So, if you’ve read the recap of the movie this show shares a name with, you know the following: we discovered a gate to another part of the galaxy, we ran into a culture of humans evolved differently than us, fought evil aliens, and killed said evil aliens. The expedition team, made up of Colonel Jack O’Neill and Dr. Daniel Jackson, had a wild time, but made friends (and in Daniel’s case, a wife) before leaving, sans Jackson. O’Neill suggested he’d come back to visit this world of Abydos, so let’s see how that return visit pans out…
“Children of the Gods”
Just as the Stargate program seems to be put away to collect dust, an unexpected visitor comes through to cause some problems before leaving. Retired Jack O’Neill is brought back in to help figure things out, and it seems Ra, the bad guy he faced two years ago through the only expedition through the Gate, isn’t quite dead (well he is dead as we find out later, but instead Ra’s fellow brother, Apophis, is behind this). That leads O’Neill, Captain Samantha Carter, and some holdovers from the previous expedition, to the planet of Abydos, where they run into Dr. Jackson and some other recognizable faces. After another raid by Apophis snatches Daniel’s wife and Jack’s surrogate kid, Skarra, the team and Daniel follow Apophis to another planet and make an unexpected ally in the Goa’uld, Teal’c.
Suffice to say, this feature-length pilot has a lot to set up, and does it mostly to success. You get the setup of being able to dial to different planets through the Gate, the setup of the SG-1 team for the majority of the show’s run, and a few plot threads left open (Skarra and Sha’re getting evil Goa’uld larvae inside them) to invest O’Neill and Jackson in sticking around. While you can argue this might not have been the extension of the Stargate movie the movie’s creators wanted, it manages to be an effective one nevertheless.
–So, here’s the thing: I watched the pilot available on the season 1 DVD set and the revised one released on DVD back in 2009. The obvious changes in the revised cut are that Sha’re nudity being removed whole (remember, up until its time on Sci-Fi Channel, the show ran for half it’s run on Showtime, even though this is the only episode from that time with any real adult stuff like nudity in it), new Gate effects (the effect from the movie is in the original pilot), Teal’c’s dialogue re-dubbed to line up more with the Teal’c of the series afterward, and the subtraction of the “Kawalsky being possessed by a Goa’uld” cliffhanger.
–Also, that line about “reproductive organs” that Carter gives in her introduction is changed in the revised cut, though I debate if either one works.
–Speaking of awkward Carter dialogue this episode, yep, she has to mention “MaGyver-ing” in front of the actor known for being MacGyver.
–While Sha’re is not the same actress from the movie, Alexis Cruz as Skarra is the same actor in both mediums. It’s one of the rare carryover actors/roles from movie to TV show. We’ll get to another example of this later in the show’s run.
–I’ve been rewatching Twin Peaks recently, so it’s odd yet comforting to see Major Briggs (and whatever rank the late Don S. Davis had as Dana Scully’s dad on The X-Files) here as General Hammond.
–Also, this is Walter’s (the Gate control tech) first appearance, and one of the few characters who would appear in all the Stargate shows.
–“Bring back a t-shirt.”
–“I’m trying to kick the flour thing.”
–“For this, you can stay at my place!”
“The Enemy Within”
While Apophis’ forces are trying to get past the defenses of Earth’s Stargate, Teal’c is in confinement as more a medical curiosity than potential ally. Both problems come to a head as Kawalsky’s possession by that Goa’uld in the pilot is making him a threat to everyone on the base. Well, Kawalsky (and the parasite) gets killed in a pretty nasty way, and Teal’c gets to be a member of SG-1. So, its a lose-win for the team this episode.
–Really, no one’s able to find that doctor Kawalsky was killed for how long? And it’s only Daniel seeking some nap time that he finds that body in the bunk above him?
–It is odd when I see the army general who wants that Goa’uld parasite to test and I think, “hey, it’s one of the lawyers from L.A. Law!”, and then realize I remember a bit more about L.A. Law than I probably should.
–I too wonder what the Goa’uld are throwing through that gate (Bombs? People?) only to end up splattered on the other end.
–Also, we get that scene where Teal’c is being interrogated and get some important info that has been hinted to in the movie. Humans were dropped off in different worlds as labor and evolved into different societies of their own. This is a good piece of info story wise, but practically, explains away the many humanoid worlds we’ll end up in throughout the series.
–About that fear Apophis may just skip going through the Gate and just use spaceships to conquer Earth, its not like that’ll be a problem by season’s end, right?
–“If you don’t make it…can I have your stereo?”
–For those keeping score, The “Teal’c’s Indeed Counter” is at zero.
NEXT TIME: Carter becomes a thorn in a world that subjugates women in “Emancipation”, a virus unleashes SG-1’s primitive side in “The Broca Divide”, SG-1 deals with a fellow team’s commander becoming a planet’s despot in “The First Commandment”, and O’Neill is cursed to a rapidly aging death in “Brief Candle”.