MGM Video & DVD
MSRP: $16.49
Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes

- Commentary by Brad Wright ad Richard Dean Anderson
- Back to the Beginning featurette

The Pitch

The 12-year-old Stargate: SG-1 pilot gets the Star Trek: The Original Series - Remastered treatment. 

The Humans

Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, Christopher
Judge, Don S. Davis, Jay Acovone, Vaitiare Bandera, Alexis Cruz, Peter Williams.

The Nutshell

Twelve years after it premiered on Showtime and two years after completing its fabled ten-year run, Stargate: SG-1 gets a rare reworking in the vein of Star Trek.  Sporting updated special effects and a re-edit, the show’s pilot, Children of the Gods gives a new spin on the first adaptation of the Kurt Russell / James Spader theatrical original.

“WTF?  You dialed Arnold Vosloo again…”

The Lowdown

This is a fairly rare thing that’s going on here courtesy of executive producer Brad Wright.  Wright was presented with the opportunity to redo the pilot for the show and make it more a theatrical thing and less a hopeful start of a series thing.  To my knowledge, a pilot has never been reworked like this except for Star Trek: TOS, but that was part of a hotly anticipated and much-needed revamping and updating of the entire 40-year-old,  79-episode run.  SG-1 is nowhere near that old, but the changes made here are nonetheless noticeable.  The running time has been trimmed by over seven minutes, a few plot holes plugged, and some awkward moments taken out among other things.

I was a fan of the show and saw every episode, and it’s interesting to take a look back at this starting point to see how the show evolved over its decade-long run.  I think that the changes made in this final cut have gotten things more in line with where the show ended up; and it’s surprising how far special effects evolve in just ten years or so.  They put that new technology to good use by giving the pilot a more theatrical look, cleaning up the print and tightening up the story.

“Which snake you want to see first, baby?”

Some of the more notable editing cuts include the cringe-worthy intro of Amanda Tapping’s Capt. Samantha Carter and her line of reproductive organs when engaging Richard Dean Anderson’s Jack O’Neill during the pre-mission briefing.  They also got rid of some unneeded exposition and interchange between certain characters, such as O’Neill and the ate Don S. Davis’ Gen. Hammond.  The MacGyver line is also done away with, as is Jay Acovone’s Kowalski Goauld snack near the end of the movie and Vaitiare’s semi-nudity (not for the better, FYI). 

There are some new digital mattes of various locations, including
Chulak and Abados; as well as some new Stargate effects and glider
effects.  However, the biggest change involves Christopher Judge being
brought in to completely redub his entire dialogue movie-wide.  Gone is
the scary Yul Brynner accent and mannerism for the Teal’C we’ve come to
know over the years.  Some minor re-editing of various character
glances and reactions smooth things out overall.

As if the snake coming out of Teal’C stomach wasn’t bad enough, what came out of his ass was downright terror-inducing…

I wouldn’t expect this to occur for many shows or even more of SG-1 as I consider this more a one-off than anything else and just a way to keep the Stargate brand out there until Stargate Universe kicks off in the fall.  Although I’d love to see this done for ST: TNG as it was for the original series.  If you caught the series finale of ST: Enterprise (shitty I know), and saw how they rendered the Enterprise-D during the Riker / Troi sequences, you’d see how the space effects in the early seasons of TNG could be modified to enhance an already great show.  I wouldn’t necessarily buy this Final Cut, but it’s worth a look-see if you get the chance.

Needless to say, Obama went slightly overboard at Comic Con…

The Package

Since this is a new cut and remastering, the show looks better than you’ve ever seen SG-1, probably even better than Stargate: Continuum, which had some shoddy effects work here and there.  Audio is also a nice 5.1 mix.  There are two special features, a commentary by Anderson and Wright, and a seven-minute featurette titled Back to the Beginning, which details the changes that have been made. 

6.2 out of 10