The Sci-Fi Channel has picked up Stargate Universe, in a move widely expected by critics following yesterday’s announcement that Stargate Atlantis will finish its run at the end of its fifth season, currently airing on the channel in the United States.
“This is an opportunity to reinvent this franchise and make it relevant to a new generation,” Sci-Fi’s president Dave Howe said on the new series. “We really don’t want to be more of the same. It’s going to build clearly off the existing franchise but with a cast that gives it a younger vibe.” Apparently, the idea this time is to cast a known actor in the leading role of Universe, following the same format as SG-1 in their casting of Richard Dean Anderson as Colonel Jack O’Neill. The creators Brad Wright and Robert C Cooper were equally as enthusiastic about the new project, predictably. “In ‘Universe,’ we plan to keep those elements that have made the franchise a success, such as adventure and humor, while breaking new ground in the relationships between mostly young and desperate explorers, thrust together and far from home. Above all, we believe the Stargate itself remains an enduring icon with infinite potential as a jumping-off point for telling stories.”
Stargate Universe is set aboard an unmanned Ancient vessel named Destiny. The crew that discovers the ship find themselves stranded and unable to return to Earth, and as a result are forced to follow the ship’s pre-programmed route to other galaxies, seeding them with Stargates as it goes.
Fans of the Atlantis series needn’t jump through the nearest wormhole in despair however, as the first in what will hopefully be a number of direct-to-DVD movies has been greenlighted alongside the new series. The as of yet untitled film will be written by the showrunners Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, following the same strategy employed by SG-1 after the end of its run with the highly successful Ark Of Truth and Continuum.
So what do you think, readers? Is a new Stargate series targeted at a younger audience a good idea, or would you rather they continue with the current format of Atlantis?