Martin Gero on Stargate Universe – One of TPTB for You and Me!

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Welcome back Stargate fans!

Mr. Martin Gero appeared late in the day Saturday November 7, 2009 at Creation Entertainments Los Angeles Stargate SG-1 Atlantis convention. Known as a writer, a director, and as an Executive Producer of Stargate Atlantis, Martin Gero is currently best know by Stargate Franchise fans as a script writer and as a consulting producer for the new SyFy hit series, Stargate Universe. Our report on Martin’s panel appearance will be as accurate as possible considering notes, photos, and crowd noise. We did our best though and trust you will enjoy reading about Martin Gero!

WormholeRiders had hoped that Creation Entertainment would schedule at least one of TPTB from Stargate LA-Stargate2009-MartinGero-001cUniverse. We were not disappointed with Creation when Mr. Gero appeared on the schedule a short time before the convention commenced. I for one was eagerly looking forward to Mr. Gero’s stage appearance. I deliberately planned to skip dinner in order to catch every word about his Atlantis work and of course, writing and  co-producing for the new Stargate Universe series.

Unfortunately Martin was scheduled late in the day at approximately 5:45 PM and the panel started about 15 minutes late. Also one of our reporters experienced a camera failure which meant I was in the Farscape convention taking pictures and missed the first three minutes or so during his introduction. Fortunately another Martin Gero fan shared what was discussed with me for inclusion in this report. On the way into the auditorium, I noticed that many convention attendees seemed to be heading for dinner. I said to several that Martin Gero was on now! Several said they getting ready and dressing up for one of the evenings biggest events, the Creation Entertainment Cocktail Dessert Party! Oh well, I tried, but they were about to miss something special!

Mr. Gero therefore played to approximately a 50% to 60% full audience by the end of his 35 or so minutes on stage. In fact a friend, who was also taking notes, had not arrived yet from the Farscape side of the convention as that panel had gone over as well, so for the first few minutes I scrambled!

Reviewing my notes after the fact, the crowd was actually larger than previously reported, about 75% to LA-Stargate2009-MartinGero-004c80% full at the beginning of Martin Gero’s appearance and tapered off to about 55% to 60% capacity by the end.

For Stargate Franchise fans we can report that Mr. Gero’s work, both  on Stargate Universe and the pending Stargate Atlantis movie “Extinction” immediately became “front and center” during the Q&A period.

Discussed briefly earlier in the day by Paul McGillion and Joe Flanigan of Stargate Atlantis, the very first question after his introduction, was about the pending Stargate Atlantis movie, termed ‘Extinction’.

The first fan question was: “When could we expect the new SGA movie?”

Paraphrasing Martin’s response, he was forthright: “The Stargate Atlantis movie is approved for production. Unfortunately, production funding is proving difficult to secure in the current economic conditions. As soon as production funding is located, the movie will enter production”.  I believe he said late 2010 was the target, about a year from now, I but did not catch his exact wording in that regard because the Atlantis fans present let out a huge round of applause.

What happened next was most interesting. Once confirmed by one of The Powers That Be [TPTB] of what was happening with the Stargate Atlantis movie, a number of convention guests began to leave the auditorium until about 60-70% remained. I did not do an exact head count, but it was apparent that onceLA-Stargate2009-MartinGero-003c Stargate Atlantis fans received a confirmation to their question with Martin’s answer, some, a minority of fans did not stay to discuss Stargate Universe. Frankly, we found this to be a little bit rude. After all Mr. Gero is a long time creative talent for the Stargate Franchise. Martin was not ultimately responsible for the non renewal of Atlantis, and has been an important contributor to Stargate. We think he is a person who is deserving of the respect that he has certainly earned.

As previously reported, some fans never forgave Martin for killing the “real” Dr. Carson Beckett. For what it is worth; I think the Atlantis plot twist was deliberately written into the Atlantis time-line to create a fan ground swell of support. Just my opinion, but the “Save Carson Beckett” campaign was one of the most intriguing developments in Stargate Atlantis. The ultimate return of Carson Beckett was as big of an event as was the return of Dr. Daniel Jackson in Stargate SG-1.

