Monday, March 28, 2016

How To Get Into Stargate 101 (Part 1) - The Golden Age

I'm bored. So let's move over some stuff from the old blog, shall we? 
In any case, let's play Stargate 101. I promise you won't go cross-eyed and I clearly didn't just think of this again because the SG1-A-Thon on the main Youtube channel is running out.
So let's talk about Stargate

Stargate SG-1 was one of the earliest SciFi shows that I can remember. A great, fun adventure series with a bunch of smart ass heroes led by McGyver fighting over the top villains. Those of you who've read my book (and of course you did!) might just figure out where I got some of my inspirations from. But all of that aside, it's probably up there in the holy trinity of SciFi TV shows/franchises, that really influence me to this day, along side Star Trek and Babylon 5


Anyway, the Stargate franchise is something of a cult show around SF fans, far from being as mainstream as Star Trek or say Doctor Who. Hell, if you thought telling normal people about a Doctor travelling around in a phone booth and getting weird looks all around, try telling them about McGyver fighting Egyptian gods. Oh and try to explain the Stargate without a crash course in bullshit wormhole theory. 
But all joking aside, Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis were quality made shows. I think what really aided in that was the great premise. Similar to Doctor Who you could really tell any story you wanted, you just had to step through the Gate into a different world every week, watching characters from our time, talking about stuff we knew and referencing The Simpsons and current pop culture. Those characters appeared to be more real people fighting a secret war that might just happen at this very moment, rather than the lifeless cardboard cut outs we often saw on Star Trek trying to bring civilisation to the brute savages that hadn't yet had the privilege to become members of the federation but I digress.

Thing is, similar to Star Trek, getting into Stargate is actually rather difficult. It's a cult show after all and while watching individual episodes might be okay for the average viewer, really getting into it takes some effort, just as with say Star Trek or Doctor Who. After all, the franchise to this day consists of the movie Stargate by Roland Emmerich, the ten seasons running Stargate SG-1 TV show adapted from it, the two DVD movies spinning of from that and the spin-off shows Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate Beverly Hills 90210 a.k.a. Stargate Universe. That's three movies and 354 episodes to sit through and, sadly, far from all of them are that great, but a great number if them is. Stargate SG-1 is also probably the only series I know, that has such a great mix of stand-alones and story arc episodes, where minor details can influence major events later on. It's really inspiring if you think about it. Therefor, I will once again give a run down of the franchise season by season, in what order to watch, which episodes are important for which arc and which episodes are to be avoided, mainly by not even mentioning them. Isn't it fun to make watching TV into real work?

That being said, let's begin. Here is the viewing order for the Stargate franchise with focus on the Myth Arc and other story arcs. Stand-alone episodes, that really don't contribute anything, unless they are awesome, will not be listed. You can always go back and discover everything for yourself.
Considering how complex the series can get at times, with some episodes building on several story arcs, I tried to condense it as much as possible in the following arcs: Myth Arc (overall story), Asgard ArcTollan ArcJaffa Arc and NID Arc and so on and so on....

1.) Stargate by Roland Emmerich "Fighting the Chick from the Crying Game"
Whatever you might think of Emmerich and his more recent... excesses, he is still the man who also made Independence DayThe Patriot and this movie, all pretty entertaining movies in and of itself.
The movie is pretty much the pilot before the pilot. It introduces two of the main characters, the universe, parts of the mythology, several recurring characters while also telling an interesting story about an oppressed primitive people rising up against their overlords and overthrowing them with the help of... the white man. Also Myth Arc

2.) Stargate SG-1, season 1-7 "Goa'Uld Myth Arc"
SG-1 was always very interesting in that, other than say Star Trek: The Next Generation, you couldn't really say that one season was better than another or that one season completely sucked. Most season where pretty good overall, but that doesn't mean, that all of the episodes were great.

1x01 Children of the Gods - the series pilot and a pretty good story itself. Get the original version, not the recut from a few years ago. While it tightens some scenes up, it also leaves out some bits and by that I don't just mean the nude scene. Myth Arc
1x02 The Enemy Within - pretty much an extension on the pilot and part of the Myth Arc
1x07 The Nox - introduces the Nox and is part of the Myth Arc
1x09 Thor's Hammer - gives a first glimpse at the Asgard, begins the Asgard Arc
1x10 The Torment of Tantalus Myth Arc
1x11 Bloodlines - introduces us to Teal'cs family and one badass grampa, the latter of which will be highly important later on as part of the Myth and Jaffa Arcs
1x13 Hathor - I would love to tell you that you can skip it, but it's part of the Myth Arc. Sadly
1x14 Singularity - not really important for the Myth Arc, but it introduces a minor character and provides development for Carter and Frasier
1x15 Cor-ai - like Singularity not really important for the Myth Arc, but it provides some needed development for Teal'c
1x16 Enigma - introduces the Tollans, which makes it part of the Tollan Arc
1x17 Solitudes - pretty much a bottle episodes, but quite important for parts of the later story arcs and for the overall Sam/Jack dynamic
1x18 Tin Man - you should skip it, but it gets a sequel in form of 4x21, so it's up to you if you find the 'previously on' segments sufficient
1x19 There But for the Grace of God - prologue to the epic three parter to follow. Stargate's version of the mirror universe and Myth Arc
1x20 Politics (Part 1) - a boring clip show pretty much, but the new bits are highly important and introduces us to Senator Kinsey, a major scumbag who will be important throughout the series, part of the Myth Arc
1x21 Within the Serpent's Grasp (Part 2) - Myth Arc

2x01 The Serpent's Lair (Part 3) - part three and conclusion. All in all one of the best multi parters the franchise has in my humble opinion, Myth Arc
2x02 In The Line of Duty - introduces the concept of the Tok'ra and begins the Tok'ra Arc
2x06 Thor's Chariot - a follow-up on Thor's Hammer, therefor Asgard Arc
2x09 Secrets - part of the Myth Arc and it introduces us to Sam's father Jacob Carter
2x11 The Tok'ra (Part 1) - Tok'ra Arc and official introduction to the Tok'ra themselves
2x12 The Tok'ra (Part 2) - part two of two
2x14 Touchstone - begins the NID Arc
2x15 The Fifth Race Myth Arc
2x18 Serpent's Song Myth Arc
2x21 1969 - not important to any arc, but one of the most enjoyable and fun episodes of the series
2x22 Out of Mind (Part 1) - Myth Arc, but sadly a clip show

3x01 Into the Fire (Part 2) - Myth Arc

3x02 Seth - interesting spin on overall theme of fighting false gods
3x03 Fair Game - important part of the Myth and Asgard Arcs
3x06 Point of View - not part of any arc, but a return of the Mirror Universe concept
3x10 Forever in a Day - part of the Myth Arc
3x12 Jolinar's Memories (Part 1) - part of the Myth Arc and a great two parter as well
3x12 The Devil You Know (Part 2) - conclusion of the two parter
3x15 Pretense Tollan and Myth Arcs
3x17 A Hundred Days - skippable, but an interesting character piece for O'Neill
3x18 Shades of Grey NID Arc
3x20 Maternal Instinct - part of the Myth Arc
3x22 Nemesis (Part 1) - part of the Asgard and Myth Arcs and one awesome multi parter

4x01 Small Victories (Part 2) - conclusion to the two parter

4x02 The Other Side - skippable, but interesting to see for how our heroes deal with the situation
4x03 Upgrades - a Tok'ra episode, and extremely interesting for the Sam/Jack dynamic and especially the shippers
4x04 Crossroads - not really part of any arc, but it lays some bridges for later episodes, so it's a must see
4x05 Divide and Conquer - a sequel to 4x02 and part of the Tok'ra Arc
4x06 Window of Opportunity - skippable, but apparently one of the funniest episodes of the franchise. Not really my taste, but I rather mention it than risk the wrath of fanboys
4x07 Watergate - important for the Myth Arc, as it gets the Russians involved
4x11 Point of No Return - part of the Martin Lloyd Arc
4x12 Tangent - important for the Myth Arc, as it introduces humanity's first star fighter. More or less
4x13 The Curse - part of the Myth Arc, as it introduces Sarah Gardner
4x14 The Serpent's Venom - part of the Myth Arc
4x15 Chain Reaction - kinda skippable, part of the NID Arc
4x17 Absolute Power - part of the Myth Arc
4x21 Double Jeopardy - a sequel to 1x18 Tin Man
4x22 Exodus (Part 1) - part of the Myth Arc and also one of my favourite multi parters

5x01 Enemies (Part 2) - part of the Myth Arc, conclusion to probably one of my favourite two parters

5x02 Threshold (Part 3) - an epilogue to the previous two episodes, great character development for Teal'c and Bra'tak
5x03 Ascension - part of the NID and Myth Arcs
5x05 Red Sky - an Asgard episode, but all in all skippable
5x06 Rite of Passage - Still remember Cassandra from way back in season 1? Yeah, me neither
5x09 Between Two Fires - part of the Tollan Arc
5x11 Desperate Measures - part of the NID Arc
5x12 Wormhole X-Treme - part of the Martin Lloyd Arc, the 100th episode and pretty funny
5x14 48 Hours - new aspects of the Stargate are revealed and it also introduces one Dr. Rodney McKay, who will be important later on and in Atlantis
5x15 Summit (Part 1) - part of the Myth and Tok'ra Arc
5x16 Last Stand (Part 2) - part two of two
5x17 Fail Safe - Stargate's version of Michael Bay's Armageddon. Far, far superior. Also Myth arc
5x18 The Warrior - part of the Jaffa Rebellion/Myth Arc
5x19 Menace - part of the Asgard Arc
5x20 The Sentinel - part of the NID Arc
5x21 Meridian - part of the Myth Arc and introduction to Jonas Quinn
5x22 Revelations - part of the Asgard and Myth Arcs

6x01 Redemption (Part 1) - part of the Myth Arc and also a pretty good two parter

6x02 Redemption (Part 2) - part two of two
6x03 Descent - a sequel to 5x22 Revelations, part of the Asgard Arc
6x04 Frozen - part of the Myth Arc
6x06 Abyss - part of the Myth Arc. Kinda, it's actually hard to define, but you should definitely watch it
6x09 Allegiance - part of the Myth Arc, but also a Tok'ra and Jaffa Rebellion episode
6x10 Cure - kinda important, but to say more might spoil the twist
6x11 Prometheus (Part 1) - part of the MythNID and Asgard Arcs, introduction to Prometheus
6x12 Unnatural Selection (Part 2) - part of the Asgard Arc, part two of two
6x14 Smoke & Mirrors - NID episode
6x15 Paradise Lost - skippable, but it has Colonel Maybourne in it
6x17 Disclosure - a clip show, but one important to the Myth Arc
6x19 The Changeling - not part of any particular Arc, but important for Teal'c, so you have to watch it
6x22 Full Circle Myth Arc

7x01 Fallen Myth Arc

7x02 Homecoming - Kinda Myth Arc, but more of a Jonas episode
7x09 Avenger 2.0 - a sequel to 6x08, though it's kinda important for way later on so sit through the important bits and skim through the rest
7x10 Birthright - part of the Jaffa Rebellion Arc
7x11 Evolution (Part 1) - part of the Myth Arc
7x12 Evolution (Part 2) - part two of two
7x14 Fallout - a Jonas Quinn episode and pretty much Stargate's take on The Core
7x15 Chimera - Osiris Arc, also kinda Myth Arc, but not really
7x16 Death Knell - skippable, but a great Carter episode
7x17 Heroes (Part 1) - Myth Arc, but also a highly recommended two parter
7x18 Heroes (Part 2) - part two of two
7x20 Inauguration - a clip show, but it also introduces the new US President and is part of the Myth Arc
7x21 Lost City (Part 1) - part of the Myth Arc, but also one hell of a great two parter, introduces Dr. Elisabeth Weir
7x22 Lost City (Part 2) - part two of two and a prequel to the Stargate Atlantis pilot


That's it for part 1, part 2 will cover Seasons 8-10 of SG-1 and Atlantis Seasons 1-5 in chronological order, maybe even SGU, otherwise that will be a post in it's own, where I rip this one a new wormhole. Until them, I hope this helps to show how complex this simple show actually is and I hope it helps by trying to get into it. So long.

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