Stargate SG-1 - Volume 3
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Details At A Glance
||Main Menu Audio and Animation
Cast & Crew
||Language Selection, then Menu
Fox Home Entertainment
||Richard Dean Anderson
Don S. Davis
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame
||Auto Pan & Scan Encoded
||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
German (Dolby Digital 2.0)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio
||English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement
|Action In or After Credits
Refer my review of Stargate
SG-1 - Volume 1 for the full rant. Suffice it to say, where
exactly are episodes 102 through 118? It might be nice to see them, especially
since once again characters in the episodes on Stargate SG-1 - Volume
3 appear during those episodes and their appearance here does not make
that much sense without knowing that.
These are continuing episodes of the television series
Stargate SG-1, one of the best science fiction shows on television
in the past decade. Volume 3 continues the voyage through Season
Two. If you need a slight background to the series, then again refer to
Stargate SG-1 - Volume 1.
The episodes on offer are:
As we progress through Season Two, the series is highlighted
by two things: continuing improvement in chemistry and slightly tighter
stories that don't try to be too much. Production values remain high and
the effects certainly do not really betray the fact that this is a television
series. This continues to remain watchable science fiction.
Need (Episode 205) - On a routine mission to yet another
port on the galactic stargate system, the SG-1 team happens across a ritual
transportation of a precious ore through the stargate. They also follow
a wandering member from the party who turns out to be a beautiful young
woman about to throw herself off a cliff. Daniel Jackson does the gallant
thing and rescues her from certain death. However, his gallantry results
in the team being taken as prisoners and being cast into the mines to dig
out the ore. The young woman turns out to be the princess of this world
and her father is dying. She sees Daniel as her destiny and is determined
to keep him on her planet, resulting in him being gently sidetracked from
his task of securing his companions' freedom.
Thor's Chariot (Episode 206) - Stargate Command is receiving
a message that turns out to be a desperate plea for help from Cimmeria,
a planet where they had previously destroyed the planetary defence weapon.
That act has now resulted in the planet being subjected to Goa'uld attack.
Feeling the moral responsibility for the predicament on Cimmeria, SG-1
returns to assist the locals in their struggles. However the odds are not
good and with so little weaponry and numbers, the team needs help. In desperation
they seek out the fabled Hall of Thor's Might in the hope that it contains
weapons. It contains something, but not necessarily weapons...
Message In A Bottle (Episode 207) - Investigating another
new planet, this one very similar to the Moon, in search of the source
of an EMP signature, the SG-1 team discover an artefact as the source.
The mysterious object holds some potential and it is decided to return
it to Earth. Once there the investigations begin. However, as things start
to go a little awry, it is decided to return the object to its planet of
origin, but it clearly does not want to go as it implants itself into the
concrete in the gate room. Unfortunately, between it and the concrete is
Jack O'Neill who becomes a rather large piece of meat on an alien shish
kebab. Now the hunt for explanation is desperately on in order to rescue
Jack, but all attempts to understand the artefact fail miserably - and
the consequences are not looking too good.
Family (Episode 208) - the SG-1 signal has been received
but they are not on a mission. This can only mean one thing - Master Braytak
has a problem. He arrives with some bad news for Teal'c - his son Rya'c
has been kidnapped by Apophis and being held as a fairly obvious piece
of bait. SG-1 return to Chulak to rescue Rya'c and his mother and return
them to Earth - and finally do in Apophis if at all possible. However,
things don't go smoothly in the reunion as Teal'c finds out that his dear
lady wife has remarried his best mate. Not good but worse is to follow
when the rescue does not quite go to plan. Eventually a rescue is effected
but the brainwashed Rya'c proves something of a problem. Note that the
cover blurb on this episode is somewhat misleading.
For the first time, the arrival of a Stargate SG-1
DVD in Region 4 can be greeted with something better than a lukewarm reception,
for of the three DVDs to date, this is by far the least afflicted with
You may well recall that the predominant problems with
the preceding volumes of Stargate SG-1 were plenty of grain. Well,
we have gone from a bumper crop of grain to a better than average crop
of grain to what is now a below average crop. A nice trend indeed, even
though there still remain problems.
