Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Stargate SG-1, Season 6, Episode 11


"Prometheus"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Good


Commentary by:
Peter F. Woeste – Director
Andrew D. Wilson – Director of Photography
Rick Dean – Chief Lighting Technician

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

Review:
On Earth, a news reporter named Julia Donovan stops Carter on the street asking her about a project named Prometheus, where over two billion dollars of tax payer money is going. No big. Except the money was funneled to the project without Congressional oversight. That reporter is just fishing. Donovan also has a small sample of a shiny metal, saying it’s trinium, and she asks Carter about it. Whoa. Things just got real. Trinium is an off world metal (“Spirits”) obtained through the Stargate program. No way should Donovan know about it.

After blowing off the reporter, Carter meets with General Hammond at SGC to discuss the encounter. Even if the sample Donovan had was not actually trinium, just knowing the name of the material indicates a security breach. The Pentagon begins an investigation of Julia Donovan in an attempt to find out what she knows, and who she learned it from. Donovan’s report will go live in four days. Major Davis (“Descent”) is sent to talk Donovan out of running the story. She is so not intimidated by Major Davis.

Donovan thinks Prometheus is a fusion reactor (it isn’t). The possibility remains that she could find out more about Prometheus, and as a result learns about the Stargate program. The President (of the United States of America) phones the reporter’s boss’ boss’ boss, and the story is dead. SGC allows Donovan and a small news crew to document the Prometheus, with an understanding – and no doubt a ton of paperwork – to not disclose what they’re shown until the U. S. Air Force gives the okay. Which will be on the calendar date of never gonna happen. However, this buys time to find out how Donovan learns about things she shouldn’t know.

Carter and Quinn take Donovan, her editor, and a small tech crew on a tour of Prometheus. Prometheus is a huge space ship, Earth - built but incorporating off world tech. It’s the X-303 (the X-302 is in “Redemption, Part 2”). Unfinished, but flight capable, the Prometheus is the future of space flight for Earth. Everything is going smoothly, until an old adversary makes their presence known. Carter and Quinn use their knowledge and abilities to thwart their old foe, while O’Neill and Teal’c come at the problem from another vantage point.

The actors provide respectable performances. The Prometheus sets and effects look amazing.

Failures:
The end of this episode sets up the beginning of the next episode, “Unnatural Selection,”  but there’s not much else to it. It’s okay for a one time viewing, but if this episode didn’t exist, the beginning of the next episode wouldn't need much of a rewrite.  I rated this episode Good, but it’s a weak Good. The effects and sets are great; the acting is good; but the story is meh.

I like the Major Davis character, but he is terrible at trying to bluff others. He attempted to do this twice, and got owned both times, neither person buying Major Davis’ bluff for a second.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Stargate SG-1, Season 6, Episode 10


"Cure"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Very Good


Commentary by:
Andy Mikita – Director
Damian Kindler – Producer
Jim Menard – Director of Photography

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

Review:
SG-1 gates to the planet Pangar. The Pangarans studied their stargate, but had never been able to make it work. They are delighted to meet the Earth stargate travelers, and hope for a mutually satisfying relationship between the two planets.

Carter and O’Neill sit down with the Pangaran representatives to offer some safe, friendly stargate addresses in trade for a sample of tretonin -- an elixir the Pangarans developed which grants perfect health. The offered stargate addresses are ideal for a society new to gate travel. Thing is, the Pangarans want stargate addresses to dangerous locations, not namby-pamby safe zones. Exercising his usual level of tact (which is none) O’Neill questions why they’d want to travel to such locations. The Pangarans aren’t feeling the need to explain themselves to SG-1.

Meanwhile, Quinn and Teal’c meander around an archeological dig site where the Pangarans found their stargate, along with a native scientist named Zenna Valk. Having a seemingly eidetic memory, Quinn is the resident SG-1 walking encyclopedia. Teal’c has firsthand experience with the Goa’uld, and also provides information. Valk wants to tell Jonas something, but is reluctant to speak in front of the Pangaran security escort. So, Quinn sneaks off and riffles through Valk’s tent at the dig site. Not the most diplomatic thing to do, but the story has to keep moving.

