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SGA news/rumor... buh?

I haven't seen this break on my flist yet, so a heads-up for folks (though I imagine it will be all over the place very soon):

Solutions Blog (http://stargate-sg1-solutions.com/blog/) has finally broken a story about a rumor that telepresence reported to me last week, about a Big Thing coming up in the second half of SGA S3. The Solutions announcement itself is just an unspecific blurb, but it contains a link to another site with very specific information.

Killing off Carson Beckett????? Oh you have GOT to be KIDDING ME...

When Telepresence called me about this last week -- he saw someone in a TWOP forum mention the con-report quote from Jewel Staite that is reported on a new site, http://www.savecarsonbeckett.com/ -- we both spent about 5 minutes on the phone just saying, "Oh, MAN. Ohhhhhh, maaaaaaaan...."

Actually, I first heard about this a month or two ago, and I can't recall where now -- but it was the same rumor the website is reporting, about how someone was reporting knowing someone who had been on the Atlantis set, who had seen the shooting of a scene that involved a coffin draped with a St. Andrews Flag, and you know, three guesses as to who THAT could be. (But even at that time, a responder to the person posting that pointed out: it could be a fake-out; it could be his grandmother; you just don't know.)

But the new website collects a bunch of suggestive quotes that I had not seen yet, and in one way, I think the site is correct: taken *all together*, it starts to get even more suspicious and alarming.

Now, look... I'm not invested in SGA fandom or in the characters except inasmuch as they're part of the SG-1 world. So I can only imagine the ways in which this will impact the fandom -- yikes. But speaking from that perspective?

What the fuck, Bridge? What. The. FUCK????

For one thing, apart from ANYthing else -- I really thought the guys at Bridge had gotten the memo from everyone and their brother about how much killing off Janet Fraiser SUCKED, and they should not have done it, and maybe we could forgive it because at the time they say they thought they weren't getting renewed, but... look. Our forgiveness in that situation is itself tempered by a lot of irritation (such as, about how they didn't figure out how to fix it later). And it has a very short shelf-life. They just are NOT going to get a pass on something like that again. They're not.

Plus, could you be any MORE obvious about the parallels, by killing off another well-liked doctor character who's an integral part of the ensemble? Seriously?

I'm just at a loss. Why? Why do this?

*deep breath*

As the website points out, too many indications have built up, to really be optimistic about it. It seems more and more unlikely that it's a fake-out of some kind (that the coffin/funeral means something else, for example, or that it's AU), though I suppose that is still possible at the outside. I'm not even sure whether I want to hope that something drastic happens to Carson but the character stays around in some different capacity... because I've been through shows doing that before and I've found the results dissatisfying (Fred/Illyria on "Angel"; and don't get me started about Ford on SGA).

And if *I* am feeling this distressed about this, I can only imagine the furor this will create in SGA fandom, and MAN do I feel bad for you guys. UGH!


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 27th, 2006 04:40 pm (UTC)
I'm curious about this myself. (I have to admit, if they're going to kill off anyone, Carson is the person I'd miss the least.) But aside from that, I'm not convinced there's any truth to the rumors. I've checked out the boards, and the statements people have made, and have yet to be convinced.

There's also the possiblity of churning up excitment in order to boost ratings. ::shrugs::
Sep. 27th, 2006 04:50 pm (UTC)
*nods* The thing is, I've had my problems with Carson. I've had my problems with all of them, I think. But I can see that there are SGA folks who are deeply invested in him, and I think he occupies a relationship *to* the main characters, in a supportive sense, that's very like the one Janet occupied in relation to SG-1. Even if one doesn't *love* Carson, I can see how he's useful to the context/milieu (i.e. to have a sharply-characterized doctor character with a lot of hooks to him).

At the very least, I'm suspicious/worried because of watching with happened after they ripped Janet out of her slot in the milieu -- how they totally failed to replace her with any character as rich and resonant, and how I truly do still feel that as a hole in SG-1's world. And how they eventually tried to bring another popular genre actress in to be The New Doctor, and how I personally feel that in various ways, that just has not worked, like, at all.

