Starring Ben Browder, Beau Bridges, Claudia Black, Amanda Tapping, Lexa Doig
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Buy on Amazon.com link
When asked to review the STARGATE SG-1 Ninth season DVD collection, I was a bit skeptical. I did not know whether it would hold my interest long enough for me to view all 20 episodes. I hadn’t watched the program in years. I had enjoyed STARGATE SG-1 for several seasons but moved onto other viewing options. A sci-fi fanatic, with limited time for watching TV, I turned my attentions to other programs such as the X-Files, La Femme Nikita, The First Wave, Far Scape, and Millennium.
I must tell you that I was very much surprised, and pleasantly so, by the Star Gate Ninth Season Collection. From the romantic and melancholy opening theme music to the story lines, and the fine ensemble cast, I found myself looking forward to each new episode.
The season opens with the arrival of Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell, played by the actor Ben Brower of the Far Scape Series. He is replacing the retired, Richard Dean Anderson, and immediately sets out to put a team together. Naturally, he wants only the best-qualified individuals. It seems the original team members have scattered, or are in the process of doing so, choosing to continue their careers in other locations. Colonel Mitchell is both surprised and disappointed when he finds out. He seeks each former team member out and tries to woo them back to SG-1.
Add to this mix a sultry, egocentric, con artist named Vala (played by Claudia Black, also a Far Scape alum). The contrast between Ms. Black’s Erin Soung character in Far Scape, and her Vala in StarGate, are night and day. Erin Soung was bred to be a soldier of the Peace Keeper Army. She was a talented warrior, with a deadly serious personality. Vala, on the other hand, is full of herself. She uses sex appeal to get what she wants, and what she wants has nothing to do with noble cause. She flirts and lies and steals. And, she does it all with great flair and humor. Ms. Black’s character was absolutely fun to watch. She appears in only seven of the twenty episodes, but for fans of Far Scape her performance is a must see.
The female lead of the series is Amanda Tapping. She plays Colonel Samantha Carter. She and Claudia Black share only a few scenes together. I was concerned that I would lose interest in the program when Ms. Black was not on camera. However, Ms. Tapping, has an appealing presence on screen and the ability to give the viewer a sense of calm when chaos erupts. I found her performances quite satisfying, and she is also very easy on the eyes.
Michael Shanks, Daniel, and Christopher Judge, Teal’c, are also on hand to add their own special appeal to each story line. They are fine actors. Each has the ability to project a sense of humanity, in its better form. And, both men look great in a t-shirt.
Another cast member who is an alum of a sci-fi series is Lexa Doig. She plays Dr. Lam, the chief staff physician. Ms. Doig hails from the Kevin Scorbo series, Andromeda. She played the title role of the battle ship Andromeda (crew members called her Romi, for short.) More precisely, she was the ship’s computer. Mr. Scorbo was the star. However, Lexa Doig was the main event’.
As Romi, Ms. Doig was very well put together. She wore sexy outfits and had perfectly coiffed hair. In Star Gate SG-1, her hair is longer and styled in a manner that suggests her work is more important to her than her hair. Speaking of style, Ms. Doig no longer wears fetching, colorful outfits, like Romi. A doctor’s white coat is the staple of her wardrobe. Her character is very serious, and she has a chip on her shoulder whose origin I will not reveal here. Her acting is good. It was a pleasure finding her in the series. She, Claudia Black, and Ben Browder gave me the feeling of visiting with old friends. They now have slightly different personalities, but they are still comfortably familiar. And, oh yes, there is another sci-fi alum on the scene. He is Robert Picardo, the actor who played the holographic doctor on the series Star Trek Voyager. He has a small roll as a Washington liaison. It was good to see him too.
The theme of season 9 is that there is a new threat in the Universe. It is a super powerful species of beings called the Ori. They are said to have evolved from humans. They exist on a higher plane’ and call themselves gods. They demand worship and complete convergence to their faith, Origin. Their missionaries travel from planet to planet preaching the word of the Ori. They expect obedience and worship of their gods. If there is not total population conversion, the planet is destroyed.
One cannot help but compare the Ori to fanatical religious groups in our world, who preach all or nothing rhetoric. If you don’t believe as they do, you are considered imperfect and not deserving of eternal salvation. In Iran, and other places, being gay results in hanging or other forms of execution. Did you read about the kids in a Saudi Arabian girl’s school, a few years back? The fire alarms went off and they rushed to the fire exits. The doors were locked from the outside because the girls did not have their head coverings on. Turns out it was a false alarm but many died from the crush at the doors or were trampled to death.
But back to our story: Along the way the British actor, Julian Sands, shows up. He is noted for playing bad guys (remember the Warlock movies?). However, he does play a wonderfully sympathetic character in the Merchant/Ivory film: A Room With A View. Here, Mr. Sands has the honor of playing the Ori apostles chief honcho. He is quite scary, and good.
Also along for the ride is the talented Academy Award winning actor, Louis Gossett, Jr. He plays his role of Garak. He acts with gusto, and is a powerful presence on screen. He and the Christopher Judge have several run ins that are quite interesting.
Lastly, and not least, is the actor Beau Bridges. Mr. Bridges has appeared in many major motion pictures, and made for TV movies. He won 2 Golden Globe Awards and three Emmys. I was pleasantly surprised to find him in the cast. He plays the role of the StarGate facility commander. Typically, he plays the part very well.
All in all, I highly recommend this DVD collection. If you are a die hard sci-fi fan like me, or a person who enjoys good acting and interesting story lines, the Stargate SG-1 Ninth Season DVD set is for you.
Photo and Production Design Galleries
SG-1 Directors Series
Audio Commentary on All Episodes
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Surround
Widescreen 1.78:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Running Time: 852 minutes
Extras Rating: -1
Overall Rating: -1