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Atlantis goes pay-per-view August 22, 2008

Posted by ce9999 in Stargate: Atlantis.
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I became aware earlier today that the Sci Fi Channel, MGM and Stargate Productions have mutually decided to end the television run of Stargate: Atlantis at the end of its current season.

Really, I shouldn’t be surprised about this, but I am. Does that mean I’m gullible? Well, yeah, but apparently I’m not gullible enough to qualify as a viewer that the Sci Fi Channel is interested in. They’ll be replacing Atlantis with a new show, Stargate: Universe, that’s specifically aimed at a “younger demographic.”

People, “younger demographic” is simply marketing double-speak for “people who are more gullible and susceptible to advertisements.” In other words, if this new show is aimed at you, it means the Powers That Be are assuming you are dumber and easier to sway than the current viewership of Stargate: Atlantis. Are you?

What’s also disturbing about this is the way Atlantis itself is apparently being switched over to “pay-per-view” status. No, it won’t be like regular PPV. You will actually have to go to a store and buy a DVD, or use whatever other means they might offer for getting your money (iTunes, for instance). But paying is paying, regardless of the means of delivery. Right now, you can watch Atlantis for free. Next year, you won’t. What’s more, I think they are doing this specifically because they believe Atlantis is at a popularity peak right now, that it can only go downhill from here, and furthermore, why should they continue to allow people to watch the show for free when they can replace it with a more profitable show which will probably cost less to produce, which will also appeal to a more desireable demographic, while still popping off the occassional Atlantis “movie” to rake in a few bucks on DVD sales to boot? To summarize, we, the viewers of Atlantis, are being ripped off precisely because we made this show as successful as it is.

What are my sources for these allegations? The changes have been documented with multiple articles on Gateworld, with the one of primary interest being “Wright: Atlantis is going out on top.” This quote is of particular interest:

The decision to end Stargate Atlantis and jump to the movie format was made mutually by the SCI FI Channel, MGM, and Stargate Productions in Vancouver, executive producer Brad Wright told GateWorld today. Rather than canceling the show because of under-performance, the Powers That Be decided to go out on top while Atlantis is still popular enough to support the release of DVD movies.

See?

However, there is a potential positive side to this. While I’ve seen some concern expressed that the new Stargate: Universe show will end up being nothing more than the Stargate remake of Star Trek: Voyager (credit goes to Glenn H for that idea), it seems that the creators of the show are aware of some of the concerns I previously mentioned on this blog. An article entitled Stargate Universe Has A Go! states:

The show will be “a little more character-based, a little less rooted in a sci-fi mythology,” co-creator Brad Wright told GateWorld. “It really does come down to characters and stories that are engaging, and that people want to see — that they feel like they haven’t seen before.”

I’m not sure what Wright means about “rooted in sci-fi mythology”, but I do like what he’s saying about making the show more character-based, provided they don’t end up with a bunch of squeaky-clean noobs like on the first couple of seasons of Star Trek: Voyager.

The other problem with that show’s initial seasons was pretty simple too: the villians were boring. Remember the Kazon? No? I’m not surprised. Theoretically, they could have been interesting, but in practice, I groaned painfully at their every appearance on the show, and jumped for joy when Janeway and the crew finally got their asses out of that sector of the galaxy. The Wraith are somewhat better, but not a lot, and I’d consider them to be one of the primary flaws of Atlantis as a series. If Universe is to succeed, they really need to work on the bad guys. Look back at Apophis and Ba’al, and tell me I’m wrong.

I admit, I’m already wondering who they’re going to cast on Universe. They’re aiming for a younger demographic, so there’ll probably be some 20-something male heartthrob in the lead. Zac Efron, anyone? He’s 21 now. Heheheh. (I suppose I should shut up, before somebody gets the idea to do High School Musical In Space!….)

All in all, if Universe turns out to be a better series than Atlantis, then I’ll probably be ok with this. There is one thing, however, which will disappoint me, even if that happens: Robert Picardo will only have one season to really show his stuff.

Atlantis: A Question of Character July 29, 2008

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The other night I watched the latest installment of The David Hewlett Show Stargate: Atlantis, the episode entitled “Broken Ties.” This is the third episode of the new fifth season. I’m glad that these new episodes are being aired now, because with Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica on hiatus, I’d be in a real pickle otherwise. Who knows—I might actually have to go outside, or meet some people or something!

On the other hand, Atlantis has never been a top-tier show for me, especially when compared to these other shows, or even to its parent series, Stargate: SG-1. I don’t think it has (so far) lived up to its potential, for a number of reasons. The main reason has to do with character, and this last episode just happened to bring the issue to the forefront of my mind.

In the episode, the question was raised whether Teyla, after the birth of her baby a couple of episodes previously, would be returning to “the team” [1]. As she hemmed and hawed about this question, I surprised myself by hoping that she would decide not to return, but instead would stay on the Atlantis station in some sort of advisory capacity or something. In other words, while I didn’t want to see Teyla removed entirely from the show, the prospect of integrating a new team member seemed more interesting to me than simply having her carry on as before.

Why? Well, I really do hate to say this, but, over the first four seasons, and even so far this year, she just hasn’t turned out to be a very interesting character. It seems like she hasn’t changed one iota since the very first season, and frankly, I’ve virtually lost interest. This recent development with her partner and her having a baby, it reminds me of Will Riker cooking omlettes for Enterprise crewmates on Star Trek: The Next Generation so many years ago: an obvious attempt to add “dimension” to an otherwise flat character, without taking the apparently forbidden risk of having real character development. It’s more tedious than interesting.

I could say similar things about many of the characters on Atlantis. Take Sheppard, for instance. The most interesting thing that ever happed to him was the one episode where he turned into a bug (“Conversion” in season two). Sure, this was an amusing story, and I imagine the ghost of Franz Kafka got a chuckle or two, but imagine how much better this episode could have played if only we had cared deeply about Sheppard as a person. “Ohmygawd! He’s turning into a bug!!!!! This is horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!1!” But no—it was more like, “Ha! He’s turning into a bug. Cool. This should be good. Hey—you got any more potato chips over there?” The writers have continued this pattern throughout the series. Once and a while, Sheppard is put through some sort of ordeal, presumably to give him “depth”, but really they’re just giving us more omlettes.

Carson Beckett is like this too. He’s very likeable guy, but I admit I didn’t feel much regret when he once again left the show at the end of last week’s episode “The Seed”, and I don’t find myself caring very much whether they bring him back.

This flatness of character is a systemic problem with the show. To take the Beckett example a bit farther: His character was originally killed, it was only later that they pulled a Mr. Spock on him and brought him back. So let’s compare his death to Mr. Spock’s death. When Mr. Spock died at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, people cried. Seriously. I had to struggle with every fibre of my being to avoid crying openly in the theater (as a teenager, I would have felt like a complete ass if I cried, even if nobody noticed). When Carson Beckett died, well, I did feel bad. There may have even been a tear. I mean, he really is a nice guy, you know? His dedication to his profession is more than admirable—he’s a genuine hero. However, while his death actually did suck, there wasn’t much to it beyond that. This was not epic tragedy the way Spock’s death was. Another good comparison would be to Daniel Jackson’s death/ascension on SG-1. That really hurt, and the fact that he was supposedly still around as some sort of mystical energy-being was no consolation at all. It would have been the same for any member of the SG-1 team. I loved those guys! They were the best! However, with the possible exception of Rodney McKay, I have never had that depth of feeling for any character on Stargate: Atlantis. I doubt that I am the only one who feels this way. Why is this so? Because the characters just don’t inspire that much feeling.

Replacing Teyla with a new team member might not have helped, of course. The last new person on the show was Dr. Keller, and where has she gone so far, as a character? Almost nowhere. Just as with Sheppard, the most interesting thing to happen to her is getting transformed into a bug. Ooops, I mean a giant tentacled creature. Whatever. (Does it really matter?) This happened in last week’s episode, “The Seed,” and, in fact, that story was even worse for Dr. Keller than Sheppard’s bug-guy transformation, because in “The Seed”, an episode revolving entirely around her, she spends the majority of her screen time unconscious!

I know full well that Jewel Staite can do more than what is being asked of her, too. Her completely delightful portrayal of Kaylee on Firefly was a highlight of that series—she stood out even though she had to compete with eight other well developed characters, and even though there were only fourteen episodes finished before the series was axed. But the character she’s playing on Atlantis doesn’t stand out much at all. I have to admit, if I wasn’t such a Jewel Staite fan, I doubt Dr. Keller would have made any impression on me. I actually had to look up her name for this article because I couldn’t remember it, in spite of the fact that she’s been on the series for a whole season already.

However, I do have a couple of reasons to maintain hope. The first is that Dr. Keller is still fairly new. Even though she’s been around a whole season, and even though her most significant moment during that time was her metamorphosis into a giant seaweed monster, it is still possible that some evolution could happen. She doesn’t yet have four seasons of inertia holding her back like some of the other cast. The writers might go with idea of hooking her up with Dr. McKay, for instance. Anything involving Rodney McKay is probably a good idea, so that is a ray of hope. I also know that, if there’s any shred of interest to be found in the Dr. Keller character at all, Jewel Staite will find it, if only the writers and directors give her the chance. She’s also got star billing now, her face right up there in the main titles with all the others. Can this be an omen of things to come? I hope so.

I’m being pretty so critical of this show, but the truth is that I really do enjoy it. I wouldn’t bother with all of this if I didn’t care. But, to lighten this up a bit, I’ll finish with a new development which I think is quite promising: Robert Picardo’s addition to the cast.

Those faithful Trekkers who, like myself, suffered through the first couple of seasons of Star Trek: Voyager will probably recall Picardo’s portrayal of The Doctor as one of the bright spots of that dreadfully dull early period in Voyager history. It’s for this reason, and for his previous appearances on the Stargate shows, that I was very happy to see him included as one of the regular cast on Atlantis, even if it meant losing Samantha Carter.

(I know a lot of people are not happy about Carter leaving. However, as much as I like Carter, I’m not inclined to agree that her leaving the show is necessarily a bad thing. That, however, is a whole other topic, one which perhaps deserves a post of its own someday.)

Like Carter, Richard Woolsey comes with some predefined developmental background, although not nearly as much as Carter did. Woolsey was one of the more enjoyable antagonist guest characters on SG-1. He first appeared as a butt-clenching bureaucrat sent to sabotage the entire Stargate program through procedural means. It didn’t work, not because he failed in his mission but because he changed his mind about the program. That right there was the beginning his evolution into someone interesting, and a sign that he wasn’t going to be a one-dimensional villian like Senator Kinsey or Apophis. A one-dimensional villian can be entertaining, sure, but given a choice, I’ll take a fully fleshed out antagonist just about every time (Peter Williams’ excellent portrayal of Apophis notwithstanding).

Woolsey has some qualities similar to General Hammond, who also came to SG-1 in a somewhat antagonistic capacity (although Hammond was obviously never intended to be a real antagonist). Like Hammond, Woolsey can be swayed through reason, and will even occassionally break the rules for the greater good. He also has a hard-nosed side, so he can make the tough calls when he needs to. On SG-1, he abandoned his prejudices about the Stargate program, and ended up becoming a firm believer in it and the members of the SG-1 team (just as Hammond learned to trust the intelligence and integrity of Daniel Jackson, who he was pretty skeptical of at first). That sort of attitude change isn’t just gratifying, it’s interesting. Furthermore, unlike Carter, who’s a character of action, thriving on movement and mission, Woolsey is entirely a thinker, a decider, a manager. Where Carter would carry out a mission, Woolsey would produce a mission statement. He’s the kind of guy who could be your boss at that cushy desk job you want so much (and you’d be lucky to have someone as fair-minded as him, too). Perhaps most promisingly, although Woolsey does have very strong desk-jockey tendencies, it’s already obvious that in order to be effective as the leader of the Atlantis team, he’s going to have to grow beyond that, to acquire a bit of that movement and mission quality that Carter possesses.

It all sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Everything is set up just so: We’ve got a moderately developed and fairly interesting character in a position where he’ll have to develop some more if he wants to succeed at his job. The question now is, will the writers take this ball and run with it? We can only wait and see. So far, Picardo himself seems to be making the most of the opportunity he’s been given. Witness the little moment in this most recent episode where Woolsey couldn’t figure out how to get the conference room doors open. It wasn’t just played as a matter of technical ineptitude, but also as an element of his larger struggle to earn the respect of the team. He’s frustrated that the team doesn’t yet respect him to the degree that he would like, but he’s not simply throwing his authority around to gain that respect. He genuinely wants Sheppard and the others to respect him, and he wants to earn that respect fairly. He wants to deserve it, without compromising his authority, and this goal is important to him. Using the door-opening problem to illustrate this was a welcome detail, and a sign (I hope) that he will end up being more than just a cardboard cutout character. Yes, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what happens with Woolsey.

