Danger Gal Friday: Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter
Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter of the SciFi Channel’s series Stargate: SG-1 is an astrophysicist, the most important member of the SG-1, and one of the best female characters on TV.
SciFiPedia describes Carter as one who :
combines scientific expertise with a cool head under fire.
From the very beginning, Carter makes it clear to Capt. O’Neil that she’s not just “another egghead scientist,” but an officer who has flown several missions and logged over 100 hours in enemy airspace during the Gulf War. She joined the Air Force with the intent of becoming an astronaut. This isn’t just Astronaut Barbie we’re talking about here, Carter is much more than lip service Feminism.
Carter has influenced numerous offworld cultures and is, in my opinion, one of the most intelligent characters on TV. Carter’s sheer geekiness and connectedness to others give her character depth. Her one flaw is that she’s used her romantic affection for the unattainable Jack O’Neil as a reason to avoid romantic entanglement. It could just be that every man Carter falls for dies, which is an on-going series joke.
One of the best features of this series, and of Carter in particular, is how well it uses dialogue to reveal character and humor. One of my favorite Carter moments is from the very first episode when Carter tells Capt. O’Neil:
. . . just because my reproductive organs are on the inside instead of the outside doesn’t mean I can’t handle whatever you can handle.
There are few male characters who could boast the following accomplishments, and boasting is something the modest Carter would never do:
- can pilot just about anything, including an asteroid
- rides a motorcyle
- is a legend at the Air Force Academy
- is a crack shot
- has blown up a sun
- has saved the earth numerous times
- can relate to children
- is a pool shark and can pick locks
- can explain physics with fruit and a doughnut
Is Samantha Carter too good to be true? No more than any other fantastic male character on TV. SciFiPedia quotes jackfan55 on the Gateworld Forum for a perfect summary of Carter:
She’s brilliant yet lovable. She’s beautiful yet modest. She’s brave and selfless. She’s a kick-butt warrior and totally feminine. She’s a hero.
Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter is not only a Feminist character, but a well-rounded multidimensional one showing an extremely logical outlook with rich emotional depth. When I grow up, I want to be Samantha Carter.