Definately a fun episode Nothing spectacular, but certainly entertaining. Nice to see some of the aftermath of Go'aould!Caldwell's antics in "Critical Mass", not to mention a little reference to McKay's experience in "Duet". It's good getting back to whole team episodes, as opposed to focusing on one character (don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of McKay and Sheppard, but the real strength of SGA and SG-1 is the team dynamic). Very cute infirmary scene between Sheppard and Weir. It was good to see Caldwell as the voice of reason here, the majority of his choices and sentiments made a lot of sense - his misgivings towards the 'imprinting' from the start, his handling of the search (mobilising the security teams, and trusting in Ronon and Teyla's tracking abilities).
Much love to the DOP, Brenton Spencer, and director Andy Mikita for the rather nifty shots - excellent way to establish character locations. I'm trying to pick what it reminded me of, but all my mildly-inebriated brain can come up with at the moment is Outbreak.
A couple of quotes that cracked me up:
Weir/Pheobus (to Shep/Thalan): "Oh please, you call that acting?"
McKay: "Alright, but I'm using my command code."
Caldwell: "Why, because you still don't trust me?"
McKay: "No, because it's a 16 digit alphanumeric code that I will have to enter god knows how many times, and I haven't gotten around to memorising yours yet."
Also, everyone's reactions towards Caldwell prior to the opening of the first lifepod were hilarious - especially Sheppard, surrepticiously checking out the back of Caldwell's neck, LMFAO.
Hey folks... Longtime watcher, longtime Gateworld reader, newbie to the forum...
Saw the new Atlantis ep on The Movie Network here in Canada... it ticked me off so bad I finally broke down and registered...
Quick points... great interplay between Sheppard and Weir was the only thing saving this ep from the trash heap... McKay and Caldwell were good too... but the plot was such a rip from not one, but two old Star Trek episodes ("Return to Tomorrow" in which Kirk, Spock and Dr. Ann Mulhall were "body borrowed" by aliens, and "Let That be your last Battlefield" in which two enemy aliens - and last survivors of their respective warring races - express a little hatred for each other)! The visuals and action were decent too...
The derivative nature of this ep is indicative of the problems with repetition all long-running series face as the episode count climbs higher (Star Trek ran into a wall with this during the first three years of Enterprise... the fourth year was getting interesting again when the Idiots That Be axed it...). Instead of recycling the same old plots and stories that have been told and retold a hundred times, the producers (and I squarely blame them for this situation, not the writers), they need to focus more on the characters than on the plots.
If anything, Atlantis has a core of actors who are as good as any cast on TV (this ep and McKay's tour de force with Carter a couple weeks back proved that) and can easily handle all the big dramatic stuff... but, the producers need to give it to them...! Not this "Die Hard on an Alien Base" crap...!
No, instead of the "trouble/anomaly/bad guy" of the week formula, they need to start with a personal situation and integrate that crisis into a story that helps the character(s) deal with their own internal problems in the context of the environment. The producers need to encourage the writers to start with the characters and give them an emotional (stress, love, sex, jelousy, inadequacy, fear, hate, etc... just about any emotional imbalance) or personal issue (McKay misses his cat, Sheppard tries to play football, Weir needs to get laid, Ronan needs toothpaste, etc.) and intertwine that little story into a big bad crisis. There is so much that can be done with the Atlantis environment that it is a serious waste of time, talent, and effort to be popping out formulaic action eps... they have vast riches of real drama that can be mined, and it is sad that all they are digging up is pathetic little nuggets from the past...
Anyway, that's my first post/rant... might be my last if the show (and I mean both shows actually - they both need a swift kick in the arse) doesn't start to show some improvement... I know that even if someone ran out today and changed everything, I wouldn't see any changes until next season, but I would seriously hope that by then, more folk than me would have chimed in on this problem so that the show has a decent chance of seeing a fourth season...
