8.12: Prometheus Unbound


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Jan 5, 2001
Way on Down South, London Town
8.11: Prometheus Unbound

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This was a good Daniel ep :D And it was nice to see Hammond again, in command of Prometheus! Definetly better than the last guy who sat around waiting for Jack to tell him what to do.

This might just be me, but the humour seemed off. The 'super-soldier' telling Daniel he was attractive, it was kinda obvious that it would be the girl and the girlie cat fight - i can see how that was supposed to be funny, but it just wasn't. :( And giving Hammond mouth to mouth shouldn't have been such a big deal, i would think all military personnel were trained in first aid and he shouldn't need to think twice to save General Hammond. Although his relief at not having to do it was funny.

Vara was a good character, but we didn't get to find out who she actually was and why she can use Goa'uld technology. I'm sure we've not seen the last of her though.

Colonel Novak was cool, if a little too neurotic.

The Prometheus, nice big ship, enough for people to want to steal, but after one fire fight her shields were failing and she was almost out of weapons. If they ever make it to Atlantis (here's hoping) the ship is gonna be totally useless against the Wraith! :D
I can't believe that nobody else has posted here. Especially, as this is the Claudia Black episode. She guests as Vala (a woman who steals the Prometheus).

Other guests are General Hammond, Colonel Reynolds, and Novak (an annoying Prometheus engineer who suffers from sneezes).

Incidently, how come Daniel never sneezes since the original film!

Plot summary (with help from Gateworld)

General Hammond is to lead an expedition to Atlantis. He wants Daniel to accompany him. (Really, Daniel should have gone on the first expedition IMHO, he is best qualified in the whole world.)

Daniel Jackson and General Hammond are on board the Prometheus, Earth's deep-space vessel, when the ship receives a distress call from a crippled Goa'uld ship. They investigate and find a cargo ship and an Al'kesh adrift, but Prometheus is soon stolen by a woman named Vala -- with Daniel Jackson on board. He finds himself her prisoner, and eventually convinces Vala to explain her reasons for stealing the ship.

Vala -- in her 20s and strikingly beautiful and attracted to Daniel -- is the last of a team sent to obtain a vessel for use by her people. They are very much like the humans of Earth, Daniel discovers. They were once slaves to the Goa'uld, but long ago rose up against them. They stole Goa'uld technology and used it to their advantage, winning many battles. But the System Lord Camulus finally brought his power down upon them and crushed the resistance, occupying their world. Only a handful escaped to a nearby moon, in the hopes of one day finding a new home for their people. Now that Camulus has been defeated by Baal ("Zero Hour"), Baal is carefully searching his enemy's territory. Vala's people are sure to be discovered hiding on their world's moon, which has prompted her to seek out a ship to use to relocate them.

But Vala herself hides a secret: Before Camulus arrived, she dominated her world -- in a manner of speaking. Vala was host to the Goa'uld Gyn'ar, who controlled the planet. The Tok'ra encouraged an uprising against Gyn'ar, who was eventually captured and tortured. Feeling some measure of guilt for what the host, Vala, had to endure, the Tok'ra removed the Goa'uld symbiote and nursed her back to health.

Vala uses the armor of a super-soldier to steal the Prometheus, with only Daniel left on board. She is only able to figure out its systems to a limited degree, and Daniel refuses to help her. Nevertheless, she manages to set a course to meet her people. The tables are turned when Daniel frees himself and gets his hands on a zat -- but Vala has done something to the navigational controls, and he is unable to turn the ship around. Despite her playful teasing and pleas for his help, Daniel is unconvinced that he should trust her.

Vala tells him her mission is to secure a ship to take them to that home. Her team had succeeded in stealing the Goa'uld cargo ship, but the ship was damaged and her team killed when the Al'kesh attacked.

Meanwhile, Hammond and the Prometheus crew -- including Colonel Reynolds and Novak -- have been left stranded on board the damaged Al'kesh. The engine's control crystals are unusable, as are the ship's long-range communication systems. Hammond must go to the cargo shipl to retrieve replacements. He almost dies from carbon monoxide poisoning, but in the end it is not necessary for Reynolds to perform mouth-to-mouth.

