Since the Webmaster was having some issues with the file, I'm just going to post the newspaper from 2 weeks ago here.
June 15th, 2010 Edition
What Defines Stargate?
Since the inception of SGU last year, we have seen heated debate crop up time and again, both on SGU°S and other sites, over the question "Is SGU Stargate?"
Discussions on this point frequently become quite heated and it is clearly a question that stirs up emotions in many participants (for example in a recent thread on Gateworld, a regular poster labelled anyone who didn't think SGU was Stargate as "retarded"), and it is certainly a difficult argument to settle. I'd say this comes down to the fact that we each have our own definitions of what constitutes "Stargate".
On the "SGU is Stargate" side of things, I have seen arguments that it must be Stargate because it's by the same makers, or because it has the word "Stargate" in the name, or simply because SGU features a round device that sends travellers to other places (at least, I think they have one somewhere that they use from time to time). Certainly, if each of those form one's definition of what constitutes Stargate, then SGU is Stargate by those definitions. I have also seen argued the notion that just because you try a different twist on a concept doesn't mean that it can't use the same brand as its predecessors - for example, Star Trek: Voyager was very different to the original Star Trek series, and they still used the same names.
For the "SGU isn't Stargate" side of the discussion, there are questions such as "where's the humour?", "where's the teamwork/cameraderie?" and "where are the action, adventure and exploration?"
So, given that we each have our own definitions of what constitites Stargate, I guess the question we have all been arguing over is not really "Is SGU Stargate", but "What Defines Stargate?"
The fact that it's by the same makers to me is immaterial - the producers of many shows come and go, and a show doesn't stop being itself just because the writers or production company change. In fact, if you go by this definition, then SG1 and SGA weren't "Stargate" at all, because they were produced by different people to Devlin's original Stargate movie.
I also disagree that the word "Stargate" in the name defines what is and what is not Stargate. Firstly, there is plenty of other media out there with the name Stargate in it that has nothing to do with the Stargate franchise we know and love. Secondly, if I were to create, say, a reality TV "Pop Idol" style show and, for a laugh, call it Stargate Idol, I really don't think that would make it Stargate, despite the name.
And as for the presence of a round device that takes you to other worlds when you step through it, well, I am in fact reading a fantasy novel right now which is all about a Portal to the Abyss, which is a round device which, when stepped through, transports you to another world. It isn't Stargate. You could argue that the criterion is actually "wormhole travel", but I can't see that washing either. DS9 or Sliders, anyone? Ok, I guess you could say that the presence of a round-device-called-a-gate-that-creates-a-conduit-between-two-points-in-space-to-allow-long-distance-travel defines Stargate, but honestly, if the show's only defining feature is simply the presence of such a device, then I don't think it would have lasted 15 seasons. Oh, and do a google for "Borg Transwarp Gate".
But then, what about the "SGU is not Stargate" arguments? Do the presence of humour, cameraderie, action, adventure and exploration = Stargate? I don't think so, because otherwise Sliders would be Stargate. And it's not. However, these were elements that defined the previous Stargate shows - does the absence of one of these elements immediately disqualify this show as Stargate?
Personally, I like to let my feelings decide. If I turn on the TV, click to an episode, and it feels like I'm watching Stargate - in other words, the underlying thoughts and feelings evoked in me by the show are of the same nature as those Stargate shows have always evoked in me - then to me, it's Stargate. Atlantis was a different show to SG1, especially during the first few seasons. It had different characters and a darker storyline, and was much more focused on isolation and survival with limited resources than on learning about other worlds, technologies and cultures. I loved both shows. And when I watched either show, they both evoked "that Stargate feeling" within me. I could certainly speak similarly about the various Star Trek shows - they all gave me that "Star Trek feeling" I loved, which, incidentally, was very different to the Stargate feeling, but very enjoyable nonetheless.
This applies to most brands we encounter in life. You learn what feelings, message, tastes or concepts the brand represents, and you expect a brand to be consistent. Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max and Pepsi Twist are all subtlely different and there may be those that prefer some types to others, but underneath they are all sweet, fizzy, cola flavoured beverages that stimulate those same underlying feelings.
When I watch Stargate Universe, I don't get "that Stargate feeling" at all. To continue the soft drink analogy, I feel like I bought a new Pepsi drink called "Pepsi: Red", which has the Pepsi logo on the side, says Pepsi on the can, and yet when I drink it, it turns out to be tomato juice. I would take a gulp, spit it out and remark, "gah, this isn't Pepsi!" I guess that puts me squarely in the "SGU is not Stargate" camp. (In fact for me, not only have the Stargate PTB replaced cola with tomato juice, they've replaced it with poor tasting, watered down, gone off tomato juice that barely passes as fit for human consumption, which I would spit out even if I loved tomato juice. But that's another discussion!)
So I guess that, for myself at least, what defines Stargate is the whole package. It isn't just the humour. It isn't just the cameraderie, action and adventure. It isn't just the presence of a Stargate, or of heroes and or villains, or worlds to explore, or interesting new races and technologies to be discovered, or engaging storylines, or lovable characters, or awesome backing music or great actors. It's the combination of these ingredients, put together in just the right proportions and delivered in a way that gives me "that Stargate feeling". And although I wouldn't argue that this combination of things automatically makes something Stargate, I would definitely say that if you remove too many of these things, or fundamentally change all their proportions, then you don't have Stargate. Replace the sugar with sweetener in the recipe for Pepsi and it's still Pepsi. Replace the cola with codliver oil and it doesn't matter what you call it, it ain't Pepsi.
So no, I can't put my finger exactly on What Defines Stargate. But I know what ingredients make Stargate, and that if you remove those ingredients, you don't have Stargate. Does SGU have those essential Stargate ingredients, mixed, baked and served in the Stargate way, to evoke that Stargate feeling? I would say no. Others might say yes. But I think the viewing figures for the first part of SGU's season finale tell us what most Stargate fans think
The Grand Design Or A Tangled Web?
The core viewer of Sci fi is what made the Sci fi channel great. By changing its name Syfy sent a message to the core viewers that their ratings weren’t high enough and the programming wasn’t to their liking. Back when SG-1, BSG and Atlantis ran on Friday nights the Sci fi channel was popular. I know that that particular year I didn’t go out on Friday nights to see a movie at the theatre, I anticipated Friday nights at home watching the Sci fi channel. As the channel worked on rebranding itself they cancelled the Dresden files, brought on WWE, and reality shows like “Who wants to be a superhero.”
The re-branding is the flagship show Stargate might be the proverbial straw so to speak. I don’t know the ratings comparisons when compared to CW or other teen channels but I have run out of plausible and creative excuses for Syfy’s executives and the creators of Stargate that made the Sci fi channel to want to self destruct and grasp for a new audience.
I believe this is a coordinated attack on hardcore Sci fi viewers. I feel ostracized on a channel that is supposed to represent the imagination of the human condition. Nothing could be further from the truth.
While Ghost Hunters may be interesting to some viewers I am not entertained by a bunch of people sitting around in the dark pretending to see ghosts. That is not Sci fi, it is paranormal. It just seems that Syfy is trying to branch out and by “branching out” I mean more “fi” and less “Sci.”
This argument is explicitly demonstrated in our viewing of SGU (for proof read the damn forum). It is more about drama, human interaction, betrayal and sexual angst. As a Sci fi bookworm none of these focuses interest me. One would think that a show that is perfectly placed to take advantages of the genre that has produced movies like “Avatar” and “Iron Man” would want to be innovative and try to woo the viewers of such movies. Instead TPTB are trying to change.
The canceling of SG-1, Atlantis are the opening salvoes. The attitude of the business executives at Syfy has obviously surfaced in Stargate’s executives as well.
This list is a list of top grossing movies of all time and represent significant investment for movie makers and viewers. Half of the top grossing movies of all time have a Sci fi or fantasy genre. So the question that must be asked is: “Why is the Syfy channel actively moving away from its viewers, and what influence have they been able to exert over Mallozzi and Wright and the rest of TPTB?
The fracturing of the stargate fan base for the flagship show successfully eliminates our ability to respond to the SyFy channel in a united voice; therefore our ability to establish campaigns against the SyFy channel is reduced. Considering stargate fans are more than a proverbial thorn in Syfy’s side their tactics have succeeded. We no longer have the entertainment we desire and the intelligent shows we enjoy. I have endevoured to connect the rebranding of the Sci Fi channel and the rebranding of Stargate; and to me there seems to be a correlation of decisions that are unpopular to the core Sci fi fan base in general.
We used to have great shows like BSG, SG-1, Atlantis, and more. Now the Sci fi genre has to contend with shows like Caprica, Ghost Hunters and wrestling on the Sci Fi channel.
The unsettling question is how much further will the SyFy channel slip before it cancels “Eureka” and starts playing cop shows and shows like “Friends?”
GATEWORLD ENDORSES SMEAR CAMPAIGN
At one point in recent history people would have said that Gateworld was probably the main site on the internet for Stargate fans to visit. A place of honest debate and a voice for all.
These days that is no longer the case. A recent attempt at a smear campaign against SGUSucks.com by hypocritical wannabes has been linked to by Gateworld.
What do they hope to achieve from this? We can only wonder why a small group of fans has caused such an attack to be orchestrated.
Clearly, Gateworld are now the sock puppet mouthpiece of the powers that be and have seen fit to sully their reputation by getting involved in such a vile crime.
Do we care that they have concluded that we are guilty without any evidence being provided at all? No, our integrity has been maintained and holds firm.
SGU°S News Ticker Tape
Ratings Flop: The first of the two-part Season Finale of SGU just became the lowest live+same day rated episode of the series with 1.178 million viewers. Ouch.
The second part of the finale pulled in a disappointing 1.469 million viewers with a median viewing age of 49. This is possibly the poorest performing finale of the franchise. It's definitely worse than any of the Atlantis finales. By cancelling Atlantis for SGU, The Powers That Be have chosen to spend more money on a show that, by the end of its first season, has an older and smaller viewer base than its predecessor. Weren't they going for younger and more mainstream? Not good.
Meanwhile, yet another season of SGU is in production and there is still no news on when any SG-1 or SGA movies will ever be made.
I'll Take A Splice: Stargate Atlantis star, David Hewlett, talks about his role in the Sci-Fi/Horror film entitled Splice. He co-stars with Oscar winner Adrien Brody. The movie is playing in theaters right now.
At The Convention Again: Stargate Atlantis stars, David Hewlett and Joe Flanigan recently answered questions from fans at the MinCon Stargate event a few days ago. Click here for details.
Star Power: Stargate SG-1 star, Amanda Tapping, saw her hit television show, Sanctuary, beat SGU at the Canadian Leo Awards ceremony recently. The Sci-Fi/Fantasy hit took home 7 awards to SGU's 6. One of which went to SGA’s Chris Heyerdahl for Best Supporting Actor. See list here.
While news of Sanctuary's wins is exciting and widely seen as well-deserved, many people question the validity of some of the awards won by SGU. The most notably in question (aside from Best Dramatic Series) are Best Cinematography and Editing awards for the episode Human, an episode where a black car can easily be seen driving by in the background of what is supposed to be an alien planet on the other side of the universe. Wow.
Thanks for reading! See you next time.
Bring Atlantis Back!!!
Thanks, something to read now.
WTF they gave SGoo 6 Sluggo awards? For what? Hiring teamsters at the Bridge?
In reply to this post by Atlantis4Life
Great read, well done all who contributed.
Great read. Thanks for putting it together.
In reply to this post by Atlantis4Life
I guess I feel SGU doesn't have to spirit of stargate. Physically it is, but 'spiritually' it isn't? I guess thats how I would describe it, no matter how cheesy it sounds.
Loved the articles by the way.
"I wouldn't say any stargate is better than no stargate at all because this isn't the stargate that we all know and love"
Yes, I agree with you. The thoughts about what stargate is are really good arguments against SGU.
Well, about the awards SGU had won. Remember two of the categories have only one choice because only SGU were nominated. Cheap awards without any opponent.
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