I assumed The Hunt (episode #216) was going to be my last script for Stargate: Universe’s second season, but when my writing partner, Paul, got busy producing Common Descent (episode #217), the task of tackling the first draft of the finale fell to me.  When I sat down to write Gauntlet, I assumed we WERE coming back for a third season.  Some may not have shared in my optimism (Paul has always been a “glass half full and its contents are probably undrinkable anyway” kind of guy), but I nevertheless approached the episode as a season finale and not a series finale.

Armed with the story beats we’d spun in the writers’ room, I fleshed out the narrative in outline form, received everyone’s notes, and got to work.  By the time the first draft of Gauntlet was complete, Paul’s schedule had freed up and he was able to jump on the rewrite.  After so many years of writing scripts separately, I suppose it was somehow fitting that our last script for the Stargate franchise would be a true collaboration.  Just like old times.

Now, as I said, I was under the impression that we would be back for a third season.  And I wasn’t the only one.  When the ratings for the back half of the second season faltered, it was clear that the Tuesday night experiment was a colossal failure (for both us and Caprica) and we were in trouble.  However, we had a few things going for us.

For starters, after months of uncertainty, the studio had finally turned the corner and gained stability in the form of new management.  I assumed that given the fact that Stargate was one of their biggest franchises (next to Bond), they would make a concerted effort to keep it alive.  That meant not only brighter prospects for SGU, but renewed hope for the SG-1 and Atlantis movies, Stargate: Revolution and Stargate: Extinction.

Although the show’s ratings had faltered, it wasn’t as if any of the network’s other shows were going gangbusters in the similar week night death-slot (and, with all due respect, comparing summer airings to fall airings or one-offs to an ongoing series is not so much apples to oranges as it is apples to rutabagas). In fact, the erosion of viewership across the board (not just in the case of our broadcaster but network and, particularly cable in general) suggested a definite trend.  Fewer people were watching television live.  They were DVR’ing and downloading – and, in the case of Stargate: Universe, apparently doing so A LOT. Not surprising given our audience was young and tech-savvy, the demographic most likely to DVR and download.  Surely, I presumed, we would not be punished for having smart, forward-looking viewers.

Finally, there were reports from various sources that we WOULD be back for a third and final season.  Yes, the series would end, but armed with this knowledge and with plenty of time to prepare and wrap up loose ends, we would be able to go out in grand style.  I recall sitting in my office with actor Louis Ferreira (SGU’s Colonel Everett Young), discussing the great opportunity this would afford us to make some really bold creative decisions knowing these final 20 episodes would be our last!

After the episode aired, many fans expressed their satisfaction with series finale.  Although there are a number of questions left unanswered, the consensus was that Gauntlet offered a bittersweet conclusion to our crew’s adventures.  I don’t know if I totally agree, but I do recognize three scripted elements that certainly lent this episode a sense of closure.

The Goodbyes.  One by one, the characters we’ve grown to know and love over the course of SGU’s two seasons bid farewell to one another (and, by extension, of course, the audience at home), until only our core trio remain.  Then, it comes time for them to say goodbye, first Rush, then Young, leaving Eli (our viewer proxy) alone on the bridge heading into the unknown.

The Final Supper.  Which, interestingly enough, wasn’t in my first draft or Paul’s pass.  Well, not quite anyway.  In the original script, the last supper sequence was a simple beat in a more expansive montage – no dialogue, just a shot of the crew enjoying their last meal together.  It was changed at the suggestion of SyFy’s Erika Kennair who requested an actual scene, a moment for our characters to pause and reflect on where they’ve come from and where they’re headed.  In retrospect, a brilliant request.  I wrote the speech, then handed it over to Paul who made a couple of tweaks (one of which was nixing Young’s toast: “To three years!” which, in story terms, referred to the best-case-scenario three year journey they’d be facing but, in my mind, was a reference to the show’s expected three year run).

The Bookend Visuals.  Paul added these in his pass, a call back to the opening moments of the series premiere.  Nothing but stars, then – Destiny dapproaches the camera.  We CUT INSIDE and bear witness to Destiny’s awakening, PANNING UP the ship’s levels as its various chambers light up.  In Gauntlet, it’s the same sequence in reverse. Destiny goes back to sleep as we PAN DOWN the ship’s levels, it’s various chambers going dark.  We CUT OUTSIDE to the ship making the jump to FTL and then – nothing but stars.

Yes, I can see how many would view Gauntlet as an appropriate series ender but, as much as I love the episode, it still leaves me frustrated. More to the point, it leaves me frustrating knowing that, after 11+ years of resolving cliffhangers, this is the one time I won’t be able to come up with the answers.

Does Destiny make the jump to the other galaxy?  How long does the journey take?  Does Eli manage to fix the damaged pod(s) or find a way to extend the ship’s life support long enough to ensure his survival?  Does T.J. find a cure for her ALS?  Who does she get together with in the end, Young or Varro?   Does Lisa ever regain her sight?

I could provide some insight into what we discussed, possible answers to these burning questions but, ultimately, they’ll serve as little more than interesting footnotes to greater canon.  In the end, the answers are what you choose them to be.  In those final moments, we fail to make the jump to FTL with Destiny and, after two years of following its journey, we are left behind to wonder.  Maybe they do make the voyage in three years and our crew’s adventures will continue, only we won’t be privy to them.  Maybe, sadly, they don’t make it and that final glimpse of Destiny was a true farewell.  Or, maybe, Destiny is still out there, still journeying, its crew in stasis, destined to outlive all our questions.

82 thoughts on “May 11, 2011: Gauntlet!

  1. Thanks for your thoughts on Gauntlet. I suppose, for me, it is better to leave the answers to those questions to my imagination. I still think that even though you didn’t intend it as a series finale, it works well that way.

    I would appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers tomorrow. Hubby’s contract job ended today, but all is not lost. He has a second phone interview for a permanent job in CT tomorrow. It would mean a move for us, but having him working again in a permanent job in his field would mean the world to our family. Thanks so much!

    Have a good night!!

