Author Topic: Death by Stargate  (Read 18408 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline nacho

  • Hallowed are the Ori.
  • Walter The Farting Dog
  • You're a kitty!
  • *****
  • Posts: I am a geek!!
    • GS
Death by Stargate
« on: October 17, 2010, 10:23:42 PM »
So, for the past two months, I've been Marathoning Stargate.  All of Atlantis and, now, on season four of SG1.

Now it hasn't been a true marathon.  I watch maybe 8 episodes out of a season... The first three seasons of SG1 are really, really hard to do.  And Atlantis falls apart after season three.  So I haven't felt the need to do a whole freakout thread.

But, season four SG1 does change in tone.  Most notably, it improves dramatically in terms of storytelling and characterization.  So I have ended up watching most of it so far.

My goal:  Find the ten best episodes from the franchise.  And detail why they're the ten best.

Woo.

I'll list the rankings so far... Still one billion episodes to go.

SGU: No episodes made it.

Atlantis:  The only episode to make it is the penultimate one -- Vegas (though it's the "spiritual finale" as far as the creators/writers are concerned).

SG1:  The pilot (season 1), Torment of Tantalus (s1), The Nox (s1), Enigma (s1), 1969 (s2), Points of View (s3), Nemesis (s3) & Small Victories (s4), Window of Opportunity (s4).

When I'm done, I'll review all of the finalists and narrow it down.

I write this not only to report on my progress, but also so you'll know why I hung myself in the shower somewhere around season eight.


Offline nacho

  • Hallowed are the Ori.
  • Walter The Farting Dog
  • You're a kitty!
  • *****
  • Posts: I am a geek!!
    • GS
Re: Death by Stargate
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2010, 10:39:05 PM »
Wow. Season six (the move to the Sci-Fi Channel) is miles better than the first five Showtime seasons.  It's the first season where I haven't skipped episodes.

I don't know where I was for season six... There are episodes I don't remember. What was I doing in 02?

Offline nacho

  • Hallowed are the Ori.
  • Walter The Farting Dog
  • You're a kitty!
  • *****
  • Posts: I am a geek!!
    • GS
Re: Death by Stargate
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2010, 07:53:53 PM »
The mini-marathon continues!  Season six finished this morning.

Watching only the passable episodes of each season illustrates the evolution of this show.

For Season one, I was only able to sit through 13 of the 25 episodes.

For season two, I only made it through 8 of 22 episodes.

For season three, I made it through 13 of 25 episodes.

For season four, I made it through 12 of 22 episodes.

For season five, we see a shift in quality. I made it through 18 of 22 episodes.

Season six, the Sci Fi channel move, starts out very strong, then falls apart with nonsense episodes, rehashed plots from previous seasons, and clip shows. I made it through 16 of 22 episodes.

Of all of those, my "best of" list has only 12 episodes on it.

Offline nacho

  • Hallowed are the Ori.
  • Walter The Farting Dog
  • You're a kitty!
  • *****
  • Posts: I am a geek!!
    • GS
Re: Death by Stargate
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2010, 10:11:21 PM »
Whew!  Season nine begins... Fargate!

Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Beau Bridges... It really is like Stargate was canceled and a whole new show premiered.

And I especially love the Browder-Black dynamic. I remember my secret dream being that the whole Farscape crew would eventually work their way onto the show.

Offline nacho

  • Hallowed are the Ori.
  • Walter The Farting Dog
  • You're a kitty!
  • *****
  • Posts: I am a geek!!
    • GS
Re: Death by Stargate
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2010, 10:11:31 AM »
Oh my god!  Halfway through season 10.

Season's nine and ten are the most superior, I think.  It's a weird thing, actually.  Nine and ten are almost like a spinoff series that just happen to star three of the original characters.  But, especially in season 10, we shift to Browder and Black-centric episodes. For two years, Teal'c, Carter, and Daniel are all somewhat phoned in characters.  They're always there but it feels more like Worf and O'Brien in Deep Space Nine than an actual continuation of SG1.

It was, overall, very refreshing.  The old team was so obviously getting tired in the seventh and eighth seasons. It's like those two seasons were filmed while the studio held a gun to everybody's head.

I've certainly watched more episodes.  So let's catch up on that tally:

I left off with season six a couple posts above, so:

Season 7: I watched 12 of 22 episodes.

Season 8: I watched 9 of 20 episodes

Season 9: I watched 16 of 20 episodes.

I have 10 more episodes to go in season ten, then the movies, then I'll evaluate my "best of" list and narrow it down to ten episodes.

Also, I want to marry Claudia Black.

Offline nacho

  • Hallowed are the Ori.
  • Walter The Farting Dog
  • You're a kitty!
  • *****
  • Posts: I am a geek!!
    • GS
Re: Death by Stargate
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2010, 10:57:03 AM »
Of course, season ten is very poorly written.  Or, at least, lacks continuity.  For example, traveling to worlds that the Go'auld didn't know about (thanks to Jack's access to the Ancient database way, way back early in the series) comes up more than ever as they seek Merlin's superweapon.  Yet these worlds, as of season ten, seem to have knowledge of the Go'auld.  But we know they've never been visited, they've been off the map, and now that they're being exposed to the universe thanks to SG1 and/or the Ori, they'd still be pretty ignorant because the Go'auld have been soundly defeated for two or three years now.

Also, we miss a golden comic opportunity in the two parter "Quest" episode where SG1 joins up with both Adria and Baal.  Baal seems generally uninterested in the fact that Adria is the supreme commander of the Ori, and doesn't even bat an eye when she calls Vala mother.

And a host of other similar gaps fill the seasons.  (One huge problem is when they go to Atlantis and completely make shit up that wasn't even in that series, such as the children's learning room just off of the main bridge area where an ascended ancient has been hanging out for three Atlantis seasons.)

Offline nacho

  • Hallowed are the Ori.
  • Walter The Farting Dog
  • You're a kitty!
  • *****
  • Posts: I am a geek!!
    • GS
Re: Death by Stargate
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2010, 02:33:52 PM »
Another problem with the tenth season (and the movies) is the use of Baal -- when necessary, he's a villainous big bad. But, then, they'll also put him in as a sort of reluctant ally, or just simple comic relief.  Overall, he's a very sympathetic character.  So much so that the episodes when he's supposed to be utterly evil are ruined... And he starts to steal the show from what is, really, a too large and clumsy ensemble.  Five people sneaking around are even more difficult to manage when you throw in Baal and others.  Suddenly it feels like you have a whole little tribe sneaking around.  It takes 20 seconds of screen time for everyone to file through a trap door to safety.

Offline nacho

  • Hallowed are the Ori.
  • Walter The Farting Dog
  • You're a kitty!
  • *****
  • Posts: I am a geek!!
    • GS
Re: Death by Stargate
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2010, 10:32:00 AM »
Whew!  Just finished the series finale.  Certainly in the top 10... I had forgotten what an amazing episode it was.

So... For the franchise (and I'm going to rewatch the movies and add them into the mix) here's my "top episode" list so far.  31 episodes (out of 214). From this, I'll try to narrow it down to a top 10.  Some are already in the top 10... I bolded those.  Some, while making this list, are not worthy of the top 10.  I put those in italics.

Children of the Gods (original version -- SG1 season 1)

Vegas (Atlantis - Season 5)  

Torment of Tantalus (SG1 - S. 1)

The Nox (SG1 - S 1)

Enigma (SG1 - S 1)

1969 (SG1 - S 2)

Point of View (SG1 - S 3)

Nemesis (SG1 - S 3)

Small Victories (SG1 - S 4)

Window of Opportunity (SG1 - S 4)

Redemption (SG1 - S 6)

Descent (SG1 - S 6)

Frozen (SG1 - S 6)

Unnatural Selection (SG1 - S 6)

Paradise Lost (SG1 - S 6)

Heroes (SG1 - S 7)

Inauguration (SG1 - S 7)

Lost City (SG1 - S 7)

Prometheus Unbound (SG1 - S8)

It's Good to be King (SG1 - S8)

Threads (SG1 - S8)

Moebius (SG1 - S8)

Avalon (SG1 - S 9)

Origin (SG1 - S 9)

The Powers That Be (SG1 - S 9)

Beachhead (SG1 - S 9)

Ethon (SG1 - S 9)

The Pegasus Project (SG1 - S 10)

The Quest (SG1 - S 10)

Line in the Sand (SG1 - S 10)

Unending (SG1 - S 10)

SG1 -- Ark of Truth

SG1 -- Continuum
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 01:35:53 PM by nacho »

Offline nacho

  • Hallowed are the Ori.
  • Walter The Farting Dog
  • You're a kitty!
  • *****
  • Posts: I am a geek!!
    • GS
Re: Death by Stargate
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2010, 02:06:14 PM »
Okay, then.  I'll go right into it -- starting the first movie: Ark of Truth. Which is, sorta kinda, the actual season 10 finale. 

Offline nacho

  • Hallowed are the Ori.
  • Walter The Farting Dog
  • You're a kitty!
  • *****
  • Posts: I am a geek!!
    • GS
Re: Death by Stargate
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2010, 05:03:09 PM »
Added Ark of Truth to the shortlist above.  I don't know if it's worth a top 10 slot... As an episode, it's astounding.  As season 10's season finale, it blows everything out of the water.  It's basically a regular episode with a multi-million dollar budget and, because it's just an ordinary episode, they're able to splurge wildly on the music, cinematography, and special effects. It is one hell of a beautiful 100 minutes of film...for an episode.

But...it's not supposed to be an episode.  It isn't meant to be part of season ten, or a finale.  It's meant to be a TV movie post-series. So how should it be judged? As an extra-long mega-episode, it's awesome.  As a Stargate movie... It's lacking, because it's so fundamentally tied into season ten (unlike the next movie). It's like they took an unproduced script, turned it into a finale, and got a king's ransom as a budget.

In a much more esoteric level of fandom, Ark of Truth presents a problem that now conflicts with SGU.  The Ancients finally step in and lend assistance.  Given Destiny's BSG-esque mission from god, why are the Ancients again absent?  (Though, perhaps, they aren't and they're behind the Obelisk Aliens.)

Let's get a ruling from the other Stargate fan -- Sirharles?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 05:17:01 PM by nacho »

Offline nacho

  • Hallowed are the Ori.
  • Walter The Farting Dog
  • You're a kitty!
  • *****
  • Posts: I am a geek!!
    • GS
Re: Death by Stargate
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2010, 05:44:43 PM »
Yeah... Okay, I made my decision based on the epilogue, where they celebrate the death of the Ori and say "It's weird not having a big bad guy to fight anymore."

Well... There's the Wraith, guys.  Who, as of this movie, were a serious threat...and still are.  So you'd think, okay, the Ori are defeated... What has Earth inherited? Well, let's review:

(1) A supergate

(2) The most powerful weapon ever created

(3) Tollan and his armies and his invincible fleet of ships

(4) The Odyssey armed with Asgard weapons

(5) The seeming relaxation of the rules between the ascended Ancients and humans

(6) The home city and planet where the Ancients (and the Ori) originated which, we can only presume, is a treasure trove of advanced technology

(7) All the priors, who are able to build technology far in advance of any race in the universe

Here's an idea!  Let's all go to Pegasus and fuck the Wraith in the ass.  With all of the above, you could do it in about a week.

And, yet, Pegasus and the Atlantis Expedition are left to languish (they're not even mentioned in the movie yet, in Atlantis, the movie is referenced in an episode) and, ultimately, they abandon Pegasus to the Wraith and retreat to Earth where, presumably, it's only a matter of time before the Wraith come in force.

So...yes. Ark of Truth is not top 10 simply because it doesn't take any other element of the franchise under consideration.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 05:46:38 PM by nacho »

Offline nacho

  • Hallowed are the Ori.
  • Walter The Farting Dog
  • You're a kitty!
  • *****
  • Posts: I am a geek!!
    • GS
Re: Death by Stargate
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2010, 01:35:24 PM »
Okay!  Now... Continuum, the second movie, is in the top 10.  A stand-alone story, mainly set in an alternate timeline where Browder, Tapping, and Shanks are somewhat out of their element then forced to set everything right without the usual resources.  People die and get maimed, absolutely everybody who's anybody gets a guest spot -- including long dead System Lords. Again, you have an episode with a mega-budget... Helped out thanks to the commander of the base where they filmed all the Arctic scenes because he was a ravenous Stargate fan, so all the base shots and shots on the ice are pretty much free locations.  Plus, the Air Force gave them free F-15's for the shoot!




Offline nacho

  • Hallowed are the Ori.
  • Walter The Farting Dog
  • You're a kitty!
  • *****
  • Posts: I am a geek!!
    • GS
Re: Death by Stargate
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2010, 01:49:38 PM »
It also looks like Claudia Black was covering up a pregnancy... But the way they did it is wonderful.  We don't get any real body shots in her normal clothes, but she's only in it as Vala for about 5 minutes.  She spends most of the episode as Kotesh, which means it's perfectly natural for her to be in a somewhat formless Go'uald outfit.  It's all tits and legs. Can't go wrong.

I'm going to sit in the bathtub and drink beer now because... The marathon is over!

Offline nacho

  • Hallowed are the Ori.
  • Walter The Farting Dog
  • You're a kitty!
  • *****
  • Posts: I am a geek!!
    • GS
Re: Death by Stargate
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2011, 12:51:40 PM »
Something for Sirharles to watch over and over again at work:

Not a valid youtube URL

Offline nacho

  • Hallowed are the Ori.
  • Walter The Farting Dog
  • You're a kitty!
  • *****
  • Posts: I am a geek!!
    • GS
Re: Death by Stargate
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2011, 11:20:04 AM »
Oh my god...


http://www.rdanderson.com/stargate/storyarcs/storyarcs.htm

I've spend way too long at that site... Time to marathon Stargate again!