SG:U “Air: Part 3” Up At Hulu

That’s this week’s episode, for viewing on your computer. Here’s the link for those of you in the US.

I received a couple of e-mails yesterday asking me if I was going to do a oen thread for the SG:U episode last night like I did for the premiere, and in fact gave some thought to doing so but then got distracted by partying with and saying goodbye to my Viable Paradise students, who survived their week and are heading back into the world, so I plumb forgot. Sorry. But it’s definitely something I’ll be happy to do again from time to time. We’ll play it by ear.

107 Comments on “SG:U “Air: Part 3” Up At Hulu”

  1. I am definitely enjoying this show. I liked the other Stargate series’ but always wished they took themselves just a little more seriously. So this show is right up my alley.

    The episode was a little predictable, and Greer (the soldier with a chip on his shoulder) is already starting to grate. But I’ll attribute both complaints to the fact that this episode was still setting up the situation and the characters. I’m confident we’ll start to see some real character growth once the personalities are firmly established.

    [spoilers] I wonder if they’ll designate an “arm guy” stationed by the gate on every planet from now on to ensure the ship doesn’t leave without the away team…

  2. John,

    I so thought that Jeremy Franklin (played by Mark Burgess) was you. He looked a lot like you and really sounded like you. Oh well, still keeping an eye out for your cameo.

  3. Ah – thanks to John C, I figured it out – I’m loving the *show* but am Really Ready to be done with the whole “lets hit each other in the face to prove how much we have conflict” portion. I like the idea, the characters, the general tone – but the constant grating of “chip on his shoulder guy” and the general “I don’t like what you said, so i don’t care if you’re in charge, I’m gonna go do what I think is best” weirdness that keeps rearing it’s head is getting in the way of a good show.

    I will also beg this of you: PLEASE if they’re gonna name a show the same thing 3 times (or even just 2 times), fer gawd’s sake, make them have the decency to add Part 1 or Part 2 to the bloody title! Just the title (in this case “Air”) is one of the most irritating things *any* tv show can do – it makes figuring out whether I’ve seen it a royal pain – it make taping even harder – I end up missing eps because I think I’ve already seen it – I can’t think of a more irritating “admin” thing a series can do than leave OFF the Part 1/Part 2 from the title.

    But I’m digging the show :>

  4. So… what happened to those two people who tried the other planet? Are they just… gone? Was the plan to drop them another remote so they could bring themselves back executed? I suppose it must have been, but it would have been nice to have a five second scene – ‘someone’s dialing in — oh, it’s you. Nothing? Darn.’

  5. John C – I bet they will! But remember that the ‘arm guy’ can never give them more than thirty-eight minutes. I wonder whether an inanimate object would have been enough.

  6. I must regretfully say that I was disappointed with the first episode. With your involvement, I was hoping for better. I will give it one or two more chances.

  7. The episode was a little slow.

    I have a question for the Creative Consultant: Has this show decided to ditch the “ancient gene” needed to operate ancient tech? Or does Rush, Eli and the others all just have it?

  8. I haven’t gotten to watch the premier on Hulu yet, and apparently they’ve pulled it. Do I have other options? I hate coming into a series late.

  9. Glad folks took the air scrubbing issue as a direct engineering/science challenge, and I understand the need for two guys coming in at the last moment with the goods, but I don’t think a dufflebag full of anything is going to scrub the CO2 from a ship that big. It’s been a long long time since I took any chemistry, but I don’t think that reaction is catalytic where you get oxygen and carbon out the deal without the carbon bonding to something.

    Granted, this was more dramatic — and fun — than folks hitching up a 20-mule team to haul Borax across the desert — but that seemed like a glaring bit.

  10. Yeah, yeah, SG:U, so far so good.

    Let’s get to the real point of this post, Viable Paradise is over now, right? You’re getting back to work here at the Whatever? Because, not having you around for a week, Scalzi, was starting to seriously harsh my mellow.

    We better get something out of this – i.e. I sure hope all those VPer’s who have been Bogarting the Scalzi turn into Hugo caliber writers. Because, new writers, woot. Just sayin.

    You listening, Buccheit?

  11. I thought it was a pretty good episode. Yes we’re still in the getting to know you phase of tbe show but its got some potential. Nice little bit of foreshadowing there at the end too.

  12. Air Part 3 was definitely better than the two-episode premiere. Eli is becoming a leader, a role that he seems to be taking quite seriously. There were some beautiful desert scenes and beautiful helicopter shots. I liked how the crew is starting to bond. Scott, Greer and Eli have developed a good partnership, as well as intrinsic trust.

    Could have done without the “oh my daddy/husband is dead” part. I hope this isn’t a recurring theme in this show. Otherwise, it was good.

  13. I have to say, I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. It pulled me in, and I’m genuinely unsure who can and cannot be killed off.

    But I cannot begin to express my hatred of the body-swapping device. It comes pretty close to ruining the entire show for me.

  14. Yep I still hate soap operas. I am also not fond of the bickering. I know it adds drama but come on. If you are lost first you decide who’s in charge. Second you make a decsion. Third you execute the plan. Adjust as needed. If they were all military this would be simple. They’re not so they need to figure out how to deal with this. This whole I know what’s best and am going to do it regardless of what everyone else thinks has got to stop. It is driving me nuts.
    I also want to second Luke @4’s question. What happened to the two who went through the gate to the other world?
    And what’s up with Lou Diamond Phillips character? He is swapped into a situation he knows almost nothing about. Into a damaged body and he wants to take command? He is only going to be there a little while. All he should be doing is a recon to learn as much as he can so when he goes back he can pass the info along for analysis. Again everybody wants to be in charge. It’s getting OLD and it is only the third episode!

  15. The one thing that bugged me about an otherwise decent episode was that after the scientist with the remote was shot, Rush just says that Greer shot him. And doesn’t mention giving the orders. And there’s no mention of the people who presumably stranded themselves. And no real mention of the semi-sentient dust devil, if that’s what it was.

    Also, seeing something out of the corner of one’s eye on an alien planet and *not* mentioning it? Does no one read previous mission reports? People this is a problem. You should not do it. Writers, stop using that as a means of moving the plot. It’s lazy.

    I wish I was more hooked, but I’ll keep going for a while.

  16. I’m wondering if the dust devil was an ascended ancient trying to help out without getting the smack down from the rest of them.

  17. Or an ascended someone else – after all, the ancients never really came out this way.

    Or non-ascended ‘energy beings’, like the ones that caused the fake ‘hey we’re all home’ episode of SGA season 1.

  18. I really want to like this but, as someone who missed parts 1 and 2 and saw part 3… it’s not working for me. There are several reasons.

    First, the tension of ‘will they survive’ isn’t convincing. Of COURSE they will… if they all die there’s no show. TV writers make this mistake over and over, but we know you’re not killing everyone guys, so don’t spend 3 entire episodes whose premise is “they might all die.” The faux tension of “will they make it back through the gate” was also poor writing – of COURSE they will.

    Second, WAY too slow. An entire show of mostly walking in the desert… yes, I get that we’re supposed to see character development. Some plot and action would be nice too, though.

    Third (and this might be cleared up in the first 2 episodes), the 12 hour jumps silly. Again, yes, I get the dramatic tension, but what’s a plausible reason the Ancients would EVER remove the jump decision from the crew much less have it set to 12 hours?

    Fourth, Some continuity issues… Hello, you let people go through to another planet, they didn’t come back and you just leave them and don’t even mention it? The girl tells her mom about her husband dying and her mom has no issue with the fact that it’s someone else’s body addressing her as her daughter? Pay attention writers.

    Lastly, I loathe the communication device idea. Not just the science of it (hey, free phone calls across billions of light years) but as a dramatic concept. I can see it being used to inject pathos and resolve all kinds of “we’ve painted ourselves into a corner, let’s call home” situations.

