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Corvinus of Teranga

The Stargate franchise

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Another great SF franchise, started by the '94 movie which had a good idea, and a decent execution, but was really expanded by the TV shows: Stargate SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe (and an animated show, but no one really counts that one).

This week, in fact, as I type this post, Stargate is returning to San Diego Comic-Con with a panel to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Stargate SG-1 which premiered on Showtime on July 27, 1997. I have no idea what the panel will entail, some "special" guests for sure, and among the ones named are 

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Damian Beuer (Host, Legion M co-founder), David Read (Gateworld), Sam Toles (Senior Vice President of Digital & New Platforms, MGM), Kieran Dickson (Stargate Consultant & Editorial Director)

After the unfortunate cancellation of Stargate Universe, and SyFy essentially not being interested, at the time, to continue with the franchise, or any other good SF, for that matter, MGM moved to reboot the franchise with movies, and returned the reigns to the original creators, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin. To the ire of many fans, the two have often said that they did not care for the TV shows, as they were upset that MGM had taken the franchise from them to begin with, and made the TV shows, so the two would do a complete reboot with a movie trilogy that would not take the TV show universe into consideration. (They didn't wish to do a sequel to their own movie, either, as they felt that too much time had passed to be able to tell the story they wanted). But this is not going to happen either, at least so it seems. Back in November, a number of sites reported that the reboot project was effectively dead. I'm sure there were a number of reasons for this, but it is very likely that one of  them is that MGM developed a lack of confidence in Emmerich and Devlin, after the piss-poor sequel to Independence Day.

So this brings me back to the panel that is going on this evening. Will it be simply a celebration, with stories of the good old days, or will there be some announcements? TBD :D

In the last year or two, the stories of Atlantis and Universe were continued in comic books. Stargate Atlantis was cancelled after 5 seasons, but it was given a decent ending, while Stargate Universe was cancelled after 2 seasons, ending on a cliffhanger. Unlike a good number of novels that were released over the last decade, these comic books are written under MGM license. So there is hope among fans that MGM might actually be interested in bringing back the much beloved TV universe. And with SyFy being once again interested in producing good SF, including good space opera (see The Expanse), as well as the rest of the TV powers being more and more keen on making quality SF, maybe, just maybe...

Unlike Star Wars, the Stargate fandom is, without a doubt, centered around the TV shows, so it would be a shame if it didn't get continued or rebooted in a way to respect the existing universe.  

Of course, many of the people involved in the franchise have moved on. Brad Wright, one of the original showrunners, is currently running a small, but fun, SF show on Netlfix/Showcase (?) called Travelers. (The show featured a lot of SG alumni, mainly as guest actors).

Whatever happens at SDCC, in the near future, it is a great time to celebrate one of the most beloved SF franchises.

 

Edited by Corvinus

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As I was saying, MGM is bringing something back.

A 10 part digital series later this fall, that sees Catherine Langford as the main character back when the Stargate is first discovered in Egypt. The series will be released on MGM's digital platform Stargate Command (don't know what that is, sounds like CBS's scheme with the new Star Trek)

Here is the full article. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-comic-con-2017-stargate-will-return-new-series-1500601031-htmlstory.html

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Is this meant to be in the movie or the TV universe? I am not too interested in a prequel mini-series. I would much rather have resolution to the storylines of SG-1, SG-A, and SGU. There is also a lot to explore with humanity's transformation into an interstellar power, earth imperialism, and the political/scientific haves and have-nots on earth as it relates to the Stargate.

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5 hours ago, Matrim Fox Cauthon said:

Is this meant to be in the movie or the TV universe? I am not too interested in a prequel mini-series. I would much rather have resolution to the storylines of SG-1, SG-A, and SGU. There is also a lot to explore with humanity's transformation into an interstellar power, earth imperialism, and the political/scientific haves and have-nots on earth as it relates to the Stargate.

I'm not sure in which verse. Based on the statement below, I would say it's both. I have a feeling that MGM will use this series to determine in which direction to go, based on the responses they get.

