Outstanding episodes in mediocre TV shows: 1 – Stargate SG1

I’ve spent my whole evening re-uploading my game mods here following the loss of hosting from two major sites. I therefore didn’t have much time to prepare tonight’s post, which is a shame because I had a cracking idea.

It’s happened quite a few times where I’ve been channel surfing and encountered a TV show of which I’ve already seen a few episodes and established that the programme is not usually much good – but on this occasion where I’m just too damn lazy to change the channel, the episode has been spine-tinglingly brilliant.

“A Matter of Time” from season 2 of Stargate SG1 is one such episode. When I saw it some years ago, I just remember my mind being completely blown – first by its impressive-on-a-low-budget special effects, and then by the mind-melting concept of what it would be like to experience that situation. 

Gateworld.net sums it up:

After gating to a world on the edge of a black hole, the S.G.C. cannot disengage the Stargate. All of Earth becomes endangered by the time-distorting gravity field.

SG-10, a new field unit commanded by Major Henry Boyd and on its first mission, is in trouble. The three men and one woman rush, seemingly in slow motion, toward the Stargate on another world, and begin dialing home to Earth. The wormhole is established, but the signal from the team’s G.D.O. comes in many times slower than normal. Captain Carter and Lieutenant Simmons speed up the signal with the computer, and recognize it as SG-10’s iris code. The iris opens, but no team comes through. A probe is sent to the planet, where the truth is learned: the planet is orbiting a newly-formed black hole. The intense gravity has caused time to slow on the planet; though the wormhole was open for several minutes on Earth, SG-10 perceived it to be open for only a fraction of a second.

SG-10 cannot be rescued, and General Hammond orders the gate shut down. But the sequence fails: the gravity of the black hole is holding the other end of the wormhole. All of Earth is in danger as the intense gravity field slowly begins to expand away from the Stargate like a bubble.

Time has already begun passing slower within the S.G.C. After the facility is out of contact with the surface for some four hours (only minutes to S.G.C. personnel), an Air Force special ops unit is sent in to investigate.

The way that time was portrayed in the episode was absolutely fascinating. It was very psychedelic, and an episode I’m keen to see again. Netflix and Amazon viewers in the US can pick it up that way, but we in the UK will obviously have to wait. We’re living at different speeds, as usual.

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