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MGM Studios DVD presents
Stargate SG-1: Season 10 (2006-2007)

"We've got the craziest job in the world."
- Colonel Reynolds (Eric Breker)

Review By: Dan Heaton  
Published: September 14, 2007

Stars: Ben Browder, Michael Shanks, Christopher Judge, Amanda Tapping, Claudia Black, Beau Bridges
Other Stars: Richard Dean Anderson, Tony Amendola, Cliff Simon, Morena Baccarin, Lexa Doig, Don S. Davis, Bill Dow, Robert Picardo, Matthew Glave, Tim Guinee, Eric Steinberg, Matthew Walker, Gary Jones, David Hewlett, Torri Higginson, Joe Flanigan, David Nykl, Peter Flemming, Willie Garson, Joshua Malina, Fred Willard
Director: Various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (suitable for television audiences)
Run Time: 14h:31m:00s
Release Date: July 24, 2007
UPC: 027616080646
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- B+A-A- A

DVD Review

My first exposure to Stargate SG-1 came with the second season DVD release, which I enjoyed, but it didn’t really blow me away. The main characters were entertaining and well drawn, but the episodes were fairly inconsistent. Afterwards, I watched several Monday-night marathons on the Sci-Fi Network and quickly was hooked. Catching the weekly exploits of Jack O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson), Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks), Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping), and Teal’c (Christopher Judge) became appointment viewing. I loved the show’s delicate mix of complex mythology and light-hearted moments. For several years, it was easily my favorite series and enjoyed a lengthy run of classic television. Up until Anderson’s departure at the end of Season 8, my enthusiasm remained high, though it had diminished a bit with the actor’s limited availability. When that year closed many story arcs and offered a satisfying conclusion, it seemed like the end was near. But the Sci-Fi Network and the show’s producers had other ideas.

The ninth season shifted gears and introduced new characters and a completely different main enemy—the fanatical Ori. Farscape alums Ben Browder and Claudia Black joined the cast as Cameron Mitchell and Vala Mal Doran, which alienated some fans but charmed others. Browder became a full-time cast member as SG-1’s new leader, while Black had a recurring role as the audacious thief. Their appearances were a mixed bag, but the problems rested more with the writing than acting skills. Anderson’s absence led to a sometimes-dreary approach, particularly with the heavy-handed shots of the powerful Ori. I will cut the writers some slack, though, as they were essentially creating an entirely new series. Thanks to an early renewal from Sci-Fi, they were able to use a nasty cliffhanger at that season’s conclusion. Entering the tenth season, my hopes for a more consistent, improved story remained high.

Early into this season, SG-1’s producers were greeted with stunning news—this would be the series’ final year. The ratings were holding steady, but the Sci-Fi Network was ready to take on some new shows instead. I continue to have mixed feelings about this decision. On one hand, I will miss the long-running series and its heroic characters. However, the show’s creativity had been lagging a bit during the past few years, so maybe stopping before a major freefall was wise. Thankfully, the tenth season does improve on its predecessor and offer a more consistent group of stories. Now that the Ori have been introduced, we’re able to see more character-driven episodes that allow the actors to truly shine. Ben Browder and Claudia Black are more comfortable now, and the three long-time actors continue to perform well. Black’s work is a particular surprise because she was often annoying during the previous year. Following her experience with the Ori, Vala has more depth to go along with her goofy charms. I also enjoyed seeing Michael Shanks take a lead role as Daniel struggles to obtain Merlin’s weapon. Episodes involving this quest and its ramifications rank among the best of the season.

Stargate SG-1: Season 10 begins with a solid opener and progresses well throughout the early stories. There are a few missteps, but the ongoing goal of obtaining Merlin’s Sangral weapon brings a worthy story arc to the first half. Led by their charming new leader Adria (Morena Baccarin, Firefly), the Ori continue to defeat our heroes, but some minor cracks do appear. Adria is Vala’s daughter, and she does have a small amount of humanity with her extreme powers. SG-1’s search culminates in the mid-season two-parter The Quest, which involves numerous tasks and a confrontation with the Goa’uld Baal (Cliff Simon) and Adria. Following these events, Daniel undergoes a stunning transformation that could lead to their destruction. The final run includes a few mediocre one-off episodes, but it ends powerfully. Unending involves an excellent premise where the team is stuck on the Odyssey for more than 50 years. The touching emotional moments go beyond the typical episodes and deliver an impressive conclusion. And now it’s time for your final episode summaries. Enjoy!

