Beginning of the End for Stargate SG-1

I'm very sad today. Not just because it's a lousy movie weekend, but because tonight marks the beginning of the end of one of my geeky obsessions for the last decade.

Wow. A decade. Yup, Stargate SG-1 has been on the air for 10 years and is now the longest-running science fiction show in the history of TV. Well, some Doctor Who fans contest this assertion, and they're probably right -- let's call SG-1 the longest-running SF show in North American TV history then. Quibbles aside, it's a distinction that is probably lost even on many SF fans. SG-1 has been on longer than any of the Star Treks, longer than The X-Files. And tonight it airs the first of its last 10 episodes, and then it's gone forever. (Or not.)

I remember when it started, because I ordered the premium network Showtime specifically so I could see it. That's how big a dork I am: not just a big ol' sci-fi fan but a fan of Richard Dean Anderson since his MacGyver days; the combination of the two was too much to pass up. And as a bonus, it turned out that the show was damn good, too. I've always loved the anti-Star Trek vibe to it -- not that I don't love Trek, too, but its view of humanity is probably too optimistic, human nature being what it is, and of what we might find out in the universe. While the crew of the Enterprise toodles around in a galaxy in which everyone has to be nice to everyone else because everyone's got basically the same level of technology and so is pretty evenly matched, weaponwise, in SG-1 the humans from Earth are kinda like the mice scurrying around the edge of the floorboards trying not to draw too much attention from the incomprehensible bad-guy rulers of the galaxy while darting out once in a while to steal a scrap of something cool.

And now it's almost over, and I'm gonna miss it something fierce. The show has had its ups and downs, particularly since it moved to the Sci Fi Channel in its sixth year, but it's still consistently one of the most challenging and most fun shows on the tube. And it's one of the rare shows with a devoted fan following that is paid serious attention by the production team -- references to fan gripes have shown up in more than a few episodes. Complaining now probably won't have much of an impact, but in case anyone's listening: Please, sirs, may we have some more?


MaryAnn Johanson

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