Posts Tagged ‘Stargate Atlantis’
Actress,Rachel Luttrell has been leading a distinguished, multi talented career as an actress,singer and dancer. Luttrell experienced a strong musical upbringing which included a great deal of inspiration from her father, who was a former member of the acclaimed Mendelsohn Choir as well as her piano studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music.Luttrell’s strong background within the television industry is evident from her many past television credits,which include shows such as ER,Charmed and Touched by an Angel.
Rachel’s more recent and most prominent television role was on Syfy’s original series,Stargate Atlantis where she portrayed the Athosian leader and warrior,Teyla Emmagan.Rachel portrayed the character over the course of the show’s five seasons, which aired from July 2004-January 2009.
With the Stargate franchise having drawn to an end earlier this year after the cancellation of Atlantis’ spin off series,Stargate Universe and Rachel being kind enough to participate in an interview with me, we discuss the actress’ initial experience in playing the role. Particularly,we discuss some of the challenges involved in portraying the character of Teyla and how Rachel related to the character.
The actress also shares her perspective on Teyla’s development over the course of the show’s five seasons, her experience on having her real life pregnancy incorporated into the show’s fourth season and Teyla’s conflicted feelings between the father of her child, Kannan[Patrick Sabongui] and Lt. Colonel John Sheppard[ Joe Flanigan].Luttrell also comments on her perspective on the recent announcement that Stargate Extinction ,the follow-up movie to the series has been cancelled as well as her thoughts on the future of the Stargate franchise.
The actress also discusses the recent projects which she has been working on since Atlantis ended, including her musical CD which is scheduled for release this September!
Abbas Karimjee:Were you contacted for the role of Teyla or did you audition? Could you please describe the initial experience and any challenges which were involved in the process?
Rachel Luttrell : Oh! I had to audition, and audition and audition.It was a long process.But I always felt connected to Teyla.I initially found the fight choreography challenging but soon grew to enjoy it. Another challenge was to preserve the “other worldly” quality of Teyla.Human but not of Earth.
AK: How did you relate to the character of Teyla ?
RL:Yes. Very much.She resonated with the side of me that is from Africa.I really drew on aspects of my mother’s life and my grand parent’s influence on me as a young child.
AK:The role of Teyla is that of a warrior,which in turn deal of physical activity and action.What challenges did this present to you and how did you learn to cope with this?
RL:I had never fought on camera before. I was a dancer.So, initially the fight sequences were daunting. But I soon began to see them as a type of dance choreography and could break them down that way.I began to enjoy them and certainly thought they were a vital part of bringing Teyla to life.
AK: How do you think Teyla evolved over the course of the show’s five seasons and was there any aspect of the character’s background or personality which you would have preferred to see further explored?
RL:Teyla grew up over the course of the series.She had to make some pretty challenging decisions, including leaving her people in order to further the greater cause of getting rid of The Wraith. She became a mother (which changes everything). If the series had continued I would have loved to have explored her heritage more. The mythology, the history…. I also would have enjoyed seeing Teyla truly in love.
AK:.In season 5 , Teyla pursued a relationship with Kannan, who is the father of her child, Torren.Though the two have a strong connection from Teyla’s time with her people, what are your thoughts on the inner nature of her relationship with Colonel Sheppard, in terms of the possibility of romantic interests between the two? Who would you prefer to see Teyla with and why? What challenges may be associated with your choice?
RL:I believe that Kannan was someone Teyla dearly loved.I believe that he would have been the choice that her parents would have made for her had they been alive.He represented her connection to her people and Teyla desperately wanted to keep that strong.There was already a great deal of guilt for having joined Atlantis and “leaving” them in a manner of speaking.But I think that she did love Sheppard.In a way he was forbidden but longed for.
AK:On the show’s fourth season, Teyla’s pregnancy was incorporated into the show, in order to coincide with your pregnancy. What were your thoughts on the direction which the writers took Teyla’s storyline as a result of the pregnancy and how do you think it further developed the character’s personality?
RL:I thought that the writers did a great job and I will forever be grateful to them for running with my own pregnancy without judgment and with great imagination and care.I think it acted as a way to fully showcase Teyla’s strength and determination. You don’t mess with a mamma bear.
AK:In retrospect,how suitable of an ending do you think Enemy at the Gate was to SGA and how do you feel about the Stargate franchise ending?
RL:Well, I think that everyone involved at the time really did hope and indeed expect a film. So the session/series finale was not meant to fully satisfy. And it didn’t. But all good things come to an end making way for new good. The franchise was an immensely successful one.Unprecedented success, really.And I am very happy to have been a part of it.
AK:Brad Wright recently announced at a Vancouver convention that the Atlantis movie, Stargate Extinction ,as well as other Stargate productions ,including the pending Stargate SG1 film,Stargate Revolution and a pending Stargate Universe movie, has been cancelled.
What is your reaction to the cancellation of the Atlantis film and how did you hope it would tie up both the overall story arc of Stargate Atlantis as well as Teyla’s journey, in terms of her relationship with her people, her role as a mother and a member of Atlantis?
