Writing quality in S6


New Member
Nov 7, 2002
I'm a big fan of this show, but I really think the writing quality is dropping. I'm watching in the UK and Sky are running series 1 daily, so I'm watching that next to S6 - no comparision in my book. Recently watched 'Frozen' and 'Nightwalkers' and both were just plain boring, fast-forward episodes. Abyss was much better, but still not executed up to the old standards.

In contrast 'Solitudes' from series 1, an episode in which nothing really happens, has a gripping script that kept me interested and made me feel I could watch it over again.

Is it the lack of Daniel, have the writers lost it, is it the editing or what? One thing I always admired about SG-1 was the production values - even weaker episidos were always good. Now I'm worrying that a seventh series will just get worse.

Tonight watched 'THE OTHER GUYS', funny but in no way compares to the 100th episode.

I hope this season gets better ...
I thought this in the latter half of series 5. Even episodes like Summit/Last Stand were the same... plot, action, and, its all over, despite many details not covered or plot fulfilled - just fast-forward to the credits and let the audience assume the rest. :(
Okay, so not every episode is a winner, but what about Abyss? Everyone that I've talked to has said it's one of their favorites from the whole series.
I can see 'Abyss' was a very strong idea, and if it had been done a few series ago it would have been a truly great episode. As it is I was left feeling slightly unfulfilled - like most of this series a sandwich with not much meat inside.

I'm not just whingeing here, I really want it to be good, but now the episodes seem to be so short; before they were much ‘longer’ and in-depth - even though they run for the same time! Beginning to feel like the soppy lameness that was DS9 or that Voyager turned into.

I used to recommend this to friends, like I was a salesman or something. Let’s just hope it picks up …
Possible S6 spoilers herein, be warned!

I too have been comparing the quality of the episodes running on Sky One every day as opposed to the current, running on Wednesdays. I feel that the writing quality actually dropped during Season 4 some time. I can't put my finger on when exactly, but one thing I do know, and whether it's the reason or not, the writing team of Mallozzi and Mullie almost took over the writing entirely from Season 4 onwards, although occasionally others wrote. They were certainly supervising scripts and possibly even script ideas. It might just be that their input has affected the whole writing. I know that Joe Mallozzi admitted in a recent interview that they had slightly altered the story arcs, so as not to make the episodes reflecting 'another day another planet; scenario. They were the reasons why we started to get so many X File story clones. He said that he wanted to reflect the situation on earth also.

Abyss could have been a stupendous episode, and although many have raved about it, I think that this was due mainly to the Jack centredness of the episode and the fact that Daniel made an appearance. I can't put my finger on what was wrong with it exactly, but I watched it and was left with a feeling of something half done.....We got lots of Jack angst.....and Daniel spouting ****. In fact, if I had been Jack I would have been as irritated by Daniel's presence, as he undoubtedly was. If Daniel wasn't there to give him practical help, then why the hell was he there? Jack is the kind of person who would have thought that.

In contrast, we just had the Serpent Lair episodes, written by Brad Wright, and I thought they were far superior to many of the episodes we have been given in Seasons, 4,5 & 6.

He at least paid attention to the whole picture, human and Goa'uld and kept the impetus and drama going right up to the end. Thoughtfully written and well done. None of the S6 episodes have been that good so far.

Part of the problem with S6 is that the writers don't know what to do with Jonas. I suspect a number of the S6 eps were mapped out when MS was still part of the cast because JQ's part seems like a square peg being shoved into a round hole.

Even in Shadow Play (a pathetic rip-off of the film Beautiful Mind) JQ is there but no effort is made take advantage of being back on his homeworld. Here was a chance to reveal some of JQ's background, the family and friends he left behind, etc. -- and the focus of the ep was elsewhere.

Abyss was well-done, but the set-up for it was weak. Frozen was merely a vehicle to hand Jack over to the Tok'ra. Nothing else substantial happened. The beautiful ancient woman comes and goes, serving only as a disease vector.

The Other Guys was funny, but suffered from a gapping plothole, which made it hard for me to credit the story as anything a daydream in its entirety. Plothole: what exactly was SG1's plan for contacting Khonsu and how did they plan to return to the SGC, assuming the mission had been successful?
Of course it wasn't successful, Khonsu is toast and they are captured for real, but as stated in the script the characters' intentions make no sense and I cannot see how Hammond and the Tok'ra High Council would have approved it. The intended plan would have made more sense if Jack had said that SG1 was being sent to extract Khonsu because he was in danger from Anubis. The writers seem to have focused entirely on the humor -- which is fine for sit-coms -- and not on the credibility of the plot.

The writing in Allegiance, Cure, and Prometheus is better. JQ's role in the last two is much clearer. So with that in mind, I'm looking forward to when SciFi Channel starts SG1 up again in January with the rest of S6. Of course, I'll be seeing the comments from the UK before that, so you folks can let me know how the writing is going before I really get my hopes up. :D
I too have noticed the difference in quality between S1 and S6. Anni is right, the quality began to go downhill in S4. ("Slightly altered the story arcs"? Anni, that's like saying the A-bomb slightly altered Hiroshima.)

If I had to pick a moment, it would be 'Divide and Conquer'. That's the ep which hit us over the head with the mercifully short-lived Sam/Jack ship (something I had never seen prior to that). From then on we got episode after episode featuring one member of SG1 and a guest star, X-File type shows and the disintegration of the team as a family.

I like 'Allegiance', though the 'Cure' was dull (Jonas reminded me of a temp filling in for the 'real' character). I didn't bother with 'The Other Guys' as I am long time Star Trek fan and I don't appreciate being mocked. I also didn't bother with 'Prometheus' either because the plot was so completely stupid.

The US government DOES NOT LET REPORTERS INTO THE GROOM LAKE FACILITY (Area 51). We're talking about the SAME government that murdered the reporter in 'Secrets' because he got too close to the truth.

Also, you have to walk through a metal detector and have any bags searched to get into the Smithsonian museums these days. I'm supposed to believe that a bunch of terrorists could just waltz into the most top secret facility in America without being searched? Come on!
LOL......they were Mallozzi's words, not mine Jobeth! I thought the whole thing went to hell on a hand cart during Season 4.

I too goggled in disbelief at Prometheus and wondered at the arrogance of writers who had deviated so far from the actual reality of security around places like Groom Lake that it makes me wonder if the so called USAF liaison to the show was actually unconscious when this one drifted by him.

I truly believe that the Jack/Sam ship thing was as a direct result of too much liaison with the on line fanbase. No offense meant to anyone, there's nothing wrong with dreaming, however I saw lots of things which had been mentioned over and over again in lists that Joe Mallozzi frequents which actually came to pass in episodes in a lesser or greater form. The desire to examine at least one of the four principal characters in-depth rather than focus on the original intent of the show which was fighting the Goa'uld and exploring the mysteries of the galaxy was a definite indication to me that the show was pandering to the online fanbase quite a lot. Especially since it was Joe Mallozzi who interacted with the online fans more than anyone else from the show.

It was Season 4 onwards which saw the deaths of some of the decent Goa'uld characters - Cronus, Heru Ur and Tanith - all of which showed promise. Nirrti was, and still is, an idiot dressed in ninja gear, Osiris is just a spiteful little girl and Yu is a character who the writers have whitewashed and neutered to make him acceptable to all the fans out there who want a tame baddie. Anubis is.....well.....a non event really. Baal is probably the only decent one they've come up with and lots of the lists I am on have made comments about Yu 'offing' Baal for doing bad things to dear old Jack. I don't think Yu did kill Baal, but I guess there are those out there who would feel more comfortable if he had been killed. And in reality Yu wouldn't have killed Baal for torturing Jack anyway. So I guess Baal might be on the chopping block, going by the show's past track record for killing decent baddies.


I said the writing in those S6 eps was "better," but that doesn't mean that it was uniformly better or even good. I was really just referring to the treatment of JQ.

The Groom Lake security debacle was an outstanding gaff (had to chant the entertainment value mantra many times to get past it). No one would have allowed the news team to bring in unchecked equipment. The USAF would have provided the necessary equipment, especially since the intention was to take back the footage as soon as the leak's source had been revealed.
chances are the usaf would have shot the footage with thier own equipment and then the news team would ahve gotten the heavily edited footage when they were ready for the story to be made public.
Moving this over to Season Six.
Then you don't have to care about spoilers anymore...

I feel that I need to defend some aspects of the writnig qualms. Since I joined this thread like 6 years after it ended I've listed the topics along with my defense.

The Frozen plot:
You can't say nothing happened in Frozen. The Ancient was in her copereal form--the first time we saw this. It was also both a clue to who the Ancients are, and foreshadowing for the Ancient's history. I thought these things were very good. The problem with the ep is that this only makes up a few minutes, and the mysterious plague and everything else that happened in the ep was boring. But STILL...I enjoyed it, and it was free so who am I to complain?

The Other Guys plothole (no plan):
SG-1's plan in The Other Guys is unknown. This episode is not shown from thier perspective. For all we know they had an air-tight plan.

The Groom Lake lax Security issue:
Well, the NID is VERY VERY sneaky, I am sure Simmons had a guy on the inside who made sure the Zats got in without the other people knowing. Know the ship taking off without anyone seeing and other plot holes....a whole other ballpark.

Sam/Jack Ship going buh-bye:
I like that the Sam/Jack ship never went anywhere. Why do shows always have to hook the male and female leads up? That is not life. But they had a GOOD idea with doing it like this. Unrequited love is often times more entertaining than seeing them happliy ever after. They can save THAT for the end of the series.

I like her. Granted she is a clone of Shar'E but she is A: More beautiful, B: A Better actress and C: A MUCH better bad guy. Anna Louise Plowman portrays the charecter about 150 times better than Vaittiare Bandara (Sorry, MS), although she is arch to a new cliched height, I still really like it.

I have liked all of the seasons. If there was a down-point IMO it was the mid-season two-parter of Season 3. The show lost a little bit of quality there, and IMO has been on the same general level since. Seasons 5 and 6 have both good and bad eps, strenghts and weaknesses but I still think it's ALMOST as good as it was when it started out 7 years ago.

My main complaint with this show is the music. Season one had all the great musical themes of tyhe film, but they weaned us off it and now it's just run-of-the-mill TV music. Why they didn't keep the great themes I will never know. That, and the Revisionist History of changing the tech and stuff are my cheif complaints.

PS: Just FYI, I have been watching this show on Canadian TV (Although I am American...never could afford Showtime though) since season one. I think CHTV (Now just CH) started showing the eps less than 6 months after Showtime aired it, so I have been a fan since 97/98.

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