SGU Momentum Builds; RDA Returns

With less than a week to go until the North American premiere of Stargate Universe, the press and promotion machine is going full-tilt, to the credit of Syfy and MGM. There have been few if any negative reviews of the three-parter, “Air,” which was screened by the press. Rather, the reactions have ranged from cautiously optimistic to positively glowing. A recent selection includes:

Pop Culture Zoo Review

Stargate Universe has one of the finest ensemble casts I’ve seen in a long time. When someone of the caliber of Robert Carlyle is cast in a lead role there is always the concern that they will overshadow the others (John Noble through most of Fringe’s first season is an excellent example of that). Here all worries are quickly dispelled as every actor that shares a scene with Carlyle easily holds their own and that amazing acting continues when he is absent.

CinemaSpy Review

If ‘Air’ sounds a bit downbeat, that is because it is. The episode is dark (literally as well as figuratively, since there seem to be few lights on Destiny) and less humorous than Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. The plot also gives our heroes few major victories to cheer about.

LA Times: TV This Week

It’s no “Star Wars,” or even “Star Trek,” but 15 years after the 1994 sci-fi adventure “Stargate” — which has already spawned the TV spinoffs “Stargate SG-1” and “Stargate Atlantis” — the franchise soldiers on with the debut of “Stargate Universe” (above). Robert Carlyle and Lou Diamond Phillips star. (SyFy, 9 p.m.)

There are also many interviews coming out with the cast. The Province of Canada just posted interviews of Robert Carlyle, Louis Ferreira, Ming Na, and Lou Diamond Phillips.

Twitter reveals many tidbits as well (follow our superfeed here!). The cast and crew will gather tonight to watch the premiere together for the first time, as revealed by numerous Tweeters from the show.

Filming this week included a major action sequence involving Louis Ferreira, Lou Diamond Phillips, Jamil Walker Smith, and Brian J. Smith. LDP reported he was bruised as a result.

Amanda Tapping was on set this week and had lunch with the ladies of SGU. Ming Na tweeted the photo below here.

AT and SGU Ladies

It’s not clear whether Tapping will be appearing in an additional episode of SGU or if she was just visiting the set for some actor bonding. Meanwhile, it appears Richard Dean Anderson is on set for filming of the season finale, as “not” confirmed by Joe Mallozzi:

To those of you asking, I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of Richard Dean Anderson on the lot.  However, in the event I was to confirm it (which I’m not), I’d say he was in great spirits yesterday when he joined us for lunch in the writers’ room – joking away, his charming old self, simply happy to be back.  IF he is back.  Also, in the event he has returned for a guest spot(s), it’s possible he could have started shooting his scenes today.

Filming of Season 1 is scheduled to continue into October. Whether there is a Season 2 will depend of course on the ratings for the first few episodes of Season 1, as the decision will need to be made before the year is out.

Robert Carlyle Appears on “This Morning”

This morning, Stargate Universe star Robert Carlyle did a nine-minute segment on This Morning, ITV’s morning lifestyle program.

The main site is experiencing technical difficulties in showing the segment (which does include clips from the show, so beware), but user boo453 posted it on YouTube, embedded below:

Stargate Universe is scheduled to make its world premiere in the United States and Canada on October 2, and then will be debuting on Sky One on October 6 (Carlyle mentions the 7th in this interview, but the on-screen titles say it’s the 6th at 8PM) and on Sci Fi in Australia on October 9.

[Thanks to lahela_sga for the tip.]

Stargate Universe Premieres Oct. 6 on Sky 1

According to the Glasgow Daily Record, Stargate Universe will be making its UK premiere on Sky One on Tuesday, October 6.

Along with the announcement of the UK premiere, Robert Carlyle was interviewed about his decision to star in a cable television series and to leave Scotland to live in Vancouver for nine months.

