If this five-disc, 20-episode, tenth season set really is the end of Stargate SG-1
--and considering the number of reprieves the show has already had and the rumours of various movie spin-offs, not to mention the fact that the final installment is entitled "Unending," who knows?--then the folks responsible for this durable sci-fi series can be proud that they finished it off in style, with a run of episodes that are for the most part highly entertaining, exciting, and fun, offering resolution if not complete closure. And if sharks were jumped, at least they were small ones. As was the case in Season 9
, and to a large extent in Season 8
as well, original series star Richard Dean Anderson is little in evidence here. Portraying Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell, Ben Browder, who came to Stargate SG-1
from the underrated Farscape
, is now entrenched as leader of SG-1, the Stargate project's ace team in the field, joining series veterans Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, and Michael Shanks (as Samantha Carter, Teal'c, and Daniel Jackson, respectively). Most notably, fellow Farscape alum Claudia Black has an ever-expanding role as Vala, whose cheeky wit and irreverence bring a consistent spark to the proceedings. The big, bad villains known as Ori are back as well. We still can't see them--they are, after all, "ascended beings," represented by the blind, monk-like Priors, who roam the universe intoning "Hallowed are the Ori" and ensuring that all will submit to their will (the element of scary religious fanaticism remains as relevant as ever). But the Ori are also still the most implacable, irresistible force our heroes have ever encountered; nothing less than the fate of the entire galaxy is at stake (again)! And now there's an added twist: the Ori have a frontwoman, if you will, whose powers make the Priors look like well, monks. Known as Adria (or "the Orici" to believers), this beautiful young woman (played by Morena Baccarin) also happens to be the daughter of Vala, whom the Ori chose to bring their demon seed into the world; the uneasy (to say the least) Adria-Vala relationship provides many intriguing moments. On the minus side, the show tends to break its own rules (for instance, for a character who's supposed to be invincible, Adria often seems awfully, well, vincible), and the co-mingling of Arthurian legend, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian myth, magic, and other sources is occasionally over-the-top, even for this franchise. Some episodes are plot-heavy, bogged down by too many characters (past bad guys like the Goa'uld, and Ba'al reappear, as do several Stargate Atlantis
leads in one episode) or excessive techno-rap about time dilation fields, flux capacitors, and something called the Clava Thessara Infinitas (don't ask). Episodes in which the writers move away from the central Ori theme are less than stellar; "200" exists mostly as an opportunity to make fun of the TV business and is as irrelevant and silly as "Citizen Joe," the worst episode from Season 8. And finally, without revealing details, suffice to say that "Unending," which offers a possible fate for our heroes before totally pulling its punches, may frustrate some longtime adherents. By and large, though, Stargate SG-1 has all the elements--humour, action, great effects, good story-telling and acting, characters you care about--to more than justify its ten-year run. It will be missed. Special features are again bountiful, including audio commentary on all episodes, various featurettes, and five "directors series" entries devoted to particular episodes. --Sam Graham, amazon.com
Join Colonel Jack O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) and the SG-1 Team in the complete tenth season of the hugely popular US sci fi series. Continuing it's blend of sharp wit and cool adventure, 'Stargate' delivers all the action adventure you desire as the crew battle against old foes and face new dangers in amazing but ever more hostile worlds. Episodes comprise: 'Flesh and Blood', 'Morpheus', 'The Pegasus Project', 'Insiders', 'Uninvited', '200', 'Counterstrike', 'Memento Mori', 'Company of Thieves', 'The Quest - Part 1', 'The Quest - Part 2', 'Line in the Sand', 'The Road Not Taken', 'The Shroud', 'Bounty', 'Bad Guys', 'Talion', 'Family Ties', 'Dominion' and 'Unending'.