The audience that did stay obviously was very interested in Stargate Universe and mostly in support of the new Stargate, but theSGU-Logo-02re were and are skeptics. We disagree with the skeptics, but respect their opinions. Those that left missed a real treat. Martin was comfortable and enjoyably animated on stage. Both supporters of Stargate Universe like this reporter, as well as few skeptics of the new series were answered by Mr. Gero directly and honestly. Several guests of Creation Entertainment asked tough questions that we will transcribe as accurately as is possible.

A few ‘questions’ were actually more of direct comments in that ‘I’ had not ‘gotten’ into Stargate Universe ‘yet’.  Martin began what can only be described as a genuinely vigorous defense of Stargate Universe. Martin discussed where SGU was coming from and where SGU was going in terms of the Stargate Franchise without revealing too many spoilers. Martin did a very good job on both accounts.

As mentioned, the Q&A began almost immediately. After the questions about Atlantis, the topic turned to one of great interest; that of Michael Shanks reprising his role as Dr. Daniel Jackson in the instructional videos. Of great interest was what role will Michael play in Stargate Universe?  By having this question asked right off the bat, Martin had an opportunity to lead with a strong topic.

SGU-S1x01-DanielJackson-01-cMartin Gero replied: “In that story, guest starring is the very handsome Michael Shanks! But ummm so …” Martin was referring to Michaels appearance in SGU episodes outside of the instructional back story videos produced on MGM Studios web site.

At this point the crowd erupted and went wild with cheers, screams, and squeals. This reporter as well, I mean my goodness, what is Stargate without a Dr. Daniel Jackson!?!  A general release of “woots” and cheers from the audience continued regarding Michael Shanks future appearances in Stargate Universe! This group was every bit as vocal in their support for Mr. Gero’s’ discussion of Michael Shanks role in the first season of Stargate Universe as any previous panel. The unspoken message? Cameo appearances by favorite Stargate characters like Daniel Jackson would be quite welcomed. Based on the pleasant expression on Martin’s face, the message was well received.

Cheering as loudly as any other convention panel, this group were Star’Gaters through and through. That is syfy-logo11not to say these fans were better or more devoted to SyFy’s and MGM’s new Stargate Universe more than SG-1 or Atlantis fans. Quite the SGU-Wrap-Party-Oct2409-JGLenic-ccontrary; It was just that for those who remained it was clear that for them TPTB have brought back their favorite franchise. After all Stargate is Stargate especially with the ongoing cameos of Richard Dean Anderson Michael Shanks and others yet to be revealed, a vast majority of the fans we MGM-Lionhave observed and spoken with are pleased with the new content in Stargate Universe. Even skeptics I spoke with about Stargate Universe are willing to give the new series their full attention every week.

Martin Gero reiterated: “There is a spectacular episode appearing in the second half of the SGU season that has a lot of back story with the very handsome Michel Shanks” The crowd erupted once again to Martins delight!

After the melee about MS, It took some time before Martin could continue speaking! Obviously comfortable in front of an audience, Martin now clearly had the audience’s attention. He continued: “You know, I think what we are trying to do with the show [SGU] is there are no bad guys and no good guys. There are going to be times when Rush is the bad guy and there will be times when Everett is the bad guy, there will be times when Telford is the bad guy. We try to move it around and keep everybody under duress. Does that make sense? Stick with it … I think… ”

The questioner nodded in the affirmative and continued with a follow-on question:  “They really seem to direct well and even if I didn’t care about the characters… with the sequence of the music, the dire straits they were in during the Stargate back story, the way it was done… It was very poignant…”

LA-Stargate2009-MartinGero-002cMartin Gero: “What we are ultimately doing … what we brought in with the photography … from the deal he [unintelligible] tried to enlighten, he really gave the show an amazing look I think … Him and Robert [Cooper] and Brad [Wright] worked with that. Some of the best work of their lives! So the network is like really making a score. You know it kind of (feels) like Blade Runner…. It’s a feel I really, really like ….”

Fan Questioner: “The scripts are really cool!”

Martin Gero: “Plus the visual effects [unintelligible] … I can’t wait for you all to see these next few shows … They really like … are extraordinary “

Fan Questioner: “You said you like you have 20 episodes already in the can?”

Martin Gero: “Yeah, we have 20 episodes shot.”

