My Advice To Stargate Producers: Move On

As Stargate SG-1 rapidly approaches the end of it's 10 year run, there's word the producers of the show are developing yet another Stargate-themed series titled Stargate Universe.

There are no details available regarding the show beyond the fact that it takes place present-day like SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis and that it would not have characters from the two existing series as regulars.

The show is in the very early stages of development and has not been picked up for broadcast by any network, including the Sci Fi Channel.

Here's my advice to the awesome folks who've brought us a fantastic series: Give it a rest. Apply your considerable talents to something completely new and different.

Now before you start throwing rocks my way, hear me out...

Stargate SG-1 was an amazing idea: Take a mildly successful film, see the possibilities for an ongoing series and go for it. A present-day, Earth-based sci fi series with an incredible cast of characters played by wonderful actors that had chemistry with each other from day one.

It was such a good show that I did my best to turn lots of people on to it through word of mouth... my family would eagerly look forward to Friday night to sit down and watch the latest adventures of the team. We came into the series late - sometime during the 5th or 6th season, but thanks to the wonder of DVD rentals via Netflix, I piled the previous seasons' DVDs into my rental queue and we watched episode after episode until we finally caught up with the current season.

Ah, times were good.

And then Jack O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) left the show.

Suddenly the show felt like something was missing... like it had developed a limp. New characters were brought on board and at the same time they introduced a completely new enemy: The Ori.

Ok sure, it's taken a couple of years but Mitchell and Vala finally feel like they're adopted members of the family. But the end of the Goa'uld threat seemed abrupt to me, and I really didn't like the less than subtle religion-bashing subtext of the Ori as villains.

Now in this final season, suddenly the Ori are (mostly) defeated and we've gone back to dealing with rebel Jaffa. It was a jarring transition from "our galaxy is doomed because of the Ori" to "Ori-who?".

Although Mitchell and Vala have grown on me as characters, I still think that Stargate SG-1 should have ended with Season 8, when O'Neill left the show. That could have been a perfect point at which to wrap up the entire thing, going out while it was still super-strong. Instead, the show went on to feel like a series that's just hanging on for it's own sake.

Stargate Atlantis was slow to start but they're starting to approach the chemistry of the old SG-1 team (although I still just can't buy Torri Higginson as the leader of the facility and wish that the orginal actress Jessica Steen had reprised the role). The show isn't bad and I think that it will improve with the addition of Amanda Tapping as Samantha Carter to the show. So, ok, let Atlantis carry on the torch for a while.

But do we really need another Stargate-themed series? It's not that I don't love Stargate... it's not that at all. It's just that I don't want to see the franchise die a slow, painful death like another famous sci fi TV franchise you may have heard of:

Star Trek

The fans clamored for more and more and Paramount delivered. But each new iteration of the show seemed a poorer copy of the original than the last. Kind of like making a copy of a copy of a copy in a Xerox machine. We had the first film, which although not great (the recently released director's cut is MUCH better, BTW), set the stage for more movies, which thrilled fans of the original series. Then came Star Trek: The Next Generation, which while a bit too antiseptic and touchy-feely, still had it's great moments. DS9 was the first series to go off in a different direction, and while difficult to get used to was in the end a great series (except for the series finale episode). Then came the incredibly awful Star Trek: Voyager which was bad for more reasons than I care to cover here.

Finally, Star Trek: Enterprise arrived, with an interesting concept: the early days of starship travel. Unfortunately even though it was supposed to take place 100 years before Kirk and Co., the technology seemed remarkably close to that of the NCC-1701, with phasers, the transporter and things running without a glitch. The show hit it's nadir in Season 3, where for some bizarre reason the producers decided to take the show in a direction totally disconnected from the basic premise. There was an effort to bring it back to where it should have been from the start with Manny Coto coming on board to guide the show, but alas, it was too late and although the final season was the best of the series, viewership had dropped too far off for the studio to consider renewing it.

What's the point of this Star Trek rant? I don't want to see the same thing happen to Stargate, where it ends up going on and on for the sake of making a buck, getting worse and worse as time goes on. Oh sure, it won't have Rick Berman and Brannon Braga at the helm and that's a HUGE plus, but things tend to creep up on you and I'm betting that the same thing would happen to Stargate that happened to Star Trek over the years.

So Brad Wright, Robert C. Cooper and company - you guys have created an amazing mythos. I would humbly suggest that you apply your incredible talents and love of sci fi to something completely new that fans can fall in love with all over again!

Source: Sci Fi Wire

Moira MacTaggert
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