The episode again provided plenty of food for thought though in terms of the larger story, specifically when it comes to communication with Earth.
Despite my initial thoughts, the Ancient communications device is quickly broken out by Colonel Young so he can check in with Earth and update them on their status. It also provides Chloe with the opportunity to tell her mother about her father’s death in the previous episode.
The way the communications device works is by swapping the conciousness of its users on either end. So in this case, we had Young body-swapping with Colonel Telford. As well as allowing Young to check in with Earth, it also allowed Telford (who was originally supposed to be leading the expedition) to get his first look at the situation on the Destiny, and it was clear he wasn’t happy with how things were being run (which in fairness to the character, was understandable, since he was the one specially trained for the mission, so he should have a better idea of how some situations should be tackled).
This led me to thinking though. I wonder how long it takes before its suggested that there’s a longer term body swap via the communications device. The Destiny crew is a hodge-podge of characters who survived the Icarus base attack versus, for example, the specially picked team that went through the gate during the Atlantis expedition. Currently for example, the crew is light on medical staff, so maybe there’ll be the issue of whether or not some of the less experienced crew swap out with a senior surgeon for example. With the number of injuries on board, it would at least make sense to do this kind of thing regularly, or have someone swap for a couple of weeks while the worst of the cases are dealt with. I can’t help but think there’ll have to be some sort of limitation introduced into the device, beyond the moral dilemma of loaning your body out to someone else and living in theirs for an extended period. It does look like there’s only a couple of the devices as well, so that will help provide limits to its use.
Interestingly as well, its confirmed that Rush did indeed contact Earth in the previous episode. So despite appearances, maybe he’s not as shifty as originally feared (although we only know that he made contact, not necessarily the he was put in charge as he claimed).
There’s also the mystery of the swirling dust cloud that helped Scott locate the limestone they needed to fix the air system. Was that a natural inhabitant of the planet, or was it maybe an ascended Ancient helping them along? That kind of interference would be unusual for the Ancients though. And in the final parting shot of the episode, we see some kind of shuttle detaching itself from the Destiny while in FTL. Is this pointing at a new alien race that have not only located the Destiny, but also have the same kind of advanced FTL technology? Surely a bad thing for the crew.
Aside from these, the other thing I’ve really gotten a feel of as I’ve mulled over this pilot, is how much the Destiny is a character in this show. Much moreso than Atlantis was in the previous series. Whereas Atlantis was purely a setting the characters inhabited, the Destiny has its own mission. The crew are merely passengers that the ship will help out if asked nicely (such as Rush telling the Destiny about the need to fix the air system). While stopped, the Destiny is only willing to stay for so long without leaving, and while Rush stumbled upon a way to buy a little extra time in this episode, from the way the ship was creaking and groaning, it really didn’t sound happy about its mission being stalled.
I really hope this is something the writers continue to play with. The TARDIS has long been treated as a character in Doctor Who, as opposed to just the transportation with a mind of its own, and moods, and its something that will really add to the alien nature of the Destiny. I really hope we don’t soon see the crew starting to get more and more control and understanding of the Destiny’s systems. I quite like the idea that they’re merely passengers stranded on this ship, rather than a proper crew.