Picks and Pans Review: Stargate Sg-1
The 1994 movie Stargate took in $200 million worldwide at the box office. This new series based on the film has a two-season commitment from Showtime. Devotees will probably be holding conventions any day now. At the risk of seeming out of touch with the science-fiction community, we say: Huh? The two-hour premiere is sort of fun, but the plot is nutty even by sci-fi standards. Why do the aliens from the planet Chulak have serpents popping out of their stomachs? Was it something they ate?
Still, it's likely that fans of the big-screen epic will be satisfied with the TV version. Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver) is a worthy, more humorous successor to Kurt Russell as Air Force Col. Jack O'Neill, a man-of-action type called out of retirement to lead a return mission to the planet Abydos via an ancient portal that allows instant interplanetary travel. On Abydos, which is under attack by those reptilian Chulakians, O'Neill rejoins Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks), an archaeology wonk with boyish good looks who stayed behind after the first expedition. On their weekly adventures (Fridays at 10 p.m., starting Aug. 1), Jack and Daniel will team with an astrophysicist, Capt. Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping), who goes by the name of Sam so males with sexist assumptions will be stunned when they meet her. It's a trick as old as the universe, but guys never seem to catch on.