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MGM Studios DVD presents
Stargate SG-1: Season 5 (2001-2002)

Sam Carter: You've never seen Star Wars?
Jack O'Neill: Well, you know me and sci-fi...

- Amanda Tapping, Richard Dean Anderson

Review By: Dan Heaton  
Published: February 18, 2004

Stars: Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, Christopher Judge, Don S. Davis, Teryl Rothery
Other Stars: Carmen Argenziano, Tony Amendola, Peter Williams, John de Lancie, Peter Wingfield, Dion Johnstone, Anne-Louise Plowman, Willie Garson, Ronny Cox, Tom McBeath, Colin Cunningham, Vince Crestejo
Director: Varies

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (suitable for television audiences)
Run Time: 16h:11m:40s
Release Date: January 20, 2004
UPC: 027616901576
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- A-A-A- A

DVD Review

Entering the fifth season of Stargate SG-1, a significant degree of uncertainty arose concerning the series' future. A pivotal cast member (Michael Shanks) was growing increasingly irritated with his character's progression, which would continue during shooting. The previous year had succeeded immensely and included numerous classics that rank among the series' best episodes. How could this season not only live up to its predecessors, but also surpass them with new stories?

For viewers unfamiliar with the show, it stars Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, and Christopher Judge as explorers who travel to other worlds through a device known as a Stargate. Originally conceived by Independence Day creators Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin for a mediocre feature film, the concept has been enhanced significantly for television. This medium gives the writers time to develop the characters and move the action to countless worlds. Anderson plays Colonel Jack O'Neill, the witty, effective leader of SG-1—a four-person team that explores distant worlds and searches for new technology. They also battle the ever-present nemesis the Goa'uld, parasitic enemies who take humans as hosts. An array of additional foes also appear, including the ever-changing Replicators—a nearly invincible group of spider-like machines.

O'Neill's fellow team members include the archaeologist Dr. Daniel Jackson (Shanks), brilliant science expert Major Samantha Carter (Tapping), and the alien Jaffa Teal'c (Judge). Jackson was initially played as a bumbling intellectual by James Spader in the feature film, but he has progressed considerably since that time period. Carter is a workaholic who devotes her life to the SGC, but shares a platonic bond with O'Neill. Teal'c once served the Goa'uld Apophis and lead his army into battle, but he chose freedom and joined SG-1. He has repeatedly proven his value and succeeded in nearly impossible situations. General Hammond (Don S. Davis) and Dr. Frazier (Teryl Rothery) provide support on the home front and also play pivotal roles.

This season begins with our heroes trapped millions of light years from home and forced to battle both their Goa'uld nemesis Apophis and the Replicators. After a few top-notch episodes, the show settles into form and includes numerous solid entries. However, this year does include fewer standout stories than its predecessor. Exceptions include the Tollan's internal struggles, the resolution to the Aschen tale from 2010, a new homeland threat from the devious Colonel Simmons, and the countless in-jokes from the silly 100th episode. The highlight is a two-episode Goa'uld summit that reveals the existence of an entirely new enemy. This evil, darkly cloaked villain will continue to haunt the SGC for the next few seasons.

Stargate SG-1: The Complete Fifth Season Boxed Set includes 22 episodes that continue this compelling series in fine fashion. The overall product may fall a bit short of some preceding seasons, but plenty of memorable scenes occur, including the "death" of a major character. Luckily, the science-fiction world often gives writers a method for reviving departed souls. Bring on the episode summaries!

Written By: Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright (story), Paul Mullie (story), and Joseph Mallozzi (story)
Directed By: Martin Wood
Guest Stars: Carmen Argenziano as Jacob/Selmak, Peter Williams as Apophis, Jennifer Calvert as Councilwoman Ren Al
Commentary: Director Martin Wood, Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

Following the destruction of Apophis' massive fleet, SG-1 finds itself trapped millions of light years from home and believes Teal'c to be dead. Apophis has also survived the explosion and appears poised to destroy our heroes, but the nasty Replicators inhabit this area of the galaxy. The three opposing forces clash in a chaotic story that has to be one of the series' most expensive episodes. Teal'c has also survived, but has been seriously brainwashed by his former leader. Joined by Carter's father, SG-1 must find a way home and prevent the spread of the Replicators. This kinetic episode inaugurates the fifth season in superb fashion. It also marks yet another possible end for Apophis—the Goa'uld enemy who has haunted the group for five years. Will he make another miraculous recovery?

