Today, rather than regale you with an elaborate account of how my mother made me apply her hairdryer to the sliding back door in an effort to melt the ice that had frozen it shut so that she could clear the kitchen of hot pepper fumes and oil, I’m turning this entry over to Brad Wright and his long-awaited Q&A session.
Now those of you who only come here for my hilarious responses to email spam and cute doggy pics could be excused for not knowing that Brad Wright co-created Stargate: SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, and the upcoming Stargate: Universe, has acted as an Executive Producer and Showrunner on all three, written a mind-staggering number of episodes for the Stargate franchise (many of them significant and uncredited rewrites) and, perhaps most importantly, has through his generosity and infinite patience, shepherded countless eager up-and-comers through the challenging, sometimes tricky, occasionally baffling world of television production (myself among them). His writing/producing credits have included work on The Black Stallion, Neon Rider, The Outer Limits, and, of course, the following Q&A…
…BTW, today’s entry is dedicated to birthday gal Trish…
Davidd writes: “I just wanted to know, had you always wanted to be a show-runner/creator/writer/producer/all the other SG things you do? Or did the opertunities just present themselves?”
BW: I wanted to be an actor. When I started writing television, some twenty years ago, the best job for a writer was Executive Story Editor. The Producer was generally a non writer position.
Sheryl writes: “For Mr. Wright, I would like you to acknowledge that you do know how sad the fans are and that we feel slighted and ” blown off” due to some comments that you made in recent interviews- and that the 40ish group are the ones who spend the money for all sg-1 and sga products! Myself and my husband have been sga and sg1 fans since DAY 1 and love everything about them, the writing is fab., cgi is top notch ( of what little I have learned over 11 years) and your choice of actors will have us watching and following them for years to come. And we will give sgu a try just due to the franchise history ! I know you have seen the posts, got the letters and petitions and hopefully recieved the lemons , AND LOOK at the ratings! How ’s that for fan loyaliity! Just please acknowledge you know how the fans feel. I mean NO disrespect at all, and you are a wonderful writer/producer, ect. Thanks for letting me vent and I await your response. “
BW: I don’t remember saying that 40ish people spend the money for sg-1 and sga products. I do understand, however, that networks base their decisions on the continuation of a television series largely on demographics of viewership first and foremost. Their business is based on ad revenue, which is dictated by viewership in the target markets of their advertisers.
Thornyrose writes: “The plans for Universe have been in the works for a few years now, it seems. Have you already begun the process for coming up with a new series to follow Universe a few years in the future? With the cancellation of Atlantis after a 5 year run, will you be looking to make Universe and other series run for a similiar length of time, or do you hope to extend Universe’s run for longer? What has been the high point of working on the Stargate franchise in the last decade and a half? If not for the Stargate franchise, what do you believe you might be working on today? Finally, and related to the last question, what would you consider a non-Stargate “Dream job”? Thank you for your time and particiaption here, and many thanks to Mr. M. for hosting you.”
BW: Hmm. Many questions. I would like Universe to run for many years, but I make no apologies for Atlantis running five. In many ways, my dream job was writing “The Outer Limits” because we made a little movie each week. I do like making movies, and since I’ve never really made a big theatrical release, my dream job has yet to happen.
TT writes: “Tv is a collaborative process and things don’t always work out just how they’re envisioned. Can you pick out one episode of SG-1 that came out way, way better than you thought it would initially? Likewise, can you tell us which episode you think is, despite everyone’s best intentions, an unmitigated disaster?”
BW: Every episode I’ve ever been involved with has been improved by collaboration. As to the second question, sometimes things get made that shouldn’t. Emancipation. Seth. Hathor. Space Race. Epiphany. Unfortunately, I could go on.
Laura writes: “When you first pitched Stargate, did you every dream that it would last for 10 seasons, still continue on in movie format, and create 2 spin off series? Or, what were you initial expectations of the SG-1?”
BW: I knew we would be making 44 episodes, which was as much as I dared imagine at the time. 10 years? No. In fact, if you’d told me it would have gone that long, I would have told you I wouldn’t still be here. But it’s still fun, so I am.
Jeff B. writes: “While I’m sure you’re terribly busy with all things SGU at the moment, could you please give us an update as to where exactly things are with regard to the third Stargate movie?”
BW: We’re making a movie. Carl Binder and I are co-writing the script. Martin will direct. If you have a good title, let me know.
Anonymous J writes: “Question for Mr Wright: I really, really enjoyed Continuum – have rewatched several times and can happily pass this around my family with very few caveats. One puzzling thing: why the casting of Ben B as his grandfather? I have to say, with his distinctive voice and face, it immediately took me out of the story for those scenes. I kept wondering, why didn’t they just hire someone who resembles him? So…why was that?”
BW: We did it because it was fun. For Ben and for the audience who recognized him.
Rigel writes: “1) Has there ever been a point in your career where you’ve finally had a enough and thought about quitting? If so, what or whom has kept you motivated to write?
2) Is there any actor(s) dead or alive that you would love to write character(s) for? Who or whom would they be?”
