Fans around the world are joining together for a series of social media events in early March for a common goal: to bring “Stargate” back to televsion.
“I know that MGM is considering launching a fourth Stargate series,” said Joseph Mallozzi, a longtime “Stargate” writer and producer in an interview with “From the Desk of Kurt Manwaring.” At this point, it’s just a matter of when.”
In a matter of days, the StargateNow movement has attracted nearly 10,000 Twitter followers and the growth shows little sign of slowing down.
Kelli Zielinski and Tom Gardiner are two of the fans behind the online effort. Both were hesitant to be identified personally because they did not want to set themselves apart as more important than any other fan.
However, to spread the word and play their part in bringing “Stargate” back to television, both Zielinski and Gardiner have agreed to speak with Fromthedesk.
Kurt Manwaring: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got involved in the StargateNow effort.
Kelli Zielinski: My name is Kelli Zielinski. I’m a quality assurance engineer by day in the Seattle, WA area, and I’m a close to lifelong sci-fi lover. I spent a lot of my teenage years writing stories about traveling the stars and all kinds of adventures, sometimes acting out the adventures out in the yard (it’s really a miracle I never broke any bones attempting to dodge phaser fire out of a tree).
I became involved in StargateNow as an extension of my involvement in the similar campaign for the show “Dark Matter,” which was cancelled last year by Syfy.
I was one of the fans that messaged Joseph Mallozzi to offer up my help, and I helped head up the team that managed the Twitter campaigns. When Joe started talking about starting a campaign with the goal of getting another full length “Stargate” series produced by Brad Wright and Robert C Cooper, my background with already working on a similar campaign and all the moving parts made me eager to do it again for the Stargate Initiative (aka StargateNow).
Tom Gardiner: My name is Tom Gardiner and I’ve been a huge fan of science fiction ever since I was a very young child. My first scifi loves were “Lost In Space” and “Star Trek”. I still remember being a small child sitting with my dad while he would explain some of the science in the shows. Those times are still some of the fondest memories I have of my childhood.
I got involved in the StargateNow effort after being part of the DarkMatterFTL Drive campaign back in September 2017. I am a huge fan of both “Dark Matter” and “Stargate” so naturally I’m a fan of the works of Brad Wright, Robert Cooper, Joseph Mallozzi, and Paul Mullie.
Even though the show didn’t get picked up, we had a lot of fun with the DarkMatterFTL Drive and I discovered I truly enjoyed these Twitter campaigns.
We also made a huge impact on Twitter, trending around the world, thanks to a passionate fan base. The “Stargate” franchise has an even bigger fan base so our expectations are that we’ll surpass the amazing involvement we saw with “Dark Matter”.
Kurt Manwaring: You also helped with a similar effort to revive “Dark Matter” that was unsuccessful. Why do you think the Stargate effort will succeed?
Kelli Zielinski: One advantage that Stargate has over many shows is it’s very expansive and deeply rooted fanbase. “Stargate SG-1” premiered in 1997, and as such has had over 20 years to gain fans.
The overwhelming sentiment is that the fans miss “Stargate,” and the fans have been ready for another series for years.
The crew that’s been assembled for StargateNow includes a number of people that are well connected within the fan communities, allowing us to reach these massive groups of fans that have been waiting for an opportunity such as this to make their voices heard.
Tom Gardiner: Yes, the effort to revive “Dark Matter” was unsuccessful in getting the show back on the air, but I consider the social media drive a success thanks to the involvement of thousands of fans from every continent except Antarctica.
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.
Knowing they’re eager to move forward coupled with their desire for fan input gives me great hope that we will succeed.
Kurt Manwaring: Do you appreciate the family values aspect of Stargate programming? How so?
Kelli Zielinski: I do. Something I particularly appreciate about “Stargate” is that it demonstrates people learning about people who are different than them and coming to accept them.
It shows people overcoming conflict and working together in healthy ways, and caring about each other.
The characters are relatable: they make mistakes, they forgive, they adapt, and those are all the qualities that not only work well in an ensemble show, but they are also very human qualities.
I’m proud to be a part of an effort for a show that has been frequently cited as one that people raised their kids on; that generation of kids raised on “Stargate” are going onto do great things.
Tom Gardiner: Absolutely!
On the surface, the shows seem like sci-fi adventures through a portal to anywhere in the universe, but at its core it’s about family.
Every character on the show expressed concern for the other characters. There were even times when the “bad guys” switched sides because our protagonists treated them with concern and dignity. These are hallmarks of family values and I respect that more than I can express.
Also, I raised two daughters on the “Stargate” series and I credit the franchise for helping guide both of my girls into STEM fields. I’m the proud father of a Nuclear Engineer/Physicist and and Industrial Engineer.
Both of my girls will cite “Stargate” as one of the primary influences on their career decisions.
Because of this, I have a great respect for the franchise and especially for the original creative team behind it. This is another reason why I’m so eagerly involved in the StargateNow effort.
Kurt Manwaring: Who is Joe Mallozzi and what role does he play in the effort?
Kelli Zielinski: Joe Mallozzi is a fantastic producer and person. He was a producer on “Stargate SG-1,” “Stargate: Atlantis,” and “Stargate Universe.” He went on to create the comic, “Dark Matter,” with Paul Mullie (which served as the basis for the show of the same name).
Joe is not only a catalyst for this effort to get started, but he’s a huge fan of Stargate and sees the empty spot that’s been left without it.
He brought together the people that formed the StargateNow team, he is an endless source of information, and he leverages his blog to spread the word.
He’s extremely knowledgeable and always makes himself available as a resource for anything the team needs.
Tom Gardiner: Joe Mallozzi is one of the most talented and creative people I know. He and writing partner Paul Mullie joined “Stargate” at the beginning of the 4th season of “SG-1” and went on to be involved in all three series for the remaining duration of their long television runs.
In the case of StargateNow, Joe is really one of us – a fan.
He has an incredible amount of respect for the talents of Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, and as a fan he wants “Stargate” back and in the right hands creatively, as do we all.
Kurt Manwaring: Why do you want a fourth in-canon version of Stargate—and why is now the perfect time for a new sci-fi show?
Tom Gardiner: I would like a fourth in-canon version of “Stargate” because I’m obviously a big fan, but it’s more than that.
We’re in what has been called the “second golden age of television” and the values “Stargate” espoused were those that brought out the best in people. It was filled not only with adventure, but also optimism and love.
The human race can always use more examples of people being better, people helping others, and just good, old fun.
Very few shows have ever delivered on that as well as “Stargate” did.
Kurt Manwaring: What are the details of the campaign (i.e., when does it start, how do people get involved, etc.)?
Tom Gardiner: The campaign will be held on Friday, March 9 at 6pm PT – 9pm ET with a rehearsal drive the Friday before (March 2) at the same times.
Since “Stargate” is an international sensation, we are making the drives two-parters with a second run of both on the Saturday after for our fans around the globe.
These international events will begin at 7pm GMT.
We welcome everyone from everywhere and hope all “Stargate” fans will join us for what is certain to be a wonderful time celebrating one of the most beloved sci-fi franchises in history.
Selected quotes from this interview were used in a March 5, 2018 article in the Deseret News.