Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stargate SG-1, Season 1, Episode 1

"Children of the Gods"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating: Excellent

Beginning a year, or so, after the events in the movie Stargate, the stargate on Abydos is believed destroyed.  The stargate on Earth is idle.  Most of the research on the stargate is shut down, with only a skeleton crew of military personnel in the area near the artifact before it is put in storage.  Unexpectedly, the stargate activates, and a group of humanoid beings -- including one who is reminiscent of Ra -- emerges from the stargate.

Contemptuous of the armed humans near the stargate, this new menace deals death, and kidnaps a sergeant, before returning through the stargate.  Jack O’Neill is called back by the military, his fabrication about the final events on Abydos exposed.  With a new team assembled, O'Neill heads through the stargate back to Abydos, determined to discover the source of this new threat.  The mission takes the team to alien worlds, where they meet new friends, making new discoveries, and new enemies.

Many characters from the movie are back, most being portrayed by different actors.  Richard Dean Anderson as Jack O’Neill (now spelled with two Ls) maintains Jack's stoicism, and warrior attributes, while adding the dimension of wry humor.   Michael Shanks as Daniel Jackson is eerily similar to James Spader's Jackson, however, over time, Shanks will put his own stamp on Jackson, without distorting the character.  Other returning characters in this episode who are portrayed by different actors are Sha’re (formerly spelled Shau’ri); Kawalsky, and Ferretti.  New characters mesh well, including: Sam Carter; General Hammond; Teal’c, and Apophis.

Joel Goldsmith’s music score is phenomenal.  Grand, haunting, powerful, and iconic.

Stargate SG-1 is not a sequel to, or a re-make of, Stargate.  The movie Stargate, gave us a tiny peek at the use of a stable wormhole - the stargate - to travel a vast interstellar distance to one other planet in seconds.  This pilot episode of SG-1 throws the door wide open, allowing us to enter, and fully experience the extraordinary possibilities available with a network of stargates, going to many different planets.  I admire the deft touch used to decide which aspects of the movie to keep, and which to alter for the television series.

I think this is the most difficult review I’ll write for Stargate Re-Watch.  “Children of the Gods” is a transition from the movie, to the television series, which lasted for 10 seasons.  Describing virtually any scene from this episode would be a spoiler, as new characters are introduced, new scenarios set up, and the end thread of the movie is spun into a fantastic fabric of adventure.

For those who want spoilers, visit Gateworld’s "Children of the Gods" page.  There you can view a summary, and a full transcript, of this episode, and lots more.

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