on June 4, 2003
I must say that Stargate SG-1 Season Four is, by far, my favorite season of them all. The year opens with a terrific conclusion to the climactic cliffhanger. "Small Victories" shows us just what a mess the Replicator bugs can be for Earth. "Window of Opportunity" is a delightful tale of time-travel with a unique twist where Jack and Teal'c can't get out of the same ten-hour cycle! "Tangent" shows us just what we get if we "slap a USAF sticker on the side of a death glider" and call it ours. Great acting by Richard Dean Anderson and Christopher Judge, though they are sitting down most of the time. Other top episodes from this season include "The Curse," "The Serpent's Venom," "Chain Reaction," "The First Ones," "2010," "Absolute Power," and the ultimate blowout for Apophis in "Exodus," which sends our heroes hurtling into their next adventure for a new year! Season Four is a definite triumph for the Stargate legacy, where stories are followed up and new ones are born. At this point the show had totally come into its own, and it is shown in the development of the characters, the top-notched scripts, stomach aches of laughs, and a plethora of absorbing and entertaining plot threads that will have viewers drooling for the next season. Plus, this is the first boxed set with commentaries! Hours of entertainment right there! Plus the usual special features. So fork over that tad bit of cash and plug in for Season four. Get ready for Sci-fi at its finest hour!
on March 4, 2004
While perhaps not as strong as season three, season four promises to entertain. I felt that there were very few episodes in this season that could be considered "okay" - most of them were either excellent or pathetic. Nothing in between. Fortunately for the viewers, most of the episodes were excellent.
New to the sets are director commentaries for each episode! While the extras on these boxed sets continue to disappoint, there is at least a little more to be found.
Definitely a must buy for both fans and newcomers to the show.
on April 18, 2004
The Replicators. The Russians. The Aschen. These are only a few of the new enemies presented this year, in Stargate: SG-1 (okay, so technically, the Replicators were introduced last year). These new baddies made a lot of trouble this year for the SGC in what is definitely the best season yet. We learn more about the Replicators this year when Sam (Amanda Tapping) is brought to an Asgard-controlled planet to help defend the O'Neill, the Asgard's newest and most advanced ship ever. Also, the Russians retrieve the Giza gate from the bottom of the ocean from when Thor's ship, the Beliskner, crashed, while the SGC is now using the Antarctica gate. And, 10 years in the future, an advanced race, known as the Aschen, are quietly wiping out the human race by making humans infertile.
These are just a handful of the amazing new stories that occurred this year. It seems that Col. O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson), Maj. Carter, Dr. Jackson (Michael Shanks), and Teal'c (Christopher Judge) can never catch a break. This year, not only have their alien enemies become more powerful than ever, especially Apophis (Peter Williams), their enemies on Earth have truly become a threat. Senator Kinsey (Ronny Cox), the man who tried to shut down the SGC in Season 1, has been linked to the rogue sector of the NID, the civillian organization responsible for the theft of numerous alien technologies over the last few years.
The stories this year are better than ever, especially with an increasing number of arcs occurring. Episodes like "Crossroads" and "The Serpent's Venom" were expertly executed, and had immense emotional effects on our heroes. However, I have to praise the stand-alones this year, especially "Window of Opportunity" and "The Other Side", which have never been better.
I guess the only thing that I didn't like about this season is that the Asgard were only in one episode, and the Tollan and the Nox were nowhere to be found. Oh well.
If you have seen the previous three seasons and are still skeptical about this show, I urge you to watch Season 4; I guarantee your interest in this show will quickly increase.
Some other great episodes are:
"Small Victories", "Upgrades", "Watergate", "Point of No Return", "Tangent", "The Curse", "Chain Reaction", "2010", "Absolute Power", "Double Jeopardy", and "Exodus".
on January 20, 2004
I've always liked Stargate, 4th season is no exception although I did think it might be just a lilttle darker in tone at times. The writers/ producers continue to come up with a wide variety of plots, writing, great sets and some interesting characters.
The most unusual set was in the season opener "Small Victories" in which O'Neill and Teal'c do battle with the Replicators on board a Russian submarine, it really is a Russian submarine.
I thought one of the most unusual characters was that of the Goa'uld Osiris, portrayed by Anna-Louise Plowman (the best role I've seen her in). In this one a former colleague of Daniel Jackson's, Sarah Gardner, is finally revealed to have been posessed by the Osiris symbiote after examining some Egyptian artifacts at their University. Plowman does that role so well, its a shame we don't see her more often. You always have Richard Dean Anderson doing his oddball bit, the best guest oddball was Willie Garson in "Point of no Return", playing the part of a delusional little guy who thinks he's an alien, turns out he is. That story was fun but definitely not one of the more serious episodes of the season.
on November 23, 2003
The fourth season of Stargate was the first season I had watched. It is a little confusing at first but after a few episodes you can figure it out, and then surprisingly find yourself hooked (be prepared to purchase every season after this one!).
What this DVD is offering is unique in that it gives you commentaries for every episodes. What ever advice they told these writers, directors and others before the commentary should be extended to the rest of the entertainment industries. The lively banter is entertaining and makes you wish you could have been there to lend a hand. Peter Deluise (who if you are a certain age will remember his stint on 21 Jump Street) was particularly entertaining in his commentaries as a director and creative influence to the series. In the episode Prodigy he even goaded his fellow commenters to sing the lyrics to the theme song which might not be up for any awards but was a perfect example of the fun they had creating this series.