    Maybe this will find its feet, but they need to stop making some really basic TV writing mistakes. Ambivalent as I was about SG:Atlantis, I thought that show did the ‘Oh crap we’re stranded WAY out here’ intro better. Of course, it introduced a built-in threat from the start too… SG:U is trying something different, but they need to find a way to move from the ‘bunch of people stranded on a rickety ship’ phase into something else. If they’re 6 or 7 episodes in and still pulling the ‘ship is in bad shape, we might all die’ stuff, I think the show’s done.

  19. I liked the liveblogging (if that’s what we were doing) of the premiere, but I’m not sure I’d want to do it every time.

    I’m total fanboy about this episode. Spoilers in ROT13: Ehfu frrzrq gb or qbvat gur aboyr guvat (“gnxr zl jngre obggyr!”) ohg gura znqr vg pyrne ur jnf whfg snxvat Fpbgg bhg jura ur qrznaqrq fbzr bs Terre’f jngre; jung n cvrpr bs fuvg ur vf! V’z jbaqrevat jura gur jevgref ner tbvat gb fubj hf nalguvat tbbq nobhg guvf nffubyr. V yvxr gur punenpgre qrirybczrag bs Fpbgg gbb. Gur pbzzrepvny jurer ur erpvgrf gur 23eq Cfnyz vf abj rkcynvarq.

    More discussion when I get through burbling in fannish joy.

  20. range@14

    There are a lot of selfish, unpleasant characters in the show. But most of them are so interesting that I’m willing to be patient. Now that the scene is set, we’ll see how they develop.

    But I have very little patience for the Senator’s special brand of entitlement. I was relieved when he died in the pilot, and then dismayed when we rushed back to Earth for a new round of self-indulgence from his wife. Hopefully, now that the goodbyes are finished, their daughter can move on to something more interesting.

    I’m sure the writers have their own plans, but just in case they’re taking requests, I’d love to see a long story arc where an essentially useless character evolves into an valuable member of the team.

  21. rick @ 22: 4b: mom DOES certainly have problems! But she already knew of this technology in the abstract, I’m sure. I’d have had her ask a verifying question, but eh.

    Josh @ 17: not mentioning the dust devils, and not following up on ‘did you see that?’ – Grade A dumb. If the criminal had just said, ‘What, you’ve never seen a dust devil?’, that’d have covered it pretty comprehensively.


    1) why weren’t they using the kinos to do long-range scouting in multiple directions?

    2a) remind me why the Lt. trusts Eli more than the chemist?
    2b) why does chemist tolerate being under Eli?

  22. 23: Xopher, in ROT13:
    Lrf naq ab. Ur jnf bssrevat vg gb gurl jub’q tb ba, fnlvat ur pbhyqa’g znxr vg onpx. Guvf jnf bs pbhefr fbzrjung bs n oyhss, ohg zber n fgngrzrag: Vs V tb ba, V’z abg tbvat gb znxr vg onpx.

    Bapr gurl’ir qrpvqrq ur’f jbegu fraqvat onpx/fnivat, gura jul ABG tvir uvz gur jngre?

  23. Oh yeah, the dust devil thingy. Another case of check this out. Now forget about it. Was it intelligent? Did it cause the daddy halucinations? It likes water but spews it up to save the alien critter(human)? Was that a suicide or was it just collecting the water to save the alien critter?
    Sure hope they aren’t planning to explain this and so much more in future episodes. Stay Tuned for next weeks episode to find out! Bleah.

    If Mr Scalzi is going to continue to give us a place to post about SGU I think we can assume there will be spoilerific conversation since we will be discussing the latest episode so the whole ROT13 thing can be skipped. If you have the game Tivo’d you need to stay away from sports chat until you watch it. The other sports chatters shouldn’t feel the need to encode spoiler posts.

  24. Interesting episode, as much about fleshing out more backstories as it was about developing the plot.

    Scott’s backstory as someone who was apparently headed toward the priesthood was interesting, but this is one of those things that could easily fall into cliche territory if overused. (They abused the hell out of, for example, Chakotay’s Native American religion in ST: Voyager.)

    The short fight scene between Greer and Dr. Rush over “who grew up the poorest” revealed a lot, as well. Dr. Rush has a serious inferiority complex, but Greer seems to just stoically power on through.

    I’m not sure about the details “communication stones,” but it’s good that the show deals with the issue of getting in contact with Earth right up front. In a way, as the scenes using them show, being able to communicate but not being able to help is going to crank up the dramatic potential.

    And what happened (spoilers in ROT-13) gb gur guerr crbcyr jub qvnyrq bhg gb tb gb bar bs gur bgure arneol cynargf? Ner gurl whfg tbar? Be jvyy gurl cynl n ebyr va shgher rcvfbqrf?

    @11: In sci-fi, you can handwave a little bit. Notice that they filled up the same cylinders with the quicklime – maybe there’s a catalyst involved that makes the reaction much more efficient and pulls out more CO2 than would otherwise be possible…

    Oh, and for anyone looking for it, the closing song from the episode was Alexi Murdoch – “Breathe”. Which was a kick-ass way to end the episode.

    (Oh, and what was (ROT-13) gur guvat gung qrgnpurq sebz gur fuvc ng gur raq?)

  25. Luke, Orpnhfr ur’f na nff? V ernyyl, ernyyl, ernyyl rawblrq Ftg. Shevbhf ershfvat gb funer uvf jngre jvgu Ehfu–naq xvpxvat uvf nff jura ur gevrq gb gnxr vg. Gung xvaq bs snafreivpr zvtug xrrc zr nebhaq.

    I skipped over the ex-Senator’s wife and daughter having a weepy conversation. I also skipped the LTs hallucinations or flashbacks or whatever they were. I am sick to death of storytelling by flashback. Lost and BSG have run that into the ground. If they cant communicate vital backstory to me in the current story, I just don’t really care.

    And yeah, using several remotes and kinos to explore multiple directions would have been the smart thing to do. (And I guess we’ve found out they can’t change altitude, since if they could a single kino would have done–just send it way high up in the air to do a 360 scan.)

  26. I actually like the communication stones because they’re one of the things that keeps the show from being Stargate: Voyager, or any of the other shows with similar premises.

    re: the Ancient tech, it’s true that there’s a lot of wonderflonium built into it, but that’s the nature of the Stargate universe. I suppose one of the challenges of the CC role is that the more you try to explain, the less effective handwaving is.

    ROT13 slight spoileriness: V fhfcrpg gur guvat gung qrgnpurq sebz gur fuvc jnf n fuhggyr frag ol gur fuvc gb ergevrir gur perj gung whzcrq gb gur bgure cynarg.

    Tvira gur yriry bs vagryyvtrapr gur fuvc unf qrzbafgengrq fb sne, V jbaqre ubj zhpu bs n punenpgre vg’f tbvat gb orpbzr va gur fubj. Pbhyq or purrfl, pbhyq or njrfbzr, qrcraqvat ba ubj vg’f qbar. Univat yvirq va na byq eha qbja ubhfr, gubhtu, V pna frr gur nccrny bs univat vg gryy lbh rknpgyl jung arrqf gb or svkrq, naq ubj gb svk vg. Znlor vg’yy grnpu gurz ubj gb ohvyq n arj MCZ. V’z fher gur Zvyxl Jnl pebjq jbhyq ybir gung xabjyrqtr.

  27. I thought the distraught Senator’s wife scene was a little overwrought, but generally I think this episode worked a little better than the first two. If they’re supposed to be, as I suspect, worked into two hour movie once the commercials are removed then maybe it would explain some of the pacing issues I had with the first show.

    That being said, a lot of the overdone crap in these episodes was overdone in the Stargate feature film and the first season of SG-1. I guess you need to take the heroic suicidal Senator and conversations with drunk priests with the good if you’re going to lay the groundwork for future episodes later on. It’s not like they can neatly dish everything out with a couple of narrative paragraphs of backstory like an author can.

  28. Can we kill the pretentious ROT13 crap please? Discuss or don’t, but 1) if anyone comes into an open discussion thread then whines about spoiler’s they’re fools and 2) it’s like talking in a group that all speaks one language and then doing asides in another – it’s rude and then fact that I could decode the hash doesn’t make it less rude.

  29. I guess I’m in the minority here for not liking this episode much at all. The only part I liked was where Young said to O’Neill that they were unqualified. That part I completely agree with. :p O’Neill could’ve said something a bit more inspiring about how if they don’t get their act together they’re all going to die, so they better get their act together because they don’t have much choice now do they. Maybe something about how desperation can bring out the best in people. (Even if we’ve yet to see signs of that thus far.)

    1. Did we really need to see them bumbling around lost in the desert with no plan or preparation for the entire episode? Hello, kinos? Desert attire? Lots more water? Or were their gigantic backpacks filled entirely with tiny canteens? Also, I think most of that could’ve been presented as backstory material rather than put on-stage.

    2. Did they really need to use that much water each time to test for lime? Hello, desert? Though I did like the reasonably intelligent geology babble at the beginning. It led me to believe that when they first set out, they were going to find some high ground and look for a lake bed. Not commence wandering around lost, stopping once in a while to randomly test the sand.

    3. The thing with the body-swapped colonel made no sense at all. Who was he, what was he doing, why, why was he even there, who was that woman with him?

    4. Likewise the church flashbacks. Something about he did something involving a 16 year old girl? Get her pregnant? That was my first guess, given that in the opener his first scene had him having sex on duty. Maybe I missed something there, but it made no sense. It just made me think of a combination of Tatooine and Luke lost on Hoth.

    5. Total lack of any explanation or even curiosity about the sand whirlies. Total lack of mention of the two people they just lost to another planet.

    6. Rush says “Greer shot him” and doesn’t follow up with anything else. Nobody seems to have a problem with this. :p (I assumed that at some point later on, the rest of the briefing happened.) But then again, Rush and Greer got into a fistfight and nobody had a problem with that, either.

    7. The ending countdown was totally contrived. First they spend nearly all of their 12 hours bumbling around lost in the desert without a plan, then they find what they need at the last possible moment. As someone else mentioned of course they’re going to make it back to the ship. I actually had to force myself to keep watching at that point, because it was boring.

    8. Eli, stick your newly-acquired gun in the wormhole instead. -.-

    9. The senator’s widow sure looked young…

    10. And finally, chain of command. Come on, work it out, people. I think the next episode needs to start with a stirring speech from the colonel about where they are, what their chances are, what they need to do, etc. It needs to take full stock of the situation, establish leadership, and assign some clear roles and responsiblities. Because, really, I don’t want to watch a show about a bunch of largely incompetent people constantly arguing amongst themselves about what to do next, at every single decision.

    Maybe that just means that I miss SG1. I liked when it was a top-secret operation and only the best and brightest were involved. Not like now, where it seems any run-of-the-mill idiot can be sent offworld (and thus in a position to have gotten stranded on the ship).

    On the whole, I must say in response to the notion that the primary goal is just to get us to watch the whole thing before we start saying “hey wait a minute…” : I’d kind of prefer something a bit higher quality than merely adequate. Adequate does not have staying power in the long run. SG1 was fantastic, which is why we even have spinoffs over a decade later. It can be done. It has been done in the past. But so far SGU ain’t doing it.

    In spectacularly well-written shows, I look at the clock and marvel that only half as much time has passed than I thought, because so much was packed into those minutes and none were wasted. So far for SGU, I look at the clock and marvel that twice the time has passed. I see that as a problem…

  30. I do like the fact that Eli is starting to become a part of the leadership of the group (lets all root for the chubby…excuse me…husky geek!)

  31. OK, let’s try this again. V nz nznmrq ol gur snpg gung qvfpbhegrbhf crbcyr npghnyyl pbzcynva nobhg bgure crbcyr orvat pbhegrbhf.

  32. well i guess i’m in the minority here. i just watch these shows for the pure geeky enjoyment of them. i’m all caught up now and can’t wait to see where it goes. i just suspend my disbelief and roll with it. and the parts that get on my nerves i just shrug off. . . hell, parts of life get on my nerves.

  33. I liked when the medic knocked out the idiot who was running around with Young’s injured body. She said I’m the senior medical officer here and it’s within my authority. Ha! John promised us some kick ass women, and I was so ready after emo girl and her emo mother.

    Agree with the majority that let’s not ROT-13 please.

  34. I’ve been mostly bitching so here’s the stuff I liked. The basic premise.
    What Tazistan @39 said. That was a nice way to say STFU. You’re not in command and that body you are abusing isn’t even yours.
    I also got a laugh at Dammn you! Damn you all to hell! Come on, that was funny. It was.

  35. Also, as a Catholic myself (but on some admittedly thin data) I got the sense that the writers are going to take the Lieutenant’s Catholicism seriously. That would be nice to see.

  36. This is the first Stargate show I’ve seen, and I like it so far, but there is a huge, burning logic question: They can’t get back to earth because the stargate on the ship doesn’t have enough power to dial all the way back to Earth. But there’s enough power to dial the desert planet for a reasonable amount of time.

    So why not transfer all the people to the desert planet, dial Earth from there, and everybody goes home?

  37. JL@42: They’re in a different galaxy. Normal stargates don’t have the power needed to dial outside their galactic network — think of it like needing both a power boost and an area code.

  38. #43 I see, thanks for the explanation. So they’re pretty much screwed unless they either find some kind of super-stargate or somehow manage to get back to the Milky Way.

  39. Just finished watching it. Still holding out hope but I found it lame and pretty much boring. Very slow in my opinion, this particular episode could have been 30 minutes and lost nothing.

  40. 1. V yvxr gur fubj fb sne.

    2. V yvxrq gur qhfg-fjveyl-guvatl naq V pna jnvg sbe na rkcynangvba.

    3. V yvxr gung gurl whfg fnvq “Terre fubg uvz” naq gura yrsg uvz ubyqvat gur ont jvgu ab rkcynangvba.

    4. V yvxr Ebg-13 whfg svar.

    5. And I don’t think the pod detaching at the end was being sent to rescue the folks who went through the gate to the alternate planet. If a pod could get there in any reasonable amount of time, why would they need gates in the first place. I’ll wait for them to tell me what that was all about.

    6. Oops…did I encode the wrong parts?


  41. I both am torn. There is a lot of potential and I really want to get into the show but I wonder if I can really watch a show that uses the song “Don’t Forget to Breath” to go along with scenes of people inhaling deeply as the life support system is brought back online. Are you kidding me?
    If this is the way the Stargate people want to tell their story then I am not so sure I want to go along for the ride.

    I am liking the story but the delivery needs work.


  42. I thought the “pod” at the end of the show was a new Stargate being delivered, after all didnt they say something about the ship making new Stargates?

  43. One thing that I particularly liked about the third episode is that they laid out the premise for the fourth Stargate series in a couple of lines.

    I can think of a number of criticisms of what has been presented so far, but Stargate has always been an example of a series that one has to look at as a whole. (The original movie sucked, but after seeing several years of SG-1 I saw the original movie in a different light.)

    And I’m with the ‘ROT13’ is annoying folks. None of the ‘spoilers’ were about an unaired episode, and if ‘knowing what will happen’ ruins an episode or book for you your liking for that episode or book is pretty darn thin. Discuss freely.

  44. Ah. John, thought that might be the case, but it seemed to start suddenly. Thanks for letting one (and not all) of them out of the trap.

    What’s your position on ROT-13ing for people who may not have seen the ep yet? Yours is the only opinion that really matters, IMO; I think of it as a courtesy, myself. And also I think anyone who doesn’t want to read my ROT-13 posts can ignore them.

    But I’ll do as you wish. If you’re indifferent I will please myself.

  45. Oh please Xopher. The ep has aired. Anyone who comes to an open thread on an aired episode with links to Hulu who then whines about spoilers is being silly. And if you care that much.. discuss without spoilers. ROT13 is rude in the context of an open thread.

  46. David Blue should change his name to “Jonah Hill, before he learned foul language.”

    I think it’s entertaining, but weak.

    Eli, isn’t a part of the leadership, he’s a noone who has to learn to be a part of the team through leadership.

    “If you don’t don’t understand give a class.”

    That’s one of the things that is commonly exercised in the real world.

    If someone doesn’t understand something you’ve taught them, make them teach it themselves, THEN they will.

