Martin Lloyd seeks out SG-1 for assistance when his failed TV show based on the real Stargate program becomes a feature film.
General Jack O'Neill has ordered Lt. Colonels Samantha Carter and Cameron Mitchell, Dr. Daniel Jackson, Teal'c, and Vala Mal Doran to review a movie script by Martin Lloyd. His failed television show based on the Stargate program, Wormhole X-Treme!, is being turned into a feature film!
The script opens with SG-1 finally meeting the elusive Furlings face-to-face. They are fury, panda-like creatures. But the Goa'uld attack, and Carter is unable to prevent a thermodynamic loop from feeding back into the planet's core. With a shrug, she and Jackson beam out as the world is blown apart.
At the real Stargate Command, Carter points out this never happened -- but Mitchell contends that a movie should open big! Sam thinks it's wrong to have the heroes cause a major catastrophe. Mitchell thinks the script review will be fun, while Jackson snipes that Mitchell thinks everything is fun. Vala notes the absence of a sexy, female alien in the movie script -- namely, her. General Landry promises to rescue them after they've spent some time around the conference table with Martin.
Cut to Mitchell's pitch for an action-packed movie scene: S.G.C. personnel have been transformed into marauding zombies by Telchak's device ("Evolution, Part 2"). Guns blazing, Cam fights his way to the gate, intent on returning the device that has caused this mayhem. Shooting zombies left and right, he orders Walter Harriman to dial the gate. But it is too late -- the control room has been overrun, and the zombies get the poor technician.
Martin interrupts the pitch, saying zombies have been done to death. (Jackson wants to know where the rest of SG-1 was during Mitchell's heroics.) When Marty receives a phone call from the studio telling him that his lead actor Nick Marlowe has backed out, the team offers ways to refer to the character, including phone calls. Mitchell suggests just bringing in another character. Martin wants them to pitch cool ideas like body switching, prompting Carter to recall a time O'Neill was rendered invisible by alien technology.
Landry interrupts to send SG-1 and Vala on a recon mission. Mitchell is especially enthusiastic because it will be his 200th trip through the Stargate. The gate, however, fails to power up. They'll have to go back to the conference room with Martin while diagnostics are performed.
Cut to SG-1 -- with 10 seconds to get through the gate, pursued by Replicators to a cliff's edge. On the plain below, between them and the gate, Al'kesh ships. But it's just another scene from the script.
Martin calls a break to write down Carter's techno-talk as she explains why the gate isn't working. Vala pitches a story that casts her as Dorothy, Carter as a Tok'ra, Mitchell as the Scarecrow, Teal'c as the Tin Man, Jackson as the Cowardly Lion and Landry as the Ascended being, a.k.a., "The Wizard of Oz." Her request -- she originally just wanted to go home, but now she wants to be a part of something -- a regular part. Martin recognizes the story and dismisses the eager Vala.
In Martin's new end to Act Two, the Stargate capacitors overload in an attempt to fix it, blowing up Cheyenne Mountain! Fortuitously, the heroes beam out, prompting a discussion of convenience beaming in science fiction.
Martin moves to Scene 24: a Star Trek homage with Mitchell as Captain Kirk, Carter as the blond assistant infatuated with Kirk, Teal'c as Worf and Jackson as the science officer. Reading the script, Jackson pronounces the whole scene ridiculous, and Teal'c wonders why everything must explode in the movie. Mitchell suggests never underestimating the audience, as "they are sensitive, intelligent people who respond positively to quality entertainment."
After another studio call, Marty reveals that when the star won't sign, a junior network executive wants to recast the team with younger, edgier versions.
Vala next tries to pitch Gilligan's Island. When Martin catches on, she recasts Farscape -- with Carter as Chiana, Teal'c as D'Argo, Jackson as Crichton, herself as Aeryn, Thor as Rygel, and Mitchell as Stark.
Vala asks why Martin wasn't just given the mission files -- all 1,263 of them. Jackson and Carter reveal there is a mission file Mitchell hasn't read. They won't tell him, but they tell Vala that "File 30185" concerns their trip to 1969 ("1969"), and that Mitchell was born 9 months later -- implying that he made it into the F-302 program and into SG-1 because Jack O'Neill is his daddy. Mitchell finally realizes he's being punked.
With his actors holding out, Martin ponders the possibility of doing his movie without them. In a scene done completely with puppets, General Hammond puts together a marionette SG-1 team about to step through the Stargate for the first time.
At the real S.G.C., General O'Neill arrives just as Teal'c pitches a show about himself in a trench coat, hat, and earrings: Teal'c P.I. With the gate fixed, Colonel Mitchell invites O'Neill on his 200th trip through the Stargate.
When Martin wants a new ending for the movie, O'Neill suggests fishing ("Moebius, Part 2"). Martin wonders what the twist is -- no fish?
Vala suggests a wedding. Daniel is Jack's best man in the fantasy scene, though he is concerned that if Carter doesn't show up for their big day, people will think he and Jack are marrying! Thor, Carter, and Vala (her maid of honor), beam in. Despite the intimate moment, O'Neill calls her "Carter" and she calls him "sir."
