Today I got a sneak peek at Stargate Command, MGM’s new digital platform that will serve as Stargate’s new official online home. The service offers free content and a paid subscription service, and opens for business Wednesday, September 20.
I’ll leave it to you to explore the site after its official launch, but in the meantime I do want to share some first impressions for those eager for the next evolution of Stargate online.
- Articles, photos, quizzes … the site is full of them. There is a critical mass of content ready for launch, with a steady stream no doubt ready to follow in the days ahead. Post comments, share a video — all the bells and whistles we have come to expect from a well-made Web site. Since this is a site that also has a companion app, it’ll be easy to dip in and enjoy it in small bites while I’m on the go.
I can see myself popping in to read a quick article or look at production photos while waiting at the doctor’s office, or watching “Upgrades” during a longer train ride. (“We’ll need snacks!”)
- Stargate Origins will be the “killer app,” that thing that makes Stargate Command a must. And there is SGO material here right from the get-go, including the first installment of the new “Director’s Diary” series from Mercedes Bryce Morgan. I love rewatching and celebrating the previous shows, but I’m the sort of fan who is going to park on the “Feed” page and keep hitting ‘Refresh’ until I see more about the new series.
- Having every episode and film so easy to access will be icing on the cake: I love my Stargate SG-1 Complete Series boxed set, but honestly it’s been a while since I went through the effort of unfolding its elaborate packaging and waiting for a disc to load. In the digital age I’d rather stream something I can call up in seconds with my remote control, my phone, or a laptop.
- I can cast this to my TV. While the video player doesn’t have that little “Cast” icon I’ve come to know and love since buying a Google Chromecast, users of the Chrome browser can still easily cast it as a Web site to the television. Once you are set up for casting, just right-click anywhere on the site and choose “Cast …”
- Stargate Command is a labor of love. Some of the studio’s past efforts at creating an official online presence during the past two decades have felt somewhat sterile, products of a Vast Corporate Entity. This might be a vague and subjective thing to say, but Stargate Command feels more down-to-earth. It’s made by people who know and love Stargate, and they are really making efforts to get fans involved and put their fandom stories and their interests up front. (You’ll even see some familiar faces from GateWorld writing guest pieces from time to time.)
We’ve passed along to MGM some of your questions posted on Twitter, from app availability and device access to episode streaming quality. GateWorld will bring you those answers as soon as we have them.
Right now we can tell you that you’ll be able to view the site on the Web, and download the Stargate Command app on the Apple App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android) beginning Wednesday (in select countries).
All-Access will be available to folks in the United States, the U.K., Canada, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand starting tomorrow. But all of the site’s free content will still be accessible everywhere.
Although Stargate fans in other countries won’t be able to get all of what the studio is calling the platform’s “premium” content, Stargate Command does have something for everyone. If your love of Stargate focuses on one particular show or the entire universe, you’ll find lots of goodies here. (There’s also a handy way to filter the Feed by show.) And if you’re a long-time fan who thinks you’ve seen every photo and heard every anecdote, MGM is about to open the floodgates of the archives and show us things we’ve never seen.
New features, new stories — and new Stargate.
Stargate Command goes worldwide on Wednesday. After you’ve had a chance to check it out, come back here and tell us what you think! We’ll continue to provide full-coverage of the entire Stargate franchise here at GateWorld.
UPDATE: We continue our review here with post-launch analysis, including some hands-on testing of the site’s video streaming.