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Stargate SG-1 Season 1
Stargate SG-1 Season 1.jpg
Region 1 DVD cover art
Series Stargate SG-1
Country of origin United States and Canada
Network Showtime
Original run July 27, 1997 – March 6, 1998
No. of episodes 21
DVD release date Region 1: February 2000 (Season 1 Disc 1), May 2001 (Season 1)
Region 2: October 21, 2002
Region 4: March 1, 2004
Next season Season 2

The first season of the military science fiction television series Stargate SG-1 commenced airing on the Showtime channel in the United States on July 27, 1997, concluded on the same channel on March 6, 1998, and contained 22 episodes. The show itself is a spin off from the 1994 hit movie, Stargate written by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich. Stargate SG-1 re-introduced supporting characters from the film universe, such as Jonathan "Jack" O'Neill and Daniel Jackson and included new characters such as Teal'c, George Hammond and Samantha "Sam" Carter. The first season was about a military-science expedition team discovering how to use the ancient device, named the Stargate and exploring the galaxy. However, they encountered a powerful enemy in the film named the Goa'uld, which is bent on destroying Earth and all that opposes them.

The two-hour premiere "Children of the Gods", which aired on July 27, 1997 at 8 p.m,[1] received Showtime's highest-ever ratings for a series premiere and ranked as the highest-rated original movie to premiere on Showtime in 3-1/2 years at the time. The show got a 10.5 rating in Showtime's approximately 12 million U.S. households, which equaled approximately 1.5 million homes in total.[2] Season one regular cast members included Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, Christopher Judge and Don S. Davis.

The series was a ratings success for Showtime. Although it received little critical response from major media publishers, Stargate SG-1 was honored with numerous awards and award nominations in its first-season run. What was originally planned to be a two season long series lasted for ten seasons and became second longest-running science fiction series of all time, only beaten by Doctor Who.

Contents

Development

Production

Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner had worked together on the Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer (MGM) television series The Outer Limits since 1995. Wright saw a wide range of possible science fiction storylines in the original Stargate (1994) film that could take place in present-day.[3] Meanwhile, Glassner was interested in the feature film's theme that Ancient Egypt had been partially or completely built by aliens.[3] Upon hearing of MGM's plan to create a television spin-off series of the film, Wright and Glassner independently and unbeknownst to each other approached MGM and proposed their concept for the television series. MGM president John Symes greenlit the project on the condition that Wright and Glassner worked together as executive producers of the new show.[3] The show was eventually given the name Stargate SG-1 after Wright flightily agreed to Symes's pitch question if the team should be called "SG-1". MGM released posters titled Stargate SG-1 within the next week without the knowledge of Wright and Glassner.[4]

John Symes approached Michael Greenburg and Richard Dean Anderson of MacGyver fame.[3] Although Anderson was never a real fan of the science fiction genre, he believed the original concept of a "Stargate" was a good vehicle for a series.[5] Anderson agreed to become involved with the project if his character Jack O'Neill was allowed significantly more comedic leeway than Kurt Russell's character in the feature film. He also requested Stargate SG-1 to be more of an ensemble show, so that he would not be carrying the plot alone as on MacGyver.[6] The American subscription channel Showtime made a two-season commitment for 44 episodes in 1996.[3] Principal photography began in Vancouver in February 1997.[7]

"The First Commandment" was the first Stargate SG-1 episode written by Robert C. Cooper, who would later become an executive producer and co-creator of the spin-off series Stargate Atlantis. Paul McGillion, who played young Ernest Littlefield in "Torment of Tantalus", would go on to play the recurring and later main character Dr. Carson Beckett in Stargate Atlantis. The outside scenes of "Solitudes" were filmed at Pemberton Icefield.[8] The rest of the episode was filmed in the studio, which was filled with fake snow and ice and kept at a low temperature.

