01/08/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
region 2 DVD: pub: MGM B000V7ZMMS. 5 DVDs 829 minutes 20 episodes with extras. Price: (UK) if you know where to look. cast: Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Claudia Black, Beau Bridges and Michael ShankS.
check out www.foxtvdvd.com
I dunno. The fact that the tenth season of ‘Stargate SG-1’ is six years-old now but only the first time I’ve actually been able to watch it in sequence doesn’t get away from the fact that it feels bitty. I know that when it was recorded, the production was having to do with having one less day to record on a smaller budget. Indeed, one of the audio commentaries was pointing out how one of the episodes scenes were recorded in snippets around the schedule, not to mention other directors filling in the gaps for others when they had to. That and the writers catching up in their yuletide holidays combined with suddenly discovering mid-stream that this was going to be the final season despite the cast having signed for an eleventh season must have been a bit of a blow. Considering that all of them had worked in the past thinking that each season should have been done as it if was their last and this was the one that they thought they could keep going and wasn’t makes it somewhat contradictory. The strain on all of them must have been somewhat great and reflects a bit in the scripts and in some of the performances, probably something my own special talent would pick up on. Combined with this is the mixture of drama fighting against the powerful Ori, seen off in two seasons really compared to the eight years that it took to beat the Goa’uld with a desire to show brevity and down-time and Earth-time stories to keep within budget just made it feel bitty more than cohesive to the dangers they face.
That doesn’t mean to say the stories weren’t good. Individually, they were mostly very good and Claudia Black’s wildcard inclusion as Vala stirred things up for the better even if it the change over from her more thieving ways changed off-screen, as indeed other details appeared to be done. I almost got the feeling she was jollying the others along and made sure the others got pulled along more to raise their spirits. Claudia Black really is a scene-stealer but she’s doing it with the co-operation of the cast. Loved her arm wrestling with Teal’c.
I saw the picture of Jackson with the koala bear aliens years ago and thought that would be an interesting alien encounter. When I discovered it was part of the ‘200’ spoofy episode, I really wish that part had been carried over to a proper story. I mean, most of the ‘Stargate’ adventures rarely strayed from humanoid aliens and these would have made an interesting twist.
I enjoyed episode ‘200’ for what it was but it might have helped making it a little longer and with pieces like the ‘Wizard Of Oz’ spoof, allowed those dressed up to do more than just stand there, although the extras showed them moving more.
With ‘Line In The Sand’ and the alien village put out of phase, there is a bit of quandary of why the ground became green or even when it was later bombed, why didn’t it re-materialise and break up in said crater? It could hardly have been a smooth blast area. One can only surmise that the device did more than put things out of phase.
‘The Road Not Taken’ re-visits another alternative reality for Sam Carter after her version there dies in the energy surge that got it her there. As interesting as it was to see characters return like Don Davies as Hammond, there are too many plot jumps which were probably caused by filming too much, as noted in a previous audio commentary. A few seasons back, ‘Stargate’ would just not have been this weak which makes it all the more below expectations.
The audio commentary on ‘Bounty’ made for interesting points on how much extras and locations cost to film in. Lessons in budgets should remind viewers just how much shows cost. Seems a shame that all but ‘Bad Guys’ has an audio commentary as that one would probably have been the most interesting to hear about seeing the team seen as the terrorists by the local human community off-world.
An odd finale and only the follow-up film will see if the conclusion to the Ori problem is sorted out satisfactorily. On the other hand, with ten seasons it has gone further than any other franchise and will be difficult to beat.
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