Stargate SG-1 Complete Series (1997-2007)

MGM

Cast: Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Don S. Davis, Beau Bridges and a whole bunch of neat aliens.

Rating: NR.

Run time: 9,900 mins (yeah, that's right - 165 freaking hours!!!)

Genre: Science Fiction/TV

Verdict: Beautiful (see rating system)

Talk about lost in space - this mammoth 54-DVD set carries Stargate fans on the ultimate journey to the stars.

As you enter the replica portal on the hefty box . . . OK, OK you actually lift the lid off . . .
you discover all 214 episodes of this award-winning series. It includes four DVDs packed with new extra features on the making of the show, plus a full payload of previously released extras AND a 40-page glossy book detailing every episode.

If you've never seen this great Canadian-made production you'll soon be hooked. From the plausible premise that ancient man (particularly the Egyptians) knew of space travel, the series takes off as present-day scientists and military personnel engage in a series of confrontations with weird and wonderful (sometimes terrible) aliens. Earthlings and aliens alike travel through wormholes - basically passages through space and time that scientists have long wondered about.

Taking a journey means going through a stone ring called a Stargate, all gussied up with Egyptian symbols and mythology. It's inspiring stuff, with decent special effects and strong characters. (There are also some adult themes and nudity, so be careful when the kids are around).

Now a word of caution. This is a bloody complicated show so you really do have to sit through every episode to follow it or you won't know your Ancients from your Ori.

The show was a spin-off to the 1994 movie Stargate, which starred starring Kurt Russell and James Spader. They don't feature in the series - Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Don S. Davis and Beau Bridges are among the first-class acting talent that came aboard for the 10-year run, which is said to be the longest running sci-fi series ever. It boasts fans in 121 countries.

The big-budget 92-minute pilot episode - Children of the Gods - that launched the TV series is actually better than the theatrical film, and though the budget for the rest of the TV series was more modest, the show's technical crew work wonders with what they have, with only the occasional duff effect or monster.

Though the 10-year series ended in 2007, the Stargate crew will fly on in a series of direct-to-DVD movies. The first - Stargate: The Ark of Truth - will be released in March.

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