The Permanent Stargate: Universe Discussion Thread

As there is an interest in having an official comment thread here on Whatever for the discussion of Stargate: Universe episodes, themes and details, behold! This is it. Henceforth, let this be the place you come here to chat with other Whateverites (and occasionally its Creative Consultant as well) about what you see on the show. I’ll put a permanent link to it into the SG:U sidebar widget so it will always be easy to find.

NOTE: This thread will almost certainly contain spoilers of the most recent episode if you come to it during or after the first airing of the show in the US/Canada. Be warned.

All right, then. Discuss the show!

644 thoughts on “The Permanent Stargate: Universe Discussion Thread

  1. As I’ve said elsewhere: I absolutely hate the body-swapping. So far it’s been kept to a minimum, but even having it ruins things.

    The sad thing, for me, is that I love the show otherwise. I loved that the fourth episode (“Darkness”) had actual science in it. I didn’t care for the deus ex machina ending of the fifth episode (“Light”), but I liked the rest of it a lot.

    I look forward to it each week, and yet, paradoxically, I’m afraid to watch it.

  2. Chloe is still annoyingly weak, and her relationship with Lt. Scott is obnoxious. What happened to his being all worked up about sex before marriage? Why is Chloe turning to Scott for sex but Eli for companionship?

    Poor, poor Eli. Mathboy deserves better than this.

    Rush shows a more human side, and Greer and Young really shine – most especially Greer. I have a vague sense that he needs something other than military discipline to get his life working right – the vibe I’m getting says something more like Bushido.

  3. Oh, science-y question for Mr. Scalzi:

    I thought that oxygen atmospheres on Earth-sized worlds were a probable sign of life, and the early Earth had very little free oxygen on it. If plant life was scarce on the planet the shuttle was headed for, why was there so much oxygen?

  4. At the end of the 4th ep I thought it was obvious what was going to happen next, it’s going to recharge somehow. It looks like I was right (but being in england and not having seen it yet, i have to try to find spoilers to see if i was right, darn these spoilers are hard to find). It ain’t a deus ex machina if you can see it coming.

    One of the common fuels I’ve seen in old time SF is Hydrogen and I thought that it had gone throught the gas giant on purpose to collect some, and often it needs a lot of heat to ‘jump start’ whatever reaction the writer says it is.

  5. I noticed that there were sheets on the bed that Chloe and Lt. Scott were using. Sheets that are hundreds of thousands of years older than they are.

    Clearly the ship is stocked with a variety of basics, but those basics are not going to be quite like they were used to….and some of them are going to be made of some remarkable materials….

  6. My only beef with the show so far is Sgt Anger Control, and even he showed some actual depth this episode. So that’s good. And yes, Math Boy deserves better… Chloe’s smart enough and worldly enough to know damn well how he feels about her and what she’s doing to him. Poor Eli. :-(

  7. It ain’t a deus ex machina if you can see it coming.

    Oh, hell yeah.

    It’s not much of a dramatic climax, either, if every discussion of SGU I found in the last week predicted just that ending, by pretty much that mechanism. In all fairness, I looked in places like Gateworld and the SyFy forums, my live journal friends list, and my home posting board, all populated at least in part by people who’ve been following the StarGate franchise for many years, but… once one knows it’s a series and not a miniseries of unknown length, the inevitable outcome of such cliff-hangers is a given, and the Wright and Cooper bag of tricks has not, so far, had any new tricks added this year.

  8. Well, the Deus Ex Machina ending was one thing, but I was surprised no-one said “Look, this ship clearly knows what it’s doing, let’s not freak out about this.” What with the ship doing things on purpose in the previous two episodes …

    There has got to be some sort of manual override switch for that 12 hour thing though.

  9. So far, I am liking the show. It feels like the usual early working out the kinks, introducing the characters, finding the groove. There are bits of tension that are predictable, and a lot of free ends dangling to grab onto later. The effects are pretty to watch (liked the long views of the aerobrake), but it is becoming obvious to me that the ship as a character is waking up and I am looking forward to the coming to terms with the ship and it’s new crew.

  10. I love that the ship is becoming a character in this series. I guessed the energy-from-the-sun thing last week, but it WAS cooler than I’d imagined. I also feel for poor mathboy. You can see it on his face: always the best friend, never the lover. *sigh*

  11. Chloe turned to Scott for sex because he’s physically attractive and Eli isn’t. Eli’s likely stuck in the friend zone for a while. It allows for character growth by giving Chloe the chance to realize that emotional compatibility is more important.

    I hope they don’t stretch out the love triangle thing over the whole run of the series. It wears thin after about half a season.

  12. I really dislike the predictability of the whole show. The characters offer no surprises. The plots offer no surprises. I vaguely look forward to the next episode, where they discover/rig an on-ship mechanism for food production or there’s a “comestibles stop” on the ship’s agenda. After THAT, maybe they can get to the “Star Trek: Voyager”-style planet/race discovery: “Well, look who showed up for dinner this week! It’s led to some kind of stress and distrust among our crew!”

    I sound disdainful, but really, I’m sad.

  13. There are some long bits in the shows, ie the sex scene and the montage shots which are supposed to be inspirational. Doesn’t work for me. I think that involving the Telford and O’Neil characters is also a mistake. The other bad bits are when they exchange personalities and go visit their family on Earth. Gag! I FF through those bits. Didn’t care for them.

    Other than that, I think that it’s a good show. I’m looking forward to when they figure out more about the Destiny.

    Now that they have got the basics, I hope that they will move onto more interesting aspects of their intergalactic journey, which hasn’t been really featured in the recent episodes. There were some great bits in the first two episodes, but since they had to deal with the basics, no one mentioned them.

    I don’t really like Scott and Chloe’s relationship. Sucks balls. Scott is a bit robotic as an actor, but he manages to pull through.

    The show should focus on Eli, because that’s the character to which most of the audience can easily relate to.

  14. Yeah, it’s always a little annoying when writers decide that their characters are too stupid to see the semi-obvious plot twists/solutions (like going through the sun) coming. They could at least have the decency to sneak in a good reason for the characters to not have thought of it.

  15. So far I have to give it a so so and getting a little better.
    I am going to second Strech@10. The ship seems to know what it’s doing lets not freak. Besides 15 people on an unknown planet is a dead end. Even if the planet doesn’t kill them they will be a bunch of inbred jeds in a generation or two.
    If the ship has AI why hasn’t Rush figured out how to talk to it?
    If Rush is the only person who knows the lingo why haven’t they started a class on the lingo? Shit he’s already had one break down. Backup would be nice.

  16. I’m still enjoying this, but unless Rush becomes something other than “evil-robotic-feelings-scientist-man”, I don’t really see it going anywhere. If the misunderstood scientist is the best they can do for an antagonist, then they’re missing out on the cooler potential of the premise of the show.

  17. If Rush new the ship was oging into the sun to recharge, he sure played it very, very weird. If he suspected it, as a human being, a much better pay would have been to say “look, I htink it might be goign to recharge, but I don;t really know. I’m personally more willing to risk it here on the ship than on the shuttle, but I think the best overall chance for group survival is to play it both ways.”

    When is he ever going to trust anyone the way he keeps telling them to trust him? If I’m the Cln, I have someone assigned to Rush at all times from now on, constantly pestering him about what he’s doing, with the clear understanding that they will get the crap kicked out of them if they back down from Rush.

    I liked the episode right up until it was suggested that Rush “new” it would be OK, and Rush refused to acknowledge the comment one way or the other.

  18. @18: “If the misunderstood scientist is the best they can do for an antagonist, then they’re missing out on the cooler potential of the premise of the show.”

    Rush has been incredibly cooperative lately. I honestly don’t see his character going in any sort of primary-antagonist direction unless it comes to his zeal to stay on the ship. Yes, he sometimes makes bad decisions and is abrasive, but flawed characters seem to be the norm for this series, and I can see good and bad traits in nearly every member of the cast.

    ‘Designated antagonist’ just seems too simple for his character, and too simple for a series that focuses so much on characterization.

  19. @19: “If Rush new the ship was oging into the sun to recharge, he sure played it very, very weird.”

    Given the excitement and the insane laugh, either Rush is paranoid enough to do a convincing surprise act when no one is watching him, or, more likely, he was honestly just as surprised as everyone else. I saw that scene as more of an emphasis that Colonel Young isn’t so much the perfect leader that everyone wants him to be.

    19 again: “If I’m the Cln, I have someone assigned to Rush at all times from now on, constantly pestering him about what he’s doing, with the clear understanding that they will get the crap kicked out of them if they back down from Rush.”

    Isn’t that pretty much what happened in Darkness, though, with Volker getting booted by Rush and then getting chewed out by Young?

  20. Sorry about that. Normally I’m not one for double-commenting, but 19 was posted while I was writing my first comment and I couldn’t resist replying to it. I’ll have an internets sent to you in recompense.

  21. I have to admit that I don’t get the Rush hate; he had his moment of euphoria when other people were still braced for impact, and was processing the meaning of their new state while Colonel Young was still rejoicing in their momentary triumph. He accepted “math boy’s” figures with a grin and a nod- but he can’t, as a scientist, accept the ship’s wisdom because he can not, yet, understand its process and predict its behavior. His motivation and thinking process are, so far, the most logically consistent and realistic of any on the show- unlike the Colonel, who had people pushing buttons to see what would happen.

    At least now they both understand “It’s going to be a lot of work.”

    The characters haven’t been watching Stargate for the entirety of the canon, and are therefore at a knowledge disadvantage relative to the viewers. There’s many fewer problems with how the characters behave, given what they know about the ship and their overall situation, than there are with story structure given what viewers know about series television in general and the Stargate franchise in particular.

  22. @10 “There has got to be some sort of manual override switch for that 12 hour thing though.”

    You mean like holding your arm in the gate to stop it from closing? Cause that seemed to do the trick.

  23. It’s nice to see some light shed on some very odd character actions from the first episodes. What originally looked like some pretty awkward characterization in Col. Telford’s heavy-handed behavior in the pilot – his total disregard for Young’s injuries, and his illogical (and generally contra-US military doctrine) attempts to exert control over a situation he was only going to be present in for a matter of hours at most – begins to be explained at last!

    And “Light” adds some structure to Rush’s character as well – hints that he’s not in fact (or at least not just) unbalanced in some particularly weird ways, but is part of some larger plan/plot/conspiracy that also involves Telford. It’s a lot easier to accept Rush’s place in the story with even this sketchy evidence that his actions fit into a framework of some sort, rather than being simply those of a megalomaniacal weirdo…

    Though I wonder – how many people aren’t going to stick around long enough for things to be explained, because character actions in the first few weeks have really strained credulity?

    I agree re: the “real-ish science” in the episode… except I wish the writers hadn’t elected to refer to the gravity slingshot maneuver as the “exact opposite” of the aerobraking maneuver. The results may be opposite, but the mechanisms are not at all the same. [/pedantry]

    I’m not sure the recharge procedure survives the Fridge Logic test, either. Question that occurred to me immediately after Rush states that they’re actually in the sun: How does a force shield which can’t prevent the loss of atmosphere through a broken shuttle window protect them from the Hot Plasma Sunbath of Doom?

  24. I very much enjoyed ‘Light’. Since this is a series, and deductive reasoning tells us that the star really *won’t* destroy the ship and all the characters, the recharging via the sun seemed a little obvious to us watchers, but was a very neat trick for the passengers. When the ship around you is damaged and failing due to age and wear, you don’t automatically assume anything it’s going to do is going to be ‘good’, so – nice fix for that problem.

    I find the Chloe/Scott ‘romance’ forced and tepid, at best. Booooring. How about we establish them as *people* before we add in the insane emotional roller-coaster that is *sex*, okay?

    Camille/Ming-na was *awesome* in this episode. I loved her insistence that Young actually choose everyone instead of leaving it up to a lottery, and her totally human ‘please, don’t’ when he threatened to take her out of it.

    Greer shone. He’s finally becoming a *person*, not a cliche, and I’m very happy about that. Still loving Riley, too, he just makes me happy. And yay for the guy Greer punched being the *only* person that needed punching – I’m glad the writers didn’t go with mass hysteria, fighting, etc.

    Rush, oh Rush. I loved his talk with Young, when he asked to be taken out of the lotto. I love him reading with his pitiful broken glasses. I love him being so separate and tightly-held and not really part of the ‘group’. I think they’re right not to trust him one hundred percent, but I think he’ll do anything in his power to make sure the Destiny survives.

    Good stuff all the way ’round!

  25. I hated Rush somewhat less in this episode. I don’t think he knew what the ship was up to at all; I think he thought he was going to die, and preferred going out in a Blaze O’ Glory™ to dying on a freezing rock (besides the reasons he stated).

    I also think he’s too arrogant to say straight out that he didn’t know…admitting he didn’t know something doesn’t come easily to him.

    I still think they should watch him like hawks, but I no longer think they should airlock him at their next opportunity.

  26. I am a little behind in my watching, thanks to Tivo. There was a minor science issue in “Air (3)”, where Mathew Scott is on the desert planet trying to track down some Lime. He has a “vision” of a priest. Now note the shadows as the priest hallucination walks a little away from Scott. Their shadows are not in the least bit parallel: if you extrapolate the shadows (apparently cast by the sun), they indicate that the light source is about 20m from them (makes sense for a flood light on the set). That immediately cut immersion for me.

    But then I guess I sufffer from a geeky nit picking mindset.

  27. I’m really loving the show, with the exception of the oh-so-clunkalicious bodyswapping communication device. That has to go.

  28. Hmm, the bodyswapping device is the only way they have of communicating over such a vast distance—at least among the technologies already introduced in other series. We’ll see what happens later. Maybe they have other methods.

  29. This episode (Light) was the first time I liked Eli. Mathboy is so much better than gratuitous cliche geek. Chloe still needs substance. I have the feeling something will happen there, though.

    Loved the effects in this ep. Loved Greer – especially the Greer/Young relationship. The reactions to the lottery felt right. Of the secondary characters, I’m becoming pretty fond of Riley for some reason.

    And I completely loved Rush this episode! He’s quite the mystery, his motivations are murky, but he’s far more than the grating jerk he’s been. His change of attitude in the knowledge of impending death is a pretty good clue – he doesn’t really want to live. He wants to see as much as he can, and find out as much as he can, but he’s content to face death. He is glad that the ship refueled and didn’t kill them, so he’s not completely suicidal. But preserving his own life is not one of his goals.

    The refueling sequence was just beautiful. I was pretty sure something of that kind was going to happen, but the way it was shown was so gorgeous it went beyond the simple fact.

    Oh, and the most touching moment was when Eli used the kino to get an exterior shot of Destiny and Rush thanked him for it.

  30. CJT said: He wants to see as much as he can, and find out as much as he can, but he’s content to face death.

    You’re so right! And I think Young realized that, too.

    And I’m really liking Riley, too. He’s just…neat.

  31. Did I miss the plot line wrap up from the people going to the second planet in the second episode? Seems sloppy. Or maybe I’m not sophisticated enough :)

  32. John, I’m not sure what you mean. The people who went through the Stargate didn’t have a dialer, and they’re lost. That’s it. Apparently they believed Greer when he said he shot that guy on Rush’s order, and that Rush’s order was correct.

    What’s to wrap up?

  33. @4 Here’s an explanation, from my remembrances of a geology documentary. :)

    Several times during Earth’s history, it has had (or almost had) pole-to-pole glaciers. Those stages were characterised by extremely low CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

    Eventually, volcanic activity would push the CO2 levels back up into a comfortable range, and the glaciers would retreat.

    So, while there was likely to be a small amount of plant life (where there isn’t any ice), there isn’t enough animal life, or volcanic activity to keep the planet from freezing.

    Think of it as an inverse greenhouse effect.

  34. I’ve been a huge Stargate fan for a long time, and I really like SGU. I like the direction they’re going, and I think it has a lot of potential.

    There is one small sticking point for me, though.

    One of the great things about Stargate has always been that characters acted believably within the fiat of the situations they found themselves in. In other words, they acted like you would act if you were in that situation. Normal people try to game any situation for maximum benifit for the lowest cost. Stargate refused to stuck in the usual TV tropes of “I forgot about that thing we can do because I wanted to create a more dramatic situation.”

    Characters always behaved exactly how real humans would. If there was some problem, you would think to yourself “why can’t they use that technology they found in that previous episode.” and they Daniel would ask “Why can’t we use that technology we found in a previous episode,” and Carter would explain why it wouldn’t work. It’s fine if you want to fiat scientific/technological reason why things won’t work, as long as the characters act believably by trying to use it to resolve the situation in the best possible way.

    Or there would be that classic plot dilemma where someone is about to escape somewhere, and one character threatens him with a gun, but doesn’t actually want to kill him. “shoot him in the legs!” you shout, and O’Niell totally shoots the guy in the legs. Which is exactly how someone would game a situation for maximum benefit in that situation, rather than be stuck in the “kill him or let him go” false dilemma.

    Or you’d say “why don’t they just beam a nuke into the Wraith ship?” and they totally did. Awesome!

    SGU, however, seems to be sacrificing believable characters in order to create drama. But drama that arises from characters that don’t behave like real humans is frustrating rather than satisfying. In the first episode, normal people would have tried every conceivable way to close the doors before considering sacrificing someone. Like, I don’t know, throw something at the button, or get a long pole to poke the button from outside the doorway, or even tape a stick to one of the floating cameras and use it to press the button.

    Instead, the characters move right to killing someone. This doesn’t create good drama, this creates frustration in the viewer because the characters are stupid. If viewers are thinking “I could have done better than that, and I’m just some dude watching TV, not a highly trained scientist/airman,” then there are problems with the plot. Rather than dramatic tension, this kind of plot invites ridicule and parody. Remember that episode of South Park where the townspeople are trapped by a snowstorm in a building for only an hour before they decide they have to start eating each other?

  35. @38 – I don’t think the problem was the low CO2. It was “lots of O2 and little vegetation”. You don’t get lots of free O2 without _something_ there to continuously replace it, given that O2 is _very_ reactive. Without a lot of plants (or something that produces O2), you’ll wind up with a lot of oxides and little to no free O2. Yes, that bit of dialog stuck out like a sore thumb to me, too.

  36. Mr. S –

    After lurking here for quite a while, now a chance to say something. Yes, keep the forum and the link and, if I may, more science-y stuff in the show. Why? Because my wife and I homeschool (secular) and my kids ( son 9 & daughter 11) love the show. Thus, it offers me a chance to expose them to science – even though my daughter wants Eli & Chloe to be “friends” moreso than the science – but by watching we can explore some of the concepts in the show. We record the show and watch on Saturdays, and pause at certain points so we can discuss how the crew or whomever can get out of this week’s dilemma. My son even figured out the shuttle’s slingshot maneuver & we had a lively discussion of how the ship might be able to survive dipping into the star (they went with some sort of EM shield). Adding this link gives me the opportunity to see what I missed and then we can go back to the episode and check out more kewl stuff.

    Oh – my daughter wants to know when we can get this on DVD. ;-)

  37. I loved how the people who came back from the desert planet were all still sunburned. Those details really make it real for me.

    I liked Rush in this ep a lot. I think CJT@34 has it right – living isn’t one of his priorities, but experiencing as much as he can is. And I have faith that the character will be filled out, if only because Carlyle only really plays interesting characters, doesn’t he? He didn’t want to do this, but was convinced when he read the scripts.

    Oh, one thing I think we fans often forget when watching shows like this. The *characters* usually aren’t science fiction geeks (except Eli, and the wonderful exception of “The Other Guys,” SG1 Season 6). Most of the planet doesn’t know anything about gravity slingshots or aerobraking (or how they’re different) and it’s not like the SGC has done a lot of it. The astrophysicist, Rush, Eli and Pilot Boy are probably the only ones who have even heard of it before.

    Really need to work on the women characterization, though. More of T.J already!

  38. “they indicate that the light source is about 20m from them (makes sense for a flood light on the set)”

    That was shot on location, in New Mexico, so no floodlights.
    Then again, I couldn’t give a shit about their shadows, so…

  39. Thoroughly enjoying the new series. The sun being used to recharge the ship’s battery was immediately obvious though. And the fact that the scientists aboard didn’t think of it just makes them all look rather stupid.

  40. @Red and @Manoj Srivastava

    If “the light source is about 20m from them”
    and “hot on location, in New Mexico”
    then, New Mexico is in fact 20 meters from the sun, Q.E.D.

    I would have guessed Phoenix was closer, but I can still believe it. :)

  41. @red: I am sorry, if the light source was outdoors, then the angle subtended by the sun is about half a degree. It is not, really, almost 30 degrees — which is what the difference between the shadows in that shot. If it was shot outdoors, then the primary light source was definitely not our sun. (The light spectrum also seemed to be different from our star, but that was in keeping with the storyline).

    So, given observable data (angle between two shadows cast from sources merely feet apart), and the statement that that the shooting was on location, I can only conclude they helped the lighting out by using very bright lights (roughly 20m out from the actors). I am willing to be proved wrong, if you can indeed explain why the angle between the shadows is 30 degrees instead of the expected 1/2 degree or so.

  42. It was a tad bit boring if only due to having figured out why the ship was heading for the sun in the end of the last episode. I only hope they’ll know now to at least trust their ship; it’s saved their butts twice now. Obviously the ship knows what it’s doing.

    Rush though… I liked him a lot better, as a few people have also already said. I’m sure he thought it was a possibility that the ship was just refueling, but didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up since the lack of power for the shields would have been a concern. And obviously he would rather take his chances then on the ship then on some planet they couldn’t even properly scan. And his cheekiness at the end… ah.

    I just hope the next episode doesn’t follow the almost established pattern of “oh! we’re missing this! oh! hey look, the ship is bringing us right to where we need to get this!” At least don’t be so surprised now.

  43. Wow – I didn’t expect some kind of Spanish Inquisition here! I’m rather surprised at the negativity of the comments. It’s a television show, folks. It’s there to entertain you, not change your life. For me, it’s simple – I find very little on television that even holds my interest any longer, but this show is doing the trick. I’ve not bothered with any previous versions of STARGATE, so this is my first series dealing with those concepts. I like it quite a bit! I think the situation is intriguing, the characters interesting and so far, I’m finding myself desiring to see more, and that’s about all that I can ask for from television today. Well done, sir.

  44. Well, I’m liking it so far. From a non-SG watcher (the cheese, it burns), to a SG watcher, it seems.

    That said, wtf.

    You want to fly into the corona of the STAR to refuel? Rather than just scooping hydrogen from that gas giant, which you could have orbited about at your leisure, you (you meaning stupid Ancients) think it’s better to use the star to refuel.

    Let’s think about that. Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe. It’s generally something you’re not going to have a problem acquiring on your journey. What were you getting out of the star? Plasma? What, are you running steam turbines with that shit?

    I hope your EM shield never degrades, because otherwise that one little streamer of plasma from the sun that you are FLYING THROUGH can ruin your whole day.

    Anyway, they needed the drama, so they had the ship (and the characters, as a previous poster noticed) do stupid things. I am used to that with TV science fiction.

  45. @12: “I love that the ship is becoming a character in this series.”

    presenting “Stargate: Farscape” …

    Anyways, I just find Eli’s response at the end of ep.5 to be a little too false. Geeks have been getting the “good friend” treatment for too long for him to not realize she’s just gonna keep teasing him …

  46. Just a note to the concerns over The Incredible Saga of Doctor Ego.

    Remember the picture Rush was glooming over in ep. one?

    Either he is in mourning still and in ‘I’m not opening my personal life for you all to gawk at’ mode and/or she was used to pry at least some of the information leak mentioned in ep. one out of him.

    And yes, Phoenix _is_ closer. Trust me. :)

  47. Me likes Rush. Reminds me of this guy I see in the mirror a bit too often. As for Eli, he’s a geek. We can run a *loooong* time on the fuel from one hug. Especially if it’s from someone we really like.

  48. #53 Manoj,
    I’m actually surprised no one else got a Rama connection out of that. I would love for them to spend more time exploring the ship.

    So far I love the characters (mostly), I love premise, I love the ship…the the stories have way to much “been there done that” from other Science Fiction. That’s not always bad. Matter of fact its very, very hard to come up with totally unique ideas! (John’s idea of using old folks to create soldiers was unique as far as I know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere out there in a short story or novel it has been used before.)

    But so far my son and I (49 & 20) have been able to figure out in the first few minutes where every episode is going. Well acted, visually interesting…but the “path” in each story has been pretty obvious.

  49. Manoj @ 53

    Thank you! I’ve been trying to remember those novels ever since this show started. SGU gave me brief flashes of robotic Abe Lincolns, and now I know why.

  50. Once nice thing about SF is that there is a lot of prior art out there. Skydiving the sun happens (at least) in Methuselah’s Children (Heinlein), Second Star (Dana Stabenow), and I think Rendezvous with Rama (Clark). Any literate geek on the Destiny (Eli) is going to recognize the situation and suggest that the ship is doing this on purpose.

    Maybe that removes some of the “we’re all gonna die” drama, but I wish that SF shows wouldn’t pretend that SF doesn’t exist.

  51. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about the show here. I still see a ton of potential, and am okay with waiting for characters to develop, etc.

    LarryS, I agree with your idea that characters like this would know that SF exists. That’s actually one of the reasons I’ve always liked the SG shows – they do know that popular culture and SF exist. I’d like to see that more on SGU, too.

    The only other thing I’d suggest is that the show is moving too slowly. I worry that they’ll lose people who aren’t already going to watch because they are SG fans.

    As for the question of “did Rush know?” I was very puzzled that he was content to face the end reading in his bunk, rather than continuing to try to solve the problem or explore more. In hindsight, it seemed like he maybe knew he would have more time.

  52. I totally agree with Chris S. (@ 39). These characters just aren’t very smart. Which means the writers are not very creative, taking the easy way out and creating false tension.

    The running out of power thing is okay, but running out of air?? First, because they’re breathing too much. Yeah, right. Guys, get a calculator, figure out how much air is in this HUGE ship, then divide by 80 people. You’ve got some time.

    So then it’s like, oh well, there’s a hole. And how long has that hole been there? 1,000 years? 10,000? Not to mention the “use the flying video camera to push a button” thing, and the oxygen but no CO2 thing that @40 pointed out. And the big one, that everyone but the characters figured out, about dipping into the sun. (C’mon, Math-boy … what are the odds of hitting a sun from the orbit of Jupiter?)

    And it’s not “relative velocity” that makes it hard to dock … it’s relative acceleration. I mean, it would have to be, wouldn’t it? How fast is that ship going, that it can reach the sun in a day? Not to mention the shuttle cruising in a big arc around the sun, *beating* the main ship that went straight through to the other side – again, in just a day – and then … ug. Hurts my head just thinking of all the problems with that, and I’m not even good at orbital dynamics.

    Some people might be bothered by the ship taking an even larger role here, but it’s a hell of a lot more likely that this ship could figure out the shuttle is nearby than all that muck about just barely docking.

    It’s funny reading the comments about Rush and Colonel Young. They’re the only two compelling, real characters IMO. Math-boy doesn’t really seem like a geek … he seems more like what a not-very-good writer thinks is a geek. It’s the old “show, don’t tell” rule that is broken here. Everyone keeps saying he’s a geek, but they never show it.

    Well, they showed it a little bit, with the figuring out the flying camera thing. But what *should* have happened next is some other character – an earnest, non-geek person – runs with the whole “let’s make a movie” thing, while the socially awkward geek goes and figures something else out. Then you have the earnest guy making the geek guy show him how it works, and you have the “unlikely bond” thing going, and…

    Well, you get the picture. The writers are taking too many short-cuts. It’s like they don’t even want more characters … all the other people are just generic “crowd” scenery with no depth. Probably half of them don’t even have names yet.

    What they need to do is sit down and write a bio on EVERY SINGLE person on that ship. What drives them? Where are they coming from? What are their quirks, and why? Get creative, give people some depth, and stop thinking in cliches. Then the shows will write themselves because the characters will already know what to say and do … all you need is a few plot ideas tossed in.

    Anyway, just my 10 cents worth. Sorry for the length.

  53. Browsed through some of the comments and though I figured out the refuel thing in the story as of the end of last weeks episode I found myself surprised at some of the “I got it” comments.
    Yup its pretty positive that most of our protagonists were going to make it and not be stranded…
    What I found encouraging about the episode personally was that I really cared about the characters and were this a British SF show and it was the end of the story I would have felt loss for the people I had gotten to know.
    Just wanted to thank Scalzi for the Input he had that may have helped that along…

  54. I was a fan of Atlantis but not the original… and so far I’m liking this one. I’d like to see an episode that isn’t quite so obvious as to how it plays out.

    Also, Eli realizes she’s playing him but for now the spare hug once in a while is worth it.

    I’d like to see them explore the closed off parts of the ship. Eli mentioned once that he sent a keno but we haven’t heard much else about it.

  55. SGU has too much writing. It’s over thought and has been attacked from too many angles.

    I can only help t think that after reading your work that you are behind the blasphemy that is SGU.

    All I can say is thank for wrecking the SGU franchise.

  56. [Deleted because just because one does not like like SG:U doesn’t mean one can be an asshole to the proprietor. Please have a mental age over higher than that of a 12-year-old, Matt, or don’t bother commenting — JS]

  57. I’ve been watching Dr. Rush being informed by an comment of Cadrach from Tad Williams “Memory Sorrow and Thorn” along the lines of how everyones first inclination seems to be to blame him, or suspect him of underhanded actions (see Young’s last comment) or when the first thing when the lights went out was to ask Dr. Rush “what did you do?”

    Did anyone else make that connection?

    Also, Joel Goldsmith has been really rocking the Vangelis-vibe for the soundtrack. It really is enhancing the mood of the show, and not trying to be too manipulative.

  58. I did enjoy the episode, even if tension wasn’t high. Part of the problem is that the network has already released teasers of all of these characters on a planet, so there was no way to really believe the into-the-sun scenario. Even knowing that, though, I shed a tear or two after the lottery and with Ming Na’s character feeling that relief, guilt and sorrow. Well done there.

    I’m annoyed at the way Rush is written. He was almost human in this episode, and then by the end is back to being an unmitigated ass. Even someone with Asperger’s could do better at relating to people. And the rest of the crew is horrible at calling him on his bull and making him actually share any information. Instead, he gets to be the only one who knows what’s going on, and then get mad at everyone else when they can’t keep up. Rush- why so angry? It’s your own fault everybody’s here in the first place!

  59. Trust Destiny! Destiny is your friend! Destiny wants you to be happy. If you are not happy, you may be used as reactor shielding.

  60. Chris S. #39 — Yes, this is exactly what aggravates the hell out of me about this show. Yes, as a viewer, I know very well that they’re not going to destroy the ship and kill everyone in episode five, and the characters presumably don’t have that assurance. But none of them even THINKS of the possibility that the ship is going to do a close fly-by of the sun for a good reason. Not even super-genius Rush–not until after they should all have been dead. Which just makes them look stupid.

    All they’d have needed to fix that is a couple of lines of dialogue. Someone suggests that maybe, just maybe, the ship is doing this on purpose, maybe even to recharge its batteries. Yes, says someone else, that could be–but we don’t _know_ that’s the case, so we’re going ahead with the lottery for the shuttle Just In Case.

    Which leaves us in the same place–a lottery for places in the shuttle–but with characters who aren’t demonstrating that they’re Too Stupid To Live.

  61. I’m also bothered by the fact that TJ is *still* so far a non-character. She has no identity other than being the Really Pretty Girl and Medic on the show. What exactly are the show’s writers doing there? If they were planning on making her this show’s Seven of Nine, she’d be wearing a much skimpier outfit.

    So, please, some more TJ dialouge. Some character development. Show her working on some Sudoku book she brought along. *something* to make her more of a person and less of a prop on the show.

  62. I’ve only seen the pilot and parts of the following episodes, so I can’t say too much, but I did have a question, and it’s one that shows my geek streak in a big way. In one scene I watched, the Colonel (I forget the name) had been injured, and he was limping around the ship using an assault rifle(!) as a crutch. Why?

  63. Figures, late to the Stargate thread I was hoping for .
    I enjoyed the show, for the most part. I agree that they were a little too quick to assume the ship didn’t know what it was doing heading into the sun. All the characters are believable and a blast to watch interacting with each other.
    While I understand the ship has been adrift for centuries, I do hope the “crisis story of the week” will not become a habit.
    I’m not sure who my favorite character is: the colonel, Eli, or Dr. Rush.
    All in all, I enjoyed it and am looking forward to next week.

  64. By the way, John: where’s the washing machine?
    Or failing one, a storage locker with some kind of cloth that can be turned into makeshift clothing?
    Because although the crew has been taking showers every so often, their clothes have not been.

  65. @#4 Oxygen did not achive levels (~21%) to support multi celled life untill approx 600million years ago (earth being 4.6 billion years old), Oxygen in it’s free form started being produced around 2 billion years ago. Oxygen was released into the atmosphere by geological processes including volcanism, the respiration of cyanobacteria and ultraviolet triggered reactions (though some debate as to the role of ultraviolet exists). It is possible that the planet the shuttle was heading towards is in a stage equivalent to the earth 600 million years ago where plant life is only just begining to evolve. When I see the episode i might know more. (Can you tell I did a degree in Geology?)

  66. #64: I hope your comments are introduced to the loving mallet of correction. This thread should be anything but a personal attack.

    From what I understand, John isn’t a writer on the show. He’s a “creative consultant” — (i.e. “Here’s the script. Give us some feedback.” type of thing.) Take your personal attacks and opwhining somewhere else.

    As for my thoughts on the show — I have never watched any incarnation of Stargate. I was initially going to avoid this, as I wasn’t sure if I was going to miss anything from the established universe.

    I have to say I am enjoying this one with minor criticisms.

    The real time communication stones need to be chucked into the sun. Young almost died trying to retrieve them from the base. So far they’ve really only allowed for ego-driven asshattery. The goodbyes would be more compelling if we saw more of them and not just from the important people.

    Rush is a puzzle. I am okay with “grey” characters, but I think I’m beginning to dislike how he is acted. It’s almost like he’s spinning an imaginary wheel of personality every show. “Oh, I got, “Be nice today coupled with conflict-resolving smugness”, Sa-wheet!”

    Ming Na is underused.

    I love Eli. In fact, he’s the one person on the ship with whom I can identify. He’s also too good for Chloe who can go play Ophelia now. (No, I’m not annoyed with her character at all, I swear.)

    I also like the depth behind Matthew Scott. He is by far the most compelling character on that ship.(It’s not because he’s pretty, either.) He’s got some demons and Air Part Two, he really intrigued me.

    The only other thing I’m going to mention is there have been some comments in this thread worried about the whole “crisis of the week” plot lines. I would have to agree with the sentiment. What is the week after next? Hidden parts of the ship open to reveal pirates?

    Duhn-Duhn-Dunh!!!!

    Plenty of shows can make dull ship life interesting without making it a case of survival every week. Eighty humans can make a whole ton of conflict without the ship constantly giving them one.

    Other than that — I’m hooked. :)

  67. @74

    I think you mean land plant life, but yeah; per Wikipedia the atmospheric O2 concentration in the Cambrian was around 60% of the present level without so much as a cactus poking its nose above the water.

    Yes, cacti have noses. IN SPACE.

    Also, I imagine life for the Marine who pitched a fit after the lottery and got knocked out by Greer is going to be a bit awkward. Trust issues and all that.

  68. A couple notes about comments to this point, and about the comment thread in a general sense:

    1. I wonder if people are forgetting that the timeframe viewers are operating under and the timeframe the characters in the show are running on are at different rates. Viewers have been living with the show for a month now; meanwhile, on the show, about four or five days have passed since the crew came over to Destiny, during which time the lot of them have been under constant stress (and occasional oxygen deprivation), dealing with a situation and ship which they know absolutely nothing about, and for which their ability to learn anything about is limited by bandwidth, primarily that of Rush and Eli, with the other scientists being assistants at this point.

    2. Likewise, I also wonder if people are forgetting they have an inherent advantage over the crew members as regards dramatic irony — i.e., they know we’re on episode five on a full season of a show, while the people on the show are aware only that on the fifth day of their stay on this ship which they know almost nothing about, it a) suffered a nearly complete loss of power, making it totally unsteerable, and b) it’s heading, without power, directly into a star. And while before the ship acted to help save them, it was only once (i.e., not nearly enough information with which to form a reliable data set) and that was when the ship, you know, had power.

    From the audience point of view, we’re well aware that the chance of the Destiny being destroyed is small, but that’s meta knowledge — we know the actors are signed to contracts, they paid a lot for that ship model, and that Wikipedia tells us it’s a twenty episode season. From the Destiny crew point of view, it looks like they’re screwed — that even if the plan was to do a close approach to the star to recharge, now they’re just going to crash into it head on. It’s two different levels of contextual understanding. We know Destiny is likely to survive and what will be interesting is how it’s going to happen. They, on the other hand, have to assume the worst case scenario out of necessity.

    All of which is to say that assuming the Destiny crew knows what we know, and has had the same amount of time to mull over what we know, and approaches those data with the same attitude we do, is probably not accurate.

    3. I’ve already had to delete one comment from a fellow who was under the assumption that his feelings of entitlement re: how SG:U should be means he’s allowed to be a dick to me here on my own site. Surprise! It does not. Be aware that:

    a) I will expect everyone here, new visitors and old hands alike, to conform to the Whatever comment policy (handily linked to directly above the comment field, and also right here);

    b) I will happily delete your comment if I feel you’re being a twit to me or to other commenters. I will also keep a very close eye on personal criticism of SG:U actors, producers and crew, and will delete it if I think what’s going on is a gratuitous attack. I know and work with these folks, you know. Keep it in mind.

    This does not mean you cannot criticize the show; clearly as the thread shows so far I have no problem with people kvetching about what things they think do not make sense or that they wish/hope will improve. Likewise, criticizing scripts, performances, show technical aspects are fine; attacking the people behind them as humans is not. It’s the difference between “I hated that script” and “The screenwriter is clearly a kitten-strangling Nazi.” If you do not know the difference, I will be happy to make you aware of it.

    In short: Behave like decent people, and we’ll be fine. I don’t really expect this to be too much of a problem, but on the other hand it’s worth telling people what the expectations are around these parts.

  69. @Kardantis #70: Honestly, I would like it if there were *any* strong female characters on the show at all. Right now the female characters we’ve seen have been dramatic foils for the men at best, and – as you point out – non-characters on average.

  70. Ted @60

    Much of your post is spent talkign about how Eli isn;t really a geek – that he does not fit the cliche.

    Then yo ucomplain that the writers rely to heavily on cliche.

    Which is it? Are there other cliches bothering you? Right now you have defeated your own argument rather nicely.

  71. I like most of the show very much. It’s bleak and very interesting.

    I have to agree that I HATE the body-shifting thing. I know, I know, E-mail and delayed radio aren’t very dramatic. But they’re both way more scientifically likely.

    I think the people NOT TRUSTING THE SHIP is extremely logical. You have people, many of whom had no clue what they were in for. They’re dealing with an alien intelligence none of them have had any exposure to. They’re also extremely stressed out, not sleeping, convinced they’re going to die soon, and on megre rations, of course they’re not going to act completely logically. So you can see a split emerging over people who will trust the ship and people who won’t.

    I love the character of Rush. No, I don’t think he “KNEW” that the Destiny was going to “survive” until close to the end of “Light.” He’s the most erratic character. And he clearly doesn’t want the military to trust him.

    Personally, I’d like to see them on a planet and try to deal with things. That was a major cheat at the end of Battlestar Galactica. But, I know there’s the attitude that if you’re going from high tech to low tech, that means it’s not science fiction. And since Stargate Universe seems to be about the only close-to-decent SF show on “SyFy” anymore, I guess they’ll have to stay in space. ;->

  72. I have a criticism about an aspect of the show: outside views of the ship/shuttles. Why did they decide to redo the shaky hand-held cam thing from BSG? I hate that. In BSG, you could imagine some news service taping something happening outside, but in SG:U, we know for a fact that there’s no one outside watching the ship, so why not make the shot at least steady?
    This gives me an idea: are we sure no one is watching the ship from the outside? Mhmm…

    Another point: did anyone notice the shuttle leaving the Destiny at the end of the desert/CO2 scrubber episode? Or did I hallucinate something?

  73. John, with reference to how many ship days have passed, I do NOT assume that one episode always = one ship day. If characters refer to specific time passing that’s one thing, but normally on TV shows such as the Stargate series, each episode probably takes place an unknown number of days after the last one.

