Quick Daily Review #35: Stargate SG-1 – The Ninth Season [DVD]
Starring: Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Beau Bridges
Created By: Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner
Season nine was a new beginning for SG-1 both as a team and a series. For the first time in the shows history, the Gou’ald were no longer a problem and neither were the Replicator’s. Things have changed around the SGC since the season eight finale.
General Jack O’Neill is no longer in charge of Stargate Command, that honor now belongs to General Hank Landry. Jack has been promoted (off-screen) to the head of the Department of Homeworld Security. Samantha Carter has accepted a position as the Head of Stargate Research and Development at Area 51. Daniel Jackson is preparing to finally go to Atlantis and join that expedition, and Teal’c is off to Dakara where he is a member of the Jaffa High Council. SG-1, as we knew it, seemingly no longer existed.
This is where Ben Browder’s Colonel Cam Mitchell comes into play. The great season premiere (Avalon) shows us that Cam was a fighter pilot who flew a F-302 in Antarctica during the battle with Anubis. Mitchell was an integral part of SG-1 having time to complete their mission, but his jet was shot down during the battle. In the hospital, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, and O’Neill told him he could have any assignment he wanted when he recovered. He began reading SG-1’s mission reports, and naturally chose to head up SG-1 for his new assignment.
Cam does eventually succeed in getting SG-1 (Jackson, Carter, and Teal’c) back together. But in the process, Vala Mal Doran has come to Earth seeking Dr. Jackson’s help finding some treasure on Earth that was hidden by the Alteran, Myrddin (Merlin, as in Camelot and King Arthur). Jackson, linked with Vala, does what he does best and interacts with an ancient long range communication device (the stones). In the process, Jackson and Vala’s minds are transported into two beings in another galaxy, where they inadvertently inform a group of ascended beings known as the Ori as to the presence of life in the Milky Way. Earth once again has an enemy, one far more dangerous than any they have encountered before (see the clip below for one of the most awesome dialogue scenes to ever come out of the Stargate series).
There’s really only one episode in this season that I think isn’t that good, and it’s the late season episode “The Scourge.” Every other episode either ranges from strongly decent to great. Speaking of great, the last two episodes of the season are particularly amazing, with the finale being more so. In Crusade, Vala informs SG-1 of her life in the Ori galaxy and how their devout human followers (who worship the Ori as gods, giving them more power) are building ships to mount a conquest of the Milky Way through a giant super spacegate.
Camelot is the season finale, and of course ends with a cliffhanger. We’ve seen Apophis’ and Anubis’ fleets in Earth’s orbits, we’ve seen Replicator’s survive a crash in the Pacific Ocean, but never before had a season ended with such dread and on such a high cliffhanger. The wait between season nine and season ten was excruciating because of this episode. Here we had Earth’s ships, the Jaffa, and the Lucian Alliance waiting at the spacegate for the Ori to show up (technically, they were trying to disable it). Never before had the enemy caused so much destruction and made things look bleak for the heroic SG-1 team. Watch the clip below (set to music) for the awesome final moments of this episode.
Again, season nine was a new beginning. The SGC was under new command, and SG-1 had a new leader, and Vala started to become a major recurring character (soon to be full SG-1 team member). It was a great new beginning though. The Ori were made to look unstoppable, and not because of them, but because of their human followers (radical religious extremist led by powerful Priors). It was just the kind of freshness SG-1 needed, and frankly I still believe the Ori arch could have kept the show going for another four or five seasons.
I’d actually rank season nine as one of the best seasons in the series’ history. It’s not as good as season seven, but it’s close. It’s a shame that there was only one more season after this one (which I’ll cover tomorrow). It can go without saying then that this is an absolute must own season.