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  1. #1
    Lieutenant General Briangate78's Avatar
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    Default What makes a good episode of SGA?

    After reading this forum, I've been thinking about how some people are Anti-Season 4 and How some people are Pro-Season 4. I was curious to know, what makes a good episode from a bad one? What key details do you look at. Well here is what I look at....

    1. Story

    Is the Story interesting, and if it lacks any flaws. Also, did the writer take the concept of the episode and keep me interested from the first to last scene. Did they add some clever writing like Plot Twists.

    2. Character Interaction/Chemisty/Acting

    Are the characters like wallpaper and 2D or are they more complex and 3D and have a major impact to the story. Myself, I hate it when characters stand there and hardly say anything, sometimes it's ok if things are going well, but take Teal'c in Season 9 of SG-1, he was clearly wallpaper and in the background for a lot of eps. I also like to look at how characters react to eachother and if there is good chemistry. Also, the acting of course. Can the actor make this chemistry and story believable

    3. Episode Genre

    Not sure if Genre is the right word, if there is a better word, please let me know. Anyway, I'm talking about Action, Adventure, Drama, Suspense, Mystery, Thriller, and Comedy. I think the best eps are the ones that have a nice balance of all of these. Some eps may require more action or comedy depending on the story direction.

    Take Adrift for an example, if the Comedy was way over the top, the episode would not have the same effect, and that was Dr. Weir on the verge of death on the operation table. Not a good time to be cracking jokes or having comic relief. One episode to me where comedy killed the suspense and Drama was "Irresponsible" I felt Koyla's apperance was dulled because of Lucious being there. Remember Common Ground? Not too much comic relief there.

    Special Effects

    When the above 3 are good, I like to finally look at the special effects. A reason eps like The Eye, The Hive, The Seige, Adrift, Lifeline, Rising and etc are some of the best to me, is because the producers and writers have managed to capture the first three things I look at, and then added amazing Special effects to top it off.

    So your thoughts about this. Let's see if we can keep it on a SGA season 4 topic to compare eps and notes.
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  2. #2
    Chief Master Sergeant siXbrownSnakes2's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    1. Good use of characters and dialog
    2. No unexplained/stupid decisions (i.e. sheppard kissing alien girl with wraith in ship)
    3. A well thought out ending that isn't predictable from 15 minutes into the episode, isn't convenient (i.e. lifeline) and isn't too fast (which stargate has a bad habit of, sadly)

    As long as the episodes don't have our characters being idiots (allies, travelers) or just overall bad use of the characters (too many to count) or a very very sudden/predictable ending, I usually like it because the writers do a good job of thinking of decent plots. Lifeline -> Tabula Rasa have had great plot ideas, just some of those plots were poorly executed and/or written for their own reasons.

  3. #3
    Lieutenant General Mitchell82's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    1. Plot
    When watching any show the plot is the first thing I look at for problems. Also I take into account what kind of show I'm watching. If for example I was watching, *picking a random show here* NCIS and the plot was like Doppleganger I'd have a huge issue since it doesnt make any sense. Now with a show such as SG-1 or Atlantis I'm all for unbelievable stories as long as the plot makes sense and the reaction to certain circumstances is realistic. IMHO 9/10 they do a superb job and I am willing to overlook minor plotholes. I really can't think of any major one off the top. Sometimes the plot is weak though I can only think of a handfull that were weak but still watchable. (The Tower, Irresistable and Irresponsible) I can't think of one so bad that I can't watch.
    2. Acting,direction
    Acting is the second most important thing to story as is the direction of the episode. The acting is always top notch on Stargate. I have never found an actor to be unbelievable in the role. There are a few (well two) that took me a long time to get used to. Rainbow and Torri. I never really warmed to Ford but eventually warmed to Weir.
    3.Character Interaction
    It's always important to see how the characters interact and do they have chemistry. I've seen several people say Teyla has been underused and I do see that some eps she isn't utilized as much but if the ep doesnt focus on her character then it's fine. A good example would be No Mans Land. She wasn't essential to that story, now Misbegotten she was. Another good example is Adrift and Lifeline she was used but only in instances that made sense. So as long as the reason for the character being in a situation or not is reasonable then it's fine. So far they have done good in this department.
    4. Special Effects
    Not much to say here since the shows are normally good enough on their own the special effects are great so usually icing on the cake.
    Proud Sam/Jack and Daniel/Vala and John/Teyla Shipper!
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  4. #4
    General
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    If it entertains me, it's good.

