How close are Stargate fans to getting a brand new, fourth series on the air? According to former Stargate executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, we’re about five chevrons into the 7-chevron dialing sequence.
“How much progress and how close are we?” Mallozzi said on Reddit today. “Well, someone asked me how many chevrons have been locked. I told them five.”
It echoes sentiments that Mallozzi wrote on his blog back in July — that “truth be told, we’ve never been closer to a fourth Stargate series. … Long-suffering Stargate fans may finally be rewarded. Provided a few crucial pieces fall into place.”
The project long in development comes from creator Brad Wright, who co-created the three previous TV series and is confirmed to be developing a new project for the franchise. He’s been working on something for nearly two years now, and the COVID-19 pandemic has very likely pushed back pitches, an official pick-up, and/or a production start. Wright himself said in the spring that he is still trying to get the project going.
Mallozzi served as a writer and executive producer on all three television series, joining the Stargate SG-1 writers room in the show’s fourth season. After Stargate he went on to co-create Syfy Channel’s Dark Matter (with his Stargate writing partner Paul Mullie). Most recently he worked as a writer and producer on Hulu’s sci-fi themed musical drama Utopia Falls.
While he has no officially announced ties to a fourth Stargate show, of course he does know Wright. In recent weeks Mallozzi has made further comments on his blog, on Twitter, and on Reddit. If we sew all these together (and assuming Mallozzi has been fully read in on the pitch), we begin to gather a bit more intel on just what form Wright’s long-gestating project might take.
Here are three things we didn’t know (for sure) at the start of the summer:
In multiple places Mallozzi refers to Wright’s project as a “Stargate series.” That’s great news, as it suggests some sort of ongoing show — as opposed to a one-off movie, or other project with a more limited scope.
Remember, in 2018 MGM put out Stargate Origins in the form of 10 short webisodes. Two years ago the best fans were hoping for was a second season of the same, but perhaps more connected to the TV mythology.
On the other hand, “series” does not rule out something that is planned to have a contained story with a set end point. This may not be the second coming of Stargate SG-1, with a brilliant premise that runs for a decade. But hopefully it would run for at least three seasons of around 10 episodes each, which has become Netflix’s preferred model for its original scripted dramas.
Unlike MGM’s decision in 2014 to reboot Stargate on the big screen, Brad Wright’s project won’t rewrite years of history and mythology. Instead it will continue on where Stargate SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe left off, set within the same continuity and not rebooting anything. Of course that’s the case, since Wright led the writers in shaping that universe over 14 years of production.
What Mallozzi has newly confirmed is what we all hoped and expected for this project: Its setting will allow for familiar faces to make a return — an extensive cast of characters (and the actors who played them) from 17 seasons of Stargate. “If the new #Stargate series [Brad Wright] is working on gets off the ground,” he said, “we’ll be seeing quite a few familiar faces.”
And while we shouldn’t expect main cast members from the previous shows to sign up for main cast duties on a new series, we will at least get to catch up with them through guest appearances.
— Joseph Mallozzi (@BaronDestructo) September 5, 2020
Who would you most like to see on screen in 2021? Want to see if McKay and Zelenka are still sparring in the corridors of Atlantis all these years later? Has General Mitchell (or maybe General Lorne) assumed command of the S.G.C.? Has the Stargate been made public? Need some on-screen confirmation that Sam and Jack ended up together?
And then there are the cliffhangers. What about the Destiny crew?
When we last saw Colonel Young, Dr. Rush, Eli, and the crew of the Destiny they were going into long-term stasis (“Gauntlet”). They hoped to survive the ship’s long voyage between galaxies, facing a long journey on minimal power reserves. They were even short one stasis pod: when the series faded out in 2011, Eli (David Blue) knew he had to either fix the last pod or sacrifice himself for his shipmates.
“If Brad is successful in getting the fourth Stargate series picked up, he already has plans for the Destiny,” Mallozzi wrote on Reddit.
After SGU was cancelled, Wright reportedly pitched an epic crossover movie that would draw from all three shows’ casts on a mission to rescue the crew of the Destiny. The fact that Wright is the one who is now developing a new show means that all those possibilities, all those percolating ideas, would not be lost to the ages.
At any rate, a new series from Wright’s imagination would give space to address not only the fate of Destiny crew but many other lingering questions as well. Where is Atlantis today? Did the city ship return to the Pegasus Galaxy (as was the plan for the scrapped sixth season, as well as the unproduced movie Stargate: Extinction)? Did Destiny accomplish its mission to discover the secret to the origins of the universe?
These questions should be answered in a new #Stargate series.
— Joseph Mallozzi (@BaronDestructo) September 5, 2020
So what’s the hold-up? It’s been more than two years since MGM dipped its toe back into the Stargate franchise with the Web series Stargate Origins. And it’s been 20 months since Wright first told us that he was actively working on a new project with MGM.
Since then fans have understandably grown impatient, as week after week rolls by without an announcement about Stargate from the studio in a new Golden Age of streaming television. While streaming services old and new are pouring out dump trucks of cash for original programming, Stargate continues to hang on the vine as a property with a built-in audience that is ripe for the picking.
But in TV and film production it takes time to get all the ducks in a row — especially in the era of COVID. But today many series that film in Vancouver and other parts of Canada are finally getting back to work, with shooting dates ramping up in the fall.
“Five chevrons locked” may not indicate that MGM has found a home for the show yet. (Maybe that’s Chevron 6?) Elsewhere on the Reddit thread Mallozzi reiterated that the time may come for fans to petition the likes of Amazon, Apple, and FOX.
“This has been a surprisingly long process,” Mallozzi said. “My initiative (the tweetstorms) was part of a concerted fan effort to convince the studio that: a) Stargate fans want and would support a new Stargate series, and b) said series should NOT be a reboot that would wipe out some 20 years of stories and characters, but a new show set within the established Stargate universe that would appeal to new fans, but also reward long-suffering fans with guest appearances, cameos, Easter eggs and the answer to many of their burning questions.
“THAT proved challenging. But progress was finally made with the announcement that Brad was once again in talks with MGM. Since then, things have progressed — but the pandemic has thrown a wrench into things (across the industry).
Two years and five chevrons later, and it may nearly be time to gear up to go through the wormhole.
Keep your browser locked on GateWorld.net for the latest updates on the next Stargate series! Meanwhile, we’d love to hear your thoughts and questions below: What do you want to see out of a fourth Stargate series?