SGU not Battlestar, say producers

New Stargate series will not take its cues from acclaimed reboot.

stargate-universe-20090730024741677_640wRobert C Cooper and Brad Wright, the creators and executive producers of the upcoming Stargate spin-off, Universe, have refuted claims that the show will heavily resemble Battlestar Galactica.

Speaking to SciFiNow, the pair denied that Universe would lean heavily on the Peabody Award-winning series, but would stay true to the spirit of the franchise. “No,” said Wright when we asked him if similar themes would run through both shows. “It’s still Stargate and while it’s darker in some ways, SG-1 and Atlantis were often quite dark.”

Cooper, who joined the Stargate SG-1 as a writer and became a co-producer in the fourth season, however, disagreed with this assessment. “I think ‘dark’ is the wrong word” he replied. ” I think in some ways it’s more realistic. I think Stargate can’t get more contemporary – it always was contemporary – but what I think we struggled with often was because it was taking place on alien planets, we had people speaking in alien speak and in this case we’re dealing more with characters from earth who get to speak in more contemporary ways. Maybe their issues and their flaws and challenges are, hopefully, more relatable and more contemporary to a broader audience.”

While Battlestar Galactica may not be the influence on the show that many fans are claiming it to be, Cooper is happy to acknowledge other inspirations. “For me, my inspiration came from other shows as well, things like Firefly and, on a dramatic level, things like The Shield. Our DP [Director Of Photography] for the first three episodes shot The Shield and that’s a show that shot in a very documentary style, trying to give you the sense of being dropped into a Southeast LA police station to give you that sense of realism.” Cooper is also keen to stress that despite his show not leaning on the Ronald D Moore-originated reboot, he does have respect for what was achieved there. “Battlestar was an incredibly well-received show critically and we would be very grateful and flattered to get even a percentage of that serial acclaim.”

Wright, for his part, agreed with Cooper, and outlined one of the reasons why Universe would differ. “I was a big fan of Battlestar, but there’s no question that SGU will have much more of a sense of humor. ”

Stargate Universe debuts on 2 October in the United States on the Syfy Channel. The series will have its UK premiere on Sky One four days later, on 6 October.