    Johnah Hill, I mean, David Blue’s character is being treated like that.

    They Even SAID that that is how his character is being treated.

    Though I do like that Johnah Hill/David Blue’s character ended up being the enduring and dedicated one, while rush’s scrawny but couldn’t stop whining.

  47. I really hated the other Stargate series, but when I saw Mr. Scalzi as creative consultant I decided to tune in (especially since Robert Carlyle is a major character!). I’m a big fan of Scalzi’s work and there are touches of a real science fiction writer in the show now. I think it’s going to be good and the first 3 eps have not disappointed me.

    Great work, John!! Keep them honest! ;)

  48. I haven’t seen part 3 yet (about to on Hulu) but had to say that i REALLY enjoyed the first 2 hours. I loved the original SG-1 show, never got around to seeing SG:A, but this one looks very good.
    About withholding information from readers/ viewers: C J Cherryh is my favorite s.f. writer because she’s GREAT at showing _only_ what the viewpoint character knows.

  49. Well it all seems mixed as far as the comments are concerned. Plenty of season left to determine if it is going to really suck or get better from here.

    Side note, I wrote this originally in pig latin and it seems it was viewed as bad.

  50. Im still waiting for a good explanation as to why the kinos werent used. Of course, if they had been used we wouldnt have all those dull minutes of people walking aimlessly in a desert.

  51. Everybody keeps whining about all of the time spent walking around in the desert. I, for one, enjoyed the hell out of the desert scenes.

    Having once worked on a movie shot almost entirely in snowscapes, I’m always fascinated when watching to see if they’re able to avoid showing signs of the crew having tromped through virgin ground before placing the actors there for a scene. This show did an admirable job of avoiding seeing any footprints other than those explained by the actors in the shots. I congratulate the filmmakers on this achievement. (Although I think I saw some tire tracks in the background of one scene. Hey, nobody’s perfect.)

  52. This series sucks.
    I love the desert scenes; I hate the Earth scenes.
    Only Off-world people, please.
    It’s playing out more and more like a soap opera, not space opera. Too much crying and whining and blah, blah, blah. I mean, didn’t the writers watch a single episode of Star Trek TOR!?
    I’m sick of high-ranking characters, generals and president. I can’t relate to them. I want to be around mechanics and pilots and eccentric scientists. I want more Stephen King-like characters. Normal people, mucking it out . . . out there!
    I’m going to watch episode four next week, then forget about the Stargate once and for all.

  53. Air 3 was really damn fine.

    (watched it yesterday due to certain deadline pressures)

    It’s hard to imagine a way that particular episode could have been done any better. Particularly (as I wrote to Mr. Mallozzi) the final scene with Scott and the girl, which pulled the whole show together — all three episodes of this three-parter — in an astonishingly elegant and satisfying way.

    Kudos to all involved.

  54. After trying to watch it on Hulu: I’ll never understand why — when they’ve already been paid for at least once, as is the case with television shows — captions are practically never propagated with online media.

  55. I just wish they had started with a more unique cast of characters. They’re just so damn cliche. Why didn’t they put together a cast of oddball characters. For example, what if the gamer had some kind of attention deficit disorder or neurological disorder or suffered from video stream withdrawal. What if he was running out of meds? The story arc in that would be cool to watch week after week, the gamer losing his mind from episode to episode. They’d need a good actor, though. What if the scientist was deaf, and had some kind of mechanical bird translator fluttering around his head. The president and his daughter, too cliche. They wouldn’t have even made an appearance in my show. Where’s the meteorologist-geologist character? Cool weather balloons over the desert, sending back cool surreal video of things, perhaps storms in the distance, raining seahorses perhaps. Excuse me, but beakers in the desert just doesn’t cut it. Where’s the bi-polar soldier with the itchy robotic trigger finger? It goes haywire at the end of the first episode. Where’s the stammering translator who continually looses his train of thought? Where’s the space poet, some Englishmen who narrates, quotes from the digital library in his BrainPal. Where’s the lesbian deep space yoga (DSY, dizzy) instructor? Nope, nothing. Just a bunch of stock characters and scenes we’ve scene time and time again.

  56. Random comments:

    1. The Air two-parter was good enough to get me, a guy who hadn’t seen a single thing Stargate ever, to not only look forward to SG:U, but to go back and start watching the old stuff on Hulu. Currently in the middle of season 3 of SG-1, and since I wasn’t even going to pay attention to the show before Scalzi posted the Hulu link and I decided to watch on a lark, damn you, John Scalzi! Damn you for addicting me to more good television! *shakes fist*

    2. SG:U seems to be succeeding thus far in keeping me from being more horribly confused than I’m supposed to be, although the cuts in Air 1 were a bit much and I can tell that there’s mountains and mountains of series history I have to look forward to, starting with when they got the ability to dial home with a Sony PSP and working up to the distressing lack of staff weapons and guys in crazy armor with head tattoos.

    3. Relatively few issues with SG:U thus far. I’ll forgive the drama as long as it remains interesting, although expecting me to shed tears for the senator may be expecting too much. I assume most of the thus-far underdeveloped and underutilized characters will drop the under- at some point, and so am happy to be patient.

    4. A special note on Eli. My initial reaction was along the lines of “Oh, come ON. Another overweight computer geek? Seriously can we get some better stereotypes here?” (says the underweight computer geek), but Eli manages to be interesting, if kind of annoying at times. Good stuff.

    And a few reactions to things others have said about this ep:

    – I’m fairly sure I saw a keno floating about by the gate when the first showed up, which then proceeds to do nothing, I’m guessing because Eli still isn’t sure how to drive them, which along with the fixed height thing would also handily explain why they didn’t hit the shuttle button with one. Dialogue would help, here.

    OTOH, considering the casualty rate for MALPs and UAVs in SG-1, this may be good for the kenos.

    – I’m really sure that, unless I’m very confused, there was a scene wherein Eli attempts to contact the two people who went through the gate to the other world, which was completely unsuccessful. I’m assuming that’s either a plot hook for later or an SG-1 style “And we will mourn their tragic loss!” writeoff. I for one am fine with either.

    – As far as the “Why didn’t Scott tell people about the dust devils” thing, didn’t he attempt to point out the first one he saw to the rest of the group, but it had disappeared? Past that, I think he was the only one who saw them. And in any case the point is moot now anyway.

    …this was longer than I expected it to be.

  57. *Looks away while Xopher pleases himself*

    Incidentally, it would have been more interesting if the Dust Swirl came through the gate and cleaned the air instead of finding lame.

  58. *offers to please Patrick as well*

    Actually I didn’t understand why they didn’t blow some of that good oxygen-rich air in through the stargate. Gas doesn’t go across, but they could find a way. Balloons. Something.

  59. And rick, you really puzzle me. I don’t understand how ROT-13 can be considered rude, of all things. Any modern browser can have Leetkey (for free, at least for Firefox), which will translate it in one click, and there might (or might have been, less so now that it’s Sunday) some people who hadn’t seen the ep yet. Makes it easier for them.

    Are you all that interested in reading my comments, anyway? If not, why do you give a damn whether I ROT-13 things?

  60. Didn’t the two people who went through the gate to the other place come back right at the end there? I seem to remember an offworld dialin on the desert planet. Am I confused?

  61. Just rewatched quickly to make sure I’m not off base, and:

    – Yup, the Scott + dust devils thing worked like I thought. He sees one, tries to point it out, nobody sees it, and from there on he’s the only one in a position to see them.

    – Eli fires up the stargate at about 30:10 or so and tries to contact Curtis and Palmer through it, which fails. I had thought Curtis was the guy that Greer shot, but apparently not.

    – Near the end, a small group of people from the ship gate back to the desert to look for Scott and Greer. They return to the ship at the end of the ep. Xopher, maybe you’re thinking of them?

    – Curtis and Palmer are still AWOL as of the end of the ep.

    – Camo uniforms, helmets, and sunglasses are not good identification aids.

    – The show does seem to explain things well enough, but it does so in pretty quick bites, which means you need to pay pretty close attention while watching. YMMV on how good that is, but I kind of like it.