They manage to locate and catch Prometheus, but Vala gets the hyperdriver engines working and leaves. Daniel arrives at his detination and lands, only to find that it is really a transaction with some new aliens -- the Prometheus for a chest of weapons grade Naquidah. He tells them that his name is "Solo... Han Solo." And he has been followed... and as Goa'uld gliders begin to swoop down to attack, he zats the two alien traders and leaves. Several Al'kesh attack the Prometheus, and he needs to free Vala to help him. With weapons offline and shields down the situation is dire, until one Al'kesh begins attacking the others. It is General Hammond and the Prometheus crew to the rescue.

They are too badly damaged to proceed to Atlantis and must return to Earth. Somehow Vala is able to escape, and one is left wondering if any of her story was true, but sure that we will see her again.
From gateworld
"An episode I wasn't in, 'Prometheus Unbound,' is just fantastic. It's hilarious. It's one of the more fun -- that and 'Zero Hour' are probably the two most fun episodes of the year. And Claudia Black is in that one, and her and Shanks just have such a great rapport together. I saw a cut of it, and it came out fantastic, it really did." (Chrisopher Judge, in an interview with GateWorld)
I enjoyed the fight between Daniel and Vala, but it was a little pantomime and over the top.
from sciFi Wire
"Vala was a lot of fun. I did my best to beat the daylights out of Michael Shanks, and he was a very good sport. She's sassy. She's intelligent. She's manipulative. She's very hard and mercurial. She does what she has to [to] survive, so it's very hard to tell what the real core of Vala is, and I'm hoping that if they do write her back in again that that will be explored.
"I've not played a character like [Vala] before. That was the appeal of doing it. She's a real piece of work. It's quite honestly very hard to tell if she's an ally or a thorn in their side. For the sake of the drama in this particular episode she seems to be a thorn in their side, but it's quite ambiguous, and that's what I loved about it. She's constantly teetering on that ambiguous edge. It was nice to push that. I asked [director] Andy [Mikita] on the phone when I accepted the role how far I could push that, and he said, 'Go the full mile.' So it was, creatively, a very playful environment." (Claudia Black, in an interview with SciFi Wire)
I liked this episode, it certainly had plenty of action and space battles, but again I preferred the Atlantis episode that followed it on Sky One. This doesn't seem right to me, but the main reason is that Stargate SG-1 doesn't seem to be taking itself seriously anymore. Many episodes now seem to be almost a parody.

Edit: While I was writing this Maria posted and there are a couple of things I was thinking about that she mentioned:

Not only the mouth-to-mouth part but the whole idea of CO poisoning was off. You turn bright pink if you have that, and you don't just wake up. But Novak is an engineer not a doctor, so maybe Hammond just fainted.

Maybe the writers were going to kill off Hammond, but then thought better of it.

Vala and her use of Goa'uld technology. She agreed with Daniel that she had Naquidah in her blood, and had been a former host. But I was left with the impression that nothing she had said was true.

The two alien traders were totally inept. If I was to trade a chest of Naquidah for a heavily armed spaceship, then I would have some back-up, and I would certainly arm myself. Unless they were working with the Goa'uld who attacked.

I think that much more explanation of Vala and what she is really involved in is needed.
Parody... too right,

Funny thing is I actually enjoyed this episode despite it being the SG1 comedy hour.

Claudia Black as Vala was a good character (not as sexy as in Farscape) but lacked any sort of depth, was it a hiest, was she really saving people, is she good or bad??

Prometheus, the most advanced heavily armed Spaceship Earth has but lacking any internal security at all, It is constantly stolen or hijacked and of course this huge beast of a ship can be flown by just 1 person. Oh and you would think that after all the times SG1 have by passed goauld security and encryption that they would not incorporate the same design into Prometheus.

They probably have signs on the wall saying, Prometheus command codes override this way! and on the drawer a sign saying,

ATTENTION SHIP HIJACKERS - Pulling this crystal will give you complete control and allow you to put in your own codes locking out further attempts to rescue the ship

The fight scene was truly jaw dropping, as in NO WAY SURELY THEY WOULDNT!! well they did all that was missing was some nipple twisting and that would of topped it off just nicely!

