Archive for the ‘Stargate: SG-1’ Category


Comin’ at ya in five (WITH FIVE!)!

Space Channel here in Canada is counting down toward the Friday premiere in delightful fashion.  Each day ticks off with a different Dark Matter, appropriately enough…




Who’s next?  Can’t wait to find out tomorrow!

SyFy UK and SyFy Australia, meanwhile, have launched this terrific campaign that asks…








Zoie Palmer (Dark Matter’s Android) talks about Lost Girl, her new movie Patch Town, and Dark Matter with ET Canada:


Another Dark Matter preview article.  Brush up before the premiere!


Lari Burkhart offers up her list of What To Watch In June:  Among her picks…

“What do you get when you have 6 amnesiacs and a spaceship? A SyFy original series, obviously. Throw in an android and the writers from Stargate and you’ve also got me sitting on the couch anxiously awaiting this premiere!”


Dark Matter makes Rick’s Picks at tvweeklynow.com:


We make The Columbus Dispatch’s “10 shows we’d watch this week”:


Chris Lackner of the Winnipeg Free Press profiles Dark Matter as Big Event Friday viewing:


“The small screen is due for a new sci-fi saviour, and this could be it.”

Oh yeah!

IMG_8681 (1)

The ship’s underbelly!  Probably my favorite standing set.


Two floors of fun!


Note the floor design and texturing. It’s the little touches…


Looking up at the second level.  Check out the ceiling designs.  Never underestimate the importance of floors and ceilings!


Watch your step!

IMG_0600 (1)

Readying for Day #1!


Shooting in the underbelly, episode #101.

Finally – missed this the first time around.  Here’s a Stargate reference from Archer:

And, speaking of Stargates, check out this almost fully functional 3D printed stargate.

No, it can’t send you to other planets.  Yet!

*** Oh, and one more thing!  Tomorrow, at 12 PST, 3 EST, I’ll be chatting with Simon Applebaum on Tomorrow Will Be Televised (BlogTalk Radio).

“Simon Applebaum
Good Saturday morning, Dark Matter followers! Catch co-creator/executive producer Joseph Mallozzi LIVE Monday on Tomorrow Will Be Televised, the program all about TV. He’ll take your phone calls and chatroom reaction to Syfy’s new series–Monday at 3 p.m. Eastern time, noon Pacific on BlogTalk Radio (www.blogtalkradio.com) and Brooklyn Independent Media HD (NYC-wide on Verizon Fios/Brooklyn-wide on Time Warner Cable, Cablevision Systems and RCN). Tune in and spread the word!

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I was actually developing Dark Matter as far back as 2007.  That year comes to mind because, in 2007, we were producing Stargate: Atlantis’s fourth season and I remember walking the corridors of the ship we constructed for episode #405, Travelers, and saying to Paul: “We’ve got to find a way to keep these sets. They’d be perfect for Dark Matter!”  In retrospect, it was probably a good thing we didn’t hold on to those sets.  The storage costs over seven years would have no doubt eclipsed the price tag of our spanking new sets.

The nice thing about waiting seven years for your show to get green lit is that it gives you plenty of time to develop the hell out of it.  Characters, their journeys, seasonal and series arcs – you’d be surprised how much you can flesh out over the course of 84+ months.

With a more than fully fleshed out show on our hands,  the plan was to roll right into Dark Matter if and when Stargate ever ended.  I’d been preparing myself for Stargate’s eventual end since Stargate: SG-1’s fifth season, back in early 2000, so I’d grown inured to the dread of cancellation.  As a result, when the end did come, and Stargate: Universe was cancelled in 2011, I was taken by surprise.  I wasn’t ready!

This business is funny sometimes.  Given the fact that Brad Wright and Robert Cooper had effectively established MGM’s t.v. division and made the studio TONS of money with Stargate, I imagined they be set.  A studio deal.  A couple of blind pilots.  Offers to use their years of experience to help shepherd or run whatever other productions the studio had in the pipeline.  No?  A letter of reference?   A hearty handshake?  A “Thanks for multi millions?” scribbled on a post-it?

