Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Bolton, UK
Here is my full review:-
Unnatural Selection (***1/2)
Sam: "Sir, we can't call it the Enterprise!"
Unnatural Selection is one of the episodes I had been looking forward to. Billed as the battle to end all battles between the Replicators and the Asgard, it was a bit of a let down was then that it wasn't and the episode was totally character driven. This is not a bad thing at all but I would have liked to see the battle as the Asgard retreated from the planet. We start off the episode with a lot of humour, fantastically written and acted by all involved especially the ship naming scene and the ice cream scene. Other great scenes include when O'Neill speaks to Hammond. The look on the old General's face shows just how much of a family they have become. When SG-1 open fire on the human Replicators with no hesitation and the final scene with the look of betrayal and hurt on Fifth's face, great stuff.
The episode is in fact a great episode with what is there, it is however what is not there that pulls the episode down in my estimation. It runs for 30 minutes absolutely fantastically, but then it all wraps very, very quickly. On second viewing I worked out why. The episode has no middle. It has a beginning up to the point they wake up on the ship and then it goes straight into the end with them getting Fifth's help, the 37 hours they were out was the middle of the episode! Of course this is down to the restraints of a 45 minute slot, however the writers knew what material they had and should have made this episode as a two parter in its own right. I would have had a 3 parter, Prometheus then Unnatural Selection I & II. Doing that this episode could have had a lot more material in it and thus been given much better pacing and a proper middle section. So what would I have liked too see? Well to make the episode really dark seeing all the characters personal hells would have been great, plus more psychological attacks by the human replicators, more building up of Fifth's humanity and a personally battle with himself to help or stay with his brethren, plus for the action man in me there could have been a gun battle as SG-1 ran back to the ship with Replicator bugs being made out of the ground!
Again the SFX were very strong and the music great again, the part where the ship was landing was exceptional and certainly cinematic in quality. The acting is good throughout the episode, especially from the guy playing Fifth, his facial expressions were spot on. We all love Thor so it was good to see quite a bit of him.
Overall then Unnatural Selection is a good episode that suffers from time restraints more than anything else (and more than any episode I can think of in the past). It does the job of writing out the Replicators but with the option of bringing them back again if wanted. It was a risky decision by the writers to have our team use someone?s humanity against them and the overall tone of the episode was dark (which I always like, the more adult and dark the better IMO!). I'm only guessing here, but I would expect the Replicators were written out to free up the Asgard for planned future events, will be interesting to see where it goes and now there is a season 7 whether they decide to bring back the Replicators as well.
Synopsis & rate the episode at my site.
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