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Old June 28 2013, 03:49 PM   #15
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Re: is the stargate movie any good

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
Any sufficiently advanced technology would seem like magic to the less advanced.
That's a saying that's often abused. There is, in fact, a fundamental difference between technology and magic, in that the former is constrained by the fundamental laws of physics. Not to mention that we're talking about biology here, not technology.

Anyway, yes, certainly, some fiction is more fanciful than others, but that's my point -- that while the Stargate movie was essentially a work of fantasy (as is Doctor Who, of course), the Stargate TV franchise often managed to be one of the more scientifically literate SF shows around. Some of its ideas were quite fanciful, but on the whole it generally tried to take the silly ideas from the movie and rework them into something more scientifically plausible. Sometimes it managed to do excellent hard SF, notably in the episode "Tangent." Given how rare it is for any SF on television or film to be remotely scientifically literate, that's a noteworthy accomplishment and helps make the TV franchise stand out from the pack in a way the movie totally failed to do.

And just in general, the TV franchise's worldbuilding and conceptual development was far, far richer than what the movie managed. I mean, come on, Devlin and Emmerich came up with this idea with limitless potential, a wormhole allowing instant travel to anywhere in the galaxy, and the best they could come up with was a hackneyed ancient-astronaut story and a replica of ancient Egypt? What a profound failure of imagination. The movie is a tremendous letdown. What impresses me so much about the TV franchise is how they managed to take such a shallow foundation and build such a rich and imaginative universe upon it. I daresay it's the only SFTV universe that can compare with Star Trek for sheer scope, richness, and coherence. In some ways it's even more coherent than ST managed to be, since it remained mostly under the same creators' control throughout its tenure. (Although unlike ST, its short-lived animated incarnation is unambiguously non-canonical.) Doctor Who's universe certainly has scope and richness, but coherence has never been one of its features.
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