Thursday, January 3, 2008

Deadman Switch

Every once in a while you have to stop to appreciate and admire the singular greatness of one episode of your favorite television. Stargate SG-1 certainly had its fair share of brilliant moments as well as a solid handful of duds to boot.

I was reading Jo Storm's Approaching The Possible when she reviewed Deadman Switch from Season 3 of Stargate SG-1 as being one of her favorite "humor"-based episodes of the "genre". I couldn't agree more. Storm is certainly unafraid of critiquing the show or showering it with praise where it applies. I found myself in disagreement over a number of episodes she disliked and others she loved. Storm loved Urgo. I did not. Not a big fan of the Dom Deluise schtick as much as I LOVE his son Peter Deluise' contributions to the success of SG-1. Hathor was one I enjoyed a great deal. Storm hated it. Perhaps it's a male hormone thing, but I really dig chicks with red wigs and lipstick.

Again, with Deadman Switch we agree. Despite its apparent lacking of hot chicks, it's a fantastic science-fiction episode. It's also the quintessential hostage-taking episode within the SG-1 series. It has all of the best elements of sci-fi, but most of all it's the dialogue in this puppy. The whole thing has chemistry. I think alot of that is owed to the laser-sharp writing/directing team of Robert Cooper and Martin Wood who helm this gem.

Sam Jones [a la Flash Gordon "flash a-ahhhhhh savior of the universe" fame] guest stars and he's simply brilliant as an aged bounty hunter for hire. Showing his battle scars benefits the character as a kind of war-hardened, gun-for-hire type just looking for the next big job to survive. His next big hit is capturing SG-1 for the Goa'uld.

Richard Dean Anderson [the comedian] and Michael Shanks [the straight man] are pitch perfect and really highlight the team chemistry and humor throughout the proceedings.

It ranks as one of the best for me in Season 3 next to Pretense and Nemesis [the season finale that introduced the Replicator legacy, not surprisingly also by Cooper and Wood]. Deadman Switch is rewatchable time and again.

Deadman Switch: A -

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