——-
[1] By the way, why doesn’t “the team” have a name? SG-1 had a name. Shouldn’t Sheppard’s team have a name too? Or at least an official designation of some kind???

Hollowed are the Ori March 22, 2008

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I had promised some comments on the new Stargate movie, Ark of Truth. Here they are—100% spoilerific! ;)

In short, it’s not bad. I wouldn’t rank it with the finest all-time Stargate: SG-1 series episodes, but it’s worth watching. Is it worth buying the DVD, for roughly US$20? That’s a tougher call, especially when you consider that DVD sales will have a direct impact on whether more movies are made. If you’re a fan and you want to see more movies, then yes, definitely buy it, especially since the non-fans aren’t going to be flocking to the store shelves themselves. The movie does seem to be written more for us, the fans, than for a general sci-fi audience. Overall, I’d consider Ark of Truth to be on a par with Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In other words, it’s great to see the story continuing, and the movie has its moments, not to mention being fun and enjoyable, but it isn’t exactly everything I’d hoped it would be.

So what happens? Well, the Ori turn out to be dead after all, but, as is often the case, where great power is extinguished, someone else fills in the inevitable vacuum. In this case, Adria (aka The Orici) is the guilty party. My Firefly-fanboy side was immensely pleased with this development, because I can sit in my chair drooling over Morena Baccarin pretty much any day of the week, you know? Ba’al is nowhere to be seen (or heard)—apparently, his ill-fated attempt to take over the Orici remains ill-fated. It’s too bad, since Ba’al was a fantastic villian, but, on the other hand, half the fun of him is his smug Goa-uld unkillable-ness, so what would be the fun of killing him off in ninety minutes? Besides, bringing him back too many times would be dumb, and the series writers already came very close to making that mistake with Apophis.

One other villian makes a surprising and much-welcomed reappearance: The Replicators! :) I don’t mean those tedious, second-rate ones from the Pegasus Galaxy, either. Nor do I mean the less-than-inspiring humaniform Replicators from late in the SG-1 series. I mean the original, whirring, clacking, glorified-erector-set, geek-boy-nightmare, shoot-em-with-a-machine-gun, mechanical-bug Replicators! Damn! :D I’d missed these little bastards. They wreak loads of havoc, too. What happens is this: Essentially, some fool in the IOC decides that replicators are the best way to kill the Ori ships, forgetting that real replicators would happily go on to destroy the whole universe after they were done with their original job. So yeah, that plan is necessarily scrapped, which means not only does SG-1 have to find another way to zap the Ori ships, they have to kill off the Replicators at the same time!

About those Ori ships: The premise here is that Origin, the religion, would continue on even if its gods were utterly destroyed. Obviously this is reasonable, since the life of any religion isn’t its god, it’s the collective belief that makes up the religion, whether that belief is true or not. This isn’t the first time that Stargate has dealt with this subject, either. There were a substantial number of Jaffa who refused to join the resistance because they really did believe the Goa’uld were gods. If I remember right, they created a bit of a mess after the system lords were overthrown, too.

More recently in the Stargate universe, while the religion of Origin may have been started by the Ori themselves, the faith of the Priors is the more immediate problem, as they are the ones piloting huge, galaxy-conquering ships. The only reason the Ori had to be destroyed at all was because they were the ones who made new Priors. There’s Adria, of course, who seems to have assumed much of the power of the Ori, but does she have the ability to create new Priors, or to do any direct damage at all other than keeping the Priors organized? They are about to bring another wave of Ori ships through the supergate to continue the invasion, but again, it’s the Priors who are doing the dirty work here, not Adria herself. However you cut it, this movie isn’t the mop-up after Season 10, it’s the main battle.

So, how do you kill a religion, anyway? The answer given in the movie seems pretty accurate, namely that you can only usurp one idea with another idea. In this case, that other idea is “the truth,” but note that the only way to cause the Priors to believe it is through the force of the Ark. They’re not going to believe it just because it’s true. This creates an unfortunate problem for the story, in that the only way to resolve things in one single movie, as opposed to a series-spanning holy war, is through the use of a magical super-duper gizmo where a switch is flipped and the problem is solved. The Priors’ minds are instantly changed and the war is over. It would have been nice if the writers had been able to find some devilishly clever way to weasel their way out of this problem, but they really couldn’t. There just wasn’t enough story time available. The gizmo is The Ark, obviously, and it’s why I didn’t find the overall story to be all that satisfying.

However, I did enjoy the movie, and I’m looking forward to the next one. :)

The Nox, Hathor, Cor-Ai March 8, 2008

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Friday night, I continued my SG-1 marathon with three more episodes.

The first of these was “The Nox,” a truly fascinating episode, and one of the best in the entire ten-year run of SG-1. Aside from being brilliant and very enjoyable, it lays some groundwork for a lot of what happens in the remainder of the series. Although the SG-1 team members don’t know it yet, this is their first face-to-face encounter with one of the four ancient races, who will play (to varying degrees) such an important role in their mission in the years to come. It’s also the first indication we have that the U.S. government isn’t entirely satisfied with the performance of the SG-C, a fact which will lead to all sorts of interference, oversight and outright shennanigans by a variety of other people, continuing even to this day on Atlantis. We also begin to get a sense in this episode of just how wily and challenging an opponent Apophis will be, when SG-1’s straightforward and simple plan to capture him ends up with O’Neill, Carter and Jackson all getting killed. If it wasn’t for the extremely sophisticated healing abilities of the Nox, the series would have ended about ten minutes into this episode.

Of course the Nox are the main point of this episode, so let’s talk about them a little. There are four of them shown, and their leader is played by none other than Armin Shimerman, of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. Casting him in this episode was a stroke of genius, because the character Anteaus is such a marked contrast to Shimerman’s well-known roles in the other two series, and it’s always a pleasure to see a good actor do something different from what he’s done before. He’s just delightful here, managing to quietly eclipse much of his more well-known work in what must be only fifteen or twenty minutes of screen time.

The other Nox character to play a major role is Nafrayu, the cute little Nox kid, played by Addison Ridge. Observe Carter’s expression when she looks at him, as if she’s never seen anything so adorable in her entire life. Can you blame her? My favorte of the other Nox, though, would have to be Lya, played by Frida Betrani. She’s a sweetie. Pretty, too. :) I am quite infatuated with her, I admit—this is why I’m saying such totally unprofessional things. ;) She is the only one of the Nox ever to appear on the series again, after this episode. I had high hopes that they would play an important role in the series, but only Lya comes back a couple of times, very briefly. This is very disappointing, because the Nox are an uncommon thing: an advanced alien species who actually seem advanced and alien. This makes them extremely interesting.

Apophis also plays a major role in this episode. In fact, is there any other episode in the series where he is “in play” as much as he is here? Not very many of them, that’s for sure. Peter Williams is still starting to get into the Apophis character at this point—later on, he gets better and better at it, until, eventually, the very sight of him makes a person want to scream in frustration. He’s the second best of all the Goa-uld to ever appear in the series, I think, bested only slightly by Cliff Simon’s hilarious, frustrating and brilliant portrayal of Ba’al, much later in the series.

In other matters, I must point out how much I enjoyed the musical score in this episode. I’ve noticed that, in general, the quality of the incidental music this season is pretty high. This is important to me, personally, so I thank the composer(s) for their efforts in these episodes, as well as the people who had the sense to hire decent composers in the first place.

In the realm of trivia, we see SG-5 briefly at the beginning of the episode, and I noticed that all of the Jaffa in Apophis’s personal guard are sporting gold forehead tattoos identical to Teal’c’s. This once again contradicts the idea that only first primes have gold emblems. I suppose it’s realistic to assume that different system lords would have different, um….systems to their Jaffa insignia, since they certainly would not be interested in trying to standardize something as trivial as this. After all, they have much more important concerns, such as how to kill all their rivals, live forever, and achieve domination of the galaxy. :P

I mentioned I watched two other episodes Friday: “Hathor” and “Cor-Ai.”

“Hathor” was better than I had remembered. I believe there are some inconsistencies between what’s presented in this episode and what comes later on, both with respect to the creation of the Jaffa, and to Goa-uld reproduction. It’s been a long time, though, so I will have to wait and see. The most enjoyable thing about this episode to me was Suanne Braun’s portrayal of the “goddess of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll”, Hathor. She’s just plain hot, in a beautiful, sensual, sultry and full-hipped way. I love it. :) It must also be said that Carter and Dr. Fraiser both kick a lot of ass in this episode. Indeed, this episode is all about the girls, since the boys end up spending most of their time in pheromone-induced thrall to Hathor.

