Stargate SG-1: Volume 33 Review
Continuing our review of the last few Stargate SG-1 DVD releases, we continue with the four episodes included on Volume 33. 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.
Revisions (42m17s): On planet P3X-289, which was ravaged by toxins in the atmosphere four hundred years before the arrival of the Stargate SG-1 team, O'Neill, Teal'c, Jackson and Carter find a limited population living within a dome that protects the planet's inhabitants from the atmosphere. SG-1 find that every adult on P3X-289 is linked back to a central computer by a device that connects directly to their brain. As SG-1 are cut off from Stargate Command, they stay with the locals to learn more about the dome but find that changes in the dome are matched by a decreasing population whose memories are rewritten through the Link, seemingly in a bid by the central computer to conserve its failing power supply.
Lifeboat (42m17s): On planet P2A-347, SG-1 investigate a ship that crashed years before that holds its crew in cryogenic sleep, each member within their own pod. As they split up, an energy flows through the ship, knocking out the SG-1 team with only Teal'c recovering quickly enough to contact Stargate Command and get the team back through the Stargate. As the team is checked out, only Daniel Jackson shows any ill-effect, seemingly host to thirteen spirits from dead crew members from the ship on P2A-347. As Carter and Teal'c return to P2A-347 to investigate, they find Pharrin, a survivor of the crash, who may be able to help the spirts within Daniel return to their original bodies, even though it may mean the loss of his own, remaining alive within Daniel.
Enemy Mine (42m17s): When SG-1 are called to support a mining operation on planet P3X-403, run by the aggressive and short-tempered Colonel Edwards, they find both the miners and soldiers are being attached by a race of local beings. When Daniel investigates the attacks, he finds the miners from Earth are being attacked by Unas, who want the humans to leave the mine alone as they believe it to be sacred ground, were many of their elders were enslaved and worked to death by the Goa'uld. Despite protests from the military, Jackson enlists a Una, Chaka, to negotiate with the local tribe of Unas but his work is compromised when the soldiers mistakenly kill a Una.
Space Race (42m17s): Whilst SG-1 meet with the Hebridans to negotiate access to new technology, Major Carter agrees to help Warrick, a Serrakin pilot SG-1 first met in Forsaken, an episode included in Volume 30, who plans to compete in the Loop. Whilst Carter plans to use her status as a co-pilot to study Serrakin technology, Teal'c and Warrick's strangely-named brother, Eamon, investigate a likely case of sabotage whilst Warrick and Carter compete in the race. As Teal'c and Eamon find that sabotage extends throughout the competition, they must also discover who was set on causing Warrick and Carter to lose.
As with earlier volumes released by MGM, Volume 33 has been transferred in its intended aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and looks good, if no better than many other television shows on DVD.
In terms of the soundtrack, MGM Home Entertainment have ensured Volume 33 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 tried to keep a common range across each of the Season 6 releases:
SG1 Directors Series, Revisions (7m45s, 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic, 2.0 Stereo): Director Martin Wood opens this extra with Christopher Judge, Amanda Tapping and Michael Shanks sitting together and discussing the plot of the show. Intercut with this interview is behind-the-scenes footage of the episode being filmed.
SG1 Directors Series, Space Race (4m18s, 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic, 2.0 Stereo): Director Andy Mikita focuses more on the special effects in this extra than the plot or the acting, including the design of Warrick's ship and the prosthetics worn by the actors playing Warrick and Eamon.
Season 7, Stills Gallery 6: There are fifty-six still images on this release, taken from the episodes included on this disc.
Revisions Audio Commentary: Michael Shanks, director Martin Wood and DoP Jim Menard provide a solid commentary, if one that's lacking in frills, about the standalone story that opens this disc.
Lifeboat Audio Commentary: Director Peter DeLuise and DoP Peter Woeste admit at the beginning of this commentary that they love working on Stargate SG-1, thereby opening an enthusiastic commentary both about the show and this episode.
Enemy Mine Audio Commentary: Gary Jones, who plays the technician at Stargate Command and a frequent contributor to these commentaries, and director Peter DeLuise have recorded a commentary for this episode in which the director fights to get some information about the show around Jones' joking.
Space Race Audio Commentary: Director Andy Mikita, DoP Jim Menard and, in one of the few instances of a writer on the show appearing on a commentary, Damian Kindler have recorded a dry commentary with a lot of background information on the making of the episode but little laughter.
Season 7 Fan Club Spot (Weblink, 16s): Without Amanda Tapping for this season, this is a short, live-action weblink to the Fan Club URL.
Again, another strong disc from MGM Home Entertainment in their issuing of Stargate SG-1 on DVD but as with so many others, Volume 33 lacks a standout episode in the manner of Full Circle from Volume 31. Whilst Revisions and Enemy Mine are good episodes, Lifeboat and Space Race are would not be looked upon as anything other than filler over the course of Season 7 with the presence of Michael Rooker amongst the regular cast making Enemy Mine what it is. The four commentaries and the rest of the extras are worthwhile but whether this stands alone from what ought to have been a boxset remains open to question.