Welcome back to Stargate Command, my fellow sci-fi friends.
In continuing with my homage to the Stargate franchise, this week I’d like to feature one of my favorite all-time science fiction series.
When I first saw the movie in 1994, I hoped there would be a follow-up. After all, it stood to reason that there had to be more of Ra’s kind out in the universe.
I waited and waited and nothing came down the pike about a second movie.
What did come down the pike, though, was even better.
Showtime was developing a series!
And on July 27, 1997, the new series debuted. My dream had come true. I would have the opportunity to follow the intrepid adventurers through the Stargate (or Astria Porta if you speak Ancient or Chappa’ai if you are a Goa’uld).
The season 1 premiere episode of Stargate SG-1, Children of the Gods, takes place one year after the events of the movie. The Stargate has been closed up and put under guard after Col. Jack O’Neill and his two remaining soldiers returned from Abydos. O’Neill has gone back into retirement and Dr. Jackson (although reported dead) was still living on Abydos with his wife, Sha’re and her people.
Word reached the rest of the Goa’uld, that their leader and most powerful System Lord Ra, has been destroyed. They send one of the vilest “gods” of their race to deliver payback on Earth.
Apophis, brother of Ra, and his Jaffa soldiers, come through the Stargate on Earth, kill the bored card-playing guards, kidnap a female airman and all hell breaks loose. O’Neill is called out of retirement (again), the truth about the expedition to Abydos is finally revealed and a new and horrible threat to humanity is discovered.
Instead of the serious and melancholy character of O’Neil in the movie, we are introduced to a different character for O’Neill (they even added an extra L to his name) played hilariously and superbly by Richard Dean Anderson (Macgyver). Daniel Jackson’s role was taken over by Michael Shanks and new characters, General George Hammond (Don S. Davis), Captain Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping) and the Jaffa Teal’c (Christopher Judge) round out the new team.
Once it is found out that the Stargate can dial other planets, the President of the United States orders Stargate Commandre-opened, fully staffed and funded. Several teams are created to scout out these planets, make contact with the natives, find weapons, technologies and allies to aid in the war against the Goa’uld.
Thus, a new series is born!
Showtime played host to the series for the first 5 years, at which time the Sci-Fi (Syfy) channel took over. The show lasted a total of 10 years before ending. However, some of the characters reprised their roles in made for DVD/TV movies (which I’ll discuss in a few weeks) as well as showing up a few times on Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe.
So that’s the bare bones about the start of this series. Next week, I’ll travel a little deeper into this awesome series by talking about some of the enemies of the SGC.
Until then, here is one of my favorite quotes from the début episode:
Carter: Amazing! This is what was missing from the dig in Giza. (laughs) This is how they’d control it ! It took us fifteen years and three super-computers to Macgyver a system for the gate on Earth.
(O’Neill lifts his eyebrows when Carter says the word Macgyver.)