BW: One of the things I love about being a writer is that you never have to stop even if can’t get work. I love writing for good actors.
Patricia Lee writes: “As I am sure you are aware, a lot fans are not very happy with the cancellation of SGA. Could you please explain in a way we novices can understand your decision not to support a 6th season. And is there anything we fans could do that could change your mind allowing you to fight for and bring back SGA for a 6th season; even if there is going to be a movie anyway”
BW: They would have been unhappy with cancellation after any season, or at least, until it became obvious that the show should be cancelled, at which point, it’s too late to make movies.
Amac251 writes: “Have you finished the casting for Stargate Universe?
Would you consider Adam Baldwin as a “well known” actor for this show? He has an excellent range of acting ability and a phenomenal sense of comedic timing.”
BW: How ’bout Mr. Robert Carlyle. That’s a coup.
PG15 writes: “1. The character descriptions for Universe have been released onto the ‘net for quite some time now, and fandom’s in an uproar over how…uh…shallow they all sound. I attribute that to the fact that they came from a source meant for actors and agents, and thus have to focus on the flashy characteristics and looks. If I’m right, I’d like to know how YOU’D describe them, as someone who has to write the characters, and thus focus on the more in-depth stuff.”
BW: I hate character breakdowns. They always sound shallow, and if they’re written to appear “deep” it’s just ridiculous. Breakdowns have only one purpose: To help casting directors and agents choose which of many hundreds or thousands of performers should be submitted for the roles.
“…just for kicks: What’s the name of the first episode?”
BW: Just for kicks: Air.
Bailey writes: “So I guess I would ask why, oh why, would it have been so terrible a thing, to have given SGA one more season? Would the opportunity to do SGU, which seems to be your new love, have been derailed if Atlantis had continued?
I know many, if not most, Atlantis fans will give the new show a chance, but at this point, I don’t think I will be one of them. I still feel hurt and betrayed by this decision. Irrational perhaps, but real feelings on my part. Do you have any words of wisdom or comfort for those of us who feel this way?”
BW: Watch Universe. If you like it, keep watching it. As I said, I make no apologies for a 100 episode series.
Anne-Marie Sloan writes: “What do you think of all the negative comments about the unyet aired Stargate Universe, as well against members of the Stargate family for creating this new series and not continuing with Atlantis???”
BW: I think it’s odd, frankly, that fans throw stones at the people who not only created the shows they loved in the past, but are trying to create shows they will love in the future.
The King writes: “The other day I caught an Outer Limits marathon on Sci-Fi, and I just wanted to say that your episodes (Quality of Mercy and Trial by Fire) were just phenomenal. Quality of Mercy was perhaps the single best work of science fiction I’ve seen in years. And despite its age and lack of flashy effects, it holds up against anything being made today. More than that, it puts today’s stuff to shame.
In that vein, I would say that SG-1 often times displayed a similar, if not as pronounced, exploration of the human condition and of moral ambiguity. Perhaps it was within a more intricate and less flexible framework of characters and circumstances, but it was there. Yet as the franchise has worn on and aged, I think it’s fairly obvious that much of that complexity and depth has been replaced by a more popcorn-fare driven approach to storytelling, especially once you found a home on the Sci-Fi channel. Sometimes Stargate still displays that gravitas and level of emotion, but not as starkly or as bravely as it once did.
My question (FINALLY!) is whether this was a thematic decision that you made, to take a bit of the edge off of the storytelling, or whether it was just part of the natural evolution of the franchise. And do you think that you might return to that level of character exploration and storytelling technique in Stargate: Universe?”
BW: I miss Outer Limits. I loved writing for it. But note that in both episodes you mentioned, I ended the world. Stargate is just a different animal. Having said that, there’s a lot of room for what you’re talking about in Universe, which is why I want to do it.
AussieSGFan writes: “..I tend to have fun creating story- lines and all, but sometimes they give me headaches, trying to make sure I don’t leave any gaping holes. Do you ever get frustrated with it all?”
BW: Of course. That’s why it’s important to have a great staff that you trust.
Sgfan writes: “Are there updates on the third SG1 movie?”
BW: We’re making it in the spring.
Michelle writes: “On-line reaction to the character breakdowns for SGU has been quite negative, chiefly because of age ranges advertised on the audition sides (20-25 for all but one character). Has that reaction affected your plans at all, or do you have some reassurances to offer?”
BW: Most of those negative comments were a reaction to what the Sci Fi channel said. I never said “young and edgy“ They did. Judging the series from character breakdowns is just ridiculous.
“…In your mind, is spiritual enlightenment required for someone to ascend, or is it a matter of physiology and technology?”
BW: I think someone has to be prepared for Ascension.
Linda Gagne writes: “I know Joe M. has told us that if the DVD sales are good for SGA, then there will be more movies, but I just get a bad feeling about this. Perhaps it is that I feel, like many, that the fans of SGA don’t matter to tptb. If we have to take movies we will, but we preferred a weekly showing of our favorite characters.”
BW: Again, five years is a successful series. Fans don’t matter to us? Please.
