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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!

mckay_redemptionProduction 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

1Faced 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

dsc09906Later 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

62149The 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

stargateatlantis-s05e17There’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

1This 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

p185051_n1357_cc_v4_aaI 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

2It’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.wordpress.com/2007/06/08/june-7-2007/).

#2. MY FIRST SAN DIEGO COMIC CON

2Meeting 5000 Stargate fans – simultaneously.

#1. ALL GOOD THINGS….

sg520mainAlthough 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!

I knew it!  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/10965887/People-who-claim-to-worry-about-climate-change-use-more-electricity.html

1

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/07/15/thor-is-now-woman/ On the one hand, it makes a hell of a lot more sense than Thor Girl.  On the other, I’m sure hugely disappointing for fans of the existing incarnation.

Making Cheesesteaks with Joe.  God Bless America!

Glassholes abound: http://nypost.com/2014/07/14/is-google-glass-cool-or-just-plain-creepy/

Three hanky alert!  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/14/dog-last-day-robyn-arouty_n_5585074.html?1405362504&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular gforce.

Hey, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these!  Time to answer your hard-hitting questions…

Airelle writes: “What did you do with all the blueberries??”

Answer: I set aside a containerful for my houseguests, then froze the rest.  I’ll use them in my breakfast shakes.

Tam Dixon writes: “That picture with Lulu & Su is priceless! I suppose Su isn’t used to pets?”

Answer: She doesn’t have a pet, but she would LOVE a french bulldog.  I suspect Lulu knows this and has cranked up the cuteness to 11.

Fagate writes: “OK, you are finally working like us ordinary people.”

Answer: With the added bonus of arguing over subspace communications.  Or do you do that as well?

Fagate also writes: “Now, should we already begin to worry about the poor doctor member of the crew of your soon to be sci-fi series…will he die? Of course. The only problem is when!!”

Answer: To ensure we don’t fall back on old patterns, we have elected not to have a doctor on board the ship.

David Knowles writes: “Probably to much to hope it a Star Trek series, so here hoping it a show base on your dark matter comic book series or perhaps something entirely unexpected MGM getting it act together and commissioning a new Stargate show.

Answer: Star Trek?  No, they’ve already got that covered.  And MGM has Stargate covered as well with the planned reboot.  Sadly, I don’t think we’ll be seeing a new Stargate series for quite some time.

Gary Ansorge writes: “i doubt feeding a dog blueberries is really all that good for them,,,”

Answer: Oh, Akemi did the research.  They’re fine in moderation, providing the same antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals we humans benefit from when we eat them.

dasndanger writes: “I had a dream about you last night, Joey. You gave me your phone number, then when I tried to call you never answered, and when you finally did answer you told me not to call! Then why did you give me your number?! Anyway, we decided it was best to keep our communication confined to the inter webs.  The dream made me feel sad and rejected. Big meanie.”

Answer: Well, that’s altogether bizarre because, as everyone knows, not only do I happily give out my phone number to anyone who will take it, I have also been known to foster needy Stargate fans as well.

Ponytail writes: “In that first picture up there, Akemi looks a little pregnant.”

Answer: It’s a sweatshirt with a pocket in the front for storing things.  No, not pregnant.  But I’ll pass along your well-wishes.

kabra writes: “Did I read somewhere here that you got a green light on one of your projects!!!??? “

Answer: Yep, it’s true.  We’re back at it – pitching, spinning, breaking and writing.  Soon prepping.  Eventually, producing.

Tam Dixon writes: “Is Jelly sleeping later than 5?”

Answer: Yes.  She does a little melatonin before bedtime and now sleeps through the night.  Previously, she would wake up at all hours and cry.  I’d have to lay my hand on her back and she would eventually doze off.  And then be up at the crack of dawn!

Mark writes: “I just rewatched the Vegas episode of Stargate: Atlantis and there is one question burning me up. Did the Sheppard of that reality die in the dessert or was he just passed out and later rescued?”

Answer: Depends.  What do YOU think happened?  Did he die?  Did the ambulance get there in the nick of time and save his life?  Did the ambulance get there in the nick of time but accidentally park on him when they arrived on the scene?  There are as many possibilities as there are alternate universes!

Tam Dixon writes: “Is it normal for a show to have that many scripts done so fast?”

Answer: No.  Which is why you have a lot of shows that start off strong and then peter out as the season progresses, the result of productions scrambling to produce last minute scripts in order to make their delivery dates.  This extra lead time is a great (and greatly appreciated) luxury that will allow us to plot a season full of set-ups and payoffs.  No making it up as we go along.  We can introduce all sorts clues, foreshadow, develop some terrific twists and turns, all enroute to our shocking finale.

Tam Dixon writes: “How was “The Lost Fleet”?”

Answer: It was fine.  Reminiscent of David Weber’s Honor Harrington series although the characters aren’t as well drawn.

