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k1037
April 15th, 2011, 09:49 PM
This issue has been discussed in depth, but in my mind, the three main reasons for SGU's lack of success (referring to the ratings/cancellation - I am a huge fan) haven't been touched on enough.

1. Stargate: Universe should never have been Stargate: Universe.

When you change direction as SGU did, you have to make an active effort to ease fan expectations while also signaling to non-viewers that they should take another look. Despite being very different from the two previous series, it was never truly marketed as such. So non-viewers thought, "ugh, it's Stargate," while some existing fans were thinking, "ugh, it's not Stargate." That's the absolute worst possible result - gaining few new viewers while you prune existing viewers based on tastes.

The show should simply have been called "Destiny" and marketed as set in the Stargate universe but not a direct continuation of it.

2. The writers were not bold enough.

I know that some have lamented SGU as being *too* different, but that was largely because of #1. The truth is that SGU didn't go far enough. If you want to take an idea in a new direction, do it! Don't put a crew on an Ancient ship when that aspect of SG lore has lost much of its appeal through overuse and consistently unflattering portrayals.

Instead of having been built by the Ancients, why couldn't Destiny have been *discovered* by the Ancients as it passed by Earth on its current mission? During this flyby, they saw that Destiny was conducting extensive scans of the background radiation (which led them to discover the same structure), and also that the ship had relatively similar Stargate tech. Instant travel throughout the universe is a pretty big deal - if the universe is populated by advanced races of beings, you'd figure that *someone* else would have had the same idea (much like FTL/hyperspace tech seems to be prevalent). Seeing that other forms of Stargates existed, the ancients always built theirs with a ninth Chevron (which functions as a programmable modifier to make wormholes compatible with alien Stargate tech). Ascension and so on got in the way and they never figured out how Destiny's gate worked (cue Rush/Eli).

Season 1's character building could then have been woven together with story threads regarding Destiny's mystery builders, brand new lore and radically new technology. It would have been similar to early SG-1, which didn't feature particularly fast-paced or consistently high-quality episodes, but all of the interesting new concepts and technology helped steady the show until it picked up steam. The first two or three seasons of Atlantis also had this appeal.

Among other benefits, you'd also lessen the amount of information (about the ancients/existing SG lore) new viewers would need to get into the show, be free of the current "older-than-Atlantis" technology constraints, and otherwise open up incredible potential without any changes to the core storyline.

To be even bolder, cut off Destiny from Earth entirely, ditch the stones, and increase the size of the ship/crew (to allow for guest appearances by characters like Amanda Perry, who was loved more because of the way the actress portrayed her than the stone aspect of her storyline).

3. "SyFy Original Series" is a badge of shame.

Would you approach a channel named "Funtysy" to produce a mini-series based on a fantasy book?

What exactly did SyFy have going for it, other than having aired 1.5 (SGA and half of SG-1) other SG shows? The channel is frequented most often by people who are largely outside of SG's target audience (the Ghost Hunters, cheesy horror movie, and WWE crowds) and the very name of the channel reveals a distaste for the show's genre.

Showtime, HBO, various cable TV stations - just about any other station would have made more of an effort to keep the show alive. Season 2 was considerably better than Season 1 (which I also enjoyed, but had quite a few lows), so why didn't SyFy air one of those dirt-cheap half-hour "the story so far" specials to try and generate interest leading up to S2? Optimally paired with marathons of episodes like Time, Space, and Lost which had wide appeal. Too many cheesy movies to showcase for the Golden Raspberries?

Egle01
April 16th, 2011, 05:35 AM
We all have our ideas and thoughts about what factors lead to SGU's cancellation. I, personally, believe it was combo of many things.

General Jumper One
April 16th, 2011, 06:09 AM
I probably wouldn't have watched it if it DIDN'T have Stargate attached to it.

Egle01
April 16th, 2011, 07:33 AM
I probably wouldn't have watched it if it DIDN'T have Stargate attached to it.If I had stumbled upon good trailer(s) online, then would've checked it out. :) Stargate or not.

major davis
April 16th, 2011, 11:07 AM
I agree partially,

I would have preferred to have it on another channel. Syfy was very excited about having shows like SGU on their channel. They made a big commitment, and then when it started to fail (season 1.5, 2.0) they scrapped that idea stat.

