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Stargate (the movie)




Theatrical release October 28, 1994

Length 116 minutes

Written by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich

Directed by Roland Emmerich

Starring Kurt Russell as Colonel Jonathan 'Jack' O'Neil, James Spader as Dr. Daniel Jackson, Jaye Davidson as Ra, Viveca Lindfors as Catherine Langford, Alexis Cruz as Skaara, Mili Avital as Sha'uri, Leon Rippy as General W.O. West, and John Diehl as Lieutenant Kawalsky.

Back in 1928, Catherine Langford's father unearths a huge circular object protected by stones covered in hieroglyphs. In 1994 Dr. Daniel Jackson, a discredited Egyptologist, is asked to help translate the symbols, some of which don't resemble any known language.

Jackson determines that the unidentified symbols are an address or pathway to another star system. The address is dialed into the Stargate and a stable wormhole forms. A probe is sent through, showing that there is breathable air and another stargate.

Jackson, Colonel O'Neil, and the rest, step through the Stargate to Abydos, a desert planet. They are inside a pyramid. They meet the locals. Soon, Ra arrives, landing his ship on top of the pyramid and causing havoc.

Quite a few things are not well explained in this movie. What happened to the Stargate between 1924 and 1994? How did they know how to power the Stargate? Why did they think the energy field would lead to anything except destruction? The Abydos Stargate is located inside a roomy and defensible pyramid. Why set up camp outside in the hot sun? How do so many people live on and work in an area with almost no vegetation or water sources?

Although Kurk Russell, as Jack O'Neil, gets top billing, this is Daniel Jackson's story. James Spader does a believable job of portraying Jackson as an intuitive genius, who is sometimes socially clueless.

Once Ra arrives, glowing eyes and all, the action starts. There are battles and fight scenes and a nail-biting conclusion. There even a bit of a love story.

This is a great stand-alone film, but it is also the beginning of the Stargate SG1 television series. The television series features many of the characters from the movie, some played by the same actors. Most of the personalities are similar.

Jack O'Neil is the exception. Kurt Russell's portrayal of Jack O'Neil is vastly different from Richard Dean Anderson's portrayal of Jack O'Neill. Even the name is spelled differently.

Reviewed by Roman a Drew July 4, 2020









The Goa'uld
Season 1










Children of the Gods - Final Cut (2009)


Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2

Directed by Mario Azzopardi, Written by Jonathan Glassner & Brad Wright

Originally aired July 27, 1997

Starring Richard Dean Anderson as Colonel Jack O'Neill, Michael Shanks as Dr. Daniel Jackson, Amanda Tapping as Captain Samantha Carter, Christopher Judge as Teal'c, Don S. Davis as Major General George Hammond, and Gary Jones as Sgt. Walter Harriman.

With Jay Acovone as Major Charles Kawalsky, Vaitiare Hirshon as Sha're/Amaunet, Robert Wisden as Samuels, Peter Williams as Apophis, Brent Stait as Louis Ferretti, Alexis Cruz as Skaara/Klorel, and Rachel Hayward as Sargent Carol Weterings

A year after the incident on Abydos, inside Cheyenne Mountain Complex, a few soldiers play cards in front of the Stargate, which is covered in a tarp. The tarp blows off and a wormhole forms, scaring everyone. A ball rolls through, followed by Apophis and his goons. They kill the men and grab Sgt. Carol Weterings, the only woman. Then they march back through the Stargate taking her with them - more about that later.

Jack is recalled from retirement, again. General Hammond wants to send another nuke through the gate to Abydos. To prevent that, Jack fesses up and tells him that Daniel is still alive, and there are thousands of innocent people on Abydos. The team goes to Abydos to find the Goa'uld, who attacked the complex.

Of course, Apophis isn't on Abydos. Daniel is, as is his wife, Sha're, and Jack's friend, Skaara. But it isn't long before Apophis shows up and wreaks havoc.

Children of the Gods sets up the series. The Goa'uld are evil looking wormy parasites that control their hosts. SG1 consists of Daniel, the gentle the geek, Sam, the scientist, Jack, the military mind, and Teal'c, the muscle who knows the enemy. Thanks to Daniel, they now also have hundreds of gate addresses to try.

Showtime broadcast Children of the Gods as two episodes shown back to back. In 2009, the two episodes were combined into one movie, Children of the Gods - Final Cut. Final Cut is tightly edited and moves along without a dull moment. It has a complex plot and excellent character development. Michael Shanks copies James Spader's Daniel. But Richard Dean Anderson's Jack is much more likable than Kurt Russell's.

I watched Children of the Gods on SciFi as two episodes a week apart. But those recordings are old and a bit fuzzy. This time I watched the remastered Final Cut version on commercial DVD.

I remember five scenes that are not in this version but were in the original: Sam telling Jack to call her by her rank rather than her salutation, Teal'c dragging Sargent Carol Weterings out of Aphophis' harem, a Goa'uld diving into Kawalsky, Teal'c giving his staff to Sam after they return to Earth, and the last scene, Kawalsky's eyes glowing.

I don't know why these scenes were cut, Kawalsky being a Goa'uld seems like an important detail, especially since it is part of the next episode.

