SGU 1.01 "Air Part 1" Episode Guide

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An evacuation from Icarus Base during an attack leads soldiers, scientists, and civilians to be stranded on an Ancient starship billions of lightyears from home. Back at Homeworld Command, Lt. Gen. Jack O'Neill must determine what happened to the 80+ evacuees who were expected to come through the Stargate to Earth, but never arrived.

Guide | Transcript

MGM/ Official Summary

During an official visit by Senator Armstrong, his assistant Chloe, and Eli Wallace, a recently recruited gaming genius, to Icarus, a secret off-world military base, the base falls under a full force attack leaving Colonel Everett Young with no choice but to retreat. He orders an evacuation to Earth. However, a last minute maneuver by scientist Dr. Nicholas Rush thrusts the escapees headlong into his experiment, which transports everyone to deep space.

The survivors arrive on an uninhabited ship floating billions of light years away from Earth. Panic spreads throughout the group and Col. Young, who was severely injured during the escape, transfers command to Lt. Matthew Scott, before lapsing into unconsciousness. Teams led by Dr. Rush and Sgt. Greer try to make sense of the situation, while Lt. Tamara Johansen, a medic who was days away from leaving the program, is thrust into the role of chief medical officer.

After secretly contacting the Homeworld Command using communications stones—a device which allows the swapping of consciousness between bodies across vast distances—Dr. Rush claims that he has been placed in charge by General O’Neill and there is no hope of returning to Earth. When the ship’s air supply systems begin to fail, his theories are challenged by Eli. As the crisis deepens, divisions emerge between those who want to attempt a return to Earth, including human resources executive Camile Wray, and those who want to remain aboard the Destiny.

Modified by Solutions.


Opening Credits:

Guest Starring:

Closing Credits:


