Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stargate: Universe - Joseph Mallozzi: Spinning Stargate: Universe!

At Joseph Mallozzi’s blog:

(Please follow all the links for the complete blog posts.)

Spinning Stargate: Universe - Day One

… We were all back in the office today, spinning stories for season one of Stargate: Universe. In attendance: creators Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, Carl Binder, Martin Gero, Alan McCullough, Paul Mullie, and myself. The first order of business was, of course, catching each other up on what we’ve been up to since last we met. I can’t help but think that if everyone on staff blogged as well, we’d be able to access all of this information before going into the office and could thereby dispense with the niceties of social interaction and get right to work. Easier said than done however. Paul’s Commodore 64 is not internet-capable and don’t get me started on Carl’s IBM Selectric, the Queen of electric typewriters.

Our second order of business was providing notes for episode #1. Brad and Rob did a terrific job of kicking things off in thrilling fashion. The script is fast-paced and fun; its characters unique and engaging. My favorite: Dr. David Rush. Oh, he’s going to be a handful. Originally planned as a two-parter, Brad and Robert quickly discovered that there was simply too much story for such a tight frame, so the series opener is now looking like a three-parter.

In addition to that first script, Brad and Rob provided us with a beat sheet and springboards for several more stories. Brad has laid claim to #4, a story that is right up his alley. Speaking of perfect pairings, I couldn’t think of anyone better than Carl Binder to write #5. Rob is eyeing #6 which offers a most intriguingly SF door in, while #7 and #8 have yet to be claimed.

As I mentioned in a previous entry, Stargate: Universe is a series that draws on established mythology yet blazes a bold, new path for the franchise. It’s definitely more character-centered and intimate in its exploration of the interpersonal dynamics that will drive a lot of the shipboard developments (and, no, I’m not talking about romance). The premise of this ship hurtling through uncharted territories offers up unbounded story possibilities, yet also forces us to adopt a very different approach toward alien encounters and planetary investigation. Twin themes mentioned over the course of today’s conversations: survival and sacrifice.

Prep-production is progressing nicely. Rob showed me about eight different designs for the Destiny. According to him, they’re getting close. No casting news to convey but some interesting names are being bandied about. The search continues. Finally, another element I’m loving is the SGU version of the SG-1/Atlantis MALP (Mobile Analytic Laboratory Probe). Very cool.

Tomorrow, we discuss Brad’s first story following the big three-part opener, establish some of the big picture storylines and arcs we’d like to pursue over the course of the show’s first 20 episodes, and then start breaking Carl’s story ...

Spinning Stargate: Universe Day Two

... Back in the office today. Brad and Rob were in a meeting this morning so Paul and I ended up discussing the outline for the SGA movie. He’ll be making a few changes to the structure and then, hopefully, put it out before week‘s end. Once the meeting wrapped, we convened in the writers’ room and talked big picture notions for the series, the big bang, our expanding universe, and the interesting repercussions of FTL travel on both contact parties involved in an instantaneous means of communication. Oh, and the post-production schedule is out. It looks like February 4th will be the first day of principal photography ...

Spinning Stargate: Universe Day #3

... Back at it today, spinning Stargate: Universe. With a first draft of episode #1 in hand and episodes #2-4 mapped out, we turned our attention to episode #5, Carl’s baby. After much heated debate on the motivating factors that “complicate things for our gang“, we ended up breaking the story in a little less than two hours …

We ended the day with a general discussion of SGU: some future storylines, a couple of surprises, yes there will be a mid-season two-parter, and the types of individuals who will make up the Destiny’s extended crew ...

Spinning Stargate: Universe Day #4

... With five stories in place, we turned our attention to episode #6 today, beating out Marty G.’s very first SGU script. This one involved a long, loooooong discussion on the workings of a certain technology which forms the impetus to another terrific character-driven story. Next week, we have stories to break for Rob, Alan, Paul, and myself after which we head off for two weeks of fun in the sun (or rising sun in my case). Then, we’re back in the office for one more week of discussion on the (hopefully) completed outline ...

Spinning Stargate: Universe Day #5

... Well, back in the office today. While Brad and Robert worked on revisions to the first script, the rest of us kept busy in our respective offices surfing the internet, phoning home, and making final preparations for our trip to Tokyo. At a little after 11:00, we convened in the writers’ room and started spinning Alan’s story. We broke for lunch, then resumed the discussion on shipboard justice and the ever-developing interrelations among the crew. Factions, fractions, and surprising revelations. By the time we called it a day, we had beaten out Alan’s story ...

Spinning Stargate: Universe Day #6

... Went into the office today and did the Whispers commentary with director Will Waring, after which the writers gathered to discuss one of Rob’s story ideas. It’s a great premise that, when I read it, left me wondering “How the hell is this going to work?” and, after much back and forth, we eventually came up with the logic construct to make it work (see Brad‘s whiteboard diagram for the explanation [photo at the site]) ...

