I don’t like it.
Well to be more acurate, I don’t like SG-1. I had this gut reaction to the episodes that I saw before leaving Britain but was unable to accurate defend this reaction. I don’t like that. So every evening (more or less) I have sat down in front of the TV and watched SG1 and still didn’t like it.
Now, I like the film. More correctly I loved the film, I thought it was great. It ws interesting and exciting and I really liked the idea.
So on we go to the TV series and I don’t like it. It feels different, it tastes subtely wrong. Its not this amazing adventure that the film was. Ok now I am aware that I’m comparing two different media, its a common fault of mine (I even compare sculpture to drawings on occasion) but even when you think that its a forty five minute show which has to begin and end in forty five minutes (hurrah for monster of the week formats!) it disappoints me. I still couldn’t work out why and I’ve been watching since August every weekday night and we’re in October now! Then I read The Yellow Dart’s blog and watched the Borg…sorry Replicator episodes last night and the night before. And something clicked.
I have had my Trekkie licence revoked it’s sad to say; I can barely remember the registration number (uh…NCC 1701 plus letter of your choice April, Pike and Kirk without the letter Harri-something with B, Garrett C, Picard D and E) and I can’t remember at all how long Data considered the Borg Queens offer for…there was an 8 in there somewhere…However put Trek on the telly, even if it’s one of TOS third season (oh the pain!) and I will sit down and watch and love it. And some of it is sheer crap. I have to point out at this point that I do not watch Berman`s little money spinner and do not acknowledge its existence as it fucks up my Trek timeline.
I love Trek…and so by rights I should really love the better made, sometimes better written Stargate. I dont. Trek was Trek; human beings exploring the galaxy and finding amazing and wondrous things winning through at the last second every week. All living and working in this beautiful federation and being wonderful. TNG got the politics better working and DS9 got the social situations better. (and Babylon 5 got them even better but lets not go there) And I love Trek with its implasuible plots and more attention to a particular interpretation of the human psyche than aliens wandering around the place.
But I don’t love SG1. The plots are dull. They are the same things over and over again and a lot of them have been done by Trek and even done better. I happily admit here that had I my Favourite Uncle’s or Giggles’ encyclopedic knowledge of scifi then I could point out that most scifi has been done before in black and white movies, Saturday morning specials and books. But I don’t.
Now ok, I’m somewhere in Season 3 or 4 as I write this so maybe it’ll get better but at the moment this is my thinking. SG1 makes a much better precursor to StarTrek than bloody Berman’s thing incidentally. I like the fact that it’s set at this point in time, I like the fact that we’re not superhuman (although disliked quite how K-9 the Asgard seemed to be getting in some episodes) I dislike the fact that human technology a la twentieth century is gloried in. (Oooh look the Asgard called on us because of how dumb we are!) Admittedly that aspect of StarTrek really pissed me off too (how come EVERYBODIES hobby was 20th century history??!) Its a TV show which has to begin and end in forty five minutes and obviously the good guys have to win (but do they have to win so much every day? Can Sam’s dad please just die?) and I like the Goa’uld- Tok’ra question of symbionts (a la Trill) vs. parasites.
So I’ve been watching SG1 hoping for a rational reason for my dislike of it. There isn’t really much of a one. The basic idea promises so much, an ancient race of ‘Gods’ who were aliens using the Stargate to transplant humans to a distant planet and use them for the worst form of slavery. Its a great premise…but what you get is StarTrek with occasional X-file overtones. You see minimal interaction between different human cultures and when you do see it they’re all so friendly or really obviously sneaky, that it palls. It has moments of interest and occasional overarching plot lines but it makes all the same mistakes as Trek (you gave the Borg a Queen, you gave the Replicators a Queen on Earth, my only prayer now is that they don’t have a Queen in the Asgard Galaxy). So disappointment in an essentially good idea is all I have to go on.
I do wonder though, if I had seen SG1 when I was nine instead of Trek, whether I would be an avid SG1 fan instead…