Disc One

Mitchell: I’m not saying we should give up. I’ll fight to my dying breath. I just think we need a new plan. A damn good one.

Flesh and Blood
Written by: Robert C. Cooper
Directed by: William Waring
Guest stars: Tony Amendola as Bra'tac, Robert Picardo as Richard Woolsey, Matthew Glave as Colonel Paul Emerson, Tim Guinee as Tomin, Eric Steinberg as Netan, Garry Chalk as Chekov, Jodelle Ferland as Adria at 7, Brenna O'Brien as Adria at 12 and Martin Christopher as Major Marks
Commentary: Executive Producer Robert C. Cooper, Director William Waring and Director of Photography Jim Menard

Our season begins in the aftermath of the Ori’s decisive victory over SG-1 and Earth’s forces outside the Supergate. We learn the fates of each team member and join Vala aboard the Ori vessel. After successfully delivering a baby girl, she’s dismayed to learn some stunning details about the child’s gifts. Meanwhile, there’s also a violent threat from Netan and the Lucien Alliance, and the Ori ships are headed for Chulak, the Jaffa home world. Survival looks grim for everyone, especially with the arrival of a new enemy leader. This fast-moving premiere improves on the clunky finale and opens the door for some interesting story arcs. It still lacks the punch of the best openers, but promises a possible creative resurgence this year.

I know kids grow up fast, but this is ridiculous! This memorable episode receives 3.5 out of 5 Stargates.





Morpheus
Written by: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Directed by: Andy Mikita
Guest stars: Robert Picardo as Richard Woolsey, Ben Ratner as Dr. Hutchison and Robin Mossley as Dr. Reimer
Commentary: Executive Producer Joseph Mallozzi and Director Andy Mikita

When Daniel discovers a possible location for the Sangraal—Merlin’s anti-Ori weapon—SG-1 excitedly journeys to explore this new planet. Unfortunately, this site appears completely deserted, and they prepare to return home. However, a strange menace appears that induces sleep and a nasty death. Will SG-1 survive this unexplained enemy? Meanwhile, Vala faces off with psychologists and Woolsey with hopes of joining the SGC. Her diligent efforts are the lone positive in this poor episode, which represents lazy storytelling from Mallozzi and Mullie. The obvious “red shirts” and dull enemy inspire little interest and feel way too similar to previous episodes. Without some great work from Claudia Black, this would easily be the season’s worst episode.

When did Vala become one of my favorite characters? This disappointing episode receives 2 out of 5 Stargates.





The Pegasus Project
Written by: Brad Wright
Directed by: William Waring
Guest stars: David Hewlett as Rodney McKay, Joe Flanigan as John Sheppard, Torri Higginson as Elizabeth Weir, Matthew Glave as Paul Emerson, Sarah Strange as Morgan Le Fey, Gary Jones as Walter Harriman and David Nykl as Radek Zelenka
Commentary: Director William Waring and Director of Photography Jim Menard

What a difference an episode makes! We go from the worst to one of the best as our heroes cross into Atlantis territory to search for key details. Interacting with a holographic Ancient, Daniel and Vala hope to discover the Sangraal’s location. Mitchell and Carter join Sheppard and McKay to attempt a daring maneuver involving a Stargate, the Supergate, and a Black Hole. While the science completely lost me, the impressive effects bring much-needed weight to their grand efforts. Highlights include McKay stumbling through interactions with Carter, Daniel’s stunning discovery about Morgan Le Fey, and Mitchell’s growing irritation with McKay. Sending SG-1 to Atlantis brings a much-needed energy to this series, which helps to deliver one of the season’s stronger entries.

Daniel finally made it to Atlantis! This intriguing episode deserves 4 out of 5 Stargates.





Insiders
Written by: Allen McCullough
Directed by: Peter F. Woeste
Guest stars: Cliff Simon as Baal, Peter Flemming as Malcolm Barrett, Bill Dow as Dr. Lee and Lesley Ewen as S.G.C. Geneticist
Commentary: Writer Alan McCullough and Director Peter F. Woeste

The SGC is baffled when an unidentified Goa’uld vessel enters Earth’s atmosphere and is shot down, but they’re in for a bigger surprise. The ship’s occupant is their nemesis Baal, one of the few Goa’uld System Lords to survive their defeat. His appearance is also complicated because there are many Baal clones out there. This version says he’ll give them key details about the Sangraal’s location if they capture his clones. SG-1 suspects a trick, but feels they must take the chance to discover his true goal. Baal first appeared in Season 5’s Summit and quickly became a fan favorite. His cool, vicious torturing of O’Neill in Abyss helped to make it one of the series’ best episodes. Unfortunately, the clones storyline has been played out and has grown pretty dull. Even worse are all the tired jokes about “balls” that represent a sad comical low point. We also have the Mulder-like Agent Barrett, who exudes little personality in a return appearance. That said, this episode is partially saved by some good teamwork and several strong scenes for Amanda Tapping.

