Stargate SG-1

If this is propaganda, it's not very good. If it's supposed to be entertaining, it's also not very good. If it's supposed to get you interested for the long-term, it's not very good.

I've watched a few SG1s, and it annoys me. Here's why...

First, let's get beyond the premise of the series, which is of course a spin off of the not-very-good film. The premise of that being that a Stargate (a gadget to travel by worm-hole to any other Stargate, of which there are many across the galaxy), built by an ancient civilisation is found in the desert, in Egypt. Naturally, the best place to move such an incredible feat of technology and engineering, with world-wide implications is of course, the military Cheyenne mountain complex, in America. After all, the evil Jafaal are out to get us, and will stop at nothing befire they rule the entire universe, so it's best left to the professionals.

With me so far? Okay, well, let's just assume we're all happy with that idea. There doesn't seem to be any international presence in SG Central, with the exception of Tee-yulk (sorry, no idea how to spell that). Everyone else is American, and part of the US military.

Okay, so the various SG teams run sortie type missions to various far-flung destinations. It's not especially clear what the real plan is here, but let's assume it's to keep tabs on the enemy. Our heros, in the (presumably) best SG team, often do this very thing, usually to fetch some captured friend, librate a village, wreak some sort of havoc or some other task.

So our heros then: First, we have Tee-yulk. He's a former Jafaal, but turned good. He understands them like no other, but doesn't necessarily talk straight language, preferring the odd riddle, metaphor or parable. A pretty handy chap to have around though, as he understands the culture of just about every civilisation in the galaxy. Next we have Major Carter. She, despite reaching the lofy heights of Major in the mighty US army, seems to have assertion issues, although she does seem to be pretty intelligent, and somehow makes strange things work that have long been broken. Also, pretty handy to have around, and seems to have some military skills, but she needs a bit of work.

Next we have Daniel Jackson. He's not so much of a military man as a scholar. He's not up to much when it comes to running around shooting people, and other such wholesome activities. He's not so much intelligent as learned. He has knowledge, but just about no wisdom what so ever. Generally speaking, not particularly useful to have around.

Last, but not least, Colonel O'Neil (aka. McGuyver). Now here's an enigma. Having not done very well at school, he's neither learned, nor wise. He needs help with just about anything that comes along, be it technological, cultural, tieing his shoelaces etc. He has little respect for either, particularly if they're something to do with the people he's visiting.For some reason he's in charge, but I can't really work out why, possibly because of his extraordinary arrogance. He'd be better off back at base making tea or something. The two reasonably useful team members would be far more efficient without him.

So anyway, propaganda. The US is very good at peddling out endless bad TV that protrays everyone living in nice houses, doing good wholesome things, like being a lawyer and owing a bowling alley, or being a lawyer but living in Bel Air, or being a lawyer with other lawyers, or possibly running the White House. SG1 is somewhat different, fistly, I can't say I've ever seen any reference to the law (international, or otherwise), but I can't see what the "positive" role model or moral is here. I can't imagine that there isn't one. I wonder if it's supposed to be all about how great the US military is at keeping the technologically superior enemy at bay.

I also seem to remember those pesky Russians getting in on the act. One might think that the cold war re-emerges in the future, but seemingly not. Those helpful ancients were thoughful enough to leave not one, but two Stagates here on Earth. Those thieving Russians managed to get their hands on the other one, and also run a super-secret SG type programme. However, of course, they run rim-shot over everything, break golden rules (like never leave anyone behind) and generally get themselves into all sorts of trouble, Obviously, the only way they can become better is with the help of our heros. Of course, no further mention of the other Stargate is ever made (as far as I know). Hey, they could even have just wandered right into it, if they'd wanted to.

One wonders why SG1 don't so some simple things to help themselves. In the frequent battles they have, they overcome the enemy with their superior "skills", superior disregard for authority and superior blundering. They would, presumably get some benefit from collecting the enemy's weapons, or other equipment. Whilst the uber-clever SG1 team might not be able to make them work, you can bet Area 51 would like to get their hands on them. I'd imagine the international community would like the odd cast-off too, if they could spare it.

So I suppose in a TV sense, it's the ideal bad TV show. It's got endless remote lands to conquer, it's got endless alien races to convert to islam, sorry, American, and it's got endless bad guys that it's okay to kill. Nothing ever changes, because no one's trying to improve, so the writers never need to improve either, or risk anything as radical as having new ideas.

SG1 then, I know some people are really fanatical about it, but really and truly, see a handful of episodes, you've seen 'em all.

Submitted by coofercat on Sun, 2004-09-26 18:53


Stargate SG-1

Stargate SG-1 has the the gate (the chappa eye, or something like that) which solves many sci-fi issues and can make it more of a "people" show.(Don't need spaceships to travel, etc.)

Mentioning all the international non-cooperation is like bringing up most other shows and saying that they don't interact with the rest of the world.Of course they don't, they only have 45 minutes!

And while it is a science-fiction show, many of the topics are not.Remember Somewhere in Time?The whole premise needed him to go back in time, but the science of it wasn't the story...

Plus lots of times they screw up.Lead the bad guys, bring a disease, accidentally blow up a sun, get trapped on the planet for weeks/months and see the other side of the story, etc...

And yes, the aliens are generally the bad guys. It's easier to wrap the show up that way every week.BUT that isn't where they always are, it's got shadow government organizations, evil businesses trying to get the tech, they evil (or is it idiot) US vice president.

But don't forget the bad guys whom get more pissed every time we win with just a roll of duct tape and a box of ball point pens.(It's a good thing we brought Macguyver)

Submitted by Gary LaPointe (not verified) on Mon, 2004-09-27 06:39.