This action-packed episode deserves 4.5 out of 5 Stargates.

Written By: Brad Wright
Directed By: Peter DeLuise
Guest Stars: Tony Amendola as Bra'tac, Brook Parker as Drey'auc, Peter Williams as Apophis, David Lovgren as Va'lar
Commentary: Director Peter DeLuise, Christopher Judge, Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

Following sessions with military psychologists, Teal'c appears ready to resume his usual duties. Sadly, his mentor Bra'tac recognizes his continued deceit and loyalty to Apophis. The only remaining chance to save Teal'c requires them to send him near the point of death. Resting on the brink of the other side, he must then choose his ultimate fate. Dying on a table in the SGC, Teal'c relives the key moments of his past before the series began. This intriguing device allows us to gain a greater understanding of our Jaffa hero. Christopher Judge does an excellent job in this episode and deserves more screen time than his usual allotment. Tony Amendola also gives one of his best performances and reveals Bra'tac's intense dedication to his close friend.

This touching personal story earns 4 out of 5 Stargates.

Written By: Robert C. Cooper
Directed By: Martin Wood
Guest Stars: Sean Patrick Flanery as Orlin, John de Lancie as Colonel Frank Simmons, Ben Wilkinson as O'Brien
Commentary: Director Martin Wood, Amanda Tapping, Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

An encounter with an alien device knocks Carter unconscious and causes visions of a strange young man named Orlin. This guy seems to be real, but has the ability to disappear and walk through solid objects. The military immediately suspects Carter as a victim of alien manipulation and conducts surveillance on her daily life. The wonderful John de Lancie makes his first appearance as Colonel Frank Simmons and immediately clashes with General Hammond and the SGC staff. This mysterious nemesis will offer plenty of trouble for them throughout the next two years. This interesting episode provides our first significant glance into Carter's home life, which is generally nonexistent. A brief romance even begins with Orlin, but from her past experiences we know where it will lead. We also learn a bit more about the ascended beings, who play a much larger role near the end of the season.

This solid episode rates 3 out of 5 Stargates.

The Fifth Man
Written By: Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie
Directed By: Peter DeLuise
Guest Stars: Dion Johnstone as Tyler, John de Lancie as Colonel Frank Simmons
Commentary: Director Peter DeLuise, Writer Joseph Mallozzi, Writer Paul Mullie

During a brutal firefight with a horde of enemy Jaffa, O'Neill and the newly recruited Lieutenant Tyler are separated from the others. They return home for reinforcements, but are shocked to learn that Hammond knows nothing about Tyler's existence. He refuses to send them back to the planet, which strands O'Neill against an army of combatants. The Tyler mystery eventually reveals a strange alien presence that camouflages its true form from view. Meanwhile, Colonel Simmons returns and starts an extensive investigation into problems at the SGC. He interviews a frustrated Dr. Jackson, Carter, and Teal'c, and promises that his work is not finished. The obvious highlight of this show is watching O'Neill display his considerable military skills against overwhelming odds.

Poor Jaffa. This episode receives 2.5 out of 5 Stargates.

Red Sky
Written By: Ron Wilkerson
Directed By: Martin Wood
Guest Stars: Fred Applegate as Elrad, John Prosky as Malchus, Brian Jensen as Freyr
Commentary: Director Martin Wood, Amanda Tapping, Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

SG-1 once again runs into a less-advanced society blinded by their religious beliefs towards scientific truth. While these ideological episodes do sometimes provide interesting material, they can also become pretty dull. Carter speculates that their arrival through the Stargate disrupted the planet's sun and could destroy their civilization. The gang attempts to find a way to save this world, but face resistance from the population due to religious beliefs. Once again, the Asgard have used a Norse God to assist a society, but they refuse to save them. Will SG-1 discover a way to undo this calamity? This episode is mildly interesting, but it seems a bit too similar to events of some past episodes.

This episode rates 2 out of 5 Stargates.

