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Great Sci-Fi Alien entertainment and continuation from the Stargate Movie!
Ricardo G. from WHITTIER, CA Reviewed on 8/2/2014...
I had heard that the television series was good since I really liked the movie. The first season was an excellent start and liked some episodes more than others. The last few were really good and if you are a science-fiction junkie then you will enjoy this series. I am now on my third season and so far have not been disappointed.
A lackluster first season with promise of MUCH better things
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 07/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first season of STARGATE SG-1 was by no standard an especially great one, though by the end of the season there were hints that the show had the potential to become more than what we saw in the first season. This was certainly not the first subsequently successful television series to be somewhat slow out of the gate. The first season of FARSCAPE certainly gave little indication of how brilliant the show would become in Seasons Two and Three. Some shows just have to get warmed up.
Since the long narrative arc has come to dominate genre television since its establishment and development by TWIN PEAKS, THE X-FILES, and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, most shows seem to have taken either of two paths. Some, such as ROSWELL and LOST, have been able to work off a long story arc from the outset; others, such as FARSCAPE, SMALLVILLE, and STARGATE SG-1, get trapped in a stand alone pattern, only gradually breaking out to embrace a longer narrative arc. Especially after THE X-FILES mythology episodes and BUFFY, one wonders why any show would embrace the stand-alone episode format. The answer probably lies with the network and not the creators of the series. There is no question that shows with longer narrative arcs, while vastly more rewarding to fans, make things more difficult for new viewers. Network execs like to push shows to stand alone episodes to attract new viewers, thus making the shows more attractive to advertisers. Part of the agreement with the renewal of ANGEL in its fifth season, for instance, was an agreement to feature more stand alone episodes (but being a Joss Whedon show, they snuck in a story arc anyway). Season One of STARGATE SG-1 suffers by its more or less adherence to the stand-alone episode format. By the end of the season, however, this was beginning to break down, and the season ended with a lovely multi-part sequence that referenced several episodes from earlier in the season.
Before the show was a series, it was, of course, a movie, and a not terribly good movie at that. The film spent most of its time in set up, leaving little time for plot development or action. In a way, Season One emulates this. Much of the first season is spent developing its own world, populating it with characters, establishing the pretext for subsequent seasons. Luckily, a great number of seasons followed, so unlike most shows, where the first season would have set things up for two or three or four seasons, this one created the background for nine or more. The result has been the longest continuously running Sci-fi series in TV history (DR. WHO having periodically taken shorter or longer breaks).
One other problem the show has is a typical first season difficulty that one could argue has never been successfully transcended. Compared to most other genre shows, STARGATE SG-1 has a remarkably small core cast. It supplements this by a host of recurring minor characters, but essentially for most of its run the cast has consisted of the characters Jack O'Neill, Daniel Jackson, Samantha Carter, Teal'c, and General Hammond. A host of minor supporting characters has expanded this to a degree. For instance, stunt coordinator Dan Shea (and Richard Dean Anderson's stunt double) has frequently appeared as Sgt. Siler and Gary Jones as Sgt. Harriman is part of the show's furniture, while the lovely Teryl Rothery has been a mainstay on the show as Star Gate Command's medical officer. But these characters always remain supporting characters. They rarely if ever receive any focus and never get to be the show's heroes. If STARGATE SG-1 has had a problem, it is in the lack of a rich ensemble cast. My personal opinion is that the show might have been stronger if instead of the core five it had had a revolving group of seven or eight central characters. But since we can't go back and reshoot the series, there is no way to know if I am right or wrong.
The writing for the first season was not as good as it would get later. There were few out and out bad episodes, but few truly outstanding ones, and even fewer that would stand comparison with the best episodes from other series such as FARSCAPE. One of the best was "Tin Man," in which the members of SG-1 awake in a laboratory on another world. They discover that they have somehow had their minds and personalities somehow transferred to robotic bodies driven by a power source that they are unable to leave for any length of time. Distraught over their condition, they pressure the person who did this to them to transfer them back to their physical bodies, only to discover that their bodies are intact and that they are in fact artificial copies. They realize that they are clones that were made to aide in the maintenance of the base where their power supply exists and that the originals were going to be allowed to return to earth. It is a plot worthy of Philip K. Dick and a very poignant episode.
