Every generation has its own beloved television science fiction series. While some last a good few years and remain beloved in the hearts of their fans long after it has left the air, others have faded into obscurity.
Stargate SG-1, the sequel to Stargate (1994) aired between 1997 and 2007. Colonel Jack O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) is part of a secret military team whose job it is to explore newly discovered planets. Their mode of transport is the stargate. Included in the team is Dr. Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks), Major Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping), and Teal’c (Christopher Judge).
I’ve heard of the series but had not watched it until recently. It struck me as one of those science fiction programs that has a niche audience and is somehow able to survive in spite of a lack of larger cultural awareness. My problem is that I could not get into the series. The hook that is supposed to keep the audience engaged and coming back for me was lost on me.
The beauty of a world like the MCU universe is that the number of stories that can be told is nearly endless. Over the last year or so, DisneyPlus has released four different series that extend the narrative beyond the ones that exist on the big screen. The list below is my ranking of the existing series.
Loki: Tom Hiddleston shines once more as the trickster g-d turned hero. With Owen Wilson as a mid-level bureaucrat and Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie/the Variant, the program takes one of Marvel’s most beloved and iconic characters in surprising directions.
WandaVision: A loving rip-off of the family sitcom over the decades, Elisabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany returned to the roles of Wanda Maximoff and Vision. An allegory of grief and loss, it speaks to how difficult it is to lose the ones we love. The highlight at least for me, was Kathryn Hahn as nosy neighbor/baddie Agatha Harkness. That is a character for the ages
What If…: This animated series takes the narrative into new directions, introducing new storylines and mixing characters in ways that do not fit into the big screen timeline. From a writing perspective, this program is completely unique and a lovely way to take this world to places where it had not been before.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Taking place after Avengers: Endgame, this is sort of a buddy comedy meets series with a not-so-subtle political message. Though it was did not quite hit the mark as other series did, it was still relatively engaging. The addition of Erin Kellyman’s character, who turns from baddie to hero was a nice twist that I happily did not see coming.