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"We've been eager to revisit the Stargate franchise, and create an all-new story that honors the founding mythos and gives loyal fans more mystery and adventure," says Kevin Conroy, MGM president of digital & new platforms in a statement.

 

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Heh, my Youtube feed had Children of the Gods show up in it, the 1st SG1 episode, this morning, and I watched it, thinking about how it must be 20 years now since SG1 first aired.  Heh.

I wonder what this new 10 part series will bring.  I too wish they would just follow on with the current SG universe with a new show, god knows it'd get viewers.  I'm surprised Netflx didn't pick up Universe tbh, or at least reboot SG in some manner.

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4 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I wasn't terribly impressed with the first SGU comic.  It seemed more like SGA or SG1 than SGU.

Nor was I. Have you read the SGA comics? Those are a bit better, but overall I was reminded as to why I don't read comics. It would have been better if SGU could have continued in book form, if the show never comes back.

Spoiler

Bringing a bunch of Ancients into it is not how I envisioned the series continuing. But I'll the rest when they are released.

 

Edited by Corvinus

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Great, another fucking prequel show/movie. How imaginative.

5 hours ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

A prequel that retcons essentially the basic history of the entire show thats going ti be available only for a price...?  Pass.

It's like they are deliberately trying to emulate Discovery in every way.

What are the chances the Goa'uld are now giant CGI dragons that shrink into hosts ears and the Jaffa literally have animal heads?

I'm interested in new material - one of the great things about the SG-1 franchise was that humanity actually incorporated the technology into society (secretly) so we went from soldiers stumbling through stargates to fleets of interstellar warships with warp drives. I'd like to see where they are nearly a decade further on. Not them digging up the original stargate.

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1 hour ago, red snow said:

I'm interested in new material - one of the great things about the SG-1 franchise was that humanity actually incorporated the technology into society (secretly) so we went from soldiers stumbling through stargates to fleets of interstellar warships with warp drives. I'd like to see where they are nearly a decade further on. Not them digging up the original stargate.

This x 10.  Absolutely agreed.  Going from units with old 4x scopes mounted on Mp5s, to starting to use alien tech sidearms and other weapons was just the start. Once they reverse engineered the death glider into the F302 prototype and later production fighter, it got very interesting in terms of the tech Earth created.  The cruisers in particular, and they really dipped into various space tech/issues, such as limited life support, and various other things, so far as the writing regarding the tech goes.  I really miss SG, and think we all got ripped off with the early cancellation of both SGA and SGU.  I just read last month a blurb from Joe Flannigan, who had a deal basically done he said to lease the remainder of the SGA assets and had the $ and backing in place to continue on for at least 2 more seasons, but the MGM bankrupcy caused a lot of changes in personnel, and he lost the deal due to nobody knowing what the deal entailed with all the layoffs/etc in staff.  Damn SHAME, IMO.

I wonder what goes through these execs heads, when pitched something like a pre WW1 era "prequel" for SG/SG1?  How can THAT be a good idea, with SO many other, better, options out there.  Hell, even an amalgamation of SG1, SGA, and SGU characters and stories into a single cohesive show would IMO be a much better seller than this new idea.

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^^^^

There'll be some lazy excuse about the technology getting too advanced and it making it hard to create a recognisable show, no doubt.

It's just a bit infuriating because in making a prequel which really has no connection to the shows we've seen they will judge it's success as a test for whether people want more stargate. The thing is if it turns out no-one wants a prequel show set in the 40s that doesn't mean we don't want a SG-1 continuation. If I watch it though by the same warped logic they can conclude that viewers really want a 1940s stargate show. Screwed either way!

I'm just hoping they'll at least try a few SG webisode ideas before rushing to any conclusions.

10 hours ago, Corvinus said:

Nor was I. Have you read the SGA comics? Those are a bit better, but overall I was reminded as to why I don't read comics. It would have been better if SGU could have continued in book form, if the show never comes back.

