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So, okay, here's my thing about the SGA cancellation -- oh, I'm sorry, I mean *format change.* Guys, the show's not all that good. Those of us who love it, love it, and probably always will -- I assume it's some kind of random mutation that produces Atlantis fans, I don't know. But from a creators' perspective, what you hope for really is something that has room to grow, that will keep bringing in new fans, and I don't see how SGA is ever going to do that, ever. It is what it is, and after five years, it's not going to be anything else. The audience it has is the audience it's stuck with, so honestly, I can't blame a writer *or* a businessperson who wants to move onto something else.

I love Atlantis, I'll miss Atlantis, I'm sort of mildly pleased that there will be Atlantis movies, I suppose, but it had a five-season run, and it never really found a direction for itself, any kind of strong narrative spine or thematic core. Add to that the fact that tv shows NEVER GET BETTER AFTER THE FIFTH SEASON -- they can only hold ground, or get worse, and most get precipitiously worse somewhere around s6 or s7 -- and I have to say it doesn't seem wrong or unfair to me that people want to call it off here.

As for Stargate Universe, well -- why not? I know that there are people up in arms about TPTB wanting to skew to a younger demographic and throwing around crazy terms like "character-driven" -- OMG, soap opera!!! Frankly, they'd be insane not to do those things. In the era of big ensemble cast dramas in sf like Lost, Heroes, and BSG, Stargate has looked like a dinosaur for years now, with its insistence on framing the blowing-up-monsters episodes as the event episodes of the season and its cultish reverence for science fiction conventions estabished in the 1960s. The production values and direction have always been nice, but it just feels like an old show. That was a fuck-up -- they could have fixed that with Atlantis, but they didn't. Now they're going to give it another shot, so we'll see. They're even pitching it as a "cut off from Earth and stranded in space!" show, which *we all know* that even Atlantis's biggest fans have been bitching for years that they should never have bailed on with Atlantis. This is obviously a do-over for them, and again, I can't begrudge creators a chance to use what they've learned from their mistakes.

Will it be awesome? No idea. These guys are one step above hacks, but at least they seem to have noticed what's gone wrong -- people tune in to watch characters and stories! Well, good, maybe their next lead will be something other than a clever cypher, and maybe they won't put anyone in the main cast without knowing what kind of stories they want to tell about these people. The advantage they have is that they've always been very, very good at casting -- SG1 had a very strong, memorable cast, and SGA's cast was leagues above their material. If they really *can* do a series that's about the terror and wonder of exploring the universe, that puts good actors in roles that let them flesh out their characters, that values drama and human emotion at least as much as nice sets and flashy space battles -- well then, hell, it could be a show worth watching.

And hey, fandom's always done better by these characters than canon ever did. The way I choose to view it, they're just leaving Atlantis in the hands of the experts.


Sep. 3rd, 2008 11:45 am (UTC)
Brilliant analysis!
SGA has good actors and SFX people, poor (inconsistent, hackish) writers and costume etc people(every village the same)

They can come up with a concept, and as you said, pick good actors, but that's as far as it goes.
One thing theyve done with Atlantis that they didnt do with SG1 is change the central cast every season.
Maybe it would have been better with Wright & Cooper in charge?

Its not even about budget.

The new Dr Who has about 1/3 of SGA's budget- the BBC are
notoriously mean with money- and is better executed.
And BSG.... well.
What would SGA have been like, if some of the BSG writers had been let loose on it?

Still, fanfic writers - like yourself (loved your Alpha Centauri 'verse, even though Im a McShep girl)have done and will do more in telling SGA stories than the canon writers ever could.

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