Well, this is impressive. The @StargateNow twitter home of the “#DriveToRevive the Stargate we know and love” has amassed over 1100 followers in less than 24 hours. If you’re interested in seeing a new in-canon Stargate series created by Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, one that is highly accessible to new viewers yet rewards longtime fans, then just head on over to twitter and follow as well. Also, tell your friends. And family. Also your co-workers, acquaintances, and approachable strangers who seem like they might enjoy fun character-driven action-adventure sci-fi with a sense of humor and a focus on exploration, discovery, and, occasionally, blowing up suns.
Thank you to everyone who left links to the various Stargate-related sites they frequent. The Stargate Initiative will be reaching out in the coming days to consolidate the forces of fandom.
All these years of yearning for more, the letter campaigns, the petitions – they all come down to this. Finally, for this short window, we have the studio’s full attention. SG-1 has saved the world on countless occasions. Now it’s time to return the favor by ensuring they, the Atlantis expedition, and the crew of the Destiny are not wiped from existence. Let’s not allow a full reboot to succeed where Baal’s time machine failed [Incidentally, was anyone keeping track of those clones because I personally lost count and now have the sneaking suspicion Baal could be behind this.]. It’s like Stargate: Continuum all over again except that, this time, YOU’RE the heroes!
We’re only going to have one shot at this so let’s make it count!
Building Baal’s time machine (photos courtesy of confracto)
So the other day, I came across an old hard drive containing a slew of Stargate-related visuals: concept art, designs, previs. It’s actually about 0.5% of the library of BTS pics and vids sitting in my storage unit, much of it somewhat inaccessible due to the fact that the technology is incredibly old and lacking the proper connectors. Over the next month or so, I’m going to see what I have and call on your technical assistance in an effort to source the proper, delightfully antiquated, tech that will yield that veritable goldmine of goodies.
Anyway, I posted some of the amazing Atlantis (actually Stargate: SG-1 “Lost City) concept art the other day.
Art by Stargate Production Designer James Robbins.
City of the Ancients.
On the rise.
The Ancient chair. To be honest – not exactly built for comfort.
Today, the season 3 writers’ room followed up yesterday’s blisteringly creative outburst – in which we broke not one, not two, but two and a half episodes! – by spinning our wheels in frustration, watching an adorable cat video, and having soft serve for lunch. Ah, well. There’s always tomorrow.
And the day after when Dark Matter season 2 premieres! Here are a couple of cast interviews to get you psyched up:
Awww, how adorable. FIVE’s firing some sort of energy-based weapon. At who? And why? And why is she wearing that red lab coat? Consider today’s Dark Matter season 2 sneak peek screen shot.
Still a very beatable tie atop the leader board for the chance to win a cast-signed annotated copy of the first episode of our season premiere: “Episode 14: Welcome To Your New Home”! Time is running out to enter!
I’ll be live-tweeting our season premiere Friday night – with a little help from some friends. Follow my dedicated Dark Matter account for all the live-tweeting action – @DarkMatter_show – this Friday at 7 p.m. PDT, 10 p.m. EST/PDT.
Then join me July 4th @BaronDestructo for a live after-show Periscope directly following the U.K. premiere (20:00 on Syfy UK! Then 21:00 on Periscope!).
Off to do another interview. But, before I go…
A little something from the Stargate archives – for all of you wraith enthusiasts out there. Designs (as almost always) by James Robbins.
Well, well, well. Look who it is. Director Martin Wood (Stargates SG-1 and Atlantis) hits the streets of Toronto – in his trademark shorts. Yes, if there are two thing I remember about Martin Wood from our days on Stargate, it’s: 1) His penchant for wearing shorts year round, and 2) His onscreen cameo character, Major Wood, always lugged around a giant wrench.
Alas, no giant wrench on Dark Matter (but who knows? We’ve yet to shoot his episode, #111) but the shorts are still in full effect!
