Stargate Solutions Announces New "Coming Soon" Feature

Stargate Solutions Coming Soon FeaturevSolutions is excited to present a new feature to our website: Coming Soon! It’s like walking into the lobby of a theater and looking at all of the movie posters for features that are showing or are “coming soon”!

Here’s the link: You can also get there by clicking on the words “COMING SOON” on our Blog’s white menu bar (above). We’ve also included access to it from our home page.

We’re excited because this new page fills a gap between our regular weekly feature “Stargate Planner” and our actors’ feature pages in “Beyond the Event Horizon” by letting you know in advance about the upcoming movie or television appearances of our Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe main cast members.

The movies may be coming soon to theaters, video, or television, while the television appearances include regular, recurring, and one-time guest appearances. As always, if you have news to add, please contact us and we’ll gladly update the feature.


Creation Los Angeles Con: News and Gallery

The Creation Stargate Convention in Los Angeles, California took place this past weekend, November 5-7. Below is a round-up of news to come out of the con, in particular related to upcoming work and on-screen appearances for actors Joe Flanigan and Michael Shanks. The other actors are busy with their current series, while Michael and Joe have a bunch of things in the works, and we know their fans always appreciate knowing when they can expect to see them in new roles.

Please also head on over to our gallery for a selection of close-up pictures of Joe Flanigan, Michael Shanks, Elyse Levesque, Brian J. Smith, and Chris Heyerdahl!

Joe Flanigan

Joe Flanigan’s 2-hour movie, a back-door pilot currently called Best Laid Plans, will air in the US on Fox on Saturday, January 8, 2011. The project is not yet in IMDB, but we’ll provide a link whenever that happens. Whether the show becomes a series or not depends partly on the ratings for the movie/pilot, and partly on negotiations between the production studio and Fox Network. What’s unusual is that the producers are Procter & Gamble and Walmart, in other words, major advertisers rather than traditional production studios. They won’t try to sell the show to the network, but rather buy the entire hour of advertising from Fox. If the parties can agree on terms, Joe will be the lead of the series, co-starring with Brooke White, a former American Idol contestant.

The sci-fi movie he worked on in Ireland, The Other Side , turned out to have a lot more comedy than was on the written page. Both Joe and the director decided it shouldn’t take itself too seriously. When they saw the cut, the network asked, “what is this? where is our movie” Joe had a blast doing it and feels it should be a lot better than Hewlett’s snow monkey movie. 🙂 There’s no word yet on what The Other Side might air.

The independent film Joe was in, A Good Day For It, is currently being screened in LA in hopes a distributor will sign on to market and release it.

Joe hasn’t heard anything about a Stargate Atlantis movie. He doesn’t understand why it hasn’t been made yet, given fan support. He spoke to someone involved with the company who has taken over MGM and encouraged them to realize the immense value of the overlooked Stargate franchise. He said, “I think what kind of destroyed the franchise, in some ways, was ego and vanity. When that element of ego and vanity that’s sitting there in the franchise right now gets pushed aside, I think the whole thing could be re-tooled. I think it’s the type of franchise that has years in it, and has lots of legs.”

Finally, the mini fan “campaign” to get Joe to play Jim Rockford in a Rockford Files reboot backfired in that the production and network got very annoyed by all of the emails clogging up their lines of communication. However, Joe thinks it was still a great thing to do, and he’s all for another fan campaign for him to play Nathan Drake in the movie adaptation of the video game Uncharted. Visit the link to add your voice to the IMDB message board for the movie!

Michael Shanks

Michael Shanks recently filmed an episode of Fox’s The Good Guys, called “Supercops“. As episode 18 of Season 1, it should be airing in very soon, perhaps as early as November 19, 2010, on Fox. Michael plays a jerk of a SWAT team leader, and producer Matt Nix told him he’s so good at it, he could make a career out of playing jerks.

He is currently filming another episode of Smallville, “Icarus”,  which will be episode 11 of Season 10. It’s scheduled to air on The CW on December 10, 2010, according to IMDB. This time they’re using digital wings for him, and he’s hoping they’re more realistic looking, not to mention easier to manage on set. He appears as both Hawkman and Carter Hall in the episode.

Michael doesn’t know about release plans for the movie he filmed in Tasmania, Arctic Blast. After filming it and seeing some of it during looping, he hopes it doesn’t get released at all. (!) He was clearly disappointed in the filming experience versus what was in the script he signed on for. His exact quote was “Not quite Megasnake, but…”

He doesn’t know of an announced release date for Faces in the Crowd. He hasn’t yet done all of the necessary voice-over work for it, and he’ll have a better idea on release date after that. He said it is “sort of” an independent film. Asked if he enjoyed working with the lovely Milla Jovovich, he related that from the set one day, he texted a friend, “I just spent the morning in bed with Milla Jovovich. How was your day?” The same text to his wife, Lexa, didn’t go so well.

There you have the bulk of the news to come out of the con. Don’t forget to check out the gallery, in which a big zoom lens was used, perhaps in ways never intended by man. If you like super close-ups, have a look. 🙂

Solutions Opens SG-1 and SGA Portals

It used to be that fans of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis would tune in on Friday nights to watch their favorite teams go through the Stargate, get in trouble, get out of trouble, and return home. And now, just because we’re no longer seeing new adventures, it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing new to report! So Solutions thought it’d be fitting to open our new Portals for each show today—on a Friday.

The Portals have the latest news from our Solutions Blog and LJ feeds, links to episode and movie information stored in our Stargate Wiki, updates on the main cast actors, convention schedule, next episode schedule, and a feature box for videos, polls, and other fun fan stuff that might just so happen to come up.

Click on one of the images below to get to the selected Portal, or you can get to them through our blog’s secondary navigation menu above (the white strip) by clicking on the tab for “SG-1” or “SGA” (or better yet, make sure to bookmark them!). We hope to see you there soon!

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Solutions Salutes Robert C. Cooper

On June 19, 2010, Joe Mallozzi surprised fans by revealing in his blog that executive producer Robert C. Cooper was leaving the world of Stargate. Having worked on the shows since the first episodes of Stargate: SG-1, Rob Cooper moved out of his office at The Bridge Studios on Friday, June 25, 2010, after 14 years, an incredible length of time for anyone on a single television franchise. While he’ll have some limited participation in the rest of Stargate Universe‘s second season, his tenure as a full-time executive producer on the Stargate franchise has come to an end.

Because Mr. Cooper’s influence on the Stargate franchise was so extensive, we felt it only fitting to examine and celebrate his contributions, which we Solutions editors have followed since 1998. The material here is gleaned from our site’s archives of episode guides, interviews, and DVD specials, as well as from other internet sources. In the interest of readability, we’re only giving formal sources for exact quotes.

After you read the article, be sure to scroll to the bottom and vote for your 10 favorite Robert Cooper episodes!

Robert C. Cooper, Executive Producer

Robert Cooper began his Stargate career in Season 1 of Stargate: SG-1 as an executive story editor, and he is credited as such through the episode 2.10 “Bane”. While an editor he also wrote five SG-1 episodes, including 1.11 “The Torment Of Tantalus” and 2.02 “In The Line Of Duty”. SG-1 creators Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner must have seen great potential in Cooper, as they promoted him to co-producer beginning with 2.11 “The Tok’ra Part 1”. By the beginning of Season 3, he was a full producer, and by 3.12 “Jolinar’s Memories” he was a supervising producer. Each promotion gave him more responsibility for the many decisions that go into creation of a single episode, as well as for the direction of the show overall.

At the end of Season 3, co-creator Jonathan Glassner left Stargate: SG-1. Mr. Cooper became co-executive producer at that point, meaning he shared show-running responsibilities with Brad Wright. Beginning in Season 7, Brad Wright stepped back to become a consulting producer on SG-1, while spending most of his time developing Stargate Atlantis, with Cooper’s input and participation there as well. For Seasons 7 through 10, Cooper ran SG-1, although Wright was still involved as a producer and writer and credited as co-creator.

Conversely, on Stargate Atlantis, Cooper is credited as an executive producer and co-creator, although he was less involved in the day-to-day producing than he was for SG-1. By Season 4 of Atlantis, SG-1 was canceled and Wright relinquished day-to-day Atlantis show-running duties to long-time producers Joe Mallozzi and Paul Mullie. Cooper and Wright continued to work on new concepts for the franchise, mostly aimed at movies. They wrote and produced the two SG-1 direct-to-DVD movies, whose sales exceeded expectations. One of Cooper’s Stargate movie concepts became the premise for the third series, Stargate Universe. After it was green-lit, they became co-show-runners for Season 1. For Season 2, Mallozzi and Mullie became executive producers as well. Midway through Season 2, Cooper moved on from Stargate, although he will write one episode for the latter half of the season.

In all, Robert Cooper is credited with writing 36 episodes of SG-1 plus the movie Stargate: The Ark of Truth. He was co-writer for a further 11 episodes of SG-1. He wrote four episodes of Atlantis and co-wrote seven more. He wrote one episode of Stargate Universe’s first season and co-wrote five others. For those interested in statistics, Cooper wrote or co-wrote 65 of 336 episodes and movies, or about 20% of the 16 seasons’ worth of Stargate entertainment we’ve enjoyed so far. That’s a uniquely prolific chunk of television.

Robert C Cooper directs Ark of Truth - close-upBeyond the episodes he wrote himself, once he became an executive producer, Cooper had influence over all the elements of the Stargate series, including editing and even rewriting others’ scripts. He partnered collaboratively with Brad Wright to oversee the writing and production staff, the directors, crew, and cast — well over 100 people in all on each show. Along with Wright, he dealt with all the business aspects of the show, working with Showtime, MGM and Syfy on everything from budgets to script approvals to publicity. During the years when SG-1 and Atlantis were in production at the same time, and when Richard Dean Anderson was not available full-time, Cooper added complex scheduling to his list of difficult tasks. Not to be overlooked, he also became a director of some of his own scripts, and those episodes represented his singular vision, often one outside the Stargate norm.

Notable Contributions

Since the production of a franchise like Stargate is so collaborative, it’s often hard for fans like us to pin-point exactly who contributed which aspects to the show. It’s also often been said that no one person contributes in a vacuum, as ideas are bounced around and evolve to the point that no one person can claim credit for the end result. However based on episodes he wrote and what he has said in interviews, DVD specials, and elsewhere, we can infer Mr. Cooper’s contributions with some degree of confidence.

Such evidence leaves no doubt that Robert Cooper created many enduring aspects of Stargate canon, establishing arcs that spanned many seasons and developing the characters audiences came to love. Following is a discussion of some of the many ways he contributed.

Allies and Adversaries

Wraith from SGA 5.19 "Vegas"Many enduring friends and enemies appeared for the first time in episodes Robert Cooper wrote:

A consideration of the list reveals Cooper created villains who were purely villainous. Among the Replicators, Ori, Anubis and the Wraith, none were open to being reasoned with. They operated only according to their own benefit, and mercy didn’t enter into their behaviors. In this sense they were not ambiguous in their evil. Some viewers may argue this made them less interesting, but there was no question it would be a monumental challenge to defeat them.

On the other hand, the allies he created for Earth were not unambiguously good. The Tok’ra had their own secret motives and weren’t above lying about them. Ascended beings at first appeared to be purely good but were revealed to be quite undependable — their arcane and unfathomable rules regarding helping beings on our plane of existence meant they had to be renegades to their own kind to be helpful to humanity.

Looking back on the history of SG-1 allies and enemies in the special Behind the Mythology of Stargate SG-1, Rob Cooper had this to say about how they came to be:The Asgard Thor

Initially what we had was SG-1 were the good guys and the Goa’uld were the bad guys, but the Goa’uld were so powerful that there was really no way that SG-1 even stood a chance. That’s why the Asgard were introduced. In a way, the Asgard were as much an adversary to the Goa’uld as we were, and we became friends with them.

Shortly after the Asgard were introduced, we realized ‘uh-oh, we’ve created an adversary for the Goa’uld that are in fact are so powerful that it doesn’t really make sense why the Asgard haven’t wiped the Goa’uld out.’ And it was kind of looking at that hole in the series that made us invent the Replicators.

Really, the reason we invented the Tok’ra was, how do you get out of the problem of having a Goa’uld in one of your main characters? Well, the twist is what if that Goa’uld was actually a good guy.

The Ancients and Ascension are very much about the continuation of the human soul beyond humanity as we know it… And the idea of the Ancients is that they evolved, eventually they became so knowledgeable of the universe and of the understanding of existence that they were able to shed their human bodies and turn into energy.

In Season 9 came new villains and a significant change in direction for SG-1. Also in the mythology special, Brad Wright gave Cooper credit for giving the show a new start, while still keeping all the groundwork laid out in the previous eight seasons. “Robert, I think quite correctly, said, ‘Look, let’s introduce a new bad guy. Let’s introduce a new long-term large arc that can essentially be a new mythology that’s still very much within the Stargate universe.'” Cooper then explained the concept further:Doci of the Ori from Ark of Truth

I wanted the new bad guys to have the same feeling, to have the same essence, that the relationship with the Goa’uld was at the beginning of the series. They can be posing as gods, but have even more power.

One of the things that we intentionally did was looked at the colorful flamboyance of the Goa’uld and took a decidedly darker approach to the Ori. The Priors are quite obviously the priests in the religion. What’s interesting about them is that, again, they have supernatural abilities. […] I was really interested in making the warriors multidimensional. I really wanted to kind of understand what it would be like on the other side. So, by putting Vala behind enemy lines, so to speak, and having her develop this relationship—I mean, here’s a guy who she really could have probably spent her life with, who just so happened to be a holy crusader.

The Ancients

Heliopolis atomic display from Torment of TantalusOf all the elements Cooper introduced and explored in his episodes, perhaps the Ancients were the most significant to the franchise. Identified initially as the gate builders, their existence, influence, and the technology they left behind became a driving force of Stargate SG-1‘s quest to find The Lost City. This search gave rise to the series Stargate Atlantis, and later a means to wipe out the Ori of SG-1. The Ancients built Destiny and so became the narrative impetus for the Stargate Universe series as well. In the mythological sense, then, the Ancients turned out to be a much more fruitful creation than the Goa’uld, who after all only ruled one galaxy. The Ancients fueled three television series!

Heroes’ Journeys

SG-1 prepares to go through the gateThe story arcs of Stargate reflect Cooper and Wright’s appreciation of The Hero’s Journey, that is, the fundamental elements of mythological storytelling: “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

Cooper has alluded to this literary concept directly, such as when discussing why the teams have four people (SG-1 season 10 aside):

There’s a very in-depth writing theory about groups of four, four characters being the perfect symmetrical number for writing. There was an analysis of the Coen brothers’ movie, ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ about how, within classic storytelling, having four characters is not just creatively, but mythologically, the best scenario.

The Wizard MerlinEspecially in Stargate: SG-1, the hero’s journey is very evident, with SG-1 being the heroic team, and our galaxy being the place of wonder and fabulous forces. The team ventures forth, encounters amazing things, fights fearsome enemies, and brings back knowledge and technology to protect and advance humankind on Earth and throughout our galaxy. There are also individual journeys, such as Daniel’s ascension and return, and Teal’c’s quest to free his people. As in the monomyth, often the team is helped on their journey by wise guides, be it Thor, Oma Desala, or Merlin. Individual journeys end with the characters transformed in some way, as each member of SG-1 matured, grew, and changed their views of and interaction with the universe.

In Stargate Atlantis, the heroic journeys were not as apparent, as the situation in Pegasus became one of survival and reaction right from the beginning. Beyond that, the main quest was that Sheppard and his team were driven to undo the damage they’d done by awakening the Wraith, to save Pegasus from them and other scourges such as the Asurans (Replicators). Still, the expedition members did return to Earth with new knowledge and technology, and the characters certainly did evolve.

In Stargate Universe the idea of the classic hero’s journey seems to have been largely abandoned in favor of other types of storytelling. Rather than a “band of brothers” on a planned journey, nearly all of the crew of Destiny didn’t choose to go on the adventure, and for the most part wouldn’t have chosen each other to travel with. They have no control over their course, and their continued survival is so tenuous that returning home to Earth seems impossibly far out of reach. Moreover, if and when they do return to Earth physically (e.g., not via the stones), the premise of the show would appear to be over. It would be interesting to know if this change was one Cooper chose purposefully, since he was such a strong architect of the heroic form on SG-1.

Major Character Arcs

Ronon fights, from SatedaThe episodes Cooper wrote alone had some fundamental, often unforgettable character developments that became touchstones of the shows’ canon:

Behind the Camera

Cooper at the camera in Ark of TruthCooper branched out to directing beginning in Season 9 of SG-1 and Season 3 of Atlantis. With one exception (SGU 1.14 “Human”), he directed episodes he also wrote and produced, meaning what ended up on screen represented his vision in every essential respect, from casting to editing to special effects. Many of his episodes became fan favorites due to their stylistic distinctness and their tendency to explore new facets of the characters. To be fair, as executive producer he had more leeway with his episodes’ budgets than other directors, and he often said his goal was to make sure every penny spent ended up on the screen.

Cooper’s first foray into directing was the Vala-centric 9.19 “Crusade Part 1”, which, while featuring intense special effects, was filmed more-or-less in the typical Stargate style. Next was the Ronon-centric SGA 3.04 “Sateda”, whose style was quite a departure for Stargate, especially due to its extraordinary fight sequences featuring Jason Momoa. These had the multi-camera shooting typical of The Matrix or a John Woo movie. The film treatment was different too, with blue-tinted hues and ethereal lighting. On-line fans responded to this episode very positively, both for its insights into Ronon and its fresh look. SGA 4.04 “Doppelganger” was also stylistically unique and action-oriented, exploring in dream-like sequences the deepest fears of the Atlantis crew. It was also well received.

Cooper and Flanigan on set of "Vegas"Perhaps the Cooper-directed episode most beloved or at least most discussed by fans was SGA 5.19 “Vegas,” which was shot in a CSI-style on location in Las Vegas, and set in a completely alternate universe. In an extensive Q&A at Joe Mallozzi’s blog, Cooper talked about the episode in detail, from the practicalities of shooting to some very poignant observations:

The most difficult aspect of shooting in Vegas was, as always, a lack of money. Sorry, but that’s what it usually comes down to. We went way over budget on this episode but it’s never enough. Money equals time. We had two days to shoot something that we needed much more time to do properly… A lot has been said about how different Vegas was from the series. I think it’s refreshing to try different things every now and then… This was a tragedy. The hero always dies at the end of a tragedy. It’s a dark story about a lonely man with a broken past who sees a chance to be a hero and possibly end his life-long pain.

Cooper wrote, produced, and directed one of two Stargate DVD movies so far, Stargate: The Ark of Truth. From a viewer’s perspective, the movie was not a huge stylistic departure for SG-1. What made it especially memorable stylistically, aside from the great visual effects, were the mountain scenes shot from a helicopter, some featuring Teal’c. There was also an incredibly long fight sequence with Cameron Mitchell fighting a human-Replicator hybrid. Cooper did another revealing Q&A for Ark of Truth, and he was asked if there are dangers to being the producer, writer, and director all at once. He provided some great insights on the benefits of doing all three jobs:Rob Cooper and Claudia Black laugh on Ark of Truth

Sure there is danger in taking on all three roles. It’s a minefield where the mines are very close together. But there are also benefits. I can see the big picture as far as the production goes. I understand every facet of what is going on screen. For example, I can limit the budget by writing a scene in a set I know we already have thus saving the money for a big shot I have planned with a helicopter. Or I can tell the production designer to only build three walls of a new set instead of four because I already know how I’m going to shoot the scene. A director hopefully tries to achieve the vision of the writer with the time and money allotted. As producer, I can put money where I think the director really needs it. And on set, I know exactly what I mean as a writer but may not have conveyed properly on paper. It saves a lot of phone calls. I think the crew and cast will tell you its a lot more convenient having the writer/producer there to clear up any issues they might have with the director. Also, if the director gets behind, the writer might be able to cut some scenes by re-writing a few lines. Now, it’s always helpful to have more brains. I have benefited greatly over the years from creative collaboration with many people. That’s why I try to listen to my fellow writers/producer’s opinions and talk endlessly with other more experienced and talented directors.

Controversies and Campaigns

It’s fair to say Robert Cooper experienced all sides of fan reaction to the decisions he, Brad Wright, and their colleagues made. Those that caused the most unrest involved character relationships, character deaths, and associated casting changes. Here’s a rundown of the major fan controversies in which Cooper was clearly in a decision-making role, and some examples of his reaction to them:

O’Neill/Carter “Ship”

Jack, Kerry, Sam in "Threads"Cooper was very aware of the pro- and anti-“relationship” aspects of fandom, especially with regard to Jack O’Neill and Sam Carter. From this interview:

We get the polar opposites of, we want to see shipping, and non-shipping. […] I think that people are afraid that if Sam and Jack get together, it will destroy ‘Stargate’. It will be all about their relationship, and not be about going on adventures. That’s ridiculous. ‘Stargate SG-1’ is never going to be a soap opera in which all we talk about are how people feel about each other and not about whether we’re going to save the world or fight the Goa’uld or go on missions through the Stargate. […] These are people who work very closely with each other. Of course they’re going to develop close personal relationships. […] There is some fun sexual tension between Carter and O’Neill. That we are exploring that as drama this season should be no surprise to anyone.

While Brad Wright took responsibility for the Jack/Sam “ship” flavoring of the early part of Season 4, Cooper was apparently responsible for the Sam Carter/Pete Shanahan arc of Season 8. This seemed on the surface to be counter to Carter/O’Neill ship, but the Sam/Pete break-up in 8.18 “Threads” strongly hinted that Carter was still attached to O’Neill, and that perhaps O’Neill was equally unable to move on to other relationships. Therefore Cooper recently had this to say to fans who accused him of being “anti-ship”, in response to Joe Mallozzi’s list of Cooper’s best ten episodes:

May I suggest Threads as a possible replacement. I propose that one only to respond to those who suggest I was anti-ship. Good grief. How much more ship can I get?

Daniel Jackson and Jonas Quinn Arc

Daniel about to ascend from MeridianPerhaps the most volatile and long-lived fan response to any Stargate development was to the departure of Michael Shanks, which played out as the ascension of Daniel Jackson and his replacement on SG-1 with Jonas Quinn, the man whose cowardice had in part doomed Daniel. A relentless fan campaign followed that went on throughout Season 6 until it was announced Shanks would be returning to play Daniel on a full-time basis. Cooper gave a few interviews during this period indicating his views on the matter.

From this interview conducted while Daniel was gone:

I wrote ‘Meridian,’ but Brad Wright was the one who first suggested the new character of Jonas. I agreed with him. I thought it had a nice symmetry. The fans of Daniel Jackson have been very upset about his leaving and thought we were unfair in not giving him the proper send-off. They felt he at least deserved an entire episode of his own in order to be able to say goodbye properly. To me, I think there is something very interesting about having his work, his life, honored by someone culpable for an ending.

Daniel Jackson as Arrom in 'Fallen'And from this one, just before Daniel’s return episode aired:

We like to think that he never actually went away. You know he did sort of request some time off and he was frustrated. I think he felt that his character was not necessarily taking the track that he had hoped for. But you know what, after five seasons and a lot of different ups and downs for his character I think maybe he just, you know, it’s a long time to be on one series and he just needed a little bit of a break. We left the door open for him certainly within the Stargate universe. He ascended in an episode called Meridian and went to a higher plane of existence. He was in three episodes the following year. So it wasn’t like he went away completely, and then at the end of the season we talked and sort of mutually agreed that it would be great if he wanted to come back. And he has and I think come back with renewed energy. People who watch the premiere on Friday I guess will have seen a Daniel that very much resembles the Season One Daniel. The wide-eyed, excited, happy to be here, Daniel Jackson.

Jonas Quinn and his banana in 'Descent'And this about Jonas:

I love the character of Jonas. I think he had a wonderful arc and there was some great closure to his character. He kind of went on this great journey of being considered an outsider, a traitor to his country and to his planet, and then kind of growing and learning about what’s happening in the galaxy and in the world of ‘Stargate’, and then going back as a hero and kind of becoming a leader of his own world. I think that was a nice story, it was a nice arc. Daniel Jackson was the guy from the feature film who started it all, and has a much grander arc to be fulfilled within the world of ‘Stargate’. Jonas is not dead! He’s still out there.

Death of Janet Fraiser

Janet Fraiser and Daniel Jackson with wounded Wells in 'Heroes'Another decision that earned Cooper a fan campaign was the one to “kill off” Dr. Janet Fraiser during the two-part Season 7 episode “Heroes”. In interviews, Cooper said he wanted to do a tribute to the “real” military, and that he was sure Season 7 would be the last for SG-1 anyway. Nevertheless, skeptical fans decried the decision as one motivated by ratings-grabbing or as an unnecessary shock to fandom. During his commentary for “Heroes Part 2” for the Season Seven DVDs, Cooper explained his reasoning and reflected on why he selected Dr. Janet Fraiser to represent all the service personnel who have died both in real life and on the battlefields of the Stargate world:

It was a nerve-wracking script…because I knew that people were going to react. Even in the room when I said, ‘What if we kill Fraiser?’ everyone kind of [gasped], ‘Whoa! Oh…you’re not really thinking of doing that, are you?’ Then, [it was] how we were ultimately going to try and pull it off. These things can come off horribly—very badly—very uncomfortably bad drama—and I didn’t want to do that to her character. I didn’t want to make the character melodramatic…

There’s a lot of people who were very upset about this episode and the fact that we decided to kill off a major character, but I think it’s one of those things—People are always asking me why is Stargate so successful? Why has it lasted so long?—The characters are people we love and yes, we don’t want to see them die, but at the same time, they’re living in a real world—they’re living in a world we can identify with and this is the real military, this is the Air Force, and maybe the Stargate Program is really going on—and so here are these characters we’ve gotten to love and care about in real jeopardy. You can’t have real jeopardy unless once in a while you prove that something is going to happen that has consequence.