The transfers are presented in an aspect ratio of
1.78:1 and are 16x9 enhanced. The DVD is also Auto Pan and Scan encoded,
although I would suggest that this option be avoided. Whilst I only checked
out a short sequence from the fourth episode on the DVD in this form, it
certainly was a lot grainier and more difficult to watch.
In general this is only a decent transfer as far
as sharpness and definition go, but that is good enough to be the best
of the three volumes thus far. Detail is decent enough, but shadow detail
could have again been better: in this regard, this is very consistent with
the earlier volumes. Obviously with decent amounts of grain thrown throughout
the transfer, clarity is not really brilliant at times either, but this
is again on a par with the earlier volumes. There are no real indications
of problems with low level noise in the transfer, although it is fair to
say that solid dark colours don't seem to be too solid.
In general, the colours have come up reasonably well,
although there is some inconsistency here. Some sections of the first episode
for instance show a rather bleached look as if the film is slightly overexposed
and the general tone of the colours is a tad muted. This is repeated elsewhere,
but there are also sections where there are some bright greens that look
very nice indeed. There remains a slightly darkish tone to the transfers
at times. No problems with oversaturation are obvious, with the tendency
towards undersaturation at the fore, and there are no issues with colour
There did not appear to be many significant MPEG
artefacts in the transfer, although again there were again hints of slight
blockiness in the background on a number of occasions. There were a couple
of instances where I sort of felt that the image was ghosting, but these
fell into the "did I really see that?" category, as well as a couple of
focus issues that might well be indicative of some poor compression. The
benefit of the doubt is given to the transfer on this occasion. Most episodes
display some shimmer, but nothing really poor and in general this is the
only film-to-video artefact that is really noticed. There are no significant
problems with film artefacts here at all.
This is a Dual Layer
formatted DVD, as I cannot detect any 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.
Video Ratings Summary
There are two soundtracks on the DVD, being an English
Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded soundtrack and a German Dolby Digital
2.0 soundtrack. I once again stuck with the default English soundtrack.
PowerDVD had plenty of problems with this DVD and the bit rates for the
soundtracks could not be determined. As an aside, it seems odd that PowerDVD
has had serious problems playing both Volume 2 and Volume 3 of this series
and it does beg the question as to whether there is some inherent problem
in the mastering of these DVDs.
The dialogue comes up well and is quite 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,
with the aid of Richard Band and Kevin Kiner. Once again
fairly typical of what we would expect from a television series, there
is not much here that is liable to be confused with a masterpiece, but
it does its job pretty well and is quite supportive of the show throughout.
Once again there is nothing much wrong with the soundtrack
on offer. There is a fair deal of action through both the front channels,
although the rears are obviously not brought into play here. It certainly
is not going to be confused with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. There
did not seem to be any action from the bass channel. Whilst the whole show
would certainly benefit from a good Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, there
really is not not much to complain about here.
Audio Ratings Summary
|Surround Channel Use
Another amazingly poor effort on the extras front. Nothing.
Some audio and animation enhancement makes these decent
efforts - even if they really have nothing much to do.
R4 vs R1
There is no equivalent release to this in Region 1 at
this time. When it does eventually come, I would not mind betting that
it will be part of a Season Two box set, since that is the way MGM are
going for the balance of Season One in Region 1 it seems.
Stargate SG-1 - Volume 3 is welcomed with somewhat
more open arms than earlier DVDs in the series. The presentation however
is barely to an adequate standard, in not being part of the preferred complete
season box set and in having a marginally problematic video transfer. If
you especially hate grain ... you know the deal. Large screen owners would
probably be especially well advised to steer clear of this effort.
© Ian Morris (have
a laugh, check out the bio)
8th April, 2001.
||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
||Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD
version of Video Essentials.
||Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version
of Video Essentials.
||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears
EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL