There is always cause for joy when a long-running series makes its grand return for a new season. However, when that return hallmarks the momentous launch of a tenth season, the festivities have just begun. But after ten years, there is always the fear that the formula will grow stale, offering a poor reflection of what the series once was. Fortunately however, this was not the case on Stargate SG-1 : and its all thanks to one person: Claudia Black.
The actress, who first made her series debut in season seven’s Prometheus Unbound, is every bit as amazing as she was last season and quite literally steals the show from the existing cast of heroes.
When she joined the show last season in a recurring role, she readily provided a female lead character to cover for Amanda Tappings maternity leave. But during that time, with her quick sarcastic (and sometimes ditsy) wit, Vala Mal Doran provided something else : she filled part of the void left by Richard Dean Andersons departure.
Just as before, her chemistry with Michael ShanksDaniel Jackson character in Flesh and Blood was an absolute joy to behold and will most likely become a fascinating addition to the series. The added bonus of a love triangle with Tomin (Tim Guinee) will only help escalate the tension by preventing Daniel and Vala from every hooking up, keeping the newly forming SG-1 dynamic fresh and alive.
Although much of the momentum from last season was lost, and the flashbacks showing the various escapes from the fray all seemed a little too convenient, the episode as a whole was nonetheless well played and very exciting to see unfold a piece at a time. The Ori will never truly rise above the Goauld as villains (they were the initial premise of the show after all) but they do make interesting baddies and will obviously create some new and exciting situations for this long running series.
Its something that Executive Producer Robert C. Cooper (who also wrote this instalment) should really consider for the Lucian Alliance. When they were first introduced, they had the potential to become a major thorn in everyones side as they scrambled for power in the vacuum left by the toppling of the System Lords. But instead, they seem content to lurk in the shadows waiting for a chance to show just what a pain in the ass they can be to SG-1. Wheres the criminal deals, the actual smuggling and all that other bad stuff they represent? Certainly not in this episode.
So how much life does SG-1 really have left? At this stage in the game its difficult to say, but with Black now onboard in a more permanent basis and a very definite threat from the Ori in the home galaxy, it looks like the series will hit its stride this year. And best of all, with the 200th episode hovering over the horizon, there is always the return of Gen. Jack ONeill to look forward to.
“Stargate SG-1” stars Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge and Michael Shanks. “Flesh and Blood” was written by Robert C. Cooper and directed by Will Waring.