I love Stargate the movie and of course saw it before there was the thought of a show (the movie released in 1994), but the movie really has nothing on the series. While Kurt Russell and James Spader were great in the movie, the roles of Col. O’Neill and Dr. Daniel Jackson belong to Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Shanks respectively. Indeed, the show expanded on the initial premise in a huge wage and really birthed an amazing franchise.
It all started on Showtime in 1997 with this, the first season of Stargate SG-1. Picking up a couple of years after the movie, the two hour pilot (Children of the Gods) really served as a direct sequel to the movie (the episode can stand alone, and it was re-released as a DVD movie a couple of years ago) and a great launching pad for the series and the new concepts introduced.
The season starts off strong, but by episode three becomes a season largely comprised of standalone episodes where if you missed one, you wouldn’t be lost. I like that, especially in this opening season. While I love continuity in a storyline, the fact is the gate has just been reopened and the newly formed SGC now knows the gate can connect to many different worlds and what we’re seeing is the logical exploration of these different world’s by the flagship team of SG-1.
There are some really good to great episodes in season one too: “Children of the Gods,” “The First Commandment” (some don’t like it, I dig it), “The Nox,” “Brief Candle,” “Thor’s Hammer,” “The Torment of Tantalus” (such a great episode), “Hathor,” “Enigma,” “Solitudes,” and then things really get good at the end of the season with the episodes “There But for the Grace of God,” and “Within the Serpent’s Grasp.”
Of course the season has its share of stinkers too: “Emancipation,” “The Broca Divide,” “Cold Lazarus,” “Bloodlines,” “Fire and Water,” and “Politics” (a recap/clip show). As you can see, there’s definitely more good than bad (although none are that bad).
It should be noted that Children of the Gods, on the complete first season DVD, does contain the original Showtime version. It’s the only episode of Stargate to have any nudity. There’s nothing sexual about the scene, but there is some brief nudity (boobs and bush). Thankfully the guys behind the show was able to do things their way and not what Showtime wanted, and the end result was a sci-fi show that really could be enjoyed by the entire family (something you won’t find in an original series of any of the pay channels today).
The first season starts off great and introduces to the main villain for the next several seasons, Apophis (played wonderfully by Peter Williams), and ends with a great cliffhanger with Apophis’ ship in Earth’s orbit. As far as the DVD (and I’m referring to the first box set released for the individual seasons) is concerned, I only have one complaint. The episode “The Nox” doesn’t have the track for Apophis. The episode plays and sounds normally, but when Apophis speaks you can never hear what he is saying because the audio track for it simply isn’t there. This is a crying shame because this episode has some classic Apophis lines.
Other than that one issue, the first season DVD set is great and contains some good special features. As far as I’m concerned, Stargate SG-1 is one of the best shows that have been on television and this season in particular is really strong. Season one is an absolute must-own for any fan of science fiction.
Stargate SG1 Season 1 gets a four out of five: GREAT.