Atlantis season 5, and thoughts

by Paul William Tenny

stargate-atlantis.jpgNow that season 5 of Stargate Atlantis has started production, I suppose now is a good time to gather some of my thoughts on what's going on, and where the show is going in the future. I really wish this show would get better ratings so that it didn't feel like it was always in a tenuous position for renewal. Even though I'd put quite a few shows above SGA on my list of things to make sure I see each year, I really don't think there are any that I'd rather write for. It'll suck well beyond description if and when it does end its run.

So where is this show right now? I've got to fudge on that just a little bit, my satellite receiver decided it would be cool to change channels away from Scifi about 30 seconds after Trio started last Friday, so I haven't seen that yet. I just got around to clearing a backlog of like 20 hours of programming on the DVR -- these things should never been owned by chronic procrastinators -- and wasn't happy at all with Outcast. I won't go into that because I'm not sure there's really anything I can say other than I just didn't like it.

Any of it.
It's not a big deal though, you can't please everyone all the time and as far as this season is concerned, there have only been a couple that I didn't enjoy. Reunion was the other one, but only because it felt very obvious and familiar, something I absolutely can't stand no matter what the show or movie is. So I had issues with the way the story was written for that, and I just plain didn't like Outcast, but so what? The rest of this season has been pretty damn good and I'm looking forward to more.

Midway -- which airs here in the U.S. in a few hours after a repeat of Trio from last week (sweet) -- sounds promising and has been much hyped, so we're all looking forward to that.

Before I bother inventing a poor excuse to carefully analyze these pictures, allow me for a moment to wax on a couple of things that happened while I was being terrorized by rain, heavy overcast clouds, and other things that make satellite Internet connections cry (and me as well.)

Amanda Tapping - is done with Stargate Atlantis and won't be appearing in season 5 as a regular cast member. At first I couldn't figure out what she was leaving SGA to go do, until when catching up one day I saw that the Sci Fi Channel had picked up Sanctuary. Very mixed feelings about that her (semi-)new show, and her leaving SGA.

I really enjoy what she brought to SG-1 both in character and just in her overall presence as a person. Not so happy about her character landing on SGA, though it was still a pleasure to have her there. Sorry to see her go, but looking forward to seeing more natural conflict from that role with her replacement. My only concern is hoping that the transition will be done both smoothly, and with in an unpredictable way. Sounds contradictory, but fans like being surprised.

Leela Savasta - has been cast to play Captain Alison Porter Alicia Vega. Not really knowing what she'll be doing, I find the prospects intriguing. I don't like the character name change, for what that's worth, though I do find the casting extremely agreeable. This woman is very attractive, but I haven't seen her in anything before. Here are just a few of the many outstanding questions:

  • Is she any good as an actress?
  • Will that translate to the SG universe?
  • What kind of depth as a person will her character have?
  • Will some regular/recurring character croak to make way for her entrance?
  • How do you get a hot actress to let you take pictures of her alone in your office without experiencing the sweet, sweet taste of pepper spray?
  • Was it some exotic chocolate? Was it? Bastard.

Couple more thoughts before you tune me out. I was ready to accept the Pegasus replicators as a persistent presence for a decent amount of time, and wasn't prepared at all to see them disappear so suddenly as a threat. Reminds me of Sokar from SG-1. Lots of hype, then he was just gone almost like an afterthought. It would have been nice to play that out at least until the end of the current season, but once you've killed Satan by blowing up hell, I guess you probably want to call it a day and just go home.

I've got to hand it to the SGA folks though, although I thought the ending of that arc was premature, that ending was a blast. [Note to SGA folks: more of that repli-hottie please.]

So with a lot of this plainly superficial crap out of the way, what does the future hold? First of all I don't know, I avoid spoilers at all costs because they suck the fun out of the experience. It's hard to believe SGA even got a fifth season with the ratings it has been having this season. I really don't mean that as a slant, and perhaps this is my snob side taking over, but how long can it really go with 1.1's and the like in the ratings? It's almost as confusing as why it doesn't get better ratings in the first place.

Say what you will, Stargate in all its incarnations has always been enjoyable, and that's all that really matters. It doesn't have to be the best at this, or the best at that, it just has to be fun.

Before I go, let me get a little fanboy'ish on you and tell you all what I think the biggest problem with SGA is, and probably always will be: no zats. Seriously. I'm about as likely as any person on this planet to be the first to run through the gate (if it were all real) on the first mission to Atlantis, but I'll be damned if I'd do it without a crate full of zats. P-90's are cool, Wraith stunners are nifty, but you can't beat a zat. You can't kill someone (apparently) with a stunner, nor can you vaporize them, and it's pretty hard to just knock somebody out with a P90.

Besides my own affinity for the things, it's the one thing I just can't accept -- that they'd take all these things with them in terms of weaponry, but they'd purposefully leave behind a weapon as versatile as a zat that, for all reasonableness, doesn't require ammunition of any kind?

I'm sure someone in the SG camp could make up a good reason for it, but it probably won't ever sit right with me. I get it, they didn't want the Goa'uld polluting SGA, but when a weapon like that became so pervasive, you can't just leave it behind like that. In the later years of SG-1, it seemed like somebody always had at least one with them on every mission. Going into an unknown galaxy (as if our own galaxy is "known" if you "know" what I mean) with a weapon that versatile (and cool) behind...would probably make me stay behind.

I can imagine that, to a degree, somebody like me would probably be so loaded down with zats and other SG-1 toys from over the years that you could imagine a guy stepping through the gate bloated up like a snowman, waddling around unable to function because of the inability to leave all that stuff behind.

Well anyway, with permission or without it, I'd have pulled a John McClain and taped one of the damn things to my back rather than leave a zat behind like that. Or five.

Never mind.
in Television


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If you haven't seen it yet, I won't spoil it for you, but Midway was awesome!

No secret that I love all things Stargate. Stargate Atlantis season four has been very enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to season five.

The enjoyment factor is key for me in watching any series. I stop watching when they do 180's in theme (Xena: Warrior Princess when she went dark-side); when they put female characters in skin tight outfits (ST: VOY and ST: ENT) (now, if it had been hunky men, maybe I would have continued watching -- nah, I don't think so).

And Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis have always been high on fun. I love the blending of humor, action, friendship, the sense of family, scifi, mythology, drama, angst, a dash here and there of romance, loyalty, self-sacrifice and honor.


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