SciFi Now Implores “Atlantis” Fans to “Stop Punishing ‘SGU’”

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SciFi Now columnist James Rundle has a new editorial, asking fans of Stargate: Atlantis to stop punishing Stargate Universe.

Here’s a sample of what he asks:

In the wake of Caprica’s cancellation, eyes are turning nervously towards Stargate Universe. The show’s ratings have plummeted this season, with many fearing that it may be next on the chopping block if things don’t improve soon.

There are many factors in this, of course. MGM’s ongoing troubles spark debate on what the status of the show is, exactly, and the move to Tuesday nights appears to have done it far more harm than good, despite initial optimism on the part of the cast. “I think that’ll help,” Alaina Huffman told me in May 2010, when discussing the move. “Yeah, we’re talking about expanding our audience, and Tuesday night isn’t a night where everyone’s out and DVRing – is that what it is? DVRing shows,” added her co-star, Jamil Walker Smith.

And then….

Now, of course, the effect of fan refusal to come on board has been felt, expressed most candidly by Huffman in a recent interview with SciFiNow. “A lot of people, I think, didn’t want to like it because they wanted Atlantis,” she said. “I’ve done a lot of conventions now and I love them. I love, love, love meeting the fans, and what I hear from a lot of them is they almost feel like they’re cheating on Atlantis by liking us. I know all the people from Atlantis. They’re all doing their own thing and they’re all happy for us. I feel like I want people to understand that if we get canceled it won’t bring Atlantis back. I kind of wish people would get that and I wish people would understand that we didn’t cancel it.”

Amen. I concur with just about everything he says in the editorial.

Read the full editorial HERE

Comments

  1. Shadow The Blade says:

    I love everything SG but also fear for its demise. Caprica was great and I’ll miss it dearly and truly thought SGU would go before Caprica.

    I hope SGU is around for many years and that Atlantas get a chance at a movie, I miss them.

    Syfi-get rid of wrestling and your reality show’s and the fans will return! Until then, it’s DVR everything Syfy because the channel isn’t worth watching and the commercials are just depressing with nothing to look foreword to.

  2. While SGU doesn’t have that “something” that I loved in the older SG shows, it is a pretty good show in its own right. It is darker, harder-edged, and has a tone more akin to new BSG than SG1. While I prefer shows that are more fun and exciting than moody and stressful, I do still like the story, and hope that SGU can find its legs on Tuesdays.

    I wish that they would lose the really loud music montage at the end – it is getting to be too formulaic and predictable, and the volume jump is massively annoying. I’d rather see more story and characters and less “angsty” camera shots. And the story really needs to get going somewhere!

  3. yeah all you Atlantis fans, Don’t Be Hatin’
    !

  4. I really like it. I liked the whole idea from the beginning, and now the show has developed and is started to meet what I liked in the ideas.
    The execution is getting there, and better all the time.

  5. It’s BSG in the SG verse. I like it. It’s not SG-1 (Star Trek in another time and place) but it is pretty damn good programming.

  6. How could SGA fans be punishing SGU? According to Wright, there were never enough of them to count economically.

    Furthermore, SGA fans did in fact give SGU a try. They simply did not like what they saw. SGU has all the many faults that all of the Stargate series have had but without the redeeming qualities (humor, friendship, team as family) that SG1 and SGA had.

    I’m still watching SGU, for all that it irritates and angers me more than entertains me. But when, yet again, the fans get blamed for the failings of the writers/producers it becomes a real challenge to give a damn about the show.

  7. SGU is a great show…the only show on TV that I watch regularly every week. I would hate to see it cancelled. If Atlantis fans are really not watching because they feel like they are cheating they are just being stupid. Better to have SGU on the air than no Stargate at all. I agree with Sam though it is more like BSG than the other SG series…maybe the producers should implore more BSG fans to watch.

  8. I agree with Calysta Rose. There is not one single person in SGU who is likable. I understand wanting to make the show edgy and dark and all that but its like tuning in to watch a depressing show every damn week.