Production design

Lead production designer Richard Hudolin flew to Los Angeles, 1996 to gather material from Stargate for reference and found the original film prop stored outside in the Californian desert. Although the prop had severely disintegrated, he could take a detailed mould for Stargate SG-1 production to build its own prop. The new Stargate was engineered to turn, lock the chevrons, and be computer-controlled to dial specific gate addresses. A portable Stargate prop was built for on-location shoots and required six workers and one full day to set up.[3][9] Since visual effects are sometimes faster and cheaper,[9] a computer-generated Stargate was occasionally used in on-location shoots in later seasons.[10]

The design of the Stargate Command (SGC) base was supposed to match the real Cheyenne Mountain complex as much as possible.[9] The set had to be twice as high for shooting as the 22 feet tall Stargate prop,[11] but one of Hudolin's original plans of a three-level SGC set was rejected in favor of a two-level set.[9] The gateroom was the biggest room on set and could be redesigned for other scenes.[10] Two multi-purpose rooms were frequently redecorated into the infirmary, Daniel's lab, the cafeteria or the gym.[9][12] The SGC set and all other sets from the pilot episode were constructed within six weeks in January and February 1997, incorporating some original set pieces from the feature film.[9]

Cast and characters

The initial season had five main characters getting star billing. Richard Dean Anderson portrayed formerly suicidal United States Air Force Colonel Jonathan "Jack" O'Neill. Michael Shanks played the American Egyptologist Daniel Jackson. Both O'Neill and Jackson appeared in the 1994 film Stargate. Amanda Tapping played astrophysicist and United States Air Force officer Samantha "Sam" Carter. Christopher Judge portrayed Teal'c, a Jaffa from Chulak and former First Prime of Apophis. Don S. Davis played George Hammond, the new leader of the Stargate program, taking over after General W.O. West. Numerous supporting characters have been given expansive and recurring appearances in the progressive storyline, including: Teryl Rothery as Janet Fraiser, Gary Jones as Chevron Guy (later identified as Walter Harriman), Jay Acovone as Charles Kawalsky (portrayed by John Diehl in the 1994 feature film), Tom McBeath as Harry Maybourne, and Ronny Cox as Robert Kinsey, among others.

Release and reception

The original airing of "Children of the Gods" on Showtime featured full frontal nudity during the scene showing the possession of Sha're (Vaitiare Bandera) by Amonet. This has never been repeated and subsequent airings have had the nudity cut out for syndication, it was rated by the MPAA, getting the rating R.[13] According to Brad Wright, the Showtime network had insisted on the full frontal nudity despite Wright's vocal opposition; Wright told fan site GateWorld that he would cut the nudity scene from the 2009 direct-to-DVD recut of the pilot episode.[14] The DVD version, in fact, only retains a portion this scene, with full frontal nudity being cut and a partial syndicate friendly back nudity version used. Likely because of the nudity, the original version of this episode is the only one in the series to be rated by the MPAA (it is rated R), while in the UK the episode is rated 18 by the BBFC (all other episodes have generally been rated PG, or 12, very occasionally 15).[15] It is rated M in Australia, recommended for (but not restricted to) viewers 15 and older. "Hathor" was heavily criticized, and the series' writers themselves acknowledged the episode's weakness.[16] Later, in the Season 7 episode "Heroes (Part 1)", Dr Fraiser is discussing Jack with the film crew and mentions "the whole Hathor incident, which we were never supposed to speak of again". "Politics", was the series' first clip show, it is widely regarded as one of Stargate SG-1's weakest episodes.[17]

"Children of the Gods" was nominated for a Golden Reel Award in the category "Best Sound Editing - Television Movies of the Week" and the music for "Best Sound Editing - Television Episodic - Music".[18] "The Nox" was nominated for an Emmy in the category "Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)".[19] "Within the Serpent's Grasp" was nominated for a Gemini Award in the category "Best Visual Effects".[20] Richard Dean Anderson won a Saturn Award for Best Genre TV Actor.[21]

Cultural references

During the production of "Solitudes", a joke was played on Richard Dean Anderson. Whilst filming, when O'Neill asks how Carter is getting along with unearthing the Stargate's DHD, Carter starts ranting at O'Neill for being completely "MacUseless" even though he spent seven years on MacGyver, referring to Richard Dean Anderson's role in both shows. The prank was organized by Tapping in cooperation with the director.[8] Similarly, in the first episode, "Children of the Gods" Carter speaks of "MacGyvering" the Stargate into operation while O'Neill rolls his eyes. The 2009 DVD version of this episode does not contain the MacGyver reference probably because of copyright issues.[22] "Politics" contains a scene that references uploading a virus to an alien mothership, alluding that the solution to the movie Independence Day will not work in this situation.[23] "Within the Serpent's Grasp" contains the only scene produced especially for Showtime, not shown on the syndicated versions. When seeing a floating metal ball, Teal'c explains "It is a Goa'uld long-range visual communication device, somewhat like your television, only much further advanced." In the Showtime version, O'Neill says "Think it gets Showtime?" While this scene remains in the DVD versions of the episode, syndication runs have O'Neill instead saying, "Think it gets cable?"[24]

