Stargate SG1-Season 9 (Complete) (2005)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Filmographies-Crew-Profile On Brad Wright
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-It Takes A Crew To Raise A Village
Featurette-An Intruduction To Ben Browder
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Inside The Stargate Special Effects Department
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Inside The Prop Department
Featurette-Directors Series "Ethon" Featring Ken Girotti
|Year Of Production||2005|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (6)
|Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Richard Dean Anderson
Don S. Davis
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
After the climactic events of Stargate SG-1: Season 8 (which I won’t spoil for those of you who haven’t seen it yet), the SG-1 team is broken up – Colonel O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson, who left the show to spend more time with his family) is promoted to Brigadier General and moved to the Pentagon, General Hammond (Don Davis) is promoted to Major General (an interesting twist, after being relieved of his command in Season 7) and likewise shipped off the base, Lt. Colonel Carter (Amanda Tapping) joins a science and research team, Dr. Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) is planning on leaving the military, and Teal’C (Christopher Judge) is caught up in the politics of his people.
So it’s up to newcomer Lt Colonel Cameron Mitchell (Ben Browder from Farscape), under the guidance of fellow newcomer General “Hank” Landry (Beau Bridges), to “put the band back together” to fend off the new enemies filling the power vacuum in the galaxy. But although it seems that the galaxy’s biggest threat is to be from the vultures coming out of the woodwork, as Dr. Jackson and the hilarious if unscrupulous Vala Dal Moren (Claudia Black, also a well known face from Farscape and a recurring guest on Stargate SG-1) are about to discover, petty thieves, drug smugglers and diminishing warlords are nothing compared to the religious zeal of the Ori, whose power makes the advances of Earth look like baby steps.
A complete episode breakdown is beyond the scope of this review. If you want a full season rundown you can find one at TV.com amongst other places. The 20 episodes of the ninth season are split across its 6 discs as follows:
Stargate SG-1 has been one of those science-fiction TV success stories that you rarely hear of. Much of this comes from the show's outstanding production values, whereby the producers realised the oncoming shift to widescreen broadcast, and beat most of the rest to the punch. With its blend of Star Trek exploration and themes, combined with the action adventure of a war movie and the comedic overtones of some of those self-parodying X-Files episodes, there is something in here to appeal to everybody. Most importantly, there’s something to appeal to the largest target audience of shows like this, which is 13-19 year old males (which I fall outside the scope of, but whatever – I still liked it).
It has been good to see this show evolve and adapt as well, which has had the effect of introducing continuous storylines that span whole seasons, and sometimes multiple seasons (as with the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series). This makes for excellent ‘rewatchability’ on DVD, although also makes broadcast hard, because people simply have to follow each episode to understand what is going on. This makes later syndication harder, as you can’t chop and change the order of the episodes and expect to make any real sense.
The introduction of the Ori also brings this show up-to-date with the hot topic in contemporary issues at the moment – religious fanaticism, and more important militant religious fanaticism. Rather than being relegated into escapism, Stargate: SG-1 manages to stay relevant by tackling issues of militant religion head on, providing an oft-times different opinion than, say, the US or UK governments. I found these issues dealt with extremely well within the confines of this show, and although it is all directed at carrying on the storyline, as opposed to being solely a political commentary, this kept the show far more interesting than it may otherwise have been if it had stuck to the “cold war” mentality of previous seasons. I'm also a fan of Ben Browder and the sense of humour he brings to the show, and look forward to the mischievous Claudia Black joining the show as a permanent star.
Those who thought this show would die with Season 8 are strongly encouraged to seek out a copy of this. While certainly not groundbreaking TV, it is true first class entertainment, with the kind of production values that makes burning lamp time on the 100 inch projection screen well worth the money. With some stand out episodes, like The Ties That Bind, The Fourth Horseman: Part 1 & II, Ethon and The Scourge, you can’t go wrong. And that final 3 part episode ... well, you’ll just have to get yourself a copy.
Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, this is the original aspect ratio for the series.
The transfer is excellent, and benefits from its obviously digital source material.
Colour is overwhelming, and certainly the peak of any TV show I’ve seen so far, with perhaps the exception of Star Trek: Enterprise – Season 3 – the commercial release of which had a far better transfer than the review copy I was provided with.
The image could be a touch soft at times, but was always very clear and easy to make out. Contrast levels were exceptional, with excellent shadow details. Those watching this on a standard definition CRT monitor up close will notice some minor digital pixelization, but once smoothed out over HDMI on a high definition projected image, this cleaned right up, and had the consistency of film (or very high quality high definition digital video).
There were no MPEG artefacts or film-to-video transfer artefacts using my normal system. There was some minor moire on my Sony 32 inch CRT in standard definition, and a touch of dot-crawl.
There were no film artefacts.
Subtitles are available in several different languages, listed above. I watched the English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles on a few episodes. These subtitles were pretty good and I was able to follow the show quite well if I turned the sound down.
The dual-layer pauses occur in between the episodes (generally the second and third episodes on each disc). None were visible.
Audio is available in a stunning English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround mix (encoded at 448Kb/s).
Dialogue is clean and crisp without any appalling ADR. Sync faults were definitely faults with the source material.
The surrounds get plenty of use, which is good, as a lot of TV series can tend to be a tad flat in the surround department. This includes a lot of audio FX, as opposed to merely the score run through the rear surrounds.
There is also some excellent subwoofer use here, which is extremely welcome, as most TV shows remixed into 5.1 Dolby Digital tend to be a little thin when it gets down low. But everything from the stargate dialling out, to exploding starships, to heavy machinegun fire gets a thorough processing through the low frequency department. It had the glass shelves at our place rattling, anyway (thank you Jensen).
|Surround Channel Use|
All menus are in 1.78:1 Full Frame. The main menu has a sweeping CGI intro with a 2.0 Dolby Surround soundtrack of the show’s theme that is quite presentable. All other menus are static and silent, which is (at least in my opinion) far more efficient and user-friendly than having all menus with an animated intro.
Every single episode has a commentary available, generally done by production crew, usually writers and directors, although the actors sometimes pop in an appearance:
The set contains the following featurettes, presented in 1.78:1 inset in a 1.33:1 Full Frame image, with 2.0 Dolby Surround audio:
Content-wise, R1 and R4 are largely identical, although R4 has more subtitle options and R1 has a French 2.1 Dolby Digital Surround soundtrack. Without an R1 copy, I cannot do a direct video-to-video comparison for you, so I have no way of knowing which has the better video transfer.
This is an excellent series of a fine show in an outstanding boxed set, with wonderful menus and presentation, and the only drawback being the forced copyright information – thank Sony Pictures that you can fast forward that “Downloading Movies Piracy” trailer, which has the kind of thumping soundtrack that just makes you want to steal stuff.
What’s there to say? Five stars all around.
|DVD||Sony DVPNS92, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-HS60 WXGA 3LCD Cineza Projector (10:000 contrast) with 100" Longhom Pro-Series Micro-Textured White Matte PVC 1.78:1 16:9 Fixed Mount Screen with Black Velour Trim. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Jensen QX70 Centre Front, Jensen QX45 Left Front & Right Front, Jensen QX20 Left Rear & Right Rear, Jensen QX-90 Dual 10" 250 Watt Subwoofer|