A fan movement wants to bring ‘Stargate’ back to TV

SALT LAKE CITY — “Stargate” fans around the world are preparing to make a very loud noise for a singular purpose: to bring “Stargate” back to television.
Joe Mallozzi

The “Stargate” television franchise was developed after the 1994 film of the same title starring Kurt Russell and James Spader. “Stargate” began on Showtime before transitioning to Syfy, but lacked the graphic content familiar to cable television.

“I remember arguing quite vocally that there should be no nudity and no swearing,” said Brad Wright, co-creator of “Stargate.”

Three different series appeared on television beginning with “Stargate: SG-1” in 1997, “Stargate: Atlantis” in 2004, and “Stargate: Universe” in 2009. Altogether, 354 episodes aired before the last series was cancelled in 2011.

“I feel like the ‘Stargate’ world isn’t done,” said a fan from Utah on Twitter. “It just FEELS unfinished. I don’t know if that stems from the open-ended ending of (‘Stargate: Universe’), or the unlimited potential for more stories to be told, but it needs to happen.”

Bringing a cancelled television show back to life is difficult, but it can be done. From “Designing Women” in the 1980s to “Timeless” in 2017, fans have shown an ability to see their favorite shows resurrected.

Joe Mallozzi worked as a writer and executive producer on “Stargate” for over a decade, and said he regrets a cancellation occurred in the first place. Mallozzi wishes he could go back and be more forceful with studio executives in keeping “Stargate: Atlantis” on the air.

“I’m not saying the result would have been any different,” Mallozzi told the blog From the Desk of Kurt Manwaring. “But at least I’d have peace of mind knowing I did everything I could to try and make it happen.”

Kelli Zielinski and Tom Gardiner are among the nexus of fans behind the StargateNow movement who hope to bring Mallozzi peace of mind via a “Stargate” revival.

Kelli Zielinski

“The crew that’s been assembled for StargateNow includes a number of people that are well connected within the fan communities,” Zielinski said in a recent interview.

Both Zielinski and Gardiner worked on an unsuccessful effort to revive Syfy’s “Dark Matter” after it was cancelled in 2017.

“I think we’ll have success with ‘Stargate’ because, unlike ‘Dark Matter,’ we’re dealing with a studio (MGM) that actually wants to continue the story,” Gardiner said in an email interview.

Christopher Judge and Tom Gardiner, SDCC 2014

Fans see a number of reasons MGM may be interested in reviving “Stargate.”

“(‘Stargate’) made you think about how (to) treat others that were different from myself,” said Ginger White on Twitter. “It made me laugh and cry and gave me a desire to learn.”

“It’s often excellently written (sci-fi) and the characters are often like onions!” wrote Todd Eckard on Twitter. “You think you figured them out and then another layer comes off!”

“Stargate” fans aren’t the only ones who support the franchise. Tony Amendola is a “Stargate” actor who has encountered fans while performing at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah.

Tony Amendola, Photo by Kelsey Edwards

“All of the sudden you’ll meet a girl who’s 22 or 24 and she’ll say, ‘I used to watch that with my dad every single week,’” Amendola said in a recent interview. “So you know she was probably 12 or something at the time. It was something that families would do together.”

Actor Paul McGillion, who played Carson Beckett on “Stargate: Atlantis,” said he thinks the drive to revive “Stargate” is fantastic.

Paul McGillion, courtesy of Chad Colvin

“It’s a testament to how much ‘Stargate’ still means to people,” he said. “I think families watching a show together these days is a rare thing, and ‘Stargate’ really accommodates that … So while there’s a big universe to explore, and plenty of stories to tell, why not bring it back?”

According to Mallozzi, fans want a fourth in-canon ‘Stargate’ series written by Brad Wright and Robert Cooper. He’s convinced a revival is a possibility.

“I know that MGM is considering launching a fourth ‘Stargate’ series,” he said. “At this point, it’s just a matter of when.”

The StargateNow movement has gathered more than 10,000 Twitter followers in a matter of days and is issuing a call for support to “Stargate” fans everywhere. Their goal is to trend on Twitter on March 9 in a manner so unmistakable MGM will move forward sooner than later.

To learn more or get involved, visit StargateNow on FacebookTwitter, or view announcements on Joe Mallozzi’s blog.

*This was originally published in the Deseret News on March 5, 2018.

By Kurt Manwaring

Writer. History nerd. Latter-day Saint.

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