Martin Gero, recently promoted to co-executive producer of Stargate Atlantis, took time out of his schedule to pass GateWorld a few insights into the goings-on at Bridge Studios this year. With Atlantis shoveling 20 of 22 new Stargate stories in 2007, the ball has passed to the court of the three-year old series to up the ante with the absence of a new SG-1 season.
However, Martin immediately admits that one show is a much smaller load for the team than two. “It is first and foremost a lot less work,” he told GateWorld, “which is great. I’ve been used to writing seven to eight episodes a year, and this year I have to write four. I’m maybe going to do five. So my writing work has been cut in half.”
In the heat of a season, when a single writer is tasked with over half a dozen scripts, Martin said around three are “crazy-to-rush” jobs. He feels that with a lightened load of stories he’ll have more time to be meticulous about each. “So hopefully the writing is all a lot better this year. We have no excuse this year if any of the scripts are bad, because we’ve had an ample amount of time to write them. We started shooting episode one with episode ten starting to be written. We’ve never been that far ahead.
“So that is a real luxury and, so far, has really allowed us to put a lot of work into drafts. It’s unfortunate because it usually means we’re doing a lot more work on the drafts that we have, but I think they’re making better episodes. I think these first ten are all pretty good. There’s no misses in this first ten. Yet. We’ll see. I might screw that up.”
Since the launch of Atlantis the Stargate production team has preached the benefits of running two shows under one roof. The real question now is whether the impact will be the same with SG-1 doing four hours of television instead of 20. The direct-to-DVD movies Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum are now in production.
“I know that there was a concern that the production value of the show would go down. In fact,” Gero admitted, “it’s gone up, and we’re able to spend the money we would only be able to spend once or twice a year on episodes fairly consistently. Once every three episodes we have a pretty giant episode. So ‘Adrift’ and ‘Lifeline’ are massive, massive episodes.”
Gero has promised us that an ongoing story arc is in the works for a cast member who has lacked attention in recent seasons. An examination of the stories revealed so far show the producers are hoping Season Four will bring about equilibrium.
“The end of Season Three was essentially a soft reset,” Gero tells GateWorld. “That doesn’t last as long as some of us would have liked it to, for a number of reasons. But it is with Carter and Weir and stuff like that.
“There’s a lot of changes this year. The introduction of Jewel [Staite],” in addition to Michael Beach. “So even though Atlantis isn’t going to be stuck in space for the whole season, it is somewhat of a soft reset. So it’s important for us to have gotten those episodes right, and I think we have.”
The second half of Season Three is currently airing every Friday at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific on SCI FI in the United States, with Season Four set to premiere in the fall. Learn more about upcoming episodes in GateWorld’s Season Three and Season Four episode guides!