Sketchley's Translations Main Index
By AARON SKETCHLEY (aaronsketch@HOTdelete_thisMAIL.com) Ver 1.5 2016.12.23


Stargate SG-1 Season 1 Reviews

  • Children Of The Gods
  • The Enemy Within
  • Emancipation
  • The Broca Divide
  • The First Commandment
  • Brief Candle
  • Cold Lazarus
  • Thor's Hammer
  • The Torment Of Tantalus
  • Bloodlines
  • Fire And Water
  • The Nox
  • Hathor
  • Cor-ai
  • Singularity
  • Enigma
  • Tin Man
  • Solitudes
  • There But For The Grace Of God
  • Politics
  • Within The Serpent's Grasp
  • Children Of The Gods
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: 2016.03.14
    Rating: 3 stars
    Air date: 1997.07.27
    Written by: Jonathan Glassner & Brad Wright
    Directed by: Mario Azzopardi


    From the opening scene that brought a chill down my spine in an 'X-Files' kind of way, to the ending that screams "to be continued" at the same volume as the ending of 'Empire Strikes Back' does, this episode sets up the rest of the series extremely well. Along the way we are taken on a journey that is, at times, even more exciting and adventure filled than the originating movie. Developments come, and they genuinely feel like they stem from character choices, rather than having them feel forced (like some of the events in the movie).

    This episode neatly sets up the premise of continuing adventures through the Stargate with the introduction of a room full of gates addresses, and the first of many memorable Stargate acronyms - the DHD (Dial Home Device). While also negating some of the more wild claims of the movie (a gate on the other side of the universe!), and grounding it all with a bit of science fact (a gate least affected by astral drift). There are some memorable lines (that I'm sure the actors involved would prefer to not have said), and even Daniel's sneezing - a character trait from the movie that this episode hangs a lampshade on, and makes appear less like a trait than as a character identifier. Nevertheless, it is put to good use as a communication tool, and I'm glad that that trait disappears in the following episodes.

    Alas, this episode is also notorious for a certain scene - we'll call it the Showcase Channel's creative addition to the series. As a young adult, it adds to the entertainment value of the episode, ramping up the tension. However, as a parent, it and the subsequent depiction of how a Gua'old takes over a host put this episode into the red zone. SG-1, especially the later episodes, and Atlantis, are great entertainment that a family can watch together. But this episode is not.

    The other thing is Teal'c's moral choice. If the viewer pays close attention to him from the outset, it's all there. However, if you're primed on later episodes -ones with a more breezy presentation-, you're bound to overlook the signs, especially on the first viewing. The signs are there. But the episode keeps them subtle. On the one hand, it fits Teal'c's situation well (showing any signs of second thoughts would be a fatal career choice), but on the other, it can leave some viewers feeling cold about his epic decision.

    top
    Stargate index

    The Enemy Within
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: 2016.03.17
    Rating: 4 stars
    Air date: 1997.08.01
    Written by: Brad Wright
    Directed by: Dennis Berry


    The episode's A story is about what happens to Major Kawalsky after being infected by a Goa'uld, and the B story is about how Teal'c is perceived and treated before being accepted into the SG-1 team. Along the way, we are introduced to the support staff at Stargate Command, get our first taste of the political confrontations that play a large part in the later developments of the series, and the broad strokes of who and what the Goa'uld and Jaffa are - making this episode a must see!

    The emotional tension in this episode is genuine, and strong. I also like how the production team creatively maximized their resources (I got the impression that this a bottle episode). By hiding the surgery on Kawalsky in a box, and illustrating the basics of it with rudimentary graphics, they leave it up to the viewer's imagination - which is almost always better than any depiction with special effects. That has the added bonus of keeping the gore down, making this episode much more family friendly.

    The title of the episode is also thought provoking. I got the impression that it has multiple meanings, like the title of the first "Alien" movie. Interestingly, the Japanese title for the episode is just that - Alien.

