Actor Lou Diamond Phillips brought such notoriety to the premiere of Stargate Universe that many fans didn’t expect the big-name film and television star to survive the series premiere. When the writers continued to bring him back — even making him a major player in the Lucian Alliance arc of the final three episodes — some continued to expect that his number would be up soon.
But despite a bullet from Alliance Commander Kiva, it looks like Colonel David Telford may be around for a while! In a conference call with media outlets today, Phillips talked about what it would mean for his character to now be a member of Destiny‘s crew, now that he is actually on board the ship … if he does survive, that is.
“I think that what’s really sort of nice, and one thing I truly appreciated about those last three episodes [of Season One] — which really played like one, long movie — was the fact that we got a glimpse into the humanity of Telford,” Phillips said. “We’ve seen him in an official capacity, we’ve seen him as a figure of authority. But to see him on these emotional levels was a real treat.”
Telford was exposed as a spy for the Lucian Alliance near the end of the show’s first season — not by choice, but because he was brainwashed. Colonel Young pushed him to the edge of death to break him and restore his rightful mind.
That has significant implications for where the character is going, Phillips said.
“He certainly will have residual guilt. He will have responsibility. But that almost galvanizes him more in what he set out to do, which was bring these people home (in time) — at any cost. This becomes his obsession, I think, to vindicate himself, because he’s cost [other people their lives] in the past.”
“Telford has very interesting motivations and very interesting layers to how he will continue to be involved with the people on the Destiny,” he said.
Phillips also said that he is intrigued by how little we know about Telford’s personal life right now, other than the fact that he’s had a long-term friendship with Everett Young.
“In Season One [their relationship] was only ever adversarial. And once he kills me and brings me back [‘Incursion, Part 1’], that tends to change a relationship! We get a sense that they were once friends, that they were in the Academy together, and they had served together.” With the two Colonels together on the ship in Season Two, he said, “We see Telford sublimate himself to that. He is quite overcome by guilt for the things he has done — he still has memories of them.
“But Telford is still ambitious,” Phillips added, hinting at the character’s original backstory — originally meant to command the mission to Destiny, instead of Young. “He’s full of confidence and cockiness. He thinks he’s the best man for the job. That edge never goes away. He doesn’t bow down and say ‘I’m not worthy.’ He tries to be a contributor to the survival of the ship, and what will finally save these people one day.”
Don’t miss the season premiere of Stargate Universe on its new night, Tuesday, September 28! Find out more about Season Two in GateWorld’s episode guide.