Less than a year after Stargate finished its 10-season run, Christopher Judge — who plays the muscle-bound alien Teal’c — is returning to the franchise on Stargate Atlantis (tonight at 10 pm/ET, Sci Fi). Judge talked to TV Guide about keeping up with a kid half his age, getting “back in the sandbox” and his new project.
TV Guide: So how did your visit to Stargate Atlantis come about?
Christopher Judge: It’s something that the fans have talked about for a long time — probably since the Ronon character [played by Jason Momoa] first appeared. When they approached me about it, I said, “Sure.” Then they said, “You’ll have a few fight scenes with Ronon, because the fans would love that.” And I said, “Well, you know Jason is almost 20 years younger than Chris.” I had seen his previous fight work and I didn’t think I could keep up. When they said they’d get me a stunt double, stupidly my pride took hold of me. So we started working out, and I was like, “What am I doing? This kid’s twice as fast as I am!”
TV Guide: Did you take the double?
Judge: No, we finally got it worked out; it was great. We really had a hoot. Jason’s such a great kid and it was fun to be back in the sandbox.
TV Guide: You once told us that fans were really debating which muscle-bound warrior would take the other. Is there a Teal’c-ian crew and a Ronon-iac gang?
Judge: Oh, certainly. [Producer] Joe Mallozzi is the world’s biggest blogger and he’s poured his full share of gasoline on that fire. It was something they’ve thought about for quite a while. But for us, it was me very much passing along that alien mantle to Ronon — to Jason. It’s Teal’c passing on a level of maturity to Ronon. We have a battle of wills — and then against the Wraith. I think fans will be very happy with the way it ends up.
TV Guide: Could we see you back in that sandbox again?
Judge: You know, anytime they ask me to go there and play, I certainly would. I just had a really great time over there.
TV Guide: Teal’c has a surprising look in the episode. What’s with all the hair?
Judge: [Laughs] My hair’s been an ongoing source of debate for many years. Truthfully, I started growing my hair for my next project. And was very reluctant to cut it, so I went in and met with the producers and it was agreed that everyone kind of liked it. So I kept it!
TV Guide: You do look good. What’s the project?
Judge: I’ve got a new show called Rage of Angels. We were supposed to go to camera, but unfortunately we didn’t have the last bits of the deal done before the writers’ strike came. We always thought we could do it under the Canadian writers’ guild contract, but they rejected it because I’m an American, to show support for the American writers’ guild. My partner is Brad Turner, a producer of 24,it’s for MGM and [Michael] Shanks is starring alongside me. I play the archangel Gabriel. And Michael plays Lucifer. [Laughs] We’re shooting a two-hour movie/pilot.
TV Guide: Which will air where?
Judge: Not Sci Fi. [Laughs] It will be one of the broadcast networks. We also have a $20 million miniseries over at AMC. It’s based on an all-black regiment in World War I, made up of jazz musicians. They were sent to Europe to entertain the troops but were put on the front lines. They were celebrated throughout Europe and ignored when they came home.
TV Guide: Will you be in it?
Judge: Probably one of the smaller roles.