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- From the very first episode, Teal'c (still working for Apophis) is getting ready to execute SG-1 and a whole group of innocent people. Jack cries out to him that he can save everyone, if Teal'c helps him (showing an astounding level of faith in a man he barely knows). Teal'c responds by saying that he has heard many people make that claim, then turns on the other Jaffa, throwing Jack a staff weapon.
O'Neill: I can save these people! Help me! (whispers) Help me...Teal'c: (turns to glare at O'Neill) Many have said that... (blasts one Jaffa, then hands O'Neill a staff) But you are the first who I believe who can do it!
- There's "Emancipation", where Carter steps up to battle a tribal warlord and kicks vast amounts of ass, until she gets him on the ground with a knife to the throat and demands his surrender. And it doesn't hurt that she did all that to save a young woman from an "honor killing".
- Best of all, her opponent tried to cheat by pulling out a big knife. Carter not only not cries foul, she pulls out her standard issue knife and beats him with it!
- Bra'Tac gets a couple in his first appearance; he manages to pull Jack to the ground with a scissor lock after getting him to drop his guard by mentioning how old he is, and at the end of the episode he single handedly defeats the Jaffa guarding the Gate by rapidly firing his staff into the ground to create a dust cloud and then beating them all unconscious.
- The alternate universe Sam from "There But for the Grace of God" is being held at staff-point by a dozen Jaffa. She convinces them to hold fire by telling them she has a dimensional-control device and is willing to hand it over to Apophis. The Jaffa take the device, and then she whips out a grenade and tells them she also wants to blow them all to hell. Cue explosion.
- From the season 1 finale.
O'Neill: I guess I'm supposed to say something profound at this moment. (Daniel, Teal'c, and Sam wait for his speech) ... Nothing comes to mind. Let's do it.
- SG-1 is on Apophis's mothership and are ready to blow it up, of course this means they'll die as well. Colonel O'Neill hesitates before hitting the detonator:
- The same episode: the way Daniel survived by having the presence of mind to use the Sarcophogus, then the rings, then the Stargate, all while he was still very badly injured was pure badass.
- How about just moments before, where Daniel, a civilian scholar with comparatively less combat training/experience than the rest of SG-1 goes Guns Akimbo on advancing Jaffa guards with an H&K MP5 and a pistol, gunning down several of them before getting staff-blasted, and then still choosing to stay behind to cover his team's escape. Took a Level in Badass indeed...
- As the team escapes from Apophis at the end of the pilot, when most of the escapees are taking cover from the Jaffa, one of them stands up and starts throwing rocks. Let me repeat that for you: a man who appears to be at least in his sixties, faced with the footsoldiers of the gods, decides to throw rocks at them. He's later seen fighting hand-to-hand beside O'Neill and Kawalsky. My only question is, why didn't they snap him up for an SG team?
- The non-speaking parts of the SGC get one in the season three opener, when General Hammond is seeking volunteers to rescue SG-1. He says anyone who wishes to go should take one step forward. Everyone steps forward in unison before he can even complete the sentence.
- Jack's many, many awesome moments, like when, during Bra'tac's lengthy speech about "battling their way to the shield core", O'Neill busies himself with pulling the pin on some grenades, dropping them, and destroying the core, thus leaving them with plenty of time to get the hell out of Dodge.
O'Neill: What now?
Bra'tac: Now, we die.
O'Neill: Well, that's a bad plan.
- Followed by:
- A Hammond CMoA in the season 2 opener. In the alternate universe, O'Neill was in command of SGC and he sent a nuclear bomb to the Jaffa homeworld, effectively killing a whole planet of innocent people just to strike back at the Goa'uld. When someone suggests the same thing in the regular universe, where Hammond is in command, he casually dismisses the possibility.
- Of course, you have to remember that O'Neill was a lot more desperate, less experienced in the ways of the Goa'uld, and didn't have the benefit of Daniel's moral compass until recently.
- Also, in the alternate universe, they had never been to Chulak, so O'Neill had no reason to think of it as anything other than an enemy base, whereas it really would have been nuking a good sized city.
- Considering the fact that the Jaffa were destroying the Earth Jack had little reason for mercy.
- In "Secrets", Colonel O'Neill confronts Heru'ur on Abydos. Heru'ur has his shield up and can't be shot. As he prepares to blast O'Neill with his hand device, O'Neill nails him right through the hand with his thrown combat knife. Damn.
Heru'ur: You dare challenge me?!
O'Neill: Thinkin' about it. (tosses knife)
- The best part of that being that he and Carter had just walked into the situation (literally). O'Neill recovers from the surprise and handles the situation beautifully.
- Janet Fraiser gets a good, subtle one moment in "Serpent's Song," when she singlehandedly in four words explains the entire Hippocratic oath. Martouf sees Janet giving Apophis an injection of morphine to ease his pain. This dialogue ensues.
Martouf: He is your enemy!
Fraiser: He is my patient!
- Thor's first appearance also counts. Earlier on in the episode the crew make contact with Thor via hologram to ask for help and he kind of disses them off and sends them on their way. In the end SG-1 are captured and the Goa'uld appear to be victorious, and suddenly this huge mothership shows up and casually beams the entire Jaffa army away.
- Not just the army, it takes the Pyramids (Goa'uld landing site) as well.
- Around the planet's stargate are a mixture of corpses of Cimmereans and Jaffa. Armed with little more than swords and axes, the locals managed to break through to the gate so that a call for help could be sent to Earth. Later we see a local strike down a Jaffa with a thrown ax!
- There's a wonderful simplicity to Teal'c's boast in the Season 3 opener, "Into the Fire". A Jaffa woman is confronting him as he returns to Chulak.
Woman: "Shol'va! You dare return to Chulak?Teal'c: "The people of Chulak are my brothers and sisters. I have betrayed no one."Woman: "Except your god."
- Immediately after this, he beats the crap out of the woman's two Jaffa bodyguards in a few seconds, then orders her to tell every single person that Tea'c of Chulak has returned, and that he will speak to every warrior at Bra'tac's house at dawn. And she does.
- Teal'c tries to sway the Jaffa on Chulak to join him in rescuing his friends. Few of them volunteer, but who is one of the robed volunteers? Hammond of Texas himself!
- Teal'c and General Hammond fly a Goa'uld "needle threader" (a Stargate-sized glider) through the Stargate in order to rescue SG-1 and other characters, who have been captured by a Goa'uld. Hammond has control of the weapons and gets to blow up rows of towers putting a force shield in place, while Teal'c, the pilot, avoids every bit of return fire. What does Hammond have to say about this? "Yee-haw!" The look on Teal'c face is priceless.
- In "Forever in a Day", Shar'e got one, as depressing as it was. The fact that she figured out how to send a message to Daniel through the hand device was really awesome.
- The fact that she kept telling Daniel not to blame Teal'c was very noble as well, also counts as heartwarming.
- In "Double Jeopardy", the robot duplicates of SG-1 each get a Dying Moment of Awesome. Robot!Daniel defiantly stares down his own executioner, Robot!Jack gets fatally wounded whilst clearing the Pyramid of Jaffa, Robot!Sam damages herself whilst saving SG-1's life on Cronus' ship and Robot!Teal'c kills Cronus, saving Teal'c's life in the process.
Robot!Teal'c: *Faint smile* For our father.
- "Fail Safe". A giant asteroid is about to crash into the Earth. Important personnel have been relocated offworld. As the last group is about to leave, Major Davis gives a funny look after Hammond orders Davis and Sergeant Harriman to report to the Alpha Site. Hammond's reply? "I haven't been relieved of this command, Major." THAT is how you go out with style.
- When they're helping out the Jaffa resistance force, Carter is the one who steps up to demonstrate why the P90 is superior to a staff weapon. The leader is not convinced a female is better than they are. A Jaffa soldier steps up and shoots at a log suspended above the ground three times, missing once (and this is their best marksman). Carter steps up, and O'Neill has them sway the log just for an added challenge. Carter cuts the log in half with automatic fire, then cuts the (still moving) string holding the log up using a single shot. The leader can't say anything about her after this. (For extra awesome, as the log hits the ground, Sam spins around with a look on her face that basically says, "I know I'm awesome, but what are you?")
- Sam in "Nightwalkers", where she nearly single-handedly turns the tide against the Goa'uld who have taken over the town. Particularly when she reveals that she's not under Goa'uld control and Zats the leaders, who were smugly deriding these "pathetic humans" seconds before.
Sam: You guys really aren't as smart as you think you are!
