The main cast of Stargate SG-1 within an image of the Stargate

Are We Ever Getting a New Stargate TV Show?

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Fans of the Stargate franchise—which encompasses SG-1, Atlantis, Universe, direct-to-DVD films, books, comics, video games, and webserieshave been beating the drum for a new TV show since Universe went off the air in 2011.

Show creator Brad Wright has teased a possible project in development with MGM for some time, and MGM’s recent purchase by Amazon gave fans yet more hope. If Amazon is looking for beloved IP to turn into new series (and their commitment to shows like Lord of the Rings and Good Omens would indicate that they are), Stargate seems like a pretty sure bet.

In December of 2020, Wright suggested that some kind of Stargate project was afoot but that the pandemic had thrown a wrench into the works. “I know a lot of people are gonna ask about a new Stargate project. And the fact is, I just want everybody to know, MGM and I are working on something,” Wright said, per Showbiz Cheatsheet. “It’s just too early to talk about. And it’s partly too early because there’s a pandemic going on, and that’s kind of ground things to a halt. But we are working on something that’s very exciting, it’s something that we’ve been talking about for a while now, and I love it.”

Fuel was added to this fire in April 2021 when SG-1 star Amanda Tapping discussed the potential for a revival during an interview with The Companion. “I don’t know. I talked to Brad Wright about it and certainly MGM at one point was very interested. I said to Brad, ‘What do you want me to do on the show?’ And he said, ‘I want you to be in it, and I want you to direct it.'”

Tapping is now an in-demand TV director, having directed on shows like The Magicians, Supernatural, Batwoman, and Anne With an E, so it would be an excellent move to have her direct episodes of a new Stargate. Tapping’s comments also excited fans about the prospect that some favorite characters could make a return to screen. Wright had further teased that he was writing dialogue for Michael Shanks’ character Dr. Daniel Jackson in new scripts.

After a bit of a frenzy followed her comments, Tapping clarified on Twitter in May that while there had been interest, there was no actual series that she was referencing—this was all theoretical. “In response to the overwhelming reaction to the non existent Stargate series, I have to say once again, there is no series that I know of,” she wrote. “There has been interest for a number of years but there is no series. If there is, you’ll be the first to know.”

The plot thickens, however. In early August, Giant Freakin Robot claimed to have insider knowledge that there’s not one but two Stargate projects in the works. According to their source, one of the projects is an animated Stargate series while the second is live-action. There was already a French-American Stargate animated series, Stargate Infinity, back in 2002, but it is not considered part of the larger canon. Giant Freakin Robot said:

The first one of these projects is probably unexpected by most fans: it’s an animated Stargate series. The animated series is currently in development at MGM. While they’re working on it, they’re unclear on where the series will land. The second series is an adult Stargate series. On this second project, MGM is currently working to partner with a streaming service to bring the series to life. It seems most likely that Amazon will be the new home for these MGM series since Amazon announced their intentions to buy the legendary studio back in May. However, that deal is still being finalized.

Giant Freakin Robot was unable to confirm their scoop or whether Brad Wright and other Stargate creatives would be involved with these alleged projects. But the increase in chatter around the rumors is likely a good sign for fans. If nothing else, the more people lobby and talk about wanting more Stargate, the greater the chance the studios will take notice.

This is the thinking behind a recently launched effort by some Stargate aficionados to press Amazon on the subject. According to Stargate news site Gateworld, an organized group of fans have launched a “365 Days of Stargate” campaign, celebrating the franchise on social media daily in the run-up to SG-1’s 25th anniversary next year. The campaign hopes to gain support from fans worldwide and demonstrate the ongoing interest in Stargate to Amazon by using the hashtag #WeWantStargate.

So there you have it, folks. While nothing has been publicly confirmed, there appears to be a good amount of interest on both the creative and fan side of things, and a likely willingness on the part of former castmembers to return or make appearances on a new series.

Since Amazon Studios doesn’t have many dedicated science fiction shows and will be losing the best sci fi show on TV, The Expanse, after next season, it seems like common sense that they should develop Stargate projects. Especially considering that Stargate comes with a built-in base and name recognition even amongst those who never watched an episode.

In their heyday, both SG-1 and Atlantis had some of the earliest and most dedicated online fandoms. Not only do those fandoms still exist, but nostalgia for the brand would surely bring the curious back into the fold. An “overwhelming reaction” to Tapping’s comments points to the Stargate hunger that’s still out there. And the nature of the franchise’s premise means it can take place anywhere and venture to nigh-on limitless destinations.

Richard Dean Anderson as Jack O'Neill, Amanda Tapping as Samantha Carter, Christopher Judge as Teal'c, and Michael Shanks as Daniel Jackson

The Stargateverse got its start in a way that is now commonplace—carrying on from an existing property. Its flagship series, SG-1, began airing in 1997 and was based on a film in a time before this sort of thing was standard. The set-up and primary characters were taken from Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin’s 1994 science fiction film, which starred Kurt Russell as Colonel Jack O’Neill and James Spader as archaeologist Daniel Jackson.

Those roles would later be played by MacGyver himself, Richard Dean Anderson, as O’Neill, with Shanks as Dr. Jackson. Rounding off the central cast of SG-1 was Tapping as the Air Force astrophysicist Samantha Carter and Christopher Judge as Teal’c, a defecting alien warrior. The late, great Don S. Davis kept Stargate Command together as the ever-patient General Hammond.

The basic premise is that most mythologies and religions on Earth were the result of powerful aliens posing as Gods, who also seeded human civilizations on other planets. The U.S. military activates an ancient device, the Stargate, which can create a wormhole enabling instant travel to different parts of the galaxy. On SG-1, elite teams from the Air Force take part in a secretive program to explore distant worlds, make new friends and discover resources, and try to fight off the evil parasitic Goa’uld aliens and other dastardly foes from outer space (and sometimes from the U.S. government).

Several Stargate actors have remained engaged with the property. Most recently, Tapping, Shanks, and later-season cast member Ben Browder (also of Farscape fame) reunited in July for GalaxyCon.

 

I enjoyed episodes of Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis that ran as marathons on the Syfy channel back when I was in college. But it’s only during the pandemic that I started from the beginning on Netflix and am working my way through the whole thing. Many early episodes of SG-1 are extremely ’90s in feel and don’t hold up as well to the test of time. But the show grows in maturity and can surprise you with moving episodes or an action-packed extravaganza.

SG-1 in particular was always much bigger than its plot arcs. The biggest draw was the chemistry between the actors and their characters, and the bright flashes of humor that emerged from both the script and that chemistry. When a show is comfortable enough to have an entire meta episode, “Wormhole X-Treme!” that features a highly dramatized TV version of itself, it’s nice to be in on the joke.

As much as I adore exquisitely complex dystopias like The Expanse that dabble in moral shades of grey, Stargate shows are comforting in their general lack of widespread devastation and everyday agonies.

Sometimes—especially in the midst of the kind of pandemic burn-out that many of us are experiencing—the relatively straightforward nature of Stargate is just what the doctor ordered. The good guys usually win, the bad guys are usually over-the-top and ridiculous, and there’s usually something to laugh about.

And speaking of doctors, I have one request of any future Stargate series, and that’s the appearance of Teryl Rothery as the no-nonsense Dr. Janet Fraiser. She already starred in her own Stargate audio drama. SGC Medical, anyone?

Are you ready for more Stargate? Tell us in the comments.

(image: MGM)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.