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Stargate SG-1: The Good, the Bad and The Ugly


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I don't remember the series well enough to nominate a best episode, but I know I liked quite a lot of it.

 

IIRC, "The Warrior" was the ep in which SG-1 encounters a group of rebel jaffa that's operating like a suicidal death cult. It turns out that the leader is Not What He Seems. A good reminder about the dangers of charismatic bad leaders and getting hypnotized by struggles against evil.

 

Also the excellent bit of badassery, when the team introduces the jaffa to aatomatic rifles with specialized ammunition, by contrasting them with a blasty-staff: More or less, "This is a weapon to frighten your enemy... and this is a weapon to kill your enemy."

 

More broadly, I liked that characters could have meaningful differences and make good cases for their views, neither the bland we're're-all-friends-and-agree-on-everything of early ST: TNG, nor making one character the Designated Idiot who is always wrong.

 

Also, that the US military was presented with respect as people who were mostly brave and dedicated. It was a nice change from too-frequent portrayals of soldiers as thugs, dimwits or duped victims (lookin' at you, M*A*S*H*). I became quite fond of General Hammond as a commander who could make the case for *no* being a rule-breakin' maverick smartass.

 

And yes, it kept its sense of humor.

 

The series lasted too long, though. The last seasons with the Aurai (or however it's spelled) felt tacked on.

 

And it would have been nice to encounter a threat to Earth that they hadn't released themselves. First they alert the goauld by opening the stargate. Then they unwittingly contribute to the genesis of the replicators. Then they let the Aurai know about humanity. Then in Stargate: Atlantis they release that series' big bads. <sigh> I never watched any other sequel series, but I assume the protagonists in some way created their own chief problem then, too.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Incidentally, I referenced Starget: SG-1 in the introduction I wrote for the Mage: the Awakening supplement, Secrets of the Ruined Temple. Mage: the Awakening had Atlantis in its mythology, and Secrets was about building adventures around ancient ruins, secrets of the magical past, and stuff like that.

 

"Stargate and its TV offspring Stargate: SG-1I are nominally science fiction, but nonestly, the "technology" of the Ancients is carved from rock and engraved with mysterious symbols. Stir in false gods with more "magic" items, weird creatures with unearthly powers, lost races and ancient secrets, and you've got plenty of material to steal for a Ruined Temple chronicle."

 

Something to keep in mind for other Fantasy games, too.

 

Dean Shomshak

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12 hours ago, DShomshak said:

The series lasted too long, though. The last seasons with the Aurai (or however it's spelled) felt tacked on.

 

SG-1 should have been capped off at Season 6 or perhaps 7.

 

Pariah...you and I had previously discussed Stargate SG-1 in the "Neat Pictures" thread. I want to know what you think of the following changes ->


Season 7: Richard Dean Anderson starts his departure.

Season 8: Richard Dean Anderson is around for critical episodes only.

Season 9: Richard Dean Anderson leaves and Ben Browder joins to become SG-1's team leader.

Season 10: Claudia Black joins SG-1.

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48 minutes ago, Ragitsu said:

Pariah...you and I had previously discussed Stargate SG-1 in the "neat pictures" thread. I want to know what you think of the following changes ->


Season 7: Richard Dean Anderson starts his departure.

Season 8: Richard Dean Anderson is around for critical episodes only.

Season 9: Richard Dean Anderson leaves and Ben Browder joins to become SG-1's team leader.

Season 10: Claudia Black joins SG-1.

 

Season 7 was supposed to have been the last season. That's why the last episode of season 7 left Colonel O'Neill's fate deliberately vague. He could have remained in stasis in Antarctica, or he could be revived and return for one more go-round. When the series was renewed, he returned for one more go-round.

 

Season 8 was definitely supposed to have been the last season of Stargate SG-1. Richard Dean Anderson wanted out in order to spend more time with his family and less time rehabbing his bum knee. The final defeat of the Replicators and Anubis, along with all the other System Lords, put a nice little bow on the series. Our characters were now free to walk contentedly off into the sunset.

 

But then the series was renewed again. RDA was already gone, Amanda Tapping was having a baby, and there were really no bad guys left to fight. (Okay, there was Baal and the Lucian Alliance, but you can hardly build a whole series around that.) But hey, you can't have a hit series without a strong lead, and Ben Browder was fresh out of Farscape, so they brought him aboard (apparently without anticipating the inevitable comparisons to Michael Shanks). And it worked. Colonel Mitchell was enough like Crichton to be familiar, but different enough to be believable as a military officer. Samantha Carter eventually came back, and the status quo was more or less preserved.

