Michael Shanks returned to Stargate full time in Season 7. What continues to impress me is that after 7 years the quality of this show just keeps getting better. I’m rarely moved by film or TV, but “Fragile Balance” was one of the most moving hours of television I’ve ever seen. The writers and actors continue to collaborate to create the best science fiction show ever. I’m sorry, but that might even include Star Trek. Season 7 brought us even more complex stories, if that was possible. The characters each had opport…nities to go off on their own this year which was quite refreshing. The F/X continue to be the hallmark for any production current or future.
Col. Jack O’ Neal (Anderson) heads the group. Alien Jonas Quinn (Nemec) fills the void left by the departure of Jackson. 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. 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.
I’m afraid MGM is cutting back a little on the extras which peaked in Season 6. Each disc continues the “Director’s Series,” but sadly there is only one per disc this time.These are 5 minute behind the scenes features on specific episodes.
There are commentaries on each episode. Mostly it’s the production crew, but occasionally an actor appears. Amanda Tapping joins the commentaries for the first time this year.
Finally a 4 part series “Beyond The Gate” features profiles on Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, and Christopher Judge. I guess they could be faking it, but it sure seems these people actually like each other a lot. Perhaps that off-screen respect and friendship carries a load on-screen.
What else is there to say? Season 8 will be the final year for this original Stargate series. While I enjoy Stargate:Atlantis, there is a certain chemistry missing there. Perhaps it will grow on me more in time. The stories and f/x certainly live up to the Stargate tradition Who knows. For now Season 7’s out on DVD. I see a video store in your future … “Go forth, young man”.
Special Features List
- Commentaries for each episode by the directors, cast, and crew
- SG-1 Director’s Series featurettes: Fragile Balance, Space Race, Avenger 2.0, Death Knell, Lost City
- SG-1 Beyond the Gate featurettes: Michael Shanks, Christopher Judge, Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping
- Photo galleries