    Despite the dark places that this episode hints at, and the tragedy that it depicts, it is actually quite hopeful. Giving us hope for the humans throughout the galaxy. And at the personal level, hope that Jackson can rescue Sha're (his wife), in all senses of the word.

    top
    Stargate index

    Emancipation
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: 2016.04.13
    Rating: 1.5 stars
    Air date: 1997.08.08
    Written by: Katharyn Powers
    Directed by: Jeff Woolnough


    Emancipation is an interesting episode - in that although the theme is timeless, the way the episode goes about itself is incredibly lacklustre. Carter's actions are the highlight of the episode, and if there was any doubt at this point in the series, it confirms that she can kick butt.

    However, the episode just seems to take its time getting to where it's going, and doesn't ever really succeed in building tension. It also feels a bit too much like Star Trek. We got a Kirk knife fight against the villain of the week, and a debate about the Prime Directive. At least the SG-1 team is much quicker at pulling out their guns, and I don't think we ever saw attack dogs in Trek.

    The theme of woman's rights is honourable... but why did they decide to portray it as an enlightened North American Anglophobe culture vs. an East Asian culture mired in backwardness? Why not grab the bull by the horns, and depict a white European culture repressing its women? I'm sure there are plenty of examples of that in history.

    Nevertheless, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa does a good job scenery chewing with what the script gives him. Alas, his character is only vilified, and isn't given the opportunity to show more than the one side of his personality. On the other hand, I did appreciate that the episode attempted to present perspectives from men on both sides of the spectrum.

    Ultimately, this episode had plenty of missed opportunities for greatness, or for at least being thought provoking. If you're more interested in the overall SG-1 storyline, you can probably skip this one.

    top
    Stargate index

    The Broca Divide
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: 2016.07.20
    Rating: 2.0 stars
    Air date: 1997.08.15
    Written by: Jonathan Glassner
    Directed by: William Gereghty


    A surprisingly thought provoking episode. Admittedly, on the second viewing of the series, I found it tiring. But on this third viewing of the entire series, I found it full of interesting nuggets and a couple of interesting scenes.

    The most surprising part was how logically constructed the pseudo-science behind the virus that effects the characters is. The de-evolution aspect of it is a nutty addition - but it has a great payoff seeing most of the main characters go caveman at one point or another. Daniel Jackson's is probably the most silly, but Carter's mono-brow is right up there.

    Even though there is some action in this episode, it is a quieter episode, showing the SG teams exploring new worlds. In the process, it does raise some ethical questions, as well as making some downright Trekkian observations on humanity. Most importantly, it provides some good justifications for the SG teams to invest resources in worlds that aren't military or technological advantageous to Earth.

    Alas, aside from some memorable character building, you could probably give this one a pass.

    top
    Stargate index

    The First Commandment
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: 2016.07.22
    Rating: 2.5 stars
    Air date: 1997.08.22
    Written by: Robert C. Cooper
    Directed by: Dennis Berry


    The pre-credits sequence is definitely in the classic Robert C. Cooper style - it doesn't quite bring goosebumps like the opening sequence in Children Of The Gods does, but in its own way, it is much creepier. Alas, the pacing slows down considerably for the remainder of the episode. Nevertheless, it does provide some good visuals, and has one of the first non-travel creative uses of the Stargate.

    The episode explores the stresses from the unique situations that the SG teams are put into, and the adverse affects they can have on the people from Earth. It underlines how heroic the SG-1 team members are, in that they remain balanced despite the people they meet almost always treating them as gods at the beginning.

    Highlights of the episode are the characters, and its nice to find out a bit more of Carter's back story. It's a shame that there wasn't any chemistry between Amanda Tapping and William Russ, despite the script calling for them to have been engaged at one time. Nevertheless, the episode also continues the indirect development of the Goa'uld. And despite it being essentially a throwaway line, I love how they explain why almost every planet they visit looks like the environs around the Greater Vancouver area!

    top
    Stargate index

    Brief Candle
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: 2016.12.23
    Rating: 2.0 stars
    Air date: 1997.09.19
    Written by: Katharyn Powers
    Directed by: Charles Correll


    The episode is about an ongoing experiment by a Goa'uld on humans, to see where evolution takes us. It's not about the results, but the tragedy of the humans in it whose lives have been shortened to a mere 100 days! With that, Brief Candle is able to underscore how great the Goa'uld are as the villains of the series. They don't even show up in this episode, yet they still inspire revulsion and loathing with their callously inhumane treatment of their human 'worshippers'!

