It was the 5th anniversary yesterday of the last ever episode of Stargate – SGU’s Gauntlet – and with all the Once Upon a Time madness I kind of forgot.
I am always late to the party. I didn’t discover Once Upon a Time until last summer when I got netflix. I watched all four seasons (ok I binged all four seasons) and I got really obsessive, as I always do when I really love a show. Then season five started and I’ve watched that on a weekly basis as it aired.
This is a Stargate post but I have a point and my point is this – I didn’t start watching Stargate until February 23rd 2013 – almost two years after the very last episode aired! In all honesty I suppose part of it, is that I was just too young. I was seven when SG1 started airing and Sci-Fi wasn’t really allowed in my house, my mum didn’t like anything that wasn’t reality based so I grew up on crime shows instead.
Yeah I’m getting to my real point I promise. When I reached the Season Seven finale – The Lost City – where Hammond gets replaced by Dr Elizabeth Weir, I really wanted to hate her. I love Hammond, he is like the worlds best boss and it’s his principles that made the SGC what it was. He literally created the foundation for how our world treated the rest of the galaxy. His contribution was every bit as important as SG1′s heroics but I digress – he got replaced! Dr Weir came in and I just could not hate her. I respected her, I liked her even and this was thoroughly in despite of myself. She had replaced Hammond, she should be the devil but nope she was awesome.
Now despite the show having been out ages I was pretty much spoiler free. I didn’t know what was going to happen, each episode was a surprise. I followed the recommended viewing order for SG1, interleaving with Atlantis and when I got to New Order and Torri Higginson appeared on screen – as Dr Elizabeth Weir – I hit the roof! Literally I thought I was going to blow a blood vessel, we’re talking major ranting and then a ton of googling as to why Jessica Steen hadn’t got the part for the spin-off (I still don’t know, I don’t think we’ll ever know) and while I came to accept the new Weir, I remain bitter to this day about the casting change. Jessica Steen had done the impossible, in getting me to instantly like a character that I wanted to hate. I’m sorry that I didn’t get to see what she would have done with the part moving forward.
My point? I did promise I had one. I got mad, ranted on twitter etc. about a casting change that had been made for a show, which had been cancelled over four years earlier. Cancelled! four years earlier. That casting change had been made probably close to a decade earlier.
Some shows live on and they still have ripple effects years later. In just over a year SG1 will have it’s 20th anniversary since it’s first episode aired. All these years on and the show still has the capability to amaze, entertain and indeed infuriate. Just because the show ended a long time ago, doesn’t mean that it’s not still new to somebody. It was new to me when I discovered it and I reacted to each episode, as anyone else would have when watching it for the first time. The show lives on.
Watching season five of Once Upon a Time at the moment, it makes me think about people in the future, perhaps doing what I did and binging on netflix. The choices the writers are making affect more than just the current crop of fans, they affect everyone forever, they affect the shows immortality.
It’s all cause and effect I guess because we’ll never know what the road not traveled would have looked like. I have no idea how it would have changed Stargate Atlantis if Jessica Steen had played Dr Weir, or what knock on effects that would have had elsewhere. I was a big Flashpoint fan, and Steen had a recurring role in that as Donna Sabine, which she might not have had if she’d been a regular on Atlantis.
That’s the same truth that says that Stargate Universe had to be cancelled, otherwise Robert Carlyle couldn’t have given us the gift of Rumplestiltskin/Mr Gold, Ming-Na Wen couldn’t have gone on to play the kick-ass Agent May in Agents of Shield, Jennifer Spence wouldn’t have been Betty on Continuum etc.
That doesn’t stop me from wondering though, about what might have been.