Sci-Fi Thoughts — Indeed

Bob Naeye may be a Trekkie (if you own all the shows on DVD, you're a Trekkie!), and I liked the shows too, but the cover of the November issue of S&T, which arrived yesterday, makes me think of another sci-fi series that I enjoy: Stargate SG-1. If you haven't followed this show, it's about an ancient alien-built device that creates a stable wormhole to different planets, and all the hijinks that ensue as humans go around screwing up other cultures and putting humankind in peril.

The main villian in the early seasons of the series was a "false god" named Apophis. So while the Pluto controversy included a solar system object nicknamed after a TV character ("Xena," now officially Eris), I'm enjoying that another newsworthy object is following in the same vein. In the case of Apophis, the threat is real. You can read all about it in the November issue in an article by Daniel Durda. In a nutshell: Apophis is a 320-meter-wide asteroid that will pass very close to Earth in 2029. What's worse is that depending on that flyby, Apophis could actually hit the Earth in 2036. We'll be hearing a lot of Apophis in coming years as researchers study it and decide what, if anything, to do about it. It makes me wonder if I should stop worrying about saving for retirement.

Each time I read about Apophis, I think of Stargate SG-1. There was even an episode where Earth was about to be hit by an asteroid, presumably directed toward Earth by another villian. Like any sci-fi show, it has its unbelievable aspects (how great it is that people on other planets speak English!). But one of the reasons I enjoy the show is that it doesn't take itself superseriously. Star Trek often came off overly preachy (well, except for that silly Halloween episode. . . OK, and the tribbles). Stargate SG-1 likewise explores modern issues, but it still makes me laugh. Heck, any show that nepotistically featured Dom DeLuise as a character has to be taken lightly.

Stargate SG-1 is in its final season on the Sci-Fi Channel. But the show can be seen elsewhere in syndication and is available on DVD. One warning to the uninitiated: the first few seasons of the series were on the Showtime channel, so they are quite R-rated. You might not want the kids to see the unedited versions.

Maybe I'll discuss the finer points of Babylon 5 and Battlestar Galactica some other time.