RL:I am not at all surprised by the announcement.Although the movie would have been fun and deeply satisfying.It would have been nice to see that Teyla had managed to find some marriage between her people and her love of her Atlantis team.There was such a huge “dot, dot, dot” at the end of the final episode and so many questions could have been answered.
AK;How has being a cast member of SGA, impacted your career as well as your personal life, in terms of the various friendships you formed?
RL:I made some life long friends. And it never hurts to say that you were on a successful series for five seasons in terms of my career.
AK:What do you think is in store for the future of the Stargate franchise? Do you think it will be revived at some point?
RL erhaps.Anything is possible.
AK:What message would you like to convey to fans ,as the Stargate franchise draws to a close?
RL:Just know how grateful each and every one of us who were lucky enough to be involved in the franchise are to each and everyone of you for your support.It was a pleasure serving you!
AK:What recent projects have you been involved ,which you would like to /share with viewers and what future plans or aspirations do you have for your career, both as an actress and as a singer?
RL:I have been working on a CD for over a year and a half now and it will FINALLY be available September 2011!Yeah!I am still auditioning for shows and movies.Any number of those may bare fruit soon.And I am writing some pretty fun screenplays at the moment that I hope to see produced soon.I would like to be involved in all aspects of this industry from acting to directing.
AK:What activities do you enjoy during your spare time?
RL:Being with my son doing, anything!Writing.Singing.Going to the movies.Going to the stables to watch my boy ride.Hiking.Hanging out with dear friends and family….
Actor, Brian J Smith has been leading a prominent career as an American actor,having just finished his first prominent role as the character of Lieutenant Matthew Scott on Syfy’s Stargate Universe for the show’s two seasons.The actor also recently featured on Syfy’s recent movie, Red Faction Origins, which is based on the actual video game franchise as the character of Jake Mason.This particular movie took place after the events of Guerrilla and before the events of the upcoming Armageddon game.
With SGU having concluded its run just a couple of months ago and Smith being kind enough to participate in an interview with us,we discuss the actor’s experience in portraying the character of Matthew Scott,his frank perspective on the factors which resulted in SGU’s cancellation as well as Smith’s thoughts on the suitability of Gauntlet as a series finale to SGU.The actor also reflects on the development of his young Lieutenant Scott and the slightly different hopes which he had for the extent of his character’s development.
Smith also discusses how working on the show influenced his acting career as well as his professional life,reflects on some of his favourite moments working on SGU, and his final message to fans,with the show having drawn to a close.
The actor also reflects on his experience working on Red Factions Origins and contrasts the experience of working on the Red Faction franchise to the Stargate franchise.
Abbas Karimjee:Were you a fan of Science fiction prior to being appointed the role of Lt Scott and how familiar were you with the Stargate franchise,in particular?
Brian J Smith:Wasn’t a huge fan of science fiction,just dabbled when I was a kid.And I think I had heard about Stargate before but I hadn’t watched any full episodes.But I’d say Sci-Fi is my favourite genre to work in,right now.Kitchen sinks are pretty boring after running from aliens for two years.
AK:How did you relate to the character of Lt Scott?
BJS:He was new at what he was doing and so was I.I think we also both felt that we had something to prove.
AK:What was the most challenging aspect of playing Scott and how did you cope with this challenge?
BJS:One of the biggest challenges was the post-lunch sugar coma.They fed us very well on that set,and I learned to pace myself during Season 2.Every day there were these massive cakes,it was crazy.
AK: Science fiction fans have been known for their passion for genre entertainment.What initial concerns did you have from this and how would you describe your overall interaction with the fandom.
BJS:I didn’t have any concerns about it initially because I had no idea what I was getting myself into.Ignorance is bliss,I guess.That being said I enjoyed most of the interactions I had with Stargate fans particularly those who embraced SGU and were supportive of us from the beginning.I think SGU fans felt very protective of the show,like they had to stand up for it and they even stood up for us,which is no easy feat when some dude dressed as a Gauold or Wraith or whatever is waving a staff at you and telling you that you have terrible taste.
AK:Back in December,Syfy announced that SGU’S second season would be its last.What was your reaction when you discovered that the series had been cancelled and in your view,what were some of the primary reasons for which SGU was unable to attract the audience needed for the series to continue?What was your perspective on the decision of the producers to have SGU take the Stargate franchise in a new direction,with a strong emphasis on character relationships and how do you think this affected the presence of long time Stargate fans?
BJS: Well, I was really sad,of course,but Brad Wright and the rest of the producers seemed pretty confident that we’d be back,and they worked their tails off for months to make it happen.But good intentions and hard work don’t always add up to dollars, and in the end money walks.And actually I think we did have a pretty sizable audience and I think we did do a good job of grabbing them.It’s too bad that not enough of them owned Neilson boxes.SGU fans are always asking what they can do to keep science fiction shows like this alive.My advice would be to sign up for the Neilson program.I would also suggest buying DVD’s but we all know how expensive those damn things are,and I sure wouldn’t buy a DVD set when I can watch the whole thing pretty much for free on Netflix or even on youtube.And I’m sure some people were upset that SGU took the franchise in a new direction, but those of us involved were excited by the challenge and ultimately found it very fulfilling to work on the material we were getting.And when I look back on episodes like Time,Human,Twin Destinies,Common Descent I feel that we did work to do be proud of.Different strokes for different folks.
