Word had come down a couple of months earlier. Stargate: SG-1 was finally coming to an end. And, to be honest, despite the countless 11th hour reprieves that saw us coming back year after year, the many changes the show had undergone, the fact that we were producing a lofty tenth season of the series, I was genuinely surprised. And disappointed. With the re-shifting of the show creative two seasons earlier, and the promotion of Claudia Black to series regular that year, I felt the show had been revitalized and could have gone another season – at least. There were still stories to tell and I would have loved nothing better than to get a shot at telling them. And, we almost did. Soon after we got word that the show had been canceled, talks were underway to save it, talks that actual bore fruit. The plan was to produce an eleventh season of SG-1 as an online exclusive, anticipating a business model that has saved several shows since. All the pieces were falling into place and it looked like we were going to save SG-1 – and we would have, if not for a contractual obligation that ultimately killed the plan.
Looking back, I have nothing but fond memories of the show and the many, many individuals who brought it to the small screen, contributing to a series that ran an astounding ten seasons and produced an incredible 214 episodes. Although I disagreed with the decision to cancel us, putting things in perspective, it’s hard to find fault with a network that rescued us halfway through our marathon run. If not for SyFy (formerly known as SciFi), Stargate: SG-1 would have ended with its fifth season on Showtime. There would have been no Mitchell or Vala, no Ori or Anubis, no Landry, no McKay, and, perhaps most crucial of all, no Teal’c unwittingly attending a reading of the Vagina Monologues. It was a great ride but, like all rides – great or otherwise – it finally came to an end, in this instance with the ironically titled Unending, episode #214, written, directed, and produced by longtime Stargate Exec. Producer Robert Cooper. It was clever in that it offered the best of both worlds: a glimpse into the future of the characters viewers had grown to know and love over the show’s many, many years, and the promise that their present-day adventures would continue. Which they did, in two direct-to-video movies: Ark of Truth and Continuum.
You can’t please all of the people all of the time and, while many fans loved the series ender, other took issue with – well, take your pick: the end of the Asgard, the absence of O’Neill, Daniel and Vala finally getting together, Sam and…Teal’c(?!). Still, I loved the way it provided answers and, even if those answers were undone at episode’s end, they nevertheless hinted at possible things to come. I was sorry to see the Asgard go (after so many years, I’d come to delight in the antics of those genderless, passive-aggressive know-it-alls) but I was equally sorry to receive their parting gift, the Asgard core that has been consigned to Area 52 for long-term R&D.
Rob saved the shot of the team heading through the gate, one last time, for the very end. From what I hear, they didn’t get around to it until well after midnight. I thought it bittersweet that, while everyone behind the scenes was saying their goodbyes that night, the scene that had preceded the farewells not only left the door open to future adventures but suggested a familiarity and routine that would continue, albeit unseen. Although the fans wouldn’t be privy to these future off-world travels, they could take solace in the fact that SG-1 was still out there, doing what it did best: keeping the galaxy safe for the rest of us.