Friday, December 9, 2011

Stargate SG-1, Season 4, Episode 1

"Small Victories"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Episode Rating: Excellent

Commentary by:
Martin Wood -- Director
Jim Menard -- a Director of Photography on the series
James Tichenor -- Visual Effects Supervisor

The commentary is very informative, and interesting.  Lots of behind the scene tidbits.  The commentary stays on point with what is on screen.

Thor’s ship was destroyed at the end of “Nemesis.” However, the last shot showed that one of the Replicators survived the crash.  A Russian sub is in the vicinity of the spaceship crash site.  The Replicator manages to board the sub, and overwhelm the crew.  The Replicators have a toehold on Earth.

Back at SGC, it has been two weeks since the events in “Nemesis.”  The second stargate is finally set up.  The absent three-quarters of SG-1 returns to Earth, via the stargate.  Daniel still has another week of rest in order to recover from his appendectomy.  So, the team once again prepares for R & R.  And, once again, their plans are interrupted.  The Replicators on the Russian sub have been discovered.  As the only people on Earth who have any experience with Replicators, three-quarters of SG-1 are called on as consultants about the situation.  While SGC, and the Pentagon, co-ordinate a plan to deal with the infested sub, the stargate activates.  It is the Asgard, Thor!  Earth is saved!  Eh, not so much.

The Asgard rescued Thor from the planet SG-1 gated to before destroying Thor’s ship.  O’Neill wants Thor to help Earth destroy the Replicators in the sub.  Wishful thinking on O’Neill’s part.  Thor is looking for help from Earth in fighting the Replicators.  The Asgard home world is about to be invaded by Replicator infested spaceships, and the Asgard cannot spare any of their defenses to help Earth.  SG-1’s success in destroying Thor’s ship convinces the Asgard that a new way to fight the Replicators is to use less sophisticated, and less technologically advanced, tactics -- think dumber.  The Asgard are way too smart to think dumbly, so they want Earth humans to provide some dumb ideas for fighting off the Replicators.  Oh, burn!  Carter goes with Thor back to the Asgard home world.  O'Neill and Teal'c head to the location of the Russian sub.  Daniel is out of the action, but still has screen time.

The Asgard are facing the destruction of their civilization, after years of battling the Replicators.  Earth humans are facing the destruction of their civilizations, due to the incursion of the Replicators on the planet.  Two battle fronts.  Two levels of weapons technology.  Two civilizations on the brink of destruction.  One awesomely excellent episode.

This episode is a fantastic mix of action, and suspense.  The music is wonderful, as usual, with the added dimension of the threatening, very creepy, Replicator theme music.  All of the regular cast provides strong performances, something that is, at this point in the series, the norm.

Carter’s hair, specifically, her bangs.  They are long enough to hang into her eyes.  I’ve had hair in my eyes, and it is uncomfortable, and distracting.  I don’t buy that an Air Force officer in a situation where combat is an ever-present possibility keeps a hairstyle that partially obscures her vision.

Weighing in on Teal’c’s soul patch:
I like it.  I think it looks fine.  The only thing I’d change is the blond dye job.  That screams Earth human fad, not Jaffa warrior.

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