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.
One of the most recent adaptions was released in 2019. Starring Eleanor Tomlinson, Rafe Spall, and Robert Carlyle, this version takes place in Edwardian eraEngland. George (Spall) and Amy (Tomlinson) are living happily in un-wedded bliss. Shunned by most of the people around them because he is still married to someone else, their spent much of their time with Ogilvy (Carlyle). Ogilvy is a scientist whose methods and reputation are considered to be questionable by the establishment. George and Amy’s bliss is interrupted by an alien invasion from Mars. Now it is a question of survival, not just for them, but the future of the human race.
I truly enjoyed this three part miniseries. It was suspenseful, riveting, and extremely engaging. I haven’t read the book yet, so I can’t speak to what changes have been made. But I can say with certainty that if this is one of the definitive adaptations (with the most famous being the 1938 radio broadcast by Orson Welles), it has piqued my curiosity about the original text.
Marge Nelson (Teri Garr) and her husband, Dick (Jeffrey Jones) are the average middle aged married suburban American couple. On a distant planet, Emperor Tod Spengo (Jon Lovitz) spies Marge through his telescope. He kidnaps Marge and Dick, planning to blow up the Earth and force Marge to marry him. Reliving the episodes of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon that he enjoyed as a boy, Dick, with the help of the planets inhabitants will rescue his wife, save the planet and return the natural heir to the throne.
This is one of those movies that is so ridiculous, that I wonder what the executive who green lighted this movie was smoking. The fun of the movie is how completely absurd it is. But it is a very funny movie and isn’t that what we all need every once in a while? A deeply absurd movie that makes us laugh?