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GateWorld
May 15th, 2006, 12:25 AM
<DIV ALIGN=CENTER><TABLE WIDTH=420 CELLPADDING=0 CELLSPACING=0 BORDER=0><TR><TD><DIV ALIGN=LEFT><FONT FACE="Arial" SIZE=2 COLOR="#000000"><A HREF="http://www.gateworld.net/articles/interviews/gero01.shtml"><IMG SRC="http://www.gateworld.net/articles/interviews/graphics/gero01_m.jpg" WIDTH=90 HEIGHT=104 ALIGN=RIGHT BORDER=0 HSPACE=8 VSPACE=3></A><FONT SIZE=1 COLOR="#666666">AUDIO INTERVIEW:</FONT><BR><FONT SIZE=4><A HREF="http://www.gateworld.net/articles/interviews/gero01.shtml" STYLE="text-decoration: none">GERO HOUR</A></FONT>
<FONT SIZE=2><I>GateWorld talks with Martin Gero</I></FONT>
<IMG SRC="/images/clear.gif" WIDTH=1 HEIGHT=8 ALT="">
<I>Stargate Atlantis</I> writer Martin Gero gives us an insider's take on creating the hit series, the challenges in his job, and what's to come in the new season.

<FONT SIZE=1><A HREF="http://www.gateworld.net/articles/interviews/gero01.shtml">READ MORE ...</A></FONT></FONT></DIV></TD></TR></TABLE></DIV>

ShadowMaat
May 15th, 2006, 06:46 AM
That is a very funky pic of Martin, BTW. Absolutely would not have recognized him if it didn't say "Gero" next to it. :P

Anyway... Interesting interview. Interesting insights into how he views fandom. I wonder, however, if he's aware that even some hardcore fans of Hewlett/McKay are getting weary of the perceived (by some) overkill in regards to McKay-centric stories? I'm a huge fan of McKay, he's one of my favorite characters, but it's getting to the point where I cringe when I read spoilers/summaries for McKay eps. It isn't that the stories aren't great (or that they don't sound good from spoilers or whatever), but... there are other characters on the show and I'd kinda like to hear about them , too. Even if McKay IS a favorite. I wouldn't mind learning about some of my OTHER favorites, or even having a fantastic story come along that elevates a character I hadn't really liked/noticed to "favorite" status.

I'm glad he's psyched about the new "Big Bad" but I'm a bit leery of the indications about the Wraith. I'd rather see more development given to them and more effort putting in to making them a truly awe-imspiring and powerful enemy than to see them swept under the carpet in favor of something new and shiny. Or at least shiny. The "new" actually sounds painfully familiar. *sigh* Whatever.

I'll be very curious to see how this "make or break" season turns out for them.

sueKay
May 15th, 2006, 06:51 AM
Great interview

I'm glad to see that at least one of TPTB listens to some of the fans' worries.

I agree with Shadowmaat that there is maybe too much time devoted to McKay...I really want to see all the characters get equal screen time (I hated it when Voyager became the 7, Janeway and Doc show...don't want SGA to go the same way)

I think the writers need to think more about the enemy..while the new enemy could be good (and they're being introduced at almost the same point as the replicators were in SG1) I think they're burning out the Wraith storyline too quickly. I'd prefer to see the Wraith rather than any other 'bads' just now.

And saying all that...I have high hopes that MG will be able to get SGA back on track...his episodes normally turn out to be the best of all the eps...Here's hoping!

GateLadyM
May 15th, 2006, 09:13 AM
He is still talking about the "day off" episode which is a good sign. I would be first in line to see that one. :)

ShadowMaat
May 15th, 2006, 10:08 AM
Well, I assume that the original day off article was spawned from this interview. That's the way it usually works. You get a "leader" article ahead of the actual interview. Although I do hope the ep gets made.

TameFarrar
May 15th, 2006, 09:49 PM
enjoyed this interview. Martin seems to at least have no fear of being candid and I like that about him. I also like that he stated that it may be great to have fan support but at the end of the day he has bosses to please not fans I think that was the most honest statement ever made by PTB in a long time.

Here is to hoping that he did get a memo regarding McKay saving the day ALL the time :)

Linzi
May 15th, 2006, 11:32 PM
That is a very funky pic of Martin, BTW. Absolutely would not have recognized him if it didn't say "Gero" next to it. :P

Anyway... Interesting interview. Interesting insights into how he views fandom. I wonder, however, if he's aware that even some hardcore fans of Hewlett/McKay are getting weary of the perceived (by some) overkill in regards to McKay-centric stories? I'm a huge fan of McKay, he's one of my favorite characters, but it's getting to the point where I cringe when I read spoilers/summaries for McKay eps. It isn't that the stories aren't great (or that they don't sound good from spoilers or whatever), but... there are other characters on the show and I'd kinda like to hear about them , too. Even if McKay IS a favorite. I wouldn't mind learning about some of my OTHER favorites, or even having a fantastic story come along that elevates a character I hadn't really liked/noticed to "favorite" status.

I'm glad he's psyched about the new "Big Bad" but I'm a bit leery of the indications about the Wraith. I'd rather see more development given to them and more effort putting in to making them a truly awe-imspiring and powerful enemy than to see them swept under the carpet in favor of something new and shiny. Or at least shiny. The "new" actually sounds painfully familiar. *sigh* Whatever.

I'll be very curious to see how this "make or break" season turns out for them.
You expressed my concerns and slight annoyance much more eloquently than I could have.
I love McKay, he's my second favourite character by a long way, however, I found it inappropriate for Mr Gero to spread the MCKay love so much - AGAIN. There are other actors on the show, and if I were them I'd be starting to feel unappreciated and wonder why I actually was bothering turning up to work.
I just hope the other writers are a little more even handed with their praise of actors/characters and their writing of them too.
My heart just sank when I read the first portion of this interview, and that's not being disrespectful to avid McKay fans. As a friend said to me recently - if you're a MCKay fan you are incredibly lucky, as you get everything you want.

Trek_Girl42
May 15th, 2006, 11:34 PM
enjoyed this interview. Martin seems to at least have no fear of being candid and I like that about him. I also like that he stated that it may be great to have fan support but at the end of the day he has bosses to please not fans I think that was the most honest statement ever made by PTB in a long time.

Here is to hoping that he did get a memo regarding McKay saving the day ALL the time :)
I agree- he was honest. I really liked a lot of what he had to say, admitting that season three has to be something unique etc. Great guy.:)
Thanks for the interview Gateworld.:)

Willow'sCat
May 16th, 2006, 12:09 AM
. As a friend said to me recently - if you're a MCKay fan you are incredibly lucky, as you get everything you want.Ah, no idea who your friend is but I can tell you right now no we do not get everything we want... I do not get a sense of respect for the character coming from TPTB McKay is often played as the comic relief now days. Heaven to Besty, they hung him upside down in a fraking tree! :rolleyes: That is the last thing this McKay fan wants. :cool: Lots of screen time does not equal quality screen time. :S :rolleyes:

Linzi
May 16th, 2006, 01:10 AM
Ah, no idea who your friend is but I can tell you right now no we do not get everything we want... I do not get a sense of respect for the character coming from TPTB McKay is often played as the comic relief now days. Heaven to Besty, they hung him upside down in a fraking tree! :rolleyes: That is the last thing this McKay fan wants. :cool: Lots of screen time does not equal quality screen time. :S :rolleyes:
Point taken. I see where you're coming from!

sueKay
May 16th, 2006, 02:26 AM
I think that the one thing lacking in SGA more than any other is the team spirit that's made SG1 so popular

I'm glad to see that they've taken note of that

Willow'sCat
May 16th, 2006, 03:49 AM
Oh btw I really enjoyed this interview, Martin Gero is an asset to the writing staff. ;)


I think that the one thing lacking in SGA more than any other is the team spirit that's made SG1 so popularThat is really odd isn't it, maybe it was the replacing of a major character but it has never felt the same way the Team dynamics felt on SG-1. Not that they always got it right but at least you knew whatever happened they would all be there to help and they would show concern. It brings to mind the 'incident' as I like to call it :P when Lorne tells tells Sheppard that McKay is missing (in Runner) and Sheppard says "great" but not in a concerned way.

What was that about? :D LOL! McKay must have really pissed him off that week! :P No man left behind my A&^* :psycho: :p

ShadowMaat
May 16th, 2006, 04:47 AM
I have to admit, I did find Martin's crass dismissal of anyone who complains to be more than a bit insulting- and David's clarifiying question of "even if it's constructive" was likewise shrugged off as, "If you're a McKay fan, you'll love it, if you aren't you won't, and in that case you aren't worth listening to because you're just gonna whine about McKay" is how I interpreted it. Not a lot of elbow room in a statement like that, and it's a pretty heavy-handed generalization, especially given that not all McKay fans automatically love McKay-centric eps.

Martin is still one of my favorite writers, but I can't quite shake the feeling that he's turning towards the Dark Side. Someone should keep him away from Coop before the corruption becomes irreversible.

Tok'Ra Hostess
May 16th, 2006, 04:54 AM
. So I thank them for liking my work ... and I try to think of them as least as possible. In the warmest, warmest sort of way!

ROTFL!

Exactly as it should be.

Thanks for getting the interview, GW. I always find what the writers/producers have to say infinitely more interesting than the same old, same old that the actors say. I also love your interviews with the other off-screen Bright Lights who make the two series shine.

Mister Oragahn
May 16th, 2006, 05:18 AM
Correctly rerouted to this thread, I'll answer to a couple of remarks people posted here (http://forum.gateworld.net/showthread.php?t=28716).



You did however miss the best quote in the whole interview Mr. O.

Huh, I didn't spot that one. Priceless. I'm hardly surprised though. Maybe they just read the community boards to find new ideas?



Oddly I didn't read it as arrogance. I read it as a guy who acknowledges that people aren't going to like all episodes. If you don't like McKay, you are unlikely to enjoy a McKay based episode, even if it is good, because you are already predisposed not to like McKay.

Your point, like his, is just too simplistic. It completely discards people who actually enjoyed McKay before the overkill exageration that plagued the character over season 2.
You know, the world isn't all black and white.


I don't think he has said anything that can be considered arrogant, or if you don't like the show it's all about the fans. Although, to a certain extent it is, simply because if you don't like the show - you don't like the show or episode. It wasn't written with the intent of you not liking it.

Which is kinda obvious. Doesn't change a thing to the problem here.


And he is right aswell, some people do feel an ownership for characters and tend to get passionate about it. Not a bad thing, and he acknowledged it wasn't a bad thing.

