Stargate Atlantis 1.4 – Thirty Eight Minutes

Atlantis hasn’t been around long enough to figure out what its own formula is and they already pull a one-time-only trick out of their bag: a real-time episode, the sort of thing Doctor Who would do a few years later, with a few extra minutes, in Chris Chibnall’s “42”. It’s a great premise: one of their puddle-jumper ships gets stuck on the outside of a Stargate in space. The jumper is halfway inside the event horizon, with its rear compartment ready to get sliced in half when the Gate reaches its thirty-eight minute window. Oh, and Sheppard has a whacking great indestructible bug giving him a hickey and leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. No pressure.

Our son wasn’t as pleased with this one as he was the previous adventures. He said that he didn’t like having so much of the story built around the problem of the bug. It’s clearly a less expensive episode with minimal sets and speaking parts and maybe one day’s location filming for the flashback scenes of how they got into this mess. On the other hand, the kid was pretty pleased with the location itself. See, as regular readers have seen me lament over the past week, the boy can’t remember any actor’s face. But they show up at a great big crater where a Wraith base-ship used to be parked and I smiled and said “Pretty sure we’ve seen this place before.” He said “Yeah, I think that’s where the Alpha Site was destroyed,” in an episode of SG-1 that we saw last month. I’m not able to confirm that, but, like Who, most alien planets do end up looking a lot like quarries.

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