It wasn't until the beginning of Stargate SG-1's fourth season that fans knew to take the Replicator threat seriously. The spidery nasties had only seemed like one of many new enemies introduced in previous years. But when... more » the one seemingly omnipotent backbone of the galaxy was asking Earth for help, clearly we were in real trouble! In fact, the team's list of enemies expanded and got far more complicated this year. Proving without a shadow of a doubt that this is science fiction, the Russians reveal they have their own Stargate program and ask the Americans for help. This twist allows for exploration of all the political machinations occurring behind the scenes of the SG-C, all of which appear to stem from the embittered Senator Kinsey (Ronny Cox). There were quite a few Earth-based stories in the year, but not all the new enemies were originally local. Willie Garson comically guest-starred as Martin, a geekily suspicious guy with too much knowledge of the Stargate. More sinister was an old flame of Daniel's turning into something far more painful than an old wound (thanks to an ancient Egyptian curse). Thankfully, the writers hadn't forgotten the importance of one-off storylines too. In "Upgrades" the team learns a lesson in abuse of power. In "The Other Side" (featuring DS9's Rene Auberjonois) they learn about blind trust. In "Scorched Earth" a dangerous claim for a planet's ownership means they learn to value Daniel's contribution to the group dynamic. If only this last lesson were learned better, season 5 might not have ended up as muddled as it did. --Paul Tonks« less
Great Sci-Fi Alien entertainment and continuation from the Stargate Movie!
Hannah E. from SLIPPERY ROCK, PA Reviewed on 3/30/2010...
SG-1 Season Four -- A Clear Triumph
David T. Read | DuQuoin, IL United States | 06/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must say that Stargate SG-1 Season Four is, by far, my favorite season of them all. The year opens with a terrific conclusion to the climactic cliffhanger. "Small Victories" shows us just what a mess the Replicator bugs can be for Earth. "Window of Opportunity" is a delightful tale of time-travel with a unique twist where Jack and Teal'c can't get out of the same ten-hour cycle! "Tangent" shows us just what we get if we "slap a USAF sticker on the side of a death glider" and call it ours. Great acting by Richard Dean Anderson and Christopher Judge, though they are sitting down most of the time. Other top episodes from this season include "The Curse," "The Serpent's Venom," "Chain Reaction," "The First Ones," "2010," "Absolute Power," and the ultimate blowout for Apophis in "Exodus," which sends our heroes hurtling into their next adventure for a new year! Season Four is a definite triumph for the Stargate legacy, where stories are followed up and new ones are born. At this point the show had totally come into its own, and it is shown in the development of the characters, the top-notched scripts, stomach aches of laughs, and a plethora of absorbing and entertaining plot threads that will have viewers drooling for the next season. Plus, this is the first boxed set with commentaries! Hours of entertainment right there! Plus the usual special features. So fork over that tad bit of cash and plug in for Season four. Get ready for Sci-fi at its finest hour!..."
swingreen | Brooksville, FL United States | 09/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Overall, I think Stargate SG-1 is some of the best TV ever made. Having said that, the season 4 dvd also has many of its own merits...I think season 4 is a crossroads between where Stargate SG-1 is coming from (original team, Apophis is the major bad guy, etc.) and where it is going to (different bad guys, metaphysical themes, etc.). As such, it is highly recommended for fans and longtime viewers. I don't want to give away material in this review, in case you haven't seen the series, but I think you'll enjoy a few of the surprises and the season finale which will require you to get the season 5 dvd also.I like a few of the featuretttes on the DVD box-set, esp. the special effects and "legacy of the gate" featurettes. Every disc also features an audio commentary option as part of the "Special Features" menu, which is also good for committed fans."
Still A Good Show
John A Lee III | San Antonio, TX | 01/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The fourth season continues to weave as series of complex subplots in an interesting series. Richard Dean Anderson continues to develop both his comedic personality and his sarcastic wit. His playing the comedian to Christopher Judge's Teal'c character's straight man is a delight to watch. The English first crowd should continue to be glad that North American English is the galactic standard.
Episode Synopses appear below:
Small Victories - The season opens with an old Soviet sub infested with one of the Replicators which were causing havoc in last season's cliffhanging finale. That one replicator manages to reproduce and take over the sub. That is the small problem. The big problem becomes apparent when Thor comes through the Stargate. He comes seeking help. His planet is about to be overrun by replicators and their high-tech has done nothing to help them. They think the Earthlings might be able to help because old fashioned bullets seemed to be able to destroy the spiders. The concept is so primitive that it never would have occurred to them. They hope that more such primitive thinking will help them pull their collective chestnuts out of the fire. The solution to both problems seems to be the same and is summed up in the old human adage, "you are what you eat."
The Other Side - This is a dark one. Contact comes through the Stargate from a human civilization seeking help. They are involved in a war and are desperately seeking help from any source they can find. It is a fairly advanced civilization and, in return for heavy water to fuel their reactors, they will give of their technology. Col. O'Neill is quick to jump on the offer but something seems wrong. They are very reticent to talk about their enemy or to describe the cause of the war. As time goes on, they begin to show an increasingly ugly side. The team must decide if the technological advances are worth the moral price.
Upgrades - A Tok'ra who is haughtier than normal comes through the Stargate seeking help. They have some armbands that came from an extinct civilization which are reputed to give superhuman strength and speed. They want to test them out and learn more about them. They do not use themselves because their ghoul parasites render them immune. It turns out that the armbands do work. They confer phenomenal speed and strength but they have some problems as well. They are addictive, they won't come off and they screw up normal bodily metabolism. This does not seem to bother the Tok'ra scientist who is not only insufferably arrogant and oblivious to the health of the SG1 team. She has a hidden agenda. She wants to use the enhanced powers to carry out a raid against Apothis.
Crossroads - A Jaffa priestess comes through the Stargate with strange news. She claims to have learned how to communicate with her larval symbiote. She wants to get in touch with the Tok'Ra so she can transfer the larva. It is past her time to "deliver". Without a new host, she will die soon. Everyone is skeptical. Communication with larval symbiotes is supposed to be impossible. The payoff is can be large as well. They ghoul will have valuable knowledge. The new defector to the Tok'ra turns out to be less than trustworthy but, then again, the Tok'ra are not particularly trustworthy themselves.
Divide and Conquer - A delegation from Earth is negotiating a formal treaty with the Tok'ra. As the negotiations draw to a close, one of the humans goes crazy, pulls a weapon and tries to assassinate the Tok'ra leader. The attempt is foiled but the human manages to turn his weapon on himself. It turns out that he had been the victim of some sort of Ghoul mind control technology. Now, all of the humans are suspect. Testing reveals one more agent from the other SG teams and then it reveals Col. O'Neill and Maj. Carter as two more. They flunked the test and there is reason to believe that they are part of a plot to assassinate the President or the Tok'ra leader. The truth proves more complex. The detection device is actually a glorified lie detector and they failed the test because of something they refuse to admit even to themselves. That does not stop the assassination attempt, however.
Window of Opportunity - It's GROUNDHOG DAY for Col. O'Neill and Teal'c. While the team is investigating an artifact of the ancients on a distant planet in the company of an off-world archeologist, they notice he is acting a bit squirrelly but don't pay much attention due to the big magnetic storm going on all around them. Suddenly, some strange rays shoot out, hit the Stargate and the colonel and Teal'c find themselves back on earth...the day before. They keep reliving the same day over and over again as they try to make sense of the time loop that only they seem to be stuck in. They work hard and also take some time off for pranks they know they can get away with. No Consequences! It's a fun episode.
Watergate - When the Stargate fails to lock on to a destination, SGC realizes that it is because another gate is open on earth. They come to realize that the gate they thought had been destroyed on Thor's ship survived reentry and was recovered by the Russians. Now, it is stuck in the "on" position and the Russians want help. They seem to know way too much about the super secret Stargate program. The reason turns out to be surprising but not as surprising as what is on the other side of the open gate. It opens under water and the inhabitants of that world are quite...fluid.
The First Ones - Daniel and one of his archeologist buddies are on a dig on a planet. They are uncovering fossils of primordial ghouls. Suddenly, the dig crew is attacked by an Unas. It is a very primitive unas. Some of the crew are killed but Daniel is dragged off alive. A rescue mission is sent to find out what happened. The survivors seem dazed. Daniel is terrified. He thinks he is about to become a ritual "coming of age" feast for an aboriginal Unas. While he is being transported, however, he begins to develop a relationship with the brute. Now, if the rescue team can just figure out what is making the first wave act funny, they might catch up to Daniel and the Unas before he becomes Purina Unas Chow.
Scorched Earth - In a humanitarian gesture, the SG Command endeavors to relocate an entire civilization to a new planet. It is a fairly primitive civilization but they are nice folk. Their previous home had become uninhabitable. The planet to which they are relocated is a rare one which can accommodate them. Just as the people are celebrating their new home, word comes of a great disaster. A gigantic machine is destroying the planet. Actually, it is terraforming the place into an environment suitable for the race that built the machine. That would make it fatal for the humanoids. Actually, they would not have to worry about it because they will not survive the terraforming process. The terra formers can't just pack up and leave because their ship had the capability to restore their civilization on exactly one planet. There are not enough resources to start again. It's a nasty little moral dilemma. Seemingly, one of the two civilization has a chance to survive and the other one is doomed.
Beneath the Surface - The crew of SG1 are acting strangely. They are laboring in a subterranean power plant under appalling conditions. Except for Teal'c, they don't even realize who they are. They think they belong working as "slave labor". Even Teal'c is not remembering things clearly. A little mind control touch up and the Teal'c problem seems to go away. Meanwhile, back at SGC, everyone is organizing search parties. Nobody can believe that the team could just disappear that way. The government on the planet where they disappeared is not being too cooperative either. It looks like the members of SG1 are condemned to eternal slavery, at least for as long as they live.
Point of no Return - The people of the SGC are surprised to get a crank phone call asking for Col. O'Neill. They are even more surprised when the guy shows knowledge of the Stargate. They have no idea who this clown is but they decide they need to check him out. He turns out to be the biggest dweeb/nerd/weirdo ever to grace the small screen. Every cliché is invoked. He also turns out to be right most of the time. His memory, though, is very faulty. It seems to get things wrong at just the right moments. Oh...and the undercover agents with the drugs, hidden spaceships and black helicopters really out to get him.
Tangent - The SG program is starting to bear some technological fruit. They have managed to cobble together some captured parts along with some new fabrications and build a fair copy of a ghoul assault glider. The pilots are having a ball with it until they take it out for a live fire test flight. Teal'c is piloting and O'Neill is in the second seat. Suddenly, the plane heads straight up and just keeps on going. Because of Teal'c's rebellion, Apothis had installed retrieval devices on later gliders. The parts incorporated into the earth design have these recall devices. The earth glider is heading back to Apothis and should get there in a few hundred years...long after they run out of trivial things like air, food and water. The only hope is a rescue mission. The only people available to help are the Tok'ra but they have another mission in mind.
The Curse - Daniel learns that his old professor and mentor has died in a strange accident. He goes to the funeral and encounters an old flame and an old rival. He learns that they have been messing around with some artifacts that are of the ghoul variety rather than the Egyptian kind and they have no idea what they have really found. It is dangerous and threatens to unleash two more of the old "gods" on earth. Academic rivalries just make matters worse.
The Serpent's Venom - While trying to foment revolt among the Jaffa on Chulak, Teal'c is betrayed into the hands of the Ghoul, Herorar. That is not good for anyone concerned especially Teal'c, who face some unpleasant bouts of torture. Herorar has a plan. He want to trade Teal'c to Apothis in the hope of gaining a privileged position in the Apothis regime; Apothis is trying to expand his forces to take over the entire ghoul hierarchy of System Lords. Apothis has his own plans. He want to get Teal'c, betray Herorar and take his army anyway. SG1, needless to say, has plans of their own. They want to prevent an alliance and save Teal'c. The Tok'ra's plans coincide with Stargate Commands in the first part but they consider the Teal'c part optional and unworkable. Everyone has his own idea as to how to proceed. Meanwhile, Teal'c is having a very unpleasant holiday.
