GateWorld: Let’s talk a bit about the series finale “Gauntlet.” And it’s an episode that shows a inner strength in Eli that he’s fully embracing for the first time. You know, he takes the reins with a viable, but a very sacrificial solution. Vocalizing what he already knows: that he’s smarter than Rush. And then we see those final shots of the series. He’s the last person standing there in the observation area. And he’s become kind of Destiny’s keeper while he’s trying to repair his own stasis pod.
So much of that episode and those last few minutes of those episodes kind of harken back to the first scenes you see in the pilot.
David Blue: Mm-hmm.
GW: What were your thoughts on it at the time knowing that it could end up serving kind of a dual role as both a season and a series ender?
DB: Well, I didn’t. I was looking at it as a season ender. I was not … I don’t think anybody really shot it going, “This could be it.” In retrospect … I know a lot of people are polarized about this, but I love it as a series finale. I think it worked wonderfully because it ends it like a “choose your own adventure“. Like, “What do you think happens next?”
Now, I will admit that I do know what would’ve happened next, which is awesome. And I’m really sad that we didn’t get to do it. But going into it, I was proud. The moment I read the script I remember Louis came up to me, patted me on the back, and went, “Congratulations.” Because of the way it left it and Eli stepping up and being stronger. It was a great – as an actor — just a great place to be. And then as a character I thought it was perfect. It was the perfect evolution of him getting to this place where he not only was taking charge of his own life, but actually was capable.
And no, he didn’t die!
DB: All these people who keep asking me, I wanted to continue working. Thank you very much.
I know what would’ve happened to him and, who knows, maybe one day it’ll be revealed. But I’m holding on to that kernel because I hope that one day they’ll do it. They’ll make more.
GW: I think something perfect about those last couple scenes before we see Destiny flying off into space … right at the end, though as it’s the camera’s coming up and it’s got a very tight close-up of your face. And all of a sudden, this smile starts to emerge from it. He goes from thoughtful to like looking forward to the future. And that was a perfect, perfect image, I think, for Eli to end on.
DB: Well, thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah, the script … I’m not going to pat myself on the back because they’re wonderful writers, but the script just kind of had … just a shot of Eli on the bow.
I’m humbled because actually Patrick Gilmore — at DragonCon — came up to me and told me that … he texted me as soon as he watched it. He told me how much he loved that moment. And for me, it was so important. I was so nervous shooting that scene. Because it was the second to last thing we shot and I really wanted to make sure to convey what I think it ended up being, which is that as much as he’s scared, as much as he’s worried, as much as the work he still has to do – and he’s alone now – now that he knows his mother is being taken care of, now that he knows he can continue on his life, this is everything he always dreamed of.
And that’s the thing I think set Eli apart from the beginning that I always tried to hang on to. And the writers did to. Everyone else wanted to get home. And aside from Eli’s mom and wanting to take care of her, he didn’t. I mean, this is what he dreamed would exist and what he always fantasized, like I do, that they’re real. You hope that these things are out there. And that he’s there. He didn’t want to go home. He wanted to continue on this adventure. At the end of the show, that’s what it was. As scared as he was, all of his dreams were coming true.
GW: You say you know where things would have went at least initially into the beginning of the third season. How everything would have came back together had the series continued. But in terms of Eli himself, what type of person do you think Eli would’ve continued to evolve into had the series gotten another season?
DB: Well, I wish I was in charge of that. That would’ve been all Brad and Rob and Carl and all them.
GW: In your own mind.
DB: In my mind, he would’ve grown stronger. It’s hard to say because I … not only did they tell me — us — where Season Three would’ve started, but, actually, I do know the ending of the show as well. The four-year or five-year end of the show. Which is great. I love that they knew where the show was going from the beginning.
I think that he would’ve continued to grow. I liked the idea of him becoming a threat to Rush. And, you know, from the beginning, I thing Young wanted Eli to step up. Because he would’ve rather confided in and trusted Eli than Rush. And if he could do that, than he wouldn’t need Rush anymore. I like the idea of Eli becoming a threat to him. And becoming his own man, really. And learning what that is.
And, eventually, growing floppy hair, like Michael Shanks. And running around and shooting things. And taking alien women left and right. [Laughter]
DB: And finding a way to bring Ginn back.
DB: And, let’s see. Yeah, we actually joked about that for a while. That everyone would wake up and no one would be able to find Eli. And then they would go to Chloe’s container and he’d be in there with her.
Were you happy with Eli’s overall arc throughout the two years?
DB: I was. I’m spoiled. I’m so thankful for the show. Not only because, you know, I got to work with amazing people and … and make great friends and live in a city I ended up falling in love with. But, more than anything, I was gifted an amazing role. I got to track his growth, his course … well, his growth personally, his shrinkage physically.
It was great. It was so … that’s a gift as an actor to be able to see and arc for your character and play with it. And I was very, very happy. I wouldn’t change a thing.
GW: Were there any parts of his personality that you wanted to see explored had the series continued on? Something that, you know, maybe they might have gotten to or something even that in your own mind that you thought you could bring to the table that you just never got the chance to?
DB: Well, the action hero wannabe in me would’ve loved something along those lines. I mean, even with the episode “Time.” I remember Rob coming up to me and saying, “Dave! You’re gonna shoot an automatic rifle in this episode!” And I was like, “Oh! That’s amazing!” And he went, “Oh, you know what? Actually, no. It’s gonna be the camera guy because it’s from your point of view.” And I’m like, “I don’t even get to shoot a gun when my character’s shooting a gun?!”
Which in the end is part of the reason I approached him and said … I asked him if I could shoot it. I don’t know if anyone knows that, actually. They were … well, yeah, it’s in the behind the scenes. I was very lucky in that I begged them to let me do the camera work for the episode “Time.” And in the end, they let me do it, which is amazing. So everything from Eli’s perspective? That’s from my perspective, actually. Wearing these little “Geordi [La Forge]” glasses. It’s crazy.
DB: I would’ve liked the action side a little bit more. Which I think, hopefully, would’ve happened. I would’ve liked to explore more of his relationship with Ginn. You know, I feel like they never really got the chance. And it’s always fun. And she’s a fantastic actress. It’s always fun to play that relationship. I liked the idea of his friendship with Scott and trying to see where that went. And the growth of … kinda the father relationship he had with Young … seeing it turn into more of a colleague.
And that … just a continuation of where it was, really. I thought it was … he was headed in a great direction. I’m curious to see where it would’ve ended up. I wouldn’t minded shooting some things and blowing some things up, though. A planet here. You know, a spaceship there. Just blow everything up a little bit. [laughter]
NEXT: The television landscape without Stargate, and David’s latest projects