  74. Mr. Scalzi –

    I think you’re right, and people *are* forgetting that everyone has only been on the ship for five days. Really not enough time to decide that the ship is ‘sentient’ in any way or that the things it does are always helpful. Considering that it seems to have suffered quite a bit of damage and a breakdown of internal systems, imagining that their use of the gate and internal systems caused a catastrophic breakdown after so long is really not surprising.

    I love that continuity is being watched, and sunburned people are *still* sunburned, yay! I’m a little confused as to where Chloe got her new clothes, though. I know Mr. Carlyle said in an interview that he was going all bearded because of the show, which makes sense – how are the clean-shaven people still clean-shaven? Who brought a razor and do they all take turns using it?

    It would be awesome to see the women *stop* wearing makeup and get a little hairy, too, but i suppose the ‘eewww, gross’ reaction from the less-than-mature watchers will keep that from happening.

    I do like their ‘Matrix’ style goo in the mess hall. Wow, is *that* going to get boring for them! *And i can see hoarded candy bars or granola or something becoming a hot black market item.*

    Keep up the good work!

  75. # ioresult – yes! I saw that, too. Was it a shuttle or something else? Now I wanna know! Heh.

    # Tom G – the end of each show pretty neatly dovetails with the start of the next, so it seems obvious to me that it’s only been a few days. But I suppose that’s a YMMV kind of thing.

  76. #83 – Nope, not your imagination. Didn’t appear to be a ship though, it seemed to be small and round.

    Message pod?

  77. Eli seems to be the person for all the fun lines (i.e., “Mathboy”, “Why am I watching this on TV?”) which is just enough of the old Stargate snark for me. Otherwise, this series is a naturally maturing growth of Stargate. I watched SG-A mostly for McKay. SG-U is populated by interesting, complex people. And we have another 15 episodes for this season.

    My “science” question is how the people on the Destiny and the shuttle could look directly at the sun without ruining their eyes?

    I’m really looking forward to each new episodes to learn more about what is making these characters work. They’re all “pieces of work.”

  78. # 89 – My “science” question is how the people on the Destiny and the shuttle could look directly at the sun without ruining their eyes?

    Magic polarizing glass like substance?

  79. I like the show because it’s the only thing like Battlestar Galactica on right now; a hardcore dramatic sci-fi series on television. That being said, it’s not on the level of Battlestar Galactica, at least, not yet.

    I’m in it for the long haul though because I am just a sucker for science fiction stories that puts a small group of people in very desperate situations where they have to use their humanity, ingenuity and cooperation to survive. I just eat those stories up.

    Anyway, three things I’d like to comment on:

    1) I hate the Rush character. I understand what the writers are trying to do but he infuriates me. I guess that’s the point.

    2) I don’t like the body transfer communication device. It sucks the tension and drama away with an easy out. That being said, I don’t understand why they don’t use it for the most obvious solution to Rush ever: Send in one of Earth’s preeminent scientists/Stargate experts to ride herd on Rush and oversee his work. I mean, c’mon, he can’t be the only expert in the military on Stargate technology, that’s ludicrous. The commander should have a 24 hour cycle of experts transferring in to solve the mysteries of that ship.

    3) Are they going to address that scene where a small shuttle or drone breaks off from Destiny at the end of the episode??? It hasn’t been referenced at all since that end scene.

  80. I don’t see the communication stones as an easy out.

    Think about it: it doesn’t let them take any large amount of information back, it gives them enough of a taste of home to prevent them from becoming reconciled with life on Destiny but not enough to be satisfying.

    Besides, there are good indications that we don’t know how to use all of the functions of the communication stones. Presumably the Ancients could have used them to send e-mails if they wanted to.

  81. Joel @79. It’s a fair point. Let’s see if I can explain it better (and perhaps be less rude about it than maybe I was before).

    First of all though, let me say: I’m rooting for this show. I want it to succeed. And I’ve watched every episode so far, so there is something compelling about it. I wouldn’t bother criticizing it, or watching it, if these things weren’t true.

    In terms of characters, Eli’s supposed to be a gamer and math prodigy. In writing, there is an old adage that it’s better to show, not tell. So, figuring out how to work the flying cameras is a perfect example of the right way, *showing* him do something that matches this characterization. Doing some mysterious, extremely complicated orbital trajectories on a mysterious computer console with an unknown interface in about three seconds is the wrong way. Coming up with the solution to the gate address – challenging the fundamental assumption about the starting address – was inspired, and also the right way to do it.

    But in regards to heading straight for the sun, he should have asked, “Really? What are the odds of that?” The sun, from Jupiter, is about 1/5th the size as we see it from Earth. It’s actually very small, in regards to the rest of the sky. The ship picked a course that would hit this tiny target perfectly.

    It would have been very much in character for Eli to wonder about that, and challenge Rush’s assumption that the ship made a mistake. It was the first thing I thought of the moment Rush said it at the end of last week’s episode, and I’m not nearly as smart as Eli (or Rush).

    Now maybe I have a different idea of what Eli’s character should be like than what the writers/producers have. I’m just basing my thoughts on how the character was set up. He ‘won’ an extremely difficult and complex game to get on the ship, so he likes puzzles. Perhaps he has a wealth of arcane knowledge, too. But what did he do? He was at MIT, studying … what? Number Theory? Programming? Astrophysics? We don’t know – unless I missed it, which I may have – and the writers haven’t done the hard work of defining Eli.

    Instead, we have the short-cut, cliche method: he’s a very smart kid – smart enough to go to MIT! But dropped out because he has no direction! Loves to play computer games! His mom rags him to get a job! He doesn’t want to talk about it because we have no idea what kind of job it was!

    If they *had* defined Eli as a character, they would know these things – specifically, *why* he went to MIT, why he dropped out, why he likes games – and his interactions would be sprinkled with examples that reveal his character to us.

    By not defining these details, it seems like the writers are reluctant to limit themselves in any way. This extends to other aspects of the overall situation. We don’t know anything about most of the people on the ship. We don’t know what supplies they have. (Example: where did they get the paper for the lottery? Did they just happen to pack a ream of 8.5 x 11 in preparation for a bivouac through this gate?) These details make it real and they are important. By ignoring them, the writers are effectively cheating, pulling stuff out of a hat whenever they need it.

    Another example: the shuttle, when it left the ship, was traveling at approximately 20,000,000 miles per hour (as this was the speed of the main ship). Presumably, they accelerated a bit to go around the sun faster than the main ship went through it. Regardless, this base speed is enough to pass the Earth-size planet in about 1-2 seconds.

    The plot said they couldn’t catch the accelerating main ship, so Rush said “turn around, head back towards the planet.” Really? Turning around involves slowing down and stopping, then accelerating again towards the planet, *then* using the ‘sling-shot’ to speed up again. Given the limitations – that they couldn’t accelerate fast enough – it is ridiculous that reversing course could be done in anything like the right time-frame. But “sling-shot” sounds real enough to be a tech-cliche without worrying about the details.

    It would have been simple to assume the shuttle hadn’t reached the planet yet. (It was on the opposite side of the sun, after all.) Then there might be some hope of using the planet to accelerate by simply adjusting course slightly. But – working without limits – the writing just took the easy way and *poof* … by the magical results of Math-boy, had their answer.

    Of course, I’m not at all confident that the sling-shot method works when they are already traveling at such tremendous speeds. But a least paying attention to these details – as with the details of the characters, and the supplies, and the internal logic of the world they have established, is important, in my opinion.

  82. My overall verdict: the show has moments of great interest, but the writers need to work harder on establishing character detail, plausible intelligent behavior on the part of the characters, and accurate scientific details (to the degree that’s feasible).

    We do need to accept that most sci-fi shows have some problems with getting off the ground in the first season. The first season of SG-1 was… well, something of a diamond in the rough. Very rough. But they got better!

  83. Mr. Scalzi, sir, on your second point: I would be grateful in the extreme if the writing was strong enough to make me forget my meta-knowledge and feel some sense of connection to the in-story timeline and the character’s experience of their experience. It’s not happening so far. I’m not alone in my household in feeling this; the primary SF fan was amenable to watching Dollhouse first this week. I’m particularly discouraged because, until this show, characters and their interactions were the part of Stargate I enjoyed.

  84. First off… thank you for making a thread for this!

    I have to say I was surprised at how affected I was by the whole “we’re all going to die” thing. I’d figured the ship was doing something to fix itself, and clearly it’s a series so they’re going to be fine. I’d originally thought the gas giant was the refueling, but then nothing changed so it must be the star.

    However, I was engaged by the characters enough to empathize with them (even though as an outside observer I knew they’d be fine) and to be happy right along with them when they made it.

    Thoroughly enjoyed Eli’s slight smack-down of Rush when he wanted to check the numbers, just that pause, stare, and “Math. Boy.” That was great.

    The continuity is being handled well so far too, Scott still obviously seriously injured, Eli still sunburned. The sunburn especially is a little thing that would have been forgotten on a lot of shows, and seeing it still there is a really nice touch. Because if they handle the little things well, it gives one hope that the big things will also be handled well.

    (I am also curious about the whatever-that-was that flew off the ship an episode or two back)

  85. Ted @93, what frustrated me about the heading-straight-for-the-sun business wasn’t that Eli didn’t challenge Rush’s assumption – it was that there’s a guy on board who has, multiple times, said “hey, I’m an astrophysicist, maybe I know what I’m doing”, but who never once said “You know, the odds of the ship making that particular mistake are awfully slim”. The argument that he does know what he’s doing is not helped by that slip.

  86. Thing is, everyone thought the outer shield had collapsed because the ship was out of power. In reality, the ship had withdrawn power from everything else in order to maintain that shield – but without the readouts to confirm that, it was reasonable to assume the ship was completely vulnerable.

    In which case, even if there was a purpose to entering the sun, it would have been fatal.

    Note also: the shield preventing atmospheric escape from damaged sections isn’t the same as the ship’s defensive shielding, if the Destiny works the way ships generally do in SF.

  87. You know, all this stuff doesn’t bother me until after the episode. Which is the point. I decided long ago that Stargate was worth using the braided steel cable to suspend my disbelief, and frankly I like this one best of the three Stargate series.

    I think they should have thought of what Destiny was doing, and I deeply hope that they will begin to trust her more.

    I’m starting to like Eli (the most likeable character so far) more and more. Still have a crush on the Ell-tee though.

    About the thing that detached from the ship; it looked small, but that ship is huge. I think that was a shuttle. I’m guessing it went to pick up the people who gated to the secondary planet from the desert planet. I expect to be wrong, however.

  88. Re #77

    1. Their bandwidth, as you put it, for learning about the ship is ARTIFICIALLY limited to Eli and Rush. That’s one of my main complaints. They have the comm stones. I’m pretty sure the SGC has at least six people who are up to speed on Ancient tech and language. Give each of them an eight hour shift in the body of one of the 80 people on Destiny, and that’s two additional experts studying the ship 24/7. The SGC I remember would have had that organized immediately to help their fellow earthlings survive and try to get home. But that would mean, no long-distance goodbyes and attempted booty calls, so….

    2. I specifically noted that I realize my perspective is different from that of the characters. My complaint there is that nobody even _mentioned_ the possibility that the ship was doing a close fly-by of the star for a reason. Even if they couldn’t know this for sure, and still had the shuttle lottery, it would have made them look a lot less stupid. But since that was what the ship was doing, I suspect the writers didn’t want to mention it lest the viewers (who hadn’t already figured it out) go, “Oh, yeah! That makes sense.” So they just pretended that nobody would think of it–but while they can prevent the characters from thinking, they can’t prevent the viewers from thinking. So we end up watching alleged geniuses and experts fail to consider options we couch potatoes immediately come up with.

  89. Has there been any hint in previous SG shows that The Ancients have the technology to play with stars? I don’t remember (and didn’t watch all of Atlantis). Without that, there’s no reason that the crew would think there was a possibliity of surviving a sundive.

    As for hitting the sun from Jupiter, The SG universe is built upon long shots. I would think those are the things people would be used to. Except this time they’re getting screwed by the longshot, instead of saved by it.

    I wonder if the exiting thing off the back of the ship a couple of episodes ago might have been an early version of a puddle jumper. But even if it was, there aren’t any Gates as far out as they are now, so it couldn’t get back with the stranded Geologists.

  90. But even if it was, there aren’t any Gates as far out as they are now, so it couldn’t get back with the stranded Geologists.

    What? The stranded geologists went through a gate to get where they are. The Ancients sent out gate-building FTLs ahead of the Destiny, remember? There are gates everywhere here.

    We haven’t seen Pegasus-style orbital gates out here, if that’s what you meant. But I suspect that if that really is the size of a puddle-jumper it can also fly in atmosphere. So it could go to the desert planet, gate through to where the geos went, and use the programming given it by Destiny to determine where to gate next.

    Note that Destiny’s gate hasn’t been activated since everyone got back from the desert planet. The geologists might be waiting for them on that lush jungle planet we’ve seen in the commercials, or somewhere else.

    Or maybe they’re dead. If Destiny knows what she’s doing (locking out the other addresses in the desert-planet ep), they’re dead.

  91. I’ve been spending a good chunk of my morning thinking about this. Thanks a lot. ;)

    Here is my own personal disconnect with the consecutive days as seen by the viewer vs. the characters. This does wrap around the whole trust/distrust of the ship as well. So while it doesn’t change what is — it explains why at least I’m having issues with time management…

    In five days, they’ve found what seems to be showers, something phallic that dispenses their rationed water, electric charging stations and have theorized that the ship was sent unmanned (but alas has beds, and sheets and a kitchen).

    Wouldn’t that type of stuff take just a bit longer to find? Especially in the midst of crisis? They know how air scrubbers work and how to pilot an alien shuttle? (Please if I’ve missed something — let me know. Again I’m new to the series.)

    These mostly military/civs are on a ship that continues to have issues, and they are flipping switches in the hopes one isn’t a self destruct button (well not a destruct button but you get my point)? I could see if Rush or Eli were leading discovery teams, but it seems Eli is playing with things and Rush is occupied with ship envy.

    That also leads me to my other query…if the ship was sent out unmanned, why the sheets and showers and water-dispensing phallic thing or recharging station? If there were beings on it, did they not procreate or die or something? Are we going to find out more about the mystery? To me, that’s the conflict right there. Finding out why the ship was sent in the first place and for what purpose.

    *Was that a portable music player that Rush had in Light? As the base is crumbling around him in the first episode, he shoves a music player in his survival sack? Did I miss something?

    Oh and also — the ship you’re on just launched a shuttle without you on it. No one left behind commits suicide? I know it’s dreadful to think about — but out of 80 people,wouldn’t someone have succumbed to those thoughts?

    Bah — I feel like a heel for asking questions, because I really do enjoy the show! I want to know what happens to these people. I don’t want to be that person who gets angry over entertainment. I hope I don’t come across that way.

  92. But even if it was, there aren’t any Gates as far out as they are now, so it couldn’t get back with the stranded Geologists.

    What? The stranded geologists went through a gate to get where they are. The Ancients sent out gate-building FTLs ahead of the Destiny, remember? There are gates everywhere here.

    Ah, right you are. Sorry.

  93. hm, so, the ship is clearly alive. Or, at least, alive enough that whenever a threat occurs, the ship can react to that threat to keep itself alive.

    After the ship skimmed the star for power, I’m pretty much left thinking that the ship really isn’t all that dangerous of a place to be. If an asteroid looms in their trajectory ahead, the ship should be able to change course. If space pirates show up, the ship should be able to fight them off. If you figure this ship has been on autopilot for 10,000 years, while at FTL, you’ve got to figure it will run into a lot of things and has dealt with them automatically.

    At this point, I feel like the scene from Apocolypse Now where they run into the tiger in the jungle and Chef is screaming “don’t get off the boat!” over and over again.

    The other side effect of this last episode is that none of the characters did anything that actually altered their outcome. The ship saved them. They thought they were going to die, they sent some people on a shuttle to a planet, the ship repowered itself, and they had to tech some tech to get the shuttle back, but really, this last episode sort of occurred as a “banging shutter” story almost.

    The only thing we really learned here was that Rush knew the ship wasn’t going to crash and was willing to allow 15 people, including their only medic, leave the ship and possibly go to their deaths.

    I think the colonel would be having a talk with Rush about this behaviour about now. along the lines of “Inform me of anything relevant that you know about the ship or our circumstances”

    That Rush knew does explain why he wasn’t doing anything about it. I was wondering why he had stayed up with no sleep for so long trying to deal with the power issue, but went to his room to read a book when they were about to crash into the sun. I thought that difference was odd, during the show, but the “Rush knew” bit at the end explained it.

    It also sets up the show, yet again, to be more about “the betrayer amongst us” than anything else. I feel like I’m watching Survivor: StarGate Edition. I never liked Survivor.

    And Greer is an E-7, that means he’s got a lot of time in service. A lot more than he’s acting like. He’d be a platoon sergeant, who would take over when the platoon commander/lieutenant wasn’t around.

  94. the ship you’re on just launched a shuttle without you on it. No one left behind commits suicide? I know it’s dreadful to think about — but out of 80 people,wouldn’t someone have succumbed to those thoughts?

    Yeah, if Rush knew the ship might save itself, then not only did he allow the 15 people to go to their doom, he also would have been responsible for anyone who committed suicide thinking they were going to burn up in the sun.

    Not only that, but he gave Eli a very cataclismic description of how the end will come when they crash into teh sun, never mentioning that he thought the ship might be on a normal refueling operation.

  95. Hm, and when the colonel talked about the two people he had hand picked, Rush said he thought it would be the Lieutenant and Greer. It sounded like he wanted Greer on the shuttle.

    In the previous episode, Rush came through the gate with the scientist who had been shot and when the colonel said “what happened”, Rush responded “Greer shot him” with no mention that Rush told Greer to do it.

    There was also the scene between Rush and Greer where Rush said he reviewed the file of everyone on this project and that Rush didn’t want Greer on the project, but apparently someone got Greer on the project against Rush’s wishes.

    That would mean that Rush was willing to send 15 people to their doom just to get Greer off the ship permanently?

    Either that or they’re tryign to set up enough ambiguous dialogue so that we think there’s something Rush hates about Greer, but it’s another banging shutter thing, it’s not real.

  96. I don’t believe Rush had a clue about the ship’s behavior. It seemed clear to me that he didn’t want Young assigning him a seat on the shuttle, and didn’t want to be in the lottery, because he’d literally rather be dead than forced to eke out a marginal stone-age living on some godforsaken rock (amongst people who despise him, for the most part, no less).

    Unless he’s so manipulative that he went up to the observation port to laugh in relief specifically to lure Chloe & Eli into asking why, he was as surprised as everyone else. If that IS the case, I renew my call for someone to space the bastard–they’d be better off without him. I can’t even ascribe Young’s “…unless you knew the ship would survive” accusation to paranoia on his part–I ascribe it entirely to a desire by the writers to inflict “drama” on the viewers by providing artificial tension (like the artificial tension when nobody even suggested that the ship’s stardrive was intentional).

    If Rush had known the ship would survive, putting all the supplies on the shuttle was just stupid. (He’d have done better in any case in convincing everyone to listen to him in the future if he’d announced his alleged belief that the ship would survive and proven his confidence in that conclusion by saying he was staying with the ship.)

  97. I don’t think Rush did know. He was calm (reading a book, then throwing it across the room) because he believed he was going to die. I think he was just to arrogant to say “no, of course I didn’t know” when asked. He’s too snooty to defend himself against people he regards as insects.

  98. I think the question of how much Rush really knows about the ship is going to be the source of many, many conspiracy theories.

    Personally, I tend to think he didn’t know, and that his self-removal from the lottery was his recognition that when it came to hardscrabble farming on a godforsaken piece of rock, he was useless.

    Yes, the ship knew what it was doing… but the crew didn’t. At least there’s a plausible reason for the deus ex machina: The crew still doesn’t know what the ship is capable of, nor do they have anyway to control it without root access to all its systems. Heck, half the ship is still sealed off and unexplored. But now that the crew is out of immediate danger, I’d say it’s time to start doing some exploration of the ship and start figuring out a way to get control over ship systems. Otherwise it’s going to be almost a “reverse teching the tech” explanation, and the deus ex machina will lose its plausibility.

    The geologists left stranded had better be some kind of Chekov’s Gun – I think they’ll be back later in the show… and no doubt bringing some kind of evil with them. (Mwa ha ha ha!)

    And count me as perhaps the only person who likes the body-swapping stones as a means of communication. It dealt with the issue of keeping in contact with Earth right up front, and offers some intriguing possibilities for future drama. I’m not sure that some of the hatred of it derives from the fact that if it actually existed, it would creep friends/family right the hell out to see a complete stranger coming up to them and trying to share intimate moments with them as if nothing had happened. That’s make anyone uncomfortable.

  99. I ascribe it entirely to a desire by the writers to inflict “drama” on the viewers by providing artificial tension

    Well, there are a few cases of tension:

    Rush saying to Greer that Rush hand-picked everyone and didn’t want Greer on the team.

    Rush saying “Greer shot him” when he came through the gate with the wounded scientist.

    Rush suggesting the Lieutenant and Greer to be the Colonel’s two hand-picked people on the shuttle.

    In every one of those situations, the audience is left feeling that there is tension between Rush and Greer. In the last one, it might even be so severe that Greer might be willing to let Greer die along with 14 other people abandoned on some planet.

    At every instance, the Colonel should have clarified the situation. But at every instance, he either didn’t, or if he did, he did it off screen.

    Either (1) the Colonel is completely and totally incompetent and has done nothing to address these issues with Rush, or (2) the Colonel is competent, has dealt with these issues with Rush, but the writers have withheld that information from the audience to maintain the tension.

    And at this point, I don’t buy the “The characters are just too busy to straighten this stuff out” excuse.

  100. I don’t think Rush did know.

    But the Colonel can’t walk around with that as a possibility. He can’t ignore it. One of his people is potentially a homicidal nutcase. You don’t just ignore that until somebody’s dead.

    Well, maybe you do if you want drama, but it’s unrealistic for the Colonel to just ignore it, especially if Rush might be willing to let everyone else die.

  101. Greg, what’s implausible is that he would ask Rush the question in the first place. It doesn’t make sense that he knew.

    Personally, I think Rush’s refusal to accept any credit at all is either a) the first sign he’s shown of well-deserved guilt for dialing Destiny instead of Earth, or b) because he wasn’t in control of Destiny and can’t understand credit going to anyone but the Man in Charge™.

  102. There’s no evidence Rush knew they were going to survive. There’s every evidence he had something of a nervous breakdown in the last episode after just a few days of constant stress (and, for that matter, he seemed pretty hyper to begin with). So his behavior is going to cycle quickly between flakey and brilliant. He really hates the military, so even though it would be in his best interest to cooperate openly with the colonel, he can’t bring himself to do it. Some people would rather play mind games.

    I tend to agree that at least one person would have commited suicide rather than wait for the end on the Destiny, but I liked the point made that people approached the end differnetly.

    BTW, the sunburns were a good reminder that very little time has gone by from episode to episode.

  103. My impression wasn’t so much that Rush knew. I think he, through an act of faith, resigned himself to his fate on the ship. While I think he firmly believed the ship would continue, all tangible evidence pointed to certain death.

    I thought he opted out of the lottery because the ship was always his goal. He wasn’t going to abandon it simply on account of a little sunshine and certain death.

    I think the evidence that he was acting on blind faith, and thus thought he might be crazy was in letting the shuttle leave with serious supplies. Even if he didn’t care about the people, if he knew the ship would survive, he wouldn’t have let food, water, and the operational shuttle leave the ship.

  104. I don’t think Rush _knew_ the ship was going to be fine. I think he suspected but had absolutely no evidence to back that up. I think Rush is a hyper-rationalist, and airing that suspicion and dooming everyone to a fiery death if he was wrong is NOT something he was willing to do. Withdrawing from the lottery probably was unrelated; I don’t think he wanted to be stranded on a maybe-habitable rock he hasn’t even seen yet.

  105. Xopher: Greg, what’s implausible is that he would ask Rush the question in the first place. It doesn’t make sense that he knew.

    Xopher, you cannot apply logic to someone who may be psychotic, pychopathic, or just plain crazy. Rush may very well have lost his marbles. And he may very well have known (at least with a high certainty) that the ship was fine.

    Rush reads Ancient, and he’s been digging around in the ship’s code for a while. Maybe he found a comment in the code that say “if power below N, find a star to replenish”. Maybe he found that comment, and then didn’t mention antyhing to anyone because he’s psychotic.

    At this point, it is clear that the writers do NOT want to eliminate the possibility that Rush is capable of letting people die. Possibly even capable of murdering people.

    Given that, it is not unreasonable for the Colonel to consider Rush a possible threat, a potential mass murderer. At which point, the Colonel should be doing somethign about it.

    No, it doesn’t make sense that Rush knew the ship would be fine, if you assume Rush is sane and logical and would test in the normal emotional reactions of your standard “healthy” human being. The writers have made a point, repeatedly of showing Rush to be operating far outside the “normal” bell curve.

    The colonel may not have enough evidence to convict Rush of it, but the Colonel certainly has enough evidence to know that it’s a possibility, that it’s something he can NOT eliminate.

  106. The ending with Young suspecting Rush of having known or at least suspected that the ship wouldn’t be destroyed was delicious!

    It adds so much to the possibility of Rush being a goddamn mastermind let alone a genius, but his euphoria of discovering that Destiny was recharging is making this a tad more doubtful.

    BUT it makes Young’s reaction and suspicion seem like a high order paranoia and even open up the possibility (along with other things for example fainting in the flashback.) that Young is in some way perhaps medically, that is mentally, suspect. That perhaps Icarus base was supposed to be his last assignment for more than the reason of spending more time with the family.

    The writers may be making us focus on Rush and making him suspect (he didn’t lie about using the communication stones like was strongly implied when he revealed them) in order to make the revelation that Young is in fact a higly mentally unstable man on the brink of cracking. My guess is that he has a tumor, TJ can’t operate and it’s pressing up against his brain causing erratic behavior and thoughts. Of course it’ll be removed by some miracle but it’ll be a nice story unfolding over the season with subtle hints.

  107. John,

    I get that the characters don’t know what I do. But the *writers* know that they have an audience. One of the things that makes me crazy is when writers of a show try to do the “OMG they all might DIE!” trick – sure it might be an issue from the point of view if the characters, but it’s a non-starter from the viewer’s point of view (so to speak).

    Putting the characters in those situations so we can learn more about them and perhaps learn something of their environment (capabilities of the ship for example) works, but even then the characters need to act like reasonable facsimiles of people and not puppets being moved here and there for plot points.

    A prime example of this, and one that violates the point you’re making, is the way they use the comm device. Let’s look at this from the point of view of people who’ve been on the ship for 4-5 days – you have a way to tap into expertise back on Earth and you’re using it to make personal calls?? Really?? Don’t you think that’s a bit silly, especially since the writers have the real world example of Apollo 13 to draw from when thinking about how humans on a spaceship would react in a similar situation?

    There’s too much soap opera in this one so far for me. I like the idea that the mix of people isn’t some optimal ‘best and brightest’ group, but it feels like the show is trying too hard to have archetypes – dickish Seargant with a chip on his shoulder, arrogant (but brilliant!) scientist, chubby, nice guy geek who can’t get the chick (and again, 5 days into a life-threatening situation and they’re worrying about HOOKUPS???).

  108. Greg @ 113

    “Either (1) the Colonel is completely and totally incompetent and has done nothing to address these issues with Rush, or (2) the Colonel is competent, has dealt with these issues with Rush, but the writers have withheld that information from the audience to maintain the tension.”

    I suspect the Colonel has given up. So far he’s physically retreated from three different crises (twice by beaming back to earth, and once by taking a walk) and “copped out” (in Ming Na’s words) on another important leadership decision. He’s gone out of his way several times to tell his superiors and close subordinates that the situation is hopeless and their people are over-matched. Most of his actual leadership decisions have a “lets get this disaster over with” feeling that’s a little nihilistic. I’m not sure if that makes him incompetent or just damaged. But now that other characters are starting to notice I’m curious to see where his story goes next.

  109. #rick, no five days in they’re constantly thinking they’re about to die, so they’re trying to do something while they may.

    In terms of “what characters may die,” the Senator character was kind of set-up as a pain-in-the-neck character you thought the writers might keep around for a while, you know it didn’t work out that way. If you read IMDB, some characters do not appear in all 20 episodes, which means not all of them may survive.

    If you get Comcast On-Demand, episode 1 is available until 11/1, and the other episodes are available for a few weeks yet. I think they’re worth going back and rewatching due to the many ambiguous characters and the fact it’s more complicated than your average TV show.

    So I’m rewatching eposide 1. Rush seems to have had a pistol in the drawer of his room on the base. Did he bring it with him? And, they made a point showing Young packing a bag with a metal case, similar to the case Rush had the “communication stones” in.

  110. I guess, Laurie, that I’m not the kind of person to get put in that situation, look around and give up. If I had those people and a way to call on the SGC I’d have people in constant contact with the SGC. I’d have Carter, Jackson etc looking through the eyes of people on the ship to see if they can figure out more about the ship’s controls etc. I would not be using it to make personal calls home. If I were the military leader I’d get the sergeant under control.

    As for some perhaps not surviving, sure… but trying to convince us that key ones are going to die or to ramp tension with tactics like “Will they get to the gate with the stuff they need for the air filters in time?” (ep 2, Air pt3) just doesn’t work for me. Yes, we need to be willing to immerse ourselves in the viewpoint of the show – but the writers also need to keep in mind that they have an audience that’s very familiar with TV tropes. When they pull out a cliched trick like that it hurts immersion for me – I’m thinking “Yeah, gee, let’s pull out the old “will they get to the Gate trick…” ” vs being caught up by real dramatic tension.

    Don’t get me wrong – it’s hard to do what they’re doing and some of this is me – I have a very low tolerance for certain writing faults and you tend to get that a bit as a series starts and is finding its voice. Look at something like Dollhouse that’s getting a ton of praise now, but was savaged for most of the first season – if this was easy, we’d not love the really good series so much .

  111. From early descriptions I didn’t expect to like this show, but I have to admit it’s slowly growing on me. I like Colonel Young in particular, and the scenes he had with Camille Wray and then with Greer really stood out.

    No, there wasn’t a great deal of suspense for me as a viewer in “Light”. Destiny wasn’t going to be destroyed and neither was the shuttle. But after seasons of BSG and Lost and the frequent catastrophes and deaths, this was a welcome change of pace in my TV viewing. I’ve enjoyed just sitting back and watching the story play out.

    About the camera work. There are times when it works just fine. And then there are times when it has pulled me right out of the story. It’s happened a few times with the “shaky cam.” Another example was during the scene a while back when Young went to talk to his wife. They were standing at the gate having this emotional conversation and suddenly we’re cutting from camera angle to camera angle, including a strange one from above that made me think the director was trying to tip us off that someone was spying on the pair. Instead of intensifying the scene, it proved to be distracting. I know Season One has already been shot, but I do hope to see that sort of thing reined in a bit in future episodes.

  112. Really enjoying the show. Get the feeling Dr. Rush knows far about the situation than he’s letting on. Needs a few wraith.

  113. NO WRAITH!!! AAAAAAHHHHHRRRRRGGG!!!

    NO WRAITH. NO WRAITH. NO WRAITH!!!!!

    Have. I. Made. Myself. Clear?!!?!

    (And if I hear the slightest clatter-whirr of a Replicator, I’m out of this show for good. The sound of a Replicator is the sound of a shark being jumped.)

  114. Well, my usual equation for sites like this is the need for me to post anything decreases as the number of posts by others increases, whether any of those posts have merit or not. Still:

    I cry out in the darkness for Eli to henceforth and forever more to be called “Last Starfighter boy”

    Also, due to the number of items, I usually read just Scalzi’s entries:

    Your complaint that everyone is forgetting we have weeks worth of the show and the characters have days ignores that fact that *the writers* know this will be the case. They can’t all be new to writing for television.

  115. GregLondon –

    “No, it doesn’t make sense that Rush knew the ship would be fine, if you assume Rush is sane and logical and would test in the normal emotional reactions of your standard “healthy” human being. The writers have made a point, repeatedly of showing Rush to be operating far outside the “normal” bell curve.”

    I’m not sure I agree with your interpretation of the implications, but I admit I hadn’t thought of it that way. They are definitely hanging a light on his instability.

    I think that may lead to moments where he appears to wish someone would just kill him. However, I still think he didn’t know the ship would survive it’s date with the local sun. I think it might be indicating that he’s suicidal, more than he had prior knowledge of the ships ability to power up. He seemed genuinely surprised when he realized in his room that they should have already been dead.

  116. Easy there Xopher! Just kidding about the wraith. That’s just a joke between my wife and I. Whenever we watch a show that has an unlikable character or a poor plot, we say “What this show needs is a few wraith!”

  117. tudza:

    I’m not following the complaint about the writers at all, actually. The writers and the show are doing a fine job keep track of continuity and timeframe and dropping in the clues as to how much time has passed (or hasn’t, in this case). They’re not having someone act as exposition boy and saying “Gosh! It’s hard to believe only a couple of days have passed since we got here!” but this lack of obvious and artificial hand-holding is a feature in my opinion, not a bug.

    So, yeah. Not feeling the “Let’s blame the writers” thing. But I recognize this is a “your mileage may vary” situation.

  118. Oh good Rob. I just hope the writers realize, as you have, that putting the Wraith in here would be as stupid as putting the Replicators in SG:A. Which was the stupidest move since the second appearance of the Replicators in SG-1.

  119. # Kate Baker:

    I think finding a kitchen/galley and quarters would be first on their list. And probably Rush or Eli simply found them via a schematic, since they were looking at those in episode one.

    I also think that from what was said, that drones with gates went out, and then the ship…the ancients were probably going to hop-scotch via gates to all the planets that were found, and at some point catch up with the ship, or meet the ship coming back. I think they sent it out unmanned on a test run and it either malfunctioned or they abandoned the project. That’s just speculation on my part, though.

    And? I love how everyone hates Rush. I love him! He’s so damn awesome. But maybe that’s because I love Robert Carlyle so much.

  120. Tabaqui, I really like the actor (who I’m not otherwise familiar with), and he’s doing a great job playing this detestable character. I thought James Callis and Dean Stockwell were excellent on Battlestar Galactica, too, but because they did such a good job of playing hateable characters.

  121. I’m tired of people saying how obvious that the ship was going to refuel form the sun. I saw no claims *before the fact* that people knew how this would happen. In fact, I can’t even think of any other story that involved refueling from already fusing material from a star.

    re: the leaking/not leaking force field: it was the small “emergency hull breach repair” force field of the shuttle that was leaking air into the larger space between the ship and the ordinary on-all-of-the-time-force field. Even if the latter were completely impervious, the volume contained by the outer force field is much larger that the volume of just the habitable corridors of the ship so the equalized pressure would be too low to sustain human life.

    re: bad shadow angles from Lt Scott’s desert planet hallucination: You could explain that by virtue of being A HALLUCINATION.

    re: complaints from Chris S.: You specifically pick on not making attempts to close the door of the leaky shuttle by means other than human sacrifice while ignoring the fact that they did talk those methods in the show, which of them were attempted, and why they didn’t work.

    re: shaky-cam outside the ships: It places the viewer in the frame of mind that “Holy crap thing thing could fly apart at any moment!” which overrides the logical stability of a omniscient third party point-of-view. It’s rather like the sub-space rumble in Star Trek is heard even when viewing the ship form outside to place the viewer in the the frame of mind that “We’re really cruising!”

    re: acceleration the ship toward the planet: The shuttle was either performing the orbital insertion around the planet or just finished. They were computing a course back to the ship but had not set out on that course. The “turn around an head for the planet” was a figurative description of the change of intercept type, not the literal course correction. The shuttle was not actually set on any new course until Rush sent Eli’s calculation.

  122. Matthew 135: I’m tired of people saying how obvious that the ship was going to refuel form the sun. I saw no claims *before the fact* that people knew how this would happen.

    On 18 October, I said (in ROT-13) “I predict that in the next episode the close approach to the sun will replenish their energy reserves.”

    And on 19 October, I said “I don’t think aiming at the local sun is an accident or a mistake, for example; I think Destiny knows exactly what she’s doing.”

    I didn’t think it was necessarily obvious though.

  123. If I remember correctly, the opener established pretty clearly that the ship was not completely unmanned, just sporadically manned, as Ancients from our galaxy would/could gate on board from time to time.

  124. Re. Rush:
    I get the impression that the guy was B-team. He wasn’t smart enough to figure out the code, and is only now beginning to grudgingly allow Eli to help. (BTW, why is Eli dinking around with the kenos when he should be working on translations, however rough?)I think Rush knows, deep down, that he is overmatched by this situation but his ego won’t allow him to ask for help, because he doesn’t want his weaknesses exposed. Did you see how he relaxed when he realized that there was nothing he could do about the ship and the sun? I think this argues that he did not know what would happen and finally stopped feeling like he had to be in charge all the time. As soon as the pressure was back on, jerk-boy came back.

    Someone (the colonel should, but won’t for some reason) needs to give him a bit of smacking around for acting like a prima donna in a life and death situation. Why does he get to be in charge of all things Destiny, again? They need to have a team, not just him, working on solutions, and I absolutely agree that the smart thing to do would be to use the stones to get other competent people who speak Ancient onto the ship to rapidly increase their pace at understanding what the hell is going on.

  125. I dunno, Rush being the antagonist in this series (besides the harsh conditions of space) seems too obvious for me. The real problem seems to be with the incompetence of Young.

    I actually like this show quite a bit. I suspended my disbelief pretty much up until Chloe slept with Capt. America. That seemed too much like tapping into a love triangle far, far before it was ripe. I mean, really, after that the only way for Eli to over come such a tepidly laid out and disastrous defeat would be for him to summarily steal away some lady that GIJOE likes. The level of writing and narrative skill it would take to pull that off, I fear, would be totally outside of the control of any writing staff for TV.

    I guess that is really the take-home point of being unhappy with any TV show. These things aren’t written by a single person, they are written by a committee of writers and that script has to be signed off by someone who is probably dreadfully incapable of judging narrative quality. I actually commend the writers for having gotten out such a dark series; which is something you don’t tend to see on TV.

  126. “I was surprised no-one said ‘Look, this ship clearly knows what it’s doing, let’s not freak out about this.'”
    Anyone who has ever played video games knows you refuel at gas giants. Or stars. Or really expensively at spaceports.
    Eli should’ve known. He’s a gamer and a Sci Fi geek. I’m not saying real life is like a video game, but this is one of those cases where the crew’s complete lack of exposure to the idea is perversely non-believable.

    The writers are good enough to tell us a story without insulting our intelligence if they would just trust in their abilities a little more. I doubt there’s a single soul who watched this week’s SG:U not knowing the autonomous unmanned gate-seeding ship with 100 millenniums on the flight clock would not only not crash but refuel itself. Trust me, we knew, yet we showed up for the story anyway.

    The actual refueling sequence was a work of art. The ship didn’t just graze the corona, it took a full-on plunge. The idea of refueling that way is awe-inspiring to think about and incredible to see imagined on film.

    Trust our good taste (and yours) and give us a story with believable characters doing believable things in an unbelievable situation. A ticking clock is a fine storytelling tradition, but you don’t have to insult our intelligence by contriving one when it breaks the story or violates what we know about the characters.

    People criticized Dr. Rush, but I think he acted believably, as we already know he is calculating, withholds critical information, and sees himself as having unique decision-making insights which justify his manipulating situations to get what he wants.

    Rush’s behavior actually has a very rational explanation assuming he believed the ship was refueling: if he happened to be wrong the shuttle gives at least some people a chance to survive.
    Believing that the probability of the ship safely refueling was greater than survival in the shuttle on a planet of unknown habitability, he elected to stay on board.
    If he told everyone of his belief the ship was refueling he might not be able to convince them to risk their lives taking a shuttle. By withholding the information he forced the crew to spread the risk.
    It’s beautifully thought out and fits perfectly with Rush’s modus operandi.
    If the refueling was the coolest scene in the show, Rush’s ruthless logic is the coolest part of the story.

  127. John @131 – I think tudza’s making the same point I did further up – while the characters in the show necessarily need to be shown as acting as if the show were the only reality, the writers know that they are making a show that will be seen by an audience that is perfectly aware it’s a show. Hence things like [i]the ship is going to kill everyone by flying into the sun[/i] or [i]maybe the two guys with the material that will let the air filters work won’t make it back before the gate disconnects[/i] don’t carry drama, they seem rather silly. Yes, from the characters’ points of view the outcome of those events wasn’t assured – so to them there would be tension. But from our point of view it’s a common TV cliche.

    Personally, I think balancing those two considerations is a lot harder that most of us outside the industry realize – but it IS an issue and the shows I’ve liked best make me care about situations and characters in more natural ways. I simply cannot be drawn in by some variation of ‘they might all DIEEEEE!!!!’ when it’s patently obvious that they won’t.

    The making personal calls with the comm device just hurts this too – “we might all die, but instead of trying as hard as possible to not die, we’re going to make booty calls.” Er, ok.

  128. At the end of this episode, I hope to see characters/persons in that situation now acting a little beyond their usual (and for the audience, predictable) behaviors. Up until this point everyone on board the ship has been dealing with “I am going to die, very soon.”

    Warning: Digression.

    Thinking beyond that has got to be largely difficult, and while we can complain as an audience at the predictability of people, this makes sense. *ablib* They’ve got what two days to live? Under such pressure if the writers weren’t being very careful to have characters acting inside of their life-created habits … the entire telling of the story would ring out as a fake tv-drama. As it is, it rings out as a character driven drama where our failings as people are respected and reflected in the characters. I feel pretty confident that under a two hour window of life I’d probably be that guy who wasn’t in the lottery and got upset and then got hit in the face with the rifle. Rush’s earlier hysteria was a single example of what probably was happening to many of the other passengers. Creating heavy emotional baggage over sex when there’s less than a day left to live seems pretty likely, but the fact that we were only shown the two characters ‘hooking up’ was kinda lame… my curiosity was piqued, who else is bonding physically, sadly we are getting pretty narrow exposition on these topics and that’s probably down to the length of the episodes.

    … but I digress from my point.

    Point.
    The characters now have some stability. They probably have come to trust Destiny at least to protect them in a general way and itself. They probably can now trust each other, in a general way and maybe act and think more clearly without the looming threat of very soon and certain death. Without the looming threat they might even act beyond their habits and shortcomings. Relationships formed up until this point are tenuous, but should get stronger. All this talk of conflict generation goes counter to survival and likely human behavior.

  129. Most of weak points of this show have been already mentioned.

    I think viewers deserve few good explanations in many cases that should not involve fiction in SG (pillows and sheets magically awaited them?).

    Using gravitational slingshot in last episode to accelerate surprised me a bit :) Personally I hoped they’ll land on planets surface and make use of StarGate to dial Destiny and come back on board the ship. I am glad that I was wrong :)

    Lets hope that our comments will improve John’s critical approach and show will be better, more logical and coherent in places it should be in future seasons / episodes :-)

    Cheers!

  130. For the people who hate the bodyswapping stones, it’s not like they were invented by the writers just for this show as a plot device. They’re Ancient technology that was originally used in an SG-1 episode. The one that started the war with the Ori. They’re also the only technology that allows intergalactic communication without an active stargate connection. Since they thought that the 9th chevron would take them very far away, it makes sense that they would have them on base.

  131. @Jardine,

    Oh I know and I agree in some ways that it makes sense. Most of my issues with them is the way they’re being used. It DOES let the show put an interesting twist on their predicament. After all in Voyager and similar shows the ship must be considered lost from the perspective of the rest of the fleet (I know, Voyager reestablished communications at some point). But having this could well let some interesting stuff happen. I just hope they explore what that is vs making it all about personal dramas.

    I do have a bit of a time with a technology that can span a billion lightyears, but that’s just suspension of disbelief, so that’s not a show issue

  132. John,

    Thanks for helping put some decent science fiction on television. SG: Universe has been great and I imagine that all the nice touches I have been noticing had to come from you. In TV scifi you usually don’t see space pilots concerned much with physics.

    The sun scooping was really cool. I’ve read about this in old sci-fi and saw it coming, but it really made me feel at home. :D So tired of scifi-tv/movies alienating fans of science and science fiction by dumbing down the science to point where it’s really just fantasy wearing a lab coat.

  133. I am enjoying the show a great deal so far and thought Light was a very well constructed episode.

    One thought:

    In Robert Carlyle the show has an actor of real talent. So it’s not surprising that the Rush character is already being furnished with more complexity and intrigue that the rest of the crew put together. But how sustainable is that?

  134. David @ #142 Yes, I also thought about “who else was hooking up”. That the Lt. and senators daughter hooked up for sex in a life threatening situation is NOT surprising. Also, she chose the most physically attractive mate available; not surprising. In situations like this the survival instinct heightens the sex drive in some people. No, it doesn’t make sense. But it is.

    I did love how the different crew members reacted once the shuttle left. Some prayed. Some played cards. But they should have also shown more couples sneaking off for that last, desperate middle finger to fate and the universe: hot, passionate “bonding”.

  135. What is a Wraith?

    As far as the obviousness of “set controls for the heart of the sun” go, I didn’t think of it, but when xopher predicted it, it felt like a perfect writer’s setup for “we’re all gonna die, no, wait, this is all part of the design.” twist ending.

    as far as writers go, yeah, they’re writing the experience of the characters, and the characters really thought they were going to die. But, honestly, no viewer worth their salt thought Destiny was going to crash and burn in the sun. (if the Colonel and Rush were in the shuttle, then maybe I would have considered it a possibility, but with so many main characters on Destiny, you KNEW the ship would survive.) And writer’s either deal with that issue, or lose viewers.

    If the audience is complaining “I’m bored. I know they’re not goign to die.” The writers ignore that at their own peril.

    People watch fiction to be entertained. If it isn’t entertaining to the audience, it doesn’t matter how accurately the story is showing the characters’s reactions to their imminent death.

    When I’m watching Bones, and the investigators discover a new lead, I look at the time to determine how relevant that lead is to the real crime. Early in the show, new leads are usually useless. halfway through the show, leads are interesting. Last fifteen minutes of the show, new leads usually convict the bad guy.

    And you know what? It doesn’t matter that it’s a cheat for the audience. It’s an extremely entertaining show, because my wife and I watch it more for the characters than anything else.

  136. I waqs rooting for the Star to win in this episode. I am saddened for it.

    Really, I want to like the show. I’m a huge SG fan, so I keep watching. I understand the timeline. I find the conflict in this story unappealing. It’s just a very slow start, IMO. It might get better and due to the franchise history, I am giving them far more leeway than I would had this been a 100% new show. I’ll probably watch the entire first season.

    Please become interesting!!!

  137. In re “dropping little hints:” my preferred method of having such information communicated is not through small hints nor, ghu knows, visits from the exposition fairy in her great gallumphing muddy boots, but through clear, consistent narrative flow and/or sufficient character development that I am swept along with their experience.

    Somebody above said “show, don’t tell” and it was a phrase I’d actually deleted a few times as insufficiently /p/r/e/c/i/s/e/ /p/o/l/i/t/e/ padded. I feel as if I’m being told that the company trapped together on the Destiny is experiencing fear, despair, panic, moments of hope, but not being shown, much, that it’s happening. Robert Carlyle’s Rush is intermittantly an exception to that, which makes him stand out like a sore thumb.

    I want to like this show. I need my Friday Night at Nine Space Adventure. I’ve got no way of not watching it bar shutting myself in my bedroom: damned small open plan house with four adult residents. But at the moment I’m impatient and cranky with the way the show is developing.

  138. I think I might have been happier from a hard sci-fi point of view if the refueling had happened when it dipped into the gas giant. You could have accomplished the same dramatic tension in the episode since presumably, the gasses scooped would have required some time to be transformed from raw gasses into usable fuel, possibly requiring a solar power assist which would still leave time for the “Oh jeez, let’s load up the shuttle and get some survivors gone.”

    Similarly, it would have been VERY interesting if you’d had just one of the familiar characters on the shuttle and it had not made it back to the ship. You set the expectation that characters might not live forever (or at least be with the Destiny forever) with the gate on the desert planet, but it’s still just a gesture until you repeat it (and I fully believe you might repeat it).

    I’m enjoying the show quite a bit despite my nitpicking. I’m interested to see what you do after the initial crisis-threatening-our-survival of the week.

  139. Wasn’t there a hint early on in the press (or maybe here from Mr Scalzi) that the ship would be powered by the stars themselves?

    In any case, I’m pretty well liking the show so far. I much preferred this version of Rush compared to the @$$ that he’s been up til now.

    Also, per the small object leaving the ship at the end of the desert episode, I thought maybe it was a stargate as the ship’s mission was to seed planets with stargates.

    One question, though: If the ship is seeding planets in deep space with stargates, where did the stargate on the desert planet come from?

    In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the next episode of “Battlestar Voyager: Now With Stargates!”

  140. @ Steve
    Destiny is not seeding the gates. There were other ships sent out to manufacture and seed the gates. Destiny was sent out to be the exploratory sent to see the new worlds. They briefly covered this in one of the first to eps I think. It was a bit of a throw away line.

  141. I am late to this discussion so I’ll throw in my 2 cents on a few issues.

    1) The refueling – It has already been established that destiny is fair self sufficient since it was sent out unmanned (or was it?) so the idea that it could refuel itself is consistent with that idea. Plus quite frankly I did not want to see a repeat of Atlantis where we were looking for power sources all the time.

    2) Body swapping -It’s nice to see that we are at least making progress with adapting alien tech for our use. I mean 10 years of SG1 collecting tech and they were still using P90s and confiscated zats. I do find it a little annoying, I just hope they don’t rely on it as too much of a crutch. Although from the looks of it they have 5 stones right? Get McKay, Carter, Jackson and the two SGC tech geeks up there and I bet they can Have Destiny ship-shape in no time.

    3) Math Boy love triangle – Hey it makes for good drama and it really is not all that different from the real world. Does the 23 Year Old pretty girl go for Math Boy or the Hottie military dude? Hmmm let me ponder that one.

  142. DT 140: Rush’s behavior actually has a very rational explanation assuming he believed the ship was refueling: if he happened to be wrong the shuttle gives at least some people a chance to survive.

    That all makes sense, except for one question: Why would Rush care about giving some people a chance to survive if he’s wrong? That’s kinda out of character for him. He cares about studying the ship, very secondarily about his own survival, and nothing about others at all.

    Actually I have another problem with that explanation, which is that there’s no evidence that Rush can conceive of being wrong about something he believes. We’ve seen evidence that he can admit he’s wrong after the fact, but that’s not the same thing. That’s the least plausible thing about Rush, IMO: you don’t get to be a great man of science if you aren’t humbler about your own theories. We might get some backstory that explains that, but we don’t have any yet.

    Greg 149: The Wraith were the part-humanoid, part-insect Big Baddies in SG Atlantis. Generic space vampires (drain lifeforce, victims die of apparent old age, they can put it back too, the whole standard space-vampire repetoire). They were created in the Pegasus galaxy by Ancients fooling around with Things Man Was Not Meant To Know. They have absolutely no place in SGU…I hope.

  143. I’m having a hard time seeing how the slingshot would help in any meaningful way. Destiny’s course is almost precisely away from the sun, giving it 0 solar-orbital angular momentum.

    The shuttle similarly already had and must end up with roughly 0 solar-orbital angular momentum.

    Slingshot maneuvers give you — or take from you, for a reverse slingshot — solar-orbital angular momentum. These translate into greater radius after half an orbit.

    ~~~~

    As for not using the comm stones on an Apollo-13-like usage — oooh yeah. Carter, McKay, The Czech guy from SGA, whoever, they should be all over this, if we use real life logic. But then we’d end up with them as being main characters, and that’d get boring. Let’s just pretend they have Really Important things to do somewhere else.

  144. @GL2418
    Thanks for the correction. In that case, I have no idea what that object was. =)

    I’m also with you on your #1). The eternal search for ZPM’s got really old in the previous two series.

  145. @Xopher #136: Thanks for pointing that out! I’ll have to make sure I pay more attention to the ROT-13 since I completely missed that the first time.

  146. When ‘Destiny’ did the aerobraking maneuver around the first planet it looked like it was flying ‘edge-on’ with the left wing pointed towards the planet. I would have thought the ship would turn to place the bottom towards the atmosphere of the planet to offer as much surface area for slowing down, while preventing undue stress by sticking one wing deeper into the atmo.

    I might just be missing some concept of real aerobraking though or perhaps the writers feel the structure or shielding of ‘Destiny’ is strong enough to handle it.

  147. I’m having a hard time seeing how the slingshot would help in any meaningful way.

    Oh, it wouldn’t. But neither is it possible to be on a collision course with the sun after an aerobraking maneuver. Even if the ship has stopped relative to the planet, it still has all the angular momentum of the planet’s orbit to kill.

    Still, it’s nice to have real spacecraft tricks like aerobraking and gravitational slingshots in the show. And to have some attention paid to the geometry of the situation: that they couldn’t see the planet because it was on the other side of the sun, but then Destiny would go by it on the way back out, even if the numbers don’t work.

    Maybe the FTL drive can change the ship’s sublight momentum without that distortion effect they use to signal going in and out of FTL? But if so, they didn’t need to aerobrake. That favours the resource-gathering hypothesis for the pass through the gas giant’s atmosphere. Or it was just supposed to be scenic. The stargate stop was presented as a way to gather survival-critical resources, but with the twelve hour time limit, it’s also a lot like what a cruise ship does. Maybe tourism is what the ship is really for.

  148. I am truly enjoying the show. Nice to have the SG world and stories continue, plus the little things that this show is doing differently, the use of more relatable science being used in the dialogue and being part of explanation, before the fictional science of this story world is used. I also enjoy the stones, what a great way as a writer of the show to not be constrained to just the people that were on the ship, but we can interact with and keep up with other characters of the SG universe and see them on them show. Plus the stones do present interesting storylines, like what if/ when they malfunction, are you leaping around, like a “Quantum Leap” type premise in this universe of people? Does someone get stuck in another body?
    And when it comes to a ship like Destiny, as another commenter pointed out, the idea of a living ship like Farscape showed us and the options there, or is there some ancient or ancients that are using the ship and manipulating this 21st century band of “gilligan’s island” to their own ends. Crafting another macro type of storyline, and arc that we haven’t seen yet.

    I am enjoying the show and looking forward to seeing where it may go.

    Some of the comments have raised a question with me, maybe Scalzi and or others can answer,
    Can a writer, who is not a genius, write a genius character? Can the writer truly know, understand and be clever enough to write plot and or dialogue for a genius character and foil them? Especially with the constraints a show/ fictional world like the Stargate Universe has created to date.

  149. Geniuses think of things no one else does. That’s damned hard to do without a genius on staff.

    They also pursue paths of reasoning other people can, only lots faster. That’s pretty easy to write; all you have to do is compress the thought process you went through.

    And having a whole group of writers makes that particular thing easier, not harder. They can all brainstorm a solution, then the genius character just jumps to it.

  150. Just watched everything out so far over the weekend, and was very impressed overall. A very strong cast overall, though some of the characters haven’t had an opportunity to do much yet.

    A continuity question: Did one of the supply boxes happen to be full of shaving supplies? Because no one seems to be having trouble staying smooth aside from Rush, who was already stubbly.

    It’s a nitpick, but one that’s going to seem weird the longer the men go without beards.

  151. So, are they going to be able to resist the SGU equivalent of Star Trek’s “Captain, I’m picking up life signs!”

    Followed quickly by “My God, they’re human! What are they doing here/how did they get here?”

    Of course the human will have no idea or be able to offer any clues.

  152. @quasimodo “Of course the human will have no idea or be able to offer any clues”

    But they will, of course, speak perfect English. =)

  153. Perfect English: The entire SG universe (as opposed to SG Universe, which is this show) is designed to irritate linguists.

    Earth’s Latin is derived from Ancient (well then so is every other Indo-European language, including English and Farsi and Gheg, because the Ancients left Earth before the IE split into different branches); a language (one where writing is forbidden!) remains unchanged except in pronunciation for 5000 years, so Daniel Jackson can speak it as soon as he “figures out how to pronounce it”; they make a big deal out of Rodney saying Zed (he’s Canadian!), and Radek has a thick Czech accent, but Teyla and Ronon speak perfect American English; the list goes on.

    I try to ignore it all. I screamed in outrage when they gave that lame excuse for basically using Latin (modified less than, say, to go from Latin to French, which happened in a much shorter period than they’re giving for going from Ancient to Latin) as Ancient, and then I decided that the writers were ignorant of even the very nature of language, remarkable though such ignorance is in people able to read and write, and let it go.

    Still, it is my hope that nothing even vaguely resembling a human (aside from the ones already on the ship) will appear in this series.

  154. “Geniuses think of things no one else does. That’s damned hard to do without a genius on staff.”

    That shouldn’t be that hard to arrange. Given the fanbase of the show, finding a few people with mental abilities in the 99.9th percentile to critique the plots should be a cinch.

    But that isn’t really the point – the show is being written for normal people, on the level of normal people.

  155. @ 157 Luke

    “As for not using the comm stones on an Apollo-13-like usage — oooh yeah. Carter, McKay, The Czech guy from SGA, whoever, they should be all over this, if we use real life logic. But then we’d end up with them as being main characters, and that’d get boring. Let’s just pretend they have Really Important things to do somewhere else.”

    I have a problem with the fact that the characters don’t address it.

    On one hand, I understand the narrative and dramatic necessity of not having the comm stones being constantly used as Plot Spackle.

    On the other hand, it exceeds my suspension of disbelief that no is saying “Hey, we’ve got tons of scientists back on Earth, why don’t we pop a few of them up here to see if they can, for instance, stop us from plummeting into this star.”

    Which is a problem. Because people who believe they’re about to die are going to grasp at any straw they can. I’d be fine if they came up with excuses for the stones not to work, but just ignoring it feels sloppy. It’s character stupidity for the sake of the narrative.

  156. I was answering a specific question about how hard it is to write genius characters without being a genius oneself. If they get a genius on staff, that’s not the condition of the question.

    And of course it’s written for ordinary people. The problem is how to write a character so that ordinary people will recognize hir as a genius.

  157. Melendwyr, that’s exactly what bugs about this show. Even if we assume that the characters on this show are “normal” people (as opposed to heroes), normal people watching the show are asking (over and over again, in multiple venues) why the heck these characters aren’t doing BASIC intelligent things like using the stones to get some real help aboard the ship instead of making booty calls on their ex-wives or having awkward conversations with their alcoholic mothers.

    When ordinary viewers immediately jump to the conclusion that the ship’s sundive is far from accidental, it’s frustrating when the characters don’t at least CONSIDER that possibility, even if only to dismiss it. It looks like willful blindness imposed by the writers so as not to give away the “surprise” ending…which was not a surprise at all to a lot of viewers.

    And ultimately, I’m not interested in watching “normal” people, if normal means they’re incapable of being at least as curious and clever as the average viewer.

  158. My 170 was a reply to 168, just to clarify.

    And 169 slipped in there while I was writing. Justin, character stupidity for the sake of the narrative (which I call the characters being “plot-stupid”) is pretty much a consistent feature* of series television, in my experience.

    In particular it’s a feature of the Stargate universe, where frex they were always leaving “dead” Goa’uld lying around, even though they had zats and knew the Goa’uld had sarcophagi.** Rule of engagement for people with snakes in their heads: if you kill them, make sure they stay dead. If you have time, cut the snake out and kill it; if not, triple-zat*** the whole body.

    But the writers wanted to reuse those characters (and the actors), so of course they didn’t do that.
    ____
    *In the neutral sense, not the sense of “feature not bug.”
    **Greg: resurrection chambers.
    ***Greg: one shot with a zat stuns, two kills, three disintegrates.

  159. Ralph: “But neither is it possible to be on a collision course with the sun after an aerobraking maneuver.”

    I don’t see why not. It’s regular old drag, it’ll be applied in the direction opposite the direction of motion regardless. In this case, it would control how long they were in orbit of the gas giant, lengthening their stay. Nothing about that keeps them from leaving the giant system with a velocity oriented partially back along its orbit in an amount exactly equal to the giant’s orbital velocity.

    As for the useful slingshot, I have thought of one exception – it’d be useful if the planet in question were in a highly elliptical orbit and was near periastron. *And* if the planet’s surface gravity was high enough to be vaguely relevant given the huge accelerations precursor technology is capable of.

  160. I get the very strong vibe that the writers are trying to attract viewers who aren’t familiar with science fiction at all – thus, the heavy use of tropes and general dumbing-down of the characters thus far.

    I don’t approve of this, nor do I think it’s a good strategy. But given the quality of character behavior on SG-1, it’s the only explanation I can think of for the actions taken in SGU.

  161. Luke: Looks like you’re right. Regular old drag reduces the speed of the spaceship relative to the atmosphere of the planet. It can’t reduce the component of the ship’s velocity in the planet’s orbital direction any lower than the planet’s own velocity…plus or minus the wind speed.

    I was assuming the wind speed (relative to the star) wouldn’t be nearly as big as the planet’s orbital velocity, but it turns out for Jupiter and Saturn in our solar system they’re almost exactly the same. I stand corrected.

  162. Wow.

    I came here to say I really enjoy the show and so does my wife, but I find that I must be an idiot because according to you guys this show is the worst thing on the air.

    You are aware, I hope, that Scalzi has a hand in this show, and while he doesn’t need the likes of me to defend him, if I was part of something I was as proud of as he seemingly is, I’d just say “Fuck you guys” and walk away after all the comments here. Especially as he answered many of them in a post above that explained the state of mind of the characters which you would know if you weren’t playing the “I wouldn’t do that so everyone is stupid” game.

    The show is not without its flaws, but if you want perfection do it yourself. The characters aren’t stupid, they are shell-shocked and somewhat adrift. The communication stones are a form of giving up your “self” and that’s a hard thing to do – I wouldn’t do it. And wantonly killing every gouald with the “triple-tap” – again, I can’t see myself doing that, and it’s hard to think it would be just that easy for anyone.

    This thread really shows the pedantry of the scifi community, and it’s one of the reasons I’ve stopped being a part of it. Yes, being picky can be fun, but this is ridiculous. When I feel I’m being called an idiot because I enjoy a simple piece of entertainment, well, that’s not really fair. Your sense of entitlement doesn’t trump Scalzi ACTUAL entitlement, and he deserves more respect from you guys.

    Anyway, John, we do love the show. We love the ship, we love the situations, we love the characters (who I’m sure we’ll learn more about considering it’s only been four episodes/five days) – we knew the ship was refueling, but we didn’t feel that was the point of the episode, it was about the characters and how they react to what looks like immanent death. I’m intrigued how they are going to figure out the parts of the ship and what’s going on in Rush’s mind, and how the characters feel real. It’s a great show, and I’m sorry people are coming here to shit all over it.

  163. xopher: Greg: one shot with a zat stuns, two kills, three disintegrates.

    Does it have to be the same gun? What if two guys try to stun someone at the same time?

    Corby: You are aware, I hope, that Scalzi has a hand in this show,

    You are aware, I hope, that Scalzi published a book called “Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded”?

    If the comments here were as bad as you say (and they’re not), I imagine Scalzi would turn them into book publishing gold.

  164. Corby,

    You’re really over-reacting to very good spirited, valid critiques of this show.

    With very few exceptions all of use critics are still watching the show and like it.

    I’m also very annoyed when characters are stupid, but it’s the only reason we have zombie movies (for instance) – because without stupid protagonists, zombies are a joke.

    I just expect better from this show for some reason. Maybe because the whole “derelict, ancient automated ship” thing pushes some buttons.

  165. I apologize in advance for my poor memory … but didn’t they show someone taking pills when he didn’t make it onto the shuttle? It’s possible that I was missing some part of the plot, and so I just assumed he was killing himself. Too many characters, too much cranial dead space.

  166. Greg, if two zat bolts hit in rapid succession, the person dies. Same zat, different zat, matters not. Zat bolts travel really slowly though. You can see them flying through the air and sparkling all over the person. So you could accidentally kill someone if you both shoot at exactly the same time, but otherwise not.

  167. Justme: Yes, it’s the mutinous military character, the one Greer knocks out at the lottery meeting. He takes a couple of what look like prescription pills; we don’t get to see the label.

  168. I didn’t expect the ship to go as far as flying right into the sun itself. I was expecting some sort of charge-up followed by it somehow pulling away at the last moment.

    While the high-level plot was fairly predictable, to me the important thing in SGU is the characters’ reactions to the changing situations. I enjoyed these a lot, even the particularly unexpected parts.

  169. Justme: Sorry, I didn’t answer your question. The pill scene is about 5 minutes into “Light”, so after the announcement that there would be a lottery, and among the reaction scenes for that, but before he knew he didn’t make it on the shuttle. It was after the lottery was drawn–and he didn’t make it on the shuttle–that he tried to incite those remaining to rush the shuttle and then Greer hit him.

    So I read it as character development. Rather than trying to kill himself, we’re shown he’s maybe not just being an angry jerk, but worried about what’s going to happen when he runs out of whatever medicine he’s taking. We didn’t get to see the label on the pill bottle, but it clearly wasn’t very full.

  170. I hope the show lasts long enough for “Rush knew!” to become a geek catchphrase.

    “Light” really sold me on this show. First of all it was flat-out gorgeous, both the visuals and the Vangelis-esque music. Loved the scene with the little shuttle approaching Destiny, desperately firing its engines to lose velocity. I suppose the planetary slingshot maneuver wouldn’t really have worked, but generally with this kind of sci-fi, if I would have to actually draw a diagram and do the math to disprove something, I’m inclined to let it slide, especially if it looks cool.

    I’m digging most of the characters. I actually really like the fact that 5 episodes in I still don’t know quite what to make of Rush. Greer makes a good “likable jerk,” although I agree with the criticisms that it stretches credibility that someone with such an obvious attitude problem would have been promoted to his rank.

    Eli and Lt. Scott are both well done and I like that the writers didn’t go the obvious route and set up a typical “geek vs. jarhead” conflict (or whatever the Air Force equivalent of jarhead is). They actually seem to respect and identify with each other, which makes sense as they are both smart young guys somewhat in over their heads, and makes them seem both more realistic and more intelligent. Too bad that Chloe seems to be only there to drive a wedge between them, not that I’m totally opposed to romantic conflict in my Stargate, but it would be nice if the women had more to do.

    Personally, I think that while Rush may have suspected that the ship was intending to dive into the sun on purpose, I don’t think he could have known that they would survive – as far as he knew they had no power and the shields were down, as the ship hadn’t told him it was conserving power. He only realized it when he finished his book and noticed that enough time had passed that they should have already died.

    I don’t see why the characters would trust the ship to know what it’s doing at this point – there’s little evidence it’s actually sentient and not just on a pre-plotted course, with some rudimentary AI to account for unplanned emergencies. Sure, conserving its power so it could still use its shields when it was in the sun could have been a smart decision, or it could have just been a simple fail safe routine. After all, if it’s so smart, why couldn’t it just turn off its engines for a few minutes and let the shuttle catch up?

    As for the idea that the characters should be aware that the ship is sentient or that it’s perfectly alright for a sufficiently advanced ship to fly through a star, simply because these are minor sci-fi tropes, that sentiment seems more than a bit bizarre. These characters don’t know they are in a science fiction show (unlike SG-1, who seem to at least suspect it). The fact that I’ve read a fictional novel where someone successfully flew through a star isn’t going to make me any more hopeful for my survival if I were about to do it in real life – this is a principle that most 5-year-olds are aware of.

    The problem of creating believable peril for characters in a weekly show where you can’t just kill the whole cast is something several people have brought up, but it’s hardly unique to SG:U, so I’m not sure why so many are harping on it. Sometimes it gets subverted, but Stargate has never really been an “anyone can die at any time” kind of show. In fact, on SG-1 it was almost always a dead giveaway that you were in an alternate timeline, high tech simulation, or characters replaced by robots episode when they offed one or more of the main characters early in the show.

  171. Someone asked why the ship didn’t just get what it needs from the gas-giant. Someone else mentioned – or hinted – that maybe the ship did get some of what it needed from the gas-giant.

    I like this explanation. The ship clearly had reserves of power Rush wasn’t aware of (to power the shielding was mentioned). Perhaps the ship got some from the giant, then the rest from the sun?

    Plus, the ship has artificial gravity. Once you can generate artificial gravity, I imagine such a thing could be used in many ways, such as enhancing aerobraking or sling-shot maneuvers. That also helps explain the precision of the main ship’s movements.

    Must be driving Rush nuts, though, not knowing about it. It would keep throwing his calculations off.

    So … first air, then light / power. I suppose the next episode will be about food? I’m confused a bit: did they already find food on the ship (and water)? Have they said how much is there? It seems like rationing would be the first priority, but they’ve only lightly touched on that (i.e., not with specifics). I guess some conflict about hidden food will come up shortly, too.

  172. I have a question for StarGate experts – how does the dialing other gates process works? On the desert planet, they seemed to have a remote control to dial the ship and open the gate when they were ready to leave – does that mean you can only dial back to your point of origin? In other words, what’s stopping them from dialing Earth from one of the stargates on the planets’ surface?

    (hope my question made sense :-)

  173. One doesn’t have to believe the ship is sentient to believe that a ship as advanced as that one probably has one heck of an autopilot program. We can build pretty sophisticated programs and we’re a bunch of primitive screwheads compared to the ancients. The idea that that ship might be acting with a purpose isn’t so unreasonable. If someone had even mentioned the idea, even if only to dismiss it, that would have answered my complaint–which is that these allegedly clever people can’t even seem to _imagine_ things viewers can. (This becomes doubly true when people in fear of imminent death start grasping at straws. “Maybe…maybe the ship’s doing this on purpose for some reason! Right? Right?”)

    Olya #188 — Earth is in a different galaxy, and it’s been made clear in both SG-1 and SGA that it requires insane amounts of power to dial another galaxy. More power than is available to your standard stargate. Or in other words, earth is simply out of range. (Of course, if Destiny is fully powered up, the first question I’d ask is, “NOW can we dial earth?”)

  174. @Mark – that’s a fair point. You would think at least one or two people would say “Hey guys, this ship was built by incredibly advanced beings, what if it has a plan?” Even if they were ridiculed by the rest of the group.

    Especially after this episode, though, there’s a lot of evidence against a truly sentient ship, or at least a benevolent sentience. Maybe I’ve read too many Culture novels, but, seems to me, on a ship that’s designed to be crewed on at least a temporary basis, any designer of its controlling AI would prioritize protection of the crew as one of the AI’s primary objectives. But this ship doesn’t even bother to slow down to retrieve a wayward shuttle.

    Re: energy needed to dial Earth – each FTL jump on Destiny is a whole new galaxy, right? So at this point they are many millions of light years away from where they first landed on the ship – so isn’t it possible at this point even the fully charged ship lacks the energy to gate them home?

  175. Hello group. EJ and I both liked the Vangelis-ish music and Blade Runner sunset light when the shuttle left. Nice look. I was wondering about ep four. The shuttle used aero-braking combined with sling-shooting around the planet to match the delta-V of the Destiny. Or at least it looked like it was hitting the atmosphere. This would have caused it to slow down, or bounce off. What’s with all this visual data coming through windows? Windows?

  176. Wow…the majority of you are so critical, as to make yourselves look foolish. Some of your tech/science arguments against the show have already been refuted numerous times in prior threads. Relax. It is a TV show and none of them ever get all of the science right. I’m not even sure they could if they had the entire Cal-Berkley and Standford science departments working on the show 24/7.

    This was the best episode, yet. The show is still looking for footing, but it is slowly gaining traction. Characters are being fleshed out and storylines created.

    Sure the Chloe/Lt. Scott hook-up is weak, but what “We just met and are going to die” hook-up wouldn’t be? I don’t care how weak the relationship is. If I’m going to die, I’m going to do the weak hook-up if it’s all I have.

    This episode helped me like Rush and Greer better as characters.

    That being said the show still has a ways to go to be considered a good show. However, it has shown good progress.

    I wish everyone would stop comparing it to the other SG shows, as this show’s style is significantly different. And, it isn’t a surprise, as this info has been out there since the show was announced.

  177. 191: “Re: energy needed to dial Earth – each FTL jump on Destiny is a whole new galaxy, right?”

    Almost certainly not. Each FTL jump takes the Destiny out of range of a certain number of seeded Stargates and into the range of others – all within the same galaxy.

    It’s slowly working its way through the galaxy it’s presently in, and will eventually make the transition to leaving it and journeying to another – which at the very least will take decades, if not centuries, to complete.

    Later technological developments made it possible to travel between galaxies in weeks, days, or even hours. But the Destiny is relatively old, obsolete technology – admittedly, what it lacks in bells, whistles, and nifty functionality it makes up in reliability.

  178. I have a question for StarGate experts – how does the dialing other gates process work?

    If you know the address you want to reach, you can set it manually by physically manipulating the Gate and its chevrons. There are dangers associated with doing so between Gates with old addresses – in the Milky Way, there were ‘dialing devices’ that let you input an address more elegantly, updated themselves when the Stargate was activated so as to keep addresses functional despite stellar drift, and also maintained a variety of safety protocols.

    On the desert planet, they seemed to have a remote control to dial the ship and open the gate when they were ready to leave – does that mean you can only dial back to your point of origin?

    No – remember, they also dialed another planet (with a jungle environment) from the desert world. You can dial any other Stargate 1) that is within range of your own and 2) whose location/address you know.

    In other words, what’s stopping them from dialing Earth from one of the stargates on the planets’ surface?

    It requires increasingly-large amounts of energy to establish a wormhole connection as the distance between Gates increases. The Gates in the Milky Way can’t reach Gates in nearby galaxies / clusters on their own, and require a significant power boost to manage it. The Destiny is many, many times farther away from Earth than those Gates were. Dialing into Destiny required the power output of a natural nuclear reactor the size of a planet – dialing back would require just as much energy, which they don’t have available.

    (hope my question made sense :-)

  179. Xopher: the three-zat thing isn’t used any longer – the writers seem to have decided it was a dumb idea (which it is), and the fans politely do not mention this previously-used, pseudo-phaser feature.

    So one strike stuns, two will kill. And we’re not shown anyone shot three times.

  180. @EJ
    I think Destiny was designed to be more self-sufficient than anything else since it was going to be off on it’s own for an extended period of time. If there was a crew aboard they would already know what needed to be done and how so there would be no need for a fully automatic ship.

    Of course in classic SciFi fashion, as well as the ancient’s known ability to mess up on occassion, the ship’s AI may have become sentient just due to it’s extended time alone. It never had a need to communicate with living beings on board so it doesn’t bother to but when asked “hey how do we get more air?” It says “oh that’s easy I know this nifty little desert planet”

    @melendwyr
    The new gate design and the tech in general has me scratching my head. The ships were sent out after the Milky Way gates were built but before (I assume) the Pegasus gates. Why suddenly no DHD and the remote control instead? And the Kenos? We have never seen anything remotely like them before in regards to the Ancients. It all screams plot device, but I am curious about the choice from a “historical” point of view. Maybe Mr Scalzi has some non-spoiler, non-top secret info he could share?

  181. EJ: “geek vs. jarhead” conflict (or whatever the Air Force equivalent of jarhead is).

    “jarhead” is a term for Marines.

    Each branch has its own terms for their personel, and they each have their own “official” term as well as “unofficial” terms (and there are many):

    Army => Soldier
    Navy => Sailor (squid)
    Air Force => Airman
    Marines => Marines (jarhead, leatherneck)

    If you want to talk about people from the army, navy, air force, and marines, as a whole, being sent on some mission, you use the term “troops” or “military personel”.

    Mark: if Destiny is fully powered up, the first question I’d ask is, “NOW can we dial earth?”

    My understanding is that it took a planet-sized power core to dial the ship. So, that will probably be their excuse to avoid ending the show.

    But then if your ship can skim the sun for power, you’d think you could take the ship into the sun, tap into that massive amount of power, and dial from the ship to earth. The shields held in the hotter outer sphere of the sun, so they should be capable of going into the sun, or going wherever it needs to go in a star to tap that power. And since the sun essentially powers the ship that powers the shields, its not like being near the sun should “drain” the shields, so they should be able to be there as long as it takes to get enough power to dial earth.

    A star, a massive ball of fusion reactions, has to have more energy than any planet-based “core”.

    All they have to do is get some coders who read Ancient software and find the subroutine for emergency evacuation, star skimming protocol, call the code, and poof, they’re home.

    What’s actually kind of funny is that this verges on Caesar’s Palmtop kind of a problem. Having the capability to skim power from a star, to generate defensive shields powerful enough to do that, would completely upend the current political scene on earth, to the point that one wonders what exactly is the justification for keeping this all secret?

    We’re talking about completely green energy for the world, and we’re talking about technology that could shift the military from an offensive to a defensive stance. The shields on that ship could stop any weapon we have today, even nuclear weapons.

  182. 193 said: “I wish everyone would stop comparing it to the other SG shows, as this show’s style is significantly different.”

    But Chad, critique requires comparison. If Stargate U was a stand alone then it could be judged as solely on it’s own merits. But it’s not. It’s operating in an established Universe.

  183. The power to dial a gate from earth to the ship required a planet-sized power core.

    The power needed to operate the communication stones that same distance is apparently nill.

  184. 200 said: “It’s operating in an established Universe.”

    Technically its operating in an entirely different universe ;)

    I think the new series is taking a lot of risks which is good to see. New shooting style, new ‘farscape-scenario’ set. I think getting the sexual relationship out of the way early was a really good choice because it avoids the classic ‘drawn out for a season or two love triangle’. They both recently faced life altering trauma (oh and being trapped in a different galaxy) so a sexual release is inevitable.

    It will be a constant challenge for the writers to keep pushing themselves and their ideas and fight against ‘the norm’. Thats why I will keep watching the show.

  185. I’m really liking the show thus far. I do have some nitpicking to do though.

    First: I know someone mentioned it before, but seriously, where did Chloe get a change of clothes? No one else has changed (not including BDUs for the soldiers which conceivably could have been in the supply crates,) but she has. Same goes with Rush’s nightstand radio. Icarus Base was under attack, the core going critical, and he was off packing entertainment items? Unlikely.

    Second: Lt. Scott and Chloe hooking up. I get it. Stressful ‘we’re all going to die’ scenario. Unless the Air Force issues prophylactic kits like the Army did in WW2, what are the odds that there’s a future storyline there?

    Third: Actually regarding comments on here. Several people have mentioned that the Destiny has an AI. Did I miss something in an earlier episode where it was stated there was one? Sure, there’s a hell of a good autopilot, but I haven’t seen anything that would indicate true AI.

  186. OK I just had to share this with the group.

    http://www.reallifecomics.com/archive/091027.html

    This is great geek comic series and today’s is very relevant to this thread.

    @GeekBoston
    1) There were a lot of cases going through the gate and she was in her quarters went he attack started so it is possible she brought stuff. There are likely going to be some Gilligan’s Island “why did they bring that on a 3 hour tour?” type questions at times. Or will there Mr Creative Consultant Scalzi?

    2) I honestly hope we don’t do the Baby on Board thing. At least not in Season 1.

    3) The AI is an assumption / speculation based on the ship’s behavior. It was never mentioned in the show.

  187. GeekBoston, if the ship doesn’t have AI, then maybe emergent-AI. The Ancients seem to have used lots of human interfaces, such as the one on Atlantis. Aren’t the ship and Atlantis about the same age? And, this ship is not Early Ancient, but something built near their peak. So I think it’s a given that there is a ghost in the machine. Maybe it’s off in Ultimate Fun Space and just doesn’t want to bother with the spice lice that it’s picked up.

  188. I’m hoping it’s not an AI and instead a bunch of expert systems the characters eventually figure out how to manipulate. Keep the character drama among the humans using a more passive tool. AI’s and “living ships” have already been done enough for now, in my opinion.

  189. there’s a hell of a good autopilot, but I haven’t seen anything that would indicate true AI.

    If the ship has been flying for ten-thousand years at FTL and had to deal with all the stuff that it runs into on its own, I submit that the difference between “autopilot” and “artificial intelligence” is purely semantics.

    This isn’t some remote control Predator Drone. This isn’t some Eliza-bot.

    This thing has gone through some serious shit and survived, mitigated damage, and continued on its mission.

    The way our military and space equipment works it’s got “fail-safe” designs built into it. But as soon as a failure is detected the mission changes from “go to the moon” to “get back to earth alive”. This ship has been going on a ten-thousand year mission, survived catastrophes that can punch through shields strong enough to swim in the sun, and is still going on its mission.

    And even though the hull has integrity issues, and the life support is currently little more than a bag of sand, the shields surfed into a star and back, the power recievers dipped into the sun and recharged the ship’s core, the FTL still works on command, and the computer was smart enough to navigate to a star system, slingshot around a planet, dip into a star, recharge itself, and resume its mission.

    You can’t have a brainless automaton succeed at that. Not over ten thousand years and still succeed. This thing has to have some intelligence. It has to be aware of the context of its situation.

    I would not be surprised if some episode of exploring the ship stumbles onto a “veger” like mind that runs the ship. (who am I? Is this all I am? Is there nothing more?) Or some kind of “AI” episode. (HAL, Mother from “Aliens”, etc)

  190. “The ships were sent out after the Milky Way gates were built but before (I assume) the Pegasus gates. Why suddenly no DHD and the remote control instead?”

    Among other things, I would guess that the Ancients didn’t want any intelligences that stumbled onto the Gates to be able to exploit them effectively. DHDs strike me more as a convenience or safety feature – they provide extra power to decrease downtime, make it easy for causal users to input addresses, and maintain the system as a viable means of transport. In other words, something you’d want if you put the Gate on a populated world where easy and frequent use was desired.

    These Gates are only meant to be convenient survey tools, and are as barebones as you can get – no extra features.

  191. I’m loving this show, personally. It’s like a darker, more gritty version of Atlantis.
    A lot of people seem to be complaining about the characters not seeing the twists coming or not figuring something out sooner, ect ect. But think about it. You’re on a ship, potentially billions of lightyears from home, running out of food, water, air, power, everything. The ship you are on seems to have a mind of its own. And all of a sudden, you’re heading strait into the middle of a pissed off looking star.
    Are you going to sit back and think, “Oh, well, nothing to worry about. I’m sure the ship knows what it’s doing. We’ll just get more power and move on.”? No. You’re going to think “WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!” or something to that effect, with varying degrees of panic. It’s human nature to try to find a solution, or do something about a problem, not sit back, relax, and go with the flow of a ship heading towards a sun.
    Come on, people.
    Stop being so analytical, and let yourself get into the show. There are powerful emotions swirling around, and that’s the idea. Any show will look stupid or badly made if you analyze the crap out of it.

    Also, yes, a lot of the twists are pretty basic Stargate stuff. That’s how it is with a new show based on a pre-existing universe. The writers are getting their bearings, getting to know the characters, figuring out the situation, and for now, are falling back on their usual twists and turns and stuff. Give it time.

    That’s all I got, boys and girls.

  192. I agree with Tom in #209. We saw evidence of this character panic with the crew leaving the desert planet for one of the worlds Destiny had locked out.

    I hope we see more of this impact on character morale and psyche in the future, and long slight drawn out manner not a typical ‘i feel sad, now i am glad’ manner some shows take.

    And judging from the fact Eli still has a sunburn the writers are paying attention to writing ‘real’ fiction. :)

  193. @Greg – thanks; I was pretty sure I was using the word wrong. “Geek v. military” then. Anyway it’s a hokey cliche and I’m glad the writers went the opposite direction with Eli and Lt. Scott.

    You can’t have a brainless automaton succeed at that. Not over ten thousand years and still succeed. This thing has to have some intelligence. It has to be aware of the context of its situation.

    Still not feeling this. Even the computer systems we have on earth, which one would assume are extremely primitive compared to what’s available to the ancients, are capable of very complex decision making if given the proper inputs and algorithms. It doesn’t mean they have any capability to think outside of their programming. Given their level of sophistication, it seems to me the ships designers could easily have programmed it to perform a great many complex tasks without making it able to actually think imaginatively.

    Not to harp on it, but, unless it had a really good reason not to, which we haven’t been presented with, wouldn’t a thinking, context-aware ship have simply stopped accelerating long enough for the shuttle to catch up to it? I mean, that’s not a difficult decision. Whereas that behavior is completely explicable if it’s just run by a bunch of expert systems – the ship’s designers either forgot or didn’t bother to program it to react to that situation.

  194. “It’s human nature to try to find a solution, or do something about a problem, not sit back, relax, and go with the flow…”

    Exactly. Which is why using the comm stones to have angst-filled reunions with alcoholic parents and ex-wives instead of getting as much expert help as possible as soon as possible is just stupid. SO stupid, in fact, that it destroys my ability to suspend my disbelief and take these characters seriously.

    It’s why nobody even _considering_ the possibility that the ship was flying at the star for a reason makes them look stupid. Even if they dismiss that possibility and go ahead with the lifeboat lottery, at least we don’t have this elephant in the room that the characters (by which I mean the writers) are pointedly ignoring in the vain hope that no viewers will think of it, thereby ruining the “surprise” at the end.

    “Stop being so analytical, and let yourself get into the show. There are powerful emotions swirling around, and that’s the idea. Any show will look stupid or badly made if you analyze the crap out of it.”

    A show will also look stupid or badly thought out if the character behavior is, in fact, stupid or badly thought out. Yes, these people are under tremendous stress. Yes, they’re not The Right People ™, as Young has complained repeatedly. So what? They’re there and they need to deal with the situation, preferably by showing a minimal level of intelligence and inventiveness. If they can’t or won’t do that, who cares what happens to them?

    Supergeniuses who can reverse the polarity of the neutron flow and save the day are no less unrealistic than a group of 80 smart, educated people who are reduced to ineffective idiocy by stress–but the geniuses are a lot more fun to watch. I’m sure there’s an actual middle ground between those two extremes, but so far this show hasn’t found it.

  195. I’m not happy with SG:U so far. I keep watching hoping it will get out of — no offense intended — the chick zone. I don’t care who Chloe is doing and I found it strange that she was suddenly with Scott when she seemed to be hanging with Eli. I didn’t expect Eli to do her but I also didn’t really care. Maybe I fast forwarded through the scene from a previous episode where Chloe and Scott hook up (at a social? When did that happen?). Most of the time, episodes feel like a string of annoying love-scene subplots instead of the real story.

    There seems to be so much potential for the show but it is so squandered. The episode on the planet, like all episodes, turned into a personality episode. Rush is annoyingly arrogant. Why is it so difficult for him to say that they are there because of him but he is still important and this is what he needs. I get “help or get out” but he is an incredible dickhead 99% of the time.

    Anyway, I will likely watch every episode just like I watched all Atlantis episodes even when they started to get crumby toward the end. I just hope it gets most of the spirit of the first 8 seasons of SG:1.

  196. I’m still watching Battlestar Gateuniverse, but it feels like the Stargate franchise looked at how successful BSG was and asked “why don’t we do something like that?”

    There was always enough humor in a SG-1 or Atlantis season to leaven the bread. Battlestar Gateuniverse is a dense loaf.

  197. Scalzi, my fiancee and I are both huge fans of the show (we are only just now beginning to watch SG-1, because of SGU) and I’m reasonably certain that a lot of this stems from your creative and scientific influence.

    Bravo.

  198. Matthew @ 135 : re: complaints from Chris S.: You specifically pick on not making attempts to close the door of the leaky shuttle by means other than human sacrifice while ignoring the fact that they did talk those methods in the show, which of them were attempted, and why they didn’t work.

    They never actually said that they tried pushing the button via kino or with a stick or whatever. They said they tried wedging something in the door but that it would keep opening back up. I think it was the kind of gaffe that the writers have to try to think about for future episodes.

    http://www.stargate-sg1-solutions.com/wiki/SGU_1.02_%22Air_Part_2%22_Transcript

  199. Quick question before I head into the actual post… How is this thread going to work over time? One ginormous post for the entire season? Just jump to the end and drop your comment?

    Episode: Light
    Watched with my son (13).

    Overall a good show.

    Sunburn still around is good. I mentioned it to my son and he said “Oh yeah, it’s only been a few days!”

    In this show lines were drawn. The Colonel had to make a hard decision and people won’t forget it now that the crisis is over.

    Rush is a douche and we got to see him shed a little (very very little) of his doucheness. I was disappointed in the final scene where Young tries to repaint him with the douche brush. It seemed paranoid (the point maybe?). If he truly did have significant confidence in the ship surviving; that revelation would have been better spent in a future episode IMO.

    Romance, meh. I don’t mind a little here and there in my action genre but my son obviously didn’t care for it. He chose those scenes to chat it up. The current setup is ham handed IMO. A little subtlety would be nice.

    I figured out the solar harvest before my son (he was impressed). I think harvesting from the gas giant would be more plausible but what the heck, it’s ancient tech! My son called the grav slingshot before I thought of it (I was even MORE impressed!)

    FWIW I don’t look to Stargate for “high Sci Fi”. It fits in the ST:TOC slot. I watched ST with my dad and my son and I watch SG. TV that’s easy going down, fun but thought provoking enough to be interesting. Mission Accomplished.

  200. EJ 211: I was pretty sure I was using the word wrong. “Geek v. military” then.

    How about “Geek vs. Flyboy”? Or, more generically, “Geek vs. Hunk.”

    Or “Astronaut vs. Caveman,” I suppose. Cavemen win, as Fred told us before she became a doctor.

  201. Telford sucks. He should know better than to undermine the commander on site. He cannot command from earth. They should have low-ranking grunts sitting next to those stones.

    On the first planet, when they were short on air, everyone should have gone through the gate just to get some clear air for a while. Just set up tents and sit there. That reduces the stress on the life support system and buys them a few more hours once they get back. Also they could have worked out some system for bottling air and bringing it back with them.

    Rush is a loner geek with baggage, I get that. But his diva complex is too thick. If he hopes the ship will find some way to survive the confrontation with the sun then he should have vocalized that. He should speak more in bullet points and just move on, and challenge O’Neill to keep up.

    I like the science, or attempts at science. But there are too many passengers who are not really attempting to be part of the solution. Each person needs to get a clear job and there needs to be clear channels of communication. These people need each other, and they have to get that soon.

    One question. I haven’t seen that the two people who went through the gate from the first planet to the other were ever picked up. Maybe I was supposed to recognize them later on the ship and catch that, but I didn’t. That needs to be brought up again and discussed. Two deaths or two mutinies needs to be discussed. “We will leave your asses, just like we left Punch and Judy.” Or “I still can’t believe that you ran off to that other planet alone and nearly got ate by those giant beetles. Don’t do anything dumb like that again.”

  202. It’s why nobody even _considering_ the possibility that the ship was flying at the star for a reason makes them look stupid.

    Yup, I agree.

    I would have liked to have seen someone (Eli Maybe) come up with the idea that the ship might be doing something positive by heading for the star, and then Col. Young putting it to the crew. “We are heading for the star and we don’t know why. It is possible the ship is doing this on purpose and it is also possible the ship is damaged beyond repair and we are all going to die. We just don’t have enough information… I am asking for volunteers to go on the shuttle in case it turns out the ship is doomed. (Young then explains why hopping on the shuttle is a gamble) If I can’t get X number of volunteers or I get too many we will a have a lottery to choose the people who go on the shuttle.”

    The rest of the episode could be about making the decision. Rush & Eli & whoever else arguing about who is right. The HR lady could confront Col. Young about forcing people to go on the shuttle.

    If they had done something like that I would have at least not known how the episode was going to end, and we wouldn’t have needed the idiot ball this week. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IdiotBall

    I will watch the rest of the episodes because I really love the premise of this show, but as others have noted, the huge potential of this show is being squandered with some really really bad decision making by the characters.

  203. Blue: Idiot Ball

    Didn’t know that one. Cool.

    I still think the biggest gaffe is that a star will have more power than any “core” in a planet, therefore Destiny should be able to dial earth anytime it wants to dip into a star again.

    You don’t get more power density than fusion. Just hack the nav software, have the ship skim the surface of a star, port that power into the gate, and dial earth or some gate near earth.

    The rest of the season can be Rush, by himself, dinking around with the ship, telling himself how smart he is.

  204. Just hack the nav software

    As long as we’re wishing for incredibly difficult things, can they have ponies, too?

    (why do I have feeling the ship wouldn’t like having the nav software hacked?)

  205. Rush already modified the code to get the ship to drop out of FTL near a planet that might have some CO2 scrubbing sand.

    The way the ship has been demonstrated to work so far on the show, if they tried to dial earth on the gate, the ship should drop out of FTL, find a star, and go for a swim to get the needed power.

  206. watching SG:U, commenting late, just watched
    “Light”.
    Based on Destiny’s previous actions with dropping out for supplies , as soon as it deliberately plotted a solar intercept, anyone that was not mentally compromised (sleep, o2, meds, shock from less than a week ago getting on scary ship,etc.) should have asked themselves if the ship was self preserving and why suns are useful. Anyone remotely familiar with the ancients (all those science team and any one who reads the tech manuals) would know that even zero point energy sources get drained (especially by humongous ships), and since ramscoops do not work (net energy loss for capturing/stopping the interstellar hydrogen), then a refuel/recharge method would have to be a ship’s function.

    /And I have to agree with others the “just a few days argument” plays both ways, in regards to rational response and people acting all to familiar.

  207. Randy: Pretty sure those two who went through the gate are gone for good — they wouldn’t really have had anywhere to return to, and they didn’t respond to comms after going through. I’d prefer they left it alone, actually.

  208. @221 Greg

    “I still think the biggest gaffe is that a star will have more power than any “core” in a planet, therefore Destiny should be able to dial earth anytime it wants to dip into a star again.”

    Well, no, not necessarily. While a star would be a more or less infinite source of power, that doesn’t mean the ship has the capability to store or even direct enough power to open a Gate to Earth.

    Before I rewired my house, for instance, I couldn’t turn on my microwave and my electric oven at the same time. Plenty of power coming in, but the infrastructure wasn’t there to use the power to power them both.

    Of course, we don’t know whether the Destiny could or not. It may not have the ability to direct that much to the Gate.

    That said, since lack of power was Rush’s excuse for not trying to dial Earth, it should be the next thing on their list now that they do have power.

  209. that doesn’t mean the ship has the capability to store or even direct enough power to open a Gate to Earth.

    Dude, the shields let the ship swim in a star fer cripes sake. If you can transfer enough power to move the ship around in a star, then you’re beyond the technological level where you worry about the gauge of copper wire you use.

    If you can fly in a star, I think it’s reasonable to assume that you can move around whatever power you might get from a planet-sized “core” power source.

    And if the Ancients made a planet-sized “core” to power the gate to the ship, and there doesn’t seem to be any limit to their engineering budget, then there’s no reason they wouldn’t design destiny to pipe star power straight into the gate as a backup to get home.

    I mean, seriously, the base blew up when something like two or three Ancient ships showed up and an extremely short and brief attack took place. If the base was really that shaky, really that prone to self-destruction and implosion, then you want a backup plan for whoever is on the ship. And lots of Ancient technology has backups and failsafes. Stick your arm through a gate and it stays open longer. Try to shut an airlock with no one in a shuttle and it reopens. run out of power and the ship diverts to a star. This thing is on a ten-thousand year mission, at a minimum, you’re telling me that they designed a ship that can’t gate its crew back home if it needs to?

    And it’s clear that the designers of Destiny could have done this, so the only reason they would not do this is if the writers don’t want it.

    The alternative is that Destiny was designed to power the gate from a star to dial earth, but the mumbo-jumbo is fritzen-frackened, and then the characters will have to tech the tech to tech back home. Maybe they’ll save that one for the series finale.

  210. Greg, they said in the first ep, IIRC, that the Ancients had always intended the trip out to Destiny to be one-way. So maybe the gate on the ship just isn’t capable of dialing nine chevrons. Most aren’t, remember.

  211. Rats, forgot: and the gate on Icarus was a one-way gate. It didn’t accept incoming wormholes. So they knew they weren’t going back there. So why make a special gate to dial nine chevrons on Destiny?

    What bugs me is: why did the Ancients make every gate in the universe with nine chevrons, when only ONE could actually use all nine?

  212. Xopher, if watching five years of SGA taught me one thing, it was that the Ancients were not good at thinking things through to their logical conclusion.

  213. Those were Goa’uld ships, not Ancient ones, in the pilot. Not sure of they’re remnants of the System Lords or some belonging to that pirate group, or what, but they weren’t Ancient.

    Also, I think the planet the Icarus Base and its nine-chevron gate were on had a naturally occuring naquadria core that was unstable; it wasn’t made by anyone.

  214. Xopher: they said in the first ep, IIRC, that the Ancients had always intended the trip out to Destiny to be one-way.

    The problem is that when “they say” something, that doesn’t cause my brain to go “oh, well, OK then.”

    the writers said that the Ancients had always intended the trip to be one way, so that the series wouldn’t end on the fifth or sixth episode when they figure out how to dial back.

    Seriously, that’s a dumb excuse. How many one-way gates are there in the universe?

    So why make a special gate to dial nine chevrons on Destiny?

    Why NOT?

    Why not make a normal gate with 8 chevrons and have one of those chevrons be Destiny? Why must Destiny be a non-standard gate with 9 chevrons? Why must Destiny have an address that breaks Ancient technology formats? If you’ve been building Gates across the universe long enough that you can build Destiny, I think you could come up with a Universal Chevron Addressing system that would work for all cases.

    Nine chevrons is only significant if the Ancients effectively created a Y2K bug in their addressing system. And after a few millenium of gate seeding, I think they’d straighten out the kinks in that.

    Sarcasmorator: Those were Goa’uld ships, not Ancient ones, in the pilot. Not sure of they’re remnants of the System Lords or some belonging to that pirate group, or what, but they weren’t Ancient.

    I think it was something like three ships. And their attack lasted maybe fifteen minutes before the planet went splewie. Three ships and a short attack caused the planet to explode. You’re telling me the Ancients with the forsight to build Destiny to be smart enough to autopilot itself for ten-thousand years, thought it was a good idea to put the only gate to reach Destiny on an unstable planet that could explode from the smallest and most minor attack?

    the Icarus Base and its nine-chevron gate were on had a naturally occuring naquadria core that was unstable; it wasn’t made by anyone.

    You need a “the writers said” in front of that explanation. And you’re saying that whatever “naquadria” is, it has more power density than an aggregation of so much hydrogen that the hydrogen collapses on its own gravitational field, and undergoes fusion over billions of years? And that this “naquadria” is naturally occuring on planets?

    Do you realize how much power you’re talking about? you’re talking about more power than E=mc^2. Do you know how much mass is in a star? Do you know how much less massive a planet is compared to a star?

    Point number 2: if the naturally occurring unobtainium naquadria was unstable why not just build a ship that surfed a star and use that as your base with a 9-chevron gate rather than putting all your eggs into the basket of an unstable power source planet that has more power than a star undergoing fusion?

    Instead of having Icarus Base on an unstable planet, why not build a ship that surfed a nearby star for power, and use that to dial Destiny? And then if you get attacked, hey, look at that, you’re on a ship and can FTL out of the fight. And if you lose control of that solar system, you take your ship to a different star and reconnect with Destiny. I don’t know what kind of wars the Ancients went through, but if they had any kind of territorial battles, you might think they might consider that they might lose control of that solar system and might not ever be able to dial Destiny again.

    Cripes, as backward and short-sighted as we are now, everyone screams bloody murder when it comes to storing nuclear waste materials. Yucca Mountains and all that. That’s the sort of thinking that has to go into a 10,000 year design. What if we’re not around anymore to tell people “don’t go there”? What if people don’t speak english anymore? What if WW3 wipes most of us out of existence?

    What the writers are showing is that the Ancients didn’t think about their 10,000 year mission at all.

    What if the unstable planet explodes and we lose our power source? What if there is a war and we lose control of this system? What if pirates attack and blow up the planet? What if?

    And the other thing the writers seem to be indicating is that this naquadria has many more times teh power density of fusion. more power than converting mass into energy via E=mc^2. So much more, in fact, that a star that’s maybe a couple hundred thousand times more massive than a planet has less energy than this naquadria stuff.

    And that just occurs as ludicrous.

  215. Greg @223: Rush already modified the code to get the ship to drop out of FTL near a planet that might have some CO2 scrubbing sand.

    All Rush claims to have done is tell the ship that they were in trouble. He never claimed to make any modifications to any code to cause the gate to work. Given what we’ve seen of his character so far I’d think he would take credit for being able to make the ship stop and dial a gate if he actually did it.

  216. Greg @233: Why not make a normal gate with 8 chevrons and have one of those chevrons be Destiny? Why must Destiny be a non-standard gate with 9 chevrons? Why must Destiny have an address that breaks Ancient technology formats? If you’ve been building Gates across the universe long enough that you can build Destiny, I think you could come up with a Universal Chevron Addressing system that would work for all cases.

    Nine chevrons is only significant if the Ancients effectively created a Y2K bug in their addressing system. And after a few millenium of gate seeding, I think they’d straighten out the kinks in that.

    I think the main reason they had to use a 9 chevron gate is because the Destiny is a ship and since it uses an FTL drive it’s position changes much more rapidly than a planet. Since we know that the gates in our galaxy needed to update their addressing due to stellar drift wouldn’t it make sense that there had to be some additional calculation made for something moving at FTL speeds.

  217. @ 200 The Gray Area

    “But Chad, critique requires comparison. If Stargate U was a stand alone then it could be judged as solely on it’s own merits. But it’s not. It’s operating in an established Universe.”

    I wasn’t suggesting SGU be stand alone or should just ignore prior canon. I was suggesting that making a detailed direct comparison to the other shows is foolish, as the shows are significantly different in style. The only thing this SGU has in common with the prior shows is background. The writing, pacing, intensity, storyline, camera angles, etc. are all different and purposefully different.

    We can say we like one style or the other, and that’s fine. What we shouldn’t do is try and shoehorn in SG1/SGA style into SGU and then complain that it doesn’t fit. Of course it doesn’t fit, as one is round and the other square. On top of that we all knew this since the first time the studio announced they were doing a new series.

    A more apt comparison is between SGU and BSG, as SGU is trying to get deep in the characters and bring a little more intensity/realism to the show.

  218. OK. Much as I hate to put myself in the middle of a techno geek war…. All Milkyway gates have 9 chevrons and any of those gates could, with enough power, dial Destiny.

    The 9 chevron address was found in the Atlantis database. They knew (not sure how since the ancients suck at leaving instructions/manuals behind) that it would take a crap load of power to dial the address so when they found this nifty incredibility unstable, uber-powerful planet they setup a base there to begin experimenting. That is the only reason for the choice of the planet.

  219. # 236 said: “A more apt comparison is between SGU and BSG, as SGU is trying to get deep in the characters and bring a little more intensity/realism to the show.”

    Chad, I think the writers have built a Universe, not just a galaxy. The Destiny “crew” are obviously temporally connected to Earth by virtue of the stones, and are thus part of SG-1 reality. If the look of the show is to flatter BG design concepts, which were first used in Alien, then so be it. As for the personal relationships and characters appreciation: I’ll think we all like complexity, and that’s been happening. Ranting genius gets old though. And the ship flying into the star was obvious. If I could say it as soon as I heard it, why didn’t Rush? Or one of the average people. Don’t any of them read sf? Come on, the ship is just going to suicide in a star?

  220. GL, the Ancients built the base on Icarus, and the stargate there. While all stargates have nine chevrons, the Icarus gate is unique in not accepting incoming wormholes.

    Greg, two things: one, just because something is told in exposition doesn’t mean it isn’t true, or a valid starting point. What they believed initially may turn out not to be true, but it’s the basis for the plotlines, and we should go from there. If you’re not going to do that, why not just start from the implausible premise of the whole universe: wormholes don’t work like that; they probably don’t exist at all; if they did there’d be no reason to “demolecularize” people who walk through them; there’s no reason for them to be one-way,* etc. ad nauseam?

    Try arguing inconsistencies within the established framework, because if you reject the very premise, you might as well let the implausibility of FTL** (without hyperspace even!) drive you crazy. If you can’t accept the underlying premise of the show, why watch it? You’ll never enjoy it.

    Two, just out of curiosity, what’s your favorite TV show? I’m talking scripted drama now, so Monday Night Football, The Amazing Race, and How I Met Your Mother are off the table. Doesn’t it drive you crazy that a) in the real world CSIs don’t interview suspects, and their analysis takes weeks if not months; b) Angels hanging out and drinking beer with cops is bad theology; or c) ad execs in the 1960s didn’t have that kind of martini glass, since it wasn’t invented until 1973?***

    Science fiction requires more leeway than ripped-from-the-headlines cop drama (for example). You seem to be giving it dramatically less.
    ____
    *Every stargate wormhole is one-way. That’s why there are “incoming” and “outgoing” wormholes. The Icarus gate was just locked so that it couldn’t accept incoming ones.
    **OK, aside from Catherine Asaro. But the way those ships work would be damned hard to film. You have FTL in most SF because it lets you tell the stories that are the most interesting, not because it’s good science.
    ***I made this up. I have never, in fact, watched Mad Men, but I’m sure there are some implausible bits in it.

  221. it’s a lot more Farscape than BSG.

    Which is one of my biases, as I believe I disclosed in an earlier thread: I am still offended by an interview Brad Wright gave the year SG-1 started on SciFi. He went on and on about how deadly boring starship-based science fiction was, on a structual level, and explicitly equated Farscape to Voyager.

    Now, it took me about four lines to fall in love with Farscape, and I watched Voyager until they killed Seska; there was no point of resemblence between the two that wasn’t shared with, say, “Lost in Space” and summarized by those three words.

    My sense of offense is petty, and I admit to that; however, I’m equally inclined to think that the best creative consultants in the world (among which I am more than willing to number our host) cannot overcome the structural and conceptual limitations of the series creators.

    (Also, anyone who believes I am especially negative needs to drop by the forums at SyFy.com or, God forbid, Gateworld, by which comparison I am an uncritical fan-girl).

  222. xopher: Try arguing inconsistencies within the established framework, because if you reject the very premise, you might as well let the implausibility of FTL

    I don’t know how FTL would work. But what I do know is that fusion takes mass and converts it to energy. E=mc2. When the mass is gone, what else is there? No chemical reaction can produce more power per mass than fusion, because chemical energy deals with the bonds between atoms, fusion smashes atoms and converts some of the mass to energy.

    You cannot present to me “I’ve got this thing the size of a breadbox that produces more power than a star” and expect me to believe it.

    That is fundamentally different than saying “If I push this button something happens and I go faster than light”.

    What I see is that the premises of the technology of the show were created by the writers to justify the circumstances of the series (we’re stranded on a ship and can’t get back to earth), rather than having the technology make sense for the Ancients and what they were doing and then somehow combine that to create the giligan’s island effect.

    (1) the only gate in known existence that is one-way? would the Ancients do that? I don’t think so. (2) the only power source is a planet sized chunk of unobtanium that exploded? Would the ancients really put the success of a 10,000 year project on something so unstable? I don’t think so. (3) Would the Ancients create a ship that was clearly designed to carry people and send people there with no way of getting them back? I don’t think so.

    All of the explanations boil down to something that relies on Ancient technology but doesn’t make sense if you were an Ancient yourself. An Ancient wouldn’t have done it that way. And “the Ancients work in mysterious ways” excuse only works so many times before it gets old.

    Two, just out of curiosity, what’s your favorite TV show?

    I’ve been watching “Bones” for a while now. It’s got ludicrous technology that is so absurd sometimes that it makes me laugh out loud. But I watch it for the characters, Bones, Booth, and the rest of the crew. Their interactions are entertaining. Right now, the characters on SGU aren’t entertaining enough to distract me from the technical issues. If Bones had boring characters, I’d probably be fed up with their magical software that extracts an image from a reflection of someone’s eye, but as it is, the characters distract me from the technical issues.

    I also watch “Burn Notice” and again, the technical details are ludicrous. It’s about as accurate as the “A-Team”. But the characters are interesting and sometimes funny as hell. The main character, Michael, is a guy I root for. And he’s got some entertaining company. So, I don’t mind if he goes through several combat scenes through several episodes and never has to actually shoot anyone.

    I’m not actually rooting for anyone on SGU yet. I hate Rush, but as far as I can tell, everyone puts up with him, so they deserve the asshole. So, I’m not really rooting for the Colonel because he keeps letting Rush get away with shit that any normal CO would put him in irons for. I’m not rooting for Eli because he’s such a loser. I’m not rooting for the lieutenant because he’s not doing anything other than following orders. I’m not rooting for Chloe because she’s not doing anything other than taking a completely gratuitous shower scene and having sex with the men when needed.

    Is there anyone on SGU that you’re really rooting for? Rooting for, like you’re rooting for Luke Skywalker to become a Jedi, and then he meets Yoda, and he’s training hard, and then he has to confront Vader, and then he learns the truth,and then in Return of the Jedi, he shows up in Jabba’s palace as a full-fledged goddamn Jedi and you’re like “fuck, yeah!”

    The show has been operating on such short term goals, and the writers have been forcing the scenarios into “We don’t have time to think about this” situations, that no one really has much of a long term goal. Sure, “get back to earth” is a goal, but no one is actually working on that. The things characters are working on are “we need to survive the next few hours”, and they keep making such moronic decisions, and not punishing the morons, that its hard to feel sorry for them. Rush is an asshole, but everyone just lets Rush get away with all his shit, so I don’t feel that sorry for them.

    Doesn’t it drive you crazy that a) in the real world CSIs don’t interview suspects, and their analysis takes weeks if not months;

    I stopped watching CSI after being on jury duty for months.

    b) Angels hanging out and drinking beer with cops is bad theology; or

    Oh, I forgot. I watch “Saving Grace” some times (my wife watches it, I’ll sit in sometimes). It has a realistic feel to how it handles its evidence, though there are technical issues with how fast things happen, etc. And it’s got an angel following a cop around. And it’s fucking hilarious.

    c) ad execs in the 1960s didn’t have that kind of martini glass, since it wasn’t invented until 1973?***

    Yeah, I don’t think postulating a power source with more power/density than fusion is the same as a character wearing the wrong kind of hat or using the wrong martini glass.

    Science fiction requires more leeway than ripped-from-the-headlines cop drama (for example). You seem to be giving it dramatically less.

    Look, “The A-Team” was funny, so it didn’t matter to me that hey cobbled together a cabbage-cannon from spare parts in a barn. BA Baracas was funny. Crazy Murdoch was funny. And funny distracts me from technical issues.

    “Saving Grace” has good characters so I don’t mind the angel following the cop around. “Bones” has great characters so I don’t mind the crazy technological tricks the ypull sometimes.

    SGU isn’t giving me any characters to really root for yet. There’s an asshole who should be lockedup and no one’s doign anything about him. They are occuring more and more as deserving the shit they’re in. And tehre isn’t any long-term goal they’re working on directly. “Survive” isn’t distracting enough for me, especially when they do things that are against their own survival, such as not locking Rush up until they get to Earth.

  223. Greg, the power density of stars is very high, sure, but mainly in the core. By the time you’ve spread it out all over the star’s surface, it’s far from unbeatable. Just a several kilokelvin blackbody.

    It makes up for its only reasonably great flux by being frakking enormous. One measly ship cannot collect a decent fraction of that power, even close up. That is the point raised above. And just because they can skim the surface doesn’t mean they can go diving.

  224. I think Greg’s issue is also mine. Right now, the characters are in ‘omg we need to survive mode’ because it’s only been a few days for them. I think it’s taking too many episodes to get them out of ‘we’re running out of air’ mode personally. So I’ve decided to ignore the show until they’re all done with the basic survival thing. I think it will be critical to see how they develop the show when the drama isn’t provided by making sure there’s air, water, etc. At that point they will have the issue of getting home with all of the drama inherent in that… can they? Should they wander space for years vs finding a planet? What are the conflicts and alliances that develop? That stuff could become interesting. If, on the other hand, they continue to use the comm device to make booty calls (vs getting useful information) and it becomes a soap opera in space with love triangles etc…. well, there are other things to do.

  225. “I still think the biggest gaffe is that a star will have more power than any “core” in a planet, therefore Destiny should be able to dial earth anytime it wants to dip into a star again.”

    Nope, collecting the output of a star is a non-trivial task (one quite beyond Destiny‘s capabilities), and filling tanks with hydrogen won’t do the trick either.

    “You don’t get more power density than fusion.”

    WRONG. Both in RL, and in the fictional setting, there are sources of much greater potence than fusion power.

    If Naquadah reactors were insufficient to power the Stargate for the nine-chevron address, fusion just isn’t going to cut it.

  226. “Rush already modified the code to get the ship to drop out of FTL near a planet that might have some CO2 scrubbing sand.”

    No. What Rush did was convey to the computer the necessity of locating a seeded Stargate likely to be close to a certain mineral, and the ship dropped out of FTL within Stargate range of such an identified planet for a length of time.

    They still cannot access any of the ship’s main systems, and they certainly cannot reprogram the computer. They’ve only managed to pull up readouts and access a few rudimentary features – they haven’t even finished exploring the ship, for crying out loud.

  227. “Xopher, if watching five years of SGA taught me one thing, it was that the Ancients were not good at thinking things through to their logical conclusion.”

    Substitute “the Atlantis writers” for “the Ancients”, and you’d have a very good argument.

    Seriously: as wonky as the science in SG is, SG-1 did a reasonably good job of explaining and anticipating how encountered technologies would change the functioning of the SGC. Atlantis… not so much. The long-term thinking just wasn’t there at all.

  228. #246 said, “WRONG. Both in RL, and in the fictional setting, there are sources of much greater potence than fusion power”

    I guess you might consider matter-antimatter reaction as the ultimate way to extract energy from matter. That’s not quite real yet, but soon enough.

  229. Hmm, I think someone put another <blockquote> where a </blockquote> was intended.

    Greg, if the core of Icarus was naquadria, it’s more powerful than any star. Naquadria is Magic Dust; it can do anything.

    Yeah, they made up an element (naquadah) that isn’t in the periodic chart at all, and is stable enough that great quantities of it are lying around in nature. Oh, and it’s heavy, but not as heavy as, say, plutonium. Then they made up a “related” element (whatever the hell THAT means), the aforementioned naquadria, that’s Even More Powerful (oooo!).

    If the physics of all that doesn’t bother you, gritting your teeth because they didn’t just harness the power of a star seems like straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel. But YMMV. The bad math and just plain ignorance of what is possible in atomic nuclei (hello, you can’t just shove one into the middle of the chart!) bother me a hell of a lot more than the Ancients’ admittedly egregious design fails.

    Remember one thing though: the Ancients looked just like humans, the better to be played by human actors, but they did things no human would do. Maybe the Ancient mind needed (say) the stupid Point Of Origin design crock to be comfortable with the stargate, who knows?

  230. It makes up for its only reasonably great flux by being frakking enormous.

    Think about what you just said. The mass of a star is frakking enormous. The mass of a planet is hundreds of thousands of times smaller than that. The energy is mass times a constant. So who has more energy? A star or a planet? Answer: Whoever has more mass.

    One measly ship cannot collect a decent fraction of that power, even close up.

    But it’s a lot of power and it should be able to channel it into a gate. The gate was tiny. a dozen feet in diameter. The material was small, maybe two feet in diameter. It’s not like we’re looking at copper conductors that are twenty meters thick.

    That is the point raised above. And just because they can skim the surface doesn’t mean they can go diving.

    The point is they can access the power.

    Xopher: If the physics of all that doesn’t bother you,

    I haven’t seen any of the other Stargate series, so I don’t know much about naquadah. But, yeah, if its simply another element on a periodic chart, someone ought to be fired. I was thinking it was some other form of matter, like dark matter, or some kind of black hole that can pack more mass into all that empty space between protons and electrons, maybe it’s a form of plasma. How that would be “naturally occurring” in places that humans can walk around and breathe, I have no idea, but I figured the devices that used it had some sort of containment field to hold it.

  231. “Why would Rush care about giving some people a chance to survive if he’s wrong?”
    Rush is on record caring about survival IN THE ABSTRACT, the survival of the group, of the mission (data on Destiny arriving on Earth), even of “the people” in theoretical Darwinian terms. He cares very much if “the group” survives, but not at all how many individuals might have to be sacrificed.
    He is also capable of thinking he’s wrong. See how he hovers around Eli? It’s not jealousy or envy — it’s ambition. He wants Eli to work with him because he knows he needs help. Rush is dissatisfied and frustrated with his slow progress — his focus is on the future, on success by any means.

    The Colonel borrows a page from the Leslie Groves book, incidentally, when he pits the educated scientists against the under-educated talent. General Groves was a master of motivating the genius mind, whether educated, raw, or in-between. And of course Colonel Young having that background would know all the tricks. That scene rang true.

    “I think I might have been happier from a hard sci-fi point of view if the refueling had happened when it dipped into the gas giant.”
    The Ancients had a powerful aesthetic compulsion to build ostentatious, overengineered, and above all else enduring technology for its own sake. Scooping a gas giant? Heck any spacefaring culture could do that, but the Ancients … they gotta take it to the next level. As big a fan as I am of “hard” science fiction, the Ancients have already been portrayed as over-achievers in command of technologies bordering on divinity. They get to fudge.

    “… these allegedly clever people can’t even seem to _imagine_ things viewers can.”
    Bingo. For a smart kid Eli isn’t all that bright.

  232. “Think about what you just said. The mass of a star is frakking enormous. The mass of a planet is hundreds of thousands of times smaller than that. The energy is mass times a constant. So who has more energy? A star or a planet? Answer: Whoever has more mass.”

    Which has more mass: a star, or a galaxy? Answer: the galaxy.

    And since the Destiny is flying around in the middle of a galaxy, clearly there is plenty of energy available for dialing back to Earth. QED.

    Oh, and Xopher? Refined naquadah is probably significantly denser than plutonium – it’s found (fictionally) in the theoretical stable region of the periodic table that we haven’t explored yet. Whether its various properties are at all plausible isn’t really relevant to the show.

  233. But, yeah, if its simply another element on a periodic chart, someone ought to be fired.

    You’ve got to be kidding me. If science fiction TV writers were fired every time they put egregiously bad science in a show, there would be no broadcast SF at all.

    I was thinking it was some other form of matter, like dark matter, or some kind of black hole that can pack more mass into all that empty space between protons and electrons, maybe it’s a form of plasma. How that would be “naturally occurring” in places that humans can walk around and breathe, I have no idea, but I figured the devices that used it had some sort of containment field to hold it.

    Nope. It’s something you dig out of a rock. The Goa’uld were famous for working people to death mining it. They, and everyone who’s ever been host to one, has naquadah in their blood, which enables them to use Goa’uld technology. This is a safety lockout so the “tools of the gods” can’t be used by “ordinary mortals,” or maybe it actually powers the devices, I’m not sure.

    A naquadah reactor that you can carry around in a briefcase can power a stargate (for intragalactic purposes). There’s also such a thing as “weapons-grade” naquadah—if you have a pony nuke, and you blow it up next to a pile of naquadah, it wipes out all life on the planet, because naquadah is So Very Powerful. Its very existence violates any number of physical laws, and its properties are impossible. Naquadria is even worse, though they at least pay minor lip service to the idea that it’s unstable. It’s always blowing shit up and like that.

    Rush is on record caring about survival IN THE ABSTRACT, the survival of the group, of the mission (data on Destiny arriving on Earth), even of “the people” in theoretical Darwinian terms. He cares very much if “the group” survives, but not at all how many individuals might have to be sacrificed.

    But none of that means that he’d care about people on a shuttle. If Destiny is destroyed, his life and everything he cares about is over. There’s no reason in his personality as so far shown that he would care one whit whether people went on the shuttle or not. Which, by the way, is evidence that he did not know what would happen, because if he suspected that Destiny might survive, he’d make sure no one he considered useful was on the shuttle. He didn’t care about the selection (except that he didn’t want to be on it), therefore he didn’t think there was a chance Destiny could survive.

    Hmm, I see that we actually disagree slightly…you think he cares about the survival of the group for reasons aside from his own ambition. I think he’s a total sociopath and sees other people as nothing other than tools or fools, that is, in terms of helping him or hindering him in achieving his goals, and nothing else about them is relevant to him at all.

    He wants Eli to work with him because he knows he needs help.

    Help he can control. Eli is young, compulsively helpful, and rather naïve. Easy to manipulate. The ideal tool for a sociopath like Rush.

  234. 254: Shots of people carrying around significant quantities of “weapons-grade naquadah” belie that. It’s in the IMAGINARY part of the periodic chart…its atomic number is 94+2i or something.

    And you missed* my point in talking all about that to Greg. I want him to see that yeah, there are fire breathin’ dragons here, and trying to work out how they could possibly fly and breathe fire and stuff in terms of real biology is silly. Trying to get him to relax and stop nitpicking the science; it’s a background of deep hokum, and picking on the latest hokum doesn’t make sense.

    A futile effort, perhaps, but I felt it was worth a try.
    ___
    *or ignored

  235. xopher: You’ve got to be kidding me. If science fiction TV writers were fired every time they put egregiously bad science in a show, there would be no broadcast SF at all.