  2. Let’s just say that since Universe was not ended in a manner that you really approve of…

    Suppose you had some free time (of course I don’t know where you’d get such free time, lots of laughs) and wanted to write up an appropriate ending yourself. Is that something you might try in the future and I assume you would you need to get clearance from MGM? If you did want to write an ending and did get MGM approval, would you ask the others to contribute writing the end as a collaboration? Yes I know, wishful thinking on my (all of our) part. 🙂

    Since Universe is over, I thought we could use a good laugh – if you ever watched Deep Space Nine, you’ll like this:

    Thanks once again for all the Stargate info. 🙂

    My white german shepherd is getting his toe amputated at the knuckle tomorrow, cancer ate the bone away. 🙁 Have to wait and see if it is malignant or not from the biopsy. :-/

  3. I am surprised by how unsatisfied you are of this last episode (note that I don’t say THE last episode). I do believe you under estimate how much that show (franchise) moved people. I am saying just wait for the show to move around the world, until every country (France, Italy… Russia… Japan… South Africa…) everyone has seen the end of season 2. Because there is a demand for Stargate and SGU. There is. And its much bigger than you think it is.
    It is a shame that everything is reduced to Syfy’s financing and deciding. It’s a shame because the public really exists and is out there, avid to know the conclusion of the journey.

    Maybe it is also the signal that it is time for writers and creators to ditch channels and circuits like Syfy for more reliable, trustworthy and committed means to produce and finance their show, unless you’re in the Wrestling business of course.

  4. Hello Joe,

    – Maybe Stargate Universe return in 3 years ? Maybe ?

    – On the Official Stargate Website, no Behind the scenes & FX pics from your episode “The Hunt”. Why ? Where they are ?

    Thanks for all plublications about Stargate on your blog.
    Thanks for the production arts from Stargate Universe.
    Thanks for your episodes.

  5. All I can say is “bravo”.

    Easily one of the best written scripts I seen from all the years of stargate viewing, indeed, perhaps one of the best scripts I’ve seen in a TV episode period.

    Alas, it is sad to end now, with so much promise and artistic integrity, but at the same time, at least it went out showing its strength.

    Thank you Joe, for all those fantastic stargate stories.

  6. It is frustrating, but it could have been far worse. The show could have ended in a ‘Camelot’-like fashion, where we witness everyone getting their butts kicked and being left desperate to see what comes next. I do want to see what comes next, but I know that the characters are in a place of relative contentedness.

  7. Well, we really enjoyed Gauntlet and, I have to say, I didn’t feel all of the things you warned us we would feel.

    True, we were bummed when it was over, but it did in fact feel like a bittersweet goodbye much more than it did a “how are they gonna get out of this one?!” moment.

    For that, we were actually grateful.

    Never say never…as you said, Stargate is one of MGM’s biggest franchises and it would be stupid not to revive it at some point.

    Thanks to you and everybody else for year after year after year of really great, fun, exciting entertainment.

  8. joe, if this 3 years asleep for destiny crew is actually going to turn into 3 years wait for the fans and then stargate comes back…


  9. I have to say thank you to everyone. Goodnight to all the characters and thanks Mr. Mallozzi for filling us in with this info.

    I have to add, as the fan fave RDA once said, in reply to the question, “What’s your favorite movie or episode?” He said, “The next one.”

    And so I too, with a little bit of hope and a chunk of faith, say that too!

  10. I know everyone has been doing that for the last few months, but i want to thank you and the whole stargate cast and crew again for everything you accomplished in the franchise’s run.

    As i’ve told in an earlier comment, i’m in college, and have watched stargate since SG1 when i was 9.

    Something that is even more saddening is that many, many people watch stargate worldwide. Even here, in france, i and many people i know still watched SGU, but i have to say, we downloaded it the day after the airing.
    Yes, it’s illegal, we all knew it, but the fact is that there is no legal solution to watch the show for people in many countries.
    I love stargate and do buy the dvd/bluray whenever they get release, but the actual system is just stupid when you think about it. For the time being, as far as MGM is concerned, we pretty much do not exist, the only time we will be able to officially show our support for SGU season 2 is when we will buy the dvd set on may 31, that is more than a month after the decision to kill the movie has been made.
    I’m just venting, here, since almost everyone here probably agrees with me, but even so, it’s so frustrating to stuck in this old business model.
    If the bluray is supposed to be, let’s say 30 $, I’d be very happy to buy a “season + bluray” pass for 45 $, with the ability to watch the episodes as they air at the beginning of the season, and a coupon to get the box set at the end of the year. Since MGM is present worldwide, i don’t understand why they can’t make such a system.

    About Gauntlet, i was expecting such a terrible cliffhanger that i actually was happy with what we got. It’s not perfect, but it still enough of a closure that i’ll probably rewatch SGU as some point.

    If it were possible, i’d really like to see your “season 3 plan”, the same way you did sga season 6 years ago, it’s always interesting and will help bring closure.

    Some franchise related questions i don’t think i saw already, in the dozen that were asked in the last few days.

    1/Was the odissey’s secret mission from EATG a plan for something ? stargate revolution ?

    2/Did you plan a stargate reveal at some point ? Ever since it was planned to happened at the end of “Lost City” then cancelled when SG1 was renewed, i’ve always hoped we would see it at some point.

    3/Just something i thought of during Gauntlet. We’ve been told nmerous time that the timeline in univese doesn’t match with the airing date. If i remember correctly, Air takes place a few weeks after EATG, meaning early 2009. That makes Gauntlet early 2010.
    Was that a clever plan in order to accomodate the 3 years gap ?
    I mean, with each season = 6 months, you could probably have gotten back “in real time” by the end of season 4 if we had been lucky enough to go that far.

    Thank you in advance if you have the time to answer those few questions, and good luck for the transporter.

  11. Hi Joseph,

    I´d like to thank you and all the crew for SG series, that make me think and travel in/to places were I want to go, but obviously i can´t.
    Unfortunately i was a bad viewer of all the franchise, cause i watched it by donloaded files cause i live in south america and; don´t have access to SyFy channel. Now i feel a little guilty for the series ratings faltered and by some aspect for the cancellation. Maybe a video on-demand series solve this problems. I´m one of hundreds that may pay for watch SG new episodes.
    Thank´s a lot, again and sorry by my bad english.