  62. Xopher,

    Because ROT13 in the middle of a thread is like making asides in another language – it disrupts the flow of the conversation and makes everyone else do some work to see if the commenter’s saying anything interesting or not. If this were a live blogging thread that was active after the east coast had seen the episode but the west coast hadn’t, fine. But I don’t think anyone can simultaneously decide to read an open discussion thread on an episode that’s been aired everywhere in N America AND legitimately complain about spoilers. If someone doesn’t want to read spoilers I’d suggest that they exercise some judgment and avoid an open discussion thread on the episode.

    @erik – in fact he doesn’t point it out to anyone. He says “did you see that?” and then when Greer asks “What?” and it’s gone he says “nothing…” The problem I, Josh and others have is that this is an alien planet and in the SG universe they’ve been exploring such places for a dozen years. By now they should have internalized that you always mention oddities on alien planets. Always. What might be innocuous on Earth can’t be taken the same way on another planet.

    The other issue for me is that this is a fairly common TV writer habit – a single character (never two) sees something that no one else does and, despite being in a situation that’s potentially dangerous, they don’t tell the rest of the team about it. Not only is that a dumb thing to do in the context of the show, it’s usually used to force the plot to go somewhere that it either wouldn’t or it’s unnecessary. In this case, why didn’t he just say “I thought I saw a dust devil” to which Greer could reasonably rib him about it being the desert. And really… it IS the desert. He acts like seeing a dust devil in the middle of a desert is extraordinary which is an odd reaction. Yes, it does turn out that the thing seems sentient at some level, but there’s really no reason to suspect that from the initial sighting.

  63. Well, rick, I think you’re being a bit silly. I understand your point, but don’t agree. At any rate it’s moot for this week, since enough time has gone by.

  64. @rick –

    Fair enough, and I don’t entirely disagree, but the dialogue made sense to me, and satisfied my “hey, tell somebody!” reflex well enough. In fact I didn’t even think twice until y’all brought it up.

    That said, I especially buy the reaction from some green LT on his first real mission, real world lessons being what they are. If he was O’Neill or Carter, who’ve seen crazy stuff like this before, that’s one thing, but he is, in fact, very green, very on his way to serious sunstroke, and on second look there wasn’t anything there anyway, so I can forgive some confusion.

    I think he learned his lesson about the thing later on, but by that point there wasn’t anybody around to tell. If he keeps doing that sort of thing, I may get annoyed (it certainly annoys me in SG-1), but for now, I buy it. It was obvious the dust devils were suspicious from my TV viewing perspective, but the characters not necessarily. YMMV.

  65. The two who went through the gate to the other adress were the ones who came back through with 3 hours left saying “which way.” and blue points off in the distance.

    Two of those people are the ones who went through the gate. The female, you will notice,gives blue back his keno before asking where scott went.

    Might be wrong, but before chip on shoulder guy took off after scott he said “we’ll send them an extra remote.” so I guess that was the way they wrote off any additional plot issues with a third teem.

  66. I repeated a lot of the following comment in the other open SG:U thread before this one. Hope no one minds if I reiterate in this more active thread… Ok, right up front, I’ve watched the original movie, and ignored the existing SG series, so I’m sure there’s lots of backstory that I’m missing out on. I just watched the DVR’d premiere and first episode back to back. That said, I’d like to offer some thoughts, first on the characters and plot so far, and then on some ideas I’ve had about where this series might be going…

    Right now, the series seems to be where most creative series seem to be early on– struggling to establish some character parameters through shorthand. That’s neither a good nor bad thing in my book. TV series have a very short window in which to capture viewer interest, and writers and creative consultants are working a very narrow window of time in which to pass on enough information to get viewers interested while concealing enough information to leave room for future growth. It didn’t particularly bother me that Rush evokes Dr. Smith (although I’m tickled to know that I’m not the only person who thinks that). I like Eli, but he needs to become more “Charlie Epps” and less “Beavis and Butthead” in pretty short order. I don’t mind that he’s feckless, but I have a hard time thinking that as a former MIT attendee he’d be a feckless idiot. Right now, “contest winner” aptly describes him, but I’d think a guy who could “solve a riddle written in an ancient language” that eluded solution by the series’ one other identifiable brainy character should be more than a plot device for allowing people such as myself an explanation of things covered in the other SG series.

    At any rate, there’s a lot of room for growth, here, and my hope is that these characters don’t get locked into some unfortunate stereotypes.

    Regarding plot, I’m certain that some of what follows will be wrong, some simply uninformed, et cetera, but it occurs to me that everyone in this series approaches the idea of the stargates and the ninth chevron in a completely blithe manner that will bite them in the ass. Sure, they represent great promise– starships, alien technology, et cetera. Has NO ONE given a thought to how the Ancients may have protected the system of gates from intrusion or unauthorized use, from parasitism by other societies?

    To me, how I see the series shaping up on the basis of the two episodes seen so far is an exploration of this idea. It seems fairly “convenient” that a planet that just happens to meet the “power requirements” for accessing the ninth chevron “address” sits fairly close to earth (i.e. reachable by a civilization which has sufficiently exploited the system of stargates, or is technically proficient enough). It also seems odd that activation of the gate using the ninth chevron from that site resulted in the planet being attacked. Obviously, the system of stargates is being monitored. Whether that’s by other “parasites” of the system or by agents of the Ancients remains to be seen.

    Also, why should the gate address only actually work if the address is input “as though the gate were on earth”? The first thing that jumped to my mind is that this address identification thing is a two-way street. As Eli said, the address as far as the ninth chevron thing is concerned is some sort of “code”– potentially an identifying code which says “yo, here’s a technologically advance race which may present a danger, and they’re located on planet earth.”

    And, boy, didn’t that planet just conveniently blow itself and everything in the near vicinity up awfully fast, and only a few minutes after the gate was activated, too? Call me a little too excessively “realistic,” but there doesn’t seem to me to be any reason or way for a planet to erupt into a titanic explosion other than by design. My guess is that this was intentional. The planet was a trap meant to send information up the line to the builders of the system of gates. The gate on the planet only “dials out” in order to identify which other gates have been corrupted/parasitized by a sentient race, not because of any “danger” to the planet itself, as Rush theorized (or perhaps misled?). Additionally, by having the planet blow up within minutes of the activation of the gate, the gate-builders virtually guarantee that at least a sample of users will make use of the gate, and wind up on a spaceship a billion light years from home, while at the same time muddying the waters as to whether an who might have been “captured” by the system– the nearby ships were all destroyed in the explosion, and it’s only because the Hammond was fleeing the assault that it managed to survive and bring any information at all to earth. If it hadn’t, the only indication earth would have had that anything was wrong is that a stargate address would have gone dead.

    But why try to capture a sample of humans on a dying ship?

    I don’t think the ship is dying. Oh, I know, that sounds paranoid. But consider this– why would the life support be failing? Sure, the ship is ancient. But why would the life support even be ON during the ship’s unmanned trip through the universe? It should have been off, and merely activated when the gate fired up. Instead, life support was seriously compromised. Seems to me that now that we have a sample of beings on board, the purpose for having them their is revealed– testing them to find out the boundaries of their intelligence, intuitiveness, altruism, et cetera. I.e., the ship is a giant IQ test meant to reveal something about the civilization which has parasitized the gate system. Fixing the life support is a timed test. If the group doesn’t plug the holes, they’re not smart enough to worry about.

    The test is formed by a series of problems. The group has to identify and prioritize the series of problems. That prioritization reveals something about them. The time in which it takes them to rectify the situation reveals something about them. The solution which they achieve reveals something about them.

    Does it make any sense that the “shuttle” should have some sort of problem which prevents the door from closing while air is leaking out of the ship? Absolutely none. There should be a redundant system of fail-safes which close the door to prevent loss of atmosphere. Even if those failed, the door should be able to be manually closed in some easily identifiable fashion, and yet the group cannot figure out how to accomplish this– presumably because the door is DESIGNED not to be closed in this fashion. Also, what’s with the leaky “shield”? It should either work or not work. Either it blocks air from leaking out through the gigantic hole in the shuttle, or it doesn’t. Why should it intermittently or partially block that leakage? The entire get up resembles a test to me… The only solution is for someone in the group to altruistically sacrifice themselves for the good of the others– the test is designed that way. The doors can’t be closed unless someone is inside the shuttle operating them. Again, the solution to this reveals something about the human species.

