Joseph Mallozzi’s Entry
By now, I assume you’ve all heard the news. This will be Stargate Atlantis’s fifth and final season. I’m disappointed but not surprised. We came into this year knowing that renewal would be a longshot. With 100 episodes under our belts, rising production costs, and the US dollar’s steep decline, the odds were stacked against us. Still, we’d heard no definite word either way and if SG-1’s surprising 10-year run taught us one thing, it’s that anything is possible. The circumstances that contributed to SG-1’s longevity were very different but, back then, we hadn’t expected it to get a sixth season pick-up either. Furthermore, with our strong premiere numbers and the equally impressive showing of the ensuing episodes, some of us were, if not exactly upbeat, then cautiously optimistic. We watched. We waited. And, finally, received word the other day.
We told the cast first, then headed down to set and broke the news to the crew. These are people who have given so much of themselves over the show’s five-year run and we felt it only right that they hear it from us rather than finding out about it elsewhere.
It’s been a bittersweet couple of days. On the one hand, I’m sorry to see the series end but, on the other hand, I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished. 100 episodes is pretty damn impressive feat and, as evidenced by the quality of recent stories and the uptick in the ratings, we’ll be going out on a high. Even though I see a lot of anger directed at both MGM and Sci Fi, the fact is we couldn’t have done it without their support. And we’re going to count on that support as Atlantis continues its adventures as a movie franchise.
Episode 20, Enemy at the Gate, will mark our 100th episode and, contrary to online speculation, we will not be ending things with a cliffhanger. Regardless of whether we got the pick-up or not, we had always planned a clean conclusion to our 100th episode, one that would hopefully leave fans satisfied yet eager for more. And that “moreâ€ will come in the form of the Stargate Atlantis movie…
About a month ago, with so much uncertainty about the future of the series, Rob Cooper pitched out the idea of shooting the SGA movie at the end of this season. His thinking was that if the series did end, we would have a movie in hand. If, however, the series was picked up, the “SGA movieâ€ (codenamed Project Twilight) would simply become the opening two episodes of the show’s sixth season. Alas, this notion never got past the consideration stage and, as a result, we won’t be rolling right into it as planned. On the bright side, however, the network has greenlit the movie and we do have a terrific idea in mind. Obviously, I can’t say much about it at this point but suffice it to say that it should include the entire cast in addition to a certain gaunt and pallid flowing-locked guest star. And, if it proves anywhere as successful as the first two SG-1 direct-to-video features, you can be assured that this will be the first in a long, long line of Stargate Atlantis movies.