Episodes

# # Title Directed by Written by Original airdate
1 101 "Children of the Gods (Part 1)" Mario Azzopardi Jonathan Glassner & Brad Wright July 27, 1997 (1997-07-27) (Showtime)
The Stargate Program (SGC) is revived when Apophis, an alien of the same race as Ra, comes to Earth through the gate seeking hosts. After attack Colonel Jack O'Neill and new SG-1 recruit Samantha Carter are sent to Abydos to locate, and bring back, Daniel Jackson
2 102 "Children of the Gods (Part 2)" Mario Azzopardi Jonathan Glassner & Brad Wright July 27, 1997 (1997-07-27) (Showtime)
O'Neill and Daniel befriend Apophis' first prime Teal'c, a Jaffa (one who is an incubator to a larval Goa'uld), and Teal'c joins their side. He helps SG-1 return to Earth, though they cannot save Daniel's wife Sha're and his friend Skaara, who have been taken as hosts. 
3 103 "The Enemy Within" Dennis Berry Brad Wright August 1, 1997 (1997-08-01) (Showtime)
After being infested by a Goa'uld parasite in the previous episode, Major Charles Kawalsky shows signs of possession. The symbiote is removed, but Kawalsky remains possessed and is killed by Teal'c. 
4 104 "Emancipation" Jeff Woolnough Katharyn Michaelian Powers August 8, 1997 (1997-08-08) (Showtime)
SG-1 visits a planet inhabited by the Shavadai, a nomadic tribe descended from the Mongols. They regard women as property, and restrict their rights in the belief that to do otherwise would bring "demons" (the Goa'uld) down upon them. Carter ends up being 'sold', but when Carter beats a chieftain in hand-to-hand combat, the team changes the tribe's opinions about the rights of women. Guest starring Soon-Tek Oh and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
5 105 "The Broca Divide" Bill Gereghty Jonathan Glassner August 15, 1997 (1997-08-15) (Showtime)
SG-1 travels to P3X-797, a planet divided into 'Light' and 'Dark' sides. While the inhabitants of the light side have a Bronze Age culture bearing similarities to the Minoan civilization, the dark side is infected with a plague that turns people into savages, and the SGC is locked down when SG-1 brings it home. Dr. Janet Fraiser manages to synthesize a cure for both peoples. 
6 106 "The First Commandment" Dennis Berry Robert C. Cooper August 22, 1997 (1997-08-22) (Showtime)
As SG-9 is on P3X-513 and long overdue, SG-1 is sent after them to find out what has happened to them. They soon discover that the commander of SG-9 has set himself up as a God on the planet. 
7 107 "Cold Lazarus" Kenneth J. Girotti Jeff F. King August 29, 1997 (1997-08-29) (Showtime)
By the work of a strange blue crystal, a duplicate of Jack O'Neill returns to the SGC in his place. When the real Jack returns, they locate the alien, who, they discover, was only trying to heal Jack's pain over the loss of his son. 
8 108 "The Nox" Charlie Correll Hart Hanson September 12, 1997 (1997-09-12) (Showtime)
When SG-1 meet a Jaffa patrol on P3X-774, they and a Jaffa soldier are killed. Once revived by the Nox, SG-1 tries to persuade them to aid them, as they have the secret of invisibility. But the Nox are pacifists and send SG-1 and the Jaffa home in safety. 
9 109 "Brief Candle" Mario Azzopardi Katharyn Michaelian Powers September 19, 1997 (1997-09-19) (Showtime)
The inhabitants of the planet Argos (P3X-8596) are descended from the ancient Greeks, who were implanted nanocytes into their bloodstream as part of the Goa'uld Pelops' experiments to create an advanced host. As a result, the Argosians aged rapidly and only lived for about 100 days. O'Neill becomes infected with the responsible nanites, but Carter is able to deactivate the nanocytes, restoring the Argosians to normal human lifespans. 
10 110 "Thor's Hammer" Brad Turner Katharyn Michaelian Powers September 26, 1997 (1997-09-26) (Showtime)
SG-1 visits the planet Cimmeria (P3X-974), a planet inhabited by Viking descendants, in search of allies against the Goa'uld. Upon arrival, O'Neill and Teal'c are trapped in a labyrinth, where the only exit is through Thor's Hammer, a device to destroy Goa'uld, but preserve the host. Goa'uld weapons are rendered inoperative but not earth guns. 
11 111 "The Torment of Tantalus" Jonathan Glassner Robert C. Cooper October 3, 1997 (1997-10-03) (Showtime)
SG-1 go to Heliopolis (PB2-908) and recovers Dr. Ernest Littlefield, who went through the Stargate in 1945 and never returned. Daniel nearly stays behind to study a 'book' detailing the meaning of human existence, left behind by the Four Great Races
