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Stargate SG-1 Crew Interviews: Brad Wright

Brad Wright - Lycos Chat Transcript
Official Lycos transcript, 28 February 2002, 9PM ET

Brad Wright:

Hello, how are you?

Events Moderator:

We're all great! You've got some eager fans here! Here we go!


What is the future of the SG franchise?

Brad Wright:

I've just spoken with Hank Cohen, the president of MGM TV, and we're still on track for producing a feature film as well as a spin-off series, following season 6 of SG-1.


Hello Brad! Although I absolutely love the show, I am a little worried about something, Michael Shanks' departure. I know I will continue to love the show with or without him, but things will be different without him. Do you have any plans to bring him back (for at least an episode)? And (if the second movie is still going to be made) will he be back on SG-1 in the movie?

Brad Wright:

Great news! I can say as of yesterday actually, that Michael has agreed to perform in a guest role in episode 6. I wrote the episode myself, Michael has read the episode, and we're both glad that he's going to be able to do it.


Are you worried Stargate will go the way "Outer Limits" did last year when it moved to the Sci Fi channel?

Brad Wright:

The budget for the Outer Limits was severely cut when they series moved to the Sci Fi Channel. I made it clear to MGM that I was not interested in producing a show that was going to be severely curtailed by budget restrictions. SG-1 is a big show and without a sufficient budget we will not be able to deliver the series the fans have come to know. To their credit, MGM came to the plate and gave us a large enough budget to make the series as visually exciting as it has always been.


Considering the outcry from fans from around the world after S5 and Meridian, will we see Stargate returning to its original premise of the first 3 seasons?

Brad Wright:

I don't believe we've left the original premise. I believe the series has evolved. I'm as proud of season 5 as I am of any of the first three seasons.


I have heard that you are writing a pivotal role for Daniel Jackson in the Stargate movie and look forward to that eagerly. Are you able to share any news with us?

Brad Wright:

I cannot say with certainty that MGM will commit to the movie until they've seen the script. Robert Cooper and I are currently writing it, but I have every hope that it will be produced, and I have every intention of including Michael as Daniel in the feature.


What loose ends will you tie up by the end of season 6 and which will you intentionally carry over to the movie or the new series?

Brad Wright:

Hmmm. I'm not sure how much of this I want to tell you. ;-) But I do know that season 6 will build toward a climax. The actual climax is the feature. And the spin-off series takes place in a slightly altered continuation of the Stargate universe. There, how's THAT for being vague?

[Question, apparently about the influence of the Sci Fi Channel on the show, is missing.]

Brad Wright:

No, that would never happen. We simply make the show in Canada and send it already finished to the Sci Fi Network for broadcast. So far, the Sci Fi Network has been terrific in allowing us to make the series in the way we want to make it. After all, this is season 6, and if we didn't know what we were doing, they probably wouldn't have bought the show.

[Question, apparently about a crossover of Farscape and Stargate, is missing.]

Brad Wright:

Farscape and Stargate are going to be on the same night, though, I guess you could call that a bit of a crossover!


I heard that Richard Dean Anderson is going to spend less time on set. Are you going to concentrate more on Sam and Teal'c? Is it true that Janet is going to play a bigger role?

Brad Wright:

I don't think you will see much less of Richard Dean Anderson than you have already seen on the last few seasons. While he'll be taking more time off with his daughter and to pursue his environmental interests, we will be doing our best to schedule around it so that he appears in a prominent way in almost every episode. After all, he's our star!


Are any of the characters from the current TV series going to star in the spin-off series?

Brad Wright:

That's possible. Absolutely. But since the series is still only in development, I couldn't say.


How much is the spin-off series going to influence SG-1's 6th season?

Brad Wright:

Not at all.


Hi Brad, I am a big fan of Stargate SG-1. What is it like to work with Richard Dean Anderson? I've been a big fan of his for a long long time and was wondering if he is very funny on the set.

Brad Wright:

Yes, absolutely. Rick and I have become friends and most of the time when I'm with him on set, or at a hockey game, he makes me laugh.


Is there any chance that a new SG team could take over and continue the series after season six or seven?

Brad Wright:

That isn't very likely. Stargate SG-1 will remain in this incarnation for one more season. The spin-off series will not be based on a military team.


Hi Brad. Firstly, I'd like to express my appreciation and gratitude to you for all your hard work in creating such a high-quality, enjoyable show and such a wonderful world that so many of us feel a part of and treasure. I would also like to thank you for keeping Colin Cunningham's character of Major Paul Davis alive, and such an integral part of the SGC. Just how much can we expect to see him in season 6?? Lots & lots I hope .

Brad Wright:

You'll be happy to know that Major Davis will appear in episode 3 of season 6.


How is the production team holding up with all the uproar?

Brad Wright:

Uproar? What uproar? ;-) I'm kidding! I have to admit I've received some pretty nasty letters in the last few months, and so has poor Joe Mallozzi. We understand how disappointed everyone is that Michael left the show, but I promised I would have him back and he'll be back. Hopefully more than this one time, and we'll have to see how it goes. I'm already working on a story with our writers that features Daniel again, let's hope it works out!


Hey Brad, hope production is going well. Can you tell us any more about Atlantis? (from your favorite pest!) ;-)

Brad Wright:

I really can't. I *really* can't. Mainly because it would give away too much in the future stories. Feature stories, feature film stories.


How do you feel about the fact that one of your writers interacts with the fans?

Brad Wright:

I don't mind. I often see his posts and how fans react to them. Joe has received a lot of angry mail lately because he is the one that goes online, but he's hardly to blame, or not at all to blame for anything, or any of the things the fans are angry about.


Any chance whatsoever that you will be coming over to Britain for SG5? Over 900 tickets gone, so it'll be a big event and we'd love to see you! The same goes for Gatecon (not sure of ticket sales though LOL)? Will you be attending any of the fan gatherings?

Brad Wright:

I can't say with my mail lately that I have many fans personally! I'll be too busy for the next year or so writing and developing the rest of season 6, a movie and the new series.


I think disappointed that MS left is a huge understatement. Upset maybe. Why do you insist on downplaying this? It's not helping.

Brad Wright:

Why? Because I have a show to make. Michael Shanks and I had a long talk at the end of last season. I wanted him to stay, he left. We're still friends, he's still welcome back on Stargate, and for those who say they won't be watching the series anymore, I'm sorry to hear that. But at least you'll stop mailing me those letters!


If Joe Mallozzi isn't to blame for what all the fans are angry about, who is?

Brad Wright:

Me! Every story that we develop is approved by me. Joe is one of our writers, I am one of our writers. But I guess I have to admit where the buck stops.


Do you think the current situation could have been avoided?

Brad Wright:

I'm not sure. Michael was unhappy midway through season 5. I knew that there were many Daniel centered stories coming down the pipe for him, but I also understood his frustration. He's a very talented actor, and this was his first big job. Very few of us believed Stargate would go past five seasons, including myself. When it happened, I did not expect the entire cast would remain intact. It was one of my biggest concerns, and I raised it with MGM. They believed that to properly extend the franchise and to give a featurefilm a fighting chance, we needed to do a season 6. I hope when the fans watch Abyss, Michael's first guest appearance of season 6, they'll know that on some level the team will go on. We're halfway through production of the first two part episode. I think Corin Nemic as Jonas is going to be great as SG-1's newest team member. I know for many fans he won't replace Michael, but as I said before, we're doing our best, he's doing his best, and I know it will be entertaining.


Brad, do you think the fans have a lot of "pull" when it comes to how the show is run? Or is it mostly politics and such?

Brad Wright:

Many fans will think their write in campaign was the key element in securing a sixth season. While Hank gives them credit in supporting us, I have to give the credit to Hank Cohen for selling Stargate to the Sci Fi Channel after Showtime had more or less cancelled the show.


If season 6 was so important to MGM, then why wasn't Showtime interested? I would've loved for the show to end where it began.

Brad Wright:

Me too!


Brad, have you seen some of the reaction to Jonas from fans who have seen Meridian? He isn't very well liked.

Brad Wright:

Not true! He's only not liked by Michael's devoted fans.


Many, like myself, feel that Sam and Teal'c's friendship has been the least explored of all on the show. We in Britain have seen hints of a move towards more interaction between them towards the end of S5. Can you tell us if there will be more shows of affection/friendship between them in the upcoming final series?

Brad Wright:

Sam and Teal'c may find themselves closer than before with Daniel's absence. But I don't pretend to know what the new team dynamic will be. I can only help them create it. Corin, Christopher and Amanda, and of course, Rick, will provide their own input.


I hate to say it, but we have to wrap this up in a few minutes. :-( Our time with Brad is almost up! We'll take a few more questions & comments.


Why DID Showtime cancel the show?

Brad Wright:

I suppose it was because Stargate appears so much in syndication that Showtime thought the series was no longer identifiable with them. I was surprised because we were still among their highest rated shows. But the Sci Fi Channel has been very welcoming to us and we're happy to have a home.


I think you're in for a rude awakening. What will you do if "Michael's fans" are proven to be right?

Brad Wright:

That may be so! But I doubt it. Our ratings in season 4 in syndication have been as high as they have ever been.


Mr. Wright, have you even looked around? No one has to be 'devoted' to Michael to not like the idea of a coward, liar and thief suddenly merrily romping along with the friends of a man who he allowed to die without trying to aid in any way.

Brad Wright:

You must be one of the people who won't be watching the show anymore. And it's a shame you won't find out what a great character Jonas is becoming.


Thanks for taking the time to chat with us this evening, Brad. It's been fun! We'll have to do this again sometime!

Brad Wright:

I promise season 6 will be as entertaining as it has been for the last five years.  And I hope you will watch!

"We're only in this mess because you and your buddies are lying cowards trying to cover your own incompetence." — Col. Jack O'Neill to Jonas Quinn, "Meridian"

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