“Cor-Ai” is a really good Teal’c episode, and pretty excellent in general. I really enjoy how it deals with questions relating to guilt, innocence, forgiveness, redemption, victim’s rights, the burden of punishment of a criminal, and so on. It’s quite fascinating. Briefly, some background: During the 1990’s, a hot political issue in the U.S. was the question of victim’s rights, namely the belief that the rights of the accused were being accorded too much weight by our legal system, and that this needed to be corrected in favor of victims of crimes. This episode hypothesizes a rather extreme solution to the problem, namely a legal system where the trial itself is controlled by the victim, who is also responsible for determining and carrying out the sentence. On the surface, it seems like a hopelessly barbaric way of doing things (at least it does to me, civil libertarian that I am), but the episode is written intelligently enough so we see that it wouldn’t really be that simple…although I still much prefer the American way of doing things. This episode is what science fiction is all about: using the story in a way that’s not only relevant to the complexities of the real world, but doing so thoughtfully, so that the viewer is actually drawn into thinking about an issue in a new way.

Children of the Gods March 4, 2008

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Okay, done with “Children of the Gods”, the pilot episode of SG-1.

There were some things I wanted to mention. I decided to skip the Stargate movie, because I never really liked it all that much. What’s more important to me are the SG-1 characters, as portrayed by the series actors (even though I’m a raving fan of James Spader). A long time ago, my dad remarked that one of the primary strengths of the original Star Trek series was the relationship between Kirk, Spock and McCoy, and I think he was absolutely correct. Those three characters just clicked really well, and that went a long way towards making the series fun, interesting, and most importantly not stilted or phony in feeling. It made a person want to be there with them, on the Enterprise.

When I first started watching SG-1, it didn’t take me very long to realize that here was another show like that, only with four people instead of three. This is one of the main reasons I wanted to watch the whole thing over again, in order to see that interplay develop.

I also want to note of some other things here. For one, this pilot is just plain good. I had forgotten that, or perhaps not appreciated it as much during previous viewings.

Other interesting things fit more in the category of trivia. For instance, one of the serpent guards that comes through the stargate with Apophis’ party at the beginning, the one who is later shown dead on a gurney, is sporting a gold forehead emblem identical to the one Teal’c wears. According to what would later be said, this would make him a “first prime.” I guess that hadn’t been thought of at this point, however.

  1. When Apophis, Teal’c and the others come through the gate, the “puddle” disappears behind them, and then, after the shootout, somehow it’s back again, allowing them to effect their escape. How did it get back? I suspect that’s just a mistake–writers can’t have every detail worked out right from the beginning.
  2. The frostiness that the teams suffer from while going through the gate–I made a point of watching, and they only suffer from it while going from the gate at the SG-C to a remote destination. Coming back, they are fine, other than the problem of being rudely thrust through the gate so they stumble. I’ll have to remember to watch, but I suspect these problems are due to minor issues with the SG-C’s computer system not being perfectly in tune with the stargate.
  3. Members of SG-2 are shown in this movie, and play an important supporting role. I can’t remember offhand if SG-2 ever makes another appearance at any point in the series, other than Kawalski playing a major role in the episode immediately following this. (Actually, I might want to keep track of which SG teams appear in which episodes–it could be interesting, along with my Jaffa tattoo-cataloging project).
  4. General Hammond sets up nine SG teams in this initial movie. That answers a question I’ve had for a long time–I couldn’t remember and thought it was 12, except 12 seemed too high.
  5. The SG-1 and SG-2 insignia are different here than they are in the main part of the series. Briefly, the SG-1 insignia features a black “1” superimposed on the chevron in the center of the insignia. Later on (beginning in the very next episode, actually), they start moving over to the final design, where the “1” is the silver color of the rest of the pattern. As for SG-2, in this pilot, their insignia is similar to that of SG-1, namely a black “2” superimposed on a chevron in the center. I’ll have to watch carefully to see how this changes, because in later episodes, SG-1 is the only team to feature a number and a chevron in the center of the design. All the others just have the number of the team.

Finally, I’d like to raise my proverbial hat to the persons responsible for the musical score in this pilot–again, I hadn’t noticed in previous viewings, but listening to it again, the score in this is second-to-none compared to scores throughout the entire series.

That’s all for now. I have tea brewing, and after that’s done, I’ll be on to the first “real” episode, “The Enemy Within”. If I remember right, this is the one where Kawalsky kicks the bucket.