Occasionally on Friday evenings, we’ll watch an episode of the Saturday morning cartoon version of The Tick, and tonight, we saw this episode. I told y’all that little Roswell grey aliens were all over pop culture in the nineties.
And so, amused, I shuffled the rotation so we could see the Stargate take on the trope. Ever since the Asgardians were introduced, they’ve been explaining that they cannot devote the resources to eradicate the Goa’uld, because in their home galaxy, they’ve got a far greater enemy taking up their time. These are, of course, the Replicators, which at this phase in the series are still in their most entertaining incarnation: silent, remorseless, Erector set “techno-bugs.” They just consume, seeking new tech and energy, and create new bugs. Blow them apart into their hundreds of component Lego bricks and they just reassemble. Thor explains to our heroes that they brought the bugs onto one of their ships before they realized the danger. “We do that all the time,” Jack replies, “kind of expected more of you guys.”
“Nemesis” was the point where an uneven-but-improving show made me sit up and pay attention. This is an incredibly interesting threat and a delightful challenge. In time, of course, the law of diminishing returns will set in. The Replicators who can have conversations are nowhere as fun as the ones who silently back our heroes into corners where they have to out-think them. They’re not a sci-fi baddie, with all the attendant moral debates, in this form; they’re an earthquake. I enjoy the heck out of these episodes, and while there are some disappointments and silliness down the line, they never made a Replicator episode that I wish I could just remove from the narrative. Try saying that about Doctor Who’s Weeping Angels. (“What happened to Amy and Rory, Dad?” “Uhhhh… they never said. Darnedest thing….”)
We did have that chat I mentioned last time about our son’s increased need for conversation in the middle of a show. He did tune it down a lot, although he certainly found a lot to enjoy with whoops and laughs, which is always welcome. We did tell him up front that it was a two-parter, although this one, unlike SG-1‘s previous two season-ending cliffhangers, is really divided into two separate escapades set several days apart. The cliffhanging image? One of the Replicators survived the destruction of all the others. And one is as much a threat as a thousand…