MGM today announced the details on Stargate’s new digital media platform: Stargate Command launches September 20, with early registration now open for fans in the U.S. (More on availability in other countries in a moment.)
The service comes with two levels of access. Fans will be able to access some content for free, including behind-the-scenes photos and video from the set of Stargate Origins, a weekly newsletter, plus access to an official fan community. The “All-Access” paid membership (a one-time fee of $20 US) offers more, of course, including access to stream all three Stargate television series (SG-1, Atlantis, and SGU), all three movies, and all of Origins when it is released.
That’s more than 17 seasons and 350 episodes of the long-running franchise — all in high definition where available. (The first seven seasons of Stargate SG-1 have not yet been released in an HD format, so the new service might have the same standard definition currently available on DVD and Amazon.)
The studio is also offering a digital shooting script for Origins‘ pilot episode (obviously after the show is out), special access to the writers’ room, and an exclusive SGO T-shirt for those who sign up early (U.S. only, sorry).
So what’s the Stargate Command platform all about? What will we get? And what about Stargate fans outside the U.S.? For answers to these questions and more we turned to Chris Ottinger, who is President of MGM Worldwide TV Distribution & Acquisitions and one of the Stargate fans inside MGM who is working on the franchise’s new digital home base.
GateWorld: Stargate is back! Is there anything you can tell us first about Stargate Origins, and how the new show is meant to build upon the established franchise?
Chris Ottinger: In the trailer, we tease Stargate Origins by saying, “Go back … to where it all began.” The amazing Stargate journey began with the discovery of this incredible portal by Catherine Langford’s father. We have been given a mere glimpse at Catherine’s relationship with the gate in both the film and the series, but there is a very important piece of story that hasn’t been told, until now.We wanted to do a series about Catherine and as we researched her character within the Stargate cannon for this production, we were particularly inspired by Daniel Jackson’s eulogy [“Moebius, Part 1” -Ed.]. He said of Catherine, “She saw the world not for what it was, but for what it could be, and she saw potential in people that others failed to recognize. Like her father before her, her contributions to science have changed the world more than most people know. I, for one, have no idea where I would be today if I’d never met her.”
Stargate Origins aims to illuminate a key chapter of Catherine’s story, as a young adult, and provides added perspective on how the Stargate became her lifelong obsession.
GW: We don’t know a lot about Stargate Command, the new digital platform where the show will live. Do you have a launch date yet?
CO: We do! Stargate Command will officially launch on September 20, 2017. We view Stargate Command as the definitive hub for fans, giving them the ability to stream the ultimate Stargate library, receive regular updates on the latest Stargate news, participate in fan events, and interact with the Stargate community. Stargate Command will also be the exclusive home to the premiere of the full Stargate Origins series, which will debut on the platform later this year.
All Stargate Command members (free and All-Access) will get to see an exclusive preview of the first two episodes of Stargate Origins through mid-May.
CO: Stargate Command will host the ultimate collection of Stargate content. Stargate Command has assembled an editorial team that includes some of the franchise’s biggest fans, helping us create content that explores every facet of Stargate’s past, present, and future. As well as deep dives into Stargate canon, we’ll be creating regular quizzes, polls, and video content that remind us why we all love this incredible franchise.
It’s also no coincidence that Stargate Command is launching the same year in which Stargate SG-1 is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Over the next few months, Stargate Command will be at the heart of a whole series of SG-1 celebrations. We’ll be producing interviews with your favorite SG-1 cast and crew members as we look back on 10 amazing seasons of television.But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. From pre-production right through to premiere, Stargate Command will be giving fans a chance to get regular behind the scenes peeks into the Stargate Origins production all before it airs. With virtual tours of sets and locations, interviews with the crew, and fan Q&A opportunities with the cast, the access Stargate Command members will get to this new production is unprecedented.
GW: What kinds of additional content from the franchise will there be?
