Friday, August 22, 2008

My semi annual rant about Stargate Atlantis

Dammit, Stargate Atlantis!

Okay I'll have to be quick because the laptop's going to burn out shortly.


Stargate Atlantis always has fantastic ideas and lackluster follow through.

For example, this week's episode.

What is the one thing Rodney McKay is most afraid of? Being stupid. So this week they took his brain away. Know how I know he got stupid? Because he made video tapes where he sat in a room getting stupider. He talked about being stupid.


There's a scene where Rodney talks to John about how Zelenka needed his help figuring something out but Rodney didn't know how to do it and he felt so stupid. Yeah, you know what would have cost exactly the same amount of money to film? Rodney actually failing to fix the device and feeling useless and stupid and frustrated as a result. We could have seen how upset he got when he tried and tried and failed. And our hearts would break.

Instead he just acts more mentally retarded every moment without any outside force. He's not trying to DO anything, he's just getting generally slower.

And in the end he helped solve the problem by temporarily getting his brain back. It was a wasted opportunity. Zelenka is always a reluctant second fiddle to Rodney and they both know it. What if Zelenka decided he was going to figure out how to save him but then he couldn't? I can just see the scene where Zelenka breaks down, apologizing to Rodney over and over for the fact that he's not smart enough to save him.

But nope. They took the less interesting route of throwing the main cast members in a cave with some Ancient technology, the way they always do.

Come on. It was a terrific idea. In fact, that's what keeps me watching the show - all those terrific ideas. But it just seems like week after week what started as the perfect scenario becomes a series of expository scenes that stay on the easy side of story.

I mean, for crying out loud, Rodney used to be in love with Sam, and then she became his boss. And now she's gone and they never even had an episode where it was an issue. And last week when a crazy deadly virus spread throughout the city, new mom Teyla never stopped to worry that her baby would get the virus. That could have been an interesting scene. Just think how crazy a new mother can be in the face of a danger to her baby.

Missed opportunity after missed opportunity.



  1. 1) I don't think Rodney was ever in "love" with Sam -- in lust, yes.

    2) Virus last week? You mean in 'The Ghost in the Machine?' That wasn't a bacterial virus -- it couldn't have infected Teyla's baby. It was a virus that infected the City's computer systems. They're not bacterial, they don't spread to people. It wouldn't have made sense for Teyla to worry about the "virus" infecting her child. Besides, Teyla told RepliWeir/Fran, that Torren was Kaanan off world (which may, or may not, have been the truth).

    3) Due to budget constraints, I think 'The Shrine' had a choice in guest stars -- Kate Hewlett or David Nykl. Frankly, I'm glad they chose Kate Hewlett.


  2. Eh. Maybe it wasn't last week with the virus. Maybe it was another week. Either way, it was a missed opportunity. You're right in your individual points you're making, but it still doesn't change the fact that the show misses opportunities over and over.

    I disagree about Kate Hewlett though. Zelenka's a regular on the show. They could have used him instead of an occasional guest star. Our relationship with Zelenka is more developed than it is with Rodney's sister, and my suggestion would have strengthened that relationship even more.

    As it is I don't think this episode really had any new developments.

    But this post was about good writing choices and I can see you're a big fan of the show so our purposes are not the same.


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