This mixed bag of an episode receives 2.5 out of 5 Stargates.





Disc Two

Uninvited
Written by: Damien Kindler
Directed by: William Waring
Guest stars: Keegan Connor Tracy as Dr. Redden, Erik Breker as Colonel Reynolds and Jodie Graham as SG-25 Leader
Commentary: Director William Waring and Director of Photography Jim Menard

SG-1 enters monster-movie territory when they face off with several vicious, giant creatures. While Mitchell and Landry arrive at O’Neill’s cabin for an awkward getaway and wait for the others, the other team members track a strange enemy off-world. After defeating the creature, they uncover disturbing hints that tie it to the Sodan cloaking device. The action culminates in an all-out firefight in the dark woods near the cabin. This episode didn’t make a big impression originally, but I actually enjoyed it more this time. It includes one “gotcha” moment that made me jump, and the goofy interactions between Mitchell and Landry are realistic. Claudia Black also does well playing Vala’s upbeat, non-military attitude. Taking a break from the Ori storyline, this one-off tale fails to break any new ground, but it offers a fun experience.

I wouldn’t want to be stuck in the woods with those monsters. Nasty! This episode receives 3 out of 5 Stargates.





Mitchell: Never underestimate your audience. They're generally sensitive, intelligent people who respond positively to quality entertainment.

200
Written by: Brad Wright, Robert C. Cooper, Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie, Carl Binder, Martin Gero and Alan McCullough
Directed by: Martin Wood
Guest stars: Richard Dean Anderson as General Jack O'Neill, Willie Garson as Martin Lloyd, Don S. Davis as General Hammond, Peter DeLuise as Replacement Actor, Isaac Hayes as "Teal'c, P.I." Narrator, Jill Teed as Yolanda Reese, Christian Bocher as Raymond Gunne and Pierre Bernard as Zombie
Commentary: Executive Producers Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper, Director Martin Wood and Director of Photography Jim Menard

Following in the footsteps of the 100th episode Wormhole X-Treme!, this very silly episode spoofs every aspect of this series and the sci-fi genre as a whole. Martin Lloyd returns to get help from SG-1 on his feature film version of the short-lived television series. His arrival causes them to consider numerous story possibilities, which allow the writers to make fun of virtually everything. There are far too many in-jokes to mention, and even Richard Dean Anderson makes a welcome return to join the fun. The highlights include SG-1 imitating Star Trek and Farscape, Teal’c playing a Shaft-like private investigator with the catchphrase “indeed,” and a silly Wizard of Oz sequence with Beau Bridges’ giant head as the title character. Less effective is a lengthy puppet sequence, which wears out its welcome quickly but continues for a while. Casual viewers might be confused by this unique episode, but devoted fans should enjoy the many clever jokes. Don’t miss the concluding sequence, which involves a fake “making of” feature with the actors that play SG-1 on the show within the show.

The Teal’c dream sequence alone warrants high marks for this episode, which receives 4 out of 5 Stargates.





Counterstrike
Written by: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Directed by: Andy Mikita
Guest stars: Morena Baccarin as Adria, Tony Amendola as Bra'tac, Matthew Glave as Colonel Emerson, Richard Whiten as Bo'rel, David Andrews as Se'tak and Martin Christopher as Marks
Commentary: Executive Producer Joseph Mallozzi and Director Andy Mikita

Threatened by continued losses to the Ori, the Jaffa take matters into their own hands and use the Ancient weapon at Dakara. They do succeed in wiping out some Ori followers, but also murder thousands of humans in the process. Angered by this violation of their agreement, Landry travels personally to Dakara to confront the new Jaffa leadership. Meanwhile, SG-1 explores the abandoned Ori ship, but must deal with enemies on several fronts. This episode marks the first appearance of Adria, the extremely powerful Ori leader who is also Vala’s daughter. Played effectively by Firefly’s Morena Baccarin, she appears to be unstoppable and makes Earth’s situation even more dire. This story moves along quickly, but it lacks charm and seems designed to move along the overall plot.

Things just keep looking worse for SG-1. This episode receives 2.5 out of 5 Stargates.