In the beginning of the show, Apophis reopens the gate and goes back through. Since there isn't a dialing pedestal (or DHD as it will be called later), how did he open the gate? If he used the dialing computer, or ordered someone to dial, there would be a record of where he went, and therefore, no reason to go to Abydos.

Reviewed by Romana Drew July 7, 2020




















The Enemy Within


Season 1, Episode 3

Directed by Dennis Berry. Written by Brad Wright

Originally aired August 1, 1997

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, and Don S. Davis.

With Jay Acovone as Major Charles Kawalsky, Kevin McNulty as Dr. Warner, Alan Rachins as Colonel Kennedy, Warren Takeuchi as Young Doctor.

The dialing computer is now programmed with many gate addresses. SG1, headed up by Jack O'Neill, and SG2, headed up by Charles Kawalsky, are ready to do reconnaissance on two new planets. But Kawalsky has a headache.

It turns out that Kawalsky has an immature Goa'ul wrapped around his spine, attempting to take over.

Against Jack's wishes, Teal'c is questioned by Colonel Kennedy, who intends to take him away for study.

This is an exciting episode. It moves along without a hitch. Although Sam and Daniel don't have significant roles, it develops Jack's character and establishes Teal'c as a trustworthy ally. It also explains how the Goa'uld came to exploit the galaxy and why all the worlds are populated with humans from different time zones.

Now, the series is ready to head off to new adventures on different worlds.

Reviewed by Romana Drew July 9, 2020.




















Emancipation




Season 1 Episode 4

Directed by Jeff Woolnough. Written by Katharyn Powers.

Originally aired August 8, 1997

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, and Don S. Davis.

With Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Turghan, Jorge Vargas as Abu, Soon-Tek Oh as Moughal, and Yan-Kay Crystal Lowe as Nya

SG1 steps through the Stargate into a beautiful meadow surrounded by forests with no evidence of humans. Attacking dogs chase a young man into the meadow. The team chases off the dogs. He is grateful until he sees Sam. Then members of his tribe ride into the scene and attempt to kill Sam.

When the father learns that the strangers saved his son's life, he welcomes SG1 to his village - as long as Sam agrees to dress the part, cover her face, and so forth. That night, she is kidnapped and sold to a rival clan.

During this part of the episode, Sam wears an elaborate sky blue dress. Although the costume is stunning, it is highly unlikely that the society portrayed, Mongolian nomads, would have access to such fine materials or such vibrant blue dyes.

Emancipation explores the exploitation and subjugation of women. Samantha Carter, soldier and scientist, isn't about to be subjugated or exploited.

The episode has some great lines and scenes. The conclusion is both action-packed and ever so satisfying. However, the episode drives home some points a bit too hard, making it tedious and predictable in a few places.

This is also the episode that sets the standard for languages. Everyone, whatever their history, speaks English. Of course, that doesn't make sense, but having a language issue in every episode slows things down and gets rather annoying.

Reviewed by Romana Drew July 13, 2020













The Broca Divide




Season 1, Episode 5

Directed by William Gereghty. Written by Jonathan Glassner

Originally aired August 15, 1997

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, and Don S. Davis.

With Teryl Rothery as Dr. Janet Fraiser, Steve Makaj as Colonel Makepeace, Nicole Oliver as Leedora, Gerard Plunkett as High Councilor Tuplo, Danny Wattley as Lieutenant Johnson, Roxana Phillip as Melosha,

The Broca Divide introduces Teryl Rothery as Dr. Janet Fraiser. She, along with Gary Jones, as Sgt. Walter Harriman, are credited as guest stars, but they are in almost every episode.

SG1 gates to P3X-797. They enter a dark world full of trees and are immediately attacked by a tribe of primitive humanoids. SG3 steps through the gate and chases the attackers away, assisted by a group of white-robed people who throw rocks at the primitives.

SG's 1 and 3 follow the white-robed people to their settlement, which looks much like a Minoan village.

The primitives living on the dark side of the planet are 'the touched,' normal humans who have reverted to an animalistic state. Since the Goa'uld have not visited this world for several generations, and there is nothing of technological value, Jack insists everyone return home.

All seems well until those who visited P3X-797 change and become violent.

The Broca Divide investigates another world where the Goa'uld placed humans from the past. Although this episode has some technical issues, it has plenty of action and suspense. Richard Dean Anderson does a great job fighting against the disease that has stripped him of rational thought. And Michael Shanks is wonderfully comedic as a creature defending his mate.

If one side of the planet is in perpetual darkness and the other in perpetual light, the vegetation on the two sides would be vastly different, but it isn't. The primitive humanoids don't seem to have the intelligence to make fire, and yet they are always sitting around a fire. A better question is, why do they stay in the dark? And, why is the stargate on the dark side?

The use of Chlorpheniramine Maleate to defeat the disease isn't too hard to accept, but using it as an anesthetic just doesn't ring true. It does make you sleepy, but getting hit by a dart full of it won't knock someone instantly unconscious.

There are anesthetics that render people unconscious in moments when injected into a vein, but when injected into muscle tissue, they take several minutes.

And, about those darts. It looks like they hold at least five milliters, a teaspoon. The syringe Sam wants to use on Daniel looks like a half full 10 ml syringe. That is way too much to inject intramuscularly.

Still, if not taken seriously, this is a fun episode.

