When Stargate premiered in 1994, co-starring Kurt Russell and James Spader, I don’t think anybody could have predicted that it would launch a sci-fi franchise that would give Star Trek a run for its money in terms of spinoffs and longevity. Still, with Trek set to return to TV this fall, it seems oddly appropriate that the Stargate franchise is also staging a comeback, this time in the form of a new digital series called Stargate Origins.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced the project this past week during San Diego Comic-Con. Stargate Origins will consist of 10 episodes, streaming exclusively from a new site called Stargate Command. Origins will be a prequel to the 1994 film (and the spinoff shows that followed), focusing on Catherine Langford. Series fans will remember her as the daughter of Paul Langford, an archaeologist whose discovery of the Stargate in 1928 kicked everything off in the first place. Played by Viveca Lindfors in the original film, Catherine returned for the TV spinoffs, played by various actresses at various ages before being killed off in season 8 of Stargate SG-1. As reported by the LA Times, Stargate Origins will find Catherine “exploring the mysteries of the Stargate in an attempt to save Earth.”
In a statement, Kevin Conroy, president of digital and new platforms at MGM, said:
We’ve been eager to revisit the Stargate franchise, and create an all-new story that honors the founding mythos and gives loyal fans more mystery and adventure. We view Stargate Origins as a thank you to fans who have been keeping the spirit of the franchise alive for nearly 25 years.
Origins will be directed by Mercedes Bryce Morgan and written by Mark Ilvedson and Justin Michael Terry. Morgan’s previous directorial credits are mostly short films. Stargate Origins is the first produced credit for Ilvedson and Terry, at least according to IMDb.
While Stargate Origins is set to begin filming in August, Stargate Command will launch this fall, presumably giving fans early looks at the show in the months leading up to its premiere. Chris Ottinger, president of worldwide television distribution and acquisitions at MGM, said in the statement:
We saw a need for a definitive hub for the Stargate fanbase to continue to enjoy news and content, both old and new. Stargate Command will open a new door for the community to celebrate and interact with all content in a way that has never been done before.
Whether Origins will help restore Stargate to its former glory remains to be seen. Prior to MGM’s announcement, the last we’d heard about plans for the franchise was in November 2016, when Stargate co-creator Dean Devlin told Empire Online that plans for a reboot film trilogy had slid into development hell. Hopefully, Stargate Origins will reignite interest in the world of Stargate and help kickstart the franchise. It’s been buried for long enough.