AK:Throughout the second season,Lt Scott was forced to face various unique challenges in terms of his relationship with Chloe who was dealing the effects of her encounter with the aliens,having to deal with Colonel Young’s poor leadership as well as maintaining a relationship with his son on Earth.
What are your thoughts on the suitability of the character’s development over the course of the show?How satisfied were you with this development and had SGU continued,which character dynamics would you have liked to see explored and how would you have liked for his function to have evolved?
BJS:I just wanted Scott to have a more defined and inclusive role in what happened in the story,and I actually think most of the cast felt that way about their own characters at some point.It’s not about screen-time or stuff like that,but I think we could have explored the unique talents of the crew and really put those talents to use so that if something happened to someone, their death wouldn’t just have sentimental value but would actually be crippling to the mission.I’m not saying he should save the day every time,but I always wondered what his critical contribution was and I think fans did too.I remember once at a convention or something some guy came up and was like,“I don’t think you’re a bad actor, but I don’t get Scott.He doesn’t do anything useful.”I can’t say I disagree.I don’t think emotional impact is enough. They really did a bang up job handling the death of Riley and making his death and the way he died important in the unraveling of Colonel Young.I always had the uneasy feeling that if Scott died,sure the crew would be sad for a few episodes, but ultimately there wasn’t anything that he was doing that fifteen other people couldn’t do just as well, if not better.It wouldn’t have affected the course of the mission.And yeah, looking back on it,I’d consider that to be a problem.But I was confident going into Season 3 that this would start to shift, but as you know we nevergot to explore it further.I honestly thought the show went out with a whimper,and it’s a shame because there was so much left undone.
AK:What are your thoughts on the SGU’S series finale, Gauntlet? How well of an ending do you think it served for SGU and the Stargate franchise,in general?
BJS:Like I’ve said before -it worked as a brilliant season finale,probably one of the best season finales you’re likely to see.But it’s probably the most insulting series finale in the history of science fiction,especially to our fans who had invested in this journey and deserved a better ending than putting the crew to sleep and stranding Destiny in space forever.Nobody is to blame,it’s just the way the cards fell.Well,a lot of people are going after SyFy,but SyFy is a business and not an artist sanctuary.They work for Diet Coke and Downy, and when Neilson tells Ronald MacDonald that not enough people are watching his new fish filet commercial in between acts of SGU he’s going to take his business elsewhere.That’s the way it’s always been,unless you’re HBO.But I can understand now why some fans and even networks are continually wary about getting involved in long-arc storytelling in science fiction because those stories rarely get finished.I know the guys had an ending planned out.We just didn’t make it to the finish line.
AK:Brad Wright recently reported at a Vancouver convention that SGU would not return for the planned TV movie,which would wrap up the storyline.
What was your reaction when you discovered this and why do you think the movie was not approved?Are there any additional details which you knew about the movie,which you would be able to share?Had the film been approved, what kind of conclusion would you hope would be in store for the crew of destiny and for Scott ?
BJS:I wasn’t surprised when I heard the news.It had been months since we wrapped the TV show,and the further away you get from the wrap date the less your chances are of going further.But we all immediately started emailing and calling each other,trying to find some closure. I wasn’t privy to the specifics as to why the bottom fell out. I would have loved to see where the background radiation story was going.I thought it was a promising idea because it brought up a lot of questions regarding science and religion,big questions, and that’s the kind of science fiction that really turns me on. I didn’t have any specific hopes for Scott.I think the writers knew where they were taking him eventually and I just enjoyed the ride.
AK: Reflecting on your experience on SGU, what were some of your favourite moments working on the show,either onscreen or off-screen?
BJS: Location shoots.Getting up early in the morning and driving with my coffee and my dog out to some beautiful place near a mountain or a river and doing a good day’s work out in nature.The stuff we did in New Mexico was the most fun I’ve ever had,and I get pretty nostalgic thinking about it now.It seems like it was forever ago and I miss that sense of going on a field trip with your closest friends and doing what you love to do.
AK:How has SGU affected both your career as well as your personal life,in terms of living in Vancouver and the friendships you formed?
BJS:Lots of memories,way too many.Maybe I should write a book.That’s what I’ll walk away with most,all those little moments in between set-ups,during lunch,traveling somewhere.
We had way too much fun,and man those two years went by way too fast.Maybe that’s the best thing I learned from the show-don’t take these kinds of experiences for granted, because they are rare and they are over in the blink of an eye.One day someone is cutting your hair for free or playing a prank on you or asking if you’re gonna eat the rest of your fries (that was usually Jamil), and the next day you’re schlepping around town going from audition to audition in the pouring rain. But hey, that’s the life I signed up for, and you’re always chasing after those kind of moments. That’s why you do it. You just can’t let it break your heart.
AK:Stargate Universe took the franchise in a bold,notable focus on character relationships and the ongoing issue of survival.In retrospect,how do you think the show and the character of Scott,in particular will be remembered as?
BJS: I don’t know.It’ll be different for everyone.I hope people look back on it as a high-quality, well-shot,well-written,well-acted show that had the balls to take itself seriously.Cute and quirky and light is very mode right now and that seems to be the way to create a hit, but I ultimately, in the long run, respect shows that don’t go for the easy laugh or the cheap effect.I think time will be kind to SGU.
AK:With Stargate having drawn to a close,what message would you like to covey to fans?
BJS:Just heartfelt thanks.You guys are troupers.
AK:You starred as the character of Jake on Syfy’s Red Faction Origin aired on Syfy last month.Could you please describe how the role of Jake was different from your previous roles,such as that of Lt Scott?Also,in terms of production, how would you compare working on a TV show of an established franchise,such as Stargate to working on a movie,such as Red Factions,which is also a part of a great franchise?Which do you prefer?
BJS: Well, SGU had the disadvantage of fan expectation.The only expectation regarding Red Faction was that it would suck.So people were actually surprised that some thought went into Red Faction and that we tried to tell a good story and not just blow stuff up.That being said,Stargate had lots of financial heft behind it, and I guess that’s the benefit of coming out of an established franchise.But Red Faction was an experiment and we shot that film on a very tight budget.Michael Nankin is the single best director I’ve ever worked with,and watching him create what he created with very little resources was a real lesson in directing.Directing is easy when you get unlimited takes,months of prep time,millions of dollars for special effects.Spielberg would have had a nervous breakdown.Michael Bay would have cried.The challenges he had to overcome were unbelievable.There was a medic on set who gave him the Bulgarian equivalent of Thera-Flu when he was getting a cold and he was actually fighting to stay awake all day.He somehow got through it, but that should give you some idea of what he was up against.And he also approached the story in an emotional way every single day,he was fully invested,which really isn’t easy to do when the set is falling apart and one of your actors is so ill that they can’t work and you’re running on five hours of sleep and the set medic has basically drugged you.He’s a real-life bad-ass.He taught me that who you choose to be when you’re faced with the impossible defines you.
AK:What upcoming projects are you working on which you would like to share with viewers?
BJS:I’m enjoying a much-needed break right now.It’s been a crazy couple of years,so I’m taking this time to get back in touch and get inspired again.Time to re-fill the well and find out who I am as a guy,not just an actor
Actor,Patrick Gilmore has been leading a distinguished career as a Canadian actor ,having appeared in various Science fiction series such as Battlestar Galactica and Eureka.Patrick’s most recent role within the science fiction genre involves the astrophysicist,Dale Volker on Syfy’sStaragate Universe.
With Patrick being kind enough to participate in an interview with us and Stargate Universe having just concluded its run after its two seasons,we take the opportunity to discuss the character of Dale Volker and the challenges involved in portraying the character,Patrick’s experience in interacting with the fandom ,his reaction to SGU’s cancellation and the actor’s view on the factors which led to the cancellation. Patrick also shares his thoughts on the suitability of SGU’s finale, Gauntlet as an end to the short-lived series, his thoughts on the future of the Stargate franchise and much more!
We also learn of Patrick’s experience working on AMC’s new Drama series, The Killer as well as well as his aspirations for the future of his acting career.
Abbas Karimjee: In addition to having played in other science fiction series such as Battlestar Galactica and Eureka , as well as having aired in Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis. Were you a fan of Science Fiction prior to gaining experience in genre entertainment and how did your previous experience both in genre entertainment and Stargate in particular impact your performance as Dale Volker?
Patrick Gilmore:Admittedly I was not a SciFi fan. Not that I didn’t enjoy SciFi movies, I just wasn’t one to actively search out the genre. I was a child of the late 70s, early 80s, so Star Wars was prominent in my imagination. I enjoyed the original Star Trek movies and I did see Stargate in theaters twice. The feel of Stargate Universe to me was less SciFi and more Character Drama reacting to SciFi. So I was comfortable going in, having not been influenced. It felt more real & relatable that way.
AK: How did you relate to the character of Volker?
PG:I loved getting a script and seeing that Volker had a smart-ass remark or diffused a situation with an offhand joke. I’d see that and say “That is so my voice.” And, for the most part, it was. The writers, having gotten to know us as actors and people, were able to write in our voice. Humor is something I fall back on when things get awkward…it became the same with Volker.
AK:How do you think the character of Volker has evolved over the course of the show and what aspirations did you have for the character?
PG: Like with all the characters, Volker found his place and role on Destiny. He began the journey uncertain of where he would fit in and unsure of how to deal with unstable authority (Rush). By the end Volker was a leading member of the science team, the go-to navigator on the Bridge and was able to hold his own against Rush. I would have liked to have seen his journey continue that way, but for the sake of good story telling it would have been fun to see him get knocked down a few times.
AK:What aspect of Volker was the most challenging and how did you cope with this challenge?
PG:It was tough to negotiate the relationship he had with some of the military, especially in Season 1. In such circumstances he would have become friends with many of the people on board but given the attempted coup those relationships would have become murky. But as the story progressed, those connections became clearer. As an actor, the science was challenging at times. But thanks to Wikipedia & Writer/Producer Carl Binder’s astrophysicist daughter…I was covered.
AK: Science Fiction fans have been known for their great passion and loyalty towards genre entertainment. What have been the various ways in which you have connected with fans and could you please, briefly describe your experience in interacting with the fandom?