Reviewed by Romana Drew July 16, 2020















Sam and Hanson

Daniel and the cave dwellers

The First Commandment




Season 1 Episode 6

Directed by Dennis Berry. Written by Robert C. Cooper.

Originally aired August 22, 1997

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With William Russ as Captain Jonas Hanson, Roger Cross as Lieutenant Connor, Zahf Paroo as Jamala, Adrian G. Griffiths as Lieutenant Baker, D. Neil Mark as Frakes, Darcy Laurie as Cave-Dweller.

SG9 is MIA, so SG1 goes to Avnil to retrieve them. They meet Lieutenant Connor, who tells them that SG9's leader, Captain Jonas Hanson, has gone native, posing as God and enslaving the people of this world. From there, things head south.

Sam gets captured. Hansen is her ex-fiance. And Connor is tied to a post and left to die.

This episode almost works. Most of it is fine, but there is just too much Hanson. Megalomaniacs with delusions of godhood are a common theme in stories about dystopian societies. They're often the cause of the dystopia.

In this case, Hanson's motives are not all that bad. The UV radiation on Avnil is deadly. The locals live in caves and only come out at night. Hanson wants to give the cave dwellers a chance to live in the open and improve their lives. So, he forces them to work in the sun until they die.

Although Hanson creates the problems that must be solved, his character is rather boring. Or rather, there is too much of him.

Sometimes, it's the actor who can't quite make the character interesting. But more often, as here, the actor is fine. The point is made in the first moment or two, but the scene goes on and on. It is like a song that finishes long before it ends, repeating verses and choruses more times than anyone wants to hear.

This isn't a really bad episode, just a bit repetitive and slow. You might want to fast forward through some of Hanson's self-aggrandizing speeches.

Reviewed by Romana Drew July 20, 2020















Jack and the Crystal

Jack and Charlie

Cold Lazarus




Season 1 Episode 7

Directed by Kenneth J. Girotti. Written by Jeff F. King.

Originally aired August 29, 1997

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery ,and Don S. Davis.

With Harley Jane Kozak as Sara O'Neill, Wally Dalton as Sara's Father, and Kyle Graham as Charlie O'Neill.

SG1 gates to a desert planet with patches of blue crystals. Jack touches a crystal and is knocked flat. His doppelganger then returns to Earth with the team. Even though the doppelganger acts a bit strange, no one notices until Jack wakes up and gates home, wondering why everyone left him.

Cold Lazarus fleshes out Jacks relationship with his ex-wife and his feelings about his son's death. It deals with powerful and difficult emotions in a sensitive and realistic way. This is the most adult and mature episode so far, a refreshing change from primitive people and megalomaniacs.

Kyle Graham was perfect as Charlie.

There are a few things that are not well explained. How do the crystals duplicate humans? How did the duplicate Jack turn into Charlie? Why did he spew out radiation for a while and then stop? Why did the Goa'uld consider the crystals so much of a threat that they blasted them to pieces?

Perhaps it's best not to ask those questions and just go with the story.

Reviewed by Romana Drew July 25, 2020















Anteaus and Nafrayu

Apophis

The Nox




Season 1 Episode 8

Directed by Charles Correll. Written by Hart Hanson

Originally aired September 12, 1997

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery ,and Don S. Davis.

With Armin Shimerman as Anteaus, Peter Williams as Apophis, Ray Xifo as Ohper, Frida Betrani as Lya, Terry David Mulligan as Secretary of Defense David Swift, and Addison Ridge as Nafrayu.

The secretary of defense complains that the Stargate program has not been successful at finding advanced tech. Teal'c suggests they visit a planet with a creature that can make itself invisible. Off they go.

They fail to capture the creature. Instead, they go after Apophis, who just happens to be wandering around with a couple of guards. It's a dumb idea. They should all know better. And they all get killed.

Not to worry, this is the home of the Nox.

Finding themselves alive in what appears to be a primitive society, SG1 sets out to protect these cute, little, unassuming beings from the evil Goa'uld.

This is a lesson in how appearances can be deceiving and why it is not wise to make assumptions before gathering sufficient data.

The Nox is an interesting episode, with several clever plot twists. It also introduces a race of beings with superior technology and no fear of the Goa'uld. The Nox will show up again in future episodes.

It is also nice to see Armin Shimerman (Quark) playing a different role.

Reviewed by Romana Drew July 29, 2020.















Jack and Kynthia

Kynthia doing the marriage dance

Brief Candle


Season 1 Episode 9

Directed by Mario Azzopardi. Story by Steven Barnes. Teleplay by Katharyn Powers.

Originally aired September 19, 1997

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With Bobbie Phillips as Kynthia, Harrison Coe as Alekos, Gabrielle Miller as Thetys.

SG1 gates to utopia, where all the people are young, healthy, and happy. They dance and sing all day.

Kynthia feeds Jack a special cake, just for him, and he ends up in her bed. The moment the sun goes down, everyone falls asleep, where ever they are, what ever they're doing, including Jack.

Infected by alien nanobots, the people of this world grow to adulthood in a few days and only live for one hundred days. Jack is infected even though he has already lived for thousands of days.

The search is on for a cure.

Although it has no battles or evil villians, Brief Candle is a nice episode, well worth watching. It gives Richard Dean Anderson an opportunity to stretch his acting skills a bit. But don't look too close at the logistics of this world.

