Robert Carlyle cast in Stargate Universe

by Paul William Tenny

Robert Carlyle
Robert Carlyle
Naturally one of the things I'd miss while spending an inordinate amount of time working on another website was casting news for Stargate Universe. Robert Carlyle has been cast as Dr. David Rush, the now slightly cliched role of unusually intelligent scientists that the "Stargate Universe" can't seem to live without. I'm not really complaining here, I love the Carter character from SG-1 and can never get enough of McKay from Atlantis -- and their differences in character, source profession and tact set them apart nicely -- I'm just a little concerned here that the new team is going to be typecast from the previous two shows with different people playing the same old roles.
It'd be futile to compare Jack O'Neill and John Sheppard because they are fundamentally different people, but they serve nearly identical roles. Each show has a military team leader, which makes sense if you're going to debate this into fan boy territory since both previous shows are based around the concept of small military exploration teams, but you can't do that three times in a row for virtually the entire cast or it's going to feel like a stale copy or poor but sincere imitation.

That said, I'm more than willing to give this show a chance to be whatever it can be without placing unrealistic expectations on it beforehand, and no, I don't intend to dwell on that very long here.

Stargate Universe - Shuttle Bridge
Stargate Universe concept art
"Shuttle Bridge" (click)
Robert Carlyle is an interesting choice and while I think it's a slight step down in some respects for "out of the box" casting choices -- Carlyle is not Beau Bridges, but neither does he have to be -- I think it's delightful to see Scifi and the Stargate folks using a diversified cast. Ben Browder and Claudia Black read like retreads on paper but anyone who had seen them in Farscape (or anything else for that matter) knew right away that even if these aren't big name film actors, they are exceptionally talented actors regardless and they added a hell of a lot to SG-1 while they were there.

And for what it's worth, they aren't faces you'd see everywhere all the time without contributing significantly to the series.

In that respect, they are a higher grade retread, if you want to go down that road, and there are a heck of a lot of grades that go from that one guy who is in everything you see but never has a speaking role, to reliable feature film stars that are more interested in having fun with and enjoying their work than merely moving up the food chain.

Carlyle fits that mold closer to Bridges in diversity and potential and I look forward to seeing what he can do.

I don't really know why, but this reminds me of how I felt when I found out that Enterprise was going to be headed by Scott Bakula. I didn't watch and didn't really care much for Quantum Leap, and so my impression of Bakula wasn't really all that favorable. In fact I was disappointed by the choice at first and was dissing Enterprise before it had even aired.

I was wrong.

Bakula is more than what he has done before, like Browder and so many others, he's a true actor that can become who he has to and do what he has to do make you believe -- and that's enough. I enjoyed him tremendously on Enterprise and that experience taught me to be more open minded about these things so that even when that feeling returns, I know to tell it to shut up.

I've never seen Carlyle in anything other than the 24 TV movie that just aired a few weeks ago and I only saw half of that, so the man is mostly a blank slate to me. With my new attitude though, I think it actually makes me excited about SGU for the first time -- I try to keep expectations to a minimum so that people earn my excitement -- and even though it's really sad to see Atlantis go, just like it was a bummer to see SG-1 go, I can look back and remember how cool it was to be introduced to Atlantis and how I grew to love and appreciate that show, and I believe that it'll happen all over again with SGU.

This is a guy who can make that real for me, and that's what the show needs. I have faith in the crew that is putting this sucker together and so far they've justified that trust.

One thing to note though, I found this somewhat of an odd statement by Zap2it: "The show will be Carlyle's first TV series in the United States". I was under the impression that SGU is going to shoot at Bridge Studios in Vancouver.

What gives?
in Television


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Stargate: Universe is first run in the United States, perhaps that's what Zap2It meant. (Who knows?) SGU is filming at Bridge Studios in Vancouver.

Robert Carlyle is an awesome casting choice. Let's hope the rest of the cast choices are as interesting.

However, I had the opposite experience with Scott Bakula on Enterprise. Perhaps not ALL Scott's fault, but the character of Jonathan Archer was so poorly written -- he was all over the map on how he would react to situations, his ethics, etc. - that Archer was a major disappointment for me, and one of the reasons that I stopped watching the series halfway through season two. (That, and the series was just awful, but I digress.)

I LOVED Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, and I'm holding out hope for Stargate: Universe, even though half of online fandom is convinced it's Stargate 90210 Lost Voyager.

But yes, HURRAY, Robert Carlyle.

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