Stargate SG-1 premiered to Showtime viewers on July 27, 1997! The show set a few records and gave its fans a decade of sci-fi enjoyment as they followed the adventures of Jack O’Neill and Daniel Jackson, joined by Samantha Carter and Teal’c, as they formed the first SG team and visited each Stargate address discovered by Daniel on Abydos.
It seemed just like yesterday, didn’t it? Did you catch the premiere or did you pick up the adventures when the show went into syndication? What were your favorite adventures? Does the show stand up to the test of time?
On June 19, 2010, Joe Mallozzi surprised fans by revealing in his blog that executive producer Robert C. Cooper was leaving the world of Stargate. Having worked on the shows since the first episodes of Stargate: SG-1, Rob Cooper moved out of his office at The Bridge Studios on Friday, June 25, 2010, after 14 years, an incredible length of time for anyone on a single television franchise. While he’ll have some limited participation in the rest of Stargate Universe‘s second season, his tenure as a full-time executive producer on the Stargate franchise has come to an end.
Because Mr. Cooper’s influence on the Stargate franchise was so extensive, we felt it only fitting to examine and celebrate his contributions, which we Solutions editors have followed since 1998. The material here is gleaned from our site’s archives of episode guides, interviews, and DVD specials, as well as from other internet sources. In the interest of readability, we’re only giving formal sources for exact quotes.
After you read the article, be sure to scroll to the bottom and vote for your 10 favorite Robert Cooper episodes!
Robert C. Cooper, Executive Producer
Robert Cooper began his Stargate career in Season 1 of Stargate: SG-1 as an executive story editor, and he is credited as such through the episode 2.10 “Bane”. While an editor he also wrote five SG-1 episodes, including 1.11 “The Torment Of Tantalus” and 2.02 “In The Line Of Duty”. SG-1 creators Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner must have seen great potential in Cooper, as they promoted him to co-producer beginning with 2.11 “The Tok’ra Part 1”. By the beginning of Season 3, he was a full producer, and by 3.12 “Jolinar’s Memories” he was a supervising producer. Each promotion gave him more responsibility for the many decisions that go into creation of a single episode, as well as for the direction of the show overall.
At the end of Season 3, co-creator Jonathan Glassner left Stargate: SG-1. Mr. Cooper became co-executive producer at that point, meaning he shared show-running responsibilities with Brad Wright. Beginning in Season 7, Brad Wright stepped back to become a consulting producer on SG-1, while spending most of his time developing Stargate Atlantis, with Cooper’s input and participation there as well. For Seasons 7 through 10, Cooper ran SG-1, although Wright was still involved as a producer and writer and credited as co-creator.
Conversely, on Stargate Atlantis, Cooper is credited as an executive producer and co-creator, although he was less involved in the day-to-day producing than he was for SG-1. By Season 4 of Atlantis, SG-1 was canceled and Wright relinquished day-to-day Atlantis show-running duties to long-time producers Joe Mallozzi and Paul Mullie. Cooper and Wright continued to work on new concepts for the franchise, mostly aimed at movies. They wrote and produced the two SG-1 direct-to-DVD movies, whose sales exceeded expectations. One of Cooper’s Stargate movie concepts became the premise for the third series, Stargate Universe. After it was green-lit, they became co-show-runners for Season 1. For Season 2, Mallozzi and Mullie became executive producers as well. Midway through Season 2, Cooper moved on from Stargate, although he will write one episode for the latter half of the season.
In all, Robert Cooper is credited with writing 36 episodes of SG-1 plus the movie Stargate: The Ark of Truth. He was co-writer for a further 11 episodes of SG-1. He wrote four episodes of Atlantis and co-wrote seven more. He wrote one episode of Stargate Universe’s first season and co-wrote five others. For those interested in statistics, Cooper wrote or co-wrote 65 of 336 episodes and movies, or about 20% of the 16 seasons’ worth of Stargate entertainment we’ve enjoyed so far. That’s a uniquely prolific chunk of television.
Beyond the episodes he wrote himself, once he became an executive producer, Cooper had influence over all the elements of the Stargate series, including editing and even rewriting others’ scripts. He partnered collaboratively with Brad Wright to oversee the writing and production staff, the directors, crew, and cast — well over 100 people in all on each show. Along with Wright, he dealt with all the business aspects of the show, working with Showtime, MGM and Syfy on everything from budgets to script approvals to publicity. During the years when SG-1 and Atlantis were in production at the same time, and when Richard Dean Anderson was not available full-time, Cooper added complex scheduling to his list of difficult tasks. Not to be overlooked, he also became a director of some of his own scripts, and those episodes represented his singular vision, often one outside the Stargate norm.
Since the production of a franchise like Stargate is so collaborative, it’s often hard for fans like us to pin-point exactly who contributed which aspects to the show. It’s also often been said that no one person contributes in a vacuum, as ideas are bounced around and evolve to the point that no one person can claim credit for the end result. However based on episodes he wrote and what he has said in interviews, DVD specials, and elsewhere, we can infer Mr. Cooper’s contributions with some degree of confidence.
Such evidence leaves no doubt that Robert Cooper created many enduring aspects of Stargate canon, establishing arcs that spanned many seasons and developing the characters audiences came to love. Following is a discussion of some of the many ways he contributed.
Allies and Adversaries
Many enduring friends and enemies appeared for the first time in episodes Robert Cooper wrote:
A consideration of the list reveals Cooper created villains who were purely villainous. Among the Replicators, Ori, Anubis and the Wraith, none were open to being reasoned with. They operated only according to their own benefit, and mercy didn’t enter into their behaviors. In this sense they were not ambiguous in their evil. Some viewers may argue this made them less interesting, but there was no question it would be a monumental challenge to defeat them.
On the other hand, the allies he created for Earth were not unambiguously good. The Tok’ra had their own secret motives and weren’t above lying about them. Ascended beings at first appeared to be purely good but were revealed to be quite undependable — their arcane and unfathomable rules regarding helping beings on our plane of existence meant they had to be renegades to their own kind to be helpful to humanity.
Initially what we had was SG-1 were the good guys and the Goa’uld were the bad guys, but the Goa’uld were so powerful that there was really no way that SG-1 even stood a chance. That’s why the Asgard were introduced. In a way, the Asgard were as much an adversary to the Goa’uld as we were, and we became friends with them.
Shortly after the Asgard were introduced, we realized ‘uh-oh, we’ve created an adversary for the Goa’uld that are in fact are so powerful that it doesn’t really make sense why the Asgard haven’t wiped the Goa’uld out.’ And it was kind of looking at that hole in the series that made us invent the Replicators.
Really, the reason we invented the Tok’ra was, how do you get out of the problem of having a Goa’uld in one of your main characters? Well, the twist is what if that Goa’uld was actually a good guy.
The Ancients and Ascension are very much about the continuation of the human soul beyond humanity as we know it… And the idea of the Ancients is that they evolved, eventually they became so knowledgeable of the universe and of the understanding of existence that they were able to shed their human bodies and turn into energy.
In Season 9 came new villains and a significant change in direction for SG-1. Also in the mythology special, Brad Wright gave Cooper credit for giving the show a new start, while still keeping all the groundwork laid out in the previous eight seasons. “Robert, I think quite correctly, said, ‘Look, let’s introduce a new bad guy. Let’s introduce a new long-term large arc that can essentially be a new mythology that’s still very much within the Stargate universe.'” Cooper then explained the concept further:
I wanted the new bad guys to have the same feeling, to have the same essence, that the relationship with the Goa’uld was at the beginning of the series. They can be posing as gods, but have even more power.
One of the things that we intentionally did was looked at the colorful flamboyance of the Goa’uld and took a decidedly darker approach to the Ori. The Priors are quite obviously the priests in the religion. What’s interesting about them is that, again, they have supernatural abilities. […] I was really interested in making the warriors multidimensional. I really wanted to kind of understand what it would be like on the other side. So, by putting Vala behind enemy lines, so to speak, and having her develop this relationship—I mean, here’s a guy who she really could have probably spent her life with, who just so happened to be a holy crusader.
Of all the elements Cooper introduced and explored in his episodes, perhaps the Ancients were the most significant to the franchise. Identified initially as the gate builders, their existence, influence, and the technology they left behind became a driving force of Stargate SG-1‘s quest to find The Lost City. This search gave rise to the series Stargate Atlantis, and later a means to wipe out the Ori of SG-1. The Ancients built Destiny and so became the narrative impetus for the Stargate Universe series as well. In the mythological sense, then, the Ancients turned out to be a much more fruitful creation than the Goa’uld, who after all only ruled one galaxy. The Ancients fueled three television series!
The story arcs of Stargate reflect Cooper and Wright’s appreciation of The Hero’s Journey, that is, the fundamental elements of mythological storytelling: “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”
Cooper has alluded to this literary concept directly, such as when discussing why the teams have four people (SG-1 season 10 aside):
There’s a very in-depth writing theory about groups of four, four characters being the perfect symmetrical number for writing. There was an analysis of the Coen brothers’ movie, ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ about how, within classic storytelling, having four characters is not just creatively, but mythologically, the best scenario.
Especially in Stargate: SG-1, the hero’s journey is very evident, with SG-1 being the heroic team, and our galaxy being the place of wonder and fabulous forces. The team ventures forth, encounters amazing things, fights fearsome enemies, and brings back knowledge and technology to protect and advance humankind on Earth and throughout our galaxy. There are also individual journeys, such as Daniel’s ascension and return, and Teal’c’s quest to free his people. As in the monomyth, often the team is helped on their journey by wise guides, be it Thor, Oma Desala, or Merlin. Individual journeys end with the characters transformed in some way, as each member of SG-1 matured, grew, and changed their views of and interaction with the universe.
In Stargate Atlantis, the heroic journeys were not as apparent, as the situation in Pegasus became one of survival and reaction right from the beginning. Beyond that, the main quest was that Sheppard and his team were driven to undo the damage they’d done by awakening the Wraith, to save Pegasus from them and other scourges such as the Asurans (Replicators). Still, the expedition members did return to Earth with new knowledge and technology, and the characters certainly did evolve.
In Stargate Universe the idea of the classic hero’s journey seems to have been largely abandoned in favor of other types of storytelling. Rather than a “band of brothers” on a planned journey, nearly all of the crew of Destiny didn’t choose to go on the adventure, and for the most part wouldn’t have chosen each other to travel with. They have no control over their course, and their continued survival is so tenuous that returning home to Earth seems impossibly far out of reach. Moreover, if and when they do return to Earth physically (e.g., not via the stones), the premise of the show would appear to be over. It would be interesting to know if this change was one Cooper chose purposefully, since he was such a strong architect of the heroic form on SG-1.
Major Character Arcs
The episodes Cooper wrote alone had some fundamental, often unforgettable character developments that became touchstones of the shows’ canon:
Cooper branched out to directing beginning in Season 9 of SG-1 and Season 3 of Atlantis. With one exception (SGU 1.14 “Human”), he directed episodes he also wrote and produced, meaning what ended up on screen represented his vision in every essential respect, from casting to editing to special effects. Many of his episodes became fan favorites due to their stylistic distinctness and their tendency to explore new facets of the characters. To be fair, as executive producer he had more leeway with his episodes’ budgets than other directors, and he often said his goal was to make sure every penny spent ended up on the screen.
Cooper’s first foray into directing was the Vala-centric 9.19 “Crusade Part 1”, which, while featuring intense special effects, was filmed more-or-less in the typical Stargate style. Next was the Ronon-centric SGA 3.04 “Sateda”, whose style was quite a departure for Stargate, especially due to its extraordinary fight sequences featuring Jason Momoa. These had the multi-camera shooting typical of The Matrix or a John Woo movie. The film treatment was different too, with blue-tinted hues and ethereal lighting. On-line fans responded to this episode very positively, both for its insights into Ronon and its fresh look. SGA 4.04 “Doppelganger” was also stylistically unique and action-oriented, exploring in dream-like sequences the deepest fears of the Atlantis crew. It was also well received.
Perhaps the Cooper-directed episode most beloved or at least most discussed by fans was SGA 5.19 “Vegas,” which was shot in a CSI-style on location in Las Vegas, and set in a completely alternate universe. In an extensive Q&A at Joe Mallozzi’s blog, Cooper talked about the episode in detail, from the practicalities of shooting to some very poignant observations:
The most difficult aspect of shooting in Vegas was, as always, a lack of money. Sorry, but that’s what it usually comes down to. We went way over budget on this episode but it’s never enough. Money equals time. We had two days to shoot something that we needed much more time to do properly… A lot has been said about how different Vegas was from the series. I think it’s refreshing to try different things every now and then… This was a tragedy. The hero always dies at the end of a tragedy. It’s a dark story about a lonely man with a broken past who sees a chance to be a hero and possibly end his life-long pain.
Cooper wrote, produced, and directed one of two Stargate DVD movies so far, Stargate: The Ark of Truth. From a viewer’s perspective, the movie was not a huge stylistic departure for SG-1. What made it especially memorable stylistically, aside from the great visual effects, were the mountain scenes shot from a helicopter, some featuring Teal’c. There was also an incredibly long fight sequence with Cameron Mitchell fighting a human-Replicator hybrid. Cooper did another revealing Q&A for Ark of Truth, and he was asked if there are dangers to being the producer, writer, and director all at once. He provided some great insights on the benefits of doing all three jobs:
Sure there is danger in taking on all three roles. It’s a minefield where the mines are very close together. But there are also benefits. I can see the big picture as far as the production goes. I understand every facet of what is going on screen. For example, I can limit the budget by writing a scene in a set I know we already have thus saving the money for a big shot I have planned with a helicopter. Or I can tell the production designer to only build three walls of a new set instead of four because I already know how I’m going to shoot the scene. A director hopefully tries to achieve the vision of the writer with the time and money allotted. As producer, I can put money where I think the director really needs it. And on set, I know exactly what I mean as a writer but may not have conveyed properly on paper. It saves a lot of phone calls. I think the crew and cast will tell you its a lot more convenient having the writer/producer there to clear up any issues they might have with the director. Also, if the director gets behind, the writer might be able to cut some scenes by re-writing a few lines. Now, it’s always helpful to have more brains. I have benefited greatly over the years from creative collaboration with many people. That’s why I try to listen to my fellow writers/producer’s opinions and talk endlessly with other more experienced and talented directors.
Controversies and Campaigns
It’s fair to say Robert Cooper experienced all sides of fan reaction to the decisions he, Brad Wright, and their colleagues made. Those that caused the most unrest involved character relationships, character deaths, and associated casting changes. Here’s a rundown of the major fan controversies in which Cooper was clearly in a decision-making role, and some examples of his reaction to them:
Cooper was very aware of the pro- and anti-“relationship” aspects of fandom, especially with regard to Jack O’Neill and Sam Carter. From this interview:
We get the polar opposites of, we want to see shipping, and non-shipping. […] I think that people are afraid that if Sam and Jack get together, it will destroy ‘Stargate’. It will be all about their relationship, and not be about going on adventures. That’s ridiculous. ‘Stargate SG-1’ is never going to be a soap opera in which all we talk about are how people feel about each other and not about whether we’re going to save the world or fight the Goa’uld or go on missions through the Stargate. […] These are people who work very closely with each other. Of course they’re going to develop close personal relationships. […] There is some fun sexual tension between Carter and O’Neill. That we are exploring that as drama this season should be no surprise to anyone.
While Brad Wright took responsibility for the Jack/Sam “ship” flavoring of the early part of Season 4, Cooper was apparently responsible for the Sam Carter/Pete Shanahan arc of Season 8. This seemed on the surface to be counter to Carter/O’Neill ship, but the Sam/Pete break-up in 8.18 “Threads” strongly hinted that Carter was still attached to O’Neill, and that perhaps O’Neill was equally unable to move on to other relationships. Therefore Cooper recently had this to say to fans who accused him of being “anti-ship”, in response to Joe Mallozzi’s list of Cooper’s best ten episodes:
May I suggest Threads as a possible replacement. I propose that one only to respond to those who suggest I was anti-ship. Good grief. How much more ship can I get?
Daniel Jackson and Jonas Quinn Arc
Perhaps the most volatile and long-lived fan response to any Stargate development was to the departure of Michael Shanks, which played out as the ascension of Daniel Jackson and his replacement on SG-1 with Jonas Quinn, the man whose cowardice had in part doomed Daniel. A relentless fan campaign followed that went on throughout Season 6 until it was announced Shanks would be returning to play Daniel on a full-time basis. Cooper gave a few interviews during this period indicating his views on the matter.
I wrote ‘Meridian,’ but Brad Wright was the one who first suggested the new character of Jonas. I agreed with him. I thought it had a nice symmetry. The fans of Daniel Jackson have been very upset about his leaving and thought we were unfair in not giving him the proper send-off. They felt he at least deserved an entire episode of his own in order to be able to say goodbye properly. To me, I think there is something very interesting about having his work, his life, honored by someone culpable for an ending.
And from this one, just before Daniel’s return episode aired:
We like to think that he never actually went away. You know he did sort of request some time off and he was frustrated. I think he felt that his character was not necessarily taking the track that he had hoped for. But you know what, after five seasons and a lot of different ups and downs for his character I think maybe he just, you know, it’s a long time to be on one series and he just needed a little bit of a break. We left the door open for him certainly within the Stargate universe. He ascended in an episode called Meridian and went to a higher plane of existence. He was in three episodes the following year. So it wasn’t like he went away completely, and then at the end of the season we talked and sort of mutually agreed that it would be great if he wanted to come back. And he has and I think come back with renewed energy. People who watch the premiere on Friday I guess will have seen a Daniel that very much resembles the Season One Daniel. The wide-eyed, excited, happy to be here, Daniel Jackson.
I love the character of Jonas. I think he had a wonderful arc and there was some great closure to his character. He kind of went on this great journey of being considered an outsider, a traitor to his country and to his planet, and then kind of growing and learning about what’s happening in the galaxy and in the world of ‘Stargate’, and then going back as a hero and kind of becoming a leader of his own world. I think that was a nice story, it was a nice arc. Daniel Jackson was the guy from the feature film who started it all, and has a much grander arc to be fulfilled within the world of ‘Stargate’. Jonas is not dead! He’s still out there.
Death of Janet Fraiser
Another decision that earned Cooper a fan campaign was the one to “kill off” Dr. Janet Fraiser during the two-part Season 7 episode “Heroes”. In interviews, Cooper said he wanted to do a tribute to the “real” military, and that he was sure Season 7 would be the last for SG-1 anyway. Nevertheless, skeptical fans decried the decision as one motivated by ratings-grabbing or as an unnecessary shock to fandom. During his commentary for “Heroes Part 2” for the Season Seven DVDs, Cooper explained his reasoning and reflected on why he selected Dr. Janet Fraiser to represent all the service personnel who have died both in real life and on the battlefields of the Stargate world:
It was a nerve-wracking script…because I knew that people were going to react. Even in the room when I said, ‘What if we kill Fraiser?’ everyone kind of [gasped], ‘Whoa! Oh…you’re not really thinking of doing that, are you?’ Then, [it was] how we were ultimately going to try and pull it off. These things can come off horribly—very badly—very uncomfortably bad drama—and I didn’t want to do that to her character. I didn’t want to make the character melodramatic…
There’s a lot of people who were very upset about this episode and the fact that we decided to kill off a major character, but I think it’s one of those things—People are always asking me why is Stargate so successful? Why has it lasted so long?—The characters are people we love and yes, we don’t want to see them die, but at the same time, they’re living in a real world—they’re living in a world we can identify with and this is the real military, this is the Air Force, and maybe the Stargate Program is really going on—and so here are these characters we’ve gotten to love and care about in real jeopardy. You can’t have real jeopardy unless once in a while you prove that something is going to happen that has consequence.
One of my strongest feelings was, having worked with the Air Force on the show for so long, is that whether you agree or not with the decisions made by the powers that be, the people in the field, the soldiers, have chosen to give their lives for all of us, for our freedoms. I know I wouldn’t be much good in a war, on the front line, and I’m very, very thankful that there are people who are doing that job for my own freedoms and I think that, to me, was what was most interesting about the episode. Stargate is a metaphor—it’s a wacky metaphor—it’s science fiction—it’s fantastic, certainly, but it’s also about people who go out and risk their lives every day for the rights and liberties and freedoms of everybody on the planet…
Certainly people have died over the course of seven seasons in Stargate and I thought it was important to show that we do care when that happens, that it’s not callous… I wanted to show that we do care and those people are important and the dedication that they’ve devoted themselves to is extremely worthy, whether you agree with the political choices that are being made at any given time. I think that’s why it had to be someone we cared about. If we just had introduced Joe Red Shirt and tried to make you fall in love with that character, then killed them off, it would have been cheap.
There were other notable, much lamented character deaths in Stargate, notably Elizabeth Weir and Carson Beckett of Stargate Atlantis, and these also resulted in fan campaigns. Since Brad Wright was more prominent in running Atlantis, he took more of the heat for those decisions. Still, at the 2007 Comic Con, when Rob Cooper was asked what he has against doctors, he assured the audience dryly that it was only Scottish people they hated. This prompted the many Beckett fans in the audience to wave the Saltire flags that had been handed out by the SaveCarsonBeckett.com campaign, which was quite an appropriate response to Cooper’s statement.
