Channel Surfing: Stargate SG-1

by Jen on July 18, 2006

-Produced by: Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright, Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie

Starring:
-Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, Christoper Judge, Ben Browder, Claudia Black

Entering its 10th season, the original in the Stargate franchise is a show that has set records, standards and bars all over the place. Moving to Sci-Fi from Showtime, it has brought with it a passionately loyal fanbase including yours truly. It’s a show that has a lot of heart, a lot of action, and more than a few reasons why it is better than the movie on which it was based.

The movie, which starred Kurt Russell and James Spader, was an idea which had some interesting concepts. What if you could travel through space via wormholes and a series of gates which had been left on hundreds of worlds by an ancient alien life form? What if Earth was put into a galactic arena where they are most certainly not the most powerful players? These are the questions which SG-1 answers, and adds a touch of humanity to it that makes it a lot of fun.

Why you should watch the show is that it’s as good as any action movie, but cleaner in both the violence and sexuality department. There are a few sex scenes, but it’s very rare that you see anything even moderately shocking. There is a lot of violence, but you don’t see blood or gore very much. People fall down, and don’t get back up. There’s also some breathtaking special effects that have only gotten better as time and technology has improved. But why I like the show are the people.

With the show from season 1, Richard Dean Anderson was a guy best known for his work as the intellectual hero on the 80s show MacGyver. However, his work as the tough but funny Jack O’Neill has made him a star and for good reason. If you watch the show in syndication, you’ll see that O’Neill is fiercely loyal, passionately proud, and not afraid of cracking a joke at some of the weirdest moments. He’s an engaging hero that people can relate to and like, as is the rest of the cast. Playing the brilliant Dr. Samantha Carter, Amanda Tapping is someone who has brought the portrayal of a smart, hard-working woman to a new level. Carter uses her brain and her wits to save the planet and her teammates, but is still sweet enough to seem like someone you’d like to be friends with. Rounding out the original cast is Michael Shanks and Christopher Judge, both men could easily have become “filler” material but their performances just can’t let that happen. You like watching them, and you will laugh more than a little because of them but you’ll also see an engaging humanity that makes you care what happens.

In season 9, a pair of familiar faces from a now-cancelled science fiction classic joined SG-1. Ben Browder, and Claudia Black from Jim Henson’s Farscape joined the team as Cameron Mitchell and Vala. Both characters are still finding their footing with the fans, but again you see some interesting people who you can both connect to and easily watch.

This is a show that’s been around because it works, and I’d encourage you to check it out in syndication or on Sci-Fi Channel almost every day.

Stargate SG-1-Official Site

(Picture of the season 10 cast of Stargate SG-1 courtesy Sci-Fi.com)

On August 18th, Stargate SG-1 enters the record books as the longest running science fiction program to date. Celebrating it’s 200th episode, SG-1 welcomes back Richard Dean Anderson for what is being called a love letter to their fans. If you’d like to experience a bit of television history, tune in on the 18th. Check Sci-Fi.com for times in your area.

-Jenn Untch
Liberty, Missouri
jennuntch@yahoo.com
Is there a movie you’d like me to review? Let me know!

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