    I still continue to DVR the show weekly because … there’s nothing better Scifi wise right now. But if the entire ship exploded tomorrow, I don’t think I’d give a damn. And that’s the fault of the writer’s/directors. They made sure that viewers can’t relate or connect with anyone on that ship.

    As of right now, the only person I “might” connect with is the Lucian Alliance guy who likes TJ. But I’m sure he’ll either be ignored or made untrustworthy in some way.

  9. GamerFromJump says:

    I gave up on SGU in season one for the same reason I gave up on Lost in Season 3. I got sick of all the major players acting like freaking sociopaths! Eli was the only one I actually liked, and Rush should’ve been spaced 5 episodes in. Robert Picardo’s Woolsey from the IOA was tolerable on SGA because he was a decent person, while Wen Ming-na’s Wray…isn’t. Which is too bad, because I liked Wen on ER.

    I may Netflix the DVD’s just to see what I’ve missed, but it will take something really good to wash the initial bad taste out of my mouth.

  10. B Awesome says:

    The show sucks. It’s boring, no humor and it’s so far down from where SG1 and Atlantis were that it’s a stupid to have Stargate in the title. The cancelled the two best shows they’ve ever had and replaced them with garbage like Caprica and SG Universe.

  11. Right on!

    I have watched the Stargate franchise from the very first episode. I watched the series premiere of SG-1 all those years ago on Showtime, and paid for Showtime after my parents were going to cancel it ( I was in High School at the time). I point this out, because on many forums, when I express how awesome SGU is, I get labeled as “not a real fan”.

    SGU saved the franchise from the creative pits. SG-1 was a complete piece of garbage when Seasons 9 and 10 rolled around. Seasons 7 and 8 weren’t that good overall either. Starting in Season 7, the writers kept on relying on Deus ex Machina to save the day. Starting midway through Season 6, Earth became way too powerful technologically. By the time Atlantis came around, it was just completely ridiculous. Connecting a Dell laptop to a completely alien computer system without any difficulty? That is garbage. Atlantis started out with really cool and unique aliens, but then started recycling the Replicators, after they were supposedly defeated in season 8 of SG-1. They couldn’t even come up with great, new villains anymore. The best they could come up with was evil Asgard 8-| .

    SGU is in a way, the most similar to the arly years of SG-1 than the later seasons of SG-1, and Atlantis was. The big theme of the show was “ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances”. By the time Season 7 of SG-1 rolled out, it became too Star Wars like. While the tone is obviously much darker, and more mature, the theme is similar. These are ordinary people thrown into an extraordinary situation they are not prepared for. I haven’t seen that on Stargate since Season 6 of SG-1. This is why I love SGU.

  12. Two things I think have happened here, one is that by the time that SGA ended the challenges for the characters weren’t what they used to be. Basically, all the allies they had met and all the technological advances made it a little to easy. I don’t begrudge those developments but they made the challenges to the characters in the universe a little too easy.

    Secondly I think this compliments the first point, by the time SGA ended fandom found it’s self in a safe and comfortable place. Was this complacency, I don’t know but I think when SGU came a long it was a bit of a culture shock kind of thing. The safe and familiar universe of SG1 and SGA was gone and what we now had was something much more difficult for the characters.

    I think that after SGA Stargate needed something like SGU to show us that the characters wouldn’t get out of every situation with an Asgard transporter, effecient hyper-drive engines or the full resources of earth. With the exception of the communication of stones the people on The Destiny are litterally on their own and their journey is not going to be an easy one.

    Basically, I think viewers need to stop pineing away for the days of SG1 and SGA, they are gone. We now have a good series that has dared to push Stargate into a far more challengeing realm of action and adventure. Personally, the franchise needed this change before it got too stale. Maybe if Star Trek had followed in the steps of DS9 the franchise would be in far better shape.

