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Stargate: Beginnings - SHOULD I CONTINUE?

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Stargate: Beginnings - SHOULD I CONTINUE?

Old 09-22-03, 02:17 PM
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Stargate: Beginnings - SHOULD I CONTINUE?

Ok, here's the deal. I'm laid up for 3 months with a broken heel. No walking. So, let's catch up on dvds. I was thinking of watching a series I haven't seen, and Farscape and Stargate were on that list.

Background: I liked STTNG thru season 6, loved Babylon 5, liked Deep Space 9, watched Voyager until Janeway and the other guy turned into slugs and mated, and haven't gotten into Enterprise.

My nephew had the first three seasons of Stargate, so that made it my default choice. "Great series," he said, but now I'm beginning to wonder, and thought I'd both review the series from a newbie standpoint (I haven't even seen the movie), and get some thoughts from this crowd on whether I should keep going or abandon this.

I looked in recent threads, and people do NOT seem to like the cuurent (season 7?) stuff, so that also makes me wonder.

First thoughts coming up.
Old 09-22-03, 02:24 PM
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The current season has certainly had several stinkers, the last two being the best examples.
Old 09-22-03, 02:26 PM
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Pilot Episode: Ok, decent start for a tv series. Acceptable premise, looks like a good idea potential. A little sappy on relationships, but that may come from following up on the movie.

Episode 1: Now this one made me think - I'm going to like this. Tough issue, tough resolution. Can possibly save their friends who are possessed, but it ain't gonna be easy. Didn't even use the stargate (in the normal way). Just plain good.

Ok - downhill ever since. I've watched Episode 2,4,5,6 --- I take it there is not an episode 3?????? There wasn't on the discs I borrowed.

We're into the "primitive society of the week" syndrome - jump in, check out the primitive civilization, find out what they are doing wrong, come up with some basic conflict, and solve it, making everyone happy happy joy joy.

In fact, basically, these 4 were the same episode, just done 4 times. #2 - women's rights, #4 - medicines "the touched", #5 - bad worshipping, #6 - bad worshipping combined with Star Trek's The Deadly Years...

#5 - "The First Commandment" was ESPECIALLY stinky - I could hardly get through that one. Talk about plot holes!

And speaking of plot holes - boy, they refuse to carry out orders just about every sentence, don't they? And for being a "woman warrior", wasn't Sam really a wimp in that gun usage or lack thereof with her former fiance? And geez - they sure don't use home base - giving birth - noone willing to jump back and grab someone to help? And really geez - in the "god episode" - no one even willing to give a status report back to base?

This is getting pretty bad. Is it going to improve, or should I toss these discs back to my nephew and try something different?

I mean, I can't do much right now, but there has to be better things to watch than these last 4 episodes especially.

It's a good thing they had episode 1 "The Enemy Within" - without that, I probably would have given up already and not even ask here.
Old 09-22-03, 02:28 PM
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Farscape is one of the best TV shows in history, in my opinion. Given your tastes (and the fact that you'll be able to sit down, concentrate, and watch all of them in order with no distractions)... I think that's probably the perfect show for you.

I've always considered Stargate to be simply 'OK'. I've seen the entire first season, and bits+pieces of the second. It's an interesting concept that never fully reaches it's potential. It's watchable, but not great.


Of course, it sounds like it's going to be easier for you to access Stargate, so that'll probably be a pretty big factor in your decision.
Old 09-22-03, 02:33 PM
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i've got the movie coming from netflix - will that help or hurt my enjoyment level?
Old 09-22-03, 02:49 PM
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I've never seen Stargate, but considering you have netflix and a lot of time on your hands, maybe you should try some better shows. I don't know what you already watch, but you might want to go through das's top 50 episodes and rent some of the dvds from those series. And that does include Farscape. If you want sci-fi, that's definitely your best choice.
Old 09-22-03, 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by Seeker
i've got the movie coming from netflix - will that help or hurt my enjoyment level?
The movie is pretty boring. Some kewl FX, but not much else. If you don't like what you're seeing so far, the movie won't help.

But, I think it gets better into the third and fourth seasons.
Old 09-22-03, 03:03 PM
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Originally posted by Seeker
i've got the movie coming from netflix - will that help or hurt my enjoyment level?
My opinion? The movie was awful. I really disliked it.

It probably won't have any impact on your enjoyment level one way or the other... they covered most of the movie events via dialog in the first episode of the series, and then went off in their own direction.


In keeping with nny's comments, I would fill up my Netflix queue with Farscape DVDs (and Sports Night, and Buffy, and The Prisoner, and...) I wouldn't bother wasting any more time with Stargate. At its best, it's still a mediocre program.
Old 09-22-03, 05:22 PM
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Stargate SG-1's main charms are in the "team rapport" and in the way the episodes build on each other history-wise over the long haul...

Several of those "primative societies of the week" could be revisited or referred to again in the series, or could eventually become surprisingly important...

It's not a clear, planned arc, like B5... But should definitely be seen in order... It's more like DS9 structurally, where they aren't afraid to assume you know the history, and often change the meaning of something that happened earlier... As the seasons progress, the backstory gets fairly complex.

The plotting and writing of individual shows can be good or bad...

I like the show better than many around here... but then, I like action-adventure-hero shows Hercules and Highlander... I key off the characters as often as the plots, and don't always need "good" sci-fi... I find the series much better, on the whole, than the movie that spawned it...

Last edited by adamblast; 09-22-03 at 05:24 PM.
Old 09-22-03, 05:30 PM
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I really love the show for it's entertainment value. I just love B5, Buffy, Farscape, etc in a different way. They required more thought. SG-1 is really easy to watch and you don't have to think too hard. :-)

I love Stargate because it's funny. It's a comedy in scifi clothing. It's meant to be both drama-ish and humourous at the same time. I can re-watch the same eps and notice something new and still laugh at the same lines.

It does get better in later seasons although 7 isn't great so far.

There is minor arcing going on with some things revisited at a much later ep, but other times they seem to forget things they already learned which can get annoying.

Last edited by datagirl7; 09-22-03 at 05:48 PM.
Old 09-22-03, 05:31 PM
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Come on, Seeker ... get off this crap. Nothing against SG-1, but as others have noted, it's just "OK." It's nice, light fare with entertaining characters and average stories, but if you're stuck for a long time and looking for great quality, SG-1's just not going to do it for you. adamblast's comparison to Hercules and Highlander is a pretty good one. I enjoy both of these shows quite a bit, but the gap in quality from the creme of the crop is sizeable. I could watch an episode a week or something, but much more than that is just too much.

I'll echo the other comments: Farscape, Buffy, The Prisoner, Sports Night (don't know how that slipped into the sci-fi discussion, but the show is excellent) are better shows and are probably much more worthy of your dedicated viewing.

das
Old 09-22-03, 07:22 PM
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Originally posted by das Monkey
Sports Night (don't know how that slipped into the sci-fi discussion, but the show is excellent)
Just thinking about what *I* would be watching if I was stuck in front of the tube with nothing to do for 3 months. I would probably go through the entire run several times...
Old 09-22-03, 07:44 PM
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Quoth bboisvert <HR SIZE=1>Just thinking about what *I* would be watching if I was stuck in front of the tube with nothing to do for 3 months. I would probably go through the entire run several times... <HR SIZE=1>

As would I ... hell, just talking about it like this makes it 50/50 I'll have watched the whole thing again before Friday. God, I love that show.

das
Old 09-22-03, 08:17 PM
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I find SG-1 to be pretty entertaining. I think you'd be okay with either one.
Old 09-23-03, 07:41 AM
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Originally posted by bboisvert
I've always considered Stargate to be simply 'OK'. I've seen the entire first season, and bits+pieces of the second. It's an interesting concept that never fully reaches it's potential. It's watchable, but not great.
That is hardly a review I can get behind considering there are 7 seasons. The first season of any show is usually hit or miss. Many high points and a few low points. Season 2 is considerably better and 3 better than that. They build on each other greatly. I watched season 3 in a week. I am starting season 4 soon and don't think it will take much longer than that.
Old 09-23-03, 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by Michael Corvin
That is hardly a review I can get behind considering there are 7 seasons.
Which is exactly why I made it clear how little of the show I had watched.

