Well, it seems that the video of the Stargate Atlantis panel at Comic-Con on July 27th is viewable only by U.S. fans. Bummer. So I did up a transcript of virtually all of it. Just added a few crappy little screencaps too. Check beneath the cut. Potentially small spoilers within. Enjoy!!
Best tidbit, at least for Joe Flanigan fans - he's got a potential movie lined up for November filming!
Stargate Altantis Panel Transcript
Comic-Con – San Diego, CA – July 27, 2007-07-28
From video at http://www.scifi.com/comiccon
Gary Jones introduced the SGA panel (consisting of Robert C Cooper, Martin Wood, Joe Flanigan, Jewel Staite, Amanda Tapping, David Hewlett, Joe Mallozzi, and Nora O'Brien of SciFi). Please note this isn't every single word as not everything was audible, but here are the highlights (98% of the video). The humor is dry, witty and black at times, so most remarks cannot be taken seriously (particularly from Joe Flanigan!). ;)
The video ran 35 minutes (first few minutes spent on introductions). First, David comments that “they have little stickers here that tell us to speak into the mike, just in case we forget.”
Both Joe Mallozzi and David Hewlett videotaped the audience here and there, and each other.
QUESTION: Out of all the technology in the show, if you could choose just one piece of technology you could use in your life, what would it be?
RCC (??): That's easy, a transporter.
David: I'll take the stargate.
Amanda: Yeah, I'll take the stargate.
Jewel: Me too.
David: Seems useful.
Martin: Daedalus class warship.
Joe Flanigan: Uh, a distillery.
and then they joked a little more about it who would get which Stargate and David said the Atlantis one was “kind of cool and disco.”
QUESTION from Gary: Amanda, how does it feel to be in the Atlantis cast?
Amanda: It's great. I'm very lucky. I’m a lucky girl.
Gary explains that it was asked before in the previous SG1 panel.
David: Remember that you're on the Atlantis panel now.
Amanda: It's awesome. It's just great.
Gary: Okay, officially, it's awesome.
Amanda: And they're cute, which helps (referring to fellow cast, and David smirks). Helps that you're all so good looking. There are those long days... (Amanda gives David a hug)
QUESTION from Gary to Martin Wood about differences in style of directing SG1 vs. SGA .
Martin: The fact that our technicians are actually a little bit easier on Atlantis to work with is the first thing that comes to mind, Gary. I mean, Chief Master Sergeant ;)
Gary: You know, if I got a few more lines, you’d see how easy I am to work with.
Martin: (pauses) Okay, we’ll never find that out! [audience roars] I'd have to say the casts are different on both shows. It is a completely different feeling on both shows, although we do the same kind of show, they are separate casts, they're not... they don't work the same way and so I've had to adapt to the way that I dealt with SG1 for 10 years to dealing with the group from Atlantis. And on Atlantis, we all grew up together from the pilot on. It was a very easy transition for me. [pause] I’m just kidding!
Question: For producers, what is hardest part of working on a scifi series, and if a problem comes up, how does network support play into it?
David: Here you go, Joe (Mallozzi). Here's the mike right here.
Joe Mallozzi: I guess it's a two part question.
Nora: (quietly): Careful.
Joe Mallozzi: When Paul (Mullie) and I joined SG1 in the fourth season, it was already a well-oiled machine, so to be honest with you, there rarely are problems. The only problems we really come up against are scheduling conflicts. Usually those have to do with the actors, like you know, David Hewlett, maybe he’s taking one of his Perrier baths and is late coming to the set, other than that, we’re a seamless, problemless show. Is problemless a word?
David: It is now.
Question from Gary for Joe Flanigan: Any problem with being outranked by Amanda Tapping?
David: (very snarky) Oh yeah, bring that up. (laughter)
Joe Flanigan: It’s natural that somebody smart is going to come along charge of things. I personally like it. Ii allows me to be typical irresponsible anti-authoritative kind of figure that I apparently am in real life as I think I just deciphered from Martin’s last comment about the cast.
Question from Gary for David: Do you think McKay is the reason why Carter joined the [expedition]
David: (straight-faced) Well, McKay’s the reason for everything. [Amanda faceplants on the table, laughing] I think that answers it, doesn’t it?… It’s like coming home? It’s back to Sam and Rodney, at it again, so to speak.
Question: A question about using the ninth season or the near future.
Gary: Let me answer that. (audience laughs) The ninth chevron, anyone want to take that? Nora? How do you feel about that?
Nora: I’m a big fan.