Rite of Passage
Written By: Heather E. Ash
Directed By: Peter DeLuise
Guest Stars: Colleen Rennison as Cassandra, Jaqueline Samuda as Nirrti, Richard de Klerk as Dominic
Commentary: Director Peter DeLuise, Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

Cassandra (the girl from Season One's Singularity) has become a teenager and even has a boyfriend named Dominic. While standing with him on the porch, however, she collapses and is in very bad shape. Her body is changing inexplicably, and Dr. Frasier can do nothing to save her adopted daughter. Events become more complicated when a Goa'uld presence is detected on the base. This episode includes a remarkable performance from Teryl Rothery in showing Dr. Frasier's immense frustration at possibly losing her daughter. Her actions are completely believable and bring an additional emotional context to a solid episode.

Some interesting personal dilemmas earn this episode 3 out of 5 Stargates.

Beast of Burden
Written By: Peter DeLuise
Directed By: Martin Wood
Guest Stars: Larry Drake as Burrock, Dion Johnstone as Chaka
Commentary: Director Martin Wood, Director of Photography Jim Menard, Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

Daniel's Unas friend Chaka (The First Ones) has been captured and is being used for slave labor, so SG-1 rushes to save him. However, larger issues arise when they discover that the entire Unas population is being treated as slaves by the humans. Should SG-1 interfere with their culture and ultimately bring about the deaths of countless people? The humans are lead by the hulking Burrock, who will do anything to retain the status quo, and he is a worthy adversary. The primary conflict here exists between Daniel and Jack, who express differing but equally understandable views. Their interaction makes this episode a worthwhile experience.

The troubling moral conflicts earn this story 3 out of 5 Stargates.

The Tomb
Written By: Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie
Directed By: Peter DeLuise
Guest Stars:
Commentary: Director Peter DeLuise, Writer Joseph Mallozzi, Writer Paul Mullie

An ancient tomb, the Russians, a vicious creature, a long-buried Goa'uld. These elements promise a compelling tale, and for the most part this episode succeeds. It does venture into typical horror-film cliché territory a few times, but the overall tone works nicely. SG-l must team with the formidable Colonel Zukhov and his team to determine what happened to a Russian team that entered their Stargate. They discover the presence of a strange creature that has eaten several humans in nasty fashion. The Goa'uld Marduk may also still be around to wreak havoc within the tomb. Throughout the mission, O'Neill and Zukhov clash over each action, which reveals possible secret orders on the Russian side.

This action-packed episode earns 3.5 out of 5 Stargates.

Between Two Fires
Written By: Ron Wilkerson
Directed By: William Gereghty
Guest Stars: Garwin Sanford as Narim, Marie Stillin as Travell, Peter Wingfield as Tanith
Commentary: Director William Gereghty, Director of Photography Jim Menard, Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

During past encounters, the technologically superior Tollan race have refused to share any of their defense capabilities with the SGC due to fears they would destroy themselves. Following the death of the leader Omac, they amazingly change their tune and offer their technology. O'Neill and Dr. Jackson are immediately skeptical, and their suspicions increase when their friend Narim reveals a possible conspiracy. The drastic change in policy makes little sense, and the usually noble Tollan appear to be hiding a big secret. This intriguing episode ranks among the best of the season and could mean the end for Tollana. Garwin Sanford does well as the conflicted Narim, who wants to believe his suspicions are false. We also hear rumblings about a possibly new Goa'uld enemy of considerable power.

Another Goa'uld villain? Will Earth share in Tollana's sad fate? This episode receives a well deserved 4.5 out of 5 Stargates.

Written By: Brad Wright
Directed By: Peter DeLuise
Guest Stars: Christopher Cousins as Joseph Faxon, Dion Luther as Molum, Robert Moloney as Borren, Ronny Cox as Senator Kinsey
Commentary: Director Peter DeLuise, Writer Joseph Mallozzi, and Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

Seven months earlier, the SGC received a mysterious note from the future warning them not to visit P4C-970. The reasons for this message were explained in Season Four's classic 2010 episode. The members of SG-1 have now returned from an apparently successful mission to negotiate trade with the Aschen, a technologically superior race. However, this alien race has no sense of humor or apparent emotions, which makes O'Neill suspicious. While Ambassador Joseph Faxon negotiates an agreement, Dr. Jackson and Teal'c make a startling discovery. Is Earth doomed to fall into the same trap presented in 2010? Meanwhile, Faxon seems smitten with Carter, who must make a split-second decision to save her world. This episode falls slightly below its companion piece, but it still provides an entertaining and nerve-wracking experience.

Those "boring" Aschen must have ulterior motives. This entry rates 4 out of 5 Stargates.

Desperate Measures
Written By: Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie
Directed By: William Gereghty
Guest Stars: John de Lancie as Colonel Simmons, Tom McBeath as Harry Maybourne, Bill Marchant as Adrian Conrad
Commentary: Director William Gereghty, Director of Photography Jim Menard, Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

When Carter is mysteriously abducted by figures in black, O'Neill makes an unofficial investigation into her disappearance. He enlists the help of old friend and government fugitive Harry Maybourne, who actually directs him towards the devious Colonel Simmons. The search eventually leads to the ailing billionaire Adrian Conrad, who seeks a Goa'uld symbiote to cure his disease and Carter's assistance to remain himself. This tense episode brings the Goa'uld threat close to home and reveals a growing human threat. Carter's experience with Jolinar once again makes her a target, and O'Neill's strong dedication to her once again is revealed.

This episode earns a strong 4 out of 5 Stargates.

Wormhole X-Treme!
Written By: Brad Wright, Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie
Directed By: Peter DeLuise
Guest Stars: Willie Garson as Martin Lloyd, Michael DeLuise as Nick Marlowe/Colonel Danning, Peter DeLuise as Director, Jill Teed as Yolanda Reese/Stacy Monroe
Commentary: Director Peter DeLuise, Writer Joseph Mallozzi, Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

For the show's 100th episode, its creators decided to provide a satire that spoofs both this series and the science-fiction genre in general. Fans are generally split on its merits, but I find the in-jokes very enjoyable. The story works as a sequel to Point of No Return, which guest starred Willie Garson as the alien Martin Lloyd. This time he's been brainwashed to forget about his true nature, but he remembers the Stargate program and creates a television show called "Wormhole X-Treme." O'Neill travels to the set as a military advisor, and the silliness begins. This episode cleverly makes fun of typical aspects and includes screen time for many crew members. Numerous jokes will only make sense after hearing the commentary, which points out plenty of interesting material.

Don't worry, the show's on cable. This episode receives 3.5 out of 5 Stargates.

Proving Ground
Written By: Ron Wilkerson
Directed By: Andy Mikita
Guest Stars: Courtney J. Stevens as Elliott, Elisabeth Rosen as Jennifer Hailey, Grace Park as Satterfield, David Kopp as Grogan, and Michael Kopsa as General Kerrigan
Commentary: Director Andy Mikita, Director of Photography Jim Menard, Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

This unique episode shifts the emphasis to a batch of new recruits training to possibly join the SGC in the future. Elisabeth Rosen returns as the brilliant Jennifer Hailey, the young girl who mystified Carter in Season Four's Prodigy. The young team is lead by Lieutenant Elliott, a devoted but slightly indecisive guy, and they are struggling with O'Neill's difficult training missions. When an apparent foothold situation threatens the base, the recruits must face a real-life situation for the first time. However, all may not be as it seems. This story gives us a much-different perspective on SG-1 as experienced travelers with little patience for the new batch. The best moments involve Jackson and O'Neill acting out their part to fool the kids. Due to the emphasis on the new characters, this tale is sometimes awkward, but it still represents a worthy effort.

This interesting but slightly flat episode rates 2.5 out of 5 Stargates.

48 Hours
Written By: Robert C. Cooper
Directed By: Peter F. Woeste
Guest Stars: David Hewlett as Dr. McKay, Tom McBeath as Harry Maybourne, Colin Cunningham as Major Davis, John de Lancie as Colonel Frank Simmons
Commentary: Director Peter F. Woeste, Director of Photography Andy Wilson

Teal'c finally gets a chance to enact revenge against his hated enemy Tanith, but the ensuing destruction leaves him trapped in limbo within a wormhole. If anyone dials in or out of Earth's Stargate, Teal'c will disintegrate and never appear again. Dr. Jackson and Major Davis journey to Russia in hopes of acquiring their dial home device for use in saving Teal'c, but the price may be very high. Meanwhile, Colonel Simmons arrives with the arrogant Dr. McKay, who questions every move from Carter. Events become even more complicated when O'Neill realizes that Simmons has made a deal with the Goa'uld inside Adrian Conrad. Essentially a sequel to Desperate Measures, this exciting tale wraps up several ongoing stories and includes plenty of great personal interaction.

