Tonight we have one last hurrah with the team known as SG-1.
We start at the SGC where it’s business as usual for the base with SG-1 heading for the new Tok’ra base where O’Neill is waiting for the extraction ceremony of the final Ba’al copy. In the ceremony room while the team waits bored out of their minds Vala suddenly disappears before Ba’al enters and decides to verbally spar with O’Neill one last time. During the conversation Ba’al makes allusions to Vala’s sudden disappearance and that he’s the last “of the clones”, not Ba’al himself, and that the original has activated last contingency already.
Suddenly we skip back to the first year of the Second World War where a lone American cargo vessel is crossing the Atlantic, who it appears is commanded by one of Mitchell’s relatives. The crew question his cautious method to cross the ocean, not fearing the U-Boat threat, only for the ship to shake. When one of the crew goes below to check the “cargo” we find that the ship is transporting the Stargate found in Egypt on behalf of the British to avoid it falling into the hands of Nazi Germany. The shaking turns out to be a dialling in, upon which the original Ba’al steps out with his Jaffa entourage before beginning to dial the Gate for themselves to places unknown. While a group of the entourage wipes out the crew of the ship. Mitchell’s relative attempts to intervene only to be wounded in the process. Dying he makes his way to the hold only to see Ba’al leave, throwing the bomb they left behind overboard before succumbing to his wounds as the ship heads on its course unguided.
Back on the Tok’ra planet the extraction ceremony begins only for people to suddenly start disappearing into thin air with Teal’c being one of them and Ba’al stabbing O’Neill killing him, before he himself is killed and then disappears. By the team Carter, Mitchell, and Daniel make it to the Gate the entire Tok’ra city is disappearing before their eyes but they successfully dial back to Earth, finding themselves in the ice-encased remains of the cargo ship. Searching around they find proof that it is the ship used to bring the Gate to the US. With the temperature rapidly dropping the team blast a hole up to the surface and are forced to climb out when the disturbance causes the ship to fall from the ice into the freezing water.
Now stuck on the ice in what little cold weather gear they salvaged Carter and Mitchell are forced to trek across it while Daniel waits at what’s left of the wreckage as his foot is frostbitten from having gone into the freezing arctic water. Crossing the ice for hours on end the two discuss their situation and hypothesis what Ba’al may have done in this new timeline. After an unknown amount of time the two stumble across armed men in the snow who know who they are, including an alternate O’Neill. Pretty soon the USS Alexandria surfaces from below the ice and the two are brought aboard, finding that Daniel was already rescued but has lost his foot. Onboard the sub the team are asked to explain the strange sight the sub found, a vortex of an active Gate, only to believe they’re all nuts. While Daniel attempts to prove who they are their facts are now out of date, with O’Neill’s son still alive in this timeline. After being brought back to the US the team are interrogated for days on end to try and prove who they were until Landry appears. It turns out he’s been listening the whole time and believes their story. Amongst other things Landry reveals that it was Mitchell’s grandfather who’d been on the ship in ’39 and that Mitchell doesn’t therefore exist. While the team wants to reset the timeline Landry reveals that won’t happen as it’d eliminate the current timeline and that no one should have that power. The team itself is split up to avoid them conspiring while the US Navy begins running their own SGC.
Over the course of the next year the team try to fit in as best as possible into their new lives only for the Goa’uld to show up when an Al’kesh appears over the US. In orbit above an unknown planet a vast fleet commanded by Ba’al has arrived, with Teal’c as his First Prime, where Apophis having just been executed by Ba’al. It turns out that Ba’al has used his knowledge of the last several years to beat the rest of the Goa’uld and establish a dominion of his own as the single leader with Qetesh (Vala) as his queen and the Jaffa loyal as Ba’al intends to give them territory of their own.
Back in Washington D.C SG-1 is brought to President Hayes who it turns out has been preparing for this eventuality, allowing the team to go to Antarctica, where the second Gate was kept by the Navy, and try steal a ZPM off-world so they can use the Ancient chair to destroy the fleet that’s coming. Very soon however Ba’al’s fleet arrives and the Goa’uld prepares his plan, using a satphone to call Hayes directly offering a peaceful meeting. Unfortunately Ba’al’s call is interrupted by Qetesh, who catches on to Ba’al’s lies, and kills him. Teal’c however spots this and flees before she takes control of his forces, destroying both the Ancient chair and the Stargate facility before allowing a full-scale attack by the fleet but leaves herself for places unknown.
Somewhere over the skies of Earth the flight of F-15s meant to take SG-1 to Antarctica is suddenly diverted to Russia, the Russkies having recovered the Gate from the cargo ship, as the Goa’uld open fire on the US. As the flight of four jets heads over the Atlantic an opposing group of Gliders appear, with the two escort F-15s sacrificing themselves to buy the team time. While some of the Gliders peel off to follow the two other aircraft the rest continue following the team only for Russian MiGs to show up and save them. Pretty soon the team find themselves at a familiar looking facility where the Russians have the Gate only to be joined by the Al’kesh stolen by Teal’c and his two loyal Jaffa. Using a device Teal’c brought they’re able to power the Gate for a single trip and make it through to Ba’al’s secret lair.
On the other side Carter quickly deduces the facility is a vast time-machine designed to allow Ba’al to keep resetting his mistakes and that Qetesh must be on the way there to use it herself. The team however promise Teal’c the freedom of the Jaffa if he helps them reset the timeline which he and his Jaffa agree to. While the group are able to hold off Qetesh’s Jaffa for long enough to find a suitable time to go back to, 1929, the others are quickly whittled down until only Teal’c, Carter, and Mitchell are left. Upon dialling only Mitchell and Teal’c are left, with Mitchell making it through while Teal’c is fatally wounded. Teal’c however is able to make his last act killing Qetesh with a grenade when she comes to gloat, honouring his role as First Prime, with his last words being “I die free”.
We cut back to 1939 once more, repeating the events of the Gate dialling into the Cargo ship’s hold. This time however Mitchell is there armed with a Thompson SMG is there to greet the Goa’uld and executes him with a shot to the head. Cutting back to the Tok’ra base the extraction process this time goes as planned due to the elimination of the alternate timeline and the final Ba’al is eliminated for good. Mitchell finds the whole thing underwhelming but O’Neill agrees to buy them lunch to make up for it, though Vala stays behind to help the host recover.
Back at the SGC as the guys get into their civvies Mitchell fails to close his locker, revealing the photo of his grandfather but now joined by his alternate self.
And there we have it, the final adventure SG-1 would ever go on and it really is just that, an adventure. Unlike the previous film, which was pinned down by all that baggage of the Ori saga and then suddenly also the Replicators coming back from grave, this one instead was a 90 minute version of a standard episode and it really is better off for it.
For Ba’al’s swansong they really did pull out all the stops and had the character at his very best with that showman villain vibe on non-stop display. Ba’al was always a very fun character, with his moustache twirling plots and very charismatic charm, and here it was oozing out of the film with him sparring once again with O’Neill, phoning the President and having a bit of a chin wag, and then begging for his life in a way that was more tired of this crap than actual begging. Outside of these character moments we also see him have a plan that is both utterly ridiculous but also very smart at the same time. What other character would so perfectly trick all his enemies into doing what he planned and outmanoeuvre them at every turn only to have a random time machine lying around somewhere and getting caught out by his obsession with Qetesh.
As previously mentioned O’Neill also makes a return and the scenes he appears in are true to the character, making jokes in questionable circumstances while also being very serious when needed. If anything it’s just a real shame that for what would turn out to be his last real appearance on the mainline show it’s so small. The same goes for Hammond who turns up just to be confused by SG-1s previous knowledge of him and say a few short orders. Sadly this is the final appearance in any form of the character as Don S Davis would pass away only a month before this came out. Things would likely have been different given that the next film was rumoured to be even more SG-1 classic in makeup but alas we never get to see it which makes these scenes even more bittersweet.
With the main characters the increased time for this extended monster of the week affair gives a lot more interesting character moments than can usually be fitted into an episode. Here we see a whole slew of shots of the team trying to fit into life on the slow lane like everyone else and it’s a unique little aside we’ve seen very little of in the past, with the standout being Daniel trying to give his other self the same needed boost that he himself got when invited to the original SGC back in ’94. Again though the increased time to 90 minutes isn’t enough for how much it tries to fit in however sadly and these moments aren’t given the time to breath and grow that they really needed.
While the plot is somewhat rushed in places, especially towards the end when everyone suddenly ends up in Russia and then immediately after another planet entirely, the increased effects quality and budget definitely helps you get over the bumps. What was usually just the same corridor and door reused over and over again we instead see large scale rigs of an old cargo ship, large sweeping spaces of a Goa’uld flagship, a new time travel center, the SGC itself once more, and on and on it goes. Vast fleets bombard the Earth and there’s a large scale dogfight between the team and Gliders. It’s cinema level stuff and looks it, if not so well on DVD, so you can see corners weren’t cut.
Overall Continuum is a fantastic extended version of a traditional episode, with big scales and the story to match. While it isn’t perfect, with some rushing towards the end, it delivered the goods. It’s just a shame this was where the model stopped for them but at least we got a last hurrah with our favourite Goa’uld.
· The Navy running the SGC? NOOOOOOOOOO!
· Hammond, you only appear for 30 seconds and it’s already great.
· What happened to the Russians?
· So no one’s going to question the fact Mitchell looks like his Uncle Mitch in this new version of the prime timeline?
Quote of the episode: “Seriously, who would make this shit up!” – Jackson