‘Stargate Universe’ is over. (Sadness.)
Syfy aired the show’s final episode on Monday (read my recap for AOL TV), and its pretty clear that the franchise won’t be bouncing back for at least a few years. It’s a shame, since ‘SGU’ was only starting to find its legs as a compelling, ambitious, arc-driven sci-fi drama, and ‘Stargate’ was one of the most consistently entertaining sci-fi brands of the last decade. Here’s hoping it’ll return some day in some form, and when it does, I hope I’ll be here to write about it again.
I interviewed ‘Stargate Universe’ co-creator Brad Wright and star David Blue about the series finale for a recent AOL TV feature. Below you’ll find text from a follow-up email interview I conducted with Wright about the show. The interview features Wright’s answers to specific questions about the finale that I didn’t use for the AOL feature in order to avoid giving away spoilers. Enjoy, ‘Stargate’ nerds:
Me: The final episode, to me, played like a series finale, thematically and emotionally. Is that what you were going for when you came up with this story and shot the episode?
Brad Wright: Actually we wanted it to be both. I had pitched the idea of putting the crew into suspended animation — with someone having to stay behind because one pod didn’t work — because I thought it made for an interesting reset of the earth side of things. A three year time cut would have been interesting. The story of the person that was going to be left behind was also a great opener for season three. But when we saw the Tuesday night ratings on Syfy we knew it might be the end. By having our leads come together for one last meal before going off into the void, we got a chance to see them as a team in the way we were always working toward. And by making the person left behind Eli, it brought the series full circle. Those two elements make it feel like a finale.
What was the most interesting or exciting aspect of this finale for you as a creator and as a viewer?
We all went down to watch the dinner scene. It was the last thing we shot main unit. Nobody on the crew or in the cast wanted it to be the end. But we knew if it was, it was a fitting end. And I think the final shots of the series are very moving.
We see the main crew members come together like a family in the finale. Was it always the plan to build to that?
Yes. It was always the plan for the wrong people to become the right people.
How would the characters and their relationships have grown and changed in the third season?
I don’t want to say where we were going to go with the story. It didn’t happen, so the show is what it is now. I think a pretty decent two seasons of television.
Earlier, we talked about your idea for a movie that would combine elements from all three ‘Stargate’ shows. Why did you think that would be the way to go to continue this story?
I intended to incorporate elements from both SG-1 and Atlantis to make it a “Stargate” movie and not just a “Universe” movie. The combination of elements also happened to be the only way I could think of compressing what was intended to be a longer series arc into one movie.
How do you feel when you look back on the accomplishment of producing 15 years of ‘Stargate?’
I feel proud. But I’d by lying if I didn’t say it’s a shame SGU was canceled. It deserved at least a final season, and where we were going with the story was very cool. Shepherding the final episodes through the post production process, sitting in mixes, etc, I kept thinking to myself “this show got canceled?” But business is business. And as I said to our crew members as we said our final goodbyes recently… “Time to start typing something else.”