Gary: You’ve a big fan of the ninth chevron?
Joe Mallozzi: I think Rob has big plans for that ninth chevron in the spinoff.
RCC: I do have big plans for the ninth chevron. I’m very much hoping to see the ninth chevron one day. It’s actually under the ramp.
Gary: Is it?
RCC: Yeah, it’s hidden under there, and we’re hoping to find it.
Gary: So there are plans for the ninth chevron, stay tuned.
And then Martin asked Gary to say it, so he said “Chevron Nine encoded.”
Jewel, how does it feel to be on Atlantis as opposed to Serenity?
Jewel shrugged at first.
David: On a scale of one to ten
Jewel: I feel very new. Very new. And the ship is a lot fancier so I’m really glad I don’t have to fix it.
Question: What do you guys think about having miniature versions of yourself (toys) in fans’ hands everywhere?
Now, the camera pans down the table. Wish it could be screencapped…
Gary: Can I just say I am my own miniature version of myself?
David: It’s nice that other people are playing with me for a change.
Amanda: Are they anatomically correct?
David: Unfortunately, yes.
Martin: I’m looking forward to the ??? action figures that are coming out next year on the directors.
Amanda: It’s very cool that my daughter can walk around with a little doll of Mummy. Very cool. Kind of surreal.
Joe Flanigan: It’s actually very cool because now I insist that Martin only talk to my action figure. (holds out hand) Can’t hear you, talk to the action figure.
Martin: Point to the doll where David Hewlett touched you.
Joe Flanigan: (laughs, then goes mock serious) Don’t bring up bad memories. … My little boys actually, one of my little boys loves what he calls his ‘daddy action figure and he actually sleeps with a monkey tail up his left nostril. And the daddy action figure in his right hand, and he pretty much falls asleep like this, and he can’t fall asleep without his daddy action figure so to me that’s kind of cool. I don’t know how long that’s going to last before he’s sticking pens in it.
Gary: A lot of you don’t know this, but there are some plans for a Walter action figure… unlike the other action figures, which move, he’s just in this position (seated).
Martin(?): It’s known as an inaction figure.
Gary: It’s an inaction figure, yeah. Comes with an action office chair, you put him on or off, throw him against the wall, just stays like this.
QUESTION from Gary: Do you think Atlantis has the potential to go for ten years?
RCC: Well, now that we have the little tiny dolls and we can build much smaller sets, and when the real cast gets too expensive, we can just use the action figures. That’s a very good question, Gary, and I’m glad you brought it up because we have Nora O’Brien from SciFi here, and uh, she can probably shed some light on whether season five is going to get picked up, couldn’t you, Nora?
Nora: Robert, when I asked you before the panel to help me, that wasn’t what I meant… No, it’s a great question. (Joe Mallozzi turns videocamera on her briefly) No pressure. Just going on record right now, right? I think I told all of you guys last year when we had the same question about SG1, please watch us live, don’t TiVo us. Obviously that will keep the show going longer and longer and let’s hope it does go for ten years. That would be fantastic.
Gary: I believe that’s called ‘appointment television’ when you go there and you know when it’s on and you go there live and watch it when it comes on, so that’s a very good point.
Question: Favorite episode of Stargate? [question is for all of them]
Amanda: I’ll jump in and say for me it was “Grace Under Pressure” ‘cause I got to kiss McKay. … I’m kidding.
David: I liked the one where I got to work with myself.
Amanda: (turns to audience) He’s serious.
Gary: Jewel, what was your favorite episode?
David: Of Atlantis.
Jewel: I’m a little biased.
Gary: And why was that?
Jewel: Oh, because I was in it.
Gary: I hear ya. Next question.
When Gary starts to go to another question, Amanda and David both mention that Joe Flanigan was overlooked.
Gary: Oh, sorry, I’m sorry.
Joe Flanigan: Oh, that’s okay, Gary.
Gary: Joe, what’s your favorite episode?
Joe Flanigan: I.. probably… “Common Ground” because I also got to work with myself quite a bit. That’s when I really started disliking myself, too. I’m really hard to work with. I liked “Common Ground.” It was good.
Question from Gary: Martin, what was the most difficult episode to shoot of Atlantis?
Martin: Um, the most technically complicated was probably the one where David had to work with himself. But Robert has done the same kind of thing at the beginning of season four so would you say that the twenty episodes are the most difficult? … For the actors it becomes very difficult because they’re acting against a green ball that is their alter ego, or their alternative character, so it becomes very difficult for them. It’s not as hard for us to visualize, I guess, it’s just technically more complicated.
