SGA 5.16 "Brain Storm" Episode Guide

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McKay brings Keller to Earth to visit an old rival physicist at his secret research facility. The rival demonstrates a wonderful new invention that’s intended to fight global warming, but things do not go as planned.

Guide | Transcript

MGM/ Official Summary

When the Atlantis team is given two weeks of vacation leave, Dr. Rodney McKay reluctantly accepts an invitation by his former rival, Malcolm Tunney, to attend a scientific demonstration that he claims will be the solution to global warming. Feeling bold, he asks Dr. Jennifer Keller to accompany him and she accepts. Upon reaching Earth, they are flown, by private lear jet, to a top secret facility in the middle of a desert.

Once there, McKay is shocked by Tunney’s brazen claims that he’s invented a device that can cool the Earth by venting excess heat from our space/time into another space/time – an idea McKay had already pursued two years earlier. Despite Rodney’s mounting concerns over its safety, Tunney activates his new technology, dropping the heat contained inside the facility by 10 degrees. But when the device reaches this goal and will not disengage, McKay realizes he has to work fast or every one trapped inside the premises will freeze to death within the hour.


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Production Galleries

The following are links to images concerning the production of this episode and were published by Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog:

Production Notes

  • "Martin Gero 'written and directed by spectacular'..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, April 29, 2008.
  • "Martin almost had himself a new story today. I say almost because, after spinning out what he felt was a wonderfully exciting idea, Martin returned to his office and, in the process of writing it up, came to the conclusion that, hey, this concept has the potential to go wrong in so many different ways. So, he’s back at Square #1. ... Well, hey. Marty G. just dropped by to pitch out his new, wonderfully exciting idea for Episode #15. We all love it. I suggested he rush back to his office and write it up before he changes his mind. Again." — 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. By the way, best exchange of the day: Brad: But that contradicts the laws of thermodynamics! Martin: Laws are made to be broken!" — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 12, 2008.
  • "'I have no idea what it's going to be yet,' Gero told us regarding the episode he will write and direct. 'I'm focused on getting this two-parter really, really great. I think, ideally, [it will] be a smaller, quieter episode and save some money.' More recently Gero informed GateWorld exclusively that this fourth episode will be Earth-based. The title is still not known." — Martin Gero in Gateworld interview, June 4, 2008.
  • "Speaking of Martin, we’ll be breaking his episode #16 when he gets back into town next week. Apparently, finding an oil rig-like setting for his script has been a bit of a challenge. John Smith did find one suitable-looking place however. The only drawback = it’s a sewage treatment plant and, by John’s own admission, tends to get “a little ripe in the summertime”. But sacrifices must be made for art and I, for one, don’t really have a problem shooting there despite the olfactory downside. Of course, the fact that I have no intention of visiting the location during production could have something to do with it. Also, the fact that Marty G., the director of said episode, WILL have to be there may result in a conceptual change. Maybe the story doesn’t take place on an oil rig after all. Maybe it takes place in a second-hand book shop…" — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 6, 2008.
  • "The rest of the gang is understandably busy. Still, we did find time to gather and discuss Martin’s script (a very special Stargate Atlantis). The highpoint of the afternoon’s progress was, of course, the place-holder title we came up with: Snow Globe. Ah, the satisfaction of another day’s work well done." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 9, 2008.
  • "We did get around to breaking Martin’s story today. The place-holder title, Snow Globe, lasted all of one day. It looks like, instead, we’ll be going with Rob Cooper’s suggestion: Brain Storm." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 10, 2008.
  • "Once that was done, the producers took a stroll down to the lot where we checked out the (and hilariously named) reefer truck that Marty G. will be using for Brain Storm. The guys from SPFX were on hand to offer demonstration of the “burst pipe” sequence. Chilly!" — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, July 21, 2008.
  • "Martin Gero was stumped. The Art Department needed a name for the venue in Brain Storm. You know, the one where Tunney gives his big speech and demonstration. “So what do I call it?”he asked the room. Before anyone else could even consider the possibilities, Paul already had the answer: “The Carl Binder Memorial Theatre”. Brilliant! Word went out to the Art Department and, three hours later, the plans for the Carl Binder Memorial Theatre were distributed." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, July 21, 2008. (Image of Carl getting honors for his theatre from Martin.)
