A gradual shift in overall style, character homecomings and departures, and evolving on- and off-screen roles for the major players are among the attractions of the seventh season of Stargate SG-1. Spread out over five dis... more »cs, these 21 episodes are ample indication that changes notwithstanding--and admittedly, not all of them are for the better--the series remains arguably the best-made, most compelling sci-fi program on television. Perhaps most noticeable is the reduced role of star Richard Dean Anderson, who opted to limit his number of trips to Vancouver, where Stargate SG-1 is filmed. But that's not a bad thing. The show's ability to poke fun at itself has always been a strong suit, and while Anderson still brings a welcome sense of humor to his portrayal of wiseacre and loose cannon Col. Jack O'Neill, his act is getting a little smug by now. What's more, the other principal cast members have taken up the slack, both behind and in front of the camera: Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson, who rejoins the cast in episode 1) wrote one episode and co-wrote another; Christopher Judge (Teal'c) wrote one as well; Amanda Tapping (Lt. Col. Samatha Carter) directed episode 19, "Resurrection"; and even Corin Nemec (Jonas Quinn, who appears in just a few episodes) contributed one story. The seventh season also finds the series somewhat more earthbound than in the past; indeed, there are episodes in which the Stargate (the "wormhole" our heroes use to travel to different worlds) doesn't appear at all. On balance, the stories are more personal, and more political--especially the final two, with the newly elected U.S. President (William Devane) struggling to decide the fate of the Stargate program (and, of course, the fate of the entire known universe as well!). And then there's the ultimate villain, Anubis, who makes perennial nemeses the Goa'uld (of which Anubis is one... sort of) look tame. He's a combination of Star Wars' Darth Vader and evil Emperor, but hey, at least these guys borrow from the best. Stargate SG-1's production values remain first-rate. The bonus DVD features are also much better than they once were, with audio commentary (mainly by directors and writers) for every episode, as well as director profiles and "Beyond the Gate" featurettes focusing on individual characters. --Sam Graham« less
Great Sci-Fi Alien entertainment and continuation from the Stargate Movie!
Daniel Jackson returns for the 7th season of "Stargate SG-1"
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 12/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Looking back on the seventh season of "Stargate SG-1" it seems clear that the show was caught between the idea that this was the final season and an impulse to retool the series to keep in going into an eighth season. In short, I think if they knew then what they know now they would have done things differently, especially with the question of Richard Dean Anderson's status for season nine. When the new president made Dr. Elizabeth Weir (Jessica Steen) the new civilian head of the Stargate project that had a lot of interesting possibilities, both because of her gender and because she had an extensive background in diplomatic negotiations. But the two-part "Lost City" that ends this season becomes more about stopping Anubis from destroying the Earth than retooling the show and Weir is going to end up on "Stargate: Atlantis" (to be played by Torri Higginson). There is a lot that happens in those last three episodes, when President Hayes (William Devane) takes office and Anubis attacks, with the potential for more all sorts of interesting ramifications, more so than with what happens when the season starts.
That is when Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) returns from being an ascended being, albeit on an alien world without his memory ("Fallen"). This required getting rid of Jonas Quinn (Corin Nemec) to get the old gang back together again, which happens when Anubis download Jonas' memory and the Goa'uld attack Kelowna ("Homecoming"). Wisely, this is not the last appearance of Jonas for the season ("Fallout") as he becomes another one of recurring guest characters that are a major strength of the series. There are several Daniel Jackson stories that make a point of giving the actor interesting things to do, such as "Lifeboat," where his mind becomes a resting place for a bunch of alien minds, "Enemy Mine," which requires Jackson to show diplomatic skills, and big time flashbacks in "Chimera," to before Daniel first saw the Stargate. Overall, Jackson comes running to the rescue more often than any other character during this season (e.g., "Resurrection").
I understand now that Anderson had a reduced workload for Season 7 of "Stargate SG-1," and there are some interesting attempts to make the best of that situation, as when O'Neill is transformed into a teenage boy ("Fragile Balance"). For the most part the main tactic is to make O'Neill a supporting character and let the other characters do the heavy lifting. But when I look over the 21 episodes for the season it becomes clear that Teal'c (Christopher Judge) is primarily a supporting player for the year as well, with "Orpheus" and "Birthright" being the only episodes to really focus on Teal'c. You do have to admit, that nobody on the show milks a stare better than the big fella.
