Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Stargate: Time to make a move....

...and go old school ?

Hello World,

So, it's been a while. Which is because I've been enjoying a much needed vacation on the lovely island of Crete. Good weather, lovely nature and wonderful people. Alas, that is now all over and the time has come to get the gears of work going again. Including my blog. So here goes...

Stargate

One of the things I have been pondering is the Stargate (Franchise) and it's future. In case you haven't read my previous posts: It's looking pretty bleak. And how MGM has been interacting with the fan base. It hasn't. And - of course - what the fans have done to try to get MGM to make a statement...ANY statement about said future.

And the simple fact is that the fans have tried everything. Well....except for a letter writing campaign. But...isn't that really old fashioned ? I mean, even Joseph Mallozzi said that ' the time of letter writing campaigns has past'. The thing is......that is probably true. But what is there to lose ? Some stamps ? Some paper ? Things can't really get worse, can they ? So...

Le Plan

Write a letter, write a postcard, write on a napkin....who cares ? Just tell MGM you like Stargate and want more. And send it to:

Mark Burnett
MGM Studios Inc.
245 North Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
United States of America

Friday, April 27, 2018

Fact, fiction and physics

Hello world,

Okay, so I sort of did this post ages ago. (All the way back in 2011. But trust me, do yourself a favor and don't look it up. For....) It was badly written and since then some things have changed. So here comes version 2.0.

Several decades ago, Gardner Fox created the DC comics multiverse. Back in those days, he suggested that while he slept, he dreamed of several fictional characters, because he ended up 'in tune' with an alternate universe where his characters were real.

While this may have been meant to be tongue-in-cheek, the times have changed. And with it, so has our understanding of physics. And also the scientific multiverse. Which is where the line between the two multiverses begins to start blurring.

Quantum theory proposes a particle will not take one path, but every path possible. Or....Anything that can happen, will happen. And even the tiniest slither of a chance is enough. (You don't need a fifty percent chance, or even one percent.) Thus leading to an infinite amount of universes. And infinite versions of people and events. And this applies to all matter in existence...

Including actors, sets and props. So, what does this mean for the border between fact and fiction ? Does that mean that the actor and the character as basically two versions on the same piece of matter ? For does that mean that - somewhere out there, in the vast multiverse - these characters are real ? And - since nothing truly exists in a vacuum - so are their fictional universes ? Making (the fantastic) Mr. Fox's claim considerably less tongue-in-cheek ? And what are the moral implications of that ? For example....

Since it is the laws of physics that control what can happen, and not the copyright law. Does that mean that both the BBC's Time Lords and Marvel's Asgard exist ? And does that mean that the Asgard chose not to help the Time Lords during the Last Great Time War ? (Remember, if this theory is true, we're talking real life here. Which makes the fact that these two races are from two different franchises a non-factor.)

And that's just one example. So...does this theory hold up ? And if it does....what does it mean ? Decide for yourself ?

Edmond Dantes

MGM and Stargate

Hello World,

So the dust has settled and.....as expected....my Pitch for SGU 2.0 has (come and) gone completely ignored. While I could throw a fit about this, doing so would not do anybody any good. I will, however, point out that this is part of a pattern. (I did this in the letter that came with my pitch, but I see no reason not to do so again.)

For over the years (since the end of SGU), there was been many attempts to bring back Stargate. Petitions, twitterstorms and even a kickstarter campaign. All to no avail. And all (completely) ignored by MGM.

So....what has MGM been doing with Stargate ? The answer is....not much. There was, of course, the disastrous reboot movie plan. Well, disastrous for the studio. I suspect that many a Gater secretly celebrated when the proposed trilogy collapsed following the train wreck that was ID4: Regurgitated Plot. Since then, MGM has been trying to keep the fans pleased by occasionally throwing them a bone...

The bad result: The Back to Destiny comics.  The good result: Stargate Origins.

Alas, this does not spell anything good for the future of Stargate Origins. Because the silence on the Stargate front makes it feel like SGO was nothing more then a stunt. But this is simply my opinion. And I right or wrong ? Decide for yourself.

Edmond Dantes

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Technobabble that (might) prove(s) Spera should exist in SGU....

.....because IMHO otherwise there's not only a whopping inconsistency, but the whole Ancient Destiny Project would be useless rubbish.

