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Breaking the Ice (Part 2)
Beware SPOILERS for Season Five of Stargate Atlantis in the interview below!

GateWorld's interview with Stargate executive producer Brad Wright continues in this second half, as the topic turns from the upcoming DVD movie Stargate: Continuum to Atlantis, the past and future of SG-1, and what lies ahead for the venerable franchise.

Wright reveals his plans to return to the original SG-1 pilot episode "Children of the Gods," and discusses his brand new Stargate Atlantis episode "The Shrine." He also gives us the exclusive working premise of Stargate: Universe, the planned third TV series.

Part Two of our interview with Brad runs 24 minutes. You may listen at your leisure, download to your MP3 player, or read the transcript below!

Check out Part One of our interview here!

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GW: Atlantis Season Five is in full swing, and you're writing an episode this year.

BW: I am. I'm in prep for it right now, in fact. Again, I had fun writing it because I gave myself and had a little more time to do it. The one thing I found when we were making 40 episodes a year for those three years, and it happened the first time I tried to do this when I was producing The Outer Limits the first two seasons, three seasons of Stargate at the same time, is that something gives, and quite often it's creative.

You always try to make the best product you can, always. When you give yourself that little bit of extra time, "Oh yeah, I can solve that." Or, "Oh yeah, that's a nice character moment." And you can make it better. You can write a better script. You can be on set more. You have those luxuries. I like this one. I feel pretty good about it. It's a character study for practically everyone on the cast. David gets to play as an actor in a very big way.

GW: He's extremely excited about it.

BW: Oh good, I'm glad to hear it.

GW: He says it's one of his favorites.

McKay and his sister Jean will team up for another adventure in Season Five.
BW: Good. I should never admit this, but when I am writing I get right into it. My daughter happened to come in to ask me to help her with something, as I was writing a scene, and I'm all choked up. I've got tears falling down my face. She goes, "Dad, what's wrong?" "Oh, nothing, honey. I'm writing a scene." I'm all embarrassed.

I've heard it from a few folks reading the script that it's choked them up. Hopefully I have the same effect on the audience when they see the scenes.

GW: Is this a scene between David and Kate?

BW: There's lots of scenes. It's sad. It's moving. I wouldn't say sad. It's moving. [In the end] everything's OK. I don't kill anyone. [Laughter]

GW: Do you have a basic logline of what this one's about?

BW: It is the inverse of "Flowers for Algernon." McKay ends up suffering from the effects of something that is very common among the very old in the Pegasus Galaxy that is equivalent to a fast onset Alzheimer's. It's called 'Second Childhood' in the Pegasus Galaxy. He very quickly, not just loses his memory, but becomes quite childlike.

Interestingly, the first symptom is that he's a wonderful person, and nobody notices that there's something wrong at first because they all like it, until it's too late to operate. And then Ronon comes up with an idea, and the story takes off from there. It's not told in linear fashion. It goes back and forth.

And the other big thing I've got on the go that I'd like to mention while I've got you guys here, is I'm re-doing "Children of the Gods."

GW: Really?

BW: I saw it on television at some point months ago, and I thought "God, we can do better than this." It wasn't just the visual effects, it was the whole thing. It was the way we tell story. It was the whole 4:3 thing. The score and the music [were] so heavy-handed, and frankly there was some bad writing.

GW: So this is not just a new cut.

Wright is looking forward to removing elements inappropriate to a family show, like nude Sha're, from the re-cut pilot.
BW: We went back to dailies. We're rescoring.

GW: Taking some of the original shooting footage or shooting new material?

BW: There is new material but most of the new material is visual effects or scenes that have been cut. It is tighter. It's significantly tighter. It is not a pilot. In some ways "Children of the Gods" was an excellent pilot episode, but twelve years on what is worth making, I think, is the movie. The story, that is "Children of the Gods" that is the movie.

Brad Rines, who I've been working with for 14 years now as an editor, went back to the original dailies and we spent a week or so together re-cutting after he had put together a marvelous cut. We're editing, pulling some stuff out, adding some stuff, updating the visual effects in many cases, cutting out things that I thought never belonged there, like the nudity.

GW: Showtime said "You have to do this," didn't they?

BW: They did, and I stomped up and down and said "It's a bad idea," and I didn't stomp loudly enough. I think I told you the story of bringing my then-five year old daughter to the final cut and said, pointedly to try to make my point, "Well, I have to take my daughter out of the room now for the next scene, hint-hint."

Actually, then-president of MGM John Symes -- who's a wonderful guy, I don't mean to say this in a negative way -- he knew what Showtime wanted, but he cut a little of it back. It just wasn't enough. It doesn't belong in Stargate. I'm not a prude. This is a family show. It has violence. There's no question it has violence, but it is always some sort of just violence as opposed to random or gratuitous.
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