Using the information he pilfered from Valk, Quinn and Teal’c investigate the location where Pangarans get their doses of tretonin. The pair uncover the main component needed to manufacture tretonin. Describing it as off-putting is an understatement. With their secret out, the Pangarans are more open with SG-1. Since there’s not much left to tell, this isn’t surprising. Oh, wait, scratch that last statement. There is a lot more to the Pangaran/tretontin story.

There's no such thing as a free lunch.

Already complex and interesting, the story adds another layer – the Tok’ra: Malek (“Allegiance”) and Kelmaa.  Through a well written plot twist, Pangarans need to extend blind trust to SG-1, and to the Tok’ra. Although the Tok’ra arrogance volume is turned down this episode, they still aren’t making friends with their charm. For once Earth’s survival isn’t at risk, but the Pangarans and Tok’ra are having a really bad day.

A very good episode, with some startling surprises. All of the actors’ performances are done well, and are solid and believable.

Failures:
From trying to blow up a moon populated by hundreds or thousands of people (“The Devil You Know”); to forcibly taking a host to save their snaky selfs (“In the Line of Duty”); to suppressing a human host’s persona (“Abyss”); various Tok’ra show a consistent disregard for the value of a non-Tok’ra life.

There’s a point in this episode where the fate of the Pangarans is in the hands of the Tok’ra, and the Tok’ra aren’t exactly rushing to the rescue. O’Neill points out that the Tok’ra might not help the Pangarans. Carter states that the Tok’ra would never do such a thing.  Considering past Tok’ra behavior, I don’t understand how Carter can say that with a straight face.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Stargate SG-1, Season 6, Episode 9


"Allegiance"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Very Good


Commentary by:
Peter DeLuise – Director
James Tichenor – Visual Effects Producer
Gary Jones -- Actor

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

Review:
Off-world, at the SGC Alpha base, there are injuries and controlled chaos as an influx of Tok’ra come through the stargate. The SGC Alpha site is a planet unknown to the Goa’uld. Some SG team members (not SG-1) come with the Tok’ra. Anubis attacked the Tok’ra base. Out of options, Jacob/Selmak (“Descent”) dialed the Alpha site as an escape path for the remaining Tok’ra and SG team members.

Three quarters of SG-1 is at the Alpha site when the refugees arrive.  Quinn is at SGC. O’Neill is not happy about the unexpected arrivals, but works with the situation. The Alpha site is already a temporary home to many displaced Free Jaffa (“The Warrior”). Now, there are Tok’ra in the mix at the becoming less and less secret, secret Alpha site.

The Tok’ra do not like Jaffa, Free or otherwise, because while serving the Goa’uld, Jaffa killed Tok’ra. After what happened to him in “Abyss” O’Neill is not overly fond of the Tok’ra, except for Jacob/Selmak. The Free Jaffa do not like being dissed, condescended, or patronized – three behaviors often exhibited by the Tok’ra. A frustrated O’Neill, the proud Free Jaffa, and the arrogant Tok’ra, all forced together. What could go wrong?

A Tok’ra who had an altercation with a Free Jaffa is found dead. The Tok’ra blame the Free Jaffa. The Free Jaffa deny any part of the murder, and resent having their honor impugned. Then, the Free Jaffa accused of the murder is found dead. The tenuous peace at the Alpha site is crumbling. O’Neill must find out the truth of the deaths, while keeping allies from becoming enemies.

This is one of my favorite episodes because it goes beyond “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” A common enemy, in this case the Goa’uld, does not friendship make. Old angers aren’t far from the surface when the different races interact. Or newer anger, like O’Neill’s unhappiness with his trip to Tok’ra blending land. Despite this, the three species need to work together, or at least for the moment live together. All while trying to solve two murders. I like that the interactions aren’t magically happy and peaceful, all things considered.

