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Stepping Through The Stargate: Science, Archaeology And The Military In Stargate Sg1 (Smart Pop series) Paperback – 30 Sep 2004
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The questions: What mind-set is at the heart of the television series 'Stargate'?; and, What really goes into the creation of each episode? are examined in this anthology. Featuring essays from such noted contributors as archaeologist Sue Linder-Linsley, astronomer Sten Odenwald, parasitologist Francine M Terry, philosopher Daniel Dennett, and science fiction author Melanie A Fletcher, this collection delves into every aspect of the series with the same humour and intellectual curiosity of the show itself. Commentary from the show's special effects head, James Tichenor, and actor Tom McBeath is also featured.
About the Author
P N Elrod is the author of 20 novels, and lives in Fort Worth, Texas. Roxanne Conrad has written 12 books and lives in Arlington, Texas.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
If you like these type of books and like SG-1, you'll enjoy this. If you never read a book of essays on popular TV, try this one out. It's a nice friendly introduction to the genre.
Another aspect of the book was the inaccurate comment about Jack's sarcasm and humor being a result of Richard Dean Anderson's inability to remember his lines- well again its another show that the authors of this book did little research if any. The sarcasm and humor was a result of Rick However not in that way. He insisted that he be able to bring the humor and such into the character. Just watch that special features disk, it explains all of that.
I regret wasting my money on this book.
It starts with a faux research report that dissects the Jaffa Staff Weapon for analysis as a practical military weapon. Kinda cute.
Next is a compare/contrast essay between Star Trek and Stargate SG-1; the main conclusion is that Star Trek is in love with itself while Stargate tries hard to escape the formulaic trap of standard sci-fi.
The next essay explains the physics that are involved in the theories of wormholes and ends with "physics, as we currently know it, greatly limits the possibilities of wormhole travel."
The next essay analyses the dialogue of SG-1 (technobabble, humor, and character development) and includes a bit of gossip that "a number of Jack's comebacks can also be attributed to the fact that Richard Dean Anderson can't remember his lines and has to ad-lib half of the time."
Next is a detailed nit-pick about Dr. Daniel Jackson as the ultimate omniscient linguist, anthropologist, and archaeologist.
Following this is an essay that characterizes the SG-1 team members based on thier portrayal of different types of intelligence. There's the "Egghead" Samantha Carter (reason, logic, book knowledge), the "Empath" Daniel Jackson (intuition, understanding the thoughts/emotions/motivations of others), the "Practical Philosopher" Teal'c (practical problem solving), and the "Knight" Jack O'Neill (determining /why/ a goal should be accomplished).
Next is a medical doctor who tries to puzzle out the realities of how any intelligent species could invade a human and actually take control of the human's mind and body. In my opinion this was one of the more dull essays and one of the most damaging to those of us who LIKE to suspend our disbelief in order to enjoy a show.
Next is a history of time travel in science fiction along with the physics of wormholes and time travel... have to admit that this one was so dense that I skimmed most of it.
The next essay is almost snarky as it explains the science fiction tendency to declare one character as absolutely essential to the solution of ...that no one else in the entire galaxy could possibly be useful. The comparison is applied both to Daniel and to Jack.
Next is a humorous analysis of the dating potential of various Stargate characters because "everyone knows that Stargate is all about sex."
Then there's a chapter that is a bizarre philisophical mind experiment like those I remember from Philosophy 101 in college. The author spends 15 pages showing us how to work out where the "Self" of a person resides...is it in the physical brain or in the soul (and where does the soul reside exactly)? Not really sure how this relates to Stargate at all... it is forced into the book by plopping a quote at the front of the chapter which is from the episode where Sg-1 has been cloned into robot bodies.
Moving on, next we get an analysis of the pop culture references sprinkled throughout the episodes, then an in-depth look at the astronomy and astrophysics of various plot devices (black holes, blowing up suns, solar flares, and alternate universes). Next is a silly little commentary on the costume fashions of the various planets, alien races, and even civilian clothing that we've seen on SG-1 characters.
The next essay analysis the SG-1 team to place them in Jungian myth archetyepes: Teal'c is the "Warrior" archetype, Samantha is the "Scientist", Daniel is the "Hero", and Jack is the "Pragmatist".
Next is a detailed nit-pick of the planet Cimmeria (where Thor's Hammer was found); then a few diary entries from James Tichenor (visual effects director) mostly saying how incredibly busy they are year-round. Then there's an analysis fo the villains in Stargate: the Jaffa, the Goa'uld, the Replicators, the Aschen, the Re'tu, the Tok'Ra, the NID, etc. Then a rather boring essay about how continuity of storyline is important when creating licensed comic books based on the Sg-1 world. Next is a nit-pick analysis of how strange it is that humans could become "the fifth race", and why would we even want to (considering that the Nox and the Asgaard have so many quirks). Then there's a neat little history of women in the Air Force (especially the duty stations near Cheyenne Mountain) and then a "letter" from the actor who plays Col. Harry Maybourne. Basically, this letter says the actor feels that fan clubs are kinda crazy and that Stargate is not the center of his universe. You actually learn a lot more about two anonymous gals who interviewed him than you do about him and his experiences on Stargate... it left me with the feeling that he really didnt have anything good to say so he said nothing!