“I have not left Scotland,” Carlyle reassures his fellow countrymen. “I am going to go back in November and I don’t start this again until next March so I’ll have a good five months at home. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I am a very patriotic guy, in terms of my Scottishness and my roots. But, to be honest with you, at this point in Britain I’m quite happy not to be there at the moment because economically it’s f***ed.”

Concerning his decision to take the role of Dr. Nicholas Rush, Carlyle says, “It’s been very, very easy for me. Everyone on Stargate Universe has been very welcoming from the beginning and kept me up on the plot and they’ve given me a great platform to express myself and I’m enjoying it.”

Visit the Daily Record for the complete interview.

Stargate Universe is making its two-hour world premiere on the Syfy Channel in the United States at 9 PM on Friday, October 2. It will then take its regular slot at 9 PM on Fridays. Also starting in October, the show will be broadcast by Canada’s SPACE channel.

Robert Carlyle Sets New Standard in Video Ad

In an amazing single shot (one camera, no edits), Stargate Universe star Robert Carlyle gives in just over six minutes the 200-year history of Johnnie Walker and his whiskey. Director Jamie Rafn unveiled Johnnie Walker’s “The Man Who Walked Around the World” last week, and according to Creativity Online, “a new standard may have been set.”

The article gives the history of the development and production of the short film, and the interviewer asked Rafn, “What made you choose Carlyle in the first place and how did he meet/exceed your expectations?”

I literally cannot overstate how brilliant I think Robert is. He was the natural choice for the role. In terms of expectations I think I only had the ones anyone would have had about Robert. He’s our DeNiro. He’s a legend and it did worry me slightly that he might not take the project seriously and might be difficult to direct. Nothing could have been further from the truth. He was incredibly easygoing, charming as hell and incredibly professional. It was really interesting actually. I often wondered what it is that made someone like him as successful as he is. There are of course all the things you’d expect – like the talent etc. But the thing that really struck me was just how hardworking he was. The pressure he put on himself to get it right was amazing. The take we ended up using was the last one of the last day — take 40 at 8 p.m. By the time we finished that take there was this collective euphoria in video city. The light was gone, everyone was shattered and desperate to get to the pub. Robert sidles up to me and asks me if I wanted him to go again.

Rafn also talked with Shots about Carlyle’s performance. He was asked, “What were the key things you wanted to achieve from Robert Carlyle’s performance? What was he like to work with?”

The key thing I was concerned about when we started rehearsing was making sure that the audience remained engaged with the story Robert was going to tell. Six and a half minutes is a very long time to be walking and talking without any cutting. It is also a very long time to be essentially talking about whiskey.

The other thing I was concerned about, having never worked with Robert before, was how he was going to handle the shear technical feat that is shooting a six and a half minute single take. As soon as we started rehearsing however I quickly realized that Robert is an utter genius. Not only was he (as you’d expect) absolutely professional and determined to get it just right, but he also had this abundant natural charisma. He just filled the screen and possessed it. Robert is a natural story teller, and between takes had me utterly rapt with tales from his extraordinary career. I knew as soon as we started shooting, that we were in very safe hands.

The Shots article notes, “[W]hat makes it all the more mesmerising is the fact the whole spot was shot in one take, with Carlyle and the [steady] camera operator [George Richmond] navigating the treacherous countryside.”

Here’s the ad …

Johnnie Walker : Walk from George Nimeh on Vimeo.

Stargate Universe Does TV Critics Tour


Stargate Universe had a big presense at this week’s Television Critics Association (TCA) summer press tour in Los Angeles. The producers (Brad Wright, Robert Cooper) and some of the cast did a short Q&A and gave other interviews.  The most extensive coverage of the Q&A is this article at IGN. Here is a snippet:

As to the producers talking about the more ambiguous characters, Carlyle said his Dr. Nicholas Rush was “Very different from characters you would find on most science fiction shows. He’s a very dangerous man. He generally only talks to people if he needs something from them. He’d happily get rid of everybody on the ship, but he needs them. He does some really dodgy stuff.” Carlyle also said that the other characters would gladly “put him in an airlock” if they didn’t have need of his knowledge.

