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Infinite-Possibilities
November 22nd, 2008, 07:28 PM
I have accepted this for the last several episodes but at this point I think enough is enough. When was the last time we had an episode with the entire cast of the show in it? Why is this? Are the writers no longer capable of writing episodes with more than half the characters now? It's not even necessary to do this! We didn't need an episode that focused entirely on McKay and Keller. I loved Remnants but it was also a 3 character episode. Which wold have been OK if it wasn't the 6th time it happened this season. Teyla and Ronon feel like they keep disappearing this season. What reason was there for only Sheppard to appear in Whispers? Why couldn't Teyla and Ronon get some more screen time in Inquisition? Why did Teyla get almost nothing in the mid season two partner? This was a bit of a problem before this season too. Why did only McKay and Ronon and Keller appear in Tracker? The fact that McKay has had no less than 3 episodes based around him and a much larger part in the others while Teyla had 1 and a half and cameos is not a good thing. Why would they be doing this? Is writing so many people at the same time too hard now? Do the writers not like the characters to be in a team anymore?

fumblesmcstupid
November 22nd, 2008, 07:41 PM
It does get old! In Whispers Rodney popped in at the beginning and the end,
as does John in Tracker, John and Ronon get a few seconds from what I have read about in BS. Teyla and Ronon only get a bookend for Remnants. I thought that SGA was a show that focused on ALL the character in the majority of the episodes!

I can understand why Teyla and Ronon were not in Harmony (No Gene) for plot device.

The characters do better when they are together as opposed to when they are not!

I feel like TPTB just got tired of writing for the characters on SGA so they thought eh why don't we just do episodes that feature only a few of them at a time!

Theses characters deserve so much more that the writers are willing to spend on them!
So, I am glad these characters are being put out to pasture!

silvercomet
November 23rd, 2008, 07:26 AM
Yes, I miss team-episodes which earn that name. Because even when we see all members in one episode it's too often that some of them are hardly more than a little decoration. There's no development. That's not the SGA I fell in love with. :(

I really don't know why the writers have changed the direction so much. The characters are still great.

Briangate78
November 23rd, 2008, 07:38 AM
Give me a break, there has been plenty of team eps this season.

jenks
November 23rd, 2008, 07:38 AM
You can't have an episode that shares screen time evenly between six characters and also gives them each something meaty whilst also being a plot driven action/adventure show, there just isn't the time. Atlantis has an ensemble cast, so some episodes are always going to focus on some characters more than others.

Briangate78
November 23rd, 2008, 07:49 AM
You can't have an episode that shares screen time evenly between six characters and also gives them each something meaty whilst also being a plot driven action/adventure show, there just isn't the time. Atlantis has an ensemble cast, so some episodes are always going to focus on some characters more than others.

Exactly! With Remnants we were able to get more focus on Mckay, Sheppard, and Woolsey. If everyone was in this episode from start to finish the focus would of been lost. I really liked the character moments in that episode and it really dove into the characters more. Woolsey got some nice development out of that episode.

silvercomet
November 23rd, 2008, 07:52 AM
Give me a break, there has been plenty of team eps this season.

Well, for me a team episode isn't just an episode where we see every member, where everyone has one sentence or they are all together in the beginning and in the end. For example I don't count episodes like Remnants, First Contact, The Lost Tribe, Inquisition as real team episodes. Maybe my expectations are just too high.


You can't have an episode that shares screen time evenly between six characters and also gives them each something meaty whilst also being a plot driven action/adventure show, there just isn't the time. Atlantis has an ensemble cast, so some episodes are always going to focus on some characters more than others.

Maybe my memory is wrong. I just have the feeling in season 1 - 3 this wasn't such a big problem. Of course there are always episodes which feature one or two people. That's o.k. I just miss the real team spirit in season 5.

huntress
November 23rd, 2008, 07:57 AM
One less episode to go before the series will be over and the writers waste it on McKay/Keller. Thank you very much. That was not appreciated.

Briangate78
November 23rd, 2008, 07:58 AM
Well, for me a team episode isn't just an episode where we see every member, where everyone has one sentence or they are all together in the beginning and in the end. For example I don't count episodes like Remnants, First Contact, The Lost Tribe, Inquisition as real team episodes. Maybe my expectations are just too high.

First Contact and The Lost Tribe were team eps. Remnants no, because it focused on three people. Inquisition was a team episode because if focused on what the team has done over the past 5 years.




Maybe my memory is wrong. I just have the feeling in season 1 - 3 this wasn't such a big problem. Of course there are always episodes which feature one or two people. That's o.k. I just miss the real team spirit in season 5.


Maybe that is why Characters were slowly developed in Seasons 1 through 3. Since there were more plot driven, the entire team on screen. I feel the show is more character driven now, and is likely the reason why we get these split-ups.

Linda06
November 23rd, 2008, 08:00 AM
It should be mainly about the team....You know John, Teyla, Ronon and Rodney....The rest of them should just be supporting them...They shouldn't be taking the focus away from the main team and I don't know what happened but the writers seemed to have forgotten that at some point!

Linda06
November 23rd, 2008, 08:02 AM
First Contact and The Lost Tribe were team eps. Remnants no, because it focused on three people. Inquisition was a team episode because if focused on what the team has done over the past 5 years.


Well TLT we had Teyla missing for most of it and Inquisition Rodney, Teyla and Ronon may as well have not been there for all they done...That was a Shep/Woolsey ep so those two eps were not team eps to me....Team eps to me are when John, Teyla, Ronon and Rodney are all in it and all are used in the ep!

Briangate78
November 23rd, 2008, 08:02 AM
It should be mainly about the team....You know John, Teyla, Ronon and Rodney....The rest of them should just be supporting them...They shouldn't be taking the focus away from the main team and I don't know what happened but the writers seemed to have forgotten that at some point!

Every character has gotten at least 2 eps this season focused on them.

Linda06
November 23rd, 2008, 08:05 AM
Every character has gotten at least 2 eps this season focused on them.

Maybe so but what about the rest of the season...Ronon and especially Teyla has been either missing in a few eps and even when she was in some eps she was so much in the background you barely even saw her!

Briangate78
November 23rd, 2008, 08:11 AM
Well TLT we had Teyla missing for most of it and Inquisition Rodney, Teyla and Ronon may as well have not been there for all they done...That was a Shep/Woolsey ep so those two eps were not team eps to me....Team eps to me are when John, Teyla, Ronon and Rodney are all in it and all are used in the ep!

Search and Rescue
The Seed
Broken Ties
Daedalus Variations
The Queen
Ghost in the Machine
Outsiders
The Prodgial
The Shrine
First Contact
The Lost Tribe
Remnants (I'm not contradicting myself here, the entire team was in this ep)

All the above eps had all the characters doing at least something or are used in the episode.

I chose Remnants to define your definition of "whole cast are used in an ep"

Then the pro-Keller folks are going to get on my case that Keller was not in "DV" or "Outsiders".

Then the Pro-Woolsey folks are going to dish me out and say that Woolsey was not in "Outsiders", or "DV" either.

CazzBlade
November 23rd, 2008, 08:11 AM
I have accepted this for the last several episodes but at this point I think enough is enough. When was the last time we had an episode with the entire cast of the show in it? Why is this? Are the writers no longer capable of writing episodes with more than half the characters now? It's not even necessary to do this! We didn't need an episode that focused entirely on McKay and Keller. I loved Remnants but it was also a 3 character episode. Which wold have been OK if it wasn't the 6th time it happened this season. Teyla and Ronon feel like they keep disappearing this season. What reason was there for only Sheppard to appear in Whispers? Why couldn't Teyla and Ronon get some more screen time in Inquisition? Why did Teyla get almost nothing in the mid season two partner? This was a bit of a problem before this season too. Why did only McKay and Ronon and Keller appear in Tracker? The fact that McKay has had no less than 3 episodes based around him and a much larger part in the others while Teyla had 1 and a half and cameos is not a good thing. Why would they be doing this? Is writing so many people at the same time too hard now? Do the writers not like the characters to be in a team anymore?

Here, here! I feel quite let down by the writers this season for neglecting characters in episodes :(

Briangate78
November 23rd, 2008, 08:13 AM
Maybe so but what about the rest of the season...Ronon and especially Teyla has been either missing in a few eps and even when she was in some eps she was so much in the background you barely even saw her!

Sheppard did not exactly have any screentime in "Tracker" or "BrainStorm". Don't get me wrong I love team eps. But when you have the entire cast on screen it makes the cast individually lose focus.

It's not about the total screentime, it's how these characters are used in that screentime given to them. A 2 min apperance could be more contributing than someone in the background for 10mins.

I think back, remember SG-1 Season 9...........Teal'c anyone?

Linda06
November 23rd, 2008, 08:22 AM
Search and Rescue
The Seed
Broken Ties
Daedalus Variations
The Queen
Ghost in the Machine
Outsiders
The Prodgial
The Shrine
First Contact
The Lost Tribe
Remnants (I'm not contradicting myself here, the entire team was in this ep)

All the above eps had all the characters doing at least something or are used in the episode.

I chose Remnants to define your definition of "whole cast are used in an ep"

Then the pro-Keller folks are going to get on my case that Keller was not in "DV" or "Outsiders".

Then the Pro-Woolsey folks are going to dish me out and say that Woolsey was not in "Outsiders", or "DV" either.

I admit the season started off well....But then it went to hell in a hnd basket :S To me a team ep is alot more than just being in the ep..

S&R, The seed, BT, DV, Outsiders, The Prodigal were team eps or close to team eps...

The Queen was mostly a Wraith /Todd/Teyla ep with the others playing a supporting role...

GitM was a Lizzie ep.....Teyla and Ronon didn't do much here so I don't class this as a team ep..

The Shrine was a Rodney/Keller ep with Teyla and Ronon in the background mostly,,They may as well have not been there...

First contact....Well Teyla got to shoot a gun so that's an improvement ;)

Ugh don't even get me started on TLT and Teyla being reduced to babysitter again :mckay:

Remnants, haven't seen it yet but from what i've read Teyla and Ronon are in it for like two minutes? So not a team ep at all.....Just because they are in the ep doesn't make it a team ep...

It doesn't matter how many eps Woolsey and Keller are in because to me they are supporting characters...Not main characters...John, Teyla, Ronon and Rodney are the main characters...Or the should be anyway ;)

Briangate78
November 23rd, 2008, 08:24 AM
I admit the season started off well....But then it went to hell in a hnd basket :S To me a team ep is alot more than just being in the ep..

S&R, The seed, BT, DV, Outsiders, The Prodigal were team eps or close to team eps...

The Queen was mostly a Wraith /Todd/Teyla ep with the others playing a supporting role...

GitM was a Lizzie ep.....Teyla and Ronon didn't do much here so I don't class this as a team ep..

The Shrine was a Rodney/Keller ep with Teyla and Ronon in the background mostly,,They may as well have not been there...

First contact....Well Teyla got to shoot a gun so that's an improvement ;)

Ugh don't even get me started on TLT and Teyla being reduced to babysitter again :mckay:

Remnants, haven't seen it yet but from what i've read Teyla and Ronon are in it for like two minutes? So not a team ep at all.....Just because they are in the ep doesn't make it a team ep...

It doesn't matter how many eps Woolsey and Keller are in because to me they are supporting characters...Not main characters...John, Teyla, Ronon and Rodney are the main characters...Or the should be anyway ;)

Looking at the remaining eps, it would seem 3 out or 4 are going to be team eps. 2 of those eps will even have Carson!

Linda06
November 23rd, 2008, 08:26 AM
Sheppard did not exactly have any screentime in "Tracker" or "BrainStorm". Don't get me wrong I love team eps. But when you have the entire cast on screen it makes the cast individually lose focus.

It's not about the total screentime, it's how these characters are used in that screentime given to them. A 2 min apperance could be more contributing than someone in the background for 10mins.

I think back, remember SG-1 Season 9...........Teal'c anyone?

How many eps has John and Rodney had a fleeting appearance in when they didn't need to be in the eps....Yet Ronon and yes especially Teyla again aren't in the eps at all..Teyla hasn't been used a hell of alot of times this season....I could count on one hand how many eps were good for her!

Linda06
November 23rd, 2008, 08:28 AM
Looking at the remaining eps, it would seem 3 out or 4 are going to be team eps. 2 of those eps will even have Carson!

mmmm my baby doctor :D I know I shouldn't let it get to me but i've become so anti Keller these days that any eps with Keller in them ruins it for me.....I do try to enjoy the eps but it's hard......This has never happened to me before, I've never hated a TV character so much before...Heck I didn't even hate Larrin this much :o I just can't get past it :o

Briangate78
November 23rd, 2008, 08:34 AM
How many eps has John and Rodney had a fleeting appearance in when they didn't need to be in the eps....Yet Ronon and yes especially Teyla again aren't in the eps at all..Teyla hasn't been used a hell of alot of times this season....I could count on one hand how many eps were good for her!

Ronon had an excellent part in "The Shrine" we saw that softer side to him like in "Adrift". That brought a lot to his character. Teyla had her lines and was there for Mckay's support, she did not feel like wallpaper to me. In fact, I am going to rewatch the Shrine.


mmmm my baby doctor :D I know I shouldn't let it get to me but i've become so anti Keller these days that any eps with Keller in them ruins it for me.....I do try to enjoy the eps but it's hard......This has never happened to me before, I've never hated a TV character so much before...Heck I didn't even hate Larrin this much :o I just can't get past it :o

Yeah I am not crazy about Keller, but she doesn't take away anything from the screen for me. I think Infection is going to be a great episode. I also have high hopes for the series finale which is going to be a lot better than "Unending" I think.

10 years and we got "Unending". Wasn't a bad episode at all, far from it, but it was not good enough for a series finale.

I think Enemy of the Gate is going to be epic.

Linda06
November 23rd, 2008, 08:39 AM
Ronon had an excellent part in "The Shrine" we saw that softer side to him like in "Adrift". That brought a lot to his character. Teyla had her lines and was there for Mckay's support, she did not feel like wallpaper to me. In fact, I am going to rewatch the Shrine.

I thought she was there but she didn't get to do much *shrugs* I guess I was hoping for a nice scene between Rodney/Teyla but most of what we got was McKeller stuff.....I wanted to see more of the team with Rodney plus some Roddney/Radek, Rodney/Teyla and even maybe some Rodney/Ronon so I was very disappointed with this ep and the things we got!



Yeah I am not crazy about Keller, but she doesn't take away anything from the screen for me. I think Infection is going to be a great episode. I also have high hopes for the series finale which is going to be a lot better than "Unending" I think.

Yeah I guess I've come to despise her that much that even having her in the eps now ruin it for me :o Guess I can't help the way I feel :S


10 years and we got "Unending". Wasn't a bad episode at all, far from it, but it was not good enough for a series finale.

I think Enemy of the Gate is going to be epic.

Man anything would be better than Unending...I've never been so bored in all my life :S After 10 years it deserved so much better than this!

EvenstarSRV
November 23rd, 2008, 08:54 AM
Well TLT we had Teyla missing for most of it and Inquisition Rodney, Teyla and Ronon may as well have not been there for all they done...That was a Shep/Woolsey ep so those two eps were not team eps to me....Team eps to me are when John, Teyla, Ronon and Rodney are all in it and all are used in the ep!


Search and Rescue
The Seed
Broken Ties
Daedalus Variations
The Queen
Ghost in the Machine
Outsiders
The Prodgial
The Shrine
First Contact
The Lost Tribe
Remnants (I'm not contradicting myself here, the entire team was in this ep)

All the above eps had all the characters doing at least something or are used in the episode.


This discussion seems similar to the one about team fic in the fanfiction thread, in that what makes an episode a team ep very much depends on one's definition of team (whether it includes Woolsey and Keller or just Sheppard's team) and how those team members contribute to the plot.

For myself, I would call a team ep one where as many of the characters as possible contributes something unique to the story, they have to do more than just be in the episode. So based on that definition, I can't see First Contact or The Lost Tribe as team eps since Teyla did not contribute anything that any other solider could have, and Ronon didn't do much in the first part. Same with Remnants, where Ronon and Teyla were only present for the closing scene and did not make any unique contribution to the story.

I would say The Shrine has been the best team ep, since every character contributed something unique to themselves, Ronon and Teyla's Pegasus galaxy perspective, Woolsey's story, etc.

That being said, I like the mix of character focus eps like Tracker or Remnants with team eps like Search and Rescue and The Prodigal. I just wish we could get more episodes like The Shrine which managed to be both character-focused (McKay), while also keeping the other characters significantly involved in the story.

silvercomet
November 24th, 2008, 12:46 AM
It should be mainly about the team....You know John, Teyla, Ronon and Rodney....The rest of them should just be supporting them...They shouldn't be taking the focus away from the main team and I don't know what happened but the writers seemed to have forgotten that at some point!

That's what I feel, too. :(


Search and Rescue
The Seed
Broken Ties
Daedalus Variations
The Queen
Ghost in the Machine
Outsiders
The Prodgial
The Shrine
First Contact
The Lost Tribe
Remnants (I'm not contradicting myself here, the entire team was in this ep)

All the above eps had all the characters doing at least something or are used in the episode.

I chose Remnants to define your definition of "whole cast are used in an ep"

Then the pro-Keller folks are going to get on my case that Keller was not in "DV" or "Outsiders".

Then the Pro-Woolsey folks are going to dish me out and say that Woolsey was not in "Outsiders", or "DV" either.

Ah, I see. We have a different point of view what counts as a team episode. For me it isn't enough to see the whole team. It's about what they do and how they interact. I want to feel that they are a team and care for each other and not just act like ordinary colleagues. And I want to see that they are actually doing or saying important things. Not just standing in a scene or having quite unimportant sentences.

The Seed - I can't remember this ep well since I didn't like it so much.

I have problems to count The Queen and Ghost in the Machine as real team episodes. But not so much that I couldn't agree at all.

First Contact, Lost Tribe and Remnants weren't team episodes for me.

Just about half of the episodes are team episodes. And the episodes, the behaviour of the characters sometimes feel different for me compared to the seasons before. :(

Keller and Woolsey are main characters but not team members.



Inquisition was a team episode because if focused on what the team has done over the past 5 years.

But the team members didn't do anything important. And I believe that only the humans from earth were accused of the crimes.


Maybe that is why Characters were slowly developed in Seasons 1 through 3. Since there were more plot driven, the entire team on screen. I feel the show is more character driven now, and is likely the reason why we get these split-ups.

I agree with this. There is more character development since season 4. And I like this very much. I just have the feeling the development (character driven) isn't well balanced.



Every character has gotten at least 2 eps this season focused on them.

I guess there it is again - our different point of view what counts as 'focused'. ;)


It's not about the total screentime, it's how these characters are used in that screentime given to them. A 2 min apperance could be more contributing than someone in the background for 10mins.

That's what I think, too. Funny, that we don't agree which one is a team episode and which one isn't. :D


I just wish we could get more episodes like The Shrine which managed to be both character-focused (McKay), while also keeping the other characters significantly involved in the story.

I agree with that!



Especially with the cancellation I've tried to be positive about this season. But it's getting harder. And that's just sad because SGA is my favourite TV show.

Skydiver
November 24th, 2008, 04:51 AM
this is exactly what they did with sg1

now, in the beginning, the fragmentation of the cast started to be really noticible in season 7. rick was only available tue - friday noon, and they shortened their taping time so instead of 9 months to tape, they had 6. this meant that, instead of all of the actors working on one episode every 7 working days (with overlaps only happeneing to accomodate location shots), they started to use a second and third unit and deliberately wrote stories that broke the characters up, so that - for example, michael could be off doing life boat adn enemy mine while amanda and chris were doing space race and amanda was doing avenger.

or michael would be doing icon while amanda and chris did parts of avatar or amanda did covenant, and then michael did prometheus unbound while chris and amanda did gemini

etc

break up the actors and you can tape 2-3 episodes at the same time.

more efficient, sure. but then you end up with the actors literally not seeing each other for weeks on end, or, in an effort to 'oh yeah, contracturally obligated to get so and so in all 20 eps, silly bookends being written, or things like sam literally being in 20 seconds of an episode because she HAS to be in it.

it may be more efficient, but when you have a show that's supposed to be about a TEAM, there are only so many contrived excuses you can come up with to explain the absences of people that should be there.

Then, especially in season 10 of SG1, you have the added complication of the show runner catering to his preferred characters and virtually ignoring the rest. coop loved all things daniel and vala. and it didn't matter that cameron was the alledged lead of the show, cam didn't have a storyline, it was the daniel and vala show. fantastic if you're a fan of that dynamic, not much there for those that like anything else.

sga has been that way lately. a virtual goldmine for fans of sheppard and mckay, with tiny little bones tossed in for the other characters, likely to keep the actors that play those characters relatively quiet.

the thing with having such a narrow focus, you narrow your audience pool. If you love mcshep, plenty to look into and enjoy. If you happen to like teyla, break out the dvd's cause the only place you'll find her is in the earlier seasons. Same with ronon.

a wide appeal = a wide audience base. a narrow appeal = less loyal viewers and more people that get tired of the same old, same old.

Breaking up the team into little pieces may be more efficient and a faster way to tape, but these writers lack the skill to overcome the fragmentation and produce a cohesive show. so, in the time crunch of crank it out fast and cheap, they take refuge in what is easy for them, in this case mcshep banter.

and this is a weakness that will follow and doom Universe as well.

IMHO, they need to stop with the team stuff and simply make a 2-3 person show. because that's what they always take refuge in, catering to their couple of preferred characters and basically only acknowledging the others exist when their contracts make them

bluealien
November 24th, 2008, 05:04 AM
this is exactly what they did with sg1

now, in the beginning, the fragmentation of the cast started to be really noticible in season 7. rick was only available tue - friday noon, and they shortened their taping time so instead of 9 months to tape, they had 6. this meant that, instead of all of the actors working on one episode every 7 working days (with overlaps only happeneing to accomodate location shots), they started to use a second and third unit and deliberately wrote stories that broke the characters up, so that - for example, michael could be off doing life boat adn enemy mine while amanda and chris were doing space race and amanda was doing avenger.

or michael would be doing icon while amanda and chris did parts of avatar or amanda did covenant, and then michael did prometheus unbound while chris and amanda did gemini

etc

break up the actors and you can tape 2-3 episodes at the same time.

more efficient, sure. but then you end up with the actors literally not seeing each other for weeks on end, or, in an effort to 'oh yeah, contracturally obligated to get so and so in all 20 eps, silly bookends being written, or things like sam literally being in 20 seconds of an episode because she HAS to be in it.

it may be more efficient, but when you have a show that's supposed to be about a TEAM, there are only so many contrived excuses you can come up with to explain the absences of people that should be there.

Then, especially in season 10 of SG1, you have the added complication of the show runner catering to his preferred characters and virtually ignoring the rest. coop loved all things daniel and vala. and it didn't matter that cameron was the alledged lead of the show, cam didn't have a storyline, it was the daniel and vala show. fantastic if you're a fan of that dynamic, not much there for those that like anything else.

sga has been that way lately. a virtual goldmine for fans of sheppard and mckay, with tiny little bones tossed in for the other characters, likely to keep the actors that play those characters relatively quiet.

the thing with having such a narrow focus, you narrow your audience pool. If you love mcshep, plenty to look into and enjoy. If you happen to like teyla, break out the dvd's cause the only place you'll find her is in the earlier seasons. Same with ronon.

a wide appeal = a wide audience base. a narrow appeal = less loyal viewers and more people that get tired of the same old, same old.

Breaking up the team into little pieces may be more efficient and a faster way to tape, but these writers lack the skill to overcome the fragmentation and produce a cohesive show. so, in the time crunch of crank it out fast and cheap, they take refuge in what is easy for them, in this case mcshep banter.

and this is a weakness that will follow and doom Universe as well.

IMHO, they need to stop with the team stuff and simply make a 2-3 person show. because that's what they always take refuge in, catering to their couple of preferred characters and basically only acknowledging the others exist when their contracts make them

Well at least they had an excuse because of RDA ony being available at certain times, but I never noticed the SG1 team getting split up in the first 7 years. SGA started it in season 4, some may have been down to RL's pregnancy but I dont even buy that as she never had enough screentime to make a difference anyway.. but what was their reason in season five,

Pure favouritism IMO and their inability to write for anyone else except McKay or the McShep show.. both of which I used to enjoy when it was more balanced out but after it being shoved down my throat it became dull, boring and repetitive. I agree they shouldnt bother pretending they have an ensemble cast.. just cast 2 leads and then keep bringing in different characters whenever they feel like it to boost them. Though in the end it all fell down to McKay... because even Sheppard got relegated to background fodder when they ran out of ideas for the McShep show.... amazing to think they can't even develop the lead of the show whatever about the other characters.

