June 19, 2003

SG-1 7th Seaon Premiere

We taped this while visiting Pittsburgh and came back to view the tape last night. SG-1 is one of the few shows I watch regularly, so I suppose you could call me a fan. While enjoyable, this premiere was bit of a Frankstein's monster, will all the nuts, bolts and seams showing.

The following -- start to finish -- is a spoiler.

I think they called this FALLEN/HOMECOMING and obviously set it up so that
later in life it can be viewed as two one-hour segments. In my opinion,
they should have reconsidered and done it in like five.

Apparently the producers wanted to quickly move Jonas out and Daniel back
into the show, which is unfortunate. I liked Jonas better. Daniel was very
cool as someone that had moved to a higher plane and extended the mythos.
In their attempts to jerk Daniel back to the show, we have a few seconds of
him naked on the ground, then do several minutes of the SG-1 team attempting
to find 'The Lost City.'

At this point we start leapfrogging through an entire season worth of story.
Jonas explains that the Lost City was the last one built, and that 'Jack,
after having that memory dump in the last season, programmed in planet
coordinates into a database.' He did? Ooookay.

We jump to the planet, and the 'natives' greet the team saying "We're
travelers too, we just got here a while ago" so that the Earth people are
clear to move them back OFF planet without any moral discussions. And they
have to, because once they decide that this isn't the Lost City (yes, when
you're writing a series you do occasionally hit an "I said WHAT? No, No,
that would ruin everything. Let's say that the characters misunderstood,
yeah, that will work") they decide during a commercial break to set up a
trap for Anubis in this system.

Oh yes, the team discovered Daniel and talked to him and he decided to come
back to Earth, but that wasn't very important. Certainly little time and no
conflict was set up for it. ("Don't touch me!" "Why not?" "Umm, I don't
know." "Let's us tell you who you are!" "No." "Why not?" "Because I want
to sulk for the full five minutes they allowed for this." "Actually we
needed to kill five minutes to help with the special effects budget. That's
why you're sitting in this badly lit tent." "Oh, okay, let me suddenly
change my mind and step out into the light!")

As I was saying, commercial break, and we come back with a gathered forces
of allies with the plan already created, it sounds stupid, and even the
characters hate it. But it gets crammed down everyone's throat
because .well.because there wouldn't be a show otherwise. Besides, this
will fix all the problems. We'll get Daniel in, Jonas out, and break Anubis
' toy gun, reducing him back to sometimes ignored bad guy. IT MUST BE THIS

So Jack and Carter get into the fighter. Okay, that makes sense, I think.
Teal'c goes off to meet with another system lord to get him to attack
Anubis. Jonas and Daniel (the two language experts..alone?) sneak onto
Anubis' ship. We rip off Star Wars with a fighter run on the Death
Star...errr....Anubis' ship, except the ship doesn't blow up because we've got
Jonas and Daniel on it, and we need to make this two hours. And this is
where I think they really went wrong.

It seems like they wanted it so that they could play the second half of the
premiere out of order later and not be too confusing. They did it by having
everything about this attack go to pieces except destroying the ship's BIG
GUN. (Read happy ending for part one) Anubis catches Jonas, reads his
mind, and decides to visit Jonas' homeworld to get the unstable power source
there. (Set up for part two)

So basically the first half leads up to a nice explosion to mark the end of
'ep. #1' and 'ep. #2' starts with Anubis talking to Jonas, who recaps the
earlier hour.

Jonas: Ha ha! We foiled you! We broke your big gun.

Anubis: Look out the window! I have moved to your home world so we can do
the second hour labored down with the political infighting of your planet so
you can be 'needed elsewhere' and step down so Daniel is the only language

Jonas: OH NO!!! But - but- but won't that make the premier disjointed?

Anubis: Ah, but this is the only time anyone will see it as a two hour show,
and I'll distract them now by firing my little guns that you didn't break.


People on the streets below: Ohhhh, ahhhh! Quick call Earth and let them
know where Anubis is hiding.

SG-1: I wonder where Anubis went. Oh gee, we just got Daniel back and now
we're missing both our language guys. Oh well, I'm sure they'll turn up.
Jonas' homeworld is calling? Tell them to take a hike. They're all dweebs!
Jonas homeworld: Hey! Wait! We're not dweebs. There's this system lord
dude here. Says his name is Anubis.

SG-1: Oh, gee, I guess we should go talk to them. HEY, we can use this
situation by forcing peace on the warring fractions. After all, we've
already broke Anubis' big gun so we can afford to drag out feet.oh, wait, he
might be able to fix it. I hate it when this happens.

MEANWHILE, poor Teal'c has been running around with the Jaffa of a system
lord who has Alzheimer's, has been thrown in a cell, released, talked a
cutie Jaffa into going behind his lord's back (hey, it will be for his own
good!) and lining up another system lord to show up in the last five minutes
to beat the snot out of Anubis' ship. Again, this all could have been an
entire episode in itself, but as it was, it was done in little slices

Teal'c: Help us.

System Lord: No, throw in him a cell

Commercial break

Teal'c: Why have you done this? (Please remind people why I'm in the cell)

Jaffa cutie: My lord has Alzheimer!

Teal'c: Major bummer. Well, people will make fun of you dude if this gets
out, so why don't we talk another system lord into this.

Jaffa cutie: ooooooh, good plan

Commercial break

Baal: Why are you calling me.

Teal'c: Let us recap my storyline by trying to enlist you.

Baal: I get HOW much airtime in this story. Hey! I'm a major player! I
want at least one close up!

Teal'c: Maybe we should get another system lord who will be happy to show up
only on the screen.

Jaffa cutie: Hmmmmmmmm

Baal: Oh, okay, I need the work. Gee, can you at least give me a close up
on the screen?

Commercial break

SG-1: hey people of Jonas homeworld. We didn't want the Jaffa cutie to show
up because we would have to pay him extra and besides it will confuse people
when they see this as a stand alone, so Teal'c is gating in by himself and
just talking about being on the senile system lord's ship....maybe

Teal'c: Hi dudes. I got it all worked out. Baal will be here soon.

SG-1: Hey, cool, we didn't have to mention the senile at all!

Commerical break


Baal: hey, I get some lines in this episode, don't I? Don't I? Hey, is
this microphone on???

All and all, I really think they tried to cram too much into too short of a
time. This nearly felt like an entire season cut up and forced into a movie

(I know, Laura Anne, I know....GO BACK TO WRITING!!!)

Posted by wen at June 19, 2003 11:52 PM

Actually: when O'Neill found the Ancient city, that was in season #2 :) And he did program a lot more coordinates in... that was something mentioned at the time. It's reviving a 5 season old plot thread that had been dangling all this time.

Also, I don't think Jonas is gone, from the interview show they had before the premiere. I think the thing with Teal'c and Baal is going to have further repercussions... since Baal now knows where an important planet is (after all, Anubis wouldn't have been there otherwise).

Otherwise... I agree with you a lot :)


Posted by: Alan Morgan at June 20, 2003 01:22 AM