The inhabitants dance, sing, and enjoy life, but never to do any work. So, where does the food come from? They fall asleep where ever they are the moment the sun goes down and wake the next day in the same clothes. Apparently, the nights don't get cold, and it never rains.

If the anyone goes far enough away from the village, they are no longer under the influence of the computer controlling the nanobots. It is hard to believe that no one has ever done this and returned to lead the villagers to freedom.

The inhabitants don't seem to grow old, so how do they die? Perhaps they just don't wake up one morning. Having a character die, and seeing how the village deals with it, would have been interesting.

Reviewed by Romana Drew August 1, 2020















Teal'c and Thor's Hammer

Daniel, Kendra, and Sam

Thor's Hammer




Season 1 Episode 10

Directed by Brad Turner. Written by Katharyn Powers.

Originally aired September 26, 1997

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With: Galyn Gorg as Kendra, Vincent Hammond as Unas, Tamsin Kelsey as Gairwyn, James Earl Jones as the voice of Unas, and Mark Gibbon as Thor.

Teal'c says that all Gou'ald are forbidden to visit Cimmeria, the home of Thor's hammer, so SG1 goes there.

As soon as they step through the gate, the locals laugh at them. A blue beam shines down from the top of an obelisk, scaning everyone. It concentrates on Teal'c. Jack tries to push Teal'c out of the beam, and they both disappear.

Jack and Teal'c end up in a maze of caves with Unas, an un-killable monster. Sam and Daniel ask the locals for help.

This episode just moves along at a great pace with never a dull moment. We learn that there is hope for those taken by the Goa'uld, along with a little history of the Goa'uld. We also meet Thor, or his avatar, and learn that other powerful races can protect planets from the Goa'uld.

That makes two races who don't fear the Goa'uld, the Nox, and Thor's race, which will be revealed in a future episode.

The people on Cimmeria are Vikings, which means they have been here for over a thousand years. Why haven't they developed any new technology? This can't be blamed on Goa'uld suppression. Goa'uld are dispatched as soon as they come through the gate.

Still, it is a good episode.

Reviewed by Romana Drew August 4, 2020
















Ernest Littlefield naked and wondering if SG1 is real

Ernest and Catherine

The Torment of Tantalus




Season 1 Episode 11

Directed by Jonathan Glassner. Written by Robert C. Cooper.

Originally aired October 3, 1997

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With Elizabeth Hoffman as Catherine Langford, Keene Curtis as Ernest Littlefield, Duncan Fraser as Professor Langford, Nancy Hillis as Young Catherine Langford, and Paul McGillion as Young Ernest Littlefield.

While reviewing footage of the 1945 gate experiments, Daniel discovers that the researchers succeeded in opening the gate and sending someone through. That person never returned. And, the gate research was abandoned.

Daniel shows the footage to Catherine Langford. She says the fellow who went through the gate was Ernest Littlefield, her fiance. She was told that he had died in an explosion. Although it has been fifty years, Ernest may still be alive.

So, off they go on a rescue mission, including Catherine. Of course, the DHD is broken, and the building about to fall into the sea.

This episode doesn't focus on the difficult and risky climb to the top of the building in a raging storm. That has been done many times. Instead it focuses on the people inside the building: Daniel's willingness to die in his search for knowledge, Jacks determination to get everyone home, and Catherine and Ernest coming to terms with the events that separated them.

The Torment of Tantalus is one of the great episodes. Keene Curtis' performance as Ernest Littlefield confronting real people after fifty years of living alone is sensitive and humorous. The team finds evidence of four advanced races and a world of information about those races, probably the gate builders. But, once again, that information is lost before it can be retrieved.

Reviewed by Romana Drew August 7, 2020















Drey'auc

Master Bra'tac

Bloodlines




Season 1 Episode 12

Directed by Mario Azzopardi. Written by Mark Saraceni. Teleplay by Jeff F. King

Originally aired October 10, 1997

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With Tony Amendola as Master as Bra'tac, Salli Richardson as Drey'auc, and Neil Denis as Rya'c.

Teal'c is determined to return to Chulak to stop his son from being implanted with a larval Goa'uld, or prim'ta. At first, General Hammond forbids Teal'c to leave, then the entire SG1 team goes with him.

Teal'c's house is in ruins, and his wife and son are missing. Teal'c's manages to stop the implantation but Rya'c is dying of scarlet fever.

Bloodlines explores life on Chulak. We meet Teal'c wife, Drey'aic, son, Ray'c, and his teacher, Master Bra'tac.

There are a couple of things that don't make sense. The larval Goa'uld are kept in a tank out in the open, unguarded. Sam and Daniel just walk up and steal one. If it is that easy to steal one, why did Drey'auc have to beg for one? And if all you have to do is stick one inside the pouch, why does it require a special tent and a priest?

This episode is well worth watching, but gets a bit slow and obvious in a couple of places.

It is nice to see Salli Richardson, Allison Blake from Eureka, in a very different role as Drey'auc.

Reviewed by Romana Drew August 10, 2020















Daniel and Nem

Hammond and Jack at Daniels wake.

Fire and Water




Season 1 Episode 13

Directed by Allan Eastman. Written by Brad Wright and Katharyn Powers. Teleplay by Katharyn Powers.

Originally aired October 14, 1997

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With Gerard Plunkett as Nem.

Sam, Jack, and Teal'c return from Oannes unexpectedly and sopping wet. They saw Daniel get killed in a fire spout, except they know he is alive. Daniel is kidnapped and held in an underwater lair by a Nem, an Ohnes, a sea-dwelling alien.

This episode explores how the team copes with the loss of a member. All the ceremonies seem hollow and unsettling. Sam, Jack, and Teal'c have recurring visions of Daniel's death, but they all feel he is still alive. While under the sea of Oannes, Nem demands Daniel tell him what happened to his mate four thousand years ago.

Nem's costume and makeup are great. What he eats, and why he lives underwater is not explained, but the lair is interesting.

At one point, Nem rushes out, leaving the "door" open. A force field holds back a wall of water. I liked the way Daniel first touched the wall then swam away.

The scenes in the SGC are interwoven with scenes in Nem's lair. The difference between the two worlds makes the switching a bit jarring but also adds interest to the episode.

A couple of questions. Daniel reads cuneiform writing that contains the name of Nem's mate. How did he learn to pronounce Cuneiform? That form of writing was used by several different cultures, with different languages, none of which are spoken today. Even if they were, the pronunciation would have changed.

How did Nem know Daniel had a memory of his mate? If he could 'see' the memory, why did he have to use a painful machine to retrieve it?

During the funeral, they hand a wreath on the event horizon of the gate, then it gets sucked into the wormhole. I wonder where it went? Imagine the people on the other end. The gate activates, and a ring of flowers lands on the ground. The gate closes.

Reviewed by Romana Drew August 14, 2020















Hathor and Jack

Hathor, babies, and daddy Daniel

Hathor




Season 1 Episode 14

Directed by Brad Turner. Written by David Bennett Carren and J. Larry Carroll. Teleplay by Jonathan Glassner

Originally aired October 24, 1997

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With Suanne Braun as Hathor.

A group of archeologists discover a Goa'uld sarcophagus. They twist the red button and out hops Hathor, goddess of fertility, inebriation, and music. Unfortunatly for the archeologists, Hathor isn't in a good mood, and they don't stay long alive.

Sensing the Stargate, Hathor infiltrates the SGC, where she entices all the men into her service. Daniel makes his unique contribution to Hathor's plans. Never fear, the women, and Teal'c, come to the rescue.

This is an entirely enjoyable episode. Suanne Braun is perfect as Hathor, the queen Goa'uld protecting all her little offspring.

I especially liked the way she got out of the tank and was perfectly dry. Of course, it was the film run backward, but it worked wonderfully well.

Now, we know where all those baby Goa'uld come from. And she escapes, so we can meet her again in a future episode.

Reviewed by Romana Drew, August 17, 2020.















Sam, Cassandra, and Daniel

Cassandra and her dog.

Singularity




Season 1 Episode 15

Directed by Mario Azzopardi. Written by Robert C. Cooper.

Originally aired October 31, 1997

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With Katie Stuart as Cassandra.

SG1 gates to Hanka to join SG7 and watch a black hole eclipse the sun. But everyone is dead, scientists and locals alike. Only one little girl is still alive. They take her back to Stargate Command.

Dr. Fraiser discovers naquadah in her blood. Soon a bomb grows inside her. If she goes through the gate, the bomb will explode, destroying the gate. If she doesn't go through the gate, the bomb will still explode with enough energy to pulverize Cheyanne Mountain and surrounding area.

This episode introduces Cassandra and naquadah, the material the Stargate is made of. Naquadah is quite versatile and will be a McGuffin and several future stories. We also learn of another Goa'uld named Nirrti.

Cassandra bonds with Sam and looks to her for help, which shows a motherly side of Sam. Daniel also shows his gentle, caring side as he supports both Sam and Cassandra.

Singularity is a bit like a ticking timebomb story with a twist at the end.

Reviewed by Romana Drew August 19, 2020.















Preparing Teal'c for His Execution

Hanno

Cor-Ai




Season 1 Episode 16

Directed by Mario Azzopardi. Written by Tom J. Astle.

Originally aired January 23, 1998

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With David McNally as Hanno, Peter Williams as Apophis, and Christina Jastrzembska as Female Elder.

SG1 gates to a planet Teal'c recognizes as Cartago. For once, there is a settlement surrounding the Staregate, more about that later. It looks as if everyone scattered as soon as the gate opened. Food is on the fire, but no one is around.

Slowly the villagers return. Hanno recognizes Teal'c as the Jaffa who killed his father. The villagers imprison Teal'c and prepare for Cor-Ai, or trial. Teal'c admits he killed Hanno's father and is sentenced to death. It makes no difference to Hanno that Apophis ordered Teal'c to kill his father.

Cor-Ai explores different concepts of justice. Here Teal'c is guilty unless he can prove his innocence. And his accuser, Hanno, is the only one who can determine his punishment.

Although the episode moves along at a good pace, it is a bit unsatisfying and predictable.

Apophis visits this world regularly to harvest people for implantation. When the lights on the gate activate, the villagers run and hide in nearby caves. Apophis only catches the slowest.

Why do the villagers continue to live around the gate? Why not move to a remote location where Apophis can't find them. Or, at least, make him travel some distance to catch them.