Skydiver
November 24th, 2008, 07:06 AM
they did have a very valid excuse for SG1, but, personally, i think in taking care of that show it got them out of the practice of writing for more than 2-3 characters at once. It's like they forgot how to balance entwined storylines (you know the ones, where two people are separated but working towards the same goal)

Look at stuff like Tangent...jack and teal'c, sam and daniel spent most of the episode separated, yet they were all working towards the same goal so it worked.

'team' doesn't mean 'all the characters on the screen at the same time'....it means 'all the characters playing a part in the episode'

which means, most often, you have to have a couple of storylines going on at once, with them all working towards the same goal.

anymore, a good chunk of the time, it's 'ok, use this reason to get rid of these two, and we'll focus on these two'

You can even have character focused episodes that are teamy...for example the one where rod is dying. yes, it was more 'focus on the great rodney mckay' but we also got to see ronon and the others fighting to save their friend. they played a part in the story, they didn't just get 'sent on a mission with Team Lorne' to be written out of the way

Briangate78
November 24th, 2008, 07:09 AM
SGA is doing it for a Creative reason. I think it works and it makes the episode focus on the character. Take Remnants for an example. Woolsey got some nice development, and we got to look more into Sheppard's character. As long as there are not too many eps like this, then I am cool. I love my team eps as well. But these eps are neccessary to dive into the character so that when a team episode comes along they can use that development or info to make them interact with the entire team.

Linda06
November 24th, 2008, 10:49 AM
this is exactly what they did with sg1

now, in the beginning, the fragmentation of the cast started to be really noticible in season 7. rick was only available tue - friday noon, and they shortened their taping time so instead of 9 months to tape, they had 6. this meant that, instead of all of the actors working on one episode every 7 working days (with overlaps only happeneing to accomodate location shots), they started to use a second and third unit and deliberately wrote stories that broke the characters up, so that - for example, michael could be off doing life boat adn enemy mine while amanda and chris were doing space race and amanda was doing avenger.

or michael would be doing icon while amanda and chris did parts of avatar or amanda did covenant, and then michael did prometheus unbound while chris and amanda did gemini

etc

break up the actors and you can tape 2-3 episodes at the same time.

more efficient, sure. but then you end up with the actors literally not seeing each other for weeks on end, or, in an effort to 'oh yeah, contracturally obligated to get so and so in all 20 eps, silly bookends being written, or things like sam literally being in 20 seconds of an episode because she HAS to be in it.

it may be more efficient, but when you have a show that's supposed to be about a TEAM, there are only so many contrived excuses you can come up with to explain the absences of people that should be there.

Then, especially in season 10 of SG1, you have the added complication of the show runner catering to his preferred characters and virtually ignoring the rest. coop loved all things daniel and vala. and it didn't matter that cameron was the alledged lead of the show, cam didn't have a storyline, it was the daniel and vala show. fantastic if you're a fan of that dynamic, not much there for those that like anything else.

sga has been that way lately. a virtual goldmine for fans of sheppard and mckay, with tiny little bones tossed in for the other characters, likely to keep the actors that play those characters relatively quiet.

the thing with having such a narrow focus, you narrow your audience pool. If you love mcshep, plenty to look into and enjoy. If you happen to like teyla, break out the dvd's cause the only place you'll find her is in the earlier seasons. Same with ronon.

a wide appeal = a wide audience base. a narrow appeal = less loyal viewers and more people that get tired of the same old, same old.

Breaking up the team into little pieces may be more efficient and a faster way to tape, but these writers lack the skill to overcome the fragmentation and produce a cohesive show. so, in the time crunch of crank it out fast and cheap, they take refuge in what is easy for them, in this case mcshep banter.

and this is a weakness that will follow and doom Universe as well.

IMHO, they need to stop with the team stuff and simply make a 2-3 person show. because that's what they always take refuge in, catering to their couple of preferred characters and basically only acknowledging the others exist when their contracts make them

Ain't that the truth :mckay: You know, I actually got really excited when Teyla got to fire a gun in First contact...How pathetic is that :S :o

Cautious Explorer
November 24th, 2008, 12:07 PM
You can't have an episode that shares screen time evenly between six characters and also gives them each something meaty whilst also being a plot driven action/adventure show, there just isn't the time. Atlantis has an ensemble cast, so some episodes are always going to focus on some characters more than others.

They managed to do it in S1 quite well. Not every character had exactly the same amount of screen time, no. That wouldn't make a lot of sense. But the majority of the episodes were able to focus on the team of Sheppard, Rodney, Teyla and Ford with generous helpings of Weir, Zelenka, Carson, etc. It felt more like a story about a group of people than a story about one or two characters with some other folks wandering in the background.


Well, for me a team episode isn't just an episode where we see every member, where everyone has one sentence or they are all together in the beginning and in the end. For example I don't count episodes like Remnants, First Contact, The Lost Tribe, Inquisition as real team episodes. Maybe my expectations are just too high.

Exactly. I don't think it counts either to have Sheppard in the control room, Teyla wandering the hallways, Ronon on the Daedalus and McKay on a hive ship, never making contact with each other. There's just no team feeling to the chopped up episodes TPTB are churning out. It's hard to maintain friendships when they're hardly in the same room together.



Maybe my memory is wrong. I just have the feeling in season 1 - 3 this wasn't such a big problem. Of course there are always episodes which feature one or two people. That's o.k. I just miss the real team spirit in season 5.

I agree with you completely.

Linda06
November 24th, 2008, 12:40 PM
Exactly. I don't think it counts either to have Sheppard in the control room, Teyla wandering the hallways, Ronon on the Daedalus and McKay on a hive ship, never making contact with each other. There's just no team feeling to the chopped up episodes TPTB are churning out. It's hard to maintain friendships when they're hardly in the same room together.


:lol: I'm sorry but the bolded part actually made me laugh :o

Falcon Horus
November 24th, 2008, 02:21 PM
Ain't that the truth :mckay: You know, I actually got really excited when Teyla got to fire a gun in First contact...How pathetic is that :S :o

Hey, now you know how I felt whenever Kate appeared on screen, and all she did was walk and talk. :p

Teyla wanders the hallways with grace - at least we have that.

Linda06
November 24th, 2008, 02:29 PM
Hey, now you know how I felt whenever Kate appeared on screen, and all she did was walk and talk. :p

But she did it with so much style and grace :D


Teyla wanders the hallways with grace - at least we have that.

Yes we do :D They can't take that away from us :mckay:

FallenAngelII
November 24th, 2008, 02:43 PM
This show hasn't been an ensemble cast for years.

Skydiver
November 24th, 2008, 04:52 PM
then why bother hiring the extra people if they just get to prop up the walls and get maybe 1 episode out of 20 where they get more than 10 lines?

FallenAngelII
November 24th, 2008, 05:51 PM
then why bother hiring the extra people if they just get to prop up the walls and get maybe 1 episode out of 20 where they get more than 10 lines?
Because it's an ensemble show on paper. And they try to make it an ensemble show. Doesn't change the fact that a lot of the time, they fail miserably at it.

Briangate78
November 24th, 2008, 05:54 PM
Stargate SG-1 Season 9, Teal'c anyone?

Skydiver
November 24th, 2008, 06:48 PM
teal'c was great in season 8. which was just a continuation of season six and him changing from the token alien to a mentor and 'big brother' to jonas....but by s9 and 10, he, along with the chick and the jackson look alike were relegated to the background as much as possible.

Coop preferred the vaniel angle as much as joe does the mcshep

Briangate78
November 24th, 2008, 06:50 PM
teal'c was great in season 8. which was just a continuation of season six and him changing from the token alien to a mentor and 'big brother' to jonas....but by s9 and 10, he, along with the chick and the jackson look alike were relegated to the background as much as possible.

Coop preferred the vaniel angle as much as joe does the mcshep

I was not a fan of Season 9, but that is a discussion for another thread. :p Getting back to Atlantis, I really see the writers trying to give focus to the entire cast. I think the last 2 seasons have been very character driven. But that is my opinion of course.

Skydiver
November 24th, 2008, 07:02 PM
they may be character driven, i just see a disproportionate spread amongst all the characters. And I would expect a true ensemble show to have a more even spread. :)

Briangate78
November 24th, 2008, 07:03 PM
they may be character driven, i just see a disproportionate spread amongst all the characters. And I would expect a true ensemble show to have a more even spread. :)

Well the season is not over, but I think we should of gotten at least another Teyla and Ronon ep. :) I think infection is going to have a strong Teyla role.

MediaSavant
November 24th, 2008, 09:31 PM
I have accepted this for the last several episodes but at this point I think enough is enough. When was the last time we had an episode with the entire cast of the show in it? Why is this?

I bet it was to keep the budget down. I saw this in the final season of Babylon 5, which was under tremendous budgetary pressure. They reduced many of the actors' contracted # of episodes to save on costs.

Farscape also came up with the "2 Crichtons" ploy which split Crichton and his clone between two ships and each episode was on a different ship.

The producers acknowledged that it made it easier on costs in regards to the supporting characters didn't have to do prosthetics make up as often.

We all know the show was under cost pressure and that's part of the reason it was canceled. Don't take it as a personal slight towards any particular character. It may have been forced on the writers by the accountants.

tar21
November 25th, 2008, 02:20 AM
Star Trek TNG had tons of episodes like that and TNG is the hallmark of scifi series.

Leads to more focused character development. Not all episodes have to include the entire cast, just the big ones. Picard had entire episodes to himself. Data too. How about Worf?

The writers on Atlantis just went and did something they should have done more of in the past.

And why is this show getting cancelled when it gets awesome. WHy?

CazzBlade
November 25th, 2008, 03:42 AM
Well the season is not over, but I think we should of gotten at least another Teyla and Ronon ep. :) I think infection is going to have a strong Teyla role.

Sheppard (apparantly the lead) hasn't even had an ep yet.

FallenAngelII
November 25th, 2008, 05:36 AM
I was not a fan of Season 9, but that is a discussion for another thread. :p Getting back to Atlantis, I really see the writers trying to give focus to the entire cast. I think the last 2 seasons have been very character driven. But that is my opinion of course.
They've tried spreading the screen time around (yet it has failed for some characters)... the problem is that the spread isn't even they do not do it for every or even most episodes.

They throw in a few character-specific episodes here and there to make up for the McKeller, McShep and Jennifer episodes. But that's not really spreading it around. All you get are a bunch of episodes which focus predominately on a small portion of the cast.


Sheppard (apparantly the lead) hasn't even had an ep yet.
Exactly what do you call "Whispers", then? And even the clip show known as "Inquisition".

Briangate78
November 25th, 2008, 06:08 AM
Sheppard (apparantly the lead) hasn't even had an ep yet.

Remnants had one of the stories about him, and Vegas will be about Sheppard.

maxbo
November 25th, 2008, 07:20 AM
Well the season is not over, but I think we should of gotten at least another Teyla and Ronon ep. :) I think infection is going to have a strong Teyla role.

I hope you're right and that Infection will be a good Teyla episode, but I would be surprised if it is. Unfortunately, I think The Prodigal will be the last good Teyla (and Team) episode of the series. After BS, I fully expect the remaining episodes to have more of a Rodney/Keller focus than I care to see.


Sheppard (apparantly the lead) hasn't even had an ep yet.

You're right, Sheppard hasn't had an episode devoted to him yet. Whispers doesn't count because it was more about the all female team and Carson than it was about Sheppard - he got a lot of screentime, but that all. The same with Inquisition and Remnants. Although he got a lot of screentime in those episodes, they weren't really Sheppard episodes because his storyline was treated like the B-story to Woolsey's A-story.

FallenAngelII
November 25th, 2008, 07:55 AM
You're right, Sheppard hasn't had an episode devoted to him yet. Whispers doesn't count because it was more about the all female team and Carson than it was about Sheppard - he got a lot of screentime, but that all. The same with Inquisition and Remnants. Although he got a lot of screentime in those episodes, they weren't really Sheppard episodes because his storyline was treated like the B-story to Woolsey's A-story.
The writers are hacks. We can all agree to that, can't we?

maxbo
November 25th, 2008, 08:14 AM
The writers are hacks. We can all agree to that, can't we?