David: The green ball’s actually a highlight for us. To work with the green ball.
Martin: The most difficult episode for me hasn’t happened yet. It will be three episodes from now, #418 is probably going to be one of the most difficult episodes that we have to do, but you’ll have to wait another year for that. … Just kidding! It’s a year and a half. You won’t get it next year.
Question: One of the good things about season one is that Atlantis was completely cut off from Earth. With season four, with Atlantis in space, will they stay cut off from Earth?
David: Let me talk you through season four. Nah, you should watch it.
Joe Mallozzi: In season three, we set up the midway station and we’re going to follow that through a good part of season four, but in scifi, nothing lasts forever and the best laid plans often go awry so you get your heart set on the midway station, you may be disappointed. I hope I didn’t spoil it for you.
David: I haven’t got that script yet. … (to audience) Talk amongst yourselves.
Question from Gary: I know the fans also like to know what else is happening for the actors outside of the Atlantis universe, so maybe you can guys can just touch upon some of the things you’ve been working on. David, I know you did a film called “A Dog’s Breakfast,” you want to tell us a little about that and some of the other cast members who were in the show and how did that go?
David: It was fantastic, and you can get it in September on DVD. You can get it now on iTunes and Amazon, and yeah, there should be a few little treats for Stargate fans there as well, so there’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff coming out on the DVD, so yes, so you should run off and buy it now.
Gary: Amanda, you’re in “Sanctuary.” How;s that?
Amanda: It’s an innovative new web-based series called “Sanctuary” www.sanctuaryforall.com - It’s a completely different.... I’m very proud of it. I’m involved with the start-up and I’m an executive producer and I’m in it and Martin’s involved and yeah, look for it.
Martin: And this Monday night [July 30th], by the way, for those of you that follow that series, Paul McGillion’s on.
David: Yeah, we got him, too.
Amanda: David Hewlett has a cameo in “Sanctuary.”
Gary: And Joe, you up to anything else besides Atlantis?
Joe Flanigan: Well, I’ve been asked to do a movie. MGM wants me to do a movie. It’s a remake of a film called “Shattered” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102900/) that Tom Berenger and Greta Scacchi did years ago. So they’d like to shoot that in November when we’re done shooting this, so I may end up doing that. It looks like that’s what’s going to happen.
Gary: So we’ll watch for that. And Jewel?
Jewel: I have a movie coming out next summer called “The Tribe” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0811124/) and it’s a suspense-thriller. And I get to kick some ass.
Question: This is primarily for Amanda and Joe Flanigan. I wondered if you have any parenting advice for co-stars who are new parents and if so, what is it?
Joe: (mock serious!) Kids don’t need to eat as much as you think they do. … Their bones are very soft. (long pause) Uh, Amanda? (She’s dying laughing)
David: I think you covered it all there.
Amanda: Yeah, I think that pretty much covers it. I was always told to sleep when the baby slept but that just never happened for me because I was reading scripts, but David, sleep when the baby sleeps. And good luck.
David: I sleep all the time anyway.
Martin: David is closely watching Jason Momoa right now, go through the first few days of having a baby, and Robert Cooper’s just had a new one as well, and Paul Mullie is well, oh boy, you have no idea what’s coming.
Joe Mallozzi: And I’ll be getting a new French bulldog on Monday.
David: Sleep when the bulldog sleeps. They have soft bones.
Question: How will the producers deal with Teyla’s (Rachel’s) pregnancy on the show?
Joe Mallozzi: Well, I think everybody else already knows. We’ve written it into the script, into the show. Teyla obviously is pregnant and she eventually will have her baby.
Joe Mallozzi: It was that or—
Gary: Unless you don’t write it in.
Joe Flanigan: That’s the creativity that keeps the show on the air.
Joe Mallozzi: There are a lot of ways we wanted to go but eventually we decided that was probably the best way.
David: Yeah the overeating thing didn’t go down well with Rach.
Question: Any chance of seeing the actors writing and directing episodes in season 4 or 5?
[slight exchange between audience member and cast regarding “Changling,” which Chris Judge wrote]
Joe Mallozzi: ….Our door has always been open with regard to script ideas, to all of the actors and I know, Joe [Flanigan] has pitched a couple of ideas, one that we were thinking of doing but we had to scrap for whatever reason, but another story that actually we’re going to be, no, (and Joe Flanigan is making faces) we’re actually going to actually do in, uh, this season. We’re spinning it last Friday.
