Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another Sci Fi Channel rant

I just finished watching an episode of Stargate: Atlantis. This particular episode was a clip show. You know, a thin plot contrived to allow a narrative full of flashbacks. The kind of thing some shows do in order to save money in a season that's trending over budget. Yes, I'm a couple weeks behind. As I was watching this episode, I found myself remembering the vitriol expressed by fans when it was first aired. Most of the fans' criticism centered on the idea of doing a clip show during what was not only the best season yet, but the final season (as had been fairly recently decided by the Sci Fi channel). I think that this anger was misplaced. The writers and producers of Atlantis are not to blame, the decision makers at the Sci Fi channel are. They waited until the current season of Atlantis was well underway before they announced that this would be the final season. The season 5 story arc had already been established, along with the budget saving clip show. How do I know this? Simple - it has already been announced that there will be a direct to DVD Atlantis movie to tie up the loose ends after this season is complete. In other words, season 5's cliffhanger ending was already set, and story threads leading up to it had already been filmed, possibly aired when the cancellation was announced. This is nothing new; the same thing happened when Sci Fi canceled Stargate: SG-1. My question is, why? Why wait until the "final" season is already underway before canceling the show? Wouldn't it make more sense to announce the cancellation prior to the last season? At least that way, the writers could create a final season that satisfies, rather than one that is clearly meant to lead into more. Seriously, what the hell?

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