Stargate SG-1: Season Three
The second season of Stargate SG-1 ended with the intrepid SG-1 crew imprisoned in a faked-up SGC by the Goa'uld queen, Hathor. Looking for a host for a freshly grown Goa'uld parasite, she picked Jack O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson), and the season's final episode ended with the ever-sarcastic O'Neill mouthing off as the parasite was waved in his face. Season Three's part-two opener, "Into the Fire"(which originally aired in June 1999) extricates O'Neill from what would seem to be inevitable Goa'uld infestation as General Hammond rallies other SG teams to save the day. Unlike most TV shows, which seem to hit their stride in their third season, Stargate SG-1 was strong right out of the gate, establishing a strong rhythm and even stronger plots and characters in the show's second season. So Season Three turned out to be something of a proving ground: Could they maintain the same quality and hold the audience's interest, and still offer a complex, ever-arcing storyline? The answer is yes... with reservations. The season dispatched a couple of old foes and brought in some new ones as well as bringing Apophis (Peter Williams) back from the dead (again) in "Jolinar's Memories." Earth is invaded by aliens from another galaxy in the one-shot episode "Foothold," Linea (the "destroyer of worlds") returns as a beautiful young woman with no memory of her deadly potential in "Past and Present," Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) becomes temporarily invisible due to exposure to the "Crystal Skull," and ex-System Lord Sokar (evil, evil Sokar) continues terrorizing, well, everybody. Less effective stories included Daniel dealing with the child born of his Goa'uld-abducted wife and the "god" Apophis a child containing all the genetic knowledge of the Goa'uld and an exploration of the battle between religion and science in "New Ground." Not the strongest season in Stargate SG-1's run, the show still stood head-and-shoulders above most other SF offerings on television, combining action, humor and genuinely interesting story arcs during the 22 episodes presented that year. MGM's box set presents all 22 in letterboxed widescreen (1.78:1) with audio in Dolby 2.0 Surround. The picture quality, which was good on the earlier box sets, seems to have actually improved on this season's offering it's amazingly bright, crisp, and saturated. Extras include featurettes on O'Neill's character, the SG-1 universe, and "personnel files." Five keep-cases in a paperboard slipcase.