all waiting eagerly for Universe in October (hopefully!) and it would just be perfect if the news came that you will be asked to direct some of the episodes. Great work!”
PDL: My dad is hanging in there… he is still sharp as a tack and as funny as ever. In my humble opinion I think SGU is pretty damn good, and I’m very pleased to have directed an episode and been a part of it. I hope I get to direct more.
Chevron7 writes: “1. Your audio commentaries are legendary. Did you ever get told by the studio or Brad to tone them down at all?
. What’s the biggest thing you learnt about yourself and writing/directing while doing Stargate?
. Who’s your favourite superhero?
. Why did you leave?
. It would be remiss if I didn’t have a toilet question. What are the toilets like on Destiny?
. Everyone’s asking about your Dad. I actually was wondering what Michael was up to. He was hilarious on Gilmore Girls.”
PDL: 1) I’m glad you like the commentaries. I have been gently cautioned by ‘legal’ and any prolonged silent moments on the commentaries were precautionary edits.
) I learned I need balance in my life. To be truly good at what I do I need life experience. When I first started on Stargate I was single and I was content to do nothing but Stargate all day long. This meant that my total life experience while doing the show was nothing but Stargate. I am married now with a 5 year old son. That kind of life experience makes me a way better director and writer.
) I like the superheroes from ‘Mystery Men’.
) I left the show because I needed a break and wanted to pursue more acting roles.
) I’m not allowed to reveal info about the SGU story line, but the toilets on the Destiny are referenced in dialogue, so you’ll have to wait and see.
) Michael continues to work as an actor, but has pursued his talent for oil painting. He is very good!
Reno Nevada writes: “Hey Peter – I just wanted to thank you for “The Defiant One.” It’s one of those episodes I will always sit down to watch, whenever it’s on, and is one of the first I mention when discussing Atlantis. Thanks for a great adventure!”
PDL: Thanks. The story was inspired by the Film “Hell in the Pacific” with Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune. The title was inspired by “The Defiant Ones” with Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier, because the Wraith refuses to die and admires Sheppard’s defiance.
Ladyhgiggle writes: “whoo hooo! A chance to question Peter. Naturally the mind goes blank. hmmm… LOVE your humor (and I’m also one who had watched 21 JS). The Stargate’s tend to have a good bit of humor that is just plain fun. 1. When you are directing and/or producing how much of “you” or your humor ever gets injected into those episodes? (or is it just the effect of the actors/writers being around you that it rubs off and seems to show up?) 2. Can you give any details to your Robin Hood? Like when we’re likely to see it? More of what it’s about besides what shows up on IMDB? 3. Going back to the LOVE your humor…do you perchance Tweet? It would be amazingly fun to follow you on Twitter I would imagine. If you do, are you willing to let out how to find you.”
PDL: 1) I like to include humor when I can, even dramatic scenes can have some humor. I just try to trust my instincts and make TV I would want to watch.
) Sci-Fi channel knows better when it will come out. It hasn’t been delivered… many vis/fx shots. This Robin Hood includes a creature.
) I do not Tweet, but I Toot after eating my wife’s vegetable stew.
Narelle from Aus writes: “Mr DeLuise, growing up in a household of performers, is it ingrained in you to the point that you find yourself rehearsing your McDonald’s drive thru order while waiting or can you switch it off easily?
Did you ever dress up as Captain Chaos when you were younger?
Everytime a DeLuise smiles you can’t help but crack up. It’s so infectious! Thanks.”
PDL: We did/do a lot of improv and improv games with the family. Out of respect for my dad, when he is holding court my brothers and I switch it off… you can’t out-funny my dad. I never dressed up as Captain Chaos, but I got to watch those scenes being filmed on set! (The season 2 prop guys from Stargate dressed up as Captain Chaos to make me laugh… it worked.)
archersangel writes: “if you’re still collecting questions for Peter DeLuise i have one; how did you get invoved with stargate in the first place?”
PDL: Mario Azzopardi left a directing slot open when he went to go direct a Movie of the Week toward the end of the second season. N. John Smith brought me in as a substitute because we worked together on 21 Jump Street. Jonathan Glassner had worked on 21 Jump Street as well so he was familiar with what I could do.