Martin (to Joe Flanigan): Yes, Joe, he said scrapped.
Joe Mallozzi: Well, shelved.
[talking goes over each other, so hard to hear]
Martin: Shelved is way better. Shelved is good.
Joe Mallozzi: More of a shelving. As for the directing, I mean, you know… when the actors direct, it means they’ll generally be out of the episode before they direct, and pretty much the episode that they’re directing, and I wouldn’t want to deprive you guys of 24/7 Rodney McKay.
Amanda: It’s actually that Martin Wood is just a directing hog, and he told me once that every time an actor directs a show, a kitten dies, and so…
Joe Mallozzi: I don’t want to kill kittens.
Amanda: I wont’ do it ever again because of that.
Gary: And how many people have seen or actually noticed Martin Wood dressed up as a soldier in the episodes? So Martin not only directs, yes, he puts himself in the show.
Amanda: Every time you do that, Martin….
Gary: Every time you dress up and put yourself in the show, a puppy dies.
Martin: Seriously? (pause) I thought it brought a kitten back to life.
Just as they’re about to go to another question…
Joe Flanigan: By the way, I am dying to direct. If you guys want to, like, apply as much pressure as possible at this really awkward moment on the producers, I’m all for it. (waves arms) Thank you.
David: Wait a second, no Flanigan for three episodes? (makes a woo-hoo noise)
[Joe makes faces at 'scrapped' discussion]
[Joe really wants to direct!]
Question: It’s great to see you developing Teyla’s mental abilities? Will there be any romance between Teyla and Ronon?
Joe Mallozzi: We will be developing some relationships but we’re not prepared to divulge all that much at this point. (meanwhile, David is making sly faces at Amanda)
Joe Flanigan: No, truthfully, actually that’s where Paul McGillion comes back on to the show.
Joe Mallozzi: I just want to go on the record to say that I love Scottish people, and to all you Scottish fans, please direct all hate mail to Robert Cooper. My inbox is full.
Gary: Robert, you have two minutes for a rebuttal.
RCC: I have none.
Question: For Jewel. The fan started watching SGA because she joined the show. What’s the difference in preparing for her characters, the difference between Firefly and Stargate Atlantis?
Jewel: I think the biggest difference has been all this doctor stuff. Kaylee was always very innocent and, well, not innocent, but seemingly innocent and sweet. Dr. Keller has a bit more of an edge to her and she’s very, very, very smart. I think she’s smarter than she actually knows, so that’s been a bit of an interesting dynamic to play, and she’s not as sexually evolved as Kaylee is perhaps, or obsessed, I should say.
Question: Did Ford really die or he is going to come back at some point?
Joe Mallozzi: That’s an excellent question… which I don’t have the answer to at this point, but once we get that fifth season pickup (looking at Nora)…who knows?
Question: I know that Joe Flanigan wanted to do more Sheppard backstory, but will fans really see it?
Joe Mallozzi: In fact, actually, that’s what we were talking about on Friday. We’re spinning Sheppard’s backstory, specifically the fact that in “Letters from Pegasus,” he didn’t really seem to have anyone out there and the question is sort of ‘why?’ and it’s something we discussed on Friday and we’ve got something really cool planned which I’m not at liberty to reveal right now, but Joe [Flanigan] came up with a great springboard for a story. We’re going back to Earth-
Joe Flanigan: Was that the one that’s not scrapped? I just wanted..
Joe Mallozzi: You’ll love it, trust me, you’ll love it.
David: That’s the one about his past as a dancer, right?
Joe Mallozzi: Right. That’s the one.
Amanda: An exotic dancer.
David: An exotic dancer.
Question: What other good science fiction universes would each of you like to cross over to (a hypothetical question)
David: “Starcrossed.” Just throw it out there.
Jewel: I guess “Lost” isn’t really scifi, is it?
Audience member : Oh, I think you could call it that.
Jewel: Could I? Okay, then that.
Joe Flanigan: (makes a face) I’d probably jump onto the “Daily Show” universe or something.
Martin: Is there some reason we can’t stay in the Stargate universe? Because I like that one.
Gary: Well, the fans—they’re scifi fans, they always think there’s way more out there than what you give them every week, so… that’s what happens. These people are eight steps ahead of you.
Final Question: Will you ever have another walk-on character that a fan sent a video in for? Like when Atlantis first started?
David: That’s how I got my role.
Nora: You mean like Get in the Gate? Yes, there are plans for more Get in the Gates. Absolutely.
And that’s it.
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P.S. Glad everybody is enjoying the transcript! :)