The following article contains spoilers concerning the locations and sets for Stargate: Continuum, the second direct-to-DVD movie being produced over the next few months by Robert C. Cooper and Brad Wright.
Filming Location: March 23-29
MGM released a news report about the 15-person crew that will be shooting scenes for the movie:
“Stargate: Continuum,” which is being co-financed by MGM and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, will shoot a variety of scenes on location in the Arctic ice, located approximately 200 nautical miles north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. In addition to the frigid outdoor environments, the filming will also involve U.S. Navy submarine USS Alexandria (SSN-757). Among the most visually stunning and dramatic scenes to be filmed at the location involves the submarine as it bursts through the ice and into the cold Arctic air with temperatures hovering around 50 degrees below zero.
The crew includes Martin Wood, director; Peter Woeste, director of photography; Richard Dean Anderson, actor (Gen. Jack O’Neill); Ben Browder, actor (Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell); Amanda Tapping, actor (Lt. Col. Samantha Carter), and others. Producer and writer Brad Wright and MGM executive Charles Cohen are also said to be among those spending a few days at the frigid location.
Vancouver Sets Mimic Arctic Location
Concern was raised by fans that Michael Shanks (Dr. Daniel Jackson) was not included in the Arctic crew even though the storyline for the movie indicated that he should have been with the other three. Although Michael Shanks himself was not available for the shoot as he is filming his four-episode arc for FOX TV’s 24, Daniel Jackson will be making appearances in these scenes with the team through the magic of filmmaking. Shanks will film Daniel’s scenes on sets in Vancouver, including those in a refrigerated area and submarine mimicking the locations his fellow castmembers are currently experiencing for real in the Arctic. (This information was reportedly revealed by N. John Smith at the Vancouver Creation Con held this past weekend and has been reiterated by Darren Sumner of Gateworld on the site’s forum.)
This is not the first time that Martin Wood has shot scenes in a cold set environment. His Stargate directorial debut was Season One’s “Solitudes” in which the second Stargate was found in the Antarctic. Wood has also had the honor of directing Season Six’s “Frozen” in which the Ancient woman Ayiana was found frozen in the ice not far from the site where the second Stargate was found, and Season Seven’s “Lost City” in which the team finds the Ancient Outpost in Antarctica with the advanced weapons needed to destroy Anubis’s fleet. These locations speak to Wood’s experience in directing episodes significant to the Antarctic story arc, but the news releases have not given away any plot spoilers as to whether the shoot in the Arctic is substituting for Antarctica.
The closest the team has gotten to the Arctic was in Season Four’s “Watergate” in which they visited the Russian Stargate Program base in Siberia and in Season Six’s “Descent” in which they were attempting to salvage Anubis’s ha’tak that crashed in the North Pacific.
As far as submarines are concerned, the Russian Foxtrot class submarine codenamed “Blackbird” in Season Four’s “Small Victories” was involved in the Replicator story arc. The Stargate crew got to shoot some scenes onboard a real submarine, but eventually built a matching set in which they could more easily accommodate various camera angles and the filming crew. Wood directed this episode as well.
Filming Resumes May 22 in Vancouver
The next time the cast and crew will be filming scenes for Stargate: Continuum will be in May on the 22nd. Previously, it had been announced that filming for the movie would start around June 1, but it’s possible, but not confirmed, that the Arctic shooting opportunity changed the schedule. As a result, Lexa Doig, who plays Dr. Carolyn Lam, cancelled her appearance in the Vulcon: Ladies of Sci-Fi convention to be held May 18-20 in Orlando, Florida, in order to be available for filming.
Between now and the resumption of filming Stargate: Continuum, the cast will be filming the first direct-to-DVD movie, Robert C. Cooper’s Stargate: The Ark of Truth, concluding the Ori story arc. The filming of this movie is scheduled to start around April 15 (SCI FI WIRE’s website once stated April 17 in a sidebar), and will take approximately four weeks.
MGM is aiming to release these two DVD movies in the fall of 2007.