1) The utter disdain in Devon Adair’s voice as she reproaches the interrupting O’Neill, “I’m putting my son to bed, Commander!”
2) They never do tell you who it was Bess thought about. Because that wasn’t what was important. Here was a show where when there was trouble in a marriage, it didn’t automatically end. Here was a show that dealt with choice and consequence. Here was a show with people with real feelings and real emotions who made real mistakes and then had to live with them–and who chose to fight instead of taking the easy road.
3) Terry O’Quinn.
4) Tim Curry.
5) Devon and Danziger. Especially the scene where they’re tied up and Devon has to grab the canteen with her mouth.
6) Real children, and real parents. These aren’t adorable, model children. These aren’t scenery. These are kids with real personalities and motivations, who don’t always know what’s right, and who react extraordinarily realistically to being stranded on a planet with none of the luxuries they were used to. These are kids whose actions often drive the plot. These kids are characters!
7) Alonzo grinning when Danziger asks how old he is, and responding, “A hell of a lot older than you, kid.”
8) Deadly viruses that come not from the new hostile environment, but from something that happened years ago and light years away.
9) The Grendlers. They could have just been boring, stupid, and ugly. But they’re complex, motivated, friendly with a twist–their love for the taste of human blood. And then there’s that episode where their “humanity” is incontrovertibly shown…
10) Danziger’s apology to True. I cannot describe how attractive a good father is.
11) The amazing shot framing. I am constantly impressed by how plot elements will stay framed in the background, even when the action is in the foreground, or how receding action will remain framed by something related in the foreground. And then there are scenes that are just pretty.
12) The concept of a planet’s life forms having direct symbiosis with it. Sure, it’s an obvious environmentalist statement…but it’s also rife with story possibilities. Especially when you throw in the human factor.
13) How a story that seems fairly simple continues to become more and more complex, yet retains the themes that make everything still seem simple.
14) Fantastic props and costumes and set pieces. And who knew New Mexico was that beautiful? (I’ve never been there–sorry New Mexico!)
15) Morgan Martin, one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever seen. He’s not a hero in many ways, and yet in other ways he is. Most of all he’s real. He’s real and he makes all kinds of mistakes. But he’s not comic relief–or if he is, that’s not all he is. He’s a main character. (Side note: the actor who plays him is named Gegenhuber…was the writer of Kyou Kara Maou a fan?)
16) Exploring what it means to be genetically designed for something and to have other, seemingly baser motivations. Exploring various ways of dealing with criminals–exile, mind wipe–that aren’t really possible currently, but are just as rife with ethical dilemmas as the procedures we have now. Exploring so many science and social possibilities, all within the framework of real people stuck together on a mission gone sour.
17) Discovering things we take for granted about planetary life for the first time: wind, rain, snow.
18) The VR. I know, it seems to randomly appear after Julia uses it to contact Reilly…but it’s just so cool!
19) Reilly: You must tell me where you are so we can come and collect the child. Who knows? When you do, maybe the Council will name an entire continent after your family.
Julia: Yeah. Maybe they’ll call it Hell.