“My question to you is, how committed are you to the movie making of SGA? If committed, how many movies are we talking if each does well, infinite?”
BW: There are so many deals that have to be in place each time, it’s impossible to predict. It also depends on the success of the first one. MGM was talking about more SG-1 movies as soon as the first did well.
“Why couldn’t you have kept SGA going and SGU at the same time like you did with SG-1 and SGA (you probably would of had more try to watch the new show if you had done this and I am sure MGM and SCIFI would of let you have what you wanted)?”
BW: When we did it the first time, it was because the Network made it clear they wanted both. The success of the SG-1 movies made an Atlantis movie possible, and all parties decided that was the best way to move forward.
“Trying to end on a more cheery note, of all shows on tv now, what is your favorite to watch and why?”
BW: I watch Dexter, House, The Office, Battlestar… and the Daily Show.
IggyMing writes: “1. I’ve read reports that Jack will be the central character in the 3rd SG1 movie. Is this still the case? Is RDA still committed to having a larger role in the movie?”
“2. Amanda Tapping said in a recent interview that filming would be in late spring/early summer. Is this still the case? If so, when will the movie be released? Are you concerned that there might be a drift in interest the longer you wait?”
“3. Why haven’t there been any announcements yet giving an official go-ahead for the 3rd SG1 movie? (Unless there have been and I just haven’t heard!)”
BW: We need to get some deals in place first.
FargateOne writes: “1. TV is a business. Do a space show costs a lot more than vampires, paranormal or angels stories. Is it correct to say that MGM wanted to invest money in only one space show and finally, planets were aligned to put money in SGU since Farscape ended, Star Trek ended, Firefly ended, Battlestar Galactica ended etc. ?
2.This one is more a wish than a question (maybe too early to ask) but, do you have plans for Claudia Black or Ben Browder in Stargate Universe?”
BW: Yes, to the first question and no to the second.
ElisaD writes: “Do you have any concerns about fans being upset in believing SGA is being cancelled and SGU was given a go to attract a younger audience and so some of us “older” fans not switching over to SGU?”
BW: We are not, not, not trying to get rid of our older fans. For god’s sake, we just cast Robert Carlyle. He’s over twenty.
Iamza writes: “…thank you for helping to create SGA. It is one of my favourite TV shows, and I will miss it enormously when it is gone. And thank you also for The Shrine. Your involvement in these gives me some small hope that Stargate Universe might be worth watching after all.”
BW: Glad you liked the Shrine. Thanks.
Ccdsah writes: “ Great work with Continuum, my only complaint would be it was very Jack-light (blink and you miss him kinda thing), and it needed more Sam/Jack ship…”
BW: The next movie will be much more Jack centric.
AmmoMonkey writes: ““When I first read the press release for SGU, like many I was quite dubious about the content. Then of course I remembered my initial trepidation about SGA and now it’s my favourite TV show still on air. With SGU being set in the far reaches of the universe will we be visiting planets with truly alien species on them rather then the usual ancient-seeded-humans fare that we had in SGA? I do hope so.” Thank you for your time in answering this question.”
BW: Actually, you’re right. We are getting away from ancient-seeded-humans. Hopefully exploring the truly alien, and avoiding the rubber faced English-speaking one.
Sector24 writes: “Hi Brad,
thanks for stopping by the Mallozzi-Midway Station in cyberspace. My questions are:
1. When you created the series with Jonathan Glassner back in 1997, did you think it will become such a popular franchise in the ranks if Star Trek for such a short time?
2. Were you ever tired of SG and wanted to move on, or you just feel too much at home there?”
BW: I’ve stepped away from the series a couple of times now in terms of the day to day running of things, but I’ve always kept my hand in. It’s become too much of my career to just hand it over to a stranger. Who knew we’d still be making something called Stargate all these years later? Considering our shaky creative start, it’s miraculous we made it past season one.
General Yogi Bear writes: “Concerning the passing away of Don Davis: Are there any thoughts or stories you could share with us?”
BW: Don was a dear man who I was fortunate to work with for many years.
Norma writes: “May I ask you a favor? In third Sg1 movie can you write Vala a little better and give her a little more screen time? She’s also a team member now, just like Mitchell, and therefore write Daniel/Vala better, with depth and humor, not the Continuum way! And I hope the third movie will not be all about Jack, especially if he’ll be dumb Jack, please ask RDA to act at his best. Thanks.”
BW: Whoa, write Vala a little better? Not the Continuum way? Ask RDA to act his best? I don’t think I like you either, Norma.
Noir writes: “You said this sentence, I’ve never forgotten, in the Specials of the 1st season (“It’s not easy being green”): “We wanted the Wraith to be as old as the Ancients.” […] For me these words – together with your sentence from the specials – expressed that the Wraith have evolved of their own and have yet been there when the Ancients arrived at the Pegasus Galaxy. And they must have been a high technology and space travelling society at that time. But Dr. Beckett’s Theory about the evolution of the Wraith said the complete opposite. According to this theory the Wraith would be younger than the humans! And that means that the Wraith can’t be older than about 170.000-200.000 years (the estimated period “modern” humans exist) – and so they are much younger than the Ancients! And, please, don’t tell me that the people in the PG have evolved by their own. Their DNA is too close to ours that they could be a different race that has evolved seperately from us. And now my question: When did you change you opinion concerning the Wraith and their evolution and what was the reason for it?”