Dovil writes: “The Defiant One was one of my favourite episodes and your commentaries were some of the funniest things out – I laughed so hard I died, which was tragic for everyone concerned.
No, wait, that’s not a question. Read it aloud in a quizzical voice and maybe add a question mark to it. Yeah, I’ve got nothing. What’s your credit card number?”
PDL: You’re funny. You should write for television.
Maruxs writes: “1) What’s the difference between directing SG1+SGA and SGU? 2) Can you describe how did you get your job (as director and writer) on Stargate? 3) Which one of your scripts is in your opinion the best?”
PDL: 1) Between SG1 and SGA the major difference was the actors. Enough behind the scenes people were working on both shows at the same time that to me the real difference was the actors. Every actor requires a different type of directing, so dealing with each individual actor was the major directing difference to me. On SGU the difference went beyond actors because the shooting style was radically changed from SG1 and SGA. The shooting style dictated a much more ‘realistic’ acting and blocking style be incorporated… which I loved!
) I described how N. John Smith brought me in as a substitute to Direct, but it was Brad Wright who mentored me after I pitched a story to him and encouraged me to write. We were in a van on the way to a set read through just prior to filming ‘Demons’, an episode which had an Unas controlled by a Goa’uld symbiote. I thought a story of a planet with unGoa’ulded Unas in their natural state and the Goa’uld homeworld describing the back story of the bad guys would make a cool episode. Brad told me to write it down and we would develop the idea. After an enormous amount of trial and error on my part and an even larger amount of patience on Brad’s part I finally wrote (and directed) ‘The First Ones’. The title comes from “Thor’s Hammer” when another Goa’ulded Unas is Identified as being from “The First Ones” meaning they were the first to be taken over by the Goa’uld.
) I really like Evolution Part 2 because of the Burke character and O’Neill back story.
Well this has been more fun than I thought it was gonna be. Joe thanks again…
…and most importantly thanks to all of you who have taken the time to write your questions and watch this show and support the Stargate ‘Organism’ that is changing and growing… because of YOU.
Yesterday, we sat down and watched the director’s cut of Air I and II. Even without the visual effects and the music, it was mighty damn impressive. MIGHTY damn impressive! A big congratulations to show creators/runners Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, the entire cast and crew, and go-to-guy Andy Mikita who directed his big ol’ heart out in treating us to one hell of a spectacular premiere. Later in the afternoon, we sat down to watch the director’s cut of Fire. Now I usually dread watching cuts after 4:00 p.m. as, late in the day, my mind tends to wander while my eyelids seem to put on about six pounds a piece, but this episode was absolutely riveting. GREAT – except for the fact that it’s about twenty minutes too long, and this isn’t even taking into consideration a bunch of scenes that Brad actually wrote but had to cut at the script stage for fear that the episode would run long – which it has anyway. And yet even though the running time is long, the episode is tight, moving along at a surprisingly brisk pace. So congrats to Director Peter DeLuise on his triumphant return to the Stargate franchise.
Now allow me to clarify a few things about the Stargate: Atlantis movie. Back in the 2008, we floated the possibility of shooting a two-hour Atlantis movie. The idea was to roll right into it right after episode 20 and then play it by ear. If the show got picked up for a sixth season, those two hours would form the first two episodes. In the event the show was not picked up, then we’d already have a movie in the can. Alas, Project Twilight (which is what I dubbed the two hour event at the time) didn’t come to pass. The series ended and focus shifted to Stargate: Universe. But not ALL of the focus because the intention has always been to make a movie. Actually, the focus has been to make two movies: an SG-1 movie, and an Atlantis movie. Now many of you are asking: “Hey, we hear that production on the Atlantis movie is being held up by the economy and yet, you have the money to make a new series and that SG-1 movie. What gives?” Well, first of all, it’s not a simple matter of us getting a whack of money and being able to pick and choose the projects we want to apply it to. Each production whether it be SGU, SG-1, or SGA, is contingent on their respective deals. And no two deals are alike. Furthermore, part of a project’s production budget is made up of licensing fees from various broadcasters, sales to various territories both domestic and international. Now these entities are a fickle bunch and won’t just buy anything. If they want product A, you can’t just replace it with product B. And that’s just one aspect of the many elements that go into any given deal. The bottom line is that the deal in place for Stargate: Universe has different components than the deal for the SG-1 movie which has different components than the deal for the SGA movie (yes, in spite of the fact that they are both Stargate movies, the deals are different).
