Gratuitous sassy dog pic

Late last year, after watching the producer’s edit of Epilogue, Carl expressed a sentiment that has echoed throughout fandom since the episode aired: “That would have made a great series finale.”.  Yes, in hindsight, it certainly would have.  Unfortunately, that isn’t the case and Stargate: Universe WILL end on a cliffhanger.  Now I’ve noted some discussion here and elsewhere on what, exactly, I mean when I refer to it as “a cliffhanger”.  Am I, as some suspect, referring to it in the sense that SG-1’s finale, Unending, was a cliffhanger?  In a word: no.  Unending was NOT a cliffhanger by any stretch of the imagination.  We knew SG-1 was done and Robert told a story that (like, say, Cheers) suggested the adventures of the characters we’d grown to know and love would continue, whether we were witness to them or not.  Other fans have pointed to the Atlantis finale, Enemy at the Gate, and wondered whether the Universe finale, Gauntlet, is a cliffhanger in similar fashion.  In the same word: no.  Enemy at the Gate was NOT a cliffhanger.  While the episode certainly left some questions unanswered (what of Todd, Teyla, and Ronon who had taken the voyage to Earth?), it offered closure of sorts.  Atlantis finally returned the the Milky Way and our crew finally returned home.  At the time we wrote Enemy at the Gate, we were hopeful that we’d be getting that sixth season pick up (Hell, we had a batch of stories ready to go) and, when it failed to materialize, we were disappointed but took solace in the fact that, at the very least, fans wouldn’t be left hanging.  No, the Stargate: Universe series finale, Gauntlet, is not a cliffhanger in either respect.  It is a true cliffhanger along the lines of a Camelot, Incursion II, and The Siege II.  The kind that, once it ends, will leave you asking yourselves: “How the hell are they going to get out of this one! Can’t wait until the next episode!”  Except there won’t be a next episode, much less a next season.  Also, in response to a question several have posed: Unfortunately, the last few episodes build upon each other so simply switching the airing order wouldn’t have helped.  You could consider Epilogue the series finale and move on to some other show (I hear great things about Breaking Bad) but that would rob you of two truly awesome episodes in Blockade and Gauntlet.   Both deliver action, adventure, humor, and some terrific character moments.  Gauntlet, in particular, is very touching and its conclusion will no doubt you leave you…among many other things…frustrated, incredulous, outraged, offended, annoyed, vexed, saddened, distressed, bitter, aghast, irritated, unsatisfied, pissed-off, melancholy, miserable, confused, furious, dejected, riled, shocked, heartsick, angry, surprised, exasperated, indignant, enraged, despondent, bewildered, dismayed, incensed, stunned, and grief-stricken.

Fair warning.

Further reminiscences from SG-1’s fifth season…

As previously mentioned, when we geared up production for Stargate: SG-1’s fifth season, it was with the belief that it would be the final year of the franchise. Showtime had been very, VERY good to us but the prevailing wisdom was they wouldn’t be picking us up for that sixth season.  And so, we vowed to go out with a bang.  And we did.  Sort of.  Late that year, I walked in on Brad and Rob in the midst of an involved discussion.  “What’s up?”I asked.  Brad threw me a look and asked: “How does season six sound to you?”.  I didn’t believe him at first.  Nor did I believe him the following year when he informed me that the show would be getting a seventh season.  Hell, between all of the surprising pick-ups and shocking cancellations, I don’t think there was a year that I WASN’T surprised.

ENEMIES (501)

I always found it interesting that, whenever certain fans took issue with a creative decision, they would always blame TPTB (The Powers That Be) as if we were one giant multi-headed monster.  In truth, we’re individual little monsters who have had our share of disagreements over the years on everything from wardrobe decisions to major character arcs.  Season four had seen its share of minor debates, but this episode stands out as the first big blowout.  I don’t even recall exactly what was being disputed; I only remember it had to do with story structure.  That and being really impassioned and, ultimately, very annoyed. In the end, Paul and I handed off the episode to Rob and shifted focus to another script, The Fifth Man – and Enemies turned out to be a terrific episode.  Also, FYI – the working title for this one was Serpent’s Hat.  Don’t ask.

