It was some time ago I watched SG-1, it was back in 2013. I watched each season approximately one month. This time however, the first 4 seasons took way longer. In fact the first season took me almost 6 months! From there on it took less time and from season 5 I watched a season in 20-30 days. For me the first season is the weakest, it’s still okay mind you but especially in the beginning of the season there are some episodes which I would rather skip. Episodes like “Emancipation” and “The First Commandment” come to mind. Like most sci-fi shows, often the first season is a mixed bag. Luckily there are quite some good episodes there also, like “Thor’s Hammer”, “The Torment of Tantalus”, “Enigma”, “Solitudes” and the season finale “Within the Serpent's Grasp”. All in all the first season is still solid, good stories overall, some forgettable ones.
What makes Stargate SG-1 so great, so fun to watch are mostly the characters. So even in the less interesting episodes I can get great satisfaction because of certain character moments. My favorite character has to be O’Neill (with 2 ll’s). Sometimes you get the feeling, Richard Dean Anderson is making things up, unbelievably witty, just by his facial expressions he is funny, he does not even have to say anything! Those 4 characters definitely are the reason this show kept coming back each season.
The second season was tick-up from the first season, still took me over 2 months to finish it. The best episodes of that season for me is “The Fifth Race” and “1969”. The Tok’ra as a race are also a nice addition to the storyline. I have to say, the Goa’uld have never really did it for me as bad guys. Never really took them seriously and I always have been less fond of those Goa’uld episodes, there also exceptions of course. In that regard the baddies in Atlantis, the Wraith, those are scary, really scary. Though Anubis was a better foe than all those Goa’uld that went before him. I liked the Politic episodes particularly and also the standalone episodes I found to be more engaging then those heavy Goa’uld episodes.
A little bit as with most Star Trek series, the third season it really hit its stride, some good episodes, character build up, some really strong episodes. “Point of View” is one I really love, the alternate reality episode which really hits it out of the ballpark. Other engaging episodes are “Into the Fire”, “Deadman Switch”, “Forever in a Day”, “Past and Present”, “Jolinar’s Memory/The Devil You Know”, “Foothold”, “Pretense”, “A Hundred Days”, “Shades of Grey”, “Crystal Skull” and “Nemesis”. Season 3 can easily compete to any SG-1 season, although the next season, season 4, is my all-time favorite SG-1 season.
Season 4 started out with a huge bang, the replicators (Small Victories), which were, at that time, very interesting and very creepy. The first 16 episodes of that season are especially good. Also some great guest spots from Star Trek, Rene Auberjonois (The Other Side), who sadly passed away last year, and Marina Sirtis (Watergate), both episodes are among my favorites of the season. Of course “Window of Opportunity” is on everybody’s list and I think “2010” also. Stargate was really at its best this season, stories were great, main cast really felt comfortable in their roles and that’s something you clearly can see. Even after episodes like “The Light”, “Entity” and “Double Jeopardy” this season remains my favorite, also after this re-watch.
Season 5 was the last season Stargate would air on Showtime, before moving to the Syfy channel what than still was named Sci-fi Channel. Season 5 also is a more than okay season. This was also the season where Michael Shanks decides he wants to leave the next season (6) and also is season 5 the last season where Richard Dean Anderson is full time on the show. From season 6 onward, he was there only for 4 days and perhaps even less with season 8, that I am not sure of. But for me that did hurt the show because there are episodes where he’s completely absent or only is there for a few scenes. But to continue about Season 5, this really is a fun season with some great episodes, of course, first one that comes to mind was the follow-up episodes of “2010” which was called “2001”. Not sure if this is the first time but Rodney McKay is there in the episode called “48 Hours” and of course in season 5 we reach the 100 episode, “Wormhole Extreme”. A fun and over the top episode with all the cliches you can find about making a TV Show, especially a SCI-FI TV Show.
So in season 6 with Michael Shanks gone, his replacement is Jonas Quin (Corin Nemec). Season 5 finale was an emotional one where Daniel ascends, instead of dying, gives them the opportunity to bring him back now and again and so they did. I have to say, I really liked Corin Nemec, thought it was a fine addition to the team. Season 6 is also a fine season, although from now on you see less screen time of Richard Dean Anderson. There are episodes where is not even in there, I believe that is the case with “Nightwalkers”. Season 6 does have the comedic episode “The Other Guys”, with John Billingsley and Patrick McKenna. This episode is a lot of fun. Two nerds who decide they want to become heroes. Actually only McKenna’s character, Billingsley’s characters reluctantly goes with him.
