Although I’ve watched quite a bit of “Stargate SG-1” over the past few months, it just suddenly occurred to me that I haven’t reviewed any of it yet. So, I thought that I’d start with season nine because it’s the season that I’ve watched most recently.
At the time of writing this review, I haven’t seen season eight yet – so I have no clue how some of the characters ended up in the situations they are in at the beginning of this season. But, annoyingly, I now know pretty much how season eight ends. So, don’t watch this season before you’ve watched season eight.
Talking of spoilers, I should also point out that this review will contain some SPOILERS for season nine. You have been warned.
Generally speaking, this season marks the beginning of an entirely new plot arc for “Stargate SG-1”.
Whilst previous seasons have focused on ancient Egyptian mythology, this season focuses a lot more on traditional English folklore – and, as well as searching for Merlin’s ancient treasures and inventions, SG-1 also find themselves up against a brilliantly chilling new foe called The Ori.
The Ori are an absolutely brilliant parody of the Medieval church (and evangelical religions in general ) and they send eerily disfigured fanatical monks called “priors” to various worlds to either convert the inhabitants to their faith or kill them with plagues and curses if they refuse.
Not only that, the priors of the Ori often quote vaguely biblical passages from their “book of origin” before they do something evil. I don’t know why, but this is both deeply chilling and absolutely hilarious at the same time.
So, yes, they’re a lot creepier than the Go’auld ever were, but just as hilariously theatrical. And it’s up to SG-1 to stop them….
One of the other main changes in season nine of “Stargate SG-1” is that Colonel O’Neill has been replaced by another character called Colonel Mitchell. The cool thing about this is that Colonel Mitchell is played by none other than Ben Browder – who played the main character in another excellent sci-fi show called “Farscape“.
But, the really cool thing is that one of the new recurring characters (called Vala, who I believe also appears in season eight too) is played by Claudia Black – who starred opposite Ben Browder in “Farscape”. Seriously, it’s like a “Farscape” reunion.
Not only that, Vala is one of the best characters I’ve ever seen – she’s witty, she’s eccentric and she’s completely amoral in an absolutely hilarious way. It’s difficult to describe her here, but she really is the best character in the entire show.
Going back to what I was saying about a “Farscape reunion”, the very first episode of season nine features something which is slightly similar to the “I-yensch” bracelets from Farscape.
Seriously, if you’re a Farscape fan, then you are probably going to be literally trembling with geeky delight when you see the first couple of episodes of season nine.
Talking of things that are similar to other things, this season seems to take a surprising amount of inspiration from other sci-fi shows and movies.
For example, episode eighteen involves Mitchell and Carter being stuck “out of phase” from our reality in a very similar way how to Geordie La Forge and Ro Laren do in an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”.
Yes, something similar to this also happens in season six or seven of “Stargate SG-1” too – but it reminded me a lot more of “Star Trek” when it happened this time for some reason.
Likewise, the plot structure of episode four bears an eerie similarity to the plot structure of part of the “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” season five episode “In The Cards“.
But, since both episodes are absolutely hilarious and very well-plotted, then this isn’t exactly a bad thing. In fact, episode four is probably the best episode of season nine of “Stargate SG-1”.
Episode seventeen is another great episode, where SG-1 find themselves up against a horde of flesh-eating beetles whilst escorting an international diplomatic mission around a US research base on another planet.
Since these beetles tend to burrow underground and can be distracted and/or scared away by loud noises, the episode quickly becomes vaguely reminiscent of an absolutely excellent monster movie from the 90s called “Tremors“.
If you’re a sci-fi fan, you’ll probably love seeing “Stargate SG-1″‘s unique take on most of these familiar storylines. But, as cool as it is, it can make a few episodes slightly predictable at times. Even so, I cannot fault their choice of inspiration for this season.
All in all, this season is different from the ones that came before it. Yes, it’s a little bit derivative at times – but in the best possible way. And, if you love sci-fi, then you will probably love this season of “Stargate SG-1”.
If I had to give it a rating out of five, I’d give season nine of “Stargate SG-1” four.