  12. Joe,

    Call me crazy, but I loved the finale. I’m one of those who doesn’t think that everything needs to be spelled out to the viewers. As such, I thought the Sopranos finale was great.

    What really hit home for me was seeing Eli looking at the stars and smiling. That told me so much about him, that he was ok where he was, and the journey that he was on. He went from slacker, to reluctant adventurer, to hero and he remained optimistic the whole time despite everything.

    I would love to see more SGU, but I think that was a pretty good end, even if it wasn’t planned.

    Thanks for all you, and everyone else involved in the franchise has done!

  13. Joe,

    There would be value in your insights, either in the form of what you planned (because I’m sure you knew where season three was going) or in the form of… season three.

    Never say never, after all, especially as Netflix starts down this new road of buying up defunct series.

    As for what happened, *I* imagine this: they wake up in three years, safe and sound. They find Eli’s dessicated remains in The Chair. And Eli? He’s in the ship’s memory…

    Just a thought, but I strongly suspect you already had it. 😀 Whether it was going to be used or not remains to be seen.

  14. Joe, i think you misunderstand the fan’s point of closure. We’re being forced into a sense of closure due to the cancellation.

    We basically have to try to make sense out of what we got and say that the elements there were alright. Over the years, there’s been many far far worse series enders for prematurely canceled shows.

  15. I completely agree with you Joe. Although the episode was a very fitting season finale (and was amazingly written and acted), it left too many questions unanswered.

    I really hope this isn’t the end for SGU and Stargate. If it is, it’s been quite a ride. Thanks for all the memories!

  16. Dear Mr. Mallozzi,

    You once said something along the lines of ‘Stargate Sg-1 was offered an 11th season but…’ I was just wondering what the ‘but’ was and why they weren’t taken up on the offer. Will the Stargate World’s game ever be released? Off of the set, what was your favorite moment on Stargate? Also, which was your favorite episode (or top five) out of all three series?

  17. First, sry for my bad english. I can’t understand the hole blog but I only want to know if YOU ( Joe ) having the intention to go to another Network and let Stargate don’t be dead now. I’m very sad about that cuz i’m a fan since i was 11 years old. It was kinda weekly ritual to watch an episode of Stargate and now it’s over 🙁

  18. Personally I don’t think anyone saw that coming, speaking in regards to Stargate on a whole being dropped, though I knew an SGU movie wouldn’t happen, I had no idea about the Atlantis/SG1 ones(Okay props being sold off aside).

    I guess when it comes to sources, and information about anything, till something is 100 percent confirmed I guess you can’t expect anything these days.

    None the less Joe, great blog post, looking forward to the Transporter era lol

    I will miss Stargate Universe so much.

  19. Joe, will Eli Ascend? Ascension is enlightenment, and I’m thinking Season 3 starts with, everyone waking up, and Eli is there, healthy and sure of himself. Rush and Young wakes up, and Rush curious checks the other unit, and it still doesn’t work. But of course Eli wants Rush to know he’s ascended. And he suggest to Rush, that for him, the last one left behind, and with nothing to lose, he decides to download himself into Destiny to be with is girl. And whilst uploading himself, he found himself once more on the observation deck, watching the blue flame that surrounds Destiny. He doesn’t realize that he’s in the chair, at least not until, the blue flame starts to form patterns that he some how begins to understand. Then as Destiny attempts to assimilate his pattern into it’s buffers, Eli’s enlightened mind clouds the entrance of the pattern buffers and as each bit of his physical ‘semblance is downloaded, digitized, as one would be during transportation, the former slacker realizes that the blue stream he sees passing is actually bits of himself, he’s becoming intimately aware of all his smaller bits, and by extension, he’s able to affect these bits. Since his mind, in the transitional buffer has not only imprinted it’s will upon each molecularlized piece, but Eli now knows explicitly the purpose of everything within his make up, or at least understands it enough to change it as it comes through the buffer (of course it’s sub conscious since he’s just seeing patterns in the blue flame on the observation deck out of Destiny’s view ports and is some how controlling these patterns he sees and changing them, into something that ‘works’), and how to rearrange it. But of course this form of ascension isn’t without problems, and though Eli has ascended. he’s like a kid who has gotten the internet for the first time, so, almost immediately, he’s going towards a lot of bad things, and will develop questionable habits. For instance, trying to heal some one, and trying to set them on fire, is suspiciously too close to attempt. And levitation and telekinesis is, as Eli will describe it, ‘like masturbating too much in one day.’ Rush almost immediately would errupt into laughter, realizing that from his point, the teacher has become the student and the student the teacher. I envision a further episode where Eli senses Intelligence on a planet, and when they arrive, Eli realizes that the life form on the planet has ascended, but it did so by eating the life force of everything on the planet. And Rush and Eli and Greer, and Scott, and maybe Volker and a few others are looking from a cliff over a vast ocean, and in the distance, a black thunderous cloud is approaching. And they’re in a ghost city, on a ghost continent on a ghost planet whose inhabitants is long gone (Think Babylon 5 Crusade A memory of War, and the entity approaching through the cloud is like that evil gaia like alien life force from Final Fantasy the Spirit within, in it’s size and scope), and they have puddle jumping like craft, that Eli and Rush was trying to fix, until Eli senses something coming from across the ocean, and When Eli sees it, Rush ask if it’s alive, and when he turns to Eli, Eli is hauling butt pass everyone towards the barely functioning wormhole jumping craft. when everyone is on board with the supplies and stuff they’ve found, Rush is having trouble getting to lift off with all the weight, and Eli, using his power lifts, it and in his Rush, the craft burst into flames But Eli doesn’t stop, though the fire is superficial it’s still getting difficutl to breathe, The Entity is right behind them, and they make it through the Wormhole, And Eli in fear shuts off the Wormhole abruptly, the wormhole doesn’t have time to release it’s energy, and it gets damaged, the heat and energy destroying several key systems. Rush claims it can be repaired, but it would be effortless with Eli, but Eli has since passed out due to the strain, and doesn’t wake up for almost a week.

