The Monday, May 9, broadcast of “Stargate Universe” on the Syfy channel marks the end of the series and the entire “Stargate” franchise.
The show about a military/civilian team from Earth stranded on an ancient spaceship millions of light years from home was canceled after only two seasons. It was the third series in the franchise, following “Stargate SG-1” (10 seasons and two direct-to-DVD movies) and “Stargate Atlantis” (five seasons).
“SGU,” which was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, prominently featured Asian American and Asian Canadian cast members.
Ming-Na played Camille Wray, the highest-ranking civilian on the ship. Previously known as Ming-Na Wen, she played Dr. Chen on the medical drama “ER” and was a regular or recurring cast member on other shows, including “The Single Guy,” “Inconceivable,” and “Vanished.” Her film credits include “The Joy Luck Club” and “Mulan.”
Camille Wray is believed to be the first regular Asian American lesbian character on a prime-time TV series. Sharon, her life partner back on Earth, was played by Reiko Aylesworth (“24,” “Lost,” “Hawaii Five-0”).
Lou Diamond Phillips, a multiracial actor who was born in the Philippines, played Col. David Telford, a member of Stargate Command. He is known for such films as “La Bamba,” “Stand and Deliver,” “Courage Under Fire” and “Shadow of the Wolf,” in which he starred opposite Japanese screen legend Toshiro Mifune. Phillips was a regular on the TV series “Wolf Lake” and had a recurring role on “Numb3rs.” He also starred in “The King and I” on Broadway.
Jennifer Spence, who was raised in Toronto by a British father and a Japanese Canadian mother, played Dr. Lisa Park, one of the scientists on the ship. She has already been cast in another science fiction series, “Echoes,” which is still in the development stage. Other TV shows in which she had principal or recurring roles include “Exes & Ohs,” “The 4400,” “Killer Instinct,” “Reunion,” “Write & Wrong” and “DaVinci’s Inquest.”
Leanne Adachi, also a Japanese Canadian, played Cpl. Barnes, part of the ship’s military contingent. Her TV credits include “Defying Gravity,” “The 4400,” “DaVinci’s Inquest” and “Mercy Point.” She also guest-starred in the other two “Stargate” series as different characters.
The producers of “SGU” had hoped it would last five seasons. Despite the outcry from fans, MGM said that there will be no made-for-TV or direct-to-DVD movies to wrap up the storyline, and plans for an “Atlantis” movie and a third “SG-1” movie have also been dropped, although the scripts have already been written.
The two seasons of “SGU” will be available on DVD and will be broadcast in syndication. Some episodes can be viewed on Hulu and YouTube.
Other Asian Pacific Islander actors that have been part of the franchise:
Jason Momoa, who is Native Hawaiian on his father’s side, played Ronon Dex on “Atlantis” from 2005 to 2009. Also known for the series “Baywatch Hawaii,” he currently appears in the HBO series “Game of Thrones” and will play the title role in a remake of “Conan the Barbarian.”
Lexa Doig, who is Filipina on her mother’s side, played Dr. Carolyn Lam for two seasons on “SG-1.” Also known for her role on another science fiction series, Gene Roddenberry’s “Andromeda,” she is married to Michael Shanks, who played Dr. Daniel Jackson on “SG-1.”
Linda Ko had a recurring role as med-tech Marie on “Atlantis.” She also appeared in the 2008 series “Samurai Girl.”
Tamlyn Tomita played Chinese Ambassador Shen Xiaoyi in two episodes each of “SG-1” and “Atlantis.” Her most recent credits include “Law and Order: L.A.” (as Coroner Miwako Nishizawa), “The Chicago Code” and “Memphis Beat.”
Mark Dacascos of “Iron Chef America,” also known as Wo Fat on the new “Hawaii Five-0,” played Ronon’s friend Tyre in two episodes of “Atlantis.”
Manzanar connection: Alexis Cruz, who had a recurring role as Skaara on “SG-1,” is one of the few actors who played the same character in both the 1994 theatrical movie “Stargate” (starring Kurt Russell and James Spader) and the subsequent TV series. He also starred in the 2004 film “Stand Up for Justice” as Ralph Lazo, a Mexican American who went with his Japanese American friends when they were interned at Manzanar. Now available on DVD, the fact-based drama is being used to educate students about the internment.