The Tenth Season
The television series Stargate SG-1 was based upon the Hollywood film, Stargate. After the show's initial debut, it quickly became a success. In the series eighth season, a spin-off series Stargate Atlantis was launched, which has also turned out to be well-received by viewers. However, despite the apparent success of Stargate SG-1, the series was cancelled and recently completed airing its tenth and final season (which this review covers). For those unfamiliar with the series, Stargate SG-1 is a science fiction show about a government organization comprised of military and civilian personnel who travel throughout the universe by means of a Stargate. In their travels, they forge alliances and acquire alien technology with the specific goal to defend Earth and other planets from enemies who wish to make them their latest conquest. For more details about the series, please refer to DVD Talk's reviews of season one,
season seven, season eight, and season nine, as well as the Stargate Atlantis reviews of season one and season two.
While season ten is the show's last, it is not the end of the Stargate universe. For fans, there is still greener pasture for one of the best sci-fi series ever produced. The trials of SG-1 will continue in two direct-to-video features, entitled Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Contiunuum. Both of which are scheduled for release in 2008. In addition, popular spin-off series Stargate Atlantis will continue to produce new episodes, taking SG-1 team member Samantha Carter into their ranks. As for season ten, it is a pretty strong, although it lacks the same punch as earlier ones. Still, there is enough for fans to appreciate.
Season ten revisits the Ori story arc and Stargate Command's efforts to thwart the Ori from taking over the Milky Way galaxy. In the close of season nine, a massive intergalactic alliance was formed to stop the Ori from entering the galaxy. Ships from Earth, Asgard, Jaffa, and Lucian Alliance met at the Milky Way supergate to battle the incoming Ori fleet. The good guys failed to stop the Ori and were quickly defeated. Season ten picks up with the aftermath of the battle. In addition, SG-1 soon encounters a new threat. Vala, who was mysteriously impregnated last season, gives birth to Adria (Morena Baccarin, Firefly). Adria is the Orici -- essentially the human form of the Ori -- and comes to lead the Ori army against those who reject origin. She is genetically advanced and was created with as much information from the Ori that her human mind could sustain. She is a huge roadblock for SG-1. Vala's role also changes this season. In season nine, she was a reoccurring character and now plays a more important role as a bona fide member of the SG-1 team and key player in the fight against the Ori.
While the Gou'ald were crushed as a force in the galaxy, Ba'al and his clones are still present and a constant threat. Ba'al makes additional appearances this season and tries to gain the upper hand to defeat the Ori and have the galaxy to himself. The reappearance of Ba'al ties into the Ori storyline, as he knows that SG-1 has knowledge of a special ancient-created weapon that can destroy the Ori. While SG-1 continues to quest for Merlin's weapon known as the Sangraal, Ba'al throws a wrench into their plan by trying to steal it from under them. Ba'al and Adria also butt heads on a couple occasions. The two-part episode "The Quest" is a great episode with these two villains crossing each other.
All together, these various storylines are key to the development of the battle against the Ori. As seen in season nine, the Ori story arc has a lot to offer. It provides enough intrigue and challenge for the SG-1 team to make the season ten content entertaining and engaging. The episodes with Ba'al, Adria, and the Ori make for some dramatic and action-packed episodes. Another strength is the reappearance of the Lucian Alliance. "Company of Thieves" is a prime example. There is also a strong cross-over episode "The Pegasus Project" with Stargate Atlantis. The SG-1 team (minus Teal'c) go to Atlantis looking for more information abut Merlin's weapon. They interact with the Atlantis cast and the chemistry between the casts makes this episode strong.
On the flipside, there are a couple episodes unrelated to the season story arc that feel like low quality monster-of-the-week stories. "Uninvited" is a good example. While on an off-world mission, Teal'c and SG-3 encounter a grizzly alien creature. They suspect it is an attack by the Ori, but find it to be a completely unrelated occurrence. The story itself has merit, but the execution leaves little as it does nothing for the main story arc. Throughout the season, there are a couple other episodes that are weak like this one.
One big achievement this season is the two-hundredth episode "200". Personally, I thought this episode was one of the weaker ones, as it added nothing to the Ori plotline. The episode is also pretty silly and felt too over-the-top (which from watching the special features is what the producers were going for). Willie Garson reprises his role as Martin Lloyd. Martin's failed television series Wormhole X-Treme, which was based upon Martin's accounts as a real-life alien and the SG-1 team's adventures, is being turned into a feature film. The Air Force wants Stargate Command to assist to help write the film. They believe it will help make for good cover story if the program is ever leaked to the public.
Overall, Stargate SG-1's tenth and final season continues to deliver an enjoyable combination of science fiction, action, and drama. The main story arc abut the Ori continues to be enjoyable with lots of exciting things happening and new and old characters/forces spicing it up. Still, while the season is strong, it is not as good as past seasons. In the end, this season has enough solid material and drives the main story arc about the Ori well and should appease fans.
1. Flesh and Blood: As their battle with the Ori continues, the team struggles to reunite and formulate a plan to defeat their enemy. Vala still aboard an Ori ship, watches as her newly born child quickly ages and is molded to lead the Ori army.
