By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The news arrived a few weeks ago during San Diego Comic-con (SDCC) about a prequel series for the Stargate franchise. Afterwards, I had to rewatch the movie, read the novels, see the entire television series to find clues to answer myself about what I loved from the franchise which defines the experience and maybe answer where Origins may go.
In the episode “Torment of Tantalus,” Catherine Langford (Elizabeth Hoffman) revealed how the science team managed to activate the wormhole transportation tube. She lost her fiancée, Ernest Littlefield (Paul McGillion) in those early experiments and I can see how the 10 episode series can expand on this central plot. No details were offered at SDCC other than Mark Ilvedson and Justin Michael Terry are attached to writing this pilot season. The only detail revealed is that it will revolve around the daughter of archaeologist Paul Langford (who discovered the mysterious metallic ring). The timeline is tight. Filming is supposedly starting in August.
This series has the potential to be great, and it will have to be set in the 1940’s. This era sometimes gets no love. Just look at Agent Carter, which ended at season two.
The episode where Cat lost her love may well be the catalyst to see her set forth on a quest to recovery, and maybe uncover some mysteries to the Stargate’s origin in hopes of maybe bringing her fiancée back from the dead. The timeline has been changed enough due to the shenanigans of the SG-1 team to perhaps alter a few facts. Maybe she is aware Ernest is not dead.
The technology of the post-war era will not be able to activate the gate from Earth, but it will not stop travellers from coming to this planet. Perhaps Catherine will meet them and they will take her on some far off adventures to realize this gate can take her to exotic places. She will have to return to encounter with Samantha Carter and Daniel Jackson in 1969, because they needed her help in getting back to their point in time.
In addition to seeing gangsters and the world where the global economy will not see investments into technology, this time is also ripe for the pulps. Exploration into the unknown is still possible, mostly into the jungles of Africa and South America. The concept is ripe to create a series as Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich first intended; the movie had a pulp fiction feel and that never carried through in later seasons of SG-1. I loved the early seasons. The later ones, not so much.
As Catherine will be key to tying the series together as revealed in the teaser poster, this young lady will be in her teens. I would love to see a strong female lead joining expeditions to look for another Stargate. Another exists in Antarctica; it was accidentally discovered following a misfire when Sam (Amanda Tapping) and Jack (Richard Dean Anderson) were travelling in the gate and it sent them to the wrong one. Perhaps more exists ala the strange alien theories revealed in “Ancient Aliens”. The gate does not have to be a ring, but rather just a doorway made out of concrete.
Adventure in the style of unearthing archaeological mysteries will be key to this particular series’ success. Sadly, to see the original creators get stonewalled in their attempt to reboot the series has fans like me upset. I have always loved the film above all other iterations for its foray into how Egyptian motifs are interpreted. If Stargate is to make a massive comeback, I feel Origins is the right step to look back into years of history than to leap forward to a plain sci-fi schtick. My hopes the writers will look into the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs and H.G. Wells for inspiration.