Last Friday was the finale episode of Stargate Atlantis, which was a spin-off of the original SG-1 show. But that's not the end of the Stargate franchise, far from it! There are indeed a few Stargate Atlantis films ahead. And last but not least, the Sci Fi Channel has decided to treat us with Stargate Universe, a new television show that will be the third entity in the live-action Stargate franchise.
With filming beginning next February Stargate Universe should start regular weekly airings on SCI FI in Summer 2009. Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper will serve as executive producers and writers.
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Like the first two series in the franchise, Stargate Universe will take place during the present time, not in the distant future. The show will be set on an Ancient ship, the Destiny, that was part of an Ancient experiment to seed the galaxies with Stargates millions of years ago but that was prematurely ended by the Ancients' ascension.
A second ship would follow up and explore, using the ninth and final gate chevron (whose purpose was previously unknown) to get to the first ship. A team of soldiers and scientists from Earth step through the Stargate to find the Destiny (which has a Stargate onboard) after their base is attacked. Unable to return to Earth, they must fend for themselves aboard the ship as it takes them to the far reaches of the universe.
The show will involve more space-based action than SG-1 or Atlantis, although Earth will play a part in SGU – but in a very unique way. "Survival and sacrifice" were the two main themes that were discussed at the preliminary script stages of the show. According to Brad Wright, the show will focus mostly on the people aboard the ship and will be getting away from ancient-seeded-humans. Hopefully exploring the truly alien, and avoiding the rubber faced English-speaking one. And unlike with SG-1 and Atlantis, there will be no single dominant villain race.
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Stargate Universe seems more mature than the previous shows for some details: I must admit that the previous convention stating every new human or alien race was speaking English was bugging me a bit. I'd love to see a sci-fi show that really strives to overcome a language barrier instead of ignoring it (or of lamely using a universal translator like in Star Trek or Farscape...). Also if it's more serialized, then we may hope to really explore instead of jumping from tidbit to tidbit.
I must say I'm damn impatient to watch Stargate Universe! I hope they won't wait too long to show a teaser or even a trailer of Stargate Universe once filming gets kick started!