Saturday, September 6, 2008

Stargate Atlantis - GateWorld: Full Coverage: Whispers

At GateWorld:

Dr. Allison Porter (Nicole De Boer)



Maj. Anne Teldy (Christina Cox)

Episode Guide

A brief excerpt from the Episode Guide's Production section:
"I'm pretty excited about the script I'm writing now, 'Whispers.' We've never done a horror episode -- we did 'Vengeance,' but that was a monster. I wanted to do an episode that just creeps people out. I've always been a fan of horror movies. So, I came up with this scenario. It takes place off-world and there are two elements to the story.

One is the horror element, which I think is going to be very kick ass, spooky and hopefully there will be a lot of very cool scares. Right now it looks as if Will Waring will be directing the episode, so I'm just going to stock him up on horror movies and make sure he gets a good running start at the sensibility that we want to capture. The other element is that we introduce a recurring character in 'Search and Rescue,' called Captain Vega. With Carter gone, I said to Martin during the hiatus that it would be good to introduce a female military character -- like Lorne, a background character to use. So we introduced this character. In 'Whispers,' we end up meeting up with Captain Vega's team, which happens to be an all-female team..."

(Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in an interview with


Capt. Alicia Vega (Leela Savasta)


Lt. Col. John Sheppard (Joe Flanigan)

Download (iTunes)

Sgt. Dusty Mehra (Janina Gavankar)

Download (Amazon)

Dr. Carson Beckett (Paul McGillion)

Stargate Atlantis - Whispers Breakdown, Part 1 - NEW Behind the Scenes Photos

At Joseph Mallozzi's blog update for September 6, 2008:

(Please follow the link for the complete blog update, and to view the NEW behind the scenes photos from the production of Stargate Atlantis' 'Whispers' [in their original format], plus a video tour of Stage 2, part 2 with Carl Binder [the wraith hive interiors].)

Lonely monster looking for Miss Fright. Enjoys creeping up walls, terrorizing humans, and long walks on the beach.

September 6, 2008: Whispers Breakdown, Part 1

Well, as promised, I’m dedicating today’s blog entry to a post-Whispers blow-by-blow. Since I was on set for this episode, I have plenty to talk about and, over the course of this breakdown, I’ll touch on a variety of subjects including revised scenes, deleted footage, and on-set anecdotes. And, seeing as how it looks like I’ll have a lot to say on this one, I may well run out of steam and have to pick things up tomorrow.

Okay, now smile and say...

Before I get started, I’d just like to remind everyone that Will Waring, director of Whispers and countless other SG-1 and Atlantis episodes, has agreed to do a guest blog here, so start posting your comments. Quick, before he changes his mind!


To Das who asks: “What was your mindset while writing Whispers? Dead serious, tongue-in-cheek, something else?” Definitely tongue in cheek popcorn fun, from Carpenteresque fog to the Ringesque well crawl. In fact, Sheppard’s line late in the episode neatly summed up the spirit of the episode: “Great. Now all we need is for the prom queen and the kid in the wheelchair to wander off and we’re all set.”

What're YOU looking at?!

Today’s pics: Behind the scenes on Whispers.

Today’s video: Stage 2 walk-thru II (up until the point where my camera battery died on me).


EXT. FOREST - NIGHT: A couple of locals run into a spot of bad luck.

This scene wasn’t in the first draft which actually started on Atlantis with Sheppard informing Beckett that Major Teldy’s team had found something off-world (the original end of tease was the reveal of the lab with Sheppard and Beckett). However, the network and Rob felt the script needed some action off the top. I thought about it and came up with this scene that 1) established the creepy mood we’d be touching on later in the episode and 2) offered me a way of working the gas masked figure (Michael) into the episode. Also, given that I wanted this episode to follow the traditional horror flick structure, I felt that a scare off the top was a terrific idea. The one point I was resolute about, however, was that we not reveal the look of the creature. Not here. Not yet. I also thought it important to establish some sort of unique sound for the creatures, something we could establish early and then use as a cue later in the episode to signal their approach. Editor Mike Banas came up with a temporary solution, a variation on a dolphin’s chittering which I found very effective. So effective, in fact, that when a new sound was created for the Day 1 mix, I asked them to put Mike’s original creation back...

To be continued…

Actor removes her eyeballs and puts them in a plastic container for safe keeping.

Fringe - Video: Flight 627

Courtesy of FOX and HULU, a preview trailer for the new series Fringe: Flight 627.

Fringe - Flight 627

Web Exclusive |03:25 |

J.J. Abrams brings a mysterious new drama to FOX.

Fringe premieres on FOX on Tuesday September 9 at 8/7C. Starring Kirk Acevedo, Blair Brown, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Anna Torv and Olivia Dunham.

Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv and John Noble

Eureka - Video: Joe Morton Q&A - Part 1

Courtesy of the SciFi Channel and HULU, Joe Morton Q&A - Part 1.

Eureka - Joe Morton Q&A - Part 1

Web Exclusive |05:30 |

Joe Morton, star of "Eureka" answers fan questions from San Diego Comic-Con 2008.

The next NEW Eureka episode, 'Phased and Confused,' airs Tuesday September 9 at 9pm on the SciFi Channel (US).

David Boreanaz - Bones - Video: Pilot Episode

Courtesy of HULU, the series premiere episode of Bones, starring Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin, Eric Millegan, T.J. Thyne and Jonathan Adams. Guest stars include Sam Trammell, Chris Conner, Larry Poindexter, Tyrees Allen and John Sterling Carter.

A dramatic series about a female forensic anthropologist who steps in to solve crimes when other crime solving methods have failed. Based on real life work of Kathy Reichs.

Eureka - HypaSpace Podcast:: Cast Audio Interview

From Canada's Space Channel's HypaSpace Podcast:


September 4

- Colin Ferguson, Joe Morton, Salli Richardson, and Jaime Paglia discuss the new season of Eureka. Elizabeth Mitchell, Josh Holloway, and Michael Emerson talk about how hard it is to keep the secrets of LOST. As well, Battlestar Galactica author Peter David has a theory as to the identity of the final Cylon, and host Mark Askwith is joined by Natasha Eloi and they discuss their week.

Podcast Link

ReGenesis - Video: 'Prions'

Courtesy of HULU, ReGenesis' 'Prions,' starring Peter Outerbridge, Maxim Roy, Conrad Pla, Mayko Nguyen, Dmitry Chepovetsky, Mishu Vellani and Greg Bryk. Guest stars include Ellen Page, Mark Rendall, John Boylan, Hugh Dillon and Khan Soroor.

NorBAC investigates an outbreak of prion disease (mad cow) in humans. The victims are spread out across North America. How are the cases connected?

Eureka - New Episode 'Phased and Confused' Tue Sept 9 '08

The next new Eureka episode, 'Phased and Confused,' airs Tuesday, September 9 at 9pm on the SciFi Channel (US).

The emergence of a superhero makes Carter's job more difficult; Thorne's subterranean search for a secret beneath Eureka imperils Zoe and her friends.

At, view the episode trailer.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Video: Hollywood 411 interviewsThomas Dekker

Courtesy of TV Guide's Hollywood 411 and HULU, S Connor Chronicles: Thomas Dekker.

Celebrity Interviews

Interview |04:37 |

Hot, young star Thomas Dekker of THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES joins Chris Harrison in the Hollywood 411 studio to talk the upgrades to season 2; think of it as SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES 2.0

Stargate Atlantis - iO9: Interview with Masters FX's Dan Rebert

At iO9:

(Please follow the link for the complete interview.)

The aging of Robert Patrick (Col. Sumner) from Stargate Atlantis' series premiere episode, 'Rising,' from the Masters FX site.

Creature Creator Dan Rebert Talks to io9 About Alien Influences and True Blood

We’ve made no secret of our admiration for special effects artists. This week, we got to talk with Dan Rebert, the Effects Producer for MastersFX, the house that created the aliens of Stargate Atlantis and Slither. Rebert told us all about his cultural influences, talked Stargate, and gave us the inside scoop on the fang physiology behind his current project, HBO series True Blood.


Now on a weekly show like Stargate Atlantis – I know that different houses have different approaches to weekly alien shows. What would you say your goal is on a weekly alien show like Stargate Atlantis?

Creature from Stargate Atlantis' 'Vengeance,' from the Masters FX site.
DR: "A lot of what I look at – and again, keep in mind, too, that the shop that I run down here in LA – we have a shop in Vancouver, too, and the Vancouver shop does the majority of the prosthetic work for it. The LA shop, we mainly get involved when it’s puppets or full body suits or a prosthetic that is very complex. So the shop down here, we’re more set up for larger creations.

But this shop down here did the initial construction of the Wraiths, and we actually just did something that I was real proud of for Atlantis. I think it was last year or the year before, but it was an episode called “Vengeance” that was basically an homage to the Alien movies. And it was a pretty good episode, but one of the things – we had a bunch of different designers doing monster designs for it. But when I read the script it was like, 'This is obviously an homage to the Alien movies.' So what I did then in terms of a design was something that was very reminiscent of that alien. And so a lot of times in reading those scripts – the Stargate shows kind of are a celebration of science fiction and a lot of times they kind of nod to other shows that have been done before – and a lot of times, when I see that in a script that obviously they have for the shows, obviously we don’t want to want to directly copy off of anything, but I think that’s the best approach for them is really read the script, find out what they had in mind when they were writing it, what maybe they were thinking of, and give it an original design based on those directions. The way I did it with the Vengeance monster, a lot of the front of the face was very similar to the alien – I knew they would like that – but in terms of the rest of the body, I actually modeled it after a flea. [Laughs.] Well, they’re pretty terrifying-looking when you see them up close. And I actually told them that when they were up there and they were very happy with the monster. And it was like, 'Yeah, this was what we wanted.' And I was like, “Yeah, I modeled it off a flea.' And they were like, 'A flea?” Well, you know, you take what works.'"

Creature from Stargate Atlantis' 'Vengeance,' from the Masters FX site.


Did you have consultants on any of the science fiction shows, or was that mostly on the other shows?
DR: "Not so much on the Stargates and stuff like that, but there usually is a medical consultant on most of the medical procedure shows we do. Like, we did a show a long time ago, Kingdom Hospital, and there was a medical consultant that was very involved in the brain surgeries and things of that nature. I’m trying to think if we didn’t have any consultants on True Blood. I can’t think of any off-hand. They don’t really have too many vampire specialists. I think that was Alan’s job because Alan came up with the whole mythology of the vampires. I had an interview for HBO and I was explaining to them how vampire blood is very thick and syrupy and human blood is more runny and brighter red, and they asked me, 'Well, how do you know what vampire blood looks like?' And I said, 'Alan Ball told me!' Well, he’s the boss."


The link to Masters FX site:

Stargate Atlantis - SciFi Weekly: SGA Season 4 DVD Review

From SciFi Weekly:

(Please follow the link for the complete review.)


(The author rated the SGA season 4 DVD set with a B.)

September 05, 2008

Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Fourth Season DVD

Amanda Tapping and Jewel Staite jump to Atlantis for a season of flux—and a growing Replicator threat

By Melissa Perenson

The cast and producers of Stargate Atlantis noted that season four represented a reset of sorts. Understandably so: By episode two, Dr. Elizabeth Weir had died in the line of duty; a new yet familiar commander, Col. Samantha Carter (Tapping), took charge; a new doctor, Dr. Keller (Jewel Staite), signed on; and other characters were in a state of flux after recent upheavals.

The dual focal points of the season were the introduction of Carter into the command structure and the challenges faced by Atlantis as it faced the growing Replicator threat. Bringing Carter aboard from SG-1 was an organic and natural maneuver given the nature of Atlantis and the challenges the expedition faced in its fourth season.

But sadly, Carter's new role was not maximized in the best ways possible, and Tapping never quite settled into the role. And few of this season's episodes jump out of the pack. While some episodes, like "Trio," were ambitious, others felt more like rehashes, doing less to advance the Atlantis narrative than one might expect, given how much was going on this season (Teyla's pregnancy, the ongoing Wraith threat, the battle against the Replicators)...

...I always enjoy the meaty, informative commentaries on Stargate sets. Given the addition of Tapping's Carter, I had high hopes for Atlantis this season, but the season fell a bit short of what I'd hoped for. — Melissa

Stargate Atlantis - Video: Spacecast: Cast Interviews on Cancellation

At Canada's Space Channel's new current events series, 'The Circuit.'

(Please follow the link to view the video in its original format.)

(Video runs approximately 2 mins 17 secs).

Stargate Atlantis cancellation, New Stargate show, plus more...

Mini-interviews with: David Hewlett, Joseph Mallozzi, Amanda Tapping, Joe Flanigan, Rachel Luttrell, Paul McGillion, Robert Picardo and Brad Wright. Plus, several clips of behind the scenes filming on SGA sets.

'The Circuit' is being repeated:

Sat 9/6 9:30 AM
Sat 9/6 1:30 PM
Sun 9/7 4:00 AM
Mon 9/8 5:30 AM

Please confirm the times with your local Canadian TV listings.

Stargate Atlantis - Behind the Scenes photos from 'Whispers'

At Joseph Mallozzi's blog update for September 5, 2008:

(Please follow the link for the complete blog update and to view are new Stargate Atlantis season five behind the scenes production photos from 'Whispers,' in their original format and to view the new video, a tour of Stage 2, part 1, with Carl Binder, at the site.)

