That's not to say we didn't meet the Ori or didn't come to know who they were. But the Stargate mythology has always kept the Ancients at a bit of an arm's length distance. And that's because I think that the show is ultimately still about us. It's not about them. It's about human beings going out into this unexplored, fantastical world.
And the more you answer, the less interesting I think it becomes. And that doesn't mean you don't want to progress and you don't want to discover new things, but if you got every answer you will never want to watch more!
GW: I've felt since Daniel returned in Season Seven that the Ancients have been stepping into the fore. And there's a scene in my head -- a sort of council of ascended beings who finally explain themselves.
Other than the diner in "Threads," we've never really seen the Ancients as themselves in their own environment. We see them through young Orlin ("The Fourth Horseman"), we see them through Daniel's discoveries about Merlin's past. Talk about your decision to represent the Ancients through Morgan in The Ark of Truth, rather than actually getting to see the Ancients themselves.
RCC: You know, it's kind of like if you ask someone, "What does the face of God look like?" [If] you ask a bunch of different people, they're all going to give you different answers. If you draw a picture, it's less interesting. I just find that if you try and tell people what they look like it's not as interesting as allowing their imaginations to create it themselves.
The diner in Season Eight's "Threads" is one of the only glimpses viewers have seen of the ascended Ancients as a group.
And there are certain aspects to the show -- you obviously want to tell a story, you want to create characters that you are following that are interesting. But with certain aspects of the show it's almost like a monster movie, where it's more interesting when you're not seeing the monster.
GW: Right, right. You want to hold the mystery there.
RCC: Yeah. And I think that if you ever did, because the Ancients are so "out there" on a mystical, magical, powerful level, that there's really almost no visual that could do it justice. And I feel like it would have been maybe deflating to the whole concept of who they are if you ever did see them. So the few times that we did portray them in certain ways, they were kind of very simple, human representations of them in the show -- a slightly glowy person or the people who were in the diner.
I think that it was something where, if we did try and show it, it might have ruined it because everybody gets to imagine what it is really like. And I think that is part of the adventure of what it is to be human, to not have all the answers and to go out into this mysterious universe and go exploring.
Some people want to know everything, and have it all given to them, and are disappointed when a story doesn't have every answer in it. And I'm never going to write that story. I'm never going to write the story that has every answer. I think that's uninteresting.
GW: Had you always planned on ending Adria's story this way, with her taking over the power of the Ori for herself? Was her relationship with her mother ever something that was redeemable?
Vala finds that she can no longer get through to her daughter, who has become a powerful and malevolent ascended being. From Stargate: The Ark of Truth
RCC: I felt that Adria's relationship with Vala was created as much to give Vala a justification, I guess, for becoming who she was. I guess it was more about Vala for us, writing, than it was about Adria. It created an arc for Vala.
When we first looked at bringing Vala onto the team, we looked at her character and said, "Well, why do you like Vala? Why is she even interesting?" It's because she's a bit of a rogue. She's outside the box. She's not a "team player." And if you want to bring her in and make her part of the team, how do you do that and still preserve the essence of who the character is? And the way that we chose to do that was to make Adria, her daughter -- make Vala in some way responsible for what is going on and give her the motivation to participate in being a hero.
She could still be the reluctant hero and be who we really like -- the wisecracking, selfish, out-for-herself Vala. But it created conflict for her, that she had been used in the way she was in order to create Adria. It turned into a really interesting mother-daughter relationship. But initially it was all about "How do we involve the Vala character in the arc, in the story?"