The Official Stargate Convention Tour

The Meadowlands – East Rutherford, NJ

August 7th and 8th, 2004


Report by Jess

WARNING: May contain spoilers for SG-1 Season 8 and Atlantis Season 1


Day 1 – Saturday, August 7th


We left home at around 9:10 AM. We got lost trying to find the Meadowlands Plaza (sigh). It’s not marked clear enough, IMHO, and the hotel is basically hidden. I called the hotel for directions and got connected to a recording, which was useless. We had to stop in the parking lot of another hotel, and ask in the hotel for directions. The guy I asked didn’t really know, so we got back on the road and I called the Sheraton again. They connected me to a bellhop, who I was finally able to get directions from.


We finally made it to the hotel at around 11:30 AM. They didn’t have our room ready yet, so they took our bags and kept them in this room near the front desk. We went back at around 3 PM during the intermission and got checked in.


The convention opened at noon, but we had to wait on a VERY long line. We got a free, unsigned picture of RDA as a gift since we were staying at the hotel. There were a few people dressed in costumes. One girl was dressed as Lya the Nox woman, and her costume was really done well. A few others were dressed in BDU’s, one of which also wore a boonie.


We got seated at 12:15, and since we had general admission tickets we were seated all the way in the back. I did get an aisle seat so I was at least able to take pictures from where I was sitting. One of the women with Creation (not sure of her name, but she had long red hair) let us go up closer and take two pictures, and then we had to go back to our seats. When I went up to take a picture of DSD, I must not have crouched low enough because she screeched, “Down!!” at me. I guess she had to keep everything in order, but she was a bit rude, IMHO. I visited the dealer tables and bought two of the Stargate SG-1 comic books, one of which was a gold-sticker convention exclusive. One of the artists, James Anthony, was signing the comics. They also had trading cards, lots of photos of course, banners, t-shirts, etc. I bought a Stargate the Movie trading card set and an SG-1 hat.


At 12:45, Gary from Creation Entertainment came out and showed a trailer with snippets from the “From Stargate to Atlantis: The Lowdown” special which aired on Sci-Fi a month ago. They only showed the bits from SG-1 obviously. Tony Amendola was a few minutes late, but he was a great guy. As soon as he walked in, he remarked that it was cold (it was very cold in the conference room) and it should be a Buffy Convention or something to that effect. He said that S8 is amazing so far, and he’s pitching an idea for a 140th birthday celebration for Bra’tac. Someone asked him about how he auditioned for SG-1. He said they asked if he wanted to play a 130-year-old man and he said “why me?” LOL. He also said that no one ever said it was a recurring part. Someone else asked him to describe a typical day on SG-1. He said there is no typical day, and when something unexpected happens on film, they love it, because it reads so much better. A little boy asked if Bra’tac’s outfit is heavy. He thought for a moment and said “yeah”, then he picked the boy up and said, “it’s about three times your weight.” LOL. He was a very funny guy.


At around 1:30, Gary got a trivia game going, where 3 or 4 people would volunteer to be on a panel, and people from the audience would ask them trivia questions about the show. If they got 4 or 5 (I can’t remember) in a row correct, they’d win some cash and an SG-1 DVD set.


Next up was Don S. Davis, and I have to say that he is a very lovely man. As soon as he got onstage and they gave him a jacket (from Creation I guess), he put it on and did his famous “YEEE-HAAAA!!” He was asked how he prepared for the role of General Hammond, and he said it was from his years of active duty in the army. Someone asked him what Hammond is doing now, and he said he became director of Home World Security and is on the Prometheus. He’ll be in an episode which was filmed in June (“Prometheus Unbound” I think). He spoke very highly of RDA, and thought it was nice that the Air Force is going to give RDA an award. He got a bit choked up when he said that doing SG-1 was the best job he ever had in his life, and how he loves the cast. He said that he worked with the Atlantis cast for one episode, and that they’re wonderful people. He said he thinks that Atlantis’ numbers are higher than SG-1’s, now, which made some people start booing.


He was asked about the funniest moment on SG-1. He said that almost every moment was the funniest, and there was always some kind of prank being played every day. Another person asked what one of the pranks was, and he went into Chris Judge’s flatulence problem, which he said could clear this very room, LOL. He talked about the episode where CJ had to wear a Hazmat suit and he couldn’t get out of it. When they unhooked the suit so he could breathe, he was paler than Don was!


S gek I got maybe three good pics: onee quick.le were up there taking pictures and they'd would be so generous as to let me liHe said he always wanted to be a painter or a sculptor, and he just fell into acting. One of the reasons he wanted to retire was so that he could go back to his artwork. He said he would shoot two more episodes of SG-1 later in September. He also announced that August 4th was his birthday, so everyone in the room started singing “Happy Birthday” to him. It was really sweet and he was very appreciative. He was asked what his favorite villain on the show was, the person everyone loves to hate. He said it was Dr. McKay (David Hewlett), although he said he’s hilarious.


S gek I got maybe three good pics: onee quick.le were up there taking pictures and they'd would be so generous as to let me liSomeone asked him for an update on The Maggie Rose, which he is supposed to be working on with Michael Shanks. He said they’re supposed to meet with people in London about financing it, but he doesn’t want to do it without MS. If SG-1 has a ninth season, they won’t be able to do this until it’s over. He explained a bit about the plot of the film. At the end, a woman told him that her son was graduating high school and wanted to join the military, but he didn’t want to die, and she asked him for advice. He said that he should join, and who knows, you could die tomorrow. He said we live in a dangerous age, and not to let worries about terrorism affect your life because it you do, it will win. I thought that was a good, powerful statement. He said a lot of inspiring things, and was just very nice and accommodating (and more on that in the second part of the report…).


At 4 PM they held an auction. There were some nice things up for bid, including a script for “Fallen” signed by (I think) CJ and MS. Everything ended up being pretty expensive, though, so we didn’t take part in it. Afterwards, the comic book guys talked a bit about the comic books which have been released, and about forthcoming releases. In October they’ll release a comic about Aris Boch, and will do another new series in January. Someone asked if they’ll make Atlantis comic books, and they said eventually, probably after the first season so they’ll have more material to draw from. Another person asked what the cast thinks of the comics, and he said that they think they’re really cool, and RDA has shown some interest (in helping to write or pitching ideas, I think).


Someone talked about the new board game, but we went to get something to eat at that time. Afterwards, they showed trailers from SG-1 and Atlantis, basically the commercials that have been airing on Sci-Fi. Then they showed Farscape and Star Trek music videos, which were kind of nice, but I didn’t really know what they had to do with Stargate since this was a Stargate convention. ;) Gary asked the audience what SG products they’d like to see. Someone asked about a video game, and they said it’s being worked on. There will be a video game available for a couple of different platforms. Titan Publishing is coming out with an official Stargate magazine and it should be out on the newsstands soon. Some guy in the audience said his wife suggested getting an O’Neill blow-up doll, which made some people cheer, but most of them laughed.


Next up was Chris Judge. Man, was he funny! He was so energetic and fired up. He started out saying that he flew in this morning, and the customs guy said to him, “Hey! Aint you that guy from Stargate?” Someone asked if we’d see more of that characterization of Teal’c from one of the episodes he wrote (“The Changeling”). He said he wrote it for two reasons: to work with MS since he’d left that year, and so that he could ride in a fire engine. He wrote another episode this season called “Sacrifices”, and said that Jolene Blalock was going to be back for that one.


A young boy asked him, “How do you get that gold thing on your forehead? Is it special effects?” CJ said it was an appliance made from silicone and latex. They use a medical adhesive and mush it down a few times. One interesting question he got was something to the effect of, “Was it harder to do the character in non-verbal communication or now when he’s talkative?” He said that it was more difficult in the beginning since he’s hyperactive. It was hard to sit between takes, and he’d nod off. Once, the director said to him, “we can’t use that take because you were sleeping.” He answered, “I wasn’t sleeping, I was meditating! I’m an alien; none of these things concern me! And that was the birth of Kel-no-reem.” It was hilarious.


