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Sci-Fi Friday: a week in Pegasus

Awakenings and Revelations: Stargate: SG-1 S10x03, `The Pegasus Project'

Here at last was an episode that didn't fall asleep on its feet! Witty banter, tense action, a plot that engages (and moves), and even a little pathos. It reminded me of the Babylon 5 episode "Signs and Portents".

A few bits of acting are worthy of note:

  • Amanda Tapping (Lt. Col. Samantha Carter): Absolutely brilliant and hilarious. "*squint* Are you telling me one of your fantasies?" "Oh... well, that's... kinda nice. *beam* (Beat.) *squint* Was I naked?" ROFL!

  • Ben Browder (Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell): You know, I usually don't like the "spare me the details" military demeanor exemplified by Richard Dean Anderson's Jack O'Neill, but Mitchell was just so over-the-top that the same tone is hilarious coming from him. "Yes, yes, YES! This ain't our first walk in the park [or something to that effect]." And of course, last week: "This place is deader than a Texas salad bar." And Joe Flanigan was the perfect foil! I completely cracked up when Shep handed Mitchell the Lemon of Death. Oh, and now I want a "Lemon of Death" AniGIF...

  • Sarah Strange (Morgan le Fay): There's a sleepy-eyed attractiveness about this Canadian actress, which is helped in plenty by her dark good looks. What struck me, though, was that she had the most deadpan dialogue I can easily imagine, and made it work. I see from online filmographies that she's played a long string of minor roles, but has been lauded for the few significant ones she's had. "We won't see her again," said Daniel. Pity.

I have a soft spot for epic story arcs, and this one not only started one: it did so with a crossover and the nostalgically moving arrival of the Odyssey at Atlantis. All told, it was an absorbing story with a rousing finale. You can't beat this kind of episode in my book.

'Tis a Curse to be Simple: Stargate: Atlantis S3x03, `Irresistible'

What, did they put all of their production budget and time into the SG-1 episode? Shame on the writers for putting out this kind of mealy pablum. It's so mentally lightweight that I am stunned to see it on Sci-Fi.

OK, so I may be exaggerating a little. The premise is amusing enough: unpopular town baker turns to basement pharmacy and concocts a pheromone-triggering potion that makes him the desired of all women, the admired of all men, etc.

The rest of the episode, though, is such sheer stupidity that I don't even feel like writing about it. Just read magazines (or fast-forward) through the idiotic parts and think about next week's more interesting ep about Ronon Dex's past.

Paul McGillion (Dr. Carson Beckett) almost saves this episode with his complete nervous breakdown. And I'll always have a chuckle for the line: "How do you get your hair to go like that?"



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 31st, 2006 05:14 am (UTC)
It's frustrating to have a throw-away episode of Atlantis when there is such potential magnificent storytelling waiting to evolve from the Wraith.
Jul. 31st, 2006 06:40 am (UTC)
Throwaway episodes
There's always a better story to tell; it's just a matter of whether the writers and actors are up to the tasks. I understand it can be taxing to have 5-9 days to produce an episode, but look at J. M. Straczynski's masterful planning of Babylon 5.

Aug. 2nd, 2006 06:18 am (UTC)
Re: Throwaway episodes
Indeed. I haven't seen Babylon 5 in ages. My husband and I looked forward to each episode for its unique and fresh stories. The story arcs were well planned. It is amazing to realize that one man (Straczynski) wrote all the scripts for two entire seasons. It makes one wonder why, with all the great writers all over the world, today's science fiction series can't be as inventive. (Note to self: Order Babylon 5 for husband's birthday or Christmas gift. I'll have the pleasure of giving him something we'll both enjoy!)

I love the Stargate characters, but the writing could use some help. They need to put out a classified searching for some fresh story lines, too.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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