SGA 5.15 "Remnants" Episode Guide
MGM/SciFi.com Official Summary
The official summary is not available as this episode has not yet aired in the United States.
Writer Joseph Mallozzi has stated that this episode has three "A" storylines: "First, there’s Sheppard and his mainland troubles. Then, there’s McKay and his Zelenka-assisted investigation of the mystery find. And, finally, there’s Woolsey and his good news/bad news/bizarre news day."
Sheppard and his mainland troubles: Sheppard has flown a Puddle Jumper to the mainland of Atlantis' new home planet and is captured and bound. He begins to try to free himself when he gets one of the biggest surprises of his life when his captor reveals himself. But how could it possibly be him — he's supposed to be dead, shot by Sheppard himself about two years before! What's even worse, Sheppard faces one of the darkest forms of torture that he could have ever imagined.
McKay and his Zelenka-assisted investigation: McKay flew a Puddle Jumper out of the underwater bay and recovers a device left behind in the ocean by an ancient alien race.
Woolsey and his good news/bad news/bizarre news day: Woolsey is up for his nine-month evaluation from the IOA. He's nervous, but while entering the transporter in the city, he meets Dr. Vanessa Conrad, a scientist in her late 30's or early 40's who just arrived from the Apollo. She is everything he finds attractive in a woman, including her choice of recreation: Yahtzee. Woolsey and Conrad part ways on a first-name basis as he reaches the floor of his quarters, hoping that maybe Vanessa would join him there for ... a meal. The doors close on her instead. The bad news? Richard learns that Vanessa's not exactly his type after all.
From Monsters and Critics: Robert Picardo and Joe Mallozzi discuss command changes on Stargate: Atlantis, published July 7, 2008:
- M&C: Is Woolsey going to be loosening up as this character arc and be less by the book as the season goes on?
- Joseph Mallozzi: Well I mean, you kind of answered that question with regard to Episode 2 where - I mean, he comes in and he’s essentially appointed because he is a by the book guy and someone who the IOA feels they can trust to follow protocol.
- And in his very first, crisis situation in Episode 2 called The Seed, he throws the playbook out the window and quickly realizes that in the Pegasus Galaxy, you can’t just follow protocol in order to save lives and really make the right decision.
- You really have to react as a situation dictates. You just kind of play it by ear and it’s like a little mini crisis for Woolsey at the episode’s end where he realizes he - rather than following protocol, he went against protocol.
- And even though the situation worked out, that’s not the point because I mean, that he was not sent to the Pegasus Galaxy to just kind of play the cowboy.
- And then over the course of the ensuing episodes, the lesson becomes even more obvious, when [Ronon] goes missing. And then it’ll eventually culminate in an episode call Remnants ... where over the course of most of the season, I mean, he did come in as an interim leader.
- Over the course of the scenes they begin to just kind of accept his as a new commander of the base. But then come Episode 15, he’s suddenly up for review and the IOA is not exactly pleased with his performance because he was sent in to, just in a sense, be a pit bull but he wasn’t following procedure and his job is at stake.
- I kind of liken it to that first - the second episode that Bob referred to, Inauguration, where he played Kinsey’s pit bull and Kinsey sicked him on SG-1.
- And he was more than happy to do his job so long as he thought he was doing the right thing. And then near the end of the episode, he realized, my gosh, I mean, I’m not doing the right thing.
- And rather than just play along with Kinsey, he actually goes to see the President and comes clean with him. And that was our first step towards, I guess, rehabilitating the character and making him a character that ultimately the audience could sympathize with and grow to like. You can argue back and forth whether he’s leadership material, but I think, over the course of season five you’ll come to realize that he is leadership material even though maybe he doesn’t realize it himself.
- &C: Joe, what has been the toughest episode so far for you to write this season, would you say?