Although the line from Vala to Daniel "couldnt we just have sex" would of been a better than Daniel fighting like a girl, I bet Jack would of died with shame and moved him to SG 101.

Hammond was enjoyable his attempt at the crystal from the cargo ship was a bit over dramatic and as for SG3, my god they have turned into boy scouts. First then deploy to the Alkesh without combat gear then they panic when faced with giving CPR then get thier collective asses kicked by a girl at the end.

Walter has gone from gate operator to goauld ship specialist.

As for Novak well she was over the top at first but matured by the end of the episode.

On the planet The 2 aliens was well strange to say the least, maybe they though they were in Farscape ( :D ) Suddenly the gliders appeared "you were followed" they said.

WHAT!! Prometheus was followed?? by whom and why?? who writes this stuff??

So then Prometheus gets its ass kicked and then runs out of ammo??????????????????????????? (you telling me the Asgard weapons use ammo?)

A rogue Alkesh now returned to full combat status (hang on is this Star Trek) kicks some botty and rescues the day.

So Prometheus goes back to Earth and as Dave said I doubt it would survive the journey to Altlantis anyway.

But we couldnt finish on a high, no we then had to have more of the clown act where Vala espaces AGAIN kicks everyones ass rings across to the Alkesh gives SG3 a good kicking (then rings them over) then flys away into the deep space.

Was I the only one to sit in my chair thinking WTF!!

So again the SG1 reset is pushed, they lost a prisoner (no future script worries for her) and they lose an Alkesh (cant have too many usable ships and weapons etc)

I bet the next Prometheus mission will see the return of the normal commander and Hammond will go back to coffee with the President.

So yeah I did have fun watching the episode but I also cringed a lot, shouted at the characters a lot and realised the SG1 cannot get any worse.... Or can it??


Well everyone has said everything I wanted to say...sorry Dave Novak had hiccups but your're right why doesn't Daniel sneeze anymore??

Will say again..

Maybe his immune system has adapted to all the foreign allergens?
Sorry, it was hiccups not sneezes, though they were very unconvincing ones, more like a nervous tick.

There have been much worse episodes, but I tend to agree about the downward spiral they seem to be in. If this was 'Star Trek: Enterprise' there would not be talk of a new Season, but budget cuts and a shorter present Season.
I watched this episode again today (checking my final videodub) and it struck me that if Series 8 had been much stronger (as strong as Series 7) we would all be rolling in the aisles about this episode.

Its a shame becuase like I said I actually enjoyed this one but it infuriates me that they wrote this in when SG1 is lacking any real depth at all this season.

Little piccy of Prometheus for you :)



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I enjoyed the episode, it was good to see Claudia finally in her guest star role. I really enjoyed her performance of Vala. Daniel and Vala's interaction was very entertaining and funny. And it was good that they left Vala's character a mystery now that we know that she would return. At the end we're left not knowing exactly how much of her story is true or false. Is going to be interesting to see how her character will return.

It was good to see Hammond again, and kind of interesting to see him wanting to be in the action. As for the Prometheus I have to agree with how easily one person take it. And one of the things I wonder is how a ship so big always have so few people. The people transported to the alkesh I think were less than 20 people. Counting SG3(4 people), the unconscious team(4 people) and Hammond and company that I think were mostly a group of 4 or 5 people. That is really strange, is you count that the teams usually aren't the same people that controls the ship.

Krystal :p
Krystal Good point about the number of crew on board.

I'm sure some excuse could be made about not having enough trained people who had the skills and security clearance, but a ship like that really should have at least 20 sudo-regular soldiers + a large qualified crew.

I guess another excuse could be they were caught by surprise and those who weren't probably thought it was one of those super soldier.

But, more likely it was a writing issue.
They focused on the end result in stead of the set up.
Good point about internal security RangerOne SG13 SOR

It's like the Stargate team are taking a page from the gould.

Limited or no security cameras.
And it seems like no one is in charge of watching the cameras they do have.

I guess security guards don't have enough clearance?

I sort of liked the episode, but it was odd seeing an actor from Farscape play a character that was a lot like one that would be written for Farscape.

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