SG-1 Spoilers: The Ark of Truth


Filming is currently underway in Vancouver for the first direct-to-DVD SG-1 movie, Stargate: The Ark of Truth, written and directed by Robert C. Cooper. Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi has been publishing pictures from the set of the movie in his personal blog.

The following contains some spoilers for the movie.


SG-1 will be going to the Ori’s home galaxy in search of the Ark of Truth and for the underground resistence in order to stop the next wave of warships in the Ori’s crusade in the Milky Way, with Earth as their primary target. Not really knowing if the Ori are truly dead, the team risks a very short trip in the Odyssey, but they feel that the risk is worth it.

From images published by Mallozzi from the beginning of the movie’s shooting schedule, it appears that SG-1 makes it to the Ori’s galaxy. The sets appear to represent a prison and the standard medieval-like village of the Ori home galaxy (such as Ver Ager and Ver Isca), bringing a feeling of familiarity to the Ori’s strict handling of their humanity. According to Mallozzi, dailies produced on one day of shooting included Daniel, Vala, and Teal’c in a sandy setting, perhaps indicating that the team is split up once they arrive.

Included in Mallozzi’s entry for May 1 are images of the testing of the stunt gel used when full-body burns are done. Mallozzi commented:

So I was strolling across the lot today […] when I happened to notice a guy in a funny suit having his face smeared with gel. I suspected something was up. I suppose the guy standing off to the side clutching the flamethrower tipped me off. SG-1 Stunt Coordinator Dan Shea waved me over and explained they were about to test a fire-retardant gel for Ark of Truth. As I looked on, everyone took a giant step back and the guy with the flamethrower opened up, torching the test subject. Happily, the stunt man was not reduced to a crispy chicken wing despite enduring temperatures of 300 degrees Celsius (that’s 572 Fahrenheit!).

Those who’ve seen the Inside the Stargate Special Effects Department featurette in the Season Nine DVD collection were given more details about how a full-body burn is done when the stunt woman Melissa Stubbs performed the burning of Vala stunt in “Avalon Part 2”. The “fire gel” contains aloe and other properties that protect the stunt person from being burned, but blisters can still result if the fire gets to be too hot. Stubbs said that she soaked her NOMEX flame-resistant underwear in the gel overnight and that it ended up being freezing cold. The gel is also applied to all exposed skin.

In the burning of Vala scene from Season Nine, Dan Shea tested the material of Vala’s dress and the proper gel applications to make sure they performed the stunt safely. A full-body burn can last up to fifteen seconds, but because Stubbs was to have a mask over her and breathe through a tube, her time was limited to about eight seconds. As Shea called out the seconds, Stubbs moved as if in pain from the fire, but according to her, she didn’t know she was on fire, which is a good thing because she wasn’t feeling the heat of the burn, and trusted that her stunt crew would keep her safe. Stubbs commented that if you feel the heat while covered in the fire gel, it’s too late, and the stunt has gone on longer than it should have.

Dan Shea tests Vala burn Melissa
Dan Shea tests gel and dress material for Vala’s burn. Shea helps Melissa Stubbs remove gel after the burning of Vala stunt.

Stunt Coordinator Dan Shea tested the burn before Stubbs performed it, so seeing a man testing out the fire gel on the lot of the studios for The Ark of Truth gives no clue as to the gender of who ends up being burned in the movie.

Filming for Stargate: The Ark of Truth is to be completed May 8, and then the film goes into post-production. Stargate: Continuum, the second direct-to-DVD movie to be released, written by Brad Wright and directed by Martin Wood, will resume filming this month in Vancouver.