PG: David Blue introduced me to Twitter early in the first season of SGU and two years later I’m a full on addict. It’s like theater, instant feedback. It’s also a great creative outlet and now my news source too. My fan interaction, for the most part, has been humbling. I’m still trying to make sense of it all and manage my reaction, but I hope I never get used to it, because then I’ll think it’s normal. (That’s a piece of advice Lou Diamond gave me.)
AK:Back in December, Syfy announced the cancellation of SGU once the current second season draws to a close. What was your reaction when you discovered that the series had been cancelled and why do you think SGU was unable to attract the audience needed for the series? What is your perspective on the direction which the producers took with SGU, by placing an initial emphasis on establishing the background of the show’s characters as well as the initial emphasis on survival?
PG:I, of course, was heartbroken to hear of the cancellation. We had a lot riding against us but I had convinced myself that loyalty to the franchise and the superior quality of the show would ensure at least a third season. There are so many factors involved in the number of viewers that tuned in live to give us such low ratings. But what we have to start taking into consideration is the changing viewing habits of people. I’ll use me as an example…In the last two years I have stopped renting movies, I have stopped buying DVDs and get all my movies from iTunes & I never, EVER, watch TV shows live. Thanks to DVR I wait till all my favorite shows have piled up and I watch 5 straight hours of Fringe or Community. The ratings that contributed to the cancellation of SGU do not take any of these things into account. The rating system is archaic and is ruining TV.
As far as the direction the writers took SGU…I never watched SG1 & SGA, but SGU was a show I would have loved as a casual TV viewer. It showed the incredible range of Brad Wright & Rob Cooper as artists. It was the right move and I don’t think they would have changed a thing.
AK: This season, Volker showed signs of his affection for Lisa Park. What do you think drew him to Dr. Park and what do you think of their suitability for each other? Would you have preferred that the two develop a romantic relationship, had SGU continued and what challenges would you foresee in having this actually transpire?
PG:Early in Season 1, Director Peter DeLuise gave us a note as secondary cast members to create our relationships with the other crew members. When he said “maybe one of you is in love with Lisa Park” as an example, Peter Kelamis and I both took that note to heart, as a “friendly” competition. So when the script started to hint at a possible connection between Volker & Park I was quick to throw that in Kelamis’ face. Aside from her love of the military, I think they’d be a great match. If there had been a Season 3 there would have been some great drama with Park, Volker & Greer, given that Volker regards Greer as a brother after the Kidney transplant. I would like to think that Dale & Lisa ended up together, but, again, for the sake of good story telling, it would have been cool to see him sacrifice himself to save Ronald & Lisa maybe.
AK:With the series finale, Gauntlet, approaching in the coming week, could you please give us a brief idea of what is in store for the conclusion of the series, both for the crew and the character of Dale Volker, in particular? How suitable of an end do you think the finale will be to the series?
PG:By the time you read this the SGU finale will have aired. All of us in Stasis Pods and Eli on the observation deck. I watched it live, I teared up when Volker stepped into his pod and immediately texted David Blue the moment the show ended. That last scene was brilliant. Alone, Eli looks out at the stars in wonder and his expression changes to a smile because, as he told his mom, he’s happy. But then, quietly his face shows the slightest hint of apprehension. And then Destiny leaves us behind. Beautiful, poetic. Not the ideal ending, but our future is left to the imagination of the audience.
AK Once the news of SGU’s cancellation had been released, producer, Brad Wright began a series of negotiations with MGM in an effort to have SGU continue either in the form of a movie or miniseries. Though Wright recently announced at a Vancouver convention that these negotiations were unsuccessful, what are your thoughts on the future of the franchise? Do you think Stargate will be revived at some point? Why?
PGThere is no doubt Stargate will be back. It’s a brand. It’s a money-making franchise. Above all else, Stargate is a really cool concept. One day, years from now, someone will have an idea to restart the story and we’ll have another generation of Stargate fans.
AK:What message do you have for fans of the series, as SGU draws to a close?
PG:I really can’t think of anything more profound to say other than “Thank you.” Their support has been humbling and I feel honored to have been a part of something that so many people love.
AK:- What other acting projects have you been working on, which you would like to share with viewers and what aspirations do you have for the future of your acting career?
PG:Since the end of SGU I’ve kept busy with other projects. “The Killing” on AMC has been my most notable work. It’s one of the best shows on TV right now and I feel once again that I’ve lucked out with my involvement in such a high quality show. I’d like to continue to find fun work environments and roles that will make my fans say “I didn’t even recognize him.” All the while I’ll be on Twitter,keeping people posted and saying irreverent & sometimes inappropriate things… @PatrickGilmore
Indeed, after much anticipation for SGU’s continuation in the form of a movie, producer Brad Wright announced in last week’s Chicago Con that plans for the SGU Movie had been cancelled. “We just recently found out that the SGU movie is not going to happen,” Wright said during his stage panel today. “It took too long. We just couldn’t get it together in time, and the window has closed. It’s actually sad for me, because after 17 years, I’m cleaning out my desk tomorrow morning.
Though Wright was certain as to the end of SGU, he did assert his satisfaction which both the series and the franchise in general had achieved. To demonstrate such sentiments, Wright indicated that “It was a great ride and I felt really good about [SGU] and about Stargate in general,” Wright continued. “When something’s been a part of your life for 15 years, it kind of takes you over.”
Wright also confirmed that the long awaited, Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis movies, Stargate Revolution and Stargate Extinction have been cancelled. The movies, which had been written over a year ago had been continuously delayed to due to MGM’s financial issues as well as issues in the economy.
Though there is currently no foreseeable future for Stargate, Wright remains optimistic as to the franchise’s future,“It’s a franchise. Stargate is not over,” he said. “Somebody smart from MGM is going to figure it out, and something will happen.”
What is your reaction to this news and why do you think the franchise was unable to continue? What aspect of the cancellation has you the most disappointed and what do you think will become of Stargate? Sound off in the comments section!
Take a read through below for a brief excerpt and look at the promotional features for tonight’s episode of Stargate Universe, entitled Seizure. The episode features Stargate Atlantis alumini, David Hewlett[ Dr. Rodney McKay] and Robert Picardo[ Richard Woolsey] as well as guest star, Victor Garber.
Homeworld Command tries to convince an ally they suspect might be infiltrated by the Lucian Alliance to let them use their planet to dial Destiny. Meanwhile, Rush (Robert Carlyle) is trapped in a simulation created by Amanda Perry (Kathleen Munroe).- Space Channel
Rush slips into a coma in the neural interface chair, and Amanda connects with him in the ship’s matrix, but Ginn informs Eli of a problem with that scenario. Elsewhere, Dr. Rodney McKay’s plan to dial the ninth chevron address hits a snag. TV Guide
What are your thoughts or speculations for this episode?Are you looking forward to seeing the Atlantis alumni? What will become of Rush and will Rodney’s plan succeed? Will the Lucian Alliance be prevented from invading Destiny once again or is history destined to repeat itself. Sound off in the comments section , to share your thoughts.
Actress Julia Benson has been leading a distinguished career,having recently been involved in Syfy’s feature film,Earth’s Final Hours and having played the role of the vibrant,independent and emerging character of Lt.Vanessa James on Syfy’s,Stargate Universe.
With Stargate Universe currently airing in its final episodes and Julia being kind enough to participate in an interview with us, we took the opportunity to chat with Julia about her experience with the fandom, her perspective on the new direction which SGU brought the Stargate franchise into , how Julia related to the character of James the actress’ perspective and on how the character of James has developed over the course of the show, Julia’s thoughts on the cancellation of SGU and much more!
Being a Vancouver based actor,I was fairly familiar with the Stargate Franchise.
I hadn’t really watched much Sci-fi before getting cast on SGU.Although,I did get into Firefly,which I can’t believe got cancelled,I loved it!
I had previously done an episode of Stargate Atlantis, and had a great time! Stargate has been a huge part of our industry for so many years so it’s weird to not have a Stargate show currently shooting
2. Science Fiction fans have been known for their great passion and loyalty towards genre entertainment. What have been the various ways in which you have connected with fans and could you please, briefly describe your experience in interacting with the fandom?
I think Sci-fi shows are lucky to have the kind of fans they do. All of the fans that I have had the chance to meet in person have been fantastic. I try to interact with people on my facebook fan page and twitter.I will be going to my first convention in June- so I am excited to meet some more of our fans then!
3. Stargate Universe brought the Stargate franchise into a new direction, with a greater focus on character driven relationships and an initial emphasis on the crew’s challenge of surviving in space. What was your opinion on the franchise’s new direction and what are your thoughts on the writer’s initial emphasis on establishing the backgrounds of the series’ characters. How do you think this initial focus has impacted the storytelling of SGU 2.5?
I think that all great shows focus on character- that is the heart of storytelling. The circumstances that characters are put in just teach you more about characters, so I love the direction that the writers took SGU. It’s great to explore where the characters came from as it helps the audience understand why the characters react the way they do in different situations.
4. How have you related to the character of Vanessa James?
I think that Vanessa has both strength and vulnerability. She can be one of the guys but also has a softer side; those are qualities that I definitely relate to.I also think that in difficult situations she wants to do what is right and even though it doesn’t always work out how she planned, she always gives it her all.
5. What has been the most challenging aspect of playing the character and how have you coped with this challenge?
I have really enjoyed all the aspects of playing Vanessa James; I particularly loved working with Bam Bam (James Bamford) on stunts. You have to be so focused and precise while at the same time stay in the moment as an actor. I have crazy respect for stunt actors, the things they do on set are mind blowing and…they make us look good! I would love to play another role that has some fighting and stunt work as it is a ton of fun.
6.In the season one episode, Pain, viewers had the opportunity to learn that James still had strong romantic feelings for Lt Matthew Scott and had to cope with a great sense of abandonment, given that he moved into a relationship with Chloe. Why do you think James has had such difficulty in overcoming the loss of Scott and do you think her attitude regarding Chloe and Matthew Scott’s relationship has evolved?
James had real feelings for Scott, plain and simple. He was messing around with her for one reason and she was there for another. I think that being stuck on a ship with someone you care about and having to watch them fall in love with someone else is awful. It makes it so much harder to get over when there is no distance.These things take time, and James takes it!
