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JS Mill

Oh, Martin Gero

Oh, Martin Gero. Sometimes I think you should just be a fan of the show, and not write it. A comment on Mallozzi's blog about how MG confirmed in the Sunday commentary that Teyla's crush was on John has me thinking. I don't think there is a cohesive understanding amongst the writers about the relationship between John and Teyla. Obviously, we know that Gero ships them. This is something, though, that doesn't come across in the vast, vast majority of episodes as something that is intended to be canon. And I'm not saying that just because I embrace the glory of McShep. I'm not blind, nor am I an idiot. I know my canon from my fanon, and they are very distinct in my mind. As with Without A Trace, I treat the show and the fic as dinstinctly separate entities.

I can count on one hand the times when an attraction between the two has been addressed on the show (or even just shown). Firstly, there was their initial meeting in the pilot. John was all flirty, and Teyla was receptive. And then it went nowhere. Their interactions after that were flirt-free - until Conversion, where buggifyin' John grabbed Teyla and kissed her in the gym ... and that can't really be thought of in the same vein - it was less of a mutual attraction thing and more of a "John losing control of himself as he turns into a primal creature" thing. And it was creepy, not sexy or cute. The only other example I can think of is John's dream in Search & Rescue, where he and Teyla are having a dinner date, with wine and Ford. And didn't that just make everyone I watched it with (non-shippers, and not in fandom) go "WTF? What's with the "date" dream?" Now, think of who it was that wrote Search & Rescue. Yep, Gero. And okay - let's look at Sunday. Written by Gero, one of the threads is about Teyla having a crush on someone (John, in Gero's mind - although it is never stated in the episode, and until I heard the commentary I had thought it might have been Carson). In another of the threads, Ronon asks John about John and Teyla getting together (which John dismisses). I find it amusing that the writer was actually intending to ship Teyla/John there, and I, as an audience member, didn't know until I heard the commentary. 

So, anyway - other than the pilot, it's interesting to me that the only situations I can think of where any John/Teyla chemistry is addressed both occur in episodes written by Martin Gero. And one of them I didn't even notice (until the commentary), leaving the other to be a confusing surprise (S&R). Mallozzi once said, after being asked about whether or not Weir was still alive (after being left on Asuras), that it depended on who you spoke to in the writers' room - that everyone has a different take. I think the same is true of shipping. I don't think the other writers ship John & Teyla to the extent that Gero does - if they see them that way at all. It's funny, too, that Sunday has provided the other big WTF? moment of the series - Rodney's statement that Carson was "the best friend I ever had". Again, watched this with non-fandom fans of SGA, and the reaction was, "Since when???" After all, just two episodes previously we learnt that Rodney spent most of his free time for the previous two years playing the Game with John. (Leaving aside the fact that we see Rodney desperately trying to avoid spending alone-time with "boring" Carson in Sunday itself.) What the hell went on there? Was it the relationship between David and Paul that got mixed in there? Do the writers never sit down and watch the series properly to see what it is they're putting out there? Are their ideas of what the show is about too coloured by their own views, as well as maybe bits that are cut for time (which might have lent a different air to the show)?

 
And  the saucepan burning has ruined the flow, so none of this probably makes any sense. :-(

Comments

Gero seems to want to write for another show. Don't get me wrong, he does terrific comedy and also some good character moments, but he really, really likes his shipping. It seems more sitcom than scifi with him.
I think you're right about the sitcom bit. I do enjoy a lot of things about his episodes, especially his desire to focus on the characters, but yeah - I think he goes a little too far with that character focus at times ... crossing into sitcom territory. I do think, too, that we as an audience have a different view of the show than the writers purely because we see it at a distance, whereas their views are affected by what might get said in the writers' room which never gets to script, let alone screen.
I know! We know that Teyla's father was the Athosian leader before her, so it is so much more likely that Tagan was her father, and not her mother. I think these guys need to actually write their own bible of canon, so they can refer to it. Or, you know - hire me to vet their scripts :-)
Your entirely right of course; the plotholes could swallow a Greyhound bus. I suppose it could be a multiple writer problem, but Dr Who has multiple writers and they seem to manage a coherent canon that doesn't leave you going wtf?!.

The Carson-as-Rodney's-best-friend bit still annoys me.
Maybe Dr Who has one person overall who runs things and has since the beginning of the new series? I mean, maybe the issue here is that Brad Wright and Rob Cooper passed the show-running over to Mallozzi and Mullie partway through, which would mean there has not been a consistent leader from go to whoa. From what I understand, Mullie is the one who usually questions things that need questioning more than anyone else - perhaps if he had been in control from the pilot there would be more consistency?

Oh, totally with you on that. It's such a stupid claim which is completely unsupported and in fact flies in the face of everything we've been presented with. IT'S SO DUMB.