No, I'm thinking standard gates- although using an ori gate to get their ship across could be an interesting plot point.
Now, there's no way a full ship could fit through a gate, but perhaps the small shuttle attached to the larger ship can? For transporting goods, getting across the new planet faster, maybe bring in some air support or evac?
Two fold here... Standard gates MIGHT fit something the side of the firefly-shuttle, though I doubt it... As we see in Atlantis the Jumpers are barely able to fit, we know something along the lines of the death gliders fits but that is very small.
This leaves two possible suggestions... The first is, planet-side gates unless we use a super-gate.
The second I like better... We open the story with the crew having failed at some mission and stranded on a planet without a ship and without food or water, they are exploring trying to find such and they find a 'Lantean ship, not the size of a city or the size of the Ancient ship used in SG-Universe. I am picturing something we have never seen before, similar in size to the Serenity. Perhaps a bit bigger but roughly that kind of small transport vessel. They find it on a planet and in the way of the Ancient technology that has been used it starts to power up and ready for use when they enter the vessel. Equip it with two Jumpers as shuttles attached to the ship. The solves the problem of how to get through gates and how the crew will get around and the standard discovery phase of figuring the ship out. The potential friction from a failed mission also provides good role play.
This is a tremendously intriguing method of combining my two favorite scifi's. WOOHOO!!
I'd be okay with going as detailed with both shows' canon as you want. I've seen all of the Firefly stuff and all three shows. Or at least most of all three shows. There's always http://gateworld.net/, after all. The big questions are 1) are we still in the same universe? (I'm thinking Yes since all the maps I've seen have only had a few stars) and 2) if we are, what the hell has gone on in while we were gone? There must have been one heck of a power vacuum when the Tauri left, lots must have changed.
Hard and ruthless crew with a code of personal ethics sounds more fun, especially if some members are more willing to bend or otherwise ignore their principles then others. Insert evil giggles here.
It's more likely for the crew to be able to figure out the Gate if it's a land-based one, but an additional network of space gates would be awesome. This place where we find the Gate (probably one of the only ones in the Firefly area of space since all of those planets and moons were terraformed), would it be based around Goauld design like the Abydos map room or Lantean tech like Atlantis base?
That is totally what made me think of it... Two great Scifi shows!
1 - Yes, same universe, don't think we need to do parallels or anything like that. There is enough room to have had the SGC have happened on Earth long before it as abandoned. Additionally, we know that the Asgard are no more, as they gave their master computer to Earth. The Guaold system lords could also be gone as well, as they were virtually crushed. There are no long-term races that could not have changed in the really, incredibly loose (as written) amount of time that could have passed between then and the Firefly universe.
2 - This goes into 1 as well, but I picture Firefly taking place in a small section of the universe, we know galactic distances can be so great that really, only a few stars are written to exist in Firefly leaving it open to being a very small part of the Galaxy at large. Planets that required terraforming are likely to not have gates, on average.
3 - This works to our advantage leaving almost nothing left from that era, other races in other parts of the Galaxy may be at different technology levels as well, space travelers to nonindustrial are all possible within the limits of canon.
See what I said above about the kinds of gates, except, I think if we do a ship-based then all the addresses could be in the on board computer system. The gates would be like those in the Milky-Way network and use the same symbols. Also, I'd think that we want to leave enough power to operate the gate without issue but not the kind of power needed to enter an 8th Symbol, if we want to do that, I'd say go with a super-gate.
An interesting side point... What about the trans-galactic conduit proposed in SG-Atlantis? That would be fun to play with. If we choose NOT to go with a ship-based story, they could base themselves at the half-way point of the bridge and have access to both the Atlantis network and Milky-Way network.