September 5, 2008: Whispers

Hey, Whispers finally airs tonight (10:00 p.m. on Sci Fi)! If you enjoy thoughtful, character-driven stories that explore the themes of trust, friendship, and the indomitability of the human spirit, then you should definitely check out our last episode, The Shrine. If, on the other hand, you’re in the mood for some good creepy fun, then tonight’s episode is for you. Sit back, break out the popcorn, and enjoy.

Back when I first started thinking about this story at the beginning of the season, I knew there were certain elements I wanted to include: an abandoned village, a mysterious fog, and things that go bump in the night. I also wanted to incorporate some new characters into the mix as a means of keeping the viewers off-balance. I didn’t want them to be red shirts but personalities that the viewers could invest in and care about - particularly when darkness fell and the fog rolled in. After all, let’s face it - we know that our cast will most probably live to fight another day. Secondary characters on the other hand are fair game and that’s one of the great things about horror movies: you never know who’s going to make it to the final credits. So, over the course of a week or two, I fleshed out the idea. I decided on a threat that, while different, was nevertheless linked to the show’s mythology. I came up with a logical reason for that pervasive fog. And, I created an all-female team to ride shotgun with Sheppard and Beckett on this one.

The three biggest challenges in this episode were the fog, the casting, and the look of the creatures. We ran into some problems with our initial fog test on stage 4. While it certainly looked great, certain crew members were feeling less so after spending a little over an hour in the swirling mist. Adding to the concern was the fact that it would take hours to fog up the village set and then a good half day to clear it out. Several ideas were bounced around, from trimming down the fog sequences significantly, adjusting the density, or even shooting through a fogged aquarium to approximate the desired look. In the end, it was Production Designer James Robbins who came up with the perfect compromise solution. Rather than make cuts to the script or go with a thinner fog level, we tented certain areas of the FX stage. We had three tented areas, each of which could be quickly fogged up for the appropriate scenes. Will would run a rehearsal with the actors first, then bring in the second team to make sure his shots were set up just the way he wanted them. Finally, the tent was fogged up and the actors returned to shoot the scene. We tried to minimize their exposure to the fog element.

The all-female team was made up of:

Major Anne Teldy, a tough as nails, by-the-book commanding officer who was, of course, named after blog regular (and contest winner) Anne Teldy. When it came to casting, I was looking for someone good, strong, and, above all else, believable. And Christina Cox’s audition delivered that in spades. Watching it, I totally bought into her as a kick-ass military officer. Of course, a lot of that could have had to do with the fact that Christina is pretty kick-ass in person. She’s had weapons training and extensively researched previous roles in procedural drama. She was perfect.

Captain Alicia Vega was introduced in Search and Rescue but her meaty scenes were unfortunately cut for time. Of the foursome and despite the fact that she is a Captain, she has seen little action in the Pegasus Galaxy. Despite being relatively green to off-world excursions, she’s eager to get out and flex her muscles (as evidenced by her take-down of the wraith dart in S&R). Leela Savasta had a small part in a past Atlantis episode (in The Tao of Rodney) but did such a memorable job that we had no qualms about casting her in the role. In my mind, the two characters are twin sisters - one military, the other serving as a member of the expedition’s science department.

Sergeant “Dusty“ Mehra, the team’s trash-talking loose cannon with a fierce hankering for some alien ass-kicking. There were a number of great auditions for this colorful character, but the role ultimately went to actress Janina Gavankar who, it turns out, was given the wrong sides and came in thinking she was auditioning for the role of Major Teldy. The fact that she had next to no time to prepare what was essentially a cold read made the audition all the more impressive.

Dr. Alison Porter, team scientist and resident adorable nerd. Nicole de Boer didn’t audition for Porter. Like Janina, she actually came in to read for the role of Major Teldy but, even reading Teldy’s dialogue, it was clear to Paul and I that we had found our Porter. After she’d been cast, Nicole admitted that she was actually bummed when told she’d be auditioning for Teldy. She thought she’d make a better Porter!

As for the creatures - more on them and the masterful job of Todd Masters and the team at Masters FX later next week.



Alfredo De La Fe writes: “I wanted to ask- at this point is there any point to fans “protesting” the cancellation of SGA? Could the jack be stuffed back in the box at this point? Is there even a remote possibility of them reversing their decision?”

Answer: I seriously doubt it. The decision has been made and, while I empathize with the fans, I think it’s unlikely that their protests will change anyone’s mind. A significant and sustained ratings spike, on the other hand, would certainly raise a few eyebrows.

MrsB108 writes: “Do any of the remaining episodes end on an unhappy note?”

Answer: Yep.


Today’s video: Carl takes us on a tour of Stage 2. Part 1.

[NOTE: Stage 2 has the puddle jumper, a F302, a wraith dart, and a the interiors to a wraith hive ship.]