This was a great season for any science fiction series, and although one might blame them from ripping off from other plots scattered through out time such as Window of Opportunity which was groundhog day in space, or Beneath the Surface which resembled Metropolis with some dirt they added their own panache.
Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tappings and Christopher Judge are a each pretty fun to watch. Shanks shined particularly in 'The first One' (enemy mine with an even greater language barrier) and 'the Curse'.
on September 23, 2003
Season Four, as many will agree, brings many elements of the series into focus, also introducing some new "long term" baddies into the mix (I suppose for "continuity" into future shows and seasons). The overall quality of the transfer to digital is great with good colour and imaging. The expanded features including the commentary (long overdue) are nice to have, but not all that impressive.
My concern, as has been expressed by others, lies more in the "future" of the series. Seven years seems to be the limit for most sci-fi series, beyond which it just gets played for the sake of the playing, not the stories. While now in the seventh season, it doesn't seem that the Stargate will be shutting down any time soon. I've heard that Anderson is exiting the show as a regular. When a primary player bows out (except it is a purposeful plot device), this generally indicates that it's time to wrap things up. The point, I suppose, is that if the story, the primary arc of the series, doesn't move forward more agressively to a meaningful and satisfying conclusion, we risk a complete meltdown of purpose. B5 was smart storytelling -- they created a whole story and then shot it, ending it when it was time, without continuing because of ratings or any other profit motivation. The old adage: "Leave 'em wanting more" is a good rule to follow. Let us pray the producers see the wisdom of a complete story as opposed to milking a good idea beyond the point it ceases being worth the time, effort and expense, which it is now in danger of becoming.
on September 12, 2003
The worst thing about the series on dvd is that one must wait a heck of a long time before you get to see more. But I'll whine later, in private, where it won't annoy anyone.
The dvds are great quality, and I haven't had any reading difficulties with them since the Season 1 set. *NOTE: I'm using my PS2 to view these, so if you have a dedicated dvd player, you might have different results. If you're using a PS2 also, well, it'll work fine after Season 1.
For light sci-fi, SG-1 is really hard to beat. The characters are entertaining, the dialogue is interesting without being exceptionally simplistic, and Rick Anderson and Christopher Judge give great comedic relief.
*SPOILER* The exploration of Jack and Samantha's relationship, and why they aren't pursuing it, is a GREAT change from the tired Remmington Steele/X-Files "we're in love but won't admit it because it would be weird" shtick. I was glad to see them admit how they felt (albeit under duress) and come to obviously temporary terms with it. It was well done, and blended expertly with something they'd done in a previous Season 4 episode. Great stuff.
Must note that this is LIGHT sci-fi, in a fun-over-realistic setting. Sort of pulp-action stuff, if you will. But don't dismiss its hitting power, because they'll sneak in a powerful scene when you aren't expecting it, and you'll find yourself wondering when they got inside your guard.
If you enjoyed Star Trek (Classic) or Battlestar Galactica, you'll likely enjoy this.
on September 1, 2003
I've been waiting a long time for season 4 to come out and here it is. I believe this is the best season of all. I have seen every episode at least 3-6 times and I am quite an expert when it comes to SG-1. Also, I do own all the other 3 seasons on DVD. Season 1 was ok, it was well thought out and original. Season 2 was better, however some of the episodes get painful after watching them more than 3 times, but it did have some extremely good episodes like 1969, The Fifth Race, A Matter of Time, and Secrets. Season 3 might not have episodes like the 4 I mentioned above, but I think almost all the episodes were good, which makes it even better in general. Season 4 Is the best seeing it has memorable episodes like Upgrades, Window of Opportunity, 2010, and Exodus. Plus all the other ones were good. Now with season 5, there were quite a few episodes that I absolutely loved like Enemies, 2001, 48 Hours, The Tomb, Failsafe, and Between Two Fires. To tell you the truth season 5 might be the best, or at least a really close tie with 4. In 6, there were a few episodes I liked, Jonas sucked but you gotta give him credit and I missed Daniel. Season 7 so far is Great!
on June 25, 2003
This season is when Jonathan Glassner, one of the creators of the show, leaves for whatever reason, and the show takes a turn for the worse. There are still some excellent episodes (The Light, Absolute Power), but before, every episode was excellent. This season the cast is also joined by two certain writers (who I will not name) who from the first episode (Window of Opportunity) throw away one of the show's most acclaimed accomplishments, to avoid cliches at all costs (something that it has been able to do so elegantly until now) by introducing the most overused idea in tv-show history, the infamous "time loop". Interestingly, Window of Opportunity is one of the better episodes the two writers produced. Besides writing, the show seems to deteriorate in terms of quality in other areas as well, directing, casting, etc. Special effects still remains strong, and they won an Emmy for "The Light", in the special effects category.
From episode one, Glassner went out of his way to make it so the show would live up to the movie and the concept of stargate in general, and this is what the show seems to have lost after his departure, dedication.
on September 28, 2003
Overall, I think Stargate SG-1 is some of the best TV ever made. Having said that, the season 4 dvd also has many of its own merits...
I think season 4 is a crossroads between where Stargate SG-1 is coming from (original team, Apophis is the major bad guy, etc.) and where it is going to (different bad guys, metaphysical themes, etc.). As such, it is highly recommended for fans and longtime viewers. I don't want to give away material in this review, in case you haven't seen the series, but I think you'll enjoy a few of the surprises and the season finale which will require you to get the season 5 dvd also.
I like a few of the featuretttes on the DVD box-set, esp. the special effects and "legacy of the gate" featurettes. Every disc also features an audio commentary option as part of the "Special Features" menu, which is also good for committed fans.