Shanks: Give SGU a chance

Michael Shanks tells GateWorld about the early fan reaction he has seen toward Stargate Universe.

The Stargate fan base is nothing if not fruitfully diverse, and Michael Shanks (“Dr. Daniel Jackson”) has been one of several actors at the epicenter for over a decade.

The franchise’s third incarnation, Stargate Universe, is due to hit the airwaves this fall. The established fandom is once again reaching out with its diversity of opinions, and battle lines are being drawn.

Shanks has seen this firsthand, both in online message boards and at the Creation 2009 Chicago convention where we had the chance to catch up with him.

“I’ve never seen so many knives being sharpened for a show being aired, especially by the fans of the franchise, as I’ve seen over this past year when it came to Universe,” Shanks told GateWorld’s Chad Colvin. “I’ve also seen a lot of love for it. … But I’m just kind of surprised at the waiting-in-the-wings tension that is almost desirous for this thing to fall on its face. And I think that’s a mistake.”

Shanks has already filmed two guest spots for Universe, including the pilot episode for the series in which he makes a cameo. But it’s enough for him to draw some conclusions from the scripts he has read and the professionalism he has seen on set.

“The shows, at the end of each episode, they don’t wrap up nicely in a nice little bow,” Shanks said. “They’re not bottle shows. It’s very much an arc driven series. The interplay between the characters bleeds into the next one and the next one. The tensions and the relationships … So it’s very arc driven. By missing an episode of SG-1, eh, no big deal. Missing an episode of this might be a bit confusing for the viewers.

“I think that one of things that people should respect about this show is that what they’ve always felt about the Stargate universe is that they love the characters. They want to know the characters more. This show is going to allow you to do that. More so than we had the opportunities in doing it in our series. If that is what people always loved about it, this is the show that’s going to give [it to them].

“Is it going to have as much humor in it? I don’t know. I haven’t seen it. I doubt it. But there’s certainly going to be a lot more character driven drama, angst, conflict and relationship interaction than ever in a Stargate show.”

Many fans of SG-1 and Atlantis have already made up their minds about whether or not they will give SGU a chance. Shanks suggests that we reserve judgment and risk a couple of hours on the pilot.

“I think the most important thing is watch the show,” he said. “Judge from what you see. I didn’t think much about it until I watched the trailer that they had done for the pilot and I went ‘Wow! This looks cool!’ And I know from interacting with that cast, they’ve got a great group there. They have some amazing actors led by the profoundly amazing Robert Carlyle, who I couldn’t say enough about. I think it’s worth a look. I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.”

One thing is certain: Universe will give birth to many brand new Stargate fans who will be watching to see if we are a group worth joining. Those of us already aboard the franchise will have to make room.

Watch GateWorld for the exclusive interview with Michael Shanks in the weeks to come! Stargate Universe premieres October 2 on SyFy in the United States.

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US06154
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US06154

Heh heh, Dr. Michael (Huggy Bear) Jackson, Pimp Daddy extraordinaire, in a heart rending new role, where he begs viewers to wach SGU :)

Mrja84
Member

Like Atlantis before it, I don’t see any point in condemning a show before I get a chance to watch it. People that read the spoilers are only going to see the facts and not the context with how the show deals with stuff. I avoid spoilers at all costs, which is why I don’t bother to go to the GateWorld forums until after both SG-1 & Atlantis were over. Besides, having seen TPTB run Atlantis into the ground, I’m more patient to see the whole path of a season before I say what’s good or bad. SG-1 had a… Read more »

Imitation Tofu
Member

It smells like desperation when actors from an original show start pleading with the fandom to watch a spinoff. Not much confidence there, huh? If Universe is so awesome then a little online schadenfreude should be no obstacle at all, right? At least TPTB will be all set to play the blame game if Universe does bomb, pointing their fingers at those SG-1 and Atlantis fans who never gave their precious new show a chance, those big meanies!

EvilSpaceAlien
Member

Mr. Shamks has a good poit. It’s important to actually watch the show before you voice your opinion of it, otherwise you will just look stupid.

EvilSpaceAlien
Member

I made a stupid typo. I wrote Shamks, instead of Shanks. Silly me! :p

Axcel1
Member

So, even when one of the Gods of Stargate, Michael Shanks, asks you to give SGU a chance, you won’t do it. Look, I hate that both SG1 & SA were canceled just as much as everyone else, but, Spify did not want to pay the higher budget for a sixth season of SA, it was cheaper to start another spin-off show, end of story. Can we all move on now? Oh, we can’t, I didn’t think so. One month to go.

Kzap333
Member

The show is going to be, darker and character based. And I don’t like that type of show. I don’t doubt it will be a very high quality show but if it didn’t have the name Stargate on I wouldn’t even still be reading about it. As it is, I will watch the first episode but until then, give me one reason (other than the fact it is Stargate) why I should assume I will like it. I don’t like dark, character based shows, that’s my personal preference, I can’t change my what I like. And so far I don’t… Read more »

Cynical1
Member

Well, I’d say the MGM and Syfy PR folks should take a look at this! For Michael to say he sees so much negativity is pretty amazing. That is, it’s not biased fans hyping the amount of negativity; it’s widespread. Anyway I applaud Michael for defending the show, and I think he’s being sincere. He doesn’t have much to gain — he already got paid for his appearances. :)

Solista
Member

Hmmm…I have to wonder if the PTBs “suggested” that Mr. Shanks make some sort of statement. Could it be that they are worried about their precious new show?
Doesn’t really matter. Like everyone else, I have the right to my own opinion and the right to watch (or not watch) whatever I choose. And I choose NOT to watch SGU. Ever.

Dtheories
Member

Truthfully, I found there was very little of the characters’ personalities on display in the trailers. Hard to build anticipation from folks rolling around on the ground looking wide-eyed, but I’ll take HIS word for it and watch with an open mind. Um. Don’t suppose you can post the audio from this interview? :-D

Alan
Member

I completely support Michael Shanks with what he says because I’ve been saying the same thing! We’re both totally on the same wavelength about “Stargate: Universe”.

I sincerely urge people to follow Mr. Shanks’ advice. What he says is true and, at the end of the day, just common sense.

/rra|<is
Member

I think a lot of the animosity comes from the way the other 2 series were ended (and perhaps other shows as well). I for one am not apprehensive that the show will be phenomenal, I am apprehensive that the show will only air for a few seasons (say 5, or god forbid go the Firefly route, and only ever have a handful of episodes), only to be canceled by a network that needs the viewership. I guess what I’m saying is; I don’t think the fan base worries about the show as a show. They worry about the (now)… Read more »

Flmatthew
Member

I am very passionate about good sci-fi and get p.o’d at Universal/NBC/SYFY all the time for their “forget the fans” attitude and lies about the economy. However, I will watch SGU to see if it’s good or not. I never thought I would watch more than one episode of BSG and I just loved it. Now Caprica I know I will not like because of the DVD movie. SUX. SGU has no such advance device so I am looking forward to the 1st episode. Only a month to go.

Spaceballs
Member

Well I guess I must fall into the narrow minded group, because I think this is going to suck big time an NOT WATCHING, just dont want to. It so not interesting, wont even bother with the pilot, pointless exercise.

Sylvia
Member

While I admit to still being upset over the cancellation of SGA, the reason I will not be tuning in is that I have watched the trailers, read the character descriptions, tweets, articles, etc., and it does not appeal to me in the least.
The WAY in which SGA’s cancellation was handled does nothing but add to my disinterest, but did not create it.

Chris1
Member

I am looking forward to it cause there is absolutely nothing else of value on TV without 24, Prison Break or Heroes on.

It’s a shame it couldn’t of started in June, would of been a nice distraction from the absolute torture of being a Mets fan.

