Vancouver, B.C. Canada September 12-15, 2002
Last Updated 10/22/2010
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Warning! There will be Season 6 and even movie and/or Season 7 spoilers to be found in the guest talks. These reports were written during the convention, for the most part, although I have tweaked them here and there with comments, corrections and/or updates and the like for the web page.
Well, campers, we're reaching the end of Gatecon. It was a long, tiring, fun trip. And it wasn't over after the convention for us, either. We had fun for a couple of more days before we had to come back to reality and I'll give you a brief report of that (and a few Stargate references thrown in) once I manage to tie this up.
After our bus driver rounded up all of us rowdy fans who were clambering all over the set of the Prometheus and the Stargate, we headed on back to the convention as the crew members who had so happily shown us around waved goodbye. I know some of them were planning to be at the con later that afternoon. Autographs should have been in full swing and many of us had VIP tickets with a low number, so we were anticipating being able to jump right into the lines. Unfortunately, when we arrived, there was total mayhem in the hallways.
I wasn't sure what was going on, but first I had to find Leah, because she had the tote bag with all of the books and photos to be autographed! Everyone I asked had seen her somewhere (in the restaurant, in the dealer's room, in the lobby). I dutifully hobbled wherever they pointed...and never found her. I finally asked security on the autograph room door if I could check inside for her and they kindly allowed it. And there she was, getting JR's autograph on a photo for me! Hooray! Unfortunately, she didn't know I also wanted him to autograph our Stargate book, but that's okay. At least the joint photo I had taken of him and Colin got signed by both of them. She hopped into the next line (for Alexis) and I dug into the tote bag and pulled out a few items for myself. Then I went back to figure out where I needed to be in the outside line. The security at the door was inclined to let me just join Leah, but I think they realized it would have caused a riot and I had to agree that it wouldn't be fair. People were giving them that wild-eyed look. They apologized to me for asking me to leave, but there was no need. It was only fair, although I was still trying to figure out what the heck was going on and why there was a huge line outside when they were supposed to be going by number. Once I got out of the room, I found out that at some point they had decided to chuck the number system out the window and they were allowing any VIP ticket holder to line up. The line was all the way down the hall. I knew there was no way I'd make it into that room before they closed the doors. It was disappointing but I knew that at least Leah was in there and would get us some autographs. I wandered back to the lobby...where Rowan and a couple of people told me there were actually two lines. There was a different one if you could forego JR's autograph. Sooo, I trooped back down to the autograph room and asked which line to get in if I didn't mind missing JR...and they waved me directly into the room into a line for Alexis! From that point on, you just moved onward to each subsequent guest. So, the only one I missed was JR, after all, and Leah got his autograph for me and we had bought his book and had it signed the day before. We did good! I was sorry to see that Gary Jones wasn’t signing this year. I had hoped to have him sign my calendar from last year. Did we miss his signing or was he just never there?
Leah was next to me or in front of me most of the time, so I was able to grab things out of the tote bag when necessary or at least tell her what to have signed. When Don S. Davis saw the naked descended Daniel cartoon, he burst out laughing. He just couldn't stop. He kept showing it to Teryl (who had autographed it at Dragoncon) and she kept saying "Yeah, I've seen it!" His reaction was priceless.