If they weren’t exactly rolling out the welcome mat for the guys that had earned them enough cash to purchase a tiny country (something modest with a lot of beachfront property), I figured my chances were…slimmer…

“I’m sorry.  What department did you say you used to work in?”

“Uh, television.  A t.v. show actually.  We ran for seventeen seasons, produced over three hundred episodes and two movies?   Stargate?  STARGATE?!”

“Could you spell that?”

Even with a writing/producing background on one of the most successful franchises in television history, the chances of selling a pitch are slim.  People love great ideas.  They love great scripts.  But, usually, not enough to buy them.  Established properties on the other hand…well, that’s a different story.  And that’s something I was well aware of from my days working development.

And so, rather than roll the dice on a pitch tour, I made a single call – to Keith Goldberg at Dark Horse Comics and presented him my idea for Dark Matter.  He loved it and, in no time, we were in business with publisher Mike Richardson on a four-issue SF comic book series.  That would eventually be collected into a trade paperback.  Which would be used as a visual aid and sales document to help Prodigy Pictures President Jay Firestone sell the show.

So, much respect for Mike Richardson, Keith Goldberg, artist Garry Brown, colorist Ryan Hill, editor Patrick Thorpe and the rest of the gang at Dark Horse Comics (Kari Yadro, Aub Driver, Spencer Cushing et al.)

And much respect for Executive Producers Jay Firestone and Vanessa Piazza for getting the show to air.

And much respect for my terrific cast, crew, VFX, and post personnel helped me produce one hell of an awesome SF series.  And a ship-based SF series no less!

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While we’re on the subject…









































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1Check 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…


Lulu and Barb hit it off.


Jeff and the Yamazaki 18 year old whisky also really hit it off.


Family shot!

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…


Samurai pug!

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.

Stargate: SG-1…

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 6.52.31 PM

Stargate: Atlantis…

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 6.54.30 PMAs 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…

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 6.57.17 PMAnd, again, Trevor says it best: “and it’s painful to see the SGU graph, because clearly that show was awesome and gaining momentum…”

Check out how your favorite shows fared here: http://io9.com/these-graphs-show-precisely-when-your-favorite-tv-show-1554419978

Or do your own research here: http://graphtv.kevinformatics.com/

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Okay.  Pursuant to yesterday’s blog entry, some careful strategy is required.

I think that, rather than striking out now as everyone – especially those in a position to make the decisions – prepares for the holidays or, in some cases, is already off on holidays, the campaign should hold off in order to maximize its efforts.

Plan and coordinate now, then launch in the second or third week of the New Year when everyone is back at the office – and eager to start green lighting those new projects!

I leave you to pick a target date.

And, speaking of planning, what do you all have planned for the coming holidays? Visiting relatives?  Staying close to home?  Getting away from it all with a trip to an exotic locale?  Bora Bora?  Fiji?  Vegas?

Given the choice, if you could spent the holidays anywhere in the world EXCEPT home (or the home of a loved one), where would it be?

My Top 5 NOT Home For the Holidays Destinations:


5. Christmas in Hawaii

Well, why the hell not?  Sure, there’s nothing like a white Christmas, but after one too many festive deep-freezes in my home town of Montreal, I think I’d appreciate a little change of venue.  Maybe less snow and more sand.  Less spruce and pine and more palm.  Less roasted chestnuts, more poi.  And, oh yeah, the beach.

14. Christmas in Hong Kong

The view from Kowloon of the colorfully lit buildings lining the Central Hong Kong across Victoria Harbor is absolutely stunning.  Not quite the rest and relaxation offered by a Hawaiian getaway, but certainly a hell of a lot warmer than an east coast winter, and maybe even more cosmopolitan.  If you’re looking to shop away the holidays, this is the place!

13. Christmas Tokyo

Well, of course.  Tokyo out Christmases most North American cities with its stunning seasonal displays and spirit.  Granted, the Japanese don’t quite celebrate the holiday like some of us do, eschewing family in favor of romantic dinners for two, but it’s hard not to get caught up in the festive mood.


