2008-08-10 01:48 UTC Stargate canonical viewing order
I recently finished rewatching the whole of the Stargate franchise with Carey. Here is the order in which I would recommend watching the show. This order optimises for avoiding spoilers (references to other episodes always happen after you've seen the corresponding episode), and where possible given that constraint, avoids switching back and forth between SG-1 and Atlantis so that you can watch as many episodes of one show back to back as possible without having to switch series.
- Stargate movie
- Stargate SG-1, episodes 1.1 to 8.2
- Stargate Atlantis, episodes 1.1 to 1.15
- Stargate SG-1, episodes 8.3 to 8.20
- Stargate Atlantis, episodes 1.16 to 2.1
- Stargate SG-1, episodes 9.1 to 10.2
- Stargate Atlantis, episodes 2.2 to 3.4
- Stargate SG-1, episodes 10.3 to 10.12
- Stargate Atlantis, episodes 3.5 to 3.19
- Stargate SG-1, episodes 10.13 to 10.20
- Stargate: The Ark of Truth
- Stargate Atlantis, episodes 3.20 to 5.1
- Stargate: Continuum
- Stargate Atlantis, episodes 5.2 onwards.
For the most entertainment, avoid watching "previously on" segments. Some of the "previously on"s are really bad spoilers and actually ruin the whole episode. To avoid watching them, the easiest thing to do is to mute the sound and wait for the light from the screen to fade to black. Simiarly, avoid watching the credit sequences at the start of each episode, as they tend to give away major plot points. Just look away and wait for the end of the music. (I used to try and fast-forward but unless you have a very responsive player I find that it ends up taking more time than just waiting through it.)
(I similarly recommend not watching commentaries for one season until you have seen the last episode of the next season, as the commentaries are recorded as the writers are preparing the next season, so they sometimes accidentally give things away.)
The characteristics that make me love the Stargate franchise are that it is internally self-consistent, it doesn't take itself too seriously, things that happen in one episode do affect future episodes, the main characters aren't immortal, and it is technically a very well-produced show. It doesn't reset to zero with each episode (StarTrek), or ridiculously over-use hand-held camera effects (Battlestar Galactica). It has a reliably well-written score.