So even though the SG-1 movie has been greenlit, I can assure you that plans are still in place to move forward on the Atlantis movie as well. Brad is working on the SG-1 script while Paul and I hope to have a first draft of the Atlantis script by month’s end (we’re already past the halfway mark). No firm production dates for either movies, but if I was a betting man, I’d be looking at this fall. All this to say – there’s no need to get all negative. When there is a need, I’ll let you all know but, at present, we’re making progress on all fronts: SGU, SG-1, AND SGA.
As for that new episode title I promised: Divided.
Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl? Discussion:
Sparrow_hawk writes: “. I wasn’t as impressed by Deena Pilgrim – she seemed to be there more as a foil for Walker. I thought that her reasons for working with Walker were well stated in the beginning, but then she became a mere sidekick.”
Answer: I quite liked Deena’s portrayal. Clearly, he has a bit of a chip on her shoulder which suggests significantly more going on beneath the surface. I also enjoyed her single-minded determination to confirm her suspicions about Walker. She surprises him with a kick, asks him point blank, and then resorts to snooping to learn the trust. She had her own little investigation going on and, in the end, closed the case to her satisfaction. She’s tough. And, in subsequent stories, we get to learn a lot more about her.
Sparrow_hawk also writes: “. I know that I’m not supposed to ask questions like this because it is fantasy and I’m supposed to suspend my disbelief, but I’ll ask anyway because things like this bug me: If the police used “drainers” to keep criminals with superpowers under control in prison, why didn’t the forensic pathologist just use one to conduct his examination?”
Answer: I’ll include this question in the batch I’ll be sending Brian’s way. However, I simply assumed that the “drainers” kept superpowers in check (ie. Enhanced strength, speed, flying ability, etc.). Other physical attributes (ie. A third eye, impervious skin, etc.) weren’t “superpowers” per se and, thus, not affected.
Dasndanger writes: “… wondering what the conversation between Walker and Calista was all about. I had a few suspicions, but eventually I had to ask some folks who have read the entire series what the ending meant, and they explained that all is revealed in later issues.”
Answer: I thought it was fairly self-explanatory that Calista, like Retro Girl, is the next in a long line of powerful women throughout history, the eternal champion Sparrow-hawk refers to in her post. I guess you could liken it to the Buffy Summers character who is the recent incarnation of a long line of female slayers, no?
Dasndanger also writes: “However, not so much love for Walker. Perhaps – if I read the entire series – he’d grow on me, especially once his demons are revealed. But, basically – and pardon my French – he was a bit of a prick. Then again, I guess that’s what he’s supposed to be, but I have a lot of trouble warming to that sort of character…a bit like how I’ve never been able to like Scott Summers/Cyclops.”
Answer: Walker struck me as more of a lovable goof. What was it about him that you considered prickish? The only moment that comes to mind is when he snaps at Deena after she’s invaded his privacy but, in that instant, he has every right to be upset. The fact that he takes care of Calista in his albeit awkward way suggests a lot about the man’s character. Finally, as for Scott Summers – we are in total agreement. I always find him bland as white bread. And the big screen version is even more boring!
Dasndanger also writes: “I found Calista’s dialogue too mature and unnatural in the beginning for a kid her age, and it threw me off at first.”
Answer: I found her precociousness hilarious. Her asking Walker “What’s a clitoris?” is one of the funniest moments in the book.
Michael A. Burstein writes: “For me, the juxtaposition of the artwork with the more adult themes just didn’t work for me. I kept expecting a more PG-rated kind of story, and the first use of adult language kind of threw me for a loop.”
Answer: I was unsure at first but, eventually, the contrast in styles between the gritty noir storytelling and the illustrations that I found quite atmospheric despite being a tad cartoonish.
