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Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

5 Articles Tagged with “Stargate”

  1. On the demise of Stargate Universe, or: What the hell, Syfy?

    So last week, we witnessed the passing of yet another science-fiction franchise from television. Syfy broadcast the series finale of Stargate Universe on Monday, and I call it the demise of the franchise because the show's cancellation has been a death blow to the promised SG-1 and Atlantis movies as well. Though it's possible that MGM will bring the franchise back through comics, novels—or yes, even another movie or spin-off—for now there will be no more Stargate on television. That, to me, is far more tragic than the cancellation of a single series. Still, I'm going to take a look now at Stargate Universe and its impact on my opinion of the franchise as a whole.

    In the beginning, I remember a strong backlash to the show's "darker tones" and charges that it Syfy wanted a "darker sci-fi" show to replace Battlestar Galactica. Apparently "light sci-fi" just doesn't pay the bills, although the continual renewal of Eureka seems like it would belie this idea. Anyway, there was the usual clamour from the die-hard reactionaries that Stargate Universe wasn't "the same" as the good-old days, and for that reason they were going to boycott the show.

    Well that turned out…

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  2. Stargate SG-1 seasons 9 and 10

    I'm sitting here, still full of endorphins after SNL's Presidential Bash, watching a rerun of Stargate SG-1--"Line in the Sand," one of the final nine episodes of the series. And watching it, I'm coming to this realization that I may have given the final two seasons of Stargate SG-1 shorter shrift than they deserve.

    I mean, yes, the storyline sucked and the themes were flimsy and transparent. The injection of two actors from Farscape as series regulars was suspicious and also somewhat funny. But let's back up for a moment. This is Stargate SG-1. It's always vacillated between the absurd realm of Farscape and the lecturing tones of Star Trek, erring to the side of humour wherever possible. That's what made it a great show. So to criticize the last two seasons on those grounds is rather hypocritical.

    So rather than criticizing the last two seasons and harping on how much they jumped the shark, here's a couple of things about seasons 9 and 10 (especially 10) that I love:

    t: Daniel and Vala. d: Need I say more? These two have great chemistry. Both Claudia Black and Ben Browder (more so Black than Browder, however)…

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  3. Review of Stargate: Continuum

    I woke up today and went to Future Shop to buy Stargate: Continuum, although I couldn't actually watch it until after work tonight. It was worth the wait.

    I admit that I feared Continuum would be a "Well, let's turn 'Moebius' into a movie." Yet another time travel episode. Yes, there were similarities--it's time travel, after all, with alternate timelines and whatnot--but this movie really captures the Stargate genre and provides the essential link between the old Stargate SG-1 series and (hopefully) the future movies to come.

    The story is largely self-contained, due to the nature of the time travel. By the end, nothing in the Stargate universe has really advanced, with the exception of the execution of Ba'al. That doesn't stop it from being an excellent story, and the characters make it that way. Richard Dean Anderson's "special guest appearance" brought O'Neill back into the mix. I would have liked more of him, but what little screen time he had was well used. The other members of SG-1 were awesome. Teal'c managed to pull off yet another convincing Heel Face Turn. Michael Shanks has a fun scene where he talks to the alternate timeline version of himself…

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  4. Such a franchise junkie

    Stargate: The Ark of Truth came out on DVD today, so I went right to Future Shop after class to buy it. Yes, MGM tells me to buy something, and I buy it. I am such a franchise junkie.

    Obligatory spoiler warning here. Read more and feel the wrath of the Ori--oh wait....

    I'm so satisfied. It took ten years to get here, but every step of the way was totally worth it. I was initially upset, but quickly resigned, to Stargate SG-1's cancellation. They were kind of running out of apocalypses after all--and the recent terrible writing on Stargate Atlantis seems to reinforce that fact. That doesn't mean I was going to ignore the direct-to-DVD sequels MGM wanted to produce, especially because the writers deliberately left the Ori saga half-concluded. More SG-1? Yes please.

    Overall, I loved it. The dialogue among the SG-1 characters is just so satisfying; they are so comfortable with each other. Since the series has such a rich universe and backstory, it allows the writers to tie together elements that may once have been disparate, and even expands their creativity by giving them a better canvas. Yes, they brought back the replicators, but…

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  5. 200

    I just watched Stargate SG-1's 200th episode, "200", and it was simply incredible!

    With ten years and (now) over 200 episodes under its belt, Stargate SG-1 has crossed the threshold from science fiction series to phenomenon. Part of the key to its success was that it has never taken itself too seriously; the show makes references to pop culture and even itself in semi-fourth-wall breaking moments. The 200th episode takes this and delivers it a hundredfold. It's a gift to the fans, of course, those who have been with the show from its inception right to the present.

    The show ended with a really poignant quote, however, of Isaac Asimov:

    Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today--but the core of science fiction, its essence, the concept around which it revolves, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.

    And that's basically why I love to read and write science fiction.

    So Stargate SG-1 remains cancelled. Or sort of. The issue is more that Sci-Fi, the channel which airs Stargate SG-1, isn't renewing it. There are rumours MGM, which produces…

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