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TheHumanElement
October 6th, 2008, 05:26 AM
Is it just me, or do shows where the crew is stranded or lost drag on tirelessly.

I mean shows where the main characters spend each episode obsessing on how to get home always seems so boring. When Farscape first came out it had this problem. In my opinion the story didn't begin to become interesting until Crichton accepted that he might never get home. Crichton accepted that he might never get home and instead decided to make the most of his new life. This made the show so much more refreshing and so much more interesting. Suddenly the focus of the story moved away from Crichton getting home and shifted to the hunt to acquire the wormhole tech data stored in his head.

Gilligan's Island is a glaring example of how obsessing on how to get home can hurt a series. As popular as Gilligan's Island was, the way they used to jerk the audience around, causing you to think they might one day find a way off the island was annoying. The only reason Lost is so good is because the characters don't obsess on finding a way to get off the island. They only address the possibility of getting off the island when theirs a viable way off. Even more surprising is they actually find a way off the island and despite this they find ways to still make the story even more interesting.

Two of the worst examples of stories that dragged on because the main characters did not accept the nature of their circumstances was Sliders and Voyager.

There were times in Voyager when I wondered why they didn't just settle down on some planet (inhabited or not). It was the most viable choice considering the circumstances they were in. And if they weren't gonna settle down I wondered why the writers never just wrote an episode where they finally got home (before the series finale). To find their way home in the middle of the series would have been so refreshing. Then they could have spent a season or two developing the story about the aftermath revolving around their return home. Instead they waited to the very last episode to get home. As good as that episode was, it was also really annoying. BSG is a perfect example of a series that takes advantage of the things that Voyager and DS9 avoided like the plague. BSG takes advantage of things like portraying the hardships of not having access to adequate resources and ship yards etc. On a side note, BSG also takes advantage of addressing religious concepts in relation to earth religion, not in spite of it.

The problem with Sliders was, like Voyager, they never accepted the nature of their circumstances. This always made me uncomfortable. Just because they settle doesn't mean the story has to end there. Lost demonstrates that. Another problem with Sliders was they visited so many great places with great technologies, but they never took anything with them. Because of the way the universe was written they had to abandon things as quickly as they discovered them. I always thought it would have been better if the Sliders traveled in some kind of hovership when they slid. It would have allowed them to carry and use the numerous forms of tech they discovered in their travels.

What hurt these stories so much is that they never stayed in any place long enough to develop it adequately. TPTB should forget about the castaways trying to get home and show adventurers who eventually accept their circumstances and instead go with the flow diving head first into the greater adventure that's right in front of them. Personally, I think that instead of getting stranded on the Destiny, the SGU team should deliberately chose to stay on the Destiny because of some larger more important agenda the ship exposes them to. Maybe each member is given a chance to go home, but each chose to stay on the ship because of loyalty to the team. Maybe you might have an extra team member or two who must or chose to go home. They rest stay behind.

Vespasianus
October 6th, 2008, 08:40 AM
I like books, films and shows with stranded characters, ranging from Lord of the Flies to Jurassic Park. For me it's just more suspenseful, especially if the characters spit in the face of fate and choose the harder way: going back home instead of being all stoic. I like this kind of bravery.

So this is a question of taste IMO. I loved the first season of Atlantis for this. And I love Lost, I don't think it drags on. BSG is a different animal, but apart from Season 3, it's pretty amazing.

unluckynumber11
October 6th, 2008, 08:50 AM
I like books, films and shows with stranded characters, ranging from Lord of the Flies to Jurassic Park. For me it's just more suspenseful, especially if the characters spit in the face of fate and choose the harder way: going back home instead of being all stoic. I like this kind of bravery.

So this is a question of taste IMO. I loved the first season of Atlantis for this. And I love Lost, I don't think it drags on. BSG is a different animal, but apart from Season 3, it's pretty amazing.

No offense, but i hated the lord of flies, i just finished it friday and the only way i could get through it was just relating it to LOST :P, and then they had that dumb cop-out ending.
But yea to answer The HumanElement, those kind of stories seem to try to milk every oppertunity and then some, like having LOST have a denfinite date for ending was good so A. it doesn't get cancled unexpectedly *looking at SGA* B. and so we do know that it will have a definite end and the writers can plan for it and make it reasonble *looking at Ark of Truth*.

ark-of-continuum
October 6th, 2008, 09:26 AM
In The Middle Of Nowhere... Yeah.

