Stargate Origins : Catherine - Review Analysis

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By Adam David Collings. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

It's been almost ten years since that fateful day when Stargate Universe was cancelled. Since then, we've had virtually no Stargate. However, there was a web-series produced by Stargate Command called Stargate Origins. But how did it measure up? Was it a worthwhile addition to the Stargate Universe? Let's watch it and find out.

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Transcript

Welcome to Nerd Heaven

I’m Adam David Collings, the author of Jewel of The Stars

And I am a nerd

This is episode 24 of the podcast.

Today I’m going to be talking about Stargate Origins.

This movie was originally produced as a web series in 2018 as a way of testing the waters for bringing Stargate back to our screens.

It was edited into a feature length movie and titled Stargate Origins Catherine.

The series was available on the dedicated streaming service Stargate Command. I watched the first couple of episodes which were free. I always intended to pay for the subscription to finish it, but life got in the way, and the next thing I knew, the service was cancelled.

I guess I should have given it my support earlier.

Anyway, the film is available to buy or rent on youtube, so I’m gonna give it a go.

Now as I understand it, the story was created to follow on from the original Stargate movie, but perhaps not specifically intended to fit in with the canon of the TV shows.

So I’ll be very interested to see if I can make it work in canon, in my head.

The description on imdb reads

Stargate Origins explores the journey that sets a young Catherine Langford on the way to helping unlock the secrets of an ancient technology that could change the very course of humanity.

It was written by Mark Ilvedson, Justin Michael Terry

Directed by Mercedes Bryce Morgan

And it first aired on the 19th of june 2018

Let’s watch Stargate Origins: Catherine.

We open in Giza, Egypt 1928

These Scenes mirror very closely the original Stargate movie, as the gate is discovered.

Then we just forward 10 years.

It’s 1938

Catherine is all grown up. She’s studying the gate, still trying to figure out what it is

Catherine is played by Aussie actor Ellie Gall. She’s using an American accent. In the original movie, she sounded european.

Her father is played by Conner Trinier who we’ll know as Trip Tucker in Star Trek Enterprise, or as Michael in Stargate Atlantis. Surprisingly, he looks the part, although I’m really not sure he’s quite old enough to be playing Catherine’s father.

The gate is still in Egypt. That’s where they are.

They’re out of funding so it looks like it’s all over.

And then some Nazis break in.

Note that this is just one year before the stargate will be transported to America, where the Nazis will make a second attempt to get their hands on it.

The Nazis have a Picture of the stargate transporing people. We’ve seen it before in the movie. On Abydos, I think.

Nazis are always a good mix with acherology adventures. So their inclusion here is logical and welcome.

They are powering the gate themselves and dialing it manually. That’s concistent with SG1.

We see the standard whoosh effect and then the backwards whoosh out the back of the gate, just like in movie. The TV show never did that but, it is canon according to the movie.

The Nazis have figured out the address, but the Langfords don’t see what the dialing sequence is. So that kinda works.

The Nazis push langford through the gate and follow him.

Catherine steals the notes from the Nazi guard.

Then we cut to Catherine’s boyfriend. He’s a british military officer stationed in Egypt.

Catherine goes to him and his mate Wassif for help.

Now we get to see langford arriving through the gate.

This is clearly meant to be Abydos. It’s looking a lot more pristince. Like a brand new movie set. Not an ancient pyramid.

And we see a DHD. This is a piece of lore that was introduced by SG1, so it’s clear at this point that they’re not abandoning the TV shows. Which is wonderful.

They mention it is just like the one they have in Berlin. So that’s interesting. That’s where the Earth DHD is at the moment. The Russians will eventually have it. Perhaps they take it as spoils after Germany is defeated at the end of world war 2.

There are instances of rather silly humour in this movie. Not the kind of humour in SG1. Jack O’Neil gave some great one-liners. This is a much sillier and a more juvenile kind of humour. Which I’m not really into.

We get to see areas of the abydos pyramid we haven’t seen before. There’s a throne room.

Langford tries to speak to them in ancient egyptian. It took Daniel a while to figure out why to pronounce it. The aliens don’t seem to understand, or at least, don’t care to respond.

Langford assumes they’ve travelled through time into the past. An interesting assumption and not entirely unreasonable. Except for the advanced weapon used by the Goa’huld lady.

So at this point, thanks to the Nazi’s notes, Catherine has the address to dial abydos.

Even earnest didn’t figure that out, back in SG1. He went to another planet entirely.

Catherine never figured out how to dial Abydos until Daniel offered his help.

How are they going to explain this?

And she knows to use the point of origin symbol for earth. That’s a real problem.

Jame’s reluctance to enter the gate is emotionally believable. Catherine wants to rescue her father. She’ll risk anything for that. But for James, this represents a very dangerous unknown. He’s a military man. He’s used to doing things a certain way. Walking into that thing like this would be an irresponsible act.

But, they are convinced by the threat of the nazis bringing back an unknown technology.

Catherine takes a moment to appreciate the wonder of the gate.

Just like Daniel does in the movie.

Then she steps in and we are treated to the first person view through the wormhole. Man, I’ve missed that.

It’s a good reproduction of the original effect.

The temple is clean because it’s being maintained by the human slaves. It still looks too new, though.

So how did the Nazi know the address for Earth? Daniel found it on a tablet here on Abydos. Maybe Catherine was just typing in the same code that brought them here, but of course, the point of origin symbol is different, so she doesn’t know what to do.

The floating balls are new. I wonder what they’re about.

I’m wondering why is the warrior hitting them with her staff weapon when she could just shoot them?

And where do the rings beam her to? There’s no ship above, is there? It might be in orbit.

We see a boy with a bucket …. And I wonder … could he be a young Kursaf? That would be cool.

Things get interesting here. The Goahuld woman has a baby, and we learn this is a harcesis. The offspring of two goahuld hosts. Strictly forbidden because it will contain the genetic memory of the goahuld.

They really are drawing on the lore of SG1. This is cool.

So the warrior is Serqet. An Egyptian scorpion goddess. Generally thought of as a protective godess but she also had a darker side. It seems she and her queen are hiding here to raise the illegal child. Ra doesn’t know of it. It also seems they’re part of a revolution. I wonder … could they be Tok’ra?

We Still don’t know the name of the queen.

And it turns out, I was right. The kid is Kasuf!

He reminds me a lot of Skarra. Which makes sense. Since Skarra will be his son.

But I’m confused. James name is now Bill?

So, in the struggle, trying to escpae from the human slaves, Wassif is stabbed. But the slaves have a goa’huld healing device.

Of course, when they see the pendant with the symbol of Ra, they react much the same way their descendants will in the original Stargate movie.

So having seen the home movie footage of Hitler, the go’huld resistance are considering allying with the nazis.

I could think of better allies to choose.

So the queen wants more slaves for her cause. Guess she’s still got that evil streak we would expect from a guahuld.

The queen offers the nazis a small piece of naquata. Of course, they don’t understand its value.

Until she demonstrates.

Apparently it also can be used to offer eternal youth. I suppose it is one of the active components of the sarcophagus.

The queen’s name is Aset. She has fallen out of favour with Ra, which we already know.

Aset is another name for Isis. Goddess of magic, fertility and motherhood. Makes sense that she’d be the mother of the hecsis.

Isis has been mentioned in SG1 before. Apparently, in the future, her symbiote will end up in a jar, imprisoned by Seth.

The big mystery here is, how did the nazi know so much?

Catherine begins to understand there is more at stake here than just her father. The Nazis cannot be allowed to have access to this alien technology. But she kind of already knew that, because that’s how she convinced her male companions to join her through the gate.

So Catherine and Jamess/Bill are offered Kasuf’s tent for the night. I always find it odd in period pieces like this where people have sex outside of marriage. I’m sure it happened, but it certainly wasn’t accepted in the way that it tends to be nowdays.

Next morning, the goa’huld appear with langford in tow.

James/Bill is wise to advise caution to Catherine. They can see her father is ok. But they can’t effectively rescue him right now.

And the Nazi woman is realising how evil her boss is. Even amongst other nazis he stands out as bad.

At the same time, Kasuf begins to see that Aset is not all she’s cracked up to be.

There’s a nice little callback when Kasuf says reading is forbidden.

Kasuf sends them to the same cave where Shari takes Daniel, where they can find the address to dial earth.

So at this point in time, the tablet with the address is complete. The point of origin has not yet worn off, but it’s cracked. Nice little touch.

And then we learn that catherine deliberately destroyed the seventh symbol so the nazis couldn’t find the way home. That’s kinda cool.

So just as the nazi leader is gonna kill langford, Ra shows up in his spaceship.

I also find it a little surprising that Catherine and James are not at least a little shocked when Wasif and the man who stabbed him begin to kiss.

Again, of course there were people with same-sex attraction in the 30s, and I have no doubt they acted on it, but it wasn’t socially accepted then as it is now. The scene just felt a little forced, especially since the relationship is portrayed so shallowly. For that matter, Catherine and James’ relationship is pretty shallow too. Romantic relationships are definitely not the strength of this movie.

The nazi no longer cares about serving Hitler. He’s beyond earth politics. He wants to rule earth as a god, just like the goa’huld.

And so he’s killed by his own associate. She kills him in the name of Hitler, but at least she kills him.

And then, sequet turns out to be working for Ra!

And this is how they make this movie work in canon. Aset erases all of their memories.

More than that, she plants the suggestion in their minds to assemble a team to one day return through the stargate to defeat Ra.

Which of course, is exactly what will happen.

So Wassif and the other guys are turned into Horus Guards! That could even explain why some of the Horus guards in the movie don’t have Jaffa pouches.

And it turns out, that wasn’t the same temple as in the movie, which explains why it didn’t quite look the same. The gate is moved and that temple is destroyed.

Poor Catherine isn’t very lucky in love. James gave his life for her and she doesn’t even remember him. And then later, earnest gets stranded on an alien planet.

So that was an interesting little story. It adds a little to the Stargate mythos, but in a lot of ways, it feels like an inferior copy of the original movie. It certainly mirrors most of the story beats.

Still, it was nice to see something, anything, stargate, on screen again.

I can see why this web series didn’t exactly set the fandom on fire, and it’s sad that nothing more has happened since 2019. I can only hope that this isn’t the last we’ll see of Stargate.

Reportedly, MGM are interested in talking to people like Brad Wright to maybe bring the franchise back to life.

Only time will tell, but the recent return of Jean-Luc Picard to our screens proves that it’s never too late.

56 episodes