The first episode of Season 8 is appropriately titled “New Order”. Changes are inevitable as this superior series goes where no American sci-fi show has gone before, a tenth season. Richard Dean Anderson has been slowly removing himself from the everyday appearances since Season 7. Here he is made base commander, and while his responsibilities have increased, his screen time has certainly tumbled. By year 9 Anderson is nothing more than a memory and occasional guest star. Still… the huge changes haven’t come yet, and season 8 is your last chance to visit this core team on a regular basis. Even after 8 years, the quality of the show has never been better. We have a heavy dose of Replicators, Gou’ld, and Super Soldiers… Oh My. Carter is now a Lt. Col. and O’Neal is a Brig. Gen. The beginning of the season helps to set up the spin-off Atlantis series as Dr. Weir wraps up her time as base commander.
Col. Jack O’ Neal (Anderson) heads the group. Dr. Daniel Jackson (Shanks) is the cultural expert. Col. 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. All but the episode “Threads” sport commentaries.
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.
The extras are found throughout the 5 disc box set. Each disc comes with at least one photo gallery. This is the usual promo stuff.
“SG-1 Beyond The Gate: An Air Force Experience With Richard Dean Anderson” Long title. Short feature, about 15 minutes. Anderson talks about his experiences with the actual Air Force and the reactions he gets from the real deal.
There are 3 new “Director’s Series” installments. These are typically anywhere from 5-10 minutes and concentrate on a particular episode. This set explores the episodes: The Covenant, Avatar, and Reckoning (the longest of the features at over 15 minutes).
“Super Soldiers: The Making Of A Monster” This is a nifty little feature on the nearly invincible soldiers Anubus created in Season 7 that carry over to this year. From conception to the guy in the suit it’s a pretty nice look at a new villain.
“SG-1 Beyond The Gate: A Conversation With Christopher Judge” Judge seems to be having the most fun of all the cast members. He’s been much more accessible for these features and they are always entertaining. This time he’s cornered at a convention.
I still love the packaging. A box with 5 separate cases; single-sided discs. MGM does DVD on TV up right. One complaint I have is the episode “Threads”. Not only is it the only one to be missing a commentary track, but it has been cut. The original episode was a longer version. MGM has told me they will be offering the full length episode to folks who bought the set. Way to go MGM! Maybe it will even have a commentary?
This show’s like the energizer bunny. It keeps going, and going… If you’re like me you’re looking forward to many more years of Stargate SG-1. I highly recommend this one as I have the previous 7 sets. Stargate might not be Rocket Science… well… actually it kind of is. Never mind. Anyway, “At least it’s a good way to pass the time.”