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Stargate SG-1 Watchathon – ‘The Torment of Tantalus’

Description: Daniel discovers that in 1945 a young professor named Ernest Littlefield, slipped through the Stargate, never to return. Using computer-enhanced pictures as a guide, the SG-1 team joined by his still-living fiancee, goes in search of Littlefield.

Now this is what I’m talking about. When I first saw the description for this episode I was immediately intrigued and the opening where Daniel is watching the team from the 1940’s manually operate the gate hooked me. Add in some good characterization and a lot of tantalizing hints at the mythology of the show and you have one of, if not the, best episode of this season.

Some niggling little things make this one not quite perfect: Of course Ernest is still alive with no visible means of support, of course the place is falling apart and of course SG-1 shows up just as a massive storm is about to destroy the building, thus removing all that knowledge from their grasp. And when you think about, the Stargate project just seems rather, err, unsuccessful and gathering anything of use to humanity. Now viruses and alien organisms are another story…

Still, this is a very story and sets the stage well for later episodes. And +1 for a naked old guy.

Best Lines:

[Jack and Daniel discussing the Pentagon’s archival success]

O’Neill – “Whole boxes of material could be missing.”

Jackson – “No, the Pentagon said this was everything.”

O’Neill – “Oh please. The Pentagon’s lost entire countries.”

[During the briefing on the planet Ernest traveled too in 1945]

Teal’c – “We may find technologies to use against them (Goa’uld).”

Catherine – “You speak?”

Teal’c – “When it is appropriate.”

About JP Frantz (2322 Articles)
Has nothing interesting to say so in the interest of time, will get on with not saying it.

4 Comments on Stargate SG-1 Watchathon – ‘The Torment of Tantalus’

  1. It’s funny how much Daniel annoys me in this episode. He gets so obsessed with discovering the secrets that he totally forgets that the place is falling down around their heads. He he even insists that he’s going to stay and nearly gets Jack killed because he’s to stupid to realize the danger he’s in! Then even when they get back and can’t dial out all he cares about is the loss of knowledge! I mean I get that it’s important but not at the cost of anyone’s lives!

    And there’s more but probably not appropriate here. Just that Daniel tends to drive me nuts with some of his actions that make it seem like he cares about knowledge more than his own life and the lives of the people around him.

  2. On the other hand, Jen, that’s entirely in character with Daniel. After all, in the Stargate movie, he talked the military into going through the Stargate even if he wasn’t entirely certain he could get them back–even though he said he could.


    Daniel’s Quest for Knowledge helps define him.  Also, consider at this point, he is looking for knowledge that will help him get back his wife.  That motivation is very powerful for Daniel in the series until  <<spoiler deleted>>

  3. Which would be exactly why I DON’T hate him or anything like that. I don’t even think he’s completely wrong in his quest for knowledge. I’m just annoyed with how far he goes sometimes and how there is a potential for others to be hurt by it. His intentions may be good but I don’t think he fully grasps how what he is doing effects other people around him.

    There’s another example I could give but it would be a spoiler for a later season that JP wouldn’t have seen yet since it’s in season 5 but there is an episode where he wants to do something but doing it puts everyone else at risk. Yes it’s totally and completely in character but it’s still a “how stupid and selfish can you BE, Daniel!!!” moment.

    Granted all of the characters have similar moments… moments where they do something stupid that puts others at risk or where they don’t seem to consider the consequences of their actions before doing it. I think Daniel bugs me the most because often he’s so smug about being right – there’s a “You HAVE to listen to me because I’m so smart and you’re an idiot if you don’t!!!!!” tone to some of his arguments… *shrug* honestly it’s a personality thing – there’s something about his personality that rubs me the wrong way even when I know he IS right.

  4. why should this place suddenly fall to bits just as sg1 arrives ,after remaining intact for 

    millenia ??

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