Sam Carter in 'Heroes'One of my strongest feelings was, having worked with the Air Force on the show for so long, is that whether you agree or not with the decisions made by the powers that be, the people in the field, the soldiers, have chosen to give their lives for all of us, for our freedoms. I know I wouldn’t be much good in a war, on the front line, and I’m very, very thankful that there are people who are doing that job for my own freedoms and I think that, to me, was what was most interesting about the episode. Stargate is a metaphor—it’s a wacky metaphor—it’s science fiction—it’s fantastic, certainly, but it’s also about people who go out and risk their lives every day for the rights and liberties and freedoms of everybody on the planet…

Certainly people have died over the course of seven seasons in Stargate and I thought it was important to show that we do care when that happens, that it’s not callous… I wanted to show that we do care and those people are important and the dedication that they’ve devoted themselves to is extremely worthy, whether you agree with the political choices that are being made at any given time. I think that’s why it had to be someone we cared about. If we just had introduced Joe Red Shirt and tried to make you fall in love with that character, then killed them off, it would have been cheap.

There were other notable, much lamented character deaths in Stargate, notably Elizabeth Weir and Carson Beckett of Stargate Atlantis, and these also resulted in fan campaigns. Since Brad Wright was more prominent in running Atlantis, he took more of the heat for those decisions. Still, at the 2007 Comic Con, when Rob Cooper was asked what he has against doctors, he assured the audience dryly that it was only Scottish people they hated. This prompted the many Beckett fans in the audience to wave the Saltire flags that had been handed out by the campaign, which was quite an appropriate response to Cooper’s statement.

Robert Cooper’s Stargate-related Awards and Nominations

Rob Cooper’s work has been recognized in writing, directing, producing, and even life achievement categories:

  • 2010: Nominated, Directors Guild of Canada, for directing Stargate Universe episode “Human” (winner not yet announced)
  • 2010: Nominated for Constellation Award for best overall science fiction film or television script, for Stargate Universe episode “Time”
  • 2010: Winner, with Brad Wright, et al, of Leo Award for Best Dramatic Series, for Stargate Universe
  • 2010: Nominated for Leo Award for directing Stargate Universe episode “Human”
  • 2010: Winner, Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award, for Stargate Universe episode “Time”
  • 2009: Winner, with Brad Wright et al, of Leo Award for best Dramatic Series, for Stargate Atlantis
  • 2009: Winner of Leo Award for Best Direction in a Dramatic Series, for Stargate Atlantis episode “Vegas”
  • 2009: Winner, with Brad Wright, of Leo Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • 2007: Winner, with Brad Wright, of Constellation Award for Best Overall 2006 Science Fiction Film or Television Script, for Stargate: SG-1 Episode “200”
  • 2007: Nominated, with Brad Wright, for Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, for Stargate: SG-1 Episode “200”
  • 2005: Nominated, with Brad Wright, et al, for Leo Award for Best Dramatic Series, for Stargate Atlantis
  • 2005: Nominated for Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, for Stargate: SG-1 Episode “Heroes”
  • 2004: Nominated, with Brad Wright, et al, for Leo Award for Best Dramatic Series, for Stargate: SG-1
  • 2004: Nominated for Leo Award for Best Screenwriting, for  Stargate: SG-1 Episode “Heroes”

Final Thoughts

Rob Cooper waves to Joe MallozziWe’d like to end by thanking Robert Cooper for all the ways his work on Stargate has entertained us, surprised us, made us laugh, made us cry, and yes, sometimes made us yell at our TVs. As fans we might not have appreciated every aspect of his decisions at the time, but we never doubted they arose from his passion for Stargate and the final product. Now we can look back on many hours of television that resulted from Mr. Cooper’s work, that on balance have greatly enriched our experiences as Stargate fans. We wish him all the best wherever life takes him next, and we hope he’ll keep in touch with us from wherever that is.

Now, please take a moment to vote for your 10 favorite Cooper episodes! To see the current poll results in order of number of votes, visit our poll results page.

Pick Your Favorite Episodes of Stargate

Now that we’ve been given all of the episodes for Season One of Stargate Universe, it’s time to select our favorites. Pick your Top 5 favorites from the poll below. You can visit this poll anytime by visiting our SGU Hiatus Page.

If you’re looking for polls for Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, visit our Polls Archive. These polls are from our 13-4-13 feature that we did at the start of this year, and the links to each article are included with the polls for the sake of completeness.

Hang Out with Solutions During SGU's Hiatus

Now that the Season One finale of Stargate Universe has aired, we’re looking at a summer-long hiatus! What are you going to do? We’re inviting you to hang out with us here at Solutions at our new SGU Hiatus page!

The new page gives you dynamic SGU-related goodies, such as MGM’s official countdown and the feeds from three different sources close to Solutions’ heart: our News Blog, our LJ Companion, and the SGU Destiny LJ Community, which has strong ties to this editor.

We will continue to keep track of the actors and the production by monitoring the Internet, including executive producer Joseph Mallozzi’s weblog. Spoilers for Season Two episodes will be put in our Stargate Wiki, while we report news and other items of interest here in our News Blog or in our LJ Companion. There are some fun and games and other fannish things going on at the SGU Destiny LJ Community that you might like to join in on or keep track of, such as Caption This!, rewatches, fanfiction, and member artwork.

So, make sure to bookmark the new SGU Hiatus page and jump in!

NOTE: The page can be reached through the secondary menu above by clicking on “SGU”.

13-4-13: Stargate Universe 1.0, Feature Wrap-Up

SGU Season One Cast

It’s hard to believe, but that time has arrived! We’ve reached the final installment of our Thirteen Weeks for Thirteen Years (13-4-13) series. You know what that means? That means that new episodes of Stargate Universe resume next week on Friday, April 2, at 9 PM ET/PT on Syfy! Canadians watching Space will also see it on April 2 at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT. Australians getting Sci Fi will see it April 9, and UKers getting Sky One, April 13! (For more information on these schedules, visit the Stargate Universe main page in our Stargate Wiki.)

In the meantime, let’s look back at the beginning of the third series in the Stargate franchise. Premise-wise, Stargate Universe had been in the making for several years, first as a stand-alone Stargate movie, then as a series. Brad Wright told The Official Magazine, “The germ of Stargate Universe began as a movie by Robert Cooper [series co-creator/executive producer], as do many of our ideas. We always come up with a movie, pitch it to MGM, and they say, ‘Terrific, let’s make it a TV show.’ When we were spinning the film idea, we knew deep down that Universe was really a series because it had so much scope.

“Oddly enough we pitched Universe a couple of years before we actually thought we were going to end up doing it. We went to the Syfy Channel with the idea and it appeared to be really well-received, but then a very long time went by without us hearing anything more. At one point we thought, ‘Oh, well, it looks like it’s not going to happen,’ and then we received the series order. It came as a little bit of a surprise. Honestly, I expected Atlantis to go another year, and then we’d either have another year before Universe started up, or we would just wind up doing a couple more direct-to-DVD Stargate movies. Now, however, we’re doing Universe, which, believe me, is great.”

Getting down to the driving force behind the change in Stargate‘s proven 15-season signature of maintaining a sense of humor while not taking themselves too seriously, co-creator Robert C. Cooper explained to the Canadian Screenwriter Magazine, “What I really wanted to do was to shake up the approach to the show. I wanted us to move stylistically in a very different direction. We had made a plot-driven, action adventure show previously. The characters were fun and interesting, and one of the key reasons people liked the shows was because of the characters, but when people tuned in they knew what to expect: the crew would get into some trouble, go through the gate, have an adventure and then come home after saving the world. I don’t mean it in a derogatory sense, but it was a comic-book adventure, with larger-than-life bad guys, all about bad vs. good—very broad, primary colours. I felt like we had done as much of that as we could possibly do.

“I pitched the idea of doing something slightly more real as a character drama. It’s a sci-fi show: you’re still dealing with space ships. But I wanted the characters to feel real.”

Reaction to this change in format has been mixed, but ultimately, the first season of Stargate Universe has been deemed successful enough that a 20-episode second season was ordered (and is currently filming). Stargate Universe indeed is quite different in style, but still at the heart of it is the foundation laid in the previous twelve years’ worth of work done for both Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis.

Universe Season 1.0

If you haven’t had a chance to watch SGU 1.0, there’s going to be a marathon on Syfy to lead into the new episodes on Friday, April 2, starting at 11:00 AM ET!

The SGU Ensemble Cast

Cast interviews have been aplenty for the newest Stargate! Here at Solutions, we’ve reported on several, both here in the Solutions Blog and at our less-formal LJ Companion. Recently, we’ve added tags to both places that will lead you directly to the reports. We’ve also started actor and character biographies in the Stargate Wiki. Click on the following links to get you to your favorite’s entries (clicking on the image will get you to our Gallery’s larger version):

Robert Carlyle as Dr. Nicholas Rush

Robert Carlyle
(Dr. Nicholas Rush)
Louis Ferreira as Col. Everett Young

Louis Ferreira
(Col. Everett Young)
Brian J. Smith as Lt. Matthew Scott

Brian J. Smith
(Lt. Matthew Scott)
Elyse Levesque as Chloe Armstrong

Elyse Levesque
(Chloe Armstrong)
David Blue as Eli Wallace

David Blue
(Eli Wallace)
Alaina Huffman as Lt. Tamara Johansen

Alaina Huffman
(Lt. Tamara Johansen)
Jamil Walker Smith as MSgt. Ronald Greer

Jamil Walker Smith
(MSgt. Ronald Greer)
Ming-Na as Camile Wray

(Camile Wray)
Lou Diamond Phillips as Col. David Telford

Lou Diamond Phillips
(Col. David Telford)


Did you enjoy our journey through the years of Stargate in this Thirteen Weeks for Thirteen Years series? Would you like to see more series of this type in the future? If so, what would you like to see? Let us hear from you in the comment section below, or contact us through our e-mail address. Thanks. 🙂

Introducing Actors…Beyond the Event Horizon Feature

Empty Actor Chairs in front of an active StargateSolutions would like to present our newest feature to the website, Actors…Beyond the Event Horizon! It’s designed to give you dynamic news on what’s happening with your favorite regular cast members of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis now that their shows are no longer in television form.

Not only will you get the latest from Solutions Blog and our less-formal LiveJournal Companion, but you’ll also have access to pertinent links such as official websites, twitters, and biographies. With one click, you’ll be able to find the actors’ convention and appearance schedule kept up to date by the folks over at Stargate Actor Appearances. And, we’ve done some investigating to find images of our actors in roles that they’ve played since they became part of our Stargate family, showing the diversity of their talent.

To get to the top level index to Beyond the Event Horizon, simply click on the “Actors…” tab above (next to BLOG in the secondary navigation menu). You can also get directly to an individual actor’s page by simply selecting his or her name from the drop-down menu that appears when you hover over the “Actors…” tab.

Created by fans for fans, the feature belongs to all of us, so if you have an image to contribute in the slide shows or have updated information, please just let us know and we’ll add it in. Enjoy!

13-4-13: Stargate Atlantis Season Five

Stargate Atlantis Season Five Cast

Yet another cast change occurred as Stargate Atlantis entered its fifth season; Amanda Tapping moved on to Sanctuary and Jewel Staite and Stargate veteran Robert Picardo were added to the opening credits.

Richard Woolsey and Dr. Carson Beckett in ENEMY AT THE GATEAnd after some very intense campaigning, it worked out well for the Dr. Carson Beckett fans, too, as Paul McGillion returned for five episodes that each had him involved in a significant way in the story. McGillion told Pop Culture Zoo, “[The fans] have been so incredibly supportive of the show and of Carson Beckett. Obviously, without them Beckett wouldn’t have come back and I’m really grateful to them for that.”

Dr. Daniel Jackson with Dr. Rodney McKay on AtlantisAnd finally, for all of the Dr. Daniel Jackson fans, there were the two mid-season episodes that saw the man who discovered Atlantis finally visit it during less pressing times and explore the city in the only way that the curious archaeologist could. Most of Daniel’s time was spent with McKay, and actor David Hewlett wrote in his blog right after filming, “We’ve just finished the two-parter where I had WAY too much fun with the…can’t say enough great things about him, Michael Shanks. That guy is such a star – funny, charming and the consummate professional…all with no attitude either!…I was bugging Mallozzi to bring him back after about an hour of working with the guy!” According to writer/producer Martin Gero in the DVD commentary for “First Contact”, they actually would have seriously considered bringing Shanks in as a regular on the show for its sixth season, but unfortunately, that didn’t pan out, because, shockingly and amazingly, the show was not renewed!

And thus we’ve reached the final week for Stargate Atlantis in our Thirteen Weeks for Thirteen Years (13-4-13) series, and it feels way far too soon. The reasons why the show had to end after having had only five years and winning the People’s Choice Award and reaching the incredible 100th episode milestone still aren’t totally clear, but now Atlantis fans anxiously await the filming of Stargate: Extinction to resolve some of the plot threads that were left rather obviously dangling in the wind.

Atlantis Season Five

Pick your favorites in our poll below. And as always, it would be lovely to hear from you in our comments at the bottom of this article.

Joe Flanigan

From “Being John Sheppard” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #24 (Sept./Oct. 2008):

“I have a very specific belief that the show is successful because of the chemistry of the characters, and because I don’t think the show takes itself too seriously. I think that is really important. You can take yourself very seriously, you can say a whole bunch of profound things, and everything can be really dramatic, but you better be awfully good. The odds are you are better off doing a $150 million science-fiction movie that is serious, but when you are doing a 44-minute television show for $3 million, you have to know what your limitations are. I think we’re lucky that we have likeable characters and you see us having fun. We are making fun of the genre a little bit, and making fun of ourselves. Knowing when the adventure is urgent, and when it’s kind of funny is important. Comedy and humor are probably the saving grace for us. It allows us to keep going, I think.

John Sheppard and Rodney McKay share a quiet moment in THE SHRINE“As far as this season goes, it seems they have me and Jason working together more, which is always good because it probably means we are going to do some action sequences. We did one episode [‘The Shrine’] where you could say David Hewlett is senile but there’s no real word for it because it’s a fictional disease, and it is a very good episode. It’s nice to do character pieces because everyone wants some character development. On the show, a lot of the time we are engaged with some exterior problem where you don’t have time for character development, so when you do get a script that has some development, it’s nice. I think everyone did a really amazing job, and everyone has really great moments in the episode.”

From “Joe Flanigan: The Adventurer” at SciFiandTvTalk’s Blog (Apr. 6, 2009):

John Sheppard tormented in REMNANTS“[In ‘Remnants’], that’s where my character basically gets stuck in his own head, for lack of a better way of putting it, although both he and the viewer doesn’t realize this until the very end. Dr. McKay [David Hewlett] and Dr. Zelenka [David Nykl] discover a probe at the bottom of the ocean under Atlantis and it creates a phony physical environment inside your head. However, it’s one in which, for Sheppard, you can still feel pain. We had Robert Davi back for this episode and some rather dark things happen in it.

“’Remnants’ is one of those scripts that’s almost always better when you see everything that was shot cut together because there are all sorts of bizarre little storylines going on. I thought it was a clever script and a challenging one to shoot. For example, when Koyla tells Sheppard that he’s just a figment of his imagination, as an actor it’s very difficult to go from, OK, my character is getting the crap beat out of him, to realizing that he’s in no real physical danger. It’s an odd transition and we couldn’t quite figure out how to play it, so I hope that it worked out in the end.

John Sheppard and Michael Kenmore fight in THE PRODIGAL“That big fight scene [in ‘The Prodigal’] took a great deal of time and energy to shoot, and I love that stuff. Any action-oriented show is always going to be one that I’m not only interested in doing, but also watching. I think adventure and humor is a winning combo every time. You can do spooky and funny stories, too, but the combination of those basic elements is always the right way to go. Sometimes we go in a heavy conceptual direction, you know, like ‘The Daedalus Variations,’ which was challenging in a different sort of way to do because it was VFX [visual effects] dependent. If the VFX don’t work out it can kill the whole show, and oftentimes they [the producers and director] can’t quite describe to the actor what the VFX is going to be. So you’re trying to react to something that hasn’t even been created yet, and you just pray to God that you’re acting at the right level. Hopefully the threat that they then create using VFX isn’t bigger, or smaller, than you’ve anticipated. It’s kind of a tricky situation to be in.

John Sheppard in fight with Michael Kenmore in THE PRODIGAL“So ‘The Prodigal’ was one of those basic types of stories that you could sink your teeth into. It’s a great episode and Connor [Trinneer] did a terrific job in it. Bam Bam [stunt coordinator James Bamford] worked on the fight scene for a really long time. However, I then threw him a curveball because they had planned out this big elaborate fight and I said to him, ‘I’m sorry, but my character just isn’t Mr. Jujitsu.’ Sheppard would probably get his ass kicked and barely hold onto his life. He’s a great soldier, but a pretty sloppy fighter compared to Teyla. He tends to improvise, so we had to rearrange the fight a little bit.

John Sheppard dangling on the ledge in THE PRODIGAL“Carl Binder [Atlantis executive producer and writer of ‘The Prodigal’] and I agreed that the point of this fight was to show how painful it was. I wanted to convey pain, disorganization and fear, whereas the fight originally conveyed an almost Crouching Tiger-type quality. That was cool, but it wasn’t my character. I felt bad for poor Bam Bam, who had worked so hard on the fight, and then I came along and kind of changed the whole thing. I was like, Michael needs to hit Sheppard and he falls to the floor. Maybe then he grabs Michael’s leg and bites it or whatever. Michael is clearly a better fighter and Sheppard has to do whatever he can to make it work out in his favor. So we were able to make some changes and I think it worked out better for us. It’s the difference between watching Bruce Lee and Harrison Ford. The characters they play get into these difficult fights, but one is a martial artist and the other is someone who improvises and just hopes he gets out of the situation alive. It’s an important character distinction, especially for someone like Sheppard, who has a team full of Jujitsu experts, Dr. McKay not being one of them. [jokes]

Det. John Sheppard in VEGAS“Sometimes it’s such a life and death thing for our characters that you don’t get a chance to see them enjoying the adventure. It’s almost as if they’re always fighting for their lives, but Sheppard does enjoy it. It’s like a wild ride for him. Also, he doesn’t have his personal life together, so this has been a replacement for what would otherwise be a normal, healthy functioning life on Earth, which is non-existent for him. Sheppard doesn’t know anything else. As long as he keeps getting Budweiser in space he’ll stay up there.

“[‘Vegas’ is] the script that I’ve been the most excited about all year. You not only learn a lot more about Sheppard, but also I think what’s important about this particular episode is that it sets up the fact that we all live in these parallel realities, and there are infinite and different Sheppard characters throughout these alternate universes. I’m really happy, for one, to go to Las Vegas, where they have free drinks and I can play blackjack, and, two, to get to play a totally different character. On top of both those points, I enjoy Earth-based stories and ‘Vegas’ is a really interesting and well-written script that can hold its own.”

From “Captain Fantastic!” in Stargate SG-1/Atantis: The Official Magazine #26 (Jan./Feb. 2009):

Detective John Sheppard of Vegas“Shooting ‘Vegas’ with Robert Cooper [was the highlight for me this year]. We shot most of it already out in the Okinaga valley, which is stunning. It looks great because we’re shooting on film, and it was written to capture behavior as opposed to dialogue. A lot of times our shows become about incredibly elaborate plotlines that we don’t have the time or the money to show so we have to explain them. The curse falls primarily on David Hewlett to do that. And doing it in any kind of entertaining fashion where people don’t turn the channel is a major success. But this particular show is not heavy on dialogue, thankfully, except for David Hewlett! Now that I think about it, David actually saves this episode because he explains the whole thing in two scenes! So it’s a lot of fun. I also like Robert Cooper. I like working with him. I think I have a connection with him in terms of the character. He’s written a couple of great episodes for my character.

“I’m going to miss you guys [the fans] a lot! I hope that you are with me on the next project. It’s been an awful lot of fun, and I hope I get to do science fiction for the rest of my life. I do. The fans are awesome. I was warned that I might have weird experiences with sci-fi fans, but, I didn’t have any really weird experiences. The truth is I don’t think it’s weird to be loyal and passionate.”

David Hewlett

From “Close Up: David Hewlett” at MGM’s Official Stargate Website (Jun. 3, 2008):

Rodney McKay in GHOST IN THE MACHINE“You know, [Richard Woolsey is] a bureaucrat. And McKay understands bureaucrats because up until Atlantis, he kind of was one. He’s the academic version of a bureaucrat; he wants everything by the book, by the things that he’s read. So there’s this weird sense of complete and utter disgust at the fact that he’s taking over, but at the same time, he’s not going to argue with someone who takes the safer route through things. McKay’s generally not the one to leap into the fray! So I think there’s a sort of begrudging agreement. It puts McKay in a strange position, because he somehow sees himself somewhere between Sheppard and Woolsey. Somewhere in between those two, there’s a McKay, because McKay definitely has to dial up the hero thing once in a while, but for the most part he’s probably more Woolsey than Woolsey.

“The episode I’m most excited about so far is called ‘The Shrine,’ which we’ve just finished shooting. It’s Brad Wright’s triumphant return to writing scripts for Atlantis, and it’s just great. It’s a really meaty McKay episode, but the great thing about Brad is that he may write episodes that are kind of McKay-centered, but he’s so good at bringing in all the other characters as well. So it’s just a great ensemble piece where I get to do some acting. I love running around shooting things and techno babble and all, but it’s just nice to go, ‘Wow, I actually have to act…’ I can’t just have fun I actually have to do some serious work!”

From “Science Friction” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #26 (Jan./Feb. 2009):

Rodney McKay confesses love for Jennifer Keller in the videos in THE SHRINE“The lines [in ‘The Shrine’ are the highlight of the season for me.] But for ‘The Shrine,’ we did all of the video stuff in a couple of hours one afternoon. We sat and knocked off every different stage of this disease in literally two hours. Basically, it was Brad, Andy Mikita and myself and a very slimmed down splinter crew. This is the way I like making films—with tiny little budgets and tiny little crews. We got to establish exactly where we wanted to go with each session of this breakdown, so that really set the tone—it was great. What was really nice is that Brad Wright was there. I did all of those lines with Brad, which was fun. It’s very hard to look at Brad Wright and tell him that you’ve loved him for some time. He cried, which was very funny! We were doing the scene, and he started crying. I asked him, ‘Are your crying? Hey! You’re crying because your lines are so good, and not because of the way I’m delivering them!’ It was also a great episode for cracking up the other actors while they’re all doing their ‘acting’ stuff—I’m supposed to be in my own little world, so they were prefect targets.”

Rodney McKay barely tolerates Daniel Jackson in FIRST CONTACTFrom “Stargate Atlantis’ David Hewlett – The Deconstructed Man” at SciFiandTvTalk’s Blog (Jan. 19, 2010):

“The dynamic between Daniel [Michael Shanks] and McKay is not a particularly friendly one. He shows up on Atlantis to do some more research, and my character is not happy because McKay then gets stuck taking him around the city while dismissing Daniel’s theories about various things and then ending being horribly wrong on many occasions. The two of them eventually get pulled off to another planet where they meet an armor-clad race, and then get to become a bit of an armor-clad race themselves.

“It was terrific to have Shanks on the show and fun, too, as I got to sort of pick his brain because he did this [Stargate] for so long. As for our scenes together, well, we both talk incredibly fast, and I’m not used to lines being picked up so quickly and thrown back at me in such a way, because Michael adds in these cool little character-related things. The guy is amazing. I don’t know how he does it, and not only that, but he gets younger every time I see him. Actually, the whole SG-1 cast is on some kind of reverse aging process, whereas I’m on an advanced aging process. By the time we finish this conversation I’ll have aged 10 years.

Rodney McKay in the Lost Tribe's suit in THE LOST TRIBE“As I mentioned, Michael and I ended up in those armor-clad suits for a period of time. All I can say is, I now have a new respect for those people at Comic-Con who dress up as Storm Troopers [from Star Wars]; I don’t know how they stand it because you sweat buckets in an outfit like that. That’s what happened to me in that spacesuit. Of course, Michael glowed and was in a really good mood. Again, we had a ball. There’s some fantastic back and forth banter when Daniel and McKay get together, if I do say so myself. You’ve got that great sense of McKay being up against someone who’s as smart as he is and knows as much as he does, so there’s a lot of attitude being exchanged.”

From “Science Friction” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #26 (Jan./Feb. 2009):

Rodney McKay speaks his mind in BRAIN STORM“Unlike the other characters who came in and developed, the weird thing with McKay is that he came in developed, and tore himself apart—you see why he is the way he is. That was a lot of the fun of it. Basically, you’ve got a guest star role who’s there to cause trouble, and he gets kicked up to Siberia or wherever he was. All of a sudden they go back and start pulling him apart, ‘OK, he’s a complete knob about this, why? Let’s learn why he’s the way he is.’ With sci-fi, I think there are a lot of people who feel an affinity to that kind of character. A lot of people into sci-fi are very smart and not always terribly good socially—I know I wasn’t—and part of the whole love of sci-fi is about escaping. The idea that there’s this guy who’s like you is very appealing. He can’t get his smart out fast enough, he has no social boundaries, he says exacty what he thinks, and he does everything you want to do. For me, that stuff usually requires a lot of drinks—McKay just does it! He says whatever he needs to say and then goes, ‘Oh.’ I love him. I really love him. I make jokes about it, but I’ve learned an awful lot from McKay. What you see is what you get with him, he doesn’t try to be nice if he doesn’t fee like it, but he does try when he wants to.”

From “Close Up: David Hewlett” at MGM’s Official Stargate Website (Jun. 3, 2008):

“The scary thing is I feel like I’ve learned a lot from McKay. People always laugh when I say this, but I’m actually quite shy and retiring. I’m not really good with people, I’m not really good in first impressions, I’m not very good at social scenes. And McKay’s kind of given me this like ‘Well, they all hate me anyway’ attitude. It’s given me the freedom to get out of my skin a bit, and it’s given me a certain confidence. And also, to be fair, as an actor, there’s a confidence in having a regular job. One of the hardest things as an actor is to not base how you feel on whether you’re working or not, because so much of your time as an actor is spent not working. But when you’ve got a job like this, and especially a character like this who is so much fun to play, it’s hard not to enjoy yourself.”

From “Science Friction” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #26 (Jan./Feb. 2009):

Jennifer Keller and Rodney McKay together in ENEMY AT THE GATE“I already miss McKay. Being an actor is kind of like playing the lottery, I mean, you get these roles and some of them stick and when they hit, it’s an amazing thing. I think McKay was one of those roles. I find it weird to let that go. But at the same time, I don’t have to yet. I don’t want to sound trite, it’s like when you break up with a woman, you never really get over them until you meet someone else. And with McKay, I hope I’m not always going to miss him. I hope there will be other characters that resonate the same way. McKay is a great character and I hope he’s not a once in a career character. So, basically, I’m kind of excited because maybe there’s another… I have a sneaking suspicion that McKay is not going to disappear—I think we’ll see him again. …”

Rachel Luttrell

From interview with Fantasy Magazine (Oct. 1, 2008):

Teyla Emmagan in SEARCH AND RESCUE“[Teyla has] matured, definitely. She’s come into her own and she’s become stronger. Her journey has become quite broad and extensive. She’s become a very grounded and stronger just because that’s what the situation has called for. I mean just the fact that she’s had a baby definitely has caused her to change.

“I think that she’s pretty much made up her mind at this point, not so much where she’s going to put her focus but where she’s going to divide her energies. She’s still part of the team. She’s come to terms with the fact that what she does is dangerous, that when she goes out on a mission it might be the last time that she’s sees her child but she’s determined to make the galaxy a safer place, especially for him.

“Throughout the past few years, I’ve grown with Teyla, and the shifts she’s undergone have been reminiscent of my own life. I’ve become a mother as well. I think I’d like to see her have a little more fun (laughs). I would! I’d love for her to have some fun and light in her life. To have a moment where she has a sigh of relief. A moment to relax and show a softer side.

“With each character and each personality, Teyla responds in a different way. We have Robert Picardo this year as Richard Woolsey. Woolsey is kind of prickly, but Teyla is inclined to give people the chance to show their true nature. She shows compassion towards him, and in the end, he’s won her over. … I mean, Teyla leaves Torin with Woolsey and trusts him to find the dad.

Teyla Emmagan in THE SEED“I connect with all of them in different ways; even with Woolsey there’s a connection.

“With each of the team members she has a personal kind of affection towards them. After ‘Missing’ she has an affection for Dr. Keller. Dr. Keller rises to the challenge and she knows about the pregnancy first. And of course with Sheppard there’s a kindred spirit connection between them that’s been there from the beginning. With Ronon there’s the great relationship that they have since he’s also from Pegasus. And the only one to share any connection to what she’s gone through. But they all are important to her in different ways.”

From “Queen of Atlantis” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #26 (Jan./Feb. 2009):

“[Teyla’s] journey has been very broad, actually. She’s gone through a lot. I look back to season one Teyla, and everything that has transpired, and I think she’s just come into herself. She’s become more of a woman. A very grounded, well-rounded, compassionate and strong woman. I think in the beginning, there was still a bit of the girl in her. Certainly, her relationship with the rest of the team has deepened. In terms of self-discovery, she has had all of these unique skills that, in the beginning she was uncertain about— since then, she’s learned a lot about herself and her own powers and capabilities. I think I started off with a character who was filled with potential, and I’ve ended up with a character who’s still very ripe with potential, but who’s quite weighty and centered.

Teyla Emmagan as Wraith Queen with Todd in THE QUEEN“It’s an honor to be able to play such a character. It’s so wonderful to be able to bring a character to life, who is a woman, who is strong physically as well as intellectually, but without being a bitch or being masculine in any way. She didn’t lose any of her femininity, or strength—that was something I didn’t want to compromise on. … I was very clear that that’s what I wanted to do with her. I’ve had a lot of strong female role models in my own life and one of them have been bitchy! They’ve all been great women. Let’s face it, that’s what we are, that’s what we do!

“I’m sorry but I can’t say ‘The Queen’ [can be considered a stand-out moment for me this year.] That was a hell of an episode. I’m still nursing my son and there I was as a freak monster holding my wee one! Thank goodness he’s so above all of it that he thought it was hilarious. I’d been putting green facemasks on to make sure he was OK. He would look at me like, ‘I know what I signed up for,’ and laugh! Then I knew it was going to be OK, but it was a long, hard episode.

Team on top of the Stargate in THE SHRINE“Sitting on top of the Stargate in ‘The Shrine’—that was a fun moment! We had a ball splashing the water before takes, and we were spraying each other.

“I had a lot of fun with Michael and his demise in ‘Prodigal,’ and being a little bit of a superhero mom. That was good because that’s certainly something that happens when you become a mom—you feel you can take on anything!”

From interview with Sci Fi Now (Aug. 10, 2009):

“You know, there are many things that I would have liked to do with Teyla. I like the direction that she went, certainly, but I still think that there was room to do a lot more in terms of exploring her culture and the fact that she was native to the Pegasus galaxy. I think that there could have been, potentially, a lot more mythology and history woven in there. I’m not going to say that it was a missed opportunity per se, but I just really feel that there was much more depth that could have been explored and it could have been really fascinating.

Sheppard's Team in ENEMY AT THE GATE“Obviously, number one [highlight for me] would be the camaraderie between myself and my fellow cast mates, as well as our wonderful crew. We just had a terrific group of people to work with. It was very fortunate, it doesn’t happen very often…but we all got along with each other. Certainly in the early days we would spend a lot of time with each other and that was a ball, and our crew was great, so the sense of family was fantastic. I also loved being able to play such a strong, vibrant and intelligent, physical character… Teyla wasn’t a cookie cutter, kind of [character]… she wasn’t sexy without intelligence, or smart without the physicality, she was really well-rounded and that was great. It was wonderful to be able to take on such a physical character as well, I hadn’t done that before and so the whole aspect of martial arts and fighting was something that I very much enjoyed as well.”

From “Queen of Atlantis” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #26 (Jan./Feb. 2009):

“I don’t know whether or not anybody will admit this—I’ll admit it—I think everybody’s a little bit sad about [the cancellation]. I was shocked by it. We all had the carpet pulled out from under us because we’ve been doing so well. Paul Mullie and Joe Mallozzi came to my trailer, with their heads hanging down, with the news. We all thought it would at least go one more season.

“I would just like to make sure that the fans know how much we appreciate their support. We’ve all been touched by the outpouring since the announcement. It’s just been wonderful and we appreciate it.”

Jason Momoa

From “Jason Momoa – At Home on Atlantis” at SciFiandTvTalk’s Blog (Apr. 14, 2009):

“I’ve been with this role for four seasons, and at the end of my first year playing him I really began to grasp the character, so much so that now it’s easy to slip into. As far as the action goes, it’s a lot easier than it used to be. I mean, I’ve been walking in these shoes for a long time, and I’m going to be a little sad when this show ends and I’m not playing Ronon. I’ve never really felt that way before. This is the hardest role I’ve ever had. There’s no way that I relate to most of the stuff he does, but I really like Ronon and I think the writers have done a good job with him. Sometimes it’s hard not having much to say as my character, but, hey, that’s Ronon, so I’ve had to let go of that.

Ronon Dex as Tyre's captive in BROKEN TIES“When it comes to the acting, I’ve learned a great deal on Atlantis. I get really nervous on-camera, so I’ve tried to relax and slow down. This season I’ve had the chance to go much deeper into this character and really experiment with him. ‘Broken Ties’ was a huge breakthrough for me, especially when it came to the scenes where I cried. I find it very difficult to cry, and as an actor you have to look inside yourself as much as possible and be aware of your emotions. Thank God I got to work with [director] Ken Girotti on ‘Broken Ties,’ who’s incredible. He got me to relax and would say to me, ‘You know you can do this.’ When you’re on-set and, for example, the lighting people are doing their thing, the camera guys are moving the camera into place, and someone from make-up is powdering your face, it’s hard to channel your emotions. It takes a lot of practice, and I’m not good at getting all emotional and crying. Ken just came up to me and said, ‘Jason, you know what you want to do. You’re there, just relax.’

Ronon Dex is fed upon by a Wraith in BROKEN TIES“When I heard Ken tell me to relax I thought, ‘OK, just breathe into your stomach and listen for a second to what he’s saying.’ When that one word [relax] hit me, it was just awesome. That’s where you think, ‘This is why I do what I do.’ I’ve had times in my career where I’ve been able to stretch myself acting-wise doing those types of scenes. Action helps that entire process because it throws you into that particular moment. As far as the acting, though, when you get to just perform and do your thing, that’s when you truly realize why you love your job so much.”

From “Dex Appeal” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #26 (Jan./Feb. 2009):

“‘Broken Ties’ was my favorite episode, acting-wise. I had these super-human powers, which was pretty cool, and I got to take the badass thing to another level. I got to play evil. It was horrible to come off of such a crazy drug, and doing it in that place is pretty funky. It’s meant to be like heroin times 10, and they really let me go with it and create the pain. There was a lot of pain, but it was fun to do!

Ronon Dex detoxes in BROKEN TIES“I broke two gurneys on the set and the crew were like ‘holy crap!’ I was a broken man by the end of that day—I didn’t have anything left. It was just rewarding to hear them say, ‘I didn’t even know he could do that, he doesn’t even talk!’ That was nice.

“At the end of every season I go up to them and we talk about what I’d like to happen character-wise—like I’d really love to see him beg to be killed, or have a love interest. I wanted to go evil for a while—originally, in that episode my dreads were supposed to get cut off to show the transformation. After I cut my dreads off last season, they made me the wig and we were going to ‘shave’ it off during ‘Broken Ties.’ The Wraith would capture me, torture me and cut all my hair off, as part of the story. The powers that be didn’t like that—Ronon can’t be Ronon without the dreads!”

From “Jason Momoa – At Home on Atlantis” at SciFiandTvTalk’s Blog (Apr. 14, 2009):

“‘Tracker’ was fun because it was just me and David Hewlett, and working with him is always a pleasure as well as laughs and good times. Our two characters are good together because they’re obviously brains and brawn, and now this year they’re fighting over Keller and it’s been great to feed off of that.

Ronon Dex and fellow Runner Kiryk in TRACKER“I have to say, too, that Mike Dopud, who played Kiryk, does a terrific job in the episode. He’s a fantastic actor and we had such a good time working with him. Like Mike’s character, Ronon brought death upon an entire village because of the Wraith, so my character is able to relate to him on that level. However, they’re two testosterone-driven don’t-show-any-emotion guys, but they do share one tiny moment of understanding in the episode. I’m really pleased our writers did something like that, rather than having Ronon put the blinders on and have him just seeing red because this Runner took someone who he loves and respects. It would have been neat if they were able to bring back Mike’s character and have him and Ronon take on some Wraith together.”

From “Exclusive Interview: Jason Momoa” at Cinema Spy (Aug. 11, 2008):

“[I’d like to see Ronon go out in] a blaze of glory, man. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, me and Joe, going out. The unspoken word, looking at each other. We’ve had it happen this year, we do one where we look at each other and he’s like, ‘We’re going to die. It’s an honour,’ and I’m like, ‘Same.’ It’s unspoken and you’re going out with your buddy, firing.”

Ronon Dex in TRACKERFrom “The 100th Episode Wrap Party” video at MGM’s Official Stargate Website (May 21, 2009):

“I’m going to miss playing [Ronon]…he’s a fun character, for sure, but I’m also looking forward to smiling instead of—and not beating people up. I’m sure everyone says it’s like family, but it really is. I’ve met a lot of people I’ll take with me and cherish. I’m going to love coming back [to do the movie]. It’ll be nice to have a little break and come back and—you know, I’ve never really been in a feature, so it’ll be nice to do that: this whole big budget and play Ronon, someone I already know, and just having fun.”

Jewel Staite

From “Close Up: Jewel Staite” at MGM’s Official Stargate Website (May 27, 2008):

Dr. Jennifer Keller in SEARCH AND RESCUE“They called in the fall and told me that we had been picked up for a fifth season, and once contract negotiations began, they asked if I was willing to come on for more time. It’s a great show, a great cast, the hours are great… It’s a very easy set to be on but at the same time, there’s all these extreme situations that we’re playing out every week, so it’s kind of fun. You never really know what your character is going to go through next, so it’s a bit of a challenge as well, which is good. It shoots in my home town and I’ve bonded with everybody – I definitely wasn’t ready to say goodbye, so I was happy to keep exploring the character.

“Keller has definitely become more comfortable with the group. There are more scenes with Sheppard, which I really like because I didn’t have a lot of scenes with him last year. There’s been more development with the Ronon situation and the McKay situation, but of course, it being Atlantis the stakes are high and we’re in constant danger! There’s been lots of stunt work. So it’s the same old, same old, really. [laughs]

“I got a new leather jacket to wear off world. They’ve given me this off-world outfit and solidified me as more a part of the team, so that’s really cool. She’s still a little bit of a ‘fraidy cat, but what I really like about Keller is that she seems to react the way a normal, ordinary person would in a death-defying situation. I think there’s a lot of humor and a lot of realism in that. But she’s learning and she’s definitely becoming used to being in dangerous situations and stepping up to the plate a bit more. So, slowly but surely, she’s getting the hang of it.

Dr. Jennifer Keller overtaken in THE SEED“I feel very comfortable here. I feel like I know everybody very well and they know me very well. I just feel trusted and confident in letting loose with what I can do. I don’t second guess what I’m doing and I don’t worry about whether my choice about something in a scene is going to be wrong, because I feel like I now own this character, and it’s a great feeling. It’s hard to grasp that when you’re just starting a job, especially since you’re essentially replacing somebody who was very well loved in the fandom. It was a little touch and go at first, and I was feeling like the new kid – but that was good because I think Keller felt the same way, so it just seemed to work on set and feel very real. I don’t feel so new anymore. I just feel like one of the gang, which is awesome.”

From “Why Is Jewel Staite Always In Bondage? We Asked Her” at io9 (Aug. 8, 2008):

“No! [It wasn’t fun having the alien spore taking over my body in ‘The Seed.’] It was the weirdest thing in the world. I was basically pinned to the bed literally, they had a prosthetic blanket that went over me, and they glued pieces of the blanket to my face. So once I was in, I was in. It took like half an hour to get out, and then another half hour to in, so if I really really had to go, they would let me out, but I knew it would be a big hassle, so I just laid off all the fluids and I went to the happy place, that’s where I was. Yeah. That was so bizarre. I just laid there and David Hewlett (Rodney McKay) was feeding me at one point. It was a bonding experience. It wasn’t that bad. I basically laid there and relaxed in a very comfortable bed. It could have been worse. An odd way of working, for sure.

Dr. Jennifer Keller kidnapped and bound by Kiryk in TRACKER“In season four, I was kidnapped and bound and gagged. This year, it’s happened to me twice so far. And I just read yet another script where I am again bound and gagged. I don’t know what I did. … I’m starting to wonder. It’s a fetish thing. And it’s the same writer every time that writes the episode where I’m being kidnapped. Maybe he likes seeing me dragged through the woods. I don’t know what’s going on. And you know what? I don’t question it. I guess. At least he’s writing for me.”

From “Exclusive Interview: Jewel Staite” at Cinema Spy (Jul. 30, 2008):

“I think in terms of doing a series, the writers get to know you as a person, besides you as the actor, and start incorporating a lot of your own personality into the character. As time goes on they can’t really help but do that. If you are playing this person every day, there’s a little bit of you that goes in there no matter what you do. I’m very laid back and I talk to everybody and I’m the type of person who gets along with everybody, and I think she’s like that too. It’s not that she has this intense bond with everybody. It’s just a friendly, amiable quality about her that is there. There’s a really interesting scene coming up [in ‘First Contact’] where Woolsey is writing a speech and he’s really nervous about it and she can pick up on that and she interrupts him and says, ‘What are you doing?’ and she sits and laughs with him and relaxes him. I don’t think he’s had that with any of the other characters yet on the show. I like that she’s able to get along, at least, with everybody. She doesn’t have a beef with anybody. She doesn’t have an aggressiveness about her, or any major past issues that bring a certain coldness to her that somebody like Ronon would have, or even McKay.

Rodney McKay and Jennifer Keller admit their love for each other in BRAIN STORM“I’ve been able to help develop the relationship between Keller and McKay a lot more. They’ve become much closer and better friends. I’ve been a lot more involved this year. I signed on for more episodes, so it’s been almost every day and I feel good. I feel like I’ve realised my place here and know everybody and feel very at ease and comfortable. It’s really nice.

“The thing I’m most excited about is her confidence. I’m so happy to see more of that. She was a bit of a scaredy-cat in Season 4 and was apprehensive and kind of shy and full of anxiety a lot of the time. A lot of that is dissipated this year and she’s become more forthright and believes in herself a little bit more and I really like that. She’s becoming a strong female character on the show and that’s always good to have more of those.”

From “Interview with Amanda Tapping & Jewel Staite of Stargate Atlantis” at TVaholic (Sept. 30, 2007):

Jennifer Keller formally dressed in BRAIN STORM“I’m usually just drawn to really well written characters. I don’t limit my career choices on any particular genre. And I guess I’ve just fallen into this world of sci-fi over and over again because a lot of the time in this genre there’s some really well-written, intelligent women characters to play, luckily.

“And as for her biggest strength, she’s really great under pressure. I think that’s when she’s at her best, especially when she’s in her element; anything to do with medicine or a complicated medical situation she’s just there. She’s just on. She’s very, very, very smart and very focused.

“I think [the character moments are] so important in a show like this. I mean there’s so much action and there’s so much going on and special effects and that kind of thing and that’s important, but I think it’s so much more interesting when there are those special moments between the characters where they let their guards down a little bit. I really like that. I think that’s really integral to a good episode.”

From “Shutting Down The ‘Gate: ‘Stargate Atlantis’ Ends Its Five Year Run” at Pop Culture Zoo (Jan. 8, 2009):

“I knew the show was in a groove, having been running for so many years, so I expected a well-run set and a lot of camaraderie. And I couldn’t have been more on the mark. I’ve never worked with such a talented, easy-going crew! I was always amazed at how much we were able to achieve in a twelve hour day, and everyone really seemed to be enjoying themselves. Since I was the new kid stepping in to some hard shoes to fill, I was a little worried about fitting in, but they all made me feel so incredibly welcome, right from the very beginning. I’ll always remember the cast and crew for that.

“Nearing the end of season five, Dr. Keller was just beginning to show her true colors. I would love to explore more of that in the future!”

Robert Picardo

From “Close Up: Robert Picardo” at MGM’s Official Stargate Website (May 20, 2008):

Richard Woolsey at the SGC relieving Carter of command of Atlantis in SEARCH AND RESCUE“I’ve enjoyed not only playing the character but the experience of working with both casts. The writer-producers have treated me very nicely and I think rather amazingly they’ve rehabilitated a character that was originally introduced, not so much as a villain, but as an unpleasant bureaucrat. I think the producers kind of liked me [laughs], and they thought, ‘Well this guy’s not so bad, why don’t we try to bring him back?’ So my next appearance, they rehabilitated him quite a bit by making him a guy that may rub people the wrong way and may be annoying, but at least he means well. He has a high ethical standard and thinks that secret military operations really need to have civilian oversight to stop them spinning out of control. And when he found out that he was being manipulated by the evil senator Kinsey, he provided evidence against Kinsey at extreme risk to himself—career-wise and probably also health-wise! So he’s shown a certain courage and backbone.” [Note: These are references to Woolsey’s first episodes during Season Seven of Stargate SG-1.]

“What I find interesting about this challenge as an actor is I guess the same challenge that Woolsey is experiencing as a character. He is reinventing himself. After years of being a conference room guy, someone who has a great legal mind, a lot of legal training, and knows a lot about military protocol—he knows enough to evaluate anyone else’s command, but he’s never had to make those decisions himself. So it’s fun to take the guy who can so easily come in and evaluate you and suddenly put the mantle of power around him and say, ‘Okay, what are you going to do now? How are you going to handle the same challenges that you used to critique other people over?’ The whole notion of a middle aged man completely trying to reinvent himself is something that I think audiences will find interesting to watch, and I certainly find interesting as an actor to play. It’ll be an interesting evolution.

Richard Woolsey, new at command in THE SEED“I had some chats with Joe Mallozzi. We had got a little comic mileage, especially in the two part episode I did with Richard Dean Anderson [Season Four’s ‘The Return’], where Woolsey is afraid in a dangerous situation. And I said, ‘Well, we certainly won’t be able to mine that territory for comedy any more. We can’t look to the new leader being afraid to lead. But I think we can still find some comic possibilities in his bad people skills. He doesn’t have an easy way of getting on with other people—he can be a little brusque and arrogant. What I find interesting is that he’s aware of his limitations and he wants to work to change them. There was a wonderful moment I had with Amanda Tapping’s character last season. I’m brought into evaluate her character, and I say, ‘It’s been brought to my attention that I can sometimes rub people the wrong way.’ She just looks at me and lets the comment hang, until about four or five eggs are dripping off my face! So he has an awareness that people don’t find him easy to get along with, and he wants to work on that too. That’s part of him building himself into a leader. I love the idea that he wants to leave the boardroom and enter the command room, and I hope that they’ll put him in missions later in the season. In anticipation of that, I chatted to the writers about whether or not he might try to train himself, first physically, and then with regard to weapons and combat, and then try to get some basic boot camp training that he never had because of the career he’d chosen. So I think there could be all sorts of fun possibilities!

Richard Woolsey admits to John Sheppard about breaking protocol in THE SEED“The very first episode that I’m featured in is the second episode of season five, called ‘The Seed.’ Woolsey has to handle his first crisis—which I of course won’t give away. He is immediately amazed at his own behavior, that he chooses to break protocol and not follow the by-the-book way of dealing with the security threat that the base is facing. He turns away from that and makes some riskier choices in order to try to save one of our endangered crew members. The book clearly states, ‘restore security with minimum collateral damage,’ which means sacrifice the one life for the good of the many. He doesn’t do that, and I think he’s kind of shocked by himself. There’s a quite nice scene that I have with Joe Flanigan at the end where he confesses to Sheppard that if he can’t trust the rules that he’s supposed to follow, he doesn’t know whether or not he can really do this. He’s a theorist that’s put in a real situation, and he doesn’t know how much of the theory that he’s memorized he can truly trust to guide his decisions. That’s a major step for his character right off the bat. The Woolsey that you saw in the alternate time line at the end of season four [in ‘The Last Man’] is the guy before he faced this kind of crisis and finds out that he cannot lead effectively the way he thought he would.

Richard Woolsey in command at Atlantis in GHOST IN THE MACHINE“It’s been great so far. We’re only on the fifth episode right now and I appear in four of the first five. So I’ve been having a fun time getting to know my fellow cast members and, of course, the crew. And we’re getting some comedic moments out of the fact that Woolsey is the new guy, who doesn’t know the base very well. He doesn’t know how things work or his way around. So there’s some things with him getting a little bit lost and with him not knowing how to get the doors open, so we have been having some nice humorous moments, which I’m happy about. We’re also learning more about his back story. He’s divorced, obviously married to his work and he doesn’t seem to have a lot of friends. He seems a little lonely in his new position. So I think they’re getting some things lined up for later on, with people trying to get him to socialize a little bit. To let his hair down if you’ll excuse the irony of that image!”

From “The Last Commander” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #26 (Jan./Feb. 2009):

“It’s been a delight! It hasn’t been too terribly taxing—there’s only been about four episodes where Woolsey was fairly heavily featured and there were big dialogue days. After my years of spouting techno-babble on Star Trek it was nowhere near as memory-taxing. You’re allowed to actually change a line or two without having to go through seven layers of protocol, the way you do in the Delta Quadrant!

Richard Woolsey and his imaginary girlfriend in REMNANTS“The most fun for me to shoot was ‘Remnants,’ which Joe Mallozzi wrote. It has a certain emotional journey for the Woolsey character—there’s a good deal of humor in it, but also it has a surprisingly touching pay-off. And, I get to flirt with a girl, which is always a good thing! Woolsey can see this woman that he’s attracted to, and other people can’t. When he becomes aware the he’s going a little crazy because he’s not sure if he has an imaginary friend or not, there are scenes where he’s torn between hearing what the person no one else can hear is saying, while trying to appear to everyone else that he’s not talking to imaginary people. That dynamic is funny. Like Harvey! Those scenes were great fun to play.