  Hide contents

Bringing a bunch of Ancients into it is not how I envisioned the series continuing. But I'll the rest when they are released.

 

Shame to hear the comic is crap. To be honest I've been burned so often on comic continuations (Angel and farscape) that I've given up on them. They really need to be by the showrunners or with heavy involvement from them eg Buffy and Avatar.

Even then you realise a lot is lost without the actors presence. Your mention of books is a good one. Even better would be an audio adaptation involving as much of the cast as possible - like they've recently done with the X-files.

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I agree with the above comments that one of the best thing about the shows was to see the evolution of human tech as they learned to use alien tech, as well the increased presence of Earth on the galactic stage. I think one thing that fans were hoping to see, maybe dreading in equal measure, was this evolution continue to the point where the Stargate program was going to be revealed to the public. 

Regarding the new show, I agree that putting this on a new sub. based streaming service is a dick move, and I'm not sure what they can do with the premise, however I am willing to support it, IF it means revitalizing the TV universe. SGU had low ratings for a number of reasons, but one reason was that some of the fans didn't like the approach they took. (which is BS, IMO those people are not real fans)

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It was also neat to see how this technology was beginning to spread and leak more publicly as the Stargate program became more international, the development of civilian oversight, and outsourcing of contracting of the tech to companies. I would not just want to see how the Stargate program transformed Earth into a power, but also the power politics of the Stargate program as it relates to the politics of Earth itself. Unequal access to the benefits of the Stargate. The military hegemony that the Stargate program creates. Tech and medicine that favors certain nations and classes over others.

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1 hour ago, Corvinus said:

SGU had low ratings for a number of reasons, but one reason was that some of the fans didn't like the approach they took. (which is BS, IMO those people are not real fans)

I can understand people being upset at how SGA was canned and replaced with SGU. Although I agree it seems hard to imagine how this feeling could remain if they watched some of the show. I guess an argument could be made that SGU side-stepped some of the evolution of Earth-human society on a galactic scale by deliberately separating the cast from the existing continuity. Although this was also true to some extent with SGA. It's understandable to conceive a plot that initially allows some isolation so a show can establish its own identity.

38 minutes ago, Matrim Fox Cauthon said:

It was also neat to see how this technology was beginning to spread and leak more publicly as the Stargate program became more international, the development of civilian oversight, and outsourcing of contracting of the tech to companies. I would not just want to see how the Stargate program transformed Earth into a power, but also the power politics of the Stargate program as it relates to the politics of Earth itself. Unequal access to the benefits of the Stargate. The military hegemony that the Stargate program creates. Tech and medicine that favors certain nations and classes over others.

Exactly - if I was a producer or in a writers room and read the above as a brief I'd find it fascinating the amount of directions you could take it. Much moreso than being told it's set in the 40s and you can't do "x" because the show from the 90s did have that until 2007.

Another factor I think was key to the TV franchise was its contemporary setting. I think that's often forgotten about but it meant the human characters were all people we could recognise, who lived lives comparable to our own. It also allowed for pop culture references, etc which I think does help the viewer buy into the world. It's why a show set in the far future or in the past doesn't have quite the same feel as a contemporary setting.

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Filming on the new digital series Stargate Origins has wrapped last week. This will be available on MGM's Stargate Command site, so it's kinda like CBS's All Access. 

I don't know when the series will actually be released, but fans are annoyed, because the original pitch for Stargate Command included fans getting to watch this series by the end of this year. The All Access pass, for which people paid $20, expires May 15. I think the series will be launched before then, and it is only a 10 part, 10 min/episode series (so a feature length film, really), but it's disappointing that MGM has already had this one misstep. To be fair, they have shown plenty of behind the scenes content for the new show, and had done a number of interviews, so at least it seems like they care. We'll see.

There were other missteps, too - at launch, the site was unusable, and is organized more like a mobile phone app, than a proper site, which sucks, because while all the shows are available to watch for the people who paid the pass, I, for one don't really want to watch it on my phone.