Finally, someone asked him, “So Chris, what’s with the hair?” He said, “The reason of the show or the real reason?” The whole audience went, “BOTH.” He said that in the upcoming episode “Affinity,” Teal’c will be living off base finally, and that he’d made the choice to shave his head to be a Jaffa. The real reason was that he got sick and damn tired of shaving his head every morning.


It got really funny when someone asked him about the other characters on the show. They said something to the effect of, “Personality-wise, are they smaller than you?” CJ said that the show has an interesting dynamic, and thought he’d demonstrate by bringing people onstage to reenact the first season. He got four people for each of the characters, and then he went behind each of them and did the characters’ voices. Hammond: “SG-1, you have a go.” Daniel: (nearly whispering): Jack! This planet’s ancient! This is meaning of life stuff! Jack: Daniel… (In a very stern voice) … Daniel


It was hilarious. I can’t remember the rest, but when he did Sam, it was almost in a whining voice, and made Jack say something like “Carter, please confuse me with that techno-babble of yours.” Of course he did Teal’c’s “Indeed.” He had everyone in the audience laughing their heads off. He then told us the “Fart Memo” story. He said they were shooting in the control room and he cleared it out in 45 minutes. The next day they all got a memo from MGM that said something like, “Bodily functions delaying shooting will not be tolerated.” He did let us in on a prank he had planned for everyone on the studio lot. Unfortunately (or fortunately, however you look at it, I suppose), when MS was onstage the next day, someone in the audience dropped the hint to him (resulting in a lot of groans from the rest of the audience).


Someone asked him if he had a real zat gun, and could hit anyone in the cast with it, who he would hit. He couldn’t answer the question because of slash implications and there were a lot of kids in the room, LOL. Then he was asked what the very first impressions of his cast mates were, and how they have changed. He said that he, MS and AT just bonded at the screen test and he doesn’t know if anything’s changed since then. He said that MS is like his little brother, and he’d fight him over anything. Even in the first season they’d fight for what they believe in. He said that RDA is the same silly bastard he was from day one, LOL. He was asked that if he was stranded on a desert island, which SG-1 character he would want to be stranded with. He said that Teal’c would want to be stuck with Urgo, and everyone laughed and applauded.


He was asked if acting was his dream when he was growing up. He saw some film (I think it was “Sounder”) and from that moment he wanted to be an actor. Right then, DSD appeared in one of the doorways and shouted out, “And you’re the best damn actor I know!”


He was asked to explain the Puff and Ruffle, and the Wounded Lamb, which he demonstrated a bit. Someone asked if he was acting now (during this panel session), and he said that this is the real Chris. He was really hysterical.


There were photo ops and autograph sessions for Tony, Don and Chris, but we didn’t have any tickets for them so we went off to get dinner (by this time it was after 6 PM). We went to sleep early, since we wanted to get an early start on Sunday and get a better seat than the ones we had today.



Day 2 – August 8th


We woke up at 7 AM, and went down for breakfast at around 7:30. The charity breakfast with TR, MS and Rachel Luttrell was at 8:30, but we didn’t have any tickets for that. We got back upstairs at around 8:50 and were third on line to get back in to the convention. I guess some of the people got there late, or maybe Gary was spending a bit of time warming up the crowd at the breakfast. While we were on line, around 9:30 I saw MS walking through to go to the ballroom for the breakfast. He looked right at me (or at least it seemed that way), smiled and said “Hi!” I said “Hi” back to him. I guess he was saying Hi to everyone, but it was as if he was looking straight at me. I almost felt all tingly after it happened. Yes, I admit it! He looked good, wearing a t-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap to hide his bed-head (and he mentioned this right before his Q&A panel). A few minutes later, TR came by and also smiled and asked how we were doing. She looked really nice too.


We were able to get a better seat this time, only two rows behind the last of the reserved seating and on the aisle again. There was a nice woman sitting behind me who gave me a photo of TR which she had bought at the dealer tables. She said it was an extra one. I wanted to give her money for it, but she wouldn’t take it. I also bought photos of MS and CJ for my collection.


Before TR came on, they showed a “surprise video” which turned out to be an SG-1 music video. It was set to “It’s Raining Men”, and most of the scenes showed the guys tumbling out of the event horizon, falling from other high places, etc. It seemed like they catered to the Sam/Jack shippers though, because they did show the scene from “Window of Opportunity” where Jack smooched Sam, and the scene from “Broca Divide” where Sam seduced Jack. Most of the audience cheered wildly at those two clips, so I guess there were tons of S/J shippers in the audience (snort).


Up after that was TR and she was just so funny and lively, really full of energy and she seemed to really love being there. She opened saying that she had just seen someone there (at the hotel I guess) and they said “Look, it’s Janet Fraiser! They killed her off and she doesn’t know how to do her hair!” Then she posed for a photo op and let us all take pictures of her, even us poor souls who sat way in the back, and Creation Lady (the one with the red hair­­) didn’t stop us surprisingly. One girl got up to ask her a question and said, “You will be missed. That other lady’s [the new doctor] just not cutting it.” TR said, “I’m sorry to hear that.” She said she couldn’t understand it, that Daniel was suffering from all this radiation and he turns all beautiful and glowing like Oma Desala, and Janet is lying with her eyes wide open and a gaping wound in her chest. She said, “They named a kid after her, big deal!” She was hilarious.


Someone asked her what the funniest moment on the set was, and she said that for one scene at the briefing room table, she and AT were waiting for DSD to say his line. There was a pause and they were thinking, “What’s he doing?” It turned out he was asleep with his head back and snoring. Someone else asked what her favorite episode was, and she named a few: “Broca Divide” (the first ep she’d done), “Urgo” (loved working with Dom DeLuise), “Lifeboat” (great vehicle for MS) and “Changeling.”


I missed a bit of what she was saying because we had to line up about 10 minutes early for the photo op with MS at 11:20 (which I’ll get to after this). When I got back, she was talking about ways to bring Janet back, like the sarcophagus. A little boy asked her why they didn’t put her in the sarcophagus when she died. She said, “Well, we don’t know that they didn’t.” She asked the audience, “Should we say she’s in the sarcophagus right now?” Everyone applauded.


Now on to the photo op…


I left at about 11:10 to line up for it. There was already a fairly long line when I got there, but not as bad as the line to register on Saturday. While we were standing there, MS walked past to go into the room where they were doing the photo ops. A girl in back of me brought a little camera and tried to get a picture of him. Then the girl in front of me nudged me, and pointed down to the lobby where DSD was sitting. Some people on line with me called down to him and he looked up at us and waved.


When I got into the room, they took my form, and I had to wait since there were a few people in front of me. When it was my turn to sit down in the chair next to him, MS smiled and said “Hi honey, how are you doing?” (I could have melted right there.) I said, “Good.” (I’m way too shy!!!) He said, “Excellent.” The photographer told us to smile and he put his arm up around me. After they took the picture I thanked him and he said “You’re welcome, honey,” again with the nice smile. He was very soft-spoken and seemed to be a bit shy. I was shaking almost the whole time, and especially afterwards. It didn’t take very long (they said it would only take about 15 seconds since they had to keep the line moving), but it was just amazing meeting him. On the way out I had to pick up a form which tells you how to pick up the photo. We’re supposed to go to their website 7 days after the con to receive them.


After I got back, the comic book guys were back again for the same spiel they gave yesterday, so I checked out the dealer tables again. They showed the same trailers from yesterday, basically the commercials from SciFi. Gary came out again and asked once more about which merchandise we’d like to see. Someone asked if they would have bloopers. Gary said something about being respectful to the creators of the show, whatever that means. He did say that they’re trying to get them – “never say never” – and maybe next year they’ll have them.


At around 1 or 1:30, MS was on. He let a lot of people take pictures of him (like TR did), and he did this funny double take when he turned around and saw the giant Creation banner. Some guy told him that he’s the greatest actor of his generation, and asked if it comes natural, especially with the facial expressions he makes. MS couldn’t answer that and started laughing, then finally he said yes. He said that Daniel had three expressions: Surprised Daniel, Angry Daniel, and Perplexed Daniel, and demonstrated for us. Some other guy blurted out, “how about Dead Daniel?” Everyone started laughing and MS seemed a little surprised by that, LOL.


A young boy asked him why Daniel has glasses on the show and he (MS) doesn’t? He said that he doesn’t wear glasses, and James Spader in the movie either decided to wear them or was told to wear them. He said that Daniel isn’t a candidate for laser surgery (they told him to say that, he said, LOL). Some woman started off her question by saying, “Okay, Hot Stuff, I’ve got a question…” He replied, “Is there a porn convention in town?”


I didn’t really hear the question, but someone asked something about ad-libbing. MS said that there was more ad-libbing in the early seasons, and they stick to the writing now. He said that RDA’s line from “Fallout” (“That’s what you get for dicking around”) was an ad-lib. He said to look at everyone’s faces during that scene, and that afterwards RDA went, “They kept it!” (the line)


He told us a bit about the upcoming episode “Prometheus Unbound.” He said that he was more like himself than Daniel in that episode, and it was a lot of fun because Daniel gets funny lines, and Claudia Black guest-stars in it.


One girl was going to ask a question and said to him that when he left she was hurt, that he was a good actor and she loved the character. Everyone applauded and MS said, “Did I tell you I love this crowd?” He said he’d want to take us home with him, and he’d have to tell his wife, LOL. He gave the girl a hug, which was sweet. Then another girl was invited up on stage with her question. Before she got up on stage she said it was political. With that, MS ran off the stage, LOL. The question was something like, “Does the show deal with current socio-political issues, and how, even if on a subconscious level?” She gave MS a piece of paper with the question on it, and MS went, “Ummmmmmm….” And after a while he said, “Yes they do, and very carefully.” He basically side-stepped the question, which was fine by me since I usually don’t like to hear celebrities discuss politics.


Someone asked him if he saw the “Pierre Bernard’s Recliner of Rage” segment on Conan O’Brien, where he said the show would be better without Daniel, and how he reacted. He said he heard about it at work the next day and was quite surprised since he didn’t think anyone was watching the show, LOL. He said he wasn’t offended at all, although when he came to the set it was a different issue. He said Daniel would have been fine with it, but he himself is a different issue, LOL.


One guy said that all fans appreciate MS as Daniel from the movie to the series. MS said “I didn’t come from the movie, that was James Spader. Anyone else hazy on that one?” LOL. One person shouted out “You look just like him!” Another person asked him what his favorite episode is, and he said “Prometheus Unbound.” He said he’s not sure if there will be a season 9, but the ratings show that there could be one. He said there would be two movies if season 9 isn’t done (I’m guessing the two movies they mentioned at Comic Con).


One of the oddest moments was when a boy named Albert asked MS if he could do his Thor impression. This kid was a real ham and MS invited him up on the stage. He did an impression of Thor, then started laughing giddily for some strange reason. MS got this weird look on his face and went, “Um, security?” After Albert sat down he said to MS that he still wanted to see him do Thor, and then he started laughing again. That kid had an odd laugh, and you could tell he was a real ham. Finally MS did his impression of Thor, and said something to the effect of, “Albert, why don’t you run out the back door, out into the hallway and play in traffic.” Everyone started laughing and clapping. Then MS looked back at the Creation banner again, and said something like, “Woah, I don’t see Albert’s face up there!” He was really funny up there, and he seemed so different then from when I had my photo op done with him. I’ve read in some places (either in con reports or websites) that he is a bit shy and the way he acts at the cons is like his “con personality” or something. The difference just seemed striking to me.


After MS left, they were going to start his autograph session, but first they showed the clip from Pierre’s “Recliner of Rage” and his trip to the set, especially his scenes in “Zero Hour.”


The people with the Gold and Preferred tickets went first, row by row, to get their autographs. The line moved quickly because they said that MS had a plane to catch, plus he had to do more photo ops with people who had tickets but were late and missed the photo ops this morning. I had a low number for the general autograph tickets so I got up there pretty fast. The girl on line in front of me gave MS what looked like trading cards in a plastic sleeve and he asked her “Can I have this?” She said he could and he said, “These are cool.” Another guy sitting at the table took my picture (it was an old cast shot which I’ve had for some time now) and gave it to MS to sign. I thanked him and he gave me a nice smile.


