Door to Heaven

Finished watching the first season of Stargate SG-1 tonight. I usually only buy DVDs of shows that I’ve seen before, but this one’s been on the air so long and has such a loyal fan following that I thought my chances good that I’d enjoy it. I was right.

It’s remarkably faithful to the movie, often referencing events that happened there. Michael Shanks does an uncanny impersonation of James Spader, making it easy to buy that he’s the same character from the film. Richard Dean Anderson does not do an impersonation of Kurt Russell, but he’s a strong enough presence that he owns the character of O’Neill and makes you forget about Russell’s interpretation.

The addition of Amanda Tapping as new character Sam Carter to the cast took me most of the season to accept. She’s not annoying, but neither was she especially memorable at first. She always seemed to be trying to catch up to the charisma of the other cast members, even Christopher Judge, who — as Teal’c — is simply playing Worf, but is doing a good job at it. His facial expressions are hilarious as he responds to new situations and tries to fit in with the Earth folk.

The stories were all strong too. Whether it was real or not, there was always the sense that they were willing to mess up the status quo. Obviously the main characters were always going to make it out alive, but there were times when I genuinely wondered how they were going to do that, and other times when I was convinced that they wouldn’t make it out unchanged. After getting oh so tired with the predictability of the later Star Trek shows, it was great to see a sci-fi show that was fresh and surprising.

My only problem is that the season ended on a cliffhanger and now I’m tempted to immediately buy Season Two, when what I really want to do is go back and watch Season One of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I bought that DVD set ages ago and haven’t yet watched in its entirety. So the fate of Earth as the Gua’uld ships approach will have to remain a mystery for now, but I’m hooked and will certainly be back for more later.


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