    -Jayson

  13. Yeah, actually, we’re not hating SG:U because it isn’t SG:A, we’re hating SG:U because it’s boring. A whole bunch of unsympathetic characters doing boring things.

  14. I think the show would have better ratings on Friday. I for one DVR the show and watch it on Fridays in place of the SYFY Fights. I really wish SYFY would turn into a network for Sci-Fi fans. Instead of the strange Saturday movies put the money into shows we would love to watch. How about A Quantum Leap Mini Series or a DS9 Mini series. Even shows like Heroes that wanted a wrap up movie should be able to go to Sci-fi. Frankly I would be happy with an SG1 or Atlantis movie as well as a new Farscape miniseries. I think almost any of the above would generate good ratings, great press and future DVD/Blu-ray sales. Even a show like Journyman or Pushing Daisys would have been great for SYFY to get behind. I wish they would take the money for 2 or 3 of the poor Saturday movies and do just one of the above ideas.

    Having said all the above I do love Stargate Universe but I can not watch it on Tuesday. In this day and age it is time to factor in DVR and download numbers. I am sure Stargate Universe’s numbers would be much higher if they were counted.

    Rocco

  15. Perhaps if Mr. Wright and Mr. Malozzi would stop worrying about the fans and concentrate on their writing, there wouldn’t be a problem. If the show is good enough to stand on it’s own merit, then it will. Why try to blame the fans? No, I don’t watch SGU. It does not interest me. I know people who have tried to watch it. Tried to like it and they don’t. And NO, I am not a SGA fan. I do like SG1, but it is done and gone. Not holding grudges.

    Another problem just might SyFy. Do they actually still run SciFi shows? I rarely watch Siffy anymore due to their lack of SciFi programming.

    Until the producers of SGU stop whining, SyFy starts counting DVR numbers and get off the “must watch it live” thing, the numbers aren’t going to improve.

    Virginia

  16. R.E.Moore says:

    They should just rename it “Stargate:Galactica” because that’s all it is. It dosen’t resemble anything in the Stargate universe, but it does remind me an awful lot of BSG

  17. I disagree, “R.E. Moore”

    SGU is the more similar to the early seasons of SG-1 (Seasons 1-6), then later SG-1 seasons (Seasons 7-10), and SGA.

  18. SGU has two good traits or characters. Rush and the ship. The rest is pure garbage. Atlantis is even worse. I’ll take SGU over SGA any day.

  19. Shadoglare says:

    Actually I think people not getting on board wit SGU has much more to do with it being a huge snooze-fest than it does with people missing SGA.

  20. VyseN1, you’re missing the whole point. You points of SGU being about humans trying to survive make it a good premise BUT the reason people dislike/hate SGU is because not a single person is likable, character wise.

    Shows like Eureka, SG1, SGA, all did/are doing well because the characters were people we wanted to watch. The only person in SGU I don’t want to shoot is Eli, him I want to slap and say wake up and grow a pair.

    Even BSG while depressing, had characters you rooted for. SGU is just plain depressing to watch.

  21. emyln, I respectfully disagree.

    I like the characters on SGU a lot, the only one I didn’t like was Chloe during season 1, but now she is interesting with what’s going on with her. These are more complex, three dimensional characters. The characters are much more realistic than SG-1′s. They have actual faults that manifest themselves under these dire circumstances, and that is part of the reason I love the show so much.

    Let’s see, with SG-1, General Hammond is your typical, stoic, wise leader. Jack is the great team leader, but impatient, doesn’t understand science and ancient cultures. Teal’c is the fish out of the water, always not getting human references. Daniel is the geek. Carter is the scientist/soldier, but doesn’t know how to create a life outside of work. On Atlantis, the characters were the same as SG-1′s for the most part, they just switched around some of the idiosyncrasies.

    If you like boring, stereotypical characters, go watch the turds that are seasons 9 & 10 of SG-1. That was the absolute low point in the Stargate franchise.

  22. Varley Volpo says:

    I stopped watching three episodes before the end of the first season. There was nothing but angst and foreboding. I get enough of that from the daily news. As a reflection of our time I’d say I’m much more interested in progress not polarization.

    Oh yea, nothing ever happens…

  23. I like the series (more this season than last season, definitely), but even if its track record continues the way it has, I’ll still enjoy watching “SG-1″ and “Atlantis” more.

  24. Perhaps they should rename it Stargate: Entitlement, because that’s how Brad Wright is acting, like he’s entitled to the viewership, even if he puts out a product that isn’t wanted.

    Loved the previous 2 incarnations of Stargate, but this one is badly acted, written and lighted. Many others agreed, because over 2 million tuned in for the premier and less than 1 million are now left watching live during some weeks this season. I highly doubt rampaging SGA/SG1 fans ripped the cable out of people’s walls and cut off access to SGU. The people who watched it just didn’t like it enough to continue. How difficult is that to process?

  25. Read any forum you want. People aren’t watching SGU because it’s boring and the characters are useless and dull. It’s that simple. Only the fanboys, blinded by the propaganda spoonfed to them by TPTB, think that SGA fans are to blame for SGU’s utter failure.

    TPTB know that SGU is going to be canceled and now they are blaming everyone but themselves. I won’t shed any tears when they are out of a job.

  26. Go to any message board out there and you’ll find there’s an immense adverse fan reaction to it. Like I say, isn’t it odd that the most expensive stargate episodes ever made are capturing the lowest audiences? And Nielson boxes don’t care if you sleep thru them like I did.

  27. Karma Bites says:

    Producers and fans of SGU need to stop blaming everybody/everything else for it’s imminent failure. It’s so pathetic.

  28. VyseN1: “That was the absolute low point in the Stargate franchise”. What may or may not be the “Low Point” is subjective. Viewership numbers dictate otherwise, with the last few episodes garnering sub-million viewers, making SGU the lowest in the entire franchise?

  29. ViseN1
    SGU is like SG1? In what universe? Sorry, right now I rewatch SG1 but found there nothing so boring and without any reason like there is always in SGU.

  30. David hill says:

    American audiences don’t like change. It’s that simple.

  31. I was a HUGE critic of SGU when it came out. I hated Rush with a passion, and I felt there wasn’t enough “sci-fi” to the show to keep my interested. But I stuck with it, and at this point I don’t regret it.

    I think the writers are saving the show with the latest revelation as to the True mission of Destiny. Now its a show I won’t want to miss. (And I assume one that will be canceled now that they hooked me.)

    Though the writers do seem hell bent on having a hateable character on the show. I think its an omen that the actor that played the villian that brought Heroes to its demise, is now about to become a major enemy of fans pulling for Eli. I don’t get that coming story arc at all.

    The writers seem desperate to explore the dark side of humanity to a fault. I think there is too much emphasis on this, and not enough on humanities greatness. I also think its a major reason why this show is not as popular. Yes, fan tastes have evolved since The Next Generation, but at the core, Sci-fi fans want to see humans prevail- morally and socially. They want to see positive evolution. TNG was a huge success because regardless of how ‘realistic’ it may be, it painted the future brightly, and positively. It gave us all hope and faith that humans can be something more. Sci-fi today wants to be realistic, and paint the story of what would REALLY happen. Who wants to escape INTO reality? Not most Sci-fi fans. Those are the 2 million viewers you are missing, SGU… And Caprica for that matter. Cheese sells, because its fattening for the soul.

  32. @VyseN1 People don’t want Realistic characters. People want to be entertained. They want to FEEL GOOD. They want their Sci-fi to treat them like an opiate.

    Sure, Everett losing his mind and beating Rush senseless is realistic. No doubt, Everett is a complex guy. I still don’t like him, 1/4 as much as I do Jack. And by the way, Jack is a deeper character than you give him credit for, but not my point here.

    As for Seasons 9 and 10 being low points, I would agree the series had lost its direction at that point, but still, Vala was entertaining. The relationship between her and Daniel was far more entertaining than the one between Eli and Chloe. Of course, Eli and Chloe’s relationship is much more realistic. Which is why its so boring.

    We need our opiate. Watching people get no where, isn’t opium for the masses. I think SGU is getting better though, and hopefully the writers will bring some more happiness to the series soon.

  33. I do agree that some of the producers said some unfortunate things. It sucks that I even have to know or care what the producers or even the actors are saying. I watch SGU because it’s good sci-fi. I came to the boards because people were trashing it and I wanted the people that are making it are getting sci-fi right.

    Jay, you don’t speak for the core of sci-fi fans. At the most, you speak for some of the people that don’t like SGU.

    For every person says the characters aren’t likable there is someone who likes the SGU characters. For every person that says I don’t watch sci-fi for realism I want escapeism, there is someone who likes the realism. What is boring/interesting is purely subjective. I found Ronon boring because he was a copy of the overused warrior archetype From Worf to That Farscape guy with the sword to Teal’c.

    There are different kinds of action too. In one bullets are flying everywhere and nobody is in danger in the other there is one gun pointed at someone’s head and they could really die. I find the second more suspensful and edge of my seat but it’s ok if you don’t. Some people need a “saving private Ryan” story that tells you how to feel while some of us like “the Thin Red Line” that is more introspective and makes you think. When I was younger I liked the first kind as I get older Iike the second.

  34. Tomato, that was mean and disrespectful. Fans of SGU like the show on it’s own merrits. I watch SGU because I like science fiction and it has what I like. If I were into being spoon fed that I wouldn’t be a reader of science fiction.

  35. @Virginia There’s nothing wrong with the writing accept for the occasional episode that’s too much like the other shows, but I do agree they shouldn’t be blaming any fans, even if there is some truth to it. They should be promoting what the show has going for it. SGU has a growing fan base they should focus on building that instead of focusing on the detractors.

  36. @Skiznot – It sounds like you are implying that escapist sci-fi doesn’t make one think. I find that to be an inaccurate and unfortunate assessment. On the contrary escaping into an alternate explanation for the world, provides story tellers the opportunity to address all kinds of social and scientific themes that “make you think”.

    as for the idea that SGU has a growing fan base, I thought I read that the neilson numbers are down.

    I certainly don’t speak for all sci-fi fans, but if you look at successful science fiction movies and TV shows, I think you’d find some truth to what I say. The biggest grossing films and TV shows that grab the public consciousness are the types that allow people to escape into another world.

    I’d have to flip your claim and say that I speak for most, based on these figures. That doesn’t mean SGU has to provide what the people want, its creators can do what they want. They just shouldn’t expect accolades, open arms, and parades in return. Depressing literature can be intelligent, deep, provocative, etc., but in the end, most people just don’t want to sit down and be depressed week after week.

    As I said initially, this show has promise, now that we have an end goal. Destiny’s true mission. This gives us that hope we need.

  37. @ Jay. You said “People don’t want Realistic characters” well some of us do. Next I would expect you to say “people want everything spelled out for them” or “people want the characters to be easily identified predictable archetypes” Sounds like you are implying that sci-fi always has to be simplistic children’s fare.

    In terms of deep science fiction, quality story telling, great acting, sense of wonder, SGU is a success. The biggest grossing films are not always the best. I would call 2001: A space Odyssey a better science fiction movie than Star Wars. Star Wars was aimed more at a children’s audience so it had a simplified mass appeal. So SGU appeals to a more sophisticated adult demographic, yeah it won’t have as many viewers. Plus there are plenty of light sci-fi on TV, there’s room for everyone I don’t know why people insist that science fiction must follow a single formula. Many of us that have been reading science fiction for years have to contend with people who still think science fiction is just for kids. Well those of us that read know better.