“They could obviously go with one of their prior leaders or another leader [in the movies], but the fact that they now look at me as the leader of the expedition is very flattering, and I would be delighted to do it. Also, it’s nice to keep a hand in the genre. I love doing all kinds of acting. I love working on stage, I love doing comedy and I like doing regular non-genre drama on television because it’s fun to do everything. I can’t imagine a better situation than to have an ongoing way of keeping your hand in science fiction, and still have time to do other types of work—that would be the best of both worlds. I hope the first movie gets made, I hope it’s well received and I hope we get a shot at doing more than one!”


13-4-13: Stargate Atlantis Season Four

Cast of Stargate Atlantis Season Four

We’re back to walking down only one path in our Thirteen Weeks for Thirteen Years (13-4-13) series since Stargate Atlantis went it alone starting in Season Four after the mother show Stargate SG-1 ended its ten-year run.

But Atlantis had more than a solo act to be concerned with this year; another change in the regular cast was in store as Torri Higginson and Paul McGillion were removed (but both had guest appearances this season) and Amanda Tapping was added. Also, Firefly star Jewel Staite began a major character arc during this season as the new Chief of Medicine on Atlantis Base, Dr. Jennifer Keller. (Staite was added to the regular cast in Season Five.)

Not only were there these major changes in front of the cameras, but behind them as well. Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper handed the showrunning duties off to writing and production partners Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, who had joined the writing staff during SG-1‘s Season Four. Cooper and Wright were very busy putting together the two direct-to-video SG-1 movies, Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum, but the two still were able to write, and in Cooper’s case direct, episodes for Atlantis.

Of special note to fans of SG-1 were the two guest appearances made by Christopher Judge this season. Teal’c was there to say goodbye to Carter in “Reunion” and he was invited by her to Atlantis to help Ronon Dex gain approval from Earth’s bureaucratic IOA in “Midway.”

Atlantis Season Four

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Joe Flanigan

From “The Fourth Protocol” in Starburst #354 (Sept. 2007):

John Sheppard and Samantha Carter“I will have to admit that I had an unfounded initial fear of having Amanda on the show, which was Atlantis losing its distinction from SG-1. I didn’t want to become ‘SG-2’, and, again, that fear was unfounded. To Amanda’s credit she’s such a pleasure to work with and able to tackle all that incredibly crappy exposition that I want to avoid. Jewel [Staite] is very good at that as well, and I think she and Amanda both have a fan base that will hopefully widen the circle of our fan base. I have to say, too, that I miss Paul McGillion, you know? It’s not a case of either or. If it were up to me I’d love to have everyone on the show.

John Sheppard alone on the balcony he used to share with Elizabeth Weir in LIFELINE“[‘Adrift’ and ‘Lifeline’] were fun to do, and there are some big surprises in store for our viewers. I love the idea of the city having to leave home and be marooned in space. I actually wanted us to be out there for seven or eight episodes. That would have been cool. I’m not sure why we didn’t do that, but there must have been a good reason. Then, of course, we eventually had to land the city. When we did that, I hoped we would end up on a planet that was distinctly different from the last one, so that it perhaps felt like we were in an inhospitable place that would make survival a bit more challenging. However, we landed on a planet similar to the previous one and looks not unlike various areas surrounding Vancouver. [smiles]

“So I enjoyed Atlantis taking off and then our characters having to figure out what to do next. As for what happens in ‘Lifeline,’ well, we go to the Replicator city. That’s a tough episode to talk about because there are things I can’t reveal. I will tell you that there are some heavier emotional scenes in this episode which are nice, and I think turned out well. They add a layer to the overall body of episodes this season that I believe is going to make the fans appreciate the show a bit more.

The two John Sheppards fight in DOPPELGANGER“As an actor I had evil twin syndrome with [‘Doppelganger’], which was a challenge from a stunt perspective because I had to fight myself, and then turn around and fight myself all over again. You’re not only doing a lot more stunts than normal, but you’re also doing twice as many as you think because you have to do them a second time.

“So the work was pretty exhausting, but still interesting and a lot of fun to come back to at the start of the season. It was the first time I’d done twinning to that degree. It seems like a common Sci-Fi theme but it was new territory for me. It’s really important that there’s a distinction between your character and its twin, but in this case it was tricky because for the first two-thirds of ‘Doppelganger’ you can’t tell which Sheppard is which. It had to be a gradual distinction between the real one and his twin until the latter evolves into complete evil. It was a little complicated, though, because we didn’t quite have all the scenes written in order to qualify that transition. So it was a fairly abrupt evolution from subtle differences to glaring differences. I’ve yet to watch the cut of the episode, so we’ll see how it turned out, but the actual [creative] process was very rewarding.”

From interview with Rotten Tomatoes (Sept. 2, 2008):

John Sheppard at father's coffin with Ronon Dex looking on in OUTCAST“‘Outcast’ came from an original idea that I had that Ronon and Sheppard had to go back to Earth because Replicators had gotten on world and were being insidious, but it was basically us running around on Earth in familiar areas and blowing things up. They liked that idea and wove some backstory in it about my father passing away. It really took it to the next level, and we got to see a lot more about Sheppard and who he is.

“A lot of [Sheppard’s inner strength] is survival. He wants to live! A lot of those situations he’s in, he’s about to die! That never give up thing, that whole loyalty thing is something that always plays well with audiences, it’s a quality I admire.”

From “No Ordinary Joe” in TV Zone Special #82, excerpted at Visimag (2008):

“’The Last Man’ was an interesting story to work on and kind of cool, too. I was a little worried when I first read the script, mainly because there was a ton of exposition where David Hewlett’s [McKay] character explains everything that has happened over the past 40,000 years or whatever it was, but I think the episode turned out well. Believe it or not, I actually haven’t seen a final cut of it yet but, as season cliffhangers go, it was a good one.

John Sheppard in the sandstorm in THE LAST MAN“As for the sandstorm, I enjoy that kind of stuff. There were these little tiny wood chips that didn’t all get chopped up and some of them hit me, which kind of hurt a bit, but that also lent a greater realism to the situation. I like when our characters go through intense physical adversity because those types of things just read well on screen. It’s also what makes me watch a TV show because I’m always fascinated how someone could physically survive an ordeal like that. And I always think that that’s a smart way to go with our series in general because Sci-Fi plots can sometimes be a bit esoteric, so to show what the physical price is for something is more fun acting-wise than it is to explain something like, for example, the implosion of a planet.

John Sheppard in BE ALL MY SINS REMEMBER'D“This job is funny because it’s unlike a lot of others in TV. By that I mean in Atlantis we get to do a variety of things. Because there are no real [creative] boundaries, we can do an episode that’s funny, another that’s dramatic, one that’s scary, etc. In many ways we’re the freest form of TV out there, which you sometimes have to remind yourself of and remember not to take for granted.

“I’ll sometimes read certain parts of our scripts and wonder, ‘How are we going to pull this off?’ However, these guys always manage to somehow do that. Between the art department guys, visual effect people and all the other people who work on this programme, we figure out together how to do what has to be done. From there, it’s just a matter of committing to what’s on the written page and going forth…”

From interview with Rotten Tomatoes (Sept. 2, 2008):

“I think the show works because of the chemistry of the characters, and because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. You can maybe get away with a $150 million movie, you can be serious. If you’re doing a 44-minute Sci Fi show for $3 million you can’t come off being pretentious and too serious.

“Even all the dark characters, the edgy shows that some very well-known show runners have put up—the characters are just not likeable, and that’s why they haven’t worked as well.

“I think that we’re lucky—our characters are likeable, and we enjoy ourselves, and it shows . And to know when the adventure is urgent and when it is funny is key. Comedy and humour are probably the saving grace for us.”

David Hewlett

From interview with UGO, archived at (Sept. 2007):

Rodney McKay in LIFELINE“It feels like, Stargate, we’re the kid brother or sister of Stargate, and when that started, it was almost 11 years ago now, I feel like TV has changed. I think Atlantis is a product of that. The audiences are much more savvy, and I think the content that we’re seeing on television is darker, so there’s definitely more of a bite to Atlantis than perhaps there was to start off with. I think it’s a good thing, though.

“I think the successes of the whole Stargate universe are these wonderful characters that they’ve written. The science fiction is just a fantastic back drop for these normal everyday people who are struggling to cope with the extraordinary circumstances. That, to me, makes for the best kind of sci-fi, because there’s this great kind of escapist sci-fi, because you can identify with these people and go, ‘I’m kind of like McKay. In a situation like that, I’m probably not going to respond in the best way. I tend to snap at people when I’m being attacked by aliens.’

“I think that the edgy stuff is sort of a product of its time, in a way. We’re not as dark as Battlestar, which I love. Jane and I watch that religiously now, but we’re not Battlestar. We’re a very different show than that. We’re definitely more. I think we’re more sci-fi for the non-sci-fi people, if that makes sense. You want to be careful with a show like this that it doesn’t become too cheerful, otherwise you lose that peril. I think the edgier stuff they’ve been playing with this year will help remind people that we are all at risk.

Jennifer Keller, Rodney McKay, Samantha Carter in TRIO“Obviously, the biggest [change that makes Atlantis darker] is [the] change of characters. We lost a couple of our leads, effectively, and added a few more, too. Again, from an entirely selfish standpoint, I got Amanda Tapping and Jewel Staite to work with. I’ve got two female icons of sci-fi that I get to play with on a daily basis. It’s fantastic. But, by knocking off these characters, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. I mean, they’re talking about the cliff-hanger for Season Four, and I’m like, ‘I hope it’s not me.'”

From “Interview: David Hewlett” with (Mar. 2008):

“You know, I watched ‘The Last Man’ the other day and one of the standout things is—Connor [Trinneer] is, like, the nicest guy on the planet—possibly the universe, I can’t say—but I’ll tell you, he is just an evil bastard in the show! I don’t know how he does it, he just goes from this sweet, jovial kind of guy to this complete monster in seconds.”

From “Exclusive Interview: David Hewlett” at Cinema Spy (May 2008):

Holographic Rodney McKay in THE LAST MAN“It was funny, someone came up to me and said, ‘Wow, the makeup’s amazing and the way they gave you a little pot belly and stuff.’ And I was like, ‘I just let my belly out a bit.’ Getting up the stairs, frankly, by the end of the season, I was just so creaky and sore anyways. Generally it’s the best thing to play at the end of a season because you’re so tired by episode 20 that you look like a thousand years old anyway. Basically I just allowed myself to move slower and complain more.

“That was another funny Lorne one, because Lorne and me—Kavan [Smith] and me—as old men, we’re just the crabbiest suckers on set anyways, so the two of us as old men it was like shooting Grumpy Old Men in Space. It was just kind of fun, because all those—as you get older all those little aches and pains you get to play that stuff up. I think I was born to be old. Some people were born to live free, die young. I was born to die old. I quite like the excuse for being a little grumpy and a little slower in getting up the stairs and all the doddering things I kind of enjoy doing.

“That and also, what was funny was that my kid was born the day after we finished shooting. The whole time I kept thinking, ‘If my wife goes into labour now, I’ve got four hours of prosthetics that are going to drive across the border with me. Will Nexus [an automated border crossing kiosk] work? Will my Fast Pass card work at the border if I’m a thousand years old?’ How do you explain that one in the secondary check? ‘Sir, are you wearing a disguise?’ What was neat about that is that I was so beautifully distracted throughout that entire episode that I think—again, that adds to the—the things that are the least enjoyable to shoot are often the most fun to watch. You can’t help it, you pick up that uncomfortable—that’s why I find a lot of the big big budget films sometimes they lack that wonderful edge you get from the, ‘Oh, my god, we’ve got one shot at this! Go!’ I think ‘The Last Man’ was one of those where there was a lot of dialogue to shoot in a short period of time, and so much going on. For other people. I just talked. I talked and became invisible when sand went through me. I think the circumstances for that one really helped to get you into the old age thing. The problem now is actually getting out of the old age thing. Season 5, I’m walking around like I’m a thousand years old. Still. But I hold my belly in a little better.”

From “Interview: David Hewlett” with (Mar. 2008):

Rodney McKay in REUNION“I’m still pleasantly surprised by [Rodney’s journey so far]. Because originally when I took this job, my vision of where it was going—and think their vision to some extent—was that it was going to be basically me standing beside a computer yelling out things at people every so often. Rodney was a surprise to them, because he suddenly became part of the team. Originally the idea of Rodney going on missions, everybody would have laughed at it. The idea would have shocked him. Rodney was incredibly unhappy about having to go on these missions in general—where some people see adventure, he sees a potential health hazard.