So, while this was by no means a bad first season, its main value lies in laying the foundation for better things to come."
Solid beginning to the series
T. Tiraterra | Davis, CA | 10/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ten years after this series premiered, I am only now finally beginning to watch "Stargate SG-1." I had always liked the 1994 movie, but never really thought that it needed continuation, and beginning watching this season only after I promised a friend I would give it a chance. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. I have not seen any further "SG1" seasons yet, so forgive me if I don't know where stuff is going yet (I plan on starting Season Two soon).
The first episode is a direct sequel to the 1994 film. It turns out that Ra wasn't the only powerful alien out to enslave humanity, and another one (named Apophis) has arrived to kidnap humans to serve as hosts for this evil race (given the name of the Goa'uld). In the first episode, the Goa'uld kidnap loved ones of Jack O'Neill and Daniel Jackson from the first movie-- Jack's friend and Daniel's wife-- and possess them. The rest of the season concerns the "Stargate team" SG-1's attempts to track down Apophis so those two can rescue their loved ones, but of course, this being a TV series, this main plot is deviated from quite a bit (for better and worse). O'Neill and Jackson are joined on SG-1 by the brilliant Samantha Carter, and the alien Teal'c, a former Apophis servant who's betrayed his master to help the people of Earth.
Apparently this season has a bad reputation amongst "Stargate" fans who enjoy the better seasons to come, but I found this to be a very effective introduction. Since it's the first season, many episodes focus on developing the team, and make them more empathetic to the audience. For example, O'Neill has unfinished business with his dead son that haunts him (shown in "Cold Lazarus"), and Jackson continually laments the loss of his wife (most notably in "Thor's Hammer" and "Fire and Water"). We also get to see the soft sides of the normally hard-headed Carter (in "Singularity") and the normally emotionless Teal'c (in "Bloodlines" and "Cor-Ai"), and Teal'c in particular is haunted by the crimes he committed while serving Apophis.
Of course, character development aside, the show is best watched for the action and adventure, and this season often delivers. The first episode "Children of the Gods" serves as an effective bridge between the movie and show (although those with a weak stomach should take note-- the Goa'uld possession scenes are graphic from both a nudity sense and a grotesque sense). "Thor's Hammer" is probably the most vivid and satisfying episode of the season; not only does it have great character development, but it also introduces a cool new race (the Norse) and a terrifying villain in the form of Unas, who's voiced by no less than the God of movie villain voices, James Earl Jones. "The Torment of Tantalus" introduces cool arcs for both Jackson and Catherine, a minor character from the "Stargate" movie. "The Nox" and "Bloodlines" are first-rate action episodes. "There But For the Grace of God" is a cool new twist on the old "alternate universe" sci-fi cliché. And "Within the Serpent's Grasp" is a great cliffhanger that effectively sets up Season Two, which I can't wait to start.
Between these great episodes, we get the expected groaners as well. "Emancipation" is both pointless and an unfortunate throwback to the old "colored tribe demands white woman" stereotype. "Hathor"-- with its "sexy alien woman seduces the men and the women have to kick ass" plotline-- is silly fun, but also contains some unfortunate out-of-character moments and uncomfortable subtexts (why isn't Jackson more upset that he's helped to create more of the race that he wants to wipe out, even if he "wasn't himself" at the time?) "Politics" is a notorious "flashback" episode, although it introduces some delicious human villains into the series. "Tin Man" is an annoying play on Asimov, even if it has a cool twist at the end. Overall, the season borrows quite a bit from Star Trek (Examples: virus that ages people rapidly, aliens possessing humans, unstable body doubles being created, God-like aliens shaking their heads at the silly antics of humans and their enemies), although this can be forgiven with the argument that Star Trek's been around so long it's probably done everything possible in sci-fi. Apophis, although scary in the first episode, seems to get more campy as the season goes along. Finally, O'Neill makes a decision at the end of the final episode that's a bit head-scratching (wasn't there a way to disable that person without killing him?)
In spite of its flaws, the first season of "Stargate SG-1" is great fun, and recommended to all sci-fi fans. I can't wait to start Season Two, I feel so far behind everyone..."
Through the stargate
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 06/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Most TV shows spun off from movies are uninvolving and uninteresting ("Blade," anyone?), and hopefully die and are forgotten.
