Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stargate SG-1, Season 1, Episode 4

"The Broca Divide"
image used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Good

Some of the folks rescued in “Children of the Gods” saw part of the gate address used by Apophis, Sha’re, and Skaara.  Extrapolation provides a possible gate address to their location.  A probe is sent to the gate address, sends back information about the locale, but no visuals.  SG-1 and SG-3 go to the planet to investigate.

Arriving in a dark forest, SG-1 is attacked by a band of primitive humanoids.  SG-3 repels the attackers.  Continuing to reconnoiter, the SG teams find the group of primitives. Suddenly, another group of humanoids drives off the primitives.  Determining that the newcomers are not Goa’uld, the SG teams follow the newcomers to their city.  The people of the city are Minoan descendants snatched from Earth by Goa’uld.

There is a clear demarcation between sunlight, and darkness, on this planet.  The city is located in the light.  The rustic forest is in the dark.  The human-appearing city dwellers are known as the Untouched.  The quasi-humans who dwell in the dark are known as the Touched.  Mercifully, we viewers now stop being beaten with blunt force symbolism.

Not finding the Goa’uld, or any technology that could be used to fight the Goa’uld, the SG teams return to Earth.  Shortly after returning to the SGC (Stargate Command), personnel begin to exhibit aggressive behavior, and they begin to physically resemble the Touched.  A very contagious, extraterrestrial virus has been brought through the stargate.  Daniel, and Teal’c, return to the planet for blood samples from the Untouched, in hopes of finding a cure.

The performances are good, with moments of sparkling dialog.  Dr. Janet Frasier is introduced in this episode.  Dr. Frasier is the only regularly recurring female character on Stargate SG-1, until the end of season 7.  Technically, she is a recurring guest star. Samantha Carter is the only female who is a regular cast member. There are many women on Stargate SG-1, however, they are extras, or guest stars making a few appearances.  On the plus side, the female characters are usually successful, and intelligent.  Stargate Atlantis is more generous in regard to having strong, recurring, female characters.

This episode concerns the possibility of a harmful contagion being brought to Earth via the stargate.  I rated this episode Good because the notion of an extraterrestrial disease getting loose on Earth is approached, but not really addressed.  No threat of using the base self-destruct.  No apparent changes in gate travel protocol.  Just a “shoot anyone who tries to leave” quarantine.  I think a good premise for a story has to have a solid resolution.

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