    I’ll go take my meds now Joe, you rock. And I wish we had more seasons, since I know you guys would have ascended everyone eventually. Because ya’ll rock like that.

  20. Did you just go back on telling us what you were planning?

    I want to get confirmation on that.

  21. @Lisa R Sending prayers

    @Sg1efc: Sorry about your dog.

    @Dave Clark Hated the Sopranos ending.

    @Joe I’m really glad the finale ended this way versus the cliffhanger we had in season 1. Or like Farscape ended (before the miniseries). Stop being so hard on yourself.

  22. I recently introduced my aunt to Stargate. She is 61. The other day she came through my door and said, “What is up with Teal’c? Isn’t he married?!”

    I had to laugh! It’s fun watching her make the journey.

    Thanks to you and to everyone involved with making Stargate.

  23. This was a truly great episode of the series and the franchise overall. I say this as someone who stuck with SGU even though I wasnt as big a fan of it as I was the priot two series. The last 10 or 12 eps were really solid overall. It really felt like the show had hit its stride.

    As far as not knowing what happens…I know.

    That look on Eli’s face. That’s not someone who’s going gently to his good night. That’s a guy that knows who he is and knows he can do this. Just like Eli came up with the idea and Chloe confirmed his calculations…he’s got this.

    Two weeks to work on it? Pshaw. The kid has got this.

    I can see them waking up and it turns out Eli came up with an option they hadnt even considered. He cut some time off the trip and was able to get a deeper understanding of Destiny while everyone else slept. Maybe when everyone else wakes up Rush suddenly finds himself vastly outclassed by Eli. Having to play catch up. Suddenly feeling superfluous. Eli doesn’t want to lord anything over Rush but the change in him is impossible to ignore.

    He has made progress on TJ’s ALS, enough so to create a treatment to slow the progression of it. Maybe he creates an interface for Lisa that lets her see via Kino transmission.
    I know it sounds kinda Borg-ish but it’s an interesting visual seeing it floating along side her as she walks. And maybe the change in Eli creates a new dynamic between him and Chloe. He’s more confident and with her relatively new level of intellect. The two of them might not have been suited romantically when they got to Destiny but neither one of them is the person they used to be anymore.

    Want me to go on? It’s all there before me.

  24. Joe,

    Certainly I can see how you and the others who worked on the show would have a different point of view as to the lack of closure, but I found the final episode to be much less frustrating than I expected. This episode was really a fitting finale, even if it wasn’t intended to be. I found it enjoyable – I really expected to be watching a frustrating season-end cliffhanger (the last episode of Odyssey 5, for example). Instead we got a story that, although it didn’t tie everything up, it left me feeling that there’s hope. The final scenes with the Rush and Young going into stasis, the ship’s systems shutting down and Eli looking out from the observation window were moving.

    The idea that DVR viewings aren’t counted the same as “live” viewings is extremely frustrating. This needs to change. In my house we DVR almost everything – it frees us up from having to be there when shows are on. I’d estimate that more than 80% of our tv viewing is of DVR recordings.

    So, as an avid fan of space-based sci-fi, where do I turn? In the USA the Science Channel is about halfway through the run of Firefly and even that isn’t first run (although seeing it in HD makes re-watching it worthwhile). Once that’s done, there isn’t anything other than reruns. Seems like there’s a gap in the marketplace that isn’t being served. Are there any new space-based shows of decent quality out there?

    Heck, I’ve already re-watched every episode of Blakes 7 and all the DVD special features, I’m so starved for space shows.

    My thanks to you and everyone who worked on the show. I never agreed with the criticism of it – the Stargate franchise always set the bar high, and I could never get enough.

    P.S. We love the Transporter films, so we’re looking forward to your new show too.

  25. A cable station has had the 1959 movie The Angry Red Planet on lately. I have been watching it in bits and pieces. Have you ever seen it? All I can say is, you’ve come a long way baby! The music in it is so lame. It sounds like a deparment store, about 1960’s, what you would hear while shopping for perfume. I’m reminded of the brilliance of Joel Goldsmith.

    I had an issue with The Final Supper. Even though I loved seeing them all together like a family and actually enjoying each other, I couldn’t help but think whoever is left out of a stasis pod could use that food. Did they really need to eat before entering stasis? That food would give more time to the odd man out.

    I loved Eli’s mom. I felt she was giving Eli peace of mind when she told him it was okay what he was doing. She knew where he was and she would be fine with him gone. I liked it when he visited her. Their visits always brought a tear to my eye.

    SGU ended the way I always thought it should. Destiny shutting down to what is was before they arrived and continuing on it’s solitary journey. But your version is much better. This time, it has one man on board, which leaves hope.

    Very well written. respectful, thought provoking, beautiful episode.

  26. I am so sad tht SGU got cancelled. I feel like someone just died in my entourage.

    Just watched the season’s finale on Spaces here in Canada, and I must say this was a great episode. In fact, I enjoyed all single episode of this season.

    SyFy channel is indeed dumb to cancel this show. But anyways, since they rename Sci-Fi for SyFy, this channel just go downward. They’re just making stupid decision, cancelling great shows, and renewing fucking reality crappy shows.

    I would have loved to see SGU continue. It’s true that SGU is the second biggest franchise of the MGM studio, but this studio has huge financial difficulties. Since Las Vegas went down in 2008, their casino’s have been empty, priving them from an important part of revenue. I’ve just went to see Le Cirque du Soleil at LV, and the city looks like a ghost town. I visited the Luxor, the MGM Grand and the Mandalay Bay, which are all property of MGM, and they’re not going well.

    I beleive that MGM should renew the show for a third season using an alternate media. Just take Sanctuary, they had success with their webisodes. Sanctuary was a new franchise, so not much people were paying to watch theses episode.

    I beleive that if MGM thinks global, making SGU season three pay-per-view globally via the Internet, by maintaining the same financing for the franchise, I’m quite certain that the money the show miss from SyFy will come back from the viewer online. I did say global, not US only. Globally, with all the fan of the series, I’m quite sure that the franchise can get the missing financing and continue to be produced. I would definately pay for such a great serie.

  27. @Ponytail,
    It wasn’t really the amount of food that was the issue it was keeping minimal life support running that was going to use up power.