I can understand your opinions about the lack of originality in the story, but when you're dealing with a sci-fi show like this there's just so many other shows that have come before that it'll inevitably tread on familiar ground. I don't see that as a bad thing in and of itself. It's kinda like going to see a new production of a Shakespeare play. You know the story, but you go for the production quality and the performances. When a show like SG-A pulls from the Great Book Of Science Fiction Plotlines, what makes the episode worth watching is not "what" is happening, but more like "how". How is it paced, how well is it shot, how well the characters are used, not to mention the performances of the actors. This is hardly the least original story SG-A has told, but they told it well, and that's what really matters to me.Originally Posted by Micronaut
Being a big Dr. Weir fan, I have to comment on how great Torri Higginson was in this episode. It was a lot of fun watching her cut loose, and she handled the action stuff better than I expected. Plus, speaking as a red-blooded male, watching her go all hardcore with the guns and the fighting and stuff was way hot.
I'm sorry, but that reasoning has been given time and time again for show after show, and I didn't buy it ages ago, and I don't buy it now... while the "major" storylines are limited, there is virtually no end to the twists and turns a basic plot can be given but practically all thoses nuances must be originated with the characters. While I agree to your basic assesment of the "what vs how" arguement, I don't think that how a show is shot or how good an effect looks, or even character use or actor performance, will keep a show on the air when no-one cares about the characters... the producers are not doing nearly enough of in-depth stuff needed to give the show the legs it needs for true longevity.Originally Posted by Nazgul
A good example is the cancelled show Firefly... even though only 15 episodes were shot, I knew more about those characters than I ever did about half the casts of Star Trek TNG, Voyager, and Enterprise combined (and considering that the 3 shows had a total of 18 seasons, that's saying something). Firefly had simple plots and stories too (albeit, more taken from Westerns, than sci-fi) but the little twists and turns, mostly driven by the characters' actions, were what made it interesting (and still talked about today by fans, long after the show was axed).
All I'm looking for is a little bit of "originality" and I'm confident that the cast and crew of the show - both shows, in fact - can pull it off... they have great actors (I'm with you on Torri Higginson going all Ripley... both the critic and the chauvinist can appreciate her work in that episode), great writers, and a great crew... all they need is the permission from the Powers That Be to veer away from the hackneyed, shallow old-school actioner material and delve a little more into the deeper possibilities of true human drama.
I'm not saying for them to lose the effects, make-up, action, explosions, snappy one-liners or even the techno-babble... just balance them with characters we care about, and by that, I mean show us who John Sheppard really is... show us how Dr Weir feels when a crew member dies... let's see what Rodney "Wesley" McKay does when he's not saving the ship... uhhh... city... Does Teyla have a life outside of shooting guns and beating Sheppard with sticks (and singing dirges at funerals)? What does Ronan do for fun? Maybe he's got a passion for growing flowers... or "herbs of meditation"... I dunno... show a little more "who they are" rather than "what they do"...
I think that the bar in sci-fi has been set pretty high in recent years, due to Firefly and the new Galactica... I think the Stargate twins can easily beat that bar, but they certainly have a ways to go... and I'm not gonna stop harping on this until they do...
Well, i'm one of those that think firefly and neither the new galactic are good shows.
So turning starget into one of those shows would be runining it for me.
Granted... but that wasn't the point of my post at all... I'm not suggesting to turn SG1 and SGA into Firefly or Galactica... but both shows have been highly praised for their work in moving sci-fi from derivative to drama, and I tend to agree with the critics in this matter. Yes, there are those who do not appreciate certain points of the shows, and prefer the guns and guts aspects over the dialog and drama... but, personally, I think both can co-exist peacefully and that the combination of these aspects is far greater than the sum of the parts...Originally Posted by Auralis
What I am suggesting is that SGA and SG1 must move away from the repetition trap... when a show - any show - begins to repeat itself, and what's worse, is oblivious to that repetition, then the show's end is simply a matter of time... and none too much, I'd say.
SG1 and SGA both have solid fundamentals, great backstories, and a rich tapestry of history and characters upon which to draw from... yet, instead of exploring these details, the producers greenlight stories which add little (if anything) to the fabric of the Stargate universe and even less to the depth of the characters.
Case in point... this most recent episode... what was learned? That Weir can be a hard-ass? Sorry, already knew that (although, admittedly, it was still well played). That Sheppard can act like Bruce Willis? Nope... knew that too. That McKay can hack a computer and admit a minor mistake without losing a beat...? Not news... That Ronan can be tricked like any other dumb piece of hired muscle...? Sad for the character (and the actor) but not exactly a brilliant concept... that's already been done in a thousand action movies and TV shows... Aside from a couple of nice special effects establishing shots, there was virtually nothing new in the episode... at least, in regards to the characters.
Indeed, the only reason I'm here typing these posts is because I enjoyed the show in the past, I still enjoy it to some degree, and I hope to enjoy it more in the future - when it improves... and the only way I think that it can improve is to let the producers know via stirring up the fans (since sending one more "fan letter" to the production office is not likely accomplish anything other than the waste of an envelope and a stamp). I'm sure I'm not the only one who has sensed that SGA has been a little half-assed this season (and SG1 too...) and if I can convince even a few fans to give a damn about the quality a bit, maybe we can convince a few more... and so on... and eventually, these complaints will make it back to the production office, where, en masse, they will do some good...
I refuse to let another good show die just because the producers (or other Powers That Be) are comfortable in their safe little formula-marketed rut... I will make some noise... and I'll do it before it's too late!
Once again a good episode, nothing special. Seems to be par for the course for this season. What stood out was that Weir had a decent amount of screen time and Torri Higginson got to show her acting chops.
I have to agree with a lot of comments being raised about the state of play in regards to the plots being presented this season. I think part of the problem is that the way that the stories are being structured is that the plot is driving the characters rather than the other way around. This leads to characters doing dumb things to move the plot forward rather than responding to events in character and the story advancing as a result. I know for the writer the latter is much harder, but for the viewer its much more satisfying. Certainly this season the balance has shifted away from the characters and more to the stories and I think the series is beginning to suffer from it.
The one episode that got me hooked on the Stargate world was 'The Eye'. It had a solid (if somewhat unremarkable) plot but it was the characters and how they interacted with each other that pulled it together into 45 minutes of gripping TV. Plus it advanced the characters of Sheppard, Weir, Mckay and Tayla. Nothing this season has come close to that.
The episode was a very poor effort for me. For one the idea wasn't very original. The sheer pettiness of the whole situation seemed ridiculous. Two people, long remnants of an old war both alive for mere hours and destined to die wish to pettily kill the other first in some pathetic attempt to salvage some brief vainglory before they both shortly die anyway. To compound this silliness they're willing to murder an innocent host and ignore the hospitality and generousity shown by the people at Atlantis in attemping to save them and offer themselves as hosts. Weir's character seems to become progressively more sadistic and evil as the episode goes on further topping up this pettiness. The line "It matters to me" just doesn't cut it for me. Not a good enough justification. Bad and poorly credible in opinion.
I thought this episode was fantastic, as a matter of fact. You got the classical love-hate. You hate your enemy so much, that you actually love to see them suffer. Many cool character developments IMO, Weir & Sheppard obviously - taken over and after. The 2 now know how Caldwell feels, et cetera. Teyla - poor her, at least we know that she is more for the welfare of the people than loyality of one individual.
I thought the plot was at a right pace, wasn't too slow, and wasn't too rushed. Though I must say, I too was starting to get p*ssed off at McKay at the power-cut scene, and Caldwell seems more human (pardon the pun), lol.
I enjoyed this episode, it had different emotive elements, strong throughout. Fantastic CGI as usual. Good stuff!
By the way, I would like to add, in such a short space of time in Season 2 we have had Rodney have to share his brain with Cadman, Caldwell with a Goa'uld and now Shep and Weir with those two aliens. Poor unimaginative writing if you ask me. You can even extend that back to the end of Season 1 and you also had Teyla possessed by a Wraith. Beckett and Dex are the odd ones out at this stage.
I don't think the writers are going to do anymore "possession" stories for the rest of the season.
They've done enough for the lifetime of the show. Off the top of my head you only had it recently enough with Daniel Jackson in Lifeboat in Season 7 or 8 of SG-1 too.Originally Posted by LoveYouBaby
Oh yes, I also thought Torri Higginson was FANTASTIC!