- Jonas Quinn in "Descent" using a ring transporter for a quick escape after activating the hanger bay shields of a downed Ha'tak... while underwater. The rings not only transport him, but the column of water he was standing in.
- For that matter, when SG-1 escapes said Ha'tak in Goa'uld death gliders... also underwater. With no problems, despite never having been engineered for it.
- Season six, Episode 11 "Prometheus". A news reporter manages to wrangle access to a classified air force project "Prometheus" in Nevada she got wind of, in exchange for her silence and her source. As her entourage steps off the elevator, she's visibly awed by what she sees. Majestic music starts up as the camera swings around, giving viewers a look at Earth's first battlecruiser. Carter says "This is Prometheus... Otherwise known as the X-303." Also CMOA for Earth's scientists. Two years ago the only ships Earth truly had were the X-301s built from Death Gliders, still only fighters incapable of deep space travel, and that project ended in failure. Now they have this.
- How has Thor not been mentioned? His speech (read, subtle threat) to the representatives of various world powers in "Disclosure" to convince them not to take the Stargate out of Hammond's control was nothing but awesome.
Thor: It is the opinion of the Asgard high council that Stargate Command should be left in the very capable hands of General Hammond and his team, and while our continued friendship with Earth is not contingent on that, it is preferred.
- Thor's appearance also doubles as a CMoA for Hammond. Kinsey has spent the entire episode throwing the SGC's failures in Hammond's face. Hammond makes one phone call (figuratively speaking) and their greatest ally beams into the meeting just because Hammond asked him to. Even Kinsey has to admit how thoroughly he was owned. "Well played," indeed.
- Also in "Disclosure", Kinsey is trying to argue against Thor, and addresses him as "Commander Thor". Thor interrupts him with "Supreme Commander", effectively shutting Kinsey up. In two words, Thor demonstrates that no, Kinsey is not talking to a flunky, but to a powerful government official, and that Thor would brook no familiarity from someone as low as Kinsey.
- It's also worth noting how Thor shuts Kinsey up. Kinsey stands up, tries to introduce himself. Thor interrupts, narrowing his eyes, and comments that Colonel O'Neill asked him to exile Kinsey to another planet for what Kinsey has done. Right off the bat, Thor is making Kinsey pause and showing the ambassadors what he can do. Then, when Kinsey holds up a finger to take back the floor, Thor imitates him, holding up his own finger, completely cutting Kinsey out, before correcting him on his title. With a single finger and two words, Thor cuts Kinsey's plan to shreds and completely changes the outcome of the episode.
- Small one from "Heroes, Part 2" that doubles as a Heartwarming Moment. SG-1, -3, and -15 have come back through the gate with several wounded and Dr. Fraiser's body. We see Carter storm past Emmett Bregman's documentary crew in tears. The SGC's public affairs officer tells them to stop filming, and Bregman rips him a new one for trying to shut down a media project that casts the SGC (and its sacrifices) in a positive light.
- Janet Fraiser in "Heroes", doing... well, what Real Life military doctors do all the time.
Bregman: Why is that camera off? You don't know what you're doing here. Maybe I know what I'm doing here. These people are risking their lives for us! I want to see what they're going through, even if they don't want us to! And I want other people to see it! What do you think they're doing out there? Protecting and defending secrecy?!? That's the world of Mao, the world of Stalin, the world of secret police, secret trials, secret-secret deaths! You force the press into the cold, and all you will get is lies and innuendo! And nothing, nothing is worse for a free society than a press that is in service to the-to the military and the politicians, nothing! You turn that camera off when I tell you to turn it off! You think I give a damn what you think about me? You serve the people? So do I!
- The guest character in that episode, the documentary filmmaker Emmett Bregman, gets a CMOA at the end of the first act. It's a Crowning Moment The Reason You Suck Speech. Saul Rubinek's heartfelt delivery really sells the moment.
- As much of a Tear Jerker as "Heroes" was, this troper never gets tired of seeing the SGC kicking the collected rear ends of the Goa'uld in force after an SG team gets pinned down by Jaffa.