BW: When we came up with the Iratus bug, we decided to incorporate them into the Wraith backstory.
Fsmn36 writes: “1) How did you go about securing the right for the franchise of Stargate? What does that process consist of typically?”
BW: This is an old story. I was on Outer Limits with Jonathan. We pitched Stargate as a series to MGM. They were already thinking along those lines, and asked us to partner to create it.
“2) Did you see the characters as being different from the movie or was it just a development that happened? (I mainly mean Jack here, but in general as well.)”
BW: The Jack in the movie has one L in O’Neil. Our Jack has two. That’s why he said: “with two LL’s” in a script early on. A small distinction that was important to RDA.
“3) How did you decide on the character of Samantha Carter and come about choosing Amanda Tapping for the role? (I assume you had a say in the casting, but if I’m wrong, I apologize.)”
BW: Yes, I had a hand in casting, and frankly had to fight for Amanda because the Studio and Network were pushing for somebody else. Glad I won. Same happened with Daniel. Teal’c was a no brainer the moment Chris walked in.
“5) At what point did you decide on the spin-off(s)? As in, did you always have the idea in mind, or was it something the network asked you to work on when they saw how well SG1 was doing, etc. What is the process of establishing (creating) a spin-off?”
BW: I thought of doing Atlantis as a spin off after season five, but the series got moved instead to Sci Fi. Very little of what I had in mind became the series you know of now. I intended to set it in Antarctica under the ice. It would have replaced SGC as our conduit to other worlds.
“6) What was behind the decision to make straight to DVD movies? Could you have found a studio to produce them for the big screen? Would you ever consider it?”
BW: MGM owns Stargate, not me. I can’t change studios. The DVD’s came out of a desire to prove we could make movies. I think we surprised the studio with what we could do on a small budget, but not enough to let us make a big Stargate feature.
“Tammy writes: “ Would you ever consider taking unused/cutting room floor footage (there is a rumor that there is a large chunk of footage missing where the team deals with Jack going to Washington?) and re-cutting select episodes with the additional scenes? Maybe release a special dvd with select episodes on it?”
BW: That is actually, a very funny, very wrong rumor. If I get RDA in a movie, I don’t cut the scenes. If you’re looking for a re-cut movie, watch Children of the Gods when it comes out.
Narcissus writes: “A) Will you keep Joel Goldsmith as composer for SGU? He’s simply terrific, I can’t wait for the new main theme.”
BW: Joel is a genius.
“B) Will the new series reflect on the newest scientific developments, e.g. the discovery of dark matter or the even more mysterious dark flow?”
Jim Geer writes: “Are there any plans to revisit the Aschen story through any arm of the Stargate franchise? I’d love it.”
BW: I liked the Aschen story too. Insidious. No plans right now.
Shirt ‘n Tie writes: “Is there any piece of “cannon” Stargate that you have felt chained to and wish you get rid of? either mythology or race (and no I’m not talking about the Reetou or the Furlings) but just in general? Thank you again for the past 12 wonderful years, and I for one am really looking forward to Universe!”
BW: We already got rid of something I hated. Symbiotes. In the stomach.
Platschu writes: “1. How long do you plan the Stargate : Universe series? Will it reach 3-5 season?”
BW: I hope so.
“2. Which famous actor would you like to see as a series regular in the Universe?”
BW: Robert Carlyle. Got him.
“3. How many DVD films will be made in the next years? Can we expect 2 SG-1 and 2 Atlantis film in every year?”
BW: That’s hard to say. We’re doing two this year.
“5. Have you ever considered a theatrical SG-1 film with even bigger budget (20-25 million $)?”
BW: I would love to do that. The reasons we can’t right now are complicated.
“6. Can we expect new shooting locations in Universe? Or will there be more CGI created world or maybe digital sets?”
BW: Yes, and yes. We’re scouting in the desert of New Mexico as I write this sentence.
“7. Will you make Stargate : Worlds references in the Universe series or DVD films?”
BW: Stargate Worlds seems to be in trouble. Shame.
“8. What do you think about Stargate : Infinity? Could SG-1 have a similar (or better) drawed cartoon season with the original voices of SG-1?”
BW: Never saw it. They didn’t want our involvement.
“9. What will you do if Universe is canceled after the first season? Do you have other SG spin-off plans?”
BW: If SGU gets cancelled after the first season I will be shocked, and I will likely move on to something else.
DasNdanger writes: “1. Do you view the Wraith as a valuable part of the franchise, worthy of continued growth and development, or do you see them only as disposable enemies, a mere plot device eventually to be tossed aside?”
BW: Ah… the series is over.
“4. Who actually came up with the concept of the Wraith, and was any particular insect used for the basis of their look, or was everything just made up on the fly?”
BW: Rob and I came up with the Wraith as we developed the show together, but I’ll give him most of the credit.
