Stargate goes nuclear

The cast and crew of Stargate: Continuum landed in an icy world in March – shooting the direct-to-DVD movie based on the sci-fi franchise at a U.S. Navy research station in the Arctic. The shoot, which also incorporated the USS Alexandria nuclear submarine, came together because of a Stargate fan at the remote Applied Physics Laboratory Ice Station.

‘The man in charge of APLIS happens to be a huge fan of the show and offered us the opportunity to visit the camp just for the experience of going very, very close to the North Pole,’ says writer/producer Brad Wright. ‘I asked if we could shoot a scene or two there, and he agreed.’

Continuum, produced by MGM Studios, shot in the Arctic March 23-29 with an 18-member crew, including veteran director Martin Wood (Stargate SG-1), DOP Peter F. Woeste and cast members Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping and Richard Dean Anderson.

Wright was to join the crew for a few days along with MGM exec Charles Cohen. He says they all took some Arctic training and did some research to prepare for the trip.

‘I think it’s the first time any production of any size has gone to do something of this scope, in terms of shooting on the Arctic ice with a U.S. nuclear submarine,’ he says, adding that one scene will feature the sub bursting through the ice.

The Arctic shoot took place well in advance of Continuum’s original start date, which is set for May 22 at Vancouver’s Bridge Studios.

‘There was a very brief window for us to go to the Arctic with APLIS as they do their research. If you go later, the ice begins to melt and the Arctic is not safe,’ Wright explains.

Meanwhile, franchise co-creator Robert Cooper is getting set to direct Stargate: The Arc of Truth, another direct-to-DVD movie set to start April 15 in Vancouver. Arc of Truth will shoot alongside the fourth season of Stargate Atlantis, which rolled cameras last month and runs until September. Atlantis airs on the Sci Fi Channel and here on Space and other CHUM outlets,

Both DVDs will be released in the fall, followed by possible broadcasts, says Wright. ‘We hope that Sci Fi Channel will jump on board,’ he says. Sci Fi cancelled the franchise’s original series, Stargate SG-1, last year shortly after it entered the record books as North America’s longest-running sci-fi series.

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