Changes afoot in the Stargate Universe…

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johnjacketIt has emerged that the fifth season of Stargate Atlantis will be the last one, and will be replaced by a new, third show: Stargate Universe.

The Stargate spin-off will end its regular run this season, instead focusing on movie production (much in the same way SG-1 continued through Ark of Truth and Continuum).

I’m reluctant to use the word “cancelled”.  A show is cancelled when it ceases to be useful, affordable and the network no longer want it, usually due to dismal ratings. 

While Atlantis’s ratings haven’t been great, but they’re good for SCI-FI and have been steady.  Additionally, the continuation of the the franchise through the Atlantis movies, Universe show and potential further SG-1 movies shows that there is still a good deal of faith in the Stargate brand.

Many journalists will lock onto the word cancelled and portray this announcement in a negative light.  I view it more as an evolution of Stargate; perhaps renovation needed to keep it fresh and profitable into the future.  It’s risky, yes, but it’s probably necessary.

Stargate Universe, in the mean time, will launch in 2009; a new TV series set aboard an Ancient ship called the Destiny.  Full coverage. can be found here.  SCI-FI describes the show thus:

After unlocking the mystery of the Stargate’s ninth chevron, a team of explorers travels to an unmanned starship called the Destiny, launched by The Ancients at the height of their civilization as a grand experiment set in motion, but never completed.

What starts as a simple reconnaissance turns into a never ending mission, as the Stargate Universe crew discovers the ship is unable to return to Earth, and they must now fend for themselves aboard the Destiny.

The crew will travel to the far reaches of the universe, connecting with each of the previously launched Stargates, thus fulfilling the Destiny’s original mission. Challenges will arise though as the ship comes into range of Stargates placed centuries ahead of the Destiny and the crew is unable to control the ship’s navigational schedule. If someone is left behind, there is no way to go back for them, adding to the drama of encountering new races, enemies and adventures.

It’s an excellent concept.  Then again, so was Atlantis.

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