FAN FILM FRIDAY: "Stargate - The Lost Colony" (2009)

Kevin Long
Kevin Long's picture

I'm pinch hitting today as your normal host is something, I guess. I don't know. I was half asleep when I got the call.

Now it is not normally my way to judge fan films. The acting is generally bad, production values nonexistent, writing is incoherent. If you're going to be critical, you'll never stop. I choose to pick on the good aspects and ignore the bad ones. The real payoff is stuff you don't see, behind the camera: the fun and adventure of making your own production and the bonding and frequently hilarious fights that ensue. That said, this one's got me wondering:

If that link doesn't work, try here:

Now, the Stargate franchise is the third most successful, third-longest-running live action SF show of all time, with 15 seasons and 364 episodes, 2 TV movies, and 1 theatrical film under its belt. It was beloved of everyone, except Sheldon, and not a day goes by that I don't miss it. (Literally: I don't miss it. The kids and I have the whole series, and we're working our way through in chronological order)

Now, generally we see Star Wars or Star Trek or Dr. Who fan films on here, but there are in fact an awful lot of Stargate ones, mostly in France and Germany for some reason. Given the language difference they don't tend to turn up here. What little I've seen is...a lot like the example above.

So why to Stargate fan films fail? There's really only two reasons:

1) The characters and writing are poor. Gate always, always, always worked around great characters who were funny, smart, and kinda' jerks to each other. Half of any Gate episode is character interaction. This is more than your average "I'm gonna' hit the Army Surplus Store and then go run around the woods" level actor can pull off. It's also more than the average fanfilm writer can pull off. That's not an insult: I couldn't do it either.

2) It might be too easy. Grabbing some army surplus and running around in the woods is far easier than building sets like the various Trek productions do. It might be the technical difficulties of creating something so complex forms a kind of 'entrance exam' that tests ones competency.