If I didn’t already know myself, and I just looked at my reviews for the first two seasons of Stargate SG-1, I would think that this Firewater dude was only lukewarm in his opinion of this science-fiction series.
That’s not true. I like this series. Quite a lot, in fact.
What it is, is that I’ve become spoiled by all of the science-fiction entertainment options now available to me. Especially those with modern-day special effects that make those in this series seem dated. Plus, it’s no secret that I’m a veteran and inveterate Trekkie, which means I’m constantly comparing this series to all of the Trek series that came out before—and, now, after—Stargate SG-1.
I’m not saying—or not necessarily saying, at any rate—that Trek is better than Stargate SG-1. What I am stating, for the record, is that the best of what I’ve watched of SG-1 to date isn’t as good as the best of Trek. But, that can be a tall order.
And, that’s just the comparisons to Trek. There’s also the Ronald D. Moore Battlestar Galactica reboot, and The Expanse, among other imaginative series such as Eureka, Fringe, The X-Files, and so on and so forth. As I’ve written before, for the speculative fiction fan, this is truly an embarrassment of riches. Never have we had so many choices in the types of stories we love.
You may have noticed that I didn’t name drop Star Wars and the continuing offering of excellent series based upon Star Wars on Disney-Plus that I may be subconsciously comparing Stargate to. I believe I’ve already made my point.
The horse is dead: dismount.
That being said (or written), Season 3 was the best of Stargate SG-1 so far.
Also, I feel compelled to add that the worst of SG-1, so far, is nowhere near as bad as the worst that Trek has offered us. I’m not excluding the original series from this comparison, either, in case you’re considering accusing me of being that old guy. Season 3 of TOS has several of the worst Trek episodes ever. ‘Nuff said, for now.
Some fun stuff happens during the season. Hathor is defeated, as we knew she would be. We discover an actual Goa’uld System Lord masquerading on Earth as a religious cult leader. He also dies.
Hmm . . . what else? Dr. Daniel Jackson apparently loses his mind and ends up in an asylum. He gets better.
We get another alternate reality episode. Captain Kawalsky is alive in this other dimension, and that realm’s Samantha Carter is grieving over the death of her beloved, Jack O’Neill. This is the first time a possible love connection between O’Neill and Carter is mentioned, I think. Won’t be the last.
Actor Sam Jones—formerly known as Flash Gordon—makes a terrific guest-appearance as spacefaring bounty hunter Aris Boch. I had hoped he would return later in the season, but he didn’t.
One planet has a medieval Christian village where Satan (the Goa’uld Sokar, in actuality) sends his demon Unas to collect sacrifices. Just five episodes later, the Sokar story is continued and concluded. I wasn’t sad to see Satan disappear as a recurring character.
The “Destroyer of Worlds” story is revisited and given a Fountain-of-Youth twist.
Dom DeLuise guest-stars as a trickster character much like Mr. Mxyzlptlk or the Great Gazook. Dom’s son Peter DeLuise was very active on the series as a writer, director and producer. This was a fun episode.
The Stargate Command Cheyenne Mountain complex is overrun by alien infiltrators in what’s known as a “foothold” situation. During this plot turn, the furtive Col. Mayborne becomes an adjunct member of the SGC Scooby Gang. He ends up being kicked off the team again a few episodes later.
We also get a space trial episode. The Trek franchise often returns to this same story well, and I always enjoy a good science-fiction legal episode. On SG-1, the trial involves a familiar face, Klorel, who fights for control of his body over the Goa’uld. This one reminds me of that TNG episode in which Data had to be ruled a sentient creature rather than Starfleet property which Maddox could freely disassemble.
Remember Daniel Jackson’s wife Sha’re? Whose rescue from the Goa’uld was Jackson’s chief character motivation for two seasons? Well, she dies this season, but not before revealing the existence of a child, the product of the union between Sha’re and Apophis known as the Harcesis. The offspring of the union of two Goa’uld hosts are forbidden by the System Lords because of . . . reasons. They are a threat to the Goa’uld because of things that escape me for the moment. In my mind, the Harcesis is like the Nephilim from Supernatural, although I’m willing to admit I could be mistaken.
Col. Jack O’Neill gets stranded on a planet and falls in love. Then, in the very next episode, he seems to betray the SGC and joins up with the rogue Col. Maybourne for some single-episode hijinks. Has O’Neill really become a traitor? What do you think?
Ten episodes after being foreshadowed, we follow up on the Harcecis story. The noncorporeal entity, Oma Desala—which Daniel Jackson translates as “Mother Nature”—makes her first appearance. Shifu, the Harcecis, is in her care. This “ascended” being becomes more important later, I think. No future season spoilers from me, though.
Speaking of noncorporeal, Daniel Jackson is temporarily turned into a ghost by a crystal skull that has nothing to do with Indiana Jones or Dan Ackroyd. We get to learn a little more about Jackson’s family history in this episode.
Finally, we are introduced to the Stargate SG-1 equivalent to TNG’s Borg, the Replicators. If the Borg were Lego spiders, guaranteed to raise the hackles of anyone with the tiniest bit of arachnophobia. The Replicators have even threatened the existence of our favorite Roswellian aliens, the Asgard. This first Replicator episode, “Nemesis,” provides the cliffhanger conclusion to our season.
What else can I say about Season 3 of Stargate SG-1? I didn’t bury the lead here. This was my favorite season so far.
Firewater’s What-the-Hell-Does-”Kree”-Mean? Report Card: B+
This is the entertainment equivalent of comfort food, I think. Questionable nutritional value, maybe, but pretty satisfying in the moment.
I think the Goa’uld begin to seem a bit toothless this season, and the season lacks a single unifying story arc or overwhelming Big Bad. This makes the series seem much more episodic than serialized, even if there are many nods to continuity.
I don’t recall any recognizable Trek actors appearing in this season. The alternate reality episode does reference the classic TOS episode “Mirror, Mirror,” however. In the other Stargate universe, Apophis and his First Prime, Teal’c, both wear goatees, a definite Trek trope. Also, the episode “A Hundred Days” is highly reminiscent of the TNG episode “Inner Light,” in which Capt. Jean-Luc Picard gets to live out several decades as a man named Kamin.
There is some commendable character work done this season, especially with Dr. Jackson and Col. O’Neill, and—above all else—this season was mostly fun. I was entertained, and I recommend the series to anyone who appreciates science fiction and fantasy.
One thought on “Stargate SG-1: Season 3 — a review”
“Comfort food” is a very apt description for this series, which I’m also rewatching (I just started on S 09): it might be sometimes predictable, sometimes repetitive, but it’s always fun and graced with a good mix of adventure, drama and humor. Sometimes, that’s all we need… 🙂
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