- Joseph Mallozzi: Right now, the one I’m working on now, Remnants...which really is three different stories. I mean, there’s a story involving Sheppard on the mainland. There’s a story involving Woolsey and a potential love interest, in the midst of this probationary review that he’s undergoing that clearly is not - looks like it’s not going to go very well.
- And then there’s a third story involving McKay and Zelenka that kind of explores a bit of their friendship or some would say non-existent friendship. But I mean, there’s still that mutual respect between the two.
- When the - and it involves them discovering a device at the bottom of the ocean, just maybe a couple of hundred miles, , way from the city. It’s a script that jumps kind of back and forth between the three stories.
- As things progress, they inevitably come together and you realize that the three seemingly unrelated stories are in fact connected in a very big way.
- There are a couple of instances that- particularly with regard to Sheppard, I don’t want to give too much away. Because I don’t even know what’s going to make it to screen. But it’s very dark with regard to the Sheppard story and there are a couple of instances that a couple of the writers, my fellow writers, balked at but a couple of other writers loved as well.
- And I thought were very important to keep in the script that I’ll be interested to see what the network says when they read the script. Of all the scripts I think this one in particular has been particularly challenging. We’ll see what the network has to say and what the rewrite will look like.
- Joe Flanigan as Lt. Col. John Sheppard
- Rachel Luttrell as Teyla Emmagan
- Jason Momoa as Ronon Dex
- Jewel Staite as Dr. Jennifer Keller
- Robert Picardo as Richard Woolsey
- and David Hewlett as Dr. Rodney McKay
- Kari Wuhrer as Nancy - possible
- David Nykl as Dr. Radek Zelenka
- Robert Davi as Acastus Kolya
- it’s only a matter of finding a Lieberman
- Dr. Vanessa Conrad
- Tamlyn Tomita as Shen Xiaoyi - Possible ("we need to get the ball rolling on T.T.")
- Dr. Kiang
- Written by Joseph Mallozzi
- Directed by
The following are links to images concerning the production of this episode and were published by Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog:
- Season Five Episode Guides
- Episode Guides
- Season Five Transcripts
- Previous: SGA 5.14 "The Prodigal" Episode Guide
- "Looking way ahead, I’ve talked myself into the #16 spot with “a very special Stargate Atlantis” (apologies to James Stewart), while we’ve got some other potential stories floating about in search of definitive slot." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, March 4, 2008.
- "...my “a very special Stargate Atlantis” which quite possibly may see the return of the lovely Kari Wuhrer [Sheppard's ex-wife Nancy]..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, April 29, 2008.
- "Yes, it feels like not that long ago I was prepping episode #3 and now, here I sit, thinking about thinking about episode #16. Yes, I’ll eventually start making headway but, at this point in a story‘s development, it‘s so easy to get distracted by seemingly more pressing matters..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 7, 2008.
- "Skip over that big, blank space at the #15 slot and you come to my final episode of the season, tentatively titled Remnants. A little more progress today which took the form of my promising to have a beat sheet ready for Monday. I guess there’s nothing left to do now but write the damn thing." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 8, 2008.
- This episode is scheduled for start of filming in late July according to Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 8, 2008.
- "We spun Marty G.’s latest story idea this morning, going back and forth on various notions as the room argued containment fields, points of science, and hot vs. cold air masses. The thematic shift of his story has turned out to be a good new/bad news situation for me. Good news: HE is now writing “A Very Special Stargate: Atlantis”. Bad news: He takes the #16 slot which means I’m writing #15 which will have to be ready to prep on the day we get back from our summer hiatus. It would be great to have a story locked some time before then, but it’s been mighty slow going. And I’m getting mighty anxious." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 12, 2008.
- "Speaking of scripts - I’ve finally made some headway on episode #15. Sort of. I’ve expanded the story and included throughlines for three separate characters, an A story mystery, and a B story probationary review." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 13, 2008.
- "While many in the office packed up their golf clubs and headed south, I opted for an extra long weekend of staying put and doing nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. I do have books to read, a blog to update, and a certain outline that, sadly, won’t write itself." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 16, 2008.
