View Full Version : Eclipse Magazine: REVIEW - SG-1 Opens Season With A Bang -

July 8th, 2004, 09:36 PM
Okay guys this one is a review, so there be spoilers ahead...

From Eclipse Magazine:


Stargate Opens Season Eight With A Bang
Posted by S_Wiebe on 2004/7/9 0:13:55

When “Stargate SG-1” premiere’s its eight season tonight on the SciFi Channel, the winds of change are a blowin’. General Hammond has been kicked even further upstairs; Stargate Command is now the charge of civilian Dr. Elizabeth Weir; Col. Jack O’Neill is in cryogenic freeze mode after re-accessing the knowledge of the Ancients to create a weapon to destroy Anubis; something wonderful has been discovered beneath the Antarctic ice and, most importantly, Teal’c has hair. Other than that, it’s business as usual – as “Stargate SG-1” somehow continues to avoid the pitfalls that have plagued other long running series.

After a brief recap of key points that play into tonight’s two-hour special [SciFi, 9 p.m. ET/PT], takes us into a couple of plot arcs: Major Carter [the consistently excellent Amanda Tapping] and Teal’c [the always understated Christopher Judge] take their enhanced cargo ship to seek help from the Asgard in saving the cryogenically frozen O’Neill; Dr. Weir [Torri Higginson, a personal favorite] and Daniel Jackson [Michael Shanks] find themselves negotiating to either help, or be helped by three System Lords. Through both threads run an undercurrent involving the Antarctica find, and its possible
meaning – to Stargate Command, and to the Earth’s defenses.

Naturally, obstacles arise, as they always do, and a sort of controlled chaos ensues. The major obstruction to Carter and Teal’c’s mission is the discovery of a black hole at their destination, and the escape of some of the Replicators from their time-dilation prison. For Weir and Jackson, the problem is not that three System Lords - Lord Yu [Vince Crestejo], Camulus [Andromeda’s Steve Bacic] and Amatarasu [Kira Clavell] – are arriving to negotiate for Earth’s help against another System Lord [Ba’al], but that the weapon that defeated Anubis may not be usable again.

Despite its somewhat slower pacing, the two-part “New Order” [a lovely title that applies in more than just the obvious ways] has more than enough thrills and last second escapes to satisfy most fans. The writing [part one by Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie; part two by Robert C. Cooper, co-creator of the series] is actually delicately paced – because of the large amounts of exposition, certain segments are slightly more deliberate than usual but have to be balanced by explosions of action and moments of nail-biting suspense. Andy Mikita’s direction is up to the challenge, and, as a whole, “New Order” is an impressive effort for an eighth-season premiere.

In between the exposition and the action, there a lot of good character stuff: Amanda Tapping gets to stretch out, a bit, in a psychologically deceptive segment in the show’s second half; the dialogue between Drs. Weir and Jackson not only provides some crucial exposition but also gives us a look into who they are; even a human-formed Replicator gets some powerful emotional moments. Indeed, the character moments are the bonds that tie “New Order” together – if we didn’t care about these characters, none of this would matter – and since the upcoming “Stargate Atlantis” series springs from this special episode, it is imperative that we get a good sense of Dr. Weir [who will lead the “Atlantis” team] as played by Ms Higginson.

Because of the sheer amount that has to be achieved by “New Order” [tying up loose ends from season seven; setting up “Stargate: Atlantis”; introducing a new threat for “SG-1”; and answering Jack’s question, “Teal’c – what’s with the hair?”] this was a much better piece than I expected. Some characters may not have gotten their big character moments and things felt a bit crowded, but it did everything it set out to do, and maintained that certain depth of characterization that has enabled “Stargate SG-1” to prosper where lesser SF series have floundered and sunk.

As usual for “SG-1”, the military protocols and general behavior are excellent, and the way the military and civilians interact continues to be more interesting than in other shows. Based on the few effects that were available when the screener was printed, it appears that even the more exotic elements of the series will continue to be well above the average [and the substituted animatics were kinda fun, too, in an odd way]. Overall, the series’ production values remain extremely good.

With upcoming episodes that deal with the return of an old foe, a confrontation with Ba’al, and Teal’c’s adventures in a virtual training program, it appears that season eight is off to a good start. If these eps, and those that follow, are as good as the premiere, the crew of “SG-1” may find themselves returning for a ninth season…

Final Grade: B+




Richard Dean Anderson Fans