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Stargate SG-1 vol 38 DVD Review

Stargate SG-1 vol 38

October 29, 2005

Director: Peter DeLuise, William Gereghty, Andy Mikita, William Waring, Martin Wood,
Starring: Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Ben Browder, Beau Bridges, Dan Shea, David DeLuise, Tony Amendola, Gary Jones, Ronny Cox, ,

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DVD Review

In 1994, a secret was shared with a movie-going audience. A secret that had been buried for thousands of years, until the sci-fi fantasy adventure movie Stargate was released. Then, following in the footsteps of Star Trek, X-Files and Buffy, Stargate became a U.S. televisual phenomenon. The Stargate is a gateway that reaches out through space linking planets and solar systems to Earth. The U.S. Government has entrusted an elite group of soldiers called SG1, to travel through the Stargate, seek out new technologies and civilizations and bring peace to warring galaxies.

Now with its SG1 seasons heading towards double figures, spawning its own spin-off series and achieving cult status–these DVD volumes are worth a look for any sci-fi geek, and a must for SG1 fans. Volume 38 holds the first four episodes from Season 8, and starts straight after the heart-racing conclusion of the last season with Anubis’ attack on the Earth thwarted and Col. O’Neill cryogenically frozen. Each episode is 45 minutes long with “New Order” Parts One and Two, being presented as one long episode.

With the episodes “New Order”, “Lock Down” and “Zero Hour,” we see Sam Carter captured by Fifth, Teal’c and the Asgard attempt to save O’Neill, the ghost of Anubis attack the SGC, System Lords seeking asylum on Earth and many more exciting twists and turns for the SG1 task force.

SG1 has never failed with its imagination but remains unimpressive on some aesthetic aspects from the completely uninspiring theme tune, which should have you reaching for the remote before the opening credits are over through to the inability to pace an episode, leaving stories being crammed into 45 minutes and having important information being waffled between characters in one of the too many expositional dialogue scenes, or alternatively having a weak plot point pointlessly stretched out to breaking point, and any relevance it may have had, is deemed not worthy of the audiences boredom.

However, at most times the computer effects are exceptional and could rival a lot of high-budget movies and all the sci-fi elements are in present and make SG1 a formidable series, but falls for the odd episode viewer.

Special Features:

The menu screen looks impressive, at first glance, as we are given a guided tour of O’Neill’s desk before settling in front of an open file to choose the options. It’s a simple interface and easy to navigate but the static visual does become stale very quickly.

As far as extras go there is a promising feature called “The Lowdown: From Stargate to Atlantis.” It gives the audience a quick recap of previous seasons and a quick look into the making of Season 8, in which most of the footage concerns episodes on this Volume 38 disc. We are also promised an inside look at the brand new spin off show Atlantis, but this does not feature heavily here. Vol. 38 only contains part one of the “Lowdown,” if you want to see part two and that exciting Atlantis footage you have to buy Vol. 39.

Continuing the SG1 DVD trend, there is also a “Directors Series” feature which takes a look at the work of a director working on a specific episode. It’s good stuff as we see the actors rehearsing, the crew practicing the camera movements and everyone is happy and laughing and praising each other all the way through. A real family unit atmosphere comes through in this ten-minute piece, the only downside being the featured episode, “Avatar” from Vol. 39.

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance

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