As You Were

Devin Coughlin's blog.
Styles: Serious Spare

July 18, 2005

Sci-Fi Fridays

This Friday saw an unholy convergence of much-awaited (by me, anyway) new media. It saw both the start of the Sci-Fi Channel's new summer seasons and the release of the new Harry Potter book.

The new Stargates seem pretty promising. Stargate SG-1 is seeing some pretty big casting changes, including the addition of Beau Bridges as the new General and Ben Browder (from Farscape, I guess) as the new leader of SG-1. Browder looks a lot like Michael Shanks, the actor who plays Daniel — so much so that they made Shanks grow a bit of a beard. Without Daniel's glasses, Shanks and Browder look so similar it's eerie. They play on this, slightly, for comic effect in the season premiere, which also featured Claudia Black (Browder's love interest from Farscape, I think) who was also quite funny (although her unfortunate costume diverted attention away from this). It's hard to believe, but this is the ninth Stargate SG-1 season. But Sci-Fi seems to know they've got a hit on their hands — we could conceivably see Stargate well into the next decade. It does seem to be the case that the early sleepers are the ones to become the hits.

Stargate Atlantis, well, it was par for the course, I guess. Nothing great, but still watchable, at least once. The season premiere, concluding the cliff-hanger from the previous season, offered us Mitch Pileggi (the boss from the X-Files) as the captain of a new U.S. starship, but didn't give him much to do. We got more Shephard/Weir subtext, of course, but the whole show was upstaged by the hilarious lieutenant whose job it was to placate the little green man who made the starship go. I hope the find a way to keep her on the show.

Battlestar Galactica, very much the opposite of Stargate in tone and composition (not to mention camera work — I'm still dizzy), had it's second season premiere on Friday as well. I was actually quite underwhelmed. Most of the show seemed to be pointless. They kept on reminding us who was supposed to be an idiot who wasn't — it was a bit heavy-handed. Really, they should have showed us that under the stress of hand-to-hand combat every one becomes a blubbering idiot. The whole premise of the damn episode was very Trekkian (not a compliment, in this case) — they get themselves in trouble, only to get out of it with a technological flibbertygibbet and the audience can only think: "Wow, they managed plug the damn in thing in and out when needed, good for them, cue credits." And yet, still, I can't wait for more.

As for Harry Potter, well, I stayed up way too late last night finishing the damn thing. Even though the writing is so awkward it sometimes makes me cringe, the characters are just so winning that I can't help but beg for more.

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