Cathode Tan - Games, Media and Geek Stuff
logo design by man bytes blog

Monday, June 25, 2007

Stargate SG-1: Unending

I've watch Stargate SG-1, the television spinoff from the movie, since just about it's inception. I'm always wary of movie conversions, especially into television, since it is usually a cheap cash-in with little hope of success. Buffy is a notable exception - but that is largely due to the fact that Whedon was rescuing his original attempt from the campy form the movie took.

Stargate's television format accepted most of the movie's original premise. Many key concepts, like O'Neill's and Jackson's relationship, are held tightly to the core. Some aspects, like aliens speaking hard to understand dialects and the specifics of Stargate travel, get shifted around. The show managed to do what televisions shows should do for movies though - expand the concept into a more interesting and material universe. The show had a solid tone for a serial too - somewhat serious but often self-referential and tongue-in-cheek.

For me, it wasn't Firefly - it's not an evolution of a genre in any serious sense of the word. But it was a lot of fun to watch, rewarded you for watching more of it - it was an easy show to love.

So when we realized we were watching the series finale this weekend, we were a bit shocked.

Unending proved to be just as its title suggests. The core of the episode traps the characters into a time dilation field wherein they spend many years with each other. It is perhaps too grand of an analogy, but this closer reminded me of the closer to Six Feet Under - more interested in showing you one last vignette into the character's lives than the resolution of any major plot points you might have been interested in.

The result is oddly satisfactory. Even if the rumors of a direct to DVD movie weren't true, and it appears they are, in the long run Stargate made us care more about the characters themselves than whatever evil nemesis has cropped up this season. Why worry so much about whether they defeat Apophis? He'll just be back. Well, OK, maybe they wrapped that one up at long last - but I'd say that the decision to give us one long look back at the characters was a good one, even if it lacked Richard Dean Anderson. This season has had some stumbles, but at least we got him back for 200.

Fun Fact! Michael Shanks, who notes in "Unending" that you can distinct The Asgard from their voices - provides the voice for the Asgard Thor, featured in the episode.

1 comment:

Winkyboy said...

Yeah, I watched the whole thing from the beginning through season ten, too. I really feel that when they lost Jack as a regular character and defeated the Goa'uld, the series was essentially finished. The Ori seemed like a literal rehash of the Goa'uld except just a little stronger.

SO, I felt the final couple of seasons were just kind of extra niceties/rewards for being such a good show.

The only problem with the Stargate series is, much like almost all other television series, is that it is essentially unending. Stories NEED endings, not just a million stepping stones that mark the end of a one-hour section of the story.

This is why I ALSO like Atlantis. They did a good thing with that, creating an entirely different spinoff. I'm a good handful of episodes behind on that one though, so I have to catch up.

SO, in short: TV Series shouldn't last longer than two or three seasons, but Stargate SG-1 was a real kick.