This is a very weak and dissappointing start to the new season. I\'m really surprised by all the positive reviews. I know it\'s time for new characters and a new direction, and I\'m ready to see that happen. But this is a bad start.
To begin with, nothing happens in the first 3/4\'s of the episode. I know that they need to introduce characters and cover the changes taking place, but that can be done in the midst of a more exciting plot. Or, let\'s just say in the midst of any plot. There is some action in the flashbacks but it just isn\'t engaging. A new season should start with excitement, not a whimper.
Then, when something does finally happen, I was wishing that it hadn\'t. A buried treasure in King Arthur\'s court? An actual sword in the stone and trap doors with puzzle tests? That works for a 2am Sci-Fi popcorn movie, but Stargate should never stoop to such levels of cheese. It was embarassing. I was expecting the announcer from the 1960\'s Batman TV show to come on at the end and announce the cliffhanger.
I am a huge fan of Farscape, but I was skeptical to hear about Ben Browder coming over. To do another sci-fi show, he really needed to differentiate his character from John Crichton. However, this guy basically is Crichton. Or perhaps it\'s better to say that he is Ben Browder, just being Ben Browder on the screen again. And since I feel like I\'m watching Browder and not a new character, it really makes it difficult to buy into him and become emotionally involved in the show. (Yes, he\'s less crazy than Crichton, but a well-behaved Crichton is still not so original.)
And as for Claudia Black, her character is just too silly, too Xenia-the-warrior-princess for my tastes. I could accept this for the one-off episode last season, because Stargate has a great tradition of doing a couple of comical episodes each season. But to put her in the middle of an episode which is supposed to be important for setting the tone of the upcoming season was a bad call. And as for those bracelets which connected her to Daniel: wasn\'t it enough to steal two actors from Farscape without stealing this idea too?
Ben and Claudia are obviously trying to infuse some humor and energy into the show, but the great majority of it just falls flat.
If you\'ll look back at the first episodes of previous seasons, each one without exception is exciting. It\'s grand in scale, it\'s adventurous, and it involves some major bad guys and a shift of power in the galaxy. It\'s possible they could break that formula and still succeed, if they had some seriously strong character-based story to put forward, but that\'s just not happening here. Who is compelling here, aside from Daniel? Jack and Sam are barely present, Teal\'c is nodding it in, and the new guys are just barely beginning to show signs of personality. I tell you, we need spaceships and an alien threat, not Crichton-2 pining over how he can\'t get the band back together.
Well, most seasons do have a couple of clunker episodes. Here\'s hoping we\'re just getting it out of the way early.