One of the reasons I’m not particularly looking forward to Stargate: Universe

I can’t remember how I found this post (probably looking at linkbacks from FeministSF), but I’m so glad I did. It breaks down the number of women who’ve directed episodes of Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis and reveals that, behind the scenes, women don’t play much of a role. Some years there were only one or two eps directed by women and, after SG-1 Season 8, none. Fantastic.

I used to love Stargate SG-1 and would still sit and watch many of the episodes in the first 8 seasons with happiness. (Seasons 9 through whatever do not exist because they are filled with shame and stupidity.) I even gave Atlantis a try for a season or so. But both shows slowly chipped away at my love for them due to their portrayals of women and people of color.

The fact that both shows have women and POC in lead roles is great, believe me. I am a fan of Samantha Carter and definitely heart me some Ronon. But in the end I loved them despite what the Powers That Be did in terms of writing and directing. Looking at their dismal record of including women behind the scenes, this is not surprising. And though they have a very smart and competent guy as a creative consultant (John Scalzi), I am not sure even he can stem the tide of ickiness that has flowed from the Stargate franchise lo these 6 years at least.

5 thoughts on “One of the reasons I’m not particularly looking forward to Stargate: Universe

  1. pete

    on TV, directors are just technicians. the real power is with the writer of each episode (not that I know who writes stargate, but that’s what you should be looking it).

    1. K. Tempest Bradford Post author

      I’m pretty sure that’s not universally true, and definitely not with Stargate. One of the most frequent Stargate directors, Peter DeLuise, over time became a major influence on the show and, at some point, one of the producers. Lucky for viewers, he’s a good director.

      Directors provide a point of view both on TV and movies, and if the SG franchise consistently ignores the female POV, then it doesn’t surprise me some of the crap that goes on.

      1. pete

        he became a major influence because he became a writer. on tv, the “producer” titles are given to wirters (because of better pay grades, and producers qualify for more emmy categories when the show wins). Not that I’m defending stargate, just letting you know that looking at the “directed by” credit is meaningless. the director has a vision, but on TV, the executive producer (AKA the head writer) is looking behind his shoulder the whole time and calling all the shots. the director is just the guy (or gal) who knows how to work the cameras.

  2. JakiChan

    Come on, I’m sure you have more than *one* reason to not be looking forward to this show…I love how they’re going to be edgy “just like Battlestar!” *sigh*

    My biggest example of what’s going to be wrong with SGU is strongly related to a complaint I have about TV in general: taking a pretty woman and making her a lesbian is not progressive. It’s pandering of the worst sort. It lets you have your cake and eat it too: you’re “progressive” because it’s LGBT but it’s safe because the male audience won’t be offended.

    Let my homoboy Bryan Safi break it down:

    I’m sure Ming-Na will get a love interest whenever ratings falter…

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