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Production Notes

  • "Well, I’m off to read the very first draft of the very first Stargate: Universe script, compliments of Brad Wright and Robert Cooper…" — Joseph Mallozzi (November 10, 2008).
  • "Originally planned as a two-parter, Brad and Robert quickly discovered that there was simply too much story for such a tight frame, so the series opener is now looking like a three-parter." — Joseph Mallozzi (November 11, 2008).
  • "Rob and Brad have put out the first draft of the opening three-parter, Air..." — Joseph Mallozzi (December 5, 2008).
  • "Of the first ten episodes broken, we have a grand total of 0 forested planets. I’m not saying we won’t, eventually, come across one but, for the time being, the emphasis is on the ship and some locations atypical of Stargate. As a matter of fact, Executive Producer Robert Cooper and Director Andy Mikita are in New Mexico as we speak, scouting a cool-looking alien setting." — Joseph Mallozzi (December 19, 2008)
  • "I’m off to re-read the opening two-parter (technically a three-parter but whatever)." — Joseph Mallozzi (January 5, 2009)
  • "I talked to [executive producer] Brad Wright a couple of weeks ago, and he asked me if I’d be interested in doing a cameo in the Universe pilot, and I of course said I would be. And there’s a great deal of talk about [it]. … They’ve got a script going and everything like that." — Michael Shanks, Sci Fi Wire (January 26, 2009)
  • "Yet another version of Air 1, 2, and 3 came out yesterday as well." — Joseph Mallozzi (January 30, 2009)
  • "As another week draws to a close we inch ever closer to our first day of principal photography. We had the costume fittings on Monday and then the super-secret closed-door invitation-only cast read thru on Tuesday. Yesterday was the stage tech survey for Air #1, #2, and #3 while the production meeting for all three episodes was held today. It was followed by the Safety Meeting which, I‘m disappointed to say, fellow writer/producer did NOT attend on our behalf. Given that we is the writing department’s appointed Safety Representative (in addition to Official Synopsis Writer, Food Taster, and Chairman of our Green Initiative), he really should have been there taking assiduous notes on things like the restriction on open-toe sandals and the indiscriminate use of helium cryogenic-system cooled super magnets on set. What the hell are we supposed to do now? Use our common sense?! The all important Hair and Make-Up Tests tomorrow will be followed by a second cast read thru and, if all goes as planned, the weekend." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 12, 2009)
  • "So, we’ve got our first three episodes on deck - Air #1, #2, and #3 - and veteran director (and cyrogenic-system cooled super magnet collector) Andy Mikita will be doing the honors." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 12, 2009)
  • "I think we’ve got a terrific and incredibly talented group and I look forward to that first day of principal photography…Which happens to be tomorrow! First up, Rush and Eli on Stage 3 followed by the first of several familiar faces. On the lot Wednesday, but heading out on location Thursday and Friday." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 17, 2009)
  • "Today marked the start of production on Stargate: Universe and, while most were down on Stage 3 watching/participating in the action, I was up in the production offices, pacing the corridors as I’m wont to do when working on a script revision. ... All indications are things are going swimmingly on set. Brad and Rob are very happy with what they saw today and I look forward to checking out the first batch of dailies tomorrow. Special Features Producer Ivon Bartok had a conversation with Robert Carlyle and can’t say enough good things about the man. After lunch, I swung by the trailers to say hello to our guest star. We ended up chatting away until we got the call from set. Just like old times. It made me kind of nostalgic." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 18, 2009)
  • "Well, today the production was on location so things were fairly quiet at The Bridge. Watched our very first set of dailies and the show looks awesome. Rush - Eli. Eli. Eli - Chloe." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 19, 2009)
  • "Tomorrow, we’re back on the lot as we hit Icarus Base." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 22, 2009)
  • "What a day! We were on Icarus Base shooting a couple of HUGE scenes featuring Rush, Young, Scott, Chloe, Eli, Telford, Senator Armstrong, Dr. Damji, Lt. James, Sgt. Riley, Park, Brody, and Franklin. The set is spectacular, I’m loving the new gate set-up, and, surprise surprise, really loving those Icarus military uniforms. Stylin’!" — Joseph Mallozzi (February 23, 2009)
  • "Andy Mikita, directing the three-parter, is running a tight ship - but everyone is enjoying themselves immensely. I got some nice behind-the-scenes pics of Bobby and Justin along with “the actor playing Telford” (not sure if his identity has been announced yet but I have to say - and did say - I’ve enjoyed his work, especially his performance in my very favorite Mark Wahlberg movie. And, no, it’s not the movie you’re thinking of. Or the next one. Or the one after that.)." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 23, 2009)