Duptiang writes: “Q: Has the book of the month club adjourned for the Summer? I might have missed something.”

Answer: Yep, we’re adjourned for the time being.

Duptiang also writes: “.Q: if the ship is using a form of elector magnetic radiation for the sensors how can it detect something going the speed of light or near in time.”

Answer: It’s not, so FTL travel isn’t an issue.  Instead of sensors, the crew will simply rely on their intuitions.

Duptiang also writes: “So will your ships have W.C.s? “

Answer: Uh…depends.  What are W.C.’s?  World Cups?  Water Closets?  I’m going to say no.

I leave you with this awesome Grey Poupon commercial:

 

 

 

1Food Truck Alley at the Kitsilano Day Festival.

1The French have foie gras, Americans have hot dogs, and we Canadians have the the beavertail.

1Working the takoyaki stand.  This would have been my summer job had my show not been green lit.

1An obviously inebriated Grimace is escorted off the premises.  Akemi: “I don’t like that purple one.  Looks very dusty.”

1The Market Meats team dish up lunch.

1Mighty awesome ribs.

1 I’m onboard the frozen yogurt train – 15 years later.

1Organic supermarket blueberries are better than regular supermarket blueberries.  And organic farmer’s market blueberries are better than organic supermarket blueberries.  BUT organic blueberries from the Angel Organic Blueberry Farm are THE BEST blueberries of all.  Just call them up and they’ll deliver right to your door!

1Seriously.  You won’t find better blueberries.  Anywhere.

1Bubba joins us for a visit to the farmer’s market.

1I challenged him to touch his tongue to the tip of his nose.

1My old high school buddy, Cas, is in town with his girlfriend, Su.  She and Lulu have really hit it off.  I’ve paired them in my new “SuLu” fanfic.

1Meanwhile, Akemi works on some blueberry dog biscuits.

Finished Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (highly recommended!), and even managed to get some work done as well.  Tomorrow, we begin discussing episodes #6-#13!

As we head into the World Cup Final, news you need to know: The World Cup Flopping Rankings!

1http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-world-rankings-of-flopping-1403660175

And this: http://screamer.deadspin.com/the-world-cups-third-place-game-is-a-goddamned-disgrace-1603619746

Uh oh.  Blogger fined for writing negative review: http://eater.com/archives/2014/07/11/food-blogger-fined-3400-for-writing-negative-restaurant-review.php.  All I’ve got to say is you better LOVE my new show when it airs next summer.  I’m extremely litigious! :)

Reboot Fever!  Catch it!

1

Via Buzzfeed: 33 Reasons Why Humanity Is Doomed: http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/were-all-screwed

1http://www.themarysue.com/facebook-shames-spielberg-for-hunting-triceratops/

Our writers’ room wrapped up its first week by knocking completing its fourth story in as many days: tease, five acts, and, because you demanded it (and, frankly, I recall how much you wanted them back in the Atlantis days), a tag.  I’m very happy with the first five episodes.  As one nameless writer (let’s call him Ramone Kluegelhopf) put it: “They MOVE!”.  Oh, that they do.  We’ll take the weekend to decompress and then, next week, we’re back at it.  I think we’ll take a few days to look over what we got so far, discuss the various arcs, nail down the remaining premises (making sure each of our characters has their opportunity to shine and suffer) and then we’ll resume spinning again.  We were aiming to have 10 of our 13 episode first season broken by end of July but, at this pace, it’s looking like we’ll have all 13 stories heading into August, a.k.a. Writing Month!

September will also be Writing Month II + a side order of Japan as I pull up my annual culinary pilgrimage to Tokyo to accommodate series prep.  We’ve already started discussions on production design (ships, space stations, etc.), visual effects, and locations (I think we got us a space freighter!) and, by the time we make the move to Toronto on November, constructions will have already begun on our sets.  I will, of course, spend the first two weeks sleeping in the crew’s quarters and eating in the ship’s mess (maybe even performing an EVA to disable the long range sensors) to really get in the mood in the build-up to principal photography.

It also sounds very involved and complicated but, really, a week into The Bridge Studio’s elaborate recycling system, I’m up for anything:

1Their plastic bodies are soft but their bottoms and caps are mighty hard.  So where do the empty plastic bottles go?

Trick question!  They go in the bottle bin at the bottom left.    The bin at the right is for cadaver bones.

Oh, and speaking of being up for anything, I came across this interesting option in the cereal aisle of my local supermarket:

1I’m going to go ahead and call this one a “niche product”.

Well, I’m glad you asked – and yes, it IS a category.  The nominees are:

Apple – “Misunderstood”

Budweiser – “Heroes Welcome”

Budweiser – “Puppy Love”

General Electric – “Childlike Imagination”

Nike – “Possibilities”

So, which one are you voting for?

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