That's easy from Gero to attack people's remarks about character devlopment and orientation as describing them as an exagerated manifestation of ownership.
We're too possessive. Yay. Right Martin. Right.

It's just not that. McKay was depicted in a certain way in SG-1, and again, in the first season of Atlantis.

But it's also a gripe against that sort of rule they established after Wormhole X-Treme (a good episode) that each season should get more funny episodes, and each season should be more funny as a whole. And McKay is the character which all the humour flows through. The dam is about to collapse, but nevermind, let's get more humour. More. More. More.
What plugged me into Stargate was episodes like Singularity, Torment of Tantalus and Cold Lazarus. These good days seem definitively gone.


What I read was an interview with a guy who conceeds that not everyone will like everything, that it wasn't designed for everyone to like it, that people have their reasons not to like it (including not likeing the character focus). I don't see him telling everyone that they are wrong with their opinion.

But he just said it. If you don't like my character-centric episodes, it's because you don't like the character at all, not because we may have made a mistake in overusing a given character and its usual attitude and gimmicks.
Ergo my point about moderation.
In Childhood's End, one of the best S1 episodes thus far, and probably all SGA seasons considered, had McKay, but he was natural, balanced, and not taking the full light in the episode. And he wasn't turned into some sort of mockery of himself, becoming far less believable.
Too much of McKay is simply... too much.
Hell, seems that only certain fans are actually able to see the change of character. For freaking sake, the first time my sister saw McKay in season 2, she just sharply said "ha, I guess he's the funny one". And she's a fan of series as well!



If you hate the show this much then why are you still watching it?

*sigh*
There's always one guy who has to say that. :rolleyes:



And all in all Mr. Gero correct in his assessment.

Mr. Gero is half correct in his assessment, as he thinks in binary ways. What he says is basically you don't like my episode with characters X and Y because you don't like these characers at all.
It's either you always love the character, or you never. It's like a Star Wars book author said that if you didn't like the way he portrayed Luke Skywalker, it's because you don't like the character at all. Period.
Sure.
That's... well, missing the point totally. I'm surprised that a writer has such a mediocre opinion of the fans and such a good one about himself and the staff he's working with.



And see all the plotholes, dropped storyarcs and underdeveloped characters that existed in the first five season aswell?

Sorry? Underdevlopped characters after five season of SG-1? Please. What kind of credibility do you think you still hold with such remarks? The chemistry was right from the get go. Teal'c, O'Neill, Jackson, Carter, plus the others. Seriously, what show have you been watching?
Who mentionned dropped storyarcs? I didn't, and it's just so irrelevant that I don't care.


Of course they're idiots to not see it your way at all. They're frelling stupid because the show isn't being produced to your exacting specifications.

That's not the point, but I don't feel arguing with someone like you.


The worst part of fandom is the frelling fans. Selfish-ass fans.

You mean the ones who jump into threads like you in order to insult others because they just can't stand criticism.
I feel like facing the Stargate Staff's Defense Fanboy Brigade.




U know what guys?

It's THEIR show, they can write whatever they wanna write and we should stop trying to write it for them... cos most of the people out there complaining about the show couldn't write anything near as good as it...

So how about u quit whining and go back to enjoying a TV show or turning it off...

Breathless. I don't know where to start from.
It's THEIR show, we CRITICIZE it.
It's THEIR show, we're the audience.
The audience doesn't like the show, show dies. Not hard to get, isn't it?

We couldn't write anything as good. Well, sometimes, I frankly have doubts about that. After all, they're paid to think about plots everyday. On several occasions, I happen to read much more coherent, logical and intersting stuff from fans who certainly do not have so much spare time to lay down their ideas.

Skydiver
May 16th, 2006, 05:33 AM
Yeah, i love rod, i really do. he's a great character....but the OTT screaming/whining/complaining....a little goes a long, long way. Let zelenka melt down every once in a while :) the czech is fun when he curses

I'd love to see someone else melt down/save the day. Just like i'd love to see someone else get the alien chick (imagine this, lorne getting a girlfriend????)

it was a very nice interview and gave some insight

ShadowMaat
May 16th, 2006, 05:50 AM
Just because it's "their" show and they can do whatever they want doesn't mean that we have to glibly sit back and swallow it all. There is such a thing as constructive criticism. You know? That thing David mentioned in the interview that Martin dismissed as nothing more than chaff from people who don't like such-and such character?

Not all complaints about the show are hateful tirades against the lack of so-and-so or the overabundance of somebody else. Some people actually have some coherent and specific criticisms and a few of them have even offered suggestions on how the "faults" can be improved. But of course, that's nothing but entitlement and fans wrongly thinking they "own" the characters and can dictate how they should and shouldn't behave. :rolleyes:

As Oragahn said, the world isn't quite as black and white as that. Sometimes suggestions are merely that- SUGGESTIONS, and not commands from on high telling TPTB what to do.

You can't please all of the fans all of the time and I don't recall anyone suggesting that TPTB should try. There does, however, seem to be a bit of confusion on the whole "complaints" front. Are there people who are complaining and demanding that the show be changed to suit them? Yeah, there are always a few in every crowd (and on every side of the fence). However, there are just as many- if not more- who are simply saying WHY they don't like something and what they'd prefer and they're getting crucified for "demanding" these changes when no demands have been made.

If someone complains about the rain and says they wish it was sunny, does that mean they're attacking God and implying that THEY could control things better than HE could? Or does it mean they're tired of rain and would prefer a little more sunshine? There is a middle ground, you know.

Martin is, IMO, a good writer and I'm glad to see that he's being open and honest about his opinions... but that doesn't mean I have to like what he says or agree with everything verbatim.

Yes, some of what he says in regards to fandom is true, but it isn't the WHOLE picture. In that regard, at least, he's a lot like some of the more fanatical fans here on Gateworld: If it's good, we'll listen to whatever you have to say, but if it's bad, no one cares.

Madeleine
May 16th, 2006, 08:25 AM
That's easy from Gero to attack people's remarks about character devlopment and orientation as describing them as an exagerated manifestation of ownership.
We're too possessive. Yay. Right Martin. Right.

What did Martin say that was remotely in the vague vicinity of an attack on people's remarks about character development, or that even slightly resembled saying people were too posessive? :confused:

Luz
May 16th, 2006, 09:08 AM
What did Martin say that was remotely in the vague vicinity of an attack on people's remarks about character development, or that even slightly resembled saying people were too posessive? :confused:
Sounded to me like he was saying that he only pays attention to fans if their comments are positive, but ignores them if they don't like something 'cause their only reason for not liking an episode is that their favorite character wasn't in it. But that's just me.

ShadowMaat
May 16th, 2006, 09:51 AM
What did Martin say that was remotely in the vague vicinity of an attack on people's remarks about character development, or that even slightly resembled saying people were too posessive? :confused:


GW: How do you feel about fan response for your episodes, from what you've read?

MG: Well, if they like it I feel like it is positive. [Laughter] I don't know. What the fans think is very important, but I don't pay a lot of attention to it when they don't like an episode.

GW: Even if it's constructive

MG: [...]If you're a big McKay fan you're going to like my episodes -- you're going to like those episodes that I've written about McKay. And if you don't like McKay, then that episode, regardless of how good it is, is going to have to struggle quite a lot for you to like it. [...]I think more so than most shows, fans feel a great ownership over the characters of this series, and I think that's a wonderful thing. But it also gives them a bias towards episodes. So when a fan responds negatively to an episode that I've written, you always kind of have to meter it out where they're coming from.

I don't think he's attacking comments about character development- in fact, he agrees that it's needed- and I don't think he's saying people are too possessive, exactly, but I DO agree with the comments that it sounds as if he's saying, "I'll only listen to you if you say nice things about me" and I think he's dismissing the naysayers as people who simply don't like McKay and/or that their sense of "ownership" is the primary reason for this. There's no room in his expressed viewpoint for people who are fans of McKay but are tired of seeing him front-and-center all the time, or who love McKay but don't like the way he's being portrayed. Or fans who have no issue at all with the characters, but have problems in OTHER areas. He may understand that there's more to it than that, but in the interview, he left it at that.

Skydiver
May 16th, 2006, 10:15 AM
they honestly do have to bear in mind that a person's opinion is based on their pesonal preferences.

take me for example. I don't care for any ship in atlantis. none at all. thus, if they wrote and episode that was skewed/all about liz and _____, well i would be less inclined to care for it than a fan of that pairing.

i do think, however, that ascribing motives to each and every bit of crit is a bit of a dangerous thing to do. It makes it way to easy to dismiss any and all that you don't care for wiht a 'oh, she's a fan of _____ so she was gonna hate this'

I think back to the early days of sg-1 when they had more balance in the show. yes, i know this is about atlantis, but the issue is the same. Take ITLOD or Cold Lazarus or Bloodlines or Torment of Tantalus...all of which were eps that focused on one character of the four. The trick is, while they may have focused on SAm getting snaked, we also got to see how her situation affected jack and daniel and teal'c...thus there was something in it for everyone.

there was a bit more balance so each episode had at least something that fans of the non-featured characters could enjoy.

they're not doing so good with that now and it shows. thus each eps is a bit more polarizing and less generally appealing, so it will generate more crit, constructive or otherwise. which isn't fun for the folks putting it out and makes it easier to ignore the crit.

ShadowMaat
May 16th, 2006, 10:36 AM
Another thing about the earlier seasons of SG-1 is that in addition to balace WITHIN the ep (a Sam ep that also showed how her teammates were reacting) there was an over-all balance- a Sam ep here, a Jack ep there, A daniel ep, a Teal'c ep and whatever in addition to the general team eps, whereas on Atlantis it seems like it's either a Shep ep or a McKay ep and everyone else pretty much gets ignored except for a random ep here or there. And the content WITHIN the ep is heavily biased towards the spotlighted character. GUP is a perfect example of that. Yes, there was some arbitrary stuff with Rodney's teammates trying to find a way to save him, but there wasn't a lot to it and it seemed more like an excuse to fiddle with the shields than to show concern for an endangered teammate. HOWEVER, I thought that the scenes with Shep and Zelenka (the non expositiony bits) were fantastic and were my favorite parts of the ep. I could have cared less about the "McKay in a panic" stuff, but the Shep/Zelenka interaction made the ep be NOT a waste of time. And it isn't that I don't like McKay, I just think we know enough about him already (for the time being) and not enough about the others. GUP would have been the perfect Zelenka-centric ep, for example. Show it all from the Atlantis POV- they receive the distress call, they're talking with Rodney, the radio cuts out and...? The rest of the ep concentrates on them formulating wild plans and trying to rescue Rodney when they don't even know if he's still alive or not. Play up Zelenka's role in things. Is he smoothly confident? Is he worried about his friend? Has he considered the possibility of what will happen to HIM if McKay is dead?

What was Teyla doing during all of this? Was she even in the ep? You could have her doing "some Athosian thing", maybe some kind of prayer vigil and have Weir show up, wanting to show her support (and demonstrating a nice change from her attitude in 38 Minutes) but maybe being uncomfortable/unfamiliar with the ceremony. Or have it be Ronon, although that'd be more predictible.

There are a dozen different ways to show character interaction BEYOND the spotlight. Just because an ep is Mc_kay centric or Shep-heavy or whatever doesn't mean the other characters can't be just as much a part of things.

Gero has added to Coop's statements that S3 will have more character development. I sincerely hope that this is true... and that the characters being developed won't be the usual subjects. Sateda holds promise that they'll at least remember that Ronon exists. If we could get some development for Teyla (and something that doesn't involve fighting in skimpy outfits) and poor forgotten Carson, maybe things will look up. At least from my perspective. ;)

Mister Oragahn
May 16th, 2006, 01:43 PM
To make things simple, when I speak about attacks on fan's comments regarding character dev, it's just that. Gero dismissing the negative criticism as the mere fruit of over possessive fans. This and the underlying message being that it's stupid to whine about certain character-centric episodes when you simply don't like the characters. Of course it is stupid, but it's also stupid to think that each person that complains fits Martin's simplistic description.

Linzi
May 16th, 2006, 03:04 PM
they honestly do have to bear in mind that a person's opinion is based on their pesonal preferences.

take me for example. I don't care for any ship in atlantis. none at all. thus, if they wrote and episode that was skewed/all about liz and _____, well i would be less inclined to care for it than a fan of that pairing.

i do think, however, that ascribing motives to each and every bit of crit is a bit of a dangerous thing to do. It makes it way to easy to dismiss any and all that you don't care for wiht a 'oh, she's a fan of _____ so she was gonna hate this'

I think back to the early days of sg-1 when they had more balance in the show. yes, i know this is about atlantis, but the issue is the same. Take ITLOD or Cold Lazarus or Bloodlines or Torment of Tantalus...all of which were eps that focused on one character of the four. The trick is, while they may have focused on SAm getting snaked, we also got to see how her situation affected jack and daniel and teal'c...thus there was something in it for everyone.

there was a bit more balance so each episode had at least something that fans of the non-featured characters could enjoy.

they're not doing so good with that now and it shows. thus each eps is a bit more polarizing and less generally appealing, so it will generate more crit, constructive or otherwise. which isn't fun for the folks putting it out and makes it easier to ignore the crit.
I totally agree with you. I'd watch early SG1 and never feel a character was left out, even if was a story centred around one character. There was always such a great 'team' feeling. That has not been present in Season 2 of Atlantis - we've lost that somewhat.
This is why GUP failed for me. It wouldn't matter which character that GUP centred around, though the fact that it was another McKay episode was a little unbalanced, IMO. The problem was, that it was just about one character with virtually no other regular characters being in it. Where was the rest of the team? I also thought the plot was incredibly weak and unblievable, and that has nothing to do with which character it focused on. Therefore, if Martin Gero thinks I didn't like GUP because McKay isn't my favourite character - he's wrong. I didn't like it because, quite simply, I was plain bored. It was unbelievable and too centred on one character - and I didn't even learn anything more about that character.
That is why I'm worried about McKay and Mrs Miller. Martin Gero is saying that's his favourite episode of Season 3, (that he's written), and at the time of the interview it hadn't even been filmed! How on Earth can you say that until you've seen the finished product? I'm worried about any episode which has the first act and a half with just one regular and a guest star. I don't care if it's a relative of McKay's, Sheppard's Father's Uncle, or Weir's Mother's second cousin twice removed. Season 3 will be a make or break season, IMO, and if the writers don't step up to the challenge, it will, sadly fail. Nobody would be more upset than me.

ShadowMaat
May 16th, 2006, 03:44 PM
My fear is that we won't actually learn anything new in the upcoming McKay-heavy eps. We sure didn't in GUP. McKay panicking, McKay lusting after Carter, McKay sure that no one else is smart enough to save him, McKay having hysterics... Yawn. I'm sorry, I love the character, but we've been there, we've seen that and I really kinda hope there's more to the character than that. Hystrionic McKay might be good for a few laughs, but it doesn't teach us anything about who and what he is... unless it's an hysterical spoiled brat. If that's all there is to him, I'll be disappointed.

We've seen glimpses of depth here and there. He can take risks to save others, he can show genuine concern for someone OTHER than himself, he can even be NICE when he thinks no one's looking. I'd rather see more of these hints of humanity than watch him turned into more of a caricature, played for laughs.

I'd also like to know why it was decided to shelve the Wraith after only two seasons. Granted, I've NEVER liked the Wraith. I find them shallow and tedious and cliche and not at all threatening, but then, as far as I'm concerned, TPTB have given me no reason to think otherwise.

HOWEVER, as dissatisfied I am with the development (or lack thereof) of the Wraith, I'd pick them over the Replicators Asurans Every. Single. Time. Call 'em what you will, the Asurans are nothing but an "Atlantisified version of the Replicators and the Replicators belong on SG-1. NOT on Atlantis. NEVER on Atlantis. I would MUCH rather see the Wraith given some serious attention and some heavy development than get yet more cast-offs from the SG-1-verse.

Martin certainly seemed excited about the retread new baddies, but I'd still like to know WHY this... addition was deemed necessary? And why like this? I've been wanting to know about the creators of the Hot Zone virus, but this isn't the answer I was hoping for. And yeah, I know not everything can be catered to my exacting demands, but why go with something so familiar? Instead of being "like the Replicators" why not make them "like nothing previously encountered in the Stargate universe"?

Maybe you can try asking that in the next round of interviews, David. ;)

Madeleine
May 16th, 2006, 05:17 PM
To make things simple, when I speak about attacks on fan's comments regarding character dev, it's just that. Gero dismissing the negative criticism as the mere fruit of over possessive fans.

To make things simple, would you answer my question with an actual quote?

Are you talking about a totally different interview, or did you read something in this interview that I missed?

Where did he attack fans' comments regarding character development? And when did he say that any fans were overposessive? :confused::confused::

ShadowMaat
May 16th, 2006, 05:27 PM
I think I quoted the relevant bits in one of my previous posts, Mads. I've gone back and underlined the specific sentence that I think Oragahn is referring to, but while I don't see it as an attack, I am intimately familiar with the fact that what one sees as an innocuous statement another sees as a blatant attack. *shrug*

Or is the point of your posts (and all the :confused: :confused:) to get Oragahn to quote it himself?

Madeleine
May 16th, 2006, 05:33 PM
... I DO agree with the comments that it sounds as if he's saying, "I'll only listen to you if you say nice things about me" and I think he's dismissing the naysayers as people who simply don't like McKay and/or that their sense of "ownership" is the primary reason for this.

You could see that in the interview, yes. But I think it's worth bearing in mind that he's trying to give concise and interesting answers to questions he's only just heard. He basically said that he doesn't pay much attention to negativity from fans. Well, why should he? That's Brad Wright's job, or whoever. I'd be pretty stunned and appalled if BW claimed not to listen to fan complaints - or perhaps I'd think he was joking? (I actually suspect Martin might be joking here, btw) - but Martin would not be the first actor or writer to ignore fans who complain and make suggestions or demands. Knowing that he can't please everyone, he's opted for pleasing Brad Wright, and being happy when fans get pleased too. Seems reasonable, and not an anti-fan thing.

And I don't think he was dismissing the fans who like McKay but not his McKay eps. I do feel sorry for these people, they do interviews for us which is nice of them, but every single bit of phrasing has to be just so or they get squished. One of the Big Four actors once mentioned what grreat pals two of his co-stars were. He got railed at, because mentioning those two but not the third colleague was a massive diss to that colleague :rolleyes:. Another actor once said that fans wanted to see Sam kiss Jack. THAT was apparently a massive diss to the fans who didn't want to see kisses, and that actor is still pilloried for it in parts of the fandom :eek:. They try to give answers that are interesting and concise, so they leave out a lot of stuff that they would perhaps say if they had an hour to mull over an answer and a page to write it in.

It's not dismissing someone to not mention them. It's just conciseness. Or we'd get:

GW: What have fans got to look forward to in your upcoming scripts?
PTB: Well, episode three is a big treat for fans of Ford, except for those fans of Ford who end up not liking the episode. And we'll find out some shocking things about Carson in the mid-season two-parter, which I think will blow people's minds, except for the ones whose minds aren't blown because they don't like the way I write him.
Fans: What a pedant!
Other Fans: He doesn't sound very confident. The new season must be rubbish then.

Deevil
May 16th, 2006, 05:35 PM
Your point, like his, is just too simplistic. It completely discards people who actually enjoyed McKay before the overkill exageration that plagued the character over season 2.
You know, the world isn't all black and white.

No it isn't, but Martin is intitled to express his opinion in this way is he not? He is allowed to point out that there are a variety of people out there predisposed not the like a character or storyline, so no matter how good an episode is that deals with it, you aren't going to like it. That is a fair enough assumption to make because it is also very true.


That's easy from Gero to attack people's remarks about character devlopment and orientation as describing them as an exagerated manifestation of ownership.
We're too possessive. Yay. Right Martin. Right.

People are possessive of characters, he isn;t making an incorrect call here. I don't see an attack, I see over-sensitivity by people who are detirmined to grip about TPTB over something, anything at times.


But it's also a gripe against that sort of rule they established after Wormhole X-Treme (a good episode) that each season should get more funny episodes, and each season should be more funny as a whole. And McKay is the character which all the humour flows through. The dam is about to collapse, but nevermind, let's get more humour. More. More. More.
What plugged me into Stargate was episodes like Singularity, Torment of Tantalus and Cold Lazarus. These good days seem definitively gone.

And many people feel very differently to this. But you want Martin to address your concerns, right? How does he do this without dislodging people that are happy with the way things are goin, or people that are satisfied?

What you like isn't what everyone likes, and I think Martin has the right idea, if he satisfies his bosses he has done the right thing. It's impossiible to satisify all the fans, considering some fans enjoy ripping into tptb over spoilers and interviews because they haven't said what they want to hear.


But he just said it. If you don't like my character-centric episodes, it's because you don't like the character at all, not because we may have made a mistake in overusing a given character and its usual attitude and gimmicks.
Ergo my point about moderation.