In the real world, General Landry announces the mission to P2C-106 a go. O'Neill invites Landry, who in turn invites Walter to join them. When Walter enters the gate room, Landry asks if everything is ready. S.G. teams 3 through 18, cake, balloons, and streamers are waiting on the other side to commemorate Mitchell's 200th trip.
O'Neill invites Martin to go along in search of his ending, but the producer announces that the movie has been cancelled. The TV series, however, has been renewed! Skip ahead to Wormhole X-Treme!, 10 years later, wrapping their own 200th episode. As he and the Wormhole actors do interviews, Martin learns that the movie is back on.
- S. Fetter
Why such a radical departure from the Stargate formula? "200" is the show's landmark 200th episode, of course.
SG-1 talks about the incident in which Jack was rendered invisible, complete with "flashbacks." This scene (like the "Previously On ..." opening segment with the Furlings) never occurred on the show, but was completely original to "200."
Stargate SG-1 executive producer and co-creator Brad Wright makes a cameo in the Star Trek scene, as Scotty.
Ben Browder was originally set to play John Crichton -- the role that made him famous in science fiction circles -- in the Farscape scene. He and Michael Shanks decided to switch roles at the last minute, as a nod to the fans who suggested when Browder joined Stargate that the two look alike.
"We've come up with some pretty crazy ideas. ... We've just started spinning the 200th episode so its unlikely you would have heard anything about it." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a message at GateWorld Forum)
"Episode 6 will be, of course, our 200th episode and we've tossed around some great, albeit insane, ideas on this one." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his GateWorld blog)
"As for the Furlings -- how's this for a newsflash -- we may finally find out about them in Season Ten." ... "Don't laugh. We've seriously discussed the possibility." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a message at GateWorld Forum)
"Brad [Wright] has been working on the third episode of SG-1 as well as that wild (some will no doubt say 'crazy') idea for the 200th episode, getting on it early as it will take some time to prepare for." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
"And, of course, there's the big 200th episode that will offer up a little something for everyone. It'll be an episode unlike any we've ever produced, both in terms of format and content." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
"We started to break the 200th episode today and discussed the possibility of a special guest star. Fingers crossed." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
"I would say it's going to be not unlike 'Wormhole X-Treme!' We're going to be taking a few potshots at ourselves, but at the same time the audience will certainly be in on the joke. It may also involve the appearance of a face that we've missed for some time." (Actor Michael Shanks, in an interview with Sci-Fi Talk)
"We'll see Willie Garson [Martin Lloyd]. He's coming back. It's sort of a full circle thing."
"It's out there ... in a good way! It's fun. Hopefully it's funny. Hopefully it's very funny -- if not, it's at least fun."
"The essence of [the] idea is that we'll all write it. And that's a lot of fun. And we each took sections -- and my section is possibly the most outrageous. Fans are either going to love it, or they're going to hate it. But I thought it was fun. And I figure every hundred episodes you should be allowed to go outside the box a little bit." (Executive producer Brad Wright, in an interview with GateWorld)
"We've asked him [Richard Dean Anderson], and he's going to come back. Certainly not for the whole time, but he's going to come and play with us again. That door was left open, and he's going to come back and step through it." (Executive producer Brad Wright, in an interview with GateWorld)
"The 200th episode was very grueling for me. I had a 2-month-old baby who was very fussy baby, didn't sleep much, and being up all night with my baby and in every scene, every set up, every day at work was probably the greatest challenge I've had in terms of trying to keep energy up when I had none in reserve. And one day on set I actually couldn't remember my line, and no matter how hard I tried I could not get it out of my mouth.
"I was doing a sequence with Willie Garson and he was very supportive and very sweet, and I tried very hard and I just could not recall the line. And everyone was standing on the set very ... I think they felt very sorry for me because it's very awkward for an actor when they are going through that. It's very painful to watch, and very painful and embarrassing for me. And I went to Robert Cooper and I said, 'I had a terrible day on set and I'm sorry I just couldn't remember my line.' And he was very sweet, and they didn't fire me! But that was very challenging that day. Probably the most embarrassing day!" (Actress Claudia Black, in an interview with The Scifi World)
"SG-1 was about to attain the loftiest of broadcast heights -- its 200th episode -- and we wanted to do something special. Something unique. Something everyone on the production would enjoy as much as the longtime fans watching at home. The initial idea pitched out was something called 'Remember When ...', [a] trip down memory lane in which our characters' reflections would form the frames of the varied flashbacks to outrageous missions. While everyone loved the idea of the outrageous missions, the premise of the episode felt too diffuse. We wanted an actual story that would form the heart of the episode. After much discussion, we elected to pay tribute to the franchise by referencing our last milestone -- episode 100 -- and bringing back Martin Lloyd and the show within a show, Wormhole X-Treme! But the fun we poked at the franchise through that spoof production was nothing compared to what we had in store for '200' ...
"We finally meet the Furlings! Sort of. Even though it never really happened and we end up getting them killed in the end.