Yes, I agree that the writers are hacks - hacks who are more interested in indulging their sad little wet dreams than they are in crafting a well-written, well-balanced series.

Showfan
November 25th, 2008, 08:26 AM
The writers are hacks. We can all agree to that, can't we?

Oh yes, absolutely. Some more than others.

Linda06
November 25th, 2008, 09:20 AM
Well the season is not over, but I think we should of gotten at least another Teyla and Ronon ep. :) I think infection is going to have a strong Teyla role.

I'm dubious about Infection :mckay: But then did you expect anything less from the resident pessimist :p


Sheppard (apparantly the lead) hasn't even had an ep yet.

He had whispers....Which was crap.....And Inquisition......Which was also crap.....And Remnants......Which I haven't see yet but quite a few folks didn't like :S Ok yeah, that sucks for the supposed lead :S

Skydiver
November 25th, 2008, 09:39 AM
ahem, let's watch the language please. No need to be crude

Showfan
November 25th, 2008, 10:04 AM
I'm dubious about Infection :mckay: But then did you expect anything less from the resident pessimist :p



He had whispers....Which was crap.....And Inquisition......Which was also crap.....And Remnants......Which I haven't see yet but quite a few folks didn't like :S Ok yeah, that sucks for the supposed lead :S

In my estimation Sheppard hasn't had an episode yet.

Whispers was mainly about the All Girl Team and Carson Beckett, Inquisition was Woolsey, or maybe nobody, it's hard to tell since it was so lame, and Remnants was a Woolsey ep according to JMallozzi. Sure Sheppard was in these episodes, but he wasn't the focus, not by along shot. These episodes, with the exception of the smallest alloted time in Remants, weren't about him.

But hey, by the time the season is over Keller will have had three episode where she was part of the primary focus!


:sheppard::mckay::teyla::ronan:

Linda06
November 25th, 2008, 10:20 AM
In my estimation Sheppard hasn't had an episode yet.

Whispers was mainly about the All Girl Team and Carson Beckett, Inquisition was Woolsey, or maybe nobody, it's hard to tell since it was so lame, and Remnants was a Woolsey ep according to JMallozzi. Sure Sheppard was in these episodes, but he wasn't the focus, not by along shot. These episodes, with the exception of the smallest alloted time in Remants, weren't about him.

But hey, by the time the season is over Keller will have had three episode where she was part of the primary focus!


:sheppard::mckay::teyla::ronan:

Oh.....I must have dozed off when I watched the eps then :S ;) Yeah they were that boring :p Oh and I haven't watched Remnants yet :o

Ugh...How many eps does Keller need :mckay:

maxbo
November 25th, 2008, 10:31 AM
He had whispers....Which was crap.....And Inquisition......Which was also crap.....And Remnants......Which I haven't see yet but quite a few folks didn't like :S Ok yeah, that sucks for the supposed lead :S

I agree that Whispers and Inquisition could have been better, however, I enjoyed Remnants, but Sheppard's part wasn't the main story - his B-storyline was used to support Woolsey's A-storyline.

I can't relate to writers who thought it was more important to devote an entire episode to Rodney and Keller, when they had already focused on them too much, yet couldn't find the time to write even one episode that focused on Sheppard - the character that was originally considered the lead.

maxbo
November 25th, 2008, 10:39 AM
In my estimation Sheppard hasn't had an episode yet.

Whispers was mainly about the All Girl Team and Carson Beckett, Inquisition was Woolsey, or maybe nobody, it's hard to tell since it was so lame, and Remnants was a Woolsey ep according to JMallozzi. Sure Sheppard was in these episodes, but he wasn't the focus, not by along shot. These episodes, with the exception of the smallest alloted time in Remants, weren't about him.

But hey, by the time the season is over Keller will have had three episode where she was part of the primary focus!


:sheppard::mckay::teyla::ronan:

Yes, by the time this season is over Keller will have had more episodes focused on her than any other character- except Rodney and that's why I've been so disappointed in Season 5. It's become too hard to find episodes that I can watch without doing a lot of fast-forwarding.

Reiko
November 25th, 2008, 10:45 AM
The writers have always had issue with balance. For S1-S3, it was the McShep show. Most people didn't have too big a problem with this because most people like both characters and a good McShep moment. Yes, it sometimes took time away from other characters, but overall, no one balked too much.

Now, it's McKeller show -- and you have to agree Keller isn't at as as popular as anyone else.


The writers are hacks. We can all agree to that, can't we?

Yes.

Linda06
November 25th, 2008, 10:46 AM
I agree that Whispers and Inquisition could have been better, however, I enjoyed Remnants, but Sheppard's part wasn't the main story - his B-storyline was used to support Woolsey's A-storyline.

I can't relate to writers who thought it was more important to devote an entire episode to Rodney and Keller, when they had already focused on them too much, yet couldn't find the time to write even one episode that focused on Sheppard - the character that was originally considered the lead.

I really need to start paying attention to eps :S Well that's what happens qwhen eps are boring and add the fact ive got a short attention span and well.....;)

I really need to sit and watch Remnants some day :o

bluealien
November 25th, 2008, 10:54 AM
Yes, by the time this season is over Keller will have had more episodes focused on her than any other character- except Rodney and that's why I've been so disappointed in Season 5. It's become too hard to find episodes that I can watch without doing a lot of fast-forwarding.

It's quite unbelievable that the writers found so much to write for Keller but when Carson was in that position they didnt know what to do with him. Even more unbelievable that Keller gets more screentime than Sheppard and more eps focused on her. Sheppard hasn't had one episode focused on him and considering he is the lead character that's really quite pathetic, But yet Gero devotes a whole episode to Rodney's love life... I think the guy was actually tearing up when he was explaining how much he loves the character and how happy he is that he's found true love....:mckay:

What a pity non of the writers had such devotion to the rest of the cast... but found them so unimportant they replaced most of them with a play mate for their beloved Rodney.

It's a shame that this talented cast was left in the hands of writers so out of touch with what makes a great show... didnt they notice that team eps seemed to do a lot better than these split up character eps.. or bother to listen to the huge outcry about how unwanted Keller was in SGA... how overused McKay was.. sheesh ... one of the first things Joe Flanigan said a few years ago was that he needed to remind the writers that the show consisted of more than just McKay, and 3 years later it's still apparant they took no notice whatsoever..

Briangate78
November 25th, 2008, 10:59 AM
I think the balance is fine. When you have different showrunners from Season 1 to 5 it makes things a little bit difficult. SG-1, the showrunners never changed.

maxbo
November 25th, 2008, 11:06 AM
The writers have always had issue with balance. For S1-S3, it was the McShep show. Most people didn't have too big a problem with this because most people like both characters and a good McShep moment. Yes, it sometimes took time away from other characters, but overall, no one balked too much.

Now, it's McKeller show -- and you have to agree Keller isn't at as as popular as anyone else.

Yes, it's true that the writers have had a problem with balance long before this season, but it's never been this bad, IMO. As much as I used to complain about the John and Rodney show, I enjoyed those characters, together and individually. In addition, the other characters were featured more. There was more Teyla and Ronon because they were often with John and Rodney (unlike now), so even if the storylines rarely focused on them, at least they were in more episodes in earlier seasons. And, the non-Sheppard's team characters (Elizabeth, Carson, Radek, Lorne, Chuck and Caldwell) were also featured more.

Now that they've replaced the John and Rodney show with the Rodney and Keller show, the focus has been too much on trying to get the audience to like Keller, which has led to less time for the non-Rodney/Keller characters. The only consistent arc this season has been Keller's love life, which would be beyond pathetic for any season, but is particularly sad for this fifth and final season. :S

bluealien
November 25th, 2008, 11:20 AM
Yes, it's true that the writers have had a problem with balance long before this season, but it's never been this bad, IMO. As much as I used to complain about the John and Rodney show, I enjoyed those characters, together and individually. In addition, the other characters were featured more. There was more Teyla and Ronon because they were often with John and Rodney (unlike now), so even if the storylines rarely focused on them, at least they were in more episodes in earlier seasons. And, the non-Sheppard's team characters (Elizabeth, Carson, Radek, Lorne, Chuck and Caldwell) were also featured more.

Now that they've replaced the John and Rodney show with the Rodney and Keller show, the focus has been too much on trying to get the audience to like Keller, which has led to less time for the non-Rodney/Keller characters. The only consistent arc this season has been Keller's love life, which would be beyond pathetic for any season, but is particularly sad for this fifth and final season. :S


Funny how the common denominator was always Rodney... the John and Rodney show was fine until it became over done.. the banter became too predictable and it just became childish IMO... "No I can't do it", etc etc and the usual reponse from Shep "yes you can .. bla bla until I wanted to slap them. But again we are back to balance.. there have been some wonderful John and Rodney moments, but just because we enjoyed them didnt mean we only wanted to be subjected to the John and Rodney friendship and none of the others as well.

But instead of taking the friendship a step further it just stagnated .. with same old same old.. and again instead of widening their horizons and start developing other relationships as well... no one wanted the J/R moments to end but just to get a little spread out a bit.... they seemed to stop the interaction between all of the characters and all we got were sporadic moments here are there that didn't really flow at all... some moments they were best of friends and the next almost no interaction..

And then along came Keller and she took the focus away from the team and onto her and Rodney, or her and Ronon and rarely did we see all the team together ... and when I say together I mean interacting like a team that have been together for nearly 5 years.. and not just being in the same room.

ToasterOnFire
November 25th, 2008, 11:24 AM
It's quite unbelievable that the writers found so much to write for Keller but when Carson was in that position they didnt know what to do with him.
That's because it would have been too controversial for Carson and Rodney get together. :D :D

silvercomet
November 25th, 2008, 11:39 PM
You're right, Sheppard hasn't had an episode devoted to him yet. Whispers doesn't count because it was more about the all female team and Carson than it was about Sheppard - he got a lot of screentime, but that all. The same with Inquisition and Remnants. Although he got a lot of screentime in those episodes, they weren't really Sheppard episodes because his storyline was treated like the B-story to Woolsey's A-story.


In my estimation Sheppard hasn't had an episode yet.

Whispers was mainly about the All Girl Team and Carson Beckett, Inquisition was Woolsey, or maybe nobody, it's hard to tell since it was so lame, and Remnants was a Woolsey ep according to JMallozzi. Sure Sheppard was in these episodes, but he wasn't the focus, not by along shot. These episodes, with the exception of the smallest alloted time in Remants, weren't about him.

But hey, by the time the season is over Keller will have had three episode where she was part of the primary focus!

I second everything. IMO we haven't had one real Sheppard episode, which means for me focused on his character. We haven't learned much new about the character (except in The Shrine). No development. Sad. :(


It's quite unbelievable that the writers found so much to write for Keller but when Carson was in that position they didnt know what to do with him.

I read in the Season 4 Companion book they had the same problem with the Weir character - among other things because she was a civilian. Funny, now they are so excited with Woolsey. :(


Funny how the common denominator was always Rodney... the John and Rodney show was fine until it became over done.. the banter became too predictable and it just became childish IMO... "No I can't do it", etc etc and the usual reponse from Shep "yes you can .. bla bla until I wanted to slap them. But again we are back to balance.. there have been some wonderful John and Rodney moments, but just because we enjoyed them didnt mean we only wanted to be subjected to the John and Rodney friendship and none of the others as well.

But instead of taking the friendship a step further it just stagnated .. with same old same old.. and again instead of widening their horizons and start developing other relationships as well... no one wanted the J/R moments to end but just to get a little spread out a bit.... they seemed to stop the interaction between all of the characters and all we got were sporadic moments here are there that didn't really flow at all... some moments they were best of friends and the next almost no interaction..

And then along came Keller and she took the focus away from the team and onto her and Rodney, or her and Ronon and rarely did we see all the team together ... and when I say together I mean interacting like a team that have been together for nearly 5 years.. and not just being in the same room.

I'm a huge Sheppard and McKay fan but I have to agree with you. The Shrine was outstanding. Apart from that? I really don't like this "the banter became too predictable and it just became childish IMO... "No I can't do it", etc etc and the usual reponse from Shep "yes you can .. bla bla", too.

And I share your opinion about Keller.

So the answer for the question of this thread is: IMO, yes, the writers are incapable of balance now.

