Stargate Infinity: The Complete Series [Import]
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Inspired by the blockbuster feature film and its two popular television spinoffs (Stargate: SG 1 and Stargate: Atlantis) Stargate: Infinity further explores the universe through the eyes of those few who are brave enough to venture through the mysterious Stargate. This animated series chronicles a generation after the SGC first stepped through the alien device known as the Stargate. The war with the evil parasitic Goa'uld is won. The once top secret Stargate Command and its work have been declassified and beings from other worlds are living among us. But now there's a new threat and Major Gus Bonner must lead a group of young SGC cadets through the Stargate to protect the life of an Ancient from hostile new enemies.System Requirements:Running Time: 600 minutesFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: SCI-FI/FANTASY/FANTASY Rating: G UPC: 826663108125 Manufacturer No: SF10812
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Top Customer Reviews
Everyone has different tastes - and some people like things that I don't - but I can't believe anyone would enjoy this DVD release. I recommend against purchasing this, especially if you are a fan of the Stargate movie. Seeing these low quality, poorly written, atrociously (voice) acted animated shows sometimes ruins the experience of watching the movie that spawned them.
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The writers and producers of Stargate SG-1 and the main canon of the Stargate franchise were not involved with Infinity, and neither MGM (producers of the Stargate franchise), the production teams nor the fans of Stargate consider Infinity to be an official part of the Stargate universe.
The Stargate is an alien device discovered in Egypt, in 1928. Its purpose is to create wormholes to similar devices across the universe, allowing near instantaneous travel to distant planets and galaxies. Stationed at Stargate Command ("the SGC"), a top-secret military base located inside Cheyenne Mountain, teams of explorers (know as SG teams typically assigned numerical designations like "SG-1" "SG-3" "SG-12" etc) go on missions through the Stargate to find new technology and make allies to help defend Earth from alien threats.
Stargate Infinity is set 30 years after the Tau'ri (which literally means "the first ones" or "those of the first world" in the language of the alien race known as the Goa'uld) first used the Stargate. According to this show, by this time the Stargate has become public knowledge, and some aliens have become citizens of Earth.
In this series, a veteran member of the SGC, Major Gus Bonner, leads a team of young recruits through the gate after being framed by an alien infiltrator from a hostile race known as the Tlak'kahn (the Goa'uld having long since been defeated; this was written years before their defeat was even conceived on SG-1 TV series). The team must travel from world to world until they find the evidence to clear their names. While on their adventures, they learn many things about unique cultures in the galaxy as well as themselves.
Because the series was canceled before it's 2nd season, this plot arch was never resolved.
The show often featured an educational comment or summary about the moral lessons learned during the course of an episode.
Truth be told, I, like MGM, came away from the first motion picture quite convinced the franchise was going to die within the same project that birthed it and who knows, it certainly looked to be the case for the three years that followed until Stargate SG-1 hit television airwaves as an official sequel to the film. I'll be quick to admit that while SG-1, in my opinion anyway, improved upon the movie's promise, there was still an undeniable degree of quirkiness, some plot hole issues, and just enough fluff to prevent it from hitting full geekdom supremacy. From there was born what I've considered the most impressive of the live-action shows, 2004's Stargate Atlantis followed by the most recent and perhaps darkest incarnation of the mythos, 2009's Stargate Universe.
What a lot of Gate aficionados ("Gaters") don't realize however is that amidst all of the live-action success enjoyed by the franchise, MGM and DIC teamed up in 2002 to produce an animated version of the license that we'll be taking a look at in the following critique.
Stargate Infinity premiered in September 2002 as part of 4Kids Entertainment's FOX BOX Saturday morning line-up and went off the air June of 2003. It ran a fairly impressive 26-episodes but unlike most animated efforts, which consist of 13-episode seasons, Infinity is considered a single season.
Domestic DVD releases actually come in two forms; the first of which came out shortly after the show was cancelled directly from DIC that consisted of only the first four episodes. It was looking like that could well have been the best Region 1 fans were going to get of the short lived program until May of 2008 when Shout Factory secured the rights then promptly brought out a full 26-episode boxset. After much deliberation, I slapped down the $30 MSRP and added this, the complete collection into my virtual cart.
Coming in at a runtime of 600-minutes, Stargate Infinity: The Complete Series spans 4 discs which come housed in a pair of thin packs (within an outer cardboard slipcase). Extras are limited to an animated Stargate effects test, animated character walking models and a few Shout Factory trailers on the first disc.
The story takes place roughly 30 years after the events of SG-1 and follows a ragtag unit Stargate Command (SGC) cadets led by the gruff Major Gus Bonner. The initial episode literally opens with Bonner having been framed for a variety of war crimes by a shape-shifting alien. When said shape shifter opens the stargate to allow SGC to become infiltrated by Tlak'kahn (the show's main enemy) agents, Bonner is left with little choice but to flee through the gate with four young recruits and a cocoon of whet they believe to be one of "the Ancients".
Without the option of returning to Earth before having cleared Bonner's name, the team finds itself on the run, forever hopping between gates, a jump or two ahead of the reptilian Tlak'kahn, who followed them from SGC in pursuit of the cocoon (the logic being that whoever aligns themselves with the only living example of the race that built the stargates, would naturally have mastery over them).
Though technically a serial, the show used a pretty ingenious technique to allow the writers and viewers the luxury of standalone plots by ending each episode with the team diving into the gate (and hence the next episode opening with them emerging at another).
Episode pacing is swift and always conclusive with only the major story arcs (which unfortunately never got resolved due to the untimely cancellation of the show) carrying over from one episode to the next.
The setup typically works off the tried and true premise of the SG team arriving to an alien world and encountering some or all of its inhabitants, sharing an action laden experience among them (while trying not to interfere with their culture), then escaping onward toward the next destination. Of course things tend to get heated in the instances where the Tlak'kahn show up through the gate behind them. Fortunately the show makes it a habit of relying upon pretty solid writing to accomplish its goals, oftentimes slipping a valuable life-lesson into the prose for good measure.
I've often heard it compared to the type of formulaic actions of iconic 80's cartoons, but as an 80's animation connoisseur, I can state with absolute certainty that Stargate Infinity is much, much more polished in every conceivable unit of measurement. And speaking of polish, the visuals are quite nice with bright, clean character models and backgrounds with slick CG interludes/ splice cuts.
I suspect much of my own delight with the property stems from the following: First the animated medium allows the very limits of what was conceivably possible in a form that no live-action effort (especially one on a television series budget) could possibly duplicate. Be it locales (underwater worlds, planet-wide scrap yards) or creatures (feathered bird men, translucent alien hybrids), the cartoon isn't forced to play by the restrictions of costumes, animatronics or hokey CG.
Secondly, what few reviews of the property that do exist tend to be uselessly negative (the main complaint, it seems, is that people purchased the set mistaking it for one of the live-action Stargate shows and rated it lowly out of frustration). Lack of pre-purchase consumer research is hardly a reason to bash a property.
Finally, it's rather intriguing to observe the integration of bright visuals, chipper personalities, and youthful enthusiasm in the Stargate universe, a place that has been, until now, pretty drab. The contrast isn't only interesting; it's actually kind of refreshing.
In all, in the event that my review hasn't suggested it up until now, I found Stargate Infinity to be quite a pleasant surprise. About my biggest complaint to the whole affair comes in the form of the show's premature cancellation, which ensured that none of the main story arcs would reach definitive conclusion: A crime that would usually destroy a serial beyond salvation lessened by the simple fact that, as stated above, the show doesn't rely upon a centralized arc to get the job the done. This complete collection is a worthy addition for most animation collectors, Gater or otherwise.
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