There is much more to the interesting story in this episode, but I cannot reveal it without spoilers.

Richard Dean Anderson does a masterful job as O’Neill deals with all that is going on. Carmen Argenziano returns as Jacob/Selmak and is wonderful. Peter Stebbings is Malek, the Tok’ra commander of the base Anubis attacked. Mr. Stebbings performance is enjoyable and he portrays Tok’ra hubris very well. Tony Amendola returns as Bra’tac (“Redemption, Part 2”) and is excellent as always. Teryl Rothery is Dr. Fraiser (“Shadow Play”), and completely believable as a doctor in the midst of a crisis. Obi Ndefo returns as Rak’nor (“The Warrior”). Christopher Judge’s facial expressions as Teal’c are perfection, conveying exactly what Teal’c is thinking or feeling even when Teal’c is not speaking. All in all, a lot of very strong performances.

Failures:
Nothing major.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Stargate SG-1, Season 6, Episode 8


"The Other Guys"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Very Good

Commentary by:
Christopher Judge – “Teal’c”
Martin Wood -- Director
James Tichenor – Visual Effects Producer

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

Review:

Ever daydream that you are the best of the best at whatever you want to be the best of? I don’t think it’s unusual. Whether that flight of fancy involves tights and super powers; or emulating someone you admire, most everybody has such moments.

In this episode an SGC scientist named Jay Felger is living the hero worshipper dream by being with his idols -- SG-1.

Felger, along with fellow scientists Coombs and Meyers, are off world studying an abandoned Goa’uld site. SG-1 is on guard duty, a.k.a. babysitting the trio as no danger is expected. Coombs and Meyers focus on their research. Felger focuses on impressing SG-1. With zero subtlety, he tries to be one of the team with SG-1. Disregarded by O’Neill and company; mocked by his fellow scientists; Felger is not deterred from fawning over SG-1.

Things take a turn when a large group of Jaffa loyal to a Goa'uld named Khonsu capture SG-1. Far away enough to escape the Jaffas notice, the trio of scientists see SG-1 taken onto an alkesh (a type of Goa’uld space vehicle). Standard procedure in such situations is for the three scientists to gate back to SGC when it’s safe. However, no way is Felger going to run away after his heroes are captured. Meyers returns to SGC while Felger, and a very reluctant Coombs, manage to gain entry on the alkesh. Don’t worry SG-1, Felger will rescue you! Maybe.

With lots of good intentions, and not a lot of good sense, Felger and Coombs make their way to SG-1. Will these other guys be the salvation of SG-1, or manage to cause even more problems? Bit of both. “The Other Guys” unfolds as a very funny episode, with a mix of laugh out loud humor, and action.

Patrick McKenna is Felger and is flawless as the character. John Billingsley is Coombs, and plays that part very well. The series regulars stay true to their characters, without devolving into being just foils for jokes. All the actors perform well, with Anderson being a standout. Michael Adamthwaite is Her’ak, First Prime of Khonsu. I enjoyed his performance, as Her’ak seems so young, and intent on proving himself. Yet Her’ak already has a huge streak of arrogance. Her’ak always loses when verbally sparring with O’Neill, leading to some funny moments.

Failures:
There are a few times when the fictional “facts” in the Stargate SG-1 realm are negated or disregarded in order to allow for humor. At one point Felger and Coombs disguise themselves as Jaffa, but none of the other Jaffa notice the two strangers in their midst. Including a time when Coombs wore his eyeglasses, an item that is not seen on Jaffa.

Khonsu has a lot of Jaffa at his base where SG-1 is held. Yet time and again there is not a Jaffa in sight, including at tactically important areas. No guards at or near the armory, or a room with controls for all aspects of the base? I don’t think so.

