Stargate SG-1: Volume 31 Review
Continuing our review of the last few Stargate SG-1 DVD releases, we continue with the four episodes included on Volume 31. Please refer to the review of Stargate SG-1 Vol. 29 for a summary of the show and to the text below for the two episodes included on this release.
Prophecy (42m14s): When the SG-1 team arrive on planet P4S-237, they find the local population in fear of Lord Maat but also convinced that the arrival of SG-1 will fulfil a prophecy. As Jonas enjoys a meal to welcome the arrival of SG-1, he has a vision that allows him a brief glimpse of the future before passing out. On his return to Earth, the visions continue, prompting an investigation by the Stargate medical team, with Jonas explaining what he is seeing as a result is as a result of the gene-splicing experiments carried out by Nirrti during the episode Metamorphosis. As one of the locals on P4S-237 betrays his elders and O'Neill and Teal'c from SG-1, it is left to Jonas to attempt to foretell what will happen.
Full Circle (42m11s): Daniel Jackson, having previously joined the Others, who are a higher race of beings, appears to O'Neill at Stargate Command telling him that Anubis has located the Eye of Ra. This object, long thought to be no more than a fable, is hidden somewhere on Abydos and with Daniel's help, SG-1 both find the Eye Of Ra and defend it from Anubis' ground troops. These troops, however, trap SG-1 inside a temple and threaten to destroy the planet of Abydos unless O'Neill gives them the Eye Of Ra but, in return, O'Neill threatens to destroy the eye unless he gets clear access to the Stargate.
As with Volume 29, Stargate SG-1 has been transferred in its intended aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and once again looks good, in particular the episode Full Circle, which, as the finale to season six, closes with a barrage of special effects as the ancient temple is destroyed by Anubis.
As with previous releases of Stargate SG-1, MGM Home Entertainment have ensured Volume 31 retains the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround audio track, which, whilst having strong front channels, is rather weak in the rears, being used mainly for ambient and sound effects.
Given that it has a similar range of extras as Volume 29 of Stargate SG-1, MGM has been obviously tried to keep a common range across each of the Season 6 releases:
SG1 Directors Series, Prophecy (10m40s, 1.33:1, 2.0 Stereo): Director William Waring explains the process of directing an episode of Stargate SG-1 from his preparation on first reading the script to, in this episode, realising Jonas' glimpses of the future.
SG1 Directors Series, Full Circle (11m53s, 1.33, 2.0 Stereo): Director Martin Wood discusses and shows behind-the-scenes footage from the closing episode of season six, including video footage of Anubis from behind-the-mask and the preparation for the destruction of the great pyramid.
SG1 Video Diary (11m10s, 1.33, 2.0 Stereo): Star of the series, Richard Dean Anderson, opens this video diary whilst cycling to work and provides a chatty and informal look at his work behind the scenes on the show, including rehearsals, action sequences and the actual shot.
Season 6, Stills Gallery 6: There are twenty still images on this release, taken from the episodes included on this disc.
Prophecy Audio Commentary: William Waring DoP Peter Woeste and Chief Lighting Technician Rick Dean contribute a documentary that, with humour that never sounds forced, is still a little dry, technical and prone to commenting on what is happening on-screen.
Full Circle Audio Commentary: The commentary offered by Martin Wood and DoP Jim Menard is much more talky than that on Prophecy and, with both Martin and Jim sounding comfortable, is more relaxed, informative and honest about the problems with the visual effects and realisation of the script.
The Lowdown (1.78:1 Anamorphic, 2.0 Stereo): Broken into two parts (29m48s and 24m59s), this is not what might be called a serious look at Stargate SG-1 as each character jokes about their part and those of their colleagues, as well as the action in the upcoming season seven. Best moment? Most of the moments with Michael Shanks ("Great friends with the crew, great friends. What are their names? Ummm...the crew?") and the number of clips that show the play on The Wizard Of Oz within the scripts for the series.
Season 6 Fan Club Spot (Weblink, 16s): Amanda Tapping appears during this short, live-action weblink to the Fan Club URL.
Full Circle is a wonderful finale to season six with even its title confirming its link back to the original Roland Emmerich film. With good humour, great effects, a cast that's bonded as strong as any on television and with an ongoing story regarding the threat to Earth from hostile aliens, I'm warming to Stargate SG-1 as the reviews of these DVD's progress. With Full Circle, I've seen the best that this series has to offer to date and despite there being only two episodes, this remains a strong offering from MGM.