This is my personal thoughts, opinions and musings place. I will also rant about things, especially politically-correct things that irritate me. And sci-fi. Did I mention sci-fi? There'll be lots of sci-fi stuff here. And movies, too. Mmmmm... Movies

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Of Stargate: Atlantis, or why I never got into it

The show, Stargate: Atlantis, is in many ways a very well done sci-fi show, a spin-off from the show Stargate: SG1, which itself is a spinoff from the movie, Stargate. It is well-designed, well-acted and F/X are relatively minor, though first-class, which is what you'd expect from a modern sci-fi show. The main villains, The Wraith, are ridiculously powerful, but aren't particularly evil. True, they eat human beings, but that's almost instinctual for them, so I'm not sure it qualifies as evil. They treat humans as cattle, but aren't we told that we have to be accepting of other people's cultures and values? The minor villains, whose name I can't remember at the moment, aren't really evil, just militaristic, and suffer from serious delusions of adequacy.

As I said, the show is well-done, in many ways. But it jumped the shark for me about half-way through 1st season. I stopped watching it about then until the two-part episode, The Eye, and skipped the following episodes until the season finale, The Siege, and its attendant episodes. The reason is, I was bored. There was no real excitement, no wondering what they're going to encounter. Even in the SG1 series, the teams encountered more than just humans and Goa'uld. There were fish people, lizard people, water people, pranksters, super-advanced peoples of various kind, and even cavemen. And unless they brought with them a manufacturing facility, you'd think the Atlantis people would be running out of ammo about now.

The show was exciting for a while, but then the novelty wore off. I've seen far more SG1 episodes by now, and I want to keep watching. True, some of the episodes are dumb or boring or whatnot, but on the whole, it's an exciting show. That, I think, is the problem with Atlantis. Almost from day-one, it turned into a soap opera. Even Star Trek: DS9 took several years to do that and I stopped watching it about then, and Star Trek: Voyager, which shares one part of the premise with Atlantis, never did, except for brief periods of time.

To me, soaping a sci-fi show is the surest way to lose me as a viewer. I was perfectly content to watch, and like, Farscape until they turned it into a soap opera. It's one thing to revisit previous episodes, to expand upon what happened and what the outcome was, in the longer term, but to create just one script and follow it along for the whole length of the show is what Days of Our Lives is for.

In my opinion, Atlantis isn't really a bad show. It's not always consistent with reality(like projectile weapons require ammunition that has to be manufactured), and it's too soapy for my liking. It sometimes has great action and sometimes even good people trying to do the “right” thing in extremely difficult situations. It is well-acted, has great make-up and special effects, but I'm just not as excited about it as I was in the beginning. I'll watch the season premiere, whenever it comes on(probably in June or July), and make my mind up about it then.

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