“So for me, it’s all a pleasant surprise, because I really honestly thought I was going to be sitting behind a computer terminal, bored out of my cranium, and it’s just turned into so much more than that. I think what’s neat about what they’ve done with him is that they’ve really managed to flesh out what is a very nasty, difficult character. So I’m far more than satisfied with what they’ve done. And it’s always a pleasant surprise to see what new, fresh hell they’ve come up with for us. I’m hearing about freezing-cold lakes coming up, so that sounds promising.”

Amanda Tapping

From interview with Moviehole (May 2009):

Samantha Carter in BE ALL MY SINS REMEMBER'D“I made a conscious choice off the top to make [Carter] out of her comfort zone, to be a leader that was about listening to her team and throwing it out to them more often than making the decisions for herself. I tried to make her as respectful in this new situation as possible and I think in doing so watered her down a bit and then I think that we didn’t have the opportunity to flesh her out as a leader as much as we would have liked. And it was weird to watch teams going through the gate and to be staying behind, it was really hard at first. I was like ‘well, I should be on that mission, I might be able to help out’ but what Cater was trying to do was make sure that the team felt respected, that their positions were all safe and they felt respected and that was Carter’s MO as a leader and I think in some ways she could have shown a bit more strength. When she was able to show backbone she showed it but I think we could have fleshed her out a bit more.”

From interview in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #27, excerpted at Slice of SciFi (Apr./May 2009):

“Doing the episode ‘Trio’ with David Hewlett and Jewel Staite [will be a memory I’ll take with me]. I don’t know what the fans thought of the episode, and it¹s probably best that I don’t know, because it was just so much fun! I haven’t laughed so hard in such a long time; the whole cast of Stargate: Atlantis are really talented, really nice people. Being able to hang out just the three of us and go through those shared experiences was amazing; me conquering my fear of heights not really, but trying to; being thrown around on a gimble, and writing Stargate: Atlantis: The Musical. Those kinds of memories are priceless. That for me was a huge highlight.”

From Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine, excerpted at (Jun. 2008):

“I just want to address this right off. It was a very difficult decision, not to say that I walked away from Stargate: Atlantis, because I haven’t. I still want to be a part of the show. They offered me a very nice contract with the caveat being that I had to make Stargate: Atlantis my first priority, and I totally understood why in terms of timing and scheduling, but I couldn’t do it because I knew there was a good possibility that Sanctuary would get worldwide television broadcast. Had I said ‘Yes’ to what the folks at Stargate: Atlantis wanted, I would’ve essentially shut down Stage 3 Media and Sanctuary. So, as much as we tried to make it work, and executive producer Joe Mallozzi and I were on the phone a lot trying to work things out, we just decided at the end of the day that the timing just was not going to happen. He was very cool. They were wonderful.

“The last time I got off phone with Joe I was just bawling. I hung up and started crying and my husband said, ‘What? What?’ And I said, ‘Oh, my God. 11 years. This is huge.’ It’s been my life, my home, my family—literally—for well over a decade. But the beauty of it is I haven’t walked away from it completely. It’s not like I turned my back on Stargate: Atlantis. I said, ‘Let’s see what we can do to make this work.’ I will make myself available.

“I had this whole thought that, ‘Oh, my God, the fans are going to hate me,’ When I went on to Stargate: Atlantis, in a lot of people’s minds I took over for another character, which is an unfair assessment because that’s not exactly how it came down. That my going to Stargate: Atlantis precipitated other people leaving is a popular misconception. And now I’m walking away. And I worry they’ll think, ‘Who the hell is she to do that?’ Maybe I concern myself too much with what the fans are saying because I take it so personally, and I’ve always believed that the fans are the heart of the show—and that’s not lip service. I truly believe that. I played out the worse case scenario in my head. As soon as this announcement is made, there are going to be people who are going to slag me off, ‘You abandoned this.’

Samantha Carter in BE ALL MY SINS REMEMBER'D“I think at the end of the day it’s a perfect compromise. I’m moving on to my own series. It’s a whole new role for me. It’s exciting, and it’s an interesting show, and I think the fans will love it. I’m not turning my back on Stargate. I’m certainly still a part of the franchise. Sam Carter is still very much a part of me. I think my Polyanna view of things that’s the perfect-case scenario. And I just hope a lot of the fans will eventually see it that way, too.”

From interview in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #27, excerpted at Slice of SciFi (Apr./May 2009):

“I’ve always said that the fans have always been paramount to me, and they’ve been amazing. I want to say thank you to the people who have supported, and continue to support me, no matter what I do. They went over and checked out Sanctuary when it was on the web to be supportive of me, and I appreciate that. Whether they stick with the show or not is entirely up to them, but the fact that they gave it a try is hugely important. The fact that they gave me a chance going over to Stargate: Atlantis is just as big. You remember the bad things, but I really try to remember the good things that people have said, and there have been so many.”

Rachel Luttrell

From “One on One with Rachel Luttrell” at Hobo Trashcan (Apr. 2007):

Teyla Emmagan in DOPPELGANGER“The new season in particular has new characters. We’ve lost a couple of characters and there’s some shifts going on there, which changes the tone of the show. But the actors and characters who we’ve added I think will be embraced by the audience. Amanda Tapping is joining us and Jewel Staite, who I think sci-fi fans will know from the series Firefly, and then Serenity the movie. Right now, I’ve only read the first four scripts and we do 20 in the season. But I think that the tone of Teyla, my character, is going to shift ever so slightly and we’re going to start to see, even though she’s very strong, I think what we’re going to start to see is perhaps even more strength and a little bit of an edge, a little bit more of a darkness that will hopefully be tempered by depth. And we’re going to also get to see, thankfully, a little bit more of her people and how they influence who she is. That is something I’ve been hoping to explore for quite a while.”

From “Stargate Atlantis – Rachel Luttrell Interview” at UGO (Sept. 2007):

“I’m sad that we’ve lost Paul [McGillion] and that we’ve lost Torri [Higginson], but hopefully we haven’t lost them for good. But yes, absolutely, Paul does come back, as does Torri. They both have a presence in Season Four, and their departure, their characters, where they are left, is also kind of open-ended. We definitely haven’t seen the last them.”

From “Exclusive Interview: Rachel Luttrell” at Cinema Spy (Aug. 4, 2008):

“I spoke to the writers prior to beginning Season 4—a good month before we started—and they had in mind, as they always do, how the story arcs were going to play out for that season and what they wanted to encompass in Teyla’s journey. And I came to them and dropped the bomb [that I was pregnant]. But they ran with it and they did a wonderful job and they were able to blend portions of what they wanted for the season and encompass the journey that I was going through. And I think it made for a stronger, colourful character for me to portray that.

“[The] thing is they started encompassing my pregnancy from the get-go in Season 4, so there was never a point where I felt like I had to hide that. If anything, it was something I kept in the back of my head because I knew that Teyla was going through it even though she hadn’t made it aware to the rest of her team. So it was something that I was aware of as well on the same note, even though I hadn’t announced it to my castmates and the crew. The writers, producers, and myself all knew that that was something that was going to be a part of her journey. No, I never felt that I had to downplay that or play something else. It was always part of what I was holding in my mind.”

From “Stargate Atlantis – Rachel Luttrell Interview” at UGO (Sept. 2007):

Teyla Emmagan in KINDRED PART 1“Once the crew and the cast knew—I actually didn’t tell anyone except for our producers until I was three months along—everyone was so incredibly accommodating. They got me my own reclining cast chair, which was fantastic, which the rest of the cast were fighting for, but sadly, didn’t get. It was actually really good. This season, as it turns out, ended up being one of the most physical seasons that I’ve had to do thus far, which is kind of funny considering I was pregnant. … certainly during the first part of the season while I was still capable and while it probably wouldn’t be offensive for the audience to see. I wasn’t showing, and so I did a lot of very physical things. I did a couple of fights that were the biggest that I’ve done to date, so there you have it. But looking back, I really enjoyed it and pretty much my entire pregnancy has been documented now on Stargate.

“Even though [Teyla] was embracing motherhood on one hand, there were many things that were going on in her life that also brought out a little bit more of a darker side for her and a more edgy quality. But I don’t think we’ve completely lost the lightness that I believe audiences have come to expect from the Stargate franchise. But yeah, it was a weightier season. There were a lot of deep things being discussed.

“Well, we don’t really hear about the season to come until after a few episodes of the season we have just finished shooting have aired. Season Four premieres next Friday the 28th at 10 pm, and so we’re going to wait and see. Everybody is hoping that people are tuning in on that night, because now with the technology, TiVo, and all that stuff—which I absolutely adore—it’s hard to tell how many people are actually watching the show. No one knows how many people are actually recording it, so it’s just a matter of when are you tuning in and are you tuning in at that point. I think that the network is going to pay close attention to that, and I think we’ll just see. But, people are enthusiastic about the potential that there’s going to be another season, but it is the entertainment business, so you never know.”

Jason Momoa

From “Jason Momoa: Dex appeal” at Total Sci-Fi Online (May 20, 2008):

Ronon Dex and Jennifer Keller almost kiss in QUARANTINE“It doesn’t feel like a different show or anything like that, but there are new energies in it. Not having Paul McGillion here, who is a good buddy, it is just a little different. But the new members of the team are great. I mean, Jewel Staite is a sweetheart and I have a lot of stuff with her this year. It is just different because your friends aren’t there but as far as character-wise, I don’t like anyone anyway so it just works out!” [laughs]

From video interview with Extra TV‘s Jerry Penacoli, found at MGM’s Official Stargate Site and at YouTube (Jan. 2008):

“I get stuck in a room with a woman, Dr. Keller, on an episode coming up. You know, I talk about—cos my wife died about seven years ago—but you know, seven years ago. I guess that’s his whole insecurities, he’s a little rough. I don’t know what they’re going to do with that whole relationship. Hopefully, he gets some soon, you know? I think that’ll take all of that aggression off of him. That’s why I’m such a good warrior…”

From “Exclusive Interview: Jason Momoa” at Cinema Spy (Aug. 11, 2008):

“It’s interesting, because someone asked me earlier about the ring. [He points to a gold ring in his dreadlocks.] I put this on me because my wife died in front of me on Sateda. One thing about Ronon is he holds a grudge. He’s very loyal, he’s got a lot of honour. Even though—I was thinking about this as an actor—would Ronon really have a love relationship? To me, no. Yes, a guy needs to get laid, but I don’t think it needs to be in the show.”

From video interview with Extra TV‘s Jerry Penacoli, found at MGM’s Official Stargate Site and at YouTube (Jan. 2008):

Tea'c and Ronon Dex fight in MIDWAY“Since I started here, I’ve been kind of compared to Chris Judge on the other show, being we’re both dark-skinned and fight…and aliens, and I get to meet up with him, finally. I don’t like him and we have to be stuck together and defend Earth. It’s a lot of fun. We’re shooting that right now. We’re bruised and battered—huge fight scene—probably one of the biggest fight scenes we’ve rehearsed for. We spent three days rehearsing for it and a lot of blood. … I mean, the whole thing’s lots of fights and today—like, last night was all gun fire. I forgot to put my ear plugs in—sightly deaf in this ear today. I know, dumb, dumb!

“Yeah, you do get hit. I’ve been hit and I’ve hit people and knocked someone out….You don’t want those things to happen, but you train and train so it doesn’t, but once things start going really fast it’s—if you lean in a little bit or be off just like a little, then BOOM!

Ronon Dex gets his Satedan tattoo in REUNION“I just had this [tattoo] done in Hawaii. My cousins have this and it’s an ‘aumakua, which is like your guardian. Like any other tribe, they use like an animal for whatever their warrior tribe is, so this is the shark. … I did it kind of without permission for the show. But, my guy’s got tattoos on his neck and stuff and I said, ‘Well, it looks spacey,’ you know? We wrote it into the show, which is great. They actually did the tapping—in an episode I meet up with all my people who I think were dead on my home planet and it’s funny, they are tapping it on in the episode and I decide to smack the guy. He sunk it too deep and I just went [SLAP].”

From “Exclusive Interview: Jason Momoa” at Cinema Spy (Aug. 11, 2008):

John Sheppard and Ronon Dex storm the room in MILLER'S CROSSING“I just find myself a little bit more nostalgically tragic [than an action hero]. Just more of a—I didn’t want to play an action star because it’s just such a gimme. I’m not that way, I don’t want to be that way. I dreaded my hair because I don’t want to be the pretty boy and the hunk. I didn’t want it to be all about my face; it originally started from that and I hated that. Because I’m just not that. From that spawned the dreads. I just wanted different roles. Now that I have this role, it’s great, because Joe’s the number one. And you don’t find someone like me—big, tall—next to someone that’s the leading man on the show. Normally the sidekick’s going to be someone like David. It’s going to be someone funny. I play right next to Joe and it’s awesome. I’ve worked on shows when guys aren’t that cool with it. …It’s interesting that Joe—he’s a Harrison Ford type of guy, super confident and with his own style and we work well together. I’d love to work with Flanigan for the rest of my life. He’s great.”