Stargate SG-1
Volume 11
Starring: Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks & Amanda Tapping
Certificate: 12
Available now

First, let me tell you that this review contains a spoiler so those of you who are watching season three for the first time had better look away now.

Still with me? Okay. Continuing from the cliffhanger that concluded volume 10, The Devil You Know sees SG-1 at the mercy of Apophis, assumed to be quite dead, but clearly not. Apophis is after the location of the Tok'ra so that he can buy his freedom from Sokar, or so he would have Sokar think. Sokar, meanwhile, is concerned that the Tok'ra know of his plan to attack the system lords and brings his plan forward. However, the Tok'ra intend to stop Sokar permanently by launching a missile into the moon Sokar has turned into a facsimile of Hell and they are willing to sacrifice SG-1 in the process.

Apophis really steals the show in this episode. His sheer evil behaviour and endless scheming are a delight to watch, making even the relentlessly sinister Sokar (who looks like he listens to far too much Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails) second best in the bad-guy league. The special effects are tremendous and the climax to the episode is as exciting as they come.


The base is on alert due to a chemical spill when the SG-1 team return after a mission. General Hammond orders them all to the infirmary where, instead of receiving a check-up, they are all rendered unconscious. Teal'c is the first to wake and sees aliens. Clearly, the base has been invaded. Teal'c escapes and manages to rescue Carter who reaches the surface and contacts Lt Colonel Maybourne for assistance. However, it appears that the aliens are one step ahead.

Foothold is a good, solid adventure story that does have you questioning whether Teal'c and Carter are right. The presence of Maybourne is unexpected and for once he isn't a complete pain in the backside. This is the first time that SG-1 has been infiltrated by aliens and while the concept per se is hardly new, Stargate SG-1 is a programme of such quality that interest in the story is maintained throughout.


Narim, a member of the Tollan people that SG-1 saved some time ago, appears through the gate to tell them that their presence is required. Skaara, once a friend to Colonel O'Neill and now host to a Goa'uld, is asking the help of the Tollans. A hearing is to be held that will decide whether Skaara has rightful possession of his body or the Goa'uld, Klorel.

Hmmm, Pretense is not one of the most thrilling of episodes, although Alex Cruz (Skaara) gives a sterling performance as both Skaara and Klorel. Lord Zipcana (the Goa'uld defending Klorel's interests) is a worthy adversary and replete with a smile that always finishes as a sneer, a feature that adds most pleasingly to the character's villainous nature. The episode finishes rather hastily and predictably and one feels that more thought could have been put into the climax. However, Pretense is more about Skaara's plight than it is about action, so I'm probably being pedantic.


SG-1 embark on a mission that results in them, at least to their own memories, stepping straight back through the Stargate, seemingly having gone nowhere. However, they have been absent several hours and it soon transpires that they have each received a brain implant. The implants are essentially probes that allow an unknown alien to record and monitor the lives of the SG-1 team. Unfortunately, the probes have a collective personality known as Urgo who is decidedly more than a handful.

Those of you old enough to remember the film Cannonball Run will be familiar with the comedic antics of Dom DeLuise. Urgo does work as a comedy episode and Dom DeLuise gives an endearing and amusing performance. The story won't win any awards, but the execution is certainly excellent making for a genuinely entertaining episode.

Jeff Watson