Well, at least I'll give Universe a try. But there is some more massive and complicated problems. SGU badly needs good writers and strong directors /read: not lazy, not bored and eating not so much like [censored]/. It deserves that. But if these things not will be so good... It finally come to inglorious end.
I really hope Brad and Robert do their best. Because they can do just brilliant episodes, which we all had a pleasure to see in past years...

g.o.d
October 6th, 2008, 11:57 AM
it's not a bad idea. The important thing is how you can handle it. And with all due respect for lazy and incompetent SG TPTB, that I've lost few years ago, SGU will suck. They need new writing team and new producers.

Mcfergeson
October 6th, 2008, 12:30 PM
I hated the Lord Of The Flies as well.

But I actually don't mind shows or stories where the characters are lost. I also thought the first season of Stargate Atlantis was one of their best because they were cut off from earth and had to rely on themselves. It made the series more edgy, IMO.

I'll certainly give Universe a shot.

kymeric
October 6th, 2008, 01:06 PM
Its just you, Lost is really popular, voyager went 7 yrs, lost in space defined the genre, bsg has its acclaim. So it must be you, prolly not the show for you then. I hear the new 90210 is good theres always that on instead.

Diogenic
October 6th, 2008, 01:11 PM
I'm a bit worried about saying this but here goes.

I loved Voyager. The fact that they were focused on getting home drew the characters together into relationships and dynamics the other star treks couldn't have. And yes, BSG is the god of all 'journey home' ect. or similar sci-fi.

I can't wait to see a Stargate twist on the whole idea, but then again, it might be completely different from what you expect.

TheHumanElement
October 6th, 2008, 02:16 PM
Its just you, Lost is really popular, voyager went 7 yrs, lost in space defined the genre, bsg has its acclaim. So it must be you, prolly not the show for you then. I hear the new 90210 is good theres always that on instead.
LOL, it was a rhetorical question. Unluckynumber11 seems to agree with me, so I guess I'm not the only one. I actually liked Lost and said as much. Lost in Space is even older then Voyager, and in BSG they aren't really lost. Their on the run looking for a new home.

Lost in Space was cool though. Jurassic Park was a cool movie, but they weren't lost for a long period of time, just for a few hours or was it days? I didn't read the book so I'm not sure if the book was different from the movie. Unlucky seems to get what I'm saying.


...those kind of stories seem to try to milk every oppertunity and then some...

That's exactly what I was thinking. Like was said, if the story is written tastefully it could be cool. That's what makes Lost so great. It didn't focus on how they were Lost. It focused on the evil tribe on the other side of the island, how do we defend ourselves. It focused on the mystery of the button that John kept on pressing. On flash backs showing the lives of various characters at their home. They found so many different ways to keep the story interesting and most of them had nothing to do with getting home. They never jerked you around and finally when they did address a possible route home it kinda worked (for everyone except the people who decided to stay or who got killed). I plan on giving SGU a chance, but I honestly agree with the sentiment that I'm not expecting much in terms of writing.

On another note, I actually stumbled into a portion of 90210 during the pilot. It actually wasn't half bad. I'm almost tempted to tune in to see a full episode this week. I'm trying not to give into the temptation. lol

LoneStar1836
October 6th, 2008, 03:11 PM
Is it just me, or do shows where the crew is stranded or lost drag on tirelessly.

I mean shows where the main characters spend each episode obsessing on how to get home always seems so boring. When Farscape first came out it had this problem. In my opinion the story didn't begin to become interesting until Crichton accepted that he might never get home. Crichton accepted that he might never get home and instead decided to make the most of his new life. This made the show so much more refreshing and so much more interesting. Suddenly the focus of the story moved away from Crichton getting home and shifted to the hunt to acquire the wormhole tech data stored in his head. I see your point about Farscape and the focus of the show shifting to include enemies who sought out Crichton for the knowledge he had, but the main character still never gave up his search for a way home, and that search played heavily in several pivotal episodes throughout the series...all the way up to the very last episode when he finally had to make the ultimate choice to give it up.

As to ST: Voyager, that was the whole point of the show...explore this uncharted region of the universe that they had been flung into...while they searched for a way home. Them settling on a planet or finding their way back in the middle of the series would have been the end of the story, imo. Finding their way home was their underlying motivation, but the individual stories of exploration, peril, etc. were still a major focus of the show. Granted Voyager is not my favorite of the Treks, but I still watched it. Though I have yet to see the final season because the tv station that aired it back then dropped it before airing the last season and I've just never gotten around to searching out the final season.

I think it just all depends on the writing. You can have a show where the underlying goal is to find a way back home, but you can still have great story telling. If finding a way home is up front and center in every single episode and is the only thing focused on, then yes it can get tiresome. That's why shows like Lost and BSG are heavily character focused rather than story focused. They have a journey they are on that drives the story but a lot of the material within the episodes are character driven.

As far as SGU is concerned, I have little faith in the writing at this time. I think it could be a good show, but me thinking that and reality are most likely two different things.