Lisa S. writes: “ I did have a few problems with this book; I’ll try to go in order in which they appear:
1. Highly cliched small child already mentioned.”
Answer: She may have seemed cliché at first but surely the revelation at book’s end changed your mind in this regard? No?
“2. Pilgrim’s clothing. This was the major WTF? thing for me in this book. I didn’t see Johnny Depp anywhere so this can’t be 21 Jump Street so, why is she dressed as though she just went shopping with the high school senior class?”
Answer: Ha, okay, I’ll give you that. Of course keep in mind that at the time of its publication, that look may have been all the rage. Probably not department issue, but stylin’.
“3. Zora and her ‘there is no God I am my own God’ deal. I get tired of anti-religion digs.”
Answer: I didn’t see this as anti-religion and thought the philosophy behind it was quite clever. It’s not unlike a lot of contemporary motivational groups that focus on the individual ability’s to influence their environment through the power of positive thinking – to the nth degree.
“4. To skip to the end the interrogation scene really got my hackles up. The whole ‘He’s intimidated by boobies. Pilgrim, you have boobies, go stick your scary boobies in his face and he’ll tell us everything’.”
Answer: That’s an extreme interpretation. The victim is intimidated by women, so why not send a woman in to intimidate him?
“5. Oh, and Triphammer felt a little too much like a poor-man’s Tony Stark.”
Answer: I immediately seized on the parallels and assumed Bendis was doing a little iconic subversion here. Also, keep in mind that Triphammer’s dozen or so pages in Powers pale significantly in comparison to the innumerable issues Marvel has dedicated to detailing the Tony Stark character.
Lisa S. also writes: “They didn’t send Pilgrim in there with the suspect because she’s a good detective. They sent her in there strictly because she’s a woman.”
Answer: “Well, no. They sent her in because she is a female detective.”
Daniel Willis writes: “I live in Australia and I am currently studying Film and Television production. I am only in my first year of a two year course, but I would like to see if it would be possible to do work experience/volunteer work for SGU next year?”
Answer: Sorry, Daniel. The production isn’t looking to bring in new people at present.
Luis writes: “Joe!!! I dont see the Flash you dont like Barry Allen????”
Answer: Already picked it up. Check my April 4th entry.
James writes: “I’m curious Joe if you read green lantern?”
Answer: I will be.
Shiningwit writes: “Brie is VERY photogenic, to whom does she belong? any video of her mingling with your crowd?”
Answer: Yep. I’ll be posting some this weekend.
Tuskin writes: “I have a question, what year does SGU take place? How close is it to the finale of SGA?”
Answer: It picks up where the Atlantis finale left off. Ish.
Becketts Patient writes: “The wraith came into being because the iratus bug turned slowly into a more human form after feeding again and again on humans over thounsands of years. So I wondered now if that was an ongoing process. Whether the wraith are still becoming more and more humanlike by feeding on humans.”
Answer: Like humans, they have attained a point a plateau in their evolution – though that’s not to say that, like humans, they won’t undergo future developments.
Silversi writes: “But question…we watched ‘Irresponsible’ with Lucius last night, and his ancient shield device seemed very strange compared to McKay’s back in the first season. How were the Genii able to dunk his head under water, whereas when McKay had the shield it wouldn’t allow him to even drink?”
Answer: A) Different shield, and B) Air would have to pass through the shield to allow the wearer to breathe so, in Lucius’s case, he was “breathing” water.
Michael A. Burstein writes: “Spider-Man revealed his secret identity during the Civil War series, but that was retconned too.”
Answer: I believe that was one of the last few comics I checked out during my last comic-reading phase. So, what happened with the whole Iron Man killing Giant Man thing? Did that get retconned too? Also wasn’t Aunt May killed off and brought back to life once before?
Deni B. writes: “Does Joel bring the orchestra to Canada or is this done in the U.S.?”
Answer: Brad and Rob usually head down to Seattle for the recording.
Deni B. also writes: “ Elway’s doing ok this morning, although I think it’ll still be a long day because it usually takes 24 -36 hours for the episodes to be over.”
Answer: Give him a recuperative kiss on the nose from all of us.
Dasndanger writeS: “ It’s one reason I’ve considered switching to TPBs for certain books since their stories read better all in one shot, than when they’re dragged out over 4-6 months.”