Also, Teal'c is a little out of character, giving up like that. Yes, he did terrible things as First Prime, but he wants to defeat the Goa'uld and free the Jaffa. He can't do that if he's dead. Staying alive to fight again should be pretty firmly ingrained in his personality.

Reviewed by Romana Drew August 26, 2020















Omoc and Narim

Lya

Enigma




Season 1 Episode 17

Directed by William Gereghty. Written by Katharyn Powers.

Originally aired January 30, 1998

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With Tobin Bell as Omoc, Garwin Sanford as Narim, Tom McBeath as Colonel Harry Maybourne, and Frida Betrani as Lya.

SG1 gates to a world in volcanic upheaval. They are about to go home when they discover several dying people covered with volcanic ash. They bring the survivors back to Stargate Command.

The Tollans are not pleased to have been rescued. They are human, but technology far advanced from Earth. Having seen a primitive race misuse their technology, they want nothing to do with Earth and are not shy about saying so.

In steps Colonel Harold Maybourne from NID (The National Intelligence Department, AKA National Institute of Defense.) He intends to take possession of the Tollans and transfer them to his jurisdiction: Hamond, SG1, and the Tollans object.

Colonel Maybourne is a complex and thoroughly obnoxious character who plays a role in many future episodes.

This is an interesting episode featuring another race with superior technology. They may be self-centered and standoffish, but at least they are peaceful. Omoc says that the Tollans know about the Goa'uld but do not interact with them even though their world has a gate.

If the Tollans are human, they must have originally come from Earth. Daniel suggests that we would be more advanced had it not been for the dark ages. The Goa'uld lost track of Earth when the gate was buried. The Tollan gate is still active. How come they were able to develop without Goa'uld interference?

Reviewed by Romana Drew August 22, 2020.















Sam and Jack

Hammond at the New Stargate

Solitudes




Season 1 Episode 18

Directed by Martin Wood. Written by Brad Wright.

Originally aired February 6, 1998

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

Under an automated attack, SG1 leaps through the gate home as fast as they can. Daniel and Teal'c roll down the ramp at Stargate command. Sparks fly and the gate controllers burst off their mounts.

Jack and Sam wake to find themselves inside a glacier. Jack is injured. The gate is there, but the DHD has to be dug from its ice tomb. While Sam keeps Jack alive and fixes the DHD, Daniel, Teal'c, and General Hammond try to figure out where Jack and Sam are.

The first time I watched this, I assumed that Sam would fix the DHD, and she and Jack would gate home. Maybe there would be some complications, but ultimately that would be the conclusion. Instead, Daniel saves the day.

This is a good episode, showing how the team members are commitment to saving each other. It does get a little slow in the middle with Sam worrying over Jack. But the rest is excellent. The ending is great.

If Sam had tried to gate to a different world, they would never have found the second gate.

Reviewed by Romana Drew August 29, 2020.















Harlan "Comtrya"

Robot Jack

Tin Man




Season 1 Episode 19

Directed by Jimmy Kaufman. Written by Jeff F. King

Originally aired February 13, 1998

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With: Jay Brazeau as Harlan.

SG1 gates to P3X-989, Altair. They meet Harlan, the caretaker of a massive underground complex of machines. They get zapped by beams of light and wake up in different clothes. Jack's pissed and sends everyone back to Earth, where they discover that they are now androids.

The basic plot is quite simple. SG1 needs to get back into their human bodies so they can go on about their lives. However, a couple of philosophical questions are explored.

Can robots be human? All the members of the team feel human. They have the same desires, except being hungry or thirsty. So are they alive, or are they just machines?

What rights do sentient machines have? On Earth, they are imprisoned and then sent back to Altair. The humans return to Earth, leaving their mechanical counterparts to live with Harlan forever, a fate none of the humans would ever accept.

The ending is a bit unsatisfying. The robots have the same minds as the humans. It is unrealistic to expect them to stay put and fix the machine forever. Never fear, we will see them in later episodes.

Reviewed by Romana Drew September 1, 2020.















Daniel and the Mirror

General Jack O'Neill and Teal'c

There But for the Grace of God




Season 1 Episode 20

Directed by David Warry-Smith. Written by David Kemper. Teleplay by Robert C. Cooper.

Originally aired February 20, 1998

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With Elizabeth Hoffman as Dr. Catherine Langford.

On P3R-233, Daniel discovers a collection of objects from other worlds. Teal'c finds a Goa'uld warning to stay away, so Jack orders everyone home. Before he leaves, Daniel touches a mirror and gets a mild shock. When he goes to the gate, everyone is gone, so he gates home to a very different Earth.

Catherine Langford is in charge of the Stargate program, Jack is in charge of the military. The Goa'uld are destroying Earth, and nobody knows Daniel.

This episode introduces the concept of alternate universes, something that will be used in future episodes. It is also the first of four episodes. The next two episodes close out season 1 with a cliffhanger. The fourth is the first episode of season 2.

The mirror Daniel touched is straight out of Star Trek. It looks a lot like the time portal on Golana, that Molly O'Brian fell through. And it's not too far off from the one in the TOS episode, The City of the Edge of Forever.

This is a fast-paced and exciting episode. It lets us see the main characters in somewhat different roles.

