Wormhole X-Treme

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Wormhole X-Treme title credits

Summary

Wormhole X-Treme was a television show inspired by Martin Lloyd's subconscious memories of his encounter with SG-1.

Background

After alien Martin Lloyd realized return to his home planet was impossible, he settled on Earth. Distraught at the destruction of his home, he began taking drugs to allow him to forget his past, including his alien nature and experiences with SG-1 (5.12 "Wormhole X-Treme"). However, these memories somehow remained in his subconscious and he unwittingly used them as inspiration for a story which he shopped to various publishers called Going to Other Planets.

Eventually a network approached him to create a television show. Though the characters based on SG-1 remained, an idealistic version of Martin as the "smooth talking alien" fifth member was dropped by the producers. Martin became a creative consultant to the series. Research showed shows with "X" in the title got better ratings, so the name was changed to Wormhole X-Treme. The four "heroes" traveled through a "star portal" which looked like a Vegas neon parody of the Stargate. They encountered strange aliens, stereotypical beautiful alien women, and dealt with technobabble on their "X-treme adventures".

When the Pentagon got wind of the production, they allowed it to continue as plausible deniability. If people ever suspected the Stargate Program was real, the Air Force could point to the television show as the source for the ideas. However, the Pentagon was concerned that an alien vessel like Martin's escape pod coming towards Earth, so O'Neill was sent to the set at Bridge Studios as Wormhole X-Treme's technical advisor.

Martin did not recognize O'Neill, but his memories returned when his crew mates gave him an antidote to the drug. He felt terrible he had broken security by writing about the program, but O'Neill's response was it was on cable, so no one would watch it anyway.

The finale scene included images of Martin Lloyd's real spaceship when it was attracted to the timed homing beacon on one of his devices. The crew looked on in wonder as it hovered above them. Unnoticed, Martin's shipmates beamed aboard and departed in the vessel. Martin remained, certain that the recorded space ship would give them an Emmy award in the Special Effects category.

Joe Spencer, a barber in Indiana who was unwittingly linked to Jack O'Neill via Ancient communication stones, saw the ads for Wormhole X-Treme before it started airing (8.15 "Citizen Joe"). He had been writing stories from his inspiration (actually O'Neill's memories), but was unable to get them published. Believing the producers stole his idea from the unpublished manuscripts, he sued them. The suit was later dropped when the series purportedly was cancelled according to Joe "after one episode."

Apparently Joe was exaggerating, because three episodes aired according to Teal'c, and the dvd sales for the series were popular enough a studio approached Martin about making a television movie (10.06 "200"). He contacted the SGC for inspiration/review of his script, and the Pentagon complied for "plausible deniability" reasons.

SG-1 was ordered by Landry and O'Neill to review the script and "spin" with Martin for a few minutes. This spin session at the SGC became longer as a Stargate malfunction put off SG-1's scheduled mission. While spinning and dismissing various scenarios that ranged from blowing up the Furlings' planet to Star Trek ripoffs, zombies, puppets, and wedding scenarios, Martin fielded calls from the studio and network heads that dealt with actor's contract negotiations, and propositions of a "younger" version of the team. He also was trying to avoid Vala's "helpful" suggestions ripping off the Wizard of Oz, Gilligan's Island, and Farscape, while Teal'c proposed a detective series starring him.

By the time SG-1 was able to depart on their mission, the movie had been scrapped, and the network okayed the series to renew.

Apparently Wormhole X-Treme went on for ten more seasons. During the filming wrap for their 200th episode, Martin got a call that indicated the movie deal was back on.

The Production

New Guy
  • Nick Marlowe played Colonel Danning. Danning was the wry leader of the group who beat up the bad guys single handed and always got the alien woman (5.12 "Wormhole X-Treme"). Marlowe complained about details like dead aliens in a romance scene and why they weren't camoflauged. He had to stand on a half apple to reach one princess and was in all the "cool" scenes by contract. Although Marlowe carried out tough negotiations for the tv-movie, he apparently agreed to reprise his role for eight of the ten seasons (10.06 "200"). According to his replacement, some people said he phoned in his performance on that last season.
  • Yolanda Reese played Major Stacey Monroe. Monroe was the brilliang scientist who spouted technobabble and never got to kiss anybody (5.12 "Wormhole X-Treme"). Reese pointed out the illogic of an episode where her character could walk through walls because she was out of phase, yet didn't fall through the floor. She stayed with the series all ten years, but professed concern the writers didn't seem to know what to do with her character (10.06 "200"). She mentioned to an interviewer that she was interested in writing and maybe having a baby.
  • Raymond Gunne played Doctor Levant. Levant was the sensitive cultural expert who argued about alien rights even if they had transparent skulls (5.12 "Wormhole X-Treme"). Gunne became slightly annoyed after enduring several takes of prop rocks falling on his head. Gunne left the series for a period of time that he later referred to as ancient history to go back to his theater roots and get away from boulders falling on his head all the time (10.06 "200"). According to him, some Wormhole X-Treme fans developed a website called "savedoctorlevant.com" with "dozens of hits a month", and the studio asked him back.
  • Douglas Anders played Grell. Grell was Anders first acting role (5.12 "Wormhole X-Treme"). He was a robot with silver makeup. He rarely spoke either in character or as the actor and had a wire to help him lift his eyebrow in a distinctive gesture. When interviewed during filming of the 200th episode, Anders had a very philosophical and erudite perspective on the series, quoting Issac Asimov (10.06 "200").
  • Alien Princess had a romantic scene with Danning which was interrupted when O'Neill's cell phone rang (5.12 "Wormhole X-Treme"). She seemed amenable to practicing the scene with Marlowe in his trailer.
  • Alien Woman was extremely tall for her kissing scene with Danning/Marlowe. She listened to Danning's catch phrase "it's what I do" (5.12 "Wormhole X-Treme"). The actress smirked when the Director explained the camera angle wouldn't show she was a foot taller than Marlowe.
  • New Guy this unnamed actor was Marlowe's replacement the past two years of the show (10.06 "200"). He tried to come up with a catch phrase as good as Col. Danning's "It's what I do." While being interviewed he was inspired to use a lot of profanity, which he thought he could get away with because the show was on cable.
  • The Assistant Director, named Bill, ordered the crew around as per the Director's instructions (5.12 "Wormhole X-Treme").
  • The Director (Peter DeLuise) kept the show running, dealing with actor concerns, production costs, and acting as intermediary between creative consultant Martin and the producers/network executives (5.12 "Wormhole X-Treme"). He was most worried about making the explosions "bigger!"
  • The Director II (Martin Wood) of episode 200 of the series couldn't believe a show like this would last 200 episodes and was very chummy with Yolanda Reese based on how they wrapped their arms around each other at the end of filming(10.06 "200").
  • The Producer came up with grand ideas and watched the budget (5.12 "Wormhole X-Treme"). If anyone questioned him, he reminded them of awards he had won and that his former series Poochinsky made 100 episodes. He also cut meetings short if they interfered with his tee time.
  • Prop Master was told by Martin to take some kiwis and spray paint them red, since apples didn't look "alien" enough for a scene scripted as the "Garden of Eden" (5.12 "Wormhole X-Treme"). In truth, the man was an NID plant spying on Martin.

Episodes

Related Characters

Related Articles

Actors


--Aurora 20:42, 7 August 2006 (PDT)