- "I’ve discovered a cure for insomnia! If you’re ever lying wide awake in bed and unable to fall sleep, all you have to do is start thinking about the outline for your upcoming script. I guarantee you’ll be out before the first act break. Amazingly, it seems to work for mid-afternoon naps as well. Yes, the outline is slow going, but I hope to have a rough beat sheet in by end of day Tuesday after which everyone will weigh in and no doubt help me fill in the missing pieces that will send me on my way to script. If I can lock in a structure by early next week, I could probably turn in a first draft before mid-June, leaving my hiatus more or less free and clear for reading, Esperanto lessons, and my beginner’s garroting class." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 18, 2008.
- "Back at the office today. ... beat out the tease and first two acts of the tentatively titled Remnants ..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 20, 2008.
- "Well, I’m pleased to report I’ve finally completed a very rough beat sheet for Remnants, formerly a “very special Stargate: Atlantis”, now a “not so special Stargate: Atlantis”. However, I’m sure that once the other writers weigh in with their brilliant ideas, it’ll go from “not so special” to “one of passing interest”. So far, I’ve got the word out to a couple of potential guest stars, discussed the look of the mainland, and have been considering some of the more important character moments I want to explore with Sheppard, McKay, and Woolsey." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 22, 2008.
- "Well, after receiving some thoughts from the other writers, I’m off and running on Remnants. I hit the 12-page mark today and hope to make some progress this weekend - at least until I hit the top of the third act where one of those blasted TBD place-holder beats awaits. Nevertheless, I hope to have a first draft done before we head off for hiatus (in two weeks)..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 28, 2008.
- "Whenever I start work on a script, I set modest goals and then always surprise myself by exceeding expectations. I’ve done this so often that you would think I’d know better by now but, no, I continue to amaze myself. Take Remnants for instance. I wanted to have a first draft for mid-July but, after some thought, revised the target date to a month earlier - the second week of June which would allow me to get some feedback from the other writers before I head off for hiatus. It usually takes me about two weeks to write a script, so I figured if I had an outline in place by the beginning of the month, June 13th would be very doable. ... I hit P. 21 today and, as predicted, it’s fairly smooth sailing. So far. ... For instance, just this afternoon a couple of those persistent little notions came together to give me a truly diabolical revelation. The result = a scene that will have all the Shep-whumpers screaming “Yes! Yes!” and then “What?! NO!! NO!! NOOOO!!!” The gloves are off, kiddies. ... Oh, and I came up with that fifth act twist I’ve been agonizing over. This is cause for celebration." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 30, 2008.
- Kristen writes: “In your opinion which episode for Sheppard is going to be his character driven magnus opus?” Answer: "Right now? Remnants." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 30, 2008.
- "And, all the while, running dialogue through my head for the next scene I have to write: McKay, Zelenka, black tea, and a frank admission. I went on a bit of a creative tear last night, hitting the 29 page mark before running out of steam. But much of the night after that was spent lying in bed, tossing and turning as I plotted out the next couple of acts." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 1, 2008.
- "It's a bit of a challenge sometimes to keep him [Robert Picardo] out of a story but I would love to write a big Woolsey story. Joe's working on one for the back half, no details on that yet, but it's something he's working on which will feature him heavily. That will be great because he's such a great actor. He's really a great actor. He's brought such comic genius moments to a lot of scripts like 'The Seer'." — Alan McCullough in Gateworld interview, published June 4, 2008.
