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Hewlett discusses SGA/SGU crossover

Tuesday - September 7, 2010

“I just read the script on the plane ride here.”

Those were the first words David Hewlett spoke to GateWorld in regards to Stargate Universe‘s highly anticipated crossover episode with characters from sister series Atlantis.  GateWorld sat down for an exclusive chat with the actor during his appearance at Creation Entertainment’s Official Stargate Convention in Chicago, Illinois last month.

The episode, “Seizure,” is currently scheduled as the fifteenth episode of SGU Season Two, and will air sometime in the first half of 2011.  In addition to Hewlett’s reprisal of Dr. Rodney McKay, the episode will also feature an appearance by Robert Picardo as Atlantis expedition leader (at least up through “Enemy At The Gate”) Richard Woolsey.

“I was told not to tell anyone I was in it!” Hewlett said.  “And then literally a day later, it was announced at Comic-Con!”

For fans of Atlantis wondering exactly how McKay and his personality will fit into the tone and pacing that has been established on Universe, Hewlett states that they weren’t the only ones.

“I was sitting there going, ‘How does McKay fit into this world?’  He’s such a different character, and Atlantis is so different from SGU,” he said.  “I was a little nervous about that.  But I think they’ve done a really good job of getting them in there.

“It’s not a McKay episode.  It’s not all about McKay and it’s not all about Robert [Picardo].  It’s an episode of SGU.  But I think they’ve nicely melded the worlds together.”

All that being said, expect for some of McKay’s personality traits and eccentricities to be reigned in a bit for the new series.

“You cannot have McKay in an episode — just like you can’t have Jack [O’Neill] in an episode of Stargate — without a certain personality, or at least aspects of that personality, coming through,” Hewlett told GateWorld.  “But I think they’ve done a really good job of getting just enough of it in there.  But not so much that it takes away from what they are doing on SGU.”

Could the appearance of Woolsey and McKay on Universe open up the door for other Atlantis characters to make appearances in the future?   It’s a question only the writers can answer, but Hewlett remains hopeful.

“Secretly in my heart, I hope it means we will see more of the Atlantis crew come in,”  he said.  “And selfishly, for me, I miss playing McKay.  And I just felt so happy and honored that Robert and I were asked to come in.  It’s Stargate.  It’s family.  It’s home.”

Keep watching GateWorld in the weeks to come for more from our chat with David Hewlett.  A full-length interview with the actor is coming soon, plus much more!

Chad Colvin is a GateWorld editor and convention correspondent. He lives near Madison, Wisconsin. Follow him on Twitter @ChadColvin.

COMMENTS (32):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • I’m glad David loves McKay and wants to play him again. (just wish it would have been in the movie…)
    Receiving decidedly mixed feelings from those who are tweeting him though. If you do a search of twitter, many are feeling a bit betrayed, many are quite happy about the crossover.

  • I fear the worst. They already completely changed the O’Neill character in SGU. I didn’t recognized him anymore! Carter didn’t even try to rescue those pilots and Daniel Jackson was misused as an agent with a camera. I think McKay and Woolsey will be the next characters from the two older Stargate series, which will be mistreated in SGU. I bet we will see again a complete personality change of those characters.

  • @psw. I respectfully disagree about O’Neill. I think he’s toned down, but he’s also playing the role of commander and if you remember he was hard ass on occasion when he needed to be. I do think young is a screw up and O’neill needs to kick his ass. As for Carter and Jackson I agree their roles have been unsubstantial. Too bad it sounds like McKay will be just another brief cameo and non-integral to the plot. Too bad, as I would like to see McKay and Woolsey used in a way that’s more important to the story. IMO, If you’re going to have a guest star make it worthwhile for them and us.

  • I’m not an SGA fan, but I’m fairly excited to see Mckay again. I think they’ve done a great job with Jack, and I think even Daniel and Sam have made believable cameos, so I’m interested to see a slightly darker version of McKay.

  • @ sgfan

    O’Neill is my favourite SG1 character and they changed him so much in SGU, that I didn’t like him anymore.

    When they use SG1 or SGA characters in SGU, they should still have the same personality than in the previous series. They shouldn’t tone them down; the personality traits and eccentricities shouldn’t be reigned in. Those aspects make them the characters we know.

    They shouldn’t bother to include SG1 and SGA characters, if they changed them so much that you can’t recognized them anymore. If they need characters with a different personality, they should just introduce new characters and not change the existing SG1 and SGA characters to suit SGU’s needs!

  • Wow, Seriously what is the point of having Mckay if you take away and tone down his personality. I would prefer for them not to bother if they arent going to ring true to the actual characters. Doesn’t everyone realise that the only reason they are including these cameos is to keep veteran viewers tuning in so the ratings look good. While SGU does have some qualities most of the time they might as well be in a huge submarine in the bottom of the ocean for all the Sci-fi there is. But hey what do i know, im just the guy who has spent over £2000 buying all the dvds…

  • I’m really looking forward to seeing this, especially if it’s a toned down McKay, more in keeping with the feel of SGU. (And I liked the treatment of O’Neill’s character in SGU. I think it worked and I have faith that McKay will work as well.)

    Change is good :)

  • Lol @ the people saying that SGU has changed O’Neill and will change McKay. Remember the line “We’ll beam you up to our spaceship”? That line from the SGU pilot was exactly the kind of think the SG-1 O’Neill would say, and is just one example from SGU. Some people must think O’Neill was a complete joker and never serious in SG-1.

    I’m looking forward to seeing McKay SGU.

  • @evilgrin “change is good” I remember alot of governments saying that…now look what happened!

  • @psw,
    I get were you are coming from, but I also must disagree. SGU O’neil is very similar to the Movie or early SG-1 O’neil. Also, O’neil cracked an inappropriate joke at an inappropriate time during his visit on the Destiny– more like the O’neil of later seasons.

    As for McKay– I hope his appearance is more substantial than what is being implied here. While I enjoyed seeing Jackson and Carter on SGU, there were ultimately unsatisfying due to how short and fleeting they were.

  • I think it’s important to see these characters change. That’s what happens when people get older and take on new responsibilities. O’neill is heading defenses and operations for earth, forgive him if he’s not his usual self, especially in the serious situations that we’ve seen him in. Carter had no choice but to leave those pilots, she’s commanding a ship, it was either losing everyone, or just the pilots.

    It’s easy to be yourself when someone else is in charge, when you don’t have those responsibilites. But O’Neill and Carter are in those leadership positions now.

  • i cant wait for this one. yeah McKay fits well in SGU if you ask me, I just wish he can boss someone around in that show, and show them how its done. Dr. Rush, you mightve blown up two planets but Dr. Mckay blew up a whole star system!

  • It’ll be nice to see mcKay in action again.
    Technical question: Can it still be called a crossover if one of the two series has been dead for 2 years and there will therefore be no appearing of Destiny or SGU cast in SG Atlantis?

  • @Sylvia yep, ive seen mixed tweets some will only tune in for this one ep. so it better live up to expectations or there will be many unhappy Mckay fans. A few mins on screen or a toned down Mckay who does not mention atlantis and its people will not go down well with this fan. though new fans may like him as he will fit in with the show they like. I would rather have seen Mckay in his element on sga in the promised movie!

  • @ supertrinko Mmmm so im guessing while O’neil was saving the planet god knows how many times he didnt have any responsibility??? Are you telling me Barrack Obama’s personality has changed so much since he became president? NO! Its a weak argument! If Carter had been like she was in SGU in SG1 then im sure the team would of died lots of times. The only reason and i mean the ONLY reason they have these people making appearances is to capture people who dont really like SGU but LOVE SGA or SG1 to boost the ratings. Hence why its ep 15 towards the end of the season. I personally do like Universe as a series but not as part of the franchise.

  • can’t wait to see Mckay again! they have done really well with carter and oneill in SGU but daniel as a spy was a little too far. Sam and jack have clearly been placed in major leadership positions and their characters reflect that change. Besides sam’s hair being kinda brown, she seemed like she just finished up where EAG left off. Same with Jack, he is in charge of home world security, he has to be serious but you still see his personality come out. It makes for a much more believable character arc. Daniel was completely miss used. I mean he is the foremost expert on the ancients, why not bring him to the ship and have him help with cracking the master code of destiny. He is after all a master linguist. Tealc or even ronon would have been perfect for the part that jackson played. And it makes me wonder what exactly is daniel doing for the program now. Is he still a member of SG1, if so then why was he tailing telford/ rush? That responsibility seems like it should fail to the NID or home world security, not an SG team member. And correct me if i am wrong but i don’t think that daniel was wearing an SG1 patch in first contact and lost tribe. I always thought he was the perfect person to run atlantis or even be on shepard’s team. I think Mckay and wolsey will fit in perfectly, the only thing that sucks is we have to wait until 2011 to see the episode!