  • On Brian J. Smith: "Monday saw him delivering a tough and very emotional performance that he nailed not once, not twice, but five times, every one as strong as the one before. After the fifth take, I glanced over at Exec. Producer Rob Cooper who was looking back at me with a knowing smile, well aware of exactly what I was going to say: “He‘s great!” A wide-eyed Exec. Producer Carl, sitting to my left, concurred with an enthusiastic nod. I predict a long and successful career ahead of him." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 24, 2009)
  • On David Blue: "Well, I’m happy to report that David is doing a wonderful job as our Eli Wallace (kicking off production with some terrific scenes opposite Robert Carlyle) and seems to be having a good time doing it. He’s a very funny guy and a real pleasure to talk to on set. Although I wasn’t on set today to see it, Carl reports that he was hilarious in the big mess scene." — Joseph Mallozzi (February 24, 2009)
  • "A pretty hilarious guy in his own right is actor Justin Louis who did a really nice job opposite Ona Grauer in some heartfelt scenes earlier this week. I told him: 'You guys are eventually going to get tired of hearing it but - we are loving the dailies!'" — Joseph Mallozzi (February 25, 2009)
  • "Finally, late yesterday, Robert Carlyle delivered a performance in a key scene that was so outstanding it blew the doors off Stage 3 - and the entire crew away! 'Masterful' would be one word to describe it. 'Extraordinary' would be another. But I prefer to simply go with 'Wow!'" — Joseph Mallozzi (February 25, 2009)
  • "Joe, I can’t believe how amazing the SGU film crew is. The production feels more like filming is being done for the big screen than for a TV production, but they’re doing it at TV production speed. It was great to watch Andy, Rob, yourself, and John (and Bill, Vince, Trevor, and the crew) all doing their jobs with machine like precision with half a million extras running about. As far as fans saying this is going to be 90210 in space…I just didn’t see it at all. I don’t want to make comparisons to anything because it might give something away, but 90210 in space or the like, nope, it’s not that. It is new, exciting, and yes, highly dramatized, but if it wasn’t, what would be the point of watching it? All I can really say is that the fans are going to love the show!! ... Oh, and don’t worry, I won’t clog up your comment board every time I am on the show, (which looks like it will be a lot the next few weeks). Have a great weekend." — User herbertsommerfeld on Joseph Mallozzi's weblog (February 26, 2009)
  • "The action moved to Stage 2 today for more Icarus Base intrigue. Later, we fire off the BIG GUNS! ... I was outside this afternoon, hanging around the crafts service table, talking to the actors between set-ups: Brian, Jamil, and the actors who play James, Spencer, and Curtis (Yes, they have real names but I have no idea when they will be made public.). Lovely, lovely people, all very excited about the show and the general good on-set vibe. Then, back in the production offices talking to the lovely Alaina (aka Tamara), discussing chocolate, dim sum, and what a brilliant job she did on a very tough scene the other day. We also dropped by the Stage 4 Destiny set - all lit up! Holy crap is it big! And impressive! I’ve got a backlog of pics, everything from design and construction to the finished deal, just waiting to be posted…" — Joseph Mallozzi (February 27, 2009)
  • "I think I’m going to start getting up a half hour earlier so that I can get into work a little sooner as this week, we finally start shooting on the Stage 4 Destiny set. Excitement abounds! I know that some of the actors have been holding off on visiting the set so that when they first lay eyes on the ship interiors, they’ll be lit and ready to roll. If I’m early enough, I’d love to catch the look on their faces when they first step onto what will be their home away from home for (hopefully) the next 6+ years." — Joseph Mallozzi (March 1, 2009)
  • "I was up there doing a snippet of a scene with Robert Carlyle and I’ll be going back March 17 for another scene in part 2 of the two-hour. I had told Brad that if he wanted help in the launch of Universe I’d love to be a part of it. (Truth be known, I missed those guys ‘n gals.) So I’ll make a few slim appearances in the first half-dozen episodes, or so. Again, details are sketchy, but I’ve already shot the first of my scenes so the ball is rolling. Andy Mikita is directing the two-hour, so we had a good hug and huge laugh." — Richard Dean Anderson (March 2, 2009)
  • "Yesterday was a huge day on the Destiny set. While most days will average 4-5 scenes, this one focused on only one. One BIG scene involving the entire cast + plenty o’ extras. Tomorrow’s line-up, meanwhile, is looking muy angustia! Oh, and just so you all know - Director Andy Mikita is doing an amazing job. The dailies have been incredibly dynamic. Kudos also go out to Director of Photography Rohn Schmidt for achieving such a unique and impressive look for the new show." — Joseph Mallozzi (March 3, 2009)
  • "We’re shooting all three parts. We’ve still got a ways to go yet." — Joseph Mallozzi (March 7, 2009)