We had our final (?) notes session with Executive Producer Jay Firestone the other day. Soon after, we made the necessary changes and released our season finale, episode #113. As I may have mentioned, I want to approach each season as a instalment in a book series. And so, #113 offers answers to many of the questions we set up over the course of our initial 13 episode journey and includes one HUGE reveal. But I made a point of scripting it in a way that keeps the mystery reveal a secret…until our very last day of production. A LOT of theories swirling around set right now…
B 1st Assistant Camera Marcel Janisse enjoys lunch in the infirmary’s isolation chamber.
I’m thinking it’s high time for another mailbag. If you’ve got questions about the show, post away. I’ll answer later in the week.
I’m also thinking of doing one of those reddit AMA’s. How do they work?
Finally, here’s another look at the Dark Matter teaser trailer:
Over 47k+ views and counting! Share! Share! Share!
“David Hewlett is returning to Syfy! This summer Hewlett will reunite with Stargate Atlantis writers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie on their new show Dark Matter.
Hewlett will have a recurring part as Talbor Calchek. In a slight change for Hewlett, Calchek is a sleazy agent for unsavory mercenaries who will appear in a four-episode arc.”
Who is Tabor Calchek? Well…
“Slick, silver-tongued, and more than a little seedy. Tabor Calchek is the team’s handler and the ultimate agent. For the standard 10% commission, he uses his underworld connections as a broker to secure his clients their lucrative assignments. Tabor is sly, manipulative and opportunistic, and can always be counted on to look out for his client’s best interests…right after his own.”
Imagine a cross between Stargate: Atlantis’s Rodney McKay, Entourage’s Ari Gold, and Nic Cage’s Detective Rick Santoro from Snake Eyes, and you’d have a pretty fair approximation of the Tabor character. His morals are as suspect as his fashion sense, but he is a hoot! When it came time to cast the role, we reached out to David and made him an offer. No audition necessary because I knew he would nail it. And he did, delivering a performance that had us all struggling to stifle our laughter during his takes. Behind the scene pics to come. But here’s something to tide you over…
Little known fact: When he’s not acting, David Hewlett works station security on Shaofu 2!
Our second BIG guest star announcement:
“Also guest-starring in the show’s first season will be Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black) as Wendy, described as a “dangerously beautiful android with a full range of pleasure features.”
Well, sure. That’s one way to describe her, but I prefer…
“Wendy is an entertainment model android designed and built for FUN. The crew discovers her, disassembled in a remote section of the ship and decide to bring her online. Using every bit of her entertainment programming to her advantage, she immediately charms everyone on board – with the exception the ship’s practical work model android who finds Wendy illogical and plain bad company. Resentment brews as the two droids vie for the crew’s attention and affection.”
Ruby landed on our show thanks to the inspired, out-of-the-box casting mind of Dark Matter Executive Producer Jay Firestone – and she was an utter delight to work with. Smart, sweet, and exceptionally dedicated to her craft, she delivers a one-of-a-kind performance as the multi-faceted Wendy, at turns sunny, sharp, and totally kick-ass. Oh, and 1000 bonus points to her for being such a compassionate dog rescuer.
Ruby celebrated her birthday Dark Matter style, with Executive Producer Jay Firestone and the gang playing laser tag.
AND…that’s another wrap! Episode #108 is in the books and director T.W. Peacocke heads to editing.
Monday, we roll right back into episode #109 with four days of director Ron Murphy’s episode still to shoot.
And then, Dark Matter stunt coordinator John Stead assumes the directing reins on episode #110.
While that goes to camera, it’s another Stargate reunion of sorts as director Martin Wood comes into town to prep episode #111.
And we finish Dark Matter’s first season in fine style, with another Stargate alum as director Andy Mikita drops by to shoot episodes #112 and #113.
I can’t believe we have less than two months to go. I’ve got to start making plans for my return trip home to Vancouver!
We’re heavy into prep on episodes #101-102 and, with the commencement of principal photography about a month away, sets are coming together nicely. Our ship, The Raza, has come a long way in the past couple of weeks. The corridors have been textured with faux-grate flooring, pipes, vents, and grills, its walls painted in metallic hues, sliding doors installed; the quarters are coming to life, the sub-level cargo hold and walkways finished, and the bridge…the window are in, front AND top, and the consoles went in today.