Basic Timeline

1)       Destiny launches
2)       Atlantis leaves for the Pegasus Galaxy
3)       Atlantis abandoned
4)       Goa’uld arrive
5)       Antarctic Gate Buried
6)       Ra places Egyptian Gate
7)       Uprising (Egyptian Gate Buried, Earth abandoned by Goa’uld)
8)       Stargate Program

One:  Point of Origin Paradox

Every Stargate in the network has a unique Point of Origin symbol. In the episode Solitudes (SG-1, season 1, episode 18) where the Antarctic Gate is discovered, not only is this clearly visible, it is a necessary plot point. If the Antarctic Gate had the same Point of Origin as the Egyptian One, Samantha Carter and Colonel O’Neill would have realized that they were on Earth. Further underlining this argument is the fact that in the episode Small Victories (SG-1, season 4, episode 1) it takes a week to install the Antarctic Gate and get it operational. While the reason for this is never specified – being referred to as ‘technical problems’ – it is likely that the difference in Point of Origin was the source of these problems.

(My reasoning for this is as follows: In the lore of the show, all the Stargates within the Milky Way galaxy are identical, with the Point of Origin being the only difference between individual gates. Furthermore, the Air Force technicians whom originally installed the Egyptian Stargate would have made detailed notes, providing the team installing the Antarctic Gate with a paint-by-numbers. If the team follows the notes, the Gate should have been plug-and-play. Unless the different Point-of-Origin gums up the works…)

This, however, creates a paradox. In the episodes Rising (Atlantis, season 1, episode 1) and Air (Universe, season 1, episode 1) it is established that both Atlantis and Destiny have long-range dialing locks. These prevent long-range dialing of both locations from any other planet then Earth. But both were launched millions of years before the Antarctic Gate was buried, so both should be programmed to only accept a Gate address ending with the Antarctic Gate’s Point-of-Origin symbol. Yet, both locations were successfully dialed.

Resolution of the Paradox: To compensate for Stellar Drift and keep the Stargate addresses up-to-date, the Ancients (the alien race whom created these devices)  installed the Correlative Updates System. (SG-1, Avenger 2.0, season 7, episode 9) However, without an additional power source, a Stargate can only dial locations within its home galaxy. These updates are therefore limited to each galaxy. However, if the Ancients were able to connect both Destiny and Atlantis to the Correlative Updates System for the Milky Way Galaxy, the paradox is resolved. This raises the question…

How does the signal get from the Milky Way to both locations ? Inside the galaxy (or galaxies), the Stargate network itself can serve as relays. The major issue is crossing the voids between galaxies. (This especially true in the case of Destiny, since the subspace transceiver that comes with their model of Stargate is extremely short range in universal terms.)

Two: The Ancients were planning to man Destiny

In the episode Air, Doctor Nicholas Rush says that the Ancients were never aboard Destiny. However, he also says that the Ancients were planning to arrive once the ship was far enough out. This, however, leaves us with a simple problem. How would the Ancients know when to dial to Destiny ? This statement only makes sense if the Ancient were tracking the ship’s progress.

And the simplest way to do that, is to have Destiny transmit its location (and possibly other information) back to Earth (or possibly Atlantis). Possible further evidence to support this is provided in same episode, when it is established that the Pegasus Galaxy is amongst the galaxies previously visited by Destiny.

While this alone may not seemed significant, this changes when combined with information from the episode Rising. In the scene where Dr. Beckett uses the holographic projection room, the history of Atlantis is explained. The female holographic projection explains that the Ancients arrived in the Pegasus Galaxy to seed life in a galaxy that appeared to have none. And that raises the question…how did the Ancients know that the Pegasus Galaxy was lifeless ? It seems very impractical that they would select a random galaxy, and then spend years surveying it - conclude that the galaxy was lifeless – and only then get to work seeding the galaxy. What if the galaxy turned out to be unsuitable ? This seems to me like a waste of time and resources.

In my opinion, a much practical and realistic solution would be that the Ancients put together a set of parameters for their target. They then accessed the Destiny telemetry they had received and selected the galaxy that matched the parameter the best. And thus, they selected the Pegasus Galaxy. However, this line of thinking once again requires that the Ancients have the telemetry. And thus, communication between Destiny and Earth.

Finally, we musk ask one simple question. How does Destiny know to slam on the brakes (aka drop out of FTL) when somebody dials in ? The easiest solution is that she receives some kind of signal from the Gate network telling her to do so. (But more about that later.)

Three:  The Ancients and Safety

From Atlantis – both the show as a whole and the city-ship itself (as described within the lore) – we know that the Ancients designed their technology with considerable safeties and redundancies. Yet, here we have the Ancients’ most important project, and the key piece of technology – namely Destiny itself – has no redundancy ?

This seriousness of this design flaw in the project is underscored by a scene between Nicholas Rush and Chloe Armstrong in the Stargate Universe finale Gauntlet. Chloe points out to Rush that if Destiny is destroyed by the berserker drones, the whole project will have been for nothing.

To summarize, not only are we talking about a major design flaw in the Destiny Project, this is a plot point that is completely against the character of the Ancients as previously established within the lore.

The Ninth Chevron (aka one last piece of technobabble).

My proposal is to reveal in this season that there is – technically – no such thing as a nine chevron address. In order to dial Destiny, you have to feed the power to Gate in a special way (which is what Eli figured out in Air). My idea is that when you combine this input method with the first chevron off the address, it works like a keyboard shortcut in the Gate’s protocols. The Gate (Network) then sends a signal up the chain Spera build, all the way to Destiny.

Destiny then drops out of FTL and transmits her actual location back to dialing Stargate. At the same time, however, she also asks for an eight digit access code. Which is the rest of the address. (Chevron two through nine.) This solves the question of how Destiny knows how to drop of FTL, but leaves the Point-of-Origin Paradox intact. Because when the Gates were switched, the last digit of the access code changed. And it means Eli was still (kind of) right about the Gate address. (In the episode Air, he helps Rush successfully get a nine chevron lock by suggesting that the Gate will only work if they use Earth as the point-of-origin. He even says ‘like a code’. Which it was, just in a different way.)

Edmond Dantes

Imaginary Press Release for SGU Season Three

Note: This is NOT an official/MGM Press Release. Remember that, please. Instead, it is simply one hopeful fan's dream.

Season Three of Stargate Universe

The Setting: Welcome aboard the Spera. (The name of this vessel translates from Ancient as Hope, which is exactly what she represents for those at Homeworld Command whom are trying to rescue to rescue Destiny's crew.) Launched several thousand years after Destiny, Spera builds communications relays which are key to making the ninth chevron (and the Destiny's mission) work.

Further more, the ship is fitted him the only other Stargate in the universe capable of receiving a nine chevron wormhole. This first Alpha Site ever becomes the home of an intrepid new crew as they search for a way to rescue Colonel Young and his people...

The Crew

(Goran Visnijic as) Lieutenant-Colonel Marc Vale
Recruited by General O'Neill himself to lead the Beta Site - which has become the new home for the Icarus Project - Colonel Vale is a man with a mysterious past. When interference from the International Oversight Authority causes the Icarus Project to go horribly wrong, it is up Vale to assume command and lead everybody involved to safety.

(Jane Doe as) Doctor Claudia Harris
A young and ambitious veterinarian, it is Harris' job to lead a safety team that makes sure the Icarus Project does not poison the planet it calls home. However, when disaster strikes and leaves her the only person with any medical training, she must take up the mantle of Chief Medical Officer.

(David Nykl as) Doctor Radek Zelenka
Having been promoted to ranking scientist after years of service on Atlantis, it is Doctor Zelenka who(m) leads the Beta Site's efforts to dial the ninth chevron. When the IOA ignores his experience and knowledge, it leads to disastrous events...

(Corin Nemec as) Jonas Quinn
Leading a brand-new, Langaran incarnation of SG-1, Quinn also doubles as liaison to Langara and member of the science staff.

(Jamie Ray Newman as) Captain Laura Cadman
Promoted and assigned to the Beta Site as Chief of Security. Now Chief of Security aboard Spera.

Edmond Dantes

Doctors, Missiles and Plans.

Hello readers,

So....there is old Chinese curse...may you life in interesting times. Alas, these are interesting times indeed. And for interesting, read deeply troubled. Chemical attacks by Syria, counter attacks by America and company, and threats by Russia.

