When we last left Our Heroes, they were on Apophis' ship, facing the impending destruction and/or enslavement of everyone on Earth.
So unsurprisingly, the second season of "Stargate SG-1" can only get better from there on. In fact, this is when the clever, innovative sci-fi series really started to gel together, with more intriguing storylines, character arcs, and some new alien allies -- basically, it all blooms.
Intending to blow up Apophis' ship, our heroes get captured by the Jaffa and thrown in a cell -- only to be unexpectedly rescued by Bra'tac (Tony Amendola), Teal'c's old teacher. As Earth mounts a pitiful defense against the Goa'uld, SG-1 joins with a small band of rebel Jaffa to stop Apophis' invasion -- but they may have to leave one of their number behind.
Obviously the Goa'uld make things awkward throughout the season, with the second episode featuring Sam (Amanda Tapping) being possessed by a Goa'uld during a rescue mission -- but it seems that it's part of a rebel Goa'uld faction called the Tok'ra. Teal'c's (Christopher Judge) son is kidnapped and brainwashed, and Daniel (Michael Shanks) finds that his beloved wife is pregnant with Apophis' child.
And of course, SG-1 has to deal with lots of other stuff -- insectile transformations, black holes, prison planets, Native American "spirits," invisible bugs, hostile alien orbs, reliving their most traumatic memories in a VR world, and time traveling to 1969. And O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) gets an ancient repository of knowledge downloaded into his head -- and he'll die if they can't reverse it.
"Stargate SG-1" really got into its stride in the second season -- the basic Air-Force-versus-evil-headsnakes story gets expanded out into a bunch of arcs. We get new villains, some surprising new allies, hints about the true origins of the Stargates and the human race, and corrupt factions on Earth who use the spare Stargate for evil ends.
The writing gets even steadier and the alien worlds more interesting -- even stuff that sounds goofy, like the planet of singing mushroom-people, somehow works. The drama is stronger, and the sci-fi usage of the Stargate ever more creative, such as when a black hole's gravity well keeps the gate open, and is slowly sucking Earth through the wormhole. Good, tense stuff.
Of course, all the action and sci-fi is heavily tempered with comedy. Even in grim situations, there's usually at least a few funny moments, such as Daniel's tour of the custodial closet. And of course, the dialogue is priceless -- most of the good stuff comes from O'Neill ("That's between you and your god. Oh, wait a minute! You are your god! That's a problem"), but Teal'c ("In my culture, I would be well within my rights to dismember you") and the others usually get some good ones as well.
Of the main cast, Amanda Tapping gets the juiciest role in this season -- Sam deals with the impending death of her father, becoming a Goa'uld host, and trying to deal with the feelings it left behind. Including a cute Tok'ra boyfriend. Yet when we see Sam's vulnerable sides, Tapping never lets her character be anything but a strong, capable military woman.
But the other actors aren't neglected -- Shanks' Daniel grapples with the news that his wife is pregnant with Apophis' baby, while Teal'c faces losing his entire family. Anderson is brilliant as the quirky, capable O'Neill, but he really gets brilliant when Jack's brain is being overwritten -- he has to emote and communicate without a comprehensible word.
The second season of "Stargate SG-1" is where the story began to really get great, building up a series of strong story arcs, funny dialogue, and strong characters. Definitely a must-see.
on March 28, 2004
The first season of Stargate: SG-1 was very good. It had good stories, but it also had great potential to become something better. Season 2 has begun to realize said potential. Many of the episodes this season expanded on ideas and arcs from the first season, as well as introducing new ideas, characters, and locations. For example, we meet Thor (in his true form), as well as some of the other Asguard, a powerful alliance with the Tok'Ra is formed, the NID storyline is taken in new directions, and we learn about the builders of the Stargate system as well as the origins of the intergalactic U.N. from the first season episode, "The Torment of Tantalus". We also meet some new Goa'uld system lords, as well as see the destruction of an old enemy.
The actors (Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Don S. Davis, and Teryl Rohtery) all grew in their roles as Col. Jack O'Neill, Dr. Daniel Jackson, Capt. Sam Carter, Teal'c, Gen. George Hammond, and Dr. Janet Frasier. Not only did they prove their worth as their own characters, some of them got the chance to play others as well in the episode, "Holdiay". I'm sure that Judge liked that one because he got to play O'Neill, who is Teal'c's polar opposite.
