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SG1, SGA, BSG 01-13-06



SG1: Collateral Damage

The truth is, we didn't actually watch SG1 last night. Well, not the new one. Instead, we popped in "Children of the Gods". And it was a lot of fun. We snarked at it but we also loved it and we both laughed at it and with it. It's not that COTG is *so great*, but everybody is young and dewy, and not at all jaded yet, and it's very much a "hey, my dorky show! *love*" thing for me. Next week will be the real test, though, because after "The Enemy Within" we've got "Emancipation" to weather. Yikes.

Anyway, so I saved the new SG1 to watch myself this morning. And -- imagine my surprise -- I liked it!

Yes, I know. Cam is Crichton, only not crazed. But that's fine with me. I really thought this was the Cam episode that they should have made time for in the first half of the season. But hey. I thought it was a good science fiction premise, fairly interestingly treated. I thought it was a pretty good mystery, in that I personally was fooled into thinking that Pencil Neck Emissary would turn out to be the killer (too obvious, but I thought that was all the writers had in them), so I didn't twig to the horror of "no, *he* did it and then he had the memory *removed* like they told us they could do, so that's why he's so sincerely helping uncover himself as the killer". That was nice. I'm not saying it wasn't also kind of obvious, but it wasn't *as* obvious to me. I also really liked that creepy moment where the anomaly in the memory is found -- I like the f/x dept's manipulation of the image, so that it was BB's figure/hair but so clearly *NOT* his face... and that was CREEPY. And at the same time, in that moment, I thought that the not-Cameron face looked a bit like Pencil Neck's -- me misleading myself. So, I thought the reveal was done well.

All in all, I felt like it was a good, classic SG-1 episode. Which is to say, it had a not-terribly-original yet interestingly adapted scifi premise, and it had that whiff of moral dilemma and having to live with an answer in the end that we don't like but that we can't do anything about. Plus of course, it was classic in the sense of being an offworld mission, nothing to do with the season plot-arc, meeting a new world and new people, refreshingly people who are modern/advanced culturally/technologically... and running into problems in the collision between their world-view and ours. But you can't even say in the end that what they did couldn't easily happen on Earth, in just that way, especially if we did get the technology. (Which, correct me if I'm wrong on the ending there, but we still might.)

I liked the focus on Mitchell. I liked the background bits given to him. As I say, I think it would have been helpful to run this ep a bit earlier, but, there you go. I also have to say I really like the relationship between Sam and Cam. (Although, "Sam 'n Cam", that's a bit scary, and it only just hit me.) I like their equal footing. I like that they can be friends and call each other by name. It helps differentiate him so much from Jack... as does Daniel's determination that he likes Mitchell but he's not buddy-buddy with him yet. Doesn't keep me from missing Jack. But, it makes Cam his own man, and I like him. Even if... hmm. Even if, given that team, I still don't feel like Cam is *in charge*. Maybe I never will. The other three are too equal to him. Cam's "leadership" still feels fairly nominal to me. It's not that I think that's a problem. It's another difference.

I'm still trying to figure out why this episode felt so much more vibrant to me than last episode did. It's not like Sam, Daniel and Teal'c actually *DID* much. Apart from a couple of little sequences (the murder; the flashback to the mission), this was *also* an ep in which, when you reduce it down to structure, people stood around or sat around talking at each other. But... it just felt a lot more vital. Maybe it was the mystery, maybe it was the emotion -- I felt more emotion underlying this than I felt at last week's Plague Peril plotline. Maybe it was the revelation of information that really helped build a character -- finally letting me know things about who Cameron Mitchell is. (Which is the argument in favor of waiting until this point in the season to do this episode -- the hope that by this point, they've made us *want* that info.)

Other little things... it's amazing how much difference having the whole credit sequence back (for both shows) means to me. I liked the guest stars in this -- nice to see Pencil Neck back, and he was even a little menacing. Also, the two scientists helping them dig into the mystery -- I felt they transcended the stiffness that can sometimes hamper playing The Alien Scientist (they often reacted and talked like real people).

Oh, and -- the way Daniel has been wearing his glasses this season? Makes me NUTS. (Normal people -- correct me if I'm wrong -- wear glasses with the temple pieces resting on the top of the ear, but take a look at where the line of Daniel's temple pieces are going. His glasses are weirdly tilted. I cannot figure it out, but it distracts me by making me want to straighten them out for him.)

