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SGA 4x11, 'Be all my sins remember'd'...or, my teal deer beef with SGA, let me show you it.

Be all my sins remember'd

I only watched this yesterday, so clearly I'm running a bit behind, and I haven't gotten a chance to read anybody else's thoughts on it yet. Please forgive if there's some great big rehashiness happening.

Someone on this show needs to step into the role of the character who will point out that some things are morally-iffy to just plain not okay, even if it's inconvenient to the crisis of the day. It used to be Elizabeth's role, early on, but she stopped doing that after a while for reasons I'm not terribly clear on, and now Sam is continuing to not do that in her place. (For the record, I think that's kind of understandable from an outside-the-universe standpoint. That was never Sam's role on either show, really, and I wasn't expecting her to suddenly start doing it now.) This show needs a Daniel. Early-Daniel, I mean, when he was a little more reliable as an ethical advocate.

Carson did it, sometimes, when the crisis of the week rolled on through the infirmary. But now there's no voice of 'Uh, about this whole medical experimentation on prisoners/creating our own kamikazi robots/whatever...' anywhere on Atlantis anymore, and so they keep doing things like... medically experimenting on prisoners (and I maintain that they deserved every ounce of grief Michael brought back on them) or making their own kamikaze robots. Because that is not on, Atlantis. The Fran thing? Sketchy. And they knew it was sketchy and they did it anyway, which somehow makes it worse.

Her spiel about fulfilling her purpose doesn't comfort me all that much, either, since Rodney disabled every bit of programing he could in her and I'm not altogether convinced she had the capacity to reason it out, the way she otherwise would have had if Rodney had left her protocols alone. (RepliKeller's splinter group was capable of evolving past their programing to reach an ideology at odds with their starting point, so as far as I'm concerned, now, Replicators are conscious and individual entities, not "props". But that's a whole other can of worms.)

I mean...look, okay, I know what show I'm watching. If I want an intelligent and thought provoking discourse on the qualities of life and existence, I'll read Asimov. If I want a bunch of people talking about it ad nauseam for years without reaching any consensus (but at least still talking about it) I'll watch Battlestar. I'm not going to Stargate for my philosophical issues with the universe. But this is, in practice if not name, a functioning US military base, and the response to creating a sentient life hard wired to destroy itself and everything around it cannot be "Huh, that's kind of weird." If the writers don't want to address the issues they bring up and their own characters remark on and then dismiss, then they need to stop writing these kind of scripts.

Atlantis is not the city on the edge of the universe anymore. There's potential for a story - a very good story - somewhere about people cut off from their civilization having to fight to stay alive and making some really hard, unethical, repellant choices to do it. But Atlantis can't tell it.

In non-why-SGA-is-bugging-the-crap-out-of-me related news, I think I need some hand-holding on this apocafic, loathe as I am to admit it. I'm stalling out in the very middle of the story and could probably use some eyes that aren't mine on it, because something's broken and I don't know what it is. It's Jack & Daniel (but gen) and if anyone's willing to have a look once I get a functioning draft of the third section down, I will owe you forever.

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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
zats_clear
Jan. 12th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
I am sure I will be in a long list of volunteers, but I would be happy to look at it. On top of that, I have been itchin' for a new apocafic. Gen is great and I "know" gen Jack and Daniel.
niamaea
Jan. 12th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
Thanks! I do still need to nail down the section I'm on, which will hopefully be in the next day or two, but I'd really appreciate your thoughts! When I have something eyes-ready, is the email on your profile the best to use?
zats_clear
Jan. 12th, 2008 03:38 am (UTC)
zats_clear at yahoo dot com
redbyrd_sgfic
Jan. 12th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC)
I could take a look as well. I tend to be focused on structure, so if you think it's a plot or pacing kind of problem, that's probably what I'm most likely to pick out. I'm weaker on drama/character-oriented stuff.
niamaea
Jan. 12th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)
I'm actually not sure if it's a character issue or a plot/pacing issue or some whacked combination. I think, probably, a bit of both, especially since it's kind of a...sparse (?) story. Not a lot of internal action at all, at least not so far. But I'd really appreciate anyone willing to look it over, even if just to answer "Yay or nay, is this even interesting?"

I do still need to close off the section I'm stuck on, even just a draft, but once that's done...is LJ email good or something else? (I could also just post it here on a filter, if that's easier.)
redbyrd_sgfic
Jan. 12th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
LJ email works, but you might as well send it direct to redbyrd at mindspring dot com. I can probably manage just about any word processor file type you're likely to have, but I'm on OpenOffice at home (on the off chance you are too and want to leave it in .odt).
redbyrd_sgfic
Jan. 14th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
So, how's it coming, BTW?
niamaea
Jan. 15th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
Ah...not well. I still definitely am going to be taking all you guys up on your very generous offers to put up with my lunacy, but it might be a liiiittle bit delayed. *facepalm*
devinsong
Jan. 15th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
If you're struggling, you could try sticking in some notes about what you're trying to do, or what you're having trouble with and see if the feedback you get gives you other ideas. I sometimes find that helps if I'm stuck.
aurora_novarum
Jan. 14th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
I'm weaker on drama/character-oriented stuff.

Hah! Don't let her fool you. She's a kick ass beta on all that stuff too. I never end up accomplishing what she thinks my fics are striving towards.
abyssinia4077
Jan. 12th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
SGA broke my "you are too unethical" barrier a few episodes back with "Miller's Crossing" - so FRAN didn't bother me as much because I've stopped expecting them to be better.

Which is a damn shame because it could be such a good show and when it's good, it's really good, but lately the writing has felt very lazy/sloppy and it makes me sad.

I've decided to sit back and take what I can enjoy from the episode and not let the rest bother me, because they just aren't ever going to rise to that level of what they could be, sadly.
niamaea
Jan. 12th, 2008 01:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, I spent most of 'Miller's Crossing' going "What? What?! What?!" because the whole episode was just...yeah.

FRAN drove me an extra-special kind of crazy, though, for reasons I'm not sure on. Maybe because there's been so much done with AI-type beings on both of the shows, but the writers are still kind of tweaking how it works and their apparent opinions on it only as it's convenient to the story, and never dealing with what they're actually saying. Why I would continued to be surprised about this is definitely me being ridiculous at this point, but -- eh.

...I really need to get some Atlantis icons.
abyssinia4077
Jan. 12th, 2008 04:15 am (UTC)
Yeah. "Miller's Crossing" had me raging at how not okay it was, and even more scared when I saw the fandom reaction of "look how much John loves Rodney" and "what John did was 100% okay" and I just kinda....gave up on SGA being morally reprehensible.

YES on the AI thing. It's like, um, the ep before BAMSR when there were the replicator duplicates of the team everyone just very quickly accepted that they weren't real and it was fine for them to die now. Um. SG-1 repeatedly had to deal with that question starting in "Tin Man" and going from there. SGA doesn't even mention that there could be an ethical discussion. *sigh*

I did continue to be surprised up until "Miller's Crossing" and now I just....take what I can get and try to keep the rest from getting under my skin.
niamaea
Jan. 12th, 2008 04:36 am (UTC)
Yes yes YES on the SGA robot doubles. "Double Jeopardy" was devastating, because they were still SG-1. ("Are we still so far from real to you?" SOB! No!) But 'Mortal Coil' was like -- ah, they're not real. Whatever!

SG-1 was always...well, if not good with the AI issue, then at least they made a good showing. 'Menace' could only ever end one way, but they at least acknowledged there was another side to the problem and Daniel fought like hell over it. Fifth was very human at first, although they kind of swung back to the Evil Terminator Robot with him and the end. They even admitted Urgo was self-aware.

SGA not committing drives me insane. Either Replicators can be self-aware and evolve, or they can't, writers. They need to pick ONE, and deal with it.
aelfgyfu_mead
Jan. 12th, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
Amen, sister! I put my review here. I'm with you on Fran!

And I totally agree that SGA has long had this problem; I'm still fuming that Carson suddenly and without warning abandoned his ethics for "Allies" (moar ranting heer), which I thought was terrible writing and made a mess of one of my favorite characters (and I've been retconning and engaged in special pleading ever since, because I don't seem to be able to stop). No, Sam can't be the voice of morality--but if they bring over Daniel, the show will stop dead in its tracks, because they toss ethics to the wind once or twice every few episodes!

I still love the characters, and so I still watch, and I rant every darned time they do this. And sometimes they still have good episodes--oh, my gosh! I'm a gambler, waiting for the winning streak to come back, convinced it will stay!

Asimov was great with ideas, not so great with characters, I thought. BSG--If I want a bunch of people talking about it ad nauseam for years without reaching any consensus (but at least still talking about it) I'll watch Battlestar--yes! Except that the characters seem rather random: some episodes, Roslin will be the ethical voice; others, she runs amok, and Adama reins her in. Occasionally Lee reins his dad in, but sometimes it's the other way around. No one reins Starbuck in. I'd be even more frustrated with BSG if I could make real emotional connections to the characters; they have a great cast, but they're not quite doing it for me. I blame the writers.

Hope I haven't ranted too much all over your rant....
niamaea
Jan. 12th, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
I have to run out, but I'm definitely going to check out your thoughts on Fran (and Carson) later. I was totally blown away by how much I hated what happened in 'Be all my...', though. Rodney said she asked for a name and I was like, "No, writers, nooooooo." And the Michael storyline was just abhorrent; I had to do a lot of handwaving to not let it assassinate Carson for me, because those three episodes notwithstanding, I love him.

No, Sam can't be the voice of morality--but if they bring over Daniel, the show will stop dead in its tracks, because they toss ethics to the wind once or twice every few episodes!

Well, at this point, I'm not sure how effective a voice of morality Daniel would be, either, as he's not as consistent as he used to be. But it frustrates me that no one is doing it. (And Atlantis essentially being totally under military control makes it even ishier.)

Except that the characters seem rather random: some episodes, Roslin will be the ethical voice; others, she runs amok, and Adama reins her in. Occasionally Lee reins his dad in, but sometimes it's the other way around.

Yes. Earlier in BSG, when Roslin and Lee were pretty reliable voices of the ethical side of things, it was a lot easier for me to walk away from the show feeling at least somewhat okay with whatever crisis went down that week, but when it started to get progressively darker and those two greyed up a bit, BSG started giving me some problems. As it stands, Helo and Anders are really the only characters I can emotionally connect to anymore (although I do find a lot of the others very interesting)... everyone else is a little too far gone. (I have some hope for Caprica Six, though, and I think I'm gonna come back around again on the Chief.)
starglyph
Jan. 12th, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
Looks like you've got plenty of offers, but you know I'm always around for your beta needs if you need me. :)

Your layout is teh pretty!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )