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Stargate SG-1: The Complete Tenth Season (review)

It’s not really the series finale, since it doesn’t really wrap things up and we’ve got direct-to-DVD movies on the way, but still: This is really kinda sorta the last you’ll ever see of the SG-1 gang. For a while. The 10th and final batch of episodes, spread across five discs, is wildly hit or miss: the Ori and Merlin story arcs never really satisfy; the Lucian Alliance stories only hinted at the lost promise of the dramatic backdrop of a newly balkanized galaxy that was never capitalized upon; and the hints that Sam Carter (Amanda Tapping) and Cam Mitchell (Ben Browder) are on the verge of hooking up is totally uncalled for, particularly when all we true fans know perfectly well that Sam and the lamentably absent Jack O’Neill are carrying on a long-distance romance between Cheyenne Mountain and Area 51. Still, this season contains standalone episodes that rank with the series’ very best. “Insiders,” with all its multiple Baals (Cliff Simon), one of the show’s hottest, coolest Goa’uld baddies; “Memento Mori,” which takes the cliché of the stint with amnesia — in this case, Vala’s (Claudia Black) — in a bittersweet direction; “Bad Guys,” tweaking our heroes’ attitudes about themselves; “Family Ties,” with Fred Willard as Vala’s con-man father. But this entire set might be worth it for one episode alone: “200,” the series’ 200th episode, featuring the return of Wormhole Xtreme creator Martin Lloyd (Willie Garson) and a selection of sci-fi sendups that are as loving as they are hilarious. Best. Episode. Ever? Maybe. Extras include behind-the-scenes featurettes, production design galleries, audio commentaries, and — oh ho! — an exclusive trailer for the first direct-to-DVD Stargate feature film, The Ark of Truth. [buy at Amazon]

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  • David C

    Huh, interesting, I’ve *never* gotten the vibe of a Sam/Cam pairing, myself.

    I think the show has been remarkably consistent over the years, and still very fresh. I continue to be delighted by Michael Shanks’ somewhat surprising talent for comedy, which is used more and more in the later seasons.

  • http://www.goodvevil.com Jester

    Your opinions of both seasons 9 and 10 track with mine. Do you think Stargate SG-1 is the best argument yet for ending a series at the top of its game?

    Ira Steven Behr caught a truck-load of crap for ending Star Trek: DS9 at season 7, given that there were at least two more years of shows that could have easily been done. But DS9 exited on what was one of its strongest seasons, with only a very few fatigue-driven episodes. Ronald Moore and David Eick will catch a starship-load of crap for ending BSG next year after four years, but their ratio of good eps to bad is extraordinarily high, a ratio that should only go up in S4 with the end in sight.

    My opinion is that SG-1 should have been ended at the end of S8, but shambled on for two more years despite a lack of creative juice just because the producers had a big pile of money thrown at them. But the series should be used as a teaching case for what happens when you continue a series past its natural end date.

    Not saying SG-1 isn’t a good series; it’s an absolutely insanely great series. But IMO, it’s an insanely great series that went on two years too long.