    That’s an “et tu” fallacy and a misrepresentation of sci-fi in general. “et tu” as in “well, everyone else is just as bad as SGU” and misrepresenting because not all SF shows have science that is this screwed up.

  236. Trying to get him to relax and stop nitpicking the science

    I’m still waiting for someone to root for. That would require (1) someone I admire to some degree, or respect, or at the very least I feel sorry for them, and (2) that they have a goal they are actively working towards.

    There is still no one on the show I’m actually rooting for yet. The characters so far can be summed up as follows: Eli is acting like a loser. The Colonel is letting Rush walk around when he thinks Rush may have jeapordized lives on more than one occaission. The Lieutenant has had sex twice, with two different women (he found a bag of life-saving dirt, but it’s a short victory). Chloe has had a gratuitous shower scene and had sex when the Lt needed someone to screw and got very angry with Rush when her father died. The medic keeps reminding us that she shouldn’t even be there and doesn’t have the equipment to really heal anyone. And the HR woman is a bitch for no apparent reason.

    Compare that to a show I really like, say, Firefly. Mal, a good captain who looks out for his crew. Zoe a loyal first mate. Wash a great pilot and a great sense of humor. Jayne a rough and tumble pirate. Inara a beautiful and sophisticated cortesan that Mal takes a shine to. Kaylee probably the only person who can keep the ship flying. Simon a highly intelligent doctor who rescued his sister from government torture. River a crazy psycho who sometimes kicks ass when it is most entirely needed. Shepard a former secret something who worked for the badguys but turned to god and helps Mal.

    THere isn’t a character in there that I don’t respect, admire, or at least feel sorry for. And they’re all dealing with the short term issue of surviving, putting food on the table, but they’ve got long term goals of dealing with the bad guys chasign after River. So I didn’t really notice that the floorplan of the ship makes no sense.

    I’m not feeling that way about the SGU characters yet.

    The only character I’m rooting about is I’m rooting for Rush to get a rifle buttstock across the head.

  237. @238 The Gray Area

    Galaxy vs. Universe…what? Same reality as SG-1? I never argued different. I was talking about the style of the shows.

    We are so not talking about the same things.

  238. Chad, didn’t you say that SGU is a new universe? If you did you were mistaken. The “Universe” has already been created by SG-1 and Atlantis. You can expand on that with SGU, but it’s the same Universe. Right? Same gates, same Ancients, same.

  239. @Xopher #239

    GL, the Ancients built the base on Icarus, and the stargate there. While all stargates have nine chevrons, the Icarus gate is unique in not accepting incoming wormholes.

    Go check the transcript or rewatch the ep.

    They never actually said the ancients built the base. In fact is classic Human “dig a hole in a mountain” design.

    They said that the address was in the Ancient database. They said that they needed massive power to lock the 9th chevron. The reason that the gate cannot receive an incoming wormhole is because it was too dangerous based on the way they have the gate tied to the planet’s power. I assume that is part of the reason they disconnected the DHD and went with an Earth-type dialing computer.

    Rush even said that they believed the address was intended to be dialed from Earth, but Icarus was the only place that had the power needed so they had to do it there instead.

  240. Also, anyone have any suggestions where I should read good plot summaries of the other Stargate shows and movies so I can get the back story?

  241. @261 The Gray Area

    I don’t think I even used the words universe or galaxy at all. I know I didn’t claim SGU to be a new original universe without SG1/SGA canon/background.

    Sometimes these comments run together when there are so many. It must have been someone else who said it. No harm, no foul.

  242. Chad said, “I wish everyone would stop comparing it to the other SG shows, as this show’s style is significantly different.”

    Sorry to have misattributed a word or two to you.

    I was just making the astronomical point that it’s in a different galaxy, but one contained in the fictional Stargate Universe. That said, No harm, no foul is fine. I’m just interested in picking on the show. I do like the misty space fog, whatever it is. And I’m sure I’ll like the engine room, which should be about the size of what? It’s using plasma compression?

  243. @266 Gray

    No problem, it happens. Especially in comments.

    I am anxious to get past the survival phase into the exploring the ship phase myself. Given the size of the ship and it’s age they have to have some interesting twists within the ship. The engine room would be a good start.

  244. The biggest problems I have with the show are:

    1) The characters are not very interesting and their actions are unrealistic. Supposed genius Eli would spend his free time spying on women instead of exploring the ship? Chloe, who has cut her teeth in the ruthless world of Washington DC, would sit around doing useless tasks instead of trying to help? Chloe and Scott would have sex because they thought they were going to die (a horrible Hollywood cliche)? Rush is that much of an asshole and no one calls him on his shit?

    2) The female characters are much more poorly utilized compared to the male ones. Most of their time has been taken up with showering, having sex, being spied upon, and talking about their inexperience. Compare that to the men, who are fiddling around with the ship and going off world. Rush, Young, and Telford are fighting over positions of power. In contrast, Wray has minutes of screen time and quickly crumpled during the lottery scene. Give me Roslin, Starbuck, Boomer, or Six any day. Even the female characters on Atlantis, who were also trivialized and poorly developed, held more prominent positions.

    3) The communication stones were an awful idea. It’s as if the writers didn’t have the courage to completely cut off the group. And if they’re going to use the stones, at least do something useful. Going back to see your estranged wife or angry mother is not useful. If Chloe is so useless, maybe she could swap out with someone who isn’t. TJ goes on and on about how she isn’t trained, well then bring in someone who is. There must be plenty of SGC personnel who are better trained than The Wrong People in the Wrong Place. Pull them over and have them examine the ship. The writers have yet to explain why no one has used the stones to contact the real experts of Ancient technology – Daniel, Sam, and Rodney. It’s the biggest plot hole on the show so far.

    4) Love triangles. Hated them on Lost and BSG. Hate them here. One is in full swing after only 5 episodes with at least one more on the way. Zero interest.

  245. @255: “f you have a pony nuke, and you blow it up next to a pile of naquadah, it wipes out all life on the planet, because naquadah is So Very Powerful.”

    Nah, it just increases the yield of the explosion a hundredfold. Wiping out all life on a world requires detonating a nuke of sufficient power on a planet that contains substantial amounts of naquadah – in which case a runaway chain reaction occurs and the planet is destroyed.

    “Shots of people carrying around significant quantities of “weapons-grade naquadah” belie that. It’s in the IMAGINARY part of the periodic chart…its atomic number is 94+2i or something”

    Also wrong. It’s been repeatedly established that even a moderate amount of refined naquadah is extraordinarily heavy – so much so that an amount that would fit in a backpack has to be carried by at least two Jaffa warriors, who have greater-than-human strength.

    “I want him to see that yeah, there are fire breathin’ dragons here, and trying to work out how they could possibly fly and breathe fire and stuff in terms of real biology is silly. Trying to get him to relax and stop nitpicking the science; it’s a background of deep hokum,”

    The science in Stargate is clearly not rigorous, but more in the sense of going far beyond anything science can explain than in contradicting existing science, most of the time. There are exceptions – such as the language rule – but those are accepted as necessary storytelling conventions.

  246. “The communication stones were an awful idea. It’s as if the writers didn’t have the courage to completely cut off the group.”

    Since they’ve already established that the technology exists and is available to the SGC, they would rather have had to explain why no stones were brought to Icarus in anticipation of a team’s exploring the 9address – and people would then be complaining that such an obvious plot hole existed.

    If we presume that it’s only been a day or two since they arrived – which makes a lot of sense, frankly – it’s easily understandable why experts from Earth couldn’t be brought in. They’re probably busy elsewhere at the moment.

    But it’s something they’re going to have to address soon.

  247. Camile said, “4) Love triangles. Hated them on Lost and BSG. Hate them here. One is in full swing after only 5 episodes with at least one more on the way. Zero interest”

    I don’t mind a little titillation, maybe a look here or there. But sex scenes are just a waste of time. If I want to watch sex I’ll click on over to about a billion porn sites. Besides, I’m gay and always feel left out. If they really want to be SF edgy, then maybe show a future where it’s okay to be military and gay. And then let two men or two women hump away like rabbits (ain’t gonna happen). Sex in an SF show is about pandering to an audience that got used to it in BG. Gratuitous and uncreative. That’s what they do on stupid soap operas. The writers should fill the time with stuff that needs to be done.

  248. Nah, it just increases the yield of the explosion a hundredfold.

    RA (subtitled): I will send your weapon [the pony nuke O’Neill brought] back to your planet with a shipment of our mineral [later called naquadah]. … I created your civilization. Now I will destroy it.

    It’s been repeatedly established that even a moderate amount of refined naquadah is extraordinarily heavy – so much so that an amount that would fit in a backpack has to be carried by at least two Jaffa warriors, who have greater-than-human strength.

    What does it take to carry around an amount of plutonium that would fill a backpack? I don’t think a human could do it. I know most humans can’t carry that amount of gold. A gold bar about the size of a brick (7 inches by 3 inches by 2 inches (18 cm x 7 cm x 5 cm), the standard Fort Knox ingot) weighs 12.4 kg/27.4 lb, depending on the size of the backpack, you might be able to put 20 of them in there; while there may well be people who can lift 548 pounds, I don’t think there’s anyone who can carry that on hir back in any ordinary sense. (And the backpack would have to be made of fairly extraordinary material.)

    Gold has a density of 19.282 g/cc; plutonium has a density of 19.84 g/cc. So that backpack full of FK ingots, but of Pu rather than Au, would weigh 564 pounds. I don’t think naquadah has been shown to be heavier (denser) than that.

    Now density doesn’t track by atomic weight very well, but the atomically heavier elements do tend to be denser. People have been shown carrying naquadah around, and naquadah generators are compact and not terribly heavy. There aren’t any gaps in the periodic table, so you’d have to assume that either a) naquadah is another name for an element we already know (ruled out by its properties and by the fact that they’d’ve said “oh, it’s dysprosium” or whatever) or b) a stable element with an atomic number above 118 (ruled out by the fact that no element with an atomic number above 92 has any stable isotopes). And even for b) you’d have the problem that its density is likely (not certain, but likely) to exceed 35 (the estimated density of seaborgium).

    Why stable? Because humans without Goa’uld parasites or special health advantages don’t die of radiation sickness by having it in their blood.

    The science in Stargate is clearly not rigorous, but more in the sense of going far beyond anything science can explain than in contradicting existing science, most of the time. There are exceptions – such as the language rule – but those are accepted as necessary storytelling conventions.

    As discussed above, the very existence of naquadah contradicts existing science, so it’s another example.

  249. Melendwyr #270 — Yes, people probably would have wondered why no comm stones if they didn’t have them (though I don’t think the Atlantis folk ever used them, and you’d think that if they were that handy, they’d have shipped a couple there at some point).

    But that doesn’t change the fact that, having introduced them, the writers have failed to show the characters doing anything useful with them. Nor do I think the “it’s only been a couple of days” argument holds water.

    Did Sen. Armstrong represent Colorado Springs, CO? If not, they had to fly Chloe’s stand-in to her mother’s house, wherever it was. They could just as easily have flown in an expert (assuming there were none AT the SGC, which is a big assumption in my book). Ditto Young’s ex-wife. MAYBE he’s officially assigned to Cheyenne Mountain, but that’s not a given–and as she’s an EX-wife, there’s no guarantee she lives anywhere near him anyhow.

    Even if no experts in Ancient tech/language were available, how about a couple SG team specialists being swapped out for, oh, a mere cook and a useless Senator’s daughter? They’d at least have some experience in dealing with crisis situations and exploring strange new “worlds”.

    More to the point, though, I have absolutely no faith that the TPTB on this show will ever use the stones as anything but a source of angst.

  250. “I will send your weapon [the pony nuke O’Neill brought] back to your planet with a shipment of our mineral [later called naquadah]. … I created your civilization. Now I will destroy it.”

    Well, yeah. Guess what a large nuclear explosion would probably trigger?

    “People have been shown carrying naquadah around”

    Actually, no. Refined naquadah is so dense that when Carter and O’Neill tried to carry a few bars of the stuff without being enhanced to superhuman physical capacity, they collapsed. Raw naquadah is mixed with a whole lot of other materials and is far less useful.

    We already know the stuff is stable, because the Stargates are ancient and naquadah is what they’re primarily made out of.

    “As discussed above, the very existence of naquadah contradicts existing science, so it’s another example.”

    Um, no. As we possess no samples of the transuranic element naquadah is supposed to be, we can only say that it contradicts our projections of what such a substance should be like.

    One of the bits of SG-1 I like best is the episode where a team dials back from a world being swallowed by a black hole – and the temporal distortion comes through the Gate far faster than the gravitational gradient changes, which totally freaks out Carter. It is canonical that there are quite a lot of things encountered in the Stargate program that aren’t compatible with our current science – and that means that our science is wrong. There are even more things that we can’t understand at all. (Just how *did* the Tollans contact the Nox?)

    There are enough actual examples of bad science in the Stargates series, Xopher. You don’t need to invent errors and then complain about them.

  251. Just because it contradicts science that you know nothing about doesn’t mean it doesn’t contradict science.

    I forgot who I’m trying to discuss this with. Forget it.

  252. I sort of feel very nerd-wanky about posting, and maybe I missed an explicit contradiction somewhere, but I always assumed naquadah is an exotic material (non-bosonic), but one that has a limited interaction with conventional matter. So some normal material rules can be applied, but not all.

    I was actually pleasantly surprised as I watched SG-1 and SG:U (less so SG:A) at how many times the shows made attempts to stick to science as we know it or reasonable extrapolations rather than just purely hand-waving it – and also made decent attempts to remain rigorous.

    Good enough for verisimiltude to me. Needs more Daniel Jackson though.

  253. # Jamie: The Dreaded Wiki actually has good summaries. Not sure if you can really *sum up* all the years of SG:1 but i’d start there, and then follow their links.

    # The Gray Area: I’m with you. It would be awesome to have a ‘soulmate’ couple, or a ‘i hate you so much i wanna jump you’ couple, or hell, a random hook up in a supply closet couple be gay.

    And then *not* be used as a Very Special Episode in which we learn that The Gay is just like everyone else. But treated as…a love-struck person, a conflicted person, a horny person with no sense of decorum, *whatever*.

    Someday….

  254. Tabuqui, the Gay Character is the new Black Character. Gosh, you mean there are gay people in the military? And you know what, the percentage is about 10% of the population, not 2%. Why couldn’t the Nerd have been gay and fat? Why couldn’t he have been smitten for the hot guy (whatever his name is)? Because that would have taken some real guts to write a character like that. And this from a creative community that has lots of gay people. I guess we should feel lucky that they let women where pants on the Enterprise now. :)

  255. Gray, Eli did seem to have quite a case of hero worship for Scott. Ever think he might be bisexual? Maybe seeing Scott go off with Chloe was doubly painful for him because he wants both of them!

    Well…I can dream, can’t I? :-/

    To your point, I’d add that gay people, especially gay men, are overrepresented (vs. the general population) in the scientific community. It may be that O’Neill screened them out on background checks because he’s a pig (out of character for him from previous series, but so is putting Rush in charge (O’Neill was never an idiot) and letting Telford sit in the communication-stone chair, ever (ditto), so it could be), but otherwise there’d be a couple of them.

    We know from previous conversations that we have at least one Lesbian (the HR lady), even though she’s kind of a drip as a character (so far). Lesbians are non-threatening compared to gay men, and besides they turn on the horndog straight boys who Siffy thinks are the only audience for this show. Tokenism in its purest form; let her turn out to be heroic and I’ll give the writers some credit, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Actually I’m probably wrong to blame the writers for that one. I can well believe that Siffy management would have vetoed any gay male activity on the show even if the writers proposed it. The amoral assholes who would give a home to a reprehensible monstrosity like Scare Tactics wouldn’t sneeze at a little profit-driven homophobia.

    But you know what? Despite all the nitpicks, and contra the assertions of certain malicious posters, I really like this show. I don’t expect good science; I didn’t expect gay men to show up on a Siffy show, except possibly as jokes; and I don’t mind waiting several-to-many episodes for characters to grow on me.

    In fact I already really like Eli, straight boy though he is. Unlike Greg, I do have a character to root for. He stood up to that gang of paranoid people, who though they never said anything were using the implied threat of physical violence to intimidate him, and even had the guts to get sarky with them. I highly approve of Eli.

  256. Xopher, there’s still hope for a gay male character. There are a lot of folks who really haven’t registered as people yet that they could write into what you’re looking for. Or maybe one of the background scientists could turn out to be gay and at least marginally useful. There’s a lot of character ground to be covered.

  257. Lizrd, that’s possible in theory, but I really doubt Siffy would allow it. I’ll be delighted to be wrong, but I’m not going to hold my breath hoping.

    OTOH it’s just occurred to me that Siffy did broadcast Torchwood for one season, and there was even male-male kissing on that show. So maybe I’m doing them an injustice. Not all forms of evil go together.

  258. Yeah, don’t confuse laziness for intent? Maybe they just need someone to write some gay male characters and then they’ll show it.

  259. Lizrdgizrd, it is kind of sad that for all the nerdy gay kids (like I was a long time ago), that the only sf characters we had to look up to were Dr. Smith and Uncle Arthur. That was forty some years ago and things haven’t changed much.

    That said, I’ll watch the show just so I can see where it goes. It’s okay and will get better. Maybe they’ll discover a ring world and that will keep them busy for the next thousand years. Just get them off that dreary ship! Or maybe they’ll just paint a room or two white. Maybe they can use the stones to have a gay decorator come on board and spruce things up.

  260. John, is this going to be the only permanent SGU thread?
    Looking forward to tonight’s episode. Been pretty good so far.

  261. He stood up to that gang of paranoid people,

    he gave them what they wanted, which was to tell them everything he knew. It’s just that he didn’t know anything. But he said if he learned anything new, he’d tell them.

    now, if he knew something and didn’t tell them, then that would be standing up to them.

  262. Just because it contradicts science that you know nothing about doesn’t mean it doesn’t contradict science

    But the ‘contradictions’ you’re complaining about are ones you’re inventing out of whole cloth. Whatever, Xopher, whatever.

    Evil @276: “I was actually pleasantly surprised as I watched SG-1 and SG:U (less so SG:A) at how many times the shows made attempts to stick to science as we know it or reasonable extrapolations rather than just purely hand-waving it – and also made decent attempts to remain rigorous.”

    And the hand-waving concerns technologies that rely on physical principles that are either totally beyond our knowledge, or in some cases beyond our capacity for comprehension.

    Stargate is remarkably good at either staying true to science or lampshading the places where it goes way, way beyond it. For a science fiction series, it’s fairly accurate. (Relative to other such series – considered objectively, it’s still pretty terrible.)

  263. Gosh, you mean there are gay people in the military? And you know what, the percentage is about 10% of the population, not 2%.

    Actually, in terms of self-identification, it’s closer to 4%. It’s a matter of degree, not strict categories.

  264. Greg @ 285: now, if he knew something and didn’t tell them, then that would be standing up to them.

    Actually, that would be lying to them and that doesn’t really fit his character.

  265. Greg, they had the idea that information was being kept from them. They were wrong. He told them so and stuck to his guns. He stood up for himself as a person who would not be party to a conspiracy of silence. And his “I respond so well to that” showed actual anger, which is pretty dangerous when thuggish people are surrounding you.

    Maybe you’ve never been encircled by physically threatening people. I have, and IMO what Eli did took courage. You’re free to scoff at this, of course, but I was talking about why *I* like Eli, not arguing that you should.

  266. There was a lesbian character on Atlantis, however it was never brought up on the show itself. The producer basically said “Oh by the way, she was a lesbian” after the episode aired and the character met an untimely end. In my opinion that doesn’t count in the slightest. Same with the producer’s insistence that there was a recurring gay character on Atlantis, which led most of fandom to assume it was Lorne (apparently mainly because he enjoyed painting, wow really guys?). Defining a character’s sexuality on some blog instead of on the show itself is pretty half-assed.

    I’m glad there’s at least an open lesbian on Universe. It would be nice if she had more presence. Unfortunately, spoilers for what may happen to her in a later season episode sicken me quite a bit. I hope that the leaked information was either incorrect or removed before the episode was filmed.

  267. TGA @ 283 it is kind of sad that for all the nerdy gay kids (like I was a long time ago), that the only sf characters we had to look up to were Dr. Smith and Uncle Arthur. That was forty some years ago and things haven’t changed much.

    That’s true about TV SF definitely. But TV’s been resistant to challenging the current social order (with some exceptions) because it hurts them or think it will hurt them with advertisers who are typically conservative as a corporation. I would think that there is a market for non-stereotyped male homosexual characters at this point but wonder how it would play with advertisers. I think Torchwood really took a large step in terms of TV SF for strong gay male characters.

    I think one of the main problems is that TV execs think that a relationship requires that they show sexual moments for the audience to get it. And I also think that there are a lot of us heterosexual males and some heterosexual women who are uncomfortable seeing sexual intimacy between two men. I know I felt a little uncomfortable seeing Jack and Ianto sometimes, but I also liked the characters and thought that maybe homosexual people felt the same way when watching heterosexual couples. I think SGU could manage to keep advertisers happy while including strong homosexual characters if they’d just leave the sex scenes out altogether. I didn’t really think either of the ones we’ve seen so far have added much to the characters that couldn’t have been done another way.

  268. William – agreed on all points. That doesn’t count; it’s just the producer bullshitting. I wasn’t following the producer’s comments; I usually prefer to stick to the actual show when deciding what’s what. Who was the character who was posthumously declared a Lesbian?

    I agree about Wray, too. The only part of that that gives me any good feelings is that if Rush does turn out to become a rapist, maybe they’ll finally kill his ass. Other than that tiny bright side, sickening.

  269. @286

    Trying to do too many things while typing up that post – I left off the last bit of what I intended with that last sentence to say.

    “. . .attempts to remain rigorous to their prior ‘advanced’ science”

    Which you filled in as well – but just wanted to clarify that was the intention of my comment.
    .

  270. William and Xopher, it’s like when JK Rowling so “courageously” declared that Dumbledore was gay once all the books were written.

  271. Lizrd – yeah, I rolled my eyes when she did that. It was a publicity stunt, and a pretty dumb one at that. Authors and producers can make pronouncements all they like, but if it isn’t there in the actual words or pictures, it’s not there. Otherwise you get “Oh, of course Shakepeare is in all my books. He’s just in another room all the time.”

  272. I just wonder how long it will take someone with access to Ancient technology or the Asgard knowledge primer to make a major error.

    It was a recurring theme in Stargate that trying to accelerate development, whether of technology, scientific understanding, or societal principles, often lead to unintended consequences. Given that Earth doesn’t understand the principles behind even the Ancient technology we can duplicate, the potential for screw-ups on an epic scale is immense. Even the Ancients themselves made horrible errors. One of the important aspects of the Stargate program is establishing more than one human society with access to Ancient knowledge, so that everything won’t be lost when one or more destroy themselves.

  273. Xopher, the lesbian on Atlantis was one of the women on the all-female military team in one of the last season episodes. I can’t remember her name or the name of the episode.

    Come to think of it, that whole last season wasn’t all that memorable. It was as if the writers were running on fumes. I was surprised that they jumped right into another show.

  274. William, let’s hope that the last season of SGA was lifeless because all their good ideas and creative energy were going into SGU!

  275. Lizrdgizrd said, “And I also think that there are a lot of us heterosexual males and some heterosexual women who are uncomfortable seeing sexual intimacy between two men.”

    Me too. But then I don’t want to see anything more than a quick peck involving any combintion of genders. Or maybe just a long hand shake. Ha ha ha.

  276. You know, I liked the last season of Atlantis, probably because I didn’t know it was going to end. Now I miss it. And what the frak is going on at sy-fy? What a mess.

  277. Because I’ve been pretty negative about the show, I want to chime in on Eli vs the disgruntled mob. I liked that scene–I liked it that Eli was willing to mouth off and be snarky in the face of a hostile crowd. There were no overt threats, but there was no doubt that they were subtly menacing him.

    I thought he handled it well. He didn’t tell them to shove their suspicions (which might have set them off), he didn’t come off as scared. He told them, plainly, that he didn’t know anything they didn’t know because there was nothing TO know, and agreed to keep them informed if he did learn anything. Which strikes me as a good way to avoid trouble AND a reasonable thing for them to demand. When you have an ass like Rush making decisions, I can’t blame those people for suspecting they weren’t getting the whole (if any) truth.

  278. Everyone has very good points in their posts. Im very impressed with the depth of the discussions. I guess one of my problems with the show is that when exploring the ship, they came across all these containers and were told not to open them. Im dying to find out whats stored in those Ancient containers and why is no one bothered to find out yet in the show? Maybe there is something useful in them that would help with their survival.

    Also, how come most of the guys are clean shaven? Did they all bring their Bic disposable razors with them? There are too many aspects of the show that are not realistic, however, I guess I have to remind myself that its just a tv show after all. A hairy Cloe (armpits and leg hair) would have been a funny sex scene though, you got to admit….)

  279. The hull of the ship is made of naquintria, which radiates waves that suppress hair growth in humans. If they don’t find a way to shield themselves from it, they will all go bald, but for now it’s just keeping them all clean-shaven.

    What? You doubt that this is canon? O ye of little faith!

  280. At least the PR lady is now canonically lesbian, what with her bottle-message. No after-the-fact blogging.

    As for Dumbledore, well, his being homosexual made his relationship with Grindlewald make a touch more sense. Something that subtle can’t exactly be considered a blow in the battle for equal representation, but I’d hardly consider it a problem… does that sound fair to you?

  281. Looks like it. Maybe it’s moving water around and hiding it.

    Btw, the Destiny was launched “hundreds of thousands of years ago.” The Ancients left Earth roughly 30,000 years ago. It’s much older than that.

  282. It would have been nice if he had actually said “Hey female character, YOU will be in charge if we croak.”

    Instead, he offers a pedantic platitude. I havn’t been much for criticizing up to now, but the women are really getting the short shrift on this.

  283. OK, this is the Halloween episode.

    Dumbass. If he had to get himself killed, why’d he have to waste bullets doing it?

  284. AND he proves himself to be a lying sack of shit and an arrogant fuckhead right away.

    Eli should have said “you know what, Rush? Go fuck yourself you piece of shit!”

  285. You know, you’re only what, 4-5 episodes into the show. Its a bit early to be complaining about a lack of characterization don’t you think?

    I caught the Star Wars reference but I must have been on the phone (getting the shaft from my boss) for the first one.

  286. OK, it wasn;t a red shirt, but it was a character I’d never seen or heard of before. It’s really all a bit to obvious.

  287. And of course when they rescue the fallen comrade, Rush just looks frustrated because he thinks they should have brought back more ice instead of Scott.

    I really, really hate that guy.

    skipjim, I sure hope you’re right.

  288. Oh noes! I am on the west coast and there’s spoilers from east coasters. Bad enough you do it with elections but this is IMPORTANT STUFF!
    Must
    not
    read
    more.

  289. The more I watch the more I’m sympathizing with Dr. Rush.

    I keep seeing comments that he’s an ass… what I see is not someone being an ass, he’s the sole person who has any chance of getting them back from this three hour tour and he’s taking that burden by himself and it’s wearing on him.

    I see him as being frustrated with everyone else – including the military leaders – avoiding making hard choices, with them acting as if their uninformed opinions are as valid to survival as his knowledge, and then getting blamed for every problem.

    So far the only person who has been of one iota of help has been Eli – and even Eli’s spending time distracting Young from the mission to get a little more water.

    So coming to the point – Dr. Rush’s actions and interactions appear to present him as non-neurotypical. He’s coming at the situation from an entirely different emotional, empathetic, and social paradigm – and the rest of the people don’t get that he’s communicating to them as if they were all like him inside their heads. Then again, maybe I’m reading far too much into some things, but the clues would seem to be consistent with that “diagnosis.”

  290. What’s even more consistent with his behavior is that he cares nothing at all for other people, and only cares about the ship and his own goals.

    He’s not “neurotypical,” no. But he’s not on the autism spectrum; he’s got Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

  291. This episode was ok. Swirling dust cloud thingy on a space ship. I know I’ll open fire with a freaking pistol. Here’s your Darwin Award. Rush may be an ass but at least he isn’t a moron.

  292. Eli deserved the smackdown Rush gave him in the communication with Colonel Young: there is a time and a place to communicate new information to a commanding officer; when he’s involved in a dangerous situation and unable to do anything with the information isn’t it. Young left Jorgenson in command; it was her problem to deal with, and Eli was disrespecting her as well as distracting the Colonel.

    (The Stargate habit of putting military commanders in exigent peril away from their command position is another matter: like naquadria it comes with the territory.)

  293. 1. Why is the Col. Scott going on the mission to find water? A, he’s the commander (and the only one capable of leading things and keeping Rush under control), B, he’s just getting over a very serious spinal injury.

    2. Idiotic Marine was idiotic. Taking on a creature that’s essentially sentient flying sand… with 9mm bullets? Dumbass. Also, if Johansen could communicate with it, how about just ask it to stop drinking the water? Or ask it to leave the ship? Or better yet, go help with the mission to find more?

    3. Eli’s comeback was devastating, and he was right about the need to tell Col. Scott. With the information about the alien, he might have returned with less ice (and again, Col. Scott should not have been out there anyway), but would have been in a better position to coordinate the response to the sand alien. Plus, I get the feeling that Scott is coming to rely on Eli as being the only one of the techies who cares about the rest of the people instead of his own needs or ambitions.

    4. “How do I turn this off?” – Great closing line, with a lot of meaning.

  294. I can’t help but wonder whether the organism mirrored back the emotional state of whoever encountered it.

    Lt. Scott was taken to what he needed. Lt. Johansen was controlled and receptive, and saw her own face. Nameless Redshirt Guy panicked and attacked, and was attacked in turn. And when Scott encountered the creature again, he seemed to see Chloe.

    As for Col. Young – no one really has the authority to override him, and frankly I think he’s hoping for a break from having to be in command all the time (and secretly looking for an excuse to die).

  295. [# Rembranton 31 Oct 2009 at 1:50 am

    This episode was ok. Swirling dust cloud thingy on a space ship. I know I’ll open fire with a freaking pistol. Here’s your Darwin Award. Rush may be an ass but at least he isn’t a moron.]

    I couldn’t agree with you more…. Hey, here is an alien. We don’t know what it is so lets just shoot the f*ck out of it and kill it. If that don’t work, lets burn the motherf*kr to death! Now im convinced that the writers are American.

  296. This was another one that didn’t generate any tension for me. Swirly thing- eh. I think that getting rid of it so fast might not have been the greatest move, but everyone on the show is operating in crisis mode, not thinking through long-term consequences of decisions. They might not have gotten all of it anyway.

    Ice planet- meh. No one was going to die out there, and they were going to make it back to the ship.

    Anyone else think they should have reversed the timing- get the men through first, then chuck the barrel through the gate?

    So far, nothing much has surprised me. I wish the show would make me think, or surprise me (in a good way, no plot twists just to be plot twists). I don’t ask much, do I? :)

  297. “Btw, the Destiny was launched “hundreds of thousands of years ago.” The Ancients left Earth roughly 30,000 years ago. It’s much older than that.”

    Say what now? The Ancients left Earth 5 billion years ago. The few surviving ones returned from Atlantis after they lost the war with the Wraith 10,000 years ago.

    Rush said “hundreds of thousands of years old”, but later he says it predates Lantean tech(such as the whole gene-activation thing). And it’s also been confirmed by the producers – the Destiny is MILLIONS of years old, older than Atlantis and pretty much the first big project the Ancients undertook – the gate on the ship is supposed to be the prototype gate(hence the range thing) – also something Rush sayd, though that’s in the kino webisodes.

  298. 5 Billion years ago the Earth, if it yet existed, was incredibly hostile to our kind of life. Let’s stop pulling figures out of our nether regions, mkay?

  299. “5 Billion years ago the Earth, if it yet existed, was incredibly hostile to our kind of life. Let’s stop pulling figures out of our nether regions, mkay?”

    Sorry, I meant to type “million” instead of “billion”.
    It’s in the opening shot of SGA – “several million years ago”, but I think I remember one of the writers establishing the timeline at around 5 million BC…

  300. Greg @ 285: now, if he knew something and didn’t tell them, then that would be standing up to them.

    LizrdGizrd@288: Actually, that would be lying to them and that doesn’t really fit his character.

    The assumption was that the colonel and Rush and Eli knew what was really going on, but the Colonel (or someone high up) had ordered Eli and whoever to not tell anyone. The mob demanded that Eli tell them what was going on.

    If Eli really did know something but had been ordered not to tell anyone, then keeping it a secret would have been “standing up” to to mob. As it was, he didn’t have any secret information that he had been ordered to keep secret. So, he just told them what he knew, and that was the end of it.

    Xopher: they had the idea that information was being kept from them. They were wrong. He told them so and stuck to his guns. He stood up for himself as a person who would not be party to a conspiracy of silence. And his “I respond so well to that” showed actual anger, which is pretty dangerous when thuggish people are surrounding you.

    Like I said, he told them everything he knew, which was what the mob wanted to hear. He had no “guns” to stick to. They wanted to know if he had any secret info. He told them everything he knew, which was that there was no secret info.

    His “I react so well to that” comment was kind of irrelevant because we really don’t know how he would ahve responded if he really did have secret information that he was supposed to keep secret. At this point, Eli comes across as the kind of guy who would cave immediately to group pressure and the possibility of physical violence.

  301. red…. ah that makes much more sense. I guess to me, though, making it canon that the Ancients hung around for millions of years makes a lot of things less plausible. For example, the Wraith – I don’t see a civilization hanging around for millions of years, then dying out or being wiped out by something like the Wraith. Given the tech we’ve seen, it’s far more likely the Ancients would be all over several galaxies, especially since they’ve been sending ships out for hundreds of thousands of years to seed gates. But I think this is just One Of Those Things that you need to take on faith to get into the series.

    Can’t add anything about this episode though – saw it was yet another “OMG we’re all going to die unless we get [insert Resource of the Week]” eps and decided to wait more. I’m a bit worried that we’re 1/3 of the way into the season and they’re still gathering resources, but we’ll see.

  302. Idiotic Marine was idiotic.

    I’m pretty sure they’re all civilians or airman, no marines.

    They could have told the colonel exactly what was going on on the ship and then said “we’ve got it under control” rather than saying “we have a situation, but we don’t want to worry you with the details. we’ve got it under control”

    It seemed like the colonel had complete confidence in the medic to lead. I don’t see why he would have changed his mind because something new happened. He was prepared to put her in charge if they didn’t come back. He would have been to leave her in charge while he was on the planet.

    This “we don’t tell our CO’s information when it’s bad news” is fucking moronic. The general’s don’t tell the president that “Everything is fine” in Iraq. The colonels don’t tell the generals “everything is fine” in their areas of operations. The lieutenants don’t tell their colonels “everythign was fine” when they do their missions.

    They made a point on this episode of pointing otu that the colonel has done a lot of things before, and ordering people to do the best they can with what they’ve got or die trying would be one of them.

    And what’s up with the bug-storm/sand-storm sentient cloud of tiny little alien razor bladed flying pirana that are sweet and lovable unless you shoot 9mm bullets at them?

    I feel more respect for the colonel now, for delegating to the medic (who proved herself competent to lead in his absence), for saving the Lt, for getting water, and for risking his life. Oh, and chewing out the sargeant was good.

    THe medic actually got to show her stuff too.

    Rush was a prick for telling the colonel to leave the Lt, but the Colonel finally told him to stuff it. So that was nice. Rush also revealed his prickishness when the medic asked him for advice and his first response was “you’re in charge”. That’s a twelve year old emotional response to authority. When she asked him again, he said something like “consider the greater good” which is what the writers are probably trying to use to explain why he doesn’t care about people when they’re looking at what Rush considers “the greatest discovery for all mankind”. Rush’s logic is probably that the “greater good” outweighs the lives of a few peons who are less intelligent than he is.

    Problem is that “the greater good” is usually used by assholes to justify fucking with other people.

  303. Greg London, Young left Jorgenson in command of the ship; both she and Rush told Eli (who is at best a guest with the worst timing ever) to stay out of the conversation. There was insufficient information at that time for his input to be anything but noise.

    And unless Mr. Scalzi has managed to excise a continuing piece of military weirdness from SGU, it’s likely that some or all of the lower ranks are Marines.

  304. The only thing I liked about this episode was “I can invent things too.”

    In fact, I think Greer is my favorite character so far, besides Eli of course. I’m not really sure why; normally I can’t stand the ‘bad boy with a heart of gold’ types, but something about Greer just makes me smile.

    About to be burned up inside a star? Well, gotta take your clothes off, can’t have them getting messed up.

    A sentient dust cloud has invaded the ship, you say? Let’s build a flamethrower, of course!

    Though I have a feeling that the reason I like him so much is just that the way he speaks is so familiar. After I noticed this, I checked on IMDB, and it doesn’t say where in New York the actor is from, but he sounds exactly like the kids I went to junior high school with. So maybe it’s just instinctive :)

    Also I really like Vanessa James (is that her name?). Just on the basis of her correctly being pissed off at Scott instead of Chloe. It would have been so easy for the writers to set up a catfight-y rivalry between them, but I’m glad they didn’t.

  305. “Water” was so good I can’t think of a rant.

    Dr. Rush is about the most fantastic SG character ever. I can’t stand him, but I don’t hate him either.
    With Rodney you loved the guy, warts and all. Dr. Rush … uh-uh.
    I love how nobody trusts Rush until Eli gives a second opinion. That’s so right.

    “Hey, it’s Hoth!” Contemporary humans in that situation — especially nerdy ones like Eli — would totally be aware of how science-fictiony their situation was. Could you be in that situation and not think in pop culture cliches? We want the show to not be a cliche’, of course, but the nonprofessional characters would totally relate everything that happened to them to stuff they’d seen in science fiction, especially Eli.
    I’m just dying for a moment when Eli subconsciously expects something to work like it does in some other science fiction show and is momentarily freaked out when it doesn’t.
    Or Eli uses some fictional phrase like “Class M Planet” and Dr. Rush is all like, “A what? What the hell is that?”
    (No one from NASA would be caught dead importing fake science fiction words into the workplace, but Eli’s not from NASA.)

    “For example, the Wraith – I don’t see a civilization hanging around for millions of years, then dying out or being wiped out by something like the Wraith.”
    They weren’t exactly “wiped out”. The Ancients ascended, something the Replicators couldn’t and the Wraith wouldn’t.
    They were driven from Pegasus more by the Replicators than Wraith. The Replicators were the ultimate anti-Wraith weapon and almost wiped them out, but a Wraith hacker deleted the imperative to kill Wraith and the Replicators, already sentient, gained free will.

    “Given the tech we’ve seen, it’s far more likely the Ancients would be all over several galaxies …”
    They were until they ascended. Earthlings have even made contact with them. They’re friendly enough if a bit humorless. Imagine a civilization full of Ayn Rands performing an “Atlas Shrugged” with the material world and those are the Ancients. Rabid overachievers.

    @Xopher:
    Your crack on Alien English in SG1 was hilarious! Of course anyone who speaks Alien Latin could easily speak perfect English … just a couple of trifling Germanic bits to clear up and bingo! Which ye be bustin’ splendid phat jive, cat-Daddy-O! Kitteh kan haz meowgotiations wif alienz! L33t …

  306. Greg London, Young left Jorgenson in command of the ship; both she and Rush told Eli (who is at best a guest with the worst timing ever) to stay out of the conversation. There was insufficient information at that time for his input to be anything but noise.

    Colonel: How’s it going?

    Private: Maybe we should tell him we’re about to be overrun by badguys.

    Corporal: Nah. He’s busy. And we don’t really know how it’s going to turn out.

    Colonel: I asked a question.

    Corporal: Everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

    Uhm, no.

    The thing is the Colonel can listen to the radio and work at the same time. Jorgensen could have told him their entire situation, down to the last detail, and it wouldn’t have slowed the Colonel down at all. He was hauling ice for hours. There was no logistical reason for witholding the information from the Colonel, what little information they had. And there was no reason to tell the Colonel “we don’t know” when it got to that point.

    There is no reason Jorgensen could have made the following report:

    Jogensen: THere’s a cloud of alien insects on board. It attacked a crewmember. He might possibly die. The insects appear to explain where our water is going. We don’t know much about the insects, but they don’t appear to be actively attacking us. We’re workign on a solution.

    Colonel: (while dragging the sleigh hundreds of yards across planet hoth) Very well. keep me informed of any changes.

    Not only is there no reason NOT to give a report like that, there is a good reason TO give a report like that.

    Because if the aliens had started goign on the warpath and killing people, then there’s no need to explain all the background to the Colonel when he got back on the ship and assumed command again.