And who (or whom) is in the right ? The problem with politics is that there are always deals, nuances, long games, greater agendas, plans and secrets. And the simple fact that, let's best honest, politicians only care about themselves.

Now, I could go into a long rant about this, but you know what ?....I don't have to. My friend - and Captain of the USS Pathfinder - Richard Clogston has done that much better then I every could. His blog is here. *Points to link* http://panstand.blogspot.nl/

I will, however, say that I now understand how Verity Lambert must have felt on 23 October 1963. To have worked on something with a passion, only to have it blindside by (unforeseen) horrible events. So the time has come for...

Piss and Vinegar

I promised that I would publish my pitch on the 14th. And by Rassilion, that is what I am going to do. Another friend - yes Bram, I mean you - however - pointed out that if I published it, I might rendering the pitch useless to MGM. While Rick - the same Rick from above - to be careful that MGM did not steal my ideas. (Or somehow left me holding the bag.) So, what to do ?

Instead of simply copying and then pasting the whole thing, I have decided to write a press release. Or well, technically, what I imagine a press release for season three of Stargate Universe would look like.

(Note to self: Better make that clear, or this whole thing will blow up in your face like an Acme Dynamite Kit.) There will be some overlap with the briefing I posted earlier, but alas, that can't be helped. To keep it from becoming to long, the 'press release' will be a separate entry.

Edmond Dantes

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Pitch out the door

Well, the 11th has come. So - as promised - the pitch has been send. (At 19.30 hours, I threw it into the nearest mailbox.) Taking into consideration the 3 to 6 workdays it takes for it to get there, that means it should arrive somewhere between Monday the 16th and Thursday the 19th. After that, it's a waiting game. Now, the pitch itself is not going up until the 14th. However, I can post the bulk of the accompying letter. Be warned, it is more then a tad (not so) subtly angry. I tried to write it with the fury of a Time Lord. But I don't think I succeeded. Agree or disagree ? Decide for yourself.

The Letter

Regarding season three of Stargate Universe

Regarded Mr. M. Burnett, Mr. C. Brearton and Mr. R. Hastings,

In 2010, the Stargate franchise went off the air with the cancellation of Stargate Universe. This year, it was revived in the form of Stargate Origins. While the makers of Origins did a splendid job with the resources at their disposal, it is my humble opinion that the franchise deserves a continuation in the form of a full-budget television series. (Hopefully to be produced alongside a second season of Stargate Origins.) It is also my opinion that the best way to go about, is to finish Stargate Universe.

And I am not alone in this conviction. Let us take a look at the internet landscape since the end of SGU. There have been several petitions – including a 2013 one aimed at Netflix – a Facebook page, a Kickstarter campaign (in 2014) and Twitterstorms. All of which had totally ignored by both Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Netflix. Now, I apologize in advance if this makes me a rude fan, but…

If you care so little so for Stargate’s (on-line) fan base, why did you bother to make Stargate Origins (a webseries) ? Why do you even bother with websites at all ? I know that studios are about making money. But…..have the words Ars Gratia Artis become hollow ? Thus making the Stargate franchise nothing but a cash cow ?

Do the cast and crew whom have worked their rears off for two years making the first two seasons not deserve better ? And the fans ? And what about the brave men and women of the United States Air Force ? Do they not deserve better than to suffer character assassination by suggesting that they would abandon Destiny’s crew ? Or is that not what you are suggesting by abandoning Stargate Universe ?

Now, in order to get the ball rolling, two things are needed. One, a proposal for season three. I have taken the brazen step of writing one. Is it actually any good ? I have no idea. And two, a place to call home. So why not SyFy Channel ?

Well….there is no polite way to say this, so…..I do not trust them as far as I can throw them. It is not just what happened with Stargate Universe… (Bad air times, insufficient commercials, etc.) It is as if Battlestar Galactica ended, SyFy Channel developed an allergy for the very thing the channel was supposed to stimulate, science fiction. Eureka, Warehouse 13, Sanctuary….in my humble opinion, the post-Galactica history of the SyFy Channel is a string of bad choices and cancellations.

Netflix on the other hand, has its act together. And with Disney soon beginning its own streaming service and taking their properties with them, they will be in need of new content. What better content then a third season of Stargate Universe ?

Edit: A little something that was gathering dust in the archive