Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.
Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.

Late last year, before we’d even started the casting process, when all we had were those first few scripts and a general idea of where we wanted to go, there was one character that really stood out for me from among the many amazing characters Brad and Rob had created – a fascinating player with attitude and heaps of potential.  That character was Camile Wray, the I.O.A. rep who finds herself stranded aboard Destiny, much to her horror and the chagrin of several military personnel stranded with her.  I loved the character because she was fiercely independent, a force to be reckoned with, and a fiery wildcard in an extraordinarily volatile scenario.

Ming Na (Camile Wray).  Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.
Ming-Na (Camile Wray). Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.

Of course the character we imagine at the script stage is never quite the character we end up with on screen.  Sometimes, they’re very close.  Sometimes, they don’t live up to those lofty initial expectations.  And, still other times, with the right person in the role, they far surpass that original incarnation.  A great actor not only gives life to the attributes that so engaged you on the page, but adds layerings of  depth and complexity that, in turn, open up a host of wonderful possibilities for both the character and the show in general.  And that’s exactly what actress Ming-Na has accomplished in the role of Camile Wray.

Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Televison.
Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.

From her breakout performance in The Joy Luck Club to her turn as Disney’s Mulan to her ten years as Dr. Jing-Mei Chen on the long-running hospital drama E.R., she has proven herself both immensely  talented and incredibly commited to her craft.  Off camera, she is an utter delight – sweet, upbeat, and very funny (After only his first day on set with her, my fellow producer Carl Binder declared himself a HUGE fan).  Oh, and she’s gorgeous (as if you hadn’t noticed).  And, for bonus points, she’s a big science fiction fan.

Yet another standout in an already exceptional cast.

Director Peter DeLuise wields the Sceptor of Power.  Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.
Director Peter DeLuise wields the Sceptor of Power. Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.

Well, we’re in the home stretch.  We’re shooting Subversion and prepping our final two episodes, Incursion I and II.  Carl is in post, working on his producer edit of Pain.  Today, we watched the Day 2 mix of Light with its finished visual effects.  All I can say is: Wow!  This one gets the award for Most Beautiful Episode.  It’s full of lovely shots and SF eye candy.  Kudos to Director Peter DeLuise and the Mark Savela’s VFX team.  Oh, and we’ve also cast a couple of major roles for the season ender.  One heavy hitter (a Boston Legal alum) flies up at the end of this week for a costume fitting – hopefully, pug in tow.

Robert Picardo as Atlantis Expedition Commander Richard Woolsey.  Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.
Robert Picardo as Atlantis Expedition Commander Richard Woolsey. Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.

Hey, just got off the phone with Bob Picardo (aka Stargte’s Richard Woolsey).  As some fans have pointed out, he and his lovely wife Linda are about to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, so I thought I’d give them a call.  I’m pleased to report that between his film and television work and the many convention appearances, Bob is as busy as ever.  Still, despite his hectic schedule, he’s planning to make time for the  SGU season premiere next Friday night.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again (and again and again).  The guy is a class act.

Ten days to the Stargate: Universe premiere!  Tell your friends!  And tell them to tell THEIR friends!  Leave no fan behind!

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dasNdanger
dasNdanger

“Ten days to the Stargate: Universe premiere! Tell your friends! And tell them to tell THEIR friends!”

Yo, dude. Advertising doesn’t come for free! What’s in it for me?? It better be something lean, mean and green, or I ain’t playing!!

grin

das

ytimynona
ytimynona

One heavy hitter (a Boston Legal alum) flies up at the end of this week for a costume fitting – hopefully, pug in tow. Dude. It better not be Shatner. He gives me the heebie jeebies! sad

Thanks for the pictures!!! I’ve loved Camille ever since that poll you ran. Wray is just too awesome of a name not to love! And that was even before I knew that Ming-Na was going to be playing her!!! (I’m a fan of her from MULAN!!!)

PattyO
PattyO

Hi Joe, thanks for the pics and hype on Universe. Ming Na has impressed me for years and I’m looking forward to seeing her shine in SGU.

@ Das: the actress in NCIS: LA was Linda Hunt. She’s been around for a while and is great in whatever she plays. Ask Carl B. She was the voice of Grandmother Willow in Pocahantas!

That’s all for now. The pillow calls. Nite!
Patty O

Col. Mustard
Col. Mustard

Ah, I have mixed feelings about Oct. 2nd. On one hand I have this massive project due in class that I still need to finish. On the other hand, of course, SGU premieres. On the bright side, working on the project may make time go faster.

Ashley RV
Ashley RV

A Boston Legal heavy hitter….

Ooh there are times I like the odd hint of a hint of a spoiler, but then there’s times I do not grin Eeeeee.

suziesbluefeather

@dasNdanger Dude we get SGU!!! What else is their except for the ever so few sightings of Wrath?

crayonbaby
crayonbaby

Ming Na has always been one of my favorites. Boy can she act. Can’t wait to see her in SGU.

You teased us. Someone from Boston Legal?! That could be anyone. It has to be an actor who has a pug. Grrrr.

My son has asked me about a dozen times when SGU premieres. I keep telling him and he keeps forgetting.

Shannon
Shannon

Yay! Congrats to Bob Picardo (I *love* him! First adored him on Star Trek Voyager) and his wife.

I’ve got SGU marked on my calendar and I intend to tune in smile Thanks for all the behind the scenes! (I’m excited too b/c I have a friend who *just* discovered SG-1 – her and I were Voyager fans back in the day – that’s how we became friends… she’s excited about SGU too LOL – says she can’t get enough Stargate!)