CO: One of our key goals was to spend the time really diving into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s (MGM) extensive archive of Stargate content. We have spent the past 10 months finding old favorites (DVD interviews with original Stargate SG-1 cast and crew) and some surprising treasures (props and scripts). It was literally a Stargate treasure hunt and we have only scratched the surface! We are committed to providing the most in-depth Stargate experience fans have ever seen. On initial launch, Stargate Command will showcase some of the original DVD bonus featurettes, and then roll out special behind the scenes content each week.
In addition to the above, we want to hear from the fans and are open to hearing what type of content they want to see on Stargate Command!
CO: Of course, no ultimate Stargate collection is complete without the shows and movies themselves. With Stargate Command: All-Access, fans will be able to stream hundreds of hours of Stargate content. Stargate Command will house every episode of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe, right alongside Stargate (the motion picture), Stargate: Ark of Truth, and Stargate: Continuum. Whether you are a lifelong fan wanting to revisit your favorite stories or someone looking to take their first steps through the gate, we believe you will be delighted with the amount of content we’ve assembled on this platform.
The library content will still be available through other channels, however the full Origins series will be exclusive to All-Access members of Stargate Command when it premieres on the platform later this year.
GW: Does Stargate Command include space for fan interaction, such as commenting or forums?CO: Yes! Community is a big part of Stargate Command. With Stargate Command, fans can participate in forums, polls, quizzes, and a lot more. In addition to posting and commenting on the forums, you can create your own profile, “like” content, and rise through ranks on Stargate Command, all the way to the coveted “Ascension” level. We’re excited to see the Stargate community come together.
GW: Alright, here’s what fans really want to know: How much will Stargate Command cost? Is it a monthly subscription?
CO: Stargate Command was built for the fans. Our goal is to provide the community with the ultimate Stargate experience — from content to community. There will be a lot of content and fan interactions that people can participate in for free. Some of the content will be available to people who purchase an All-Access membership pass for a one-time fee of $20.00. This pass grants you full access to stream all three movies (Stargate (the motion picture), Stargate: Ark of Truth, and Stargate: Continuum) and video extras.
You’ll also receive access to the production of Stargate Origins, from the writers’ room and pre-production through the show’s premiere, and have the exclusive opportunity to stream each 10-minute episode of Stargate Origins when it’s released later this year. As a bonus, All-Access members will also get a limited-edition digital version of the Stargate Origins pilot shooting script.
The Stargate Command All-Access pass will start with the launch of Stargate Command on September 20, 2017, and will run through mid-May 2018. However, you can actually get the pass right now! If you become an All-Access member during the pre-sale (before September 20, 2017), you will receive a limited edition pre-sale exclusive Stargate Command T-shirt!
While some premium content will no longer be available on the platform after mid-May, all fans will continue to have access to editorial, forums, and fan content, and at no additional cost.
GW: Will the platform (and Origins) be available worldwide? There are obviously rights issues that differ from one country to the next.CO: Stargate Command will officially launch on iOS, Android, and online on September 20, 2017, and is now available for pre-sale for U.S. audiences at: stargatecommand.co. When the full platform launches, Stargate Command will be available in the U.S. through the Internet, as well as the iTunes Store and Google Play.
Internationally, All-Access will be available for fans to purchase through app stores in the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.
All Stargate fans worldwide will have access to the free portion of the Stargate Command platform on September 20th. All-Access membership is available to U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and Canada. We will keep all of our worldwide Stargate fans updated on this launch.
Our thanks to Chris and the whole Stargate Command team for answering our questions so quickly this week.
Still have questions? Or ideas for what you’d like to see on Stargate Command? Post below and let MGM know what you want to see!
Stargate Origins itself is in pre-production, with a script written by Mark Ilvedson and Justin Michael Terry to be directed by Mercedes Bryce Morgan (Virtual Morality). Entertainment studio New Form will produce the show with MGM’s Digital Group, with 10 episodes approximately 10 minutes in length.
While you wait for more on the new show head over to StargateCommand.co to sign up, and keep your browser locked on GateWorld for full coverage of Stargate Command and Stargate Origins in the weeks ahead!