Despite the few failures, this is one of my favorite episodes, and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Stargate SG-1, Season 6, Episode 7


"Shadow Play"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Very Good

Commentary by:
Peter DeLuise -- Director
Peter F. Woeste – Director of Photography

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

Review:
The Kelownans (“Meridian”) from Jonas Quinn’s home world of Langara contact SGC via the stargate. What with the Kelownans accusing Daniel Jackson of sabotage, and Jonas Quinn defecting to Earth, things are a little frosty between Kelowna and SGC. But, the Kelownans seem ready to declare bygones, and want to enter a trade agreement with SGC. Technologically inferior to Earth, all the Kelownans can offer is naquadria – the more powerful, but less stable, version of naquadah currently found only on Langara.

Carter wants access to naquadria. Jonas is hesistant to deal with his old home world. Teal’c is thoughtful. O’Neill is disgruntled at the idea of making nice with Kelowna, but can’t deny potential benefits from naquadria.

A Kelownan delegation gates to SGC to discuss a possible trade deal. One member of the delegation is Dr. Keiran, a mentor and friend of Quinn’s. Turns out there are three major powers on their planet: Kelowna, Tirania, and The Andari Federation. Mostly the three powers fought against each other, a stalemate. Now the Tiranians and Andaris plan to sign a non-agression pack with each other, meaning the two powers could work together to beat up Kelowna. Kelowna wants SGC's military technology in order to withstand a presumed attack from the other two countries.

Dr. Kieran has an additional bit of information told in secret to Jonas. There’s a covert organization working to overthrow Kelowna’s current government. Tired of the fighting between the countries, they plan a coup, and Dr. Keiran is a member of this group. Keiran wants Quinn’s help. SGC wants to learn more about this group as they want somebody on Langara to cough up some naquadria, preferably without becoming involved in an off-world war. SG-1 gates to Langara to offer the Kelownas non-military technology in trade for naquadria, and gain more information about Dr. Kieran’s group.

On Langara, SG-1’s negotiations with the Kelownans don’t go well, to the surprise of no one. Kelowna desires techno-amazing flying machines of destruction. SGC offers antibiotics.

The Kelownans want Earth military technology through trade, or by Jonas re-defecting back to Langara. Yup, the Kelownan leader tries to sweet talk Quinn into dumping SGC and coming back. The Kelowan government wants the tech. The resistence wants SGC to help with their revolution. SGC is like, “nope” to both. Meanwhile, war on Langara looms closer.

SGC is getting a taste of how the Tollans (“Between Two Fires”) felt about SGC’s requests for advanced technology. Granted, SGC wanted the Tollans help to fight against the threat of the Goa’uld. But, there was always a chance that someone might succumb to an urge to use the Tollan tech against a foe other than the Goa’uld. Now, the Kelownans want the SGC’s advanced tech to establish a balance of power against the Tiranians and Andaris. But, there’s a chance that Kelowna might go with a, “why defend against them when we can destroy them?” line of thought.

There’s a lot of subtext expertly woven into this episode. SGC experiencing the point of view held by advanced off world societies when asked to provide technology to Earth. Jonas wanting all three of Langara’s major powers to learn about the wonders and challenges in the galaxy, when only Kalowna knows about Langara’s stargate. A situation similar to Earth’s in that very few countries, and virtually none of the general population, knows about the stargate. There is no definitive villain in this episode, and I think this is a strength. The story is a study of behavior, without becoming heavy handed, or preachy.

A well written, well acted, episode.

Dean Stockwell portrays Dr. Keiran, and provides a solid performance. All of the actors performances are well done. The Kelownan sets and costumes look amazing. Kudos to everyone involved in this episode.

Teal’c lays some wisdom on Jonas about being considered a traitor by ones people. Very nicely done. Teal’c is also the most effective negotiator with the Kelownans by cutting to the chase when others are dancing around a point, or just bickering.