Memento Mori
Written by: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Directed by: Peter DeLuise
Guest stars: Don Stark as Sol, Adrian Holmes as Detective Ryan, Sonya Salomaa as Athena and Brendan Beiser as Weaver
Commentary: Executive Producers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie

Daniel takes Vala out on a “date” for a nice dinner, but the Trust’s operatives ruin their night by kidnapping her. They aim to probe her mind for information from her Goa’uld past, which brings up some disturbing memories. After the SGC’s rescue plans go awry, Vala loses her memory and takes a job as a waitress at a local diner. While she tries to remember the past, Daniel and SG-1 search tirelessly for her whereabouts. This episode contains several high-flying sequences that go beyond the series’ typical action. But it succeeds due to some precious human moments and great work from Claudia Black. She continues to stretch an originally one-note character and makes Vala a refreshing presence.

Daniel and Vala make a cute couple; I wonder if it will go anywhere? This worthy episode deserves 3.5 out of 5 Stargates.





Disc Three

Landry: Is there anything new coming? Because this feels like a rerun to me.

Company of Thieves
Written by: Allen McCullough
Directed by: William Waring
Guest stars: Eric Steinberg as Netan, Rudolf Martin as Anateo, Matthew Glave as Colonel Paul Emerson, Hawthorne James as Gavos, Adrien Dorval as Borzin, Sean Campbell as Solek and Timothy Paul Perez as Vashin
Commentary: Director William Waring and Writer Alan McCullough

The Lucien Alliance returns! Can I just skip on to the next episode? For fans of this tired group of criminals, they have a wild card in their midst. The ambitious Anateo decides that the best route to success would be capturing SG-1. Planting false intelligence about a second Supergate, he draws the Odyssey into serious trouble that could lead to their destruction. To save his fellow team members, Mitchell goes undercover in the Alliance leadership disguised as a major player. This mediocre episode is most notable for the stunning death of a recurring character. It happens quickly and with little sentimentality, which was an effective choice. This entry isn’t as bad as some previous Lucien Alliance stories, but it still struggles to make Netan and his cronies interesting.

Why does Teal’c always have to play the captured prisoner? This episode receives 2.5 out of 5 Stargates.





The Quest, Part 1
Written by: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Directed by: Andy Mikita
Guest stars: Morena Baccarin as Adria, Cliff Simon as Baal and Rod Loomis as Osric
Commentary: Executive Producer Joseph Mallozzi and Director Andy Mikita

Thanks to a helpful message from a dream, Vala discovers the secret to the location of the Sangraal. After arriving at the planet, they discover a series of tests designed by Morgan Le Fey to challenge those who seek the weapon. Joining them is a strange old man and Baal, who seeks the Sangraal for his own ends. The tests are difficult and require every bit of ingenuity and courage from our heroes. After struggling to overcome each challenge, they come face to face with a final opponent that could lead to their destruction. This mid-season cliffhanger originally felt underwhelming, but I actually enjoyed it more this time. Each team member plays a role to move forward, and Cliff Simon and Morena Baccarin perform well as their nemeses. The final reveal is pretty hokey, but it works when you consider the medieval aspects of this overall storyline.

Thankfully, I don’t have to wait months for a resolution. This strong episode deserves 4 out of 5 Stargates.





The Quest, Part 2
Written by: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Directed by: Andy Mikita
Guest stars: Morena Baccarin as Adria, Cliff Simon as Baal, Matthew Walker as Merlin, Doug Abrahams as Prior and Steve Archer as Ori Commander
Commentary: Executive Producer Paul Mullie and Director Andy Mikita

After defeating the final challenge, SG-1 awakens Merlin and works with him to create the Sangraal. While an ingenious device transports them to a new planet every few hours, Adria pursues them tirelessly. While Baal and Carter work together to escape the Stargate loop, Daniel’s mind wears down with loads of information. This conclusion to the pivotal two-part story improves on its predecessor and offers plenty of compelling moments. The stakes are much higher than usual, and the actors step up their game to match the occasion. Michael Shanks continues to shine this year, and Ben Browder delivers in a key scene with Claudia Black. Amanda Tapping also delivers one of the biggest “hell yeah” moments of the season. This story’s end will have major consequences in future episodes.

Bravo! As one of the season’s high points, this episode earns 4.5 out of 5 Stargates.





