Saturday, December 24, 2011

Stargate SG-1, Season 4, Episode 20

images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Episode Rating:  Good

Commentary by:
Allan Lee  -- Director
James Tichenor -- Visual Effects Supervisor

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

At SGC, a MALP is sent to a gate address retrieved from the repository of the Ancients (“The Fifth Race”).  The visuals of the planet, sent back by the MALP, reveal alien architecture and seemingly advanced technology, unlike any seen before by an SG team, or Teal’c.  Suddenly, the MALP begins to fly through the air, something it cannot do on its own.  While SGC is trying to run a diagnosis on the MALP, the visual feed degrades, and an energy surge from the planet comes through the stargate, affecting the base.  Some SGC personnel suffer burns, and the base computer system is overloaded.

Carter discovers that it was an alien signal that came through the stargate, and it was scanning the SGC computers, accessing information.  Shutting down the stargate interrupted the probing signal.  However, enough of it got through to eventually manifest as an artificial intelligence in the base’s recovering computer systems.  Daniel thinks the A. I. may be sentient, and he wants to try to chat it up.  General Hammond thinks it may be a threat, and he wants it removed.  SGC is under quarantine until the situation is resolved, and that includes a ban on any gate travel.

After a seemingly successful purge the alien A. I. from the base systems, a pocket of the alien program is found, proliferating in secret.  While trying to communicate with the now isolated entity, Carter gets knocked unconscious by a flow of energy from the A.I.  Cut off from Earth, and off-world allies, SGC personnel attempt to save Carter, and prevent the destruction of the base.

A more interesting take on the scientific inquiry versus military action argument than “Prodigy,” with Carter as the nexus.  Carter is a combination of both science, and military, giving her a unique perspective, compared to O’Neill or Daniel’s views.  Tapping is the star of this episode, and performs well.  The rest of the cast is in very good form, staying true to their characters.

None, in particular.  This episode is a good story, with good performances.  No more, no less.

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