“5. For god’s sake, will SOMEONE tell me what those finger armor thingys are for??! PLEASE!!”
“Thank you very much, Mr. Wright, for creating this show and these characters in particular, and for finally allowing their development to expand over the past few seasons, especially with episodes like Common Ground and The Queen. I only hope that they will continue to be a part of SGA in the upcoming movie, and beyond. I would like to say that I am on board for Universe, but I just can’t right now. I started watching because of the Wraith, and unless one finds itself a part of the new crew, I can’t make promises.“
BW: Okay. No promises.
Nyssa writes: “1) Have you ever thought of going into Public Relations? How about taking a few public relations courses? Seriously, I recommend you look into it cause your heartless, condensing comments to the SGA fans about the cancelation of our favorite show is, frankly, still shocking.“
BW: What?!! I’ve never made a condensing comment in my life. But seriously, what are you talking about? What did I say that was heartless?
Anne Teldy writes: “First, it would be small of me not to congratulate you on, and thank you for, the brilliance of your episode “The Shrine”. My niece, sister and I have all cried through it several times. It may very well end up being my favorite episode of Stargate (Atlantis or SG-1) ever.”
BW: Thanks. I feel better.
“The Cancellation: I thought the first rule of business was “give the people what they want”. Did you even consider what the fans might want when you ended Stargate Atlantis? Were you taken by surprise just how vehemently the cancellation has been opposed?”
BW: Folks, if Atlantis was performing brilliantly in the ratings, it would still be on the air.
“Do you still maintain that Stargate Atlantis was not canceled in favor of Stargate Universe?”
BW: My preference would have been another season of Atlantis, alongside two new movies, then Universe. I wholeheartedly admit that I had no desire to make two series at once again. Twice I’ve launched a new series while running another, and I won’t do that again. It’s been the case for five of the last fifteen years of my career, which has amounted to over four hundred hours of television in that time including the Outer Limits.
“Stargate Universe: Why are you (collective) emphasizing the youth and looks of the characters? It’s been made to sound like you have no interest in having fans over the age of 25. From the press release on MGM’s Official Stargate site:
Challenges will arise though as the ship comes into range of Stargates placed centuries ahead of the Destiny and the crew is unable to control the ship’s navigational schedule. If someone is left behind, there is no way to go back for them, adding to the drama of encountering new races, enemies and adventures.
And they can’t go back through the Stargate and get them because…?”
BW: You’ll see.
TheTrueMole writes: “Are you going to bother to produce a full length opening sequence and have SciFi cut it down later, or just stick to a 3 second title screen from the get-go?”
BW: We are planning a third option.
Dan writes: “Would you ever make an SG-1 movie with no aliens?”
BW: Depends on what you mean by alien.
Terry writes: “As a creator of TV series, how difficult is it for you to give up day-to-day control of the production to exec producers once the show is up and running?”
BW: I am not a control freak. I do speak up when I think something is going off the rails, but just because it didn’t come out of my head doesn’t mean it’s not valid. That’s the collaborative process of television.
“The Shrine” came together beautifully on all fronts, from acting to writing to music; have you ever had a script you wrote that you really liked that didn’t turn out as well on screen as you’d imagined?”
BW: Many. I hated Epiphany. That was a much my fault as anyone’s.
“Have you thought about doing something outside of the SG universe?”
BW: I fully intend to work on projects outside of Stargate. After SGU is up and on its feet I’ll step away to do other things. But I’ll always read scripts and bounce ideas with the guys.
“Were you surprised by the reaction of fans to the announcement of the cancellation of SGA and the start-up of SGU?”
BW: No. You guys are actually pretty predictable (take no offense, most fan groups are). Unfortunately, you represent a very small portion of the actual viewing audience we need for financial success.
Anais33 a ecrit: “1) Dans stargate univers, allons nous voir un peu d’endroit ou de personnes provenant de sg1 ou sga?”
BW: No, we’re not using any of the cast from the other series.
Chevon7 writes: “1. Children of the Gods – The Brad Wright edition. Ok so everyone’s talked about the removal of the nudity, but what else can we expect? Is it longer, shorter? Will you be souping up the VFX ala George Lucas? Have you talked to Jonathan Glassner about it?”
BW: It’s shorter, and better paced. It’s the one I wish we made the first time. You won’t catch all the little things I did, but it’ll “feel” different. I think I told Jon I was doing it. We don’t speak much.
“2. SGU – I read that you wanted a mainstream audience for the show rather than the usual sci-fi fans – Brad Wright -”And we feel like we want to be the agents of that change ourselves, and feel like we’re capable of coming up with another engaging television show that is possibly more mainstream, possibly a little outside the Stargate box.”
BW: We would like a hit television show.
“Could you please explain this a bit further? Is it not going to be Stargatey at all? (yes it’s word )”
“3. How do you go about creating a look for a tv show you are developing? Could you give some examples of how you & Rob came up with the look for Atlantis and the Pegasus Galaxy to give to James Robbins and his team or is it all James? I like that it’s more realistic and not fake and freaky like Trek.”
