“Space Race” is among the most off-kilter and unusual episodes of the Stargate franchise. It follows up the events of “Forsaken” from the previous season and reintroduces us to the Serrakin, who share a planet with humans and have technology centuries in advance of Earth. And instead of the standard alien invasion / massive technological problem, it’s a lighthearted show about an annual racing event with spaceships.
I think you could make the case that this installment leans a bit too hard on the tropes of auto racing movies, from plucky outsiders whose talk of winning the big race exceeds everybody’s expectations of them to another racer with a big attitude and a loud mouth to the inevitable sabotage the night before the event. And it is a little too much to have the TV commentary done by a couple of vapid knuckleheads acting just like the bozos on our planet. But it’s entertaining if you put your brain in neutral, and there are winks where they’re needed, which probably would have been more obvious on the original broadcast in 2003 than on home media. It’s a little hard to tell because of the way the home editions are edited to appear as though there were never any ad breaks, but each time the vapid knuckleheads close out their commentary to go into an ad, it’s with an extra promotional message for one of the kajillion products from the race’s sponsor. I appreciate the teeth.