SGU 1.03 "Air Part 3" Episode Guide

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A search team combs a desert planet for a vital mineral to scrub away the carbon dioxide that's accumulating on the Destiny. Meanwhile, Chloe reaches out to her mother via the communication stones.

Guide | Transcript

MGM/ Official Summary

With the air supply failing on the Destiny, a team disembarks to a desert-like planet in search of the mineral needed to scrub the ship’s air of carbon dioxide. After testing numerous sand samples without success, and with their window of opportunity closing fast, the group opts to split into two to cover more ground, despite the unbearable heat. While one team presses on to find the treasured mineral, the other has another goal in mind. When it is apparent that Dr. Rush can’t go on, Lt. Scott decides to go it alone and orders Sgt. Greer to return to safety with the exhausted scientist.

Meanwhile, with life on the ship looking bleak, and with the aid of the communication stones, Col. Young reports in to O’Neill, and Chloe, has one last chance to see her mother.


Opening Credits:

Special Appearance by:

Guest Starring:

Closing Credits:


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Production Notes

  • "Well, I’m off to read the very first draft of the very first Stargate: Universe script, compliments of Brad Wright and Robert Cooper…" — Joseph Mallozzi (November 10, 2008).
  • "Originally planned as a two-parter, Brad and Robert quickly discovered that there was simply too much story for such a tight frame, so the series opener is now looking like a three-parter." — Joseph Mallozzi (November 11, 2008).
  • "Rob and Brad have put out the first draft of the opening three-parter, Air..." — Joseph Mallozzi (December 5, 2008).
  • "Of the first ten episodes broken, we have a grand total of 0 forested planets. I’m not saying we won’t, eventually, come across one but, for the time being, the emphasis is on the ship and some locations atypical of Stargate. As a matter of fact, Executive Producer Robert Cooper and Director Andy Mikita are in New Mexico as we speak, scouting a cool-looking alien setting." — Joseph Mallozzi (December 19, 2008)
  • "I’m off to re-read the opening two-parter (technically a three-parter but whatever)." — Joseph Mallozzi (January 5, 2009)
  • "I talked to [executive producer] Brad Wright a couple of weeks ago, and he asked me if I’d be interested in doing a cameo in the Universe pilot, and I of course said I would be. And there’s a great deal of talk about [it]. … They’ve got a script going and everything like that." — Michael Shanks, Sci Fi Wire (January 26, 2009)
  • "Yet another version of Air 1, 2, and 3 came out yesterday as well." — Joseph Mallozzi (January 30, 2009)
  • "As another week draws to a close we inch ever closer to our first day of principal photography. We had the costume fittings on Monday and then the super-secret closed-door invitation-only cast read thru on Tuesday. Yesterday was the stage tech survey for Air #1, #2, and #3 while the production meeting for all three episodes was held today. It was followed by the Safety Meeting which, I‘m disappointed to say, fellow writer/producer did NOT attend on our behalf. Given that we is the writing department’s appointed Safety Representative (in addition to Official Synopsis Writer, Food Taster, and Chairman of our Green Initiative), he really should have been there taking assiduous notes on things like the restriction on open-toe sandals and the indiscriminate use of helium cryogenic-system cooled super magnets on set. What the hell are we supposed to do now? Use our common sense?! The all important Hair and Make-Up Tests tomorrow will be followed by a second cast read thru and, if all goes as planned, the weekend." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 12, 2009)
  • "So, we’ve got our first three episodes on deck - Air #1, #2, and #3 - and veteran director (and cyrogenic-system cooled super magnet collector) Andy Mikita will be doing the honors." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 12, 2009)
  • "I think we’ve got a terrific and incredibly talented group and I look forward to that first day of principal photography…Which happens to be tomorrow! First up, Rush and Eli on Stage 3 followed by the first of several familiar faces. On the lot Wednesday, but heading out on location Thursday and Friday." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 17, 2009)
  • "Today marked the start of production on Stargate: Universe and, while most were down on Stage 3 watching/participating in the action, I was up in the production offices, pacing the corridors as I’m wont to do when working on a script revision. ... All indications are things are going swimmingly on set. Brad and Rob are very happy with what they saw today and I look forward to checking out the first batch of dailies tomorrow. Special Features Producer Ivon Bartok had a conversation with Robert Carlyle and can’t say enough good things about the man. After lunch, I swung by the trailers to say hello to our guest star. We ended up chatting away until we got the call from set. Just like old times. It made me kind of nostalgic." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 18, 2009)
  • "Well, today the production was on location so things were fairly quiet at The Bridge. Watched our very first set of dailies and the show looks awesome. Rush - Eli. Eli. Eli - Chloe." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 19, 2009)
  • "Tomorrow, we’re back on the lot as we hit Icarus Base." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 22, 2009)
  • "What a day! We were on Icarus Base shooting a couple of HUGE scenes featuring Rush, Young, Scott, Chloe, Eli, Telford, Senator Armstrong, Dr. Damji, Lt. James, Sgt. Riley, Park, Brody, and Franklin. The set is spectacular, I’m loving the new gate set-up, and, surprise surprise, really loving those Icarus military uniforms. Stylin’!" — Joseph Mallozzi (February 23, 2009)
  • "Andy Mikita, directing the three-parter, is running a tight ship - but everyone is enjoying themselves immensely. I got some nice behind-the-scenes pics of Bobby and Justin along with “the actor playing Telford” (not sure if his identity has been announced yet but I have to say - and did say - I’ve enjoyed his work, especially his performance in my very favorite Mark Wahlberg movie. And, no, it’s not the movie you’re thinking of. Or the next one. Or the one after that.)." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 23, 2009)
  • On Brian J. Smith: "Monday saw him delivering a tough and very emotional performance that he nailed not once, not twice, but five times, every one as strong as the one before. After the fifth take, I glanced over at Exec. Producer Rob Cooper who was looking back at me with a knowing smile, well aware of exactly what I was going to say: “He‘s great!” A wide-eyed Exec. Producer Carl, sitting to my left, concurred with an enthusiastic nod. I predict a long and successful career ahead of him." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 24, 2009)
  • On David Blue: "Well, I’m happy to report that David is doing a wonderful job as our Eli Wallace (kicking off production with some terrific scenes opposite Robert Carlyle) and seems to be having a good time doing it. He’s a very funny guy and a real pleasure to talk to on set. Although I wasn’t on set today to see it, Carl reports that he was hilarious in the big mess scene." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 24, 2009)
  • "A pretty hilarious guy in his own right is actor Justin Louis who did a really nice job opposite Ona Grauer in some heartfelt scenes earlier this week. I told him: 'You guys are eventually going to get tired of hearing it but - we are loving the dailies!'" — Joseph Mallozzi (February 25, 2009)
  • "Finally, late yesterday, Robert Carlyle delivered a performance in a key scene that was so outstanding it blew the doors off Stage 3 - and the entire crew away! 'Masterful' would be one word to describe it. 'Extraordinary' would be another. But I prefer to simply go with 'Wow!'" — Joseph Mallozzi (February 25, 2009)
  • "Joe, I can’t believe how amazing the SGU film crew is. The production feels more like filming is being done for the big screen than for a TV production, but they’re doing it at TV production speed. It was great to watch Andy, Rob, yourself, and John (and Bill, Vince, Trevor, and the crew) all doing their jobs with machine like precision with half a million extras running about. As far as fans saying this is going to be 90210 in space…I just didn’t see it at all. I don’t want to make comparisons to anything because it might give something away, but 90210 in space or the like, nope, it’s not that. It is new, exciting, and yes, highly dramatized, but if it wasn’t, what would be the point of watching it? All I can really say is that the fans are going to love the show!! ... Oh, and don’t worry, I won’t clog up your comment board every time I am on the show, (which looks like it will be a lot the next few weeks). Have a great weekend." — User herbertsommerfeld on Joseph Mallozzi's weblog (February 26, 2009)
  • "The action moved to Stage 2 today for more Icarus Base intrigue. Later, we fire off the BIG GUNS! ... I was outside this afternoon, hanging around the crafts service table, talking to the actors between set-ups: Brian, Jamil, and the actors who play James, Spencer, and Curtis (Yes, they have real names but I have no idea when they will be made public.). Lovely, lovely people, all very excited about the show and the general good on-set vibe. Then, back in the production offices talking to the lovely Alaina (aka Tamara), discussing chocolate, dim sum, and what a brilliant job she did on a very tough scene the other day. We also dropped by the Stage 4 Destiny set - all lit up! Holy crap is it big! And impressive! I’ve got a backlog of pics, everything from design and construction to the finished deal, just waiting to be posted…" — Joseph Mallozzi (February 27, 2009)
  • "I think I’m going to start getting up a half hour earlier so that I can get into work a little sooner as this week, we finally start shooting on the Stage 4 Destiny set. Excitement abounds! I know that some of the actors have been holding off on visiting the set so that when they first lay eyes on the ship interiors, they’ll be lit and ready to roll. If I’m early enough, I’d love to catch the look on their faces when they first step onto what will be their home away from home for (hopefully) the next 6+ years." — Joseph Mallozzi (March 1, 2009)
  • "I was up there doing a snippet of a scene with Robert Carlyle and I’ll be going back March 17 for another scene in part 2 of the two-hour. I had told Brad that if he wanted help in the launch of Universe I’d love to be a part of it. (Truth be known, I missed those guys ‘n gals.) So I’ll make a few slim appearances in the first half-dozen episodes, or so. Again, details are sketchy, but I’ve already shot the first of my scenes so the ball is rolling. Andy Mikita is directing the two-hour, so we had a good hug and huge laugh." — Richard Dean Anderson (March 2, 2009)
  • "Yesterday was a huge day on the Destiny set. While most days will average 4-5 scenes, this one focused on only one. One BIG scene involving the entire cast + plenty o’ extras. Tomorrow’s line-up, meanwhile, is looking muy angustia! Oh, and just so you all know - Director Andy Mikita is doing an amazing job. The dailies have been incredibly dynamic. Kudos also go out to Director of Photography Rohn Schmidt for achieving such a unique and impressive look for the new show." — Joseph Mallozzi (March 3, 2009)
  • "We’re shooting all three parts. We’ve still got a ways to go yet." — Joseph Mallozzi (March 7, 2009)
  • "Anyway, tomorrow, we’ll be [shifting] from the [Destiny] set over to Stage 4. Fun [with] James, Wray, Tamara, Chloe, [Franklin], Tush, and [Eli]." — Joseph Mallozzi (March 16, 2009)
  • "Andy Mikita is putting the finishing touches on Air I, II, and III, promising us a cut by late tomorrow." — Joseph Mallozzi (April 2, 2009)
  • "The show will shoot in New Mexico in a couple of weeks. Those will be scenes from “Air Part 3″. They’re really looking to find new ways to have episodes that aren’t set in trees." — Michelle, Solutions: Wright and Cooper Spill on Stargate (April 5, 2009)
  • "Things are going to be very quiet at The Bridge for a while as production of the show shifts to New Mexico. Andy Mikita, who‘s already there, sent some great pics of the location gate at White Sands. Hopefully, him and the rest of the gang won’t suffer a repeat of the location scout scenario that saw their truck give out on them in the middle of nowhere, causing them to weigh the option of hiking the twelve miles back to civilization before eventually being rescued (Thank you, OnStar!). And, hopefully, I’ll be able to share those location gate pics with you in time..." — Joseph Mallozzi (May 1, 2009)
  • They were in New Mexico to film at White Sands from around May 4-May 8, 2009. There was no filming done for other episodes during this week.
  • "Hey, I spoke to Robert Cooper this morning. He’s back from his week in New Mexico which he described as “Hot!”. He’s incredibly happy with the footage they got and made special mention of the cast who maintained a positive and professional attitude throughout despite the eyeball-sizzling/shoe-melting/hair-igniting conditions." — Joseph Mallozzi (May 10, 2009)
  • "I swung by Stage 4 and said hi to Robert Carlyle who is happy to be back in cooler climate..." — Joseph Mallozzi (May 11, 2009)
  • "We concluded the night by heading down to the theater room where we watched – not a movie but the editor’s cut of Air III. Wow! Those white sands look amazing. It was Fondy’s first exposure to SGU and she enjoyed the episode immensely. Her favorite character: Sgt. Ronald Greer. My wife is now a confirmed Jamil Walker Smith fan." — Joseph Mallozzi (May 17, 2009)
  • "Final vfxs for 101,102,105,107 yesterday, finals for 103 today, temps for 106 tomorrow....busy week." — Mark Savela, Twitter (August 5, 2009)
  • "We’re using the Ancient communication devices used in the Stargate episode ‘Avalon’ where Daniel Jackson and Vala go to the Ori galaxy. Basically we’ve rigged those using Earth technology to work for us as a communication device. Someone has the foresight to bring them on board Destiny. So in a limited way, we are able to take over the body of someone on Earth, essentially swap consciousness with that person so they end up on Destiny for some time while the other is back on Earth. Our characters can talk to loved ones or friends, or it might help with missions on Destiny or Earth." — Robert Cooper, SFX Magazine interview, issue 186, reprinted by Sci Fi Pulse (August 13, 2009)
  • "Today, we watched the Day 2 Mix of Air III. Wow! White Sands is a gorgeous location. It lends the episode a depth and scale usually reserved for features. Terrific performances all around (That Greer-Rush scene? Whoa!) and spectacular score by composer Joel Goldsmith make this one simply a great, great episode. In addition to Joel’s wonderful contributions, the episode also includes an established contemporary tune. This is something we rarely did in SG-1 and Atlantis but will be doing more of in SGU. Anyway, can’t wait to see this on the big screen with a proper sound system and, thankfully, I won’t have to wait long. We’ll be premiering the show’s first three episodes (Air I, II, and III) for the cast and crew sometime in September." — Joseph Mallozzi (August 17, 2009)
  • "The pilot is FINISHED! Those who have seen it are over the moon. I'm personally gonna wait till we get a screening - Oct is too long for me." — Brian J. Smith, Twitter (August 22, 2009)
  • Lee writes: "A few days ago, you mentioned Air would use an “established contemporary tune”. You probably can’t tell us the name of the song, but any hints as to who the performer is?" Answer: "I’m embarrassed to say that, while I remember the song, I don’t remember the title or the artist. Also, even though it was Air I referenced, contemporary songs will feature throughout the show’s first season." — Joseph Mallozzi (August 22, 2009)
  • "Turns out that @BrianJacobSmith @DavidBlue @PatrickGilmore found a press kit and watched the 2hr #SGU on the tiny screen in their trailer." — John G. Lenic, Twitter (September 14, 2009)
  • "I actually only caught the last 10mins of Air Part 3. When credits rolled we, honest to god, all had tears in our eyes. 17 days kids!" — Patrick Gilmore, Twitter (September 14, 2009)
  • "Yes I got impatient, I don't want to say much, everyone will have their own experience watching it. But I've never been prouder of anything." — Brian J. Smith, Twitter (September 14, 2009)
  • "We desperately did not want to have our characters running through trees. In every other Stargate series we've been surrounded by the forests of Vancouver, and this time Charlie Cohen at MGM said, 'Well, let's go somewhere new, then!' We told him that it would be expensive, and Charlie said, 'This is a big, important new show for us, so let's make it work.' So we shot in the White Sands Desert of New Mexico and it looks like a feature film. Robert Carlyle actually got T-shirts for everyone and went down there with '117' printed on the front because that's how hot it was!" — Brad Wright, Official Stargate Magazine Sampler, available October 2009.
  • "The footage is magnificent and Andy Mikita, who directed all three parts of 'Air,' did an amazing job. As most people know, he's been with us for years and once again, he absolutely hit it right out of the ballpark. So the New Mexico shoot was another production challenge with 'Air' and very much worth it, but those who were there suffered to get the job done. Their efforts came out of our desire to tell elemental stories that aren't about fighting big latex-faced, English-speaking bad guys. That's the major difference between this show and the other Stargates. Universe is much more man against nature/man against man and the crises and conflicts are more internal and on board the ship. It's human interaction and human conflict as opposed to alien. That's not to say we're not going to run into aliens, because we are. They're just not going to twirl their mustaches and all speak English." — Brad Wright, Official Stargate Magazine Sampler, available October 2009.

Further Reading

--DeeKayP 14:21, 14 February 2009 (PST)