  • "Anyway, tomorrow, we’ll be [shifting] from the [Destiny] set over to Stage 4. Fun [with] James, Wray, Tamara, Chloe, [Franklin], Tush, and [Eli]." — Joseph Mallozzi (March 16, 2009)
  • "Andy Mikita is putting the finishing touches on Air I, II, and III, promising us a cut by late tomorrow." — Joseph Mallozzi (April 2, 2009)
  • "Yesterday, we sat down and watched the director’s cut of Air I and II. Even without the visual effects and the music, it was mighty damn impressive. MIGHTY damn impressive! A big congratulations to show creators/runners Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, the entire cast and crew, and go-to-guy Andy Mikita who directed his big ol’ heart out in treating us to one hell of a spectacular premiere." — Joseph Mallozzi (April 7, 2009)
  • " all new, all tight producer’s cut of Air I and II. That Destiny is a mighty cool-looking ship." — Joseph Mallozzi (April 23, 2009)
  • "It’s a cameo. It’s a popping in, popping out kind of thing. They’ve got a lot of cast that they definitely need to facilitate. Certainly the Stargate audience knows my character and Richard’s character and Amanda’s character and the others that show up very well. So they have to spend some time developing their world and fleshing out their characters. So I’m just a face." — Michael Shanks, Sci Fi Wire (April 29, 2009)
  • "We kill the doctor right away in this one." — Robert C. Cooper, San Diego Comic Con (July 24, 2009)
  • "Final vfxs for 101,102,105,107 yesterday, finals for 103 today, temps for 106 tomorrow....busy week." — Mark Savela, Twitter (August 5, 2009)
  • "Late this afternoon, we watched the Final Mix of the two-part premiere with the VFX Finals. “Pretty good,”said Brad on the final fade. “No,”Carl was quick to correct him. “Great.” “Yeah,”Brad agreed. “It WAS pretty good.” “No,”Carl repeated himself, more emphatically this time. “Great!”. And I’d have to agree with Carl. As I was watching, all I could think was how good this would look on the big screen. And then I remembered – Hey, we’ll be doing a big screen cast and crew screening prior to the premiere so we will get to see it on the big screen! It will truly be awesome!" — Joseph Mallozzi (August 6, 2009) Entry also includes behind-the-scenes images.
  • "We’re using the Ancient communication devices used in the Stargate episode ‘Avalon’ where Daniel Jackson and Vala go to the Ori galaxy. Basically we’ve rigged those using Earth technology to work for us as a communication device. Someone has the foresight to bring them on board Destiny. So in a limited way, we are able to take over the body of someone on Earth, essentially swap consciousness with that person so they end up on Destiny for some time while the other is back on Earth. Our characters can talk to loved ones or friends, or it might help with missions on Destiny or Earth." — Robert Cooper, SFX Magazine interview, issue 186, reprinted by Sci Fi Pulse (August 13, 2009)
  • "The pilot is FINISHED! Those who have seen it are over the moon. I'm personally gonna wait till we get a screening - Oct is too long for me." — Brian J. Smith, Twitter (August 22, 2009)
  • Lee writes: "A few days ago, you mentioned Air would use an “established contemporary tune”. You probably can’t tell us the name of the song, but any hints as to who the performer is?" Answer: "I’m embarrassed to say that, while I remember the song, I don’t remember the title or the artist. Also, even though it was Air I referenced, contemporary songs will feature throughout the show’s first season." — Joseph Mallozzi (August 22, 2009)
  • "Turns out that @BrianJacobSmith @DavidBlue @PatrickGilmore found a press kit and watched the 2hr #SGU on the tiny screen in their trailer." — John G. Lenic, Twitter (September 14, 2009)
  • "I actually only caught the last 10mins of Air Part 3. When credits rolled we, honest to god, all had tears in our eyes. 17 days kids!" — Patrick Gilmore, Twitter (September 14, 2009)
  • "Yes I got impatient, I don't want to say much, everyone will have their own experience watching it. But I've never been prouder of anything." — Brian J. Smith, Twitter (September 14, 2009)
  • Shirt ‘n Tie writes: "Also, what is your favorite moment of the Stargate Franchise? Your appearance on 200 as a wedding guest? Thanks again Mr. L for your time and talent." Answer: "Another favorite moment came on SGU when Robert Carlyle shot a scene by himself for the pilot. In the scene, he comes into his room in Icarus, puts his iPod in to listen to a piece of music, sits on the bed and looks at a picture and starts to cry. There was not a dry eye behind the monitor. It made everyone there realize we were in the presence of a star actor." — John J. Lenic, Fan Q&A, Mallozzi's Weblog (September 14, 2009)
  • "Today, we held a special matinee screening of SGU’s first three episodes – Air I, II, and III – for the cast and crew. I’ve gotta say, there’s nothing like seeing it on the big screen. The performances were spectacular, the visuals stunning, and the last ten minutes of Air III had me on the edge of my seat (despite the fact that I’ve already watched it about a half dozen times)." — Joseph Mallozzi (September 26, 2009)

Further Reading

--DeeKayP 14:12, 14 February 2009 (PST)