    However, coming on the heels of The Broca Divide, the rapid ageing of O'Neill makes this episode seem repetitive (didn't we just watch the team undergo a rapid physical change a couple of episodes back?). In many ways, Brief Candle has better pathos, a more sympathetic story, and a better emotional payoff. Though the grumpy, extremely aged O'Neill grows a bit tiresome the more he appears.

    The best part of the episode is the banter between Jackson and Teal'c while talking about the writing on the monument during the investigation of the temple. I also liked how this episode gives everyone something to do, with good reasons why. Even the protests toward General Hammond when the team is ordered not to return is handled quite well. Finally, the location shooting on the beach is extremely nostalgic for me (I spent many summers camping near similar beaches on the East coast of Vancouver Island), and it is a refreshingly unique vista in SG-1 and its sequels - I don't think they ever return there for filming.

    top
    Stargate index

    Cold Lazarus
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: -
    Rating: - stars
    Air date: 1997.08.29
    Written by: Jeff F. King
    Directed by: Kenneth J. Girotti


    In the works!

    top
    Stargate index

    Thor's Hammer
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: -
    Rating: - stars
    Air date: 1997.09.26
    Written by: Katharyn Powers
    Directed by: Brad Turner


    In the works!

    top
    Stargate index

    The Torment Of Tantalus
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: -
    Rating: - stars
    Air date: 1997.10.03
    Written by: Robert C. Cooper
    Directed by: Jonathan Glassner


    In the works!

    top
    Stargate index

    Bloodlines
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: -
    Rating: - stars
    Air date: 1997.10.10
    Written by: Mark Saraceni
    Directed by: Mario Azzopardi


    In the works!

    top
    Stargate index

    Fire And Water
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: -
    Rating: - stars
    Air date: 1997.10.17
    Written by: Brad Wright & Katharyn Powers
    Directed by: Allan Eastman


    In the works!

    top
    Stargate index

    The Nox
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: -
    Rating: - stars
    Air date: 1997.09.12
    Written by: Hart Hanson
    Directed by: Charles Correll


    In the works!

    top
    Stargate index

    Hathor
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: -
    Rating: - stars
    Air date: 1997.10.24
    Written by: David Bennett Carren & J. Larry Carroll
    Directed by: Brad Turner


    In the works!

    top
    Stargate index

    Cor-ai
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: -
    Rating: - stars
    Air date: 1998.01.23
    Written by: Tom J. Astle
    Directed by: Mario Azzopardi


    In the works!

    top
    Stargate index

    Singularity
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: -
    Rating: - stars
    Air date: 1997.10.31
    Written by: Robert C. Cooper
    Directed by: Mario Azzopardi


    In the works!

    top
    Stargate index

    Enigma
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: -
    Rating: - stars
    Air date: 1998.01.30
    Written by: Katharyn Powers
    Directed by: William Gereghty


    In the works!

    top
    Stargate index

    Tin Man
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: -
    Rating: - stars
    Air date: 1998.02.13
    Written by: Jeff F. King
    Directed by: Jimmy Kaufman


    In the works!

    top
    Stargate index

    Solitudes
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: -
    Rating: - stars
    Air date: 1998.02.06
    Written by: Brad Wright
    Directed by: Martin Wood


    In the works!

    top
    Stargate index

    There But For The Grace Of God
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: -
    Rating: - stars
    Air date: 1998.02.20
    Written by: David Kemper
    Directed by: David Warry-Smith


    In the works!

    top
    Stargate index

    Politics
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: -
    Rating: - stars
    Air date: 1998.02.27
    Written by: Brad Wright
    Directed by: Martin Wood


    In the works!

    top
    Stargate index

    Within The Serpent's Grasp
    Review by: Aaron Sketchley
    Reviewed on: -
    Rating: - stars
    Air date: 1998.03.06
    Written by: James Crocker
    Directed by: David Warry-Smith


    In the works!

    top
    Stargate index


    © Aaron Sketchley