Failures:
None.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Stargat SG-1, Season 6, Episode 6


"Abyss"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Excellent

Commentary by:
Martin Wood -- Director
James Tichenor – Visual Effects Producer
Christopher Judge – “Teal’c”

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

Review:
Past: At the end of “Frozen” the Tok’ra take O’Neill away to temporarily blend with a symbiote. O’Neill needs a Tok’ra symbiote to heal, but wants it out of him as soon as he’s back on his feet. No, the Tok’ra aren’t going soft. Staying true to character, the Tok’ra want information the symbiote has. Ever short of hosts, the Tok’ra agree to the symbiote leaving O’Neill after he is healed and the Tok’ra have the information they need.

Present: The Tok’ra named Thoran (“Frozen”) arrives at SGC. General Hammond wants to know where Colonel O’Neill is, and why he hasn’t yet returned. Thoran has some bad news for SGC. After blending with the Tok’ra symbiote named Kanan, healing, and debriefing, Kanan/O’Neill left the Tok’ra base. The Tok’ra do not know Kanan/O’Neill’s location.

The Tok’ra blame O’Neill, convinced that another Tok’ra would never go against the wishes of its host. SGC blames the symbiote, knowing that O’Neill could not force a symbiote to do something against its will. Thoran is offended that SGC believes a Tok’ra would force a host to do something. SGC is over Tok’ra bluster, and want to find out what happened to O’Neill.

Where is O’Neill?

Turns out that O’Neill is captured by a Goa’uld named Ba’al -- a powerful System Lord, well versed in many forms of torture. Methods he uses on O’Neill. Ba’al tortures; kills; and then using a sarcophagus brings O’Neill back to life over and over. He wants to know why O’Neill is at Ba’al’s base. Thing is, O’Neill doesn’t know because Kanan used Jack’s body to enter Ba’al’s base. But Kanan skittered off, abandoning O’Neill when capture was certain. Convinced that the information he seeks is buried somewhere in Jack’s mind, Ba’al won’t stop until he gets the answers he seeks.

SGC does not know where O’Neill is. The Tok’ra aren’t forthcoming about Kanan’s activities just prior to blending with O’Neill. There is one person who knows O'Neill's location, but cannot help Jack.

This is one of the episodes I would rate higher than Excellent. The basic story is: O’Neill is missing, and how will he get back to SGC. The episode contains so much more. Phenomenal acting from Richard Dean Anderson and others. Intense, revealing dialogue. Wonderful effects. And, General Hammond letting the Tok’ra know that their arrogant attitude does not fly when it gets in the way of finding a member of SGC.

Cliff Simon is Ba’al and is amazing in the part. Profoundly evil, but never crossing over into cliché evil doer, or being over the top. Mr. Simon’s performance shows Ba’al being suave, charming, elegant, as well as willing and capable of doing anything he sees fit, such as heinous torture. Ba’al is equal yet opposite to Apophis (always portrayed to perfection by Peter Williams). Ba’al is just as willing and capable of reprehensible behavior as Apophis. However, Ba’al’s actions slip silently upon his victims, rather than being announced with cannon fire like Apophis.

Kudos to Cliff Simon for his portrayal of Ba’al. Ba’al and Apophis are my two favorite Goa’ulds on the show. Dorian Harewood returns as the Tok’ra Thoran.  Every actor performs well.

Failures:
None.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Stargate SG-1, Season 6, Episode 5


"Nightwalkers"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Very Good

Commentary by:
Peter DeLuise – Director
Peter F. Woeste – Director of Photography

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

Review:
It is a dark and stormy night. No, really. A man runs to a parked car, gets in it, and drives off. He calls Carter from the car, and claims to know about what happened to her in “Desperate Measures.” Frightened, the caller states that the project is still going on, and asks for protection. Then, there’s a crash, and the call cuts off before Carter can get more information.

Mysterious caller, mysteriously knowing about classified events, with his call being mysteriously cut off by a mysterious accident. I think this episode is going to be a mystery.

Despite the “Mysteries 101” start, this is a very good episode, and well worth viewing.