Once again, I think people are perhaps being overly sensitive to remarks made. He didn't say you didn't like the character at all, he said if you don't like McKay you aren't going like McKay based episodes.

What else is he meant to say "I have decided after reading fans remarks that people who like McKay now don't (which isn't wholely true) because we have used him to much. But those people who don't like McKay aren't going to like McKay based episodes..." Or do you want him to put a disclaimer on everything.

Honestly, people here are always asking for a right to voice their opinions, but the second TPTB start too they are horrible horrible people because they don't listen to everything a sub-section of the fanbase want them too.


Too much of McKay is simply... too much.
Hell, seems that only certain fans are actually able to see the change of character. For freaking sake, the first time my sister saw McKay in season 2, she just sharply said "ha, I guess he's the funny one". And she's a fan of series as well!

See here's the problem, this is in your opinion, not in fan-fact. Fact is people are still happy with McKay, fact is Martin realises there is a wide community out there is diametrically deferring opinions, fact is what you consider 'too much' someone considers 'not enough'.

I don't think the character has changed much, but hey doesn't mean you can't think otherwise, and it doesn't mean Martin doesn't have the right to say what he likes also.

Madeleine
May 16th, 2006, 05:45 PM
I think I quoted the relevant bits in one of my previous posts, Mads. I've gone back and underlined the specific sentence that I think Oragahn is referring to, but while I don't see it as an attack, I am intimately familiar with the fact that what one sees as an innocuous statement another sees as a blatant attack. *shrug*

Or is the point of your posts (and all the :confused: :confused:) to get Oragahn to quote it himself?

You quoted bits where Martin called fans posessive - and he called it a 'wonderful thing'. He never called them Overposessive, which is what MO accuses.

I can't see anything that's an attack on fans for comments about character development, either. I'm sometimes slow on the uptake, maybe I should use :o instead of :confused: (:o)

I do take your point that what he said there might be read with a I'm-a-PTB-and-I-know-best subtext. And that's what I've responded to in my above response to you: I accept that he's said something that can draw criticism but my personal feeling is that there's never once been an interview where everyone has liked it and no one has found anything offensive or unpalatable, and that often the things that some people get flak for are the exact opposites of the things that other people get an equal amount of flak for; so unless someone is clearly trying to offend or is beeing very boorish indeed I like to give benefit of doubt. And if others don't think that way, then for them to say so is legit :)

But I think while you're simply picking up subtext that I'm not (I can see it, but I'm deliberately choosing to not pick it up, for the reasons I've stated), I do see "Martin's attacking fans for their remarks about character development, Martin's calling fans overposessive" as going beyond criticising him for including unpleasant subtext. I see it as putting (unkind) words in his mouth. I see it as a slur, and one I can't in conscience let stand unchallenged. Unless it was a different interview somewhere, or I've misread something, in which case I'll drop it.

Darren
May 16th, 2006, 05:55 PM
I wonder if there isn't a tendency on the part of some here to read their own concerns over TPTB into how Martin approached one or two particular questions. I don't think he was being dismissive of constructive criticism, passing it off as "those fans just don't like the character I'm choosing to feature in this particular episode." Rather, it struck me as simply a logical statement of fact:

A) Martin writes a good deal of McKay-centric episodes.

B) Many fans don't like McKay-centric episodes.

C) Therefore, because of A+B, those fans will be a harder sell on those episodes.

Nothing at all wrong with that. He's not saying that there's no such thing as valuable criticism, or that non-McKay fans really have nothing to say to him.

Perhaps the distinction is that some fans here are evaluating the situtation from their own chair: I'm the sort of fan he's talking about, he's being dismissive of me, therefore he's being dismissive of all fans. Martin, on the other hand, sees "the fans" as a variegated group of millions of different people with many different preferences and pleasures. He's just playing the numbers by saying that X percent of fans will be more likely to enjoy McKay-centric episodes.

ShadowMaat
May 16th, 2006, 06:06 PM
You could see that in the interview, yes. But I think it's worth bearing in mind that he's trying to give concise and interesting answers to questions he's only just heard.
I did say that I understand that he could very well know that it isn't JUST that, but since I can't read his mind, I can't figure out what else he might have meant and I can't really respond to what he didn't say. What he chose to say in the interview, however, didn't come across as terribly friendly. Maybe he did mean it as a joke- I don't have any visual cues to go by and David has regrettably not transliterated any smilies to help. :P Martin's one of my favorite PTB, but reading that phrase for the first time ("I don't pay a lot of attention to it when they don't like an episode") kinda shocked me. On reflection, and knowing that Martin seems to be kind of a jokey guy (at least on stage and on the tour), it's quite possible that he DID intend that as a joke- or at least a half-joke. I hope so, anyway.

Do I expect Martin or any of them to put up with all the "negativity"? No, not when it's phrased like that. But I like to think that they're at least open to the concept of constructive criticism. Not everything is a personal attack against them and while I'm not saying they should obey every suggestion made by every fan who's ever expressed a grievance, I don't think it could hurt to see what some of the more common gripes are and to see if the complaints/criticisms have any merit... or if it's just fans blowing off steam.

They do seem to have picked up on the idea that fans want more character development. I take that as a good sign. I just hope they choose to rectify it in a way that many (but obviously not all) fans will find acceptable.

Willow'sCat
May 16th, 2006, 06:09 PM
Yeah, i love rod, i really do. he's a great character....but the OTT screaming/whining/complaining....a little goes a long, long way. Let zelenka melt down every once in a while :)Well exactly, a little overreacting from McKay goes a long long way. I am the first to say, less is more when dealing with the McKay centric eps, and again more screen time doesn't add up to more quality or development.

I personally didn't see his comments as dismissive, I think he like a lot of writers in TV he has to account to one person or group of people and they are not the fans.:cool:

If you want to change the show at all you know the real power lays with the Producers and the Executives, as far as I know they make the final decisions (at least before it gets to SciFi/MGM/Sony) I listened to the commentaries for "Duet" and they talk
about the kiss, they said it was almost cut out because of higher up concerns (paraphrasing) now that should tell you that the Director/writers and the actors have very little real power in what finally goes to air.

Verity5
May 16th, 2006, 06:40 PM
Let me start by saying that Stargate Atlantis is my favorite show. I am really agravated that it has been jerked off Sci Fi channel after they said it would be on every Monday in May. This does not mean I do not have concerns about the direction the show took this year.

Season 2 has been disappointing. I can see that Mr. Gero is clearly enthusiastic about his job, but as someone above pointed out quantity does not guarantee quality. Dr. McKay (as Gall pointed out) was evolving and growing in season one into a more rounded person. But this season, he has been reduced to a whining egotist. To have an actor of Mr Hewlett's talent to be reduced to scenery chewing is upsetting, yes, but no better use is made of the rest of the cast, fine actors all.

Teyla & Dr. Weir who are supposed to be strong leaders are in effect window dressing.

Ronon is put on the team without any input from anyone other than Sheppard and is immediately one of the gang?

Dr. Beckett is turning into Dr. Mengele (OK, so it's like the Allies experimenting on the Nazis, still not right). Wouldn't investigating why the Wraith cannot feed on Ronan, and developing a preventive gene therapy be a much more fruitful way to spend his time?

Sheppard and McKay's interaction consists of Sheppard yelling and McKay not acting like the Chief of Science. Would Zelenka have respect for this version of McKay? In fact McKay must have taken stupid pills all season. One week he realizes that starting the sequence to fire the city's engines will overload Atlantis's ZPM, yet Sheppard has to tell him how to drain the almost depleted ZPM in the Tower by the same method. Not to mention the supposed hypochondriac taking a massive OD of enzyme, and bouncing back immediately without even being tired?

And poor Sheppard is still the one-dimensional hero. Another waste of a good actor. I mean, marketing him as a "babe magnet". Hit us over the head with the bleeding obvious one more time.

There is still so much of the city that is yet to be explored. Zelenka is someone else that one wants to know more about. What's going on with the Athosians? Surely there are many interesting things on the mainland to be found!

All is, of course, IMHO.

I agree that this season will make or break this show. I do so want it to go on for a long time.

V5

Linzi
May 17th, 2006, 05:18 AM
I wonder if there isn't a tendency on the part of some here to read their own concerns over TPTB into how Martin approached one or two particular questions. I don't think he was being dismissive of constructive criticism, passing it off as "those fans just don't like the character I'm choosing to feature in this particular episode." Rather, it struck me as simply a logical statement of fact:

A) Martin writes a good deal of McKay-centric episodes.

B) Many fans don't like McKay-centric episodes.

C) Therefore, because of A+B, those fans will be a harder sell on those episodes.

Nothing at all wrong with that. He's not saying that there's no such thing as valuable criticism, or that non-McKay fans really have nothing to say to him.

Perhaps the distinction is that some fans here are evaluating the situtation from their own chair: I'm the sort of fan he's talking about, he's being dismissive of me, therefore he's being dismissive of all fans. Martin, on the other hand, sees "the fans" as a variegated group of millions of different people with many different preferences and pleasures. He's just playing the numbers by saying that X percent of fans will be more likely to enjoy McKay-centric episodes.
Interesting analysis. Thank you.

I personally didn't find anything to be high-handed or offensive in Mr Gero's interview. I just feel he needs to spread the love a little more! (As in, 'Hello, there are other characters and actors on SGA, you could talk about them too! Or, hang on, you could write episodes that centre around one of them, even.') After all, surely a talented writer such as Mr Gero could write easily for other characters in the same fond way he does for McKay?

Two questions come to mind though.

Could it possibly be that some fans don't like SOME McKay centric episodes because they're actually not well as well written as some of Mr. Gero's other episodes? That's certainly true for me. Some are the best episodes I've seen : The Storm, The Eye. The Brotherhood and GUP certainly fall into the not so good category for me. The fact that they're McKay centric is irrelevent. To assume that a fan doesn't like an episode just because they're not a big McKay fan, (which I actually am), and that no matter what you write, said fan won't like it, is a little narrow minded. If that 's what Mr. Gero meant here.

Also, if 'Many fans don't like McKay-centric episodes', why the heck are there so many then?

Just a thought.

Skydiver
May 17th, 2006, 05:29 AM
But this season, he has been reduced to a whining egotist. To have an actor of Mr Hewlett's talent to be reduced to scenery chewing is upsetting, yes, but no better use is made of the rest of the cast, fine actors all.

yes, Ranting Rod is annoying, at least to me. A little bit goes a very long way. :)



Teyla & Dr. Weir who are supposed to be strong leaders are in effect window dressing.

Ronon is put on the team without any input from anyone other than Sheppard and is immediately one of the gang?

