I never felt the need to get into the Stargate franchise. Some 14 years ago, I watched the movie with Kurt Russell and James Spader, and I forgot most of it, but I remembered enough to know that I didn’t want to go back.
However, a few weeks, one of my geeky pursuits decided to cover various Stargate storylines, and in a spirit of community, I checked it out (if you’re interested, the entire series is available on Hulu).
So far, I’ve seen two episodes that I thought were good, but they didn’t convince me to obsessively watch the rest of the show, but because one podcast was devoted exclusively to “Stargate: Continuum,” I gave the show another look.
In this outing, Cameron Mitchell (Ben Browder), Sam Carter (Amanda Tapping) and Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks), meet up with the gang across the galaxy to witness Ba’al’s (Cliff Simon) execution. Before he dies, he warns the team that he’s not the last of his kind (I think he’s a clone, but I could be mistaken) and that he’s got a “Plan B” should anything happen to him.
“Plan B” involves sending a time machine back to 1939 to make sure the Stargate program never begins on Earth; this move winks some people out of existence, and changes the fates of all of them, but not before Mitchell, Carter and Jackson hop into a Stargate and end up in the newly created alternative timeline.
It’s “Back to the Future: Part Two” meets “Star Trek,” and damn if it’s not fun. Watching it, you can see just how well the cast works together; the characters trust each other and they rely on each other and generally know what to do.
I also really liked that the show explored the other side of resetting the timeline; yes, *we* know it’s not supposed to be like this, but the people who have lived in that alternate world for 70 years never knew the difference. Their world is how *they* know it, and the special three, the movie opins, have no business coming in and changing that just because it’s not exactly their world (Biff’s perspective, no doubt).
Of course, things don’t stay rosy in this new world for long, and I thought the end made sense, but it did wrap up a bit quickly for my taste.
From a newbie’s perspective, I thought the plot was approachable enough for an outsider, and I’m sure it offered a lot of inside-baseball moments for longtime fans. Sure, I missed a lot of the nuance, specifically with Ba’al, Vala (Claudia Black) and Teal’c (Christopher Judge) and whatever their history is, but nothing was so complicated that I couldn’t follow along.
If you’re a fan of the show, you’ve probably already watched “Stargate: Continuum,” but if you’re holding out, I say go ahead and you’ll probably enjoy it. For other newbies out there, this likely isn’t the place to start, but it wouldn’t hurt you if you did.