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Steven Ellis realises that Stargate SG-1 has taken him by stealth

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I’ve been watching loads of Stargate: SG1 of late. Sky TV has been showing two episodes a day on weekdays for a while and I’ve been really enjoying them. Sky used to show episodes at tea time and I can remember Channel 4 showing episodes on Sundays. Between all these showings it’s been ages since a week went by where I didn’t watched at least one episode of Stargate .

It’s funny when I think of SG1 ; if I’m asked what sci-fi I’m into I usually say “ Star Wars, Star Trek, BSG, Farscape and 2000AD’s Judge Dredd , maybe name a few films…” I never mention Stargate … And I think I really should. I’ve probably watched more Stargate over the years than any of the other stuff. It’s on the telly all the time and I’m always happy to watch it, even if I’ve seen the episode before.

Unfortunately my mind seems to always relegate Stargate to the back; behind whatever current hot show is flavour of the month, or whatever films I’ve seen of late, I don’t think I’ve really ever talked about the show with friends or on the SFX forum at all. Stargate has always been there, plodding along, providing excellent drama and entertainment week in and week out for all its ten year run and beyond. It’s about time the show got a bit of love from me…

After starting as a TV spin-off of a fairly standard sci-fi movie back in 1997, Stargate: SG1 went on to become the longest-running North American science fiction show with ten seasons and 214 episodes. The show has only recently had that crown taken away by a teen Superman in Smallville , which racked up 218 episodes before it finished last year. Stargate: SG1 also spawned two other live action shows, a couple of TV movies and a cartoon series.

The core group of SG1 character are excellent: Sam Carter is the military scientist always ready with a techobabble answer; then there’s the taciturn ex-Jaffa Teal’c and his extremely expressive eyebrow; Daniel Jackson is the brilliant civilian Egyptologist turned soldier; and finally their leader is Jack O’Neill, who brings a whole new meaning to the idea of a laid-back command style. It’s a great group of characters, played by very good actors. The casting is great, all four of the main cast work well together and look like they all get on off-screen; that camaraderie translates onto the show and gives everything a slightly informal familial feel. And with a large number of secondary characters from General Hammond and the much missed Doctor Frasier to countless alien allies and the almost pantomime range of Goa’uld villains the show is never short of interesting and engaging characters.

The show also had a great number of sci-fi TV guest faces over the years too. Everyone from Voyager’s EMH to RoboCop’s bad guy, there’s always someone familiar showing up. Speaking of guest casting I haven’t seen the last two seasons when Ben Browder and Claudia Black join the cast and as a fan of Farscape I was looking forward to seeing them, but I’ve discovered that this run of SG1 is ending this week with the last episode of season eight. Sky is replacing the show with double episodes of Stargate: Atlantis in the same time slot. I haven’t seen much Atlantis so I’ll be giving that a go next.

So, I’m glad shows like SG1 are still being shown on our screens, sci-fi wouldn’t be half as much fun without Stargate and shows of its type. It even had space ships… I miss shows with space ships in them…

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