    Although, I’m wondering if there was any way to keep food in stasis for when they get out or is it back to longlasting rations?

  28. You know, in my 31+ years, I’ve seen a lot of TV cancellations.

    Some had run their course (Northern Exposure, NYPD Blue, Buffy).

    Some got kicked before their time. (Star Trek: Enterprise, Firefly, Angel, Dresden Files)

    Some got additional life after their shows (Buffy, Angel, some of the ST series) via books or comics or movies.

    While I feel that some got wrapped up nicely, even if I HAD wanted to see them continue, (ST: TNG and DS9, SG-1 and Atlantis) SG: Universe is the only show that has left me… heartbroken, for lack of a better term, without knowing “what’s next?”

    My Google-fu fails me in trying to find a blog for every single cast/crew member of SG: Universe, but I know I speak for a lot of Gaters when I say “Thanks.”

  29. I agree with Lou Zucaro about the feel of the episode – it felt like a bittersweet goodbye. It wasn’t a perfect ending for the series, but it worked out really well, all things considered.





  31. Hi Joe,

    Can you at least tell us what the outcome of “The Mission” was intended to be?

    I can’t help but want to know what the “greatest discovery since the Stargate itself”, which the Ancients built the Destiny to find & that may affect our understanding of the Universe itself would of been.

  32. Joe, I think I love this idea from Dreaded Anomaly over on the Benbo:

    Eli to Young: “I’m smarter than him. And all three of us know it.”

    Rush isn’t just defined by his intelligence, though; it’s his Machiavellian use of it. What if Eli started down that same path? He’s standing on the balcony smiling because he’s got everyone right where he wants them.

    Eli’s had total control of the drones since he brought that one on to the ship. He’s kept them attacking Destiny, but not destroying it, so that everyone would have no choice but to follow his plan and get into the stasis pods. One of them “happened” to malfunction, so he wouldn’t have to go into stasis.

    Of course, one might wonder how he was able to control the drone attacks while simultaneously fighting them off. But the answer’s simple: he has an accomplice, Ginn. He didn’t keep her program in quarantine; he just wanted everyone to think that, so she could carry out her part of the plan covertly.

    Now, with a drone army and control of Destiny, he can reawaken the crew members that he likes, turn Destiny around, and start taking over the galaxy, with the infrastructure created by the civilization that his alternate self built.

    I know that’s probably not what you had in mind, but it works for me! 🙂


  33. Joe, to answer your question – TJ chooses Young. 🙂

    I’ve given it a couple of days since I watched Gauntlet so I would hopefully not cry while typing this.

    I’m glad there wasn’t a easy solution to either the TJ or Park medical issues, and in reality no solution at the end. Part of what I admired about SGU was it’s willingness to not take the easy ordinary path of television writing. Make the audience work for the show, make them invest in these people; love them or hate them but feel it deeply.

    Again, we see Col Young working himself ragged, and since their talk in Trail & Error, Camille Wray working with Everett, concerned for his well being which is a marked contrast to their earlier Division (pun intended). Eli & Rush working together in a more mature manner. Rush giving Eli his due, learning that maybe he should allow Eli more responsibility especially after his dazzling work with the blue giant.

    Touching glimpses of saying good-bye: Scott just observing his son, not interfering to confuse him, but you could see he truly loves him even without knowing him. Chloe’s mom, still reeling after a year without both her husband & daughter. Clinging in desperation to Chloe all the while the bottle remains close at hand. Camille describing her phone call with Sharon, the only mature relationship not troubled prior to Destiny. Camille had to let her go, I think mainly more for Sharon’s sake than her own. She clearly saw how the separation was wearing on Sharon (drinking). With no foreseeable way to return to Earth, as a soulmate, Camille knew it was best to make the break. But it hurt her deeply; listen to her voice quavering while talking with Scott.

    Volker & Brody, buddies to the end. Lisa Park proving to herself & others that she’s is not one to be pitied and can still be a useful & resourceful member of the crew. Greer sticking by his woman, unselfishly supporting her. What growth we’ve seen of this man since the door opened on him in the brig.

    Young & Rush, suspicious and calculating, playing their chess match to the end. Their dynamic has grown from just hating each other to something akin to wary respect. As Young is fond of stating: “He’s a lot of work”. The dinner scene speech was brilliant. I loved Young’s description of Rush, his inclusion of Camille as a sister and his realization that they are a family, his family and like a “Papa” he will do his utmost to protect them.

    The ending as Destiny disappears into the deep reaches of space, lit by her FTL flight; epic. I applaud all who flew in her, made her real in our minds, and let us fly with her into the future wherever that ends or starts again.

  34. I had a question Joe:

    Do you have any photos of the sets you can share with us? Some of us would love to see what things looked like, especially in the new set that was taken down prematurely.

  35. Joe,

    So are you no longer going to answer questions on what would have happened? I see that Brad Wright declined to talk about what would have happened? Did you decide to do the same?

  36. Thank you for the great ride you have givenus, you and the others (SG1, SGA, SGU). I hope that we will have in 3 years the return of SGU 🙂 .

    I’d really love to know what was that background noise.

    And has our canadian dollar value had any impact on doing or not doing the movies (SG1, SGA, SGU) ?

  37. Joe

    A number of shows have continued their Story in comic book form, Star Trek, Jericho, and Buffy to name a few fan favorites. The numbers on these comics look good do you think the studio would accept this as a low cost high gain way of continuing the series?


  38. You are such a talented writer can you not think of some way to persuade the suits to reconsider this travesty to science fiction? SGU isn’t SG1 or SGA it is it’s own stand alone success! Your numbers were good, you were winning awards and nominations before they screwed with you time slot! Tell me what could reawaken MGM to the idea that this is a franchise for a reason! They’ve made MILLIONS on Stargate! Did they forget? They never failed to sell commercial spots and SG1 did rather well in DVD sales, how do they forget this?

  39. Personally, I loved the ending. I hate that it ended, but I love the way you did it. It breaks my heart that I can’t continue on the journey with the characters I’ve grown to love over the past two years, but it gives me solace to imagine that they’ll go on.

