Stargate Universe co-creator Brad Wright believes that the second half of Season One will silence critics and win back many fans who haven’t yet accepted the newest addition to the franchise. Wright spoke candidly about the show and the criticisms it has received so far in a new interview with Curt Wagner at Show Patrol.
He said that the slower set-up for the show’s first ten episodes, though irritating to some viewers, was part of a strategy to establish the characters before putting them into action scenarios. “Robert [Cooper, co-creator] and I strongly felt that for us to say we’re doing a character drama — at the very beginning especially — we have to engage with the characters and have them interact in a big, big way. And then once we know them very intimately — as we do now, I think — we can put them in an action-adventure, jeopardy situation.
“When you know them as intimately as we do now, it’s easier for you to care about the stakes, or the ramifications of what’s going to happen.”
The second half of the first season will answer many of fans’ criticisms of the show, Wright believes. New episodes start next Friday, with the long-awaited episode “Space.”
“I think the second half of Season One is strong, or stronger, and certainly answers some of the criticisms that have been thrown toward the show,” he said. “… I really think that the second half of Season One will win back a lot of folks just because there are people who are saying, ‘When are we going to see some aliens? When are we going to see some adventure that isn’t just about our characters?'”
Wright said that he doesn’t agree with many objections that have been leveled at the show, including the complaints of too much sex and the comparison to Battlestar Galactica. “Eli is not remotely Battlestar Galactica,” he said. “The guy does not fit in that world at all. And kinos and communication stones — these are all things that are unique to our show. The Stargate itself [is different].”
He also emphasized that the characters are supposed to be flawed and the tone different from Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis. But one criticism he acknowledges regards SGU‘s female characters.
“I think it was probably a fair criticism at the very beginning that our female characters weren’t as present,” Wright said. “And again, I would argue that it’s a function of a) not being able to service every character as much as we could, and b) there was so much in the first two hours, especially about Chloe and her father and her coming after Rush.”
As for the critics themselves — Wright told the site that he’s made some mistakes in responding to them publicly, including his Q&A on executive producer Joseph Mallozzi’s blog and a comment to the Chicago Tribune’s Maureen Ryan posted publicly (info).
“I thought she was basing her opinion on unfinished, out of order material and was behaving more like a disgruntled fan with an axe to grind than like a critic,” he said of the encounter — which prompted even more direct and detailed criticism of SGU from Ryan. “But I should’ve kept my mouth shut. … You never go up against a critic.”
“SGU is a different series than its predecessors, yes, and we’re proud of it,” he said. “But I’ve spent most of my career making SG-1 and Atlantis. I’m immensely proud of them, too. It’s what I’ll be known for. So when fans accuse me of abandoning or disrespecting or condescending to them … I’m the one who doesn’t get it.
“As I said, the second half of Season One delivers many of the elements that some of the fans of SG-1 and Atlantis felt were missing so far from SGU. Season Two is going to build on that even more. I can only hope they watch.”
Don’t miss the full interview now at Show Patrol. Stargate Universe returns next Friday, April 2, at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific on Syfy!
(Thanks to Madwelshboy and Tanith for the tip)