BW: We’re trying to find a much more realistic, gritty look.
“Thanks for visiting. Please keep Joe Mallozzi and Paul Mullie around. They did a great job with Seasons 4 & 5.”
BW: Joe, is that you?
Aboleyn24 writes: “The Shrine will always be one of my all time favorite episodes. For me the best scenes in SGA are the small character driven ones. That is why I love Sunday as well. The scenes between Sheppard and Rodney stand out above all else, especially the pier scene, a perfect balance of heart and humor.”
BW: The pier scene was why I wanted to write the episode.
“As for my question, Does Rodney have a full memory of what occured during his illness? I am just curious if he remembers it all or just has a basic understanding of what happened to him with pieces of memory and no clear picture.”
BW: The latter.
SciFan writes: “ If SGU should fail because of lack of fan support, what would you do? Would it be possible for to restart SGA or is it totally out of your hands?”
BW: SGU could fail. That won’t bring SGA back. Sorry.
CazzBlade writes: “When discussing the cancellation of Atlantis was it ever considered that the fans would not react well to it or to SGU as a consequence?”
BW: If we make a good show, you will watch it. If we don’t, you won’t.
Johnny E! writes: “1. Why choose continuing the Stargate Saga with a new project like Universe (which I look forward to) rather than going with an established product like SGA.”
BW: SGA did not have the numbers to go beyond season 6. That was a factor among many.
“2. What is the general theme for SGU, with SG1 it was to defeat the gould (later the priors) and find new technology, for SGA it was to defeat the wraith and find new technology. Will it be a new bad, or just exploring the new gouldless universe looking for new technology? “
BW: We will not have a single dominant race of bad guys like the Goa’uld or the Wraith. It’s more about the people on the ship.
Alexandria writes: “SGA is a fabulous show that has a worldwide fanbase. This season has some of the best ratings yet and the show even won a People’s Choice Award because the people love the show. Joe was truly kind enough to post several vague ideas for episodes if the show had continued on to a 6th season. I personally would love to see those shows come to fruition. The more of season 5 that I see, the more I want to see Sheppard, McKay, Teyla, Ronon, and Jen next year for another season. Thousands of fans agree with me, and I’ve even convinced new viewers to agree as well. If you are in any doubt, please check out the hey nielsen site. http://www.heynielsen.com/view/stargate-atlantis/”
BW: Unfortunately, we need millions, not thousands.
Aurora Novum writes: “1. Actually, the saddest part of the movie (outside of Mitchell’s…er ending) was that the team accepted being separated from each other for a year. I wondered why you chose that long a time period before Ba’al’s “arrival”, and why the team, in your view, appeared to actually abide by the terms of the agreement.”
BW: Because it would have been too much of a coincidence for Baal to show up right away. And Landry had a damn good point.
“2. In a similar vein, how much do you find your story is dictated by the production environment, and how much is it your initial brainstorming/vision? For example, I understand Daniel’s injury in the Continuum movie was added because of Michael Shanks filming unavailability, but I wondered why the injury wasn’t dealt with much overtly (i.e. therapy, limitations in walking) outside of CGI shots or an occasional limp. Could you discuss the reasoning for those decisions?”
BW: We see him without his leg three times. As for his limping, we realized that in a year, he would become quite proficient with his artificial leg.
“3. What was your reaction/thoughts about the jets made available to you by the USAF? Can you share anything about that experience?”
BW: Cool. I’m the escort pilot in the movie. You can see it’s me pretty clearly, and it’s my voice too. That’s how much I like jets.
“4. How do you tend to write? Brainstorm, Outline, then right from first page/scene to last, a la Mr. Mallozzi? Do you skip around? Listen to music as you write?”
BW: I start at the beginning of the script almost every time. I can sometimes spend much too much time on the first half of a script this way, but I’ve written a long time. It’s become my process. I sometimes write outlines, (had to in the days I worked for other people) but I almost always change everything anyway. I like discovering the story as it unfolds. It’s arguably the least efficient way to write and I wouldn’t recommend it to any writer, especially a new one.
“5. What was your favorite episode as a writer or producer of “Outer Limits”, “SG-1″, and SGA, and why?”
BW: Quality of Mercy, Light Brigade and Trial by Fire for Outer limits, although I am also quite proud of Becka Paulson. (I’m the only one) As for SG-1, I like 2010, Pegasus Project, and a couple I completely rewrote but don’t have my name on them. For Atlantis, after Rising I have to go with “The Shrine”.
“6. A lot of talk has been made of the spaceship “Destiny” for Stargate Universe–is there plans for the “Stargate” itself to be used quite a bit in the course of the series, or with filming locations becoming more sparse, will it be a more ship/space-oriented series?”
BW: We’ll still be using the Stargate.
“7. Finally, what’s been the biggest surprise for you over the course of producing Stargate?”
BW: That I’m still here.
Lynn writes: “My question is although I have no particular knowledge or understanding of science especially the advanced kind shown in the show, but although a fiction show, there always seemed to be a scientific logic and reality to the ideas presented which always impressed me. I have heard you were the “go to” guy for science questions. Did you have any special education in the sciences or was it mainly research through the internet or contacts you could call when questions arose.”
