Why is the comedy boffin not extinct?

by Suw on November 24, 2003

I love Stargate SG1. Maybe it’s the dry humour, maybe it’s the fantasy of travelling to foreign worlds and discovering new cultures, maybe it’s the romanticism of ancient Egypt. More likely that it’s the hot tottie. Michael Shanks’ arse is not to be sneezed at, after all. Even Richard Dean Anderson could eat crackers in bed and get away with it.

Whatever it is, I love the film and love the tv series. I’m willing to let them get away with almost everything, (so long as they get a cute butt shot in at least once every quarter hour), but tonight they really sank to an all-time low.

I'm afraid that I really find it hard to forgive the use of the Comedy Boffin character – the oh-so-funny inept scientist with terrible social skills, an over-active imagination and a love for strong aftershave. The fact that they also used the Comedy Boffin’s Cute But High-Pitched Equally Socially Inept Female Assistant With A Crush On Her Boss stereotype too really irks.

I had thought that SG1’s writing was better than that. Certainly in the last series, when they were dealing with Daniel’s death and ascendancy and the conflicts between the rules of The Others and his desires to help his fellow SG1ers, it was quite a good watch.

This series, though, they really missed out on potential conflict between the newly reincorporated Daniel and his replacement Jonas Quinn. Instead they ditched Corin Nemac and his character in an oh-so-convenient plot non-twist in favour of weak characters, transparent plots and humour which is more of the cringe variety rather than your basic cardiovascular guffaw. Even a wry grin would have been acceptable. But now you can see the conclusions coming a mile off, and it’s positively painful to watch.

I think they really missed a great opportunity to take the series into much more interesting territory. After all, who says that SG1 only has to have four members? And what a great chance for there to be some internal conflict if you have five people vying for only four places in the team?

Instead, we get weak and cliched writing that’s 100% predictable and 0% enjoyable. I really hope that they pull their socks up in the coming episodes. I’d hate to see one of my favourite scifi series go arse over tit like this. It’s almost as painful as Buffy Series Six.

(PS I really loathe the word 'boffin'. Any journalist who uses it in any science report, serious or otherwise, should be taken outside and cattle prodded into submission. I mean, is it really necessary to denegrate scientists just because you're too stupid to understand what they're saying?)

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