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  1. #1
    Site Admin GateWorld's Avatar
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    Apr 2004

    Post FAN REVIEWS: 'Time'

    Visit the Episode GuideUNIVERSE SEASON ONE

    A team from Destiny arrives on a jungle planet, where they find a kino with footage of themselves they haven't shot yet.



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    Last edited by Darren; January 22nd, 2010 at 09:12 AM.

  2. #2
    Harvey jelgate's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2007
    The Beach of naked Sebeceans and margarita shooter

    Default Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Time'

    Jelgate's Two Cents

    I'm not the biggest fan of time travel stories. Scratch that. I like time travel stories but I think they have been a little overdone in Stargate history. And despite that Time is a reason I really like Stargate Universe. I try to be critical and unbiased but I can't help it. I can't help but like the direction Stargate Universe and Time bringing. It is so thought riveting especially Time. It poked questions at the consequences of our action and without forcing it showed some crucial character foundation and development. Sure I guess it was predictable at a few places but I have yet to see a perfect episode of Stargate. Even Lost City had its flaws. But this isn't about Lost City. This is why I thought Time was a good. So without further ado let’s begin the analysis.

    Due to the non-linear way this episode was filmed I will start reviewing Timeline A in its entirety before jumping to Timeline B. So as always we start with the beginning (One of these days I start with the end). Anyway I know some people didn't like it and it took some getting used to but I actually liked using a camera from the Kino's point of view. It was different and unique. And isn't that what SGU is all about? Doing something different then SG1 or SGA? I will say this though while intentional or not Eli with seem forced as he didn't what to do and was just standing made me cringe a little.

    Moving on to TJ as she diagnosis the sickness. I love her as a character. Sometimes she fades into the background but she was front and center in Timeline A as she argued with Scott on how to best take care of the disease. I love that about her character. Sure she may be uncertain but she is not afraid to take charge when she needs to.

    I liked the scene between Rush and Eli in the rain. Okay granted we knew that these two were different but it’s still nice to show those differences. By all conventional standards Rush and Eli are genius but their environment and life experience is complete opposite that they can barely stand each other. And that scene broadcast this. We see the socially awkward Eli in his recalling of cult movies. Just look at Rush in contrast. He is distantly silent. He doesn't utter a word unless it has to be something useful. So I can infer he is a social outcast in that he much prefers the company then others. Notice how similar yet radically difference these two are. They are both somewhat socially deprived but only Rush chooses to be this. And the choice makes all the difference.

    And now on to the creature’s battle with the Destiny crew. That was a lot more graphic and intense then I thought. I never expected them to kill Chloe in such a violent manner. Kinds of reminds me of Doppleganger in SGA. The way a creature burrowed through Chloe was so graphic I think the Timeline B Chloe wasn't the only one on the verge of losing their lunch. Luckily my trashcan was 2 feet away

    I don't get why people say Chloe is the useless one. Eli seemed pretty useless in this episode from the way he talks to the Kino about the deceased and comatose Scott to the way he just tries to force a conversation with TJ. Yes I know the forced was intentional. I will say this however I like getting some background on TJ and what her family life. It sounds like comes from the average and typical. Conversely I wasn't expecting for us to learn about Eli's mother sickness. Volunteering at a hospital and working towards a medical degree I know how dangerous and hazardous that environment it is. So it kind hits here *points to heart* when I hear about his mother being infected with a STD. And the reaction off Timeline B Eli was perfect. That exactly how I would respond if one of my parents was infected with terminally ill disease

    Is Rush the suicide spoilers have been talking about. He had to know that with an unstable wormhole the chances of him making it back to the Destiny was very unlikely to happen. So then why did Rush do it? Well I have a hypothesis. I think given Rush's conversation with Eli about afterlife and ascension he believes their is something more then just the physical world. Okay are you with me so far? Second we know Rush is big on logic and not so big on emotions. Logically speaking Rush knew their was no way they were getting out of this one so he decided to take the chance and end the suffering now instead of waiting death to come.

    And finally we come to the end of Timeline A. What can I say? Predictable. But maybe we can blame spoilers for that. After everyone died I knew Scott was going to wake up. It was so obvious. The same goes for throwing the Kino through the Stargate. It was obvious that it was going back to the planet. Based that we know time travel was involved in this episode and based that the only way to travel through time in Stargate (minus Ancient technology) is solar flares it was obvious that the Kino would be sent back to the planet. But I guess if a person wanted they could blame me knowing too much about Stargate technology.

