February 22, 2015 6:28 PM   Subscribe

No spoilers please! In Stargate SG-1 how full of fighting and shooting is it? We've watched the original movie and the first (double) episode and we're wondering if it maintains this level of gunfire, explosions, and flailing bodies. Feel free to compare it to other sci-fi series, as we've likely seen them.
posted by nadawi to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I feel like once it stopped being a Showtime show and turned into a SciFi show, the slightly gratuitous body count tapered off a bit. I think Showtime was trying to set it apart a bit. I mean, it's still a military team and there's no shortage of guns and destruction as a solution to their problems, more so than Star Trek: Next Generation ever did.

That said, I think the movie and first few episodes really set the bar fairly high and they didn't get quite the balanced military / nerd ensemble they ended the show with until the second season or so?
posted by Kyol at 6:44 PM on February 22, 2015

According to Herr Vortex, who has every episode on DVD (and has seen 'em all a zillion times):

There is more fighting in the pilot than there is in the rest of the show, but since it is a military-based show, there's combat throughout the series. The fighting is never gory and there are plenty of episodes in which there is no gunplay at all. In every season there are a few episodes that are pilot-level in combat intensity (mid-season and season-ending episodes, for example).

Over the course of the show they develop a lot of other main themes like exploration, science, conspiracy, mythology, etc - upon which they base episodes other than the military stories.
posted by Elly Vortex at 6:48 PM on February 22, 2015 [5 favorites]

Best show EVER, stick with it if you can.

I wouldn't describe it as a violent show, especially as the plot develops.

However, as others have said, it's a military operation, characters are carrying guns pretty much all the time.
posted by Youremyworld at 6:50 PM on February 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh yeah, don't take my comment as disparaging - the Stargate universe is one of my favorite metamythological destinations, but it's a military operation through and through.
posted by Kyol at 6:52 PM on February 22, 2015

Less-lethal weaponry comes does come into play, so it isn't always automatic weapons (but as said above, deadly force is always part of the show, varying from episode to episode).
posted by audi alteram partem at 6:57 PM on February 22, 2015

Love love love this show, but there's lots of death. I would say, more visceral violence than TNG and DS9, less than Babylon Five (because of the torture/enslavement stuff, and it's just a happier show). Guns are always there, but they're not always shot. Apart from some particular instances that spring to mind the physical gore (that doesn't have to do with symbiote shenanigans) tapers off, but they do get a bigger budget for explosions at one point. The Big Bads include some [spoiler redacted] that means a lot of the violence is completely bloodless for a large portion, but there's always an element of physical danger and the threat of death. Honestly I'd put it on par with New Who, but with more legitimately responsible gun use.
posted by Mizu at 7:19 PM on February 22, 2015

Loved! This! Show!

My perception is that the body count dropped as the show went on, the humour certainly ramped up, the 200th episode is a laugh out loud wonder.

(I also loved SG:Atlantis, a lot, Rodney!!)
posted by Cosine at 7:58 PM on February 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I loved SG-1; 10 seasons & 3 tv-movies, and I never got tired of it. It was just so consistently entertaining. (Loved SG Atlantis too, though it had more writing problems. Couldn't stomach the final spin-off.)

I wouldn't judge the series tone too much by the pilot - that's the only episode with real nudity, for example. The use of guns (and alien shooty tech) is pretty routine throughout the series, but "gunfire, explosions, and flailing bodies" are not the words that come to mind when I think of the show. I mean, I know there was a lot of gunplay, but, what I remember are the characters, the camaraderie, and how absolutely hilarious their comedy episodes were.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:07 PM on February 22, 2015

There actually was an officially-released re-cut of "Children of the Gods," the opening 2-parter, which cut out the nudity and changed the tone a bit. That recut was released late in the series, not long before the 2 movies that wrapped the SG-1 series. (So, you should avoid these two movies until you've watched the whole series.)

I concur with the above; the show is roughly as action-filled as ST:TNG in terms of frequency, but when the action does happen, it looks a bit more like what you've seen in "Children of the Gods," though later seasons also have some all-CGI spaceship battles. But there are so many other angles that will be explored: the political consequences of the Stargate program's unusual secrecy, a few people-in-peril episodes, some extreme scientific pioneering, and treading some familiar ground in the world of contact. The SG show isn't just a war against the current big bad, you'll see, but exploration of the stargate system, which includes contacting other civilizations which are all over the place in terms of culture, technology, alienness (both the truly strange and the horribly familiar) and so on. Stick with it-- it's a rewarding watch.

Around S9, the show changes both in cast and direction, and I wasn't wild about the last 2 seasons, but many many fans disagree with me, so don't take my word for it.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:08 PM on February 22, 2015

Such a fan of this show.

Somewhere early on they introduce an alien weapon that can stun as well as/instead of killing people, and they use that a lot as a sidearm throughout the series, instead of just gunning enemies down all the time. Most of the shooting that I recall happens in opening scenes where the team is running for the stargate and laying down covering fire so they can escape/rescue natives/etc. Brief, and non-graphic. No flying limbs. More pewpewpew - people fall over. Very little blood/carnage, if any (I certainly can't recall any, but I don't want to rule it out entirely, because my memory is a bit unreliable that far back.)

C4 is a thing - they're fond of blowing stuff up. But it's generally reserved more for "big" episodes like finales and premieres. Same for space battles where ships blow up, and battles where jets shoot at things on the ground or at each other.

Jack and Daniel have a really interesting military/force vs scientist/negotiate tension going throughout the series, and not the kind where violence always wins. Daniel does get a little more willing to kill as the series goes on, but Jack also gets a lot more willing to talk/negotiate. I would say both voices get heard, and that it's a fairly thoughtful and primary engine of the series.

I wouldn't call the series graphic. Don't let the pilot fool you. That was Showtime's nonsense. After that, the nudity ramps way down.

I would say about 80% of show is four people in military gear wandering around the forest outside of Vancouver, talking about stuff and saving the day through skience. Then 10% for villains chewing scenery, and 10% for shooting stuff and blowing stuff up.
posted by kythuen at 7:07 AM on February 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

More violent than Star Trek: Next Generation. Less violent than 99% of broadcast TV these days.

Interestingly, most of the violence in SG1 is not very emotionally charged -- it's a lot of anonymous military people firing automatic weapons and occasionally wounding other anonymous bad guys... rather than, like, well-loved main characters having limbs cut off during torture (e.g. Firefly or Farscape).

I would definitely echo others' comments about violence and gore decreasing over time in the series. The scenes of people being beheaded due to freaky space-brain-snakes (like in the first few episodes!) etc. taper off. By maybe the fourth or fifth season, the show reaches a fun and enjoyable equilibrium with lots of really clever story lines.

It's really worth sticking with this one.
posted by amy27 at 10:53 AM on February 23, 2015

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