"Beneath the Surface"
Episode Rating: Fair
Peter DeLuise -- Director
James Tichenor -- Visual Effects Supervisor
The commentary is interesting, and more entertaining than the episode. Lots of behind the scene information. The commentary stays on point with what is on screen.
The episode opens in a dimly lit, windowless location, with a claustrophobic feel. One skylight high above provides a distant glow. Many people are sleeping in an open dormitory. They are living and working in gritty conditions. SG-1 is amongst those people. O’Neill, Carter, and Daniel are unaware of their true identities. Teal’c is there as well, and attempts to get the rest of SG-1 to remember who they truly are, however he fails. Teal’c is then forcibly taken out of the area.
The viewer learns the gist of what is happening before any of the regular characters have a clue. SGC attempts to locate the team, while SG-1 remains where they are, continuing to suffer from amnesia. The pacing of the episode is tortuously slow, as SG-1 regains their memories in bits and pieces. Much of the show involves waiting for SGC, and SG-1, to figure things out.
“Beneath the Surface” is similar in tone to an episode of the 1995 to 2002 television series The Outer Limits. A bleak society with people working to create a bright future. However, something else is going on -- dare I say it? -- beneath the surface. The formula does not work for Stargate SG-1.
Rather than being an adventure, this episode is like sitting on a bench at the mall, waiting for someone else to finish shopping.