2. Christmas in Savannah

I chose Savannah, Georgia because I’ve been researching the city of late, but I’d happily do Charleston, S.C. as well or any other down home American city that offers a southern take on the holiday complete with pecan pie and bourbon-spiked eggnog.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1. Christmas in Las Vegas

Well, surprise surprised?  Not really.  Unlike any of the other places listed, Vegas is only a few hours away, offering fun, sun, and restaurant lineup to rival New York and L.A.

So, let’s all start planning for next year!  Where are we all going?

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1[WARNING: This blog entry contains spoilers for shows you really should have already watched by now].

I came across the following article this morning: ‘Walking Dead’ finale: If Daryl dies, we riot.  This, of course, is a reference to television’s most beloved redneck, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), who fans fear may well meet his untimely end on this Sunday’s mid-season finale of The Walking Dead.  After all, cable’s hottest show has proven it isn’t afraid to kill off their series regulars.  Remember Sophia?  Dale?  T-Dog?  Lori?  Merle?  Andrea?  Hell, television in general has a rich history of dealing out shocking and unexpected deaths.  From MASH’s Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake to, most recently, Brian Griffin on Family Guy, it would seem that  no one is safe. Not even a martini-swilling cartoon dog.

R.I.P. Brian Griffin

R.I.P. Brian Griffin

Or so they would have us believe, but the truth is some are safer than others.  Most notably series leads, regulars under contract, fan and/or writer/producer favorites – their mortality rate tends to be a hell of a lot lower than the going average.  Still, IMPROBABLE doesn’t mean IMPOSSIBLE and, occasionally, even the unlikeliest of characters fall to the grim reaper’s scythe (a.k.a. writer’s laptop).  It all depends on the circumstances.

And what ARE some of these circumstances?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  Forget heart disease and car accidents.  Here are the leading causes of death in t.v. characters…



Back in Stargate: SG-1’s seventh season, Executive Producer Robert Cooper wanted to write a script that drove home the constant dangers our characters faced in the course of fulfilling their duties.  It was to be an episode that demonstrated the fickleness of death and paid tribute to the fallen – but, in order to be truly effective, it required a little something more.  It required one of our established characters to die – not while facing down alien hordes or executing some daring op but after being struck by something so seemingly random and inconsequential as an errant staff blast.  And the fact that it turned out to be Janet Fraiser, Stargate’s longtime Chief Medical Officer, dying while saving another life, made it all that more poignant.  Years later another doctor on another Stargate show met a similar fate for much the same reason.  And Carson Beckett’s demise was just as surprising and heartbreaking.



This usually applies to secondary characters and villains.  Sometimes, a character is created with a finite arc in mind and is ushered out when the writer feels their story has been told.  Other times, characters simply overstay their welcome like bad party guests and end up getting deep-sixed long past their natural expiration date.  As much as I loved the villainous goa’uld, I felt they’d fallen into the latter category by the end of SG-1’s eighth season.  Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman falls into the former category of course.  Wait!  What?!  Yes, it’s true.  The original plan was to kill off Jesse Pinkman at the end of the show’s first season, but Aaron Paul so impressed that the character was granted an extended reprieve.  In similar fashion, Stargate: Universe’s Dale Volker also avoided certain death.  On the other hand…

Not so fast.

Not so fast.


On the flip side are those characters for whom great plans are made, great hopes pinned but who, for whatever reason, fail to live up to their potential.  They are introduced, usually with much fanfare, only to exit with barely a whimper.

Sir?  Sir!  Step away from the light!

Sir? Sir! Step away from the light!


It happens.  The decision is made on the part of the actor to leave the show. Amicable creative discussions ensue culminating in a fitting onscreen death.  Dr. Daniel Jackson received a heroic send-off in SG-1’s Meridian, one that never fails to tug at the heart strings on subsequent viewings.  Of course the sadness is mitigated by the knowledge that, like South Park, science fiction always leaves the door open for miraculous resurrections.

Looking forward to a long and happy marriage.

Looking forward to a long and happy marriage.


The worst of all possible circumstances.  If the show continues, production will honor to their late cast member with a respectful send-off and tribute.


Personality conflicts, unprofessional behavior, poor performance, a bad attitude – just some of the things that can book someone a one-way ticket on the character death express.

Everybody dies because - well - everybody dies.

