Time Travel, Temporal Anomalies, & Television Part I

A Sinus-y Fan Perspective on Stargate Continuum

Stargate Continuum

I went camping on the Great Plains for a couple of weeks and my sinuses are paying the price. Apparently they can’t process the powerful powdered cow chips and prairie dog poop that give new meaning to the old poetic cum prosaic song lyrics, “Dust in the wind, everything is dust in the wind.” It was almost a different time-space continuum, with an arcane cultural slant, no electricity or running water.

It was a good place from which to return…

With our Dish DVR accusing me of slackdom each day, I watched the Olympics through my haze of headache. I tried to clear my head, literally and figuratively, to catch up on my assignments. I had pre-ordered Stargate Continuum. It arrived while I was Home on the Range.

I made coffee, snorted some saline spray and sprawled on the couch with a box of tissues.

Stargate Continuum – Skewed Perspective and Spoilers Ahead!

Jack’s back! I told you he would be…Richard Dean Anderson’s Colonel Jack O’Neill returns in a cameo rife with trademark wisecracks and affected disaffection. Then he dies. Really! But not really…

General Hammond Amanda Tapping returns as Samantha Carter, Michael Shanks as Daniel Jackson, Christopher Judge as Teal’c, Ben Browder as Cam Mitchell, Beau Bridges as General Landry; Claudia Black as Vala Mal Doran, and the lovable late Don “General Hammond” Davis gives the last performance of his long career.

If you aren’t an avid Stargate SG1 fan, there could be a confusing Getting to the Gatemoment or two. Yet, unlike the space operatic Ori loose end tying Ark of Truth, this feature successfully stands alone. There’s enough recap writing to clue you in without resorting to idiot lectures, and just enough space opera to keep the storyline moving through the wormhole.

Qetesth and Ba\'alBa’al busting is the mission that opens Continuum, with the extraction of Ba’al’s symbiote in the offing by the Tok’ra. Ba’al is supposedly the last of the Goa’uld System Lord snake bellies remaining. His decommissioning is cut short as august attendees disappear in front of our very jaded eyes. Oh yes, we knew Ba’al’s demise was too good to be true.

We have instead entered the land of temporal distortion, a.k.a. time travel, for us physics challenged fans who search for sock-mates that clearly went through the wormhole in our driers. But wait! Some of us know our Star Trek quantums.

Even without having looked yet at the Bonus Feature “Layman’s Guide to Time Travel” ably appended by astrophysicist Jaymie Matthews, the alternate timeline and temporal anomalies were reasonably well handled.

The AchillesWe join Sam, Cam, and Daniel in the cargo hold of the Achilles, the ship that delivered the first Stargate into U.S. hands, and made for the future SGC. Unfortunately, Ba’al has been there before them, and the ship is marooned. There is no SGC. Cam’s granddad served as Captain on this ship. Captain and crew are all missing, presumed dead. In this timeline, Carter was a dead astronaut, Daniel Jackson is still a fringe archaeologist in Egypt, and Cam never existed…yet he does exist here now.

The Grandfather Paradox is puzzled out (perhaps unnecessarily, see this article by Stephen Cass, Sr. Editor of Discover Magazine) by Carter, who explains that since Cam was in the wormhole when the timeline shifted, he could be here but not here, or here, but not there, depending on your perspective. Got it? Jack O’Neill is alive in this alternate timeline, and it’s fitting that he rescues his other world team mates.

General Landry does a curmudgeonly good job of post validation stonewalling when confronted with a truth and a reality involving a Stargate he does not want. Jack O’Neill’s fury at Daniel’s assertion that his son is dead is touching. Ben Browder wears his Cam persona as if he were born to it (maybe he was, in an alternate reality). Claudia Black’s Qetesh is top notch.

There’s no stiff Temporal Prime Directive here. The fate of the Stargate, the SGC and the universe rest on the SG1 time travelers. Alternate timelines, alternate realities, hypothetical hyperbole, zSubin the ArcticQetesh’s ambition, and classic Stargate character interaction all combine to help SG1 save the world and the Stargate program once again. Stargate Continuum is SG1 at its indefinable best. The Stargate in the Arctic bonus feature was fun, too.

If you haven’t seen this feature direct to DVD film, pay attention to Cam’s Locker. I’m just saying…

Move on through the quantum slipstream to Eureka for Part II…

7 thoughts on “Time Travel, Temporal Anomalies, & Television Part I

  1. amber

    I’ve not seen the new SG1 movie yet (so I’ll remain mum for the moment), but I wanna talk about Eureka…..

    Let me start out by saying I traditionally HATE “Groundhog Day” episodes (other than the SG1 one, but that’s another post), but I ended up really enjoying this ep of Eureka. Mainly for the **spoilerly** death, though it wasn’t a shock to see which one of them got the axe. There’s no way that could keep the Carter-Allison tension with a marriage to Stark, so something had to happen to make sure Henry never got to complete that ceremony. What gets to me is that I’ve really enjoyed Stark this season, until last year, so it was a shame to see him go. I’m with you on the concept of a Stark-clone :)

    Anyway, this is turning into a post of its own.. back to prepping for D*con…

  2. Profile photo of Shiny1Shiny1 Post author

    I could make an entire post about the SG1 Window of Opportunity as well, but I’d be about 8 years too late :-)
    Judging from all the outrage I’ ve read regarding Stark’s “assumed death” on some of the message boards, you aren’t alone in your newly acquired affection for him. He was an egotistical jerk, but he was “our” egotistical jerk.

    Now I can START to prep for D*con and apocalypse. Hey, do you think D*con IS one of the last signs of the apocalypse? Nahhh….hmm.

  3. Pingback: Time Travel, Temporal Anomalies, & Television Part II : FanaticSpace

  4. Heather

    lol this sounds like my life these days…. i’m DRVing all the olympics, my husband is sitting in the living room watching all the reruns of stargate…. but to my knowledge he hasn’t seen this yet!! woohoo! birthday present alert :). thanks for the info!

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