Skydiver
November 26th, 2008, 04:15 AM
I read in the Season 4 Companion book they had the same problem with the Weir character - among other things because she was a civilian. Funny, now they are so excited with Woolsey.
ah yes, but with woolsey they can play the 'bumbling geek trying his hardest' cliche that they like so much while with Weir they were stuck with a female *gasp* that didn't exist to be little more than an arm decoration for their resident favored character.

IMHO, as soon as they decided against shep/weir, they 'didn't know what to do with the character'....sound familiar? the very same people had the very same issue with Sam Carter once they didn't have Jack around to try and ship her with

McKay and the 'struggling geek' is Joe & co's favorite comfort zone and they'll stay in it as much and as long as they can.

Infinite-Possibilities
November 27th, 2008, 08:04 AM
some of you guys mentioned "Remnants" as an example of how episodes can go with only a few cast members and deliver some good development for them. And I agree. Totally. I loved that episode a lot. The problem was it happened too often this season, and often delivered at least slightly less than stellar episodes. "Remnants" was the exception. If we didn't have "Whispers" and "Tracker" and "Brainstorm" the way they turned out, I don't think it would have been an issue.


The writers are hacks. We can all agree to that, can't we?


To be honest I'm not sure. Their work lately, especially this season, makes me think they almost seem to switch between incompetent hack and brilliant storyteller at an impossibly quick rate. Almost like the current Showrunners are beings that were somehow impossibly fused together from the best and worst people at their jobs.

The amount of times I thought to myself, in relatively quick succession, "No no! This is awful! What kind of terrible direction is this?!" and "Wow! This is awesome! Yes! Brilliant!" was hard to believe.

Its bizarre. More than once I've asked myself how can anybody who writes such excellent episodes can write such poor ones at the ecxact same time.

I had a hard time conceiving how "First Contact" and "Brainstorm" could both be examples of the same season's writing. It's astonishing that they can write something as good (in my opinion) as "Ghost in the Machine", but still think that it ends the Weir arc sufficiently. It's borderline mind boggling.

silvercomet
November 27th, 2008, 10:33 AM
To be honest I'm not sure. Their work lately, especially this season, makes me think they almost seem to switch between incompetent hack and brilliant storyteller at an impossibly quick rate. Almost like the current Showrunners are beings that were somehow impossibly fused together from the best and worst people at their jobs.

The amount of times I thought to myself, in relatively quick succession, "No no! This is awful! What kind of terrible direction is this?!" and "Wow! This is awesome! Yes! Brilliant!" was hard to believe.

Its bizarre. More than once I've asked myself how can anybody who writes such excellent episodes can write such poor ones at the ecxact same time.

I had a hard time conceiving how "First Contact" and "Brainstorm" could both be examples of the same season's writing. It's astonishing that they can write something as good (in my opinion) as "Ghost in the Machine", but still think that it ends the Weir arc sufficiently. It's borderline mind boggling.

Well said!

I think one problem is, that there are just a few writers. They are so convinced that everything they do is just great. There isn't room for constructive criticism from the outside.

But that doesn't explain why they wrote such different episodes. I really can't say 'he is a bad writer and he is a good one'. Because everybody wrote good and bad episodes.

Skydiver
November 27th, 2008, 04:01 PM
i wonder if the director has something to do with it? if the skills of one director can 'salvage' a script that a lesser skilled director can't

remnants was great. brain storm was mediocre at best

i do agree, however, the show needs more writers....as in ALL more. Change the guard totally. The ONLY hope SGU has is to get a whole new set of writers...which they won't do, cause, like you said, they all think they're great and it's our fault that we don't like their stuff

whatever. at the end of hte day, it's their jobs on the line, not mine

nx01a
November 27th, 2008, 08:06 PM
If the franchise goes the way of Trek because of bad writing, you're out of a mod job. ;)

Oscar-worthy direction can never salvage a bad script. For me, a show is only as strong as the writers' ingenuity and creativity. I've watched some shows where the direction and editing wasn't that great because the writing was fantastic. If I have to hear bad dialogue in a bad scenario shot in the most amazingly avant-garde mis en scene ever, it's still bad dialogue in a bad scenario.

Skydiver
November 28th, 2008, 05:28 AM
then there is no explantion but inconsistency to explain folks that can crank out a great eps one week, and a piece of junk 4 weeks later.

there is no one writer that is consistently great, or any one writer that is consistently bad

huntress
November 28th, 2008, 06:49 AM
That's because it would have been too controversial for Carson and Rodney get together. :D :D

Controversial ...only for the prudish wannabe writers from Stargate. A good chunk of the fandom would have embraced such a move. I certainly would have :D

Cautious Explorer
November 28th, 2008, 07:11 AM
While I think there are multiple reasons for the horror that is S5, I think one problem with the writing may be based on which writer is being self indulgent each week.

We all know BS was Gero's fantasy come to life. Whispers was Mallozzi's chance to do his horror flick and invent his all-female team. Tracker was Binders opportunity to "redeem" Keller from bumblng liability in Missing to super competent action woman.

Skydiver
November 28th, 2008, 09:03 AM
in other words, MAYBE if they were all working towards a common goal or plot arc instead of each fulfilling their own possible fantasies 'i've always wanted to write.....' bits, maybe the show as a whole, would be more cohesive

so maybe, if they h ad a show runner that WASN'T one of the writers, s/he would be able to exercise some control and 'vision' over stuff, instaed of each member of the boy's club having free rein to do whatever he wants

JohnDuh
November 28th, 2008, 10:42 AM
I have accepted this for the last several episodes but at this point I think enough is enough. When was the last time we had an episode with the entire cast of the show in it? Why is this?

Fewer characters are faster and cheaper to shoot, may also be easier to write.

Linda06
November 28th, 2008, 10:44 AM
in other words, MAYBE if they were all working towards a common goal or plot arc instead of each fulfilling their own possible fantasies 'i've always wanted to write.....' bits, maybe the show as a whole, would be more cohesive

so maybe, if they h ad a show runner that WASN'T one of the writers, s/he would be able to exercise some control and 'vision' over stuff, instaed of each member of the boy's club having free rein to do whatever he wants

*nods* What she said ;)

nx01a
November 28th, 2008, 12:13 PM
For most shows, 20/24/26 episodes a season means you've got to find filler. If you cut down a season of SG-1 or SGA to just the best, say, 13 episodes, you get consistently great seasons with stellar episodes.

When given the opportunity to write a story that really won't matter in the grand scheme wherein you can have all the fun you want to and fulfil whatever fantasy you want, why not do it? :(

As for a grand scheme, SGA isn't Doctor Who or Babylon 5. There's no destination, there's no real plot, it's just doing whatever they feel like doing this season and hoping the show isn't, whoops, cancelled. Who and B5 were overseen by their chief writers and they, IMO, turned out great in terms of character, action and plot coherence. The problem with that is that it takes alot of work to pick and choose the right scripts to fit into the 'theme' or 'drive' of the season, much less having a writer drop this plot into his story or this thread into his story.

Cautious Explorer
November 29th, 2008, 06:45 AM
in other words, MAYBE if they were all working towards a common goal or plot arc instead of each fulfilling their own possible fantasies 'i've always wanted to write.....' bits, maybe the show as a whole, would be more cohesive

so maybe, if they h ad a show runner that WASN'T one of the writers, s/he would be able to exercise some control and 'vision' over stuff, instaed of each member of the boy's club having free rein to do whatever he wants

Absolutley. Imagine if someone had been there to say, hold on guys, we don't really need another episode all about McKay. Or, Gero, we know you love Jewel, but CMO is not the part for her. Or, we've weakened the Wraith, killed off the Asurans (and guys, time to admit it, we all know they're really replicators) so now where do we take the show?

I don't know. Maybe no one wants to be the bad guy. Maybe it's loads more fun for everyone to sit around and do what they want and let the show fend for itself. Makes me more convinced than ever that no one on the production team is ready to be in charge of the show.


For most shows, 20/24/26 episodes a season means you've got to find filler. If you cut down a season of SG-1 or SGA to just the best, say, 13 episodes, you get consistently great seasons with stellar episodes.

When given the opportunity to write a story that really won't matter in the grand scheme wherein you can have all the fun you want to and fulfil whatever fantasy you want, why not do it? :(

As for a grand scheme, SGA isn't Doctor Who or Babylon 5. There's no destination, there's no real plot, it's just doing whatever they feel like doing this season and hoping the show isn't, whoops, cancelled. Who and B5 were overseen by their chief writers and they, IMO, turned out great in terms of character, action and plot coherence. The problem with that is that it takes alot of work to pick and choose the right scripts to fit into the 'theme' or 'drive' of the season, much less having a writer drop this plot into his story or this thread into his story.

You hit the nail on the head. I think it's probably just a little bit too much effort for the fun-loving crew at Bridge. :( Sometimes too much job security can be a very bad thing.

Skydiver
November 29th, 2008, 07:00 AM
oh i dunno....i was once part of a virtual season (yes, i know fan fic to writing a show is apples to oranges), however we had an overriding plot and arc and then sat down and 'ok, 1 will be a team eps, 2 will be sam, 3 will be daniel.....etc, and we all knew the major arc and that we needed to have a bit in it towards that arc...such as I had a janet themed episode, yet the free jaffa were to be in a certain state, so all i needed to do was write a jaffa story,focusing on janet and ending with the jaffa moving closer to freedom

each episode doesn't have to have a major part of the arc, but can have little parts...such as, if you watch ncis, early this season the team was broken up in an effort to catch a mole. things happened while they were broken up, and the ramifications of that are still being seen, over halfway through the season, and lilkely will continue all the way until may. they had a plan and even if it's a 2 minute scene of ziva going back to israel to visit her family, it all plays into the arc

we don't get this in SGA, we just get fragmented stand alones with the occasional arc eps tossed in here and there.

there's no cohesiveness. And as long as you have the same tiny mutual admiration society doing all the writing/directing/producing, there never will be any. Because, like you said, no one seems to want to be the bad guy and enforce some discipline

Cory Holmes
November 29th, 2008, 07:59 AM
ah yes, but with woolsey they can play the 'bumbling geek trying his hardest' cliche that they like so much while with Weir they were stuck with a female *gasp* that didn't exist to be little more than an arm decoration for their resident favored character.
Another thing they can use Woolsey for is an unabashed antagonist. Something they touched on with Weir in S1 in Hot Zone, but not so much after that.


As for a grand scheme, SGA isn't Doctor Who or Babylon 5. There's no destination, there's no real plot, it's just doing whatever they feel like doing this season and hoping the show isn't, whoops, cancelled. Who and B5 were overseen by their chief writers and they, IMO, turned out great in terms of character, action and plot coherence. The problem with that is that it takes alot of work to pick and choose the right scripts to fit into the 'theme' or 'drive' of the season, much less having a writer drop this plot into his story or this thread into his story.

B5 got lucky in that it found a network willing to support its serialized format. There's no telling what sort of pressure Sci-Fi and MGM were exerting on the the Show Runners into having an episodic seriess.

There are definite advantages to the serialized format, but also more liability. Imagine what would've happened if B5 had been cancelled after two years.

EvenstarSRV
November 29th, 2008, 12:27 PM
BSG got lucky in that it found a network willing to support its serialized format. There's no telling what sort of pressure Sci-Fi and MGM were exerting on the the Show Runners into having an episodic seriess.

There are definite advantages to the serialized format, but also more liability. Imagine what would've happened if B5 had been cancelled after two years.

Well, in the US both BSG and SGA are on the Sci-Fi channel, so it seems like it was MGM or other PTB, rather than SciFi, that wanted SGA to be an episodic series.

But I think that even though it may be harder to have strong story arcs in episodic vs. serialized series, they should still be able to follow up on major plot points. The X-files did a pretty good job of this in seasons 4-7, and that was an episodic show like SGA.

I'm personally still waiting for some follow up to the whole Attero device/rogue Asgard stuff from First Contact/The Lost Tribe. It seems strange that of all the plot points in that two-parter, the only one that has seen some follow-up was Keller choosing McKay over Ronon.

Cory Holmes
November 29th, 2008, 02:49 PM
I meant to say B5 :o *scurries off to fix post*

fumblesmcstupid
November 29th, 2008, 03:02 PM
B5 puts most sci-fi shows to shame IMO :) .

Skydiver
November 29th, 2008, 04:09 PM
B5 ROCKS!!!!!!!!

and it's still the bar to which i judge all other shows.

Cory Holmes
November 29th, 2008, 04:12 PM
B5 ROCKS!!!!!!!!

and it's still the bar to which i judge all other shows.