  • "Alan finished his rewrite of Infection, Martin is prepping Brain Storm, Carl is poised to prep Identity, and Paul has broken ground on #20. With less than two months to go, it looks like it’s going to be a mad dash to the finish line." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, July 23, 2008.
  • "Well, it’s a race to the finish line as Marty G. begins directing Brain Storm today (which, if you haven’t heard by now, will guest Dave Foley, Billy Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson)..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, July 31, 2008.
  • "So it's a slow day around here. Martin Gero is directing his episode "Brain Storm" and the first unit is not on the lot (they're on location). ... And if the science aspects of the show excite you, stay tuned for Brain Storm - Martin Gero's upcoming episode - which will air in the fall." — Alex Levine, blog, July 31, 2008.
  • "Hanging with Dave Foley, Bill Nye & Jewel Staite here on Atlantis...I love my job!" — David Hewlett's Twitter, August 5, 2008.
  • "Well, back in the office today and things are very quiet at The Bridge, partly because the cast and crew are away, shooting on location but mostly because yappy writers’ room regular Martin Gero is off with them directing his first full episode of Stargate Atlantis." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, August 5, 2008.
  • "... (we're currently shooting the episode "Brain Storm"—this will be a goody) ..." — Jewel Staite in her MySpace blog, August 5, 2008.
  • "Oh, just filming a few scenes with Neil Degrasse Tyson and Bill Nye! How I love Stargate!" — David Hewlett in his Twitter, August 7, 2008.
  • "This morning, fellow Exec. Producer Carl Binder and I threw caution to the wind, jumped into my Q7, and hit the road. We took an impromptu journey guided only by our spontaneity, our sense of adventure, and the directions to the location of Marty G.’s Brain Storm shoot. ... We pulled into the parking lot, right behind Special Features Producer Ivon Bartok who was documenting Martin Gero’s foray into the dark side of directing, and followed him into the high school - down a flight of stairs, around a corner, and into the gymnasium that - through the magic of television - had been transformed into the Carl Binder Memorial Theatre. Extras milled about in tuxes and cocktail dresses while Marty G. set up his next shot. Jewel Staite looked, well, nothing short of drop-dead gorgeous in her evening best while David Hewlett exuded the roguish charm of a nerdy James Bond in his flash jacket and pants. Sitting by the monitor was former Kids in the Hall/News Radio alum Dave Foley who, for reasons unknown, had been given a way-too-early call and was good humouredly killing time until his first scene. ... Dave Foley = Class Act. Equally pleasant and engaging were the sovereigns of science Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye. They turned out to be a lot of fun both in front of and away from the camera, regaling the rest of the cast and crew with stories of their empirical exploits. They seemed to be as happy to be there as we were to have them. Well, Martin appeared to have everything well in hand so, after a couple of hours of hanging around on set, we hopped back into the Q7 and returned to the studio..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, August 7, 2008. There are lots of pictures for this location shoot in the blog entry.
  • "Marty G. is directing his last day on Brain Storm (at the airport shooting the Learjet sequences)..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, August 12, 2008. Entry also includes episode images.
  • "Brainstorm is complete except for one day in the freezer with Jewel and a large axe (don't ask!). I'm sad to see the episode go as it was a real high point for season five and (more importantly) to my life as a nerd. I really hope Baz goes into the sciences, it's such a pleasure to be around and work with such intelligent life!" — David Hewlett in his blog, August 17, 2008.
  • "Marty G. was directing the last few scenes of Brain Storm in a reefer truck (which is capable of being refrigerated to below freezing). Room temp today. Tomorrow, Jewel gets chilly." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, August 19, 2008.
  • "Marty G. was directing within the deep-freeze confines of the reefer truck today. He cut quite the dashing figure in his galoshes and parka. The rest of the crew was similarly decked out for the chilly conditions - except Jewel, of course, who looked good - and cold - in her party dress and McKay’s jacket." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, August 20, 2008. Images included.
  • "Paul wanted to do a story in which the effects of the McKay-Miller gate bridge have serious other-worldly repercussions for the city. As it turns out, we ended up doing an episode in which the McKay-Miller gate bridge ends up having serious all-too-worldly repercussions for a bunch of stranded scientists in season 5’s Brain Storm." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, September 30, 2008.

Further Reading

--DeeKayP 06:29, 19 July 2008 (PDT)