Stargate SG1-Volume 11 (Season 3) (1999)

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Released 14-May-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Profile On General Hammond (6:23)
Featurette-Costume Design: Christina McQuarrie (4:40)
Trailer-Volume 12 Episode Previews (4)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 169:44 (Case: 168)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Peter DeLuise
Andy Mikita
David Warry-Smith
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Richard Dean Anderson
Michael Shanks
Amanda Tapping
Christopher Judge
Don S. Davis
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $36.95 Music Joel Goldsmith
Kevin Kiner
Richard Band


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Auto Pan & Scan Encoded English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish
Swedish
Finnish
Norwegian
Danish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

††† As you may recall, some months ago (well, many months ago), we proceeded through the Stargate only to find that Volume 11 had disappeared somewhere. Well, better late than never as we catch up on the missing volume! Interestingly, in the passage of time since we last ventured through the Stargate, things have changed in the universe. For one, the long overdue announcement of a box set containing the entire Season One has been announced! Again, better late than never, although I would suspect that many fans of the show have already indulged in such box sets from overseas already, thereby ensuring that sales of the Region 4 release will undoubtedly be vastly diminished.

††† Just in case you have forgotten given the passage of time since we last tuned in to Stargate SG-1, we are in Season Three where the quality of the show is continuing at a very high level and the general entertainment value is about as good as it gets with episodic television.

††† Anyway, the episode offerings on Volume 11 are:

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Transfer Quality

Video

††† If you are a regular reader of reviews of Stargate SG-1 volumes, you will know very well that they are generally blighted by a little commodity called grain. Sometimes the harvest is quite bad, sometimes it is improved. Unfortunately, the grain is something that we have to live with to some extent as it is inherent in the source material. However, it is a little disappointing that we do suffer the inherent grain, as I am guessing that the mastering of the DVDs at times compounds this problem. Aside from the grain there is little at all to complain about here - again, quite common amongst the DVDs issued thus far in the series.

††† The transfers are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and are 16x9 enhanced. In order to accommodate those that have not yet seen the light with respect of widescreen presentation, the DVD is also Auto Pan & Scan encoded.

††† This is a decently sharp transfer with pretty good definition - for a television series, this is definitely better than average. Shadow detail could at times be a little better, and this is especially evident in the darker episodes such as The Devil You Know. It is also no coincidence that the darker scenes are where the grain problem is most evident - especially noteworthy in The Devil You Know at 4:18, 8:46 and 12:56 along with plenty of others, with other examples being at 22:38 of Foothold and 4:52 and 9:40 of Urgo. As a result of the grain, clarity is at times a little on the mediocre side. Low level noise is also almost evident as the edge between grain, pixelization and other issues gets a little blurred.

††† The colours seem to be a bit better than I recall the previous volumes to be, but perhaps that is an indication of the length of time since the last review as opposed to an actual improvement. In general, the colours are quite vibrant and are fairly solid in tone and saturation. On rare occasions, saturation gets to be a little too much and oversaturation threatens to break out, but this is nothing serious. Colour bleed does not seem to be a problem here.

††† At around 22:20 of The Devil You Know, general pixelization in the background seems to break out, but that is about the extent of the significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. The opening sequence of Pretense featuring the crash of the Goa'uld death glider is perhaps not quite as solid as we would like and there seems to be a loss of resolution in the effects work around 0:55. Aliasing and other film-to-video artefacts are not a real problem here although some very modest and hardly disruptive aliasing can be seen here and there. There are no obvious problems with film artefacts.

††† This is a Dual Layer formatted DVD, with no layer change during the episodes. It is therefore presumed that the first two episodes are mastered on one layer with the other two mastered on the other.

††† There are seven subtitle options on the DVD. I restricted myself to only the English effort. Very much in the same mold as the earlier DVDs in the series, they are missing just a little here and there as far as dialogue is concerned but are generally pretty good.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

††† There are three soundtracks available on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, a German Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack and a Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. Naturally I stuck with the English option.