Teryl finally noticed that I was there and she quite literally screamed "ANNIE!" I showed her some of the cute photos of her vamping for me at Dragoncon and goofing around with David Allen Brooks (from Babylon 5: Crusade and also a fellow artist; we saw a lot of him in the art show and during the artist reception at Dragoncon). She wrote "Work it, girlfriends!" on one of them. She thanked us for Dragoncon and said that we had "made the con" for them and they had had a lot of fun with us. I joked that I had had the impression she was "frightened" of us, which earned me a flabbergasted look. On the next photo, she wrote, "And NO, you do not frighten moi!" <g>
Of course, the moment I finally made it to the front of the long line for Don's autograph, I did what so many others had done and asked for a hug. He said "Certainly! But only if I can kiss you, too!" So, I had a lovely hug and a kiss. I had my Highlander book for Don S. Davis to sign and, ironically, the page for his episode is on the exact same page for Michael Shanks'! (Shanks signed it for me at Wolfcon.) Don looked at it and told me that Jim Byrnes (who played Joe on Highlander) is one of his best friends! Since we've met Jim many a time and I've photographed him at a number of conventions and concerts, it was a true moment of synchronicity. Then, like so many others have over the years, Don told me that Adrian Paul was one of the nicest, kindest men he has ever worked with. He also said that he (Don) had put Adrian Paul in the hospital! He told the story that back when Don worked on Highlander, he was still doing a lot of stunt work. There was a scene where he was holding out a gun and Adrian was supposed to hit him at a certain point on his arm, but Adrian missed his mark. The spot on Don's arm where Adrian hit him caused the gun to be released as an automatic response and the barrel of the weapon flew straight into Adrian's forehead. Don said that even as Adrian went flying backwards and was on the ground with his hand pressed to his face and blood pouring everywhere, he was still holding the other hand up in the air and saying "It was my fault! My fault!" He told me about how not long after that, Adrian was filming an episode and witnessed a purse snatcher (for real) and without a second thought he went flying after the man and caught him for the police!
It was finally time to move along, though. We had another surprise guest in the autograph session: Wil deVry, who played the Tok'ra Aldwin. A very sweet man. Of course, I bought his photo! Others present during the session were Alexis, Sarah Douglas (who also remembered us from Dragoncon and chatted with us some about the convention and she even remembered we had come from Florida), Sueann Braun, Frida Betrani, Jay Acovone, and Tony Amendola. Tony had a laugh at Leah's new cartoon of Bra'tac and we gave him a digital copy to keep for himself.
The producers panel was first on the agenda for the afternoon and everyone had been anticipating this, hoping for an announcement about the fate of a Season 7 for the show or news of a movie. When I saw that they had moved the panel from the end of the day to the beginning of the afternoon, I thought that it was probably an indication that the news was going to be exactly what we'd heard all week: no news. In fact, I had heard from someone who had been on the set earlier that week that no one knew the answer yet. And, indeed, that is how Brad Wright began the panel. Smart man that he is, he got it right out of the way and said they still knew nothing. He did say that SciFi Channel has been very happy with them and would like them to do another season so MGM approached him about it. MGM would also like to see another season. So, there is something else holding up the works, apparently, and Brad didn't elaborate what it might be. He just said they were all hoping to know soon. When he was asked whether or not the end of Season 6 would "work" as a lead in for Season 7, he said that he has been assured by MGM that they will be allowed to do a movie of some kind, whether it is a feature film, as they had hoped, or simply a movie of the week type deal and that this movie would allow them to wrap things up if Season 7 doesn't happen. He also indicated there were plenty of opportunities left open to explore if they do get a Season 7. He still wants to do the spin-off (Stargate: Atlantis) and the movie script, which has already been written by Brad and Robert C. Cooper, is meant to be used as a bridge between SG-1 and Atlantis...but the spin-off (and movie) will not be made until SG-1 is definitely finished.
Okay...the other folks besides Brad present during the talk were Michael Greenburg (it was great to see him since he hadn't been at the panel last year), Martin Wood, Damian Kindler and Joe Mallozzi dressed up as "Ba'al" for some unexplained reason.
Most of the questions throughout were directed at Brad or Michael, although some went to the group. The question was asked "Why does the Stargate in the SGC spin when none of the ones off-world spin?" The answer was that they hoped we wouldn't notice that kind of thing! (Actually, the first answer was "Next question?") The technical answer was that the gate on the permanent set actually does spin and work with a set of gears. The one they use on location has to break down into multiple pieces and, of course, does not have all of the gears built into it.