    The second priority problem is the air-scrubbers. I’ve already mentioned that it made no sense to have them running while the ship was unmanned, nor is it obvious why they should be so degraded if there was no CO2 to scrub from the atmosphere, and oh-by-the-way why would these things need to scrub CO2, anyway? Isn’t it awfully convenient that the alien race who built the ship breathed the atmosphere in such a way as to need CO2 scrubbed from the air?

    Again, this is a test. The ship stops at a location which could potentially yield a solution to the problem. It sets a 12 hour time limit for fixing said problem. Will humans be able to find a replacement for the scrubbers in time? They apparently do. Does the ship stop because Rush figured out how to communicate to it that they needed to stop, or because this was the next step in testing humans? If the former, why the time limit? Why the lockout to the other reachable planets (my supposition is that this is to isolate the test subjects and prevent them from “dropping out” of the test)?

    Anyway, haven’t watched episode 3, yet. but so far my interest it piqued. I’m interested to see whether anyone in the show arrives at these same conclusions, and whether or not they do something about it. I’m also interested in seeing whether the characters develop enough in the next few episodes to make me continue caring.

    I could be right about these ideas, or totally wrong, but that’s my take on things at the moment.

    As an aside, on that whole “”blowing fresh air from the planet onto the ship through the gate” idea– Balloons? How about somebody find a length of fairly wide pipe, and just stick it through the “puddle”? Maybe there’s something about this whole stargate thing that I’m not getting, but you’d think someone would at least TRY.

  67. Hmmm… also, didn’t mean to be confusing (or confused). Reading through the comments, I see that the premiers was considered “two episodes”– so I have, in fact, watched episode three. It’s what I thought was episode two.

    At any rate, I’m interested enough to keep watching for a while.

  68. @76:
    How about somebody find a length of fairly wide pipe, and just stick it through the “puddle”?

    This is part of the backstory you missed by not watching the other series. The gates don’t transfer “part” of objects being pushed through – only when the entirety of the object is fully within the event horizon is it transferred.

  69. So I got around to watching SG:U this weekend having recorded both episodes.

    My impression is it’s pretty good. Good acting decent writing, good production values.

    My biggest complaint is pretty much the same I had with SG1 (never watched Atlantis): They really do need a military adviser if they are going to continue to insist on having the military as a big element of the show’s design.

    SG1 was particularly egregious in completely ignoring good small unit tactics, movement and operational theory. I mean first off, the team consisted of 4 individuals one of which was useless militarily (Dr Jackson). And they never had the right mix of weapons for a fire team (which is how they should have been organized). And to be frank, given as how they rarely knew where it was they were going and what they would run into, each away team should have consisted of two fire teams in addition to the non-military personnel. One team should always have set up a defensive perimeter by the gate and acted as a command base while the other explored.

    The same was true in the second episode of SG:U. Clearly they had enough people to have sent three fire teams to begin with, one acting as an operational anchor. And as the episode progressed it became more and more clear that having a team stationed at the gate would have been invaluable. And they never fully exploited the flying camera thing for recon. I mean, really, wandering around in a desert instead of flying the eye thing around?

    From a military, tactical point of view, the mission was chaotic and unprofessional and something no commander would have allowed.

    So Scalzi, see if you can work on that.

  70. The three that came through the gate to Desert World were not the people that went through from Desert World to Not-Safe World; the woman that went to NSW was a blonde scientist-type, the woman that came to DW was a brunette soldier (she takes her helmet off when she goes back to the ship). Different people. The soldier woman gave Eli a *new* kino when she came through, because the folks that went to NSW took the old one.

    I presume that the fish-eye view from the kino was unable to spot any place that looked like a likely target; the spot where the Lt. found the material looked more-or-less identical to the rest of the desert to me. There was a small patch that looked slightly different, but the area the Lt checked wasn’t at that spot — and it was a small spot, down between dunes; an aerial kino probably wouldn’t have spotted it. It was only the dust devil causing the water to well up & wake him up that caused the Lt to check there. The dust devil also led him there; I doubt that was an accident.

    I thought it was clear that the reason the Lt didn’t say, “hey I saw a dust devil!” is because he was afraid everyone would think he had sunstroke, and he didn’t want to look weak, or undermine his command (Angry Greer was on his side, but he probably wasn’t sure he could count on him if Greer thought he was out of it; and Rush always wants to take over).

    AFAIK, *none* of these are the people that were supposed to go on the mission, besides maybe Rush. IIRC, Lou Diamond Phillips’ Col Telford was supposed to lead the away team — I think he said that at the interrupted dinner in the first episode. But he went off to fight the attackers and couldn’t get back to the gate, so he had to land on SG ship and go back to Earth. I think that’s why he was being such a bossy ass when he visited via communication stone. The rest were base personnel — guards, cooks, clerks, and assorted functionaries and visiting dignitaries. I don’t think many of them have had Stargate expeditionary training.

    The woman that was visiting via communication stone was someone who was standing there imploring Telford to let someone else take a “comm stone watch” when the colonels switched bodies; Col. Young then told her something like, “I need you to do something”. The “something” was clearly to switch with Chloe, so she could go tell her mom.

    Oh, and when Chloe met her mom, she told her something like, “I know I don’t look or sound like me, but I’m Chloe”. Since Chloe knew what the comm stones were, I’m guessing mom had at least heard of them.

  71. Btw, I’m glad at least someone (the medic) had the right idea about people abusing their switched-into bodies. She quite rightly knocked Telford out when he was putting the body in danger.

    If my understanding of military protocol is correct, she had that right even over someone using his own body, as ranking medical officer; but someone with actual (as opposed to “gleaned from too much Star Trek”) military knowledge can confirm or deny that before I’ll be sure.

    Clearly Telford needs a lesson in the ethics of body-borrowing, or maybe 15 years in prison for attempted murder. Me no likey dat mans.

  72. Dear Mr Scalzi, I just have to say I do not like the Soap Opera direction in which this series appears to be headed. 1st LT Scott (The only hero so far who brought back the duffle bag of miracle dirt) and 1st LT Tamara Johansen (TJ, the most level headed character who sedated Lou Diamond Phillips before he impulsively drained their energy resources dialing the unknown stargate adresses), have a hot affair going on. But at the end of air three, Chloe Armstrong (the dead senators daughter) is starting to have a thing going on for LT Scott. Okay we have a soapy love triangle at the end of air three. Whoopie! When is somebody smart going to start explaining things that don’t jibe with the story arc’s of Atlantis and SG-1. McKay would have blurted out something in part of a run-on sentence to explain why the Destiny started it’s voyage 150 thousand years ago when the archeological time period of the Ancients is well established as only 10 thousand years ago. There are any number of literary devices that could handle this huge chunk of lost time and still leave room for interpretation. I mean, it’s science fiction for Pete’s sake. Eli Wallace plus Rush leave us with not the best hope for scientific “deus ex machina” salavations like Carter, Mckay or Zelenka pulled off almost every episode. When is somebody going to, at least, say something like, “We can only assume that the Ancients used time travel to go back 150 thousand years to establish a facility that manufactured and launched the Destiny”. I mean, pullease! Doesn’t this lost time bother anybody else?

  73. Green, 10,000 years ago is when the Ancients left Earth. That doesn’t mean they weren’t elsewhere for a very long time.

  74. Chloe’s mother is going to be a problem for the people back home. Unfortunately for her, they have a variety of scarily-effective ways of dealing with such problems.

    If we’d been several seasons ago, I’d guess she’d either be imprisoned or killed. Now that Earth has access to memory-altering technology, she may end up forgetting everything she ever knew about the Stargate problem – including possibly where her daughter is and what happened to her husband.