But, taken into context with the other reviews in this thread, it certainly doesn't sound like I made the wrong decision by bailing out of the show when I did. The vast majority of comments seem to be of the "OK/not great" variety... which matches my impressions from the 30 or so episodes I did sit through.
Old 09-23-03, 03:27 PM
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Sounds like I should start renting Farscape.

I have never even HEARD of Sports Night....

As for Stargate - I went back to my nephew, and he said "have patience, keep watching" - but I told him the last four episodes hadn't been worth watching, especially "The First Commandment". He agreed to give me a priority list, which I'll list below.

since I have them all anyway, for free, I'll probably keep watching since I have to have patience between the netflix ones anyway.

So, for your edification, here is HIS list of what I must see and skip. Given how bad I felt the last 4 were, (Emancipation thru Brief Candle), I will probably skip without guilt the bottom two categories.
Old 09-23-03, 03:28 PM
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Season 1:

Must see:
Children of the Gods
The Enemy Within
Cold Lazarus
The Torment of Tantalus
The Nox
Singularity
Solitudes
Within the Serpent's Grasp

Important for Plot Purposes:
Thor's Hammer
Hathor
Enigma
There but for the Grace of God

Meh:
Emancipation
The Broca Divide
Brief Candle
Bloodlines
Tin Man

Skip, for the love of God, skip!:
The First Commandment
Cor-Ai
Fire and Water
Politics
Old 09-23-03, 03:28 PM
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Season 2:

Must see:
The Serpent's Lair
The Fifth Race
Holiday
Show and Tell

Important for Plot Purposes:
In the Line of Duty
Thor's Chariot
Family
Secrets
The Tok'ra (parts one and two)
Touchstone
Serpent's Song
Out of Mind

Meh:
Prisoners
The Gamekeeper
Message in a Bottle
A Matter of Time (note: semi-important to one plot episode in Season 4)
One False Step

Skip, for the love of God, skip!:
Need
Bane
Spirits
1969
Old 09-23-03, 03:28 PM
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Season 3:

Must see:
Legacy
Learning Curve
Jolinar's Memories (only because it's part one for "The Devil You Know")
The Devil You Know
Urgo (very silly, but very enjoyable)
Shades of Grey
Nemesis

Important for Plot Purposes:
Into the Fire
Seth (barely. Closer to a "Meh")
Fair Game (almost a must see, but a little weak)
Point of View
Demons
Rules of Engagement
Forever in a Day (you may like this more than I did. It's a lot like the episode where Picard lives a lifetime in a day)
Pretense
Maternal Instinct

Meh:
Past and Present (if you liked "Prisoners", watch this)
Foothold
A Hundred Days
New Ground
Crystal Skull (quite good, IMO, but completely unimportant to the plot and not quite must see)

Skip, for the love of God, skip!:
Deadman Switch (some Tok'ra/Sokar plot, but very little)
Old 09-23-03, 03:42 PM
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Here's my "Skip, for the love of God, skip" list for Farscape:

das
Old 09-23-03, 03:50 PM
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Ok, I'll be sure to skip the episode called "das"
Old 09-23-03, 03:53 PM
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Quoth Seeker <HR SIZE=1>Ok, I'll be sure to skip the episode called "das" <HR SIZE=1>

It's a real stinker to be sure.

das
Old 09-23-03, 05:23 PM
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Seeker,

I can't recall all the Stargates from their names, but the ones I do recognize from the names I agree with the categories they were put in. Except I enjoyed 1969 but it isn't important , just a fun episode IMO.
Old 09-24-03, 06:05 AM
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I love Stargate SG1, it's one of my favorites, I'm watching the 3rd season now on DVD... like any series the first half of the first season has some pretty pointless episodes, the show is tring to find itself. I think the same can be said of Farscape and Buffy... there are early episodes of Farscape that made me want to give up that series as well, but I'm glad I stuck with it, because, like Stargate, at the end of Season 1 of Farscape I was hooked!

please DO NOT skip around and skip over episodes. stick with it, the final part of Season 1 is sci fi TV goodness at it's best. Season 2 is really great as well.

I really like series with an ongoing storyline, rather than shows like Star Trek TNG where it's the adventure of the week and if you miss an episode it doesn't matter.

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