Stargate SG-1: Thor’s Hammer is a super show. It has drama, intensity, emotion, and heart. It’s one that is a little upsetting in a way, but it’s a favorite episode that watch often.
Earth’s flagship team, SG-1, go through the Stargate to Cimmeria and receive an unusual greeting — they are laughed at by the natives. Before they can re-dial the Gate and return to Stargate Command, a powerful, laser-like beam emanates from what is Thor’s Hammer and transports Jack (Richard Dean Anderson) and Teal’c (Christopher Judge) to an underground tunnel where they face off with a creature called an Unas.
This Unas is one bad dude, and when you hear him talk, you believe it even more. That’s because the masterful base voice of James Earl Jones provided the voice of the Unas.
Meanwhile Daniel (Michael Shanks) and Sam (Amanda Tapping) don’t know whether their friends are dead or alive. What I like about their immediate action is that Daniel is very vulnerable. He’s almost ready to break down, thinking Jack is dead, and it’s Sam who rallies him and insist they have to find the teammates. I think this is probably the only time we see exactly this type of reaction from either character.
Ultimately, Daniel and Sam hook up with a local named Kendra, who used to be a host to a Goa’uld. The fact that she isn’t any longer gives Daniel hope for his wife, who is currently a host. There are several scenes here that are emotional as Daniel discovers that hope and tries to both believe in it (and Kendra) and that he can save his wife some day soon. This leads to a bit of a conflict between he and Sam. That’s really a great scene, too, as Daniel challenges her.
The crux of the drama in Thor’s Hammer occurs towards the story’s resolution when Jack challenges Daniel to do the one thing that will save Teal’c, but destroy the brief hope he had of saving his wife. The intensity and emotion of what happens is increased because Jack could do the deed himself. There’s no reason why Daniel had to do it. It’s a tough scene to watch, but it’s brilliantly done. Shanks is terrific while Anderson is agonizing compelling in this scene.
From season one, Thor’s Hammer is one of the best of the series. It’s vintage, and it’s awesome.