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

So how do you manage to snag so many genuinely nice, as well as talented actors” Ouiji board? Psychics? D20 die rolls? Let Jelly and Maximus sniff them and decide from their reactions? As the years and cons go by, it’s always enlightening to try and see how “real” an actor/actress is. Or at least if they are good enough to project a desired image and sell it. While I’ve not seen any of the Universe cast, I give high marks to all of the other SG related actors I’ve been lucky enough to see. And have the SGU actors been briefed on their new secondary career of convention hopping? Anyways, I will pass on word of the shows premiere, though partying will wait until a) the Atlantis movie and/or b) I’m hooked on Universe and put together a second season premiere party. Anyways, thanks for the daily update, as well as the Twitter pics of the pooches.

Joel
Joel

Well,
No fan left???
I live in Germany, I I feel left!
There’s no way to watch it in Germany. sad
No hulu.com, no syfy and no other tv channel sad

PLEASE HELP ME!

JYS
JYS

I wish I could watch the premiere! But unfortunately, I’ll be in class sad I went to DB Bistro today and had the DB burger. Maybe my palate’s really bad, but I didn’t taste any truffles. sad

duneknight
duneknight

10 days? already?

PoorOldEdgarDerby
PoorOldEdgarDerby

My money is on James Spader…and Michael Shanks has been playing a con artist!

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

@ Sheryl & PattyO – Yeah, I meant LINDA Hunt. Sorry. Fever. (God, I LOVE blaming all my brain farts on this!) I know exactly who Linda Hunt is…I mean, I’ve seen Kindergarten Cop like a bazillion times! First thing I ever saw her in was The Year of Living Dangerously – she was amazing in that.

@ suziesbluefeather – See…I was hoping Joe would figger out a way to wrap up one of those green fellers and send him off to me in the mail. I’m sure he still has access. wink

Now…to try to go back to bed. Just had a little power outage, and when the tv went off, I woke up. I hate when this happens, because I feel impelled to run around the house, reseting clocks, and stuff. Totally awake now. razz

das

Shiningwit
Shiningwit

FINALLY! I’ve seen the SGU trailers on Sky 1 and yes it looks as awesome as I expected, can’t wait for the 6th October:)

Now I just have to retrieve the dog’s tea-towel collection and put it in the laundry…..again..what I want to know is how she got all of ’em?

Daniel
Daniel

Boston Legal alum!!!!! That’s my second favorite show after Stargate (all of them). Clues to who it is please!

NeKo
NeKo

I LOVE Ming Na!!

Anyone from Boston Legal works for me. I love the enitre cast, and show and the theme song is epic!

But now Im in uber-duber-loud, highly dangerous fan girl mode for SGU!!!!!! XD
The premiere is October 9th here so we have to wait longer. I shall now go and sit in front of my tv and wait smile

P.S I got my 5th Season of Atlantis muahahahahaha now I have them all.

Charlotte
Charlotte

“Leave no fan behind!”

Well, there’s one all things Stargate fan who’ll be left behind in Denmark.

If someone on SyFy could convince the Danish TV channel “6’eren” (who’s airing SG1+SGA) to take it on ASAP, I’ll be so happy. Else we’d have to wait, at least, a few years.

And as Joel (the German) there’s no Hulu, no SyFy, no chance to watch it online for me either.

Gah! I definitely feels left behind where amazing Sci-Fi are concerned…

cherluvya

Hey Joe,

Love the picture show and tell. Loved the one of Brian best…as always.

Still trying to stay on the positive side.

10 days. That is nice to think about.

Best to you Joe,
Cheryl smile

Phil
Phil

I’m excited because TV season is back!

Now my killer question. It’s a repost but i’ll rephrase it. Joe, what would you say to those who didnt watch SG1 or Atlantis (for whatever reason) to watch Universe?

What killer difference is there to change their mind?

aboleyn24
aboleyn24

To be honest it was when the announcement that Ming Na had been cast that I got really excited for SGU. I was always going to watch, but she is such a class act and fantastic actress that it thrilled me to hear the news.

Congrats to the Picardo’s on 25 years.

9 days now!!!

Ugly Pig
Ugly Pig

Huh… I never realized Ming Na was Mulan. And I love Mulan, it’s one of my favorite Disney movies (and I used to be a HUGE Disney nut).

Jenn
Jenn

I have to say…it was the casting of Ming Na that made me say, “As much as I love SGA and wish it was coming back another season, I will give SGU a try.” And the more I read about it, the more interested I became. So I will be there in 10 short days, excited as ever!

Airelle
Airelle

@sheryl, I am not hiding, at least I don’t think, maybe I could email the baron and he could give you my email or somehow get in touch, maybe, huh Baron.?
@das, I enjoyed NCIS also,but the new Ncis was at the same time as Warehouse 13 finale, so one of them got taped.
–Ready for Oct 2nd, counting down,vcr???/dvd set up as well, in case I miss anything. GO SGU!!!
Just finished reading Stranger in a Strange Land. Not bad, enjoyable reading. Picked up another by Heinlein/Spider Robinson, Variable Star, looks promising as well, any other suggestions by him that are good Joe?? Heinlein I mean. I know he passed away in 1988, but I see he wrote a large amount of books. thanks
Have a great day!

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

Ming Na was awesome in E.R. I’m rewatching it on TNT now. I’ve gotten to the episode where she is overworked and accidently kills a patient. She doesn’t look any older. What’s the deal with that? I look older but she definitely could still pass for mid twenties/early thirties! Not fair!!!!

As for Bob Picardo, he will always be “The Doctor” on Enterprise to me. He totally nailed that part! “Please state the nature of your medical emergency?”

Twenty five years of marriage is impressive. May they have many more years to celebrate!

Tam