BW: Actually, my understanding of science is very limited. I do read a lot, but when I’m in a conversation with real scientists, I feel stupid. Having said that, sometimes real science is incredibly limiting.
Lcshepp writes: “I and many others are more than concerned the way that SGA was cancelled. Why you couldn’t have waited until the season was over to annouce this is beyond many of us. Nothing like putting a damper on the rest of the season. Many of us also fell slighted over the desire for a younger viewing audience. We all feel very slighted that we have supported you and your franchise for many years and this is how it ends for many of us.”
BW: We need both of you.
ChevronSeven writes: “How much feedback (good, bad or indifferent) have you received with the reaction to the actual screen time of RDA (about 2 minutes in the beginning, 2 minutes in the middle & 1 minute at the end) in Continuum? It appeared via promos and interviews that “Jack is back!” only to be disappointed with the actual screen time upon viewing.”
BW: That’s all I could get him for. He’ll be much more involved in the next one.
Narelle from Aus writes: “Where are you/what are you doing when you get most of your ideas? Is there a pattern to when these ideas come to you such as you are in a quite room like “the throne”, chatting with other like-minded people or find yourself in the middle of a backswing when a great idea comes?“
BW: I can’t think of my work when I golf at all. That’s why I golf. I think of my work at all other times.
“What was your take on the most recent Indiana Jones movie?”
BW: Never saw it. I hear it’s an expensive episode of Stargate.
“My Husband asks if you could to stop making Stargate please. He would like his wife back.”
BW: It’s only an hour a week, man.
Rose writes: “There was only one small part of The Shrine that left me cold and that was Rodney’s confession of love for Jennifer. I found it jarring and out of place. I realize that it’s not possible to show every single encounter between every character but there was zero build up to this. If Rodney had told Jennifer he cared for her or even that he really liked her, I would have bought it. Could you please explain your reasoning behind this decision?”
BW: He thought he was dying. Obviously.
Cheeky Lil Devil writes: “From business woman to business man, I wondered what your thinking process was to bring in a show that has technically not been tried and tested and replaced a product that from all accounts seems to be doing well in the key demographics, ratings. Etc.”
BW: From all accounts? No.
“…what i’m trying to say in a nutshell (and failing miserably) is that if I were to invest in a new product, from a business perspective i’d test the market first to see if there was an ‘audience’ for that particular ‘age range’ and genre, rather than simply scrapped in a sense a product that there was still an audience for. Lastly while I am here, I wonder if you could let the fans know the reasons for wanting a younger audience, particular as the ‘older’ audience are the ones that have kept the franchise going for this long.”
BW: I thought you said you were a business person.
T_Lily writes: “…are you disappointed by the short life of SGA? Even though it’s running in film form, it won’t be the same, so once again I’m a little bit worried about the content as it won’t be as elaborate as a season running story arc. Thanks in advance!”
BW: Short life?! FIVE YEARS!
YouTuber writes: “I understand that you’re a fairly avid golfer. What’s your handicap? And have you ever been to the Canadian Open?”
BW: At the moment, I’m an 8.7 index. Never been to the open.
Shai writes: “In hindsight, do you regret how the Dreaded Announcement of Doom was handled?”
Kelly writes: “I was totally shocked to hear of the cancellation of SGA. You have issued all sorts of platitudes and various reasons for the cancellation that didnt really make any sense.“
“You mention about the franchise having to move forward. How will SGU achieve this. My interpretation of moving forward is continually bringing new ideas to the franchise and contuning to appeal to ALL ages of the fandom. How can the franchise move forward if you dismiss most of the fandom, and only cater towards a certain age group. Why put all your eggs in one basket so to speak. You certaintly may appeal to some of the younger audience, but you are also alienating a huge portion of the existing audience.”
BW: We’re not trying to make the new show for kids.
Ytimyona writes: “When collaborating with other writers on a script (like how you and Rob Cooper are writing the pilot of SGU together), how exactly does that work? Do you spin the story together and then one of you writes the script? Do you pass a draft back and forth between each other, revising it each time?”
BW: Its a knife fight.
“3) When you said you intended to make SGU more “mainstream,” I interpreted that to mean that the average viewer (who’s never seen an episode of SG-1 or SGA in his life) could turn on the SGU pilot and understand what was going on… am I right? (I feel like people are unfairly putting words in your mouth with regards to this statement.)”
BW: Close. Mainstream means a lot of people are watching.
STellaByStargate writes: “Word is that a stuffed penguin made its way into your possession a month or two ago. Just wondered if it was sitting on the shelf, had taken up residence on your desk or had somehow migrated, with the others, to Carl Binder’s office? Loved Continuum btw. Send more please.”
BW: It’s in Carl’s office. Joe, how many more freakin’ questions are there?
Alan writes: “Have you given any thoughts on a subtitle for the “SG-1″ movie?”
BW: We won’t be using subtitles.