12 112 "Bloodlines" Mario Azzopardi Jeff F. King October 10, 1997 (1997-10-10) (Showtime)
Teal'c's son Rya'c is to be implanted with his first Goa'uld larva on Chulak, so SG-1 goes to prevent it. However, Rya'c falls ill and can only be saved by a symbiote; Teal'c donates his own, and receives a stolen one for himself. We also meet Teal'c's first teacher Bra'tac, formerly the greatest of all Jaffa warriors and now still a spry 133 years old, who had taught Teal'c that the Goa'uld were false gods. 
13 113 "Fire and Water" Allan Eastman Katharyn Michaelian Powers October 17, 1997 (1997-10-17) (Showtime)
On P3X-866, SG-1 is given a false memory of Daniel's death by his alien abductor Nem. Nem is a member of an amphibious species named Oannes (Ohne), and wants to know from Daniel what happened to his mate Omoroca in ancient Babylon. Ultimately, Daniel remembers the obscure fact from his studies of ancient myths, and is allowed to go home. 
14 114 "Hathor" Brad Turner Story by David Bennett Carren & J. Larry Carroll
Teleplay by Jonathan Glassner
October 24, 1997 (1997-10-24) (Showtime)
The Goa'uld Hathor (one of the mothers of all Goa'uld) brainwashes the men of the SGC with pheromones, and nearly makes O'Neill host to a larval Goa'uld conceived with Daniel. She flees after the unaffected women of Stargate Command retake the facility. 
15 115 "Singularity" Mario Azzopardi Robert C. Cooper October 31, 1997 (1997-10-31) (Showtime)
On the planet Hanka (P8X-987), SG-1 rescues a small girl who turns out to have had an inoperable Naqahdah bomb put in her by Nirrti to destroy the SGC. Ultimately the girl is given to the care of Dr. Janet Fraiser, the SGC medic, after they discover that the bomb will dissolve if she is kept away from the Stargate. 
16 116 "Cor-ai" Mario Azzopardi Tom J. Astle January 23, 1998 (1998-01-23) (Showtime)
The Byrsa, human inhabitants of the planet Cartago (P3X-1279) that was once enslaved, condemn Teal'c for the atrocities he once committed under Apophis. He is sentenced to death, but when the Goa'uld attack, Teal'c saves his accuser's life and proves he is a changed man. 
17 117 "Enigma" Bill Gereghty Katharyn Michaelian Powers January 30, 1998 (1998-01-30) (Showtime)
SG-1 rescues a group of highly advanced Tollan from their homeworld, P3X-7763. The military and the NID take an interest in their technology, and attempt to imprison them for research purposes before Daniel helps them take refuge with the Nox
18 118 "Solitudes" Martin Wood Brad Wright February 6, 1998 (1998-02-06) (Showtime)
Carter and O'Neill are stranded on an icy planet when the Stargate malfunctions on their return journey to Earth. However, it turns out that they have merely been redirected to a second Stargate in Antarctica. 
19 119 "Tin Man" Jimmy Kaufman Jeff F. King February 13, 1998 (1998-02-13) (Showtime)
11,000 years ago, the inhabitants of the planet On Altair (P3X-989) were forced underground by deadly radiation, and eventually transferred their minds into exact android duplicates to survive. By the time SG-1 visits their planet, there is only one remaining individual, Harlan, who creates android replicas of the Earth team to aid him. When this is discovered, the androids must accept that they will stay off-world, and the real SG-1 returns home. 
20 120 "There But For the Grace of God" David Warry-Smith Robert C. Cooper February 20, 1998 (1998-02-20) (Showtime)
On P3R-233, Daniel finds a strange alien mirror and is accidentally transported into an alternate universe. Before he returns, he learns that Apophis will attack Earth in ships from a certain Stargate address. 
21 121 "Politics (Part 1)" Martin Wood Brad Wright February 27, 1998 (1998-02-27) (Showtime)
Senator Robert Kinsey shuts down the Stargate program (as the gate represents a global risk), despite Daniel's warnings that Apophis will attack Earth, and that the Stargate may be Earth's only defense. (This episode is a clip show.) 
22 122 "Within the Serpent's Grasp (Part 2)" David Warry-Smith Story by James Crocker
Teleplay by Jonathan Glassner
March 6, 1998 (1998-03-06) (Showtime)
SG-1 uses the Stargate to go an address discovered by Daniel Jackson. This turns out to be Apophis' ship, where they find that Skaara has been made host to Apophis' son Klorel. The ship reaches Earth, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. 

