The Convention begins at last!
Day 1 began at 8:45 with the boarding of the Locations Tour bus. It was a rainy, drizzly, snowy morning that lasted throughout the day.
The bus was high quality, very comfortable, and complete with cup holders, and television screens. The TV’s were very useful to watch Stargate, what else!
Our tour guide and Stargate SG-1’s location
manager for seasons 2 through 7, Lynn Smith, wife of Executive Producer N. John Smith, put on portions of Stargate SG-1 episodes that corresponded with the location we were on our way to see. We had to travel a good while to reach each location, but for the most part the time went quickly, between the episodes and Lynn graciously taking our questions.
Our first location was the Pitt Meadows Regonal Airport. This is where the airstrip used in the first scenes of Stargate SG-1’s “Tangent” is located. We were able to get off the bus and take some pictures, but we were unable to see the airstrip, and little else of the airport was shown in the episode.
Our next stop was far more interesting. We headed for Bordertown, which according to what Lynn told us and my own research, was built for a show by the same name in 1935, and has remained up ever since. Subsequent shows have come through, using the set in various ways, moving some elements like fences and the windmill, and redressing it. More recently the set has fallen into disuse, and is quite literally falling apart. This did not diminish my awe at being there, however. This area was used in Stargate SG-1 episodes “Beast of Burden” and “A Hundred Days”. No doubt you will recognize this barn as the one in which Jack and Daniel were locked up by Burock in “Beast of Burden”. The best part, with out a doubt, was the fact that those scenes were really filmed inside this very barn, not on a set! I took the opportunity to walk inside the barn, which aside from damage taken over time and the lack of the bars, looked very much as it did in the scenes.
Next, we went to the Jackson Pit and the Municipal Pit.
The Jackson Pit (aptly named if I do say so myself!) was used as the crater in “A Hundred Days” where the meteor buried the Stargate and stranded Jack. Also, it was the setting if the death camp in “Orpheus”, including the ridges from which SG-1 looks down into the camp. Jackson Pit has not changed, though there was some equipment sitting there and it was fenced in so we couldn’t actually walk around the “crater”.
Municipal Pit, however, has essentially been lost as a future location, at least in the roll of a planet other than Earth. It was the location for the ruins and battle scene seen in “Lost City Part 1”. It has been fully developed into housing.
Next, we trekked out to Minacota Lodge (the spelling of which I’m sure I have wrong because Google can’t find it – I’ll try to get the correct spelling). It was the location of Seth’s fortress in “Seth”, minus the escape tunnel – that was built on set. Otherwise all scenes of that episode are on location. The scene where Seth’s worshippers are exiting the tunnel was filmed in Stokes Pit, a location we did not get to visit. Happily for the happy couple but unfortunately for us on the bus, the Lodge was booked for a wedding reception, and we were not allowed to get any closer than the closest perpendicular road. Many of us hopped off the bus to find the best shot through the trees.
After that we headed for Gilly’s Pit, one of the few red rock quarries to be found. This particular quarry was used in both “New Ground” and “The Fifth Man”. Sadly, it like Municipal Pit, is being changed. The red rock is being removed to be sold for tiles and flagstones. I zoomed in on what little I could locate.
At this point we where given a choice. We could go to the GVRD, a forest preserve type area where SG-1 filmed every third episode, according to Lynn, or we could go see the Riverveiw Hospital, which I suspect was a location for “Changeling” but Lynn didn’t say, and the Firehall from “Changeling”. Though these sounded wonderful, we voted to go to the GVRD. The public is given limited access to this area. You can walk, hike, bike or run in it, but you can’t drive through it without express permission – something that Lynn had! We saw Midvalley, an area where Stargate Sg-1 episodes such as ‘Enemy Mine” where filmed (below), and also a point 2km along the road where episodes such as Alliance took place (right). In truth, Lynn listed off almost all of the episodes that was filmed at the GVRD, but I couldn’t possibly keep up. She said she would be posting the list of places we visited, along with the two group pictures we took, on the Creation website.
Lynn gave us the addresses of the hospital and the firehall, and if I can fine the opportunity before having to leave Vancouver, I will go look for them!
On the way back to the hotel, Lynn pointed out several more locations that were very close to Bridge Studios. She pointed out the senior home that was used as a high school for the final scene of “Fragile Balance”. Unfortunately my camera decided to throw a tantrum as we drove by, so I will go back later to get that picture, since I know where it is.
This abandoned Audi dealership became the liqueur store that young Jack tried to get beer from in “Fragile Balance”.
This BWM (right) used to be a old “Zepher” building , according to Lynn, and as such was abandoned and run down. It was then used for Stargate SG-1 episodes such as “Smoke and Mirrors” as the building from where the fake Jack shot Senator Kinsey, who unfortunately for SG-1, did not die as a result.
The motel (below) served as the location for Felger’s apartment in “Avenger 2.0”.
Lastly, this Orthodox church is where the ballroom party in “Chimera” was shot. Lynn let us in on an interesting fact. The party that Sam and Pete crashed was actually the 60th anniversary party for her in laws, John Smith’s parents! Who knew!?
That ends the location tour! I promise to transpose my notes of Lynn’s answers to some of our questions after the convention is concluded. Right now I need to turn in for the night. Tomorrow is a big day, featuring costume designer Valerie Halverson, the “Working Actors of Vancouver Panel”, and appearances from Gary Jones as well as an unannounced guest. Christopher Heyerdahl (Todd the Wraith from Atlantis, as well as couple other roles on SG-1 and Atlantis) was going to be joining us, but then suddenly had to cancel. Tomorrow will also bring Gary Jones’s parody performance entitled “Starhole SG-1.5”. I am concerned for my sanity.