Ark Angel, The Ark Of Truth Part One

It’s what fans of Stargate SG-1 have been waiting two years for: the ultimate, climactic finale to a story that began with the appearance of the Ori in season nine. SG-1 has one last great battle to fight before the Universe is free from Origin – and it’s going to be a wild ride!

Talk of a new Stargate movie has been around for a long time – who doesn’t want to see their favorite screen heroes in a feature length adventure? But, until now, there was really no opportunity for the series to go in that direction. With the show in full production for ten years, and with the producers working equally hard for the last four of those years on sister show Stargate Atlantis, there was no question of being able to simultaneously produce a movie as well. But then, in 2006, circumstances changed. For fans, it meant the conclusion of a decade-long adventure that they never wanted to end. For SG-1though, it meant an opportunity to go in an all-new direction.

“It was just before the party for the airing of the 200th episode,” Cooper recalls. “We were trying to figure out if we were going to get picked up or not, and SCI FI called us and said they were going to renew Atlantis, but not SG-1.”

Whether or not the show’s tenth year would be its last had a large impact – after all, did they write an ending for the show that would round up the series at the conclusion of season ten, or not? Thoughts about the possibility that they would not get picked up had been floating between the production and Charlie Cohen’s (Senior Executive Vice President of MGM finance and corporate development) office for some time.

“We had discussed various sorts of contingency plans in the event that SCI FI didn’t renew the show for the eleventh season,” explains Cooper. “MGM I think feels that there is still a market for the franchise, and Brad [Wright, executive producer and original co-creator of the series] and I had been talking about taking the show to a different level for a long time. We felt that there were still some stories to be told with that cast. People were still interested in what was going on, and there was an ending to be written.”

Certainly, waving goodbye to the show that started such a successful franchise would be hard, for both the viewers and the producers. So what better way to sustain the series than as action-packed, feature-length adventures? On DVD format, the films will be accessible to all and provide a superbly exciting way of giving the team a slew of new stories. Thanks to the innovation of straight-to-DVD releases, fans will not have to see the team go their separate ways just yet.

“Pretty early on, we decided that we wanted to treat these movies as a way of showing both the studio and the fans that these could become a series on their own,” says Cooper of The Ark of Truth and Continuum, which will follow in Summer 2008. “So, even though the first one is really not a standalone – it’s very much a final chapter in the season nine and ten Ori saga, we wanted there to be another, much more standalone adventure to show people that once we had dealt with those Ori issues, we could still go back and tell SG-1 stories, and hopefully continue to do that in the future.”

Dedicated viewers will be pleased to learn that The Ark of Truth promises a satisfying ending to the tale so intricately woven in the series itself. Rather than trying to please viewers that have previously never watched Stargate SG-1, the film very definitely pays homage to the fans that kept the show running for so long.

“[Perhaps] it made more sense to do something that was much more accessible to general fans of the Stargate franchise,” Cooper muses, “maybe that would have been a better business decision. But for me as a writer, and Charles and Brad – we all agreed that the right thing to do for fans that had stuck with the series in seasons nine and ten was to resolve those stories. I felt like there was no ending to the story that I had participated in starting. We had written a lot of stuff that was leading up to this confrontation with the Ori warriors, and we [had] certainly left a lot hanging. As a writer, you want to write the ending! Having said that, I think we’ve always taken strides with Stargate to make the show entertaining to people who maybe haven’t seen it before. If you were a big fan and your friend had never seen Stargate and you watched it with them, they might be confused at certain pay offs, but I think there would still be things for them to be entertained by for that hour and a half. And maybe that will inspire them to want to go back and watch the show on DVD.”

And there are surprises, too, for fans that have been following the show for far longer. After all, before the Ori, before Mitchell and Vala, SG-1 encountered other foes and fought other battles…

“You certainly can’t include everything,” Cooper acknowledges. “I know that there’s a lot in the course of that history, a lot of fans have favorites and things that they would love to see. It would be the never-ending story if you tried to address everyone’s favorite moment or beat or character. There’s only so much room. This was not supposed to be the ultimate resolution for SG-1. This was supposed to be a sense that we’ve dealt with one of these big problems, the Ori warriors, but there are still more stories to tell. There’s still more out there.”

Up next: Robert C. Cooper discusses preparing to shoot SG-1’s biggest adventure of all!

News Article Courtesy of Mgm