That being said, I'm thinking of starting a re-watch of all 3 shows, and maybe doing a bit of discussion here, like Werthead is doing with Babylon 5. :D

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That'd be a pretty epic rewatch. I'll have a look to see if there's a streamlined "great/arc episodes to watch" guide? A bit like there is for next gen. I guess Atlantis and Universe are sadly a lot easier to do full rewatches of.

As I've said earlier i hope the new show is successful enough to bring faith back to the franchise but it'd be a damn shame if all we get is a prequel show. Hopefully this is just a way of generating funding for TV movies and if the model works we'll see a variety of short films - some hopefully set in the present or featuring some of the original 3 shows.

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4 hours ago, red snow said:

That'd be a pretty epic rewatch. I'll have a look to see if there's a streamlined "great/arc episodes to watch" guide? A bit like there is for next gen. I guess Atlantis and Universe are sadly a lot easier to do full rewatches of.

As I've said earlier i hope the new show is successful enough to bring faith back to the franchise but it'd be a damn shame if all we get is a prequel show. Hopefully this is just a way of generating funding for TV movies and if the model works we'll see a variety of short films - some hopefully set in the present or featuring some of the original 3 shows.

I did it once before, though I did skip a few of the sillier episodes from both SG1 and Atlantis. The re-watch included the 2 movies, as well.

The proper way to watch these is more or less how they aired: first 7 seasons of SG1, then concurrent re-watch of season 8 of SG1 and season 1 of Atlantis, but one needs to finish season 8 first, before finishing Atlantis, then again concurrently move on to last 2 seasons of SG1 and seasons 2 & 3 of Atlantis, followed by the Ark of Truth film, then season 5 of Atlantis, then the Continuum film, and finish off with the 2 seasons of SGU.

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So Stargate Origins premiered on Stargate Command yesterday and the first 3 episodes are accessible for those who bought the $20 All Access pass. Here is the trailer for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

I watched all 3 episodes last night. To make it clear, this is a webseries with an average of 10 MINUTES per episodes, and with 10 episodes planned, that is basically a feature length film.

So far I am not impressed with it, but since I paid for the pass, and the time commitment isn't much, I'll watch the whole thing. The acting and writing are mediocre, and this is clearly a low budget attempt, just a bit better than a fan project. It features a small cast of characters, led by Ellie Gall who plays Catherine Langford. The story takes place 10 years after the discovery of the gate at Giza as shown in the original movie, so it's close to the outbreak of WWII, and thus it naturally includes Nazis as villains.

I won't go into detailed spoilers, but I will talk about the continuity issue, which has been the biggest concerns fans have had with this project. I don’t really know what they are doing. The first episodes established some continuity with both the original movie (footage from the movie) and the TV franchise (presence of DHD), and at the same time, broke it (activation of gate and gate travel for characters that supposedly didn’t gate travel before). And I don’t know why they’re doing it this way on a show that’s clearly geared for fans, considering that’s being presented on a platform that only fans will most likely pay for at this time. 

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that's a shame. You'd have thought the least they could have done was cater to the hardcore fans willing to shell out that amount of money. Really they need to get the core sg tv writers Brad Wright and Rob Cooper, Joe mallozzi and PAul Mullie back on board. I can't remember which were the most important to the franchise but they were integral to it. It also looks like most of them are available with their current shows being cancelled.

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2 hours ago, red snow said:

that's a shame. You'd have thought the least they could have done was cater to the hardcore fans willing to shell out that amount of money. Really they need to get the core sg tv writers Brad Wright and Rob Cooper, Joe mallozzi and PAul Mullie back on board. I can't remember which were the most important to the franchise but they were integral to it. It also looks like most of them are available with their current shows being cancelled.

As far as I know, Travelers, which is Wright's current show, hasn't been cancelled (and I hope it doesn't, it's a fun show). Incidentally, there have been quite a few Stargate alumni on that show, including Amanda Tapping. I know Mallozzi's show, Dark Matter, has been cancelled, as for the others, I don't know what they're doing. But yeah, these guys should be brought on board any future project.

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