Line in the Sand
Written by: Allen McCullough
Directed by: Peter DeLuise
Guest stars: Tim Guinee as Tomin, Aisha Hinds as Thilana, Eric Breker as Colonel Reynolds, Aaron Craven as Matar, Greg Anderson as Prior and Sean Tyson as Ori Firstman
Commentary: Writer Alan McCullough and Actor Amanda Tapping

With Daniel missing, the four remaining SG-1 members respond to a request for help from stubborn villagers who refuse to accept the Ori’s teachings. Carter attempts a daring plan to shift the entire town out of phase with Merlin’s device. The plan works, but some complications place everyone in jeopardy. Vala is captured by the Ori and reunites with Tomin, and Carter is seriously injured. How will SG-1 survive this dire predicament? This tense episode again uses the tired village setting, but a strong performance from Aisha Hinds as their leader helps considerably. Other good scenes involve Mitchell and Carter bonding while out of phase, Vala struggling to convince Tomin of the Ori’s deception, and an impressive finale. We again see everyone contributing and working together, which reminds me of the series’ glory days.

I’m warning you, Mitchell. Don’t get too close to Carter! She belongs with O’Neill. This episode receives 3.5 out of 5 Stargates.





Disc Four

Hammond: The threat is still out there!
Carter: That’s the problem! It always will be.


The Road Not Taken
Written by: Allen McCullough
Directed by: Andy Mikita
Guest stars: David Hewlett as Rodney McKay, Don S. Davis as General Hammond, Kavan Smith as Major Lorne, Kendall Cross as Julia Donovan and Bill Dow as Dr. Lee
Commentary: Director Andy Mikita, Writer Alan McCullough and Actor Amanda Tapping

Welcome back General Hammond! Sadly, he’s not the honorable man who ran the SGC for seven years. Instead, he exists in an alternate universe where Landry is actually the president. While experimenting with Merlin’s device, Carter is accidentally shipped to another dimension where our government isn’t so kind with our civil liberties. Has she been transported to real life? No, it’s actually worse than that. Anxious to return to her reality, Carter agrees to help this world resist the Ori, which makes her invaluable. Her success could make her return trip not such a sure thing. This episode is one of the most blatantly political stories of the entire series, and it makes some strong (if obvious) points. It’s again frustrating to see Carter growing attached to Mitchell over O’Neill. In fact, she never even checks to see if her former comrade exists in this reality! That point is bothersome, but the episode is generally interesting. The “alternate reality” storyline has grown a bit tiresome, but Tapping’s convincing performance makes it worthwhile.

President Landry seems to be missing a sense of humor. That’s always a problem. This episode receives 3 out of 5 Stargates.





Daniel: (to Jack) Have I ever let you down? No, don't answer that. Have I ever let you down when it really mattered?

The Shroud
Written by: Robert C. Cooper and Brad Wright (story)
Directed by: Andy Mikita
Guest stars: Morena Baccarin as Adria, Robert Picardo as Richard Woolsey and Richard Dean Anderson as General Jack O'Neill
Commentary: Executive Producer Robert C. Cooper and Director Andy Mikita

SG-1 visits a planet where a Prior is preaching a less-vengeful Ori message that differs from past experiences. Upon arrival, they face a stunning revelation—the Prior is Daniel Jackson. After beaming him onto the Odyssey, they try to discover if his soul has been compromised. Daniel quickly reverts to his true personality and describes a daring plan to use the Sangral against the Ori. However, he could be leading them into a deadly trap. Jack O’Neill returns to tackle this pivotal decision and fight against Daniel’s possible termination. This gripping episode largely takes place in a single location, but it ranks as the year’s second-best episode. Richard Dean Anderson is on the top of his game and interacts wonderfully with Michael Shanks, which recalls the series’ heyday. Robert C. Cooper deserves heaps of praise for keeping us guessing and writing a top-notch episode.

I miss Richard Dean Anderson. His involvement and great work from everyone earns this episode 4.5 out of 5 Stargates.





Bounty
Written by: Damien Kindler
Directed by: Peter DeLuise
Guest stars: Anne Marie DeLuise as Amy Vanderberg, David Lovgren as Darrell Grimes, Mike Dopud as Odai Ventrell, Eric Steinberg as Netan, Bill Dow as Bill Lee, Timothy Paul Perez as Vashin, Maureen Thomas as Wendy, Ian Robison as Frank, Noah Danby as Cha'ra and Ryan Elm as Gary
Commentary: John G. Lenic and Director of Photography Jim Menard

The Lucien Alliance has had it with SG-1! Netan puts out a hit on our heroes, and Teal’c barely survives the assassination attempt. Meanwhile, Mitchell and Vala are traveling to Kansas for his 20-year high school reunion, which brings him in contact with his old crush Amy Vanderberg. Unfortunately, a bounty hunter also arrives with the intent of cashing in by killing Mitchell. This light-hearted, entertaining episode includes elements of Grosse Pointe Blank, where John Cusack played a hitman returning for his high-school reunion. We catch some glimpses of Mitchell’s past, including his parents, and get to see an SG-1 member make a romantic connection. There’s nothing grand or remarkable here, but the result is consistently entertaining.Poor Netan; he’s always been in over his head against SG-1. This episode receives 3 out of 5 Stargates.





Bad Guys
Written by: Martin Gero and Ben Browder (story)
Directed by: Peter DeLuise
Guest stars: Joshua Malina as Cicero, Alistair Abell as Jayem Saran, Richard Zeman as Lourdes, Haley Beauchamp as Sylvana, Brent O'Connor as Haran and Ron Canada as Quartus
Commentary: None

When they step through the Stargate and arrive in a museum, SG-1 is mistaken for rebels and must take hostages to maintain their cover. While attempting to find a way home without causing any more trouble, they must deal with the tough hostage negotiator Saran. If they don’t find a way out soon, he will send in the troops, which would be disastrous. SG-1 receives help from an odd guy named Cicero who appears friendly, but could also be plotting behind their backs to end the crisis. This mediocre episode has a great premise, but it never really amounts to an exciting story. Joshua Malina (Sports Night) is always a welcome presence, but his character remains under-written. Coming fairly late in the season, this story’s inclusion adds little the overall storyline.

Not the season’s finest moment. This episode receives 2 out of 5 Stargates.





Disc Five

Ba'Kal: Where are you going?
Teal'c: I am leaving. You are about to explode.


Talion
Written by: Damien Kindler
Directed by: Andy Mikita
Guest stars: Tony Amendola as Bra'tac, Craig Fairbrass as Arkad, Eric Breker as Colonel Reynolds, Peter Kent as Bak'al and Lexa Doig as Carolyn Lam
Commentary: Director Andy Mikita and Actor Christopher Judge

Teal’c goes all Man on Fire on terrorists who have been murdering his Jaffa brethren and seriously injured his mentor Bra’tac. His efforts lead to several middle-men involved with the killings, and Teal’c shows no mercy. He even implants a bomb into one Jaffa that allows for the signature “strong dude walks away slowly as explosion happens” moment. His target is Arkad, a nasty Jaffa who once was a comrade, but the imposing guy claims to know nothing about it. SG-1 is ordered to stop their buddy’s vengeful romp, but that won’t be easy. A determined Teal’c is not someone you can stop. This dark, gritty episode is unconventional for this series, but it works due to Christopher Judge’s convincing performance. The final battle is powerful and difficult to watch, even when we receive the expected outcome.

Arkhad should be afraid, very afraid. This episode receives 3.5 out of 5 Stargates.





Family Ties
Written by: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Directed by: Peter DeLuise
Guest stars: Fred Willard as Jacek, Bill Dow as Dr. Bill Lee and Lexa Doig as Dr. Carolyn Lam
Commentary: Executive Producers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie

Dear Mr. Willard,

You can be a silly, wonderful actor, especially in the classic Christopher Guest movies Best in Show and A Mighty Wind. I was excited to hear you’d be guest-starring on SG-1 as Vala’s estranged father. While I’m sure writers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie were excited to write a script for you, Jacek becomes annoying really quickly. While I realize your character was purposely written this way, it still makes for a rough viewing. Thankfully, Landry’s reconciliation with his daughter and ex-wife does partially redeem this episode, but it still ranks at the bottom of the heap. Sorry for the bad news. I’m still looking forward to seeing your future work.

Sorry Fred. This episode receives 1.5 out of 5 Stargates.





Dominion
Written by: Alex Levine and Allan McCullough
Directed by: William Waring
Guest stars: Morena Baccarin as Adria, Cliff Simon as Baal, Peter Flemming as Malcolm Barrett, Eric Breker as Colonel Reynolds and Jonathan Walker as Ta'Seem
Commentary: Writer Alan McCullough and Director William Waring

SG-1 uses Vala in a daring plan to capture Adria, but their plans don’t work out as expected. Their other nemesis Baal intervenes and captures Adria to enact his own devious plans. He actually enters the Ori leader and turns her into a Goa’uld, which makes things very difficult for SG-1. The final moments should have a major effect on the upcoming movie, which will detail the ultimate conclusion to the Ori conflict. This intriguing episode could have led to some exciting future episodes, but the series’ end will limit the possibilities. It’s good to get one last appearance by Cliff Simon as Baal, though I expect he will play a key role in the film.

I’m guessing this episode would baffle casual viewers. There is plenty of great mythology here, which brings it 3.5 out of 5 Stargates.





Mitchell: Just another everyday mission to save the galaxy, sir.
Sam, Daniel and Vala: Indeed!


Unending
Written by: Robert C. Cooper
Directed by: Robert C. Cooper
Guest stars: Martin Christopher as Marks and Michael Shanks as Voice of Thor
Commentary: Executive Producer Robert C. Cooper, Director of Photography Jim Menard and Actor Amanda Tapping

We’ve finally reached the series finale, and if you expected closure to the Ori story, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Instead, we start with the Asgard, who are finally ready to meet their maker. Amazingly, they’re planning to give all their technology to the SGC, which should provide a huge benefit. Unfortunately, this power may also allow the Ori to track the Odyssey, which could lead to their destruction. Carter saves SG-1 and Landry from death, but they’re trapped within a time dilation field. There’s always a way out, right? This time they might be stuck for good. Although our heroes are safe and won’t starve, living out the rest of their lives on the ship does not sound appealing. Each team member reacts differently, which leads to a compelling human story.

Fan reaction to Unending has been mostly positive, but the lack of any true closure has led to some mixed opinions. Others derided a major romantic development between two main characters, which felt perfect to me. One of my criticisms of the recent series was the lack of true character development, and it was refreshing to see the actors getting a chance to shine. The final scenes are perfect and don’t add unnecessary grandeur to the understated walk through the Stargate. I’ll definitely miss this highly engaging series, but appreciate this graceful finale.

Best episode of the season, which earns 5 out of 5 Stargates. I can’t wait to see the movies!



Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The Stargate SG-1 releases have always offered high quality transfers, and they've even gotten better with recent seasons. This 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer presents the numerous CGI shots impressively. They are considerably better than the original television airings and offer sharp, bright colors throughout the episodes. While some of the lower-budget episodes offer fewer chances for top-notch visuals, the large-scale entries definitely showcase excellent picture quality.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Frenchyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Fans of explosions, laser blasts, and high-powered confrontations should enjoy this 5.1-channel Dolby Digital transfer, which presents all the action effectively. The sounds move smoothly throughout the room and make the space battles with the Ori more believable. The presentation might fall a bit short of the top movie transfers, but it stands up well to similar television series. The rear speakers get consistent work and help to deliver an entertaining presentation.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 240 cues
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring Stargate SG-1: The Ark of Truth
15 Deleted Scenes
5 Documentaries
4 Featurette(s)
19 Feature/Episode commentaries by with cast and crew on all episodes but Bad Guys
Packaging: Boxed Set
Picture Disc
5 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo and Production Design Galleries
Extras Review: Stargate SG-1: Season 10 follows the trend of previous years and offers another superb release for the devoted fans. It’s hard to felt cheated by a DVD release with 20 feature-length commentaries. The final collection also includes a solid group of documentaries covering various aspects of the production. There’s also a brief teaser for the The Ark of Truth movie, which will appear in 2008. Unfortunately, that pre-menu trailer includes no clips from the actual film and recycles old shots with overstated narration. Don’t expect much from this enticing feature. The individual extras are described in the following sections. Enjoy!

Commentaries
The set’s 19 commentaries are similar to past releases, with the tracks mostly including the key crew members like the writer or director. The only actor to contribute this time is Amanda Tapping, but she does make multiple appearances. Her commentary with Robert C. Cooper and Jim Menard on Unending was very enjoyable. I would have loved to hear the entire main cast recounting their experiences, but it’s still a worthy inclusion. One strange omission is a commentary for Bad Guys, which is only the second episode (Threads is the other one) to miss a track since they started offering these discussions. I would have skipped that conversation anyway, but its absence is still a surprise.

The Ori: A New Enemy (18:00)
This interesting feature includes comments from Executive Producer Robert C. Cooper about the reasons for creating this new enemy. Writer Alan McCullough also gives the basics on the Ori and the Ancients. We see some nice artists’ renderings of the designs for the Priors and the impressive ships. Property Master Remy “Evil” Gibbs takes us through the various props in a quick behind-the-scenes trip. One downside is that most of the footage comes from season nine, and each clip includes a large advertisement for that DVD set. While I enjoy seeing exactly which episode contains each clip, the commercial aspect is fairly annoying.