Fan Questioner: “Ok, so in those 20 episodes do we find out about what that little thing that flew off in the beginning? Does that come back in the 20 episodes?”

Martin Gero: “Yes.”

Fan Questioner: “Who the heck was in that thing?”

Martin Gero: “Well, I can’t tell you that! You just have to watch and find out …”

Fan Questioner: “I totally almost forgot about that … Did you you write that?”

Martin Gero: “I did not write that, no sorry.”

Fan Questioner: “Yeah I was really curious if you wrote it or knew the answer”

Martin Gero: “It will be answered in its place … the answer about the little ship is pretty awesome… Yeah you guys want to shut down?” Martin asked the question in response to some folks who were leaving.

Audience in Unison warming up to Martin: “No!”

Martin Gero Smiling: “Ok!”

Next Fan Questioner: “We want more Daniel Jackson instructional videos. I thought those were excellent”

Crowd cheers.

Martin Gero laughs enjoying the feedback: ”Thank you. Thank you. That was actually my small contribution to the pilot. I thought that for people who had not watched the Stargate SG-1 or Atlantis shows that there was a lot of technical detail taken for granted … an instructional video, like a little Stargate how to. And they very wisely got Michael Shanks to do it.”

Fan Questioner: “Actually my friends and I on Facebook follow all about Michael Shanks!”

Martin Gero: “He’s handsome! Don’t you find him very handsome? [Asking the fan a question]”

Fan Questioner: “Of course!”

Martin Gero Gestures: “Michael Shanks! I get lost in his eyes! He is arguably one of the larger people …. MichaelShanks-BlueEyes-01cI just get lost in his eyes! [Crowd laughs]. Ask him about it tomorrow when Michael Shanks appears. I want you too specifically to ask him about his eyes tomorrow!” [Crowd erupts in laughter].

Fan Questioner: “Ahhhhh … Well, I don’t know. I think I am making enough trouble here already.”

Martin Gero gives the fan a break, gestures to continue: “Ok, Ok”

Fan Questioner: “Maybe I might make trouble. I don’t know! Brad Wright, also another handsome man, he did a fine delivery in that 3 and ½ minute summary on SyFy, that’ it! Hey, this will explain everything in the show [Very sarcastically]!”

Martin Gero: “Oh really?” [Nods]

Fan Questioner: “And so SyFy Channel pops that up, I said here you go friends, cause I had all these people, I’ve seen this all through, never heard of it! But that’s the reaction I get, who is that? Anyway, yeah … I suspect, and I don’t know if you can comment, but the strange craft leaving the ship had a red glow when it left there, that usually is a bad sign”

Martin Gero: “Red is bad! That’s our universal thing we do on Stargate, a red light, that usually means trouble. Turns out that way … I realize that … but yeah it had a red glow and yeah it does mean trouble.”

Fan Questioner: “Well, I am going to look for more answers and summaries, maybe you can tell us on Facebook?”

Twitter-badge-01Martin Gero: “Ok. Thanks very much. I’m on Twitter, follow me on Twitter. Turns to, and asks the next questioner in line [me]; “Hi, how’s it going? Are you on the phone right now or?” [Crowd laughs].

Like an idiot, I had totally forgotten that I left the blue tooth cell phone adapter on my ear! With the blue LED blinking every few seconds, I was an immediate target for Martin and he quickly took advantage of my plight!

Martin Gero: “Ok. I appreciate … I didn’t know … If you’re talking … don’t want to interrupt or anything?”

Crowd laughs hysterically!

WR_Systems: No, I would not do that, let me take it off. Sorry, if I am on the phone I may not get my question answered!”

Martin Gero: “You will get your question answered regardless sir. “

Mighty nice of Martin considering my predicament!

WR_Systems: “Thank you. You are on Twitter, I’m from WormholeRiders. We really like the fact that the cast, producers and the creators are on Twitter. John Lenic and some of the others have indicated, that we know, that the ‘stones’ are going to play an important role as the series goes forward. And without revealing spoilers or exactly when, can the fans expect to see some of their other favorite Stargate stars maybe helping the folks on the Destiny in the future? That’s my question.”

Martin Gero animated: “Uhh …. Yeah!”

Crowd laughs at short answer!

WR_Systems: “Cool. That’s all we wanted was a yes.”

