As a result, “Avalon” parts one and two have given many viewers their very first taste of what Stargate is. And I’ve read many reviews, commentaries, and letters to the editor this month that describe the show with terms like “popcorn fare” (I even used that one myself last week), “entertaining romp,” “lighthearted,” “goofy,” and the not-so-kind “pedestrian.”
Are media outlets giving Stargate SG-1 a fair shake?
Consider, for example, the words of USA Today: “More space adventure than deep drama, Stargate places no great demands on its audience — unless you’re determined to keep track of its increasingly complicated plot. While it’s not a great series, it can be an entertaining one.”
In other words, so far Stargate SG-1 is coming across to many as Science Fiction Lite, a group of explorers on a somewhat silly adventure with dramatic moments few and far between, and dialogue bordering on cheese. Campy. Many reviewers treat the show as appealing to the lowest common denominator. Positive reviews have often focused on the “But it is entertaining” factor, and left it at that.
Those viewers who stick around long enough are sure to learn, however, that this evaluation of Stargate SG-1 is what is pedestrian. The casual passer-by will watch an episode like “Avalon, Part 1” and conclude that that’s all the show is. But they may miss out on the hard-hitting drama and pure science fiction of episodes like “Abyss,” “Meridian,” “Heroes,” and “Threads.”
That’s the true beauty of Stargate, and no doubt a key ingredient in the formula that has made it such a success: Stargate is varied. There are popcorn romps, there are comedies, there are intense dramas, there are character studies, and there are pure science fiction hours.
SG-1 has been unfavorably compared to such genre series as Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Trek, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. To be sure, it is none of these. The show is its own creature, and because it is so internally varied it is unlike anything else in its class. It doesn’t take itself too seriously … but watch out: When it does take itself seriously, and when it takes its own mythology seriously, it sits with the best that television has to offer.
Now, for your late local news:
He also played the very alien Tenat in Season Eight’s “Prometheus Unbound” … a character who will return in an upcoming episode. (Knowing Vala, our guess is “The Ties That Bind.”) “I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that he has some ‘unfinished business’ with a certain character,” Chapdelaine said, “and he want to get revenge, and to get back what is truly his.”
Chapdelaine also said that Amanda Tapping is hosting a new documentary on Stargate called “The Science of Stargate.” No word yet on whether this will be a DVD feature, a TV special, or something else entirely.
“The Siege, Part 3.”
(Thanks to Morjana, Maciej Kwiatkowski, Scott, tsaxlady, and Ron for contributing!)