So in this week's episode of Stargate SG-1, "Insiders", the writers/producers decided to change the duration of a Stargate trip again.
Throughout the original movie and the early years of the show, it clearly takes travellers and most obviously MALPs 8 or 9 seconds to get from the SGC gate room to the other end. This ties in with both of the visual effects used, both the old and the newer version of the "I'm in a wormhole" effect.
The only time this was contradicted was in Season 3's "Shades of Grey", when O'Neil appeared to go straight through from one planet onto another planet. I always figured this was a simile put in place for dramatic effect, which worked well.
We've always had to wait a while for a MALP to get through and start transmitting. In "Red Sky" Sam was timing a wormhole trip to stop in the middle of a sun… and the whole affair clearly was designed to take more than 0.3 seconds.
And yet, in Season 9's "Ripple Effect" this is exactly how long the writers decided they wanted it to take for someone to step through the gate and arrive at the other end. At first I thought I might be able to shrug it off as a mistake and ignore it from the canon.
Then they threw it into blatantly unnatural exposition in "The Scourge", when Carter is explaining to Woolsey about the whole wormhole thing. It was almost as if the producers wanted to show off their new shiny number that they'd never had before. But it is still the wrong number.
Back in "Ripple Effect", the idea was that an inter-dimensional bridge had lengthened gate travel from 0.3 seconds to 3.4 seconds, and this was how Carter was able to tell that the other SG-1s were coming from other universes.
And now, in "Insiders", apparently every gate journey takes 3.2 seconds. Not 8, not 0.3. But 3.2. That's the third gross misrepresentation of a core piece of the show's technological makeup.
Matters are made worse when it was implied that Mitchell was able to think up a joke during those "3.2 seconds" that he was split into constituent molecules and thrown through a wormhole, despite Carter having said herself even as late as "Ripple Effect", after 0.3 seconds was made up, that the journey feels instantaneous.
Now, for the most part I enjoyed the episode. I have nothing against the new cast or the new enemies or much else about last year's shake-up. But it's forced exposition ("Impossible is a word I haven't used since ten years ago when I joined the Stargate Program", says Sam totally unneccesarily) and atrociously careless handling of established series facts and the way they hold onto their replacements "facts" as if canon of a totally different show.
And that annoys me. A lot.