OT: If It Ain't Broke ... From Atlantis To Doctor Hugh
- If It Ain't Broke ... From Atlantis To Doctor Hugh
SyFriday tries to share some friendly advice
By <mailto:michael@...>MICHAEL HINMAN
Source: <http://www.syfyportal.com>SyFy Portal
If there was anything that I could change or fix on "Stargate: Atlantis,"
it would be to give them a new enemy that is not the old and boring
replicators, but who could help balance out the threat of the Wraith.
It's not that I don't like the Wraith, mind you. But even Star Trek had
more than one villain to deal with (I mean, you had the Klingons on one
hand, and the Romulans on the other).
Outside of that, I think "Atlantis" is perfectly fine. The ratings are
good, the stories are fresh (even though there seems to be a lot of the
reset button being used still), and it's a good followup to a decade of
"Stargate SG-1." But for whatever reason, the producers or MGM or SciFi
Channel or someone thinks there's something about "Atlantis" that isn't
quite right, and will once again
<http://www.syfyportal.com/news423284.html>give us another cast shakeup for
the fourth season.
Don't laugh, ABC. You seem to have a similar problem, except you prefer to
tinker more with timeslots than anything else. I would love to meet the
genius who decided to move "Lost" to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays, not to buy him
a beer, but to sucker punch him between the eyes. What was so broken about
the previous timeslot?
And then "Doctor Who," oh, oh, oh, "Doctor Who." This British icon has been
an icon because it's The Doctor who is the star of the show, not whatever
actor is portraying him. How does the character remain the star? By making
sure the actor playing him doesn't upstage him. That's why you cast people
that are not majorly famous to fill the shoes.
<http://www.syfyportal.com/news423278.html>Hugh Grant recently revealed
that he was being considered for the role that eventually went to
Christopher Eccleston, as if "Doctor Who" was broken because of lack of
starpower. It was slightly askewed simply because it needed a rest, and it
needed a little refreshing, something that BBC rightfully gave it.
Why is it that producers or networks or production companies, or whoever is
to blame, just can't leave well enough alone? Why do they feel that even
though something is successful, there has to be more ways to squeeze that
blood out from the turnip, so they start to mess around with a little bit
here and a little bit there, until it becomes one big clusterfu ... well,
you know what I mean.
I bring this up a lot, but this is a prime example of how a production
company can screw up a good thing. You know what I'm going to bring up,
don't you? I can see Alan Stanley Blair's face ... he knows exactly what
I'm going to say. That's right, "Earth: Final Conflict."
In first-run syndication, E:FC didn't even have a network to deal with (why
do you think Gene Roddenberry went that route with "Star Trek: The Next
Generation"?), yet Tribune Entertainment felt that this show with an
excellent premise and some great stories needed some changes. And more
changes. And more changes. And more changes. By the fourth season, I
thought the people who re-did the "Wars of the Worlds" series and "SeaQuest
DSV" had come in and taken over. They might as well have.
If a show is successful, if a show is generating some positive buzz, then
please, for the love of God, leave it the hell alone. "Atlantis" was fine
just the way it was. "Lost" was fine in the timeslot where it was, even
against that overblown karaoke show on Fox. "Doctor Who" was fine (and I'm
glad that at least someone in this bunch had a brain cell).
Just please, please, please think about what you're going to do before you
feel you have to put your mark on something. Sometimes, a show is simply
fine the way it is, and without your mark.
I was so happy to see a number of PBS stations picking up the first season
of the revamped "Doctor Who" series. Yeah, it's already been on SciFi
Channel and even BBC America, but "Doctor Who" was introduced to America
through PBS, and it makes perfect (nostalgic) sense for it to be there once
again. I know most people don't watch PBS, but for those that do between
"Fawlty Towers" and "Are You Being Served," maybe some new viewers will
come aboard. Bravo, PBS and BBC, for making that happen.
Let's take a look at some of the mail hitting the box, especially about
last week's column that finally, once and for all,
<http://www.syfyportal.com/news423264.html>defined the "Buffy the Vampire
Slayer Effect." Let's see how well I explained it:
I was intrigued by this "effect" that you mention because viewers
(potential viewers especially) are quick to judge genre series. I am a
great fan of "Supernatural." It's on The CW right after 'Smallville." It
has a strong (but unfortunately small) fanbase,a nd I am perplexed as to
why that is.
--Caroline (no location given).
Caroline, I have to stop you right there because two things have already
crossed my mind. First, unless there was some previous series or movie
called "Supernatural" that really sucked, then it doesn't fall under the
Buffy Effect. Secondly, the real problem for "Supernatural" can be found 30
words in ... you know, following "It's on."
I want you to know that the SyFriday column entitled "Defining the 'Buffy
the Vampire Slayer' Effect" is the best article I have read on that fine
site to date period. Because it defines the very nature of good television.
Show's like "24," "Heroes" and "Lost" are popular because they are on
mainstream television. By mainstream, I'm defining that as shows that are
on such networks as Fox, ABC and NBC. But it's the shows like "Buffy" and
"Battlestar Galactica" that don't see the type of recognition that these
other shows have simply because of either the name or network they're being
"Battlestar Galactica" is facing the same syndrome as "Buffy" did. people
won't watch the show for various reasons. I know you're a busy man. I just
wanted to e-mail you and tell you how much I enjoyed this week's column and
tell you how right you are. Thank you for the great articles you write for
--Justin Jenness (no location given)
Justin, I'm never too busy to read about how great I am. That's about all I
read, though, so I hope there were no other important points there.
This last letter actually has nothing to do with any previous columns, but
is a very good response to a story we had recently about Christopher
Eccleston pushing to have his "Doctor Who" image
<http://www.syfyportal.com/news423271.html>removed from a special beer
brewed in the United Kingdom. We reported the story as if Eccleston wanted
to separate himself from his Doctor character, but this writer has another
very, very good theory that I felt was worth sharing here.
It probably has less to do with him wanting to put distance between him and
"Doctor Who" and more with his concern over how this image would influence
children. He was always meticulous about not wanting to have The Doctor
photographed holding a gun, etc. The Doctor and beer .. it's a children's
show first ... that's where his concerns lie. You can bet on it, Mate.
-- Hazel May Lebrun, Ottawa, Ontario
And I think that's a bet you'd win, Hazel. Thanks for the great letter!
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