Stargate: SG-1
Volume 46
(Season 9 - Vol 3)

Starring: Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge and Michael Shanks
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: PG
Available 22 May 2006

The team discover an underground laboratory that contains a man frozen in a stasis pod - Khalek, a prisoner of the long since dead Anubis. But Khalek was not his prisoner - he was Anubis's creation. Daniel's instinct is that if Khalek can't ever be confined safely, he should be killed before he can complete his evolution...

Prototype is as close as Stargate has got to paying homage to Silence of the Lambs. Some of the scenes with Khalek strapped to his interrogation chair are obviously inspired by the Hannibal Lecter scenes in Silence of the Lambs. In fact, in the featurette SG-1 Directors Series: Prototype, director Peter DeLuise admits as much.

There is plenty of suspense in this episode and I was impressed to see that Daniel was quick to point out their best option is to kill Khalek. At last Stargate is turning into a series where the good guys use some common sense - and they're not afraid to use one of the main characters to voice a controversial issue.

This episode also sees Robert Picardo (who Star Trek: Voyager fans will remember as the holographic doctor) make an appearance as Richard Woolsey.

Carter is determined to design a weapon that can defeat the Prior's superhuman powers. Daniel and Mitchell must track down a Prior, then hope that Carter's weapon really can suppress a Priors' powers. If it doesn't, and they fail, Earth's entire population will die with them...

The Fourth Horseman - Part 1 sees an immanent threat to the population of Earth as members of the SGC bring back a lethal virus after an off-world mission. Before they know what has happened the virus rapidly spreads across America killing numerous civilians.

This episode sees Gerak (Louis Gossett, Jr.) being sucked into the Ori religion. The great thing about this is that Gerak really believes that he is doing the best thing for his people - that the Jaffa will ascend to the next plane of existence by following the Ori. Because of this, you really feel for the character.

Orlin, who fans with long memories will remember appeared in an earlier episode as Carter's love interest, makes a return appearance. However, there certainly won't be any funny business going on this time around as Orlin has had to take the form of a young boy. Poor guy. The things he does for lust and he's still managed to get nowhere with Carter.

This episode also sees Don S Davis return as General Hammond in a brief cameo.

Landry begins to fear that SG-1 may be soon facing a global pandemic. Mitchell and Daniel return with a dazed Prior in tow. The team is shocked to receive the worst news yet when the captured Prior reveals the Oris horrifying master plan: to completely obliterate the Ancients...

The Fourth Horseman - Part 2 is certainly an episode of some merit. Firstly it's packed with plenty of amazing cameo appearances (Tony Todd, Willam B Davis and Don S Davis) but what really sold this to me where three incredibly moving scenes.

Firstly we have a very touching scene with Landry and his daughter, a moving segment with Teal'c and Garek and finally a nice little nostalgic nod from Hammond as he enters the SGC briefly.

The virus continues to spread around the globe, and I loved the fact that for once the real world is actually touched by the consequences of the SGC. Thousands of innocent humans die. Now, while I'm not a sicko who finds this fact entertaining, I did enjoy this twist as it makes the episode appear more realistic.

Extras include audio commentaries on all three episodes (while entertaining, the most interesting snippet of information was that Chris Judge's brother, Jeff, starred in The Fourth Horseman - Part 1); Inside the Stargate Special Effects Department (19 minute featurette which explains what the term "special effect" means); SG-1 Director's Series: Prototype (14 mins behind the scenes featurette with director Peter DeLuise); and Photo and Production Design Gallery.

Inside the Stargate Special Effects Department has a lot of interesting insights, but my favourite sequence interviews the stunt woman who played Vala in Avalon - Part Two. It also shows us behind the scenes footage of her being set on fire. I was surprised at how long she actually burned for - and her scared hands and face show that her job is not one that many people will envy.

Forget the fact that this volume contains only three episodes - when they are as entertaining as this who cares? Another entertaining collection of first rate episodes.

Darren Rea

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