Stargate: The Ark of Truth came out on DVD today, so I went right to Future Shop after class to buy it. Yes, MGM tells me to buy something, and I buy it. I am such a franchise junkie.
Obligatory spoiler warning here. Read more and feel the wrath of the Ori--oh wait....
I'm so satisfied. It took ten years to get here, but every step of the way was totally worth it. I was initially upset, but quickly resigned, to Stargate SG-1's cancellation. They were kind of running out of apocalypses after all--and the recent terrible writing on Stargate Atlantis seems to reinforce that fact. That doesn't mean I was going to ignore the direct-to-DVD sequels MGM wanted to produce, especially because the writers deliberately left the Ori saga half-concluded. More SG-1? Yes please.
Overall, I loved it. The dialogue among the SG-1 characters is just so satisfying; they are so comfortable with each other. Since the series has such a rich universe and backstory, it allows the writers to tie together elements that may once have been disparate, and even expands their creativity by giving them a better canvas. Yes, they brought back the replicators, but it was a temporary appearance--I would have been irked if the replicators became the villain once again--and I think that it served its purpose. The plot was intriguing, with just enough twists to keep me going and not too many to make me think, "This is utterly illogical." There were a few parts I didn't like, though.
What was up with the deus ex machinae? (Is that the plural form? I've never had to use it before.) Firstly, let me say that I realize the dilemma of the writers--of anyone who is writing a story involving interaction between humans and semi-omnipotent, nearly-cosmic beings like the Ancients/Ori. Morgan Le Fay healed Teal'c after he was somewhat badly injured, then proceeded to toy with Daniel. Just make your mind already! It was Oma Desala versus Anubis all over again. When it comes to people like Teal'c miraculously surviving being shot, of course, it's a good thing that the bad guys want to capture the good guys all the time. If the objective were to merely kill the good guys--well then, our series would be much shorter. When I am an evil overlord, I promise to summarily execute all good guys, starting with the ones who make the most defiant wisecracks.
Speaking of wisecracks, where's O'Neill?! Richard Dean Anderson was--and is--the best part of Stargate SG-1; without him, it isn't really "SG-1", just "Stargate." I understand his reasons for leaving the show, and seasons 9 and 10 were not terrible. But I miss him, and I hope he makes guest appearances in future SG-1 features.
But the best part of the show was just being immersed in that universe again. Stargate has a special place in my heart among various other science fiction series because of the way it successfully combines science fiction technology--wormholes, alien civilizations, starships, etc.--with present day humanity. Unlike Star Trek, it isn't set far in the future when we're used to having advanced technology at our disposal. Even now that Earth does have space travel technology in the form of the Prometheus-class cruisers, the characters bring that very contemporary element into the show with pop culture references and dialogue. Mitchell exemplifies this best at the beginning as he takes command of the Odyssey and says, "Weapons to maximum." Major Marks plays the straight man: "Sir?" "Just make it go!" This isn't Captain Kirk comfortably in command of the Enterprise--it's an Air Force officer, who happens to be used to dealing with alien situations, nervously assuming command of a huge battlecruiser about to take a trip to another galaxy. Stepping into this universe that is so much like our own, yet slightly different, is very rewarding.