There are changes coming to Stargate Universe when the show returns for the back half of the season in April, executive producer Robert C. Cooper says.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cooper talked about a number of elements introduced early in the show which many fans have expressed concerns over. As it turns out, some of those same conversations were taking place in the writer’s room.
First on the list, perhaps, is the amount of time the characters are spending back on Earth — rather than trapped on board the Ancient space vessel Destiny, billions of light years from their loved ones. On the show, these mental trips home are accomplished using Ancient communication stones, a technology which allows one to swap bodies with somebody back on Earth.
“It’s certainly been a hot topic of debate,” Cooper said. “It’s very valuable in terms of tying the crew to Earth, and some have suggested the crew should be more isolated. There’s also a debate about the moral issue of how the [body swapping] stones are used and whether it’s right for a person to do certain things in the body of the another person and that’s interesting too.
“I think there’s some value in terms of seeing who they’re missing and the political ramifications of the Destiny‘s mission back on Earth. We’re not going to abandon the stones, but the emphasis of the second half of the first season is more heavily weighted to what’s going on with the ship.”
Also conspicuously absent from the first half of the season: aliens. Though the producers didn’t want to distract from the core stories about the characters, they also recognize that life “out there” is an important element of science fiction and the Stargate mythology.
“The show was always intended to be a drama and about people who are struggling to survive,” Cooper said. “There is a sci-fi element, but it was never going to turn into the ‘alien of the week.’ However, there is a big story point coming up that does introduce an alien race that’s a very cool, CG alien. It’s more along the line of a District 9-type of alien. Our interaction is handled in a very Universe way — they’re not the typical Stargate alien bad guys.”
Cooper also expressed a hope that those who have loved SG-1 and Atlantis over the last 12 years will come to embrace Universe for what it is — not what it isn’t. “Hopefully as it goes on, people will began to appreciate it for being its own thing,” he said. “That’s all we can hope for. It sometimes takes awhile to overcome those expectations. I can’t really be upset that people came to love something I had a part in creating. But as a creative person you have to move on and have to grow.
“I don’t think we could have been successful in the exact same vein as what we did before. We had to evolve.”
Check out the full interview with Robert C. Cooper now at The Hollywood Reporter. The producer also talks about SGU‘s female characters and some viewer criticisms, sex on the show, the use of kino-vision, and more. Stargate Universe resumes in April on Syfy in the U.S.