- Three separate events together contribute to President Hayes' Crowning Moment of Awesome during the two-part season seven finale, "Lost City":
Anubis: I am Anubis.Hayes: (matter-o-fact) You've got to be kidding?Anubis: You are the leader of this world?Hayes: Henry Hayes, President of the United States of America. One nation among many.Anubis: No more! Bow before your god.Hayes: (smiles) I don't think so. However I am willing to discuss your surrender.Anubis: If you possessed weapons matching mine you would have used them!Hayes: Don't let the suit fool yeah fella, were gonna fight.Anubis: You bring destruction upon yourselves!Hayes: Never going to happen!
- When he stands up to Anubis' threats:
Kinsey: Mr. President, it's time to go to the Alpha site. You can stay in contact and give any or...
- Which leads to a CMOF when he turns to his cabinet and asks, "Too much?"
- When he refuses to flee to the Alpha site:
Hayes: Bob, go ahead.
Kinsey: Mr. President...
Hayes: No no, go ahead. I'm, ah... I'm staying.
Kinsey: (stands dumbfounded for a moment, then leaves)
Hayes: Dr. Weir?
- When he forces Kinsey to resign:
Weir: Mr. President, Prometheus can't win against an entire fleet, but it could buy SG-1 enough time to complete their mission.
Kinsey: Mr. President, that is downright insane. I am relieving Dr. Weir and taking command of this facility.
Weir: (to Hayes, over Kinsey) Sir, from what I've looked at...
Hayes: Will you shut the hell up?
Weir: I'm sorry, sir.
Hayes: Not you, Doctor.
Kinsey: Ex... excuse me?
Hayes: Consider your resignation accepted, Bob.
Kinsey: You can't do that!
Hayes: Oh, please. I got enough on you to have you shot.
Kinsey: This is the biggest mistake you will ever make!
Hayes: ... But I think I'll stick with my original thought, which is "Shut the hell up."
Kinsey: I promise, you will only live to regret this! (storms off)
Hayes: (shakes head) Go ahead, Dr. Weir.
- This can also be seen as Kinsey's "Crowning Moment of Defeat".
- Season 7 Finale
Crewman: What the hell was that?
- Anubis's fleet, about to destroy the Prometheus and lay waste to the entire Earth, is suddenly destroyed by zillions of glowy squid things pouring out of Antarctica.
Hammond: That was SG-1!
- Hammond's CMoA as well. Showing up in command of every ship Earth has at the final moment, pulling SG-1's bacon out of the fire despite the very real possibility that it'll be a suicide mission for all concerned. Afterward he had only minor cameos in the series, reinforcing the fact.
- Not to mention the fact that when it's clear that the Prometheus is heavily damaged and on the verge of exploding, Hammond orders a course set for Anubis's mothership, saying "If we go they go."
- Bra'tac, after having been stabbed by the traitor Ronon, gracefully and utterly kicks the crap out of him and kills him.
- President Henry Hayes the entire episode. Then late confidently tells off Anubis and forces Kinsey to resign.
- Teal'c has the moment where he interrupts the thugs about to beat a teenager up over a fender-bender.
Lead thug: (draws back fist; it's caught by Teal'c)
Teal'c: Collision procedures dictate that you should exchange insurance information, and if necessary, notify the police.
(thugs attack; Teal'c dispatches them easily in various ways; twenty seconds or so later, thugs are all on the ground — never does Teal'c's Stoic expression falter)
Teal'c: I believe it will be necessary to notify the police.
(the car stereo nearby is thumping with a hip-hop song, the only audible lyrics being "Who's the man?")
- Don't forget the part where he breaks a thug's fist by headbutting it.
- In that same episode, Teal'c KOed a thief from roughly 50 yards with a thrown eggplant.
- Stargate Command kills a Goa'uld with a pair of air-to-ground missiles fired through the gate and guided by laser straight into his face. Considering that this is one of the most pedestrian Goa'uld deaths in the series just makes it that much better. Shooting a missile through an alien wormhole to blow up a tyrannical false god was the most important day in the lives of their oppressed victims. For Walter and the general, it was a Tuesday.
- Season Eight — Vala stealing Prometheus single-handedly. Extra points for the Crowning Moment of Funny when she comes on to Daniel whilst dressed as a super-soldier with a really deep masculine voice.
- Conversely, this episode can also be seen as a pretty crowning moment of awesome for Daniel, given he holds Vala off on his own and without the use of a super-suit.
