Those who visit Stargate Atlantis executive producer Joseph Mallozzi’s weblog have been treated to daily entries that have offered countless tidbits of behind-the-scenes information about the production of a sci-fi television show. He’s even given his readers access to ask questions that are answered by others involved with the series.
And now, he’s letting us know that things are winding down in the production of the final season of Atlantis. “Well, yesterday was the final day of shooting for many of our regular and recurring actors: Rachel Luttrell, Jewel Staite, Jason Momoa, David Hewlett, Kavan Smith, Sharon Taylor, and Chuck Campbell. Today, marks Bob Picardo last day with us. Joe Flanigan heads to Vegas next week where he will complete filming on Vegas, and the series, alongside guest stars Neil Jackson, Steve Schirripa (The Soprano’s Bobby “Bacala“ Baccalieri), and Frank Vincent (The Soprano’s Frank Leotardo). A bittersweet time for all; me in particular. Bitter in that it’s been a great five years and I will sincerely miss the show and the many wonderful people who made it all happen. Sweet in that I like to sleep in.”
Mallozzi recorded a farewell video from Paul McGillion for the fans and posted it in his September 16th’s entry.
David Hewlett texted on his twitter on the 16th as well, “Just wrapped 5 years of Atlantis…very sad. I have never worked with such a wonderful cast, crew and audience. Thank you and goodnight!”
Mallozzi and Paul Mullie will be writing and producing the first Atlantis movie. Not very many plot details are available as of yet, but in addition to the show’s regular cast, Todd the Wraith, Samantha Carter, Daniel Jackson, and Teal’c have been mentioned as making appearances (Mallozzi said that the third SG-1 movie and the first SGA movie will be filmed around the same time next year, so it is reasonable to conclude that Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, and Christopher Judge will be available for crossover appearances). The survivors of the all-female off-world team introduced in “Whispers”, Teldy, Porter, and Mehra, have also been mentioned as far as the movies are concerned, but whether they’ll be appearing in the first one is still not clear. Solutions readers can review the collection of hints about the movie on the movie’s main page in the Wiki.
On the Stargate Universe front, Mallozzi addressed some of the concerns his regular visitors have voiced regarding the cast breakdowns. Because the majority of the new characters will be in the age range of 20-25, the current online fanbase, which age-wise has skewed somewhat older, might not necessarily be the obvious target demographic for the next franchise installment. Although Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper are the main creatives behind the new show, neither one has worked with the fans like Mallozzi has with his blog, so it was Mallozzi who spoke for the production team: “Speaking of SGU, I notice that much of the reaction to the character breakdowns has been negative. While I respect everyone’s right to express their opinions, I’d suggest holding off on making a final decision on the show until you’ve actually seen it.
“Last week, Brad pitched us the series and its first five episodes and, I have to say, it’s a far cry from the shallow confection many fans are imagining. In fact, in many ways, it’s a much more cerebral and mature addition to the franchise. While firmly entrenched in pre-established Stargate mythology, Stargate Universe definitely strikes out in an exciting new direction. It’s a series that will delight veteran fans, but also appeal to newcomers who may not necessarily know the difference between an Alteran and an Asuran.
“In spite of what the indicators may suggest, this will definitely not be a Voyager 90210. The assortment of characters that make up the character breakdown are certainly an atypical collection of heroes, far-removed from the skilled likes of Jack O’Neill, Samantha Carter, John Sheppard, and Rodney McKay – but there’s a damn good reason for that. Can’t say more but suffice it to say I have a feeling this show will pleasantly surprise a lot of people.”
Stargate Universe is in the process of casting and will begin its production February 4, 2009. The Sci Fi Channel is planning to air the first two hours, the pilot, as a movie, and the remaining 18 episodes will be shown during the summer of 2009.
In the meantime, there are still 12 episodes of Atlantis to make their debut in the coming weeks.