The storylines were improved this year (not that they were bad last year), with some great examples being: "The Serpent's Lair", "In the Line of Duty", "Prisoners", "Thor's Chariot", "Secrets", "The Tok'Ra, Pts. 1 and 2", "Spirits", "Touchstone", "A Matter of Time", "The Fifth Race", "Serpent's Song", "Holiday", "1969", and "Out of Mind". There were a few groaners, such as "One False Step", but overall, this was an awesome season.
on March 9, 2004
Season 2 of stargate sg1 picks up were season 2 left off and brings even more memorable episodes like 1969 where the team goes back in time and we get to see where the tok'ra were first introduced and THOR! =D and of course theirs several 2 part episodes and the whole series this season is pretty much hard to stop watching - I knocked this whole season out in 2 days only because I didn't buy it till after lunch that first day -
Technical aspects of this wonderful series
16x9 video looks so sweet on my widescreen high def TV!
Little grain and great detail.
The audio was upgraded from season 1 to 5.1 Dolby digital and trust me when the ships fly passed you you'll notice! The sound effects are just amazing throughout this whole series and truly make my speakers shine.
All in all stargate is an amazing show and is now the second longest running sci-fi show ever (second to only x-files) and the DVD transfers are great. Only compliant is not enough extras! Give us some documentaries!
on February 3, 2004
As I noted in my Season 1 review, I had to watch this series in bits and pieces until (a) these DVD sets came out and (b) SCI-FI Channel picked up the series and delivered it to the masses.
Season 2 REALLY reveals a lot more of the important plot lines which, thankfully, have been faithfully carried through Season 7 (or 8 -- SCI-FI really messes with season numbers). You will absolutely benefit from watching this set from start to finish, as it will reveal the To'kra relationship from the beginning, including the introduction of Sam Carter's father (who takes on a To'kra as a carrier). The episode from the 60s is great too (EVERY sci-fi series has a time travel episode or two, right?!).
I have not yet had a chance to look over the DVD featurettes, but I can tell you that having 5.1 surround sound on this set is MUCH BETTER than with Season 1. I tried out Season 1 on my new Sony HTIB system (5.1/DTS/Dolby Digital -- nothing fancier than a standard HTIB), and I was really hating the fact that it didn't have surround sound. The Season 2 set has Dolby Digital compliance, I believe, and it sounds much richer.
I will note that the 5.1 effects are NOT "woosh - bam - whizz" sweet like in recent DVDs like T3 or Finding Nemo. You really cannot HEAR the effects of bullets or staff weapons moving behind you. I've checked all the discs and my HTIB, and it just seems to be that the DVDs are encoded 5.1 but without any tremendous directional effects.
Ain't it great that the content makes up for the lack of sound effects? On to Season 3!
on August 18, 2003
Season Two delves deeper into the character of each player and furthers the story of the battle against the Goa'uld. The overall story arc is advanced, as well. While still skimpy on "special" features, I was less interested in these than in the fact that this series is available on DVD. And it is presented in the "letterbox" format, or mor correctly, the now increasingy popular (in preparation for HDTV dimensions) 16x9 aspect ratio. So, yes, there are black "bars" at the top and bottom of the screen. They "disappear" as you watch the shows and are not an issue with me. I like letterboxing. The images are crisp and clean to my eye. A more picky person will probably find flaws in the transfer and digitizing of the images, but they are hard to satisfy to begin with. The sound is good, too (though I do not have 5.1 surround to test that feature). If you have Season One, the layout here will be familiar as they have remained consistent in presentation menu screens to access the episodes. If you like the series, support it and buy these to let them know they are doing something right.
on July 24, 2003
This second season gives the viewer more insight into the SGC, and the characters as well. We get to see more of some of the races that were introduced in the first season, such as the Nox, and the Asgard, and even the Tok'ra, the latter two races being sworn enemies of the evil Goa'uld, although they fight them in different ways. The Tok'ra do their thing in secret while the Asgard fight openly in huge battleships, which by the way are really COOL to look at.
My personal favorite episodes of the season are Thor's Chariot and The Fifth Race, both epsisodes dealing with the Asgard. I like the Asgard because we learned that the aliens picked up at Roswell NM in the 40's were Asgard. Cool, huh?
This season could be a stand-alone, meaning, even if you don't own any of the other season dvds, you could pick this one up and understand what's going on, and enjoy the new material. Many of the episodes have moral messages. In one episode in particular, the message is 'Don't judge a book by it's cover', just as an example.
