SGU Audition Sides Reveal Characters, Technology

Stargate Universe Banner from MGM

Auditioning for the cast of the new Stargate television series Stargate Universe is still ongoing as additional information for three of the regular characters has just recently become available.

The following contains possible spoilers, but it must be noted that the information is coming from audition sides and not necessarily from an actual script. As with the audition sides put together for Tamara Johanson [or Jon], Eli Hitchcock, and Jared Nash, these audition sides might simply be to obtain a feel for the actors’ ranges, rather than reflect actual story points.

As stated in the casting breakdown made available by Stargate actor Morris Chapdelaine in his blog, Col. Everett Young is in his 40s, handsome, capable, and a former SG team leader. He’s a newlywed, was the commander of an off-world base, and is very much like Jack O’Neill in doing whatever it takes to see that his people survive. Unfortunately, like O’Neill, Young has lost people under his command before, an experience that has given him a sharp edge.

In Young’s audition sides, Young shows his rather tough and in-charge side against Dr. David Rush, who is mentioned by creative consultant Joseph Mallozzi as his favorite new character. “Oh, he’s going to be a handful,” Mallozzi declared. Rush was not listed as a permanent member of the SGU cast of characters, however, so his appearance beyond the pilot remains to be seen.

In the audition sides, Rush and Young discuss a lottery that is to be held for selecting a small crew to fly the shuttle to a planet from the Destiny. Rush and Young have obvious animosity, revealing that Rush thinks that he should be in command rather than Young; Rush believes Young is in command by “circumstances” only. Young calls Rush a “self-serving prick” and things stay pretty much at that level throughout the scene.

Additional characters who are mentioned in the sides who might appear in the pilot are “Scott” and “TJ”. Scott is a pilot and the prime candidate to fly the shuttle to the planet. TJ has great survival skills. Rush proposes that Stasiak (that’s Ron “Psycho” Stasiak, a 20-year-old Marine) take his own place on the shuttle because he’s strong, capable, and will help the crew survive, and Young is surprised at the recommendation because he thinks Rush hates Stasiak.

SGU Shuttle Bridge (image from Sci Fi Wire)

Some of the concept art for the shuttle mentioned in the audition sides was published by SCI FI WIRE, but Mallozzi said that the final design decisions for the Destiny itself have yet to be made, but they’re close. The Ancient Shuttle design is supposedly older than the Puddle Jumper’s, which was known to have existed when Atlantis was still located on Earth in Antarctica some five to ten million years ago. The mission of the Destiny was started by the Ancients at the height of their civilization and before the plague swept through the galaxy, which caused them to turn their attention away from exploring the universe to attempting to achieve ascension. It is possible that the Ancient Shuttle can fit through the Stargate like the Puddle Jumper and be used in the same way as the Atlantis Expedition used the small craft, but the audition sides didn’t make it clear exactly how the Shuttle was being used (i.e., through the Stargate or directly to the planet), and the concept art makes the Shuttle look too large to fit through a “standard” Stargate.

In a rather bizarre scene from the audition sides for Chloe Carpenter, Chloe and Eli Hitchcock use the long range communications devices to inhabit people’s bodies on Earth and infiltrate a bar where Chloe, in the body of someone else, finds out what her “friends” really think of her. Chloe finds out that these people associated with her only because she is the daughter of a US Senator. Eli tries to comfort her, saying that the only person who really cares for what happens to him is his mother. They are both scared being trapped on the ship, but can’t deny the excitement of it all. They also realize that using the communications devices to live out their lives is not right and in Eli’s words, “screwed up”.

Vala uses Daniel as a communications conduit in Crusade

These devices sound similar to the ones that require the long range communications terminal and stones that Daniel and Vala used in “Avalon Part 2” and “Origin Part 3” when they initially made contact with the Ori in their distant galaxy. This technology is older than even the Stargate, having been part of the Altera-Ori society long before the Altera arrived in the Milky Way galaxy (which has been estimated to have been at least 50 million years ago based on the crystal technology found in the DHD with the Antarctic Stargate).

After Carter developed an emulator, Vala was able to make contact with SG-1 through Daniel, whose data was used as a baseline for the emulator in “Crusade”. The technology worked something like this: If one side of the connection merely has a stone, or a stone emulator, then the one with the terminal and stone takes over the other’s body. It appears that the Destiny has similar technology, but it’s not certain if Chloe and Eli were inhabiting the bodies of volunteers or unwilling participants nor whether or not there was a need for stones or stone emulators to complete the link to the people on Earth.

Use of this long range communications device might be how the crew of the Destiny will stay in touch with Earth while unable to physically return home (via the Stargate or the ship itself). It might also shed some light on Mallozzi’s recent statement: “[Earth] will play a part in SGU – but in a very unique way. … It’s possible we may see some familiar SG1 faces in SGU.”

And finally, in the audition sides for Ron Stasiak, Ron and Tamara are in Tamara’s personal quarters where they were asked by Col. Young to meet. Stasiak insists that he doesn’t need a shrink and makes it clear that Tamara is not one, even though she did take a class in psychology in her undergraduate studies. Tamara is concerned that Stasiak has kept to himself, yet he’s basically first in line to save another’s life. Stasiak brushes off her attempt to understand him when she challenges him about his anger. Stasiak gets down to the nitty-gritty and tells her that he is what he is and she should be thankful for it. Then, he makes a strange comment before leaving: “You ever been dead? … Try it sometime. Changes your whole point of view.”

Stargate Universe is being aimed at a younger audience than the one that SG-1 and Atlantis attracted. Co-creator Robert C. Cooper recently described the show in an MGM interview: “It says Stargate in the title, but it’s also going to be something that is very different in tone. It will certainly have a Stargate in it, but is going to be unlike anything Stargate we’ve ever done before.”

Mallozzi tried to describe the show to his weblog readers by comparing it to other shows currently on television: “Now given that some of you have started comparing SGU to existing shows on the basis of what little information has been released thus far, I thought it might be a good idea to help paint a clearer picture of the show. And so, to those of you looking for standing comparisons, I’d say more Lost than Battlestar, more Dr. Who than Heroes, more The Office than My Name Is Earl.” Of course, this description doesn’t mean much to those who don’t watch some or all of these shows.

One thing that Mallozzi did say that might be more easily understood is that “there are threads that run through all the stories, in essence making this season one big 20-parter. … And while SGU will be more serialized than its predecessors, it … , like SG-1 and SGA, … will be accessible to first-time viewers looking to jump on at any point.”

Cooper stated in his MGM interview, “Our target is to start shooting early February and be on the air in July of ’09.” Stay with Solutions as we continue to update the Stargate Universe Guide in the Stargate Wiki.

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2 thoughts on “SGU Audition Sides Reveal Characters, Technology”

  1. Nice write-up! I think you’ve unveiled the mystery of the Earth connection. If the body-swapping goes both ways, it’s a way for familiar faces to sort of appear on Destiny. Not sure I care yet, but it’s interesting to see the development progress.

  2. nice detailed write up
    i still dont like the idea of a 20+ yo marine with a dark past he should be 30-40yo
    and if the body sawp thing is 100% in the show then it should only be for short durations maby once every two or three episodes
    im happy to hear that the stargate are still in the show

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