References

  1. ^ Will Joyner (July 26, 1997). "Through a Gate to the Far Side of the Universe: A TV Series". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1997/07/26/arts/through-a-gate-to-the-far-side-of-the-universe-a-tv-series.html. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  2. ^ Richmond, Ray (August 1, 1997). "'Stargate' Showtime's home run". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1116678643.html?categoryid=14&cs=1. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Wright, Brad; Glassner, Jonathan; Greenburg, Michael; Anderson, Richard Dean; Shanks, Michael. (2001). Stargate SG-1: Season 3 – Timeline To The Future – Part 1: Legacy Of The Gate. [DVD]. MGM Home Entertainment. 
  4. ^ Wright, Brad. (2006). Stargate SG-1: Season 9 – Profile On: Brad Wright. [DVD]. MGM Home Entertainment. 
  5. ^ Goldman, Eric (August 16, 2006). "Richard Dean Anderson on Returning to Stargate". IGN. http://tv.ign.com/articles/725/725838p2.html. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  6. ^ Eramo, Steven (July 2002). "Richard Dean Anderson – Mr Anderson – Colonel O'Neill". TV Zone (Special 46): 4–9. 
  7. ^ Hudolin, Richard. (2001). Stargate SG-1: Season 3 – Production Design: Richard Hudolin [DVD]. MGM Home Entertainment.
  8. ^ a b Gibson, Thomasina (2001) Stargate SG-1 The Illustrated Companion Seasons 1 and 2. Published by Titan Books. ISBN 1-84-023-354-0
  9. ^ a b c d e f Hudolin, Richard. (2001). Stargate SG-1: Season 3 – Production Design: Richard Hudolin. [DVD]. MGM Home Entertainment. 
  10. ^ a b Wood, Martin and Tichenor, James. (2001). Stargate SG-1: Season 4 – Audio Commentary for "Upgrades". [DVD]. MGM Home Entertainment. 
  11. ^ Wright, Brad and Glassner, Jonathan. (2001). Stargate SG-1: Season 3 – Producing Stargate [DVD]. MGM Home Entertainment.
  12. ^ Wood, Martin. (2003). Stargate SG-1: Season 6 – Audio Commentary for "Redemption (Part 1)". [DVD]. MGM Home Entertainment. 
  13. ^ "Children of the Gods". Reasons for Movie Ratings (CARA). http://www.filmratings.com/. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  14. ^ Darren Sumner (April 4, 2008). "Special edition of SG-1 pilot episode in the works". GateWorld. http://gateworld.net/news/2008/04/special_edition_of_isg-1i_pilot_.shtml. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  15. ^ "Children of the Gods". Reelzchannel. http://www.reelzchannel.com/movie/201741/stargate-sg-1-children-of-the-gods. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  16. ^ Audio Commentary for "Citizen Joe", Season 8
  17. ^ "Politics". Global Episode Opinion Survey. http://www.geos.tv/index.php/episode?eid=5681. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  18. ^ "Stargate: Golden Reel Awards". Stargate.de. http://www.stargate-area.de/site.php?showID=121#golden. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  19. ^ "Primetime Awards". Emmy Awards. http://www.emmys.org/awards/2007pt/history.php. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  20. ^ "Canada's Awards Database". The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. http://academy.ca/hist/history.cfm?stitle=Stargate+SG-1&awyear=0&winonly=0&awards=2&rtype=2&curstep=4&submit.x=0&submit.y=0. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  21. ^ "Saturn Awards – Past Award Winners". Saturn Awards. http://www.saturnawards.org/past.html. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  22. ^ "Children of the Gods". Mario Azzopardi, Writ. Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper. Stargate SG-1. Showtime. No. 1 and 2, season 1.
  23. ^ "Politics". Martin Wood, Writ. Brad Wright. Stargate SG-1. Showtime. No. 21, season 1.
  24. ^ "Within the Serpent's Grasp (Part 2)". David Warry-Smith, Writ. Jonathan Glassner. Stargate SG-1. Showtime. No. 22, season 1.

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