I hope Teal'c survives; I'd really miss our stoic friend. This one rates 4 out of 5 Stargates.

Written By: Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie
Directed By: Martin Wood
Guest Stars: Anne-Louise Plowman as Osiris/Sarah, Carmen Argenziano as Jacob/Selmak, Courtney J. Stevens as Lieutenant Elliott, Jennifer Calvert as Ren Al, Kevin Durand as Zipacna
Commentary: Director Martin Wood, Writer Joseph Mallozzi, Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

The entire season has been leading up to this pivotal two-part story. All of the key Goa'uld System Lords have agreed to meet at a neutral site to discuss their current situation. Dr. Jackson joins Jacob Carter in a daring mission to destroy them all with a vicious poison. Events become more complicated with the arrival of Osiris, whose host is Daniel's former love Sarah. We learn further details about the mysterious and powerful Goa'uld mentioned previously. Meanwhile, the familiar foe Zipacna launches a massive attack against the Tok'ra base for this new enemy. Little hope exists for the victims trapped underneath the planet, who include O'Neill, Carter, and Teal'c. This episode keeps the tension high and leads perfectly into the energetic conclusion.

Things don't look good for SG-1, but this fine episode deserves 4.5 out of 5 Stargates.

Last Stand
Written By: Robert C. Cooper
Directed By: Martin Wood
Guest Stars: Anne-Louise Plowman as Osiris/Sarah, Carmen Argenziano as Jacob/Selmak, Courtney J. Stevens as Elliott/Lantash, Vince Crestejo as Yu
Commentary: Director Martin Wood, Writer Robert C. Cooper, Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

In the conclusion to the key two-part story, Osiris reveals the name of her System Lord to the summit members. They are shocked at this news, as the particular Goa'uld is a powerful figure believed dead long ago. When the meeting concludes, Dr. Jackson must find a way to escape before the System Lords slaughter them all. Meanwhile, the other SG-1 members continue to search for a means of escape from Zipacna's deadly attack. Events are complicated by the existence of the Tok'ra symbiote Lantash, who formerly existed inside of Martouf. He has joined with the injured Lieutenant Elliott to save both of them, but it may be impossible. This conclusion retains its predecessor's excitement and includes moments that will affect the series for the next few years.

Here come the Goa'uld again. This episode rates 4.5 out of 5 Stargates.

Fail Safe
Written By: Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie
Directed By: Andy Mikita
Guest Stars: Colin Cunningham as Major Davis
Commentary: Director Andy Mikita, Writer Paul Mullie, Director of Photography Jim Menard, Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

Haven't we seen this movie? O'Neill wisely states this thought when they learn that an asteroid is hurtling towards Earth. If they cannot divert its path, the hurtling mass will totally destroy our civilization. Using the damaged Tok'ra scout ship from the previous episode, SG-1 must repair the vessel, fly back to Earth, land on the asteroid, plant a bomb, and escape the devestation. This plan seems filled with possible difficulties, and many of them arise during this mission. It's enjoyable to see all four team members working together to solve a problem, even if it's not entirely original. The writers do inject plenty of series elements to keep the story from feeling too much like an imitation.

The team episodes are becoming less typical, so this episode deserves 3 out of 5 Stargates.

The Warrior
Written By: Peter DeLuise, Christopher Judge (story)
Directed By: Peter DeLuise
Guest Stars: Rick Worthy as Kytano, Tony Amendola as Bra'tac, Vince Crestejo as Yu, Obi Ndefo as Rak'nor
Commentary: Director Peter DeLuise, Stunt Coordinator/Stunt Double Dan Shea

SG-1 journeys to the planet of Cal Mah and meets Kytano, the former First Prime of the Goa'uld Imhotep. This charismatic leader has rallied an army of Jaffa warriors who have rebelled against their System Lords. Unfortunately, his methods are eerily similar to those of the Goa'uld and raise questions from O'Neill. Teal'c believes in this cause and even agrees to an assassination mission that could be suicide. The internal conflict between his Jaffa pride and the realities presented by O'Neill carries strongly throughout the episode. The other notable element is the impressive hand-to-hand combat, which incorporates Matrix-style techniques to generate considerable excitement.

