The fourth season of Stargate SG-1 started with one of the largest f/x episodes of the series. The Replicants, which look a lot like the mecha-spiders from the Lost In Space film are threatening Earth, and it seems all is lost. Of course, fans of the series know that SG-1 will save the day. The stories have continued to build in expanse as the series enters its fourth year. Stargate SG-1 just keeps getting bigger and better. By now I think this might have become the best sci-fi series on TV, rivaling even the …xcellent first two Star Trek series. Although as with any series Stargate SG-1 has produced its share of mediocre entries, I can honestly say none of them sucked. I’m also quite pleased with the format of the season gift sets. Unlike the bulky accordion packages of most series, the box of plastic cases are so much more convenient. They also hold up much better to continued use and time.
Col. Jack O’ Neal (Anderson) heads the group. Archaeologist Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) is the expert on the cultures of the Stargate folks. Maj. Samantha Carter (Tapping) is a scientist with the Air Force who specializes in the physics of the thing. The team is rounded out by Teal’C (Christopher Judge), an alien with an enemy parasite inside of him.
Once again the Dolby Digital 5.1 track blows away most TV productions. Mix aggressiveness varies from episode to episode, but the season’s first episode contains a very active surround mix. In all episodes the dialogue is always crystal clear. The brilliant score always leaves me humming after each viewing. Highs and lows often reach impressive levels.
Stargate SG-1 is once again presented in the HDTV standard wide screen aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Colors are always solid and quite often dynamic. A few episodes exhibit a great amount of grain. It appears that dark interiors show this minor flaw most. Blacks are otherwise very deep and true. Season four contains a greater array of CGI effects. These graphics are theatre quality. Showtime put a lot of money into this series, and it shows on these DVD sets.
Finally MGM has upped the ante on bonus materials. The big news here is that while no commentary tracks appeared in any of the previous sets, EVERY EPISODE in season four has a commentary. It’s true that the cast was not involved, but many of the writers, directors, and f/x crews make these very informative tracks.
Disc one contains the short feature “Enhanced Visual Effects” as part of the “Secret Files of the SGC” series begun in the season 3 set. This feature provides a look at the “amped up” f/x and why season 4 looks so much better visually.
Disc two contains another entry on “Alien Species – Friend or Foe” which plays like a primer on some of the recurring aliens of the Stargate universe.
Disc five contains the longest feature so far in the series. At 25 minutes “Stargate SG-1 Timeline of the Future: Legacy Of The Gate” is a much more detailed look at the show’s most important character, the Stargate itself. Wait until you see how detailed and functional the prop gate really is. I love this stuff. This feature also holds out hope for future Stargate sets as it claims to be part 1 of a 3 part series. What will they think of next?
You’ll find 22 powerful stories in this amazing set. I’ve recently introduced Stargate SG-1 to a neighbor. Now I get to relive seeing the series for the first time. That experience has hit home just how good this show is. With the highest standard in writing, compelling recurrent characters, top notch f/x, and wonderful chemistry between the actors this series is “a go”.
Special Features List
- Audio commentary for each episode
- “Secret Files of the SGC: Enhanced Visual Effects”
- “Secret Files of the SGC: Alien Species: Friend & Foe”
- “Stargate SG-1: Timeline to the Future–Legacy of the Gate” (part 1 of a 3-part documentary)