Whenever someone asks me about the likelihood of a new Stargate series gracing our screens, my response is always: “It’s not a matter of if, but when”. Now people assume I must have some insider knowledge, but the truth is I know about as much as any of you do about what MGM has planned for the franchise. But simple logic dictates a few things:
1 – Stargate WILL return in some form, in all likelihood a television series.
The original Stargate movie did respectable box office, but it was the television series that really blew the doors off the vault. Stargate, in its television form, made the studio a TON of money. Certainly a hell of a lot more than many of the franchises and IP’s that have found new life on the big and small screen of late. And yet, we’re still waiting.
Look, Stargate is an incredibly lucrative property and it just doesn’t make sense for the studio NOT to revisit its greatest television success story. At the end of the day, the entertainment industry is a business and decisions are based on the bottom line. And when it comes to Stargate’s bottom line, we’re talking a lot of dollar signs.
2 – The studio is being VERY cautious about launching a new series.
Given the immense value of the franchise, the studio wants to get it right. They want to be certain that the show they launch will appeal to a huge viewership. Thus, they are faced with a little dilemma – although, really, it’s not a dilemma at all if you really think about it. The studio, no doubt, feels caught between established fandom and new viewers, incorrectly assuming that it’s either one or the other. IF they launch a show within the established t.v. universe, they assume they’ll simply be appealing to old fans while leaving new viewers out in the cold. IF, on the other hand, they reboot the series and dismiss the existing t.v. canon, they face the prospect of an angry fanbase that will, in all probability, not only ignore the new series but actively campaign against it. So, what’s a studio to do?
EASY. Launch a new series that offers the best of both worlds – one that exists within the established t.v. universe but offers a fresh start for first-time viewers. The new series could introduce us to new characters, a new team, who know nothing about Stargates – and we, as the audience, could join them on their journey of discovery. It’s been some 15 years since the last episode of Stargate aired. Who doesn’t need a refresher?
The new series wouldn’t be as mythologically heavy as previous incarnations, yet – amidst the action, adventure, humor, and exploration – nevertheless offer up a little backstory on the Stargate program. Characters from the previous shows could make an appearance, but they would be introduced as though for the first time – and while new viewers will get to know them, longtime fans will get reacquainted with these beloved characters all over again.
3. The old guard should be at the helm of the new series.
So, who do you think will be playing quarterback for the New England Patriots this season? Will it be 536 career TD, 6 time Superbowl champ Tom Brady? Will it be an unproven rookie? Or will the Patriots try to lure Brett Favre out of retirement? The incorrect answer could not only cost the team their season, but have terrible repercussions for years to come.
So, who created and ran the highly successful Stargate television shows that spanned 15 years, 17 seasons, 334 episodes, 2 movies and made the studio hundreds of millions of dollars? THAT is who you want running the new series – someone who has not only proven themselves, but can craft that bridge between the established fandom and new viewers, the beloved classic Stargate and a fresh, bold new direction.
4. Soon, soon.
I know, I know. It’s all so screamingly obvious – yet I have no doubt the studio will get there. They just need to get their ducks in a row, dot those I’s, cross those T’s, and complete whatever cliched idioms one needs to complete in order to get everyone on board. A simple meeting with all the suits would do the trick. Pack all the decision-makers into a conference room, then use an overhead projector to cast an image of how much money the Stargate television franchise made over the years. Then, quickly, before anyone’s mind can wander, switch out that huge bottom line number with the Created by credits for the Stargate t.v. shows. Alternate quickly back and forth between the two to ensure all in attendance make the painfully clear connection.
They’ll get there sooner than later.
Meanwhile, how many new Star Trek shows will be on the air by year’s end?