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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Claudia Black, Michael Shanks and Richard Dean Anderson
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 18 August 2008

Attending the execution of the one remaining Goa'uld System Lord, Ba'al, SG-1 is thrown into chaos when team members Teal'c and Vala vanish into thin air. Confused by their disappearance, events take a sudden turn when the remaining team members return to Earth to discover that history has changed and the Stargate programme no longer exists. Can the three remaining members of SG-1 work out how to reverse Ba'al's plan before it's too late...?


Stargate: Continuum is the second of two made-for-TV movies, following hot on the heels of Ark of Truth. Continuum is also the final instalment of the Stargate: SG-1 franchise. While the show's producers have made it know that they are considering a third movie, as of the start of August 2008 no word on this has been officially announced. Brad Wright [the show's executive producer] has stated in interviews that a third movie would most probably see Jack O'Neill as the central character, but to be honest this movie is a fitting end for the franchise.

Going into this film knowing it's the last planned SG-1 project, means that for once there was a very real threat that one or more of the characters could die - and, surprisingly enough, they do. I won't tell you how many, or how, but be prepared for a few surprises.

As the SG-1 crew head back to Earth, after the public execution of System Lord Ba'al goes ever so slightly wrong - he's dead but not as planned - they soon realise that somehow the timeline has been altered. The crew are trapped onboard a derelict ship, that houses the Stargate, in the middle of the Arctic with no way to dial out.

When they are rescued by Jack O'Neill, they start to realise just how messed up the timeline is. In this reality Carter is dead (an astronaut killed in a space shuttle accident); Daniel is an author working on the fringes of academia thanks to his wacky views on aliens using the pyramids as landing pads; and Mitchell seems not to have even been born at all.

It appears that Ba'al was one step ahead of SG-1 and put in place a plan to eradicate the Stargate programme before it was ever established. By using solar flares and the Stargate to travel back to Earth, Ba'al plans to intercept and destroy the Stargate when it was at its most vulnerable - as it was being transported from Egypt to America in 1939. However, the plan hasn't gone quite to plan. While Ba'al has stopped the Stargate getting to its destination, he failed to destroy it.

Before SG-1 can convince the military that not only did this time-tampering occur, but that it is the handiwork of Ba'al, hundreds of Goa'uld ships enter Earth's orbit and Ba'al's plan looks to have succeeded. He is now the most powerful System Lord and is about to conquer Earth.

There are so many great scenes and appearances by friends and foes from over the ten year's of Stargate: SG-1, that any fan that's followed the series from the beginning will get a huge kick out of Continuum. What's really great is that pivotal characters from the show, some of which we've already seen destroyed in the original timeline, pop up - some don't even speak, they appear on camera for the blink of an eye and then are gone.

Extras include an audio commentary with Brad Wright (executive producer / writer) and Martin Wood (director). Highlights include the two joking that the long opening shot took thirteen attempts to get right... why? Because of Gary Jones (who plays Sgt. Walter Harriman); the fact that they used the actual captain and crew of the submarine, as well as shooting the interior shots in the actual submarine that breaks through the ice; and Brad's came role.

We also get The Making of Stargate: Continuum (22 min, 36 sec featurette that goes behind the scenes); Stargate Goes to the Arctic (21 min, 52 sec look at how a chance meeting at a convention led to the eventual filming in the Arctic. We also get to see the small crew and cast travelling to their camp and find out what the living conditions were like. There's also footage of the submarine rising out of the ice and a story on how they nearly came up underneath the film crew); and The Layman's Guide to Time Travel (9 min, 19 sec featurette that sees astrophysicist Jayme Matthews discussing some of the theories of time travel).

Personally, speaking as someone whose followed SG-1 from the start, I thought this movie perfectly captured everything that fans loved about the show. This would have worked well as a cinematic release. This is far better than the usual made-for-TV movies that see the light of day. Even the soundtrack has been given the full orchestra treatment.

SG-1 fans will love this lovingly crafted conclusion (for now) to America's longest running sci-fi show.


Darren Rea

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