Next week: I love AUs! Bring 'em on!




SGA: Epiphany

For reasons too complicated to go into here (except: is anyone ELSE out there, besides myself and my_tallest, having this problem where TiVo is not treating these Atlantis eps as "first run", and is failing to automatically mark them to record in the To Do list?), we missed the first 15 minutes of SGA. Not that we didn't pick up the premise/problem. But I discovered when I watched that first 15 minutes today... we missed what would have been my favorite part.

Again, the time-dilation thing was a good scifi premise. I liked the slow reveal to it and then I really liked Rodney's reaction, the way he snapped into "I'm problem-solving and everything else is just hampering me" mode. I thought all that was great.

I liked everything, essentially, except the whole "Ancients-in-study waiting to Ascend" plotline. Ugh. The conclusion I come to is: I really, really don't like the Ancients. I started disliking them in S6 on SG1. But at the time, I *liked* that I had come to dislike them, if that makes sense. I mean, I liked that here we had these beings who'd been sold to us as SO IMPORTANT since the start of the series -- as one of the Four Races, as the builders of the Gate system, etc. -- and then gradually we learned that they and the Ascended Squid Things like Oma Desala and Orlin were the same beings... and then I really LIKED how they became sort of like the Tok'ra... the Problematic Allies, the powerful race who was kind of on our side and yet, not. I just found that really effective, that I disliked them, that I found them annoying and untrustworthy.

But that's what makes it problematic to me, that SGA and the Pegasus galaxy revolve around them so much. Like John in this ep -- ascension doesn't sound like that great a deal to me. It sounds like abdicating on LIFE. Let the record show, I've never thought that I would make a good Buddhist. So this whole philosophy that's built around shedding the burdens of *actual life* to attain this higher plane... doesn't really make sense to me and would never appeal to me. I'm glad it doesn't appeal to John, either. But it still means that I find it really boring to watch a half hour that's based on arguing with a group of people who are seriously into that idea. Blah. I find them slow, and bland.

I'm also ready for an episode that doesn't revolve quite so heavily around John.

Other... yeah, I really like the credits for SGA as well... except the shot they chose to freeze for poor Beckett? Terrible. I spent the whole ep staring at the guy who played... that guy... (turns out his name was Avrid, though I had failed to catch/retain it). Having looked it up, he's an old SG1 alum -- he played Hanno, the vengeful son, in S1's "Cor Ai"; and then he played Simon, the timidly rebellious acolyte in "Demons". Nice to see him again.




BSG: Resurrection Ship

Gorgeous space-battle stuff. It was good to see both Caine and Adama make the choice to step back from that line. I'm glad for Starbuck, especially. (Poor Fisk; he should never play poker, or the Colonial equivalent thereof.) Also great to see that moment of Gaius repudiating the inner dialogue for "reality" with Gina.... but where HAS he hidden her? Poor, poor broken Lee... but I just have no time for his disillusionment.

This week turned out to be an unexpected reprieve, in a way. Next week looks pretty brutal. I will be glad to have the "Roslyn is dying" storyline finally resolved in some way, though, and it feels like that will be pretty soon.

At the same time, I feel like BSG is rocketing towards the edge of uncharted space. By which I mean, the Pegasus sequence *feels* to me like one of the last truly significant markers from the original series. Not that there has been that much correlation anyway, obviously, but it's been there, sometimes. The biggest single matter is just that Original BSG only had 1 season and after we pass all the possible markers from that season, we're into the "we don't really know where they might have gone" territory (Galactica 1980 notwithstanding). Again, it's not like you can use the original series to tell what's going to happen with this one. It's just that the original series stands as something that never had to deal with how it would resolve the premise that it set up. And there have been times during this series where I wonder if they can, essentially, finally do that -- if they will be able to figure out an effective resolution to this "quest for Earth" premise. There's no telling how long they might take to do it, or what else they might do along the way. I do sometimes wonder if Ron Moore has a plan, though. Or if he's hoping that one will come to him.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
jenlev
Jan. 14th, 2006 01:36 pm (UTC)
heh, also had the farscape flashback at the beginning. especially for 'peacekeeper-john'. ;)

rewatching the early episodes is such a delight. as for the ancients, i keep wanting to smack them upside the head.

as for bsg, i'm wondering if gaius will go completely off the edge after this episode. and how far they'll take it. good point about ron moore's plans. potential new territory that feels very wide indeed. *g*
katie_m
Jan. 14th, 2006 02:00 pm (UTC)
after "The Enemy Within" we've got "Emancipation" to weather. Yikes.

