Stargate SG1-Volume 12 (Season 3) (1999)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Profile On Dr Jackson (9:32)
Featurette-Production Design - Richard Hudolin (7:16)
Trailer-Volume 13 Episode Previews; Crystal Skull, Nemesis
|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 F. Woeste
Twentieth Century Fox
Richard Dean Anderson
Don S. Davis
|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|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Let's see: Volume 9 was Sam Carter, Volume 10 was Teal'c and Volume 12 is Daniel Jackson. That can only mean that the profile on Jack O'Neill is on Volume 11. You will note that Volume 11 has not yet emerged from the Stargate system. Sorry ladies! Whilst we still await Volume 11 we move right along with Stargate SG-1 Volume 12 which has returned through the Stargate to grace us with its presence. At least the advent of Teryl Rothery and Amanda Tapping has ameliorated to some extent the disappointment arising from the interruption of Marilyn Monroe DVDs for review!
For those in need of reminding, we are still progressing through the delights of Season Three, with a further four episodes on offer here. The quality of the show continues at a high level and if anything some of the effects work is getting more impressive. The effects for A Hundred Days for instance are almost worthy of feature film status.
Anyway, the episode offerings on Volume 12 are:
After the significant improvements in the last few volumes reviewed in the series, it has to be said that this volume sees something of a return of the bad old days of grain. Whilst nowhere near as bad as the earliest volumes, it is significantly worse than we have encountered in the last three volumes reviewed. A disappointment therefore as grain is the only issue that makes an appearance in my notes.
As usual, the transfers are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and are 16x9 enhanced. As usual too, to accommodate those that have not yet seen the light with respect to widescreen presentation, the DVD is also Auto Pan and Scan encoded.
In general, this is a decently sharp transfer with above average definition for a television series. Shadow detail could at times be a little better, and it has to be noted that there is just the slightest digital edge to some of the outdoor scenes at various times. Other than that the only reportable issue with the transfer is the grain - poor examples of the problem can be found at 14:34 of A Hundred Days, 20:50 of Shades of Grey, 16:40 of New Ground and especially bad examples at 0:13 and 29:29 of Maternal Instinct. The latter episode is by far the poorest on the DVD and is the poorest we have seen since Volume 7. Naturally, clarity is somewhat diminished by the return of the grain harvest, and low level noise is also almost on the verge of breaking out at times. After previous improvements, this is a sad reversal of form.
The colours continue to be a little underdone, very much on a par with the previous volumes in the series. Overall though, they remain quite vibrant and nicely rendered, with interior shots having a good tonal depth to them. There is no issue with saturation nor with colour bleed.
There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. Aliasing and other film-to-video artefacts are again not exactly a problem but some aliasing does get a little noticeable: 20:50 of Shades of Grey exhibits some issue here. There are no problems with film artefacts.
This is a Dual Layered DVD, with no layer change during the episodes. It is therefore presumed that the first two episodes are mastered on one layer and the other two mastered on the other.
There are seven subtitle options on this 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.
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. I stuck with the English option.
The dialogue comes up well and is clear and generally 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 except Shades Of Grey, which is handled by Kevin Kiner. He also assists on New Ground. Nothing much than what we have heard before and doing the job well enough to contribute to the overall success of the television series.
For most people there is not likely to be much complaint with the soundtrack. Whilst there could have perhaps been more action in the soundtrack, given the television nature of the programme, the surround work on A Hundred Days in particular is very impressive. There seems to be good presence from the surround channels, with the rear channels making a decent contribution. The sound is not suffering any form of congestion and the overall result is quite natural.
|Surround Channel Use|
A reasonable enough package.
The same vibrant menu style introduced on Volume 8 continues here with the better audio and animation enhancement. The menus themselves are also 16x9 enhanced.
Continuing the look at the characters of the series, this features interview material with Michael Shanks and others, with a bit 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.
A bit of a change here with a look at the production design of the show and how it is handled, featuring interview material with Production Designer Richard Hudolin. One thing that becomes readily apparent - this is no ordinary television series from a design point of view. 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.
Something else a bit different - we get two promotional trailers for episodes to appear on the next volume in the series. The two episodes are Crystal Skull and Nemesis and both trailers run for 0:47. They are the "next week's episode" trailers that usually appear on television at the end of the evening's episode. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, they are not 16x9 enhanced and come with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.
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 release in Region 1 yet. When it eventually gets released in Region 1 it will most likely be in a season box set, which is by far the preferred presentation for television series. Still, if you cannot wait, the Region 4 version is here now.
Whilst Volume 12 is somewhat of a regression from a transfer quality point of view, there are not too many qualms about the quality of the episodes. This is a series in its maturity and it is reflected on screen in all ways possible. Whilst the usual caveat emptor exists for large screen owners, the episode quality almost overrules the transfer quality and makes this a watchable DVD. Just be warned 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. Extremely poor stuff in my view. Oh, and I have to say that the blurb writer employed by MGM Home Entertainment is getting even more away from reality with the little cover blurbs. I am beginning to wonder whether they actually watch the episodes before they write the blurbs. As well as that, photos have again been transposed between the episodes!
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|