This volume sees the start of Series 8 with four great episodes from one of the longest running sci-fi franchises.
New Order kicks off the series and is spread across two episodes and thankfully has been edited to remove the credit breaks. This gives us a great feature length episode to get back into the swing of Stargate and to catch up with the Series 7 finale. The further two episodes explore the new changes in the SGC. With the retirement of General Hammond, Jack is promoted to take his place and Teal'c has grown hair!
New Order: Sam and Teal'c fly out to the Asgard world of Hala in an attempt to find the cure for Jack who remains trapped in stasis. Meanwhile Daniel and Dr. Weir are left to deal with the Goa'uld System Lords who want the Ancients weapon that has been used to defeat Anubis. The Replicators are back in full force and so is the human-form Replicator Fifth who captures Sam and traps here in a virtual reality. The new Asgard homeworld is under threat from invasion from the Replicators and a battle against time is against them to develop an effective weapon.
This is a great episode to kick start the return of Stargate. It's full of action and the great special effects that we have come to expect from this big budget television show.
Lock Down: Coincident with a Russian Air Force Colonel joining the SGC, a mysterious alien decides to also set up home at the base. The problem is that this alien disguises itself by taking over the SGC members. Upon discovery of this phenomenon the newly appointed General O'Neill orders lock down on the SGC to prevent the alien escaping into the general population.
This is another great story and I prefer these individual themes as opposed to the ongoing political battle for the universe with the Goa'uld.
Zero Hour: This last episode is another, that like the previous, explores Jack's increasing uncomfort in his new role as General. There are some great O'Neill comedy moments in this one especially as he has to deal with an alien plant that is growing at an alarming rate and threatens to infest the whole SGC. Together with SG1 being captured by Ba'al, a System Lord with a hidden agenda and alien delegates who can't communicate civilly, this proves to be a busy week!
All in all, this is a fine collection of episodes. These introduce the viewer to the latest developments and responsibility changes at the SGC. Jack is back! Series 7 saw little of Jack but he is now back and is promised to feature more heavily.
As I am a bit of a fan of anything sci-fi, (except Buffy, I never saw the interest in that one!), I am a little biased, but the fact that this franchise is now on its 8th season must account for something! If I am honest I do find it can be a little hit and miss at times. Some episodes can grip you right from the start to the end, whilst other episodes can tail off a little in the middle. Generally though I do like a good Stargate episode and there are plenty of opportunities to catch one if you can't afford the price of a DVD. So if you have never ventured through the portal that is Stargate then go and catch an episode or two on Sky One or terrestrial Channel Four! You won't be disappointed!
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