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Stargate SG-1 Watchathon – ‘A Matter Of Time’ (S02E16)

Description: While attempting to save the members of SG-10 from a black hole on planet P3W-451, the SG-1 team activates the Stargate and exposes themselves to the hole’s gravitational pull.

This episode starts off very differently from all the others, starting in space, showing us the black hole, then SG-10 on a planet trying to get off before the black hole sucks it down. We also get a great scene between Carter and O’Neill as Jack tries to wrap his brain around the reality of ‘wormholes’, quite funny.

I wanted to deem this episode as ‘filler’ because on the surface it just didn’t seem all that interesting. But the more I watch it, the more interesting it becomes as the writers explore the affects caused by exposure to the intense gravity field of a black hole. In this case, they chose to focus on the time dilation effects at the almost exclusion of others.


We then get a really nice story as SGC attempts to figure out whats going on and runs afoul of the affects themselves.

There are some ‘annoyances’: If a black hole is close enough to a planet to cause time to slow down, wouldn’t it be close enough for the radiation to kill everything? How the heck does gravity ‘travel’ through the wormhole again? Really? A black hole just up and gets created while SG-10 is on the planet? And if gravity is strong enough to severely disrupt the flow of time, wouldn’t it be strong enough to crush people? And I’m sorry, but the reason for manually setting the bomb is just plain hokey.

But even with all that, I still like this one because they really use the time dilation to good effect and they are exposing a lot of people to the concept of time slowdown and the huge tidal forces around a black hole and they do so in an episode that has some fun stuff and serious stuff in it. Major props.

A word of caution, trying to reconcile the time slow from SG-10’s perspective versus the regular flow of time for the outside universe may cause headaches and temporary blindness. I suggest reading Gateway Frederik Pohl to help alleviate the discomfort.

About JP Frantz (2323 Articles)
Has nothing interesting to say so in the interest of time, will get on with not saying it.

2 Comments on Stargate SG-1 Watchathon – ‘A Matter Of Time’ (S02E16)

  1. This was the last episode I ever watched in the show’s first run on Showtime. Never watched another one after that, not even in syndication! (Starting from the beginning on Hulu now!)

    I’d been following it religiously, and then some’n happened to distract me from it.

    But this was my favorite episode of them all, because of the way they showed the time dilation.

    And my favorite line was when Carter was explaining to O’Neill, who’s nodding, and Col. Cromwell looks at him and says, “Oh, don’t even pretend you understood that!”

  2. How the heck does gravity ‘travel’ through the wormhole again? Really?”

    why not? if a wormhole is a fold in space so that disparate locations are adjacent to each other (modem-noise-tunnels notwithstanding), doesn’t it make sense that the far-away-location is now subject to gravitational and other space/time forces in effect at the close-location? plus, they get to put this to just awesome use later.

    i’m enjoying the watchathon btw, thanks!

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