Stargate SG-1
Season one box set

Starring: Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping & Christopher Judge
RRP: £49.99

Certificate: 18


The complete chronological release of all 22 episodes of season one of Stargate SG-1 has been a long time in arriving in the UK. And now they are available in widescreen anamorphic format as a five DVD disc collectible boxset. But was the wait worth while?

The first thing to note about this long overdue release is that the picture quality is well below par - in places looking not much better than a video copy. Then there is the added frustration of not a single extra in sight. This wouldn't have been quiet so obvious if MGM hadn't spoiled us with seasons five and six of the series which had great picture quality and a fantastic collection of extras.

There is also another problem which makes me think that MGM really didn't take any care over this collection. On almost every episode there were a few scenes where the action appeared to be very jerky. This normally happened when there was a lot of action on screen or someone moved quickly and led me to the conclusion that these discs are nothing more than poor quality transfers from the US discs - where the frame rate is different.

The episodes themselves are entertaining, but I noticed that the episodes that have previously been available in the UK on DVD are not as good quality on this collection and this I find inexcusable.

Children of the Gods was the feature length episode that started it all off and rewatching it it is obvious that David Arnold's score borrowed from the movie really helps to provide a darker atmosphere. I'd also forgotten how much Michael Shanks looked like James Spader - there were a couple of scenes where you could almost believe Shanks was Spader.

Rewatching the episodes I also noticed how conveniently the writers forgot about Jackson's allergies - they are used here and again in a later episode, but purely as a plot device to explain why Jackson doesn't succumb to an illness.

Cor-Ai is an episode worth rewatching. It's not original, every sci-fi show has used the story of one of its main characters being put on trial in an alien world, but there are some great lines. Included is a scene were O'Neil and Carter and trying to convince Hammond that they must remove Teal'c from the planet using force. To which Hammond states: "The United States is not in the business of interfering in other peoples affairs." To which O'Neil simply replies: "Since when, sir?"

Season one is a lot slower in pace than following years (the show really only takes off in year three) but there are some worthwhile episode in here.

It's just a shame that the picture quality is so poor and a few extras would have been welcomed. Still at £50 what more do you want?

Darren Rea

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