Backyard birdwatching and the end of Stargate Atlantis

by Susan Getgood on January 12, 2009

in Birds, Science Fiction, TV/Film

Whoever coined the phrase “eats like a bird” had obviously never actually watched birds eat. We have five birdfeeders set up in the backyard, and all day long, regardless of the weather we have a steady stream of birds. Two pairs of Downy Woodpeckers, at least one pair each of Hairy and Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, a pair of Cardinals, plus many Blue Jays, Titmice, Chickadees, Juncos, Wrens, Goldfinches, Morning Doves and Nuthatches.

Some of our regulars:

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This little guy, a Carolina Wren, is a new visitor, just started coming last week.

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Friday night was the series finale of Stargate Atlantis, Enemy at the Gate. It wasn’t a bad episode but it pales in comparison to the series premiere five years ago. Which pretty much explains why it was the finale. The show really lost its steam a couple years ago and most of the episodes for the past two seasons have been average.

Just compare the money shot from the premiere — the rising of Atlantis — to the final scene in Friday’s episode, the balcony shot of most of the remaining regular cast (plus an interloper) gazing at the Golden Gate Bridge after Atlantis splashes down on Earth.

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The first is OH MY. And the last. Just sorta meh. But you just know the producers intended them to be bookends.

Not so much.

What was good about the episode? It mostly focused on what’s left of the original cast, without too much screen time for brand new characters. It had Todd the Wraith, with some great scenes  for Joe Flanigan and Christopher Heyerdahl. It had Walter.

What was okay about the ep? The storyline. All too predictable and full of holes, but better than most of the eps over the past two seasons.

What sucked about it? I know the producers would rather forget they ever had a character called Elizabeth Weir, but the fans sure remember and the other characters would too. I would have liked to see some mention of Weir as everything presumably came full circle. Sheppard and the others mention her from time to time (mostly at the insistence of actor Joe Flanigan from what I’ve read.) It would have been so easy to insert a scene with Sheppard (Flanigan) either looking at a picture from the early days or the Athosian pot he gave Weir for her birthday in season one. Because all the fans just know he kept it when she was captured by the Replicators.

And who is this Amelia chick who managed to insert herself in the closing scene? I haven’t been over the moon about all the Keller-centric stories this season, but at least Jewel Staite was a regular and Robert Picardo (Woolsey) has been part of the Stargate franchise since the beginning. They didn’t mention Weir, and they didn’t have Zelenka (David Nykl), Lorne (Kavan Smith)  or Chuck (Chuck Campbell ) on the balcony, and they had this Amelia character? My bet is that the producers are trying to counter criticism that they are more than a tad misogynist by balancing the genders in the closing shot.

Not the way.

There’s going to be a TV-movie, and I wish the producers would get their heads out of their collective posteriors and figure out a way to woo Torri Higginson back. But they won’t. In fact, rumor has it that they are also cutting actress Claudia Black out of the next SG-1 movie…

Oh well. Bye bye Atlantis. We’ll miss you a little, but really, the show I was watching left the airwaves more than a year ago. Around the same time we saw the last episode of Battlestar Galactica in fact.

And that’s the good news for sci-fi fans. We’ve got Battlestar back  on Friday. Only 10 episodes left. Who knows how it will end, but wherever these producers take their storyline — even if you don’t like what they do —  you know it will be damn good TV. All 10 hours.

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