Would You Watch A New Stargate Show?

Mitchell walking towards the Stargate ("Ripple Effect")

Stargate SG-1: “Ripple Effect”

In spite of Amazon MGM Studios’ painfully long silence regarding the future of Stargate, I still think it’s only a matter of time before the now merged company makes it happen. Amazon MGM recently announced that they are producing a Legally Blonde TV series — the first scripted series to come from MGM’s library of owned properties since the studio’s acquisition in 2022. If Stargate is on deck, San Diego Comic-Con in July might be a good place to make the announcement.

So while we wait, let’s talk about how a new series announcement could (and should?) be received by Stargate’s fan base. How open are we to a different kind of Stargate show, from a new group of storytellers? Could a rebooted world actually turn out well, or will current fans refuse to watch anything that doesn’t star Richard Dean Anderson and company (no matter how retired or otherwise employed they are)?

Here we are going to run down four of the biggest choices that the creatives behind a new Stargate series will have to make, and how Amazon MGM Studios might best bring along the existing fan base. We’re not talking about the “perfect” show of our dreams, necessarily — and hey, we’re pretty realistic about the chances of reuniting the SG-1, Atlantis, or SGU casts more than a decade later to make more of the shows we loved.

No, instead of the ideal new Stargate show, let’s talk about what fans are willing to give a shot. What does a new series need to look like in order to convince you to subscribe to a service like Prime Video or MGM+ and click on that first episode?

My analysis down below is just to get the conversation started — or you can watch the video version right here. So let’s hear from you! Vote in each of the polls as you go, and when you reach the bottom post a comment explaining what a new Stargate TV series ought to be in order to convince you to give it a try.


The first and perhaps biggest decision that a new team of writers has to make is whether to continue the existing canon or start over from scratch with a hard reboot. A continuation respects the past and the audience that loves those shows, yes. But more pragmatically, it would also allow writers to utilize the deep well of characters and lore, and bring back actors for guest appearances, while moving the Stargate universe forward in a new setting.

Years have passed, and of course the names and faces have changed. Think of this in terms of Star Trek: The Next Generation and its relationship with the original series. When TNG premiered in 1987 it was a very different kind of show, set decades into the future with a new cast (“There’s a Klingon on the bridge!”) … but the world was still very much Star Trek. This was simply what Kirk and Spock’s Starfleet had evolved into.

The second option is a full restart of the lore, beginning all over again with the discovery of the Stargate on Earth. A retelling would have certain things in common with the original but would no doubt forge its own path, setting up an ongoing TV series that might involve a secret underground military base and alien parasites called Goa’uld, but unfold in a totally different way.

Consider how 2003’s Battlestar Galactica retold the story of the Cylon invasion and the fall of the Twelve Colonies. The new series followed the same story beats as the original show — and involved many of the same characters — but gave this world a very different and original spin. The remake of BSG went on to become a modern sci-fi masterpiece.

There’s a third option here, which is a “soft reboot” that clears the board (and possibly even recasts key characters) but maintains a vital line of continuity with the original Stargate TV franchise. Say what you want about J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek film, but what it did brilliantly was connect the old with the new. A little time travel, a bit of Leonard Nimoy, and we got a different take on Kirk’s Enterprise that maintains an “alternate timeline” relationship with what came before (and what’s come after on TV).

So what about Stargate? Could you get on board with a reboot, if it was done well?



Loading ... Loading …
Brian J. Smith and Robert Carlyle (Stargate Universe)


Both The Next Generation and Battlestar Galactica found ways to bring back familiar faces from their franchise’s past, whether it was DeForest Kelley’s unnamed admiral in “Encounter at Farpoint,” Leonard Nimoy and James Doohan’s guest appearances in later seasons, or BSG‘s recasting of original “Apollo” actor Richard Hatch in a completely different role.

Whether the next Stargate show is a continuation or a reboot, there could be a place for members of the previous casts. It would be fantastic to see them in the same roles, checking in on Daniel Jackson, Eli Wallace, or Rodney McKay years later. But I certainly wouldn’t expect any former cast members to be included as full-time cast members in a fourth show (even if it is a continuation).

In either case, this show would be filled with fresh, new faces — just like Atlantis was in 2004, and SGU in 2009. Whether it’s “Stargate Command: 2025” or a young Daniel Jackson being recruited by the Air Force to translate hieroglyphs, the show will have a new troupe of actors to play a new team ready for adventures through the gate.

Note too that there are financial implications for using characters that were introduced in Stargate SG-1. Sam, Teal’c, General Hammond, Dr. Fraiser, and others were created by Jonathan Glassner and Brad Wright. If a new series includes those characters, their creators have to be paid.