Meanwhile, work is being completed on the shuttle (the Phantom Class Marauder) interior design. We’ve gone back and forth on its various elements – width, depth, seating layout, windows, and location of the door – and are in the process of finalizing the look. I wanted something similar to the puddle jumper in terms of layout with a little more of the depth of the SGU shuttle. Ultimately, I think we’ll also incorporate an element of the SG-1 cargo ships with its sectioned cockpit and separate hold.
Anyway, I contacted Stargate Production Designer James Robbins, who has been doing some fabulous design work for us on Dark Matter (Can’t wait to show you his work on The Marauder, the space station, and the various cruiser, destroyer, and shuttle class versions of the Ferrous Corp, Mikkei Combine, and Galactic Authority ships!), and asked him about the dimensions of those smaller Stargate ship designs. He sent me the following which I thought were too cool not to share with you –
As James points out, the dimensions are from our VFX department and may not reflect what was actually built. 80 feet long for the SGU shuttle seems a bit much, but the 40 foot length of the Atlantis puddle jumper sounds about right.
Takes you back, no?
Many thanks to James for digging these up from the archive!
Prep continues with non-stop meetings. Today, it was the concept meeting followed by visual effects, playback, and impromptu hair meeting, stunts, and special effects. Tomorrow, it’s an Art Department review, props, paints, another hair meeting, and not one but TWO gun meetings!
Stargate: Atlantis premiered ten years ago today. I’m celebrating with a look back at my Top 10 favorite SGA memories.
In no particular order…
#10. RODNEY MAKES THE CUT. BUT JUST BARELY!
Production on the new Stargate spinoff was fast-approaching, but we were scrambling to cast one crucial role: the part of the intrepid, dedicated team doctor. Multiple auditions yielded no suitable candidates and the producers were at a loss until… Robert Cooper suggested a different tact. Instead of casting a new character, why not bring in an established one – namely, Dr. Rodney McKay who had already put in a couple of appearances on Stargate: SG-1? To say that this last minute switch “worked out quite nicely” would be an enormous understatement. Could you imagine Atlantis without him?
#9. ENTER GOLDEN BOY MARTIN GERO
Faced with the prospect of 40 episodes of television a season, we sought out new talent for the writers’ room. Enter young Martin Gero who proved himself with his first script, Childhood’s End – and then went on to become the most prolific writer on the show.
#8. ENTER CARL BINDER
Later in SGA’s first season, we added one more writer to the room, a veteran of Punky Brewster with a penchant for schnitzel and off-colour humor. He proved himself with his first script, Before I Sleep – and then went on to become the most prolific writer of ghost-themed episodes on the show.
#7. ENTER RONON
The show saw several cast changes over the course of its five year run, but perhaps none quite as significant as the introduction of the rough and ready Satedan, Ronon. A great onscreen presence, Jason Momoa was also a hell of a lot of fun to work with.
#6. INTRODUCING…TODD THE WRAITH
There’s nothing I enjoy more than an interesting, multi-layered villain and, while the show had them in bunches, none (in my humble opinion) matched the depth and color of Todd the Wraith, a soul-sucking alien with a devilish sense of humor.
#5. GOODBYE, CARSON
This one rivals the closing moments of SG-1’s Meridian as one of the most touching scenes of the franchise. Rodney says goodbye to his friend who fades away to close the episode and Carson’s story…for a little while anyway.
#4. WOOLSEY IN CHARGE
I loved Richard Woolsey’s evolution from pencil-pushing bureaucrat to principled suit, so when Amanda Tapping’s departure opened up the position of Expedition Commander, the first name that came to mind was: Bob Picardo. I called him up, made him the offer and we closed the deal that afternoon. One of my favorite characters to write for.
