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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Stargate SG-1 Season 7
Stargate SG-1 Season 7
MGM // Unrated // October 19, 2004
List Price: $69.96 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted October 9, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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The Show:

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 "Yes."

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.

The DVD:


This season set comes in five Amaray cases packaged in a slip case that matches the other season sets.

Audio:

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.

Video:

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.

Extras:

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 be found.

Final Thoughts:

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.  Highly Recommended.
 

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