    Thank you, Joe and Paul, for writing what, to me, is one of the best finales ever.

    And can I ask again, please, if the set/lot used for Terminus was same set/lot used for Sateda? Thanks! 🙂

    Vale, Stargate. You will be missed.

  40. It just this moment occured to me why “Gauntlet” gave me déjà vu.

    “Quantum Leap” finale & cancellation, anyone? As far as we know, Ssm Beckett is still out there bouncing into others’ lives to “right wrongs”.

    That said, SGU’s end left me with hope, QL’s in despair.

  41. I too, found the episode to be bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter. I am so very thankful that it didn’t end on a cliffhanger, like so many prematurely cancelled series, but instead with ambiguity and hope. The show can live on in our imaginations, now. As someone above said, don’t be hard on it – it was a great episode.

    I want to thank everyone involved in the Stargate franchise for so many, many years of great TV, great stories, and a great community. It’s been a wonderful ride.

    Now – you hinted at telling us some spoilers about the SG movie Extinction – how about the Atlantis movie too?? Pretty please?

  42. So Joe you are going back on your word, you said a few weeks ago that you would answer the fan questions. In this blog;


    And now you are saying going to leave to our imagination. You knew they were going to be the questions that fans would want answers to when you wrote that, so if you not going to answer them why did you ask us fans to send you questions if you not going to answer them.

    I can now understand at least some of the hate mail you receive especially when you go back on your word in such an obvious way.

    To me this was the worst of the season finale, SG: A was the best final be because the crew got to complete its mission, which after all was not to defeat the Wraith or defend the residence in the Pegasus galaxy, it was to bring back Atlantis to defend Earth.

    And the episodic nature of SG1 of missions and the fact the show is name after a team, I can easily accept that team will always exist in some shape or form and will always be going on adventures long after the 4 original team members are dead and buried in graves with full military honours and hopefully with the public knowing what they have done to defend this planet and a national memorial or two.

    But Stargate Universe is different it one long story told over many years and us fans what answers to what the middle and the ending going to be, what was the signal. To me this is not a series ending, it not evens a season ending, it a half descent end to the beginning of the story, and now I want the middle and the end of that story.

    Would TJ going fine a cure, was Lisa Blindness permanent, will Eli fixed the status pod, will destiny fulfilled her mission to find out what the signal is?, What is the signal?, will we ever see Destiny is her full glory, what were the faith Aliens, what was the Blues plans for Chloe and the Destiny. Will Scott ever get a chance to be a father to his son and many other questions?

    These were the questions you knew the fans were going to ask, so why promise us that you would answer our questions and then suddenly betray that promise by not answering them all on the basis of leaving it for our imaginations, which is a lame excuse in my book and either shows the writer do not know the answer to these questions, which mean you did not really have a 5 year plan or you just do not respect your audience enough to tell them at least some of the story, answers some of their questions, indeed you seeming to have lied to us shows how much it seem the writers and you disrespect the audience and your readers.

    I look forward to your response.

  43. Over on Scifi-Nexus they are talking about a scene in Gauntlet about 16 minutes in, where Rush’s scribblings on the destiny bulkhead clearly say “F*ck the French”! (http://cms.scifi-nexus.com/?p=568 for the article.) At first I thought this must be a joke but I checked it on the actual episode and it’s genuine! How on earth did that end up there, Joe? Were the ratings in France not good enough for you guys or something?

  44. Hello, do you think that if DVD sales of Season 2 of SGU are good, a film production is feasible?

    Thank you Joe!
    Have a good day

  45. Question:
    How exactely did the Priors get to the Milky way, did they just create wormholes out of nothing, did they create stargates when DJ and Vala arrived or were there always gates in their galaxy?

  46. “MG

    It’s said that a picture speaks a thousand words….”

    That is Not cool. 🙁

  47. Wait, what? You aren’t going to answer fan questions now and talk about what you guys were thinking or what you had planned for the show and the mission? Interesting footnotes are what your fans are asking for… I thought it was a great thing you were offering to do, are you no longer going to do that?

    Wow, frankly, if that’s true, you’re no better than the SyFy channel in my eyes.

  48. So many fans are boycotting SYFY. Their facebook page is full of “Save SGU” posts. I also wanna see at least another seazon or movie. We all know what kill this show – stupid SYFY change from fridays…. they killing now even Sanctuary and broadcast wrestling instead of scifi!!! Oh seriously… we want SGU back! If SYFY dont wat to do it, why another chanel dont?? I Loved it and now I have nothing to watch, nothink to look forward ….. and I will never found out what was in that backround radiation…. :((((((

  49. Joe,

    I’m a few days behind on my episodes because work has been a real P.I.T.A. recently, so I have a question regarding “Epilogue” which I just watched on Tuesday: Besides the obvious dramatic elements, why couldn’t Eli complete the Novus Archive data transfer from the safety of Destiny?

  50. We need the name and author of the final song at the end. Amazing piano piece. Where can we get it please?!




  52. “I could provide some insight into what we discussed, possible answers to these burning questions but, ultimately, they’ll serve as little more than interesting footnotes to greater canon. In the end, the answers are what you choose them to be.”

    Joe, despite this, I think there’s still an interest in what ideas you and the other writers had for the series. Yes, those of us who have watched Stargate throughout its incarnations can speculate on how we would answer these questions, but it’s still of interest how you would have done so.

    “Or, maybe, Destiny is still out their [sic], still journeying, its crew in stasis, destined to outlive all our questions.”

    The way I see it, Stargate Command never hears from Destiny again, and years later, when the Stargate program becomes public, a legend develops that one day, in Earth’s hour of need, Destiny will return to save humanity.

  53. Loved the show, I think that the finale was amazing. As other said before I did not contribute to the ratings as I live in Italy and to watch the show I had to download it. I’ll buy the DVDs for sure and watch it over and over. I would be glad to pay to download other new episodes if these were made available, even if I guess this is not going to happen.

    Anyway congratulations, every single scene of the finale was great, as every episode of the second season.

    I too, am heartbroken for this cancellation

  54. Hello Joe, I really think, as a few other readers do, that your insight into what was discussed for Destiny’s future would be interesting for us to hear, what was Destiny’s Mission? what would they have found?

