Saturday, February 19, 2005

SciFi Friday

Friday nights are great. First of all, it's the start of a weekend, and that's ALWAYS a good thing. Second, I get to hang out with some writers in an on-line forum and toss around ideas and jokes and such. Third, I get to watch three great science fiction shows: Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Battlestar Gallactica. Lotsa fun. Last night was no exception. SG-1 likes to do clip shows on a fairly regular basis, and they usually do a decent job of weaving the clips into a passably entertaining story (defending their jobs to the ever-annoying Senator Kinsey, revealing the existence of the stargate to other world governments, etc). But last night they really outdid themselves. The backbone story for the clip show was about a guy who, seven years ago, stumbled across a piece of Ancient technology at a garage sale. This little device gave him the ability to see SG-1's adventures through the eyes of Colonel O'Neill. He started writing it down as stories (which, of course, were always rejected by the top SF mags). The whole show was about this guy's life and what knowing of SG-1 did to him. His reaction to Daniel's departure at the end of season 5 was priceless. The writers obviously had a good time using this story-telling device to reveal the show's inconsistencies, dropped storylines, fan criticism, etc. It was great.

I'm still waiting for something with all three shows, though. Don't get me wrong: I like them and think they are excellent. But they've also all set themselves up for something more and they're not delivering as yet. SG-1 has had a strange season because they wrote themselves into a bit of a bind by having O'Neill run the SGC instead of remain a part of SG-1. So the usual "go off-world and battle the bad guys" storyline is rarely used. And Atlantis seems to be trying to pretend it's in a third or fourth season instead of its first, so we don't have nearly as much situation set up as I would've expected. Sometimes that's a good thing, but sometimes I get frustrated at the obvious depth of the world they live in that we just don't see. Granted, Battlestar Gallactica just started its series run in January, but a few things already bother me. It seems to me that a civilization capable of FTL travel and such should have medical technology a bit more advanced than our present day standards. I mean, what does it say about humanity if we can populate twelve worlds, chase the stars in ships, create a robotic race like the Cylons, but can't cure breast cancer or speed up the recovery of a knee injury? What exactly have they been doing since they left Earth? Everytime something medical comes up in that show, it always throws me right out of the story. I just can't believe that we'll be so far advanced in everything but medicine in a few millenia.

Anyway, despite my grumblings, I really like these shows and they make for an excellent Friday night.

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