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“What do you know, Joe?”fans have started asking, given the timing of my recent blog posts.

To be honest, I just know – and can infer – only as much as you.  The launch of stargatecommand.co and the production and premiere of Stargate: Origins is, clearly, the first step in the return of an all-new series that will follow in the footsteps of SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe.  How quickly this proceeds, and what creative direction it will take is, really, up to you, the fans.  There’s hope that many of you have checked out Origins and weighed in with your thoughts because the decision-makers want to know there’s an audience out there.  And they’re going to gauge the potential interest in a new Stargate series not merely by the number of eyeballs but the multitude of voices generating online buzz.

The challenge is that fandom is disperse and unfocused.  Many who may be reluctant to subscribe to stargatecommand.co right now will no doubt have a change of heart when the streaming platform becomes the home of the entire franchise library, a new Stargate series, hundreds of hours of exclusive never-before-seen behind-the-scenes videos from the sets of SG-1, SGA, and SGU as well as (I have no doubt, eventually) numerous other new SF shows.  Somewhen down the line, it will become the premiere home of science fiction.

But I get a little ahead of myself.  Right now, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to let MGM know you want more Stargate.  While their numbers people analyze the burgeoning interest in stargatecommand.co let’s give their social media experts some impressive stats to chew on.

And how are we going to that?  Well…

Step #1: Start by spreading the word and rallying the troops!  Hit up every Stargate fan page and community site (facebook, tumblr, etc.) out there and let them know: We’re doing this and we need every Stargate fan onboard.

Step #2: Join twitter.  It will be the launch point of this fan drive and, when the time comes, you’ll need to be active and noisy.

Step #3: Stay tuned while I consult and hand off to The Stargate Initiative, a group of longtime fans who will be leading this campaign.

And while you’re at it, check out WatchMojo.com’s Top 10 Stargate Moments:

Agree?  Disagree?  Let’s hear ya!

I know, I know.  You’re sitting there, re-reading yesterday’s blog entry, thinking to yourself: “Surely rebooting the franchise wouldn’t be that big a deal.  The longtime fans who invested so much in those 17 seasons of television history – the characters, the technology, the worlds created for SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe – would get over it.  Eventually.  Wouldn’t they?”  To be honest, I don’t know.  Fans can be fickle, passionate, and vociferous.  Also incredibly loyal.  It would be akin to, say, informing fans of the NFL’s New England Patriots that they were getting a new coach…none other than Harry Redknapp who managed Tottenham Hotspur from October 2008 to June 2012!  He also had great success with AFC Bournemouth and West Ham United, so there’s no reason to doubt he won’t be great calling the shots in New England.  Unfortunately, terms of this new deal will require that Brady, Gronk, Edelman and other Patriots players never again set food on the field – or be publicly referenced hereafter.  Finally, touchdowns will only be worth 4 points, field goals 2, we’ll be going 5 downs instead of 4, and the game will be overseen by three officials: a line judge, a referee, and grandmaster oortsman.

I mean, I don’t know.  It could be great.  But the purists may balk.

On the other hand, how could one possibly create a brand new series that is accessible to first-time viewers yet simultaneously rewarding to long-time fans? Hmmm.  Let me think about this for five seconds.  Wait!  How about you introduce a protagonist who knows nothing about the Stargate program and becomes the conduit through which the home audience learns about the gate network?  Maybe they’re a young soldier or a scientist or young anthropologist who joins a team on a visit to a top secret facility.  There, to their amazement, they are introduced to Stargate Command, the workings of the intergalactic stargate network, and then informed they will be making a trip through the gate to an alien world.  The base commander, General Carter, orders the technician to: “Dial the gate, Walter.”  The gate is dialed, a wormhole is established, and the young team step through the event horizon.

When they step out the other side, they find themselves on an alien world where they embark on their first exploratory mission.  Not telling what they find or what complications ensue.  There are so many possible ways for the series to go but it’s fairly easy to do so without burdening the story, these new characters, with heavy mythology.  The mythology exists to support the narrative, but need only come to light gradually.  Perhaps  they’ll learn that the gate network was built by a race known as the Ancients.  Maybe they’ll discover that Earth has outposts in various galaxies including the Milky Way, Triangulum, and Pegasus. Somewhere down the line, there may even be an episode in which the young team embarks on an op accompanied by a veteran of the Stargate program – an anthropologist, a Czech science officer, an overbearing but brilliant scientist with an aversion to citrus.  Who knows?

My point is the existing fandom is not only a great audience base for any future series, they’re a fantastic resource for spreading the word and getting other potential viewers onboard early.  They’re a passionate bunch and, when excited about a show, they will make their voices heard.

Don’t believe it?  Well, stay tuned.

Thanks to stopitcharlesgetoutofmyhead for all the nifty gif and video work!

Recently, I’ve been asked my thoughts on the immediate future of Stargate. Specifically, with the release of the Stargate: Origins web series (you can check it out here at StargateCommand) fans want to know: “Where do we go from here?”

Well, to be honest, my opinion hasn’t really changed since I wrote this blog entry back in 2013: Whither Stargate?

With the launch of its new streaming platform and this prequel digital series, MGM is essentially testing the market, checking to see if Stargate fans are still out there and hungry for content.  The answer, it would seem, is yes and YES!  And while this could very well signal the possibility of an additional web series or two, it’s more likely a step toward the production of an all-new Stargate series.  Which then begs a few more questions: What kind of direction will this new series take?  Who will be involved? And when will it drop?

I, like you, am an outsider.  I have no idea what the studio has planned.  That said, I have no doubt they are looking to produce a show that would be a perfect jumping-on point for first-time viewers unfamiliar with the franchise, yet possessed of the many elements that longtime fans will rally around.  However, this may be easier said than done.  A full reboot of the series. which on the surface seems like the easiest way to go, wipes out 17 seasons of Stargate television history and risks turning off a significant portion of the existing fanbase.  In addition, I would argue that a true reboot would be very, VERY difficult to pull off.  Over the course of those 17 years of Stargate history, mythology was crafted, rules established, and characters brought to life.  Could an all-new, all-different Stargate avoid making even tangential use of any of these elements?  If we go by Origins as an example, the answer would be no.  Somewhere along the way, any new series – reboot, remake, or reimagining – will make use of these story-building elements whether subconsciously, deliberately, or as a result of some grand osmosis of creative conception which, let’s face it, is all one and the same.  So if you’re going to end up there anyway (which, believe me, you will), why gamble such a valuable franchise when you can roll with a sure thing?  Trust the ones who got you there – and by there, I mean an enormously successful, incredibly lucrative scifi television franchise that has spawned three shows and 340+ episodes.

I’m talking about two individuals intimately familiar with the entire canon, proven commodities who have demonstrated an ability to create scenarios, stories, and characters that resonate with audiences worldwide AND yielded massive profits for the studio. Storytellers. Moneymakers.  Individuals capable of creating a fresh new series that makes use of the rules already in place but free of the burden of heavy backstory or mythology.  No prior Stargate knowledge required!  Just watch and enjoy!  The beauty of such a scenario is that the rich canonical history can still exist but be rediscovered, piecemeal, through the eyes of our new characters. Viewers unfamiliar with the franchise will be getting in on the ground floor while fans who have been along for the ride since Russel and Spader traipsed through that off-world desert, can be rewarded with the occasional appearance of a notable enemy, ally, or a variation on a familiar tale.  Walking that fine narrative line between past and present, strange and familiar, new fans and established fandom, would be a daunting challenge for any outsider.  But I know just the guys who COULD pull it off.  I am, of course, referring to Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper.

Want a show that gets you the best of both worlds?  Something unique and accessible yet sure to fire up the existing fanbase?  Talk to Brad and Rob.  Get them started on that new Stargate series.  Yesterday.

It’s tough to argue with 17 seasons of scifi television.

Great things await!

Alas, those seemingly inaccessible hard drives, once accessible, were a bust. Mostly whale footage and videos of Special Features Producer Ivon Bartok’s trip to Dominica.  On the bright side, I was reminded that there are a couple of other more promising hard drives in my storage locker.  Now it’s just a matter of finding them.  In the meantime, enjoy more Stargate BTS goodies.  Concept art by James Robbins.

ZPM

Prometheus

Trimordian boar.

“Paradise Lost”

The puddle jumper bay reveal animatic

James Bamford and co. ready for action

Hey, you know what I think we could all  use?  An all-new fourth Stargate series that pays tribute to the existing television franchise while setting out in a bold new direction, created by Brad Wright and Robert Cooper.  What do you think?

Some of my favorites…

Amazing Spiderman Annual #42 (cover art by Alex Ross)

Cold War #1 (cover art by Hayden Sherman)

Darth Vader #11 (cover art by Giuseppe Camuncoli)

Shade the Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special # (cover art by Frank Quitely)

Planet of the Apes: Ursus #2 (cover art by Paolo Rivera)

So, what are you loving?

Thanks to everyone who weighed in with tech suggestions on yesterday’s connector quandary.    I think I’ve finally got it figured out, thanks to a few helpful text messages from my buddy Ivon:

Tomorrow, I will finally uncover the mysteries contained within those ancient hard drives.  Will it be an avalanche of awesome behind the scenes pictures, videos, and documents?  Or an Al Capone’s Vaultful of disappointment.  Tune in to tomorrow’s blog entry!

One of the nice things about not being in production is the free time I am afforded to check out matinees alongside this city’s retirees.  As was the case this afternoon when Akemi and I checked out a screening of this year’s Oscar-nominated animation shorts.    We watched all five nominees along with two bonus shorts and animated interstitials, Akemi joyfully oohing and aaahing throughout.  It thought both the U.S. entries were fine: Dear Basketball, in which Kobe Bryant reflects on his love for the game, and Lou, a Pixar entry as technically accomplished as it is comparatively unremarkable.  France’s The Garden party was great fun, offering an underlying sense of dread to a surprisingly creepy, but artistically impressive entry.  Although Akemi thought it went on a little too long, I quite enjoyed the British-German Revolting Rhymes, based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name, that offers a wickedly dark take on some classic fairytales.  Our favorite, however, was France’s touching Negative Space, about a son who reflects on his relationship with his father and the ties that bond them: specifically, their proficiency for packing.

Check them out if you get a chance.  And check out the trailers for Negative Space and Revolting Rhymes below…

Kicking off today’s blog entry with a link to a terrific article that appeared on Gateworld.net yesterday:

“How would you feel if a theater ushered you out of your seat with 30 minutes of the movie still left? Would you come back?”

Syfy Owes Fans A Bigger Commitment

“If a serialized show is on the bubble, give it one final (perhaps partial) season to finish the overarching story. If not, give it a three- to six-hour mini-series. And if you still can’t swing that, order a two-hour TV movie. Don’t wait until you reach the point of no return, when the plug is yanked out with no ceremony.”

Give it a read!

More Stargate concept art by James Robbins:

Tagrea

Tagrean dirigible.

Tagrean fighter.

Anubis mothership.

The Eye of Ra.

Alien diary (“Paradise Lost”).

But wait!  There’s more…

Eventually.  Just need to pick up a cable for this somewhat antiquated baby…

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