After much waiting, fans finally have the first solid info on just what Stargate Universe is all about! The third live-action television series in the Stargate franchise has been in the concept stage for more than a year now, and is being conceived by Stargate Atlantis co-creators Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper.
“The idea of Stargate Universe is that it is set on a ship that was part of an Ancient experiment that was set in motion probably millions of years ago — one that they never saw to fruition, but that we can,” Wright told GateWorld exclusively. “They got busy with the whole ascension thing.”
The experiment is “to send a ship across the universe, and to send one ahead of it to seed the galaxies with Stargates, and that they would one day use the ninth chevron to get there [to the ship]. And that’s what Stargate Universe is.”
Millions of years ago (before their conflict with the Wraith and possibly even before they moved Atlantis to the Pegasus Galaxy), the show would reveal, the Ancients sent out two ships: an automated vessel to place Stargates throughout multiple galaxies in our universe, and a second ship to follow up and explore.
A standard, 7-symbol gate address allows for travel within the same galaxy. Use of the Stargate’s eighth chevron allows for travel to a different galaxy. And the ninth chevron will allow the team to reach this second, still unmanned Ancient ship.
The series was pitched to SCI FI Channel last fall, just before the writer’s strike — which put a hold on the project. “The pitch was received very well,” Wright said. “[But] we pitched an expensive series — the idea we have is not cheap. I think we’ve proven ourselves, so … ‘Can we please have enough money to do it right this time?’ And, if not, then honestly I don’t want to do it. Why do it wrong?”
The strike and the potential cost of Stargate Universe are not the only reasons the show is not yet moving forward.
“Part of the reason it’s taking a while is that Atlantis is currently on-going, and because we didn’t want to go into development with anything during the writer’s strike — because it seemed inappropriate. Even though we’re Canadian, we recognized it is for the American marketplace.”
“Internally, Robert and I are a little bit torn, because we had such a great time making The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum. Making one or two of those a year would be a damn fine thing to do! Honestly, it takes up a big chunk of time writing it, a big chunk of time making it, and then the post on a movie is more than twice as complicated as post on the biggest episodes. So it’s not like you can just knock one off while you’re making a television show. It’s just too much.”
Wright said that he is not anxious to return to a schedule that requires the Vancouver team to produce 40 hours of television each year, indicating that Stargate Universe may wait until Atlantis has concluded its run.
When the show does begin, Wright believes that it has to both move the franchise forward to attract new viewers, and remain true to the established formula. “It has to feel like Stargate, and it has to feel new. That’s the tight rope, that’s the balance you have to maintain, and that’s the challenge.
“To put it in its simplest terms, if we had ever just done SG-2 as a series it would never have worked. It’s not the C.S.I. model.”
Keep in mind that the Stargate Universe concept is still in an early stage of development, and some change is inevitable. GateWorld looks forward to keeping you up-to-date on the development of the new series, and to exploring brand new galaxies in Stargate Universe!