Chain Reaction - As the SG1 team returns from a dangerous mission, General Hammond informs them that he is retiring. He declines to give any reason. His replacement has all of the warm and fuzzy qualities of George Patton but none of his common sense. When Col. O'Neill starts investigating why Hammond retired, he learns that his grandchildren had been threatened. Some shadowy types want more access and control over the SGC agenda. They only way to get rid of the idiot who is commanding SGC and who is, incidentally, about to get the earth blown up, is to get the goods on some of the slimy politicians that exerted the pressure. This require some deals with the devil.
2010 - This is a strange episode that does not fit in too well with the rest of the series. It takes place in 2010. The SG1 team are featured but they are their future selves. They inhabit a nice world in which all is pleasant except for a few minor things. The slimy politician who has caused them so much trouble is now the president. Col. O'Neill retired under a cloud. Maj. Carter is married to somebody else. Humanity is allied with an advanced civilization which has given them longevity drugs. The ghouls are no longer menace. Human fertility is essentially zero. It seems that the advanced race has a plot afoot to extinguish humanity so they can have Earth. When the SG1 team finds out what is happening, they come up with a plan to fix the situation. It involves send a note back through time to themselves.
Absolute Power - On a trip to Abydos, Daniel finally meets the harsesis, the son of his dead wife and Apothis. This is the child with the accumulated genetic wisdom of the ghouls and who was taken into the care of an glowing alien some episodes back. He has aged a great deal since then, though he is still a small boy. He has been sent to Daniel to learn of his true mother. The SGC team wants to tap into his knowledge. While conversing with Daniel, the boy imparts a large store of that knowledge directly to him and the result knocks Daniel unconscious. A year later, Daniel is a power mad despot who willingly kills millions just for his own personal purposes. All is not as it seems, however. The boy is just trying to teach his step-dad a BIG lesson.
The Light - The members of SG5 begin acting strangely after visiting a new planet. They show signs of depression and their brain chemistry is messed up for no apparent reason. One commits suicide. The others seem heading that way. So does Daniel who had accompanied SG5. They are getting worse and are heading for death. The SG1 team heads back to the planet to try and find out what is happening. There, they find a strange adolescent and an alien device that puts out a strange light show. When the Doc figures out some of what happens, she determines that they are suffering from withdrawal symptoms something like those from narcotics. O'Neill gets hooked and so do Carter and Teal'c. If they leave the planet for too long, they die. The answers to the reasons like with the boy. Who doesn't know much and doesn't want to reveal what he does know.
Prodigy - O'Neill is sent to evaluate a planet for possible use as a permanent research station. It doesn't sound too exciting but he tries to make the best of it. His big problem is with the leader of the scientists who is contemptuous of everything military and jealous of his own authority. The guy seems to think that the Colonel is deliberately trying to sabotage his research when things don't go his own way. Meanwhile, Maj. Carter is giving a lecture at the Air Force Academy. While there, she meets a girl who is possibly the brightest human in a generation. The girl is smart but has an attitude problem. Many think she is not cut out to be an officer. The Major thinks her biggest problem is boredom and a failure to come to grips with the sad fact that not everyone is as bright as she. To solve this problem, she gets permission to take the cadet on a visit to the world where the Colonel is doing his thing. The hope is that she will see an actual goal for all of her disciplined study. It works well until a dangerous alien life form is encountered. Both the cadet and the Major have ideas on how to handle the situation but they are mutually exclusive and the colonel has to make a dangerous choice. It may be that the young lady learns the real meaning of leadership and sacrifice.
Entity - A probe sent to a new world goes haywire. It ceases to act under the command of SGC and starts to act independently. It feeds back huge power spikes to the SGC and, as they are attempting to shut things down, it blows the computers there. An alien electronic entity has traveled back to the SGC and all attempts to isolate it are thwarted. Finally, the entity takes over Maj. Carter and uses her mind. It is trying to preserve itself and protect its homeworld. It knows that nobody will willingly hurt Carter. For a while it looks like SGC face the choice of Carter or Earth.
