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. In 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" 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 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. --Paul Tonks
On this DVD: This volume begins in confusion when the S.G.1 team discover a military camp training for "Rules of Engagement". All is not what it seems however. The same is true of "Forever in a Day", when Daniel's wife Sha're is killed by Teal'c. This episode begins an important storyline about her stolen child who is a "Harcesis", an illegal breeding between Goa'uld hosts. Then an earlier thread is picked up in "Past and Present" on planet Vyus whose people all suffer amnesia. Their leader Ke'ra (played by Megan Leitch who's portrayed Mulder's missing sister in The X-Files) is a link to the earlier "Prisoners" episode and the dangerous "destroyer of worlds". Closing the volume is a cliffhanger in which Sam must attempt to rescue her father, face Satan himself on a prison moon, and resurrect "Jolinar's Memories" from the Goa'uld she was briefly possessed by. Trapped in Hell, the team's escape seems impossible.
As well as trailers for the next volume, the disc includes a 10-minute interview with Christopher Judge on his 97-year-old character Teal'c. He spends much of the time recalling plot points, but his philosophy of the show as a social allegory is refreshing. --Paul Tonks END
DVD MGM Entertainment, 5050070004632, 1999 Volume 10 PAL Region 2