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Stargate: Atlantis: Doppelganger


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#1 DWF

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 05:52 PM

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During an off-world mission Colonel Sheppard unknowingly becomes host to an alien entity, which infects others in Atlantis and afflicts them with terrifying nightmares.

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#2 Caretaker

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 10:19 PM

My jaw is still dropped.  I can't believe they hilled Heightmeyer.  Although, Lorne made it though okay.

Wow - a lot of references to SG1 tonight.
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#3 Jazzer

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 01:17 AM

I liked this ep.  But I was surprised, too, that they killed off Heightmeyer.

Shepard:  "I hate clowns."  :howling:  Since one showed up in his shared dream with Rodney, I guess he really does hate them.  Way back when he was once captive on a Wraith ship, I thought he was just kidding about the clowns when he told a fellow "captive" about his fear of clowns.  :lol:  Anyway, I enjoyed the reference to the clowns again. :D

Oh, yeah...:  
Rodney:  "This is really weird."  
Shepard:  "Tell me about it."  
Rodney:  "I thought there'd be more hot girls."  
Shepard:  "Yeah."
:lol:

Edited by Jazzeria, 20 October 2007 - 01:29 AM.

Unanswered questions aren't nearly as dangerous as unquestioned answers.

#4 Jazzer

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 01:45 AM

Another oh, yeah....

I also liked the way they referenced and used Sam's previous experiences and scientific knowledge in dealing with this, like when Shepard said it might be helpful if he could get into Rodney's dream and Sam remembered the technology that allowed shared virtual experiences of people's memories. It was funny when Ronin couldn't quite catch up to what everyone was talking about in that scene as they were brainstorming.  Ronin was like "what? what?"  :lol:  I think Sam is a great asset to the Atlantis mission with a good balance between her military and scientific experience, and it's nice seeing her character being allowed to stretch in the role of leader of a major expedition.

The various references to SG1's experiences was a nice way of strengthening the transition from SG1 to SGA.  I got to thinking about Mitchell wanting the band back together and obviously now it's not anymore, with Sam as the new leader of Atlantis.  I hope we'll get some guest appearances of different characters from the SG1 series.  

Speaking of guest appearances, I happened to catch a segment on TV Guide channel where they were talking about SGA.  They showed
Spoiler: click to show/hide
a scene with Ronin and Teal'c sparring together.  I don't know whether it was just the 2 actors having some fun together or whether it was an actual scene from some future SGA episode.  I hope it was an actual scene.  I think it'd be fun to watch, more so since Ronin's character has finally been fleshed out much better.

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#5 Christopher

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 07:51 AM

The playing up of Carter's immense experience with all sorts of weirdness was fun, but it kind of sets a risky precedent -- how many other crises will they face that remind Carter of problems she's already solved?  Having her here could make it too easy, and also make it more explicit when a storyline is derivative or unoriginal.

I'm also a little disappointed that we didn't get to see Sam's nightmares -- but that was probably wise, since realistically her dreams would probably be inhabited by SG-1 cast members.  But a story like this is a good way to get character insights, so it's too bad.

I'm a bit puzzled about Rodney's fear of whales.  Was this established in the earlier episodes where he dealt with Lantea's native whale-analogues?  Because I don't recall him being afraid of them there, and if anything, I thought his experiences had made him rather fond of them.
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#6 Jazzer

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 08:04 AM

^  I don't remember Rodney's fear of whales being mentioned before.  In this episode, he just said that when he was a young child that his father read Moby Dick to him and that he had nightmares afterwards.
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#7 Hambil

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 09:36 AM

Is Amanda Tapping pregnant again?

#8 DWF

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 09:47 AM

View PostHambil, on Oct 20 2007, 10:36 AM, said:

Is Amanda Tapping pregnant again?

No but
Spoiler: click to show/hide
somebody else is though.

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"Don't mistake a few fans bitching on the Internet for any kind of trend." - Keith R.A. DeCandido

#9 Captain Jack

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 02:32 PM

View PostJazzeria, on Oct 19 2007, 11:17 PM, said:

I liked this ep.  But I was surprised, too, that they killed off Heightmeyer.

Why?

And who is the new doctor?  The the other guy leave?  Is she a regular, re-occuring, or just a one-time character?  I did the new uniforms.

For some reason, this episodes seems awfully familiar!  I swear I have seen something similar to this on another series, but can't put my finger on it.

Quote

Shepard:  "I hate clowns."  :howling:  Since one showed up in his shared dream with Rodney, I guess he really does hate them.  Way back when he was once captive on a Wraith ship, I thought he was just kidding about the clowns when he told a fellow "captive" about his fear of clowns.  :lol:  Anyway, I enjoyed the reference to the clowns again. :D

Oh, yeah...:  
Rodney:  "This is really weird."  
Shepard:  "Tell me about it."  
Rodney:  "I thought there'd be more hot girls."  
Shepard:  "Yeah."
:lol:

I simply love this actor.  He plays Shepard so well, especially when he says lines like "I hate clowns". :lol:  The tone of his voice, his expression, is just perfect.

The the weird part, where Rodney says he thought there'd be more girls...too funny.  Poor Shepard.

View PostDWF, on Oct 20 2007, 07:47 AM, said:

View PostHambil, on Oct 20 2007, 10:36 AM, said:

Is Amanda Tapping pregnant again?

No but
Spoiler: click to show/hide
somebody else is though.


Spoiler: click to show/hide
Hey, I am not pregnant!  I'm a guy, remember? :p


This one was a vast improvement from last week's.
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#10 Cardie

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 03:44 PM

View PostCaptain Jack, on Oct 20 2007, 03:32 PM, said:

And who is the new doctor?  The the other guy leave?  Is she a regular, re-occuring, or just a one-time character?  I did the new uniforms.

Dr. Carson Beckett (Paul McGillion) died heroically saving a patient from being blown up by an explosive device that got inside him.  The new doctor, Jennifer Keller, is a recurring character--introduced in the episode in which Beckett died.  She's played by Jewel Staite, who was Kaylee on Firefly.

Quote

Are the uniforms new?

They looked the same to me, but then I often don't notice details like that.

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#11 DWF

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 04:29 PM

View PostCaptain Jack, on Oct 20 2007, 03:32 PM, said:

View PostJazzeria, on Oct 19 2007, 11:17 PM, said:

I liked this ep.  But I was surprised, too, that they killed off Heightmeyer.

Why?

And who is the new doctor?  The the other guy leave?  

Yeah the other guy left and the new Doctor is David Tennant, oh wrong show. :D
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#12 Christopher

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 04:58 PM

View PostCardie, on Oct 20 2007, 04:44 PM, said:

The new doctor, Jennifer Keller, is a recurring character--introduced in the episode in which Beckett died.

No, she didn't actually show up until the season finale three episodes later.

Quote

Quote

Are the uniforms new?

They looked the same to me, but then I often don't notice details like that.

They seem to be the same pattern but in darker colors, at least on Keller and Carter.
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#13 DWF

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 06:35 PM

I really liked this one it had a real sort of Holloween feel to it and the "whale" swallowing the boat reminded me a similar scene from Surface, it might've been alittle predictable but losing Dr. Heitmeyer was a surprise and I think Atlantis might finally be finding it's own feet and I like how Carter is running the place, the fight scene at the end was well done too you don't normally see those kinds of scenes on Atlantis. :cool:
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#14 Hibblette

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 07:15 PM

I loved how Sam was truly using her experiences and that they referenced it.  We all do this in real life.

I loved the sly little salute to Surface-Absolutely freaking gorgeous the way they did that.  Before I even saw the creature come up I went "Oh yea, this is going to be awesome just like in Surface"

There was some great one liners...
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#15 Jazzer

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 11:38 PM

View PostCaptain Jack, on Oct 20 2007, 02:32 PM, said:

View PostJazzeria, on Oct 19 2007, 11:17 PM, said:

I liked this ep.  But I was surprised, too, that they killed off Heightmeyer.

Why?
She was the staff psychologist, a semi-recurring character.  I liked her and she wasn't the typical "redshirt", so her death was a bit of a surprise to me.


View PostCaptain Jack, on Oct 20 2007, 02:32 PM, said:

For some reason, this episodes seems awfully familiar!  I swear I have seen something similar to this on another series, but can't put my finger on it.
It had several elements or references similar to other episodes or shows.  They had the reference to Alien, when something burst out of Teyla's gut in the new doctor's dream.  After Rodney told about seeing that scene made him puke in the theater, Ronin said grinning, "I've got to see this movie."  :lol:

Hibblette already mentioned the scene similar to one in Surface, where a big beastie came up directly under the boat and swallowed it whole.  :lol:  I immediately thought of Surface when I saw that scene in Rodney's dream. :D  

The appearance of the clown in the dream reminded me a little of Stephen King's mini-series It.

The premise of this episode was similar to the SG1 episode "Cold Lazarus".  DWF's description of "Warm Lazarus?" was a nod to that episode title.  In "Cold Lazarus", O'Neill touched a crystal.  It attempted to communicate with him, but the energy charge knocked O'Neill out.  The entity from the crystal wasn't sure what to do, so it took on a corporeal image of O'Neill along with O'Neill's memories and when it met up with the rest of the SG1 team, they didn't know it wasn't really O'Neill and it went home with them.  It went searching for answers that it thought might help O'Neill.  It didn't intend any harm and wasn't malevolent.  It just accidentally knocked O'Neill unconscious with the intensity of its energy discharge when it tried to communicate with him.  Unlike the entity in "Cold Lazarus", the entity from the crystal in this SGA epsiode was malevolent and seemed to feed off intense negative emotions at the unconscious level of dreams by exploiting the dreamer's worst fears.  If the person died in the dream, their body also died.  If they'd known Heightmeyer's life was in danger as she slept, they might could have gotten to her in time to use the electrical paddles and resusitate her, like they did with Rodney.  But they only discovered she'd died after she didn't report for duty.    Also, unlike the "Cold Lazarus" entity, this one didn't take on a corporeal form of the one it imitated. It only appeared in the infected persons' dreams.

Something I wondered is were all the entities of the crystals on the planet in this SGA epsiode malevolent.  It would have been interesting if they could have tried to communicate with some of the other entities of other crystals on the planet, but I suppose that might have been too dangerous in case they were all malevolent.  It was creepy the way the whole forest started lighting up with the crystals after they returned the 2 crystals.  It was like they were all saying "Touch me!" "No, touch me!" etc., etc., etc.  :lol:  Actually, now that I think about it, that scene kind of reminds me of something like you'd see in a Farscape episode.  :lol:  Oh, yeah, that reminds me.  The premise of the dreams is similar to things done in some Farscape episodes where the characters had dreams or someone was messing with Crichton's mind in a virtual reality.


View PostCaptain Jack, on Oct 20 2007, 02:32 PM, said:

Quote

Shepard:  "I hate clowns."  :howling:  Since one showed up in his shared dream with Rodney, I guess he really does hate them.  Way back when he was once captive on a Wraith ship, I thought he was just kidding about the clowns when he told a fellow "captive" about his fear of clowns.  :lol:  Anyway, I enjoyed the reference to the clowns again. :D

Oh, yeah...:  
Rodney:  "This is really weird."  
Shepard:  "Tell me about it."  
Rodney:  "I thought there'd be more hot girls."  
Shepard:  "Yeah."
:lol:

I simply love this actor.  He plays Shepard so well, especially when he says lines like "I hate clowns". :lol:  The tone of his voice, his expression, is just perfect.

The the weird part, where Rodney says he thought there'd be more girls...too funny.  Poor Shepard.
It was also hilarious right before they put Rodney & Shepard under when Rodney told Shepard, "I'm pretty messed up" as his way of warning Shepard who knows what might turn up in Rodney's dreams.  :howling:

Edited by Jazzeria, 20 October 2007 - 11:42 PM.

