Steven’s Top 5 Series: #2 STARGATE SG-1/ATLANTIS/UNIVERSE

Stargate Universe cast

Stargate was a good movie. Not a great movie, but I enjoyed it a lot as a teenager. When I heard about a television show being made, I jumped on it. And was rewarded with nudity (it started out on Showtime). Quickly, the series shifted away from the Showtime “spice” and developed into the scifi goodness we know and love. Which causes the network to drop the series to be picked up by the Scifi channel and the rest is history plus two spinoffs and three DVD movies.

If you were to rank my favorite scifi universes, Stargate would rank above Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and then Babylon 5. In the beginning, the writers were careful not to overload the fledgling universe with too much permanent lore. The world-of-the-week formula gave the series a pedestal to do what Star Trek did so well: explore constantly changing situations. Then the Ascended appeared, and the Asgard, and the Replicators (loved those), and the Ori, and–oh, that was the end. One by one, Stargate Command faced and defeated their enemies in true fictional fashion until the bad guys became jokes. And then almost half the cast left to be replaced by actors from Farscape. Basically, Seinfeld was right: leave before someone pushes you out.

Atlantis was a good idea ruined by the Wraith. I never cared for those emo/goth/1990s-throwback/insect/alien/vampire posers. Unfortunately, though the writers worked on getting rid of the Wraith, it was too late and the damage was too grave. The final seasons were some of the best, if a bit hooky at times. Dr. McKay grew on me very slowly and ended up being my favorite character as the show passed on. All leading up to Battlegate, that is, Stargate Universe.

SGU is as close to a direct ripoff I’ve seen in some time. The only thing it misses is an alien race chasing the… oh. Well, the Stargate is still there… but they use it infrequently. And I think whoever consulted George Lucas on the politics in Episode 1, 2, and 3 had “notes” for this show’s writers. The IOA, the civilian oversight committe for the Stargate program, became a thorn in SG-1‘s side late in the show, a bigger thorn in Atlantis‘ spine from the beginning, and now the characters of SGU might as well be replaced with talking thorns.

Maybe the next Stargate series will feature the Ancients as they develop the Stargate technology and be called: Stargate Capricorn. … I won’t lie to you… I’d watch that.