Robert Cooper’s Stargate-related Awards and Nominations
Rob Cooper’s work has been recognized in writing, directing, producing, and even life achievement categories:
2010: Nominated, Directors Guild of Canada, for directing Stargate Universe episode “Human” (winner not yet announced)
2010: Nominated for Constellation Award for best overall science fiction film or television script, for Stargate Universe episode “Time”
2010: Winner, with Brad Wright, et al, of Leo Award for Best Dramatic Series, for Stargate Universe
2010: Nominated for Leo Award for directing Stargate Universe episode “Human”
2010: Winner, Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award, for Stargate Universe episode “Time”
2009: Winner, with Brad Wright et al, of Leo Award for best Dramatic Series, for Stargate Atlantis
2009: Winner of Leo Award for Best Direction in a Dramatic Series, for Stargate Atlantis episode “Vegas”
2009: Winner, with Brad Wright, of Leo Award for Lifetime Achievement
2007: Winner, with Brad Wright, of Constellation Award for Best Overall 2006 Science Fiction Film or Television Script, for Stargate: SG-1 Episode “200”
2007: Nominated, with Brad Wright, for Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, for Stargate: SG-1 Episode “200”
2005: Nominated, with Brad Wright, et al, for Leo Award for Best Dramatic Series, for Stargate Atlantis
2005: Nominated for Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, for Stargate: SG-1 Episode “Heroes”
2004: Nominated, with Brad Wright, et al, for Leo Award for Best Dramatic Series, for Stargate: SG-1
2004: Nominated for Leo Award for Best Screenwriting, for Stargate: SG-1 Episode “Heroes”
We’d like to end by thanking Robert Cooper for all the ways his work on Stargate has entertained us, surprised us, made us laugh, made us cry, and yes, sometimes made us yell at our TVs. As fans we might not have appreciated every aspect of his decisions at the time, but we never doubted they arose from his passion for Stargate and the final product. Now we can look back on many hours of television that resulted from Mr. Cooper’s work, that on balance have greatly enriched our experiences as Stargate fans. We wish him all the best wherever life takes him next, and we hope he’ll keep in touch with us from wherever that is.
Now, please take a moment to vote for your 10 favorite Cooper episodes! To see the current poll results in order of number of votes, visit our poll results page.
Stargate fan Tomaž and his friends have created a new site, SGRStats.com, a place to gather for players of the new Windows-based Stargate Resistance game. The game was recently released and is still in active development despite the financial problems of the game studio.
Visit SGRStats.com to share your scores, check out the shared servers, and keep up with all the news about the game!
With the close of Stargate Atlantis as a television series, executive producer, writer, and co-showrunner Joseph Mallozzi shared some of his favorite moments with his weblog readers:
“So, looking back over the show’s five year run,” Mallozzi began, “certain moments and scenes do stand out for me: McKay delivering Teyla’s baby in Search and Rescue, Ronon coming down from the wraith enzyme in Broken Ties, McKay locking lips with Beckett in Duet, the big space battle over the replicator homeworld in Be All My Sins Remember’d, the wraith making himself up to Marilyn Manson in Vegas, Michael discovering his true identity in Michael, Teyla dispatching of Michael in The Prodigal, Ronon and Todd going down fighting side by side in The Last Man, Beckett’s goodbye fade at the end of Sunday, the wraith assault on Atlantis in Siege II, Todd changing the script by killing the other queen in The Queen – to name a few.”
Then, he follows up with an invitation: “What about all of you? If you had to narrow it down to three scenes or moments, which would be your favorites?”
You may share your favorites with Mallozzi AT THIS LINK (in the comments section at the bottom of the page). Mallozzi moderates the comments, so yours might not appear immediately.
And if you’d like to share your favorite moments with us here at Solutions, please leave them in the comment section below (more in our LJ). We’d love to hear from you.
The campaign website SaveCarsonBeckett.com has begun a charity auction of Stargate Atlantis and other items here at E-Bay. Paul McGillion and many of his colleagues and friends have contributed items for the auction. All proceeds will be donated to charity, with 50% going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and 50% to the Babz Chula Society. The latter is in support of Canadian actress Babz Chula, who currently suffers from recurrent breast cancer. These charities are supported by Paul McGillion, and he happily agreed to sign and contribute items to this auction, as well as get others to do the same.
Pre-order the soundtrack at Joel Goldsmith’s Free Clyde website. The CD will be available August 12 for $19.95 plus S & H at $4.95 (Dom.) or $7.95 (Int.). From the website: “This exciting score has many highlights and is accompanied by an amazing 24-page full color booklet that includes articles by Brad Wright, Robert C. Cooper, Martin Wood and Joel Goldsmith. Stargate fans will be inspired by the original artwork designed by the FreeClyde team and exclusive photography from the film. … First 100 Orders wil be signed by the composer.”
The movie is currently #3 in “Top Movies” and #1 in “Action/Adventure” at iTunes! Download your copy at $14.99. The movie will be available for rental download August 28.
Stargate: Continuum‘s DVD/Blu-ray release dates (if you know of other dates, please let us know and we’ll add them to the list):
July 29, 2008: North America
August 6, 2008: Australia
August 18, 2008: UK
September 10, 2008: France
September 10, 2008: Italy
September 12, 2008: Germany, Austria, Switzerland
October 27, 2008: Czech and Slovak Republic
[Thanks to nicolas for France’s release date and to heikki for Germany’s.]
In the first of our series of interviews showcasing the terrific creative talent of Stargate fanfiction authors, vidders and artists, Solutions presents an insight into gen and slash writer babs.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I’m from the USA. I have Bachelors degree in Psychology and a Master degree in Counseling. I am single and come from a very close-knit family with lots of cousins. I’ve always loved reading and using my imagination. When I was a child, I used to make up stories about the characters on TV shows all the time. Granted most of the time I added a character in who was a Mary Sue, but hey I was very young–it’s forgiveable at that age.
I have a dog who is the joy of my life. She never fails to make me laugh each and every day. I’ve also trained her to respond to commands given in American Sign Language.
My hobbies other than fandom are travel (although I stick to the US and Canada–I still haven’t gotten over my fear of flying), baking (I bake almost all my family’s bread), reading (I’m a romance novel junkie, especially Regency romances), and knitting (my favorite thing to knit is socks).
What was it about Stargate SG-1 that hooked you?
The first episode of Stargate SG-1 I ever saw was Legacy. It pushed all my buttons. Okay, the first half of it pushed all my buttons—cute guy in distress and going crazy. People concerned about said cute guy. Cute guy near tears. What wasn’t to love! By the time I first saw the show, I was already a season behind because I didn’t have Showtime and watched it in syndication.
What, for you, are the most important aspects of the show?
The friendships of the team members–the relationships of a team, of diverse people working together. I like the mythology and Daniel being an archaeologist/linguist, but really, I want those gut-punching moments in there too.
There have been a lot of changes to Stargate over the years, some evolutionary, some revolutionary. Which changes have you embraced?
Tough question. I like Daniel changing and growing. I like Teal’c’s development. I like that Teal’c and Daniel are friends and that we saw that relationship develop.
How did you discover online fandom?
By mistake. I got on the internet about one month before my mom was diagnosed with cancer. When we got the news that yes, she had cancer, I couldn’t sleep and started searching for Stargate stuff online. I came into the fandom about 2 months before the bombshell was dropped that Michael Shanks would be leaving the show at the end of Season 5. It was an interesting time to come online considering I’d never been involved in any fandom off or online before.
What inspired you to start writing fanfiction?
I don’t think it was so much a matter of inspiration as a matter of having stories inside me that needed to come out. I filled notebooks with Stargate fanfic that has never seen the light of day and is probably better left in those notebooks!
Which writers, fannish or published, have influenced you?
Fannish writers include: JoAG, Devra, Jmas, Jb, Biblio, Phoenix E, Nancy Richardson and so many others I can’t even begin to name them all. As for published writers–CJ Cherryh, Anne McCaffrey, Mary Balogh, LM Montgomery
A lot of your writing focuses on Jack and Daniel. What’s so special about them and their relationship?
I think what draws me to these two men is that they can be so at odds with each other, but yet so in sync. I love that these two very different men respect each other and aren’t afraid to argue with each other.
You’ve written both gen and slash stories. How do you separate, switch between the two when working on your stories?
