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Antenne Witten

STARGATE
- DER INOFFIZIELLE FÜHRER DURCH NEUE "ALTE" WELTEN
Authors: Claudia Kern & Christian Lukas
ISBN 3-453-15404-5 
(Heyne Verlag , Munich 1998) 
Price: DM 14,90

INTRODUCTION

In the beginning there was Roland Emmerich’s STARGATE movie. It was a worldwide success and the only question was, when would we see a sequel? But this sequel didn’t hit movie theatres, it happened on the small screen. Roland Emmerich would have preferred a movie, but as MGM held the rights, they could basically do what they wanted – and they decided a tv series would better suit them.
This idea turned into the Showtime series STARGATE SG-1, a show that actually boasts two titles in Germany – on RTL2 television it’s simply called STARGATE, on video it’s known as STARGATE KOMMANDO SG-1.

ABOUT THE BOOK

I first discovered STARGATE during my work as a movie critic. The tape was sent to me, but I didn’t expect too much, as I hadn’t really liked the movie in the first place. Moreover the part of Jack O’Neill, played by Kurt Russell in the movie had in the tv show gone to Richard Dean Anderson (photo), whom I only remembered from MACGUYVER, a show I couldn’t care less about. But sometimes miracles do happen: I really liked the pilot and thought Richard Dean Anderson dealt excellently with his part (and later I became a real RDA-fan...).

Anderson in Deutschland 2011So I created the concept of an episode guide that not only focused on the production of the show, but also on the “real” background, starting from the so-called “space gods” straight to the Egyptian pantheon (after all, the bad aliens in the show are all known as Egyptian deities – but who is who in this pantheon?). Apart from the traditional biographical information on the main characters and all actors, the main focus of the book is of course the episode guide. When the publisher agreed to this concept only a few weeks remained until the deadline. So I asked my dear friend Claudia Kern, who at this time was the editor-in-chief of Germany’s biggest sci fi magazine SPACE VIEW, if she wanted to write the book with me. She agreed – and off we went!

THE SHOW, I NEVER REALLY GOT INTO

So far I’ve been lucky. All the shows I’ve written about, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and MILLENNIUM were shows I had liked from the beginning. With STARGATE SG-1, things were different.

The pilot is, no doubt about it, brilliant and there are some really good episodes in the first season. But there are also some real stinkers, episodes that are written and acted so terribly, they bore you to a slow and horrible death. One thing annoys me especially: No matter where the SG-1 team appears, even on worlds on the rim of this galaxy, all the people whose ancestors were taken off Earth 3000 years ago, speak perfect English. Ok, I’m not a big fan of Roland Emmerich’s movies, but you got to admire him for his attention to detail. Part of that is that the people on this strange world speak a strange language. Why didn’t the authors of the STARGATE SG-1 pilot simply let the SG-1 team stumble upon a multi language translator?

A MISTAKE

A rather embarrassing mistake happened to us. On page 208 we claim that Sean Connery and Richard Harris starred in the movie THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING. Ouch! It was of course Michael Caine and not Richard Harris. As Claudia and I are both big Michael Caine fans, we still don’t have a clue how this could have happened to us.

One thing people keep accusing us of is that we can’t count. Why? Talking about the episode 03 EMANCIPATION which deals with the Mongols, we wrote that Mongolia held its 2000 year celebration in 1991. Then we added that the first hun state was formed in the year 209 BC. That however doesn’t mean that we can’t count, but we probably should have explained the inconsistency of the dates. The truth is that Mongolia doesn’t refer to this earlier lose alliance between different small states, but sees its foundation in the first actual Mongolian state that happened some 200 years later.

LEGAL PROBLEMS

If you’ve never seen this book in a store in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, that’s hardly a surprise. The book doesn’t exist anymore. Due to legal problems it had to be removed from the stores. Most books that deal with tv shows are unofficial. That is in itself no problem, as long as you don’t breach existing licensing rights. When I sit down to write a book about the show XY I deal with it journalistically and the German freedom of information act guarantees my right to express my opinion, whether it be in a written or spoken form. If however pictures are used that have a copyright on it, you’ll get problems. And now guess what happened with this book… Stupid move.

So the book was taken from the stores and destroyed. Even in the WHSmith “books 0.99” section, you’ll won’t find this title.

It’s become a rare book and due to these problems won’t make its way on the English (or any other market) market either.

THE NEW SHOW

In February 2010 "Stargate: Universe" started on RTL 2 in Germany.  And I really liked it. But I was one of a few fans I think. The new show has already been cancelled... By the way: In 2012 RDA was a guest at the Fedcon in Duesseldorf. This is what he said about the fact that he is always connected with "MacGyver" and, of course, "Stargate SG-1" (best view in 480p):

 

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