|Beware SPOILERS for Season Four of
Stargate Atlantis and "Stargate: Continuum" in the interview below!
With two SG-1
movies heading to DVD and a fifth season of Atlantis
's future is as bright as it has been for some time. SG-1
co-creator Brad Wright
sits down with GateWorld once again to discuss the latest hot topics regarding the franchise.
Brad talks about the impact of DVR-watching on the franchise, his reactions to Season Four of Atlantis
and Joe and Paul's work in bringing it to life, and shares a few visual effects secrets we can expect in "Continuum!"
GateWorld's interview with Brad is available in MP3 audio format for easy listening, and is about 19 minutes long. It is also transcribed below. You can also download the interview to your MP3 player and take GateWorld with you!
GateWorld: Atlantis has just been given the green light for a fifth season. The fans are sharing a collective sigh of relief. What are some of the feelings you guys have had?
Brad Wright: Well, it's funny. I wanted and expected Atlantis to go a fifth year, but you never know for sure. The way ratings are going nowadays it's very difficult for any network to know what the real ratings are because of DVR. DVR has really changed the nature of television viewing, and mainly commercial watching.
These diminishing ratings that we're seeing across the board in television aren't really indicative of a diminished audience. It's just people use the TVR in Canada -- they call it DVR in the States -- and they watch the shows when they want to. Fortunately for us, according to SCI FI -- Tom Vitale at SCI FI just recently told us that Atlantis is not only among the most DVR'd shows but people tend to time-shift it and watch the commercials, which bodes well for getting picked up.
Season Four of Atlantis premiered with a 1.2 rating on SCI FI Channel.
GW: Right, they're not skipping through it.
BW: Yes, exactly.
GW: Alright. Stargate has a very tech-savvy demographic. Do you think all this DVR is going to eventually hinder the franchise or help it?
BW: The whole television world has to figure out this DVR thing. Yes, you're absolutely right. Not only is the Stargate audience tech-savvy -- SCI FI is one of the networks that is most DVR'd, and Atlantis is among the highest DVR'd shows on SCI FI, so absolutely that's the case. Like I said, as long as we have our core audience, however they record it -- whatever number they assign to it -- as long as they keep picking us up I don't mind.
I still watch old sci-fi of anything. "Forbidden Planet" was on television the other night, and who doesn't want to sit and watch "Forbidden Planet?" You know what I mean? It's great. It's dated like crazy, but it's great. I love watching old Star Treks. And even though Sulu is driving the ship with three rocker switches, it's still very cool. Because of the themes in sci-fi. And as my agent would call it, it's "ever-green!" It lasts forever.
Robert has often said this: the legacy of Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis will be not so much how we're rated now, but how we are viewed 20 years from now.
GW: Right. I'm here at Stargate Worlds and one of the privileges of being able to have lunch at your desk is to have the entire library of Stargate on our hard drives. I think I popped in "2010" the other day. These episodes that are now six and seven years old are still as relevant now as they were when they were created.
BW: "2010" is the one that's going to be very quaint in three years, in the sense that it will be 2010 and there will be no aliens. But that reminds me of "2001," or "Space: 1999" for that matter! [Laughter] 1984 -- you give it a date and you're in trouble eventually.
GW: Exactly, yeah. Now Joe and Paul have graduated from Drivers Ed, basically, and are taking the wheel themselves. Have you been enjoying some extra time off?
BW: Yes, I very much have. But it's not really fair to say that those guys weren't producing their own episodes before. They are simply, now, in charge of not only [their] own episodes that they were doing, but the whole ball of wax. They ran with their own episodes for the last several years with the slightest polish through production by either myself or Robert, depending on the show they were writing, which is necessary when you're prepping a show to make changes accordingly.
They were due. They were so due. They were absolutely ready, and I was happy to step aside in order to do that. Just a few minutes ago they had a conference call with the network and the studio, and I got up and walked out, as opposed to being the one who went to the phone and everybody else got out of the room!
Mallozzi and Mullie were due for a chance at the helm, says Brad.
I've learned, because obviously Robert took over SG-1, to trust and to occasionally bite your tongue a little bit, but generally speaking I know that the show's in very good hands.