Thursday, July 21, 2005

" Interesting, If Somewhat Limited, Gene Pool."

I had hoped to get to this post much closer to the SciFi Friday premiere instead of the day before the "Part 2"s hit the tube tomorrow. But, alas, it was not meant to be. Here's the short of what I'm about to post: If you missed last Friday's premieres of SG-1, Atlantis, and Battlestar Gallactica, shame on you! :)

SG-1 was by far the best of the three, but I think it helps having started its ninth season. Still, it was pretty amazing that three, count 'em, three brand-spankin' new characters (with the possible exception of Claudia Black's who appeared in one episode last season) could just basically fall right into an established show without losing any of the amazing story and chemistry that had been there before. And the writers are just having a field day. Hopefully that will continue with bringing Teal'c, Carter, and O'Neil's stories up to date, as we didn't get into them too much in the premiere. I'm especially hopeful that some of the new paths the show is forging will make the Jaffa storylines more interesting. I have no idea what I didn't like about them before, but I always shrugged and found myself multitasking during those episodes.

And watching Daniel and the two Farscape kids interact is going to be great. I'm still on the fence about Ben Whazisname's character, but I think that's mainly it's way too much fun watching Daniel and Claudia Black's character (I'll get the new char names down eventually) to notice what the other folks are doing sometimes. And Beau Bridges plays such a great blend of Hammond's professionalism and O'Neil's relaxed goofiness. Excellent actor pick, excellent character building. And they even made me interested in watching something that had to do with Arthurian legend, which is a hell of an accomplishment as the only Arthur story I enjoy is Monty Python's version because it makes fun of the whole mess of medieval tripe. (Really, I wish I knew why I get so annoyed with the Arthur stuff. Something about it just bugs me.) Now I just have to wait patiently to see where they're going on the enemy front this year. My money's on that mysterious fourth race that was mentioned alongside the Nox, the Ancients, and the Asgard way back in season 1 or 2. And I wouldn't have come up with that if they hadn't mentioned the race again last season in that great episode featuring Dan Castelleneta. (C'mon, is the Season 8 DVD out yet or what?? :))

Atlantis is still in that shaky first couple of seasons ground, hitting just enough of the good spots to make you stick around, but overall leaving you a little confused or disappointed or unsure of whether you're going to want to stick around for a whole lot longer. Having Skinner as their interstellar backup is a neat addition, and I think they need to do some more with the allies thing this year. Because they set up one hell of an enemy in the Wraith and really wrote themselves into a "we can't get out of this on our own" corner. And that's very tedious to watch as it makes you wonder why you spent a season getting to know the characters if they're hopelessly outmatched until the cavalry shows up just in time all the time. I mean, wouldn't you rather take the time to get to know the cavalry? I'm still on the fence about the whole Aidan Ford thing. Could be a change for the sake of change, could be a good storyline. I'll have to see what shakes loose. The best part of Atlantis in the premiere was the Asgard they've got on the Daedalus. Not the best sign, but again, not one to make you go running away from the show. Damn that just-starting-out limbo.

And then there's Battlestar Gallactica, which I will watch regardless of the storylines as long as they keep the same actors for Apollo and Helo. Hey, I'm allowed to have my girlie moments. The only thing that will keep me from watching this show is if they spend more time on medical procedures. It's really, really, really jarring to watch all this cool futuristic technology and then the next scene will show you the same medicine we've got today. I have a faith in humanity that, if we can figure out faster than light technology, then we can figure out how to cure breast cancer or fix a bum knee without months of prolonged pain and recuperation. At the very least, I would love an explanation as to why such an advanced society is stuck in 21st century medicine (and not really even then because we're getting close to doing more cool things with artificial limbs, cloning, genomic sequences, etc). But I've ranted on this before. And Battlestar Gallactica has such a curious blend of SF and fantasy elements, that I'm usually pretty riveted.

So that's my take on SciFi Friday. By the way, the title of this post comes from SG-1 and had me rolling. I like it when writers have fun with their work.

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