Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Stargate SG-1 Marathon

Just spent two months watching 9 seasons of Stargate SG-1 on DVDs. This involves watching 194 episodes, not including the 1994 movie, Stargate, which started it all. If each episode is about 60 minutes, this is equivalent to 194 hours of my life spent watching a television serial, Stargate SG-1. I like watching television serials on DVD because you get to watch continuously and not have to wait a week to find out what happens next. This is the result of advance in technology and my assimilating the “instant noodles” mentality (I want it and I want it now!). What this marathon translates to is that I fell behind in my reading, lack of sleep, working around in the daytime like a zombie, dreaming I was with a SG team and suffering withdrawals when I ran out of episodes to watch.

What is so captivating about Stargate SG-1? Well, come to think of it, there is nothing original about it at all. All episodes have elements plagiarised from other science fiction movies, television series and books. However, in spite of the poor acting, the corny dialogue and really really poor props, there is chemistry between the four members of the SG-1 team. This is evident in the many different scenarios they found themselves in. There are also a few seconds of really cool special effects. All this is exciting and addictive to a Star Trekie who is in withdrawal. They cancelled Star Trek Enterprise after 4 seasons! I think of Stargate SG-1 as a stop gap substitute until J.J. Abrams comes out with the next Star Trek movie.

Stargate SG-1 is Star Trek without a spaceship or a space station. These ‘stargates’ are transportation devices left by a super duper advance civilisation called the Ancients. These are portals that link wormholes so that one can do instantaneous travel between planets millions of light years apart. Eat your heart out, Scotty. Apparently, the Ancients left our galaxy millions of years ago (sounds like Babylon 5) but left behind the stargates and some advanced technology hidden in various planets around the galaxy. Why do people always leave their trash behind?

An alien race call the Gao’uld, which looked like worms and needs a host to survive (like the trills in Star Trek), has taken over the galaxy. The Gao’uld took over the hosts and posed as ancient Gods especially the Egyptian Gods like Ra, the Sun God. They enslaved humans and transported them to other planets by the stargates in the galaxy to serve them as slaves. After millions of years, all the transplanted human populations developed their own their civilisations, often unaware of the stargates. This will explain why everyone speaks English.

The Gao’uld are organised into system lords (warlords) and have control over the galaxy. The series is about Star Gate Command sending SG teams to various planets. On their travels, they came into conflict with the system lords and helped to overthrow them. In this they are helped by little aliens with big eyes (Roswell, X-files and Area 51) called the Asgaard and the Tokgra (renegade Gao’uld). To make things interesting, they were also have to battle replicants; artificial life form in the shape of spiders that assimilate everything in their path (the Borgs are handsomer!).

The SG-1 team consists of Colonel Jack O’Neil (team leader), Captain Samantha Carter (astrophysicist), Dr. Daniel Jackson (archaeologist) and Teal’c, an alien Jaffa who had rebelled against Ra. Jackson was killed in season 6 but came back in season 7 (like superman, Ra’al Ghul, Jean Grey and Hal Jordan, nobody remains dead). General Jack O’Neil left the show at season 9.

Here are 5 lessons I learnt from watching Stargate SG-1:

1. You need smart people on your team.
Samantha is real smart and solves all technical problems. Daniel can read and decipher any alien language in 15 minutes. He also knows all about ancient archaeological traps. Daniel is a regular Indiana Jones in Outer Space.

2. The team leader does not have to be smart, just lucky.
Colonel and later general O’Neil is a regular macho, strong and silent Special Forces soldier. He leads the team into trouble as often as he gets out of them. Amazingly the team always obey his orders without questions.

3. You may get shot but your injuries are never fatal and never leave a scar in the next episode.
In spite of all the rough and tumble, Samantha always looks immaculate except for a dirt smear on her cheeks.

4. Even if you defeat a baddie, there is always a more evil bigger baddie around the corner.
First you have Ra, then his father, then all the system lords and then Anubis (Angel).

5. To advance technologically you trade or steal alien technology.
You can always reverse engineer them. So as the series develops, earth gets a fighter plane that goes into space and finally a spaceship with hyperdrive (Battlestar Galactica) developed by reverse engineering alien technology. Move aside, Japan and Taiwan.

My present quandary after 194 hours of acquired wisdom: “What shall I watch next?”



Blogger Sora said...

You finished all 9 seasons already!?! I've only been away from home for one month, and the last time I checked, you only finished season 2...

Man, looks like it's back to that shop in Leisure Mall for more DVDs. Let's see... Andromeda? Anime series (Full Metal Alchemist, Trinity Blood recommended)? And I thought I was bad, I only finished 1 series (24 episodes) so far...

If you're that desperate, you could always watch my anime collection. Let's see, you can try Chrno Crusade (where I learn abt the 3 prophesies at Fatima) or Peacemaker (blood, gore, usual stuff).

Or you can always go back to your books and sleep...

7:42 PM  

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