The 1994 movie Stargate
was originally intended as the start of a franchise, but creators Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin were distracted celebrating their Independence Day
. Episodic TV treatment was the natural next step. Since neither Kurt Russell nor James Spader would be able to commit, it gave the producers licence to tinker with the cast and the universe they'd explore. Replacing the roles of Colonel Jack O'Neill and Dr. Daniel Jackson respectively are Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Shanks. They're joined by Captain Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping) and guilt-stricken former alien baddie Teal'c (Christopher Judge) to form the teacher's pet primary unit SG-1 With a seemingly endless network of Stargates found to exist on planets all across the known universe, their mission is to make first contact with as many friendly races as possible. Chasing their heels at almost every turn are the "overlord" pharaohnic Goa'uld--the ancient Egyptian Gods who are none too chummy after the events of the original film. The welcome notion of a continued plot thread sees offshoots that follow the reincarnation of Daniel's wife, Sam's father literally joining a renegade faction of the Goa'uld, and Jack in an unending quest to out-sarcasm everyone. There's something of The Time Tunnel
to the show's premise, but amid a dearth of derivative look-a-likes, Stargate
has held its own with stories that put the science fiction back into TV sci-fi.
The first two episodes here (nos. 9 & 13) do not follow the previous Volume 6 chronologically. "Thor's Hammer" ought to be seen before Vol. 3, since this visit to Cimmeria presents an earlier chapter in Teal'c's problems at home and is the introduction to the Gate-building Asgard race. "Hathor" is likewise an essential early instalment by introducing the siren-like goddess who will continue to put Earth's men under her spell. Episodes 21 and 22 jump forward to finish Season Two: there's great fun to be had in "1969" and a time-travel plot that loops many aspects of the show's storylines together. The cliff-hanger finale, "Out of Mind", has O'Neill experience an Aliens-style awakening 79 years into his future. What the Hell happened? And why is he being asked so many questions about Earth's defences? --Paul Tonks
Four episodes from the popular time-travelling sci-fi series. In the season one adventure, 'Thor's Hammer', Teal'c and O'Neill have their first encounter with Unas, the First Goa'uld; while 'Hathor', also from the first series, introduces the Goa'uld goddess, a femme fatale who reappears in the next two seasons of the space saga. The other two episodes on this DVD form the climax to season two: '1969' finds the Stargate team trying to avoid the bad LSD, as well as a suspicious US military command, when they are transported back to America on the eve of Woodstock; and 'Out of Mind' sees O'Neill fooled into thinking he has awoken from a lengthy spell in the cryogenic freezer, when in fact he has been kidnapped by the Goa'uld enemy.