I felt she did well in a bad situation. She was a lot more convincing than Flanigan in portraying a very seperate personality existing in her body to Weir. I felt Flanigan made a half effort in the first scene but from then on was just Shep whereas Higginson made an effort the whole way through the episode.Originally Posted by LoveYouBaby
Also I thought the way the alien convinced Dex he was Sheppard made Ronon look very thick.
I agree that the plot wasn't very original (to quote Rodney: "here we go again" ) and lacked sense sometimes. But all in all I liked this episode very much nonetheless because it had many great moments and some superb acting.
A few things I liked:
- The 'conflict' between Rodney and Caldwell, that was really interesting
- Rodney talking about jeopardy, LOL! And the way he looked when John and Liz kissed or when John talked about Teyla, just great!
- Carson in scrubs, doing surgery. I think it's official now that he's a surgeon. And I liked how calm and professional he acted despite the circumstances
- The way the wrong Shepp and the wrong Weir tried to convince their friends that the were the real persons. Weir's performance in the infirmary was fantastic, and Sheppard tried it with Teyla and Ronon and succeeded with Ronon. And Sheppard likes Teyla more than she knows?
- So the real Liz and John were screaming inside? I can imagine that it must have been awful to watch what someone else is doing with your body while you're completely helpless.
- I liked Caldwell in this episode, and that there was some continuity regarding his time and his experiences as a host for a Goa'uld. And I'm not shipping that way, but I noticed that he looked devastated when they talked about the option of killing Weir. And he seemed to be hurt when the wrong Weir told him what the real Weir thinks about him.
- The way Liz slid down on the bed when Caldwell mentioned the kiss! The expression in her face was priceless!
- TH/EW in action! She did that very well, and I liked to watch this since it's really unusual but nice to see for a change. Although I doubt that she could take out so many marines at once.
- The magic blood pressure cuff. It magically disappears from Weir's arm in the first infirmary scene.
I know there were some flaws in this ep, but the overall impression was good. 4 out of 5 for me.
Last edited by Arlessiar; January 3rd, 2006 at 10:33 AM.
~°~Dr. Rodney McKay ~°~ Dr. Carson Beckett ~°~ McKay/Sheppard ~°
~*~ David Hewlett fan ~*~
TLG just served as a reminder of why I hate Kindler's episodes with passion.
TPTB seriously need to stop this trend of rehashing old storylines. Not only has this alien influence garb already been done to death in sci-fi, this episode was also more than just a tribute to Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The only episode so far in Season 2 that matched in any way the standard of Season 1 was Critical Mass. Perhaps it wasn't such a good idea to have the siege arc so early on. They really went out with all guns blazing and completely ran out of steam this year. Not only have they been telling weak stories, we've also gone backwards character development wise.
Kudos to Torri Higginson though for salvaging what is laughably called an episode. She's shown what a fine actress she is and that she deserves more action, and I don't mean more aliens in her head. I wish they gave Weir something to do other than stand around and give orders since we know she can deliver. On the other hand, what's-his-face who was stuck in John's head didn't seem as well thought out as Phoebus, or rather, most of the time I didn't even distinguish him from Sheppard, and I don't mean when he's pretending to be Sheppard. I still find it hard to believe Ronon would fall for such a cheap trick, but I'm willing to accept it as necessary for the plot.
On the bright side, we've seen character development for Caldwell and him handling the consequences of being possessed by a Goa'uld. Bravo for continuity for once! Also, it was great to see him take command for once. Maybe he can learn to appreciate Weir's position more now that he's seen how difficult it is.
Bring on Coup d'Etat!
I agree, Flanigan portrayal of the alien wasn't as good as Higginson. You can tell Higginson was working really hard but Flanigan...could have done better IMO, half the time I forgot Sheppard was taken over.Originally Posted by Wolf Eire
This was Caldwell's best episode so far, he got some development, and did other things then being the antagonist. And they remembered Critical Mass
From what I could tell, it didn't look like the alien was supposed to be all that different from Shep(military,killing etc). Where as the alien in Weir was a psycho.Originally Posted by LoveYouBaby