Stargate SG-1 is one of my most loved television shows. After Star Trek: The Next Generation I think SG-1 was the first long term science fiction series I committed to. And it was seriously long term. It aired for ten seasons, and the Stargate universe was continued with Atlantis and SGU. Many aspects kept me coming back week after week – the self-deprecating humor, the way they embraced the camp factor, the glorious villains, and the mythology. The writing was entertaining, and I was always excited to see what the next adventure would be. Characters came and went, and only a few remained continuously for all ten seasons. Samantha Carter, played by Amanda Tapping, was one of those.
It took a little while for the writers and actress to find the right tone for Carter. She started off with the “I’m the only female on this team, and here’s the giant chip on my shoulder.” She was eager to point out that she could do everything just as well as the boys and always assumed that any question directed at her was somehow undermining and an insult to her gender. Thankfully that attitude adjusted after just a few episodes. Later, she never struggled between her femininity and her place in the military. The fact that she was a women didn’t really come up. She was just there, being a brilliant member of the team.
She was brainy and with occasional help from Daniel Jackson, she always got SG-1 or Stargate command out of sticky (as in the destruction of Earth) situations. If it involved science or computers, she could figure it out. And if there were numbers? Forget about it. She wasn’t afraid to use force either. She was a tough soldier and a good leader. I think she set a great precedent for female characters in sci-fi television, especially female characters in the military. If I could pick any member of SG-1 to be on my team for say… the zombie apocalypse, I’d pick Carter.