We all grew up watching television shows we enjoyed. Shows we discussed at school, with friends, with family, and to anyone who would lend an ear to hear about our latest obsession. Then the shows went off air, and within a year, we’d practically forgotten about their existence.
But there’s always that one show, no matter how long it’s been off air, no matter how long ago its relevancy has faded, is still as entertaining, meaningful, and inspiring as the day we first discovered it — a show that wasn’t just a weekly escape, but a passion. Perhaps it wasn’t the most popular or most watched show, but it held a special place in our hearts.
I first discovered Stargate when I was 12 years old. Now, six years later, in my first year of college, I not only credit Stargate as that special childhood memory, but also as the inspiration and catalyst for the current direction of my life.
Growing up in rural North Carolina, filmmaking wasn’t something I was particularly knowledgeable about or even aware of. I never lived in an art-centric environment, and had no connection to the entertainment industry. For the longest time, I was certain the military was my calling. But it was the magical adventures Stargate brought to life on the small screen that caught my attention and ignited a passion for visual storytelling that to this day hasn’t faded.
Now a resident of Los Angeles, California, attending film school at Chapman University, Stargate has more personal meaning and relevancy than it ever has. What started out as casual afternoon viewing became a significant part of my life, and I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one for whom the show has left a personal legacy.
In the weeks to come in this column, “Stargate’s Legacy,” I will examine three episodes from each of the three Stargate series — SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe — that I found to be specifically noteworthy. Not because they were the most entertaining or flashiest, but because they were unique, thought provoking, inspiring, or communicative of a theme or idea that resonated with me. At the end of the day, it wasn’t the visual beauty, while certainly present, that makes Stargate so endearing, but the imagination, rich characters, and thematic depth of the franchise.
It’s something I will celebrate and remember now and for years to come, even if the shows no longer exist in the public eye.
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