The Making Of Stargate Continuum Part One

Stargate Continuum has, for Brad Wright, been a very long time coming. Having co-created the original Stargate SG-1 series as a spin off from the massively successful big-screen film, the writer/producer has always harbored a dream that one day, new and old fans alike would be able to experience their favorite show in movie form. Now, following Ark of Truth, Continuum is set to prove that movies are where the SG-1 team belongs.

The spectacular story of Continuum – which sees the Stargate team in such far-flung places as the frozen Arctic wastes – first began to coalesce in the writer’s head as the result of a very unique invitation. Barry L. Campbell, head of operations at the USN Arctic Submarine Laboratory in San Diego, California, suggested that the Stargate cast and crew might like to film on the frozen Arctic Ocean. Filming could take advantage of the 2007 Ice Exercise (ICEX) training mission, which meant a nuclear submarine, the USS Alexandria, would be in position beneath the ice. It wasn’t an opportunity that Wright was about to pass up!

“We actually flew to the Arctic and shot scenes on the ice and inside a nuclear submarine. These are things that we could never have thought of doing in a million years on the television show! I came up with the idea for the whole story with the invitation to the Arctic. [Executive Producer] N. John Smith told me that Barry Campbell invited us with the possibility of shooting there. I thought, ‘Okay, what story can I tell that puts our team in the Arctic and that also involves a nuclear submarine breaking through the ice?’ Then I got the idea of doing it as a time travel story and having them emerge in desperate need of rescue in the cargo hold of a ship that transferred the Stargate from Africa to North America at the outside of World War II. The story started to fill itself in from there.”

The regular cast of Stargate SG-1 had already been signed up for the movie, having agreed a deal that let them know they were all wanted for both Ark of Truth and Continuum. But as the story evolved, the writer realized there were other familiar faces that he wanted to include – and one in particular that SG-1 fans the world over will be delighted to see on screen once more. Oh yes – Jack O’Neill is back! Actor Richard Dean Anderson reprises his role as SG-1’s much-loved team commander-turned-General as if he’s never been away.

“I didn’t know I had Rick,” Wright admits. “Let me just say that there was a version of the script with him and a version of the script without him! I much preferred the version of the script with him, it was much more fun to do. There was also a version of the script with him just in the arctic scenes, which was a possibility.”

Anderson isn’t the only familiar face that long-term fans will recognize in Continuum, either. Amongst others, William Devane returns as President Hayes and Cliff Simon reappears as SG-1’s old Nemesis Ba’al – which provided an opportunity for Wright to explore a few alternative paths for another favorite face.

“I wasn’t going to use Vala as extensively as I did,” Wright explains, “and then Robert [Cooper] suggested a certain twist that makes her far more villainous and essential to the final part of the movie.”

In fact, Claudia Black gets a chance to explore Vala’s life before ridding herself of Qetesh. “It’s fun because this is a Qetesh that would have been different, even from the other timeline,” Wright points out, “because this is a Qetesh who was forced into marriage with Ba’al. Ba’al says, ‘I want you to be my queen’, which is a Goa’uld way of imposing servitude. But Qetesh is a Goa’uld, and obviously wants the power for herself.”

Even with all his cast in place, necessity ensured that other tweaks had to be made to the script as time progressed.

“I actually wrote a version of the story with Daniel [staying on the ice] all the way,” he explains, “but as I was writing it I found out that I wasn’t going to have Michael for the arctic stuff, because he wasn’t going to be available. So I actually had to change the script to address how the Daniel character isn’t with the other two as they trek across the ice. I actually think it turned into two dramatic scenes, so I was quite happy for it. Sometimes change is good – sometimes change makes a script better.”

Watch out for the second part of our chat with writer and executive producer Brad Wright – coming soon!

News Article Courtesy Of The Official Stargate Website