Three quarters of SG-1 heads to the town where the mystery caller, named Dr. Fleming, lived. O’Neill is still with the Tok’ra (“Frozen”). Dr. Fleming lived in the small town of Steveston, Oregon, and worked at the town’s main employer, Immunitech Research, a company with ties to Adrian Conrad. Fleming’s crashed car is found by local authorities, but not his body. Carter speaks with the town’s cooperative sheriff, named Knox, but there’s nothing of major note about Fleming or Immunitech.

SG-1 uncovers a few facts about Dr. Fleming, but the information they learn can easily be interpreted as mundane. Still, the question remains: how did Fleming know about what happened to Carter in “Desperate Measures?”

Steveston is a nice town. Everyday folks going about their everyday business. There is one man in the town who is suspiciously skulking, peeking around corners at SG-1 at times. A new layer to the mystery, or possibly a not so mysterious perv.

The town’s sidewalks roll up when the sun sets. Teal’c and Quinn head out after dark for a bite to eat, and the town folk in the bar greet the pair with silence, and hostility. Just as things are about to get violent, Sheriff Knox enters the restaurant, and calms things down. That Sheriff Knox is such a nice man. After Quinn and Teal’c leave the establishment, Knox threatens to kill the town folk instigators if they ruin the plan. Wait … what? In another area, a large group of town folks, their expressions blank, shuffle off into the darkness. They are also willing to kill to protect the mysterious plan, including killing SG-1. The creepy meter is being dialed up.

This episode begins with one mission: to find how Stevenson knew about the events in “Desperate Measures.” The puzzling situation deepens and expands as SG-1 investigates. Are the creepy town folk part of the mystery, or something else? The viewer experiences the unraveling of the mystery as the episode progresses. Unaware of the danger, SG-1 uncovers exactly what is happening in Steveston.

This episode is a fascinating mystery, well done in all aspects. The writers ably keep most of the mystery hidden until the last 15 minutes. The lighting and sets are amazing, giving off a vibe of being normal, but with an edge of potential menace. The music is phenomenal, as usual, this time being a perfect partner for the strange going ons. The regular cast provide solid performances, and the guest stars shine. Blu Mankuma is wonderful as Sheriff Knox, both when being kindly, and also when being quietly threatening. Kudos to everyone involved in this episode.

Failures:
None.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Stargate SG-1, Season 6, Episode 4


"Frozen"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Good

Commentary by:
Martin Wood – Director
James Tichenor – Visual Effects Producer

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

Review:
Scientists at an Antarctic research station find a body, one frozen in ice a few million years ago. SG-1 and Dr. Fraiser travel to the research station to investigate. They discover that the body appears to be a human female, caught in the ice long before human beings evolved on Earth. Then, the ice woman slowly becomes conscious. Apparently SG-1 and company never read John W. Campbell’s novella Who Goes There or saw the movies Thing from Another World or The Thing. Because everyone reacts with wonder and surprise at the awakening, rather than immediately cobbling together flamethrowers.

Named Ayiana by one of the scientists, the no longer on ice woman is ... remarkably calm considering the circumstance.  She doesn't speak at first.  Quinn spends time with Ayiana, trying to communicate with her, but having limited success. Carter, Fraiser, and the research station scientists marvel at the possibilities of this new discovery. From finding out where she came from, to possibly rewriting the history of human evolution on Earth. But, the humans at the research station come down with a potentially fatal disease. Dr. Fraiser declares a quarantine at the station, and the group tries to find out what is causing their illness before everyone succumbs.

As if that isn’t enough, Tok’ra come into the picture this episode. Always long on the condescension, and short on the good news, things rarely look up when Tok’ra come calling. But, Dorian Harewood – an amazing actor with a voice that is a joy to hear, plays this Tok’ra. A chance to see Mr. Harewood act, and hear his voice, makes it all okay.

I prefer my science fiction adventures with a lot of action. Space ships! Ray guns! Epic battles! There is none of that in this episode, but I enjoyed it. The writing is well done. While exposition heavy, the flow of story doesn’t falter. The acting is good, with every one providing solid performances. The sets and exterior shots are fantastic. I’ve never been to an Antarctic research station. But, watching this episode I felt as though I was looking at an Antarctic research station.

