Stargate SG-1: Season 8, Episode 6

Avatar (13 Aug. 2004)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 389 users  
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Dr. Lee is adapting a virtual reality chair for use as a training device. Teal'c thinks its current scenario is all too easy and agrees to work with them to make it more realistic. He ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Bill Dow ...


Dr. Lee is adapting a virtual reality chair for use as a training device. Teal'c thinks its current scenario is all too easy and agrees to work with them to make it more realistic. He enters the game scenario and is quickly "killed" at which point the chair shocks him. Lee says it must be part of its basic construct. As the scenario resets - it's an invasion of SGC by Goa'uld - Teal'c is repeatedly killed and shocked putting him in danger. The computer program is set up to learn after each scenario and the challenge for Teal'c increases at every turn. Daniel volunteers to enter the game as well to see if together they can find a way out. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

13 August 2004 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?


Carter asks Teal'c if he has ever played Ultimate Doom (1993). He replies, "I play Def Jam Vendetta (2003)," for which Christopher Judge (Teal'c) supplies the voice of the main villain of the game, D-Mob. See more »


When Teal'c goes into the armory for the first time, the label on the door has it spelled "Armoury". The USAF would spell words, on their doors, in their bases, using American English not Canadian English. See more »


Dr. Bill Lee: We've been working on this chair for two years to make it a viable virtual reality training tool for SGC personnel.
Teal'c: You have failed.
Jack O'Neill: He's nothing if not honest.
Dr. Bill Lee: Well, I mean - I mean, maybe we could, er, it could use a little more work but...
Jack O'Neill: Can you make it harder... more difficult?
Dr. Bill Lee: Well, I mean, we can input, uh, the parameters for different scenarios, but the vast majority of the simulation array comes from the mind of the user. It- The programming is actually built by interfacing memories ...
See more »


References Ultimate Doom (1993) See more »


End Title
Written by Joel Goldsmith
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User Reviews

Same player, play again. And again. And again.
25 August 2010 | by (France) – See all my reviews

This is a brilliant episode -you could see it as Teal'c version of O'Neill's "Abyss". There is no Stargate trip, no space ship and no alien menace, but I find it really riveting.

Part of its brilliance comes from the sheer simplicity of the plot. It digs up technology encountered years ago in "the Gamekeeper", which is a great example of continuity. R&D has created a simulation game that actually adapts to the player, so Teal'c gets to test it in order to improve it. Of course, something malfunctions and instead of releasing him when he wins, the IA just keeps creating more missions, practically keeping him prisoner inside a virtual SGC. So Teal'c ends up having to defeat again (and single-handedly) all the threats that have plagued Earth over the last few years.

The whole "game" environment is absolutely great. (I'll bet there's a real game based on this.) You can easily translate what happens in terms of "levels", "reset", "lives", "boss" (and even healing potions). As a real-life warrior, Teal'c is quite a formidable player: tackling every problem calmly and stubbornly, out-maneuvering the game's IA, getting NPCs to help, and even making statistics of previous "games".

But the "action" part, despite its real cleverness, is only the tip of the iceberg. The most interesting thing here is the insight it gives us into the characters' mind (mostly, Teal'c's) Because once again, when all is said and done, there is nothing wrong with the MACHINE. The bug actually comes from Teal'c, and the first explanation that comes to everybody's mind is that he is simply too stubborn to admit defeat. But it turns out that the problem is quite different, and much darker. It's actually *victory* that Teal'c can't believe in, even after (or especially after?) all those years of endless fighting. So this is the one and only time we'll ever see Teal'c beaten, exhausted and ready to give up: a really sobering thought, all things considered.

Despite the focus on Teal'c, however, there are several nice "team" moments. I particularly love how Sam, Jack and Daniel volunteer as one to save Teal'c; I like the fact that the whole team (players and NPCs) is there for the "final level"; and I find it deeply moving that once again it's Daniel who goes in to comfort his comrade(see "Abyss" and "the Changeling").

So in a nutshell, this is a very good, clever and well-conceived episode, with tons of action and technology and some really insightful character analysis.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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