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Star Greats
Children of the Gods
The opening double-length episode is effectively ‘Stargate II’, the sequel to the movie, and is actually better than the original.

The Torment of Tantalus
We discover that experiments on the Earth Stargate in 1945 were in fact successful and the SG-1 team discover the world’s first intergalactic traveller still alive on a far off world.

Within the Serpent’s Grasp
Skaara makes his return appearance in the cliffhanger conclusion to the first season.
Star Greats
Life is too short to watch Brief Candle, an episode about a world where people age at an alarming rate; and the series uninterestingly comes back down to Earth in Politics when a senator holds a hearing to decide whether the Stargate project should be shut down.
The Premise: The US military have control of an ancient alien artefact known as the Stargate which allows instant transportation to hundreds of far-off alien worlds. General Hammond is charged with the task of defending the Earth from attack by the Eygyptianesque alien StarGate SG-1's eliteGoa’uld who use the Stargates for conquest. Standing between the Goa’uld and the Earth are nine squads of elite soldiers with the first, SG-1, led by Colonel Jack O’Neill, assisted by Dr Daniel Jackson.

Background: StarGate was originally a movie starring Kurt Russell and James Spader. The key roles, however, were recast when the movie was transformed into a series. Unlike other shows adapted from movies, Stargate SG-1 is a direct sequel to the film, picking up the action one year later.

First Run: Produced for America’s Showtime channel, Stargate SG-1 began its first run in July 1997.

Number of Episodes: The first two seasons will total 43 episodes which includes the double length introductory episode.

Good Gate Guys: O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson of McGyver fame); Jackson (Michael Shanks); Teal’c (Christopher Judge) an alien ‘Jaffa’ who used to serve the Goa’uld; Captain Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping); General Hammond (Don S Davis – Bobby’s military dad in Twin Peaks and Scully’s military dad in The X-Files); Dr Fraiser (Teryl Rothery).

Bad Gate Guys: Top god with the glowing eyes Apophis (Peter Williams) leads the Goa’uld in their conquest of the galaxy. He abducts Jackson’s native wife, Sha’re (Vaitiare Bandera) – who plays host to his Goa’uld wife – and the native boy Skaara (Alexis Cruz) who becomes his son. Alexis is the only actor from the movie to recreate his role for the series.

And Isn’t That...
Star Trek (and Buffy)’s Armin Shimerman guest stars in The Nox as Anteaus; Trek semi-regular Dwight Schultz is The Keeper in The Gamekeeper; and the voice of Darth Vader, James Earl Jones, becomes the voice of Unas in Thor’s Hammer.

Overdone Clichés: Inevitably it’s another gate, another planet each week. Also, early episodes were often sub-standard imitations of Star Trek before the series was able to forge its own identity and style.

Fashion Statements: Step back in Time and choose your era. Egyptian? Norse? Ancient Greek? They’re all here in a variety of culture clashing combinations.

Photos © Showtime
John Ainsworth

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