Overall, Season 7 is really Samantha Carter's season and Amanda Tapping has several episodes where she pretty much goes it alone. "Space Race" has her joining an alien pilot for a little intergalactic competition, while "Death Knell" finds Carter being hunted by the supers soldiers of Anubis after an attack on Earth's secret off-world base. In "Grace" Carter literally ends up alone when the Prometheus is attacked and she wakes up to find herself the only one on a ship drifting in deep space. The other characters show up as the angels of her better nature, which is the only way that Sam and Jack are ever going to have an honest conversation. She even has an actual boyfriend for an episode "Chimera," in a concerted effort to get rid of the "black widow" label that has plagued Carter. The unrequited love between Carter and O'Neill is pitch perfect, so just let them keep their unspoken thoughts and give this woman a social life. Of course we have to take this to an extreme and that would be the fantasies of Jay Felger ("Avenger 2.0").
The whole Anubis/Lost City bit ends up being equal parts time to beat another bigger and badder system lord and find a fitting end point for the series that can also work as a transition to the spinoff. In your free time you can speculate as to what they would have done differently knowing that there was going to be an eighth season of "Stargate SG-1," but I have to think there would have been some significant changes that would not have wrapped up things so quickly and conveniently. Besides, having read my Dante I have been patiently waiting for Robert Kinsey (Ronny Cox) to receive his comeuppance, and with everything that was happening in those final episodes that was a notable anticlimax.
The two main tensions in Season 7 are between the need to keep coming up with a bigger threat for SG-1 to face and the desire to keep the characters real. The former is represented by the super soldiers engineered by Anubis ("Evolution, Part 1") and Kinsey becoming Vice President ("Inauguration"), while the latter is at the heart of the two-part "Heroes," when reporter Emmett Bregman (Saul Rubinke) shows up at Cheyenne Mountain to document the Stargate project for some future posterity. The episode underscores the dangers inherent in what Stargate does, an idea which is revitalized by having the off-world focus being on SG-13, led by Colonel Dave Dixon (Adam Baldwin). The subtext for the episode is honoring the unsung heroes of the American military in the real world, and it certainly accomplished that goal and the performances are particularly memorable. Of course, the cast is given ample motivation given the script and the episode's emotional payoff.
While "Stargate SG-1, Season 7" is one of the weaker seasons for the series, it is still a pretty good science fiction show on a par with "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Farscape." The common denominator, of course, is that the best stories are character driven and not just dressed up by computer-generated special effects. Part of the problem at this point is that the characters are so comfortable with each other that pushing them to new levels becomes extremely difficult. But at least with "Heroes," they proved that SG-1 can still make the effort and meet the challenge."
To the Rescue
Steven Jabour | 09/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Stargate fans old and new hail Season 7 as the most anticipated season yet. The return of Dr. Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) allows for a common nostalgic feeling among the shows viewers. Leaving after Season 5, his replacement Jonas Quinn (Corin Nemec, Season 6) added to the adventure, but left many SG-1 fans calling Season 6 "boring" and "tame". Diehard SG-1 fans acknowledge Season 6 adventures, but look to Season 7 as a new beginning.
On the list of favorites, Season 7 saw the greatest changes and challenges ever to be seen in the SG-1 universe. Seasons 1 and 2 offered adventures leading up to the defeat of Apophis, one of the greatest threats SG-1 ever faced. Season 7 offers a new, long awaited nemesis, Anubis, a dark and very diabolical Gou'ald, whom for his past transgressions, was cast out of the "High Council of System Lords" and into exile. Mid-Season, SG-1 has been given hints toward the evils Anubis has been cooking up while in his exile. These evils are confirmed at the end of the season, which allow for SG-1 fans old and new to enjoy some well deserved butt kicking, which hasn't been seen for several seasons, but also allow for the writers to set a platform for Season 8 and new franchise, SG-Atlantis. Also, season 7 sees the promotion of General Hammond (Don S. Davis) and then end of Dr. Janet Frasier (Teryl Rothery).
Overall, Season 7 is plentiful in story, and if you missed an episode on Sci-Fi, you missed too much. Attention to detail on-screen and in story is phenomenal, and I would recommend to any new SG-1 fans to purchase this season and enjoy! And of course to old SG-1 Fans, if you skipped Season 6, don't worry; you can get right back on track with Season 7 and the return Michael Shanks.
Thanks for reading. Hope this helps in your decision to buy!"
Would be a 5 star if DVD's were not defective.
D. Roney | 09/08/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Very disappointed that the set contained defective DVD's. Otherwise, I really liked them. I returned the set two weeks ago and still do not have a refund."
Galen M. Ozawa | Carson City, NV United States | 09/18/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Have gotten two copies of this set and both disc fives had flaws that made most of the disc unreadable for my DVD player. Contacted Sony for replacement."
Major widespread defect!
Branden Plant | Las Vegas, NV | 10/01/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have tried purchasing this DVD set through many retailers including Best Buy, Borders, Amazon and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM HAS THE SAME DEFECT W/ THE LAST EPISODE. How can everyone still be selling this if it has a widespread defect across many major retailers?? Why isn't something being done about this?"