- "While I’m not exactly blazing through this script, I am advancing at a fairly steady five-page-a-day pace. Still, this one has been atypical in its progression. Usually, it takes me a while to get going but once I’m past those first three acts, the last two go very quickly. In this case, however, it’s been just the opposite: fairly smooth sailing from the get-go with nary a hiccup until I hit the fourth act, at which point things slowed to a crawl. Unlike most episodes which have an A main storyline and B secondary storyline, this one is a triple A and it’s been a bit of a challenge balancing the three. First, there’s Sheppard and his mainland troubles. Then, there’s McKay and his Zelenka-assisted investigation of the mystery find. And, finally, there’s Woolsey and his good news/bad news/bizarre news day. The way it’s looking, this initial draft is going to clock in at a healthy 60+ pages which I’ll, of course, edit down to a much more reasonable 56-58 before putting it out. Given the type of script it is, I’m expecting significant notes and a potentially heavy rewrite - which, in this case, isn’t a problem because I’ll have all of the hiatus to work on it. The important thing is that I put out a first draft that will give the office a fair approximation of how the production schedule will break down. Most of the beats are sound so I don’t expect much scene-shifting. The only one that worries me is what I’ll be doing to Sheppard at the end of the third act. I suspect more than one person in the room will say something to the effect of: “Are you nuts?!” . Should make for an interesting debate." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 4, 2008.
- "One week after starting work on the script, I have a 63 page rough first draft of Remnants! Not bad, not bad at all. Not great either, which is why I’ll be spending the next three days revising, shifting, polishing, and rethinking things. I’m aiming to get it out to the writing department on Monday." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 5, 2008.
- "Yes, exhausted but relieved now that I have a completed draft. For a while there, I was feeling a tad frustrated. Interestingly enough, that frustration happened to coincide with my return to the office where my hitherto rapidfire progress on the script ground to a halt. As someone pointed out, the production offices are fraught with distractions. From Lawren’s lunch orders to Carl’s delightful fishing tales, it‘s a wonder anything gets done. Yesterday, between all of the end of season hoopla and episodes 17 and 18 yakkity-yak, I ended up writing all of a page - then went home, had dinner, and stayed up past midnight to write a whopping eight pages (including two of the script’s most challenging scenes). This morning - and, yes, it took me all morning - I wrote the last half-page scene to finish the script. As is tradition on such momentous occasions, the first thing I did immediately after typing FADE OUT and hitting SAVE was to email myself a copy just in the event: a) my laptop is stolen and/or b) I drop dead before I’ve had a chance to distribute it, thereby hopefully saving my co-workers the awkwardness of running a frenzied post-memorial search of my laptop." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 5, 2008.
- "I phoned up Paul Weber [casting director] this afternoon and discussed casting for the episode. Apparently, the nefarious one’s deal has closed. Next up, we need to get the ball rolling on T.T. Once that’s done, it’s only a matter of finding a Lieberman and a Conrad. Bob has already offered a casting suggestion for the latter." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 5, 2008.
- "I do save my first drafts. In the past, I have offered up scene-by-scene comparisons between the first drafts and the finished episodes. For season five, I’ll be offering the breakdowns on Broken Ties, Whispers, and Remnants." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 5, 2008.
- "Speaking of scripts, I went over my first draft of Remnants and trimmed it down from 63 to a somewhat more acceptable 58 pages. I’ll spend the weekend shaving another couple of pages off that count and then, we’ll be good to go. As is often the case when I write a script, I like it a lot more on second reading - although it’s not without its problems. ... I’m referring to pages 29, 31, 33, 34, 40, 44-50, 55, and 56. The nice thing about getting the script in early is that I’ll have a whole month to work on the rewrite rather than killing myself to incorporate everyone’s notes during prep week. It also means that my hiatus will be fairly free and clear." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 6, 2008.
- "Today, I revised my first draft and shaved the script down to a manageable 56 pages." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 7, 2008.
- "I went over the script one last time, then handed in after lunch. Finally, I’m done. Until, of course, I get the notes and have to begin the rewrite. Alex Levine, who went over the script before distributing it, had some thoughts. He found the Shen imbroglio too subtle (I thought it might be). He bumped on the end of Act IV and its resolution (I figured some would). He felt the reveal needed to be moved up and the big decision needed more of a build (Hey, man. Don’t come to me with problems. Come to me with solutions.). I expect feedback from everyone else in the not too distant future. Hopefully before we all go our separate ways this Friday." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 9, 2008.