Answer: Trade paperbacks also collect the crossovers to other titles as well. Crossovers, by the way, are what pretty much killed my interest in reading comic books.
Anne-Marie Sloan writes: “While out and about this weekend, we ate at Horzions up on Burnaby Mountain and ABC Country Restaurant across from Bridge (love the SGU signs we saw). Have you eaten at either place and what did you think???”
Answer: I’ve eaten at both. As for what I thought…not much.
Dreams-of-Skies writes: “Speaking of writing, I notice that you’re playing around with various writing ideas at the moment. Is there anything in particular right now that has you really excited?”
Answer: Well, I’m very excited about this short story I’m working on.
I walked into work today, fully expecting some sort of payback for my April Fools coup (see last issue, editor). To my surprise, things were quiet. Too quiet. I just knew my co-workers are scheming. Apparently, after I left the office last night, the wheels had begun to turn.
“How can I get Joe back?”Brad asked aloud.
“Fire him!”Carl helpfully suggested.
Thankfully, Brad decided to file that one away as Plan B. As for Plan A…
“Boy,”I said today at lunch, “I can’t imagine how you’re going to exact your revenge on April Fools Day next year.”
Ashleigh threw me a pointed look and assured me: “Oh, you won’t have to wait that long.”
“Are you sure?” I felt the need to point out the bad sportsmanship in pulling an April Fool’s prank, revenge-motivated or otherwise, on a day other than April 1st. Ashleigh made it perfectly clear that she had no problem whatsoever being labeled a poor sport.
Hmmm. It’s possible that she’ll eventually forget.
Nope. I don’t think so either.
Today, we screened Ivon Bartok’s directorial debut. The first batch of kino scenes were a lot fun, featuring Eli and Chloe, Spencer and Brody, Scott, Young, and a peeved James (played by the lovely Julia Anderson. What a sweetheart!).
As for the actual episodes: Ernest Dickerson continues to do a bang-up job directing Earth, Peter DeLuise is in the editing room working on Fire, and Andy Mikita is putting the finishing touches on Air I, II, and III, promising us a cut by late tomorrow.
Oh, speaking of Peter DeLuise – if you have questions for the walking Stargate omnipedia, start posting. He’s agreed to come by and do a Q&A. Once he’s completed his director’s cut of course.
Today’s pics: Last night’s dinner at Modern Burger. They had to kick us out.
By now, the SGU promo has aired (on the east coast at least) and I’m sure fans everywhere are carefully dissecting it. I was on set earlier this week when Rob was viewing an early version of the trailer on his laptop. Amidst the quick cuts was an extremely brief cutaway to the gate without a finished puddle effect. It was such a brief flash, a fraction of a second blink and you’ll miss it shot, that someone asked whether the visual effects department really needed to finish the shot. Rob grinned knowingly and said: “Are you kidding? The second after it airs, the fans will have it up on the net, frame by frame.”
Yesterday, I was over on Stage 2, watching Peter DeLuise direct the shuttle sequences in Fire. Boy, that shuttle is a beauty. Someone referred to it as “a puddle jumper on steroids”. Anyway, enjoy some shots of Peter in action.
Did some work on the short story today and, I must admit, I’m none too happy with the last two scenes. I don’t know. Maybe I’m too close to it. Maybe I’m being too critical. Or, maybe, the scenes are shit and, after a strong start, this story is doing a fast fade. I have got to get a first draft done before the end of this month because next month is…
Hey, for those of you looking ahead to the May book of the month club selections and Michael Burstein’s I Remember the Future in particular, check out Michael’s site for more information about the author and the book: http://www.mabfan.com/
JJ writes: “After Syfy airs sneak peek of SGU, can you post some set pics?”
Answer: Nope, sorry. It’s the studio keeping the set under wraps fore the foreseeable future.
Suziesbluefeather writes: “Do no up dates on the pups how are Lulu and Jelly doing?”
Answer: All four dogs are doing great – although the pugs are looking a tad chunkified after all that home cooking.
Thornyrose writes: “We will mourn the passing of your manliness, and honor your memory. And don’t you fear some sort of backlash from your co-writers and producers for venturing down the veggie path, even temporarily?”
