- "Unlock the universe."
Stargate SG-1 is a television spin-off of Roland Emmerich's 1994 film Stargate. The series was developed for television by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, who together wrote the two-hour pilot episode "Children of the Gods." "Children of the Gods" originally aired on July 27, 1997 and "Unending," the final episode of the series, aired in the UK on March 13, 2007 and in the US on June 22, 2007.
Several million years ago, an ancient race of advanced humanoid beings, now known as the Ancients, created a device capable of near-instantaneous transportation across the universe with a subspace wormhole. This device, which has been used by countless races since its creation, has more commonly become known as a "Stargate" — a name, discovered by Dr. Daniel Jackson from hieroglyphs in the feature film.
Stargate SG-1 takes place in the present day. When the series began, only technology that existed at the time in "real life" was employed by the series' protagonists - humans from Earth who are known throughout the galaxy as the Tau'ri. In the preceding movie, Stargate, it was shown that in 1928 in Giza, Egypt, a mysterious ring was uncovered — buried in the sand long ago. However, it wasn't until 1995 that Earth discovered the device's true purpose and was able to use it for exploration.
Ever since their first mission to a planet known as Abydos, Earth has continued using the Stargate for both exploration and the defense of humanity from races elsewhere in the universe - for the first eight seasons of Stargate SG-1, a formidable parasitic enemy race known as the Goa'uld served as the main antagonist. To this end, the Stargate Program (which continues to be a secret to the public) was created with a mandate of acquiring knowledge, allies, and technology for the defense of the planet. However, Stargate Command (the base in which the program is located) has also focused on such efforts as trading and forming diplomatic relations with the rest of the galaxy. It was through this program (the main focus of Stargate SG-1) that Earth was able to acquire, over time, such necessities.
Evolution of the showEdit
Although an overall story arc was present from the start, the episodes of the first few seasons of Stargate SG-1 were mostly episodic, depicting the SG-1 team traveling to a different planet in each episode. Gradually, the show became less episodic and more serialized. Over its ten-year run, the show built up a complex mythology involving the history of the galaxy and introduced many new alien races, such as the Ancients and the Asgard, whereas the only true alien to appear in the original film was Ra.
Originally, a race of beings known as the Goa'uld (namely the Goa'uld Apophis) served as the principal villains of the series. However, at the end of season three, a new threat was introduced - the Replicators. Although they appeared in multiple episodes over the next five seasons, they were never as widely depicted as the Goa'uld were. In "Enemies," the opening episode of season five, Apophis was finally defeated and Anubis replaced him as the main villain for the next three seasons. Anubis and the Replicators were defeated in one blow at the end of season eight. Even though the Goa'uld were not completely destroyed, a new race called the Ori became the principal villains for the show's final two seasons.
The tone of the show also changed considerably over the course of its run. Much like the original film, the earlier episodes were mostly serious in character with an underlying comic tone. Later, the show became much lighter and occasionally even verged on borderline self-parody. The introduction of the Ori in season nine and the additions of Claudia Black and Ben Browder continued the show in its comedic and light-hearted aspects.
Changes from the filmEdit
- "Let me clear this up right now, we have NOTHING to do with the television series."
- —Dean Devlin
"Children of the Gods" established the premise of Stargate SG-1. It established that the Stargate can travel to planets other than Abydos, introduced several characters who did not appear in the film, and depicted the creation of a series of SG teams, by order of the President.
Since casting actors such as Kurt Russell and James Spader in regular roles would have been well beyond the show's budget, most of the characters who did appear in the film were recast. The exceptions were Skaara and Kasuf, although Kasuf didn't appear in the series until the second-season episode "Secrets." Richard Kind, who played Gary Meyers in the film, appeared in the Stargate: Atlantis episode "Irresistible" as Lucius Lavin, a role which he reprized in "Irresponsible". French Stewart, who played Louis Ferretti in the film, appeared in the Stargate Universe episode "Alliances".
Some elements of the film were changed to make the premise better fit the medium of a television show. Therefore, Stargate SG-1 and the film are set in different, although similar, versions of the Stargate universe.
Some important retcons are:
- While the film implied that Ra was the last surviving member of his race, in the series his race, the Goa'uld, are far from extinct. Also the physical nature of this race was altered (although the form shown in the movie is very close to that of the Unas, so arguably it was merely that we were shown Ra's previous host and not his parasite form).
- The system of having distinct symbols on each gate was removed in favor of all gates sharing the symbols from the Earth stargate (later established as all gates in the same galaxy sharing a coordinate system). This was done so that the same prop could be reused and so that it would not be necessary for every episode to involve finding a key to open a gate back to Earth.
- The location of Abydos was changed from 'halfway across the known universe' to being the closest planet to Earth in the gate network. This also was used to explain why it was the only planet that could be easily reached (it had not drifted far enough relative to Earth to make the coordinates completely invalid) and why initial gate trips were violent and cold (the wormhole was nearly missing the Abydos gate).
- The reasoning behind the symbols on the gate matching Earth constellations was changed.
- The Goa'uld were changed from having built the gates to merely using the already established gate network. This extends to a large amount of thier technology, which is mostly stolen.
The fact that all the other Goa'uld except Ra used Jaffa guards instead of human ones is acknowledged in the premiere, although never explained.
The show's original cast included Richard Dean Anderson as Colonel Jack O'Neill, Michael Shanks as Dr. Daniel Jackson, Amanda Tapping as Captain Samantha Carter, Christopher Judge as Teal'c and Don S. Davis as Major General George S. Hammond. Shanks left the show in the sixth season and was replaced by Corin Nemec as Jonas Quinn, but when Shanks returned for the seventh season Nemec was written out in the episode, "Homecoming". Nemec reappeared later that season in the episode "Fallout."
In the eighth season, Davis left the show and Jack O'Neill was promoted to be the base's commanding officer in his place. The next season, Anderson left the show and Beau Bridges was cast as Major General Henry Landry, the new commanding officer of Stargate Command, and Ben Browder became Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell, the new team leader of SG-1. In the tenth and final season, the recurring character of Vala Mal Doran (Claudia Black) became a regular.
In addition to the cast members, there have been a number of recurring characters on the series, namely Teryl Rothery as Dr. Janet Fraiser, Gary Jones as CMSgt. Walter Harriman, Tony Amendola as Bra'tac, Peter Williams as Apophis, Carmen Argenziano as Jacob Carter, David Palffy as Anubis, Cliff Simon as Ba'al, and Lexa Doig as Dr. Carolyn Lam.
- Main article: Stargate SG-1 soundtrack
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