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Stargate Creators Dish About Universe
The forces behind the popular sci-fi franchise talk about their latest creation
By Rob Vaux
August 06, 2009
Syfy drops the axe on their series Stargate Universe(2009).
Stargate creators Brad Wright and Robert Cooper spoke at the TCA press event about the newest incarnation of the durable science fiction franchise. Stargate Universe, set to debut this October on Syfy, features a Stargate team (along with a number of civilians) trapped on an Ancient ship on the far end of space. Joined by cast members Robert Carlyle, Lou Diamond Philips, Ming-Na, and David Blue, the two men discussed the challenges of creating something fresh and new out of a franchise well over a decade old.
"When we were conceiving the series," Cooper said, "we definitely felt that--in some ways--Atlantis and SG-1 had gotten a
little too referential and a little too far into their own mythologies. We really wanted to make a show that's broader and more accessible to audiences, not just of science fiction. We honestly think that any new person to the Stargate universe could tune in and watch the show." That philosophy is in keeping with Syfy's recent (and roundly mocked) name change, intended to broaden the station's appeal.
Wright added that, while the series would be definitively Stargate, it needed to take on a new tone in order to set itself apart. "One th
ing Robert and I decided… we wanted to step away from rubber-faced, English-speaking aliens. And you'll see none of those on the new show. You'll see far fewer trees on the new show, and an ensemble of people who are both hero and villain, who both inhabit the same skin."
While Stargate Universe won't feature any returning cast members from SG-1 or Atlantis, Richard Dean Anderson apparently makes a cameo in the premiere episode (presumably as Jack O'Neil). Both Cooper and Wright waxed rhapsodic about their new cast, who they felt were a brilliant addition to the Stargate franchise. "We're going to tell stories through the characters' eyes and emphasize their perspective," Cooper stressed.
The pair were tight-lipped about major developments, but shared a little about the dynamic between the characters trapped on the ship and their friends and relatives back on Earth. Indeed, they felt that the show's means of addressing that issue constituted one of its strengths, allowing for a great deal of unique give-and-take between the characters.
"There's a device on the show that allows the people on the ship to switch consciousness with someone on Earth. It's a fun way of getting people on Earth onto the ship and vice versa."