Yay for you :)

Personally, I rate "my favourite shows" by the amount of time that I spend rewatching them. In that case B5... isn't. Sorry :p Good for one or two watch-throughs, but not after that.

Skydiver
November 29th, 2008, 05:31 PM
i look at it from a continuity and story standpoint. And i think that B5 was good that way...but others feel differently, so cool

Redhooks
November 29th, 2008, 05:47 PM
i look at it from a continuity and story standpoint. And i think that B5 was good that way...but others feel differently, so coolB5 is different because one writer wrote more than 80% of the episodes so it was easier for him to weave little things into the storylines.

The current showrunners and writing team for SGA showed they can do more arc type stories with the first 12 episodes of season 4 but also showed they can bungle the job with the last 8 episodes of the season (except for Midway.) The only two that didn't move the plot forward in the first 12 eps were Doppleganger and Tabula Rasa which were both above average stand-alone episodes in my opinion. Missing started the next arc that ended badly in the second half of the season so it still moved the plot forward. I get the impression that there is nothing in the season to build up to and that is why the episodes are so hit and miss. I really think most of the story ideas for this season are below average and it is showing in the lack of quality episodes to me. I really think TPTB were out of ideas and MGM, BW, and RC saw this. I also think that was contributing factor to end the series.

GateofDOOM
November 29th, 2008, 06:04 PM
If the franchise goes the way of Trek because of bad writing, you're out of a mod job. ;)

Oscar-worthy direction can never salvage a bad script. For me, a show is only as strong as the writers' ingenuity and creativity. I've watched some shows where the direction and editing wasn't that great because the writing was fantastic. If I have to hear bad dialogue in a bad scenario shot in the most amazingly avant-garde mis en scene ever, it's still bad dialogue in a bad scenario.

Have you seen ALIEN?? :P


*Hem* On Topic.

I know I'm always one of the the first to jump on the "bash the writers wag...er spaceship?" but I'm inclined to attribute the lack of team episodes to budget and time constraints. They rushed this season out to fit the summer lineup so they could capitalize on the writers strike after-gap. Also I think they must be really straining their budgets, I've noticed a discernible drop in quality for their Special-Effects as well. The faster you film, the less that you have to pay your crew...this was one of the reasons that they're getting canceled after all, as MediaSavant said.

Anyway, I'd be in agreement about the writers that are incapable of balance argument as well, but for different reasons. I enjoyed the 'team' episodes as much as the "not-team" episodes and I can safely say that I enjoyed them on a scale ranging from "not-at-all" to "it didn't make me wince". Many of these episodes had tones, as they felt to me anyway, that Lacked balance, balance between plot and character development, between characters. And although there have been some brief glimmers of characterization that I have enjoyed, there has not been a single plot that managed to entertain me this year.The writers need to learn to put down their "Easy and Unbelievable Endings for Stories When You're Stuck in a Rut" book of cliches and actually put some thought into how a plot can be reasonably executed before they run off with their cool ideas that they just have to try! Eg: We need a plot where a member of the expedition turns into a hive ship! But how will they stop it? Oh well, we'll have it all conveniently cut away at the end by a surgeon (with no scars!).
Yes okay, turning into a hive ship=pretty cool. But does the execution make sense? I think they haven't been doing a very good job in the reasonable ending department and it unbalances the script, otherwise full of some good story ideas.

I loved season nine of Sg-1, sure there weren't as many team episodes (Unless you compare it to season eight...oi), but the plot really pulled together...before unraveling slightly in season ten. And I guess that's what I'm going for the most.

And...er, I hope that made sense.

Skydiver
November 29th, 2008, 06:11 PM
i do think they've gotten so used to breaking up the team to do the 'multi units, multiple eps at a time' gig, that they've lost their skill to balance more than 2-3 characters at a time.

it is similar to s10 when the team was almost ALWAYS broken up, daniel/vala, cam/teal'c and sam either by herself or with alien of the week.

it got predictible and, well, boring. you see the same interactions week after week...and we never got to see another side of the characters because the interactions were always the same

GateofDOOM
November 29th, 2008, 06:28 PM
i do think they've gotten so used to breaking up the team to do the 'multi units, multiple eps at a time' gig, that they've lost their skill to balance more than 2-3 characters at a time.

it is similar to s10 when the team was almost ALWAYS broken up, daniel/vala, cam/teal'c and sam either by herself or with alien of the week.

it got predictible and, well, boring. you see the same interactions week after week...and we never got to see another side of the characters because the interactions were always the same

I thought Line in The Sand was brilliant, when they broke up the usual dynamics...heh, I guess there was no Daniel/Vala in that show. I liked Vala, but her and her interactions with Daniel in particular were way way way overused in the back half of season ten. Sam was my least favorite character, but I actually started to miss her in season ten.
And I'm feeling that way about Teyla actually in season five (although she was not my least favorite character, nothing in the verse can make me miss Ronon, not even McKeller).

Er...maybe I misspoke, I don't get too stoked about team episodes, but I do enjoy ones where more then one character an episode gets some development. I sigh and think back on the Eye and the Storm with nostalgia these days. Good plots (with one teensy foible) and good characters. Oh how I miss ye.

EvenstarSRV
November 29th, 2008, 11:19 PM
I meant to say B5 :o *scurries off to fix post*


B5 puts most sci-fi shows to shame IMO :) .


B5 ROCKS!!!!!!!!

and it's still the bar to which i judge all other shows.

I feel like quite the newbie asking this, but what does B5 stand for? :o

I'm always looking for good sci-fi shows to watch, and it sounds like one worth trying out, if I knew what DVDs to get from Netflix. :)

Infinite-Possibilities
November 30th, 2008, 12:59 AM
Babylon 5, I'd suspect?

Its funny, but that's the one Sci-Fi series I've never really seen much of at all.

nx01a
November 30th, 2008, 01:01 AM
Babylon 5.
Best.Show.Ever.

CazzBlade
November 30th, 2008, 04:55 AM
i wonder if the director has something to do with it? if the skills of one director can 'salvage' a script that a lesser skilled director can't


There is a saying in the film industry: 'You can make a bad film from a good script but you can't make a good film from a bad script'...


so maybe, if they h ad a show runner that WASN'T one of the writers, s/he would be able to exercise some control and 'vision' over stuff, instaed of each member of the boy's club having free rein to do whatever he wants

I personally think that is a good idea and most shows should do this (but then I'm a producer who is useless at writing :P) but I remember JM saying a while ago that writers would rarely come on board with someone who isn't a writer as they want to develop the series themselves. Again I think he's a bit off here because he didn't develop either SG1 or Atlantis but he's now running them :confused:


i do think they've gotten so used to breaking up the team to do the 'multi units, multiple eps at a time' gig, that they've lost their skill to balance more than 2-3 characters at a time.


ITA.

Skydiver
November 30th, 2008, 04:35 PM
b5 is Babylon 5

was it perfect? no. It had its cliched moments, it had its cringe worthy lines. it had its cheesy effects.

but it also had a continuing and cohesive arc and plot that ran from episode one to the finale. it had rich characters that changed, sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively, from their first appearance to their last.

it was a fantastic show, and one, if you watch it once, then go back and rewatch from the beginning, you see even more and notice even more.

the actors were not allowed to adlib...at all. because every word was important to the story. (and JMS had no small ego either :) )

the biggest 'bobble' it had was season 5. the show was meant to last 5 years, no more, no less.

then, all of sudden, s4 was going to be 'it'...and he, very grudgingly, wrapped up the story early...and then presto chango, tnt bailed it out at the last moment and so a story for season 5 had to be thought up. so s5 is its weakest, but overall, it was a good show

Skydiver
November 30th, 2008, 04:37 PM
I liked it when the characters paired up differently. like you said, in LITS when we had no Vaniel, but vala got to deal with Tobin, cameron had to play medic, sam, the fix it, suddenly couldnt'.

i think that's why i liked Uninvited as well...they were broke up differently again. even as cheesy as it was and as stupid as the monster was, it was something different.

characters can develop and grow when they get taken out of their comfort zone.
something the stargate writers do all too infrequently

Avenger
November 30th, 2008, 09:46 PM
I don't know if this has been brought up because I haven't read every post on the thread, but part of the reason we might not see everyone in every episode is the actors' contracts. It's not uncommon for an actor to have a contract to appear in 17 episodes of a 20 episode season, especially after a show has been on for a few seasons.

jenks
December 1st, 2008, 01:43 AM
B5 puts most sci-fi shows to shame IMO :) .

The acting in B5 was shameful, I can forgive most things, but not that.

FallenAngelII
December 1st, 2008, 03:22 AM
To be honest I'm not sure. Their work lately, especially this season, makes me think they almost seem to switch between incompetent hack and brilliant storyteller at an impossibly quick rate. Almost like the current Showrunners are beings that were somehow impossibly fused together from the best and worst people at their jobs.

The amount of times I thought to myself, in relatively quick succession, "No no! This is awful! What kind of terrible direction is this?!" and "Wow! This is awesome! Yes! Brilliant!" was hard to believe.

Its bizarre. More than once I've asked myself how can anybody who writes such excellent episodes can write such poor ones at the ecxact same time.

I had a hard time conceiving how "First Contact" and "Brainstorm" could both be examples of the same season's writing. It's astonishing that they can write something as good (in my opinion) as "Ghost in the Machine", but still think that it ends the Weir arc sufficiently. It's borderline mind boggling.
Maybe I was a bit harsh. Most of them are only half-hacks. That or they are hacks with modicums of competence, sometimes spewing out good writing for once.

The problem is that they let their non-hackiness take a backseat to their hackiness. The head writer himself (and I say "him" because AFAIK, all writers on Atlantis are male (but let's not get into that BS today)), and by "head writer", I mean "for the episode", or his (equally male) colleagues never have the guts to question his judgment.

I mean, these are the people who let "Irresistible", "Irresponsible", "The Tower", "Travelers" and more slip through the cracks.

Supposedly, the writers pitch premises and scripts. Then the scripts are read and re-written or shelved. How, then, in a world of thinking intelligent sentient beings could episodes like the aforementioned (and more) slip through?

Didn't anyone raise any red flags and go "Danger will happen, Joe Mallozzi"?

So maybe they aren't hacks the bunch of them. They're just too shy/intimidated/lazy/complacent/whatever to object when their own hackiness or the hackiness of their colleagues manifest themselves and, thus, we, the viewers, take it in the shorts.

It's just a boy's club where the writers can Mary Sue the characters and play around with them to create their fantasy world without checking with the USAF or, you know, the world, to make sure there's even a smidgen of realism in the show.

The writers just need to let other writers put in more input, you know, constructive criticism, working together, etc., etc. Especially the writers who churned out the aforementioned 4 episodes (not surprisingly, a single name appears more than once).



When given the opportunity to write a story that really won't matter in the grand scheme wherein you can have all the fun you want to and fulfil whatever fantasy you want, why not do it? :(
The problem is not that there will be filler. The problem is that the filler of S5 and Atlantis in general is utter crap, shoddily written and shoddily realized.

Skydiver
December 1st, 2008, 04:19 AM
i think, over all, they're a bunch of guys that can't look too much past having fun.

I think, over the years, the've managed to squeeze out anyone that would sit them down and go 'dude, this is bad', and have surrounded themselves with only 'good old boys' that are like one giant frat house, where no one has the cajones to stand up and say 'guys, this is wrong' for fear of being the next person kicked off the island.

i think they don't like being called on the carpet and being told 'umm, yeah, write it again please, and take the clones out of it', so they have, over the years, made it so that there's no one around to call them on anything that they do.

and when the fans complain, well then the fans are mocked and belittled and called names, because surely there's a problem with US if we don't like what they do, it can't be a problem with them.

to be fair, there is nothing they can ever write that will be 100% liked or disliked. so it is impossible to please everyone. however, when the ratings are falling and a good 2/3 of the online fans are critical, that's gotta tell you taht something is amiss.

I will agree taht there are sometimes contractural issues governing an actor's absence....like in s10 of sg1 when MS was only contracted for 16 of the 20. but you know, he got a plot arc to explain 2 of his absences...and from my point of view, he wasn't that horribly missed in the otehr two because it gave us a break from the endless Vaniel that Coop so adored. Vala finally got a chance to be something more than the jokester and the daniel arm decoration. Too bad we didn't get more of that. Because i personally enjoyed her a lot more when she was allowed to crawl out of that pigeon hole coop kept cramming her in.

