Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Tangent"

There is a firmly established pattern for Stargate SG-1 plotting--take the premise from a popular film, then add enough stargate elements to call it an homage. “Tangent’ is Speed in Space. Without Sandra Bullock, but still entertaining.

The Air Force has adapted death glider technology to create a hybrid Goa’uld-fighter jet capable of taking on Goa’uld invaders. Jack and Teal’c are testing out the ship when a device installed by Apophis takes control and sends them on a slow ride to Chulak. With Chula a centuries long journey and only 24 hours worth of oxygen, the two are doomed. An attempt to slingshot the ship around Jupiter to head back in the general direction of earth fails, but the effort to get Jacob/Selmak there is time to rescue them succeeds, although Jack and Teal’c must endure the vacuum of space for the transporter rings to grab them.

Oh, dear…the scientific inaccuracies! Teal’c says the ship is flying at 1 million mph, but it reaches Jupiter in a matter of hours. Even at that speed, it should have taken at least two weeks. When Jacob/Selmak arrives, Jack has to awaken Teal’c from oxygen deprived sleep. He does so by flinging a pencil at the back of his helmet. The pencil hits hard enough to bounce off. In the zero gravity of space, this would be impossible. Jack and Teal’c eject from the cockpit out into space briefly without space suits before the transporter rings grab them. It is possible to survive the very brief time the two were exposed, but they kept their eyes open in the vacuum of space, which is not advisable. Odd that Sam gave them full instructions on how to survive the environment, but failed to mention that little tidbit. I hasten to mention there is no sound in space, but explosions are heard on science fiction series so much, it is not worth mentioning.

Just about every television show does a variation on the concept of main characters trapped and unable to save themselves while awaiting an inevitable disaster. It happens so much, the audience can only judge the execution of the old plot. “Tangent” executes the story quite well. It is certainly not particularly creative. It is not particularly accurate, either, but it is fun to watch. Interesting the story can create the tension it manages when you know Jack and teal’c will make it in the end regardless.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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