One of the odd things about isolating during this virus is that we’re watching so much stuff on the weekends, because we’ve nowhere else to go, that it seems like a long time since I wrote about Stargate. It’s only been five days. But relativity, as this episode reminds us, is a strange, headache-inducing thing. We all enjoyed this episode because, even for a (mostly) in-the-base cheap one, it’s incredibly imaginative and plays with big, fun physics concepts. The Stargate’s wormhole lands on a planet that’s being torn apart by the gravity of a black hole. The resulting bubble of time dilation causes the wormhole to become locked, with the effects of relative time spreading.
I first saw the concept of gravity screwing with the perception of time in Alan Moore and Ian Gibson’s Ballad of Halo Jones in 2000 AD, and I think the writers might have as well. There’s an identical moment in each story as people realize that what appears to be a still photo from the other side of the equation is actually a live image of people that are moving but appear to be frozen. As the dilation spreads from the gate room to the mountain’s entrance, a trip that feels like twenty minutes to the man who makes it actually takes twenty-two hours. It’s very wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey and very fun, easily one of the highlights of the show’s first two years.