Python
April 16th, 2011, 12:27 PM
I think a better question is why the entire Stargate franchise imploded. In a few short years you saw the cancellation of SG1, then SGA, then the floundering of SGU. 11 seasons is incredibly good but SG1 could have been going even now, and even if it wasn't, certainly SGA. But the entire franchise just collapsed.

These are the kinds of shows people watch regardless of whether they're good or not. I think SGU sucks but I've seen every episode on average of maybe three times, because it's space-themed sci-fi with issues that serve as a seed to stimulate my imagination.

Once SGU's gone, there won't be *anything* set in outer space until the next BSG, which is itself the third attempt at a floundering franchise.

So there's the larger question about space-themed sci-fi. There was a time when three or four shows were going, like Andromeda and Farscape. What happened?

We didn't all become pirates, did we? Was it maybe BSG that sort of ruined everything, making us think the only good shows had to be all grim, violent, and serious. Or was it space? Did we develop the impression that space was not filled with as much wonder as it was before? That it wouldn't have any heroes?

I mean, we're looking at nothing on the horizon. Who gets excited by the words "Blood and Chrome" or "Falling Skies?" Yeah, that sounds like fun. :(

FrodoFraggins
April 16th, 2011, 12:43 PM
I wasn't watching SyFy when trailers for SG:U were airing. But the footage I saw online was clearly Stargate meets BSG in tone. I simply didn't think the SG writers could pull it off as they seemed to be phoning it in for most of SG:Atlantis and the end of SG-1.

meo3000
April 16th, 2011, 01:01 PM
I'll told you what happened... people started believing that singing, dancing, whatching morons in general was more interesting than dreaming. Thats what killed quality TV, all across the board. All reality TV should be banned for the sake of our evolution.

Calluna
April 16th, 2011, 02:47 PM
I think a better question is why the entire Stargate franchise imploded. In a few short years you saw the cancellation of SG1, then SGA, then the floundering of SGU. 11 seasons is incredibly good but SG1 could have been going even now, and even if it wasn't, certainly SGA. But the entire franchise just collapsed.


I don't think there's any weird reason SG1 got cancelled. 10 years is a hell of a long time and it was expensive for the network compared to S10's ratings. They'd also been through a lot of casting changes which didn't help. Creatively I think it was also past its best although I think they could have squeezed an S11, but not more. The DVD movies were successful but the economic downturn and MGM's bankcruptcy ended more of those.

With SGA the ratings justified another season and we've since heard that Syfy wanted one but MGM/Producers didn;t want two shows and wanted to concentrate on SGU. Creatively on SGA I think they just got very lazy several seasons earlier and just kept recycling plots.

SGU well, I really don;t know. I think there's some merit to the idea that it would have been better off in many ways if it hadn't been Stargate, especially since they only use the thing once every few episodes. OTOH I can see why they did and I don't blame the producers for wanting to try something different, it's understandable after so long, I just don't think they did it very well most of the time. The blatant BSG envy didn't help.


Showtime, HBO, various cable TV stations - just about any other station would have made more of an effort to keep the show alive

I doubt it. Yes "Syfy original show" isn't exactly a prestigious title, but it's what they had and it kept Stargate alive since 2002, it's what brought Stargate its best ratings. The other channels you mentioned well who knows? They might have brought more attention to it (although I think Syfy put a lot of effort into promoting S1) but they also have more irons in the fire than Syfy. Stargate was one of Skiffy/syfy's biggest money spinners they had a vested interest in SGU succeeding, whatever you think. On HBO or USA or Showtime it would have to compete with many more shows for attention, e.g. All HBO care about at the moment are True Blood and Game of Thrones, anything else is 2nd tier.

morrismike
April 16th, 2011, 04:44 PM
Let's not kid ourselves. Apart from increasing salaries making the shows not practical, SG1 and SGA would still be on and doing very well.

I saw a couple of problems with SGU from the start. There are good things but here is what chased off the SG fan and female viewers:

Sex (straight and gay) - yawn, I'll watch a soap for that crap

love triangles - yawn I'll watch 90210 or dawsons creek for that crap

sociopathic scientist risking the lives of the crew each episode - why would I want to watch that?

a 38 DDDD special forces gal walking around the ship in a tshirt - really? I think a plain gal would have been more appropriate

a 22 year old master sgt - really??? with just a touch of grey (turning more grey as time went on) that actor could pass for 35-40 easy

military acting incompetent at every single opportunity - really?

completely unreaslistic negative interaction between civilians and military - anyone ever deployed with civilians knows this is bogus

blackluster
April 16th, 2011, 07:08 PM
Let's not kid ourselves. Apart from increasing salaries making the shows not practical, SG1 and SGA would still be on and doing very well.
lol wut?


Sex (straight and gay) - yawn, I'll watch a soap for that crap
Humans stop having sex in sci-fi settings?


love triangles - yawn I'll watch 90210 or dawsons creek for that crap
Humans stop falling in love in sci-fi settings?


sociopathic scientist risking the lives of the crew each episode - why would I want to watch that?Why wouldn't you want to watch that?


a 38 DDDD special forces gal walking around the ship in a tshirt - really? I think a plain gal would have been more appropriate
Women with large breasts offend you? That is rather prejudiced.


a 22 year old master sgt - really??? with just a touch of grey (turning more grey as time went on) that actor could pass for 35-40 easy

Seems like nitpicking to be honest. The actor's work offended you in some way perhaps?


military acting incompetent at every single opportunity - really?
Seems like a bizarre generalization to make.


completely unrealistic negative interaction between civilians and military - anyone ever deployed with civilians knows this is bogus Seems narrow minded given the circumstances those people found themselves in.

I'd be rather disappointed if the above mentioned reasons were seriously the primary cause for the general dislike in the show. It seems a bit frivolous.

morrismike
April 16th, 2011, 07:20 PM
lol wut?


Humans stop having sex in sci-fi settings?


Humans stop falling in love in sci-fi settings?

Why wouldn't you want to watch that?


Women with large breasts offend you? That is rather prejudiced.


Seems like nitpicking to be honest. The actor's work offended you in some way perhaps?


Seems like a bizarre generalization to make.

Seems narrow minded given the circumstances those people found themselves in.

I'd be rather disappointed if the above mentioned reasons were seriously the primary cause for the general dislike in the show. It seems a bit frivolous.

What offends me is TPTB decided to tank our franchise.

If a person can't watch the show they'll switch channels. There is nothing frivilous about that. I am glad you responded, it makes my point.

D Toccs
April 16th, 2011, 07:41 PM
People who say that SG1 or SGA could still be on and doing well are fooling themselves.
I love both shows, but the fact is that no show no matter what it is can remain fresh forever.
SG1 is currently the longest running scifi show in history with 10 seasons, before that is was X-Files with 9 seasons. Everybody will agree that the last few seasons of X-Files and SG1 were not anywhere near as good as the earlier seasons. There is only so long you can run with any concept before it begins growing stale.

BSG was an awesome show and the darker tone and serialized format worked really well for it. It was only natural given it's huge success that it would spawn imitators and influence the genre.
SGU is definatley heavily influenced by BSG's style. The problem with trying to combine Stagate and BSG was that it took time for them to find a good balance. Anybody who watches SGU season 2 can see that it has got that classic Stargate feel to it.

It's like when Lost came out and was a huge success, which inspired a string of shows that attempted to copy it's style and all failed.
BSG was great, because it was built from the ground up to be what it was. SGU was designed to be a hybridization of the Stargate franchise with the BSG style, unfortunately it took them a full season to find their footing. In TV land, you just don't have that kind of luxury.

jelgate
April 16th, 2011, 07:54 PM
People who say that SG1 or SGA could still be on and doing well are fooling themselves.
I love both shows, but the fact is that no show no matter what it is can remain fresh forever.
SG1 is currently the longest running scifi show in history with 10 seasons, before that is was X-Files with 9 seasons. Everybody will agree that the last few seasons of X-Files and SG1 were not anywhere near as good as the earlier seasons. There is only so long you can run with any concept before it begins growing stale.

BSG was an awesome show and the darker tone and serialized format worked really well for it. It was only natural given it's huge success that it would spawn imitators and influence the genre.
SGU is definatley heavily influenced by BSG's style. The problem with trying to combine Stagate and BSG was that it took time for them to find a good balance. Anybody who watches SGU season 2 can see that it has got that classic Stargate feel to it.

It's like when Lost came out and was a huge success, which inspired a string of shows that attempted to copy it's style and all failed.
BSG was great, because it was built from the ground up to be what it was. SGU was designed to be a hybridization of the Stargate franchise with the BSG style, unfortunately it took them a full season to find their footing. In TV land, you just don't have that kind of luxury.

No were won't. I for one thought the Ori years were better than the years where RDA was barely there.

magictrick
April 16th, 2011, 08:02 PM
Excellent points made. I think a combination of those three things along with a few others did lead to the demise of the show.

MattSilver 3k
April 16th, 2011, 08:09 PM
Agreed with points two and three. I think it still works well to be called Stargate Universe and be a part of that mythos and world, but the writing team should've really pruned a few who were still stuck in SG1/SGA days, stuck to their guns about the character drama and went bolder and better. Still love the show, but it could've been better, and thus, longer.

blackluster
April 16th, 2011, 09:01 PM
If a person can't watch the show they'll switch channels. There is nothing frivilous about that. I am glad you responded, it makes my point. What was your point?

Egle01
April 16th, 2011, 11:07 PM
What offends me is TPTB decided to tank our franchise.Suuure. :lol:

sholva1
April 17th, 2011, 12:29 AM
i believe the show would have been better if they weren't on the other side of the universe but a few galaxies away, stranded, with no contact with earth, on the ship, encountering alien races and civilizations, being hunted etc that would be exciting

KEK
April 17th, 2011, 12:36 AM
"our"

:lol:

Egle01
April 17th, 2011, 12:51 AM
"our"

:lol:One sentence, and there are three things about it that make me laugh out loud.

thekillman
April 17th, 2011, 12:59 AM
completely unrealistic negative interaction between civilians and military - anyone ever deployed with civilians knows this is bogus

notification:

there was a study where random people were put in a closed environment. half them got the guardian role, the other half the prisoner role.


it took them about 3 days before the guards started abusing the prisoners and started to behave exactly as their roles.

my point? same case in SGU. the military are the guards, in case you didn't notice. they feel like they are obligued to protect. even if that means enforcing their power.


you can call it bogus. well, in normal circumstances it would be.

look at what BSG did. you do realize the entire Galactica fleet was controlled by 2 people who pretty much had absolute power and all the power to remain in power?

Lainier
April 17th, 2011, 02:43 AM
I for one thought the Ori years were better than the years where RDA was barely there.
Me too :D

Jes
April 17th, 2011, 05:02 AM
People who say that SG1 or SGA could still be on and doing well are fooling themselves.
I love both shows, but the fact is that no show no matter what it is can remain fresh forever.
SG1 is currently the longest running scifi show in history with 10 seasons, before that is was X-Files with 9 seasons. Everybody will agree that the last few seasons of X-Files and SG1 were not anywhere near as good as the earlier seasons. There is only so long you can run with any concept before it begins growing stale.

You can continue if you change of the cast at times and change up the creative team at times.

The final years of X-files might have been better if they would have wrapped up Mulder's mythology and started a fresh mythology with two new agents, maybe moving Scully to being the Lab/Skinner's desk. For SG-1, instead of having the same writers come up with yet another round of new material, have some fresh writers come in and take the new story over. Likely the new writers could be brought in at a lower salary than the current vets.


BSG was an awesome show and the darker tone and serialized format worked really well for it. It was only natural given it's huge success that it would spawn imitators and influence the genre.
SGU is definatley heavily influenced by BSG's style. The problem with trying to combine Stagate and BSG was that it took time for them to find a good balance. Anybody who watches SGU season 2 can see that it has got that classic Stargate feel to it.

It's like when Lost came out and was a huge success, which inspired a string of shows that attempted to copy it's style and all failed.
BSG was great, because it was built from the ground up to be what it was. SGU was designed to be a hybridization of the Stargate franchise with the BSG style, unfortunately it took them a full season to find their footing. In TV land, you just don't have that kind of luxury.

Don't forget that both BSG and Lost both had their moments of ratings crisis. And if I remember correctly at one point Lost replaced some or most of the creative team, but that had been after I stopped watching the show so I might be mistaken. BSG never took off with me.

