Stargate Origins episode 1 to 3 – An underwhelming return for the Stargate franchise
I tend to write about thing that I like. Rarely do I see need the need for a bad review of a movie, series or game. I probably would not watch or play it if it was bad. I love Stargate, from when I saw the original movie, to SG-1 and onwards. However, I do not like Stargate Origins. In fact I hesitate to call it a show at all. So far just 3 of the 10 webisodes have been released on MGM’s “Stargate Command” subscription service. Each is around 10 minutes long. Sadly, the show does not manage to grow beyond my initial impressions. The extremely low budget, bad special effects and actors who can’t act make this tiresome to view.
So lets get to the basic premise. 10 years after discovery of the Stargate in Egypt little has been discovered of what it does. It is still in Egypt, in a warehouse, studied by Professor Paul Langford (Connor Trinneer) and his daughter Catherine. Paul’s career is going nowhere and his colleague disapears in the Third Reich. Not many shows introduce the Nazi’s as villains and then so categorically screw things up, but what Stargate Origins does is just epic.
We are introduced to Dr. Wilhelm Brücke – Nazi occultist – who shows up at the warehouse in Egypt in full dress black SS uniform with several soldiers. Never mind that they would not have been allowed to carry MP40s (in British ruled Egypt), they certainly could not be driving in a kubelwagen in the 30s. The scenes with the Nazi’s are so stupid as to be insulting. The humor feels slapstick and purposefully used to hide the show’s shoestring budget.
I suppose there is a little bit of story the webisodes eventually do get at, Brücke wants to discover the secrets of the Stargate. And it would not be a show if he did not manage to activate the rings. Brücke forces Paul Langford to walk through the Stargate once it is activated and Catherine vows to find her father. Well, for a plot that is about as basic as it gets.
Are there any redeeming qualities I could mention for Stargate Origins? After all, it cannot be that bad if they are releasing it. For me it is borderline unwatchable, but it does have some redeeming qualities. Actress Ellie Gall does a decent job of portraying the young and headstrong Catherine Langford. This web-series is Catherine’s origin story to fill in the blanks about what happened before the 1994 movie. Ellie Gall portrayal is not as composed as the older depictions of her character made by Viveca Lindfors or Elizabeth Hoffman. Yet, I think there is potential. Sadly Ellie Gall is saddled up with some terrible writing and two accompanying characters that undermine my belief in acting.
Episode 3 ends with Catherine pursuing her father, Brücke and his mysterious henchwoman Eva Reinhardt. There is a little bit of interest in me to see how the rest of Stargate Origins unfolds. At 10 minutes per episode I can hardly say it is a time sink, but if it gets any worse I will quickly forget all about Stargate Origins. Being a fan from the beginning in 1994 that is a hard thing to admit.