    Seriously, you guys are totally overthinking it.

  5. #5
    Captain Mattathias2.0's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    I think all episodes are good and have something to offer. There is no single factor, but a conglomeration of factors that make an episode of SGA "good" to me.

  6. #6
    Lieutenant Colonel vaberella's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    Quote Originally Posted by PG15 View Post
    If it entertains me, it's good.

    Seriously, you guys are totally overthinking it.
    Agreed with the above, each episode is subjective to the individual. Many people like one ep and then you speak to another group and they're like, "it's utter crap". So one can't really tell how an ep is going to go and if this is in sync with this and this or that...

    I'd also like to mention in my case, as long as it's not focused on ONE character..."cough"*Travelers*"cough" But showing a team effort, I'm pretty keen on an ep.

  7. #7
    Lieutenant Colonel Platschu's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    - good main story centric, creative story
    - nice character development
    - humor
    - returning characters, races, events, technologies
    - action
    - cool CGI effects
    "I was hoping for another day. Looks like we just got a whole lot more than that. Let's not waste it."

    "Never underestimate your audience. They're generally sensitive, intelligent people who respond positively to quality entertainment."

    "Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today, but the core of science fiction, its essence, has become crucial to our salvation, if we are to be saved at all."


    http://picasaweb.google.com/103478402021017098633

  8. #8
    Major General Reefgirl's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    What makes a good episode

    Good writing
    A decent original plot
    Plenty of action, not just blowing up/shooting stuff
    Team effort, not just Sheppard and team but the whole of Atlantis
    Some character development would be nice

  9. #9
    Lieutenant Colonel AGateFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    *TEAM
    *Team not looking like idiots.
    *Team not looking like the bad guys or just being unlikeable.
    *Being truthful to the science of the Stargate universe.
    *Being truthful to cannon
    *Good writing that builds suspense without needing to fall back on killing characters every other ep.
    *Characterizations and humor that may actually happen in real life not in someones fanfic fantasy world.
    *No soap opera melodrama or over emphasis on love life crp but just some good action adventure with dash of good drama and a dash of humor.

    I thought this weeks ep was a good example. Good team ep. No one looked like idiots just to further the plot. No one looked like dishonorable bad guys. There was a serious situation that had to be resolved (drama), there was some humor but not "slap you over the head" kind.
    Joseph Mallozzi -"In the meantime, I'm into season 5 of OZ (where the show takes an unfortunate hairpin turn into "the not so wonderful world of fantasy")"

    ^^^ Kinda sounds like seasons 9 and 10 of SG-1 to me. Thor, ya got Aspirin?

    AGateFan has officially Gone Fishin (with Jack, Sam, Daniel, Teal'c) and is hoping Atlantis does not take that same hairpin turn.

  10. #10
    Captain Atlantis1's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    Quote Originally Posted by vaberella View Post
    Agreed with the above, each episode is subjective to the individual. Many people like one ep and then you speak to another group and they're like, "it's utter crap". So one can't really tell how an ep is going to go and if this is in sync with this and this or that...

    I'd also like to mention in my case, as long as it's not focused on ONE character..."cough"*Travelers*"cough" But showing a team effort, I'm pretty keen on an ep.

    Aah, you don't like Sheppard...
    "Embress your life, find what it is that you love, and pursue it with all your soul. For if you do not, when you come to die, you will find that you have not lived."

    A character from the novel "Chindi" by Jack McDevitt

    Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.
    'Eleanor Roosevelt'
    Individuality is freedom lived.
    'Janis Joplin'

  11. #11
    Captain Atlantis1's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    Quote Originally Posted by PG15 View Post
    If it entertains me, it's good.

    Seriously, you guys are totally overthinking it.
    I agree.
    "Embress your life, find what it is that you love, and pursue it with all your soul. For if you do not, when you come to die, you will find that you have not lived."

    A character from the novel "Chindi" by Jack McDevitt

    Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.
    'Eleanor Roosevelt'
    Individuality is freedom lived.
    'Janis Joplin'

  12. #12
    Captain hisg1fans's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    For me personally, it is one that keeps me awake

    I'm still not used to the 10pm ET showing. I'm trying though. I'm trying. It was easy to stay awake with Tabula Rasa.

    This is a good question though. It would also be interesting to hear what The Powers That Be think makes a good episode.

  13. #13
    Lieutenant Colonel vaberella's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Atlantis1 View Post
    Aah, you don't like Sheppard...
    ~sigh~ How did I know, someone would say this?! I had the same reaction when I said that about McKay in GUP, and he's my no.1 character. I can't win...I just can't win.

