SGU This Week: "Pain" (Spoilers)

Stargate Universe episode “Pain”, written by Carl Binder and directed by William Waring, premieres tonight (May 14) on Syfy at 9 PM ET and on Space at 10 PM ET!

The Story

No one can deny that the stress levels on the Destiny are high and that some people can handle them better than others, but when an unprecedented number of what appear to be breakdowns—in the form of unsettling hallucinations—occur concurrently, it’s time to look for other causes. The question is, Will Lt. Tamara Johansen be able to find the cure before someone is hurt…or worse?

The Story Behind the Scenes

Vanessa James in PAIN
Julia Benson (Lt. Vanessa James) was nominated for a Leo Award for her performance in PAIN (MGM/Movie Web)
Stargate fans are already familiar with the significant role a supporting character can play in the telling of a story. Where would SG-1 have been without Apophis or Ba’al or Adria or Jacob Carter or Bra’tac or Sgt. Walter Harriman? Where would Sheppard’s team have been without Dr. Radek Zelenka or Major Evan Lorne or Todd the Wrath or Michael Kenmore? In the case of Stargate Universe, some of the stories we’ve seen thus far were enhanced by the presence of Dr. Jeremy Franklin or Dr. Dale Volker or Adam Brody or Dr. Lisa Park or Lt. Vanessa James.

This dependence on supporting characters comes to the fore when we look at the story “Pain” and at the evidence that two of the three nominations for “Best Supporting Male/Female in a Dramatic Series” for the 2010 Leo Awards are for performances in this particular episode: Julia Benson as Lt. Vanessa James and Patrick Gilmore as Dr. Dale Volker.

In his weblog, creative consultant Joseph Mallozzi wrote about Benson’s award-worthy performance: “Speaking of our impressive cast, I want to make mention of yet another recurring player who has really stepped up over the course of this first season. Julia Benson … plays the role of Second Lieutenant Vanessa James and, like much of our supporting cast, impressed early and continues to do so with performances that have won her the respect and confidence of the entire writing-producing team. I mention Julia because we were watching the director’s cut of Pain the other day, an episode in which she delivers one stunner of a scene. I’m also looking forward to her nice, meaty moments in an upcoming episode.”

Dr. Dale Volker in SABOTAGE
Patrick Gilmore (Dr. Dale Volker) was also nominated for a Leo Award for his performance in PAIN (MGM)
For Gilmore’s performance, we can point to writer Carl Binder’s Twitter for his impression, “Gold star for @PatrickGilmore today. Great, creepy, unsettling work.” And Gilmore responded, “Thanks to @cpbinder for the ‘Pain’ & the gold star. Crazy last day of the episode. Bruised forehead & an exciting #SGU episode to prove it.”

Adding to this praise, Mallozzi described what he was feeling after viewing the Day 2 Mix, “Joel Goldsmith did his usual spectacular job and I was particularly impressed with the moody and unsettling score for Pain. It really ratchets up the tension. And, speaking of tension, what happens to Volker…it’s enough to give me nightmares. Actor Patrick Gilmore’s performance was terrific – in a creepy, frisson-inducing way.”

Apparently, editor Brad Rines hit the mark and then some, as well, since he too was nominated for a Leo for his work for this episode (for “Best Picture Editing in a Dramatic Series”).

Putting all of this noteworthy work together from several aspects of the production, it sounds like we should take extra care to prepare for a pretty intense ride!

Watch and Rate

Once you’ve seen the episode, make sure to return to Solutions to vote in our front page poll and to read the chatter that’s sure to take place on our Stargate Twitter Superfeed.

NOTE: Viewers in Australia will be getting “Pain” on the Sci Fi Channel on Friday, May 21, at 8:30 PM, and the UK’s Sky One viewers will see it Tuesday, May 25, at 8:00 PM.

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