That wasn't the case with the spinoff of the 1995 movie "Stargate," an okay science fiction movie that spawned an excellent television series, "Stargate SG-1." The first season is not nearly as brilliant as the ones that followed it, but it's a welcome change from distant space operas -- excellent writing, acting, and a sense of humor about itself and its characters.
The Stargate has been inactive for a year -- until it is activated, and a bunch of Egyptian-styled warriors come through and kidnap a young officer. General Hammond (Don S. Davis) pulls Jack O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) out of retirement to learn what really happened on the planet of Abydos, and where these mysterious aliens have come from.
O'Neill and a small team go to Abydos and find Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) who has been learning about a vast network of Stargates over the past year. But when Daniel's wife Sha're and brother-in-law Skaara are abducted by the same warriors, O'Neill, Jackson and Air Force scientist Sam Carter (Amanda Tapping) use the Stargate to venture to where they're being kept.
What they find is an alien race who inhabits human hosts, the Goa'uld, and their ruthless slave warriors, the Jaffa. Carter, O'Neill and Jackson are captured by the powerful Apophis -- but to escape, they must have the help of an unlikely ally: Teal'c (Christopher Judge), Apophis' First Prime. Since Earth has now annoyed the Goa'uld, several exploration teams are formed to go through the Stargate and find weapons and allies.
And SG-1 -- Carter, O'Neill, Jackson and Teal'c -- encounters some very strange problems: a plague that turns people into savages, a people who live only a hundred days, a Viking planet, a Stargate explorer stranded since 1945, a little girl turned into a bomb, the seductive Goa'uld queen Hathor, and coming back as robots. And when the military shuts down the SG program, Daniel reveals that the Earth is about to be destroyed by Apophis' armies...
The first season of "Stargate SG-1" isn't the most impressive, though the last three episodes hint at the series' future greatness. And thankfully, it drops the usual space opera stuff -- instead we get Stargates, real military, and a very plausible reason why everybody in the galaxy (more or less) looks just like us.
It's graced with kitschy Egyptian-styled sets, lots of shoot-em-up action from Marines and Air Force, and plenty of planets influenced by Earth cultures, like the Minoans and the Vikings. Best of all is the snappy dialogue, mostly from the tart-tongued O'Neill ("Temperature--ground 1700 degrees Fahrenheit. Air--seems to be in pockets, ranging from 1500 degrees down to 200." "Sounds like LA").
And the makers add some poignant and/or warm scenes, such as the eager Abydonian teenagers celebrating with O'Neill and his pals, Teal'c reunion with his outcast family, or Sam bonding with a doomed little girl. All the characters get these moments, which really makes them seem human.
Instead of Kurt Russell's suicidal O'Neill from the movie, Anderson does a quirky, disrespectful, pop culture-lovin' guy with a hidden tragic past -- his "Cold Lazarus"double role is one of the best of the show. Tapping and Shanks are also great, as an enthusiastic geek and a smart, capable military woman. Sadly Judge gets shortchanged as the stern, honorable Teal'c, but he's brilliant when he's spotlighted.
The first season of "Stargate SG-1" is not the best of the series, but it's still a solid, imaginative sci-fi story with some great writing and even better acting. A must-have for sci-fi buffs."
One of the best
Quilt Queen 53 | Glassport, PA USA | 05/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm giving this repackage deal five stars because this is the beginning of one of my all time favorite shows. It's scifi at it's best with good drama mixed in with the comedy. The scripts are tight, the dialogue is smart and funny and the characters are consistent and have great chemistry. They even have outstanding special effects, especially for a tv series. But I'll start deducting stars if the format of the disks hasn't been changed to allow a "play all" option, like the Atlantis set. Scrolling through those menus after every episode is a real pain. I'm going to buy one season (either 1 or 8) and check it out. If the formatting has been changed, I'm going to replace the whole series and pass the old sets on to get someone else hooked on this wonderful show."
I love this show
katgwang | 06/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great idea about the thin paks. Wish they thought about it sooner. I already have all 8 season but I would recommend anyone who is a fan to get them if they haven't already.
The only reason I would repurchase the first 3 seasons is if they put commentaries (like they have on Seasons 4-8) or some more extra features."