Loading ... Loading …
J.R. Reed Space Terminal ("2010")


When Stargate first made the move to television back in 1997, one of the building blocks of SG-1‘s premise was that the U.S. military was operating the Stargate program in secret, sending teams to explore other planets and stir up hornets’ nests across the galaxy. For at least five years, at its most basic the show was about human beings looking for allies and technology to help defend Earth.

The covert nature of the S.G.C. contributed to innumerable stories, from Sam’s tension with her father in “Secrets” to Senator Kinsey’s control of the program’s financing in “Politics,” and from a business executive’s threat to expose the Asgard to the world in “Covenant” to a possible future where the Stargate was public knowledge available to all for off-world travel in “2010.”

But does a new Stargate show need to maintain the secrecy of the Stargate, alien life, or Earth’s fleet of high-tech battle cruisers?

Brad Wright’s plans for a third SG-1 movie (and later a fourth series) involved the Stargate program going public. Wright and his team always held this card close to the vest, knowing it is a story that can only be told once — one that would alter the show’s premise in a fundamental way.

The next show could go either way: keep the Stargate a secret from the general public, or build a universe where the world knows Earth’s place in a bigger galactic community. What do you think? Would you watch either way?



Loading ... Loading …
Tarania Stargate ("Inferno")


Thinking back to sci-fi’s other great franchise continuations, both The Next Generation and Battlestar Galactica created shows that were tonally different than what had come before them. The original Star Trek was an adventure series for the 1960s, a “wagon train to the stars,” as creator Gene Roddenberry put it. It often ended with Captain Kirk getting into a fist fight, tearing his shirt, and kissing the girl (though not always in that order). It also did smart and thoughtful science fiction incredibly well, of course. But there’s no doubt that TNG‘s approach was a different sort of adventure drama, with a leader more inclined to diplomacy and speech-making.

BSG, for its part, went from a 1970s family adventure romp to a smart and tense character drama that helped to create so-called “prestige television.” And because we are talking about fan reception here, it’s worth observing how fans of both shows reacted to those changes. Some BSG fans rebuked the new version as just exploiting someone else’s universe to make a completely different show, one that failed to honor what had come before. But in the end the gritty drama won over a lot of people, and added countless new viewers who usually avoided science fiction.

So what’s the right tone for the next Stargate series? Even the Brad Wright era broke the glass of making a completely different kind of series: Stargate Universe was divisive with its darker tone, a focus on relationships and internal struggles, and innovations in lighting and photography. I’m sure some fans would love to see another show cut from the same cloth … while others long for a return to the more traditional style.

Does it matter to you? Are you willing to watch the next show regardless of its tone, at least to see if it’s any good?



Loading ... Loading …
Stargate SG-1 Team (Casual)


Stargate fans like different things about this franchise, and that’s OK. Not every show is for every viewer, and what one person likes is bound to be a non-starter for someone else. As I’ve pondered how different Stargate fans might answer the questions above, of course I have also grappled with how I answer them for myself. Not simply the show that I most want, but what kind of Stargate show would I be willing to accept? What’s going to get me to come back, as a viewer?

Now I’m obviously an anomaly there: I run a Stargate Web site and am committed to the franchise come what may. I think the real star of the show is that big, beautiful ring that takes us to an infinite number of stories. But here’s how I answer the questions that I have put to you.

I want a continuation of the story and the lore that I am 354-hours invested in … but I am certainly willing to watch someone else’s take on the idea. Seeing a new story about the gate’s discovery and humankind’s first steps into the galaxy is intriguing to me. That said, were the new creatives to sweep those 17 seasons out the back door and completely disregard that history would be very painful. It would create a show that almost dared me not to watch it, by taking something precious to me and declaring to the world that it is unimportant.

I keep going back to the 2009 Star Trek reboot. Using a sci-fi conceit like alternate timelines or parallel universes is a brilliant stroke, and Leonard Nimoy’s performance did so much to help me love that story. It didn’t tell me that my Star Trek didn’t matter any more; it bridged two continuities, allowing the writers to tell new stories with legacy characters — but (and this is the key) in a way that my Star Trek wasn’t replaced by this story. My Star Trek led to this story.

If Stargate’s new creative team chooses a reboot, I pray for a similar wisdom.

Honestly, if I can have that, I am on board for everything else. I want to see former cast members return, and ideally play their same character. But I understand that such guest appearances need to work for the story. I’m inclined to a story that keeps the Stargate a secret (at least for now), but maybe only because that feels safe and familiar to me.

As for the tone of the show? Lighter or darker, adventure or drama — as long as the show has heart and humor, with characters who rise above their base natures to work together for the common good, who place team above self and display traits of courage, honor, and respect … well, then you’ve got a Stargate show. And you’ll have me there for the journey.

So, what’ll it be?

We want to hear your views! Post a comment below and share your thoughts on a new Stargate series — not necessarily what you want in an ideal scenario, but what the show would need in order to convince you to try it out.

News Article Courtesy Of