Life as an Extreme Sport

SG-1: Origin

Tonight, Mitchell appears to be O’Neill-Lite, with perhaps a touch more history/education. Really, I think O’Neill-Lite ist just about the worst direction they could go with the character, so I hope his smartass nature gets tempered or at least changed so that it’s different. I don’t want to dislike him, but he needs to stand out on his own and genuinely be a strong character or it’s just not going to work. Right now, the southern boy version of O’Neill just isn’t working for me.

Now, Bridges as Landry makes a general that I can believe; (I will admit that O’Neill as general was never quite believable). It’s nice to see him getting some more lines and further character development; he’s a softer version of General Hammond.

As for Daniel… can we slow him down? Maybe let him share some of my sedatives? Cuz really, boy – BREATHE! We don’t need two fast talkers, and McKay had the role first. That said, poor guy. He always seems to get these gigs where he gets to single-handedly piss of an entire race of beings that think they’re gods.

The Ori are interesting, and Julian Sands was fabulous. The whole “the Ascended are the bad guys, we’re the good guys, we’ll kill you if you disagree” is not a terribly convincing line. I do enjoy the whole “flames are bad because it’s part of the Ori religion, so they’re going to be hellfire and damnation and all that is bad in this new galaxy”. I do have to wonder at any politicalness to the crusades overarching theme of this new badguy, though; subtle message or blunt 2×4? A very subtle balancing act done at the end, though, to appease any hardcore Christian that might still be watching the show.

Storyline, Origin didn’t terribly excite me. It wasn’t as godawful as last week’s episode; the overall silence and lack of focus on Vala helped quite a bit (what can I say, I can’t stand the character). I quite liked the resolution of the Daniel/Vala probelm though – Teal’c and Mitchell I buy being teammates more than anything else, and that was a very clever way to get out of that particular bind. I also admit to enjoying the new religious twist/brimstoney effect, although I do recall that in previous seasons the particular Hell myth was linked to a Goa’uld. I suppose the answer will be that said Goa’uld just appropriated an Ancient/Ori myth, but it’s still a touch convenient to be able to redo this particular mythos with more dramatic effect.

The final three minutes were rough in an unexpected way. There was an awkwardness between Daniel and O’Neill (which I suppose was to be expected), and I still haven’t heard them explain where O’Neill went off to – perhaps I just missed it that first episode. Time to go bug other fans and find out.

It was also nice to see the storyline spread out more among the entire cast of characters, Lexa Doig included. It is an ensemble show, after all. Mostly it seemed that this show was designed to further the overall season plot and introduce a few more people. I can handle that; it had some clever lines, and there was an obvious point to it. Nothing bad, nothing great.

Oh, and Lou Gossett Junior? Just looks scary.

Stargate Atlantis: The Intruder

These are the voyages of the starship Daedalus…

When did Stargate turn into Star Trek? When they got the Daedalus, of course. Only 18 days from Atlantis to Earth; not a terribly bad turnaround, and really changes the entire tone of Atlantis. They’re no longer cut off from home, no longer completely on their own, no longer the Wild West of Earth civilization. Frankly, it makes the show a little less exciting to know that they can so quickly bail.

That said, I loved the episode. The idea of the virus was clever, although as McKay noted, it had been done before on Stargate. Acknowledging that, though, made it a touch better; recylced plotlines r us! – but wait, don’t watch for the plot, watch for the witty dialogue and fabulous character interaction.

The characters have really grown into their own these last few episodes. David Hewlett as McKay had a headstart, being an on again, off again guest star on SG-1. He wore the role well from the beginning. The remainder of the cast, though, seems to be rapidly acclimating and knowing their characters; there is very little of the stiltedness that pervaded the early episodes of SG-1. In particular, I find Paul McGillian (Dr. Carsen Beckett) to be a little bit of wonderful. He’s the near perfect foil to McKay, and watching the two play off one another is a lot of fun.

I’m not talking about this particular episode much, am I? There really isn’t too much to say, since it is a recycled plot: virus uploaded to Daedalus, virus takes over Daedalus, reboot the systems several times while trying to figure out where the virus is hiding, kill the virus, the end. It wasn’t the plot that made this story interesting, it was character interaction.

SG-1: Avalon Part 2

Sigh. Wake me up when Vala is gone. I trust the show will get better then.

(Okay, fine. I hated the show up until the last 10 minutes, save for Lexa Doig, who’s incredibly cute as a button and I think I will grow to like as the new chief medical officer. I do have to wonder what it is with all these people having prior history with one another; just how small is the Air Force, anyhow?

The last 10 minutes was powerful, though. Some – like Dad – would say that it’s because they killed Vala, and that instantly made everything better. I’m not inclined to disagree. But I also found the scene with Daniel holding the burnt corpse of Vala very touching and moving; he finally stopped shouting and showed another emotion. In thinking about it, I realize that’s one of the things I’ve disliked so much about these last two episodes: Daniel normally is the range of emotions for SG-1, he never stays permanently stuck like the rest do. O’Neill was good for solid obstinance, Teal’c has been unwaivering in his stoicism and reserve, Carter is the driven science brain tempered with curiousity. Daniel’s role was often to bridge all of these with his curiousity, brain, obstinant behaviour, resoluteness, and on. To see him stuck in one, irritating, constantly yelling roll seems to sell him, and Michael Shanks as an actor, short. When he broke out of the yelling mode and emoted a range, the show instantly became more interesting.)

Atlantis – The Siege, Part Three


That basically sums up my feeling on Atlantis. It was nice to see continuity with SG-1, and there were a few good lines, but overall it didn’t leave me with warm or fuzzies. Then again, it has the very difficult task of being an entertaining season opener, plus episode arc finale, plus platform to getting rid of one of the main characters from the first season. Tall order, and it’s not surprising that they didn’t quite succeed.

The win of the episode: Dr. Beckett as a full time cast member.

SG-1 – Avalon

I was prepared, with all my might, to hate the new SG-1. I disliked O’Neill’s promotion, the disbanding of the team, and etc. You know, the typical complaints.

So the season starts from the point of view of Mitchell, the new guy assigned to lead SG-1, and to a lesser degree, the new general, Landry. But they’re actually taking us through the process of Mitchell not knowing the team he wanted to work with was gone, and thus mirroring our own loss. And damnit, it’s effective. And I like it, and am willing to give it a try – if they’re going to be this aware of fan reaction, then they deserve the chance.