Beginning of the End
Andrew | Chicago, IL, USA | 08/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As I said in my review for Season 7 of Stargate: SG-1, I cannot think of any other show in history that has had more false endings than this. The writers were preparing for cancellation during both the sixth and seventh seasons, and the plans with those finales was to leave a cliffhanger to be resolved in an upcoming motion picture. However, the Sci Fi channel kept renewing SG-1, making the movie idea irrelevant. Finally, we get to Season 8. Richard Dean Anderson, who plays central character Jack O'Neill (who gets promoted to General this year) stated that this would be his last season as a regular, a spin-off series, Stargate: Atlantis started up, and the plotlines of the show had already started to be resolved in the previous year. So now the writers were absolutely convinced at the beginning of the year that Season 8 would be the final season. They decided to make this year kind of like a big send-off for the series (very similarly to Buffy the Vampire Slayer's final season). Strangely enough, SG-1 was picked up for a NINTH year, tying it with The X-Files for the longest running American sci-fi show.
The year began with the great two-part episode "New Order". With O'Neill still in stasis after the battle in Antarctica the previous year, Dr. Elizabeth Weir (Torri Higginson) is still in charge of the SGC. Sam Carter (Amanda Tapping), who becomes a Colonel this year, and Teal'c (Christopher Judge) try to contact the Asgard about O'Neill's condition when they encounter an old nemesis they thought was vanquished: the Replicators. Meanwhile, on Earth, Weir and Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) receive a very strange request from the Goa'uld system lords: they want to form an alliance with Earth. Now that Anubis is (supposedly) gone, the System Lord Ba'al (Cliff Simon) has been absorbing Anubis' armies, weapons, ships, and technologies in an attempt to rule the Milky Way galaxy. By the episode's end, Weir has left (on her way to Atlantis), O'Neill is now in charge of the SGC, and the now three-person SG-1 realizes that a big fight will be coming now that the Replicators have returned and the Goa'uld "government" is beginning to crumble.
The next couple episodes are fair; one of them exists only to show O'Neill adjusting to his new rank, one shows Teal'c trying to adjust to life outside the SGC, while the others are standard fare that could have occurred during pretty much any other season. Then we get the episode "Covenant", where a media mogul may have discovered evidence of alien life in our galaxy. Since this was supposed to be the final season, the promos for the episode made it seem as if the Stargate program was going to be revealed to the public (sadly, things didn't go quite as the promos promised, but it was still a good episode, and was left open-ended, so they may do a follow-up in Season 9).
In later episodes, we encounter a human-form Replicator that was constructed in the image of Col. Carter, a new character named Vala (Claudia Black) who caused some trouble for Jackson, and probably the greatest clip show EVER (I must say, the Stargate writers know how to use clip shows effectively). "Citizen Joe" has Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer Simpson, and one of Richard Dean Anderson's heroes) playing Joe Sullivan, a barber in Indiana who, due to an Ancient device, sees flashes of Stargate missions. Throughout the 8 years, he writes them down, forsaking his job and his family. In the process of the episode, inside jokes and cracks at some of the shows less-than-stellar episodes are made (Stargate can make fun of itself like no other), my favorite being about the mysterious Furlings. We know this race exists, but we've never encountered them. When one of Joe's customers asks about them, he responds that he's sure they'll pop up soon.
Everything leads up to the last five episodes, "Reckoning, Parts 1 and 2", the 90-minute "Threads", and the season finale (which was supposed to be the series finale), "Moebius, Parts 1 and 2", which bring the entire franchise full circle by, in a sense, going back to the Stargate movie that started it all. Huge changes are made in these episodes, which are all great, and have a big impact on what can happen in Season 9 (although, as I've said, the writers weren't anticipating going on for another season). Some of the best scenes in the entire series take place in these five episodes, and I must say that the way they ended "Threads" and "Moebius, Part 2" is just great.
While this wasn't the best season of the show (I haven't decided if I should award S4 or S7 with that honor yet), it was definitely one of the best. Even though some of its stand-alone episodes were just fair (a problem that plagued S5, which was the worst year, in my opinion), the episodes dealing with the larger story-lines were just fantastic. Even though I am very happy with S9 so far, this would have made a perfect ending to a great series. I am interested to see what will happen at the end of the series, see as how I believe that "Moebius" is the only way this show could ever end."
The Payoff Year
Ben Smith | sunnyvale, CA usa | 08/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Season 8 saw the writing team wrapping up all the story lines of the previous seven years and they did so in a very satisfactory manner. It is my personal opinion that season 8 was the best year of the show and their is no better example of that then "Threads" SG-1's greatest episode which wraps up three important story arcs in an unbelievably satisfactory manner.
Even though the show will continue in another form this is really the end of the series and as a long time stargate fan it was a very satisfying end. I wish all tv shows could end like this."
US Fans Are Short-Changed with This DVD Release
aizjanika | AK USA | 10/08/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is not a review of Season 8, but a review of this DVD set. I love Stargate SG-1 and own all the previous seasons on DVD. I also loved season 8 and was thrilled to pre-order it and couldn't wait until it arrived. However, I have been very disappointed with this DVD release. Only the short (heavily edited) version of the episode Threads was included and many of the extras that were on the Region 2 disks were not included on the Region 1 (US) version.
The features on the UK DVDs that we did not get on the US DVDs:
* Full (unedited, longer) version of Threads
* Director's Series for Threads
* Michael Shanks: A Convention Experience
* Amanda Tapping: A Convention Experience
* The Last Days of Teal'c featurette
* From Stargate to Atlantis featurette
* Two Secrets Revealed specials
* An interview with Mallozzi & Mullie (writers/producers)
* Director's Series for Moebius
* The Lowdown that aired pre season seven (which had an extra 15 minutes that were only on this DVD -- I think this may have been split into two parts, but I'm not positive)
I don't understand why the same features can't be included on all DVD releases for the same show. I've been waiting for months to see The Last Days of Teal'c and the convention featurettes especially only to be disappointed. I recorded all the episodes myself already so I wouldn't have purchased these DVDs except for the extras.
Edited to add:
TVshowsonDVD.com has reported that MGM plans to replace the disk for Threads with a disk containing the unedited version. That doesn't address the problem of the extras, but it's a start and nice that they responded to fans' dismay so quickly."
Box set disappointment
Claudia E. Vidal | Dayton, MN | 10/18/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I pre-oredered season 8 and waited in anticipation. What a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. I feel ripped off. the eposide threads is heavely edited, and alot of the extra's that the region 2 box set has are missing. I feel MGM has mislead Stargate fans. Would never have purchased it if I had known they where going to do this.
I loved the other 7 seasons I purchased."