Stargate Atlantis cancelled
Most Malaysians probably wouldn’t have heard of the Stargate SG-1 franchise, let alone its offspring, Stargate Atlantis (SGA). Our terrestrial TV and cable channels never bothered to bring it here. Well, actually they did but just never bothered to promote it, and SG-1 (which ran 11 seasons!) was only shown until season 4 (I believe) until they decided that that’s just enough. Still, some of us followed it online and via, ahem, the “unofficial suppliers” who seem to know that there are fans out there.
When I heard about the news while browsing through Gateworld, I was saddened but not as devastated as I thought I’d be. This is telling, as I was far more devastated by the cancellation of apocalyptic drama Jericho than this.
Season 1 of SGA was good, season 2 was all kinds of boring and wasted opportunities, but season 3 and 4 picked up significantly, and this season – it’s last – sees the inclusion of Robert Picardo, which I thought was a great boost to the show.
But SGA could have been better. A lot of times the show creators seem to shoot themselves in the foot.
They killed off popular characters like Carson Beckett (who was brought back in season 4 due to popular demand) and Elizabeth Weir for no good reason at all. Fans were incensed, and to be honest, the show lost some of its spark, because SGA is not just about the stories – its characters are the driving force.
And I felt that they could’ve upped the ante in storytelling more. Their villains were not villainous enough, and the good ones they shelved off far too quickly (Acastus Kolya, anyone?) and the characters were not put through the wringer enough. Yes, we need to torture the poor people more! And amazingly, after five season, we still don’t much about the inner life of the lead character Colonel John Sheppard.
But still, SGA is one of the best sci-fi shows out there; the light hearted alternative to those who think Battlestar Galactica is just too morose for pleasure viewing. The camaraderie of the SCA characters is comfortable and cosy, and people do love them.
So why did they cancel them? Some theorise it’s the advent of the next spin-off, Stargate Universe but some say the show has just gotten too expensive to produce. Plus, apparently the network earns more with direct-to-dvd sales (which is what Stargate SG-1 is doing now.)
Ironically, s5 is SGA’s best in terms of storytelling and ratings. I suppose if there’s any consolation, at least SGA will end on a high.
But there’s good news. Apparently there will be a direct-to-DVD movie after its end.
Says TV Squad:
The network has ordered a two hour movie and says the show will live on as a network franchise. … The movie will be written by Atlantis showrunners, Joe Mallozzi and Paul Mullie. As you would expect, there are no details about casting or the story at this point.
While the end of the series is a surprise, the movie deal isn’t. Given the success of the SG-1 movies, it seems a logical step for the Atlantis team to take. It just seems a little bit too soon. With Stargate Universe still in the offing, I suspected we would see something like the changeover from SG-1 to Atlantis, where the pair ran together before Atlantis moved into the number one spot.
Good bye, SGA … we hardly knew ye…