Interior Motives

While the ‘The Kindred, Part 1′ had mostly taken place on the Stargate Atlantis standing sets at Bridge Studios, the second half of the big two-parter was an entirely different story.

“We went out on location and it was a huge deal for our set decorators,” recalls James Robbins, “They had truck after truck after truck of stuff that they brought in there! I had to create an interior for where the Athosians were kept, like a refugee camp. I was creating cubicles with nasty hanging cloth, and a little cooking fire in there for them.”

Michael’s lab would play a far larger part of proceedings in part two, for which the designer had a very specific idea of what he wanted to show. The production was filming in Terminal City, an abandoned industrial complex with plenty of features of its own.

“In this other area, a lab where Michael was going to have Teyla on a table, there was an existing structure in this factory interior, all these huge platforms. So I suggested that we take a bunch of Athosian extras and just lay them out behind sheets of tattered and broken down plastic, and then lift those. So it was like these chambers with people that have already been worked on and are in the process of becoming hybrids. Martin [Wood, director] liked that idea so that came to pass.”

Also shot at Terminal City, in another area of the large location, was the abandoned Hoff set. Viewers had already seen the Hoff planet back in season one, during the events of ‘Poisoning the Well’. Then, however, it had been a complete society –this time Robbins was charged with showing it in the throws of devastation.

“Previous times that we’ve been to any Hoff interior was at a totally different location,” the production designer explains, “so we had to take a room and treat it so that it was reminiscent of what we had seen in the past of a Hoff environment. I think the set decorators did a great job. It was basically just a really big mess! But I had the painters go in, because the brick structure that was there in the halls was all faux brick and it was very poorly done. But by the time our paint guys were done with it, it looked awesome!”

Another new set was required for the final, poignant scene in which the crew have to put Doctor Beckett in a stasis chamber. Though this is another element that has been seen before, most notably in ‘Before I Sleep’ the pod and its surroundings were re-built completely for ‘The Kindred, Part 2.’

“It is a brand new set,” Robbins confirms, of the structure that viewers will also see in season finale ‘The Last Man.’ “As you’ll notice, all the walls are back lit with the typically Atlantean shapes – those are actually shrink-wrapped panels with florescent lights behind them. I was quite involved in that one, I went in with the lighting with director of photography Michael Blundell and played with that, so that we could achieve the look that I had put in my original renderings. The pod itself was basically just a little closet. There’s a door in the back that opens, and a piece of plexi glass in the front with frosting on. You take the piece of plexi out when he’s not frozen, and put the piece of plexi in after locking the camera. The visual effects department do a morph between the two frames so the frosting seems to appear in front of him – and then good old Beckett is frozen for future healing!”

Interview Courtesy Of The Official Stargate Web Site