Two years after the door closed on Stargate: Extinction, Joseph Mallozzi has revealed more about the story that the Atlantis movie (and possible sixth season opener) would have told.
When it became clear in 2011 that the movie wouldn’t be produced, the former SGA writer and executive producer gave a description of the opening scenes that set up the story (see here and here). Mallozzi co-wrote the script with Paul Mullie, but it was shelved (along with the SG-1 movie Stargate: Revolution) when the bottom fell out of the DVD market and MGM seemed to be on a path to inevitable bankruptcy.
Knowing that this exciting story won’t be told, today it makes for bittersweet (but definitely fun) reading.
To recap what we already know: Atlantis ended its final season on Earth, cloaked off the coast of San Francisco. When the movie opens, the city has been relocated to the much more secret-friendly location of Earth’s Moon. Earth’s leaders are debating what to do with the powerful Ancient city ship, but things become clear when a self-destruct alarm is triggered. The team must reunite and get Atlantis back to the Pegasus Galaxy before the clock runs out, or … boom.
Mallozzi revealed more on his blog at the end of March. He called the movie’s not getting made his one great regret in 11 years on Stargate.
“The plan is to use the wormhole drive to execute a series of jumps to Pegasus — however, the drive burns out partway through their journey, stranding them in the Triangulum Galaxy, some 300,000 light years from home,” Mallozzi said. “They manage to muster up enough power for one, final short range jump, putting them within range of a subspace anomaly they detected.
“What follows is a high-flying adventure involving a mysterious civilization tapping the limitless potential of the accretion streams between two stars, time travel, and a race against time to avert not only the destruction of Atlantis but the extinction of an entire race.
“Some of the standout sequences that come to mind include one in which Sheppard ends up trapped on an enemy mothership, falling back to a room holding some of the tech the enemy has stolen from Atlantis. Enemy soldiers surround the locked chamber, preparing to storm it when — the door shakes, buckles, and blows outward to reveal Sheppard in one of the Asgard exo-suits. Cue kickass Iron Man sequence.”
The film would end with Atlantis settled back in Pegasus for a new season of adventures, with Dr. Beckett signed on as head of the expedition’s medical R&D, and — through the magic of time-travel — Sheppard and Teyla now aware “that they are destined to be together.”
The movie wasn’t meant to wrap up Atlantis entirely, but to set the stage for a sixth season — or, if Extinction made for a successful DVD release, more movies for John Sheppard and his team.
“Late in Atlantis’s fifth year, when we were working on the final few scripts of the season, we had no way of knowing what the future held,” Mallozzi said. “A sixth season? A wrap-up movie? Robert Cooper suggested we hedge our bets by preparing for both. His idea was to add an extra month to the production schedule during which we would shoot the sixth season opening two-parter that, in the event the show wasn’t picked up, could become a direct-to-DVD feature.
“It was a brilliant plan which I, in turn, proposed it to the decision-makers. Given the green light, we could roll right into production on the heels of ‘Enemy at the Gate.’ We just needed the go-ahead sooner than later in order to make sure we had all the actors on board.
“Sadly, we never got the go-ahead and, although we did end up eventually writing the script for the Atlantis movie (Stargate: Extinction), in hindsight, that window of opportunity at the end of the show’s sixth season was our last, best shot at seeing it made.”
To learn more about Extinction — including the fate of Todd the Wraith — be sure to read the whole entry at Joseph Mallozzi’s Weblog!
(Thanks to everyone who wrote in with the tip!)