Unanswered questions aren't nearly as dangerous as unquestioned answers.

#16 Captain Jack

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 11:49 PM

^Thanks.  And, yes, this was certainly one of the most enjoyable eps yet.  At least for me.  Ronin's remark of "I have got to see that movie" also reminded me of Teal'C and Star Wars for some reason.  :)  I love it when writers and actors are all in the top of their game.  :cool:
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#17 Jazzer

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 12:51 AM

^ You're welcome, Cap'n!  I just remembered another similarity in a ST:TNG ep.  Diana's mother went into sort of a coma.  Diana joined her telepathically, exploring her mother's subconscious, trying to find out the cause of her mother's problem.  It was a weird dreamscape type scenerio.  

I'm sure there were other similarities to other shows & movies I can't think of at the moment.
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#18 Cardie

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 01:00 AM

If these crystals lived off people's fears, they must have been starving, since there didn't seem to be any sentient inhabitants on the planet.  Maybe they were usually dormant until a potential host wandered by.

Of course, the idea of a creature feeding on people's fears was done in Star Trek TOS "Wolf in the Fold."

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#19 DWF

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 06:26 AM

Alot of this ep. came from Robert C Cooper's own fears.

http://www.gateworld...ns_part_2.shtml

Quote

RCC: Yeah, "Doppelganger!" It's just a fun one-off. It's one of the old-school Stargate "we go to a planet, we get into trouble, we get out of it" stories.

You know, when I write an episode and when I write an episode to direct, they are two different things. Directing is really hard. Directing is not something that you just do ... you just go and direct something. It's not just [mentally demanding] but it's an incredibly physically demanding, energy-sapping thing. And it's an ordeal. I look at guys like Andy and Martin and Will and I don't know how they do it on a regular basis. I really don't. I bow at their feet for the endurance that they have to [have].

So, when I say I'm going to direct something, I want it to have something personal in it, something that I can really be passionate about. Because otherwise I won't make it -- I won't get up every morning to do it. You're talking about getting up at 5 in the morning and working 75-hour weeks, and dealing with levels of frustration and stress that you don't experience when you're just a writer-producer.

I mean, producing -- believe me -- producing is a stressful thing! It's not brain surgery, but it's a stressful thing. But it's nothing compared to directing and having the weight of the world on your shoulders as far as "making your day" in a television world and just the volume of issues you have to handle in the incredibly dense and short period of time.

So, for me, if I was going to write something to direct I wanted it to be interesting to me. And I've always been fascinated by nightmares and dreams. So that's what this is about. It's about an alien entity that lives in a crystal form. I've kind of paid a little homage to "Cold Lazarus" and said, "Well, OK -- there's something we've established in the Stargate universe that we've never really dealt with before. And that is, again, lifeforms that can exist in that state."

O'Neill went out, touched a crystal and all this stuff happened. We've never done that again. And I thought, "Well, wouldn't it be interesting if we found another crystalline life-form like that." But in that case we were kind of lucky that it had reasonably good intentions.

GW: Yeah, it was a pretty nice guy.

RCC: It was pretty benign. There was a sinister aspect to it in that we didn't know what was going on, but at the end of the day it was kind of just curious. So I took the flip side of that and said, "What if it's a psychopath? What if it's truly evil?" And it induces some pretty freaky nightmares. And each of the nightmares has some little touchstone to my own tortured, subconscious past. So I had a lot of fun with that.

GW: You don't strike me as a real tortured guy.

RCC: My dad took me to see Jaws when I was seven years old. I was seven. There's a line in the script: One of McKay's histories is that his dad read him "Moby Dick" when he was seven years old. The line is: "What was the man thinking?!" And, you know, I actually talked about this one time. I think it was in the DVD commentary. No, it was in the behind-the-scenes thing that Ivon did on "Crusade."

You know, honestly I don't think my dad knew what it was. I don't think anybody knew what Jaws was when it first came out. They knew it was a scary movie about a shark and stuff. But I was a fairly imaginative kid. I was an impressionable kid. I got scared by stuff easily because I was sensitive. And I think I probably didn't sleep for two years. Honestly, I probably needed therapy! This was not the sort of thing you did back then, but I probably should have gotten some sort of counseling. But instead I spent my nights thinking to myself, "One day I shall control the power that has left me so terrified!"

It was amazing because I was just getting over it -- so I was about nine or ten. My parents are very intelligent people; they're wonderful, I love them. Don't let this mislead you into thinking they don't know what they're doing as parents! But I guess, for some strange reason, they thought that, "OK, he seems to be starting to get over this thing -- this irrational fear of sharks attacking him on the land." And so they thought, "Maybe he should watch a documentary on sharks," so you get to know them a little better.

GW: Oh, I thought you were going to say they took you to see Jaws 2!

RCC: Oh, no, God no! That might have solved it because it was so ridiculous. I would have felt silly. No, they made me watch a documentary. And I'm not kidding you: It was called "Shark Terror Death."

GW: [Laughter]

RCC: And that sent me into about another year-long remission. It was like these giant close-ups of these sharks coming up and eating whole cows. Other movies that did that to me were Alien -- there was a scene that terrified me, and it was crazy -- American Werewolf In London.

GW: Mmm-hmm! The transformation.

RCC: Well, no, it was actually the opening scene in the mist in London, when he first gets attacked. Obviously these things had a tremendous impact on me. I think they're probably why I went into the business. These movies affected me, and I saw what you could do to people -- not just scare them, but affect people through entertainment.

So this episode is kind of my own self-therapy of working out the issues.

GW: Expelling your inner demons.

RCC: Yeah, exactly. You know what? The truth of the matter is it's just fun. It was just fun to play with -- and it's a bit of an old chestnut, I admit that -- What would our characters dream about?

And the fun part of the episode is that because it's Sheppard who initially engages and touches the crystal, and thus unleashes the entity on everyone, the physical form it takes in the nightmares is Sheppard. And so everyone is having these nightmares that are being pulled out of them by the entity, but Sheppard is appearing in those dreams as the sort of negative inciting force.

GW: The Freddy Krueger!

RCC: Well, yeah. I mean, the joke is in the show. Sheppard at one point, when it's explained to him, says, "So are we talking Freddy Krueger here?" And it's him. He also turns to Teyla at one point and says, "Did I have a goatee?"

:blues:  :ghostface:  :nervousninja:  :cool:
The longest-running science fiction series: decadent, degenerate and rotten to the core. Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans... Cybermen! They're still in the nursery compared to us. Fifty years of absolute fandom. That's what it takes to be really critical.

"Don't mistake a few fans bitching on the Internet for any kind of trend." - Keith R.A. DeCandido

#20 Christopher

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 08:00 AM

View PostJazzeria, on Oct 21 2007, 12:38 AM, said:

View PostCaptain Jack, on Oct 20 2007, 02:32 PM, said:

View PostJazzeria, on Oct 19 2007, 11:17 PM, said:

I liked this ep.  But I was surprised, too, that they killed off Heightmeyer.

Why?
She was the staff psychologist, a semi-recurring character.  I liked her and she wasn't the typical "redshirt", so her death was a bit of a surprise to me.

Well, that's a common way of avoiding redshirt syndrome: offing a recurring but expendable character, someone who isn't the obvious casualty because you've gotten to know them.  Stargate has done this before, for instance, revealing that the established character Col. Makepeace was an NID mole or that even more established SGA character Col. Caldwell was possessed by a Goa'uld.  Voyager did it to some extent in its early seasons, often killing off characters who'd been in a few prior episodes (Durst, Hogan) -- not to mention Seska, who was seen as a Bajoran crewmember in several episodes before being revealed as a Cardassian spy.

So in fact, Heightmeyer's death didn't surprise me at all.  As a relatively familiar but infrequently appearing character, she was actually the most likely candidate for death.  This way of avoiding the redshirt formula has been done so often that it's become the new formula.
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