I mean, I like Jewel Staite lots and lots and lots, but I can't be mollified here with the idea of "well, at least they will replace Carson with another cool doctor character", because I just won't know until I see her in action. (More regular female recurring/regular characters would not be a bad thing, of course.)

I also think you're right that it could still turn out to be Not What We Think, even just from reading over all this stuff.

The Big Shocking Terrible Thing that everybody is talking about? Could be something else.

The flag-draped coffin could still "mean" a number of different things.

Jewel Staite could indeed be brought in as an additional doctor character (because seriously, it wouldn't kill them to have more than one).

If it really *is* just an attention-getting ploy -- then it's a fairly well-orchestrated one, isn't it? But yes, they really could be trying to be coy.

We'll see, I guess.
Sep. 27th, 2006 04:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I'm not as into SGA as I was into SG-1, and I'm not nearly as into Beckett as I was into Janet. And I actually like Jewel Staite a lot. And I'm fairly pro-darkness on shows, to a degree I know orca-girl really isn't.

*small voice* Also, I liked Illyria, blatant fanboy bait as she may have been, and I suspect Illyria led directly to Kelly Peyton, who was made of evil, well tailored awesome.*small voice*

I digress.

All that being said, why go to that particular well again? As time goes forward I'd like to hear more of the producers logic here. Did McGillion want out? Was there network pressure to add a cute woman? What makes the negative consequences of the plot worth it, should it come to pass?

If the writers say "Because of the rich dramatic possibilities", or "gritty artistic integrity" or something, I will laugh in their faces. Because (and no offense to hardcore Atlantis fans), dudes, you write Atlantis, not The Wire. Just deliver the fluffy sci-fi adventure fun and slash/ship seeds, that's all anyone wants, as far as I can tell.

You had a chance to be a hardcore show back when the premise was being set up, and then you ran far and fast away from that potential, and every time you try (Michael medical ethics disaster, Kavanaugh torture, Ford's wraithjuice addict plot), it's...not great. So just quit it.

Sep. 27th, 2006 05:32 pm (UTC)
If the writers say "Because of the rich dramatic possibilities", or "gritty artistic integrity" or something, I will laugh in their faces. Because (and no offense to hardcore Atlantis fans), dudes, you write Atlantis, not The Wire.


Though I have to admit, I thought it was strange that they made Carson a regular in the first place, honestly. It's led to him being shoehorned into a couple of episodes where I really felt like he didn't fit. And I'm not so fond of him that I'll be terribly sad if he dies, so it's no skin off my nose if they kill him other than the potential eyeroll factor with "we're so dark! And realistic!" Because yeah, you are. Whatever, guys.

("Gritty artistic integrity!" Hee.)
Sep. 27th, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC)
What Katie said, as usual.

These guys aren't Joss, and they don't know how to make a character death really work for the story and the characters. So instead it comes off as kind of gratuitous.

If they're planning this, it may explain why Carson is getting shoehorned into so much more stuff, though. That way the loss looks like a much bigger deal than if they'd killed them at the end of S1.

I do think it's valuable to have a character with a name die and be mourned, given the attitude at the end of the one with the hallucinations. Let's all lounge about and laugh and ignore the ugly death of six comrades! WTF?

In conclusion: I don't much care. I don't like Carson all that much and I do like Jewel Staite. So I'm mildly intrigued without being too worked up about it. I certainly don't expect them to do a good job with it.
Sep. 27th, 2006 07:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah. To be honest, though -- I cannot say that I was ever all that fond of the device when Joss pulled it, either. That's just me, of course, but I'm saying it because it informs my strong reaction (even though I broadly agree thatI don't love Carson as much as I loved Janet, etc.) -- I don't like character death, almost ever. Period. I have... issues.

I do think it's valuable to have a character with a name die and be mourned, given the attitude at the end of the one with the hallucinations. Let's all lounge about and laugh and ignore the ugly death of six comrades! WTF?

Yeah, I'm STILL pissed off about that, actually.

And, as I was saying to thegrrrl above -- oh, I like Jewel Staite *tons*. Of course. I'm just leery. Because initially I thought that bringing Lexa Doig in as the new doctor on SG-1 would fix the problems they'd had finding an appropriate replacement for Janet, and... no. Not hardly. Yet I had liked the actor in the role I'd seen her in before.