Atlantis is following SG1 down the same path. indulgent writers, dislocating their own arms in an effort to keep patting themselves on the back, while they just keep cranking out mediocre cliche after cliche, occasionally broken up by a gem that survived despite their best efforts.

mcshep is easy, mckeller is easy, thus that's all we'll get. the bumbling geek personna is easy, and anyone that can't fit into that tight little mold is just forgotten. (ie ronon and teyla)

FallenAngelII
December 1st, 2008, 05:14 AM
FallenAngelII's thoughts exactly
There's really nothing I can say to that other than that it's exactly what I think.

I can only hope things will change for the movies.

Falcon Horus
December 1st, 2008, 11:31 AM
I can only hope things will change for the movies.

I wouldn't keep my hopes up. :o

bluealien
December 1st, 2008, 11:32 AM
I don't think the ptb have to listen to what every fan whats because what one fan thinks is great for the show, the next is screaming they'll tune out if they go in that direction... but that doesn't mean that the writers and PTB shouldn't have some sort of plan or storyline that involves ALL of the characters. Is it too much to ask for developement (if you can call it that) for EVERYONE.... and try and infuse something a little different into the show. Get some new fresh ideas from NEW writers..I'll never understand why the present PTB are so adament at keeping the same old tired writers, and refuse to bring in some fresh blood... they are happy to chop and change the actors but yet won't consider that the writing could be the issue.

The show needed some cohesion, direction and consistancy and it lacked in all these areas. The ptb started storylines never to finish them.. or to leave them hanging in the air totally unresolved.. they started relationships and never finished them or gave them any resolution .. they don't follow up on any character development... what about Sheppard's family.. one episode in 5 years which barely touched on his family and like Remnants left us with more questions than answers.

Why was it so difficult to throw in ideas for all the characters... When they asked for ideas for a follow up on Sheppards family, or Teyla's culture, or anything that featured Ronon doing something besides firing his gun, was it met with silence and blank stares.. so the immediate solution was.. ok let's go with another McKay ep then.... :mckay:

Skydiver
December 1st, 2008, 12:58 PM
i very certainly don't think that they need to listen to any fan, or every fan, per se.

my opinion was....general issues.

what were GENERAL issues with season 10?


too much predictible breaking up of the team
inconsistencies with cameron's behaviors
teal'c getting tortured all the time

not specifics, but general themes that ran through a good chunk of the 20 eps.

so, bear that in mind for the next show and try to shuffle things around more, try to come up with and maintain consistent characterizations for the characters, try to avoid the cliched actions as they pertain to a character.

they didn't listen cause these issues plague SGA to this day

Reiko
December 1st, 2008, 01:08 PM
Frat house! I and a few others came up with that term in S4 of Atlantis. Frat house is exactly what's going on. Why? Because there's no one to limit them. There is no one else around in the writer's room or in their little circle to tap them on the shoulder and go "hey... guys?" They all think the same, along the same lines, and don't have a problem with anything each other does because of it.

They're subjected to groupthink, and have become far too comfortable for far too long. They don't listen to the actors. (Unless it's getting Keller a boyfriend.) They don't listen to the most critical fans, because we're nutty lemmings that don't know anything.

Falcon Horus
December 1st, 2008, 01:10 PM
...we're nutty lemmings that don't know anything.

According to Kate I'm not nutty... well, sometimes I am but that is due to external factors. :p

Reiko
December 1st, 2008, 01:12 PM
According to Kate I'm not nutty... well, sometimes I am but that is due to external factors. :p

Pesky external factors! :P

About the lemmings -- funny thing is, they're lemmings too since they all seem to run off a cliff in chaos together.

And the whole lemming myth isn't true. Disney Studios tossed lemmings off a cliff to drown in a documentary in the 50's or something to say that they did it. Lies. Disney actually got an award for it.

But, I guess we can equate this to Mallozzi tossing all those rebellious fans off a cliff. Hee. :D

fumblesmcstupid
December 1st, 2008, 01:25 PM
If "THE LOVE BOAT" writers could write stories for all the regular cast and the the guest's like Charo, then TPTB should be able to write for all of the cast of SGA as well! <mod snip>

nx01a
December 1st, 2008, 01:35 PM
Oh you didn't equate SGA to Love Boat. GREEN!

Skydiver
December 1st, 2008, 03:49 PM
it's one thing to critique their work, another to crit them personally.

Please keep your comments centered around their work.

EvenstarSRV
December 1st, 2008, 04:21 PM
Babylon 5, I'd suspect?

Its funny, but that's the one Sci-Fi series I've never really seen much of at all.


Babylon 5.
Best.Show.Ever.


b5 is Babylon 5

was it perfect? no. It had its cliched moments, it had its cringe worthy lines. it had its cheesy effects.

but it also had a continuing and cohesive arc and plot that ran from episode one to the finale. it had rich characters that changed, sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively, from their first appearance to their last.

it was a fantastic show, and one, if you watch it once, then go back and rewatch from the beginning, you see even more and notice even more.

the actors were not allowed to adlib...at all. because every word was important to the story. (and JMS had no small ego either :) )

the biggest 'bobble' it had was season 5. the show was meant to last 5 years, no more, no less.

then, all of sudden, s4 was going to be 'it'...and he, very grudgingly, wrapped up the story early...and then presto chango, tnt bailed it out at the last moment and so a story for season 5 had to be thought up. so s5 is its weakest, but overall, it was a good show

Thanks guys! I'll try to check it out over winter break. :)

I wonder if perhaps one part of the issues with the writing for SGA (and I guess the last few seasons of SG-1) is similar to the issue with Babylon 5's season 5, in that the writers didn't know if the show was going to get picked up for another season.

If the season they're writing could be the last one, it's probably easier for the writers to have mostly stand-alone episodes with minimal or short story arcs rather than risking a longer story arc that could get cut short.

Of course, 'easier' doesn't always mean better storytelling. :cool:

silvercomet
December 2nd, 2008, 02:00 PM
i do agree, however, the show needs more writers....as in ALL more. Change the guard totally. The ONLY hope SGU has is to get a whole new set of writers...which they won't do, cause, like you said, they all think they're great and it's our fault that we don't like their stuff

whatever. at the end of hte day, it's their jobs on the line, not mine


Get some new fresh ideas from NEW writers..I'll never understand why the present PTB are so adament at keeping the same old tired writers, and refuse to bring in some fresh blood... they are happy to chop and change the actors but yet won't consider that the writing could be the issue.

My first thought while I was reading this statement from Mallozzi in his blog (he was being asked why there aren't any female writers) - Quote "Answer: Not at all. There are great female writers out there and, every season, attempts are made to bring in new talent, but writing for scifi is hard, and writing for a specific scifi show even harder. Often, it doesn’t necessarily come down to whether a writer is talented or not but whether he/she “gets” the show." was:

And who decides whether someone gets the show or not? The same people who are very confident of their own work.

I don't say they are doing a bad job. There are still more episodes I like than I don't. But in season 5 apparently they have missed what made SGA a great show: the team, character interaction/development and a story arc. These are the reasons for me why I like SGA so much, anyway.



so maybe, if they h ad a show runner that WASN'T one of the writers, s/he would be able to exercise some control and 'vision' over stuff, instaed of each member of the boy's club having free rein to do whatever he wants

I can imagine that this would make things easier.

Skydiver
December 2nd, 2008, 02:09 PM
exactly, if the boy's club doesn't want new members, they won't get any.

and 'good' is relative. and, like you said, if the people making the show think they're wonderful, then it's very possible that anyone they interview won't meet their personal standards of good, which may or may not bear a resemblance to anything your average fan calls good

ponycake
December 2nd, 2008, 04:15 PM
*nods* I wonder how much of it is outside writers 'getting' the show (and quite frankly considering the character inconsistencies et all I wonder how much the PTB get their own show) and whether outsiders are going to intrude on their inner circle where they get to play video games and hold chocolate parties.

They seem like a close knit bunch of friends and I wonder considering how they write female characters, that a female writing amongst them would be seem by them as being the equivalent of bringing a mother figure in to nag them and ruin their fun?

Mitchell82
December 2nd, 2008, 04:29 PM
You can't have an episode that shares screen time evenly between six characters and also gives them each something meaty whilst also being a plot driven action/adventure show, there just isn't the time. Atlantis has an ensemble cast, so some episodes are always going to focus on some characters more than others.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Crazedwraith
December 3rd, 2008, 01:46 AM
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You can't have an episode that shares screen time evenly between six characters and also gives them each something meaty whilst also being a plot driven action/adventure show, there just isn't the time. Atlantis has an ensemble cast, so some episodes are always going to focus on some characters more than others.Couldn't have said it better myself.

While thats truth enough, there's no reason it had to be to the extent we have seen in SGA, like in Whispers where for the majority of the episode we see all of one main cast character: Sheppard. (Carson was a quest, he doesn't count)

On the other hand, take a show like Firefly. That had nine main characters, half again as much as this season of SGA, and most of them have moments in most of the episode. I can think of only two episodes where main character were absent: Book in Ariel and River in Our Mrs Reynolds (where she did have a scene but it was cut for time)

So it can be done. The TPTB, just aren't good enough at it.

jelgate
December 3rd, 2008, 06:06 AM
While thats truth enough, there's no reason it had to be to the extent we have seen in SGA, like in Whispers where for the majority of the episode we see all of one main cast character: Sheppard. (Carson was a quest, he doesn't count)On the other hand, take a show like Firefly. That had nine main characters, half again as much as this season of SGA, and most of them have moments inTh most of the episode. I can think of only two episodes where main character were absent: Book in Ariel and River in Our Mrs Reynolds (where she did have a scene but it was cut for time)So it can be done. The TPTB, just aren't good enough at it.That show was on for half a season. Most shows have good balance at first regardless of the cast.

Falcon Horus
December 3rd, 2008, 09:25 AM
That show was on for half a season. Most shows have good balance at first regardless of the cast.

How about you look at JW's other shows, like Buffy and Angel which were also about an ensemble cast, which remained an ensemble cast all throughout their 7 and 5 seasons.

jelgate
December 3rd, 2008, 09:26 AM
How about you look at JW's other shows, like Buffy and Angel which were also about an ensemble cast, which remained an ensemble cast all throughout their 7 and 5 seasons.Never saw Angel and I gave up on Buffy after 5 episodes

Reiko
December 3rd, 2008, 11:00 AM
Atlantis definately could work with an ensemble cast, but not with Mallozzi and Co. at the helm. Whedon did it great in Firefly with nine main core characters, each having their own special moments in the episodes. SGA only has six, but the writer's don't have the organizational skills or dicipline that writers/producers like Whedon has.

Thus, we are left with the hero, Sheppard; the geeky cohort, McKay (I was going to say 'sidekick' but they both get about the same portion of time); and the his lover, Keller -- and not to mention those other, less-important background people.

fumblesmcstupid
December 3rd, 2008, 11:10 AM
ohhhhhh

like Teyla , Ronon, Zalenka, Lorne and everyone who is NOT....... Keller?

Mitchell82
December 3rd, 2008, 12:10 PM
Atlantis definately could work with an ensemble cast, but not with Mallozzi and Co. at the helm. Whedon did it great in Firefly with nine main core characters, each having their own special moments in the episodes. SGA only has six, but the writer's don't have the organizational skills or dicipline that writers/producers like Whedon has.

Thus, we are left with the hero, Sheppard; the geeky cohort, McKay (I was going to say 'sidekick' but they both get about the same portion of time); and the his lover, Keller -- and not to mention those other, less-important background people.

I disagree. I understand that people want to see every character in every ep but that can't be done. In order to develop characters well you need to split them up from time to time. Mallozi has done a fine job IMO and tptb IMO know what they are doing.

Crazedwraith
December 3rd, 2008, 12:38 PM
I disagree. I understand that people want to see every character in every ep but that can't be done. In order to develop characters well you need to split them up from time to time. Mallozi has done a fine job IMO and tptb IMO know what they are doing.

We proved with examples, that it can be done, with a modium of clever writing. Not all characters are going to have major parts in all episodes but that doesn't mean they shouldn't at least appear and it doesn't mean they should never have episodes that focus on them ala Ronon or Teyla.

And splitting them up doesn't have to mean they disappear. Take Farscape as another example. The five main characters (six if you include pilot, and even more after late season 1) are always splitting up but the plot always shows what each little group is doing.