  14. #14
    Colonel ToasterOnFire's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    A whole bunch of things:

    -A story that keeps my interest with enough twists so I don't figure out the ending (for example, I knew what was going to happen with Ronon in Reunion so the ending wasn't surprising). I'm even willing to overlook SG1 "evolved" eps on SGA if the ep is entertaining.

    -TEAM. Utilize as many people as possible and give them productive things to do. Having Teyla say "Rodney, can you explain that technobabble to me?" is not really productive. Having Teyla figure out how to save the day and run off to do so is productive. At the very least, give all 4 team characters something to do instead of sitting around or asking for clarification. Better, involve all 4 members and the side characters such as Zelenka, etc.

    -Mixing up the character combos. The norm is Shep with Rodney and Ronon with Teyla, so it's nice to see Teyla with Rodney or Shep or Ronon with Rodney or Shep.

    -Breaking the characters out of their cliched molds. Showing Shep as someone other than the smug anti-authority hero, Rodney as someone other than a whiny genius, Ronon as someone other than an angry, violent man, Teyla as someone other than the calm leader. It's a fine line between doing this and making the characters OOC, but doing so correctly can help add depth to characters.

    -Continuity. Bringing up a person, place, thing, or event that happened in the past. Even a throwaway statement can be enough. Avoiding the big reset button when it comes to significant events like character loss. Showing people reacting to shocking/depressing events beyond the ep that those events occurred. It shouldn't be angst 24/7, but showing that past events are still affecting the characters makes them more human.

    -Teaching us something new about the characters. It could be past history, family, fears, hopes, likes, dislikes, whatever. Again, even a throwaway statement is something. Don't make me sit through Shep-heavy Travelers only to take nothing new away in regards to Shep's character.

    -Minimizing the times that the characters act stupid. Make the villain outwit the team instead of having the team make dumb decisions (Michael). Minimize the times that a character is the butt of a joke (this is common with Rodney and has gotten old).

    -Smart writing. Don't hold my hand, instead make me think about what's happening to figure out what's going on.

    -CGI is actually not all that vital for me. Sure it's pretty but it's really minor compared to good plot and characters. I thought Tabula Rasa was a great ep and it had minimal CGI. Besides, if I want a "OMG teh awesome CGI!" fix I'll watch BSG's Exodus pt 2.

  15. #15
    Lieutenant Colonel WingedPegasus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    A good, interesting plot that makes you want to watch.

    Well-written dialogue.

    Good usage of all characters.

    Action.

    Humor. (Long live McKay snark!)

    Good special effects are a plus.

    And sometimes whump, but not necessarily in all episodes.
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  16. #16
    Colonel Agent_Dark's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    1. noobs getting pwnt. preferably by carter, but as long as noobs are getting pwnt then it is all good.

  17. #17
    Lieutenant Colonel parisindy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    Quote Originally Posted by ToasterOnFire View Post
    A whole bunch of things:
    For me its characters i love and can relate to and how the characters relate to each other

    ... i will site through a lot of crap stories for the characters i love

    i still of course would prefer good characters and good writing but as long as the characters are there and i get a good story once in a while i'm happy

  18. #18
    Major General Reefgirl's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    Quote Originally Posted by vaberella View Post
    ~sigh~ How did I know, someone would say this?! I had the same reaction when I said that about McKay in GUP, and he's my no.1 character. I can't win...I just can't win.
    Join the club, I don't like him either

  19. #19
    Lieutenant General prion's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    What makes a good episode is very good writing. If the writing sucks, even the best actors or your favorite characters will find it hard to save. Witness "Irresponsible," with Lucius. Probably the most detested SGA episode, I think.

    Believable plots, continuity (yes, please, continuity - hate it when they change their minds halfway through a season), good acting/character development/interaction.

  20. #20
    Lieutenant Colonel parisindy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a good episode of SGA?

    Quote Originally Posted by prion View Post
    What makes a good episode is very good writing. If the writing sucks, even the best actors or your favorite characters will find it hard to save. Witness "Irresponsible," with Lucius. Probably the most detested SGA episode, I think.

    Believable plots, continuity (yes, please, continuity - hate it when they change their minds halfway through a season), good acting/character development/interaction.
    see of course those were not my fav episodes but i could tolerate them
    cause of the team... destroy the team and well ...nuff said

    edited to say: i've been thinking..it could also be argued that good writing makes good characters in the first place....

    perhaps the question should be what makes good writing?

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