- A perfect example of a Crowning Moment of Awesome can be found in the Stargate SG-1 two-parter episode "Reckoning" where Daniel Jackson turns RepliCarter's Mind Probe against her, essentially defeating a Hive Mind intellect in a battle of wills and temporarily stopping every Replicator in the galaxy dead in its tracks.
Daniel: (grabs her arm) Trying to leave? Sorry. A little more time in Danny's world.
- A few scenes earlier, we have the moment when RepliCarter realizes Daniel has reversed the connection and is in her mind. She gets an Oh Crap! look and backs away, but:
RepliCarter: My brethren will not stop. You cannot control them.
Daniel: Not yet. But I'm learning.
- Another example from the same episode: every week previously, something unauthorized comes through the 'gate, every week, the troops line up and train their guns on whatever is causing it, and every week it's something harmless and they stand down. Well not this time! The Replicators come through and the bastards open fire, making this troper cheer. An understated CMoA, but a brilliant one, nonetheless.
- Just goes to show you why they do it every time.
- Ba'al had quite a few understated Crowning Moments, but the best of them to appear before season 9 was when he teamed up with Sam and Jacob to unlock the controls to the Dakara superweapon:
Ba'al: (indicates a panel) This one.
Jacob: How do you know?
Ba'al: (smiling broadly) I am a god. Gods are all-knowing. note
Jacob: All knowing huh?
- And, as far as the panel went, he was right!
- Jacob got a small one back when Ba'al's next guess was not so lucky.
- Oma finally getting off the bench in Der Waffle House and keeping Anubis out of our plane of existence.
- O'Neill succeeds in destroying an entire Goa'uld mothership using only two drones launched from a ship the size of an automobile.
- In "Beachhead", Vala got a CMoA. While practically every important person in the Stargate program was debating what the hell they should be doing to stop the Supergate, she came up with a risky plan and put it into action, all by herself. The stunned expressions are perhaps the most obvious sign that even the characters thought it was a Crowning Moment of Awesome. She stole a ship no one knew was there and took down something powered by two black holes with a plan no-one else had even considered. she out-awesomed damn near everyone that episode.
- When, in the season 9 episode "Prototype", Daniel proposes killing Khalek. Made even more awesome if you watched a really early episode right beforehand. This was a guy jumping out at all aliens just to say "Hi!"
- Topped by him actually being the one to kill Khalek, a being who's basically Anubis's son and has the powers of an ascended being. Just when Khalek is about to escape, Mitchell tries to shoot him to no effect, until Khalek looks down at a bullet wound on his side. Cut to Daniel standing there totally stoic. Before unloading his clip into him. Badass.
- Even better, it gives closure to Daniel. After his interrupted fights with Anubis, the Goa'uld was defeated by Daniel's sort-of-mentor Oma. So Khalek, Anubis's "son" becomes the new enemy for Daniel. And Daniel manages to defeat him, without anyone interfering.
- Dr. Lee, surprisingly enough, gets one in "The Fourth Horseman". He successfully invented a device capable of stopping Ori Priors from using their powers, which saved many lives and played a critical role in defeating the Ori in the ensuing war.
- Which itself makes up for all the times he's been derided as useless by the rest of the team.
- Mitchell. The time they were posing as corn drug dealers and got captured brought several great moments for him.
- How can we forget the time that Mitchell disguised himself as the leader of the Lucian Alliance and got the two space mafia ships to open fire on one another?
- The Battle of the Supergate is one for the Ori. They defeat a dozen Ha'taks, two Tau'ri battlecruisers, and an Asgard warship with no significant damage.
- In the Season 10 episode "Talion", Teal'c gets a scene which shows why you really don't want to make him angry:
Teal'c: In that case, there are some things you should know. The Ori do not ascend their followers. Arkad is a coward who will die by my hand. Also, I have planted an explosive device in your symbiote pouch. It is set to go off within a matter of moments. It is the same explosive that you used to kill twelve warriors, eighteen innocent bystanders, and two children who had gathered for a peaceful summit.
Ba'kad: (who is tied up) They were sinners all, who chose the path of evil.
Teal'c: (walking away) Ten seconds.
Ba'kad: Where are you going?
Teal'c: I am leaving. You are about to explode.
- Cue Teal'c Power Walking away in slow motion while the captive assassin detonates behind him.
- It was a scene inspired by a similar scene from Man on Fire, which if anything makes it even more awesome. To make it even better, Teal'c, having watched a lot of Earth fiction, probably saw that movie and was emulating it.
- Later in the same episode, Teal'c fulfills that promise by killing Arkad. After being shot with several staff blasts, getting his ass beaten with a sword-stick, then getting stabbed in the guts with a sword. He is dying on the ground when Arkad gloats that he killed Teal'c's mother. Bad idea. The beating and execution that follows is one of the most gruesome deaths of the entire series, topping off the episode's already-high HSQ.
- Also this exchange in the Season 10 Episode "The Quest." As part of a test, they must rescue a little boy (who turns out to be a hologram) from a cage.
Ba'al: He's tiny! Tell him to squeeze through the bars.
Teal'c: Assist us, or I will squeeze YOU through the bars.
- Vala mal Doran as the world's most effective waitress in "Memento Mori". "You took 'em both down without even breaking a sweat!"
- Tomin, faithful follower of the Ori, tells off a Prior with an objection most epic:
Prior: I'm disappointed, Tomin. It seems you have begun to question the will of the Ori... or is it the unbeliever under your tutorage that has corrupted you?
Tomin: No, I have not begun to question the will of the Ori. But I have begun to question the interpretation of their words. No matter what you say, I will not believe the Book of Origin asks us to massacre innocent people, and I will not stand by while the holy doctrine of goodwill and faith that I have sworn to uphold is twisted into a hammer and used to beat people down!
- The Prior's completely mature response, of course, was to do exactly what Tomin was arguing against, just to show that he could.
- Note that Tomin made a third appearance in The Ark of Truth. Apparently the Prior was so blown away by Tomin's awesomeness that he didn't just force-choke the shit out of him for saying that. Moreover, the Prior indicates that Tomin did not stop at that speech, which means Tomin has been getting away with this for months.
- Don't forget "The Quest", where Carter gives Ba'al an oh so satisfying slug to the jaw and forces him to fall in line.
- Carter asks Ba'al why he resents working with her — if it's because she's human or a woman. He says it's a little of both. She punches him in the face.
- Major Marks gets one when Daniel tells him he should be ready to fire.
Marks: I'm ALWAYS ready to fire. I just need to push this button.
Daniel: Sorry, I just thought that's what you're supposed to say.
- Which kinda lampshades that apparently Daniel's idea of how to command a starship was still influenced to a degree by Earth science-fiction serials.
- Samantha Carter and the Odyssey has another one in "The Pegasus Project" when she suggests passing close by a black hole to slingshot around it, drawing a pursuing wraith ship closer to the black hole and mess up its jammers, then beam a nuke aboard it hoping that the resulting explosion will activate a supergate they have been trying to connect with. Not only does it work, but the unstable vortex of the supergate also destroys a nearby Ori mothership: A Rube Goldberg chain of explosions.
Carter: Are you telling me we just blew up an Ori ship-McKay: -by destroying a Wraith ship?
- The moment in the finale when Thor answers Cam's question of what they're getting after the Asgard start modifying the humans' ship.
Thor: Everything we have and know.Cam: Everything, as in...Thor: Everything.
- Samantha Carter got her moment when she blew up a sun! This repeatedly received Lampshade Hanging in the show as other people fully acknowledged it as her Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
Jacob: Come on, Sam. It can't be any harder than blowing up a sun.
Sam: You know, you blow up one sun and suddenly everyone expects you to walk on water.
(alien control panel lights up)
Sam: Next up, parting the Red Sea!
- Three words: "I. Die. Free." Any time they are uttered by anyone qualifies.
- Chevron Guy Walter might not have gotten much to do in the main televised series, but an entire Expanded Universe Big Finish audio adventure was dedicated to Walter generally being awesome and single-handedly saving the Stargate from an alien attack that involved massive bolts of lightning funneling through the command center and gate room. And after all this? Walter simply explains...
Walter: I'm no hero. I just press buttons. I'm just... the Chevron Guy.
- In the show, SG-10 was trapped on a planet being destroyed by a black hole, the one Carter later used to blow up a sun. In a pair of novels set five years later, SG-1 manages to rescue them, something widely acknowledged within the SGC as one of their crowning achievements.
- The entire first couple seasons: MacGyver INSPACE whilst simultaneously somehow beating various crazy advanced aliens at their own game...