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The Companion Update 3

5 Stargate Exclusives Coming to The Companion (And 3 Cool Non-SG Articles) | Companion Update 3

Can it be only last week that we announced that Brad Wright – co-creator of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe, and showrunner of Travelers – announced that he was joining The Companion as an exclusive contributor, advisor, and guiding light? This is the biggest news to hit the Stargate community since Brad enigmatically tweeted “Trying!” Already we’ve attracted the attention of GateWorld and received retweets from Michael Shanks, star of SG-1 (and recently spotted in Altered Carbon), and Joe Mallozzi, writer and producer of Dark Matter, Utopia Falls, and all three Stargate shows.

This is an opportunity for us to warmly welcome our flood of new members, those pioneering cosmonauts who jumped at the chance to get close to one of the genre’s most innovative creators. At time of writing, Brad is on the fourth draft of his first full-length article for us and watching him fine-tune it live in a Google Doc is a first-hand peek into his creative process that none of us ever imagined we would get to see. (And imagine knowing you can edit something Brad writes – Y I K E S).

This leads us neatly into a preview of eight pieces of incredible content coming to you only on The Companion. (All subject to change, of course). This, by the way, is only the tip of the Ha’tak mothership.

1. Brad Wright on the Rules that Govern Stargates, Death Stars and Parking Zones

Brad’s first article for us – clocking in at well over 3,000 words – delves deep into the genesis of Stargate and Travelers, obviously. But in musing on the importance of grounding sci-fi in immutable laws, Brad also turns his thoughts to Star Wars, Star Trek, Superman and how Ant-Man could have brought Avengers: Infinity War to an early end in a matter of gruesome minutes.

It’s insightful, personal and very, very funny. Here’s the first paragraph just to whet your appetite:

My mother once told me that at the age of six or seven, I strenuously objected to my father attempting to park in no parking zones. She said every time he tried, I kept reading the NO PARKING sign aloud over and over until he relented and found a legal spot. It was against the rules and I was having none of it. My first thought when she told me was wow, what an obnoxious little shit. But 50-something plus years later, it’s still true to character. I am a rules follower.

Brad Wright
2. Behind the Scenes VFX Secrets from John Gajdecki

We caught up with John Gajdecki, an absolute titan of small screen visual effects who worked on the first season of SG-1 and Atlantis. Not only did he treat us to a two-hour in-depth conversation about everything from the iconic ripples of the gate opening to the exploding offal of an ill-fated Reetou, but he dug into an old hard drive to find us a wealth of behind the scenes photographs from his short yet significant time on the show. A handful of those photos are on The Companion now, but look out for the full interview very very soon.

3. Yes We Canon: Stargate Role Playing, Novels and Comics

Like any great sci-fi show, Stargate expanded beyond the screen into novels, comic-books and tabletop roleplaying games. We speak to some of the writers to discover how much of this was canon and how they managed to craft new stories in the gaps between episodes.

4. Zero to Hero: The Arc of Rodney McKay

In the next chapter in our series of character deep dives, we turn to Rodney McKay, to discover how a man so difficult to love came to tell us so much about our own insecurities.

5. Builders of the Bricks: Stargate’s Strangest Toyline

Stargate never launched an assault on the toy market in the same way that many of its small-screen peers did. With only a set of Diamond Select action figures released for the real fans and collectors, the show’s foray into ‘construction toys’ – things that are a bit like LEGO but aren’t actually LEGO – is even crazier. We’ve tracked down the toy executive who brought the SG-1 Best-Lock sets to life to discover a tale worthy of Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us.

We also have tons of incredible non-Stargate content lined up for our members, including:

Tank Girl and Shaky Kane side-by-side in the April 1992 issue of Deadline, the magazine which made her a pop-culture phenomenon.
6. Lady and the Tank: Lori Petty talks Tank Girl

Whilst the mainstream remembers Tank Girl as only an eccentric oddity, an anarchic post-apocalypse poised somewhere between punk rock and girl power, for star Lori Petty it was her life… literally, on answering the phone she cheerfully exclaimed: “I am Tank Girl!” Speaking to us over two insightful – and R-rated – sessions, Lori revisits one of the most difficult parts of her career, but strikes a surprisingly uplifting tone as she muses on the empowering legacy of the film on an entire generation of young women. Rather than poison your peepers with mere photography, we commissioned a piece of original artwork from the psychedelic Shaky Kane, a British comics legend who regularly illustrates the covers of contemporary Tank Girl comics.

What do you do for a living?’ she asked, and I told her.

‘What was your last job?’ And I told her Tank Girl.

‘What did your character do?’ Well, she lives in the future and there’s no water. She’s married

to a kangaroo. And she’s tortured by this evil… Malcolm McDowell, you know, the guy from

A Clockwork Orange. I’m put in a freezer in my underwear and tortured. I’m hung upside down

in a tube and they try to drown me to death.

And she’s like, ‘Okay, stop’. And the psychiatrist said: ‘You actors are so stupid.

Lori Petty
7. Hugh and I: A Queer History of the Borg xBs

In this incredible piece of analysis which comes to us from a deeply personal perspective, we look at the return of Hugh – Jonathan del Arco’s fan-favorite ex-Borg – to Star Trek: Picard nearly 30 years on from his last appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Though Hugh, and Seven of Nine whose sexuality was also confirmed in Picard, we look at the queer coding of the xBs and what Hugh’s journey means to LGBTQ+ fans of the franchise.

Some of the wickedly high quality X-Files tie-ins that I’ve been quietly accumulating to illustrate this article. What IS it that makes Topps trading cards smell so darn good?
8. Merching for the Truth: The Case of X-Files Collectibles

With the fiercely protective creator Chris Carter scrutinizing their every move, X-Files merchandise was pretty extra. We spoke to the creators of the point-and-click interactive movie – which took over six hours of footage, a script over 700-pages long, and was shot during the series downtime – and the authors of the young adult tie-in novels, tasked with taming the dark and disturbing world of Mulder and Scully.

Now you’ve got a hint of what sort of coverage we have in store for Stargate SG-1, which other science fiction TV shows or movie franchises do you think are crying out for The Companion treatment? Please let us know in the comments because our next book depends entirely on you.

ShoutoutsA huge thanks to Leida Smith, Charles Squire, and Ella Tiarks, three of our Kickstarter backers who made The Companion possible!

Testimonial Author Image

James Hoare is editor of The Companion. He has been “working in publishing” since the early 1990s when he made his own Doctor Who fanzine to sell in the school playground.

You can find him on Twitter @JDHoare


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If you’re not a member, we hope you enjoyed this article as a gift from a friend. This piece is part of a planned chapter to our Stargate Companion Book, which is being serialized here exclusively for the true fans – our members. 

No speculation, no clickbait, and no manufactured controversy, The Companion is bringing you the real story from the men and women who made your favorite sci-fi movies and TV shows. As well as Stargate SG-1, there’ll be great analysis and in-depth interviews on Jurassic Park, Waterworld, Tank Girl, Quantum Leap, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Farscape and more. Click here to sign up to The Companion.