Just watched the latest "Stargate" made-for-TV movie and it's not bad; they made a time-twisty plot work well.
Alas, it fails of great on a simple thing -- Our Heroes, stuck in a timeline in which their skills are unverified and having spent some time far away from military tech, are suddenly called up and stuffed into two-seater fighters on a crash-urgent mission-- one on which they will be accompanied through the Stargate by four Marines (oo-rah!), since the alternate timeline .mil/.gov does not trust 'em. This would all hang together...if only the script had not called for the two pilots on this subset of the SG-1 team to be flying the airplanes.
Wham! Suspended disbelief breaks free and heads floorward! Not workin' -- I happen to know (slightly) a real-life Samantha Carter and she struggles to remain current on less-demanding vehicles between defeating aliens and doing astrophysics. A jet fighter is not a VW Beetle, you don't just hop into one and take off from Washington, D.C. to Antarctica after months of not even flying paper airplanes.
Of course there was a dogfight, not to mention a drastic change in destination; and of course the limits on maximum range without refueling and weapon load (live weaponry? In planes flown by untrusted strangers who claim to be from another timeline? Surrrrre .mil would do that, you bet!) were ignored.
Here's a tip for SF writers in every medium: you can only do handwaving on the science-fiction-y bits. The actually-existing hardware has to be right or you give the game away. (A great advantage for me, of course, is that all the hardware I write about is real. If you wanna write about starships, go work on a starship).
...Don't even get me started about Daniel Jackson firing M92s one in each hand. At least the actor has the arms for it, but still.... Not.
4 weeks ago