Skydiver
December 3rd, 2008, 12:41 PM
kinda like Solitudes or Tangent, where the team was split, in solitudes, you had jack and sam struggling to survive, daniel and teal'c searching for them. In tangent, jack and teal'c trapped, sam and daniel trying to rescue them.
they were split up almost totally for the eps...but both were great episodes because they all had something to do. they all served a vital role. A lot of times now, we get a token 'yeah, let's have that 2 minute commissary scene so we get episode appearance points for ronon and shep' or 'yeah, let's have carter deliver that line so she gets 'credit' for appearing in this eps, even if that 20 second scene is all she has.

it's almost like they write the episode, THEN sit down and go 'dang it, we need to get this character in this one to fulfil their contract, so shove a scene in there for them, will ya???'

Reiko
December 3rd, 2008, 12:42 PM
I disagree. I understand that people want to see every character in every ep but that can't be done. In order to develop characters well you need to split them up from time to time. Mallozi has done a fine job IMO and tptb IMO know what they are doing.

Actually, it can be done, because Whedon (first jumps to mind) did it, and other writers do it. Heck, he had a Firefly episode driven around a character that was not part of the main cast (Our Mrs. Reynolds) yet 8/9 characters all got their moments. (River's scene was cut for time.)

Sure, I agree that all the characters can't all have their own special story within the episode, and naturally some characters will get more screentime than the rest in a given episode. But SGA is horrible at it, for one because who gets the most screentime never changes. It's always either Sheppard or McKay with Keller in tow behind them, no matter what. Teyla and Ronon usually only get one 'token' episode per season and that's all the showtime they get before things go back to the normal setup.

As for who drives the story, it's usually set off by a 3rd Party and driven by John or Rodney. (Or Teyla or Ronon in their aforementioned 'token' episodes.) Elizabeth only got two episodes that were really driven by her, The Real World and Before I Sleep. Carson only really got PTW in S1.

Maybe I'm too harsh by stack M&M up to my standards, which plenty of writers achieve, however. But forget balance of screentime/etcc to them. It left the room a long time ago -- if it was ever there.

EDIT: crazedwraith explained it and gave examples perfectly.

fumblesmcstupid
December 3rd, 2008, 12:47 PM
IMO I think that they don't know how to do balance:

Episodes that have Keller in the Spotlight:

The Seed (yes she was in a coma! big deal it was still MOSTLY about her!)
The Shrine (it might have been about Rodney..but she turned it to be about her)
Tracker (Rodney and Ronon , I think were there.... maybe they were pod people)
First Contact (following Ronon, talking with Todd)
The Lost Tribe (Cheerleader Keller)
Brain Storm
Identity
Infection ( I am guessing that it will some how spotlight her as well)

Idk about Vegas or EATG

Teyla has the Queen
Ronon has Broken Ties
Sheppard has Vegas
Rodney (D.V)
Woolsey (Remnants)

The Shrine like I said was supposed to be about Rodney...but it ended up being about Keller. As for Brain Storm that was Gero's dream come true for him as a McKay/Keller fan.

So, with the cast of SGA being JF, DH, RL, JM, RP and JS. So why is it that JS had so many episodes with her as the lead?

If the show was balanced (IMO) Identity Could have been about Teyla or Ronon or Sheppard but no!One more instance of Keller getting into a dumb situation and the good guys have to come in a rescue her!

Crazedwraith
December 3rd, 2008, 12:52 PM
The Seed was certainly isn't a Keller episode. She's a comatose for the majority.

Neither are First Contact/The Lost Tribe. Keller has a plot but so do most of the other characters: Daniel & McKay/Sheppard/Keller,Woolsey & Ronon, only Teyla really got sidelined with command of Atlantis.

In fact that two parter is pretty much the ideal of what I was trying to say. All the characters are split up, but they all still have a part to play.

Reiko
December 3rd, 2008, 12:56 PM
I'd have to agree on The Seed; it wasn't really a Keller episode as though much of the plot centered around her she was comatose and thus merely a plot device.

And again -- Teyla my always be there having screentime, but how much of that time is actually spent doing something other than shooting the random alien or holding up the walls?

Lythisrose
December 3rd, 2008, 01:01 PM
I'd have to agree on The Seed; it wasn't really a Keller episode as though much of the plot centered around her she was comatose and thus merely a plot device.

And again -- Teyla my always be there having screentime, but how much of that time is actually spent doing something other than shooting the random alien or holding up the walls?

I'd kind of say the same thing about Sheppard this season.
I mean, even in Whispers, where he was the only lead present, he was basically just there in a role anyone could have played, nothing new or exciting to advance his character. It's a shame. IMO Teyla, Ronon and Shep haven't really had alot of "meat" to dig their teeth into this season, with rare exceptions.

Mitchell82
December 3rd, 2008, 03:27 PM
We proved with examples, that it can be done, with a modium of clever writing. Not all characters are going to have major parts in all episodes but that doesn't mean they shouldn't at least appear and it doesn't mean they should never have episodes that focus on them ala Ronon or Teyla.
You gave examples of IMHO crap shows. I know many consider JW a god and well I don't. His writing style as well as producing and directing are a joke. Ronon and Teyla have both had their episodes this season and have only had a small number of eps they weren't in. I don't believe that in order to be a good show that every single character must be in every ep as long as their is a good balance and IMO we have just that.


And splitting them up doesn't have to mean they disappear. Take Farscape as another example. The five main characters (six if you include pilot, and even more after late season 1) are always splitting up but the plot always shows what each little group is doing.
As does Atlantis IMO. But since this has turned into another gripe thread and we obviously won't agree I will leave you to your griping.

fumblesmcstupid
December 3rd, 2008, 04:39 PM
This is a question about a subject that has been bugging a lot of people lately! If you think that we are griping well, that is your right.

I for one DO see the lack of giving each character something to do. Zalenka didn't say a word in the Shrine, but he was still there in a brief 2 second scene!

Just give them something to do or say! don't exclude a character or favor another!

silvercomet
December 4th, 2008, 01:03 AM
I disagree. I understand that people want to see every character in every ep but that can't be done. In order to develop characters well you need to split them up from time to time.

I don't understand why it should be such a problem. There are many other shows which are able to do a good balance with so many characters. SGA can't even manage the 4 team-members. I'm not against episodes which focus on one or two characters. But SGA isn't a one-man (or one-woman) show. I want to see the others as well. I want to see development and quality, not just an appearance from a character. IMO the writing hasn't done a good balance in season 5. They did this better in other seasons.

Compared with other shows: maybe one reason is, that in SGA a development is too often limited to one episode. That's too much and too focused. After that episode we hardly see something about the development or the effects anymore. In other shows the development happens over a time period (several episodes). I would say with such an approach it would be easier to balance all the characters well and fair.

Lahela
December 4th, 2008, 03:24 AM
Ronon and Teyla have both had their episodes this season and have only had a small number of eps they weren't in. I don't believe that in order to be a good show that every single character must be in every ep as long as their is a good balance and IMO we have just that.


Actually, Ronon is in fewer eps this season than any of his four seasons on the show, apart from S2 which has one fewer but given that he didn't join the cast until episode 3 that's not surprising.

Hardly what I'd call "balance".

FallenAngelII
December 4th, 2008, 09:46 AM
ohhhhhh

like Teyla , Ronon, Zalenka, Lorne and everyone who is NOT....... Keller?
Who is this Lorne you speak of?

Seriously, he's just randomly missing for most of this season.

bluealien
December 4th, 2008, 09:50 AM
Who is this Lorne you speak of?

Seriously, he's just randomly missing for most of this season.

Like Teyla...

jenks
December 4th, 2008, 09:58 AM
Who is this Lorne you speak of?

Seriously, he's just randomly missing for most of this season.

Out of 16 episodes he's been in 5 of them already, he was only in 6 episodes in the whole of season 3.

FallenAngelII
December 4th, 2008, 10:06 AM
Out of 16 episodes he's been in 5 of them already, he was only in 6 episodes in the whole of season 3.
It's not just the amount of episodes, it's his amount of screen time and what he actually gets to do when on-screen. This season, insofar, not much.

Mitchell82
December 4th, 2008, 11:36 AM
I don't understand why it should be such a problem. There are many other shows which are able to do a good balance with so many characters. SGA can't even manage the 4 team-members. I'm not against episodes which focus on one or two characters. But SGA isn't a one-man (or one-woman) show. I want to see the others as well. I want to see development and quality, not just an appearance from a character. IMO the writing hasn't done a good balance in season 5. They did this better in other seasons.
I disagree. They can manage the four team members just fine. We have had many episodes that focus on all the team members and just as many that focus on only a few all of which has been high quality IMO.

Mitchell82
December 4th, 2008, 11:40 AM
This is a question about a subject that has been bugging a lot of people lately! If you think that we are griping well, that is your right.

I for one DO see the lack of giving each character something to do. Zalenka didn't say a word in the Shrine, but he was still there in a brief 2 second scene!

Just give them something to do or say! don't exclude a character or favor another!

I see your point about Zelenka in the Shrine but overall I do not believe they do exclude characters.

FallenAngelII
December 4th, 2008, 11:53 PM
I see your point about Zelenka in the Shrine but overall I do not believe they do exclude characters.
Name three things Lorne has done this season. Explain how Teyla does almost nothing all season except just being there and serving as a plot device whenever her baby's in the limelight.

Explain how Radek can be in so many episodes yet have done so little of note (insofar).

Even when they are including characters, they just have them be wallflowers a lot of the time. Balance is not their forte.

bluealien
December 5th, 2008, 12:37 AM
I disagree. They can manage the four team members just fine. We have had many episodes that focus on all the team members and just as many that focus on only a few all of which has been high quality IMO.

I disagree. Maybe 2 episodes, maximum 3 that managed all 4 team members. That's not what I would call balance out of 22 episodes. The team for me are Ronon/Teyla/John and Rodney and it's now a rarity to see them working together. I don't just mean Teyla getting a couple of meaningless lines or Ronon standing in the background but episodes where they all have to contribute something meaningful. There has been no balance whatsover IMO this season. We have had no consistancy, no character developmemt as I don't call seeing Rodney in another life and death situation as development.

The big highlight of the season was who would Keller choose, I really couldnt care less who she chose or whether she and Rodney have loved each other for a long time.. utter crap. Rodney and Keller have been the only two characters that have had any decent screentime. When Keller is in an episode she has had more more screentime devoted to her that Teyla has and Rodney is pretty much up there front and centre in the majority of eps.. I certaintly cannot say that for Ronon or Teyla.. so again where is the balance.

Keller is not a member of the team but somehow the writers seemed to find more to give her than any other character this season.. except for Rodney and I find that pretty deplorable.

Reiko
December 5th, 2008, 12:54 PM
Besides, they're missing two of their main characters. ;)

(Or for one, most of the time ... but my point stands.)

Mister Oragahn
January 1st, 2009, 04:51 AM
I have accepted this for the last several episodes but at this point I think enough is enough. When was the last time we had an episode with the entire cast of the show in it? Why is this? Are the writers no longer capable of writing episodes with more than half the characters now? It's not even necessary to do this! We didn't need an episode that focused entirely on McKay and Keller. I loved Remnants but it was also a 3 character episode. Which wold have been OK if it wasn't the 6th time it happened this season. Teyla and Ronon feel like they keep disappearing this season. What reason was there for only Sheppard to appear in Whispers? Why couldn't Teyla and Ronon get some more screen time in Inquisition? Why did Teyla get almost nothing in the mid season two partner? This was a bit of a problem before this season too. Why did only McKay and Ronon and Keller appear in Tracker? The fact that McKay has had no less than 3 episodes based around him and a much larger part in the others while Teyla had 1 and a half and cameos is not a good thing. Why would they be doing this? Is writing so many people at the same time too hard now? Do the writers not like the characters to be in a team anymore?

It's bizarre, that as the show nears its end, they're wasting time with such frivolous plots, just to excuse, once again, a forced "containment-plot" context (same as people stuck in quarantine, people stuck in a hole, etc.).

At least season 8 of SG-1, the weakest of the old arc before the Ori, wrapped everything with episodes largely dedicated to the main topics, Goa'uld, Replicators, ascension and so on.

That episode was a total turd anyway. You got a guy frozed to death, and aside from the random dramatic tune, that death didn't count at all.
Once Mc<Snip> found the solution and the princess saved from freezing to death, anything else got erased with a nice touch of happiness and humour.