Failures:
One of the things I’ve come to learn is outside of print stories aliens will often look humanoid or completely human. There are exceptions, some quite phenomenally well done, but for the most part portrayed aliens tend look human or human-ish. Sometimes, an explanation of this fits the narrative, like the Goa’ulds snatching humans from Earth, and using humans as hosts.  There is an attempt to rationalize why Ayiana looks so human, but I think it would have been better to leave it in the same place as why almost every culture encountered on other worlds speak English.  Pretty much, "Don't ask.  Just go with it."

With the exception of Jacob/Selmak, when it comes to the Tok’ra I don’t understand why SGC doesn’t approach any contact with them as coming from a place of, “they do not have our best interests at heart.” Tok’ra don’t use humans like the Goa’uld do, but the Tok’ra often don’t seem to respect humans any more than the Goa’uld do.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Stargate SG-1, Season 6, Episode 3


"Descent"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Very Good


Commentary by:
Peter DeLuise -- Director and Co-Producer
Peter F. Woeste -- Director of Photography
Gary Jones -- Actor

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

Review:

Taking place not long after the events of "Redemption, Part 2" Anubis’ ship is spotted near Earth.  Yikes!  But, there’re no signs of life or activity on the ship.  Hmm.  SG-1 and Jacob/Selmak head out in a Tel’tak (a small space vessel of Goa’uld design) to check on Anubis’ ship.  Major Davis and a scientist named Friesen, are also part of the Tel’tak crew.

Jonas Quinn is now a member of SG-1, but O’Neill has not declared bygones about Quinn being slow to come forward with the facts of the accident that lead to Daniel Jackson's death ("Meridian").

Quinn and Teal’c are left on the Tel’tak, while the rest go over to Anubis’ ship.  O’Neill is less about forgive and forget, and more about putting aside differences.  He treats Quinn like the newbie on the team – SG-1 material, but untested out in the field.  Teal’c staying on the ship makes sense because he can fly the Tel’tak, and/or beat Quinn senseless, if either becomes necessary.

Aboard Anubis’ ship, everything seems to be working.  The ship is abandoned for no clear reason.  There’s an odd sound periodically coming from the ship’s P. A. system.  Certain areas have staff weapon damage, but there's no sign of why.

That’s a lot of intrigue.  This episode needs something more.  Some action!  How about a deadly mystery sabotaging Anubis’ ship, sending the ship crashing on Earth.  And a deadly mystery damaging the Tel’tak so there’s no escape for O’Neill and the others from Anubis’ ship before the crash.  That’ll do it.

Teal’c and Quinn return to SGC to work towards rescuing their comrades stuck in the crashed ship.  Aboard the ship, the survivors of the crash try to suss out what happened on Anubis’ ship to lead to it seemingly being abandoned.  An interesting episode, with some surprising twists.

Corin Nemec portrays Jonas Quinn.  Quinn replaces Jackson in SG-1.  Overall, I think Corin Nemec does a fine job as Jonas Quinn.  Quinn fills the knowledge gap left by Jackson’s demise, while being a unique character and not a Jackson clone.  Quinn has a lot of Jackson’s viewpoints on certain situations, but responds in his own voice without parroting Jackson.

Quinn becoming part of SG-1 is handled well.  He didn’t get instantaneous, 100% acceptance from O'Neill, Carter, and Teal'c, although he is never mistreated.  The long-standing SG-1 team members react to Quinn differently.  That rings true for me.

Side note: Christopher Judge does a most excellent menacing stare as Teal’c.

Failures:
None.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Hello 2016, I'm Back

Due to numerous issues I haven't been able to update Wormhole!  I haven't given up on completing it, though.  Now, I'm back.  As long as my health and my computer continue to cooperate, I'll be doing regular posts.  My love of Stargate has not diminished, and I look forward to doing more updates, soon.