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Producers answer SGU questions

Monday - April 27, 2009
Category: GENERAL | Tags:

As we reported earlier this month, Stargate Universe creators Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper took to the stage at this year’s official Stargate convention in Vancouver, hosted by Creation Entertainment. There they answered lots of questions about the third series from fans, and GateWorld was on hand to get the lowdown for you.

First up: Cooper said that when the show does aliens, they “are going to be very alien” — at least initially. “They’re not going to be human beings wearing prosthetic make-up, or speaking English. They are going to be as alien as you would hope to find out there in the far reaches of the universe.”

Despite the fact that the Destiny is locked on a course in another galaxy (and from one galaxy to the next), SGU will still have the chance to tell some Earth-based stories, thanks to a certain piece of Ancient technology. “There’s a component to the new show that allows our characters, even though they are trapped on the ship, to still relate back to Earth and to people on Earth,” Cooper said. “It’s going to allow us to tell stories about them interacting with their loved ones, and essentially tell Earth stories.”

Cooper also hinted at the Stargate itself, which is rumored to be so unique that it even dials in a different way than the SG-1 and Atlantis gates. “We don’t want to give too much away, but I do think this is the coolest gate ever,” he said. “I will spoil one thing: There is a shot of the Earth gate in which you see a chevron lock you’ve never seen locked before.”

The producers also revealed that SGU will have gay characters, as previously reported (story).

Finally, the producers talked at length about the different way in which Stargate Universe is being shot. “The style is very different from what we’ve done in the past,” Cooper said. “It’s far more mobile than we’ve done in the past on SG-1. The concept is that we wanted to shoot this a little bit like a documentary crew would shoot a ride-along to a space ship out in the universe — that maybe we could get audiences to embrace the science fiction elements and the characters in a realistic way if we shot the show using the ‘language’ of documentary and reality.

“So rather than just necessarily waving the camera around, we’re trying to put the camera in places where a documentary crew might have to go in order to capture the performances or the action. And what it is allowing us to do, and in working with our DP [director of photography] on the pilot, Ronn Schmidt, and Jim Menard and Michael Blundell, our regular DPs, is we’re trying to light the sets in a very natural way — which allows the actors to walk in and basically perform as though they’re on a stage, as though they’re really in the situation. And what we’re finding we are getting out of that is far more real performances.

“And the impression, at least from my own personal opinion of watching the show, is you feel as though you are there with them. It feels less staged, it feels less (in some ways) unrealistic. And to bring that tone to a science fiction show I’m hoping will help you to connect in a way with those characters in a way that maybe you hadn’t been able to before.”

While other popular science fiction and drama series have used this style of shooting, Cooper said he doesn’t believe they are just emulating shows like Battlestar Galactica.

“It’s not intended to be style for style’s sake, or to emulate any other show,” Cooper said. “Although, to be honest with you, one of the shows we both love that we did look at and say, ‘That’s a style we would love to try and approach,’ is Firefly. That’s how Firefly was shot. There’s a lot of hand-held stuff. Cameras were placed in places that were non-traditional or [not] typical of film-making. But we examined that quite closely and looked at other dramatic shows that are shot like that, as well.”

Wright also confirmed that the special edition DVD release of “Children of the Gods,” the original Stargate SG-1 pilot movie, is finished and waiting for MGM and Fox’s release schedule. Richard Dean Anderson (“Jack O’Neill”) joined Wright for the audio commentary track — the first for Anderson. (We hope to have more news on this release soon.)

Stargate Universe is now filming in Vancouver for an October premiere on SCI FI Channel in the U.S.! The series will also air on Sky1 in the United Kingdom, and on SPACE in Canada.

Visit the SGU Launch Center right here at GateWorld for the very latest on the new series!

Darren created GateWorld in 1999, and today is the owner and managing editor. He lives in the Seattle area with his wife and three children.

COMMENTS (32):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • Intriguing. So it shall be on SPACE…funny…they are only now showing season 4 of Atlantis there. In anycase this shall be interesting. All this talk about realism and its difference to science fiction. They will forget things…but they will never forget that it’s not the people that make it sci-fi in this context but the technology and circumstances. -arches brow like Teal’c does-

  • Cool!

    I am soooo missing out on my hit of Stargate it’s not funny!

    Bring it on!!


  • Looking forward to more info on the Children of the Gods special edition. An audio commentary with RDA should be ‘interesting’.

  • “So it shall be on SPACE…funny…they are only now showing season 4 of Atlantis there.”

    I could be wrong here, but I believe that’s because Astral Media (who run TMN) have first dibs on Canadian broadcast rights- they aired Atlantis around the same time as SkyOne and/or Sci-Fi (you can only get TMN with certain specialty satellite or digital cable packages, though). Space gets the chance to air it a year or more after Astral Media does.

    The broadcast agreements for SG1, Universe and the direct-to-DVD releases were/are different, though, so they’re not always behind.

  • I was wondering what was going on with the CotG re-release. Good to hear some news about that.

  • The documentary type filming has been done and redone already. Frankly, it’s getting waaaay old. This show has zero vision. There is nothing new for this fan.

  • Please do it a bit in flashback form like LOST, for crying out loud. Flashbacks is g00d. IN “LOST in Space” WE TRUST.

  • This is becoming more and more of a BSG ripoff every day. I really hope they make it original and I do commend them for trying to be different – but copying a show which is both thematically and tonally different I don’t think is the right solution.

    Inter arma enim silent leges,

  • I’m really really really really intrigued =D
    The more I know about this show, the more I’m excited!
    I hope it will bring back the dark tone of the very first, unforgettable Emmerich’s “Stargate” movie, partially lost in the SG1/SGA series.
    Good job, BW & co.!

  • “we wanted to shoot this a little bit like a documentary crew would shoot a ride-along to a space ship out in the universe” that is” that is word for word what someone said about the shooting style of BSG although some of the things in this put my mind a little at rest but I still don’t have high hopes for another SG1 or SGA, and I think that’s not what they want either :(

  • (Last post I promise)
    I really don’t like the sound of the
    ‘language’ of documentary
    Defiantly not a kids show.
    As specially as swearing is band in our house, I’m assuming it will be worse (language wise) than the early season of SG1.

  • @Christopher:

    Then why post here Christopher? If has “zero vision” and there is “nothing new” for you, then why post to begin with?

  • They got their wish, at least, they got to play with gay characters, they canceled an entire show to play with gay characters, lets through some pedos and porn stars in their and make it anything but a suore, bastards. On a happier note, I’m getting over my Stargate addiction.

  • or even better, lets through side some morally strong characters who have opinions on such things, or even better yet, i’ve never seen a gate member use the toilet, now’s the time.

  • Do you have something against gay characters? And I KNOW you are not seriously saying we’re all pedophiles ARE you?

  • You what gets to me is this whole ‘gay character’ deal.
    So some characters are gay… whoop dee doo… how does that EVEN matter !?
    Does being gay or straight give them some seperate powers?
    NO? Then its not important.
    Bringing a person’s sexual preference to the front n beat a drum over it is lack or creativity n exploitation like ‘Blackula… check it out… Dracula who’se black’.
    It doesn’t matter whether they are gay straight or bi.
    What matters are the stories the characters and oh ofcouse… SPACE BATTLES !!!
    About the people b|tching about SGU trying to emulate BSG… yeah… BSG emulated FIREFLY… right down to the lonely space feel… shaky vfx cam… docu style shooting… no aliens in space.
    And Firefly in turn was a live-action Cowboy Bebop.
    So, stop b|tching. Everyone rips off everyone these days.
    Heroes is a outright ripoff of ‘Rising Stars’ and ‘X-men’… big frakking deal.
    What matters is if its good.
    Hopefully, SGU will be… atleast for few seasons.

    P.S. – Does anyone know what’s so special about the Children of the Gods special edition DVD? Will it have extra footage or just random bonuses that won’t matter?

  • It’s becoming clear that SGU is going to be a more highly symbolic-oriented show. Even though the 2 previous series were very symbolic, they also had the ability to explore the many different aspects of the human experience through the vehicle of science fiction.

    But I worry that the situational nature of the premise will not allow the writers to bring that experience “down to earth” enough for the show to get a long term grasp on viewer interest. Despite having a physical storyline “bridge” with the ability to use a stargate or the Ancient comm. device, it *appears* to look like the characters will be living out these symbolic storylines about life within such extremely defined phyiscal and mental locations (namely, phyisically onboard the Destiny OR mentally on Earth) that viewers will grow weary of storylines being hampered by such heavily construed duality.

    Both SG1 and SGA were had the ability to move both physically and mentally from the well know to the unknown so that the perspectives of the characters exploring the experience of life weren’t always going about the same way; the were able to explore from different angles. This is especially evident when SGA finally established a link to Earth. Even the highly respected premise of BSG which was ALL about duality as much as sophisticated, complex and immediately contemporary aspects of life did well because characters weren’t always stuck on Galatica; plots, even storylines, arose and shifted from non-Galactica ships.

    SGU writers needs to find a to “move” character and storyline perspectives in MULTIPLE ways. The clues of SGU’s creation: the single word titles of opposites (ie. Light/Darkness, Earth/Water), the situational premise as we know it, and what the writers have said they intend to focus on with the characters, it *appears* like they may be limiting their means of exploring the very human experience of relationships that they wish to explore through symbolic duality and varied aspects human relations.

    And btw, shooting in a documentary style without the above mentioned considerations, will only work on an aesthetic level. It may reinforce the strength of the focus on the stories and character relations, but STORYLINES are the heart of any series. How you go about illustrating them visually, and through dialogue are largely predetermined on the concept. And as I’ve been explaining, the concept of this show runs a risk of hampering the means to reach the viewers, even if it is visually arresting.

    (and if you

  • Orion Coran,

    Then why post here Christopher? If has “zero vision” and there is “nothing new” for you, then why post to begin with?

    Because I am a fan of the franchise and I’m not spoon fed everything Stargate. I wish to voice my disatisfaction with the way the franchise has been run into the ground. If you don’t like it then ignore me.

  • I bet the screenplay and character development is going to be like lost, the tv show. any money says it will. As for Balttle star style….it makes me sleepy

  • How convenient, I device that lets them talk with loved ones back on Earth. Just in case the writers get bored, and have no idea what to do with the characters, like LT Ford, so they can tell Earth stories, their favourite fallback position.

  • I’m sorry BUT I so want Atlantis back!!!!!!!

  • @universacred




  • if the enemies turn out to be slightly cylon like then we clearly know it’s a bsg ripoff but i was actual expecting it to be like a star trek rip off now i don’t know what to expect so writer you only get one shot don’t screw it up or i won’t be pleased

  • BSG rip off yes I agree at best, just horrible at worse. To Cooper & Wright, this is Rubbish with a capital R I’m sorry but this is not want I want from a Stargate show. NO THAT WAS Stargate SG1 and Atlantis. So sad that for me this now end like this, so sad.


  • Docu type of filming OMG!!!! Well that’s a turn off for a start.

    If I wanted to watch Firefly I would have, if I wanted to watch BSG I would have, if I wanted to watch a reality show I would have.

    NO I wanted to watch Stargate, an used to with SG1 & SGA, this is NOT Stargate. Unless you include the fact its got Stargate in the title that’s the only likeness.

    (B)SG U.

  • Ok,producers.I’m excited about SGU.But you´ve invited Richard,Amanda,Michael…And Ben?? Yes,BEN BROWDER.Call him!Come on,he´s a brilliant actor!!!!!And he´s part of the sg1 family.PLEASE,DON´T FORGET BEN.

  • As for Gay Characters, I don’t see the point of telling me what my characters are doing in the bedroom. A person’s sex life should be kept private. The only reason for mentioning it is to try and normalize a type of behavior that a small percentage of people engage in. If you are going to mention that, then have characters prascticing the Egyptian rituals of having sex with children, animals, and even trees, but I won’t watch it even if it is a heterosexual couple because I don’t need to know what my characters are doing in their bedrooms, and I don’t need other people’s lifestyles shoved down my throat through the medium of television.

  • I wanted to add that most people on this planet still have politically incorrect opinions regarding homosexual acts which they regard as immoral, including me. In spite of the fact that we get called names and told we don’t have a right to our opinion, by a society that tells everyone that there is no truth and everyone is entitled to their opinion except the ones who aren’t, we will be the one not pouring our hard earned cash into the new series, or watching the series if it insists on using the series as a political soap box.

  • Been reading this an some of the other stuff, as only recently found out about Atlantis and googled an found GW. To say I’m shocked is a under statement more like GOB SMACKED! COULD THESE GUYS BE ANY MORE CONDESCENDING who he hell do they think they are! Its like some sort of bad taste joke. Well this is one fan that wont be watching this pile of pants! ITS NOT EVEN ORIGINAL, “bloody hell” what where they thinking or perhaps they weren’t. I’ll go back now and tell anyone that will stand still long enough “WHAT A LOAD OF OLD RUBBISH THIS IS!” Don’t even get me started on the style of shooting, camera shot, you already lost the argument with words like:
    ”that maybe we could get audiences to embrace the science fiction elements and the characters in a realistic way if we shot the show using the ‘language’ of documentary and reality.” Thanks but it’s a big thumbs down to shaky camera angles, I don’t wana watch a documentary thank you very much.An I sure hell don’t wana watch bunch of nobodies running around being realistic.

    I honestly cant see ANY of my friends or family for that, who like Stargate ( COZ SGU ISN’T STARGATE) even remotely being interested in this, what ever it is. An Robert Carlyle he ruined 28 weeks later and god just look at some of the other depressingly gloomy stuff he’s done. He’s supposed to be a draw “I think NOT”.

    Gob smacked, truly gob smacked!!

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