Spinning Stargate: Universe Day #7

... Back on the office today for another day of SGU spinning. We skipped episode 9 (While I like the general premise and think it could be a lot of fun and, really, at the end of the day who doesn’t like fun?, I feel that, unlike the other stories we’ve discussed so far, this one is far more nebulous. Fearing we might well spend our final three days trying to spin a story out of this kernel of an idea, I suggested we move on to #10 and #11 which, at the very least, are somewhat more substantial in comparison) and moved on to the two-parter. I hesitate to call it a two-parter because, the way these episodes have developed so far, there are a threads that run through all the stories, in essence making this season one big 20-parter. Now given that some of you have started comparing SGU to existing shows on the basis of what little information has been released thus far, I thought it might be a good idea to help paint a clearer picture of the show. And so, to those of you looking for standing comparisons, I’d say more Lost than Battlestar, more Dr. Who than Heroes, more The Office than My Name Is Earl ...

Spinning Stargate: Universe Day #8

... Today was our final day of spinning on Stargate: Universe and we finished in impressive fashion, breaking not one but TWO stories. The first, episode #10 is mine (Carl is especially excited about this one) while #11 falls to Paul. Ticking clocks, twists and turns, alliances, betrayals, and a surprise guest! And, just like that, we have our first 10 stories in play. Now, all that remains to be done is to write the outlines, design and build the sets, design and create the costumes, design and produce the props, nail down the crew, cast the roles of Young, Rush, Scott, Eli, Tamara, Chloe, Stasiak, Wray, and Brody (among others), and everything else that needs to be done before we start shooting in early February. I have a feeling our visual effects department is going to have a blast with this show!

Easing Back into a Routine

... Well, back to work, but not back to the office. We were supposed to reconvene next week but, as expected, Brad and Robert are up to their eyeballs in scriptwriting and series prep so, instead, we’ll be flying solo, working on our own outlines and scripts. Rob showed me the stack of ship designs they were mulling over last time I was in and I suspect that he and Brad have probably narrowed their choice down by now.

So far, Martin, Carl, and Alan have put out outlines (and I’ve already provided notes on all three), and Rob and Brad have put out the first draft of the opening three-parter, Air, which puts me tied for last place with Paul (who, I’m assuming, is just about finished his pass on our outline for the SGA movie). Priority #1 now for me is hammering out an outline for the first part of the SGU mid-season two-parter. From what I understand, casting is still ongoing but I expect we’ll be hearing word on some decisions soon…soon ...

Stargate: Universe - GateWorld: Universe premiere is 'Air'

At GateWorld:

(Please follow the link for the complete article.)

Universe premiere is 'Air'


The working title for the 3-hour premiere of Stargate Universe has been revealed.

A brief excerpt:

The first working title of Stargate Universe has been revealed, kicking off the next era of our episode-by-episode coverage. The series premiere of the third live-action Stargate series will be titled "Air," according to executive producer Joseph Mallozzi (blog).

Crusoe - Video: 'Heroes and Villains'

Courtesy of NBC and HULU, Crusoe's 'Heroes and Villains,' starring Philip Winchester, Tongai Arnold Chirisa, Jeremy Crutchley, Mark Dexter, Mía Maestro, Sam Neill and Anna Walton.

As Taylor's commandeered ship readies to sail, Crusoe must work quickly to get it back in the captain's command and secure his passage home.

Stargate Atlantis - Behind the Scenes Video from 'Infection!'

At Joseph Mallozzi's blog update for December 7, 2008:

(Please follow the link for the complete blog update and to view the New behind the scenes video from Infection at the site.)

December 7, 2008: Campognolo Opens Its Doors


Check out the video at the end of this entry for a behind-the-scene peek at the B-side of a scene from Infection.


JenR writes: “It’s lovely that you (ALL OF YOU) seem to not understand why we’re frustrated with the show and what’s happened with Rodney. […] We’re upset because Keller has become the focus of the show along with Rodney. It’s all about them while the other characters get shoved to the side. Just because they’re your favorites does NOT mean you can only write for them.”
Answer: You‘re right. I don‘t seem to understand the argument that Keller and Rodney have become to focus of the show. I looked at the episode’s I wrote this season. Broken Ties was a Ronon story with secondary stories for both Teyla and Woolsey. Whispers focused on Sheppard, Beckett, and the new team. Remnants was actually three seemingly separate storylines, one dealing with Sheppard, the other dealing with Woolsey, and the third dealing with McKay and Zelenka. I then looked at Paul’s [Mullie] episodes. Enemy at the Gate is a team episode (you’ll have to see to judge for yourself) while The Seed was more a team episode if anything. The attempt to argue that this was a Keller episode really serves to undermine your argument. She had little to do in the episode but lie there as victim. If it had been Teyla in her place and I had announced this would be a Teyla-centered episode, you can be pretty damn sure the Teyla fans would have been up in arms. I then looked at Alan’s [McCullough] episodes. Infection, Daedalus Variations, and The Outsiders were team episodes. The Queen focused on Teyla. Over to Alex’s [Levine] lone episode, Inquisition - it can be argued that this was a team episode or, moreover, a “show” episode. The upcoming Vegas, Robert’s [Cooper] lone episode, is through and through a Sheppard episode while Brad’s [Wright] lone early season episode, The Shrine was, yes, a McKay episode. Looking at Carl’s [Binder] episodes, you have Ghost in the Machine (another team episode), Tracker (equal parts Ronon, Rodney, and Keller), The Prodigal (again team with some focus on Teyla) and, finally Identity (again, Keller as victim but the focus of the episode is more the guest star here). Finally, let’s look at Martin’s [Gero] episodes. Search and Rescue was a team episode. The mid-season two-parter had three different storylines - one dealing with McKay and Daniel, another dealing with Sheppard and the Travelers, and the third dealing with Ronon and Keller on board the Daedalus). Sure, you can argue that one part (the McKay/Daniel thread) had more emphasis, but it was hardly the focus of these two episodes. And, finally, Brain Storm - yes, a McKay and Keller episode.

