How Stargate SG-1 Kicked Off One of the Best Sci-Fi Franchises

The science fiction style has seen the beginning of quite a few science fiction franchises over time, from Star Wars and Star Trek to cult classics like Babylon 5. One of essentially the most underrated is the Stargate franchise, which formally kicked off with Stargate: SG-1. Showrunners Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner deserve credit score for not solely launching a sequence that continues to carry a devoted fanbase 25 years after its inception however having that sequence function a launching pad for an entire franchise. While it is common for exhibits like Peacemaker and Loki to spin out of function movies, SG-1 did not have the posh of a streaming service or an period the place style fare was commonplace. Its origin story boils all the way down to sudden success.


SG-1 sprung into being as a result of a deal between Showtime and MGM Studios, with the latter proudly owning the rights to the Stargate movie. With Stargate proving to be an enormous success on the field workplace, director/co-writer Roland Emmerich and his inventive associate Dean Devlin pitched two extra Stargate movies. Each of the proposed sequels would have delved into the origin of assorted myths in Earth tradition, and revealed that the chyrons on the Stargate had been the truth is coordinates to different alien worlds. “Whether it was Bigfoot, or the Yeti — we were going to tie everything together into a larger mythology. And it was going to be so much fun. It was going to be so wild,” Devlin mentioned throughout an interview for the Dial the Gate podcast.

The Stargate TV Series Brought Back Beloved Characters With New Faces

Those movies by no means got here to be as MGM noticed extra worth in a tv sequence. The community employed Wright and Glassner, who’d beforehand labored on the Showtime revival of The Outer Limits. Together, they crafted a narrative that passed off roughly one 12 months after the occasions of the Stargate movies and noticed the return of protagonists Jack O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) and Dr. Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks). O’Neill and Jackson develop into a part of a specialised “SG” staff that additionally consists of tech genius Samantha “Sam” Carter (Amanda Tapping) and the mysterious alien warrior Teal’c (Christopher Judge). Throughout SG-1‘s complete run, the staff would make the most of the Stargate to journey to different worlds and confront interstellar threats such because the shapeshifting Goa’uld.

Ironically, SG-1 would comprise lots of the parts that Emmerich and Devilin had pitched for his or her potential Stargate trilogy. The Goa’uld’s highest rating members, the System Lords, had been named after gods in varied mythologies together with Apophis (Peter Williams) and Ba’al (Cliff Simon). It seems that Ra, the alien warlord who O’Neill and Jackson battled within the Stargate movie, was additionally a member of the Goa’uld. Wright and Glassner additionally explored the potential of the Stargate connecting to different worlds, permitting the present to place its personal spin on mythological figures. There had been takes on Norse, Japanese, and even Babylonian gods – which gave the creators the flexibility to determine a wealthy universe and proceed with the movie’s theme of “ancient astronauts”. This additionally allowed the sequence to deal with spiritual themes, particularly how others do horrible issues within the title of religion. Teal’c previously served Apophis however winds up defecting to SG-1 so as to free his individuals, the Jaffa.

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The New Stargate Cast Developed the Characters, Adding More Depth Over Time

A serious draw of the sequence was the chemistry between the solid, particularly Anderson and Shanks. Both step into the roles left by Kurt Russell and David Spader with ease; Shanks even received producers over along with his pitch-perfect impression of Spader. But in addition they made the characters their very own. Anderson continually sought to make O’Neill a extra flippant and approachable character than he was within the movie, and he regularly had the possibility to indicate how little regard the Colonel had for paperwork. Shanks’s efficiency as Jackson is equally compelling, as his mind and compassion show to be an answer for a lot of issues the SG-1 staff faces. Their interactions with Tapping’s Carter and Judge’s Teal’C make for some memorable dynamics; each O’Neill and Carter battle with their emotions for one another, and Teal’C learns extra about humanity. And in contrast to different sci-fi sequence, SG-1 knew methods to stability its darker scenes with moments of levity. Watching the sequence, it is clear that the SG-1 staff cares deeply about one another, and, because it seems, that care prolonged to the behind-the-scenes issues because the actors collaborated with the crew on shaping their characters. Anderson, for instance, requested for O’Neill to be extra sarcastic whereas Judge felt Teal’c needs to be extra stoic.

Stargate: SG-1 would final for ten seasons, and climate a variety of modifications. Shanks and Anderson would have lowered roles in later seasons, and the present shifted from Showtime to the SyFy Channel with Season 6. Despite this, the present acquired vital acclaim in addition to stellar scores. The feature-length SG-1 pilot “Children of the Gods” was certainly one of Showtime’s largest sequence premieres and, mixed with Battlestar Galactica, the sequence helped put SyFy on the map. Naturally, given SG-1‘s success spinoffs had been quickly put into manufacturing. Two function movies, Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate Continuum, had been developed for a DVD launch. The Ark of Truth serves because the grand conclusion to SG-1’s battle with the alien race referred to as the Ori, and Continuum finds them making an attempt to repair the previous after Ba’al modifications historical past in order that the Goa’uld conquered Earth. Both movies, regardless of being direct-to-DVD, take the SG-1 story and escalate it to cinematic heights – the hazard feels greater and the scope extra epic.

Stargate Led to Further Spin-Offs and Launched Genres Stars Into the Mainstream

There would even be spinoff sequence within the type of Stargate Atlantis, Stargate Universe, and the prequel Stargate Origins. Atlantis premiered in between the Season 7 finale and Season 8 premiere of SG-1 and follows a brand new staff led by Lt. Colonel John Sheppard (Joe Flanigan) as they uncover the misplaced metropolis of Atlantis and wind up in a battle with the malevolent Wraith. Universe finds a staff of scientists compelled to board an historical alien ship referred to as Destiny after their base is attacked, and escape utilizing a Stargate – however wind up in a distant galaxy. Origins is relatively self-explanatory: Catherine Langford (Ellie Gall) goals to save lots of her father after he’s despatched by way of a Stargate. All of those sequence continued to construct out the universe of Stargate, however solely Atlantis matched SG-1 when it comes to fan engagement and character improvement. The SG-1 crew would additionally seem in varied episodes of Atlantis and Universe, particularly Tapping’s Carter who served as a significant character within the former.

The Stargate franchise was house to many style alums over the course of its run. Farscape alum Ben Browder joined SG-1 in its ultimate two seasons as Cameron Mitchell, Jason Momoa had a recurring function on Atlantis as Ronan Dex – which is relatively ironic given his future function in Aquaman, and Ming-Na Wen had a recurring (later common) function on Universe. Other sci-fi alums who appeared within the franchise embrace Robert Picardo and Morena Baccarin. Baccarin’s fellow Firefly alums Jewel Staite and Adam Baldwin additionally had recurring roles in Atlantis.

Though Stargate SG-1 has been off the air for years, its fanbase continues to be going robust. There’s been a “Gatecon” conference devoted to the sequence, and rumors have swirled of a possible new Stargate installment as soon as MGM turned part of Amazon. None of it might be doable with out the groundwork that SG-1 laid, because it took the inspiration of a cult movie and constructed upon it to make one of the crucial attention-grabbing science fiction universes ever placed on the small display screen.

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