    Since a bulk of this episode occurred in Timeline A their isn't a whole lot to say about Timeline B. Lets start with the disease. I can honestly see TPTB are trying a lot harder in this series to keep up with continuity. First the sand bugs in Water and now these ice microorganisms in this episode. And I liked how they were introduced. It felt different. Sure we can say a microorganism infecting the Stargate team has been done before but that goes without saying considering how many times these people have been infected. Then what makes it different? It’s how the microorganisms were introduced. Never before in Stargate history have we seen microorganisms introduced in this manner. Invisible at first but then expanding. Also the creature’s venom killing the microorganisms seems a tad convinent since they are two separate planets in two separate solar systems.

    Would I be a bad reviewer if I didn't touch up on Timeline B Chloe's death? Yes I would. Loved it and thought it was well done. Some might say Eli's actions were a little forced but I think that goes back to what I said earlier. Eli is socially awkward and doesn't know how to respond in those situations. So I loved it takes a near death to express his feeling to a person. It shows who he is and where his flaws are. He cares for her but is too afraid to admit it. I like seeing that side because we have all been. I've been their. While being platonic or romantic we have all been afraid to admit our feelings to a person. So I can relate to Eli's reaction and find it very realistic. Speaking of vulnerable I liked seeing TJ and Rush sad. TJ just breaks down from seeing all this death and that is understandable. And it shows how she is strong but as a medical person like so many of us TJ can not stand to see so much suffering. As for Rush he didn't break down but you can see a hint of sadness in him. And to think I always thought Rush was void of emotion. I owe you a Coke Lahela.

    And now we come to the resolution. Or lack of resolution if you will. And that is what surprised me. I though the team would find the creature, catch it and take it back to the Destiny. I was not expecting an epic death like this where everyone dies but Scott. I guess the saying is true. History does repeat itself. Anyway the lingering question is now that Scott threw the Kino back into the Stargate without showing the full resolution, what happens next? Well I think given that Scott said everything in this episode that it would be very simple to catch the creature. But the question is does TJ's hypothesis pan out and will the venom work like it did in Scott. Hopefully that will be answered in Life. All in all Time is decent with a few nitpicks and predictabilities.
    Quote Originally Posted by aretood2 View Post
    Jelgate is right

  3. #3

    Default Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Time'

    Stargate Universe. For all you folks who are waiting for this little puppy to emerge as the good show you know it is, your time has come. For all those who have given up on the show, I am glad you missed this episode. At least I still get to enjoy a good Stargate episode while you scratch your head, wondering where all the good Stargate's have gone. Now lets jump into this review.

    I will try not to reveal too much. But some stuff is just hard not to. So beware of minor spoilers beyond this point.

    Stargate Universe is one of the greatest SGU's episodes, and def. goes on the top ten favorites for the series entirely. It is so genius, so amazing, it literally makes you smile. The whole notion of why every team that goes off-world should have a kino -- is proved here. If there was no kino, the crew of the Destiny would be wondering why there are human remains on a world that no human has stepped foot on. And using the kino as the camera really, really put a nice touch on the whole episode. It wasn't shaky like Cloverfield (well, not in most parts), but still gave a documentary feeling like Cloverfield and other movies like that try to get at. Which is really good. (Gamers will not the "first person shooter aspect" of it as well, which was a nice kiss towards us young kids)

    Other then those aspects, there are much to love in this episode. You learn about Rush. Possible motives on why he wanted to go to the Destiny. You learn that Eli doesn't believe in life after death, and just overall good character development for all characters. Which, is a very good thing.

    What else is there to love? Tons, but what about the cons? This show, in my opinion, has one bad thing...but I'll let you figure it out, if you haven't all ready. It's not exactly horrible, sense this is the second best "time" episode from Stargate (1969 being the best) I am willing to forgive this...misgrevience, because there is no other way to get around it. But you'll see what I am talking about when you watch the last minute of the show.

    Verdict: A Must Watch

  4. #4

    Wraith Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Time'

    So I had reached the point where other shows took precedence over watching Stargate Universe. The truth is I've been a little insulted by the behind the scenes drama and the implication that those who were not sold instantly on Stargate Univerese were unintelligent fools. This was the first weekend that I chose to live+ the show (watched it on DVR) since season 9 of SG1.

