Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Classics: SG1 1:6 - Brief Candle

Overall Rating: 5.5

Schmaltzy, very Roddenbury-esque interplanetary courtship rituals, magical techno-bugs, happy and contented slaves, and oh yes, more false Gods. I am certain there are some other cliches in this episode but I lost count somewhere.

Plot Synopsis:

SG1 arrives on the planet Argos - a Peloponnese settlement (formerly ruled by - and this is thought provoking right here - Pelops!) that on first glance appears to be rather like Eden. After Daniel gives an impromptu assist to a mother in labor, they settle in for the celebration and Jack gains himself a super hot and nubile fan who offers him a special cake. After he eats it - leaving the other members of his team feeling a bit left out - he is dragged into a very "fan dance" like ceremony (yes, Roddenbury fans will know what I mean) and then whisked away to bed, all while feeling a bit off his game. After they get it on (*sigh*), the entire settlement suddenly conks out, leaving SG1 (minus Jack, who passes out shortly after everyone else) to wonder about the cause.

When they wake the next morning, SG1 begins searching for a cause of the strange mass collapse and discover that residents of this planet have an accelerated life span. They live for 100 days rather than 100 years. When Jack again passes out with the rest of the Argosians, it becomes clear he's been infected with whatever is plaguing the locals. Carter takes samples back to the SGC where they eventually learn that nano-technology is responsible. Jack, being already way too old according to the programming of these nanites, ages even more rapidly than the Argosians, and by the time he is fomenting a revolution on Argos, he is a very old man. He topples a statue of Pelops in the temple and this breaks the machinery controlling the devices, leaving everyone on Argos asleep except for Jack and his "wife" Kynthia, who have walked outside the range of the device to talk in private. With the help of SG1, they devise a way to deactivate the nanites and stop the rapid aging process on Argos. They also inform Jack that without the nanites in his system, his body will return to normal.

Writing: 4

This is like a modern episode of Star Trek (the original series). Plot holes, bad science, bad cliches, and no substance.

A) The nanites apparently have magical properties...such as the capacity to radically alter the physiology of a human without actually radically altering his age (explain to me how the outward damage done to O'Neill's body would magically go away in a week or two when the devices that caused it were eradicated, and for that matter, explain to me how the immune system could possibly attack and destroy metallic devices?). But it's only O'Neill who regresses to normal (they're special devices that know not to permanently harm the star of the show)...the Argosians who are 20 days old won't turn into babies again. They're totally set in their ages.

B) Would a military man really unquestioningly trust some special food item handed to him just because it came from a hot babe? Perhaps my father could best answer that - he does tell stories of accepting drinks from islanders on shore leave on St. Thomas. I can't believe O'Neill would be quite that stupid.

C) The nanites are brought to the SGC, which is (presumably) out of range of the control device (being that the beach a few clicks away is out of range. :) And yet they stay active enough to change their programming and eat right through rubber gloves, scaring the heck out of the big wigs.

D) Is anyone else tired of sci-fi stories where some member of the cast is placed on their own in an alien society garnering the attention of a local hottie for the purposes of trying to generate a love story in a situation where few real people would really be in the mood to think romantic thoughts?

Acting: 7.5

RDA does a pretty solid job playing an older man here. Not to mention playing the emotions he has to convey (feeling cheated of his life, in some way blaming Kynthia, but knowing she couldn't have realized what she would cost him, etc). There are a couple of cute moments early in the episode for other members of the cast, but this is really about Jack and Kynthia, both of whom do a passable job with a mediocre script.

Message: 5

If there's a message here...it's - "Don't eat alien food until you're sure it's not laced with drugs." Check...key safety tip.


ALEKOS (looking to SG-1, somewhat panicked): The midwife is gone, I do not know the birthing mysteries...and the village is too far. Please...help us.
SAM (after everyone looks at her): What? Don't look at me, I don't know what to do! - (but surely the girl should know how to deal with girly things like pregnancy, right??)

DANIEL: Wow, this...place is incredible. It's like we just stepped into the citadel at Mycenae.
O'NEILL: I thought you said it was Greek?
DANIEL: Oh, uh, the Mycenae was an ancient city in the southern Peloponnesus region.
O'NEILL: Where's that?
DANIEL: Greece.
O'NEILL: Why do I do that?
- because you're Jack O'Neill, that's why. :)

KYNTHIA: I am Kynthia. Welcome to our village.
O'NEILL: Thank you...Jack O'Neill. (She smiles at him and produces some cake-like food. Jack takes a piece. She smiles at him and waits for him to try it)
KYNTHIA: It is pleasing?
O'NEILL (nods his head): Very. (Then to Daniel) You should have some. (Daniel reaches out to take a piece, but Kynthia pulls the dish away)
KYNTHIA: It is only for you.
O'NEILL: Only for me? (Jack takes the dish, smiles and nods.) Thanks. (Sam grins and looks away as Kynthia saunters off, looking over her shoulder to watch Jack)
DANIEL (mocking): 'It is only for you.'

1 comment:

  1. Naked Jack is always a good thing :) And a jealous Carter shows early in the series how she feels about Jack.