Jes
April 17th, 2011, 05:26 AM
notification:

there was a study where random people were put in a closed environment. half them got the guardian role, the other half the prisoner role.


it took them about 3 days before the guards started abusing the prisoners and started to behave exactly as their roles.

my point? same case in SGU. the military are the guards, in case you didn't notice. they feel like they are obligued to protect. even if that means enforcing their power.


you can call it bogus. well, in normal circumstances it would be.

look at what BSG did. you do realize the entire Galactica fleet was controlled by 2 people who pretty much had absolute power and all the power to remain in power?

Now I have no great knowledge of BSG, but I did watch the "coup" episode and if I recall it occurred in season 3 or 4? If I am not mistaken it was after the Baltar presidency, so one of those two had already been removed from power once? The thing I didn't like about the SGU "coup" was it occurred after a dozen episodes and there was no attempt to address concerns with either SGC or the IOA despite having regular contact with them via the stones.

morrismike
April 17th, 2011, 08:24 AM
People who say that SG1 or SGA could still be on and doing well are fooling themselves.
I love both shows, but the fact is that no show no matter what it is can remain fresh forever.
SG1 is currently the longest running scifi show in history with 10 seasons, before that is was X-Files with 9 seasons. Everybody will agree that the last few seasons of X-Files and SG1 were not anywhere near as good as the earlier seasons. There is only so long you can run with any concept before it begins growing stale.

BSG was an awesome show and the darker tone and serialized format worked really well for it. It was only natural given it's huge success that it would spawn imitators and influence the genre.
SGU is definatley heavily influenced by BSG's style. The problem with trying to combine Stagate and BSG was that it took time for them to find a good balance. Anybody who watches SGU season 2 can see that it has got that classic Stargate feel to it.

It's like when Lost came out and was a huge success, which inspired a string of shows that attempted to copy it's style and all failed.
BSG was great, because it was built from the ground up to be what it was. SGU was designed to be a hybridization of the Stargate franchise with the BSG style, unfortunately it took them a full season to find their footing. In TV land, you just don't have that kind of luxury.

sg1 or sga reruns are still very popular
sg1 and sga would be at least 75% ratings than SGU and these leading into SGU would result in SGU still being on.

morrismike
April 17th, 2011, 08:28 AM
What was your point?
That TPTB implemented many changes without even bothering to worry about what the impact on the fanbase would be.

thekillman
April 17th, 2011, 08:42 AM
If I am not mistaken it was after the Baltar presidency, so one of those two had already been removed from power once?

Baltar only won because he chose to colonize the planet and Roslin didn't want to. and FYI, the latter was right. furthermore, she had almost forced the election but one crewmember found out. Roslin and Adama chose to stop the forgery and just let baltar be president since they didn't think highly of him.
<snip>

Skydiver
April 17th, 2011, 10:01 AM
If you can't play nice, then you don't need to play here at all. If your only contribution is to snark at another member, take a break. Or we'll make you take a break

TheRandomOne
April 17th, 2011, 11:59 AM
TPTB are the ones at fault here. You want to keep your job ? You cater to the fans & people watching the show. They told people to stop watching if they did not like it & that is what the viewers did. Big fan boy shows like Stargate needs to cater to its fans & not have a my way or the hghway attitude that TPTB had. I am not saying do everything the fans said but they changed everything & when people questioned them they said don't like it don't watch it. TPTB are the ones to blame here & Stargate needs new blood

JohnDuh
April 17th, 2011, 12:57 PM
I and a group of others saw an episode a few weeks back, and there were actual laughs in the episode - the consensus of everyone was: What took them so long.

Had it had more laughs, and more likeable people from the start it would have worked a lot better.
(And before people start with "it was realistic" - note this: Realism is that nobody wants to hang out with people they don't like)

FrodoFraggins
April 17th, 2011, 02:57 PM
Don't forget that both BSG and Lost both had their moments of ratings crisis. And if I remember correctly at one point Lost replaced some or most of the creative team, but that had been after I stopped watching the show so I might be mistaken. BSG never took off with me.

Lost never had a ratings crisis, they had a crisis with critics and decided to announce an end date to the show so the show didn't just meander along like it seemed to in Season 2. JJ Abrams just helped with the pilot and a few other episodes. Damon Lindelof was mainly in charge of the show starting with cowriting the Pilot. He brought in Carlton Cuse to help him. Some of the staff writers moved on to other shows as their status was rising.