Brad Wright’s podcast “Conversations in Sci-Fi” is back with its fourth installment, and it’s a fascinating conversation not just about Stargate but also the past and present of film and television production. Stargate’s TV co-creator welcomes actor David Hewlett, who played the lovably irascible Dr. Rodney McKay — a regular on Stargate Atlantis, but also one of the few characters to crossover to all three Stargate shows.
The newest episode of Wright’s podcast is now available at The Companion. In the midst of their conversation Wright updates the actor on his new Stargate project and whether it might include Dr. McKay. (More on that below.)
The two also talk about everything from Travelers and Hewlett’s appearance in the Stargate Universe episode “Seizure” to learning tough dialog, “The Shrine” (which Wright wrote), David’s sister Kate (who played his on-screen sister Jeannie), and the challenges of storytelling for modern audiences.
“[Acting] allows me to do everything I want to do,” Hewlett told him. “You’ve made my dreams come true with Stargate. It’s been fabulous — absolutely fabulous.”
He said that he never minds being approached by strangers because of the roles he has played. “I loved playing that part,” he said. “I loved my time there. I just had the best [time]. When people say, ‘Do you want the show to come back?’ I [always say], ‘Yes!’ Purely because of me! Just because I loved it.”
Despite his character’s personal flaws, Hewlett said that he envies Rodney’s brain.
“Man, am I jealous of his databanks of knowledge,” he said. “One of the joys of playing McKay is that I got to look up lots of stuff. And I found myself more and more sucked back into my old love of technology, and science, and all that stuff. The writers and producers were all the same, weren’t they? They all loved all the science and tech stuff as well.”
Wright also offered his thoughts on the state of what he hopes will be the next Stargate show, which (as expected) seems to be waiting on Amazon to complete its $8.45 billion acquisition of MGM. He pointed out that the sale will take time to go through regulatory approval — and that honestly he’s used to it, with MGM being bought and sold a half-dozen times since Wright first started working for them in 1994.
“I can’t imagine Amazon is not going to take advantage of the IP [intellectual property]” that is Stargate, he said. “I mean, that’s why they bought MGM. Whether or not they want to include me is probably still up in the air! But I had a development deal with MGM and was working on a pilot just as COVID hit, and that slowed the process down considerably. … We’ll see what happens. But there is a project in development.”
“I hope something happens again. I think, with or without me, there will be. Definitely.” And “if I get a chance to do it, McKay is part of that universe. Absolutely I would bring you in. … I think it would be difficult not to bring in a new, younger, more present-day team. But the people who were the frontline people 15 years ago would still be very much around.”
When Hewlett joked that McKay could come in to lecture for a “Stargate Academy” show, Wright laughed: “You’re a little too close to the truth! [But] we go beyond the academy.”
In response to a listener question Wright said that he thinks today McKay would be devoting his brainpower to rescuing the crew of Destiny. (That was in the cards for a movie pitch that Wright made to MGM circa 2010, to try and offer some resolution to the story after SGU was cancelled.) Perhaps the idea could be resurrected for a fourth live-action TV series set in the same universe.
Hewlett also talked about working with Guillermo del Toro on the Oscar-winning film The Shape of Water, and on del Toro’s forthcoming psychological thriller Nightmare Alley. And he hints at working with Atlantis co-star Jason Momoa on See, which has been announced since this recording was done.
Don’t miss the full conversation between David Hewlett and Brad Wright now over at The Companion! A 30-minute preview is available for free, and the complete 79-minute cut is accessible to subscribers.
The site is currently offering 50% off of an annual subscription, but GateWorld readers can save an extra $10 off the first year by using the code GATEWORLD at checkout. Our thanks to The Companion for making this available to Stargate fans.
Wright and The Companion also recently teased a new project for Stargate fans: a table reading for an episode of Stargate written by an A.I. After feeding an artificial intelligence every episode of the series the computer will produce its own original episode script … and then Wright will assemble as many Stargate cast members as he can convince to join in for a table reading! We’ll be sure to follow this one and bring you more as it develops.
Next up for Brad Wright’s “Conversations in Sci-Fi”: writer-producer Naren Shankar will be Brad’s first non-Stargate guest. They go back to their years working together on The Outer Limits. After that, Shankar went on to serve as an executive producer on such genre favorites as Farscape, Grimm, For All Mankind, and The Expanse. This will be a conversation not to miss.