Dr. Beckett is turning into Dr. Mengele (OK, so it's like the Allies experimenting on the Nazis, still not right). Wouldn't investigating why the Wraith cannot feed on Ronan, and developing a preventive gene therapy be a much more fruitful way to spend his time?

Sheppard and McKay's interaction consists of Sheppard yelling and McKay not acting like the Chief of Science.

<snip>
And poor Sheppard is still the one-dimensional hero. Another waste of a good actor. I mean, marketing him as a "babe magnet". Hit us over the head with the bleeding obvious one more time.

There is still so much of the city that is yet to be explored. Zelenka is someone else that one wants to know more about. What's going on with the Athosians? Surely there are many interesting things on the mainland to be found!

All is, of course, IMHO.

I agree that this season will make or break this show. I do so want it to go on for a long time.

V5

i agree as well.

Atlantis has a good foundation. The pieces are all there. But, imho, the survival and appeal of the show will have less to do with how cool and mean the villian is than it does whether or not we give a fig about any of the characters surviving.

right now??? I have zero emotional attachment to any of them. So i just watch the show...and i think the only characters i worry about are lorne and zelenka because i know that they may get killed off while anyone whose name is in the opening titles is immune.

Ouroboros
May 17th, 2006, 09:07 PM
There's also this that hasn't been posted yet.


mean, I don't feel like I've had any flat-out failures, I don't think there've been episodes where people were like, "This is terrible!" Everyone seemed to really like "Duet," and some people really didn't like "Lost Boys," for instance. And I agree with both of them as to why they don't like or do like episodes. But at the end of the day my job is to impress Mr. Brad Wright, and as long as Mr. Brad Wright is happy with the work that I am doing, and we don't feel that we are losing people over the episodes that I'm writing then, you know ...

That concerns me because taken in context with the other statements it creates the impression of.

"I only do what I have to to keep the boss happy. If anyone in the actual audience doesn't like what I'm doing I don't really need to care about it because they don't have any power over me."

It seems to me that were I an entertainer I would want to know why people in my audience were not being entertained were that the case.

Now it's true that not every audience objection is going to be one that is rational or merits legitimate consideration, and some of them do need to be dismissed as petty fan craziness I agree. The Gero interview here however makes little distinction between which audience concerns are valid and which are not. Indeed from my impression it seems to read that the ONLY valid concerns come from within the writing room's chain of command itself and that outside audience concerns are wholelly unimportant until such point as the boss potentially voices the same concerns, when they'll all of a sudden be legitimized despite the fact that the only thing that changed was the speaker.

In other words it seems like they're convinced what they're doing is just awesome and the only people that are going to be able to convince them that certain things could perhaps be done better is them themselves. Since they don't see any legitimate flaws though, and they're unwilling to listen to anyone outside who does, the flaws will never be adressed because from their perspective there are no real legitimate flaws, just disgruntled fans and subjective opinions that can and should be ignored.

It's the almost text book behavior of a group of writers who won't take constructive critacism because they don't think anyone else is really qualified, entitled or capable of criticising their works.

It's not "bad" it's just "different" or you just don't "get it". IE the critics are just simply wrong.

Madeleine
May 17th, 2006, 09:41 PM
I'm just dying for the time that a writer says in an interview "yes, I listen to what fans say and if they don't like something I change it".

Cue howls of outrage because *some* fans didn't like that writer's last ep, but some fans *did* and they are dismayed that what they liked will be changed because other people didn't like it. Cue massive scraps in fandom because Group N are fearful that the Writer may be listening to Group M and everyone tries to howl louder and louder in case their one little howling voice is the voice that tips the balance over between Group N and Group M. Cus catty remarks of "well if he's taking his writing ideas from fans why not sack him and let fanfic writers do his job". And of course there'll be people ready to quote him as saying things he never said or contort his words until they fit the worst possible pattern, so that the Writer is forever labelled as "the one who said 'I let some random ranting fans tell me what to write cos I can't think for myself'".

TPTB have been roasted for every interview they've done, since long before I was around. No good deed ever goes unpunished.

Piratejenna
May 18th, 2006, 02:51 AM
A different take on this... I think the writers are listening WAY too much to the fans.

Back in the mid-90s, TV producers on both the entertainment and the TV news side of the job embraced the Internet because they thought it would give them a direct conduit into the minds of the audience. Since then, most professionals realise that the Internet is not a democratic medium which gives every voice an equal say - it's actually a megaphone for the most passionate factions who tend to drown out more moderate voices. That's true whether we're talking fandom or Middle East politics. In which case, the responsible thing to do is revert to the old values. If your job is entertainment, tell the best story you can. If your job is news, tell the truth with as much balance and accuracy as you can. Either way, you can't afford to be influenced by the loudest voices. Unfortunately, one of the weaknesses of Stargate is that TPTB frequently are influenced by the loudest voices. You hear them saying stuff in commentaries like " we got some Internet feedback on this" referring to fans wanting to see Sam's personal life, and we end up with something like Pete/Sam which is then immediately trashed when the flood of outrage arrives.

At times, it seems as though TPTB are intimidated by the fans and afraid to cause offense. I was listening to RCC's commentary for Avalon/Origin and he spends ages trying to explain that they are not anti-religion and the Ori are not intended to represent any particular religion - it's obvious from his comments that they received some mail from outraged believers and he's become defensive about the direction of the show. I'm not one of those who think the writers can't write or have run out of ideas - I think they're basically very good writers with plenty of stories to tell. But I do think that certain PTB - I'm not sure who - lack the courage of their convictions. They've got this far by playing safe, and they turn to jelly when any group of fans starts screaming loudly enough. A TV show should represent the creators' vision of the characters and the story, not a mishmash of ideas stitched together from the demands of various fan factions. I think most of the time the Stargate writers get that, but there seems to be an institutional wimpiness in their attitude to fans which I find a bit bothersome.

sgeureka
May 18th, 2006, 04:07 AM
I've been reading the interview and this thread. What MG said sounded honest (i.e. what he actually thought and not what he thought fans wanted to hear), and I value that. It's his take on the subject, and that's fine with me.


A different take on this... I think the writers are listening WAY too much to the fans.

(snip)

Either way, you can't afford to be influenced by the loudest voices. Unfortunately, one of the weaknesses of Stargate is that TPTB frequently are influenced by the loudest voices. You hear them saying stuff in commentaries like " we got some Internet feedback on this" referring to fans wanting to see Sam's personal life, and we end up with something like Pete/Sam which is then immediately trashed when the flood of outrage arrives.
I generally agree, but I wouldn't call it "influenced" but "inspired". If TPTB think that something some fans say would make an interesting story, then they'll go for it. If not, they won't do it. (Thor still does not have a love life.) Sometimes what fans think and say is the same what TPTB think, and it only appears that there is a connection. It's not always only one or the other.


At times, it seems as though TPTB are intimidated by the fans and afraid to cause offense. I was listening to RCC's commentary for Avalon/Origin and he spends ages trying to explain that they are not anti-religion and the Ori are not intended to represent any particular religion - it's obvious from his comments that they received some mail from outraged believers and he's become defensive about the direction of the show.
Between writing the episode and doing the commentaries more than a year has gone by. I've listened to the commentary, and it sounds like RCC wants to make clear that some of what fans have written/complained to him about was not his intention when he wrote the episode(s). I'd do the same if I was given the opportunity to do so.

And TPTB don't want to offend anyone, but sometimes fans put too much thought/feelings into it. Example: I didn't participate in English-speaking SG forums until late Season 6. When TPTB were commenting in the S4/S5 commentaries what they were hearing/reading from fans of that time, I thought it was funny. Now each time they say something in the audio commentaries, I think, "Are they talking about me? Are they making fun of me?" The chance that they're actually doing so is minimal.

And if you (general you) still feel TPTB ignore you, what makes you think they listen to the others? Just take a step back and think about to whom you listen to in your live. Who am I to tell Mr. Gero who he should listen to?

Tok'Ra Hostess
May 18th, 2006, 05:44 AM
"I only do what I have to to keep the boss happy. If anyone in the actual audience doesn't like what I'm doing I don't really need to care about it because they don't have any power over me."

Put your(generic)self in his shoes. Look at the situation from his perspective. The writer's audience, his fanbase, is his bosses. The only constructive, and timely feedback he's going to get is from that immediate audience. It's bad enough, from a creative perspective, that he has to bow even to that pressure and change to suit the vision of these few, adding the conflicting views of thousands of fans would be simply ludicrous.

Think of the fight JMS had to put up to see to it that B5 developed according to his vision of the story, and how it's pretty much unanimously agreed that seasons 1 and 5 were the worst of the series because of all the outside interference.



's the almost text book behavior of a group of writers who won't take constructive critacism because they don't think anyone else is really qualified, entitled or capable of criticising their works.

It's not "bad" it's just "different" or you just don't "get it". IE the critics are just simply wrong.

Actually, the writer's worldview as you have laid it out above is pretty much exactly what I think they should hold.

It's not that fans aren't capable of criticising; I'd say we've gotten pretty good at that. ;) Are we entitled to it? Sure, air is free, opinions won't be muzzled.

Is one fan's crit of "bad" really bad, though, or just, as you have the writers say, different from the way they saw the situation? Is the writer, as a fellow human, not just as entitled to his opinions on fan reaction as fans are to react to the writer's work? Should he be criticized for having a personal opinion? Criticize the art, not the artist.

Skydiver
May 18th, 2006, 08:03 AM
there is also a time delay in any fan crit. Simply do the math. they're taping what? eps 7,8,9 or 10 or close to it right now. And will tape eps 10 and be on hiatus by june/july.

when do we get to see eps 1???

July.

when do we get to see eps 10?

sept/oct

which is about when they're gonna be taping the back half of the season.

from what they write to what we see, there's a good 6 months of delay before any fan will see it. we can't be a viable source of feedback simply because none of our suggestions/ideas/complaints will come soon enough to 'fix' anything

are they aware of us?

you bet.

Do they read what we say?

evidentally so. coop wouldn't be defending his rendition of the ori if he hadn't have received some sort of crit about the ori and any familiarity with religions

can/do they care?

only they can answer that. I think that they may in a way. but there's not much they can do. they don't answer to us. they answer to their bosses and the networks and various suits that are telling them what do to.

TameFarrar
May 18th, 2006, 12:32 PM
There's also this that hasn't been posted yet.


mean, I don't feel like I've had any flat-out failures, I don't think there've been episodes where people were like, "This is terrible!" Everyone seemed to really like "Duet," and some people really didn't like "Lost Boys," for instance. And I agree with both of them as to why they don't like or do like episodes. But at the end of the day my job is to impress Mr. Brad Wright, and as long as Mr. Brad Wright is happy with the work that I am doing, and we don't feel that we are losing people over the episodes that I'm writing then, you know ...


Now apparently you didn't count those of us who have posted that we actually LIKED that Martin stated this.

I for one posted that I was quite impressed with THIS honest statement made by Martin because personally while I think the PTBs do have an obligation to produce a quality product overall, at the end of each day the person Martin needs to impress IS his boss.

This is no different than any other work environment and I am amazed that anyone seems to think any different for a TV show writer.

Skydiver has put it best. These shows are written and filmed months in advance of the Fans actually seeing them so who else would Martin or any of the writers be looking to for direction and/or constructive feedback??

So to be putting dire motives and nefarious conotations on Martin's choice of words and responses is just silly IMHO. He tried to be honest, candid and up front with his answers. THAT in itself is extremely refreshing from many of TPTB we hear from these days who either lie outright or ignore the issues.

The fact that he even took the time for the interview is a decent thing. He doesn't have to even do that. There is no mandate for it. But yes they want to promote the show and yes they want people to watch so yes they do the interviews. Then like true decent folk ...people sit here and twist what he said until they can find a way to make it into something controversial when he meant nothing more than what he said.

It has been said we can't read Martin's mind so we can't be sure what his intent was. BUT decency does provide us with a guideline... take what he said AS what he meant. He has no reason to be devious or underhanded to our knowledge in his answers so why would anyone continue to persist to attach those qualities to his interview is beyond me.

Shipperahoy
May 18th, 2006, 02:18 PM
Personally I don't think that they should lend all that much credence to fan criticisms. I mean, if almost universally all of the fans hated a certain thing then, yes, it would probably be time to take a look at what they're doing that nobody likes. However, they get so much feedback from fans and in so many different forms that it must be mind boggling. What criticisms should they pay attention to? What praise? I think they have to sort of phase it out to an extent as a matter of self-preservation or they'd go insane.

FoolishPleasure
May 19th, 2006, 09:24 AM
Think of the fight JMS had to put up to see to it that B5 developed according to his vision of the story, and how it's pretty much unanimously agreed that seasons 1 and 5 were the worst of the series because of all the outside interference.
B5 was different as the outside interference came from TPTB/Suits themselves, not the fans. The suits wanted more "ship" and T & A, and JMS refused, which got him cancelled in season 4. It was fan outcry that got TNT to bring it back from the dead, but unfortunately JMS had tied up his storylines and didn't have much left to tell, hence season 5 was awfully slow moving.

I do sympathize with Gero and the other writers, as it must really sting to spend a good deal of time writing something you think is good, only to have fans tear it apart. . unless you write something in a big hurry so you can go on vay-cay, *cough*thetower*cough*

I'm sure if TPTB see a trend growing in fandon - a like or dislike, they will incorporate it somehow, after all, if they go against what most of the fans want to see, ratings will fall and they would be out of a job. Of course, they also have to listen to "suits" at Sony as well as advertisers who want to cater to certain demographics.

Skydiver
May 19th, 2006, 10:43 AM
B5 was different as the outside interference came from TPTB/Suits themselves, not the fans. The suits wanted more "ship" and T & A, and JMS refused, which got him cancelled in season 4. It was fan outcry that got TNT to bring it back from the dead, but unfortunately JMS had tied up his storylines and didn't have much left to tell, hence season 5 was awfully slow moving.

which is one reason JMS hasn't done anything since. it's nto for a lack of ideas, but the difficulty in finding a network that will keep their freaking paws off the show.

i just don't get it. these folks are hired to write/create a show....they're hired for thier talent and - presumably - based on their track records...then morons in suits whose idea of creative is to change the screen saver on thier pc, dictate plots/stories and characters.

let the execs exec and let the writers/directors/producers do the jobs there were hired to do.

Tok'Ra Hostess
May 19th, 2006, 12:12 PM
B5 was different as the outside interference came from TPTB/Suits themselves, not the fans. The suits wanted more "ship" and T & A, and JMS refused, which got him cancelled in season 4.


What I was trying to say, obviously poorly, was that JMS had trouble even complying with the wants of the few, the powerful, the purse-string holders. What compromises he did make for the PTB compromised the quality of seasons 1 and 5.

Fans are like "the suits" in that they, too, want more/less<insert want here>. Idealy, an artist should be free to listen only to his own wants. I know, not gonna happen with tv, but barring this impossible ideal, the artist should have to bow to the least number of people possible.

Well, that's what I think, anyways.

Skydiver
May 19th, 2006, 02:03 PM
one critical difference between suits and fen are....they can blow us off. We don't do much but turn off the set. and even then, we don't represent more than a small sample of viewers

suits on the other hand, hold the purse strings, literally

through the suits we get declarations like 'add a sexy alien' (Anise) 'i don't care if claudia is pregnant, we want her in the end of s9' and other such declarations

and, as in the case of jms, saying no runs the risk of 'gee, ok, sorry you feel that way, have a nice life and don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out'

just like one factor to FS getting canned. They wanted a full season, skiffy only wante half, an impasse was reached and..bye, bye FS.

the suits hold the power and they know it...and they will use that power to get their way, even if 'their way' is not a good idea/plan creatively

Matt G
May 19th, 2006, 02:13 PM
Kinda reminds me of an Orange(mobile phone) ad series that usually comes up in cinemas over here. Big Name X has an idea. Visits Orange suits for £$£$£. Orange suits rip up idea/don't take actor seriously/do whatever they can to turn the idea into a two hour advert for Orange. Exit Big Name X.

Ouroboros
May 19th, 2006, 10:25 PM
Put your(generic)self in his shoes. Look at the situation from his perspective. The writer's audience, his fanbase, is his bosses. The only constructive, and timely feedback he's going to get is from that immediate audience. It's bad enough, from a creative perspective, that he has to bow even to that pressure and change to suit the vision of these few, adding the conflicting views of thousands of fans would be simply ludicrous.

He didn't say that it simply wasn't practical to listen to fan feedback though, he said, or rather seemed to indicate, that such feedback was simply not particularly important or relevant to what he was doing. Again these are simply my own impressions.

Now were I an entertainer first and foremost at the front of my mind would be that the purpose of my job is to entertain and please an audience to the best of my ability. While it's true that this is essentially an unachievable goal (you can never make everyone happy) comments like "I don't really pay attention when they don't like an episode" do not speak to a mentality that's concerned with actively attempting to please anyone in the audience really.

They speak more to the mentality of "I'm just going to do what I want and if you like it then great I'll take the praise, if not, you don't really matter to me".

Now that might not be what they're actually doing, it probably isn't, but that is the impression that this interview gives me. That's what I think has got people's backs up over this.

Another potential reason why this attitude is a cause of concern to sci-fi fans in particular is because historically it has gone hand in hand with some truelly dreadful shows.

The later series of StarTrek Voyager and Enterprise, in addition tot he more recent trek movies, were run by Berman and Braga with a "we know what's best regardless of what the audience says" mentality. Indeed in that particular case the two of them could almost came off as regarding the fans as the enemy at times! A similar mentality also took hold of Andromeda in season 2, turning what was once a good show into a plague of idiocy.

Both of these shows were helmed by groups of people who thought they knew better than anyone and everyone else, especially the audience, what was good and entertaining and what wasn't, and both of them were, or ended up as, miserable embarrassments to the sci-fi genre.

As a long-time watcher of Stargate it worries me to see hints that the current shall we say, fluctuations, in quality might be the first symptoms of this mentality begining to take root in this franchise.


Now apparently you didn't count those of us who have posted that we actually LIKED that Martin stated this.

I must have just missed you, sorry.

TameFarrar
May 20th, 2006, 12:06 AM
He didn't say that it simply wasn't practical to listen to fan feedback though, he said, or rather seemed to indicate, that such feedback was simply not particularly important or relevant to what he was doing. Again these are simply my own impressions.

Now were I an entertainer first and foremost at the front of my mind would be that the purpose of my job is to entertain and please an audience to the best of my ability. While it's true that this is essentially an unachievable goal (you can never make everyone happy) comments like "I don't really pay attention when they don't like an episode" do not speak to a mentality that's concerned with actively attempting to please anyone in the audience really.

They speak more to the mentality of "I'm just going to do what I want and if you like it then great I'll take the praise, if not, you don't really matter to me".

Now that might not be what they're actually doing, it probably isn't, but that is the impression that this interview gives me. That's what I think has got people's backs up over this.

Another potential reason why this attitude is a cause of concern to sci-fi fans in particular is because historically it has gone hand in hand with some truelly dreadful shows.

The later series of StarTrek Voyager and Enterprise, in addition tot he more recent trek movies, were run by Berman and Braga with a "we know what's best regardless of what the audience says" mentality. Indeed in that particular case the two of them could almost came off as regarding the fans as the enemy at times! A similar mentality also took hold of Andromeda in season 2, turning what was once a good show into a plague of idiocy.

Both of these shows were helmed by groups of people who thought they knew better than anyone and everyone else, especially the audience, what was good and entertaining and what wasn't, and both of them were, or ended up as, miserable embarrassments to the sci-fi genre.

As a long-time watcher of Stargate it worries me to see hints that the current shall we say, fluctuations, in quality might be the first symptoms of this mentality begining to take root in this franchise.

I do agree that The *Show Runners* of SG1 & SGA have gotten to the point that they do seem very *Berman and Braga * in their attitudes and quite possibly Martin is having to deal with that very same attitude from both of them. However, that is Cooper and Wright NOT Gero. Martin Gero is not a PTB nor is he a JR PTB...he is a writer with a sometimes producer credit. So at the end of the day he still has to please his boss period end of story.

He could say ...*Oh yes I take all of the fans thoughts to heart when I write* and that would be a bold face lie. Instead he chose to be honest and say well this is what I write and I really try not to listen or don't listen to the fans who don't like it. Because at the end of the day the ones I have to please are my bosses. THAT is the truth. It doesn't mean he wants to write stuff that the fans DON'T like...it just means he like any other NORMAL person doesn't like to hear or read bad stuff about what he does. He could change what he writes based on *fan critique* and guess what *Cooper & Wright* AKA Berman and Braga would probably just re-write the darn script and the more Gero did that and the more re-writes that happened would eventually see Gero out of a job....But Hey he wrote for the fans....ain't that great :)....so unrealistic its not even funny.

The man makes a statement that says the truth about HIS job and fans turn it into some kind of slight against them. How self-absorbed can the fans be? I would rather he be honest in his interview and STILL GIVE interviews then sit there and give *lip-service* and later I find out he is just a liar and I never want him to speak again. Cause I won't trust him. Right now I find more integrity in a man who is honest and does actually care about the fans BUT also cares about his job enough to say so.

I would be surprised if any writer, if they are honest, wrote *just* for the fans or even put that much stock in them outside of the *general ratings* .

I can cheer enough for Martin's honesty and I respect him all the more for being candid and upfront. I would rather he do that then give me a bunch of lip service and then turn around and write stuff that is in direct contrast to what he just said.

Ksenia
May 20th, 2006, 02:31 AM
Great interview, interesting insight - thanks!

Ouroboros
May 21st, 2006, 01:01 AM
I do agree that The *Show Runners* of SG1 & SGA have gotten to the point that they do seem very *Berman and Braga * in their attitudes and quite possibly Martin is having to deal with that very same attitude from both of them. However, that is Cooper and Wright NOT Gero. Martin Gero is not a PTB nor is he a JR PTB...he is a writer with a sometimes producer credit. So at the end of the day he still has to please his boss period end of story.

He could say ...*Oh yes I take all of the fans thoughts to heart when I write* and that would be a bold face lie. Instead he chose to be honest and say well this is what I write and I really try not to listen or don't listen to the fans who don't like it. Because at the end of the day the ones I have to please are my bosses. THAT is the truth. It doesn't mean he wants to write stuff that the fans DON'T like...it just means he like any other NORMAL person doesn't like to hear or read bad stuff about what he does. He could change what he writes based on *fan critique* and guess what *Cooper & Wright* AKA Berman and Braga would probably just re-write the darn script and the more Gero did that and the more re-writes that happened would eventually see Gero out of a job....But Hey he wrote for the fans....ain't that great :)....so unrealistic its not even funny.

I've got to say nothing I read in the quotes posted indicated to me that he was speaking on behalf of anyone but himself. Things like the "I don't really pay attention to it when they don't (like my work)" quote is him stating his personal beliefs isn't it?

Now he might be doing it in some effort to toe the line so to speak but it's also entirely possible that he was hired by TPTB that you seem to prefer to point the finger at because he thinks in a similar way to them(he is a fairly new hire). It all becomes speculation at that point and I'd rather not engage in speculation that ends with me laying blame on other people based solely on that speculation. All I can do is read the interview here and take my impressions based on what the guy interviewed said.


The man makes a statement that says the truth about HIS job and fans turn it into some kind of slight against them. How self-absorbed can the fans be?

To be fair, how many people do you know that wouldn't take some issue with being told their opinion was worthless? That seems to be one of those universal irritation buttons. I can completely understand the reaction of fans who would take personal offense at some of the things he said. It might not be a necessarily rational reaction but I can understand why it would occur.


I would be surprised if any writer, if they are honest, wrote *just* for the fans or even put that much stock in them outside of the *general ratings* .

Shows live or die based on whether or not people can be bothered to watch them and many companies conduct extensive focus groups just to see if, for example, people like one commercial jingle better than another. I'd say that the opinions of the fans/audience are probably rather close to the top of the totem pole in terms of priorities in the entertainment world. Afterall what good is a show without an audience to entertain, it has no purpose.

When certain franchises have been in successful positions for a long time though they do tend to progressivly marginalize the importance of the audience more and more in my experience, and like I said previously, I'm worried that this is starting to happen to Stargate. It's turning into a show that WAS great as opposed to one that IS great, because the people involved in running it and making it, are becoming increasingly complacent and virtually fearless of something like cancellation lurking around the corner as the potential result of lackluster efforts.

This is the same climate that allowed junk shows like Voyager to flourish despite the often less than impressive quality of the actual stories themselves.

Deevil
May 21st, 2006, 04:31 AM
To be fair, how many people do you know that wouldn't take some issue with being told their opinion was worthless? That seems to be one of those universal irritation buttons. I can completely understand the reaction of fans who would take personal offense at some of the things he said. It might not be a necessarily rational reaction but I can understand why it would occur.

And I cannot. He didn't say that their opinions doesn't matter, he said in the grand scheme of things he had to make his bosses happy. People have decided, yet again, to jump at someone in production because they are obviously not listening to them. Because what they want to have happen, and what they want to hear isn't coming to fruition.

Put yourself in Matin et all. place for a moment, who would you listen too? Which group of fans are more important? The ones that scream the loudest? The ones who complain the most? The ones that are pretty happy? Or the ones that are enjoying it?

Add to the above problem, we have an issue that the shows are all in the bag, or close enough to it by the time the first half of the season has aired. What are they going to change then? How are they going to change it? BW and co are the writers and many of the lowly producers metre of when things are going good or bad. That's all they can do, litsen to their bosses.

What else do you suggest they do, write something against what their bosses want to see in order to make a subsection of the fanbase happy? If they do this they are risking loosing their job. Is that fair of us to ask?


When certain franchises have been in successful positions for a long time though they do tend to progressivly marginalize the importance of the audience more and more in my experience, and like I said previously, I'm worried that this is starting to happen to Stargate. It's turning into a show that WAS great as opposed to one that IS great, because the people involved in running it and making it, are becoming increasingly complacent and virtually fearless of something like cancellation lurking around the corner as the potential result of lackluster efforts.

What you see as lackluster efforts, someone else sees as a masterpiece. I don't think it is fair to assume if TPTB were to pander to the fans that we will get a better show. All we would get is a hawaiian shirt of confusion because everyone wants something that they aren't getting shown, and let's face it, if they were going to start writing for all the fans, they have to write for all the fans.

The problem here is that (a few) people are reading this interview based on their preconcieved notions on the deterioration of the show, and therefore have quite easily and happily discovered in this interview and mindfield of evidence that their opinion doesn't count. But interestingly enough, you are marginlising Martin Gero's opinion by stating that his opinion is wrong, and doesn't count, and he has no right to have it. Which way is it? I'm honestly confused. If your opinion is meant to count, isn't his opinion meant to also? It's only fair.

*** You of course is the general you, not you personally (why do we have to use these disclaimers again?)

Tok'Ra Hostess
May 21st, 2006, 06:07 AM
To be fair, how many people do you know that wouldn't take some issue with being told their opinion was worthless? That seems to be one of those universal irritation buttons. I can completely understand the reaction of fans who would take personal offense at some of the things he said. It might not be a necessarily rational reaction but I can understand why it would occur.

I think that's putting words in MG's mouth, there. He didn't say fan opinion was worthless, just that he doesn't listen much to fan opinion. Gold isn't worthless; I just don't invest in it. ;)

I don't believe that you consider all opinions contrary to your own as being worthless; you just don't change your lifestyle or acts to accommodate them - unless, of course, it is the opinion of your PTB - parents, significant other, doctor, the law, etc.



Shows live or die based on whether or not people can be bothered to watch them and many companies conduct extensive focus groups just to see if, for example, people like one commercial jingle better than another. I'd say that the opinions of the fans/audience are probably rather close to the top of the totem pole in terms of priorities in the entertainment world. Afterall what good is a show without an audience to entertain, it has no purpose.

I'm not sure if that's why shows live or die. There are plenty of shows that people were bothering to watch that got cancelled due to... who knows? Not me, surely. John Doe, Farscape, Star Trek, when it first came out in the sixties. I don't think viewer discontent was the reason for any of these shows getting canned.

Okay, I'm asking because I really don't know about these things: How many tv shows are subjected to focus group analysis? I know that there are pre-screenings for movies, and, I don't know, perhaps series openers are subjected to the same, but do they still get this treatment 9 to 10 years into a project?

I've lost count of the number of times actors and writers have said in interviews that they hadn't even seen the finished product of their work that has already aired. They just don't have the time if they also want to have a life outside their careers. They do the best they can in the environment they work in, try to please their bosses, and no doubt long for the time when they can write what they want (not what others - fans included - want.)

chocdoc
May 21st, 2006, 06:41 AM
I think that's putting words in MG's mouth, there. He didn't say fan opinion was worthless, just that he doesn't listen much to fan opinion. Gold isn't worthless; I just don't invest in it. ;)

I don't believe that you consider all opinions contrary to your own as being worthless; you just don't change your lifestyle or acts to accommodate them - unless, of course, it is the opinion of your PTB - parents, significant other, doctor, the law, etc.




I'm not sure if that's why shows live or die. There are plenty of shows that people were bothering to watch that got cancelled due to... who knows? Not me, surely. John Doe, Farscape, Star Trek, when it first came out in the sixties. I don't think viewer discontent was the reason for any of these shows getting canned.

Okay, I'm asking because I really don't know about these things: How many tv shows are subjected to focus group analysis? I know that there are pre-screenings for movies, and, I don't know, perhaps series openers are subjected to the same, but do they still get this treatment 9 to 10 years into a project?

I've lost count of the number of times actors and writers have said in interviews that they hadn't even seen the finished product of their work that has already aired. They just don't have the time if they also want to have a life outside their careers. They do the best they can in the environment they work in, try to please their bosses, and no doubt long for the time when they can write what they want (not what others - fans included - want.)


I would think that the producers/writers would only pay attention to any fan reaction if indeed the ratings started a downward trend --and this has happened for SGA (and for that matter for SG-1 as well). But the question is, what fan reaction should they pay attention to? I would think they would see if there is any issue that is consistently discussed. And it seems that one of those issues is not enough character development for seasons 1 and 2.

So, both RCC and MG have noted that they need to have more really good character development in season 3. This may be something that alot of fans consistently agree on, and the writers/producers already probably realized that as they took a look at season 1 and 2. Beyond that, it is probably difficult to take into account fan reaction because of diverse opinions.

I liked Gero's interview. I thought he was very honest, and I appreciated that. I also liked the fact that he did mention the ratings. Season 3 is a make or break season for SGA, particularly because they have lost some of their viewers. As Gero says, they've held on to a majority of their viewers, but such a young show should not only hold on to the same number of viewers (which they have not), but gain viewers as well.

Michelle05
May 21st, 2006, 03:13 PM
I liked Gero's interview. I thought he was very honest, and I appreciated that. I also liked the fact that he did mention the ratings. Season 3 is a make or break season for SGA, particularly because they have lost some of their viewers. As Gero says, they've held on to a majority of their viewers, but such a young show should not only hold on to the same number of viewers (which they have not), but gain viewers as well.
I'm also glad Gero mentioned the ratings and that what he wants more than anything is a Season 4. He's acknowledging it's not a sure thing, certainly.

I'm very grateful for the interview, though I wish some of the questions had been more head-on about the fact that the show is on shaky ground: first-run ratings are down, repeat airing ratings are so bad SciFi has pulled SGA from the schedule... Sci Fi Friday is being dismantled and Gero seems worried about that. "Hearing" between the lines, he seems worried in general IMO.