Thus I'm worried that they're sacrificing a known-quantity and developed character, without having any way to know if the replacement character will work out, even though I do like the actor.

But, my own problems with the way Carson's character has gone aside... I do feel pretty badly for the folks out there who *are* into him.
Sep. 27th, 2006 07:28 pm (UTC)
I agree about the shoehorning -- I've complained about that, as well as about the implausibility of sending the CMO offworld so much (and occasionally so stupidly -- "Irresistible", for example), on top of the ethics questions.

But the eyeroll factor is big, for me. As is the "didn't you LEARN anything from before?" factor.

And I feel sort of sensitive about feeling like they're... jerking the audience around, I guess, for too little payoff.

While Carson may not be that important to me, he's important to some of the fandom. Maybe not to the biggest part of the fandom, but still. (Just like Janet was probably the absolute favorite character of few people, but she was, obviously, vitally important to the mere existence of the very small contingent of femslashers in SG-1 fandom.)

That's why I don't want to sit back and just say, "well, it's just Carson, I won't miss him that much", simply because they're not killing off *my* favorite character and thus it doesn't matter. It may not suck that much for me, but I'm willing to say "that sucks!" pretty strongly, because it'll suck for someone.

I just don't like characters being killed "for effect" in general, really, unless it's because losing the character can't be helped (i.e. actor leaving, etc.). But it doesn't even sound like that's the case here -- unless there's other factors we don't know about. Hmm.
Sep. 29th, 2006 04:04 am (UTC)
Well, I don't actually object in theory to a character being killed for the dramatic effect--I don't have any objection to them deciding to kill Janet because they wanted to kill a character that meant something to the viewers, for instance. (I probably would have minded more if they'd known they were getting three more years of show.) Do it too often or too obviously, and I'll get annoyed--Joss Whedon, for instance--but in theory, I don't have a problem with it.

It does seem like kind of a retread, though. I mean, it's not like it's going to have a long-term impact, you know? And I don't want to hear them be all "look how gritty we are!"
Sep. 29th, 2006 02:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I'm coming to realize that my negative reaction to the very idea is because of the cumulative effect of their storytelling over the years.

It's like... okay, when they gurked the entirety of Abydos? Dramatically, that worked for me, although it totally bummed me out. (Although the fact that they were all ascended and "live on" in a way helps me deal.)

Then came Janet's death, and I was... in two minds about it. Because as you say, I didn't have much objection to the idea that they wanted to do a "meaningful death" storyline, and they had few choices from which to draw. I was sad to lose Janet from the milieu, and am still sad, since they never (IMO) gave us *back* a character of similar weight.

And I'll admit it, I also "forgave" them for it because at the time I remember hearing a number of comments from them saying that they genuinely didn't think they'd get another season. So that was another reason I didn't mind *as much*.

But then came Ford... but okay, that had mitigating behind-the-scenes circumstances attached to it. Plus... Ford != Janet, by a long shot. I had never warmed to Ford, and he'd only been around one year, not *seven*. Although I *did* suspect here and there that if they'd put more effort into it they could have made him into a character who meant more to me. But then, actor problems, so, okay.

(Ford's return and the "drug" addict storyline ticks me off in other ways, so I'm not touching that here, especially since right at this moment I can't tell whether we are now supposed to believe that Ford was killed on that hive-ship or not.)

And then... Grodin. Now look, granted, Grodin was not a "big" character. He wasn't at the Janet level, by a long, long shot. But he was a nice background character and, ehn, at the time I felt like the payoff for his death wasn't sufficiently great.

And then... JACOB. And dammit, that is the one that I really don't forgive them. I just don't. Not least because of the structure of killing him off. He died for *nothing*. And his death was shoehorned (IMO) into an episode/storyline that was already kind of packed-full, so I felt like his death was too B-plot, whereas he's a secondary character nearly as important to me as Janet, and if he had to go out, I would have wanted it to be for something really good, and would have wanted it focused on. So: Grrrr.

And to be honest, I have been eyeing Bra'tac twitchily for 4 seasons now, every time he guests.

Oh! And you know what another factor is in here, strangely enough? Gurking the ships. The Prometheus; the Korolev, maybe with Chekov, maybe not; Emerson.

So now we get up to Carson and... I've had it, I think. It's just like with Joss, as you say -- I'm feeling like it's too often. And not for enough reason/payoff. Dramatically, I'm becoming numb to the ploy.

Yeah, looking over it, I'd have to say it's Jacob that broke me.

(Plus just that feeling of retread, yes -- hey, we're going to jerk the audience's heart-strings by killing off a well-liked doctor character! It's like, look, guys, you DID THAT. Why the hell are you playing the *exact same card* AGAIN?)

So, sure -- in *theory* I also don't have a problem with it. I just feel like they've used up too many Character Death Coupons in too short a time, for them to be playing one again.
Sep. 30th, 2006 01:37 am (UTC)
Yeah, Jacob is a good example. Jacob was so unnecessary--they could have broken Sam and Pete up some other way, and they got nothing in particular out of Jacob's death (unlike Janet's, which was at least the point of its episode). So yeah, that's fair.

Abydos still kind of stings. Or possibly Daniel's lack of reaction to its death, I don't know.
Oct. 2nd, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC)
I even find it difficult to remember exactly what episode Jacob's death is *in*. That's how unconnected it felt to me. Yeah, still grumpy over that. At least with Janet it felt like that itself was a big watershed ep. Jacob just felt like a footnote.

I agree, I always wished they would do something to show Daniel reacting to the loss of Abydos. But then, I also wish they would figure out a way to bring Skaa'ra back for a guest-spot -- in which case, you could do it then. But really they missed that opportunity. We're lucky, I suppose, that we got to see Daniel dealing with re-remembering Sha're.

Ah well. More holes for fanfic to fill.
Sep. 27th, 2006 05:24 pm (UTC)
I'm kind of torn. I'm not really a Beckett fan, and I think he's been less enjoyable the more that they have to shoehorn him into plots where he doesn't belong, just to get him the screen time.

If they killed him off in a really good episdoe, and then follow that up by replacing him with a good actor and a good character, I don't think I'd mind so much. I was really annoyed when I heard they were replacing Ford, but truthfully I enjoy Ronon so much better.
Sep. 27th, 2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, granted. I feel the same about Ford/Ronon. I could not at the time understand why Ford was so poorly-written/developed, and in retrospect I had to wonder how much of that was down to the actor problems. But from the start, I was quite willing to give Ronon the benefit of the doubt, and I hate to admit it but he works for me much much better than Ford did.

I just feel like, pattern-wise, it annoys me that the show does this. That is, it annoyed the SNOT out of me that they did it to Janet, and they caught a lot of flack from all levels for doing it, and thus I can't quite figure out why they feel the need to do something *so* similar on SGA when it wasn't popular (understatement) when they did it on SG-1.
Sep. 27th, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
I think they're stupid to do it if they do. I also heard this rumor. Now, I only casually watch SGA and my emotional investment is at the level where they could kill anyone one that show and I wouldn't be moved, but SGA doesn't have the best track record so far.

They've already "gotten rid of" Ford. They killed Peter, that guy who was well-liked. Now, it's looking like Carson's days could be numbered.

The show has been on for 3 years and they are having major characters die-off, changed, or whatever. That is a lot for a show in its first 3 years.

I don't know. I liked Carson at first until the show slipped into major ethical problems that they never addressed. Since then, he seems to be just there, like the writers have no ideas what to do with him. As much as I like the Firefly girl, it doesn't matter. She can be the best actress on the planet and if TPTB still keep up the lazy writing, it won't matter.
Sep. 27th, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC)
In terms of the replacement character -- yes. I love Jewel Staite, of course. But then... you know, I liked Lexa Doig whenever I saw her on "Andromeda" (few times, I admit), but I do not like Dr. Lam. I like Morena Baccarin too, but I am not fond of Adria at all (that is, she doesn't even succeed for me on the level of "good villain"). That's why I'm worried about Jewel -- the track record of both shows is what worries me.

And I just have this feeling, though maybe I am wrong about it, that Carson has a bigger following of invested fans in SGA fandom than others. I mean, folks *liked* Grodin, but I doubt he had much of a "following" as such. And Ford -- that was a shame and he must have had some kind of following, but only what had developed after 1 year, as opposed to with Carson, who's built up over more years.

So I feel bad for those people (whoever they are, since they don't appear to be on my flist, that's for sure.)
Sep. 27th, 2006 08:39 pm (UTC)
Hm. Interesting. Out of all the characters they could choose to kill off, Carson seems more unlikely than others. I mean, if they were serious about using SG-1 actors in SGA after SG-1 goes belly up, then I could see them killing off one of the minor characters in a similar SG-1 role, but Carson would have still seemed safe.

I'm sort of with you in the fact that I'm really only invested in the SGA characters through SG-1, but still. For me, *if* this does happen, it would all hinge on whether Paul M wanted to leave or not. If he wanted out, then, well, what are you gonna do? If not, then it's another odd death decision that seems completely unnecessary.
Sep. 28th, 2006 03:53 am (UTC)
This would really have to have been a decision they made long before they knew about SG-1's cancellation, and had the option of bringing SG-1 chars over to SGA on the table. From the quotes it sounds like they knew about it, and in fact had shot the scenes, before the party for "200".

That site says that as far as they know, PM doesn't want out. So that just makes it all the more annoying.

I don't disagree that killing named characters can sometimes be the strongest thing you can possibly do. I guess it's just that... even that device can be over-used, to the point where you just irritate your audience rather than affecting them. And I feel like I'm on the cusp of that with this one.
Sep. 27th, 2006 08:52 pm (UTC)
Especially given the obvious parallels to the ptb killing off Fraiser, and given that I was avoiding spoilers like bubonic cooties back in S7, I'm curious: Was there leakage about Fraiser's death? Was it known about in advance, and how far in advance? Is there any other data to look back on to develop a theory as to whether the ptb have an MO for 'leaking' disinformation? I remember that at some point before 'Heroes,' maybe just in the coming attractions in the previous episode or Part 1, the visual implication was that Jack would be killed -- assuming I'm remembering correctly that they showed him hitting the ground after the staff blast. But that's all I remember. Was it a genuine surprise to spoiler-seeking fandom that it was Janet who died?
Sep. 28th, 2006 04:08 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, there was totally leakage. We knew about it waaaaaay beforehand. I mean, I'm trying to remember the exact sequence, but I want to say it was certainly months beforehand, that we knew. Looking it up, "Heroes" aired in February, and completely unscientifically, I want to say that we knew in, like, Nov.? Not that long after the mid-season break? But, ehn -- not sure, because I wasn't on LJ back then and I have lost my email records from that time period, too.

Anyway, I certainly remember thinking and saying at the time that for me, I was absolutely glad to be spoiled for it, because it helped me process and come to terms with it.

I also don't recall that anyone honestly believed that Jack might be killed. Yes, there was that spoiler-pic that came out of him lying on the ground after the blast and all, lookin' all dead and stuff. But IIRC, the spoilers we got for the ep were something about "and they think O'Neill has been killed", but honest, I don't remember anyone taking it seriously. And I don't really recall the leakage making a serious attempt to fake us out into thinking it was Jack.

But unfortunately, I just don't remember the sequence in which the info came out. Obviously as soon as we heard it was Janet, that was it, we sure didn't worry about Jack. But I just don't think anyone was ever that worried about him. At the most that looked like a clear fake-out, even if there was some thought that the ep would be structured so that the team and also the documentary team would be unsure about it. I think that at the most, TPTB tried to be coy about the SGC losing someone important, but that's what I can't recall the order of. But it was like -- well, look, no matter what, it's not going to be Jack, nor any of the rest of SG-1. So if it's not, then it's a pretty damned short list of "important" characters, isn't it?

You're remembering correctly that the previews and commercials contained the bit with Jack hitting the ground. That was certainly an attempt to drum up worry about him. But that's a problem I've talked about before -- how do you create tension about the fate of your regulars, when they *are* regulars? I think that the most tension those previews (and spoiler pics) really created was just -- well, you could be sure Jack wasn't going to die, but it sure did look like he was hurt, possibly badly. And there was the tension of the angst of how long it would take the team within the story to be sure he'd survive.

Beyond that -- I don't recall any instances of TPTB clearly leaking *dis*information. As far as I can tell, either they have the info sewn up pretty tightly -- you notice, they had to have shot most of the second half of S10 now, and there are some major things that we haven't gotten any *more* spoilers about, or pics, or anything -- or else certain things get out, but generally they're accurate.

The same was true of things like MS/Daniel's departure -- although I think we pretty much remained in the dark about how he'd exit, for quite a while. I don't remember that very well any more, and I was newly in fandom and not as plugged into spoiler sources then.

Not that helpful I know, sorry. Memory gets fuzzy.
Sep. 28th, 2006 04:53 am (UTC)
I think we knew before the season started, actually. My memory's telling me that Heroes was originally going to be considerably earlier than it was, but it ended up being moved back in the season because they turned it into a two-parter and did some additional filming.

I could be making that up, but that's what I remember. Anyway, we knew very, very early that Janet was going to die.
Sep. 28th, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC)
That's interesting. I can't recall well enough either to refute or agree, and a lot of the places I'd go to look to refresh my memory, I don't have any more. You could be right, though. It really was quite early.

(At the very least, I am thinking that the timing was somewhat similar to this. That it was soon after the mid-season break, and we had several months to chew it over and get used to the idea.)
Sep. 27th, 2006 10:20 pm (UTC)
i don't get WHAT they're thinking. meep.
Sep. 28th, 2006 06:11 pm (UTC)
I could take some guesses, but basically, my feeling is that whatever they ARE thinking is just a bad idea, and whatever the perceived benefits, it won't outweight the negative impact (which is cumulative, and that's why I bring up Janet).

Unless there is something really, really weird going on in the background that nobody knows about. (Actor problems, I mean, the way there were with RSF. But comments on that Save Carson site say there aren't, that anyone has heard of, so...)
Sep. 28th, 2006 10:02 pm (UTC)
good point....i hope there's nothing acky/awkward going on. but i also think that they tend to make decisions and just stick with them *no matter what*. like a train on tracks...unable to move out of the box. er, pardon the mixed metaphors. ;)
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 28th, 2006 04:32 pm (UTC)
Method for dealing with long hiatus: Write long plotty fic. IJS. *g*
Sep. 28th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
That's one of my biggest gripes about this -- the cumulative effect, the track-record.

"You know what would make this cliffhanger even more dramatic? If we blew up Abydos." Not that I'm bitter. *g*

You know what's extremely odd? That is possibly the only SG canon "death" that has worked for me. I was unspoiled for it, and it left me feeling... it's hard to describe, but for once I actually felt the loss/sadness in a dramatic way that felt very meaningful to me.

And this is odd because as mentioned elsewhere, I'm *so* not a deathfic kind of person. And what's more, I bond to places really strongly, too. And the idea that Abydos-the-place (which is really inseparable from Abydos-the-people) is GONE is just... really huge.

I don't know. Maybe it's because of the structure of that ending scene, and the concept of ascension. (I wasn't as upset by Daniel's departure/ascension as I might otherwise have been, even at the time, when we didn't know that he would be coming back permanently.)

Because if they do kill Carson off, they'd have room for an SG-1 character in the main credits. I can only imagine the fandom furor that would incite.

I don't know, though. I'm not sure of all the issues associated with "room for a new regular character in the main credits" (is it really that zero-sum an equation?) -- but in terms of character-space, the CMO is not the position at which they need to make room, you know?

(*If* they were to bring in a SG-1 character... which I remain completely unconvinced about. I have only heard that idea, to date, from one of the SciFi channel execs, not from TPTB at Bridge. At the time I took it as a misguided attempt at damage-control, an attempt to provide a suggestion that would mitigate the upset of the cancellation, failing to realize the further upset it would cause in both fandoms. I will be surprised if it comes to fruition. I think guest-shots are more likely from SG-1 cast.)

(Also, as I pointed out to someone else: the decision to kill off Carson -- if that's actually what happens -- was made and written before they knew about the cancellation. So it's not a causative thing.)

But you're right -- if Carson is killed off, and (against my expectations) a SG-1 character is brought in to Atlantis full-time, there most likely *will* be a furor. Or, I should say, I would expect that to become an additional component to the furor that would take place anyway.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )