Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Stargate:Buck Rogers?!

Stargate. Pretty good movie. Great sound track. Phenomenal TV series, greatly missed by its fans (including yours truly). It's spinoff, Stargate: Atlantis, is pretty good as well and going into its fifth season come July. They're even contemplating another spinoff, Stargate: Universe. They've made two direct-to=DVD movies based on the original Stargate series, Stargate: SG-1, which, in turn, is based on, and uses two major characters of, the original 1994 Stargate movie.

The premise: In the early twentieth century, archaeologists discover the Stargate in ancient Egypt. In the mid-1990s, Dr. Daniel Jackson discovers it is a gateway to other planets that also have Stargates on them. The Stargate is used by "dialing" the gate, the outer ring of the giant circle, to different symbols on the Stargate, thereby "dialing" any given planet.

Back in the late 1970s, Glen A. Larson (of original Battlestar Galactica, Magnum, and Knight Rider fame) created a show based on an old comic strip called Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (not to be confused with Duck Dodgers in the 24th and a half century...). I've been gradually, time permitting, watching this old series on this new site called Hulu. It's a free, perfectly 100% legal site on which one may watch many TV series.

Well, as I was watching the third episode of Buck Rogers, they introduced the concept of a "Stargate," using THAT specific term, to instantly travel between points in space! It's been so long since I've seen this series I'd forgotten all about that!

Did the creators of Stargate rip off the concept from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century? I don't know, but it is certainly possible. They probably banked on no one remembering the old series (which only lasted 37 episodes) and it's space travel concepts.

Well, I just thought that was pretty cool

In the meantime, the Sci Fi channel has remade some old series: Battlestar Galactica (now in its fourth and final season - by design, not because of poor ratings - they simply had a four year story-line in mind, much like Babylon 5) and Flash Gordon (I have no idea if they're bringing that back - it started slow, but got better as the season progressed). It must only be a matter of time before they bring back an old classic like Buck Rogers...


Jon A. said...

Stargates, both in the Buck Rogers "gate in space that starships can pass through" and the "gate on a planet people can walk through" forms go back at least to Robert Heinlein's novel Tunnel in the Sky, published in 1955!

That novel had the protagonists walk through a "gate on one planet and step out onto another planet... seems real familiar, eh?

Big Tank said...

While I believe the "Stargate" movie and its television spin-offs probably got their original idea from Heinlein's novel and Larson probably took the idea and placed the "gates" in space for Buck Rogers, there is another reference in science fiction to consider as well. In the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode "Contagion", the Federation and the Romulans discover a long-dead world that contains gates that can send a person from that planet to another, supposedly built by it's former inhabitants, the Iconians. Picard even discusses their history as "demons of air and darkness" and about the Iconians being conquerors from other planets' histories; that they seem to come out of nowhere. Also, "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" had an epsiode where the Federation joined the Jem'Hadar, the fighting force of the Dominion, in stopping renegade Jem'Hadar from using an Iconian gate found in the Gamma Quadrant.