Stargate SG-1 - Season 9 Boxed Set
With great casting, stories and visual effects, Stargate SG1 has become the longest running science fiction show in the history of television. Season 9, now out on DVDs, is almost like a new series starting from scratch - almost. At the end of Season 8 long time star Harry Dean Anderson had departed the show and all of the story lines had been tied up. Season 9 brings in all new story lines and several new main characters while losing none of the fun and excitement that has made this series so popular. As a matter of fact, in my humble opinion, season 9 is one of the very best that Stargate ever did.
The main new character is Lt. Cameron Mitchell (Ben Browder) (not to be confused with actor Cameron Mitchell) who has just arrived to serve Major Gen. Hank Landry (Beau Bridges) as the new head of the Stargate team. Unfortunately for Lt. Mitchell all the key people he wanted to work with have moved on from Stargate and he’s left to start from scratch. In trying to put a new team together he manages to hold on to science guy (and major hunk) Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) and ends up with an old flame of Jackon’s named Vala. Vala, played with great gusto and humor by Claudia Black, is a treasure hunter and con artist who rapidly becomes an integral (if unofficial) member of the new Stargate team as global events start to turn into a major crisis. A group of beings called the Ori have evolved to a new level of existence and are demanding complete worship or very bad things will happen to all non-believers - very bad!
So the Stargate team and their many friends and foes across the galaxies have to unite to try to deal with the Ori and save the universe. Season 9 is one hell of fun ride and the 20 shows and the massive number of extra features on the five discs in this box set are well worth your time. This is fun stuff made even more so by the amazing chemistry and over the top performances by Claudia Black and Michael Shanks as they chase each other around the cosmos and leave us all in the midst of a major battle as the season concludes in a cliff-hanger ending.
Here is the rundown of the shows in Season 9:
1: Avalon: Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell arrive and tries to assemble a new team from what remains of the Stargate project. The new crew with Teal’c in tow end up on a treasure hunt in a lost ancient English hillside involving Merlin and a far city named Avalon.
2: Avalon, Part 2: Jackon and Vala, still bound together by a pair of Jaffa bracelets find themselves prisoners in Avalon and Vala is burned alive for being a heretic...until a strange emissary from the Ori shows up and saves her - but to what purpose?
3: Origin: Jackson and Vala learn that they ancient device they activated which brought them to Avalon has exposed Earth to the Ori and has now endangered the entire human race.
4: The Ties That Bind: Jackson and Vala set off on an amusing series of adventures to try to unlock the Jaffa bracelets. Guest star Wally Shawn.
5: The Powers That Be: Jackson and Vala try to undo the teachings of the Ori on a distant planet and find that they have only managed to anger the Ori and awakened their vengeful wrath.
6: Beachhead: Samantha Carter returns to the SG-1 team on a mission to free a distant planet from Ori control - and rescue Jackson and Vala.
7: Ex Deus Machina: The SG-1 team has to intervene when an ongoing conflict between Gerak and Ba’al puts the world at risk. Guest star Louis Gossett Jr.
8: Babylon: While trying to contact a legendary band of Jaffa warriors Lt. Col. Mitchell disappears and the team is called into action to try to find him.
9: Prototype: General Landry and his government overseers come to blows over what to do about a dangerous, genetically engineered Goa’uld creation.
10/11: The Fourth Horseman: As SG-1 tries to stop the spread of a deadly global virus, Gerak works to convert the Jaffa into worshippers of the Ori. As Gerak amasses forces to rise against the SG-1 team, the crew races to find an antidote to stop the Ori plague from becoming a devastating global epidemic.
12: Collateral Damage: Complications arise when Lt. Col. Mitchell becomes the victim of a new technology that enables individuals to share memories.
13: Ripple Effect: Stargate Command is thrown in to chaos when several virtually identical SG-1 teams show up unexpectedly.
14: Stronghold: Teal’c disappears suddenly and Jackson fears the worst as he works to locate his loyal friend.
15: Ethon: The team sets out to destroy a deadly weapon invented by the increasingly powerful forces of the Ori.
16: Off the Grid: When Gen. Landry learns that Ba’al is once again regaining power of the Jaffa he and the SG-1 team set out to stop him.
17: The Scourge: A crop of genetically engineered mutant insects turns deadly and the SG-1 team must stop them, or become their next victims.
18: Arthur’s Mantel: While Teal’c sets off to investigate Jaffa foul play on a distant planet, the SG-1 team becomes out-of-phase while experimenting with a powerful ancient device.
19/20: Vala returns to Stargate (in the body of Jackson) with startling news about. She has experienced a virgin pregnancy and the Ori have created a massive Stargate and are about to begin their conquest of the galaxy. The team races to destroy the Ori gate but find themselves in the midst of a battle to the death as the season closes - and nothing is resolved.
Commentary on each episode
SG-1 Director’s Series featurettes on the episodes Avalon, "The Powers That Be, Prototype, Ethon, and Crusade
SG-1 Beyond the Gate featurettes:
It Takes a Crew to raise a Village
Inside the Stargate Props Department
Inside the Stargate Special Effects Department
An Introduction to Ben Browder
Profile on Brad Wright
Photo and production galleries