Stargate SG-1 was a surprise series for me. The movie that
the show is based on was alright, but nothing fantastic. I really
couldn't see a weekly series being much more than a 'monster of the week'
type show. How wrong I was. With creative stories, strong acting
and a lot of carefully thought out continuity, Stargate SG-1 has
become one of the best SF shows that ever aired on television. There
were some problems on the way of course; Showtime, where the series originated,
canceled the show at one point, but the Sci-Fi Channel stepped up to the
plate and picked the series up. A bigger problem for a lot of fans
was when Dr. Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks,) left the show in the 5th
season to become a "ascended being." But even with these, and several
more minor bumps, the first six seasons of Stargate SG-1 has consistently
provided good, quality shows. The question is: Can their seventh
season do the same? Though this season might be a little confusing
for someone who hasn't seen the show before, the answer is a resounding
The season starts off with a good two part show that gives a lot of
fans what they have been clamoring for; the return of Daniel Jackson.
Jonas Quinn has been working on translating a tablet that the Ancients,
the race that built the Stargate system, left behind. The tablet
describes a Lost City where this race hid most of their advanced weaponry.
Quinn has a theory about the location of this treasure trove of technology,
and sets off with SG-1 to the planet Vis Uban to see if his hunch is right.
There they find a nomadic tribe of humans squatting in a partially build
Ancient city. SG-1 is astounded to find that Daniel is living with
this tribe. The nomads found him in a field a few months previous,
naked and without a memory. Daniel doesn't remember the time
that he was 'ascended' nor his life previous to that time, but he does
still retain the ability to read the Ancient language.
Daniel goes back to Earth with the team, and when he sees objects from
his past his memory starts to return. It seems that with time he
will have a full recovery from his amnesia. In any case, Daniel jumps
back into the thick of things as the team come up with a plan to lure Anubis,
the biggest Goa'uld thorn in their side at the moment, into a trap.
There were some very good shows in this season (along with a couple
that didn't hit the mark.) After a good opening story, the series
went into a bit of a decline with a couple of weak shows, but the second
half of the season was very strong. SG-1 seemed to be getting back
to its roots with this set of shows, spending a lot of time fighting Anubus.
The show hadn't had a strong Goa'uld nemesis since the early days and their
battles with Apophis, and this villain is a welcome addition to the show.
Some of the highlights from this season include the two part story Evolution
which has the introduction of Anubis' new Kull Warriors, almost indestructible
soldiers that make Anubis a force to be reckoned with. Another
two part episode, Heroes, is a compelling drama that ranks up there
as one of the best episodes of the entire series.
The best show of the season though, is the two part season ending story
The Lost City. This was originally intended as a feature movie
and also a story to wrap up the entire show. But when SG-1 was renewed
for an 8th season, they altered this story slightly and used it as the
season capper. As with most of the season ending shows, the
excrement in about to hit the rapidly rotating blades in this show.
It seems that Anubis has finished consolidating his power and has now decided
to attack Earth. This show harkens back to some of the classic
episodes in the series. The team is working together and tension
runs high. A great show with some stellar special effects and an
ending that will make people count the days until the next season is released.
As I mentioned earlier, some of the shows in this set were less than
stellar. Avenger 2.0, Enemy Mine and Space Race were
the low points for me. Space Race was terribly clichéd,
almost to the point of being painfull. Enemy Mine was another
Unas episode, a subplot that I've never found particularly interesting,
and this episode has all the worst points of the other Unas shows from
previous seasons. Avenger 2.0 was their attempt at a humorous
episode and just didn't hit the mark. It focused on someone who wasn't
even a member of SG-1, and ended up with a deus ex machina ending with
Jack coming to the rescue out of nowhere. But these lesser episodes
are far outweighed by the rest of the season, making it a very good chapter
in this show's history.
One of the things that has always endeared the show to me is their strong
sense of continuity and long story arcs. This season, with its search
for the Lost City and references to earlier seasons, keeps with this tradition.
Some unexpected characters pop up and the show builds on episodes from
previous seasons. The program evolves particularly nicely over this
season, with Sam taking on more of a leadership role as O'Neil isn't seen
as often. Though not everything that happens in this season is good.
I was sad to see a couple of supporting characters leave the show.
Stargate SG-1 is one of the better SF shows on the air now.
Just about every episode is better than your average TV show, and some
of them are truly exceptional. Though the show has had a long run,
this season proves that it still has some life in it.
This season set comes in five Amaray cases packaged in a slip case that
matches the other season sets.
The 5.1 audio is very good, especially for a TV series. There
is good use of the rear speakers most of the time with incidental music
and some sound effects being thrown behind the viewer, but the mix really
comes alive in the battle scenes where explosions and blasts seem to come
from all angles. There aren't any subtitles, but besides that this
is a great sounding set.
The widescreen anamorphic video also looks good. The colors are
accurate and the details are clear. You can see the folds and wrinkles
on uniforms and even background objects have a good amount of definition.
Since they put three hours of video on each disc, there are a few digital
defects. Some of the action scenes are a little choppy, and a little
aliasing is present. These aren't distracting though, and most people
probably won't notice them.
This set wins my award for 'most commentaries included with a season
set." Every show in the series has a commentary associated with it.
I can't recall another hour long series besides Stargate that has
a commentary on each and every episode. I'm a big fan of the show,
but in the interest of getting this review on-line before the set is released,
I didn't go back an listen to all 16+ hours of commentary tracks.
The commentaries I did get a chance to hear were generally interesting
and informative, talking about shooting problems, anecdotes about the cast
and other bits of trivia. A truly great feature.
Each of the five discs also includes a featurette SG-1 Director's
Series. Each of these is a short interview/behind the scene segment
with the director of an episode. The directors featured (and the
episodes discussed) are Peter DeLuise (Fragile Balance,) Andy Mikita
(Space Race,) Martin Wood (Avenger 2.0,) Peter DeLuise again
(Death Knell,) and Martin Wood again (Lost City.)
There is also SG-1: Behind the Gate, a ten minute interview
with the lead actors who talk about their roles, fellow actors, and what
working on the series is like. I really enjoyed all of these.
This set has interviews with Michael Shanks, Christopher Judge, Richard
Dean Anderson, and Amanda Tapping.
There are also spots for the Stargate SG-1 Fan Club and some photo galleries
of production shots.
As well packed as this set is, I can't help wishing there was more.
I'd love to see an outtake reel, something that would be cheap and easy
to piece together, especially since they knew that the season would be
going to DVD when they filmed it. What about deleted scenes, of which
several exist? There was also a special that the Sci-Fi Channel aired
before the premier episode to this season, Stargate SG-1: The Lowdown.
I was hoping that would be included with the set, but it is no where to
While this wasn't the best season of Stargate SG-1 (seasons
2-4 were better) this was still a good entry to the series. A couple
of the shows were a little on the lame side, but overall this was a fun
and exciting season. The return of Daniel Jackson and the mounting
threat of Anubis make this a season that fans will want to pick up.