March 1st, 2006 17:01 EST
Stargate: From the Big Screen to the Small
In 1994, audiences went through a wormhole that was the gateway to another universe, another world. That gateway was known as the Stargate, which is exactly the name of the movie.
Now, 12 years later, it has gone from a hit movie to a hit television series with a hit spin-off. Since 1997, Stargate SG-1, the small-screen sequel of the original film, has found success on the Showtime Network, and was syndicated a year later. However, when the series moved to the SCIFI Channel in 2002, Stargate SG-1 became an even bigger hit and found new legions of fans.
Picking up where the movie left off, the series follows the adventures of a military team traveling through the Stargate, discovering and exploring new worlds while battling intergalactic enemies such as the alien Goa'uld.
The original team:
Col./Gen. Jack O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson)
Dr. Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks)
Maj./Col. Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping) Teal'c (Christopher Judge), a Jaffa
General Hammond (Don S. Davis) was originally the head of Stargate Command (SGC) until the end of season seven (Davis returned for a guest spot this season).
Since moving to SCIFI in 2002, there have been cast changes. At the start of season six, Jackson was ascended (Shanks left the series but returned for three episodes) and replaced by Jonas Quinn (Corin Nemec). But thanks to major fan support, he returned to Earth in season seven, and Jonas returned to his home world (but Nemec also returned in guest appearances). At the beginning of season eight, O'Neill became the new head of the SGC. Season 8 marks the end of the ongoing war with the Goa'uld, and the departure of O'Neill (Anderson also returned for guest spots this season) -- and maybe the end of SG-1 (not!). However, this was only the beginning.
When you watch season nine of Stargate SG-1, it looks a little bit like a new show, and you are right. Farscape alum Ben Browder is Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell, the new SG-1 leader and the person responsible for slowly but surely "getting the band back together". Respected actor Beau Bridges joins the show as Gen. Hank Landry, the new head of the SGC. Claudia Black, another Farscape alum, also comes on board on as the morally conflicted but lovable con artist Vala. Originally, to be on the show for a few episodes, Black will become a regular cast member next season. The chemistry between her and Shanks is great-- especially when there is humor in the dialogue between them.
Religion plays an important role this season with the arrival of the Ori, a new threat to humanity whose ways seem benevolent, but therein hides a hidden agenda for their purpose for humanity. Season 9 will end this Friday with a two-part season finale, starting with the return of Vala alerting SG-1 with bad news involving the Ori. But do not worry. Stargate SG-1 has already been renewed for a tenth season, becoming the longest-running sci-fi series in American history, with The X-Files coming in second.
Seasons 1-8 are already out on DVD, or catch SG-1 in action from the beginning on the SCIFI Channel every weekday, or last season every weekend in syndication. Time to unlock the gate!