Stargate SG-1: Season 1
The first season of Stargate SG-1 is about as good of a first season as a show can ask for. The pilot begins with an excellent “what the hell is going on?” opening with the Stargate coming back to life, Apophis (the baddie) showing up and killing a bunch of nameless SGC soldiers, and the reason for the introduction of our main cast.
We meet Colonel Jack O’Neill, cynical, sardonic, and called out of retirement for a “special mission” with the Stargate Command (SGC). By his side is Stanley Kawalsky, likeable, goofy, and promptly dead in episode 2.
Captain Samantha Carter joins the team, and while I like her enough because I lady-identify with her, she spends a LOT of the first season overcompensating for the fact that she is a woman and showing that she can keep up with the boys. Painfully evident in Episode 3, SG-1 finds a planet where women are bought and sold, Carter herself becomes someone’s property, and she must fight to the death in hand-to-hand combat with the tribe’s chieftain to win her freedom and prove her worth as a woman. Say it with me now… SIGH.
Doctor Daniel Jackson, the geeky anthropologist, who can always interpret the cultures and ways of each planet, has to be rescued from Abydos, where he was left after the last Stargate missions ended. He has a wife, and Jack O’Neill has a ‘little buddy’ that reminds him of his son, on Abydos. Both of these characters are taken by Apophis and become Goa’uld hosts. Cue: Extra drama and reason for Daniel’s involvement in the SG Program. He appears to speak approximately every archaic language ever discovered, and it’s a little bit surprising how well he can handle a gun for being a civilian academic-type.
And, last but not least, we have my favorite character of the cast: Teal’c, a Jaffa (and First Prime of Apophis), who suddenly grows a conscience in Episode 1, turns on the other Jaffa and Goa’uld, and helps SG-1 (and other captives) escape from Apophis’ death lair/castle of doom thing. Everyone is, understandably, initially freaked out by his presence because he is “the enemy” and has an incredibly disgusting wormy thing that peaks out of his abdomen and squeals/groans/hisses once in a while. He’s fantastically stone-faced whether hanging out at Stargate Command, wandering around a strange planet, or being shot at with Goa’uld death sticks. His lack of understanding of Earth culture is my favorite comedic part of the show. And he’s just an all-around bad ass, since he kind of looks like a refrigerator, has a big gold thing welded to his forehead, and has a voice that can give James Earl Jones a run for his money.
Two other notable characters are General George Hammond, the commander of the SGC and Doctor Janet Fraiser, the base’s resident doctor. Hammond is all-around likeable – he’s very fair, fiercely loyal to his soldiers and SG teams, and his southern twang makes him all the more endearing. Doctor Fraiser is tossed in there to add another female to the testosterone-full base, and you can’t help but appreciate the fact that she has to be prepared to deal with crazy, scary, alien bacteria and diseases (and figure out how to fix/cure them so the SG teams don’t die). There’s also a VERY minor character that has the best credit in the series. The dude that dials the Stargate addresses is simply credited as “Chevron Guy.” I have to respect that.
If you don’t have time to watch the whole first season, check out Episode 21 (Politics). It’s a clips show that essentially catches you up on all of the important stuff that happened to prepare you for the Season 1 finale. The season finale is a seriously ridiculous cliffhanger that would have ended in me yelling at the television for having to wait for several months to see how the plot resolved itself, had I not had the second season ready to go. Go watch this show. It’s a little overstated in the beginning, but gets really good, really fast.
Important Characters/Plot Points that are introduced:
-Stargate Command and SG-1
-Apophis, Goa’uld and Jaffa
-Thor (and his Hammer)
-Bra’tac, Teal’c’s childhood mentor
-The Second Stargate on Earth
Brief Candle (Episode 9) – SG-1 discovers a planet where everyone is remarkably beautiful and, well… perfect. BUT, they only live for 100 days. O’Neill is wooed by one lady’s womanly wiles, eats what looks like a magical pizza, and is suddenly given a MUCH shorter lifespan (of a few weeks). It’s time-pressured and stressful, but the disadvantage to watching a show that you know has 10 seasons is that there’s no way one of the four leads is going to get knocked off halfway through the first season.
The Torment of Tantalus (Episode 11) – The team discovers Ernest Littlefield, a doctor who went through the Stargate in 1945 and never returned. They also discovered that the Stargate program was up and running in 1945. There’s a little bit of heartbreak, a little bit of romance rekindled 50 years later, and we find out about the Four Great Races (and Daniel kind of freaks out about them because there is some serious “meaning of life” stuff going on). Unfortunately, the collection of information is destroyed as Ernest’s cave/home on this planet crumbles. To Daniel’s credit, the Four Great Races thing becomes super important later in the show’s timeline.
There But For The Grace of God (Episode 20) – Daniel is transported to an alternate universe through an alien mirror, where he finds out that Apophis is going to attack Earth, and from where the attack will originate. He’s got to get back to his Universe to tell his version of the SGC that Apophis is going to attack (but, of course, that’s more difficult than it sounds). It’s an interesting “what if” twist on the Stargate World, and this is obviously going to be one of my favorites because I ❤ Alternate Universes.
“What is an Oprah?” – Teal’c
Daniel alternately wears glasses and doesn’t wear glasses in episodes. Continuity error? Or did they just never explain that he only sometimes wears contact lenses because wormhole travelling can be rough on the eyes?
Until Next Time,
-Diana (StargateWatcher Extraordinnaire)