Director’s Series: Insiders (11:51)
Direct Peter Woeste faced the unenviable task of shooting up to 20 versions of Cliff Simon’s Baal and combining them understandably. He explains the impressive use of motion control, which allows them to recreate the same camera moves repeatedly. Woeste also discusses the importance of having the action make sense even when numerous characters are involved. It doesn’t really work in this episode, but I agree with his sentiment.

Behind the 200th (18:07)
In one of this set’s best features, we learn the background of the very silly 200th episode. We hear from Cooper, Brad Wright, and Martin Wood about the “sketch show” and their decision to go in that direction. Richard Dean Anderson makes a welcome appearance to describe his excitement about returning. This piece also provides some interesting behind-the-scenes footage of the puppet scenes, which were shot with real actors and replaced through green screen.

Director’s Series: Memento Mori (12:08)
Peter DeLuise always has plenty to say, and he spends a lot of time giving plot summary of the episode. We also hear about shooting a big explosion and several shootouts within abandoned warehouses. This feature includes some good information about filming a fall and choreographing the chase sequence. They used “The Predator,” a race car with a camera, which led to some exciting scenes. I would have enjoyed a few more minutes about the direction, but still found some worthy details.

Director’s Series: Company of Thieves (10:09)
This quick featurette covers the surprise death, so don’t watch it if you haven’t seen the episode. William Waring discusses the big scene with behind-the-scenes footage provided. I may not have been a huge fan of the character, but can’t argue with their filmmaking approach. Waring also provides effective material about creating scenes using special effects, CGI and live action. It’s over before you know it, but contains some informative comments.

Setting the Mood with Jim Menard (23:03)
This lengthy feature includes great information from Director of Photography Jim Menard, who has worked on Stargate SG-1 since the very early days. Along with William Waring, he describes the role of the DOP, calling this person “the anchor” to set a consistent look for the series. We also visit Menard’s office, see the standard set for all the space ships, and meet his upbeat team. He is an excellent tour guide and knows the type of material that fans would like to hear. This feature is the best of the collection and includes some great backstage footage. Excellent!

Director’s Series: The Shroud (11:11)
Andy Mikita is one of the better participants on these DVD features, and this entry is no exception. We observe him working behind the scenes on several key scenes, including Daniel’s confrontation with Woolsey. We also hear from Richard Dean Anderson about his participation, which was more involved than his earlier appearance. A silly moment involves all five actors appearing in the final scene, which was hard to manage. Mikita does offer too much plot summary in the early moments, but this is still a solid extra.

Life As a Tech with Gary Jones (19:54)
Gary Jones has been involved with the series since its beginning, and his amiable presence has lightened up some commentaries in past releases. This lengthy feature is light and silly as we follow Jones around the sets and offices. For many years, he was known only as “Technician,” and this joke is made numerous times. Eventually, he became Walter Harriman, and his appearances became more frequent. This piece goes on for a bit too long, but it contains some fun moments from Chris Judge, Michael Shanks and various crew members. I hope they can find a way to get Jones involved in Atlantis, and it’s great to see him get his own feature.

Director’s Series: Unending (15:21)
Robert C. Cooper is one of the show’s executive producers, so he does a lot more than just direct a few episodes. His comments are always honest, and he does complain about the makeup, which makes everyone look too old. The best aspect is the footage of them shooting the final shot, with everyone breaking up and struggling to finish. Cooper also discusses his quick shooting style, which was difficult for this episode’s complex set-ups.

Deleted Scenes (23:17)
This is the first time that deleted footage has been included on an SG-1 DVD release, and the result is surprisingly mediocre. Joseph Mallozzi offers a two-minute introduction and optional commentary on the 15 scenes. The first flaw is the inability to switch the audio on the fly between the scenes and Mallozzi. The two options are actually presented as separate features. The deleted scenes come from three episodes—Morpheus, The Quest and Memento Mori—and mostly involve extended scenes. We do see a few notable character moments, including a short scene with Carter trying to bond with Vala. Another cool scene involves Teal’c hallucinating the entire team in Morpheus, and it would have enhanced that show’s creepiness.

Photo/Production Design Galleries
Each of the five discs includes a solid collection of photos separated into the standard pictures and production-design images.

Extras Grade: A

 

Final Comments

Stargate SG-1's television run may be complete, but the story will continue in 2008 with the straight-to-DVD movies The Ark of Truth and Continuum. The first release will complete the Ori storyline, while the second will offer a stand-alone tale involving time travel. Although its final season does not rank among the show's best offerings, it improves slightly on the previous year and concludes with grace. Fans might mourn the loss of their beloved show, but the return of Stargate Atlantis this fall and the upcoming films should keep the Stargate universe riding high for a long time.

 


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