DVD REVIEW

Stargate SG-1

Stargate SG-1
‘Stargate: SG-1' Season 10 can only be described as ‘Battlestar Galactica’ without every element that makes it watchable or even the least bit interesting. It is science fiction at its most absurd and unimportant, just the type of mindless drivel that would cause Issac Asimov to roll over in his grave or Philip K. Dick to rise from the ashes and shout, “My God. What have I done?”

The Movie: star rating

For those of you who aren't obsessed fanboys, the basic premise of this ill-fated mess follows the trials and tribulations of an elite, intergalactic fighting squad known as SG-1. The five member team consists of three humans (Dr. Daniel Jackson, Samantha Carter, and Cameron Mitchell) and two aliens who they randomly picked up along the way (Vala Mal Doran and Teal'c). Beau Bridges is also somehow involved as their boss Major General Hank Landry.

Season 10 starts with Vala, pregnant and screaming in a bed on some random ship. While childbirth is normally a joyous occasion, this one turns out to be a disaster, as the baby girl ages rapidly into a grownup Ori warrior. Naturally, her hot mom isn't happy about her several hours old daughter leading a rogue, juggernaut's army, and this creates some dysfunctional family drama. In fact, this tumultuous relationship provides the backdrop for most of the season.

Following the chaos and overwhelming instability of the season premiere, viewers are fortunate enough to get twenty more episodes of genetically mutated bears, time distortion field mazes, and incessant talk about King Arthur's round table. They babble on about the damn Knights of the Round Table so much that half of the episodes feel like Excalibur, but at least that folk tale had some Helen Mirren nudity to help pass the time.

It's somewhat admirable that 'Stargate' does have a relatively consistent story arc throughout the entire season, but unfortunately, as much as I tried, I just could not get myself emotionally invested in these characters. Some of it may have to do with my missing of the first nine seasons, but this block of twenty episodes gave me no particular reason to sympathize with any of the SG 1 members.

Another serious issue with this tenth installment is the over-stretching of the basic premise. SG 1's battle against the Ori is a unique and exciting concept, but it does not hold up over the course of twenty hours. Most of the episodes see the intergalactic fighters going to a random world, encountering dead people, strange animals, or sleeping sicknesses. By the end of the hour, they've fought off the random setback and only slightly furthered their overall quest. By the fourth or fifth episode, I found myself screaming at the television just to get on with it already.

The five main 'Stargate' actors are Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Michael Shanks, and Claudia Black. The vast majority of the action centers around their storylines, and while they all do a decent job, none of them seem able to really carry the emotional load of an episode by themselves. They play well off of each other, but a percentage of the dialogue feels forced and at times really cheesy.

To say that I hate 'Stargate' would be an understatement of colossal proportions akin to having luke warm feelings on genocide or vaguely disliking racism. I loathe it. I despise it. Every fiber of my being involuntarily screams out in unison at the sound of the opening credits. This show is so epically awful that it makes me seriously doubt the existence of a loving and just God. There is just no way that he could sit by and watch people make money off of this debacle.

In all honesty, the twenty-one hours that I spent watching 'Stargate: SG-1 Season 10' was the biggest waste of time I have ever encountered. Here are a short list of things I would recommend that you do rather than buy this DVD: read a book, wash your car, wash someone else's car, check out 'Battlestar Galactica', clean out your gutters, or even let your wife teach you how to scrapbook. Yes, I've sunk to the level of endorsing scrapbooking. It's just that bad.

The Disc: dvd

This five disc set is chock-full of incredible amounts of special features. The sheer volume is impressive enough, but the fact that they're all incredibly well done makes 'Season 10' a worthwhile pickup for any 'Stargate' fanatic.

Each episode has its own audio commentary featuring a host of writers, producers, and directors providing little tidbits and behind the scenes footage. There are also five separate behind the scenes "Director Series" specials, in which the helmer takes you first into his thought processes for shooting the scenes and eventually into a blow by blow depiction of how he created certain effects. This technique is especially fascinating when Peter F. Woeste discusses how he shot "Insiders", specifically how Ba'al was multiplied over twenty times.

Also included in the 'Season 10' release are four separate featurettes including one that explains who exactly the Ori are. I can't even describe how helpful this would have been had I watched it before the entire season. It features some behind the scenes talk with producers about where the Ori came from and how they were conceived as SG's next great enemy.

Disc five provides viewers with two separate deleted scenes specials, and the introduction to the first one is actually really funny. Joseph Mallozzi admits that they polled viewers to find out what they most wanted to see, and even though bloopers won, they were unable to give the fans what they wanted because of "dark forces." It's a shame that the bloopers fell through, because most of these deleted scenes are essentially a waste. They're only a few seconds of added material, and tell us nothing new about the particular episodes.

Regardless of my feelings on the show itself, it is clear that a lot of time and energy was put into this release. The packaging is catchy, the menus are easy to navigate, and there is literally more than twenty hours of special features. It's a refreshing change from the theatrical trailer and single audio commentary that accompanies most DVD releases.

Reviewed By: Mack Rawden

Release Details
Length: 871 min
Rated: NR
Distributor: MGM
Release Date:  2007-07-24
Starring: Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Michael Shanks, Claudia Black, Beau Bridges
Directed by: Various
Produced by: Andy Mikita, John G. Lenic
Written by: Various
Visit the Stargate SG-1 Official Website
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