††† The dialogue comes up well and is clear and easy to understand throughout the episodes. There did not seem to be any issue with audio sync here at all.

††† The original music comes from Joel Goldsmith for all episodes, with additional help from Kevin Kiner on Foothold and Richard Band on Pretense. Whilst it remains nothing much more than what we have heard before, it should perhaps be pointed out that the quality is uniformly good as usual. Perhaps I do get a little blasť about the music side of things with episodic television, so it does not hurt to remind that this is generally good stuff indeed and puts many a feature film of not-so-recent past to shame. The music certainly does the job and contributes significantly to the overall feel and success of the television series.

††† From my recollections of the series on DVD thus far, this would contain some of the best sound we have heard. Whilst this is predominantly due to the one episode, it does serve to highlight the general quality that pervades this series. The Devil You Know is the responsible episode and features some very effective, and reasonably impressive, use of the surround channels, most especially the rear surround channels. The episode features dialogue in a semi-conscious state and to emphasise this the producers used an echoey style of sound that comes up very well indeed. After listening to the run-of-the-mill style of sound on some DVDs recently, this stands out like a sore thumb as far as use is concerned. Other than that, we have the usual high quality sound featuring some good body, decent presence and a lovely openness. The sound is not suffering any form of congestion and the overall result is quite natural.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

††† A reasonable enough package as usual.

Menu

††† The same vibrant menu style seen on the previous volumes continues here with the better audio and animation enhancement. The menus themselves are also 16x9 enhanced. Out of interest, the audio accompanying the menus is Dolby Digital 2.0 192Kb/s whilst the audio for the MGM logo that starts everything is Dolby Digital 2.0 448Kb/s.

Featurette - Profile On General Hammond (6:23)

††† Continuing the look at the characters of the series, this features interview material with Don S. Davis, with a little bite of behind the scenes footage mixed with episode footage. Like the others we have seen, it does its job of providing an EPK-style introduction to the character and the actor playing it pretty well. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, it is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. The picture is very grainy at times.

Featurette - Costume Design: Christina McQuarrie (4:40)

††† A short featurette that does at least give you an idea of the difficulty of handling costume design for episodic television, with the aid of costume designer Christina McQuarrie. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, it is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. The picture too is somewhat grainy at times.

Trailers - Volume 12 Episode Previews (4)

††† The four promotional trailers for episodes that appear on Volume 12 in the series. The four episodes are A Hundred Days, Shades of Grey, New Ground and Maternal Instinct. Shades of Grey runs to 31 seconds whilst the other three run to 46 seconds. They are the "next week's episode" trailers that usually appear on television at the end of the evening's episode, with strong emphasis on the presence of Richard Dean Anderson. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, they are not 16x9 enhanced and come with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

††† As far as we are aware, this has not been slated for individual release in Region 1 yet. Season Three is due for release on 17th June, in the vastly more preferable season box set format. That is likely to be the favoured version, although if you want the stuff right now then Region 4 would need to be the choice you make - if you have not already got the Region 2 version that was out many months ago..

Summary

††† Offering a very similar transfer quality as previous volumes in the series, there is nothing here that fans and long time purchasers of the series would have not encountered before. Still, whilst the grain is a result of the source material, you do wish that it was better on a fairly regular basis. Whilst the usual caveat emptor therefore exists for large screen owners, the episode quality overrules the transfer quality and makes this a watchable DVD. Once again though - do not let the copyright notices start after the last episode, otherwise you will be stuffed. They are mastered to lock out the remote commands and once started the only way to escape them is to eject the DVD. I still consider this extremely poor stuff.

††† With the advent of the Season One box set, at a fairly reasonable price it would seem, I do have to now wonder where the value lies in these individual volumes of the series. It is to be assumed that having now announced the Season One box set, the remaining seasons will also gathered into box sets. If that is so, and the same sort of fairly reasonable pricing applied, why would anyone really now go ahead with buying these individual volumes? It would make more sense to await the release of the box sets surely? I will never understand the minds of the marketing departments of the distributors...

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Thursday, March 13, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

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