I enjoy TV that has a message. It makes me feel like the time I've spent in front of the tube has gotten me something tangible for my time.
on May 8, 2003
Okay, basic premise: we find an alien space portal that lets us dial up a gateway to travel to planets all around the galaxy. Once you're over that hump, it's pretty simple. As Gene Roddenberry once commented, Star Trek was a western TV set in outer space. The same can be said of Stargate SG-1.
This series does better than much of the Star Trek franchise in considering the ethics and morality of our decisions. Plot lines raised in one episode may come back unexpectedly in others. Kevin Dean Anderson manages to suffuse his character with less of a MacGyver - but more of the Joe Everyman quality that makes him appealing. The writers clearly love writing their characters, and there are very few two-dimensional characters.
Stargate may wind up as much a circus side show as Trekkers in the future. But for now, this is an enjoyable romp with some hidden, if not too subtle, messages on morality and fairness.
Still, the series does feature a fair amount of violence and several series characters have been killed off, only to rise from the dead. It's not a good choice for the small kids - but for us a big kids, this is definitely a great choice for late night and big bowl of popcorn.
on February 9, 2003
Too cheap to pay for Showtime during it's original run, and unimpressed with the Stargate motion picture, "Stargate SG-1" didn't make it on my radar until the SF Channel started to broadcast reruns. What a pleasant surprise this series turned out to be. In spirit Stargate SG-1 reminds me powerfully of the original Star Trek, but set firmly in the late 1990s. Mankind is brash, flawed and out there exploring the universe, often before it's really ready.
Noteworthy is the series creators' careful attention to detail and continuity. Important ramifications from past episodes are not simply forgotten about, but are revisted in future episodes. Most importantly, this show has a great cast. Our four intrepid explorers of SG-1 have wonderful on-screen chemistry, and the support personnel back on Earth feel much like NASA mission control. Then there's the starring piece of hardware, the Stargate itself, as awesomely cool as any spaceship.
If I had to level a criticism, it's that most of the plots are less than original and will be familiar to most SF fans. I also sometimes wish that the writers wouldn't pull their punches (there are times when I wish they'd gone for the throat like "Babylon 5" sometimes did). But these are fairly minor quibbles. This is simply wonderful SF entertainment.
As for the DVD set, some fans who've already seen all the episodes may be disappointed by the lack of special features.
on June 24, 2002
Stargate SG-1 has been among the highest rated and most viewed sci-fi shows on televison. On Showtime, on Sci-fi, or on some local channel like FOX, millions of viewers have tuned in each week to follow the adventures of sci-fi greatest heros. They're not great because they have advanced technology or they're futuristic. They're great, because they are ordinary and they exist now, and deal with today's problems. This is a convention that sci-fi fans have not seen properly utilized in a long time. In Stargate SG-1, the environments, the conflicts, are as new and exciting to the characters as they are to the audience. This fact, combined with great story telling, numerous extensive story arcs, and an awesome cast, provides for a powerful and original series.
However, for people like me, who were unfortunate enough to get hooked on the series pretty late after the premier date (try a season and a half too late) many questions remain unanswered, especially on the several-episode-long story arcs. That's why owning these early seasons is so great. In a show where one episode like 'The Fifth Race' can make a huge difference in the rest of the series, being able to go back on my own time and see any missed episodes is the greatest thing since sliced bread and recording VCRs.
Anyway, Season One may have introduced the characters, but Season Two is where most of the extended plot lines begin, such as the Tocrah. If you're like me and you missed a few, okay a lot, of the old episodes, this DVD pack is the ultimate place to catch up. And if you've never seen an episode, well then, I say buy the packs, sit back and enjoy the ride. I promise you won't regret it.
on June 1, 2002
SG-1 is crazy good, and Season 2 was arguably the best season so far. As with many TV adaptations, the sophomore year is when a series tends to truly expand its horizons from the original, and this is certainly true with Stargate SG-1. Season Two lays the groundwork for many of the key storylines of the series, so it is a must for any viewer. I've been awaiting this since the first box set, especially with the Region 2 DVD's being up to Season Four.
I cannot stress to anyone enough who has not watched the TV series that it is superb. If you would have asked me over a year ago about SG-1, I would have dismissed it easily as a cheesy Made-In-Canada (don't fret, I'm Canadian) Sci-Fi series. True, a lot of that would have been from my bias from the movie, and that it starred Patty and Selma's hero MacGyver ;-), but after only seeing a few shows, I became quickly hooked. I was blown away by the unbelievable chemistry of the cast, the great story writing, and the quality of the special effects. We truly need more advocates for the series, as good TV is often hard to find. I'm about to preorder my copy now...