Lou Diamond Phillips was characterized as reassuring Stargate fans in this SciFiWire article:

“The Stargate is at the center of it,” Phillips said in an exclusive interview Wednesday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Pasadena, Calif. The show will also focus on the combined military and civilian exploration of space, much like SG-1 and Atlantis before it, he added.

He also said, as others have, that there would be different elements:

I think audiences today are looking for something that’s a little more grounded, so to speak, even when you’re doing sci-fi,” Phillips said. “It’s grittier. It’s darker. It’s very much character-driven. It’s about the dynamics between very real people in an extraordinary situation and not so much about heroes and villains, you know?

Several press outlets reported that Universe strives to be as good as Battlestar Galactica, such as this one from the LA Times Blog:

“Make no mistake, ‘Battlestar’ is a quality show, and, yes, we want to make quality too,” said creator Brad Wright.

“Stargate SG-1” ran for 10 seasons, “Stargate Atlantis” ran for five, but “Universe” will be something new. “Other than the Stargate [ship] [sic], which is still very much the core, a whole lot is different from the old series,” creator Robert Cooper added.

There was more coverage, but those articles give one the gist of it!

Carlyle Slated to Make "Ironclad" This Summer

Robert Carlyle

What will new Stargate star Robert Carlyle be doing this summer when he’s not filming the first season of Stargate Universe? He’ll be filming the movie Ironclad, according to the Hollywood Reporter:

BERLIN — ContentFilm International will test its mettle with “Ironclad,” a medieval action thriller staring James Purefoy the company will help co-finance and executive produce.

Robert Carlyle, Bob Hoskins and William Moseley have joined the cast, which include Paul Giamatti as a deceitful King John, Pete Postlethwaite, Lord Richard Attenborough, William Moseley, Colm Meany and Angus McFayden.

Based on a legendary story, “Ironclad” is set in 13th century England and tells the story of a formidable Knight Templar (Purefoy) and his “Magnificent Seven” who defended historic Rochester Castle against the tyrant, King John, and his mercenary army. Purefoy is playing the knight opposite Giamatti’s King John.

The film was initially to start production but got held up as financing fell through and came together again, this time with the aid of ContentFilm, which is selling the film at the Berlinale.

The film is eyeing a summer start and has also put together a crew consisting of Adam Greenberg (“T2”), editor Peter Amundson (“Hellboy”), veteran production designer Leslie Dilley (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”) with stunts by Richard Ryan (“The Dark Knight”).

English, Rick Benattar and Andrew Curtis of Mythic International Entertainment are producing while Glenn Kendrick Ackermann executive produces.

ContentFilm has “The Messenger,” starring Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson, in Competition in Berlin.

Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis both took about a month off during the summer (called the filming hiatus), so it’s very feasible for Carlyle to still be in all 20 episodes of SGU, even though he’s filming this movie far from Vancouver. In addition to Ironclad, Carlyle’s also attached to play the title role in a bio-pic about the Scottish psychiatrist Dr. Ronald David Laing later this year (perhaps after SGU has wrapped filming sometime around October 23).

Stargate Universe is scheduled to make its premiere on the Sci Fi Channel this fall. Based on what Amanda Tapping said in an interview recently, we’re looking at possibly an October 2 premiere date for the first two parts of the three-part opener “Air”.

Robert Carlyle Tapped to Portray RD Laing in Bio-Pic

Robert Carlyle with the press (2008)Robert Carlyle with fans/press July 2008

Stargate‘s newest star, Robert Carlyle, who’ll be one of the leads in the upcoming Stargate Universe television show, has been tapped to portray Scottish psychiatrist Dr. Ronald David Laing (1927-1989) in a partially biographical film, according to the UK’s Times Online.