During the autograph session they held the auction. After the auction they played a few music videos. One was an SG-1 video, set to a song that was something like, “This is Your Thing.” I’m not too sure of it, but it’s a country song. The video seemed mostly about Jack but there was quite a bit of Jack/Sam stuff, most of which was implied, and they showed that Sam/Jack smooch from “Window of Opportunity” again. The other video was from Farscape, and I don’t remember much of it.


I guess Rachel Luttrell was running a bit late because after the videos they played trivia again. At one point they were just asking audience members questions, and I answered the question “who was Klorel’s seeker?” (Zipacna) I got a free SG-1 Convention t-shirt; a black shirt with a picture of Sam, Daniel and Teal’c on it. It was pretty cool. After trivia was done they showed the SG-1 episode that aired on Friday, #8.06 “Icon.”


Rachel Luttrell came on at around 4:05. She did very well for her first solo appearance. Someone asked her how she feels to be the first female warrior on SGA. She said it’s great, Teyla is strong, intelligent and can handle herself. She said she’s having a ball. Someone else actually said that they love the show, and they think it’s a bit better than SG-1. She said “Thank You!” even though a bunch of people were boo-ing and she said, “I didn’t say it!” LOL.


Another person asked if it was intimidating to come into a franchise like Stargate. She said it could have been, but it wasn’t. They feel sort of protected since they’re riding on the wings of a show that’s done so well. Someone asked if we’re supposed to hate Dr. Weir because she’s gotten cranky lately. She said that we don’t hate Dr. Weir, she has a lot on her shoulders since she’s the head of the SGA crew, and she’ll loosen up.


She was asked if she’s watched SG-1 before. She said she saw Stargate the movie first and loved it, and she’s a real sci-fi fan. She was really excited when she found out about SG-1 and she’s seen a lot of episodes. She was picking on Dr. McKay a bit, but all in good fun. Someone asked if she had a zat gun, who on SGA would she like to shoot. At first she said the wraith, then the queen wraith, then probably McKay (but NOT David Hewlett). She said that some action between Teyla and Major Sheppard might be hinted at, maybe sort of like a Jack/Sam thing (like it was in S4). Someone had asked her if she wants something to happen between her and Sheppard. She said that Brad Wright got that question at Comic Con and he said no. It will be hinted at, but she doesn’t know.


She mentioned that her family is very creative and both her parents sing, so someone asked if she could sing something for us. At first she was really surprised, and she said “What?? Why? What do you want to hear?” One guy said, “A Broadway Showtune!” She said “This is silly!” but eventually she sung “Somewhere over the rainbow, She can sing very well.


After her session was done, they did the autograph sessions and we decided to leave. When we got down to the hotel lobby, DSD was down there and he let me take a couple of pictures of him. A bunch of people, mostly kids, went up to him for autographs and to have pictures taken with him, and he let them. My mom said I should ask him to sign my program, but I didn’t want to bother him since I knew he had to leave. I did ask him though, and he said “Sure, dear.” He signed it for me and thanked me. He really is a sweet guy.



So that’s my con experience. I really had a ball, and for my first con it was great. My pictures turned out pretty horrible, though (except for the ones of DSD). :( If anyone else has been to this con and has better pictures, especially of MS and CJ, and would be so generous as to let me link to them or something, please send me an email. I am sooo disappointed that my pictures didn’t turn out well at all. Most of it was due to the fact that so many people were up there taking pictures and they’d quickly block your view, so I had to be quick.





Each picture opens in a new window. I apologize for the awful quality on most of these. The first two pictures are of Tony Amendola, the third picture is Chris Judge, the next two are of Teryl Rothery, and the sixth picture is of Rachel Luttrell. I've also got two pictures of Don S. Davis, who was so sweet as to let me take a few of him in the lobby before we left. The last two are my photo op with MS (he looks great, I look awful, lol!) and the photo he autographed for me.