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[Season 1, Episodes 1&2]
Reviewed 1st & 2nd January 2002 [Tuesday & Wednesday]
One year after the events of the film, Colonel O'Neill (Formerly Kurt Russell, now Richard MacGuyver Dean Anderson) returns through the Stargate with his Special Forces team in tow. The team, now including token female Captain Sam Carter ( Amanda Tapping ), meet up with Dr Daniel Jackson again.
However, Ra's race (the Ghouls) reappear and kidnap Daniel's wife and O'Neill's surrogate son. The Terrans return to Earth, where the Top Brass (Scully's father) informs them their unit is now codenamed SG-1, and assigned to recce the other worlds through the Stargate.
They land on the next world, and explore. Along the way they pick up a token black guy, but they fail to rescue the two people they intended to save.
It seems the series plot will be the continued search for the wife and boy. This is a great show - Devlin and Emmerich should have stuck with this and forgotten that piece of trash The Visitor . This reviewer awaits the return of this show - Tuesday 6 pm!
This is continued directly from the pilot, shown on Sunday. The token black character, Teel'c, still carries an incubating Ghoul parasite in his abdomen - but Kowalski has been infected with a full-grown one. The team must save their friend from the infestation before the creature takes over his mind permanently.
In the Teel'c subplot a Pentagon representative (LA Law's Alan Rachins - in a toupee!) arrives and attempts to remove him for study elsewhere.
SG-1, like the film it follows on from, features a pair of well-used cliches - the parasite/symbiote and the interplanetary gateway. However, these plot aspects are well-handled and this reviewer has no complaints.
How interesting that both the Devlin & Emmerich TV shows are being broadcast on Tuesday; SG-1 on Channel 4 at 6pm (a perfect prime-time slot) and The Visitor is on at 11.30 pm on ITV - the death slot! The only complaint is, SG-1 is on at the same time as Heartbreak High!
Stargate SG-1 is easily the best thing to happen to British TV since BBC2 bought Buffy the Vampire Slayer . How come the only good SF dramas on UK TV are imported from the USA?
The group enter a new world, peopled with Mongol-type nomads ruled by Soon-Tek Oh and Cary-whatshisname ( B5, Rising Sun). Neither of these actors is an ethnic Mongol, and for some reason the characters all speak perfect English!
Although Captain Carter is in combat uniform (including helmet and short hair) she is recognised at long distance as a woman! She is captured by the nomads and taken to be Cary's wife. MacGuyver buys her in exchange for a 9mm pistol, but a Romeo & Juliet cliche involving the nomads occurs, and she has to fight Cary in order to save his (caucasian) daughter's life.
Carter looks great in a dress - she even has cleavage!
SG-1 are joined by the trigger-happy jar-heads (US Marines) of SG-3 for a special mission into the unknown. They are attacked by stone-age primitives called the Touched by their Bronze-age neighbours, and when they find no evidence of Ghouls on the world they return to Earth. However, the jar-heads and grunts go apeshit - nothing unusual there, you think, but they are infected with the disease and are touched.
Captain Carter french-kisses Colonel McGuyver, who punches Dr Daniel, who goes back for a cure and gets captured by the touched. Only Teel'c and a female medic are left sane; even the General is in a straightjacket!
The pseudo-science to explain the disease is a bit far-fetched, but look on the bright side. If this were Trek, everyone would have turned into a salamander or something!
The guest-star female medic is a babe, and this reviewer hopes that we see more of her. Also, it is a good move to show that a love-interest thing is being worked up between Carter and McGuyver; sexual tension will always crop up when people work together.
This sees SF unit SG-9 go rogue. The villain (Captain Sam Carter's ex-fiance) is not actually evil - he is doing the right thing albeit for the wrong reasons. So why is he cast as a bad guy? Why did the hack writers make his character blacker than black? How second-rate!
McGuyver gets yet another chance to act. This episode shows off Planet Earth, and concludes Colonel O'Neill's story arc. He gets over his son's death - which of course removes his motivation for the rest of the series. Yes, thanks to some clueless hacks the Colonel is now no longer strongly motivated to rescue his surrogate son, kidnapped by the Ghouls in the pilot episode.
Which reminds me, whatever happened to the show's overall story arc? It is traditional to get a season's first few episodes as throwaways - but now the writers have ruined the main character and the villains are still nowhere in sight.
In a budget review, the SG-1 team are ordered to retrieve more profitable technology, something they can use to defend against the Ghoul armada. They travel through the Stargate to find a mythical beast with the ability to turn invisible; they meet a Ghoul hunting party after the same prize, but are rescued by a mysterious race of near-humans led by ... Armin Shimerman! Yes, not content with roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Deep Space Nine he has added this SF show to his filmography too.
O'Neill starts to age at an extremely advanced rate.