2. Morpheus: On a mission to find a weapon that will defeat their powerful foe, the team finds a planet whose inhabitants were killed by a mysterious illness, and unwittingly fall victim to the illness themselves.
3. The Pegasus Project: SG-1 travels to the Pegasus Galaxy and the city of Atlantis in hopes to find a clue to a weapon that can destroy the Ori.
4. Insiders: The team makes a pact with an old enemy to fight their common foe, and the results are disastrous.
5. Uninvited: SG-1 struggles to control a rash of brutal attacks by an elusive and savage alien creature.
6. 200: A reluctant SG-1 assists Martin Lloyd with his feature film script as a cover story to keep the Stargate Program secret.
7. Counterstrike: When the Jaffa modify an Ancient device so that it is capable of defeating the Ori, Adria leads an attack on Dakara.
8. Momento Mori: When Vala is kidnapped by Trust members acting under the orders of the Goa'uld Athena, an accident causes her to lose all memory of who she is and where she came from.
9. Company of Thieves: Mitchell goes undercover to track down the Odyssey, which SG-1 believes was hijacked by the Lucian Alliance.
10. The Quest, Part I: SG-1 finds the planet where they believe the Sangraal is located. Forced to forge temporary alliance with Adria and Ba'al they undertake a quest to find it.
11. The Quest, Part II: Discovering the frozen body of Merlin, SG-1 works to help him build the Sangraal before Adria and her Ori army can track them down.
12. Line in the Sand: Hoping to use Merlin's phasing device to hide a village from the Ori Army, something goes wrong forcing Mitchell and a critically injured Carter to hide themselves out of phase from an occupation of Ori soldiers.
13. The Road Not Taken: An experiment goes wrong leaving Lt. Col. Carter trapped in a parallel reality where marital law has been enforced and Earth is under attack from the Ori.
14. The Shroud: When Daniel Jackson turn sup as a Prior asking SG-1 to aid him in a plan that might very well be a trap, it's up to Col. Jack O'Neill and the team to not only save Jackson's life, but possibly end the war with the Ori once and for all.
15. Bounty: After Netan, and the Lucian Alliance, are undermined by SG-1 yet again, he decides to put a bounty out on their heads.
16. Bad Guys: Mistaken for rebels on an alien planet, SG-1 must play the part of hostage takers in hopes to buy themselves enough time to be rescue before they're executed.
17. Talion: Barely surviving the bombing massacre of a peaceful Jaffa summit, Teal'c must go rogue to track down and stop a Jaffa leader named Arkad who plans to take control of the Jaffa nation and deliver them to the Ori.
18. Family Ties: Vala's father Jacek contacts Stargate Command wishing to trade information about a series of planned attacks on Earth in exchange for sanctuary on the planet.
19. Dominion: In an elaborate plan using Vala as bait to capture Adria, SG-1 themselves are surprised when Ba'al intercepts Adria from under them to use in his own evil plan.
20. Unending: With extinction imminent, the Asgard hand over all their knowledge and technology to SG-1, but not before the Ori launch an attack trying to intercede.
The video in this release is given in an anamorphic 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color format. The picture quality is quite good. It suffers from a slight grain, but detail remains to be sharp and clear. However, there are moments when the picture suffers noticeable compression artifacts. Overall, the picture is relatively clean and should look good on big screen televisions.
The audio track in this release is in English 5.1 Dolby digital surround and a dubbed track in French Dolby surround. In general, the sound quality is very good and it provides an audible and clean track. The dialogue is usually a little flat while music and sound effects come off rich and vibrant. Additionally the 5.1 track is dynamic and makes good use of the surround sound capability.
There are subtitles included in English and Spanish, as well as support for closed captioning.
Similar to past season sets, the Stargate SG-1: Season 10 box set comes jam-packed with special features. The collection contains twenty episodes spread across five discs. Each disc has four episodes, each with an audio commentary with cast and crew*, featurettes, deleted scenes, and/or photo galleries. That gives us twenty episode commentaries, nine featurettes, deleted scenes montage, and ten photo galleries. It is a lot of content and great for the fans. Here is the breakdown for each disc.
* Note: The episode "Bad Guys" does not have an episode commentary. However, the episode "200" has two commentaries.
Disc 1 Special Features
SG-1 Directors Series: "Insiders" featuring Peter F. Woeste (11:50) begins with Woeste producing a quick and dirty overview to the episode. He continues with details about technical directing, dailies/final composite, firefight choreography, Cliff Simon's performance (he plays multiple Ba'als), and other related subjects.
The Ori: A New Enemy (18:21) is an overview of the Ori. It has Robert C. Cooper, Alan McCullough, James Robbins, and Kenny Gibbs discussing their history, role in the show, development, etc. Their discussion dips into seasons nine and ten.
There is also a Photo Gallery and Production Design Gallery related to the disc 1 episodes.
The disc 1 commentaries include "Flesh and Blood" with executive producer Robert C. Cooper, director William Waring, and director of photography Jim Menard, "Morpheus" with executive producer Joseph Mallozzi and director Andy Mikita, "The Pegasus Project" with director William Waring and director of photography Jim Menard, and "Insiders" with writer Alan McCullough and director Peter F. Woeste.
Disc 2 Special Features
SG-1 Directors Series: "Memento Mori" Featuring Peter DeLuise (12:08) stars DeLuise talking about the episode "Memento Mori". First, he provides an overview of the plotline and then continues with details about the settings, key plotlines, special effects, filming some tough scenes, and more.
Stargate SG-1: Behind the 200th (18:07) is a behind the scenes look of the show's 200th episode. The initial discussion is about how there were no plans to do a special episode for the show's milestone. After further thought, they decided to do a sketch episode with lots of goofiness. There is discussion about different aspects of making the special episode in terms of directing, producing, and writing. It stars Brad Wright, Robert C. Cooper, Martin Wood, Richard Dean Anderson, and Peter Woeste.
There is also a Photo Gallery and Production Design Gallery related to the disc 2 episodes.
The disc 2 commentaries include "Uninvited" with director William Waring and director of photography Jim Menard, "200" with executive producers Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper, "200" with director/supervising producer Martin Wood, "Counterstrike" with executive producer Joseph Mallozzi and director Andy Mikita, and "Memento Mori" with executive producers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie.
Disc 3 Special Features
SG-1 Directors Series: "Company of Thieves" Featuring William Waring (10:08) stars Waring providing a quick overview of the plotline. Next he jumps into one of the key developments and the challenges related to doing the stunt with James Bamford. He also talks about the grandeur of the scenes, specific details to other key scenes, and usage of the green screen.
Setting the Mood with Jim Menard (22:57) features Jim Menard, Will Waring, and Ken Anderson. The primary topic of discussion is about sets. They talk about creative ideas, production, and final sets from select season ten episodes.
There is also a Photo Gallery and Production Design Gallery related to the disc 3 episodes.
The disc 3 commentaries include "Company of Thieves" with director William Waring and writer Alan McCullough, "The Quest, Part I" with executive producer Joseph Mallozzi and director Andy Mikita, "The Quest, Part II" with executive producer Paul Mullie and director Andy Mikita, and "Line in the Sand" with writer Alan McCullough and actress Amanda Tapping.
Disc 4 Special Features
SG-1 Directors Series: "The Shroud" Featuring Andy Mikita (11:12) has Mikita providing an overview about the episode. He includes important details from past episode "The Quest, Part II" that are to this episode. He continues with more discussion about the episode's key plotlines, directing and production aspects, stunts, etc.
Life as a Tech With Gary Jones (19:54) is about the character Chief Master Sergeant Walter Harriman, who is played by Gary Jones. He talks about how he got the role, favorite moments, getting his character name (nobody to Norman Davis to Walter Harriman), the impact Walter has on the show, thoughts about the character, and more.
There is also a Photo Gallery and Production Design Gallery related to the disc 4 episodes.
The disc 4 commentaries include "The Road Not Taken" with director Andy Mikita, writer Alan McCullough, and actress Amanda Tapping, "The Shroud" with executive producer Robert C. Cooper and director Andy Mikita, and "Bounty" with producer John G. Lenic and director of photography Jim Menard. Note: Episode "Bad Guys" does not have an episode commentary.
Disc 5 Special Features
SG-1 Directors Series: "Unending" Featuring Robert C. Cooper (15:20) stars Cooper talking about directing the final episode. He talks about some of the challenges they addressed with it and also some thoughts about ending the series and how having direct-to-video feature films shaped the series conclusion. Other discussions include key plotlines like Thor and the Asgard, time passage, special effects, etc.
Deleted Scenes with an Introduction by Joseph Mallozzi (23:17) is a sequence of deleted scenes. It begins with Joseph Mallozzi providing an introduction. He says that the most requested special feature from fans is bloopers, but for various reasons they can't release that kind of footage. Instead, they provide the second most requested special feature, which are deleted scenes. There are (rough versions of) multiple deleted scenes from episodes "Morpheus", "The Quest", and "Memento Mori". Deleted Scenes with an Introduction and Commentary by Joseph Mallozzi (23:17) is the same sequence of deleted scenes, but with commentary from Mallozzi.
There is also a Photo Gallery and Production Design Gallery related to the disc 5 episodes.
The disc 5 commentaries include "Talion" with director Andy Mikita and actor Christopher Judge, "Family Ties" with executive producers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, "Dominion" with writer Alan McCullough and Director William Waring, and "Unending" with executive producer, writer, and director Robert C. Cooper, director of photography Jim Menard, and actress Amanda Tapping.
Stargate SG-1's tenth season is its final one. This season picks up where season nine left off and continues to address the story arc about the Ori. There are many new developments in the storyline, which include a new villain named Adria. The season episodes do a good job tying everything (Ba'al, Adria, Ori, Trust, Lucian Alliance, SG-1) together in the big picture. Like past seasons, there is a fine mixture of science fiction, action, and drama. However, while the season is strong, it is not as good as earlier ones.