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Feature: Stargate

Star Gaters

The old and the (fairly) new…

As SG-1 comes to the end of its 10-year run, its sequel, Atlantis, still has a future, producers and writers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie guide us through the hard decisions they’re having to make about the future direction of the series

The last day of filming is closing in, and Stargate writers and executive producers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie have a lot to do. With Stargate SG-1 coming to a close this year, they’ve been making some tough decisions, explains Mallozzi – who tends to do most of the talking for the pair. “We’re looking ahead to Atlantis and we had to do a big walking tour of our standing sets and decide what we wanna keep and what we don’t wanna keep. Because we’re only doing one show next year, we can’t really afford all this extra stage space and there’s standing sets we’re essentially paying rent on that we won’t really need so we just had to make the calls. It was two-and-a-half hours of a trip down memory lane and all these different props and builds from various SG-1 episodes over the past 10 seasons. Some of them are gonna be refreshed, some of them I guess will make it out into someone’s collection some day.”

Both men are understandably sad to see SG-1 bow out. “Yeah. Paul and I joined with Season Four on the understanding that the show would last five seasons and we would all go our separate ways, and then Season Six came along and we were talking about heading off into a spin-off and Season Seven came along and Season Eight and Season Nine; to be honest every year we thought it’d be the last year. I feel like I jinxed it. Season 10, the type of stories we were telling I thought were really interesting, solid stories. I really thought there was a good chance that we could go 11.

“That’s the only reason to be upset,” adds Mullie. “They were great years. I don’t think it was bad, I don’t think it was out of stories. It’s such an open-ended premise and with the new characters that we got I think it could have continued. For that reason it’s incredible. But 10 years.” He pauses, considering that length of time. “It’s hard to argue with 10 years.”

The big question is which characters, if any, will be transferring to Atlantis when SG-1 concludes. Mallozzi’s answer is surprising. “Right now it’s too early to tell. Atlantis is definitely coming back and SG-1 will continue in some incarnation. So in that respect it’s very difficult to say, ‘We’re going to move some characters over’; in all likelihood those same characters will be busy on some sort of SG-1 production. So that call’s not gonna be made for a while.”

That’s as much as the pair are willing to say about any plans for SG-1, so let’s segue over to Atlantis. Now in its third year (and confirmed for a fourth), it seems to be on the up. The writers are certainly happy with its progress so far, and have found it easier to write for the characters as time has gone on, although Mallozzi is quick to point out, “I think a lot of the characters were very well fleshed out in the first season; characters like McKay [David Hewlett] are just a writer’s dream from the get-go, I just love the way Ronon [Jason Momoa] has kind of grown up over the couple of seasons since he’s been introduced.”

But it’s not all plain sailing…

by Paul Spragg

Read the full interview in
TV Zone #208

Photo © Visual Imagination Ltd, Stargate images © The Sci-Fi Channel
Feature © Visual Imagination 2006. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #208, see below for ordering options
TV Zone #208
December 2006
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