N. John Smith was responsible for arranging the set tour for the attendees of the convention. (Thank you, N John Smith!)
Why was the choice made to have Daniel "ascend" rather than writing him out in some other manner? Brad said that they decided they would like to leave Daniel's departure open-ended so that he could come back for guest shots if he wished. They asked Michael Shanks if he was amenable to the idea at the time and he said "yes." So, they chose the ascension route. Brad had a hard time hearing the question (actually, so did I and a lot of others, I think) so I don't think he really understood the gist of it was why ascension as opposed to all of the other ways the character could have possibly been written out. Brad made the comment that Daniel has been back three times (obviously there are two more upcoming appearances) and also Shanks has been back to do the voice of Thor twice (and Brad added that he might do Thor yet a third time). Martin Wood and Michael Greenburg (I think) both commented that they were always glad to see Michael Shanks and there were no hard feelings among any of them. It was great when he came back to film. They also commented (sorry, I don't remember which one(s)) that they felt privileged to have been able to work with a fine actor like Shanks for so long and that it was simply an extra privilege to also now get to work with Corin Nemec.
Someone asked when we were going to get bloopers and action figures. Brad said "Our actors rarely screw up." Which got a laugh, but he said he was serious. ;-) I don't have a note written down about the action figures. I don't think he answered the question. Actually, he didn’t really answer the question about the bloopers, either, come to think of it!
They were all asked which episode(s) they found most interesting in Season 6. Joe Mallozzi answered "Descent" and they talked some about the lengths they had to go to create the flooded scenes and so on. Damian Kindler said "The Other Guys" because it "got me a job." Martin Wood said "Redemption 1 and 2" as well as "The Other Guys" and "The Changeling," which was written by Chris Judge and Brad Wright. Regarding "Descent," Martin Wood said: "Corin held his breath" and Brad Wright quipped, "And the brain damage he suffered was very slight." They bantered back and forth a bit about how long they could all hold their breath. Michael Greenburg was of the opinion that his favorite episodes were "Paradise Lost" (he enjoyed having Tom McBeath as Maybourne back in that one) and "The Changeling." Brad Wright said that for him it was "Abyss," because it was a very emotional experience. I think it was Martin Wood who talked about "Abyss" and said that they had to have three different sets, all identical, in order to create the gravity well effects...and he noticed that the three sets of paint didn't match. They had to paint everything to match real quickly and Rick and Michael Shanks were standing around outside, literally waiting for paint to dry (they were drying it with a hair dryer!) so they could do their scenes! RDA was only available for the filming for four days because he was leaving for Chile.
Brad Wright confirmed that if SG-1 goes to a 7th Season he will be leaving the show as executive producer and serving as a creative consultant. He said he hopes to have more time to write more episodes that way and also to concentrate on developing the movie and the spin-off.
The next panel was Jay Acovone, Wil deVry (Aldwin), Sarah Douglas, JR Bourne, Frida Betrani, and Ron Halder (Chronos). Ron Halder has done some voice work on the new cartoon, Stargate: Infinity and he's also going to be in the new X-Men 2 movie as Stryker. Sarah Douglas told a hilarious story about having a "personal nose wiper" on the set of Superman. They called him "Bert the Snot." She said she spent a lot of time hanging upside down in the role and they would call for the man to wipe her nose when it started running so he'd bring a 40 foot pole with a tissue on the end! She said "Beat that, JR!" Apparently, they had been swapping stories over the weekend and trying to one-up each other.
JR Bourne's goal this year was to raise $30,000.00 for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He was informed that the final tally looked like it was going to be $30,200.00! Also, $1200.00 for the Twin Towers Orphan Fund was raised by Sekh's Party. JR had some fun trying to explain the "Sekh's Party" to the guests like Sarah Douglas and Wil deVry, who had never heard about it until now.
JR tries to explain the “Sekh’s” Party
to the “Virgin” con guests… Wil’s reaction is priceless!
