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DJ Supply

'Stargate SG-1: Children of the Gods - Final Cut'
(Richard Dean Anderson, et al / DVD / NR / 2009 / MGM)

Overview: Remastered, recut, reimagined, remarkable! The thrilling pilot episode of television’s longest-running sci-fi series is now yours to own on DVD! With exclusive special features and masterful fine-tuning from series Co-Creator Brad Wright, Stargate SG-1 Children of the Gods Final Cut is a whole new experience.

DVD Verdict: I'm not sure the remastered and re-edited version of the series' pilot, 'Stargate SG-1: Children of the Gods', on DVD, will win any new fans to the franchise, but I'm pleased that Brad Wright, the 'guiding light' of the TV series, cared enough to try to improve upon it, after 12 years. His changes are largely cosmetic (looping dialogue, including ALL of Christopher Judge's, cleaning up scratchy scenes, improving mat paintings and FX, and utilizing more of Joel Goldsmith's music), but he did make a few very noticable edits (eliminating seven minutes), that actually do tighten and improve the film.

The most obvious cut is, of course, removing Vaitiare Bandera's full-frontal nudity, in the scene when she is possessed by the worm-like Goa'uld symbiote; no one in the production team wanted nudity in what was intended as a family show, but Showtime, which first aired the series, thought it would spice things didn't, and actually hurt the overall story. Eliminating the most graphic moments now makes the episode 'family-friendly'.

Some redundant and inane dialog has also been eliminated, including my least favorite line in the entire story, when Amanda Tapping tells a room full of male officers that the location of her sexual organs didn't affect her performance of duty (using a bit more graphic terms). It was a dumb line, even in 1997, out of character, and in the script solely for it's shock value. Thanks, Brad, for chopping it!

There are still uncorrected errors; without the Air Force advisor who caught errors in later episodes, there are glaring mistakes in military protocol, and uniforms (I wince, every time I see the scene with an airman wearing both a major's gold leaves AND a staff sergeant's stripes)...I wish these had been addressed, but I assume the budget would only stretch so far.

While there is only one special featurette, a short piece on Brad Wright's reasons for making this edition, the film commentary, by Wright and series star Richard Dean Anderson, is bright and very funny (and reveals that Anderson will be making a surprise appearance on the latest entry in the franchise, "Stargate Universe"). It's actually worth the price of the DVD, by itself!

So, 'Stargate SG-1: Children of the Gods' isn't perfect, but it is far better than the original, and Brad Wright has every right to be proud of it! [BJB] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, and comes with the Special Features of:

New Edit with Never-Viewed Scenes
New and Enhanced Visual Effects
Revoiced Performance by Christopher Judge
Original Score by Joel Goldsmith
Special Features includes: Commentary by Co-Creator Brad Wright and Actor Richard Dean Anderson - Back to the Beginning Featurette