The Stargate franchise is at a critical crossroads. Atlantis
is now in full-swing for its first movie, with promises for SG-1
movies to continue, and a brand new TV series is on the horizon. GateWorld felt it was high time to get the thoughts and opinions of staple Stargate
director Andy Mikita
His time with the franchise going all the way back to "Children of the Gods,"
Andy is moving full speed ahead with plans to direct the first Atlantis
movie, and hopes to participate in Stargate Universe
as well. In the first segment of this extra-long interview, we talk at length about his decade-long journey through the series, discuss favorite episodes like the "Heroes"
two-parter, director gags, and more!
Part One of GateWorld's interview with Andy runs over 25 minutes. Listen online at your leisure, download it to your MP3 player, or subscribe now to the iTunes podcast
. The interview is also transcribed below!
View Part Two here
GateWorld: For GateWorld.net I'm David Read and I'm on the phone with one of Stargate's mainstay directors, Mr. Andy Mikita. Andy, thanks a lot for taking some time to talk with us on New Years Eve!
Andy Mikita: Yeah! Hey, my pleasure. It's great to talk to you, finally.
GW: My recollection, there are now 314 episodes, 312 of which have aired, and 51 of those you directed. So 22 of those were of Atlantis, so at least a fifth of the show is yours, but in terms of the franchise you have directed 16 percent of the entire franchise. That's quite an accomplishment, sir.
AM: Yeah, it is! Well thank you. I've never really thought about it in those terms, and I never actually really tallied up the numbers before. So 51, wow. The elusive number 50 has been met and broken. That's pretty exciting! That's quite an achievement. If I might say so [I'm] very proud of myself. [Laughter]
GW: Well that's a lot of television! A lot of shows are lucky to get a second and third season, and obviously Stargate has been going strong for over 12 years now. All the way back to "Foothold," I think "Foothold" was your first episode. What kind of got you roped in with these guys to become a mainstay in terms of your involvement with the shows?
Mikita was presented with Season Three's "Foothold" as his first full show to direct.
AM: Well I don't know if you're aware, but I've been part of the franchise right from day one. I was the first assistant director on "Children of the Gods" with Mario Azzopardi. So I've been part of the group right since its inception. It was actually Jonathan Glassner who was the person directly responsible for having me come on board. I'd worked with him in the past. I had worked as an assistant director on a TV series called 21 Jump Street, which of course Mr. Peter DeLuise was a big part of.
It was Jonathan who made the initial contact with me. From there I worked as a First [Assistant Director] for the first season and then worked as a production manager and second unit director after that. I was doing so much second unit work that basically everybody supported the notion of having me direct an entire episode and felt that I was ready to do so. So "Foothold" was that first opportunity for me.
It worked out really well. I thought it was a pretty strong episode, and it certainly led to other opportunities for me within the franchise, which was great. That was what really got the ball rolling for me, doing the second unit work as I was working as a production manager on the show. I was just spending so much time on set. That was kind of my comfort zone anyway. I was never really good at the numbers part of things as much as I was with the daily operations out on the set. That was more where I grew up.
GW: So when you jumped into the drivers seat for "Foothold" what kind of a support structure did you have at Stargate? I mean, everyone wants you to succeed.
AM: Oh absolutely everybody was onboard. There was absolutely no way I was going to fail in that situation. I had the cast a hundred percent behind me. Brad [Wright] of course was a hundred percent behind me. John Smith, Michael Greenburg. Everybody was a huge support for me at that time. The crew of course was behind me all the way.
So it was just destined to work out really well, and I have literally every one of those individuals to thank for it. There was no way I was going to fail. Every one of them made me really look good. I am deeply indebted to all of them for that. It was really a wonderful experience for me. It really was. I couldn’t think of a better way to jump into that situation.
GW: And then they gave you a slot in Season Four, "The Curse," which introduced my favorite villain on the show, Osiris.
AM: Oh, yeah! She was fantastic. Yeah, that was a great script Joe and Paul wrote. There was "The Curse" and "2010" which is still, to this day, one of my all-time favorite episodes. So I had two absolutely incredible scripts to be able to play with and, yeah, as you say, Osiris was just sensational. She was such a fantastic character.
"The Curse" introduced a new Goa'uld villain, Osiris.
GW: And the actress who portrayed her!
AM: Yeah! [Laughter] That was me the whole time! I looked pretty good, don't I? My voice is a little deeper than you might expect, but yeah, that was me the whole time. ... [Laughter] But yeah, that was a great experience, both "The Curse" and "2010" were just incredible scripts and wonderful experiences for me.
GW: As a fan -- I know you're a fan of the show itself. It's not just a day job for you. A lot of us have seen your final episode already, "Enemy at the Gate," but I think it's really interesting that as we approach the year 2010 -- we saw, in that episode, an ideal version of the future -- until we realize the Aschen are basically exterminating us.
But I think it's interesting that as the franchise gets older, and as we move closer to what would have been that original episode, that "2010" the episode is becoming more and more idealic all the time. General Hammond would have lived longer, Dr. Janet Fraiser would have lived longer, had that timeline been allowed to maintain itself, and we're really seeing how precious life can be in this timeline. So it's kind of ironic. Even though we changed the future in "2010" we have friends who are near and dear to us who would still be with us had we gone with that timeline.
AM: That's an interesting point. I hadn't even really considered it in those terms before but you're absolutely right. It is really quite something, the parallels there and the irony of it. And honestly I haven't even seen that episode since it was finished. I don't think I've ever actually revisited watching "2010" in many, many years. It's probably been close to 10 years since I've seen it!