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Seizing Destiny

Thursday - August 4, 2011

It’s now been over two full years since the final episode of Stargate Atlantis graced our television screens, and for actor David Hewlett, parting truly was sweet sorrow. But while many members of the Atlantis cast ended their Stargate time with “Enemy at the Gate” as their characters’ swan song, Hewlett (along with fellow Atlantis actor Robert Picardo) got the chance to reprise the character one more time, earlier this spring on Stargate Universe.

Hewlett took a few minutes to talk exclusively with GateWorld just after the airing of his SGU installment, when the actor was a guest at Creation Entertainment’s Official Stargate Convention in Vancouver. Over the course of the conversation, Hewlett discusses his time on Destiny, a world without Stargate in production, new signs of life with his Starcrossed project, and his pride over his role in this summer’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes — opening in theaters tomorrow! (Watch a scene with David now.)

Also be on the lookout for David in The Whistleblower, which also sees a limited release in the U.S. on Friday.

GateWorld: Let’s talk about “Seizure.” What were your thoughts on the finished episode?

David Hewlett: It’s hard for me because I haven’t seen enough of the show. I feel guilty, like I should have seen more to know more where they were in the scheme of things. So, I did find myself having to go back and figure out what some of the stuff they were talking about was. It’s interesting — it’s sort of bittersweet, because they got canceled. I’ve been more thinking about that than the show, which makes it sadder for some reason. It was good. I felt like I would have liked to have seen more Atlantis.

GW: Was it kind of like home — but not so much home as maybe the next door neighbor that you don’t know that well, but it’s kind of familiar?

DH: Oh, look, the actual process was great. The people were fantastic to work with.  The show is gorgeous.  The cast are incredibly good at what they do. I guess it’s just not my world. It’s not Atlantis. Atlantis has a very different feel to it. And I don’t mean the people — obviously the people are different. But there was a need to be slightly restrained in the performance in and in the role.

Hewlett (and Robert Picardo) returned to their Stargate roots -- perhaps for the final time -- in SGU's 'Seizure.'

GW: I felt like it was decent blend, and it was handled well ultimately.

DH: Yeah! It was a nice blend, except that it would have been nice to see the show keep going. Because I think then you could have actually then incorporated a bit more, you know what I mean? I could have come back.

It was like a taste. I feel like I went into the ice cream store and I just had the ice cream scoop, just the little taster scoop instead of actually getting myself a good helping. I mean, it was fantastic, it was good to do and stuff. I just wish there was more.  But I guess that’s how it is with all Stargates.

GW: Was it good getting the chance to work with Bob [Picardo] again?

DH: Yeah, yeah.  Bob and Lou Diamond Phillips and Louis [Ferreira] and David Blue.  It was just great. But that was the other thing, I only worked with like a bunch of them. I didn’t work with everybody, so while I met a lot of them, I didn’t get the chance to work with a lot of them.

GW: The first establishing scene with Eli and where they’re talking over the equations and fighting, probably one of the funniest back and forth scenes in the episode.

DH: Good! It’s fun, we enjoyed that.

GW: He’s coming from a Stargate geek background, himself.

DH: Well, we’re both geeks that grew up.  He’s luckily younger so his sci-fi is a little different, but it was really fun. I really enjoyed it. I don’t want to sound down about it but the fact that it was canceled makes it that much more disappointing to me. I felt like we got a taste of McKay and a taste of Atlantis but we didn’t get to the meat of it as much.

Obviously it’s their show, they’ve got other things going on, it completely makes sense. But I do think it was a good blend.

GW: A nice little coda to the character.

DH: Exactly. A taster. A little McKay taster!

GW: What are your feelings about where the franchise is at now? With Universe done, there’s nothing in production, it’s the first time in essentially 17 [seasons]. What does that feel like, having been a part of it for so long?

DH: Well, it’s weird. I must admit I got my hopes up because we did an episode of SGU and it was like, “Oh, it’s so nice to be back in the fold.” So, as an actor, it’s always about you. There was hope that there would be more. I mean, Brad’s coming tomorrow [to the convention], let’s hear what he has to say … but as you say, there’s nothing in the works. I think it’s too bad. But I don’t believe that this is the end of the franchise. I can’t believe that’s going to happen.

GW: Do you think maybe it needs to take some time and maybe regroup itself?

DH: I don’t know if it needs to. No, no, I don’t. I think part of the charm of Stargate was it’s continual. It was always on. There’s something comforting in that, it’s a bit like Coronation Street or something. I think it’s sad that it’s going to be off the air because the great thing about Stargate was that it sort of explored as it was shot. You know what I mean? As the episodes progressed and went off in different directions — I think stopping and starting again, what are you going to do?

If you reimagine it, if you do like a Star Trek reimagining of stuff, I think it’s going to have to be a while because the reality is, if you just start again trying to sell the magic of the Stargate … it’s not new. So the sad part of it, I think, is that if something doesn’t happen, I don’t think it’s going to happen for a while.

NEXT: Apes and Starcrossed


Chad Colvin is a GateWorld editor and convention correspondent. He lives near Madison, Wisconsin. Follow him on Twitter @ChadColvin.

COMMENTS (19):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • I’m right there with you David. I could not get interested enough to watch SGU either. I agree too that there should be more Atlantis/more Stargate.

  • Wow, do I miss SGA when I read this! Good luck to David on both his movies (Apes and Whistleblower).

  • I’ll watch. I saw Riese and I’m currently watching Mercury Men, and really ejoying both. I say as long as it is good they will watch. Good Luck.

  • Just saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes awesome movie and David was great in it! One of my favorite movies this year!!

  • ohh the barcelona mckays! nothing comes close to acting like that hah.

  • as we know SGU was not to everyone’s tastes some liked it. some if not more hated it. however i think its unfair that the whole Stargate franchise should get trashed because of SGU and the actions of 1 network. i personally liked all the Stargates but to be honest my favorite was Atlantis and i think as a fair compromise that may suit everyone is that this is where it should pick up again Atlantis still has alot to offer and is far from finished. Atlantis in my opinion should be the main show but could on occasion have an episode or part of an episode based on the destiny cos as we know the crew of the destiny was until recently in near constant contact with the SGC on earth via the stones. so i think that Stargate still has alot to offer such as new unexplored worlds new challenges to face and new races to discover that some of which may even be even worse than the wraith. what attracted me to Stargate in the 1st place was just that the exploration into the unknown, the humor of the characters and what predicaments they would find themselves in. so hopefully the right people might see this message and pass it on to the right people and bring Stargate back thanx for reading ;)

  • You may “agree with” David in that you “could not get interested enough to watch SGU either” but I’m not sure David would agree with you since he said no such thing in the interview!

    In the same spirit I agree with David that Obama is a feeble joke, and Glee is awful.

  • I miss SGA so much, especially David and Joe. I really wish someone would pick SGA up again, but I’ll just have due w/the dvds and David’s new movies. Going to see Apes this weekend w/gf.

  • I’m sorry, but based off of what information we have on the Atlantis movie that never got made, I’m glad we didn’t get more Atlantis, because chances are you people would have complained about the quality of the show as much as you complain about SGU.

  • I’m a huge fan of sg-1 and atlantis, not realy a fan of unvirse. but i watched it all sence 1994 when the movie came out. I think that stargate was a much better series then any of the star trek shows, and i can’t believe the whole idea of stargate is going to be gone. i realy think they should do another SG like sg-1, and atlantis, with new characters to love. and new everything to not bring in new fiewers like the failed atempt in SGU. but to bring back the old viewers. but all in all, i just think that the whole SG idea is too much of a great idea the give up. and think that the problem with atlantis was that they faught the same villan too long. look at SG-1, they changed the main villan many times and turned out to be the longest syfy series in history.

  • if they brought atlantis back the ratings would be through the roof. it could do another 5 seasons easy. and bring in better ratings then the shows they are running now. im sure most of the actors would come back and do it. i dont think they are doing anything important right now.

  • @stargater I dont mean to correct you but Smallville beat SG-1’s record for longest running Sci-Fi show. But I agree with you they should bring stargate back. And by back I mean finish off the story. We deserve a ending.

    And to those trying to find a quality show to watch, I’ve gotten attached to the new show Suits on USA. Very very good show

  • @stargater actually said longest ‘syfy series in history’. While this was likely not meant to be so specific, it does bring up an interesting point. Has any other show from the network currently known as Syfy made it through as many episodes as SG1? I can’t think of any.

  • Ofc it would be great if they bring back SGA but ronan(jason momoa) is make the new Conan film atm and has just finished making a TY series called Game of Thrones, and it both of theses he has gotten him self really buff’ed up and well built and looks alot different from ronan.

    In my opinion they should make try to get more epsiodes out of SGU, as syfy ended the show far to soon as most people was starting to come around and enjoying it.

  • If the group doesn’t mind hearing another opinion, I would like to say that I also would like to see SG1 or SGA come back. Those of you who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms can well imagine what it was like during the period between the cancellation of the original Star Trek series and the first Star Trek movie. I do feel; that we fans must be somewhat realistic. Do to issues involving, personal schedules and life goals (not to mention budgets), it might not be possible for the original cast to reassemble. I think it might better to assemble a new cast and let the “originals have guest starring roles” on selected episodes as was done with SGU and SGA. For SG1, I would like to see T’lk involved in management of the free Jaffa. His spot in SG1 could be given to one of the female Jaffa warriors. Similarly, I would not (as a fan) have any objections to Robert Picardo continuing as leader of SGA.

  • @syfygtefan – Unfortunately, the studio that acquired MGM (and the Stargate franchise along with it) is not really interested in it right now. It has been shelved until further notice. It likely won’t see the light of day again until someone decides it’s time to ‘reboot’ it.

  • I keep hoping to see some type of SG show but I’m afraid the “Jon Benjamin has a Van” stardoor episode is as close as we’ll get for many years.

  • This goes out to the creators and producers of the stargate franchise.The main reason as to why stargate sg1 and staragate atlantis were successful was due to the fact the shows were focused into the unknown and showing all the various possibilities in which us humans are capable of creating.for example i viewed the ancients as future humans of this earth with increadibly advanced DNAs reaching their pinnacle of the evolution.infact right now there are very many things which the SGA AND SG1 were directly revealing, the idea of ancient’s consiusness becoming energy that no longer requires a physical body.the idea of the parallel universe,the idea of stargate portal,hyper space,time dilation field all these quantum physics has proven them to be valid points the show could have easily blended in the idea of the rebirth of of earth on 2012,the futuristic earth,the idea of the present day humans becoming like the ancients,the asgard idea,all these are ideas are valid and they touch the human consiusness to its core.the earth is changing people are becoming more curious on everything thereby revealing all the hidden knowledge the idea that we all energy beings connected to the universe all these ideas and more would have been intertwined on SG1 OR SGA.right now look at holywood almost 5 in 10 movies are all about the human consiusness and parallel realities, the ability to form material things in an instant,research into renewable energies all this would have been blended in the shows just like the way SGA and SG1 potrayed the ancients,the asgard i mean they are whole lot of ideas that would have made SG1,SGA shows running.the creators should reliase right now the mass consiusness is waking up we want to know who we are.look at the number of metaphysical books being published the law of attraction children that are pyschic are being born with so called paranormal abilities all these would have been incorperated into the show and i am sure the show would have been a success instead of running SGU.My family and I were so fascinated by the ancients that we started doing research and believe we discovered a whole lot things that we didn’t know.for example did you know that there are still people on this planet who live up to the age of 150years.Sci-Fi fans this is a challenge to you.

  • All I would like is one SGU movie. Ultimately, the series ended in the best way it could given the circumstances. And it’s self reflective writing was bittersweet. As much as the crew tried to control Destiny and avoid the neverending attacks, there was nothing that could be done but wait for them to subside and hope for the best. But as Camille reminded us, “the journey ‘is’ the mission”, therefore there is nothing to lament, only gratitude for what was, and the destination is not important.

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