- "We started the day with a morning notes session on my latest, Remnants. As is customary, we kicked things off with a round of “cover notes”. Cover notes, as the name implies, refer to general script notes like “I think you need to do a pass on the villain’s voice to make him less eloquent” or “The episode takes a while to get going so I’d suggest trimming the first few scenes” or, in Carl’s case “Aieeee! This font hurts my eyes to read!”. In the case of Remnants, there were a few, some of which I predicted. Marty G. objected to my brutal treatment of Sheppard while Paul took issue with one particular Holy Shit Moment in that regard. I agreed that the scenes are dark, but I argued they’re necessarily so. No clean and comical this time out for our hero as the chickens come home to roost. Or, in this case, one particularly bad-ass rooster. Alex’s concerns about the subtlety of the Shen imbroglio were echoed and some great suggestions offered with regard to the McKay-Zelenka scenes." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 10, 2008.
- "From the cover notes, we moved on to the page notes. Some discussion on the mechanics of the transporter scene, the mainland intro, the off-world fooferah, the short list, the “convincing” gloves, the infirmary scene, and the reveal. All very doable and while I’d love to put out a Writer’s Draft for Friday, it seems unlikely I’ll get the chance since it looks like we’ll be very busy spinning and watching cuts and mixes." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 10, 2008.
- "Well, I can honestly say I have never looked forward to a Friday the 13th like I did this one. It was our last day of shooting before the month-long hiatus- still, the mood was fairly subdued on our side of the production offices. I was working on my Remnants rewrite." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 13, 2008.
- "I rewrote the tease of Remnants (adding Dr. Kiang as per Martin’s suggestion and replacing the tree limb after Rob warned me it wouldn’t work) and made some changes to the first act (I addressed Paul’s note by including an early time-cut, lost McKay’s “I said good day, sir.” because Martin didn’t like it, included Zelenka in the control room scene as per everyone’s request, and changed the final beat to avoid repeating a visual from Broken Ties)." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 13, 2008.
- "Suspenseful, character-driven." — Joseph Mallozzi describing this episode in his personal blog, June 13, 2008.
- McKay's cut line (“I said good day, sir”) was in a scene where McKay talks back at someone and was meant to be sarcastic, according to Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 15, 2008.
- "I settled in and worked on Remnants, rewriting the last McKay-Zelenka scene." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 18, 2008.
- Marla writes: “Sounds like you’re pretty much done with Remnats - does that mean the Shep scene you’ve been fighting over with your fellow writers is still in the script?” Answer: "So far. We’ll see what the network has to say." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 19, 2008.
- "Hmmm. I knew this would happen. I was motoring along on my Remnants rewrite and then got detoured by Wednesday's quadruple episode screening. Nothing ruins the rhythm of a rewrite like a day off not writing. Hopefully I'll be able to recapture the magic this weekend as I want to get this script out to the network before the end of next week." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 20, 2008.
- "Looking ahead to this week: finishing up the Remnants rewrite..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 22, 2008.
- "From post, it was back to the office where Brad, Rob, Paul and I gathered to discuss Project Twilight over lunch. We tossed around some notions for a couple of hours and eventually called it a day, vowing to really give it some thought while we were off enjoying our time off. ... Which will begin for me sometime after I deliver this script. I’m thinking Thursday or Friday." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 24, 2008.
- "It depends what you mean by dark. I think, in some aspects, Remnants is actually darker than Whispers." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 27, 2008.
- Joseph Mallozzi's Blog
- Monsters and Critics: Robert Picardo and Joe Mallozzi discuss command changes on Stargate: Atlantis, published July 7, 2008.
--DeeKayP 15:42, 8 June 2008 (PDT)