David Hewlett

Stargate: Universe

Atlantis is no more - Long live Universe.

With some still getting over the demise of SG1, its successor, Atlantis, is to finish after 5 seasons. Atlantis, like SG1, will continue in direct-to-DVD movie format.

I've grown to like Atlantis, so this is a real shame. However, Stargate is not going the way of the Trek franchise, at least not yet, it continues with Stargate: Universe.

The premise of SG:Universe is that the Ancients (who created the Stargates, devices which can provide instant long distance travel and which are the fundamental conceit of the show) decided to expand the Stargate Network.

They had already planted Stargates throughout the Pegasus galaxy (from Atlantis), through the Milky Way (from a base on Earth), and then decided to spread the network through the universe. They did this by sending a ship out to plant the gates, which would then be followed up later on. For the ancients, later on never happened - and the ship continues to this day. The premise of SG:Universe is that Earth discovers how to send a mission to the ship - not realising that there was no way to 'dial home'. The mission is therefore stranded, on a ship with a pre-determined mission (i.e. the ship leaves you behind, tough!)

In the series, we discovered the Milky Way network first, then found out how to connect back to the Atlantis gate. This was to be a one-way trip, but two way travel was worked out (even if it wasn't instantaneous.

Universe could promise to do what Atlantis promised originally, that is to have a completely 'cut off' scenario, separate from Stargate Command.

However, there is an interesting possibility given the established idea that a Stargate is 'one way'. In other words, it has been established that once A opens a stargate to B, then stuff can only go from A to B, not from B to A - but radio is 2 way. This could be 'explained' as the ship isn't a fixed point of origin combined with some bit of technobabble about a ninth chevron on the Earth Gate.

This means that there is the potential for reinforcements and supplies being sent from Earth, and intelligence flowing back from the ship - but anyone joining the mission knows that it is a one way deal - this could give rise to some interesting scenarios. For example, what if the 'Universe' commander is to be replaced by Earth, but the people on the ship refuse to accept the replacement? What if the (presumably international) ship crew knew that earth was having international problems, and their radio link was severed for some time. They might presume a nuclear war on Earth. Would the tensions spill out onto the ship?

In the Stargate Universe (as opposed to Stargate:Universe), we have seen existing characters in one series moving on to another. David Hewlett's character of Rodney McKay went from a minor SG1 character to a major part in Atlantis, for example. I'd hate to see the back of Rodney McKay - and would welcome him on SG:Universe - but, to continue this theme, I've been thinking about which relatively minor existing character I'd like to see move to Universe. This makes sense from a story point of view - a new military expedition would seek experience, but there would also have to be thought to the existing teams.

I can think of two such characters I'd like to see. Walter, from SG1 and Zelenka (David Nykl's Blog) from Atlantis.

Certainly, to earn his stripes, Zelenka would have to save the day in Atlantis at least once and show Rodney to be wrong in the process (have we have any purely Zelenka ideas which weren't immediately spotted to be Bad by Rodney?)

It'll be a shame to see Atlantis go. Universe, like Atlantis before it, will be a risk - I hope it'll be a risk that pays off - I've got used to seeing Stargate on my screen.

Random Browsing Connections

I thought I'd write a little post talking about some of my more interconnected browsing.... Browsing youtube, I came across a series of amusing videos by a guy called Greg Benson under the banner of 'mediocre films'. Classics like 'Sexy Panda', 'Phone Call to God', 'Batty Bat-Bat!' (best seen for its post-credit analysis), The Kidnapping and 'Warren'.

Later, I stumbled across 'The Retarded Policeman'. This series stars the legend that is Josh "Ponceman" Perry... don't worry, he knows what's going on and he is hilarious. Hang on a second. It's produced by 'mediocre films'. Huh, small world.

On another day I was browsing around and discovered 'Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show' with Kim Evey as Kiko. Episode 1 throws you straight in at the deep end (talk to the hotdog, it can read your mind). It was only later that I discovered that Kim Evey was Ming Li in 'Sexy Panda' (remember 'Sexy Panda'?)

Then I saw a post on WWdN saying that Wil Wheaton was in 'Retarded Policeman'. Heh, cool. (Yep, That's Wil Wheaton of WWdN and TNG fame).

Wil's post tied everything together for me - I had seen these series 'in random browsing' and hadn't really twigged that they were related. Yep, the 'related videos' links should have been a giveaway. Recently he had a freakout moment about seeing Randall Munro, the author of xkcd - another of my favourite sites. This is all feeling very circular!

Anyway. Wil's post also introduced me to 'The Guild', written by Felicia Day and produced by Kim Evey. Felicia Day was a face that looked familiar, I wasn't sure where from, but eventually the penny dropped - Buffy (she played 'Vi', the one with the woollen hat). She's also been in 'The Retarded Fish' for the April 1st installment of 'Retarded Policeman'.

The Guild is a webseries about online gaming, and launches us straight in with what, at first, looks like a standard youtube 'talk to camera'. Felicia's series has been so popular that she's found out the hard way about address labels and mass mailings.

The Guild is produced by Kim Evey, who also stars in the very funny 'Two Hot Girls in the Shower' (must have been in a related video from one of the above - I wouldn't have searched for that... honest!).'Two Hot Girls' is co-written by Kim Evey and Julie Wittner, who appears through the output of 'mediocre films', from 'Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show' to WWJD.

And look who appears in the latest episode: it's Josh "Ponceman" Perry! So that's nice and circular.

Now? Well, Sandeep Parikh, aka Zaboo from 'The Guild' has written his own series called 'The Legend of Neil', episode 3 of which stars Felicia Day.

I heard tell that Joss Whedon had a summer project, something to keep him occupied during the writers' strike. This became Doctor Horrible, which was an absolute phenomenon, for a time it caused the web hosting companies to crash. It starred Nathon Fillion (Firefly and Serenity), Neil Patrick Harris and.... Felicia Day. Felicia's Geek Cred Status is rocketting by the minute! (She knew Joss Whedon through her work on Buffy). Doctor Horrible can, as I write, be seen here (advertising supported), it can also be downloaded on itunes.

It's scary just how many of these things are all interconnected. It's got to the stage now that if it's been produced by Greg or Kim from 'mediocre films', by Felicia Day, or if it stars Josh "Ponceman" Perry - or someone connected with them - it's probably going to be worth a look... and that's without following the links from Nathon Fillion to Jewel Staite to David Hewlett (and there's a whole other world of independent production goodness there with 'A Dog's Breakfast' - a fun film).

You know, some days, I browse the net and I seem to go in circles. The net can sometimes feel like a small kinda place.

That's a small world architecture for you.

(The above may not be chronologically accurate, it's tough reconstructing things after the event).

A Dog's Breakfast

David Hewlett's film, A Dog's Breakfast, has a DVD release in the US (as of September) - and it's already at number 15 from pre-release sales alone. Unfortunately, as I write there are no plans for an International release. This is rather annoying, and David Hewlett is unhappy. Don't make him angry... (Hmm. Hewlett as Dr. David Banner....)

Now, I'm really annoyed, as I missed being able to get to a UK screening by one day, and I've been following this film for some while. Now, they won't even sell me a DVD? Ptch!

I've emailed playusa, and got the standard 'we put things on the site when we are given info from the distributor. It would have been nice of them to ask the distributor... I've had no reply from amazon.co.uk.

More David Hewlett news

On Youtube there is a clip from "A Dog's Breakfast", Rachel Luttrell (from Atlantis) appears in the programme they're watching.

Hewlett is also to write a series called 'Starcrossed', which is referred to in "A Dog's Breakfast" (apparently), and is a comedy, removing the 'fourth wall' of television. Think Galaxy Quest, Studio 60 and Larry Sanders for the idea, although the actual flavour remains to be seen.

David Hewlett's a busy little bee at the moment! I'm so annoyed that I missed a London Screening of his film, Kate Hewlett was in town for this.

David Hewlett's film

Reading around Stargate news, I found that David Hewlett has produced a film called 'A Dog's Breakfast', it was filmed using the Atlantis cameras, props etc - and a lot of the cast! Christopher Judge is also in it, apparently. It's a lot easier to make a low budget movie when you can borrow a film studio! It does look good, though, and with the borrowed cast there's a ready made group of people who will want to see it. David Hewlett blogs on the film's site too.

So far the voting on IMDB gives it 9.7 out of 10, which is pretty good (how many of those will have seen it?) The trailer does look good, but unfortunately I don't know about a UK release date. That reminds me, I never got to see Emma Caulfield's 'Bandwagon' either. I do hope this one does find it's way to DVD!