Stargate Origins brought the venerable science fiction franchise back to the small screen for the first time in nearly seven years. But was the 10-part Web series a one-and-done affair? Or will it be back to tell another origin story?
MGM has not announced a second season of Stargate Origins yet, but there are some hints that an ongoing anthology series might have been the original plan. Origins was announced at San Diego Comic-Con in July of 2017, set to debut on a brand new streaming platform: Stargate Command. There was every indication from the studio that MGM was using the lower-budget, lower-risk project to test the waters — to see what life might still be in the brand.
So if Origins did well enough, couldn’t a totally different story be told for Season Two?
Here’s everything we know so far about the Web series’ renewal prospects (as of February 2019), what sort of story might be told, and when it could be ready to premiere.
Stargate Origins went before cameras in October 2017, and by February it had made its big premiere online at Stargate Command. Set in 1939, Origins starred Ellie Gall starred as a young Catherine Langford, whose father had discovered the Stargate at the Giza plateau in 1928.
After Dr. Langford (played by Connor Trinneer) is captured by Nazis and taken through the gate to the distant planet Abydos, Catherine recruits her beau James Beal (a British officer stationed in Cairo, played by Philip Alexander) and Egyptian soldier Wasif (Shvan Aladdin) to help her rescue him.
It was clear to viewers from the beginning that this was a one-off story. Origins was self-contained, meant to last just the one season. In fact it really was a single movie, split up into 10 parts for online consumption. As the series debuted Gall even said that a second season of Stargate Origins would be “someone else’s story.”
After the Web series finished its initial run a feature cut was released at digital retail — offering Stargate fans another clue about MGM’s long-term strategy. It carries the title Stargate Origins: Catherine. That seems to suggest that there might be other stories yet to be told under the “Stargate Origins” banner.
So if Stargate Origins were to return for another round, don’t expect any of the same cast (or even the creatives). It would be a totally different story about different characters, set in a different era, and maybe not even on Earth …
WHO’S UP NEXT?
Which character or species from the vast Stargate universe deserves to have its backstory explored in what is effectively a mini-movie event? We can think of a few we’d like to see.
The most talked-about idea for a second season of Stargate Origins is the Jaffa — specifically, Master Bra’tac (played by Tony Amendola through ten seasons of Stargate SG-1). He’s a fan favorite, and at 140-something years old he sure has a lot of history to tell.
Bra’tac was already a seasoned warrior and elder statesman, First Prime of Apophis, when Catherine Langford was trying to get a Stargate program up and running on Earth. Heck, the Jaffa are so long-lived that Amendola (who is now 67, according to IMDb) could play the character as a much younger man!
We know from flashbacks (“Threshold”) that Bra’tac served Apophis reluctantly. For many years he sewed the seeds of skepticism and liberation among the warriors he trained. It might be that the Free Jaffa movement as a whole — which spans many planets and armies in the service of many different Goa’uld — ultimately arose from Bra’tac’s careful, quiet influence.
That’s a story worth telling: not only Bra’tac’s origins as a leader of the resistance, but the origins of the Jaffa resistance movement itself.
Writer and actor Christopher Judge has said publicly on more than one occasion — including MGM’s own Stargate panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 — that this is a story he wants to tell. That would apparently mean writing it (and potentially scoring a producer’s credit), in addition to putting in an appearance as Bra’tac’s star pupil, Teal’c.
There are plenty of other directions Season Two of Origins could go — even if the writers chose to stay away from Earth entirely. Stargate has more than 350 episodes of mythology under its belt. So how about an origins story about the Ancients, the construction of the gate network, and the plague that nearly wiped them out? Or a season of Stargate Origins all about the first Tok’ra — the Goa’uld’s own internal resistance movement — and the leadership of their queen, Egeria?
WHAT IS MGM DOING?
One thing we do know: As of February 1, 2019, MGM has not given the go-ahead to Season Two of Stargate Origins — not as another 10-part, stand-alone Web series. As many ideas as there are out there, the studio was not yet ready to commit to another season after Catherine’s story was finished early in 2018.
The production process takes time, of course. If Stargate Origins Season Two were going to premiere before the end of this year, it would probably have to go into pre-production right now. So the longer MGM waits to announce something, the more likely it is that that project won’t hit our screens before 2020.
We do know, however, that they are doing something. The Stargate franchise is an important part of the MGM library, and whatever the next step is — they want to get it right. This calculation may entail the cold reality that some long-time fans found the Origins Web series to be under-budgeted and off brand.
To do Stargate justice, the studio is going to have to do it right. They’ll need to spend the money, and have the right creative talent in place to tell a story more in keeping with what made millions of fans worldwide fall in love with that big, round portal.
Who will that be? It remains to be seen — but long-time executive producer Brad Wright has stated publicly that he and MGM are talking about Stargate again — and, evidently, working on developing a new project.
Whether that next thing falls under the Stargate Origins banner, or strikes off in a new direction, remains to be seen.
Wright co-created Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe. And so he really is the father of the franchise — the “Great Bird of the Galaxy” (to borrow a nickname from another sci-fi family). New, in-canon Stargate content from his creative mind would really be an ideal next step.
In the meantime, we wait. We wait for MGM to pull back the curtain on those conversations, and the fruit they will ultimately bear. Here at GateWorld, we think 2019 is going to be an important year.
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