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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Monday (1/19/09) 10:20am - ... wherein Peter posts a Weekly Media Update.

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From:innocentsmith
Date:Monday (1/19/09) 4:21pm
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This needs to be a story, itself, you know.

:)


No, but really! Write that story! *pokes*

if you absolutely need the character to do the thing that always gets you killed in genre fiction, it's amazing if you can set it up so that the character knows all the risks but still doesn't have a choice

Not that many writers have that much control over their plot, but yeah. But you can at least show why they have compelling reason to make this choice they ought to know is wrong - it's definitely more emotionally intense, and a genre-savvy audience is right with the character in the "oh shit, but I guess I have to" dilemma.

Oh, if they hung a lantern on that later on, it could be so much fun

Well, they actually do: in one of the later seasons there's an episode where the major characters get captured and put on trial for war crimes/mass terrorism against the Pegasus galaxy. And it is kind of great to have them called on their bullshit, except that it's pretty much a clipshow episode and, thus, inevitably sucks a bit.

One of the problems is that they've just had so many fuckups that they're sort of unlikeable: there's a great moment when, after the clip of the Heroic Tragic Self-Sacrifice of the diplomat-leader one of the judges just goes, "I'm sorry, you're seriously bitching and moaning to us about how you lost one of your major cast members friends, when you've been responsible for the deaths of thousands?!" And...it's kind of hard to disagree, really. But the show doesn't want you to disagree, at least not to the point of actually disliking the lead characters, so of course it turns out that the trial is rigged, so the heroes are torn between wanting to nobly defend their actions (a la the way these things worked in Trek) and just blow shit up and escape (a la their usual M.O.). Except that they're not really equipped to do either. And in the end, they get out by having their new leader bribe one of the judges.

Hence my comments about it being unwatchable if you see these guys as heroes instead of just lead characters in a political allegory. It doesn't help that a lot of the Pegasus-native characters are various shades of brown. >.< It does beg the question of WTF the writers and producers think they're doing, of course.

And actually, the Unfortunate Implications and how dark they make the SGA vision of the universe seem to be a central source of comment (not to say wank) for the fandom, and the smarter fans are pretty frequently pissed off at the creators. One of the most justly famous fanworks is a long and brilliant fic called "Written by the Victors," in which, basically, several of the major characters "go native" (to use the icky Victorian phrase) and refuse to return to Earth in favor of staying and supporting the people they've been working with all this time. It's told largely in Scrapbook Story form, with various Earth historians and biographers arguing about WTF happened, who was to blame, etc., and it spawned a whole little shared universe of fanart and made-up historical documents. (I ♥ fandom.) I'd read "Victors" before I started watching SGA, so I'm pretty influenced by that in my reading, but if I weren't, as I said, I don't think I'd be able to enjoy it much.

It's tempting to make a dizzy_land app

Heh. If I try to think of who you would be apping as, though, and whether that would be RPS or something along the lines of character!Stephen Colbert, I start to get a headache...

Oh god I am so behind with the wrapping-the-game-up stuff at Dizzy, kill me now.

and hey -- Bruce Campbell!

Bruce Campbell = win, especially in this series.
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