The Abba Ah Beng
Spiritual Formation Institute
My Stargate SG-1 Marathon
Dr Alex Tang
Just spent two months watching 9 seasons of Stargate SG-1 on DVDs. This involves
watching 194 episodes, not including the 1994 movie, Stargate, which started it
all. If each episode is about 60 minutes, this is equivalent to 194 hours of my
life spent watching a television serial, Stargate SG-1. I like watching
television serials on DVD because you get to watch continuously and not have to
wait a week to find out what happens next. This is the result of advance in
technology and my assimilating the “instant noodles” mentality (I want it and I
want it now!). What this marathon translates to is that I fell behind in my
reading, lack of sleep, working around in the daytime like a zombie, dreaming I
was with a SG team and suffering withdrawals when I ran out of episodes to
What is so captivating about Stargate SG-1? Well, come to think of it, there is
nothing original about it at all. All episodes have elements plagiarised from
other science fiction movies, television series and books. However, in spite of
the poor acting, the corny dialogue and really really poor props, there is
chemistry between the four members of the SG-1 team. This is evident in the many
different scenarios they found themselves in. There are also a few seconds of
really cool special effects. All this is exciting and addictive to a Star Trekie
who is in withdrawal. They cancelled Star Trek Enterprise after 4 seasons! I
think of Stargate SG-1 as a stop gap substitute until J.J. Abrams comes out with
the next Star Trek movie.
Stargate SG-1 is Star Trek without a spaceship or a space station. These
‘stargates’ are transportation devices left by a super duper advance
civilisation called the Ancients. These are portals that link wormholes so that
one can do instantaneous travel between planets millions of light years apart.
Eat your heart out, Scotty. Apparently, the Ancients left our galaxy millions of
years ago (sounds like Babylon 5) but left behind the stargates and some
advanced technology hidden in various planets around the galaxy. Why do people
always leave their trash behind?
An alien race call the Gao’uld, which looked like worms and needs a host to
survive (like the trills in Star Trek), has taken over the galaxy. The Gao’uld
took over the hosts and posed as ancient Gods especially the Egyptian Gods like
Ra, the Sun God. They enslaved humans and transported them to other planets by
the stargates in the galaxy to serve them as slaves. After millions of years,
all transplanted the human populations developed on their own their
civilisations, often unaware of the stargates. This will explain why everyone
The Gao’uld are organised into system lords (warlords) and have control over the
galaxy. The series is about Star Gate Command sending SG teams to various
planets. On their travels, they came into conflict with the system lords and
helped to overthrow them. In this they are helped by little aliens with big eyes
(Roswell, X-files and Area 51) called the Asgaard and the Tokgra (renegade
Gao’uld). To make things interesting, they were also have to battle replicants;
artificial life form in the shape of spiders that assimilate everything in their
path (the Borgs are handsomer!).
The SG-1 team consists of Colonel Jack O’Neil (team leader), Captain Samantha
Carter (astrophysicist), Dr. Daniel Jackson (archaeologist) and Teal’c, an alien
Jaffa who had rebelled against Ra. Jackson was killed in season 6 but came back
in season 7 (like superman, Ra’al Ghul, Jean Grey and Hal Jordan, nobody remains
dead). General Jack O’Neil left the show at season 9.
Here are 5 lessons I learnt from Stargate SG-1:
1. You need smart people on your team.
Samantha is real smart and solves all technical problems. Daniel can read and
decipher any alien language in 15 minutes. He also knows all about ancient
archaeological traps. Daniel is a regular Indiana Jones in Outer Space.
2. The team leader does not have to be smart, just lucky.
Colonel and later general O’Neil is a regular macho, strong and silent Special
Forces soldier. He leads the team into trouble as often as he gets out of them.
Amazingly the team always obey his orders without questions.
3. You may get shot but your injuries are never fatal and never leave a scar
in the next episode.
In spite of all the rough and tumble, Samantha always looks immaculate except
for a dirt smear on her cheeks.
4. Even if you defeat a baddie, there is always a more evil bigger baddie
around the corner.
First you have Ra, then his father, then all the system lords and then Anubis
5. To advance technologically you need trade or steal alien technology.
You can always reverse engineer them. So as the series develops, earth gets a
fighter plane that goes into space and finally a spaceship with hyperdrive
(Battlestar Galactica) developed by reverse engineering alien technology. Move
aside, Japan and Taiwan.
My present quandary after 194 hours of acquired wisdom: “What shall I watch
|posted 8 August 2006|