    I was pleasantly surprised to find "Time" accomplishes what I hoped I would get from a grittier Stargate series: a science fiction show, with a science fiction story relating to a stargate (not a ship or a city), that accomplished character development without being too soapy.

    Yes the show focused on character development; so too did the best of SG1 and SGA (again mad props to our cast for making it believable that they and their colleagues were dying horrible deaths all around them). Yes the show relied on some of the reliable tropes of science fiction; so too does the best of science fiction (well done on the writers for taking a refreshing position on gate adventure). In the case of "Time" the excellent quality is not the originality of the concept or the action on the screen, but the way the story was told.

    The first-person perspective complete with gun at one point (future SGU videogame anyone??) granted a unique look at the events of an off-world mission. The fact that what was recorded was left behind like a time capsule - vindication at last for Eli in saving everyone by recording the daily stuff - due to classic gate time travel might have been done before (SG1 season 9 "Moebius") but this was far superior. That's right, this episode of SGU is better than that episode of SG1.

    We discovered that Rush is a morally guided if morally dubious person. When faced with impossible odds he too can shine (granted his retreat had many selfish motivations as well). Though I think he knew what he was doing when he sacrificed himself, I assume that he also knew he was dead one way or another. Also getting some back story on him with insight into his beliefs was a refreshing choice - and stunning, who knew Rush was spiritual? Seeing him working well with others was also a nice turn. The Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid reference shared by he and Young bordered on fascinating. So very different, so very the same perhaps??

    Chloe once again gets my vote as favorite person in the episode for stating bluntly that my gripe with SGU has legs: "We all have to do our part." Her statement there is a simple fact: if this show wants to stay on the air then the dysfunctional crew needs to come together to save themselves. Afterall, the Destiny can do only so much on its own to preserve their skins. Besides all their irresponsibility to this point has produced is some boring sex and pointless bickering. Understandable given the situation: yes. Entertaining: NO!

    And the character development continues: Eli's motivations and the illness of his mother were revealed and it is terrifying to think that such things do happen to people in medical professions. And yet they continue on struggling to save lives. Heroic.

    Which brings me to T.J.: desperate to find a cure for the infection that was at the core of the crisis of the week she finally broke down and wept at her inability to save these people in the second timeline. Though it technically didn't happen now that things are back to normal (three timelines - WOW!), it was refreshing to see that anger and libido are not the only emotions that these people can show. I guess that goes against the writing because Chloe certainly had reason to be angry at Rush, and her trauma in "Air" was a fair reason to bond with Scott. But I only realized while watching T.J. collapse in helpless despair that too few of these people have really lost it.

    The act of using quarantines, first timeline on the planet and second timeline aboard Destiny, restored my faith that the military in this reality still has some common sense. I would not have been surprised given the writing of previous episodes to see Scott and Chloe go off to enjoy themselves in the great outdoors ala Helo and Athena in season one of BSG. But I digress. Well, not really, because this episode was utterly devoid of ANY sexualized situations despite ample opportunity for them to get their porn on. FINALLY - I got my good old fashioned wholesome violence!

    Speaking of wholesome violence... now Eli's pop-culture reference from Water (chest-bursting aliens) can subversively serve as a FORESHADOW. Though I can think of no reason why these aliens would burrow into their victims like a Goa'uld and then rip out the chest like a xenomorph from Aliens it was still the coolest alien in the whole franchise since the bugs that turned Teal'c into a giant incubator in "Bane" (SG1 season 2)... oh, and the Wraith... gotta love the Wraith. This also led to the coolest of sci-fi carry over effects: several people actually died multiple times in one episode!

    Now they just need a primary recurring (but not constantly recurring) villain to further the plot. And they need to work towards an end point for the series like Lost and BSG have done over the years. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel - even if it is a giant bloodbath - is far superior to a series of dwindling returns that ends with no resolution.

    Speaking of resolution, "Life" had the best non-ending I've ever seen. Closing with one last dire warning about the time changing circumstances and disease was very effective - and proved me wrong, Scott CAN in fact be resourceful when necessary. The fact that he had effectively cut himself off from rescue gave me goosebumps, and the way he O'Neill-ed that alien sneaking up on him was classy. This episode should have been titled "Darkness" given its redefinition of what goes bump (or rips out of you) in the night.

    The mortal peril and the science combined with healthy character development and at least a little humor restored my faith in the showrunners ability to make a great episode of television. This episode of SGU could have been a stand alone film it was so well plotted and had a chilling ending. For once in six weeks I am looking forward to seeing the next episode. Perhaps I will rethink watching Ugly Betty live instead of SGU...

  5. #5
    Colonel s09119's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Time'

    Turning back "Time" to the age of the classics
    By: Daniel Shea (s09119)

    "Like you said, it didn't happen. Just a story, right? But I'm curious to find out how it turns out, though."
    "Not me..."

    -Everett Young and Ronald Greer, "Time"

    Many of the complaints leveled at Stargate: Universe thus far have been that it is simply too much of a departure from the classic days of the franchise, when storylines were deep and intricate, and when they focused more on the staples of science-fiction and less on the characters and their strifes. Well, for those naysayers who have been waiting for this latest show to find its feet, I am proud of tell you all that the moment as arrived; "Time" is a triumph, both for the current era of Stargate and its entire run. It is a fun and complex example of what makes this genre so addicting, and manages to entertain and educate the audience without a single ounce of technobabble. At last, Universe seems to be discovering its own little niche, and it does so to great effect.

    The episode opens with a twist on the "kinovision" we've been treated to before, showing a small away team's arrival on a jungle planet hopefully teeming with edible food. For the first several minutes, this is how the audience sees everything, and every shot comes straight from the kino's point of view. The crewmembers get right down to collecting as much food as they can, hoping that it will serve their dire needs and last them as long as they need it to. Amid some failed flirtations and jabbing jokes, it seems as if things are going well, and they manage to grab a decent amount of supplies in very little time, but things quickly begin to go very, very wrong. One by one, the team starts to fall ill with a mysterious contagion, and they willingly cut themselves off from the Destiny to prevent spreading whatever it is back there. Stumbling upon sulfur vents, Greer believes they may have found the cause of the disease, but they have no way to confirm and head back to camp. Tensions only continue to rise into the night, and Eli's attempts to cheer people up fall horribly flat. And suddenly, completely out of the blue, the group is attacked by a horde of snake-like alien monsters, who mow down each and every one of the crewmembers in horrific fashion, ending with Chloe collapsing next to the kino...

    ...and then, everything freezes. As the traditional camera view takes precedence, it is revealed that everything just seen was recorded on a kino an away team sent to the jungle planet found there before they even arrived. Curious as to how one of the devices could already be there, Young ordered its databank examined, and now the crew is left facing a chilling realization; somehow, impossibly, they have in their possession a record of their grizzly futures. This is where we see the beginnings of a new twist on the age-old, done-to-death (particularly in Stargate) premise of traveling through time. In this instance, like in SG-1's "2010" or "Window of Opporunity," the crew is confronted with an issue that can only be resolved by resetting the timeline. Unlike the past teams, however, they have only a marginal understanding of the time-bending properties of wormholes, and as such, the entire premise feels so much more refreshing than the last time the franchise brought it up in Atlantis's "The Last Man."

    But first, the character moments; Eli in particular really shines in this latest episode, from his wry and witty jokes to his steadfast dedication to documenting their fates in one timeline and trying to figure out how to avoid the same death in another. In the first of two touching moments between he and TJ, it is revealed that his mother contracted HIV while working as a nurse, and that she continues to battle with it today, revealing the "condition" that has only been hinted at thus far. In the second, he sits by the bedside of a dying Chloe and begs her to understand how much he cares about her, and how much she really has to bring to the crew if only she looks at herself as something other than "the dead senator's daughter." The following scene, in which Tamara breaks down both outside the infirmary on the ship and on the jungle planet on the kino recording, serve to highlight the young medic's own inner demons, especially when she finds herself helpless to save those around her.

    On less depressing notes, Rush and Young also discover fascinating tidbits about themselves... one being that they share a love for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Rush is given a firsthand look at just how callous he can be without noticing his coldness when the kino recording films him dismissing Eli's fears of death out of hand, and is also allowed to see himself make the ultimate sacrifice for the others, leaping through the malfunctioning stargate when all seems lost to at least try and find help. Unbeknown to him, this will have implications he can never understand, as jumping through the solar flare-affected portal splits the timeline and sends his body (and soon after, the original timeline's kino) several years back in time for the second timeline's crew to stumble upon. This diverging of realities gives great pause to Greer possibly more than anyone else, and a softer side of him emerges as he tries to reconcile with his other self's failure to protect the away team. Young attempts to comfort him by pointing out that, for all intents and purposes, the recording they found is little more than an interesting "what if?" with very different circumstances, but the young Sergeant insists that it just proves he still has a long way to go.

    The tape, though, isn't only a look at how bad things can get; there are a few clips that show just what some other characters are really capable of when all the chips are down. For example, Eli learns how to wield a submachine gun (even if he can't quite remember to use short bursts), and Scott stubbornly refuses to abandon his guard duty even when he himself is stricken by the mysterious disease bringing down his friends.

    The B Plot introduced here, that being that the ice collected in "Water" carried microorganisms back to the ship that have made their new home in the general water supply. These bugs are the apparent real cause of the illness that has sickened two timelines worth of Destiny refugees, and TJ, upon seeing a recovered Scott on the kino recording, suggests that perhaps the alien monsters on the jungle world (nicknamed "shriekers" by the fans) possess a venom strong enough to purge the tiny organisms from infected crewmembers but weak enough to survive exposure to in small doses. This follows in line with Earth animals such as snakes or spiders carrying poisons with medicinal purposes, and Young decides to lead a small team with the little time they have left before the ship re-enters F.T.L. to try and harvest some of the creatures to save them. After all, if they fail to find a cure now that their antibiotics have run out, they'll all certainly die.

    Showcasing once again just how brave Young really is in comparison to the cold and rather heartless Telford, the Colonel takes Scott and Greer into the night on the jungle planet, knowing full well that this is when the aliens will be out in force. They make straight for the sulfur vents that the first timeline's Greer indicated may be their nest, but, like their alternate selves before them, are taken out one at a time until only Scott remains alive. Grabbing their kino and setting out for the stargate at a dead run, the Lieutenant arrives and hastily records a message or warning for himself and the Destiny crew, summarizing that there is an infestation in their water supply and that one solution for it lies here on this planet. Warning them that the alien creatures are violent at night, he advises them to come and harvest them from the vents in daylight. Turning and shooting an approaching monster with his sidearm, Scott begs the next timeline's inhabitants to believe him, and prepares to throw the device through the star-warped wormhole, hoping that, this time, they'll manage to set things right.

    With riveting and downright terrifying action sequences, heart-wrenching character moments, and a plot that seems to leap out at us right from the Golden Age of Stargate, "Time" is a veritable monument to just how good Universe can be when it unrolls the strength of its characters, premise, and cinematography all at once. The episode-long mystery over just what was causing the crew to fall ill, and what could possibly save them, was gripping and intelligent, and for all those who insist that this new show is anything but science-fiction, I beg you to reconsider. All I can say is that if this is the future of the franchise, I wish I bring it back in time to enjoy sooner!

    "Time": ***1/2
    Last edited by s09119; November 18th, 2009 at 03:25 AM.
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  6. #6
    Mistress Organizer Rachel500's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Time'

    A combination of clever story-telling, quality acting and imaginative direction takes Stargate Universe to the next level and delivers a quality episode worthy of the title classic. Time definitely demonstrates just what this new Stargate show is capable of achieving.

    The story is complex, intelligent and challenging. The A plot focuses on the first timeline and what appears to be at first glance a classic horror tale of alien bugs. It segues into a B plot which focuses on the second timeline and a classic plague tale of an incurable and fatal virus. All is wrapped up in this overarching arc of time-travel which uses the existing Stargate mythology to great effect. It is not a story for the faint-hearted or for those not paying attention. The shock decision to end the episode with the ending of the second timeline which offers hope to a third was original, risky and brilliant.

    I personally love time travel stories: 1969, 2010, Before I Sleep are among my favourites from the franchise's history. Here the story is intriguing. With Rush and presumably Scott from the first timeline going back to the past of the planet, did they introduce the virus into the planet's ecology and enabled the evolution of a cure with the alien that they could find in the future? And what role does Destiny play in this - did the ship realise there was a contagion and set about finding a planet that could help them? Is the ship intelligent and aware? It's great stuff.

    However, if the broad brush strokes of the story are about alien creatures, alien viruses and time-travel, the detailed strokes are all about the characters and how they face the situations both in the first timeline and in the second. My main complaint about Earth was so many of the character moments had nothing to do with the main story being told in the episode and here I'm relieved to say that we do not have the same issue at all: all the character moments are linked with the story and are so much more powerful as a result. From Eli's confession about his mother, TJ's family history, Rush's thoughts on Ascension and his suicidal attempt to reach the Destiny, Greer's attack on the aliens and teaching Eli to shoot, Scott's own actions in finding himself the sole survivor - the first timeline reveals glimpses of the characters that reveal them to the audience and make them so much more likeable - and dare I say, heroic.

    Moreover, the second timeline simply builds on these moments beautifully; Eli's speech to Chloe, TJ's private emotional breakdown in the face of losing her patients, Young's comfort to Greer when Greer's feelings of guilt and inadequacy in seeing how his previous timeline persona lost so many under his care gets too much, Scott's reaction on the planet on hearing about Chloe's death and his eventual plan to send the kino back through time with all the relevant information so they can save themselves. Again, these moments add to the characters, wonderfully revealing who they are and what is important to them. Even Rush's exposition lines on the virus and time-travel simply help embed him as the lead scientist - the man with the knowledge.

    There are some nice touches of humour throughout too in what is quite a dark tale: Eli's movie list, Rush's quoting of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Eli's comment that Rush is crazy in both timelines. Even if the humour doesn't quite match the dry wit that SG1 delivered so well, it delivers just enough to lighten the tone and keep it from being completely morose.

    The quality of the acting is just fantastic. Alaina Huffman's TJ is fast becoming a favourite of mine and her reaction shots during Eli's speech - those are what brought tears to my eyes, as did the following shot of her crouched in the corridor crying brokenly. Jamil Walker Smith's Greer continues to be a revelation; he just jumps out of the screen as a believable character. Both quietly stole the show from David Blue who did an outstanding job too anchoring the episode as Eli.

    I have to give Robert Cooper credit. When he combines his writing and direction, he definitely produces strong episodes which deliver something new creatively. Here the Kino vision used to tell a large part of the story provides an almost documentary-style view for the audience, and although the flickering film and shakiness at times detracts (and it isn't really great for those of us who suffer with migraines), it is unique.

    I have to also give kudos for the set design: it really did look like a sticky jungle environment. The rain looked believable; the foliage looked real. I also applaud whoever came up with the aliens. What is fabulous is that we don't really see them and they are so much scarier because of that. The scene where Chloe gets killed by one, it's brutal attack and burrowing through her body is just horrific and definitely makes an impact. If I'm pushed to nitpick...possibly the timing of watching the first kino and where they are on the second timeline, the progression of the disease in the timelines, doesn't quite match up but this is very minor.

    Overall, Time delivered a very enjoyable Stargate episode packed full of the show's own mythology, fantastic character moments and an original tale. This is character driven story-telling; this is what I was looking forward to with the new show. The production continues to excel at every level and the whole package is very well done. If Earth provided the best and worst of this new Stargate, Time provides only the best, moreover, this feels like Stargate and I'm happy to add Time to my list of favourite time travel episodes. I thoroughly enjoyed it: more of the same, please.
    Last edited by Rachel500; June 7th, 2010 at 12:51 PM.

  7. #7
    Captain Magnecite's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Time'

    Time was an exciting episode because the Goa'alien did give a feeling of menace. It was a bit like that X files story with the forest bugs that only swarmed in the dark. Time travel stories tend to make me dizzy so I don't try to bend my mind to understand the science or lack of it. There was rain, darkness, menace and people dying rather nastily. It did create an atmosphere of being dangerous and chaotic. The punch does go out of it with the device of showing, right from the beginning, they can have another go. It then becomes Groundhog Day where they keep getting another chance to make it right. I was entertained so I'm not going to stress that point.

    I still find the characters unengaging. TJ is about the best of the bunch. Eli is getting far more exposure than some of the others and the chunky geek is getting a little overdone. Chloe .... give her something to do! Scott appears to be coming over as a flawed God of the bugs as he always seems to survive the parasites and I think they like him. If it continues I shall rename him Doolittle. Rush/Young they might get along if they take some popcorn to movie night. They're not a bad bunch of actors, I just don't find the characters very likeable and therefore wouldn't shed a tear if any of them became bug food. I mean old clever clogs Rush, he's an outsider. He's not a people pleaser. Fair enough. The others with the odd exception appear to be cut from the same cloth. I accept they were the wrong people but they seem to be the wrong people taken from Dysfunctional Anonymous.

    I don't remember anyone using the stones, I hate the stones and the stories around their earthly visits. I think this may be an indicator of which episodes I enjoy. Stones - bad. No stones - good. Anyway, I was entertained this week so I shall cling to that.

  8. #8
    Staff Sergeant apostrophe's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2008
    Land of the Relatively Free

    Default Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Time'

    Groundhog Night

    Alien jungle planet. Strange looking fruits and vegetables. Interesting. The low-res dirty-lens, handheld KINO video treatment was salient to the plot, so I didn't feel like somebody was cutting corners just to save a few bucks with umpteen KINO clips like I usually do. Here again, the series maintains a consistently high standard of quality in regard to the acting. The special effects were pretty convincing. This episode held my attention for a change.

    There's a mystery. Eli tries to eat a, probably toxic, fruit. I thought Eli was supposed to be smart. Then everyone on the planetary team starts getting sick. Could be poison or some kind of bug. TJ wisely declares a quarantine.

    What's this? Everybody gets killed by slimy-tentacled alien monstrosities? After the shower scene, I must confess, in unguarded moments, I was beginning to form a vague mental association between Chloe and the general concept of penetration, but this is not what I had in mind. Dang. Omage' to the "Alien" movie series. Nothing like a bunch of gruesome carnage to liven up a scene. Of course after that, things get pretty quiet, pretty fast, due to everybody being dead and all.

    No. Wait. They're all alive again. The writers, through Eli, try to throw us off track for a few more seconds by suggesting "Alternate Reality...". Anyone into sci-fi will know that time travel is a sci-fi staple. Has been since the 19th century, when H.G. Wells kicked things off with "Time Machine". Eli picks "Back to the Future" as an example. Not the obvious one to my mind but the phrase does neatly summarize what happened. One of my favorite time travel episodes in SG1 is "Window of Opportunity" which is derived from Bill Murray's movie "Groundhog Day". This episode is too, except the groundhog sized critters are killers that only come out at night, there are not as many "do overs", and the KINO's memory replaces actual memory. Different plot and characters. Otherwise, practically identical.

    The alien creatures' land-squid form-factor looks familiar. Teyla and a reluctant Keller ate one of their soil-burrowing cousins in an SGA episode. But that's way back yonder a billion lights years away. How did they get here? Hm...OK. I can rationalize that. The automated gate ships that went on ahead a million years ago must have seeded a few lifeforms along with plopping down stargates on the planets they passed. Then there must have been some evolutionary changes over time with the critters on this planet evolving a "kill all humans" gene...

    Ehyeah. Right.

    Firing up the old thinkolator cap a little longer... There were no humans until now. Predatory animals kill to eat. They must be acting on instinct. Assuming some sort of herd animal as their normal fare, they would need to ambush quickly before the herd could run off. Easy to mistake our guys since, not only have they have never seen humans before, they don't even seem to have any eyes in the first place.

    Would have been nice if the set had strange carcasses of some large horned animal laying around that had some holes punched in them. It would have enhanced the alien-ness of the landscape as well as added a little foreshadowing intrigue. Were the animals dueling? The holes don't really match. Ours is an incurious lot, but, Rush, at least, should have offered conjecture somewhere along the line. More attention to detail would have helped the script. Sci-fi viewers really shouldn't have to be burdened with trying to figure out this sort of thing all by themselves.

    The episode went by pretty fast for me. That's a good thing. My only real complaint is that it was too short. But I'm afraid I don't mean that in a totally fawning praise sense. The pacing of the content was about right. What I mean is, that upon reaching the end, I got the sort of feeling one used to get when programming a VCR to record a show and it comes up 5 minutes short on playback, having run out of tape. With something as tricky as time travel, there is an implied obligation for some kind of wrap-up, otherwise the viewer can come away feeling a little shortchanged.

    So how did they make out? Was that the last time loop? Did they manage to collect some creatures and cure everyone? I don't know. I guess so. We had quite an extended wrap-up to "Air". With "Time" we have, nothing. A simple scene showing a creature reposed on a table, TJ giving out injections and somebody sitting up, obviously feeling better, would have sufficed.

    I prefer getting my character info in dribs and drabs, so when a bit more is revealed about Eli's mother, I could take it without too much complaint. So she got aids from an accident with a hospital needle. Then Eli's dad just left. Tsk. Tsk. Men can be such cads, can't they. In my last review I observed that Eli's mother seemed very similar to Anakin Skywalker's mother from Star Wars. Not the same actress though. I checked. Ours is played by Glynis Davies, theirs is Pemilla August.

    This episode should serve to reassure sci-fi purists that SGU has not forgotten them. In terms of Sci to Soap ratio this could be about as good as it gets.
    Last edited by apostrophe; June 15th, 2010 at 02:34 PM. Reason: fix sing/plur

  9. #9
    Captain ZRFTS's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2012
    Inland Empire, California

    Default Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Time'


    What's this? Oh, my next episode contains a free subscription to Time Magazine if I review this. Well Time is a good magazine so what do I have to lose? Unfortunately... Everything. This is one of the episodes where the writers attempt to create a plot that is interesting/metaphorical, a situation where it's characters can thrive and it ultimately adds to the characters; unfortunately it fails.

    Part of the problem is that it relies on the first person "people looking at themselves in the past" camera gimmick for most of the episode; while it serves to set what the episode creators wanted and there are points where it is used well, the way it's used just dilutes that purpose. Case in point, there are a ton of moments where the camera glitches and skips and the glitches and skips just serve to frustrate me. I know that it's essential but it's not natural; in fact, compared to the technical glitches in Lost; I may have found the least convincing glitches mankind has ever conceived. Seriously. Adding to that are camera angles which try to pay homage to Cloverfield/Doom and end up failing. It does work well for the action but it does nothing to add to the story and it further enforces the fact that it's a gimmick; due to the way the action is shot and portrayed.

    The entire situation on the jungle planet is done well to a point; there are a lot of moments where the characters are acting natural, conversing among themselves, making jokes; there is also some character development relating to Eli, that chick, Young, Rush and the black guy. These four have moments which add to their backstory, add to their character, show off their acting chops and establish them as more then just actors playing their roles; the black guy in particular since he is the guy who needs the most character development and the shots we see of him establish what kind of a guy he is. There is even one moment which uses the first person camera well; being beautifully shot, and just beautifully acted. However, there is also one fault to the character development and that fault is Eli who after being developed well in the previous episode; seems to waste his character development on inane stories and recycled situations which while contributing to his character and some good moments, just don't make him stand out from the pack.

    The survival aspect is also done well and some of the moments had me interested. These moments make me see what the episode writers were trying to do with the episode; if they'd focus more on what the characters would do in a situation like this (rather then the usual stuff) then it'd just might be better. Unfortunately, that is weighed down by the aforementioned action and the unknown entity, which just serves to mess things up. I can understand if you needed to support the plot but placing action into the forefront when your using a first person camera gimmick (these moments alone reinforce the belief that the gimmick is there to make the plot exciting, not to help the episode.) doesn't work and it serves to clutter things up and mess up the dynamic of the character-focused plot, which is what the show should be focusing all it's energy on at this point in time.

    There is also something that goes unheeded in this episode, the metaphorical conversations. While there are some; there's barely any for the situation at hand. Since these people are looking at themselves in the past, there should be some conversation going on about "Is that what we are", "Is this a sign of our future", "What did we do wrong", "How is it that these things happen", "Can we learn from ourselves". That type of conversation are severely lacking and they're only referenced in a few scenes; which can go 50/50. The situation on the Destiny where people are getting sick at the same time is also unexplored; it does serve a parallel but really, the situation on the Jungle is getting more time then the situation on the Destiny and I felt that both should of been given equal time in order to enhance the characterizations (which are done in a few scenes) and provide a decent parallel which is what this episode needed.

    What this episode didn't need however was the people on the Destiny going to the jungle in a plan that involves time. I mean if you're going to go into a jungle, the best thing you could do is have a plan or at least make the part where they're in trouble better, otherwise it just leads to an awkward transition into another plot that's there both to end the episode and to provide some suspense and a reason to keep tuning in; granted it does provide tension but still... If the show is supposed to be naturally progressed, why don't the people think like people? The Eli/hot chick relationship thing is still not grabbing me, even during the emotional moments; Eli does prove he has some acting chops but he just can't seem to act sad or depressed; not adding to that is the fact that both of them just don't belong together, they seemed forced together.

    In closing... "Time" has good intentions but the results aren't what you expect. The survival plot is undermined by a first person gimmick, there isn't nearly enough time given to the Destiny and while there is some character exploration, I felt that could of gone further; not only in that area, but in mostly every area possible. As I said before, the show is at a time where it needs to develop it's characters; if it doesn't do that (and continue to rely on gimmicks) then people are going to tune out. This is essential for survival, and Stargate Universe at this point, needs to survive.

    Back from the grave.

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