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Rodney McKay Solves ‘Stargate: Universe’ Dilemma

David Hewlett shares some thoughts on a franchise about to go into limbo


Some “Stargate: Atlantis” fans have their thoughts on what eventually killed “Stargate: Universe” after two seasons. But now one of the most popular actors from the previous Syfy show has shared his own beliefs.

David Hewlett, who reprised his role of Dr. Rodney McKay in this week’s episode of SGU, said the new show simply caught fans by surprise. While it may have been time for a change, it could’ve been too much of a change to take all at once.

“I think the biggest detriment they had was that people came from watching ‘Atlantis’ expecting more of the same from SGU, and it was a really different change of direction,” Hewlett told TV Squad’s Mike Moody. “And it’s beautifully done. I think the problem they came up against was that they had a very strong existing fan base for something that was, I think, lighter.”

So light that Hewlett referred to “Atlantis” and its predecessor, “Stargate SG-1” as the “Disney of science-fiction.”

“I didn’t mean that as a put-down. What I meant was that we were the kind of science-fiction that families sat down and watched together,” he said. “We had kids and parents and grandparents and the neighbors come by all to watch our show. That’s an amazing thing in this day and age.

“But SGU is definitely an adult show for an adult audience, and it was a much darker show. It’s just unfortunate that they hadn’t had a chance to really spread their wings and become their own show. But I think that’s the danger when you play with the tone of a franchise like this.”

Because of the type of programming that has become associated with the Stargate franchise, Hewlett speculates SGU would’ve probably had better life if it hadn’t used the “Stargate” moniker at all.

“Was it a mistake or not? I don’t know,” Hewlett said. “I don’t think so. They certainly did a great job with it. I mean, my God, the acting, the writing, the effects, it’s gorgeous. It’s an absolutely gorgeous show.”

However, the target audience Syfy was aiming for was similar to what it had for “Battlestar Galactica,” which also had the same issue in terms of ratings, Hewlett said.

“It was a very, very, highly acclaimed show, but it didn’t hit the numbers.”

With SGU winding down its final season, will there be more Stargate in the coffers?

“I don’t think this is the last that we’ll see of Stargate,” Hewlett said. “It would seem very foolish to me to let it go that easily. At the very least, I would hope to see some kind of movies, whether they’re SGU movies or ‘Atlantis’ movies or ‘SG-1.’ But if I was to guess, it would maybe be an amalgamation of the three.”

Read Moody’s entire interview by clicking here.

“Stargate: Universe” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Syfy.

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