    I appreciate if you decide not to answers you have your reasons, but I think many of us, would like to know.

  55. Random advise to Joe:
    for your own sanity, you may want to take a vacation from the BLOG for a month.
    Let the storm pass over and then you can resume. There are so many emotions and reactions going on.
    It may not be a positive thing for you. I think you did and said enough about Stargate and SGU in particular. Now take care of yourself and your new project and pass on the internet feedback for a few weeks/months.

  56. I’m a glass-sideways person myself so I still hope to see SGU come back as a Balkan production about a ship named Destinü led by their stoic captain Yuri and scheming Dr. Rubik. And I heard that scientists in China are reverse engineering Season One as we speak.

    I’m more excited to see what’s next for the SG directors, producers and writers. It’s a huge crew of talented people who’ll be making great shows for years to come.

  57. It’s been suggested in a couple of places that SGU should return to the air in about three years… Obviously extremely unlikely (I don’t accept impossible in anything, but what is probable is another story).. but still… how cool would that be?

    I picture a slightly aged Eli waiting with breakfast as everyone wakes up. “What’s up guys?”

    The stories he would have to tell. (That’d made for an interesting mini web series between seasons… as I’m sure Eli continues his documentary until the very end.)

    Honestly I havent watched the back half.. well the first episode, just so I didn’t leave myself hanging on that first drone battle… but knowing its an incomplete story just frustrates me and makes me want to not invest anymore of myself into it..

    However in seeing everyone’s comments and that people are getting some degree of closure with it anyway… I find myself reconsidering.

    Personally, I’d like to go with your last option…

  58. Wonderful post, Joe. I’m really going to miss the Stargate franchise, SGU particularly because of the way it “ended”. I hope we get to see these characters again, but I’m not holding my breath.

    I have no doubt that Stargate, as a franchise, will return. The original Star Trek series lasted only 3 seasons, but thanks to it’s ratings in syndication re-runs and a devoted fanbase it came back in a big way starting 10 years later with a feature film (even earlier if you count the animated series). Even when Enterprise was cancelled, the franchise managed another come back in 2009. Farscape was cancelled after four seasons and fan support helped bring it back for a proper conclusion in the Farscape: PeaceKeeper Wars mini-series. Firefly had its episodes aired out of order (some didn’t even air at all) but it still managed a comeback (and some closure) with the Serenity feature film. Even the longest running sci-fi series in history, Doctor Who, had to deal with cancellation and years off the air before returning in 2005.

    So I don’t think this is the end of Stargate. Granted, the franchise will be taking a rest for a while, and I don’t know if we’ll ever see the characters from SG-1, SGA or SGU again in some continuation of what we’ve seen already or some form of reboot., but I do think that Stargate will return some day.

    Whatever the case, my thanks to you, the writers, the cast, the crew and even my fellow fans for all sharing Stargate. I only really came on board with the debut of Stargate: Atlantis, but thanks to people I’ve met on Twitter, through Gateworld, Innerspace specials on the Space channel and your own blog here I’ve come to feel like a part of a large community. Saying good-bye (or “see you soon”), especially given how SGU ended makes me sad. Funny to say that about a televison show(s), but its been a part of my life now for 7 years, and for others a lot longer, and it really does feel like saying good-bye to very close friends that I fear I may never see again.

  59. Hi Joe,

    Please consider this an impassioned plea to not leave the stories of Destiny untold, not when you know a little of what was to come. To you these characters were clearly alive in your minds, with details never mentioned or shown to the audience. To us, these people grew from unknown names and faces into heroes, villains and friends that, over time, we came to value and even invest ourselves in. We didn’t create them, we didn’t guide them and therefore we cannot envision their futures – as an audience it was our role to watch and listen, to cheer and weep. As the author of their universe (pun cheerfully intended), it was your job to know all that was to be! Please, share what you can. If there are others with details and you feel you cannot speak for them, then I ask for you to speak for us to them – ask them to visit your blog and give us what details are available. Don’t leave us with a black screen or major questions asked (by the show) but unanswered (by the network executives who cancelled it), not when you can give those answers to us now.

    I’ll miss SGU, the show was really hitting its stride. And I remain hungry for any and every detail available, details to complete the universe in our minds as it is in yours.

    Thank you for so many years of Stargate, and for considering my plea!


  60. I’ve been swamped lately and haven’t had a chance to see the last SGU episode. Sorry but I wanted to take my time to savor it. I’ve heard good things about it from friends though. There is hope out here that SGU will be picked up like some the other non-renewed/cancelled shows that came back on air. I refer them to your blog.

    I will miss SGU. All of you did a great job and we appreciate it! Any news about SGU cast/crew new projects?

    It’s exciting to read about the comic book project. You said that it was more fun than TV. How so? Will you get to stay in Vancouver if you do comics exclusively? Can you imagine what your parents would have thought if they had known you would make a living doing “Comic books”? Priceless!

    Did you hear that the Mississippi river overflow is heading down to Louisiana? Can Louisiana handle another disaster? http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_mississippi_river_flooding

    I didn’t feel too bad about some of the upper scale communities that got flooded in Memphis. If someone chooses to live in a community called “Mud Island”, then they take their chances. I’m sorry their homes got flooded but chances are, they have flood insurance. However, I did feel sympathy for the low income people that had no flood insurance and have to rely on FEMA or charities. Can Americans really trust FEMA? http://www.dailybreeze.com/latestnews/ci_18035349 Who helps Canadian citizens rebuild after a disaster?

    When do Transporter premiere? Sorry for all the questions. Rain is coming and I’m having a migraine sort of day.

  61. The show needs to be online. It’s demographic is tech savy as you said. Continuing the series on hulu or something similar, even through netflix would make alot more sense.

  62. Joe, tell David Blue that I think that his character basically carried us (viewers) through from the first episode to the last.
    The Eli character was probably the character that carried many viewers though the adventures I suspect.

