Sunday, March 06, 2005

Biggest Night of Sci Fi Ever 3/4/05 Sci Fi Channel

Stargate SG-1

This was a continuation of last weeks episode. Last week the replicators, a borg-like, mechanical species, had launched a full scale attack on the universe and were systematically destroying the gouaould system lords. In the midst of all the chaos, the rebel Jaffar, a race of warriors enslaved to the gouaould whom they consider to be gods, captured the sacred temple which is the holiest site for them. This action was meant to be a signal to Jaffar everywhere that the gouaould are not what they claim. Anyway, Annubis, who is the evil lord big cheese, was anticipating that the rebel Jaffar would pull such a stunt and was ready by directing a massive fleet from battling the replicators to annihilate the rebel Jaffar once and for all. In the meantime, Daniel Jackson, the chief SG-1 scientist had been captured by the chief replicator, who is a "clone" of Col. Samantha Carter. She knows that in his mind there is info about the location of the one weapon that can destroy her and all the replicators and she needs to fish this out and destroy the weapon before SG-1 can get to it.

This week's episode was a good one. I had a few spine tingling moments. It had long been known that there was a massive weapon built buy the ancients at the sacred temple, but no one knew where or how to get to it. There was a huge wall of symbols and Col. Carter and their friend of the Tokrah race finally figured it out. However, they find out that the weapon is as advertised and it was so deadly that it would wipe out everyone, including all of them there. So they figure a way to modify it so that it only killed the replicators and left other races unharmed. However, they needed to send the blast everywhere in the universe that the replicators were, which was just about everywhere. The figure that the only way to do this was to send the blast through the entire network of stargates, this way they'd kill all the replicators. But to do so required the help of an enemy gouaould who had thd knowledge of all stargate codes. Fortunately,this guy was cooperative due to the fact that the fight against the replicators was fruitless.

Now while all this is going on, the replicators are on the move everywhere. Also, Replicator Samantha is invading Daniel's head to get him to yeild secret repositories of knowledge the ancients placed in him. But while she's doing this, he is also searching her head and sees the insidious plot she's hatched. Using his ancient powers, he is able to concentrate and freeze all the replicators in the universe for about a minute, but he loses concentration and replicator Sam kills him.

In the mean time on earth, replicators have invaded SG-1 and earth and it is looking very bleak.

Now as the Tokrah fellow is fine tuning the weapon the replicators land at the temple and begin to approach the occupiers. Col Samantha Carter screams at the Tokrah to hurry or they'll be dead in a seconds. At the same time, O'Neill back at SG-1 and a few soldiers are in a ferocious fire fight with the replicators, which look like mechanical large spiders, BTW. Also, Teal'c is at that moment in orbit above the temple in battle against the gouaould when the replicator's ships appear and begin to strike. They are powerless against the replicators and sheilds have just collapsed. The next shot will kill them.

In a great juxtaposition of scenes, they show Col Samantha Carter, Brig. Gen O'Neil and Teal'c, all in their respective situations firing away at the replicators. They focuse on each for about 30 seconds a piece and they all had the look of knowing that they were going to die, but with the determination and nobility that they fought till the end for a most worthy cause. Those moments sent chills down my spine. They captured something special in those few moments. But just as each in their situation was expecting death, the replicators froze. That was when Daniel jackson was able to access their collective consciousness and stop them. This bought them the few more seconds to finish the callibrations on the weapons and fire the weapon, which spread to all the stargates and killed all the replicators.

So the universe was saved. But Daniel jackson died. Like I said, I really liked this one.

Stargate Atlantis.

The Atlantis crew sends Tela and Major Shephard on a stealth recon mission to scout the Wraith army on its way to Atlantis. The Wraith are still light years away, but the Atlantis crew is able to get to them by using the Stargates. They stop at a planet in the path of the Wraith and warn them to hide. The Wraith stop at intervals and abduct hundreds in order to feed. Tela, who is familiar to these people, promises a family friend that they would come back for him. Shepard is upset because this is a recon and not a rescue mission.

It turns out anyway that they had to hide from the Wraith at this planet in the spot that she asked her friend to wait. In the end, the friend, his family and friends are saved and they get back to Atlantis.

Stargate Atlantis has done an excellent job with the Wraith mystique. They created a villain that strikes as much fear as any other. I think their fear level is as high as that of the borg. (Star Trek Voyager eventually ruined that borg mystique, by their frequent victorious encounters with the borg). But the Wraith do represent pure evil, much like the borg. The borg assimilate you against your will and make you part of the collective, while the Wraith eat you.

There was a particularly nice seen between Shephard and Tela when they had rescued the friends, she gave him a look that spoke unspeakable gratitude. yeah, it came across that well and powerfully. It is interesting beause they are the two main characters and so it is clear that at some point the show is going to create romantic tension between them. But I applaud the show for not rushing into it.

The gold standard is O'Neil and Carter in SG-1. It is clear that the characters are head over heels about each other, but they kept that distance and show is not about sex(iness) but about good ol' sci fi stuff. Evey now and then they feed the beast. For instance, there was an episode where O'Neil and Teal'C were being recycled in time repeatedly. The same situation over and over again. It was very funny as each time they retained the knowledge of the past time, so they were using each cycle to learn what to do to get out of the situation. In one of the cycles, O'Neil walks up to Carter and tells here that he resigns then kisses her and is immediately recylced to square one. In another situation, another Carter is brought through the Stargate from a parallel universe in which she is married to O'Neill in that world. These are the ways that SG-1 has played off that romantic tension, but they've kept it relatively clean, which is what I like.

I hope Atlantis can do the same and focus on the fun stories. I can't say the same about the last show of the evening.

Battlestar Galactica
For some reason, this show's producers think they must push every envelope sexually to get people to watch. 45% of the episode had to do with sex. I think it cheapens the show. Well, in this episode, testing of the crew has begun in order to smoke out cyclon imposters. But the scientist running the tests is seriously flawed and dishonest and so is not giving true results necessarily. That was basically most of the show, the drama and tension of waiting for test results. Again, they had too many over sexualized scenes, in fact, they had to include a warining about unsuitable scenes at the begining of the show.


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