INTERVIEW: Christopher Judge

Published in The Music (VIC) and on, Mar – Apr 2016

Science Fiction Past & Present

Stargate favourite Christopher Judge feels quality sci-fi has fallen by the wayside as of late. He tells Daniel Cribb what made the ground-breaking show so special and teases a career-defining project over the horizon.

Known by the masses as Teal’c from cult hit Stargate SG-1, Christopher Judge has been touring fan conventions for years. It’s over time that he’s realised just how important the show was to fans. “Some of these fans I’ve known for almost 20 years and they now have children of their own, so a lot of them are introducing their children to it, which is great,” Judge begins.

“For a lot of people, the only bond or only common ground they had with their parents was Stargate and that’s now common ground they have with their children.”

The first-wave Stargate fandom was largely the result of a perfect storm in terms or subject matter and timing. “There was a void in programming that had to do with space and space travel and I think the public was actually really interested in sci-fi at that time because of the millennium approaching,” he recalls. “We kind of came along at the right time, it was a well-written show, the cast really got along and I think that translated to the screen. Above all, though, I think it had a sense of humour about itself.”

The reason its popularity transcends generations probably has to do with the content being ahead of its time, and maybe because, as Judge reckons, there isn’t really any sci-fi that matches the quality of Stargate out there right now. “If you look at sci-fi today, there really isn’t a lot of levity in sci-fi anymore and I think that’s sorely missing,” he tells.

“Let me preface this by saying I love Battlestar Galactica, but I call it the curse ofBattlestar Galactica because it was so well received that everyone is trying to redo it and I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

On top of acting — other notable credits include Snow Dogs and The Dark Knight Rises— Judge has established a decent name for himself as a voice actor, voicing Magneto in the animated X-Men: Evolution, Zodak in Masters Of The Universe Vs The Snake Men and D-Mob in the Def Jam video game franchise, as well as dabbling in writing, penning four episodes of SGI.

The body of work that Judge has gathered since he first started working in the industry is remarkable, but it’s the next few years that he’s excited about the most, teasing a career-defining gig in the works. “One that was announced last week was I’m doing a remake of an old Warner Brothers show from the ‘70s called Wacky Races, so that’s a fun thing to do, but there’s two other things that I’m working on that I can’t talk about at all. Suffice to say, it’s the biggest thing I’ve done in my career. You’ll know more this year; sooner rather than later.”