Oh, now, there are good things about Emancipation. For instance, everyone rides horses! That's fun. Also, there's a lot of entertainment value in telling off Daniel for being an arrogant git.

I cannot figure it out, but it distracts me by making me want to straighten them out for him.

The only time I've ever had to do that to my glasses is in photographs when they tell you to tilt them so there's no reflection. So I wonder if that's why he's doing it? But honestly, wouldn't a bunch of professionals be able to come up with a better way to prevent glare?
eregyrn
Jan. 19th, 2006 01:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, now, there are good things about Emancipation. For instance, everyone rides horses! That's fun. Also, there's a lot of entertainment value in telling off Daniel for being an arrogant git.

True! (Sadly, they don't ride horses *much*.) Also, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa is always loads of fun.

So I wonder if that's why he's doing it? But honestly, wouldn't a bunch of professionals be able to come up with a better way to prevent glare?

That might make sense... but I just don't ever recall noticing it *before*, at least not to this extreme extent. So if that was why, then why was he not doing that for 7 or 8 years, and is doing it so noticeably now?

(Also... I personally would think that the film industry could come up with some kind of non-glare-treatment solution for fake glasses. Maybe I'm wrong about that, yet it would seem as if it would be valuable to them.)
katie_m
Jan. 22nd, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
I just don't ever recall noticing it *before*

I've noticed it before, but it has been more obvious recently, I think. His head looks bigger nowadays, too. I dunno if it's weight gain or his haircut or what.
eregyrn
Jan. 23rd, 2006 07:01 am (UTC)
Well, the big-head thing is weight gain, I'd lay money on that. He's just a beefier guy now, and he's getting older. I don't think it's the haircut, although his haircut is a little odd this season too. (But I guess actually it hasn't varied that much since he came back, since S7.)

I believe you that the tilted-glasses thing was there in the past too. It just never hit me as strongly before, I guess. And now that I've noticed, I can't stop noticing it.
ellenmillion
Jan. 14th, 2006 03:48 pm (UTC)
I lust for the Sci Fi channel. I am stuck with reruns on Sunday afternoon on Fox - if not superceded by something IMPORTANT like sports. Gah.

eregyrn
Jan. 19th, 2006 01:40 pm (UTC)
Awww! Man, you ARE deprived!

At least you can get DVDs...
klia
Jan. 14th, 2006 11:26 pm (UTC)
I'm also ready for an episode that doesn't revolve quite so heavily around John.

Same here.... as long as they don't revolve around Weir or Beckett. :-\

I kept flashing back to A Hundred Days. They need to stop remaking old SG-1 plots.
eregyrn
Jan. 19th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah.

What we need on SGA is... a Zelenka episode.
klia
Jan. 19th, 2006 02:27 pm (UTC)
I vote for a Ronon ep. Are you surprised? *g*
eregyrn
Jan. 19th, 2006 02:47 pm (UTC)
I would not say *no* to a Ronon-focused ep. :)
tafkarfanfic
Jan. 18th, 2006 11:02 pm (UTC)
And at the same time, in that moment, I thought that the not-Cameron face looked a bit like Pencil Neck's -- me misleading myself.

I think they intentionally did that with the FX, because I got that feeling, too.

WRT Daniel's glasses: when we're shooting someone who is wearing glasses, we have to tilt them so they won't reflect the studio lighting. I wonder if they have a new lighting guy, and thus have to tilt them differently.
eregyrn
Jan. 19th, 2006 01:46 pm (UTC)
I think they intentionally did that with the FX, because I got that feeling, too.

I think you must be right, because the more I think about it, it *really* looked a lot more like Atherton's face-shape, than it did the rounder face-shape of the actual guy.

when we're shooting someone who is wearing glasses, we have to tilt them so they won't reflect the studio lighting. I wonder if they have a new lighting guy, and thus have to tilt them differently.

Well, the "new lighting guy" theory would explain why I'm only really strongly noticing this *now*, and hadn't noticed it strongly for years' worth of the show prior to this.

I still find it really annoying, though. Especially since I'm just so aware that the glasses are fake. Because... well, I don't know how strong Daniel's prescription is supposed to be, but if those were REAL glasses that he needed for, you know, SEEING, then tilting them that much would defeat their purpose.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )