The Borgified Corpse wrote:
Perhaps. But I still think that the radically darker tone managed to drive away many of the franchise's existing fans. Perhaps neither was a perfect solution. Perhaps they just never should have cancelled Atlantis in the first place. (Ding!) But I have no doubt that more fans were driven away faster by SGU's darkness than would have been driven away by a gradual realization of sameness.
For me, it wasn't the darker tone, that frustrated my ability to like it in the First Season (And would have driven me away if I was the type to give up so quickly), it was the lack of characters that you wanted to see, I just hated most of the characters, and not in a "love to hate" kind of way or understanding they were there to cause drama for someone I did like. I actually felt they were damaging the show. Non-stop bickering and I didn't care who won or lost or scored points or lost ground. Also, nothing gave me any reason to look forward to the next episode.
I didn't even think it was particularly dark. What darkness there was I enjoyed, it was at least something
going on. It really picked up for me when they brought in the blue aliens and starting having more stargatey eps, I think they should have started with that outside conflict from the beginning. Focusing on internal conflict didn't work well as the characters didn't have any hooks that made you care about them, or their agendas. They were just a bunch of people arguing. Compare it to the conflict Adama had with Roslin or Lee had with his father (annoying as I found the latter). You were invested in these characters and you understood where there agendas came from, they weren't just preferences and chain of command stubbornness.
So generating conflict from outside that group of people would have kept season one from being so sludgy.
Also, Telford: SO HORRIBLE. Just, blech character, very unpleasant.