Jonas Quin definitely earns his place on the SG-1 team, earns his keep but for him sadly Michael Shanks decides he wants to come back, I never found out the reason, but I didn’t look for it. The season finale “Full Circle” is a good one, where Daniel fights with Anubis to help his friends and the universe. Season 7, Michael Shanks return full time as Daniel Jackson and we, sadly, say goodbye to Jonas Quin (Corin Nemec), but in style, with an exciting episode. And Jonas Quin comes and visits a few times after that. I always considered season 7 to be my second favorite season, after season 4 and I think that is still the case. Some exciting two-parters “Fallen/Homecoming” to open the season, “Evolution Parts 1&2”, “Heroes Parts 1&2” where we say goodbye to the good doctor Janet Fraiser (Teryl Rothery) and a fantastic guest spot for Saul Rubinek (Warehouse 13) as Emmett who is a reporter and is allowed to record what is happening at Stargate Command but doesn’t get much cooperation.
Also we see a follow-up on season 6 episode “The Other Guys”, except John Billingsley wasn’t there unfortunately but it’s still a fun episode, “Avenger 2.0” with Patrick McKenna. Season 7 delivers not one mediocre episode and finishes of with the best season finale of all Stargate season finales: "The Lost City", feature length episode, which could have well been served as a series finale.
Season 8 is the season where Jack O’Neill gets promoted to General, which means he will take over Hammonds job, so he won’t go on missions anymore. That was the main flaw for me this season. I am a huge O’Neill fan, he is integral to Stargate and to the stories. But this season he mainly was there in the background. And sure they created some episodes on which remain on the base, to give Jack O’Neill more screen time but those weren’t the episodes you’ll remember later on.
That being said, season 8 has some truly great episodes, one awful episode, “Avatar”, where Teal’c is stuck in a game. A few mediocre episodes like “Sacrifices”, “Gemini”, a number above average and also a bunch is very exciting episodes! The good far outweigh the bad or mediocre episodes. The season opener for instance, New Order Parts 1 & 2, where we meet Dr. Weir (Torri Higginson), who was also in last season finale but not played by the same actress. I absolutely die at the scene where O’Neill wakes up from the pod and and says: Teal’c, what’s with the hair! Twice! Actor Christopher Judge was finally given permission to grow hair back again on his head.
“Threads” is also one of my favorite season 8 episodes. Daniel walks into a diner where, he soon learns, Oma is a waitress, he can choose, to die or to ascent, but if he ascents, he cannot help his friends defeat Anubis. We also learn that Anubis tricked Oma to help him ascent in the past. Sam learns her father is ill and Pete found a house he thinks would be perfect for them. But Sam, besides being worried about her father, is also dealing with feelings for Jack. Season 8 finale is a fantastic one, “Mobius Parts 1&2” where the SG-1 team goes back in time 3000 BC. A truly great story, also in my top 3 for this season.
For season 9 Richard Dean Anders no longer is among the main cast, he has a few guest spots in the next two remaining seasons. Farscape’s Ben Browder, who plays Cameron Mitchell takes over the role left by Richard Dean Anderson. Of course he’s totally different character than O’Neill, which is a good thing. Although physically Michael Shanks and Ben Browder looked very similar! Of course it wouldn’t be Stargate if this wasn’t addressed in a funny way. Before Ben Browder joined Stargate I of course also watched Farscape. I have to say I wasn’t a big fan of Ben Browder’s character John Crichton, mainly because the way he was always shouting so annoyingly. Because he joined SG-1 it became easier for me to re-watch Farscape with a lot less aggravation towards Ben Browder’s character.
Although season 9 is a more than okay season, you really have to get used to the fact that O’Neill isn’t around anymore. Season 9 introduces a new foe and I have to say I find the Ori more interesting than the Goa’uld. The Ori emit way more in two seasons than Goa’uld did in 8 seasons. Except perhaps Anubis, which was a worthy Goa’uld foe also. The Ori are being build-up this season nicely and soon our heroes know that the Ori could well become our oppressors if they can’t find the Merlin weapon to stop the Ori. Season 9 does not have any bad episodes, some okay episodes like "The Ties That Bind", "Beachhead", "Babylon", "Prototype", "Collateral Damage", "Stronghold", "Ethon", "Off the Grid" and "The Scourge". The best episodes in my opinion are “Avalon P2”, “Origin”, “The Fourth Horseman Parts 1&2”, "Arthur's Mantle" and the season finale “Camelot”.
FYI – When I started this website, I was about to begin with the 10th season of Stargate SG-1. Therefore the biggest chunk of this blog is about season 10. And to go back and make every season so detailed, the blog will become too long. And I don’t know if there even are folks who will read this, but that would mean the blog would approximately 8x times longer and I am quite certain that potential readers skip it also if it was much longer than its now.
Before I started watching SG-1 again, I had this notion about the last two seasons. They were okay but certainly not as good as the seasons before. But I have to admit, nearing the end of season 10, I am really having a good time, season 10 for me is perhaps one of the best seasons yet. In no small part because of Vala Mal Doran (Claudia Black) which gave the show a boost. Her humor, her relationship with Daniel, it really was great. Season 10, imo, is stronger than season 9, and certainly is also stronger than some earlier seasons with its original cast. At this point I am bumped that there isn’t a season 11. The season starts out with the Ori invasion in “Flesh and Blood”, where Vala and Daniel must deal with their leader, Vala's young daughter, who is rapidly aged by the Ori to serve their purposes. Funny thing, Vala’s daughter Adria at age 7, is played by Jodelle Ferland, we later come to know as Five in Dark Matter!
Episode 3 is perhaps my favorite episode of the season, “The Pegasus Project”. It’s a cross-over episode where Daniel and Vala visit Atlantis and where Samantha Carter, Cam Mitchell and McKay join up on the Odyssey. I always love this cross-over episodes, I wish they’d done this a few times more. Not many shows get to do it, airing a 200th episode called “200”! SG-1 did and what a fun romp it was! It was a follow-up from the 100th episode, some great referrals to Farscape, Star Trek and even Firefly. In “Counterstike” (episode 7) we see Vala’s daughter Adria as a grown-up woman, played by the gorgeous Morena Baccarin (Firefly, Serenity, Deadpool). The Jaffa can no longer be considered as an trusted alley.
The Vala centered episode, “Memento Mori”, I really like this one also, Vala is kidnapped by agents of the Trust who are trying to find an ancient treasure when an accident causes Vala to forget who she is. We see another side of her, Claudia really shines in this episode. Episode 9, “Company of Thieves” – better than I remembered. Lucien Alliance takes over the Odyssey, kill the captain of the ship, colonel Emerson. Mitchell goes undercover with the same device Jackson used in season 3 “Foothold”.
The 2-parter “The Quest” is a great adventures story, a little bit like Indiana Jones. Adria is there and also Ba’al is there. Ba’al’s last episode (“Insiders”) was fairly dull but this episode he is there more for the comedic part and that’s been handled very well. “Lines in the Sand” is the next episode and I liked this episode more than I previously remembered. Some awkward moments when the Ori soldiers killed the villagers before Vala’s very eyes and Sam Carter who gets critically injured and cannot save the day as we have been used to.
“The Road not taken” - During a failed experiment, Samantha is transported into a parallel universe where she cloaks Earth to save it from an Ori Attack. Getting back to her own universe is not met with sympathy. An okay episode. “The Shroud” is one of my favorites, where Daniel Jackson has been turned into an Ori Prior. Jack O’Neill is in it too and the humor between them, is wonderful. They really play of off each other. One of my favorite episodes of the season. Then two okay episodes, filler episodes, “Bounty” and “Bad Guys” before we reach episode 17, “Talion” which I really enjoyed. A Jaffa, Arkad is planning on attacking earth. Teal’c, who knows him, goes after him against the wishes of the IOA. Next episode, “Family Ties”, Vala meets her father again after a long period of time. This was nothing more than a filler episode. Few funny moments, with guest star Fred Willard, who passed away earlier this year.
We are almost at the end of this fantastic TV series, 10 seasons, it’s something that not happens very often, certainly not with a sci-fi series. According to this video, 14 years ago, they were very close to renew it for an 11th season! If you already dislike Syfy for cancelling a number of good shows, that will even grow worse after you’ve seen this video.
The penultimate episode, “Dominion”, it’s a great one, a lot of things happen inside 40 minutes. When the episode starts it looks like Vala has been banished from the team, from Stargate Command. Ba’al is killed…but is he? Adria seems to die but isn’t, she gets ascended, which will give a whole lot of more problems. One more episode to go, “Unending”, but we were so close to another 10 or 20 or so episodes, would have been great!
The series finale is a solid episode, perhaps even a strong episode but not fantastic episode. Perhaps in part because of the fact that it’s the series finale. It’s not like the finale of Star Trek: Enterprise thank god! In “Unending” we see the Odyssey go to the Asgard home world. The Asgard are dying and decide to give everything to the humans because they don’t want it fall in the wrong hands and because we are the fifth race. They destroy themselves while the Odyssey must escape three Ori vessels. The new Asgard technology on the Odyssey can be traced by the Ori and after a number of skirmishes Sam uses the time dilation technique to stop that final beam that would destroy them. For another 50-60 years they remain on the ship till Carter figures out how to escape from this hazardous situation.
Now there are only 2 more movies to go and then SG-1 is closed and finished for several years! Although the new Blu-ray release may tempt me in watching it again a bit sooner! I find it unbelievable that in 9 years after Stargate Universe , Stargate hasn’t returned yet as a TV show (or streaming of course). If you see what is being produced over the years, the garbage that is out there, it’s simply mind boggling there hasn’t been a new show with the name Stargate! Truly hope Brad Right can make it work within one or two years because this is just insane!
Screencaps taken from: GateWorld