Monday, February 14, 2005

Time For Some Taradiddle

I was doing some channel surfing late last Thursday evening (a bit sad when the selection is limited to five channels!) and I happened upon a double episode of Stargate SG-1. I haven't been following this one much at all, having dismissed it as another bit of half-baked SF.
The suits may have a point in their apparent strategy to generally resist raising the audience expectations bar, and to sit on anything produced by a certain Joseph M Straczynski: I haven't really been able to go back to Star Trek since Babylon 5!
Anyway, I started watching this, and, while it probably says something about the arc development that I could still follow the story after missing several seasons, I decided it wasn't that bad.

It was the one where the Gou'ald (specifically Anubis?) decide to come calling on Earth, instead staying in the background wondering where we were. Lots of armed spaces fleets and generally dramatic stuff. Having decided, after five minutes, that carrier battle groups like the Nimitz aren't really going to pose much of a credible deterrent (I mean, you really need to call in the RN for this sort of work, they would have lasted at least 6 minutes!!), our guardians for truth, justice, and the neocon way launch their one and only cobbled together spaceship to do battle. It's not exactly a great deterrent either, but at least it can actually reach the invader!

Meanwhile, our heroes in SG-1 have decided to extract digits and have gone scouring the galaxy for the key to the ancients' weapon systems; a seemingly hopeless task given some meaning by the Col (Connor?) having acquired some form of memetic virus that is gradually replacing his persona with that of an ancient who knows the ropes (missed the details of that).

That they succeed is perhaps no surprise. That the journey was entertaining was more so.

...and the effects were very good. Not just the visual displays of star cruisers coming to get you (a given these days), but the effective depiction of inertia. In particular, when a somewhat battered Prometheus changes tactics: abandoning its defensive position over the Antarctic base where SG-1 are trying to get their final act together and lumbering heavenward through a hail of Gou'ald hate to give ole Anubis a head butting while they still can, you can believe that several thousand tonnes of armour plating is on the hoof.

Star Trek never did get the hang of that kind of thing. However well they conveyed the impression of size, the result always seemed to have a certain tin can (or polystyrene) feel to it.

So, given the effects, I'd rate this one as on a par with a so-so episode of B5

...and, speaking of memetic viruses, I suppose, the demographic objective was achieved: what does become of Connor?


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