So it was SG-1’s fifth season and our second year on the franchise. After spending six months in the extended-stay suites of Vancouver’s venerable Sutton Place Hotel (with its antiquated rooms and celeb-watering hole Gerard Lounge), we moved into a furnished apartment in the heart of the downtown area. We would call that place home for a couple of years – until the day the concierge staff walked into our apartment and dropped off some mail while my wife was showering, bringing up all sorts of privacy issues that could only be addressed by another move. As we settled, so did our pug Jelly who, in time, eventually took over as top dog at the local doggy daycare. Every day, she would survey the action from her lofty perch atop the room’s highest couch, occasionally descending to inject herself in any canine dispute that happened to arise. On the home front, she was much calmer but, eventually, Fondy and I grew concerned about leaving her alone in the apartment whenever we would go out to eat (which was every night). And so, we made the decision to get her a friend.
We answered an ad from a breeder selling a litter of pug puppies and took the drive up to Langley. By the time we arrived, there was only one puppy left: a black, skinny little guy who would bolt every time Fondy went near him. Well, while he may not have liked Fondy, he loved Jelly (who we had brought along for the ride), and Jelly loved the little guy as well. I briefly considered calling him Crusty because of his unkempt appearance but, ultimately, decided to follow tradition and named him after a film character. And so, we called him Maximus and he became the second member of what would become a furry foursome (and counting).
And this is the little runt now…
Yeah. Not so little anymore.
On the production front, Paul and I were busy as hell. We would follow an inaugural season, that saw us write seven scripts, with another seven script season. And, when we weren’t writing or producing, we were checking out Gateworld which was fast becoming THE one stop shop for everything Stargate. In fact, Gateworld was so impressive in its scope and detail that we eventually abandoned updating the show’s massive bible (which, we joked, was longer than the actual Bible) in favor of directing prospective freelancers to the site. It blew all other Stargate-related sites, even the studio’s which paled by comparison. Over the years, Gateworld evolved alongside the franchise, growing and improving. In later years, I would roll my eyes and fans on other forums would accuse Darren and David – “the Gateworld guys” as we called them – of simply being a PR arm of the franchise. The truth is, as incredible as they’ve been in the amount of support they’ve shown, there have also been incidences in which we’ve strongly disagreed with some of the decisions they’ve taken. Nothing that couldn’t be talked through but, still, enough to remind everyone that Gateworld was and would remain a strong and independent online entity. And, hopefully, even with Stargate as we know it coming to its premature end, Gateworld will continue to thrive and do what it does best: offer a forum where Stargate fans can socialize and express their opinions/praise/critique in a positive community.
RITE OF PASSAGE (506)
This one offered us the rare opportunity to give Dr. Fraiser some screen time and touch on one of Carter’s few onscreen non-romantic relationships. The unfortunately monikered Hanka children were named after then MGM studio exec Hank Cohen (who would make a cameo in this season’s Wormhole Xtreme as, surprisingly enough, a studio exec).
BEAST OF BURDEN (507)
Dion Johnstone reprises his role as Chaka in this follow-up to season four’s The First Ones. While Peter DeLuise did the scripting honors on this one, Martin Wood assumed the directing reins. This one is a bit of a blur but I remember being genuinely surprised by early discussions to offer the role of Burrock to Larry Drake. His performance as the mentally challenged Benny Stulwicz on L.A. Law had been so damn brilliant and convincing, I’d actually assumed they’d hired a intellectually disabled actor to play the part!
THE TOMB (508)
The set for this episode was impressive as hell and, to this day, I regret not having helped myself to a faux stone before the whole thing was torn down. One of the critiques directed at this episode was Jack’s old world Cold War mentality directed at the Russian team. This kind of mystified me because it was pretty clear in the episode that Jack didn’t have a problem with them because they were Russian, he had a problem with them because they were operating under secret orders that seemed to run counter to SG-1’s mission. The fact that they were Russian was beside the point.
BETWEEN TWO FIRES (509)
Man, this one had all sorts of problems at the outline stage, so much so that it earned the nickname “Between Two Acts”. Once the structural problems had been addressed, Ron wrote and delivered a first draft of the script. I remember we were sitting in Rob’s office, giving copious notes, when John Lenic’s dog hopped up onto the couch and relieved himself on a copy of Ron’s script. “That dog pissed on my script!”said Ron. To which Brad replied something the lines of: “He wasn’t the only one.”. Anyway, in the end, the script came together – as did the episode which we wound up shooting on the grounds of Simon Fraiser University.
The sequel to season four’s 2010 sees the calculating race known as the Aschen make their first (chronological) appearance as seemingly genial, albeit suspicious, emissaries looking to forge a new intergalactic alliance. The episode ends with one major story point unresolved. What of Ambassador Joe Faxon? I’m sure we would have received the answer to that question had the third part of this planned trilogy seen the light of a t.v. screen. In part three, Brad imagined the remnants of the Aschen race, seeking revenge for the events of 2001, launching a ship-based attack on Earth. Alas, I don’t recall why the story never came to fruition, but I have no doubt it would’ve been great.
Hey, I received an email from my second family, the gang at my fave restaurant – Refuel – announcing the appointment of the awesome Jane Cornborough (formerly of such culinary heavy hitters as Le Bernafdin, Restaurant Daniel, and Aquavit) as their new Chef de Cuisine -
Congratulations to Jane!
Also in Refuel news: it’s BC Spot Prawn season – and that means it’s time for Refuel’s annual BC Spot Prawn Boil:
“One night only, Thursday May 26th at 7pm guests will gather at communal tables at Refuel Restaurant and feast on a three-course meal of salad, the boil (spring vegetables, pork sausage & BC spot prawns) and dessert. There are 50 seats available for the boil. A credit card number and email address is required to reserve and 72 hours notice is required to cancel. Seats are $59 (tax, gratuity and beverages are not included)”. Check out the website for more details: http://www.refuelrestaurant.com/
Meanwhile, the gang will be opening another eatery, a sister restaurant to their super popular Campagnolo:
“Tom and Robert are at it again, introducing the third member in their restaurant family, Campagnolo ROMA, located at 2297 E. Hastings St. As it’s name indicates, ROMA will serve Italian dishes inspired by Roman cuisine. Chef Ted Anderson has been developing menus for months and will be at the kitchen helm. Campagnolo ROMA will be a walk-in only restaurant. The website will be available soon at www.campagnoloroma.com.”
And then, to top it off, they’re putting the peanut and chocolate parfait (layers of chocolate ganacheand peanut butter mouse with honey comb, ground peanuts, vanilla ice-cream and chocolate sauce) back on the menu. BACK on the menu? I’ve been gone so long, I didn’t even know it was OFF the menu!
Their email took me back to this meal to end all meals: https://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/march-18-2011-the-meal-to-end-all-meals/
Boy, do I miss that place.