And now back to the summer of 2002 and the sixth season of Stargate SG-1. Corin Nemec has joined the cast full-time as Jonas Quinn, who was introduced two episodes previously, one of the villains has a new weapon of mass destruction, Tony Amendola is back as Master Bra’tac, as indeed he often is when things are getting terrible, and David Hewlett makes a second appearance as Dr. Rodney McKay, with some of his rough, mansplaining edges sanded down. And the writers gave the story a title of some randomly-chosen word that has close to nothing to do with the script, as they often do.
So it’s business as usual as the series begins the second half of its life on its new home of the Sci-Fi Channel, but by now the show is a well-oiled and perfectly entertaining machine that builds on old continuity and plot points extremely well. The episode is largely a follow-up to season four’s “Tangent”, which our son loved and which also had a title with next to nothing to do with the story, and this also has lots of action and countdowns in futuristic sci-fi fighter jets. He really liked this story a heck of a lot as well, but he had a suggestion for how to improve the ending. Since the new weapon of mass destruction destroyed the USAF’s Stargate, they have to ask the Russians for theirs. They agree, in exchange for a sizable rental fee, plans for the current and the next generation sci-fi fighter jets, and something else… the kid thinks that the Russians should have demanded that they run the base cafeteria. I don’t know why. I just report it, folks, I don’t write it.
I have always been a little disappointed with last night’s long goodbye to two characters in Doctor Who, but that’s nothing compared to our son’s restless, exhausted, eye-rolling, face-hiding exasperation to this morning’s long goodbye to Daniel in Stargate. The episode begins with him already suffering from radiation poisoning. Michael Shanks gets a couple of flashbacks showing how he’d acted heroically and saved lives on the new planet they’ve visited, but otherwise he deteriorates and, eventually, the character dies, for now anyway. The kid was completely detached from this and didn’t want to bother with it at all.
“Meridian” introduces Corin Nemec as Jonas Quinn, a scientist from the new planet who will take over from Shanks in season six. Nemec spent some time in Atlanta as a teenager, and actually went to school with a couple of my good friends. Nemec got to be on the cover of the SG-1 Blu-ray set instead of Shanks, because the company that put it out used a photo of the season six cast. Doesn’t seem right, but it could’ve been worse, I guess. They could’ve used the cast of season ten instead.
Well, I like Jonas Quinn and I’m looking forward to revisiting the interesting new dynamic that his character brings to the show. The thing I don’t like is that this is where we really go full-bore into the whole business of the Ascended Beings, who were formerly the Ancients of our physical universe. The show has scratched at this before now, notably in the alternate timeline story “Absolute Power” in season four, but from now it’s going to be a major component of most of the ongoing storylines, with Daniel and Anubis and Oma Desala coming and going from physical forms to Ascended to Descended to hanging out in diners reading extraterrestrial newspapers. As I keep saying, the series gets consistently really good every week from about here on, but I’d like it even more without this stuff. (Didn’t Babylon 5 do the “beings of pure energy who left the physical world behind” business five or six years before this, anyway?)