[Contains a fish-free lake and SPOILERS!!!]
Season seven of Stargate: SG-1 ended with the President assigning a civilian commander to oversee the program… but it wasn’t long before she was shuffled over to a spin-off series, so that Jack could be promoted to “Brigadier General”, and play at being King of the Galaxy for the eighth season. Boo! Weirdly, the actress playing ‘Dr. Elizabeth Weir’ was also replaced, with Jessica Steen being dropped in favour of Torri Higginson, who went on to play the role for several years in Stargate: Atlantis. This opening two-parter (ep #8.1/2, “New Order”) also introduced ‘Amaterasu’, a gorgeous new Goa’uld played by Kira Clavell, who sauntered down to Earth as part of a truce-seeking delegation, before gliding back through the gate, never to be seen or heard from again. Double boo!! In ep #8.3 (“Lockdown”), we met Dr. Fraiser’s soft-spoken replacement ‘Dr. Brightman’, played by Alisen Down… who is herself replaced by a male doctor later in the season, before returning to the role for three episodes of Stargate: Universe! Whu!? Speaking of which, Leanne Adachi appeared in ep #8.5 (“Icon”) as a short-lived, trouble-making ‘Rebel Aide’, and was later cast in SG:U as ‘Cpl. Barnes’, a relatively minor military-type who recurred in ten eps.
Smallville’s Erica Durance appeared in 8.07 (“Affinity”) as a distractingly busty neighbour who befriends Teal’c when he’s finally permitted to leave the base and live among civilians. Sadly, she’s also a victim of domestic abuse, who ends up killing her possessive boyfriend using the martial arts he teaches her… and only the rogue-NID-agents who’ve been spying on Teal’c for their own nefarious purposes can prove that it was self-defence! Crikey. One of these baddies, ‘Brooks’, was played by Benita Ha… who returned in #8.10 (“Endgame”). I assumed that ep #8.12 (“Prometheus Unbound”) was going to crossover with SG:A, as the eponymous vessel sets off on a mission to contact the missing Atlantis expedition… but along the way they picked up a super-sexy space-pirate played by Claudia Black (yay!), and it quickly became an unofficial Farscape crossover instead! They even went to the trouble of introducing her character, ‘Vala Mal Doran’, in the same way that ‘Aeryn Sun’ was introduced on that show: i.e., removing an imposing armoured helmet to reveal her pretty-lady face, before she subdues and straddles her stunned male opponent! They make fine use of Black’s experience here, giving her some incredibly physical scenes to play with Michael Shanks (Daniel), where she seems to be simultaneously trying to hump him and kill him! Bless. The character was such a hit that she was brought back as a regular for the final two seasons… and all I can say to that is “Frell, yeah!”
Françoise Robertson appeared in ep #8.14 (“Full Alert”) as ‘Captain Daria Voronkova’, Daniel’s super-cute and assertive liaison with the Russian Air Force. Despite a little friendly flirtation when they first meet, Daniel chooses to leave her behind when he beams out of prison with a symbiote-infested American politico, leaving her to face whatever fate her own symbiote-infected superiors have in store for her. Harsh… and so very unchivalrous! I was hoping she might defect with him and become a permanent member of the SGC team… but, niet. Deborah Theaker appeared in ep #8.15 (“Citizen Joe”), as ‘Charlene Spencer’, the increasingly exasperated wife of a small-town barber (played by Dan Castellaneta) who acquires a shiny alien stone at a garage sale, which allows him to “see” the space-faring adventures of SG-1, as if he were watching them on TV! Apparently this was the rather innocuous origin of the “communication stones” which play such a crucial role in SG:U… though I have to admit I didn’t make that connection until it was blindingly obvious, and spelled out for me in the expository wrap-up. Fun fact: On the Australian and European releases of this boxset (like the one I watched), this episode comes at #18 in the running order, rather than #15, which results in several needless continuity errors. D’oh! Wackily enough, the main snafu involves Jack’s affair with comely CIA investigator ‘Kerry Johnson’, played by Clare Carey, in the actual 18th episode (“Threads”)… which also features a cameo by the set used for “Der Waffle Haus” in Dead Like Me, when Daniel dies (again!) and finds himself trapped in limbo. Sadly, Mandy Patinkin does not pop in to call him “Peanut”, or share any paternal wisdom.