    And it would be even worse if the aliens suddently went on the warpath, the Colonel gets back to the ship, and Rush and Jorgensen have to spend even more time explaining what parts of their last reports were lies. That isn’t what “adults” do. And it isn’t how basic military chain of command works.

    Based on the series so far, it feels like SGU doesn’t have a military adviser working with the writers. Or if they do, they’re not listening.

  307. And there was no reason to tell the Colonel “we don’t know” when it got to that point.

    And there was no reason not to tell the Colonel “we don’t know” when it got to that point.

    damn it.

  308. Episode 5 (Light) at 7:53 for those of you who torrent the show.
    At least to my eyes, there is clearly someone sitting in the shadows of Young’s office/quarters while he is arguing with the HR lady. The focus changes to show it, but I have no idea who it is.

    Any ideas?

  309. Xopher @321, if they kill off all the “cute” guys then I’ll get to see more of the women on the show. Whats the problem? ;-)

  310. Aw, skipjim, you’re awfully selfish. If you want eye candy there are plenty of shows for you out there. FAR fewer for me.

  311. OK, it wasn;t a red shirt, but it was a character I’d never seen or heard of before. It’s really all a bit to obvious.

    Name one show that’s intended to be a several-years-long series where main characters are just as likely to die as nameless flunkies are. Name one!

    The whole point of that scene, or any scene where a redshirt gets whacked, was not to create tension about the fate of that character, it was to show that the bugs are capable of killing people if they are antagonized.

  312. “Red Shirts” aren’t so much tropes as critical necessities.

    Good point about the accurate status reports. No military commander wants to be glad-handed, and subordinates only do that to CO’s they have no confidence in.

    If Colonel Young were an incompetent idiot they would be lying to him all the time, but he’s not, so it’s disrespecting a respectable character.

    “… the use of more relatable science …”
    Yeah! Very cool. If we were exposed to alien technology we’d have this weird mishmash of what humans know, what the aliens knew, and the gap in between that and what we know about the aliens. It would make for some surreal moments where the primitive and advanced intersect. Atlantis kinda-sorta had that with all the laptops and Ancient computers Rodney had to keep interoperable.

    “I mean 10 years of SG1 collecting tech and they were still using P90s and confiscated zats.”
    In a galaxy filled with real force-protection miracles like K-suits, personal shields, and the Sarcophagus everyone races to get their hands on the Zats. Darwin Award … in space!

  313. @346

    “Name one show that’s intended to be a several-years-long series where main characters are just as likely to die as nameless flunkies are. Name one!”

    Lost?

    Technically, since they started with 46 people, a lot of largely nameless characters have died, but more more or less offscreen.

    But in practice, most of the characters we see die are people that we’ve known for a good chunk of time. There are exceptions, but Lost is pretty hard on the named characters.

    I otherwise agree – Lost is very unusual in that respect.

  314. well, one nice thing about “SGU” is they only have, what was it, 80 people to start with, so the number of red shirts has to be pretty small.

    Can’t just count bullets, gotta count red shirts. So, who’s died so far?

    The senator.
    two went through the gate to another planet, never came back.
    Someone flying the shuttle to rescue them?
    guy killed by sand pirana.
    Who else?

    Subtract that from the original 80, and you’ve got a running tally of total bodies to throw around in the meat grinder.

    And it didn’t look like a lot of those people were military. Maybe half at the most. So, we’re talking about a limited supply of red shirts that can die to explain to the viewer that something dangerous is out there.

    The Ancients must have upgraded the ship with a sarcophogi thingy at some point.

  315. It’s so nice that they have Dr. Gaius Baltar along to save them.

    His character was one of the primary reasons I hated the new BSG, too.

    And about those ‘sandflies’? They’ve been using up their water? They’ve lost about half of the (IIRC) 90K liters they started with? What’d they /do/ with it?

    They didn’t seem to be infected with 40 tons of ‘sandflies’ at the end of the episode.

    Personally, I was expecting them to discover that the water was used by the ship as a side effect of its carona-dive reprovisioning flight.

  316. “Hey, it’s Hoth!” Contemporary humans in that situation — especially nerdy ones like Eli — would totally be aware of how science-fictiony their situation was.

    I also loved the long take of Colonel’s expression in response – it was like “Yes, Eli, we’ve all seen that movie, we know what Hoth is. Now will you stop nerding the place up and help me out here?”

    His “I react so well to that” comment was kind of irrelevant because we really don’t know how he would ahve responded if he really did have secret information that he was supposed to keep secret.

    His reaction wasn’t wishy-washy, he’s just conflicted. He doesn’t like the implied threat, however, he knows perfectly well that Rush and the Colonel have no qualms about withholding information, and he doesn’t agree with that. So he’s basically sympathetic to the group asking for more information, just not the way it was done.

    I don’t think the mob picked him because they felt he was weak and would cave to pressure, he’s just the only person would both be likely to HAVE inside information, and that everyone on the ship trusts. The Colonel and Rush are going to keep secrets as they see fit, the military people are going to follow orders, no one’s going to tell Chloe anything, Brody’s kind of a drip, and nobody ever trusts the HR department, so that leaves Eli.

  317. His reaction wasn’t wishy-washy, he’s just conflicted. He doesn’t like the implied threat, however, he knows perfectly well that Rush and the Colonel have no qualms about withholding information, and he doesn’t agree with that. So he’s basically sympathetic to the group asking for more information, just not the way it was done.

    Whatever. My point about that scene was that it doesn’t show Eli “standing up” to the mob in any way. You’re not standing up to anyone if you’re giving them everything you can give them.

    If Eli had secret information, information that would have caused a riot had it been made public, and the Colonel had ordered Eli to keep it secret, then whether Eli told the mob or kept the information from the mob would have shown whether he could stand up to the mob. But he didn’t do that. They asked for information, he told that he would tell them any secrets if he learned any.

    At this point, the idea of “secret information” is stupid. They’ve already had everyone face death when they thought they were going to crash into the sun. And the thing that would potentially cause a riot was who would end up on the shuttle. And they all just stood around and quietly accepted their doom when their names weren’t drawn. (except for the one guy that Greer knocked out.)

    If everyone but that one guy were willing to die by lottery, then what information could possibly need to be kept secret to avoid a riot?

  318. Greg @ 335 His “I react so well to that” comment was kind of irrelevant because we really don’t know how he would ahve responded if he really did have secret information that he was supposed to keep secret. At this point, Eli comes across as the kind of guy who would cave immediately to group pressure and the possibility of physical violence.

    I agree that that hardly tells us if he’d “stick up” to the implied threats. But I read his character as more likely to tell Rush and Young that they have no right to keep some bit of information secret from everyone else.

  319. (haven’t read thread since Water came up, partway through episode):
    Johansen @ 17:30: You idiot. Tell everyone everything. You need all the eyes and ears you can get on this thing, and keeping this secret is just going to further erode trust.

    Is there any reason at all for her decision? If so, I couldn’t find it. Colonial/hive intelligences, or even outright energy beings are well established within the universe, so it won’t be asking people to swallow a whopper.

    At least Rush said ‘I was wrong.’ Good.

  320. So the ship is taking them to places that have gates. How does a gate stay upright and unburied on a sand world or snow world? Do these gates have protective force fields? both of them were buried on Earth, more or less.

    I thought the alien was a good representation of some sort of nano swarm-bot. Sort of like replicators without the insane ambition.

    I hope the writers use the show to introduce some really big ideas. Because the looking for chocolate (life is impossible without it!) at the next planet, then coffee, then cocaine…is going to get old. That ship needs to visit a planet where the inhabitants don’t live in a medieval village.

  321. @The Gray Area
    I am betting that if they showed up on a centuries old ship and it magically had air and water and food and everything they needed with no problems we would all be complaining that it was much too convenient and how the ship couldn’t possibly last that long with no one manning it. I’m surprised there was any breathable air on the ship in the first place, but it would kind of suck if all our stars suffocated upon arrival.

    I think we all need to take a step back and let the story unfold. What fun would it be if there was no interpersonal conflict and the ship had everything they needed to survive? It would basically be Atlantis on a ship.

  322. GL2418, I guess the ship could have No-rooms, like Herbert suggested. Null-entropy chambers where time is held at a stand still. And, if this ship travels at FTL speed, doesn’t the stuff on board stop aging at that point? I don’t know my time dilation for FTL.

  323. I agree that that hardly tells us if he’d “stick up” to the implied threats. But I read his character as more likely to tell Rush and Young that they have no right to keep some bit of information secret from everyone else.

    Yeah, sort of. In the next episode, Planet Hoth The Search for Water, Rush and the medic lie to the Colonel. Eli complains. Rush says that’s “what grownups do”. Eli does nothing about it.

    So, Eli thinks “truth” is a good idea. Big deal. He hasn’t done anything about it.

    More problematically, the “adults” lying on the show (Rush and the medic lying to the Colonel) comes across as silly soap-opera attempts at tension, and completely unrealistic military reactions.

    Rush might have wanted to lie because he wanted the Colonel to get him water. But the medic was a lieutenant, a military officer, and she had no reason to withold information from the Colonel, and her training would have reinforced the idea of keeping the colonel informed of the facts.

    Luke: You need all the eyes and ears you can get on this thing, and keeping this secret is just going to further erode trust.

    Yeah, that seemed a bit off. I’d think she might mention “oh, yeah, and if you see a swarm of sandflies, don’t shoot at it, but do radio us about it”

    I don’t know if it was that she simply overlooked it or if she didn’t want to tell people.

    Gray Area: Because the looking for chocolate (life is impossible without it!) at the next planet, then coffee, then cocaine…is going to get old.

    heh.

    I’m suddenly recalling a bit in one of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books (not sure which one), where one of the main characters happens upon an aircraft that has been in suspended animation for thousands of years (or something absurd), and it wakes everyone up every hundred years or so to inform them that they’re waiting for civilization to redevelop on the planet so they can get a shipment of crackers aboard to serve the passengers.

    Destiny is in “suspended animation” every time it’s going FTL. Then every once in a while, it drops out near a planet, adn the people on board scramble to try and get supplies or their crackers or whatever.

    All these planets and no intelligent life?

    These guys could almost become members of a team going on a star trek into space, boldly going where no one from earth has gone before. (against their will, sure, but hey, they’re in teh neighborhood)

    Hm, it just occurred to me that “boldly going where no one has gone before” isn’t accurate becaue aliens have gone there. “where no man or woman has gone” would be accurate. weird.

  324. @GregLondon: If an angry crowd says “Do X!” and you automatically do Not-X, even if Not-X is contrary to your values, that is not standing up to them, as you are clearly still basing your decision entirely on what the angry people are telling you to do.

    Eli showed actual strength of character by sticking to his own values.

    That being said, I hope we’re done getting the ingredients for continued survival. Four episodes is a little early for them to be plagiarizing themselves. And while I laughed when Scott fell through the ice right after saying, “We deserve a break,” I was annoyed when the Colonel almost fell in after him right after saying, “I better not fall in after you.”

  325. Yeah, sort of. In the next episode, Planet Hoth The Search for Water, Rush and the medic lie to the Colonel. Eli complains. Rush says that’s “what grownups do”. Eli does nothing about it.

    So, Eli thinks “truth” is a good idea. Big deal. He hasn’t done anything about it.

    I think he’s got two conflicting drives going at that point. He wants “truth” but he’s also not an alpha-male. I don’t think he’s quite ready to stand up completely to Rush or Young. It’s something I think we’ll see for him down the line. Possibly something he learns from Scott if he can get over the nookie-stealing.

  326. His sticking to his values would have been a lot more credible if in this episode he had gone ahead and, you know, told them what they all urgently needed to know. Maybe he was distracted this time, maybe he didn’t consider it credible — still a newbie, he doesn’t know what makes sense or not — and he did eventually get the information out, but not in time.

    GL – it was lemon-scented napkins, Frogstar Beta, Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

  327. Howdy everyone,

    Im new to the forum and just wanted to introduce myself, my name is Christopher and I’m form Australia. I’ve been a long time lurker who has finally decided to make an account and contribute.

  328. Mike: If an angry crowd says “Do X!” and you automatically do Not-X, even if Not-X is contrary to your values, that is not standing up to them, as you are clearly still basing your decision entirely on what the angry people are telling you to do.

    If an mugger pulls a knife and says “give me your money” and you say “no”, then you’re standing up to the mugger.

    Whether it’s the smart thing to do or whether its do-the-opposite-of-what-they-tell-me-to-do, it’s still standing up to the mugger.

    “why” you would stand up to a mugger and the “correctness” of that decision is a separate question. But Eli didn’t stand up to the mob, so the question of “why” is moot.

  329. The Gray Area: Sorry if this is too late to matter, I wasn’t home over the weekend.

    I really, like you, wish that Hollywood had the guts to write gay characters, and producers and directors had the guts to include them.

    I’m so *very* tired of the ‘pandering to young, horny, straight guys’ trope. Boring, boring, offensive, and boring.

    *sigh* Some day.

    I have to laugh at all the Rush hate here. I just *adore* the character. Of course, part of the reason is because I’ve been crushing hard on the actor for fifteen years,but…. Rush is awesome! :)

  330. GregLandon: All these planets and no intelligent life?

    For me, the longer they go without meeting intelligent life, the better because I just know they are going to look like us and speak perfect English. I would prefer it if the life was very alien and we just spent a little time studying it without contacting it because as we know, in the SG universe, something bad always happens when they stick their noses into someplace they dont belong.

  331. So, we’re now complaining about the lack of intelligent life, and saying that the intelligent life won’t be alien enough?

    You appear to have failed to identify the swarm critters as intelligent because they’re too alien for you, which is…odd. These are the same swarm critters that knew what Scott was looking for on the desert planet and showed it to him. They gave him a vision of water swirling into the dust.

    I could see how you could mistake their behavior in the most recent ep for instinct (water-seeking, self-defense,* even mimesis are not unknown in non-intelligent creatures), but if leading Scott to the right chemical compound doesn’t count as intelligent, maybe you’re only counting beings that look just like us and speak perfect English.
    ___
    *Not sure how they identified 9mm bullets as a threat, since they couldn’t have encountered them before and weren’t being harmed by them. My guess would be that they’re telepathic, both receptively and projectively, and identified the unfortunate airman’s intention as hostile; this also explains Scott’s water vision in the desert episode.

  332. Speaking of the gun – I don’t think the dude use of the gun was unrealistic. Stupid, sure, but the kind of stupid that synchs with how people act. When people panic they’ll do all sorts of things like that.

    And the guy had a rough couple of days leading up to that.

  333. And, if this ship travels at FTL speed, doesn’t the stuff on board stop aging at that point? I don’t know my time dilation for FTL.

    Particles such as photons which travel at c don’t experience time at all, as far as we know.

    For speeds faster than c, the solution to the time dilation equation is an imaginary number. It’s hard to say what this result would actually mean, of course, since according to special relativity it’s impossible to accelerate a massive object to c, or beyond it, anyway. So if the writers wanted to say that time stopped during FTL travel I suppose they could, since relativity just predicts nonsense.

    One minor annoyance I have with Stargate is they do occasionally mention relativistic time dilation. I don’t have any real problem with having FTL travel, it’s a common sci-fi trope, but please, if you’re going to have it, don’t bring up relativity.

  334. SG only talks about time dilation when using conventional drive to push a ship close to “c”.
    The episode where they found an Ancient ship with a busted hyperdrive running way up close to “c” is a case-in-point. To all the Ancients on board not much time passed between their accident and rescue.
    You almost can’t have sci-fi stories set in interstellar space without some kind of dimension- or space-manipulating “hyperdrive” that lets you do FTL without time dilation.
    I read a theory that said a relativity-bypassing FTL is impossible because it would let you send messages back in time using a combination of non-FTL craft accelerated to near-c and an FTL courier, violating causality, but honestly I didn’t understand why it would work that way.

  335. xopher: You appear to have failed to identify the swarm critters as intelligent because they’re too alien for you

    The swarm was basically “tribbles with teeth”.

    The swarm drank all the water (The tribbles ate all the food). They star-gated the swarm to Hoth (Kirk teleported the tribbles to a Klingon ship).

    leading Scott to the right chemical compound

    I don’t remember it as the swarm leading Scott to the chemical compound. I remember it as Scott plowing forward until he passed out, and then the swarm gave him water when he was about to die.

    It’d be very odd if this swarm was so intelligent that it could figure out that they were looking for a certain CO2 scrubbing chemical and lead Scott to it, but not so intelligent that it couldn’t figure out that (1) taking the water on the ship would eventually kill everyone or (2) taking the water or presenting itself as an alien swarm might be perceived as a threat.

    And if it were super intelligent, can understand what the team is saying or thinking, then the question would be why would it follow the team back through the gate where it would know the team is barely surviving?

    The way the swarm behaved, I don’t think it qualifies as consciously intelligent. It behaved more like an insect, but a lot of them.

  336. #369, D.T., said, “I read a theory that said a relativity-bypassing FTL is impossible.”

    It isn’t impossible. It’s just not probable. Besides, the genre has to use it, or we end up restricted to a pin point of galactic real-estate.

    BUT time travel is an obvious implication, as is causality violation. And that’s why we have the Eschaton. Or God Emperors that keep a tight clamp on the Guild and IX. I think the Federation has the Time Police, or some-such group. I hate time travel unless it takes you to a different universe. Period.

  337. Greg: rewatch that episode. It never gave him water. The swirling water was an illusion. And are you really saying it was a coincidence that the exact spot where the water illusion appeared was where the needed compound was found?

  338. Gray Area: if there’s FTL, then relativity is wrong. The idea of time travel based on FTL is based on relativity being right even when it’s wrong, by saying that the preferred reference frame is the reference frame of the object in motion. It could be that relativity breaks in that specific way, or it could not. If it doesn’t, time travel could well be impossible.

    For example, consider the vector field which is the velocity of the CMB at that point. This vector field varies very slowly in position. You won’t be able to travel in time by running around in circles at FTL; and dropping from FTL to accelerate won’t change anything because your speed doesn’t matter one whit.

  339. It’s been well-established in Stargate that Einsteinian Relativity is incorrect. What IS correct is not well understood – no one groks the Ancient/Asgard database well enough to explain hyperspace and time travel, even though we can trigger both of those effects technologically.

  340. #Luke, I’m a neo-Platonist of the Babourian time-less school. I don’t think you can actually time travel, but you might be able to create closed time-like curve. That would allow you to go back in time realitive to our light cone. At that point it becomes a plot device and stops being scientific theory.

  341. I have no idea what you mean by the first sentence, and the second is pure supposition.

    By the way, I realized that the more iron-clad condition on the vector field would be that it is curl-free. Though if FTL speeds are limited, sufficiently slowly varying will also suffice.

  342. xopher: rewatch that episode. It never gave him water. The swirling water was an illusion.

    Just rewatched it. Starting around 32:30, I think. The water swirls under him, he wakes up, and then the camera never actually shows the ground after that.

    If it was an illusion, it means the dust-mites have psychic abilities, because he was unconscious, and they projected the illusion into his mind.

    And if they’re psychic, they’re awfully damn dumb psychics. Why would they go to the ship knowing the people were struggling to survive? Why would it consume so much water on the ship knowing the humans would die from lack of water? Why would they consume that water and not see it as a threat to the humans? Why would they approach the man with the gun, if they could read his mind and see that he is terrified of them? Why would they attack if they could see that they had contributed to the escalation?

    And are you really saying it was a coincidence that the exact spot where the water illusion appeared was where the needed compound was found?

    He also saw a crucifix in front of him. Was that an illusion projected by the dustmites too? If so, they are extremely powerful psychics to pull memories from a mind, and then project images back into that mind.

    Jorgensen, Greer, and the red shirt all encountererd the dustmites on teh ship. None of them were delirious from heat stroke. None of them saw anything, no mental illusions from the dustmites, no memories, no projections, no attempts at communication.

    If the dustmites are highly intelligent powerful mentalists, then it is a very odd coincidence that they only communicated with the Lt, while he was delirious, and didn’t communicate with anyone else while they were more alert and conscious.

    An explanation requiring less leaps of logic and fewer coincidences is that what the Lt saw on the desert planet (aka Dantoine) was a result of heat stroke, not psychic powers.

    The water illusion may have been nothing more than the dustmites swirling about his face, trying to wake him up (like a dog licking an unconscious human), and the Lieutenant imagined water licking his face.

  343. Also, it’s interesting the way Scalzi deals with FTL, don’t you think? I mean, it’s a little out-there, but similar to the idea that you can’t violate causality. He just has an FTL jump that dumps you in another universe. That gives you the Stargate Wheeler-like multiverse. Which could raise all sorts of questions.

  344. Josh, so that’s why it looked familiar! Aliens know we need faces to relate to. Most of the time. They should just make themselves look like puppies and then we would love them.

  345. TGA that sounds like a great Big Idea. Someone should write a book about aliens that come to subject us by appearing to be adorable little puff balls.

  346. I’m surprised no one picked up on the blatant Abyss reference with the mimicking of faces.

    Abyss! That’s it. I couldn’t think of the name of the movie.

  347. Bill @ 343:

    I don’t see anyone else in that scene. There are some moving shadows, but those are from the sneaky-cam they’re doing, shooting with the camera’s view partially obstructed and peering around obstacles so it feels like we’re spying on a private conversation.

    Xopher:

    CHARLIE STROSS knows what the Eschaton is thinking.
    CHARLIE STROSS can access core systems.
    CHARLIE STROSS knows where Destiny is going.

  348. Xopher, Stross doesn’t give much indication that he knows what the Eschaton is thinking. It’s like an ant trying to figure out what a human is thinking. In as much as Herman explains things a little, that persona admits to only being a node.
    How in the world did the unborn God mess with the Eschaton? I think the Remastered grew their baby in an outside Universe (like the one used to iron bomb Moscow prime). Then it re-entered this universe and ate the Eschaton. Oh my!

  349. OK, Greg, assume it was a heatstroke hallucination. You think it was just sheer luck that the very spot where he hallucinated the water was also exactly where the needed compound was? I don’t, especially since they said the compound would be located where there was once water.

    Remember also that the swirling entity on the planet was not the same as the one on the ship, which grew from a small number of particles that followed them through the gate. I think the one on the ship was less mature because it was younger, and unable to communicate in as much detail.

    Movie points: Tattooine, not Dantooine, was the desert planet where Luke grew up. Dantooine was the site of a former rebel base where Leia lied and said the Alliance still was. It was never shown in the true three.

    Abyss wasn’t the first to use the idea of facial mimesis as alien communication. I’m not sure where it came from, but it’s also appeared in the Stargate universe before (IIRC the blue crystal entities did it).

    Ralph:

    CHARLIE STROSS knows exactly what the swirling critters were saying.
    CHARLIE STROSS told Destiny where to go.
    CHARLIE STROSS taught the Ancients how to ascend.

  350. Charles Stoss: I asked him a question and I was ignorred! BUT maybe one of you can answer my question. It has to do with the nova that the Eschaton are known to use when punishing a part of space (and the people who live there). Those explossions take out a lot of space. The Eschaton seems somewhat kind and helpful. So why the over kill? Why not use an iron bomb such as that used by some simple mid-tech humans? That bomb’s distructive radius was much less.

    Is the Eschaton just as bad as the Remastered? It’s sure killed a heck of a lot more people. You would think the Remastered would look up to the Eschaton. That is if brute power is to be respected and feared. If manipulation of the human race is your hobby, what better role model than the Eschaton?

  351. The Gray Area:

    I didn’t mean it literally. The CHARLIE STROSS thing is a meme, derived from the Chuck Norris one. Like ‘yo mama’ jokes, it’s just a poetry form where one tries to complete the pattern in a clever way. The proverbial character taken as the subject may or may not resemble the science fiction author of the same name.

    See the October thread “Charlie Stross Messes With Your Head Again.”

    Xopher:

    CHARLIE STROSS knows who attacked Icarus Base.
    CHARLIE STROSS can stabilize a planetary core.
    CHARLIE STROSS dials Earth on his mobile phone.

  352. OK, Greg, assume it was a heatstroke hallucination. You think it was just sheer luck that the very spot where he hallucinated the water was also exactly where the needed compound was? I don’t, especially since they said the compound would be located where there was once water.

    It requires the fewest leaps of logic. Sure, it’s one of those “writer’s coincidences”, but any other interpretation requires more coincidences to explain. And did you really think they’d kill teh Lt already?

    It’s kind of an Occam’s Razor for fiction. The simplest explanation that accounts for all the known information is the one I tend to go with.

    Remember also that the swirling entity on the planet was not the same as the one on the ship, which grew from a small number of particles that followed them through the gate. I think the one on the ship was less mature because it was younger, and unable to communicate in as much detail.

    I’m not sure how you arrived at that. We only saw one dustdevil on the planet, it was following the Lt. I assume it followed the Lt back to the gate and onto the ship.

    When Jorgensen captured it in a can and threw it back through the gate, it looked at the Lt, unconscious with the Colonel, and mirrored the Lt’s face, but not the Colonel’s. Seemed to be symbolic of some kind of recognition.

    Either that or the Lt is some sort of “pied piper” for dust devils. Maybe the dust devils are drawn to clergymen or something.

  353. MasterThief@327
    The colonel & Lt Scott are the only 2 qualified pilots on board- I assume that means they have spacesuit training & the others don’t (though Lt Scott did mention that so&so had done some EVA work – I forget why the Colonel didn’t want her to go)

  354. A similar faces thing showed up the last season of Deep Space Nine, when the Prophets (aka the Wormhole Aliens) used the mysterious appearance of a face to lead Sisko to find an artifact and to find out something about his heritage. The artifact was in the desert. Don’t remember if there were dust devils, though.

  355. “It requires the fewest leaps of logic.”

    Not once the reality of said alien lifeform was confirmed. As long as only Lt. Scott saw them, the most plausible explanation was that they were a hallucination – but we had good reason to suspect they were something more.

    Then other people see them in totally different contexts, and our suspicions were confirmed.

  356. #LizrdGizrd @383, I believe our gracious hosts daughter has already written just such a story. But you may not have realized it, because of the cuteness.

  357. I’m not sure how you arrived at that.

    I listened to the dialogue (especially the part where they said a few of them must have followed them, and they’ve been reproducing, and that’s where all the water is going). I watched them come back from the desert planet without the entire dust devil. I watched the dust devil on the ship increase in size (starting smaller than the one on the planet, to my eye) during the episode.

    Ralph:

    CHARLIE STROSS wrote the app he uses to dial Earth on his cell phone.
    CHARLIE STROSS can get Rush to be nice.
    CHARLIE STROSS can get my buddy Greg to believe something he didn’t believe before.

  358. especially the part where they said a few of them must have followed them, and they’ve been reproducing, and that’s where all the water is going

    I took any mention of “quantities” to have a different meaning as they were talking about a kind of swarm/individual thingy. Depending on how you look at it, a swarm of individual little mites, or, you know, a swarm, quantifiers have different meaning.

    They also seem to appear out of nowhere most of the time. The only time they seemed to hold steady in quantity and physical manifestation was once Greer tried to corral them in an airlocked room. Up until that point, a little swirl would seemingly grow out of nowhere into a big cloud.

    And how many liters of water, went missing while the duststorm was on the ship? Jorgensen trapped them in a can that she could carry in her arms by herself. Conservation of mass doesn’t seem to apply to these things.

  359. Conservation of mass doesn’t seem to apply to these things.

    Why leave a whole law of physics unviolated? It’ll be jealous of the others.

    Seriously though, that’s only true if you believe they really got them all. Which I frankly hope they did, because otherwise I have one word for you, which will mean little to you but will strike terror in the hearts disgust in the guts of Stargate fans: replicators.

  360. Xopher, that was one of my less happy thoughts.

    Another was that it seems unlikely they actually all went into the barrell/stayed on the planet when Young and Scott came back through the wormhole.

    I rather hope the latter’s true; it would be better to have an ongoing mystery infestation rather than a MOTW.

    As long as they aren’t replicators, or any replicatoroid species or device.

  361. Why leave a whole law of physics unviolated? It’ll be jealous of the others.

    Conservation of mass seems easy enough. I know a number of SF stories that attempt to give it some respect.

    40,000 liters of water went missing. That’s forty-thousand kilograms of mass, forty english tons.

    I don’t think they used it for replicating baby dustdevils, because I don’t think they’re made out of hydrogen and oxygen (unless they’re going to violate basic rules of chemistry as well, well, I think they did, because the dustdevil should have frozen when it gated to Hoth)

    Maybe it used the water to do something to the CO2 scrubbers. Maybe they’ll find out next episode.

    we’ve had light, dark, air, and water, episodes so far. We’re still missing fire and earth. Maybe there’s a big cloud of hydrogen floating around the ship and it’ll burst into a fireball next episode.

  362. I think it’ll be plants. Food.

    Based on that thought, I’d place the odds of our two wayward friends reappearing next episode at 4:1 against. Anyone want to take that bet, either way?

  363. @JESR 400 – I if you were a little alien swarm that lives off of water and you were taken from a desert planet to a snow covered planet, would you really want to go back to the ship where people are trying to burn you and lock you in rooms or stay in this nice little paradise overflowing with food? I think we have seem the last of the dust devils on the ship (I hope).

    @GregLondon – Do you way as much as all the food you have consumed? All that flying and attacking must keep them trim. I am willing to bet the entire swarm does not weigh much more than a few pounds if that.

  364. Do you way as much as all the food you have consumed? All that flying and attacking must keep them trim. I am willing to bet the entire swarm does not weigh much more than a few pounds if that.

    40 tons of water. where did it go? If the bugs only weigh a few pounds, the humidity in the ship should be off the charts. There should be condensation on all the walls. Or did the bugs break it down into oxygen and hydrogen? if so, there should be pockets of hydrogen in some areas, possibly enough to cause an explosion, or possibly enough to suffocate someone (and they wouldn’t know until it was too late because the body detects suffocation by an increase in CO2, not a lack of oxygen. Which is why playing with helium gas and balloons can be dangerous, you don’t know you’re low on oxygen, your body doesn’t feel it. It feels an overabundance of CO2 as its trigger.)

  365. I’d place the odds of our two wayward friends reappearing next episode at 4:1 against.

    how many days have they been gone?

    One thing I’m not entirely clear about is how fast the ship moves compared to the range of the gates. If the two scientists were left in one solar system, and the ship flew to another solar system by the next episode (a few hours, or a day or two most, later), then can teh ship outrun the gates?

    can the ship get so far ahead that the two guys can’t use the gates to catch up?

    And how would the guys know which gate and which symbol to dial to keep following the ship?

    And how would they dial the gate without any eqipment?

    Also, at this point, I would assume the Colonel has done a head count, and if anyone was on the shuttle he would know about it. And I find it a little annoying that he would know if someone was on the shuttle but it hasn’t come up in conversation, even though it would be a fairly important rescue mission.

    So, did the ship launch the shuttle automatically to save the two poeple? Did the two scientists have some kind of equipment that is associated with the ship that would trigger an autopilot-initiated rescue?

    Or did someone, pilot rated, take a shuttle and try to rescue the two scientists, and the Colonel hasn’t noticed they’re gone? Or the Colonel knows about it and is keeping it “secret” to keep the viewers in suspense?

  366. “And if they’re psychic, they’re awfully damn dumb psychics.”
    I got that they were instinctively psychic, kind of like dolphins are really smart about using sonar but not quite up to human levels of abstract thought.
    If the swarm were “dolphin-like” intellects but psychic instead of sonar they may well react to things like “hostile intent” or the suffering and single-mindedness of the Lt. without understanding the abstract reasoning behind it.
    And they certainly knew what water was — hence the lucky coincidence of their leading the Lt. to the one place that had what he was looking for: a place that once had water.

    “And how would they dial the gate without any eqipment?”
    Didn’t they have a portable DHD?

  367. Oh, zoikes, sorry for the double-post, I also wanted to suggest the ship was full of Helium, that that’s where the water went and how the bugs could “eat water”.

  368. If the swarm were “dolphin-like” intellects but psychic instead of sonar they may well react to things like “hostile intent” or the suffering and single-mindedness of the Lt. without understanding the abstract reasoning behind it.

    That might be what the writers were going for I suppose. If they’re animal-intelligent but psychic, then they’re “dumb” psychics in a way, but it would fit all the things that happened.

    Didn’t they have a portable DHD?

    I thought the third scientist had the widget thingy, and Rush had Greer shoot him because Rush needed the widget and didn’t want the guy to go through the gate with it.

    the ship was full of Helium, that that’s where the water went

    You mean these semi-intelligent, dolphin-intelligent, dust-mite sized creatures could control fusion?

  369. Re: the mystery shuttle launch. Could it have been the one the Senator was in? In one scene (forget which ep) someone asked what to do about the Senators body. The Col says “he’s not going anywhere”. But what if he did?

    Although, that shuttle did not look to be the saem design as the others. I have also wondered if it could have been alien. We still don’t know how the ship got so much damage. Could be pirates/scavengers or some such.

    Re: FTL. I do also wonder about Time Dilation. Even in Star Trek at warp speeds there is some time dilation, even though they don’t really address it. That is why they developed the Star Dating system.

    Perhaps we will find that while this is not Hyperspace it is in fact some never before conceived variation of FTL that does not have time dilation impacts? Doubt that is theoretically possible, but then I don’t think Warp drive and Hyperspace is either so I am willing to suspend belief.

  370. GL2418, The thing is, if you bypass real-space and jump into a different place (hyper space), it would make sense to think that you would also be removed from real spacetime. It would seem to me that no matter how much time passed on the ship, that it could always drop back into real-space with no time having passed there. Maybe.

  371. As long as they aren’t replicators, or any replicatoroid species or device.

    Every form of life is a ‘replicator’.

    Warp speed doesn’t involve time dilation in Star Trek – impulse travel, which occurs at significant fractions of c, does.

    The stargates themselves – by permitting real-time communication across relativistic frames – necessarily show that relativity has some problems. They are themselves a form of time travel.

  372. @The Gray Area
    You make me scratch my head now. I am both pleased and thoroughly annoyed at the same time :-)

    Removed from normal space? Yes I agree. Removed from Space-Time? That is something something worth debating. Whatever you want to call hyperspace or other analogues it is usually described as another reality/dimension/what-have-you. You still have to travel distance, but somehow that distance is less than the distance you would travel in normal space. Is that a “time warp” getting you someplace faster than in normal space-time or is that more like a wormhole where you are bridging two areas of normal space?

    To quote a wise man. I don’t have the math (or the appropriate degree in astrophysics).

  373. GL2418, my understanding (not being a math whiz or astrophysicist either) is that hyperspace is a leftover from the days when it was believed that space is a hypersphere.

    Imagine a balloon being slowly inflated. You are a two-dimensional critter living in the plane of the surface. You are too small and too two-dimensional to notice the curvature; what you can observe is that (in general) all the objects you can see are getting farther and farther away from you, and from each other. Distances around the balloon are prohibitively huge.

    Now imagine that some genius among you has discovered how to move into the third dimension, like the mystic guy in The Planiverse. Now you can move through the inside of the balloon, shortening the distances greatly. Farther stars would still be farther away, but the distance to them is much shorter than it would be if you had to go all the way around the balloon.

    Now scale up by one dimension, so the balloon is a hypersphere and the two-dimensional surface is three-dimensional space. If you’re like me, your brain rebels at this point, and visualization fails, but you’ve already grasped the general idea.

    Now, as I said, that’s an old conception of the shape of the universe. I understand that the universe is now thought to be negatively curved (whatever that means), so there’s no inside to the balloon, in fact there’s no balloon, just this sort of saddle-shaped thing. Anyway, there are no shortcuts in this conception, so punching through to a fourth spatial dimension won’t help. The shortest distance between two points on the new shape is in three-dimensional space.

    These days hyperspace is pretty much just story-driven handwaving. In SGU they say they’re in FTL but not hyperspace. Why this means they can go even faster than a hyperdrive ship (they’re covering intergalactic distances in a matter of hours) is not clear. We’ll see what happens.

  374. GL2418 said, “Removed from normal space? Yes I agree. Removed from Space-Time?”

    That’s my take on it. And as big a fan as I am of FTL, I think I’m more prone to thinking like Stephenson: The Universe just won’t let it happen, unless it’s the Universe doing so, which seems to be the case with inflation. But that might also be an example of the Universe constructing a wormhole to jump into its own future.

  375. “(they’re covering intergalactic distances in a matter of hours)”

    No, they’re not. Asgard ships did that – the Destiny is only traversing interstellar distances in hours.

  376. They’re going in and out of GATE RANGE of planets frequently. 7-chevron gate range covers a whole galaxy.

    Unless there was something I missed that specified a shorter range for these archaic gates, that means they’re going a hell of a lot faster than hyperdrive ships went in the other series.

  377. We’ve seen the path the Destiny took – it’s been traveling since the Ancients first arrived in our galaxy. If the ship could traverse intergalactic distances in hours, it would have hit more galaxies than that. A lot more.

  378. Y’know, you and GregLondon would have a lot fewer problems with what’s going on with the show if actually paid attention to what was happening.

    The Destiny travels to other galaxies, spends some time moving about inside them (possibly assigning addresses to the seeded gates), then moves off to the next galaxy. It is currently exploring a single galaxy.

    See the following from here:

    Wright: Yes, it’s not a new stargate it is in fact a very old stargate, it’s the prototype.
    Cooper: And a rotary dial version (laughs).
    Wright: It has a limited range, a far more limited range than the Milky Way or Pegasus Galaxy stargates. For example, if the Destiny is travelling through a galaxy it can’t go anywhere in that galaxy, it can only go within a limited range, that’s why they put it on a ship, so as it moves through the galaxy it can move across it and explore stargates that have been seeded by other ships prior to the launch of the Destiny who knows how many hundreds of years before.

  379. 420: Well, that would be the bit I missed. Or forgot. You’re right, and now it makes sense that they’re traveling in non-hyperspace FTL and not going vast distances. You’re right, and I was just plain wrong about that.

    You know, you could have just quoted me saying Unless there was something I missed that specified a shorter range for these archaic gates, said “You did miss something,” and quoted the lines just as you did, or even started with your second paragraph.

    But that’s no fun for you, is it? You have to make someone angry to enjoy the conversation at all. Of course I do pay attention, very close attention, to what’s going on. I forgot that bit, which sounded familiar as soon as you reminded me of it. And note that I allowed for the possibility that I might be wrong, which I don’t expect you to recognize.

    I acquired my hatred for you because you were a douche to me in our very first encounter, but I continue to hate you because you continue to be a douche to me. Not that we’ll ever be pals, or that you’d ever want us to be (that is, you hate me too, as you keep demonstrating), but IMO we’d have a better conversation, especially in this thread, where I agree with you more than not,* if you’d try not to be so…well, enough said.

    It seems clear that you’re quite intelligent, though your inability to recognize the same in me does make me doubt your common sense. I’m hoping this breaks through the barrier to your more sensible side.
    ___
    *I really do. I don’t usually say so because, well, I hate you and agreeing with you just sticks in my craw.

  380. I’m not the host here, and it’s not my place to say it, but I’m going to anyway:

    Let’s step back, take a deep breath, and try to relax a bit? I get passionate about these kinds of conversations, too, which is largely why I’ve stayed out of this thread…but I’ve been reading it because I can’t turn away.

    It’s fun to work this stuff out, but we don’t need to poke at each other to do it.

  381. Richard, thank you for your kind concern (no sarcasm). You might be worrying needlessly, however. I’m actually trying to come to some kind of meeting of minds with melendwyr, who I promise you will not be at all upset or surprised to read that I hate him.

  382. I’d just like to point out that Melendwyr (@ 420) quoted the producers speaking ex cathedra.

    Where _in the show itself_ did they specify that the ship’s gate has a limited range? I don’t recall that being mentioned, though I’ll admit that I might have missed it.

    While the Destiny’s gate having a severely limited range may be canon in the sense that the writers are writing as if that were the case, if it hasn’t been explained onscreen, it’s not surprising if long-time Stargate fans (who know perfectly well that your garden variety stargate has a galactic range) are confused and annoyed by this seeming inconsistency.

  383. Oh, no wonder I didn’t know that! I make it a point not to read what the producers say.

    Thanks, Mark. I thought that was dialogue (and don’t have a clear enough memory of character names to remember that none of them is called Wright).

    if it hasn’t been explained onscreen, it’s not surprising if long-time Stargate fans (who know perfectly well that your garden variety stargate has a galactic range) are confused and annoyed by this seeming inconsistency.