Crystal
Member

I like Michael an I love the character Daniel I really do, but the whole of SG1 an SGA combined could not make me watch this travesty of a show. Dark angst an edgy drama with a reality twist it not what I like. I disliked BSG did not like Firefly can not stand Lost an any of those types of show an really loath solely charactor driven plots. Add that to the fact this is not going to be a family friendly show an that is it a done deal. This is one very ex Stargate fan.

Shepsgirl4ever
Member

Me I am still SO angry about SGA being stopped, that it does have an effect on how I feel about SGU. If it didnt I would just think SGU was a bad idea but with the way SGA was handled its plain terrible IMO. Thats why I wont be watching Michael, life to short to waste on watching crap.

/rra|<is
Member

wait…. so am I understanding this correctly? There are actually Stargate fans that won’t even watch the pilot episode? I mean I understand watching a few episodes, and making a decision. But you’ve seen enough in a few promo shots, and some spoilers that have made the decision for you without ever experiencing it?

Let me ask this then… I have some land it’s BEAUTIFUL… now I know you’ve never seen it, but seriously I’ll sell it to you for a steal. You’ll make 100% profit easily… interested?

Sprinkles
Member

I always intended to give the show a chance (especially to see Robert Carlyle take on the franchise)and am still more than willing, it basically comes to this, I like to watch good TV, I only know if a show is good TV for me if I give it a chance, the rest is up to the show.

Sylvia
Member

You know, if I had tons of good feelings surrounding the SG franchise, I MIGHT have tuned into this latest venture, despite the fact that it doesn’t look like anything that would interest me. I mean, I bought the two SG1 movies just cause I wanted to support the franchise, and I have never watched them. I thought it would help in some small way to keep Atlantis on the air, more fool I… But since I am still bitter about SGA, there is absolutely nothing driving me to tune in. There are hundreds of shows out there that I… Read more »

Rangerflecha
Member

Nothing new, this has happened before. The best example is Star Trek; every spinoff had its detractors before release, for no special reason. And I think Star Trek is the perfect example for Stargate, because since the first one science fiction tv series based most of its success in a cast of characters that fitted perfectly as a group. No Star Trek spinoff was -or could- be so good as the original, and the same happens with Starget, of course. SGU won’t be a bad series, but no one can pretend it to be as good as SG1; its just… Read more »

Majorsal
Member

i ‘will’ give sgu a chance, when i tune in to watch my favorite character, sam carter, in the premier. if the show doesn’t grab me then…

for the years that i’ve been in fandom, i’ve never seen the fans feeling as low as they do now. i’m feeling this too… :/

Atlantis Rocks
Member

Yes there are Stargate fans out here, who are not watching the pilot, go figure A :-) You see trailers are supposed to entice you in, make you want to have a look, THAT’S WHAT THERE SUPPOSED TO DO, but when they leave you cold an uninterested, it kinda says something. For me they are awful, the cast doesn’t appeal either, oh an there are so many other things I’ve read that doesn’t appeal, like BW/RC Expanding Universe interview an countless more interviews, that do nothing to encourage me in. So why on earth would I want to watch the… Read more »

Mickjsg
Member

I’ll certainly give the show a chance, but I’m not the only one who has doubts about how good the show will be.

It sounds like they’re trying to distance Stargate from scifi, turning it into a drama.

We’ll see how long it lasts, though i’d rather have more Atlantis than another spin off.

Clemontine
Member

Of course I’ll watch it. I would never judge a show that I havent seen unless its a genre or subject I am entirely not interested in. But its Stargate! Of course I’ll wait and see. I’m extremely worried about its direction, but I’ll wait and see. I thought SGA was a bit of a drop from SG-1, but now I just really wish I could have SGA back.

Buddybear
Member

So Mr. Shanks is actually begging SG1 & SGA fans to watch the TPTB’s new baby !! First of all Mr. Shanks you had a long run with SG-1 it went for 10 seasons plus you have movies that have been completed you had quest rolls on both SGA and SGU. You did not get cancelled after 5 seasons right when the show was getting great, dropped only to be replaced by the new soap opera in the sky, oh sorry “Universe” then promised movies and then strung along with the hope of a movie and then to tell us… Read more »

Luthien
Member

I’d just like to start out by saying, i LOVE SG-1 and SGA, but some of the spoilers about SGU are making me uneasy… however, I do admit that I have been wrong about some spoilers before…

Therefore, I’ll probably watch the pilot ep, but there’s no guarantee I’ll do any more than that.

