Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stargate SG-1, Season 4, Episode 7

images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Episode Rating:  Excellent

Commentary by:
Peter DeLuise -- Director
Jim Menard -- Director of Photography
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.

SG-1 is in the gate room, ready to head out on a mission.  However, the attempt to dial an address on the stargate fails.  The seventh chevron will not engage.  Researching why the stargate is not working properly, readings very similar to those generated by the second stargate in “Solitudes” are detected, emanating from Siberia.  The most likely conclusion: the Russians have a stargate.

Specifically, they have the stargate SG-1 beamed onto Thor’s ship in “Nemesis,” before the ship crashed into the ocean on Earth.  Stargates are difficult to destroy.  Not only do the Russians have a stargate, they have been using it to travel off world.  Also, having illicitly garnered copies of Stargate Command files, the Russians use SGC’s experience to operate the stargate in Siberia.  SGC’s stargate will not lock onto a gate address because the Russian’s stargate has an active wormhole, one they cannot shut down.  The stargate did not automatically shut down after being active for 38 minutes.  Only one stargate can be active at a given set of coordinates.  As long as the Russian gate is active, there will be no incoming, nor outgoing, gate travel on Earth.

SG-1 meets with a Russian scientist, Dr. Svetlana Markov, and they all head to Siberia.  SG-1 jumps into an unknown situation in a foreign land.  Shutting down the Russian stargate is vital.  Also important is learning why the stargate remains active longer than 38 minutes, and why the staff at the Siberia gate location have not been heard from during this time.

Marina Sirtis is wonderful as Dr. Markov.  Ms. Sirtis gives the character depth, and acknowledges the opposing stance Markov must have with SG-1.  All without devolving into cliche.  The regular cast performs well.  O’Neill is extremely hostile at the mention of anything Russian, a behavior he exhibits before knowing the full story about the second stargate in Siberia.  Other Air Force personnel are not overtly antagonistic towards the Russians.  What happened to cause O’Neill’s intense dislike of Russia is never mentioned.  For the most part, Anderson’s harsh reactions to Markov come across as being over the top

The story is an exciting mystery with a fair mix of action and intrigue.  The off world scenes are fantastic.  Kudos to everyone involved in bringing those scenes to life.  A top-notch episode.

Before heading to Siberia, Carter says that the Russian stargate isn’t connected to a black hole because instruments at (or connected to) SGC would sense it.  Why didn’t similar instruments in other countries register anomalous readings when SGC was connected to a black hole (“A Matter of Time")?

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