Everybody dies because – well – everybody dies.


Here, the writers are operating under the assumption that the show is ending and so, decide to go out with a bang.  And there’s no bang bigger than a character death. Or two.  Or more.  Hello, Blake’s 7.  The belief that the seventh season would be SG-1’s last made the decision to kill off Janet Fraiser somewhat easier.  If we had known we’d actually be coming back for another season, I’m not so sure things would have played out quite the same way.



Ratings are floundering.  The show’s creative is in a funk.  Quick!  Do something! Historically, television producers have generally responded in one of two ways: a) They add a cute kid to cast, or b) They kill off an established character.  Given the choice, I’d go with the latter.

So, with a better understanding of the mechanics of death in scripted television, we can now appreciate the mortality of every t.v. character, from series lead to red-shirted day player.

Could they actually kill off Daryl on tomorrow night’s episode of The Walking Dead?


Will they?

Not a chance.

Further reading:

29 Most Shocking TV Deaths – Entertainment Weekly

Most Devastating Character Deaths In TV History | Complex

The Most Shocking Deaths In Modern Television Drama History

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Happy Thanksgiving to our American viewers!  How are your turduckens and piecakens coming along?  Let’s see the pics!

Hey!  When’s the last time we did a mailbag?

Maggiemayday writes: “I’m looking at planning my 2015 spring vacation and Vancouver is an option. So, is April or May a decent time to visit? We visited Vermont one spring and it was closed. Whole darn state.”


Answer: Unlike baseball, and presumably Vermont, Vancouver is never rained out. Having said that, April-May is the tail-end of the rainy season – that usually begins in September.

glowyzoey writes: ” The regular actors and guest stars didn’t always pronounce Jaffa and Go’al’ud (and I forget how to spell the latter!) the same way. Did anyone care or did it become a thing with the cast and crew and done deliberately wrong,”

Elliott Goa'uld

Elliott Goa’uld

Answer: Yeah, the varied pronunciations of “goa’uld” became a running joke behind-the-scenes.  Some were sticklers for correctly enunciation “go-a-uld” while others, ie. Rick, liked to have fun with the word.  As seasons passed, most of our human characters went with “goold” less out of laziness than a suggested disrespect for the l alien symbiotes.  As opposed to the amazing Beau Bridges who stuck to “go-a-uld” because he was good friends with actor Elliott Gould.  No, really.

gforce writes: ” In the first episode of SGU, as people came through the gate, they were thrown forcefully out on arrival. I remember you saying at one time there was a reason for it and it would be revealed as the show went on. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen of course, and I always wondered what the explanation was. It didn’t happen when they gated from more nearby gates, so I always wondered if it was strictly a matter of distance or whether there was some other explanation.”

Heads up!

Heads up!

Answer: No, it was a matter of the great distance traveled.  The more panicked the entry, the more forceful the exit.  This is confirmed in Incursion I when the Lucian Alliance members have to evacuate their base of operations, some rushing through the gate – and exiting in violent fashion.

gloeyzoey writes: “On SG-1 there seemed to be a lot of characters over the years (okay, several characters) named Jona/Jonah or Jonas or some variation. Probably not done on purpose, I’m guessing, but is there a reason for the similarities? lot of writers liked the name? A favourite uncle of someone’s? A fondness for guys who get swallowed by whales? ;-)

Answer: Jonah was O’Neill’s alternate identity in SG’1 Beneath the Surface, then a bad Jonas (Hansen) in SG-1’s First Commandment, and finally a good Jonas (Quinn) in SG-1’s Meridian and beyond.  We’ve also had Six Peters, six Davids, five Johns, five Franks, three LIndsays, three Marks, but, curiously, only one Olaf.

Olaf.  He's one of a kind!

Olaf. He’s one of a kind!

Tam Dixon writes: “Is you back feeling better?”

Answer: Much better, thanks.  Back to my regular workout routine:

1Tam Dixon writes: “How did your Sis like her Vacouver vacation?” and Ponytail writes: “Do you have any pictures of Andria with the dogs while she was babysitting?”

Answer: Andria had a great time in Vancouver, with the dogs and checking out the local restaurants.  Fable was by far her favorite.  She posted the follows pics while she was here:


dasndanger writes: “Television series – what do you prefer (to watch, or to write): one-and-done episodic shows, or serialized shows?”

Answer: With the exception of a few comedies, pretty much all of my favorite shows are serialized: The Sopranos, The Shield, Breaking Bad, Rome, Game of Thrones. Almost all the shows on my weekly rotation are serialized as well: Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead, and, to a certain extent, Survivor and Top Chef.  Episodic television, on the other hand, isn’t much-watch viewing.  You can miss an episode or two without consequence and perhaps catch up at a later date.  Or not.

dasndanger also writes: “One of the things driving me away from television is the grittier, more explicit content of shows, even those on network television.”

Answer: Serialized shows tend to be cable shows and cable shows tend to allow for more creative freedom, which is why it’s where you’ll find more varied and, frankly, more realistic programming.  Ultimately, it comes down to a matter of taste.  I honestly can’t remember the last scripted network show I really enjoyed.

keith writes: “Will you be starting the Superhero Movie of the Week Club up again soon?”


Answer: Yep.  Cookie Monster will be back reviewing super-themed movies in the new year – provided he comes out of hiding.

stygianlnq writes: “1) In any of the Stargate series, did you ever have one-shot enemies/civilizations of the week that you would have wanted to have revisited at a later time (like what was done with the Rand Protectorate and the Langarans) or otherwise explore further?”

Answer: Oh, there were plenty of civilizations I wanted to revisit, not so much for story’s sake, but simply to check in on them to see how their people have been doing since we left them.  Special Features producer Ivon Bartok was always requesting we revisit the Nox.

“2) Has there been any word yet on whether Brad Wright will publicly announce his intended ending for SGU?”

Answer: No, still no word.  Ultimately, it’s up to Brad to reveal that ending.


“3) What do you think of this article (http://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillbarr/2013/11/18/the-final-season-of-nikita-isnt-about-fan-service-its-about-netflix/) as someone who works in television?”

Answer: The gist of the article is that the emergence of Netflix and its unique deal structure has spurred productions to offer satisfactory conclusions to their shows. Netflix viewers binge-watch and the thinking is that they won’t waste their time sitting down to a show they know will not end in satisfactory fashion.  It’s a very interesting shift in thinking given that, years ago, the emphasis was on producing episodic shows with no conclusive endings for syndication because it was believed viewers would be less likely to invest in a show if the story actually concluded.  For my part – surprise surprise – I prefer this new model.  Every story should have a beginning, middle, and end.

“Do you think that the Netflix/Digital Distribution model will make networks more reluctant to cancel a series without giving it a chance to wrap up?”

Answer: That’s entirely dependent on the type of deal that is in place.  Without a second window like Netflix to aim for, it’s unlikely an under performing show would be given the luxury of extra episodes to wrap things up.

“Do you think that it will make writers and producers of shows more likely to want to have cliffhangers at the end of seasons to try and squeeze those last few wrap-up episodes out of the network? What are your overall thoughts?”

Answer:  Oh, I suppose it depends on the producer.  Keep in mind, shows are not written in a creative vacuum.  The network will have a say on what kind of season-ender is produced.

“4) What ever happened to Transporter: The Series? I remember watching the first three episodes and then it went on break or something and I never saw it again. Is it still on?”

Answer: No clue.  Amber alert?

Ponytail writes: “Which trip to Tokyo has been your favorite so far?”

Answer: I think my 2009 trip is my favorite, the one on which I ate at a record number of Michelin-starred restaurants, made a bunch of new friends, and met Akemi.  My trip to Tokyo with my buddy Ivon is, of course, a close second.

“So why haven’t you, Paul, Rob, Brad, Carl, Martin, Ivon formed a company and made your own TV shows, productions and/or movies? Is everyone doing their own thing?”

Answer: We all are working on our own things, but our own company is a great idea. All we need is $$$ and partners with sales and business savvy.

“How is your Mom?”

Answer: Mom is great.  Thanks for asking.

Lewis writes: “Have you seen any episodes of “The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” by Richard Curtis (of Black Adder, Mr. Bean, & Vicar fame)? Idris Elba is in it.. along with David Oyelowo (MI-5/Spooks).”

Answer: I haven’t.  I was pleasantly surprised by the first book in the series.

JeffW writes: “1. Is Akemi making any special outfits for the furry kids this Christmas? (Barb thought Bubba’s last Santa outfit was cute).”

Answer: Not yet.

Brent writes: “1) When filming Stargate scenes that arent done at the studios, i know you did some filming at locations, but did you ever go to other TV or Film studios sets and use them to save money since they were already in place? Did any other shows or films use Stargates sets? If this happened any interesting stories?”

Answer: We did, on occasion, take over sets.  For instance, the White House set we used in the latter seasons of SG-1 was leftover from a disaster movie that had shot in Vancouver.  Some of the internal structure of Atlantis was formerly the set of one of the Blade movies.  Often, a production will save on the costs of striking and dumping a set by selling it to another production for a nominal fee.

“2) Who wrote the scene between Tealc and Tomin in the mess hall of the ship in Ark of Truth? I thought it was one of the best scenes in Stargate history. It isnt particularly uplifting or a bonding moment. But it is so powerful and also reminds the fans that Tealc is responsible for extreme atrocities that one shouldn’t forget. Great scene. I watch it twice every time i play the movie.”

Answer: Ark of Truth was written by the uber-talented Robert C. Cooper – writer, director, producer, chef.

Robert C. Cooper.  And creepy friend.

Robert C. Cooper. And creepy friend.

“3) In SGU we learned that the ship has some interesting secrets like being able to manipulate the mind of Young. Where there any more secrets the Destiny was going to reveal in its future?”

Sure.  We wanted to add depth to the Destiny over the course of the show’s run, introducing undiscovered sections of the ship as budget allowed (ie. the bridge was the big addition for the show’s second season.

“4) Of all the people you worked with on Stargate, who do you think walked off with the best prop from the show(s) and what was it?”

Hmmm.  Hard to say.  I really like my pain stick.  On the other hand, Rob Cooper has some mighty cool stuff including a kino.

“5) Not a question, but a comment. I thought Mitchell and Vala were a fantastic boost to SG1. I especially enjoyed Mitchell. He brought a nice feeling of grit and intensity when needed. Sad they didnt have a longer run in Stargate.”

Answer: Yeah, it is sad.  I really enjoyed Ben and Claudia’s work on Farscape and, when it came time to make an addition to the team, I automatically thought of Ben.  And, later, after Claudia’s guest stint, we thought she’d make a great addition as well – but the network was resistant as they felt it would be a little too Farscape…until they saw the episodes and change their minds.  Of course, at that point, it was too late for season 9 but we did make Vala a regular for the show’s tenth and final season.

“6) I loved SGU! We were robbed of so many interesting stories that could have been… Sigh.”

Answer: So true.

arcticgoddess writes: “1) Many actors that I know are going the “Independent Film” route, doing You Tube short films and looking for funding through Kickstarter. Have you and Paul ever considered doing an indy?”

Answer: Sure, we’ve considered it.

“2)If you ever decided to go the independent route, would you use crowd funding, or are there better ways to fund a project?”

Answer: Crowd funding is an iffy proposition.  Maybe it would work for smaller projects, but movies and especially a t.v. series requires you go the old fashioned route.

“3) Now that you’ve been a writer, a producer and a show runner, which job was the toughest and why?”

Answer: Apples and oranges.  They’re all equally challenging in different ways.

“4)If a studio picks up your show, how much control over it do you retain?”

Answer: That depends on the studio and your deal.  More often than not, the studio has a major say in the creative and can turf dissenters.  In better case scenarios, they have enough respect for the creative to exercise restraint in the process.

“5)How did you find your agent?”

Answer: In the case of my Canadian agent, I had dealt with him – and his clients – on other shows.  When I thought it was time, I simply dropped him an email.  In the case of my American agent, I had our Canadian agent set up a bunch of meetings, then Paul and I did the rounds in L.A. and decided which representative would be a best fit for us.

“6) When you were given the reigns to Star Gate Atlantis, were you also given the final say on the actors chosen for the various parts?”

Answer: As far back as SG-1, the writer-producer of a given episode was given a pretty strong voice with regarding to casting.  Like Brad and Robert before us, we always screened auditions with our fellow producers to get their respective takes.

Fagate One writes: “Tout le travail de développement d’idées et de scénarios que vous faites pour des projets comme ceux mentionnés est-il fait à vos frais ou êtes-vous engagés à contrat?”

Answer: It depends on the project.  Paul and I are paid to develop certain projects while our personal pilots are written on spec.

“Pouvez-vous nous informer un peu sur les modes de rémunérations des multiples essais que vous faites pour des séries ou des fims quand ceux-ci n’aboutissent pas? En d’autres mots, êtes-vous payés uniquement si la série ou le film reçoit le OK de production?”

Answer: Yes, you are definitely paid more if a script you’ve written is eventually produced.  In fact, that’s where the real money is.  Development work pays “okay”, but it’s not going to buy you that jet!

Lewis writes: “Any chance of more DARK MATTER stories in comic form?”


Answer: Alas, unlikely.  The opening four issue arc was a lot of fun to work on but the intent was always to use it as a springboard to a live-action series instead of the opening story of an ongoing comic book series.   Ultimately, if I was given the opportunity, I would love to create another original story in comic book form.  Either that, or write an original Stargate story in comic book form, maybe one of the stories we didn’t wanted to tell but didn’t get the chance.  For instance, it would be incredibly cool to do a comic book version of Stargate: Extinction, that unproduced Stargate: Atlantis script.

stargateatlantisseasonsix writes: “First: Were there ever actually plans to go more in depth into the Athosian culture or the Void where the Ascended go? I’m just curious since my current story on my blog for Atlantis’ Season Six is currently going into these subject matters.”

Answer: No concrete plans but I’m sure that if a story called for it, we would have certainly explored them.  Or, in the case of ascension, Rob Cooper certainly would have explored it.

“Second: Was there ever a plan to delve into the people behind the scenes of Atlantis i.e. not the major or minor characters but the truly background people that help make everything happen too, like the “Below Decks” episode of Star Trek TNG or like the series The West Wing? I’d think that’d be interesting considering that one of the purposed episodes you writers came up with for the Sixth Season (a story that I’m going to post as Episode Six of my Atlantis Season Six) was based on one of those unfortunate ‘Red Shirt’ marines of the series.”

Answer: Yes, we tossed the idea around and Carl Binder even came up with The Red Shirt Diaries.  The biggest challenge to writing one of these scripts is figuring out a way to include our main characters in the story.  Yes, I know, wouldn’t it be cool if the entire episode only focused on these unknown characters?  Well, yes and no. From the standpoint of unique storytelling, it would – but from the standpoint of good television, maybe not.  Viewers tune in for those familiar characters and having them take a backseat to complete strangers could be disappointing for many fans.  SG-1’s The Other Guys is a great example of an episode that struck the right balance.

BoltBait writes: “Are you allergic to anything? If so, how do you handle it at restaurants?”

Answer: Whenever I eat out, I always ask if there’s penicillin in any of the dishes.

“Do you get paid for all of these projects you’re working on?”

Answer: It depends on the project.  For instance, any development work we’re hired to do is paid work.  At present, three of the projects I mentioned in a previous blog entry are paying jobs.  The others – pilots, pitches, etc. – are speculative and will only pay off if they sell…or go into development.

Randomness writes: “1. What were some highs and lows from your Japan trip?”

Answer: Highs = The wedding, Robot Restaurant, dinners at Esquisse and Sawada.  Low = getting sick.

“2. Most interesting location(To you) that you visited?”

Answer: Robot Restaurant.

“3. What was the most enjoyable thing you did in Japan?”

Answer: Ate (as usual).

“4. As an anime fan, how did you find the whole experience?”

Answer: Overwhelming.  Akihabara is anime heaven.

“5. Were there any places you wanted to visit but couldn’t due to time?”

Answer: Gyoza stadium, Ueno, Odaiba.

“6. Looking back at the wedding stuff, did you feel nervous before you arrived? And how was the whole thing to you?”

Answer: No nerves.  It was a lot of fun.

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