SG-1: Salacious Gawping

Vaitiare Bandera as ‘Sha're’ in “Stargate SG-1” (S1)Having polished off two seasons of Stargate: Universe, I decided to jump back through a wormhole to the 1990s and work my way through the series that started it all, Stargate: SG-1 (after first checking out the original movie, which I’d never seen before. My capsule review: Meh). Picking up the season one boxset, I was intrigued to note that the first disc was rated “18”, while all the other discs ranged from “12” to “PG”… an aberration which seems to stem from a single scene in the two-part pilot, in which Daniel’s wife ‘Sha’re’ (Vaitiare Bandera) is stripped of her clothes, and inspected by a leering bad-guy, before being laid on a table and invaded by a parasitic alien creature. There was a similar scene earlier in the episode, where another potential hostess was stripped and inspected, but in that case the shots were tastefully cropped so that no nudey nips were visible… whereas Sha’re’s stripping scene boasted full-frontal nudity, and several subsequent topless shots, for no good reason (besides the fact that Bandera is a babe, and men like looking at boobs, I mean). Considering how bloodless and family-friendly everything else in the show is, this porny scene sticks out like an adolescent erection, so I’m not surprised that it was removed from a later, less prurient release.

Amanda Tapping as ‘Cpt. Samantha Carter’ in “Stargate SG-1” (S1)For extra infamy points, the disc ends with an episode (#1.4, “Emancipation”) that the Stargate Wiki claims is “generally considered by critics as one of the worst of the series”, and “rarely if ever re-run in syndication.” In this case, it isn’t one isolated scene that damns the episode, but the entire story concept: After arriving on a planet inhabited by extremely chauvinistic Mongol-style warriors, spunky astrophysicist Samantha (Amanda Tapping) is kidnapped and forced into a fight to the death, to avoid becoming a tribal leader’s wife. By a bizarre coincidence, the writer of this episode, Katharyn Powers, also wrote ep #1.4 of Star Trek: The Next Generation (“Code of Honor”), in which another white chick with short blonde hair (spunky security officer ‘Tasha Yar’) is abducted by an African-style tribal leader, and forced into a fight to the death to avoid becoming his wife. Unsurprisingly, that episode is also considered to be the nadir of the series… in fact actor/director Jonathan Frakes has even referred to it as a “racist piece of shit” in interviews. Oops!

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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