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):
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. 🙂