  75. We know the Ancients left their original galaxy several million years ago. Their last contact with Earth was thousands of years ago.

    There’s plenty of time in-between then, Green Trekkie, for the Ancients to have begun the [i]Destiny[/i] Project.

  76. It seems fairly “convenient” that a planet that just happens to meet the “power requirements” for accessing the ninth chevron “address” sits fairly close to earth

    It wasn’t. The Gate system stretches throughout the entire Milky Way. Furthermore, the Ancients would have been capable of power generation at the level necessary to dial the Destiny even at its great distance – we needed the planet only because we can’t yet build ZPMs.

    It also seems odd that activation of the gate using the ninth chevron from that site resulted in the planet being attacked.

    We do not know that to have been the case. We know only that the two things happened in close temporal proximity.

    Also, why should the gate address only actually work if the address is input “as though the gate were on earth”?

    Possibly the ‘Earth’ symbol actually identifies ‘home’, and refers to the Milky Way in this context rather than any particular planet.

  77. One last thing: the “stick a pipe through” wouldn’t work. Stargates only transfer matter in one direction. The connection could be blocked open only by material coming through on Eli’s side.

    I thought it would have been better to stick a backpack partially through, but Rush’s order makes sense – the safety protocol he was banking on might not have responded to something that wasn’t a human being.

    We know what happens if there are no safety protocols on a Gate when it stops working – it truncates whatever was sticking through it. Not pretty.

  78. So far, this show is suffering from The Eight Deadly Words for me: I don’t care if these people live or die.

    1) Dr. Asshole needs a boot to the head. Often. With a real boot. Needs to be told, point blank, by someone in charge, “The moment I believe you are doing anything other than trying to get us home, I will kill you whether we need you or not, because if you aren’t trying to get us home, you’re another mouth to feed.”

    2) Geek boy needs to get laid.

    3) Cute chick shows no potential for anything interesting other than as relates to #2.

    4) Lt. Incompetence needs to be put on kitchen duty until he’s not incompetent.

    5) Sgt. Psycho needs to be shot in the head and his body rendered down for its nutritional value. Seriously. He needs to die, on camera, during one of his weekly mutinies, as an example to all the other military types. If this doesn’t happen, and anybody lives past the next couple of episodes, the show will simply be too unbelievable to watch.

  79. I watched the third episode last night on Hulu. I liked it.

    I’ve noticed that the longer this thread goes, the more negative the comments get. Generally speaking, though, I’m enjoying the series enough to want to watch more.

  80. Sgt Psycho didn’t mutiny in this episode. The only person he disobeyed was Rush, and Rush has no authority over him (or anyone).

  81. There is another site I frequent that has a very good spoiler system. You tag the text with ((spoiler spoiler goes here)) and this automatically gets translated to

    <span class=”spoiler”>

    and in the css:

    .spoiler {
    color: black;
    background-color: black;

    .spoiler:hover {
    background-color: #FFFFFF;
    color: #333333;

    The upshot for those who aren’t technical is that the text shows black-on-black and thus invisible unless you hover the mouse over it, in which case it shows up as normal text. This makes it trivial to both avoid the spoilers and read them.

    On the topic, I really do like what they are doing with the character of Rush…I like the idea of someone who is generally the “good” guy but still an all around prat. I thought otherwise that the plot of this one was weak but not terrible.

  82. Xopher and Melandwyr, Thanks about the comments on time! More about that later, I spose.

    Aside from that, the main thing I like about Eli is that he looks sensibly frightened going through the event horizon of the gate. First couple of times he takes a big gulp of air before stepping through. When he followed Rush’s insistence, based on a hunch, of sticking his arm through to keep the Destiny from leaving them all behind, that was pretty brave! Who is to say he would not have pulled back a stump with the Ship gone. There was an Atlantis episode where the team discovered a kind of sanctuary created by the Ancients. It is protected by a ZPM for those seeking ascension. They did use the stick with a camera on the end to see what was inside the bubble zone. But when Sheppard put his hand through the portal, granted not a Stargate event horizon, it pulled him through even though Ronan and the rest tried pulling him back to keep him from getting sucked in. It just doesn’t seem to make sense to me that a person could leave an arm halfway into the event horizon of the Stargate as a safety mechanism, unless the Ancients did, as Rush was guessing, designed the threshold of the Stargate to be like those bumpers on elevator doors. But if that was the case, somebody like Carter would have figured that out long before Eli got drafted into the program. So, again, why would Eli have to risk his arm and life based on Rush’s guess? I’m not trying to be antagonistic here. It is just that I’m trying to say that the continuity is not carrying through very well for me from Atlantis, SG-1 and Stargate. I did not -need- to know everything that was ever discovered via the Stagrate program(s) to enjoy a single episode of SG-1 or Atlantis, even though I never really had the luxury of time to watch them all. The pieces that I didn’t get only made me want to watch the re-runs whenever I could until I got a better picture of the story arcs. The serialization is a good thing, imo. But Universe has not connected that well from the perspective of my cheap seat that well so far. Fortunately, MGM has just released the box set of all five seasons of Atlantis. If Mr Scalzi wants to offer that as a prize for writing an essay, then I’m in.

  83. OK, technically, Sgt. Psycho didn’t mutiny in episode 3. He only committed assault with a deadly weapon.

    In any event, bullet to the back of the head, and his corpose rendered down for its nutitional value.

  84. It just doesn’t seem to make sense to me that a person could leave an arm halfway into the event horizon of the Stargate as a safety mechanism, unless the Ancients did, as Rush was guessing, designed the threshold of the Stargate to be like those bumpers on elevator doors. But if that was the case, somebody like Carter would have figured that out long before Eli got drafted into the program.

    It was known that both the Milky Way and Pegasus gates work that way. However, Earth’s gate originally didn’t – they had to bypass most of the safety protocols to get the thing to work without a DHD, which occasionally came back to haunt them.

    Rush was guessing that the Ancients probably had similar protocols functioning with these gates. But he didn’t know that for a fact.

    They’re not doing too badly with continuity as far as I can tell.

  85. I liked what I’ve seen so far. I could do without too much weepy soap opera crap, but that’s just how things go.

    1) Dr. Asshole gets points from me for being pretty open about his attitude. I’d find it far more annoying if he was an ineffectual weasel.

    2) Sgt. Psycho is a bother, mainly because I’m wondering how someone with that much of a shoulder chip managed to get high enough in the military to be on Icarus Base in the first place.

    3) Re: the Arm Guy Protocol, I’m pretty sure it’s been established that an inanimate object in the event horizon just gets sliced off clean on gate shutdown without triggering the safeties.

  86. 76: Has NO ONE given a thought to how the Ancients may have protected the system of gates from intrusion or unauthorized use, from parasitism by other societies?

    To be fair, you’re missing about 3 movies and 14 seasons of backstory, here. :-)

    To recap, the Ancients built several different Stargate systems: An older one in the Milky Way, and a newer, upgraded one in the Pegasus Galaxy. Both systems include a lot of gates, and for the most part, the gates are easy to operate if you have the dialing codes and enough power. You can dial within each of the two systems using a 7-symbol code, and between the two systems using a special, 8-symbol code (and a monstrously big power source, such one of the Ancients’ ZPMs). Extrapolating from this, dialing a 9-digit code is going to (a) take you very far from home, and (b) require an impossibly huge amount of power. So unless you’re really lucky, you’re probably going to get stuck. But once you arrive, you can easily use any short-hop gates that you find.

    For the most part, the gates are safe (as long as the other side isn’t hostile or obstructed). 10,000 years ago, using the gate system was probably no more dangerous than riding the subway. Since then, the system has suffered some damage, and some gates lack a DHD (which means you can’t dial back home), while others open into very dangerous environments.

    Mind you, a lot of other Ancient technology is pretty dangerous. But the gates are pretty well understood, unless you do something really dumb. Which the SG:U team was forced to do in Episode 1…

  87. Finally watched episode 3. Some notes while watching:

    The senator’s wife was a bit melodramatic.

    My god, never split up the group. Seriously. Never split up the group. And if the Lt really simply thought that the problem was Eli slowign them down, he would have sent Eli back to the gate, not make two teams and risk everyone else’s lives.

    Rush to Greer: “I have earned the right not to have to explain myself to people like you.”

    Dude, whatever Greer does to you at this point is justifiable violence.

    Psychologically, why is Rush such a massive prick? Because he worked two jobs on the docks? So what? THere appears to be no reason that a working class kid puts himself through school through brainpower and ends up a complete sociopath. “The likes of you”? Seriously?

    It feels like the writers are focusing on new and improved ways to make the audience hate Rush, but they’ve turned him into a nonsensical, plot-driven (whatever the plot needs, Rush provides), almost comic-book character. Did his father beat him, or what?

    I think a scientist being shot at would get the hint and not run towards the gate. Seriously. Some civilian standing there sees a bullet kick up next to him and he tries to out run it?

    Any kind of would with a high power military rifle is going to be a deadly wound when you’ve got no anesthesia, antibiotics, or surgical tools. Any kind of shot taken from that range (a couple hundred yards) is going to hit “torso”. They could have easily punctured his lung and pierced his heart. They could easily hit an artery and he would bleed out in a couple minutes. Anyone in the military would know this. None of them would have shot the scientist just to keep him from going through the gate.

    Also, Eli: “Why’d you shoot him?”
    Greer: “because Rush told me to.”

    Just a second ago, he’s telling Rush he doesn’t take orders from him.

    They get back to the ship and Rush says “greer shot him”, and the Colonel says nothing? Not even a “What?” No posting of an armed guard to take Greer into custody when Greer comes through? Does everyone have to be a clueless idiot so that Rush can be a complete asshole with no repurcussions?

    Did they lose two people that went through the gate to the other planet?

    final scene shows shuttle taking off. Do shuttles have FTL drives? Who’s flying the damned thing?

    Overall, it seems like the entire show is hinging on whether or not the characters trust Rush. Apparently, surviving on an alien ship and an alien world with limited supplies and only a few days air isnt’ dramatic enough. They’ve got to add soap-opera level “drama” to the show.

    Could someone please use the stones and get Rush a fucking expert psychologist to straighten his stupid ass out and then we can get on with the show?

  88. I think the scene where Rush comes back with the wounded scientist, the Colonel asks “What happened?” and Rush says “Greer shot him” is probably the most contrived mystery of the episode.

    The colonel would have immediately sorted out whether Greer needed to be arrested on his return, whether he needed to put an armed guard on Greer and detain Greer in some way, or not.

    Instead, by cutting the camera away before this conversation could happen, the viewer is left feeling that Rush is “getting away with” bad mouthing Greer, lying about Greer, betraying Greer.

    Meanwhile, off camera, the only realistic action of the commanding officer would be to demand Rush fill him in on the full story, Rush admits he ordered Greer to shoot the scientist, the Colonel chews out Rush for resorting to gunfire, and Rush didn’t “get away” with anything.

    That conversation would happen immediately. Not having that conversation or not showing it contrives a situation where the viewer thinks Rush is getting away with something he couldn’t possibly get away with.

    A completely contrived bit of story telling to keep the audience distrustful of Rush.

  89. I had assumed that he was intending to claim that Greer just shot him without being ordered to.

    It also bothered me that it never establishes whether Rush really WAS temporarily put in charge by someone at Stargate Command, or whether it was all BS.

  90. Greg, if you don’t like this show, why do you continue to watch it? Do you feel a deep need to persuade the rest of us (those who like it) not to like it, either?

    ISTM you’re torturing yourself to no good purpose, and doing a kind of “someone is wrong on the internet” to boot.

  91. 3) Re: the Arm Guy Protocol, I’m pretty sure it’s been established that an inanimate object in the event horizon just gets sliced off clean on gate shutdown without triggering the safeties.

    Ah, but the gate will not shut down if something’s sticking through it. I don’t believe it’s ever been established that the object must be living.

    Notable exceptions: 1) The 33-minute limit on stable wormholes is reached. 2) The safety protocols are turned off.

    This is in fact how O’Neill was forced to kill his best friend during the pilot episodes of SG-1 – possessed by a Go’auld, his friend tried to escape through the gate, and O’Neill held him half-in, half-out while shouting for the gate to be shut down. The obvious occurred.

  92. Xopher @ 102: I like it for the most part, but I still agree with every criticism GregLondon has made. It certainly has potential to be much better if they can just cut the crap.

  93. xopher@102: Greg, if you don’t like this show, why do you continue to watch it?

    I don’t watch a lot of TV. I started watching SGU because Scalzi is working on it in some form. I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt for a few episodes because a lot of new series have rough pilots and rough starts as the writers try to find their footing.

    Air, part 3, was better than part 1,2. So I’ll probably watch the next episode. If it keeps getting better, I might put it on the DVR. If the thing with Rush keeps going, I’ll probably pass on it.

    Do you feel a deep need to persuade the rest of us (those who like it) not to like it, either?

    Well, I think it’s slightly unfair to say that of everyone on thread (and the pilot episode thread) that everyone liked it, except for me.

    And part of it is that I’m having various gut-level reactions to things on the show and I’m trying to figure them out on a more cognitive level what it is that is and isn’t working for me.

  94. Anyone in the military would know this. None of them would have shot the scientist just to keep him from going through the gate.

    Unless he had the only device capable of dialing the Stargate, which means that everyone he would have left behind on DesertWorld would have been trapped there. Oh, and incidentally, everyone on the ship would have died.

    Sure, the ship could have sent another dialing device the next time they contacted the planet – assuming that they did so.

    This was why Eli mentioned that shooting the scientist also stranded the other two scientists – there’s no DHD on the jungle planet, no way for them to dial the ship.

    GregLondon, has it occurred to you that you’re finding all of these ‘faults’ because you’re not paying enough attention to what’s going on?

  95. I thought the “sentient dust devil” was pure hallucination? The onset of heat exhaustion?

    It would be kind of cool if instead the audience being the only ones curious about Destiny’s AI the crew themselves had a running debate. If you were on an autonomous gate-seeding ship surely you’d speculate on just how close the ship AI is to being “alive”.

    Dr. Rush isn’t nearly gifted enough to be acting like a primadonna. Rodney was that good, but Rush is no Rodney. They need to start sending real experts like Rodney, Carter, and Jackson through the s-comm to get a handle on the situation, give accurate status reports, and train the other scientists on board.
    NASA grabbed all the top-flight people off their projects to rescue Apollo 13. Surely SGC would do the same for these guys, even to the point of establishing a “crisis room” where top experts do nothing all day but wargame Destiny scenarios. This is why at some point the s-comm is headed on a one-way trip through the rock crusher … Dr. Rush’s personality problems as a suspense-generating device are undone if Rodney pops in every day or two with a helpful status update. And if we never see Rodney, what, O’Neill doesn’t care his people are dying and need help?

    “… somebody like Carter would have figured that out long before Eli got drafted into the program …”
    Who’s to say she didn’t? SGC knows all about how gates work. The question wasn’t about how gates behave but how Destiny behaves.

    “… they had to bypass most of the safety protocols to get the thing to work without a DHD …”
    Those SG1 episodes were cool, when people would come through the gate and see the roomful of by their standards primitive computers driving it and be like, “Wait, you guys hacked the gate system yourselves? With this junk?” And Dr. Carter would be all like, “Oh, it was nothing, really.”

    In a previous thread I asked, “Why don’t more people know Ancient?”
    On further reflection the question seems even more puzzling. Lots of people learned Latin back when it meant gaining access to superior knowledge.
    Millions of people learned an otherwise dead language from a fallen civilization just so they could read about things like the Roman legal system and Aristotle’s imaginative take on the laws of physics. Once our knowledge surpassed that written in Latin (*cough* Copernicus *cough*) the language died out again.
    Imagine how motivated people would be to learn the language that tells you how to build a space ship. (Or find out “To Serve Man” is a cookbook …)
    In the SG world contact with aliens is kept secret, but anyone who knew about it would be learning everything they could as quickly as they could. I mean wouldn’t you? You’d be all over it.

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