As for the argument that the Keller/McKay relationship has become the main focus of the show, let’s chart its development: The Shrine (final scene, McKay admits his love for Keller), Tracker (final scene, McKay and Ronon admit their mutual interesting Keller), The Lost Tribe (final scene, Keller informs Ronon she is interested in someone else), Brain Storm (McKay and Keller’s first date, the relationship is solidified). Again, hardly the focus of the show’s fifth season.

Stargate Atlantis - Entertainment Weekly Online: Pop Watch: The dumbest TV moves of 2008?

At Entertainment Weekly Online:

(Please follow the link to respond with your suggestions!)

The dumbest TV moves of 2008: What are your picks?

Dec 5, 2008, 06:18 PM | by Dan Snierson

The distance from the Earth to the sun is approximately 93 million miles. Pi equals 3.14159265358979323.... Oh, sorry--we didn't see you there. We were just sitting around, you know, being smart. Which happens to be a big topic of this week's EW. We've put our brains together and come up with a very provocative list: Three Dumbest TV Moves of 2008. Our picks: The decision to let the five reality-host nominees emcee the 60th Annual Emmy Awards. To hold series back after the writers' strike. And, yes, to keep revamping Knight Rider.

So now it's time for you to weigh in, PopWatchers. Do you agree with these choices? If not, what are your nominations for excellence in stupidity? Remember, there are no stupid responses. Just stupid people who don't respond to questions we ask.

[Cancelling Stargate Atlantis the same year it won a Peoples Choice Award for Best SciFi TV Show and is earning higher ratings than the previous year is HIGH on MY list of dumb moves in 2008! - Morjana]

Roswell - Video: 'Leaving Normal'

Courtesy of HULU, Roswell's 'Leaving Normal,' starring Shiri Appleby, Jason Behr, Katherine Heigl, Majandra Delfino, Brendan Fehr, and Nick Wechsler. Guest stars include William Sadler, John Doe, Jo Anderson, Carroll Baker and David Smigelski.

Liz's Grandmother has a stroke. Max consoles her.

David Boreanaz - Bones - Video: 'Player Under Pressure'

Courtesy of HULU, from Bones' third season, 'Player Under Pressure,' starring Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin, Eric Millegan, Tamara Taylor and T.J. Thyne. Guest stars include James Black, Jamil Walker Smith, Daniel Roebuck, Michael McGrady, Erik von Detten and Whitney Anderson.

Brennan and Booth visit a college campus where human remains are found under the bleachers of a basketball court.

Battlestar Galactica - SFX Magazine: NEW BSG Board Game

At SFX Magazine:

(Please follow the link for the complete article.)

Sunday December 07, 2008

Playing the new BSG boardgame

Some of the SFX team got their sticky hands on the new Battlestar Galactica board game last month. It's surprisingly complex, with stacks of pieces, including little plastic vipers and Cylon raiders, plus loads of different card decks. There's a 32-page rulebook and a wide board representing different areas on the Galactica, Colonial One and various planets. Cardboard counters represent civilian ships and Cylon basestars.

... The game is for three to six players and is published by Fantasy Flight Games for £34.99. There is a review in SFX 178, on sale on Wednesday 17 December.

Star Trek - Canada: Space Channel: Trek Movie Marathon Christmas Day

At Canada's Space Channel:

Beginning 6:30am on December 25 '08, watch all TEN Star Trek Movies!

6:30 AM - Star Trek: The Motion Picture

9:15 AM - Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan

11:45 AM - Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

2:00 PM - Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

4:30 PM - Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

6:45 PM - Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

9:15 PM - Star Trek: Generations

11:45 PM - Star Trek: First Contact

Friday, December 26, 2008

2:15 AM - Star Trek: Insurrection

4:30 AM - Star Trek: Nemesis