An endgame study, or just study, is a composed chess endgame position—that is, one that has been made up rather than one from an actual game—presented as a sort of puzzle, in which the aim of the solver is to find a way for one side (usually White) to win or draw, as stipulated, against any moves the other side plays.
Composed studies predate the modern form of chess. Shatranj studies exist in manuscripts from the 9th century, and the earliest treatises on modern chess by the likes of Luis Ramirez Lucena and Pedro Damiano (late 15th and early 16th century) also include studies. However, these studies often include superfluous pieces, added to make the position look more "game-like", but which take no part in the actual solution (something that is never done in the modern study). Various names were given to these positions (Damiano, for example, called them "subtleties"); the first book which called them "studies" appears to be Chess Studies, an 1851 publication by Josef Kling and Bernhard Horwitz, which is sometimes also regarded as the starting point for the modern endgame study. The form is considered to have been raised to an art in the late 19th century, with A. A. Troitsky and Henri Rinck particularly important in this respect.
In art, a study is a drawing, sketch or painting done in preparation for a finished piece, or as visualnotes. Studies are often used to understand the problems involved in rendering subjects and to plan the elements to be used in finished works, such as light, color, form, perspective and composition. Studies can have more impact than more-elaborately planned work, due to the fresh insights the artist gains while exploring the subject. The excitement of discovery can give a study vitality. Even when layers of the work show changes the artist made as more was understood, the viewer shares more of the artist's sense of discovery. Written notes alongside visual images add to the import of the piece as they allow the viewer to share the artist's process of getting to know the subject.
Studies inspired some of the first 20th century conceptual art, where the creative process itself becomes the subject of the piece. Since the process is what is all-important in studies and conceptual art, the viewer may be left with no material object of art.
According to the film's director, Paolo Benetazzo, "Music plays a crucial part in Study. The film does not rely on traditional techniques of narrative cinema. I wanted the film to be a primarily visual and sound experience in which music plays a vital role in evoking specific atmospheres."
These classical pieces are used in the film, but are not included on the soundtrack album.
The game begins when an electromagnetic surge from an uninhabited island called Katorga-12, once held by the Soviet Union, damages an American spy satellite. A group of U.S Recon Marines, which includes the protagonist, Captain Nathaniel Renko, goes to investigate. Another surge disables the unit's helicopter, and it crashlands on Katorga-12. Following the crash, Renko begins to phase between the present and 1955, the date of a catastrophic accident on the island. He arrives in 1955 just in time to save a scientist named Nikolai Demichev from dying in a fire. As he rescues Demichev, a man tries to warn Renko not to save him; the man is then killed in the fire.
Back in the present, Renko discovers that Demichev has taken over the world. He is captured by Demichev's soldiers, but is rescued by Katheryn, a member of a resistance group called Mir-12. Based on a journal the group found on Katorga-12, Mir-12 believes that Renko can put an end to Demichev's reign using a time manipulation device (TMD) developed by Victor Barisov. Barisov was killed by Demichev in the past, so Renko uses the TMD to save Barisov.
The 100-minute premiere "Children of the Gods", which aired on July 27, 1997 at 8 p.m, received Showtime's highest-ever ratings for a series premiere and ranked as the highest-rated original movie to premiere on Showtime in 3-1/2 years at the time. The show got a 10.5 rating in Showtime's approximately 12 million U.S. households, which equaled approximately 1.5 million homes in total. Season one regular cast members included Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, Christopher Judge and Don S. Davis.