    Starting with Eli getting drawn into this amazing world of adventures and explorations he could only dream of, wild eyed and young.
    Then in the final episode we see Eli reflect on this, content, but also a worry as he now is basically grown up in a very short time and not only that but also hold the very safety of the crew and Destiny in his hands, and wishing he was not alone with this huge responsibility.

    I think that David Blue’s character ended up becoming “the” Lead role due to the “bookend” episodes. (sorry Rush, but Eli just outclassed you *laughs*)

    So here’s to you David, cheers, awesome job, and hoping that we Science Fiction fans get to see you in the future in some Science Fiction movies or series, heckuva acting talent you got there dude.

  63. I feel similarly when it comes to Gauntlet, I thought it was an absolute amazing episode but it would have been much better as a season finale. It being a series finale bothers me because there are too many things left unanswered.

    I guess I have to be content with making my own ending for SGU, except I don’t have a great imagination so that doesn’t quite work :p

    I would like to say that I loved SGU from the beginning and I am grateful for the two great years you gave us, so thanks to you and everybody else who made this awesome tv show 😀

    This doesn’t mean I’m letting go, I will continue to be a fan of SGU and SG-1 and they will continue to be in my life for years to come 🙂

  64. As far as series finales go, and also considering it’s one for a show that was cancelled well before its time, this is probably one of the best endings to a series I’ve ever seen. The thought that the characters aren’t in great peril by the end is enough to leave me satisfied. I also want to say that I cried during this, and I’m the sort of person who never cries when watching a movie or show. Which goes to show just how powerful of a punch this episode had and just how talented everyone was who worked on it.

  65. The concept of a comic, or an animated feature of sorts, keeps popping up, and you keep saying “it’s up to the studio”.

    Well here’s what I’ve been wondering – if they say nay, would you deem it possible (especially considering franchise ownership, etc.) for fans to get in touch with you or some other scriptwriters to create a fan-made, staff-endorsed-and-cooperated, maaaybe-actors-voiceovered comic or flash-animated finale? I mean, is it only about production costs, or is the SG franchise kept under a very tight lid and fan works have a better chance at getting sued rather than worked with?

    Because, you know, given good will, I’m quite sure a concerted effort of some talented individuals out of thousands of fans, and a few days out of some of SG staff’s time… would only need a handwaved green light…

  66. Thanks for all your effort and creativity which has made the series (SG1,Atlantis,SGU) so great over the years.

    Gotta agree with an earlier comment about the need for MGM (or someone with some vision, and the cash to invest) to resurrect the show and sell it globally via the web.

    Its unfortunate but SGU suffers because of the fact alot of people watch it via torrent etc, joint effect of lowered ad revenue, and also ratings don’t cover how *most* people probably watch the show.

    We always support the franchise via DVD purchases, as we want to keep things alive, but I’m sure we’re a minority and most have just torrented the show and never contributed back to the community who produced it.

    I think in a couple/few years we will look back at SGU as one of the shows that has suffered from this transitionary period until someone figures out how to monetize TV downloads globally in a sustainable accessible way that meets the market.

    Here’s to a brighter future, and a miracle that brings Stargate back. Bless.

  67. Thanks so much for sharing some of your ideas for S3 – it takes the sting out of the non-ending to have an idea of where it was going!

    One S2 question is nagging me and I’d love to hear your insight – what prevented them letting Mandy and Ginn back out of their quarantine once Rush was safely restored to his body?

    SGU has been too amazing for words – although I’m heartbroken by not knowing the rest of the story, I wouldn’t have missed these two seasons for the world. Thank you.

  68. Hi Joe,

    On an unrelated question, just wondering if you have any idea if and when the musical score (by the amazing Joel Goldsmith) for SGU Seasons 1 and 2 will be released?


  69. To bad the new management did not see it as a productive series. I enjoyed all of the series. I have to admit that SGU was not my favorite, but that never made me want Stargate to Fail. I hope it comes back soon and hope you get to keep up the adventures.

    Thanks for all the years!

  70. Mr. Mallozzi,

    I just got through the series on Netflix Instant Watch, and wanted to finally have a chance to comment without worrying about spoilers. I had been following along episode by episode (using Wikipedia’s info on when each episode aired) to the discussion on TwoP, but boy was that hard to stomach. What a bunch of haters! I wondered how they could have such impossibly high standards for SF, and noticed that most of them seemed to be big fans of the previous series, SGA. So I went back and tried to see what was so brilliant about that show that had not carried through to SGU, and I’m sorry to say (since I know you were involved with SGA as well) that I found it truly atrocious. Maybe I sampled the wrong episodes, but it just seemed so cheesy, from the dialogue to the acting to the sets and effects.

    Anyway, back to SGU. Through the first few episodes of the first season, it achieved a solid four star (out of five) status for me on Netflix. Some occasional clunkers but mostly very solid, high quality stuff. Then in the second season it elevated to five star level (and I am very, very stingy with my five star ratings). So it’s a shame that the series got cut short when it was really clicking on all cylinders; but at least it didn’t suffer the fate of so many series (BSG, LOST) of staying on well past its prime.

    Specifically, I wanted to congratulate you on your determination in avoiding encounters with aliens who (a la Star Trek) are only different from humans in having a few odd bumps here or there on their faces, and (even worse) somehow speak English. Furthermore, the way you found around the storytelling straitjacket this admittedly put you in to some degree was brilliant: the time travel “ancestors” plot twist. You never really had to use this “out” to any great degree, but it allowed you the flexibility in a putative Season Three to gate/shuttle to different planets and find humans there, with various levels of technological development and social organisation, who would plausibly speak English and have familiar types of clothing and architecture (helping your budget).

    One other brilliant move was the downloading of only a third of the Descendants’ database (as long as we can get over the coincidence of being there at the exact moment the bunker succumbed to tectonic forces after having remained in perfect shape for years before Destiny’s arrival). This gave you the option of being able to pull out designs for new technology for “deus ex machina” solutions, while still giving you an “out” to the question “well, if they could get X out of that database, why not Y, when any species advanced enough to have figured out X would have also figured out Y?”

    This is all rather “meta”, I suppose; but it’s not often I can enjoy a movie or TV show so much both on the direct level and on the level of appreciating how writers have set things up for themselves down the road. Kudos!

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