Susnn writes: “Because of vision difficulties I have cut way back on my television watching these days. SGA has been the only series that I watch every week and in rerun. Thanks for the memories.”
BW: And thanks for watching.
Libkat writes: “Rumors persist that you aren’t a big fan of Vala as a character. Will Claudia Black continue to have a place in the SG1 movie universe? I adore the way Vala kept the snarky side of Daniel Jackson alive after RDA left the show and CB and MS have terrific chemistry.”
BW: I thought Claudia was terrific in Continuum, but Vala won’t be returning in the third movie.
Haberdashery writes: “Brad, first thanks for many great years of Stargate. I have enjoyed the series and the great characters you and Rob have created over the years. In light of that, I wanted to ask you if you knew how much people miss seeing Jonas Quinn in the Stargate world? It’s like a gaping wound in our hearts.”
BW: A gaping wound in your hearts? Really? The guy was in one season almost six years ago.
Wraithcake writes: “I have two questions for Mr. Wright: Sorry, I’m a little long winded.
I imagine it is quite challenging as a science fiction writer to reinvent the wheel, especially when it comes to the more innovative aspects of the genre.
Also, it seems that more writers, and more recent writers are moving away from terse social criticism to rather banal story lines. Science Fiction has almost become a quick overlay to simplified plots.
Although I find the show quite entertaining, and am invested in the characters, I’m not oblivious to the criticism. So when I read reviews such as Maureen Ryan’s analysis, a reporter with the Chicago Tribune, who is equally a hard core science fiction fan and enjoys the show, but criticised it for the very reasons I mentioned above, I want to know how you approach this type of critique?
“Please don’t recycle the same tired plots over and over again….Sure, it’s hard to avoid the sci-fi standbys (body switching, parallel universe, alien virus, crew member kidnapped by aliens, etc.), but increasingly those go-to stories on the show were executed in a uninspired fashion.” Maureen Ryan “The Watcher” Chicago Tribune”
BW: I actually like Maureen. She’s given us quite a bit of ink.
Barbara writes: “I was watching SG-1 tonight “the shroud” and later i watched SGA “Volcano” and i was laughing my butt off!!!!! Will SGU have that same humor that we all have come to love ??? I know not everyone is happy about losing SGA for SGU. I cant help be remember how some were not happy that we were getting SGA (me for one) but you won me over and im looking forward to SGU just to give it a try.”
BW: There will be humor in SGU. Rob and I can’t actually help ourselves.
Heartsmeneko writes: “Question for Brad (the almighty one):
Thanks for giving us two brilliant shows over the years mate (thankyou to you Joe btw) ^^
1. Why are you so awesome?”
BW: Is that you, Martin Gero?
Lt.Col.ErrandBoy writes: “I’m sure many Stargate fans are hoping to get some kind of reassurance that Universe will NOT be “90210 in Space”…can you tell us why you think that the audience demographic needs to be ‘lowered’, when the majority of sci-fi fans are in fact in the upper percentile of intelligence, including the younger ones who are already fans? By limiting the cast to under-25s (and believe me, reading those quicky synopses of their characters, they sound like a right bunch of snotnosed twats) do you really think that they will have the depth and experience, let alone the security clearances, to participate in the Stargate program?”
BW: You really think we haven’t thought of that?
Inpa writes: “- A few questions for Brad Wright, concerning Universe there are a lot of reports that have been released which seem to give different impressions on what the show is going to be like, in terms of characters. A Sci-Fi press release seemed to indicate that the characters and character drama would be like BSG, while the light hearted/humour aspects you’ve said you want to keep in the show as well as the younger characters point me a bit more towards Farscape. If you had to pick a show, any show that the direction and development concerning the cast could compare to what would it be?“
BW: Stargate Universe.
Enzo Aquarius writes: “A totally out-of-the-blue question, has there been thoughts of including SG-1 characters in the pilot for Continuum? Such as how Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Shanks were in Atlantis’ pilot?”
Shepaholic writes: “Are we simply getting one SGA movie because actors such as Joe Flanigan were actually signed onto MGM for six years – hence you have broken the contract?”
BW: Ah, no.
Penjab writes: “Question for Mr. Wright: Will your new version Children of the Gods be available on regular DVD or will it only be Blu-Ray? All of the comments I have read have mentioned Blu-Ray. Since so many don’t yet own one of those players, myself included, I am hoping it will be released for the regular DVD player also.”
BW: I think the release is intended for both formats.
Paul William Tenny writes: “In Beachhead, objects forming the Ori supergate come out of a normal sized stargate making them roughly the size of Puddle Jumpers. A few shots later you see they are perhaps 1.5 times as long as Vala’s cargo ship and definitely wider meaning they’d have never fit through the gate unless those elements were actually made up of even smaller parts, but that was never shown and isn’t consistent visually with what came later.”
BW: Actually, the scale works in Beach Head. The pieces just telescoped a bit larger after they emerged from the gate.
Digitalred93 writes:”If the third SG-1 movie will be Jack-centric, will you be looking backwards or forwards for a character storyline? Any chance you’ll delve more into his ‘Ancient’ genetics?”
BW: Forwards. The end.