This decent episode earns 3 out of 5 Stargates.

Written By: Peter DeLuise, James Tichenor (story)
Directed By: Martin Wood
Guest Stars: Danielle Nicolet as Reese
Commentary: Director Martin Wood, Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

SG-1 visits an apparently devastated planet but returns with Reese—a striking android woman of mysterious origins. Events become more complicated when Replicator blocks are discovered on her planet, which lies in Earth's galaxy. Reese may possess the key to understanding the unstoppable enemy, but her childlike mentality makes any progress difficult. When things go awry and Replicators start to overtake the base, Daniel must plead with her to save Earth from a similar fate to her own. This intriguing episode finds a clever method to explain the Replicators' creation that I never would have expected. Reese is a remarkable character and is both a genial and deadly figure. In typical Stargate fashion, events doesn't always conclude in the best manner possible.

This gripping tale earns 3.5 out of 5 Stargates.

The Sentinel
Written By: Ron Wilkerson
Directed By: Peter DeLuise
Guest Stars: Henry Gibson as Marul, Frank Cassini as Grieves, Christina Cox as Kershaw, David Kopp as Grogan
Commentary: Director Peter DeLuise, Gary Jones ("The Technician")

In arguably the season's least-interesting episode, SG-1 must team with the convicted criminals Colonel Grieves and Lieutenant Kershaw to save a civilization facing a Goa'uld threat. The previews would have us believe that these characters originally appeared in Season Three's Shades of Gray, but they're actually different from the originals. The planet faces a serious threat from the Goa'uld System Lord Svarog, and its usual defense mechanism—the Sentinel—has been disrupted in the past by Grieves and Kershaw. Can they fix the device and save the world before it's too late?

While including a few exciting action scenes, this episode rates a disappointing 2 out of 5 Stargates.

Written By: Robert C. Cooper
Directed By: William Waring
Guest Stars: Corin Nemec as Jonas Quinn, Carmen Argenziano as Jacob/Selmak, Mel Harris as Oma Desala
Commentary: Director William Waring, Director of Photography Jim Menard

Daniel Jackson is exposed to a lethal dose of radiation saving the deaths of millions from a massive explosion, and the effects may not be reversible. While his body begins to falter, each team member deals with the situation in a different fashion. We also meet the brilliant Jonas Quinn, who will play a pivotal role in the next season. I'm going to forego discussing this episode any further and allow viewers to experience it for themselves. The conclusion is a sad moment, but it is conducted with an emotional maturity typical of this fine series.

It may anger certain fans, but I believe this episode deserves the highest rating. It receives 5 out of 5 Stargates.

Written By: Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie
Directed By: Martin Wood
Guest Stars: Anne-Louise Plowman as Sarah/Osiris, Teryl Rothery as Heimdall, David Palffy as Anubis
Commentary: Director Martin Wood, Writer Joseph Mallozzi, Writer Paul Mullie, Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor

I'm a big fan of Anne-Louise Plowman as Osiris, and her inclusion nearly guarantees a classic episode. Her attractive presence clashes well with the nasty Goa'uld inside her, and Plowman plays the role perfectly. This season finale begins with Osiris challenging the Asgard with new shields that counteract their usually superior technology. They capture Thor and bring him directly to the new Goa'uld threat, who we finally meet in person. Still dealing with the loss of Dr. Jackson, Teal'c, Carter, and O'Neill attempt a daring rescue of a key Asgard figure. This impressive episode brings our heroes directly into contact with the new enemy, which leads to an engaging story. It also marks a departure for the series in being the first season not to conclude with a cliffhanger.