Reviewed by Romana Drew September 3, 2020.



















Kensey and Samuels
The dynamic duo.

General Hammond

Politics




Season 1 Episode 21

Directed by Martin Wood. Teleplay by Brad Wright. Exercepts by Jonathan Glassner, Brad Wright, Hart Hanson, Jeff F. King, Robert C. Cooper, Steven Barnes, and Katharyn Powers.

Originally aired February 27, 1998

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With Ronny Cox Senator as Robert Kinsey and Robert Wisden as Lt. Colonel Bert Samuels,

Daniel returns from his trip to the alternate reality with an injured shoulder and a wild tale to tell.

Senator Robert Kinsey, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee decides it is time to shut down the Stargate program because it is a waste of money and hasn't produced any significant technological breakthroughs. He dismisses the Goa'uld threat.

Most of this episode is either talking heads or flashbacks. It is the second of four connected episodes that close out season 1 and introduce season 2. Shutting down Stargate Command is its only contribution to the story arc.

It's a nice review of season 1, but it can be skipped with only a slight blip in continuity.

Reviewed by Romana Drew September 4, 2020















Jack and Klorel.

Daddy Apophis talking to his son, Klorel

Within the Serpent's Grasp




Season Episode 22

Directed by David Warry-Smith. Story by James Crocker. Teleplay by Jonathan Glassner.

Originally aired March 6, 1998

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With Peter Williams as Apophis and Alexis Cruz as Skaara / Klorel.

Stargate Command is shut down, and the gate is scheduled to be buried. Daniel persuades SG1 to defy orders and go through the Stargate to the address he found on the alternate world, believing it to be the Goa'uld homeworld. But it isn't a planet, it's a Goa'uld attack vessel orbiting a planet.

As soon as the ship goes into hyperdrive, the Stargate is useless, trapping SG1 on the very ship destined to destroy Earth. Although that is just where they need to be if they want to sabotage the attack, it's also smack dab in the middle of hundreds of jaffa with no place to hide.

This is an exciting episode. It builds from frustration with the obvious stupidity of the politicians to a daring escape to save Earth. In the end, SG1 is captured, and Earth is about to die.

The ship is great, lots of gold panels with raised hieroglyphics, very showy. It's also quite convenient that every corridor is lined wide pillars just perfect for hiding behind.

Originally viewers had to wait nearly three months to watch the conclusion - the first episode of the next season. I am reviewing them separately because that suits my website organization better. However, I watched them one after the other. I highly recommend doing so.

Reviewed by Romana Drew September 5, 2020












The Tok'ra
Season 2






Apophis and Klorel.

Daniels Last Stand

The Serpent's Lair




Season 2 Episode 1

Directed by Jonathan Glassner. Written by Brad Wright.

Originally aired:
Sky One - June 26, 1998
Showtime June 26, 1998

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With Tony Amendola as Master Bra'tac, Robert Wisden as Lt. Colonel Bert Samuels, Peter Williams as Apophis, and Alexis Cruz as Skaara/Klorel.

Trapped on one of two Goa'uld Ha'tak attack ships, SG1 struggles to stay alive long enough to blow up the ships and prevent Earth's destruction. While down below, Colonel Samuels assures everyone that the military has the situation under control, while sending groups of people through the gate to the Alpha Site, just in case the Goa'uld succeed.

When all is lost, Master Bra'tac shows up to save the day, sort of. And Daniel dies for the second time.

The Serpent's Lair is the first episode of the second season and the exciting conclusion to Within the Serpent's Grasp, the final episode of the first season. These two episodes are best watched one right after the other. I am somewhat surprised that someone hasn't released them as a movie.

There are some great scenes with Hammond and Samuels, and equally great scenes with Jack and Bra'tac. Samuel's mindset is not that far off from Apophis'. When failure seems imminent, run away, to hell with everyone else.

There are a few technical goofs: The sarcophagus apparently repaired Daniel's clothing as well as his wounds - same for Kloral. Samuels assurances that the missiles were invisible to radar is silly. They were visible to the naked eye.

All that aside, this is a superb episode.

Reviewed by Roman Drew September 6, 2020















Sam/Jolinar

Dr. Jacobs/Ashrak & Daniel
just before Teal'c zats them both

In the Line of Duty




Season 2 Episode 2

Directed by Martin Wood. Written by Robert C. Cooper.

Originally aired:
Sky One July 3, 1998
Showtime July 3, 1998

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

Peter Lacroix as Ashrak/Dr. Jacobs and Katie Stuart as Cassandra.

On Nasya, SG1 and the Nasyan village is attacked by Goa'uld death gliders. They run for the gate, taking as many Nasyans as they can save.

While Sam is giving mouth to mouth to a dying Nasyan, a Goa'uld symbiote jumps into her mouth. Back at Stargate command, Sam looks the same, but her behavior is a bit off. Her symbiote pulls off the disguise until she is outed by Cassandra, who can sense Goa'uld.

Imprisoned in Stargate Command, the Goa'uld insists she is Jolinar of Malkshur, a Tok'ra, and an enemy of the Goa'uld.

Meanwhile, back at the hospital, Dr. Jacobs is infected with an Ashrak, a Goa'uld super-assassin bent on killing Jolinar/Sam.

In the Line of Duty introduces the Tok'ra, another race that will play important roles during this season.

I understand why the writers wanted the viewer to think that Sam was infected with an evil Goa'uld in the early part of the episode. But in retrospect, Jolinar's behavior is too harsh at first. Also, letting Sam talk a bit more would have helped Jolinar convince the others that she wasn't evil, although that might have messed up the story line.

These are small complaints. The episode is a good one.

Reviewed by Romana Drew September 8, 2020.















Hadante

Releasing the Destroyer of Worlds

Prisoners




Season 2 Episode 3

Directed by David Warry-Smith. Written by Terry Curtis Fox.

Originally aired:
Sky One July 10, 1998
Showtime July 10, 1998

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With Bonnie Bartlett as Linea, Mark Acheson as Vishnoor, David Bloom as Scavenger, and Kim Kondrashoff as Roshure.

While SG1 explores the rainforest on a new planet, a man in ragged clothing crawls up, begging for help. They're headed back for the gate anyway, and offer to help him. A light from above transports them to an empty room. Disembodied voices find them guilty of trespassing and helping a criminal, sentencing them all to life in prison.

They are sent through a Stargate to Hadante, an underground prison. The only escape is throught the Stargate. Without a DHD, that is impossible.

Life is pretty rough in Hadante. An elderly woman, Linea, rules the roost.

Prisoners is well done and moves along without a problem. However, like all prison stories, it is a bit dark and depressing at times. Since the series continues for several more years, the crew obviously escapes. But it doesn't end there.

Unleashing the Destroyer of Worlds on an unsuspecting universe sounds ominous. But that storyline is dropped, which is a bit unsatisfying. It would have been nice to encounter Lenea again. However, the first time viewer doesn't know that, making the ending feel almost like a cliffhanger.

Reviewed by Romana Drew September 10, 2020.















Jack in the machine

The Keeper

Daniel is pissed

The Gamekeeper




Season 2 Episode 4

Directed by Martin Wood. Story by Jonathan Glassner & Brad Wright. Teleplay by Jonathan Glassner

Originally aired
Sky One July 17, 1998
Showtime July 17, 1998

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With Dwight Schultz as the Keeper, Jay Acovone as Captain Charles Kawalsky, Michael J Rogers as Colonel John Michaels, Lisa Bunting as Claire Jackson, and Robert Duncan as Melburn Jackson.

SG1 gates into a well-tended garden on P7J-989, but nobody is around. There is, however, a dome with unconscious people hooked up to machines. Before long, the devices capture all the members of SG1.

The devices transport Jack and Teal'c back in time into the middle of a raid in Germany, where one of Jack's friends gets killed. As soon as that happens, the scene resets, and they must do it again.

Daniel and Sam get transported back to a museum where Daniel's parents are killed. As soon as they die, the scene resets, and it happens again.

The Gamekeeper is a variation on time loop stories where only one or two characters know that time is repeating. Those can be fun stories, but this one isn't. The two scenarios that loop are tragedies causing Daniel and Jack emotional distress, while the residents of the planet watch for pleasure. To make things worse, the Keeper can't understand why Jack and Daniel refuse to keep repeating these events.

The scene with Daniel's parents just doesn't work. No museum, or equipment operator, would let anyone stand under a large, heavy object as it is moved about. Nor would anyone with half a brain be where his parents were.

Dwight Shultz (Reginald Barclay on Star Trek and Amis in the Babylon 5 episode The Long Dark) plays the Keeper to perfection.

Teal'c and Sam don't have adventures of their own because the machines cannot extract their memories. Teal'c because he is Jaffa, and Sam because she was Jolinar's host, which suggests that Jolinar may have left Sam with more than just memories.

Reviewed by Romama Drew September 14, 2020



















Daniel and Jack

Shyla

Need




Season 2 Episode 5

Directed by David Warry-Smith. Story by Robert C. Cooper & Damian Kindler. Teleplay by Robert C. Cooper

Originally aired
Sky One July 24, 1998
Showtime July 24, 1998

Starring Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, and Don S. Davis.

With Heather Hanson as Shyla and George Touliatos as Pyrus.

While SG1 secretly watch villagers place a container of naquadah through the Stargate, a young woman stands at the edge of a precipice. Daniel pulls her back, just as she starts to fall into the abyss.

Since no good deed goes unpunished, they are all captured and forced to work in the naquadah mine. An attempted escape leaves Daniel critically injured. Shyla, the woman he saved, places him in a sarcophagus to heal. She wants him for a husband,. The rest struggle to stay alive in the mine.

And Daniel dies (almost) again.

Need explores the addictive effects of the sarcophagus and how it changes the personalities of those who use it. It does explain in part why the Goa'uld believe themselves to be gods, and why the Tok'ra don't use the sarcophagus.

We also learn that Sam can tell if someone is Goa'uld by just being near them.

This episode starts to showcase Michael Shank's acting skill as Daniel's personality changes, and he goes through withdrawal.

It was too easy to persuade Shyla to destroy the sarcophagus. How did she know that shooting it with a staff weapon would deactivate but not blow up the entire building? Why do the pretend Jaffa guards sound like Goa'uld? And, why didn't SG1 go through to the address they sent the naquadah, or at least send a probe?

Reviewed by Romana Drew September 16, 2020.