First Aired: October 2 & 9, 2009
When a research team is forced to evacuate their secret base, they find themselves on board a derelict Ancient vessel that is many galaxies away from Earth — a ship with a worn-out life-support system and hull breaches will suffocate them in a matter of hours.
- After 12 years in production the team behind Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis chose to take a decidedly different turn with the third series in the franchise, announcing months before it was officially picked up by Syfy Channel that the show would be called Stargate Universe. Producers wanted to push themselves in new ways, with a darker tone and more focus on the inner lives of a large cast of characters.
Their biggest challenge was to make the show both like Stargate (to appeal to long-time fans) and also new and different, to try and draw in new viewers.
- In the days before production began in early 2009 we knew two big things about SGU: The show wouldn’t have a main antagonist like the Goa’uld or the Wraith, and it would explore the mysterious ninth chevron — a part of the Stargate evident on screen but never explored in the franchise’s 12-year history. As it turned out, the dangerous and costly task of dialing the 9-chevron address would lead not to a distant planet, not back in time, but to an unmanned ship launched by the Ancients millions of years ago: Destiny.
- The pre-production process including name changes for nearly all of the show’s main characters. (Take a peek at the original character breakdowns.) Nicholas Rush was originally David Rush. Tamara Jon became Tamara Johansen. Chloe Carpenter became Chloe Armstrong. Eli Hitchcock was to be Eli Wallace. Ron Stasiak was renamed Ronald Greer. And Lt. Jared Nash? Let’s call him Matthew Scott instead.
- One of the conceits of the show’s premise: the Stargates are not a next-generation model, as humans had discovered on Atlantis, but in fact a model much older than the gates we know and love from the Milky Way Galaxy. That means that the white-chevron gates have a more limited range, and cannot dial to any other gate in their local galaxy (making it all the more difficult to keep up with Destiny when the ship jumps away without you).
- Several of the supporting roles in the 3-part series premiere are played by actors who previously played other characters in the universe of Stargate: Ona Grauer (“Ayiana”) was recast as Colonel Young’s estranged wife, Emily. Patrick Gilmore (“Dale Volker”) had bit parts in “Morpheus” and “Harmony” (playing a Genii soldier). Julia Benson (“Vanessa James”) had played Willa, one of Lucius Lavin’s wives. And Glynis Davies (“Maryann Wallace”) had played both a young Catherine Langford (“1969”) and a Langaran Ambassador.
“Air” (Parts 1, 2, and 3) on GateWorld:
- Episode Guide (Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3)
- Episode Transcript (Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3)
- Fan Reviews (Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3)
- Photo Gallery (Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3)
- Screencap Gallery (Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3)
- Discussion Forum (Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3)
- Stargate Universe Season One Podcast
- “Air, Parts 1 & 2” Podcast
- “Air, Part 3” Podcast
- Interview with Brad Wright & Robert C. Cooper (2009)
- Interview with Brian J. Smith (2009)
- Interview with David Blue (2009)
- Interview with Elyse Levesque (2010)
- Interview with Mark Savela (Visual Effects, 2009)
Rewatch “Air” (Parts 1, 2, and 3) this week! Then post your comments below, or head over to the “Air” discussion forums and see what people were saying back in the day. What are your favorite moments?
Each week we’re highlighting a favorite episode from Stargate’s 17 seasons. Watch the episode with us this week and join in the fun!