This season ends powerfully and sets up numerous stories for the upcoming season. This one rates 4 out of 5 Stargates.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Rationo

Image Transfer Review: This boxed set retains the success of preceding seasons and provides an impressive transfer throughout the entire 22 episodes. The shows initially appeared with a full-frame transfer on television, but here they utilize solid 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers. The unique special effects shine with bright colors from the screen, which enhances the believability of the outer-space stories. This collection appears to even represent a slight improvement over the fourth season. It includes few moments of grain or defects, which leads to a powerful viewing experience.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Stargate SG-1 includes numerous audio effects to create the illusion of a much larger scale than the budget allows. Especially impressive are the Replicator sounds in Enemies, the Aschen harvesters in 2001, and the crash of the scout ship in Summit. Numerous other examples of impressive sounds appear from the strong 5.1-channel Dolby Digital transfer. The Stargate effects are stronger than ever, and the catchy theme song has a nice familiar beat. The original television source material does limit this release's effectiveness, but the problem is a very minor one.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 110 cues and remote access
5 Featurette(s)
22 Feature/Episode commentaries by Cast and crew commentaries with each episode
Packaging: Box Set
Picture Disc
5 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Stargate SG-1: Season Five represents yet another improvement in the series' DVD progression. The early seasons including dull promotional featurettes and little else, but each subsequent release has offered additional supplements. The most significant change occurred with the inclusion of crew commentary tracks with each fourth season episode, and that trend continues with this collection. The cast members even get involved this time; Amanda Tapping joins the commentary for Ascension and Red Sky, and Christopher Judge speaks about Threshold. Both actors seem to really enjoy discussing the show, and their considerable pride is evident during the tracks. These cast inclusions are worthwhile, but it would have been even better to hear from Michael Shanks and Richard Dean Anderson. Meridian was an episode that begged for a commentary from Shanks to cover his departure. Most tracks include the director, writer, and Visual Effects Supervisor James Tichenor. Martin Wood once again does an excellent job at explaining the process, and Peter DeLuise's silliness is a bit more acceptable this time.

This release also includes an interesting collection of featurettes that have brief running times but provide real behind-the-scenes experiences. The best involve video diaries from Shanks, Tapping, and Judge, who each take a portable camera and wander through various aspects of the production. This gives us a personal take on the camraderie of the cast and obvious enjoyment they take in their work. Descriptions of the individual featurettes are included below:

SG-1 Video Diary: Amanda Tapping (11:42)
Tapping generally seems to be the most active in promoting the show, and her interviews reveal a sparkling personality. This demeanor is on display during her trek through the sets of Red Sky with a portable camera. She walks through the food line and even shows us some fun stunt work.

SG-1 Video Diary: Christopher Judge (10:22)
Judge spends much of his time interviewing director Peter DeLuise, who is never at a loss for words about the series. They also stroll through the sets of The Warrior and cover some of the episode's more impressive fight scenes.

SG-1 Video Diary: Michael Shanks (10:59)
Shanks actually takes us behind the scenes of the behind-the-scenes part of the show, which is a silly inclusion. The best elements of this feature involve him strolling through the space station used on Summit and interacting with the Goa'uld actors. Anne-Louise Plowman (Sarah/Osiris) and Vince Crestejo (Yu) both have a silly time in front of the camera.

Inside the Tomb (6:14)
Peter DeLuise guides us through the set of The Tomb and discusses the basic elements of this story. This type of short featurette actually does a better job than a longer promotional piece because we actually view some worthwhile elements about the show's creation.

Dr. Daniel Jackson: A Tribute (6:22)
Why are they doing a tribute to Daniel Jackson? Does this mean he'll never return to the series? This collection of scenes and short interviews quickly covers the character's evolution and presents some of his finest moments.

This excellent DVD release deserves tremendous credit for including plenty of worthwhile information within its commentaries and featurettes. However, there still are a few more items I'd love to see in upcoming seasons. Bringing all the main cast members together for a commentary would be especially interesting. I also hope to see a more comprehensive documentary about the series instead of merely shorter pieces. The previous season included what supposedly was Part One of a larger documentary, but oddly it was not continued with this season. Hopefully, future collections will rectify this issue and offer an even better viewing experience.

Extras Grade: A


Final Comments

The fifth season of Stargate SG-1 represents a transition from the more team-oriented stories of earlier times to the often-separate tales of upcoming years. Additionally, the focus continues to shift towards more Earth-bound stories instead of the new worlds visited previously. However, the acting remains strong across the board, and the writers continue to find interesting places to go with each character. Fans will also be happy to know that the wait for another Stargate release will be very short; the Season 6 boxed set appears in stores on March 2nd.


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