Teryl Rothery was on next and she was as cute and funny as ever. Someone told her they saw "The Idiot's Guide to Turtles and Tortoises" in Jonas' office (on the set that morning) and they wanted to know why Jonas had that book (Teryl's nickname, bestowed by Amanda Tapping, is "Turtle"). Teryl said that "Janice and Jonas are doing it, okay." She also explained how she got her nickname of “Turtle.” It seems that when Janet went with Sam and Daniel to Egypt at the end of “The Curse,” she was dressed up in a combat vest with a big pack on her back. Being so tiny and all, Teryl said that Amanda was giggling at the sight of her and told her she looked very cute, just like a turtle.
Teryl played Heimdall in the Asgard’s appearances on the show—not just the voice, but also wore a motion capture suit. It's a black body suit and they put a cutout on her body with Heimdall's head on her chest. The eyes were right smack dab in the middle of her breasts. She had to wear a black hood so that the other actors would quit looking up at her real eyes. RDA said he was still having trouble so they made pop out eyes with red lights on her boobs so the actors would focus on the right spot and talk to her breasts. She said RDA finally just lost it and stuck his head right between her breasts and said "Love ya, Heimy, love ya." Don S. Davis looked at her and drawled, "Hon, I've never seen your breasts look like that." He also said she usually made him stop looking at her breasts instead of encouraging him to look there. Teryl does a wicked Don S. Davis impression.
She said that Janet has a lot more to do in the second half of the season.
She was asked about reading fan fiction and she described reading a story about Janet in the shower with Hammond. Tom, the Air Force advisor, was sitting right in front of us and he was whining "Can someone send some of that fiction to me?!?!" Janet called up the author of the story and teased her that she was a "dirty, dirty girl." Dan Shea popped into the back of the room and made some comment on the mic about Fraiser and Siler fiction, but I didn't catch what he said.
Teryl describe a scene cut from "Ascension" where she tries to get Sam to go out with her for dinner or something and Sam says she can't because she has a date. Janet's response is: "You???" After Sam leaves, Teryl started doing a striptease with her stethoscope and lab coat, ending up crawling on top of Dan Shea, who is in an infirmary bed as Siler. She hiked up her skirt and straddled him and said "Just how sick are you, Siler?" in a husky voice. She was mortified to learn that there was some kind of behind-the-scenes filming going on and they got it all on tape.
The Stuffy Guard came out and I believe they said they had collected over 1200 stuffies this year.
Teryl’s makes one lucky con-goer’s
Well, we were exhausted, so as badly as I wanted to see the crew panels and the closing ceremonies, we left after Teryl's talk ended. I managed to win the silent auction (a whole album full of Michael Shanks and Amanda tapping photos; there were actually some nice Lexa photos in there, too) I was bidding on and we just barely had time to rest a few minutes, grab some dinner at Chronos and then head for the theater across town where "Suddenly Naked" was playing. This movie which features Michael Shanks in a small but fairly pivotal role was quite a treat to see. The movie was witty and fun and I enjoyed it. I hope it comes out on DVD because I'd love to own a copy of it. As usual, Shanks just "pops" off the screen in every single scene he was in. We had a laugh that he played two characters, one named Danny Blair and the other one Donnie Blitzer (a fictional character in the heroine’s latest book). The main character was named Jackie and often called "Jack." There was also a scene with Donnie and a banana and we couldn't help but laugh after all of the Jonas and banana jokes! We did spend a lot of time then (and since) joking that, given an obscene moment or two in “Suspicious River” and now in “Suddenly Naked,” we were going to have to start calling Michael Shanks a rather rude name. Meant will all due respect and affection, of course! If you get a chance to see it, check it out.
Next up: some thank yous and a few comments and pictures from our post-con touring.
JR Bourne shows off his megawatt smile!
Featuring pictures of Brad Wright, Alexis Cruz, Virginia Hey (from Farscape), Jay Acovone, Jay Brazeau, Tony Amendola, Erick Avari, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, Don S. Davis, Dan Shea, Amanda Tapping, Colin Cunningham, JR Bourne and more!
Featuring pictures of Michael Shanks,
Amanda Tapping, Tom McBeath
and Lexa Doig (from Andromeda)
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