Martin Gero: “Ok … Yes!”

Crowd laughs again.

WR_Sytems: “Thank you Martin, thank you very much”

Martin Gero: “You are very welcome!” Turns to next questioner; “Hi!”

Next Fan Questioner: “Why did you not do a show like with … my question to you … will Sheppard ever get a lover?”

Martin Gero: “I think Sheppard would definitely be in for a lover. So I’m going to say …. Let’s see Sheppard … a nerd? [Crowd agrees] What do they [women] say about this? What do they say though? What do you think they [women] say about nerds?”

Fan Questioner: “I’m married to one of them!”

The crowd simply erupted in laughter!

Martin Gero: “Ok! So what they say is true then?”

Fan Questioner: “Yes!”

More laughter as the fan played along with Martin’s humorous tendencies.

Martin Gero: “Alright! Well then … Thank you… [Nods to fan] “ [Pauses] “It’s taken a weird turn guys. I realize it’s my fault, but I’ve led it there, it’s ok … let’s just go with it!” [More laughter. Turns to next questioner] “Hey!”

Next Fan Questioner: “Hi, I’m an amateur writer and Director …”

Martin Gero cuts off the questioner and feigns looking worried: “Ok. Please stop! I need to keep my job!”

The crowd once again erupts in laughter. Martin is very quick on his feet and is quite delightful on stage!

Fan Questioner: “Well, can you expand on your writing process, what you go through, how you develop the script, you know, the ideas?”

Martin Gero turns instantly professional and serious: “Uh, sure. How it works on Stargate that would probably you know … be the most interesting and on topic at least.  Well I what I would come up with, or you know our own ideas, or there is an idea floating around, or for instance a show like ‘Brainstorm’ for instance. You know we need to do a show about the environment and a show about the Earth show at some point.  I had this set we wanted to use … So you know you have these things running around, we had this set already built.  Well, that’s something to consider alright … The ideas? So I don’t know … they are usually part and parcel of the ether and you just pick them up with the guys if it sounds like that fits the season or the show that we are trying to do, I write a beat sheet or an outline, or we have a big whiteboard we’ll sit in a room and talk for a long time and beat it out. And then you know I just like to write! I find it mostly in the writing, although outlining is increasingly more useful … You know. It’s where you separate the two types of thinking you do. Outline is very structure based. If you nail your outline you can improvise dialogue, just go right to dialogue, I am a very quick typist, talk it out, and then type write it out.”

Fan Questioner: “and it works better in the community or are you [unintelligible – a solitary?] writer?”

Martin Gero: “I don’t like sit down and write the actual scripts with people in the community, but is incredibly helpful for like coming up with stories and stuff like that that to have a bunch of them in the room to get what the show is. But when it comes to actually writing the script I think we all prefer to do that alone. And then just shop it around with the other guys … They say ‘like this is terrible’ [tongue in cheek], Ok, you tried and then they make it better, but you still get credit for it!  It’s the way to go! All my best lines in writing have been done by other people!”

The lively crowd once again erupted in laughter at this remark, but from looking around the room and recognizing a few writers, it was clear the audience enjoyed the answer. The next questioner was extremely difficult to hear.

Next Fan Questioner: “…. About the Atlantis episodes with the Wraith and the extra commentaries included on the DVD’s. Were you forced to do them or did you enjoy doing them?”

Martin Gero: “Actually weird thing, they held it over my head … It’s got to do with Michael Shanks again!” [Making a TPTB joke, the crowd laughed]. No actually I really liked doing them cause as a fan I liked to listen to them. And although I had to do one of them alone recently, and that turned into bit of a car crash! There wasn’t someone else you could kind of play off of. But I …. They are really lots of fun.  Before I got into the business I was voracious in listening to commentaries. Because you know they are insightful. Unfortunately, I don’t think what I have to say is useful or very insightful, so I just try to make them fun.”

Fan Questioner: “Will you do any commentaries in Stargate Universe?”

Martin Gero: “I don’t know really. Probably. Maybe. I’d know I’d like to! Thank you!”

Turns to next fan at microphone.

Next Fan Questioner: “I was just wondering how did you get started with your writing career?”

Martin Gero: “Oh… That’s all? No problem!” [laughing as some in the crowd chuckled] “I am not good at anything else. I wanted to be an actor for a while, and then decided that was not for me. Then I decided I wanted to be a film Director, but I didn’t have a film to Direct, so I started writing hoping to ‘Direct’ someday.  And uh … it turned out I was ok at writing  Just got hired and there was a momentum to it.”

Fan Questioner: “What was your first job?”

Martin Gero: “My first was on a talent show. I didn’t get to go to those places; I just plagiarized whatever was on those cities web sites. It was good money and I needed things like food and clothes! The Stargate job I got, was asked if I wanted a job on Stargate and if I had watched the show? I said no I never had and was kind of a jerk that way. And then I watched and it was super fun. I was thinking of writing mini-series, cause they are so easy to sell, they read and liked the mini-series a lot as well, it went well and I went on from there. They asked me to ‘pitch’ [be a Producer] which sounded like fun. It would be a long and boring story, cutting out all the good parts because it would be boring. They offered me the job and it’s an amazing place to work because there is none of that competitiveness, you know when you have been with the show that long there is no ‘that’s my territory’. They were really just thankful for new blood and looking for people to do stuff. It was a really great way to learn how to do TV things. It was an amazing opportunity for me!”

Fan Questioner: “Did you do much improvisation of the shows?”

Martin Gero: “No. We rarely did improvisation. Yeah they rarely did improv. Everything is scripted. The show did not lend itself to improv. We are shooting one side of a scene at a time. You lock it into place, it’s really hard … you just don’t dangle it around.  Thanks so much.” [Nods to questioner] “Hey this side of the room is dropping balls guys!”

The crowd laughed hard as Martin points to the opposite side of the room where no one was in line to ask a question. Martin turned back to our microphone where I had joined the line again and said.  “Hey!”

Next Fan Questioner: “I kind of have two questions or one and one about commentaries. I think commentaries are [unintelligible] but I like to watch them first”

Martin Gero: “You watch the shows first or do the commentaries first before watching the episodes?”

Fan Questioner: “Yes. I watched the commentary versions first before watching”

Martin Gero: “Wow. Amazing. Ok, Go ahead”

Fan Questioner: “In your experience what do you … what do you read … what literature do you read that has influenced your writing?”

Martin Gero: “My [unintelligible] in literature is not that strong as I would like to be. I really liked, as far as Stargate goes… I feel like Michael Creighton when I was very young.  I used to read a lot of Michael Creighton. I feel that Stargate is in the same genre like science fact / fiction. I just read ‘The Road’ which is amazing. There! Here’s the truth, I am functionally literate. Joe (Mallozzi) would put me to shame because Joe has a voracious appetite to …. Reads lots of science fiction and that influences at lot on his blog site. Did that answer your question?” [Fan nods] “Thanks so much!”

By this time the side of the room Martin had teased earlier about not having any questioners had risen to the task. Martin was quick witted in his response to being flanked with fan questions from two microphones!

Martin Gero: “Hey! Hey this [other] side of the room! Nice work everyone! How’s it going?”

Fan Questioner: “When you were talking about dialogue before, did you ever struggle with what the SGU characters would say?”

Martin Gero: “Um. No you get to the point where …. you get to the point where in that first season you get to know what they sound like, what they talk like, what they think about things. Crazy thing about it is they start to become three dimensional and real to you, you know like with Rodney McKay, you know them quite well and there is part of you in each of them. Certainly and it became very easy. It was a lot of fun. For Universe, I had to turn all of that Atlantis off. It was hard not to turn Eli into Rodney McKay and have him be his own discrete character. We are very sensitive of that obviously. Everyone is quick to tell me if it’s too much like Rodney or John Sheppard. But it’s tough though because of memory and writing about those other guys. You just know what McKay would think about that and also you can turn it on its side. [Unintelligible]”

Fan Questioner continues: “I know what you mean. I’ve watched and see they all reside in you. It’s very interesting.”

Martin Gero: “Yeah. I feel a great connection to all those characters. Actually to write them on the show, it was a lot of fun, It was really sad for me when the Atlantis show began to wind down. Weird voices in my head sometimes they just go [unintelligible] with what talk about future episodes, makes you go on to deal with modern events. The characters were also the fun thing about the Stargate SG-1 movies. “

Same Fan Questioner: “I’ve got another question about …”

Martin Gero: “Sorry you have had too many questions!”