Answer: They were more interested in their barbecue chicken.
Patricia Lee writes: “Have you decided on a date and participants for the WFPoTD – Alcoholic’s anonymous!”
Answer: Looks like it’s going to be me, Ivon, Lawren, and Carl sampling the exotic offerings of my liquor cabinet. Root beer schnapps, here we come!
Shirt ‘n Tie writes: “How are the new cast settling into Vancouver life? Have they taken you up on your restaurant recommendations?”
Answer: From what I hear, they’ve settled in quite nicely. And those who’ve taken me up on my restaurant suggestions have enjoyed themselves.
Shirt ’n Tie writes: “ Oh, and by the by, when is the Joel Goldsmith Q and A??”
Answer: Soon, soon. Joel has been busy working on the SGU theme.
Jessica writes: “I haven’t been around for a while, kinda been lazy, but also I’ve started uni so yeah. Anyway thought I’d pop by and see how you’re going, by the way, did you know that the sequel to ‘The Name of the Wind’, ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’ is supposed to be available this April?”
Answer: Hmmm. I loved The Name of the Wind. Perhaps a potential June BOTMC selection?
Robotpo writes: “Would you able to tell us if we’ll be seeing alien races, one of the major draws of sci-fi, (not SyFy though), on the show? Or is every week going to be something going wrong on the Destiny, and the crew struggling to fix it before they run out of air/water/whatever? This isn’t going to be a remake of Battlestar Galactica through the prism of Stargate, is it?”
Answer: Given the premise of the series, it will be darker and more serialized than SG-1 or Atlantis. That said, there will still be plenty of opportunities for humor and the series will be firmly rooted in established Stargate mythology. Yes, the series will focus on survival, but it will also focus on exploration and adventure – and, by extension, the occasional alien encounter as well.
Deni B. writes: “Meanwhile, Flannery the Greyhound is sick and I have spent all morning at the vet.”
Answer: Hoping Flannery is on the mend!
Major D. Davis writes: “1. What is the budget for Air (all three parts)?
2. What will the budget for a normal one part Universe part be?
3. Will the Atlantis movie budget be 7 million dollars?
4. Will you help Paul write Project Twilight?”
Answers: 1. A significant amount.
2. A significant amount.
3. Theoretically, it could be anything.
Juralas writes: “I can’t think of a better time to air the SGU promo than during the BSG series finale tonight. Have you ever seen the show and if so, what do you think of it?”
Answer: Haven’t seen it but have heard good things. When the box set comes out, I’ll no doubt pick it up and watch it with the wife.
Tim Gaffney writes: “The Syracuse Orange will win the NCAA Tournament!”
Answer: Syracuse? Really? I thought SYR stood for Syria.
Sherry writes: “Just saw the trailer…not impressed.”
Answer: Well, I guess that’s it, everybody! Strike the sets! We’re wrapping up production and going home.
Just received confirmation that this Friday night, during the series finale of BSG, viewers will be treated to the sneakiest of sneak previews of Stargate: Universe. It’s a great-looking promo so, if you happen to be in the neighborhood, check it out.
You know, one of the great things about this job is the opportunity it presents to meet or connect with some very interesting people you may not normally have crossed paths with had you, say, opted for a career in law or gone and opened up that Detective Agency. I’m not necessarily talking about actors or producers or even writers, but the men and women who supply one half of the science fiction equation. Individuals like Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and astronomers David James Tholen and Roy Tucker, the co-discovers of 99942 Apophis. Now 99942 Apophis may sound familiar for a couple of reasons. One: It’s the near-Earth asteroid that had everyone abuzz when it was revealed that there was a 2.7% probability it would strike the Earth in 2029. Further observation quashed the likelihood but did suggest the asteroid would pass through a gravitational keyhole, thereby raising the specter of possible impact in 2036. Even further observation revealed the asteroid would probably miss the keyhole, drastically reducing the chances of an impact to a remote but nevertheless unnerving 1 in 12.3 million (last time anyone checked). And two: The asteroid happens to share a name with a certain SG-1 villain.