    Not only that, it’s reasonable to conclude, as I did, that they’re going incredibly fast, assuming the stargates are normal.

    And doubly ridiculous for melendwyr to claim that I’m not paying attention to what’s going on because I didn’t “pay attention” to something that’s never even appeared in the show!

  384. GL I don’t think they used it for replicating baby dustdevils, because I don’t think they’re made out of hydrogen and oxygen (unless they’re going to violate basic rules of chemistry as well, well, I think they did, because the dustdevil should have frozen when it gated to Hoth)

    You’re just making up plot holes now. Why would they freeze? You’re made mostly of hydrogen and oxygen, do you flash freeze when you encounter subzero temperatures? What about all the little critters and birds that live all winter long in cold climates? Metabolism – don’t leave home without it.

  385. I’m going to admit to my complete ignorance on what a creative consultant is and ask what is a creative consultant?

    Also my sister (who I made read Old Man’s War and she, as a person who thought I was retarded for liking sci-fi, absolutely loved it and now watches sci-fi) and my dad say I’m like Eli. So far I’m going to accept that. I absolutely love the show so far but my biggest fear for the show as a whole is that it will have BSG syndrome and run too long for the story it should tell.

  386. You’re just making up plot holes now. Why would they freeze?

    -47 celcius, -53 fahrenheit.

    You’re made mostly of hydrogen and oxygen, do you flash freeze when you encounter subzero temperatures? What about all the little critters and birds that live all winter long in cold climates? Metabolism – don’t leave home without it.

    First of all, conservation of mass. a human can burn a thousand or more calories a day just to keep warm in that kind of temperature. Calories is mass. Each dust mite had only so much mass (About 400,000 mosquitoes equal a pound), so only so much calories to burn before they ran out of fuel, and then they freeze and die.

    Second of all, if you are exposed to that sort of temperature, you may very well flash freeze just from being exposed. It’s called frostbite. It occurs at the boundary between the environment and your body’s core where it is burning those calories to try to stay warm. At the edges, fingertips, tips of your toes, tip of your nose, the core metabolism has to transfer to the tips of your body through tiny blood vessels, and at -50, it won’t be enough.

    Third of all, if these dust mites were native to a desert planet, then they won’t be adapted for cold weather at all. Some insects have antifreeze to help them survive being frozen in ice so they can thaw out in spring, but then we’re talking about some kind of insect that just happens to be suited for two completely opposite environmental extremes, even though it only ever saw desert.

    That’s assuming its a dolphin-like intelligent animal, not some sort of super-being bundle of energy in nanobot form. If it’s a cloud of nanobots, then it could be designed to survive anything, but then the problem is it acted like a moron. It has psychic powers of some kind, approached the guy with the pistol, should have sensed that he was afraid, but kept approaching him, and then attacked when he got so frightened that he shot at it (something that would not have harmed it, by the way.) And killed him. If it’s nanobots, its extremely dumb nanobots.

  387. Really, let’s just have some fun talk about the silly show and not get all worked up. It’s fun to out-nit-pick, put only on the show, not each other. Let’s pretend we’re all together in a nice comfy room, sitting by the fire with our drink of choice. It’s not too hard to get along if we pretend we’re all real people with real feelings. (I’m actually an AI with only simulated feelings…but I still neeed love. Ha!)

    I fail to see how or why the Ancients would ever build a gate that actually spins around. Can you imagine the problems that grit would cause. What about the little motors or field inducers that would eventually go bad. NO NO NO moving parts!

  388. #430: Actually, I always expected it was magnetic. The gate has been described as a superconductor in the old SG1 several times, so my guess was that the inner ring was a free-floating ring held in place by magnetic fields around the chevrons.

    Why one would do this, I still have no idea.

    I also always wondered how the original SG1 fit the iris to their gate. It’s not in front, you still see the gate. It’s not behind, or it couldn’t block the wormhole. So it’s inside….what? Does the gate come apart? Held together by screws? Flathead or Philips? Or worse, those little hex-heads no one ever has a screwdriver for? I bet it’s those.

  389. It could be their natural impulse was to do it solid-state, but the only way they could get galactic range was to do something hard-wired with actual spinny bits.

    By the time they get to Atlantis, they’ve figured out how to achieve galactic range without the spinny bits.

  390. Screw heads. That was funny. The gate moves because it makes it more interesting to look at. But the gates would not have moving parts unless they were matter compilers, like A-gates, or is that T-gates? Also, if you’re going to build a gate, can’t you blow the extra money and make sure each one is in a nice enclosed space, something that keeps the rain and snow and sand off? I know I would if I were seeding the things all over the place. Like a big Pantheon kinda building, with indestructable shag carpet and music. And some chairs. The Ancients were not so great.

  391. @GregLondon – two words “alien physiology” nuff said.

    @The Gray Area – Amen! Pour me a Jack and Ginger.

    If you look at the progression now, that we have three gates to compare, we go from Destiny with the entire gate spinning to Milky Way with the inner ring spinning to Atlantis with no spinning. So the design improved over time. Why the unbelievably old gates on Universe are still capable of spinning after all this time and why they are not covered over with dirt, water, snow, etc… I’ll just give up to the plot gods to explain or ignore at their leisure.

    @ Richard – didn’t you know we had the ability to make titanium fold up and disappear into nothing with no apparent means of locomotion? I though everyone knew that? (Sarcasm of course) :-)

  392. John,

    Damn you and the whole Sci-fi channel, Hulu included, for consuming hours of my time this weekend! I was thoroughly engrossed with all of the episodes and i was “wasting” valuable time, according to my Wife. I would never have even considered watching yet another Stargate if it weren’t for you being on their team. You all are doing an excellent job and I appreciate the creativity. Have a good one!

    Ben

  393. It’s not clear how long the gates that Destiny is traveling to have been standing where they are. How far behind the seeding and construction ships is our crew? We don’t know yet. It may be less than ten years behind, in which case the gates haven’t been there for that long.

    How recent is the damage to Destiny, I wonder?

  394. How would you date damage on a starship like that? Other than to access the records that must be there. I would think that something that can get close to a star is made of pretty strong stuff. Layers of Adamantium and hypercarbon, reinforced with null-entropy fields. With fields in place the temperature could be dropped to just above absolute zero. That ships fraking huge, why is the gate (probably one of the ship’s more important components) stuck in a little box of a room? Why isn’t it in a nice gate room?

    You know, if the engines failed, a properly place gate could act as a back up engine by dialing up to anther gate that is in orbit over a star. Or as a weapon, if you placed a gate in possition over a pulsar or blackhole jet.

  395. Destiny wasn’t designed for the mission it’s on. It was (it seems) re-used because it was available.

    The Ancients who came to our galaxy were refugees, after all, fleeing an ideological pogrom in their home galaxy. They likely didn’t have resources to spare on making their ships nice and neat – they took off in whatever they could scrape together.

  396. Mark Jones @424: “Where _in the show itself_ did they specify that the ship’s gate has a limited range? I don’t recall that being mentioned, though I’ll admit that I might have missed it.”

    Besides all the times and places where they talked about coming into / leaving the range of the local gates?

    Again: we were shown a pictorial representation of the Destiny‘s travels, and if it visited one galaxy every few hours, that trip would have been much, much longer than it was. It’s traveling FTL, but at slower speeds than even a Go’auld mothership – and much, much slower than the Asgard drive.

  397. melendwyr:
    It’s not clear how long the gates that Destiny is traveling to have been standing where they are. How far behind the seeding and construction ships is our crew? We don’t know yet. It may be less than ten years behind, in which case the gates haven’t been there for that long.
    Many assumptions there – that seeding ships are still going; that Destiny is on it’s first trip (and not a circuit of all the gates, unending).

    How recent is the damage to Destiny, I wonder?
    How recent is the wrong sort of question, since the damage itself is simply time. We know the Destiny is ancient (no pun intended), and any problem you encounter could have originated last week, last year, last century, etc.

    Destiny wasn’t designed for the mission it’s on. It was (it seems) re-used because it was available.
    Why do you suggest this?

    The Ancients who came to our galaxy were refugees, after all, fleeing an ideological pogrom in their home galaxy. They likely didn’t have resources to spare on making their ships nice and neat – they took off in whatever they could scrape together.
    They made it here, and began building a new stargate network, and developed the ZPM. They weren’t doing too shabby.

    And as for limited range, they’ve yet to imply why the range is so limited. Is it a technological flaw (stargate 0.2 beta?), or is it part of the available power resources on Destiny? Or is there something else?

  398. I am looking forward to tonight’s episode. That must mean I like the series in spite of whatever I or others have complained about so far. I still do not get why the low CO2 level on the planet that the shuttle was trying to get to in the “Light” episode indicated an absence of vegetation. Photosynthetic plants on Earth consume CO2. It has been postulated that prehistoric levels of O2 on Earth were very high and that might have been related to the giant size of dinosaurs.

    But then again, I did not know that a Stargate wormhole could only transport matter in one direction. You can operate a radio in both directions, they do it all the time. But in “Water”, I learned that the gate had to be dialed from the originating side for people and things to go through. No doubt some kind of safety protocol, but what do I know? I didn’t even know that.

    1st LT Scott has proven himself to be heroic a few times so far, and COL Young has named him second in command. But even though he was suffering some kind of heat exhaustion by the third part of “Air”, Scott nonetheless deduced that the swirling dust devil swarm of alien thingys were attracted to H20, or whatever else it was that he needed. Why didn’t he close his canteen when the swarm approached him then? Well, that might have spoiled half of the plot for “Water”.

    1st Lt Johansen has pulled off some sharp and courageous leadership as well, like preventing Telford from killing Young’s body (while consciouness swapping) so he could poke around the Ancient spaceship. At any rate, it is about time for Telford to do something helpful, for a change.

    I’m not blaming COL Young for anything that’s happened so far. I mean, Rush can blame his nicotine withdrawal since he is only a few days into it. Just what is Young supposed to think about Rush, aside from that? In the first use of the stones, Rush alone came back with the announcement that O’Neil had put him in charge. Where was his counterpart in that consciousness swap? Disoriented on some remote part of the ship? Point is, COL Young has some reasons not to trust Rush, based on his behavior, nicotine withdrawal induced or not.

    Still, Rush has emphasized “The Greater Good” abundantly. Through Rush’s tutelage of Eli, he is showing how everybody doesn’t need to know everything, and in fact, “normal” people can do their jobs better if they can be allowed to focus on one crisis at a time.

    I just wish that whoever directed the scene on the ice planet (Eli called Hoth – Love it) would have had COL Young wrap the safety line to Scott behind his own back with one hand on each side. I’m just a geek, but I think the climbing term is “bolay” or “bole”, when you don’t have an actual tree trunk to use. Aren’t there military advisers who are supposed to correct things like this? Or maybe they did: the line might have ruptured Young’s suit if anchored around his body. Is that it? And he chose to just use the massive strength of his hands alone to haul Scott up the crevasse.

  399. melendwyr@441on 05 Nov 2009 at 4:45 pm
    Mark Jones @424: “Where _in the show itself_ did they specify that the ship’s gate has a limited range? I don’t recall that being mentioned, though I’ll admit that I might have missed it.”

    Remember Rodney’s Stargate Bridge he devised in Atlantis so they could use a jumper to get back from the Pegasus galaxy to the Milky Way? I don’t remember how many stargates it took. But, there were certainly some finite distances involved, in the relativistic universe.

    They can only stay open 38 minutes in the relativistic universe too, approximately the same time as a television hour, oddly enough.

  400. Rodney’s stargate bridge was taking advantage of the power limitations. Gating between Earth and Atlantis required a ZPM and dialing 8 of 9 chevrons. Initially, they only had one ZPM which was usually on the Daedelus, ferrying it back and forth between galaxies.

    Later, they had a second ZPM for Atlantis, which allowed them to dial Earth – but that was one way. Plus, Atlantis needed the power for other things, like cloaking and sheilds. So the bridge allowed them to chain-link gates between galaxies, using regular 7-chevron dialing and the gates own inherent power source. Being that our two galaxies had seperate gate networks, a way station was established between the two for transfers.

    Which is why I suspect the only problem with the Destiny’s gate system is power. In its hey-day, it probably could dial earth just fine, but its power systems aren’t at full capacity, and it’s so far out I wonder if it could dial earth even at 100%. I expect we’ll find out some day.

  401. Melendwyr — I said, “Where _in the show itself_ did they specify that the ship’s gate has a limited range? I don’t recall that being mentioned, though I’ll admit that I might have missed it.”

    You said: Besides all the times and places where they talked about coming into / leaving the range of the local gates?

    Yes, besides that–because that’s the bit of stupid writing I’m complaining about. Stargates have (until this show) always been capable of galactic ranges, dialing any other gate in the galaxy (assuming you knew or stumbled upon a valid address). Always. Without exception. Through two series and fifteen seasons, that’s been the case.

    Now, suddenly, we have a gate that is “going in and out of range” of a handful of other gates. There’s been no explanation (nor even any speculation) of why this gate is different. It’s just taken as a given because otherwise the premise of the show folds up like a cheap mattress. If the Destiny didn’t have the only third-rate knock-off stargate in the universe, the “twelve hour window” crap wouldn’t hold up. They could come and go from any world they knew of any time they liked.

  402. Mark J. said, “Now, suddenly, we have a gate that is “going in and out of range” of a handful of other gates. There’s been no explanation (nor even any speculation) of why this gate is different.”

    We can speculate. I spec that it’s a plot device, which was included at the factory when these SFU gates were made. The other gates from the other shows just didn’t have it.

    Off Topic, the trailers for Avatar look stunning. I’m thinking that all that color hurts my brain, as did Speed Racer. We’ll have to see.

  403. Mark @ 446

    There’s been no explanation (nor even any speculation) of why this gate is different.

    You must have missed the “Made in China” sticker on the back of the gate.

  404. It’s just taken as a given because otherwise the premise of the show folds up like a cheap mattress. If the Destiny didn’t have the only third-rate knock-off stargate in the universe, the “twelve hour window” crap wouldn’t hold up. They could come and go from any world they knew of any time they liked.

    Yeah, it’s the “You’re the only ship in the quadrant” twist but the entire series appears to hinge on it.

    So, the episodes end up looking like this:

    We can’t control what system we end up in. The ship is going whatever direction it is going to, and we can’t control that.

    We can only trick the autopilot into dropping out of FTL as it’s goign along its way.

    Once we’re in a solar system, we can only gate to planets within whatever system we end up in. We can’t go back to Hoth or any other planet we’ve visited.

    And we’ve only got 24 hours to do what we need to do before the ship jumps back to FTL. This gives a nice “ticking time bomb” kind of feeling to each episode.

    You must have missed the “Made in China” sticker on the back of the gate.

    Ah, that explains why they can’t control it. Have you ever seen the instruction manuals for something made in china? They’re horrendous english.

    “Is camera memory can has expansion slot. Please power turn off camera prior to remove card from slot diligently.”

    Eli is probably reading the instruction manual and going “wtf?”

  405. Speculation on the Range thing. I agree that it is most likely a power thing as well. Putting aside the ability to generate the power needed to dial inter or extra galactic distances, it comes down to the gates themselves. Are these gates made from Naquadah? If so I’d love to know how the ancients managed to accumulate enough to send ships out creating and seeding gates through several galaxies. So if the gates are made from a more common element of are a less powerful alloy of Naquadah and something else, they would not have the capacity to channel the power needed to to sustain a long distance wormhole.

  406. Greg 449: Except it’s written in Ancient, so something like manten corpi uzend quand cancelstelli quas fecasedia expulsat would come out as “Away with your bodies, stargate shit them sitting.”

    When of course it should be “Keep bodies away when stargate is flushing like a toilet,” but who reads Ancient that well?

  407. @446: “Yes, besides that–because that’s the bit of stupid writing I’m complaining about. Stargates have (until this show) always been capable of galactic ranges, dialing any other gate in the galaxy (assuming you knew or stumbled upon a valid address). Always. Without exception.”

    Wrong. Stargates have never been automatically capable of dialing any other gate, as has been repeatedly shown on SG-1. It’s also been long-known that the range of a Stargate transmission is limited by the available power, that there are protocols that prevent dialing from completing under certain circumstances, and that other restrictions applied. At no time has it ever been stated that any gate can necessarily reach any other gate within a galaxy.

    Is the problem stupid writing? Or stupid viewers?

  408. When trapped on the meeting-world of the Five Great Races and on the planet which had put their Stargate in a museum without a DHD, among other episodes.

    The gates we most often see are hooked up to DHDs, which among other things feed power to the Gates. Without a DHD, the gate can be dialed manually, but it can only dial as far as its absorbed ambient power permits. If it’s in conditions where it can’t absorb enough power to establish a connection, it can’t be dialed at all.

    Carter has repeatedly stressed the idea that the power necessary to establish a wormhole connection is related to both the size of the gate and the distance between the gates in realspace.

    This is really old news, people.

  409. Green@443: Scott nonetheless deduced that the swirling dust devil swarm of alien thingys were attracted to H20

    the water that splashed in Scott’s face may have been a mirage in Scott’s mind, like the crucifix he kept seeing at a distance. If it was a mirage, then there was no water for the dust devil to be drawn to on the desert planet. And Scott would have been unable to deduce that it was attracted to water.

    Scott wasn’t looking for water anyway. He was looking for lime or something. And it would be located on a lakebed. The lakebed he found was long since dried up, so I don’t think the water that splashed him was naturally occuring. Either it was a mirage or the dustdevil created the water to wake him up/help him.

  410. I think the dustdevil created the mirage of water in Scott’s mind to show him where the lakebed was…or that he’d gotten there.

    It has also occurred to me that the dustdevils’ tendency to destroy water (however that works) may account for the desertification of the planet where they first encountered them. There used to be a lake there…before the dustdevils destroyed it. And so on.

    If that’s actually true and relevant, we can expect the dustdevil left behind on the ice planet to be pretty happy!

  411. @melendwyr 455 – All the was proven in that ep was that a gate cannot be dialed without a power source. It also created the new myth that an incoming whomhole leave behind enough residual energy to allow a one time dial out.

    I recall no evidence that there is a Milky Way gate that could not be dialed from any other Milky Way gate regardless of distance. The only exceptions being gates that were damaged or specifically modified to behave differently or yes, if there was a safety protocol temporarily preventing a connection. The same can be said for Pegasus gates.

    In fact I recall an ep where we dialed from Earth the farthest gate out in the network between Earth and Pegasus in an effort to contact, I think, the Daedalus while it was en route to Atlantis.

  412. AKA Michael–yeah, that’s what I recall as well. If the gate doesn’t have power, you can’t dial out at all. If it has enough power to activate at all, it can connect to any gate in the (local galactic) network. This “limited range” thing is complete hokum.

  413. xopher: It has also occurred to me that the dustdevils’ tendency to destroy water (however that works) may account for the desertification of the planet

    My assumption during “Water” was that the dustdevil could create water for Scott out of nothing. It wasn’t a mirage, it was real water. Unfortunately we don’t really get to see teh ground after he wakes up because of the camera angle, to confirm that water was really there.

    But I figure if they can create water out of nothing, then they can destroy it into nothing as well. so then I figured the dust devil created the desert on the planet.

    There are a lot of ambiguities in this show.

    The dust devil might be (1) dumb insects, (2) dolphin-intelligent insects with rudimentary mental capacities, or (3) super-hyper-transdimensional intelligence that is so intelligent that we can’t fathom their thinking and with super mental powers.

    All three interpretations fit the data with varying degrees of assumptions. That’s more than a little annoying.

  414. The fact that you can’t figure out exactly what’s going on after only two episodes of exposure to the critter in question is annoying? It bothers you that the solution isn’t unambiguous?

    We’re never going to agree on this then. I delight in such things. I love having multiple theories that are compatible with the available data, and not being sure which is right until more data arrives, if ever. I am perfectly willing to wait and see if we encounter the dustdevil aliens again (and I predict we will), and if so to see which if any of the conflicting theories the data support.

    I guess that’s the scientist in me. It’s not annoying to me to have that happen. It’s exciting.

  415. I’m an engineer, Xopher. I do science.

    My experience of fiction (and science) is that information gets put into perspective, details weave together, they compress, and form an understanding.

    ambiguities don’t compress. Each takes up a lot of space in my mind because there’s no way to know where it fits in the perspective of everything else. It becomes an independent bit of information unattached to anything else. And it has a bunch of loose threads that might tie in to the narrative a bunch of different ways, so I have to remember all the loose threads.

    So, when a narrative starts throwing out all sorts of ambiguities, they start to stack up, they start to weigh me down, they start to overwhelm me.

    When that happens in engineering, what that usually means is I have to find one piece of the puzzle, isolate it, and figure it out, then move on to another piece. And at some point, everything fits together.

    When it happens in fiction, I generally prefer the characters to stop and figure out what’s going on and resolve some of teh ambiguities. “Is Rush a threat?” is an ambiguity. I’d prefer teh Colonel address the issue, like any normal respectable commanding officer would. He doesn’t. And what happens is I get tired of carrying around all this extra weight because there’s not enough information to figure out where it fits into everything else. It doesn’t compress.

    And the thing about fiction is, you don’t know what is important. You don’t know if you need to remember every little detail about the dust devils or not. You don’t know if you’ll ever see them. And because you don’t know if they are 1,2,or 3, you have to remember every little detail, because when some new information about the dust devils shows up, you might be able to integrate it, select an option, and figure out that they are number 2. (or whatever).

    So, I’m carrying around all this information about the ship, the crew, the gates, the planets, and the things that are alive that they’ve run into. And most of it is ambiguous, most of it has multiple possible interpretations, so I can’t put it into perspective, I can’t compress it. And so I have to try and remember all the details. And I’m already failing, I’m already forgetting.

    Do I need to remember all the possible interpretations, all the little details and facts, about the dust devils? I don’t know. Will it ever be resolved and fit into a larger narrative? I don’t know. Until then, I have to remember everything so I can put it into perspective when enough information finally comes out.

  416. @GL – When it happens in fiction, I generally prefer the characters to stop and figure out what’s going on and resolve some of teh ambiguities. “Is Rush a threat?” is an ambiguity. I’d prefer teh Colonel address the issue, like any normal respectable commanding officer would. He doesn’t.

    How would you “address the issue,” though, if you were in his shoes? I suspect that the answer to the question of whether Rush is a threat is a resounding “maybe, given the wrong circumstances.” The Colonel has, I’m sure, noted that Rush has an obvious paranoid streak, if he were to interrogate Rush and aggressively question his motives, that would almost definitely increase the likelihood of Rush behaving destructively.

    Right now he’s pretty sure he needs Rush, so he’s got to humor him and try to avoid setting him off, while assessing how Rush behaves under different circumstances. He’s keeping an eye on Eli though, if it turns out that Eli is just as capable as Rush, then Rush becomes fungible and the whole game changes. At least that’s the way I’d play it if I were him.

    Right now though, he’s the leader of a motley group of people on a mysterious ship with a mind of its own, even if it were a good idea to do so, he can’t just stop everything and work out for certain whether he can trust Rush or not.

    And what happens is I get tired of carrying around all this extra weight because there’s not enough information to figure out where it fits into everything else. It doesn’t compress…

    Do I need to remember all the possible interpretations, all the little details and facts, about the dust devils? I don’t know. Will it ever be resolved and fit into a larger narrative? I don’t know. Until then, I have to remember everything so I can put it into perspective when enough information finally comes out.

    Well, I don’t want to say, “lighten up, it’s just a TV show,” which is a stupid thing to say in a sci-fi forum – part of being a SF fan is trying to piece together details of the story in a logical way and arguing over what non-fans might consider obscure trivia. I certainly have my own idiosyncratic pet peeves with Stargate in general.

    That said, I’m trying to remember if you said whether or not you were previously a fan of any of the Stargate series. Because, while the accuracy of their science and the consistency of their plotting are usually above average for TV sci-fi, Hard SF this definitely is not. I guarantee you that you’ve put a lot more thought into some of your technical questions than the writers ever did. At least as I see it there’s little value in, say, working out a biology for the nano-swarm that’s completely consistent with both science and the plot, except perhaps as a thought experiment, because the writers themselves never worked it out in that level of detail.

    Anyway we’ll most likely never see the nano-swarm again – Brad Wright has said there won’t be a consistent enemy in SG:U like there were in SG-1 and Atlantis. Which in a way is a shame, the Goauld in SG-1 were fantastic bad guys – totally evil but flamboyant and frequently hilarious. Then again the Ori and the Wraith never lived up in comparison, so perhaps its good that SG:U isn’t trying to go the same route.

  417. This may be a stupid question but I’m confused on something. I understand the ship doesn’t have enough power to dial Earth. It has however been proven to be able to dial close planets. If Earth would be able to connect to the ship with supposedly enough power, then why can’t it dial to a close planet when the ship drops out of FTL? Everyone could gate to one of those planets, and then have Earth gate there, the end?

  418. So we did not have to wait for months, we have already had the first (televised) communications stones rape. And don’t tell me it’s OK because Telford might be using his body himself for the same purpose; the Colonel doesn’t know that.

    But this just obscures the larger issue that this episode was 80% boring, boring soap cliche and 20% SF. They did not even have time to really unpack the “tech the tech” part. I have been OK, not great, with Universe so far, but much more of this kind of show and I am dialling out.

  419. JJ, I have never concerned myself overly with the mechanics of stargate usuage. However, I think any planet they can gate to from the ship is in the same galaxy far, far away that the ship is flying through. So they would still need the same amount of power to get to the Milky Way. But I am sure there are people who can answer in much more depth and explain why they can or cannot do that.

  420. Tonight’s episode spoilers below.

    So the first body-rape is committed by Colonel Young. The fact that the victim is that dirty scumbag Telford doesn’t make it OK. Neither does the fact that Telford doesn’t actually turn out to mind that much; evidence for this is that he’s going to have an affair with Young’s wife.

    Will he tell her the truth, or will he pretend to be Young (which would be raping HER, in my opinion)? Stay tuned. He’s enough of a scumbag to play it either way.

    And a coward, too. “Obeying orders” or not. And I think “Hi, we’re willing to risk your lives, but not ours” is a fairly untenable moral position, which makes me think less of O’Neill (again), unless he was lying to save Telford some face. Telford was willing to endanger Young’s life the first time he used the stones; it’s his whole character to take command but not take personal risks. Stinking dirty rotten coward.

    Telford is in 6 eps this season. I’m hoping he dies horribly in the 6th one.

    Those of you who were saying “why don’t they just use the power of a star?”—are you satified that you now know why that won’t work? I think it’s also clear that they can’t “just” do anything on Destiny; anything they attempt runs up against the aging and damaged ship systems.

  421. And I’d hope they’d have the sense to keep Telford away from the Earthside stones from now on. Not that they will.

  422. EJ@465: Right now he’s pretty sure he needs Rush,

    No. He doesn’t.

    No one has ever seen this ship before. Rush doesn’t have any special knowledge about the ship. He knows teh language, and that’s it. Get a bunch of good physicists, engineers, and mathematicians who are really good at reading ancient, put them on the communication stones, in shifts, permanently, and Rush is as needed as an apendix.

    But then if the colonel does that, the plot implodes, so it won’t happen.

    That said, I’m trying to remember if you said whether or not you were previously a fan of any of the Stargate series.

    I saw the original movie, that’s it.

    while the accuracy of their science and the consistency of their plotting are usually above average for TV sci-fi, Hard SF this definitely is not. I guarantee you that you’ve put a lot more thought into some of your technical questions than the writers ever did.

    Thing is, I can’t turn my “thinking about it” off like a light switch.

    It might not be the series for me. I’ll watch the next episode and take it from there.

    Wonder how long before it’s on Hulu.

  423. Funny, I didn’t think of it as rape since it was a guy’s body being used. Interesting. But yes, you are right I suppose it is.

    In any case, I am a tad confused. So the whole “ship is going to blow up” thing was a ruse? For what purpose exactly? I think my ADD kicked in at some point and I missed something.

    It seems everybody is only angry that they weren’t told it was a ruse, but not at the fact that Rush seems to have prevented a possible way home. Huh? I think I got lost there.

    So if anyone would care to explain to me exactly what happened there, as in what was the point of the ruse, and why isn’t everybody pissed about Rush blowing a possible chance home, I would be obliged. Thanks.

    Despite the fact that I get confused easily, I look forward to this show every week and enjoy it a great deal more than the previous Stargate franchises. Perhaps these two things are related and reveal something about my mental capacity or lack thereof. In any case, I am really enjoying this show.

    “Philip Fry” – Futurama reference. Love it.

  424. Sorry for the successive posts, but I feel I should clarify…
    I guess I understand that Rush was trying to prevent them all from dying, but does everybody else know that? Or was that the point of the ruse in the first place? Or are we suppose to not know exactly what he was up to with all that?

  425. No one has ever seen this ship before. Rush doesn’t have any special knowledge about the ship. He knows teh language, and that’s it. Get a bunch of good physicists, engineers, and mathematicians who are really good at reading ancient, put them on the communication stones, in shifts, permanently, and Rush is as needed as an apendix.

    But then if the colonel does that, the plot implodes, so it won’t happen.

    Ain’t that the truth! It’s official now. They could have FIVE experts in Ancient working on the ship (24/7 with enough people taking shifts), not just Rush and Eli. The IOA reps don’t trust Rush. Young doesn’t trust Rush. I can’t tell if O’Neill doesn’t trust Rush–but with that much distrust of his motives and with other experts available, it’s criminally stupid not to lock him in a cell (he can use Greer’s when Telford isn’t aboard) and let people they DO trust do the work–without Rush working behind the scenes to sabotage their efforts.

    The other characters are only pissed at Rush for not clueing them in because if they behaved like real people, he wouldn’t get off so easily, and the writers couldn’t maintain the “mystery” of his real sympathies and motives.

    And why is Young having ELI check the info? They still have the stones. They still have experts from the SGC who could bodyswitch aboard and look at the data firsthand.

  426. This show is really getting annoying. Thank you for screwing up SG. Some moron in all their infinite executive wisdom said: “Let’s combine SG and BSG.” Good lord. BSG sucked it was horrible. Some of the most unreal ridiculous crap I ever saw. They could have done that entire series in 5 episodes and done it well. Instead they had about 50 “filler” episodes. They were so pointless that you could literally have watched most the first season and then the last few episodes and not miss a beat.

    Sadly that is the lame ass path they have sent the latest incarnation of SG on. I don’t care about the body swapping thing for “personal” visits. Who in their right mind would have sex with the body of someone else knowing it held the conscience of some they loved? That is a BG plot line. I don’t need pointless sex in my SG universe.

    And god help me if they don’t stop with the peeping tom cam. IT SUCKS! Just stop already. BG was awful. I can’t stand that some moron at syfy thought this was a good idea. What happened to the fun and over the top adventures of the original SG? They have completely ruined it for me and from the sound of it many others.

  427. JJ @ 466:

    If you’re asking why don’t the people on the ship get off Destiny at the next planet gate and then have Earth dial them home, I think the system is one-way, depending on who dials.

    That is if Planet A dials Planet B, people can go from A to B, but not B to A. To go from B to A, you’d have to dial from B.

    Or at least that’s how it seemed from the ice planet episode, when to get Scott and the ice through Young called Rush to shut down the ship-initiated gate.

  428. “You mean these semi-intelligent, dolphin-intelligent, dust-mite sized creatures could control fusion?”

    Not consciously, they just do it, like termites digest cellulose (with a little help from their friends).
    Hmm … there’s not exactly a credible evolutionary biology, is there? Like their early ancestors started by living off spontaneous radioactive decay, and millions of years of evolutionary fine-tuning produced … cold fusion! Umm … maybe not.

    But if the bugs were engineered that would fix that. But water’s more valuable than helium — who would create a bug that turned water into helium? As fast as they breed they’d turn a terran paradise into a desert wasteland in a matter of years.
    A WMD maybe? A “non-violent” WMD that forces the enemy to evacuate a planet but doesn’t [usually] kill? Agent Orange on a planetary scale …

    Or the Shai Hulud’s ultimate revenge on Pardot Kynes …

  429. there’s not exactly a credible evolutionary biology, is there?

    Uh, no.

    But if the bugs were engineered that would fix that.

    mechanical bugs with mental powers?

  430. @458: “All the was proven in that ep was that a gate cannot be dialed without a power source.”

    Correct. Further episodes established the range limitation.

    “I recall no evidence that there is a Milky Way gate that could not be dialed from any other Milky Way gate regardless of distance.”

    You can dial any gate from any gate – the issue is the amount of power available. If you don’t feed the gate enough power to make the connection, the dialing doesn’t complete.

    “In fact I recall an ep where we dialed from Earth the farthest gate out in the network between Earth and Pegasus in an effort to contact, I think, the Daedalus while it was en route to Atlantis.”

    Augmenting that gate with extra power, yeah.

  431. @477: “If you’re asking why don’t the people on the ship get off Destiny at the next planet gate and then have Earth dial them home, I think the system is one-way, depending on who dials.”

    Correct. Matter can be transmitted in one direction through the wormhole. EM radiation passes through both ways.

  432. @473: “It seems everybody is only angry that they weren’t told it was a ruse, but not at the fact that Rush seems to have prevented a possible way home. Huh? I think I got lost there.”

    Except Rush is convinced that it will put the ship in serious danger and probably won’t work, and has a lot of the people on the ship (outwardly) convinced of that. His little stunt was to demonstrate that the visiting experts were only willing to make the attempt because their own lives weren’t on the line – suggesting that anyone whose lives ARE at risk shouldn’t be willing to experiment, either.

    The stunt seems to have been faking that the overload couldn’t be shut down, not that the gate and its power conduits were overloading. Rush is probably correct that trying to draw on the power of a star directly would destroy the ship – THAT’s why no one’s mad at Rush for putting the kibosh on a possible way home, because everyone thinks it wasn’t a viable way home after all.

    Young suspects Rush might be lying about that, though.

  433. “And why is Young having ELI check the info? They still have the stones. They still have experts from the SGC who could bodyswitch aboard and look at the data firsthand.”

    Um, the people on the ship don’t trust the “experts” from the SGC. That was the entire point of the episode.

  434. [deleted because poster was being rude to others, and also because he apparently didn’t read the initial post which noted that THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. Jeez — JS]

  435. [Also deleted because we’re not having a plebiscite on other commenters. Folks, please do read the initial post before you complain about people dropping spoilers, which they are allowed to do — JS]

  436. [Oh, look! Another deleted post regarding people posting spoilers in a thread in which it was noted in the original posting that THERE WILL BE SPOILERS — JS]

  437. Oh please. You come to a discussion thread and are surprised that there are spoilers for ALREADY AIRED eps? HOW THE HELL would you discuss the ep without that? The entire point of this thread is to do JUST THAT. Oh and RTFP OP:

    “NOTE: This thread will almost certainly contain spoilers of the most recent episode if you come to it during or after the first airing of the show in the US/Canada. Be warned.”

    Have some self-restraint and don’t read this thread until you’ve seen the ep. And don’t sockpuppet with different names to make yourself seem like multiple people (Hint, when you use # Xopher in all three posts it’s kinda obvious).

  438. I understand the desire to have only one thread for Universe, but at this rate of posting it’s going to get unmanageably huge before the season is done.

  439. Rick, it’s also odd, one must say, to see a regular at Whatever (where I avidly lurk) castigated by “several” strangers.

    I’m going to try to rewatch the episode with the primary SG watcher (who was at work during the broadcast) today; my television experience last night was marred by constant downpour and intermittant hailpounding at the windows, so that dialogue was inaudible.

  440. I’ve just done a lot of deleting of posts by people (actually, one person and a number of sockpuppets) being rude and/or not paying attention to the fact that it’s been established this thread will have spoilers. Don’t make me do this again, please.

    Also, RWILSON, congratulations, you and your sockpuppets have been banned. Being an asshole here is bad enough, but letting out the other voices in your head to be assholes as well is just crossing a line. A crazy, nutty, completely dick-headed line. Bye, now.

  441. Go JS GO!
    Are the star gates and everything still top secret? If so it seems unlikley that they would let anyone go out into the world to visit friends and family. This part is really bugging me. Go out and get drunk and almost get in a fight? Go visit your ex for some nooky? Why not go get some heroin and hookers? Why worry about STD’s or addiction it’s not my body. I am trapped on a spaceship and could die at any moment.
    If they were going to allow visits it would be closely supervised and on base. Not out in the world.
    What is Col. Telford doing visiting Col. Young’s wife at the end of the episode? Syfy or soap opera? Stay tuned for scenes from next weeks episode! Bleah.

  442. just saw the earth episode. Anything dealing with the ship was basically a banging shutter story. And laser guns make “pew pew” noises in space.

    And we don’t know if telford’s plan was legit or not. And we don’t even know if Rush sent the guys in the spacesuit into that section with the power conduit, knew it would blow, and didn’t tell them.

    We don’t know if the ship could dial earth. Young doesn’t know if Rush is lyign about whether the ship can dial earth so is having Eli check it out.

    Rush says he didnt’ tell anyone because he didn’t know who he could trust.

    The whole secret-squirrel thing with Camile Wray and the guy as they’re walking through a park tells us we can’t trust her.

    Telford doesn’t trust Young and wants to take over his command. Telford doesn’t trust Greer and puts him in confinement (and all I could think was “where would Greer go?”)

    The communication glitches with the stones were kind of funny. Telford switching back to his body while Young is screwing his wife was not surprising at all.

    Telford visiting Young’s wife at the end of teh episode made me think of the line “like sand through the hourglass of time, so go the days of our lives”.

    If you drew a diagram of all the characters and how they relate to each other, the vast majority of interconnections would be labeled “mistrust” or outright “betrayal”. It’s definitely got a soap opera feel to it. And I don’t think I can do it anymore.

  443. I am loving Eli more every week. Still not loving the communication stones, but I am resigned.

    And yes, I respectfully second the person above who observed that this thread is going to get unworkably long pretty soon. Would it be difficult to break it up by week?

  444. I’m inclined to believe that Rush is generally truthful and has the best interest of everyone in mind. However, he doesn’t want (can’t) let himself be liked.

    I enjoyed this episode. We are seeing how much of our society really is based on trust, and starting to explore the paranoia that we feel when we wonder what people say about us behind our backs.

  445. Hint, when you use # Xopher in all three posts it’s kinda obvious.

    Looks like it’s not such a bad thing I was busy all afternoon. And I was being castigated for posting spoilers? Geez, last time I was being castigated for ROT-13ing spoilers!

    Fortunately I didn’t see any of the deleted posts. Thanks, John. And thanks, rick, too.

    I more than half suspect that the scheme would have worked if Rush hadn’t sabotaged it. I think he may be a real villian, rather than just a selfish asshole.

  446. Wonder how long before it’s on Hulu.

    It depends on the show, but most shows go up the next day, about mid-day. Some, like House and V, take significantly longer.

    I can usually watch SG-U around noon on Sat (I don’t have cable).

    I have to admit, I’m finding it increasingly unsettling that both of my Fri night SF shows (dollhouse too) have freaky SF rape as a main theme…

  447. Why in the hell are these people using the communication stones for such inane reasons? Eli and Chloe shouldn’t be going to clubs or chilling with the ‘rents, they should be in an SGC library trying to cram as much information about the Ancients into their newbie brains as they can. They should be talking it up with Carter, Jackson, McKay, or any of the myriad of scientists who know this stuff cold. Young shouldn’t be using Telford’s dick on his wife, he should be constantly briefing and brainstorming with military advisers. Their bodies are stuck on an auto-pilot ship a kajillion light years away. It’s unrealistic that they have all this time for soap opera bullshit.

    The communication stones should have never been introduced into this show. Iffy idea, awful execution. Since it’s all but confirmed that there will be a second season I hope that plot element is dumped then if not sooner.

  448. Well said Rembrant. Where are the fun outlandish story lines from the original SG1 and even SGA? I think I just watched my last episode of this series.

  449. Hmm. #500 was not me. As I’m almost certain John can tell.

    [Note — the #500 Xopher was referring to I have expunged — JS]

  450. Jason: I’m inclined to believe that Rush is generally truthful and has the best interest of everyone in mind.

    Rush told Johansen “always consider the greater good” or something like that when she was in command.

    That has a couple of possible interpretations, one of which is that Rush says at the beginning of each episode, “Destiny, the most important discovery for all mankind since the stargate itself”, and when Rush is thinking about the “greater good”, he’s thinking “whatever it takes to understand this ship is worth the cost, including sacrificing human lives”.

    It doesn’t hurt that Rush apparantly is on a anti-social kick after his wife died, and the ship provides the perfect version of “getting away from it all” including anything that reminds him of his wife.