Crowd breaks out in laughter!

Same Fan Questioner: “Errrrr….”

Martin Gero: “Just kidding!”

The audience chuckled at Martin’s ease with humor.

Same Fan Questioner: “In terms of the science, did you have to do a lot of research or did you already know a lot?”

Martin Gero: “No. I am pretty much a science idiot, my brother is a great biologist but I really liked science in school but never could figure out what to do with that field. You know it’s been super fun … It’s one of the best things to come out of Stargate. Brad and Paul are physics geniuses. They are very good at explaining the facts about science. It’s not that something is real, but it is fact based. They have great ideas about science! Next!”

New Fan Questioner: “I have a question about the Atlantis DVD commentary, on one of the extras; you did that whole thing about wanting an ending episode…Was that your idea ?”

Martin Gero: “Yes. That whole thing was very painful to me. I didn’t want to see the end of the shows. I mean we had done 15 box sets. At the end what could we do that was entertaining other than me sitting in a chair, so we always worked hard to do something extraordinary. By end of season one we had a format down. Yeah. I know. It’s like an extra hour of the show.”

Fan Questioner: “It’s nice to see the featurettes and extras. The commentaries were great. Are they going to let you do them for Stargate Universe?”

Martin Gero Turns: “I don’t know yet. I’ll try! Hey How’s it going?”

Next Fan Questioner: “I have a question about Stargate Universe. I just can’t get into Stargate Universe. The thing I always like about the Stargate(s) was the humor and the action. I am not finding a whole lot of that in SGU yet. Is that going to pick up?”

Martin Gero: “Yeah. I talked about that same point backstage earlier today, but to expand, you will notice from this point on it will be much more like the Stargate you know. A more recognizable Stargate. That was something I missed in the first episodes. But in the first few episodes with everyone on board Destiny about to die how much fun could they really have?”

With this statement, the tension in the crowd that had been hovering since Martin took the stage broke! With a wave of sighs of relief and semi nervous chuckles across the room, everything changed in an instant!

And so here it is the question in many minds about Stargate Universe. My analogy about SGU being a four act play with the first acted just completed, and the second act yet to come! Our Stargate with humor and with more action was just around the corner of the first act. As we know now with episodes such as ‘Time’, ‘Life’ and ‘Earth’, SGU is indeed much more like the Stargate fans grew to love over the 15 episodic years of both Stargate series. Looking around the room, there were many pleased faces applauding Martin at this point.

Fan Questioner continued knowing she was on a roll: “I liked Eli the genius kid with the answer to the games thing. It was familiar…”

Martin Gero: “Like in ‘The Last Star Fighter’?”

Fan Questioner enthusiastically: “Yes. It is why I kept going back to watch the Eli (David Blue) character

Martin Gero: “That’s great. Thank you! He’ll love to hear that. Be happy to Twitter him. I’ll make sure to tell him! Next! Hey, how’s it going?”

At this point the ‘time keeper handler’ appeared in front of the stage and gestured as if to a watch. This meant we had perhaps five or six more minutes with Martin. He nodded

Next Fan Questioner quickly “Do you read Joe Mallozzi’s blog often?”

Martin Gero to the crowd laughter: “Not as often as Joe Mallozzi would like! [Tongue in cheek]. I do check-in from time to time to see what those guys are up too and see what kind of foods they are eating. So what’s up with the blog?”

Fan Questioner referring to Joe Mallozzi: “Did you send him the picture of you in the plaid suit?”

Martin Gero: “Yes. Yes I did! Did you like the suit?”

Fan Questioner: “Well, it would have looked better as a table cloth!”

At which point the ice was totally broken with Martin as everyone in the house roared with laughter!

Martin Gero vigorously defending his plaid suit: “Really surprised! I like that plaid suit! I sure didn’t think it would become the subject of an Internet poll though! So I find (by reading) that I had pulled the drapes off, sewed up that suit myself, the one that you say looked like a table cloth! I liked that suit! Ok, well, thank you so much for that!”

More raucous laughter. I myself was busting up at how well Martin rolled with the punches. He was obviously enjoying his time on stage just as were we enjoying interacting with him.

Next Fan Questioner: “Hi. I’m on Twitter and I follow you and John Lenic. You said you sliced your hand. I was wondering how it is?”

Martin Gero: “Well, thank you very much. It’s down to a manageable band-aid, I may have opened it up again the other day, but I cut my hand pretty bad. Somewhere in my wisdom I decided to share that with the world until I realized what I had done on Twitter the following week!”

Even more raucous laughter from the audience, so much so it was hard to hear what was said next.

Martin Gero continued: “Well actually sure I had put it out there and a lot of people were nurses or doctors following me. They gave me great advice, had one tell me to stitch it myself, it was kind of really fun project! So then I sat down with the stitches and a nice bottle of wine … So far so good! I got a sexy thumb! I was a guy who lives on the edge! Actually I glad it’s much better thank you for asking. Next!”

Fan Questioner asking about SGU: “Colonel Telford is really mucking up the Destiny. Is he going to get back in there?”

Martin Gero: “Well Telford’s got a beef, he really wants to stay in there and after the events … I don’t know if you have seen the episode or not ‘Earth’, he certainly is going to have a minimized role on the ship now because he … Well, I don’t want to spoil it for people who haven’t seen it.”

Fan Questioner continues: “Well, it’s on right after this…”

Martin Gero: “Well, tune in and find out. Thank you”

Next Fan Questioner: “I sneaked over from the Farscape side of the convention.”

Martin Gero to roaring laughter: “Please leave immediately!”

The audience crowd roared at Martin’s well timed humor!

Fan Questioner undaunted and serious: “Loved all of the Stargate and I go to all the Stargate conventions and already talked to Amanda Tapping at Chicago about Stargate Universe. I’m one of the ones that really didn’t think I would like it”

Martin Gero Sincerely: “Why?”

Fan Questioner: “Because I thought it would be along the lines of too depressing, too much like BattleStar Galactica. Well that’s what I thought. Amanda Tapping said ‘these people, the producers, the creators, are working hard, just give it a chance. So I watched it on Amanda’s recommendation and I loved it!  ”

Martin Gero (referring to Amanda’s compliment): “Well, the reality is that Stargate people take care of Stargate people. The reality is that the show is dark, but I think it has a great cast to it. No offense to cast of the past, I only mean how deep the cast is, but we have like 15 main actors all the way down to Paul G, some with only two lines, that are so extraordinary! That is such a gift for the writers because it really triangulates a true great giant ensemble show. I’m just really excited about it with those guys …”

Martin Gero: “But I too mourn the loss of Atlantis when it went down, and was kind of bitter that the Atlantis franchise would fold, but you know SGU is a really, really, good and as a good show, it’s a fun show.  I am really excited about it. Thank you!”

Martin turned to me just as I was back at the front of the line for another question, however at this point the ‘time keeper handler’ re-appeared in front of the stage and gestured. I looked over at the master of ceremonies hoping for a reprieve, but he gestured that time was up.

Although disappointed, I knew that I would see Martin at the autograph sessioLA-Stargate2009-MartinGero-WR_Systems-001n, when as previously reported Martin was gracious enough to pose in a picture with me and sign our SGU Press Kit as a memento.

After chatting with Martin about SGU during the autograph and hearing him agree that so much familiar was to come, I knew that in a short time Stargate Universe was what many, including what I have believed and defended since the new Stargate burst upon the world; That the Stargate is back! Based on the dedication of people with the qualities of Martin Gero’s in this world, Stargate Universe is liable to be around for many years to come!

In summary: During my stay in Los Angeles I enjoyed every Creation Entertainment Stargate (and Farscape) panel I attended. They were all most excellent. However to hear one of TPTB who is so intimately connected with the Stargate franchise like Martin Gero was more than outstanding. Martin spoke eloquently and passionately about his love for Stargate both old and new. When the day was over it was nice to know that “Our Stargate” was in good hands!

I for one would be looking forward to next year in Los Angeles hoping that Creation Entertainment would schedule Martin again for a review of how Stargate Universe is doing after it starts it’s second episodic year. Yes. I know I’m optimistic! But we fully expect many more seasons to come!

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Kenn of #TeamWHR

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