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Just some brief thoughts on TV I've been watching recently...… - John C. Kirk

Feb. 22nd, 2006

01:20 am

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Just some brief thoughts on TV I've been watching recently...

Tonight's SG-1 episode on Sky One ("The Scourge") was pretty good. In one scene, the bugs that are being studied break out of the containment unit, and start to surge across the floor, heading towards the startled scientists who are standing in the doorway. My basic reaction at this point (doing my usual "talking to the TV" routine) was to say "Get out, close the door, now! Don't just stand there faffing." And they did - they got out, and slammed the emergency button (conveniently located next to the door), which closed the door. More than that, it activated the biohazard protocols, which meant that flaps opened up at the bottom of the walls and sucked all the bugs away. When I saw that, I thought "Wow! That's ... remarkably intelligent." It shows impressive foresight, and the ability to learn from past mistakes. So, all in all, that's a well designed facility.

By contrast, the most recent episode of Enterprise on C4 ("Demons") suffered from the general problem of the series, where they feel the need to shoehorn the core cast into inappropriate roles that should be delegated instead. That's been going on since season 1, where Trip went splelunking on a rescue mission, even though he had zero experience. The guy is your chief engineer - if he falls down the hole, the whole mission is in big trouble! If I was the captain, I'd send a red-shirt instead, since:
a) They are presumably going to be better trained in physical skills like this.
b) If they die, it's very sad, but bluntly they're less important.

In the most recent episode, Trip and T'Pol went undercover to infiltrate "Terra Prime" (the global equivalent of the BNP), since that organisation had their daughter, even though T'Pol had never been pregnant. Reasons why this is stupid:
a) Sending a Vulcan (or any other alien) to infiltrate a "humans only" club is the equivalent of sending a black guy to infiltrate the KKK. (Barring some kind of cosmetic surgery, which they didn't do in this case.) Send a human instead!
b) Sending the command crew of Enterprise, who'd appeared in a global TV broadcast the previous day (and presumably many more times in the last few years) means that they're likely to be recognised. Send some lesser known crewmen instead, e.g. MACOs!
c) Sending in the parents means that you've picked out the two people who you know for a fact the organisation has detailed DNA records of. Again, send someone else!

Shockingly, this cunning ruse didn't work. Bah.

Anyway, coming back to tonight's SG-1 episode, one comment that did come up was when Wolsey suggested that they could take a jeep instead of walking. That's something I've been thinking about recently - it's very rare to see any kind of wheeled vehicle in SG-1/Atlantis, and when we do it's normally quite primitive, e.g. a horse and cart. That seems odd, since there's certainly enough room to drive a jeep through a stargate, and it looks as if there's enough space to store one in the back of a puddle-jumper (or if not a jeep, certainly a motorbike or two). The best explanation I can think of is that most stargates are at the top of steps (rather than ramps), but if their bot can get through ok then that doesn't seem like a huge obstacle. For that matter, you could presumably send your foot patrol through with a couple of long planks, then send the jeep through after them. Oh well, just a minor quirk.

Anyway, it's possible that watching an episode about flesh eating bugs isn't the best idea just before bedtime. Still, sweet dreams all :)

Comments:

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From:rjw1
Date:February 22nd, 2006 10:21 am (UTC)
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a jeep shouldnt have a problem with the steps. perhaps atlantis just never got any. since they would porobaly be bugger to get down to the gate room at cheyeene mountain. they wold have to poen up the missile silo doors again. so probabaly not worth the effort :)
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[User Picture]
From:johnckirk
Date:February 23rd, 2006 11:47 am (UTC)
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I suppose you could beam them into orbit, then back down into the gateroom, but that's a bit silly...

Thinking about it, I do now remember that Stargate Infinity involved a jeep. However, since most people have probably tried to block that series from their minds, I guess that may be a justifiable reason not to do anything similar in the main series :)
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From:karne_k
Date:February 22nd, 2006 12:31 pm (UTC)
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Personally I liked the half-life approach to biocontainment, which involved building the lab inside a giant high power microwave...

Question though: when the meatloaf triggered a huge bug surge, where did the biomass come from? ]:=8)
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From:sulkyblue
Date:February 22nd, 2006 12:50 pm (UTC)
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We watched The Scourge last night too. I was likewise amused at my surprise when they did the bio-containment things right. Later in the episode I had a momentary hope that the blatant red-shirt might actually get character and make it out as well. It was only a brief moment though ;0)

I agree completely with the limitations of Enterprise (and most shows to be honest) whereby they've got to use their main characters in unlikely situations. Maybe there's potential there for a show where you never actually see the commanding officers, your primary characters are actually Engineer #4, Security Team #17 and Night Duty Medic or something. Enterprise however got particularly bad at just never even trying to explain away gaping plot holes.
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