THRESHOLD (502)

One of my favorite moments of these early fifth season episodes is the Larry David staredown Bratac gives Teal’c to discern whether he is lying or not (I believe it’s in the previous episode).  That bug-eyed gawk would always leave me chortling.  A great Teal’c episode, though less so for Chris Judge who had to brave the elements on this one.  On the day they headed out to shoot the exterior scenes, they discovered a thick blanket of snow on the ground.  Oops.  It provided what I imagine must have been a somewhat uncomfortable bedding for the shirtless Chris to lie down on.

ASCENSION (503)

This was one of those episode’s that hadn’t sold me at the script stage but really came together once we started shooting.  Sean Patrick Flanery was great and had terrific onscreen chemistry with Amanda.  Another perfect example of writer-producer’s remorse: an actor who does such a good job that one regrets killing off his character.

THE FIFTH MAN (504)

Actor Dion Johnstone assumed a number of very different roles over the course of the franchise’s run.  He drew on his extensive theater background to play the part of Chaka in The First Ones (reprising the role in Beast of Burden), doing a brilliant job of conveying a wide range of emotion through some heavy prosthetic make-up.  In this episode, he plays another alien – of sorts – the mysterious Lieutenant Tyler whose existence no one but SG-1 can recall, and delivers another great performance.  One of the things I remember about this episode was the hell of a time editing had cutting around all the Jaffa bodies O’Neill has to negotiate on his way to the gate.  I mean, holy crap, does he kill a lot of ’em!  Apparently, Brad felt the sea of corpses put a damper on an otherwise happy ending.

RED SKY (505)

Ron Wilkerson’s first and best script is a terrific SF tale anchored by one of Richard Dean Anderson’s greatest performances.  It’s a darker side of Jack O’Neill we rarely get to see – angry, intense, and deadly serious.  The episode also offers up a side of Carter we rarely glimpse as well: fallible and wrestling with self-doubt.  Many layers in this one and it all plays out in very counter-Star Trek fashion as the team attempts to force a solution upon the planet’s inhabitants. Tres Anti-Prime Directive, no?

Back in the office today and things are beginning to take shape.  Andy heads off to Paris tonight to coordinate with the European unit.  And, oh yeah, practice his French.  Some progress made on the script front.  Page 43!  A couple of tough scenes ahead and then it’s smooooooth sailing.  Speaking of scripts, Carl delivered the second draft of his first script and we’re making plans to have him back for another week of story-spinning fun.  In the unlikely event Carl has second thoughts about coming back, Alexander has offered to sweeten the pot by offering him first dibs on the latest issue of German Times…

Check out the in-depth page nine leiderhosen expose!

How could he resist?

Today’s entry is dedicated to the U.S. Navy Seals.  I hereby grant them their own SG team.

Gratuitous adorable dog-on-the-street pic

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Runciman
Runciman

Hey Joe,

Hope the new job is going well.

I know its a bit of a moot point now with SGU being cancelled and all but…..
After gauntle airs will you publish an ending of how the crew get out of the said cliffhanger?
(i’m not asking for the ending of the entire series.)
Just a kinda brief outline e.g. like the producer of Terminator Sarah Connor Chronicles produced after it was cancelled?

Oh one thing i wanted to say; Window of Opportunity is my all time favourite episode of stargate i felt it summed up stargate in a nutshell for me.

Will your new series be following the same cannon as the films or will it be a different continuity?

Cheers for your time and i hope the dogs are well.

Rucniman

PBMom

Our Navy Seals are full of awesome.

My favorite in the above list of season 5 episodes was Ascension.

Joe, you’ve seen Farscape (the series). Is it going to be like that (the SGU finale) where I’m screaming a multitude of 4-letter words at my screen because I cannot believe, after 4 years invested as a fan, that is where the series ended? Which ironically caused me to boycott Sci-Fi and their new series Stargate for a few years (I know I was silly and thought it actually mattered–delusions of grandeur).

Of course, we got a miniseries a few years later to tidy up some loose ends, but to reduce our main characters to Dippin Dots was not my idea of a good ending.

2cats
2cats

Joe, you said, “Today’s entry is dedicated to the U.S. Navy Seals. I hereby grant them their own SG team”

HUZZAH!

I’m reminded of Jim Croce’s song, “Don’t Mess Around with Jim” stanza:
And everybody say, “Jack, don’t you know,
You don’t tug on Superman’s cape,
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off that ol’ Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess around with Jim.”

2cats
in a steamy New Jersey by the shore

Randomness
Randomness

@THE FIFTH MAN

Loved this episode so much, unsure why at first glance I’m liking yours and Pauls episodes Joe lol. No not because it’s your blog but I liked the way the episode was done, the way a character pretty much appears out of nowhere and has established himself in SG1 and no one knows who he is, meaning the SG1 team sound crazy speaking about him, and in some way they kinda care.

@RED SKY

This was a very close second and shows how naive Earth is about the Stargate system and the universe around them, and in some ways the effect they have on others. The way they plead for help fixing the Sun but are left to deal with their own mess.

Great sense of urgency in this episode.

Happy to hear things are going well on the Transporter front, I hope if it gets picked up for a second season you make Carl a permanent fixture in your team, so he’d no longer be freelance and would get an exec/producer job.

Wayne Hughes
Wayne Hughes

I remember when Ascension first aired. all of us nerds were fascinated. “It is possible to build a Stargate from earth materials, Mmm… interesting.”

Ponytail
Ponytail

I am part German also. I love Braunschweiger. Does Alex The German like that too?

WeatherServo9
WeatherServo9

This isn’t related to the fifth season, but Moebius was on cable last night and I was reminded how easy it is for me to watch any SG-1 episode repeated on cable no matter how many times I’ve seen it. So I just wanted to stop by and say thanks for your part in making Stargate SG-1, possibly the most watchable TV show ever.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m also immensely fond of Atlantis.

And now for two Stargate Universe-related questions, with what will be an overly-long preamble.

The biggest disappointment I had with Atlantis was the thought of a whole city of the Ancients being explored largely offscreen. I know episodes that only take place in the city itself are the equivalent of Trek-type ‘bottle’ shows and can’t comprise the entire series, and I know there were some really damn fine ‘bottle’ shows on Atlantis (Tao of Rodney and others). In fact, that’s my point, that the ‘bottle’ shows on Atlantis, where the action was centered exclusively (or almost) in the city itself, and which hinged upon discovering something the Ancients were up to, were some of the best of the series.

So in Universe, the thought of most of the ship remaining unexplored will be one of the biggest nagging questions I’ll be left with (in addition to whatever questions are posed by the cliffhanger). In future hypothetical seasons, can you speculate or did you have any definite plans for how much more of the ship would be explored and how much of that we would actually get to see onscreen? Every time they’ve gone exploring on the ship they’ve found something worthwhile or interesting (chair interfaces, repair robots, stasis chambers, etc.). I’d like to have found out what else was there to discover.

My second Universe-related question is about Dr. Franklin. I’m sorry if this has been asked before, and if it has would someone reading this please direct me to the answer. Nevertheless, the explanation from a recent episode was that his consciousness had been uploaded into the computer, just like Ginn and Amanda. We know he appeared on the bridge in Rush’s mind, yet Rush was also seeing his deceased wife per the computer ‘testing’ him. So Franklin was an independent consciousness working, apparently, in tandem with the computer’s test? If that’s true, why didn’t Franklin appear to anyone else? Can Franklin manipulate the computer the same way Ginn and Amanda were able to? And was there any thought given to having him return in future episodes?

Joe, if you’ve plowed through this whole thing, thanks for reading!

Deni
Deni

US NAVY SEALS = SG AWESOME! Pretty cool of you, too, Joe! Nice doggies pics! Of the episodes above, my favorite is “Ascension”‘. Funny how some episodes (I’m sure different ones to different people) have longevitiy, while others, not so much. This is definitely one of those for me. Have a great night, Joe! smile

JeffW

@Joe:

Today’s entry is dedicated to the U.S. Navy Seals. I hereby grant them their own SG team.

Since I come from a family where about half of the men have served in the military, that means a lot. Thank you!

I mean, holy crap, does he kill a lot of ‘em! Apparently, Brad felt the sea of corpses put a damper on an otherwise happy ending.

I’m starting to understand where some of the bits of “Wormhole Extreme” came from. Are we going to learn the backstory to Peter DeLuise’s “Bigger!!!” rants when you recount season 6?

Greg
Greg

The final episode of SGA reminded me of the movie Independence Day. No offense but I didn’t like it at all.

One thing I disliked about the stories in general was that you guys made excellent villains who were built up through the season and suddenly they’re easily defeated in the finale. Usually by discovering some artifact that lets them one shot their enemy.

One of my favorite episodes of all the series is when Daniel accidentally gets teleported through that mirror to an alternate reality where the Guaold are already invading earth. Thats when I really started getting into the series. After that I went out and bought the season collection.

ohinnj
ohinnj

Thanks for the warning about Gauntlet, Joe. I’m divided on whether I want to watch it. Because I loved Epilogue and really wish that had been the last episode. And because I really, really loved Blockade and I’m already feeling sad and frustrated and pissed off that there won’t be another season.

SGU was SO great this season – and this is coming from a diehard SGA fan who only watched the new series with great relunctance. So the idea of watching another great episode next week and feeling… frustrated, incredulous, outraged, offended, annoyed, vexed, saddened, distressed, bitter, aghast, irritated, unsatisfied, pissed-off, melancholy, miserable, confused, furious, dejected, riled, shocked, heartsick, angry, surprised, exasperated, indignant, enraged, despondent, bewildered, dismayed, incensed, stunned, and grief-stricken….

Sigh. I don’t know. I may watch and then make up my own ending. Or maybe you’ll tell us what was going to happen over the next 3 seasons so we’ll at least know how it would have ended.

But once again, EXCELLENT work everyone – writers, directors, cast and crew. In the end, it turns out I am an SGU fan.

dioxholster

third times the charm. thats what i keep telling myself. sg-1 and sga didnt have the best endings who knows maybe SGU will have a cool unintended ending. I wouldnt put Epilogue as a finale but thats just me; does it give closure? not really, Rush wasnt part of it and Young was a statue.

Sue Jackson
Sue Jackson

Way to go Navy Seals! In fact, thank you to all those who serve in the military for keeping us safe. smile

In the Epilogue…when they were in the elevador going down. What was the music that was playing in the elevador?

Just saw Blockade. All I can day is…WOW! That was the best yet. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. If Gauntlet ends like the Farscape cliffhanger when it was suddenly cancelled, I think I’m gonna cry. Something tells me I’m gonna be screaming at my TV. sad

DP
DP

What’s the deal with that working title, Serpent’s Hat?

Have we seen that dog on the street before?

Speaking of dogs, my dad’s mini-doberman? (this is the same dog that sniffed a pepper-speckled carpet) tried to sit on my 9 month old’s lap today. I thought he was hiking a leg at first, but, no, he was backing his way in for a cuddle. The ergonomics didn’t work out.

Lewis
Lewis

Hey, Joe!

2 Stargate mailbag questions:

1- If you could choose, what Stargate characters could you see crossover onto other TV shows?

(just imagine the possibilities… Rush on Lost In Space, Cam on Dukes of Hazzard, Vala on Desperate Housewives, Ronon on Walker Texas Ranger, McKay on Corner Gas, Eli on NCIS, Todd the Wraith on Lost, Greer on Gomer Pyle USMC, Carter on Red Dwarf, Beckett on General Hospital, Ba’al on Dallas, Jinto on Small Wonder, Teal’c on Dancing w/ the Stars, Woolsey on Voyager)

2- the flip side of question 1: If you could choose characters from other TV shows to crossover to the Stargate world, is there any that come to mind?

Tony
Tony

Hi that would be really cool if you could fill us in how it will end after the final show. heck maybe even sit down and make a mini youtube video of the ending that would be cool. i’m going to miss SGU i loved the show thanks for the awesome ride :). and one heck of a good time watching them.

Tim Gaffney
Tim Gaffney

Blockade…what more can be said about this season, it keeps getting better and yet also keeps getting sadder now that only one episode remains in this great franchise. Great work by the whole cast.

Spoilers

Spoilers

Spoilers

Spoilers

Spoilers

Spoilers

Spoilers

There are some great lines in this episode:
“I couldn’t find a gun store, but I did find a dry cleaners.”
“Mmmmm, bochilism.”
“The right people are here, and you are not really here.”
“It was genius…please don’t tell him I said that.”
And whatever Greer also said about looking for a gun store.

Loved the team up of James and Varro. I wonder if they had looked at the kino footage of them in the alternate timeline. Didn’t know they had brought missles with them to Destiny. Great effects of the drone being blown up. Also loved James’ smackdown of that whinny, annoying man. Let him die a horrible death in the last episode.

The FX of Desiny in the blue star were some of the best in the series. Also the dome exploding was great too. You really blew your budget in this one. Will we find out next week if Park gets her eyesight back? If not, will you tell us what you would have done with her next season as well as what you would have done with T.J.’s ALS?

The Stargate in that room on the planet reminded me of several instances in SG-1 of how the gate looked on some of the planets they visited. Also, it was a nice touch, when Rush mentioned to Telford that he wasn’t really there, to show Scott hosting Telford to illustrate that point. One thing I don’t understand is the line that someone said that they were running low on ammunition. Didn’t they double their ammo supply when they went to the other Destiny? Don’t tell me they used most of it up already?

A great penultimate episode of SGU. Next week will be both a great day and a dark day. What promises to be a great episode, and the death of the greatest Sci Fi franchise on TV. Bring on Gauntlet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Debra
Debra

Ya know, you are making me wonder if I should skip Gauntlet. I don’t want a sad episode to end on. Damn.

The Recreator
The Recreator

Hey, Joe! Long time reader, first time poster.

I couldn’t help but notice one of the shop signs in the ruined city in “Blockade”…

comment image

I’m pretty sure that font’s Futura. Is it Futura?

Pēteris Krišjānis
Pēteris Krišjānis

We need closure of the story. Mini-story series in the web. Articles. We will take them all. Please, reach out to Brad and figure out something!

ben
ben

I still can’t believe there are only 2 episodes left. I was looking forward to the answer to the big mystery in the CMBR. Are you allowed to give the answer after the final episode airs?

BTW, I’ve grown fond of all the dog pics since I started reading your blog. I’m thinking of getting one of my own. Any recommendations?

Ian Z.
Ian Z.

did we or will we ever see this weapon?comment image

or did it never materialize?

Anais
Anais

Coucou Joseph!!

ça va bien? moi oui smile Désolé ne pas être passée avant mais je n’étais pas chez moi..en tout cas j’ai beaucoup pensée à vous!

Alalaa les cliffhangers je les ai tellement maudit!!..avec le célébre “To Be Continued”…mais je n’ai jamais étais déçu des suites des cliffhangers..bien au contraire, ça valait le coup d’attendre!!

Le dernier épisode de SGA c’est exactement ce qu’il fallait…ça clos definitivement la serie mais en même temps tout le monde peut s’imaginer la suite qu’ils auraient souhaité….Maintenant que l’on ai sure qu’il n’y aura pas de suite pouvez vous nous dire comment ont évolués les personnage de sga après l’épisode final?

C’est vrai que les fans et l’équipe qui a travailler sur la franchise n’ont pas à ce plaindre : SG1: 10 saisons / SGA: 5 saisons/ SGU: 2 saisons / 2 téléfilms ….je ne crois pas que beaucoup de serie peuvent se vanter d’un telle parcourt!

Aller, gros bisou =)
Anais

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Just a quickie (busy, busy, BUSY!)

1. A perfect dedication. smile

2. Joey, Joey, JOEY! Silly boy, you’ve just talked me out of watching SGU’s final episode! I hate dangly, never-to-be-answered endings.

3. PUPPIES!!!

Yeah, that’s it – gotta run! ZOOOOOOOOOOM!

das

Taylor Wass
Taylor Wass

Hey Joe,

Just wondering if you cared to share what some of the stories were that you had planned for Atlantis season 6….cheers