Gero hints at what they're doing to fix these problems: introducing new villains, more character interactions, etc. I would have loved to hear more about what pressures the writers are under from Sci Fi and MGM and what sort of 'notes' they are getting on the storylines, casting, etc. Maybe he wouldn't have been able to talk about it, but I find that stuff fascinating.

I really enjoyed most of Season 2 and hope the show does very well for Season 3. I guess we all have our theories on what needs to be improved, but in the end TPTB have to go with their own instincts, and that's all I think Martin was saying.

Ouroboros
May 22nd, 2006, 04:51 AM
And I cannot. He didn't say that their opinions doesn't matter, he said in the grand scheme of things he had to make his bosses happy. People have decided, yet again, to jump at someone in production because they are obviously not listening to them. Because what they want to have happen, and what they want to hear isn't coming to fruition.

I can understand where you're coming from, there is no need to be so defensive. I don't personally feel slighted by what he said but I can also understand why someone could feel such a way. It didn't really come as a shock or surprise to me at all to hear any of this.


Put yourself in Matin et all. place for a moment, who would you listen too? Which group of fans are more important? The ones that scream the loudest? The ones who complain the most? The ones that are pretty happy? Or the ones that are enjoying it?

I saddens me somewhat that the idea of being able to seperate meaningful criticism from irrational fan screaming is something that's begining to be thought of as difficult to do. I never said that anyone should run around left and right acting on any little peep fan groups make either. I simply said that the interview gave me the impression that any concerns coming out of the audience aren't even being considered as having any real importance. There's a rather big difference there.


Add to the above problem, we have an issue that the shows are all in the bag, or close enough to it by the time the first half of the season has aired. What are they going to change then?

The next season?

Hypothetically if you made a season with say, 17 out of 20 episodes centering around McKay saving the day with wonder tech and you started to get wind that the audience was starting to get sick of this maybe next season you could consider something different to keep things new and interesting?


What else do you suggest they do, write something against what their bosses want to see in order to make a subsection of the fanbase happy? If they do this they are risking loosing their job. Is that fair of us to ask?

How can you say for sure what Gero's bosses want or that they'd be unreasonable enough people to fire him simply over suggesting potential changes or writing an episode a certain way as opposed to another?

That is a rather hefty accusation to make about someone.


The problem here is that (a few) people are reading this interview based on their preconcieved notions on the deterioration of the show, and therefore have quite easily and happily discovered in this interview and mindfield of evidence that their opinion doesn't count.

Honestly there are just as many people reading it with rose-tinted glasses on.


But interestingly enough, you are marginlising Martin Gero's opinion by stating that his opinion is wrong, and doesn't count, and he has no right to have it. Which way is it? I'm honestly confused. If your opinion is meant to count, isn't his opinion meant to also? It's only fair.

Opinions can differ. This is not something that is surprising. I may think his opinions are flawed for various reasons I attempt to explain. Another may think mine are wrong for other reasons. There is no objective right or wrong here. I can not even say for certain what his true opinion is. All I have is the impression the interview gives me which may also be flawed or misinterpreted.

Ouroboros
May 22nd, 2006, 04:52 AM
I think that's putting words in MG's mouth, there. He didn't say fan opinion was worthless, just that he doesn't listen much to fan opinion. Gold isn't worthless; I just don't invest in it.

That's a pretty fine line don't you think?

If I don't invest in gold would it not be fair to say that investing in gold is something I see as having no value to me personally.

It's certainly a fine enough way for people to read it as "he just said I don't matter".


I'm not sure if that's why shows live or die. There are plenty of shows that people were bothering to watch that got cancelled due to... who knows? Not me, surely. John Doe, Farscape, Star Trek, when it first came out in the sixties. I don't think viewer discontent was the reason for any of these shows getting canned.

There can be other reasons to but for the most part everything does come down to "will people watch this". Everything else grows out of that, advertising, merchendise deals, future seasons, spin offs everything that makes money.

There are all sorts of checks and balances to make sure that people will watch shows, focus groups, age ratings to avoid offending people, content changes for similar reasons, sexy babes in tight leather to draw in young males. It's all based on trying to please the audience in one form or another.

There are even people who make money as film/TV critics and their opinions are sometimes thought of as having so much weight that bad films will no be prescreened for them because of fears that people will read their early reviews and not watch X.

Many shows like Farscape etc. were also interfeared with because the network higher ups felt that the show needed to appeal to a "wider audience" via various means. While the topic of network higher ups interfearing with shows is something else entirely it does show that audience interest is considered very important.


Okay, I'm asking because I really don't know about these things: How many tv shows are subjected to focus group analysis? I know that there are pre-screenings for movies, and, I don't know, perhaps series openers are subjected to the same, but do they still get this treatment 9 to 10 years into a project?

Series pilots are typically screened for networks who then make the decision to buy the show or not. They make this decision often based on things like if they need a show that fits into a certain audience demographic and if this show does so. In general though they make the decision based on "is this show something that people will watch" in addition to weighing that with other factors like various costs etc. It's hard to deny though that even from the begining the shows are being judged based on if they fit the perceived wishes of an audience.

Many shows are often pulled early because they fail to make the sort of audience numbers that the network had expected and thus they no longer can justify spending money on them. The opinions/interest of the audience again is the held up as an important factor.

kiwigater
May 22nd, 2006, 04:55 AM
I really enjoyed the interview - I have a great deal of respect for Martin G. :D I appreciate his honesty, both in his assessment of what has to happen for there to be a season 4, and also what, from his perspective, directs his writing and storylines. I would be horrified if ANY of the PTB off the show allowed fandom to dictate how the show progresses - fandom represents only a small fraction of the 2 million-ish viewers that tune in to the show every week, and the "vocal" fans constitute even less. IMHO it would be deleterious to the show to change your creative vision based solely on fandom, especially one as fractured as this one. Now, I'm not saying there ain't issues, in MY opinion there are, but how I would change things would most likely enrage half a dozen other fan groups..... Really, if I abhor the way the new season goes, all I have to do is vote with my remote....

So Martin, thank you for the interesting interview, I look forward to seeing how things pan out in the new season :D

Madeleine
May 22nd, 2006, 05:44 AM
It's certainly a fine enough way for people to read it as "he just said I don't matter".

I know that some people will read it as that. But why? why would anyone read it that way when it's possible and in fact very easy to read it in a pleasant and benign way?


Honestly there are just as many people reading it with rose-tinted glasses on

I don't think so. Unless you think it's a *stretch* for us to see his quote as benign and uninsulting? I really don't think it's a stretch. most people are nice, decent people. Why not assume that anyone is nice and decent unless proven otherwise, why not give them the benefit of the doubt? That's not rose-tinted glasses, it's ordinary.

For example, if we wanted, I bet we could go through the posts in this thread and find *something* in most of them that could be twisted and extrapolated just a little to turn it into something it was clearly not intended to be but *could be read that way if someone wanted to*. And yet we don't, cos that's just not what people do. People give each other the benefit of the doubt, we're not suspicious of each others' motives, and when we're polite to each other it's not because we have rose tinted glasses on, it's because assuming the best of other people is natural.

Tok'Ra Hostess
May 22nd, 2006, 06:09 AM
That's a pretty fine line don't you think?

If I don't invest in gold would it not be fair to say that investing in gold is something I see as having no value to me personally.

It's certainly a fine enough way for people to read it as "he just said I don't matter".



Can't speak for you, but I don't invest in gold because I think it's worthless, I just can't afford to, that's all - or... I think I can't afford to, so I lose out.

Similarly, and IMO, writers can't afford to listen to fan opinion because they'd never get any work done. It would be a bit like a basketball player who has the ball, stopping to listen to the crowd yelling instructions at him. The group in A section sees an opening for him here, while the group in D section tells him he's got an opening over here, and the Nosebleed section clearly sees how he can sink the shot himself. No, the player is on the court and the game has to be won or lost based on his decisions(obviously, in SG franchise's case, "he" is bigger than just one writer). Basketball players value fans for their presence, their support and, well, their money. They don't want them to tell them how to play their game. That's how I see our role; we're not there to give directions, just to make happy/bitter commentary after the fact.

As to the rest of your post, thanks for the insight. It shows that the higher ups don't seem to be connected in any logical way to the audience. Using the formula you gave, they canned the 1960s gold mine that was Star Trek after one season, while the SG franchise is still going strong after nine seasons and spawned a spin-off with the higher ups planning yet a third one and movies. If the higher ups aren't listening to fan complaints or misgivings, then the writing stable, - quite low down in the pecking order - certainly can't be expected to.

Deevil
May 22nd, 2006, 07:43 AM
I saddens me somewhat that the idea of being able to seperate meaningful criticism from irrational fan screaming is something that's begining to be thought of as difficult to do.

It is hard to do. Why don't you give it a try. Tell me what all the fans in this fandom want to see. Find out for yourself how impossible it is to discover exactly what 'is wrong', and how to 'fix it'. Because you know, we all have our opinions on what is wrong, whether anything is wrong, and what needs to be done to rectify the 'problem'.

In the grand scheme of things, we are the fans - the audience. They are the maestro's.


How can you say for sure what Gero's bosses want or that they'd be unreasonable enough people to fire him simply over suggesting potential changes or writing an episode a certain way as opposed to another?

That is a rather hefty accusation to make about someone.


Any more hefty then the accusations being thrown at Martin?

He creates and pitches and does as he is told, if they don't like what he is done they will advise him. If they still don't like, they will re-write (you will notice there are a few "story by" credits... this happens when someone re-writes the episode). If Martin continuly does as 'the fans want' and not want BW and co want, they will fire him. This is a job. You don't usually ask your clients to dictate to you how to perform, they just go and use someone else if it doesn't work for them.

And I for one am glad they tend not to listen to the fanbase. That could never end well, but it might help some people understand that it is impossible to keep the whole fanbase happy all of the time.


Honestly there are just as many people reading it with rose-tinted glasses on.


Why is reading the article without the assumption that he is commiting a slight against fans by not listening (to what must be obvious) constructive critisism reading with rose coloured glasses.

I tend to read things and give a person the benift of the doubt, 'specially interviews were you are not privy to body language and tone. When you dig to far you tend to get a taste for blood, and it seems Martin's is the dish of the day.

In the end I have one question. Why should Martin Gero et all listen to a fanbase that takes great pleasure in not only tearing apart an interview he didn't have to give, but the person themselves? Not to mention a fanbase that can't even decide half the time whether it's boxers or briefs. Go commando.