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R.A. Goodyear is an author, screenwriter, ghostwriter, editor and book/film reviewer with over twelve years' experience, including positions in two independent publishing houses. Rebekah has published ...

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Rita Lewis Avalon, Parts 1 and 2: Season 9, Episodes 1 and 2
02 August 2017
: what a fantastic job reviewing these controversial episodes and explain to this Scaper why Ben pla...

Reviews and Journaling By R.A. Goodyear

Here's where you can read reviews and critiques of Ben's many years of performances. You'll find his TV show episodes, movie and guest star reviews as well as discussions of personal appearances.

Off the Grid: Season 9, Episode 16

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Off the Grid is famous for the scene where Ben as Cameron Mitchell decides - against the advice of his team - to pose as a drug lord, while trying to gather intel about the Kassa corn operation, a genetically engineered vegetable with a highly addictive substance. To quote Cameron, it's "evil Orville Redenbacher."

However, as amusing as that opening sequence is, it's only a very small part of the story, which centres around SG-1's dangerous mission to retrieve multiple Stargates, stolen by Baa'l in an effort to take over Gate travel and the Milky Way Galaxy.

Ben gives a masterful performance with Cameron's changing moods throughout the episode. Initially, the old Stargate humour sets the tone and Ben has a firm grasp on it, playing Cameron as the new leader who is trying to hide his own insecurities and prove himself to his legendary, veteran team. It is hard on Cameron in the beginning since, in spite of his valour during the Battle of Antarctica, the team is sometimes dubious about his decisions and expresses this (not always kindly either). Samantha, Daniel, and Teal'c are accustomed to doing things their way and, in Daniel and Samantha's case at least, to bucking against their team leader's decisions when they feel they must (as Jack used to say, "No sir? Does it say Colonel anywhere on my uniform?") Add in the fact that Samantha and Cameron are the same rank, Daniel is a civilian and Teal'c is an alien, and it makes for a rocky beginning.

Ben plays up Cameron's attempt to compensate for his own self-doubt (fueled by the team questioning his decision on the Kassa surveillance mission) perfectly, using humour and a fake over-confidence to hide his insecurities. The scene where Cameron goes to pose as a drug dealer and things go wrong is funny, especially with Ben's wide grin as Cameron lands in trouble.

There is one dramatic scene which strikes me every time: after SG-1 is captured and beaten, the Lucian Alliance thug finally loses patience and orders his men to kill the team, leaving Cameron for last so he can watch them die. Ben switches Cameron's tone and expression from grim humour to sudden desperation, as he pleads for the thugs to let his team go and just kill him. Cameron's protectiveness and loyalty to a team he hasn't even fully bonded with yet is striking, and speaks volumes about his character.

I don't believe, however, that it would be as obvious had the role been played by another actor. Ben is unique in his ability to take even the smallest seed of opportunity to portray his character's deep feeling, passionate nature, intelligence, and hidden complexities, and make it bloom into a forest of rich layers.

Throughout the rest of the episode, Ben plays Cameron as alternating between humour, self-sacrifice, quick thinking, confident leader, and back to the enthusiastic, newest member of Stargate Command. Although the story is (as usual) primarily plot/action driven, and parts of the script border on being slightly silly, Off the Grid is worth watching both for the adventure and fun, and to catch a glimpse of Ben's extraordinary "chameleon" acting ability.

External Publication

  • Ben Browder Network
  •   Tuesday, 11 July 2017
0
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We are a fan site completely unaffiliated with Ben Browder or his management. We created the website to augment our fan page on Facebook, Ben Browder News, as a place where you can read the reviews, opinions, and news published for the past few years as well as gain access to the other wonderful websites concerning the career of Ben Browder. The editors of Ben Browder News wish to thank our fellow fans for their talent and creativity and we hope we are adding to the accumulated information supporting Ben's amazing acting, writing, directing and producing career.

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