I wish I could say there is some deep answer to this, but most times, it’s as I start to develop the story in my mind that I decide if it’s going to be slash or gen. I do know that if it’s a fic set before Sha’re dies, the fic will be gen. Other than that, I’ve started fics thinking oh this is going to be a great slash fic only to find out the story really works better as a gen one.
Which genre do you prefer write?
For the most part I prefer writing hurt/comfort. I make vague attempts at humor, but it’s not a strength for me. I really enjoy writing any fic where I can get into the psychological aspects of the characters.
Is there one story you feel typifies your style and what you’re trying to accomplish as a writer?
What Endures–otherwise known as the Daniel and Jack retire to Vermont fic. Although the fic is by no means perfect, it’s a fic that I think shows my writing style better than any other. It doesn’t have what would be considered a traditional happy ending. Everyone goes through the wringer–Daniel especially, but even though things aren’t perfect by the end, there is love and hope and really, I think that’s what we all long for. I also think it shows my love of nature which is something I try to put in a lot of fics.
You’ve collaborated with other writers on a number of stories. How do you make that process work, taking into account the constraints of working online?
Hm–this may be better asked of my co-writers! How we make it work is first of all agreeing on the basic premise of the fic. I wound up co-writing a fic with Darcy once, by telling her after she’d sent me a snippet that she should write another scene where Daniel and Jack interacted in a particular way. She emailed back and said–good, you write it! Goodbye to Dreams was written with a lot of conversations on AIM and then getting off AIM to work on small snippets.
I tend to write in a non-linear fashion when I’m working on a long story, which is hard for my co-writers who write from start to finish. Most times co-writing involves lots and lots of emails and the willingness to not hang on to certain things I may think about the way the fic should go. I’ve learned to not be afraid of writing something and then throwing the whole scene out if it doesn’t fit in the vision we both have.
Can you tell us about your writing process?
I tend to write fics as the scenes occur to me, and most times I get the ending of the story before I ever get the beginning. Inspiration comes to me from many sources–a quote, a poem, something that I see while out in nature. I’ve always been the kind of person who thinks of a lot of “what ifs”. Most of my fics start with an image that occurs to me. What Endures started not with the beginning of Daniel being injured but an image of Jack and Daniel swaying together in a yard under moonlight. I knew they were in Vermont because the image I had was of a place I’d been to in Vermont. Of course, I had no idea what the rest of the story was until I wrote the bare minimum of that ending scene.
I have some great friends in this fandom and quite often, they will challenge me to write something from a conversation we’ve had. I don’t have a set amount of time I write each day–I don’t even have a set time that I do it which probably doesn’t say too much about my discipline. However, I do have a long commute and while I’m alone in the car, I work out a lot of the scenes or ideas in my head. I also use my time on the treadmill for thinking about dialogue/plot etc.
I do a lot of thinking before I ever write something. Occasionally I will outline a fic, but most times, I find that isn’t the way I work best. I write scenes as they occur to me, whether or not they are in order. If I know a scene is later in a story but I need to have other things between what I’ve written so far and that scene, I will put in a phrase in bold or caps that says something like: “A Whole Bunch of Stuff Happens” and then go back and fill in once I’m more sure of where I’m taking the story.
I’m also blessed in that two of my dearest friends who are also in the fandom are good at reading the small snippets I send them as a fic is in progress and commenting on it and telling me where things need expanded or if the scene works or not. My last fic and the longest I’ve ever written by myself to date was sent to at least 4 people while it was in progress and I used their comments/advice to fine-tune the fic. I also send my fic to my beta before posting it and make the edits necessary for making it as best it can be.
How have you challenged yourself to grow as a writer since that first story came out?
I love setting challenges for myself: writing a fic from a POV I wouldn’t usually do, exploring an issue I’ve never done before, writing a slash fic from the POV of Teal’c or Sam, making an unlikeable character likeable. I’ve learned to take more risks as a writer and to not fear cutting scenes out of fics or starting the fic completely over. I start many more fics than I ever finish, but I’ve also learned to keep those snippets around for inspiration.
How has your experience of writing and online community changed you?
I’ve become more adventurous. Before online fandom, I would have never traveled by myself to another city to meet some friends I only knew from online. I wouldn’t have ever gone to a fan convention. Even in writing, I’ve found a way of expressing myself that I never knew I had in me. I think I’m more open with others than I’ve been in the past.