As it turns out, this wasn’t mere coincidence (The part about the asteroid headed towards us IS a coincidence. At least, all indications are it’s a coincidence. No, I’m referring to the naming of the asteroid.). Apparently, Dave and Roy are big Stargate fans. According to Bill Cooke’s article, “Asteroid Apophis set for a makeover” that appeared in the August 18, 2005 issue of Astronomy:
“However, mythology may not have been the only consideration in naming Apophis. Codiscoverers Dave Tholen and Roy Tucker are fans of the TV series Stargate SG-1. The show’s most persistent villain is Apophis, an alien also named for the Egyptian god. “We considered a number of names, but ‘Apophis’ kept floating to the top,” says Tucker. “Apophis was a very fitting name for 2004 MN4 not only because of its threatening nature, but also because of its evolution from an Aten asteroid to an Apollo asteroid during the 2029 encounter.”
How cool is that? Wait, I’ll answer for you: Very! Not only the fact that astronomers watch our show and enjoy it (rather than, presumably, screening it so that they can point and laugh at the ridiculous science which, in all fairness, they may well do anyway), but that they’d demonstrate their affection for SG-1 by naming a potentially catastrophic asteroid after one of its recurring villains. Of course the fact that it will miss us negates the possibility but I couldn’t help but think of the terrific amount of publicity the franchise would have received if, say, Apophis took out Australia. “Hey, did you hear? Australia was obliterated by an asteroid named after Apophis from the t.v. series Stargate: SG-1.” “SG-1? Really? I should go pick up the box set!”
Anyway, I remember reading about the asteroid many years ago and, when it came up in conversation the other day, I thought “What the hell.” and dropped Dave and Roy an email, thanking them for the tribute and petitioning them to name their next big discovery after me (preferably NOT a gas giant). We ended up trading emails in which they declared themselves free for guest cameos, offered to go 12 rounds onscreen with Neil deGrasse Tyson over Pluto’s planetary status, and promised to do their darndest to ensure that, if any future compositional analysis of the asteroid turned up a new mineral, they would name it “naquadah“. I suggested they should swing by the blog for a friendly Q&A. And they kindly agreed.
So, start gathering up your killer asteroid, astronomy, and plutoid-related questions. What kind of instruments are used to detect extrasolar planets? Why aren’t accretion disks around giant stars as hot as accretion disks around black holes? Who do you think would win in a fist fight, Teal’c or Ronon? Let’s ensure that, in addition to being a generally annoying time-waster, this blog can occasionally be interesting and informative.
Speaking of Q&A’s – I have more than enough questions for Kate in the Art Department to keep her busy for a while. In fact, I think she may have to quit her job at Stargate in order to fully dedicate herself to answering them all.
A good day today. I spent the entire morning sitting in Director Peter DeLuise’s office talking about past experiences on the Stargate franchise and looking ahead to Universe – and the episode he’ll be directing, Fire, in particular. To those of you asking – Yes, Peter has kindly agreed to do a fan Q&A as well BUT I will not be gathering questions for him until he has completed work on his episode. So file them away for now and I’ll let you know when.
After lunch, I read a script and made some significant progress on the short story. I may well make that June 2009 deadline after all!
Oh, and speaking of interesting aspects of my job – Paul called us into his office today and pointed out the window. Down below, a gathering was being treated to what looked like a falconry show-and-tell. No idea what the hell was going on, but it certainly looked like fun. So much so that I’m considering dropping my aspirations to become a reiki master so that I can pursue falconry whenever Stargate ends. What other job woudl allow me to enjoy the great outdoors, learn a unique new skill set, AND possess the means to claw out my enemy’s eyes. What fun!
And, finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t make mention of our new office assistant, Ashleigh, who has, in three short days, demonstrated impressive skill in her ability to address inter-office issues in a prompt and courteous manner, head off potential crisis situations, taste our lunches to make sure no one is trying to poison us, and track down and capture a ferret running loose in Stage 2 without a proper visitor’s badge. Despite the fact that she’s vegetarian, I like her a lot – although her attempts to make us more environmentally conscious may prove her undoing. I already miss those helicopter rides to the Destiny set.
Today’s entry is dedicated to Jedi43. Happy Birthday! or Get Well Soon! I can’t remember which.