    Point is, Rush’s intentions and allegiances are clearly manufactured by the writers to be ambiguous. You can believe he’s a good guy or a bad guy, truthful or dishonest, but the writers have taken great pains to keep Rush as the “wild card” of the ship. Rush could literally do anything next episode, including going on a kiling spree killing all the people who are “playing army”, to having sex with Johansen and falling in love and wanting to get them home as quickly as possible, and it would not conflict with any prior informaiton we’ve seen about Rush.

    William: Eli and Chloe shouldn’t be going to clubs or chilling with the ‘rents, they should be in an SGC library

    Destiny is in a quantum state, simultaneously on the imminent verge of disaster such that ther is no time for anyone to methodically deal with issues and simultaneously with enough free time that Young keeps telling his superiors that he wants his people access to the stones to visit family and he hopes they can continue that.

    Fer cripes sakes, they were on another planet for how long? With no contact with earth other than a space ship? Now they’re on Destiny and everyone is on permanent R&R?

    I think they’ve been on the ship for, what, maybe a week? Something like that? And everyone’s homesick?

  451. For one thing, I know the difference between your and you’re, unlike whatever bozo that was posting with my name.

  452. Enough with the science shit. Getting laid while in a rental body is WRONG!!!

    Except when it’s hilarious – the look on Telford’s face when he suddenly finds himself banging Young’s wife was absolutely hysterical.

  453. I just saw it on Hulu.

    Evil happens. SG:U is not suitable for the kids to watch, and that bothers me more than most of the other stuff already mentioned. I was really hoping for better than conciousness swapping sex. My hopeful anticipation for this episode was misplaced. Maybe Telford has a Goa’uld simbiote making him do things that make us want to say paTak to him, even if we don’t speak Klingon.

    Carter was wondering how the Lucien Alliance got intel to attack Icarus base when it was ready to dial the ninth chevron address. Is Telford a Goa’uld operative? She can still detect Naquadah in people, right (indicating the presence, if only lingering of a Goa’uld simbiote)?

    Stargate Command even has an Asgard device that can detect it too. But whatever happened to the Goa’uld infiltration of the “highest levels government” on Earth anyway? Do members of the IOA get scanned for Naquadah in their blood? Did Brody lie on his resume?

    After COL Caldwell, played by Mitch Pileggi (the “skin man”, as Mulder called him in the waning seasons of X-files, lol) was possessed by a Goa’uld in Atlantis, I didn’t catch what happened regarding Goa’uld influences on Earth. They are still around, right?

    Everything is always still on the table in SF. People get resurrected, etc. I am not even convinced that the Asgard race dying-out was perhaps not simply a ruse they used to get the Tauri (Earthlings) out of their “hair” – well they don’t have hair. I digress. Totally OT here, but for the linguists who go crazy with English speaking aliens, see if this doesn’t help your willful suspension of disbelief: Earth was in the Age of Taurus at the time the Ancients left stargates here. Then Earth “Precessed” through Aries, Pisces and is now on the cusp of Aquarius. Getting into the whole mythology thing of Stargate and SG-1, it is something of a coincidental linguistic relic that Goa’uld (and Jaffa & Asgard ) still call earthlings Tauri, imho. Also, there is the indo-european root -terra in words like, “terrarium”. I don’t remember any experts in the Ancient language ever proclaiming it to be derived from Latin, only that there is some relationship to it.

    Still, Xopher@451 “Sorry. That should have been uzend corpi manteni in the Ancient there. Syntax! Number agreement! Death!” Totally hilarious! You win.

    I know better than to mention the nemesis of the Pegasus galaxy in this thread (Even though I think they were really awesome villains – cool threads too). But, we have a huge SG legacy that I do not think any Stargate spin-off can just ignore. Not to mention that Eli brings in cross references to other SF lore fairly frequently, which is cool, and in tradition of Atlantis and SG-1 btw.

    Thus, aside from making unintentional and forced sex part of the mix, is there any other way to help us hate Telford any more before resolving this new level of plot tension perversion?

    Oh John, are all the loose ends going to still be there in the Season finale? Please don’t torture us this way :(

    May Telford’s simbiote be extracted and Rush get the rest of the Nicotine out of his system before we only keep watching out of morbid curiosity!

    And good grief! Poor COL Young! How in the hell could he have sex with his wife, knowing it would be with Telford’s body? Was he convinced that Telford and the IOA were going to destroy Destiny?

    At least Eli had fun – for a short while.

  454. Just saw episode 7. You’re losing me.

    The unprofessionalism going on in this military command is beyond the absurd. Please kick Telford out of the service or just throw him out of an airlock. Young should have known better. Telford is going to take his revenge. That needs to get Telford fired.

    Let’s deal with the technical challenges. Let’s form a working community and integrate those civilians into a working chain of command.

    Eli, Chloe, and the other kids messing around on the side is fine because they are kids. But the adults on this show need to grow up.

    Rush needs to be teaching Eli to read the ancient language, and Eli should be teaching everyone else. They have to all start working together. And command on Earth has to realize that they cannot micro manage like this.

  455. Green 505: I don’t remember any experts in the Ancient language ever proclaiming it to be derived from Latin, only that there is some relationship to it.

    On SG-1 they established that Latin was derived from Ancient. This is ridiculous, since they also established that the Ancients left Earth (the last time) 30,000 years ago, and the Indo-European expansion began only about 7,000 years ago, which means that if Latin is derived from Ancient, so are Sankrit, English, and Tosk. It’s like telling you your mother’s brother is descended from Charlemagne; if he is, then so is your mother, and so are you.

    Still, Xopher@451 “Sorry. That should have been uzend corpi manteni in the Ancient there. Syntax! Number agreement! Death!” Totally hilarious! You win.

    Thank you! I had thought no one appreciated that.

    I know better than to mention the nemesis of the Pegasus galaxy in this thread

    AHHHHHH!!!! Oh, wait, you didn’t mention them. I mean Ah, Wisdom.

    And good grief! Poor COL Young! How in the hell could he have sex with his wife, knowing it would be with Telford’s body?

    Yeah, seems kind of unlikely. Should have smoked pot with it then volunteered for a drug test.

  456. This show could have been so great…ala Rendevoux With Rama…exploring a huge ship…finding surprises…learning how to survive…interaction and power plays by everyone on the ship. But going clubbin’ back on Earth in borrowed bodies: MADE.NO.SENSE.AT.ALL. Last night lost me. Don’t care if I watch it again.

  457. I find Rush has become my favorite character overall – I can’t wait to see what he is going to do next and the ambiguity of his motives just makes him more compelling.

    Eli is for me so far fun but predictable.

    I am also really enjoying Col. Young and his multiple issues, and loved Col. Telford visiting Young’s wife at the end of last ep while NOT mind-swapped. As some have said, a little soap-opera, but then so is real life a lotta times.

  458. “But whatever happened to the Goa’uld infiltration of the ‘highest levels government’ on Earth anyway?”

    I’m gonna go with “symbiote poison” on that one. Hose down anyplace important at random without telling anyone and problem solved. It’s like a roach bomb for head snakes.
    IIRC the entire Earth huffed it on that episode where some rogue humans were using it indiscriminately and killing millions of Jafa. For some reason I’m also remembering K-suits filter it out?

    “mechanical bugs with mental powers?”

    Biological, but engineered. Like we do with soybeans, only way more advanced. A terraforming tool only a sandworm could love.

    “… freaky SF rape …”

    Telford’s crime has — more or less — been committed IRL. AFAIK in the first reported case of “rape by identity theft” it wasn’t yet a crime. It is now.

    PSYCHOLOGY QUIZ:
    Would you be more or less likely to entertain a conjugal visit with the wife if your surrogate body were significantly better-endowed than you?

    “I don’t understand the question: you mean there’s someone out there better-endowed than me?” *drum hit*
    Yes, for purposes of this question, assume the impossible. :P

  459. Based on the last little scene, we suspect that Telford is doing Young’s wife as himself, too. Otherwise, that was a major “ewww” moment. And the poor woman with Chloe’s hangover!!

  460. # GregLondonon 08 Nov 2009 at 10:07 am
    Colonel Young had an affair with Johansen??? Telford had an affair with Mrs Young???

    Yeppers, all they need now is an attempted murder with the victim in a coma and the wrong person convicted of the crime. The victim will then come out of the coma and tell everyone who the real perpitrator is. They have already set up for the that’s not your baby it’s Telfords scene. But she wasn’t cheating, it happened when you visited in Telfords body, no really it did!

    Xopher
    “Yeah, seems kind of unlikely. Should have smoked pot with it then volunteered for a drug test.”
    Oh that’s nasty, I like it.

    Doubting Thomas PSYCHOLOGY QUIZ:
    For me it wouldn’t be a question of the size of the host’s equipment. The question would be am I going to get back or not. If so how long until I do. It’s I love you wait for me or I love you but I won’t be coming back. Either way I am not going to be jumping in the sack with somebody else’s body.

  461. Just a note: the recent earth scenes are taking place in the Pentagon, not Stargate Command.

    “… freaky SF rape …”

    Telford’s crime has — more or less — been committed IRL. AFAIK in the first reported case of “rape by identity theft” it wasn’t yet a crime. It is now.

    Agreed. I meant that both Dollhouse and SG-U have strong threads exploring these themes using methods that are fairly unique to science fiction.

    It doesn’t appear to even have occurred to Young that he’s done something completely unacceptable.

    Mallozzi does see this:

    2. If someone is “intimate” with my body while I am asleep or otherwise not in conscious control of it and I have not previously given explicit permission for that act, it is rape.”

    Answers: … 2. Also agree.

    so where is Young’s conscience?

    I would have loved the last Pentagon briefing to go something like this:

    YOUNG: You cut and ran.
    TELFORD: Yeah, well, you raped me.

    Of course that would never happen, given the people and institutions involved…

    Mrs. Young is somewhat culpable here too. She probably knows the two who have switched bodies have no way to communicate, therefore it’s doubtful Telford has given his consent.

    Of course, if there’s already an affair there, that’s one thing, but my take on Telford’s return at the end of the episode had much more to do with blackmailing her in some way.

    My thought on seeing Telford on her doorstep was “just how evil is he, anyway?” I definitely hate that character, but that doesn’t make what the Young’s did OK.

  462. @ #506: “This is ridiculous, since they also established that the Ancients left Earth (the last time) 30,000 years ago, and the Indo-European expansion began only about 7,000 years ago”

    Irrelevant. The Ancients returned to Earth far less than 30,000 years ago (it was about ten thousand years ago) and it is heavily implied that at least one tried to influence the civilization that eventually became Rome. They may or may not have created/uplifted the Go’auld in an attempt to defeat the plague.

    Latin is a direct descendent of the last dialect spoken by the Ancients on Earth. Other Earth languages probably don’t derive from Ancient ones so immediately, although of course Romance languages do indirectly.

  463. On one hand, I’m interested in the Ancient stones technology and the moral and ethical issues that can come up.

    On the other hand, I’m starting to suspect that while we’re going to see more situations like we saw in “Earth” with Telford and Young body-swapping at a very…er…crucial moment, the show isn’t going to delve too deeply into the more serious implications.

    I don’t know where the impression is coming from. Maybe it’s because I didn’t get a clear sense from the scene whether it was supposed to be this shocking moment, or something subversive and funny (“we gotta fix that”).

    I could be wrong. I hope so.

  464. #512 is another fake. I punctuate and capitalize.

    melandwyr, you don’t know shit about linguistics, so why don’t you STFU?

  465. “I meant that both Dollhouse and SG-U have strong threads exploring these themes using methods that are fairly unique to science fiction”

    Exploring would not be the word I would choose given how shallow the treatment of the themes is. Gawking at these themes would be more like it. If my SF is going to have adolescent morals then I might as well watch CW network.

  466. John: I choose polite. Sorry.

    melandwyr, Latin is not derived from anything but Latino-Faliscan, and through it from Italic, and through that from Proto-Indo-European. It has clear relationships to all the other Indo-European languages, including Sanskrit, Greek, and (yes) English. Don’t forget Farsi, Tosk, and Gheg. (I swear I’m not making up those language names…I actually know someone who speaks Tosk fluently.)

    Moreover, PIE was spoken about 7,000 years ago. If the Ancients dropped a language seed on the Earth (by, say, visiting and guiding a culture) 10,000 years ago, the Indo-Europeans might have been derived from that language tree, but in that case ALL the IE languages would be equally derived from Ancient. It’s simply too long ago for anything else to be the case.

    This isn’t like “gee, the physics of black holes that we thought we knew? All wrong.” This is like

    …as the Civil War dragged into its seventh year, Mexican forces under General Santa Ana were defeated at the battle of Rorke’s Drift by the indomitable long-bows of the stout English yeomanry. Northern hopes for a swift victory were dashed when a massive explosion destroyed the state of Maine, sending it to the bottom of a harbor in Cuba. Senator William Jennings Bryan argued that North and South should divorce for ever, with his rallying cry of “remember the alimony!” but Cardinal Richelieu had other plans.

    Free Term Paper, Free Term Paper, Free Term Paper.

  467. Consider: “Mrs. Young, you need to be aware that I’m HIV-positive.”

    Huh, a responsible motive never even occurred to me.

    Adela, yeah.
    This was episode 7, we know the topic comes up again in “sabotage,” which is episode 16. I’ll be deeply disappointed if nothing is done about it before then.

    I’ve loved the Stargate universe since the beginning, and I think SG-U has a ton of promise, but this is sickening. It won’t take much more to drive me away.

  468. @ # melendwyron 07 Nov 2009 at 9:44 am

    “The stunt seems to have been faking that the overload couldn’t be shut down, not that the gate and its power conduits were overloading. ”

    OHHHHhhhh. ok thank you Now I get it. Much obliged.

    so whoever said this is too much like that “crappy BSG,” I think that is why I like this series markedly better than the other SG series. The others seems a bit fluffy. (which is fun and all). This seems a bit less so.

    I love BSG. I guess that is why I like this series so much.

  469. @Xopher This isn’t like “gee, the physics of black holes that we thought we knew? All wrong.” This is like [comedy timeline]

    Yes, but don’t forget that in the Stargate universe the monuments of ancient Egypt are thousands of years older than we think they are – so Stargate has already chucked out history and archeology as well as physics. So there’s no reason to believe that an accurate timeline for the development of human languages is being adhered to.

  470. Can anybody tell me why:
    Are there Stargates that far out in the Universe, If even the ancients never havnt been there?

    can please somebody tell me?

  471. Dear Gods, what’s with all the Fraking sex! I’m not going to tell my 10 yr old nephew to watch a show, knowing that his parents and I wouldn’t want him to see the smut. This romping around the bed stuff is pathetic filler used by writers that are pandering to the bottom feeders. And I’m hardly a prude.

    I’m really liking Eli. I do relate to our boy.

    The stones cause far too many problems. As a plot device they’re lame. And what happened to Richard D. Anderson? Too many fried fish? He’s just a prop at this point.

    I hope this show gets better, but right now it’s looking old. And not even in a good Ancient kinda way.

    Next week: the paradox of time travel and causality violation!

  472. @melendwyr 480 – Not that I don’t trust you, cause sorry i don’t right now, when exactly was it “Established” that there are range limitations in gate travel within the same galaxy? An actual episode reference please.

  473. @ josh 525 – There were automated “gate-seeding” ships sent out to establish gate networks in other galaxies with the intention that the ancients would gate to Destiny at some future point and then explore. But they must have had their hands full with ascension and the plague and the things-that-shall-not-be-named in Pegasus.

    So the thing that is driving me nuts with the com stones is the lack of concern and the general lack of weirdness on the part of the characters. Eli at least had his “this is weird” moment followed by the the mirror and getting hit on by women moments. But everyone else is just accepting it like they put on a new suit for work.

    If it were me I would want some ground rules in place. No getting my body drunk, no having sex, no bungee jumping, etc… The lack of respect for the “guest” bodies is unbelievable.

    As for Mrs. Young, I don’t care who’s mind is in the body, isn’t it just plain weird to have sex with a “stranger” like that? If there actually is a previous affair we don’t know about yet that just makes it even more creepy in my opinion.

  474. If it were me I would want some ground rules in place. No getting my body drunk, no having sex, no bungee jumping, etc… The lack of respect for the “guest” bodies is unbelievable.

    Uh, I think you’re missing rule number one: No taking over a body and then locking the stones up in a room so you can take over a ship.

    Granted, Young probably would have screwed his wife anyway (he seems to be an emotional trainwreck which is weird for a colonel), and Chloe probably would have gotten drunk anyway (her best friend slept with her boyfriend? Is this tigerbeat?), but this particular swap started off with Telford and company initiating the swap, then maintaining the swap against Young, Cloe, and Eli’s wills, and using the swap to initiate an experiment that would endanger Young, Chloe, and, Eli’s bodies.

    So, yeah, Young abused Telford’s body by having sex with the body, but Telford abused Young’s body by risking a possible deadly experiment with it.

    Hell, if I were Young, the first thing I’d do in Telford’s body is go to the tatoo parlor and have “Asshole” tatooed on my forehead. And then go into a biker bar and get the crap beat out of myself.

    What is utterly amazing, is that they don’t have rules for using the stones and the first rule isn’t something like “No swapping against someone’s will”.

    But the story would fold if you had a simple rule like that.

  475. Did anyone notice at the very end of the first or second episode a small spacecraft splitting off from Destiny? Nothing has been said about it and I wonder if it is the seed for a future show.

  476. EJ 524: Yes, but don’t forget that in the Stargate universe the monuments of ancient Egypt are thousands of years older than we think they are – so Stargate has already chucked out history and archeology as well as physics. So there’s no reason to believe that an accurate timeline for the development of human languages is being adhered to.

    Absolutely right, and I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. I’m saying that it’s not correct, not that it isn’t how things work in the Stargate universe. In the real world the Pharaohs built the pyramids, and they were never used as landing platforms for Goa’uld Hataks. In the Stargate world the Goa’uld built them to accommodate the inexplicable design of the Hataks (really? You built your ships with pyramid-shaped holes in the bottom? Whatever for?) and used them for landing all the time.

    In the Stargate universe Ancient is the immediate ancestor of Latin. All I’m saying is that this is not compatible with the known science of the real world, just as a little kid blowing someone across the room with a blast from a handheld shotgun isn’t. (Saw that in a movie one time…the kid was just standing there, not braced on anything, and the blast blew the bad guy across the room and IIRC through a wall. Kid still standing, and still holding the shotgun.)

    More to the point, it makes as much sense as alien humans in another galaxy speaking perfect American English, while members of the team have trouble with Rodney’s Canadian accent.

  477. I just started ‘Earth’, and I needed to scream, “NOOOOO!” with the revelation of entanglement between Johansen and Young. It explains things, but it doesn’t make anything better. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll work out well, but for the moment, well, that’s how I feel.

  478. Greg @ 529

    What is utterly amazing, is that they don’t have rules for using the stones and the first rule isn’t something like “No swapping against someone’s will”.

    I’m with you on this one. I was thinking how irresponsible it was for Eli to drive a car when he knew he might swap consciousness at any second. It seems like the writers are way too focused on how cool the stones are in the same way the holodeck was for ST:TNG. Cool idea but a hell of a crutch.

  479. GregLondon
    “Hell, if I were Young, the first thing I’d do in Telford’s body is go to the tatoo parlor and have “Asshole” tatooed on my forehead. And then go into a biker bar and get the crap beat out of myself.”
    Ha that’s another good one. Along with Xophers suggestion of doing drugs to fail a pee test.
    The opportunities for shenanigans are limiltless. Which brings me back to a point I made earlier. This would be closely monitored and controled.

  480. Hmm. Eli said he was losing weight in this episode. That got me thinking. They’re all on rations at best. Eli wouldn’t steal more than his share, and probably wouldn’t get away with it if he tried.

    This character should start looking drastically thinner as the season wears on. I know from experience that weight loss goes very quickly at first; changing from whatever he ate before to a strictly rationed amount should result in a noticeable weight loss in very short order. I don’t think we’re in the “a few days” range any more either (some of the things that happened in the last couple of episodes took more than one day, and time has elapsed between eps, too: look at Young’s healing process, for example).

    Also, Eli just got a taste of what it feels like to be in a slimmer body; he clearly liked it. And while he’s not exactly hitting the track, he’s much more active than he was when he was spending all day videogaming in his mother’s basement.

    I wonder if David Blue sees it that way.

  481. So who is up for predictions of how the stones will be used in future eps?

    I am thinking we will get one were we suspect a security leak onboard. Col Young walks up to the suspicious character and declares that he is Telford. The spy proceeds to tell “Telford” all his info. Or it happens on Earth and Young in Telford’s body pulls the same scam.

  482. Xopher: The last episode took up about 2 days…and I expect we’re probably about a week into their time on SGU…yes it’s picking up, but not as fast as it feels.

  483. Exelent point Xopher. Plus they are living on some kind of gruel. That would also help in the diet. I remember how the early “Survivor” contestants looked. It didn’t take long for them to start looking pretty scrawny. About a month as I recall.
    In my defence my Ex was a survivor fan. Not me. My anti geek thing is motorsports. NASCAR.

  484. Mike @530: Yes, I know what you’re referring to. At the end of the pilot, one of the shuttles broke free and drifted off. The only reference is a side comment in the next episode (or perhaps one after that) about the reducing number of working shuttles on Destiny. I don’t remember the exact quote, it went by pretty quick.

  485. I wonder if David Blue sees it that way.

    So Blue needs to go on a starvation diet in order to play the part realistically?

  486. I don’t see what he can possibly do. It would be realistic for him to lose weight rapidly, but no, I do NOT expect him to go on gruel just to accomplish that. I think he’ll just stay husky.

  487. In the Stargateverse, the pyramids of Egypt are substantially older than we believe them to be, the deities of the world are corrupted memories of aliens who dominated the entire planet, and humanity was either created out of whole cloth or uplifted by other aliens who had civilizations spanning hundreds of thousands of years.

    The very first thing Stargate does is take known history out to the woodshed for some spankin’. Complaining that canonical realities in the setting contradict actual archaeology, linguistics, and paleobiology is… well, rather silly.

  488. I am venting enthusiasm for this series to space.

    23:00 how long is Young ranting like this? The cuts make it very unclear, and the camera angles are meaninglessly creepy.

    24:00 Excessive dance music. We get the image. Does raise the question of ‘wtf are they doing?’

    At the end, Eli being told to learn… well finally.

    In a different direction, O’Neill now looks oddly like my uncle.

  489. I for one, welcome our new sexual overlords. C’mon, SG always was heavy on sex appeal anyway. The Jack/Daniel and Rodney/Shep friendships were all but made for slash fiction, the directors’ favorite shots were of the team’s collective butts going through the “old orifice” (as O’Neil referred to to the gate in episode 200). The fact that they have decided to up the ante in was is obviously a more adult series shouldn’t be a surprise.

    Yeah, there was a definite squick moment when Telford and Young do the switch while in the act and the implications are definitely thought-provoking. But dammit every show does not have to be kid friendly – we adults should be able to have some show besides Dollhouse where we can say “um…now that I think about it that was rape”.

  490. I don’t mind sexuality and similar adult situations in my television shows. What I want is for them to be done well, which so far SGU isn’t managing particularly well.

    Joseph Mallozi has urged us to watch the next three episodes, and I will. Whether I watch any more depends on the quality of what I see.

    Given that I like the acting and potential of the setting, it would be heartbreaking for me to have to abandon the show because of poor use of what it has available.

  491. JerolJ, you can welcome your sexual overlords, but isn’t bad enough that most of the web seems soaked in trash? Why can’t SGU be fast, slick, edgy, deep, and imply sexual activity but not show it. Sex never makes a show better. Unless there’s blood. Then it’s okay (True Blood).

  492. Man… I don’t think I were expecting too much of this series but what I’ve seen on these firs 7 episodes is not nearly good enough.
    Seriously, just by watching the trailer they were showing before the release of the first two chapters you could feel that it was going to be “Dabomb” (even having Scalzi a consultant creator XD)… but it’s been mostly crappy eps, nothing has happened and… guys… IT’S BORING.
    So far thy have gone looking for air, which was given to them by a churchman living tornado and turned out to be also watter and food… after that what’s happened? It would’ve been a good thing if these guys who left the space ship when the thing with the low-energy stuff happened couldn’t make it back… if only to find a stargate on th planet and return 2 chapters later… or that the ship really went into the sun (why? dont ask me… so that it couldn’t be stolen by the WYxnnnxs that were the acient’s old enemy???) and then they could spend 3 chapters trying to survive on the planet until one of them had the great idea of warping to the ship, ‘cos maybe it wasn’t destroyed, by XXX tecnology fond at XXX and XXX so they could XXX and be gone… but no…. nothing happened. Have they actually have any problem on the outer space?
    Really… what’s gonna be for the next three weeks? are they going to run out of soap?
    the acting is far better than what you could see on the previous Stragate… but it just doesn’t cut it.

    Cmon Scalzi… you guys can do better.

  493. Wow. I’m really enjoying this series. I look forward to it every week, and while I’m frustrated by the plot-stupid now and again, I haven’t found any episode the least bit unsatisfying.

    I hope there are more like me than like macklet0, because I want to see a lot more of this series.

  494. Just a piece of advice to the SG staff… Guys, do you realize that if you only allow the united states visitors to watch SGU on Syfy… the rest of the world is going to watch it subbded without you receiving any money? Or do you think that the people that will be watching this series past the 4 episode (I really expected something better) are going to wait half a year (maybe one, two?) for it to be released on their countries?

    Please… cut it already you are really promoting piracy.

  495. @Xopher
    I’m with you so far. I do enjoy it, and I see the potential of what it could be, but I am somewhat frustrated by the current lack of substance.

    I won’t stop watching. I will give the the full season and see how I feel then.

  496. Just to clarify, when I say plot-stupid I don’t mean that I think the episode plots are stupid; I mean plot-driven stupidity exhibited by the characters. I’m not as bothered by it as Greg London is (or rather I think more of the characters’ behavior is plausible given the circumstances than he does), but every once in a while it gets me.

  497. @Pepelol “SG staff” has NOTHING to do with rights or licensing. Nothing. Zip, zero, NOTHING. Goose egg. Bupkis. Nada. Niets. Rien. Nichts. Niente. 何も. ничего.

    If you’re going to complain about why you can’t se SG:U overseas, try figuring out who’s actually responsible instead of launching into an ill informed tirade directed at people who can’t do a single damned thing about it.

    SG:U is produced by MGM’s TV Unit, which granted SyFy US distribution rights. If you’re upset you can’t get it in your country, GO TALK TO MGM!. Not Scalzi. Not SyFy. Not the people filming it. Not the actors. Not the writers. Not even the Executive Producers. Just MGM’s TV unit. They are the ones who handle deciding who gets to see it, how, and when.

    Sheesh.

  498. @Josh Jasper

    As a matter off fact… It was enough with Spanish (my first language), English, German and Japanese? (can’t really read tell Katakanas from
    Kanjis)… you could also ad korean but it really helps thnks.

    Good to know… when I said SG staff I really meant those in charge of SG releases whose name could be M&Ns for all I care… I’m just saying that every where if it fits the theme… which happens to SGU.
    By the way… I recall saying.. ejem… I really expected something better and that the freaks such as my self that follow SG are wathing it by piracy… which I think fits th tread. Please, forgive me and my family Mr Josh Jasper

    Sheesh Sheesh.

  499. The Gray Area@546:

    Gratuitous nudity is OK on ‘True Blood’? As I’ve said on the blog of Brad Wright’s favourite television critic (The Chicago Trib’s Maureen Ryan), if I was single and Ryan Kwanten was offering, I wouldn’t him out of bed. But it is nice seeing the occasional scene this season where his pert, adorable arse grinding away on some random actress isn’t doing all the acting.

    Still, using nudity and simulated sex to distract viewers from the inability of the writing staff to construct a coherent plot if their lives depended on it seems to be working, so who am I to kvetch? :)

  500. Mike@530
    Did anyone notice at the very end of the first or second episode a small spacecraft splitting off from Destiny? Nothing has been said about it and I wonder if it is the seed for a future show.”

    I commented on it in an earlier thread, but melendwyr thought I was getting epileptic tree syndrome and later commented that it was a part of the Destiny that broke off. I just dropped it even tho I’m not sure what would happen in FTL drive if something broke off. Would it stay inside the FTL shield and just float around until the next time it dropped out of FTL? – – or would it go zooming back as if some kind of gravitational force were hurtling it backwards?

    I’m not going to comment on whether I have weird theories about all of the loose ends that SG:U has managed to leave hanging so far. But, they are numerous to say the least.

    Here’s another one: The rated X BS that we have to put up with is revenge on the part of the SG:U executive producers not getting perquisites for merchandising SG:U action figures.

    I like what GregLondon@529 suggested:
    “Hell, if I were Young, the first thing I’d do in Telford’s body is go to the tatoo parlor and have “Asshole” tatooed on my forehead. And then go into a biker bar and get the crap beat out of myself.

    Right on! That would help resolve some plot tension, and maybe help me (and others) not get defensive in comments about this series. I just do not want to see Stargate meet an untimely demise with this “adults only” theme. All Stargates since the movie with Kurt Russel and James Spader were awesome SF. I don’t want to be an apologist for this series getting so screwed up. It sure isn’t my fault. Maybe if they put the article, “A” in front of the name, “Universe” (as in a statistical universe), I could handle it a little better.

    We, the audience, have to do way too much work to enjoy this show. I have enough trouble getting billable hours of work done in this friggin’ economy. I really do not think it is at all fair that we have to do more mental gymnastics than required by even the most tripped out SF i’ve ever seen (Did I inadvertently just make a compliment? Arrgh!).

    John puleeze, if Col Young starts dressing in drag and singing torch songs after they discover the Ancient version of a Karaoke lounge aboard the Destiny, in other words, if the story doesn’t start entertaining us, as opposed to vice versa, I will lose my remaining marbles, throw away my TV and start buying Ronan Dex, Teyla and other SG:A action figures, enter my second childhood and make up my own stories. How’s that for a serious threat?

  501. On the 1Lt Johannsen with Col Young scene; that was “in his dreams”, literally, as I recall. Young’s marriage is troubled for reasons we are forced to speculate about.

    Johannsen is the most level headed person on the ship. She should have left for Med School, but waited around for two weeks and ended up on the Destiny with a bunch of lunatics who don’t have any sense of dignity when it comes to using another person’s body. Was she having an affair with Young? In his dreams. He may be responsible for her not leaving because he didn’t sign her transfer until he got her replacement.

    Telfords is a jerk, whether he has been possessed by an alien, or he is just an a**hole.

    I say Telford is a spy for the Lucien Alliance, unscrupulously taking advantage of a comrade at arms wife while he is away – hey not a new ploy, didn’t somebody in the Bible do that?, Like David, for cryin out loud. Anyway, not a good morale builder for our troops in harms way. tsk tsk!

    Here is another stupid theory: Lou Diamond-Phillips took this role because he figured it would be good for him to be the “Foil” for a change. Good guys finish last and all that.

  502. Green Trekkie @557 – On the 1Lt Johannsen with Col Young scene; that was “in his dreams”, literally, as I recall. Young’s marriage is troubled for reasons we are forced to speculate about.

    I think you missed it when Young and his wife spoke about the affair. I don’t recall which one of them brought it up, but there was some mention that she’d be uncomfortable with Young stuck on the same ship with her. So we are led to believe the affair really happened.

  503. when I first started watching SGU I really thought I were going to see a good si-fi series but it’s became quite the soap opera…

  504. “Granted, Young probably would have screwed his wife anyway (he seems to be an emotional trainwreck which is weird for a colonel),”
    Some of the best men in the military have had some of the worst luck with women.
    Women of course are so outnumbered you’d have to be wolf ugly and a complete psycho not to get a man.

    Lou Diamond Phillips is creepy as hell in his character, a fine bit of acting.

    “[Latin] has clear relationships to all the other Indo-European languages, including Sanskrit, Greek, and (yes) English.”
    As long as you acknowledge that English is principally Germanic, making the speaking of English all over the galaxy that much more ridiculous …

    “Really, what’s gonna be for the next three weeks? are they going to run out of soap?”
    It does need to start looking (and implicitly smelling) a lot more like Das Boot in the coming months, doesn’t it?
    Except they’ve got the Destiny’s showers, and you just know the Ancients over-engineered the things to be just shy of a pass through a Sarcophagus.

    “There are other possible explanations for Telford’s behavior.
    Consider: ‘Mrs. Young, you need to be aware that I’m HIV-positive.'”
    OMG LMAO!

  505. #555, Craig, nudity on HBO or Showtime…is different than on a reagular channel. You know HBO is unrated, whereas a channel like Sy-Fy is. My parents would never have let me watch Star Trek as a kid if it was filled with humpy stuff. True Blood is about blood and sex. That’s what vampirism boils down to.

    But Stargate is about space, and adventure and cool technology. It is not about sex. But then, we know sex sells, or at least to those who need it in every aspect of their lives.

    For instance, take a book like The Ghost Bridgades: Scalzi talks about a Special Forces orgy. Did he discribe in visual detail the kind of stuff that goes on during a super-human sex party? No. Because to have done so would have been filler. The kind of filler that he probably wouldn’t want to waste paper on.

  506. Not to paper over all the faults in the story thus far, but I think it makes more sense for no one off the ship to be taking Eli seriously.

    The reason no one’s hounding him to learn advanced Ancient, or be brought to Earth for tutoring in engineering and physics (I speculate) is that his recruitment was the brainchild of O’Neill and Rush, who are together both crazy enough and practical enough to back a dark horse. Nobody else thinks that a college dropout who’s almost totally unfamiliar with the Stargate program matters much. Especially given that the IOA was convinced it could bring everyone back at the end of Earth, there was no need to sequester Eli and fill his brain with knowledge.

  507. I think I see a fundamental problem. I read an article on writing once that talked about how “enclosed”(*) the characters are and the more “enclosed”, the harder it is to write.

    They pointed out as example the movie “Passenger 57″ starring Wesley Snipes. According to the book, because Snipes’s character was so enclosed by his circumstances, in a plane in the air, there really weren’t a lot of options for his character to take. He could do something at the front of the plane, back of the plane, in the bathroom, in the cockpit, and in that little food area where the flight attendants work, and that’s about it. I didn’t see “Passenger 57″, but rotten tomatoes gave it a 25% score, which is pretty bad.

    So, the article said to be careful of creating a story that is so “enclosed” that your characters can’t do much.

    I think that’s the fundamental mistake SGU made. The characters are all essentially trapped on Destiny. They can’t control the ship very much, they can get it to stop for supplies and for power, but they are forced to rejoin the ship at the end of every episode because there are no planets that are livable for them. And if they DO find a planet that is livible, they can’t really abandon the ship unless they change the entire focus of the series. i.e. the first word of every episode is a voiceover of Rush saying “Destiny”. The series is about the ship. And the ship is enclosed.

    Once they’ve had the characters enact plots that turn on something at the front of the plane, back of the plane, bathroom, cooking area, cockpit, then they’ve exhausted all the options.

    And it seems like the writers are aware of this enclosure on some level. They’re dealing with it by having every episode be a different kind of emergency. We need air, water, food, heat, etc, and we need it right now. If you focus the plot and the characters on one singular thing (i.e. we are running out of air), then the enclosed space of the ship doesn’t feel small from a plot sense.

    As soon as the emergencies stop, though, and the plot tries to expand, I think viewers will start noticing that the characters are in an enclosed space and that their possible options are extremely limited.

    (*) I don’t remember if the word the article used was “enclosed” or not. I remember the example “Passenger 57″ and the point that the article was trying to make.

  508. Just watched the episode. Holy hell and a handbasket, Rush is starting to creep me out.

    Also, while it may be fun to use the body-swapping stones for dramatic purposes, I think their overuse is a real danger at this point. (Someone above compared them to Star Trek’s holodeck…)

  509. “The reason no one’s hounding him to learn advanced Ancient, or be brought to Earth for tutoring in engineering and physics (I speculate) is that his recruitment was the brainchild of O’Neill and Rush…”

    I see no evidence that Rush values Eli any more than he values anyone else (i.e., not at all). As for O’Neill, given that he’s a General, if he thinks Eli ought to be getting tutoring, Eli would be getting tutoring.

    Eli’s not getting tutoring because the writers are either unable or unwilling to write people (either on the ship or on earth) who act like real human beings would act under these circumstances. All the other issues with this show flow from that basic failure of imagination.

  510. Eli was absolutely necessary to get Rush to Destiny. Now that’s accomplished, Eli is only important to Rush to the degree that he contributes to Rush’s survival – and to the degree that he’s a potential competitor.

  511. If a human can learn Ancient, can’t they just use a translation program? They must be reading everything (no ship’s voice so far). Isn’t there an I-phone ap for that? “Ah, sir, the ship just said we are vermin and it’s going to vent all the atmosphere.” End of show.

  512. OK, I posted the “Sheesh in your general direction” thing, but the asshole pretending to be me posted the denial at 568.

    Fortunately John can tell which is which for sure.

    And thanks, LizrdGizrd, I thought so too.

  513. I’m skipping back a couple of episodes here.

    Eli has taken on superhero status as Mathboy way beyond genius, he now has supernatural powers. Everybody counts on him more than their ability to query Destiny’s computers for solutions to things, like in the “Light” episode, telemetry calculations for the shuttle to “slingshot” around a planet with unknown mass, velocity, rotational properties, how many moons, gravitational forces of every friggen thing in that solar system, to plot an intercept course with destiny that was out of reach before they did that. Destiny must have been able to scan for all of the factors needed to solve that problem. But, if Eli knew how to pull up that data, he probably knew how to push the right button to get Destiny to come up with the solution as well. The character of Eli seems to be lots more savvy at conning everyone into thinking he knows more about math than how to get answers from Destiny. But that is cool. If he’s really smart, he won’t even let Rush know that is what he is doing.

    The thing that was screwy about the whole occurrence of getting the shuttle back onto the Destiny was that it started out with no possible way to catch up to destiny. Then after accelerating past Destiny, remember there was nothing slowing the shuttle back down, then Destiny all of a sudden was coming up too fast on the Shuttle.

    Either the AI personality of Destiny is starting to show by accelerating too much for a smooth docking with the shuttle, or, I don’t now what happened there. The shuttle’s velocity had to have increased much faster than the Destiny in the “slingshot” maneuver. Would that even have been possible? Nobody comments that Destiny then adjusted it’s velocity to catch up and pretty much crash into the shuttle. No, instead everybody in the show want’s to suspect Rush of knowing that the ship would pass through the star. Ooookaaaay:)

    Then there is this guy, Brody, who was one of the lottery winners aboard the Shuttle. Scott counts on him to help him with the spectographic interpretation of the planet they were approaching. Something is really off with this guy, he tells Scott and Johannsen that the high CO2 levels in the atmosphere indicate little plant life. And both Scott & Johannsen buy it. There have been other comments above, I think by melendwyr and perhaps others, that the interpretation of the planet’s spectography made no sense in determining it’s atmosphere.

    Brody is another problem. Either he is full of BS and does not know what he is supposed to, or he is among those who may want to sabotage the mission, for what I do not know.

    I’m just going to forget I even saw the “Earth” episode. I am just going to stop trying to make any sense out of the series at all.

    John, if you were trying to get us all rattled by all of the things that don’t make sense, you have succeeded.

    My theory at this point is the series is like some kind of Rorschach test. It is comprised of a semi-random montage of scenes that were hastily written, collected and thrown up in the air. John Scalzi picked them up and that is the order that they were superimposed onto a background that just happens to be Stargate. It might as well have been any other genre of fiction.

    Now, we are all like lab rats trying to figure out WTF does any of this have to do with the Stargate lore we know. For all we know, Richard Dean Anderson is the technical consultant for the Sci-Fi parts of the story. And between sips on a beer while he incinerates tri-tips on his barbecue, somebody reads him the scripts and he goes, “yeah, that could happen”.

  514. Green Tekkie–yeah, I noted on TWOP that even if we assume (for the sake of argument) that Eli could handle the math involved in the time they had, there’s no way he could possibly know enough about the variables involved to work the problem. (Unless, as you suggest, he just let Destiny’s systems do all the heavy lifting and he took the credit…)

    But frankly, given all the other awful writing, I couldn’t get too exercised over that one.

  515. I think you missed something, or the writers didn’t listen, or the director snuck something past all of you:

    At the end of “Water”, when they come back through the gate from the planet, everybody’s touching the spacesuits… which were just -41 degrees.

    Ouch.