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Comic(s) Relief: Unfilmed Stargate Movie Script May Become Comic

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Stargate AtlantisWhether you were a fan or not, you have to admire Stargate’s staying power. The original 1994 film was good fun, but I don’t think anybody could have guessed that it would eventually spawn three separate spin-off series, not to mention several TV movies. That’s bordering on Star Trek levels or proliferation. Alas, just as it was for Trek in the aftermath of Enterprise’s cancellation, Stargate’s future was uncertain. And again just like Trek, Stargate is headed for a reboot, a planned trilogy of new films. I’m sure many Stargate won’t be pleased to see their beloved franchise rolled back to square one, but here’s some good news: some original-recipe Stargate may be headed your way in comics form.

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Hulu Picks Up State Of Syn Webseries Starring Stargate/Firefly Vets

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Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had good news about a new Stargate or Firefly TV series? Hell, even mentioning those words is enough to whip many a fan up into a frenzy of foaming, twitching anticipation. Sadly, the closest we’re going to get to those anytime soon are the Stargate reboot trilogy and the Serenity comic series. But we do have a small consolation prize for the devoted, in the form of a new web series that’s chockablock with actors from Stargate: Atlantis and Firefly (okay, only one from the latter, but Jewel Staite is adorable and thus counts as several people). Welcome to the State of Syn, a new web series that just signed a deal to premiere the rest of its episodes on Hulu. Check out the first episode below.

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Farscape’s Ben Browder Could Have Starred In Stargate Atlantis

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BrowderIt’s one of science fiction’s great miscarriages of justice that Farscape lead Ben Browder hasn’t seen his career absolutely blow up in the aftermath of that beloved series. Don’t get me wrong, there was no shortage of talent filling out that cast, but Browder displayed such charisma and talent in the role of wayward astronaut John Crichton, he deserves much more than occasionally popping up on TV and causing fans to mutter “Why hasn’t he got his own show again?” (And no, Doctor Who absolutely wasting him for an episode doesn’t count.) This is a guy who was Nathan Fillion before Nathan Fillion was Nathan Fillion, but he never got his Castle, if that makes sense. The closest he’s come to getting that second act he deserves is an ongoing role in the later seasons of Stargate SG-1, but he almost landed an even bigger role in the franchise, as one of the leads on Stargate Atlantis.

Back in 2003, after four all-too-short seasons on the Sci-Fi Channel — back before the dark times, before Syfy — Farscape ended its run in truly painful fashion, leaving fans with a heartbreakingly frustrating cliffhanger episode with the on-the-nose title of “Bad Timing.” Around that same time, Stargate producers were putting together the franchise’s second TV spinoff, Stargate Atlantis. Given that Browder had been absolutely killing it as Crichton on Farscape, and the actor had met several of the Stargate producers at conventions, it’s not surprising to learn that the Powers That Be behind Atlantis had Browder on their short list for the lead of Major John Sheppard, eventually played by Joe Flanigan. So why didn’t Browder get the role?

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Yeager Broke The Sound Barrier And Wells Defied Gravity: Today In Science And Science Fiction

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YeagerChuck Yeager Breaks the Sound Barrier
There are plenty of ways you could make a name for yourself in this world, some positive and all too many negative. Maybe you become a scientist and cure cancer. Maybe you drink and get behind the wheel, resulting in tragic circumstances. Maybe you’re just a really nice person who makes a positive difference in the lives of all those around you. But if you had “climb into a metal tube and fly faster than the speed of sound” on your list, I’m afraid you’re too late. Chuck Yeager beat you to it, on this very day in 1947.

Having flown 64 missions over Europe during World War II, after the war Yeager volunteered to fly the experimental X-1 planes, built by Bell Aircraft Company to see if it was possible to achieve supersonic flight. It was previously theorized that any craft trying to cross that barrier would be destroyed in the attempt. Thumbing his nose at such namby-pamby talk, on October 14, 1947, Yeager and the X-1 were hauled into the air by a B-29. There, in the skies above Rogers Dry Lake in southern California, Yeager pushed the X-1 to 40,000 feet and faster than 662 miles per hour, an act so manly it created shockwave that sprouted a thick, luxurious beard on the chin of every man, woman, and child within a 50-mile radius. He later bested his 1947 record, hitting 1,650 mph inside an X-1A in 1953.

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Stargate TV Writer Ponders The Future Of The Franchise

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SG1As somebody who never got into the various Stargate series while they were airing, it still boggles my mind that the 1994 film spawned such a successful TV franchise. Three series unfolding over some 15 years — that might not equal Star Trek or Star Wars levels of success, but in a TV landscape where science fiction series are usually killed swiftly, it’s no mean feat. Stargate has been in limbo since the demise of SGU in 2011, but producer Roland Emmerich recently revealed that he’s trying to resurrect the franchise as a new, rebooted trilogy. That’s good news for Stargate fans, but what about for one of the guys who helped shepherd all three TV spin-offs over the years?

Joseph Mallozzi served as executive producer and writer on Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, and Stargate: Universe. If anybody has the credentials to comment on the future of the franchise, it’s this guy. And comment he did, taking to his blog last week to share his thoughts on where Stargate could — and should — go from here.

He first addresses the concept that’s on deck: rebooting Stargate on the big screen. Mallozzi points to the success of J.J. AbramsStar Trek films as a template of potential success a rebooted Stargate could enjoy. Except…this summer has not been kind to big-budget would-be blockbusters. While there were some expensive successes these past few months, there were also a ton of costly duds: White House Down, The Lone Ranger, and RIPD, to name but a few. Mallozzi says:

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Stargate Atlantis’ Sixth Season Would Have Included A Moon Base And Time Travel

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Stargate AtlantisThere are tons of infamous roads-not-taken when it comes to science fiction television. What if the original Star Trek had been such a hit that it completed its five-year mission on TV? What if Babylon 5 didn’t have to adjust its arc when they thought they weren’t getting a season five? What if The Lone Gunmen had become a breakout hit that far eclipsed the success of its parent series, The X-Files? Okay, admittedly some of these are less likely than others. But here’s one you probably haven’t heard about: what would have happened if Stargate Atlantis had gotten a sixth season?

Atlantis writer Joseph Mallozi recently took to his blog and revealed some details about where the show would have gone in a hypothetical sixth season. He explains that, as the fifth season was wrapping up, the writers were unsure whether the show would continue with another season, or perhaps a standalone movie, or (as the case proved to be) not at all. To hedge their bets, they decided to pen a two-part season opener that could also be repurposed as a direct-to-DVD movie (to be titled Stargate: Extinction). Sadly, neither saw the light of day.

Mallozi reveals that the movie/premiere would have opened on the moon, which is apparently where Atlantis has relocated (full disclosure: I’ve never seen an episode of Atlantis, so you’ll have to forgive any incorrect assumptions I make). I’ll let Mallozi take it from here: