The Torment of Tantalus

Stargate SG1 The Torment of Tantalus

After Daniel receives old files and transferred video footage from the early days of the Stargate program he is shocked to see that the scientists at the time were able to create a wormhole, to his horror he sees a man in a deep sea diving suit enter the gate and it then shuts down severing the connections. The man in question (Ernest Littlefield played by Paul McGillionwas the fiance of Catherine Langford who had been told he died in an accident on the base, Daniel takes it upon himself to reveal this to her and since they have the address then they go and get him. As you would expect General Hammond is not happy by this breach of security despite Catherine being high up the pecking order during her time but after blowing off some steam he gives a green light to the mission.

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Upon arrival they find themselves in a sort of castle, very run down and looks abandoned until of course a very naked Ernest appears unable to believe his own eyes. It takes some time for everyone to get their bearings especially between him and Catherine, he had imagined her with him for the last 50 years, it kept him sane. The big revelation is a fully functional alien device in a room which has its walls covered in alien writings, the Asgard and Nox are there which may indicate this was some sort of meeting/conference facility. The device contains scientific data on atoms and Daniel believes it's a primer for ultimately being able to communicate but time is critical as storm season is upon them and the castle is structurally unsound. This is most evident when the DHD falls through the floor and the team have to jury-rig a solution using the copper helmet as a lighting rod and while Daniel wants to stay behind and learn all he can he eventually sees sense and he and Jack make it through the gate as the castle crumbles.

The Torment of Tantalus is one the best episodes from the first season and lays more groundwork in terms of the big picture landscape that humanity has found itself inhabiting. We also get a very funny episode, the late Keene Curtis played older Ernest to perfection and brought a level of empathy alongside the humour, not an easy thing to achieve. It was great to see Paul McGillion long before he joins Stargate for the spin off series Atlantis and with Stargate Origins on the horizon there must be elements here that will play a part.

My thanks to Brad for being up nice and early to record with me, a trooper. The next episode will probably be Bloodlines and as always if you want to join me on the show please get in touch. 

Mike CrateComment