Where, oh where has my old Stargate gone??? *sigh* If I want old-fashioned SG I guess I’ll just have to watch the movies…

Sgfan
Member

/agree with Michael. Everyone sing along, “All we are saying is give SGU a chance…All we are saying is give SGU a chance” – song to the tune of Give Peace a Chance…

DarkElfa
Member

As far as I’m concerned, the fans being lost are the ones we don’t need, so good riddance.

Atlantis4ever
Member

No, sorry. I’m not giving SGU a chance. I have the same interest in SGU as I have in SG-1: none.
I’m an Atlantis fan. I couldn’t care less about the rest of the franchise. For me, no SGA means no Stargate. The franchise starts and ends with SGA for me. I’ll follow the SGA actors, especially Joe Flanigan, to their next projects and that’s it. If there’s an Atlantis movie, I’ll support it. Other than that, the franchise is dead for me.

Sgfan
Member

I sincerely hope that SGU is a great success. If it’s good television I will watch it.

Buddybear
Member

DarkElfa your comment “the fans being lost are the ones we don’t need, so good riddance.” makes no sense I ‘m not lost I know exactly where I am LOL it’s TPTB that has lost alot of fans and now they are begging us to come back no thanks SGU.

trackback

[…] Shanks (aka Dr. Daniel Jackson) speaks out about SGU.  Many in the comments hold the same opinion as before and won’t watch […]

Dr. Love
Member

I signed up just to say this: No. I will not watch this new show. Atlantis was one of my favorite shows. I had no real impactful way to make my opinion known about how displeased I was over the cancellation. Now, I do. I will not be watching this show because I will not reward bad decisions. If you make an Atlantis movie, I will buy it. If by some miracle you resume making Atlantis episodes, I will watch them. I will not watch Universe, I will not give it a chance, simply because it is the only impactful… Read more »

Dankriss
Member

I really can’t understand how people can pre-judge a show that they have never seen…being a Star Trek fan I was so surprised when TNG was first announced and the people who said they wouldn’t watch….I have always said and will always say never judge a show until you have seen it. How can you have a view if you have not seen it? If you have seen it and don’t like it then fair enough. Must have to admit that I didn’t watch BSG simply because I loved the original….when they said that Starbuck was going to be female… Read more »

Kzap333
Member

@Dankriss I’m not pre-judging it more than any other show. Let me give you an example, I love Warcraft, so when I heard a new Warcraft game was coming out I was excited. Then I heard it would be an MMORPG and I was no longer excited, because I don’t like MMORPs, now World Of Warcraft has turned out to be the best, most popular MMORPG ever, I still don’t like that type of game! The same with Stargate, I don’t like open ended shows, I don’t like dark shows and I don’t like character based shows. Unless everything the… Read more »

Kzap333
Member

My feelings are perfectly summed up by Crystal on the first page, although I liked Firefly (that was light hearted and family friendly-ish).
I think it’s unreasonable for the producers to change so much about the show and still expect all people to assume it’s good, I just don’t like this type of show! Not everybody likes everything and not all Stargate fans like everything Stargate no mater how well produced it is.

Gaia
Member

I will definitely give SGU a chance, but I must say that the current description of the show is not very fun-promising.
Dark, character-driven?
Are there be characters like O’Neill, Daniel, McKay? With their sometimes black and ironic humour? I want that, because that’s was what made those shows special and me a big fan of everything SG…

Chad Colvin
Member

***Ok, guys…this is Chad Colvin, the one who sat down for the interview with Michael in Chicago about 2 weeks ago. First, yes, there is audio and we will be posting it at some point in the future, just like with any other interview. Second, I’ve interviewed Michael more times in the last two years than anyone on GW’s staff. We’re on a first name basis. I know the difference between studio-fed propaganda and honesty. And what I got from Michael was honesty. Will this be the new age of Stargate? I doubt it. Will watching erase the pain of… Read more »

Joycelm2
Member

Well sorry depsite all the assurances about SGu being good, I just dont think it will an I was ONLY in2 SGA, thats whats got me, I’m with atlantis4ever here, the franchise is nothing to me. I dont care who tells me to watch or give it a go, the fanchise to me is STARGATE ATLANTIS thats its Sheppard & co. I’ll support SGA an the actors, but why watch a show I KNOW I wont like, I havent liked a single thing so far to come out about SGU NOT ONE SINGLE ITEM. Anyway it dont matter in the… Read more »

Fwupow
Member

Sure I’ll give SGU a chance. After all, I don’t want to make the good folks at MGM, Siffy, ACME/SHARK and Bridge go to bed crying.

Just because they gave all us SG-1 fans reason to cry doesn’t mean we should return in kind. That wouldn’t be Christian now would it?

I tell you what. Let’s make a deal. We’ll watch SGU and then you put SG-1 back on the air!

Tig
Member

Just registered so I could say my bit, been reading stuff here for a while and have had serious doubts about SGU for a long time now but this, all I can say is thanks to Mr Shanks all my worse fears an doubts fully confirmed in this interview. And the comments “By missing an episode of SG-1, eh, no big deal. Missing an episode of this might be a bit confusing for the viewers.” That’s supposed to make me want to watch WHY? Same as “Is it going to have as much humour in it? I don’t know. I… Read more »

Gateman2000
Member

I agree with Shanks…People needs to give it a chance and stop crying. If they don’t like it after the pilot, then they can continue. Until then..hush!

Sue_Jackson
Member

It does sound a bit like Battlestar Galactica. I will give it a chance. Michael is right. We should watch the show before making judgments. Michael wouldn’t endorse something he doesn’t believe in. And…I trust his judgement. I will give the show a chance.

Imitation Tofu
Member

“So, even when one of the Gods of Stargate, Michael Shanks, asks you to give SGU a chance, you won’t do it.” Nope. I can make my own decisions and I don’t need to lockstep just because an actor says so or because the show has “Stargate” in the title. “wait…. so am I understanding this correctly? There are actually Stargate fans that won’t even watch the pilot episode? I mean I understand watching a few episodes, and making a decision. But you’ve seen enough in a few promo shots, and some spoilers that have made the decision for you… Read more »

Cmuty
Member

Personally I don’t think the show runners care about those fans of the older series’ that won’t even give Universe a chance. They are a small (yet vocal) minority of a fan base that already has shown that there are not enough of us out there to give the show ratings support. Look at the original shows on USA network (a sister station to scyfy). They triple or better the ratings that SG-1 or Atlantis gets. As unfair as all of the fans outside the US think it is, it is the SCYFY ratings that bring in the lions share… Read more »

Space and Time
Member

Alright. This is the end. First of all, I would like to say something to all those hypocrite folks roaming around here. The statement “If you don’t watch the show, you can’t judge it” is quite stupid. Of course I can judge something without seeing it. The trailers didn’t impress me. The info about the show failed. The cast, especially the young ones, are full of fail. Nothing about this show appeal to me. Why should I give a chance to something, that doesn’t appeal to me? That’s like saying to Americans that “Give Osama a chance, perhaps he didn’t… Read more »

Sylvia
Member

Re the above post, there appears to be a concerted campaign to win over viewers for the new show. Joe Mallozzi has launched a Leave No Fan Behind campaign on his blog, we have seen the trailers and vids online and in theatre, and there are a large number of people on Twitter extolling the virtues of Universe. It’s publicity in the new age of online communication. But it is what it is publicity. While I am not going to be tuning into SGU, for whatever reason, I see nothing wrong with everyone connected to the show trying to promote… Read more »

Gateman2000
Member

If people aren’t going to give a show a chance, then they should shut it and move on. They are not bringing back SG1 or SGA. So people should just move on.