  • I agree Teal’c would have been a much better character (or Ronon) for the spy part. Jackson in the mind of Rush was good though. Very Jackson-y. What his role is at the SGC I have no idea. Head of the department of research into archaeology? That’s all I can think of.

  • I think people forget characters change over time. Carter, Jackson, O’Neill, McKay, etc. They have all changed from the start of the series to the end. Not only that but the tone of the characters do change from episode to episode. Certainly there are lighter/funnier/goofy episodes and there are episodes that heavier/serious/dramatic. The characters tone is changed to accommodate what is called for in the story. Still, there is a character voice or spirit of the character that has to remain true. It is important to respect the spirit of the character. As long as the writers can do that then it is okay for them to alter the tone of the character for their appearance on SGU.

  • All real-world casting issues aside, from a purely Stargate perspective, McKay should have been one of the very first to be sent to Destiny to help figure out it’s systems etc.!

    I’m really glad he’s finally going to make it there, even if it’s just a short visit. Hopefully he’ll have a breakthrough of some kind and piss off Rush who is already prone to jealousy.

    But man, I’d give it all up to get an Atlantis movie or two!!! My first thoughts reading this article were wondering if they were even going to mention anything like what the heck is that status of Atlantis?? Is it even still on Earth, or are they going to fast-forward that plot line and just say it’s back in Pegasus now? Or just not say anything at all like a bunch of douches since this isn’t SGA lol. Time will tell I guess!

  • @ Kosh

    We don’t know if McKay will be stoned to the Destiny. Maybe he will stay all the time in the Milky Way Galaxy with his mind. Should they send him to the Destiny, everyone would expect that he would solve a lot of technical problems. I don’t think that TPTB really want that. Otherwise he or Carter would have been on the Destiny at the beginning of season 1. I think they don’t want to make it “easy” for the Destiny crew. So I really wouldn’t be surprised, if we won’t see McKay on the Destiny.

  • I hope they get Stargate Extinction out in 2011 before cast members of sga go to sgu. Because if characters from sgu ask about atlantis it will definetely spoil the movie. Also to those talking how Carter’s character changed by leaving the 302 pilots behind, they put her in a real big bind. One of Hammonds biggest mandates is to never leave a person behind, and Carter did just that. Carter could have told the 302 pilots to use their hyperdrives and rendevous somewhere, but instead she just left them. And if im not correct about the hyperdrives im sorry, but in episodes of sg1 they managed to use the drives for short jumps. so i dont see why they couldn’t use them to escape a exploding planet

  • Darren Sumner

    @puddlejumper_1: In defense of Sam, she had seconds to act to save her ship and everyone on board. The ethic of not leaving our people behind does not make difficult command decisions go away. As Jack made clear to Everett later in the episode, that was a ridiculously hard thing for a CO to do.

    I don’t think we have any evidence that F-302s have hyperdrives. The original X-302 prototype did (“Redemption”), but they never got it to work right.

  • if it aint broke done fix it. end this show then end atlantis before mgm goes bye bye

  • IMO this will change nothing for me.The only idea that hits my mind is TPTB want to appeal “old” audience to improve sgu’s one and another bone. I’ve the worst worries about MacKay in sgu.I love him in SGA and especially his banters with Sheppard.I’ve worries about Mackay in sgu that would only be the shadow of himself and he would loose everything that made his success and identity in sgu.
    It’s really not a crossover cos SG1 and SGA are cancelled by the ones that needed help from former characters.In addition I noticed Mackay and Woolsey are the only characters seen in SG1 and SGA so it’s more crossover between SG1 and sgu than SGA and sgu.
    Bringing Mackay in sgu for a cameo and only one ep in sgu will not change my opinion about the quality of sgu.I would prefer to see him with his others SGA pals in SGA story but I’ve not anymore hope to see one day SGA movie producers have never wanted to produce avoiding like this to overshadow sgu. This “crossover” is IMO the proof the movie will not be made.By now the rest of the cast have moved on and despite DH said I’d not like to see the others SGA characters in sgu worrying to become so poor and loosing the slim hope to get the movie

  • I’m sorry, but I don’t think even Rodney McKay can get me to watch SGU again

  • For the love of…

    Whoever said that SGU has changed O’Neill is delusional. He’s had SO many more serious, dark, and grim moments on SG1 with MUCH more intensity. I’ve actually appreciated his SGU appearances because he’s more like he was pre-season 9 of SG1. I’m perfectly willing to accept that many people hate this show. I understand and respect that. But don’t hate simply out of principle.

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