"Back in the show's fourth season, not long after joining the production, I was summoned to executive producer Robert Cooper's office. He was doing his pass on our first script, 'Scorched Earth,' and needed something from me: the name of an alien race. When pressed, he admitted naming alien races was not his forte and, as evidence, offered up 'the Furlings.' I have to admit that whenever I heard the name, I always imagined a cosmic version of the Care Bears, giggling and snuggling their way through various adventures. As evidently, did everyone else on the production. The fans, however, were all sorts of curious and nary a week would go by without a fan or two posting a message board request for a glimpse of the elusive beings. As time wore on, those requests continued and, at one point, Brad suggested an episode in which we actually did get to meet them: a race of gaunt, towering, hairless, grey-skinned creatures. But that idea was quashed and the production went on its merry way, choosing to keep the race a mystery. But with '200' came the opportunity to honor those fan requests, and the viewers at home finally got to see those lovable furry creatures who turned out to be a cross between an Ewok and a deranged koala.
"And then SG-1 went and got their planet blown up.
"Of course, we quickly reveal that the incident never actually happened and it was part of a pitch for a revival of the defunct Wormhole X-Treme! TV series, a show that last an inglorious three episodes before being cancelled. But thanks to an impressive second life on DVD (following in the footsteps of Family Guy and Futurama) the show is being revived -- and General O'Neill, in a desire to maintain a cover of plausible deniability for the Stargate program (and, let's face it, screw with his old teammates) charges SG-1 with the task of creatively contributing to the production." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
"The idea of doing an Invisible O'Neill segment was actually a joke I threw out. That ended up making the script. That happened a lot in this episode. As with all the segments, we went off and wrote them individually, and then everyone weighed in and they were tweaked. There's one beat in this segment that wasn't part of my original draft, the moment in which Carter catches O'Neill spying on her in the shower. I thought it was a little ... oh ... creepy.
"Anyway, the Invisible O'Neill idea was embraced because we wanted Richard Dean Anderson to come back and do a cameo on this all-important episode, but didn't know if he'd be able to work an appearance. So, we figured we'd get the next best thing: his voice. As it turned out, he was able to swing the appearance, making '200' all that more special." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
"Next to The Simpsons, The Wizard of Oz was probably the most referenced piece of pop culture over SG-1's decade-long run. The fans certainly took notice and which resulted in one particularly memorable piece of artwork being sent to studio -- it depicted the original team as the cinematic classic's adventurous foursome. So, I suppose, it made perfect sense to reference the show referencing by including a little Wizard of Oz sequence in the episode as well.
"Mitchell's line: 'Now, how can something work perfectly fine for ten years, then all of a sudden, it doesn't work anymore?' was an in-story reference to the gate suddenly stopping operations -- and, interestingly enough, could have been interpreted as a comment on the the show's cancellation." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
"Fans have asked me what this story means in the grand scheme of things and, really, it's a standalone story in the sense that we take time out from every story arc we have going and poke some fun at ourselves and the sci-fi genre. It's basically our characters sitting around with Martin Lloyd [Willie Garson] and hashing out ideas for a sci-fi feature film script. In the process we tear apart every sci-fi show cliché a la Galaxy Quest and literally do the 'what would happen if' thing where we as actors get to act out vignettes that everyone is pitching out as proposition points.
"So for example, we see SG-1's version of The Wizard of Oz, which we've been dying to do since the beginning of the series. There's also a little homage to Farscape, as well as Star Trek, that oddly enough Brad Wright is part of.
"It was a treat being able to break free of the confines of taking ourselves seriously and camp it up a bit. No doubt some fans won't like some of the things we talk about and do, but like I said it's all in good fun." (Actor Michael Shanks, in an interview with Steve Eramo)
"We're not normally given that opportunity because we have to maintain the integrity of the show, but in this case we figured we could make an exception. When I first read the script I wondered, 'What are the viewers going to think of it?' Seven writers wrote it and I laughed my way through the entire thing, including, all the inside jokes. You worry when you're doing inside jokes as to whether or not only the show's hardcore fans are going to get the joke or if the general audience will also get a chuckle out of it. Most people seemed to have enjoyed the episode, including the critics, and I'm very pleased about that."
"The most difficult thing for me to do was try not to make it funnier, if that makes sense. It was already extremely amusing on the page, so there were times where I had to rein the actors in just a little bit and say, 'We don't need to do a thing to make this funnier. It already is.' Everyone agreed and off we went.
"I probably did more research for the 200th episode than I've ever done before on SG-1 because I wanted to match styles to the TV series and films we were spoofing. For example, if you really know The Wizard of Oz, when you see the Goa'uld crushed under the cargo ship in '200' you'll go, 'Hey, that's just how it looks when Dorothy's house falls on the Wicked Witch in the original movie.' In fact, I even remembered to put a little fern off to the left-hand side of our Goa'uld. For our Farscape scene I watched 10 or 12 episodes of that series in a row to make sure I got the shooting style right. That was so everyone who had ever seen Farscape would recognize our efforts to copy it. The same was true of our Star Trek spoof. We used seven different shooting styles in this episode, which you don't normally do on a TV show, so that was a huge amount of fun for me." (Director Martin Wood, in an interview with Steve Eramo)
How would you rate SG-1's "200?"
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