The movie revolves around the LSD-prescribing psychiatrist who convinced even James Bond actor Sean Connery to take the hallucinogenic drug to alleviate stress. According to the Times article, “Most of the film will be set between 1967 and 1970 at Kingsley Hall” in east London, where “Laing lived with his patients at a psychiatric community project.”

“For the past 10 years I have wanted to play Laing in a film,” Carlyle said in the article. Both Laing and the actor were born in Glasgow, and Carlyle also brings important life experiences to the part, having lived in hippie communes with his father while growing up.

“Robert had read some of RD Laing’s books, and indeed mentioned that just a few days previously he had seen some of them in a Glasgow bookshop and felt destined to play him,” said Bob Mullan, Laing’s biographer who is also the film’s producer. “As an actor, he has that same mixture of charm, sharp intelligence, sexiness, vulnerability and utter malevolence that is suited to the role. Indeed, depending on your point of view, Ronnie Laing was either a seductive saint or the devil.”

Laing’s son Adrian, 50, a London-based lawyer, commented on Carlyle’s casting, “He has that Celtic fury about him that captures what my father was about. Whenever people have asked me over the years who would be my first choice to play my father, I have always said Robert Carlyle. I have always been very impressed with his work, and he has that Scottish intensity you would need to play the role.”

According to the Times, the film will be made by Gizmo Film Productions and run by Mullan, who is currently securing financing. If all goes as planned, they will start shooting the “part-fictional story” in Glasgow next year.

To read the complete article, visit “Times Online: Robert Carlyle goes from psycho to psychiatrist: The trainspotting star is to play maverick Scottish doctor RD Laing who extolled the benefits of LSD and became a 1960s hero. To find out more about RD Laing, visit University of Penn Review of ‘THE WING OF MADNESS: The Life and Work of R. D. Laing’.

Carlyle is due to arrive in Vancouver soon to begin production on Stargate Universe, which will start principal photography February 4 and make its premiere in July on the Sci Fi Channel.

[Image from IMDb.]

SGU: Robert Carlyle Cast as Dr. David Rush

Robert Carlyle

The Hollywood Reporter has posted that Scottish actor Robert Carlyle has been cast in the role of Dr. David Rush in the new Stargate Universe series. The Reporter calls the role the “lead”.

The article described the series and Carlyle’s role as Rush as follows:

Described as edgier, darker and younger-skewing than its predecessors, “SGU” follows a group of soldiers, scientists and civilians left to fend for themselves when forced through a Stargate after their hidden base comes under attack. The survivors, who emerge aboard an ancient ship missing in the far reaches of space, are led by Dr. David Rush (Carlyle), who works to unlock the ship’s mysteries and return the group home but also might have ulterior motives.

According to the audition sides for Col. Everett Young, Dr. David Rush feels that he should be in command of the expedition that finds itself stranded on the Ancient ship Destiny. Young, however, being the military man, took control of the ill-equipped crew due to their unique circumstances. Rush and Young are at odds concerning how things should be done and will undoubtedly create some of the conflict needed in a dramatic character-driven series.

As far as the rest of the cast, The Reporter said that the Sci Fi Channel was looking for a well-known actor specifically for the Rush character and that fresh faces will play the rest of the ensemble.

“Robert Carlyle brings a depth, intelligence and complexity to his roles, which will fit perfectly with the fresh, new reinvention of this franchise,” Sci Fi original-programming chief Mark Stern is quoted in the article.

The Reporter stated: “Scotland-born Carlyle, best known for his roles in Trainspotting and The Full Monty, recently starred opposite Kiefer Sutherland in Fox’s 24: Redemption. He is repped by Gersh, manager Jon Rubinstein and the U.K.’s Christian Hodell.”

To learn more about Carlyle, visit his IMDb profile. For more information about Stargate Universe, turn to our Guide in the Stargate Wiki.