Sad news: SciFi Channel has canceled Stargate: Atlantis. While never as good as Stargate SG-1, it was still a very enjoyable science-fiction adventure show that had some brilliant moments. (I challenge anyone to watch either “The Storm/The Eye” two-parter or “The Siege” parts 1-3 and tell me those aren’t superb TV) It will be allowed to finish its fifth season with 100 episodes total and the likelihood of a direct to DVD movie.
Still, I weep. SciFi Channel’s other original programming is generally horrible, and I have no faith that the producers, who seem to little understand or care for science-fiction, will replace it with something worthwhile. After all, these are geniuses who thought wrestling would be appropriate.
And, overall, it’s sad to see the Stargate “universe” slowly shut down. (The rumored third series is unlikely to come about, in my opinion.) It’s a wonderful setting, a perfect vehicle for telling all sorts of stories. And it’s ideal for roleplaying games, too. (In fact, similar ideas had occurred before, notably Frederick Pohl’s Heechee saga.)
This creates an odd situation for me and my writing partner: one of our sample scripts is a Stargate: Atlantis episode. A very good one, if I do say so myself. But, spec scripts for canceled series have a limited shelf-life of about one year after cancellation. After that, they’re obsolete and not of interest to producers. The script had been written before some major cast changes took place, and we had considered rewriting it to account for those changes, but now I suspect we should just give it a once-over to fix problems and just leave the cast as is. It isn’t as if it can get any more out of date.