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What Makes the Stargate Television Franchise One of the Most Unique and Successful Science Fiction Show of All Time?

Updated on February 21, 2013

When the movie of Stargate was released in 1994, it drew a huge amount of money at the box office in the first week. After a few weeks, the sales dropped but ended up earning almost $200 000 000 at the box office. Despite the success of it, it received mixed reviews. After a good run in theaters, it would be two years later that MGM would buy the rights to the film, despite the protest of the movies screenwriters Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, and turn it into a television show called Stargate SG-1. When I first watched the show, I was too young to understand the complex dialogue and was just expecting more action from the show. After the end of the first season, I stopped watching it. Then in 2003, I started to get back on the show and watch some reruns that were airing on a sci fi channel back in Canada. And let me tell you, I was hooked on it. Every night at 8 pm I would turn on the TV, put aside my schoolwork and get glued on the set listening to the story. I would also see the awesome tech devices that the show produced and be amazed on how they made it worked. When I moved down in the States the next year, SG-1 was continuing its run but it already had a spin-off called Stargate Atlantis. Whenever I would get a chance, I would sit down and catch the latest episode that was airing on the SciFi channel in the States. The SciFi channel would also run Stargate marathons and I would be hooked on it. From that day on since I moved down here, I would turn myself into a Stargate geek, just like how people would turn themselves into a Star Wars geek.

Why was I hooked on this show? Why did I become such a big fan of this particular sci fi genre that made me not looked at other sci fi shows that were on the air such as Babylon 5 and some other Star Trek shows or Firefly? My own reasons can probably explain the uniqueness of it but I believe these are the real reasons that many other Stargate fans can't point out or don't want to point out.

Reason 1

The first reason for this success is the fact that a show portraying space travel on a gigantic, round circular device known as the Stargate counters the other space traveling shows that depict space travel by spaceships. Although the enemies and other races from different planets still uses spaceships, the bad guys cannot achieve their evil mission without the Stargate. In an ironic scene of the first episode of SG-1 where Colonel O'Neill is doing a mission briefing with General Hammond, O'Neill reminds them that even though the Stargate is buried again to prevent alien hostiles from reaching Earth, they still have spaceships where they can do it the old fashioned way, which implies that spaceships is common for the aliens but totally new for Earth, which is kind of funny.

Reason 2

The universe is filled with human beings. Other alien races are just human beings. The evil aliens that try to conquer other planets are human beings, although they are influenced by something else or their DNA have made drastic changes to their physicality that may look evil to other people. Advance technologies not seen on Earth are still made by human beings from other planets. Ultimately, the Stargate was invented by a group of ancient human beings known to create advance technologies that still surpasses our own in this present time. It is interesting to note, with a bit of humor, that as Earth evolved technologically through the years, majority of the population doesn't know anything yet about interstellar travel, have not made any significant progress of building their own spaceships, nor do they even know of the existence of the Stargate program being hidden by the United States Air Force. Yet, in other planets where human beings live in either nomadic places or in a semi-advance civilization, interstellar travel and knowledge of the Stargate is very common to the population. In fact, other human civilization rely on the Stargate and interstellar travel for economic purposes or for refuge, such as in the first episode of Stargate Atlantis, when the Atlantis expedition arrive on their first planet in a different galaxy, a woman leader of a nomadic tribe named Teyla asks them if they came for trade, revealing to the audience that the tribe have used the Stargate for economic purposes in the past. When an evil vampire like race called the Wraith, come and start invading the planet, the Atlantis team starts helping the people by letting them seek refuge to the planet where Atlantis is located, to which the tribe easily accepts without hesitation.

So this show elevates the morale of the human mind that human beings, the way I interpret it, have great potential in creating civilizations in the known universe, being a great race of people that can create anything they imagine.

Reason 3

Some readers who read this might very well agree with me on this review but dislike the fact. What makes the Stargate shows very unique is that it is a very pro-American show that portrays the U.S Military as heroes of the galaxy, where every turning point of events that occurs in the known universe have been done by the U.S military, particularly the U.S Air Force and particularly SG-1 themselves. It is not until the second spin-off show, Stargate Universe, that it drastically changed the whole style of the series where it becomes more of a conflicted character, very drama type show instead of it continuing to be about adventures, explorations, new alien races and new technology on every episode. I believe that is what ended the long run of the Stargate franchise.

Regardless, I am still a Stargate fan, both the movie and the shows. I recently managed to almost watch every episode on Netflix streaming but unfortunately I did not make it in time and it was removed from service. Now I just have to wait till it comes back. And it is those three reasons that I watched the show like crazy and that is the reason why Stargate makes it a unique science fiction show and I hope that everyone will be able to watch it someday and admire the elements the show embraces.


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    • DrJez profile image

      DrJez 5 years ago from Narara NSW Australia

      I enjoyed Stargate, but the earlier episodes were far superior to later ones! As is often the case with long running sci fi the mythology got in the way of the storytelling!