 

As an aside, you also can't have a hit series without a strong adversary. At this point, however, things became problematic. System Lord Apophis gave way to half-ascended Ancient System Lord Anubis. With him gone, where else is there to go? How about a group of actual ascended ancients who were predatory rather than simply indifferent to humanity? Thus the Ori, arguably the biggest bunch of Mary Sues ever seen in American Science Fiction television, were born. Oh, and since it wouldn't make sense to carry on the Egyptian motif beyond the death of Anubis, let's pattern the new bad guys after Arthurian Legend. 

 

And then the 10th season rolled around, and they decided to go bigger and better. A new adversary, played by Morena Baccarin, counterbalanced by a new teammate, played by Claudia Black. The season built to an impressive crescendo--and then the series was canceled, arguably two and perhaps three seasons too late. Fortunately, they were able to put together to direct to DVD movies to tie everything up.

 

I think that about covers it.

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Agree with Pariah. I watched all ten seasons of SG-1, and Pariah nails it above. I didn't watch Farscape* so don't have that comparison, and wasn't aware of RDA's knee or AT's baby, but year, SG-1 should have stopped at Season 7. *Happy that Claudia Black is an Aussie.

Another thing is that as it is, with ten seasons, it made Stargate Atlantis a possibility, and then afterwards, Stargate Universe. If SG-1 stopped after season 7, these sequel series may never had been produced. 

To my mind, there is an uncanny resemblance between the overall themes between the TNG era of Star Trek and Stargate tv series. Both TNG and SG-1 have a central location-setting (Enterprise, Stargate Command), but are focused on the outward exploration of the galaxy and there is an optimism to both series. Next with DS9 and Atlantis the central setting was fixed and the universe came to them, so it was the opposite to TNG and SG-1. I haven't seen either DS0 or Atlantis, but I get the hunch that they were both darker and gritterer than their predecessor series. and then the third series Voyager and Universe share the same idea, of a crew aboard a starship a long long way from home and navigating this scenario. 

And I'm sure if you added up all the hours from SG-1, Atlantis, Universe, the tv movies, and the non-canon animated show, Stargate should qualify it a top tier sci-fi franchise along with Star Wars, and Star Trek. 

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On 9/26/2020 at 11:48 AM, DShomshak said:

Also, that the US military was presented with respect as people who were mostly brave and dedicated. It was a nice change from too-frequent portrayals of soldiers as thugs, dimwits or duped victims (lookin' at you, M*A*S*H*). I became quite fond of General Hammond as a commander who could make the case for *no* being a rule-breakin' maverick smartass.

 

True. However, I wasn't fond of how our government leaned into the show as a military recruiting tool.

 

Nevertheless, Stargate SG-1 did occasionally criticize the powerful ->

 

 

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On 9/26/2020 at 12:48 PM, DShomshak said:

Also, that the US military was presented with respect as people who were mostly brave and dedicated. It was a nice change from too-frequent portrayals of soldiers as thugs, dimwits or duped victims (lookin' at you, M*A*S*H*).

 

That M*A*S*H portrayed the military in this fashion is hardly a surprise. It was a thinly-veiled critique of the Vietnam War.

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1 hour ago, Pariah said:

 

That M*A*S*H portrayed the military in this fashion is hardly a surprise. It was a thinly-veiled critique of the Vietnam War.

MASH was nothing about being thinly veiled (they just kept the foul language out except for 1 out burst of "you SOB" from Hawkeye

I was in my teens watching MASH

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11 hours ago, Logan.1179 said:

Last night was the final episode of SG1 on Comet. Since they show three episodes a night, they continued with the first episode right after. Now I get a chance to watch the early stuff, too.

 

Prepare for some rather clumsy and excessive censorship.

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On 10/2/2020 at 3:21 AM, Greywind said:

Well, do keep in mind that SG1 started out on Showtime.

 

I'm not referring to those SF boobies in "Children of the Gods", but tame swearing such as "ass".

 

--- --- ---

 

 

^ A bright spot from the later seasons.

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What stretches my disbelief is the number times a member of the team says they hear or see something that no one else senses only to then be deemed mentally unstable. You'd think that after the first two separate occurrences of imperceptible phenomena that Stargate Command would learn to be a little more open-minded and not so quick to judge.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Someone pointed out the genius of "Window of Opportunity": because O'Neill goes through the same day over and over and over again in a single episode, he ends up experiencing a LOT of character development that actually stays with him for the rest of the series. You have to pay attention, but it is there.

 

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