If you haven’t seen the final episode of SGU yet, beware of spoilers for “Gauntlet” below!
The last episode of Stargate Universe may have left the major story arc unresolved and the crew’s fate undetermined, but it did provide some important emotional closure as fans head into the void between Stargate galaxies along with the crew of Destiny. The entire crew ended the season in stasis, ready for a 3-year journey to the next galaxy on the ship’s route — all except for Eli.
In a new interview with AOL TV’s Mike Moody, executive producer Brad Wright explained that the ending of “Gauntlet” was meant not just to set up a third season, but also to provide some degree of closure — just in case the show wasn’t renewed.
“We wanted it to be both [a season finale and a series finale],” Wright said. “I had pitched the idea of putting the crew into suspended animation — with someone having to stay behind because one pod didn’t work — because I thought it made for an interesting reset of the Earth side of things.”
Advancing the time frame three years into the future would certainly allow for some change-ups when the crew came out of stasis and revisited Earth using the communication stones, while retaining the current character dynamics on board the ship.
“A three year time cut would have been interesting,” Wright said. “The story of the person that was going to be left behind was also a great opener for Season Three.”
The final scripts were being written when Season Two kicked off with “Intervention” on its new night. Wright expressed concerns about the show’s move to Tuesdays in interviews leading up to the premiere, and those October ratings proved that his worries were well-founded. SGU averaged 1.09 million viewers over the five episodes aired that month, which ended with Syfy cancelling its lead-out partner, Caprica.
“When we saw the Tuesday night ratings on Syfy we knew it might be the end,” Wright said. “By having our leads come together for one last meal before going off into the void, we got a chance to see them as a team in the way we were always working toward. And by making the person left behind Eli, it brought the series full circle. Those two elements make it feel like a finale.”
So where was Destiny going? What was the final payoff of the show’s arc? For now, Wright isn’t talking.
“I don’t want to say where we were going to go with the story,” he said. “It didn’t happen, so the show is what it is now. I think a pretty decent two seasons of television.”
To see the rest of Wright’s comments, including his plan to compress SGU‘s story into a movie that brought together SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe (a plan on which MGM passed), check out the full interview at Mike Moody’s blog.