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Lou Diamond Phillips Dishes On The Cancellation Of Stargate Universe - Exclusive

Among the many film and TV credits on the resume of acclaimed actor Lou Diamond Phillips — currently starring on Fox's crime drama Prodigal Son — was a recurring guest role on Stargate Universe between 2009 and 2011.

Phillips appeared during the show's two seasons as Colonel David Telford, a military commander initially introduced on the distant Icarus starbase before he was sent back to Earth, where he acted as the main liaison between Earth and the starship Destiny. During his time on the show, Telford was revealed as a traitor and double agent (as the result of brainwashing), was killed and revived, and even met his future self before being killed again (although his future self survived and carried on).

Unfortunately, the eventual fate of Telford and the rest of the Stargate Universe cast was left up in the air in 2011, when Syfy announced that it would not pick up the show for a third season — even though the second season finale left a lot of storylines unresolved. During an exclusive interview with Looper, Phillips looked back on his Stargate run.

"I loved that role," the actor says. "The thing about it is, they pulled the rug out from under us. They found out halfway through season 2 that it was not going to be renewed. They had a five-year plan, like most TV series do, and they had to cobble together as satisfying an ending as possible."

Stargate Universe was caught between opposing forces

Stargate Universe was conceived from the start as something different from previous series Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, with an emphasis on darker, more dramatic storylines and deeper characterizations. Phillips suggests that the show suffered with longtime fans as a result of that.

"What I find really ironic is that Stargate Universe tried to be different, it tried to be its own thing in the Stargate universe — even though we had crossover actors from SG-1 and Atlantis as well," says Phillips. "But because it was different, there was a little bit of backlash from the fans."

The actor explains that Universe's complicated relationship with the fans doomed the show. "It was, 'Oh, this isn't Stargate. This is something new. This is more like Battlestar Galactica,'" the actor continues. "All the chat rooms were filled with that sort of thing until we got canceled. Then, everybody's like, 'No, no, no, don't cancel it. We want to pick on it.' In hindsight, people have learned to take SGU for what it was, and I think it gained a little more love in retrospect."

Phillips says he's "still pretty tight" with much of the Universe cast and that showrunner Brad Wright was "fantastic, a great guy to work with" — all of which means that Phillips would be open to revisiting Stargate if the opportunity ever arose. Of course, he's busy these days with Prodigal Son, for which he is directing an episode in season 2 in addition to acting.

"In this day and age of reboots and multi-platforms and everything else, who knows what could come about?" Phillips muses. "Even the reunion world, one-offs and stuff like that, people are very, very hungry for. I never discount anything, to be quite honest."

Prodigal Son airs Tuesday nights on Fox.