Double Jeopardy - The SG1 team returns to a planet they have been to before but they find they are not welcomed. Instead, the locals turn them in to the Ghoul, Chronos. Chronos is glad to have the prisoners; he had in the past vowed vengeance against the SG1 team. He proceeds to have Daniel Jackson killed. That is when we learn that it is not a real Daniel Jackson. It is a robot. In fact, none of these SG1 team members are the real ones. Instead, they are the robots created some episodes back and which promised not to leave their own world. The boredom got to be too much for them and they had to go exploring on their own. It is up to the real SG1 team to save the day.
Exodus - As the last episode closed, the SG1 team had managed to capture a ghoul mother ship. In this one, they rendezvous with the Tok'ra. Several episodes ago, Apothis managed to slip an agent into the ranks of the Tok'ra. They were aware of this deception and used him to feed Apothis disinformation. Now, they are evacuating the Tok'ra planet and are suckering Apothis in. They have an ambitious plan to destroy Apothis and his fleet by blowing up the star. They don't think small! The plan seems to work except that Tanis, the ghoul agent manages to escape and Teal'c feels honor bound to go after him. This happens while the clock is ticking on the star to be blown up. As the season comes to its cliffhanger end, the captured mother ship just barely manages to escape the exploding star. Apothis escapes also and he has an SG1 prisoner. "
I'm really enjoying this.
K. Weld | Austin, TX United States | 09/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The worst thing about the series on dvd is that one must wait a heck of a long time before you get to see more. But I'll whine later, in private, where it won't annoy anyone.
The dvds are great quality, and I haven't had any reading difficulties with them since the Season 1 set. *NOTE: I'm using my PS2 to view these, so if you have a dedicated dvd player, you might have different results. If you're using a PS2 also, well, it'll work fine after Season 1.
For light sci-fi, SG-1 is really hard to beat. The characters are entertaining, the dialogue is interesting without being exceptionally simplistic, and Rick Anderson and Christopher Judge give great comedic relief. *SPOILER* The exploration of Jack and Samantha's relationship, and why they aren't pursuing it, is a GREAT change from the tired Remmington Steele/X-Files "we're in love but won't admit it because it would be weird" shtick. I was glad to see them admit how they felt (albeit under duress) and come to obviously temporary terms with it. It was well done, and blended expertly with something they'd done in a previous Season 4 episode. Great stuff.Must note that this is LIGHT sci-fi, in a fun-over-realistic setting. Sort of pulp-action stuff, if you will. But don't dismiss its hitting power, because they'll sneak in a powerful scene when you aren't expecting it, and you'll find yourself wondering when they got inside your guard.If you enjoyed Star Trek (Classic) or Battlestar Galactica, you'll likely enjoy this."
A good example of a Science fiction show
S. Holmes | Cupertino, CA United States | 11/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The fourth season of Stargate was the first season I had watched. It is a little confusing at first but after a few episodes you can figure it out, and then surprisingly find yourself hooked (be prepared to purchase every season after this one!). What this DVD is offering is unique in that it gives you commentaries for every episodes. What ever advice they told these writers, directors and others before the commentary should be extended to the rest of the entertainment industries. The lively banter is entertaining and makes you wish you could have been there to lend a hand. Peter Deluise (who if you are a certain age will remember his stint on 21 Jump Street) was particularly entertaining in his commentaries as a director and creative influence to the series. In the episode Prodigy he even goaded his fellow commenters to sing the lyrics to the theme song which might not be up for any awards but was a perfect example of the fun they had creating this series. This was a great season for any science fiction series, and although one might blame them from ripping off from other plots scattered through out time such as Window of Opportunity which was groundhog day in space, or Beneath the Surface which resembled Metropolis with some dirt they added their own panache. Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tappings and Christopher Judge are a each pretty fun to watch. Shanks shined particularly in `The first One' (enemy mine with an even greater language barrier) and `the Curse'."