Stargate: SG-1
Volume 43
(Season 8 - Vol 6)

Starring: Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge and Michael Shanks
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: PG
Available 25 July 2005

At a garage sale civilian Joe Spencer comes across a small stone that gives him visions of SG-1 in action. Delighted, he shares the stories with anyone who will listen. But when he inadvertently learns that SG-1 really exists, his excitement turns into obsession. As he slowly alienates everyone around him, Joe resolves to expose the truth about SG-1, no matter the cost...

Citizen Joe stars Dan Castellaneta (who voices Homer, Krusty, Barney, Mayor Quimby and many other characters in The Simpsons) as barber Joe Spencer - an average guy with an extraordinary gift. This episode is really a clips show - which usually send chills running down my spine. However, and not for the first time, the producers of SG-1 have really attempted to hide the fact that this is a cheap episode (although knowing how much The Simpsons's actors get paid this may have been one of SG-1's more expensive episode). The only member of SG-1 that appears (other than in flashback) is Richard Dean Anderson's O'Neill. But as Anderson is such a huge fan of The Simpsons, I'm sure he was instrumental in ensuring that Castellaneta guest starred.

There are several nods to The Simpsons, including O'Neill's insistence that Burns is similar to the Goa'uld. The end result is a very funny and rather touching episode. In fact you almost forget that this is a clips show... almost.

Jackson receives documents that point to the location of a ZPM in ancient Egypt. Hoping that the energy source can be used to power Earth's defences and open a wormhole to Atlantis, SG-1 uses an Ancient time machine to travel back to 3000 BC. But after the team locates the ZPM, Egyptians discover the time machine, and SG-1 must find a way to retake it without altering the timeline...

Any sad 30-something who still remembers fondly the Back to the Future movies will instantly fall in love with the story that unravels in Moebius Part 1 (and for that matter Part 2). There are plenty of familiar faces from SG-1's past (even one who is dead before the episode opens).

Well paced and incredibly well acted (Amanda Tapping and Michael Shanks's alternate universe characters are well conceived) this is certainly one of the best episodes of season eight.

SG-1's attempt to recover a ZPM from 3000 BC has altered the timeline, leading to a present in which the Stargate was never discovered. The alternate-reality Carter and Jackson convince a reluctant O'Neill to take them on their first mission through the Stargate. But when the team is captured by Teal'c, once again the First Prime of Apophis, can they convince his to join their side...?

Moebius (Part 2) improves on the events that unfolded in Part 1. The alternate timeline's Carter, O'Neill and Jackson must travel to where the original SG-1 met Teal'c and persuade him to join their cause. Not as easy as it sounds - especially as they get captured and Apophis decides he's going to torture Jackson. Although why they must get Teal'c along for the ride is anyone's guess. I know it was probably to ensure that Christopher Judge had something to do, but couldn't they have hidden the ancient Egyptian Stargate from Ra without Teal'c's help and then come back later to turn his to their side.

Time travel is something new to SG-1 - something which I hope they don't start to use too often in the future - and going back to ancient Egypt, to the time when Ra was on earth, was intriguing. It was a little like revisiting the movie - Teal'c even gets to sport one of those oh-so-funky Ra style transforming head pieces.

The whole thing finally resolves itself and everything goes back to normal - no surprise there. But this is a mighty fine episode with some of the season's best acting.

I can't think of a finer way to end the show's eighth season.

Extras include SG-1 Director Series: Moebius (10 minutes) which goes behind the scenes of the two-part episode. Highlights include Richard Dean Anderson trying on numerous desert head gear while the director attempts to find the one that looks less comical; Making of Stargate Alliance (15 minutes) a plug for the new Stargate console game with interviews with those responsible for its design; Behind the Stargate: Secrets Revealed (20 minutes) another fun featurette which includes interviews with actors from SG-1 and Atlantis.

Darren Rea

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