#3. BEHIND THE SCENES FUN
It’s hard to pick one moment among the countless great ones I enjoyed as a member of the Atlantis writing team. Amid all the story sessions, script notes, cut screenings and mixes, there was much hilarity. More often than not, it involved Carl being “tricked” into eating something awful (https://josephmallozzi.com/2007/06/08/june-7-2007/).
#2. MY FIRST SAN DIEGO COMIC CON
Meeting 5000 Stargate fans – simultaneously.
#1. ALL GOOD THINGS….
Although it wasn’t planned as a series finale, the show’s last episode served nicely as a nice send-off, wrapping up existing storylines yet leaving the door open for further adventures. The final group shot on the balcony overlooking San Francisco Bay was an emotional one for all. We’d had five great years – but, dammit, we could have had so many more!
If you live in the Vancouver area, check out the video and maybe help identify this sorry excuse for a human being.
Capsule reviews of all the books I read last month…
Blood Kinby Steve Rasnic Tem
A southern gothic tale that alternates between the 1930’s and the present day. It tells the parallel stories of a women and her grandson and their respective battles against supernatural forces in the southern Appalachians, all related to a mysterious crate buried deep in the kudzu-infested grounds of their family property. Moody and effectively atmospheric but, at times, slow-moving and disjointed. It starts strong, lags in the middle, and then culminates in an explosion of frenzied horror.
In the Miso Soupby Ryu Murakami
A young man who specializes in guiding foreigners on red light tours of Tokyo begins to suspect that there may be more to his latest client than meets the eye. Is this strange American merely eccentric, or could he be the serial killer responsible for some recent gruesome murders? As the mystery builds and our protagonist is drawn inexorably deeper, things begin to take a turn for the bizarre. Incredibly engaging and unnerving – until the sudden and inexplicable supernatural twist late in the hitherto grounded book. That’s when the wheels come off.
The Barrowby Mark Smythe
A rousing fantasy actioner in the spirit of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series. Violence, humor, and colourful characters abound in this tale of a group of unlikely heroes on a quest for a fabled sword. It’s a gritty, lively adventure and a hell of a fun read, but my enjoyment was seriously hampered by some explicit sex scenes that, quite frankly, read like submissions to Letters to Penthouse.
Vampires in the Lemon Groveby Karen Russell
As is often the case with collections, this one is a mixed bag – but there’s no denying the inventiveness of the strange stories contained herein. Like the tale of the reformed vampires who have retired to the Italian countryside where the juice of fresh lemons slakes their thirst for blood. Or the one about about the exploited mutant female workers of a Japanese silk factory. Or the one about the young boys who discover a scarecrow that eerily resembles someone they used to bully… Recommended for those who appreciate inspired, slice-of-life narratives (and, FYI, “slice-of-life” is writer code for “doesn’t have an ending”).
The Walking Dead (volume 20)by Robert Kirkman
“All Out War”, Part 1. Well, “Preamble to All Out War” would probably be more accurate. Rick and co. and their newfound allies take the fight to Negan’s doorstep. And things get ugly – with the promise of still uglier things to come. Darker, deeper, and, frankly, better than the television series.
Harbourby John Ajvide Lindqvist
Two years after the mysterious disappearance of his six year old daughter, a man returns to his family home on a remote island – and discovers the community hides a dark secret. Chilling, at times unnerving, the novel is somewhat reminiscent of Stephen King’s grounded small-town horror. Unique in certain respects but, overall, not quite enough to set it apart in a very crowded field. Still, an above-average horror read.
The Glass Castleby Jeanette Walls
The book opens with our narrator, Jeannette, on her way to a New York City function, when her cab stops beside a homeless women rooting through the trash. Upon closer scrutiny, Jeannette realizes that homeless woman is, in fact, her mother. And so begins one of the most amazing books I’ve read in recent memory. The blurb on the back of the jacket does it an enormous disservice, painting it as a bleak autobiographical account of woman growing up in an abusive family. It’s actually quite touching, uplifting – and incredibly funny, reminiscent of David Sedaris at his very darkest. One of my Top 10 books of all time. Go read it!
