Today’s archive piece, from the “Time Trap” regular feature of Death Ray 12, sees me take out one of SF TV’s most sacred cows and shoot it in the face with a bolt of critical reason.
I’d been waiting a long time to say what I said here. Lots of people love SG, and so for years I was forced to remain silent (repeatedly demolishing one of the few truly popular SF shows of the time would have alienated a large chunk of the readership). Not lie, you understand, just not scream “Can’t you see how bad it is?” at every opportunity I had. Reviews were one of the rare places I could vent, but these were often given to fans of the show. No one on SFX or Death Ray had much time for it, to be honest.
To save the feelings of these misguided others (not least the SG cast and crew, who were generally very nice people) I tried to be reasonable in this piece, but frankly I thought the entire franchise dreadful television. If I were writing this now for this blog, it would be a lot more ranty, with more swearing. I reckon a large part of its popularity is down to the fact that there was very little SF on telly at the time, or am I being generous?
I like the film though. That counts for something, eh?
1997 saw the beginning of what was to become the longest running SF show besides our own Doctor Who. But it was hardly groundbreaking stuff. Just why was Stargate so popular?
1994, and an SF movie called Stargate hit the screens. Meeting with middling reviews, it made a good return, but sank out of the popular consciousness with rapidity.
Stargate was yet another SF concept that drew inspiration from Von Danniken’s Chariots of the Gods, which suggests aliens were behind many of the ancient world’s technologies. A disgraced archaeologist named Daniel Jackson (James Spader), who regards the pyramids as landing platforms for alien spaceships, is recruited by the US government to help in deciphering the writing on a mysterious artefact found in 1928 in Egypt. He succeeds, and activates a wormhole to the alien world of Abydos. Jackson is sent along on a military expedition led by Colonel O’Neil (Kurt Russell) to Abydos, where an offshoot of the ancient Egyptian civilisation lives, and once there they must do battle with a parasitic alien who is worshipped as the sun god Ra. (more…)