7. How do you think the character of James has developed since the series inauguration what aspirations did you have for the character
James went through a lot in the first season. There is a Kino scene that was only released on the DVD and it is a nice description of her journey throughout the first season. Since the beginning she has really been dealing with 3 things; trying to get home, her feelings for Scott, and her constant desire to find her place in Young’s eyes.I think that in season 2 she settles into her role on the ship. She is a bit harder and she may have finally let go of Scott…you’ll have to wait and see.
8.Back in December, Syfy announced the cancellation of Stargate Universe, once the show concludes in its current second season. What was your reaction when you discovered that the series had been cancelled and why do you think SGU was unable to attract the audience needed for the series to continue? How do you feel about the series ending this season?
I am definitely sad that SGU got cancelled. We had a really great thing going and I am grateful for the experience. But nothing in our business is permanent so you just have to appreciate what it was and move forward.
Our fans have been incredible since the show got cancelled and we all really appreciate the support, hopefully we get to make a movie to finish up our story! It would be so great to work with the cast and crew again.
9. Could you please give us an idea as to the challenges and adventures for the crew of Destiny in the second half of the season?
Some crazy stuff happens….spoiler, spoiler, spoiler. That is all I can say- WATCH IT!!
10. Which episode in the second half of the season is your favourite? Why?
Epilogue is a very cool episode and it was so much fun to shoot. There are a lot of “changes” that we all go through as characters…should be lots of fun for the audience.
11.Although Stargate Universe has been cancelled as a TV series, producer Brad Wright has been negotiating with MGM to continue Destiny’s journey, in the form of movies or another medium. What are your thoughts on this and would you be willing to reprise as James? What type of role would you like the character to play in achieving the end of Destiny’s mission?
Shooting a movie with everyone would be a dream. It would be great for the fans to have an ending and it would be really nice for the characters to get closure. I want to see James kick some serious alien butt!
12. What message do you have for fans of the series, as SGU draws to a close?
Thank you for all of your support over the past two years; it has been an awesome experience. I look forward to meeting some of you at conventions!
13. Are there any other acting projects which you have been working on, which you would like to share with viewers?
I have a couple of things coming up, but my most exciting venture is a project that my husband, Peter and I have with Ryan Copple (Riese). Details are in the final stages but I will be updating everyone on my Facebook page when things are locked down. This is a big year for us shooting our own work! Also, I starred in a movie with fellow SGU cast mate Robert Knepper called Earth’s Final Hours that will air on Syfy later this year!
Indeed we are greatly disappointed to have to report that Stargate Universe has been cancelled by Syfy . The series, which is currently in its second season, will air the last ten episodes in its second half this spring, before drawing to a premature end.
The news of the abrupt cancellation was first posted on Twitter today, where Syfy’s Craig Engler indicated that “Syfy will end its original action-adventure series Stargate Universe when the show returns with the final 10 episodes of its second season in the Spring of 2011,” Engler said. “The Stargate franchise — consisting of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe — has aired on Syfy since 2002.
Stargate Universe was to be different from its sister series, Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis in that it was to be more of a character based drama, which although would maintain the long term elements of adventure and humour, would also develop a more darker grittier tone. The series initially received a great deal of negative fan reception as the inception of the series was announced in simultaneous reports to the cancellation of the previous, Stargate Atlantis, causing many fans to be misinterpret the news reports to suggest that Stargate Universe was an intended replacement of this previous incarnation.
Although the series debut received strong ratings, with over 2 million viewers, by end of the inaugural season, the series was merely attracting 1.5 million viewers. In an effort to regain viewership,SyFy made a decision to move the Friday night series to Tuesdays, a night where programs tend to typically attract more live viewers . However, this effort has proven to have gone in vein as the first half of the current second season merely averaged 1.1 million viewers. It should, however be noted that the series scores significantly higher ratings in DVR viewings, suggesting that there is still a strong fanbase for the series. Possible reasons for the great number of delayed viewings include the great competition present from other network series on Tuesday nights.
There has been no news as to the possibility of a fourth Stargate series nor has there been any news on the developments of a SGU movie, to follow the series finale Deliverance, which will air in June 2011 as a cliff-hanger.
To make matters worse, various cast members of the series have reported that they found out about the news from their fans on Twitter and received no prior notice of the cancellation.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire cast and crew of Stargate Universe for their efforts into this series. Indeed, we embraced the new direction of Stargate, which you had helped create and were looking forward to having the series further develop in its exciting direction.We shall remember both the characters and storylines , which the series established and had the potential to further explore, for years to come.Thank you for a spectacular two years and best wishes for the future are extended to all those involved in the series.
What is your reaction to the series’ cancellation?What are your thoughts on the future of the Stargate franchise?
UPDATE- Producer, Joseph Mallozzi indicated on his blog, that there still may be a minimal extent of hope , for a third season of Stargate Universe. Though he maintained that such an outcome was unlikely, he did assert that it was possible, saying the following.
“Well, the SyFy cancellation makes it very long odds that we’ll be producing a third season next year. BUT IS THIS THE END? Damn you’re persistent. The honest answer is: I don’t know. No, that’s not entirely true. The truth is I do know some – but only enough to say it doesn’t look good and it’s very log odds we’ll be producing a third season next year – yet still only enough to say I can’t say this is definitely the end. At least for now”.
Further developments on alternative approaches to producing the third season, will be posted on this blog as soon as they are available.
The SciFi TvAndTalk blog recently provided its readers with the opportunity to conduct a Q &A with Stargate Atlantis actress, Rachel Luttrell [ Teyla Emmagan] . Luttrell has finished responding to some of the questions which readers submitted through the site and among these is my questions, which I submitted for the actress.Take a look at the answers which Luttrell provided to my queries below and for a complete read of the first part of the Q& A, visit SciFiAndTvTalk
Hello, Abbas. Let’s see if I can tackle your questions.
1.) What did you find the most challenging about playing Teyla?
The first challenge to me as a performer was getting Teyla’s fighting skills to a place where they looked natural, studied and trained. I had never fought nor had I ever practiced a martial art. I used my dance background to help me with the choreography
2.) Is there any aspect of the character’s background that was not explored and that you would have liked to see touched upon, or one that you would have liked to see explored in greater detail?
I was intrigued from my first encounter with Teyla by her personal history and about the history of her people. I always find it rather wanting in story when a culture that is not indigenous to a region comes in and saves the day due to their superior knowledge. I have always had a feeling that Teyla’s people and Teyla herself had much more perspective, mystery, mythology, knowledge and strength than was given breadth to be explored.
3.) In your opinion, would you imagine Teyla leaving her people behind in the Pegasus Galaxy to pursue a secure life on Earth with Torren and Kannan, following the events of Enemy at the Gate?
In short, the answer to your next question is no
4.) Should Stargate Extinction be approved for production, would you be willing to return for the movie?
Yes, of course I would be happy to be involved in an Atlantis film should there ever be one.
5.) What was your favorite episode of the series? Why?
We did 100 episodes. 100…it’s hard for me to choose ONE that honestly qualifies as my favorite. For me it’s more like moments of many, many episodes that are stand-outs. Moments in The Giftwhen Teyla finds out about her heightened sense and when she reveals her ability to the team; my fight with Jason in Lost Boys; working with (director) Mario Azzopardi in Thirty-Eight Minutes; Critical Mass; working with Connor Trinneer for the first time in Michael, and truly on and on and on..
6.) Have you been cast in any upcoming films or TV series? Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions.
As I write this I am still a free agent! But I am working on my CD thanks in large part to all of you out there who kept asking me to get off my butt and record something. I hope that once it’s all done, everyone will enjoy it! I’m having a lot of fun working on it. Aside from the CD, this year has been about selling our house in Vancouver, moving countries, immigration, and working on creating normalcy and security in our son’s life…oh, and now school for Caden, wow!
Special thanks are extended to actress, Rachel Luttrell for answering the questions.
UPDATE -It was revealed in the San Diego Comic Con that the two Atlantis guest stars scheduled to appear in the fifteenth episode of Stargate Universe’s second season, Seizure are David Hewlett and Robert Picardo who will reprise in their roles as Dr. Rodney McKay and Richard Woolsey respectively. A further overview will be posted shortly.
Producer, Joseph Mallozzi revealed on his blog that two cast members from Stargate Atlantis will guest star in their respective roles in a crossover for the 15th episode of Stargate Universe’s second season entitled, Seizure. There is no word yet on exactly which characters will be reappearing.
As a result of these appearances, Mallozzi indicated that slight changes will be made to the script of he impending Stargate Atlantis film, Stargate Extinction. ““There was a reluctance to move ahead with an SGA crossover, particularly on my part,” Mallozzi said, “because the feeling was it would step on the timing of the SGA movie, Stargate: Extinction, the events of which directly [followed] the Atlantis series finale, ‘Enemy At the Gate .’But given the delay on the movie front and the idea premise pitched out by Remi Aubuchon and Brad Wright, it was decided to go ahead with the crossover. Not a big deal, but it will require some changes to the Stargate: Extinction timeline which, in turn, will beg a host of questions, some of which will be answered in episode #15, some of which won’t … at least not right away.” To see a list of these hosts of questions, head over to Mallozzi’s blog.
Mallozzi has since repeatedly asserted that the involvement of Atlantis characters will not affect the core conflict of the film. He specifically indicated that “The changes made to the script will have to do with the timing of events (essentially the set-up) and won’t influence the heart of the story”. Essentially, the appearances will help provide certain details regarding the aftermath of the series finale of Stargate Atlantis, Enemy At the Gate which will in turn require the script to be altered in a way so that such details are not repeatedly conveyed and that the storyline remains true to the timeline. Having the Stargate Extinction storyline occur after the appearances on Stargate Universe would therefore not contradict with any of the circumstances or situations surrounding the characters’ appearances in the series and the situation on Atlantis as the film would take place afterwards.
We look forward to seeing the Atlantis cast members reprise in their roles in Stargate Universe and we strongly hope that we will eventually have the opportunity to revisit the characters of Atlantis in greater detail through Stargate Extinction.
Which Atlantis characters do you think will appear in Stargate Universe?How would you like to see them involved?What are your thoughts on the timeline change for Stargate Extinction? Share your thought with us in the comments section.