Interestingly enough SGU was initially going to have a Summer premiere like its predecessors article also on Gateworld. In this article they cover the delay from Summer to fall.
Now that some more details about the initial cancellation of Atlantis and Green-lighting of Universe have come out, I am even more convinced that they should have done both a 6th season of Stargate Atlantis and the 1st season of Stargate Universe airing simultaneously. like they did a few years before with the premiere of Atlantis and SG-1.
Another fact to consider is that seasons 9 and 10 of Stargate SG-1 the show runners were getting pretty confident that the series would still be picked up for a season 11. So the producers were ready to do a 4th year of shooting 2 shows at once which I think most fans would have been perfectly fine with. I mean hell, SG-1 probably could have kept going for a couple more years (possibly 12-13 seasons). But at least when it was cancelled, Scifi kept its order of Atlantis.
According to Craig Engler (syfy pr), when it came time do decide about the futures of both Atlantis and Universe, they offered to buy 2 seasons of Stargate, in other words, they wanted to start Stargate Universe. The offer was for either a 6th season of Stargate Atlantis in conjunction with a 1st season of Stargate Universe, OR to have 2 a 2 season deal for Universe, where, as long as it got high enough ratings for the 1st ten episodes, season 2 would be green-lit no matter what happened later that season. As we all know, MGM and Syfy mutually agreed to end Stargate Atlantis at this point with a promise of future movies to tie up the story after the success the SG-1 movies. They also promised a 3rd SG-1 movie at this point. At this point the dvd market started to suffer and MGM was doing worse financially, so they kept postponing the movies.
I think that part of what made SGA do better in the numbers is the fact that SG1/SGC had been looking for Atlantis all over our galaxy during season 7 of SG1, and they did a few cross over episodes to keep you reminded that they were the same big Stargate program, episodes like: New Order (getting Weir ready to leave), Prometheus Unbound (rescue mission to pegasus stopped part way there), Mobius (the whole reason they went back in time was to make sure we got the ZPM to send it to Atlantis via Deadalus), The Pegasus Project (SG1 went to Atlantis)
|Midway Space Station|
Rising (they start on Earth and Daniel wanted to go with them), Home (they think they’ve come back to Earth), Letters From Pegasus (Atlantis send a help message to SGC), Seige Part 2 (a bunch of marines come to help defend Atlantis), Seige Part 3 (that ZPM from mobius is brought to Atlantis by Deadalus), The intruder (Atlantis team is on their way back from a big debrief at SGC), Grace Under Pressure (McKay hallucinates about Carter), the Real World (Weir is on Earth with Jack the entire episode), McKay and Mrs. Miller (SGC finds out how smart McKay’s sister is and gets her involved with Rodney and Sam), the Return (Jack and Woolsey are left to be liasons between Ancients and Earth), And then Season 4 has Sam taking command of Atlantis, the intergalactic Gate bridge (Midway space station), and so on. There is also an issue of promotion, Atlantis and SG-1 had a lot of cross promotional ads like the one below.
|SG-1 and Atlantis promotional image|
I think the best way they could have introduced SGU would have been through Atlantis's First Contact. When Daniel came to the city looking for something, he was just looking for a lab, I think he should have said something like "I think Jauns had a secret lab, and the evidence I have found points to this lab as holding the secret to unlocking the 9th Chevron on the Stargates" This would have introduced us to the fact that SGC has been trying to figure it out and given even more reason for Daniel to be there.
After season 5 ended with Atlantis in San Fransisco Bay, they should have gone with 1 season of Atlantis and 1 of Universe. I think it would have been interesting to have all of the key players from Universe first go to Icarus via the gate in Atlantis, have them mention that they started the game online in hopes they'll find someone, but tie the 2 stories together. The next episode of Atlantis would have them leaving Earth with however many personnel they need. But at the same time Sam would have been bringing Daniel, Jack, Rush, Eli, the Senator, and Chloe to Icarus aboard the Hammond.
I’m not saying that SGU was bad, I just think they could have introduced us to the 9th chevron project in Atlantis season 5 because that would have been similar to how they introduced us to “The Lost City of the Ancients” in SG1 season 6. Does you agree that if some of these elements and characters were introduced before hand it would have felt less odd (keep in mind we’d been introduced to McKay and Weir prior to the Atlantis premiere).
All Stargate fans should be in remorse right now, because this is the first time in 14 years that there are no new Stargate episodes coming out.