From a transforming Chloe to some Rush-vs.-Young head-butting to explosive alien issues, things are about to heat up on Syfy's Stargate Universe, according to co-creator and executive producer Brad Wright. "We're building a mythology again," he promises.
"I feel like the show has never been better and that there are folks who are digging it. The first 10 are just terrific. Obviously I'm proud of everything, but we did listen to some of the criticisms earlier on and worked on increasing the pace and increasing the adventure of the show, without changing the show entirely," said Wright in an exclusive interview.
Wright gave us a little preview of what's to come, and here are eight reasons you're going to want to watch Stargate Universe tonight and through the remainder of the fall episodes.
Col. Young's mercy killing of one of his men is about to bite him in the ass.
Remember that character Riley, who got trapped in the crashed shuttle in "Aftermath"? The one Col. Young suffocated because they were going to have to leave him to die alone on an alien planet?
Well, tonight's episode, "Trial and Error," is a "huge test of Col. Young's character. His descent that has been sort of triggered by Riley's death—well, what he had to do for Riley—has pushed him to the wall, and in 'Trial and Error' we see him hit the wall. [Justin Louis' work] is, I think, Emmy-worthy. He is brilliant in this episode, and honestly, the scene with him and Scott at the end is just ... Louis is an amazing actor."
You will discover what the Destiny's original mission was.
In next week's episode, "The Greater Good," "we find out explicitly what Destiny's original mission was. And that happens when we find a derelict spaceship that happens to have been the same kind of ship of aliens that we meet in 'Aftermath.' Now, it's not occupied, but essentially in the exploration of that ship, Young and Rush become stuck there. They're trapped aboard the ship together, and Rush has to take extraordinary measures to try to get Destiny to come to their rescue, without revealing the bridge. And, of course, he doesn't succeed," he said.
Rush's secret bridge and his ability to control the Destiny will be discovered by the crew.
"The secret is out in 'The Greater Good'," said Wright. "The way we tell a story in the show, we maximized all we could out of that story. ... Of course, it was going to hit the fan ... because Rush and Young both so believe that they're right. And we've been trying very hard not to side with one or the other in terms of how we weigh the stories. ... They've both done equally heinous acts and heroic acts. And in 'The Greater Good' they're forced to come to a head again in a way that is very interesting."
The Simeon storyline will come to a boil as SGU films in "alien" territory.
The episode called "Malice," is "a Rush story, and it is where the Simeon storyline reaches its head. And it is very, very powerful, and I think Robert [Carlyle's] best work on this show so far." Co-creator Robert Cooper wrote and directed the episode, said Wright.
"We went back to New Mexico. To the Bisti Badlands. Not the same desert as we went to in the pilot, but another desert that is incredibly alien-looking. I went to the location for some of the shoot, and it was... I'd never seen anything like it on earth. It was a bizarre formation created by melting glaciers, and it is just ... there's these things called hoodoos, which rise up out of the ground, and there's mineral deposits all through them. And so it looks truly alien. It looks incredibly remote, 'cause it is. We were in the middle of nowhere. Fifty miles south of a place called Farmington, N.M."
We'll find out what happened to the crew members who were left behind on the alien planet.
"We have an episode called 'Visitation.' I guess I may as well just say it ... The people who we left behind in 'Faith' on that planet ... they're back," said Wright.
Wright won't say whether we'll find out if Lt. Johansen's baby is with the planet folks as we saw in her vision. However, "there's a lot of interesting reveals in that story. ... Again, we take it in a different direction than you would expect. And it is, I think, a lovely story."
Chloe will continue her transformation.
"That takes us to the big part one of our midseason two-parter called 'Resurgence,' where we find something off the path, and now that we have control of the Destiny for the first time we explore something that we soon find out we shouldn't have. And we end up basically caught in a war that has been going on between two races," he said.
"And, of course, during all of this, Chloe is still transforming. During everything that I said. That is a big part of the 'Visitation' story and this story as well, and even in the second half of the season, which is the back 10."
Considering that "Resurgence" is part one of a two-parter, expect a big Stargate-type cliffhanger.
For the second half of SGU's second season, how about a little visit from Rodney McKay and Richard Woolsey?
Wright believes there are a lot of cool things to bring fans back for more when Stargate Universe returns for the back 10 episodes of its second season next year, not the least of which is a visit from Stargate Atlantis alums David Hewlett and Robert Picardo.
"Two famous, well-loved Atlantis characters, Rodney McKay and Richard Woolsey, [guest-star for an episode] ... and it has a little bit of the flavor of last season, when we brought O'Neill back. This is a little bit of the old show in terms of storytelling and in terms of the story itself, [especially regarding] the element of humor that is in the show. Because David is funny. David Hewlett is a funny man. And McKay's a funny character," said Wright.
"But it is a really intriguing story too, and in some ways in the storytelling it's a little bit like 'The Pegasus Project' was, in that people at both ends of the story need to work together to achieve something. 'Pegasus Project' was an episode of SG-1 that I wrote that was the first crossover between SG-1 and Atlantis. So this is sort of a crossover between Atlantis and SGU."
Beyond that, the back 10 will bring a new CG creature that's "a big, scary beast," there will be a significant arc that plays out through most of the episodes, and 3rd Rock From the Sun's French Stewart will guest-star.
And here's one final reason you should watch Stargate Universe. Because Brad Wright is asking you to.
Wright has a request for fans. "Please watch my show. ... I mean, 'I'm loving the show. I downloaded it,' ... that does not keep us on the air. Viewers have to watch our show live on the same day, otherwise our television show is going to go away," he said.
Stargate Universe airs on Syfy on Tuesdays at 9 p.m.