The Stargate Universe panel started much like most, with a great preview of the show that showed completely new material that focused on many different aspects of the upcoming season.
Brad Wright and Robert Cooper came out, and they introduced Jamile Walker Smith, Alaina Huffman, David Blue, Robert Carlyle, Ming-Na, Brian J. Smith & Elyse Levesque.
Brad and Robert started by pointing out that this will be the 16th season of a Stargate franchise with Stargate Universe. They pointed out that the show will have a different feel and is shot in a slightly different way.
They said that one does not have to have seen SG-1 or SG-Atlantis to jump into the show. It reintroduces what a Stargate is for those that haven't seen it. Brad Wright tossed out a question to the audience, asking who hasn't seen either SG-1 or SG-Atlantis. Unbelievably, I'd guess about 5% of the audience raised their hands. Brad asked them all to leave, lol.
They pointed out to us as a reminder that we saw Ricard Dean Anderson in the preview and they note that RDA will be appearing intermittently throughout the season. Amanda Tapping will also be making an appearance.
At its core, despite being a new, darker and grittier Stargate, SGU will retain the spirit we've come to know from Stargate.
Brad and Robert noted that the show had gotten to the point where everyone was a superhero and genius in their own right. In SGU, they looked to make the characters more identifiable show.
Brad Wright pointed out that the cast are "convention virgins."
They recanted a funny moment for a few of the actors: Jamile Walker Smith and Levesque had hit up the Stargate booth the previous day and the girl working the booth offered them a raffle ticket chance to win walk on roles on the show.
They were asked why they weren't on NBC, for those who might not have access to Syfy, and Robert Cooper said they've been on Syfy for forever and it's their home.
Robert Carlyle was asked how working on a TV series compares to working on feature films. He said that it's really about the piece itself, regardless of the medium it's headed to.
Cooper added that Carlyle plays the character with courage.
Q: What about the Furlings?
We heard a definite "No!" from someone on the panel, but then Cooper said yes, and that they answer the 9th chevron thing.
Q: Someone asked since they've had strong intelligent women in the last 2 shows, what do they have in mind for this show? (Obviously, no faith yet in the fresh, young cast!)
Each actress demonstrated that they each have strong, intelligent female characters on the show.
David Blue has seen all of SG-1 and SG-Atlantis shows. Wright joked that it's great to hire an actor they can use as technical consultant.
They were asked about the premature ending of Atlantis and why it ended so quickly.
Robert Cooper said Brad flipped a coin! Cooper agreed that there were more stories to be told but didn't feel it was a premature ending. It was a good run with Atlantis and some shows just don't last that long. He didn't think "premature" is the right word.
An attendee pointed out that SG-1 and Altantis were more episodic, and rumors say that universe will be more serial.
It's different when something becomes serialized becuase if you miss a few episodes, you have to wonder what's up so they're more about having serialized character stories, the background details that are behind the story itself will be more serialized.
Nugget: They made a note about the evacuation scene that we keep seeing in previews - saying that when they dial the gate, they think they're headed back to Earth.
Carlyle - what drew him to the role? He said that the role was very left field for him and didn't know much about Stargate. He said it's a character driven piece about the show and they weer looking for someone to make unlikeable things likable.
Note: I've only seen Carlyle on TV and didn't not realize just how strong of an accent he has.
It was asked if the audience was going to see more non-Jaffa aliens and such.
They said that this Stargate is about exploring the universe and they wanted the experience to be realistic and they will be encountering aliens you might not find out there in space... ie: humanoid.
There will be "alien aliens" and they won't say things to us the way the Wraith or others would.
In Universe, characters can be both heroes and villains. In the previous shows the greater evil brought all parties together to face the issue. That isn't going to be the case in Universe.
A sharp minded attendee asked if SGU will kill off its doctor like the other shows? Robert Cooper said the doctor dies right away, so no worries there.
It was noted that though Brian J. Smith didn't know much about Stargate, he was a Trekkie.
At the end, Syfy played their newest, long running ad that demonstrates the virtues of their new logo / identity. This advertisement messed with the seat dance that takes place between panels and folks charged for their seats while the lights were still down. The Con lost control of the situation to a small degree. That was a first.
We then also saw an ad for Warehouse 13, and then the lights came on.
Aside from those last few, dark minutes, it was a great panel.