Being the sci-fi geek that I am, it is my sworn duty to collect entire runs of TV series on DVD. I am up to Season 8 on Stargate SG-1.
Spoiler warning, click more for my short summary reviews of the seasons thus far, complete with scores out of five for people who like that kind of gross over-simplification.
Pretty good actually, SG-1 seems to hit the ground running, which most sci-fi shows don’t. Controversially, I’m a big fan of the “stand-alone” Stargate episode, because if ever there was a perfect franchise for them, it’s this. Good stand-alones. “Fire and Water” features Daniel’s first death. “Thor’s Hammer” and “The Nox” introduce interesting new races – not least because they’re not the enemy. The Asgard in particular have a huge role in the series.
A lot of cool stuff, although there are some missteps – including the setting up of a new invisible enemy, which proceeds to almost never be heard of again. Of particular note is a new alliance with the Tok’ra forged through Carter’s father choosing to become a host. Also more Asgard, via O’Neill’s new buddy Thor. A personal favourite stand-alone episode here is “Spirits” which features Native Americans, doing what they do best, which is be awesome. Also, “The Fifth Race” is a fantastic expansion on the Asgards and the Anicents mythos. “1969” is a bundle of fun.
Some big arcs really get rolling here. Solid stuff throughout. This season sets up the concept of ascension in “Maternal Instinct”. “Deadman Switch” is awesome. Season finale “Nemesis” introduces the Asgard’s (and by extension SG-1’s) big enemy the Replicators.
“2010” is one of my absolute favourite SG-1 episodes, featuring nicey-nicey alien allies who solve all of Earth’s problems, but oh no they’re actually evil. “Absolute Power” is another cool what-if. “Window of Opportunity” is a cool little time-loop episode. Lots of good stand-alones in fact. Few crap ones like “The Light”. And there’s some arc stuff too, but I’m bored of Apophis by this point.
Actually, not that great for some reason. The slow end of Apophis (again?) and the slow beginning of the Anubis arc, which was soon to bore me to death. Really, I thought I was sick of Apophis, but I had no idea just how dull Anubis would be. Still, good stand-alones as always. “Beast of Burden” and “2001” both spring to mind, the latter featuring the return of the Aschen. “Wormhole X-Treme” is a fun pastiche of Stargate. And then oh no Daniel is dead. Well not, dead, ascended. And because Michael Shanks left the show, they hastily put Thor (who he voices) into a coma. Classy.
I like Jonas, despite him replacing my favourite SG-1 member. He introduced a slightly different dynamic to the show that worked quite well. Shame it didn’t get fully explored. Further exploration of the NID/Trust arc that’s been cropping up from time to time, revealing Stargate Command has enemies here on Earth too. “The Other Guys” is the comedy show this season. The Prometheus is revealed in, you guessed it, “Prometheus”, meaning more starship episodes, which sucks because this is not a starship show. More Anubius rumblings. Yawn.
As previously mentioned, the Anubis arc bored me to death, and it dominates this season. Oh scary, he’s not just a Gou’uld, but he wears a black cloak, and GASP you can’t see his real face! Besides, his role in Egyptian mythology is completely at odds to his role in the show – which might seem like pedantry, but previous Gou’uld have been shown to share characteristics with their inspirations. Ach well, they had just used up all the important gods already. But enough about that. “Revisions” is cool, and the two-parter “Heroes” is the greatest two-parter they ever did. Throughout the season they’ve been talking about the so-called Lost City, and in the finale we discover where it is. Oh wait no we don’t. “The Lost City” is a misnomer because they find not the Lost City, but a ruin in Antarctica. Ach well, if you want the true Atlantis experience, this is the time to jump to the spin-off I guess. Well at least they killed Anubis… Or so I thought.
Personally, I think the human replicators was another misstep, the things were more frightening when they were mindless. This season introduces Replicator Carter, who is a crap bad guy frankly. The season includes “Citizen Joe”, my favourite of the annual clips episodes (with Dan Castellaneta), as well as a pair of great doubles at the end. Lots of arcs resolved, the Jaffa are freed, the System Lords basically all dead, Anubis finally fucking dead, the Replicators destroyed. That whole section towards the end is really quite satisfying. They seem to have thought that it was the end of the show, and really pulled out all the stops, giving a conclusion AND an appendix. Nice save.