SG-1 travel to a planet that the Ghouls will not venture to. Teel'c and O'Neill get trapped in a Labyrinth and hunted by a lizard-man, a member of a species called the Unas.
Daniel is reviewing some freshly-released secret 1940s Pentagon documents. It appears that someone went through the Stargate and never returned.
SG-1, along with the scientist lady who headed the 1994 Stargate Project, head to the world.
Teel'c demands to return to his Ghoul-controlled homeworld, Chulak. He confesses that he has a wife and son - and the son has come of age to be implanted with a symbiote!
O'Neill talks Hammond into sending SG-1 to Chulak to capture a Ghoul symbiote. O'Neill and Teel'c meet up with Teel'c's mentor, Master Breytag, and go to rescue Teel'c's family.
Carter and Daniel go after the ghouls. Carter states that for Daniel to kill creatures in such a defenceless state would make him as bad as them. She obviously doesn't know about their genetic memory - they are born evil!
SG-1 make a speedy and unexpected return through the Stargate. They are all in a state of shock, Carter's hair is shorter and darker, and Daniel is not there. He's dead ...
Archaeologists explore a Mayan temple in Mexico, and discover a chamber covered in Egyptian hieroglyphs. They accidentally uncover a female Ghoul - Hathor, played by Suanne Braun - who reawakens and shoots them with her blaster-glove.
The Ghoul woman somehow makes her way to the secret base where the Stargate is housed. She uses a super-pheremone to control the mind of every male in the base. Captain Carter, the doc-babe and the handful of other females on the base are left to subdue the males.
SG-1 travel to a planet where an astronomical observatory has been set up. However, the locals and the SG-4 team there have all been killed. SG-1 don their gas masks, except for Teel'c who apparently does not need one.
They discover a small girl, Cassandra, the only survivor on the planet. They take her back to the SGC, but she is not all that she seems. O'Neill and Teel'c discover that a Ghoul named Nierti may be behind it.
This episode has a very American theme; Death Penalty vs Forgiveness? Teel'c is put on trial for his life, accused of crimes he committed while a Serpent Guard. The USA Government and the SG General seem to have adopted the Star Trek Federation Prime Directive, and are willing to let Teel'c go to his fate.
SG-1 rescue a group of refugees. The refugees (led by Tobin Bell - Saw ) are from a hi-tech society named the Tollan. They have a Prime Directive which forbids them sharing science or tecnology with lower civilisations.
The NID stick their ugly noses in, proving the Tollan to be right. Colonel Kennedy has been promoted, probably because Alan Rachins got a job on Dharma & Greg. Instead the NID are led by Colonel Mayborn.
Luckily, SG-1 know of a friendly hi-tech civilisation: The Nox.
Colonel Jack and Captain Samantha are trapped in a crevasse. They have to share body heat in a sleeping bag, and McGuyver states it's my sidearm, I swear. Apart from that nothing much happens.
At the end, however, we discover where the crevasse is - and the location of the Stargate within it may be important for future episodes.
This sees the four main characters explore a new planet without the rest of the team (the heavily-armed Special Forces troopers) to guard them. They discover a highly advanced civilisation run by one man who claims to be 11,000 years old. It turns out he is the last surviving member of his species, and survived by transfering his consciousness into a robotic body.
However, he also transfers the team-members' minds into robotic versions of their own bodies. The bodies make them immortal, but will only function if they are near a central power source. In other words, they are trapped on the new world for all eternity.
SG-1 find a mirror stargate that sends Daniel into an alternate universe where he is not part of the SG team. Earth is under attack from the Ghoul armada, and the Stargate complex is stormed by Serpent Guards led by Teel'c. Daniel discovers the stargate address of the Ghoul base-world the armada came from, and takes it to his own universe.
The only big change in the new universe? Samantha Carter is a civilian advisor instead of a USAF Captain, and is engaged to General Jack O'Neill.
Daniel is back from the parallel universe, and warns the others of the impending Ghoul attack. However, the SGC has an even more dangerous enemy to face.
Senator Kinsey (Ronny Cox - Robocop, Total Recall ) has threatened to cut all funding to the SGC. He holds a special Hearing and goes through the field reports of SG-1. This allows a series of flashbacks to clips from previous episodes.
O'Neill, Daniel, Sam and Teel'c (the rest of the team are missing!) go through another gate and find themselves on a Ghoul space-vessel commanded by O'Neill's foster-son. Yes, we finally get an Arc episode. There is a reference to a previous Arc episode when Daniel mentions his wife could fight the ghoul parasite within her, which inspires O'Neill to capture the boy.
Unfortunately, things are not as easy as they seem. The ship is part of an armada sent to invade Earth - as Daniel saw in the mirror universe episode.
Find out next week. Yes, as an Arc story this is a 2-parter!
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