  38. Blaming SG – Atlantis fans for punishing SGU and somehow causing its downfall is ridiculous. In my own case I was never a big fan of Atlantis; though I thought it was improving in its final season. So I didn’t mind the switch from solving the problem of the week to watching an extended story arc. Also, I liked BSG so the change to a darker and more psychologically realistic storyline appealed to me. What has never appealed to me are the characters on SGU. I don’t like any of them, I don’t identify with any of them and therefore I don’t care what happens to them. Thats not a recipe for creating loyal viewers.

    As viewership of SGU has been falling off since the middle of season one it looks like I’m not alone in my assessment of the show. I’ve read that SGU started with an audience of around 2.3 million viewers per episode and is drawing less then a million now. Am I to believe that a group of disgruntled SG-A fans have managed to convince 1.3 plus million viewers to stop watching SGU or is there something inherent in the show which is driving viewers away? Its not hard for me to figure the answer to that question.

  39. @Skiznot – I’m not sure why you think that escapism equates to children’s story telling. “Next I would expect you to say” — But that’s not what I said. Escapism does not mean simplistic. For one thing a great writer of any genre can make you escape into any world he chooses. Great Sci-Fi, however, usually has the ability to make us ‘believe’ the improbable is possible. And it puts us in that world, and often explores humanities attempt to understand itself, it’s nature vs the nature of the world its in. For instance, Riverworld comes to mind for some reason. I would not say that was a formula type story with typical characters. I think you have misunderstood my point. I think SGU has failed at these things, (or did in the first 10 episodes) even while you can see its attempt to present them. Meanwhile the characters are depressingly realistic in their inability to cope with their situation.

    By the way, Everett= O’Neil, Greer = Teal’c/Ronan, Daniel and Carter’s functional roles have been divided in different ways between Rush and Eli, and I guess Scott is Ford waiting to be offed. The formula is there. It just isn’t working. (or wasn’t working)

    Many or most of the SGU stories that are told could easily take place in a army barracks buried under ground. Meanwhile it has not been until the past 4 or 5 episodes that strong, clear Sci-Fi themes have started to emerge into the series.

    If you want to read or watch about the depressing reality of the human condition, I think Saving Private Ryan or the Thin Red Line, would be the place to go. It doesn’t make for GREAT sci-fi though.

  40. Mothergrimm says:

    SGU suffers from being BORING and predicable. It’s taking far too long to advance the plot. The enemy is more from within than without. How many episodes do we have to watch where nothing more happens other than the characters arguing about who should be in charge and what direction they should take. The SGU show runners should move things along before they wind up writing for some other shows…which might not be a bad thing.

  41. Honestly you can’t talk about the recent problems with scifi without mentioning the prevalence of this character driven idea. long story short. it does not appeal to scifi fans. Scifi fans watch scifi because they want a story woven around the possibilities that may exist out there in the wider universe. Now SGU feels like im watching an episode of desperate housewives occurring in outer space. Seriously they are on an ancient space ship filled with untold wonders and technology, and what happens? almost every episode some one is pissing and moaning about who is command, or the dumb chicks baby. Seriously? im watching a sci fi why should i give a S%$T about F&^%#ing Babies? Go watch merci hospital if thats what you want to the plot to be based on.

    Basically this is an attempt by writters to appeal to a “wider” audience in other words people other than the loyal fans who have always watched sci are not enough. So they make this wannabe reality show in space in hopes to attract those brain dead idiots whos imaginations are so limited they can’t find enjoyment in anything other than people fighting with each other over their own selfish lives. The only show that ever succeeded in making this somewhat ok was battlestar galactica. Now everyone is copying it. SGU, Caprica… and guess what? ITS BORING every episode im hoping so hard that something interesting will happen. But no, every episode they piss and moan and fight amongst themselves. Seriously, Cancel it so the original stargate movie sequels can come out already. stop wasting our time and insulting our intelligence with this garbage and make something exciting

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