Peter Panzerfaust (volume 1)by Kurtis J. Wiebe
It’s Peter Pan in WWII as Peter leads a group of young orphans from Calais to Paris. Complicating matters for them = nazis! No magic but certain aspects of the story stretch credulity.
The Circleby David Eggers
Our young heroine lands a job working for The Circle, a cutting edge internet company that is Google, Facebook, and Yahoo rolled into one. Before she knows it, she is at the forefront of a wave of technological advancements that will revolutionize social interaction. But at what price? A smart, scary book that explores the potentially insidious consequences of our increasingly “connected” lives. It takes a while to get going and the big “surprise reveal” at book’s end isn’t all that surprising at all, but it nevertheless delivers a powerful message on our increasing willingness to relinquish privacy and freedom in exchange for convenience.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselvesby Karen Joy Fowler
Inspired by an experiment in the 1930’s in which a husband and wife research team raised a baby chimp in their home as a member of their family, this novel offers a fictional account of a similar experiment run some sixty years later – and its heartbreaking effects on those involved. Our narrator is Rosemary, a woman who reflects back on her childhood, growing up with a human brother and chimpanzee sister – until the dark day her sister, Fern, was taken away. The loss of their beloved family members has far-reaching consequences for all of them. Some fifteen years later, Rosemary reflects back on her time with Fern and tries to learn the truth about her sister’s fate. It’s rare I read a truly great book, even rarer for me to read two back to back, but that’s exactly what happened. Right after reading Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle, I picked up this book – and was equally bowled over. Humorous and poignant. A wonderful book.
Ack-Ack Macaqueby Gareth Powell
A monkey of another kind is the titular hero of this alt history romp that features a royal conspiracy, nuclear-powered airships, VR ninja nazis, and poachable portable souls. It’s silly fast-paced fun, but the sloppy villains and a maudlin love story really throw a wrench into the works.
I approached the re-watch of this episode with some trepidation, not because I was worried that Akemi wouldn’t like it but because I feared that I wouldn’t. After all, I’d been reviewing my episodes in particular with very critical eyes and, to be honest, I’m a lot less happy with the results now than I was years ago. Back in the day, this one had been a personal favorites, so I was curious as to how it would survive the test of time. As it turned out – quite well. Of all of the episodes I wrote for the last two Stargate incarnations (SGA and SGU), this one ranks as one of my faves. It still holds up. And it was especially satisfying watching this with Akemi who, despite English being her second language, greatly enjoyed it. In fact, she declared it: “My favorite of your episodes. ” High praise indeed. She loved the humor, the quick pacing, and was delighted by the unexpected twists – especially the final one in which it is revealed that McKay had been fooled all along as well…
Ever-appreciative of the trademark Stargate humor – and a certain Robert Picardo: “I find many funny scenes. Especially with Bob.”
On the admittedly talky reveal: “That scene was difficult but cool. I like it.”
On when her suspicions were first raised that maybe something was up – and Kolya’s punching prowess: “I was wondering. Bad guy punching him thirty times and he’s still alive. Just scratches. Not losing teeth. Guy is not good at punching people.”
On another red flag: “I thought too expensive for Sheppard without hand for rest of series. Not like old man on Walking Dead. Major character. DingDingding! Price go so high.”
Another Carl Binder-san spectacular. I loved this episode even more on repeat viewing. It’s got action, humor, and high-stakes developments with all of our characters in play (even Zelenka, Lorne, and Amelia Banks). Fast-paced fun!
And Akemi agreed. She laughed out loud a couple of times, jumped at others, and seemed just as anxious as Teyla when she was in hiding with her baby. The night time establishers of the city all lit up never fail to amaze, and the “really cool fighting scenes” in this one wowed her as well, especially the final showdown at the top of the tower (Again, thanks to Mark Savela and our VFX crew and James Bamford and our stunts crew). Her only quibble with this episode: “I’m so sad I didn’t see any scenes with Jewel. Where’s Jewel?” I dunno. Night off?
