Description: A test of the X-301, an experimental spacecraft adapted from two Goa’uld Death Gliders, goes awry, sending Col. Jack O’Neill and Teal’c hurtling out of Earth’s orbit.
“Tangent” turns out to be SG-1‘s version of “The Cold Equations” as Teal’c and O’Neil are taken for a ride when their experimental spacecraft heads out of the solar system because of a ‘return’ device installed by Apophis. Of course, at sub-light speeds, it would take years to get anywhere and Teal’c and O’Neill would be long dead before the ship reached it’s destination. It was written by Michael Cassutt which would explain the similarities with Tom Godwin’s short story.
While there’s nothing glaringly wrong here (there are a few small things), the big problem is we know O’Neill and Teal’c will be rescues, thus robbing this episode of most of its drama. We’re left with watching to see how the rescue is affected. And really, that part of this episode is the weakest, although the jump to the Tok’ra ship in vacuum was a nice touch. In fact, there are several nice touches regarding the science here: the short jump in vacuum, the time delay in communications and the conservation of air by Teal’c going into his kell no’reem thing.
Certainly not bad, I’d put this in the middle of the pack for this season.
[Teal’c reports on how the X-301 performed.]
Vidrine – “How does she fly, son?”
Teal’c – “The vehicle performed within expected parameters.”
O’Neill – “Woohoo!”
O’Neill – “Sorry, sir. I couldn’t help but get caught up in Teal’c’s enthusiasm.”