There will be no sixth season of Stargate Atlantis. The powers that be at Sci-Fi have decided to cancel it. They have already green lit a 2 hour movie, so it looks like it will follow SG1 in that direction. This doesn’t mean Stargate is going away though. There’s been buzz about another Stargate series in the works since SG1 got cancelled, well that series is going to air on Sci-Fi starting next summer after a 2 hour pilot episode sometime this winter/spring. The new show is called Stargate Universe.
Now this doesn’t exactly surprise me, with the Stargate Worlds MMO coming out I knew something would be happening. I’m a little surprised that they canceled Atlantis, but I think they were worried about taking audience from Universe. The concept behind Universe follows a new Stargate team, one that finds themselves on an unmanned ancient ship called the Destiny. This one is said to be focused on space action and I’m sure we’ll see all new bad guys. Brad Wright and Robert Cooper and producing and writing the show, so we can expect a similar tone to SG1 and Atlantis.
In some ways this sounds a bit like season one of Atlantis, our band of explorers is trapped, unable to return to earth. Now I understand why they did that with Atlantis, if they made it too easy to travel back and forth you end up with all kinds of questions and an expectation to see SG1 around more often. Even with the gate bridge there’s still a time factor. I’mÂ hoping they useÂ this trappedÂ dynamic better than they did onÂ Atlantis and that it sticks around. That’d be excellentÂ from a story stand point, but how does it play out from a marketing perspective?
With Stargate Worlds comingÂ out they’ve got some golden opportunities for some great promotions.Â If you can interact with the characters from the currently running television show then you’ve got a great way to pull more players in. Â On the other hand you’ve also got something very unwieldy. You start sharing a universe across both mediums and you start having to worry about continuity. Frankly there are enough continuity issues in Stargate as it is. By cancelling Atlantis and starting a more isolated series they get two things. First of all they get a chance to change up the status quo with Stargates television prescence. Secondly you actually get to have more interaction with characters from SG1 and Stargate Atlantis.
I’ll be sad to see Atlantis go, but there were at least a couple of regular cast members planning on leaving at the end of the season anyway, we may actually see them stay around for the occasional TV or straight to DVD movie. This also means I can finally buy Stargate Atlantis on DVD when they release the entire series box set. Â I have faith in Wright and Cooper, so far they haven’t steered the franchise wrong in my eyes. Let’s hope they can keep up the run with Universe.