She was at her most animated when Sheppard almost tumbles off the tower and is left dangling: “Now Mike Dopud can take over team!”
When Teyla approaches Michael hanging on by his fingertips: “Kick him off.”
And when she does just that: “What?! He isn’t really dead, is he?” And when I informed her that, yes, he was: “Wow. Michael die. Are you sure? Who will they fight?” No one! The last six episodes of the final season will feature scenes of them sitting around, talking about their feelings.
And a closing observation as the end credits started to roll: “Sheppard never die, ne? Don’t you think so? Why not?”
A reminder to all that our book club reconvenes this Monday (April 7th) for a discussion on our April BOTMC pick: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.
You can always check this blog’s right sidebar for info on our upcoming Book of the Month club reads (including our May selection: The Rich and the Dead by Liv Spector).
Last night marked the resumption of our Stargate: Atlantis rewatch or, in my girlfriend Akemi’s case, First Watch. Her thoughts on the season premiere: Search and Rescue…
First and foremost, she was mightily impressed by the visual effects that, in her estimation, have come a long way since the show’s first season. Plenty of oohs and aahs during the space battle, and also plenty of praise for the design and construction of the hive ship interior.
Speaking of the wraith, she missed them in this episode: “I’m kind of missing old-fashioned wraith, both good hair and bad hair wraith.” I assured her that we’d be seeing them – and their memorable locks – real soon.
One of the reasons she so looked forward to the show’s fifth season was to check out Robert Picardo in action who she has gotten to know over the course of his occasional Vancouver visits. When he appeared in the opening credits: “Nice to see Bob.”. Then, halfway through the Woolsey-less episode: “Where’s Bob?”. And then, after his late appearance in the episode’s closing scene: Yay Bob!”.
Even though she only got to know Carter over the course of this one episode, Akemi quite liked her and was sorry to see her go.
When the episode opened and we saw Sheppard and Ronon trapped in the rubble, she predicted Sheppard would die and that Ronon (“He’s is so handsome!”) would take over as team leader. When that didn’t happen, she was genuinely disappointed. Nevertheless, it looks like Sheppard may be growing on her. Sort of: “I don’t hate Sheppard as much as I used to. But hard to say after only one episode.”
She called bullshit on Sheppard’s ability to walk around so soon after his injury and then, when Sheppard disobeys Carter’s order in order to take part in the rescue op: “Don’t be so arrogant. Follow boss’s orders!”.
As usual, McKay was a highlight, especially the birth scene with Teyla that actually had her laughing out loud at times. “He is typical nervous father,”she said.
All in all, an episode with plenty of highlights and surprisingly no lowlights so far as Akemi was concerned: “I’m very excited to see Jewel. Very excited to see Bob. And handsome big guy.”
Check out our houseguest, the love of my buddy Tio’s life, the lovely Petunia. She’s here for a sleepover and has come armed with her own pink bed, pink blanket, and snacks. According to Tio, she’s a snuggler, so tonight will be interesting. Four dogs on the bed. Just like old times!
But Petunia wasn’t the only houseguest we entertained. Earlier today, our friends Jeff and Barb dropped by for pecan pie, ice cream, drinks and, of course, dogs…
And, for no other reason than the fact that I’m already posting dog pictures, here’s a photo I snapped of Bubba last night sporting his samurai helmet…
I received an email today from our old friend, Trevor in Toronto, who alerted me to GraphTV, a site that charts a show’s performance based on viewer response over time.
As Trevor pointed out, a lot “of shows fluctuate quite a lot, either up or down, but the what is clear from the graphs is SG-1 and Atlantis are some of the most consistent series ever made.”
As for Stargate: Universe, the breakdown is also telling…
And, again, Trevor says it best: “and it’s painful to see the SGU graph, because clearly that show was awesome and gaining momentum…”
Alas, it was a herculean task and despite my best efforts, I came up short. In the end, I sampled only 47 of the some 60 varieties of hot chocolate offered for this year’s Hot Chocolate Festival. Still, 47 hot chocolates in 24 days aint bad, especially considering I took those four days off to visit mom in Montreal. This year, I doubled last year’s score. And, next year, I vow to do even better!
So, what were the standouts? Well, what follows is my list of the Top 5 Hot Chocolates of this year’s Hot Chocolate Festival!
When all was said and done, six hot chocolates actually made by top 5 list. After much consideration, I decided to offer a Top 5 +1 for good luck!
Honorable mention goes to…
A Snowball’s Chance in Hell:Single origin Mexican chocolate with Mexican chili poured over house made chocolate ice cream. Accompanied by a flourless chocolate cookie.
Available at: Chocolate Arts 1620 West 3rd Ave., Vancouver (Kitsilano).
Ah, now this is more like it! Akemi was on the edge of her seat (or, actually, her side of the bed) throughout this episode. She loved it. Action! Suspense! Humor! And, best of all, those dazzling visual effects! She was blown away by the the sequence of Atlantis shielding itself within seconds of the giant wave crashing down on the city (“Always very last minute your show!”) and also had high praise for the Teyla-Sora showdown (compliments of our former SGA stunt coordinator James Bam Bam Bamford). She continues to enjoy McKay, greatly appreciated seeing her favorite Dr. Beckett, and is even warming up to Sheppard. She had one big bump = McKay dressing his arm wound OVER his sleeve.
Overall: “I liked it a lot. I’m getting used to this city. At first I thought not as good as SGU’s ship but now pretty cool.” And then: “I’m beginning to like SGA too!”
A couple of years ago, I offered some thoughts on this episode (and the next one) in one of my Trip Down Memory Lane entries:
I’ve found that, in my past visits, the flavors of the gelato bars got lost in the hot chocolate so I requested a cup with half the milk. The result was a cup with a more concentrated hot chocolate that actually did a better job of showcasing the individual gelato flavors – in this case, black sesame and matcha.
Verdict: I’m a traditionalist, preferring my hot chocolates hot and chocolatey.
Winner: Black Magic (Bella Gelateria)
Red Hot Chili Pepper: gBAR flavoured with chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne. Served with Erin Ireland’s “To Die For” Banana Bread.
Available at: Bella Gelateria,1001 West Cordova Street.
Strange, but not for the reasons advertised. Instead of the expected subtle cedar, I (and my friend Kathy) picked up notes of cheese – blue or roquefort. I inquired and cheese was not one of the ingredients. Hmmmm.
Verdict: I do prefer my hot chocolates hot and chocolatey – but not surprisingly cheesy.
Winner: Sour Cherry Tisane (UVA Wine Bar)
Hera’s Habit:Made from 50% deep milk chocolate with malted milk balls. Served with vanilla bean cinnamon shortbread.
Available: At Cocoa Nymph3739 W. 10th Ave (at Alma), Vancouver
As soon as my name came up on screen alongside the written by credit, Akemi was instantly on guard: “I’m very nervous about your episodes because you’re twisted.”
True. And, as expected, she was plenty confused by the episode. But that was the point! The audience is supposed to be confused – until the big reveal at episode’s end. Unfortunately, said big reveal only succeeded in confusing her even more: “Very confusing. Very complicated. Don’t you think so? Were you okay when you wrote the episode? Like person who did marijuana.”
But after I took the time to break it down for her, explaining the mist was sentient and responsible for their hallucinations: “Ah, interesting. Now makes sense! Takes so long. So fog was smart!” Indeed.
Some other insights she offered while watching…
On Weir motoring around in her vintage car: “She is piece of Mrs. Old Fashioned.”
On Sheppard: “He seems to like girls.”
On McKay: “I like his t-shirt, I’m with Genius.” Thank you. “I like the fact no one left message and he’s eating old chips.”
On the necklace Simon gifts Weir: “She seems to make a lot of money. And he seems to make a lot of money, right? Nice brand necklace is better. Very cheap.”
Overall – in retrospect, she liked it. Interestingly: “I feel like I’m watching SGU this episode. Technical terms a lot.”